GE: Proud to be years late

EAA AirVenture (“Oshkosh”) starts today. Given how slowly everything in aviation moves, Oshkosh is more of a social gathering than a trade show, but manufacturers do like to announce their progress here.

Earlier this month, I checked in on the General Electric “Catalyst” Advanced Turboprop engine. This competitor to Pratt’s PT6 (first flight: 1961) had been scheduled to fly in 2018 (November 2017 press release). It still hadn’t flown. I went to GE’s aviation blog to see if they offered any explanation for being years behind schedule. The top of the blog was “A Conversation With Carmen Campbell, GE’s Transgender Advocate for Europe”:

They say it’s easy to stand with the crowd but it takes courage to stand alone. This Pride Month, the GE Aviation blog celebrates Carmen Campbell, the first person to ever transition at GE’s Grand Rapids, Michigan, site and now GE’s Transgender Advocate for Europe.

Campbell, originally from the US, is an advanced lead systems engineer based in the Cheltenham, UK Power Distribution & Controls business. She is passionate about using her experiences to help cultivate a safe and supportive workplace for her transgender colleagues.

This role sits within the transgender advocacy group, which is part of GE’s Pride Alliance. We run education sessions, work with GE to develop policies around transitioning, and provide support for transgender people within the business. The role is relatively fluid and it’s important to note that we are a resource for everyone at GE, transgender or not.

One of the areas I’m most proud of is the work we have done on the GE transition toolkit, which summarizes GE policies, provides helpful suggestions (like how to develop a communications plan), goes in to site specifics like bathroom usage, and lists who to contact for further support.

There has been some progress in the last 20 years, most notably the step change in legal representation. Gender reassignment became a protected characteristic under the UK’s Equality Act 2005, for example, and it was stipulated that people should be treated in accordance with their acquired gender.

However, I do think we’ve casually been sliding backwards since then. Certain groups, individuals and media outlets have been chipping away at the trans community, trying to roll back the trans rights that we’ve fought so hard for. Indifference can also be an issue.

“Casually sliding backwards”? Maybe the LGBTQIA+ engineers at GE can slide backwards far enough to catch up to where Pratt was in 1961. Then they could put their turboprop on an airplane and fly!

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Should California build a moat and a rainbow-painted wall around the state?

“California Bans State Travel To Florida And 4 Other States” (from state-sponsored NPR, June 29):

California added five more states, including Florida, to the list of places where state-funded travel is banned because of laws that discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community, the state attorney general announced Monday.

Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta added Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia to the list that now has 17 states where state employee travel is forbidden except under limited circumstances.

“Make no mistake: We’re in the midst of an unprecedented wave of bigotry and discrimination in this country — and the State of California is not going to support it,” Bonta said.

Lawmakers in 2016 banned non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The 12 other states on the list are: Texas, Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.

Nearly half of the country is now unclean, from a California religious perspective, defiled by failure to fly enough rainbow flags. Why not also ban the untouchables from those 17 states from coming into California? Dig a moat and build a wall to enforce the ban (maybe people who swear a loyalty oath to the rainbow flag and bathe in a ritual bath that cleanses them of hate can be admitted through the checkpoints?).

Speaking of now-banned Florida, here are a few photos of Hate Central (St. Petersburg) from June 25/26 (“Every Day is Pride Day”):

I attended an opera performance in St. Pete and sat next to two middle-aged ladies who had formerly run a B&B in Provincetown, Massachusetts (not exactly the center of straightness). “We’ve been here for two years and love it,” one said. “The government seems to do a better job here. The city is clean, but you never see the cleaners. The roads are very well maintained. Everything is so much cheaper than in Massachusetts.”

Related:

  • “California lawmakers take trip to Hawaii amid COVID surge, travel advisory” (Sac Bee, November 2020): COVID-19 has squashed most holiday and vacation plans this year amid travel restrictions and quarantine recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. Yet some California lawmakers have traveled to Maui this week for the California Independent Voter Project’s annual policy conference. … The Hawaii trip follows on the heels of backlash over Gov. Gavin Newsom attending a friend and political adviser’s 50th birthday party at a Napa County restaurant called French Laundry, known for its expensive meals.
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Saying goodbye to Pride Month

A few images from Manhattan (June 12-13) as we say goodbye to Pride Month. Nordstrom, CVS, Foot Locker, and Pain Quotidien want to remind you of their commitment to LGBTQIA+:

The windows at Macy’s:

“You are who you are, and you love who you love, and that’s all there is to it… if there’s anything worth celebrating, it’s love.” (But what about old people who love to have sex with young people? We don’t always celebrate that, right, unless the people having sex are of the same gender ID? What about Kevin Spacey’s love for William Little (age 18 at the time)? Is that worth celebrating?)

