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View Article  Blog Thoughts

First, someone from U-Haul's corporate headquarters came to my site because I said I need a U-Haul to escape Luke Ravenstahl.  That's just really funny.  I've noticed that the Carnegie Library does an occasional blog search for themselves, but U-Haul?  How many times could someone mention it in a blog?  Seriously.

Second, the burgh report has sent like 7 gajillion people to this site to read about my breakup with Bill Peduto.  The only thing that came close to that many hits today was the combination of "gay male porn" and "Pittsburgh" which is not exactly good for the lesbians. 

I am not kidding.  It is now 7 gajillion and 1. 

View Article  Reason #117 I Need a U-Haul

In today's PG, Rich Lord takes a peek at the politics behind street paving.  It don't look good for many of self-enamored local favorites like Darlene Harris and her merry band of self-defined pavement analysts. 

But here's the doozy. 

"I would argue that it's not political. I haven't seen the paving list yet," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "Council members obviously lobby me for streets, and they obviously lobby others for streets as well. ... That, as far as I see it, will never change."

Does he have the capacity to think about these statements before they fall out of his mouth or do they just sort of slip out?  In what reality does council members lobbying the Mayor and others for street paving not equal politics?  Maybe the land where you can blow off your residents to party with Sienna Miller at a movie festival.  But given that I drive all over the city to go to work, buy groceries, go to restaurants, visit my 91 year old grandmother -- I'd like to think that the majority of our roads are in decent shape.  Not that since my ward woman lives on my street (and has for 53 years) our street is pristine. 

However, it is good to see Luke officially confirm that he has no intention of changing the politics as usual practices of City Hall.  At least we know.  Pay attention people because you are on Yarone.

View Article  Bill Peduto and I are just friends

I promised myself I wouldn't ramble on tonight, partly because what I have to say probably isn't original and partly because Thom Hartmann's latest book is beckoning to me from my night stand.  Was that just a name drop?  Because I totally meant it to be.  Ever since I read "What Would Jefferson Do?" and had flashbacks to college poli sci classes, I am in love with Thom Hartmann.  Men who think liberally are very appealing to the lesbian set. 

Anyway ... it all comes down to this.  Bill Peduto broke up with me when he pulled out of the mayoral primary race.  Our courtship was brief and intense and hopeful, but the mayoral-resident relationship just wasn't meant to be.  So now we are just back the typical cool-not-in-my-district-councilman and resident.  Essentially, he asked me if we could just be friends.

Like anyone who has been dumped, I did not take it well.  I was angry.  I was hurt and I was shocked at the unexpected turn of events.  And no, I didn't see it coming. If there were signs, I never saw them.  They were probably hidden by the giant billboards of Mayor Opie with his signature little swish (gay reference for you heterosexuals).  That or the tall weeds growing on the city owned property here on the Northside.  I didn't see them. 

And, no I didn't want to just be friends with Bill Peduto.  I thought he was the one! I moved all the way from West Mifflin to Manchester.  I left behind the political circus clowns of Jay Jabbour, Richard Olasz and Ken Ruffing for the greener pastures of Pittsburgh's city hall.  I gave up police who came when you called, neighbors who knew my name and lower taxes. OK, so I did all that for Ledcat, but still ... when I got here and surveyed the landscape amidst the billboards and refuse, Bill Peduto caught my eye.  Here was a guy a lesbian could learn to love.  And my standards were low ... I was happy with politicians who didn't get into fistfights or beat up their wives (or steal money).  I would have, could have settled for a Doug Shields (except he's a smoker).  But I got a Bill Peduto.

So no, I didn't want to accept that it was over.  Not for me to suck it up and move on with my dignity intact, but my emotions swallowed into a WASP vortex of stomach acid.  I vent.  And vent some more.  And then I think about it for awhile.

Then he does nice things that impact me and I realize being just friends is truly better than being nothing at all.  You need a few friends in this world.  Even those with the "what could have been" aura still lingering around like a plaintive ballad deep in your heart.  It is good to have friend that don't steal from you, don't mock breaking laws that impact your ability to breathe and don't make their mark in giant rubber boots. 

So, yes there are the "what could have been" friends.  But there are also the "what might yet be" friends ... sort of like that catchy little Vanessa Williams song "Just when I thought our chance had passed, you went and saved the best for last." 

The thing is that once you get dumped, its never the same.  You might reunite, but there's always that little scar from the breakup.  It can heal and make you stronger than ever.  Or it can fester a little bit and sort of poke at the trust in a reestablished relationship. 

Maybe Bill Peduto is the one.  Or maybe someone else will come along to help us turn the city around. 

But I'm not angry anymore.  If anyone needs to note that fact. 

I'm fine being just friends with Bill Peduto.  Fine indeed. 

