Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Hats off to :
Diamond Rose , Miss DSRA, Mr. Rick Loftis, Mr. DSRA and Mary Kay Arden, 1st Alternate, "Queen of Comdey" Marvella, Diedra Windsor Walker, Miss Capitol City, J. Anderson , Cassaundra Manchester, Miss Gay NLR 2002. These performers continued with the show, showing a true heart for the cause. Cherity aka Brian has been a leader in the AIDS fight for years. He has given generously of his time and talents to our community. He deserves a standing ovation for his continued efforts.
Call the AAF and find out when there next board meeting is and attend, voice you concerns. Call or email the performers who failed too show and voice your opinion. But better yet, make a mental note and when people and organizations ask for your support, ask them whey? Where were they when you needed them.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
On Sept. 27, with no consultation with the community, members of Congress announced that they had decided to rush a new version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that does not include gender identity to a vote in the House of Representatives. The inclusive bill is HR 2015, and the non trans-inclusive version is HR 3685.
This would not only deny protections to transgender people, but also fail to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual people who do not conform to other people’s expectations (such as “effeminate” men and “masculine” women).
After an unprecedented outpouring of anger and frustration from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community — including a statement signed by more than 350 leading organizations who oppose this strategy — House leadership announced on Oct. 1 it was postponing action for a short period of time. However, on Thursday, Oct. 18, the House Education and Labor Committee nonetheless approved the sexual orientation-only bill.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) has proposed an amendment to this bill that will add the gender identity provisions back into it. While our preferred strategy would be to only advance the fully inclusive ENDA in the first place, we recognize Rep. Baldwin’s effort as our last best chance to get these protections back into ENDA. Her amendment will be considered on the House floor the week of Oct. 22.
That gives us a short window of time for all of us to get Congress moving again on an inclusive ENDA, not leave any part of our community behind and stop the non-inclusive bill. It is critical that your representative hear from you, saying that you expect him or her to: support the Baldwin amendment that would repair ENDA so that it protects all LGBT people..
Please e-mail your U.S. representative now.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Why do LGBT youth become homeless? In one study, 26 percent of gay teens who came out to their parents/guardians were told they must leave home; LGBT youth also leave home due to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Homeless LGBT youth are more likely to: use drugs, participate in sex work, and attempt suicide. Also, LGBT youth report they are threatened, belittled and abused at shelters by staff as well as other residents. Locally CAR, The Center for Artistic Revolution offers a youth support group to help. Contact them at 501.244.9690 or e-mail: ArtChangesU2@sbc.global Tell em we sent ya!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
If you wish your coworkers would pull a Katharine Heigl and speak out proudly for LGBT rights, help is on the way. This month Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays are helping straight allies out of the closet with a massive multimillion dollar awareness campaign called "Straight for Equality."
Inspired by an influx of inquiries from straights with the desire to support the gay community but no idea how to go about it, PFLAG created Straight for Equality to provide them with direction.
“I’ve heard so many straight people say they aren’t sure how to find a role in a movement that isn’t their own,” says Jean-Marie Navetta, national director of communications at PFLAG. “Straight for Equality will give them the tools they need to get more involved in supporting the LGBT community, not necessarily through marching in parades but through simple decisions they make in everyday life.”
