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View Article  PG reader sets the record straight on Sexual History 101

Matthew Fusina of Franklin Park seems a little fed up.

A little foray into the fascinating world of sexual history would reveal that our "[recently] corrupted society" has, in fact, been corrupt at least since the dawn of recorded history. Before Mr. Davis makes such broad historical generalizations in the future, I would encourage him and those who hold staunch opinions based on anecdotal versions of history to become familiar with some of the classics in sexual history. I particularly would recommend works by John Boswell, Thomas Laqueur, Peter Gay and George Chauncey, all highlights of the modern sexual canon. Even if you leave with the same opinion, it will prevent the future course of the marriage debate from being filled with historical half-truths.



View Article  Janet Edwards: Lesbian marriage trial update

Three of five charges against the Reverend Janet Edwards have been dropped.  A trial on the two remaining charges, brought for performing a marriage ceremony for a local lesbian couple, will proceed in October 2008. 

More than 30 observers attended. Most, if not all, were supporters of the Rev. Edwards. During a recess they gathered in a nearby home, where they sang and prayed for her. Among them were Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole of Triadelphia, W.Va., the couple she was on trial for marrying.

The trial "is very hurtful, not just for us but for all gay and lesbian couples. But what the church is doing does not in any way diminish the sacredness of our marriage," Ms. Cole said.

"They do not have that kind of power," said Ms. McConn, who is Presbyterian.


View Article  The Meaning of Lila .... offensive or ridiculous?

My highly confidential informant found the offending strip.  It is called "The Meaning of Lila" and it is a silly little attempt to translate "Will and Grace" onto the funny pages.  The challenges of extrapolating the gay guy/girlfriend routine are many and Lila makes the classic mistake of assuming she's "in" the group.  Yes, Lila drops the H-bomb.  Right in front of Blondie, Hagar the Horrible and those cute little critters from Mutts. 

Here's the strip ..


The problem here is the classic heterosexual mistake of assuming that you are so gay-friendly, we won't mind if you use terms that are typically offensive. Like fag, dyke and homo.  Those are pretty much "insider" terms which belong to us.  Lila is obviously gay-friendly because her best friend, Boyd, is gay.  Boyd was outed in mid-May.  So it took less than a month for the writers to leapfrog from veiled references to full frontal fag haggisms.  My goodness ...

Maybe I spend too much time with homo-flinger John McIntire, but this doesn't bother me nearly as much as the inherent vacuousness of the whole strip -- I read back a few weeks online and it is just ... sad.  There's none of the warmth and humor that permeated Will and Grace, which was equally vacuous in its own way.  In color.  With Jack. And Karen.

Lila, however, presumes too much when it used the word homo.  It presumed that readers are thoroughly invested in a gay comic strip character (uh-huh) and that Lila's character had proven her gay street cred enough to warrant using the term (???). 

Does the fact that so few people noticed mean that society is indifferent to the gay guy/girlfriend dynamic, that it is still acceptable to drop the term homo in everyday conversation or that very few people actually read this strip?

You decide.

View Article  Gay Slur in Post-Gazette Comic Section?

I caught this letter to the editor Thursday and have no idea which strip used the term "homo" recently.  Anyone?

I am writing to express my disgust that you would publish, in the comic section, a cartoon with well-known slur (homo: "Offensive slang for a gay or lesbian person," American Heritage Dictionary) as part of the gag.

While the strip is mediocre and poorly drawn (like the cheapo cartoons seen in old UHF commercials in the '60s), mediocrity is not a reason to cancel a strip.

However, blatant offensiveness is and I would not be sorry to never see this kind of tripe again.

Bard Ermentrout

I confess that I typically read 1/3 of the comic strips.  Mutts, For Better or For Worse, Peanuts, Sally Forth, Lio, the one with Danae, the one with the 7 or 8 brothers who are cops and football players, and the Born Loser. Oh and Blondie.  On the weekends, I read Opus, Prince Valiant and Fox Trot.  I miss Fox Trot in the dailies.

The constant switch in and out of new comics fatigues me.  They are all about people with kids and not very original. 

So, I didn't see the slur.  Anyone catch it?  I'd be interested to see it in context before I jump to conclusions (my favorite weekend hobby).  :-)

View Article  Breaking News: Shields and Kraus Propose City Domestic Partner Registry

Update:  The Pittsburgh City Paper's Melissa Meinzer and Chris Potter do a really good job with this story on the CP's website.  Good example of how web based media serves the CP readership.  And you. 

I contacted Shields' office and encountered a reluctance to work with a blogger which was disappointing as I worked very hard to get his letter to Sally Kern picked up by gay media around the country.  Ah well ...


City Council President Doug Shields and City Councilperson Bruce Kraus are proposing the development of City domestic registry for unmarried couples which would formalize the process for determining eligibility of City employees for domestic partnership benefits AND provide private employers with a similar resource.  According to the Post-Gazette, the registry will also recognize familial relationships defined by mutual support.

