Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
People always get all up in arms whenever it comes to discussing sexuality with children. The general theme is that kids are too young (especially children 10 and under) and don't need to be hearing such things at such an early age. I think this sentence needs to be specified, because I agree with it on a certain level.
Yes, I agree that children should not be exposed to all of the various aspects of sexual activity until they are an appropriate age. However, certain content IS appropriate. Children understand the concept of a mother and a father (a man and woman living together) at a very early age. They can also be taught to understand that a man and a man or a woman and a woman living together is the same thing. People accuse this idea as embedding the concept of sex within the minds of children, but it wouldn't do that at all. Children don't think about a mother and a father having sex; they don't understand it. It can be just as simply explained that Tommy has 2 dads, Suzie has 2 moms, and Billy has a mom and a dad. If you explain it like that, it puts everything on the same playing field: sex-free. The children don't have to find out what the parents, of any of those examples, are doing behind closed doors.
It's NOT that hard, and this video is a good example of the efforts being made in a positive direction.
Yup, a bunch of us are packing into some cars and braving the trip up to D.C. to march alongside our fellow Americans. I'm basically excited!
Anywho, I read this article about the March, and how its actually falling on the National Coming Out Day. Won't it be exciting to have so many people 'coming out' to support equality and march together? The focus of the article was, however, on those people not marching on Oct. 11. Instead, it talked about all of the millions more LGBT people who would not be able to attend, but 'coming out' and supporting in their own individual way. People will literally come out of the closet on this day, and people who are already "out" will come out to even more people who didn't already know. It's important to remember that everyone can make a difference, even if you can't make the drive to D.C.
The more the world gets to know us, the more they can see that we're a part of them-a part that deserves all the same rights too.
Monday, September 28, 2009
You HAVE to watch this; there's no getting around it.
This past Friday night, I threw a party at my apartment, calling the members of Lambda to come out and support A Day in Hand with a photoshoot. The party was not an official Lambda event, but I took it seriously enough. I got a ton of photos taken that night, many of them with LGBT people holding hands. I was super excited!The next day, Shhh! Saturday according the A Day in Hand website (in which the world is called to observe A Day in Hand by taking photos of LGBT people holding hands with significant others, friends, and family in public), I submitted a bunch of photos from the party, along with Lambda's short story for the event. I promptly received an email saying that the photos would happily be submitted and wondering if I'd be interested in starting a chapter in Knoxville. I'm considering it.
I wish I could meet the head of Yes on 1. I'd punch him/her in the face. Solve that problem right there. Ignorance is intolerable to me. Intolerable.
The study found that the most emotionally harmful factors to an adopted child are age and pre-adoption sexual abuse. Surprise, suprise on that second one.
Sometimes I can't believe that people really believe have two mommies or two daddies is worse than having none. People are so fucking stupid (forgive the expletive; it's necessary in my opinion).
Pink news Article
Sunday, September 27, 2009
In response, the entire student body held a candlelight vigil showing their support for the attacked student and distaste for the hate crime. They plan to initiate a movement to speak to their congressional representatives and legislature about getting hate crime defined with "sexual orientation" throughout the state. Let's hope something comes of this; it'd be very good.
Friday, September 25, 2009
This article, courtesy of the New York Times, is really really really long, but its SUPER GREAT! You have to take 10 minutes out of your day to read it. I love that these kids are growing up in a society where they can openly be themselves.
"Marriage is between only two persons and shall not be restricted on the basis of race, color, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religion."
It also states this concerning religious freedom:
"Section 1. To protect religious freedom, no court shall interpret this measure to require any priest, minister, pastor, rabbi, or other person authorized to perform marriages by any religious denomination, church, or other non-profit religious institution to perform any marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. The refusal to perform a marriage under this provision shall not be the basis for lawsuit or liability, and shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any religious denomination, church, or other religious institution."
This looks like a great amendment, especially the part mentioning religion. I feel like a lot more people will be receptive to it because of Section 1.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The basic idea is to silently protest the inability for LGBT people to be able to show PDA in public by photographing themselves holding hands with people. They are not talking about PDA as in making out in public, but simply being able to hold hands with worry of stigma.
In celebration of this day, Lambda is holding a Photoshoot party at my apartment where everyone is going to gather for a good time and take photos. We're going to take as many photos as possible of people who participate holding hands, and then we're going to submit them to the website. It's going to such a good cause.
If you'd like to participate wherever you are, go to this link.
If you'd like to participate with Lambda this Friday (we're holding the party the day before to get the photos ready), email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I LOVE Beyonce, and this video is by far the best remake i've seen of her famous song, Single Ladies. Loves it!
