Friday, October 21, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - A Cage Without A Key

The 1975 made-for-television movie Cage Without A Key is a juvenile prison picture with a twist.

Susan Dey portrays a young woman who is thrown into reform school after being tricked into committing a robbery. Of course the story is about her trials and tribulations in reform school, complete with the requisite evil prison lesbians. However one character did stand out.

Vastly underrated actress Jonelle Allen (this woman should have gotten more roles because she was awesome) portrays Tommy, another prisoner who is also a lesbian, but becomes Dey's friend and savior.

Wikipedia said the following about her character:
Media researcher Steven Capsuto cites the character of Tommy as probably the earliest well-developed gay teen character on television, as well as the first well-developed non-white gay character.

And of course you know that means, don't you? Allen's character is not long for this world. In fact, she dies saving Dey in the middle of a brawl at the end of the film as the following scene shows (starting at 10:10):

Past Know Your LGBT Posts: .

'NoMoreDownLow.TV celebrates its first anniversary' and other Friday midday news briefs

The Down Low Made Me Do It! - NoMoreDownLow.TV. celebrates first anniversary.

Nigeria seeks to strengthen anti-gay laws - Well this sucks!

Marine Commandant Says He’s ‘Fine’ With Gay Marines Bringing Their Partners To Marine Corps Ball - That ought to make Elaine Donnelly squawk.

15 Inspiring LGBT Religious Leaders - These faith leaders need to be commended for proving that the lgbtq identity and religious faith are NOT necessarily in separate camps.

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Study - same-sex families are growing at a wide rate

To hear some members of the religious right talk, any progress of lgbtq equality is the result of a nefarious plan to supposedly "indoctrinate" folks.

However as the following snippet of an Associated Press article proves, there are no evil plans, just the steady flow of progress:

The number of gays and lesbians adopting children has nearly tripled in the last decade despite discriminatory rules in many states, according to an analysis of recent population trends.

"It's a stratospheric increase. It's like going from zero to 60," said Miami attorney Elizabeth Schwartz, who has coordinated more than 100 adoptions for gay and lesbian families in the last year. "I think many really dreamed of doing this but it wasn't something they ever thought would become a reality."

About 21,740 same-sex couples had adopted children in 2009, up from 6,477 in 2000, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. About 32,571 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2009, up from 8,310 in 2000. The figures are an analysis of newly released Census Bureau estimates.

The New York-based Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a report Thursday culminating a four-year project surveying 158 gay and lesbian parents and their experience with the adoption process. Their researchers found the highest number of homosexuals adopted children from Massachusetts, California, New York and Texas.

Several states specifically prohibit same-sex couples from adopting jointly, while others have a patchwork of discriminatory policies that make it difficult for gays and lesbians to adopt either as individuals or as couples. But some states have eased restrictions on gay families.

No doubt the religious right will step gingerly around this issue. "Same-sex households are untested social experiments," they will say. "The true effects of these households have not been seen."

It's all a bunch of poppycock.

The point is clear. These families illustrate the point that when it comes to same-sex household and the gay community in general, we are not talking about hypothetics or abstract concepts.

Same-sex households encompass real people with real families - just like every other normal American family. And whether folks like it or not - be it a teacher who attacks a gay display at her place of employment or marriage clerks who refuse to do their elected duties - there is going to have to be some acknowledgement AND respect of these families.

All of the talking points in the world aren't going to change that.

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