Saturday, October 31, 2009

Open Forum: Halloween and the Trans Community

Scores of transgender people who are beginning the coming out process have used Halloween as an opportunity to be cross-dressed in public for the first time. The idea is that everyone is dressing up, and many people who are cisgender dress as the opposite sex, making it a safe opportunity for a trans person to express their gender identity while also not fully disclosing it.

Have you or anyone you know used Halloween as an opportunity to explore your gender variance or identity? Do you think this is a good tactic for coming out or do you feel it only furthers the social stigma and fear that trans people are somehow "lying" and "masking" their identity?

Action Alert: No On 1 - Call for Equality

The No On 1 Protect Maine Equality campaign has been working hard to identify marriage equality supporters across the state. Now, just weeks before the election, they have made our list of likely NO on 1 voters who we need to turn out to the polls-- and it just happens to be the number of votes we need to win.

If you've got a phone and an internet connection, you can be a part of the massive Get Out The Early Vote program. It only takes two hours to make a difference.

To get started, sign up for a training and call shift. Or, if you've already done a training, sign up for a call-only shift here.

Crossposted via Pam's Houseblend.

No On 1 Ad: The Choice is Clear

No On 1's new ad lets voters know that we have a choice, keep LGBT families in the dark and silent, or to promote equality and justice for all people. The choice is clear, vote NO on question 1.

October 31st GLBT Icon: B.D. Wong

October is GLBT history month and the Equality Forum has selected 31 diverse icons who represent the GLBT community. Each day of the month a new icon will have a clip about them and we will be making that available to our readers.



Word of the Gay: "Bitch's Christmas"

The term a "Bitch's Christmas" refers to Halloween, October 31st which has become a gay holiday of sorts filled with drag and costume parties.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Los Angeles: Where Were You When Equality Died?

This November 4th marks one year after millions of LGBT Californian's lost their right to marry when proposition 8 passed. The fight for equality is far from over and activists from Equality Network in conjunction with OUTWest plan to march for the upcoming battle to bring marriage equality back to the ballot. Pending on the results from the No on 1 Referendum in Maine, the spirit of the event will either be celebratory or somber and angry.

Los Angeles, California
Nov 4th at 7 PM
Vermont & Santa Monica Red Line Metro Station Plaza.

"No to Hate Crimes" Day of Action

Tonight starting at 9pm through to 9pm on Saturday, an internet campaign created by Act on Principles is happening to demonstrate worldwide support for ending hate crimes.

For just two minutes of your time this October 30th, take a moment to light a candle and stand in silence. You can be together with big or small groups in your public square, in your neighborhood, in front or your city hall or you can be in your room in front of your altar.

Then, take a of photo of the candle you light and post it as your Facebook or other social networking profile pic for the next 24 hours. This is to make a further visual statement saying NO TO HATE CRIMES.

Light a candle. Be silent for 2 minutes. Remember those hurt and lost to us by hate crimes. Stand and say NO TO HATE CRIMES.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No On 1 Get Out the Vote for Marriage Equality Video

Maine's No on 1 Protect Marriage Equality has released a new video urging people to get out and vote!

Organization Spotlight: Maryland Black Family Alliance

The Maryland Black Family Alliance is a coalition of Black families and leaders, and people of many faiths that stand for fairness, justice and equality for all families.

Hillarious Video on Gay Conversion Therapy

Current TV's Bryan Safi explores the world of gay conversion therapy on his show 'That's Gay' putting a funny spin on a scary and disturbed movement.

Candidate for Virginia Attorney General: "Homosexual Acts Are Wrong"

Ken Cuccinelli (R) running for Attorney General in Virginia has declined to promise whether he would uphold the states nondiscrimination policy enforced by his republican predecessor.

“My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong,” said Cuccinelli, according to the Virginian-Pilot. “They’re intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it’s appropriate to have policies that reflect that. ... They don’t comport with natural law. I happen to think that it represents (to put it politely; I need my thesaurus to be polite) behavior that is not healthy to an individual and in aggregate is not healthy to society,” he said (Advocate).
He is currently leading his democratic opponent Steven Shannon in the race.

Contact Ken Cuccinelli and tell him his comments are wrong and offensive. Attorney Generals are elected to serve and protect all citizens including GLBT Virginians.

Campaign Headquarters:
10560 Main Street
Suite 218
Fairfax, VA 22030
703-766-0635

E-Contact Form, twitter contact.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28th is National Comprehensive Sex Education Call In Day!

