Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Open letter to GLAAD voices anger over elimination of award

After five years of honoring bloggers, GLAAD has decided to do away with the 'Outstanding Blog' category, forcing LGBT grassroots and independent media to compete with larger media sources. Many of us noted bloggers and activists (and more are forthcoming) have signed a letter detailing why we feel this is an egregious error.

This situation is about more than just an award or recognition. This is a terrible example of a larger organization deciding not to acknowledge grassroots activists and journalists who have gone beyond the call of duty to ensure fairness and equality for the lgbt community. And it sends an awful message to future activists and journalists.

An Open Letter to GLAAD Regarding the 2016 Media Awards

We, the undersigned, respectfully but strongly disagree with your decision to remove the category of ‘Outstanding Blog’ from the GLAAD Awards and with your rationalization behind this decision. 

LGBT blogs and independent media play a crucial role in relaying information, providing new and diverse voices, and bringing attention to LGBT issues that have been overlooked and omitted by the mainstream media. Bloggers are the last truly independent voices of lived LGBT experience, and those who undertake this task typically do so without pay or recognition. They don’t grace the cover of magazines. They don’t get book deals. They don’t win Oscars. What they accomplish through their sacrifice of time and energy is the proper dissemination of information which serves to make our community stronger and better educated. 

The ‘Outstanding Blog’ award bestowed by GLAAD was one of the few ways LGBT bloggers has been given their due. The idea that these voices will now have to compete with larger and more powerful news entities such as The New York Times, MSNBC and Buzzfeed is unfair and, frankly, humiliating. The elimination of the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category implies that unless one is a celebrity or affiliated with a publication with a high profile and finances to match, you are held without regard in the LGBT media landscape, or at least as GLAAD sees it. 

It is sadly ironic that GLAAD, an organization which prides itself on lifting up positive LGBT portrayals, has rendered grassroots LGBT voices invisible and unworthy of recognition. While an initial statement from GLAAD explained that bloggers are still welcome to compete with national outlets in other journalism categories, a simple fact speaks for itself: among the 2016 award nominees, there is not a single blog (or community-based LGBT outlet, for that matter) to be found anywhere on the list. The crucial voice of first-person LGBT voices has simply disappeared from the GLAAD Awards. This is a troubling message to send to the general public, to up-and-coming LGBT writers, and to the LGBT community itself. 

In the spirit of a community in which every voice is an asset in our march to full equality, we ask that the ‘Outstanding Blog’ category be fully reinstated immediately. Please conduct a nomination process at once so that this critical error might be rectified before your 2016 awards dinner.  Also, announcing the winner of this category from the stage, unlike in year’s past, would also be a nice touch.


Diane Anderson-Minshall
CEO of Retrograde Communications & Editor in Chief of Plus Magazine

Bil Browning
Founder of The Bilerico Project 
2011, 2012 GLAAD Award Nominee

JD Davids
Managing Editor,

Zack Ford
LGBT Editor,

Michael Hamar
Michael in Norfolk - Coming Out in Mid-Life

Rebecca Juro
Columnist, South Florida Gay News

Mark S. King
2015 GLAAD Award Nominee

Will Kohler

Alvin McEwen
Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
2014, 2015 GLAAD Award Nominee

Noah Michelson
HuffPost Queer Voices

Michael Rogers
Netroots Connect

Dana Rudolph
2012 GLAAD Media Award Winner

Michelangelo Signorile

Pam Spaulding
Pam’s House Blend

Joe Sudbay
Longtime Blogger

Berlin Sylvestre
Editor, OUT FRONT Magazine

Brynn Tannehill
Independent Writer

Daniel Villarreal
Editor in Chief, Unicorn Booty

Ashton P. Woods
Strength in Numbers

Sarah Toce
Founder/Publisher, The Seattle Lesbian

Dana Beyer
Weekly Columnist
Huffpost Queer Voices
Jim Burroway
Box Turtle Bulletin
2015 GLAAD Nominee for Outstanding Blog
2012 GLAAD Nominee for Outstanding Digital Journalism Article
2012 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association Winner for Excellence in Online Journalism

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Franklin Graham's bigotry should not be sugarcoated

Franklin Graham is what's wrong with Christianity

As you may or may not know, Franklin Graham is traveling around the country supposedly calling people to Christ. And the phony news site, One News Now, is giving him all sorts of wonderful press:

Evangelist Franklin Graham is on a bus this year going to all 50 state capitals to preach on the capitol steps. Dr. Ken Barun with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association describes the Decision America Tour.

