Friday, August 24, 2012

Know Your LGBT History - The Dynamic Superiors

The one thing I love about learning gay history is finding out about hidden figures, such as the Dynamic Superiors - one of the first soul groups with an openly gay lead singer:

The Dynamic Superiors
Joining forces in Washington, DC, in 1963, Tony Washington, George Spann, George Wesley Peterbank Jnr., Michael McCalpin and Maurice Washington had to wait a decade to win a recording contract. Motown Records president Ewart Abner saw them performing at a talent show in Atlanta, Georgia, and signed them to the label in 1974. They were teamed with the Ashford And Simpson writing and production team, and their debut album was a collection of romantic soul ballads that produced two hits, "Shoe Shoe Shine" and "Leave It Alone'. Their second album, Pure Pleasure, added a disco feel to the Superiors" sound, and spawned two further chart entries. In 1977, the group enjoyed some success with a disco rearrangement of the Martha And The Vandellas' hit, "Nowhere To Run", but they subsequently left Motown, and attempts to secure a major label recording contract elsewhere proved unsuccessful.

Two years later they got their big break when they were discovered Motown executive Ewart Abner at a 1972 dj convention in Atlanta and signed to the label. It apparently took Motown management awhile to figure out how to deal with the group, eventually teaming them with the writing and production team of Nikolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. To Motown's credit the label made no attempt to hide lead singer Tony Washington's openly gay lifestyle – a fact underscored by one quick look at "The Dynamic Superiors" cover art. Not that it mattered … Washington may have worn false eye lashes, rouge, lipstick, and occasionally performed in drag, but he had a killer voice. On tracks like 'Shoe Shine Shine' and 'Star of My Life' he was more than capable of hitting high notes a-la Russell Tompkins Jr.. At the other end of the spectrum Washington's falsetto was nicely offset by tenors Peterbark Jr and Spann.

According to Wikipedia, Washington passed away from AIDS. However,  the group is still going strong. Check out their webpage.

Past Know Your LGBT History posts:

'Religious right attacks GLSEN because of 'phased out' material' and other Friday midday news briefs

Focus On The Family Accuses GLSEN Of Promoting ‘Sexual Anarchy’ And ‘Sexual Chaos’ - The religious right is attacking the GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network) again. This time it's Focus on the Family attacking the organization with a phased out book. Almost every time a religious right group attacks GLSEN, the religious right group winds up slinking back with its tail between its legs. The last time, it was the Family Research Council. I guess Focus on the Family wants a turn on the Wheel of Embarrassment.

Video: WND's Mitchell links gays, 'the left' to violence; encourages conservatives to obtain concealed weapons - Oh great. World Net Daily's Molotov Mitchell has crawled out of his hole. For those who are not aware of this guy, Mitchell once cited Martin Luther King, Jr. in a defense of that Ugandan law which would put gays to death. That should give you a good impression of this guy.

  Candidate said he spent long time contemplating issue before changing his opinion - A Pennsylvania candidate for Congress finally support marriage equality.

 Rev. Irene Monroe: Nothing new in GOP’s anti-woman, anti-gay platform - Every four years, it's the same thing. 

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AFA and FRC - enough religious right lies to shake a stick at

This morning, I am overwhelmed with religious right lies. Last night, I was contemplating what to write and was struck by the enormity of what I had to choose, so I am going to hit it with briefs:

AFA claims that its boycott of Home Depot is working

Yesterday, I got an email from the American Family Association which claimed that its boycott of Home Depot is working. AFA, you remember, is angry that Home Depot supports the gay community and maintains a presence at pride parades.

According to AFA:

AFA was recently contacted by a Home Depot employee who says the boycott of Home Depot is being effective. "We have customers who come into our store and confront our store managers over the HD's support of Gay pride. The AFA is having an effect on HD."

She also shared that many employees disagree with the company's pro-gay-marriage stand. In June, a "Gay Pride Month" poster was put up in her breakroom. "HD is as committed as ever to the changing of laws in favor of same sex marriage.They had absolutely no empathy for those employees who voiced offense with the display. This was mandated by corporate directive. Therefore the display was torn down at least 2 times."

An anonymous employee? Sure. And I am Paris Hilton with a good tan and a stunning personal trainer.

The Family Research Council gets a bit of help that it doesn't need

The Family Research Council got some positive pushback a few days ago against the Southern Poverty Law Center.

An editorial in Investor's Daily Business (IBD) defended FRC from charges that it is a hate group. However, unlike those who have said that the lies FRC says about the gay community isn't enough to label it a hate group, IBD stopped a bit lower:

On Tuesday, the Human Rights Campaign put on its blog a piece titled, "Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group's Annual Conference," referring to the FRC.

It said that the "FRC has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. It's a group that has advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality, called for LGBT people to be exported from the U.S., and has pushed dangerous lies trying to link being gay to pedophilia."

The FRC has done none of those things but that didn't stop the Daily Kos from vilifying the FRC for its support of Chick-fil-A . . .

You read this right. According to the IBD, the Family Research Council never advocated for the criminalization of homosexuality:

According to the IBD, the Family Research Council never called for gays to be exported out of the United States:

And according to the IBD, the Family Research Council never pushed dangerous lies trying to link being gay to pedophilia:

"We believe the evidence shows … that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men."
— Peter Sprigg, "Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views." 2011.

“Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.”
— Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999

“One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets' of a new sexual order.”
-1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.

“[T]he evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners.”
— Timothy Dailey, senior research fellow, “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” 2002

“While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”
— FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

If IBD is making this claim about FRC when the opposite is true, that would mean that the editorial it wrote was shoddy because the author obviously didn't spend enough time on getting the facts rather than pushing a false line that FRC is a victim.

You tell me.

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