Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vote Gay: Maryland

Mary Washington
Candidate for Maryland State Delegate, District 43

Mary could become just the second openly lesbian Black-American state legislator in the country if she wins this race for the Maryland House of Delegates—the lower house of the state legislature.

Since earning her Ph.D. in 1997, Mary has used her skills to lead programs that hold public officials accountable and help city residents get the resources they need. She works as an associate director of one of the nation’s largest urban environmental groups and serves on the Baltimore Sustainability Commission, the Baltimore Green Jobs Coalition and the Democratic State Central Committee. She has also served as the first director of Baltimore’s HousingStat program and as president of her community association and she continues to play a leading role in a number of important civic projects.

Her record of achievement and her progressive ideas for the state’s future have won Mary’s campaign the support of leading civil rights, labor and environmental groups across the state including Equality Maryland, the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, the Maryland State Education Association, Progressive Maryland, NARAL Pro-choice Maryland, the Democratic Women’s PAC of Maryland, The Sierra Club and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

For more info on LGBTQ candidates running in Maryland, please visit the Victory Fund.

Vote Gay: Colorado

Lucia Guzman
Candidate for Colorado State Senator, District 34

As a pastor and as a public servant, Lucía Guzmán knows how to listen. Whether she’s talking to families about Denver’s education needs or discussing issues with one of her congregations, Lucía’s ability to communicate with the people she represents indicates the effectiveness with which she will represent her constituents as a member of the Colorado State Senate.

Born to farm workers, Lucía knows the value of a good education and has received master’s degrees in divinity as well as health and behavioral sciences. She has served in several leadership roles pertaining to education, including two terms on the Denver School Board. During her time on the school board, Lucía successfully fought to establish Ana Maria Sandoval – the district’s only dual language Montessori program – as well as the first K-8 school in northwest Denver.

Lucía is a staunch advocate for revitalizing Colorado’s public education system.

For more info on LGBTQ candidates running in Colorado, please visit the Victory Fund.

Vote Gay: Texas

Rosa Gonzalez
Candidate for 436th Judicial District Court Judge, Bexar County

Rosa Gonzalez knows the system and she knows the law. She has real life experience working on solutions and projects to improve the lives of many. With your help, her life experience can play an integral part in ensuring that her community is safe, that children in the juvenile system have an opportunity at rehabilitation and that restitution is afforded to victims within the Juvenile Courts system.

Rosa wants to make sure that families and children that come before her court have a voice.

She attended St. Mary's University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and later her law degree. For most of her adult life, she has worked diligently for the betterment of families and children.

For more info on LGBTQ candidates running in Texas, please visit the Victory Fund.

Vote Gay: Georgia

Simone Bell
Candidate for Georgia State Representative, District 58

In December of 2009, Simone Bell made history by winning a seat in the Georgia state House of Representatives, making her the first openly lesbian Black-American to win a seat in a state legislature.

Since she won a special election, however, Simone will need to hang on to that seat for a full term in order to have time to fight for the causes she believes in, including access to affordable healthcare, fighting HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination, safe schools for all children and LGBT equality. Since Simone represents areas of Atlanta with a high concentration of LGBT residents, she will be unafraid to speak up on the House floor.

Simone’s tireless community activism and policy expertise earned her the support of a variety of local politicians, including Georgia state Rep. Margaret Kaiser.

Joan Garner
Candidate for Fulton County Commissioner
As an ambassador, advocate and agent for change, Joan P. Garner has been on the leading edge of social justice activism for most of her life. Whether working to raise public awareness of gay and lesbian rights, or raising funds for AIDS legislation, she is a passionate champion for human rights.

She’s been a Fulton County resident since the 1970s, where she helped revitalize and preserve the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic District.

Now Joan hopes to bring her passion and experience to bear as a member of the Fulton County Commission, which has never had an out member.

 For more info on LGBTQ candidates running in Georgia, please visit the Victory Fund.

Girlz Party

Bored? Go to Girlz Party and find something to do.

Already got something (fun) to do? Then, go to Girlz Party and let people know what's good.

And we'll continue this cycle for the good of all lesbian-kind.

