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Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation



Editor’s note:

The author of this piece, J. Rudy Flesher, is a Philadelphia based actor, blogger and college student. After a three-year detour working in health care he recently returned to The College of New Jersey to complete his B.A. in Women’s and Gender studies. He blogs (sporadically at the moment and daily when school is not in session) here and at The Pistol in Bed Thirteen.

Regular readers of this blog will remember Rudy’s other pieces here, including, “Twentysomething Hairless White Gay Men Who Have Time To Take Pilates 5 Days A Week,” “I’m From Driftwood,” and “A Veteran Is Never An ‘It’ Or A ‘Shim’.”

Hello readers.  I’m thrilled that David has accepted my request to resume guest blogging, devoting my coverage to LGBT arts and culture.  Some of the folks I cover here will be artists and authors kind enough to grant me a moment of their time for an interview; others, including in today’s blog will be individuals on the talent roster of PhinLi Booking, an LGBT and sex positive booking agency for whom I am currently interning.  I am therefore being granted some very special access to some of our boldest and brightest artists, and cannot wait to share the fruits of my labor with you all!

Additionally, I will note that all books referenced here link directly to purchasing them at Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia’s independent LGBT book store, and one of the only such stores left on the east coast.  I receive no compensation for referring you to them; I simply feel that they are an unbelievable resource to our communities and it is vital to support them, as I have blogged about in the past.

Today I am exiting to be blogging about the recently released anthology “Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation,” edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman.  If you’re familiar with either of their works individually, you know what a dream team this is.

Kate Bornstein

First of all, I should just admit that in my household, Kate is a bit of a goddess.  If authors, performers, and activists had groupies, we’d be carrying her luggage and her props into conferences and theaters.  Her 1994 landmark “Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us” literally changed the landscape of trans issues, queer community, and gender theory in the United States.  She followed up in 1998 with “My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, A Real Women, The Real you, or Something Else Entirely,” and the text is still in use today from individuals to college classes who want a fun and intelligent guide to gender.

A self-proclaimed advocate for teens, freaks, and other outlaws, Kate’s most recent publication was “Hello Cruel World:  101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and other Outlaws.” Kate’s blog links to a free download of a “lite” version of the book and she has recently added her own to cents to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project.

S Bear Bergman

Co-editor S. Bear Bergman is no slouch hirself.  (For the uninitiated “hirself” is used instead of his or her self, using hir preferred gender neutral pronoun.)  I first became acquainted with Bear via hir essay “An Apology to my Mother,” in the anthology “Second Person Queer: Who you are (so far).” Hir most recent book, “The Nearest Exit may be Behind You,” is a collection of his essays, and was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Lambda Literary Award. Ze is also the author of the critically acclaimed “Butch is a Noun,” recently reissued with a new afterward. Like Kate, Bear adds educating and performing to his already considerable resume.

Part of what is so stunning about “Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation,” is that nearly all of the names of the authors are new to me.  Being a pretty avid reader of all things gender queer and trans related, plus with much of my academic research and own performance art falling into that arena in the last year, I consider myself pretty well-in-the-loop.  Kate and Bear have done an unbelievable job of cultivating submissions to their anthology, bringing new voices and new perspectives to the next generation of Gender Outlaws, and for this I am both thrilled and grateful.

If you reside in or near Manhattan, Blue Stockings independent bookstore, located at 172 Allen St, is hosting Kate Bornstein and some fellow gender outlaws for a night of gender anarchy in celebration of the release of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.  I invite you to come, as I will certainly be making the trip to be there.

To find out more about Kate Bornstein visit her blog or her Twitter account; visit Bear online here, and keep up with hir on Twitter.  If you are interested in booking either or both for an upcoming performance or conference, please visit Phinli to see all of their offerings, or email them.

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‘Aiding and Abetting’: Speaker Johnson Blasted for Blurring Faces of J6 Participants



Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is once again under fire, this time for intentionally blurring the faces of people caught on camera in the massive 40,000 hours of January 6 videos he ordered to be released to the public.

Speaker Johnson “said Republicans are blurring out the faces of people on the Jan. 6 tapes ‘because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and be charged the DOJ,'” Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman first reported Tuesday (video below).

Federal law enforcement agencies have used those videos to identify, arrest, charge, prosecute, and convict hundreds of criminals who acted unlawfully during the January 6, 2021 insurrection. The FBI set up a public tip line specifically for their Capitol investigation. While not everyone who was on Capitol grounds acted illegally, the videos provided evidence of wrongdoing. Countless social media users worked together to help identify some of the participants, as was detailed in NBC News’ justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly’s book, “Sedition Hunters.”

During his remarks Tuesday Johnson also claimed the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack was “a partisan exercise” that produced a “biased report” and “hid some of the important evidence.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Chair Could Face ‘Censure or Discipline’ After Rape Allegation and Three-Way Sex Claim

The Speaker’s comments are in direct conflict with his recent statement defending his march toward an impeachment investigation of President Joe Biden.

