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Sunday Funnies, part 40

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read.


Everything is Going to be OK by Dani Jones
This web comic doesn’t have a lot of strips, though the artist has a lot of other art and related materials available to share. I first became aware of the strip when her strip I grew up believing I was ugly because I could never be pretty enough was shared on a rather large number of social media accounts I follow. Dani is a queer artist who also happens to be a triplet and to have been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — and if by now you haven’t figured out that I am immediately a fan of any queer people who have carved out an out life having grown up in a conservative religious community, you aren’t a regular reader of this blog. Anyway, she tackles a lot of different topics, and I have found her strips to be funny, cute, and informative. If you like her work and would like to support her, she has patreon and also a store where you can buy a lot of her other merchandise.


Comics I’ve previously recommended: Some of these have stopped publishing new episodes. Some have been on hiatus for a while. I’ve culled from the list those that seem to have gone away entirely.

Kyle’s B&B by Greg Fox is hard to describe. The main character, Kyle, is a gay Canadian who owns a bed and breakfast that seems to be constantly occupied by hot queer guests. Many, many hot queer guests! There is some romance, and a lot of jokes about things ranging for sub-cultures in the queer community, to gardening and pop culture and… well, a lot of stuff. If you like Greg Fox’s work, you can purchase his books here

Good Bye to Halos by Valeria Halla. Fenic is trans and gay. The comic begins when Fenric is a teenager. Fenric’s father says that it is no longer safe for him there, and then pushes him through a portal and Fenic finds herself in a place call Market Square and unable to get back. She is befriended by an anthropomorphic lion and learns that Market Square is a place where queer kids from many worlds/dimensions find themselves when they are abandoned or lost. Later, as Fenic gets older and assumes that her father is never coming to rescue her, the adventures become increasingly fantastical. If you like the artist’s work, you can support her on Patreon.


What QQ by Carlisle Robinson. This is one of several comics created by Carlisle Robinson, a deaf trans masculine queer artist. If you like Carlisle’s work, consider supporting the Patreon

Casey at the Bat by Bob Glasscock. 20-something Casey was dumped by the man he thought was the love of his life, then a friend convinced him to try out for a local gay softball league as a way to meet new people. And thus begins the comic. Casey At the Bat describes itself as a lighthearted slice-of-live romantic comedy, that just happens to start a young gay man. The strip is entertaining and does mostly stick to the less serious topics. If you enjoy this comic (which is more about romance and friendships than it is about sports—though there is some of that, too) you can purchase collection of the comics here.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 3.18.45 PMCheck, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle, a former junior figure skating champion from a southern state who is attending fictitious Samwell College in Massachusetts, where he plays on the men’s hockey team. Bitty is the smallest guy on the team, and in the early comics is dealing with a phobia of being body-checked in the games. He’s an enthusiastic baker, and a die hard Beyoncé fan.

“Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls” by Jessica Udischas is a hilarious web comic that tells of the adventures of Jesska Nightmare, a trans woman trying to make her way in our transphobic world. The comics are funny, insightful, and adorably drawn. The sheer cuteness of the drawing style is a rather sharp contrast to the sometimes weighty topics the comic covers, and I think makes it a little easier to keep from getting bummed out to contemplate that the strips aren’t exaggerations. If you like the strip, consider supporting the artist through her patreon.

https://lifeofbria.com copyright  Sabrina SymingtonLife of Bria by Sabrina Symington is a transgender themed comic that ranges from commentary to slice of life jokes and everything in between. Even when commenting on very serious stuff it remains funny—sharp, but funny. It’s one of the comics that I would see being reblogged on tumblr and lot and I’d think, “I ought to track down the artist so I can read more of these.” And I finally did. And they’re great! If you like Symington’s work, you can sponsor her on Patreon and she has a graphic novel for sale.

Nerd and Jock by Marko Raassina This is a silly webcomic about a Nerd and Jock who are good friends and like to have fun together. Frequently the joke of the strip is to take a cliché about jocks and nerds and twist it in some way. It’s cute. I happen to really like cute and low-conflict stories sometimes. If you like this comic, consider supporting the artist on Patreon.