October is Sex Ed Month of Action and organizers from Advocates for Youth, Catholics for Choice, Choice USA, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, SIECUS, Sierra Club, and Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom are joining forces to tell Congress it's time to finally get rid of failed abstinence-only programs and fund comprehensive sexuality education.

You can find information and tools for organizing a Call-In Day here. You can also sign on to a petition in support of the REAL Act which would authorize funding for comprehensive sexuality education.



This is a crucial moment for comprehensive sex ed. For the first time in a while we should have the support in the White House and Congress to de-fund abstinence-only programs and support real, accurate education about sex and sexuality. However, politicians in DC are continuing the same old fight despite overwhelming evidence that ab-only doesn't work. Electing people who say they agree with us is only the first and easiest step in bringing about political change. The real hard work comes after elections, when advocates need to hold officials accountable, push them to support our issues, and create a climate where that's the most expedient political move for them to make. The time is now: let's finally make federal funding for comprehensive sexuality education a reality!

Call 1-888-423-5983 to reach your Senators’ office.

Crossposted via Feministing.

Scholastic Lifts Ban on Book That Includes Two Moms

10/28/09: Scholastic has lifted the ban on Luv Ya Bunches at book fairs.

"Scholastic does not censor books. We review thousands of titles each year for our book clubs and book fairs, and we are committed to a review process that considers all books equally regardless of their inclusion of LGBT characters and same sex parents. In an interview with School Library Journal, Scholastic stated that we are currently carrying Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle in our school book clubs. We also said we were still reviewing the book for possible inclusion in our book fairs. Having completed our review of Luv Ya Bunches, Scholastic Book Fairs will carry the title in our spring fairs for middle school.

Scholastic is proud of our long history of providing books that will appeal to the wide range of interests and reading abilities of children in the many diverse cultures and communities we serve. Luv Ya Bunches is just one example"
(On Our Minds).
10/23/09: Scholastic has decided to censor Lauren Myracle’s new book Luv Ya Bunches (Abrams/Amulet, 2009) do to its language and homosexual content.
The company sent a letter to the editor asking the author to omit certain words such as “geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “God” (as in, “oh my God”) and to alter its plot line to include a heterosexual couple. The author Lauren Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language “with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible,” but the deal breaker was changing Milla’s two moms (School Library Journal).
Contact Scholastic and tell them that kids with LGBT parents deserve equal representation. You can also tweet them here.

H/T to Family Equality Council for the activist alert.

Word of the Gay: "Christopher Street Boy"

"Christopher Street Boy" is a gay slur to reference a person who would hang out at a popular street within New York City well known for having many gay establishments and being the birthplace of modern day gay liberation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Organization Spotlight: Queer Ally Coalition

The Queer Ally Coalition is a group of LGBTQ people and allies dedicated to grassroots organizing against homophobia and other issues affecting the LGBTQ community, both locally and nationally. The aim is to build a broad based coalition of progressive queers and their allies to fight for equal rights and social justice for all.

Seventeen Magazine Features Transphobic Fear Mongering Article

Seventeen magazine has featured an article called "my boyfriend turned out to be a girl" that describes a female-to-male transgender man as "lying" about his identity.

"Rather than use this opportunity to educate readers about transgender issues, it never once even uses any terminology (well, unless you consider the slur "he-she") but instead furthers the common transphobic assumption that someone who's gender does not match their sex assigned at birth Seventeen Magazine: My Boyfriend Turned Out To Be A Girl (Article Cover)is a deceptive liar and even compares them (at the bottom) to perverts, drug addicts, and older dad's trying to get someone young w/o disclosing their parental/age status" (Organizer - Ariel Busmante).
Take action by emailing Seventeen magazine to apologize and represent transgender people in a positive light.

Take Action: Postcards to the President

The mission of 'Postcards to the President' is to create an effect: thousands upon thousands of personalized American voices speaking directly to our newly appointed and inspirational leader, demanding equality.

Nearly 15,000 postcards have already been sent demanding the president take action to repeal the so called Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits federal recognition of married same-sex couples. The groups goal is to have 20,000 sent by the end of this year!



Get involved as an individual, school/class, church and/or community organization.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20500

Buy, make your own, or print out a postcard.

