The XX Factor

We’re Talking About: May 26, 2010

-For Nancy Pelosi , the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell ” is a political priority. Rather than wait for a Pentagon review and then hold a vote after the November election-which would minimize pre-election partisanship-Pelosi is siding with gay activists and trying to push a vote through Congress with or without White House support. [ Politico ]

- Jesse James weepily apologizes on Nightline , blaming his many infidelities on a childhood of abuse . Although he recently checked into rehab, James is no sex addict. He’s just a messed-up guy. [ Gawker ]

-In her new memoir, Video Slut , Sharon Oreck recounts the tales behind some of the ‘80s’ most iconic MTV videos . As a star producer in the music video’s golden age, Oreck helped create the Madonna , Prince , and Michael Jackson of our imaginations. [ Salon ]

-Activist Mara Keisling is leading a campaign for transgender rights that is gradually earning some legal victories . The first federal anti-discrimination law including transgender people was passed last year, local ordinances offered even more protections, and sex reassignment treatments and surgery are now tax-deductible. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, introduced in 1994, is now working its way through Congress. [ Los Angeles Times ]

- Tina Fey wins the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor , awarded by the Kennedy Center. Past recipients include Steven Martin , Whoopi Goldberg , Bill Cosby , and Lily Tomlin . [ Gawker ]