Thursday, November 27, 2008

Call your mother!

It's the holidays!



I saw this on my way to Clark's for Thanksgiving dinner. Is it art? Is it the evidence of rage? Or just play?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Inside "Milk"

milk

Ah, a slideshow of gay history.

The 7 PM showing of "Milk" is over!

Now it's my turn. Yay!

I no longer recognize marriage

A Marriage Manifesto

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Only floss the ones you want to keep



I went to the dentist today and got a clean bill of teeth. I think I need to change my dentist, though. It's too expensive. I did manage to snag a new toothbrush and some floss, though. That's sure to offset the cost of the cleaning.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tahoe!

tahoe

Ah, the fireplace. It was so nice to get out of the city for a while and lounge in front of the fireplace with a good book. Rand and I went to his parents' place in Tahoe with our friends Sean and Blake. We had a couple of good dinners, played some cards, watched some scary movies, and enjoyed the peace and quiet of Tahoe before the start of the ski season.

I'll be back when it snows so I can build a fort. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chronicle Books Friends & Family Sale: 35% off and free shipping now through Dec 5th!

This holiday season Chronicle Books offering 35% off and FREE shipping on every item purchased on our web site. With a huge selection of cookbooks, art and design titles, children's books, craft kits, stationery, gift packs, and more, you're sure to find something for everyone on your list! Don't delay; start shopping today!

The sale runs now through Friday Dec 5th. Use promo code FRIENDS at checkout.

http://www.chroniclebooks.com


Mark Doty wins a National Book Award

It's always great when one of your favorite living poets receives the recognition you believe he so richly deserves. This happened for me this week when Mark Doty won a National Book Award for his most recent collection Fire to Fire. Congrats Mark! I can still remember meeting him for the first time back in college. I guess I've been reading his work for nearly twenty years now. Um, I mean five, yes, five years now. :)

Here's what the National Book Foundation said about his work:

Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty's poems in Fire to Fire gently invite us to share their ferocious compassion. With their praise for the world and their fierce accusation, their defiance and applause, they combine grief and glory in a music of crazy excelsis. In this generous retrospective volume a gifted young poet has become a master.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jay Brannan at The Bottom of the Hill

Jay Brannan

I saw Jay tonight with Rand, Brian and not Clark. It was good. He
totally wanted me. It was so obvious--embarassing really. The audience
was decent except for one particular loud-mouthed woman and the people
near the bar who wouldn't shut up while Jay was singing. I hope he
doesn't tell Vancouver we were terrible. :(

Thanks for coming to SF, Jay. And eat something. You look too thin!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let's have a vote; Or, You may not be gay, but you may be next.

Which of these major steps forward in the arena of civil rights would you like to see up for a vote?

* Brown v. Board of Education (school desegregation, major blow against "separate but equal")
* Roe v. Wade (reproductive freedom)
* Shelley v. Kramer (racially restrictive "covenants" in real estate - This one's definitely on Glady's list)
* Bailey v. Patterson (segregation in intrastate and interstate transportation)
* Batson v. Kentucky (basically says you can't put, say, a Black person on trial and exclude Black people from the jury)
* Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (defined "hostile work environment" as sexual harassment under the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
* Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Serv. Inc. (same-sex harassment can be the basis for a sexual harassment claim)
* Romer v. Evans (overturned Colorado amendment prohibiting protection of LGBT rights)
* Lawrence v. Texas (decriminalized sodomy, overturned sodomy laws)
* Grisswold v. Connecticut (overturned law banning contraception, right to "marital privacy")
* And of course the major civil rights acts of:

o 1957 (established the Civil Rights Commission)
o 1960 (federal inspection of voter registration polls)
o 1964 (prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, and national origin)
o 1968 (Fair Housing Act)

Yes, we live in a representative democracy, but some times democracy needs a guiding principle (like the Constitution) and a guiding hand (like the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches) to protect it from the tyranny of the majority.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday Night Live Does It Again

Okay, SNL is having a great season. And this spoof of the making of Beyonce's video is priceless. I mean, Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg in unitards? You cannot put a price on that.

video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Celebrity Sighting at the Protest in SF

Do you watch "Color Splash" on HGTV? Well, I do--when Rand forces me to watch HGTV. I mean, it's not like I object or anything, but I'm more naturally inclined to watch reruns of "Seinfeld" or something. Getting back to my point, look who was protesting with us today in San Francisco: Mr. David Bromstad. Looking good, David!

David Bromstad from "Color Splash"

Day of Protest in San Francisco Against Prop 8

Friday, November 14, 2008

And with the brilliance of a thousand suns, he shone down upon us

Once or twice in our lives, we encounter people who change us. People who seem to breathe a rarefied air and glow with an aura of difference. These bodhisattva are no mere human beings. They are special, they are here to teach us, they are here to make us better.

