Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Call for Intersex Writers to Share Experiences

The Board of Organization Intersex International (oii) is planning a book, to be written by intersex people about their own lives. Proposals are sought from individuals who are born with a variety of IS conditions.

Chapters can be about:
1. Your stories, your words, your voices, your lives.
2. How you feel current gender theory affects the intersex condition you were born with.

Writers may need to do some research, especially for the second chapter. Although this is not a formal academic exercise, where writers do refer to books, theories or incorporate quotations, but they will need to provide some form of reference so that when the book is edited these can be assimilated using a formal referencing system.

Those who want to contribute should put their proposals (say, a couple of hundred words) into an e-mail and send it to joanne.proctor@gmail.com

Submissions will be evaluated by a small panel who will select which proposals to include for publication. Chapters may be co-authored. Anyone who wants to protect their anonymity can do that by clearly saying so. There is no reason for people to feel they cannot contribute for fear of being outed or identified!

This exercise is not restricted to OII members. All intersexed people are invited to submit a proposal. People of all cultures and all languages are welcome.

For more complete writer’s guidelines or more information click here.

H/T to Queer Stuff People Need to Know.

Calls for the Resignation of Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina

There have been calls for the resignation of North Carolina representative Virginia Foxx who yesterday during the house of representatives hearing of H.R. 1913 the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act AKA Matthew Shepard Act, called Matthew Shepard's case a "hoax" and a crime not motivated by anti-gay bias but by robbery.

Below a video from Media Matters captures the reps comments, and the facts that the Matthew Shepard case was indeed a hate crime motivated by sexual orientation:


The representative later, said the word "hoax" was likely a poor choice of words, but did not apologize for her comments.

1230 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-207

E-mail Webform

Rep. Fox's Twitter.

Word of the Gay: "Ginger Beer"

"Ginger Beer" is a slang against gay people that rhymes with queer.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day of Decision/Meet in The Middle

Be prepared to get out onto the streets the day the California supreme court rules on the validity of proposition 8. Regardless of the outcome, thousands will be out to either celebrate or protest the court decision. The court will alert us 24 hours prior to their decision being made public.



For up to date information please goto Unite The Fight.

Please goto these websites to find info on where to meet:
Day of Decision

Meet in the Middle

Matthew Shepard Bill Passes House Now Moves to Senate

The Local Law Enforcement Protection Act H.R. 1913 (Matthew Shepard Bill) has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 249-175. The bill expands the federal hate crimes statute to include actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bill will now move on to the senate, please contact your senators and urge them to vote for passage of the bill.

Web Spotlight: GLBT Near Me

GLBT Near Me is a national resource database that helps people find local/national resources for the community. Type in your zip code to find GLBT/GLBT friendly support, social, youth, sports, houses of worship, etc in your community.

NH Passes Marriage Equality - Urge Governor to Sign into Law!

New Hampshire Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill 13-11!

The bill must now go to back to the house which already previously approved it, and will likely pass. Action is now needed to get New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch to sign the bill. He has remained mute on the subject but in the past has stated personal opposition.

Contact the governor and tell him to sign the marriage equality bill!

Office of the Governor
State House
25 Capitol Street
Concord, NH 03301

(603)271-2121
(603)271-7680 (fax)

E-contact Form for Governor.

H/T to Unite The Fight

Urge The White House to Stand Firm on LGBT Equality

The airways and the Internet are saturated, literally dripping with analyses and discussions of President Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. When Obama was sworn in, the White House announced an eight-point civil rights agenda for LGBT Americans.

In assessing Obama’s progress in fulfilling this agenda, it bears remembering that each of the goals listed require action from Congress. None of these can be addressed by a presidential order. But we’ve already been disappointed to see foot-dragging on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” not just in Congress but at the White House as well.

Please urge the White House and President Obama to stand firm in his support for LGBT rights and in passing them as soon as possible.

White House Switchboard: 202-456-1414

E-Contact Form

Crossposted via Box Turtle Bulletin.