But also remember that June is Immigrant Heritage Month. How many Native Americans celebrated?

June is also National Caribbean-American Heritage Month (census.gov):

According to the Institute of Caribbean Studies, “Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding.

And I hope everyone celebrated National Turkey Lover’s Month. If your method of loving turkeys is to kill them and roast them at 350 degrees, celebrate National Candy Month just after. Fully vaccinated and still wearing a double mask while driving solo? That’s a perfect way to spend June, which is National Safety Month. Sleepless in your bunker for fear that coronavirus has slipped inside on a grocery store bag that you forgot to wipe down with bleach? In 2014, the U.S. Senate designated June as PTSD Awareness Month (see the Los Angeles Times, 2014: “As disability awards for PTSD have grown nearly fivefold over the last 13 years, so have concerns that many veterans might be exaggerating or lying to win benefits.”).

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Turn opprobrium into praise by identifying as LGBTQIA+?

Happy Pride Month again! Don’t forget that

Suppose that we hear about a financially secure 90-year-old white American having sex with a 31-year-old “Brown” immigrant? That’s an unequal power dynamic, right? And we would condemn this relationship, I’m sure. Former Miss Ukraine Oleksandra Nikolayenko isn’t especially brown, but she’s 40 years old and we don’t see a lot of media praise regarding her marriage to Phil Ruffin (86-year-old billionaire).

What if Mx. Nikolayenko said “I identify as a man” and Phil Ruffin said “I am gay”? Then we would have a love story suitable for publication… “‘I Found Love At 90 With A 31-Year-Old—After Finally Coming Out'” (Newsweek):

When he arrived, John was dressed in black with his black mask. We actually both had our masks on right up until the salad course was brought out. That was the first time we actually saw each other. We got talking and soon found that we had lots in common. Neither one of us smokes or drinks and neither of us uses foul language. We talked about shows that we liked and things we both enjoy around town; we both really like Asian food.

They had as much in common, in other words, as any two people selected at random from the Chinese population of 1.4 billion.

Young John is not prosperous:

He had three roommates so I didn’t visit him as it would have been less comfortable for us.

John is an immigrant:

John is originally from Mexico, where there are plenty of tarantulas, but he’s afraid of them.

Their friends are implicitly against polyamory:

Most of our friends now are also gay, and a number of them are in younger/older unions or marriages. It really doesn’t come up, nobody says anything about it because we’re two people who are happy together. That’s all our friends care about. Whenever it comes up in Facebook comments—and it does come up—I say that age is just a number. Of course it is an important number, but it is just a number.

Just a number? Let’s compare to Jeffrey Epstein, who died at age 66. It was disgusting when Epstein was 61 and there was a possibility of sex with a 19-year-old. See “‘UNCLE’ JEFF’S PLOT Jeffrey Epstein hatched plot to marry ex girlfriend’s 19-year-old daughter to give her £40m inheritance”:

JEFFREY Epstein told pals he wanted to marry the teen daughter of his beauty queen ex who called him “Uncle Jeff”, it has been claimed.

Celina Dubin, now aged 24, is the daughter of doctor and former Miss Sweden Eva Andersson Dubin – who the paedo dated in the 1980s.

Epstein reportedly enjoyed a close relationship with Eva and her husband Glenn Dubin – who she married in 1994 – a billionaire hedge-fund manager from New York City.

And in 2014, the sex offender, then aged 61, told friends that if he was ever to marry he would choose then-19-year-old Celina, reports Business Insider.

He said that he wanted the teenager to inherit his fortune and that marriage would help her avoid inheritance taxes, the report claims.

That same year, Epstein – who died in prison in August while facing child sex trafficking charges – named Celina as a beneficiary to his $500m fortune.

A source familiar with the millionaire’s estate told Business Insider that the young girl would have inherited $50m – however the paedo banker removed her from his will in 2015 for unknown reasons.

The Dubins reportedly spent holidays with Epstein even after his conviction in 2008 for having sex with a minor.