Another beautiful beyonce song, with some excellent dance moves thrown in. Very cool to watch.
"He Wolf." You know what this is gonna be.
This one is just flat out gay (as in hilarious!)
Spice Girls- the boy version! Very adorable
I personally have never been "out" at work. I've worked with people who knew I was gay, and they were always okay with it, but having friends know isn't the same thing. I'd be very afraid of someone who didn't approve of my life, especially a superior, and treating me differently because of it, whether that involves ignoring me, punishing me, or working me more or less because of it.
In fact, I've even lied about my orientation. Not so much ever to the point where I've specifically stated that I'm straight, but more so to agree with coworkers' statements. Most of them will talk about girls they want to get with or think are hot, and I'll very nonchalantly agree with them, quickly trying to change the subject. About 47% of LGBT people are supposedly guilty of this, according to that same survey.
It's going to be difficult getting people to feel comfortable coming out at work. Having an anti-discrimination clause for sexual orientation/gender identity/anything LGBT is one thing; getting people to be okay with it is quite another. I hope one day I'm comfortable being out at work.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
SERIOUSLY???!!!! Do people actually hear themselves when they talk?
It's around 30% of all same-sex relationships right now that boast such a title, but the numbers show a growing pattern. It all started in 2005, when around 300,000+ couples out of 700,000+ known same-sex couples used the word "marriage," and in that year only 11,000 marriage licenses were issued. In years to follow, marriage become legal in multiple states, so actual gay marriages boomed. Still, many more couples claim to be married that, legally, are not.
The idea, to me, has its ups and downs. It shows that gay couples don't care what everyone else thinks; they're going to get married anyways and love it. But it also shows that gay couples don't care what everyone else thinks, which isn't necessarily good. We want everyone to want us to get married, and if we give off the impression that we'll settle for just calling ourselves "married," then conservative bigots are going to sneer at us, saying, "Well, those gays can just pretend to be married. That's good enough for them."
I'm not saying every same-sex couple who calls themselves "married" when they're legally not is settling for just using the term, but it certainly could give off that impression. We need to keep fighting for our rights, not just pretending that we're "married."
Monday, September 21, 2009
Again, Ms. Theron makes me smile when she appeared on the View recently. When asked about her relationship with her bf and whether they will tie the knot after 8 years of dating, Charlize replied without missing a beat that she will not get married because the whole institution "feels very one-sided," and she is waiting until marriage rights are all equal. She went on to mention that she has many gay and lesbian friends who would love to get married, and she wouldn't be able to sleep at night if she got married when they couldn't.
Yay for Charlize and her continued publicity for gay rights!
Check out the interview below.
Anywho, I read this article about some gay comedian I've never heard of who left the realm of the PC (surprise, surprise--he is a comedian, after all) and made a bunch of gay jokes about the lottery and other various topics. The writer of the article, among other things, addressed the concept of gay people possibly making too much fun of the gay community. I don't think this is true, especially for comedians.
I am ALL for globalization of PC, but let's get real--if we can't make fun of who we are, what fun are we? I don't get mad or offended when I hear some black guy--forgive me--African-American call another African-American a "nigga," implying the use of a very derogatory word, even in casual converation. I don't like the word, but I don't mind hearing it coming from a person of the ethnicity it is historically associated with. It would be completely different if I heard any other ethnicity shouting out that word at anyone, African-American or not, even in a positive connotation. It's not right for them to use it.
The same goes for the words "gay (as in stupid or silly or whatever)" or "faggot." I particularly don't like the word "faggot" and personally only to use it in a derogatory manner (only to describe myself when I'm angry with something I've done), but if I hear a LGBT person using the word for another LGBT person, especially in casual conversation, it's not such a bad thing to me.
This may sound childish, but "stupid" or "idiot" are technically just as offensive as "nigga" or "fag." They are all just words; it all depends on how you use them. Each person is entitled to his/her own opinion and use of those words. If you don't like hearing it, hang out with different people and move on with your life.
I think comedians especially should be allowed to use these kinds of words. It makes making fun of people funnier because of the stigma that comes with the words. Same rules apply: only African-Americans can say "nigga;" only gays can say "fag."
Moral: Wanda Sykes is set to make fun of whomever she so desires.
Pink News Article
Monday, September 14, 2009
In promotion of her new book, A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin, Kathy jumped onto Larry's show and made at least 20 minutes worth of jokes with the LK himself, talking about various subjects from plastic surgery, Oprah, to even Jesus and Michael Jackson.
