CPC Report; An unabashedly liberal perspective

1 April 2012- April's Fools Day & Rachel Maddow's Birthday as Well

Happy Birthday, Rachel! 

I think a lot of people of my generation are discomfited by the assertion of neutrality in the mainstream media, this idea that they're the voice of God. I think it's just honest to say, yes, you know where I'm coming from but you can fact-check anything I say.

Rachel Maddow

 You ain't no fool, Rachel. Happy Birthday.

I think my election is one of several indications that gay and lesbian folk are being brought more into the center of things. I'd like to think that my election signals my bringing of gay and lesbian folk into the center of the church.
Gene Robinson, Anglican Bishop

      The Skunk, the Jar & the Kind-hearted Woman 
            by Glynn Braman (Reprint- 22 April 2010)

It was a quite sunny and rather warm day on that old Appalachian Trail as a wandering little skunk foraged for something to eat. Upon the trail, the little one discovered a jar. It was not just any jar, but rather one from which emerged the sweet fragrance of strawberries. The little skunk loved the taste of strawberrys, but was somewhat puzzled by the absence of any in the jar. Instead of strawberries, there was this strange concoction sticking to the bottom of jar which also possessed the exact color of strawberries, but did not look like strawberries. But the smell betrayed its nature and that was enough for that little skunk. Since it had the smell of strawberries and the right color as well, then it must be strawberries sticking to the bottom of that jar, the little one concluded. The little skunk just wanted to devour that  concoction that possessed the sweet scent of strawberries. 

The little skunk proceeded to stick its little head into that jar and having managed to bring that ambrosia that smelled like  strawberries within the reach of his little tongue. The little one then proceeded to lick that sticky concoction and introduce that ambrosia to his taste buds. Those little buds then informed him that not only did that concoction possessed the scent of strawberries, it also tasted better than any strawberry the little one had ever had before. It was very sweet indeed. Having finished off that very sweet strawberry-like ambrosia, the little skunk discovered to his horror that he could not get his little head out of that jar. Try as he might, the little one could not extract his head from that jar.

At that time, a very important man came hiking down that trail. This was the governor of the state of South Carolina looking to rendezvous with his Argentine mistress. When he encountered that little skunk, he had no compassion for him whatsoever. It would have been understandable of he was afraid of being sprayed with that noxious odor that skunks have, but that was not the case at all. Helping the little one was not even considered. He just looked at that unfortunate little skunk and shrugged his shoulders. "Can't help you skunk. I'm too much in a hurry. There's a very important meeting I have to attend." Then he was gone.

Next came another very important man who was one of the Senators of South Carolina. He had even less compassion for the little skunk than the governor. He also gave no consideration to help. When he saw the little one, he just shook his head and declared," This must be your Waterloo. You're finished. Can't help you. Need to see that governor. I know he's somewhere on this here trail." Then he was gone.

The next person hiking down that trail was not a man of importance. It was not even a man. It was a woman- a charming brunette possessing a very sweet and kind-hearted temperament. When she saw the little skunk, it just broke her heart to see the little one's predicament. "Poor little skunk", says she. She briefly considered the risks, but the decided to help the little skunk anyway. Kneeling down, she gently caressed the little one to put him at ease while easing the jar gently off his head. Once unencumbered by the jar, the little skunk looked into the eyes of that nice woman, turned around and walked away. The little skunk understood the kind nature of this stranger who helped him in his time of need and therefore did not spray her. Instead, the little skunk sought out that governor who gave him no help and that Senator who gave him no help and sprayed them both. This  gave that nice woman an exclusive story on her MSNBC news show, the Rachel Maddow Show, about Governor Sanford and Senator Demint being a couple of stinkers. That is not quite the ending one would expect from a version of a "Good Samaritan" story, but then again, this really is not that story.

 Gay people - generally speaking - have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.

Rachel Maddow

What's wrong with being gay. Even in my struggle against depression, I try to be happy.

Glynn Braman


Pour Vouz, ma cheri Rachel

If you dream of a world in which you can put your partner's picture on your desk, then put his picture on your desk and you will live in such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you can walk down the street holding your partner's hand, then hold her hand and you will live in such a world. If you dream of a world in which there are more openly gay elected officials, then run for office and you will live in such a world. And if you dream of a world in which you can take your partner to the office party, even if your office is the U.S. House of Representatives, then take her to the party. I do, and now I live in such a world.