Swine Flu and The HIV Positive Community

The threat of a swine flu epidemic in the United States has many people living with HIV concerned about their health and safety. POZ and AIDSmeds check in with WHO and the CDC for the latest. In short: While there are reasons to be cautious, there’s no reason to panic.

What is swine flu?

Swine flu is a respiratory disease common among pigs. Though people are not usually susceptible to swine flu, animal-to-human transmission has been documented, notably among farmers working closely with pigs. What’s unique about the particular strain now under surveillance—dubbed swine influenza type A/H1N1—is its ability to spread from person to person.

A possible reason for this is the fact that pigs can be infected with not only swine influenza, but also flu viruses that affect humans and birds. The genetic material from multiple influenza viruses can then mix. Swine influenza typeA/H1N1, for example, contains genes from two strains of swine flu, one strain of bird flu and one strain of human influenza.

Is swine flu deadly?

All types of influenza that cause disease in humans can be deadly—approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from flu-related complications every year in the United States.

There is no reason to believe that the swine flu being reported is any more deadly than the regular seasonal flu. Of the 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in humans in the United States as of April 27, none have resulted in death. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all cases reported in the United States thus far were associated with mild symptoms of illness, with only one patient requiring brief hospital care.

Is swine flu a threat to people living with HIV?

People living with HIV—as well as those with other chronic conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes—are believed to face an increased risk of serious influenza-related symptoms. According to the CDC, there is often a spike in the number of heart- and lung-related hospitalizations among people living with HIV during the winter influenza season as opposed to other times of the year. Studies also indicate that influenza symptoms might be prolonged and the risks of influenza-related complications—including death—are higher for certain HIV-positive people.

It is not clear that this strain of swine flu poses any more or less of a risk to people living with HIV. One theory: Given that, at least in Mexico, swine flu mimics what was seen during the 1918 influenza pandemic—it appears most serious among people between 18 and 35 years of age; those with healthy immune systems that become hyperactive in response to the virus and causes serious respiratory inflammation and disease—and may be less of a threat to those with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV. Unfortunately, it is not clear if this theory will hold up, given that many HIV-positive people are responding well to antiretroviral treatment, compounded by the possibility that a hyperactive immune response to HIV, not the virus itself, is responsible for HIV disease progression and a heightened risk of non-AIDS related health problems.

To help prevent seasonal flu, an annual vaccine is recommended for people with HIV to lower the risk of infection or serious disease if infection does occur. Unfortunately, a vaccine has not yet been developed against swine influenza A/H1N1. But people living with HIV can take steps to prevent infection.

How can I protect myself?

The CDC and other public health experts list fairly simple ways to prevent the spread of swine influenza A/H1N1. These include:

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* Very little is known about the benefits of wearing face masks to help control the spread of flu. Whenever possible, instead of relying on face masks, try avoiding close contact and crowded conditions—particularly if swine flu reaches pandemic status.
* No evidence shows that swine flu can be transmitted through food. Eating properly handled pork—cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees—is safe.
* If you come down with influenza-like symptoms, contact your doctor’s office immediately and stay home from work or school.

It is possible to rapidly develop a vaccine—if it’s needed. “We’ve identified the virus,” Richard Besser, MD, acting director of the CDC said during a White House press briefing on Sunday. “Should we decide to manufacture a vaccine, we can work toward that goal very quickly.” Though it would likely take at least four months to develop and mass produce a vaccine against H1N1, it could be available in time for a possible second wave of swine flu this coming winter.

Crossposted via Mike Tidmus.

Tell Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard Act

A law protecting all of our citizens against senseless hate violence is long overdue. Two years ago, radical right-wing groups and George W. Bush's veto threat blocked the Matthew Shepard Act, which would outlaw hate crimes based on both sexual orientation and gender identity. But now the bill is back.



The house is set to vote on the bill TODAY, please contact your representatives now, and urge your friends and family to follow suit.

Word of the Gay: "Todger Dodger"

A "todger dodger" is a term for someone who has no affiliation with a male sex organ, ie: a lesbian.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Hampshire Senators Against Gay Marriage

Thanks to Blue Hampshire we know the on the record or predicted position of the New Hampshire senators with regards to tomorrows vote on marriage equality.

