Sunday, December 29

What Puts Phil Robertson Above Anyone Else?

A&E reverses decision on ‘Duck Dynasty’ patriarch’s suspension

Phil Robertson of A&E's Duck

So, A&E has changed its mind, and decided to allow "Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson to return to the show when it comes back from hiatus, after being suspended for his statements in GQ Magazine describing gays " as sinners akin to adulterers, prostitutes and swindlers".  This after receiving threats of boycott, and petitions being signed by hundreds of thousands of people asking for his return. After people declared his freedom of speech was being trampled on. After their ratings for one week were just a bit lower than they were this time last year, or even the week before; we're not talking about a lot lower, we're talking:

"For the week of Dec. 16-22, the channel averaged 1.5 million viewers, compared to 2 million for the week before, according to Nielsen figures.During the week of Dec. 17-23 last year, a roughly comparable period to the post-Robertson flap period, the channel averaged 1.73 million viewers."
                                                                                  LYNN ELBER | Associated Press              

Now to me, while that difference is a large number by itself, relatively speaking it is not that big. Think of how many viewers the network gets over the course of a year; the viewers that did not watch that one week doesn't seem like as many now, does it? Also consider the fact that we don't know every one of those viewers' reason for not watching. That kind of brings the number down even more. So why did A&E decide to knuckle under? It is supposed to be a network which believes in “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people.” but I can't tell, not by this decision. 

So what is it? Is it because of Robertson's right to freedom of speech? I agree, he does have the right to say anything he wants to, as do the rest of us. However, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the responsibility of respect for others. It also doesn't mean that if you disregard that respect, and say something offensive, that you are free from the repercussions of what you said.  If Dog the Bounty Hunter could be fired for voicing his opinion in a private telephone conversation which he did not know was being taped, why should Phil Robertson, who put his comments into a widely read publication without concern for who read it, be held any less accountable?

Not long ago there was a period of time when it seemed like a lot of celebrities were being suspended, fired, scolded, boycotted, punished in whatever way possible for using the word nigger. (No, I didn't say "the N-word" or any other silly euphemism; that's a post for another time though.) We were hearing in the news every day about some white comedian, reality show star, radio or TV personality (Richie Incognito, suspended NFL player; Paula Deen fired by the Food Channel for saying it in the past; GinaMarie Zimmerman, Big Brother reality show star fired from her day job; Michael Richards, Kramer comedian who said it on stage; and who can forget Doug "Dog" the Bounty Hunter who was fired from A&E for using it during a taped phone conversation?) using it and losing their job, their reputation, everything; where was their 'freedom of speech'?? Why were all of them just about tarred and feathered for their use of a word, but this man can publish in a magazine article the way he looks at gays, and suddenly A&E capitulates? Are gays' rights any less than those of blacks?  Oh wait, maybe it's okay for gays to be talked about like that because they weren't slaves all those years ago...But then again, a lot of the gays he's talking about are black, so the difference can't be because of the history of slavery. Could it really be because A&E was worried about ratings, or the almighty dollar? How do you put the human rights of a group of people up against  the dollar bill and have the people lose? 

It doesn't make any sense to me that anything about this one man means more to A&E than the sensitivities (and viewership) of the millions of people he has offended. It's my personal opinion that what a person says and does in private should be their own business, but when you put your comments out in a public forum for all the world to read and be offended by, then you should be man (in this case) enough to stand up to whatever repercussions come. Once A&E fired him, Phil Robertson should have stayed fired. 

Live From BikiniBottom, that's my truth and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, December 28

Kicked Out For Marrying His Son!

Pastor defrocked for performing son’s gay wedding will appeal

Pastor Frank Schaefer
This news is actually a few days old, but as I'm still hearing deeply emotional conversations about it I decided to throw my .2 cents worth in.

 A man's son, a minister, asked him to perform his wedding ceremony and he did, as most ministers (that I know of anyway) would. After performing the ceremony, he was asked to "give up his credentials" by his church (in effect taking away his ability to minister to that denomination). He refused. The church then basically kicked him out; sort of 'ex-communicated' him, to use the Catholic terminology, because his son was gay, and was marrying his partner.

