Friday, April 29, 2011

South African Horror

It appears that another South African lesbian has been raped and murdered.

A black lesbian in that country is about as safe as a transgender woman in this country.

The South African Web site Queerlife said 24-year-old Noxolo Nogwaza was found dead in an alley in Kwa-Thema township on Easter Sunday. A member of the local LGBT group, her "face was so badly beaten that she was unrecognizable. Her body had been stabbed all over with glass shards and an empty bottle and used condom were also reportedly found in her genitals."

Not exactly your usual Easter celebration.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Question of the Week

Have you watched the appalling video of a transgender woman being beaten inside a Maryland McDonald's?

She's Baaaack

Sally Kern, the notoriously homophobic state legislator from Oklahoma, yesterday proved she's a "big-tent" Republican, which in her case means she's willing to hate everyone.

During a debate on Affirmative Action, the Tulsa World reported, Kern said minorities make less money than whites because they're short on initiative and decline to work as hard.

She said, “We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”

African-Americans, gays, Muslims—this tent is getting crowded.

Kern also turned on her own, saying women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”

Discrimination has nothing to do with income disparity, and into the tent with you.

"I want to humbly apologize for my statements last night about African Americans and women," Kern said today in a written statement. "I believe that our government should not provide preferences based on race or gender. I misspoke while trying to convey that point last night during debate.

"Women are some of the hardest workers in the world. My husband is a pastor of a diverse inner-city church, and the way my words came out last night is certainly not my true spirit."

Sure, I believe that. Like I believe Oklahoma abuts the Pacific Ocean.

The Oklahoma House, by the way, signed off on eliminating Affirmative Action in state government. At the same time that Sally Kern was so ably proving that discrimination is alive and well and downright frisky in the Sooner State.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Huh?

Pat Robertson makes my head hurt.

On a recent episode of "The 700 Club," the Christian broadcaster told co-host Terry Meeuwsen that President Obama supports Planned Parenthood because of the Left's "culture of death."

Robertson said he didn't want to get into "all this psychological stuff but nevertheless, if a woman is a lesbian, what advantage does she have over a married woman? Or what deficiency does she have?"

Meeuwsen replied, "Well she can't have children."

Responded Robertson, "That’s exactly right. And so if these married women don’t have children, if they abort their babies, then that kind of puts them on a level playing field."

Oh. My. God.

Robertson believes liberals want straight women to have abortions so lesbians will achieve equality.

The next time I hear him speak my synapses will simply refuse to fire.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This Week's Quote

I'm used to being in the minority. I'm a left-handed gay Jew.

Barney Frank

Source: brainyquote.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Karger Has a Shot

If you haven't heard of Fred Karger, you have an awful lot of company.

Karger is a retired political consultant from California. He's also a gay activist, and he's running for the presidency. As a Republican.

Clearly this is a fellow who fancies adventure.

Does he stand more than a Popsicle's chance in hell? Yes, actually. Karger, the first openly gay Republican presidential candidate, could win his party's nomination under certain circumstances.

Every other candidate has to drop out.

It could happen. The acknowledged candidates, the possible candidates, and the waiting-till-later-to-make-a-grand-entrance candidates could all find themselves out of the campaign for one reason or another.

Newt Gingrich, for instance, who converted to Catholicism in 2009, might decide he'd rather run for pope.

Don't scoff. As a serial adulterer who trumpeted family values, he's got a leg up on finessing hypocrisy, which comes in handy in Rome from time to time.

One of the Republican frontrunners, Mitt Romney, could similarly decide he'd prefer to head up his Mormon church. But I think it more likely he'll leave the presidential field after he and Texas Gov. Rick Perry get in a shouting match over who has better hair.

Tea partiers already harbor reservations about former mega-lobbyist and Washington power broker Haley Barbour, currently the governor of Mississippi. In February Barbour flew to Washington in a luxury jet paid for by Mississippi taxpayers to deliver a speech on the need to cut costs.

When he takes that jet to a Tea Party rally, he'll be pelted with Lipton and lose all fondness for caffeinated tea, and all fondness for caffeinated campaigning.

Jeb Bush has denied he'll run in 2012. I think he will run, and then inexplicably start speaking like his brother. After saying in a debate something like, "I believe the American people are embettered for our alien rights, and other nations should immolate us," he'll check into a speech facility.

