Because I Simply Don’t Talk Enough.

So here’s the thing:

I’m turning this blog into a podcast. I bought the domain over at http://www.ClaireDeLunacy.com and I’ve migrated this blog over there.

In addition to the occasional scribblings you get from me here (or, er, there, in the future at least), there will be (God help us all) the Claire De Lunacy podcast. That’s right, a whole hour, every week, of yours truly, with call-in guests (it’s true!), some commentary, and a few new surprises (e.g., every tenth caller is randomly either hugged by a stripper,  hit in the stomach by a large, angry Hungarian, or given the power of flight*).

Every week starting NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 2nd, 2010, I’ll be hosting an hour-long free-for-all discussion covering topics (in no particular order) that I’ve posted here on Claire De Lunacy.

I already have the call-in set up, I’ll be posting the info as we get closer to the big day. In the interim, my dear, sweet friends, ruminate on these topics:

1) The hubbub surrounding Israel Luna’s odious “transploitation” film “Ticked Off Trannies with Knives.”

2) Clash of the Smitin’s: Unnecessary Remakes and Why They Suck.

3) And speaking of Things That Should Not Be™, a whole new slew of, er, Things That Should Not Be™ (got a nomination? SEND IT TO ME…NAO!)

4) LGBTidbits™ (Those of you familiar with my Twitter feed will recognize this topic. Everyone else, just be prepared to discuss the week’s LGBT news. Well, I mean, not SUPER prepared. There won’t be a quiz or anything.)

5) The Super-Fun Book Club of Fun-ness™ returns! Our book for the month of May is “American Lion,” a very compelling biography of Andrew Jackson by Jon Meachem (you don’t have to read the entire book for the first podcast, we’ll be discussing it in general and also you get to sit and listen to me explain how the SFBCOF™ works…I know, I know – does the fun ever START?)

6) Random Review: NetFlix for the Wii Or, as I like to call it, “My television’s desperate final ploy to remain relevant to my existence.” (as ploys go, it’s surprisingly effective)

7) SPECIAL BONUS TOPIC!  CASTING: UR DOIN IT WRONG We’ll be discussing how remakes SHOULD be cast, as well as remakes we’d like to see, and a whole bunch of other nerdy stuff that will make the non-nerdy among you (should you exist) throw up your hands and say “But I LIKE Matthew McCan’tActy as Dirk Pitt!

Eventually, I’ll be taking these podcasts into Audacity to strip out all the “erms,” and “uhhhs” and “Doyyyy” sounds. But for the first month or so, it’s the Wild effing West, baby! (something tells me that we’ll earn our “Explicit” rating within the first ten minutes. I know how you think, Hordelings!)

Each week’s info will also be posted to the web site, so don’t get your collective panties in a bunch if there’s something we natter on about that catches your…ear(?) and you don’t have a pencil handy.

I hope to hear from you, friends. It’s sure to be a fun time, or at least more entertaining than having your pinkie torn off by an iPad thief.**

*No, not really.
** OK, to be fair, some people might get off on that, so I will say it’s LIKELY to be more fun. You sick bastards.

OSI: “Chaos”

I’m once again participating in the poetry fun over at One Single Impression. If you enjoy poems and awesomeness of various stripes, why not pay them a visit?

This is my first post of 2010. Long time readers of this blog will recognize my natural inability to meet most deadlines, which, when coupled with my nigh-pathological avoidance of anything like real work or significance, leads to things like my first blog post of the year arriving in the middle of that year’s first month. What can I say, my life is chaos.

Chaos (she segued so smoothly that she might’ve almost planned it) is, incidentally, the prompt this week over at One Single Impression. Many people think of “chaos” as swirling, netherworldly darkness, a vortex of inescapable doubt and confusion from which nothing, not even light, can emerge unscathed.

So, basically, the inside of Pat Robertson’s head.

Of course, I was also a Dungeons & Dragons fan as a kid (you’re shocked, I know…luckily I am wearing my +8 Kirtle of Snarkslaying), and a bit of a dimestore philosopher, so I am aware that chaos is not purely a force for evil. I refuse to expose myself to Ashton Kutcher in any form, but I am also familiar with Chaos Theory, aka “The Butterfly Effect,” in which a butterfly flaps its wings somewhere on the planet and, via chain reaction, changes the weather elsewhere (although my personal “butterfly effect” reference will forever be “A Sound of Thunder.” Now THAT’S a butterfly effect!) .

Chaos leads to change, which can be ameliorative as well as destructive. It’s just surviving the change so you have a chance to appreciate the improvement that’s the trick. With that in mind, I give you:

CHAOS

Witness: a tableau
The iron wheel of time stops,
Suspended.  And yet.

Life, though stilled, goes on.
And sitting at your table,
In the Springtime sun,

You see quite clearly
Every crystalline droplet
As your wine glass falls,

Spinning toward Earth
In a vermillion fan, an
Impromptu Pollock.

