Equality for All

LGBT seniors more likely to be poor, isolated March 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 6:54 pm

By Ruth Schneider, 365gay.com
03.25.2010 11:00am EDT

A new report from Movement Advancement Project sheds light on stereotypes of senior members of the LGBT community.
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The report finds “LGBT elders are more likely to live in poverty, face social and community isolation, and lack appropriate health care and long-term care” according to a news release on the group’s Web site.

The report, called the first major collaboration between LGBT groups and advocates of the elderly, provides a road map for advocates to help seniors age. The report includes input from Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders, American Society on Aging, National Senior Citizens Law Center, Center for American Progress and AARP.

“Most Americans already face challenges as they age, but LGBT older adults have the added burden of a lifetime of stigma; familial relationships that generally lack legal recognition under the law; and unequal treatment under laws, programs and services designed to support and protect older Americans,” the release said.


How social media is changing gay activism

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 6:51 pm

By Ruth Schneider, 365gay.com
03.25.2010 7:00am EDT

Greg Porter checked his Twitter messages one recent morning and found a very hateful message.

The day before, Porter posted a tweet on his @MU_gay_prof Twitter account asking “#gay why can’t we give blood?” with a link to a column on the outdated Red Cross policy that bans gay men from giving blood. The response came the next day. An account for “Ricky Joaquin,” who appears to be a Brooklyn resident, tweeted “because we don’t want your fag blood.”
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Porter was angry. He was hurt. The 61-year-old former mass communication professor at Marquette University used social media to respond. He knew a “teaching moment” when he saw one.

“Within seconds, though, my anger turned to sorrow regarding the circle of bigotry,” he wrote in a blog about the incident. The link he posted in his response was retweeted several times, exponentially increasing the number of people it reached with each retweet.

“I haven’t sent this person a [direct message] yet, but I want to thank him for the inspiration and give him a link,” said Porter.

Porter’s story is just one way the LGBT community is using social media to further gay rights causes, fight homophobia and promote education. Between blogs, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, activists are using the power of social media to increase the reach of their advocacy messages.

Indeed, social media is the place to be – a survey found that 69 percent of women 17-25 rate Facebook as their favorite site; for men in the same age group, 56 percent called it their favorite site. In all, more than 400 million people use Facebook. This week, industry data showed Facebook generates more hits than Google.

“Social media has had a tremendous impact on all advocacy, for better or worse,” said Sree Sreenivasan, a dean at Columbia University’s School of Journalism where he teaches a course in social media. “If you are smart, you can use it to amplify audiences, to raise more money.”

Last year, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hired Sarah Kennedy just to handle social media for the nonprofit organization. As the interactive media coordinator, Kennedy exchanges tweets daily with the more than 3,000 followers of the Task Force’s twitter account. And the group’s more than 8,000 Facebook friends see her news posts daily.

“I believe that is the number one key to social media. That it is social. In the past, organizations have sent out newsletters to inform them about their work,” Kennedy said. Now there are tweets, posts, blogs and videos to spread the message. “Before LGBT groups had social media, there wasn’t always that level of information.”

Sreenivasan agrees that some people forget the social aspect. “They use it to broadcast instead of listen,” He said. “They use it to point to themselves instead of to point at something interesting about them.” He stresses the need for listening to what others say and encouraging an open dialogue.


Zimbawe – A Homophobic African Nation

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 6:27 pm

Zimbawe – A Homophobic African Nation

March 26, 2010 by James Hipps
Zimbawe – A Homophobic African Nation

A new constitution is being drawn up in Zimbabwe under a power-sharing deal and LGBT advocacy groups have asked for LGBT inclusion, recognition and protection to be written in.

However, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president says there is no way rights for LGBT citizens will included in the document.

Mugabe was quoted earlier today on State radio as saying the request by Western groups that support LGBT equality is “insanity.” Mugabe once described homosexuals as “lower than pigs and dogs”, and has stated that homosexuality is “white man’s disease.”

According to Mugabe;

“Those who engage in homosexual behaviour are just crazy. It’s just madness. Insanity. We can’t do it or the dead will turn in their graves.”

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s prime minister supports Mugabe’s opinion and stated:

“Women make up 52 per cent of the population… There are more women than men, so why should men be proposing to men?”

The Gay and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) says the country’s gays live in fear which forces them to live in the closet. It would appear the groups website, http://www.galz.co.zw/ has been removed, perhaps by Zimbabwe government officials.


9 misconceptions about lesbians

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 6:23 pm

By Nikki Dowling, The Frisky
March 2, 2010 — Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)

(The Frisky) — There are a lot of misconceptions about lesbians. I’m confronted with them daily and, frankly, hearing this stuff is like getting smacked in the face with a wet rag.

Usually, when someone fires off a stereotype, I am so shocked that I just stand there, staring, opening and closing my mouth like a big, dumb goldfish.

So I’m going to take this opportunity to get up on my soapbox and stamp out all the stupid, ignorant misconceptions I have heard over the years. Hopefully, next time I hear one of these things I can eloquently explain why it’s untrue rather than just stammering, “What!? Jerk!”

Lesbians hate men. Actually, I find that often the opposite is true. A lot of gay women I know have a ton of guy friends and find that they get along with dudes as well as with chicks. I like checking out girls and my straight lady friends aren’t so interested in doing that. I feel very comfortable with my guy friends because they don’t care about how I look and don’t gossip to nearly the same degree. That said, I am very, very close to some of my female friends. There is definitely a very special bond between people of the same gender.

