Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Help Invalidate Prop 8 Through "Designers for Equality"

One of our readers ChadMichael and his partner Mito contacted me over the great news that the media is picking up on their Christmas decorations which call for people to visit InvalidateProp8, a site by the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center which has already raised more than $70,000 in the fight to overturn prop 8.

These guys aren't done yet, they are just beginning their fight! They have launched a new website called Designers for Equality (D.E) In response to prop 8 passing they are asking their fellow designers within the wedding industry (i.e. wedding planners, wedding designers, bridal dress makers, florists, caterers, photographers, hair and make-up savants, wedding venues, everyone involved with making weddings come true); including all who support us, to come together in solidarity and Boycott all weddings. This also includes the cancellation of wedding magazine subscriptions.

D.E understands the economy is poor right now, and that it is very hard to turn down any opportunity to make money. That is why when you commit to boycott all weddings until prop 8 is overturned, the people in the network will collaborate to help one another out.

For more info check out and email:

Million Gay March - Unite for Equality!

The BIGGEST gay rights demonstration in the world will take place on June 28th 2009. The Million Gay March - "Unite for Equality" is under works. Details and logistics are currently being arranged but you can mark your calendars now. In the meantime all proceeds from apparel you buy off of Wear Your Heart goes to support the efforts of the Million Gay March.

Add This New Years Resolution To The List

This New Years, please add to your resolution list to be more involved with queer activism.

Via this website and many others, it is easy to be an activist without ever having to leave the comforts of your home (not that we are suggesting that). Thanks to the internet, there is no excuse for apathy anymore, while protests, and demonstrations are vital, we can be a loud voice through our internet presence. There is no time like the present to band together and demand equal rights and to educate others about sexual and gender minorities.

I resolve to continue posting action alerts you can fill out online, and to update you on ongoing protests, and companies to support and boycott.

So many of you have been loyal readers and that is wonderful, but remember 'Queers United' is not a news site, there are many other sites for that, this is a site to band us together and to bring about a cohesive voice so that we can respond when injustice occurs or praise those where gratitude is due.

Will you pledge to fill out the forms, emails, and various action alerts we put out to the best of your ability?

Word of the Gay: "He-She"

"He-She" can take on a few different meanings. It is most commonly used in a derogatory fashion against transgender people in the process of transitioning. It can also be used as an offensive synonym for bisexuals, and to describe really feminine or masculine gays or lesbians.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Activist Tip: Reclaim Distorted Phrases

Anti-gay foes and conservatives have co-opted many words and distorted their true meaning. It is time to reclaim these terms, and bring truth not distortion to our language.

"Family Values" - We are proud to be a family values website, we are very concerned with the future of the family unit. We support the right of families whether they be queer headed households or heterosexual, we firmly stand behind these loving couples and their children.

"Activist Judges" - Judges who uphold the rights of minorities and seek to expand rights not eliminate them are staying true to the constitution. It those conservative judges who seek to amend the constitution to take away rights, and those who violate the law who are activist judges who seek to further their own radical religious agenda.

"Marriage Protection" - Advocates of equality are all about protecting marriage. We want to ensure that gay and lesbian couples have equal access to this cherished institution. While much of the country is marrying for money and looks, and divorcing at alarming rates, we want to strengthen the institution of marriage.

"Values Voters" - We are values voters, we go to the ballot box with our morals and values in mind when we decide on a candidate, and an issue. The difference is we open our minds, hearts, and vote based on equality, liberty and justice for all.

"San Francisco Values" - This term is used to insinuate how supposedly outlandish the radical hippies "homosexual & abortionist advocates" are. We do not have to be ashamed to espouse views, nor be degraded for believing in the constitution which declares a right to privacy, a right for all people to be treated equally.

I encourage you all to take back these terms from the activist linguists out there. It is about time that pro-equality folks, use words that truly represent what we are trying to accomplish, don't hesitate to use these words, and be clear on your intent when using them.

Call to Appoint Openly Gay Man as Secretary of Navy

202-540-3000, press "2"


So what are you up to next week on December 31-Jan 2? How about helping to shatter a glass ceiling? Equal Rep is putting on its second campaign to urge President-elect Obama to appoint William White the next Secretary of the Navy.

ACTION: Join the Facebook Event


In more than 200 years, the United States military has never included an openly gay chief. Growing national focus on GLBT civil rights has therefore made the Secretary of the Navy appointment a national issue in the struggle for equal representation. Also, it highlights the antiquated policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which needs to repealed.

