later that same morning…

April 7th, 2009 | Uncategorized


147 Responses to “later that same morning…”

  1. Debs says:

    Congratulations!!!! I just saw the news too.


  2. Kate L says:

    Yep, we’re all still here, A.B. Kind of savoring the moment… 🙂

  3. Dale says:

    WOOHOO! Another victory! *ticks off another state from her gay agenda*

  4. Steph says:

    As your cat looks on, wistfully wondering when its day in the sun will arrive…

  5. Gnat says:

    Yay! Congratulations Vermont from a fan in Canada.


  6. mary(an) the librarian says:

    tipping point! it’s happening. the arc of the universe is bending towards justice.

  7. NPD says:

    Congratulations from another fan in Canada!

  8. Acilius says:


  9. hairball_of_hope says:

    My, what a technologically advanced and literate cat you have.

    Not that Dr. Winnicott (Winnicat?) surprises me at all…

  10. ksbel6 says:

    I just added that article to the GSA board at school 🙂

  11. Chris (From Massachusetts) says:

    And thus do historic events turn upon the smallest of axles.

    One voice speaking the word, “yea” in the House made all the difference.

    Congratulations, Vermont!

    So, which New England state will be next? New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Maine?

  12. Ruth in RI says:

    Rhode Island will definitely not be next. First we have to wait for our governor’s term to expire. Passage might be possible here, but an override? No way. Yet.

  13. Ed says:

    I grew up in Springfield, MA, only an hour from Brattleboro and ten minutes from CT. So this is fantastic. Go Vermont! I’m buying Ben and Jerry’s tonight.

  14. brooke says:

    i agree with you about marriage alison, but i’m glad that you now have the choice not to be. many many congratulations to vermont.

  15. NLC says:

    One voice speaking the word, “yea” in the House made all the difference.

    To add a footnote to this:
    The vote-count means that there were a half dozen or so members of the House of Representative (all Republicans, I believe) who voted against the bill but voted for overriding the veto.

  16. susan irene says:

    Joy has replaced the air in my lungs

  17. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know where we can see who those half a dozen or so were? I’m dying to know if my Republican Rep. (who I know voted against the bill) voted for or against overriding the veto. I know their votes are public record, but where do I find a list? Thank you notes are on the way to all who voted yes!

  18. jen in California says:

    This, and Iowa too! Woooooo.

    (c’mon CA Supreme Court, you can do it!)

  19. Anonymous, check here on the VT Freedom to Marry site. THere’s a link to how the reps voted.

  20. WAM says:

    go to the Vermont Legislature website, . There, you can “Look up rollcall votes by member or by bill” under “Legislative Information Database”. You want to refer to “S.115”, and it gives you options to check on how members voted in both the House and the Senate whenever the bill came up for a vote.

  21. meldyke says:

    congrats VT! i love the view from my happy burlap sack here in CT. 🙂

  22. coolmama says:

    Hey Vermont, as an Iowan, let me welcome you to the club! All I want to know is: what took you so long? 🙂

  23. NLC says:

    Hey Vermont, as an Iowan, let me welcome you to the club! All I want to know is: what took you so long?

    Ah, but wait a minute.

    Vermont is the first state to actually pass a Freedom to Marry bill in the legislature. All them other places had it “imposed” by the courts.

  24. hairball_of_hope says:

    BTW, clever title of this thread, I assume it’s a play on Grace Paley’s “Later the Same Day”… appropriate for many reasons, one of which is Grace moved to Vermont in her later years. (Full disclosure… my ex lived next door to Grace in NYC, and we knew her and Bob well.)

  25. Tom Geller says:


    As a side note (and you knew one was coming), I wish the media and public would make a distinction betwen *gay* marriage and *same-sex* marriage.

    But hey — I can live without that distinction if this is the result. 🙂

  26. Ali says:

    The elation you are all expressing communicates to me that a great weight has been lifted. I am not aware of how much discrimination there has been in the US – although I am finally going to see Milk this week. I suppose that Womyns Lands exist is a testimony to the need to escape from a hostile society. Female homosexuality has often gone under the radar in the UK – Queen Victoria thought women didn’t do that sort of thing so it was never illegal and many women lived together as “companions”. I am sure I would get a brick through the window if the local ASBO teenagers were bored for the night – but most are too embarrassed to say anything. So I raise a glass to the law, to Vermont’s legislature, to all of those of you and other dykes and carbon based life forms who have waited a long time for this day to come.

  27. Alex the Bold says:

    I wonder which will be the LAST state to legalize it. And I wonder how they will excuse being the last one to do so.

  28. DeLand DeLakes says:

    HOLLAH!!!!! All my Iowan and Vermont queerbags, raise the roof!!!
    Oh, and if any of you feel like being smug winners, go to and vote in support of the Iowa decision, just to stick it to the mouthbreathers.

  29. Straight Ally says:

    Mazel tov!

    Lots of straight folks are very happy today too.

  30. Ruth in RI says:

    And in D.C., the city council votes UNANIMOUSLY to recognize same-sex marriages from other states!

  31. Ali says:

    OK bets on which will be the last state – and why. I may learn some Us geography to boot.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Tom Geller Says:
    April 7th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    “As a side note (and you knew one was coming), I wish the media and public would make a distinction betwen *gay* marriage and *same-sex* marriage.”

    @Tom Geller:

    Do you feel like edumacatin’ me/some of us on the distinction?

  33. Straight Ally says:

    Arrgh. That Anon. was me, Straight Ally. And I’d welcome being edumacated by anyone, if Tom isn’t around or so inclined.

  34. Jo & Alan Winston says:

    Vermont’s passage of same-sex message is a wonderful thing to have happen on our 25th wedding anniversary — the fewer people denied the right to marry, the more meaningful our marriage becomes.

    Hurrah Vermont!

  35. Ali says:

    There is an interesting discussion about the linguistics of gay marriage here
    Although it is trying to be fairly neutral I would sumise he is not the biggest promoter – but nonetheless – interesting.

  36. val says:

    Congratulations Vermont!

    With Iowa and now Vermont, it’s kinda like that time period when every month or so another province in Canada would legalize same sex marriage. Except that it wasn’t repealed in any of them here.

  37. Alex says:

    @Alex the Bold: I vote that my fair state, Texas, will be the last state to legalize gay marriage (if at all). Why? Because we’re Texans! We don’t need a reason! Not everyone knows this, but Texas has always retained the right to separate into five separate states, if desired. If that happened (very doubtful), the state that contained Austin would definitely legalize gay marriage. I live in Austin, and being gay for me has been a non-issue in this very liberal city. Almost everyone here supports gay marriage.

