Human Rights XXXL

BBC Will Dramatize Tales of the City: 10 Day Countdown

Perusing through Facebook today unearthed a magical Madrigal gem. The much loved Anna Madrigal, and the rest of Armistead Maupin‘s beloved  Tales of the City characters, will be brought to life on the air by the BBC beginning Jan. 28. The only catch is they air at 2:45 a.m. San Francisco time.

tales of the city, mary anne singleon, mouse

Tales of the City, Brought to your ears in full technicolor by the BBC starting Jan. 28th

Regardless of the time, it will be worth getting up to stream these on my computer. That’s the good news, even though we can’t get the BBC through the radio, proper, these will be available online. To hear them, you can click here.

And let your friends in the UK know as they will be airing at a more decent hour local time, 10:45 a.m.

To keep up with Armistead you can follow him on Facebook.

Fairy dust with Mona and her mini-hoover. Love this scene!


:( LGBT Advocate and Advice Columnist, Dear Abby Dies

From the Advocate: Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as advice columnist Dear Abby often advocated for acceptance of LGBT people, has died at age 94, the Associated Press reports.

Phillips, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Wednesday in Minneapolis, and private funeral services were held today, her publicist said.

Dear Abby talks about her big break on Larry King Live

 

dear abby


SFO Renamed to Harvey Milk International Airport…YES! YES! YES! (?)

An SF Supervisor wants to rename the San Francisco International Airport in honor of civil rights leader Harvey Milk, sending a global message that SF is a beacon of hope for gays and lesbians everywhere. Bearron.com is giving this a huge thumbs up!

From the SF Gate:  Supervisor David Campos will introduce legislation Tuesday that would place the proposal to rename San Francisco International Airport as Harvey Milk San Francisco International Airport before voters in November. To send the name change to voters, Campos needs the support of five other supervisors, and Monday he already had four co-sponsors.

To keep up to date with this topic and other important issues join the Harvey Milk Foundation on Facebook.

Included below is Harvey Milk’s Hope Speech. If you haven’t read it, please do.

Harvey Milk International Airport

Harvey Milk International Airport…Yes, Please!

 

 

My name is Harvey Milk and I’m here to recruit you.

I’ve been saying this one for years. It’s a political joke. I can’t help it–I’ve got to tell it. I’ve never been able to talk to this many political people before, so if I tell you nothing else you may be able to go home laughing a bit.

This ocean liner was going across the ocean and it sank. And there was one little piece of wood floating and three people swam to it and they realized only one person could hold on to it. So they had a little debate about which was the person. It so happened that the three people were the Pope, the President, and Mayor Daley. The Pope said he was titular head of one of the greatest religions of the world and he was spiritual adviser to many, many millions and he went on and pontificated and they thought it was a good argument. Then the President said he was leader of the largest and most powerful nation of the world. What takes place in this country affects the whole world and they thought that was a good argument. And Mayor Daley said he was mayor of the backbone of the Untied States and what took place in Chicago affected the world, and what took place in the archdiocese of Chicago affected Catholicism. And they thought that was a good argument. So they did it the democratic way and voted. And Daley won, seven to two.

About six months ago, Anita Bryant in her speaking to God said that the drought in California was because of the gay people. On November 9, the day after I got elected, it started to rain. On the day I got sworn in, we walked to City Hall and it was kinda nice, and as soon as I said the word “I do,” it started to rain again. It’s been raining since then and the people of San Francisco figure the only way to stop it is to do a recall petition. That’s the local joke.

So much for that. Why are we here? Why are gay people here? And what’s happening? What’s happening to me is the antithesis of what you read about in the papers and what you hear about on the radio. You hear about and read about this movement to the right. That we must band together and fight back this movement to the right. And I’m here to go ahead and say that what you hear and read is what they want you to think because it’s not happening. The major media in this country has talked about the movement to the right so the legislators think that there is indeed a movement to the right and that the Congress and the legislators and the city councils will start to move to the right the way the major media want them. So they keep on talking about this move to the right.

So let’s look at 1977 and see if there was indeed a move to the right. In 1977, gay people had their rights taken away from them in Miami. But you must remember that in the week before Miami and the week after that, the word homosexual or gay appeared in every single newspaper in this nation in articles both pro and con. In every radio station, in every TV station and every household. For the first time in the history of the world, everybody was talking about it, good or bad. Unless you have dialogue, unless you open the walls of dialogue, you can never reach to change people’s opinion. In those two weeks, more good and bad, but more about the word homosexual and gay was written than probably in the history of mankind. Once you have dialogue starting, you know you can break down prejudice. In 1977 we saw a dialogue start. In 1977, we saw a gay person elected in San Francisco. In 1977 we saw the state of Mississippi decriminalize marijuana. In 1977, we saw the convention of conventions in Houston. And I want to know where the movement to the right is happening.

What that is is a record of what happened last year. What we must do is make sure that 1978 continues the movement that is really happening that the media don’t want you to know about. That is the movement to the left. It’s up to CDC to put the pressures on Sacramento–but to break down the walls and the barriers so the movement to the left continues and progress continues in the nation. We have before us coming up several issues we must speak out on. Probably the most important issue outside the Briggs–which we will come to–but we do know what will take place this June. We know there’s an issue on the ballot called Jarvis-Gann. We hear the taxpayers talk about it on both sides. But what you don’t hear is that it’s probably the most racist issue on the ballot in a long time. In the city and county of San Francisco, if it passes and we indeed have to lay off people, who will they be? The last in, and the first in, and who are the last in but the minorities? Jarvis-Gann is a racist issue. We must address that issue. We must not talk away from it. We must not allow them to talk about the money it’s going to save, because look at who’s going to save the money and who’s going to get hurt.