Email Steve to let him know you are participating seerbeck@gmail.com.

http://www.postcardstothepresident.com

Word of the Gay: "Deprivational Homosexuality"

"Deprivational Homosexuality" can occur when heterosexuals engage in homosexual acts because partners of the opposite sex are unavailable, ie: prison, male or female only schools, and the military.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Intersex Awareness Day (10.26.09)

Oct 26th marks the 5th annual celebrate intersexual awareness day! Today is the (inter)national day of grass-roots action to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital cosmetic surgeries on intersex children.

What is intersex?
Intersex refers to a series of medical conditions in which a child's genetic sex (chromosomes) and phenotypic sex (genital appearance) do not match, or are somehow different from the "standard" male or female. About one in 2,000 babies are born visibly intersexed, while some others are detected later. The current medical protocol calls for the surgical "reconstruction" of these different but healthy bodies to make them "normal," but this practice has become increasingly controversial as adults who went through the treatment report being physically, emotionally, and sexually harmed by such procedures.

Beside stopping cosmetic genital surgeries, what are intersex activists working toward?
Surgery is just part of a larger pattern of how intersex children are treated; it is also important to stop shame, secrecy and isolation that are socially and medically imposed on children born with intersex conditions under the theory that the child is better off it they didn't hear anything about it. Therefore, it's not enough to simply stop the surgery; we need to replace it with social and psychological support as well as open and honest communication.

What's so significant about October 26?
On October 26, 1996, intersex activists from Intersex Society of North America (carrying the sign "Hermaphrodites With Attitude") and our allies from Transexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, where American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. The action generated a lot of press coverage, and made it difficult for the medical community to continue to neglect our growing movement. That said, events related to Intersex Awareness Day can take place throughout October and does not necessarily have to be on the 26th.

Ideas for Action:

Pamphlets for organizing intersex awareness day.

Click here to print out some articles to leaflet on intersexuality

Get some friends together and rally/demonstrate in front of a hospital or medical school demanding an end to genital mutilation!

Show a film or invite a guest speaker to speak about IS issues.

Learn more and get active with the Intersex Initiative.

Word of the Gay: "175er"

A "175er" was a reference to male homosexual prisoners in Nazi Germany who violated the paragraph 175 penal code against homosexuality.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

London Hate Crime Vigil on Oct 30th

A candlelight vigil will take place in London's Trafalgar Square on October 30th to honor Ian Baynham a gay man who was murdered. Baynham, 62 was walking with a friend when he was attacked.

Homophobic hate crimes have been on the rise in London, just a few days after this attack a lesbian couple was attacked by a group of men. The complaints by the gay community is that little is being done to prevent homophobic hate crimes, police response is inadequate, and that the public at large needs to be made aware of whats going on.

Candlelight vigil and moment of silence:

October 30th
Trafalgar Square
8-10 PM
info@17-24-30.com

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blog Spotlight: Susan Berland's Blog

Susan Berland's blog is about a gay marriage activist and a Jewish mother with a quirky sense of humor, helping couples and families turn their photos into legacies with beautiful memory books. It’s all about fairness and equality.

Protest Against Anti-GLBT AFTAH Group in Illinois Tonight

The Gay Liberation Network will be protesting against Peter LaBarbera's anti-gay hate group 'Americans for Truth About Homosexuality' (AFTAH) which bills itself as an organization that is countering the "homosexual agenda".

The organization opposes all rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people and seeks to vilify and pathologize queer identities in an effort to promote their hetero-supremacy.

Join the protest of AFTAH in Illinois tonight:

6:30 PM – Saturday, Oct. 24
Christian Liberty Academy
502 W Euclid Ave, Arlington Hts
(near the Arlington Hts Metra Station)

*Those traveling to the protest from Chicago will be meeting
in front of the Ogilvie Transportation Center,
500 W. Madison Street, at 5 PM sharp.

Starbucks Lends Corporate Voice to Approve Ref 71 Campaign

International coffee chain Starbucks has released a statement to its Washington employees and the public stating the companies support for approving referendum 71. The bill would ensure that all couples regardless of orientation would be able to have access to domestic partnership rights.

Starbucks says the measure is basic common sense, and wants voters to appove it because...

"it is aligned with our business practices, providing domestic partner benefits, and one of our core values of treating people with respect and dignity.”
Starbucks joins Microsoft, Boeing, Nike, and many other companies that employ large numbers of people in the Pacific Northwest that have endorsed the measure.

With 3,000 employees in its Seattle headquarters and 667 stores in Washington state, it may just be the influence needed to tip the balance.

