Entries from LGBT firsts

  • January 2023
  • Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 


    Last week Maura Healey was sworn in as the governor of Massachusetts. Today Tina Kotek was sworn in as the governor of Oregon.

    They're America's first out lesbian governors. This milestone makes me so happy.

    Why, I'm even feeling optimistic that one day we'll see something truly astounding:  a lesbian governor of a state that ISN'T on a coast.

  • October 2022
  • Image:  Pixabay

    Rejoice, Dammit!

    Two historic and positive events happened on the planet last week.

    And I simply won't allow you to miss them.

    In Brazil, which last year was the most dangerous country in the world for transgender people, two trans women were elected to Congress. Meanwhile, Slovenia became the first country in eastern Europe to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption.

    Between war, plague, inflation, natural disaster and so on, it's tempting to believe there's nothing but bad news out there. That's why it's critical to hold up the good news. 

    So celebrate, or I'll slap you.

  • Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

    They Made History

    It's LGBTQ History Month, and I happened to stumble on something appropriate the other day.

    A booklet put out by the Democratic Party on the history of its conventions noted that at the 1972 convention in Miami Beach, "for the first time, conventioneers heard from two openly gay delegates:  Madeline Davis of Buffalo, New York, and Jim Foster of San Francisco."

    Madeline and Jim, you had guts. You deserve a 21-toaster salute.

  • June 2022
  • Image:  Facebook

    Gimme a "T!"

    The Carolina Panthers, the NFL team that plays in Charlotte, has pulled off something more surprising than the Statue of Liberty play.

    The newest addition to the Panthers' cheerleading squad is a Black transgender woman.

    I didn't expect to be writing a sentence like that for several more years. Oh me of little faith.

    Justine Lindsay, 29, is the brave soul joining the Topcats, as the squad is known. She noted on her application that she's transgender, and Chandalae Lanouette, the Topcats' director, is the brave soul who chose her.

    Lindsay, believed to be the NFL's first openly trans cheerleader, will be shaking her pom poms on the sidelines of a hyper-masculine sport in a southern city. Her presence could piss off everyone from KKK'ers to African American ministers to inside linebackers to retired cheerleaders.

    If she has to dodge beer cans while performing her routines, I hope stadium security protects her, and I hope she sticks out the first rough months. Because the shock will wear off, and Panther fans will return to the pressing business of asking God to beat the Buccaneers.

  • March 2022
  • Image:  Facebook

    Awards Awareness

    Yesterday evening, as I watched the NCAA women's basketball tournament on TV, I assumed I was tuned in to the most lesbionic viewing option of the night. 

    Imagine my surprise this morning when I read that, over on another channel, the Academy Awards had been busy going sapphic.

    In her acceptance speech after winning the Oscar for best supporting actress, Ariana DeBose said, "Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color and Latina who found her life and strength in art. That’s what I believe we are here to celebrate."

    DeBose, who won for her turn as Anita in "West Side Story," added, "So to anybody who has ever questioned your identity, ever, ever, ever—you, you find yourself living in the gray spaces—I promise you this:  There is indeed a place for you."

    As she sought to inspire others, the first queer woman of color to win an Oscar invoked famous lyrics from her movie that were written by a beloved gay man who died four months ago. The nation must've been awash in rainbow tears last night.

    Kristen Stewart didn't take the Oscar for playing Princess Diana in "Spencer," but she strode the red carpet with her female fiance, Dylan Meyer. Also tripping the carpet fantastic were wife and wife Niecy Nash and Jessica Betts.

    Out comedian Wanda Sykes was one of three women to host the show. In a shot at Florida's Don't Say Gay bill, Sykes opened with, "We’re going to have a great night tonight—and for you people in Florida, we’re going to have a gay night,” and she and her co-hosts broke into choruses of "gay, gay, gay."

    They weren't lying. It feels like it was a breakthrough night for gay women. I'd like to thank the Academy.

  • November 2021
  • Photo:  Facebook

    Making the List

    In addition to naming a Sexiest Man Alive each year, People magazine also releases several lists of sexiest men, presumably on the theory that you can't have too much of a good thing.

    The 2021 list of the 25 sexiest men on TV includes "911: Lone Star" actor Brian Michael Smith. Never before has a transgender man been included on one of People's sexiest men lists.

    "I've been called many things, this is a first," quipped Smith on social media. "Big love to People for the historic shout-out."

    Now that Smith has broken this barrier of mainstream acceptance, he gets to experience the same thing as all the cisgender men People has declared sexy:  stress over how to stay that way.

  • Image by Gabriel Vera from Pixabay 


    Yesterday at the 2021 Country Music Association Awards, when the Brothers Osborne won vocal duo of the year, TJ Osborne, who came out in February, kissed his boyfriend.

    If this were back in the day, I'm pretty sure Osborne would be banned from "Hee Haw."

  • Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

    Weighty Election Results

    When the winners of Tuesday's races are sworn in, the U.S. will have, for the first time, over 1,000 out LGBTQ+ elected officials.

    Or, as I like to think of it, half a ton of fun.

  • October 2021
  • Photo:  Facebook

    Superhero News

    They've been busy at DC Comics.  In new issues being released over the next few weeks, a Black transgender woman joins Wonder Woman's Amazons, and Clark Kent's son Jon, the new Superman, has a same-sex relationship.

    Feels like the changes are coming faster than a speeding bullet.

  • September 2021
  • Photo by Ingo Joseph from Pexels


    Germany held national elections on Sunday, and two politicians from the Greens party made history. Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik are the first transgender women to win seats in the German parliament.

    Hitler would be horrified, and I'm reveling in that to the point of unseemliness.

  • June 2021
  • Photo: Facebook

    The People in Your Neighborhood

    Check out what Alan Muraoka, who plays the current owner of Hooper's Store on "Sesame Street," posted yesterday on Facebook.

    "'Sesame Street' has always been a welcoming place of diversity and inclusion. So I'm so excited to introduce Nina's Brother Dave, his husband Frank, and their daughter Mia to our sunny street. Our Family Day episode drops today on HBOMax and on YouTube," wrote Muraoka. "I am so honored and humbled to have co-directed this important and milestone episode. Love is love, and we are so happy to add this special family to our 'Sesame' family. Happy Pride to all!!!!"

    What a positive addition. Now maybe we gay folks can stop pressuring Bert and Ernie to come out. They're just not ready.

  • May 2021
  • Photo: Facebook

    A Hymn to Them

    What a journey it's been for the Rev. Megan Rohrer, 41, who came out as a lesbian at a Lutheran college in South Dakota.

    "The people who were in my religion classes with me would sing hymns when I walked by, to try to get rid of my gay demons. And I would just sing harmony. I didn't know what to do," Rohrer remembers.

    After college, Rohrer began to identify as transgender. And now they've been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the first openly trans person in the nation to achieve that status in a major Christian denomination.

    I'm sure some of those hymn-singers are now seething in a most unchristian fashion.

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