Buttons, Stickers, and Signs

Human Rights Campaign

With more than a million strong, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest queer advocacy organization in the nation. The HRC envisions a world where all people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans can be an integral part of society ensured of the most basic of equal rights under the law. They fight for the freedoms endowed to all of us in the constitution.

I’m walking on the concrete past the long parallel windows of the Bush Library. A blue square with two yellow stripes catches my eye. The Human Rights Campaign button. I look up to see dark well kept hair and a chiseled face. I didn’t know he was gay. He’s a cutie. I see his little button there and it is attached securely to a brown colored satchel. He’s got style with that blue V-neck.  But, maybe he isn’t gay. Maybe he is bisexual. I wonder if he would be interested in dating me. Maybe he is just an ally to the queer community. No, he has to be bisexual. I just know it. So I walk by him. His dark complexion and black hair. I give him the quick shot of my blue eyes which say, “Hey, I’m available.”

Support Our Troops

September 11th 2001; the World Trade Center has been attacked among the pentagon and a plane deliberately flown into a field in Pittsburg. NBC anchor reports Attack on America, “September 11th the year of 2001. A day unlike any other in the long course of American history.  A terrorist act of war against this country. President Bush said today that freedom has been attacked by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended.”

A video shows the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

“That is the second plane hitting the Twin Trade Towers this morning. All of them hijacked airliners. Then these two colossal icons of the American capitalistic system collapsed in lower Manhattan.”


“One factual observation is that the war on terrorism was not declared on September 11; rather, it was redeclared, using the same rhetoric as the first declaration twenty years earlier.” – Noam Chomsky

“So you just stay on the side and you don’t pay any attention to what’s going on. You look at something else, like the SuperBowl.” – Noam Chomsky


I’m in the parking lot baking inside a car. The windows are cracked letting a humid breeze periodically enter. The yellow ribbon magnet that sticks on a car next to me catches my attention. Support our troops. It was probably made in China. My brother is a Marine. He used to love, live, and breathe military. Respect, hoo-hah, nationalism, protecting our rights, and the rest.  And now after he served he finds it all messed up. Everything about it.

He tells the rest of the family that he got a concussion when he was deployed. The story goes something like this. He stands up and re-enacts the narrative. A dozen times he’s stood up and animated his story before the family who sit on couches and fold up chairs, munching on chips and salsa gobbling down piles of meat. He jogs in place, acts like he has fallen over, and shows us a small scar on the back of his head. It’s the perfect act. We soak up every word.

“I was running laps going forward and backwards in a lot and on the back run, I tripped and fell onto those lamp posts and my head slammed down onto the bolts that secure them to the ground.”

That’s not what happened. Because, when we get drunk together during the summers the story goes like this. . .


CNN reports people are shouting terrorist and off with his head at McCain Palin rallies. As one individual in the audience shouts during McCain’s rally speech more people begin to holler in the background. It is difficult to hear the rhetoric. McCain smiles calmly while the crowd hollers more hate speech about Obama. McCain continues to smile as the hollering continues. Pearly teeth patiently wait for the crowd to come to ease.

Bill Snyder a senior political analyst remarks, “A lot of the McCain people, I’m not sure I want to call them McCain people. There are people who come to McCain rallies who are getting very angry. A lot of them are angry over the polls, over the fact that, ah, Barack Obama has pulled ahead and they are Obama haters. Umm, some of them are racist, some of them are extreme, McCain wants to make it clear that he does not endorse those kinds of sentiments among some of the people who attend his rallies and Obama has indicated that this is an appropriate response to dissociate himself from people who express those views.”


Chapter three of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue: An American Life is titled Drill Baby Drill. It is claimed to start with a quote miss-attributed to a basketball coach from UCLA, “Our land is everything to us. . . . I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it — with their lives.” – The full quote reads like this.  “Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyenne’s talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyenne’s remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it — with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Bighorn.”