  38. Ali says:

    @Alex: Are you a betting woman /man/ trans ( can’t tell with Alex). It may be a very long wait but it could payoff and lighten the political frustration.
    @ Alex the Bold – sorry I didn’t reference you earlier when I replied to your comment – Just concurring that it was a good basis for a discussion.

  39. judybusy says:

    I can’t believe no one has made a lol of Dr. W.

    “I can haz beeg gai weding nao?”

    Sorry, the elation just eeks out in silly ways.

    Does anyone have any hope that there will be a national law legalizing same-sex marriage? This state-by-state method does little for (what for me are) the big issues: inheritance laws and social security. And a national law would indicate that we, as a nation, value the lives of queerfolk! If that happens, I WILL need smelling salts.

  40. Anonymous says:

    yay! my sexuality and law professor had the vote on (the computer)during class and it was sooo exciting to be virtually present at such a great moment! although i do agree that marriage is definitely not something that i myself would ever do. but yayyyy

  41. Ready2Agitate says:

    @judybusy: totally. Obama second term.

    Oh and I am just SO proud of our little new england corner of the country! WAHOO! Get married in Massachusetts, do some shopping in CT, and go hiking in VT for yer honeymoon!

    And don’t get too excited about Dr. W. — I’m bettin’ she’s not just enthralled with the House, but with the… er, mouse.

    We’re here! We’re queer! We’re not giving up the right to marry just cuz marriage is lame! 🙂

  42. Ready2Agitate says:

    ps I’m wondering if the distinction (sorry – lazy, didn’t click on link) regards transfolks. Same-sex would require a binary sex/gender assignment, which many transfolk reject, or have retained/not changed.

    OR – no such thing as “gay marriage” bc marriage doesn’t have a sexual identity, just two people of the same sex. Queerists, forgive the reductionism.

  43. Acilius says:

    @Ali: I’m glad you found something of value in that piece you linked to, though I must admit the appeal of it rather eluded me. If you’re interested in linguistics you might be interested in this, a linguist making some remarks about a new verb he’s heard in use, “to gay marry”:

    @Alex: Wasn’t Texas forced to renounce the right to divide into multiple states as a condition of being allowed to restore a state government after the Civil War?

    Which state will be the last? I’m guessing Alaska. It’s an oil-exporting state, and that usually means a lot of fiercely conservative politics. It also has a frontier quality to it, which attracts people who are interested in doing their own thing and raising some hell. So while there might be a lot of same-sexers up there, not many of them are the sober sort you tend to meet at a Freedom to Marry committee. (Not that EVERYONE who joins a Freedom to Marry committee is a sober sort, of course, or that there’s anything wrong with being either a sober sort or a freewheeling hell-raiser.)

  44. NPD says:

    @Alex the Bold: for what it’s worth, the hot ‘n nerdy Nate Silver used his great powers of math and statistics to predict that the last state to accept same-sex marriage will be Mississippi (

  45. Ali says:

    @acilius: not saying its a great article just that it uses a lot of interchangeable terms for same sex marriage – having reread it may not be the edumacatin that was requested – but basically the gist was whatever it is called will not affect people’s responses to it. But the billions spent on advertising would suggest you can affect how people think and feel with a bit of careful wording?? So did they choose same-sex for a reason? also who would prefer gay marriage over same-sex marriage and why?
    And here’s another question can you be in a same-sex marriage and not be gay? Or is it all just semantics?

  46. Ali says:

    @ Acilius I think the edumacatin is contained in your much much better link. Summarised in “Sometimes explicitness is a good thing, even if it’s not strictly necessary.” (Although it doesn’t consider the term same-sex as an alternative) – language always evolves and usage has more power overtime than anything else – so it will become called what it is called and vice versa.
    For my preference it would just be marriage and the gender would be irrelevant.

  47. Acilius says:

    @Ali: “For my preference it would just be marriage and the gender would be irrelevant.”

    That’s a day to look forward to, certainly!

  48. Ame says:

    My guess for last would have been Oklahoma, the only state to vote more Republican in 2008 if I remember correctly. Nate Silver’s been right about a lot, though.

    @Ali Sure one could be in a same sex marriage and not be gay. People have been in opposite sex marriages for centuries without being straight…

  49. Ali says:

    @ Ame: Absolutely! But hopefully with freedom of choice people will consider there options carefully -at least know they have options – but then if Vegas proves one thing it’s that there is no guarantee of sanity at the altar. In fact most people who get married at the time seem to exist in a slightly altered reality – have you seen the whites of most brides’ eyes before the big day!!??!! So who am I kidding?

  50. Daña says:

    On the same-sex marriage versus gay marriage discussion, I’m one of those old-fashioned dykes who doesn’t see myself in the word gay, so I’ll take mine as lesbian and gay marriage, if you please.


    We’re here! We’re queer! We’re not giving up the right to marry just cuz marriage is a dysfunctional institution.

  51. AndreaC says:

    Well, also bi- or pansexuals. They could same-sex marry but it wouldn’t make them gay. 🙂

  52. Just Passin' through... says:

    Last state to legalize gay marriage?

    No question in my mind whatsoever.


    Because Maroni said so.

  53. Ted says:

    Good for you Vermonters. And kudos to your legislature for overriding a veto. That’s something you don’t see to often.

    Who knows what will happen in California. It’s a little different since our Supreme Court is looking at overturning a Constitutional amendment. Hopefully they will have the cojones to do the right thing.

  54. Nona says:

    So, what happens to civil unions? Do they commute? Are the null and void?

  55. judym says:

    Congratulations from a fan in Poland 🙂 Alison invade us!

  56. shadocat says:


  57. meg says:

    Smiles all around, and then some. Very proud of our reps today.

  58. Midsouth Mouth says:

    If you were trans but the law still saw you as cis-gender then it might be that you are the same sex in the eyne of the Law…
    but maybe I need t do some more homework before I speak casually about something outside my own experiences and expertise…

  59. Heidi says:

    I think the last to accept same-sex marriage will be the states that have it imposed on them when it becomes federal law. And I would guess that would be about half the states.

    But anyway, I’m so excited today! Vermont, a state where I’d actually like to get married! (I don’t know a soul in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Iowa, unfortunately.) It feels like a momentum shift in the right direction.

    Now wouldn’t it be nice if the California justices got up the courage to overturn Prop 8?

  60. hairball_of_hope says:

    There’s quite a bit of power in names, as every marketing dweeb knows. The political-industrial complex has taken that marketing gospel and used it to “brand” issues. Rename “dilation and suction” as “partial birth abortion” and suddenly you have a cause célèbre that folks will write checks to defeat.

    That said, how about calling this issue “gender-neutral marriage” or “gender-neutral civil marriage”? That would seem to overcome the linguistic gender-identity binarization apparent in the terms “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage”. Including the word “civil” in the preferred term clearly indicates that this has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, merely the civil rights and obligations inherent in marriage.

    I think that the real answer would be to call all marriages civil unions for legal purposes, and religious authorities can call them whatever they’d like… marriage, intersecting Venn diagrams, whatever.

  61. Dale says:

    I’m voting for Georgia. Georgia’s got the Southern Baptist Convention and loads of racism, sexism, and a handful of other -isms. The local church here has had a kung-fu-grip on the county for years, but they’re slowly losing their hold.
    I would say Ohio, but they were a blue state this last election. Gives me a bit of hope for ’em. But Georgia…well, at least we have a decent pride festival in Atlanta. Except this year. They’re having it on Halloween weekend.
    *presses face into hands and howls*

  62. j.b.t. says:

    Yay! And I’m so happy to have heard the good news right here with you all.


  63. Ready2Agitate says:

    Right on, Daña: marriage = dysfuntional (much better word choice than “lame”). with gratitude, r2a

  64. rinky says:

    Jo & Alan Winston, for some reason I got all teary reading your comment. Thanks. (I’m assuming you are a straight couple??)

  65. Aunt Soozie says:

    All marriages, if you’re going to even go there and do it up legal style, should be gay. If’n you’re not all gay about it, why bother?

  66. Aunt Soozie says:

    is that new up there? the title that reads… “New DYKES Book!” or am I just noticing it? It strikes me as funny… is that totally immature?

  67. DeLand DeLakes says:

    WOOT!!!! Some Ossetian/ Nobody With Any Type of Social Life At All is JEWISH now!!! And he’s come back to play with us! Thank God! It’s been so long since someone reminded me that I do not hold an advanced degree in nuclear physics, I assumed I actually have one! Mazel Tov, my seed-splattered friend! Let the trolling commence! (I promise not to stop laughing if you promise not to stop writing!)

  68. hairball_of_hope says:


  69. hairball_of_hope says:

    Don’t feed the self-flagellating trolls. Log the IP addresses and get his ISP to nuke his accounts.

  70. Ready2Agitate says:

    (wait wait wott? I totally missed the Jewish ref, DLDL ~ clue me in?)

    Celebrate VT, ya’ll – get thee some maple syrup! (and the “New DYKES Book” while yer at it ~ that’s the Essential one, that is!) Alison, just how cool is it that you live in that fair state :).

  71. Feminista says:

    How nice that this historic event occurs on my birthday! Yep,Billie Holiday and I share April 7.

    My adult ESL students brought me a delicious cake from a Mexican bakery tonight,sang Las Mananitas* and Happy Birthday,and applauded me after each song. Such wonderful people.

    Since our class meets in a county library,I gave the leftovers to the evening staff. Librarians rock,but we’ve known that for years. Especially reference librarians like our dear Mo. Yes,I saw Hollywood Librarians last summer at (where else?)a branch of the county library.

    *Traditional Mexican birthday song

  72. Chris (From Massachusetts) says:

    For what it’s worth, I prefer the term, “marriage equality”, because, that’s really what it’s all about. Equality.

    Plus, it’s a bit more neutral than “gay marriage” or “same-sex marriage”, and ties in well with the “all persons are equal before the law/all persons shall enjoy the equal protection of the law” which seems to be a part of all the state constitutions, as well as THE Constitution.

    And, if one wished to stretch the point a bit, one could easily bring in Loving VS Virginia as the first example of “marriage equality”.

    Again, congratulations to Vermont, and to Iowa and to D.C. for recognizing marriages from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, and Vermont.

  73. Leda says:

    I love the post-it note on bottom of the computer that reads ‘what is real?’ Did that go up for the picture or is it always there?

    Aunt Soozie, yes I’d like to book a new dyke please….

  74. Acilius says:

    @Aunt Soozie: I read the news here yesterday at noon, I went to teach at 12:30. A student was wearing a T-Shirt reading “Marriage is so gay.”

    I asked her “Have you heard the news from Vermont?”

    She nodded somberly. “Vermont, and the latest is Iowa.”

    “Oh, there’s something fresh from Vermont. The legislature just overrode the governor’s veto. Vermont now recognizes same-sex marriages.”

    She jumped out of her seat and cheered. High fives went all around the room. This, by the way, was not in a gender studies class, but a survey class introducing freshmen to ancient Greek and Roman culture. Yesterday we were talking about the Punic Wars. The ROTC guys, already in a good mood because of the day’s topic, joined in the high fiving and offered their congratulations to the same sexers in the room.

  75. Ian says:

    Yay! Congrats to y’all! Like you say, you’ve now got the choice of whether to get hitched or not.

    This is off-topic but it’s been discussed on the blog a few times. The BBC has a nice little article on the demise of the local newspaper and the dearth of political cartoonists, focusing on Ed Stein:

    Apparently Stein says in the 70s there were 300 satirical cartoonists plying their trade and now there’s approx 50. It’s like reading those WWF endangered species statistics isn’t it?

  76. judybusy says:

    Acilius: thanks for that story. It shows that attitudes are really changing!

    R2A: You replied to me that you think national marriage equality (thanks Chris from MA) will be done in Obama’s second term. I don’t read every little bit about the fight for equality, so is this based on what’s being worked on, or general optimism? Thanks for sharing any info you have, and feel free to post a link to a website if that’s easier.

  77. hairball_of_hope says:


    I love the “Marriage Is So Gay” T-shirt. It reminded me of DTWOF #368:

    @Chris (from MA)

    The only problem I see with branding the issue “gender-equal marriage” instead of “gender-neutral marriage” is that there’s a linguistic history in the right-wing usage of the terms “equal rights” and “equal” to be an evil force which must be battled (‘equal rights = special rights” according to their dictum). The word “neutral” doesn’t carry that historical baggage, as far as I know.

    Unfortunately, it’s not enough to have the forces of light and good and decency behind our work, we have to peddle it like laundry detergent to get a seat at the table of public policy talking head confabulations.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Go VT! Go Cats too!
    I’m a legal resident of VT/citizen of US who just received Permanent Residency in Canada based on Common-Law status (we are lesbians) – nice to see Vermont moving forward as well.
    We don’t plan on actually having a marriage for various reasons, but I am just so happy for these couples who have waited literally decades to have their wishes and hopes finally come true. Congratulations.

  79. Calico says:

    Anonymous was me – those darned IE Cookies…sorry.

  80. ksbel6 says:

    On the gay vs. same-sex issue: many of the trans folks who have transitioned via hormone therapy are already in legal same-sex marriages (if you look at chromosomes), so it really should be gay/lesbian marriage. But, marriage equality sounds best to me. Any two folks who want to be married should have that right.

