Tuesday, March 27, 2012

North Carolina's Amendment One

Here's the latest frightening letter from Adam Bink of the
Courage Campaign.
Anyone can respond to this, so here it is in its entirety.
Click on the links for more info.

This is an important report on reprehensible behaviors
of those out to take this country backwards.
Fore-warned is fore-armed.
Don't despair; take action!


Robert: late last night, confidential memos by the National Organization for Marriage to its Board of Directors were published -- and they're disgusting(1).
In them, NOM's leaders pledge to:

"Drive a wedge between gays and blacks" by pushing these communities to fight over the language of "civil rights";

"Develop side issues to weaken pro-gay marriage political leaders" such as "protection of children," pornography and religious liberty;

"Find, train and equip young leaders" to become a "next generation of elites" working to defeat marriage equality; and

Emphasize "the consequences of gay marriage for parental rights."

But the most important part of this: NOM trumpeted their plans to dump millions of dollars into state-level campaigns while avoiding disclosure. In fact, they just reported a $50,000 contribution to pass Amendment One in North Carolina(2).

We're fighting back -- yesterday's launch of a nationwide moneybomb raised over $30,000 across ActBlue to defeat Amendment One, including over $10,000 from Courage members. Will you chip in on ActBlue to fight back against NOM's nauseating tactics and match their contribution in North Carolina?


Dear Robert:

On May 8th, North Carolina will vote on Amendment One, which bans marriage equality and any other form of recognition for same-sex couples. Polls show the public increasingly against Amendment One, but our opponents just began running an ad this weekend that spreads lies about same-sex families and urges a Yes vote on Amendment One. Our side has ads of its own, but we need the money to get them on the air.

That's why Courage Campaign is joining with the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families to launch a nationwide $50,000 moneybomb and help the campaign hit its $1 million goal to get its first ads on the air. Will you chip in on ActBlue to help get our response up?

Robert, we can win this campaign. This month's Elon University poll showed 56.9% of North Carolinians oppose or strongly oppose an amendment that would ban civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples(3). That poll is one in a long string of polls showing increasing percentages of North Carolinians opposed to Amendment One.

We know what that means -- the more North Carolinians learn about how Amendment One harms same-sex families and their children, the more they're opposed to it. Our message is winning, Robert: now we just need the resources to get that message on the air. That's where you come in.

Please, chip in $15, $25 or more to help raise $50,000 on ActBlue this week so the Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families can respond to anti-gay ads and get our message on the air. We can beat this, with your help.

Amendment One harms families, especially children. It will hurt businesses and the economy when families decide to move out of a state that treats them as second-class citizens. Whether you identify as LGBT or are a straight ally, Amendment One will hurt North Carolina. President Obama knows this -- that's why he publicly denounced Amendment One on March 16th. Courage members like us have to tell that story to the rest of the state and we've got just over a month to do it.

Thank you for doing your part to beat Amendment One,

Adam Bink
Director of Online Programs, Courage Campaign

(1) "Top 10 Highlights From NOM's Race-Wedging, Donor-Hiding, Victim-Playing Confidential Strategies," Think Progress, March 27, 2012, http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/03/27/452430/top-10-highlights-from-noms-race-wedging-obama-smearing-donor-hiding-victim-playing-confidential-strategies/

(2) "Independent Expenditure Report: National Organization for Marriage" North Carolina State Board of Elections, February 27, 2012, http://www.ncsbe.gov/

(3) "New Poll Shows Increasing Opposition to Amendment One," Coalition to Protect North Carolina Families, March 9, 2012, http://www.protectncfamilies.org/press/new-poll-shows-increasing-opposition-amendment-one

To support our efforts to defeat Amendment One, click here to chip in on ActBlue:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Facebook can SUCK it!

A smattering of images of guys kissing,
several of which have been banned from
ol' facebook for whatever ludicrous reason.

The final one below was posted to help end homophobia...
and was the most recent facebook editing casualty.

Love, sex and lust are all beautiful...
feel the beauty of passion and openness.

Be free.


Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm tremendously fortunate, and sometimes as a result of what I have been
privileged to have, I am quite unaware of the depth of what's been received.

I grew up a fairly typical, middle-class country boy in a suburb, in a small
town in Florida. But, my saving grace was that I was close enough to a large
metropolitan city, Tampa, and went to school and cultivated interests based
out of there.

Growing up gay was still difficult; there was a dearth of positive gay images
or information in the late 1970s, early 1980s, and it really wasn't talked
about at all in daily conversation. Yet, everyone knew the shame that was
to be attached to the dreaded "F" word whenever it was used to punctuate
contempt and end social standing.

But as time went on, I met people. I found out about the original "Tomes
& Treasures" LGBT bookstore in Tampa. I attended the GLC at USF
(that's all it was then--a Gay-Lesbian Coalition. Come to think of it, the
debate to make it 'Lesbian' inclusive may have taken place while I was
there!) A friend at school had a dad who had just come out as gay, and
books were lent. I had parents that were both oblivious and hands-off.
A pro-gay therapist was found by my loving grandmother.
I fooled around with a school friend, discovering heaven.
I had a boyfriend.

I had advantages that many never have.

Now that I have spent some 10 years living in a truly isolated, inclusive,
tiny southern town in Georgia, I have seen an entirely different side of life.
Folks here grow up with limited choices, limited access to information,
complete societal domination by the church, and a goodly distance to
drive to get to anything positive--bookstore, social group, church, bar, or
campus--that is open to them.