In my opinion we are in a battle for our society's ethics and morals; we're no longer in the age where it was a shock to find people living together without benefit of marriage. Children are no longer routinely raised by two people who love them and who are committed to one another, they grow up in households with one parent who struggles to raise them while dating various people and presenting a horrible example for the child of what they have to look forward to. Weren't we not long ago bemoaning the fact that people didn't get married anymore? Ministers get up in the pulpit and preach every Sunday against fornication and promiscuity, yet here is a minister who has brought up a child that believes in marriage but because he doesn't marry who the church thinks he should, his father is punished for doing the ceremony!! Come on!! What kind of example does this set? You are telling the clergy in your church that if their child comes to them and wants to be married to someone they love, they should turn their back on him and say no? I don't see any difference between this man marrying his son and a man, and marrying his son and a woman that he didn't approve of. While he may not approve in either case, he has to support his son; if he doesn't, he's made a mockery of everything that the church teaches. God embraced the sinners, why can't the church? I know a lot of people are pointing their fingers and saying "See, this is why I don't attend church, why I no longer believe in religion; they are hypocrites and liars." I can't exactly dispute that either, not in this case. What kind of example does it set when we have so many cases of priests being 'outed' as pedophiles yet the church kept them on, but because this man performed one ceremony for his same-gender loving son, he was kicked out. What does that say about the church? It would be difficult to be comfortable in a place where you are constantly overshadowed with the ugly spectre of discrimination and ostracizm by the people around you. Is this their plan for rebuilding our society, by telling people that it's okay to be a member of a church and volunteer your time and donate your money, but if you want to get married, you're going to have to take it somewhere else because they won't marry you if the person you love is not someone they approve of! Is the church ever going to stop this close-mindedness, and learn that there is more to God's love than always standing in judgement of others?? It's this singleminded purposeness that has contributed more to the decline of the church than anything else ever conceived in the name of God.

I'm sorry; I didn't mean for this post to go in the direction it has. After all, the point of the article is about a man, his son, and his church, not about the church and its role in tearing down our society. It's just such a shame to see an institution that weilds so much power in our society misusing it like this. Instead of taking advantage  of every opportunity to bring people together,  they are alienating people from one another. Having a man tell his son he can't perform his wedding because of who he chooses to marry is not the way to rebuild the family structure. Those who made the decision to 'defrock' Pastor Shaefer need to be defrocked themselves.

Of course this is strictly the opinion of the author, coming to you Live From Bikini Bottom.....

Tuesday, December 17

Is This Teacher's 'Exercise' of Value?

Jane Elliott - Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes
creator and facilitator
     Ms. Jane Elliott has been conducting a workshop called Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes since 1968. She has done workshops all across the country, and in several other countries as well. 
     I've heard from several people on the subject of her workshops,  and the general consensus is that while her idea was a great one her way of going about it, of teaching non-minorities what it means to be 'of color', was not.

     I disagree.

     I'm not saying that there aren't other methods she could have used, I'm sure she could have thought of other ways to try to make the point that people of color suffer everyday in ways that non-minority people have no clue about, and cannot hope to ever understand. I don't believe she could have come up with another method that would have driven the point home as deeply or as quickly as this one did. She put people into the position that people of color are in everyday, and made them feel (at least to a point) the helplessness that many people of color feel throughout their adult lives.    

     Now, I didn't see the entire exercise carried out; I wish I had. I would have liked to have seen what happened before this video began  just to see exactly how the brown eyes vs. blue eyes exercise worked. From the looks and statements of some of those who were assigned the role of the minority, they had suffered some wounds that they never knew anyone could suffer and still survive.  In my opinion, some of those who took part in the exercise left with a newfound respect for the strength that it takes to be a person of color and to have to live with the shadow of racism and bigotry hanging over their head. Of course there were others who were determined to not be affected by the exercise; to not allow themselves to feel but instead to logically talk away their knee-jerk reaction. I believe it was because something ugly inside them had been brought to light and they didn't like it. They were determined to talk it away; to make excuses for it, to say it wasn't there, to call it anything but what it was: racism.

     Will this young lady learn anything from this exercise? Probably not. She will continue to cry, and continue to deny the existence of what so many others see right in front of their faces. For most of us, I think we realize that denying the existence of racism, or pretending that it doesn't affect us, will not make it go away.  Like Ms. Elliott says "Don't deny differences. Accept them, appreciate them, recognize them, and cherish them; they are extremely important."                                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                                    If  you want to see what the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Workshop is all about, click here.  
Ms. Elliott is in no way affilitated with the author of this post or with Live From Bikini Bottom.     
Credits: ORIGINAL: By Jane Elliot. Found on Modernjournalism. Viewed on: Upworthy                                                                                                                 

Wednesday, December 11

Judge Lets Him Off Because He's Rich!!

