An Open Hand, Or a Fist…

Now that we have an adult in the White House, and a First Lady whose tits aren’t plastered all over the Internet, the Reich Wing bullshit machine is in full roar with all the usual lies, fear-mongering, whataboutism, and both-siderism.Typical example. The House wants to start a 1/6 Commission, like the 9/11 Commission, to investigate the Trump-led attempted insurrection by hundreds of domestic terrorists. McConnell rejects this idea unless the commission’s scope is expanded to include the protests against police violence and racial injustice from last summer.

This is “whataboutism” at it’s most blatant, and is flavored with a heavy dose of racism. It’s the kind of shitty two-faced race-baiting that we’ve come to expect from the rethuglicunt party over the past 20+ years. Racism, misogyny, able-ism, homophobia, transphobia, and bald-faced hypocrisy. Toss in a big dose of pathological lying, craven subservience to their corporate masters, and a eager willingness to let others bleed while they rake in millions for themselves, and you have what passes for Conservatism in the U.S. today. Even Zuckerberg has fallen to this low. I fully expect to be in Fuckedbook jail or have my account fully suspended for speaking the truth. But I digress…

My point is that the last 4 years have been hell on my people as well. The LGBTQIA community had been under attack by Trumpletwat and his goons from day 1 of his administration. Short of mounting our own justifiable insurrection and mobbing the White House, we did everything we could. We marched, joined the marches of our brothers and sisters of color, marched when millions of women descended on Pennsylvania Avenue, and we suffered.

And now I’m going to say what may piss off some of you, others may think I’ve lost what’s left of my mind. Think what you will, leave if you must. The truth is what it is, and I will speak it.

I will NEVER minimize the violence against my Black brothers and sisters, but I’m sick of it being the default setting just like I am of Jews being the default setting of the Holocaust. Jews weren’t even the #1 victims of the Nazis – that was the Russian and Slavic civilian population. Neither were Blacks the only “Strange Fruit” throughout our nation’s tortured history… or need I remind everyone of Matthew Shepherd? Or every single one of the transgender murder victims that pile up like cord-wood every damned year? Or the hundreds of queer teens and children who are driven to attempt suicide, let alone those who succeed, because of the hell their own parents, friends and family have made of their tortured lives. I know, I was one of those children.

I do not equate the suffering of our community with the suffering of the descendants of slaves. But I will never allow it to be forgotten that we have suffered, and have been forced – even by some of those very same descendants of slaves – to suffer in silence, unrecognized and without justice of any kind for centuries. The two are not the same, but they have far too much in common for anyone to discount the suffering and pain of one over the other.

Finally, I will say this. Mainly because I don’t care if anyone disagrees – the fact is I’m far too experienced with the human animal, and I know it’s behavior better than Karl Marx or Harriet Martineaux ever pretended to. Unless and until we reach a stage where we leave behind the divisions of race, gender, sex, ethnicity, and able-ism – things which we can do absolutely nothing about because this is the hand that Nature dealt us – and recognize the fact that there is only one race, HUMAN, there will never be healing, and there will never be justice.Unless we can leave behind the artifice of “the other”, and embrace the one thing we have in common – our humanity – then we are dead beings who can know nothing but the suffering we inflict on others and upon ourselves.

To put it in my beloved Gram’s none-to-subtle words, “You can touch a heart with an open hand, or pound it with a fist.”

Understand this…

If you still support Trump, or any member of the Republican Party, get off my page.
This is not a matter of opinion.
Opinions are what is best to mix with Stoli, or if wearing white after Labor Day is gauche or not.
Opinion has NOTHING to do with 700,000+ dead, over 10,000,000 infected, an economy so trashed it will take decades to fully recover, 50+ violations of the Hatch Act, 200+ violations of the Emoluments Clause, 7,000+ lies and counting since announcing his candidacy, kidnapping children and locking them in cages to be sexually assaulted and molested by a Gestapo police force, creating an environment in which America is no longer a beacon of light but a laughingstock.

We do not have a “difference of opinion” – we have a difference of morality. And yours is shit. Leave.

