My blog and “Free Wi-Fi”

It was brought to my attention that Panera Bread allegedly blocks my blog because it falls into the category of pornography and nudity. I say allegedly because I haven't tried for myself, not because I doubt the veracity of the report.  I appreciate the feedback and will be investigating. 

So I'm going to try hitting up the local free wi-fi spots to see if I can access my blog.  You can help by giving it a shot when you whip out the laptop at a local spot and letting me know. 

I would guess it happens at corporate spots more than local coffee houses. 

So far I can Voluto in the East End and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh do not block my blog.  Last time I checked, The Quiet Storm and the Square Cafe also did not block my blog.

Why does it matter?  It is clearly annoying to me because it is my blog and I care about it.

But this is also about liberty and equality. My blog is about the LGBTQ community and the words “lesbian” “gay” “queer” are not offensive, pornographic or sexual.  To be lumped into those categories based on words is demeaning to our identities and offensive to me, both as a member of the community and a blogger.

It is not about free speech.  No one made a law saying Panera Bread or any other corporation has to block my site, so be careful.  But we as a community need to know when our views, opinions and information are being suppressed to “protect” people from being offended.  Then we need to speak up.

I'll keep you informed.  And I'll be taking my laptop with me more often. 


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  • Serious? Obviously, this is the doings of someone with a grudge; that, or someone who doesn't understand the meaning of porn or nudity even if it bit them in the ass.

  • It would be reprehensible if Panera is doing that. I don't know if they are, but if we discover that they are I will take my business elsewhere… But I would take exception to one thing you posted: by definition, anything having to do with the LGBTQ community IS sexual. That is the only characteristic that separates us from the “straight” commuinity. It's not because of our skin color, our hair color, our gender, our age, our religion, our nationality, our language; it's who we have sex with that makes us a community. I think one problem we have is that we “run away” from or make talk about sex a taboo subject (in this country in general, but also in the LGBT community) and thereby play into the hands of those who think it's “dirty,” “deviant,” “bad,” “perverted” or something to be ashamed or embarrased about. I would like to see America become less of a puritanical society and acknowledge that sex is a part of life, just like going to school or work or whatever. Europe has no problem talking about sex (or having sex shops or clubs or whatever; I'm specifically referencing the current flap over the Blush strip club's expansion efforts and the resistance it's meeting from certain folks in downtown) and their kids grow up just fine.

  • If Panera is doing that it is reprehensible and I will take my business elsewhere if that's the case. However, I would take exception to one comment you made: by definition, anything having to do with the GLBTQ community IS sexual. Who we have sex with is the only thing that separates us from the “straight” community. It's not because of our skin color, our hair color, our age, our gender, our nationality, our language, our physical abilities/disabilities, etc.: it's who we sleep with. I wish we would stop being so afraid of sex and sexual discussion in this country. By acknowledging that it would be legitimate to ban something “sexual” you perpetuate the notion that sex is somehow bad or unseemly. Europe doesn't seem to have a problem with sex shops or clubs in neighborhoods, near schools, churches, etc., but we go apeshit if someone even mentions sex (reference the current flap over the Blush gentleman's club's desire to expand and the opposition from some folks downtown, including the school district: the club's been there for 40 years, yet somehow by allowing them to add some more space the kids at CAPA will irreparably damaged or harmed; give me a break). We need to stop pretending we don't have sex or that there is something else that makes us a community. And America in general needs to be less puritanical. As I said, it doesn't hurt the Europeans; why we think Americans are too stupid or weak or whatever to acknowledge that sex is a part of life just like a million other things is beyond me…

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