This is such a sad story. Not just sad because of the people who died, not just sad because the person who killed them got off; it's sad because what does it tell the children (and teens) coming up now? If they are anything but rich and white, it tells them that they don't mean anything. That rich white people run the world and that nothing has changed in all the years since slavery was supposedly abolished. Back then, if
a young black teenager was accused of whistling at a white woman, he was beaten beyond recognition and lynched, whether he did it or not!

Now, a white teenager can kill four people and tell the police "I'm outta here", but he doesn't even get a 'beat down'!!

What is wrong with people that they think this is okay?

At first I wondered what judge would go along with such a backwards defense; then I read on and discovered that this is the same judge that gave a 14 year old black child 10 years for punching a man who died 2 days later! He got 10 years, but read this story of what this teenager, Ethan Crouch actually did. And the judge let him go???

Texas. The state that executes retarded people like Marvin Wilson, convicted of murder ( (even though the Supreme Court said they couldn't!)

 Andrea Yates (drowned her 5 children),
Genene Jones (nurse thought to have killed up to 46 children)

 Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker),

With all the criminals including Clyde Barrow to come out of Texas, you would think they'd be experts at the whole procedure by now.

Related Links:

Sunday, October 20

My Way News - Kennedy's vision for mental health never realized

     Seems like every time we hear about someone going on a killing spree (whether adult or juvenile) somewhere in the story there is always mention of his/their mental state. From the time we read the headline we look for it; as a matter of fact, we pronounce judgement!!  "That man was crazy!" "You know they had to be crazy".  So many people with some type of mental problem, and more dysfunctional traits are being named as mental illnesses everyday! (i.e. addiction)
     Perhaps if President Kennedy's plan had been fully realized, if all the centers were built and the money to fund them put into use, he himself might still be alive as well as many other citizens who could have done real good for this country.
My Way News - Kennedy's vision for mental health never realized

Monday, July 22

Marissa Alexander "Stood Her Ground" and was sentenced to 20 Years in Prison For a Warning Shot

This was Marissa Alexander then, married, pregnant, mother.

Stand Your Ground 

Marissa Alexander has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Marissa is the victim here. Her husband beat her while she was pregnant. After yet another beating, Alexander fired a warning shot which traveled through a wall and into the ceiling. That shot saved her life. Prosecutor Angela Corey did not take into account that Marissa Alexander: Had a court injunction against her crazed husband,Had Given Birth 9 Days Earlier,Was trained to use a weapon and earned a concealed weapons permit.

This is Marissa Alexander now.
She has been charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 20 years in prison
for firing a shot into the ceiling of her home to warn off her husband
who was beating her, as he had done for years.


Marissa Alexander 2012033887

500 E Adams St

Jacksonville, Fl 32202

Wednesday, July 10

Videos of a Dog Shooting; Would More Training Help?

     The first was taken by a  bystander's cell phone. The second video wasn't seen until after the first one hit the Internet and became such a sensation; I saw it on The Huffington Post, which said the police department had sent it to them *after* they reported on the first one. Now, this is all my opinion, but:

1. Why is there a gap in the second video? The scene from where the dog owner was standing on the sidewalk watching was shown but from a different angle, so it's not like it was too long to be used or anything; why was it clipped, and why in that particular place?

2. The charge they wanted to arrest him for (interference with officers for his loud music) was not serious enough to worry about a flight risk, after all he *had* put his dog in the car and walked back to them *and* quietly turned around and let them handcuff him, so why didn't they let him put the dog back in the car , roll the windows up, and call someone to come get him?

3. Whose voice is that that can be heard saying "Shoot him, shoot him!" at almost the same time that you can hear the owner begging "Don't shoot my dog, don't shoot my dog!"?

4. Finally, the officer can be seen hesitantly extending his left arm with his hand in a fist. The dog jumps up (IMO playfully) and the man immediately backs up and shoots him 4 times. Now, I'm not an animal expert but if the dog was coming out of the car to attack someone would he just trot over and stand around, occasionally sniffing the ground? IMO he would have come out of that car like a shot, and jumped on anything that wasn't his owner. Even if he *didn't* come out of the car to attack, when a dog is about to attack there are signs! Hackles raise, teeth are bared, tail stiffens (and sometimes the back legs as well) the animal growls; any or all of these (and others I'm sure I'm not aware of) happen so that you know an attack is imminent. Was I the only one who didn't see any of that? Did anyone else see, as I did, a big, playful dog reacting more to the hand being stretched out toward him than anything else, and thought it meant play time? 

