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View Article  Dessert, Bingo, and the Zoo -- A Gay Bonanza in Pittsburgh (plus other stuff)

First, some upcoming queer things to do in Pittsburgh ...

OUTrageous Bingo is this Saturday, September 15 at Goodwill's building on the Southside.  This is a good time and benefits two local causes -- the GLCC and Shepherd Wellness Center. 

"Dining for Diversity" also takes place Saturday evening from 9 - 11:30 @ SPACE downtown.  Wine, dessert, silent auction, dessert, lesbians, dessert ... it is all good.  This event benefits GLENDA.  How cool is this --- GLENDA will take the proceeds from their silent auction and donate them to another organization, Shepherd Wellness Center.  GLENDA volunteers do a lot of good stuf for my foster care program so I am all about them. 

"GAY DAY at the Zoo" will be Sunday, September 16.  I love the zoo and I love gays, but I also love to wear clean clothes so I'll be at home that day :-(  

Square Cafe -- Jamie Anderson and Tracy Drach play some tunes on Friday, September 21 from 7:30 - 10:00 PM.  Our friends invited us and there is hummus so we are there. 

Singer/Songwriter - Check out transgender singer/songwriter Namoli Brennet on Weds Sept 26 from 12 PM - 1 PM at the William Pitt Union.  I'll be at a conference that day.

2007 ImPAct Conference for Young Professionals - Actually, this is rather nice. I attended a few years ago and heard James Carville speak. I like networking events and I believe that young professionals should become foster parents, so I am spending my weekend mingling with YAP.   I get to hear Chris Heinz and, wait for it .... Luke.  This takes place the final weekend of the month.  We need more young LGBTQ professionals attending these events to keep things diverse.

Other stuff ...

I caught this in the Beaver County Times.  Written by the editorial staff ...

One aspect of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's conduct in a men's bathroom at the Minneapolis airport has been overlooked.
The Idaho Republican claims the reason the undercover police officer saw his hand under the stall wall, which the officer said was a signal for willingness to participate in gay sex, was that Craig was reaching for a piece of toilet paper that was on the floor.
That fails the sniff test. How many of you have ever reached down in a public restroom to pick up a piece of toilet paper off the floor?

So what can you say to that?  There's no name or location to indicate some jerk wrote this as a letter to the editor.  It seems the editors thought of this all by themselves.  Who uses the phrase "sniff test" in this type of story?  Ick, ick, ick.

On another front, BlogActive's Mike Rogers will no longer be reporting on closeted Congressional staffers who work for anti-gay legislators.  He will focus his efforts on the elected officials and candidates for public office themselves.  Rogers broke the story on Robert Traynham, former staff to former Senator Rick Santorum, and Lee Cohen, former PR guru for former Congresswoman Melissa Hart.  Rogers claims that staffers have been feeding him tips, indicating that they've heard his message loud and clear (hypocrites not welcome).  Yahoo has said of Rogers "He's starting to make Capitol Hill look like Brokeback Mountain."  That cracks me up ...

A recent poll shows that nearly 2/3 of Americans think it is unfair that someone is fired because of their sexual orientation.  Read more about it here.

View Article  Gay sex havens, ginormous strollers and Larry Craig

Bradley S. Gelder of Point Breeze is not a fan of police officers staking out public restrooms noted as gay sex havens. 

Even more disturbing and surprising than the continuing homophobic right-wing hypocrisy exemplified by the Sen. Larry Craig story ("Idaho Senator Stepping Aside," Sept. 2) is that police departments continue to waste their time and our money patrolling public restrooms for gay sex.

How much money and time do Pittsburgh's finest waste on this ? If any, I'd demand they stop and reallocate their resources.

Bradley, I'm sure you could track this down if you really wanted to tackle this issue.  I personally am not a fan of entrapping gay men hooking up in public bathrooms.  It clearly smacks of our society's homophobic obsessions.

But I'm not a fan of anyone having sex in a public bathroom, male or female.  It is hard enough to deal with big-haired yinzer chicks hogging all the mirror space, the mommy contingent with their floating armada that passes for a baby stroller these days and kids peeping under the stalls.  I don't want to deal with people having sex on top of that.  Unless they scare off the mommys and free up some room.  That might be worth it.

Doesn't it seem really sad that someone seeks out sex in a public restroom?  I know there are some thrill-seekers who enjoy the danger of getting caught.  But I suspect (and my buddy J has confirmed) that there are more men who are there because they live fearfully and furtively.