"It is a campaign for God,” he says. “Franklin has said that right from the beginning. All these people will be out doing campaigns for different candidates, but in this case it's a campaign for God."

 . . . He explains that Graham isn't endorsing any candidates on this tour. "He has said many times he's lost confidence in both parties and there's no candidate who's going to change our country,” Barun explains. “It's going to be God." 

 In it's glowing tribute lovefest, One News Now conveniently omits the ugly comments and positions Graham has taken, including his verbal attacks and generalizations about the Muslim community, including calls to keep Muslim immigrants from out of the country.  And the sad thing is to justify his position, he cited a misleading study from a rabid Islamophobic group. 

And then there is his homophobia. Graham is the classic case of a homophobe who will use his opinion that homosexuality is a sin to justify any and every vicious comment he makes or position he takes about lgbts.

The main thing which sums up Graham's awful beliefs about lgbts is his 2014 verbal support of Russia's anti-gay laws, which serves to persecute lgbts in that country:

 "Putin is right … he has taken a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda,” 

According to Mark Joseph Stern of The Slate, this is what Graham is supporting:

The issue of violence against gays in Russia is, of course, nothing new. Before the passage of the new federal measure, several regional governments passed identical laws, stripping gay citizens of legal rights and human dignity. More than one-half of Russian gays reported psychological abuse, while 16 percent experienced physical assault, and 7 percent were raped. Yet 77 percent also reported complete distrust of the police, leaving most anti-gay crimes unreported.
Putin’s law has only darkened this already bleak picture. By putting the government’s stamp of approval on rampant Russian homophobia, Putin effectively declared open season on gay people. As the Harvard study notes, violence against gays in Russia isn’t considered violence at all; rather, it’s thought of as a way for young males to prove their own heterosexuality—while simultaneously cleansing society of an aberrant, pedophilic community.

So to surmise, Franklin Graham supports distorted generalizations about the Muslim community and countries which persecute lgbts through violence  And regardless of  that, he thinks he is worthy enough to lead people to embrace the religion of Jesus Christ, "the Prince of Peace," without any introspection of the ugly irony he is committing.

I don't know what's worse. Graham's gall or the fact that this country seems to desensitized or taken in that no one is crying foul.

'South Dakota House of Reps pass ugly anti-gay bill' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Monday, February 08, 2016

The sad, sad history of 'straight pride' parades

What you are seeing in the above picture is "history," so to speak. According to Unicorn Booty:

In 2015, Anthony Rebello promised to celebrate heterosexuality by holding a massive straight pride parade in Seattle. He invited thousands of people via Facebook, writing: “In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our right to be heterosexual, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality.”

 . . . The parade was held on July 25, 2015. Rebello clutched a bunch of black and white balloons and a “STRAiGhT Pride” sign made of a ragged chunk of cardboard. Proudly clad in the traditional heterosexual male garb of ill-fitting pants, a rumpled T-shirt and an unflattering hat, Rebello marched on Seattle’s Capitol Hill, alone, and we mean alone—literally no one else joined the parade.

Believe it or not, there have actually been six cases of heterosexuals attempting to initiate "straight" pride parades and flopping miserably. Unicorn Booty has catalogued them all in A Short, Stupid History of Straight Pride Parades.

'Some complain Superbowl halftime show 'promoted' homosexuality' & other Mon. midday news briefs

A Lot Of People Are Angry Thinking The Super Bowl Halftime Show Was 'Promoting Homosexuality' - Seriously, are you kidding me? Youtube has scores of videos featuring football players getting depantsed during plays (and they don't wear underwear), but its the rainbow during the Superbowl halftime show which gets people upset? Not even the basically see-through football pants, but the rainbow during the halftime show. 

 Maine’s Governor Takes A Nasty Swipe At Transgender Kids - Back off, LePage. You've got enough troubles as it is. 

 How Marco Rubio Crusades Against Gays and Women While Still Being Labeled 'Moderate' - Because he lies then plays the victim.

Rubio Faith Staffer Eric Teetsel: Marco Just As Extreme As Ted Cruz - Far be it from me to pile on . . . but I just plain don't like Marco Rubio.  

For gay Republican in N.H., Carly Fiorina ‘sealed the deal’ - Before asking this man "have you lost your ever loving mind," read the article. Carly isn't playing straight (oooh, bad pun) with voters. 

 A Principal Is Getting Praised After Standing Up For Trans Kids - We need more folks like this principal.

How Homophobia Sounds to Normal People

In tribute to all of the so-and so's who claimed that last night's Superbowl halftime show "promoted" homosexuality, I present this old, but very pertinent video called "How Homophobia Sounds to Normal People"

Friday, February 05, 2016

'SC high school transgender student suspended for using bathroom' & other Fri. midday news briefs

Transgender student suspended for using bathroom at SC high school - This ridiculous incident typifies the ignorance and willful fear people have about the transgender community. This young man did everything he was supposed to, but still got suspended. Warning - there are a lot of ignorant folks making comments below the article. 

Robert George does "Poor Us" about as proficiently as anyone - Robert George is not that widely known by our community, but he should be. He attempts to be the "author of our pain" with his many exploits, including co-founding NOM and getting funds for that fraudulent Regnerus study. 

Watch: In Total Flip-Flop, Trump Tells Reporter He Will Advance LGBT Rights. Reporter Is A Lesbian.- That wasn't a simple flip flop. That was a full body gymnastic move worthy of Olga Korbut.  

We Know All We Need To Know To End The HIV Epidemic. Here’s Why It Continues. - Because it's not over.

VIDEO - Being gay and in the military

Buzzfeed has come out with a fascinating video which I think many of us should watch. Sometimes we forget the lgbts who are in the military protecting our freedoms and what they have to deal with, before and after Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It's a wonderful view and as well as a good recollection of lgbt history:

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Flower company ad celebrates the diversity of love, including same-gender love

This commercial is from Telafora, a Los Angeles flower delivery company and it celebrates the diversity of love, including that between gay couples. I would make snarky comments about how it will anger members of the religious right, but to hell with them. Who cares what they think when it comes to matters of love:

'National anti-gay groups attacking transgender students' & other Thur. midday news briefs

Truth meme needs to be spread.

National Conservative Groups Descend On South Dakota To Help Advance Anti-LGBT Bills - Because apparently treating lgbts as second class citizens and preventing transgender children from safely using the bathroom are our new American values. 

Log Cabin leader: GOP aren’t as anti-gay as Dems say - Apparently this guy is taking some goooooood medication. 

 What the religious right is scared to tell you about gay marriage referendums . . . - A shout out for my new undertaking of using internet memes to refute religious right lies. 

 Black Trans Lives Matter, Too - Yes they do.

 Rick Santorum Leaves GOP Race But His Bigoted Legacy Will Remain - One homophobic nut leaves the GOP presidential race, but there are so many others left.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

What the religious right is scared to tell you about gay marriage referendums . . .

Today, I am beginning something new and necessary on my blog. Thanks to the efforts of many folks (myself included), it seems that anti-gay groups are relying less on junk and cherry-picked science and more on basic and anecdotal lies to smear the lgbt community and our right to equality. From time to time, I am going to feature some factual memes which are designed to combat their spin with the truth and get the conversation going. I would love some feedback.

And feel free to steal and place it anywhere:

'Survivors of the 1980s AIDS crisis tell their stories' & other Wed. midday news briefs

Survivors of 1980s AIDS crisis reveal what happened to them - We have a responsibility to see that these folks are NEVER forgotten and a duty to make sure that such a ugly crisis never happens again.

Charlotte tries to ease tensions over LGBT protections - One wonderful way to ease tensions, establish a dialogue and refute all of the religious right myths, especially about the transgender community.  

Indiana gay rights bill is dead: 'We took a beating from all sides' - And deservedly so. NO ONE on either side wanted this bill.  

Ted Cruz Scares Me the Most - Join the club. It's growing immensely.  

Erick Erickson's New Book Warns The "Leftist-Homosexual Mafia Will Shut You Down" - Just a preview of another right-wing book full of lies and anecdotal (and false stories) about gays "persecuting" Christians. They are still working that "gays will force pastors to officiate gay weddings" lie. This is a battle of rhetoric so don't be blase or nonchalant. An unchallenged lie is easier to be taken as truth than a challenged lie.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Franklin Graham & anti-gay hate group rallying to 'save' America

Get a load of THIS mess:

In the nine and a half years I have covered the religious right, they have had more "We have to save America because it's in deep crisis" rallies than I've cared to count.

To paraphrase Rod Serling, according to these folks,  America has been on death's door so many times, we've worn out the welcome mat.

In this particular case, these set of rallies involve Franklin Graham and the anti-gay hate group American Family Association:

AFA is proud to partner with Franklin Graham in encouraging you and your family to attend the Decision America Tour rally in your state. Franklin is traveling to all 50 states in 2016 to hold prayer rallies, to preach the Gospel, and to challenge believers to take a stand and take action. He’ll be urging Christians to vote, to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to His people.

Well isn't that special. Of course my opinion is that any self-respecting Christian wouldn't pray with Franklin Graham. Aside from his teaming with the AFA, Graham himself has been not been necessarily Christian in his rhetoric. Such as:

his consistent approval of laws in Russia which serve to persecute and otherwise victimize the country's lgbts,

his ugly and prejudiced attacks on the entire Muslim community, including a call to ban Muslim immigration ,

or that time when he said gays should be kept away from churches and children,

or when he said God would smite Obama for the marriage equality ruling.

Unfortunately to many of his supporters, none of these things matter because nothing says "I love Jesus" like rallying with a Islamophobic, homophobic pastor reaping off of his father's good name.

 I can just see Graham now. He will be in the middle of a massive throng of gullible believers, arms held up, hands stretched out and eyes closed tight so he can eek out some tears while he soaks up all of the attention like that villain in Poltergeist II when he wouldn't let his followers leave his doomsday cult.

Seems to me that if America is in trouble, it's only because this country has allowed folks like Graham to not only get away with their con, but also anoint them as credible religious leaders to boot.

If anyone planning to attend any of Graham's rallies had sense, they would douse him with holy water and then head for the hills.

'Cruz, Rubio's appeals to blatant homophobia' & other Tue. midday news briefs

Ted Cruz
 Homophobia pushes Ted Cruz to the win in Iowa caucuses - Naaaaw! 

 Ted Cruz's Religious Right Support Carries Him To Iowa Victory - More information on the above point.  

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Have Pledged to Pass This Vile Anti-Gay Law in First 100 Days of Presidency: WATCH - No slouch in the homophobia department, check out the law that Iowa Republican Caucus third placer (and eventually winner Ted Cruz) has vowed to pass within 100 days of either winning the presidency. It ain't pretty. It would allow business and individuals to discriminate against gays under the guise of "religious liberty." 

A simple question someone should ask Marco Rubio about his bigotry - My post from last year reminding folks that Rubio would actively take rights away from same-sex couples and their children while having the temerity to make himself seem like a victim if people called him a bigot for doing it.  

Transgender Police Officer Banned From Workplace Restroom - This is seriously some nonsense!  

Gay Republicans Care More About Democrats Losing Than LGBT Equality - And they wonder why they get hardly any respect in the lgbt community.

'Ted Cruz doesn't care about gay people'

So Ted Cruz won the Iowa Caucus. What does this mean?

Definitely too much analysis by the Beltway media. As far as I'm concerned, it's an appropriate time to remind folks that a Ted Cruz Administration in the White House would be a nightmare for the lgbt community: