Via Joe.My.God.: Some of his detractors (he has, surprisingly to me, quite a few of them within the LGBT community) would say Lt. Dan Choi jumped the shark long ago, but while I've disagreed with some of his strategies, I've seen him more positively than negatively most of the time.
28 posts categorized "DANIEL CHOI"
As of midnight tonight, it will be exactly five years since my first post. It's hard to imagine it's been that long, and a lot's changed—the tone and subject matter are different, how often I post, my limits (no nudity in a couple of years due to ad constraints). I've devoted a crazy amount of time and money and energy to this blog for a very small financial return (you couldn't guess low enough), but it's always rewarding to have this forum with which to express myself, keep my writing ability fluid, perhaps influence a couple of people here and there, share obsessions with strangers (in both senses of the word) and learn new things.
Take That's Howard...can you believe this happened onstage at a pop concert?
Here are some of the posts that were most important to Boy Culture's history. For the uninitiated, some of the oldest ones refer to Boy Culture, the movie made of my novel; I started the blog at the time Boy Culture was being filmed as a way to keep people informed of the progress...and it all snowballed from there.
Some of these posts are milestones when it comes to the hits they provided but most are filled with original writing and/or photography and video and are just the posts of which I'm proudest. I hope you'll take some time to click on them and send their links around to others—and some time is what you'll need...
FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007): The entire history of my novella, novel and movie Boy Culture; might be my ultimate post.
From '07, one of my faves. Old iPhones were better because they were worse.
"Your pictures suck" (2008): An art critic attacks me, but not without sustaining some hits in return.
BOY ON FILM (2006): An account of the NYC launch party for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.
FRIENDS AND "FAMILY" (2006): The movie version of Boy Culture hits Chicago.
RAPT PUPIL (2006): The final night of Outfest with Boy Culture; I was fat but on the other hand got to meet Bryan Singer.
DRAWN TOGETHER (2008): How my desire to draw related to my secret desire. One of my absolute favorite posts.
BURNING MAN (2007): Tribute to my late high school friend and first romance.
AN OBSESSION IS BORN (2009): One of my best posts about my obsession with...obsession.
ILLINOIS DEATH TRIP (2007): Ruminations on death while revisiting a past home, and the past.
PASSING BY (2008): Mourning the loss of a person I only met once.
HAVEN'T WE MET? (2010): Celebrating my time with someone I've only met once—Madonna.
More election thoughts and observations:
It still sucks this morning...I was thinking of calling in Democratic!
Democrats should be proud of what they accomplished in the past two years. Those who are not proud were either defeated or should be. Stuff got done—big stuff. Americans don't hate Democrats. Americans don't love Republicans. They dislike them both equally, or dislike Democrats a tad less. But voters are fucking pissed off at the economy and at waiting around for their lives to improve. And they hate the idea of a deficit to the point that they blindly don't realize the stimulus helped stave off a second Great Depression. That's all hard to address (for both parties, actually), but it's easier to address than, say, being hated.
Obama's presser today will be historic. I hope in the good or at least not bad way. If I were him, I would sound a conciliatory note (no baseball bats—see below) yet I would draw some progressive lines in the sand. His only hope for re-election rides on re-engaging the left (the youth vote had better things to do last night and the black vote was somewhat depressed) because going even more centrist (he's already more in the middle than Malcolm) is not going to win him even one right-winger's vote. The Blue Dog Democrats were CRUSHED last night—so he shouldn't become one. His differences with Bill Clinton—the last Democratic prez in this position at this point in a presidency—may be skin-deep, but that's plenty deep enough for the teabaggers. Trust. Of course, this presumes Obama is his party's nominee in '12, a provision that had to be made regarding Reagan and Clinton before him at the same points in their presidencies, but one that nonetheless needs to be made here again.
Via Towleroad: It's fashionable for the gays to despise Valerie Jarrett lately. She undeniably put her foot in it recently by referring to homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice," a term that has become more loaded over time as more and more right-wingers and religious zealots have pushed the idea that people choose to be gay. I believe her bureaucratic role led to her use of the phrase in some misguided effort to sound formal and governmental. Either way, it's not an acceptable turn of phrase. To Jarrett's credit, she immediately abjectly apologized—and it wasn't a bullshit, "Sorry IF I offended you!" kind of thing, she explicitly corrected herself and stated she doesn't believe being gay is a choice.
I just spent an hour and 45 minutes at the military-recruitment station in Times Square, where former Lt. Dan Choi attempted to enlist in the Marines. Honorably discharged from the Army under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Choi told me he'd always dreamed of being a Marine—and that he doesn't believe in waiting for anything like full repeals of unconstitutional laws.
Talking with a very small group of reporters (and one blogger) before his attempt, he was upbeat and excited. I got the second question:
Following an untenably long stay outside that ending only after prolonged knocking on the door, Choi was allowed in where he began filling out paperwork.
Snafu: He's too old to be a Marine.
I can't believe I'm going to say this but...an interesting interview with Meghan McCain by Rachel Maddow last night. McCain's getting scorched for coming out and saying what many in the Republican establishment are saying behind-the-scenes, namely that Christine O'Donnell is a "nutjob."
But what interests me is that she went on to talk a bit about President Obama and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I give McCain credit for openly—and, clearly, sincerely—disagreeing with and being hurt by her father's homophobic stance on DADT (and all other gay issues). In the past, I've been unimpressed with her for focusing on what Obama hasn't done when her father—and her party—is actively, aggressively working against gay issues. But she doesn't harp on that here, instead saying politicians should be held responsible for their failings but admitting she really has no answers as to how. (She doesn't advocate not voting for them again, protesting or other measures suggested by Maddow.)
Also interesting is that Ms. McCain seems to think that Obama has been given a free pass for his gay-rights disappointments. I'm glad Maddow pointed out to her that many in the gay community have given him no such free pass (choice comment at Joe.My.God. yesterday: "Obama can't tell his black ass from his white elbow," and it goes downhill from there on a daily basis in the comments section), but I think the central question remains: What do we do about it?
I don't think there are easy answers. I know AmericaBlog and others have advocated not to give the Democrats money. Some have argued that they'd never vote for Obama again or that they wouldn't vote for any Democrats, or that they wouldn't vote at all. Dan Choi's sincerely, passionately applied tactic is to embarrass the president by turning up the heat via civil disobedience and high-profile demonstrations; these things have worked in the past in other areas.
I'm not attracted to any of these remedies, but like Meghan McCain—and unlike those who use the word "Obamabots" in every other sentence—I don't have all the answers and don't pretend to.
Harry Reid's been the least effective among President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, yet I'd be pretty sickened if he were to lose his Senate seat to the likes of Sharron Angle, who thinks the color black is "of the devil."
One thing that I think will help him is if he does bring DADT (within the defense-spending bill) up for a vote next week, as I'm hearing he intends to do. Plus he can finally return Lt. Dan Choi's ring.
Defeating DADT would jazz the Democratic base at a time when the base needs jazzing. Polls are beginning to reflect that the Dems may have bottomed out and be on an upswing as we head toward November. How much of an upswing? I'm not looking for miracles, but there's a big difference between losing the House and barely keeping it, and if the latter is our fate, I'll take it.
What's being called "a great moment" at Netroots Nation 2010: Dan Choi, expelled from the military within the past month for being gay, had his West Point ring handed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid promised to return it to Choi upon the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, prompting Choi to hop on stage and hug the man who was the subject of recent GetEQUAL protests.
I imagine it could be a very healing gesture. Provided DADT goes bye-bye very soon as promised.
President Obama's video appearance at the same confab could be seen as another olive branch to progressives.
A big victory of Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo—all charges against them for their two acts of civil disobedience (chaining themselves to the White House gate) were dropped at the last possible second with no explanation.
Choi believes the government didn't want the case to highlight the fact that Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal is not a done deal nor is it around the corner.
I've questioned the tactics of late—the chains, the hunger strike in particular—but these two are men of principle and there's no overlooking the fact that they made the White House blink hard.
By the way, the White House could learn a thing or two about truly fierce advocates by watching these remarks by Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who seems to have no problem putting religious leaders in their place when it comes to gay issues.
Howard Dean made a surprise visit to GetEQUAL's latest shout-OUT against DADT in front of the White House. Along with Nancy Pelosi's aggressive demand that the military institute a moratorium on DADT expulsions, it feels like momentum, with or without the White House.
President Obama visited the oil disaster today, which I certainly don't begrudge him. I do wish he'd never caved to "drill, baby, drill!" in the first place—his hands would be much cleaner than they already are on that issue. But it's fucking annoying that righties want the BP disaster to be his Katrina. Big disaster, yes. An entire city destroyed with dead bodies left unattended while Bush ignored it? Not comparable.