William White is the most qualified candidate for the job. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has named the main qualification for Navy Secretary as corporate, business, and managerial experience. William White certainly fills this criteria as he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chief Operating Officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation. A recipient of the 1996 Meritorious Service Award in recognition of his outstanding support of the United States Navy, White has dedicated his life to helping injured servicemen and the families of our fallen soldiers. In 1991 Bill White founded Operation Support which raised $400,000 in three months to aid the families of soldiers lost in the Persian Gulf War. This success led to White raising funds for the Intrepid Museum. In 1992, White�s passion and dedication to the Intrepid Foundation became a full time job managing all fundraising and development. White has hosted Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and Bill Clinton along with world leaders such as Thatcher, Rabin and Yeltsin. Upon the death of museum Founder Zachary Fisher, White became the Intrepid Foundation President, assuming responsibility for advising the Fisher family in the management of their many military charitable organizations.

In a short amount of time, White has already earned some impressive endorsements. Retired general Hugh Shelton, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said White "would be phenomenal." He added that White's extensive background as a fund-raiser for veterans' and military causes would be helpful in the job. Congressman Jerrold Nadler said White is "very capable" on the basis of observing his work at the Intrepid, located on the Hudson River, which is in Nadler's district. Nadler added that White has been a friend of service members and their families through his work with the museum and philanthropic efforts, according to The Washington Times.

"With the whole Rick Warren fiasco ensuing and the fact that gay Americans were completely shut out of Obama's cabinet, this is the perfect opportunity for our President-elect to show gay Americans they have not been forgotten and he truly is committed to equal representation." said Paul Sousa, Equal Rep founder. "William White is not only the most qualified candidate, but appointing him would also send a strong message that change is coming and the antiquated, discriminatory policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be repealed soon."

Join the facebook event, invite your friends, and plan on giving the Obama administration a friendly nudge to put his call of change into action. Here's to hoping that William White is the next Secretary of the Navy!

Next Illinois Senator, Attorney General Roland Burris?

Attorney General Roland Burris will be appointed to the U.S. senate by governor Blagojevich of Illinois. The governor is currently in a scandal over allegations that he was selling Barack Obama's former senate seat to the highest bidder. Whether the senate appointment will stick is anyone's guess at this time.

It seems we have a friend in Roland Burris though. With minimal information out there, all accounts seem to be LGBT friendly.

  • He lobbied extensively to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the hate crimes law in the state.
  • He pushed to include same-sex couples in domestic violence legislation.
  • Burris has been reported to be a "trailblazer" by hiring openly LGBT people for his staff.
Much more will come out about Roland Burris and his positions on LGBT issues, as the media, political analysts, and bloggers will dissect his record. Whether he becomes senator of Illinois or not, it appears likely that we have an ally in this man.

Tell Congress to pass The Uniting American Families Act!

The Uniting American Families Act (UAFA, H.R. 2221, S. 1328) is a U.S. bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate discrimination in the immigration laws by permitting permanent partners of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of citizens and lawful permanent residents and to penalize immigration fraud in connection with permanent partnerships.

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

Please use this form at to contact your representatives!

Queer Buycott - Campbell's Soup

The anti-gay hate group, the American Family Association has called for a boycott of Campbell's Soup over their recent ads featuring LGBT people and families.

So, in response we are calling for a buycott and are urging pro-equality consumers to praise the company for showing a commitment to diversity. Your calls, letters, and emails are needed in the face of the thousands who have called the company with disapproving words.

I re-worded the call to action sent by the AFA:

  • After sending your email, please call Campbell Soup Company (800-257-8443) and their Swanson division (1-800-442-7684) and let the company know you will continue to support them because of their gay and lesbian ads.
  • Forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they will know about Campbell's support of equality and LGBT issues.

Word of the Gay: "Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality"

"Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality" similar to "Sexual Orientation Disturbance" was another term used to be the American Psychological Association to describe people who were uncomfortable with their sexual orientation. The term was eliminated in 1987.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Petition to Stop Deporting Gays & Lesbians

Recent cases highlight the extreme danger lesbians and gays face because of their sexuality if deported to a number of countries. Sending people back to their possible death is totally unacceptable.

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to stop deporting gays and lesbians to countries where they may be imprisoned, tortured or executed because of their sexuality."

U.K. Residents Click Here to Sign Petition!

"Please Don't Divorce Us" Campaign

The Courage Campaign, a progressive organization that has been very active in fighting proposition 8 has begun the "Please Don't Divorce Us" campaign. The campaign is in response to the anti-equality folks who want to nullify the existing 18,000 same-sex marriages performed in California prior to the right to get married being taken away.

The effort is to put a face to the marriage equality movement and to show Kenneth Starr arguing to nullify the marriages and those on the anti-equality side that their efforts are affecting real families.

To get your picture added just take a picture holding a piece of paper that says "Please don't divorce us," "Please don't divorce my moms,""Please don't divorce my friends, Dawn and Audrey," "Please don't divorce Californians" or whatever you want after "Please don't divorce..." and send it to:

Web Spotlight: NOGLSTP

Thanks, to yesterdays shameless self promotion, this great website, National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals was mentioned. It is a "group of scientists and engineers who practice with PRIDE." The organization works to increase LGBT issues within the scientific community and also bring science to the LGBT community.

