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Happy Pride: If you’re using that Facebook LGBT flag emoticon, a small request.

LGBT Pride flag photo credit: Ted Eytan cc
Happy Pride! I’ve got a few words for everyone who is excited about Facebook putting out a new rainbow flag icon during LGBT Pride month this June. Facebook sponsored the RNC after many many anti-queer stances by the GOP. A major Facebook shareholder has been a core part of Il Dupe’s campaign. Facebook sent its COO to help give Il Dupe a photo of business support when his new election was in doubt. Facebook also took a long time to address the real names policy which posed a true threat to many queer folks. Thanks to Roma Roma and more who advocated on this issue. Enjoy Pride but know that real LGBTIQQ2S leadership comes from lives lived, real risk and real backbone. Here’s to the drag queens and the civil rights activists and to every queer who came before me. Thank you. Here’s to every kid and every grown up coming out to themselves. Welcome! I care. Here’s to every small town queer, every swishy boy in the south, every person getting policed by someone else’s discomfort around gender.
 
If you’re not queer and you really want to be supportive, rather than focusing your energy on displaying something about you…ask queer folks you know about their lives, about the parts you don’t get to see, that people don’t always post about. Be an interested person and a willing listener to folks who have often been through a great deal. Among many other stories, there are people who have been through a plague and were never really heard by the straight part of the country. Signal boost their feeds this month. Realize that queer people you know are always reading your posts, all year long. Take some time and learn about the gay pogroms happening in Chechnya and the serious obstacles still here in the US for many queer folks legal and otherwise.
 
Queer folks often have to deal with their biggest challenges in the families they grow up in. This can mean anything from difficulty to outright abuse and losing a home and these things can begin as early as 3.
 
Now that Pride is a more popular and commercially acceptable thing to decorate for, I ask you to consider using Facebook for something that truly can matter and make a difference. And that will come from you, your witnessing, your time attention and caring, not from any symbol. Showing one queer person you care and are interested in really hearing what something was like to live through and deal with can make a meaningful difference. Queer lives are often code switched.
 
So this is my Pride wish: that every person on Facebook who isn’t queer and wants to use that flag emoticon thing also is willing to spend the time online to ask, listen to and acknowledge one queer person once this month.
 
Thanks for your time.

On Wonder Woman

My first play at around 10: Sheep int he Stomach.

I am not into super heroes. I never identified with Wonder Woman. I wanted to be part of the first weekend grosses for Patty Jenkins.

I still sobbed in the middle of the movie tonight because for a moment I could see what it would have been like at 10 to see a woman be this strong and unafraid. And I could imagine, in a flash, what kind of impact that would have had on my life and the lives of my peers for the years we’ve had. And I could see what it’ll mean for the 10 year old girls now. And I wished it had come out a year ago because I seriously think it would have helped HRCs campaign because it will impact the culture in a broad way about strong women and strength and love and doing what’s right. I was also thrilled that Patty Jenkins got this gig and did such a fantastic job. This is not a genre of film I particularly like (though I even imagined tonight how much fun it would be to act in a film like this which I’d never considered before because I hadn’t seen my own athleticism and strength as skills for film). But I really enjoyed this movie. I would have been happy if the movie never left the island with the Amazons (no surprise there). Maybe It’s a genre I *could* love. One I could make.

Here’s to a future of unapologetic women taking power and directing whatever the hell we want.

On Disinfo, Louise Mensch, Our Feeds and Can We Have A Legit 2018 Election?

 I came *this close* to posting this on Facebook without putting it here first. This is a bad habit I have acquired. I don’t get to spend as much time with my friends as I used to. FB designed a platform that lets us see each others faces/avatars and thread quicker it feels more like we are *with* each other than on blogs. I spent many years in Silicon Valley asking WordPress developers and many others to give us better tools for tummeling, for the social connection between us and to allow us to make it. I’ve advocated and tried to show how putting social and emotional goals *first* (and learning the skills to do so) makes all the difference in building more human social platforms that serve human goals and not financial ones of centralized control and manipulation. I have had some influence but the problem still stands. And it’s only increased because it seems the last election was turned in part, by disinfo.
Louise Mensch’s initial post about FISA warrants and Comey caught my eye and she was on it long before the MSM (I just went to her site to find and link it and couldn’t so that’s interesting in itself). It was the first idea I saw anywhere that there may have been more going on with the leaked letter about HRC’s emails than what was on the surface. I spent time in a whole bunch of twitter feeds around her to pick up some ideas and still do some. I filtered out personality as much as possible and read for info and then looked at many other feeds and sources and considered it. I didn’t pass on anything unconfirmed. But I unfollowed Mensch and Taylor on twitter once journalists I have more faith in are more involved and now that the FBI and whomever else (I don’t know) is managing a leak and other strategy. The game is on.
 
I’m generally dubious about anyone who leads with beefs and reactions and name calling. Our media has just been so full of that. It’s toxic to sit in that soup. I appreciate and endeavor to make mindful critiques. But non-stop reaction is not a great idea. 
 
That said I still embrace citizen journalism and parts of the threads between folks around Louse Mensch months ago reminded me a bit of earlier twitter days when twitter was just days ahead of CNN on major revolutions in countries. There is definitely bitterness and reaction beefs from MSM guys too who don’t like being scooped or feel like someone has to pay their regular media dues to be entitled to get cited and referenced.  
 
Also the abject failure of MSM in the campaign was enormous and they haven’t all just earned trust back. All the falling for HRC email crap? Where was all this Russia reporting then? Who looked deeply into Il Dupe’s obvious money laundering then? They liked the easy clicks and misogyny runs very very very deep in our culture.  
HRC literally spelled out the connection between Donald’s campaign and Russia in the debates. Did the mainstream media really grok that and pressure Il Dupe over and over on it? Mhhmm. Even with their own freedom to report in peril!   
 
FB has been almost completely let off the hook by a MSM happy to print puff personality and book pieces (and donations) fed to them by the company even as there has been admission or bragging by Il Dupe’s campaign they ran vote suppression campaigns on Facebook (on which presumably Facebook made money).  So everything we’re reading is influenced by ongoing disinfo.
 
When, as HRC said Il Dupe is Putin’s puppet, 17 ICs are investigating disinfo / hacking the election, what makes people and MSM believe we will have a legit 2018 election? This is not paranoia when it is just listening to investigations. Or perhaps I should say, what makes white people think we definitely will have a legit 2018 election? Because voter suppression has been a tactical strategy of the GOP for a long time. It is worth using this filter in reviewing everything we see in social media feeds and what comes up when. Many very smart people I know don’t grasp (and seem to not want to hear) that their FB feed is not just something they and their friends control.
 
It is important to ask what media you get access to and when you see it and what other motivations there could be. FB and twitter are huge media platforms not held to the same standards or understanding as traditional broadcast and print. We know FB ran emotional manipulation studies. They may still run them. Do they sell this? Our behavior isn’t just affected by artificial news but what we see who we see it from and when. All other media platforms are *dependent* upon them now for traffic. They control, without public accountability how much we see of the news from various sources. Both made our feeds  stop being chronological. There’s now no expectation you’ll see something when it was posted or from everyone your follow or friend. This is true in many countries with many political situations. Disinfo is now a major weapon of the war we are clicking in. We know that FB and many other tech cos willingly sent top execs and gave photo op of legitimacy to Il Dupe when he was in his earliest days and doubted the most. 
 
FB *sponsored* the RNC even after the GOP candidate mocked disabled people said all kinds of racist stuff and intentions, ran pror-Nazi style rallies, was incredibly sexist etc etc. FB has a Board member who is a major advisor to Il Dupe
 
FB and twitter *could have stopped and still could* the effort at autocracy anytime. They haven’t and they haven’t been questioned by other MSM about it much, if at all. These same media who depend on these platforms now to get, lunch so they hand over lunch money.
 
As annoying as it is and as imperfect as this post is I am not forcing myself to go to my website and post it there first. Because I know that without this practice media *is* controlled by these platforms. It was annoying to learn to always put my seatbelt on back in the days when it first became the law. But with enough practice it became a simple, much safer habit. Please do not forget we have the open web.
 
It is openness and real *earned* trust autocracy cannot bear. Autocrats trust no one. They only control. Trust cannot be built by hacking. Trust isn’t grown by twitter and Facebook . These companies rely upon the existing trust in networks you have and the ones you build. They have no accountability to the people using the platforms but to the companies to which they sell data.
Trust demands real openness and owned-up imperfection. There is no quick acquisition technique for real trust. We must practice openness and feel our own power in order for it to operate. Do not just hand it over to a guy who’d like to be an autocract or to some social media platforms that take full advantage of our fundamental hard-wired need to connect socially without doing much to assist it.
Let’s post on our blogs. Let’s take time to get together. Don’t get in the hole. 

She Sets the Gold Standard for Comedy in the Bay Area

 

This lovely piece on me just ran in the J Weekly.

And it ran without a request to tell me “just one thing!! that familiar bit of Jewish criticism a/k/a love from one bubbeleh comes after so many shows. California changes my people.

The next Yarn is coming up on the 7th in Oakland. Hope to see you there. You’ll find tickets here.

 

Understanding Milo, Trump and the US Economy via Trauma. Hope for a better way.

Uber, Susan Fowler and Patriarchy in Silicon Valley and Beyond

Russia stands up for punching women. What follows America?

Russia has just decriminalized domestic violence.

Women are harmed at an alarming rate from domestic violence here in the US too. And the Senate just voted to make sure contraception is not covered. Misogyny has long been apart of our culture. This is a moment in which patriarchy has put all its chips on red.

It is time for us to refuse. This means men too have to really get in your guts, what it means to have self-agency and control over your body handed over whether its forced pregnancy, the very common experience of rape and sexual assault and the de facto cultural and legal reality that there’s not a whole lot you can do about it without more pain and even with the pain there are almost never collective social and legal consequences for rape for the rapist other than affirmation of so-called “masculinity,” the dismissal and marginalization of womens experience (or these would be stories and experiences you’d be hearing about all the damn time in media), any random guy walking toward down the airplane aisle feeling like its no big deal to put his hands on your waist to move you aside.

This means marching and calling and insisting. This means making consent a reality and the norm. This means talking to your sons and students about what consent is. This means social norms and pressures that support girls and womens’ agency.

Sadly it is things getting much worse and emboldened that make people more aware of what has always been there. A good chunk of the country had to knowingly vote (though I am not persuaded it was just votes that put Il Dupe in position we need an open investigation) for someone who brags about sexually assaulting women. Sexual assault was voted for. We will see more like this as in Russia if we do not say and embody “no.”

As with all things, if you don’t get the lesson, it gets harder.

And for those doubling down on misogyny in the new regime and the emboldened culture of dominanace sold, like crack or a bottle, like it’s gonna make everything ok, they will continue to find there will never be enough to make them feel ok. Their desperation will only increase.

There’s no way out of this without learning to feel, without growing up.

What If Tech Hadn’t Been Willing to Meet Il Dupe

I don’t see how Il Dupe controls the population inexpensively without the companies that decided to kiss his ring the other day.

Why presume Cheeto tuchus now somehow means he won’t hurt your company? Perhaps they should send their cross-platform invite to Chris Christie while they’re at it.

Why presume the value of the market and currency will somehow be supported by his regime taking over (though Russian interference and electors haven’t met why presume for sure he’ll take over? Why not support public inquiry into Russian hacking? Technical stuff too complicated for tech CEOs? They gave him an implied endorsement via this appearance timed when it was.

Dave Pell recently outlined the shareholder pain but not the moral quandry or benefit (or political benefit) of taking a stand.

Putin got a whole lot of bang for his hacking buck. If they collectively decided to not go, who do you think the market would choose?

My instinct at this point is that you disarm manipulation best with what is inalienable. It is what can’t be bought and sold.

None of these CEOs and COOs who took off all their fleece vests and travelled to a sudden demand meeting with Thiel’s latest angel investment has been willing yet to make the public stand others who work in the industry and sometimes for them have. You can too

The Unfacted: Lessons Learned Coming Out.

I wrote a little something on twitter about lessons learned coming out and living in a “make up your own facts” world.

The Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton election has given us a moment in which the threads of what the country appear to all agree upon are unravelling.

Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float level of narcissism seems to have given us a new level of ignoring or making up facts in politics and government.

Is it?

So many on the left are convinced of the need to only persuade with argument and the apparent hopelessness of this for our collective future safety when we cannot agree on basic things.

It’s not new that people in the US won’t accept facts. Here’s one example and some things I learned from it.

 

After Trump I Went to the Castro

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Youth Protesting in the Castro

I went to the Castro the night after Trump was elected to be with my people. I went there to fight Prop 8 and when marriage equality passed. It’s where queers marched the night Harvey Milk was killed by an elected white guy full of resentment and looking for someone he was allowed to blame. It’s where we lost a generation and where they were loved and mourned and fought for. It is the gay Jerusalem. After Harvey was killed, more people came out. When HIV/AIDS hit and decimated a generation and the President refused to even acknowledge this was happening, many well-to-do white, gay men came out and were outed, queer men and women united to work together and care for and bury our own. ACT UP was created. We organized. People learned about medicine and drugs. When Prop 8 passed in California, more straight folks joined us than ever before. Each time something unimagineably horrible has happened, something unimagineably powerful has been born in response. there has been no one leader. The change has come within each person and from what they have done.

I want to time travel to 1988 and tell everyone “We have the meds!!! You did it!! You cheated death! We have marriage, we’re not criminalized!! We have some trans* rights! Keep going! Come out.”

Some part of future me is here to tell you the same.



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