Thursday, December 30, 2010

Question of the Week

Which LGBT issue do you most want to see addressed in 2011?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This Week's Quote

A New Year's resolution is something that goes in one Year and out the other.



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Question of the Week

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Week's Quote

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukkah" and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukkah!" or (to the atheists) "Look out for the wall!"

Dave Barry


Monday, December 20, 2010

Hopes for the New Year

As 2010 draws to a close, I'm looking ahead. Here are some of my hopes for the LGBT community in 2011, along with a few predictions.

I hope next year the Pope will reveal a new attitude toward gays. I predict he won't.

Now for a bolder prediction concerning Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has the grinding task of holding together the worldwide Anglican Communion as it convulses over the gay issue.

I think poor Rowan will chuck it all. He'll become a pagan, and periodically be seen frolicking at Stonehenge wearing nothing but a whimsical smile and un-strategically placed flowers.

Moving to another part of the planet, it is my fond hope that the murderous anti-gay bill still pending in Uganda's parliament will be quietly withdrawn. Or loudly withdrawn—I'm not particular.

Now that the frothing homophobe Yuri Luzhkov has lost his job as mayor of Moscow, let's hope that city can finally have an open, legal Pride. Russian LGBT folks need an infusion of freedom. Luzhkov, married to a billionaire, needs a soul, but he'll probably settle for a Piaget watch.

Turning to these shores, I don't want 2011 to bring on a case of As Maine goes, so goes New Hampshire. You know that in 2009 Maine voters shot down the state's same-sex marriage law. Now conservative legislators in New Hampshire are gearing up to repeal gay marriage in the Granite State.

Repeal would be a dagger in the heart of every LGBT person in the state. Plus it could mess with my plans. My partner and I have been considering getting hitched in New Hampshire, my home state. If the legislators kill same-sex marriage, the state will miss out on all the money we planned to spend—on a six-pack and a bag of cheese popcorn.

Regarding the Prop 8 litigation, experts tell us that whatever the outcome in the appellate court, the case won't really be decided until it reaches the U. S. Supreme Court. I'll nonetheless hope for an appellate court victory. I'm not against being bathed in validation.

With DADT on its official way out of Dodge, what can we expect in 2011 from Sen. John McCain, the Obstructer-in-Chief? After fighting with such baffling intensity to keep DADT, McCain's passion, or bile, over the issue of gays in the military will continue. Look for him to chain himself to the Pentagon. Or to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, causing interesting rumors about the two of them.

By the way, if Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is still peeved with Gen. James Amos, head of the Marines Corps, for his public opposition to DADT repeal, I can guess whom Mullen will choose to replace him: Lady Gaga.

If she can wear raw meat from head to toe, she has the stomach for it.

Turning to other performers, country singer Chely Wright and Christian music artist Jennifer Knapp came out this year. Since both hail from genres traditionally unfriendly to gays, I want this fine trend to continue next year. Hey 2011, bring us a reggae artist.

Each year I hope a male pro athlete who's still playing will come out, but so far nobody has obliged me. I hope 2011 will be the year a football, baseball or basketball player does the deed. But I'll happily settle for a hockey player. With or without teeth.

Finally, I hope that next spring I don't have to write another column about a gay teen's fight to attend his or her prom with the appropriate date. If Constance McMillen could triumph in 2010 in small-town Mississippi, no place is safe from prom equality.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Question of the Week

Does "Don we now our gay apparel" speak to you, or do you prefer "Make the Yuletide gay"?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Week's Quote

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.

Lynn Lavner


But Why Was It on the Shelf?

And now a wee update.

Harvard has determined that the three dozen LGBT library books ruined by urine (see below) was not an act of vandalism. Instead, a Lamont Library staffer accidentally spilled a bottle of urine he or she found on the shelf.

Hate crime, no. Hygiene crime, yes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tinkling Their Dislike

At Lamont Library on the campus of Harvard University, some 40 LGBT books were recently vandalized with urine.

Somebody had a whiz of an opinion to express.

The Crimson reported that library staffers found next to the ruined books an empty bottle, which may have contained the urine.

Think about the trouble somebody seems to have gone to: peeing repeatedly in a bottle, smuggling the bottle into the library, and waiting until the coast was clear to pour out the contents.

This person was on a mission. Either from God or a urologist.

Since the books were LGBT, the Harvard University Police Department is treating the incident as a bias crime.

