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View Article  "There's a queen on the board as well ..."

This is absolutely wonderful ...


View Article  In the neighborhood ..

As I've mentioned before, we live in the Northside neighborhood of Manchester on a fairly quiet block.  Our neighbors are a mix of races, socio-economic classes and family compositions. It is the kind of neighborhood where people nod and wave, occasionally exchange a few words and pretty much mind their own business (especially when business involves breeding fighting dogs and dealing drugs - sigh).

But tonight was a little different. Ledcat came into the house and mentioned that she had smelled gas in front of our neighbor's house.  I grabbed my phones and went out to check, dialing our other neighbor to come triple check us.  You see, said neighbor had told me she was having work done on her furnace and using space heaters. After sniffing the air and, yes, sticking my nose into her mail slot for a whiff,  I called 911 and we banged on the door.  No answer.  The firemen showed up and we began asking neighbors if they had her phone number. 

Everyone acknowledged that gas was in the air.  I kept saying she might be in the house.  While we waited for the gas company, neighbors tracked down the neighbors friends and I went into our house to bang on the wall to get her attention. 

She was fine.  There was no sign of gas in her house.  The gas company has spent a long night scouring the neighborhood for the source to no avail, but it came from somewhere.  That's a little troubling but hopefully you won't be reading this from some link written about the demise of another Pgh blog due to explosion.

The outcome?  People came out to check on each other.  Phone numbers were exchanged.  My wrist is very sore from all that banging.  I discovered a neighbor used his gift card to Hoi Polloi that we gave to him.  I learned that we have two kids (Shaq and Larry) who bear an uncanny resemblance to one another and have resolved themselves to answering to both names.  Our fire crew from North Avenue are great guys who stopped to wipe their feet.  My chihuaha is afraid of firemen.  My neighbor got a good deal on his new truck.  Another neighbor is renovating an empty house she bought.  A third mentioned she has keys to a few houses. 

We may not be Mayberry, but we have our own way of coping with potential crisis.  In spite of all the uproar and ruckus, everyone agreed that calling 911 was the best way to go.  No one complained about the fuss. 

I was really glad to see my neighbor stick her head out the door.  Best sight I've seen all night.

Suddenly, a dinner of bland leftovers and a load of dishes seem charmingly appealing. 

Just for the final homophobic touch, one neighbor was trying to sort out who lived where and when she realized that Ledcat and I lived together and were not married to our neighbor Tim, she was visibly taken aback "You two ladies live together .. .here?" she said.  That was kind of funny.  Kind of.


View Article  The Agenda: Civil Rights

From the updated White House website.  It sounds great.  Now let's see what kind of inclusive action unfolds.

Support for the LGBT Community

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

-- Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.
View Article  But know this, America -- they will be met.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, ...   more »

View Article  Lily Tomlin back to Pittsburgh

We were sad when Ms. Tomlin's 2008 appearance was cancelled.  She's back!  You can also enjoy an exclusive meet and greet afterwards which will benefit the GLCC.  Follow link on side menu to purchase tickets.


Saturday, February 7, 2009
8 PM
Benedum Center
Pittsburgh, PA

An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin is a nostalgic and warm presentation of Lily's "greatest hits" with more than a dozen of her famous characters -- including the precocious 6-year-old Edith Ann, the irascible telephone operator Ernestine, the aging beauty adviser Madame Lupe, Lucille the rubber addict, prim Judith Beasley from Calumet City, Indiana, and Lily's most profound character, Trudy, the schizophrenic street lady who starred in The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. It will be a night of cerebral comedy and prescient social commentary woven among Lily's affectionate reminiscences about her childhood in the Midwest.

