Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shout-out: Southern Poverty Law Center

I'm in the process of disenchantment with American society. I don't think it's because things are getting worse overall. If anything, it's because nothing overall has gotten any better or worse. Sure, we've had some huge strides (Thank you, Dr. King, but let's be real, the way we dwell on what he accomplished and kind of "stopped working" after he passed and just went back to accepting things as they newly are is... disenchanting. The civil rights movement in my mind stood still right then and there, and no leader since has tackled the challenge of getting the ball rolling again). And now it seems we're back to square one but instead of Black-Americans, America has decided to share some old-fashioned hate with the queer community. The parallels are alarming. Note: some of us are both gay and black. Yet, I can always rely on some fleeting glimmer of hope. In a land where information is twisted for personal gain, there are a handful of ethical institutions out there worth applauding. Southern Poverty Law Center is one such institution (See! The south isn't so bad! I admit, we're a living, breathing paradox). SPLC is known for calling folks out on hate. They have even gone so far as to map them out for you. I was surprised to find one in my hometown of Lafayette, LA and not so surprised to see that Florida out-hated Louisiana by almost double. Anyway, the news has recently been buzzing about a new hate-list: 18 Anti-gay hate groups. And I wanted to say thanks. So, thanks, SPLC. I appreciate you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


When I saw this video, my heart exploded. It exploded! And my soul ached. This is the most beautiful thing I've seen in the queer/trans community in a long time. And it's made me realize how severely disconnected from youth I am right now. I mentioned before that the "It Gets Better" project is great! But not enough. Not immediate enough. Not tangible enough. And that bullying is NOT the underlying issue. Queer/trans youth are finally getting together and speaking to US, not just to the people and institutions that are the problem, about what they need. They need this...

[*Squeal* to the "We will not be silent" shirt.]

ALSO! Put This on the Map is raising funds to tour the country and to start RETEACHING! Their goal is $10,000. So far they've reached $770. Every little bit counts. It would only take 10,000 of us at $1 each to reach this goal. So if you can, please lend a helping hand... or you know... dollar. 

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  

Laylah Ali

Laylah Ali is not just one of my favorite artists; she's one who has influenced me for years (she single-handedly turned me onto gouache). 

Laylah Ali was born in Buffalo, New York in 1968, and lives and works in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She received a BA from Williams College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. In style, her paintings resemble comic-book serials, but they also contain stylistic references to hieroglyphs and American folk-art traditions. Ali often achieves a high level of emotional tension in her work as a result of juxtaposing brightly colored scenes with dark, often violent subject matter that speaks of political resistance, social relationships, and betrayal. Her most famous and longest-running series of paintings depicts the brown-skinned and gender-neutral Greenheads, while her most recent works include portraits as well as more abstract biomorphic images. Ali endows the characters and scenes in her paintings with everyday attributes like dodge balls, sneakers, and band-aids as well as historically- and culturally-loaded signs such as nooses, hoods, robes, masks, and military-style uniforms.

You can view more of her work here: Miller Block and 303.

Femcee: THEESatisfaction


I'm a fan of Yelle; I thought I'd share. Sharing is caring. Yelle is a band comprised of Yelle (Julie Budet), Tepr, and GrandMarnier.

To All My Gays #5

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  

Friday, November 19, 2010

N.E.R.D.'s Life as a Fish

Forever 21: Guilt Trip

There's something not right about Forever 21. Something is seriously off. I can walk through that store, hate 90% of their clothes and love the other 10%. There's no middle ground. And all the while I'm asking myself questions like... why are these pants $14? Why is this sweater $5 more expensive than those pants? And why is this winter coat the same price as that sweater?? It's stores like this one that make me feel taken advantage of (as someone with an inadequate income). And... well... they've taken things a step farther. I don't know how long Heritage 1981 has been around, but I experienced them for the first time here in Atlanta. I sit here in front of my computer screen, lounging in my $22 pull-over sweater which is almost twice the amount I paid for a pair of cream corduroys from them. It's the type of store that makes me want to start a cardigan collection... I'm pretty sure I don't like cardigans. Maybe I should give them a chance.

Femcee: Kin4Life

Much love to the 80's babies. Word. Kin4Life.

Femcee: Lady L.U.S.T.

Oakland based femcee Lady Lust. I dig it.