Check them out at

Word of the Gay: "High Femme"

A "high femme" is a term for extremely feminine individuals.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

LGBT Bullying Statistics

  • Nearly one-fourth of students from elementary through high school have reported that they have been harassed or bullied on school property because of their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.-2001-2002 California Student Survey
  • Six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day. -National Crime Prevention Council, 2003
  • Students hear anti-gay epithets 25 times a day, and teachers fail to respond to these comments 97% of the time. -Gay Lesbian Straight Educator’s Network.
  • One out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying. -Oklahoma Health Department, 2001
  • Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents. -US Secret Service Report, May 2002
  • Gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths, and 30 percent of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity. -Report to the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide
  • Students who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered are five times more likely to miss school because of feeling unsafe. 28% are forced to drop out. -National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1984
  • 85% of teachers oppose integrating lesbian, gay and bisexual themes in their curricula.
  • -Making Schools Safe for Gay and Lesbian Youth: Report of the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, 1993
  • More than 91 percent of LGBT students say they hear homophobic slurs or expressions frequently or often.-GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey
  • Nearly 58 percent of LGBT students have had property stolen or deliberately damaged at school. -GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey
  • More than 64 percent of LGBT students say they feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. -GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey

Crossposted via the Alliance School.

U.K. Petition to NHS & Prime Minister "Stop Gay Blood Ban"

"The UK is currently dangerously low in it's stocks of blood.Therefore the NHS spends lots of taxpayers money on advertising and marketing costs in order to increase donor levels.

However, if the NHS changed one simple rule, they could potentially have several million extra donors eligible to give blood - instantly and without any marketing costs.

How? Allow gay people to give blood.

The UK law is outdated, stereotypical and discriminatory towards gay men.
More than that, it is risking lives - the UK urgently needs more blood.

A straight man who has sex with a different girl every weekend can give blood TODAY.
Intravenous Drug users can give blood after 1 year.
Prostitute users can give blood after 1 year.
Those who have had sex abroad in a high risk HIV country can give blood after 18 months.

Gay men are banned FOR LIFE, even if they've only ever had sex with one partner and they used protection."

SIGN THE PETITION that will be sent to the NHS blood donor Chief Executive and the Prime Minister later in 2008.

"Changing The Conversation" Invitation for Rick Warren to Debate on Prop 8!

While President-elect Obama has chosen to ignore the troubling beliefs of the man who will spiritually usher in his presidency, Californians can not ignore Rick Warren.

We can not ignore Rick Warren's fervent support for Proposition 8 or his mobilization of thousands of Saddleback Church evangelical Christians to enshrine discrimination into our state constitution.

That's why we're asking you to give Pastor Warren a new invitation -- a Courage Campaign invitation to a public debate on same-sex marriage with Reverend Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Greater Los Angeles.

The deadline for the petition has been extended, please sign now!

Lifetime Will Air Prayers for Bobby

Prayers For Bobby, is a real life powerful drama based on the best selling book. The story is about a mother who could not accept her sons homosexuality, and as a result of his families ignorance, the boy commits suicide. The mother struggles to make peace with herself, and ultimately becomes an advocate on behalf of gay rights.

The drama will air on Lifetime on January 24th at 9pm EST.

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: "Other Half"

The term "other half" can describe a close emotional and/or romantic relationship with someone.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Open Forum: Are All Males Biologically Transsexual?

We all start off in the womb with feminine traits. A few weeks into fetal development fetuses have a pair of "urogenital folds" with a small protuberance in the middle, and the urethra behind the protuberance. After sexual differentiation occurs we are distinctly male, female, or intersex.

Couldn't it be argued that all bio males are trans-sexual in the sense that they started off as females? While biological males did not elect to undergo any sex change, the natural process of evolution in the womb does this.

This is just food for thought, it is likely to elicit a plethora of thoughts and comments and I thought it would be interesting for today's open forum. Thoughts?

Word of the Gay: "Homosexism"

"Homosexism" is the belief that gay or lesbian identities are superior to bisexual and/or straight orientations. The "homosexist" viewpoint sometimes leads to discrimination against those who are not homosexual.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Transwoman Faces Danger in Canadian Prison System

Jeanniegrrl has alerted me to the case of a Quebec, Canada trans woman who is a prisoner and in possible danger due to her gender identity/expression.

"Tania Veilleux, 43, is legally a woman under Quebec law but is being held in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines federal facility because she's a male under Correctional Service of Canada rules.

Veilleux, formerly Sylvain, is awaiting surgery to change gender, but until that happens, she is treated as a man. Nevertheless, she wants to be sent to a woman's jail.