Being gay is easier than being straight because you’re dating someone who is the same gender as you. I wish this were true, but it isn’t. Guys complain that girls are impossible to figure out and I agree. I don’t understand my own emotions and feelings half the time, let alone another woman’s. Oh yeah, and if you think having sex with someone who has the same parts as you is easier, you’re wrong there too. You know how it’s easy to put mascara on yourself but not on someone else? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

There is always a “man” and a “woman” in lesbian relationships. Nope. My girlfriend and I both happen to be pretty feminine. I have seen lesbian couples where both women are on the masculine side, too. Believe it or not, lesbians care a lot about personality, just like straight couples. We don’t just go around trying to fill a gender deficiency. Who we are attracted to doesn’t have a whole lot to do with how we ourselves look. Rather, it has to do with … who we are attracted to. Wow, what a concept!

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Lesbians have daddy issues or were sexually abused as kids. Puhleeasee! My sexual preference has nothing to do with trauma or some kind of damage that happened to me as a child. Imagine, for a moment, what this conversation would look like if it went the opposite way. Straight woman: I’m straight. Lesbian: Ooooh! Do you have a really bad relationship with your mother?! Straight woman: No. Lesbian: Well, you must have been sexually abused by a big, mean lesbian as a child. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

If you are a lesbian you’ve never had a meaningful relationship or been in love with a man. This is a hard one to make people believe, but it isn’t true. When I was younger, I identified as bisexual and had a three-year relationship with a man whom I loved a lot. A few years after we broke up, I realized I couldn’t date or sleep with men anymore because I didn’t feel sexually attracted to them. Things change, OK? A woman who has a relationship with a woman is free to identify as straight when the relationship ends, so why can’t I do the opposite?

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Lesbians get committed really fast and don’t cheat. The old joke that a lesbian’s second date is renting a U-Haul is stupid. Like straight couples, some become a “we” very fast, and some don’t. Oh yeah, and you know how promiscuity happens in some hetero relationships and not in others? Surprise! That also happens with homosexual couples. Let’s stop stereotyping women as commitment-obsessed, clingy crazies, OK?

Women who like women — especially bisexual chicks — are just dying to take part in your threesome. Obviously, this varies depending on the person. I, myself, do not want to share my girlfriend with anyone. I’d rather drink a bottle of shampoo than watch someone else touch her. And, no, I do not want to have sex with you and your boyfriend. By the way, girls, my involvement in your sex life isn’t going to make your BF love you more.

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Lesbians don’t wear lingerie. Wrong again. Girls wear sexy underwear for their boyfriends and girls wear sexy underwear for their girlfriends. The difference? Lesbians are aware of how uncomfortable that crap is and appreciate it more.

It’s just a phase. Roar! Nothing incites rage in me like the old it’s-just-a-phase crap. When I was straight, no one told me it was just a phase. Like a lot of these other misconceptions, you wouldn’t say it to a straight person, so don’t say it to me. It’s hurtful and offensive because tons of thought, anguish and emotion went in to figuring out my sexuality. To dismiss it as a phase is also to say I wasted months of my life thinking about something that isn’t real.


Gay Rights and Infighting Amongst the Ranks

Filed under: Uncategorized — taatamata @ 6:21 pm

Gay Rights and Infighting Amongst the Ranks

March 23, 2010 by James Hipps

Gay Rights and Infighting Amongst the Ranks

It looks as though Lt. Dan Choi, the guy who chained himself to the White House gates in protest of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, has been busy since his arrest…but not chaining himself to fences, but rather pointing fingers and making accusations against the HRC, ultimately doing damage to the Gay Rights Movement.

According to Pink News:

Lt Choi told the publication: “Within the gay community so many leaders want acceptance from polite society. I think there’s been a betrayal of what is down inside of us in order to achieve what looks popular, what look enviable.

“The movement seems to be centered around how to become an elite. There is a deep schism [in the gay-rights movement], everyone knows this.”

And According to Edge Boston the reason Choi is so upset, is twofold. One, HRC President Joe Solmonese didn’t accompany Choi to the White House and two, Kathy Griffin was HRC’s spokesperson about DADT and Choi believes a comedian is not an appropriate speaker for something that’s ‘not a joke”.

While I understand the need to not ‘joke’ about DADT, I also understand there are two sides to every coin and pointing fingers, placing blame, and infighting amongst those of us in the LGBT community is NOT a solution to the problem. If you have a difference of opinion, take it up with those you differ…don’t go on national TV and accuse those who have fought for equality over the decades of betrayal…the only betrayal was non-conformity to perhaps unrealistic expectations. This is the type of situation that takes away from everyone’s efforts. Helps no one and hurts everyone.

If Dan Choi wants to handcuff himself to the White House gate and get arrested…good on him for his powerful statement. However, he needs to realize a few things. Being the health care debate was in full force, perhaps this wasn’t the best of times. For another, whether or not Kathy Griffin is a comedian, she is also a well known LGBT rights advocate who is taken seriously when it comes to rights. Why would you intentionally want to ostracize a straight ally of the LGBT community? Our allies ARE our key to gaining support! Lastly, if you choose to take action, you can’t expect that simply because a group champions for LGBT rights, they’re going to put regularly scheduled programming on hold to accommodate those with their own agendas, which perhaps could be a bit narrower in scope. Betrayal and not conforming to one’s expectations are not the same…this type of infighting is only detrimental to the Gay Rights movement…just saying!