Thursday, January 17
by Sue on Thu 17 Jan 2008 10:48 AM EST
The week of January 28 through February 3 is a call to action day per Equality Advocates ...
Here's a list of current cosponsors of the legislation.
Equality Advocates are urging us gay folks and our allies to contact our reps to either thank them for their sponsorship or ask them to sign on.
Click here to find out which lucky soul is your representative.
Click here for talking points from Equality Advocates.
This really matters. Ledcat and I live in the City and we both work for employers with a presence in the City. My organization includes sexual orientation in our non-discrimination policies, but I can't lie and say that I haven't faced homophobia in the workplace. I appreciate the company policy, but I deserve the safety that knowing my employment is not going to be threated by the ignorant, homophobic behavior of people with whom I happen to work.
My state rep, Chelsa Wagner, is on-board. I've already thanked her, but I'll do so again.
Take a few moments of your time, fellow queers and the straight people who love us. We deserve civil protections and none of us can afford -- NONE OF US -- to be complacent. Click the damn link and take three minutes to compose an email.
You can be sure Diane Gramley and her merry band of bigots are deluging the reps from the other side of hate and intolerance.
Wednesday, January 16
by Sue on Wed 16 Jan 2008 10:12 PM EST
Tonight, Ledcat and I sipped coffee and ooh la la'd with none other than Ms. Monongahela, Ms. Chief Editor. We reconnoitered at a local coffeehouse. I can't tell you which one because, you see, they have eyes everywhere. Even in the vegan rice krispie treats (i missed the marshmallows).
It is always a fun time to meet another blogger in person. We bonded over our mutual admiration for John McIntire, the man called Potter and mocha drinks. We have almost worked out the kinks for the official Society secret greeting. Personally, I'm of the opinion that a few kinks never hurt anyone's secret greeting, but I'm not sure Ms. Mon agrees. I bet McIntire would agree. Unforunately, he'll never know how it works itself out because of the whole secret part. Sigh. Why did I bring this up? Pretend you never read this.
I promised my therapist I wouldn't blog or even by on my computer after 9:00 PM and I have blown the promise for three days in a row. Now I'm spilling all the handshake beans. This is what happens when you get all crazy and have a mocha in the middle of the week.
So ... someone tried to blow up Sweden with a dildo.
The ACLU is defending Larry Craig's expectation of privacy. Good for them. People are so busy making jokes about "toe tappers" that they lose site of how invasive this whole sting operation was. Is everything you do in a bathroom stall fit for police observation?
That's all I have tonight. I'm tired from all the conversationing. It is exhausting being scintillating.
ps: I am very excited that I made a story suggestion to the man called Potter and they might actually use it. I won't ruin the surprise by identifying the topic, but it feels very gratifying that someone listens to your idea and thinks it is worth some resource investment. i hope they assign someone cool to write the story because i will go around telling the entire free world it was my idea and only a cool person would endure that kind of behavior.
pps: my 20th year high school reunion is coming up in June. so far, there are only 2 homos in a class of 300+. that's statistically improbable. my truest and for sure oldest friend, Amy, whom I have known since the tender age of four is coming to Pgh and staying with us! we even have a facebook group so i am really getting excited. Ledcat is already sick of the nostalgia.
Tuesday, January 15
by Sue on Tue 15 Jan 2008 05:03 PM EST
Today's PG gave me the heads up on a new social networking phenomenon, GLEE - Gay, Lesbian & Everyone Else. I have a little MySpace page which I rarely use. I also have a Facebook page that has proven more useful in reconnecting with old friends and a lot easier to use. Then, there is Linked In, a professional networking site. That one is pretty innocuous.
Overall, the sites aren't all that and a bag of chips. Facebook is my preferred social networking site. I've found a few friends from both high school and college, plus I can keep up with my brother and his family.