That's Larry Craig's real crime -fostering a climate of homophobia so pervasive that millions of people remain in the closet, struggling with their identities.  Denial and self-loathing lead to atypical behaviors -- some just sad (like collecting 800 million beanie babies) and others more perverted (like being the public face for Rick Santorum). 

It is a waste of resources to stake out public toilets, but the police have a responsibility to investigate complaints, too.  It would be a better use of resources to educate our police forces on LGBT issues and try to chip a little dent into the very homophobic world of law enforcement.

Or for the GOP to take some responsibility for creating a culture of hate that forces people like their very own Larry Craig to choose a road much too well-traveled.

Or as RNC vice-chair Dave Majernik of Plum spins it:

Republicans know that human beings are imperfect. Because we believe in higher standards does not mean that we think that we are superior to others. Republicans just believe that higher standards ensure better results

Remember, that's higher standards of behavior.  Not higher standards of compassion, sympathy, justice, or tolerance.  Higher standards of how to murder our finest young men and women as well as innocent civilians?  Excellent.


View Article  Mike Rogers - Outing Hypocrites One Blog Post at a Time

I like Mike Rogers, the author of BlogActive.com.  Rogers uses his powers for good, outing hypocritical legislators who hide in their pathetic closets while publicly voting against gay rights.  From a profile in the Washington Post:

For three years now, he's been a feared one-man machine, "outing," he says, nearly three dozen senior political and congressional staffers, White House aides and, most damagingly, Congress members on his blog. On Capitol Hill, a typical phone call from Rogers -- "Are you gay?" he'd ask -- is "a call from Satan himself," says a former high-ranking congressional staffer whose name is on the list.

Rogers reasons that there's justice behind his tactics -- "odious," "outrageous" and "over-the-line" as they might seem to his detractors.

In Rogers's mind, if you're against gay rights in your public life and you live a secret homosexual life, all bets are off.

That's my thought exactly.  Leave 'em in the closet if they aren't doing anything to hurt our community  -  they can wallow in their self-loathing til the cows come home.  But folks like Robert Traynham (you thought I was going with Larry Craig, didn't ya?) deserve every single moment of public humiliation, ridicule and political fallout they get.  Every single bit.

Can ya tell I have strong feelings on this?  :)

So check out Mike's blog. 

View Article  "Take your tolerance and shove it." -- wingnuts shower the love on Jerry Lewis

Good grief!  I've been blogging for about 20 months during which I've tackled everything from Rick Santorum's former spokesfag to annoying Republican ice cream twins.  I've mocked the homophobic Ravenstahl administration.  I've targeted Joey Porter, the Archbishop of Nigeria, the City Paper, Edgar Snyder, a lesbian variety show, Pride in the Streets and most major religious denominations. 

Sure, I get a few comments. I even had to delete one because it was so filled with hate-rhetoric.  More frequently, my comments are interesting and instructive with the occasional naysayer. 

Then today, my innocuous post about Jerry Lewis -- it wasn't even very well written or thoughtful with a very low snark factor --was picked up by CNN's blog referrals and generated hundres and hundreds of visitors.  It also generated a lot really small-minded homobigoted comments.

Seriously - Jerry Lewis?  That's the big draw.  Sigh. 

Here's some related stuff.

GLAAD's Press Release

Jerry Lewis' apology.  Note that Lewis does not deny that he used the word "fag."   He accepts responsibility.  Hmmm. 

View Article  Stuff I wonder about ...

Just some random questions I have ...

1. Why can't you recycle caps from plastic bottles?  No one from the recycling world has been able to answer this question.

2.  Do thongs/shoes with a little thing between the big and second toe hurt all women's feet? While at the Waterfront this afternoon, I noticed that many women slid the shoes off when they were standing still or sitting down, but just far enough to free up the toes from that little wedge of pain.  I only have one pair of shoes like this and the wedge of pain is covered in soft cotten.  I wear them to scoop the yard and pick up the paper when its not on the stoop.

3.  Speaking of recycling, why only plastic types 1-5?  What's so hard about recycling a 6?  6 is what the little sauce cups from restaurants are made from.

4.  Still speaking about recycling, why don't all of the Giant Eagle stores provide blue bags?  And why are Glad giant blue recycling bags NOT made from recycled materials?