Oh-My –God. I’m bouncing over the curb nearly tripping myself running into Super America. I want to buy a sub sandwich.  A McCain Palin sticker stuck to the back of a deteriorating bumper catches me off guard. White letters, blue background, little star, what has the world come to. An older woman with a pony tail walks out of the swivel door. McCain Palin lost the election already, she should get over it. They don’t support her. Why is she looking at me? Why am I looking at her? Why does she hate gay people? I’m gay! Is she a one issue voter who hates abortions? Why does she hate the earth? I just want to walk into the gas station and buy myself a sub.

And it blows me away, when did Sarah Palin get a Minnesotan accent don’t yah know?


“But as long as people are marginalized and distracted and have no way to organize or articulate their sentiments, or even know that others have these sentiments. . .” – Noam Chomsky

“Therefore if you do think it and you answer it in a poll, you just assume that you’re sort of weird. Since there’s no way to get together with other people who reinforce that view and help you articulate it, you feel like an oddity, an oddball. So you just stay on the side and you don’t pay any attention to what’s going on. You look at something else, like the SuperBowl.” – Noam Chomsky

Minnesota for All Families

Star Tribune Reports May 22nd 2011

“After a long, passionate and solemn debate that lasted deep into the night, the Minnesota House passed a proposed constitutional amendment on Saturday to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Voters will decide the question in November 2012. The final vote was 70-62. Four Republicans voted no. Two Democrats voted yes.”

“I do not believe it is up to judges or even this body, but it should be up to Minnesotans,” said Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, sponsor of the bill. But he said his beliefs are not paramount: “It is not about what I think. It is about what we think as Minnesotans.”


I’m on the third floor of my dorms barefoot pacing in the evening. I’m waiting for my roommate to go to bed. I pass a door with a sticker that states Vote No. Minnesota United for All Families. Ahh, they support gay marriage. Thanks. I want to open up their dorm door and give all of them a free hug. Thanks. Thanks for knowing that I can love people too. Thanks for knowing that there are gay people and they don’t threaten the institution of marriage.

Michele Bachmann

Queer media headlines read like this.  

Teenager Justin Aaberg Killed Himself Over Gay Bullying. His Mom Won’t Let Anyone Forget

Minnesota teens Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz kill selves during sleepover in ‘suicide pact’

Another Teen Suicide Triggers Talk of More Awareness 

Bullying gay and lesbian kids: How a school district became a suicide contagion area.

9 Kids in 2 Years Killed Themselves In Michele Bachmann’s District — Did Bachmann’s Anti-Gay Allies Contribute to a Mental Health Crisis?

Minnesota School District Ends “No Promo Homo” Policy

In Michele Bachmann’s home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.

March 11th 2012 – Major victory in Anoka Hennepin school district bullying lawsuit.

Wikipedia – In 1978, she married Marcus Bachmann, now a clinical therapist with a master’s degree from Regent University and a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School,[22] whom she had met while they were undergraduates.[13][23] After she received an LL.M. in taxation from William & Mary School of Law in 1988, the couple moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, a town of 18,000 near St. Paul, where they run a Christian counseling center.


I’m walking through midway St. Paul passing old houses and admiring their architecture. I count the white picket fences. What the heck, I mumble. A Michelle Bachmann campaign poster. She is directly responsible for all the bullycides in the Anoka-Hennepin school district. As for her husband who runs that pray the gay away charade. He is totally gay. Completely gay. He likes to work with gay people. Ugh. I can’t believe she represents any constituents. She does taxes and law stuff, not social work. She knows nothing of her damages. She doesn’t understand sociology. She should be accountable for every life lost in her own district. And dare she dodge another question? Iowa disowned her and the state allows gay marriage now. Ha! Ha! Hide behind a bush now. . .