"You the reason that I hope that they overturn the proposition. So I was wonderin..."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DADT. An Act of Congress. Literally.

America's First Transgender Trial Judge

As a Louisiana native, this story excites me because California's newly elected MTF trial judge, Victoria Kolakowski, is originally from Louisiana. In particular, she's from my neck of the woods, the southeast. 

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A California judge with big ties to Louisiana is making history because she was once a man.

Judge Victoria Kolakowski is the first transgender person ever to be elected as a trial judge.

Kolakowski previously served as an administrative law judge before winning her election in California.

The judge's website touts her election as one that made history.

Kolakowski has several degrees.

She's a graduate of UNO, Tulane and LSU Law and actually had to sue to take the bar exam in Louisiana after declaring herself a transsexual.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.

Femcee: Back to Jwahari for...

... a revisit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Learning a Lezzin'?

So, the New York Post is trying to be cute. Trying. Because being cute is appropriate when someone receives a death threat, right? Founding Principal of the Academy for Social Action, Crystal Simmons, had an affair with Assistant Principal Candy Jones. After having had an affair and it ended, Candy threatened to kill Principal Simmons upon receiving a poor performance evaluation. Simmons, concerned for her safety, reported the threat to the Department of Education and the police. However, the case was closed because police did not witness the harassment, the report said. And of course, both women are getting fired for having a romance--nevermind a school employee is threatening to kill people. All of this stinks of sexism and homophobia because apparently abusive behavior between two women isn't as much of an issue as two women who work together having sex. To top it all off, Crystal Simmons founded the Academy for Social Action "to cultivate, educate, and graduate tomorrow's leaders while inspiring them to shape the many communities in which they reside," and to inspire students to become "college-bound family and community leaders who are concerned for the rights and welfare of others, socially responsible, and confident in their capacity to make a difference." The score? Politics 1, students 0.

Andrew Sullivan Making Sense

Andrew Sullivan is a conservative political gay blogger who's been around the blogging sphere for 10 years. And right now, he's making a lot of sense. I have yet to watch the full interview (given by Big Think), but here's a snippet for you...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Know Your Herstory: Karine Jean-Pierre

One of the highest-ranking out lesbians in American politics, Karine Jean-Pierre is a Regional Director in the White House Office of Political Affairs, and previously served as the White House Liaison to the U.S. Department of Labor. “I am a part of multiple communities,” says this Haitian-American. “I fell into politics by accident while making a documentary on Haiti during grad school. Through that experience and counsel from mentors, including former NYC Mayor David Dinkins, I became inspired to make an impact in the world by getting involved in politics.” Jean-Pierre also served as Southeast Political Director in the Chicago Headquarters for the Obama presidential campaign and in the Political Department of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Committee. “It wasn’t until recently that I realized my impact in the gay community,” she adds. “I am currently mentoring two young queer women of color who have both said to me, individually, that they didn’t know someone like me existed: a black, Haitian lesbian working at the White House.”

Queer Arts Now

Ks Stevens brings us some queer arts! And she's reppin' QWOC, too. Check it out!

Nike Native-Textile Inspired High Top

Wardrobe Yearning: The Popover

Beaten Twill
J.Crew speaks to me on a level that kinda took me by surprise. I like their women's clothing and dislike their men's. That's quite a feat, for real. Malls tend to leave me desiring. It's a lot of aaaaaalllmoooostt! It often goes something like... Lady spots potential purchase! Lady sweeps in for a closer look! Lady finds herself disappointed... And while it's true that J.Crew leaves me desiring, too. It's definitely more of an I-can't-afford-this type desire. There is a time in my life when this won't be an issue. And not because I'll be able to afford J.Crew. I'll just be making my own clothing (well). My brother was talking to me a while back about a watch by Romain Jerome that costs $300,000. This watch didn't tell time; it just told you if it was day or night. It sold out within 48 hours of its release. He then asked me if I would buy a $300,000 watch if I could afford it. Let's be real. If I can afford to drop $300,000 on a watch, I won't be buying one. I'll be designing one. Anyway, one J.Crew item that I just can't seem to shake is the popover. Anything that involves popping-over just makes me happy. They used to sell a beaten twill popover. But those sold fast. Luckily, JC had the good sense to explore the design more since people loved it so much. And now, as a result, they give us the chambray popover (potentially, and rightfully, even better than the first). Chambray is the shit. And I can't afford this one either. I suppose I'll get over it. Maybe.


