The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

The Year’s Best

Jon Swift has posted the best blog posts of 2007, from his blogroll. There are enough fantastic posts there to keep you reading until next year, including “The Queer Thing About School Shooters, Pt. 2” from this blog. Check them out!

Before I got Jon’s invite to send in what I thought was my best blog post, I hadn’t really given the question much thought. After I picked one to send Jon for his post, I starting going through my 2007 archives. It was a little strange to step back and take a look at what I was writing about at the beginning of the year. I’d no idea I’d written so much, and pleased to find some of it I actually liked.

So, these are my favorites from the past year. I don’t know if they’re my “best of 2007” or not, but at least some of them are my “personal best,” and represent the kind of writing I most enjoy doing. If you’ve been reading the blog this year, I invite you to share in the comments your favorite posts from this blog (or another, since I’m always looking for interesting reading) in the comments.

January

I started out the year as I’d ended the previous year, writing about the mingling of church and state in the U.S., with “Defending Dawkins,” “Holy Humility or Hubris,” “God & Gall.”

That line of thinking continued with “Un-Reconstructed Racism,” when the latest conservative to trot out a justification of slavery gave me the opportunity to dig up the racist roots of some of today’s religious conservatives, and the influential political/religious movement that spawned them. That post also has some connection to “Africa, Homophobia & Colonized Minds.”

February

Mary Cheney announced her pregnancy in around the beginning of the year, and I actually found myself agreeing with her about something, so I wrote “Personal, Political or Parent?“. But there was “Something Else About Mary” that still bothered me. After helping bring to power a party and an administration that seeks to do so much harm to our family, wrapping herself in the mantle of gay parenthood didn’t quite ring true.

John Edwards’ campaign hired two great progressive bloggers, and then got bullied into firing them because they were insufficiently respectful to religion, religious people, and political Christian conservatives in particular. That, happening against the backdrop of some related stories that caught my eye, inspired a series of posts: “You Can’t Say That,” “What Can You Say?“, “What You Can Say,” and “What Else You Can Say.”

I’d also recommend “On Blogging, Religion & Anger” and “Talking Religion, In Good Faith.”

February was a busy month, apparently. Suse Orman came out, and inspired “Suse Orman, Marriage & Money Fears,” which led to “Marriage, Money & Race.” Even filling out routine financial forms spawned a blog post in “Unmarried Determination.”

March

There are any number of people in this country whose ancestors either were slaves or owned slaves, or both. But the difference is when three famous people discover one or both of the above, people blog about it. Which is why I wrote “Owned” and “All In the Family.”

The writing on religion and politics continued with “Knowing & Not Knowing Jesus,” written rather late at night after staying up to watch the documentary about The Lost Tomb of Jesus.

Melissa Etheridge survived cancer, won an Oscar, and had the “Simple Audacity” to thank the woman who stood by her through it all, which inspired a certain radio show host to go on “Savaging Gay Families” via his media platform.

After ten years of living in and around D.C., and seeing neighborhoods change (I knew Dupont Circle was forever changed when Lane Bryant opened a store in the heart of the ‘hood) it was yet another article about the demise of gay neighborhoods that caused me to write “There Goes the Gay-borhood.”

March was also the month I asked “Are Blacks More Homophobic?” and that led to a longer rumination on homosexuality and sexual ethics in “Good and Gay?: A Moral Context for Homosexuality.”

We went back to the crossroads of race and sexuality with “Married White Male Seeks Big Black D*ck.”

It came and went without my even hearing about it, probably because my focus was elsewhere. But when I wrote about “How I Missed the Great Blogroll Purge,” the response was overwhelming, even though the event happened a month earlier. So did the continuation of another theme with “Blogging While Brown, Part III.”

April

April started off with a lot of fun, and further explication on sex, race and religion with “Sweet Jesus,” thanks to a life-sized (and anatomically correct) chocolate Jesus. And that post was so much fun that it led to a video post with “Just Give Me Chocolate Jesus.”

A savage gay-bashing in Jamaica inspired another video post in “A Bashing in Jamaica.”

More reading and writing on religion and politics, inspired by the proposed procreation-as-a-requirement-for-marriage law in Washington state, inspired me to put together my thoughts on “The Procreative Imperative.”

The VA Tech shooting, and my readings on the subject of masculinity, inspired several posts: “How Not to Create a School Shooter,” “The Queer Thing About School Shooters” (series).

May

The hate crimes bill began making news, and bringing to mind the cases I’d read about and blogged about over the years, and led to ask “Who’s It OK to Hate?“.

My experience as an HIV/AIDS prevention educator, reading and writing about religion and politics, and railing against “abstinence-only education” resulted in “Abstaining From Reality,” after I learned about the film of the same name.

Coming across a conservative’s crazed ranting against a Cadillac commercial led to some fun with sex and video in “Cadillacs, Cocks & Commercials.” I returned to a somewhat more serious take on sex and sexuality with “The Pleasure Principle vs. The Procreative Imperative.”