5.  We are remodeling.  Exactly how many different types of toilets can there be in the world?

6.  What's the deal with the flower people on the street corners? 

It is really the recycling and the thong issues that bother me.  I should sign off and put my attention to something useful such as the laundry.

View Article  Breaking News -- Jerry Lewis uses "fag" on the air during live telethon ...

h/t Ms. Monongahela

I did not see this myself, primarily because I would rather gouge my eyes out with a stick than sit through 78 hours of Jerry Lewis.  Instead, I went shopping.

It seems I missed quite a moment today.  Jerry Lewis refers to someone in the audience as "Jesse, an illiterate fag" while the audience titters and groans. 

Tabloid Baby has the story.

Jerry really went and struck a blow against allowing 81-year-old tumlers to host live telethons when, in a bit, he referred to the imaginary son of a cameraman as "the illiterate fag."

It's Old School Vegas. Way old school. Did it take a bite out of donations? No. The final tote read $63.7 million for Jerry's 42nd telethon. Last year's record was $61 million.

But it could mean that Jerry goes the way of Imus and Rather...

Because I cannot figure out how to imbed the video, go here for the clip.  <And someone tutor me on how to do it, please.>

Is this an Imus moment?  Your thoughts? 

View Article  Goodreads ...
I can't rave enough about this social networking site for booklovers.  I added a little widget thingy to this blog so you can keep up with what I"m reading.  I'm not ashamed to say it is not all literary -- I read a lot of mystery novels.  Check it out!
View Article  Outdoor movies, swimming pools & where the hell is Flagstaff Hilll?

Yesterday was a productive day here at Lesbian Central.  We both had the day off and got started early with a quick blog, a bagel and a several errands.  Stopped by Construction Junction to donate a microwave (poked around, but came up empty handed)and then had lunch at The Quiet Storm.  I have to admit I was not a huge fan of the macaroni and cheese.  I prefer cheddar.  But the lemonade was great and Ledcat always enjoys her hummus.  It was a nice lunch -- quiet, calm and friendly staff.  Next time, I'm gonna try one of the yummy salads.

We managed to fit in a quick dip at the local pool which was empty for about15 minutes.  Just as we were leaving, some dude jumped the fence and appeared to be very disoriented.  I have to applaud the lifeguards for handling that situation really well.  They emptied the pool and organized everyone into manageable clumps.  I mean I didn't even realize what was happening, but suddenly there were lifeguards everywhere.  I was really impressed with the young man who was keeping the man calm until the police arrived.  Which I think took a really long time given that this was a public pool filled with children, but that's just me.  So, hug a lifeguard today.

Anti-climatic to say we hit the farmer's market.  The apple man did not disappoint us -- crunchy tart apples and cider.  We also picked up some corn and zucchini bread from the Amish stand (a new one for this market).  The corn guy gave us two extra ears.  Guess what we are having for dinner?

We were debating catching a movie, but nothing really appealed to us. Then Ledcat remembered that Pink Party Productions was sponsoring an outdoor flick at Schenley Park.  So we packed up some eats, grabbed our chairs and headed for the park.  Only to realize we weren't exactly sure where Flagstaff Hill was.  You know, you kind of think you know, only you don't.  You drive around the park and realize that Pittsburgh Parks really suck at putting up decent signage.  We found the gay's mens cruising spot with no problems, but everyone was a little busy for us to ask directions.  Then we asked a guy at the frisbee place and he told us.  Then we felt like idiots.  It almost ruined my whole evening.  I hate feeling stupid.  Maybe they should put the lifeguards in charge of signage b/c if you aren't sure exactly where you are heading, you just aren't welcome at the citiparks.  Besides, the lifeguards are out of work anyway. 

So, eventually we get there and it appears the first movie is only a few minutes into the story.  It was this really awesome outside movie about a slasher lesbian camping trip.  So bad that it is good, ya know what I mean?  Plus, the killer was named Susan and that felt appropriate after my whole "Where the fuck is Flagstaff Hill?" ordeal.  And I knew it was her after like 5 minutes. 

So the lesbian slasher film restored my good mood. Even though we were the only people in lawn chairs -- that made me feel dowdy. We left before the 2nd flick (Paris is Burning) because it was cold (ah, blessed to be cold again).  Then we encountered another "I feel old" moment when we ended up having to jump off this two and a half foot wall.  I may have mentioned that I have a little fracture in my foot that never really heals and wall-jumping is definitely on the lists of "must avoids."  This nice young women helped us down and called me "ma'am."  So I was crushed.  But not literally and that's what matters.