  81. Acilius says:

    @judybusy & h_o_h: You’re welcome! And thanks for the link back to DTWOF #368, I thought of that strip too. I’ll take my student’s shirt over Carlos’ any day.

  82. smmopah says:

    Congratulations! Good on the lawmakers for having some stones.

  83. hairball_of_hope says:


    The transfolks have a difficult set of issues with regard to marriage, because some states only recognize the birth gender, and then there are various stages of transition… at which point is one considered one gender vs. another in our legal binary classification? And does a pre-transition straight marriage remain in force if one partner transitions but the law does not recognize gender-neutral/equal marriage?

    On Transgender Remembrance Day last year, Joy Ladin spoke at our synagogue. For those of you who aren’t familiar with her story, Joy is a tenured English professor at Yeshiva University; YU is an Orthodox Jewish school in NYC which has undergraduate, graduate, rabbinical, medical, and law schools. A good percentage of the graduate and professional school students are not Jewish or Orthodox Jewish.

    Shortly after receiving tenure, Jay Ladin informed YU officials that he would be undergoing gender reassignment to female. They put him on indefinite leave and tried to fire him, but under the local non-discrimination laws, they could not (and he was tenured, very difficult to fire a tenured prof). YU admin complained that Ladin didn’t inform them of his intention to transition until shortly after receiving tenure (well DUH!, they tried to fire him after receiving notification, why would he notify them BEFORE receiving tenure?).

    In any event, after a two year legal battle, during which time Jay began transitioning to Joy, she finally returned to teaching at YU last fall.

    Here’s where it got ugly. The NY Post tabloid (owned by Rupert Murdoch) put Joy on the front page with tacky sensational headlines and lots of photos. Paparazzi followed her, TV tabloid shows (Inside Edition) offered money to follow her around (she declined).

    Fortunately, she survived the media onslaught and continues to teach at YU.

    During the post-services coffee schmooze at synagogue, we asked about the status of her marriage and three children. Her spouse divorced her and has custody of their three children. Under the terms of the visitation rights agreement, Joy must visit them as male-identified Jay, which is extraordinarly difficult for her. This is not happening in some right-wing bastion, this is happening in Amherst MA, where her former spouse and children live (and where gender-neutral/equal marriage is legal).

    So while marriage for all who want it is an admirable goal, we must also make sure that divorce, custody, visitation rights, and other family law matters are similarly amended to reflect LGBT issues.

  84. Acilius says:

    @h_o_h: Thanks for letting us know about Joy Ladin’s story. What a sobering reminder of the work still to be done.

  85. Straight Ally says:

    Well, I’m getting edumacated; the “correct answer” is elusive, it seems.

  86. hairball_of_hope says:


    Here’s a link to the YU student newspaper reporting on Joy Ladin’s return to the classroom. By YU standards, it’s pretty supportive, but note the disclaimer at the top of the page about using AP style rules for gender pronouns (I’ll bet the editor put the disclaimer in to head off the firestorm of pronoun critics). Also, de-clique-ification note, the term ‘halakha’ is the canon of Jewish law.

  87. Straight Ally says:

    . . . unless the “correct answer” is “marriage equality.” I see that DC for Marriage uses that term (and also “same-sex”), and from my perspective, it reads well (though the name of the group itself, DC for Marriage, doesn’t).

    BTW, may I be proud of yesterday’s developments on behalf of DC?

    Happy belated birthday, Feminista!

  88. Anonymous says:


    That YU student newspaper article seemed more than “pretty supportive.” No?

    (Are you familiar with ? It allows one to create short links.)

  89. Straight Ally says:

    Anon. at 11:15 am was me again. *headdesk*

  90. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Straight Ally

    Yes, I know TinyURL but I don’t use it because it obfuscates the original source of the link when it redirects the original link to the TinyURL. Link obfuscation creates a very easy means for malware writers/distributors to redirect folks to a page that might look like something legitimate, but which contains harmful BHOs and ActiveX objects (for the folks running IE), and/or harmful Javascript (for anyone who has Javascript enabled).

    When a real link is posted, the user can determine of this is a genuine site or something bogus. Also, links on sites often change, and if the original is obfuscated via TinyURL, there’s no way to figure out where it was redirecting. With a real link, the user can “peel back” the URL to find the rest of the site content (e.g. site URL, can be “peeled back” to http://www…/folderA/folderB, http://www…/folderA, http://www…, etc.).

  91. DeLand DeLakes says:

    @ Ready2Agitate: Seeder? Seder? Get it? Heh heh, eh, I should just leave the crappy puns in my childhood where they belong.

    @hairball of hope: Trolls do serve a certain edifying purpose. Not that anything an individual troll has to say has any point at all– I can go to some street crazy for an incoherent string of abuse about blacks, gays, and Muslims, and maybe get a little hit of Night Train out of it too. But they do disabuse us of the rather overly optimistic attitude that the internet is some kind of tool for global communication and enlightenment, as opposed to a gladiator ring for the stupid to deliver ALL CAPS! diatribes to no one in particular.
    And whenever you are feeling blue, it helps to be able to say, Well, at least I’m not the guy who changed his user name THREE TIMES so he could repeatedly inform a bunch of strangers that being gay is soooooo lame compared to alternately splitting photons and banging your “girlfriend” all day, BECAUSE THATS TTLY WHAT HE DOES. In between monitoring lesbo chat groups. At least you’re not that guy.
    Oh, and “self-flagellating?” I seem to recall that this one is more into self-pleasuring, to nude pictures of Larry Summers. And go treat yourself to a brain bleach to wipe that image from your mind.

  92. Acilius says:

    @h_o_h: Thanks for the story. The student reporter’s fastidious prose style well of Yeshiva U’s commitment to its academic traditions.

    A couple of years ago my colleague Kathie told me that “I’ve lost a niece.” She didn’t sound like one bereaved, so I responded “And gained a nephew.” Kathie nodded yes. I forget what her name had been as a niece, but as a nephew his name was Ben.

    Kathie’s sister, Ben’s mother, was not eager to accept that her daughter was now her son, but his mother’s reluctance on that point was a small thing compared to her fury that Ben had converted from Catholicism to Orthodox Judaism.

    Why would he do that, I asked. Didn’t Ben feel he had gone out of the frying pan, into the fire? No, Kathie said, the congregation in Minneapolis (or did she say Madison? One of those upper Midwest towns starting with “M”) was actually quite welcoming. In fact, the rabbi had laid out for Ben a whole theory about how the Law could be read not only as permitting gender reassignment, but even as providing a body of doctrine to govern and give sacred character to life as a transsexual. Too bad that rabbi couldn’t have been in two places at once, and served as president of Yeshiva U!

  93. Acilius says:

    @DeLand DeLakes: Why keep actual trolls around when you yourself do such a hilarious job of spoofing trollishness?