Her safety may be at risk, said transgendered lawyer Micheline Montreuil: "I'm sure she will be harassed," and perhaps even raped by other inmates" (CBCNews).
Ste-Anne-des-Plaines Institution
244 Montée Gagnon
Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Quebec
J0N 1H0
(450) 478-5933
Fax: (450) 478-7077

Ideas For Change In America! has invited us to submit an idea for a policy or program, discuss with others, and vote on the best ideas from around the country. Just before Inauguration Day they will host a major event with more than a dozen leading organizations in Washington, DC and deliver the top 10 rated ideas to a representative of the Obama Administration. They will also then announce the launch of a national lobbying campaign in collaboration with leading advocacy groups to mobilize the millions of people on and partner sites like MySpace to ensure that each winning idea gets the full consideration of the administration and the 111th Congress.

So here is where we come in, first I would ask you all to help in voting for LGBTQ issues, second what do YOU think is the most important issue that you want the Obama admin to consider, 'Queers United' will post our collective idea that generates the most interest and we can all vote to advance our idea of change, if the idea is already on the list, we will just promote that idea and ask for our readers to vote that up.

Vigil for Lesbian Rape Survivor in Richmond, California

There is a vigil tomorrow for the tragic case of the lesbian who was brutally gang-raped by four men because of her sexual orientation.

Community Vigil for Peace and Healing

Peaceful vigil in response to hate-motivated gang-rape

Where: 1500 Visalia Avenue, Richmond, CA
(near Richmond BART Station)
When: Saturday, December 27, 2008
Time: 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Happy Kwanzaa!

"Kwanzaa, an African American holiday celebration established in 1968, runs for seven days from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, each day commemorating one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith" (Pride Source).

Read Kimya Afi Ayodele's Story for some LGBT inspiration this Kwanzaa season.

Take a Stand for Human Rights!

"For The Bible Tells Me So" (Online Segments of Movie)

"For The Bible Tells Me So" is a thought-provoking and informative movie for people who are struggling with guilt and oppression resulting from conflicts over religion and homosexuality. The film gives an accurate analysis of the passages on homosexuality in the context of the time period, and offers brilliant insight in showing that sexual minorities are not sinners as has been mistaught by religious scholars for centuries.

Discovering Pride provides links to all 10 youtube clips for you to view at your leisure. This is a powerful film and should be seen by all LGBTQ people of faithsand for all those who believe homosexuality is a sin.

Word of the Gay: "Queercore"

"Queercore" is an outlook that does not favor typical societal behavior, and also frowns upon oppressive elements within the gay community. "Queercore" can be expressed through clothing style, zines, music, writing, art and film.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Earl Rynerson Running to Replace Anti-Gay Jim Naugle as Fort Lauderdale Mayor

Remember the Fort Lauderdale, Florida mayor who is obsessed with homosexuality? Yes, we are talking about none other than gay sex obsessed, liar and freak Mayor Jim Naugle.

His seat is opening up in 2009, and now openly gay Earl Rynerson is running for the position to help clean up the city mess and also steer away from the public relations nightmare caused by the current anti-gay Democratic mayor. This change could help boost tourism and revitalize the economy that has suffered as a result of many gays feeling ostracized by the current Mayor.

To learn more or to support check out:

Nationwide DOMA Protest Jan 10th 2009

National Rally to be held at city halls everywhere in the United States on Jan 10th at 1:30pm EST/10:30am PST. The LGBT community is protesting the Defense of Marriage Act and urges President-Elect Barack Obama to repeal this act.

Goto Join The Impact for more information on your specific location.

Coming Out at Christmas Performance

A Christmas performance by the London Gay Men's Chorus.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Diversity Lesson 101: GenderQueer/Intergender

We have talked extensively on the blog about how society has constructed a gender binary system of male and female, we are each expected to fit the roles of our biological sex. For the majority of people this is a non-issue and they conform well or closely to their aligned role. Some people who are intersexual do not have a clear biological sex, they are to some degree male and female internally, externally or both, and this can pose a dilemna for how they self-identify with regards to gender identity. The other group of people are transgender, they are biologically male or female but their identity does not match their body parts and so they seek to bring harmony between their mind and body through either living as or having elective surgery/hormones to bring their mind/body closer to their gender identity.

This brings us to the subject of Genderqueer AKA Third Gendered/Intergender, which has been gaining steam as a movement but also as an alternative label for self-identification. These are individuals who don't want to self-identify as male or female. Some identify more with one gender than the other but live a line of blurred gender. For example a muscular biological male who is athletic but feels comfortable putting make up on, would be an example of someone who is blurring the gender roles, or a womyn who seeks to wear a dress yet also take testosterone to develop more masculine features.

