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View Article  Pittsburgh Black Pride

Itinerary

Thursday - Meet & Greet

Friday - Aggressive-One & Ms. Fem Show
      After Party Prom - DJ Nick Nice

Saturday - Basketball Game Old Skool vs New Skool   Downtown YMCA
      White Party

Sunday A Day at The Park  
      church service
      Closing Party @ Pegasus (818 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh, PA)  

Check out the Black Pride website here.

View Article  Faith in Faith

This comes from 365gay.com

(New York City) A priest who attempted to protect a 21 year old transwoman from four teens who were hitting and verbally harassing her was beaten in front of a shelter for gay and trans young people.

The teens were pelting Alessandra-Michelle Carver with garbage and yelling transphobic insults outside the Carmen's Place shelter in Queens when Fr Louis Braxton attempted to chase the youths away.

"One of them hit me with a garbage can," Carver told The Daily News. "Then his friends started joining in."

Braxton, who runs the shelter, was able to scare off the teens while Carver made it inside the building.  But minutes later the youths returned with metal poles, belts, and construction equipment including empty paint cans and a miter saw, and began beating Braxton.

"Father was trying to make peace with them, but then one of them hit him in the back of the head with a paint can," Carver told the Daily News. "He fell to the ground, and they kept hitting him."

Carver said she and other teens fended off the attack on the priest. Two of the residents also were injured.

 In making their escape the four ran past Transportation Authority Police officers who apprehended them.

I'd like to know more about a priest who runs a shelter for gay and trans young people.  It is like a little jolt of faith in a world filled with Barack Obama.  Nice.

View Article  A Really Cool Thing at The Quiet Storm

So tonight I scheduled a business meeting at The Quiet Storm who have been really nice to my work avatar -- donating to our foster parent dinner, handling our meetings, etc.  So I brought three new people in for dinner and two were very excited -- had always wanted to try it and never made the opportunity.  Meal was delish as per usual. I  had a zucchini burger.  And ginger lemonade which was really good. 

Anyway, today was just a so so day.  Very hectic pace and lots of distractions so I didn't have any sense of accomplishment, more just the feeling of passing time.  The meeting was productive and my mind was spinning as I headed for the register, trying both to discern how to get the project moving to the next step AND how I was going to walk out with the 20 or so copies of City Papers sitting in the rack without looking like a dork. 

While my head is processing all of this fabulous data, the nicest thing of the entire day happened to me.  A woman came up and told me she liked this blog.  We had met before through my work, even though I'm not sure she believed that I remembered her.  Even though I couldn't recall her name, I did recall her because she has the loveliest voice and she was really nice during our project.  People really undervalue the impression that being nice can leave on others.

Sure, it is nice when someone tells me they read this blog.  Of course, it is nice.  But it is nicer that someone would interrupt their dinner -- and their personal time with their friends or family -- to say hello.  It makes it personal and that's pretty cool. 

Bruce Kraus may not return my call.  Pah. It matters more that someone makes an effort to make a small personal connection. 

Thanks, A.  Bumping into you really ended my day on a positive note. 

Other stuff you should know ...

A new study finds that openly gay military men and women don't undermine morale. 

Jesse Helms died.  His granddaughter is still in office and still a closeted lesbian pandering to the Helms' legacy. 

Straight people are defending themselves from anti-reggae bigotry with a big splashy parade. 

Ledcat and I have signed the boys up for an outdoor obedience class.  This should be fun.  We are going to learn to avoid distractions.  I could use that skill.  I'm going to walk in a 5K.  I ran in a 5K in 1992.  No one believes me, but I have the shirt to prove it. 

View Article  Dyke March Pittsburgh DIY

View Article  Untitled

View Article  Obama and Faith Based Anything: I Knew It!

Color me not surprised by this little pronouncement from Mr. Theocracy.

Reaching out to evangelical voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is announcing plans that would expand President Bush's program steering federal social service dollars to religious groups and - in a move sure to cause controversy - support their ability to hire and fire based on faith.

"The challenges we face today, from putting people back to work to improving our schools, from saving our planet to combating HIV/AIDS to ending genocide, are simply too big for government to solve alone," Obama was to say, according to a prepared text of his remarks obtained by The Associated Press. "We need all hands on deck."

Obama proposes to elevate the program to a "moral center" of his administration, by renaming it the Office of Community and Faith-Based Partnerships, and changing training from occasional huge conferences to empowering larger religious charities to mentor smaller ones in their communities.

Some of those hands, Senator Obama, happen to be doing a damn fine job without being faith based.  How about funding us?

Faith based institutions do not serve the entire public.  They serve their faith based constituencies.  Some folks play by the rules and don't play the conversion card.  Too many don't and we cannot afford -- we cannot PREVENT -- them from inflicting their agenda on the vulnerable people they are entrusted to serve. 

What's worse is that faith based entities are going to suck up resources previously allocated to secular organizations -- organizations already doing good work and perhaps heavily affiliated with unpopular and underserved communities.  Like ours.

