Friday, December 11, 2009

Dan Savage strikes again

I stopped reading Dan Savage regularly ages ago, because he is ignorant and insulting. I owe thanks to our local GL(bt) monthly, Outlook, for bringing this column's biphobia to my attention, as Outlook still sees fit to print Savage's column:

When a bisexual guy identifies as gay, it's typically because he's not romantically attracted to women. He can fuck women, but he doesn't fall in love with women. Most bisexual guys are the opposite of your (mostly) gay friend, i.e., they can fuck men but they don't fall in love with men, which is why most bi guys identify as (mostly) straight.

I'm wondering how Dan Savage knows that "most bisexual men... can fuck men but they don't fall in love with men." I'm further curious as to how he knows that "most bi guys identify as (mostly) straight." I'm not aware of any scientific studies that have come to these conclusions. My feeling here is that Savage is merely reasserting the tired old stereotypes he holds about bisexuals. Oh, great sage, tell us how you came to this knowledge. Was it an intense study of the M4M ads on Craigslist? The gossip among your friends? Were you burned in a previous relationship with a bisexual, and you believe it appropriate to take that bad experience and use it to generalize about all bisexuals? You don't know everything, Mr. Savage, and I wish you'd stop pretending you do.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

comBIne Featured in OSU's Student Newspaper

Student group hopes to break through stereotypes about bisexuals
By Brittany Brown
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The idea of bisexuality can be a touchy subject for some. Even as the popular Katy Perry song “I Kissed a Girl” is played repeatedly on the radio and girl-on-girl action is glamorized in movies and on TV, the thought of legitimate bisexuality — sexual attraction to both sexes — can make many uncomfortable.

However, Ohio State students are working to support and raise awareness about the university’s bisexual community.

Local campus group comBIne is made up of students who are bisexual and proud of it. Tyler Benson, a fifth-year in video production and video art, said a group like comBIne is necessary to get the truth out about bisexuality.

“The media does not help with all its Girls-Gone-Wild and sensationalizing people like Tila Tequila, Megan Fox and Katy Perry ... as well as ‘party-bi’ stereotypes,” she said. “But that’s why we have comBIne, to let people know that we’re real people too and we’re not all these ridiculous things people see on TV that sell shows and movies and beers.”

Benson said the group has been raising awareness on campus and throughout Columbus. Although comBIne is still a relatively small group, it is active with regular meetings, panel discussions and guest speakers.

“We’ve marched in the Columbus Pride Parade the past two years and it’s very exciting to be perhaps the only group specific for bi persons waving bi flags and showing bi colors — magenta, purple, and blue — at the parade,” Benson said. “It really increases visibility and there have been people on the parade route who have screamed or jumped up and down or cheered as we went by because they were so glad to see bisexuality represented. With so much pressure to take sides and a lot of bi-phobia still out there in the world, visibility and community are important.”

Andrew Stock, a fourth-year in computer science and engineering, is the current vice president and webmaster for the group. Stock joined comBIne in January after seeing its booth at the Winter Involvement Fair.

“I joined because I feel the bisexual community at Ohio State needs greater presence and visibility,” Stock said.

Stock said he would like to increase the group’s numbers and “enhance the visibility of the bisexual populace at Ohio State and combat misconceptions and prejudices regarding bisexuality.”

“The discrimination I’ve felt has been more on the basis of omission or neglect rather than deliberate malice,” he said. “For example, once I was attempting to correspond with some people on leadership-related matters, and e-mails were getting silently blocked by OIT because ‘sex’ was in the subject and ‘bisexual’ was not considered an exception to the rule.”

Ben Sostrom, a sixth-year in astronomy and theater, is the president of the group. He said he feels his involvement has been eye-opening.

Being involved “has taught me that there are a lot of people out there who support us, our rights and GLBT rights in general, but also that there is so much misinformation out there, often perpetuated by the media. Like, that bisexuals can’t function in monogamous relationships, [and] that only women can be bisexual,” Sostrom said. “That colors people’s perceptions and opinions in ways they may not even recognize.”

Sostrom said OSU is “remarkably progressive” and extremely accepting of the GLBT community. He said he has rarely experienced any problems with OSU students or faculty.

“I’ve definitely experienced prejudice at times in my life, occasionally on campus and at times in the larger Columbus community, or even from within the GLBT community itself, which is why a group like this is so necessary,” he said. “The key to stopping hate is most crucially spreading awareness and fostering understanding, and this group has definitely worked to do both.”

Stock said he generally does not receive personal attacks around campus, but stereotypes can be a problem.

“It really bothers me when I hear things like ‘bisexuality is a choice,’ ‘I would have a hard time dating a bisexual person,’ or ‘bisexuality is generally for people who aren’t ready to admit that they’re gay,’” Stock said. “Biphobia is a very real phenomenon, even within the gay and lesbian community. Within comBIne, I’ve tried to try and combat some of these misconceptions.”

Benson said she is grateful for the opportunity to get involved with comBIne because of how it has helped her.

The group “has helped not only on a personal level for me because I was really desperate when I joined to find a friendly bi, pan, queer and allied community for those attracted to more than one gender, and it also has forced me in a good way to continue being visible and fighting biphobia verbally and constructively when I find it,” she said.

She said she feels like “an active and appreciated part of the queer community here at OSU. The group has really helped me find confidence, not to mention a lot of friendships with like-minded individuals and a lot of great memories from parties, panels and events.”


I got asked to interview for this article, but I didn't e-mail the author back in time for her deadline. Whoops. Oh well. Luckily Ben, Andrew, and Tyler all had great things to say. Go comBIne! Also, kudos to Brittany for writing that's above and beyond what most usually expect from "the Latrine." Actually, has anyone else noticed that the quality of the Lantern seems to have increased this year?

Columbus Bi Network to start in January

The Columbus Bi Network is going to have its first meeting on January 5th at 7 pm at Stonewall Columbus's Center on High (1160 North High Street).

More info about this group and meeting:

Columbus Bi Network intends to be a space for and resource to Central Ohio persons who are attracted to more than one gender. Through social events, community outreach initiatives, support groups, and other activitites, the Columbus Bi Network will facilitate a sense of pride in ourselves and our community.

Our first meeting is a general interest meeting. Come prepared to discuss what you want to see the group provide and how you would like to see it happen. Hope to see you there!

For more info or to send suggestions, e-mail cowtown dot bisexual at gmail dot com . That's, uh, me.

We were also thinking about calling it "CABINET," Capital City Bi Network. Columbus Bi Network doesn't have any good acronyms... except for COMBINE... which we already used. Oops. Opinions?

I'm not dead

Which, all things considered, is pretty awesome. I did get hamthrax a while back, though! But I got over my bacon fever and I'm still here. Incidentally, if you have heard any other good slang terms for the hiney, you should share them here.

I have a bunch of other stuff to post, but I feel it is inappropriate for this post.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

(Buster Bluth Style) Hey internet.

Well! I took a bit of a hiatus due to some personal things, but I am back and better than ever. I probably won't be blogging as much in the next week or two due to the fact that I don't have a (working) computer at home, but I plan to purchase a hard drive soon, and then I'll have much more access to the interwebs.

comBIne - a group at Ohio State for students, faculty, and community members who are attracted to more than one gender and their allies - will be having its first meeting of the year on October 13 at 6:30 PM in Central Classrooms 202. Due to some problems with the OSU organizational listserv thing and BuckeyeMail (OSU's new student e-mail service), we will be starting a Google Group to send out all our e-mails. That's why we haven't sent anything yet. But there will be something soon, so keep an eye out.

comBIne will also be doing biweekly screenings of Torchwood starting October 20th at 6:30 PM in Central Classrooms 202. For more information on Torchwood, click here or here. We will be starting with Season One, Episode One, and watching one episode every other week. As always with comBIne events, everyone is welcome.