  94. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Straight Ally

    (This is take two… my first reply got caught up in the spam filter because I attempted to explain what URL “peel back” means and the filter interpreted this as multiple links)

    Yes, I know TinyURL but I don’t use it because it obfuscates the original source of the link when it redirects the original link to the TinyURL. Link obfuscation creates a very easy means for malware writers/distributors to redirect folks to a page that might look like something legitimate, but which contains harmful BHOs and ActiveX objects (for the folks running IE), and/or harmful Javascript (for anyone who has Javascript enabled).

    When a real link is posted, the user can determine of this is a genuine site or something bogus. Also, links on sites often change, and if the original is obfuscated via TinyURL, there’s no way to figure out where it was redirecting. With a real link, the user can “peel back” the URL to find the rest of the site content.

  95. hairball_of_hope says:

    Typo… that’s supposed to be “if this is a genuine site”, not “of this”.


    I will be bleaching my brain with lots of wine at the two seders to get rid of that image. But since I will be drinking mostly red wine (I did buy a white kosher Bordeaux along with the reds for variety), my brain will more likely be stained purplish-red. (Oenophiles, the reds I bought this year are a Bordeaux, a Côtes du Rhône, and an Italian Primitivo. There will be lots more wine from others, I’ll report back if I can remember anything after all that wine.)

    BTW, I had two images in mind when I used the term “self-flagellating”.

    First, the obvious one (to me at least) of male manual self-gratification (how’s that for a euphemism that should cruise right through the nanny filters?).

    Second, of someone whipping himself. Classic self-destructive, punishing behavior.

    Trolls who stalk blogs and forums are really crying out for validation and attention because they are ignored and impotent in their real lives. Why else attempt to harrass folks with imaginary feats of intellectual superiority and sexual prowess?

    If trolls posted in online communities which were in alignment with their views, they probably wouldn’t be the objects of attention, just another “me too” on the blog.

    Post in a forum totally opposite of his views, and suddenly he is tranformed into this seemingly powerful (and victimized) person who gets lots of responses. Negative responses are just as good as positive ones, it’s the attention that matters. And then it’s a game between the site admins and the trolls to post with different names/IPs, just to prove how much smarter and wily he is. (N.B. I’m using male pronouns here because our troll appears to be male, like most trolls I’ve encountered.)

    I forget who posted way back that the trolls are really pitiable when they’re not so obnoxious. Sort of like Gollum/Smeagol in the Lord of the Rings.

    I use R2A’s great orange-haired acronym as a troll alert so folks don’t respond. It also sounds just like the sound I make at the screen when I see the troll posts.

  96. DeLand DeLakes says:

    @ hairball of hope: Good call settling on the smarmy hunks of plastic from the ’90s as your definition of “troll.” I’m thinking ours has something a lot worse than a rhinestone in his belly button, however.

  97. Ellen says:

    I have the same question Nona has–what happens to civil unions? As I have a VT civil union, it’s not just an academic question. Do they get dissolved and we get to choose if we want to be married? Do we automatically become married?

    Do we get a notice like credit cards send: “the terms of your union are changing. you will now be considered married. unless you all this number by this date and then your civil union will expire in three months.”

    But that would give spouses trying to get a divorce a free pass with no court hearing…Are there people with civil unions who don’t want marriages? Perhaps unlikely, but possible. Curious minds want to know.

    We called the Secretary of State’s office and learned that the governor’s staff are working on it. Hmm. How long will that take?

  98. Ready2Agitate says:

    Sorry judybusy, my “second term” comment was just my high hopes. But for some reason, I feel very optimistic about it (even if not based in knowledge of what is happening in terms of grassroots organizing).

  99. NLC says:

    I have the same question Nona has–what happens to civil unions?

    IANAL, of course, but from listening to the cover on VPR that last couple of days, the quick summary is:
    – Existing Civil Unions will remain active/valid.
    – However, when the Marriage Bill becomes “active” (1Sept?) only marriage licenses will be issued (i.e. no new Civil Unions will be issued).

    (Unfortunately, at the moment I can’t find a link to any of the stories about, so you could hear from a more authoritative source.)

  100. NLC says:


    Here’s an NPR story that basically confirms what I wrote above:

  101. NLC says:


    About 1:20 into the audio.

  102. AndreaC says:

    When referring to the issue, we are using the term “Marriage Equality” or “Equal Marriage”. But when referring to a particular person’s marriage, you could either say “he got a same-sex marriage” or just “John and Dan got married.” I do like the casual “he got gay married” — it’s fun — but wouldn’t use it in, say, a letter to the editor.

  103. Therry and the Cats says:

    @judybusy, why didn’t anybody pick up on your comment on the furry doctor? I think marriage equality should extend to human/cat marriages, and if my human husband wasn’t sitting right next to me, I’d get down on my knees with a liver snap and beg St. Jerome to make an honest woman of me.

  104. hairball_of_hope says:


    I think Ready2Agitate really picked that one for the troll with her bright orange polyester hair description. My mental image is from a goofy thing from the 1960s… a Rat Fink ring. It was a plastic ring with a troll-like rat attached, ugly beady eyes and all, with the initials R.F. on it for Rat Fink.

    Kate L, do you remember these rings?

  105. Kate L says:

    Oh, hairball. We share so many of the same memories… 🙂

  106. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    I figured you’d remember these RF rings. Your brain seems as strangely wired as mine. 😉

  107. hairball_of_hope says:

    A quick Google turned up lots of Rat Fink links… here’s one to a page with pictures of the little creatures:

  108. judybusy says:

    Therry, I’m concerned you want to marry your cat. Relationships of such unequal power imbalances are rarely healthy or nurturing. (And I’m trusting you to know who I think is the more powerful: kitteh or hooman.)

    I’m still waitng for more LOLs to be created from the picture of Dr. W staring at the screen. This rarified discussion of terminology, tiny urls and the status of civil unions is nice and all, but…..

  109. Feminista says:

    Gracias,Straight Ally,from another.

    Deland–A woman after my heart; I grew up with my Dad’s puns and word plays,so keep ’em coming.

  110. Calico says:

    HOH – How ironic about the professor considering that gay/lesbian marriages are legal in MA. Weird.

    Side topic – I have been a fan of the band Jethro Tull for years, and they have had the good fortune to have had a genteel fellow named David Palmer as a keyboardist and orchestral arranger for many years.

    In 2003 or so, David started the path to becoming Ms. Dee Palmer in all respects. She is fully transitioned now and happy.

  111. hairball_of_hope says:


    One reason I was troubled by Joy’s visitation situation is because gender-neutral/equal marriage is legal in MA, and you’d think that if one part of Massachusetts family law was amended to allow GN/E marriage, the corresponding parts of family law that involve dissolution of the marriage would have been amended at the same time.

