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View Article  An Open Letter to H's Mom Regarding Homophobia

Dear H's Mom,

Congratulations on raising spunky, articulate and polite daughter.  As you know, she took the time to post a comment on this blog several months ago, sharing her thoughts on the Upper St. Clair performance of "The Importance of Being Earnest" and the potential for homophobia.  Unlike most of those who comment here, she had the guts to post her real name and stand up for that which she believes.  That's commendable and I'm sure you are very proud of her.

But you aren't happy that googling her name brings up a lesbian website. Out of deference to your sensibilities, your daughter has very politely asked me to take her comment down. 

Given that your daughter seems to rock, it is quite discouraging, H's Mom, that you are a homophobe.  Oh, I know you probably don't think that way of yourself and would never be the kind of person who says "I hate gay people."  And you probably think we deserve some civil rights and disagreed with Rick Santorum's man-on-dog slurs. 

But let me be clear, H's Mom, that being "freaked out" because your daughter's name is associated with lesbians is nothing but homophobic.  And you freaking out sent a very clear message to your daughter that if she is gay, it's not okay with you.  And that, H's Mom, makes you a very real threat to myself and my community.  And your daughter, too.

If being mistaken for a lesbian or perceived to be lesbian-friendly is the worst assumption people make about your daughter, is that so bad?  If you are worried how people might treat her or what they might think about her, you might want to consider why people do that. Perhaps you might use the opportunity to teach your daughter some lessons about tolerance, rather than capitulating to gay panic. 

I'm honoring your daughter's request to take down her comment because she asked me politely and was very respectful and straightforward with me about her reasons.  She seems like a great ally for my community and has her head on straight when it comes to your being freaked out over this whole thing.  I doubt she's going to develop a sudden fear of lesbians over this. 

I do hope you take a moment to consider the lesson you've taught her. 

Sincerely,

Sue                                                                                                                          PghLesbian Correspondents

View Article  PG Letter to the Editor on Rene Portland

From today's Sports Mailbag, Harriet L. Schwartz of Squirrel Hill:

Penn State coach Rene Portland is an adult working on a college campus who has created a hostile and intimidating environment for students. As a university educator, she has harassed students, and continues to get away with it. As a longtime educator, I cannot comprehend that a university administration would allow this to continue.

Well put, Harriet.

View Article  PG Sports Guy Jerry Micco Represents Well on Gay Issues

There is nothing earthshattering in the Valentine's Day PG chat transcript featuring Jerry Micco.  He simply makes a few comments about Penn State retaining Rene Portland as their women's basketball coach and former NBA player John Amaechi's coming out.  What's interesting is the opportunity for the rest of us to note that while there is a long way to go, the sports world is not entirely filled with homophobic bigots. 

Sometimes we need to stop and pay attention to these moments, particularly when most of the attention is focused on the stupidity of bigots like former NBA star Tim Hardaway who has recently claimed that he hates gay people. Duly noted Tim.  Thanks for laying your ignorance right out there on the line and getting yourself banished from the NBA All-Star Weekend.  Now if the NBA were to put a little more attention on the bigots who aren't so brazen ...

Back to Micco.  Here's his perspective on Amaechi:

dt: What are your thoughts on Jon Amechi coming out of the closet?

Jerry Micco: Combination of courage and the fact that he wants to sell some books. He wasn't a superstar by any stretch, so the book on its merits doesn't garner much interest until Amaechi says publicly he's gay. Then it's covered heavily by all media. That said, I hope the day comes soon when people don't have to hide this type of thing. I know it's probably not going to happen, but you'd like to think people are tolerant enough to accept folks as they are and judge them on how they treat others and how they do their job on the court, field, etc.

The snark about selling books is most likely not unwarranted.  But consider the two standards he lays out ... how they treat others and how they do their job on the court.  How they treat others comes first.  Consider the implications for Pittsburgh's homegrown football thug Joey Porter who recently used gay slurs.  How is that for treatin' people?  In fact, here's an entire list of anti-gay slurs made by professional athletes.  I'm sure quite a few have good Christian mamas who make them chunky soup every weekend, but they don't treat people so good do they?

Micco also express incredulity over Penn State's retention of Rene Portland:

Ralph: Why does Rene Portland still have a job at Penn State?

Jerry Micco: I'm not sure, Ralph. I really can't answer that question because it mystifies me, too. And it's not like there aren't likely candidates out there that would be great for that job (read: Suzie McConnell Serio), so PSU would not have a tough time filling the post. I'm stunned with all that's surrounded Portland that the University just doesn't cut its ties. Again, rather mystifying to me.

