Monday, August 2, 2010

Hot Tubs, Bikinis, Immigration, and "The Dress"

It was quite the weekend here in the Valley.  Lady Gaga played here.  There was pressure on Ms. Gaga to cancel her show as part of a broader boycott of the state because of the passage of SB1070 - the "Immigration Bill".  But she played here anyway and addressed the issue in no uncertain terms:
"I got a phone call from a couple really big rock'n'rollers, big pop stars, big rappers, and they said, 'We'd like you to boycott Arizona...because of SB 1070,' " Gaga shared with the crowd. "And I said, 'You really think that us dumb fucking pop stars are going to collapse the economy of Arizona?'

"I'll tell you what we have to do about SB 1070," Gaga continued. "We have to be active. We have to actively protest, and the nature of the Monster Ball is to actively protest prejudice and injustice, and the bullshit that is put on our society."

"I will not cancel my show," Gaga told her Phoenix fans. "I will yell, and I will scream louder, and I will hold you, and we will hold each other, and we will peacibly protest this state. Do not be afraid, because if it wasn't for all of you immigrants, this country wouldn't have shit."

Amen Sistah.  I, for one, happen to agree with her.

You should see it here.  It's unbelievable - especially with the elections coming up.  I hear terms like "The Illegal Allien Invasion" and "open borders".  Our country has lots of issues but to make immigrants the scapegoats is dangerous and wrong-headed.  And it's not just immigrants.  It's specifically Hispanics being targeted.  Every other day the Sheriff is having a highly publicized round-up of people suspected of being "illegal".  It's like McCarthyism all over again.  The Governor here is making a career out of it.  Anyway, it panders to peoples' fear and it's a mess.

Adam Lambert played here, too, but he wasn't nearly as controversial.

I was invited to participate in a call with US Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and some of her senior staff today.  They provided an update on some of the DOL efforts with regard to LGBT needs.  The two things I'll say is that (a) I'm more than gratified that this call even happened at all as it included a number of key community leaders and the highest levels of the government and (b) I never imagined I'd hear the word "transgender" used so often and so seemingly comfortably by people at that level.  I, for one, very much appreciated that the Secretary herself was an active participant on the call. Two simple words come to mind:  Thank You.

My friends at Campus Pride conduct a survey of colleges and universities each year similar to the Corporate Equality Index to rate schools on their LGBT awareness, policies, and climate.  They released their 2010 version today - just in time for students to head back to campuses around the country.

Their press release reads as follows:

Campus Pride Climate Index ranks gay-friendliness of American colleges and universities just in time for ‘Back to School’

Nineteen schools nationwide make highest five-star rating; Other schools taking positive steps to 'come out' for their LGBT students

(Charlotte, NC) – As thousands of students return to their college or university campus and as many step onto campus as a new student for the first time this fall semester, they now have one complete and comprehensive national resource ranking for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion and friendliness.

The Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index lists over 230 publicly available campus climate reports online at The nationally praised Index takes an in-depth look at LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices. Colleges are ranked from one to five stars, depending on their answers to a detailed, voluntary questionnaire submitted to Campus Pride, a national non-profit working to create safer, more LGBT-inclusive colleges and build future LGBT and ally leaders. In development since 2001, the Index has become a staple in student and faculty research, campus organizing efforts and benchmarking for LGBT student safety and inclusion on campus.

Each summer, university officials are encouraged to fill out new questionnaires and update their Index profiles. This year, the Campus Climate Index is proud to announce five-star rankings for 19 colleges and universities – the most ever achieving the Index’s highest ranking since the its inception in 2007-08.

The 19 five-star-ranked campuses include: Carleton College; Humboldt State University; Ithaca College; Oberlin College; Oregon State University; Princeton University; San Diego State University; Syracuse University; The Ohio State University; The Pennsylvania State University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Riverside; University of Maine, Farmington; University of Oregon; University of Pennsylvania; University of Southern California; University of Vermont; and Washington University in St. Louis.

Visit the CampusPride website for more details or to see how a specific school rated...

* * * *

There's a social network in the community called Pink Essence that's run by my friend, Chloe Prince.  It's quite the impressive set-up and a number of my friends are regulars there.  She's even got a video network and does regular video broadcasts on Livestream.  She can have up to 50 participants at one time and the queue is almost always full - as I say, it's quite impressive.  I hadn't seen the behind-the-scenes workings until I stayed with Chloe in April for the US Nationals in Cleveland.  She's done quite a bit of work to set it all up.