“Early in her state Senate career Bachmann was caught spying on a pro-gay-rights rally by hiding behind bushes.”-  Minnesota Post 2008

Tom Emmer Talk Show

MPR – December 8th 2010 – St. Paul, Minn. — Former Sen. Mark Dayton vowed Wednesday to make improving Minnesota’s economy his first order of business when he takes office as governor in January.

“Now the real work begins,” Dayton said during a news conference at the State Capitol.

Dayton will become the first Democrat to be elected Minnesota governor since 1986, [And the first governor to speak to protestors advocating for Queer rights.] after a statewide recount confirmed he received the most votes and the state Supreme Court left his opponent with few options to challenge the results.

Republican Tom Emmer conceded to Dayton Wednesday morning at his home in Delano, saying it was time for him to let Dayton and the Legislature “move ahead with the people’s business.”

Tom Emmer Says Hamline University Backed out of Teaching Deal

“Isn’t this exactly what certain segments of our population call bullying?” Emmer asked.


I’m a passenger and my mother is driving. She talks about how the Hutchinson Minnesota school district is considering cutting teacher salaries even when they are holding onto a surplus. Negotiations have been going on since fall 2011 and no deal has been forged between the faculty and union. She talks about how two of her friends she works and teaches alongside have foreclosed on their homes and have downsized their living standards. They go to the bar every Friday and drink and blabber and she tells me how her students call her a cunt. A fat bitch. A dumb fuck. Masturbate in class. And she shows me the bruise she got from the chairs thrown at her. My mom may have to foreclose.

We are heading to northern Minnesota to the Iron Range. A huge billboard shows poor Tom Emmer wearing his red tie and fancy suit. The radio talk show billboard shows him smiling, his white teeth showing. He must have a difficult life. I can’t believe the shame he has brought upon his family. Not getting elected as governor of this Minnesota Nice State. Not getting hired at Hamline. Boy did he throw a fit. Like my nephew when he doesn’t get a tootsie roll. It must be very upsetting. Those white teeth. I sacrificed getting braces because my mom was a single mother going to college. I knew she didn’t have the money to fix my slightly tangled teeth. Poor Tom Emmer.

In Hutchinson, they pay for a bug sprayer to pollute the air and kill mosquitoes. The ceilings in the public high school leak. Dripping through the new ceiling they put in below the old leaking one. Saturated tiles drop on student heads in the band room.

Peace Sign – Chicken Footprint

On the back of my brother’s green Dodge truck there is a peace sign displayed. The three pronged symbol sends a strong message. But there is just one problem. Below the sign it reads “foot print of the American chicken.” I have great contention with that symbol. My brother has come around in many ways, including accepting me as I am and still my older brother in that he feels I need to be protected from the world around me. He was brainwashed into thinking that perhaps going to war was protecting my freedoms when in fact going to war had little to do with freedom but perhaps everything to do with conspiracy and power. The media distorts the distinctions. But there are little signs and symbols that remind me to keep on keeping on. Fighting the good fight. I just want peace of mind. To not be constantly reminded of the wrongs in the world and the oversimplifications. I want to ask the boy with the HRC button on a date. That’s simple enough.


“There are growing domestic social and economic problems, in fact, maybe catastrophes. Nobody in power has any intention of doing anything about them. If you look at the past ten years – I include here the Democratic opposition – there’s really no serious proposal about what to do about the severe problems of health, education, homelessness, joblessness, crime, soaring criminal populations, jails deterioration in the inner cities – the whole raft of problems. You all know about them, and they’re all getting worse. Just in the two years that George Bush has been in office three million more children crossed the poverty line, the debt is zooming, education standards are declining, real wages are now back to the level of about the late 1950s for much of the population, and nobody’s doing anything about it. In such circumstances you’ve got to divert the bewildered herd, because if they start noticing this they may not like it, since they’re the ones suffering from it. Just having them watch the Superbowl and the sitcoms may not be enough. You have to whip them into fear of enemies. In the 1930s Hitler whipped them into fear of Jews and gypsies.” – Noam Chomsky


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