My recent post I hope to resume writing new blog posts (12/15/17), explains why I am so glad to be writing this post in review of last year. In my annual review blog post last year, I asked if I was too blind to blog due to my worsening low vision blindness and paralysis. (See previous post Year 2016 in review - 11 years of blogging - Am I too blind to blog? (12/24/16)) Fortunately, my vision recovered enough to allow me to use the standard low vision accessibility tools that are built-in to the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser and operating system, along with some other accessibility aids needed to compensate for my disability. I first talked about building in accessibility to MS Windows, for HP customers, directly to the Microsoft Founder Bill Gates in the 1980's, which he embraced, and so more recently, I was happy to hear directly from the current Microsoft CEO Sayta Nadella, who explained his personal commitment to providing accessiblity to Microsoft products, given his personal experience raising his two "differently abled" children he has at home.
Unfortunately, as my vision and other physical abilities weaken, even all of these Microsoft tools are not enough, for example, I am unable to see the colored grammar and spell checking flags in MS Word, despite trying out all of the various accessibility settings, and therefore I am unable to proof read my work as I touch type, and so many spelling errors and typos have been creeping into my posts, which I would like to apologize for not being able to proofread and fix very fast.
Despite all of my current physical limitations, I am still grateful to God that I have survived the AIDS epidemic, despite having been living and working in the San Francisco Silicon Valley during the 1980's when the AIDS virus was first discovered, but Republicans, including the U.S. President Ronald Reagan, were politically exploiting AIDS as a reason to discriminate against all gay people, ironically including Lesbian women who later proved to have suffered a virtually zero HIV infection rate. I am similarly grateful to have survived the anti-Communist and anti-gay witch hunts of the 1950's led by the U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy, which help to inspire the modern homophile and gay liberation movements. After McCarthy, I witnessed the movement of Southern Democrats to the Republican Party because they were upset with the Democrats for passing the Civil Rights act and forcing the racial integration of schools in the South. I watched as these new Republicans added their anti-gay agenda to the Republican Party Platform, and almost succeed in passing an ammendment to the U.S Constitution that would have made same-sex marriage illegal nationwide, by trumping state marriage laws in favor of same-sex marriage.
Despite all of my past experiences with bigotry and discrimination, I remain confident today that social justice will always trump bigotry in the future, even though I might not be around to see complete justice in my lifetime because things might even go worse for a while as President Trump and his Republican legislators stuff the U.S. justice system with too many so-called "social conservatives," who are anti-gay theocrats or plutocrats who support only the governmental interests of religion of business.
My favorite news story from last year was published in the OSU student newspaper (see photo and linkes below) because it lifted my spirits when I saw how a small group of gay OSU students were able to start a fraternity in the Greek system on campus -- a system that historically has been violent toward gay men, especially when I was in college nearly half a century ago when I would have loved to have been part of a friendly gay frat on campus. Instead, I was forced to put up with being physically harassed by a college varsity soccer player and fraternity brother, who I was told was doing nothing wrong, at least according to University administrators who blamed me for being openly gay, which "caused" this soccer player to be disgusted by me and cause him to lash out against me in self-defense. This story is just one example of why I have hope for the future, despite the fact that there may be setbacks due to Presidnet Trump and the Republican Party leadership of America back toward social injustice.
PHOTO: The Oregon State University student-run KBVR TV station (the station's call letters were chosen to match the school's Beaver mascot), is broadcast in Corvallis both online and via the local Comcast Cable TV system and it recently ran a TV show hosted by a gay OSU student Cory Zimmerman that discusses computer gaming, and in one show he interviews two of his gay fraternity brothers, Chris Hands and Ryan Lopez (shown above) who are all are part of a recently colonized gay fraternity Δ Λ Φ (a.k.a. Delta Lambda Phi). See previous posts OSU student TV show by gay Delta Lamda Phi frat boys (10/25/17) and OSU gay frat Δ Λ Φ organized by student Cory Zimmerman (11/3/16) -- note this is the same OSU student I previously wrote about -- see previous post OSU 'I am gay' writing class essay printed as paid advertisement in student newspaper (11/24/15)
I was also glad to see the further development of gay research archives at the University of Minnesota (see below):
PHOTO: cover of newsletter story by Jean-Nickolaus Tretter, "Tretter Collection Makes Purchase of Magnus Hirschfeld Li Family Estate," Tretter Letter, Jan. 2007, p. 1,3 (PDF). See the home page of The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota Elmer L. Andersen Library. Also see The Magnus Hirschfeld Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany and the Schwules Museum, Germany. Also see previous posts Magnus Hirschfeld, Jack Baker, University of Minnesota and Oregon State University gay connection (1/21/12) and PBS Minnesota LGBT history, Oregon Lt. Col. Pam Mindt donor to U of Minnesota Tretter Collection (12/21/16) Also see University of Minnesota Tretter Collection -- "The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies," University of Minnesota Libraries, Elmer L. Andersen Library www.lib.umn.edu/tretter accessed Dec. 16, 2017 that includes "Finding Aids - Search the Collections" such as McConnell - Michael McConnell Files, 1965-2014 and Endean - Steve Endean Papers, 1972-2006. The Schwules Museum, 1948-2004, undated that was created by Jean-Nickolaus Tretter. The Spear - Senator Allan Spear Papers, 1937-2010 are of a state Senator that I dated once. I hope to post in the future about the recent retirement of a key archivist of this University of Minnesota collection. I've blogged before about the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, and their publication "The Tretter Letter ". I just reveived the latest issue (Jan. 2018, Vol.13, No. 1 received Dec. 14, 2017 (PDF) not yet posted as of Dec.24, 2017) that reported the University of Minnesota archivist Lisa Vecoli retires and Andrea Jenkins leaves the archives this year.