Sarah Palin could meet a wolf that shoots back.

Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, is described as nice and oh-so bland. Hence it isn't hard for me to imagine him disappearing from the race. He might still be in it, but we just won't be able to see him.

In March Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana proposed Republicans call a truce on social issues. Daniels holds socially conservative views, but believes the budget is too pressing to get sidetracked.

Speaking of tracks, social conservatives will see that he gets tied to them.

Lately Mike Huckabee has been feuding with fellow Fox host Glenn Beck. This prompts me to picture a campaign-busting scenario where Huckabee tells a reporter, "I still don't believe in evolution, but I'm convinced Glenn Beck was sired by monkeys."

Jon Huntsman has resigned his position as President Obama's ambassador to China. The fact that he worked for Obama means GOP primary voters would sooner choose Pee Wee Herman.

Donald Trump's nomination-flirtation will end when it's uncovered that he was born in Haiti.

Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, John Thune, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton—for a variety of reasons, they all could drop out or be booted out of the Republican campaign.

Fred Karger might be the last man standing, in which case the nomination will be his. The Republican forces will be led into battle by an openly gay man who five years ago campaigned to save the Boom Boom Room, a historic gay club in Laguna Beach.

Diehard Republicans won't find this part of his resume inspiring. But if he's all they have, they'll learn to live with it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Question of the Week

Which straight person do you most admire?

Masculinity Camp

In Malaysia, 66 Muslim boys have been shipped off to a four-day camp where they will be instructed in masculine behavior so they won't turn out gay.

I didn't make this up. I'm good, but not that good.

Identified by their teachers in Terengganu state as effeminate, the boys range in age from 13 to 17. The Associated Press reported the poor kids "will undergo religious and motivational classes and physical guidance."

Physical guidance. I'm picturing an instructor standing by with a switch to knock out any swish.

The camp's purpose is "to guide them back to the right path in life before they reach a point of no return," said Razali Daud, the state's education director. "Such effeminate behavior is unnatural and will affect their studies and their future."

Imagine the shame these boys are feeling, knowing they don't cut the masculine mustard. The straight ones, when they grow up, will have reason to be homophobic. The gay ones are learning they're pariahs.

On the other hand, some of the gay boys might be grateful the state has put all this boyfriend material in one room.

Daud claimed the boys were "invited" to the camp, not forced to attend. After the camp concludes, parents and teachers will keep coaching them.

“It is not an overnight cure,” Daud said. “We can’t force the boys to change, but we want them to know what their choices are in life. Some effeminate boys end up as a transvestite or a homosexual, but we want to do our best to limit this.”

Daud's "best" is the worst, as some are now pointing out, according to CNN. Amnesty International criticized the boot camp and the fact that homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia.

Sarah Palin criticized Malaysia for not being visible from her house. Okay, that one I did make up.

Malaysia's Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil said camps like this one should be abolished.

"The experience of being singled out on the basis of perceived characteristics is an extremely traumatizing experience, in particular for adolescent teens. Such profiling has potentially serious psychological repercussions and could harm the development and mental health of the children, as it exposes them to prejudices among their peers and members of their family and community," she said.

I wish those 66 boys could have her as a counselor.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Week's Quote

The real story is that Richard Burton and I are in love, and Elizabeth Taylor is being used as our cover-up.

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz on the set of "Cleopatra"

Source: The Man in Lincoln's Nose

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yes on "Question 1"

I can't wait to see "Question 1," a documentary about the sadly successful fight to repeal Maine's same-sex marriage law. The filmmakers got permission from both sides in 2009 to shoot the campaign up close and personal.

It's not that I want to re-experience our loss. Masochism has never done it for me.

The film humanizes both camps, and according to Bill Nemitz, columnist for The Portland Press Herald, one major player "could well steal the show" for revealing his doubts about the way the anti-gay-marriage crusade was conducted.

Marc Mutty, chairman of the anti-gay Yes on 1 campaign, had a conscience. Talk about a handicap.

In a strategy session during the contest, Mutty notes, "You know, we say things like 'Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!' Well, that's not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn't, you know?"

Elsewhere he hopes "for forgiveness for the ways in which I might have betrayed my own self in this endeavor."