The following senators are either opposed or undecided and must be contacted. You can call or email them individually, or click here to email them all instantly with a generic message.

John Gallus 603-271-3077
john.gallus@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Deborah Reynolds 603271-3042
deb.reynolds@leg.state.nh.us D Opposed

Jeb Bradley Unlisted Unlisted R Opposed

Kathleen Sgambati 603-271-2641
kathleen.sgambati@leg.state.nh.us D Undecided

Bob Odell 603-271-6733
bob.odell@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Sheila Roberge (H) (603)472-8391
sheila.roberge@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Peter Bragdon 603-271-2675
peter.bragdon@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Peggy Gilmour 603-271-3569
Peggy.Gilmour@leg.state.nh.us D Undecided

Sharon Carson 603-271-2674
Sharon.Carson@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Sylvia Larsen 603-271-2111
sylvia.larsen@leg.state.nh.us D Undecided

Theodore Gatsas 603-271-2709
Ted.Gatsas@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

John Barnes, Jr. 603-271-6931
jack.barnes@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Betsi DeVries 603-271-6933
betsi.devries@leg.state.nh.us D Undecided

Robert Letourneau 603-271-2118
robert.letourneau@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

Lou D'Allesandro 603-271-2600
dalas@leg.state.nh.us D Undecided

Michael Downing 603-271-8630
michael.downing@leg.state.nh.us R Opposed

It is vital that each of them hear from of us as to why they should support marriage equality, let them wake up to an inbox full of messages in favor of equality.

Organizational Spotlight: The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project operates a 24/7 suicide prevention national hotline for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. The service offers a non judgmental person to talk to about your problems, and to help you realize that there is hope amidst despair.

Congress to Vote on Matthew Shepard Act Tomorrow

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) AKA "The Matthew Shepard Act" will be up for a vote tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would amend the federal hate crimes law to include to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

The right-wing is contacting congress at an alarming rate, calling the bill a "thought crimes bill" and flat out lying that this bill will somehow impede on their free speech rights.

HRC is asking us to take action by contacting our representatives.

Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your Member’s office:

* Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are on the rise. One out of every six hate crimes is because of the victim’s sexual orientation.

* Hate crimes have more than one victim. They are intended to create an atmosphere of fear and terrorize entire communities.

* The Matthew Shepard Act targets only violent acts – not speech. It does not tell any clergy member what he or she can or can’t preach.

Word of the Gay: "Tribadism"

"Tribadism" has historically been used as a definition for lesbian sex. As of late the term now refers to a scissoring sexual position in which two women stimulate one another.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Ex-Gay" Conference Protest in Boston 4/28

There will be a protest tomorrow in Boston, Massachusetts of the so called "ex-gay" conference by Exodus International which unsuccessfully attempts to alter sexual orientation and gender identity. The consequences of this pseudo-scientific "therapy" often results in depression, self esteem damage, and in some instances suicide.

Below is a video of Zack, a 16 year old gay teen forced into "ex-gay" therapy against his will. His story mobilized people to speak up against this unethical and ineffective practice.


The protest will be held from 12:00PM to 3:00PM at the Park street station near the fountain. Speakers include: Arline Isaacson of The Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Stewart Landers, Scott Gortikov of MassEquality, Tom Lang of KnowThyNeighbor.org, Paul Sousa of Join the Impact MA, and keynote speaker Wayne Besen, founder of TruthWinsOut.org.

Demand LGBT Health Data Collection

As of Fri, only 1 of 100 Senators signed on to support LGBT health data collection! Do you know the Census only has 14 questions but this federal health survey has hundreds? Wanna know what % of lesbians have breast cancer? What heart disease rates are for gay men? What the smoking rate is for bisexuals? Then we need to get the gov’t to ask about LGBT people on their federal health surveys!