Below is a list of links to some of my key blog posts from last year.
- OSU Queer Archives request for my participation (1/28/17)
- OSU Queer Archives collaborates with German Professor Bradley Boovy (7/7/17) - oral histories with Oregon State University Dr. Bradley Boovy, Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and journal paper by Natalia Fern ndez, Bradley Boovy, "Co-Founding a Queer Archives: a collaboration between an archivist and a professor," "Archival Practice," Vol 3 (2016)
- George Weinberg who coined 'homophobia' died at age 87 (3/25/18) - I was honored to know Frank Kameny, Jack Nichols, and Dr. George Weinberg, whose books and papers I read when they were first publisehd in the 1970's
- New OSU diversity officer Charlene Alexander (4/5/17) -- Alexander, who also will hold vice president status, comes to OSU from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she served for the past four years as associate provost for diversity and director of the university's diversity office. A 20-year faculty member and administrator at Ball State . . .
- Baker-McConnell marriage in 'The Advocate' 50th anniversary issue (5/22/17) -- two men who inspired me at the University of Minnesota with their gay marriage equality activism
- I was able to see Solar eclipse despite low vsiion blindness (8/22/17)
- Intersectional feminism and building renaming fads come to OSU (9/16/17)
- Gay married Mormon OSU PhD is hired by Intel and featured in mailing to donors (9/29/17)
- Stop the presses! Gay newspaper kills its print edition in Portland, Oregon (12/18/17)
See my annual reviews of my blog posts from previous years:
- Year 2016 in review - 11 years of blogging - Am I too blind to blog? (12/24/16)
- Year 2015 in review - ten years of blogging (12/30/15)
- Year 2014 in review - nine years of blogging (12/27/14)
- Year 2013 in review - 8 years of blogging (12/11/13)
- Year 2012 in review - 7 years of blogging (12/23/12)
- Year 2006-2011 in review - 6 years of blogging (12/1/11)
- Year 2010 in review - 5 years of blogging (12/27/10)
- Year 2009 in review (12/30/09)
- Four years of blogging (4/10/10)
- Three years of blogging (4/14/09)
- Year 2008 in review (12/28/08)
- Two years of blogging (4/12/08)
- Year 2007 in review (12/29/07)
- One year of blogging (4/18/07)
- Oregon State University 2006 in review (12/27/06)
UPDATE Jan. 6, 2018 - due to my low vision blindness, instead of risking writing a new blog post, I decided it would be easier to add to this blog post the following, which might be my last letter to the editor of my local newspaper because I am having great difficulty using a computer today.
My local newspaper printed the story by Associated Press New York, "The growing emoji language," Gazette-Times, "The growing emoji language," Dec. 30. 2017, p. B5 (also hosted at BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writer, "Will we get a smiling poop emoji? Well, there's a process," ap.org posted Dec. 29, 2017) to which my local nesapepr printed my reply:
(Also Search for previous Gazette-Times Letters to the editor by Thomas Kraemer)
The Associated Press story, "The Growing Emoji Language" (Gazette-Times, Dec. 30, page B5) correctly linked emojis to Japanese cellphone makers in 1999, but it did not mention how "emoji" icons were inspired by the prior art of "smileys" that were first used in the 1970s by early computer researchers, including a few at Oregon State University and Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis, Oregon, to solve the problem of text messages on early computer networks being misinterpreted because facial expressions were not being transmitted.
I still own a paperback book, "Smileys," published in 1993, showing hundreds of examples of what the authors say, "... some call 'emoticons,' which presumably means icons expressing emotions."
The first smiley looked like a smiling face when turned sideways, and it could be typed out using three standard characters, a colon, hyphen and parenthesis, on a standard computer monitor or printer, including the even older electro-mechanical typewriter interfaces.
The book I mentioned in my letter Dale Dougherty, "Smileys compiled by David W. Sanderson," O'Reilly and Associates, 1993 was published by a famous computer industry technical writer and it appears to have had many different editions printed aover a number of years that had different copyright dates.
END OF UPDATE Jan. 6, 2018