Pittsburgh's LGBTQ Blog ... out'n proud in the Burghosphere.

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View Article  Lesbians Dirtier Than Political Junkies, Comets, and Carbolic Smoke Balls -- Rivaled only by MacYapper

Gay is a bad word.  This I discovered after Maria pointed out that her blog was rated R for adult content.  So I just had to see where the lesbians ranked.  And guess what?

 

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • gay (24x)
  • lesbian (12x)
  • queer (2x)
  • bomb (1x)

What's up with that?  They missed all the really creative bad words I've used.  Like spokesfag, one of my all-time personal favorites.

However, this is still a more risque site than just about any other blog in the Burghosphere, except for MacYapper.  That or the other sites aren't talking about gays and lesbians often enough to warrant an adult rating.  Hmmm?

View Article  Touching Base on International Gay Issues

I haven't been feeling especially bloggy lately, which usually means I scour the Internet for interesting gay tidbits that don't require a lot of commentary.  This is today's version ...

Russian Christians have attempted to purge the Moscow River in the wake of a gay cruise that sailed those very waters. 

[O]ne of the action's aims was "to purge the Moskva River after a large group of gays, who hired a similar ship to have a party going the same route last night."

Participants included state Duma member Nikolay Kuryanovich, who in February introduced legislation to recriminalize homosexuality.

Joining him were members of Cossack groups and assorted religious believers. They sung a prayer as they passed the Novospassky Bridge, then listened to a Christian rock band, Interfax said.

Huh.  That's an interesting approach.  Because I'm sure the very worst impurity involving the Moscow River is that it touched a boat that touched gay people.  No need to trifle with pollution or anything like being a steward of the earth or such nonsense.  Let's get rid of gay cooties instead.

In other news, the UK Gay News provides a transcript from Persian of an interview with an exiled lesbian Irani woman. She describes the torture she endured during years of imprisonment as well as her exile both from her home country and her entire culture.  It is very moving and disturbing.

What is your current situation?

I am alone.  Even here I am afraid, and I think it is this fear that isolates me.  A strange fear is my constant companion.  If I were to write the torments I have suffered on a piece of paper the reader would surely go mad.  Everyone has suffered pain in one form or another.  Have you heard of someone being tied to a car and pulled over the ground?  In Kashan, they tied me to a car and pulled me across the ground.  What should I say, who should I say it to?  If there was a God who would punish these criminals?

Why must I, at the pinnacle of freedom, even fear myself?  Why doesn?t anyone listen to us?  Where is this ?human rights??  Which Islam?  Which God?

You'll be amazed to learn that  <gasp> gays are less safe now than ever before in Iraq.

And, finally, Orthodox Jews did some big time damage to the city of Jerusalem during a destructive temper tantrum over the gay pride parade.  To the tune of $100,000.  City council members are calling for the money to be repayed.  Good for them.

View Article  Gay Stuff To Read About

The Newark city school district redacted this photo from the high school yearbook after labeling it "illicit" even though the book featured multiple heterosexual kissing couples.  So the district blacked it out. After a brouhaha erupted, the school district offered to provide an "unredacted" version to anyone who wanted it.   Huh.

Elizabeth Edwards supports gay marriage.

?I don't know why someone else's marriage has anything to do with me,? Elizabeth Edwards said at a news conference before the parade started. ?I'm completely comfortable with gay marriage.?

She made the remark almost offhandedly in answering the final question from reporters after delivering a standard campaign stump speech during a breakfast hosted by the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, an influential San Francisco political organization. California's presidential primary is Feb. 5, one of the earliest contests in the nation.

She conceded her support puts her at odds with her husband, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina who she said supports civil unions among gay couples ? but not same-sex marriages.

?John has been pretty clear about it, that he is very conflicted,? she said. ?He has a deeply held belief against any form of discrimination, but that's up against his being raised in the 1950s in a rural southern town.?

No serious presidential candidate from either major political party has publicly supported gay marriage.

Cool. I'm still saying Edwards is the man.

 

View Article  A Treasure Trove of Family History

Today, I carted some boxes from my Grandma's to Lesbian Central so I can scan the photos and organize the lot of materials.  She's fine, but I want to try and get her to identify some of the people in the snapshots before it is too late.  Ledcat and I spent the afternoon cleaning our her closets as she has kept every single item of clothing she's owned for the past 8 years, even as she's gone from a 14 to an 8.  We hauled off at least 15 bags of clothing and her closets are still filled almost to capacity.  I also found her wool coat with the real mink collar.  My mother suggested I give it to Goodwill.  Ledcat thought perhaps a consignment shop.  I put it back in the closet for now, but plan to donate it to Coats for Cubs along with the fur hat. 

On the one hand, it seems a little ghoulish to be doing this in advance of her non-impending death.  But on the other, she gets a say in the disposal of her things and she has opinions, believe me. 