Remember, there are two things that keep us oppressed: them and us. We are half of the equation. There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it's now OK to express ourselves publicly. We must make that day ourselves, by speaking out publicly -- first in small numbers, then in greater numbers, until it's simply the way things are and no one thinks twice. Never doubt that we will create this world, because, my friends, we are fortunate to live in a democracy, and in a democracy, we decide what's possible.  

~Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc)

. . . . . . . . . . . . 

I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed gay Jew. I've never felt, automatically, a member of any majority. ~Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) 


I'm not a screamer. I'm confrontational, but I don't think that translates into anger. 

                                                                   Rachel Maddow

Hey Rachel, My spell checker says your last name should be Maddox, as in Lester Maddox, former Segregationist Governor of Georgia. Go figure. By the way, J'adore your style. I try to emulate it in my writings.
                                                                   Glynn Braman

The man who was not there by Anon.

Yesterday upon the stairs,

I met a man who was not there.

He was not there again today.

How I wish he go away.

Gay people - generally speaking - have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can. 

                                                                   Rachel Maddow 

Rachel, you are Ruthless. I can prove this. Your significant other's name is Susan, not Ruth. This means you are without anyone named Ruth as a close companion and therefore you are Ruthless. But it's no big deal. I too am Ruthless. 

                                                                     Glynn Braman

Everyone has people in their lives that are gay, lesbian or transgender or bisexual. They may not want to admit it, but I guarantee they know somebody.

~Billie Jean King, Professional Tennis Player

I'm a national security liberal, which I tell people because it's meant to sound absurd. 

 Rachel Maddow 

You want to hear something absurd?  How about this? I can't decide whether I'm an optimistic pessimist or a pessimistic optimist. Should I flip a coin?
                                                                     Glynn Braman

I consider myself a lesbian, but I'm a bisexual lesbian.

~Betty DodsonAmerican sex educator, author, and artist

. . . . . . . . . . . . 
I would say that I'm a feminist theorist before I'm a queer theorist or a gay and lesbian theorist.
~Judith Butler

I Love You  by Aoibhegreine 

Remember that first look, that was all it took
I knew it from the start, we would never part
When I see your warm smile, it is never vile
Looking into your eyes, there are no lies
There are no words to say, how you make my day
When those words touch my ears, after all these years
They touch my heart and soul, they make me feel whole
When those words leave your lips, my heart does back flips
When you say "I love you". 

Some women can't say the word lesbian... even when their mouth is full of one.

Lesbians are likely to be drawn to stand-up, if only because it's cheaper to produce and therefore more accessible for women. But the very form of stand-up is masculine.

We really got a lot of very conservative gay people. You could look at the figures from the last election and realize that a third of the gay movement voted Republican.

Lesbian humor isn't trying to sell anything, it doesn't have to sell out. Coming out as a lesbian onstage is still a very political act; if it weren't, more women would do it.

I'm happy to say that I'm a lesbian in the world. I know there are people who don't want to be called women comedians, but I think it gives a path to the fact that we live in extremely patriarchal times.
~Kate Clinton, Comedian

. . . . . . . . . . . . 

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! 
~Maya Angelou
. . . . . . . . . . . . 

But the true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women.

The love expressed between women is particular and powerful, because we have had to love in order to live; love has been our survival. 

I would like to do another piece of fiction dealing with a number of issues: Lesbian parenting, the 1960's, and interracial relationships in the Lesbian and Gay community

Part of the lesbian consciousness is an absolute recognition of the erotic within our lives and, taking that a step further, dealing with the erotic not only in sexual terms.
~Audre Lorde, Author

The problem that I think is reasonable to assert about Fox and its coverage is that they make up stories out of whole cloth and then make a big deal out of them.

                                                                                    Rachel Maddow  

What do you expect from a factually challenged in an unfair and unbalanced (even without Glenn Beck) news station as Fox News is.
                                                                    Glynn Braman

I wish I were dead by Sappho

When she left, she wept

a great deal; she said to me, "This parting must be
endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly."

I said, "Go, and be happy
but remember (you know 
well) whom you leave shackled by love

"If you forget me, think
of our gifts to Aphrodite
and all the loveliness that we shared

"all the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck

"myrrh poured on your head
and on soft mats girls with
all that they most wished for beside them

"while no voices chanted
choruses without ours,
no woodlot bloomed in spring without song..."

--Translated by Mary Barnard

Love Song of Alice B. (1921) by Gertrude Stein

I caught sight of a splendid Misses. She had handkerchiefs and kisses. She had eyes and yellow shoes she had everything to choose and she chose me.

In passing through France she wore a Chinese hat and so did I.
In looking at the sun she read a map. And so did I.
In eating fish and pork she just grew fat. And so did I.
In loving a blue sea she had a pain. And so did I.
In loving me she of necessity thought first. And so did I.