Undoubtedly Mutty's priest has absolved him for betraying himself. For betraying Maine's gay citizens, well, forgiveness is trickier. Perhaps ten mea culpas and an appearance at Portland Pride will do it.

"Question 1," from filmmakers Joe Fox and James Nubile, probably won't be out until fall. For now you can check out the trailer as well as additional video on the movie's Facebook page.

Warning: Scenes of graphic frustration as people are returned to second-class status.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Listening to the Verizon Guy

The Verizon Guy is gay. Not a shock, but good to know.

Paul Marcarelli, the cell-phone company's iconic pitchman since 2001, will have a more limited role with Verizon, and now feels freer to talk openly.

In other words, we can hear him now.

Marcarelli told The Atlantic that five years ago teenagers in an SUV began driving past his home in Guilford, Conn., at night yelling, "Can you hear me now?" Later "they started screaming 'faggot' up at my house. It got progressively more profane as the years went by."

I've never been to Guilford, but I'm sure it offers better things to do. I hope it does.

One night when another drive-by happened, Marcarelli called the cops. But fretting over the possible publicity, and the uncomfortable questions if Test Man was revealed to be gay, he chose not to file a report.

Discretion was the better part of income.

Now the man behind the horn-rims is focused on "The Green," a gay-themed movie he wrote and co-produced, currently being considered by film festivals.

It appears we'll be hearing more from him. Loud, clear and out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Question of the Week

Do you think any of the Seven Dwarfs (Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy) were gay?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Tango" to the Top

The American Library Association (ALA) released its Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010.

Breathe easy, American gaydom: "And Tango Makes Three" has regained its place at the top of the list. Whew.

The children's book, the true story of two male Emperor Penguins who hatch a baby at New York's Central Park Zoo, was the most challenged book in the nation in 2006, 2007 and 2008. But it slipped to second place in 2009.

That would never do. We have standards to maintain.

The ALA reported "dozens of attempts" to remove the book, written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, from school and public libraries. The objectors cited "homosexuality," "religious viewpoint" and "unsuited for age group."

Their fear vaulted us back to the top. We are number one, hey! We are number one, hey!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Week's Quote

The overly enthusiastic heterosexual fans of Elvis Presley and "Star Trek" are definitely big queens in the exact same way as the over-enthusiastic homosexual fans of Judy Garland and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Bob Smith

Source: Openly Bob

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chests Out, Slogans On

In my last column I discussed the role T-shirts with slogans play in the battle over gay rights. It occurred to me, aside from the T-shirts I've read about that have caused ruckuses in schools and elsewhere, I don't know what kinds of pro-gay and anti-gay T-shirts are available these days.

Like a size XS T-shirt, ignorance doesn't look good on me.

So I'm on the hunt. For snappy and snippy slogans.

I googled "gay T-shirts" and landed on Zazzle.com, whose shirts for women include "I used to be a tomboy, but now I'm a full-grown lesbian."

I want it. I want it now.

I'm less inclined to wear the shirt that reads "Vagitarian: One whose sexual diet consists exclusively of vagina." I'd have a hard time looking anyone in the eye while wearing that. Even at Pride.

Were I bisexual, I couldn't handle the shirt featuring a rooster and a cat, and below them the words "I'll take both." Yup, a cock and a pussy. My face would display shades of red heretofore unknown.

By contrast, I'd be happy to sport "God hates shellfish." Then I could call out religious hypocrisy and wear it, too.

The motto of the gay-owned company Queer Republic Tees is "Not your typical, lame-ass rainbow crap." Hence the shirt for guys reading "Trick-o-matic. Just add booze."

One of the offerings for women says "Save a tree . . . eat a beaver." Hmm, maybe I could pull that one off. I am environmentally minded.

After the last column ran, I heard from BMP T-Shirts, also gay-owned, whose options include a shirt featuring a rental truck labeled "She-Haul." The punch line is "The second-date vehicle of choice."

I have no idea what that refers to.

At Cafepress.com, a T-shirt sports a small guy in a sailor outfit and the words "Who's ready for a little seaman?" For lesbians who also like, um, maritime themes, there's a shirt with a female scuba diver and the slogan "Dykesville Divers: We don't come up for air."

