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Showing posts with label My View. Show all posts
Showing posts with label My View. Show all posts

Sunday, November 5, 2017

(TIME-WARP) Remembering a Gay Sailor Murdered in Japan 25 Years ago!

by Mike Spradley

It was early November 1992. I had just moved into my new apartment in San Diego. As I sorted through boxes, the television was playing the national evening news. There are moments in your life that you never forget. I had no idea a moment that would shape my life forever was about to occur. As the evening anchor said these words, my blood ran cold: "The U.S. Navy is investigating the murder of Petty Officer Allen R. Schindler in Sasebo, Japan." I immediately ran from the other room to catch the rest of the news report. As I caught a quick glimpse of his photo, my mind no longer registered the rest of the words spoken.

I dove into a box to locate a small piece of laminated paper. I had to confirm the spelling of the name of my friend who was now dead. Allen, who had been stationed in San Diego, had become my friend. Before he shipped out, he had given his eclectic group of compadres his military address. He begged his friends to write him. Between college and work, I had never gotten around to sending him even a postcard.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

(MY VIEW) It's Okay to Be Gay, So Long As You're White!

by Adam Kirk Edgerton 

Like most good white liberals in America (and David Brooks), I've been reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me. For white gay men, I think the book provides an alternative interpretation to the recent ruling on marriage equality that we are deeply afraid to discuss. The recent whitewashing of the Stonewall Riots makes it all the more important to question the predominance of whites within the current LGBT movement.

A cynical reading of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States, is that the majority opinion is simply an extension of whiteness. Edie Windsor, of prior Supreme Court fame, was a rich old white lady who was told it wasn't enough to be rich and white; she also needed to be straight. James Obergefell, similarly, is a perfectly presentable (i.e. well-off) white plantiff. There's nothing at all outside of the "mainstream" about either of these two individuals except for the unfortunate fact that though they were born white in America, they were also born gay. This accident of birth meant that privileges and rights were denied to them that other whites received.

So we must ask ourselves a difficult question. Are we as a country advancing rights for all minorities equally, or are we just reshaping whiteness?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

(JESSE on the BRINK) Call Me Unconvinced!

by Jesse Archer

Caitlyn Jenner's historic cover is a watershed moment in trans coverage and visibility. There is nothing more important in life than making others feel less alone. She has made countless marginalized others feel less alone and undoubtedly has and will save lives. For this she is a hero, but her personal integrity has yet to be confused with any altruism or activism for the greater good.

Her conservative votes keep in power those who refuse to pass legislation protecting her most vulnerable sisters - those fired from jobs, homeless, enduring survival sex, without access to legal hormones; the ones injecting motor oils into their body who aren't white or privileged or assisted by Annie Leibovitz to achieve their ideal. She's a hero, and perhaps that is enough, but until she's a champion my admiration is qualified.

Her son, Burt, sums it up for me: "I have high hopes that Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

(JESSE on the BRINK) Holding Out for a Hero!

by Jesse Archer
Via The Advocate

On the otherwise ordinary summer morning of December 15, 2014, an unprecedented terror gripped Sydney. In the heart of the city’s business district, an unhinged Islamic radical named Man Haron Monis strode into a Lindt chocolate cafe with a sawed-off shotgun, took 18 people hostage, and began an anguishing 16-hour standoff. Australian police forces stormed the cafe in the early hours of the next day, but by then the cafe’s manager, Tori Johnson, had been killed.

Because of an ongoing investigation, there are no formal accounts of exactly what transpired in the tense lead-up to the tragedy’s climax, but unconfirmed media reports indicate that Johnson was killed after attempting to wrestle the gunman for control of the weapon. In the final blitz, another hostage, a barrister named Katrina Dawson, was killed in the hailstorm of bullets. It was quickly reported that she was married with three young children, and that Johnson had a “partner” of 14 years. Then we waited, or at least I did, to find out whether his long-term partner was a man.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

(OGL) Reality Check: You May Never Find Someone!

by Nicholas Marlin

It's a picturesque Saturday morning in Palm Springs. I am gently swaying on a cozy swinging bench, watching birds in the orange trees in the reflection of the placid pool water in front of me. The aroma of ripe oranges and sounds of nearby water fountains mixed with chirping birds perfects the scene. In this setting I cannot help but think about how inspiring and amazing my friend Bruce is who owns this exquisite little home that he calls his, "little desert retreat." Bruce is an amazing man, but what inspires me most about him is that it's abundantly clear that he's happy, in love with his life, and unlike so many others, perfectly content being single.

