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View Article  Pittsburgh's LGBTQ Family Diversity Festival
View Article  AFA of PA: Diversity Undermining Academic Focus in PA Schools

Diane Gramley sent me another press releases yesterday.  It seems she has uncovered the school system component of the homosexual agenda -- we are going to infiltrate the academic world by promoting diversity and thus, perhaps undermine academic efforts. 

[GLSEN's] No Name Calling Week lesson plans were one to two 30-45 minute sessions per day.  Should schools be more concerned about presenting this material or teaching the children academics and preparing them for the PSSA test since this test has become such an integral part of the life of a student?    

What she means is Pennsylvania's precious children might actually learn not to hate gay people.

Poor Diane.  Her merry band of bigots might lose yet another scapegoat for their xtian-fueled hatefest.  Don't worry, honey, it won't happen anytime soon. I'm sure there's plenty of time for your little Bubba to beat him up a queer boy at school without it being labeled a hate crime. 

View Article  Hysterical Christian Pop Parody: God Hates Fags - What Does Pgh Bishop Duncan Think?

h/t to Pam's House Blend

This is absolutely hysterical.  A video from the upcoming album of Donnie Davis and Evening Service from Love God's Way ministries.  Pam has all the details as intrepid bloggers ferret out the genius behind this parody.  Its been banned from MySpace, Google and YouTube.  I was rolling in my pajamas laughing so hard I frightened my dog who was trying to enjoy the soft-Christian-pop strains. 

I can't do all the fancy downloading and embedding of videos yet, so click on the image and it will take you to where you can view it all for yourselves.  Here's a taste of the lyrics:

God hates a fag
God hates fags
God hates fags
So if you're a fag, He hates you, too

Read the Bible and you'll be sure
To enter heaven, there's no back door
Righteous man, get on your knees
There lies no virtue in sodomy

Lord you are my shield
Sustain me through the fight
A shelter from the urges
And help me see the light

You filthy sinners should just let me be
'Cause Jesus my savior's the only man for me


View Article  News from Ohio: Plans to protect state workers from discrimination on basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

h/t to Pam's House Blend

According to the Dayton Daily News, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland may soon sign an executive order protecting state workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation.  The even better news is that the Secretary of State and Attorney General plan to expand that to include gender identity.

"Frankly, I don't think we should discriminate against anybody against anything related to their sexuality or gender identification in the broadest sense that you can apply it," said Attorney General Marc Dann. "I just want the best lawyers, best victim advocates ... the best investigators in the world. I don't care, frankly, as long as they do their jobs well."

As expected, the fundies and wingnuts are up in arms over the "liberal agenda."  Visit Pam for more details on that thread.

Its just nice to get some good news from our neighbors, isn't it?  Especially good news related to the gay agenda.  Now that's we've conqured the Ohioan Executive Branch, can the schools and churches be that far behind?  

Never fear, wingnuts, for Ohio is still the land of the "Creation Museum"  - upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse. 

View Article  Tony Norman: Isaiah Washington "irrelevant" to reality of homophobia within African-American community

From today's Post-Gazette:

Is it religion that fosters this willful ignorance and compulsion to deny basic civil rights to other oppressed minorities?

Why is the black church so complicit in taking up the cudgel of discrimination when so many organists, choir leaders and assistant pastors are obviously gay? What accounts for this shameful lack of honesty and tolerance?

Certainly, the non-religious corners of African-American life are proudly and defiantly homophobic. It's another pathology this community has to come to grips with sooner or later.

Artful as always, Tony Norman attempts to elevate the furor around Isaiah Washington to a level of discourse that's actually relevant to homosexuals, particularly African-American gay men and lesbians (and bisexuals and transgender individuals).  Rather than validate the absurd call for Washington's "Grey's Anatomy" character to turn gay, Norman dismisses Washington's acting impact, characterizing his role in the larger dynamic as simply another reinforcement of a stereotype that straight black men are homophobes.

Let's face it, though he's a competent enough actor, he's no Andre Braugher, Hugh Laurie or Forest Whitaker. You don't think "brilliant thespian" when Washington's name comes up. You think grumpy guy with a stethoscope.

Not only did Washington offend homosexuals by slurring T.R. Knight, he embarrassed straight, black folks like myself who aren't eager to deal with the stereotype that all black men are homophobes.