We also have another issue that we’ve started in some of the north counties and I hope in some of the south counties it continues. In San Francisco elections we’re asking–at least we hope to ask– that the U.S. government put pressure on the closing of the South African consulate. That must happen. There is a major difference between an embassy in Washington which is a diplomatic bureau. and a consulate in major cities. A consulate is there for one reason only — to promote business, economic gains, tourism, investment. And every time you have business going to South Africa, you’re promoting a regime that’s offensive.

In the city of San Francisco, if everyone of 51 percent of that city were to go to South Africa, they would be treated as second-class citizens. That is an offense to the people of San Francisco and I hope all my colleagues up there will take every step we can to close down that consulate and hope that people in other parts of the state follow us in that lead. The battles must be started some place and CDC is the greatest place to start the battles. I know we are pressed for time so I’m going to cover just one more little point. That is to understand why it is important that gay people run for office and that gay people get elected. I know there are many people in this room who are running for central committee who are gay. I encourage you. There’s a major reason why. If my non-gay friends and supporters in this room understand it, they’ll probably understand why I’ve run so often before I finally made it. Y’see right now, there’s a controversy going on in this convention about the gay governor. Is he speaking out enough? Is he strong enough for gay rights? And there is controversy and for us to say it is not would be foolish. Some people are satisfied and some people are not.

You see there is am major difference–and it remains a vital difference–between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It’s not enough anymore just to have friends represent us. No matter how good that friend may be.

The black community made up its mind to that a long time ago. That the myths against blacks can only be dispelled by electing black leaders, so the black community could be judged by the leaders and not by the myths or black criminals. The Spanish community must not be judged by Latin criminals or myths. The Asian community must not be judged by Asian criminals or myths. The Italian community must not be judged by the mafia, myths. And the time has come when the gay community must not be judged by our criminals and myths.

Like every other group, we must be judged by our leaders and by those who are themselves gay, those who are visible. For invisible, we remain in limbo–a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment. A tenth of the nation supposedly composed of stereotypes and would-be seducers of children–and no offense meant to the stereotypes. But today, the black community is not judged by its friends, but by its black legislators and leaders. And we must give people the chance to judge us by our leaders and legislators. A gay person in office can set a tone, con command respect not only from the larger community, but from the young people in our own community who need both examples and hope.

The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be–for the good of all of us–independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can’t feel the anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can’t feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope–and our friends can’t fulfill it.

I can’t forget the looks on faces of people who’ve lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they blacks looking for an almost-impossilbe job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that’s foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word “I” because I’m proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I’m proud of you. I think it’s time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias and the Richmond, Minnesotas who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and other offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.

So if there is a message I have to give, it is that I’ve found one overriding thing about my personal election, it’s the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it’s a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope. Thank you very much.

 

 


Jodie Foster Comes Out 2013 and 2007, Versions

This is just one of those things every gay blog should have. Jodie Foster comes out 2013 video at the Golden Globes– via Towleroad.   As you may know, Jodie Foster first came out in 2007, more subtly. I’m curious to see how her ‘official’ coming out is received in 2013.

Towleroad seems to be lagging. There  is a better video here for her 2013 coming out on Perez Hilton.com

A young Jodie foster rocking it with the other Foxes

A young Jodie foster rocking it with the other Foxes

The video below has her ‘sort of’ coming out in 2007, where she thanks here beautiful Cydney.


fund for Gay college students, Good idea?

I, for one, think a fund that gets Gay youth to college is not a good ideas, it’s a fucking fantastic idea. Apparently, an organization called the Point Foundation has been doing this for 10 years.

Point Foundation Celebrates 10 Years

What do you know/think about the Point Foundation? Curious to hear from anyone intimately knowledgeable on them, through an experience of their own or someone close to them.

The video on the Point Foundations is beyond emotional. Truly touching. You have been warned.

And I quote from the video:

“Setting a counter example to all of our young people who don’t think  they can be anything and be out at the same time.”

According to Wikipedia,

The Point Foundation is the first and largest national foundation to support academic achievement in higher education among lesbiangaybisexual and transgender students by providing financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.

A Point Scholarship is the most substantive academic award of its kind, in most cases covering the cost of tuition, books, supplies, room and board, transportation and living expenses. The comprehensive scholarships allow students to excel in the classroom, on campus and in their communities. In addition, Point Scholars are matched with mentors from the professional world who serve as positive role models and provide personal support, ensuring that students build a foundation of leadership skills they can use throughout their careers.


snapshots xxxl: Rick Santorum’s Face Made Out Of Gay Porn

Rick Santorum never looked so good.  As featured on the Conjecturer tumblr feed, this is pretty awesome.  The photo speaks for itself.

Rick Santorum's Face Made out of gay porn


Really, Canada? Transgendered People Not Allowed to Fly

It seems our neighbors to the north are putting a freeze on transgender travelers. According to some bloggers this rule has been in place since July, however it has yet to be enforced on anyone.

According the blog Jezebel,

This regulation was part of a larger set of rules put into place by the Minister of Transportation, Denis Lebel, who happens to be a conservative. (Surprise!) He required no approval from the Canadian parliament to implement them, which explains why no one was aware this was even a problem until recently.