What if Celina Dubin had said “My pronouns are he/him/his” and Jeffrey Epstein had said “I am gay and find all three of the guys pictured below attractive, including Mr. Eva Dubin on the left and Mr. Celina Dubin on the right of the photo”? Now the romance between Mr. Epstein and Mr. Celina Dubin would be heartwarming instead of “gross”?

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Happy Irrelevant Person’s Day!

Hallmark says that today is Father’s Day. The Harvard Gazette takes a different view with “Why living in a two-parent home isn’t a cure-all for Black students” (June 3, 2021):

New research suggests financial and other resources are also key to success for youth

So a plaintiff who pops a Clomid and has sex with a married dentist and harvests the resulting child support will have cash-yielding children that turn out better than if he/she/ze/they had married a medium-income person and stayed married. (Since a night of sex can pay better than a long-term marriage. Caution: this is true in Massachusetts, California, New York, or Wisconsin, but not in Nevada or Minnesota. See Real World Divorce for a state-by-state analysis.)

At least for Black children, parental income is the only factor correlated with success:

Rather than the two-parent family being the great equalizer that most Americans imagine it to be, Black children from low-income, two-parent families find themselves in the same position as Black children growing up with a single parent. This is what I found in my forthcoming study in the journal Social Problems. In it, I explore the differential returns to living in a two-parent family for Black youth’s academic success. Drawing on a nationally representative sample, I found that there were no differences in the earned grades, likelihood of grade level repetition, and rates of suspension between Black youth from low-income, two-parent households and their peers raised in low-income, single-parent households.

The government can save us:

What we need are policies that alleviate financial hardship and facilitate good, consistent parenting. President Biden’s proposed American Families Plan is an example of such a policy.

The Harvard folks don’t highlight that the Biden family is leading by example on the plan that is financially optimum for the typical American capable of incubating a baby (see “Hunter Biden’s child support is finalized with his stripper baby mama” (Daily Mail) and when does this grandchild get to visit the White House to see Grandpa Joe?).

Let’s see who is funding the soon-to-be-professor who informs us that #Science proves that low-income Black men are useless and the mom who rids her home of one of them in favor of pursuing full-time Tinderhood is doing the kids a favor:

The National Science Foundation paid for this scientific result with your tax dollars.

Sadly, wherever there is science there are science deniers. “Sorry, Harvard, fathers still matter — including Black fathers” (USA Today):

A new report from the Institute for Family Studies co-authored by us with sociologist Wendy Wang finds large differences between Black kids raised by their own two parents, compared to their peers raised by single parents (primarily single mothers). Black children raised by single parents are three times more likely to be poor, compared to Black children raised by their own married parents. Black boys are almost half as likely to end up incarcerated (14% for intact; 23% for single parent) and twice as likely to go on and graduate from college (21% for intact; 12% for single parent) if they are raised in a home with their two parents, compared to boys raised by just one parent. Parallel patterns obtain for girls. Equally striking, we also find that Black children from stable two-parent homes do better than white children from single-parent homes when it comes to their risk of poverty or prison, and their odds of graduating from college. Young white men from single-parent families, for instance, are more likely to end up in prison than young Black men from intact, two-parent homes.

Whether you’re white, Black, or don’t see color, if there are humans on this planet who refer to you as “Dad” … I’d like to wish you a Happy Irrelevant Person’s Day!

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Celebrating Pride Month with hostility to polyamory?

Happy Middle of Pride Month! Here’s an educational video for children:

Note that the leaders among the sexual relationships on parade are monogamous, e.g., starting with a family anchored by two mommies (the unhappiest situation for children, statistically, even worse than divorced hetero parents). Eventually the video gets to polyamorous relationships, e.g., “Ace, Bi, and Pan” or a group of “Kings and Queens”, but they are not front and center. Should this video be memory-holed for implying that there is something superior about sexual monogamy relative to polyamory?

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Did the Zillow icon become a rainbow flag on your phone?

Part of a screen capture from my guiltiest secret (i.e., that I own an iPhone (my excuse: the camera and hardware/software behind the camera)):

Was this change to the rainbow flag because software robots at Zillow were reading my blog and Facebook posts (none since February) and learned about my passion for everything LGBTQIA+? Or did everyone else with Zillow on an iPhone get pushed this update as well? (And what about users within the Android Free State? Do you now support Pride via your icons?)