Jay-Z and Cornel West @ NYPL Tomorrow Night

New York Public Library is holding a book discussion on Jay-Z's DECODED. The discussion will involve the author, Cornel West and Paul Holdengräber. And to top it all off, there will be a booksigning at the end of the event. Tickets are unfortunately sold out (which included a copy of the book if purchased through Showclix) but luckily, the event will be streamed on FORA.TV at 7 PM EST Monday night. 

There will be a live telecast event from the New York Public Library, tonight Monday, November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Branch of the Fulton County Library, Atlanta.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gay Rights Protest. Albany, NY 1971

NYPL digital archives

The Black Multiracial Experience (one of them)

Kirya Traber

Lady Tragik

I was clicking my way through GO! Magazine's "100 Women We Love Class of 2010" and ran across San Francisco-based, former spoken-word artist Lady Tragik. She seemed coo', so I delved deeper. And I soon discovered that she is indeed coo'. Most importantly, she's a creative with great taste in music who makes music (among a lot of other things). I thought I'd share. Check her out! There's sure to be plenty of lomography and electronica involved. She kinda makes me want to buy some American Apparel... I don't know how I feel about that...

Courtesy of the Associated Press: America Still Acting the Ass

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Pentagon to continue preventing openly gay people from serving in the military while a federal appeals court reviews the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The court did not comment in denying a request from the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, to step into the ongoing federal court review of "don't ask, don't tell." The Obama administration urged the high court not to get involved at this point.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that the policy violates the civil rights of gay Americans and she issued an injunction barring the Pentagon from applying it. But the San Francisco-based appeals court said the policy could remain in effect while it considers the administration's appeal.

"Log Cabin Republicans are disappointed that the Supreme Court decided to maintain the status quo with regards to 'don't ask, don't tell,' but we are not surprised," said R. Clarke Cooper, the group's executive director. "We are committed to pursuing every avenue in the fight against this failed and unconstitutional policy."

President Barack Obama has pledged to push lawmakers to repeal the law in the lame-duck session before a new Congress is sworn in. But administration lawyers have in the meantime defended "don't ask, don't tell" in court.

The policy, which prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, was lifted for eight days in October after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that it is unconstitutional. The Obama administration asked the appeals court to reinstate the ban until it could hear arguments on the broader constitutional issues next year.

Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in the court's consideration of the issue. Kagan served as the administration's chief Supreme Court lawyer before she became a justice in August.

Associated Press writer Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tracy's BEEN Talkin Bout a Revolution... Can It Happen, Please? Thanks.

#1 I hope Tracy is right.
#2 This video super-gayed this song for me and I might have to bust out my record player right now. (No joke. I'm serious about my vinyls.)
#3 What a cutie!

Lip Service BBC

There is little that I won't put up with for the sake of LET (lesbian entertainment television). Afterall, I hate reality TV but adore Gimme Sugar. It's two-fold. One side of me is a super-lezzy who supports anything of a truly homogay nature. And the other side is like a child without a role model; I burn holes into the TV screen in search of color. I can't help myself. I need affirmation. I need to be represented. I HAVE NEEDS! And if the show is international, particularly from a country with better race relations than the USA (I'm looking at you, Britain), I have certain expectations. I've recently started watching Lip Service, and I'm hoping they'll meet my expectations. After the first four episodes, I'm already slightly tired of the relentless drama. But I think I'll be able to hang in there. Especially since the endearing Tessa, in search of love and affection, is having fateful interactions with a mysterious lezbo of color (who'd be 10 times sexier with natural hair #justsaying). Lip Service will probably be short lived. The Brits don't drag on television shows like we 'Muhricans. Their lives don't revolve around it. Seasons have a few episodes and run for a few years. No Law & Order: SVU's over there. And that's just the way it is.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Students Who Wore 'Straight Pride' T-Shirts Will Not Be Punished


Three students at St. Charles North High School wore T-shirts that say "Straight Pride" with a Bible quote during Ally Week at both St. Charles high schools in St. Charles, Illinois. The Bible quote referenced putting gay people to death, and yet these students will not face disciplinary action, according to school district officials on Tuesday.