Let's move forward (I couldn't resist).

View Article  Buffy Sing-A-Long This Friday -- How Very Gay!

View Article  Sobering news for gays in Iraq

Courtesty of Pam's House Blend:

"In the past three months, more than 30 gays have been executed in Baghdad. The bodies have been found tortured, mutilated - sometimes with signs of rape," said Mustafa Salim, spokesman for the Rainbow for Life Organisation (RLO), a Baghdad-based gay rights NGO.

"Notes were found near some of the bodies with messages saying that this is going to be the fate for any Muslim who denies the Islamic religion," Salim added.

"The gay community continues to be subjected to systematic terror by Shia militias, especially the Mahdy Army controlled by the religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr. The government of Iraq is refusing to offer protection," he added.

In an interview, one member of the Mahdy Army, Ali Hassany, said that the militia will target Iraq's gays and lesbians. "They deserve death. Those people are an embarrassment to our society. Killing such people is a job for their families, but if they cannot do so by their own hands, we will do it," Hassany said.

Pam's blogger Radical Russ has this to add:

The difference between the Mahdi Army and the Family Research Council?  The Mahdi Army knows they can get away with it.

Anyone surprised?  On the one hand, it makes me appreciate the many freedoms I have as a queer woman living in the United States of America.  On the other hand, it makes me fear the devastation if the Chrisot-fascists come to power and turn us completely into a theocracy.  Our Christian allies can only protect us so much.

Very humbling.

View Article  Two Innocent Men and a Gay Basher: 60 Minutes Lifts Up the Poor Persecuted White Men

Tonight, Lesley Stahl "sat down" with the three former Duke University lacrosse players who were not charged with the rape of a woman who had been hired as an exotic dancer by their team.  Surely, you've heard of it.

Two of the three men came across as having learned some painful lessons from the year long ordeal of being suspect for a vile crime they did not commit AND having at least some compassion for their accuser. 

However, the third young man -- a Mr. Colin Finnerty -- ah, he's a fine example of white privilege at its very worst.  He's comes across as a vile human being who has absorbed no sense of identity with others who are wrongly accused EVERY SINGLE DAY in this country.

Did I mention he's a convicted gay basher?  Yes, Mr. Finnerty was convicted of attacking two men he perceived as being gay.  They weren't in fact gay. He just thought they acted gay.  So, naturally, he taunted them and then kicked and punched them. 

The rogue district attorney who pursued the rape case in the face of overwhelming evidence of the men's innocence issued an apology.  Finnerty won't accept it.

Collin Finnerty said, ?Too little, too late.?

"This has been a year of decision after decision after decision to keep doing the wrong thing. He's had so much time to say he?s sorry over the last year. And now he comes the day after we're exonerated. I don't think anyone's going to feel better after that apology," Finnerty says.

Finnerty had the opportunity during the course of the evening when he beat up two men for seeming gay.  With every taunt, with every punch and kick he made decision after decision to pummel two human beings for the apparent sin of being gay.  At what point should his victims accept his apology? 

Then there's this ...

"Let's say you had the opportunity now to look him in the eye. What would you say to him?" Stahl asks Finnerty.

"Why? Why? I just wish I could just get it answered ? why us?" he says.

Colin, I suspect there are two young men with bruised souls that have the same question for you.  The difference is that 60 Minutes won't put them on the air to discuss how they were victimized by you.  Lesley didn't even contextualize the haughty privilege of the arrogant prick by asking him about the gay bashing.  Instead, she bent over backwards to demonstrate how poor rich white guys suffer so at the hands of other ... well rich white guys.

Cry me a fucking river.  60 Minutes took the glory road on this story.  I was so enraged I could barely finish watching it.  Colin Finnerty beat up two men for appearing gay.  Why doesn't that even fucking register?  Colin Finnerty and his friends hired a woman to perform for them for sexual thrills. She wasn't raped, but she was exploited for their rich white boy thrills. 

There's probably a fine future for Mr. Finnerty in broadcast media -- he can join the shockjock phenomena with real "gay bashing" street cred.  Or perhaps he can become a minister.  So many options, so much privilege.  What's a nice boy to do?

View Article  Who is lesbian comedian Poppy Champlin? PghLesbian will have the scoop ...

I emailed Poppy to ask for an interview and she agreed.  Also, we plan to sit down soon with Lance Friedman, co-chair for Steel City Stonewall Democrats and discuss all the changes since founding board member Scott Safier has moved on to other things (and out of state).  Should be an interesting chat in both cases. 

In other exciting lesbian news, plans are underway for the 2nd Annual Dyke March (I may have said this before) followed by a dyke dance brought to you by Pink Party Productions.  I have to admit I was a little bummed that the post-Pride event will be a street party on Liberty Avenue -- I'll go see Tiffany for the retro-aspect, but it is still inherently a gay men's event.  Thus, I am thrilled to see some queer action happening. 