I'm drawn to "Pink sheep of the family" and "Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs." If I had a toddler, he or she would be clad in "My mom is a Dykosaurus rex."

Now for the other side of the culture war. I typed in "anti-gay T-shirts" at Cafepress, and sure enough, they sell those too, just not as many and the slogans are less than inspired. "Diversity sucks" opines one shirt; "Be happy, not gay" suggests another.

One of the more clever offerings says "Celebrate diversity: Marry someone of the opposite gender." The male and female symbols and the cross are included. A person so inclined can buy this design on a T-shirt, tank top, hoodie, mug and Christmas stocking. Ho ho ho.

I googled "anti-gay T-shirts" and wound up where I started, at Zazzle. There—among options like "Obama makes me puke" and "Global Warming. Bullcrap"—was a shirt reading "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Leviticus 18:22."

A bit wordy for a slogan. Someone should chat with the author about that.

At the same time, Zazzle sells a T-shirt that points out "Leviticus also said no hair cuts, but I guess we are skipping that."

Zazzle is covering its rear by covering everyone's chest. Pro-gay, anti-gay, the money's the same.

Why are the anti-gay slogans flat? Is it accurate what we like to say about ourselves, that we're more creative? Or does truth offer better material with which to work?

I could help the other side get snappier. But Leviticus clearly says, "Thou shalt not be an idiot."

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Best Worst Decision

Yesterday the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down an initiative voters approved in 2008 that barred gay couples and other unmarried people living together from being adoptive or foster parents.

The Arkansas Family Council reacted, "This is the worst decision ever handed down by the Arkansas Supreme Court.”

Now that's what I call an honor.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mammary Madness

In Paul Gauguin's painting, "Two Tahitian Women," one woman is bare-breasted while the other has one breast exposed. That was three naked boobs too many for Susan Burns of Alexandria, Va., who attacked the painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., on April Fool's Day.

The Washington Post reported Burns tried to pull the painting off the wall while screaming, "This is evil," and hit the plexiglass-protected masterpiece with her fist. The painting wasn't damaged.

It's valued at $80 million. Perhaps Burns assaults only the best.

She had this to say to an investigator: “I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.”

It appears the sight of half-naked women switched on a madness already in place. Hence I'm resisting the impulse to make a crack about the cranial radio.

What's clear is Burns lumped together evil, nudity and lesbianism. That doesn't require madness—but it helps.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This Week's Quote

I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.

Jane Wagner

Source: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gay in Riverdale

Kevin Keller came out. Now he's stepping out.

The first gay Archie Comics character, Kevin debuted last year in Veronica No. 202. The issue was so popular the publisher produced a second printing for the first time ever.

I'm curious whether Kevin hit it off with the comic book's usual fans, or his addition brought in a new crop of gay followers, some old enough to remember when Jughead ate his first hamburger.

Archie Comics now intends to devote a four-issue miniseries to Kevin. It's due out in June. Pride month. Coincidence?

Dan Parent, who's writing and drawing the series, told The Associated Press, "We address his coming-out and, while the story may be somewhat serious in tone in places, it's still entertaining and funny, since those are always a staple of a good 'Archie' story."

Readers will learn about Kevin's growing up as an Army brat and the strong bond he has with his father. The series will also focus on his friendships at Riverdale High.

I didn't see the first issue, and while it sounds like the creators want to make Kevin distinctly unstereotypical, I wouldn't be surprised if he and Veronica raid every boutique in Riverdale together.

Parent said, "I think as time marches on, gay characters in comics will become more commonplace and it won't be a big media event every time a gay character is introduced."

Thanks to the addition of Kevin Keller, that day is closer. Good work, Archie Comics. I wish I could lift a milkshake to you at Pop Tate's Chocklit Shoppe.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1

It's been one heckuva day around the globe.

April 1 marked the 10th anniversary of gay marriage in the Netherlands. To celebrate, everyone in Holland went gay for a day.

"This will be interesting," said Amsterdam banker Marten van Gouda. "I have no idea how to flirt with a man."

In Washington, D.C., Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts announced he was defecting to Utah. "They need me. They need me bad," Frank said.

Fred Phelps, head of the virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, shocked his congregation by coming out. He said he intends to devote all his energies to wooing Ted Haggard.

In celebrity news, Elton John bought his infant son a small nation.