Individuals who self-identify as gender queer may consider themselves to be both male and female, androgynous, being neither male or female, or falling completely outside of the gender binary spectrum. Queer is a broad terminology that encompasses different identities and thus genderqueer can be a range of different gender identities in which people experience.

How do I deal with someone who is Genderqueer?
Please never presuppose someones gender if you are uncertain, it is better to ask how they feel comfortable with you referring to them as opposed to you putting a label on them. It can be a simple question of asking name and what pronouns they feel comfortable with.

Genderqueer Pronouns
Some genderqueer people may feel more comfortable being referred to by a more prominent gender role they seek such as he/his/him, or she/her, hers. Others however may prefer a gender neutral terminology such as "ze", "per", "zir", "sie" and "hir", "zhe", "hir", "zes" or singular "they" instead of her/his. Other individuals feel comfortable alternating between the masculine/feminine pronouns. There is not one clear cut answer since genderqueers as a group comprise of several gender identities and each person has their own unique variation.

What is their sexual orientation?
This is a common question. First, its important to note that sexual orientation and gender identity are completely seperate. You can be a butch female and be heterosexual, or an adrogynous bisexual. The way we express our gender is seperate from our sexual orientation, ex: take Ru Paul a famous drag queen who self-identifies as heterosexual. Intergender people may be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or asexual. Some genderqueer people prefer to see themselves as pansexuals which means they are open to all genders sexually. Thus someone who is pansexual would have no problem being in a relationship with someone who is male, female, genderqueer, or transgender.

Thank you for your openness on gender variant people and please seek to spread knowledge and love on the subject matter and on other issues of importance to the broader Queer community.

Below are some helpful links on/for the Genderqueer community:

Some YouTube videos on the subject:

"Help A Sister Out" Benefit for Lesbian Hate Rape Victim

On December 13th, a twenty-eight-year-old California woman was brutally raped by four men because she is a lesbian and had a rainbow sticker on her car. See the story at SFGate.

The woman will need months to recover physically and years and years to recover psychologically. She needs our emotional and financial support.

If you would like to send a card, please mail it to:

Richmond Police Department
Attn: Sgt. Brian Dickerson
1701 Regatta Blvd.
Richmond, CA 94804

If you can send a financial contribution (even a few dollars) to help her pay her medical bills and other costs associated with her recovery, please mail a check payable to Community Violence Solutions to:

Community Violence Solutions
2101 Van Ness Ave.,
San Pablo, CA 94806
Attn: Mrs. Joanne Douglas

In the memo section of the check please write: Richmond Jane Doe.
For details and to show support join the Facebook group.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holi-Gays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holi-Gays to All! Provided are some links of a queer Christmas spirit.

How To Thrive This Christmas for LGBT Christians

Spice Up Christmas With Perfectly Gay Gifts

Lesbian Christmas Gift Ideas

Web Spotlight: BlogActive

BlogActive may well be the most important blog on the LGBT rights front. Mike Rogers, a dedicated activist on behalf of the community, posts important action alerts, and is most famous for his "outing" of anti-gay politicians. Some have called him "the most feared man on Capital Hill" and for good reason! Mike has been exposing anti-gay hypocrites like Larry Craig, Mark Foley and others. If there is one site to bookmark, this is definitely it.

Keep Up Pressure on APA Over the Gender Identity Task Force

The American Psychiatric Association is currently in the process of putting out their new Diagnostic Statistical Manual which deals with all aspects of psychiatric disorders and issues. Currently transgender people are unfairly labeled as having "Gender Identity Disorder" even though the research goes to show that this is not a disorder but yet a variation of the human condition. People on the task force such as Dr. Kenneth Zucker are advocates of "reparative therapy" and are promoting the notion that gender variance is a mental illness.

Please contact the APA about this and demand trans-friendly and LGBT friendly individuals be put on the panel discussing Gender Identity.

Call Toll-Free: 1-888-35-PSYCH

Click here to email officials at the APA

Word of the Gay: "PWA"

"PWA" is an acronym that stands for People With Aids. While AIDS is not a gay disease, many people living with HIV/AIDS are members of the community, and our history will forever be stained by this epidemic.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gay Iranian In Need of Asylum In Malaysia

Ali fled Iran two years ago, but has still not received refugee status. The common complications that queer refugees experience are escalated for them because Ali is seriously depressed. Immediate attention by UNHCR is critical! Please read Ali's letter pleading for help, and then take action to make sure he is granted asylum within Malaysia.