Assigned Male by Sophie Labelle is a cute story about a transgirl (we meet her at age 11) and goes from there. Some of the strips are more informational or editorial than pushing the narrative forward, but they are in the voice of the main character, so it’s fun. The artist also has a Facebook page of the site, and is in the process of moving to a domain of her own (though currently it still doesn’t have the actual comic strips available). I mention this so you will not be put off by the words “old website” she’s added to the banner. If you like her comic and would like to support her, she has an Etsy shop were four book collections of the comics and other things are for sale.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

“Stereophonic” by C.J.P. is a “queer historical drama that follows the lives of two young men living in 1960s London.” It’s a very sweet and slow-build story, with good art and an interesting supporting cast. But I want to warn you that the story comes to a hiatus just as a couple of the subplots are getting very interesting. The artist had a serious health issue which was complicated by family problems, but has since started posting updates to his blog and Patreon page, assuring us that the story will resume soon. If you like the 300+ pages published thus far and would like to support the artist, C.J. has a Patreon page, plus t-shirts and other merchandise available at his store.

Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson concerns the adventures of 9-year-old Phoebe Howell. One day, Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond, and the skipping rock hit a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils in the face. This happened to free the unicorn from her own reflection, so she granted Phoebe one wish. Phoebe wisely wished that Marigold would become her best friend. If you like the comic, you can buy the books here and enamel pins and other stuff here.

Reading Doonesbury: A trip through nearly fifty years of American comics by Paul HébertThis blog is mostly about the Doonesbury comic strip by Gary B. Trudeau which has been being published for 50 years. Hébert looks at various sequences and themes and long arcs from the comic strip, writing essays analyzing how the story went, putting it in context of the time it was printed, and so forth. He also reviews other comics and graphic novels.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy by Alex Wolfson begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

3Tripping Over You by Suzana Harcum and Owen White is a strip about a pair of friends in school who just happen to fall in love… which eventually necessitates one of them coming out of the closet. Tripping Over You has several books, comics, and prints available for purchase.

dm100x80“Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer tells the tales from the lives of three friends (and former roommates) who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible. If you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

copyright Madeline McGraneMadeline McGrane is a cartoonist and illustrator who is from Wisconsin and lives in Minneapolis. She posts vampire-themed comics and other art on her tumblr blog. My favorites are the vampire comics about three child vampires. They’re just silly. Her black and white comics are minimalist and really work well with her style of humor. Her color work is a bit more complex. If you like her work and want to support her, she has a ko-fi.

The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard logo.The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard. is frequently autobiographical take on the artist’s journey to creating the crazy strip about science, science nerds, why girls are just as good at being science nerds as boys, and so much more. It will definitely appeal to dinosaur nerds, anyone who has ever been enthusiastic about any science topic, and especially to people who has ever felt like a square peg being forced into round holes by society.

The logo for Scurry, a web comic by Mac SmithScurry by Mac Smith is the story of a colony of mice trying to survive a long, strange winter in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, and food is becoming ever more scarce.

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan PastisThe heart of the series are two characters, a clueless Pig and an arrogant Rat, and they comment on just about everything. It’s hard to describe that subject matter beyond “human foibles and society.” The author says his goal is to poke fun at humans’ unending quest for the unobtainable.

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And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

logo-1Fowl Language by Brian Gordon is a fun strip about parenting, tech, science, and other geeky things. The strips are funny, and he also has a bonus panel link to click on under the day’s strip.

lasthalloweenThe Last Halloween by Abby Howard is the creepy story of 10-year-old Mona who is reluctantly drafted to save the world on Halloween night. This is by the same artist who does the Junior Science Power Hour. She created this strip as her pitch in the final round of Penny Arcade’s Strip Search, which was a reality game show where web cartoonists competed for a cash prize and other assistance to get their strip launched. Though Abby didn’t win, she started writing the strip anyway. If you like the comic, you can support Abby in a couple of ways: she has some cool stuff related to both of her strips in her store, and she also has a Patreon.

Last Kiss® by John Lustig Mr. Lustig bought the publishing rights to a romance comic book series from the 50’s and 60’s, and started rewriting the stories for fun. The redrawn and re-dialogued panels (which take irreverent shots at gender and sexuality issues, among other things) are syndicated, and available on a bunch of merchandise.

