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View Article  Upcoming LGBT Town Hall Meeting

My buddy Jeff Freedman, chair of the Pittsburgh PrideFest Committee gave me the heads up on an upcoming "town hall" meeting to get community input on impending changes in PrideFest.  To summarize, the GLCC has produced PrideFest for the past 5 years or so after it was nearly bankrupted by previous producers.  <I always like to remind those who bitch and moan about PrideFest that the GLCC stepped in when no one else could/would.> 

Enter the Delta Foundation which brought us the first ever "Pride in the Street" festival on Liberty Avenue.  The Delta Foundation has taken over some longstanding events (boat cruises) and brought some new fundraisers with kicky names (Spark! Splash!) to town.  Now, they are tackling PrideFest with the apparent blessing of the GLCC and this town hall meeting is your chance to be part of the planning.

So, who is the Delta Foundation?  The .pdf flyer attached to this post claims they are a "newly formed" non-profit group, but take a peek at the roster and it is clear that this is a revamped version of Pittsburgh's LGBT Tavern Guild.  Is that a problem?  Not necessarily, but there's a lot of "perception" built into a group that has a history of representing only one set of interests -- white gay men who own local bars.  I'm hopeful that the leadership of the Delta Foundation, which has two open seats I'm told, will look to other groups in our community -- lesbian business owners, the trans community, the bisexual community and the African-American LGBT community just to name a few -- to fill those seats.  I'd be a lot more comfortable if they get the owner of the Square Cafe on board, for example.

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I'm trying to keep an open mind, really I am.  I like Jeff and think he's being straight with me (no pun intended).  PrideFest has been moved to a Sunday and will move out of Riverfront Park to Liberty Avenue. The rest is yet to be revealed.

Hence, the meeting. 

Overall, this could be a promising change for the LGBT community if the Delta Foundation leadership are willing to share the power with minority groups within our community. 

Should you attend the meeting?  Well, why not?  Especially if you are one of the million of us who have ever complained about PrideFest being too much this or not enough that.  You don't have to join a committee; just come to a meeting and share your thoughts.

http://www.pghlesbian.com/LGBT Town Hall Meeting

 

TOWNHALL MEETING

PRIDE PITTSBURGH 2008

7 Days ?? June 16-22

Pride in Pittsburgh will never be the same!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

7pm to 9pm ?? Everyone Welcome

500 Grant Street ?? Downtown Pittsburgh

One Mellon Center

For more information and to RSVP:

[email protected]

412.246.4451

WE NEED YOUR HELP! We encourage all local GLBT organizations to get involved.

If you would like to be involved in this ground breaking movement to change the GLBT Community

in Pittsburgh, please attend our Partners in Pride Town Hall Meeting.

As if repeating that wouldn?t be tough enough,

the newly formed non-profit group known as the Delta Foundation

is taking Pride in Pittsburgh from a one day parade, festival and evening party

to a WEEK-LONG CELEBRATION of the GLBT Community in Pittsburgh

in cooperation with the GLCC.

 
View Article  Pope Benedict: Homosexuality is a roadblock to world peace

From the PG's Forum section comes this reflection on the pontifical peace perspective. 

On World Peace Day, Jan. 1, most of the world's citizens will be too poor, too hungry, too surrounded by violence or too worried by this century's other basic challenges to pay attention. Those who do pay attention likely will think first of war in places like Iraq and Eastern Congo, genocide in Sudan, a looming crisis in nuclear Pakistan and widespread poverty all over.

The spiritual leader of more than a billion of the world's people will be thinking about homosexuality.

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI issued his message for World Peace Day. Entitled "The Human Family, A Community of Peace," the message argues that peace begins with the family. That's a reasonable point. But then the pope writes, "Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and woman ... constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace."

Having implicitly named homosexuality as an obstacle to world peace in his fifth paragraph, the pope then waits until the seventh paragraph to mention the environment, the ninth to mention poverty and the second-to-last to mention war and violence.

Thankfully, Pope Benedict is wise to the ways of the Pink Menace.  

By using World Peace Day to promote an anti-homosexual agenda and to demote the importance of poverty, the environment and war, Pope Benedict XVI is behaving scarily like his predecessor of 100 years ago. It is easy to imagine in the coming years the arrival of more explicitly anti-gay encyclicals, oaths against homosexual-friendly scholarship and perhaps even secret informers.

The predecessor was Piux X who was more concerned with modernity and mixed (Catholic/non-Catholic) marriages than any mere trivialities such as looming war or natural disasters.  Pius even set up his own secret leauge of informers.  Cool.  Cause that never goes badly.

At this point in history, Pope Benedict XVI must choose his path. He can follow the paranoid, intolerant and inward-looking path of Pope Pius X. Or he can focus on the real problems of the day.

Pope John Paul II, no friend to homosexuals, focused most of his energy on building bridges across the Berlin Wall and then helping to prevent the Cold War from turning into World War III.