An Ebony magazine feature on “The New Black Father,” from which gay fathers were noticeably absent, inspired “An Open Letter to Ebony Magazine.”

Finally, John Wayne’s 100th birthday was an occasion to remember that “John Wayne is Dead” but still very much with us in ways both good and bad, and our cultural obsession with the cowboy seemed like a good reason “Why Al Gore Should Not Run for President.”

June

Coming on the heels of John Wayne’s centennial, a Newsweek article on the rise of the “Beta Males” inspired more musing on masculinity in “Masculinity 2.0, Beta.”

A spate of articles suggesting that George W. Bush was drinking again, and my own reading of “Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President” inspired an examination of “The Myth of a Bush Recovery” (series).

Father’s Day was an occasion to re-read my open letter to Ebony magazine, and reflect on their lack of a response in “Father’s Day, Family & Familiar Silence.” And yet another story of a gay family impacted by the lack of marriage equality led me to remember similar stories and cite them all as reasons “Why We Can’t Be Silent.”

An email from someone who read my open letter to Ebony magazine and lamented that my partner is white inspired yet another post about being a black gay man in an interracial relationship in “Queerying the Color of My Love.”

A talk show host who was standing in for Rush Limbaugh defined gay parenting as “pure selfishness,” leading me to explore that definition in depth in “On Selfish Parenting.”

July

After seven years together, and almost five years as parents, the hubby and I exchanged vows at sea, and I wrote about it in “Dreams Dared.”

Hearing an “A-List blogger” declare “the end of the flat blogosphere” caused me to indulge in another “blogging meta” post, and link back to my own writings making the same point over the years, in “Finally, the Myth of a Flat Blogosphere.”

Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Bakker) died, and as I reflected on watching her and her husband on television when I was a boy, I couldn’t help thinking about news and commentary I’d been reading, related to religion and politics, the result was another series: “Whose Church? Whose State? Who’s Right?“.

July was also the month I started documenting hate crimes and recording them on Wikipedia which resulted in the “Hate Crimes on Wikipedia” series, which eventually became the ongoing “LGBT Hate Crimes Project.” (There will be more to come on this project in 2008.)

Somehow, I ended up on a list of bloggers invited to have breakfast with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. After listening to her talk about the Democrats’ agenda, I couldn’t help asking her about how gay families fit into that agenda. My question and her answer resulted in “Speaking with the Speaker.”

August

I guess it really started with “Savaging Gay Families”, but in August I officially started the “Poisonous Parenting” series.

Nancy Pelosi’s talk about the Democrats’ agenda and my question to her were still on my mind when I read about another gay family devastated by the lack of marriage equality and its attendant rights and protections and wrote “Strengthening Families?”.

The story of Larry Craig being busted in an airport men’s room hit in August, and I tried to put it into some context in “Tearooms & Sympathy: Larry Craig, Cont’d.”

September

The Maryland Court of Appeals turned in a primitive ruling that established procreation, or the possibility of procreation, as a prerequisite for marriage, which I addressed in “Maryland: Marriage for Making Babies.”

I didn’t write much in September. It was a busy month, and a pretty bad month for my family.

October

Obama’s decision to hook up with an anti-gay “ex-gay” for a South Carolina gospel tour inspired me to ask “Why, Oh Why, Obama?” and later to decline a bite of “Obama’s Crap Sandwich.”

November

A brief interview on NPR, to talk about “What makes a healthy family?” on a show focused primarily on African Americans, led to an encouraging quote from Dorothy Height and a post that posed the question “What Makes a Family?“.

I held my peace during the long, bitter debate over whether to include the transgender community in the latest version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. But once the House voted on a non-inclusive version of bill, I couldn’t hold my peace any longer. The result was another series: “LGB – T = ENDA.”

The hubby and I made a point to watch Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial—the PBS special about the Dover, PA, trial resulting the defeat of an attempt to teach “intelligent design” in public schools—because it promised to be a good primer on the religious right’s tactics. It was, and it caused me to have a revelation that resulted in “Irreducible Complexity, Reduced.”

December

America has no shortage of shooting rampages, and I have no shortage of posts about them. The shooting in Omaha, along with a few other incidents, got me thinking about the relationship between them and the overall lack of mental health care for those who need it. The result was “I Think You’re Crazy. Just Like Me,” “The Mental Health of Gunmen,” and “The Crime of Mental Illness.”

Mike Huckabee made an issue of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. Then Mitt Romney made an issue of it. While presidential candidates take every opportunity to declare their faith and question their opponents’ faith, I can’t help being amused that in the process they’ve all broken a cardinal rule of religion in American politics: “Thou Shalt Not Question.”

Returning to the subject of religion in politics, I’ve started another series, to be continued in the New Year: “Fearing the Faithful.” And Mike Huckabee gave me an opportunity to revisit some previous posts in “Huckabee’s Procreative Imperative.”

Finally, what holiday would be complete without a meditation on “The Season & It’s Reasons“?

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