Perfect spheres of red
Orbiting a frozen wave
Of luminescence.

One drop goes astray
Its shadow hangs over your
New cream-colored pump.

The glass itself a
Bar of coruscating flame
Imprisoning sunlight.

All of it beyond
Your reach, just past the tips of
Your straining fingers.

You hear it, then. Whoosh.
Soft, yet powerful; a breeze
Caresses your cheek.

And time’s pitted wheel
Returns to its soft-edged rut
Lights, camera, action.

And then she is there,
Apologetic and lithe
“I’m sorry,” she says

Through cherry lips, quirked
“I should watch where I’m going.”
Dropping you a wink.

And in that moment,
As ebony lashes meet
her porcelain cheek,

You hear it once more
Gentle susurration; the
flap of velvet wings.

And in its wake, your
Tableau for One becomes
a Table for Two


OSI: “Reincarnation”

I’m once again participating in the poetry fun over at One Single Impression. If you enjoy poems and awesomeness of various stripes, why not pay them a visit?

This week’s prompt is “Reincarnation.” I’ve always been fascinated by this concept; the idea that the universe lets us keep trying until we get it right is both reassuring and (for some people, I’m sure) a little scary. With this in mind, I give you:

Reincarnation

Next time I come back,
I will be glamorous and
charming, glib and svelte.

I won’t make the same
Mistakes, won’t let my fool heart
Choose the primrose path.

As Tolkien once wrote,
“All shall love me, and despair.”
But I’ll be smiling.

And although I’ll hint,
Imply, and allude that I
Could give you my heart,

I’ll crave not your love,
Only your adoration;
This door is one-way.

And standing on high,
Ablaze with reflected light,
I’ll know what it’s like, darling

To be you.

With Memory and Honor

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

OK, kids, it’s time to get serious, because the violence against the TG community is very serious indeed.


This Friday, November 20th, marks the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. This event is held to pay respect to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and reckless hate; it is also held to increase awareness within the community at large to this violence and the danger it holds, not only for gender-variant individuals but those who share their lives. In 2009 alone, 99 individuals worldwide have been murdered either because they were transgendered, were involved with someone transgendered, or – perhaps most unsettling of all – were perceived to be transgendered by their attacker(s). With the violence against the community escalating at an alarming rate (2009’s murders to date are more than twice that of 2008’s), informing the public and working to educate others is a key step in reducing these senseless acts and preserving the dignity, safety and lives of all citizens.I encourage you to participate in your local events; the light of awareness helps to dispel the shadows of ignorance and hate.
For more information, or to find an event near you, please visit http://www.transgenderdor.org or http://www.transohio.org.

In Which Our Heroine Becomes a Real, Live, Writer-Type Person

So here’s the thing:

While I have spent the greater part of my life transferring the cacophony that fills my noggin’ into squiggles on both paper and computer screen, I’ve been plagued by doubts (both professional and personal) about the likelihood of such tomfoolery providing me with a career.

Until now.

Recent events – a rise in confidence stemming from feedback on my writing; a return to school that has me remembering that I did not set out to be a pusher of papers and counter of computers for minor ducats and little thanks; and the slow but measurable progress of a life lived as myself rather than who others want me to be – have led me to apply for a job as a writer for a site called Examiner.com.

Basically, it’s a per-click deal – I get $0.01 for every click on an article I’ve written – and while I’m not planning on retiring to a sprawling villa in Barcelona with my earnings, I am planning to build my portfolio and use this to develop myself professionally and hone my craft.

My official title is “Dayton Gay Issues Examiner” for the Dayton, Ohio (duh) area. My first article will be (let us hope) posted later this week. I’ll let you know when it goes live, but in the meantime, please, stop by and visit my ridiculously dorky bio and picture.

Apparently, there’s already a Transgender Issues Examiner, but I’m hoping the overlap won’t be too much for the market to bear.

*cough*

Now, if I can just figure out a way to clone myself, I can finish my novel this year too. Or at least finish revising it for the 85th time.

OSI: “Evasive Maneuvers”

I’m once again participating in the poetry fun over at One Single Impression. If you enjoy poems and awesomeness of various stripes, why not pay them a visit?

This week, the prompt is “Elusive.” This word, for me, always conjures up two specific memories: Glenn Campbell singing the mind-destroyingly awful “Elusive Butterfly of Love” and my childhood efforts to say this word without spraying everyone with a fine mist (I had a lisp as a child so severe that it took six years of speech therapy to reduce it to its current state of mild Daffy-Duck-itude).

Today, though, I’m thinking about the things we desire the most elude us the most deftly. Whether it’s a word, a meal, a job, a mate…the things that are worth wanting seem to require the most chasing, although it may very well be that their value comes mostly from the difficulty of said chase.

With that in mind, I give you:

Evasive Maneuvers

From the first moment
My eyes touched yours and widened
I felt the hook set.