In another blog post from Chris Malloy,

The shit hit the fan in the trans blogosphere last night, when it came to light that there is a disturbing new section in the Identity Screening Regulations used in airports throughout Canada. Simply put, Transgender People are Completely Banned From Boarding Airplanes in Canada.

The offending section of the regulations reads:

5.2 (1) An air carrier shall not transport a passenger if …
(c) the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents;

So what does this mean? Well, in order to change the ‘sex’ designation on a Canadian Passport, the federal government requires proof that surgery has taken place, or will take place within one year. So for non-operative transgender persons, for gender nonconforming (genderqueer) persons, and for the vast majority of pre-operative transsexual persons, it is literally impossible to obtain proper travel documentation marked with the sex designation which “matches” the gender identity in which they live.


Don’t Support the Starbucks Expansion in the Castro, There is Another Answer for Community Focused Space

Starbucks in the Castro is trying to expand to 2201 Market Street.  This is the wrong move for our community.

They are touting more space for working, collaborating, and artist exhibitions.  This all sounds amazing, however, we need something community driven, as opposed to a big brand doing this for us.

We definitely need space for entrepreneurs and collaboration in the Castro. It just can’t be Starbucks that provides this space.

Don’t sign their petition; please tell your friends and family to not support it. There is another answer.

We Must Look inward to Fortify Our Community, Not Outward to Big Brands

Starbucks in undeniable community oriented, with the many bears that frequent their storefront as evidence of this.  However as a community we need to  move away from large national vendors and support local entrepreneurs.  Harvey Milk had a vision for the Castro. We need to honor his legacy and do what we can to make sure the Castro remains a beacon of gay hope and entrepreneurism.

We need to start building spaces that reflect the needs of our community. The first phase  fueled by those of us who want a space between a local bar and the limitations of a traditional coffee shop.   A place where we can expand our personal and professional lives; a place where culture meshes with collaboration; a place that by simply being in existence will fortify and support our community in a new way.

It’s time we stop focusing outward and begin our inward journey to inspire what needs to come next. Don’t let a corporation define this journey for us. We have everything we need. We just need to remember where we came from.  We are the original guerilla organization in the Castro. Let’s take it back.


New Lottery System Announced for 2012 BurningMan Tickets = Confusing…

Burningman just announced a new system for gaining access to the coveted event that runs from late August to Early September. It sounds very confusing and has me a bit anxious.  This sentiment is being echoed on the message board. The majority is, by far, pissed off by a lottery system.

Love will show us the way, Burningman 2011, Painted and Shot by Riley

Even after reading the official announce, I’m not sure how it will work, other than the first lottery will be before the end of November.

You can read more on the Burningman Discussion Group, excerpt below is from there.

IMPORTANT 2012 BURNING MAN TICKET INFORMATION

Changes and improvements are afoot for ticket sales to Burning Man 2012! Here’s a first look at what to expect — stand by for more complete information soon, but for now (we know, you’re wondering!) here’s a quick overview:

2011 provided two compelling reasons to change how tickets are sold: a challenging ticket launch day, and then, our first-ever sold-out event. Before the Man even fell in BRC, we got busy with a deep examination of our processes and technology – and of new ideas, some of them straight from your feedback – to figure out how to provide successful, smooth ticket sales in 2012.

The big news: tickets to Burning Man 2012 will be offered via a lottery system. This solution offers a two-fold benefit: it eliminates the annual ticket sales rush by spreading out registration over time (no more sitting in “line” all day, no more getting kicked out of the queue, no sudden unwieldy server demand!) — and it begins to address the challenges of scarcity. We are also intent upon creating a balance of opportunity across a few months time.

We’ll have more details coming very soon (including deadlines and prices) but here’s a summary of the major changes to how tickets will be obtained:

- You’ll first register for the ticket lottery during a 2-week open registration period. At that time, you’ll declare which of the pricing tiers you’d be willing to pay, and provide a valid credit card number.
– After the registration period, we will run separate lotteries for each ticket tier. If your name is selected, at this point your credit card will be billed, and you’ll receive a ticket confirmation.
– There will be several consecutive lottery rounds.
– You will only be able to purchase tickets from one lottery
– Yhere will be a limited number of tickets per person
– Ticket fulfillment will be held until early summer.

And YOU, JRS subscriber, will be the first to receive information and get a chance to register! Coming up soon, we will be announcing full details, pricing tiers, dates of the registration period and lottery round announcements, and of course a big fat FAQ.

PRE-SALES: We also announce the return of a limited Pre-Sale, timed around the holidays. These “pre-sale” tickets will be offered at a significantly higher price than the very lowest tier of tickets; they’ll also be sold via a lottery system. (This also affords a chance for us all to experience the lottery program with a smaller subset of ticket buyers before the main rollout begins.)

REDUCED PRICE PROGRAMS: We continue to welcome and support attendance for lower-income participants, so we will be overhauling the Low Income and Scholarship ticket programs in 2012. The two similar programs are being merged into one, to create a hybrid that will retain the best features of each — and serve more people, since we’re also increasing the number of these tickets that will be available.

The JRS and http://tickets.burningman.com should be your primary source of information over any Facebook page, twitter feed, locker room or water cooler chatter”. The first registration will start before the end of November. Read your JRS regularly to be informed.

Got questions now? We know you do!…but please wait until the full details are released before you send us your questions – all will be revealed shortly. DO NOT EMAIL us, we will not answer questions about the ticket process on any of our aliases until all the info is out.

Visit the ePlaya ticket threads at http://bit.ly/BM2012Tickets and discuss and ask questions openly so we can answer in a way that benefits more people.