I'm waiting for a comment from Council President Shields.  I'm also poking around to see what impact this has had in other communities, including Philadelphia. 

The PG story is here. 

Ledcat and I already have an affidavit of our domestic partnership.  It was a pain to get it and put us through more far more hoops than is reasonable.  How many heterosexual married couples have to get both names on utility bills -- do you know how complicated that is? 

This is an interesting step forward.  I'm curious as to how the Mayor rules on this and hopeful this will force the issue of addressing domestic partnership benefits in a potential City-County merger.

Stay tuned ...

View Article  Four Funny Females - Not So Much

I have to admit I was disappointed when Ledcat and I rolled out of Slapsticks last night, after catching their "Four Funny Females" show.  It should rightfully have been called "Some Kinda Amusing Ladies, a Gal with Potential and Gab."

Harsh?  Eh.

Slapsticks is located on Library road just moments from the intersection with Saw Mill Run Boulevard aka Route 51.  It took us 13 minutes to get there from the Northside.  The venue is cute and festive and smoke free.  The service was just this side of horrible.  Our waitperson was clearly unhappy to be assigned to the room and it showed.  Next time, I'll bring a bottle of water. 

But overall the venue is fine.  No drink minimum and comfortable.

The performers though made me a little depressed to be a female in Pittsburgh.  It was supposed to be all revolutionary and groundbreaking because four female comedians never happens in Pittsburgh.  Now I know why.

First up, was young Subhah Agarwal, a CMU student who was clearly inexperienced but had some promise.  She had good timing, did a nice job with her ad libs and felt comfortable.  I feel somewhat rote in saying that her best work came when she invoked her mother because that plays into the idea that ethnic mommies are funny stuff and clearly the comedic alley for 2nd generation female comedians.  However, I think Subhah did the best job when she was skewering American xenophobia.  She missed some great opportunities to poke at the host (and her female comedians) for being unable to pronounce her last name (or unwillingly to learn).  I'd see her again. 

Next us was British born Sally Choppings who gives public speaking presentations on humor.  This felt like one.  Her jokes were actually funny, but her delivery was very old school.  I almost fell asleep waiting for the punchlines.  It felt like dated material even though it was sort of universal.  Ledcat liked her and said I'm being mean because I expect everyone to be like Gab.  Eh.

Third was the most significant disappointing comedian I've seen in a long time (including Gab's shlubs from the Brillobox who just sucked period).  Her name is Nancy Marshall and ten years in the LA public school system gave her fodder for two jokes.  Two.  And one of them was a fat joke about herself.  Because you can't be a plus-sized woman and not mock yourself, right?  I mean fat is funny.  Well, it can be except her jokes were from the 1980s and there was no biting zing in them.  Sitting on a size 2 woman to make an impression is more obvious than the fact that customer service was not a skill set for our waitress.  I just sat there with my jaw on the ground.  That's the best she can do?  She actually made VCR reference as if it were relevant.  She was soooo disappointing.  Ledcat kept kicking me so I wouldn't say anything.   She did make one funny joke about being more patriotic than thin people.  It was funny. 

Then Gab was up and she was smoking.  Maybe it was part relief at being able to laugh, but I found all of her material amusing even what I've seen many times before.  Gab did some new political stuff that was very good -- she should pursue that because she has a flair for it.  President Obama should give her lots of material. 

Overall, it was a good experience.  It does prove, however, that we need more women to step up to the mike.  We need a female led comedy workshop for all the wannabee comedians out there (ahem, Gab).  Wouldn't it be great to bring a group of funny women together at Hoi Polloi for a night of learning from someone and a small intimate crowd to try something out on?  I mean if the unemployed Seth Rogan crowd can waste their time hanging in a pot haze at the Brillobox, we can do it, too!

And for those of us who are actually fat, a chance to do some clever work instead of Roseanne Barr retreads.  Good lord. 


View Article  Gaybees?

Mike Seate of the Tribune Review posits some new additions to Pittsburgh's lexicon.  One of these is the term "gaybee" referring to children parented by gay people.

Huh.  Funny? 

I like this one:

Recent Square:  Person who moves from suburbs to Regent Square and immediately adopts the heavily pierced, thrift-store fashion sense of local hipsters. i.e., "Those two are definite Recent Squares because their tattoos haven't even healed yet."

This wasn't funny.  Am I too senstive b/c of the lesbian reference?  Or is it just not funny?

Skullet  Haircut that's long in back but short in front and, sadly, interrupted by a bald spot the size of a softball. Popular in South Hills and among lesbian couples from Regent Square.

This is pretty much the only reference to lesbians the Trib has made in weeks.  What do you think?

View Article  Ellen DeGeneres and the Founding Fathers

Craig Galik of Duquesne is not pleased.  Apparently, when he tunes in to the Ellen DeGeneres show, he doesn't expect to see any lesbian claptrap. Imagine his horror when Ellen spoke about her plans to marry partner, Portia De Rossi.  On television.  In front of viewers.  Gay stuff. 