This is pandering, pure and simple.  It is the #1 reason I am opposed to electing Barack Obama, but I have no choice do I?  And he seems to know it.  Damn.

View Article  Lez Reunite

It really isn't that there's a dearth of LGBTQ news to analyze and share.  I'm just not feeling it lately.  I have this weird kidney thing going on (not diabetes related at all, thank god) and I basically drag myself out of bed every single day feeling like a dishrag.  The one you tossed into the laundry.  Yesterday.  After one final giant squeeze. 

I couldn't even make it through my class reunion.  I went, saw about a dozen people and came home to lay on my bed and moan.  Sort of like the scene from When Harry Met Sally.  Not that scene.  The one when Harry lays in bed moaning after hanging up the telephone with Sally.  That was me last night. To tell the truth, I wasn't entirely disappointed about missing the reunion (except for the wasted $$) because I pretty much keep in touch with the few people whom I care about catching up with at this point in my life. I wish the others well, but it just felt so contrived.  I don't think I'll go to another reunion. Maybe when I'm 67 and fewer people show up.  Does that sound awful? 

I glanced through the reunion book and noted that I am the only out homo in the whole thing.  So that's wasn't awkward at all.  Fortunately, my classmates were more hung up on the fact that I was in the Post-Gazette for my former pet sitting business several years ago.  I should be flattered that people paid attention.  Aside from people I currently know, I couldn't tell you the occupation of 5 of my former classmates without at least 3 lucky guesses.  And one of them was in the Post-Gazette himself. 

Today, I still feel icky.  We had breakfast at The Square and then did some much needed grocery shopping.  Speaking of which, I learned via the Queer Events list that the Square is hiring a barista.  Check it out if you are interested.

On an international level, this amusing little commercial from Heinz caused quite the furor in England because of  ... well, watch it and see.

It is cute, but I can't believe it created an international furor.  Clearly, the joke is the play on the deli part of the deli-man, not the man part  Heinz in good fashion pulled the ad for fear of offending people.  So sad. 

How Do I send a comment or inquiry about a Heinz Product online?
At Heinz, we look forward to hearing what's on our customers' minds. If you would like to send a question or a comment via email, http://www.heinz.com/Consumer_faq.aspx . We also welcome you to call our toll-free number at 800.255.5750 or send a letter to Heinz Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 57, Pittsburgh, PA 15230.

While the celebration continues in California, Arizona faces another ballot initiative about a gay marriage amendment.  Note that Arizona has already defeated one such initiative at the ballot box -- a landmark accomplishment.  Pam has the scoop.  What is important to note is that this verion of the hate eliminated the broad language to reduce claims that they might be hatin' on unmarried heterosexual couples and seniors and so forth.  Smooth. 

The tough call here is that a lot of funds are being poured into California.  So who is going to help Arizona?  Hopefully, the prospect of seeing Ellen marry Portia doesn't completely overshadow folks in other states.

Speaking of how this impacts us locally, I just sent an email to Bruce Kraus, Doug Shields and Tonya Payne (my councilwoman) asking for some feedback on the Domestic Partner Registry. I'm hoping to have a constructive dialogue on how to make the registry valuable for moderate and low income families living in the City and/or employed by the City.  The man called Potter has alluded that the City Paper might look into the relatively small number of employees utilizing DP bennies and I'd really look forward to the outcome of that investigation. 

Well, that's it from Lesbian Central.  I have to go refill my drink -- kidneys need hydration.  Oh, I should say that our nephew is home and doing great.  Thanks for the kind words and thoughts.  I'm staying away until I feel better just to be on the safe side. 

View Article  Things That Matter

Tonight, Ledcat and I visited our nephew at Children's Hospital.  He has pneumonia. He is 10 weeks old. 

He looked good. He was cooing and wriggly and hungry and breathing well.  His parents have been on a round robin for days now, juggling his needs with the care of their toddler.  Tomorrow, we'll be with the toddler.  She bit me on Saturday night.  I've never seen anyone so surprised by the concept of time out, rather the concept that Aunt Sue actually knew about time out.  Or that Aunt Sue's exothalmia gives her super human peripheral vision and thus she can snuff out any time out cheating without actually making eye contact with the misbehaving toddler.  I rock.  She did learn how to say exothalmia and now thinks I have superpowers.  To be fair, she only eats for Aunt Ledcat.  It takes a village.

Yesterday at work, I held a 2.5 lb baby who was born 5 weeks premature.  She was so small, but feisty.  She wrestled off a heart monitor and we had to have a little talk about making me look bad in front of the rest of the staff. 

Such joy gives me great pause in the middle of a busy week.  I am so grateful for the technologies of various sorts that makes each of three wee ones a few steps closer to healthy. 

I have a busy day tomorrow and I think construction is going to make it worse.  I'm going to try and recall seeing this beautiful little child in all his feisty glory as he battles for his health.  I'm going to revel in the little glow I feel when someone refers to us as "the Aunties." 

And I'm going to walk through the day with bit more gratitude than I did today. 