Ali's letter:

"My name is Ali, and I am gay. In 2006, I fled Iran to Malaysia after I experienced many problems in Iran. In Malaysia I sought help from the UNHCR – I never thought that I would have to wait so long to have my rights recognized. I was not even allowed to enter the building the first time I went there. For four months, I was at the door every day pleading for help. Finally, I was granted an appointment for an interview for several months after that. Until now, I have been to many interviews, and every time, I have never given a solid answer, I am always told to come back the following month. I have now been here more than 2 years. Malaysia is a Muslim country, and like many predominantly Muslim countries, life is difficult for people like me. I am kindly asking you for your help so that I can leave here as soon as possible, so that I can live in a place that is free. A place where gay people do not feel shame, and do not feel like they have to hide who they are, a place where I know that the law protects our rights, and will not discriminate between me and anyone else, a place where I will not be beaten because of my sexuality."
Please show your support by writing to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kuala Lumpur to urge them to expedite the refugee process for Ali. There are two ways you can help:

Send your letters to and please cc IRQR for tracking purposes. Be sure to specify Ali's case number 354-07C01854.

Web Spotlight: Undo2

Undo2 is a grassroots campaign to undo the harm of Amendment 2-a constitutional amendment that bans marriage equality and jeopardizes any legal protections for same-sex couples and all unmarried Floridians.

Dump Dick Warrin

My sincere apologies for the spelling error, Californians Against Hate has started the "Dump Rick Warren" campaign. So, whether we are "Dropping Rick Warren" or "Dumping Rick Warren" it's pretty unanimous that Dick Warrin's gotta go!

Find out more and take action at

1 Million to Invalidate Prop 8

Through the beauty of technology provided by Equality California, more than half a million of you have sent letters to your law makers in California urging them to invalidate proposition 8. The resolution would be non-binding but send a strong signal that proposition 8 in the eyes of the state government is unconstitutional and immoral.

New goal - Help EQCA send 1 million letters to lawmakers. Click here to fill out their online form, and be sure to send it to friends!

Word of the Gay: "Trans-sistah"

"Trans-sistah" is a term used for black transgender women.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tammy Baldwin, Take Your Name Off that List!

CBS News is reporting that lesbian legislator Tammy Baldwin is an Honorary Inaugural Co-Chair. And the press will not be slow to see Baldwin’s inclusion as an endorsement of Warren and as a buffer to criticism against the President-Elect.

Clearly this is but another token of valueless “inclusion” like the marching band. Gays can have a silent and distant honorary place at the table, but the head seat goes to the guy who will “not tolerate” us and thinks we have no human rights and writes tributes to those who seek to imprison us.

Openly gay Barney Frank has already taken a stand. Now it’s time for Tammy Baldwin to show whether she truly cares about the community. It’s time that she decide, is she on the side of that tomboy in Wisconsin who is being told that she’s an abomination, or does she want to be part of the Obama Nation? Does she want to protect the vulnerable, or does she want to win points with the powerful?

Washington Office
2446 Rayburn Building
Washington DC 20515
(202) 225-2906
(202) 225-6942 Fax
E-Contact Form

Crossposted via Box Turtle Bulletin

"Project Runway's" Tim Gunn Exposes Fashion Cruelty in New PETA Video

Openly gay Tim Gunn of Project Runaway says "fur is from the past, from another era".

Gunn wants you, the consumer, to know what animals endure in the name of fashion so that you can make informed decisions before buying clothing and accessories made from fur, wool, and leather.

This is not the first of queer people standing up against animal cruelty, the intersection between queer and animal liberation is alive and well.

"Drop Rick Warren" Campaign

Efforts are underway to have Obama rescind his invitation to anti-gay preacher Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church. Pastor Warren fiercely supported proposition 8 (overturning equal marriage rights in California), his church engages in "ex-gay" therapy, and bans openly homosexual members. He has also made offensive comments regarding the gay community, suggesting gays are "immature and promiscuous" and comparing same-sex marriage to incest, child rape, and polygamy.

Email Parag Mehta, Obama's LGBT liaison on the transition team at: to express your concern.

Emmett Belivau is the Executive Director/CEO of the Inaugural Committee. Let him know your thoughts:

Diversity Lesson 101: LGBT/Queer Little People

Little People or people with Dwarfism are adults under the height of 4'10. Dwarfism occurs in people who have developed a non-traditional bone growth and therefore some have a larger than average face, some with shorter limbs on their body and all are dramatically shorter than the general population. There are 200 different types of Dwarfism.

Little People like LGBT people are considered "freaks of nature", they get stares and people misunderstand them. In looking for resources for Little LGBT People, I found virtually nothing. I decided, to make an entry to educate people about little people as well as provide as much info as I can for LGBT Little People. It is my sincere hope that LGBT Little People can find solace, comfort and community and that they can begin to network and build a foundation and support system for their own sub-section of the community.

The parallels between being Little and Queer:
Both of these groups suffer tremendous misunderstanding by a society that deems them to be unnatural, or genetic deviants. As a result, people with one or both of these identities are subject to teasing, bullying, stares and public humiliation. Both groups must constantly be reminded of their differences, the Little Person must always look up in a giant world, and have to alter their ways to get by in a world designed for bigger people, whereas the queer person must always be reminded of the heteronormative structure, and if remaining in the closet alter their own worldview so that they can blend in with society at large.

