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View Article  The Business of the Weekend

My head is spinning and I suspect I might be either ill or just overwhelmed.

Podcamp Pittsburgh 4 wrapped up this afternoon.  I learned a lot and met some really nice people.  Definitely plan to be there next year.  The session on advertising was great, but too short.  The session on dressing well for videobroadcasting was very practical.  Lots of good stuff.  The sponsors donated tote bags to our agency project, but our communication lines got a little kerflewwey at the end and I had to leave for our broadcast.  That was disappointing.  However, the intention was good and much appreciated.  There's just never enough hours to get everything done.

The sessions may be available for the public so I'll point you in that direction. 

Plus, hey, I won a Flip Cam which was very cool.  So excited! 

The National March for Equality is receiving successful reviews, drawing around 150,000 attendees.  Some are calling it a rallying call for the nation.  Hit the hastag #NEM for details.  I'll post more when the stories sort themselves out. Laura attended some of the earlier marches and has great stories.

President Obama addresses the Human Rights Commission dinner on Saturday.  His words are compellling, but his timetable is nonexistent.  Some appreciate the rhetoric while others bemoan the answer to "when?"  The text of his address is here. Frankly, I need to ponder this a bit before I can offer thoughtful critique. 

Our guest on Sister Shout was La'Tasha Mayes of New Voices Pittsburgh.  She's amazing and gave me a lot of think about in terms of effecting systemic changes.  Again, I'm just too tired to do justice to the interview but check out the podcast on http://sistershout.outonline.com for your own take.  I need to do some more research and really rethink some of my safe conversations.

The Lambda Bash is coming up on November 21, 2009.  If you feel torn over which event to support, this may be your solution because your one evening can support dozens of local groups and projects.  The Ball has been shaken up and we are pleased to be the official blog sponsor.  We are also pleased to have helped secure a really cool auction item.  I think we'll unveil the Flip Cam and get some personal shots that night.  Plus, isn't Thanksgiving more bearable with a great party under your belt?  A great party that Tom Sokoloski is planning?  I mean really ...

View Article  Crap and then there was Podcamp

Today sucked.  Work was exhausting and I ended the day without completing the majority of it.  I had to play the boss card which is always lacking in funness.  Then I drove 2 hours in the rain on dark roads only to give up and go home so my dinner was a bag of chips. 

Tomorrow is Podcamp Pittsburgh.  It is the fourth year and I'm planning to learn some stuff.  I'm even a VIP sponsor which means I get some cool stuff.  Not sure what. 

I do know what I'd like to learn ... the whole podcasting thing.  We are very fortunate to have launched SisterShout with a great producer (David) who has taught us quite a bit.  But there's a lot of refine and I'm excited to meet other local podcasters. 

So i'm thinking about Podcasting 101, Grassroots Podcasting (even though SS is clearly commercially backed), Adding Humor to your Podcast, the Anarchists session, and then dinner with Ledcat.  Sunday I might do social networking for job seekers because people are constantly asking for help finding jobs (I love my job), podcastin 201, Understanding social media Ads (YES! I REALLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND THIS) and then branding followed by citizen journalism. 

Huh.  I'm glad I'm having a long weekend next weekend because I think I'll be tired by the end of Sunday.  So here's hoping the coffee is strong, the lunches are tasty and I have enough business cards (thanks Crystal and Harry). 

Oh, there's a meet and greet at 8 PM with Joe Hoeffel who is running for Governor.  You know ... someone who believes in free speech and doesn't mock protestors.  8 PM Omni hotel bar.  Everyone welcome which is very gracious of Mr. Hoeffel. 

It will be very interesting to see if the gay cards align themselves close to the current Luke/everyone else configuration.  I think the Wagner factor might mix things up a bit, but I'm hoping for a Rudiak redux allowing the progressive to emerge unscathed. 

The ickiness of the night is magnified by the excessive number of sirens careening through the Northside tonight, the concern that Deus aka Doug is having health issues and me wondering where I put the business cards ...



View Article  Weekly Lesbian Round Up: Pittsburgh Style

This weekend boasts National Coming Out Day on Sunday, October 11, 2009.

There's this big march you may have heard about ... this is a great rallying cry in the video above.  The march has been contentious as has been much of the "gay agenda" as we grow and groups emerge and differing opinions take leadership roles.  It isn't much different than Pittsburgh.  As we grow, people grow into different directions.  There really are multiple gay agendas which reflect the varying priorities of our community. That seems to be somewhat of a stumbling point in our growth -- finding ways to coordinate leadership, share information and move forward (sorry, Luke). 