Let's Talk about Sex

Most people who have sex like sex. And if you are having sex and don't like it, you may be doing it wrong. Just saying. But since we're on the subject, I have something very important to tell you about: Good Vibes. When I first started exploring the toy aspect of my sex life, or rather when I first started exploring whether I wanted a toy aspect, I turned to Smitten Kitten. I found the name and website approachable. And because they made my foray into lesbo sex toys so smooth and unobtrusive, I repay them with the greatest gift I can give--loyalty. And just let me say this: first time sex shop experiences for semi-ex-Catholics is much less traumatizing than the first visit to the gynecologist. Back to online sex shops... 

I've realized that it's time for the Smitten Kitten to share some love, and let Good Vibes into my life for one reason and one reason only: they allow customers to purchase porn podcasts for a third of the price of buying a DVD. And so that thing that's been on my mind for months now (that whole explore the real lesbian porn scene thing to see if I actually don't like it or just needed to see it done right) suddenly becomes affordable and more convenient all at once. Honestly, I'm 23 years old, and I live with people who aren't my lovers (or gay for that matter). What do I need a DVD for? I'm not going to be watching it in the living room. 

This all brings me to that second very important thing to tell you about: Tight Places: A Drop of Color. O-M-G. There, I've said it. Now, when some blossoming queer asks you where she can find quality lesbian porn by and for lesbians, you won't have to say, "Ummmmm... Crash Pad?" For less than $11, my iTunes is fully equipped with a podcast of sexy women of color and a sexy ftm getting it on in the Bay.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vote! Or Something.

Why Lady is voting gay:

Because there is this weird culture that people running for government positions should have a very traditional, very flawless family unit that gays don't have the right to.

Because it's the most logical step in electing America's first homo for president.

'Nough said. I'm a home-recka with a gay agenda.



And for shits and giggles, I give you Jimmy McMillan. After the debate, it's reported that McMillan was immediately nominated and immediately elected. It should also be noted that he is completely serious.

Femcee: Boog Brown

"Make sure everybody's listenin'"

I found this Femcee via The Fembassy.


In a candid interview with blogger Robo Robb (Robo Robb Radio), Brown described her southern roots, strong ties to the Detroit and Atlanta Hip-Hop scenes and how she refuses to give credence to the so-called “Boys Club” that is present in the Hip-Hop industry, and doesn’t get caught up in the fact that she is a woman in Hip-Hop.

Tell 'em, Boog.

Femcee: Khaos Da Rapper

She's sippin that brown. LOL! So she gave my boy a CD to pass on to me and I'm still waiting on this fool...





Hot Tea & Ghost Spirits

I Heart Stephen Colbert

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fear for All Pt. 1
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fear for All Pt. 2
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

DADT: Not as Dramatic as the Media Is Making It Out to Be

Well, folks... it seems that American soldiers are mature, respectful adults...

I apologize for the poor quality, but it's watchable.


More on Queerty

Oh and... You know how most of the army is black and latino, but everytime troops are on the news they are all (ALL) white... and male? Well, check this photo out:

  
Better?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part

Zahra, 15, has been dressing and acting like a boy since she was a child. If it were up to her, she would never go back. “Nothing in me feels like a girl,” she said.
The New York Times did a piece on Afghan families who dress a daughter up as a boy in order to alleviate cultural pressure and, in some cases, make ends meet. I thought it shined some interesting light on how easy it is to stereotype and misunderstand cultures that we hear about or live with every day. As a creole woman, being part of a culture that some people have never even heard of much less understand, I experience this first hand. All we talk about here is the burqa. But what are really the issues these women/young girls face? They're speaking. Are we listening?

Spanish Girls are Beautiful by John Accardo

'Spanish Girls Are Beautiful' brings the hazy world of women and weed into sharp focus, with the intersection of urban and suburban New York serving as a backdrop to the story of Taylor and Jayla.

An all female ensemble cast throws down a real picture of two would-be lovers living in totally different worlds. Can love cross the county lines that divides the 'hood from the 'burbs?

The director @ogfunkbandit (tweet her!) is trying to make this into a series.