Also, look for the first meeting of the Columbus/Central Ohio Bisexual Network in the next month or so. More details posted as they become available.

Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus is Friday, October 9! Stay tuned to Facebook, e-mail, or Twitter for more info on location!.

Lastly, if you are interested in a Central Ohio group for LGBTQIA Jews, please send me an e-mail (cowtown dot bisexual at gmail dot com) or leave a comment here. Something is in the works :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh hay

in case you want to know what I have been up to, I've been working two very interesting jobs, spending some quality time with my dog, reading a ton, doing my art internship thingy, and other stuff. And working on my submission for the bisexual artists' show in SF. I took a sorta break from the intertubes for a while, but I'm back.

oh, also, here is me with Candace Gingrich. Not the best photo of me. But still cool.



Edited to add: look for a post from me very soon regarding the proposed City of Columbus tax increase.

First Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus Event Was Great!

Next month's event - on August 14th - will be even better, bigger, and badder. Trust us.

Check out some photos!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

AIDSWalk Central Ohio 2009: Sat. July 25th

The 2009 AIDSWalk Central Ohio will begin and end at the Franklin Park Conservatory. Registration and an exhibition start at 7:30 AM and the walk kicks off at 8:30 AM.

From AIDSWalk Central Ohio's site:

AIDSWalk Central Ohio is the largest HIV/ AIDS awareness event in the Franklin County area. The event's mission is to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS service organizations through education and promotional activities leading up to the walk and through participation of walkers and volunteers in a safe, fun, educational event. It started over 20 years ago and now benefits Franklin, Delaware, Licking, and Union Counties. The event has raised community awareness of the devastation caused by this disease in Central Ohio by reaching beyond the traditional audiences to families, businesses, schools and civic organizations.

To participate in AIDSWalk Central Ohio 2009, please click here!
To sponsor a participant, click here.
To donate, click here.

Blog Roundup Thingy # ...4?

I happen to have an excessive amount of time available on the internet today, so enjoy a bunch of stuff summarized so I don't make 239843928 posts. :)

This is 2009, this is the north, this is America, and this is what it looks like

"A private pool in Philadelphia apparently didn't like the idea of black children swimming in their pool, even though these campers had already paid the enormous fee to use the pool... More than 60 campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club and left to wonder if their race was the reason... 'When the minority children got in the pool all of the Caucasian children immediately exited the pool,' Horace Gibson, parent of a day camp child, wrote in an email. 'The pool attendants came and told the black children that they did not allow minorities in the club and needed the children to leave immediately...' Let's not pretend like this is an isolated incident or that it's a bunch of racists nothing like us, just a few bad apples acting in a vacuum. Segregation, in many forms, is alive and well."

The Queerness of Michael Jackson

"Just as Michael was black he was also queer because he did not conform to our society's heterosexist norms. And as the man in the mirror faded from black to white so too did his staged gender performances from cute straight boy lead singer of the Jackson 5 to an effeminate male solo artist donning outfits with sequins. And as the consummate drag performer he was not only a singer and dancer, Jackson was also a shape-shifter... Jackson was unquestionably eccentric, and his masks did not always protect him or liberate him because he always had to don them within the restricted boundaries of both race and sexual discrimination."

Arranging the Homosexual Agenda
Participate in this (totally unscientific but still interesting) poll about what you think ought to be the top priority for LGBTQIA communities. As someone who believes we must take action on every single front, I am fundamentally opposed to this poll. But, haha, I voted anyway. I think I'd say that ENDA, heathcare, and safe schools are the most fundamental to our well-being. These bills also reach a greater number of people in our community than things like marriage equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Slammed for Doing Absolutely Nothing, HRC Goes on Tour
Here is my favorite part of this article: "What we are seeing here is HRC doing something grassroots-y: running around the country trying to do lots of convincing and score media coverage. But haven't we been demanding HRC actually, uh, do something with all the money the gays donate? Haven't we been saying HRC, in cahoots with the White House, has for too long been silent and immobile on legislation that matters?"

WATCH: Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover's Mom Revisits Harrowing Suicide for Congress
Followup to this.
"This has got to stop. School bullying is a national crisis. ...I know that bullying is not a gay issue, or a straight issue. It's a safety issue."

Maine Human Rights Commission Rules in Favor of Transgender Girl
"While marriage equality proponents in Maine will be struggling to keep their new same-sex marriage law in the coming months, at least the state’s Human Rights Commission is able to prevent discrimination against the transgender community. Last week, the agency ruled in favor of a transgender girl’s right to use the girl’s bathroom at her school in Orono, a college town just outside of Bangor."

Gay Men Face Discrimination Over Kiss in El Paso
"'We went, sat down to eat our food and security guards came and said that if they kept doing that, they were going to throw us all out of the restaurant.' Carlos said he then asked them why? Their response, according to Carlos: 'They said 'we didn't allow that gay stuff to go on here.'"

Ronald Reagan actually did at least one thing right.

Celebrating National Ice Cream Month

OK, so you need a little justification to dive into another pint of your favorite creamy frozen dessert. It’s hotter than Haiti outside and all of the kids are home from school for three months… and you need an excuse?

Well, look no further for the perfect all-encompassing, no holds barred reason to satisfy your constant craving. July is National Ice Cream Month.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Which Ice Cream Company came up with this little beauty to boost sales and grow the bottom line (both financially and physically?)

Well it wasn’t a company, but rather the former Leader of the Free World: Ronald Reagan...

Click the title link for the rest of the article.

I, for one, plan on doing my patriotic duty by visiting Jeni's some time in the very near future. Note to everyone: If you are ever in Columbus, you MUST visit a Jeni's location at least once.

H/T the Jeni's Twitter feed

WHAT?! You mean marriage equality (or some semblance thereof) doesn't fix EVERYTHING?!?!

OMG!!111!! SO SURPRIZED LOL!!!??!?!1111one

Gay marriage legal from today in Hungary, but gap in rights persists

"These life partnerships will be guaranteed the same tax, employment, social and immigration benefits as heterosexual marriages. Gay couples will be barred from adopting children and taking their spouse's name, however."

It's great that Hungary wants to give queer couples some rights. Absolutely fantastic! But obviously, it's not fixing everything that is wrong with how the Hungarian government views queers. This is also the case in other places around the world that have marriage equality.

I have actually heard more than one queer advance the argument that marriage equality will fix everything. Let's discuss this viewpoint.

FACT: Marriage is not the end-all, be-all, magic cure for inequality. QUESTION: Why isn't that more obvious to people? (</Dwight Schrute>)
Even if marriage were to grant life partners all the rights they deserve, that would still mean you'd have to get married to gain those rights. Not everyone wants to make that legal commitment. Not everyone has a partner with whom they can do so.

Some say that marriage will show our culture that giving queer life partners these rights will show that the world won't collapse, etc. when teh gheys can get their gheymarriage. Then, the state will take action and grant all queers these rights regardless of marriage status.

That's not okay. No one should have to wait to get equal rights. It's not fair to give some queers rights while others sit back and wait.

For these reasons, it is not useful for us to focus on marriage equality as our sole cause.

This is also an opportune time to talk about the language surrounding marriage equality. I know I've talked about this before, but we need to go over it again.