Lily Tomlin has won six Emmys, two Tony awards and a Grammy for her astounding body of work that includes the landmark comedy series, ?Laugh-In.?  Her one woman performance in Jane Wagner?s ?The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe? also won a CableAce Award for its film adaptation.  Other movies include Robert Altman?s THE PLAYER and SHORT CUTS, Joel Schumacher?s comedy THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN, Woody Allen?s SHADOWS AND FOG, 9 TO 5 with Dolly Parton, ORANGE COUNTY, FLIRTING WITH DISASTER and I HEART HUCKABEES.  Her memorable television roles include ?Murphy Brown,? ?Will and Grace? and ?The West Wing.?

Tickets to Lily Tomlin may be purchased at the Theater Square Box Office 655 Penn Avenue, near 7th Street (Mon-Sat 9-9, Sun Noon-6), charge by phone at 412-456-6666 or online at www.pgharts.org. Prices are $100, $67 and $57.

PLEASE NOTE: If you already purchased a ticket for Lily from the Cultural Trust and would like to attend the Meet and Greet fundraiser, you can add on the event  through the GLCC for an additional $23.00.  Kat Carrick  412-793-5274  Mail to: GLCC, P.O. Box 5441 Pittsburgh PA 15206

All Tickets  for the Meet and Greet will be held at the Will Call office at the Benedum Center


View Article  Equality

I don't have much time to blog today.  It was hard to find time to watch the inauguration and there's always work and laundry.  More is happening with the Club Pittsburgh criminal investigation and new toxicology findings. Find that at KDKA Investigations. We are waiting for some more details to come out before commenting any further. I must say, however, that I hope the spotlight continues to shine on the issue of criminal wrongdoing in the death of Mr. Pettway AND the "pay to play" shenanigans that might have derailed the governmental failsafes that are supposed to prevent people from dying at health clubs.  My personal opinion is that the Mayor's people got involved because of campaign contributions and if it turns out they turned a blind eye to potentially lethal activities, they have the death of this man on their conscience.  It would be no different if, as someone commented, a gay restauranteur made sizable donations to Dan Onorato, called in a favor to cut out the middle man on a health inspection citation and then Mr. Pettway died of food poisoning in that restaurant.  In either case, Mr. Pettway should have expected that the government safeguards are in place to protect him.  That's Government 101.  The government let him down by not following through on the site inspection.  Would a thorough scrutiny of Club Pittsburgh have ended the alleged sale of huffing materials?  I guess we'll have to see.  The point is that equality means we have to play fair, too.  We can't cry foul and play the gay card to ward off investigations into our community businesses. 

Thanks to Maria for this fun suggestion.

View Article  Obama mentions gays in address

Also worth watching.  I'm not glued to the inaugural events, but I am curious as to how it shakes out for our community.  I picked this up courtesy of Pam's House Blend.

View Article  A Prayer for Barack Obama by Bishop Gene Robinson

You should read this.  You can't SEE it because HBO did not carry this portion of the inaugural event -- the part intended to pacify the homos -- and, according to reports from on-the-scene bloggers, the microphone was turned off during a portion of it.  Now I'm not one to see conspiracies, but really inauguation guys -- REALLY?  You screw up the mike and HBO doesn't broadcast the gay bishop?  Come on. 

This is precisely why you, dear reader, should be surfing over to the Post-Gazette to submit a snappy letter about their ridiculous coverage of the County ordinance hearing.  There's an analogy.  We can get an invite to the party, but if it doesn't feature poppers, sex and/or campaign contributions, no one is paying attention.  Sigh.

A Prayer for the Nation and Our Next President, Barack Obama

By The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC
January 18, 2009

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God?s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will?

Bless us with tears ? for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger ? at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort ? at the easy, simplistic ?answers? we?ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience ? and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be ?fixed? anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility ? open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance ? replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity ? remembering that every religion?s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln?s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy?s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King?s dream of a nation for ALL the people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters? childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we?re asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand ? that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


View Article  Jennie McNulty - Lesbian, Comic, Pittsburgh Bound on February 13.

