Ken Jiretsu, a transgender man who has three special needs children, was in need of assistance from the Baltimore Police Department. One of his children, a 15 year-old son, had to be escorted to a hospital by police because of mental health issues. When the police arrived at his Baltimore home last February, the contingent included one female officer and eight male officers.
As language continues to evolve, so too do the terms we use to conceptualize the transgender experience. Although some of this may be controversial with differing interpretations, here is my attempt to bring us up to date. For starters, even the term transgender is increasingly problematic. Our ideas of what it means to be trans have evolved from a time when we viewed the gender world as binary, when a trans person was either male to female (MTF) of female to male (FTM). We have come to realize that one’s gender can be self-identified anywhere along a continuum between male at one end and female at the other. In our attempts to describe the transgender experience we must include all points upon that spectrum (although many people across the spectrum may not self-identify as trans).
Longtime civil rights activist Julian Bond died on August 15 at the age of 75 after a brief illness in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which he served as founding president in the 1970s. “Julian Bond was a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend,” President Obama said in a statement.
People fear what they don’t understand
and they hate what they fear...
One of the most common (and ridiculous) reasons that I’ve been given thus far, from homophobic folks in regards to their hatred and/or detest for people within the LGBTQIA community is, and I quote “ I just don’t understand it….” Now, I could be a doll and attempt to explain all the intricacies of our brilliance but I won’t; honestly, I could no sooner describe the color of a caged bird’s song, and self proclaimed homophobes, in my opinion, just don’t deserve the effort.
Violet is a four-year-old French bulldog. She has a great life in Baltimore. She lives with her best friends Daisy, a ten-year-old Labrador retriever, and Henry, a two-year-old shepherd mix. They all live with their best human friend, Tony. Violet has a huge personality for such a little dog. She has strong opinions that she is more than willing to share, is quick with a joke, and is always the life of the party.
Are you present to your partner? When we were infants and toddlers, we were present only to ourselves. If we were hungry, we cried. If we had to pee or poop, we let go. If we wanted some object, we pointed to it expecting it to be delivered. Our wants and needs ruled our world. Then, those people around us – parents, caretakers, and even other kids – started to object to the world acting on our whims. We were told to wait to do what we wanted to do. We were told to listen, dammit! Depending on how dysfunctional the environment may have been, there were consequences to ignoring the world around us. Those consequences could be serious or minor.
Browsing through the new pictorial history book, LGBT Baltimore, just released on August 17, you will see a float from a 1990 Pride parade. You will notice a black-and-white shot of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1988. And there is a color photo of Harvey Schwartz, the Community Center’s first executive director and a founder of the Center’s Chase Street building, sitting behind his desk on the phone. These and 150 other images are contained in this chronicle of LGBT history in Baltimore spanning five decades.
Okay I admit it. I like bars. And since I am gay, I like gay bars. I grew up in Hagerstown and the very first gay bar I ever walked into was the Deer Park Lodge (now called just The Lodge). When I moved to Baltimore in 1984 I walked into my first leather bar, The Gallery One Bar at 1735 Maryland Avenue. (The Gallery was a dress-code leather bar back in the day.) I am happy to report that both The Gallery and The Lodge are still around and I feel at home when I visit them. We are living in a time when gay bars are closing all over the country. As each one closes I hear someone say or post on Facebook: “I’m really sad that place is closing. I haven’t been there in years, but I am sorry to see it close.” Or they post: “I don’t go out anymore, but I used to enjoy going there.” Or worst yet: “What a shame that place closed, I always wanted to go there.” When are we going to start supporting our gay bars? Oh that’s right we can go to straight bars now since all discrimination has vanished.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
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