As the co-founder of a leading relationship-focused gay and lesbian dating site, OneGoodLove.com, what I am about to say may come as a shock to you: You may never find someone. No matter how hard you try, how many dating sites you subscribe to, how many dates you go on, how many frogs you kiss, the unfortunate statistical truth is that not everyone finds the man or woman of his or her dreams. You may wonder why I would say that. My only intention in divulging that harsh reality is to have it serve as the catalyst for you yourself coming to the realization that regardless of your relationship status, you can be happy, whole, and in love with your life.

Too many of my friends, people I talk to, and profiles I read of members on my dating site believe that in order to be happy they need to find a partner or meet someone. Some people go as far as acting desperate, miserable, and unhappy admittedly as a result (in their own minds) of being single. These unfortunate people would argue that it's a "chicken before the egg" dilemma, where they could only possibly be happy after they were to find someone. For you singles out there dredging through a meager existence due to your relationship status, I have another reality check: You aren't going to attract anything but other dredgers to console you in your solitude.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

(MY View) RuPaul's Drag Race and the Danger of Overpolicing Language!

by Our Lady J  

"Tranny," "sissy," "sex change," and "she-male" are self-identifying slang words used by gender-nonconforming people -- mostly performers, artists, sex workers, and others considered to be living on the fringe of our queer community. Although we use these words playfully to relate, empower, and communicate, these words, like the word "gay," are sometimes used to disrespect us.

When I first transitioned, I proudly identified as a "tranny" until people within the trans community told me the word was offensive to them. I complied but quickly realized that while striving to be accepted by the hetero-dominated world, the upper echelons of the trans community were trying to sweep the fringe under the rug by censoring the language with which they identify. In addition to banishing "tranny," "sissy," "sex change," and "she-male" as slander, they insisted that the users of these words were the oppressors, making themselves the victims -- a well-worn tool of manipulation and control.

As an artist, I love language, and I cherish free speech. RuPaul has been the number-one defender of these, and at the same time he continues to support every shade of queerness within our community, no matter the class. Drag is punk and should never be subjected to politically correct ideals. The moment it stops provoking is the moment it fails as an art form. Trans people are forever indebted to drag for the mainstream explosion of gender as we see it today.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

(BEST of 2013) Top 5 Columns!

Movie Freak's Fetters
In 2013, our columns were still holding strong and got more views then ever.  From Hollywood to Sydney to Seattle to Film reviews and beyond. 2013 was not great (Miley, etc.), but it did show that 2014 will be the Best Year ever. The following are the top 5 columns based on page views:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

(MY View) No, Pope Francis Is Not the LGBT Person of the Year!

by Michelangelo Signorile

The Advocate magazine put Pope Francis on its cover, proclaiming him the Person of the Year, offering a myriad of reasons why it passed up others, such as Edie Windsor. The best thing about this is that Francis has a "NoH8" decal Photoshopped onto his face, and it's driving poor Bill Donohue of the Catholic League into a blood-vessel-popping rage.

But mostly, this was idiotic. Pope Francis is a lot of things to many people in the world. But he is not our hero of the LGBT community in 2013. Can we please get a grip, folks? Are we that starved for validation?

Pope Francis' statements of the past, which he's never repudiated, and the doctrine of his church, are horrendously homophobic. As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina three years ago, he called gay marriage the work of the devil and said it was "a destructive attack on God's plan." And his recent statements, saying church leaders are too "obsessed" with the issue of gay marriage, and that he can't pass judgement a gay priest, while very encouraging, do not in any way take back those statements.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

(MY View) Why Marriage Matters :: A Principal Marker of Civil Equality!

by William Kapfer

I’m fortunate enough to have two mentors who’ve helped me become the person I am today. These two men also happen to be a couple, together for over fifty years. When they met, they were both working in the same office in Manhattan, and in order to keep people off the scent, they traveled to work separately every morning. Of course, no one could be openly gay back in the 1950s-not only was it dangerous, but it was actually illegal to be partaking in what was then deemed "lewd and dissolute behavior."

A lot had changed by the time I met these men in the 1990s. When I was introduced to these guys, they were living together openly, splitting their time between New York and the Hamptons. While they didn’t "advertise" their relationship, it was widely known they were a couple. They shared an apartment in the city, a house in the country, and went everywhere as a pair. They ran a successful business, were involved in professional groups, sponsored charities and held witty gatherings over fabulous dinners. And despite all this, the possibility that they could actually marry never even crossed their minds.

