Monday, April 30, 2018

Charity in NYC focuses on LGBTQ youth homelessness

Huffington Post has an “Impact” “Sponsored Feature” story by RYOT Studio, “This Activist is changing the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth”. 

The report concerns a group in New York City called New Alternatives, founded by Kate Barnhart.

The article says that almost 40% of the homeless youth population in New York City is LGBTQ.
TIAA makes grants to individual “difference makers” as it explains here

Sunday, April 29, 2018

NYTimes editorial slams Trump's continual attempts to impose partial transgender military ban

The New York Times offered an editorial today about Trump’s partial transgender military ban, here. 
Recently, the service chiefs have all offered statements that the inclusion of properly managed transgender troops does not impair unit cohesion. 
Yet DOD had released a politically motivated report supporting the ban in March, which six military surgeons individually rebutted.
The Palm Center at UCSB (which I visited personally in February 2002) issued an email today. 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Miss Gay Arlington Pageant 2018

Freddie’s Beach Bar hosted the 2018 Miss Gay Arlington Pageant this evening in Arlington.

The place was packed, but fortunately people were willing to share tables for dinner.

The panel of judges sat right in front of the bar.

Q Virginia has published its Spring 2018 issue   There were two op-eds that caught my eye, “Give love in real life a chance”, by Yasir Afzal (p. 14) and Justin Ayars own perspective “Masterpiece Cakeshop: the Supreme Court’s Multi-Layered Cake Case Is not About Cakes”. 
The video shown dates to 2014 for a similar event.

Last Saturday, in NYC, another bout of Therapy on 52nd St. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

California conversion therapy ban, AB2943, allegedly could ban certain books, like in a Ray Bradbury novel

There is quite a stir in California about a bill AB 2943 intended, at first glance, to outlaw reparative therapy as a medical practice and also intended to outlaw therapy intended to reverse gender dysphoria (fluidity or transgenderism). 
A problem is that some conservative writers, such as David French in National Review, have pointed out that the bill appears to ban thesale of “books” that would promote conversion or reparative therapy or conversion, since “books” are normally included as “goods” in common legal language.  That is, books on conversion (or promoting conversion) would be banned, Fahrenheit-451 style. I would presume it could affect web content and run into Section 230 questions.  
The NR review goes on to talk about Christian identity in comparative terms to gender identity, although the article (to the writer’s credit) admits that the views of the old fashioned “moral majority” of the 80s are increasingly unpopular and questionable scientifically. To ban selling these views?  The NR makes this sounds like Germany’s banning selling Nazi materials.  (I would also question how he defines Christian identity, across so many sub-denominations, but that is another discussion.) 
Still, it’s rather frightening to me how in these times, something that maybe four years ago would have sounded like an objective discussion of “personal responsibility” for those who are otherwise somehow disadvantaged now might be construed “hate speech”, at least by those most hardlined on the Left or in collective values.  By own DADTIII book (Feb. 2014) might fall into that view now (the book pays little heed to minorities or groups as such and the talk of population demographics and filial responsibility probably sounds like an idea of the alt-right now, even though it didn’t five years ago). 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Williams Institute on global LGBT acceptance by country; April 19 is Give Out Day

The Williams Institute at UCLA has published a report on global LGBT acceptance in 141 countries, link with interactive here on a PDF  The US is marked blue gray, not quite as favorable as Canada, Australia or most of western Europe (dark blue), although Finland is slightly less favorable.

Here is the link for National Give Out Day, April 19.  Personally, I do my giving in a structured manner, automated through a bank, (with a trust), monthly, and usually don’t respond to special appeals unless I have some more direct connection with the group or person already.  As I have explained elsewhere, a few groups are “beneficiaries” of a trust and get a regular benefit. There’s a problem in that this may miss matching grants.  I don’t normally run fund raisers for groups under my own name on my own sites or social media pages. 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Major hate crime reported near weekend Cherry celebration in Washington DC clubs

WJLA in Washington DC reports on a severe beating of two gay men at 10th St and U St NW, on the north side of U St, around 12:30 AM Sunday morning April 15, 2018.  Steven Tschida reports.
The WJLA link is here.

WJLA reports that the attack occurred close to U Street, not on a back alley, and there would have been plenty of witnesses.  The Metro station is across U-Street.  That makes this attack particularly shocking.

This weekend, there were multiple gay parties for “Cherry”, including a huge event at Town DC, which I attended.

I left in a taxi about 1:20 AM on 8th St and did not notice anything unusual.

Back in September 2004 I witnesses a street robbery with weapons in progress about three blocks from the Velvet Nation (which Town replaced) on the way to that club location, and had management call police as soon as I arrived at that club. 
In March 2013 I was robbed by a pickpocket on the way down an escalator on the Mt. Vernon Ave side of the U St Green Line station on the way home, when subways were open later than now.