Here's to hoping this wasn't my last burn...I'm trusting this will all work out


Obama Supports Same Sex Marriage Repeal In California

In case you hadn’t seen this, there was some headway made on July 20th with Obama backing the repeal of the defense of marriage act in California. This comes on the coattails of Obama hosting the first GLBT Reception celebrating Pride Month at the White House and New York legalizing Gay marriage.

While things are moving, I keep feeling this fight for gay marriage, on the state levels, is  a distraction from fighting for GLBT rights on a  national level. Not to mention the ‘marriage’ card as opposed to civil unions, puts an even bigger target on our backs  for churches to fire at.

I’ve always felt ‘marriage’ should be left to the churches and the straight people that love them. By drawing religious undertones into our civil rights movement conservatives can tap into the mass mass infrastructures and even bigger bank accounts of organized religion to further fumble and confuse the GLBT civil rights movement. We need equal rights across the board. Gay Marriage is just a pacifier.

With that said, Obama is continuing to make ‘progress’ on the Gay Marriage front in California with Diane Feinstein. You can read the full article on SF Gate, and excerpt included below:

President Obama on Tuesday endorsed a bill by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which for 15 years has denied all federal recognition of married same-sex couples.

Gay rights groups that had pressured Obama to take a firm stand on same-sex marriage heralded the move as historic. Until Tuesday, Obama had been on the record as opposing same-sex marriage while saying his personal views had been “evolving.”

Obama at the first LGBT reception at the White House


It’s my Birthday: Don’t Buy Me a Shot, DONATE $5 to the TREVOR PROJECT

As I celebrate my 37th year it’s impossible to not reflect on all the good times and some of the bad times. In the total picture of life, the darkest moments have often helped me appreciate the brightest moments even more.

Donate, Like them on Facebook, Follow Them on Twitter

That is why the Trevor Project is so important. They help GLBT teens get through some of their darkest hours, so they can appreciate the light a new day can bring.

Today, more than anyday, I’m happy to have overcome the darkness in my life and would like to ask all of you to help others do the same.

Instead of a shot, or a gift, I’m asking you read about the Trevor Project, tell a friend, and perhaps make a donation.

The Trevor Project reminds GLBT Teens, even when the darkness swallows them,  the  light will come again.

Text TREVOR to 85944 to make a $5 Donation

The Trevor Project can help — 24 hours a day – anywhere in the nation

The Trevor Project provides counseling for youth in risk and guidance for educators and parents with teens at risk.

The Trevor Helpline, a toll-free number (866.4.U.TREVOR (866.488.7386), is a confidential service that offers trained counselors. The Trevor Project also provides guidance and vital resources to parents and educators in order to foster safe, accepting and inclusive environments for all youth, at home and at school.

Donate to The Trevor Project

Like The Trevor Project on Facebook

Follow the Trevor Project on Twitter: @TrevorProject

 

 


First Ever Reception at the White House Honoring LGBT Pride Month – Obama Says He Will Be Fighting Shoulder to Shoulder, With Us, For Equal Rights

In case this slipped under your radar, President Obama  and First Lady hosted the first-of-its-kind LGBT Pride Month reception at the White House on June 29th. On the heels of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the reception brought together LGBT families, volunteers, community leaders, lawmakers and heads of LGBT organizations to celebrate the LGBT community.

The official invitation close-up

While many of my LGBT brothers and sisters don’t think the president is doing enough, Obama is doing  more than anyone before him. For this, I applaud his efforts.

However, don’t mistake my applause for complacency.  As a community we need to become increasingly aggressive about demanding equal rights.

And while being acknowledged by a President is nice, we need more than a nod. We need laws to be rewritten and the constitution amended…ASAP!

The official invitation

I had two friends invited to this historic  LGBT  White House Reception. The messages they shared inspired  hope, progress, and a massive list of to-dos.

While a lot has been accomplished we have a long way to go. I’d love your thoughts on this event and the most pressing issues, according to you.

Riley Johndonnell and Jon Faricy inside the White House

To help capture the messages my friends shared with me, I’ve grabbed the video of the President’s speech and the transcript that was released.

Remarks by the President at Reception Observing LGBT Pride Month, the speech transcript:

East Room

6:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  (Applause.)

Nothing ruins a good party like a long speech from a politician.  (Laughter.)  So I’m going to make a short set of remarks here.  I appreciate all of you being here.  I have learned a lesson:  Don’t follow Potomac Fever — (laughter) — because they sounded pretty good.

We’ve got community leaders here.  We’ve got grassroots organizers.  We’ve got some incredible young people who are just doing great work all across the country -– folks who are standing up against discrimination, and for the rights of parents and children and partners and students –

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And spouses.

THE PRESIDENT:  — and spouses.  (Applause.)  You’re fighting for the idea that everyone ought to be treated equally and everybody deserves to be able to live and love as they see fit.  (Applause.)

Now, I don’t have to tell the people in this room we’ve got a ways to go in the struggle, how many people are still denied their basic rights as Americans, who are still in particular circumstances treated as second-class citizens, or still fearful when they walk down the street or down the hall at school. Many of you have devoted your lives to the cause of equality.  So you all know that we’ve got more work to do.

But I think it’s important for us to note the progress that’s been made just in the last two and a half years.  I just want everybody to think about this.  (Applause.)  It was here, in the East Room, at our first Pride reception, on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a few months after I took office, that I made a pledge, I made a commitment.  I said that I would never counsel patience; it wasn’t right for me to tell you to be patient any more than it was right for folks to tell African Americans to be patient in terms of their freedoms.  I said it might take time to get everything we wanted done.  But I also expected to be judged not by the promises I made, but the promises I kept.