People here grow up completely terrified of someone finding out who
they are, or what they think. There is virtually no visibility here for
someone who is openly gay or content. Most who come to terms
move far away and never return.

Some decide that chastity is their cross to bear, and saddle up for an
uncompromisingly martyred life. Others contort their psyche into a
split, living one way for their friends and neighbors, and another on
business trips or, quite dangerously, on the down low in town.

The welcoming and nurturing cocoon of a real community....of options
and alternatives and, most importantly, the positive mirroring of what
it means to love yourself, are not available to these folks.

I can't imagine what it must feel like to have been raised and
shaped by such a world, and I'm thankful that I can't. But I do have
immense compassion and empathy for those who have.

I don't expect everyone to come out. Such blind idealism is great for
speeches, but not the real world. I wish I could craft a better environs
for all my brothers and sisters...to provide for them what I had the
great fortune to have available to me. I wish this were a better world.

But I have to settle for hoping that folks like those here in rural
Donalsonville know now, thanks to the Internet and TV visibility and
more open people than ever before, some basic truths.
Like the fact that they are perfect as they are.
Or that their feelings are valid.
And they are not alone.
That it's never to late to learn to love and accept yourself, as you are.
That you have a right to live free and pursue your desires.
That life is worth living, wherever you are and however you find yourself.
That in order for others to know and love you, first you have to do it.

Don't accept anyone else's limits or condemnations; life is far too short.

I never knew how much greatness I had been exposed to until I met
folks who had lived in relative darkness and gone without. It's never
too late.

(This may all be dismissed as condescending clap-trap by my local peeps,
wondering "Who does this guy think he is?" and asserting that there's
nothing wrong with how they live. The slave is always taught to have deep
love for the master, and to avoid the very thing they most need and want.
Que sera, sera.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"

Get your weekend pre-emptive strike "Choose My OWN Adventure"
groove on!

Great anthem and energy to live by; To Thine Own Self Be True.

Keep it real, wherever you go, brothers and sisters. Peace! Take care.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bye June - "Shades of Purple"

Awesome video, lyrics, and sound. Enjoy!

"Today we get to present to you Shades of Purple, a video with a story of
having the freedom to love whom ever one chooses despite gender, religion
or sexual orientation." - Bye June


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Killed for Nonconformity

(taken from www.allout.org)

"March 10th, 2012

Right now in Iraq, young people "perceived as gay" because of
how they dress, or what music they listen to, are being targeted,
tortured and killed by extremist militias.

Our friend Bissam*, a gay Iraqi refugee and a member of All Out,
told us that these militias are creating “kill lists”, that include men
whose hair was too long or whose jeans were too tight, or women
deemed overly "masculine." Human rights groups and Iraqi news
are reporting that 40 to 90 Iraqis have been brutally murdered in
just the last two months.

The United Nations made headlines last week by publicly asserting
the importance of respecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi and
trans people around the world, and urging all member nations to take
a stand. Affirming those principles on the global stage is important.

But now it's time for all of us to make sure that world leaders and
governments convert those words in to action. Add your name to
this urgent letter to world leaders and ALL UN member states,
demanding they condemn these atrocious killings and push Iraqi
officials to investigate NOW.

To create a global outcry about these horrific killings, we need to
push world leaders to speak out. Sign the letter, and share with
your friends and colleagues. Whatever you do, don't remain silent.

[All Out is indebted to Bissam*, Gay Middle East, and Gay Star
News for tipping us off about this terrifying news, and working to
shed light on the ongoing tragedy. We can’t use Bissam's real name
because as a gay Iraqi refugee, his friends and family in Iraq are
potentially still in danger]. "
Sign The Petition 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Same-Sex Hand-Holding Day (to End Homophobia)

So this is a new idea set forth by an activist (David
Watkins) to promote visibility, encourage and engage in
dialogues, and help end homophobia.

I think it's a wonderful notion, certainly in need
of more than a day's dedication, but progress is
slow and reluctant. Baby steps.

You might be thinking, "What's the big deal? Why do
we need to kiss and hold hands and marry? Isn't that stuff
private? What's the point?"
I would merely ask this;
Why should we not be allowed to show our love?

Love is passionate, powerful, and provocative.
And, make no mistake; it's political.
If they can take your ability to live free away from
you, then the ignorant win.
Does the thought of holding your love's hand in public terrify you?

Does it make you fearful and queasy and

repressed and stifled?
That isn't discomfort with self;
you've been conditioned to deny your own feelings.
Could there be a greater crime?

This is the lingering effect of invisibility and
social intimidation: Questioning our own
feelings. Not being comfortable in our own skin.
Denying our own desires. Accepting another's
limitations of us. Hiding our lives.

Are there dangers inherent?
I won't lie and pretend otherwise.
There is risk in all of true living.
But in the end, the choices we make define who
we are and the kind of life we live.
Do we continue to tread carefully and accommodate
the potential prejudices and misgivings of others,
or do we live freely and fully while we can?

A different world will not emerge unprovoked.
Wishing and legislating and hope will
not cause a paradigm shift.

No one can imprison us without our willing consent.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)

Hump day shout-out to all my brothers and sisters;
fight the fight.

Haters can Suck it!

Live long and prosper--it's the best revenge!