Friday, October 31, 2008

Demand Investigation Over Guatemalan Attack on "Our Gay Beauty" HIV Prevention Event

"On October 18, 2008, two Guatemalan organizations—Amigos contra el Sida and Asociación Gay de Samayac—organized an event called “Our Gay Beauty” in Samayac Suchitepéquez. The event itself was focused on HIV prevention in the context of the campaign by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. During the evening, someone threw a tear gas bomb into the space where the event was being held. While no one was seriously injured, people fainted, children became excessively tearful, and everyone was affected by the fumes. This is the second time this year that tear gas bombs have been used to attack events held by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) joins Colectivo Amigos Contra el Sida in requesting that you send emails or faxes asking Guatemalan authorities for a fair and thorough investigation of the case, and to make sure that similar attacks do not occur in the future."

Click here to send one email that will go to the Human Rights Associate Procurator, Departmental Governor of Suchitepequez, Public Ministry Office Attorney in Suchitepéquez, Deputy Carlos Enrique Bautista Godínez, Presidential Commissioner on Human Rights as well as a copy of your letter to IGLHRC and Colectivo Amigos Contra el SIDA.

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Enemies Closer...

On this Halloween night nothing is scarier and spookier than evil anti-queer organizations working tirelessly to take away our rights and tear our families apart.

As activists it is important that we are united in our efforts, know who we can count on and what we can feasibly achieve. Likewise it is also good to have a basic understanding of who your opponents are and what they are looking to achieve. So I am posting today about some of the LGBT communities biggest adversaries and those who constantly seek to make life difficult for Queer people. For obvious reasons I will not be linking to the sites of these homo-bigoted and transphobic organizations.

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) - Run by Peter LaBarbera this organization seeks to spread lies and deception about LGBTQ people and use scare tactics in discussing the "radical homosexual or transsexual agenda". This organization seeks to paint Queer people as depraved, ill, radical individuals who are seeking to topple society by any means necessary.

American Family Association (AFA) - One of the largest organizations promoting "family values" and right-wing Christian ideology. They are opposed to same-sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and hate crime legislation for LGBT people. They have millions of members, church affiliates, media outlets, and a huge budget and political power to lobby congress.

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) - They are a right-wing advocacy and legal group. They are opposed to all topics of homosexuality including marriage, adoption, education, safe-sex ed, military service, etc. They seek to be involved in litigation, and offer what they call the "Day of Truth" to counter the "Day of Silence" and educate about the dangers of homosexuality and its sinfulness.

Focus on the Family (FOF) - A non-profit Evangelical group focused on conservative issues. It is also countering the so called "gay agenda" by fighting against marriage, adoption, hate crimes, and seeking to "cure" homosexuals through their "Love Won Out" program.

Family Research Council
(FRC) - A "family values" right-wing christian thinktank founded by James Dobson and now led by Tony Perkins. They oppose any form of recognition of same-sex relationships. They attempt to misinform the public that there is a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality. They sponsor a "Values Voters" summit with major political power and clout.

Exodus International - This is an organization that seeks to "cure" people of homosexuality. They encourage people to "leave the homosexual lifestyle" and claim that "freedom is possible through the power of Jesus Christ". They offer resources for "reparative therapy" which is bogus therapy not endorsed by the American Psychological Association or American Medical Association and claim they have converted thousands of people yet cannot substantiate any of these claims. The "ex-gay" movement is a sham and harmful. Exodus is the largest of these groups.

National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality
(NARTH) - An organization whose mission is to advocate for conversion therapy in changing the sexual orientation of LGB people. Narth seeks to change the 1973 decision by the American Psychological Association to no longer consider homosexuality a mental illness. NARTH seeks to provide education, resources, and advocacy for their bogus "ex-gay" agenda. The organization claims to be secular but is often partnered up with religious thinkers and faith-based organizations.

Concerned Women of America
(CWA) - A right-wing "women's organization" dedicated to promoting "biblical values". In addition to other conservative issues they are fiercely opposed to gay rights and have fought against bills like the "Equal Rights Amendment" and "Employment Non-Discrimination Act". They also seek to make it difficult for LGBT groups to implement anti-bullying initiatives.

There are so many more organizations but I named a couple of the big players, it is important to know who is working against us. It is important to keep an eye on what they are doing so we can counter their radical unfamily value like agenda.

Obama on Supreme Court Appointments & Marriage

Obama on the Supreme Court:

"And so my criteria, for example, would be-- if a Justice tells me that they only believe the strict letter of the Constitution-- that means that they possibly don't mean-- believe in-- a right to privacy that may not be perfectly enumerated in the Constitution but, you know, that I think is there. I mean, the-- the right to marry who you please isn't in the Constitution. But I think all of us assume that if a state-- decided to pass a law saying, "Brian, you can't marry the woman you love," that you'd think that was unconstitutional. Well, where does that come from? I think it comes from a right to privacy-- that may not be listed in the Constitution but is implied by the structure of the Constitution."

Crossposted via Good As You.

Republicans Against 8 - Reagan & Schwarzenegger both said NO to Anti-Gay Measures

Navya Shastra Urges California Voters to Reject Proposition 8

"Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization, urges California voters to reject Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry under state law.

The organization notes that Hinduism has never classified homosexuality as a sin against God. While some ancient law codes have spoken out against homosexual acts, the tradition has never called for the persecution of homosexuals. In fact, there is ample evidence that alternative lifestyles have been accepted throughout Hindu history. Several modern Hindu leaders have also spoken positively of gay rights, though disappointingly, a significant percentage of American Hindus remain uncomfortable with homosexuality. “According to the Hindu contemplative tradition, we are all manifestations of the one universal spirit, straight or gay, and worthy of the same respect and rights” said Jaishree Gopal, Navya Shastra Chairman, “we urge American Hindus in California to remember this central insight of their faith when they vote on November 4,” she added."

Contact Person: Vikram Masson
(201) 674-2065

California - Reject Discrimination Video

The latest No on Prop 8 video is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and lists previous types of discrimination that was tolerated. He asks all Californians to take a stand against the current injustice against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

Counter the Lies & Myths Regarding Marriage Equality in California

Our opponents are preparing to get their voter referendum passed this election day which will effectively reverse the court ruling and write that "marriage can only be between one man and one woman" into the California state constitution. They are spreading a campaign of lies and misinformation about marriage equality.

It's important to correct these misrepresentations and be equipped with the knowledge of the facts...

"MYTH #1: Churches in California will be forced to perform same-sex marriages, even if they don't want to.

FACT: No church will ever have to perform any marriage it disapproves of. That's protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and will never change.

MYTH #2: County clerks can pick and choose which marriages they officiate.

FACT: Unlike religious leaders, county clerks are civic officials who are required to administer the law without discriminating. A civil marriage isn't a religious ceremony -- it's a legal contract. County clerks need to perform an official government duties.

MYTH #3: The Supreme Court shouldn't have done this!

FACT: The state Constitution requires equality under the law for all Californians, and the justices on the Court had an obligation to stand up for that principle. Throughout American history, courts have stood up for those who couldn't defend their rights any other way. Those decisions were often unpopular, but now we look back on them proudly.

MYTH #4: This is bad for marriage.

FACT: This is great for marriage! When two people love each other and want to make a lifelong commitment to care for and be responsible for each other, they should be able to get married. Starting today, marriage will be stronger, not weaker. Stopping some people from getting married doesn't help anyone's marriage -- it only hurts those who are discriminated against and their families.

As Election Day draws closer, no doubt we'll see more misrepresentations and half-truths from anti-gay organizations. We'll be working with our allies to be sure the truth is told."

Thanks to Alternet for the fact check.

GLBT History Month - Celebrating Queer History, Culture, and People

Happy GLBT History Month, a time to honor queer history, culture and people! This video wraps up all the icons represented this year in honor of the month.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Lie: Mormon Church Refuses Petition!

10/30 Update: Nearly 17,000 people signed the letter demanding the Mormon church stop funding proposition 8. The Courage Campaign went to deliver our signatures on Tuesday but were rejected by the Los Angeles Mormon Church as seen by the video below. The campaign is now headed to Salt Lake City, Utah to deliver the signatures to the Mormon Church headquarters.

10/27: It's time for Californians to fight back against the dishonest attacks of the "Yes on 8" campaign funded by the Mormon Church. On Tuesday, the Courage Campaign will deliver a letter to President-Prophet Thomas Monson at the Los Angeles Mormon Temple, demanding that his church stop funding the blatant lies of the "Yes on 8" campaign.

We need to stop the Mormon Church from pushing their marriage views on Californians through the ballot box. Please sign this letter now to President-Prophet Thomas Monson demanding that his church cease funding the "Yes on 8" campaign:

Volunteer with "No on 8" for Election Visibility!

Volunteer for Election Visibility

Be part of the largest grassroots visibility effort California has ever seen. Be part of the thousands who are saying No to Proposition 8!

"Picture it: 10,000 people from Eureka to San Diego—standing together, waving signs and talking to voters. This is our moment to show California and the nation that we will not tolerate unfairness and inequality."
From Thursday, October 30 through Tuesday, November 4, we need 10,000 volunteers on the ground—5,000 on Election Day alone.

Election Visibility Sign-up Form

New FtM Book - "Labor of Love"

Thomas Beatie an FtM man shocked the world in April of 2008 announcing he was pregnant. He and his wife Nancy were featured on Oprah and scored dozens of interviews about "the pregnant man." This story was beautiful, touching and highlighted the plight of female to male transsexuals and thrusted trans issues into the national spotlight in a way never seen before.

The story wasn't without controversy, as witnessed by trans-bashing done by Morning Joe, and by the Fox News show Red Eye. Even many in the transgender community were angry and afraid that this story would reflect negatively on their lives.

Well, Mr. Beatie had his baby and the sky has not fallen. The media frenzy is over, and transgender people still face misunderstanding by society, but none that has been exacerbated by "the pregnant man."

Here is a short snippet of the story provided by Queerty:

"Labor of Love chronicles Thomas Beatie’s unique life experiences: his less-than-idyllic childhood in Hawaii; his transition from female to male; his marriage to his wife, Nancy; his legal battles to live as a man; his fight to conceive a child; and the birth of their daughter, Susan, in late June. Labor of Love is a groundbreaking book because it tackles social, political, and legal questions about gender, marriage, and family. Thomas and Nancy’s uphill battle to have a baby is both fascinating and touching. They are a normal couple who wanted a family, and yet the circumstances surrounding their desire to get pregnant and their journey to get there are truly extraordinary."
I think the Beatie family has a beautiful story, and I look forward to buying their book shortly.

Word of the Gay: "Closet Name"

A "closet name" is a pen name used by a gay author who wishes to remain anonymous.

Hollywood Says "No on 8"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"The Call" for Liberation & Human Rights!

We have 6 days to go to begin a new future in this country, elect a president who respects and recognizes LGBTQ people or one who seeks to kick us to the curb. We have the chance of a lifetime to preserve marriage equality in California and to defeat the amendments that seek to ban our rights in other states. We are almost there! The opposition is mighty and invoking the name of God and religion as evidenced by the frightening yet true video below. The un-religious right is waging a war and urging for "the call" a movement of prayer and activism to restore what they deem are God's morals and virtues.