As always be sure to let our corporate supporters know we appreciate their support on LGBT equality issues by contact them here.

H/T to Slog for breaking the story.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chicago Lesbians to Invade Venue with Tonight's Guerrilla Girl Bar

Sapphic Adventures a group of professional Chicago lesbians who host women only events is taking a tip from Guerrilla Gay Bar. This evening they will be hitting a hot new straight venue and turning it lesbian for the night.

Guerrilla Queer Bars have been occurring for years in an effort to be political, visible, integrate with heterosexuals, and to find new venues to party.

Old Town Social is a new upscale spot on the edge of Old Town, serving over 50 beers, a full bar and a huge wine list. The d├ęcor is rustic, grand, and has an old charm feel. The group will be in the main bar area right when you walk in.

Friday, October 23, 2009
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Old Town Social, 455 W North Ave

Sign up or get more info about their programming at Sapphic Adventures.

H/T to Chicago Pride.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

WA Rep: "Gays Will Take Control & Push Depraved Lifestyle"

Washington state senator Val Stevens is competing to become the new Sally Kern of her state with her recent comments urging her supporters to vote against referendum 71 which would ensure the state keep domestic partnerships benefits intact.

In an email to her constituents:

Stevens made her final plea to constituents to vote no on Referendum 71, stating that gays and lesbians would "take control of our culture and push their depraved lifestyle on our children and families."

"Do you realize what is going on here?" she wrote. "Consider the following: In 1970 (on the heels of a "free love" '60s radical culture), sodomy laws were repealed in Washington State, with government turning a blind eye to a behavior commonly considered perversion -- and still the case with a majority of Americans"
(Advocate).
Senator Val Stevens is putting out messages of fear and lies against LGBT citizens of Washington in an effort to oppose basic human rights.

Contact her at:
105 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40439
Olympia WA 98504-0439

Phone: (360) 786-7676

Email: stevens.val@leg.wa.gov

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New York to Vote on Marriage Equality Shortly

New York Governor David Patterson has promised that he will get the NY State Senate to vote on marriage equality in the coming days. The governor has been committed to getting this legislation passed and signed into law but the NY state senate has been a wrestling rink between republicans and democrats resulting in a stalemate on many issues that occurred this summer.

Now that the senate is in the hands of the Democrats by a slim 32-30 margin, there is a real chance for this issue to be voted on. While the issue may get a vote, the outcome is less than certain as some democrats will oppose it, and some republicans support it.

Be sure to contact your senator and urge their support!

Take action with this neat click-to-call widget I found over at Good As You.

New Washington Referendum 71 (Domestic Partnerships) Ad

Charlene Strong’s partner Kate Fleming, died in 2006. While Kate was in the hospital, Charlene was initially denied access to see her. This is why approving Washington’s Referendum 71 is so important, and it’s why it’s important that this ad goes on the air.



Donate, volunteer, and spread the word with Washington Families Standing Together. Washington VOTE YES on ref 71!

Crossposted via Box Turtle Bulletin.

Word of the Gay: "Poz"

"Poz" is an colloquialism signifying that the person is positive and has HIV/AIDS.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why Isn't HRC Behind the "Every Child Deserves a Family Act"?

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has introduced a new bill H.R. 3827 called the Every Child Deserves a Family Act which will prohibit federal funding to states who refuse to allow people to adopt on the basis of their marital status, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity.

The bill is a measure to reduce the number of children who "age out" of the welfare system, and as a result have an increased likelihood of ending up homeless or within the criminal justice system while also ensuring that our government doesn't discriminate against single parent or LGBT families.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nations largest LGBT advocacy organization has announced that while they are supportive of the bill "they will not lobby for the bill until and if it gains traction in congress"

HRC should be behind all LGBT bills (popular or not) if we can't count on the largest LGBT rights organization to lobby for this change, how can we expect this change to gain traction?

Demand HRC actively lobby for the Every Child Deserves a Family Act.

Contact your congressperson and kindly request they support and co-sponsor this legislation.

Word of the Gay: "Nameless Sin"

Homosexuality was designed as the "nameless sin" within religion because the concept was considered too taboo to even attach a word to it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New No on 1 Ad - Opinion

Maine's No on 1 Protect Marriage Equality campaign has released a new ad fighting against the lies by anti-marriage opponents who claim that Maine schools will be forced to teach about gay marriage, and gay sexuality. The attorney general has already stated that marriage equality has nothing to do with the states curriculum.

GLSEN's Ally Week Oct 19-23rd

This week is the Gay-Straight Education Network's 'Ally Week', an opportunity for schools and communities nationwide to encourage straight allies to speak out against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment, whether it be physical, verbal, or psychological.

Take GLSEN's Ally Week Pledge:

I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression,
deserve to feel safe and supported. That means I pledge to:

1. Not use anti-LGBT language and slurs;
2. Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where other students are being harassed;
3. Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.


Take the pledge online here.

What is an Ally?

Often referred to as "straight allies," allies generally are non-LGBT people who are committed to ending bias and discrimination against LGBT people. While straight allies are an integral part of GLSEN's Ally Week, the term "ally" is more inclusive within the Safe Schools Movement to refer to anyone who supports ending anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. For instance, a bisexual adult can be an ally to LGBT students, and a lesbian student can be an ally to a transgender student (GLSEN).
Tools for Ally Week in your school and/or community:

Ally Week Pledge Cards - Template
Ask your classmates to sign the Ally pledge. Taking this action will help make others more aware of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling and help generate support throughout the year! Just print on regular 8.5x11 paper (4 per sheet) and cut into four.

Free Stickers! Ally Week - Template
You told us, "more stickers; we need more stickers!" So here they are! Just download this PDF template and print onto Avery 5160 or 8160 mailing/address labels. Then pass them out to everyone who signs a pledge card!

Word of the Gay: "Recruiter"

"Recruiter" is a joke within the gay community for those who are actively looking to make a heterosexual go queer. The term mocks the concept that homosexuals are attempting global domination.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog Spotlight: The Queerest Places

The Queerest Places is a guide to historic sites that hold significance to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. The stories about these sites are either overtly queer, or hold some resounding influence in historic queer affections.

Activist Tip: Reversing Anti-Gay "Christian" Talking Points

Next time you hear anti-gay forces try to speak their "truth", let them know how hypocritical their philosophy of hate and misunderstanding really is.

Religion is a lifestyle choice, homosexuality is not.
The religious-right often says that homosexuality is a choice, when clearly the science and common sense is in that nobody would choose to feel ostracized, be a minority, or lead a life where they weren't given equal opportunities.

Judgment and hate are sinful, loving gay couples are not.
The people who use the Bible as a tool to preach anti-gay hate often point fingers accusing gay people of being sinners. What they fail to realize is that the Bible is not to be taken literally, homosexuality is no more a sin, than being left handed, it is natural and God given, it is people in the context of an ancient culture who misunderstood homosexuality that wrote these verses. For those who take a literal interpretation it is ironic that they rail against LGBT people while failing to remember the Bible says not to judge or to hate, but to love thy neighbor as thyself.

To walk in the way of Jesus is to reach out to LGBT people.
Jesus Christ made it his mission not to follow religious dogma and authority, he did not seek to reach out to the rich or those in power. He set out to befriend and assist the poor, the weak, the disabled, and disenfranchised. Jesus would clearly be reaching out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Religion seeks to recruit people into its lifestyle, LGBT people don't.
Right-wing elements within organized religion often claims that gays are trying to "recruit people into their lifestyle" but last I checked one cannot alter a straight persons orientation. We seek to educate, dialogue and gain equality not in an effort to turn people gay but turn peoples hearts and minds into seeing that we share the same hopes, and fears, and love that everyone else does. If anyone is on a mission to recruit people into their lifestyle it would be organized religion and their missionaries. These groups seek to convert people into their way of thinking, which they see as the only way. The beauty of this Earth is that there are many ways to find inner peace and spirituality, and that there is a diversity of thought and of culture and to find God or to have no Gods at all.

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Open Forum: Does Obama's Vision Include Us?

President Barack Obama has a vision of a unified America, breaking down barriers, and helping the middle class, preserving the environment, and ending war and conflict. He has time and time again included LGBT Americans in his speeches and says we are more than our divisions and categories, we all are Americans.

The vision is undoubtedly beautiful, and inspired millions to goto the polls to elect this inspirational leader with a hopeful message. However, eight months into the administration gay rights activists are angered with the little action that has been taken thus far. There are those who demand full federal equality and believe in continuing to put pressure on the administration. Others within the LGBT community believe in incrementalism, and feel the President is doing everything in his power to speed up queer legislation and that through the process of checks and balances we must give him time and support.