As mentors, they had taken on the great responsibility of teaching me and my partner all the essentials of gay life in New York: the clubs, cabarets and bistros; the joys of Stephen Sondheim, Elaine Stritch, and Bobby Short; the secrets of how to wear a suit properly, and of how to throw an enviable dinner party. These two were also the most dedicated and enjoyable couple you’d ever want to meet. Yet they never even considered how marriage might be important to them.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

(MY view) A Few Words From a Real, Live C*cksucking Fag!

by Noah Michelson

It's true: I am a cocksucking fag. In case you're unfamiliar with the phrase, it means I'm a man who finds pleasure in orally stimulating other men's penises.

Recently several (presumably) non-cocksucking straight men have had a lot to say about these terms and whether or not they've ever used them, whether or not they should ever use them and whether or not those terms are (or should be) considered offensive by real, live cocksucking fags like me.

Seeing as I have some practical (humility keeps me from going so far as to say "impressive") experience here, I'd like to clear up a few things for those men and anyone else who might be confused by these terms and/or when they can and should be used:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

(MY View) Coming Out and Finding Happiness!

by Matt Jacobi

There are all kinds of bullying stories. It seems that everyone has a tale to tell, especially if they are gay. In some ways bullying stories are as common to hear as our famous coming-out sagas. Perhaps sharing our story is a way for us to bond together, to relate to each other, to show how far we have come. Are times changing? Are things getting better for kids in schools? Is the world becoming a nicer place where everyone is accepted? I would like to believe so, but there is still a lot of work left to do. There are certain things that we cannot control. Some kids are always going to be mean to others who are different. They may learn how to hate from all sorts of examples in life: parents, grandparents, peers, media, church, etc. What can we do? I think we must continue telling our stories, showing the world that we will not tolerate bullying, educating people that we are not lesser human beings. Our human rights should not differ from the person sitting next to us. With that said, I share with you my own story.

The first time I realized I was different from the other boys was in elementary school. I had no interest in sports. I talked differently: My voice was as high as a kite. I was incredibly scrawny and shy for my age. I gravitated toward hanging out with the girls, not just because I felt more comfortable around them but because I was not accepted by the other guys in my class. I did not have an athletic bone in my body, and I wore big black-framed eyeglasses that covered half my face. I dreaded gym class and despised anything that would mess up my perfectly parted hair. Talking about what girl was the hottest or what my favorite football team was did not interest me, and the guys knew it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

(MY View) Pope Francis Comes Out of the Closet!

by Michelangelo Signorile

It's just stunning to see Pope Francis chastising his own church and its leaders for using Catholic beliefs in a determined drive to discriminate against people. But make no mistake: That's exactly what he did in a new interview, forcefully taking on bishops, cardinals and lay leaders who've often used homophobia and attacks on women as means to raise lots of money and wield political power.

Pointedly criticizing the church for being "obsessed" with gay marriage, contraception and abortion, Francis' comments are a sharp rebuke of prominent American leaders in the church, like Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, who, just a few months ago, issued a bulletin to Catholic parishioners across the United States in which he told them to "pray, fast [and] sacrifice" -- in other words, obsess -- about the Supreme Court's then-impending decision in Edie Windsor's challenge of a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a case that Dolan called "the 'Roe v. Wade' of marriage."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

(MY View) The Global Glory Hole!

by Mark Simpson

I was 16 when saw my first glory hole -- or, rather, saw my first filled glory hole. It was in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, a public-spirited, snobbish spa town well-served by shiny Victorian lavatories. The throbbing, fleshy wall fitting in my tiled cubicle was quite a sight. Glorious, even. Truly an impressive, proud piece of polished plumbing.

Cottaging, or cruising for sex in public lavatories and parks, was once a mainstay of the gay demi-monde. It's easy to see why. When any and all sex between men was still illegal, as it was in the UK before the (partial) decriminalization of 1967, anonymous sex was often the only kind available. It was probably the only sensible kind too, since the more your partner knew about you, the more you left yourself open to blackmail. Thanks to British municipal pride, toilets were everywhere -- and also nowhere: a kind of wordless no man's land where anything might happen. Much like homosexuality.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

(MY View) A Modern March for Newer Dreams!

by Rashad Robinson

In his autobiography Walking With the Wind, John Lewis describes the morning of the 1963 March on Washington. The most prominent civil rights leaders -- Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Lewis and others -- were in meetings at the Capitol and realized that the march had started without them. They watched as tens of thousands of people poured into the streets, seemingly leaderless.