My friends, we need to stand up and be counted more than ever to defeat these lies and restore America to the beautiful nation we were founded to be. A nation of liberty and justice for all!

I don't mean to be a pest, but the opposition is flooding the airwaves with their hateful lies and are looking to raise millions more to pass prop 8. The No on 8 Equality for All campaign has said "if we don't raise an additional 3 million to combat their lies, we will likely lose." PLEASE find it in your hearts to donate if you have not, or urge a friend to do so, our lives and our liberties are at stake.

"The Call" video of right-wing Christians who seek to take away rights.

Dr. Phil Hosts Program on "Gender Confused Kids"

Dr. Phil hosted a program today entitled "Gender Confused Kids" and even had an "expert" Glenn Stanton from the notoriously anti-gay and transphobic Focus on The Family. Transgender affirming voices were also heard on the show, but it is the title and the selection of Focus on the Family that concerns me most.

The website goes on to talk about "gender confusion" and also links to Focus on the Family.

There is also a poll on the website:
"What do you think causes gender confusion? Should a parent let their child dress as the opposite sex?"

E-Contact Form to leave feedback for the show.

Phone: 1-323-9563393

Write to Marry Day 10/29/08

It's a gay holiday in the blogosphere, yay. Happy Write to Marry Day!

In all seriousness this is an important opportunity for myself and fellow bloggers to post about why we support marriage equality, and what we have done to fight the marriage amendments across this country.

I support marriage equality because I believe in family values, (a word that has been hijacked by the un-religious right). I believe that whether a couple is gay or straight, trans or cisgender, that people should be able to commit to one another and support each other emotionally as well as financially. Marriage equality provides over 1,400 rights and benefits and varies from state to state. Marriage rights allow couples to have access to state and federal rights and benefits. Currently the federal rights are blocked by the "Defense of Marriage Act" but by granting marriage rights to same-sex couples we are helping to create a system of change and to topple the former anti-gay piece of legislation.

I think it is absurd to contemplate that in a country where according to the Bill of Rights:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Radicals who claim to be strict constructionists not only not want to follow the law of the land, they also want to change state constitutions to fit their ideology of hate. Regardless about how one feels about marriage, it is wrong to eliminate fundamental rights, like the right to visit a spouse in the hospital, or for a couple to file joint tax returns. It is wrong when one parent can't co-adopt a child and if something happens to one partner (the legal guardian) the kids are tossed into foster care when they already have a loving mother or father.

Proposition 8 in California, proposition 2 in Florida, and proposition 102 in Arizona all seek to ban the right of same-sex couples to marry, and some of these amendments even go so far as to eliminate any legal protections that could be provided through civil unions or domestic partnerships.

If we truly want to follow the law we must grant the "life and liberty" part to all Americans. It is our life and our liberty to choose who we want to marry and our right to support our families. And according to the fourteenth amendment no state shall make any laws which take away our fundamental rights.

Marriage equality transcends the gay rights movement, this is a human rights issue.

Regardless of your orientation or gender identity I urge you to join me in encouraging the blog world to vote NO on the marriage amendments.

It is critical that we stand on the right side of history at this time when we are in the epicenter of another civil rights movement.

Please join me in donating to fight proposition 8, volunteering on the ground, and phonebanking (regardless of your state).

Since I am personally not in California I cannot join in the rally's and demonstrations, which is a shame! I have though spent hours calling on behalf of the No on 8 campaign. I urge you to make phone calls as well. If not for the cause, do it for the laughs.

Here are some of the responses I got:
"yeah, uh, I know gay people, I mean I love Ellen."

"I don't want dem gays doing that stuff near my children."

"Only Bob, and Luke have this number, you are the third person I have chatted with ever."

Interesting people out there! Most fair minded Californians would not eliminate fundamental rights, so we must urge them to vote no on prop 8.

Please tell all your friends and family to VOTE NO on the marriage amendments, email them, post a message on myspace, and get the word out!

NO on Prop 8 - California

NO on Prop 2 - Florida

NO on Prop 102 - Arizona

Word of the Gay: "And-Bisexual"

An "and-bisexual" is someone who feels they need both a male and a female. They frequently engage in sexual activities with both genders. Many "and-bisexuals" choose to live a polyamorous lifestyle to meet their desires. This is exactly opposite from the or-bisexual who is attracted to both genders but chooses to be monogamous with one at a time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Senator Dianne Feinstein: "Vote No on 8"

Volunteer to Defeat Florida Marriage Amendment

Throughout Florida there are opportunities from now until election day to volunteer with the No on Prop 2 campaign to defeat the so called "marriage protection" amendment.

2 Ways You Can Help

1 - Early Voting - Join us at early voting sites in your community and help us to educate voters about Amendment 2!

2 - Election Day Polls - Join hundreds of volunteers across Florida and work the polls in your community.

Work at a precinct in the morning (7:00-10:00 am), over lunch (11:00 am-2:00 pm) or afternoon (4:00-7:00 pm), or all three!

from 10/23/2008 8:00 am
to 11/4/2008 7:00 pm (Eastern Time)

Hosted By:
Vote No On 2 Campaign

Tobias at 305-924-1899 with questions.

RSVP by:
November 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm (Eastern Time)

2 New No on 8 Commercials

Via Wicked Gay Blog

Demand Comprehensive Hate Crime Legislation

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays has a petition targeting the U.S. senate urging them to pass comprehensive hate crimes legislation. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity are on the rise! Only 27 states and the District of Columbia have hate crimes laws inclusive of sexual orientation, and only five of those and the District of Columbia are expressly transgender inclusive.