With the advent of YouTube, our chances of meeting these people have increased greatly. And we are the luckier for it. I'm pleased to present to you one such person of extraordinary talent, skill, savoir faire, and humanity:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Overheard in the elevator tonight

(Scene: Me in an elevator with yuppie female powersuit who is talking on her cell phone)

YFP: Hey, I have the house keys. We're going to dinner. Get ready and come out with us.

Hooters.

What? You're too good for Hooters?

C'mon. Come out and have dinner with us. Well, not dinner. Drinks and wings.

I hate you. Don't ever call me again.

(End scene)

Check the Closets at Work

You never know what you're going to find. Such as this lovely ensemble, found in the closet on my floor.

In the closet

These people are WEIRD!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Protest March Against Prop 8 in San Francisco

This was catharsis, folks. I'm still angry, bitterly, deeply angry, but the peace and goodwill generated during this march on Friday was healing. Thank you to the thousands who marched.












And the gathering spot in Dolores Park:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My response to casual discrimination

My fellow blogger Matt at Debriefing the Boys had a shocking email sent to him recently by a so-called friend:

Hi Matt,

I also want to thank you for your impassioned e-mail. We should chat soon, but I have been wanting to send you a note to let you know that I voted Yes on Prop 8 to protect the sanctity of marriage. This is nothing against you my friend, but something that I thought and prayed long and hard about over the past week. I'll be interested to discuss further with you when you have the time.

Any new news on your end? Congrats on Obama's big win! Exciting times for the United States.

Looking forward to seeing you over the holidays.

Your Friend,

(____)


Matt is torn up over this, and I fully understand. His friend's email is outrageous and demands outrage as a response.

So, I wrote:

Matt,

I think his email was shockingly dismissive--much like the easy way in which over half of Californians voted to ELIMINATE rights from fellow citizens. Casual discrimination is, perhaps, more vile than the outright hatred we see from evangelicals and blatant bigots. He is complicit in this crime. And, yes, it is a crime: a crime against the fundamentals of our state constitution and a crime against the larger belief that all of us are equal.

Tell him his email was unacceptable. Tell him he has hurt you and thousands like you. Tell him he will be judged poorly by history. Then say goodbye.

We shall not suffer discrimination.


I hope he takes my advice.

I, Too, Sing America



I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

by Langston Hughes

Prop 8 Protesters and the Mormon Church

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gay Writers Respond to Proposition 8’s Win in California

From Publishers Weekly by Wendy Werris

California’s Proposition 8, the controversial anti-gay-marriage measure that was fought furiously on both sides for several months and included Tricycle Press’s children’s book King & King as a negative spin in supporters’ TV commercials, won a stunning victory on November 4 in the state’s election. Gay writers responded to the win with outrage, concern and heartbreak.

John Rechy, the Los Angeles-based PEN International Award-winning gay author expressed a sense of outrage and betrayal by the passing of Prop. 8. Noting what he called fear tactics used by its backers in their ads, Rechy said, “Of course it helped Prop. 8 to use a harmless children’s book (King & King) about gay marriage in its campaign of minority intolerance. My fear now is that all of gay literature will be more closely scrutinized, and that free speech will become even more endangered.” Rechy and his partner of more than 30 years were recently married.

Although the head of the California Teacher’s Association stated on many occasions during the campaign that marriage is not taught in schools, Prop. 8’s supporters seemed to state otherwise in their ads that used King as an example of what information children would be privy to if gay marriage was not banned in California. Charles Flowers, executive director of the LAMBDA Literary Foundation that supports the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender book communities, noted the complexities that lie ahead because of this misinformation. “The use of a children’s book definitely worked in Prop. 8’s favor,” he said. “Now that it’s passed, these people have instilled a lot of fear in the minds of parents about text adoptions and gay-themed books in schools. This will put gay teachers under much more scrutiny as well.” Flowers is also concerned about the legal limbo the passing of Proposition 8 has put California’s 22,000 married gay couples in.

Novelist Christopher Rice, president of the board of the LAMBDA Literary Foundation, is well aware of the power of the written word. “The image of a kid holding a book (about gay marriage) is profound. Unfortunately, the backers of Prop. 8 used King as an example of how a young mind can be corrupted, rather than how it can be opened.” Rice also blames the measure’s backers for using the book in a dishonest way, saying it’s opened a “psychic wound” in gay writers everywhere who are on the frontlines of unfiltered and candid information about the way they live their lives.