How prettily we swim. Not in water. Not on land. But in love.

How often do we need trees and hills. Not often.
And how often do we need birds. Not often.
And how often do we need wishes. Not often.
And how often do we need glasses not often.

We drink wine and we make well we have not made it yet.

How often do we need a kiss. Very often and we add when tenderness overwhelms us we speedily eat veal.

And what else, ham and a little pork and raw artichokes and ripe olives and chester cheese and cakes and caramels and all the melon. We still have a great deal of it left. I wonder where it is. Conserved melon. Let me offer it to you.

I am going to sing lesbian love songs and support gay rights no matter what. The rest is public relations.
~Jasmine Guy, Actress

. . . . . . . . . . . . 

A handkerchief can never be put in another pocket after it has been in one pocket. I don't walk under ladders. I have items of clothing that are lucky for me. That rotates, but I am luck-oriented.
Lucky you.

I'd rather not be known as the Vice President's lesbian daughter.

John Kerry didn't out me, nor did he offend or attack me by calling me a lesbian. I certainly couldn't be offended by the truth.

I'm happy to say that I'm a lesbian in the world. I know there are people who don't want to be called women comedians, but I think it gives a path to the fact that we live in extremely patriarchal times.
~ Mary Cheney, Daughter of Vice President Richard Cheney
. . . . . . . . . . . .

~ Portia de Rossi

Everyone is their own kind of lesbian. To think there's a certain way to dress or present yourself in the world is just one more stereotype we have to fit into.

I didn't choose the fact that I was gay, but I did choose whether to live my life as a gay woman-that was the terrifying thing for me. Especially being a gay actress.

I had a hell of a time convincing people I was gay - which was so annoying!

I've had so many interviews where the last question is, Are you gay? I had to find very creative ways to say that I was gay, but that I wasn't going to talk about it.

If I was 14 and knew some gay people, I wouldn't nearly have had the struggle I had. Our world is definitely changing.

In high school I had sex with girls quite a few times. They were straight women who I convinced to jump in the sack with me.

I have to be asked, I guess, but I love the idea of marriage. I think it's beautiful. I'm such a romantic, and I always have been.

I justified it in so many ways. I had a very, very long and difficult struggle with my sexuality.

My sexuality is a part of me that I really like. But it's not the totality of me.

I knew that I was gay, I knew it. I just couldn't see myself as a gay woman, even though that's where my heart was.

When I watched Ellen come out in '97, my jaw was on the floor. I thought, There are some people who break the doors down, hold them open, and some people who walk right through.

I ran into Ellen at a photo shoot. She took my breath away. That had never happened to me in my life.

I really never stopped thinking about Ellen, because I just haven't felt that kind of energy with anyone in my life.

I saw Ellen and my knees were weak. It was amazing. And it was very hard for me to get her out of my mind after that. Then when I saw her that night, we started talking, and that's that.

My feelings for Ellen (DeGeneres) overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian. I had to be with her, and I just figured I'd deal with the other stuff later.

~ Portia de Rossi, Actress

. . . . . . . . . . . .
~Ellen DeGeneres 

I was raised around heterosexuals, as all heterosexuals are, that's where us gay people come from... you heterosexuals.

I told Portia I didn't want anything for Christmas. I said her love was enough for me. Thank goodness she didn't fall for that rigamarole.

I think they should have a Barbie with a buzz cut. (On a Ellen DeGeneres Barbie) 

I know I'm going to be a great judge because I've spent my whole life being judged. 

We're told to go on living our lives as usual, because to do otherwise is to let the terrorists win, and really, what would upset the Taliban more than a gay woman wearing a suit in front of a room full of Jews? 

Really, he called me that? Ellen DeGenerate? I`ve been getting that since fourth grade. I guess I`m happy I could give him work.  

I`m a lesbian, an Aquarian, and a vegetarian.

~Ellen DeGeneres, TV talk show host & Comedian

. . . . . . . . . . . .

~Anne Heche

 I believe I went through a divorce. My relationship with Ellen (DeGeneres) is no less significant as a marriage than my relationship to Coley.

The decisions that Ellen made on her show were between her and her producers. I supported her decisions. I was there to hug her when she got home.

When I was with Ellen, I was telling people, If you come out, it's gonna be better for you. But I honestly don't know that.

And for anyone who ever thought that Ellen  and I broke it off because of sexuality, you couldn't be more mistaken. And for anyone who thought my mother's prayers had anything to do with me marrying a man, forget it.