Does Obama's vision really include LGBT people, beyond words and speeches? Do you believe in keeping up the pressure, or in the incremental approach, or some moderate position in between?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dozens of WBC Counter Protests in San Diego this Weekend!

The Westboro Baptist Church AKA "God Hates Fags" will be protesting at several institutions throughout San Diego 10/16 through 10/19. They will hold homophobic, anti-semitic, and anti-catholic signs at their over 30 stops.

The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News has a sign up sheet with the 30 locations, and is asking people to join them in peaceful demonstrations against the group.

Among the groups stops are high schools, synagogues, and churches. Volunteer to spread the message of love and acceptance at one or multiple locations.

http://nohate.sdgln.com/

The Daily Mail Publishes Homophobic Article Regarding Death of Boyzone Singer

The Daily Mail, a daily British tabloid newspaper has published a disgusting homophobic piece about the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately.

The tabloid calls Gately's story "A strange, lonely and troubling death" The piece has attracted outrage and thousands of complaints to the tabloid, with two topics trending on twitter about the newspaper. While all media and police accounts point to his death as being a tragic natural consequence, the Daily Mail decides to blame his death on his "dark appetite" for homosexuality.

The newspaper uses this tragic death of a talented singer and gay rights hero, who will be missed by his life-partner, family, and millions of fans to argue:


"The real sadness about Gately's death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships.

Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.

As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine.

For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see"
The Daily Mail"
This article is filled with homophobia, and is a direct insult to Gately's memory, his family, fans and to all members of the LGBT community.

Demand The Daily Mail rescind and apologize for this article.

Associated Newspapers Limited
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

020 7938 6000

News and features - 020 7938 6000 / news@dailymail.co.uk
Send letters to the Editor at letters@dailymail.co.uk

Congressman Kirk: "Supports DADT to Keep 'that all' Out of Military"

Republican congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois 10th district has made a bizarre and discriminatory comment regarding the militarys don't ask don't tell policy.

"I think it's worked out well," he said. "Keeping that all out of the workplace makes common sense."

So gays are now 'that' or is he referring to all our gayness or gay sex?

Tell congressman Kirk to keep 'that' bigoted opinion of his out of the workplace for the American people, tell him DADT is wrong!

707 Skokie Boulevard, Suite 350
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-940-0202
Fax: 847-940-7143

Web form to contact Rep. Kirk.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Organization Spotlight: BiPhoria

BiPhoria is a social and discussion group for bisexual people and those questioning their sexual orientation who think they might be bi in Manchester England. They get together monthly to discuss bi issues, give each other support, share information about national bi events and groups and to arrange social activities for the rest of the month.

Austin Weekly News Features Story About "Ex-Gay"

The Austin Weekly News has featured an article titled "An "Ex-gay' Speaks Out" about Cornelius Williams a man who claims faith cured his homosexuality and now serves as a pastor.

The article gives credence to the misinformation put out by the so called 'ex-gay' movement, the man had few male role models, crossdressed and became sexually active at a young age, and was depressed by the short-term and unstable relationships he had.

Williams has become a fierce opponent of gay rights and maintains one cannot be a Christian and a homosexual.

Williams has the right to his opinion, but the Austin Weekly News a weekly newspaper in the Austin area of Chicago must present the story in a fair angle and discuss the psychological and scientific sham that is the 'ex-gay' movement. There is no mention that medical professionals view this sort of identity change and therapy to be pseudo-science and dangerous and that many Christian denominations do openly affirm gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender congregants.

Contact the Austin Weekly News:

Publisher
Dan Haley, dhaley@wjinc.com

VP/Operations Director
Andrew Johnston, ajohnston@wjinc.com

Managing Editor: Helen Karakoudas, helenk@wjinc.com

Contact them through their E-feedback form.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Kalamazoo Releases First Anti-Discrimination Ad

Kalamazoo, Michigan is facing a November ballot measure that would place protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity before voters. Readers of this blog will recall that the issue has gone back and forth and has folks in that area heavily engaged.



VOTE YES ON ORDINANCE 1856!

Crossposted via Towleroad.

End Transphobia in the Human Resources Administration

Transgender activists and allies have been urging the New York department of Social Service's Human Resources Administration to address the issues of transphobia and harassment that gender variant folks face when seeking access to welfare and/or public assistance programs.

The TransJustice program of the Audre Lorde Project has developed a procedure to address these injustices. To date the HRA has not made any improvements for the trans community.

