"Last week the Empire State Pride Agenda, one of the nation's largest LGBT advocacy groups, announced its closure. This came on the same day that staff members of Freedom to Marry finished packing up their cubicles, and a few weeks after cutbacks had been announced by other gay equality groups. For decades the LGBT movement has advocated for legal equality. The new LGBT movement should recognize that equality is necessary, but it is not enough." [more inside]
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
Last night at the Oscars, Patricia Arquette, after making an impassioned statement about wage equity for women during her speech, said, backstage, "The truth is: even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface, there are huge issues that are applied that really do affect women," she mused. "And it's time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we've all fought for to fight for us now." [more inside]
Full Doc - 1:16:27 - slyt: "Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Many members of the ball culture community consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America."
As part of their State of Sex issue, Dazed and Confused magazine presents an oral history of the trans magazine Original Plumbing [previously]. Amos Mac, co-founder and editor, asks five people in NYC who identify on the trans spectrum what being "trans in America" at this moment in time means to them. Dating columnist Arisce Wanzer discusses the challenges of dating as a transwoman of color (nsfw). Legendary NYC drag den mother Flawless Sabrina talks the ethics of identity politics and her mentorship of gay and transgender youth. [more inside]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
In the Shadows. The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
In Malaysia's continuing efforts to persecute and combat the "deviant wave" of homosexuality, after banning a LGBT rights event claiming a threat to "public order" and training parents and educators to spot "LGBT behaviors" in school children for possible entry into a gay rehabilitation centre, they are now producing and presenting Asmara Songsang, a musical where LGBT people live lives fuelled by sex, drugs, and rock and roll...only to be struck by lightning and go straight or die. [more inside]
Your Holiday Mom: "This season, supportive moms have gathered to send a holiday message to all LGBTQ children, teens and young adults who are without family support and who would like a 'stand-in Holiday Mom'–or 40! Knowing that not every mother is ready to accept her own LGBTQ child exactly as-is (as hard as this is for us to imagine), we moms have written to extend our love beyond that of our own family."
"I'm a 41 year old mom of two teenage boys. My oldest is gay and has the full support of both of his parents and his brother. If your family won't accept you, in honor of the day, I will be happy to virtually adopt you if you want to come out to a family that will accept you no matter what. "
"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (transcript included). [more inside]
Don't let your kids watch Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars, warns Dr. Keith Ablow (a forensic psychiatrist and "street therapist"), or the depiction of transgender reassignment as a heroic journey rather than tragedy may normalize it and affect their burgeoning sexual identities (a kind of observational learning effect). Transgender advocates vociferously disagree.
Earlier this week, the Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives asked Bradlee Dean to give the morning prayer. [more inside]
Growing Up Gay (Part 1, Part 2) is a two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalization comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago?
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
A treasure trove of gay and lesbian documentaries to watch online. Our course begins with a brief overview. (9m05s) [more inside]
Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.
Part short story forum, part attempt to reach out to isolated teens struggling with their sexuality. I'm from Driftwood; true stories by gay people all over.
Mercedes Allen looks at who's in charge of deciding the fate of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV. The APA (American Psychological Association) has announced it's intention to revise the DSMV (Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The expert they've named to chair revisions on sexuality and gender is Kenneth Zucker. Zucker is the major remaining proponent of Reparative Therapy for LGBT folks. [more inside]
In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial" which then became collectively known as Tales of The City. It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You - and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS, but not without protest or limitations. [more inside]
Up for consideration is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has been written to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last week, Barney Frank released a Statement saying that it is a mistake to continue seeking inclusion of "gender identity" as part of the Act. Or to put it in other words, there'd be protections for only the "GLB" part of the larger "GLBT community". [more inside]
First Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender public high school to open in New York City. "I think everybody feels that it's a good idea because some of the kids who are gays and lesbians have been constantly harassed and beaten in other schools." says NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but couldn't the same argument have been used against the racial integration of schools in the 1950s?