Grand Eloquent Thoughts

Steve Grand

The Instagram shared ’round the world. If I looked this good in a swimsuit, I’d never wear clothes again. You might think that’s pithy; but it’s the truth, baby!! P.S. to Steve — Keep the scruff; it’s adorable! |Image: Steve Grand

Musician Steve Grand took to Facebook recently to air some dirty laundry. Grand writes:

It would be nice if any other aspect of my life/work as an artist/advocate got a fraction of the press I get for wearing a bathing suit by gay media.

Evidently, it was the photo that appears at left that was the cause of the flap. Grand posted it to his Instagram and some naysayers found it inappropriate. Or too revealing. Or too gay. Or something. Just too too.

Here’s what I have to say about that: Get the hell over yourselves. Why — WHY — must people continue to cut down others to feel better? Why do you care how much or how little of Steve Grand Steve Grand’s bathing suit covers? Are you that insecure? Are you afraid that you don’t look as good, so because you can, you will cut him down? Is it okay to do that somehow because he’s in the public eye so you think he’s fair game? Do you think it’s not good for “the cause” to have handsome men in personal photos wearing tiny little red swim trunks?

We have enough going against us as out gay men; we don’t need our own jabbing at us, too. It’s just as wrong to call out Steve Grand on his choice of clothing as it is to call out Caitlyn Jenner or Ellen DeGeneres or Neil Patrick Harris. It’s wrong to tell the trans kid they can’t use the bathroom for the gender of which they define themselves. It’s wrong to kick puppies, cheat on your taxes, lie to your spouse, be a racist, text while driving, or, quite frankly, fear that what someone else is wearing somehow reflects on or diminishes you. Because it doesn’t. So just stop it.

I encourage you read the rest of Grand’s Facebook post. He’s a smart, caring young man with a hefty intellect and a spirit not yet hardened to the vicissitudes of dumbassery. I hope that he doesn’t have to develop that thick, thick skin that is often needed in order to survive. He’s a better person for not having it.

And by the way — you really should buy his album, All-American Boy, if you haven’t already. It’s terrific.

David Miranda Is Nobody’s Errand Boy

David Miranda Is Nobody’s Errand Boy.

This is a really well-done long-format piece from BuzzFeed on the continuing David Miranda/Glenn Greenwald saga. I find it hard to be objective about this because I feel so strongly that Miranda is being singled out for his partner Greenwald’s role in the Snowden/NSA leaks. It’s an egregious use of power from the U.S. and the U.K., IMHO.

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David Miranda and the title card for the BuzzFeed story. | Photo: Jimmy Clark for BuzzFeed.

Our Bullying Culture

 

Seth Godin

Seth Godin

Seth’s Blog: Sure, but he’s our bully.

There have always been bullies among us, and it’s worth taking a moment to see how our culture has built a role for them to be useful heroes. Taught or not, bullying keeps showing up.

We often (for a while) view bullies as powerful or brave or important–as long as they are ourbullies. Richie Incognito, Chris Christie, Rob Ford—each has a long list of supporters, people who have defended a particular bully as a passionate man of the people, as doing their job, as the visceral anti-elite, winning a battle that’s worth fighting for.

This is an excellent piece by Seth Godin, one of my Top Five “deep thinkers” in strategic management and communications issues.  We talk so much, especially in the LGBT community in recent years, about bullying, the effects of bullying and the teen suicides caused, oftentimes, by bullying that we tend to think that bullying is something that won’t happen after we run the gauntlet that is high school.

In other words: it gets better.

Well, for many who are bullied, it does get better, but for others, the bullying continues. You, as an adult, may be a bully in your workplace whether you realize it or not. I was, in fact, shocked when a co-worker once told me that I had such a “forceful personality” that they wouldn’t want to contradict me for fear that they would be seen as potentially wrong.

I was shocked because I don’t have that view of myself at all. At heart, I’m still the very short, stocky, gay 11-year old with glasses who couldn’t hit the baseball worth a damn and who was picked last in gym class. How could I possibly be that person that others perceived me to be?

The truth is, it bothered me enough to change my management style; to make sure to be as inclusive as possible; to encourage others to render an opinion counter to my own, even if I am the “boss” in that situation. Simplistically, this is often reduced to “speaking truth to power” but there’s more to it than that.

Writes Godin:

In your organization, there are no doubt bullies who can win their point, increase their power and defeat their enemies. … But it’s pretty clear we can create organizations that don’t tolerate it, creating an environment where the bully is never the hero. We probably ought to try.

The more we all check ourselves and recognize bullying behavior in our adult lives, the easier it is for us to create a bully-free society for the next generations. Vying for a little less power might be a good thing.

John Boehner Opposes ENDA, Dealing Blow To Bill’s Chances

But for all the nothing-to-see-here protestations, the timing of Boehner’s statement of opposition was indeed newsworthy. Coming amid growing support for ENDA in the Senate, it deflated the optimism of LGBT rights advocates.

“The Speaker, of all people, should certainly know what it’s like to go to work every day afraid of being fired,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Instead of letting the far right trample him again, it\’s time for Speaker Boehner to stand with the majority of everyday Republican voters and support ENDA.”

via John Boehner Opposes ENDA, Dealing Blow To Bill’s Chances.

John Boehner is an inhuman asshole of the first order. This is why you have to vote, people. This is why you have to learn about the issues.

LGBT History Month 2013: 21 Influential Black LGBT Icons

LGBT History Month 2013: 21 Influential Black LGBT Icons.

An important list, I think. Often those of color were so marginalized in society that those that were gay were practically invisible.

Bayard Rustin, the gay, Quaker civil rights organizer. He is one of the unsung heroes of the last century's social movements.

Bayard Rustin, the gay, Quaker civil rights organizer. He is one of the unsung heroes of the last century’s social movements.

One social reformer that was not invisible was Bayard Rustin, the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin’s sexuality did, however, impact negatively on his place in history. Only now, 50 years after the March and two and a half decades after his death is his importance to civil rights and gay rights in the 20th century being reexamined.