Now, let’s just think about it.  I met with Judy Shepard.  I promised her we’d pass an inclusive hate crimes law, named after her son, Matthew.  And with the help of Ted Kennedy and others, we got it done and I signed the bill.  (Applause.)

I met Janice Lang-ben, who was barred from the bedside of the woman she loved as she lay dying, and I told her we were going to put a stop to that discrimination.  And I issued an order so that any hospital in America that accepts Medicare or Medicaid –- and that means just about every hospital in America  -– has to treat gay partners just as they have to treat straight partners.  Nobody in America should have to produce a legal contract.  (Applause.)

I said we’d lift the HIV travel ban.  We got that done.  (Applause.)  We put in place the first national strategy to fight HIV/AIDS.  (Applause.)

A lot of people said we weren’t going to be able to get “don’t ask, don’t tell” done, including a bunch of people in this room.  (Laughter.)  And I just met Sue Fulton, who was part of the first class of women at West Point, and is an outstanding advocate for gay service members.  It took two years through Congress -– working with Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates and the Pentagon.  We had to hold together a fragile coalition.  We had to keep up the pressure.  But the bottom line is we got it done.  And in a matter of weeks, not months, I expect to certify the change in policy –- and we will end “don’t ask, don’t tell” once and for all.  (Applause.)

I told you I was against the Defense — so-called Defense of Marriage Act.  I’ve long supported efforts to pass a repeal through Congress.  And until we reach that day, my administration is no longer defending DOMA in the courts.  The law is discriminatory.  It violates the Constitution.  It’s time for us to bring it to an end.  (Applause.)

So bottom line is, I’ve met my commitments to the LGBT community.  I have delivered on what I promised.  Now, that doesn’t mean our work is done.  There are going to be times where you’re still frustrated with me.  (Laughter.)  I know there are going to be times where you’re still frustrated at the pace of change.  I understand that.  I know I can count on you to let me know.  (Laughter and applause.)  This is not a shy group.  (Laughter.)

But what I also know is that I will continue to fight alongside you.  And I don’t just mean as an advocate.  You are moms and dads who care about the schools that your children go to.  You’re students who are trying to figure out how to pay for going to college.  You’re folks who are looking for good jobs to pay the bills.  You’re Americans who want this country to prosper.  So those are your fights, too.  And the fact is these are hard days for America.  So we’ve got a lot of work to do to, not only on ending discrimination; we’ve got a lot of work to do to live up to the ideals on which we were founded, and to preserve the American Dream in our time -– for everybody, whether they’re gay or straight or lesbian or transgender.

But the bottom line is, I am hopeful.  I’m hopeful because of the changes we’ve achieved just in these past two years.  Think about it.  It’s astonishing.  Progress that just a few years ago people would have thought were impossible.  And more than that, what gives me hope is the deeper shift that we’re seeing that’s a transformation not just in our laws but in the hearts and minds of people — the progress led not by Washington but by ordinary citizens.

It’s propelled not by politics but by love and friendship and a sense of mutual regard and mutual respect.  It’s playing out in legislatures like New York.  (Applause.)  It’s playing out in courtrooms.  It’s playing out in the ballot box, as people argue and debate over how to bring about the changes where we are creating a more perfect union.  But it’s also happening around water coolers.  It’s happening at Thanksgiving tables.  It’s happening on Facebook and Twitter, and at PTA meetings and potluck dinners, and church halls and VFW Halls.

It happens when a father realizes he doesn’t just love his daughter, but also her partner.  (Applause.)  It happens when a soldier tells his unit that he’s gay, and they say, well, yeah, we knew that –- (laughter) — but, you know, you’re a good soldier. It happens when a video sparks a movement to let every single young person out there know that they’re not alone.  (Applause.) It happens when people look past their differences to understand our common humanity.

And that’s not just the story of the gay rights movement.  It is the story of America, and the slow, inexorable march towards a more perfect union.

I want thank you for your contribution to that story.  I’m confident we’re going to keep on writing more chapters.

Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)


You Must Be Gay To Play, Controversy Over Heterosexuals In Gay Sports Leagues

Many of my friends play softball for the gay league and have commented on the fact some of the teams have multiple straight players. They have also mentioned that this is a form of cheating the system.

In yesterday’s New York Times this article ran with the same conclusion.This is definitely worth a read as it digs into the ‘gay’ identity and why some things should remain sacred.  As one person states it it’s called ‘gay’ softball for a reason. If everyone played it would just be softball.

The argument is that as a minority group some things should remain sacred as a safe place to be around others like yourself. Some say it’s time to integrate, fully. I’m on the fence.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.

According to a New York Times Article that ran yesterday:

The five ballplayers summoned before a protest committee at the Gay Softball World Series stood accused of cheating. Their alleged offense: heterosexuality.

it's the only sports related photo I had :). Brian Wilson Stole MY Look ...


This Sunday @ Lonestar: SF Human Petting Zoo to Support Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS)

It’s the time of year, that only comes twice a year. One of my best friend’s birthdays. Come join us Sunday May 8th and help us celebrate Riley’s Birthday.

For animals and their admirers

All you need to know is it’s a big one (birthday, that is) and there will be a human petting zoo. Money raised at the event will benefit P.A.W.S.