Although official workplace training isn’t due to begin until January, the initial phase of the campaign, Straight for Equality…in the Workplace, has initiated pilot proceedings with PepsiCo, MetLife, IBM, and Food Lion, among other notable corporations. Initially, PFLAG reps work with top-level management to develop an approach for their company, then implement this approach through a series of two-hour Lunch & Learn workshops, training sessions, presentations, and discussions as part of the human resources agenda.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Paper Vs. Laptop
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Black Gay Men and our Political, Social, and Spiritual Responsibilities
By. Intelekt Kane
Responsibility is such a huge word. It has such a vast encompassing scope. There are words that I think our community needs to embrace a lot more. Integrity, diplomacy, and responsibility are just three of many. The mirror of our community can reflect a great many things. Take for example the history that we have inherited from Marlon Riggs, Bayard Rustin, and Wallace Thurman to the “new” history makers like John Amaechi, Keith Boykin, and Patrik Ian Polk. Yet, with all of this as a backdrop we have not created a Rites of Passage for the younger generation, created safer and respectful housing programs and retirement homes for our black senior gay and lesbian people of color, acknowledge, outreach, and support black lesbian and gay individuals with physical disabilities, created a unique political power-base, gotten rid of internalized homophobia, support the creation of new shelters for thrown-away gay and lesbian youth, and support “gay” and gay affirming churches and spiritual institutions. Some of these things are being tackled by a few of us, but the rest of us have becoming apathetic.
The lack of Rites of Passage is something that we need for our future gay and lesbian leaders. Molding younger people into strong articulate and dynamic gay and lesbian people is in the best interest of the greater black community as a whole, not to mention the best way to affect change in the paradigm of Black American life in regards to black people of same sex desires. Youth are the makers of the world we have yet to experience, but as the youth bring energy and innovation it means nothing to the overall progress of our community if they do not have guidance, support, and wisdom of many of the men who have come before them. The attitude of many older men in our community, and especially the so-called “leaders” is to let young people fend for themselves. This is so apparent when you look at the amount of gay youth who are prostituting or given themselves into damaging relationships just to have a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. Many of us see these kids everyday and we turn and walk away as we scurry into the closest gay bar. This attitude is why we do not have a foundation to stand on when it comes to making a change for a better tomorrow.
We are all connected in some way or another. It is not only by our shared sexual orientation, but also by the disparaging and suffocating system that we live in, and progress is easily stunted when generational gaps are allowed to erode the track to the goal we have been working towards. I know for a fact that I asked for mentorship from certain leaders for years and never found anyone to support me; that did not have a sexual or social ulterior motive. This has to stop! Many others point fingers at young people and say reproachful things about them, while forgetting that they were once a youth as well. Yet, justify how they were better or different all the while never recognizing that each generation before has always said the same thing about the generation after and at the end of the day we are still in the same place.
We have many members that are also apart of our community, but are consistently left out of the conversation. This includes our seniors and members of the community with disabilities. These people are just as important to the enrichment and diversity of our community as a young gay black male with the “perfect” body. Seniors are facing discrimination in retirement facilities everyday, because of homophobia and the “non-support” of the general gay population. We have to understand that prejudice dose not stop when a person reaches a certain age. We have to learn to take care of those that are sometimes considered unimportant in the community. This also includes our brother and sisters that are deaf or paraplegic, or who have any other physical disability. This is still our community and we have to embrace them all. This is not about pity but about a broader picture of what our community really is. Creating safe spaces and facilities for these communities should be apart of our discussion on creating a better environment.
We are in desperate need for a policy-based group that is willing to go to battle with the majority. This cannot happen as long as egotistical, “stingy”, and delusional individuals are leading the fight, while the rest of everyone else sits back complains and critiques. Getting things changed is about blood, sweat, and tears. It is about sacrifice of time, money, and energy. It is about understanding the need to do as Gandhi said. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We should be supporting political groups and creating our own agendas. We do not need to follow the general “Euro” gay communities agenda and line items of achievements. My friend, Christopher Stewart Esq., of Atlanta fills so passionate about the need to create a positive image and to reject fear; however, to achieve this we need to still deal with stigma and internalize homophobia that permeates so strongly in the community. We have internalized prejudices that are eating us up, and to make change externally, we must make change internally. We need to acknowledge that we must turn the corner on the status quo. “No fat, no fem” is hypocritical and blasphemous. Having a preference is one thing, but creating levels of “gay” acceptable looks and attributes, as a cultural norm is as ugly as it gets. If you were on a cliff in a car and that car was about to go over, and a “fat” and or “fem” man was the one that could rescue you, you would not care, but in creating bonds, friendships, and allies we have allowed this dogma to bleed into the gay public discourse and it is poisonous.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with articulating the needs of our community, but we must also make sure that we articulate truth and not just opinions or myths that continue to lead us into cycles of denial and indifference. I believe whole-heartedly in concentrated education around our history and evidence that can lead us into making the best decisions for the general community. This should help us set an agenda for our community and not the “euro” establishment or the black militancy that also caters to its own agenda and not that of the general community. We have to figure in order what are the needs, and not only complain about the issues, but also set in place ways of truly tackling and solving some of these issues. This is how we then know what to ask for as a community from the government that we pay and elect into office. This can only be achieved however if the black gay and lesbian community wake up, read, watch, and learn what it is going on not only in America, but around the world.