Either Craig is the only person on earth who doesn't know that Ellen is a lesbian or he is just an idiot.  Actually, I'm pretty sure its the latter based on these statements:

Isn't it funny that we can talk openly about gay affairs on TV, but we cannot freely talk about Jesus.

Is this what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wanted freedom for all?

This is exactly the narrow-minded thinking that is so seductive to people lacking the capacity for original thought.  Craig postulates that there is more discussion of gay issues than Jesus-flavored religious issues on television.  That's simply preposterous.  You can't turn on a news station without smacking into some religious advisor or another commenting on the latest political issue.  We can't have a discussion on anything -- from access to healthcare to hemlines -- without contemplating what Jesus would do about it.  Craig also seems to forget that entire stations devoted to Jesus flavored religions dominated the airwaves long before LOGO came churning along.  It has been a long, long time since it wasn't cool to talk about Jesus on television.  Exactly one day longer than there has actually been television. 

What Craig is trying to do is pit any discussion of gay issues as a suppression of his religious liberties.  He does it poorly and with a distinct lack of poetry, but I'm sure he got a few amens out of the PG readers.  It is just amazing that Christians can somehow redefine themselves as a persecuted minority on one hand and yet force all three Presidential candidates to prove their Jesus-love in order to win the nomination.  Amazing.

To answer Craig's question about the Founding Father's wanting us to talk about gay issues as freely as religious issues, I say a resounding YES.  Freedom to exchange ideas was a big Founding Father priority, not the content of said ideas.  See the difference, Craig?  They wanted a society where you get to be a small-minded bigot and I get to love a woman without impinging on each others liberties. 

If you don't want to hear about the personal life of a lesbian, stop watching a television show named after and starring a lesbian.  There's nothing radical about that. 

View Article  Blogging is a lesbian thing

You probably saw the giant face and know that we have a new dog.  I've been blogging like mad about her over at http://pghmona.blogspot.com.

But the LGBTQ worlds needs some attention, too.

First up, the latest letter to the editor in the Post-Gazette. Jay Jarrell of McMurray drags out the arguments that marriage is about purpose, ie. the next generation.  He uses big fancy words to make his point, completely ignoring the evidence that many non-human life forms engage in non-purposeful sexual activity.  Because it feels good.  Ah, poor Mr. Jarrell.  Maybe someone needs to buy him a few early Prince albums and help him understand that marriage does not equal sex and procreation.  (I'm secretly guessing that he is one of those guys who watches news stories about parents who make disastrous choices and thinks that there should be laws about who gets to parents.)

Second, there was no mention of PghLesbian Correspondents (PLC) in the Cutting Edge this week.  Sigh. 

The Philadelphia Boy Scouts are suing the City.  Philly is tossing them out of a publicly funded building b/c the Scouts discriminate against adults and children who are LGBTQ, not to mention the Scouts with LGBTQ family members.  The Scouts are crying foul because other homophobic groups still get to rent some space at a public rate. 

I try not to support the Boy Scouts.  In fact, one of my favorite work moments was when a heterosexual coworker spontaneously spoke out against the agency participating in a Scouting for Food drive because the Boy Scouts policy conflicts with our own nondiscrimination policy.  I felt so good!  I mean, let's do our own food drive.  Hurrah!

The GLCC is looking for volunteers to help staff a LGBTQ volunteer team for the upcoming WQED pledge drive. This sounds like fun.   

 WQED has approached the GLCC about being a pledge partner -and is requesting LBGT volunteers to help staff phones during Pride month.  Volunteers will be well fed during their shifts and be representing the greater LBGT community.

Below are the dates for WQED's June pledge drive.  GLCC volunteers are needed to work as phone operators in WQED's studio.  The programming listed will be airing while you are in the studio.  We have some fun nights coming up!

Please note:
 1.) The specific dates, times, and programs they would like to volunteer for

2.) GLCC volunteers should call or email me (Peter) directly to sign up for the shift (not just show up!) so we can keep a record of how many folks to expect during each shift
If we can staff at least two or three of these nights with GLCC volunteers/members, we'll go along way towards meeting our pledge drive goals. 
Sunday June 1
Righteous Brothers 21st Anniversary Concert
Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music
Under the Sea With Al Giddings
Celine Dion: A New Day
Wednesday June 4
American Soundtrack: Doo Wop's Greatest Hits
Celine Dion: A New Day
Thursday June 5
Steel City Chefs III Cooking Marathon
Saturday June 7
My Music: The 1960's
Steve Miller Band Live in Chicago

IF INTERESTED IN COVERING ANY OF THESE SHIFTS (even for a few hours)  contact Peter directly to sign up at:


View Article  Ana's Big Day

Ana is here.  Check out her first lesbian adventures at http://pghmona.blogspot.com/


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The Correspondents