We need people to call their Senators now to say we will not be ignored in federal surveys any longer, they need to sign on to the Sen. Whitehouse letter about LGBT health data collection by Tue! This is the springboard to getting LGBTs on the Census + it’s the single thing that would completely change LGBT health. So please call your Senators now and insist they sign on to this letter! 202-224-3121

Talking points:

* “I urge you to signon to support the Sen. Whitehouse letter asking for LGBT data collection in the largest federal health survey, the National Health Interview Survey.”

* “LGBTs have many acknowledged health disparities, but until the federal health surveys stop ignoring us, our hands will be tied in getting the data that’s needed to eliminate these disparities.”


After you call be sure to spread the word!

Crossposted via Join The Impact.

New Movie, Outrage - "We Know What You Did Last Session"

A new movie called Outrage by director Kirby Dick is sure to shake the boots of anti-gay closeted politicians throughtout the United States. The film documents those who have been outed in the past, and even names current U.S. politicians who live a double life, having homosexual sex, while voting against nearly all gay rights measures.

Tennessee Hate Crimes Bill Moves Forward

Last week the Tennessee House Criminal Practice Subcommittee passed a bill that would add gender identity or expression to the states hate crimes legislation.

The bill now moves forward to the full House Judiciary Committee, please urge the following members to vote in favor of HB 0335:

Kent Coleman (D-Murfreesboro), Chair, rep.kent.coleman@capitol.tn.gov
Jon Lundberg (R-Bristol), Vice-Chair, rep.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov
Janis Sontany (D-Nashville), Secretary, rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov

Eddie Bass (D-Prospect), rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov
Karen Camper (D-Memphis), Bill Co-sponsor, rep.karen.camper@capitol.tn.gov
Vance Dennis (R-Savannah), rep.vance.dennis@capitol.tn.gov
Chad Faulkner (R-Luttrell), rep.chad.faulkner@capitol.tn.gov
Henry Fincher (D-Cookeville), rep.henry.fincher@capitol.tn.gov
Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown), rep.brian.kelsey@capitol.tn.gov
Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov
Mike Stewart (D-Nashville), Bill Co-sponsor, rep.mike.stewart@capitol.tn.gov
Eric Watson (R-Cleveland), rep.eric.watson@capitol.tn.gov

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on HB0335 next Wednesday, April 29.



H/T to Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

Word of the Gay: "Unlabeled Sexual Orientation"

An "unlabeled sexual orientation" is a term for people who consciously choose not to self-identify with a particular classification.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Day In Hand - Same-Sex Couples Holding Hands Globally

You don't have to fight to change the world. Promote love and equality by the simple act of holding hands.

This campaign's aim is to INSPIRE and SUPPORT same-sex couples who want to hold their partner's hand in public.

Holding hands with your partner, where you can, is about being true to yourself and to those you love. This is not a protest, a rally, a Pride or a march. This is about you and the life you lead every day.

Join A Day In Hand, make your life and others more comfortable.

The Sodomite Committee

It's Sunday, I was bored. I updated the Sodomite Committee page. Now we can re-direct our anti-queer visitors to this video :)

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.

Word of the Gay: "WSW"

"WSW" is an acronym standing for women who have sex with women. It is a term used to identify women who may or may not identify as lesbian or bisexual, but have engaged in same-sex encounters.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reality TV Star Kim Kardashian Responds to Miss California Remark

Television personality celebrity Kim Kardashian best known for her E! reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians is the latest celebrity to speak out against Miss California's anti-marriage remark at the Miss USA competition.

“I don’t agree with her narrow mindedness and neither do a lot of people. I’m not so narrow-minded so I definitely think a lot broader. Everyone has the right to be happy and be treated equally and I think not allowing gay marriage just kind of puts us back. I believe you’re in love with who you’re in love with, and you should be able to marry them. No one should tell someone else how to think or how to feel.”

“I obviously have a completely different opinion but I think her answer was true to her. That answer represented her and how she felt. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. She stood up for what she believes in so she should be happy with that backlash”
(Reality TV Mag).

To leave a comment for Kim Kardashian check out her blog, she tries to read all comments daily!

Open Forum: Is The Tide Turning Our Way?