IMO yes, police officers need training, but not just protocol on how many times to shoot the dog. Perhaps they should learn to identify when a dog is being aggressive and when he isn't. Not all big dogs, even Rottweilers, are mean and vicious, and *that's* what officers need to be trained in. They should also be taught to make better decisions when it comes to animals and their owners, such as telling/warning the owner to make sure the animal is restrained, and checking/watching to make sure the order is complied with. There are many more I'm sure, but I think that would make a great start.

Thursday, June 20

'Gay Conversion Group' Apologies!! (It's about time.)

I am so glad to find out that this group has finally come to its senses, and stopped damaging the psyches of so many gay and lesbian people, not to mention the damage they were doing to miniors until they were stopped! I'm amazed that in the face of all evidence to the contrary, they persisted in telling people that they could 'change 'he way they were'.  I wonder now what if anything they intend to do about all those people they hurt...
Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International

U.S. group that 'converted' gays closes its doors and apologizes

By Daniel Trotta
Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:30pm EDT                           

(Reuters) - A Christian group that once promoted therapy to encourage gays and lesbians to overcome their sexual preferences has closed its doors and apologized to homosexuals, acknowledging its mission had been hurtful and ignorant.

Exodus International billed itself as the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, operating since 1976. It announced it would cease operations in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

The Irvine, California-based group's board unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry, the statement said.

"I am sorry for the pain and hurt that many of you have experienced," President Alan Chambers said in a statement. "I am sorry some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents."

Chambers said he was part of a "system of ignorance."

Exodus International has closed at a time of shifting attitudes in the United States, with public opinion polls now tilting in favor of same-sex marriage.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, with six doing so since last fall. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that restricted federal recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples, as well as a challenge to a 2008 California referendum that banned same-sex marriage in that state.

Ross Murray, a spokesman for gay rights group GLAAD, called the closing of Exodus International a step in the right direction and welcomed Chambers' move away from "divisive and demonizing rhetoric."

"But it's going to take a long time for healing to come, especially for the people who have gone through Chambers' program and have suffered because of it," Murray said.

Exodus International's mission statement was "mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality."

The group appeared to have changed its views incrementally, culminating with the announcement of its closure at the group's 38th annual conference on Wednesday. A television program scheduled to run on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Thursday will show Chambers meeting with people who said they were harmed by his therapy.

Last year Exodus International issued a statement complaining that the media wrongly characterized its methods as "conversion therapy." Instead, it said, it provided support to people seeking help in overcoming their same-sex attraction, through prayer and using the Bible as a guide.

The group also issued statements opposing violence against gays and lesbians and against laws criminalizing homosexuality. It said it opposed some methods of conversion, such as exorcism or "holding/touching therapy," in which the therapist would take a male client into his lap, hold him gently, and repeat affirming words in order to recreate the father-son bond.

California last year became the first U.S. state to ban such therapy for minors.

New Jersey's legislature was due to vote next week on a bill that would ban licensed therapists from performing gay-to-straight counseling for minors. Governor Chris Christie, who at first would not take a stand on the issue, has since indicated his opposition to the practice, raising expectations the bill will be signed into law.

(Additional reporting by Francesa Trianni and Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Saturday, June 15

It's Just Amazing How Much of Our History We Don't Know

     When I opened my Inbox today, one of the emails I'd received was from the Human Rights Campaign. That is not unusual, I receive email from quite a few 'civic'-minded organizations. (As well as political.) This one really caught my  eye though. The subject line read "Interview Rev. Sky Anderson, the first transgender clergy ordained MCC."  Now, I am embarrassed to admit the two thoughts that entered my mind when I read that; first was "When was this person ordained?" I thought that the article was talking about someone who was ordained just a few weeks or months ago, and my second thought was "MCC, what does that stand for? Ummm, Metropolitan, something something ..." I say that it is embarrassing to admit because as an openly lesbian Christian woman I should know the correct responses to both of those questions. Why? For the same reason that, as a black woman, I know who Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks were, or when the March on Washington was led by Martin Luther King Jr. These people and events are a big part of mine, and every other black person's history. I'm coming to realize that as a lesbian who has been affected by the stigma and inequality that everyone in the LGBT community suffers, I should also know more about the history of the community; the milestones that we have reached, the people who led the way for us. I am 54 years old; I didn't find out until two years ago who Harvey Milk was, and what he accomplished! Or what Stonewall was.  To me that is so sad. We put so much emphasis into learning everyone else's history, but how many of us put as much effort into learning what the LGBT community has accomplished? I'm not saying that we need to know every single thing that every gay person has ever done;  we don't know every single thing every white person or every black person or every Christian or Buddhist has done, but just as we know the milestones that have been reached by those who represent the ethnicity we fall under, we should know the milestones that have been reached by the leaders in the LGBT movement who came before us. 