Sign PFLAG's Petition Over at Care2

Word of the Gay: "Black Triangle"

The inverted "black triangle" is a symbol that was placed on people deemed "asocial" by the Nazis. While there is no official documentation of persecuted lesbians being forced to wear this symbol under the Nazi regime the Nazis did adhere to a strict gender and heteronormative philosophy. The symbol of the "black triangle" is now one of pride and defiance against oppression in the lesbian community.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How to be a Trans Ally

Saw this article over at Lesbian Life on how to be a trans ally.

1. Don't Assume.

You might not know if a transgender person is in your presence. If speaking to a group, try to be inclusive.

2. Don't tolerate anti-trans remarks or jokes.

If someone makes a transphobic joke or remark, call them out on it. Challenge transphobic thinking.

3. Use the preferred pronoun.

If a person says she identifies as female, use "she" and "her" regardless of what that person's body or appearance is. If you are not sure which pronoun to use ask the person, "What pronoun would you like me to use?"

4. Respect Confidentiality.

If a person comes out to you as transgender, transsexual or questioning, ask that person who else knows and who you can talk to about it.

5. Listen.

Every trans person's experience is unique. If someone is having a hard time coming out or experiencing discrimination, you can help a lot by just listening.

6. Know your limits.

Admit when you've reached the limit of your knowledge. Ask for guidance or find an appropriate resource.

7. Don't try to Label someone.

If someone tells you they feel like they are "trapped in the wrong body" don't tell them they are necessarily a transsexual. People who are struggling with their gender identity often need the space to figure out for themselves how to identify.

8. Don't assume You Know What Their sexual Orientation is.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not directly connected. Someone who is transitioning may also be questioning their sexual orientation or may choose to identify in a different way then they have previously.

9. Look at yourself.

Examine your own ideas of gender stereotypes and challenge those around you to do the same.

10. Stay Open

Remember transgender people are individuals who deserve respect and understanding.

Survey of LGBT Readers and Public Libraries

Dr. John Pruitt, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County has been given a grant by the American Library Association to research how libraries can better serve their LGBT populations within their respective communities. If you don't mind answering a few questions to help out, you will be doing this professor and the LGBT community a service.

Click to participate in LGBT Readers & Public Libraries Survey

Church/State Divide, Not on Prop 8!

A reader named Elvis has emailed me to share this new video about the biggest donors to prop 8. They are religious groups violating the separation of church & state.

Paris Hilton: "You Can Get Married If You're Straight or Gay"

Well finally, a presidential candidate who supports marriage equality! Paris for president!

Web Spotlight: Gay Rights @

Today's web spotlight and shout goes to the Gay Rights section of It is one of the best websites I have come across packed with LGBT videos, statistics, gay history, activism, news, and more. If you can think of it and it has to do with LGBT issues, it is there!

Check them out at

Word of the Gay: "Bisensual"

A "bisensual" person is emotionally/romantically attracted to both genders. In some cases there could be sexual attraction as well, but in others the person is asexual with a romantic attraction to both genders.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Transgender Chicken Has Transitioned Successfully

Ok, not exactly an activist alert but it is a Sunday and this is interesting and goes to show how natural gender diversity is in the animal kingdom.

"A hen has changed into a cockerel over the course of a two-year sex-swap process.

Georgina the hen is thought to have damaged an ovary, causing her testosterone levels to soar and effectively transforming the organ into a testicle.

The one-in-10,000 switch has seen the animal develop a cockscomb on its head and its voice break - allowing it to crow each morning.

"Georgina was always a big girl and she was surrounded by other hens for two years before she decided to take on the role of cockerel," said Jane Haworth from the Battery Hen Welfare Trust headquarters in Chulmleigh, North Devon.

"It took around two years but George has a cockscomb and seems a lot happier than she was. I think he looks amazing.

"He always had slightly hairy legs which was a bit of a giveaway. He doesn't lay eggs anymore and crows every morning - it's quite a turnaround." (E-Transgender)
This is not the first I have read about transgender animals and I find it fascinating. It shows there is a strong correlation between queer rights & animal rights in my opinion. What do you all think?

Heads Up Fellow Bloggers - Oct 29 is Write to Marry Day!

On Wednesday, October 29 bloggers will unite in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples and against California’s Proposition 8.

The Write to Marry Day campaign is an effort to shore up support and show the power of politics amidst the blogosphere. All bloggers are encouraged to write about why they support marriage equality, why they are against the marriage amendments, and share what they have done or intend to do to fight the propositions, such as 8 in California and others.

To participate, post on your own blog against Prop 8 on or before October 29, 2008, then submit the link to your post by clicking here. Links to your own videos on YouTube or other video sites are also accepted.

Not only that, but all participants who leave a valid e-mail address will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to

Word of the Gay: "Yestergay"

A "yestergay" is a gay man who has chosen to live a heterosexual lifestyle. This is distinct from "ex-gay" who is someone who is attempting to alter their orientation.

No del voto en el asunto 8!

El asunto 8 elimina las derechas de la unión para las parejas del mismo sexo. Esto es injusto e incorrecto. Vote por favor NO en el asunto 8. Comparta por favor este vídeo con sus amigos y familia.

Ok, so you might be impressed, but, no I don't speak Spanish I just used babelfish translator lol. Please share with your spanish speaking friends and & family.