Only Kathy Griffin could pull it off, and that's why I love her (she loves the gays too). I can't wait to read her book; it's gonna be great.
Larry King Youtube clips Towleroad.com
Friday, September 11, 2009
I really hope this bill gets somewhere. The kind of impact this would have on our lives is practically unimaginable. What a HUGE leap forward it would be!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Critics of the decision look to Ellen's lack of musical experience, saying that the role should be filled by a musician or someone with strong musical background. They think that Ellen was brought on as a comedic role, and I don't disagree with them.
Of course she was brought on as a comedic role; Ellen is comedic person. She makes everything funny and laughable and enjoyable for audience members. While she may not have musical experience under her belt, she can view each contestant from one of the most important perspectives of all; an audience member. She's been watching Idol since it first aired in '02 from the tube in her room, so she's developed just as good of an opinion on she'd want to buy on iTunes as any other person could.
Good choice in my opinion. Go Ellen...and now, go Idol!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The event, marked in years passed with violence and gay-bashing, was 100% violence free this year, thanks to the security detail. There were reports of some guards being attacked for their protection of the march, but nothing serious happened and several people were arrested for their bigoted attacks. The march went off without a hitch.
The only downside to the security detail was that, while there were no haters and rock-throwers at the event, there were also no supporters either. All guards kept anyone not participating in the march at least one block away from the event, including the people who love the gays. It would've been nice to see some support from the community, especially since I'm sure there was a lot.
The event instead became mostly a media frenzy. Many reporters came out and interviewed, took pictures, and made video reports, which is certainly a good thing. Obviously it worked because here I am, a local in Knoxville, TN, talking with you about what happened.
Maybe next year, less potential violent people will enable more spectators to support their local LGBT friends in the parade.
I do NOT like this video for several reasons. First, it's just plain gross and scary. Sex with Hitler? Yuck! Second, as many HIV/AIDS prevention charities are also pointing, it stigmatizes the idea of people who have HIV and AIDS into seeming like they're evil or something. Yes, AIDS is a killer, but the people who have the virus aren't out there trying to infect others. 3 out of 4 people often don't know they have the virus to begin with. This ad would also make those people less eager to get tested and find out if they have it for fear of the social stigma created by the same advert.
All around, this ad just ain't a good idea. German fail.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
In lieu of the parade and its shaky past, Whoopi Goldberg released this moving video to the people of Budapest to reassure them and congratulate them on what they're accomplishing. She also delivers a very powerful message that would benefit many people hearing it.
In this most recent video posting I found of her, she lists off some marriage/divorce statistics from Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriages. According to the stats, the divorce rates have gone from 2.8 divorces per thousand marriages before gay marriages were legalized to 2.0 dpm's. This rate is currently the lowest divorce rate in the country.
How exciting is that?!?!?! Gay people can get married for love and stay together. Who'd a thunk it?
Saturday, September 5, 2009
At the end of the letter, she said she will be in DC Oct. 10-11 for the National Equality March. That's very exciting to me because I am planning on going there for it as well. Wouldn't it be cool if I met her?
I seriously recommend reading the letter. So good.
For more information about the National Equality March, go here.
This day would be such a revolutionary recognition of everything that not only Harvey Milk, but all gay rights activists, have been fighting for. The battle certainly isn't over, but this would be a nationwide recognition of it.
They're not expecting a horrible display of violence, but sodomony is still illegal in this country. We'll just have to see what happens. I'm hoping to only find articles about how successful to parade is.
And here's the proof. At recent concert in New York, Lady Gaga was performing and dazzling the audience in that special way she does. She was so dazzling, in fact, that two gay boys were turned on enough by her to start having sex, according to PinkNews.com. Whilst Madonna (yes, the Madonna) was in the audience, two gay men just whipped it out and started going at it!
No word on if they got into trouble or not (I'm sure somebody was upset by it), but Lady Gaga was super happy to hear about it. Her sister texted her during the concert to let her know, and she was beyond ecstatic. She loves the gays and thanks them for all her support, claiming that she wouldn't be where she is today without them. They got her going.
All I know is I love her enough to keep her performing strong. "P-p-p-pokerface!"
Friday, September 4, 2009
I'm definitely not one to be scared of what other people think of me or how they'll react to me and how I live my life, but for some reason it really worried me today in this class. I'm pretty sure it was for the following reasons: I had no idea how these people felt about gay people; I have to spend the rest of the semester with them, pissing them off isn't a good idea; would the teacher be ok with it?; would I get shot after class? That last was one kinda a joke.