The students told school administrators that the T-shirts were not meant to indicate a desire to cause harm, but to convey pride in being straight. The Bible quote came from Leviticus 20:13, "If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to death."

Sounds like white supremacy with a new face to me. I guess it really puts a picture to "gay is the new black."

Yes... just two sides to the issue. Only two. Let's not get greedy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Adapting to the Recession

We have all this time on our hands due to un-/underemployment. The American people are too busy fighting the funk to be proactive about anything other than finding a job. We all know that it will be a very long time before we recover… if we recover. And we also know that what the future job market holds for us will look incredibly different from the present. And so what’s the point? What’s the point of anything? There’s a word for how this nation collectively feels right now; we are depressed. And if it’s true that jobs won’t return for many years… what in the world will become of us as a nation if we are too depressed (and tired) to take life by the reigns?

And to make it all worse, we have grown exasperatingly hopeless when it comes to standing up for ourselves. It’s as if we’ve taken on this attitude of futility and cynicism. Sure, we were pretty angry when we bailed out Wall Street and the banks. But we were also scared. So, we let it slide. It was probably a good decision in the short run. Yet, where was the outrage when CEOs, after we hand our money over to them, continued to pay lavish bonuses to their employees and themselves? To me, there should have been some arson going on. That’s disrespect. At what point will we be driven to madness enough to do something drastic on our own behalf? Because blatant greed and rich people hoarding at a time when our pockets are empty isn’t it… 

Percentage growth in real after-tax income (according to TIME Magazine vol. 176 no. 18) is as follows:
   The bottom 20% had a 16% growth from 1979 to 2007
   The top 20% had a 95% growth from 1979 to 2007
   The top 1% had a 281% growth from 1979 to 2007

Aaron McGruder pointed out years ago that marching as a form of protest no longer works. All you have to do is look at undocumented immigrants, see how well they march (how organized, numerous and united they are) and then see how much it accomplishes (or doesn’t). Our government no longer fears us, and we have failed to evolve as citizens of a democracy to counter this. At the time McGruder couldn’t think of an alternative to marching that would put the government in its place. He suggested we do nothing. This suggestion would be quite powerful today because of the recession, and the fact that there are things the government needs us to do. Everyone knows money is power. And so with the little money we have, it would be wise for us to do nothing. Nevertheless, there are necessities. And leisure-spending does help with morale. And so I say, support strictly small and/or local businesses. Do your best to eradicate corporate America from taking hold of your income. Buy food from local farmer’s markets. Avoid chain grocery stores. Cancel your insurance and join a co-op (if you even have insurance). Boycott buying products distributed by large corporations (over 80% of Coca-Cola’s employees are in other countries. Car manufacturers are growing wise to cheaper labor elsewhere). Roll your own cigarettes and buy from smoke shops (better yet, switch to something that doesn't cause cancer). Drink coffee from independent cafes. Be shameless! You and I both know you have the time. While you're at it, create your own damn job. Start a home-based small business. What skills do you have that your community needs? Get together with your un-/underemployed friends, combine your resources and do something together. How cheap can you do it for? It will at least give you something to focus on.

It's bound to get someone's attention, and I'm ready to be ridiculous. That's my vote.

Monique Truong's Bitter in the Mouth

From Monique Truong, the bestselling and award-winning author of The Book of Salt, comes a brilliant, mesmerizing, beautifully written novel about a young woman’s search for identity and family, as she uncovers the secrets of her past and of history.

Growing up in the small town of Boiling Springs, North Carolina, in the 70’s and 80’s, Linda believes that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family. “What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two” are the cruel, mysterious last words that Linda’s grandmother ever says to her.

Now in her thirties, Linda looks back at her past when she navigated her way through life with the help of her great-uncle Harper, who loves her and loves to dance, and her best friend Kelly, with whom Linda exchanges almost daily letters. The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another. When I heard the word “disappoint,” I tasted toast, slightly burnt.

For as long as she can remember, Linda has experienced a secret sense—she can “taste” words, which have the power to disrupt, dismay, or delight. She falls for names and what they evoke: Canned peaches. Dill. Orange sherbet. Parsnip (to her great regret). But with crushes comes awareness. As with all bodies, Linda’s is a mystery to her, in this and in other ways. Even as Linda makes her way north to Yale and New York City, she still does not know the truth about her past.