Even if legal recognition of the commitment of same-sex partners were the magic Band-Aid that could fix everything, we would still need it to be called "marriage" and not "civil union" or "domestic partnership" or "lol fake queer 'marriage' that we will pretend is the same" to have the union be FULLY equal to a marriage between "a man and a woman." This necessity applies no matter where we live. Let's review summaries of the reasons why the language must be so:
  • The term "marriage" is essential for the portability of the partnership under state, provincial, and international laws. The union will not be recognized unless the government of the locality has written recognition of other states' "civil unions," "domestic partnerships," etc. into law.
  • It is necessary to call it "marriage" so that the couple may end the union if they wish. The only way to dissolve a civil union is to be a resident of a state that allows partners to end the civil union. To do so, however, at least one partner must be a resident in that state for a certain length of time. Since there are so few states that recognize civil unions, this is especially tricky to do.
  • If DOMA is ever repealed, we'll need "marriage" to get the rights afforded to "heterosexual" marriages.
  • We need the term "marriage" to clarify our status as single or married on a slew of paperwork and forms.
  • Finally, in terms of linguistic equality, we deserve that word! Language shapes our cultural values and we will always be unequal when we are not linguistically equal.
Therefore, we are forced to conclude that our legal unions must always be classified as what they are: civil marriage.

So yeah, to all queers that don't care about the word as long as we "have" our "rights," to fickle government representatives that care about perceived votes more than they care about justice, and to frightened voters who are ignorant of facts by accident or by choice: what you call it DOES matter.

See this for more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Call for Submissions: Bisexual Artists' Show at Good Vibrations, SF

Holy crap I am SO all over this!!!

http://biartsf.webs.com/
I am a graduate student in the Sexuality Studies program at San Francisco State University, and for my Master's project I am organizing an art showing to promote bisexual visibility. I am seeking artists who identify as Bisexual (or with a label inclusive of bisexuality, such as Pansexual, Omnisexual, Ambisexual or Queer), to submit paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, or sculptures relating to their experiences of living as a bisexual person. This project is an opportunity for artists to represent what being bisexual means to them and to help promote the wide variety of people who are bisexual. Artists selected for the exhibition will have their work on display in the art gallery at the Good Vibrations on Polk Street from October 8 to November 26, 2009. Their will be a formal opening for the event at the beginning of the exhibition.

Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2009. To submit your work, please send and email to BiArtSF@gmail.com. Your email must include:

*A digital photograph of the work, and the title of the work
*The work's dimensions. Hangable works will be limited to 8' in height and 6' in length. Sculptures will be limited to a base of 2' by 2', with a height no greater than 8'. Works may be either pre-existing work or work created specifically for the event.
*A paragraph description of the content of the work and how it relates to issues of bisexuality, bisexual identities and/or bisexual visibility (no more than 500 words).
*Your name, email and phone number. Selected artists will not be notified until after the submission deadline on August 1.
*Please specify if digital photographs of your work can be used in promotional materials and other publicity for the event.

All artists must be available during August or September 2009 to discuss their work with myself so that I can design captions for each work and for exhibition programs. All Artists must also be able to transport their work to and from the venue. Paintings, drawings, photographs and prints must be delivered in hangable condition.

If you have any questions about the project or the submission guidelines, please email me at BiArtSF@gmail.com.

Jack Mohr, M.A. Candidate, San Francisco State University

Call for Submissions: "HRC is Not Your Friend" Zine


Wednesday, July 01 2009 @ 12:53 AM CDT
Contributed by: Anonymous


SEND SUBMISSIONS TO: anarchoqueer@gmail.com
AND PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!

As Radical Queers, we are in a constant war against the HRC. Our frustrations run much deeper than ENDA or any other single issue. However, I have often found myself unable to substantiate my frustrations when talking with more mainstream “LGBT” folks. So, me and a friend are planning to compile and edit a zine on why we hate the HRC. We are looking for more radical perspectives written in a language that would be accessible to more mainstream “LGBT” folks.

Talking points could/should include, but are not limited to:

Racism, Classism, Assimilation, Militarism/Imperialism, Transphobia, The Prison-Industrial Complex, The Non-Profit Industrial Complex, Immigration as a Queer Issue, Public Sex/Sexuality and Pleasure (and how the HRC tries to hide that as a part of our identities), The culture of respectability, Healthcare.

Or maybe, even more fundamentally, why there are no “separate issues.”

We would also be interested in writings on things people have done, actions that have been taken against the HRC, and why we don’t need the HRC. (We can do this shit ourselves!)

Remember, the intended audience is mainstream “LGBT” folks who aren’t already radical– this is an attempt to radicalize them!– so please make sure submissions are written in a way that will make sense to these folks. (I.e. don’t assume somebody knows what the prison industrial complex is or why we don’t like it.)

PLEASE EMAIL SUBMISSIONS, QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS TO: anarchoqueer@gmail.com.

AND PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY!

Thanks!

Solidarity and Sodomy


I'd like to see some dialogue going between people about these issues - hence the sharing. I don't necessarily fall on one side or the other (though if I had to pick one, I'd say radical queer).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog Roundup Thingy for the Past Week or So

I'm sure I've missed a lot since I haven't checked everything, but here's some stuff that has come across my path that I'd like to share.

First, something that happened right here in Columbus:

Mennonites protest church exclusion of gays
Go Pink Menno! I was unable to attend the action, but I want to say that I stand in solidarity with anyone who is working for LGBTQIA inclusion in faith communities.

Something relevant for all, coming out of Cincy:
“The Queer Canon” call for submission
"GenderBloc, the University of Cincinnati’s radical queer group that focuses on transgender activism, is placing a call for submissions for its quarterly zine. Submissions can be submitted by anyone, not just UC students. Selections must be submitted before August 31, 2009, to queercanon@gmail.com. "
Please consider submitting to the Queer Canon! Click on the link for more info about submission guidelines and details about the Queer Canon.



More faith-related news:
Hagee welcomes gay groups
I remember watching Rev. John Hagee on TBN with my great-grandmother. He's not really someone I would have expected to do this. Kudos to Soulforce and Atticus Circle for starting the dialogue.



On to the sad:
Gay bar patrons not targeted by officers, chief says and follow-up: Fort Worth resident breaks his silence about Rainbow Lounge raid
Of course the police are saying that the gays were out of control and that police brutality was justified... Ugh.

Sailor gunned down on sentry duty, Navy says
A relative says August Provost was killed for his race and his sexual orientation. The Navy says there was no evidence of a hate crime, but he had reported harassment to relatives before his death.
I'd like to quote a part of the article: "Rep. Bob Filner, a California Democrat, has called for a full and transparent investigation. Asked Friday if Provost was killed because of his sexual orientation, he said, 'There are indications that that's the case [that it was a hate crime]. His family says he was harassed.' Filner said he was on Camp Pendleton hours after Provost's body was found, although no one told him of the killing. 'When I was on the base for another event, the commander of the base was sitting next to me and never mentioned a word, which I find very strange," he said. He said he was asking for the 'truth of what happened... We're going to ask, if I may coin a phrase, and we hope that they tell,' he said."
Very sad and disappointing.
I'd like to add as commentary that though he was out as bi, he's getting gaywashed by some press.

2008 was most dangerously violent year for LGBT people in over a decade
"Our recent report tells us that this past year has been one of the most dangerously violent years for lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people since NCAVP began documenting anti-LGBT violence. Many elected officials who do care are focused on the need for hate crimes legislation. This is understandable but not enough. We need attention and resources from every level of government aimed at education that helps prevent hate violence before it occurs. We need laws that deliver equal rights and protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people which by their very existence send the message that we are equal citizens, equal human beings and that hate violence will not be condoned."



Something resourceful that can make a difference:
Ohio Educator's Guide to GLBTQ Resources - A Guide to Creating Safe Schools for ALL Youth
I believe I may have posted this before, but for the sake of thoroughness, here it is again.



And lastly, a bit of humor:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus Event- July 10th!

There are a lot of exciting things going on that I'd like to post about! Hopefully I'll have more time tomorrow. In the meantime, I'd like to share some info about Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus.