None of the sites are particularly connected to my gay identity. The relationship options offered by Facebook default to heteronormative standards -- that kind of sucks. There are tons of LGBT groups set up on both Facebook and MySpace. MySpace is more difficult to use and it suits me when I'm a little manic, but not on a day to day basis.
So I thought GLEE would be worth a whirl. It is very cumbersome. I enrolled earlier today and have yet to receive my verification email. Setting up "my page" was boring. I scrolled through other profiles of those online from Pittsburgh and it felt very "get a date" like. None of my actual friends appear to be in the network, but I could be wrong. So I'll keep my profile up and see what happens. Check it aht!
by Sue on Tue 15 Jan 2008 03:44 PM EST
Saturday night, Ledcat and I caught a local performance of The Vagina Monologues at the City Theater. It was bloggers night. I snatched two tickets as soon as word hit the Internet. Clearly, this was the perfect occasion for Ledcat and I to see the show that pretty much defines your feminist street cred.
Overall, it was a good experience. The performers were engaging, the venue was comfortable and the crowd was energetic. They built up the tension by alternating humorous skits with soulful monologues. The piece about the use of rape in war zones was very sad. The piece that pushed the envelope involved a survivor of childhood sexual assault describing the healing she found at the age of 13 when she was "seduced" by a 24 year old woman.
That was tough and several of us chatting afterward agreed that there was just no way that was gonna fly. While you feel this empathy and appreciation that the child found solace and comfort being treated with gentleness, the fact remains that the 24 year old woman seducing a child is little better than the grown man who raped her at the tender age of 10. I was angry that the child's earlier experience made the "seduction" seem less of a violation.
You can catch the Vagina Monologues at the City Theater through Feb. 17th and if you mention "blog" when you call you can save $5.00. The number is 412-431-2489. (I learned that calling versus purchasing tickets online will save you a few extra dollars.)
After the show, we toodled up to Cambod-ican Kitchen which was packed. We caught a table in the corner and enjoyed one of favorite meals. If you like Asian food, I highly suggest you swing by sometime.
Sunday we met up with Gab Bonesso for a late breakfast at the Square Cafe. She and John McIntire have a show coming up on January 25 at the Club Cafe. We'll blog more about that later. Suffice to say that this show will be minus the clump of shlubs from her last show. Plus, one of our favorites, Jason Kirsch, will be performing.
Breakfast with Gab is a good time. She's one of the best hanger outters I know. Admittedly, I have low standards ... coffee and witty banter are my bailiwicks ... but throw in some bacon,and references to sixteen obscure bands that Ledcat loves and it is a heck of a morning.
Monday, January 14
Saturday, January 12
by Sue on Sat 12 Jan 2008 01:47 PM EST
Mellon fired an employee, in part due to his disrespectful treatment of his LGBTQ coworkers and in part due to his inappropriate work behavior. The employee, Avraham Schwartzberg of Squirrel Hill, filed a lawsuit claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion; he's an Orthodox Jew.
A US District Judge tossed the religious bia suit out.
Previous decisions at this level have tossed out claims that religious freedoms allow discriminatory behavior targeting gays in the workplace.
It sickens me when people in the workplace assume that homophobia must be tolerated as an outgrowth of Christian, Jewish or any other belief system. That's bullshit. You come to work, you leave a little bit of your personal freedoms at the door when they conflict with the personal freedoms of other individuals.
Thursday, January 10
by Sue on Thu 10 Jan 2008 09:53 PM EST
"That's a good thing, right?" responds Ledcat to my plaintive wail that there is nothing to blog about. "No one is smearing local bar owners or other crap like that, right?"
She's got a point.
OUTrageous Bingo is debuting at its new Oakland home of Rodef Shalom. 7 PM Saturday. Be there or be (an Iron City) Square! I amuse only myself with that one. You, however, should go to Bingo and win big.
I'm heading over to City Theater on Saturday to catch the "bloggers special" performance of The Vagina Monologues. Stay tuned for a full review as only your lesbians can provide it.