Steps to take action:

1) Sign the petition demanding the HRA review committee adopt the procedures.

2) Collect HRA Postcards:

Make your own copies - Download the HRA Postcard, print it, sign it, get others to sign and mail the signed postcards to TransJustice, ALP, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Download postcard here

Or

Request postcards - Contact Mya Vazquez at 718-596-0342 x 23 or mvazquez@alp.org , tell us how many you want and where to mail them to.

3) Get involved with the campaign. To volunteer with the campaign or get more information contact mvazquez@alp.org

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No On 1: Grandma Stands up for Gay Family

The No on 1 protect Maine Equality campaign has released this new ad featuring a grandmother whose grandson has been adopted by a loving gay couple. This Catholic grandma says her family is special and deserves equal marriage rights.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Asexuality Visibility and Education Day

October 12th is Asexuality Visibility and Education Day (AVED), forum members over at AVEN have declared this day to be a day to come out and discuss asexuality at your school, workplace, or community center.

The official Asexuality Day is May 29th, but this second asexy holiday was created so that it is more effective for students to reach out on college campuses.

Resources:

Asexuality Visibility Education Network

A-Positive

Listing of asexual forums, blogs, social networks, and video sites

AVENtube - Asexual Videos

So whether you are asexual, or an ally what will you be doing to create awareness about this often hidden sexual orientation?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

Please feel free to share any links to queer or queer related topics of interest. You can post a blog entry you made, a website you found interesting. Anything goes as long as it is queer in nature.

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Happy National Coming Out Day! Every year on October 11th, we celebrate a day where we decide to be true to ourselves and come out to friends, family, co-workers, and anyone in our lives. It serves as an international day to come out of the closet and discuss lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersexual, and asexual issues. Coming Out is a personal as well as sometimes political/symbolic action on the part of sexual and gender minorities. It is about the public expression of ones identity and the desire to live openly, honestly, and without fear. The coming out process is a difficult one and a life-long journey, it is about being true to yourself as well others.

Studies show that people who know queer people are much more likely to be sympathetic to LGBTQ rights. Coming out is indeed an activist step that not only serves to advance the cause of the gay community but also to liberate yourself from living in the shadows and suffering with shame.

Coming out is not easy and should not be dismissed as such, many people spend many years or even decades with the task of debating whether to live honest and open lives. It is not advisable to come out if you face the risk of physical harassment or if you feel your financial status is threatened by being out. If those variables do not apply to you, there are many resources to assist you in the coming out process. Such as great websites, forums, videos, and more.





Resources for Coming Out:

Empty Closets-A forum/chat and resources.
LGBT Center Directory-Find social, political, and support groups in your area.
HRC-Information for coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Coming Out as a Straight Ally-PFLAG's guide for straight allies of LGBTQ people.
The Trevor Project-Free 24 hour hot line suicide prevention and help.
Gay & Lesbian National Hotline-Free telephone and email peer counseling (youth and adult services).
About.com's Gay Life-Articles & information on coming out.
OUT Path-A compilation of coming out stories.

Word of the Gay: "NEM"

"NEM" is an acronym for the National Equality March, a netroots planned march and protest demanding equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans on Oct 11th 2009.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Geraldo Rivera "Apparently" Uninformed about Matt Shepard

Fox News host Geraldo Rivera of the program Geraldo at Large has made some remarks tonight after President Barack Obama spoke at the Human Rights Campaign.

In referencing Obama's comments about the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill passing the house Geraldo as part of a broader commentary said:

"Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay... apparently"

The words are shocking and offending not only to the memory of Matthew Shepard and his family, but to millions of Americans who honor him and want the hate crimes bill signed into law.

This slip of the tongue is unacceptable and cannot go unnoticed.

Contact Geraldo Rivera:
atlarge@foxnews.com

Live Coverage of National Equality March

Keep up to date with live coverage of the National Equality March (NEM) through twitter status updates, pictures, and video! If there is a live constant video feed available I will add it to the site.

Open Forum: National Equality March

Are you going to be participating in the National Equality March or any of the over 20 events being coordinated to learn about and advance LGBT rights? What significance if any do you think this march holds for LGBT America and how will our politicians and media react to this large scale demonstration? Share your thoughts about why you are attending, what signs you have brought, and how D.C. is treating you thus far?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Organization Spotlight: Reachout USA

ReachOut USA focuses on the intersection between disability and LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) concerns. ReachOut USA seeks to influence the disability community to be more responsive to LGBT individuals, and at the same time it seeks to influence LGBT individuals and organizations to be more accountable to people who have disabilities. ReachOut USA pursues these goals through advocacy, training, technical assistance, referrals, and the negotiation of partnerships.

