lgbt


Brady Much Remixed

Silly photo illustration by me.

I had a conference call earlier this evening for the National Youth Advocacy Coalition (I’m on NYAC’s Board of Directors) and it got me thinking. (NYAC works to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of LGBTQ youth does this through advocacy for and with young people and capacity-building with youth-serving organizations.)

At the start of the call we went around and introduced ourselves (many of us have never met in person) and said how many siblings we have. I think this was a great ice breaker (thanks Amita!) because it was a simple question: not too invasive, but still unexpectedly revealing.

As we went around, two people said they had seven (!) siblings, two more had four siblings, and the rest had fewer. People answered the question in different ways: some just said the number, some explained whether the siblings were biological, half, or step, some gave context beforehand explaining ages and birth countries. (more…)

{ cross-posted at feministing }

Update (4/22/10): The Washington Post ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, responded to my email and CCed the author of the article:

“Thanks for writing. With this response, I’m sharing your e-mail with Ms. Parker.

Best wishes,
Andy Alexander
Washington Post Ombudsman”
– – –

Now this is disappointing.

A profile from today’s Washington Post about Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, only quotes white men.  The article is all about the criticisms of the HRC from within the LGBT community, yet the author, Lonnae O’Neal Parker, didn’t quote, source, or reference a broad enough swath of the LGBT activist population. There are at least five people quoted in the piece, Messina, Kameny, Elmendorf, Hauslaib, and Petrelis, and based on my research, they are all white men.

This is a wholly unrepresentative sample of the movement. Her oversight severely weakens the point, that there is dissent within the community, especially when some of the biggest complaints about Solmonese and his leadership come from transgender and people of color communities.

The reporter is well-known for her writing about race and ethnicity.  Too bad she didn’t do her homework on this one.

Lil Miss Hot Mess

Check out my latest piece, an interview with Lil Miss Hot Mess.  It’s up at HEEB Magazine.

Since their site redesign, the author is being listed as Steven.  But this is incorrect, I assure you!

Queer APIs (Asian Pacific Islanders) were invited for the first time ever to participate in New York City’s annual Chinese New Year Parade held in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Check out this article and great video that interviews many of the participants, including Pauline Park, well-known transgender leader who I saw at the recent Creating Change Conference:

Steven Tin, executive director of the Better Chinatown Society, said there was no reason to exclude the groups. “Why not?” he said. “We basically welcome groups that want to do a cultural celebration.”

I was at the Chinese New Year Parade in Flushing, Queens (a smaller affair than the Manhattan festivities), so I missed this. I didn’t see any LGBT groups at the Queens parade.  Who wants to change that?!

(P.S.: The Year of the Tiger is my year!)

I was going to continue my new weekly Russia Roundup of Humor tradition, but the biggest piece of Russian news isn’t really funny.  So I’m posting on a Monday to differentiate from Friday’s theme:

UPDATE (5/19): Check out these highly inflammatory remarks from the Moscow mayor’s press secretary.

This past Saturday, Moscow police violently broke up a gay rights parade that was set to coincide with the Eurovision finale.  See video footage and a full roundup here. My favorite blog has a ton of photos of the arrests, and they highlight the irony that the Cyrillic lettering on the police uniform reads backwards as ‘Homo’ in English…


As many as 40 people were arrested, though most seem to have been released already.  One of the charges for arrest was for “walking with a transvestite” (you can see the transvestite in these photos). Mayor Luzhkov has repeatedly referred to these gay activists as “satanists” and allowed a simultaneous anti-gay protest to go on uninterrupted on that same day.

Update: The bill passed 249-175 (18 Republicans for, 17 Democrats against) !!!

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Watch the live CSPAN feed here.  You can also follow what people are saying on twitter by searching for the #FightHateNow hashtag.

Many of the Republican opponents are using the argument that this bill would constitute an infringement on the freedom of speech of religious organizations.  See an article from the Christian Post that makes this argumentRep. Gohmert (R-TX) just said that the radical gay movement will use this bill to force churches to accept their lifestyle.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has a one-pager that explains why this is not true.

They will vote within the hour!

Via Feministe:

Allen Ray Andrade, the man who murdered Angie Zapata, was just minutes ago convicted on the two main charges of first degree murder and bias-motivated crime (hate crime).  He was also convicted of the significantly lesser charges of vehicle theft and identity theft.

As far as I’m aware as of writing, those are the highest convictions on all charges against him.  And for his heinous crime, at 4:00PM MDT, Andrade will be sentenced to mandatory life without parole.

It took the jury only about 2 hours to deliberate.  Only about 2 hours.

The trans panic defense failed, seemingly by a landslide.  Like my co-blogger Jack and others, I am not convinced that this is actually justice for Angie — when a woman is dead and nothing can bring her back, I don’t really think there is such a thing as “justice” anymore.  But it is the best we could have hoped for in this particular case.  And I am in relieved shock.

Read more about the “trans panic defense” here.

My friend and bandmate Jesse from Campus Progress got some great videos from the Westboro Baptist Church’s protest over at the White House on Tuesday.

Some highlights:

The protest was also used to raise money for Gays and Lesbians Opposed to Violence, a DC-area group I wrote about here.

Watch it!

(Ooh, and Towleroad linked to it!)

OMG, remember Miss Cleo?! You know, the face and voice for a late night TV informercials promising to read your cards and change your life?

Well after a rough legal battle where she and Psychic Readers Network, her employer, were sued by consumers for being consistently overcharged, she’s come out of hiding. And thank god.

This headline says it all:

The former spokeswoman for the Psychic Readers Network has moved to Lake Worth, has come out as a lesbian, and gotten involved in gay rights. She still gives readings, too.

Now she’s working on a podcast, a poetry CD, voicings for video games, and a TV show. Check out her ridiculous website. The header on her “Press and Interviews” page is my favorite:

“We have only included the media and press that’s full of love and balance.
If you want to read the “other stuff”, you’ll have to go somewhere else.” — Cleo

Didn’t we ban the use of the Papyrus font a long time ago?!

A state legislator in Tennessee has just introduced a bill that would ban any discussion of homosexuality from the state’s public elementary and middle school classrooms:

TEP – HB 821: Prohibits the teaching of or furnishing of materials on human sexuality other than heterosexuality in public school grades K-8.

Rep. Stacey Campfield’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill aims to prevent teachers from talking about the topic. Luckily, the education committee in the Tennessee state house has decided to wait to vote on the bill for a year while they “study the issue.” Currently, individual school boards decide whether or not sexual orientation and gender identity will be discussed within the sex-ed curriculum.

First off, Rep. Campfield has one of those awesome names that used to be for men only, and now is popular for women, too. So that alone is pretty gay.

Second of all, he’s using the argument that he’s not anti-gay–the topic is just too heavy and “confusing” for youngsters to have to face. That’s bullshit. This article quotes Chris Sanders from the Tennessee Equality Project, pointing out Campfield’s homophobia:

“If you can’t mention something, that sends a signal that there is something wrong with it,” Sanders said.

Third, this is the same state rep who apparently introduced a bill to require death certificates for aborted fetuses, and who recently signed onto a lawsuit questioning Obama’s nationality.

Loony!

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