Thursday, July 13
by Sue on Thu 13 Jul 2006 07:37 AM EDT
OK, this lady I don't get. Helen Gricks of Ross, a self-described Republican and Evangelical Christian, writes to the Post-Gazette about her decision not to attend the upcoming Dixie Chicks concert in Pittsburgh.
To catch you up, the Chicks are coming to Pittsburgh at the end of the month (we have tickets!) and ticket sales have been reportedly slow.
What's interesting about Helen's perspective is that she basically wants the Chicks to perform for her, to entertain her but not bother her with those pesky politics of theirs. I'm guessing Helen hasn't really LISTENED to the new album (or bothered to read the liner notes) or she might note a striking parallel with the second stanza to "Not Ready to Make Nice"
I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
Or my life will be over
It seems to be that Helen wants the same thing --- shut up and sing for crying out loud. Yes, Helen wants the Chicks to crawl back into the nice comfortable "girl-singer" mode so they can entertain the men without creating all that stupid thinking and whatnot. More precisely, Helen wants them to shut and sing so SHE can remain in her little delusional land where Jesus and W have got her back.
If some right-wing loonie hypocrite like Toby Keith comes to town, wraps himself up in the flag he won't enlist to defend, and sings about killing Saddam Hussein ... will you object to him being "political" Helen?
But wait ... here's the really interesting part .... guess who is an old college buddy of Helen? That would be US Representative Melissa Hart. And the right-wing apologist herself, Ruth Ann Dailey, wrote a fawning column about Grick and her home-schooling buddies hanging out with Melissa ("Missy").
Well, guess what Helen? Unlike your buddy Malicious Hart, the Dixie Chicks want you to have the freedom to wear that T-shirt. They believe that the Constitution of the United States protects your freedom to dissent and that the First Amendment in particular gives you the the liberty to wear whatever political T-shirt you want, even if its unpopular.
The Dixie Chicks respect your right to love Jesus and W along with them. Too bad you can't afford them the same respect.
I'm not ready to make nice,
Wednesday, July 12
by Sue on Wed 12 Jul 2006 08:53 PM EDT
LIFEBeat succumbed to outrage over plans to stage an AIDS benefit concert featuring openly homophobic dance hall performers Beenie Man and group TOK. Concerns flew around the blogosphere this week as a large coalition of AIDS advocacy groups, LGBT organizations, members of the African-American community and countless others united in opposition to this incredibly stupid decision.
The concert was cancelled, but LIFEBeat had to take a few swipes at the protestors on the way out the door. Cancelling the concert itself was like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but LIFEBeat claims they feared violence at the concert.
Uh huh. And there's no possibility that violence could be ignited by a performer singing ...
(Click here for Jasmyne Cannick's wonderful post on anti-gay dancehall lyrics)
Why, it is obvious the violence would be fueled by protestors objecting to hanging lesbians with rope. What are we thinking?
Why couldn't LIFEBeat invite performers who weren't advocating the murder of well, anyone? Is that really so much to ask? Surely there must be Caribbean performers who aren't down at the level.
by Sue on Wed 12 Jul 2006 08:25 PM EDT
There's a lot happening in the Queer 'burgh -- gay political groups, queer art collectives, a lesbian chorus, comedy shows, art shows, movies, dinners, fundraisers ... the list goes on and on of all the cool groups and organizations making a difference for you and your family.
Often overlooked is the contribution of your average homo who takes it upon her or himself to do something proactive to build the kind of community in which s/he desires to live. Both of these people, Bob and Sheila, are friends of mine who I believe put their money where their mouths are for the greater good of the entire community. And they set examples for the rest of us who have a tendency to mouth off, but take no action.
Sheila thinks there isn't enough cool stuff for lesbians or, perhaps more precisely, that lesbians have trouble connecting with women with similar interests. There are email list for biking lesbians, hiking lesbians, even kayaking lesbians. Sheila liked to dance, go out to dinner, travel and hang out. So Sheila started her own group, Lesbos of Pittsburgh.
I've known Sheila for several years and she is one of the most straightforward people in my life. She goes to all the events, including many fundraisers. She tries all sorts of new activities from potlucks to mini golf to art shows. And I really admire her for stepping up to create a sense of community for women who walk in her shoes. I'm on several other local LGBT email lists and only one comes close to creating a sense of community (Pittsburgh Potluck Womyn for those of you who are curious).
Bob is an old friend of Ledcat's and a relatively new friend of mine. He's interested in politics (like most of us), but he's made it a personal priority to help elect gay-positive candidates. Unlike most of us, Bob puts his time and money where his mouth is. He writes countless letters to the editor and letters to elected officials and letters to all the rest of us telling us that we should be writing, too. He's even dedicated a portion of his website to promoting the candidates he think will best serve the needs of the LGBTQ community in his districts.
Interestingly, both Sheila and Bob live outside of Pittsburgh, outside of Allegheny County even. But they both still identify with our city and want good things for the entire LGBTQ community. They aren't just focused on their neighborhood, card club or small group of likeminded friends -- they put themselves out here for all of us.
That's cool. Wish more of us could pull that off.
by Sue on Wed 12 Jul 2006 08:02 AM EDT
Looking for something to do on Sunday? Head out to South Park for a tea dance featuring the reunion of the Shari Richards Band for this one time event only. (Fusing Steely Dan with the Pointer Sisters according to one organizer).
A tea dance? Apparently its a long standing gay tradition of afternoon parties featuring dancing, socializing and fun. You bring your own refreshments and beverages, pay admission to cover the cost of the facility and entertainment and have a good time. They've held these events at local firehalls because there are no "good" lesbian bars around Pittsburgh.
I heard about this via an email list and it took me a few days of digging to get some answers on what exactly a tea dance was, who the organizers were and who was welcome (they used a vague reference to "our community" in the original emails). I've since ascertained that it does mean our entire community, but I'm just guessing that the event skews a bit older (based on the music).
Tickets are $10.00 and available at the door. Doors open at 1 PM. Entertainment begins at 2 PM
Location is the South Park Museum Building at the South Park Fairgrounds. Big clock on building so you cannot miss it.
If you check it out, let me know how it goes.
by Sue on Wed 12 Jul 2006 07:27 AM EDT
Here's a perfect example of why heterosexuals should be outraged about gay bashing.
Colin Finnerty, that upstanding young lacrosse player from Duke facing rape and kidnapping charges, was found guilty in an attack on two men in Washington D.C.
Finnerty and five college buddies, including Duke lacrosse captain William Gerrish, followed two men, taunting them with homophobic epithets and then punched and kicked the men.
Here's the thing. Finnerty and Gerrish are white, privileged thugs and if they were poor, black or brown men, they would be in jail for such behavior. Finnerty beat up two men because he presumed they were gay. Gerrish lied under oath about the circumstances and only recanted when confronted with his own statement to the arresting officer. Finnerty got probation.
The Duke situation is filled with conflicting reports and he's innocent until proven guilty of course. But he's not innocent of being a prick and its not a difficult leap to imagine a gay-bashing bigot treating women like trash. Just the fact that these alleged pillars of society throw drunken brawls is disgusting. It doesn't make them rapists. It does make them elitist preppy pigs.
Back to my original point. The victims in the DC gay are not gay. They were beaten up because Finnerty perceived them to be gay. I don't know if they were mincing, pink shirted metrosexuals or just two average guys strolling through DC. It doesn't really matter. Finnerty has this tape in his head telling him that he has the right, the privilege, to beat the living hell out of someone b/c they seem gay. And, apparently in US society, he's right.
Tuesday, July 11
by Sue on Tue 11 Jul 2006 01:54 PM EDT
Under WTF? A prominent AIDS group recruits two notorious homophobes to perform at benefit concert. They would be reggae artists TOK and Beanie Man. Why, you ask, Beanie Man sounds familiar? Yes, he was supposed to perform at a 2004 show here in Pittsburgh at the Boardwalk. Til yours truly made some calls to LGBTQ leaders and the Post-Gazette complaining. In the wake of negative publicity, the show sponsors (Salem cigarettes) cancelled. As you can imagine, homosexuals, AIDS activists and the African-American community are up in arms over this stupid decision by LIFEBeat to ignore the cadres of talented reggae artists and bring in these two bastards for an AIDS fundraiser. Follow the link for the full story and details on how to voice your protest.
by Sue on Tue 11 Jul 2006 07:46 AM EDT
The Sanctuary People of
?Black Pride, Everyday?
A one year initial campaign to mobilize and engage the community increasing visibility, to register 1200 new African American LGBTQ voters in Greater Pittsburgh,
and to increase health education and awareness.
Join us at the following events!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Town Hall Meeting 3
Come hear about the Center?s future plans. Mix&Mingle. Hear the Dreams of Hope Performance Troupe. Watch Isaac Julien?s Film ?Looking for Langston?, pick up your Black Paper, buy a PrideT Shirt, Register to Vote, more?.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
An Inaugural Event!
The Herman McClain Lectures
In Memory of the Late Herman McClain
with Special Guests
Bishop Yvette Flunder and Shirley Miller
Pastors&Founders, City of Refuge UCC
National Gospel Recording Artists
120 Parkhurst at
Directly across from AGH Emergency Room
Special Music Guests:
Missy, RCC Women?s Choir
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Coming Out of the Closet; A Fashion Opera
Coming Out of the Closet; A Fashion Opera
featuring former clothing designs of
includes Live Music performed by The Howie Alexander Trio, guest DJ,