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Oops

The site was down for just a few minutes… a minor glitch I’m sure. As of right now though, the site is working I think.

TTYL

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A solitary Christian

LGBT teen activist Tully Satre discusses being excommunicated from the Catholic Church before ever being confirmed.

Check it out at The Advocate.

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Recognizing gay couples in NC? Sort of.

From the New York Blade:

When the Empire State Pride Agenda released its “Pride in My Workplace” best practices guide earlier this year, executive director Alan Van Capelle explained why it is so important for companies in New York to be progressive in their policies.

“If you could amend an employment policy written at a corporate office in New York, that can affect 3,000 people on a factory floor in North Carolina,” said Van Capelle. “Suddenly 3,000 people in North Carolina have domestic partner benefits, have protections for sexual orientation, have protections for gender identity and expression, and we have been able to lift the boat for LGBT workers in other parts of the country because we changed a policy here in New York.”

Hmmm… I’ve never thought of it that way before.

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Pride Charlotte prepares for controversy

Taking a cue from recent local gay history, organizers of the new Pride Charlotte festival are looking for individuals willing to serve as “Enforcers of the Peace” during the festival set to occur on August 26, 2006 at Gateway Village.

In the past few years, radical right protestors and religious groups have made their presence known at Charlotte LGBT festivals and events. One such group, Operation Save America, had claimed “victory” over “the homosexuals” when the original Charlotte Pride festival in Marshall Park was cancelled earlier this year. The group had claimed they sent the homosexual sin “back into the grave” from which it had came (see more on Operation Save America).

Pride Charlotte, a new event being planned by the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Community Center, will have “enforcers” to come between the protestors and vulnerable groups and people (such as gay youth, families). The festival will also have a “Booth of Truth” where LGBT and straight allied festival attendees can receive positive messages about themselves and get support if necessary.

Here is an article, from the Carolinas’ Q-Notes:

CHARLOTTE — If you want to make a real difference at the 2006 PRIDE Charlotte event on Aug. 26, then consider becoming an “Enforcer of the Peace.”

As a way to help combat issues experienced by the presence of right-wing Christian groups at previous Pride celebrations, Enforcers will be on hand to act as buffers. The idea behind the initiative is to deflect the messages from hateful groups away from vulnerable groupsand people, and if necessary, bring Pride attendees to the “Booth of Truth,” where they will get positive messages about themselves and where individuals with special training are prepared to counteract the protestors’ anti-gay rhetoric. They will also be able to contact security to have any protestor removed if they are on the grounds and getting out of hand.

Want to volunteer? Can you work for two to three hours on Aug. 26 at Gateway Village? Volunteers will get some training on dealing peacefully with hate groups and a free T-shirt.

If you can help out, contact Rev. Robert Arrington at robpray7@bellsouth.net or call him at Unity Fellowship Church at 704-567-5007.

In the past couple of days I’ve read about two gay films, one new and one old, which are bound to rustle some feathers.

The first is a new film called “Another Gay Movie” from TLA Releasing and it is almost like “American Pie.” The four teen guys are just as “hormonal,” hilarious and stupid… except this time they’re gay.

This, from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

It’s graduation day at San Torum High (ha!), and four sweet boys reflect on their existential being-gay-ness and find they each lack… manhood.

So begins Another Gay Movie, which was the opening feature in the just-ended 12th Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

This likable-to-a-point romp, directed by Todd Stephens, is an unapologetic, un-P.C., in-your-face gay take on American Pie. It’s about four teen horn dogs – baseball jock Jarod (Jonathan Chase); genius nerd Griff (Mitch Morris), who yearns to be with Jarod; the good-guy-next-door Andy (Michael Carbonaro); and the swishy Nico (Jonah Blechman), a video store clerk who dreams of becoming the next Douglas Sirk.

Our pals constantly brag about having made it to first, second, and even third base with other guys.

But, as their guru and nemesis, Muffler, a loud, fat, vulgar lesbian (one of a handful of women depicted with loving misogyny), points out, none of the guys has had intercourse.

Thus, The Big Quest, which takes each guy through hilarious and raunchy situations as he misses chance after chance to snatch the ring.

A sweet but horny naif, Andy finally gets an invite to his sensitive math teacher’s house, only to learn that Mr. Puckov (Graham Norton, in a brilliant turn), regally clad in a leather harness, is a fetish hound who doesn’t mean swimming when he suggests they play “water games.”

Nico manages to get a date with Survivor winner Richard Hatch (in a great cameo), only to be rejected by that annoying fat naked guy.

And Jarod and Griff?

Well, like Pie, Stephens’ flick also believes in love triumphant. They hook up – and even snuggle.

The other film is older and foreign. TLA Releasing has just recently released it on DVD in the United States. The 1978 Danish “You Are Not Alone” also deals with gay youth, but in a more dramatic, audience-shocking way.

The American public is now used to seeing the hormonal romps of high school teens, but very rarely do we even stop to think about, much less address, issues faced by teens in middle school. Youth this age may be young, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less affected by sexuality, coming of age or growing up (which, as we all know, can be extremely painful with the added weight of growing up gay).

“You Are Not Alone” follows the lives of boys living in a boarding school under the direction of a strict, religiously uptight headmaster.

This, from the Washington Blade:

An all-male boarding school in Denmark is run by a morally righteous and uptight headmaster (Ove Sprogøe). The students seem to be between 10 and 15 years old, and, predictably, sex and rebellion are the constant subjects of conversation.

One of the school’s charges, Bo (Anders Agensø) takes a liking to Kim (Peter Bjerg), the cherubic-faced son of the headmaster. The boys form a friendship that quickly leads to physical intimacy of an indeterminate variety.

The two shower together, hold one another, paint each other up as Indians and kiss. Although it’s not clear just how far they go, Kim does become fond of joyfully saying, “Sex is wonderful.”

The boarding school seems to be a hotbed of eroticism with two other boys discovered making out in the shower and an older female chef molesting a young student in the basement. One of the troublesome students keeps pasting straight porn up on his bedroom wall and in the shared student bathrooms.

In an attempt to keep the boys on a moral track, the headmaster coaxes the children into doing a theatrical representation of the Ten Commandments. All the parents are invited to the event, but the students choose to create a video dedicated to Christ’s golden rule of loving thy neighbor as thyself.

I’m sure that both of these movies are great. “Another Gay Movie” is sure to be hilariously tear-jerking and “You Are Not Alone” should serve to be a serious look at how issues of being gay play out in the blooming of youth and growing up.

I can’t wait to see both.

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Well I’m glad I never called him that

I don’t know how I missed it, but I did. I thought I was on top of everything during the controversy with Guilford GOP Chair Marcus Kindley and his comments comparing LGBT people with pedophiles.

But yeah… I missed this (along with the great discussion in its comments section):

News & Record, Greensboro, NC
Letters to the Editor
July 23, 2006

Kindley’s not a bigot

In regard to the controversy surrounding Marcus Kindley’s recent comment about homosexuality: I have known Kindley for several years and have worked with him, not only in the GOP, but at his home as well. I believe I know him well enough to say he is not a prejudiced bigot.

Kindley is a man whom I admire for his steadfastness behind the principles he believes in. He is a man of faith and is not ashamed to let that fact be known. His character reflects Jesus in the way he thinks and treats other people.

I have never heard him make a derogatory statement toward a homosexual while either working within the GOP or at home. From my experience with him, Kindley “hates the sin, not the sinner.”

Christopher Jessup
Greensboro

The writer is a student at Greensboro College.

Well, at least I can rest comfortably knowing that I, for one, as well as the NC Advocacy Coalition, never called Marcus Kindley a bigot. We did say that what he said was prejudiced, misinformed and dangerous and harmful to the LGBT community, but we never, not even once, used the word “bigot” or “bigotry.”

I guess it is good to know the letter writer wasn’t referring to me or the PAC.

A few days ago I posted about a former Air Force Reserve officer who was dismissed after her sexual orientation was anonymously outed.

In the post I talked about how the unit cohesion argument set forth to uphold the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy by the United States Military definitely didn’t hold up in her case because many of her colleagues are supporting her and eagerly want her to return to serving her country.

The Military often says that the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is needed in order to preserve unity and cohesion between servicemembers in military units. If this argument were true, the Air Force Reserve officer’s colleagues wouldn’t have wanted her back at her job.

Now… I’ve caught wind of some more damage to the Military’s unit cohesion argument, via Pam’s House Blend.

According to an article by The Fayetteville Observer (North Carolina), soldiers at Fort Bragg say that a fellow servicemember’s private life and sexual orientation have absolutely nothing to do with whether that person can perform their duty to their unit, their military and their country.

One servicemember, a drill sergeant, said “If you are doing your job, you fall into the same category as everyone else.”

As more of these types of statements and positions are made and taken by United States Military personnel, I think it is becoming more clear that the unit cohesion argument in support of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is just not true.

Soldiers do not care about who you are sleeping with or attracted to. If I were a soldier I wouldn’t care either. I’d be more worried about doing my job and, if in the battlefield, staying alive. If a soldier’s mind is on sex, instead of on his or her job and staying alive, then that soldier definitely fell asleep during training and needs to go back.