I do not believe that I fell in love with a woman because I was abused.

 I don't belong to the straights now - they didn't get me back.

 I have been very clear to everybody that just because I'm getting married does not mean I call myself a straight.

I put myself on the line with my truth and my sexuality. That is my choice. My choice.

We do not fall in love with the package of the person, we fall in love with the inside of a person.

~Anne Heche, Actress 

. . . . . . . . . . . .  
You can't type what a lesbian is. We're anything and everything. The one thing in common is that we make love to other women. So give up trying to limit us. 

The most important political step that any gay man or
lesbian can take is to come out of the closet. It's been
proven that it is easier to hate us and to fear us if you can't see us.
~Amanda Bearse, Actress


 Come back to me, Gongyla, here tonight,
You, my rose, with your Lydian lyre.
There hovers forever around you delight:
A beauty desired.

Even your garment plunders my eyes.
I am enchanted: I who once
Complained to the Cyprus-born goddess,
Whom I now beseech

Never to let this lose me grace
But rather bring you back to me:
Amongst all mortal women the one
I most wish to see.

--Translated by Paul Roche


My private life is private. But at the same time, I have nothing to hide. So what I will say is that I am very happy.
Cynthia Nixon, Actress

. . . . . . . . . . . .
I never thought to myself, I'm going to grow up and fall in love with a man or I'm going to fall in love with a woman because my mother is a lesbian.
~Ally Sheedy, Actress

. . . . . . . . . . . .

It's a cosmic joke that I'm a lesbian, because I understand men so well but women are a complete mystery to me.

As a standup, I try to change the world. As an entertainer, I try to entertain. And as a lesbian, I try to pick up the prettiest girl in the room.
~Lea DeLaria, Comedian 
All I Want by Afurbie
All I want is to love you, for the rest of my life.
I want you to be the one; I'll wake up every morning with you by my side.
Knowing at no matter what happens, I'll be able to come to your loving arms.
All I want is to share everything with you.
To be able to talk about our ideas, our dreams and little every day things.
Things that make us laugh, and the not so little things that we can't help worrying about.
All I want is to give you is my love.

As a place you, can always come to for acceptance.
The simple comfort that silence brings, when things left unspoken, can still be understood.
All I want is to grow old with you, to watch our life unfold.
All I want is to love you forever.

I became a lesbian because of women, because women are beautiful, strong, and compassionate.

Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.
No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love.  The only queer people are those who don't love anybody.

My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there praying for a man, and I'm giving them my share.
~Rita Mae Brown, Author
. . . . . . . . . . . .
Gay and lesbian people fall in love. We settle down. We commit our lives to one another. We raise our children. We protect them. We try to be good citizens.
~California State Senator Sheila Kuehl
. . . . . . . . . . . .
He (Newt Gingrich) is definitely on the wrong side of history when it comes to those (gay) issues.
~Candace Gingrich-Jones, Lesbian Activist & Half sister of Newt Gingrich 
. . . . . . . . . . . .
I hate the word lesbian; it tells you nothing; its only purpose is to inflame.
I am a writer who happens to love women. I am not a lesbian who happens to write.
~Jeanette Winterson, Author

 To Atthis 
Love -- bittersweet, irrepressible -- loosens my limbs and I tremble.

Though in Sardis now,
she things of us constantly

and of the life we shared.
She saw you as a goddess
and above all your dancing gave her deep joy.

Now she shines among Lydian women like 
the rose-fingered moon
rising after sundown, erasing all

stars around her, and pouring light equally
across the salt sea
and over densely flowered fields

lucent under dew. Her light spreads
on roses and tender thyme
and the blooming honey-lotus.

Often while she wanders she remembers you,
 gentle Atthis,
and desire eats away at her heart

for us to come.

--Translated by Willis Barnstone

I have met many feminists who were not Lesbians but I have never met a Lesbian who was not a feminist.
~Martha Shelley, Lesbian activist and poet.

Twinkle twinkle little star 

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky
When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.
Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.
In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, 'till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are - twinkle, twinkle little star.

We all need a little light so we can see our way through the darkness of our times and are able to travel safely through it to wherever we are going.

To me, celebrity doesn't mean a whole lot unless you're willing to use it. So I wanted to use it in a different way, with my AIDS work, the human rights stuff for the gay and lesbian community and the speaking I do.
You know, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender - people are people.
~Judith Light, Actress 

Now Rachel gets the last word.

I have a file of letters and bits of ephemera from friends who have died. I have had lots of friends who died of AIDS.


 Glynn Braman

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