I also believe that we need to create more places of spiritual renewal and growth for our community and also raise up new energetic spiritual leaders to help support the churches that are in need. We also need to create institutions of spiritual health and healing that may not necessarily be connected to an established religion. Spiritual nourishment is something that each human needs, and healing is most definitely something that we in this community desire and need to make available. Hope is the key to breaking barriers, faith is the essence of knowing it will happen, and love is the ingredient that will keep us going. If we do not have a place and people to help refill us for this journey and the battles that lay ahead then we will not succeed. We should not have to be forced to attend churches or institutions that continually deny our existence as a blessed part of a holy plan. We do not need to continue to hate ourselves, because others know nothing but hate for us. We do not have to cry and think that our life is not worth living because of a doctrine that has been warped and misinterpreted to create conflict and separation with a greater goal of wealth and power. We have to create spaces where the truths of the faiths we believe in are taught in the love in which those doctrines were conceived. This is how we grow. We must also not be afraid to stand up and challenge hypocritical and hateful “spiritual” leaders who teach out of bitterness and disdain for something that do not know. This is how we as a people will get to the promise land. Turning and running away from a spiritual life will not help us, but embracing our spiritual needs and beliefs and working diligently in spirit and truth will.
These are just a few things that can lead us in the right direction when it comes to responsibilities. A good friend of mines, Bishop Zachary Jones said something to me that lets me know I am right in target when he said that the soul always knows where it belongs. I know this is my community and I most definitely know that it is where I belong.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Did you know that in 31 states, it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay? Or that in 39 states it's legal to fire someone for being transgender? I think that's wrong. If you do too, take action at: http://www.passendanow.org/ This issue needs your attention and support. Take a few moments to check this website or a host of many others with important info such as http://www.nclrights.org/ or http://www.nosubsitutes.org/ What you waitin for?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Circling The Waggons continues: Just when I thought this matter couldn't reach new heights or lows, obviously I was decidedly wrong. Let's try to recap where we are in this ongoing saga, involving the internal goings on of the coalition organization that will be dealing with the proposed Adoption measure. The said group comprised of ACLU's Rita Skilar, Stonewall Demorcrat's, Jay Barth, Legislator Kathy Webb, board members from CAR and others whom met earlier this year to hammer out an offensive plan. However, varying differences, opinions and some ego's were broadsided among the particpants. Resulting in a flurry of E-mails and pointed conversations rife with sorted inuendos and accusations. Consequently, some interactions even became tinted with racial overtones. Oh My! Can't we all just get along! As it stands now, close sources state that two members of the panel have been asked out. Yes, your heard me, that means dismissed, Ta-Ta, adios, adieu and see ya! Allegedly, their viewpoints on internal operations and overall methodology were unconducive to those in lockstep with other waggoneers, whom felt that they know what works best. No community dissenters allowed. Stay tuned, I'm sure that there's more to come from this one....
