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View Article  Local Trans Advocate Pens Letter to the Post-Gazette

Here's further evidence of the "Pittsburgh is a good place to be queer" mantra that I've oft repeated.  In response to the recent media coverage of the rescue of Rebecca Hare, longtime trans advocate Dr. Emilia Lombardi shares her thoughts with the readers of the Post-Gazette.  Lombardi praises Pittsburgh's first-responders for their sensitivity to Hare's status as a transwoman. 

I wish to thank Chief James Holman and the City of Pittsburgh's Emergency Medical Services, River Rescue Unit. The professionalism and respect they showed Rebecca Hare as they rescued her from the cold river Feb. 7 makes me proud to live in Pittsburgh ("Rescue in River Tunnel a Dangerous Challenge," Feb. 8).

This is a stark contrast to other cities where their treatment of transgender people has been horrendous and may have actually led to further harm. This is another sign of the support the city has toward its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population.

I agree that Holman and his crew should be lauded for exemplary work and, hopefully, Public Safety Director Michael Huss will take note of this when reviewing the performance of other first responders.  There's room for improvement, but we need to recognize when things go well. 

As noted in this blog, media coverage of the entire rescue was abysmal.  Clearly, the major outlets should put in a call to Mr. Potter (and presumably Mr. Scaife) for some guidance on responsibly covering the LGBT community. 

However, I was disappointed in the media's reporting of this incident. Their reference to Ms. Hare as a man in initial reports was a blatant form of disrespect to her and to the transgender men and women living in Pittsburgh.

The only reporting agency that showed some respect was the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and for that I do thank them.

Lombardi's letter also appeared in the Trib

On a related note, I like to highlight letters to the editor pertaining to the LGBTQ community as I believe it is important that we stay abreast of the messages being put out by John Q. Public himself.  When I first began writing this blog in 2005/2006, I was kept busy nearly every day analyzing letters to the editor from the PG, the Trib, the Beaver County Times, and others related to the attempt to "protect" heterosexual marriage by amending the Pennsylvania commonwealth.  That attempt failed, but another battle is on the horizon. 

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to move from grumbling about an issue to taking action.  Our legislators do pay attention to public sentiment and it does make a difference when they get a feel for the sentiments of their constituents.  You can have an impact by contacting your legislators and by writing letters to the editor.  If your letter isn't published b/c another similar letter is, rejoice that at least two peole cared enough to write in the first place.  Then write again on another issue.  Don't be discouraged. 

More details on the impending amendment push soon. 

View Article  Trib Readers Continue to Debate Marriage

There's been quite a little exchange going on at the Tribune Review with readers from New York City with Pgh roots defending the homosexuals and folks from Jeannette and Squirrel Hill condeming us. 

The latest round features a January 25 letter from New York explaining how anti-gay rhetoric impacts his family:

Growing up Catholic and gay in Greensburg, I can attest to the harm produced by such language. Through 16 years of Catholic education I was demeaned on the playground and from the pulpit.

My heart broke as my parents' priest took a public stand against my marriage and encouraged others to fight against my family. It pressed the old wounds that made me as a boy want to end my life. Gay children listen to this same hurtful message today.

Kris Sanders of Squirrel Hill comes roaring back in full attack mode.

He throws the stones and then bandages himself so as to look like the victim. Indeed, the pro-homosexual lobby uses "hate speech" laws as a means to stifle Christian preachers in many parts of the world.

Clearly, this lobby wants to pressure the Catholic Church into endorsing the morally disordered acts of homosexuality -- such as two men pretending they can live as husband and wife.

I don't know any married gay men who pretend to be husband and wife.  That's silly rhetoric designed to drag a little genderbashing into the discussion. 

Kris doesn't get that.  We aren't pretending to be anything.  Well, we pretend to be straight at work and school and church, but that's a matter of survival and self-preservation. 

But my point is .... why are gay men from New York City filling the pages of the Tribune Review with this discussion, while the multitudes of local homos remain quiet?  Why aren't local folks writing letters?  You don't have to live in Greensburg!  Pick up a pen.  Respond to Kris Sanders pigeonholing your family as a homosexual lobby. 


View Article  City Paper Reader Ire Over Kennywood DeGaying Pirate Show

Woe to she who gets on the bad side of Janice Milliner of Buena Vista.  Janice got herself all worked up in response to news that Kennywood had changed homophobic content in their pirate show, thanks in large part to the efforts of one Mary Hawk

You may recall that Mary viewed the Kennywood show and took action at the content she found offensive by contacting management.  Management informed her they would need to hear from more folks.  So Mary took care of that.

Janice Milliner thinks Mary is a gossip on a "delusional crusade" because she, Janice, did not find the content homophobic:

I've seen the very show she protested. Her self-perception as a righteous advocate for what amounted to a humorous skit is really rather pathetic. My "gay" friends who viewed the show didn't even take offense to it!

If someone can explain that second sentence to me, I'd be thrilled.  Advocate for the skit?  Huh?  And what exactly is a "gay" friend -- effeminate men who walk around making the little quote signs with their fingers when they make witty comments?  Or should I say self-perceived witty comments.  Or self-perceived friends.  Or self-perceived ability to write a coherent letter to the editor.

So Janice disagrees with Mary that the content was homophobic.  Janice found it funny.  And she disagrees with Mary's tactic of spreading the word about an issue in which she believes.  Janice finds that gossipy.  She thinks Kennywood removed the content to appease homosexuals.  Janice finds that sad.

This is probably the most poorly written letter to the editor published by any local paper in the last six months.  Perhaps Janice should get some "literary" friends or maybe a "dictionary" instead of spending so much time at Kennywood gawking at gay pirates. 

Besides everyone know Johnny Depp's pirate is bi.  Whatever.

View Article  Ellwood City Man Calls a Bigot, a Bigot

Vince Avedon of Ellwood City knows bigotry when he reads about it. So he took a moment to call out President Bush's intent to veto the extension of hate crimes legislation to include homosexuals. 

President Bush said he will veto any bill that would include gays and lesbians in this existing hate crime law. His position is that there are already protections in place.
If that were the case, then why is there special legislation protecting race, color, religion, or national origin? Aren't there already laws on the books protecting people of race, religion, or national origin? The answer is pure bigotry from this administration against gay and lesbian Americans.

You nailed it, Vince.  Bush is in hot water and needs something to shore up his eroding popularity with the base. So, of course, he's going to clamber back up on the backs of the gays. 

Thanks for writing Vince. 

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