Maybe we'll sit down with the Dyke March organizers and get a Lesbian Correspondent exclusive.  Anything that involves sitting in a coffee shop and chatting appeals to us ...

View Article  Pittsburgh Participation in Day of Silence

April 18 is the 11th Annual Day of Silence.

The Day of Silence is an annual event held to bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools. Students and teachers nationwide will observe the day in silence to echo the silence that LGBT and ally students face everyday. In it's 11th year, the Day of Silence is one of the largest student-led actions in the country.

Pittsburgh's chapter of GLSEN leads the charge on the student-driven effort to educate and empower their fellow students around LGBT bias in America's schools and the school systems. 

So what happens?  Essentially, participants remain silent that day in solidarity with those who are "silenced" because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or alliance with the LGBT students.  According to the national website, more than half a million students have participated over the past ten years.

Why do we need a Day of Silence?GLSEN?s 2005 National School Climate Survey found that 4 out of 5 LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school and more than 30% report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety. The Day of Silence helps bring us closer to making anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and name-calling unacceptable in America?s schools.

The Day of Silence is a call to action. Students can use this day, as well as other GLSEN Days of Action, as a means of achieving an ?ask.? An ask is a very specific action that calls for a change in school policies, climate, and culture to achieve a larger goal of safe schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Some examples of an ask include: adding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in your school?s non-discrimination or anti-harassment policy, or training teachers to respond effectively to anti-LGBT bullying, harassment, and name-calling.

Here's a good example of why this day is so important.  Christian-opponents have begun organizing "Days of Truth" to spread their message of gay-intolerance in the schools.  They believe that the learning environment should not respect or protect the rights of all students to pursue an education without harassment or discrimination.  They twist this into a Christianity versus homosexuality situation and have gone to court to force school districts to recognize their free speech and freedom of religion in this context.  The schools are backing down because its a fine line.

What's interesting is the Christo arguement that a Day of Silence impedes their free speech.  Ironic, no? 

Check out the GLSEN website and take a moment on April 18 to contemplate all the ways in which you are silenced. 

View Article  PrideFest 2007 Entertainment Lineup Announced

Well, I got one out of seven right.  LOL.  Sarah Claire will be part of the 2007 PrideFest Entertainment lineup.  Another local fav that I forgot to put in my list is Tracy Drach

Here's the rest of the lineup and it looks rather interesting ... a little reggae/ska, a little folk music and a comedian from the national scene. 

Dreams of Hope

Cindy Shaffer (organizer of Celebrate the Night)

Sasha - Miss Pittsburgh 2007

Renaissance City Choir

The Flow Band - what's better on a June afternoon than some reggae by the river?

Eric Himan  - a Pittsburgh boy done good on the national scene

The comedian is Poppy Champlin who is billed as the lovechild of Ellen Degeneres and Dennis Leary.  Hmm. Her website looks interesting, but I'm still torn. Tapping into local talent seems really important to building community, but tapping into national names is also important into building the event which builds community.  Decisions, decisions.

Overall, I'm looking forward to PrideFest.  That evening there's a sort of street festival planned (I think by the Tavern Guild).  Whole bunch of behind the scenes rumors floating around about that which I am investigating.  Apparently, they are bringing in Bruce Villanch and Tiffany (yes, the mall princess of the 80's). 

I don't think an alcohol laced street festival is my personal style, but at least its something ...and hopefully, there will be the 2nd Annual Dyke March Friday before PrideFest. 

I can't believe PrideFest is only two months away.

View Article  Dennis Miller Listeners -- Smart AND Sassy?

My favorite headline of recent days ...

Dennis Miller leads a pack of hosts pining for a fan base that's young, smart, sassy and male

Not sure how many yinzers want to be chalked up as sassy males, but you never know.  I've been wrong about these things before. 

Has anyone listened to the Zone?  Thoughts?  Comments?  I do have to point out that I made my break into Pittsburgh radio on the original The Zone 98.7 out of Charleroi.  I was on the sister AM station but occasionally sat in for a segment or two.  I digress.

I can't listen to McIntire's show b/c I'm at work and would get fired for hoo-haa discussions on my radio.  Plus Thom Hartmann is on during that time slot and I LOVE Thom Hartmann -- just picked up his new book at the library.  So in a sick sort of way the hoo-haa debate makes me choice easy.  LOL.   I'm not gonna listen to Dennis Miller. I did tune in to hear Scott Paulsen talk with Tom Sokoloski -- that was an interesting segment. 

Inquiring lesbians want to know if The Zone brings out the sassy in its listeners.  That's something we'd have to investigate. 

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