Festivities will start at Noon and go until 7 p.m. at the Lonestar Saloon (1354 Harrison Street). Everyone is welcome as long as you are 21 or older.

Animals will be played by Riley’s pals. And everyone is welcome to join in the costuming fun.

Critters will be caged. And friendly, unless provoked.

After party is hosted by Bearron.com at Honey.


Joe My God Reports Eagle SF is Closing ::final two weeks?::

I had blogged about the SF Eagle being earmarked for condos in December.  It seems rumors are swirling again, this time from bar staff.  According to Joe My God, the SF Eagle has two weeks left.

Readers are emailing this weekend to report that staffers at San Francisco’s Eagle Tavern are telling patrons that the iconic Sunday beer bust hangout will be closing in two weeks. Last January a local website reported that the building was for sale and provided the below rendering of what may be built at that location. Man, I’m gonna miss that dump.

If the Eagle does close, what are we evolving towards. Would love to get your thoughts.

The beloved Eagle as it looks today

Rendering for Modern Condos to go on the site of the Eagle -- as Reported on Socketsite

 


Euthanasia Coaster Puts a New Twist on Dying

The Euthanasia Coaster puts a new twist on assisted suicide for the terminally ill.

For more amazing images click on the deconcrete link

As covered by the blog Deconcrete.

In an impressive way to take a last journey to cease existence, Julijonas Urbonas embarks us on a roller coaster which provokes a lack of oxygen supply to the brain, by riding at a maximal speed of 100 m/s. For those who decide to stop living under unbearable pain, this assisted dérive can teleport them into a gratifying last emotion far away from a conventional gloomy hospital:

“Euthanasia Coaster” is a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being. Riding the coaster’s track, the rider is subjected to a series of intensive motion elements that induce various unique experiences: from euphoria to thrill, and from tunnel vision to loss of consciousness, and, eventually, death. Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful. Celebrating the limits of the human body but also the liberation from the horizontal life, this ‘kinetic sculpture’ is in fact the ultimate roller coaster…”

Developed at the Design Interactions Research Department of the RCA London – which focuses on exploring interactions between people, science and technology – Urbonas’ device also matches the aim of the department of going beyond simply making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable; instead, they rather focus on using the language of design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds.



If Visa Can Predict Divorce to a 98 Percent Accuracy Level Two Years In Advance, Imagine What Facebook Can Do With Our Data ::file under #prnightmare::

Forget a therapist, call your credit card company if you think you are having relationship issues.

MWM Foiled BY VISA

According  the Guardian, in an article by By Oliver Burkeman, a Google exec sent a rather shocking tweet during the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology/music trade show in Austin to try and make people feel better about Google’s data mining.

“…Walking past a bank of plasma screens in Austin that were sputtering out tweets from the festival, I saw the claim from Marissa Mayer <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/pda/2011/mar/12/google-maps-marisa-mayer&gt; , a Google vice-president, that credit card companies can predict with 98% accuracy, two years in advance, when a couple is going to divorce, based on spending patterns alone. She meant this to be reassuring: Google, she explained, didn’t engage in such covert data-mining. (Deep inside, I admit, I wasn’t reassured. But then Mayer probably already knew that.)”

The result is what I’m filing under #PRnightmare. For one, I had no idea anyone company could do this type of shit. Now I’m thinking Google and Facebook are all up to no good. Who gives a squat about about VISA!!! I don’t have a credit card…

This tweet sparked a number of articles. I grabbed the juiciest to share.

The Daily Beast, How Visa Predicts Divorce by Nicholas Ciarelli

::excerpt::

By scrutinizing your purchases, credit companies try to figure out if your life is about to change—so they’ll know what to sell you.If you ever doubted the power of the credit card companies, consider this: Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce. There’s no consumer-protection legislation for that.

Why would Visa care that your marriage is on the rocks? Yale Law School Professor Ian Ayres, who included the Visa example in his book Super Crunchers, says “credit card companies don’t really care about divorce in and of itself—they care whether you’re going to pay your card off.” And because people who are going through a divorce are more likely to miss payments, your domestic troubles are of great interest to a company that thrives on risk management. Exactly how the credit industry does it—through sophisticated data-mining techniques—is a closely guarded secret.


SF Drag Legends Hired to Perform at Britney Spears Concert, Told to Hide Once Cameras Started Rolling

One of the big messages that was being circulated for Britney Spears appearing in SF was she was working to win back the gay vote from her nemesis Lady Gaga.

As a result, Britney’s ‘people’ integrated some of SF’s finest drag superstars into her show, that is until the national cameras started rolling.

According to Heklina’s backstage account of the Britney Spears Show, published in The Bay Citizen, once she and the other queens had done their job keeping the crowd entertained they were pushed from sight. Apparently, to avoid controversy.

Put best by Heklina, herself:

Backstage in the green room, it was all people on headsets sending us mixed signals. (“Ten Minutes!”; “Never mind, you have time to go pee”; “Hurry up you’re going on”, etc.). My co-emcees were Sister Roma, Juanita More, Donna Sachet, and Pollo Del Mar, a fabulous sampling of SF drag glitterati. We had the unenviable task of having to keep the crowd pumped up for 45 minutes which, I discovered, is actually very difficult if you can’t say dirty words, do live sex acts, or be generally filthy in any way.

After we were done, the signals went from mixed to very direct. We were initially standing by the area that Britney would use to take the stage, and instructed to flank Britney as she entered. Then — uh-oh — a stage manager banished all of us to the green room. While standing in the doorway of the green room to get a glimpse of Britney emerging from the bowels of the backstage labyrinth, we were told to move back. Then, came the word that the drag queens were still in the shot — and a producer saying, “We don’t want the drag queens in the shot.”