Mayor Gavin Newsom: "Reject Prop 8"

Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco is airing in a powerful new video urging us to vote NO on proposition 8. He is asking all of us to do our part to reject the marriage ban on same-sex couples. Tell your friends/family, blog, vote, text message, add a status update and let everyone know where you stand on marriage equality.

Celebrate Intersex Awareness Day!

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.

Please click the link for more info on Intersex Awareness Day.

We Have Your Back BCBS-Florida!

"Since publicly announcing their opposition to this discriminatory amendment, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida has been targeted the far right. They stood up for all Floridians and now we need to stand up for them.

Send a Thank You message to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and let them know that we will stand with them every time they support fairness and equality."

Join SayNo2 campaign in thanking BCBS.

Shameless Self Promotion Sunday

You know the drill. Promote any queer or queer related websites, blogs, videos, etc that you would like to share. Don't be shy, now is the perfect time to get some traffic your way, and you can do so shamelessly!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Noah's Arc: Jumping The Broom

The ground breaking drama and hit sensation on LOGO Noah's Arc has now released its first movie in select theaters. Noah's Arc follows the lives of four gay black men in Los Angeles, their love, their fun, their problems, and most of all the drama!

"Noah's Arc is back, and you're invited to the big wedding! But can Noah and Wade really pull it off? Will Ricky's sexcapades get the better of him? Can Chance and Eddie stay together? And can Alex stay sane? Get set for a wild wedding weekend of love, laughs, sex and some serious drama. Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom. In theaters, October 24th."

Proposition 8's 5 Big Lies Video

Homosexual Sex Given Green Light in Turkish Court

A Turkish court has tried a man accused of selling gay and group sex videos. While homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey it is still considered taboo and LGBT people face many legal restrictions. The court could have charged him with selling "unnatural sex" videos but instead charged him with a lower level crime of selling the videos in an illegal location.

"In its verdict, the Istanbul court said: Most European countries have given gay relationships the equivalence of marriage, and in Holland gay marriages were made legal a few years back. In a world of modern societies, it is not possible to say intercourse among members of the same sex is unnatural.

The verdict also read: Since the action happens in private places and does not include children it is not criminal. The term unnatural sexual behavior' should be seen from a narrow perspective; otherwise there is the risk of judging every sexual relationship outside of certain limitations unnatural. It is without doubt that the images are eccentric. Although this kind of sexual activity is not common in societies, it is a fact that in every society collective sexual relationships exist." (Turkish Daily News)
This is a significant gay rights development in Turkey, a country that typically shuns homosexuality while struggling to be accepted into the European Union and advance as a modern nation.

Word of the Gay: "U-Haul Lesbian"

The term "U-Haul Lesbian" refers to the stereotype that lesbian and bisexual women fall in love at first sight and move in together very quickly. It has become a joke in the W4W community.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Apple A Day Keeps Anti-Gay Bigots Away!

It's fitting that Apple's logo was once a rainbow colored apple. The computer giant has declared it supports for the No on 8 campaign today. They are giving a generous gift of $100,000.

"Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8." (Apple)
Be sure to support LGBTQ friendly companies and to thank them for supporting our community's efforts to defeat proposition 8.

Thank Apple through their Customer Service Support feature.

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014

"I'm 80% Girl, 20% Boy" - Intersex Documentary

One of our readers kindly emailed to let me know they were doing a documentary on an intersex person named Adele.

Maxx Ginnane (Director) emailed me with this:
"I am now making a full length film about intersex, including the stories of what is happening to the babies born visibly intersex and gender variant children as they grow up and approach puberty. There's currently still a debate in the medical community about how these young people should be treated. I'm seeking the input of doctors, parents, and of course, other intersex people in this project. If you would like to get in touch, my address is"

Below is a clip of the film and a little bit of info about the documentary:

When Adele was born they couldn't tell if she was a girl or a boy. A series of childhood genital operations 'corrected' her into a boy but as she grew up it became apparent a mistake had been made. Now at 29 Adele is trying to transition into a woman, only to find she belongs somewhere in between. 1 in 2000 babies are born like Adele and she asks if it isn't time to make room in our society for more than two genders.

NY Dem Senate Candidate Now Favors Marriage Equality

Joe Mesi (D) is running for the state senate seat in New York. He previously announced he was opposed to same-sex marriage but now has gone 180 on his position and announced he supports equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

This is a significant development within New York politics. The house has approved a gay marriage bill and Governor Patterson is eager to sign it. The current barrier to passing this legislation is the republican dominated senate. The GOP currently has a 31-29 slim majority. With many seats up for grabs and the majority leader Joseph Bruno (R) retiring, this could pave the way for a democratically controlled senate.

If the democrats pick up the senate this November we could very likely see a marriage bill come before the house. While not all New York state democratic senate members support marriage equality, the N.Y. democratic platform does support same-sex marriage.

If Joe Mesi gets elected it will enhance our chances of winning true marriage equality in the state.

Endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats and supported by gay philanthropists, please be sure to drop a thank you email to Joe Mesi for support marriage equality.

2001 Niagara Fall Blvd
Amherst, NY 14228
phone: 716-625-9013

Comedian Jerry Lewis Continues "Faggot" Jokes

Comedian Jerry Lewis has been in boiling hot water before. Insulting gays, women and disability rights advocates with his provocative comedy routine.

"At a press conference in Sydney today 83 year old comedian Jerry Lewis decided to let fly with the word ‘fag’. And what’s even more shocking, a major Australian news outlet didn’t even feel the need to edit the word out before televising the interview.