I'm Coming Out: Come out, Come out from where ever you are is what I'm saying! The NationalComing Out Day Celebration hosted by Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock [1818 Reservoir Rd, Little Rock], Oct. 11-12. Thursday, Oct 11: Service and Celebration of National Coming Out Day for the LGBT community and their straight allies, 7PM, UUCLR. Friday, Oct 12: Potluck and Movie Night, 6PM, showing the movie "Family Fundamentals, " a compelling look at fundamentalist parents who have given birth to gay children. Movie starts at 7; discussion will follow. This event is sponsored by Interweave, the LGBT ministry of UUCLR. All Arkansas LGBT organizations and allies are invited.To participate in the celebration please contact the Interweave Co-Chairs at Barbara Freeman http://us.f578.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=sparksalso%40gmail.com or Rebecca Milam http://us.f578.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=rebeccamilam%40gmail.com.
Easy Street Theft: Theives in the temple was the order of the day at wine bar Easy Street. If you want to know details, we've got it at our Myspace page. It's apart of the Hit or Miss entry at www.myspace.com/corneliusonpoint Wanna be a friend? then just say so,...!!
Speaking to Power: In the above post I've asked you to reach out and touch a lawmaker. In case you didnt' know, some of them don't beleive that we actually exist and they are not from Iran. Point in case, Rep. John Boozeman (R) whom allegedly seems to think that the GLBT community in NWA is irrelevant in his policy votes. If you live in the area, get out your best weapon of mass destruction, it's call a pen. Send his office a notice that your interest are not be dismissed or wrote off. These people need to hear from us, I know this for a fact from a past trip to D.C. where I had access to their aides who were intrigued that someone from the home state
had any interest in what's happening on the Hill. Take the time and speak to the power! For JB here's his info:Representative John Boozman (R-AR 3rd)
His Main District Office:213 W. Monroe, Ste. K
Lowell, AR 72745Phone: (479) 725-0400Fax: (479) 725-0408
If you don't think that they respond, they do. I weighed in on the immigration maddness to my Senators and got letters from both. Below is an excerpt from Sen. Lincoln:
September 27, 2007
Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform and border security.
Our immigration system is broken and our first priority must be to secure our borders. This is a homeland security issue first and foremost and I believe we should act now to address this problem. Unfortunately, steady increases in the number of border patrol agents over the last several years has thus far not produced adequate results in securing our nation’s borders. While traffic from areas where we have placed more enforcement has decreased, illegal border crossings remain a serious and on-going problem.
To help address this issue, Congress passed and the President signed the Secure Fence Act last fall with my support which directed the Department of Homeland Security to construct 850 miles of additional border fencing. The legislation will increase the mileage of existing fencing and improve vehicle barriers installed along the southwest border of the United States. Furthermore, this legislation will provide enhanced border surveillance through more effective use of personnel and technology, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage, and cameras. I believe this bill represents an important step in the right direction but more work needs to be done.......
In case you didn't know, we are the only daily updated online GLBTQ site in Arkansas featuring news, commentary, links, video, podcasting and so much more. Are your ready for more...it's coming.
Friday, October 05, 2007
October is off and running as we count down the final day of 2007 and prepare ourselves for 2008. Through it all, I've chronicled in this forum many of my intimate triumphs, as well as, covered a lot of ground on so many issues ranging from the sublime to touchstone dilemmas. There's nothing off the table as we search out what's really going on in our 360 global world. Therefore, I implore you to stay with us as we stay the course in bringing you the breaking news, updates and what's really going on from the four corners of Arkansas and beyond. So Get Ready, Get Set, Dive in....
BOO Bash moves: Previously we had posted about the upcoming multi-tasking fundraiser BOO Bash, to be held at Sidetracks later this month. Word comes to us that this event has been postponed and moved to a unannounced date in November, according to JD, event coordinator. "I felt that the event had not received the fullest attention it deserved to achieve the max affect." He said. "I met with supporters and we decided that in order to make this really work, we need more time to advertise, gather donations and more planning." As soon as thing firm up, I will bring you the latest.
