Raging Against the Machine-Community Voices OnPoint with Abandon

Honestly, I just don’t get it. No, I take part of that back… I get that people automatically fear anything that is different and that fear tends to translate into anger. I have been told recently that I need to stop talking about Trans and nonbinary issues and concerns. I mean everywhere people look these days Trans people are pushing themselves into “normal” people’s lives. There are Trans people on the TV and Trans activists spreading propaganda all over social media and Trans people are even corning so-called “normal” people in bathrooms!  This same person was extremely hurt and angered when I not only disagreed but also by the fact that I disagreed vehemently and that I had to audacity to show my displeasure.


Welcome to the catch-22 of oppressed minorities—we are not allowed to disagree with anyone about the ways we are treated and especially not the status quo.  If we really must commit such a terrible act of disagreeing we must do it in the meekest ways possible so as to not to force our views unjustly onto said status quo.


Although I personally do not agree with that view in all instances I can see not allowing ourselves to get trapped into thinking that every single person that just so happens to be a part of the status quo thinks/feels/believes. So when reacting with individual people I can agree that there needs to be a certain level of mindfulness but here is the catch—most of the time the people that are a part of the status quo benefit from being a part of this group that other groups do not and sometimes cannot. So there should not be any shame in pointing this fact out.  Also, I believe that “normal” needs to be under constant scrutiny and should be constantly adjusted to include instead of exclude different ways of living.


On top of that I do not feel that “machinery” of the status quo needs to be tip-toed around in order to spare its feelings.  I also feel that oppressed minorities should be allowed to express their feelings whether it is hurt, confusion, and yes… even rage.  This feeling can be described as stemming from the quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Well behaved women seldom make history”.  If we start from the understanding that for most of recorded history women as an oppressed minority were often silenced and even erased then we think about what happens to groups when they are not allowed to speak up in any capacity and how easy it is to slide down the slippery slope of “for their own good” into “they are not human and they do not deserve rights”.


I hope it becomes clearer why I personally will not stop talking about Trans and nonbinary concerns and why I will not always be meek and mild when confronting the culture of oppression that springs up from taking the “machinery” of the status quo for granted.  By no means am I one-sided in this belief I am constantly striving to be aware of my own arbitrary privileges.  Maybe this is why it is hard for me to understand the blatant unthinkingly hateful acts that we as a people inflict upon each other simply because we are afraid or think we know more than we actually do. We do not need to protect the status quo—it does well enough on its own and there is no way to hurt its feelings– but maybe we should instead challenge ourselves to listen to what other communities that we don’t automatically accept as “normal” are trying to tell us even when the message isn’t pretty or well behaved.


Thank you for your time

Your Friend


LGBT Pet Love

jerry faceWe really love our pets and will go to great lengths to pamper them and show them off.  I myself have a mackeral Tabby named Jerry.  He is my little buddy and unconditional companion.  I don’t know the statistics about whether Gays and Lesbians prefer dogs or cats, but I’m sure they love all their furry children no matter what they are.





331c3fd200000578-3536588-image-m-9_1460490301644Anderson Cooper’s dog Molly passed away in September of last year and he now has a new furry child named Lily.  Lily is a  Welsh Springer Spaniel and is one cute baby.  Anderson is team dog and he said, “When dogs are looking at you, they’re hugging you with their eyes.” That is such a sweet thing to say.





f177679430Anderson’s buddy Andy Cohen also is team dog. Andy’s dog is named “Wacha”.  Andy rescued Wacha and has been in love every since.  Wacha makes frequent appearances on Andy’s late night TV show, “Watch What Happens Live” on Bravo.  Wacha even has his own twitter account.  Wacha Cohen.  Wacha is a Beagle mix and is quite the celebrity.  “Wacha also has some pretty high-flying canine pals to brag of. “I got my dog walker from Sarah Jessica Parker. Wacha’s doggy companions are her dog, Kissy Broderick, and Neville Jacobs, who belongs to Marc Jacobs,” Andy says. “From a shelter in West Virginia, now he’s prancing around in Central Park with fancy dogs.”