I stopped by last night's broadcast and am still chuckling about it.  They were broadcasting from a hottub in the backyard - no lie - in bikinis and drinking champagne, with the camera placed a little bit above, very well lit, and the sounds of frogs and crickets in the background.  I didn't think it was in bad taste.  Heck no.  They did an awesome job.  I must say - the Donnanator was impressed.

I've visited her broadcast in the past and heard people call in who are in the process of de-transitioning, or who are coming out at work and are terrified, or who are dealing with the various legalities of our unique journey.  We all face some pretty serious stuff and it's wonderful to me that we can have a sensitive forum to discuss.  And to celebrate.  And to mourn.

But there's also a time for fun, and opportunities to mix serious with fun.  That's what was going on last night.  And I, for one, couldn't help but smile because we can take ourselves so seriously sometimes that it's important to balance it out.  Anyway - I want to thank Chloe and Lana for their efforts to set all that up and for taking my call.  I was only there for a short while, but truth be told it was as much fun as anything I watched on cable last night....I'm thinking they can make it big by selling the rights.   :-)

And, continuing in the light-hearted mode:

I've mentioned in the past that one of my goals in life probably not all that different from many girls'.  I want to wear a wedding dress.  More specifically, I want to have a reason to wear one other than to simply put it on and take it off.  Whether others appreciate that or not is immaterial to me.  I'm usually pretty aloof to "celebrity" weddings but I've really enjoyed looking at the photos of Chelsea Clinton's wedding from over the wedding.  I don't know that I've seen a bride look so lovely - her dress, the look of love on her face, her calm, the bouquet - it was all affirmation of many things we sometimes forget.  The only description that comes to mind is "Stunningly Lovely".

As for me - I took today off.  I didn't go to the gym.  I didn't go hiking.  I stayed away from the computer.  I had other things to do and I even had 3 meals, and dessert!  Go figure.  I'm still looking for what comes next for me but as I said earlier it's easy to take everything too seriously.  Today was my balance day.  It'll be back to "normal" tomorrow....


Anonymous said...

No offense, but you like many people keep forgetting the word "illegal" when describing these folks. Immigrants LEGALLY emigrate to another country, not break a law in order to emigrate to another country.

In addition, I know you are very smart, are well educated and are prominent in the computers field. What about your fellow citizens who aren't as smart or educated and are lower-income and blue collar? Many of these people actually have to compete against illegal immigrants for jobs and lose out every time.

What legal American citizen or immigrant will do landscaping for $4.00 under the table when the minimum wage is almost twice that? Would you?

Have you ever had to worry about being replaced by illegal immigrants to do work? I'd bet not. That is what is happening and has happened to many of us, particularly we who live in cities.

Maybe if you were lower-middle class, you would think differently?

Regardless, thanks for writing your blog and being a role model in many ways for many of us. I will never achieve what you have had in life, but that is okay. We all have different which we must make for ourselves.

: )

Donna said...

No offense taken, and I appreciate your perspective. I like to think that each of us has enough respect for one another to recognize different viewpoints and to express that without resorting to name calling.

This is a complex subject. I think the point that I and others who are concerned about the precedent that SB1070 sets is that this is far more complicated than just some one-size-fits-all "law" that targets people who look or act different, or who don't have documentation.

There needs to be some middle ground, and building a fence around the state or passing these kinds of laws is not that middle ground.

You ask if I've ever had to worry about being replaced by an illegal immigrant. I don't think so. But in that context what's the difference between that and being replaced by an offshore worker in India who does the same work I do but gets paid 20% of what the same skills earn in this country? The end result is the same - US workers losing jobs to cheaper alternatives. What's the answer - passing laws?

As I say - I appreciate your input and hope we can agree that this issue isn't as simple as just rounding up "foreigners" and kicking them out of the country.

Lana Moore said...

Donna, thank you for watching and calling in to our PE TV webcast on Sunday night, what a pleasant surprise that was! Thanks also for your very kind words here on your blog.

Chloe and I had a lot of fun putting together the "Hot Tub episode" and we will be posting highlights of it at for those who missed it. We're also working on lots of exciting new ideas and locations for future webcasts, so please stay tuned to PE TV!

~Lana :)

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