The following message was sent out to the GQB Facebook group, Google Group and Twitter followers:

Hey wonderful people-

We're terribly sorry for the long delay, but here goes... Our first GQB Columbus event will be JULY 10, 2009 at 8 PM (That's a Friday, by the way). Yes, that's right. We're finally doing it.

Now that you know that date, keep checking your inbox for the location, which will be announced later in the week. It's already decided, but it's up to you all to speculate. Let's just say you should all look fabulous, because we're going to be in HD!

We ask that you wear pink and black for this event. Of course, if you can't, don't worry, the point of this event is to see your wonderful smiling faces out and about anyway.

So prepare to have a good time, prepare to socialize in a new place and prepare to make new friends. It's going to be a blast. Remember, GQB events are designed to have fun and be social. Tell all your friends, tell your mom, tell your dog, and above all... Be there!

As a rule, count on GQB Columbus to be organizing events for the second Friday of every month. We believe that this time coordinates well with other events around town and around the state.

We can't wait to see you!
Guerrilla Queer Bar Columbus

Monday, June 22, 2009

comBIne in Pride

So comBIne marched in the Columbus Pride parade. It was great!



Our cheers included hat tips to bisexuality, loving more than one gender, pride, queerness, genderqueerness, and, of course, OH-IO.

One fundamentalist protestor shouted at us, "Even Buckeye perverts go to Hell!" Hahaha, good job. What was that again about not judging, lest ye be judged?

Columbus Pride is the second largest Pride celebration in the Midwest.

comBIne passed out candy with flyers. One side had our contact info, and the other side talked about Brenda Howard:

"Did you know?
Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist, is known as the 'Mother of Pride.' She worked to help coordinate the first month anniversary rally of the Stonewall Rebellion and the 'Christopher Street Liberation Day March' to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Howard originated the idea of a week-long series of Pride Day events, which later became the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held worldwide every June. Brenda Howard and fellow LGBT Activists Robert A. Martin and L. Craig Schoonmaker popularized the word 'Pride' to describe these festivities. Brenda was also actively involved with leather, BDSM, feminist, anti-war, and Alcoholics Anonymous community activism and awareness.
Sources: http://www.nyabn.org/brenda/articles.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brenda_Howard
Only a handful of activists in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement were there at Stonewall and never stopped.
—Andy Humm describing Brenda Howard in Gay City News, August 11–17, 2005


More photos and things to come later! My computer is still dead, so I have to go to the library for intertubes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cleaning Up Around Here

Alas! My blogroll has at last gotten so long that it takes up most of of my sidebar. Fear not, dear blogrolled readers, you are still on my reading list. I just set it so that the last 25 posted blogs would show up on there. I might decide I hate this as soon as this afternoon and change it back. I am glad that I have a long blogroll because it means there is a lot of great content that I want to read.

There are other things I want to do to improve the look of my blog, too. But until I figure out how to fix coding, layout, etc., I am stuck with this Blogger template.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

George Tiller Needs More than Candlelight Vigils

George Tiller needs more than candlelight vigils
The doctor's murder is domestic terrorism, and if our leaders don't act boldly, there will be more violence
By Gloria Feldt
Jun. 01, 2009 |

I am done with candlelight vigils.

It is good and necessary that people gather together at a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Dr. George Tiller, murdered in cold blood today at his Lutheran church by an assailant believed to be Montana “Freeman” Scott Roeder. Tiller was a compassionate and courageous doctor who provided abortion services to women in some of the most distressing circumstances imaginable, when their pregnancies had gone horribly, tragically wrong. He provided services when no one else would, and he was stubborn enough to fight against everyone who tried to stop him. So it is right that people express their grief in public ceremonies.

But I myself am done with candlelight vigils. I have participated in too many of them, from 1993 with the murder of Dr. David Gunn in Pensacola through the seven doctors, patient escorts and staff murdered over the horrifying five-year period thereafter. I can never forget the day before New Year's Eve in 1994. I was, at the time, CEO of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, talking on the phone to Pensacola patient escort June Barrett -- who had been wounded when her husband and the clinic’s Dr. John Britton were murdered by anti-abortion zealot Rev. Paul Hill -- when I received another urgent call from a friend whose granddaughter worked in Planned Parenthood’s Brookline clinic. The young woman had just witnessed the murder of two co-workers by John Salvi.

Each time, we held vigils all over the country. We wept and we pledged to continue our work. Which we did, increasingly, in isolation. We were the ones who had been wronged, and yet we were labeled controversial, to be shunned rather than supported. The murders were only the tip of the iceberg, among over 6000 cases of violence, vandalism, stalking, bombings, arson, invasions and other serious harassment.

Later, during the nine years I served as president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, we dramatically beefed up our own security while figuring out how to make our health centers nevertheless welcoming to patients and workers alike. In fact, we got so adept at the task that during post-911 anthrax scares, we provided federal government agencies with model protocols for dealing with such threats. But though self-sufficiency is valuable, a just society should offer much more succor to citizens who are attacked.

That’s why today, after what happened to George Tiller, I know that the only thing that will assuage my personal grief over his shocking loss is for leaders across our nation to join me in expressing outrage at this heinous crime, this domestic terrorism. And yes, they need to call it out in exactly those terms. That’s what it is.

I want to hear massive outrage on the part of the community. I want it to start with President Obama. His statement today is a good beginning.

But that’s not nearly enough. He must immediately outline an action plan to increase federal protection for providers and clinics and call for stringent enforcement of the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act. He has an opportunity to make a speech that addresses women’s moral right to reproductive self-determination as passionately as his brilliant speech about race did during the primary. He can and should lead the nation to a larger and more productive conversation about the complex choices women make, and why women deserve the respect, equality and justice inherent in the right to choose to have, or not have, a child. He should bring together pro-choice and anti-choice leaders and get them to issue a joint statement decrying Tiller’s murder as well as all such violent opposition to one another’s efforts. Now that would be real common ground.

But even if the president did all of that, I would still not be ready for another candlelight vigil. The change we need in our culture’s attitudes toward women’s reproductive justice has to happen both top-down and bottom-up.

When it comes to decrying Tiller’s unspeakable murder, I want to hear it from Congress. I want to hear it from clergy, the medical profession, the media and civic leaders: "This kind of violation will not be tolerated. Period." I want to see leaders and people at the grassroots joining hands together in support of those who provide women with reproductive health services, including abortion. I want them to put the yellow armband on, to assume Tiller’s name as so many took on the Obama’s middle name, Hussein, when he was disparaged during the election. Doctors have a special responsibility. David Toub M.D, MBA, who provided abortions when he was a practicing physician in Philadelphia, told me, "This could have been any of us who provide or provided abortion services. I'm just as annoyed by some of my own colleagues and the American Medical Association who marginalized us and even looked down at anyone involved in providing abortion."

The silence overall from leaders so far has been deafening, as attorney and longtime Arizona volunteer for reproductive rights causes Leon Silver pointed out. And if our leaders remain silent, I can tell you with perfect assurance what will happen next. There will be more violence.

Dr. Tiller’s friends, family, patients, colleagues and the many pro-choice activists who have supported him over the years need the vigil in Wichita and those springing up elsewhere to mourn the 67-year-old doctor’s death and celebrate his exceptional life. The larger community of reproductive health professionals and activists, including those who bravely escort women safely into and out of health facilities for abortions, need to cry and hug and lift one another up on the wings of their convictions that they are doing God’s work, saving women’s lives in the fullest sense of the word. I am with them in spirit.

But when it comes to changing a culture that has marginalized abortion by shaming women and hounding, even murdering, the doctors and clinic staff who provide safe abortions, when it comes to changing a culture bent on shaming women who are, in all good conscience, making the most moral of personal decisions -- candlelight vigils alone will never be enough.