Family: (front left to right) Faye, Lysa, Sky, & Tim
(back) Francisco with picture of Sarah & Jonathan
Here's a start...                                                                                  

From the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Religious Archives Network

Biographical Notes

Sky Anderson was born in 1939 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He was the oldest of five and as such had a great deal of responsibility. The family was a second generation of Scots in the U.S. and the old country traditions played a big part in the early years of his upbringing. His father was a sheet metal worker and a union activist. His concern for economic and social justice was an important influence for Sky. His dad, a Congregationalist , was the one who took the family to church.

Sky recognized being “different” from an early age. He always preferred clothing, games and activities that were best “suited” for boys which caused many rifts in the Anderson household. The onset of puberty and beginning to physiologically develop as a girl proved to be very traumatic and confusing for Sky. He felt so much like a boy and did not want to accept any part of this girl thing. But after a time, he could not hide even to himself what lay ahead. One day a friend he worked with at his part time job, took him aside and began talking with him about being a lesbian and she asked him to consider seeing himself as a “butch.” In those days “femme” and “butch” roles became a way of helping people identify themselves, how they would live and act together as couples. Despite the intense inner turmoil on every level of his life, he went on and did well in his studies and as a leader at school. Survival they call it!
Life at home was difficult, so Sky moved away after graduation—attended Middlesex Community College and graduated on the Dean’s List while working at night in a machine shop to support himself. Later he moved to Boston and was invited to live with the Cenacle nuns where he helped with chores and other tasks to cover the cost of his stay there. He attended Boston College at night doing all he could to keep busy and to hide the battle raging on inside of him. In so many ways staying with the nuns was a blessing. Sky got to visit and study with the priests and other sisters staying there while they pursued their studies. The dinner table was a great place to dialogue and process ideas with all of them. He was invited to pursue becoming a nun, but that really brought him back to reality and to face the truth about himself and move on. He will always remember this time and the anointing presence of God’s love shown through to him by these inspiring people.
Sky left the Cenacle and then got lost out on the streets. Not having learned enough yet, he decided to enter the Marine Corps. Sky was stationed at Parris Island South Carolina. Recruits were kept so busy there it was refreshing—brutal but safe, or so he thought. By his second year the base was investigated with the intent of purging the corps of all lesbian and gay persons. This went on for weeks and Sky and many others were subjected to lewd and harrowing investigations. Sky refused to give names of anyone and was thrown out of the service with a less than honorable discharge as suspected of being gay.
Sky later settled back in Boston and worked at MIT in cancer research. He lived on Beacon Hill and, on the side, worked with others to stop the gang abuse of LGB kids in the area. Conflict with the gangs resulted in Sky being severely beaten and raped. This trauma, along with his agony around his gender identity, led to an extended stay in a mental health center in Boston. The psychiatrist there tried to help Sky affirm his lesbian identity but refused to explore the possibility of his being transgender.
During this time friends took him to worship at MCC Boston. At first he was very confused and upset by the church’s total openness to homosexuals and he wanted to run from that place forever. But remembering the positive portrayal of LGB people there and the love the flowed from the Spirit’s presence there enticed him to return a few weeks later. This time he stayed—and kept coming back. Nancy Wilson, assistant pastor, helped arrange Sky’s release from the hospital and provided a place for him to live. Sky became increasingly active in church life and in MCC leadership. Eventually Sky and Nancy became partners. He became licensed in MCC and later was sent to Worcester to begin a ministry there.
The ministry began to thrive and Sky and Nancy became co-pastors of MCC Worcester. They began St. Vincent’s Alcoholism Center for Gay Alcoholics. They founded the first Worcester Gay Pride March as a reaction to police brutality there and the civilian shootings of gay people in the city. During this time Sky became the District Coordinator of the Northeast District for the UFMCC. He and Nancy lectured at Yale Divinity School, The University of Hartford, Boston University, Wellesley College and later in Michigan, where they we talked about human sexuality, human rights and social justice. Upon leaving Massachusetts they were honored for outstanding work and leadership in the area of human rights and liberation by the State House of Representatives.