This was our first Pink Party Productions event.  It was a great idea and it would be fun to do again, even in cooler weather.  I could smell autum in the air yesterday.  While we were swimming, I looked up and remember how it felt as a kid to be back in school, but still have the pool open -- chlorine and homework are not a good mix.

I'm hoping someone will tell me the name of the lesbian slasher film.  And, another shout out, this time to the ladies (and men?) who attended the event.  People were really quiet and respectful.  I mean they were murmuring, but it didn't disrupt the movie.  So, kudos to you, respectful queer women!

Today, I cleaned out my car and discovered that my experiments with the dog ramp have freaked out my dog so that he won't go near the car, even with bologna.  Serious problem.  He can ride in the Civic, but the drool factor is most significant.  So, you know that means that with Mona's chemo all done (she's cancer free!), I'm just going to spend $$ on some archane treatment for Deus. 

I mean, he won't go near the car even for bologna?  That's one traumatized dog. 

I don't think there are any queer events on our calendar in the coming weeks.  Anything going on we should check out? 

View Article  Idaho Senator to Resign; GOP Pats Itself On Back for Saving Family Values ... Again

Well, surprise!  Larry Craig is supposed to announce his resignation this morning, according to the AP. 

The GOP is scrambling like mad b/c this puts a safe seat up for grabs.  Well, technically they'll get a GOP appointee in to finish Craig's term and then the seat is up in the air in 2008.  So of course they convinced him to resign -- an unknown non-public-bathroom- associated candidate is much safer. 

What sickens me is this double-decker hypocrisy sundae -- Craig's self-loathing legislative gay bashing being the first layer.  The GOP's willingness to sacrifice a loyal foot soldier to keep up the family values mantra.  Throw in a whopping dose of entrapment ... delicious!

I won't bore you by pointing out the obvious fact that if the GOP and men like Craig stopped treating gays like substandard human beings, perhaps there would be fewer closeted assholes in public bathrooms.

View Article  Is homosexuality less offensive than satanism?

Thank you, Harry Potter!  You and your satanistic ways have surpassed "homosexual content" as a challenge to library books across the nation. 

According to the American Library Association, the Harry Potter series is at the top of the list (2000-2005) of books targeted to be removed from libraries.  Recognize any of the others?

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

4. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck

5. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou

6. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers

7. "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris

8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz

9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

10. "Forever" by Judy Blume

I've read Hary Potter, Of Mice and Men, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and Forever (good grief - is Judy Blume still controversial b/c of the most innocuous love scene ever written?). 

I surfed over to GoodReads.com (be my friend if you want!) for more information on the other books.  "It's Perfectly Normal" is a children's book about sexuality that discusses homosexual and masturbation in an age-appropriate, healthy way.  The Alice series briefly mentions (and supports) both homosexuality and <gasp> interracial dating. 

The rundown on complaints?

1,607 for "sexually explicit" material

1,427 for "offensive language"

1,256 for material considered "unsuited to age group"

842 for material with an "occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism"

737 for material considered "violent"

515 for material with a homosexual theme or "promoting homosexuality"

419 for material "promoting a religious viewpoint."

The group lists as other stated reasons: "nudity" (317 challenges), "racism" (267 challenges), "sex education" (224 challenges) and "anti-family" (202 challenges).

I suppose you could say what a sad world we live in when sexual language and activity is more threatening to parents (and groups) than books with violent or racist themes.  However, like most rational adults, I would prefer to be the one selecting what books are appropriate for my child (and myself), not some wingnut fringe anti-gay, sex-fearing, God-lovin' group of loonies. 

You know what book freaked me out when I was young?  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.  That was a seriously psychologically scary book for a 15 year old.  And our dreary old literature instructor, Mr. Ludwig, didn't help matters -- he was the kind of guy who would say "Write a 750 word essay ..." to a bunch of 15 year olds and then yell at us when we counted the words.  Not the best way to teach an appreciation of literature (or critical writing skills). 

For fun, check out the Captain Underpants website. 

So I'm going to add some of the "banned" books to my GoodReads list.  The Chocolate War and Fallen Angels sound particularly interesting. 

Any books freak you out when you were a youngster? 

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