President Obama Issues Proclamation Declaring LGBT Pride Month

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

___________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release June 1, 2009

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER PRIDE MONTH, 2009
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION


Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country's response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration -- in both the White House and the Federal agencies -- openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA

Monday, June 1, 2009

comBIne to march in Columbus Pride

comBIne, a group at Ohio State for people who are attracted to more than one gender and their allies, will be marching in Columbus Pride. The march takes place Saturday, June 20, at 1 pm. We'll probably be meeting around 11:30 or 12 at the Ohio Statehouse. We are making t-shirts and a new banner and we will be passing out candy to people. So far we have a good size group. I'd love to make it even bigger. (that's what she said.) As far as I know, we will be the only bi presence at the parade. Last year people went nuts when they saw us. Visibility in the community is really important. Let me know if you would like to march with us by e-mailing me at cowtown dot bisexual at gmail dot com :)

View photos from our march in Pride last year.

"Why I'm Bisexual, Not Pansexual"

This.

Warren County (OH) Investigates Assault as Possible Hate Crime; Homosexual Man Beaten At Warren County Bar

I heard about this through Twitter on Saturday, but was unable to post it until now. Needless to say it kinda put a damper on my Saturday night.

If you live in or near Cincinnati, consider attending this response- Flash Action: QUEERS INVADE TABBY'S AMERICAN GRILL. It's at Tabby's on Tuesday, June 2, and starts at 9:00pm. There was supposed to be a sit-in on Saturday but it was canceled due to tornadic activity.

See Stuff Queer People Need To Know for a more personal side of the victim's family, the owner, and the restaurant.

The news video about the hate crime is here. I was going to embed it, but it was doing autoplay and I haven't had enough coffee yet to figure out how to turn it off.

Here is the video's full transcript:

Warren County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a disturbing attack that left a young man bloodied, his nose shattered. Investigators want to know if it is a hate crime. The victim is gay.

The assault happened at a Maineville Bar. Local 12 reporter Shawn Ley shows us why this investigation is far from over.

Ronnie Robertson's nose is broken, he has deep cuts and scratches around his eyes and cheeks. The 31 year old Mainville man is openly gay, his friends saying he's regretting not going to a gay bar Tuesday night.

Victim's friend: "The guy that was assaulted had said, that's the reason they made gay bars because it's a safer place, a safer environment to hang out."

The Warren County Sheriff's Office says Robertson received these injuries at Tabby's American Bar and Grill on Montgomery Road in Mainville, and a criminal investigation is underway, looking for everyone involved in the attack. Two women were arrested on the spot: Sarah Goldsberry, and Tammy Lingle. They are charged with felony assault, and disrupting police business.

Robertson's sister says there was no bar fight. She says her brother was attacked because of his sexual orientation.

Kelly Coffey/Victim's Sister: "I believe it was a hate crime, completely. because that's the only thing targeted that night, when someone stepped up and said, yes, I'm gay ... all night it was provoked, all night it was asked and I believe that's what it was."

Kelly Coffey says her friends, a mix of gay and straight people chose Tabby's to play sand volleyball - but were harassed by a man who continued to ask who in the group was gay and who wasn't & her brother finally answered. "When he admitted that he was, they lost it, went crazy and started attacking my brother and pushing him out of the bar."

So what does Tabby's owner have to say? We stopped in and was told no manager was there. We called 5 times Thursday night and still couldn't reach the owner. We do know the sheriff's office is going over the security camera tape to look at what happened and for the two other men involved.

Ohio's hate crime laws do *not* include gays and lesbians as a protected class. The Warren County Sheriff's Office says the gay bashing element of the case is "in play." Other cases in Ohio have fit the statute for charges of "ethnic intimidation."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blog Roundup Thingy #2 and Stuff and Things

Hello, dear readers. My life has been rather crowded of late, leaving me little time for blogging.

One of my two dogs, Violet:


went missing last week, so that has occupied a lot of my attention and emotional space. She was actually lost and last seen in the Troy (Ohio) area, if you happen to know anyone who lives around there.

here are both of them. (CRAZY DOG MOM ALERT)


I have many (original) things to say but they will have to wait 'til a later date. For now, please enjoy these excellent blogs and videos (and a smidgen of original content at the end, heh). These were picked from an assortment of things that I have had time to skim or read and are by no means exhaustive coverage of the blogs on my blogroll, so I encourage you to poke around in there (that's what she s... ahem).

Michael Amann Says... Tucker Max: A million little pieces of shit (UWeekly) - This is the best thing ever to be printed in UWeekly. Ever.

Police stations fly the rainbow flag (Pink News) - This is really awesome.

Controversial protest by radical gay group now subject of federal lawsuit (Michigan Messenger) - Important to keep updated on, especially since it was a midwest Bash Back group.

World Hepatitis Day - Why the Gay/Bi Community Must Take Action! (Queers United) - There is a lot of misinformation, ignorance, and cynicism out there - let's make sure we are safe.

Homeless Youth Pride Walk 2009 (Queers United) - Again, really important issue, and I am thrilled to hear about this cause.

There Are Too Many Girls in Science! Let the Boys Back In! (Isis the Scientist) Isis the Scientist is totally fantastic (as always) and critiques this faulty viewpoint in a great way

Asshole of the Day (Kate Harding's Shapely Prose) - I love this blog and this sort of thing is why.

Comrade PhysioProf's Handy-Dandy Guide For D00dly Commenters (Comrade PhysioProf [Guest blog for Isis the Scientist]) - CPP rocks, as usual

The most ridiculous queer week ever (Stuff Queer People Need to Know) - Some interesting stuff here, and the photo made me laugh.

Symptom of a Cowtown Mentality (Columbusite) - This is REALLY frustrating to me. It's like the city doesn't care about pedestrians at all sometimes.

Feminism is Alive and Well in Ohio (Feminist Avengers) - Heck yes.

Mixtape: 10 Best Architecture Songs (Flavorwire) - I'm going to quote my friend, who shared this, on this one: "one knows she is an art geek when she counts down 'Architecture' songs!"

Orestes pursued by the Furries (Fetch Me My Axe) - Hahaha.

Also, you have probably seen these by now, but they are worth including in case you have not:





I made a ranked list of Ohio cities whose major export is crippling depression, based on my own experience and what I've heard from others (please note that not all Ohio cities made it on here).
1. Youngstown
2. Toledo
3. Cleveland
4. Findlay
5. Dayton
6. Springfield
7. Cincinnati
8. Canton
9. Akron

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Beautiful

Watch this video.

GAY = SIN from Matthew Brown on Vimeo.



If you pause it and let it load and it still isn't working for you, watch a lower resolution version here. But the visuals aren't quite as striking in that one.

(H/T The Bilerico Project)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

America's First Transgender Mayor


RESIDENTS OF SILVERTON, OREGON, like to say their town is "40 miles and 40 years from Portland." If you visit in early January, the sign on the Assembly of God church may still read HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS. If you're friendly when you check into the lone hotel, the clerk will likely thank you "for the smile." And if you stop by the Rolling Hills Bakery, which has the best muffins around, you'll probably learn that it was recently saved from bankruptcy by a handful of locals who stepped up to cook, clean, and work behind the counter—without pay.

On the first Monday night of the year, the parking lots at the community center on Water Street are full. Most of the cars belong to the women who've mobbed the Jazzercise class. The rest belong to the 30 or so people on hand to watch the newly elected mayor take the oath of office. Though the gathering is small—a good 2 million heads fewer than the crowd that will greet President Barack Obama at his inauguration—the occasion is momentous, at least for the 9,500 citizens of Silverton. Stu Rasmussen is about to become the nation's first openly transgender mayor.

Read more...