The tide appears to be turning, the last few weeks has brought us more states legalizing and considering same-sex marriage. We now have four states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Iowa) with legal marriage equality. Many other states are considering marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships legislation.

Some states have added gender identity/expression to their hate crimes legislation, and many more states are considering these proposals which have passed in house and senate committees.

Celebrities like Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and Heidi Montag among others have come out in support of gay rights, and while they hold no power, they do hold fame and media influence.

Republicans like Steve Schmidt, Christine Whitman, and Meghan McCain have been outspoken in support of marriage equality. Other republicans and conservatives are urging the party to focus on issues that matter, and not stand in the way of gay rights which they see as inevitable reality.

What do you make of the sudden slew of victories? Is this a result of the democratic majority? Is society really ready for LGBT people? Do economic troubles make it easier for queer legislation to pass? Whatever the reason, the tide appears to be turning, and this is good.

Urge Congress to Pass Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913) would add sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability to existing federal hate crimes laws. It would also strengthen enforcement of these laws by allowing the US Department of Justice to assist local authorities in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes cases. The bill is identical to the hate crimes legislation passed by the House of Representatives in 2007 and is transgender-inclusive.

Send a message to your elected representative and urge them to support H.R. 1913.

H/T to Planet Transgender

Word of the Gay: "Xq28"

"Xq28" is a genetic marker on the X chromosome thought to be partially responsible for male homosexuality, the studies results have since been disputed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Web Spotlight: URNot Alone

URNotAlone (URNA) provides free services to the transgendered community. Including news, events, chat, forum, journals and more!

Calling Bullshit on Gay.com Article on Male Bisexuality

In the Hot Topics section of gay.com there is an article called "Can Guys Actually Be Bisexual?"

There have been a plethora of so called "LGBT" sources lately that continually question the legitimacy of the bisexual orientation, how is that acting as a community, or accepting non-heteronormative identities besides just gay and lesbian.

Here are some of my reactions to some select quotes in the article:

"So what do we make of these guys who define themselves as bi? Are they really fooling themselves as they screw their way down the path to gayhood?"

I accept peoples choice to self-identify as they like, and am fully comfortable in accepting bisexuality as a variant of human sexuality. The sexual continuum allows for varying degrees of sexuality, while some people are exclusively heterosexual or homosexual, many people fall somewhere along the long, complicated and often blurred line of human sexuality.

"Some people are just sexually charged and will take it wherever they can get it."

Bisexual people are no more sexually charged than any other sexual orientation. The capacity to have sexual/romantic feelings for either gender, does not mean you have a high sex drive nor does it mandate that you not follow monogamy. Bisexuals can be just as exciting or boring as the rest of society, regardless of their sexual orientation.

"Women on the other hand are more emotionally driven than men and can, I believe, be bisexual."

There are emotional men, and non-emotional women, and to preach otherwise is to make a broad statement that when held to the test will fail. Emotion has nothing to do with gender, males are emotional, society shuns male emotion regarding it as effeminate, but that does not mean that it does not exist.

Urge New Hampshire to Vote for Trans Protections & Marriage Equality

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has passed two important bills: a bill to add gender identity and expression protections to the state's anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws and a bill to replace the separate and unequal civil union system with full marriage equality under state law for lesbian and gay couples in loving and committed relationships. These bills would propel NH forward on equality for LGBT people and families.

Both of these bills now await action by the state senate. Please take action now by contacting your state senator and asking him or her to vote yes on HB 415 and HB 436!

Word of the Gay: "Pte Winkte"

"Pte Winkte" is the Lakota word for a two-spirit Bison.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Britney Spears Adds Support for Gay Marriage

The latest pop music star to add their support for marriage equality is none other than the eight best selling female recording artist Britney Spears.

In a twitter comment to gossip columnist and Miss USA judge Perez Hilton over the Miss California comment against same-sex marriage she said:

"Love is love! People should be able to do whatever makes them happy! -Britney"

Whatever your thoughts on Britneys music and/or personal life, she is another person with national traction and who speaks to a younger audience.

Send her a tweet @britneyspears thanking her for supporting gay marriage!