Still, there are times when we need to come together. Many of the national organizations jumped on board The March.  I've love to be in DC for a day; it is where I attended college and just lovely this time of year.  But with pets and commitments and so forth, we can't make a day trip work as easil as back in the "jump in the car and let's go" days.  So I hope whomever attends has a great time and brings some of the energy back to Pittsburgh.

Equality Advocates are working on a new board.  This is just phase one of plans to roll out a new board that is more representative of Pennsylvania's LGBTQ community.  I spoke with their Western PA main guy, Jake Kaskey, who assured me that there will be more appointments from our region.  We have one already, which is good news.  I am kind of sad that we are a region, because there are clear differences between those that live in the City and those who live outside, particularly in outlying counties.  Still, hopefully the board members will bring a holistic perspective on the local LGBTQ community.  I am especially hopeful that they strive for some socio-economic diversity, even though board members typically skew higher by nature of needing to raise money.  Still, an often overlooked group are the working class queers.  This is exciting news and let's hope we can build a statewide organization that gives us access as a collective group, even if we have different things to say.

Speaking of gay factions, the President is speaking at the HRC Dinner.  Barney Frank says we shouldn't expect anything earthshattering.  Pam Spaulding is pretty much in the same frame of mind.  There are those who think babysteps are better than nothing and many of them are supporting Ravenstahl and Onorato.  There are those who think we need to heave ho the whole status quo and many of them are focused on health care reform (important issues for many of us).  Then there are those who fall somewhere in the middle and are trying to balance being strategic about issues/candidates without selling out to the white upper middle class male powers that be.  <insert finger wagging from the white upper middle class males who read this and fail to understand why I don't believe they have my best interests at heart>

This is also where people will say the nomination of an openly gay ambassador has anything to do with my life.  It is great in the way that casting an openly gay man to play BD Wong on Law and Order SUV (ha ha ha) is great.  I'm glad, but it seems sort of like "what took so long?"  Come on, Obama. Stop taking credit for things that aren't exactly groundbreaking and do something concrete. 

Here's something exceedingly dull from Page One Q.  Mary Cheney is pregnant again.  Yawn.  I doubt a second child is going to help her see past her incredibly privileged life to actually give a freakin damn about the average gay person. Maybe she'll campaign for Dan.

View Article  Comment Moderation

Good morning!  Just a quick note to let you know that I've turned on comment moderation for awhile. The pro-donut shop folks are getting a little over the top harassing me, to the point that I've had a casual chat with a lawyer.  They've had plenty of opportunity to make their points and can continue to do so as long as they move a little bit more back on topic.  Same goes for others, but the anti comments have dropped off in the past 12 hours.

I do want to say one thing further.  Yes, sometimes I enforce my getting the last word.  This is not a public space; it belongs to me.  I enjoy the dialogue and believe that some folks have a good reason to post anonymously.  However, 32 comments on the same post is way out of proportion to our usual dialogue and it is simply time to move on unless new news breaks in the story.  You are welcome to start your own blog if the decision to moderate comments doesn't sit well with your interest in opining on LGBTQ issues. 

This won't be forever.  I encourage those who have been harassing me to move on as well. Please don't email me unless you can do so in a civil manner.  There's very little actual anonymity on the Internet. I bring that up to say that you should think twice about the comments. The threats to sue me?  That's your decision.  The threats and harassment. Still, your decision but think twice about the illusion of anonymity folks. 

That's all for this morning.  We'll hopefully have good news on the state budget soon as well as some discussion on the March for Equality, Podcamp Pittsburgh and the Mayor's Advisory Committee (not good news there).  I just don't have time to do it now.

Great day to all of you folks.


View Article  LGBT Legislative Updates

Two quick items we mentioned last night on Sister ShOUT that are worth your attention.

First, legislation introduced in the Senate to amend the Constitution of Pennsylvania so as to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, the so-called Marriage Protection Amendment, has some legs.  It is still in committee, but word is that it just might be voted out and to the floor of the Senate.  So not good.  What a ridiculous waste of time and energy when we don't have a state budget.  If you have a moment to call your State Senator, you might want to point out that getting married is not a high priority when many of us worry about our jobs, our services and our community due to their inability to get the budget passed.

Second, the Reading City Council ended September with great news by passing an inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance. Reading is now the 16th municipality to provide these protections for citizens.  Congratulations, Readingers! 


View Article  For Crying Out Loud ... There's no plans for a Kiss In!

Wow.  The Little Donuts/Razete corner of the world are completing wigging out about the possibility of lesbians kissing in front of their store. They act like we are recruiting the members of POG to join us in a non-state sanctioned act of political dissent involving masks and Burt's Bees chapstick.  Oh, the masks probably would not work with the whole kissing thing, right?