Sharpclaw by Sheryl Schopfer. The author describes as “fantasy comic that blends various fairy tales into an adventure story.” The first story is about twin sisters who both have the potential to be sorceresses. One pursues magic power, the other does not. If you enjoy her work, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

“Champion of Katara” by Chuck Melville tells the tale of a the greatest sorcerer of Katara, Flagstaff (Flagstaff’s foster sister may disagree…), and his adventures in a humorous sword & sorcery world. If you enjoy the adventures of Flagstaff, you might also enjoy another awesome fantasy series set in the same universe (and starring the aforementioned foster sister): and Felicia, Sorceress of Katara, or Chuck’s weekly gag strip, Mr. Cow, which was on a hiatus for a while but is now back. If you like Mr. Cow, Felicia, or Flagstaff (the hero of Champions of Katara) you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

Private I, by Emily Willis and Ann Uland is a comic set in 1942 Pittsburgh in which queer gumshoe Howard Graves is trying to sort out a collection of bewildering clues and infuriating eccentric suspects. It’s an interesting take on a lot of noir tropes. It handles the queer elements well—being outed or caught by the wrong people can spell the end of not just one’s career, but possibly life–without being all grim-dark. If you like the comic and want to support the creators, check out their Ko-fi.

The Comics of Shan Murphy As far as I can tell, Shannon Murphy doesn’t post a regular comic on the web. But among the categories of illustration on her site are comics. Her art styles (multiple) are really expressive. And she just writes really good stuff. If you like her work, considered leaving a tip at her ko-fi page.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.36.43 PMMuddler’s Beat by Tony Breed is the fun, expanded cast sequel to Finn and Charlie Are Hitched.

The Young Protectors: Legendary by Alex Woolfson. This is just a new story arc for the Young Protectors comic recommended above. However, Alex is changing up the artists he’s working with in this arc, and the focus is decidedly different. This new arc begins by exploring the changed relationship between our protagonist, Kyle (aka Red Hot) and one of his teammates, Spooky Jones. The story is NSFW, although unless you are a patron of Alex’s Patreon, you see a lot less of the explicit artwork. It isn’t porn, per se, and it isn’t a romance. If you check out the page, you’ll see that Alex has written several other comics, some of which are available to purchase in hard copy. And, as I mentioned, he’s got a Patreon account.

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which has published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 10.15.31 AM“Unshelved” by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes recounts the adventures of a teen services librarian named Dewey. The web site is also an online book club, with reviews, links, and samples of various recommended comics and other books. This should not be a surprise, since one of the creators of the strip, Gene Ambaum, is a librarian in real life. The strip is funny, and is available for free syndication on non-commercial websites. They’ve printed a number of collections of the strip and have various other cool things related to the love of reading and libraries for sale on their online store.

NsfwOglaf, by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne is a Not Safe For Work web comic about… well, it’s sort a generic “medieval” high fantasy universe, but with adult themes, often sexual. Jokes are based on fantasy story and movie clichés, gaming tropes, and the like. And let me repeat, since I got a startled message from someone in response to a previous posting of this recommendation: Oglaf is Not Safe For Work (NSFW)!


Note: Usually when I do one of these posts, I include the slightly shorter reviews of all the comics I’ve recommended previously. I do periodically go through those lists and remove comics that have vanished entirely. For now, I’m leaving in those that have stopped publishing new episodes but still have a web site.

But the list is getting awfully long, and I’m not sure how useful the older links are. I’m still thinking about it. Feel free to comment if you have strong thoughts on the topic.

Note the Second: For the first several years that I was making these posts, I foolishly inserted the title graphic for each comic using the WordPress defaults—so that when a reader clicked on the graphic, they would see the graphic full size. What I should have been doing was changing the setting so that clicking the graphic would take you to the home page of the comic being reviewed. Which I have been doing for a while with new reviews. But most the the mini reviews under each new review had the old behavior. Which I was reminded of when I saw that about half the clicks on my blog the day Sunday Funnies, part 39 posted were people clicking on the images. So I spent the time to fix them from that entire post. And will be using this fixed list from now on. I wasn’t a quick simple fix, so I’m not likely to go back and fix the 38 older editions of this blog series any time soon.

Another attack of fumble finger

Fumble fingers! Still editing! Come back soon!

Friday Five (racists gonna commit racism edition)

Click to embiggen)

We have reached the final Friday in May.