This is probably my favorite part:

When Fred Phelps, founder of the Baptist church that launched the website godhatesfags.com, led members of his congregation to Silverton from Topeka, Kansas, last November to protest the coronation of a man who carries a purse, nearly 200 residents greeted them outside City Hall. More than a few were dressed in drag. "Go home," they chanted. "We like our mayor." Sitting in the café, over a cup of coffee and a bagel, Rasmussen tears up at the memory of the brush-off Phelps and his foot soldiers received. "They were treated like freaks," he says.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Outlook Media Fail

Outlook Weekly, our local GL(bt) news paper, has recently switched to a monthly format. Curious about how its content might've changed with its change in format, I checked it out. Glaringly obvious mistake: Why is TransOhio not listed under "Community Resources?" Their website also leaves something to be desired. Consider yourself warned in advance. "Community Resources" are listed on page 7.

As I tend to be cynical about the inclusion of bacon & tomato, I'm not really surprised. Outlook also never features real people from Columbus on their cover, and they still run Savage Love despite all the problems with Dan Savage being a racist / biphobic / transphobic / victim-blaming /generally distasteful person, they rarely cover bi and trans issues... Et cetera.

Try at least a little harder, guys. :/

Important Blog Roundup Thingy

Say hey, bisexuals, pansexuals, queers, other such fluid folk, and our allies. I have some stuff written by other people for you to read. I need to do more regular re-occurring features on here. Sunday generally seems to be the day that lots of other blogs have blog entries about other great blog entries. But my life has been pretty crazy lately, and I'm currently trying to catch up on what I've missed, so you get it on a Thursday! (...it is Thursday, right?)
Please check out all the content listed below, because it's all fantastic and important.

I missed Blogging Against Disablism Day. :( More about that later.

Women in Love: Understanding Heterosexual Privilege - Please Live & Let Live - I've seen this before, but if you haven't, please check it out.

Feminist Avengers: Ohio State to Violate Students’ Rights Using Student Funds (potential triggers) - I will be doing direct action against this

TransOhio: Why feminists should be concerned with the impending revision of the DSM - WHAT THE F, GUYS.

The Bilerico Project: Diesel-powered Ageism - Ageism makes me really, really sad.

Queers United: Dr Phil Show - "Teen Pretending to Be Bisexual" - I really hate Dr. Phil. This comment about him is priceless. Here's my $0.02 regarding "trendy" bisexuality.

Queers United: Right to Save Campaign - May 16th - Support the end of government sanctioned discrimination! - Help Change the FDA's current Policy [regarding donating blood]!"

Queers United: Procter & Gamble Embraces the "T" By Including Gender Identity - That's an Ohio-based company (Cincy). Yay Ohio! See my two cents regarding P&G's animal testing.

Queers United: A Comprehensive LGBT Guide for Elementary Schools - Yes!!! Download it.

Queers United (hey, there's a lot of great content!): Urge NH Gov. John Lynch to Sign Marriage Bill! - As I said yesterday, Maine ought not to be ahead of NH when it comes to such rights

Queers United: Diversity Lesson 101 - Homeless Sexual Minorities - This is a hugely important issue.

Bash Back! News: Boston Bashes Back Against Exodus - Important criticism of Exodus, hate crimes legislation and Join the Impact. I don't always 100% agree with radical queers, but I find myself leaning in that direction, and I try to make sure I am listening to a diverse group of voices. I do identify with Bash Back! more than mainstream marriage equality groups, HRC, etc.


So that's a lot for now. Check 'em out. Maybe (okay, probably) more later.

The Big Fat Gay Collab: F*** You



"theres a disgusting amount of hate on the internet (especially on youtube!) directed at minority groups (especially the LGBT community) so i was inspired to organize this collab video. i never set out to "change the world" i simply wanted to make something light hearted to put a smile on the face of any hate-victim watching. you're not alone! stevie loves you :)

the song is "f#ck you" by "lily allen" and i believe it was originally written about george bush. however, this video is not against bush. this is our interpretation of the meaning behind the lyrics and i think that our video gives a slightly different meaning to the lyrics and makes a different point than the original song had specifically intended. this video has nothing to do with george bush!"

H/T Queers United

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do What's Right, New Hampshire

I really care about the marriage issue in NH.

"But, Bi Avenger," you might say, "I thought marriage equality was less of a priority to you than other LGBTQIA issues, like whether or not trans people can change their birth certificates and driver's licenses! And why do you care about New Hampshire if you are from Ohio?"

Well, dear readers, let me address these issues for you.

First of all: I have decided that we need to approach LGBTQIA equality on ALL fronts. I am and will always be a strong feminist. When I asked Robyn Ochs how she felt about marriage knowing that she has been a feminist since the late 70s/early 80s, that she brought feminist values to the groups she was involved with, and that some people feel marriage is the cornerstone of the patriarchy, she stated that fundamentalism is fundamentalism, whether it's from Christians or feminists. There isn't necessarily one correct way to do feminism. Besides, something like two women marrying is a radically queer thing to do and challenges heterosexist paradigms. Finally, she stated that she believed we needed to approach equality on all fronts. Based on this conversation and other recent ones I've had, I've changed my tune a little on marriage. I still have some trouble reconciling my support for non-monogamous friends and non-traditional families with supporting marriage. I'm not sure how to resolve that.

It also still bothers me that marriage equality is often reduced to a gay or gay and lesbian issue and bi and trans people still get gaywashed. And gay, lesbian, and allied people seriously need to recognize the importance of bi, trans, intersex and asexual rights, and examine their privilege (everyone needs to do this, but monosexual cisgender people often overlook it). In truth, marriage has always been an important issue to me, which is why I've gotten so irritated when I feel people are taking the wrong approach (like using the term "gay marriage" and ignoring issues of race, class, privilege, etc. when it comes to marriage and the message we send about it...).

Anyway.

I spent a good amount of my childhood in New Hampshire. My parents are divorced, my mom lives in NH, and my dad lives in OH. I'd say 2/3-3/4 of my time was spent in NH going to school, and I spent summers and some vacations in OH with my dad's family. My dad's family is from Dayton, OH (Appalachian KY and TN a few generations back) and my mom's family is from Lakes Region/Northern NH.

So MA and VT have approved marriage equality. They're generally more progressive than NH. A lot of New Hampshirites have a libertarian attitude. But MAINE?! Maine supported marriage equality? Maine is more of a supporter of individual liberties than NH?!? Since when is that the case? We can't let those Mainers be bigger supporters of minimal government involvement in people's lives and keep religion out of the law more than we do in NH!

And so I ask New Hampshire to do the right thing: call your legislators, write John Lynch, whatever it takes. I ask NH legislators to approve same-sex marriage and send a message to Maine that they are not better than us, srsly.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"I Am No Different Than You Are."



"I am no different than you are. My name is Justin, I am bisexual, and I am proud."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Latrine is Full of Poop

I am obviously a big fan of THE Ohio State University. It's a great place for a lot of reasons. That's why it makes me so sad to see the sorry excuse we have for a student newspaper, The Latrine The Lantern.

I often wonder if their editors have any sort of grasp on the English language: "Mixed race roommates causes issues"
(someone went back and edited the web version of the article, but this was what was printed and was available on the website for a time - thanks, Google Cache!)

They are not afraid to fabricate quotes and facts: USG Seeks Retraction for Inaccurate Lantern Story

And they are always willing to give space to the finest opinion articles around: "NASA errors put global warming 'facts' in doubt",
"Hate crime laws support discrimination"

This last one is the one that prompted this post.
Allow me to quote one comment:

Hiromitsu, you obviously took the time to look up "30 kinds of sexual orientations [sic]" according to the APA. It would have taken you about .5 seconds more to find the difference between a paraphilia and a sexual orientation. Even Wikipedia contains that information. What inquiring minds want to know is, was your article misleading by design, or are you just that lazy of a writer? Then again, this is an opinion article, so I guess Lantern writers/editors think that makes them "EXCEMPT FROM RIL LIFE FACTS, CUZ ITS OPINYON. LOL AMIRITE."

