, a critically-acclaimed
new film given a limited release in the US today
, tells the true story
of how a small group of LGBT activists became the biggest fundraiser for the year-long British coal miner's strike
of 1984-85. The miners faced a pre-meditated
, organized, thuggish
, and illegal surveillance
and smear campaign
by the Thatcher government, which froze all mining union funds, cancelled their unemployment, and denied food and housing welfare to their wives and children, in an attempt to starve them out. For the first time, the British government trained Britain's police into a paramilitary force
, bused in at great expense and in great numbers to overwhelm the protesters
, using violent, repressive, and corrupt tactics
against non-violent protesters
, with prolonged police detentions and the indiscriminate arrest of over 11,000 British citizens
. The government was supported by the rightwing tabloid media
, who used sensationalist, crude headlines
to shape public opinion. LGBT activists reclaimed one such headline as the name
of their most successful benefit
Although the miner's strike was broken by the Thatcher government, the miners kept their promise to support the LGBT community, by marching alongside them at the front
of London's 1985's Pride parade.. Later that year at the Labour Party conference, a motion was tabled that supported adding equal rights for gays and lesbians as part of the Party's platform. This motion was opposed by Labour's executive committee, but the motion went to a vote – and passed
, thanks to the votes of the National Union of Mineworkers and their allies.
Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief
LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.
The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.
Why I Stay Closeted In Asia (SLBF)
I denied it, as my father and sister begged me to.
I couldn't exaggerate to you how much my mother's face lit up, or how much I wanted, for a shameful second, for my lie to be true. I began to tell her a story, got into the groove, told it with what could be called pizzazz, or maybe just mercy. A monthlong fling with a Korean girl became a year ("I liked her; she had a cocaine problem"). Immediately she laughed with relief.
"I wouldn't know how to deal if you were, you know, that" she said.
放浪息子 Hourou Musuko
(often translated as Wandering Son
) is one of the better depictions of transgender
life in manga and anime (and maybe in any medium). It's a slice of life drama about two young people who are trans and starting middle school in Japan. The manga is being published in English
, and the anime is officially licensed in English subs
. [more inside]
Singing the Lesbian Blues in 1920s Harlem.
In Jazz Age speakeasies, dive bars, and private parties, blue singers had the freedom to explore alternative sexuality, and on a rare occasion, they even expressed it in song.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly
for this month's cover story, Andrew Garfield, the current star of the rebooted Spider-Man movie series, offered a new take the character's love interest
“I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ,” he tells EW. “And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
Garfield even has an actor in mind: “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!” [more inside]
The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage
. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation
to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
Kristin Beck, a former Navy Seal who was once a member of Seal Team 6, has just published a memoir Warrior Princess
in which she describes her journey to coming out as transgender. Reports on the book and Beck are at the Atlantic Wire
. [more inside]
of this year, Autostraddle
("News, Entertainment, Opinion and Girl-On-Girl Culture") has been running a very interesting series of articles about trans experience (primarily focused on trans women) called Trans*Scribe
. [more inside]
The county where no one's gay.
The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf)
. CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
37-year-old Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox recently came out as transgender
during an interview with Sports Illustrated.
She also doesn't believe she and other transgender MMA fighters should have to disclose their medical history to would-be opponents.
Fox, 2-0 in MMA, was born a man but underwent gender reassignment surgery and began supplemental hormonal therapy in 2006. [more inside]
Santa Fe officials are encouraging same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses, pointing out that the state doesn't need to pass a marriage equality law because New Mexico law already allows same-sex marriage
Conservative Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) came out in favor of marriage equality today, in an interview on CNN
and an Op-Ed in the Columbus Dispatch.
This reversal comes via Portman's son, who came out as a gay man to his parents two years ago. Reaction has been mixed.
U.S. adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine how many self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The GLBT percentage was highest in D.C. (10%) and lowest in North Dakota (1.7%). All the states were within 2 percentage points of the nationwide average of 3.5%.
The states with proportionally larger LGBT populations generally have supportive LGBT legal climates. With the exception of South Dakota, all of the states that have LGBT populations of at least 4% have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and allow same-sex couples to marry, enter into a civil union, or register as domestic partners. Of the 10 states with the lowest percentage of LGBT adults, only Iowa has such laws.
, a new tumblr to help comics fans find shops that are friendly to those of us who aren't straight white guys. [more inside]
Torontoist has named their 2012 Advocacy heroes
, including Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke
for his work supporting GLBT rights in memory of his son Brendan (Previously
) and the AHL's Toronto Marlies, the first professional sports team to pledge their support
for teammates, coaches, and fans of all orientations.
Gaming made me
- RPS writer Patricia Hernandez on how Fallout 2 shaped her world view, her politics and her sexuality.