Most of the week has been a mix of drizzly evening, cool days, some sun breaks, slowly warming as the week went on. Then Thursday the weather decided to pretend it was summer. So it was sunny, too warm, and the darn pollen count was through the roof… and I had one of four remaining impossible deadlines of the week to try to get out while suffering a major sinus headache and other symptoms of a bad hay fever day.

Meanwhile, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five stories of the week, five stories about the pandemic, five stories about the criminal pretending to be president, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and some things I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Activist, Author and Playwright Larry Kramer Has Died at 84. Yes, normally these stories go in the In Memoriam section (and there are more about Larry Kramer there), but Kramer’s role in leading the fight against medical inactivity, societal indifference, and active government hostility to people dying of AIDS during the first two decades of the pandemic is indescribable.

‘We All Feel At Risk’: 100,000 People Dead From COVID-19 In The U.S..

Facebook Helps Push Right-Wing Extremism, And They Know It – “Facebook knows what it’s doing, intentionally continues to cause harm to increase engagement and profit, and will never fix these problems themselves.”.

George Floyd: Black man dies after US police pin him to ground – Four Minneapolis officers fired after the murder of George Floyd, who died after being pinned down by a white officer.

Amy Cooper dubbed ‘Central Park Karen’ fired from job after targeting Black man.

This Week in the Pandemic:

2.1 Million Jobless Claims Filed Last Week, Reaching Total Of Over 40M Amid Outbreak.

Two Weeks After Residents Flooded Bars, Wisconsin Sees Record Number of COVID-19 Cases, Deaths.

11,000 COVID Cases Linked To Three Meat Processors.

Every Coronavirus Symptom We Know: A Visual Guide.

Protester who hoisted Gov. Andy Beshear effigy fired from job at Neil Huffman Auto Group.

This Week in the Deplorable Thug Occupying the White House:

For Trump Supporters, The Cruelty Is The Point – Does anyone really still believe that his supporters merely put up with his rages nearly five years after Trump declared his candidacy?

The Psychopath in Chief – I spent hundreds of hours with Donald Trump to ghost-write ‘The Art of the Deal.’ I now see a deeper meaning behind his behavior.

Trump Pushes a Conspiracy Theory That Falsely Accuses a TV Host of Murder – On Twitter and at a news conference, the president said Joe Scarborough was responsible for the death of Lori Klausutis, who worked for him when he was a congressman. But Twitter refused her husband’s request to have the false tweets removed.

Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President – Why don’t the president’s supporters hold him to their own standard of masculinity?

Fox News Nails Trump For Lying About Mail-in Ballots: ‘There’s Not Evidence Of Significant Fraud’ – A Fox News segment on Sunday refuted President Donald Trump’s claim that mail-in voting is a “scam” that gives an advantage to Democrats.

In Memoriam:

Larry Kramer, Pioneering AIDS Activist And Writer, Dies At 84.

Anthony Fauci reflects on death of Larry Kramer: ‘He was truly an icon’.

Larry Kramer Taught Me to Be Angry. I Still Am.

‘Larry Kramer Changed My Life.’ Ellen Barkin, Joel Grey, Anthony Rapp, and Others Recall a ‘Hero’ and Friend.

Larry Kramer Had the Courage to Act on His Fear – The AIDS activist, who has died at the age of eighty-four, had a vision both catastrophic and hopeful.

Richard Herd, ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Star Trek’ actor, dies at age 87.

Sally Rowley, Jewelry Maker and Freedom Rider, Dies at 88 – She fought for civil rights, learned to fly and sold her art on the streets of San Francisco. She died of the novel coronavirus.

Things I wrote:

The Missing History of Decoration Day.

Tuesday Tidbits 5/26/2020: Willing to kill…?

Videos!

Rep. Brian Sims Delivers Epic, Expletive-Laden Rant Accusing GOP of Covering Up Lawmaker’s COVID-19 Diagnosis – Brian Sims slam Republican colleagues over keeping their COVID-19 exposure secret:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

DISTRACTION! – A Randy Rainbow Song Parody:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Old Gays Look Back At Their Past Pets:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Elmo’s Song feat. Lil Nas X | The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

As mean as a cornered ocelot

“Let's be clear, President Trump will run a campaign as mean as a cornered ocelot and as fair as loaded dice. Which Democratic candidate do you think can best stand up and fight back?” - Dan Rather

“Let’s be clear, President Trump will run a campaign as mean as a cornered ocelot and as fair as loaded dice. Which Democratic candidate do you think can best stand up and fight back?” – Dan Rather https://twitter.com/DanRather/status/1172592650202992640

I have a couple of half-finished Weekend Update-ish posts… but I keep thinking about this comment on twitter from retired news anchor, Dan Rather, the day after the third Democratic candidate debate.