There may be great replacements, but Portland is still a winner.  So why toss her out just for being a homophobe and violating University policy when you can't guarantee a winning replacement?  Its not like Portland offended the base or anything. 

FYI, Suzie McConnell Serio is not exactly rah-rah lesbian material herself.  She's on the record as defining sexual orientation as a "choice" but acknowledging that her player's personal lives are personal.

I suppose that's progress.  It will be nice when more heterosexuals can lay off the uneasy little jabs when discussing homosexuality -- we get that you aren't gay and we certainly get that you aren't comfortable discussing it.  Let's play ball.

View Article  Coolest Gayesque Penguin Love Triangle Ever ...

In what would be the coolest gayesque Pittsburgh love triangle ever, check out Pitt Girl's latest post ...

Did somebody start a Sidney and Mario gay rumor without me knowing it?

Sonni and Sidney?  Or Sidney and Mario? 

All I'm saying is that if Luke Ravenstahl ends up in handcuffs at the new hockey arena, all bets are off ...

View Article  Because Human Rights Include Gay People in Nigeria, Read This ...

From 365gay.com ...

Abuja) The National Assembly held public hearings Wednesday on a bill to ban gay marriage and criminalize virtually all forms of gay expression in Nigeria.

The bill lays down penalties of up to five years for anyone watching or reading material deemed to be pro-gay either in public or in their own homes, and even would forbids meetings between two gay people.

In part, the proposed bill reads:

``Any person who is involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of five years imprisonment.''

Backers of the legislation said gay acts, which are already illegal in Nigeria, run counter to cultural and religious mores in the deeply traditional West African country.

Officials expect a vote before April.  Here's all of our posts on this issue.

Timing is everything because this week a conference of Anglican worldwide leaders meets to try and figure out what to do about all the furor over ordaining queers and women.  Anglican leader Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria is a proponent of the Nigerian legislation AND breaking ties with the American Episcopal church. 

And who is one his very biggest fans?  Pittsburgh's own Bishop Duncan, a staunch proponent of the Archbishop.  Duncan famously claims that opposition to the legislation is colonialist. 

Nice, huh?

View Article  The Snowstorm That Ate Pittsburgh; Lesbians Run Out of Creamer

Finally ... I wake up to some good news. I don't hafta go anywhere b/c I brought my work home with me (I'm rapping my knuckles on my temple right now).  I get to finish a grant proposal and a home study report in my pajamas.  Woo hoo!

I've been mesmerized by KDKA's coverage of this storm.  They didn't report a single item of actual news during the 11 PM broadcast last night.  The only break from Storm Team Coverage (is that KDKA?) was an insipid little encounter between Sonni Abatta and Sydney Crosby -- if I heard her say "Syd" one more time, I was going to retch. Right now, I'm tuned into Marty Griffin telling us the "real deal" on the snowstorm that ate Pittsburgh.  He's almost frothing in despair at the impending doom.  Just told me to call the old people I know and forbid them to set foot outside. 

Thankflly, most of the old people I know either have enough common sense to stay inside or are in the bosom of people who can do that for them.

I'm all set for the day.  I bought blueberry muffins last night.  Just made a pot of coffee.  Downside is that I'm out of real creamer so I have to use artificial.  Drat. 

My favorite part of the day is going outside with the woofers -- they love this stuff.  Amadeus and Alexander are just dumb enough to argue over who gets to "retrieve" the snowballs.  They will take each other out to catch it directly and then sort of look stunned b/c "hey, that's cold!"  Nothing like wrestling, growling 120 lb dogs to keep the neighbor kids in line.  If they only knew what all the fuss was about ...

Another good part of yesterday (after our early dismissal) was playing Yahtzee. I  haven't played that game since I was a kid.  Ledcat's mom got it for me this past Christmas and after a few rolls of the die, we caught the hang of it again.  Now that's a memory ... hot chocolate, snow dipping off the coats in the corner, a fire and Yahtzee.  Its so very Norman Rockwell!

View Article  John McCain Keynote Speaker for Creationism/ID Proponents

h/t Pam's House Blend

File this under ... huh.

Discovery Institute is pleased to co-present with CityClub of Seattle and the Seattle World Affairs Council a luncheon featuring U.S. Senator John McCain.

The Discovery Institute is a right-wing think tank with a well established track record as a proponent/defendant of Intelligent Design.

Think Progress also notes that McCain has been for creationism and against it -- flip-flopperama. In 2005 he said that intelligent design should be taught in schools, but last year he stated that ID didn't belong in science classroom. 

For those of us unable to to attend Senator McCain's pandering er, presentation there is comfort to be found in the fact that the Creation Museum, located near Cincinnati, will open in June 2007.