They accepted the call to become co-pastors of MCC Detroit. It was not an easy ministry at first, but the people were wonderful there so they did all they could to help the church grow. But, even as Sky thrived in MCC and as co-pastor with Nancy, the underlying discomfort and questioning of his true identity was eating him away inside. Then upon learning of two gay males transitioning from male to female, everything broke open within. After extended soul-searching and conversation with Nancy, Sky came out as transgender and began transitioning to living as a man. While Nancy tried to be supportive of Sky’s decision, this was not so much the case among their prominent circle of lesbian feminist colleagues in MCC. There was considerate angst and quite mixed reactions in MCC to Sky’s transition. Sky went through a good deal of trauma and went off on his own to try to deal with his self-acceptance. He did not handle much of this in a healthy way at times. And he agonized over leaving the relationship with Nancy and his work at the State Prison of Southern Michigan which Rev. Joseph Gilbert stepped in to save.  c
Sky made some poor choices and decided the best thing to do was to leave MCC. He felt the shame he had brought down on his relationship, the church, those he served in the Fellowship was totally unforgiveable. Off he went. Beaten in life, on the street, beaten there and raped and broken again and again there was no way back (in his mind). At the point where he was ready to end it all, Rev. Jeff Pulling found him, talked with him, laid hands on him and prayed so powerfully in the Spirit over him that the love of God became manifest. No matter how Sky thought God felt about him and his wasted life, the compassionate redemptive love of our most merciful God picked him up in those loving arms, those everlasting arms and held him, wiping away every tear and saved him...for all eternity.
Sky went with Jeff to Los Angeles and took a job at the Fellowship office on the switchboard no less (not a real place to hide!!) While working there he got a call from the Rev. Stan Roberts who screamed out his name and said he had been searching all over for him. Stan said he needed Sky to come to San Jose, California, and help him and the community fight against Anita Bryant, Senator John Briggs and some radical right wing clergy who were trying to bring down the whole LGB community in San Jose. Sky had worked for social justice so much of his life and Stan wanted him to come to the church and help train people to stand and lead. Stan wouldn’t be able to do this much longer because he was in the early stage of AIDS. This was in 1978.
There were over 40 evangelical preachers on the attack in San Jose. Sky helped build coalitions of LGB people and progressive religious people to resist their anti-gay activities. In 1979 Sky was ordained at General Conference at MCC Los Angeles as the first transgender clergy to be ordained in MCC. He went onto complete his surgery in that year.
In 1981 Sky began preparations to leave his ministry in MCC San Jose. It was done in agreement with the congregation that the time had come to move on to rebuilding the church. The congregation had walked through the battles with Senator Briggs and the antigay churches that had worn them down but never defeated their spirit throughout the journey. Sky was given a special merit award from the Gay Community for outstanding work in the area of human liberation. He felt the award should be for the congregation of MCC San Jose for the bravery and commitment shown in their work to assist the larger community in its work for justice all those months.
Sky had met his wife-to-be Faye in 1978. Together they took home Jonathan in 1980 and got ready to adopt his older brother Francisco. Two sisters and another brother came later—all with developmental disabilities and all with hearts of gold and all who stole Sky and Faye’s hearts away forever. The San Jose congregation threw a great baby shower for Jonathan and spoiled him to the core.
After Sky left the pastorate at MCC San Jose, the Office of Human Relations contacted him and asked him to serve the people in Tent City…all the homeless men, women and children who had paid so high a price for freedom. Later the staff of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church would contact him and ask him to join their staff to work with the poor and disenfranchised for awhile. He agreed but only if he could serve as MCC clergy and as an openly transgender man. They agreed to both and so another journey began. He and his family lived in the Young Adult Minister’s House. They took in 18 people from Tent City and with them wrote and opened a house for homeless single men and women where they could come to heal and grow to help others like them who were seeking justice and a home.
Sky was later hired on as Program Director for the Emergency Housing Consortium for Santa Clara, Morgan Hill and San Mateo...again to work with homeless men, women and children to find healing. Then he was called to work with the poor and undocumented Hispanics and others in a Catholic Church in East San Jose. There he helped open a medical clinic, clothes and food closets and acted as a bridge to services.
Sky in 2013 will celebrate 33 years of marriage (on the 4th of July) to Faye, a wonderful woman who loves and serves whoever is in need. She is his best friend and lover. She is a Reiki practitioner and healer and child of God.
Sky is the acting chair of Area Board 7 Board of Directors for people with developmental disabilities. That job is to see that the wellbeing and safety and needs of all the men, women and children seeking help and hope will be served by the agencies funded to meet their needs no matter what. They serve Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties working together to meet the needs of those with developmental disabilities, no matter what sexuality, race, religion or color.
Sky affirms that this is what it means to be transgender; this is how he serves God and all people.
If you would like to listen to the interview with Sky Anderson,  you can go here: Listen to the interview.  or for a transcript of the interview, you can go here: Read the interview..