And, yeah, every single one of those ten people have much better, smarter, and clearer policies to tackle real problems we face in this country that Trump or the GOP even wish to contemplate. We can’t lose sight of the fact that the first step to undoing all this madness is get Trump out of office. We can’t distract ourselves over subtle policy differences.

Fumble fingers again

I was still editing and accidentally click Publish in stead of Save.

But now the post is up: That has always been here, or politics aren’t a new thing in sf/f.

Delete delete delete

Fumble fingers struck again.

Now the post is finished and up: Most writing advice is free, but the value varies

Pride Month May Be Over, but our pride and the battles it represents go on

I had seen them earlier while watching the parade, but hadn’t been able to get over to them to ask if I could take their picture. Then found them later at the festival enjoying the shade.

Last weekend we watched part of the Parade before slipping into the Pride Festival. I took a lot of pictures, but most of them aren’t that interesting in retrospect. I was usually trying to get a picture or a cool costume or a neat t-shirt, et cetera. Because I’m vertically challenged and we were trying to keep me in the shade, while I could see the parade, I was doing a lot of looking between people’s heads, which makes it difficult to get good pictures.

After the Dykes on Bikes we had the color guard, which was a whole lotta flags. This picture demonstrates why most of my parade pics aren’t really worth posting. (click to embiggen)

Because we walked to the Parade route from the Locus Awards Hotel, where ever we wind up watching the Parade will be close to the end of the route. We’ve previously found spots that were far enough from the end that we only had to see and hear the God Hates Fags people for a short time, as they usually walk down the length of the route before the official start of the parade, with a police escort. I’ve written before about why I think this is wrong, so won’t go into it here.

This year, we were much closer to the end, and it turns out that when the haters get to that point, they leave the route and assemble near the places where police have set up to maintain roadblocks and such. And they keep spouting their hate over megaphones for a long, long time. And have all their hateful signs.

Here’s where I repeat that I believe in free speech and the right of people to protest. But I believe in treating each other with respect, believe that science and demonstrable fact trump groundless claims and disprovable convictions (no matter how sincere). I also despise hypocrisy and misattribution. So, while I think they have a right to counter-protest the parade, I also believe that shouting hate and disinformation into a megaphone in a public space is barbaric and unproductive behavior.

The sign reads, “I didn't say that! Love, Jesus”

The sign reads, “I didn’t say that! Love, Jesus”

And it is misinformation. They had multiple megaphones but took turns (I’m presuming because of battery issues and to give vocal cords a rest?). two of the guys kept claiming that Jesus said that all “you homos and lesbos and trannies and other faggots” were going to burn in the lake of fire. “You will spend eternity in Hell, you workers of iniquity!” And that is fundamentally a lie. It’s multiple lies. First, Jesus never once said a single word about homosexuality. Comb through the gospels as much as you like, and you will find not a single mention. Second, the only time he talked about people going to eternal punishment, he was talking about people who claimed to be Christian but didn’t follow his teaching (Matthew 25:42-46). And the phrase “workers of iniquity” is from a passage where Jesus was talking about people who preach falsely in his name (Matthew 7:21-23). Fortunately, someone showed up dressed as Jesus with a counter-sign. I have to really zoom in to one of the pictures I took trying to catch him.

The Satanic Church showed up with pro-gay signs, to surround the main group of anti-gay folks and block their signs. That seemed to drive most of them off, leaving one guy with a sign and megaphone. I will say that he tried to talk more calmly and didn’t just hurl slurs at people. But at one point the last anti-gay protestor was surrounded by the Satanic Church people and a bunch of folks wearing the trans flag as a cape, and they had parasols they were holding up so no one could see his sign. Even he eventually gave up and walked away.

I have dozens of shots like this of people in their cool t-shirts, hats, and costumes

I have dozens of shots like this of people in their cool t-shirts, hats, and costumes (click to embiggen).

