Tuesday, August 8
by Sue on Tue 08 Aug 2006 07:23 AM EDT
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health got caught in the crosshairs this week when a local gay leadership group lodged complaints about the violent scenario in a recent ad campaign targeting African-American men. The campaign encouraged HIV testing, targeted gay, bisexual and "down low" men and featured images of African-American men in the crosshairs of a gun with the tagline "Have You Been Hit?" (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The Black Gay Men's Leadership Council objects to the direct association of black men with gun violence in a city plagued with increasing rates of gun violence, especially among the African-American population.
Amidst concerns over the legitimacy of the campaign's use of focus groups and embarrassment about the associatio, the city is being rather weasley about the reason for pulling the ads, indicating that the pull date just happened to be last Friday. The PR departments of various media outlets indicated otherwise, stating that there was no cancellation date.
File this under WTF? In a city where too many people die from gun violence AND AIDS, why would you associate the two ---- why surely African-American men might have a postive assocation with being the target of gun violence and immediately run down to the nearest HIV testing center! And it certainly does wonders for the images of HIV positive people to be linked to gun violence.
Monday, August 7
by Sue on Mon 07 Aug 2006 07:50 AM EDT
I read Zober's profile in the Post-Gazette a few times. He sounds like an accomplished, dynamic man who may turn out to be a good politician. But the article describes in some detail the exact moment of white male privilege that propelled him from Americorp worker to deputy mayor:
I truly doubt most white guys "get" how this works because it is such a routine part of their day -- these inter-white-guy connections that generate professional and personal opportunities that are closed off to the rest of us. The other night I was part of a group of six for a few moments, four white men and two white women. The men introduced themselves to us women, but then spent the remainder of our time chatting amongst themselves about their common ground -- sports woven in with career plans, wedding plans and future plans. I wasn't particularly upset about it, but it is low-key example of the dynamic. The other woman injected herself into the conversation a bit, while I chose to take in the moment. The distinction, of course, is that we weren't automatically included in the conversation - we had to be proactive to break into that almost unconscious white male dynamic.
I'm not suggesting the mighty whites avoid contact at all costs. But the only way to expand this dialogue is to introduce some diversity into the mixture --- if the "group" includes multiple women, people of color, people in motorized chairs, homosexuals, etc. the conversation tends to be more inclusive. And since the group dynamic tends toward exclusiveness, its going to take intentional maneuvers to make sure these voices are at the table.
Jim Ferlo introducing Yarone Zober to Bob O'Connor is a supreme example of while male privilege. And when the women got in the way of the plan, they were cut out. So let's not insult the rest of us by trying to wrap this Administration in a mantle of diversity. You can't have it both ways. If Zober is a competent deputy mayor, that's a good thing for all of Pittsburgh. But the rest of us are entitle to question how many competent people who aren't white heterosexual middle class men have been repeatedly passed over for lack of those credentials.
Disclosure: I was in that group of six in the capacity of Lesbian Correspondent so the larger situation was, in fact, a significant inclusive gesture. By a white male with access and power (John McIntire of KDKA). So it does happen. We just need it to happen throughout the centers of power more frequently. We need more allies.
Saturday, August 5
by Sue on Sat 05 Aug 2006 11:10 AM EDT
Chris Potter has gone round the bend, perhaps due to reading too many rants about Pittsburgh driving habits. I know he's got this whole young, hipsteresque, artsy street cred from editing the city's only alternative paper, but I think his white middle class male roots have reared their ugly head ....and he may be heading for membership in the Allegheny County Young
In this week's column, Potter delves into the Thursday Morning Massacre to question the potential political motivations (and machinations) of former Chief of Staff BJ Leber and City Solicitor Susan Malie. He concludes that both "sides" engaged in backroom politics, a fair conclusion. But Potter goes one step further defending the Irish Mafia machinators against the label of "old boys network":
Give me a freakin' break, Chris. Only another young white heterosexual middle class male would possibly try to defend this as a young people issue. There are hundreds of uber-qualified women, people of color, people with disabilities, people with same sex partners and so forth living in this region. And we will NEVER have entree into the old boys network. Zober may be the nicest guy in the world with all the qualifications one would desire in an appointed mayor, but its ludicrous to somehow distance him from the old boys network. If Zober were a chick, black or spoke with a funny accent, he would be safely tucked away somewhere on a semi-defunct advisory committee.
Potters' column is a classic example of how far we have to go in the struggle for equal representation here in our fair city. He claims we shouldn't have to choose between having smart women and smart young people. Yet all of his political columnists are white middle class heterosexual men.
Frankly, I am tired of being reassured by white middle class heterosexual men that you have my best interests at heart. Yet every time we turn around, more of your kind land the big jobs, the columns, the media slots, the appointments, etc. God love all the progressive white men out there but you need to share some of your actual privilege with us.
Next up, which white middle class guy will fill Alan Cox' slot on WQED's "Off Q"? Wait and see ...
Friday, August 4
by Sue on Fri 04 Aug 2006 10:00 AM EDT
Ricky does not discriminate against homosexuals in his hiring decisions. And now he's the 170th member of Congress who have signed a statement affirming that.
I guess official Santorum spokesfag Robert Traynham can breathe a sigh of relief ....his job as self-loathing traitor is secure!
Page One Q has the scoop.
Hmmmm. Remember this?