I'd address your completely flawed view of what hate crimes legislation does and does not include, but I already made a point about ignoring easily available factual information...

The Latest in Biphobia

This op-ed from gay.com asserts that bi men are really just gay. It's not only biphobic but it's also really offensive in a lot of other ways:

But I say that if you're a guy having sex with another guy, chances are there's a part of you that's in denial, and only time will tell when you finally come around to the realization that, yup, you're gay.

A lot of guys are all about animal instinct. We get it when we can. We need to drop our seed and move on to the next guy. OK, OK -- I just heard a collective scream from all of you who believe in the sanctity of a monogamous relationship. Of course emotions play a role in gay male relationships, and there's no question that men can commit to each other. But think about how many gay couples you know who play around, either together or separately. Why? Because gay men like to screw.

Wow, how original. Managing not only to push stereotypes about bi people and bi men but also about gay men and men in general. Good for this dude.

Which reminds me, I never commented on Michael Musto's recent column in the Village Voice, which asked the question, "Ever met a real bisexual?"
(LOLZ I BET U CANT GUESS THA NSWER!!1111! AMIRITE!!!111!!!11111TWELVETY!!1)
I only have one response to Musto's column, and it's the question, "Michael Musto still has a job writing for the Village Voice?" I mean, he started there in 1984. How much gossip is he really up on these days? And so the reason he has to put down members of the LGBTQIA community comes out. He has nothing better to write about. (Read: horizontal hostility.)
The webmaster from NYABN described Musto as "totally tired and decidedly un-fabulous" and I really have to agree. The fact that one knew Michael Alig can only get one so far. And one can only ride the gossip train for so long before people start to get really f***ing sick of them.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ohio Lesbian Festival Scheduled to Happen During Rosh Hashanah

Oops.

The Ohio Lesbian Festival happens this year from Sept 19-20. This year, Jewish Year 5770, Rosh Hashanah lasts from sunset on September 18 to nightfall on September 20.

But hey, it's not like Rosh Hashanah is printed in ANY calendars or agendas. And it's not like there are any lesbian / gay / bi / queer / allied Jewish women (womyn?). At least not any who are serious enough about their Judaism to observe the High Holidays / High Holy Days / Yamim Noraim / Days of Awe! </sarcasm> Someone suggested setting up some services at the event, but this is really a time when people might want to be with family and/or at their local shul.

I have never gotten to go to the Ohio Lesbian Festival because I have been out of state every year since I first learned about it. I was looking forward to going this year, and I even offered to pass out some fliers to my friends. Well, never mind.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Vicious"

A cop shot a dog today right in front of my friend's car as we were driving to the grocery. The dog was deemed "vicious" by someone along the line of reporting it being loose. It killed a cat - it didn't tear up the cat, it must have snapped its neck (easy enough to imagine if the dog and cat were fighting, have you ever seen a dog thrash a toy back and forth? And cats can attack dogs, truly viciously!). The cat death was reported to the police and the dog was loose. An officer pulled up to the scene. My friend and I had been behind the cop car and it was going slowly. We approached a stop sign, so the cop car gained some distance on us. Shortly after, we found that the officer had pulled over and jumped out of the car. The dog came towards the officer, who shot it. I did not see the shot fired - I was looking out the side window, but I turned and looked right after the shot and saw the gun smoking, still raised and pointed in the dog's direction. My friend saw the whole thing because he was driving and so obviously he was looking ahead. The dog yelped repeatedly as it ran away.

VERY shortly after, Animal Control arrived, along with several squad cars and a paddy wagon (?! it must have been in the neighborhood...?) There were at least 10 cops (isn't that a lot for a dog? I guess 'cause the policeman fired a shot?). A copalopter was also sent and flew back and forth overhead. The cops were wandering the neighborhood, some with guns drawn, some with what could have either been rifles or tranquilizer guns. After a bit they all stopped looking. The cops stood around in a circle and were laughing and smiling for a while. Right after one of them used a gun. to shoot a dog. in a heavily populated area.

The dog was someone's pet and was wearing a collar. The owner of the dog came out or was located and they interviewed him. The cops had been told it was a pit bull but it was actually a mutt. I am not sure how the dog got out in the first place, but by the time it was found it was so un-"vicious" that they were able to leash it, and after being interviewed, the owner was able to pick it up and carry it to his van, where he put it in and drove off to take it to the vet. There was a lot of blood on its back left paw, so I assume that's where it was shot. Neither Animal Control nor any police officers accompanied the owner to the vet's offce. Boy howdy, that was some dangerous dog, right? I took videos and pictures of as much as I could in case I wanted to post it to Copwatch or share it later somewhere else.

For a while I was really offended because I didn't know what was going on with the circumstances of the dog. It's more understandable now that I know that the dog was only shot in the paw (assuming the police officer was telling the truth that it "charged" at him aggressively instead of just running towards him LIKE MANY DOGS DO WHEN THEY SEE PEOPLE). My friend who saw the dog come out was not able to tell whether it was charging or trotting to say hello or what - I don't think he saw its face very clearly before it was shot, so he wasn't really able to tell whether it was baring its teeth, etc. For sure it did approach the officer somehow. Perhaps the laughing and smiling when the other police officers came was to lighten the situation if the officer felt sad or troubled. And we were told that the dog would not be put down.

However, I'm still disturbed, because this whole thing means one or more of the following things:
  • "Shoot the dog first and ask questions later" is a perfectly reasonable police response when someone reports a "vicious" animal, and upon sight of the dog the police would rather jump out of their car, solitary, and wound the dog with a pistol (potentially crippling or killing it) than find out more information about it or wait for Animal Control and/or tranquilizers to arrive.
  • I have a STRONG suspicion that the officer's reaction to the dog coming towards him was at least in part due to the dog's supposed breed. This displays a lack of understanding about the breed. Besides, upon seeing it even I was able to tell it was at most only part pit bull. Obviously he got a good look at it because he was able to shoot it only in the foot/leg.
  • The dog was "vicious" enough to be shot but not "vicious" enough for Animal Control to even take it in or quarantine it. That means that it's standard procedure not to test all dogs deemed "vicious" for rabies or to quarantine them. The Animal Control officer got out that pole with the loop around it to catch the dog but didn't use it. I know that quarantining the dog for observation is sometimes done when a dog attacks a human (instead of simply putting it down). The fact that the owner was able to drive the dog to the vet afterwards, with no intervention from Animal Control, is possibly the most frightening part about the whole thing. Were this dog to be "vicious" from infection and/or "vicious" because of its upbringing, either way, the owner, the vet, and the neighborhood could still be at risk.
  • It happened literally up the street from my house. Had we been seconds later, my friend could have hit the dog or the car/we could have been shot/the dog might not have come at the officer at all. Funny how on a street where several people were sitting on their porch or walking down the street, this dog specifically supposedly selected to "charge" at the COP... Some people who were on their porch said that it had gone by them earlier but chose not to approach them. But, you know, it was so hungry for human blood, I'm sure.
  • Before we knew all the facts, we were questioning why the dog was shot. A couple of the other witnesses said there was no problem with shooting the dog. They basically had this "cops are never wrong" attitude, which shows a complete lack of education. These people were able to say what they witnessed before us and they actually LIED to the investigating lieutenant and said that WE approached the officer and were giving him a bunch of shit. and the lieutenant believed them! I don't know if we ended up even convincing her that they were full of shit.
  • Should my dogs ever get loose, these are some of the same cops that might respond to a call since it's the same neighborhood... My dogs will often jump up on people to say hello (we're working on it) and sometimes show a bit of aggression (towards only other dogs) when leashed. They always end up rolling over or playing once they are able to sniff the other dogs. Would some ignorant/fearful person report my dogs for being "vicious?" And are the cops just going to believe whatever they say? One of the dogs gets along with cats very well, but one of them doesn't. What if that one got loose somehow and was attacked by a cat??
  • I realized that my trust in the police is MUCH less than I thought it was.
I know it sounds dramatic, but I'm kind of still traumatized / in shock.