Lavender Hill Politics: Playing politics with the big boys is rough and tumble at it's best. In the last few weeks a variety of GLBT measures have been put through the Capitol Hill ringer with some folks calling foul, others playing hardball and those who want a time out. Enter, ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has been adjusted to make the bill more plausible for certain lawmakers. Meanwhile, the issue of Transgender protections were left on the cutting room floor with the philosophical attitude that this would give the entire matter a better chance of being passed. In a E-Alert sent out by Stonewall Democrats' board member, Steve Van Hook, he said " we only have a two week delay in the committee considering the revised ENDA.. and less than two weeks to build nationwide support." To assist in this networking the organization has created, www.Nosubstitues.org as means to rallying citizen responses and petitioning. Supposedly they have placed "paid ads" on GLBT blogs and websites, however, it seems that we didn't make the cut. Somehow, they must not know that we are Arkansas' online "go-to" destination. They better ask somebody...
The 08 Presidential Cash Dash continues...
It's still raining money in the third quarter of fundraising for the 08 political throwdown, with camp Clinton topping out at a whopping 27 million dollars and counting. Not to be outdone or our financed is that other big "O," Barack Obama with a "I'm not mad at ya," 17 million smackerooesto the credit of his grassroot network. After all the heavy lifting, John Edwards does a double-take and decides to take public campaign financing but still rakes in a serious 7 million along with Bill Richardson's 5.2 million. On the other side of the isle, GOP front runners Giuliani reports 11 million, Multi-millionare Romney reports 10 million, give a take few millions of his own fortune, and John McCain's people state that he's raised a respectable 6 million. Unfortunately, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, despite his straw poll bump, is the candidate with his "hat in his hand," with a megar war chest of only 1.5 million to date. However, Huckabee is not retreating, but rather stepping up his stance that he's the "alternative" choice for the GOP base. Now, with all this moolah flying around I'm still trying to figure out exactly what these candidates stand for and so should you. There will be plenty more opportunities to form your overall opinion through upcoming debates and forums. Moreover, this high stakes pursuit that's awashed in cash, highlights why campaign reform and public financing is pararmount. For those who can't make the legal limit donations or have sent a basic donation to the candidateof your choice, you can find out where all the money is coming from with some nifty websites and tools that are "free." Check them out: http://www.fec.gov/ or go to http://www.fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/ to do your own personal search.
Fresh from production is our new latest Corneliusonpoint podcast! It's our mash up of announcements, links, commentary, special features and of course music! Recorded in our downtown Mablevale studios, this podcast continues our quest to embrace all tech platforms that will enhance your online experience, thusly adding a "live" element to this forum. Unfortuantely, some areas of Arkansas are broadband challenged, therefore may not be able to access all our staging areas or components that support them. It' a fact that many state GLBTQ citizens are in small towns and farming communites where often dial-up internet could be there only source of interaction with like-minded individuals. The power of the internet was evident with the recent anti-gay legislation ( SB 959) which was thwarted through direct e-mail campaigns, messaging, bloggers, posted video and alerts that circulated to advocates and supporters statewide. Also other's are producing blogs, info sites, social networking and niche centered web pages all over the state. This activity causes us to wholeheartedly support the recent creation of Connect Arkansas and the Arkansas Broadband Initiative which is charged with charting the horizon for outlying areas to access these rapdily expanding innovations. I have high hopes that this unfunded legislative mandate will acquire unilateral cooperation from both private and public funding sources. I find it vitally important to continue to build a bridge to the 21st future that will facilitate equal access for everyone.
Here it is our latest Podcast!! Click the forward button on the Evoca icon, adjust your volume, tune in and enjoy the show. Got ideas, sponsorships, show ideas or want to be a special guest...give us a shout out today for more info.
Celebrating GLBTQ History Month 2007: Tune in each day to review the daily icon in GLBTQI History. Tell your friends and feel free to share it with everyone you know. For more info go to: http://www.glbthistorymonth.com/