    Although Ladin’s marriage was a straight marriage, the trans issues would likely have been covered in applicable LGBT legal codes had they been codified at the same time as the marriage ones.

    This can leave people in legal limbo, which is never a good thing. That can allow judges to use their existing prejudices in ways that may be detrimental to LGBT folks.

    I didn’t know that about Dee Parker. Cool. It’s always a pleasure when music folks talk about Wendy Carlos purely as a musician and not as trans, I hope that’s true for Dee as well.

  112. Ellen says:

    Huh. I just read the text of the bill ( It’s great to read the random bits of updated language and other small changes that they made at the same time.

    So–no new civil unions, but civil unions stay valid. Fascinating. We’ll have this little anachronism until all of us who have civil unions marry our spouses or die. Strange. The new marriage license actually has a box to check if you’re marrying the same person you have a civil union with. My father wants to know if we get to have a second party…

    So, those of us with civil unions, if we get married, will then have BOTH a civil union AND a marriage? Bizarre!!

    Would couples who end up having to get divorced do it twice? Presumably a VT marriage can be dissolved in MA or CT or wherever else. But, if one has a civil union and they’re not getting dissolved by this bill, we’d all still have to move back to VT to dissolve a civil union. Fascinating.

  113. Calico says:

    HOH – thanks for the info Re: MA and your insights into some fairly spindly legal issues. It’s a new day in many ways, eh? : )

    Dee is Dee, and Ian Anderson said he was a bit taken by surprise at first, but he accepts her transition unequivocally now.

    (Sorry for all the weird inability for the first link’s content to show quotation marks properly, etc.)

  114. Bre says:

    Gay marriage isn’t inclusive enough- my girlfriend doesn’t identify as “gay” and yet is with a woman. Plus, gays can get married to opposite sex partners (not that they’d typically want to, but still)…gay is an identity. Same-sex works better, but then you get into all the gender stuff (is there really such a thing as “opposite sex” anyway, and so on…).
    Although, this doesn’t stop me from using the term “gay marriage”. It’s just so easy to fall into.

  115. Bre says:

    P.S. I was interviewed by a local newspaper about marriage in Iowa and Vermont and I was asked by the interviewer if I was running off to get married. I found that kind of annoying on several levels, but the response I decided on was “just because the marriage laws changed doesn’t affect the fact that I’m still 18 and not engaged…”

  116. hairball_of_hope says:


    Who says same sex marriage will lead to marriages for the health insurance benefits? Here’s an article in yesterday’s NY Daily News about a straight couple who are doing exactly that:

  117. Andrew B says:

    Several times recently I have checked Alison’s blog and found several comments about a troll, but no troll post. That is, Alison has removed the troll post before I ever saw it, but I know it was there because people are talking about it.

    Some commenters are giving the troll a reach that he would not otherwise have. If they are happy doing that, ok, but I want to make sure they understand that’s what they’re doing. I check the blog at least once a day, and I would have known nothing about quite a few recent troll posts if other commenters had ignored them. I can’t be the only one.

  118. NLC says:

    I agree with Andrew (at least I think I’m agreeing…)

    Ignoring this (or any) troll is for the best. If the offending posts go away, so much the better. But if that happens just acting as if it never existed probably makes the most sense.

  119. Maggie Jochild says:

    The last time I drank “real wine” at a seder was at the Mishpachat Am Echad lesbian/gay seder here in Austin some time in the 1990s. At the end, I was earnestly trying to persuade a bemused young faggot to trade underwear with me (you understand, mine was large and old-lady-esque). I was dragged out of there by an old friend whom I then tried to hit on during the drive home. Since then, it’s been grape juice only for me.

    I’ve apologized to my friend more than once. But if that man happens to read this blog, please know, I am mortified. You were so nice about it all.

  120. iara says:

    @Maggie Jochild: Please drink more “real wine” at the seder this year, I want more of your stories!

  121. Chris (From Massachusetts) says:

    Hairball of hope, the Right is always going to twist words for their own ends.


  122. Ready2Agitate says:

    Chag Sameach, y’all!

    HoHope, I am awed of your knowledge re: tinyurl and nasty things that can cause our ‘puters to contract viruses. Mine’s currently in the shop. I’m lucky the data can be saved (so they say). It’s been kinda harrowing.

    I concur with others re: other nasty things (of the plastic toy thingie variety) and applaud a simple PTTWTTBOPH! in their direxn and carrying on without another breath.

    The story of Joy Laden is inspiring. Especially on a night where freedom means nothing when others are oppressed.

    Unfortunately, it’s come to my attn. recently that Orthodox newspapers in Israel replaced two women parliamentarians with 2 men in a large photo of Israel’s parliament. (Talk about erasure/invisibility!); and that orthodox IDF soldiers walk out on women who sing due to the law of “kol isha” – which says a man cannot hear a woman’s voice singing (causing uproar in the US women cantors network). Well FEH on all that, sisters…. 🙁

    Happy Birthday Feminista!

    And Bre – superb rebuttal! 🙂

  123. EO says:

    What rights, privileges, etc. does marriage in Vermont give you that a civil union does not?

    This isn’t a rhetorical question–I’m actually curious.

  124. Feminista says:

    Gracias,Ready2Agitate. Happy Pesach!

  125. judybusy says:

    Another sign of changing times—encouraging the GLBT community to visit NYC:

    Since there’s been a fair amount of techiness on the blog lately, I have a question: How does one create a link so I can highlight a word, you click on it, and it takes you to the web page? For example, I would have like to have typed, “Check out encouraging _gay tourism_ in New York!” with the underlined/highlighted phrase taking you to the article. I like this method even better than tiny URL–thanks to the people who clarified that–I didn’t really know what that was all about!

  126. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: Thanks for link to that article…we know that happens all the time.

    All of these happy comments are so much fun to read!

    @Maggie Jochild: I agree with iara 🙂

  127. iara says:

    Creating a hyperlink – this is for Judybusy and anyone else interested:

    You need to use a tiny bit of html, which is a language consisting of tags. Tags are words or sequences of words enclosed in angled brackets (the less-than and greater-than signs on your keyboard). I cannot type this in to give you an example because it will turn into a link instead, so I will show you how to do your example with square brackets instead:

    “Check out encouraging [a href=””]
    gay tourism
    in New York!”

    Which should result in this:
    “Check out encouraging
    gay tourism

    in New York!”

    Remember, you need to replace all the ‘[‘s and ‘]’s with angled brackets like this: >

  128. iara says:

    … I put a little extra space to show the components, but if you want it to all be in running text, you need to keep it all on the same line, like this:
    “Check out encouraging [a href=””]gay tourism[/a] in New York!”

    which comes out looking like this:
    “Check out encouraging gay tourism in New York!”