When the owner was carrying the dog to the car and was placing it gently into the van, he said in a soft voice something along the lines of, "You did a stupid thing this time." It made me really sad for some reason.

I am going to go have a good long cuddle with my dogs.

Columbus Guerrilla Queer Bar

I can't believe I haven't posted this yet!! Columbus now has a Guerrilla Queer Bar group. If you're not familiar with Guerrilla Queer Bar, you can read more about it here.

To join us for our first GQB event (which will be coming up in the next couple weeks), join the Facebook group, the Google group (to get emails) and/or follow the Twitter account.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

National Day of Silence Events at Ohio State



Friday April 17, 2009 is National Day of Silence. To learn more about this day please check out www.dayofsilence.org.

Ohio State Schedule of Events

11:30am-1pm: Silent Lunch on the Oval hosted by HRC @ OSU. Pizza and drinks are provided. Info sheets will be passed out about NDOS and skits will be performed by Teaching Outreach Through Theatre.

2:30-4pm: Alix Olson workshop, 1/2 written, 1/2 spoken word surrounding this issues of the day. RPAC Meeting Room 1.

7:30pm: Alix Olson performance at the Blackbox Theater, at the Wexner Center. Tickets are free for OSU students (but limited, can be picked up at the Wexner Center front desk) and $10 for non-OSU students.


"Gay? Fine by me." t-shirts are available for free at the Multicultural Center. Pick one up and wear it for the Day of Silence.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon Rank

Amazon Rank

Read more about what it means here.

Queer Seder at Ohio State Hillel Monday April 12

Come join us for a LGBTQ-themed seder. It will include traditional symbols and rituals as well as newer ones to help us reflect on our history and what we can do to make ourselves more free.

An optional meal will be provided. The cost will be around $9. If you are unable to meet this cost but still wish to have a meal, please let me know.

This event is open to everyone regardless of belief. From the GLBT Haggadah: "Passover is a Jewish holiday, but it is not just for Jews. We welcome our non-Jewish friends to our celebration of liberation. Liberation from oppression is always a deep concern for Jews because of our history." To read more about the basics of a seder, click here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23884119/

For more info or to RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=66005182495 or e-mail lively dot 27 at osu dot edu.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Robyn Ochs at Ohio State Friday, April 10

Robyn Ochs will be at Ohio State Friday April, 10 doing a number of workshops and presentations. Recently awarded the 2009 Susan J. Hyde Activism Award by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Robyn is a bisexual educator and speaker with over twenty years of experience in LGBTQ activism.



This day will include the following events:
---10 AM: "Putting the B and T into Your LGBT Group" workshop @ Biological Sciences Building 141
---11:30 AM: Lunch and discussion with Robyn @ Viewpoint Bistro. Free; seating limited. RSVP to lively.27 at osu dot edu
---4 PM: "My Family Values: Lessons from a Generation of GLBT Rights Activism" presentation @ Scott Labs 0004 (refreshments provided)
---7:30 PM: "Choosing to Label: What's in a Name?" activity for fusionFriday @ Nationwide and Farm Bureau 4-H Center (refreshments provided). fusionFriday is a monthly social space for Central Ohio LGBTQ college students and their allies and lasts from 7-10 PM.

For more information: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172856130202

Robyn Ochs' visit is sponsored by comBIne, HRC@OSU, Multicultural Center, and the GLBT Programming Board.

11-Year-Old Hangs Himself after Enduring Daily Anti-Gay Bullying


http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2400.htm

An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, hung himself Monday after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. This is at least the fourth suicide of a middle-school aged child linked to bullying this year.

Carl, a junior at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield who did not identify as gay, would have turned 12 on April 17, the same day hundreds of thousands of students will participate in the 13th annual National Day of Silence by taking some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment at school. The other three known cases of suicide among middle-school students took place in Chatham, Evanston and Chicago, Ill., in the month of February.

..."As was the case with Carl, you do not have to identify as gay to be attacked with anti-LGBT language," Byard said. "From their earliest years on the school playground, students learn to use anti-LGBT language as the ultimate weapon to degrade their peers. In many cases, schools and teachers either ignore the behavior or don’t know how to intervene."

...Carl's suicide comes about a year after eighth-grader Lawrence King was shot and killed by a fellow student in a California classroom, allegedly because he was gay.

GLSEN recommends four simple approaches schools can take to begin addressing bullying now.

...Said Walker in the Springfield Republican: "If anything can come of this, it's that another child doesn't have to suffer like this and there can be some justice for some other child. I don't want any other parent to go through this."


I don't really have any words to respond to this. This kid was 11. He was the fourth kid to do this in this year alone. It was so preventable. He was in middle school. I just keep looking at that picture, and I don't have any words.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Parents Sue Ohio School to Implement Anti-Bullying Program after Son Takes His Own Life

When is the Ohio Legislature going to work to make sure ALL of Ohio's children are safe?!

Parents Sue Ohio School to Implement Anti-Bullying Program after Son Takes His Own Life

April 3, 2009 - The parents of an Ohio boy who took his own life two years ago after enduring constant anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bullying and harassment are suing Mentor High School in hopes the school will implement an effective and comprehensive anti-bullying program. According to the lawsuit filed last week in federal court, classmates targeted 17-year-old Eric Mohat with taunts such as "gay," "fag," "queer" and "homo," often in front of teachers, but the school did next to nothing to address the problem. Mohat's parents told ABC News that their son did not identify as gay...

Nearly two-thirds of LGBT students (60.8%) who experience harassment or assault never reported the incident to the school, according to the GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey of more than 6,000 LGBT students. The most common reason given was that they didn't believe anything would be done to address the situation. Of those who did report the incident, nearly a third (31.1%) said the school staff did nothing in response. Anti-LGBT taunts are also widely used against all students, not just LGBT-identified. Two of the top three reasons students said their peers are harassed in school are actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression, according to the 2005 GLSEN/Harris Interactive Report, From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America. The problem is even worse for LGBT students. Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT youth (86.2%) reported being verbally harassed at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, nearly half (44.1%) reported being physically harassed and about a quarter (22.1%) reported being physically assaulted, according to the 2007 National School Climate Survey. Additionally 60.8% of LGBT students said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and nearly a third (32.7%) said they had missed a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe...

Ohio does not specifically protect students from bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Only 11 states and the District of Columbia protect based on sexual orientation, and only seven and the District of Columbia protect based on gender identity/expression.

Does this make you as angry as it makes me? See GLSEN's Tools and Tips for what you can do to make your school a safer place for all. If you are an Ohio resident, register for Equality Ohio's Lobby Day.

In related news regarding legislative protection for LGBTQIA people, keep an eye out for news relating to the EHEA (Equal Housing and Employment Act) legislation - it's being re-introduced.

I attended the CAUSE conference at BGSU this weekend. One thing that someone said struck me: legislators are not leaders. They are followers. They follow their perception of what voters in their district are thinking. So let's let them know what we are thinking. The person from Equality Ohio at CAUSE who spoke about EHEA did not think that we had the support to get it passed this year (but that it might pass next year). I say we ought to do everything within our power to make this the year. If you're at OSU, consider joining the Equality Coalition. More on EHEA as the story develops.