Blog Spotlight: Lesbian Cafe

Lesbian Cafe is a Blog about the adventures of discovering one's sexuality and the journey of coming out from a hetero life. The journey covers everything from a married woman who loves women to a lesbian marriage going bad.

Contact Maine Senate Judiciary Committee to Pass Marriage Bill LD 1020

The Maine Senate Judiciary Committee held a public hearing yesterday on LD 1020 the bill to reverse the state ban on same-sex marriage and open up the institution to gay and lesbian couples. 3,000 people packed the University of Maine campus to speak as proponents or opponents of the bill, in a heated 14 hour long event.

The committee will convene again on Tuesday, April 28th, and it is critical that they hear more testimonies and opinions of those in favor of full marriage rights.

Maine residents can send a message to their representatives through the Equality Maine form.

All Americans should also contact all 14 reps on the Senate Judiciary Committee and urge them to vote in favor of LD 1020.

Word of the Gay: "Grrl"

A "Grrl" is a lesbian who is too old to be a baby dyke, but is still considered relatively young.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Organization Spotlight: National Gay Pilots Association

The National Gay Pilots Association is an organization of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender pilots and other aviation enthusiasts/ professionals from across the U.S. and around the world--promoting aviation safety and equal treatment.

Miley Cyrus Comes Out for Marriage Equality!

American singer, actress and author Miley Cyrus from the hit Disney show Hannah Montana has come out publicly with her support for same-sex marriage.

In response to the current fiasco over Miss USA contestant Miss California who publicly stated her opposition to equal marriage, gossip columnist Perez Hilton asked Cyrus for her thoughts.

The pop star went on to say that:

"Everyone deserves to love and be loved and most importantly smile...God's greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving. That's why Christians have such a bad rep" (KBS Radio).

It is so critical for celebrities who hold a lot of media attention and influence over the public to speak out, particularly Miley Cyrus who speaks to millions of youth nationwide.

Please thank Miley Cyrus by contacting her through her Myspace page.

"This Place" New Video from One Iowa Protecting Marriage

Urge Tennessee Committee to Add Gender Identity to Hate Crimes Statute

This week, one of the two major bills that the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition has proposed this year will be before a House Subcommittee. This Wednesday, April 22, the House Criminal Practice Subcommittee will take up HB0335 by Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis). This bill would add “gender identity or expression” to Tennessee’s hate crimes sentencing enhancement statute.

Please contact the members of the House Criminal Practice Subcommittee, and ask them to vote YES on HB0335:

Eric Watson (R-Cleveland), Chair, rep.eric.watson@capitol.tn.gov
Janis Sontany (D-Nashville), Vice-Chair, rep.janis.sontany@capitol.tn.gov
Eddie Bass (D-Prospect), rep.eddie.bass@capitol.tn.gov
Karen Camper (D-Memphis), rep.karen.camper@capitol.tn.gov
Chad Faulkner (R-Luttrell), rep.chad.faulkner@capitol.tn.gov
Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), rep.judd.matheny@capitol.tn.gov

The House Criminal Practice Subcommittee meets on Wednesday, April 22, at 12 Noon, in Legislative Plaza, Room 31.

Crossposted via Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.

Word of the Gay: "Gay Church"

"Gay Church" a term popularized by the sitcom Will & Grace and it refers to the large membership of gay men to gyms.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Web Spotlight: Lee Waters

Lee Waters is a folk musician who often makes great songs about queer culture and issues. You can even get in touch with him if you have an idea or would like to request music for your blog, or an event you are hosting!

Gavin Newsom for Governor!

Help donate, spread the word, and campaign on behalf of equal rights champion, Gavin Newsom. California deserves and needs change in direction and policy.



http://www.gavinnewsom.com

HB 1323 Stop the Bullying in Texas

Representative Strama's anti-bullying bill (HB 1323) may be coming up for a vote in the Texas House of Representatives this week.

Help protect Texas children from bullying, by urging legislators to support this bill.