[W]e'll take guests on a journey through a visual presenation of the history of the world, based on the ?7C's of History": Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. Throughout this family-friendly experience, guests will learn how to answer the attacks on the Bible?s authority in geology, biology, anthropolocy, cosmology, etc., and they will discover how science actually confirms biblical history.

View Article  The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder is comin' to Pittsburgh this weekend

 

That's what Ledcat and I got each other for Valentine's Day ... an evening with Aaron McGruder.  I am way excited even though the advertising misleads you into thinking there are $15.00 tickets.  Not so much since we bought the cheapest seats and dropped $53.00.  Good thing dyke-flavored snarkey pays so well ...

I actually cried with McGruder announced he wasn't coming back to the comics page from his hiatus.  Nothing compares to his biting social commentary (okay Non Sequitur occasionally rises to the challenge ...).   We've posted quite a bit about Grandad's encounters with the gay community.  From January 2006:

"I am a regular read of The Boondocks strip in the PG, but I must confess that I am often confounded.  I get the feeling that I'm definitely not "in" on the real humorous element and/or the real spin on the issue.  But I suppose that is how any white middle class lesbian would feel -- the whole point is that I don't really get it, good intentions or not.

My take on the recent gay-marriage Boondocks strips is that he's at the older generation's discomfort with gay issues while acknowleding that its just not as big a deal with younger African-Americans.  Overly simplistic? "

So I am lesbi-ecstatic for the chance to see Mr. McGruder in person and hear what he has to say.  Without cable, we cannot keep up with The Boondocks vis a vis their own television show.  More's the pity.  Because I lament the decline of the comics back into the era of happy little family strips that might lead to a chuckle, but not any critical thinking.  I used to read the whole section top to bottom.  Now I read For Better or For Worse, Peanuts and Non Sequitur.  Oh and Mutts. I like Mutts.  Sometimes it makes me cry, though. 

Well, I better go shovel ...

 

View Article  Random Thoughts on Snow Lesbians

I drifted off to sleep Saturday evening as Jon Burnett warned us of 9-12 inches of snow Monday evening.  Yes, I thought as my eyes closed, that might mean a snow day.  I have been waiting all of my adult life for the thrill of a snow day.  My childhood snow days in the late 70's are among my favorite memories ...putting on the snowsuit, moon boots and oversized mittens and heading out with my awesome sled with real metal runners.  Then coming home for hot cocoa and warmth ... I distinctly remember our gloves and hats stuck onto glass coke bottles in front of the heat vent.  It was awesome. 

Nothing in adult life compares to a snow day.  I was in warmer climates for the giant snowfalls in the 90s.  My first winter back in Pgh it was 75 in December.  That sucked.  A few years ago, we had a nice snow over President's Day weekend.  But I was off that day anyway.

Thus, since Sunday morning I have been avidly following the weather.  Channel 11 downplayed the potential blizzard so I changed channels and let my good buddies at KDKA work me right up into a snow frenzy.  Today at work everyone was abuzz.  Trainings were cancelled.  Meetings rescheduled.  I stopped at Giant Eagle on the way home to replenish the milk and cereal (we really were out!) and encountered a mad rush of inner-city snow fearin' folk dashing about the store for all they were worth.  

Which way will it go?  4-8 inches with an icy coating just in time for rush hour?  9-12 inches?  2 inches?  Grown up snow days suck because with this forecast the best I can hope for is an early dismissal.  Still, early dismissals were kind of nice, too ....

ps: even i had to admit KDKA went over the top with the exclusive interview of the guy who clears the airport runways ...

View Article  First Openly Gay NBA Player On Tour for Human Rights Campaign, Not Coming to Pittsburgh

 

John Amaechi, once a star player for the Orlando Magic, is the first NBA player to ever publicly come out as a gay man. Now retired from basketball, Amaechi's unique story is detailed in his autobiography,  Man in the Middle just released by ESPN Books.

Now, Amaechi is an official spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project, a program designed to help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people come out and live openly.

Amaechi is launching a nationwide tour to share his story and encourage conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.

**********************************************************

Kudos to John who, sadly, will not be bringing his tour to Pittsburgh.  He will be in Philly on March 10.  Other stops include DC, Atlanta, Dallas and New York. 

Huh.

I think a few appearances in Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri and North Dakota might reach people who are alienated a bit more than say in DC which has a thriving gay community.  But that's just me.  We have no basketball team here so I guess we're off the radar.  However, that also means we are off the hook for providing yet another new sports venue so perhaps its a wash. 

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The Correspondents