E. Winter Tashlin

Authenticity Edition [What You Need To Know]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | January 21, 2013 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: anti-gay violence, Brian Brown, Colin Higgins Foundation, Daniel Radcliffe, Derek Nance, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gay military, Mataguay Scout Ranch, NOM, Rick Santorum, Youth Courage Award

We talk a lot in the LGBT community about authenticity. The virtues, freedoms, and costs of being our authentic selves are themes that underlie our need for openness and "coming out." It's how we as a community respond to bigots who argue that we are free to do what we like "behind closed doors," but we shouldn't acknowledge our sexuality or gender identity in the broader world. Todays What You Need To Know is bookended with videos of young people who have embraced their authentic lives and identities, for good or ill.

First off, we have this incredible It Gets Better video from Derek Nance, (certainly former by now) program director at Mataguay Scout Ranch, and a former Boy Scout who achieved his Eagle. In the video, he speaks with evident passion about the importance that Scouting and Mataguay in particular, plays in his life and his identity. Mr. Nance seems to be someone who not only was a Scout, but truly lives for, and has been shaped by, his experiences as part of the BSA.

But he speaks with even greater eloquence of the distance not being able to be his authentic self put between him and some of the people who matter most in his life. In coming out, particularly in such a public way, Derek Nance has almost certainly, and for the foreseeable future, burned his bridges with the Boy Scouts of America. Despite this, he remains positive throughout the video, and clearly believes that the day will come when Scouting will be a more inclusive and welcoming part of our society. In a sense, one could argue that his powerful act of bravery and authenticity was as much a final service to Scouting as it was to his own happiness.

At the end of today's What You Need To Know, you'll find a link to an equally remarkable and (much) younger person in the form of Jazz. She's an eleven year old trans* girl who in her short life has put a public face to the trans* experience of young children; appearing on 20/20, founding a movement affirming the lives of trans* youth, successfully challenging the United States Soccer Federation to allow her to play, and most recently, being awarded a prestigious and well-deserved award for LGBTQ young people of courage.

We talk a lot about authenticity, but it's good to know we have young folk like Jazz and Derek around to remind us what that really means if we should loose track.

And now, here's what else you need to know today:

  • "...they were telling me I can go to fight the war on terrorism with them, but I can't attend a seminar with them to keep my marriage healthy."
  • Supporting LGBTQ youth is apparently considered offensive by "numerous" citizens in one Sydney, Australia suburb.
  • "...people were asking me all these questions about the gay sex scenes. I was like: 'You know I did Equus?" - British actor Daniel Radcliff on people's reactions to explicit gay sex scenes in the new film Kill Your Darlings, in which he plays Allen Ginsberg.
  • Take a moment to learn a bit about Richard Blanco, the openly gay Latino poet who will read one of his works at President Obama's second inauguration.
  • Rick Santorum blames "the gay agenda" in colleges for America's decline. Also: Tony Perkins is upset that "repressive government" means teachers can't beat students anymore.
  • A few perspectives on being out as an educator.
  • Author, kink educator, and queer/feminist pornographer, Tristan Taormino will be featured on an upcoming E! Entertainment TV program.
  • The man accused of fatally stabbing Deoni Jones, a trans* woman, last February in DC, will undergo mental observation pending his upcoming trial.
  • An anonymous new LGBT group intends to run an advert harshly criticizing President Obama's nominee for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel.
  • Police are searching for two men in connection with a homophobic attack on a UCLA student on Friday. One of the assailants used a knife, although the victim escaped with minor injuries.
  • The British government may take up the issue of how the law would treat a gay member of the royal family, particularly the issue of a gay heir to the throne.
  • In a bizarre video, even for him, Brian Brown of NOM reports for the bigots back home as NOM works on exporting their anti-equality message to Europe.
  • At least one New Zealand MP openly laughed at a brief filed by Garth McVicar of the organization Sensible Sentancing, in which Mr. McVicar claimed that marriage equality would lead to an increase in New Zealand's crime rate.
  • Unfortunately, I can't get the embedding to work, but you really must check out this incredibly speech by Jazz, the eleven year old trans* girl I wrote about at the start of today's post, on the occasion of winning the Youth Courage Award from the Colin Higgins Foundation, in recognition of her outstanding role in advancing visibility and support for trans* youth.

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