View Article  Lauren Weedman, Goddess of Funny

Yesterday, Ledcat and I were trotting up Liberty Avenue to grab some dinner with our friends Tom and Harry after wrapping up our PrideFest activities when I saw her.  Sitting at the City Theatre table.  Actually, I saw the sign first "Meet Lauren Weedman, Goddess of All that is Funny and Smokin Hot" or something like that. 

It took Ledcat and the guys like 3 blocks to realize I had completely abandoned them (Honey, that's why we have cell phones!). 

Then I saw Chris Young talking with her about Obama.  I waited impatiently for about 4 minutes, trying very hard to carry on a conversation with the somewhat taciturn City Theatre folks. When I send staff out to outreach events, I encourage them to talk to the people -- especially if they want to sell something. Like tickets. Whatever.  Finally, I used the hips God gave me and sent Mr. Young on his merry way (he was very cool about it). 

Then I talked with her.  I told her that her show revolutionized my life.  She told me she had read my blog post at the Pgh Women's Blogging Society.  I swooned.  I broke a cardinal rule and bought her book "A Women Trapped in a Woman's Body:  Stories From a Life of Cringe" and immediately felt guilty because I had told the Carnegie Library folks that I couldn't check out a book because I was holding myself to a two book limit to avoid any further $56 payments in late fees.  Seriously, at home waiting patiently for me were the final chapters of Faye Kellerman's latest mystery and a book about John and Abigail Adams.

Did not matter.  I broke my code and slapped down a $20.00 for a trade paperback book.  Which my new friend Lauren signed for me "The Power of the Blog"  !!!!  She then gave me this complicated order of chapters in which to read the book.  Which I promptly forgot and could kick myself because that was clearly intended to be a secret message about the meaning of life.  I asked her how many people under 60 came to her show and she admitted that not as many as she hoped.  What's up with that, CT?  I guess you missed my suggestion about inviting bloggers to all of your shows for people under 60.  I mean I enjoyed our show, but it felt like a race for the early bird special when we walked out the front door. 

Finally, Ledcat dragged me away.  She hates when I gush, especially over straight people.  Plus, she was hungry and we had to walk to Station Square.  I clutched my book to my bosom the entire way.  It was raining.  $20 is a lot of money for a book. 

Then I came home, finished the Faye Kellerman mystery and laid the new book on the nightstand to crack open tonight.  It is just waiting for me. 

The sad thing is that Lauren is a cable personality.  She was on the Daily Show which I've never seen.  She has a new show coming up on Oxygen which I don't get.  We get CBS, NBC and Fox. 

My entire appreciation for Lauren is based on her one woman show, Bust.  On her talent.  Not her ability to play nice with the boys.  Not her appeal to the homos.  Not her being a hottie.  On. her. talent.

So I am probably not going to get to see her again until she returns to Pittsburgh in two years. 

Meeting Lauren in person was pretty cool.  She is definitely the kind of person you wish you could go have drinks or coffee with.  I would love to invite her to hang out with Johnny Mac, Gab and me at Hoi Polloi.  I'll invite Ledcat, too, as long as she doesn't smirk at me for being gushy.  Ah well ... maybe someday when I'm a blogger with 200 readers a day, that dream will come true ...

Bust runs at the City Theater through June 29.  You should definitely check it out.  I'd like to go again b/c it was a really moving show. 

View Article  Highlights of My Pride

The Dyke March.  Was. Awesome.  I was very impressed with how well the ladies pulled off a switch from Oakland to the Downtown area.  From our vantage, the event was smooth and made quite an impact on the multitude of downtowners watching us march past.  I think the switch was good and added more visibility to the whole affair.  The women were in high spirits as the delicious Betty Hill speech kicked things off.  It was really cool.  We attended two years ago and it was completely different -- I felt much more welcome and part of the group this year.  Maybe it was the location switch -- being out of the university environs and in a more diverse atmosphere. The "Don't Sell Your Pride" theme was very appropriate downtown. Regardless, the dyke organizers did a terrific job and here's looking forward to something even more spectacular next year.

PrideFest was a good experience for me.  My agency had a booth so I had shade, a seat and a great view of the crowd for the first however many hours.  I missed the parade because of set up, but I certainly heard it.  There was a huge crowd and people were in a really good mood.  Many friends, old and new, stopped by to say hello, including Doug Shields and Michael Lamb.  Doug was in a really good place and kissed my intern -- she was really stunned b/c she had no clue who he was.  I was pleased when Michael Lamb recognized me (or my name at least).  We had an interesting discussion and I have to reiterate that he impresses me.  So much that I've reconsidered a campaign donation I was planning.  Overall, Pride was pleasant. The kids area was busy. We walked around at the end of the event and I managed to walk away with no new flyers, papers or handouts.  We stopped for a minute near the food/beer garden end of things and that was a little less nice.  It makes me appreciate the park and having a place to plop down.  I think moving the event to West Park on the Northside and maybe utilizing the Garden Theater for inside events would be great.

Kudos to the PrideFest Committee for a job nicely done.  The folks who helped us get our booth set up and address some related issues were really nice and helpful.  I appreciated that.  Thank you.

How was your Pride experience?

 

 

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