Friday, March 31st, 2023

News from Houston in the Dec. issue of OutSmart

Billy GloverDecember 10, 2008.

The December issue of OutSmart is good, starting with the good cover, all the good people at a protest against the passage of California’s Prop 8, and then the good article inside.

I feel the bigots actually lost, as it got people involved in the cause that would not have been active had it been defeated, in which case most people would have just thought things were so good they could relax and get apathetic.

I do hope Lt. Mark Timnmers (on November’s cover) finds a good new job. And good to “hear” Ray Hill and his suggestion about the Grand Marshall.

I especially liked Nancy Ford’s “letter to Harvey Milk.” I also have wanted to let the pioneers of our civil rights movement know what has happened in the short time since they left us — most in the ’90s. As she says, honestly: Oh, the things you have missed.

I personally would not have given much publicity to the book by Thomas Beatie, who is a lousy PR person for homosexual and transgender issues. He/she is exactly guilty of what our enemies say about us. He wants it both ways. I know there is disagreement in our community/movement over what objectives we are seeking — Don Slater and the people at ONE magazine sought civil rights, but also the right to privacy, a basic right. This person violates that goal by seeking publicity. It is wrong to be ashamed of being gay. we should not care what others think of us. It is another to either seek “approval” of our sexuality, or exploiting it, as is done in this case.


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  1. Paul Cain

    Fascinating, Billy. I happen to like Thomas Beattie. I saw a fine piece recently with him and his wife on 20/20, I think (Barbara Walters was the interviewer). Why CAN’T he have it all? Isn’t that what we want for everyone coming up behind us — opportunities we didn’t have? (Whether we want them or not is another story.) Just curious about your thinking here, Billy.

  2. Billy Glover

    I guess your point is right—we don’t want anyone put in a box or forced into a sterotype, BUT, I felt from the start that this person is exploiting, as this makes other trans people look frivilous. I would like to know what he has done for the community/movement. Is this experience any educational for those who are confused about sexuality?

    And is the media using/exploiting this “freak” to raise ratings, or are they seriously trying to give viewers a better understanding of trans and sexuality

    Don Slater was always accused of not being “gay” as his main thought for our movement was simply to get everyone the right to privacy. How does this person support that?

  3. Billy Glover

    I wonder why you think this person is doing this for educational purposes. He is a freak show like at the state fairs. Otherwise he would be unknown-which is what Don Slater worked for. We should not inquire into anyone’s private life. That is not hiding in the closet-it is the basic right to not be subject to anyone’s approval or meeting their expectations. 99% of us ARE anonymous/unknown, and that is not a bad thing.

    Privacy is the difference between NOT allowing the military or government to ask about our sexual proclivities, and someone WANTING to tell them.

  4. Paul Cain

    Well, Billy, all I know is that it’s important for all sexual minorities to be able to tell their stories as a way of educating the majority that there’s more than one way to live and be happy out in the great wide world. And I guess I haven’t been fighting for the right to privacy — I’m fighting to be allowed to be all of who I am, and to live my life with pride, integrity, and dignity. And I certainly want that for others who come after me, so that they don’t experience the slings and arrows from a world that would be unfriendly to LGBT folks if they didn’t know and love them. Would it be better if Thomas Beattie lived his life in quiet anonymity? And, if so, better for whom? People who can’t expand their minds to encompass different concepts? If so, then maybe we should all go back in the closet and pretend to be straight, for fear of harming anyone’s delicate sensibilities. We could probably pass for straight if we had to. But I don’t want to pass for straight, or for anything that I’m not. And I don’t want anyone else to have to do that, either, not even Mr. Beattie.

  5. Paul Cain

    No, Billy, but many people at the time seemed to think they were “freaks” out for public attention. Do you think Beattie is doing what he’s doing simply for himself? I doubt if he’s the first “pregnant man,” but may be the first to be public about it. I certainly am not changing my body or my sexuality any time soon, but if someone else does, it doesn’t bother me (unless it’s my husband — THEN I might become a bit concerned!). Think of Beattie’s partner, who thought she was getting a lesbian, and now finds herself living with someone who identifies as a man. Isn’t that a great symbol of love? I don’t know if I could do that if Kurt decided he was a woman, and wanted to live as a woman. And I don’t want children — Kurt and I have learned from the problems of others — but if someone wants to bring a child into the world with love, who am I to criticize that? Must a transsexual person mutilate his/her genitals in order to be “real”? I would think that should only matter to one’s sex partners. I don’t know if I could have sex with a transgender male who retained female genitalia. This seems to be the cutting edge of the “brave new world” of sexuality these days. And I know I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t want to reject the questions out of hand, either. Thanks, Billy!

  6. Billy Glover

    I can’t read what you said and write this at the same time, so may mess up. But you are bringing up other arguments and they I guess are relevant to the issue. I am not sure, but again, what the few pioneers said, in secret at first, to each other, was that they were indeed NOT freaks, and it was the anti-people who were ignorant, as we were no criminals, sick or immoral.

    And from the start this was an issue, since as we know, then and now,some in the community argued that drag queens were not really homosexal and gave the “normal” homosexals a bad name. And of course there were many, mostly closet cases, afraid and looking for an excuse, who said we should shut up, not upset the apple cart, and I don’t want to say that about this person. Clearly talking about sexuality should, in theory, get us to the place where no one should need to rape someone to have sex, or even pay for it-although Don Slater and most of us are against laws against prostitution, and we put out a statement, paid for by Playboy-and no one should commit suicide because they have believed the lies about them their church, etc, but have heard the truth from us. Playboy has helped too, as have other resources.

    I do think this also should be put in context of those who are born with both sex organs. They should not be thought of as freaks, but, as you are saying, they should be placed merely on the continuum of sexuality, gender, etc. I think there was a time when their only way of surviving may have been to really become part of a sideshow. Let’s hope that with or without the discussion of this person, Beatie? I forget already, people will no longer think anyone not 100%hetero is unnatural.

    But I guess we or I should not judge the motive, but it is clear to me that from a movement view he has hurt us, not helped.

    Ket’s see how the couple are a few years from now-hopefully they will be good parents-not tha tall the “natural” hetero parents are-in my area therfe are two women in jail for killing their kid right now, and there is thecase in FL.

    I know it is not related, but it is just too good to neglect-that the plumber man, who was so eager from McCain, and many of us immediately questioned his motive-it now is said that he thinks that, after meeting him,McCain was terrible.

    Your point is well taken that I should not judge this issue just because I personally would not like to have a sex change or find it “icky,” since that is one of the many fake reasons given for voting FOR Prop 8. But there have been a very few people who had a sex change and later publicly said they were sorry and it was a mistake. My fear is that that will happen in this case. Just as, didn’t I hear that the first lesbian couple to marry in MA are now divorcing? I know this is a double standard, but that is the reality that most minorities face.

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