Here's how the class went: teacher welcomes everyone; I present; the class continues. Ugh. I got to start the class off with my presentation, setting the tone for the rest of the class. And to make it even more terrifying, the teacher opened up my presenting by saying (in Spanish, of course), "Class, the first presentation that is being presented today is one that is very controversial. Everyone has their own opinions about it, but I want you all to respect Mitch's opinion and try to be open to it." Fuck. He thinks they're gonna go crazy too. When he asked me if I was ready to go, I could barely say "Si." It squeaked out of my mouth.
I started off the presentation by sheepishly trying to throw some charm at the class. I told them all (in Spanish, don't forget) that i was very nervous, and to excuse me from stuttering. It got some smiles of approval from the girls (it should be noted that most of the class was girls, who tend to be more open-minded--most of the time--so that's a positive), so I was off to a good start.
Looking back, I can't remember what all I said to the class. I know I told them everything that was on my note cards and it was all in Spanish and made sense when I said it, but that's it. It rushed by in a blur. At first I was afraid I was moving to fast, but I remembered that when I had practiced earlier, it seemed like I was going too fast then also, but I was actually wasn't. So i kept up the fast talking (at least it was fast to me) and finished my presentation in good time.
My presentation was about a news article for the paper, El Sol de Zacatecas, back in July of this year. It was a simple article about a gay pride parade held in the town of Jerez, and I elaborated on what happened, what it meant to the community, and what gay pride parades mean in general to the world. At least my thought process was well-written.
The response from the class after seemed positive enough. People actually answered the questions I asked of the class, which is a major plus. I would get smiles and nods of agreement when I would say things, so at least part of the class was on my side. And the after discussion led by the teacher about my article was very well-responded to and it was all positive. Success!
I hope no one holds being gay against me after this.
Did I mention that I'm the first person in the class to present? Way to set the bar high, right? Who knows what the hell kind of presentation will be given on Monday.
Fortunately, the darn thing only has to be 5 minutes long, so it's not going to be that bad. My only worry is getting booed/threatened/shot out of the classroom. We'll just have to see what happens. I'll give you more details about it after the class!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
She was personally affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic back was she was just getting started with all of this. Her son was diagnosed with HIV and eventually died because of it's horrible complications. She can personally relate, and it's very tragic.
I plan to contact her in some way, whether by mail or phone, to let her know how much I appreciate her efforts; they are simply wonderful. I encourage you to do the same.
The story of Matthew Shepard is a very sad one that hopefully won't be repeated anytime soon, even though I know it has since and will be again.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Lambda Student Union is a UT campus organization that was established to act as a network for students to serve needs of communication, friendship, insight into the LGBTA world, and to be a place for students to go to feel safe and have someone to talk to. I don't know how long it's been going for, but I know it's been a while.
I've been a member for almost 2 years now, and I currently serve as Historian and Treasurer. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life; it's something I wouldn't change for anything.
Lambda is very involved both on campus and in the community. We host several events throughout the year and are planning to add even more to our agenda. Some events include recognizing World Aids Day, National Coming Out Day, the National Day of Silence, and our annual Lambda Luau. We also try to collaborate with other on-campus organizations, including the LGBT Commission. If you want to work with us, don't hesitate to let us know.
We like to have fun too, of course. We hold Movie/Game Nights, a bi-annual Drag Show, and many of our members host their own parties that all members are welcome to attend.
It's a really fun organization that I hope you'll get to know much better through my blog. I'm going to start posting blogs about the events that happen involving Lambda, so look forward to those!
It calls for everyone, gay or straight, to get involved by simply holding hands. That's all.
The idea is that by "speaking out" silently, the LGBTA community is protesting society's stance against gay people without causing undue drama or inappropriate language. This is an inspired idea, very similar to the National Day of Silence. It's supposed to become a monthly event.
I'm definitely going to bring this up at UT's local Lambda group. I think it could be such a good thing to really get started, especially if it gets the appropriate attention it deserves.
A Day In Hand website
Pink News article
I'm sure you've heard this song; I hear it on the radio all of the time. I did not really listen to it though until I read this blog. The song really is very inspirational, especially from an LGBT standpoint.
At some point in our lives, all gay people are in the closet. We are forced to hide for fear of what might happen to us. Some come out; some don't. I think it's important to realize the value that comes from letting people know who you are.
I'm not going to go into some "come out" rant. That's not my style, nor the point of this blog. From what Jamie said, I think it's important to realize that we don't have forever to say what is hiding inside of us. Life could be taken away in an instant, and then the chance is gone. Even if it doesn't have anything to do with being gay, it's important to express yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, while you still can.
So get out there, and "say what you need to say."
Huffington.com blog post