And though I possess
A sufficient strength of will
There the hook remains.

I’m pushing, pulling
And you hold the line, smiling
And enigmatic

But I wonder, dear
If I threw this hook, and fled
The line going slack

Ringed ripples marking
The point of my departure
Would you cast again?

Or would dawn find you
Standing, eyes wide, fighting now
A hook of your own?

Out and About

So here’s the thing, kids:

It’s National Coming Out Week, and as I do every year, I pause to reflect on the general status of both the LGBT community and the larger world in which it must function. We’re all another year older, another year further down the road to equality, another year further down the road to an apocalypse starring John Cusack.

Rather than try to create something long-winded and deeply philosophical (for a change, cough, cough), I have created two lists this year: one contains hopeful signs that humanity will indeed embrace its angel and not its ape, learning at long last to love and cherish each other. The other list contains signs that God was a little too hasty in promising never to flood this blue rock ever again.

THINGS CONCERNING “THE GAY” THAT ARE PLEASING IN MY SIGHT IN 2009

1) Obama finally owned up to his promise on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Hurray! Barack remembered that he made a promise when he was campaigning to get elected! Now, if he can just come up with WHEN he will repeal it…

2) And speaking of politicians doing the right thing, Governor Schwarzenegger created Harvey Milk Day this year. It’s very encouraging to see the heroes and martyrs of our community being granted the same respect and honor as other key figures in American history. Also, bonus points to Arnie for not trying to shoehorn any catchphrases into the legislation.

3) A Trans-inclusive version of the ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) was finally introduced this year. At last, there’s a real chance that LGBT Americans will be protected from the discrimination millions of us face every single day of our lives. No one – NO ONE – should be denied a job, a home,  or a chance at a productive life because of their sexuality, and when this passes, it will be a huge stride forward for this country and for equal rights.

4) Even without an inclusive ENDA, we occasionally win the respect we deserve. Now, having been on the end of some not-so-subtle discrimination myself, I felt Diane Schroer’s pain when I first heard about this story. You don’t have to be Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius, to see that a job offer that’s rescinded when one reveals that they are transgendered is a little suspect. And yes, I know this is hardly Hollywood-movie triumphant – the administration’s refusal to appeal the decision isn’t the same as saying “Hey, genius, lay off the hatin'” but progress is progress.

5) Iran allowed its first Transgendered Marriage this year. I’m on the fence about this one, actually. Yes, it’s great that transpeople can marry, but Iran, a notoriously oppressive theocracy with zero tolerance for any sort of homosexuality, has embraced transgenderism because (in the case of heterosexual couples, at least), it conforms to the traditional male-female paradigm. And,  as the article notes, there’s very legitimate concern that not all of Iran’s transgendered people are transgendered; in fact, some may be lesbians and gays circumventing the law with what can only be called extreme dedication.

THINGS CONCERNING “THE GAY” OVER WHICH I WEPT TEARS OF BLOOD IN 2009

1) Violence against transgendered people worldwide is on the RISE. Iran may be all set to let us get hitched, but worldwide, it’s still a very dangerous thing for transgendered people to be honest about their identity. It can cost us our jobs, our familes, and, increasingly, our lives.

2) In fact, all LGBT folks are painted with targets these days. Violence is not okay. It’s not okay as a tactic to demean, to defile, to diminish anyone. It’s not okay to incite aggression and hatred for someone because you happen to disagree with their lifestyle.

Violence.

Is.

NOT.

Okay.

OK?

3) We still can’t get married…well, at least not everywhere. Canada, America’s Hat, has it. A sprinkling of US States have it: Iowa; Vermont; Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts.   Many others allow domestic partnerships, or, as I like to call it, “Marriage Lite.” So what’s the hold up, people? The states where LGBT couples can marry didn’t sink into the ocean or disappear in flashes of light. It’s time to recognize that two people of the same sex can and do share loving, lifelong relationships (many with greater success than their heterosexual counterparts…I’m looking at YOU, Hollywood!).

As usual, I like my “Good” list to be longer than my “Bad” list. I could, of course, go on and and on about the injustices and indignities suffered by LGBT people in today’s world, but I’d rather focus on the triumphs and successes. After all, we’re not solely defined by our LGBT-ness; we’re parents, siblings, children, spouses and friends, and beyond that, we are all (regardless of color, creed, race, gender or sexuality) human beings.

Overall, I’d say things are looking up, and that in a lot of important ways, 2009 will go down in history as an important part of both LGBT history and history in general. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, don’t be afraid this week (or any other week) to be honest with yourself and others about who you are…you owe it to them and you owe it to yourself.

And those of you who aren’t LGBT but have a loved one or friend who is, I encourage you to remain (or become) a supportive and loving part of their lives. Coming out of the closet can be a scary thing, and it’s always nice to be greeted by a friend rather than a fist.