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  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

    Margaret Doll Rod will celebrate the release of her new EP, Margaret, with a show at PJ’s Lager House on Saturday, May 10. A statement reads, “The EP contains 3 new original songs and one Chrome Cranks cover with Italian actress Asia Argento singing background vocals. Margaret moved to Italy after the end of the Demolition Doll Rods where she still lives touring and performing festivals in Europe. The Dollrods were a Garage Rock force for over 20 years, opening for Iggy, Jon Spencer, The Scientist, The Monks and The Cramps. Margaret was the front person and principal songwriter for The Dollrods. Her chief musical foil was Danny Kroha, who joined the Demolition Doll Rods after the now legendary Gories called it quits. Margaret’s sister, Christine, on drums, rounded out the legendary trio. Margaret will do a special performance in the round that night with a 360 degree revolving stage and special guest DJ Adam Stanfel.” The bill will also feature the Stomp Rockets and the Volcanos. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to bcallwood@metrotimes.com. Ricky Rat’s Tokyo Pop/Glitter People (New Fortune) 7” single highlights all that’s great about the Trash Brats guitarist, but also his limitations. The man can write a bubblegum rock ’n’ roll song to match anyone in the city and most beyond. He’s also a killer guitarist, ripping out one throwaway riff after another with reckless abandon. He’s a machine. On his own though, without Trash Brats frontman Brian McCarty, his voice doesn’t have enough strength to do the songs justice. Not that you need to have the greatest voice in the world to sing this stuff – you don’t need to be able to perform vocal gymnastics – but you do have to be able to wail the tunes out. Both of the songs on this single are great, but you can’t help but wonder how much better they would sound with McCarty or somebody similar talking the mic. Still, as they are the songs are great fun. We’re just being picky. The Paper Sound’s Trajectories is a dense, atypically dark Americana-tinged album, unrelenting and […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Is It Ever OK To Say The Word 'Transgendered?'

Gender offender.

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


Q: Is there a term that is preferred to “transgendered”? I recently wrote an article that described a MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she is one of many). Upon seeing a draft before publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that. I feel like an old fart even asking, but have you heard of this? What is the new term if it’s not OK to say “transgendered” anymore?
—Confused In Straightland

A: “Let’s assume CIS got the subject’s identity right (versus genderqueer or agender) and is being respectful,” says Shadi Petosky, a writer, a trans woman, and the co-founder of PUNY Entertainment. “Even if CIS showed her respect, CIS isn’t showing respect for the English language.” Transgender is an adjective like blue or tall, Petosky points out. It’s not a noun or verb. So the correct term is “transgender man,” “transgender woman,” or “transgender person,” not “transgendered man.”

“It might help if CIS thinks about the adjectives gay or black,” says Petosky. “You’re a gay man or you’re gay. You’re not ‘gayed.’ The president is a black man. He’s not a blacked man. Only an ignorant person or a bigot would get gayed or blacked wrong. And to say that Dan Savage is ‘a gay’ or Barak Obama is ‘a black’ sounds homophobic or racist because it dehumanizes. Trans people want dignity, CIS, so if you are saying transgender or trans outside of ‘they’re transgender,’ you have to put man, woman, or person (or human) after it. Because that is what we are.”

If all you got wrong was that one thing, CIS, and your transgender friend blew up at you, well, that’s unfortunate. (We’re both giving you the benefit of the doubt, CIS, and assuming that “transgendered” was the only issue.) You were trying to do right by your friend, her anger was misplaced, an opportunity to educate a well-meaning ally was lost, a friendship was nuked, and a transgender angel didn’t get her wings that day.

But let’s zoom out for a second: Trans folks have an awful lot to be angry about, CIS, from absolutely staggering levels of anti-trans violence to discrimination against trans people in employment to a lack of access to basic health care. But at times, righteous trans anger seems to get directed at whoever is nearest at hand, however well-intentioned or otherwise supportive that person might be. (Cough, cough.) But blowing up at you was easier than blowing up at, say, high-profile anti-trans bigot Bill O’Reilly because you were in the room and O’Reilly wasn’t.
But Petosky would like you — and glittery me — to keep that misdirected anger in perspective. “People mostly seem to be fascinated by trans people right after we come out,” Petosky says. “If CIS’s friend recently came out, then he was dealing with a person who is probably going through a lot of trauma and anxiety. When I transitioned, I thought I was going to lose my business, kill my dating chances, and end up homeless. Many trans people do. People called me ‘he’ most of the time in those early months. My self-image was in shambles. I lashed out at some gay friends for saying things that were less than supportive. Gay men were actually some of the worst because they could be — they can be — sarcastic about stuff I was really sensitive about. It’s not like we trans people have no sense of who the real bad guys are. We’re just getting tons of shit thrown at us all at once and want some minor wins. We’re just trying to feel safe close to home first.”

So something about your article rubbed your trans friend the wrong way — maybe it was the way you brandished her as proof of your own high-mindedness? — and she suddenly felt less safe around you and she blew up. Hopefully you two will be able to patch things up once the glitter has settled.

On a related note: Media Matters for America has extensively covered the outrageous and damaging anti-trans bigotry that Fox News routinely spews into American homes, hotels, airports and waiting rooms. (These two posts at MediaMatters.com will bring you up to speed: “Experts: Fox News’ Coverage Contributes to Violence, Discrimination Against Transgender Community” and “Fox News’ Transphobia Problem.”) Far be it from me to give the trans-rights movement marching orders … but … if a coalition of queer and trans-rights groups came together and called for a big demonstration outside the Fox News studios in midtown Manhattan, I would be there along with tons of other gay, lesbian, straight and bi cissies. How about it?

Q: I’m a 37-year-old straight male and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I lost my virginity when I was 25 and proceeded to have sex with dozens of women over the next five years, but none lasted more than a night or two. Over the next few years, I dated with the goal of finding a relationship, not sex, and found neither, then a few years of depression. The question is: Am I screwed? Will women my age be willing to date someone with no relationship experience? Is it something I should be up front about? —Hope Over Personal Experience

A: There are tons of women your age who have similar dating histories — there are tons of women your age with no dating histories at all — and you won’t be at a disadvantage, experience-wise, if you’re willing to date one (or more) of them. Create a few online personal profiles, HOPE, and be up-front, honest and unapologetic about your dating history and your desire for a relationship. Say you’re looking for a woman who’s understanding enough to look past your inexperience and offer that you’re willing and able to do the same. Good luck.

Q: Any tips on getting over unrequited love? I’m a 30-year-old straight male who fell in love with a girl who didn’t want to proceed with a relationship. I have tried the gym, movies, socializing and dating other women, but I still can’t get her off my mind. To make matters worse, I will be running into her a lot in a professional setting in a few months. It has been 1.5 years, and I still haven’t gotten over her. I fear that my future interaction with her will make it impossible to move on. —She Moved On

A: For two years, I pined for a guy I couldn’t have, certain I would never get over him. So I called him one day and asked him to have lunch. The plan: throw myself at him and convince him to leave his boyfriend for me. Failing that, convince him to resume cheating on his boyfriend with me. But five minutes into lunch, I realized I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get over him during those two years, SMO, but that my ego wouldn’t let me get over being dumped. With that realization, the spell broke. We ate our sandwiches and said our goodbyes. Maybe you’ll have the same spell-breaking experience when you run into this woman in a professional setting? If not, keep trying the gym, movies, dating, etc. until the spell breaks or your life ends, whichever comes first.

Follow Shadi Petosky on Twitter @shadipetosky.

On the Savage Lovecast, family law for the polyamorous: savagelovecast.com.

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