140331_2768944____the_people____watch____southern_charm___Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard from “The People’s Couch” always have PeeWee and Nacho with them as they watch selected TV show clips in the series.  Julie Goldman is a lesbian comic and also appears with Brandy on Hey Qween “Hot T”  on YouTube.


lil_bub_2013_crop_for_thumbFrom Joan Rivers to Betty White, celebrities love their pets and are amazing advocates for pet health, pet rescues and pet protection.  The Internet loves cats, as many of you (and myself) surely know.  You can spend days watching wonderful clips and videos on YouTube about cats.  “Grumpy Cat” took the Internet by storm a few years ago and the latest sensation is “Lil Bub”. People post their cat videos and show the world what wonderful companions they truly are and how talented they really can be.  Documentaries like “The Secret Lives of Cats” and  TV shows like “My Cat From Hell” are extremely popular.


So whether you are team cat or team dog, we sure do love them and any pet owner will tell you what a joy they can be.  Do you have a pet?  I’d love to see them.  You can e-mail me their pics at paul.senules@gmail.com or tweet me at paulpittsburgh (paul john) .




An unemployed blog post – Community Voices OnPoint with Samantha

Well after twenty plus years in the workforce I am having the hardest time ever finding a job. Up to this point in my life I have only been unemployed for no more than a month at a time. I don’t know if this has to do with me being Trans now  or just because the job availability is so bad but I have been unemployed for 5 months now.

My latest work experience is in CDL class B driving and warehouse work with forklift operation. I’m putting in a bunch of applications and not even getting a lot of interviews, but the interviews I am getting seem to be going real good but I don’t get the jobs.

It could very well be that they don’t want the possible drama involved with hiring a Trans employee. Even though I do live in Allegheny County which does supposedly have the protection where gender, sexuality and everything is not held against you for employment or housing.  I am not saying this is the reason, but it’s the only change in my life that can be the difference other than just the Job workforce availability.

I do feel that after twenty plus years, and with my experience that I should be able to find something besides minimum wage jobs. I am continuing to put in applications and search for jobs online.

After being unemployed for so long and not getting amy progress in the work situation, I am really getting depressed, I mean full blown depression! It is hard to get to sleep, stay asleep, get up in the morning, it is taking a lot of effort to start my day. I just want to curl up in a ball in the fetal position and cry, but alas that will do no good- just make me dehydrated.  And naturally the longer it takes the more I am getting the feeling that noone wants me.

That’s my Trans point of view.


Reflections on Pride- Community Voices On Point with Abandon

Pride is around the corner and I have been thinking about how my thoughts about Pride has changed for me over the years. When I went to my first ever Pride event in  Morgantown West Virginia,which was  during the height of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (The military’s position on LGBTQIAA enlistment in the US Armed Forces) if you need a reference point, someone made the joke as we lined up to march from WVU’s campus down the center of town that any parade we would have would actually turn into a run for our lives.

My feelings about Pride has always been complicated for example my first experiences were exciting but they also had elements of fear and while some of these feeling has mellowed over the years as Pride Events became more accepted; and I did not have to be so afraid of reprisal from the larger straight community. I also was  afraid that Pride would not live up the my expectations. As I was growing up in the coal towns of WV I used to daydream about belonging to something that actually understood me and the struggles I had to go through in order to be myself. Also for me I have never thought of Pride as existing in a vacuum; there was always outside pressures and the weight of history.  But I  admit that my first experiences with Pride were superficial and a bit self-serving. I was just happy to see people that loved the way that I did.

As I got older and was exposed to more ways of living and other histories I began to find Pride a bit problematic.  The earlier slogan of “Celebrate Diversity” really had an impact on me and when I realized the limited representation of other communities of some Pride events where “diversity” seemed to  mean “white”, “affluent”, “Cis” and nothing else. I have always believed that Pride served a purpose and that the people that worked long hours planning and executing Pride events were under appreciated but I found certain aspects of the institution of Pride to be troublesome and prone to white-washing and silencing to various LGBTQIAA communities.

My feelings about certain aspects of Pride and Pride Events might always be ambivalent but to balance these feelings I have recently noticed how on a community level  (a person-to-person level)  that their are people striving to deconstruct the monolithic idea of Pride and are reaching out to possibly previously silenced communities and trying to create spaces that are inclusive to all the people in the LGBTQIAA rainbow. I admit that the process is a slow one but it is happening.

If asked if I still think Pride is an important aspect of the LGBTQIAA community– the answer is yes even when I questioned/question certain aspects of it I still believe that Pride and Pride Events have the potential to giving voice to all the people in our community. Also, I believe we still owe a debt to all the people that have fought and struggled and by continuing to celebrate and be visible we are honoring their memories. Maybe we are still not fully living up to the ideal of “Celebrating Diversity” but at least we haven’t stopped trying.

Thank you for your time

Your friend



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