The UN has condemned extrajudicial killing on the basis of gender identity
. [more inside]
During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states
. He came out of the closet
in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage
. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side
, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case
. [more inside]
For their club’s big debut this semester, the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy hammered out talking points, printed fliers and hung their logo, a rainbow-colored globe, in their booth in Arnold Hall. Then they held their breath.
On the day known as Blue Rush, when incoming freshmen learn about extracurricular activities, Lydia Hill and Brandon Reams were making history, introducing their fellow cadets to Spectrum, the academy’s first club for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and their straight friends and supporters.
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.
—Love on the March
by Alex Ross. [more inside]
It all started on Sept 27, when Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Lee "Poodle" Thompson made his first appearance on the show
. Not a week had passed before Karen Cox's October 3rd op-ed for the New York Times
using him as an example for the encouraging state of being gay in the South. October 8th, Jonathan Capehart wrote his own op-ed column for the Washington Post
taking Cox to task for painting too rosy a picture of what GLBT life is like in the South, and calling for Uncle Poodle to speak out. Finally, October 10, Lee Thompson did speak out, in a profile column with the GA Voice
, Georgia's gay newspaper. And what he had to say is getting positive attention
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein
wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity
, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
Queer Music Heritage
is a sprawling website about the history of queer music. You can listen to twelve years' worth
of monthly radio shows (link goes to the first year, 2000); take a look at the Queer Music History 101
overview; check out the extensive photo galleries in the female impersonators
section; or read through the blog
, which features interesting tidbits from gay musical history, like this overview of the Sissy Man Blues
. [more inside]
Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt
's essay defending Chick-Fil-A
appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog.
with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star
. [more inside]
"I was wrong about Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
A discharged military activist and, lately, Occupy protester
, now says, "The reason I’m wrong isn’t because gay people shouldn’t join the Army. It’s because no-one should join the Army."
Gov. Chris Christie vetoes New Jersey bill granting marriage equality.
Meanwhile, the Maryland House narrowly passes such a bill.
The MD Senate passed a similar bill last year, and no senators have announced any plans to change their votes, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign it.
On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced
that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced
that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside]
Governor Christine Gregoire announces her support for marriage equality in Washington State.
"And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years." (SLYT) [more inside]
An awkward moment in politics.
(YouTube) While campaigning in a New Hampshire diner
, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spotted local Bob Garon, a regular to the diner, eating his breakfast while wearing a Vietnam veteran's cap. “Vietnam veteran!” Romney greeted Bob, as he slid down onto the diner seat for a little chat. Unfortunately for Mitt, Bob was dining there that morning with his husband
, and had to explain to Bob that his husband didn't deserve any of the benefits he fought for, and that the makers of the Constitution held marriage to be between a man and a woman. (Which doesn't really explain Mitt's great-grandfather Miles and his wives Hanna, Caroline, Catherine, Alice, and Emily
, but stilll...)
Today, November 20, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance
, a day to remember all the people who've been killed in the past year out of transphobia. As before
, the vast majority are poor trans women of color. Also as before, the true numbers
are almost certainly far higher than the reported numbers.
Ceremonies are being held around the world; see the website for details.
In the waning hours of National Coming Out Day, this 1976 pamphlet, "Growing Up Gay" [pdf]
was a publication of Youth Liberation
of Ann Arbor, MI (1970-1979). This collection of coming-out stories
also advises young readers, in the years before the ascendancy of GSAs, on how to start "gay groups" at their schools and in their communities. [more inside]
"I finally said, you know what, I'm going to tell my story. The first American injured in the Iraq war is a gay Marine. He wanted to give his life to this country." ~Eric Alva, 40, former Marine and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military [more inside]
"If there's one thing I've learned from working in an emergency room, it's that people are terrible liars. Maybe I only think that because the good liars don't get caught? [...] And a lie I hear almost every day in the emergency room is "I fell down the stairs. My partner loves me. They would never hurt me." [...] For a long time, I just couldn't understand this. We'd get the victim in a private room locked away from the abuser, and they'd sit there with bruises or wounds or even broken bones, in a safe place surrounded by people who wanted to help them, and they'd tell us, often through tears... "I fell down the stairs." It drove me nuts. It made me furious at the victims. Why did they do this? Did they like pain? Did they want to get murdered? Were they just unbelievably stupid? Why the HOLY LIVING FUCK would someone choose to protect and return to a partner who just broke their arm? [more inside]
Earlier this week, the Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives asked
Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer. [more inside]
After chalking up 14,316 military discharges to its credit (261 from the last year alone
), the reign of Don't Ask Don't Tell crumbled when Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado's DADT-motivated hearing ended on Thursday with the three member panel voting unanimously to retain the openly gay soldier