Separately, here’s part of a LinkedIn profile after the user’s current and former employers swelled with Pride:

Related:

  • Profiles in Corporate Courage (would Zillow join Apple, Google, P&G, Mercedes, and Microsoft in limiting their advocacy of LGBTQIA+ in countries where LGBTQIA+ sex acts are illegal?)
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Pride Month reading for children

Featured in the “Children’s Books” category of the New York Times recently… “This Coming-of-Age Novel Features a Girl on the Cusp of Manhood”:

Bug lives with her mother in rural Vermont. She’s 11, that terrible cusp of an age, right when everything is about to change. It’s the summer before middle school starts, and Bug’s best friend, Moira, has become a lot more interested in makeup, hoping to fit in. Bug has other concerns, especially the recent death of her beloved Uncle Roderick. A former drag queen in New York, Roderick was such a force of life that he may, in fact, be literally haunting Bug after his death. This is a very clever metaphor indeed, because Bug is haunted. When Moira talks winsomely of becoming a new person in middle school — “You don’t have to change, but don’t you want to?” — Bug remains troubled that what she sees in the mirror never matches how she sees herself. “A lot of books have a moral,” she tells us, “some lesson about how you have to stay true to who you are. … But those books never tell you how to figure out what your self is.”

I am being particular about pronoun use here because Bug uses “she” throughout the story until the moment of self-discovery — and then he doesn’t. “Too Bright to See” is the story of what it’s like to realize the gender you were assigned at birth is not the one you actually are. Lukoff — a transgender man himself — tells the story with such truth, such purity, such remarkable emotional clarity that you may be moved to tears by Bug’s triumph in the end.

This book is a gentle, glowing wonder, full of love and understanding, full of everything any of us would wish for our children. It will almost certainly be banned in many places, but your child almost certainly needs to read it.

The book review includes an education on current American politics:

Now here is a beautiful little book that carries a great, great weight on its shoulders. … Around the country, legislatures are suddenly busy enacting a variety of laws against transgender boys and girls, including one denying them medical treatment to transition before they’re 18. … When I say lives will be saved because of this book, I only wish it were hyperbole.

Based on the sample available at Amazon, Bug lives with a “single mom”:

Uncle Roderick’s room is at the top of the stairs. Mom’s is at the end of the hall.

Biology 101 interferes with procreation plans:

One of Uncle Roderick’s ex-boyfriends is across the room, down from Portland. … He was nice, but had wanted kids, and my uncle decided that I was enough kid for him, so they broke up but stayed friends.

(The book is set in Vermont, so if the ex-boyfriend were a biological female and had access to Clomid, he could have produced the kids that he wanted and harvested child support from Uncle Roderick under Vermont family law.)

I have no doubt that this will be a read-aloud hit with our kindergartener (this person, whose gender ID we will not assume, has already asked for an explanation of what the rainbow flags mean).

Separately, here’s what’s at the top of the HBO Max for my viewing pleasure:

How about Amazon Prime?

You might say “Of course these companies are putting LGBTQIA+ stories at the top of your feed because of your viewing history.” Yet, in fact, nearly all of the content that we stream is G-rated kids’ stuff. On the rare occasions when I’m able to watch a movie for grown-ups, it will be one without romance or sex of any kind.

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Profiles in Corporate Courage

Happy Pride Month! I would love to hear everyone’s plans for celebration. We have a two-car garage here in Maskachusetts and, for compatibility with neighbors’ yard signs, I had thought about painting one door in a rainbow flag and the other in a permanent Black Lives Matter sign, but now that we’ve sold the house (signed P&S) and are moving to Jupiter, Florida I am not 100 percent sure that the new owner shares my commitment to social justice.

I’ve never wanted an Apple Watch (an iPhone in the pocket is embarrassing enough), but the company’s courageous commitment to Pride is tempting me to “celebrate all year long”. From the U.S. site:

A detail page:

Some text underneath:

Weaving together the colors of the Pride flag, the Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop band features a unique, stretchable design that’s ultracomfortable and easy to slip on and off your wrist. Created by weaving 16,000 recycled polyester yarn filaments around ultrathin silicone threads using advanced precision-braiding machinery, then laser cutting the band to an exact length for a custom fit. The band offers a soft, textured feel and is both sweat and water resistant.

Apple is proud to support LGBTQ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including Encircle, Equality North Carolina, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG National, the National Center for Transgender Equality, SMYAL, and The Trevor Project in the U.S., and ILGA World internationally.

This Pride Edition watch/band is not available from Apple’s United Arab Emirates page, otherwise a mirror image of the U.S. page. Perhaps folks in UAE don’t need to hear the Good News about Rainbow Flagism? From “LGBT rights in the United Arab Emirates” (Wikipedia): “Male homosexuality is illegal in the UAE, and is punishable by the death penalty under sharia law.”