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/12aZJ)

As for the overall performance, leave it to Heklina to not mince any words.

The show itself? Not a concert as much as three elaborately staged drag numbers, with a lot of dead time in between each song so GMA can cut to commercial when it airs. The sets were great, as were the dancers, but the weakest link was Brit herself, looking a bit awkward while she lip-synched her heart out. 

Source: The Bay Citizen (http://s.tt/12aZJ)

Heklina’s interview outside the event:

An amazing shot of two of our very own, doing Britney during the ‘troubled times’.

A version of this photo showed up in the SF Chronicle. Well done guys!

Chris Zachos, left, pretending to be Britney Spears," I'm having my third kid" and Joe Dunphy, right, doing shaved head/umbrella Britney. This was snapped as the two stood outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium


Australia Mardi Gras Mind Blowing Official After-Party Opener ::Sick Drag by Dallas Dellaforce::

Dallas Dellaforce blew up the stage for the Official Mardis Gras 2011 after-party, promptly at midnight.

Made up entirely of volunteers, this performance was done in the authentic/electric spirit of Mardi Gras.

While these stills and clips don’t do the performance justice they will give you an idea.

The performance and audience were massive.

The tribal creature appears, back of the crowd.

No one knows it’s there. All eyes on front stage.

Magnificent Neon Drummers Opened the Show

Slowly, we realize something is coming.

Floating above the crowd it contorts.

Drummers, drum. Guards, guard.

Dallas explodes!

 

Dallas and 40 or so backup dancers explode in unison

The Look


Australian Mardi Gras 2011 Theme Let’s You Fill in the Blank ::Say Something::

Australian 2011 Mardi Gras was riveted together with performances and spirit unlike any other I’ve seen in the world. From the parade to the parties, the momentum kept building.

The theme this year was a blank speech balloon like those used in comic books. The idea behind it was for people to ‘say something’ by filling the balloon with your personal message for Mardi Gras and GLBTQ rights.

Whether it be gay rights,  trans rights, bullying, gay marriage, you could say anything you wanted.

It was explained to me, like many large events, that no matter what theme gets chosen–year after year–someone’s point of view always gets left out. However, this year there was no way to not be included as the theme was completely customizable and open ended. Pretty brilliant in my opinion.

A man named Kabi thought of the Say Something theme.  I had the pleasure of hanging with during my time with the Wet Ones Swim Club and then at the Mardis Gras 2011 Harbor Party. I can say he is as brilliant as he is humble. Not to mention he is a snappy dresser.

Kobi and I and the Harbor Party

Kobi and I and the Mardi Gras Party

From the Say Something 2011 Mardi Gras site:

Bio
Kabi has been volunteering for the Parade since 1988 when he made the Cupie dolls’ angel wings that accompanied the Order of Perpetual Indulgence’s infamous Fred Nile head in the Parade of that year. Kabi and his group ethel yarwood enterprises have since created some of the most memorable and iconic Parade entries of the past 23 years. They have collected 8 Parade awards for their efforts and entertained whilst contributing to the fame and prominence of the Festival.

Here he explains the reason and purpose for the 2011 season concept.

Say Something
The equal rights movement for gays and lesbians in Australia was ignited because in 1978 activists took to the streets of Sydney to bravely Say Something about the criminalisation of our sexuality and the oppression of our culture. From this seed of the 78’ers dissent, The Sydney Gay Mardi Gras was established. Through the combination of art, politics and courage we have employed this platform to Say Something about ourselves, our struggles and our triumphs, our losses and our gains.

Over the ensuing period, through its many forms and structures, this protest has grown into a world renowned festival encompassing multiple disciplines of the arts, parties, community gatherings and the Parade. Saying Something is a thread that runs through the entire festival. Writers Say Something to their readership. Speakers, performers, painters, photographers, dancers, actors, film directors, artists of all persuasions want to Say Something to their audiences to share an idea, an experience, to connect.

The very fact that 70,000 proud community members assemble at the Fair Day/Launch including our supporters, friends and family really Says Something about the power of the tribe, the strength of kinship.

The parade offers the community and sponsors the opportunity, and lays down the challenge, to pass commentary about issues affecting the local and international GLTQ family, and use our uniquely camp, larrikin view of the world to highlight and lampoon topical issues. Whether a single entrant or a marching mass of muscle marys, we will have an impact that resonates beyond the moment if we actually Say Something.

Additionally we will endeavour to exploit the digital age of the interweb. We will present to you new and exciting formats in which to participate in this campaign so that your messages can be instantly broadcast around the world.

So Say Something about injustice.
Say Something to your mother.
Say Something critical.
Say Something funny.
Say Something with passion.

Say Something to the cute visitor that will have him or her return to our shores again.

Say Something about equality.

Just get out there, this is your chance to Say Something.

Find them on Facebook.

Here’s Kylie Minogue’s Mardi Gras 2011 Say Something Message:


Nothing is Sweeter Than Saving Lives ::Donate to the Trevor Project:: for Valentine’s Day

The Trevor Project deserves our support. Instead of buying a valentine gift for yourself, or someone else, make a donation and help end suicide among LGBTQ youth. This is guaranteed to taste sweeter, and last longer, than a box of candy.  Not to mention, it’s much lower in calories.