What excites me is the photos and other memories.  I just poured through two boxes.I found more than I could imagine.  My grandmother's high school diploma and yearbooks, as well as programs from her 1924 ballet recitals.  My father's birth certificate and a full array of school pictures, including his prom picture (ooohhhh).  Pictures of my aunt as a young girl.  Newspaper clippings and class photos.  A letter I wrote in 1982 asking her to come to my school play. 

I'm a very amateur geneaologist so this is all fascinating to me and I will dutifully enter it all into the family tree.   I've been sneezing for an hour so I need to put everything away. 

I wonder if there are any lesbians or gay men I might shake out of the tree?

View Article  Random Cool Friday Night Stuff

Ledcat has been traveling this week, so tonight I'm frantically doing all the chores I promised would be completed for her return tomorrow.  So I've got my brand new copy of "Pride & Prejudice" (BBC version of course) playing the DVD player while I dust and sweep and sort the accumulation of stuff that does plague any household. 

The good news is that the house next door has sold to a delightful man who owns a dog and is very pleasing.  Hallelujah!  We are quite thrilled here at Lesbian Central.  You can never have too many neighbors with dogs. 

Here's some snippets from the gayiverse.

From Pam's House Blend comes word that Elizabeth Edwards will be speaking at the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club Pride Breakfast this weekend in San Francisco.  Pam determines that this is a huge illustration of how things have changed in the Presidential race.  Last time around, mad scramble to avoid us.  This time, pancakes in San Francisco. Let's see how that plays out.

Jerusalem Pride drew over 2,000 participants.  And at least one bomb carried by an Orthodox Jewish man.  Huh.

Japan might elect its first openly lesbian Parliament member.  Her name is Kanako Otsuji.

And Judy Garland died on this day in 1969.

Hey, that reminds me ... the Munchkins are getting a star on the Walk of Fame.  Many of them are like 70 years old, but they plan to be there.  I heard in on Fresh Air, so you know its gotta be true. 

Elizabeth just rejected Mr. Darcy's proposal.  I'm such a girl.

View Article  City Paper on PrideFest or not

The CP sent Jared Trent Stonesifer to cover Pride.  In this article, he discussed the evening block party (Pride in the Streets), the Awareness March, the Pride Theatrer Festival and the Warhol exhibit on queer black life in the 30's and 40's. 

Notice anything missing?

Yep, he forgot to cover the actual festival (PrideFest).  The space filler between the march and the block party.  Big stage, dozens of vendors, throngs of people numbering in the thousands.  People with kids making crafts.  People with lovers making out.  Gay people EVERYWHERE. 

Granted, I myself said it was a nice event, but relatively uneventful.  Still, I did mention it.  Not so much Mr. Stonesifer.  What's up with that?

Here's a great example of why focusing on the block party alone does not do justice to our community.  You get folks like this:

Partners Keith Parker and Bob Paraschak called Pittsburgh's gay community "horrible and unorganized," a label that people like Schneck are trying to get rid of by hosting larger and more organized events like Pride in the Street. "It's a 'don't ask, don't tell' mentality in Pittsburgh," Paraschak said. "It's not that people here aren't open; they just don't participate."

Wow.  Keith and Bob are pretty harsh.  Even I don't go that far.  And it is patently not true.  PrideFest is a huge event and very well organized, primarily because it is coordinated by the Gay & Lesbian Community Center.  An organization much lacking in horribleness.   Then there's the film festival, the assorted sports leagues, the health providers, the queer arts scene ... the list of well-organized, cool events is pretty lengthy.  Last time I checked, lots of people were participating in those events. So my quibble here is with Keith and Bob.

Or this

Mack feels that a close-minded attitude is still prevalent in Pittsburgh, but events like Pride in the Street are providing a brighter future for the gay community in the city.

"Pittsburgh pride grew up tonight," Mack said. "Parties like this stimulate people to come out of their closet and celebrate. This is a great party, and hopefully it will get better every year."

That's really sad.  A block party provides a brighter future?  What about PrideFest?  What about ... ah, shucks.  Why bother?  People quoted in this article aren't attending Steel City Stonewall Meetings.  They aren't volunteering with GLENDA.  They aren't bowling or square dancing.  They go to bars.  So a giant bar in the middle of Liberty Avenue complete with Bruce Villance in the middle square is their idea of progress.  Sigh. It is too sad to even get worked up about any longer. 

It was a lackluster article.  I miss Marty Levine. 

ps:  the article does quote this blog.  It doesn't really make sense since I wrote specifically about the festival and the article didn't mention the festival, but what can you do ...

View Article  PG Reader Liked the Gay Photo

This past week, this photo appeared in the Post-Gazette commemorating the vote to keep same-sex marriage legal in Massachusetts.  It is not available online, but Mozarti at PghGay.com found it (h/t).