Update: April 20, 2018

NBCWashington has a story and video on a vigil at Dupont Circle in the evening of April 19 here. WJLA has carried the story of the gathering but did not put it yet on its website.  No suspects have been apprehended yet (as of noon Friday). DC police say that hate crimes in the city have increased since the end of 2015, apparently as the political climate became more divisive with Trump's candidacy and social media bots.  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Does gay marriage legalization (in 2015) reduce the solidarity in the gay community on LGBTQ-specific issues?

Samantha Allen asks in Daily Beast if the achievement of gay marriage legalization in 2015 means the end of the “gay community” as we know it .
Activism has tended to focus on very narrow problems (religious freedom bills and trans bathroom bills and sometimes legal right to self-declare) although the trans partial military ban has more potential significance than we generally realize.
And many gay people, especially more the cis population, has focused activism in more mainstream problems, like First and Second amendment issues (either side), cybersecurity or even broader national security (North Korea, Syria, Iran, the assimilation of religious minorities).    

Note that Bermuda has backslid on gay marriage, withdrawing it. (Remember, at one time you couldn't use credit cards in Bermuda.) 

I did attend the "Dine Out" night o April 12 for Food and Friends, at Freddie's Beach Bar in Arlington VA. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pompeo seems to waffle in personal attitude toward gay people; parents protest pro-gay sex-ed in rural states

Mike Pompeo appeared to waffle today in the Senate confirmation hearings for his appointment to Secretary of State when Cory Booker (D NJ) was asked if he (Pompeo) believes that gay sex is perversion.
Pompeo said that he does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and did not in the CIA, but withheld comment on her personal beliefs. LGBTQ Nation writes here
Bradford Richardson writes in the Washington Times about local parents’ protests in a variety of states, such as North Carolina, over mandatory sex-education in the schools, including gay issues.    The article has a chart showing sex-ed requirements aggregated by states. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Gay married couple in LA caught in DACA Catch 22

Catherine Rampell has a story on the Washington Post on p A21 today, April 10, 2018, “A ‘dreamer’ trapped from his husband and home.
The gay marriage aspect may not be that pertinent.  But in LA, a :dreamer” got DACA protection in 2013.  His legal resident husband tried to sponsor his green card, but that contained a Catch 22. He had to go back to Mexico but wasn’t allowed to return (from Juarez, across the border from El Paso)  for 10 years according to newer application of the law.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

The Scorpio in Charlotte NC, its golden anniversary

The Scorpio in Charlotte NC (in a ravine off Freedom Drive, Route 27, just west of I-77, on the south side of the street, about 1 mile east of I-85) is now in its 50th year.  Just think, 1968 was the year I was drafted and underwent Basic Training, and a horrific year in some ways.
But 1969 would lead to Stonewall.
The Scorio offers a drag show with many speakers and singers on the dance floor at once, and a lot of audience participation, with decorations and lights.
On a Saturday night, at least in colder weather, a minority crowd seems to appear at first, and then the crowd becomes more “diverse” (including more of the familiar cis-male white men from the gay community of older times) as the evening progresses. 
When you enter, the club gives you a temporary membership card ($5) and reads your driver’s license with a scanner;  this seems to be a new security precaution that may become more common at clubs. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Slow progress on "gay rights" in Africa?

A couple of recent Wordpress articles continue to show how anti-gay much of the developing world, primarily because homosexuality seems to contradict tribalism and procreation.
One article refers to 400 million LGBT people in peril worldwide. 

Another gives a video that encourages Nigerian parents to embrace all their children, including those perceived as gay.   
And Kenya awaits a high court ruling on gay sexual relations, HuffPost story. 
A Guardian article by David Smith in 2014 explains that much of sub-Saharan Africa became anti-gay because of the influence of colonialism in the 19th Century.  Previously, same-sex relations had become common, even part of ritual, in some African societies, but missionaries regarded these as un-Biblical.  That continued with evangelism in recent decades, in combination with Muslim ideologies to the North. Now, many rural Africans have been convinced by propaganda that homosexuality is "anti-African."  

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Washington Blade runs hard-hitting story on FOSTA (the erosion of CDA230 over the Backpage sex-trafficking scandal)

The Washington Blade has authored a detailed story by Lou Chibbaro Jr., on FOSTA, noting in the headline Craigslist’s decision to drop all personal ads.  

Although the article emphasizes that the main concerns are with user-generated ads accepted on sites that specialize in ads, the article gives a detailed explanation of the downstream liability problem, along with narrative detail of the problems at Backpage that led to the law’s relatively quick and overwhelming passage.  The tone of the article is in places almost what you would see in a conservative publication.

On March 21, I had sent the Blade a Twitter message with a link to my March 5 Wordpress article on the passage of FOSTA in the House.  The bill passed the Senate that same day. 

The Guardian is reporting that “sexual freedom is at risk” from these bills – sacrificing from the many to protect the vulnerable from the sins of relatively few.  
Queerly questions whether dating apps will go next? 
And the subreddit “Gaybros” weighs in here