While speaking with a journalist from Channel Ten News, Lewis was asked “What do you think of cricket?” His response was, “Oh cricket is a fag’s game!” Lewis then proceeded to flounce about, using camp, effeminate gestures, pretending to hold a bat with a limp wrist, squealing in a high pitched voice “Ah! The ball is coming towards me!” (Same-Same)
He has apologized in the past for using the homophobic slur, maybe its time for him to apologize again and put an end to his homophobic stand up routine?

Free Desktop Graphics Against Prop 8!

The National Youth Advocacy Coalition has released some desktop wallpapers and avatars to help promote the effort to stop the anti-LGBT initiative in California. The graphics are made for AIM, MSN, Facebook, and Mac.

Check them out at NYAC.

Word of the Gay: "Pinky Ring"

A "pinky ring" was fashionable for male homosexuals between the 1950's-1970's to signify their orientation. Some also believe that the pinky finger was a sign of spirituality.

"Love Came Out" Rally in Colorado Springs

According to Box Turtle Bulletin a coalition of gay rights groups are protesting the Focus on the Family's "Love Won Out" conference which is an "ex-gay" gathering that puts out lies and misinformation about gender and sexuality. The demonstrations in Colorado Springs are listed in the graphic with contact information.

Discussion panel with “ex-gay” survivors, and PFLAG families; peaceful vigil/demonstration at Focus on the Family; and presentation of the acclaimed film “HoMo No Mo”.

Activities are free and families and individuals seeking affirming information about sexuality and/or faith are encouraged to attend.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Does Your Congress Member Make the Grade?

The Human Rights Campaign, the nations largest organization fighting for LGBT rights, released its Congressional scorecard yesterday (Download PDF here). The scorecard rates members of Congress on their support for issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. This is an excellent tool to use during this election year. You can see how the elected official for your area voted on all the LGBT issues that came up during the 110th Congress (Jan. 2007 - Jan. 2009).

Here are some of the successes from this Congressional session:

* For the first time in a Congressional session, the Senate and House both passed hate crimes legislation that provides protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity;
* For the first time, the House introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that includes protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity, with 185 Members of Congress cosponsoring the bill.
* For the first time, the House held a vote on and passed a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), that prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation;
* The House held the first-ever hearing focused solely on workplace discrimination faced by transgender Americans;
* The House held the first hearings since 1993 examining the negative impact of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
* The Senate held the first-ever hearing on the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations (DPBO) Act which provides equal family benefits to LGBT federal civilian employees; And with pro-equality leadership in the House and Senate, the discriminatory Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) was not even scheduled for a vote.
* Also with more fairminded officials being elected, and the work of HRC lobbying and educating Congress we have also seen the number of positive votes improve.

According to HRC we have see the following:

In the 110th Congress, the average score for members of the U.S. Senate increased from 41.7% to 55.4% and for the House of Representatives from 40.5% to 47.9%. The number of Senators scoring 90% or better increased from 11 to 17. The number of Representatives with 90% or better increased from 96 to 128.

The following legislation is what appears on the HRC scorecard:

* The Matthew Shepard Act, H.R. 1592/S. 1105, to allow local law enforcement to access federal resources to investigate or prosecute violent crimes committed because of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity;
* The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 3685, to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation;
* The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2015, co-sponsorship of the inclusive version to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity;
* The HIV travel and immigration ban, included in the reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), that took the first step toward ending the ban on travel and immigration to the United States by HIV-positive individuals;
* The Early Treatment for HIV Act (ETHA), H.R. 3326/S. 860, to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage to HIV positive persons;
* The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), H.R. 2221/S. 1328, to provide same-sex partners of U.S. citizens equal immigration access;
* The Military Readiness Enhancement Act (MREA), H.R. 1246, which would repeal the military’s ban on open service by gays and lesbians;
* The Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act (DP Tax), H.R. 1820/S. 1556, to equalize tax treatment for employer-provided health coverage for domestic partners.

To view the HRC scorecard click here.

Crossposted via our friends at Lez Get Real.

The Latest No on 8 Commercial - "The Education Issue"

Arkansas - Vote NO on Act 1

Arkansas Initiated Act 1 is a measure that if passed would ban unmarried co-habitating couples from fostering or adopting children.

Spread the word to friends & family, early voting has begun in Arkansas!

Phonebank For Prop 8 - Regardless of Your State!

Calling potential voters and engaging them on the issues is the single most effective way to get people to vote NO on proposition 8 and to keep marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

It's fun, easy, and 100% free, c'mon folks please join me in calling voters.

There are three options to phone bank.

1. Click here to see a listing of phone banks around California!

2. Download the easy to use kit to start your own phone bank.

3. Sign up to use the internet based phone bank and work to defeat Prop 8 from home!

Please either volunteer to host a party, call from a center, or just dial at your leisure at home. Together we can make a difference!

Word of the Gay: "Ex-Straight"

An "ex-straight" person is someone who formerly identified as heterosexual but has gone on to identify as LGBTQ.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Early Voting Has Begun in Select States!

PFLAG is urging us to the Get Out The Vote. In some states you can skip lines and vote early! Voting has begun, vote NO on marriage amendments! Vote Obama!

Arkansas: Early voting has begun in the state. (Vote NO on Act 1, that bans unmarried co-habitating couples)

Arizona: which is facing a divisive anti-gay amendment (no on 102), voting is also already taking place.

Colorado: Early voting begins today and ends October 31. Vote-by-mail applications msut be received by October 28 (via mail) or October 31 (in-person).

Florida: Early voting begins today and ends November 2, (No On prop 2 "marriage protection amendment"). Vote-by-mail applications are due October 29.

Georgia: Early voting begins October 27 and ends October 31. Vote-by-mail applications are due by October 31.