Faggots, Dykes and Midgets oh my:
All of these words are degrading to LGBT people and people with Dwarfism. A "midget" is a "small sandfly" and the term is used by the oppressor to torment the other, and to negate their sense of humanity and dignity. Just like words like faggot and dyke are used to belittle an individual and to rid them of their sense of humanity, "midget" is a term used to assert dominance over another.

LGBT Little People and Their Unique Struggle:
LGBT Little People go through an experience unlike any other Little Person. Not only are they disadvantaged because they live in a world that does not make accommodations for people of their size, they also live in a world that does not understand sexual and gender variance. Dating is exceptionally hard for Little People, most average sized individuals regard them "as cute" but do not take them seriously for romantic encounters. In addition it is hard enough to find a soulmate, among the general population, it is doubly troublesome to find another queer person who is either a Little Person or can see past proportional variations.

Fetishizing and Objectifying Little People:
One of the problems with straight and queer culture and society is the fetishization of Little People. Whether it is through the use of "midgets" in pornography or the entertainment industry using Little People as a form of comedy. Little People are being subject to being used for others self gratification and pleasure rather than getting known for who they are and what their unique experience brings to the table.

Some links for LGBT Little People:

Laurie's Personal Page

A Discussion Topic on Gay Dwarfs at Real Jock Forums

A Discussion about Little Lesbians

Miss Trina Rose

General Links for Little People:

Little People of America

Dwarf Products

Little People the Book by Dan Kennedy

I hope I can do justice to this topic, there is little information out there for LGBT Little People. I hope to update this topic when I find more information and resources in the future. If you know of something please don't hesitate to share!

Call on President-elect Obama to Restore Our Trust and take Real Action on Equality!

The Presidential Inaugural Committee may not change their minds on Rev. Warren but President-elect Obama can turn the corner on this controversy by officially committing to HRC's Blueprint for Positive Change – a concrete plan for LGBT equality.

HRC's Blueprint for Positive Change calls on President-elect Obama to:

  • Issue an Executive Order within the first 100 days that reaffirms protections for federal workers based on sexual orientation and expands them to also include gender identity;
  • Work with Congress to sign Hate Crimes legislation into law within 6 months;
  • Support only a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA);
  • In the first 100 days develop a plan to begin the process of eliminating the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy; and
  • Work with Congress to end unequal tax treatment of domestic partnerships benefits.
Take action NOW and send a powerful message via this HRC form to the incoming Obama Administration!

Milwaukee Approves World’s 1st Gay-Safe Middle School

The first safe haven for GLBT middle schoolers is set to open in Milwaukee.

A Dec. 17 article posted at the Web site of U.S. News and World Report said that the new school was approved by the Milwaukee Board of Education, and follows the establishment, four years ago, of the Alliance School, a Milwaukee high school that, like New York City’s Harvey Milk School, is intended as a safe educational environment for GLBT students.

Like the Harvey Milk and Alliance high schools, the new middle school will also be open to straight students.

The article said that approval for the new, GLBT-safe middle school was unanimous, albeit via procedure rather than by vote: the issue was not advanced to a vote or tabled for further study, and so passed.

The school is expected to open next year; applicants are able to sign up right away.

The move follows the failure, last fall, of a similar proposal for GLBT high school students in Chicago. That plan, the article said, did not even make it to the school board, due to community opposition to a gay-safe school. (The Outskirts)

Check out the Alliance School - LGBTQ friendly highschool and soon to be middle school.

Web Spotlight: Community Psychology At Penn State Harrisburg

Community Psychology At Penn State Harrisburg is a blog about a lesbian who faced discrimination at her college. In her words she says:

"I am a graduate student who faced discrimination at Penn State Univ. of Harrisburg for creating a graduate project focused on Queer Studies. I was told my project had to be a “Women’s Studies” project because Penn State Univ. as an institution does not support Queer Studies”. While at PSH I faced verbal abuse and sexual harassment due to my gender expression as a working-class lesbian."

Word of the Gay: "Sexual Orientation Disturbance"

"Sexual Orientation Disturbance" was a term used by the American Psychological Association after eliminating homosexuality as a disease category. The new term was used to describe individuals who were disturbed, in conflict, or wished to alter their orientation. The antiquated term has since been eliminated, because the disturbance is not a result of the orientation itself, but of the way society treats people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Joyous Winter Solstice & Happy Hanukkah!

To all who celebrate may you have a Happy Hanukkah and Joyous Winter Solstice! I included some links and text that I hope you will enjoy.

LGBT Winter Solstice Resources:

"Winter Solstice; At the darkest moment of the year, light is reborn. From the womb of night is born the child of light who is the returning year.