Ricky supporting the Green Party. Ricky saying homos deserve equal treatment in the workplace. What's next? Ricky enrolling the mini-Santorums in the Penn Hills public schools and cutting his own grass?
Thursday, August 3
by Sue on Thu 03 Aug 2006 11:01 AM EDT
Three young gay adults were turned away from a military recruitment office because they are openly gay. The young people were part of a nationwide challenge of the military's 13 year old "don't ask, don't tell" policy. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
If they were truly interested in serving our country, they would have to lie. After all, its a frequent practice of the Commander in Chief and his loyal ass-kissers.
Of course, the recruiters were just following policy. How is advising a potential recruit to conceal their sexual orientation noble or ethical --- its just about meeting your individual recruitment goals.
Wednesday, August 2
by Sue on Wed 02 Aug 2006 09:45 AM EDT
Last month, we reported that Bob Casey's campaign had cashed the $2000 donation from Dan Savage, funded by the sale of Savage's ITMFA paraphenalia. We also reported that Savage had tacitly endorsed Casey as the real choice to Rick Santorum, telling us to swallow hard and accept him.
Well, Dan is having to follow his own advice. Because the Casey campaign returned his donation.
The Casey folks seem to think that if Santorumites spots the Savage name, it will distract from real issues and force Casey to defend himself. Huh. There's a nice dose of the pragmatism Dan mentioned.
The Savage response?
So Savage's rightful place is working against Santorum, not on behalf of Bob Casey. The Casey people are happy to have his money in a behind the scenes PAC way and probably ecstatic that he's encouraging his overwhelmingly pro-choice readers to support Casey.
There's no way to justify this as anything other than cowardice. Pragmatic cowardice, but nonetheless part of the ongoing decline of the political process as anything other than an exercise in non-leadership and pandering. Things we women and homosexuals are sadly used to experiencing. Casey comes off lucky because we all know that Santorum probably would use this contribution to further distract voters from real issues.
I suppose we should be grateful Casey hasn't appeared on the 700 Club ....
by Sue on Wed 02 Aug 2006 09:19 AM EDT
Courtesy of our friend and groovaliacious queer organizer Ehrrin ...
Queer Singer/Songwriter Series at Modern Formations - Thursday August 3 ... more »
by Sue on Wed 02 Aug 2006 08:49 AM EDT
Political Junkie Maria has the scoop on this exciting Pgh opportunity ...
by Sue on Wed 02 Aug 2006 08:33 AM EDT
I think my brain is still on Chicago time. Here are some interesting tidbits for your LGBTQ news ....
First, intrepid Post-Gazette columnist and all around ace-homosupportive dude Tony Norman contemplates Mel Gibson's homophobia in a little online chat vis a vis the PG. Homophobe, anti-semite -- surprised? Guess which one he's going to "repent" to save his career? Let's just agree that his hairdresser shouldn't expect a mea culpa anytime soon ...
Moving west to the Ohio/Kentucky border, the Creation Museum just received a $1 million donation. Creation museum, you ask? Yes, lezzies and queers, you and your beloved will soon take a guided tour through biblical history. (h/t Pam's House Blend)
Be sure to visit the Mel Gibson snack bar. Rumor has it that they will have a live-action reeducation camp panorama so visitors can witness firsthand the salvation of the homosexuals who renounce their filthy ways. There will also be plenty of nearby hotels for those who feel compelled to exorcise/exercise those filthy ways.
Moving on .... the spokesman for the National Republica Senatorial Committee is <gasp> - a flaming queer! Mike Rogers has the whole scoop on Brian Walters and his self-loathing attacks on Pittsburgh's very own Steel-City Stonewall Democrats.
And, finally, San Diego police have arrested three men in connection with a gay bashing incident involving a group of gay men leaving the local Pride celebration this past weekend. The attackers wielded a baseball bat and knives, injuring one man so seriously that he made need facial reconstruction surgery. Average age of the assailants? 15.
Tuesday, August 1
by Sue on Tue 01 Aug 2006 10:11 AM EDT
It seems that the MSM is more intent on manufacturing "epidemics" that affect the average yinzer than covering actual violence being intentionally perpetuated on a specific class of persons.
Does our local media care? The PG gives us a reasonable amount of gay positive stories on a range of social, political, religious, cultural issues etc. Talk show hosts John McIntire on KDKA and Lynn Cullen on WPTT give ample coverage to LGBTQ community issues.
But the PG rarely covers national issues or pulls these items from the AP (if they make it there). It does seem like we get caught up in the gay marriage or gay ordination issues and lose track of the very real violence we face on a day to day level. And no one locally has taken a critical look at the impact of the GOP fueled anti-gay hysteria. I wonder if the media sat down and talked with Betty Hill at Persad or Jim Fischerkeller with the GLBT phone line or the Pittsburgh Transgender Support Group or the Thomas Merton Center or GLSEN, if there is a hint of consequences from the ongoing anti-LGBTQ assault vis a vis the rethuglicans?
I just returned from a weekend in Chicago which required a long drive through Ohio and Indiana. How sad that I have to censor myself in an Ohio rest stop because the homophobia emanating from that state makes me wary of a confrontation if someone discerns that Ledcat and I are a couple. Do you know what that feels like, to have to make sure I don't accidentally say "honey" or don't touch her in a way that betrays our relationship? While I doubt we'll get jumped in the restrooms, who wants to be called a fucking dyke or worse on their vacation? It makes Pittsburgh look positively progressive in comparison (before the Irish mafia takeover).