Anyway, there's no kiss in.  It was a joke intended to convey irony and dismay that a bigot wants our money, but thinks we are immoral.  Oh, yes he did say that on October 1, 2009.  Go here to see for yourself.  http://www.facebook.com/ron.razete?v=wall&ref=search

Just in case that goes down within moments ...here's a snip ... comment at the bottom ...

I would have let this go until I saw that he is actively recruiting people to offset the comments (which violates the Urban Spoon terms of service).  I also see that he labeled us an "immoral minority" as recently as October 1, while at the SAME TIME he is telling gay people visiting his store that he has a gay cousin and he simply disagrees with us but welcomes us as customers.

Which is it, Ron?  

If you hit his FB page while it is still active or read comments on a previous post, you will see that the "kiss in" keeps coming up as this horrid possibility that would probably destroy at least 7 heterosexual marriages and recruit 4 kids to the homo side.  Something like that.  They are being utterly ridiculous.  Someone posted that he should sue.  Sue the LGBT community because we have opinions?  Or because we exist?  Because we kiss?  What?  Who is he going to name in that lawsuit?  Good grief. 

They are also threatening media coverage. I beat 'em to the punch on that one and went to the media myself.  Hell, I am the new social media and found out some MSM folks (sorry, Chris) are following the story BEFORE I went to them. 

This is theater of the absurd. I am convinced they are freaking out about the potential of lesbians kissing on their doorsteps.  Not the loss of our economic might.  Not the revelation of the bigotry.  Not the persecution of the poor, poor Christian wingnuts. 

The power of the kiss to undo society.  Wow. 


View Article  Urban Spoon allegedly discounting votes?
Receiving reports this morning that "dislike" votes submitted to local restaurant review site The Urban Spoon have been removed.

After learning about the alleged deceptive branding practice of local donutter Peace Love and Little Donuts, members of the LGBT community went to Urban Spoon to share their opinions. The approval rating sank from 70% to nearly 40% in 12 hours.

This morning the site shows a 70% approval rating and the total vote count is more than 30 votes lower than Thursday evening. The Urban Spoon had earlier been removing negative comments posted by voters.

The Urban Spoon has issued no further comment on the issue of marketing/branding as a legitimate criteria for reviews, nor on the alleged targeting of LGBT voters.

Sue Kerr
Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
View Article  Sister Shout! talkin' donuts

Yep, we'll be covering the twists and turns in the whole wingnut/donut story this weekend, from the blog posts to the response of the Urban Spoon website.  Tune in to hear our take on the importance of company branding when it comes to gay dollars.  The topic of "buying gay" will be a theme we continue to explore as we head into the holiday shopping season.

If any gay owned or gay friendly donutters want to provide some show refreshments, we are recording TWO episodes this weekend. I like chocolate glazed.  LOL.

Our guest this week is Frank "Dok" Harris who welll you know!  He's running for Mayor.  We'll talk about his exciting plans for the City, what he's learned on the campaign and, of course, test his Lesbian IQ. 



View Article  The Bigot Stands Alone; "More men will be abused" warns colleague

Poor Darryl Metcalfe. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the PA Representative from Cranberry has

received "lewd, vile and vulgar" e-mails and letters opposing his position. As a Christian, Metcalfe told colleagues, he still believes homosexuality is a "sinful lifestyle."

One of his critics, according to Metcalfe, said he was "hoping I will meet my creator very soon." Metcalfe said later that he didn't take it as a death threat. "It was more like a hopeful verbalization of their anger," he said.

Having been wished my own death here on Pghlesbian.com by the angry cupcake people, I can empathize with the positive spin. Let me go on the record as saying that hoping someone with meet their creator very soon is unwarranted and out of line and wrong. Period.

However, it is completely ridiculous that the Trib ramps up the lewd homos/feminists v the family values crowd on this issue.  That's so not the point and this is one of the most ridiculous pieces they've published in a long time.  Or at least one of the most ridiculous that I've read.

The measure in question passed the House on Wednesday and has proclaimed October Domestic Violence Awareneness Month.  The original vote was blocked by Metcalfe who feared the underlying homosexual agenda of language that acknowledged men are, in fact, victims of domestic violence.  He thinks this is simply not the case and does a dissservice to women.  Technically, he seems to think only a few men are victims and don't deserve equal protection or acknowledgement? I think.  It is so weird, I don't get really get it.

The language shifts the focus away from abused women and female rape victims, Metcalfe said.

"It does a great disservice to women," Metcalfe said.

Metcalfe asked colleagues when was the last time they read about a man fleeing with his kids, in the middle of the night, in fear for his life.

Hey, the good news --- seems like Metcalfe still reads news papers!

Anyway, some of his colleagues are calling him out.

Rep. Babette Josephs, D-Philadelphia, said she believes one of the reasons people don't read much about it is that men who are victims of domestic violence or rape "are ashamed to go for help."

"The gentleman from Butler has made this problem even worse and more men may be abused, even killed in their homes," Josephs said.

Others are being forced to make ridiculous clarification.

Rep. John Siproth, D-Monroe County, the resolution's sponsor, has said neither he nor domestic violence groups have a homosexual agenda.

Notice that they sidestep the trap of saying this measure won't protect men in same sex relationships who are being battered or abused.  Well, it is just a proclamation, but every bit of awareness helps all victims and survivors. 

For the record, I think Metcalfe deserves every piece of lewd, vile and vulgar email he receives (except the life threatening). He's so thoroughly entrenched in the la la land of white wedding world that no reasonable discussion about LGBTQ people will get through.  He's need to be dislodged and sent to some insurance company or lobbying firm. So the email won't work. 

SO ... if you are outraged, here's my suggestion.  Help unseat Allegheny County Councilman Matt Drozd who is being challenged by a strong gay ally, Tom Michalow. Flex the homo muscle near the Metcalfe region and then we can potentially line up behind a Metcalfe challenger. 

If you find Metcalfe's comments about homosexuals appalling, send $5.00 (yes, five dollars) to Michalow's campaign.  Then send $5.00 to your nearest domestic violence agency.  Give up lunch out this weekend and strike a blow for the homosexual agenda! 

View Article  Local Donutter Also Wingnutter

UPDATE:  Local restaurant review site, The Urban Spoon, took down a slew of LGBTQ written comments about this business yesterday.  I complained to the site managers and was told the comments "probably" contained Terms of Service violations, but no specifics (even on my own removed comment).  I asked The Urban Spoon specifically about the relevance of branding practices and to comment on targeting LGBTQ comments.  No response. 

The "approval" rating for this business sunk from over 70% to near 40% in the span of about 12 hours yesterday. It was hovering near 45% last night and has spiked back up to 70% this morning.  As you can tell from the comments below, the donutters are aware of the criticism.  Backlash is also hitting other bloggers covering this topic


Hey gang, a new donut shop opened up in the Strip District.  It is called Peace, Love and Little Donuts and the owners have trademarked the phrase "Feed Your Inner Hippie"  Sounds cute, eh?

Well, owner Ron Razete has also claimed a place in the blogosphere with the phrase "As I Was Saying" where he shares his anger, vitriole and bitterness. 

This crowd will not rest until Homosexuality is mainstream; until the Second Amendment is done away with; until abortion on demand is as common and accepted as going to the dentist; until sexual images and strip clubs line our streets and suburbs; until government education is started in the womb; until disagreement with their political party is "hate speech" and becomes a crime; until they pass the Fairness Doctrine and rid the county of Conservative talk radio; until they transfer our sovriegnty to the UN, etc. etc. etc.

When you capitalize Homosexuality, you know you've put created a very big divide between US and THEM.  Even abortion didn't get that shout out.

There's more.

... so here are just a few of the major issues I have with the "tannest" President of the United States in history.

First, I find it unsettling and overwhelmingly racist to make a big deal about the color of a man's skin. It is either a reason to vote for him or not. A reason to be "happy" or not. A reason to expect big things from him or not. But I'm confused... isn't President Obama half white? Why that makes him a Black President and not a White President is what gets me. I am sick of seeing a microphone stuck in everyone's face asking about the "historic" day when Americans elected a Black President.

As I was reading through his pages, I didn't find myself angy -- just sad.  He pours so much of himself into the writing and seems to live such an empty, self-righteous life.  So judgmental of everyone --- Ledcat would kill me if I wrote about her various shortcomings and asked you to pray for her to be a better wife. 

Who can write this with a straight face?

People are wicked and without the Holy Spirit to express Himself through our lives, I'm sure I would be saying the same things as these sad souls.

I don't have a lot of expectations of my donutter, but some sort of general belief in the decency of humanity would probably be on the list.

This all came to light on a local LGBT email list. Folks are pissed and perplexed.  How do you go from "People are wicked and without the Holy Spirit" to a hippie/dippie sales spin?  It is that sort of willingness to do whatever it takes in the marketplace to earn a living that really undermines the credibility of wingnuts.  And it almost worked.  I would have seen the name and assumed it might be cool.  But someone noticed the anti-gay comment and shared it ...

Lesbians are rumoring to be staging a kiss-in, a kiss-out, a make-out and all sorts of things.  Most of them probably just won't got to the donut shop in the strip district. 

That's probably the best idea.  I mean, people are entitled to a personal opinion.  But we don't have to finance it with pink dollars.

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The Correspondents