Then, when a personal tragedy compels Linda to return to Boiling Springs, she gets to know a mother she never knew and uncovers a startling story of a life, a family. Revelation is when God tells us the truth. Confession is when we tell it to him.

This astonishing novel questions many assumptions—about what it means to be a family and to be a friend, to be foreign and to be familiar, to be connected and to be disconnected—from others and from the past, our bodies, our histories, and ourselves.

National Novel Writing Month

Hello world,

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month? Me neither. It even has a website, and it's cooler than it sounds. National Novel Writing Month is a novel writing personal challenge. The premise: Put all those fears of writing your own novel aside and get that shit done in 30 days. The challenge: Write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30 (Don't worry. Pep talks are provided). How it works: You create an account, sign up with a region (it's international!), and get to writing! Some regions even offer places to go write in... like an independent bookstore or local library. What better way to spend un-/underemployment than writing under a stressful time constraint and meeting other masochists?

Obviously (and regretably), I am too late in bringing this information to you (I know... bad blogging). And it's not like a week's worth of catch-up is all that appealing (it sounds like a nightmare, acually). But you can always write a script with them in April and there's also next November! Log this into your Google calendars and get to brainstorming, nerds! All the cool homogays are doing it. 


Go, Kurt!

I really hope this is happening. He's kind of dreamy...

To All My Gays #4

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Brownie Points: Clay Butler's Sidewalk Bubblegum


To All My Gays #3

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  

Are You a Monster Girl? A Loud and Inappropriate Woman Wants to Know.

Jessa Crispin

Erika Lopez could not have known she was releasing her raucous, racy and hilarious breakthrough novel Flaming Iguanas at the end of an era. It was 1998, and despite the 1990s being a decade of riot grrls and Manic Panic, a time when girls had rock goddesses like PJ Harvey, Sleater Kinney, Hole and Bikini Kill to emulate rather than rock gods to fawn over, it was all about to disappear.

Post-pubescent pop stars took over, the 'zine culture died off and Courtney Love became plastic surgery roadkill. Suddenly, Lopez — a performance artist and cartoonist as well as novelist — was out of fashion, her spunky, prickly, foul-mouthed writing style and tales of booze, men (and women) and motorcycles did not fit in with the current milieu of pre-packaged stardom and yoga spirituality.

"One must dare to be alienated and cast aside."

"'Erika Lopez is an American original!.... Lopez won't have to worry about food stamps in the future!'" read one Flaming Iguanas review. Twelve years later, in her new The Girl Must Die: A Monster Girl Memoir, Lopez responds: "Well, not only do I have to worry about food stamps again, I just had to go and add welfare. Welfare."

The Girl Must Die delves into Lopez's vivid personal history: her abduction by her father during a custody dispute; her upbring by a radical feminist mother who took up with women after her marriage failed; the prostitutes and bad influences who were her childhood companions. But, ultimately, the book is more manifesto than memoir. Lopez is longing for another cultural shift, for our entire society to go through a rite of passage. "The girl must die," she tells us, so that the woman can live.

She relates her own sense of failure — her hitting-bottom moment came while waiting in line for social services, wearing the shoes of a friend who had killed herself — to a society that rewards greed and brought itself to economic collapse. Lopez credits her own creative resuscitation to founding a community — Monster Girl Media, which published this book — of artists, filmmakers and writers who collaborate and promote each others' work. She wants the culture that is currently in love with girlishness, Brazilians and Barbie blondes like Paris Hilton, to rediscover the loud, inappropriate woman. And Lopez is certainly loud and inappropriate.

The Girl Must Die is heavily illustrated with Lopez's artwork, mixing graffiti, tattoo and comic-book styles with wild abandon. Her writing is a similar amalgam of breathless tirade, stream of consciousness, aphorism and traditional autobiographical narrative. The result is a call to arms. "Do whatever it takes to finally grow up and have a full slice of pie, because we need you and all that you know." She wants to rally the monster that lives in every girl and bring back the gritty, guitar- and gun-slinging women who disappeared after the 1990s. I'm a Monster Girl. Are you?