Of course, the perpetrator could simply have been a student looking to get out of some reading. The student doesn't hate gays, just homework.

That's my fantasy, and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Parents and LGBT Youth

If you're concerned about the well-publicized plight of LGBT youth, here are a couple of items from that are more hope than mope.

The first is an account of a new study that for the first time clearly demonstrates that LGBT kids with accepting families have better emotional health.

"The study shows that specific parental and caregiver behaviors – like standing up for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity or supporting their gender expression – help to prevent depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in early adulthood."

In other words, huzzah for parents who defend rather than offend.

The other item is a first-person piece called "I am a Marine; My Son Liked Dolls. What Happened Next."

Admit it: You want to know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This Week's Quote

Behind every cloud is another cloud.

Judy Garland


Monday, December 6, 2010

Winging Their Way to Gayness

Scientists in Florida have discovered that when male white ibises eat too much mercury, they turn gay.

Don't blame an overbearing ibis mother. Blame the metal.

Suspicious that mercury had led to lower breeding levels among the wading birds, researchers fed groups of ibises varying levels of mercury over three years. The results shocked the stuffing out of the scientists.

The higher the mercury dose, the more likely a bird was to sing show tunes.

These new Friends of Dorothy "pretty much did everything except lay eggs," said study leader Peter Frederick to The Miami Herald. "They built nests, they copulated, they sat in the nests together."

They went to a lesbian flamingo therapist when no egg appeared.

Male ibises with any mercury intake were more reticent to perform ritual courtship displays, causing numbers of female ibises to cry together over Cosmopolitans.

In the high-mercury birds, reproduction plunged 35 percent. Complaints from wannabe grandparents soared 65 percent.

The mercury levels in the experiment mirrored those found in the birds' natural wetland habitats. Frederick, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Florida, told "the implication is that this is probably happening in wild bird populations."

Which means the wilderness is getting wilder.

Not a good thing, in this case. These beautiful, long-billed birds are being poisoned into gayness. In wild populations of ibis with no mercury exposure, same-sex pairings don't occur.

Well, it probably happens once in a while, when the tequila is plentiful and the birds are bi-curious, but not as a rule.

We should go with what nature intended. Let's keep the ibises straight and the people gay!

In south Florida, mercury leeched into the Everglades for years, mainly from the burning of municipal and medical waste. Frederick said, "Most mercury sources are local rather than global—local enough that we can do something about it, such as installing scrubbers on smoke stacks. Ecosystems respond very quickly to regulatory action when it comes to mercury."

But how will the birds respond? If their diet is cleaned up, will they revert to being straight? If they need a little help, then by George, we might've found an actual use for ex-gay groups. Ex-gay leaders can take ibises under their wing and lead them back to heterosexuality. The success rate can only be higher than it is with people.

Speaking of people, Frederick frets that "people will read this and immediately jump to the conclusion that humans eating mercury are going to be gay. I want to be very explicit that this study has nothing to say about that."

Doubtless some parents have nonetheless purged their larder of tuna fish, tossed the thermometer, and made a date at the dentist's to convert all of Junior's mercury fillings.

And if they hadn't already banned from the house the music of Freddie Mercury, they have now.

Frederick also said that what's true for ibises isn't necessarily true for other species, even other bird species. So jump to no conclusions about a couple of male green herons that adore each other's company. Make no assumptions about the two roseate spoonbills with a passion for pomegranate martinis.

The turtles that hide during mating season are simply shy. And the alligators that agree they'd make lovely boots are just metrosexual.

I visited south Florida this past year, and I watched ibises. I admit to my shame that I didn't notice any gay goings-on. This is probably because I can't tell males from females.

I needed obvious indicators of homosexuality. Now, had two canoodling birds sported Prada shoes, I would've caught on.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Telling the Truth

Check out this Illinois state senator telling it like it is during the civil unions debate. Some senators must've squirmed in their seats like first-graders waiting for recess.

Question of the Week

What is your reaction to Illinois green-lighting civil unions?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What's the Right Greeting?

It's World AIDS Day. Since this isn't a day of celebration, what's the appropriate greeting on this day? If someone offered me a cheery "Happy World AIDS Day," I'd think he was still in a Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.

Maybe a more appropriate greeting would be, "It's World AIDS Day and I've been tested." Or, "Let's hope this is the last World AIDS Day." Or, "I'll show you my status if you'll show me yours."