On World Peace Day 2008, our pope should imagine the place he might gain in history if he chooses to focus on poverty, the environment and war -- and while he's at it, on accepting the hundreds of millions of homosexuals inside and outside his flock. He may never condone their behavior -- sadly, such progress may have to wait for a future pope -- but he can at least treat them with peace and humanity.

Excellent point.  Until someone ponies up a real heterosexual marriage that has been negatively impacted by a gay relationship, how about we focus on the myriad of social problems that have been demonstrated to prevent world peace?  Or just one!  Pick one problem and then attempt one solution.  Like Bono.  Minus the cool, but add a gajillion dollars of weekly tithes. 

View Article  What's up with the Goodwill Building?

While I was blogging about the Hot Metal Faith Community, something from the Post-Gazette article caught my eye. 

After communion, as they held candles and sang "Silent Night," tears streamed down many faces among 450 people at the last worship service that Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community will hold in the South Side's Goodwill cafeteria.

The building will be sold and, despite months of searching, the church of college students and tattooed countercultural folk has been unable to find an affordable location.

A scant few weeks ago, word hit the LGBT community that OUTrageous Bingo, a ten year community staple, was no longer able to use the Goodwill facilities.  However, there was no mention of the building being sold.

*Dear Friends! After December 31, 2007, Goodwill Industries will no
longer be leasing their hall during non-business hours. This means that 
OUTrageous Bingo must find a new home for January (after our December 1stBingo which is our 10 th Anniversary Celebration).

The good news is that GLCC has found a new home for Bingo ... Rodef Shalom in Oakland.  Apparently, the Hot Metal Faith Community has not been so fortunate.  And even though I'm skeptical about their ideology, I still hope they find a home. 

So, what's going on with the Goodwill Building?  Has it been sold or has the organization merely changed their policies about hosting external events?  I searched the archives of the local papers and found nary a reference to the sale.  Goodwill is a huge organization that does a tremendous amount of good.  Their current site is readily accessible by bus, but does have some drawbacks.

Such as the elevator in which yours truly was stuck for 20 minutes after attending an event in late October.  With five other woman.  Two were pregnant.  New location = new elevator = happy lesbian. 

Parking used to be an issue until the Southside Works put up some garages right across the street. 

I'm sure the building has other limitations.

However, where is Goodwill going?  And does it have anything to do with the Southside Works?  I'm completing speculating about a connection.  Does that fact that a gay event and a non-traditional faith community were both given the boot mean anything?  Or it simply a reflection that Goodwill is a good community partner and ally to all vulnerable people meaning a disproportionate number of these types of groups lose out with the sale of the building?

If they move, why can't Goodwill accomodate the groups in their new facilities? 

View Article  Happy Birthday to Us!

Hurrah!  Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents celebrates a second birthday today ...we'll be celebrating all day at Lesbian Central with laundry, poop scooping and a visit to the parents ...

View Article  AFA of PA turn attention to national lesbian blogger

If anyone is hard at work on the homosexual agenda, it is Pam Spaulding.  Founder of Pam's House Blend, Spaulding works tirelessly to explore the true life of the contemporary LGBT community.  Her blog has received national recognition and attracts thousands of visitors each day.

Spaulding is also a contributing editor at other blogs, including Pandagon.  She recently posted about Pennsylvania's homegrown bigot, Diane Gramley of the American Family Association of PA.  Gramley has her knickers in a knot because State College recently expanded their proctected classes to include sexual orientation.

Why do these people lie continuously ? it?s like breathing to them. So where in any of these anti-discrimination measures does it require anyone to hire someone who is LGBT? The whole point is that these attributes are no hindrance to one?s ability to perform a job and that they must be considered equally or not singled out based on those attributes. And I don?t see Gramley calling for removal of protections based on religion from the list of protected classes, hmmm?

Good question.  The religious wingnuts spin spin spin these laws to serve their own fear based agenda ...think Santorum's slippery slope from gay marriage to man on dog relationships. 

Anyway, Gramley strikes back in a deliciously hypocritical way ... condeming Pam for allowing the address of a national anti-gay leader to remain on her blog for three weeks (Pam apologized) while publicizing Pam's employer in another paragraph.  She works for Duke University.  Could Ms. Gramley be encouraging her merry minions to protest to Duke?  I'm sure it has been done.

 This recent post about the AFA of PA and others further confirm
that homosexual activists who are calling for tolerance of their
lifestyle are many times the least tolerant of those who disagree
with them.

  Please continue praying for the AFA of PA and others who oppose
homosexual activists attempt to redefine America and her families.

This comes from an email press release that is not currently on the AFA of PA website. I've uploaded the text of her email. 

Tolerant. Eh. 

View Article  Nah Nah! I got the last two tickets to see Gab!

This has been one of the worst weeks in a long time.  Saturday afternoon, I was delivering Christmas gifts to foster kids when some jerk ran a red light on Penn Avenue and actually plowed a second car right into my CRV.  I wasn't hurt beyond the usual whiplashy things and my car isn't terribly damaged, but the poor guy in the middle has toast for a car and didn't look too good as he stumbled into the ambulance. 

Then Saturday night, I am petting my dog and find an enlarged lymph node so I know that she is out of remission.  I take her to the Emergency Vet on Monday to verify (yep) and it takes two friggin hours for the clinic to process my bill and take my money.  Two hours.  That's after she saw the vet. 

Then Monday night, I take my family out to dinner at Sassy Marie's on the Northside.  They typically like Olive Garden for xmas eve, but agreed to a change.  We get there and the waitress tells us that they are serving from the lunch menu, a fact no one mentioned when I called for a *dinner* reservation.  So we had sandwiches for xmas eve dinner. 

I actually laid my head down on the table and sobbed for a good five minutes. 

The good news?  Chemo is a good option.  I saw the Polar Lights at the Pittsburgh Zoo tonight.  I have rental coverage.  Ledcat is taking me out to Six Penn for New Year's Eve dinner. And, yes, we are confirming that it won't be the sandwich menu. 

Plus, today I walked into the Theater Square and snagged the last two tickets to see Gab Bonesso's Interactive Comedy Show at First Night Pittsburgh. That's right, baby.  We got smart this year and ordered tickets for all the inside stuff in case we have another cruddy weather situation on NYE. 

Next week has to be better, right?

View Article  I actually want the City to chop down this tree ...

The tree in front of our house died a tragic death nearly two years ago.  I was sad, nearly as much as when PennDOT and the Redd Up crew slaughtered the perfectly healthy trees in the alley behind my home. 

In the ensuing two years, Ledcat and I, along with several neighbors, have dutifully dialed 311 to report a dead tree.  We reported when branches fell onto the sidewalk.  We reported when a gigunda piece of bark fell onto the sidewalk.  We reported to the tree people when Agent Ska blogged about them.  

This past month, a small postcard arrived informing us that the tree is scheduled for removal.  There's a small stamp "We regret no definite date can be promised."

Here's what the tree delivered to us as a Christmas present:

That's a giant piece of bark.  I dragged it off the street and it weighs at least as much as the giant container of cat litter I was carrying -- 15 lbs?.  At least, it missed my neighbor's car. 

So I'm regretting that no definite date can be promised, either.  Even if we park elsewhere, the tree looms over our rowhouse and is likely to take a few electric wires with it should it fall. 

Sadly, there are no Costas living on our little Avenue on the Northside. 

View Article  The Hot Metal Church: Traditional Anti-Gay Christianity Wrapped in Punk Rock Clothing?

I caught an article in the Post-Gazette about the impending relocation of a local non-traditional faith community  -- the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community.  It seems someone sold the Goodwill Building so the Hot Metal folks are in search of a worship space.

The Hot Metal Community is more street than avenue.  Founded by two kind of irreverant preachers, the group ministers to the poor and attracts individuals who don't fit in with mainstream visions of Christianity. 

I had heard of this community and thought it was kind of cool to take a Christian message to the streets and use non-traditional means to help people access God.  I mistakenly assumed the church had a bit of a progressive bent. Until I read this passage in the article:

Hot Metal is theologically conservative but encourages open discussion of difficult issues. At Bible Fight Club, held in the basement of a tattoo parlor, participants must argue for their own interpretation of a divisive biblical issue.

"We try to foster dialogue. We work at how we can hold opposing views on things like homosexuality but still love each other and claim Jesus as Lord," Rev. Eddings said.

THINGS like homosexuality?  Huh.  Well, I guess if they get a chance to talk it out in Bible Fight Club then a little thing like oppressing an entire group of human beings based on an inherent part of their identity isn't anything to be worried about.  After all, they feed the hungry.  I wonder if there is a Christian equivalent to a carbon footprint -- 15 meals offsets one gut punch to a homosexual?

You know what I think?  The Hot Metal Faith Community is a tricked out version of Bishop Duncan's Episcopal Church --- give Peter Akinola some tattoos and a few piercings and he'd be right at home.  Actually, a better analogy might be the satire "Saved" which punctured the whole Christian teen-culture scene. 

I guess you can't judge a gay-ally by their tattoos. 

View Article  Merry Christmas

I really believe that this song inspired me to become a social worker.  Yes, I know that it is hokey and Eurocentric, but it is still my favorite holiday song and I get a little lump in my throat every time Bono urges me to thank god its them instead of me. 

Now I just found out there is an updated version.  I only recognize a few of the participants, but good for them for updating and shame on us for needing the update.

View Article  I'm the victim of identity theft

Someone has thieved my identity ... in the Carnegie Library system.

I am not making this up.  Last weekend, when I stopped by Woods Run to renew and pick up some fresh books, I was informed that my account had been coopted and was shut down.  Fortunately, there were no ramifications for me ... no fines or anything. 

The library?  Seriously? 

Classic Library Card

 

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