Read an excerpt here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Habla Ya

I thought this was a great concept. Habla Ya is an HBO series that is pretty much Latinos talking about their experiences. It's sometimes hilarious and makes me wish I hadn't allowed myself to forget so much of my Spanish. I wonder what a Black version of this show would look like, and would it be successful in showing how diverse of a race we are and how many cultures we encompass (specifically in America)? Anyway...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Chai Season

I decided to try and make chai from a mint green tea I purchased from Rishi Tea, being that it contained a lot of the same spices as Masala Chai. The result: sweet and spicy. A great dessert-like tea for the cold season. Below is the brewing method I prefer to use for chais.  

Makes ~15 oz.

Small-medium sized pot
Tea strainer
Decanting pot (basically a glass teapot so you can admire the tea's color)

1.5 cups pure spring water (Filtered is fine. Remember: quality water is a key ingredient to making quality tea!)
1 tbsp honey (Cactus honey is the bomb, but any natural sweetener is fine)
1 tsp your favorite whole leaf black tea (I used Ancient Gold. Wish I had a quality Darjeeling on hand.)
1 cup whole milk

Thoroughly wash a quart sized (or larger) pot with a mild soap to remove any unwanted oils from previous use. I like to boil tap water in it afterward to be extra thorough in removing soap residue but that's not necessary. In the cleaned pot, bring water and honey to a rolling boil, then add tea leaves. Boil for 3 minutes. Add milk. Return mixture to a boil (caution: when milk starts to boil it will quickly rise and overflow if you don't keep an eye on it) and immediately remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Strain into a decanting pot and enjoy.

Optional: Return to a boil again before straining if you prefer your chai piping hot. I personally can't enjoy chai unless I'm at risk of scalding myself.

For the curious, here is a list of my favorite shops to purchase fair-trade, organic tea and teaware from:

Samovar (San Francisco) - Have yet to find a more superior vendor. Supports local artists.
Rishi Tea (Milwaukee) - Great teaware!
Chicago Tea Garden (Chicago) - Wonderful new e-business/upstart that sells a small yet premium selection, and supports local artists (gorgeous yunomi cups). On par with Samovar in terms of tea quality, if you ask me. Very promising. Please support!

These businesses also maintain relationships with their farmers.

Justice Prevails for Oscar Grant?


Oscar Grant wasn't the only life senselessy profiled and/or taken on New Years 2009. Adolph Grimes III and Robbie Tolan were also victims, and these are just the ones I heard about. Growing up in Louisiana, black men getting beat down or excessively shot up by the police was not (and apparently is not) uncommon. I haven't forgotten a single story. And I know to some it can sound like a sign-of-the-time story from high school history class. But it's not. And though it never goes overlooked by the community, the thing about the south, that isn't like the west, is people of color don't speak out. We swallow it and chalk it up to "that's just how it is." But unlike Adolph and Robbie, Oscar was murdered in the west, people took note, havoc was raised by everyone, and now ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle awaits sentencing after already spent 146 days in jail. Mehserle will serve a minimum of two years for the life he took and the pain he's caused. And it's still sad. Not only because this murderer may only get 2 years, but also because Oscar would have been further swept under the rug if so many people had not gotten angry.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NCAA’s First Openly Transgender Player!

The NCAA’s first openly trans player is set to take the court soon. Kye Allums, a 20-year-old basketball player at George Washington University. On November 13, he’ll take the floor at the Best Buy Classic in Minneapolis for a game against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and become the first publicly transgender person to play NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

Read the full story on Color Lines!

Prop 19 Fails

We'll have to wait for stress-free stress-relief awhile longer, it seems. Just imagine all the tax revenue that could be made by legalizing marijuana (that very special plant that doesn't cause cancer, destroy your liver or make you violent)? Ever wonder why marijuana was illegalized in the first place? Look it up. 

And according to the New York Times, there are also other things to be disheartened about:

- Rhode Island voters decided not to change the name of the state, which is officially “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” I'm curious how that happened... There must be some sort of reasoning.

- Arizona put an end to affirmative action programs. WTF? (But not surprised)

- Oklahoma made English its official language. To what aim? Only the Lord knows.

And in other news! Election results.

Well, that about does it for now, folks! Until next time...

Black Weirdo

 As of 2 minutes ago, bklyn boihood turned me onto Seattle-based duo THEESatisfaction. Must say, much obliged. And this is the part where I tell you to check them out! In search of more info about them, I found their blog and subsequently fell in love with them even more. You know, the more I delve into queers of color, the more my heart bursts. Just thought I'd let y'all know. Ladies to bois, THEESatisfaction:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wrong in All the Right Ways: God, I Love P!nk

In the back of your mind, you know you were subconsciously waiting for Pink to sing something regarding the gays and our endless plight. And it has finally arrived!