Turning Washington's character gay simply perpetuates the notion that being gay is a punishment, a curse to be born, an anathema to all straight men who aren't in touch with their femine side.  Its a stupid suggestion made by small minded people who don't understand that playing a gay man on television has nothing in common with being gay. All the artificial swish in the world won't penetrate his thick skull unless he genuinely opens his mind.  And, frankly, I don't care if he does.  I'm much  more concerned about the thick-skulled Peter Akinola, Archbishop of Nigeria's Anglican Church in terms of impact on the lives of gay people.

Tony's finger pointing at the faith communities within the African-American community is well-done and much-needed.  But, to be fair, here in Pittsburgh there is also much needed work to be done on the part of the mainstream (aka white) gay community reaching out to include gay minorities. 

View Article  Queer Shout Out to Sparkly Crippled Disco Babe on the Bus

Our great friend and all-around grooviest of the cool chics - Jennah -  has gotten herself quote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on a matter of great import to every one of us ... the proposed Port Authority transit cuts. 

Jennah is one of the amazingest people in the world -- she takes no shit but does it with an infectious grin and disarming soft voice.  She was my very first lesbian date, having the misfortune to meet me while I was in the midst of great longing for my very first lesbian love.  In spite of my pathetic yearning, we became good friends and have shared many a cup of tea and spicy Asian dish over the years.  Plus, she always notices when I get a little mention in the paper.  Always notices.  And always encourages me to keep speaking up, shouting out and screaming when necessary. 

Jennah leaps to my  mind when people moan and groan about getting involved as a volunteer or activist.  She does both on a regular basis as well as juggling a full grad school course load and internships, plus all the usual family and personal commitments.  She describes herself as "sparkly crippled disco babe" an evocative lyric that beautifully captures her essence.

So this is my shout out back to Jennah.  I'm glad you made the time to attend the transit hearings and spoke with the press.  The transit cuts may be necessary to keep the system afloat, but the necessity does not invalidate the deep pain and suffering they will cause and disproportionately so for the most vulnerable in our society. 

You rock, Jennah!

View Article  Cat's Call: PG Advice Columnist Jettisons Carrie Bradshaw Approach - Meow!

The Correspondents are happy to report that the advice business over at the Post-Gazette has slowly improved. Fear not, they haven't kicked off the "Just Ask Reg" column much to the dismay of middle age white guys throughout the city. We understand that Mayor Opie had floated the idea of a nifty "Do What Dennis Says" daily column with a yet-unnamed author who could being along his very own typist/roommate for proofreading purposes. 

No, we speak of our very own favorite advice maven -- Cat (Catherine) Specter author of Cat's Call (aka Just Ask Cat).  Since getting kicked to the Tuesday edition, Specter left behind her hipster Yinzerette wanna be pose and focused on dishing out some actual interesting advice.

In the past, we've wagged our fingers at Ms. Specter's attempts to channel Carrie Bradshaw which just doesn't work in Pittsburgh.  First of all, Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character who wouldn't know what to make of his and her matching mullets. Second of all, she lived in New York, not New Castle.  Finally, she had a bevy of writers to make her sound witty and the best berets money could buy. 

The price Pittsburgh paid for Ms. Specter's kicky beret and you go girl attitude was, frankly, bad advice.  In some cases, damaging advice.  The all-time low was her recommendation to stay silent in the face of overt racism, a surprising suggestion given her association with decidedly anti-racist Tony Norman.  For the most part, she just seemed more focused on permanently fusing women's self-empowerment with pleasuring men (backwards in high heels).  If I want throwback, I can read Ruth Ann. Backwards in high heels.

But that was Sunday Cat.  Now she seems to have wiped off the gloss, removed LaMont Jones' number from speed dial and filed down those talons to emerge into Tuesday Cat.  She's interesting, warm and compassionate.  She tells women in no uncertain terms to drop deadwood men and affirm themselves without invoking lip gloss, alcohol or, gasp, mascara.

She even printed a letter from a friend of mine and gave him the same advice as me!  Minus the epithets.

Thus, I want to go on the record as endorsing Tuesday Cat over Sunday Cat.   Since the Sunday PG may soon be a two page insert amidst the coupons and advertisements, that's probably not a bad move on her part. 