The festival was fun. I like seeing all the different kinds of us that are there. Between us, we each found a t-shirt at one of the booths we wanted to buy, but they didn’t have the one Michael wanted in his size. Michael found two variants of Pride flags that I didn’t have, so we grabbed those. It was wonderful seeing a bunch of women wearing “Free Mom Hugs” t-shirts. Then at one point I was sitting somewhere resting (and taking pictures) while he went looking for some lemonade. He came back and asked me if I knew there was a queer gamers/comics fan mini con in the pavilion. There, inside an air conditioned space were two publishers that specialize in queer comics and related books, plus gaming companies, some artists, and a bunch of arcade style games. One of the publishers, Northwest Press, is a company I frequently buy stuff from at Geek Girl Con, so I was on the mailing list, and only after we went in did I remember that I had seen an email from them with a subject line about looking for them at Pride.

It was a good day. I got to see and applaud some cool Parade entries. I got to smile and say “Happy Pride” to a huge number of complete strangers. And contrary to what the guys with the megaphones were shouting at us, the main reason we’re at Pride isn’t to revel in our supposed sins, it is to celebrate the fact that we’re alive and thriving despite the efforts of the haters. To paraphrase the meme I shared earlier: it isn’t about who we have sex with, it’s about the fact that we have survived the taunting and gaslighting and yelling and bashing and shaming. We’re celebrating the fact that we’re tough enough to walk out in public with our true selves fully on display. And that’s why the most of the crowd kept laughing at the haters and the nonsense they spewed on their portable sound systems. We’ve spent years surviving far worse than what they can dish out in a single afternoon, and we’re realized that we are strong enough to stand on our own feet, while all they have is hot air.

And here’s something to think about the next time you see those haters. A blogger who goes by Riot Grrl Dyke was once a child of those haters who was taken to Pride by her parents to try to confront the sinners. RiotGrrlDyke has this to say about Pride:

I’ll never forget my first pride.

I can’t remember my actual age, but it was in the range of 10 to 13 I think. my parents had dragged me to a Pride festival, and walked across the street from the main event, across where the lines were drawn, to where a sea of people in red shirts that read “god has a better way” tried to drown out the celebration with speakers blasting christian music, and shouting and loud praying.

the leaders pulled all us kids to the side and gave us the spiel. they told us how the rainbow had been stolen from us, and that these people were tricked by the devil and just needed prayer, but that if we didn’t save them, they were going to hell.

I rolled my eyes because I already didn’t believe in god, and although I barely knew what being gay was, I knew my parents were usually on the Wrong side of things, and I shouldn’t be siding with them.

“We aren’t allowed over there if we’re wearing the red shirts,” the leaders told us, “so we’re sending people over in secret without them so you can pass out tracts and pray for people. they won’t talk to us, but they’ll talk to the kids. does anyone want to volunteer?”

the people in red shirts disgusted me. the people on the other side of the line were cheering and having fun. I raised my hand.

we were supposed to go in groups with young adults, to make sure we were doing what we were supposed to be. I wandered off the minute I could and stood nervously at the edge of a crowd, watching on as people went by, happy and unbothered by the protests across the street. I felt a little pride myself in tricking the protestors into giving up a witness spot to me, when I was going to smile on and think profanities at god instead.

there was an older woman standing outside the crowd too. she asked if I was here with anyone, a girlfriend maybe? I said no, my parents were across the street. she nodded, and said she was here with her kid. a daughter, that she came to support, but couldn’t keep up with in the crowd.

I almost cried. I told her how amazing that was, because I couldn’t imagine my mother showing support like that to me over anything, much less something as serious as Being Gay. I imagined if I was gay, and at a pride event just like now, but this time because I Belong.

I knew automatically that my mother, without a doubt, would still be in the same place, across the street.