The song: not my favorite. The video: pretty awesome! Pink: still uncompromising and supporting the underdogs of society. I should note that this video is laced with gay... not just that wedding part. God, I love P!nk.

“I threw my best friend’s wedding in my backyard. She is gay and it was a beautiful ceremony. At the end of it, her mom said, ‘Why can’t that be legal?’ and started crying. It was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever seen and that’s why I’m doing it in my video.” -P!nk

10 LGBT Teen Novels That Address Bullying and Suicide

Atlanta based writer Collin Kelley compiled a list of 10 LGBTQ teen novels that involve bullying and suicide, and has posted them on Autostraddle. One thing I love about Autostraddle is that they make it a point to not be obnoxiously Eurocentric. Kuddos to them! Here are some of the books they suggest:

Down to the Bone 
by Mayra Lazara Dole

A Cuban-American girl in a Catholic school is expelled and abandoned by her mother after they discover she is a lesbian.

A Scout is Brave
by Greg Novak

A Native American is bullied at a Boy Scout summer camp as he faces his own sexuality and the traditions of his family.

by Shawn Stewart Ruff

A book for older teens and adults, this story of a young Black American teen and his Jewish boyfriend in 1969 is sexually frank and shows that bigotry and bullying roots are deep.

Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws
by Kate Bornstein

The celebrated transgender writer offers up suggestions from the witty to the controversial, but all with one simple message: “Don’t be mean.”

The National Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Suicide Hotline:  

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire [****]

I FINALLY got to sit down and watch The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second installment to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Decidedly, not as good as the first. But still good. It flirted a little with over-the-top this time around. And over-the-top action flicks don't sit right with me. In fact, they annoy the hell out of me unless done ridiculously well. Anyway, the best part about this sequel is you get a satisfying girl-on-girl scene between Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Miriam Wu (Yasmine Garbi). That's right! The Swedes had the courtesy to write a Swedish/French speaking, bad-ass Asian into the plot. Not to mention there's a little martial arts, too! If you're in the mood for some martial arts, queer, criminal, mystery, action flick, I highly recommend The Girl Who Played with Fire (after you've watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, of course). Lady gives this one four stars out of five.

Stream it with Netflix!


Atlanta's YouthPride developed the Evolve! program in order to address the growing problem of suicide among LGBTQ teenagers and young adults. The program provides therapeutic services to youth in crisis while also working to increase community awareness of mental health issues, depression and suicide for "at risk" youth and young adults in Metro Atlanta. 

EVOLVE! expanded its services in 2008 by offering YouthPride members free individual, couples, and group counseling in a non-judgmental and confidential environment. Counseling is provided on site by licensed practitioners or a counseling intern. They also provide counseling or referrals to YP members' families and offer workshops to the public.

Suicide Risk Factors
Though it may be obvious to most of us, we should also point out that sexual orientation and gender identity alone are not risk factors for suicide. However, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth face many social factors that put them at higher risk for self-destructive behaviors, including suicide. Some LGBTQ Youth Specific Risk Factors include:
  • Gender Non-conformity – Not following society’s traditional gender roles. For example: the young lesbian involved in softball instead of cheerleading and gay boy that is in drama club instead of playing football.
  • Coming Out Issues – Will I lose my current friends? Will my family turn me out? Am I doomed to get AIDS because I’m gay? I’ll be alone for the rest of my life and similar worries.
  • Rejection when Coming Out – Loss of one’s support system due to rejection by friends, family, community, etc.
  • Coming Out at a Young Age - Increased likelihood of rejection by friends and family, less maturity to handle rejection and abuse.
  • Gay Related Victimization – Rejection and isolation, verbal harassment, physical/sexual assault, property damage.
  • Developmental Stressors – Lack of role models, lack of access to community structures and support systems commonly found in heterosexual community. Can not openly date same-sex romantic partner/take them to the school dance; can not walk down the hall or street holding hands; lack of support from family for same-sex romantic partner.

Youth and young adults (13- 24 years of age), can call (404) 521-9711 or email letstalk@youthpride.org for help.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised