Dan Savage: Yeah, I mean I was raised in a really religious family, Evangelical Catholics. My parents were in Catholic Marriage Encounter for the Tristate area and I went to a seminary and I was thinking about becoming a priest. And I realized I was gay pretty early and I think I had intimations even as like three and four years old that, you know, I told my mom that I was going to be a girl when I grew up. And what does that mean? Was I trans? No, I think at three and four I was looking at the relationships that my female relatives had with men and thinking well I’m going to have that kind of a relationship, so I must be a girl. That is the only explanation that one day I will be a girl because I want a husband. And that is how you get a husband, you have to be a girl.
And then I sort of buried that because I realized that that was not something my parents wanted to hear or anyone else in my life, but you know you hit puberty, a little before puberty and I was in denial for a long time. I hate to be gross, but I would let myself masturbate about men once if I had masturbated about women four times, so I would like picture men having sex with women and then realize I was only really thinking about the man. It was all very crazy and Catholic.
I came out in the end for the same reason everyone comes out. The anticipated pain and the fear of what might happen by coming out is less scary than a life in the closet. Eventually you realize that a closeted life is going to be more painful and unpleasant than whatever the worst possible consequences could be of coming out. I was afraid that my parents would reject me. I was afraid that they would throw me out of the house. Every day from the time I was about 11 or 12 until I came out to my mom when I was 17 or 18 and to my dad when I was 20, every day when my parents told me that they loved me I thought no you donâ€™t. If you knew me, if you knew what I was you wouldnâ€™t say that. And that is a horrible thing and I was really close to my mom and we were reallyâ€”you know total mamaâ€™s boyâ€”we were really tight and to doubt her love every day from 12 to 17 was kind of emotionally shredding. And I just realized my parents were wonderful parents. They raised four really great kids and they taught us to be honest. They taught us to have some integrity and to be ethical, and what they taught me about how to live my life was on a collision course with who I was. And I couldnâ€™t lie to them about who I was and be the person that they had raised me to be.
I was ready to come out to my mom when I was 14 or 15 years old, but then my dad left and divorced my mom and I didnâ€™t want to pile on. Though, you know: “This will take your mind off the divorce mom. Hey, crying lady in your room in the middle of the night I’ll give you something to cry about.” So I waited a couple of years to tell her and it was hard when I told her. She didnâ€™t react… She reacted pretty well and I want to say I was Catholic and that was the most horrifying, horrible thing about my coming out. But my mom went directly to her priest, Father Tom, called him over and sat down on the porch swing and told Father Tom the news that I was gay or had told her that I was gay and she wanted to know what to doâ€”and it makes me cry every time I talk about itâ€”but Father Tom put his hand on my motherâ€™s knee and said, â€œJudy, I’m gay.â€ And came out to my mother at that moment just as I had come out to my mother the day before.
And that helped my mother so much because sheâ€¦ Tom was a good friend and Tom was like one of ourâ€”We were so Catholic we had priests. He was one of our priests, right?â€”and for him to do that for me at that moment really kind of nullified some of my anger at the Catholic Church because that did help my mother and he told her it was better for me to be out and gay than to live the way that he had lived and I was on the verge of living the way he had lived. I was thinking about being a priest so I could be closeted all my life and then I realized I could live in a big house and wear dresses and fuck boys without being a priest.
Via Big Think
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Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed
Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.
“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.
Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.
Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.
A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.
Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticketed via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
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