The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is ridiculous. It is costly, inefficient, irresponsible and an act of government sanctioned and endorsed discrimination. The arguments supporting the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy don’t hold up when you talk to servicemembers and the servicemembers themselves admit they don’t care about the sexual orientations of their colleagues.

So, who wants to join me in song? Here goes…

“Justice fit’ the battle of bigotry, bigotry, bigotry…

Justice fit’ the battle of bigotry…

And the walls came a’ tumblin’ down…”

PS – If you live in Greensboro or anywhere in North Carolina and you are interested in finding out how you can get involved in an effort to bring focus to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy this fall, check out the Right to Serve Campaign at MattHillNC.com’s Soulforce Youth page as well as the official website, www.righttoserve.org (you can also make a donation to the Greensboro Campaign event via the Right to Serve Greensboro site)

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Judicial activism? In North Carolina?

The Reverend Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina has written a column on the recent court case invalidating (sort of, kind of) the 201-year old cohabitation law in North Carolina.

Creech claims that the decision was “judicial activism at its best.” He also states that the decision, which ruled on the side of privacy, “lowers [a] great moral standard” in our state.

Golly… I must have missed the memo somewhere. I wonder where I was when it was circulated… I mean, I’m usually up to par on stuff like this.

Really though, who knew that government intrusion into the private domestic and sexual life of citizens was a North Carolinian moral value?

This is what bugs me about the “Irreligious Wrong” and the radical portions of the so-called “moral righteous.” If they want a theocracy then they should go and find some deserted island somewhere and make one. America isn’t a theocracy.

Creech’s argument that the law was “right” and “justified” based on his insistence that the state uphold the Seventh Commandment against adultery is just ludicrous. Yes… many of our laws are based on religious teachings, but those “teachings” are universal ones; they aren’t confined to Christianity. As far as I’m aware, adultery, rape, theft, lying, incest, murder, etc., etc. etc. aren’t highly valued in any world religion of which I’m aware.

It isn’t the job of the government to enforce religious doctrine. If citizens decide that they are going to get in on with someone before marriage or if they are going to cheat on their boyfriends/girlfriends/wifes/husbands/what-have-you then why is it any concern of the government? Do you not think the government has enough to deal with already? You really want to throw pre-marital counseling and supervision of a parental-like nature into the pot with managing the economy, the War on Terror, the Iraqi War and the crisis in the Middle East?

You self-righteous, nosey, Irreligious Wrong busy-bodies just need to get a life. It is none of your business and it is no business of the government who someone is or isn’t sleeping with (unless it is rape or pedophilia, of course) or if they are married or not when they are living together or screwing each other. Go gossip about your neighbors or something and keep your hypocritical, “I know better than you,” “You need to listen to God’s Word” self out of my life and our Church-State separated government.

H/T: TarGator at BlueNC.com

365gay.com News is reporting that LGBT organizations in Canada have trademarked and are limiting use of the word “Pride.”

According to the article an organizer of two events was told she would have to take out a membership in the Vancouver Pride Society in order to use the word in the event titles: ManPride and TrannyPride.

A notice recently posted on the Vancouver Pride Society website states:

The word Pride is a registered trademark held by Fierte Canada Pride of which the Vancouver Pride Society is a member and licensed user. The VPS may, at our discretion, permit the use of the word Pride in all its forms associated with advertising and promotions within the district and surrounding promotional areas of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Capitalism. Yup… it seems as though it exists in the gay world, too.

The same thing happens right here at home as well. I don’t know if LGBT group in America have gone as far as actually, legally trademarking the word “Pride,” but I do know that participation agreements in at least two North Carolina Pride festivals (NC Pride and Pride Charlotte) require a group wishing to rent a booth or table to not use the word “Pride” in such a way as to make their merchandise or organization seem as though it is affiliated with the “official” Pride organization.

To tell you the truth, I can’t really decide if this is a good thing or not. I can understand the position of the Pride organizations, 100%. I can also, 100%, agree with community members and organizations who say the word “Pride” belongs to all of us.

But I guess that is what makes Capitalism so great. It is like Democracy. It can change, it can morph, it can flow and eventually new ways of doing things can pop up.

Whether or not trademarking “Pride” is fair or right, who knows the answer? Not me. Legally, however, everything is just peachy.

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Talk about a pain in the…

So I finally got around to buying an external hard drive: 160GB at Best Buy for $79.99 (it was over $100 at Circuit City).

Because my old laptop didn’t have USB 2.0, it took about 3 hours to transfer my approximate 8GB My Documents folder to the hard-drive. Most of that is, of course, music and pictures.

I’m transferring the My Music folder now (which is just about 7GB, the majority of my My Documents folder). On my new laptop, with a USB 2.0 device, the transfer is taking a grand total of only 7-8 minutes.

That sucks… but I really like my new computer for it, lol.