Give Same-Sex Couples the Same Immigration Rights!

By writing your lawmakers today, you bring us one step closer to equal immigration rights, so citizens can sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration.

No more separation. No more deportation. No more fear.

Help Congress get the message loud and clear: America supports passage of the Uniting American Families Act.

Sign the petition supporting immigration equality.

Activist Tip: Sharing is Caring, Oh, and Visibility!

Next time you are done reading a gay/lesbian newspaper/magazine, or some sort of activist flier or publication instead of tossing it in the trash, leave it on a table at the doctors office waiting room, or at your local library. It is great to recycle and someone else gets use out of it, but more importantly someone else will be reached with queer issues and may be personally affected by it. We change hearts and minds through our stories and through visibility of our movement.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pledge to Boycott Manchester Hotels

The campaign to boycott Manchester hotels due to their owner Doug Manchester $125,000 donation to ban marriage equality in California has entered year two. The campaign has been wildly successful, resulting in hotel losses of over 7 million dollars, and international attention. The Courage Campaign and Equality California have recently joined in the efforts to continue the boycott until Doug Manchester apologizes and works out an agreement with pro-equality forces.

Take the pledge and join the boycott

No On 1 TV Ad: Book

The No On 1 Protect Maine Equality campaign has released a new ad rebuttal against the anti-gay organization seeking to overturn the marriage equality law. The new ad sets the record straight on a children's book that values all families.

Word of the Gay: "Sexual Duality"

"Sexual Duality" is the concept that we all experience attractions to both sexes at some points in our life.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dr. Phil Begins Attempt at LGBT Inclusivity and Positive Coverage

Dr. Phil whom we have called out on numerous occasions for his continued shows featuring biphobic, homophobic, and transphobic titles, topics, and guests may finally be turning the tide. Our continued efforts at demanding positive LGBT coverage seem to be paying off.

According to GLAAD Dr. Phil has consulted with them on how to deal with the topic of bisexuality on his upcoming show "Relationship Surprises" in which guests discuss their sexuality. Guests on that show include a clinical social worker who sits on the board of the American Institute of Bisexuality, and HLN's Jane Velez who is a lesbian.

"You may think you know your loved ones, but could they be hiding a secret that would shock you? Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of HLN’s Issues with Jane Valez-Mitchell and author of the new book, iWant, opens up about her struggles with alcoholism and sexual identity. Learn how she came to terms with being a lesbian, how she revealed her sexuality on a radio show and how it affects her loved ones. And, Barbara, 39, knew she was gay at the age of 13, but ever since having a child via in vitro fertilization, she finds herself having doubts. What is behind her shift in sexuality? And, a mother of a teen claiming to be bisexual wants to know if it’s just a phase. Is she harming her daughter by not supporting her sexual identity?" (Dr Phil)
This is a giant leap in the right direction, and we will continue monitoring Dr. Phil's show closely.

In the mean time...

Send your comments to Dr. Phil praising him for trying to be LGBT inclusive.

Sign our twitter petition demanding more progressive coverage on queer issues.

Dr. Phil show
5482 Wilshire Boulevard #1902
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Georgia Highschool Boots Student for Crossdressing

Jonathan Escobar, 16 of Georgia's North Cobb High School in Kennesaw has been kicked out due to the fact that he wears female attire. Jonathan maintains the school originally had no problem with the fact that he cross dresses but only told him to stop after a student harassed him. The school then said he was in violation of their dress code and that the outfits were "causing a disruption and that he needs to dress more manly" if he wants to continue attending the school.

Jonathan has dropped out and said this policy isn't fair, and that he wants to graduate but not at the expense of "sharing his art and expressing who he is"



Fellow students meanwhile have joined a facebook group in support of Jonathan and plan on wearing bright pink t shirts that say "Support Jonathan" to show solidarity.

Please contact schools administrators and tell them to apologize, create a policy for the safety and inclusion of gender variant students, and to allow Jonathan Escobar back into the school.

Click here to send an email to the principal, assistant principals, and administrators.

Word of the Gay: "Homocaust"

A "homocaust" is a term used to describe the mass genocide of homosexuals that is either presently occurring, or has been done in the past.