Republican pols won’t stop fighting LGBTQ equality

Photo by kues1 licensed from Adobe Stock

Republican pols in Republican states make their bones hating on LGBTQ people. That’s no secret, especially right now as Republican-dominated legislatures all over the country hate on transgender kids, trying to keep them out of sport, out of public restrooms, and out of their own pediatrician’s offices. In Texas, Republican state senators are even trying to criminalize trans kids’ parents.

Most of these efforts won’t succeed, either because bills like the one in Texas aren’t designed to pass, or because laws that do pass violate federal law. …

Trans girl, 10, schools senators on love and God

Kai Shappley (L) after testifying to Texas State Senate. Amber Briggle, “proud mama of a very awesome trans kid.”

The 10-year-old girl looked Texas sassy in a flowered skirt and cowboy boots. Her voice was as even and confident as her message. “I do not like spending my free time asking adults to make good choices,” testified Kai Shappley to the Texas Senate last Monday. The chamber went dead silent as she schooled lawmakers on treating people with love and decency. Her message was simple but profound:

Texas legislators have been attacking me since Pre-K. I am in fourth grade now. It makes me sad that some politicians would use trans kids like me to get votes from people…

Russian music star belts out feminism and LGBTQ power

Screen shot of Manizha singing “Russkaya Zhenschina” (Russian Woman) in her official Eurovision 2021 promo video.

Vladimir Putin hates her, and even his primary political opponent doesn’t want her representing Russia. Manizha has transfixed the Russian people, though, crystalizing emerging popular support for feminism, internationalism and LGBTQ equality. Her song Russian Woman got her elected by popular phone-in vote to represent Russia at Eurovision, the camp cultural juggernaut you may barely have heard of.

What is Eurovision, what makes it camp-y, and why does any of this matter? What the hell is Manizha all about? Check it out!

When I arrived in West Berlin in the early 80s, fresh out of college and ready to tackle…

Prism & Pen LGBTQ Storytelling — April 11, 2021

People Attending Pride 2015, by Jonatan Svensson Glad. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

by James Finn

Another brief Digest this week as I cope with an unexpected health crisis that’s keeping me down longer than I expected. But while my pithy promo may be missing, Prism & Pen writers ROCK this week, which may just represent the most concentrated excellence in storytelling since we launched.

Check it out! →

(Writers, please remember to clap for the Digest to help up distribution of your work and your colleagues’ work too.)

I don’t know how people do it

The Gout by James Gillray. Published May 14th 1799. public domain

I have an embarrassing confession to make

I have gout. Isn’t it funny how I feel immediately required to disclaim a few things? No, I don’t gorge on red meat. No, I am not an alcoholic, indulging my love of craft beer only in moderation and only once or twice per week. No, I am not obese, though after some decades of being skinny, I could now stand to lose a few pounds.

I say embarrassing, because the above risk factors are associated with gout, though genetics plays a large role. …

What about you? Do you support these students?

Baylor University Students at February 2021 Sit-In for Diversity & Inclusivity. Photo via REAP.

You say you support LGBTQ rights? Are you sure? Check this conversation out —

“It’s nice to know,” I growled through sarcasm, “that you think I’m that low, that inferior.”

“What are you TALKING about? I’d NEVER think that! I don’t believe that AT ALL!”

“Please, Blanche. You just argued with a straight face that discriminating against me and the people I love is and ought to be OK sometimes. We LGBTQ people have to be pretty damn low in your mind.”

“Oh, stop! You’re not being reasonable. Everyone has rights, even people who disagree with you. You can’t trample THEIR rights.”

I didn’t have that conversation with a Trump supporter. I didn’t have…

Warning: hot, loving erotica ahead

Army helicopter pilot by razihusin on Adobe Stock

Did I just call Don ravishing? I think I meant it literally.

Maybe that title popped into my head because he’s the first man who ever ravished me, who dominated me sexually in a way I just knew I’d never enjoy. What I knew changed one night in Don’s Berlin apartment as he pistoned in and out of me so hard all I could do was writhe and moan.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve loved Don for decades now. I didn’t love him yet that night when I told him I was a top and he convinced me to try bottoming. I didn’t know then my future partner Lenny and…

Prism & Pen Queer Storytelling — April 4, 2021

by James Finn

This week’s P&P Digest is going to be spare. I got my first Moderna covid-19 jab yesterday, and while I’m thrilled and delighted, my immune system is reacting with vigor. I’m feverish and feel quite less than well. So please forgive me for lacking the energy to write pithy promos.

Dive in anyway for some really cool stuff! →

(Writers, please remember to clap for the Digest to help up distribution of your work and your colleagues’ work too.)

Why invent a tale of a woman lover who didn’t exist?

Aidan Turner (L) as Leonardo da Vinci in Amazon Prime’s Leonardo. Matilda de Angelis as Caterina da Cremona, a woman who was not da Vinci’s lover.

The fact that LGBTQ people have traditionally been erased from history is well known. People today generally don’t like it. We want to know about Alexander the Great’s passionate affairs with handsome Hephaestion and beautiful Bagoas the gender-bending eunuch twink. That Roman emperor Hadrian elevated his tragically drowned male lover Antinous to the status of a god is (mostly) no longer suppressed in schools.

The queerness of the Italian Renaissance is a subject once kept quite hush hush. In high school, I dove into Irving Stone’s 1961 novel The Agony and the Ecstasy, hoping to find a role mode in…

Equality Act negotiations are disturbing

Image via LGBTQA Student Resource Center at Penn State

Queer students at taxpayer-funded schools fight administrators and LGBTQ advocates

Some of my writing lately has focused on taxpayer-funded Christian universities that discriminate against LGBTQ people, and that’s no accident. I’ve been writing in support of students, because some of the biggest LGBTQ advocacy organizations in the United States (sometimes collectively called Corporate Queer) are considering throwing them to the lions. Major LGBTQ advocacy players have privately expressed willingness to negotiate religious exemptions to the federal Equality Act, exemptions they hope will overcome opposition in the Senate and make the Act a political possibility this year.

About three weeks ago, rumors started floating around activist networks that leaders from HRC…

James Finn

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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