Word of the Gay: "Gynaeotrope"

"Gynaeotrope" is an unpopular and outdated term for a lesbian that was used in the 1940's to counter the negative connotations of the word homosexual.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Employee Free Choice Act

LGBT advocates have not been outspoken on The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a piece of legislation that would compliment the Employment Non Discrimination Act in providing protections for all workers and much needed ones for LGBT employees.

The Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for employees to unite and form coalitions and unions to fight unfair labor practices, and to advocate for living wages, health benefits, and job security.

How will this legislation help the LGBT community:

  • Increased union representation will lead to a higher standard of living for all Americans especially people who make significantly less income (transgender people and queer people of color).
  • There are no federal protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation/gender identity but often unions as a collective will have such a policy in place to help remedy the situation.
  • EFCA will help LGBT people bargain for more benefits including, inclusive language for LGBT families in the Family Medical Leave Act, offering domestic partner health benefits, removing transgender health exclusions, passing of pension benefits to same-sex spouse or their children.
Take action, and learn more at Shared Agenda.

Free Bisexual, Pansexual, and Fluid Pride Icons

BiNet USA courtesy of the New York Area Bisexual Network is offering some free and uber-hip pride icons/graphics for the bisexual, pansexual, and sexually fluid identities just in time to kick off the LGBT pride season.

Be sure to check them out and add them to your blogs, facebook, myspace, twitter, etc.

Former NJ Governor Tells Republicans to Stop Fighting Gay Marriage

The former Republican Governor of New Jersey Christine Whitman in speaking to the Log Cabin Republicans has called for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and for the Republican party to remove their opposition to same-sex marriage from the GOP platform.

She argued that "civil marriage should be for everyone, and that gay couples marrying does not threaten her marriage". She went on to say that she respects that "there is a place for Conservative Christians in the party, but said that there should be a place for pro-equality Republicans as well".

Christine Whitman along with other moderate Republicans have created the Republican Leadership Council which seeks to get back to the fundamentals of the Republican party while striving for pro-LGBT, pro-choice, eco-friendly, and racial justice legislation.

International Day Against Homophobia/Transphobia Challenge

The International Day Against Homophobia/Transphobia (IDAHO) challenge is a community project by Gays.com to produce a user-generated video to be released May 17 2009, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Help send in your own personal videos! The project aims to showcase LGBT voices around the world, sharing their stories, in their own languages over the internet.

It could be as simple as saying Hi, my name is _______, I am gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer/intersexual/asexual and your country ________.



Upload your video OR email it to us at idaho@gays.com

Word of the Gay: "In The Life"

"In The Life" is a term that dates back to the 1920's and was mostly used within the Black community to describe fellow homosexuals.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Listing of LGBT Advocacy Organizations by State

Here is a listing of LGBT advocacy organizations by state, get involved and see how you can make a difference where you live =)

AL-Equality Alabama
AZ-Equality Arizona
AZ-Wingspan (southern AZ)
CA-Equality California
CO-Equal Rights Colorado
CT-Love Makes a Family
DC-Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance
DC-Rainbow History Project
DC-Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL)
FL-Equality Florida
FL-Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
GA-Georgia Equality
GA-Marriage Equality Georgia (MEGA)
HI-Aloha Pride Center
IA-Iowa Equality
IA-One Iowa
ID-Your Family, Friends, & Neighbors (YFFN)
IL-Equality Illinois
IN-GayIndy
IN-Indiana Equality
KS-Kansas Equality Coalition
KY-Fairness Campaign
KY-Kentucky Equality Federation
KY-Kentucky Fairness Alliance
MA-Freedom to Marry Coalition of Mass
MA-Mass Equality
MD-Equality Maryland
ME-Equality Maine
MI-Michigan Equality
MI-Triangle Foundation
MN-Outfront Minnesota
MO-PROMO
MS-Equality Mississippi
MS-Unity Mississippi
NC-Equality North Carolina
ND-Equality North Dakota
New England-GLAD
NH-New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition
NJ-Garden State Equality
NM-Equality New Mexico
NY-Empire State Pride Agenda
NY-Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley
NY-Marriage Equality New York
OH-Equality Ohio
OK-Cimarron Alliance Foundation
OK-Oklahomans for Equality
OR-Basic Rights Oregon
PA-Common Roads
PA-Equality Advocates Pennsylvania
RI-Marriage Equality RI
SC-Alliance for Full Acceptance
SC-Outsmart In the Midlands
SC-South Carolina Equality Coalition
SC-South Carolina Gay & Lesbian Pride Movement
TN-Tennessee Equality Project
TX-Equality Texas
TX-Texas Freedom Network
TX-Houston Equal Rights Alliance
UT-Equality Utah
VA-Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance
VA-Equality Fairfax
VA-Equality Fauquier/Culpeper
VA-Equality Loudon
VA-Equality Virginia
VT-Outright Vermont
VA-Equal Rights Washington
WA-Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington
WI-Center Advocates
WY-Wyoming Equality
Midwest-Rainbow Families