 

From well-known member of the LGBTQ community Barry Ralph comes this letter to the editor:

As a gay senior citizen, I never thought I'd see the day when a photo would be published such as the one that appeared in Friday's Post-Gazette (Page A-7) of the two men celebrating in Boston ("Massachusetts Vote Supports Legal Status of Same-Sex Marriage in State," June 15). Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I did not actually see the photo and only found out about it from Mozarti.  I miss all the good stuff when I rush off to work. :-)  

View Article  MySpace update

Well, it has been three days since I posted about MySpace and I've collected 14 friends and two comments.  Being true to my word, I rejected the one person who I have never met.  I'm not sure why she wanted to be my friend, but she handled the rejection very well.

I also rejected someone who wasn't in their secret agent guise.  Oops. 

I selected a catchy tune that was very important to me in high school.  I even blogged and joined the alumni group for my college.  Now, I guess I just sit back and wait for the cool to come oozing in ....<tap> <tap> <tap>...

http://www.myspace.com/pghlesbian 

View Article  Today, I had my first mammogam

I am 36 years old and this morning, I had my first mammogram.  I am one and one half years late in doing this.  I needed to get a baseline at age 35 because of the history of cancer in my family.  I procrastinated because it didn't seem urgent to me and because of how much hype I heard about the discomfort. 

I was being stupid and potentially risking my life.  That is not okay.

From the Susan G. Komen Foundation:

Women who partner with women and lesbians do have a greater risk of breast cancer than other women, but it is not because of their sexual orientation.  Rather, it is because some risk factors for breast cancer and barriers for breast cancer detection - never having had children and not seeing a doctor on a regular basis -- occur more often in lesbians.

There's a link between regular reproductive health services and breast exams/mammograms.  Because we are less likely to have children, we may not get routine care and, hence, may miss early detection.

So this morning, I toddled off the AGH Cancer Center.  I must say it was a very comfortable office and the staff were excellent.  I waited less than 10 minutes before I was gowned and ready to go.  The technician took the time to explain everything to me and was very gentle walking me step by step through the process. 

It was not painful. The pressure during most of the exam was awkward, but the technician explained that they have to flatten our breasts as much as possible to view all the tissue.  The truly uncomfortable part was the side shot which involved some leaning and flattening and grasping of a handle.  But, truth to be told, it was just about as comfortable as my yearly vaginal exam.  It is absolutely more comfortable than dying of breast cancer.

I'm all clear.  So now I go back at age 40 and then once a year from that point forward.

Don't be like me and procrastinate.  I've made a point to bring it up with every woman I've encountered today.  Over 50% told me they haven't kept current on mammograms.

Don't be like us.  Call your gyne or your PCP and get going.  I want you to come back and read this blog often.  I plan to still be here at age 40 and tell you all about my next mammogram.  Will you be able to tell me about yours?

 

View Article  Reversal of Course on MySpace ...

OK, I have caved and set up a myspace profile.  I know, I know ... it was almost a year ago that I blogged about it being strictly for young people and "creepy" for those of us over 30.  I believe I wrote this:

And then there is this "friends" thing.  Apparently, you connect your profile to the profiles of your actual friends.  But then you troll for new friends ... randomly asking people to be your friend.  They can accept or reject you.  So some people end up with 895 friends.  Seems harmless, right? So I asked the 3 people I have actually met in person to be my friend.  Fine.  Then I asked someone I sort of know who never responded.  So I begin to wonder ... is she sick?  Does she not want to be my friend?  What does this mean for when I see her in real life?  Am I not cool enough to be her friend?  Why am I overthinking this?  And on and on and on down into the void euphemistically referred to as a junior high flashback. 

Thankfully, Ledcat slapped me back to my grown up productive citizen life and I quickly realized that I don't need to go online to be rejected --- there's an entire world filled with nasty homophobes just lining up to reject me.  Thankfully, there's also a long list of real time people who will come over and hang on our deck with us while the computer sits idle in the attic.

But I had to do it. It has been tough getting some blogging material and following the tracks of people who steal my bandwidth w/o an account -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  They are stealing my bandwidth, dude!

You know what else turned me?  I attended a presentation on Internet Safety brought to you by the District Attorney's office.  I was really creeped out and I think I'm somewhat Internet savvy.  I get gazillions of pervs coming to this blog looking for teen lesbian porn and I don't let that stop me from putting my message out there.  So I guess I can use myspace responsibly, too. 

But I booted "Tom" from my list of friends and swear to only list people that I have actually met in person at least one time AND with whom I've exchanged actual two-way conversation.  Thus, John McIntire can be my friend whereas the Dixie Chicks cannot.  Much to my regret (no offense to John). 

We'll see what happens.  Maybe I'll bump into some friends and acquaintances.  You can check out my profile at http://www.myspace.com/pghlesbian  

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