Thursday, March 21

From a Mother to the Man Who Chased Her Son Out of the Men's Bathroom

I have a couple of questions about this one. Like 1. How old is the child? 2. How did the man know that the child was in there alone, and that his parent wasn't in one of the stalls? I mean, can you imagine yourself starting a conversation with a child in the rest room? I think by the time you asked if a parent was in there the child would have been high-tailing it out the door! 3. He claimed that the child saw his private parts exposed; what the heck was he doing in there to be in that kind of position? I believe that something happened in that bathroom, I'm not saying that it's not true; I'm just have serious questions about it. After all, after the incident where the man beat up the female army reservist in front of her child and witnesses, anything's possible!!

Mom Scolds Man Chasing Her Son Out Of Men’s Bathroom

Tuesday, March 19

Is This the Result of Treating Children Like 'Adults'?

I think so. I believe that this is what happens when you tell people they cannot discipline their children, when you give children the ability to send their parents (who love them and are trying to teach them right from wrong) to jail, when it is the child who has done wrong. IMO, when this 'young man' was a child if he'd been properly brought up, the chances of him doing something like this would have been greatly lowered. I know that there is always a possibility with a child that no matter what you do they are going to just go 'bad', but in earlier times children did not grow up to kill their fellow classmates, they did not get on public transportation and loudly curse at each other and at other people. Society was not frightened of it's younger members as it is now. Even those in positions of authority and others  (teachers, school guidance counselors, bus drivers, store clerks) are frightened to say anything to these children; either for fear of physical retaliation or for fear of police action. 

He may have been 17, but he is still a child. From the time he was old enough to know what buttons to push on the computer he should have been monitored closely, and if he did something that seemed untoward (which I'm sure he did, this could not have been the first time!) he should have been rigorously disciplined. Who knows where his attraction for  pornographic images and sites might end? As a matter of fact, how was he even able to pull this off without anyone in his family having any inkling of it? I'll tell you how; when/if they tried to see what he was doing he pushed them away and they went. He was almost an adult after all....

Teen Hacker Facing Porn Charges

By Kevin Rowson, WXIA News
March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM PDT
  (WXIA) An Acworth, Georgia teenager has been charged with distributing child pornography.
Michael William Cook, 17, was arrested on eight counts of cruelty to children and one count of sexually exploiting children.

Sgt. Pierce said Cook hacked into the victims cell phones by sending text messages to his victims from a company called "Maxi Focus Photography". When the victims responded to the texts it installed malware on their phone. Pierce said it essentially gave Cook access to all the information on their phones.
Sgt. Pierce said the sexually explicit photos were on the victim's phones. "He took the pictures out of there and sent them to pornographic web sites," he said.
For more information, see 11Alive story click here!

Sunday, March 17

Will Anyone Get It Right About Using the N-Word?

    Of course it's just my opinion, my sense of 'right', but it seems to just make so much sense; if you don't make a big deal about something, no one can use it to hurt you anymore! Instead, it's 'that group shouldn't use that word' and 'it's okay for that group to use this word'.. To my way of thinking, either NO ONE uses it, or EVERYONE does! How does it make sense to anyone that a person from one group can say a particular word and not only not get lambasted for it but there are people defending its usage, but another group says it and not only are there loud complaints but this person stands to lose their job, their career, and their standing in their community? Come on people, this is A WORD; a 2 dimensional word formed from tiles on a Scrabble board for goodness sakes! Something that you can just as easily make disappear by just a wave of your hand across the board. It means no more than that, unless you allow it to.  Of course, everyone has their own opinion:

The Pledge: Never use the n-word again

From the May 10, 2010 



 Myrlie Evers-Williams knows the pain of the n-word.She heard it hurled many times in hate at her husband, Medgar Evers, before a Klansman shot him in the back on June 12, 1963. She and her three children ran outside to see him gasping and covered in blood before he died.   