"It was truly awesome, the most incredible thing I'd ever seen in my life," Lewis wrote. "I remember thinking, There goes America. We were supposed to be the leaders of the march, but the march was all around us, already taking off, already gone."

That story has stayed with me for years, because it perfectly illustrates the power of a grassroots movement, that tipping point moment where the will of the people refuses to be contained. The energy Lewis witnessed was a groundswell that led directly to the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and the recently-gutted Voting Rights Act.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

(MY View) What Went Wrong for the 'Ex-Gays' in New Jersey?

by Wayne Besen

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, signed a bill into law this week that bans quacks from practicing a discredited form of "therapy" on minors that seeks to turn them from gay to straight. New Jersey is now the second state in the nation, the first being California, to pass such a law. Massachusetts may become the third, with the legislature's Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons With Disabilities having held a hearing on the issue in July.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

(MY View) A Precedent Is a Precedent... Until It's Not!

by Derek Penwell, (Author; Editor; Speaker; Activist)

Society’s attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity are changing. Inexorably. And even though there’s a historical precedent in Christianity opposing the affirmation of LGBT people, the prospect of such a change shouldn’t trouble Christians. A precedent is a precedent … until it isn’t.

Here’s what I’d like to propose: In Christianity, truth is whatever Christians decline to argue about at any moment.

Stop howling for a moment, and think about it. Such a claim is merely a more rhetorically interesting way of saying:

“I used to think that, but I don’t anymore.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

(MY VIEW) Exodus Is Gone, But the 'Ex-Gay' Message Stubbornly Persists!

by  Wayne Besen

This Week, we bear witness to history. Exodus International -- the world's largest "ex-gay" program -- announced that it is shutting its doors and shuttering its windows. It is no longer promising desperate and vulnerable people that they can "pray away the gay." It is no longer peddling snake oil called reparative therapy. It has ceased destroying families in the name of family values.

This stunning voyage began a year and a half ago. At the Gay Christian Network conference in Orlando, Florida, Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, stepped on stage and did something revolutionary. He looked the crowd in the eyes and he told the truth. Chambers said that 99.9 percent of his clients had not changed their sexual orientation.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

(MY View) A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip!

by Gabby Giffords

SENATORS say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them. 

On Wednesday, a minority of senators gave into fear and blocked common-sense legislation that would have made it harder for criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses to get hold of deadly firearms — a bill that could prevent future tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., and too many communities to count. 

Some of the senators who voted against the background-check amendments have met with grieving parents whose children were murdered at Sandy Hook, in Newtown. Some of the senators who voted no have also looked into my eyes as I talked about my experience being shot in the head at point-blank range in suburban Tucson two years ago, and expressed sympathy for the 18 other people shot besides me, 6 of whom died. These senators have heard from their constituents — who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks. And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

(MY View) We Need to Give Up Transphobia!


Trigger warning: Transphobia. A lot of transphobia.

A month ago my friend Todd Clayton came out as a recovering transphobe in an incisive Huffington Post blog post, "The Queer Community Has to Stop Being Transphobic." In the piece Clayton details his personal journey toward transgender acceptance, explaining how a speech by Matrix co-director Lana Wachowski, an out trans woman, opened his eyes to the quiet bigotry in his own life. Clayton hadn't openly attacked trans people or worked against their freedoms; he was transphobic in ways that a lot of cisgender members of the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities are: insensitive and dismissive, not realizing the ways in which trans lives and struggles intersect with our own.

When he asked me to read the piece, I told him that his experience is common among cisgender people in the LGB community. In fact, I've made a similar journey. I told Todd that if he ever published his piece, I would come out with my own story. This is that story. It's not easy to tell. I've been holding on to it for a while, keeping it secret and safe. But it can't stay secret anymore.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

(MY View) The Never-Ending Hypocrisy of Hiding Behind the Bible on Gay Marriage!

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The longstanding reason for shoving the courts, the federal government and the states into private relations between consenting adults of the same sex is the Bible. There are those two infamous and interminably cited passages in Leviticus -- 18:22 and 20:13 -- that deem a man "lying with" another man "detestable." Then there's Romans 1:26-27, which castigates men for doing "shameful acts" with other men.

According to these passages, the offenders must be put to death. The only fair thing about this is that today, that part is not frequently cited. That would be murder, which bumps up against U.S. law. But the first part is often cited and taken literally. It's written in the Bible, after all. But then why take one passage of the Bible so literally and not others? A little consistency would do much to appease the critics who decry the hypocrisy of cherry-picking passages from the Bible to justify personal hatred of gays or an anti-gay-marriage political agenda.
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