I got hungry after a bit, and tried to find a good food truck. I had a little money and I was unused to being on my own like this, but I didn’t want to go back to the Other Side. I knew now without a shadow of a doubt, this was the Good side and that was the Bad side.

as I was eating the gyro I got, there was a stream of red shirted protestors trickling through; I had reached the end of the boundaries, and the protestors were allowed in here. I backed up a little, spotting my dad among them. I didn’t want him to tell me to go back.

there was a line of women closing ranks around the Pride attendees, separating them from the protesters as they walked through. they spread their arms out and told every person the protesters spoke to that they were not obligated to respond, they could walk away and not engage.

my dad spotted me back, and made a beeline over. he couldn’t cross over because a butch lesbian stood between us. I didn’t know what those words meant, but I never forgot the buttons she was wearing.

he tried to tell me that it was time to go. “you’re not obligated to speak to him,” the butch said, cutting him off and edging further between us. I smiled at her, a little in wonderment. no one had ever told me that I didn’t have to speak to my parents, or do anything other than blindly obey them. I watched my dad get held behind a line by a woman half his height, with no intention on letting him get to me, and I smiled and walked away.

I didn’t have a clue who I was then, and I wouldn’t for a good few years to come. but I never forgot the supportive mother, who symbolized to me everything a mother should be, that mine, for all her religious self righteousness, would never hold a candle to. I never forgot that she was the person I wanted to be, and my mother was the person I did not want to be.

I never forgot the butch who stood between me and my dad, and for the first time ever, put the idea in my head that I was ALLOWED to make my own choices in my beliefs, and made me feel protected in a way I hadn’t known I needed.

the image of her standing between me and my dad, being a physical barrier to protect me against any potential threat, that inspired the image of who I admired and wanted to become. it inspired the version of me who could stand up to my dad – to the point that I could hold my ground and educate him enough that over a decade later, he walked side by side with me at a pride festival, with no intent of witnessing to or condemning anybody.

pride month may be over, but the impact this month and these events can have is so damn important. I became who I am because of two people I met at a pride festival. I’ll never forget.
—RiotGrrlDyke

Friday Bonus Five (critters and pride edition)

Since I’m on vaction and trying not to stress too much about the housework and packing I need to do before leaving for our mini trip, and because I did a fairly basic Friday Five last night after working later and because I saw several interesting animal stories when checking the news this morning, here is a bonus Friday Five!

So, here are five stories and five videos to add some cuteness and fun to your Friday:

This Week in the Animal Kingdom:

Oregon Zoo reveals names of rescued otter pups.

Writer spots that lions in Noah’s Ark kids’ books are nearly always ‘gay’.

Denver Zoo says male flamingos have been together for several years, could raise chick.

The London Zoo is celebrating Pride month in honor of its gay penguins.

Flying goats! Olympic Range mountain goats are being relocated by helicopter and ferry.

Videos!

Sea otters use tools, too. Now scientists look at their ‘archaeology’:

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Our Planet | Otters | Clip:

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The 10-month-old baby panda was named “Qiqi” at Shanghai Wild Animal Park:

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‘I’m being chased by an otter!’: Hilarious man versus beast:

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Penguin Chicks’ Stand Off Against Predator | Spy In The Snow | BBC Earth – Penguin chicks rescued by unlikely hero:

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Friday Five (someone’s going to prison edition)

Picture of convicted conspirator, Paul Manafort captioned “Will not do well in prison”

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It’s Friday! The second Friday in March!

And it snowed again. Had a bit over an inch in our part of town. Snow turned to rain and washed it away by afternoon, but it snowed. Again. I’ve seen snow in March, yes. Much later than March, in fact. When I was a kid growing up in Colorado! I haven’t lived in Colorada in over 40 years. We’ve already had the snowiest winter ever. Can we please, please have a bit of normal?

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about science, five stories about deplorable people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and the thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

How Much Wealthier Are White School Districts Than Nonwhite Ones? $23 Billion, Report Says.

In wake of protests, JPMorgan Chase breaks up with private prison industry.

A Clinton-era centrist Democrat explains why it’s time to give democratic socialists a chance.

Sex outside of marriage could soon be legal in Utah.

North Korea Is Rebuilding Rocket Site It Dismantled After Nuclear Talks Last Year. Because of course they are…

This Week in Science:

Smithsonian | There is A Scientific Reason That Cold Weather Could Cause Colds. There are actually multiple reasons why cold and flu season happens during the cold part of the year.

Semi-Identical Twins Identified For Only The Second Time Ever .

Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox.

After 14-year search scientists think they have found a new type of killer whale off coast of Chile.

A 2,000-year-old tattoo tool is the oldest in western North Americ

Awful, Deplorable People:

Paul Manafort Sentenced To Only 47 Months.