Johnson, who frequently reminds reporters he is “a constitutional attorney,” was labeled by The New York Times recently as “a key architect of his party’s objections to certifying President Biden’s victory” in the 2020 election.

Last week, in promoting what some critics – and the White House – say are House Republicans’ baseless allegations against the President, Johnson also told reporters Republicans are “the rule of law team.”

The Speaker was quickly criticized for, as former GOP congressman Joe Walsh said, “aiding and abetting.”

“The party of the police; the party of law and order,” mocked MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan. Top national security attorney Brad Moss similarly wrote, “Party of ‘law and order.'”

“The House Republican Speaker doesn’t want people who broke the law on January 6 to be charged with a crime … and he said this publicly,” notes MSNBC columnist Michael A. Cohen.

READ MORE: RNC Chair Falsely Claims ‘Biden White House’ Killed Hunter Laptop Story in 2020

“Wait. I thought the GOP said they were just tourists? Show their faces or admit they weren’t orderly tourists,” wrote former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH).

Watch the videos of Johnson above or at this link.


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Florida GOP Chair Could Face ‘Censure or Discipline’ After Rape Allegation and Three-Way Sex Claim



Christian Ziegler, the Donald Trump-endorsed Florida Republican Party chair who is reportedly under criminal investigation for alleged rape, and had a consensual three-way sexual relationship with his wife and the woman who is now accusing him, could face some form of discipline from party leadership if he does not resign.

Florida Republican Party Vice Chair Evan Power is calling for a special meeting to consider Ziegler’s future, according to Florida Politics.

Ziegler, who is opposed to the special meeting which could decide his fate with the party, wants to wait until the board’s scheduled meeting in February to discuss the allegations against him. He has refused to resign.

“In an act of respect for the Chairman, this evening, I phoned him to request he call an executive board meeting,” Power wrote in an email to board members. “He declined and said the matters could be taken up in February. It is the opinion of the many members that it is not an acceptable timetable.”

READ MORE: ‘Given My Experience’: Gaetz Waiting to ‘Render Judgment’ on Florida GOP Chair Accused of Rape

“Because of my role as Vice Chairman, I now offer the following call for a Special Meeting with an option for each of you to sign on to,” Power added. “I hope that we are able to move the Party forward in a positive manner as the 2024 elections are the most important elections we face in my lifetime. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reply to this email or give me a call or text.”

Ziegler’s wife Bridget Ziegler is an an elected school board member and a co-founder of the anti-LGBTQ Moms for Liberty, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as an anti-government extremist group. She told police “that she and her husband had previously engaged in a ‘sexual encounter’ with the woman. The following day, [Christian] Ziegler was interviewed by police with his attorney present. He told them the encounter with the woman was consensual and said he’d taken a video of it,” according to the Florida Center for Government Accountability’s Trident news site.

Power has “as laid out an agenda for a meeting” that “includes potential censure or discipline for Ziegler following party rules. That includes determining if Ziegler must be deemed unfit for office and whether his actions have hurt the ‘good name of the RPOF,'” Florida Politics adds. He also wants the board to discuss suspending Ziegler’s responsibilities, pay, and holding a no-confidence vote.

READ MORE: ‘Authoritarianism’: Florida Says Its Public Schools Exist to ‘Convey Government’s Message’

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‘He Can Warp Time or Something’: Morning Joe Mocks GOP’s Biden Impeachment Probe After Latest Flop



MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski needled House Republicans for overhyping their latest revelation in the impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden.

House Oversight chairman James Comer (R-KY) obtained bank records showing Hunter Biden’s law firm had made monthly payments to his father in late 2018, but those three checks were reimbursement for a pickup truck the elder Biden had purchased and allowed him to use.

“What kind of car was it?” Scarborough asked. “It could have been a hot rod Lincoln. I don’t know, do you ride around in it in Tennessee, go through the Smoky Mountains? More smoking guns.”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel also on Monday accused Biden of suppressing media coverage of his son’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election, which would have been before he was president, and the “Morning Joe” co-hosts called out the bad-faith coverage by conservative media of her outlandish allegations.

“Obsessed,” Brzezinski said.

“The fact that Joe Biden was so corrupt, so evil, so powerful that he could suppress this information, his White House could suppress this information, even when he was not in the White House,” Scarborough said sarcastically. “It means he has, like, some X-Men/Avengers, I think it’s more X-Men. He has these X-Men powers where he can warp time or something. Maybe it is more, like, an Avengers multiverse thing – he’s not really present, but he is. I don’t think Ronna knows that. I’m wondering why she said the Biden White House did it when Biden wasn’t in the White House, and nobody corrected her.”

Watch the video below or at this link.


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