Only children who are signed up for Comprehensive Sex Education in California schools are taught about gay relationships and sex. “This decision is entirely up to the parents,” Rice continued. “The backers of Prop. 8 distorted the truth about this.”

Another gay California writer, novelist Dorothy Allison, married her longtime partner on November 1. “My heart is breaking,” she said. “The way the pro-8 spokespeople concentrated on how gay marriage could be a threat to kids... that was the big thing. They propagandized the loving theme of King by turning it into a fearful message to parents.”

Shame

Kate Kendall speaking at the rally in San Francisco last night about November 5th and the passage of Proposition 8:

"It is a shameful day and it is a day the state will live to regret."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am the Battleground

Abandoned by both parties and shunned by my nation, I am the new political battleground in this country. My gay brothers and sisters are an army of lovers, and we will not surrender, will not lay down, will not crawl back into the closet, and we will not, cannot, must not fail.

Todd

Photo by StudioVoxPop

Rally Against Prop 8 in San Francisco

Civic Center Prop 8 Rally

Come on down! Civic Center steps.

Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8

(San Francisco, CA, November 5, 2008)—The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a writ petition before the California Supreme Court today urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8 if it passes. The petition charges that Proposition 8 is invalid because the initiative process was improperly used in an attempt to undo the constitution’s core commitment to equality for everyone by eliminating a fundamental right from just one group lesbian and gay Californians. Proposition 8 also improperly attempts to prevent the courts from exercising their essential constitutional role of protecting the equal protection rights of minorities. According to the California Constitution, such radical changes to the organizing principles of state government cannot be made by simple majority vote through the initiative process, but instead must, at a minimum, go through the state legislature first.

The California Constitution itself sets out two ways to alter the document that sets the most basic rules about how state government works. Through the initiative process, voters can make relatively small changes to the constitution. But any measure that would change the underlying principles of the constitution must first be approved by the legislature before being submitted to the voters. That didn’t happen with Proposition 8, and that’s why it’s invalid.

“If the voters approved an initiative that took the right to free speech away from women, but not from men, everyone would agree that such a measure conflicts with the basic ideals of equality enshrined in our constitution. Proposition 8 suffers from the same flaw it removes a protected constitutional right here, the right to marry not from all Californians, but just from one group of us,” said Jenny Pizer, a staff attorney with Lambda Legal. “That’s too big a change in the principles of our constitution to be made just by a bare majority of voters.”

“A major purpose of the constitution is to protect minorities from majorities. Because changing that principle is a fundamental change to the organizing principles of the constitution itself, only the legislature can initiate such revisions to the constitution,” added Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

Election Results in California

Chickens: 1
Gays: 0

#44

44

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Too little, Too late?

Obama Wins!

Am I jumping the gun? Sure. But McCain needed to win Pennsylvania and that's not going to happen. So congrats to President-elect Obama.

As for Prop 8, the jury is still out.

Wolf Blitzer just beamed a someone into the Situation Room

WTF. Is this Star Trek or what?

Not Ideas About Equality But Equality Itself

The moral soul of California is on trial today. Each voter is a juror casting his lot for the future of our state. You see, this November 4th finds us in the unfortunate position of waiting to see if our neighbors will decide to write discrimination into our constitution and simultaneously declare us--California's gay and lesbian citizens-- to be less equal, less worthy, less safe, just less.

This potential stain on our constitution, Proposition 8, seeks to remove the right of same-sex couples to marry. Marriage is not a right for which we're fighting; it's a right we have in California, right now, this very day, at this hour. Of course, now we know, this could change in a matter of hours. And I say to you, where does it end?

Equality, I propose, cannot be negotiable. I do not seek tolerance. I do not require acceptance. I do, however, demand equality. It is my birthright, our promise to all Americans. No more do I want to hear discussions on the Gay Rights Movement. That time has passed. We're here, we're queer, and all that jazz. I believe that rights are inviolable, and the trajectory of our nation's history is clear: we extend rights further; we do not rescind them.

But.

Today is different. I am worried. And I am angry. And tired. Tired of people telling me the gays are moving too far, too fast. Tired of hearing that civil unions are a big step. Tired of religious demagogues stoking the fires of intolerance with the bodies and souls of my gay brothers and sisters. Finally, I am tired of America talking about the idea of equality and not simply exercising that equality.

So, I say "Enough!" If you believe equal treatment under the law is a fundamental right, then you must vote no on Proposition 8. If you do not believe this, then you should prepare yourself. This slippery ethical and philosophical slope on which you have based your moral foundation is giving way. And one day, you too will find yourself sliding down the ravine, looking up and reaching out to your neighbors for help. And they will stand idly by, following your example.

Martin_Niemoeller

Please vote no on Prop 8 today.

With respect to Wallace Stevens.