    (again, need to substitute the brackets)

  129. DeLand DeLakes says:

    @ Andrew B-

    You can name names, y’know, I’m not going to curl up into a corner of my office and cry. I have no apologies. Contrary to what you say, ignoring trolls does not always make them go away- that certainly isn’t the inclination of the one who frequents this site, who will talk into nothing until he is deleted or blocked. I have however noticed that he disappears for a time when his pathetic ass is called out as the same person who has come back to this site under a different name three freaking times. Trolls are more fun to mock then they are to ignore. I really fail to see why the mere mention of trolls on this thread offends your sensibilities.

  130. NLC says:

    I wouldn’t presume to speak for Andrew B, but I don’t think the issue is that ignoring trolls will make them “go away”. Responding to them, however, does give their drivel some validity it wouldn’t otherwise have; especially in situations like this where the problematic post has gone away (or, presumably, will soon).

    Everyone (other than He Who Will Not Be Named) is free to post what they want, of course. But while it may be “more fun to mock [trolls]”, I’d just suggest that there’s good reason to consider it bad policy.

  131. Acilius says:

    @h_o_h: “If trolls posted in online communities which were in alignment with their views, they probably wouldn’t be the objects of attention, just another “me too” on the blog.” Probably so in most cases, but I ran across an interesting exception a while ago.

    I was looking over a website whose proprietor posts lots of interesting reports on recent findings in social science, then puts a far right-wing spin on them. It was a bewildering combination. What would the comments be like? I looked at some threads. Most of the comments came from fans of the spin who didn’t seem to understand the science, some from people who were knowledgable about the science and oblivious to the spin, a few from people who were knowledgable about the science but so outraged by the spin that all they could do was call names and sputter out angry protests.

    One commenter stood out as well-informed and sensible. He seemed to understand the science, and consistently offered alternative interpretations of it that deflated the proprietor’s sinister agenda. The guy was sort of an anti-troll. Most commenters were surly and explicitly bigoted, this guy was unfailingly polite and quite reasonable. The others all ignored him.

    So I followed a link to his blog. I was hoping for a parallel to the site I’d visited, something where posts began with interesting reports of social phenomena but proceeded to suggest interpretations that you didn’t have to be a racist to find appealing. I found instead that his blog had been deleted from its host because the guy was such a notorious troll. Here was someone who was able to be perfectly civil in and make very intelligent contributions to a forum where most people held views that he clearly found repellent, yet he apparently behaved very badly everywhere else. I don’t get it. Maybe he drank.

  132. judybusy says:

    Thanks, iara! That sounds pretty straightforward.

  133. DeLand DeLakes says:

    Acilius: “Maybe he drank.”

    I know that’s my excuse. And here’s a little something just in case our Sad Little Man is still lurking, hyuk!

  134. bean says:

    i refuse to believe that its possible to get drunk on passover wine. sick maybe, but drunk? you have to try really hard.

    also, to whoever asked the question about whether those who are both civilly united as well as married will have to get divorced twice, i say “tee hee.” sorry, i don’t know the answer.

    does anyone know if it was the federal civil rights acts that ended miscegenation laws, or did each state, one by one have to over turn them? i’m still waiting on my federal civil rights bill for, well, everyone, to come through.

  135. Anonymous says:

    Double thx Iara, for the tutorial! [judybusy, I know Iara already said so, but just in case it flew by: making some words come out as a link, rather than cutting/pasting the whole URL, is called a “hyperlink.” I recently learned myself how to do that in Word (where it is extremely easy – I think under Insert-> hyperlink).

  136. r2a says:

    ’twas me.]

  137. Ame says:

    Thanks, Iara, for the tutorial, and r2a for the comment about creating hyperlinks in Word. My tech skills have just tripled!

  138. Andrew B says:

    Bean, anti-miscegenation laws were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. I think what that implies is that the laws stayed on the books but became unenforceable. I also think each state eventually got around to rescinding its law, but some of them took a while. No doubt you could find a lot more detail on wikipedia. The basic answer to your question, though, is that anti-miscegenation laws were overturned by the US Supreme Court, not by legislative action at any level.

    Deland and others, I was trying to address everyone who has been replying to the troll, not Deland only. My point wasn’t that there is anything we can do that is guaranteed to make the troll go away. I agree with you that there isn’t. My point is that responses keep him present, in a way, when otherwise he wouldn’t be. Alison deletes his posts very promptly. Many of us would not be aware that he had been back if it were not for the responses to his posts. The responses make us aware of him when otherwise he might as well have disappeared. In that sense, they keep him present. He could post again tomorrow, but in the meantime he wouldn’t have made any difference to the blog if people hadn’t responded to him.

    That is one reason not to respond to him. Generally I do feel it would be better not to respond to him, for that reason and a couple of others. What I was trying to say in my first post, though, is more specific: by responding to him, we keep him present, whether or not he comes back later with another post. If no one responds, then when Alison deletes each of his new posts he is gone, at least for a while. Some of you obviously are seeing his posts, so I thought maybe you didn’t realize that Alison is deleting them so quickly that some of us never see them — even me, and I check in at least once a day.

    I hope that makes more sense than my first attempt did. I was not trying to single anybody out. If this explanation does make more sense, I will happily go back to taking my own advice and stop talking about the troll.

  139. Maggie Jochild says:

    Bean, at the time I drank four glasses of Pesach wine, I’d not had any alcohol since 1984, over 11 years. At this point, if I have one sip of beer, I get a buzz. I’m not an alcoholic, but I respond to the effect as if I were a child. Which is a good reason to not drink, if the behavioral consequences were not enough.

    I stopped drinking in 1984 when the Clean and Sober movement changed the lives of so many of my friends in San Francisco. They didn’t ask it of me, I simply could not come up with a good reason to ingest a substance which I knew would alter my cognition/mood and make me less responsible. I still don’t have a reason. I thought with eating and the great company of the seder, I would get a buzz but not go completely off the deep end as I did. Once I was home, I passed out for several hours. So the first part of the story is funny, but the whole of it is not.

  140. white_mouse says:

    Presumably a VT marriage can be dissolved in MA or CT or wherever else.

    Ellen, actually this is not necessarily true. There are states (guess which ones!) that refuse to recognize same-sex marriage to such an extent that their courts refuse to have anything to do with same-sex marriage at all. This includes refusing to perform divorces. My Conflicts of Laws professor told us about one such case; a gay couple got married in state A, then moved to state B which did not recognize gay marriage. They later wanted to divorce, and found that they could not do so. State A, where gay marriage was legal, could not do their divorce because they no longer met the residency requirement. State B refused to perform the divorce because it did not recognize gay marriage. So, they were stuck.