See also, from Titania McGrath, a comparison of major corporations’ Pride Month displays in non-Muslim versus Muslim regions.

Brush your teeth with pride and shave without toxic masculinity (P&G owns Gillette)….

“We prefer to think of it as the Blue Screen of Pride”:

From diversity.google: “The Gayglers is comprised of LGBTQ+ Googlers and their allies. The group not only leads the way in celebrating Pride around the world, but also informs programs and policies, so that Google remains a workplace that works for everyone.” Apparently, “around the world” does not include Arabia:

Should we ask Melinda Gates to fund a project to help these companies translate their Pride Month messages into Arabic, Urdu, Indonesian, etc.?

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The haters who said that polygamy would follow same-sex marriage

Back when same-sex marriage was the subject of referenda (eventually rendered irrelevant by the Supreme Court), the haters said that same-sex marriage was the camel nose under the tent for polygamy. This was an outrageous calumny. See “Polygamy Is Not Next” (TIME, 2015), for example and “No, Polygamy Isn’t the Next Gay Marriage” (Politico, 2015): “Opposing the legalization of plural marriage should not be my burden, because gay marriage and polygamy are opposites, not equivalents.”

From CNN, six years later: “Three dads, a baby and the legal battle to get their names added to a birth certificate”:

This isn’t news, actually, but we’re just hearing about it now…

The judge ruled in their favor before their daughter Piper was born in 2017. Jenkins believes they are the first polyamorous family in California, and possibly the country, to be named as the legal parents of a child.

The journalists want us to know how much better this is than when there are two squabbling opposite-sex parents:

The dads and their children share a bustling house with two Goldendoodles named Otis and Hazel.

“We’ve had zero negative feedback from coworkers and friends. Everyone seems to just be delighted about the arrangement and that’s because they know us,” Jenkins says. “I think some people will look at this and say like, ‘Oh, this is exotic. It’s going to harm the child.’ But people who know us know that we have been taking care of these kids as best as we possibly can.”

That however hopeless things may seem as a young gay man struggling to fit in, the world is changing. And that he’ll someday find more love under one roof than he ever imagined.

(If two dads are good, maybe three are better! See The happiest children in Spain live with two daddies,)

From my inbox, “How Polyamorists and Polygamists Are Challenging Family Norms” (New Yorker): “Campaigns for legal recognition may soon make multiple-partner marriages as unremarkable as same-sex marriages.

Some excerpts:

The next year, in an online forum, they saw a post from a woman in her early thirties named Julie Halcomb that said, “I’m a single mom, I’ve got a two-year-old daughter, and I’d like to learn more.” Rich wrote, “If you want to know more, ask my wives.” Angela had opposed adding a third wife, but when she got off her first call with Julie she said, “O.K., when is she moving in?” Julie visited, mostly to make sure that the kids would get along, and joined the household permanently a week later.

Their living arrangements attracted other unwelcome attention. Neighbors called the police, and Child Protective Services interviewed the children. Since there was only one marriage certificate, the police couldn’t file bigamy charges. “They said, ‘We don’t like it, but there’s nothing we can do,’ ” Julie recalled. “But we had them at our door constantly. One of the kids would have an accident at school—we’d have them there again. They were constantly trying to find signs of abuse.”

At the family’s largest, Rich had four wives, but when I met him, a couple of years ago, he and Angela were divorcing, and another woman, April, had come and gone. Rich, Brandy, and Julie were living with their kids—six, including Rich’s and Julie’s from earlier relationships—and saw Angela’s two every other weekend.

The Austins would like one day to enjoy the legal benefits that married couples take for granted. Brandy and Julie take heart from the success of the gay-marriage movement. “I’ve got a wedding invitation on the way from a friend who’s transitioning from female to male,” Julie said. “I’ve got classmates that came out almost twenty years ago. They’ve been lucky enough to get married. I wish people would be as accepting with us as we try to be of everyone else.”

We already have functional polygamy in the U.S. An American doesn’t need to settle for the highest-earning partner whom he/she/ze/they can find for a long-term marriage. He/she/ze/they can have sex once with an already-married high-income defendant and earn more via child support (see Hunter Biden’s plaintiff) than by getting married to a mediocre earner and enduring his/her/zer/their presence in the apartment 24/7. Soon we can have de jure polygamy?

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