Know Your Herstory: Ana Mendieta


Ana Mendieta (18 November 1948 – 8 September 1985) was a Cuban-American artist famous for her performance art and “earth-body” sculptural, photographic, and video work.

Much of Mendieta’s work may be considered strongly feminist by some; it is in essence autobiographical. One theme in her early performance art was violence against the female body. Later Mendieta focused on a spiritual and physical connection with the land, most particularly in her Silueta pieces, which typically involved carving her imprint into sand or mud, making body prints or painting her outline or silhouette onto a wall. In 1983 she won the Prix de Rome and took up residence in Rome, Italy. During the last 2 years of her life she started creating “objects”, mostly permanent sculptures and drawings, it was her intention to retain the connection with nature via the vibrations of the natural elements she continued to use in the works.

Two-Spirit


We-Wa, a Zuni two-spirit, weaving ca. 1871 - ca. 1907
Until the 1990s, the word berdache was used in English-language anthropological and ethnographical literature to describe a widely divergent set of social statuses found in many Native American tribal cultures, but which have been largely incomprehensible to Eurocentric observers, who have attempted to describe berdachism as a combination of homosexuality and transvestism. In recent years, Native Americans and the people who study them have proposed the term two-spirit as a more appropriate label.

Berdache is not a Native American term. According to linguist Claude Courouve, the word derives from the Persian bardaj; via European contact with the Muslim world, the word spread by the early sixteenth century to Italian as bardasso, to Spanish as bardaxa or bardaje, and to French as bardache.

Berdache is a relatively recent Anglophonic corruption of this term, which was defined in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French dictionaries as “a young man who is shamefully abused” or “a young man or boy who serves as another’s succubus, permitting sodomy to be committed on him.”

Early Spanish and French explorers and colonizers in North America applied these terms as a means of making sense of the relationships, anatomical sex, sexual behavior, and social gender role of those individuals they encountered who fell outside their own conceptual frameworks.

Berdachism was well known to anthropologists of North America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but discussion of it was most often relegated to footnotes in general texts. Famed anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, a student of Franz Boas and founding figure in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, did extensive ethnographic fieldwork on berdachism among California tribes. This work reportedly informed The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), a popular science fiction novel set on a world with a complex gender system in which individuals change sex over the course of their life span, which was written by Kroeber’s daughter, Ursula K. Le Guin.

Interest in berdachism among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender scholars began with the publication, in Jonathan N. Katz’s Gay American History (1976), of several ethnographic descriptions discovered in archival source materials. Over the past several decades, a large body of literature on the phenomenon has been produced by Charles Callender and Lee Kochems, Walter Williams, Will Roscoe, Beatrice Medicine, Evelyn Blackwood, Sabine Lang, and others.

Contemporary investigators of two-spirit traditions have documented their existence in 150 tribes for males, and roughly half that number for females. According to Will Roscoe, key features of these traditions include economic specializations (handcrafts and domestic work for males; warfare, hunting, and leadership roles for females); supernatural sanction (in the form of authorization through dreams and visions for adopting the atypical role); and gender variation (relative to normative expectations for males and females in a given society).

Same-sex erotic behavior is no longer considered a definitive marker of two-spirit status, although homosexuality (defined here as sexual relations involving two individuals of the same anatomical sex, regardless of their social gender) is common.

Historically, two-spirit people typically have been well integrated into the life of their tribes, and have often held revered and honored positions within them. Because of homophobia in the dominant cultures of North America, some aspects of two-spirit traditions have been suppressed or lost. Members of native cultures are often quite reluctant to discuss two-spirit traditions with outsiders, who they feel may misunderstand them or appropriate them for their own agendas.

SIDE NOTE: F*CK A COLUMBUS.

Seeking Single White Male (Short Film)

Toronto based artist Vivek Shraya brings us this short film about brown bodies in queer white spaces.


SEEKING SINGLE WHITE MALE (short film) from Vivek Shraya on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lt. Dan Choi and Other Growing Concerns


If you read anything today, I need you to read these two articles:

Bad Lieutenant [A feature article on Lt. Dan Choi by The Village Voice]
Dan Choi is People [Autostraddle.com's aptly named article regarding the Voice's article on Lt. Dan Choi]

Times like these I need someone to talk to over a pot of tea....