National Coming Out Day

I’ve been known by many names throughout my lifetime. Scott, Landen, Forte, MommieDammit, brother, grandson, son, cousin, friend, Queen-in-law, Empress (however briefly), Diamond Lil’, enemy, lover, fag…
Each comes with it’s blessing or it’s burden.
But one thing will always stand as my name, Proud. Last Sunday was National Coming Out Day. There was no such thing when I was a wee gayling, terrified of what I was – let alone of anyone else knowing it. But then I found a safe place, I found someone who loved me, and opened the door to all things rainbows, unicorns and fairy dust.
And then a plague cast it’s darkness over that rainbow, and gaylings young and old knew a new terror… as if living in fear of our lives wasn’t enough, now we learned to fear each other. To fear the touch of the person we desired most only a short time ago.
Time passed. We learned how to fight the plague, we learned how to support each other, and learned new ways to love.
Time passed, and a new battle was entered. One in which we fought for our right to have our relationships recognized under the law – equally with our straight brothers and sisters. We fought, long and hard and not without losses along the way, but we won. Now, even as I predicted, we fight against the retaliation. It will also be long and ugly, and not without losses, but we will win that fight as well.
We fought another battle since winning our right to be wed, that battle to end the discrimination that would cost us our jobs, our homes, our right to enjoy a night out or a weekend at a resort simply because of who we are and who we love. We won that battle too.
We stand. We fight. We lose, and we win. But always, win or lose, we fight. We do not go back, we do not let the voices of hate and bigotry stand against us.
These colors do not run

OK, I’ve been silent for a long time but…

While it spends most of it’s space talking in circles and not going anywhere, there are points to the recent article in Politico regarding the waning of Elizabeth Warren’s support on the Hard-Left.

The article raises some good points – one of the best being “The final outcome is what, in the end, really matters,” Kazin said. “When Trump is president, we won’t have time to say: ‘Well, let’s fight another day. Too bad we didn’t win, but I’m glad I didn’t support Warren, because that would have been a betrayal of my principles.’”
He added, “You can’t change society unless you win elections.” – but it also doesn’t actually move the conversation forward. It’s more of the same circle of pundits sitting in the gloom and contemplating their belly-button lint that ended us up with the current nightmare.

For thirty years or more the Democrats have been limping along, wringing their sweaty palms and bemoaning the state of politics in the modern era. Yet too gutless and afraid to beat the Rethuglicunts at their own game of leading the electorate (read: “sheep”) around by their short ‘n’ curlies. When they HAVE deigned to play hard-ball they’ve approached the game with an obvious case of revulsion at the thought that they might actually have to work up a sweat and get their hands dirty. My crotchety old great-grandmother, Dodie (don’t call her Dorothea or she’ll snatch you bald on both ends) always said “if you’re going to butcher a hog, you gotta catch him first – and that means you’re gonna get dirty.” The same applies to modern politics. If you’re going to beat Trumpletwat and the NeoFacist slime that is the Republican party (including their voters), you have to be willing and able to not only play their game, but you have to be amazing at it. You have to make them understand in their bones that they’ve been played for fools, raped like a $4 Filipino whore, and tossed aside like one of the aborted fetuses they pretend they know so much about.

Neither Sanders or Warren can do that.

Sanders is the grumpy, drunk uncle at the family reunion that everyone tolerates because he’s old and loopy and craps his pants regularly. But he’s also racist and misogynistic, and every bit as much a slave to Corporate America as Trump. His wife is evidence enough of that. Nor is he any real friend to the LGBT community, and his foreign policy (what little there is of it) harks back to Wilsonian isolationism.

Warren started off well, but has morphed into the harpy aunt who has a plan for everything, but rarely – if ever – tells you exactly what that plan is. When she does, it’s a mish-mash of things that don’t make much sense and you know in your gut won’t work, nor will it make anyone really happy with the outcome.

Biden? No. We already have someone in the Oval with a case of Tourette’s, though I’ll give him props for being far less offensive and definitely more amusing than Trumpletwat when he forgets to keep his mouth shut. Aside from that, the one thing he did right as V.P. was to come out in favor of marriage equality before Obama did. Even his Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan beat him to the punch. As for policies, what little he’s said has been largely a continuation of Obama era things that – while far left of what the the Rethuglicunts espouse – are still those that favor corporations over working people.

Buttigieg is perhaps the most realistic and presents some of the most workable policy proposals, but they are largely too centrist to attract the far-left purists. He’s also been saddled with the over-inflated and baseless “racist” trope from fringe elements of the Black community who love nothing more than swinging that dead cat at anyone who isn’t brown. He inherited the racist mess in his city’s police force, and he handled it poorly. That’s a given. The rest is entirely based on an attack piece written by some bitter blogger who intentionally misquoted Mayor Pete, and then led his readers through another diatribe about a well-meaning white friend from his childhood whose comments, though mildly insensitive, weren’t racist either – though the blogger chose to paint them that way in broad, technicolor strokes.

The rest are only in it for the publicity, and for enriching themselves as much as possible before awkwardly bowing out after the polls repeatedly show them with no support. Or, as in the case of Kamala Harris, to do their damnedest to destroy the party from within by taking a cue from Sanders’ 2016 campaign, adding a little Fux Mooz hypocrisy, liberal amounts of hubris and megalomania, and then throwing shit at the wall until something sticks.

