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Friday, May 13, 2011

Chaz Bono Makes the Transgender Case to David Letterman

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2011 at 7:30 AM


Each week, Easy Target alerts you of potential advances or threats to gaykind from the forces of the news media, politics, and popular culture -- the front lines of the culture wars -- in San Francisco and beyond. This week, Chaz Bono is more famous than his mom. Gay Presbyterian clergy get their sex on. Phyllis Lyon will vote for Dennis Herrera for S.F. mayor. The Castro is getting straightened out. Delaware legalizes unions. Minnesota bans marriage. And Uganda wants you dead.

Chaz Bono is on a media blitz to promote his new memoir, Transition: How I Became a Man. The current Advocate cover boy followed the premiere of his documentary on Oprah's OWN channel this week by teaching the not-usually-genuine David Letterman a lesson or many about gender. The two men engaged in a frank conversation about the gender reassignment procedure and how gaining Cher's acceptance was also a process. Chaz's appearance on Late Night marks one of the first times network television has shone a heartfelt light on transgender struggles. Safe.

Let's be clear: The Presbyterian Church has been accepting of gay clergy so long as they weren't engaging in any form of mansex. Well, these guys and gals will no longer have to keep it in (or out of) their pants! After 33 years, the Presbyterian Church has changed its constitution to allow people in same-sex marriages to be ordained as ministers and deacons. For those keeping score, the Presbyterian Church joins the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the Episcopal Church in allowing gays who are sexually active to be pastoral. As for the United Methodist Church, the Southern Baptists, and Roman Catholics, well ... more closeted sex scandals will surface. Safe.

To prove that not all San Francisco queers can be lumped into one political faction, lesbian civil rights activist Phyllis Lyon has endorsed city attorney Dennis Herrera for mayor. And although Bevan Dufty did receive the support of the national Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, that does not mean the entire LGBT community is a sure bet. Dufty's successor as District 8 supervisor, Scott Weiner, has also endorsed Herrera. So those hoping for an openly gay mayor may have to wait a hot minute. Risky.

According to The Daily Show, San Francisco is old gay. But anyone who's done the walk of shame out of the Castro on a Sunday morning will tell you: The gayborhood is changing. GAP marketing girls out on their morning jog, strollers the size of mini-Hummers, tourists taking pictures of bank buildings. On the bright side, gay businesses in the area are thriving. Well, at least those selling superhero-themed underwear. Risky.

This week in news from the east: Delaware's governor signed a civil union bill into a law, making it the 12th state to offer such protection. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Senate passed another ban on same-sex marriage, making it the 31st state to do so and the first state to ban same-sex marriage twice. Twelve steps forward, 31 steps back. Risky.

High alert! If you think these bans sound grim, let's take a trip to Uganda, where parliament is deliberating a bill banning gay life. No, I don't mean banning gay life as in shattering every disco ball; I mean banning gay life as in retaining the death penalty as punishment for homosexuality. In short, Uganda wants you dead. Word today is that the death penalty has been removed from the proposed law, but the Ugandan parliament is still moving ahead with criminalization of homosexuality as well as "promoting" it. International pressure, led in the states by Barney Frank, to cut off foreign aid to Uganda should the bill pass might deter the country from going ahead with what's been called its "kill the gays" campaign, but according to Human Rights Watch, the Ugandan Parliament's legal committee has recommended passing the bill. Dangerous.

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