Blog Spotlight: DYM SUM

DYM SUM is a new GLBTQ-oriented blog that specifically focuses on the triumphs and struggles that occur in the gay rights movement and the gay community. While the blog mostly covers news events (after all, its fearless leader, David, has a degree in Journalism and Communications), there will also be human interest features, media reviews, interviews, and commentary on the GLBTQ world. Like the original "Dim sum" that many enjoy, a lot of what is posted will be easy to digest and fun to experience; most importantly, though, DYM SUM is going to be a place where many who might not be familiar with the GLBTQ community can learn about, and feel part of our world.

Gay Marriage: Just The Facts!

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.

Word of the Gay: "TV"

"TV" is an abbreviation for transvestite.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog Spotlight: Communications of a HomoTextual

Communications of a HomoTextual is a blog by a queer student in Virginia who voices his opinion on a host of LGBTQ issues. What sets this blog apart is that each entry is a unique email or letter he has sent to major forces and individuals opposed to gay rights.

Take Action for Marriage Equality in New York

Governor David Patterson has announced the introduction of a marriage equality bill within New York state. A previous bill under governor Eliot Spitzer passed the state house but was not allowed to come up for a vote in the then republican controlled senate.

New York now needs to pass the bill again within the assembly and to garner enough votes to pass the bill within the senate. The governor will then sign the bill into law making New York the next state to have full marriage rights for same-sex couples.



Sign the Empire State Pride Agenda's E-contact Form to urge your representatives to go on record supporting marriage equality.

Open Forum: Taxes and the LGBT Community

April 15th was the last official day to file taxes for all income earning American citizens. Tax Day has always been a source of stress and frustration for households across the nation rushing to file their forms, and get through the legal mumbo jumbo in time.

The day has also been one of protest by groups who are opposed to government policy. The LGBT community has been dealt an unfair hand when it comes to taxes.

Same-sex couples cannot enjoy the benefit of filing joint taxes, because the Defense of Marriage Act does not allow federal recognition of same-sex relationships. Each partner must expend more time and resources to file their taxes individually. LGBT people are forced to pay taxes on their partners health care benefits as if it were additional income, because the government regards gay and lesbian people as single.

There are also many financial inequities that result from the current federal law that prohibits recognition of same-sex marriage and civil unions, such as denial of social security benefits and inheritance rights.

What do you make of the ill treatment LGBT people suffer through when it comes to taxes? Have you personally had any obstacles in the process? What can be done to help LGBT families until state and federal laws change?

Word of the Gay: "Sother"

"Sother" is a play on the word significant and other.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Mormons Are Coming...



The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the national crusade against same-sex marriage since President Gordon B. Hinckley issued such a proclamation in 1988. The Church showed just how effective it could be beginning in Hawaii in the mid-nineties all the way through to California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. They were involved to some degree with all 30 state elections outlawing same-sex marriage.

The purpose of Mormongate.com is to tell the real truth about the Mormon Church’s massive involvement and cover-up of this issue. Nearly all of their activities are intended to be highly secretive. This strategy has served them well over the past 20 years; however, we have recently received documentation of just how they operate.

H/T to Mike Tidmus.