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The most under-recognized politician who helped lead to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” 10 years ago is Senator Daniel Kahikina Akaka of Hawaii (1924–2018).

There are many champions of repeal that could be highlighted, like Pat Schroeder, Barbara Boxer, Ellen Tauscher, Steny Hoyer, Mark Dayton, and Jim Moran. And they will be. And there are several sour apples like Carl Levin, Lincoln Chaffee, and Joe Manchin. These will be elaborated upon as well. But this special 10th anniversary of the 2010 repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” belongs to a leader on LGBTQ rights and the first Native…


A lot of people love Vermont. Even just the idea of Vermont. But not me.

These people view Vermont as a quaint neighborhoodly place with cul de sacs, people walking their dogs, and children playing on their bikes. But these people never lived here. Sadly, the reality is ten times nicer.

Children play freely not worrying about cars because all the vehicles in our neighborhood inch along. Dogs march happily, on leashes, as if prancing to a Boston Pops album. This joy is the nightmare I face everyday.

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Desperate for unending isolation in a year defined by loneliness, the only…


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5 Ways to Crush Trumpism:

1.One Continuing Resolution for all of 2021
2. Ear-Marks to Reward Democrats
3. Announce Abrams for Supreme Court
4. Women for Every Judicial Nomination
5. 50-State Campaign w Slayer Pete

This is a time for unity as President-Elect Biden has stated. But, let’s be clear about what unity means. I am for unity, but I am not for appeasing the adoption of Trumpism in the Republican Party.

The 2020 election was a mandate on politics and policy. Most Americans are centrist-liberals. …


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*Update: I’m already hearing that I’m wrong about Cotton, but I think their (Rs) predicted actions are still likely for any nominee and our (Ds) strategy should be considered.

  1. Trump will nominate Republican Senator Tom Cotton on Monday to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

2. The Senate will vote on Tom Cotton’s nomination in two weeks.

3. It is time to welcome vulnerable Republican senators into the Democratic caucus.


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The efforts to steal the 2020 election and the Presidency may be underway or finished. Below is very much a hypothetical list of 5 ways Trump could steal the election:

  1. Declare himself the winner no matter what
  2. Call Biden before a grand jury
  3. Send ICE to Latinx heavy swing states
  4. Say mail-in ballots are mail fraud
  5. Ask armed militias to guard polling stations

The opposition research (oppo research) team on the Biden-Harris campaign has already war-gamed out responses to every potentiality. Still, there is a public education piece that is useful when we are talking about the foundations of Democracy…


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Trump is using anti-trans rhetoric, anti-gay appointments, and anti-LGBTQ policies to give the greatest amount of power to the most homophobic and transphobic voices in the history of America. Never have more anti-trans bigots had the power to execute anti-trans policies. Never have more anti-gay political appointees had the power to define the future of LGBTQ lives.

Presidential rhetoric, appointments, and policies that tell queer and trans people their lives are expendable engenders violence. This is clear in the child abuse, sexual violence, depression, self-hate, self-harm, and suicide among queer and trans youth. This is clear in the violence and…


President Jonathan R. Alger June 18, 2020

Alumnae Hall
MSC 7608
91 Alumnae Drive, Room 208
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

Dear President Alger,

I am writing to demand that James Madison University remove Confederate names from three building on campus at this public Virginia University. Specifically, Jackson, Maury, and Ashby Hall.

As an alumnus of the class of 1999 and former senior class president at JMU, I am horrified at my own failure to recognize the past associated with these names. For that, I sincerely apologize to my Black classmates. …


The health emergency brought on by COVID-19 is presenting a financial emergency for national and international LGBTQ fundraising operations. Four immediate areas of concern are clear: Pride, LGBTQ galas, dance parties, and bars.

The model for LGBTQ fundraising is based on corporate sponsorships and social status. Corporate sponsorship fund many of our events creating a reliance on a neoliberal market model for support. When corporations are doing well and their stocks are going up, LGBTQ causes receive funds. But if there are rocky times, then sponsorships are likely to dry up.

In addition, the price tag for access to these…


Running an LGBTQ circuit party in the middle of a pandemic, with no cure, which disproportionately harms those with comprised immune systems is madness. While conferences and events, like SXSW were postponed or cancelled, the National LGBTQ Task Force’s Winter Party festival ran from March 4–10 over the weekend.

With COVID-19 causing a national health emergency, a dance festival seems reckless and potentially harmful to those with HIV, seniors, and those with other underlying conditions. POZ magazine noted, “Although much remains unknown, it’s clear that older people, those with other health conditions and people with compromised immune systems have a…


TRIGGER WARNING: This article discusses suicide.

There are a lot of reasons not to talk about suicide and suicidality (the feeling of wanting to kill yourself). First, I do not want to glorify suicide. There is always the chance that someone in danger misreads the message here, which is one of hope. In fact, let me be clear that this is an article about the beauty of life in the face of terrible pain.

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Secondly, suicidality is not great on a resume. I have been advised many, many times not to talk about my story for fear of limiting my…

Dr. Chris Pepin-Neff

Researcher on LGBTQ politics and emotions in public policy. Opinions are mine.

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