Indiana: Early voting is already underway and ends November 3. Vote-by-mail applications are due by October 27.

Early voting is already underway and ends November 1.

Maine: Early voting is already underway and ends on November 4.

Montana: Early voting is already underway and ends November 4. Vote-by-mail applications are due November 3.

Nevada: Early voting is already underway and ends on October 31. Vote-by-mail applications are due by October 28.

New Mexico:
Early voting is already underway and ends November 1. Vote-by-mail applications must be received by October 31.

North Dakota: Early voting is already underway and ends on November 3.

Ohio: Early voting is already underway and ends November 3. Vote-by-mail applications must be received by November 1.

Tennessee: early voting has started, and lasts until October 30.

The District of Columbia: early voting started on October 20.

Wisconsin: Early voting is already underway and ends on November 3.

Republicans Against 8: "It's Backwards"

New video from Republicans Against 8 fighting the California "marriage protection" amendment.

Montana Library Chooses Not to Censor Gay Book

UPDATE:Thanks for your activism, the Montana library board voted 5-0 not to censor the gay book.

After several residents complained about the book "The Joy of Gay Sex" by Dr. Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano's, the library was considering whether to toss the book out. The number one selling guide for gay men offers advice on everything from coming out, to self esteem, and safe-sex.

Citizens against the book in the Helena Montana town object to the book on the basis that it is "immoral", there are also many people defending the book as a "resource, and on the basis that censorship is wrong".

The library board of directors made a decision to keep the book at its Oct. 21 meeting.

Saving Marriage - Movie Trailer

Saving Marriage is beginning its release in select theaters. It documents the struggle, fear, hope, and controversy that occurred when Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage. The movie looks very interesting, here is a trailer...

Word of the Gay: "Husbear"

A "husbear" is a masculine, stocky and/or hairy guy who is one of the partners in a gay relationship. Sometimes the term "husbears" is used if both men are considered bears.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gays For McCain - Funny Video!

H/T to Good as You

A Beautiful Display of Non-Violent Queer Resistance!

"The Proposition 8 battle is being fought on the street in San Jose. After one family claims a 'Yes on 8' sign was stolen from their front yard, they replaced it with a huge banner on the front of their house.

Supporters of marriage equality then parked an SUV directly in front of the house with a sign and arrow on the windshield, indicating "Bigots Live Here."

I applaud the efforts of these anonymous activists. They are exercising their right to free speech and displaying a non-violent form of resistance against our oppressors.

H/T to Towleroad

Oct 25th HRC Gala Protest!

TBGL activists and allies will be protesting against the Human Rights Campaign's gala in Boston on October 25th. Many people in the community are angry over HRC's exclusionary policies towards transgender people and over their endorsement of war-mongering politicians.

The protest of the New England HRC Dinner will be held on October 25th at 5pm at the Sheraton Boston. All are invited to join a sign making party to be held at the conference room at 14 Beacon Street at 3pm.

An after party, the “Left Out Party,” will be held at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain located at 45 Danforth St.Ethan St. Pierre

More info over at our friends Transgender Planet

"8 Against 8" - Lesbian Bloggers Unite Against H8

Eight fantastic lesbian bloggers, and some of our fellow friends and readers have united to raise money to defeat proposition 8 in California. 100% of the proceeds raised goes to Equality California's efforts to fight the marriage amendment.

The fundraising effort is from Oct 20-27th, please do your part!

Click here to pitch in whatever you can to help out!

Word of the Gay: "Hypospadias"

"Hypospadias" can occur to some intersex people and is when an opening occurs at any given section along the penis as opposed to the average penis opening at the tip of the glans. The opening faces downward forcing the flow of secretions towards the feet.

Monday, October 20, 2008

WTF? Tyra Banks Show Seeking "Ex-Gays"

Maybe I spoke too quickly when I said that Tyra Banks is a true ally of the LGBT commmunity.

Now the Tyra Banks show is looking to host a program on "Ex-Gays"


Are you a gay man or lesbian who wants to be straight? Do your friends or family disagree with your gay lifestyle and wish you were straight? If you ever wish you could erase your same-sex attractions and not be gay?" (Tyra)
The Tyra Banks show has been inclusive in featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in her shows in a positive light. Unless Tyra Banks seeks to prove on her show how "conversion therapy" and "ex-gays" are nothing more than a myth and people who are in denial or outright lying, this show is a bad move.

Click here to send actual good show ideas to Tyra.

Click here to leave a comment telling Tyra Banks either not to make a show on "ex-gays" or to make one which exposes the myth that is the "ex-gay" movement. If the show just shows so called "ex-gays" and religious fanatics it will further confuse people in the closet and legitimize a movement that is based in fear and hate and not grounded in science, psychology or reality.

ACLU: "We're Losing California Marriage"

Connecticut Say NO to Question 1 on the Ballot!

Connecticut recently made the historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Now special interests and right-wing groups want to hold a constitutional convention to overturn the courts decision. They also want to force the state into banning abortion rights, give special tax cuts to big corporations, and eliminate certain workers rights and benefits.

Make sure to sign Love Makes A Family's pledge against question 1!

Two TV commercials against question 1:

Sarah Palin Supports Federal Marriage Amendment

In an interview with the Christian Broadcast News, Sarah Palin was asked about whether she would support a federal constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. She said they "instituted a ban on gay marriage in Alaska and that she would like to see that happen nationally". Ironically Sarah Palin goes on to say that she is not in a position to judge others, and just wants to express her point of view. It is neither an expression nor a lack of judging others when you systematically deny over 1,049 rights and benefits that come along with marriage equality.