Winter Solstice; reminds us that the Goddess is, beyond all, associated with regeneration. Death gives way to birth, endings to new beginnings.

The Winter Solstice; reminds us that every quality contains and gives way to its opposite. There can be no light without darkness, no darkness without light. Justice is not a question of one side defeating the other, but of finding the dynamic balance between them that generates the energies that sustain the world.

Throughout the longest night, we keep vigil. We bake bread: its swelling dough reminds us of the swelling belly of pregnancy.

At dawn, when the GREAT MOTHER gives birth to the NEW YEAR CHILD, we climb the hills to sing and dance and drum for the rising sun.

Hope and inspiration arise within us, and we look on the world with the fresh eyes of a child" (Dyke Notes).

The Gay Witch Network.

Some LGBT Hanukkah Resources:

Hanukkah: The Jewish Coming Out Holiday

HRC Sermon - Reflection on a GLBT Chanukah.

Coming Out: It’s the Jewish Thing to Do At Hanukkah

Trans Woman Suspended Over Bathroom Use

"A transgender Pennsylvania woman has filed a bias complaint alleging mistreatment by instructors at a community college where she was studying to become an X-ray technician.

Jamie Nicole Anderson was born male and had a sex-change operation. She says she was suspended by Harrisburg Area Community College for three days in October for using the women's restroom at a hospital where one of her classes was held.

Anderson says she was told not to use that restroom because some operating room employees felt uncomfortable about it.

Anderson says she was dismissed from the program on Oct. 30 for violating a dress code by wearing too many ear piercings.

A college spokesman says officials haven't seen the complaint to the state Human Relations Commission and don't have any comment" (Philly).
Contact Harrisburg Area Community College, demand an apology, and urge them to institute protections for transgender students and faculty members, at on and off campus facilities.

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: "Out"

"Out" is a term used to describe people who are publicly open with their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Equality Camp - San Francisco Jan 3rd 2009!

What is EqualityCamp?

EqualityCamp will begin to plan Marriage Equality 2.0 so that all Americans and their families are treated equally under the law.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Citizen Space, 425 2nd Street, 3rd floor, San Francisco, CA 94107

What is EqualityCamp’s goal?

• An inclusive, inspiring, integrated (web and on-the-ground) movement…

• with a clear, central gathering place online…

• with feedback loops to empower a grassroots movement that integrate with any formal campaign.

Who will attend?

Anyone who wants to help achieve the goal. From web 2.0 leaders to people who only use the Net for email, from gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer citizens who want their full equality to straight allies. People we haven’t yet thought of. You.

Proposed Sessions

• Kicking some Digital Ass(ets): Effective ways to use some powerful tools (will focus on video and some text-based) {Cathy Brooks}

• Marriage Equality - not a GAY issue: Avoiding stridency and reaching out to non-gay supporters {Cathy Brooks}

• How we are gay the way Obama is black: being comfortable in your own skin, gay or otherwise, {Heather Gold}

• Netroots organizing techniques {Adina Levin}

• Connections between netroots organizing and other community organizing

• Obama’s secret sauce, social networking & voter file tools {Dan Ancona} …

For more info check out the official page of Equality Camp.

Crossposted via Lavender Liberal.

Light Up The Night - Tonight!

Tonight, we ask that you join us again for a nation-wide demonstration that will make an impact on the private sector. Candlelight vigils will be held at commercial centers in cities across the country in remembrance of the rights that once were for 18,000 marriages, and in honor of the rights that one day will be again - for EVERYONE.

Find a vigil in your area, or start your own, at Join The Impact!

Hundreds of vigils are occurring nationwide today, let us know how it goes wherever you are :)

Act Now: Nigerian Bisexual Faces Imminent Deportation From Canada

"Jane Okojie, a woman of Nigerian nationality, arrived in Canada in 2003 after being beaten by her neighbours when her bisexuality was discovered.

The Nigerian refugee, who says she is bisexual, is facing deportation and currently awaits judgement from the federal courts.

Okojie said yesterday if she returns home, she will face persecution.

"I don't know if there's going to be life for me there. Sending me back to Nigeria is a suicide mission for me," said Okojie, 39.

The Toronto youth worker fled to Canada in July 2003 with her 12-year-old son, Samuel. She said neighbours in her homeland beat her after they discovered she was bisexual -- a crime in Nigeria which carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Canadian immigration and refugee officials have rejected her claim, saying Okojie failed to convince them that she's bisexual or lesbian.

NDP MP Olivia Chow, her party's immigration critic, said Canada's citizenship and immigration ministry should look at creating an appeal division for claimants" (Toronto Sun).
Demand that Jane Ojokie be granted asylum, letting the agency know that in Nigeria sexual minorities suffer heinous persecution.

Email the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada at

Contact Citizen and Immigration Canada.