The fact is, there is no “ideal candidate” – they’re all human, and that fact brings with it all the human foibles and fallacies along with the hope and vision.

Hold your nose and endure, O’ My Children. Let your voice be heard. Be patient while the workings of economics and time sort out the chaff, and then VOTE. If you don’t vote, you’ve no right to bitch about the outcome and we’ll end up with that traitorous asshole for another four years.

I Remember…

I remember every tear, every minute of howling despair, every hour of rage, frustration and hopelessness. I remember the name and face of everyone I lost. The years I spent working my pumps till my toes would bleed to raise money for hospice and outreach projects. Then progress came – not a cure, but treatment to manage the living hell. Things got better, at least a little. Then the combination therapies and things got a little better still. And I started to hope. And then I saw what I feared most – that the young wanted to push it all into the darkness of history. Thinking as we once did, that they were 10 feet tall and bullet-proof.
And the monster came back out of the shadows… and again, the cycle repeated. Now so many live a dual mindset to HIV/AIDS – part of them accepts that the disease is a fact of life, something that will never go away… but they prefer not to think about it, nor confront the behaviors that keep the plague going. Another part of them refuses the disease, and rejects those stricken by it no matter how healthy they are otherwise. They live in denial, squeezing their eyes shut tight, putting their fingers in their ears, and shout the latest Gaga trype to drown the voice of those of us who do not want them to endure this hell.
We’ve endured enough of it for generations to come, yet we do not want your pity. We do not want your empty platitudes, nor hollow memes. We want you to learn from our torment, our mistakes, our losses. Learn, arm yourselves, and fight beside us. For 30+ years I have fought, the last 25 years as a positive person and long-term survivor. I do not want your tears, nor your anger, your empty praise nor your well-meaning but missing-the-point “respect.” All I want is for you to take my hand, stand beside me and make this the last generation to bear this burden.
Survivors of the 80’s AIDS Crisis

Celebrate what, exactly…

My thanks to The Nation for the opportunity to read Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” – a speech he gave before members of Congress in 1852. This is only the second time I’ve read it, and this time it stood out all the more.
It is not an easy read. There are too many uncomfortable parallels between that time and this – at least for those with eyes to see.
Most strikingly, Douglass’ words then could very easily be updated to fit so many ills of our nation and political system today. The strength and honor of our forefathers contrasted by the greed and cravenness of our present. The slave trade may have ended, but are the poor, the weak, the broken people of any color that much better served by what we now call “government.”
Then “religious liberty” was used to justify laws that forced judges and states to return runaway slaves to their owners, and provided harsh punishments for those who aided or harbored them. Today the same argument is used to divide families, to deny minorities equal justice under the law, even as excuse to deny service in the public marketplace, or to justify throwing your child in the streets because they – by Nature’s design – are something other than what your bigotry and craven interpretation of your myths define as “godly.”
Now, as then, violence based on race, creed, sexuality, and politics are considered “normal” in the nation’s discourse by the vocal elements of our society. Few speak out against it, fewer still fight it, and those that do are made mockery of by the crude, the illiterate, and the privileged with the media whoring for them and hanging on their every word. This is your America. It is not mine. Celebrate the slatternly creature you have created, if you will. I will not. Instead, I will mourn the dream of what she was meant to be.

A Yule Blessing

Things I miss today from long ago…
Having my whole family gathered around my grandmothers’ tables – Gram ‘Cille and Granny Annie. Not to mention the giant mounds of homemade fudge, candy, peanut brittle and popcorn balls!
Listening to my Dad, Uncle Dick, and my cousins playing guitar/banjo/uke.
My own tradition of Mommie Dammit’s Orphans and Waifs Din-Din – gathering a bunch of friends who had no home to go to or wouldn’t be welcome because they were LGBT, feeding them a huge dinner I’d made and spending the rest of the day playing games and watching classic Xmas shows.

The holidays have NEVER been about presents to me! They always were, and always will be about sharing the love and laughter of people who mean so much to me.

To all of you, past-present-and-future, may you find the same joy and peace I’ve always known in these days. The Gods bless and keep you.

Now, enough sappy stuff… LET’S EAT!!

You Can’t Go Home Again…

It has been many years, Children, since Mommie Dammit has hit rock-bottom.  Over a decade, in fact.  After 12 years of struggling to build a home and advance my career in Kansas City, enduring 2 bouts of Pneumocystis, and spending my third extended period of unemployment searching vainly for a new job… BOOM!  “Oh, Bottom, there you are!  I’d almost forgotten you; it’s been a long time since last we met.”


