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View Article  Santonio Holmes aka Mike Tyson is a Abusive Thug Who Should Rot In Jail

A quote from Santonio Holmes' attorney in a late-night PG article is so f*cking outrageous that I had to post.  I need to sleep, but this seems more pressing for all you late night blog readers ...

As you know, Santonio faces domestic violence charges stemming from a June 19 incident in which the mother of his daughter called 911 to report physical abuse. 

Guess what?  She's refusing to testify which is not uncommon for domestic violence victims.  It doesn't make her a bad woman or complicit in her abuse.  It makes her a human being who is probably under terrible duress from all the media scrutiny and high power muckety mucks who need their meal ticket to walk away from this little situation. 

Here's what got my goat ... a quote from Holmes' attorney Sam Shemansky:

"As DV cases go, this is not World War III," he said. "This is not a woman with her eye blackened shut. It's nothing like that. It's polar opposite from that. My hope is that after we've fulfilled obligations on our part, that the government will be willing to follow the wishes of the alleged victim and dismiss the matter in its entirety."

Excuse me?  The polar opposite of a woman having her eyes blackened shut would be a woman in a healthy respectful relationship with a partner who doesn't abuse her.  NOT SOMEONE WHO ABUSES HER A LITTLE BIT ....

This is so NOT the polar opposite.  Not someone who has been arrested twice in the past 3 months.  Not someone who got a traffic citation after damaging another person's car and only made restitution when facing a warrant.  Not someone who sets the stellar example of fathering three children in multiple states with different women all at the ripe age of 22.

Santonio Holmes is a thug.  Pure and simple.  He's a thug with talent sort of like Mike Tyson.  And if he gets rewarded for playing mister fucking contrite, he'll end up Mike Tyson.  Too bad all the poor women he batters along the way won't have the consolation of a multi-million dollar contract.

If the Steelers sign him, shame on them.  And a pox upon their 2006 record. 

View Article  Pgh City Paper: Republican Smackdown and a Call for Column Parity

It has been awhile since we've run across some gay-themed letters to the editor in either the PG or the Trib.  Today, Amesh Adalja of Butler comes to our rescue with a little missive in the City Paper.  Adalja bemoans the hijacking of the Republican Party by the "cancerous growth" of the religious right.

The Republicans, increasingly suffused with the gospel of the Religious Right, have completely shattered any semblance of respect for individual rights to which they may stake claim.

Shout out to the non-hating Republicans in Butler County! Kudos for acknowledging that not all Republicans are, well, Rethuglicans.  Take back your party damnit!  Take back your churches, too! 

While we are on the topic of the City Paper, I must sadly note the demise of the "Rant" feature.  Editor Chris Potter discussed this decision on a recent appearance on the John McIntire show on KDKA (see McIntire blog www.macyapper.com).  Apparently, they got sick of rants about Pittsburgh drivers and the like. 

The CP archives indicate that there have been 287 rants.  Number 284 featured my personal anti-PennDOT ramblings.  And while we are on the topic, I must tell you that I am completely disillusioned with the political/citizens activist thing.  NO ONE was willing or able to stand up to PennDOT and the fact that I kept being pushy and obnoxious about wanting them to maintain their property made me person non gratis.  It was only when the All-Star game drew near that Mayor O'Connor's office helped.  But at least they helped not only get it cut, but a commitment to keep it cut. 

Back to the Rant.  I enjoyed it, but it certainly did seem a bit repetitive at times.  Now it would be GREAT if the City Paper would fill that space with the voice of a columnist who is not a white, heterosexual, middle-class man.  God Bless Marty, John and Chris and their progressive, nay liberal ideals.  But Pittsburgh's alternative culture is filled with a multitude of people of color, females, gays, working class, disabled, etc.  We have ideas, too!  Good ones.  Ideas with multisyllabic words.  Ideas festooned with purpose, meaning and a liberal dash of snarkery. 

For crying out loud ... you can't shake a stick in Pittsburgh without knocking over a white, middle-class, heterosexual writer/columnist or writer/columnist wanna be.  You want a fresh rant  -- give voice to the rest of us. 

View Article  Why the Proposed Allegheny County Smoking Ban is a LGBTQ Issue

I hate smoking with the deep and abiding passion only an asthmatic person can muster. The very idea of selfish nicotine junkies taking umbrage with my desire to enjoy a meal or cocktail without expelling phlegm is obscene. And I am giddy with delight over proposals to create smoke free workplaces for everyone, even those unfortunate enough to provide service to said nicotine users. 

(If you think I'm being mean or nasty, screw you.  Shove an inhaler in your mouth so you can catch your breath and tell me how mean I am ....I have no pity for smokers.  Get the patch and stop whining.)

The data is clear. Second-hand smoke kills people.  Smoking bans do not put restaurants and bars out of business.  Even the Pennsylvania Restaurant association is willing to support a 100% statewide ban if it includes casinos (I caught this on McIntire's show). 

And this is most decidedly a very important LGBTQ issue.  According to a 2001 study, lesbians smoke more than straight women.  Specifically, 35.5% of lesbians smoke compared to 20.5% of straight women.  Other studies have shown similar disproportions among gay men. 

Even more frightening was a 2004 study in which 40% of lesbian and bisexual girls between the ages of 12 and 17 report smoking, compared with 6% of heterosexual girls of the same ages.   Forty percent to six percent. 

There's a whole host of reasons this could be the case --- the history of the bar as a gay gathering place, societal pressure over gay identity, tobacco companies specific targeting of gay subcultures, and so forth. 

So creating smokefree spaces is critical for the health and well being of our community.  We need to push for environments in which people can be gay, find community and not have to inhale carcinogens. 

Personally, I would enjoy occasionally going to the local gay bars.  I like to dance, I like the shows and enjoy mingling with the homos.  But my recent foray to The Eagle was a disaster -- big kinds of fun followed by two and a half days of illness.  Who needs that?

Check out Tobacco Free Allegheny for local resources on smoking bans. 

View Article  More on New York Marriage Ruling

Howard Dean weighs in on the NY Court of Appeals decision:

"As Democrats, we believe that every American has a right to equal protection under the law and to live in dignity. And we must respect the right of every family to live in dignity with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. Today's decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing, but it does not end the effort to achieve this goal.

"As that essential process moves forward, it is up to the State legislature to act to protect the equal rights of every New Yorker and for the debate on how to ensure those rights to proceed without the rancor and divisiveness that too often surrounds this issue."

Pam asks "What is the goal?"   More specifically, will the Democrats EVER demonstrate real leadership in LGBT civil rights, including marriage?

View Article  NY's Highest Court Says No to Marriage Equality

The New York Court of Appeals ruled 4-2 that the state constitution does not guarantee the right to marry, but that the extension of marriage to include same sex couples must be undertaken by the Legislature. (PageOneQ)

The HRC response ...

"The court?s archaic reasoning is rooted in ignorance and completely contradicted by the facts of today," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

I'm sitting in a cramped waiting room in Oakland so I'll have to save my commentary for later ....

View Article  Dan Savage - Bob Casey is the pragmatic, progressive, pro-choice bankshot

Bob Casey's campaign cashed the check.  You know, the contribution directed by advice columnist extraordinaire Dan Savage from the proceeds of his latest little amusing adventure  - Impeach The MotherF***er Already (ITMFA).  I presume you don't need a lot of explanation about that one ...

Revenue from the ITMFA merchandise is being donated to a range of progressive causes.  Bob was one of the first beneficiaries in recognition of his effort to unseat frequent Savage tauntee Ricky Sanctimonious.

Savage - who is one of the most awesome people ever for his never ceasing sex-positive writing and his uber-homo lovin' outness - has this perspective on Casey's anti-choice stance:

It's true: Bob Casey is opposed to abortion. But electing Casey we would take out Rick ?Frothy Mix? Santorum, a much more rabidly anti-choice senator. Frothy Mix doesn?t think you should be able to choose masturbation, for crying out loud. Moreover, electing Casey could help Dems take back the Senate, which will go a long way toward protecting choice, abortion rights, and other sexual freedoms, despite Casey?s stance on choice. So casting a vote for Casey, or sending a contribution to Casey, is a pragmatic, progressive, pro-choice bankshot. Electing or two pro-life Dems is the price we?re going to have to pay to put reliably pro-choice Dems in positions of power all over the Senate.

To "balance out the karma" of supporting Casey, Dan made a huge donation to Planned Parenthood from the next chunk of ITMFA profits.  Now see that's something productive to do in lieu of simply wringing your hands about the fate of Chuck Pennachio.  Suck it up, get Casey elected and go put some extra time and energy working for Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc.  Then everybody wins ...

Savage's column runs weekly here in The City Paper.  You can also catch it online. 

PS:  Yes, I do recognize that the same advice applies to my previous whining about Casey's lack of LGBT outreach.  Suck it up, get him elected and go put some time and energy into working for a progressive LGBT political group ... or blog!   :-)

View Article  Are you a hungry queer Pittsburgh woman? Read this ...

Big Kinds of Queer Fun!

The date for the next monthly queer women dinner has been set -- Monday, July 24, 2006 at the Gypsy Cafe! 

What, you ask, exactly is a queer women dinner?   Click here and learn all about it!

The next "Queers: They're What's For Dinner!" is on Monday, July 24th
at 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. at the Gypsy Cafe (1330 Bingham St., Pittsburgh,
PA; http://gypsycafe.net/gypsy.html).

It's a rollicking good time!  Women and transfolk welcome (and their
babies, too!)

We have the place to ourselves! When you arrive there'll be some
munchies to snack on, and then dinner will be buffet-style (with veg
options). It's $15/person (includes soft drinks/coffee, but desserts
are extra), including gratuity and tax. It's also BYOB, and there's a
$2 corkage fee per drinker. PLEASE BRING CASH since it's one big bill,
and that's the easiest way to go.

ALSO, Rebecca will be on hand for awesome tarot readings - $15 for 15
minutes, or $25 for a half-hour. She's amazing!

Have questions?  Email Ehrrin       ehrrinkeenan@gmail.com!

I promise you people will talk with you!

View Article  Its Not My Space.com After All

In the course of all our corresponding, the myspace.com phenomena has been a recurring theme.  Everyone, so it would seem, has a myspace page.  It somehow made our paltry little website/blog seem so last year.  Everywhere I turned, dykes and queers and homos alike were talking about it. 

So I decided to give it a try.  And let me just say that I have never in my life felt so creepy and icky as I have while using myspace.com.  Its like entering a creepy world where young people and their no-so-young admirers mingle freely.  It IS entering a world ripe for child molesters and perverts.  After awhile, the photos of everyone over age 30 began to look sinister. 

For me, there was nothing cool or amusing about it.  It is a space for young people.  And people who are sort of stuck in that place of wanting to hang when they are 47 years old and really should be focused on securing gainful employment and moving out of mom's basement.  Not waiting to be taken seriously as an author/singer/mime. 

Harsh?  Perhaps, but the majority of your closest friends should not be the same age as your hypothetical children.

I know I'm old because most of it was annoying--- listing 75 songs as their "fav" and describe in too much detail why they hate certain authors.  The language is a shorthand that is slightly less confusing than Esperanto.

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 there's a deeper component to the ick factor.  People post all sorts of amazingly intimate details of their lives.  Young people, posting about their vulnerabilities and foibles.  Mixing sincere vulnuerability with tarty flirtatiousness.  And again I just felt like I was violating them to read it.  And I'm talking about young adults --- 23 and 29 year olds -- not kids.  Even if you eliminate the molesters, its still ripe for creeps to take advantage.

The social worker in me was just flipping out.  If 2 out of every 3 women is sexually assaulted in real life, I wonder what the myspace.com statistic is?  If they cannot come up with age verification process, it should just not exist. 

I can see the advantages when you are young or poor.  Lots of bells and whistles built in to a free service.  But when you get to the point that posting a photo of your drunken ass self might actually cause problems for your career or law school application or whatever ... take down the site.  Not just the photo.  Take down your site and go outside for some fresh air.  Maybe take a second job so you can afford the $250 for a real domain and webhosting service if you have something critical to promote. 

And if you have something to promote, linking to photos of 398 other people who aren't going to buy it is not the most productive use of your PR time and energies. 

So that's my judgmental bit about myspace.com.  25 and under, cool.  When you edge closer to 30 ...creepy.

View Article  Another Round Up - Anti-Choice News Around the Country

Here's some lovely and not so lovely news from those who would drag us back into the good old days ...courtesy of Feministing.

Grooms for Life matches anti-choice bachelors willing to marry and become a father to the feti of unwed pregnant women.  Marry the women I mean.  Ick Ick Ick. 

Will the state soon gain custody of abandoned embryos?  Mother Jones had this story. 

Should the term Pro-Choice be retired?  Feministe has this take ... 

And finally in the most f*cked up situation of the week, the loonies at Operation Rescue have purchased the building housing a Wichita health center which performed abortions.  Guess who got evicted?   Makes me glad we have a pathetic twerp running the local rescue group.  They can't even keep their blog updated ....

View Article  Quick Round Up of LGBTQ Stories of Interest

The New York State Court of Appeals is exptected to hand down its decision on gay marriage this week.

Albuquerque police raided a men's bathhouse ... wearing bullet proof vests and carrying semi-automatic weapons.  Why?  Because the club was selling alcohol without a license. 

The FBI is joining the investigation of a cross burning on the front lawn of the home of a Tennessee gay man.   They want to determine if its a hate crime.  Apparently, in Tennessee crosses just plant themselves in people's yard and spontaneously combust.  Pesky flaming crosses.

Anti-gay activists believes playground squabble involving his 7 year old son was a hate crime.

And Northern Ireland is now permitting same sex couples to jointly adopt children. 

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