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View Article  Marines on DADT

Information on this circulated on the gaydar yesterday.  Thanks to LezGetReal for the video.


View Article  Networking as a lesbian

Does anyone else use LinkedIn.com?  I joined a few years ago, but have found it newly compelling reading because of the livefeed of tweets and status updates.  I'm not aware of any of my friends who have found a job this way, but it is lovely to have all of your information in one place.

I downloaded an app that lets me post all of the articles about a project I coordinated for the holidays as well as some of the exceptional guest blog posts. I also like the recommendation/referral options.  To my surprise, I get the most feedback as editor of this blog rather than my day jobs.  To be fair, in some cases, there's overlap so I guess people feel more comfortable defaulting to the blog. 

I used to bury the blog in the Accomplishments section of my resume. I like to put it out there in the interest of full disclosure since I have a bit of reputation as a result of blogging.  But on LinkedIn, I list it as a job and have a robust description of my accomplishments.  Now I'm at the point that if I was job hunting, I'd want to leverage my blog accomplishments along with other accomplishments.  Advocacy is a skill which overlaps both my professional life and my blogging self. 

I'm not aware that I've lost any contacts and I gain new ones at a moderate, but consistent pace.  There's no sense pretending that I am not a blogger.  I'd have to disclose it at some point so I might as well try to leverage it up front if necessary. 

The networking disclosure question comes up often.  If I'm at a work related event, I rarely discuss it except in broad terms.  I think that's appropriate.  What's more challenging is when I'm at a "personal life" networking event and both come up.  It takes some finesse to maintain the boundary, yet network effectively.  For example, someone might ba a good interview, but also a good work collaborator. I opt for work because I feel an obligation to the people we serve to do my best for their welfare. 

I'm rarely in situations where I can's comfortably disclose being gay.  Typically, it comes up in a personal context such as "Yes, I tried that restaurant last week with Ledcat.  We loved it."  The two girlie name "us" is the cue and I can tell in minutes if there will be another conversation.

So here's my profile http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=334304&locale=en_US&trk=tab_pro   Ask me to join your network. If you dare .... LOL. 

View Article  Dreams of Hope to perform at August Wilson Center

If you are seeking something interesting to do on Sunday ...

Dreams of Hope's Performance Troupe presents:
Bully Me - Season Preview
Sunday, Jan 30th, 2011
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh
Dreams of Hope's Performance Troupe will open its 2010-2011 season
with a preview of 'Bully Me', an original show consisting of spoken
word, movement, drama, percussion, and song exploring bullying and its
horrific impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.
Dreams of Hope is a creative and performing arts organization for
lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and supportive youth. Through the
arts, Dreams of Hope develops youth leader who educate audiences
through the creation of new works based on their lives.
www.dreamsofhope.org 412.361.2065


View Article  GLCC to offer free legal seminars

A few upcoming events and activities that might interest you ...

The GLCC has a series of legal seminars that cover topics you very much should understand

Legal Series Schedule
Estate Planning for Non-Traditional Families 2/26 1:30 pm

Nursing Home Costs?How Much, Who Pays, With What Money 3/26 1:30 pm

Guardian Versus POA 4/26 7:30 pm

What Does Being An Executor of Someone's Estate Involve? 5/24 7:30 pm

Veterans' Benefits 6/18 1:30 pm

How Should the Deed and Joint Accounts Be Titled? 7/26 7:30 pm

Seminars will be held at the GLCC located at 210 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 412-422-0144

The seminars are free and open to the public.  The presenter is attorney Lynn Costa.

View Article  My first artist's date

I'm reading a book titled "The Artist's Way" which boils down to a cognitive behavioral approach to unleashing inner creativity.  So far I've written 750 words a day known as "morning pages", made a list of heroes and monsters who either fueled or stifled my creativity and turned creatively negative thoughts into factual statements.  And it has only been a week. 

The challenge for me is the task of taking an artist's date each week. Ideas range from visiting a museum to making your own collage using children's scissors.  People take creative bubble baths (??), take photographic montages and use a lot of glitter. 

I'm being somewhat facetious because it is an awkward challenge.  I don't like art very much and I can discount 90% of the suggestions I receive as silly or awkward without much thought.

The point is to make time for art and creativity on a date with yourself at least once per week. No time limit, no parameters except that you do it by yourself and you actually try.

I got stuck this week. I intended to go to West Park and look at the statues, but time got away from me and I had to improvise. I don't like to give up.

Sooooo .... I'm stting at Amani International Coffeehouse and Cafe and realize there is an array of artwork on the walls.  I get up, stretch and begin to look at it.  There's a set of tiles with photos emblazoned on them, titled "Wanderlust"  There's a beautiful piece called "Cosmic Butterfly" that does make me think of painting paper buttlerflies when I was a child.  Suddenly, I remember that I used to doodle butterflies and can't remember the last time I did that.  The paper butterflies were held together with red yarn.  I can't remember where we made them -- camp? summer program? school? -- but they were bright and pretty. 

In the front, there is a series of photos that appear to be shots of a coffee farm family.  I took a peek into the new meeting space and saw the beginning of a series of black stars mounted on the wall.  What could that mean?

So my artist's date was abbreviated, but nice.  I typically don't notice coffeehouse art because I don't like art.  I come to coffeehouses for socialization and blogging purposes. I don't like art.

Except butterflies.


View Article  City Paper on quest for domestic partner benefits for Allegheny County employees

The Pittsburgh City Paper explores the frustration of the County Human Relations Commission with the slow pace of  the Onorato Administration around domestic partner benefits.

Is anyone really surprised?  After 7 years, really?

It won't happen until the next Administration.  Onorato doesn't want to use the political capital on this issue when he's potentially gearing up for a statewide race where gay votes and gay issues won't matter.  That's my prediction. It isn't on his radar and the HRC is powerless.

Energy is better spent pressing Fitzgerald and Flaherty to commit to the issue. 

Just my prediction. 

View Article  Stepping Up

I have a new goal. 

I am in a building several times a week that requires me to go up 9 levels.  Today, I began my quest to conquer the stairs in the building.  I started with 2 flights up and then all 8 flights down.  I did that twice, plus the stairs in the garage.  I'm going to add a flight every 2 days inside the building until I can make it up all 8 flights without ...dying?  I was pleased at how today went so I guess I'm in better shape than I thought.  Going down is actually harder than it seems, especially when you have a handbag and a bulky winter coat. 

I typically take a mile walk at lunch and today was no exception (cooooollllldddd walk) which I can only do in 15 minutes b/c of the weather and the fact that I am dressed in street clothes and don't want to be sweaty.  However, I talk on the cell phone the entire 15 minutes and don't huff and puff at all. 

It feels good to not huff and puff, particularly when you have asthma working against your lungs.  I continue to be amazed at how good it feels to get healthier and stronger each day. I'm shrinking out of my winter clothes a bit so the timing to buy spring clothing might just work out. 

Anyway, that's my goal and I'm blogging about it so I can't wiggle out in my own head.  Me + stairs = Stronger Me.

View Article  Lesbian Correspondents Receive Nomination for Lesbian of the Year

I am honored to be nominated for the second year running for "Lesbian of the Year" award by the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter readers. I count myself fortunate to be among esteemed company.

6. Lesbian of the Year 2011

Crystal/Harry Feltersnatch:                C.J aka Blu:          Kimmi Rech:              

Shannon Matty:                    Duckie:                          Susan Levine:               

Elena Deluca:        Lyndsey Sickler :          Weezie of Weezie's Pub & Club:

Toni Emmons         Elizabeth Folta       Sherry Sabatino:       Mara  Rago         

Cathy Cox              Jess Porter           Brandi L.                Joy Souder

Sue Kerr                    Michelle S/Mikee Stylz                   Katina Stewart

It was a pleasure to receive the award last year and I appreciate the support for this blog.  Best of luck to all nominees in the various categories. 

View Article  Trib Letter to the Editor Prognosticates Intro of Pro-Gay PA Legislation

John DeBartola from the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter wrote to the Trib earlier this month.  He forecasts introduction of 4 pieces of pro-LGBTQ legislation:  marriage, civil unions, hate crimed and non-discrimination legislation.

Both [Senator] Leach and [Rep.] Cohen have agreed to submit their respective bills for marriage equality and civil unions on Feb 7. Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, and Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery County, might also have their respective bills (nondiscrimination and hate crimes) in place.

I think this aggressive stance is commendable. We all anticipate a Metcalfe sponsored anti-marriage equality bill to be introduced and suck up a lot of resources.  Keeping our allies and our agenda high profile reminds us all that we do not have to capitulate to the forces of homophobia and simply beat back these foes. 

I was unable to attend the Progressive Summit and learn more, but I anticipate updates emerging from other sources soon. 

View Article  Things I liked about church today

Today, Ledcat and I went to our second ever service at the Allegheny Unitarian-Universalist Church on the Northside. We've been pondering it for over a year.  Recent stuff going on pushed me to finally sit down and chat with Reverend Dave about things.

So this morning we bundled up and drove down to the Church.  It feels silly driving a mile but the treacherous snow covered sidewalks made walking a bit much. 

Random things I liked about it

- The greeters were a couple we know.  He was wearing a Steeler's jersey. To church. We had the chance to talk and get to know them a little better and enjoy the delightful company of their daughter. 

- Another man was drinking coffee.  In church.  During the service.  Using a reusable travel mug.

- One of the songs used the word "gay"

- The congregation was small, but diverse

- The children went to their religious education under a giant fleece peace blanket.

- I ran into multiple Facebook friends in real life for the first time.

- People were genuninely nice and friendly.

- The message was delivered by a neighborhood man who teaches martial arts to children on the Northside.

- People got up to offer their own intercessions (my word), both joyful and sorrowful.

- There was lunch. With delicous oatmeal raisin cookies. Mmmm.

- Someone spoke a quote I liked. I had no pen in my purse so I tweeted it to myself (phone was on silent, I'm not that bad).  Someone "liked" my comment.  He was also in the service.  Awesome.

- They had half and half cream for the coffee.  Sweet. 

- I felt good about attending even though no one mentioned God.  I still felt God spoke to me quietly and told me this is a place to explore. 

- Being on medical leave is lonely, even with all of the medical treatment contacts.  I've been averaging two coffee socializations a week, but sometimes it seems like the only human contact I have are people I have to engage.  This is a nice contact by choice supplement.  There's only so much decaf you can drink.

So it was pretty nice.  My concern about joining a UU congregation is that I am somewhat traditional. I've written that I have a secret desire to be an evangelical and I'm not kidding.  I've been to two other UU congregations, one in Pittsburgh and one not, but both left me cold and I never went back.  However, I've been hearing about Allegheny for years - very social justice oriented, very inclusive, very involved in the Northside and seemingly attractive to a lot of people I admire and respect.  I had met Reverend Dave several times at K.S. Kennedy Floral on Western Avenue (Kerry thinks he looks like Anderson Cooper) and found him to be pleasant and unthreatening.  And smart.  And kind. 

So we met and I realized that my personal experience of a transcendent God was not foreign to the UU community and my desire to have that personal relationship was not a barrier to being part of this community.

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Unitarian Universalism (UU) draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Structure of evil really whacked me upside the head.  So did reason.  I can be an agnostic-would-be-evangelical-social-justicey-tilt-at-windmills person and feel right at home in this community.  Cool.  We'll see what next week brings.

And now we are safely home away from the Steeler Nation invasion and preparing our own little barbecue wings and fries feast for kick-off.  Not a bad Sunday. 

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The Correspondents