This might be something fun for Valentine's Day with your sweetie.  Lesbian comic Jennie McNulty is rolling into Pittsburgh to perform at Club Cafe on Valentine's Eve ... a perfect chance to celebrate love or get some chuckles while you flaunt the commercialization of romance.  Either way, funny!  Plus, alcohol to wash down the bitter taste of the Hallmark Holiday.

(If you wonder, we celebrate each year by going out to dinner and then visiting Phipp's Conservatory for an evening stroll.  I know, I know.  We are sweet.  Last year, I spent half the time chasing a stray cat and pleading with staff that they would contact the humane agent -- which they did the next day.  It was romantic.)

Anyway, who is Jennie?  She's done the dyke circuit -- Olivia Cruises, Provincetown, vlogs at AfterEllen.com and she plays football for an all-women team.  I have done none of those things.  So this could be a meeting of the minds.  :-)   We'll be bringing you an exclusive Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondent interview with Jennie prior to her arrival. 

Seriously, it is cool to have something very lesbianish to do for Valentine's Day.  And Club Cafe is a nice spot -- we've seen a few shows there this past year. 

(I have noticed that a few more openly lesbian comedians are coming to town.  Lily Tomlin is here in February and there were a few shows at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homestead.  That's good news.  $10 is pretty reasonable so if you can turn out, you'll have a night of entertainment and send a message to the local entertainment booking people that we do have a market for LGBTQ entertainmers.)

Here's the official press release.  Yes, I am so unmotivated today that I am just going to cut and paste it.

For Immediate Release

As seen on MTV Network's LOGO TV and AFTERELLEN.COM

Comedian Jennie McNulty to perform at Club Caf? Pittsburgh, PA

Friday February 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM 

Jennie McNulty's humor is smart, quick and hysterically funny.  Her playfully sarcastic style and easy delivery engages every crowd.  Whether calling on crazy life experiences or something the audience just said, her material is refreshingly unique and her show is full of laughter and guaranteed fun.  The New England Blade called her "One of the premiere female comedians in the country."  Jennie was voted one of the Top 10 Funniest Lesbians in America recently also.

Jennie can currently be seen on the premier episode of the successful comedy series, "One Night Stand Up" on MTV Network's LOGO channel (http://www.logoonline.com/shows/dyn/one_night_stand_up/series.jhtml).  And she is also the host of the weekly video blog, "Walking Funny With..." on AfterEllen.com (http://www.afterellen.com/taxonomy/term/3789).  This unique new vlog is a walking talk show where Jennie takes a walk with fabulous women from the worlds of comedy and sports while she interviews them.  The viewer is encouraged to download the show and walk along.  Hilarious conversation, motivational fitness tips and comedy clips from Jennie's shows and clips from the guest's comedy or activity are all packed into one of the most exciting new video blogs to hit the internet.


In addition to headlining in comedy clubs all over the US and Canada, Jenniehas traveled the world doing comedy ? literally.  She has entertained the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. McNulty also does comedy in more peaceful settings as one of the favorites of Olivia Cruises and Resorts. Jennie spends her summer seasons performing nightly in Provincetown, MA.   In addition to touring as a solo stand up comedy act, Jennie tours with the Improv Troop she founded called, "Queer on Their Feet."  She produces a monthly "Rainbow Comedy Night" in Ventura, California also.


And, most undoubtedly, Jennie is one of the only professional comics who also happens to play on a women's professional football team, The California Quake www.californiaquakefootball.com.


Jennie McNulty will be performing at Club Caf? 56-58 South 12th Street Pittsburgh, PA 15203 on Friday February 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM. Advance Tickets sold online via TicketWeb.  Tickets are $10.  For further show information contact 412-431-4950.


For Information, Booking and Interviews Contact: Taylor Santo at MtnNash@comcast.net  or 408-202-5564




View Article  Being sick had one payoff ... i got to see Luke and Noah FINALLY have sex. Sort of ...
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