Sign up FREE on txtoutthevote and let the Human Rights Campaign send a reminder text message to your friends to vote on election day.

Word of the Gay: "Or-Bisexual"

An "or-bisexual" is someone who is attracted to both genders but chooses to be monogamous with one gender while in a relationship.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Funny & Effective No On Prop 8 Videos!

Spread the love, and let these great NO on prop 8 videos go viral across the net! Remember these videos are a great parody, but proposition 8 in California is no joke and seeks to eliminate the right of marriage for same-sex couples. Do your part and help fight prop H8!





Free Posters & Materials for No On Prop 8 Campaign!

Print out a FREE No On 8 Poster to place anywhere!

Purchase some No On 8 paraphernalia

You can also help out by donating to the No On Prop 8 campaign.

Web Spotlight: Iranian Queer Railroad

"The Iranian Queer Railroad is a new organization working to create a simple structure and focus upon supporting Iranian queers to be safe on their journey and to arrive in a new country to live and be free.

The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and mainly to Canada with the aid of abolitionists who were sympathetic to their cause. In Canada they had their freedom. In the past few years one of our major activities was about asylum seekers who must escape Iran due to their sexual orientation and we will continue this work under IRQR. Iranian queer refugees are resettling in Canada, and also in United States and in parts of Europe."

No On 8 Rally Today at Old Town Salinas

What: Silent Witness - No on 8 Visibility Event

When: 1:15 pm, Sunday, October 19th

Where: Cherry Bean, 332 Main Street, in Old Town Salinas

Why: We are gathering during the Traditional Family Values Parade to raise awareness about the importance of voting no on Proposition 8.

If approved, Prop 8 will eliminate the right to marry for same-sex couples.

It is wrong to single out any group of people and strip away basic rights. We must protect families by ensuring equality for all.

We support family values and respect for all. For these reasons, we are calling on the Salinas Valley to Vote No on Prop 8.

Please arrive at the Cherry Bean at 1:15 pm.

Organizers will provide participants with plenty of No on 8 gear - signs, stickers, etc.

You will also be given important training to prepare for the rally.

It is recommended that you dress in your Sunday best (there will be TV cameras).

Please bring your friends and family.

Crossposted Via Pam's Houseblend.

Word of the Gay: "Gender Blind"

"Gender Blind" is a term used to indicate that an accommodation or activity is open to all genders. Traditionally the term used was unisex, however linguistically the term means one gender. There is an ever increasing number of "gender blind" bathrooms, college dormitories, and other facilities and services.

In some scenarios people use the expression "gender blind" to indicate that they are open to a romantic and/or sexual relationship irregardless of gender.

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 18, 2008

Open Forum: LGBT Youth & Seniors - Parallel Struggle?

There seem to be quite a number of parallels faced by LGBT youth and seniors. It's interesting to note that while one group is just starting out in life and the other is close to retiring they face similar issues and struggles with regards to their respective identities. I'd like to examine a few of the issues I see as parallels and would also welcome anyone elses thoughts and/or additions.

Being Alone:

Many LGBT youth are not out of the closet and live in a world of fear and sadness, unable to express their true identity. They long for a girlfriend or boyfriend for whom they can love. Similarly many LGBT elders are also alone, either having lived an entire life in the closet or being left widowed and without a partner or a support system.

Coming Out:

Every LGBT youth faces the struggle of coming out of the closet. They are faced with questions of their own sexuality and gender identity and also have to question whether their friends and family will be supportive. In our heterosexist society, it is assumed that you are heterosexual unless you say otherwise. The same goes for LGBT elders, it doesn't cross peoples minds that the individual may have been a lifelong gay activist or have a partner, the youth and the LGBT elder both have to engage in the coming out process within their respective environments.

Lack of Independence:

Many if not most LGBT youth and elders lack true independence because they rely on the care of others. LGBT youth are under the care of their parents, or in a foster home and thus are subject to a set of rules and standards by which they are to live by. LGBT elders often face a similar situation either with a nurse aid, or in a nursing home or hospice. Being under the care of others and not having true independence makes living out your identity or coming to terms with it more of a struggle.

Living in a Non-Accepting Environment:

Another parallel between youth and seniors is the fact that in many cases both live out their daily lives in a tough and non-accepting environment. Everyone knows from their own childhood that kids can be brutal, there is a lot of bullying and teasing that goes on. While of course LGBT seniors are not going to be subject to schoolyard taunts many are placed in an environment with fellow seniors who have been part of the society that has ridiculed them and sought to pathologize their lives. Can you imagine what it must be like to be an out and proud member of the community who suddenly gets thrust back into an environment with those who do not understand, are not accepting, or worse are disgusted and morally opposed by your "lifestyle".

Being Transgender.

It goes without saying that being transgender or gender variant is a struggle at any given point in life. I think it probably is the hardest on the trans youth and elders. The transgender youth faces the struggle of coming to terms with their gender identity and then coming out to others and seeking assistance to live their lives in conjunction with their true identity. The LGBT seniors who have already transitioned into their appropriate gender face the difficulty not only of acceptance from a generation that does not understand gender issues, but also the financial cost of keeping up with hormones and some medical routines that some trans people choose to undergo. The senior who is just coming to terms with being transgender having never even known of the concept faces the hard task of self acceptance, societal acceptance, and the lack of information out there for LGBT elders.

It seems that whether we are just beginning our life journey or are close to our retiring ages that LGBT youth and elders face a lot of similar struggles. It seems like a really unfair system that is changing slowly over time. I think this goes to show that we must be engaged in activism towards all ages in the lifespan, because whether young, middle-aged, or old, we face some of the same struggles in a unique fashion.