    Really, the legal aspects of same-sex marriage are fascinating. Depressing, in many respects, but fascinating.

  141. Acilius says:

    @Maggie: Like you, I’m not a recovering alcoholic, but I don’t drink. It’s simply a matter of choice. I could start anytime I wanted to!

  142. hairball_of_hope says:


    Your idea of Passover wine must be that sweet stuff that down-and-out types swill from brown paper bags. Yuck.

    The only thing the sweet kosher wine is good for (IMHO) is for making charoset. Charoset is the chopped nut/date/apple/wine mixture which represents mortar on the Seder plate. Delicious stuff. It’s one of the few Passover foods I really like.

    There’s a whole universe of fine wines that just happen to be kosher, and kosher for Passover. I just sampled a wide variety of them in the past two days. We had fine wines from France, Italy, California, Israel, South Africa, and a few more places I didn’t note.

    Yes, it’s possible to get good and stewed on them, but far better to enjoy them sensibly and in moderation. Even better to enjoy them with good folks, good food, lots of laughs, and the retelling of the story of the Israelites’ Exodus from slavery in Egypt.

    As Maggie notes, not everyone reacts well to alcohol or wants to drink it, so some folks drink grape juice at the Seder in lieu of the wine, and that’s perfectly fine.

    Gut Yontif, Chag Sameach, Happy Passover, Zeisen Pesach, y’all.

    (returns to leaving a trail of matzo crumbs in her wake)

  143. hairball_of_hope says:


    Thanks for those links to Dee Palmer. I particularly enjoyed the second link with her interview.

    I saw Tull in concert only once, in the 1970s (had tickets for another concert but had to cancel due to a death in the family). Haven’t really listened to them in years, my musical tastes having shifted over time to other genres.

    These days, my radio is pegged on the local classical and jazz stations, and I get a bit of opera in my ears as well.

    Not sure where Palmer’s music fits in the genre pigeonholes. Maybe like gender, sexuality, and handedness, music simply exists at various spots on the continuum, and shouldn’t be pigeonholed at all.

    Interesting to note that although all Palmer’s paperwork, including driver’s license, indicates her gender as F, the UK legal system appears to still consider her M.

  144. Duncan says:

    “Same-sex marriage” doesn’t have anything to do with transfolk as far as I know. It just means that both people involved are of the same sex (which is, yes, a problematic concept, but so are they all). Males with males, females with females. I’m glad that the euphemistic “same-gender marriage” doesn’t seem to be used as much anymore, since same-gender marriage between, say, a butch woman and and a butch man would be legal, but not between a butch woman and a femme woman though that would not be same-gender. The problems that the use of “gender” were supposed to avoid have come back with a vengeance.)

    I am not entirely happy with “gay marriage,” though it is a handy shorthand. Many people assume that both partners must be gay, though one or both could be bisexual, or even straight. (As for Dan~a’s quip, why not go whole hog and call it “gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning, queer, and ally marriage”?) But Ready2agitate is wrong: “gay marriage” only implies that a marriage has a sexuality if you choose to see it that way. Compare: gay tourism (used in this thread), gay rights, lesbian fiction, gay poetry, American poetry, English literature. (Does English literature have to be written by a resident/citizen/subject of England? The term often includes all literature in English, whether from the USA, the British Isles, or Canada; but literature written in English by someone like Chinua Achebe generally seems to be considered African literature, and where does someone like Buchi Emecheta fit in — African born but writing in English while resident in England or the US.)

    “Same-sex” was meant, I think, to avoid the ambiguity and cultural limitations of “gay” and “homosexual”, but it doesn’t work. I’ve noticed that queer theorist academics who deploy “same-sex” quickly start using it in an essentialist way, as in “same-sex desires” and “same-sex identity.” There’s no substitute for thinking about what one is writing; no words magically solve the problem. (A lot of people forget that the “sex” in “homosexual” does NOT refer to copulation but to what many people call “plumbing.”)

    “Gender neutral marriage” might work as a legal concept, but each case of marriage would be same-sex, other-sex, or something else for transfolk who conceptualized themselves differently.

  145. Ready2Agitate says:

    great post, duncan.

  146. hairball_of_hope says:

    I’ve been reading with bemusement a series of posts about trolldom in one of the Linux blogs. Linux, for the uninitiated, is an umbrella term for hundreds of free and open source operating system variants derived from Linus Tovald’s Linux kernel. It’s everything that Microsoft Windows is not; free, stable, secure, and scaleable for use on everything from really old 386 hardware to supercomputer megaclusters.

    Why a Microsoft Windoze troll would want to waste his time bashing Linux on Distrowatch is beyond me. Certainly Linux fans do enough bashing of one another’s favorite distros (Linux variants) all by themselves. It’s sort of like Methodists bashing Baptists… both are Protestant Christian denominations who believe in the same general theological constructs, but they differ on the details.

    I’m starting to think trolldom is a sport, and has little to do with opinions actually held by the troll. What seems to matter to him (and yeah, the Windoze troll at Distrowatch is a male) is that it’s a “little ol’ me against the entrenched wrong-thinking masses” game, and the goal is to score points, extra credit given for personal attacks and general obnoxiousness.

    Nevermind that Windoze is the dominant desktop operating system and Linux has a relatively small piece of the desktop pie (figures reversed for big-iron and high-end servers, Linux is running the vast majority of webservers, and nearly every retail SOHO network router on the planet).

    I don’t spend any time on Windoze blogs, so I have no idea if anti-Microsoft trolls lurk there, but I’ll bet there are some.

    I have been thinking about this because we’ve been discussing whether it is better to completely ignore the troll (whose posts ultimately get deleted by our web dominatrix), or to respond in some way, which as AB put it, “only excites the troll.”

    FYI, our troll friend paid an early visit to the maple syrup miracle thread the other morning, and I intentionally didn’t leave my usual orange-haired acronym. His post (well, really two posts, the first one was a test) was relatively mild-mannered and was all about the discussion of trolldom we are having in this thread. His two posts were deleted relatively quickly, so the only hint of response to him is the reference to maple syrup swigging lesbians in shiny blue bras.

    Not exactly a scientific test, and for all I know our troll is passed out from too much Passover wine or too many Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs, but I think ignoring him totally and counting on the swift deletion of his posts by The Great Delete Key In The Sky is the best way to go.

    I also think our web dominatrix should be capturing the troll’s IP addresses, doing a traceroute to identify the ISP, and let them know he’s a pest.

  147. Minnie says:

    Mazel Tov, Vermont, may peace, love, fun and respect be contagious!

    Thank you again, hairball_of_hope, this time for your explanation about reasons not to use “Tiny URL”. I get so much from your posts, and wish I’d read further before putting a (faulty) “tinyURL” in the syrup blog today.