As usual, I landed not on my feet but on my ass.  Through the grace of the Gods, and the love of my family, I’ve now the opportunity to get back on my feet again.  The move from Kansas City to this teeny-tiny backwater was rushed and very ugly – I shudder to think of the shape I left my old house in.  Yet it was accomplished far easier and with better results than I’d originally thought.  Thanks to my baby sister and my nephew (and a few dozen Rubbermaid tubs!) I packed my essentials and watched my nephew’s spacial-relationship-genius at work.  Between his pickup (even with the shell still on), pickup -box trailer, and my poor, benighted Miss Boogie, we managed to haul more of my crap up here than I ever thought possible.  What I couldn’t bring I can easily replace – and, to be honest, most of it was long overdue.


But where is “here”, I hear you ask? Back in Nebraska, in a tiny and quaint rural village. Waco. Founded in 1877 as a railroad stop, and named for the Texan city. Typical of nearly-dead backwaters the world over, there is little here in the way of businesses – a couple of hair salons, a gas station at the I-80 exit, a tiny bank, and the mainstay of every village lost in the boonies, a bar. So far I’ve found the natives friendly, if a bit cautious with the “stranger” in town. After living in the racially diverse neighborhoods of Kansas City, finding myself back in an all-white enclave is something of a shock and one that feels somehow lacking…  Gods!, but I miss my crazy Black and Latina women! They, and a couple of just-as-nuts White women were all that helped me hold on to what little sanity I had left. …shut up! I heard that!


Still… living with my baby sister and my youngest niece, only 12 miles from my other sister, and 45 miles from my brother, sister-in-law and 2 of my nephews has it’s selling-points.  I’ve been far too long so far away from my family, and I didn’t realize just how much I missed them until we got back to Waco and it slapped me in the face.  There are stumbling blocks as well. It’s been nearly 2 decades since I lived with someone with less than 4 legs, and that privacy (I now realize) was something I heavily took for granted. It’s difficult to adjust to not being able to run to the bathroom naked with no one to scare but the cats!


The long process of reapplying for my assistance programs is well underway, but I have only just begun with the applications. No results or answers to be expected before the New Year, at the earliest. I meet with my new case worker on Monday, and will start that process moving. Hopefully those programs move faster than the State of Nebraska’s – I need to find my own place to live in roughly a month’s time. Some plans change at a whim, others for unknown reasons. Either way, it’s a struggle I’m very familiar with – just with different players in the mix. Besides – any longer than that and my sister and I may have to serve my niece up on toast!


Time means change. Change means growth or chaos. Growth is good, and sometimes chaos is too.  It all depends on how you handle it, and what positive outcome you can make out of it.  Not to change means not to be truly living. So, no… you can’t go home again.

Love, Equality, and Justice… almost.


This morning’s announcement of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of Marriage Equality has left me numbed. For hours I have sat here reading one analysis after another, one news story or blog posting after another, and finally it has all sunk in.

We have reached a significant and world-changing moment in our times, nation and society. A moment which I couldn’t have imagined even 20 years ago, as we stood at the brink of the AIDS abyss and hauled back against oblivion until our hearts bled and broke.

Now… well, now what? Our love is equal and recognized in the eyes of the Law, federal, state and local. Our long battle – up hill, and valiant every step of the way – is at last done. The victory is ours… or is it? Already, the usual vermin have been flooding the airwaves and presses of every venue they can lay their blood-stained hands on to proclaim their disgust, and make strident statements that they will defy the Supreme Court of the United States in every way they can. Mommie Dammit, for one, expected as much.

Just as in the case of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, I fully expect demonstrations, speeches, protests, even violence now that Marriage Equality is the Law of the Land. We have had them all along, but I believe we will see them more often… and more strident. And just as then, it falls on us, O’ My Children, to be the bearers of the Light – to prove ourselves the Better Men and Women, to meet their hate and violence with Peace and Strength. The battle may have been won this day, but the war is far from over.

Old as I am, my memory goes back decades far easier than it does days and this day I am reminded of the time when I campaigned for Empress IX of the Imperial Court of Nebraska. I sought for weeks for a slogan, a quote, something that would embody what I saw as my role and the path I wished to set my reign upon.

I found it in the words of Eugene V. Debs, and I share with you now the paraphrase that graced my campaign posters and fliers.  For tho’ we are victorious this day, the war remains un-won with many battles yet to fight – both to protect today’s victory, and to attain the victories yet before us…

“Long ago I realized my kinship with all my Gay Brothers and Sisters, and that none of us is any greater than the least of us. Then as now, I believe that while one of us sleeps in the streets I am homeless. While one of us is battered or abused I suffer. And as long as one law stands against us I AM NOT FREE!