The Truth in Trump’s Law-Enforcement Hypocrisy — As a public defender, I’m not mad at how well Manafort and Cohen have been treated. I just want that same treatment for my clients..

Mike Pence isn’t ‘decent.’ He’s insidious..

Two Dozen Republicans Refuse to Vote for Resolution Condemning Wide Range of Hate and Bigotry.

Indiana man had 2,000 ancient human bones in his house. Most illegally dug up out of various indigenous burial grounds.

In Memoriam:

Luke Perry Dead: ‘90210,’ ‘Riverdale’ Star Dies at 52.

Luke Perry, in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ Helped Redefine the Male Love Interest —the mediocre 1992 movie eventually led to some great TV — but it also created a first-rate example of a male feminist..

Things I wrote:

Disgraced former Congressman gets an out of jail free pass….

Haste to prepare the way, or an ex-evangelical explains christianist attitudes toward Israel and Israelie.

Videos!

Someone has created an animation of several Police Logs of Port Townsend:

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Good Omens – Official Trailer | Prime Video:

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Brian Justin Crum “CIRCLES”:

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Better — A Horse With A Horn (NSFW):

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HE’S IN LOVE (and we’re all gonna die) – Randy Rainbow Song Parody:

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F/r/i/d/a/y/ Saturday Five (checkmate edition)

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It was Friday. I knew it was the first Friday in March. Yet, there was no Friday Five post on this blog yesterday.

We had two simultaneous product releases at work, and being the sole technical writer for the division, that turns into an extremely busy week. I put in more than eleven hours on Thursday alone, and it wasn’t the only day that I worked long hours. So, Thursday night, once I was done, I started working on this post. But I was literally dozing at the keyboard, so it didn’t happen.

Anyway, welcome to the Saturday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about deplorable people, five stories about our very impeachable alleged president, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and the thing I wrote).

Stories of the Week:

Everyone loved me as Cosmo the Cougar, but would they love who I was behind the mask?.

Opinion | I Didn’t Kill My Baby.

World’s Largest Bee Is Spotted For First Time In Decades.

The Brain That Remade Itself.

Apple, Google, Tumblr and more businesses lobby US court for trans student.

This Week in High Crimes:

Republican Questioning of Michael Cohen at Hearing Is Bad – Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows Don’t Ask About Trump.

What We Learned From Michael Cohen’s Historic Testimony.

Former Trump Aid: Mueller Report Will be a Conspiracy Roadmap for Impeachment .

Kompromat: Or, Revelations from the Unpublished Portions of Andrea Manafort’s Hacked Texts .

A prominent conservative just shredded Trump’s ‘deafening silence’ on an alleged white supremacist terror plot.

Awful, Deplorable People:

NORTH CAROLINA: Republican Operative Arrested On Seven Felony Charges Over 2018 House Election Fraud and Central figure in 9th District election probe indicted and Board Orders New Election in Fraud-Tainted NC-9 Race .

And one bit of good news out of the North Carolina mess: Anti-LGBTQ pastor Mark Harris won’t run again after election board called for new House election in ballot fraud case – The Republican cited health concerns to explain his decision to skip the upcoming North Carolina Ninth District election.

George Pell: cardinal found guilty of child sexual assault – Vatican treasurer, the third most senior Catholic in the world, convicted on five charges in Australian court case.

Right-wing media and think tanks are aligning with fake feminists who dehumanize trans people.

And here in my home state: Tim Eyman (serial initiative sponsor under investigation for election finance fraud) charged with misdemeanor theft; attorneys call chair’s removal from store an accident

In Memoriam:

Disability Rights Advocate Carrie Ann Lucas Dies After Insurance Company Denied Her Necessary Medication.

Katherine Helmond, the Man-Crazy Mother on ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Dies at 89.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update: Words and images worth checking out.

Videos!

Trevor Noah: Michael Cohen told Congress that Trump Is a Racist, a Con Man and a Cheat but Lynne Patton Says He’s Not, So…:

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Lanny Davis: Michael Cohen Gave ‘Game Changing’ Information To House Intel | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC:

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Ex-Trump campaign official calls him ‘un-American’ and says his supporters were ‘taken for fools’:

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Boys In Trouble – Sean Dorsey Dance:

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Ben Platt – Grow As We Go [Official Video]:

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