Will this become a decisive, unmistakably historical movement for the LGBTQ community? Or will we as a nation fall short? This decade, I swear...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And Now a Word from Melissa Harris-Lacewell

To All My Gays #2


Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Rock Show 420 | Myspace Video


The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Bullying isn't the underlying issue...

It's an unaccepting world. It's cultural "norms" that we don't quite fit into that are reinforced by EVERYTHING. It's the overwhelming number of people and institutions who either expressly don't accept us, or just "tolerate" us. What do you expect from youth with no affirmation outside of their small support networks (if they have any support)?

Courtesy of http://itgetsbetter.org
 In college, when I first realized that I was gay, I played countless solutions and compromises through my head in order to "fix" myself. Honestly, suicide was one of them. Thankfully, I didn't consider that one too seriously... I came up in the deep south, in a conservative community, by Catholic-Republican parents. A community that still festers today with racism, colorism, sexism and homophobia with a healthy serving of guilt when applicable. And I can't begin to express how lucky I feel that I didn't begin to question my sexuality until after I left Louisiana and was attending a liberal/hippie-esque university. Reading about all these suicides has me playing the what-if game. What if I not only had to deal with ignorant classmates calling me "nigger" but also had to deal with people's response to my sexuality? What if I knew I was a lesbian while being hyper-Catholicized by my their-way-or-the-highway parents? What if I had to reconcile my sexuality and my then very religious-concervative spirituality while being a social outcast in school? I had absolutely zero exposure to the queer community before leaving home. Only homophobic comments passed down from my elders to me. How many options seem realistic in situations like those? Suicide would most likely have been on my list. And it wouldn't have been enough to have a gay-straight alliance or some non-profit in town. Someone would have needed to REACH OUT to me.

But hindsight is 20/20. And all those things, if they had happened that way, would not have been so bad if I knew then what I know today. I came out to my parents over 3 years ago and they still love me. They treat me no different today than before I came out to them. We struggle, yes. But love is there. So yeah... it does get better. Really. Really really. The most important thing is to focus on your thoughts. Don't let them go places that will further hurt you. And surround yourself by people who love you.

The It Gets Better Project is noble. But it's not enough. How many gay teens and young adults do you have in your life? Embrace every one of them. And don't ever let them go. It's a matter of life and death.

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Beautiful Boxer [****]


I wasn't expecting to like Beautiful Boxer. I watched it because I was interested in Nong Toom's story, I love the martial arts, and Netflix has been insisting that I see it for years. And so I did. I usually don't enjoy bio-pics, mainly because in every life worth making a movie about the main character undergoes some sort of severe depression. And when I watch hours worth of severe depression, I get depressed. Who knew? But Nong Toom's story truly is a beautiful, empowering one. And though the movie went a little overboard with the dramatic music in the beginning, it finishes strong. Unlike some bio-pics, this one gives the viewer a satisfying ending, with a sense of closure and optimism.

Sex

Rita Indiana "El Juidero"

Rita Indiana is a lot of things. Former model, screenwriter, novelist and musician. And after hearing a song from her debut album, I immediately knew she needs to be in my iTunes. Rita blends pop, merengue, reggae and hip-hop, and in true Latin music fashion, it makes you want to dance the night away even if you can't dance to save your life (and know it). I dig it.

Rita Indiana y los Misterios - El Juidero

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Homophobia Kills" Die-In & March: Boston

Brought to you by JOIN THE IMPACT MASSACHUSETTS (JTIMA):

If you're in the Boston area (or have the means to be in the Boston area), a "Die-In" is taking place November 5th because, I'm sure you've figured out, too many of us are dying behind the words and actions of people who fear us and/or hate us. 

http://jointheimpactma.com/
WHERE: South Station terminal (near commuter rail trains), Boston, Massachusetts

WHEN: Friday, November 5, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Participants should arrive no later than 5:20 p.m. for instruction

WHO: All of us, anyone who is a member or an ally of the LGBTQ community

The decided color to protest anti-gay bullying and homophobia is purple. So be sure to wear your purple t-shirt to this event! I will be there in spirit.

In the past few weeks, the media has shed light on the recent suicides of LGBT teens. THIS IS NOT A NEW STORY! Teenagers and young adults in the LGBT community are four times more likely to commit suicide. LGBT adults are twice as likely to have substance abuse problems, depression, low self-esteem,, and anxiety. We are also the most verbally abused minority. Not only does society accept it, but we do, too.

Why? Because homophobia and transphobia are LEGAL in the United States, including our home state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Unless we do something to stop it, the death toll will continue to rise, either via bias-motivated violence or our own hands. We must stop this, and we must stop it NOW.

On Friday, November 5, exactly one month after more than 400 individuals met in the pouring rain outside the State House to remember those victims we have lost to the bullies and other criminals who target our community, we will meet again. At South Station, during the evening rush hour, we will remind those who support legalized homophobia that the blood is on their hands now. If they want to wash that blood away, once and for all, they will have to learn how.

We, the members and allies of the LGBT community, must be the ones to teach them.


The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fallen Angels

I know LGBTQ youth/young adult suicides aren't new. And I can't say with any certainty that these deaths in the news are a spike in the community. Something tells me they aren't. And while the encouraging attention our community receives these days is appreciated, I'm ready to breakdown and cry. I don't know how many more beautiful faces I can look into for the first and last time. 


Last Saturday, we lost another beautiful soul by the name of Joseph Jefferson. Joseph wasn't a teenager, he was 26 and an activist in the Brooklyn community, working with GMAD (Gay Men of African Decent) and POCC (People of Color in Crisis). This shows us that even our leaders are vulnerable. Joseph not only had resources, he was a resource. And the fact that he could "no longer bear the burden of being a gay person of color in a world grown cold" scares me.

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Sunday, October 24, 2010

But I'm a Cheerleader [****]


 Maybe I just like sarcastic, comedic flicks because I loved But I'm a Cheerleader (1999) just about as much as I loved D.E.B.S. Plenty of things made this movie for me: hilariously bad kisses with boys, subtle yet amusing interactions and exchanges, girl-on-girl action, the ridiculous(?) fact that I actually relate to some of the situations in coming-out movies like this one, and Andre.

But I'm a Cheerleader is about a cheerleader who's sent away to a rehab camp for gays after her friends, family and boyfriend suspect her to be a lesbian. There she inevitably comes to terms with her sexuality (not in a way the camp would like but that we're all hoping for), falls for one of her camp-mates, and you know the drill... drama ensues.

If you haven't gotten around to watching this flick, it's a good one to get the girls (and bois) together for a movie night. I love movie nights.

"It Gets Better" Autostraddle Style



For more information about Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project, visit http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/.

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Friday, October 22, 2010

To All My Gays #1




The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

South Florida casting for The LNF Show

Now casting for The Lovers and Friends Show in South Florida, please contact info@theloversnfriendsshow.com for more information! 
Now accepting inquiries for crew positions!
Also searching for New Music! Contact us at info@theloversnfriendsshow.com!

Don't forget to visit our new website www.theloversnfriendsshow.com

Help The Lovers and Friends Show is gettting ready to shoot season 4.  If you would like to help please consider donating.
 
PLEDGE 25 OR MORE
An autographed DVD of season 3!
PLEDGE 55 OR MORE
Autographed dvds of seasons 1, 2, and 3
Please click here to donate!

Teen Suicides and the Gap We All Experience

It seems that in the wake of bullying-awareness in general (which didn’t become a nation-wide issue until Phoebe Prince), LGBTQ teens are finally getting more visible support. And though a television broadcast will not comfort teens when they’re in their school corridors, hopefully it will force those with the power to be a good Samaritan to be just that. Nevertheless, too many names are being left out of the discussion. When supportive people list a few names of those whose lives we’ve lost, what color are nearly all the faces?

Carl Walker-Hoover
I have a few names that I’d like to mention and remember. People of color who cater to their own communities have long been seen as self-segregators, unpatriotic and hatemongers (i.e., Arizona). I’m not listing these names because I don’t value the lives of my white brothers and sisters. I list these names because the media does not value the lives of my colored brothers and sisters. One of my favorite quotes of all time is “we stand for what we stand for, not what we stand against.” This blog exists to fill a gap. Not segregate. And I will continue to fill that gap until latino, black, native, arab and asian faces are universal, too. Unfortunately, these are all that I could find in terms of teenagers. I'll continue to update and expand this list. I ask those of you who know names of others (INCLUDING WOMEN AND TRANS FOLK!) we’ve lost to please share.

Carl Walker-Hoover http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7366805
Raymond Chase
Aiyisha Hassan http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=5654

And I’m not saying that people who fail to address these victims are doing it intentionally or because they are prejudiced. But what I am saying is that the media holds a lot of power. And the power of omission is a bitch. Just imagine if all the major news networks neglected to report on the Haiti earthquake. Now take the dozens (maybe hundreds) of LGBTQ teens lost to suicide this year, and consider how the major news networks primarily report on white deaths. Teens of all colors are looking for a sign. They can find the story when we’re criminals/suspected criminals, can’t they?


Do the iReport Challenge:

If you support the mission to end anti-LGBT bullying around the world, do one or more of the following:
- Put on purple, take a photo or video of yourself and upload it to iReport
- Change your Twitter profile or Facebook page to purple
- Tweet: I’m wearing purple to end anti-LGBT bullying. #spiritday #BeAHero
- Record a video for the “It Gets Better” YouTube project (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the latest to join the campaign. See also Barack Obama)



The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feminist Fundraiser: Atlanta

Atlanta's own Feminist Women's Health Center is hosting their 14th Annual Choice Celebration to raise funds for programs that provide leadership and mentorship for diverse young women leaders! Taking place at the Cosmopolitan Lounge (located at 45 Thirteenth St., Atlanta, GA 30309) on October 21st, this event looks to me like a fabulous way to spend a Thursday evening. There will be live entertainment (ft. Lady Shabazz, Nikki Diamond, and iYanni), a sex-positive condom fashion exhibit ("Dream, Demand... Choose Revolution"), an art exhibit/silent auction, and door prizes. 


Choice Celebration 2010 is an annual fundraiser that focuses on the importance of reproductive rights, health and justice. Come embark on a journey of various movements throughout history that have sparked social change.


Join them for the Revolution 2010!

Purchase tickets in advance (ending tomorrow) for $10, or pay $15 at the door. This event is 18+ (ID required).

Willow Smith

Oh, the Smiths. My favorite "straight" family. Anyone else heard the rumors that Jada and Will are queer? A girl can dream. Anyway, this is the type of video kiddie musicians should be making.

Monday, October 18, 2010

For the Budding Tea Connoisseur

Courtesy of teamasters.blogspot.com
Once you've had an excellent tea, it's impossible to go back to the grocery store stuff, or to any cafe that doesn't put precedence on the quality of teas they serve. And as for finding teas of premium quality, it's pretty expensive if you don't know what you're doing or where to go. However, times are getting better. Less money in Lady's pocket is getting wasted on finding a reputable tea vendor, and more money is going into discovering which teas I genuinely love. I have Steepster to thank for this. Steepster is Twitter meets Digg meets e-commerce. You create a profile, review tea businesses and teas (can't find the tea/biz you're looking for? add it), give directions on how you like to brew your favorite teas, and follow people who can also follow you. What this all means is... if said tea from said business gets a delicious 85/100 rating, you now know where to find said delicious tea, especially if members with similar tastes (who you've been following!) have rated the tea already and left comments.

You can always count on Sesame Street

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oh Hey, Essence!


Despite the whole hiring-a-white-fashion-director drama, pride filled my heart when I heard that Essence.com featured a lesbian wedding! Aisha Mills and Danielle Moodie are D.C. residents and one of the first same-sex couples to apply for a marraige license. They tied the knot this past summer and I do believe congrats are in order for Aisha and Danielle, and for ESSENCE!