An interesting twist on your typical gay bash. A 16 year old Dublin boy attacked and beat up a heterosexual couple after mistaking them for a gay couple (the woman had a masculine haircut). She and her boyfriend have both recovered from their injuries.
Theresa Sparks, the trans woman recipient of the HRC's 2004 Equality Award, has returned the award in protest of the organization's continued support for a version of the ENDA that is not transinclusive. Follow the link for more details.
Ledcat and I spend more time than you'd imagine reading magazines. We have three weeklies, a biweekly and more than five monthly magazines. I get the trifecta of feminist magazines -- Ms., Bitch and Bust. I'm considering adding Curve and, after reading the feature on Lance Bass, The Advocate. Rumor has it that Lance Bass might roll into town sometime this spring. I'm more interested in reading his book than I expected. Seriously.
Wednesday, January 9
by Sue on Wed 09 Jan 2008 09:18 PM EST
From the Post-Gazette we learn:
Is your company on the list? Mine is too small. Neither is my insurance agency, my cell phone provider, or my car manufacturer. The good news is that my credit card company and the manufacturer of my computer are listed. Plus, Starbucks - my guilty pleasure.
Here are the specifics on Mellon. Let's hold our breath and hope that the merger will pull Bank of New York up to this level next year.
Also, the 4th Annual Pittsburgh NaviGAYtour is due out this spring. Get it -- a gay and lesbian tour guide. Does that mean there's a separate issue for queers, bisexuals and trans men and women? Anyway, this little PG story is basically a giant soliciation for gay friendly restaurants who want to be included in the tour guide. Make sure you tell your favorite local business. Somebody call the Square Cafe!
On the national front, Governor Bill Richardson is ending his Presidential campaign. Richardson is by all accounts a progressive candidate on LGBT issues ...here's what Pam has to say.
I'm still pulling for Edwards even though I was not pleased with his comments about Hillary Clinton's demonstration of emotion. I just can't get excited about Obama given my concerns about his pandering to religious interests. Gussied up in lefty politics, it is the same marriage that makes Mike Huckabee so unpalatable. Obama's affiliation with ex-gay zealot Donnie McClurkin is cause for concern, too.
This ties into yesterday's post about joining the Steel City Stonewall Democrats.
If the frontrunning Democratic candidate for President can be (in either case) pretty weak on LGBT issues ...
If the Mayor of Pittsburgh can publicly oppose gay marriage AND gay civil unions without losing any of his gay support ...
If the County Chief Executive can publicly oppose domestic partner benefits for County employees and hide behind "the budget" while planning to run for Governor ...
If, If, If ... then we need to make sure our voices are being heard in the Democratic Party. Steel City Stonewall Democrats needs to be accountable for and accountable to the LGBT community. You can make that happen.
Tuesday, January 8
by Sue on Tue 08 Jan 2008 10:26 PM EST
Earlier today, someone apparently hacked into the website of the Steel City Stonewall Democrats and sent a very strange rumor out that a local LGBTQ businessowner is a rightwing Republican along with the thinly veiled suggestion that patronizing those businesses would fill the coffers of George Bush. Something like that.
It took me about two minutes flat to debunk that rumor. First, the message itself was poorly written and included a recommendation to visit MY site if the Steel City site went down. That's odd, especially as I have no content up about that individual at all. Second, I hit the City Paper website and found evidence that the individual had contributed to the Bruce Kraus campaign. Kraus is not a Republican. He is not a rightwinger. He wasn't even endorsed by the local Dems.
Finally, I asked Steel City for the heads up. They have issued a statement:
by Sue on Tue 08 Jan 2008 02:28 PM EST
For those of you who want to stay in the loop of what's happening at Pittsburgh's Gay & Lesbian Community Center, check out the new GLCC email blast. You can subscribe.
Another great email resource is the Queer Events List with over 500 subscribers. Join both! Sure, you'll get some duplication, but it is worth it to keep up with all the cool stuff happening in Pittsburgh's queer scene.