Correspondent's Call:  When she sticks with advice and forgoes the cutesy witticisms, she's not bad.  She's no Reg Henry, but who among us is?

View Article  Pittsburgh music you won't want to miss

Its a brrrrryyyy cold week here in da 'burgh.  Being firmly ensconced on the couch with some illness of indeterminate origin, I don't have much in the way of excitement or cool tidings to share with you.  My supervisor actually sent me home from work.  It was just like elementary school without the call for my  mom to come pick me up. 

Some cool things did catch my eye ....

You can catch our friend and awesome performer Eve Goodman live in a couple of venues this week.  Tomorrow (1/24) at the Backstage Bar at Theatre Square downtown and Friday (1/26) at Aldo Coffee Company in Mt. Lebanon.  We've been to Aldo Coffee Company and its a fun trendy little spot right in the heart of Mt. Lebanon.  Literally, in the midst of a neighborhood!  You'll love it and you'll love Eve's music.  Its a great evening out for you and your friends (and affordable -- coffee plus tips).  Check out Eve's website for information on her music.  She's luminous (and very funny)!

Thursday 1/25 check out the Art From Chaos Music Series at Modern Formations Gallery in Garfield.  This regular series held monthly on the last Thursday will feature Nashville singer/songwriter Amelia White with Pittsburgh artists Bill Eberle and Autumn Ayres as her opening acts.  We love Bill and Autumn!  

Something for every night of the week to satisfy your music cravings.  What could be better than a cup of coffee, a snug window seat and great local music? 

Check it aht!

View Article  Gay wedding announcements - Post Gazette says yes?

Today's PG features news of an alliance promoting gay wedding announcements in newspapers throughout the land.

Mr. Robinson said the alliance is intensifying its campaign to encourage gays and lesbians to submit news of their engagements and commitment ceremonies.

"For a lot of daily newspapers, a lot of editorial decisions are driven by their community," he said.

"When we hear about same-sex relationships or same-sex households and families, it's often in a political context. We really want to revisit this from the aspect of people celebrating their lives every day -- couples celebrating their commitments, just like everyone else, in the pages of the newspaper."

The initiative began in 2002 when the alliance's leadership met with members of The New York Times' editorial board, which at the time would not publish such announcements. It changed that policy.

Now all of the nation's top 50 media markets and 99 out of the top 100 are home to a newspaper with an inclusive announcement policy.

"It's important for all of us to have the opportunity to share our commitments," he said. "When people are shut out of that process, it is not only a form of discrimination, but in many ways, it creates a separate but unequal structure where certain families are valued more in our society."

View Article  Blogging for Choice in Pittsburgh

Today I join hundreds of other bloggers around the nation to share why I am pro-choice.  Please forgive if this does not flow as well as I would like - I'm not feeling 100% today.

Blog for Choice Day is a chance to raise the profile of reproductive rights issues in the blogosphere and the media, and to let everyone know that a woman's right to choose is nonnegotiable.

Why do I support a woman's right to choose?

I believe that our society has been structured on principals of men exerting ownership over women, but that is not necessarily how the law has been structured.  Thus I believe that much of dialogue around choice/life is about women being free to make their own choices, not about unborn children.  Choice is about power and control, something our
society does not easily impart to women.  Thankfully, not all men fall into this trap and, sadly, too many women do.

I also believe that most people who are pro-life REALLY are anti-choice if you look at the sum total of their political stances and personal actions to "protect life."  Displaying a bumper sticker is not the same thing as becoming a foster parent or donating to child abuse prevention organizations.  Waving a dead fetus is not the same thing as cradeling a
baby born addicted to cocaine or holding the hand of a 14 year pregnant girl facing her rapist in court. Confronting clients at women's health clinics is not the same thing as
teaching young men to value and respect women (and themselves) or
speaking up when they don't.

Perhaps I focus to much on what the other side does or fails to do.  The hypocrisy around respecting life saddens me and sickens me, especially given that I work every day with children that are not being cared and tended for as they should.  Children who need society to step up and provide their families with adequate resources to parent effectively and children who sometimes need someone to step in and parent them directly.

Choice is about power and control.  I am in control of my body and my reproductive decisions.  I will not willingly relinquish that power. 

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The Correspondents