Most black ministers, leaders, and celebrities fully embrace a “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude concerning homosexuality. As a result, black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people remain virtually invisible within the media and our community. This void perpetuates hopelessness and despair that can lead to tragedy like the recent rash of teen suicides resulting from anti-gay bullying. So when the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) teamed up with Essence.com and invited us to share our wedding story, we seized the opportunity to present at least one image of black LGBT love. We hoped that our love story and wedding photos would affirm other black lesbians and give hope to those struggling to see a future for themselves.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Staceyann Chin's Performance at Spelman College


I once again had the privilege of seeing One Miss Staceyann Chin, but this time at Spelman College. I know that she was excited to be there: women of color dominated (understatement) the auditorium, and people were comfortable with (and didn't have to be taught) call-and-response, and we weren't afraid to laugh when she made light of her experiences. And though she kept going on and on about having babies and being committed, she still singled me out, again, and this time... she touched me (squeal!). I see you, Chin. But seriously, what better way to skip dinner and spend an evening? Unfortunately, she only performed one poem (mostly performing excerpts from her memoir), but that one poem, at the very end, made my heart stop.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mourning at Howard: Students organizing memorial for lesbian student


 By Yusef Najafi
Published on , 11:51am | http://www.metroweekly.com/news/?ak=5654


A former Howard University student died from suicide on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in her home state of California.

According to the university's college newspaper, The Hilltop, students organized a candlelight vigil for Aiyisha Hassan, 20, who attended Howard University from 2008 to 2009, on Thursday night.

Students at Thursday night's vigil
Ryan C. Hamilton

Amari Ice, 22, president of C.A.S.C.A.D.E., the Coalition of Activist Students Celebrating the Acceptance of Diversity and Equality, Howard University's LGBT student group, said Hassan was a lesbian who attended C.A.S.C.A.D.E. meetings regularly.

''It's devastating to say the least,'' Ice told Metro Weekly on Saturday, Oct. 9. ''It's been a lot to deal with especially with all the other youth suicides that have been happening. It's just fuel to the fire. It brought the national issue very very close to home.''

Details regarding Hassan's suicide have yet to be determined.

Lauren Morris, 21, a senior at Howard, who lived in the same building as Hassan from 2008-2009, said she introduced Hassan to C.A.S.C.A.D.E. Morris added that friends have reported Hassan's suicide was related to her struggles with her sexuality.

''She was having a lot of trouble with a lot of different things,'' Morris says, ''but mainly her sexual identity and just trying to express that.''

Sterling Washington, co-founder of C.A.S.C.A.D.E. and former president, came upon news of Hassan's suicide after attending a C.A.S.C.A.D.E. event at the university this week.

''I absolutely think that this is connected in a way to the failure of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to be repealed,'' Sterling, who is gay and an a 2004 Howard alumni said, speaking to Metro Weekly on Friday.

''What happens in a large group trickles down to the junior members… so in this case it's members of society so it affects youth in general,'' he said. ''Those straight-identified youth who already had a proclivity, who already had from their parents, their socialization, this idea that gays are less than, it sort of gives them permission and facilities this whole bullying thing so that those that are most vulnerable to it sometimes see suicide as an out.''

According to Howard students, a memorial is currently being planned for Wednesday, Oct. 13. For an extended version of this story, visit MetroWeekly.com on Thursday, Oct. 14. 

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  
1-866-4-U-TREVOR

Distinguished Cravat

Where do I begin? ... My foray into neck attire started at a young age with chokers. I still love chokers, but during my college years, I got (very) lazy with my devotion to accessories. [But let's be real, that didn't stop me from reppin' Louisiana with my signature belt buckles.] Now, thanks to Daniel Cremieux's knitted ties--and the resurgence of knitted ties in general--I'm regaining momentum... fervor even. And to celebrate, my next item of purchase is scheduled with Distinguished Cravat.

"Handmade neck attire, that is the evolution of many revolutions, overall a true dedication to the elevation of young minds"

Distinguished Cravat was started by Kate Ross in March 2009, and specializes in "neck attire." The best part: no gender classifications (at least, not that I've noticed). Just groovy attire, for groovy people. Do as you will. And I don't know about y'all, but I'm excited to get my swag on with this jewel of a designer... as soon as I can afford it...

 

Happy Disability History Month!

“I would like to challenge movement leadership to grow, support, and create space for disabled people of color. I do not mean this as a platform for encouraging simple diversity or one-dimensional multiculturalism, but as a push for us to rethink and revision what we understand as disability community and history.

I want to talk about why disability looks white. I want us to understand how ableism has been leveraged against communities of color with black folks historically being thought of as less capable (therefore fit for slavery) and special education commonly serving as a means of segregating students of color both with and without disabilities. I want us to create a disability pride that acknowledges the complexities of our experience and does not pit living resiliently and proudly against the knowledge that disability is often created by injustice our communities face.

All of this must be done without flattening our differences, without saying being disabled is just like being of color, just like being poor, just like being queer. Let us bring our best selves to community and learn to be with each other in ways that transform and grow who we are, even when (and though) the work is hard.”

Read more at cripchick’s blog here.

No Man's Land: The Women of Mexico

I thought this video was interesting and touching. It's about how gender roles shifted in a small, rural Mexican community because 80% of the men there leave for the United States, and often cannot return. And though watching their sons/husbands/brothers leave rips these women to pieces, it also empowers them.


No Man's Land: The Women of Mexico from Dana Romanoff on Vimeo.

Friday, October 8, 2010

TAO

Article brought to you by Lez Get Real:


She is a talented, dedicated fighter, Black, lesbian , and no, we are not just talking about the author C.D. Kirven. Rather, her creation, TAO (Pronounce TA as the ‘o’ is silent) will be the central character of the first comic book to center around a Black lesbian super hero. TAO is is the child of a Chinese-British billionaire dollar shoe company owner father and an Afro-American dancer mother from Brazil. TAO’s parents were killed when she was young and raised by Monks who trained her in Taoism and the art of Capoeira.

She will be fighting Corporeal, King of the Living Dead, who wants world domination. In order to achieve that goal, he will be using his evil army of spirits to inhabit human beings. These unwilling pawns will be used to do his bidding. TAO’s reason for hating Corporeal and his sidekick Mink is that the two murdered TOA’s love Bliss. TAO is not only on a mission to prevent the world from being overrun by the living dead, but to avenge the loss of the love of her life.

C.D. Kirven will be at Austin’s Comic-Con, which runs from 12 November to 14 November, to support her creation. She is also the co-founder of Get Equal Now, the Lambda Literary nominee for “What Goes Around Comes Back Around”, and the author of short stories she posts to Wattpad. She is also a weekly columnist on Cherrygrrl.com where she writes the column “RUNDOWN”. She is also a regular contributor to Bilerico, ABIENTE magazine, Dallas Voice, Bay Windows, Dallas Post Tribune, San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, KVUE ABC, Telemundo and many others.

At the age of sixteen, Kirven wrote an article about corporal punishment that went over the AP wire. The publicity that it generated ultimately resulted in Texas public schools restricting the use of corporal punishment.

Kirven has done a lot of work with regards to the darker side of the LGBT Community including highlighting the tendency towards racism within the community and the issue of same-sex partner abuse, which she documented via cell phone. Her documentary “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” was featured in several film festivals.

Kirven is a nationally known artist as well with her work appearing at the 2009 Butch Voices Conference in Oakland, CA, and being featured on the December 2009 issue of Curve Magazine. She is also editing her online reality show about her life called SOULPRINT and is currently working on a screenplay and her second book called The Glass Closet.

Tomboy by Barb Taylor



Alex a 9 year old girl fights bullying and gender stereotypes. I was the director and producer. This film is based on a book by Karleen Pendleton Jiménez who worked closely with me on the video. We won Best Animation at Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, Best Web Animation at Savannah Animation Festival, CBC Canadian Reflections Award among others.

Other members of the crew include Wendy Parkin - Animation Supervisor and Co-Director, Tony Tarantini - Layout Supervisor, Alejandra Nuñez - Music, Eduardo Gonzalez - sound.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Paradise Lost

I couldn't find any other info on this...


Paradise Lost Clip from BlackmanVision on Vimeo.

Vagina Songs

I absolutely 100% love when female musicians sing about their vaginas. And I know I'm not the only one. Know why? Khia. 'Nough said. But I have another vagina song to share with you all... It may not be an anthem like Lick It, but it makes me just as happy.