SAN DIEGO AP — Some of the loudest cheers Saturday at San Diego’s gay pride parade were for active-duty troops marching in military dress, the first time that U.S. service members participated in such an event while in full uniform.Dozens of soldiers, sailors, and Marines marched alongside an old Army truck decorated with a “Freedom to Serve” banner and a rainbow flag. They were joined by dozens more military personnel in civilian clothes, but the uniforms stood out among the flower-bedecked floats and scantily clad revelers.Spectators waved signs reading, “Thank you for your service.” A woman held a placard that said: “My gay son is a Naval officer.””Today is so important,” said Navy Lt. Brian McKinney, who marched with his civilian partner, Hunter Hammonds. “It’s about putting on my uniform and taking pride in my service, my fellow service-members, my family and myself. It’s something I’m incredibly thankful for.”
The Queer Women of Color Film Festival is held every year in June in San Francisco and features films that address the vital social justice issues that concern women of color and our communities, authentically reflect our life stories, and build community through art and activism. Enjoy the creativity of emerging media artists who are Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Chicana/Latina, Native American and Mixed-Race lesbians, same-gender loving, bisexual, queer, questioning women, and genderqueer, gender non-conforming, transgender folks.
Now in its eighth year, the Festival started in June 2003 in one room at the San Francisco’s LGBT Community Center with a free screening that drew standing-room-only crowds. In 2005, the packed annual film screenings expanded into the 1st Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival. In 2007, we expanded into the 375-seat Brava Theater. This year the festival has expanded again, moving to the 757-seat Novellus Theater at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The Film Festival is still free thanks to generous grants, donors and partners; includes free refreshments provided by local restaurants and businesses; and features an exciting panel and/or performance each year.
This week, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill that will extend marriage equality to same-sex couples. Maryland will become the 8th state to offer this equality (plus Washing D.C.). The law will not go into effect until 2013.
Washington State previously passed a marriage equality law that will go into effect in June, 2012. That means that over 15% of United States will have marriage equality beginning in 2013. This has been a very good year for us.
Image from the Washington Post
This has been a roller coaster week for marriage equality. On Monday, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the marriage equality law that was passed in Washington state. Washington will become the seventh state to offer marriage equality starting in mid-June. Currently, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Iowa offer marriage equality, along with Washington D.C.
Also this week, lawmakers in New Jersey passed a marriage equality bill with a narrow margin. As expected, Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill. With the narrow passage, the legislation is not expected to have enough votes to override his veto. The only (marginally) good thing to come out of the New Jersey loss is that Gov. Chris Christie has proposed creating an “ombudsman to oversee compliance with the state’s civil union law, which same-sex couples have said is flawed and promotes discrimination”. “The ombudsman will be charged with increasing awareness of the law regarding civil unions, will provide a clear point of contact for those who have questions or concerns and will be required to report any evidence of the law being violated. In this way, we can ensure equal treatment under the law,” Christie said in a statement. Hopefully, this will help to ensure that Civil Unions truly offer all of the benefits of marriage until true marriage equality is passed.
The very first Club Drama was March 2010. Club Drama is a great event at the White Horse bar that is run by some friends of mine. I try to go every month because the music is great and the crowd is usually good. This was also a kick in the butt for me to start blogging more. I was excited that my friends were creating such a wonderful event and I wanted to help them make it a success.
Over the last year I have had a lot of fun with my blog, Queer Oakland and Queer Landia. By trying to help my friends, I ended up helping myself along the way. While my blog hasn’t made it to the big time yet, I have had a huge achievement. Most of my blogs have been forgotten after 6 months. This blog has been up and running for over a year with posts continuously appearing (sometimes only one or two posts a month, but still continuing).
In honor of the last, here is the anniversary post. I look forward to having many more years together.
The White Horse bar is one of my favorite place to hang out these days. This is a great place to go with friends and socialize. The bar has great music, a large dance floor and a big smoking area. The drinks are good and the staff is wonderful. They have two pool tables, a fire pit, pinball games and rotating DJs.
The thing that I love the most about the White Horse bar (aside from the staff of course) is that I can have a conversation with friends in one room and then walk into the back and dance when the right song comes on. With a lot of clubs, you only get one or the other: The bar where you can socialize and hear each other talk or the bar with the pounding music and a dance floor. The White Horse has both, which makes it a great place for most any group of friends.
“The White Horse Inn still stands at the corner of 66th Street and Telegraph in Oakland. Built in 1936, it’s the oldest continuously operating gay and lesbian bar in the Bay Area and possibly the second oldest in the United States (the Doubleheader in Seattle, opened in 1934, is likely the oldest). But like so much of pre-1960s gay life, most of what we know about the bar is based upon rumors, conjecture, and fuzzy memories. If there are any old photographs of the tavern or its patrons, they were tucked away years ago in a photo album, hidden from family or neighbors.”
For more information, check out their site here.
I started blogging many years ago. Most of my blogs would start off well, but then fizzle over a couple of months. I kept starting new blogs, though, because I knew that I had a voice and a vision to share. Last year, this all changed and I find myself trying to outdo myself in the new year.
Last year, Mike Martinez contacted me about contributing to Queer Oakland. He wanted me to take the reins and run the blog like a pack of wild dogs. While I never got the full pack going, I did manage to get some puppies out there. Over the year I had good weeks and bad weeks with Queer Oakland, but in the end I found myself being a better communicator. For this, I would like to thank Mike even as the doors were closed on Queer Oakland.
I also spent much of last year working on Back to Me and Queer Landia. In hindsight, I wish I would have focused more attention on these two as ultimately, they are the tools for my vision in the coming year. Queer Landia gives me a place to share my moderate views on politics, queerdom and many other topics. I look forward to seeing where this blog will go this year. Back to Me gave me a place to share my random thoughts and appreciation for sexy men and humor. This year this will expand as my blog grows. Continue reading
This sickens me. Pure and simple. Beyond the hate, the rhetoric, the politics and the degrading of gay men, the Boy Scouts have just stepped so far out of bounds. There is nothing that repulses me more than a group of people that turn a blind eye to the abuse of children, especially sexual abuse.
The Catholic church has become a joke over the last few years because of the scandals with the priests. Unfortunately they are still around. I hope the Boy Scouts aren’t so lucky. I stopped being a fan of the Boy Scouts when they became Christianized to the point of kicking out perfectly good Scout leaders who happened to be gay. Apparently, the powers that be in the Boy Scouts think that men should sleep with women or little boys. Gods forbid that a grown man sleep with another grown man.
Okay, ranting aside, read the following article from Yahoo News. It seems the Boy Scouts are hiding over 5000 people suspected of child abuse. If the “kicking the gays out” issue wasn’t enough to keep your money in your wallet, I hope this is enough. And to think I just gave the United Way $20 in the last few weeks.
via Queer Landia.
From Jim Reeves @ Queer Landia (re-posted with permission)
Researchers in Europe and the United States have found a method to prevent HIV from damaging a person’s immune system. The discovery may lead to an effective vaccine to prevent AIDS.
Researchers working in laboratories on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) found it is unable to damage the immune system if cholesterol is removed from the virus’s membrane.
“It’s like an army that has lost its weapons but still has flags, so another army can recognize it and attack it,” said Adriano Boasso of Imperial College London, who led the study.
The team now plans to investigate how to use this way of inactivating the virus and possibly develop it into a vaccine.