The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including their nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

Trevor Project Valentine Challenge

Nothing is sweeter than saving lives

It Gets Better Video San Francisco Video:


Reader Struggles with Knee Jerk Reaction to Saving Historical Gay Bars – What Are Your Thoughts on Passive Gay Culture?

My post on the Death of Beloved SF Institution: The Eagle resulted in a number of emails and comments. While the end for the Eagle may or may not be near, a dialogue this post sparked is worth sharing.

Read the following and let me know your thoughts on the evolution of gay culture.

From Riley, regarding my post on the death of the Eagle:
I struggle with the knee jerk reaction to “save historical gay bars”– our “gay culture” is radically changing- morphing into something we don’t seem to be guiding – so we jump to save the past versus sweating to build a future– many people criticize our ‘passive gay culture’ as compared to generations before– but it’s not a simple discussion:  it’s complex and includes big topics such as our relevance/potency as a RACE of people to the rest of the people/races on this planet!

So  much of our history is steeped in bar culture (which has been slowly  dying and proving an antiquated model for social interaction/ transcendence): just as the clubs/nightclubs have become nearly non-existent in SF, it seems the bar culture is facing the same fate.

Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is what new concepts/constructs do we need to BUILD for the modern queer race.

What is the evolution of the bar? I believe this also ties into the dialogue of what is the relevance of “gay community” centers…

I’m not sure locking myself to a bulldozer going nose to beak with the Eagle is activism. I’m more interested in rallying every young LGBTQ  (etc, etc) individual to interview/document the stories/struggles/history of his or her eldest queer friend–now that’s saving our history!!!

The SF Eagle is a place of Sunday ‘worship’ (yes a double entendre). It’s a place of brotherhood and transcendence for many men (from raw laughter, to raw sex, to stimulant inspired highs). I am thankful it exists, thankful for its history; thankful of its influences on me, and for the many, many, many memories it holds. And for the many who have held me there.

The beauty/liberation of our bar culture is tempered with the destructive nature of bars in general. For the many people we lose to abuse, we still don’t seem to have created an option– a new forum/model.

Some say the Internet/technology and online sex killed nightlife/dance clubs-and now killing the bar scene–some say it was/is drugs that kills the scene– some say its because gay bars have become so body/age/race specific — Darlings, WE kill the optimism by misusing the tools — so don’t blame the tools- we simply need to figure out how to  use the tools to build a better solution.

“Gay bar” owners have a larger pressure than a str8 bar owner… They inherit a responsibility to the queer cultural as their businesses are frequently the PRIMARY hubs for queer culture (which historically use to be sanctuaries/havens, now really just venues with ties to a historic past). Look at Lonestar, the difficulty of those boys navigating through honoring the past/present/future generations.  They struggle at great expense to innovate new ways to mix the segregated gay community” – pay homage to the past while welcoming the future.

Perhaps there is a poem/hidden message in the story/potential fate of  the SF Eagle (a gay American icon).

I personally know Stanley (the architect with the proposed schematic),  he is a wise, talented, potent and influential architect- and he is an  openly gay man. He is a credit and trophy to our race. His ideas/aesthetic have added to the evolution of SF. He is an ACTIVIST in my  opinion because his actions are conscious contributions to find/create  better ways of living verses talking about contributing (as so many others do). I have not discussed the Eagle site with him- but I guarantee he has something interesting to say.

Hmmmmm? The potential replacement of the old ‘dirty’ Eagle with a stark minimalist/contemporary community dwelling (likely with gay/straight tenants living side by side) designed by a widely celebrated  ‘gay /South African architect’ — is this a poignant commentary of our  own queer gentrification?

I miss the era when gay culture contributed beauty–  when the angst  of our struggle/oppression was expressed through influential/inspiring  aesthetics.

Perhaps as we grow closer to the prize of  “acceptance”/”integration” we will lose more and more of what bonded us together – pain/angst… Desperation for expression of self.

I’m eager to see what this gorgeous thing we once called “gay culture” is going to evolve into if into anything, I know I have to let go of my  definitions of what it has been- my nostalgia is part of my personal  identity. But keepsakes get heavy— the young queers of today are living in a world I never thought I’d see in my lifetime- And they  appear to be packing very lite baggage. I hope they can help develop new tools or better ways to use the old ones.

Metamorphosis Uncertain


Death of Beloved SF Institution: The Eagle Earmarked for Super Modern Condos

Earlier this week I saw a post on Facebook talking about the sale of the SF Eagle. Today it became all too much of a reality, when another reader sent me mock-ups for the building proposed to go on the site of the Eagle.

According to Socketsite, renderings for “1600 Harrison” have sat perched in the Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects portfolio. The site also reports there have been rumors the Eagle has been up for sale since the beginning of 2010.

For those of you that may not know the Eagle, it’s an institution here in San Francisco and one of original watering holes for the gay community that remains intact.

If we don’t stand up to this gentrification our entire GLBT history will be lost and our social circles crushed. It’s not just a bar. It’s part of our communities fabric.

I’m not sure what we can do, but will keep you posted if I find out anything more.

If anyone has more information, please let me know.

The beloved Eagle as it looks today

Rendering for Modern Condos to go on the site of the Eagle -- as Reported on Socketsite


Rave ON! Smackdown: organization to help the cause

Since I posted yesterday on the California Rave Ban, people have organized.

Save The Rave is a group of electronic music supporters who are organizing to fight anti-electronic music policy through lobbying, protests, media and whatever else is necessary.

Visit their website or their Facebook Group for more information and to get involved.

 

A logo torn right from the 90's


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