     Her husband’s killer, Byron De La Beckwith, walked free in 1964. Thirty years later, Beckwith went on trial again. Several witnesses testified that Beckwith bragged to them later about killing "that n-----," Medgar Evers. This time, a jury convicted Beckwith, and he was sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2001.

      Some white Americans use the racial epithet, but it's African Americans' use of the word that bothers Evers-Williams more. 

"They don't realize the historical shame of that word," she said. "It is not some term to toss to a buddy of yours." Some young African-African {sic} men have told her they use the n-word among themselves, said the 77-year-old chairman emeritus of the national NAACP. "They say, 'Well, I call my brother that. It's a loving term.' "

"That's no loving term — not unless you are ready to fight. For those of our generation, it is the most unpalatable word you can say."

      Even though the word has been popularized in some songs, African Americans should never speak the word, she said. "That bothers me more than a Caucasian using it. It is racist. It is hateful. It is everything it was meant to be." She challenged all Americans to stop using the n-word.

Thursday, February 21

Who Cares If He Called Him Legless? In Britain 'legless' Means Drunk!!

Once again, in my opinion, the world is replaying that old favorite Much Ado About Nothing. What is the big deal? Anyone who knows who John Cleese is also knows that what the Monty Python crew finds funny is a far cry from what mainstream America laughs at! And after all the complaining about his comment, we find out that all he said was that Pistorius was drunk!! Good for him if he came up with a two-pronged slam on Pistorius! LOL Since when does anyone have a problem with a comedian 'dissing' someone? No one said a word when every comdian in the world made jokes about O.J,; No one had a problem when it was Tony Blake. Let me guess; Is it the fact that his legs have been amputated that make Oscar Pistorius such a special case, that makes him untouchable when it comes to legless jokes? If so, isn't that doing the one thing that most people with disabilities don't want,  singling them out for special treatment?  If that man is strong enough to accomplish all that he has in life, he's damn sure strong enough to withstand the tweets of comedians. 

Monty Python’s John Cleese angers Twitter with inappropriate Pistorius comment

In Honor of Deoni Jones D.C. Council Introduces Bill

D.C. Council introduces bill to allow transgender residents to obtain new birth certificates

Posted by John Riley | February 19, 2013 3:18 PM |  
Retrieved from MetroWeekly thru LGBTinDC 2/21/13

D.C. lawmakers are rallying around a bill introduced Tuesday that would amend the Vital Records Act of 1981 to allow transgender individuals born in the District more easily obtain new birth certificates reflecting correct gender and, in some cases, new name.
David Catania.pngThe bill, co-introduced by Councilmembers David Catania (I-At Large), David Grosso (I-At Large), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), and co-sponsored by the remaining members of the D.C. Council, has been named the "JaParker Deoni Jones Birth Certificate Equality Amendment Act of 2013," in honor of the transgender woman who died last year after being stabbed in the face while waiting at a Northeast bus stop.
According to Andy Bowen, social policy organizer for the DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), the bill is a technical modernization of D.C.’s laws to enable individuals who transition genders to have their sex and name, if applicable, recorded on their birth certificates. That change will make it easier for individuals who need to use their birth certificate as proof of identification for common activities ranging from finding employment to obtaining a new driver’s license to applying for a passport.
The first major element of the proposed bill requires that a new birth certificate reflecting a person’s expressed gender be issued upon receipt of a written and signed request from the individual born in the District (or the applicant's parent, guardian or legal representative in the case of a minor) and a signed statement from a licensed health care provider who has treated or evaluated the person applying for a new certificate, which attests that the applicant has received treatment for a gender transition. That new certificate will be substituted for the original birth certificate, with the original being sealed and made available only upon the request of the individual to whom it pertains or by court order.
Such procedures bring the District in line with policies currently used by the State Department regarding gender reassignment, Bowen said.
The second major element of the bill exempts individuals transitioning from having to fulfill publication requirements that once required those in the process of transitioning gender to publish their names in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks.
"The bill lowers the risk of outing, and thus, discrimination, allowing trans people in D.C. to live freer and safer lives," Bowen told Metro Weekly in an interview Tuesday.
The bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing, but is slated for a hearing before two committees – the Committee on Health, chaired by Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by Wells – before it receives a vote from the full D.C. Council.
Bowen told Metro Weekly that the bill will likely receive a hearing in front of the Committee on Health sometime in April, but there has been no word on when it will be taken up by the Judiciary Committee.

[Photo: Councilmember David Catania, photographed by Todd Franson/Metro Weekly]