Click Click Expose

January 26, 2010

Illusions International pageant hits the scene this weekend in New York City

Two weeks ago, we headed out to the West Coast to film and feature a new preliminary pageant for the Entertainer of the Year Pageantry System. California EOY was a resounding success and put the West Coast on the map for drag pageantry. Our cameras are now headed to the East Coast where we will be filming yet another young and up & coming preliminary pageant system.

Just like California, New York City has its own distinctive style of gay pageantry and when you think of pageant cities, NYC usually does not come to mind. Pageants, as you know it today, are “generally” not common place in New York City. That distinction belongs to the “ballroom scene” which had its roots dating back to the 1920s. Originally, the ballroom scene composed of white men who would dress up in women’s clothes to entertain middle-class and upper-class white audiences. Today’s ballroom scene has evolved and change drastically and while it does not resemble gay pageants as we know it today, it has its own place in the New York Culture.

Enter the Illusions New Jersey International Inc Pageantry System. Created in 2009 by entertainer Tyson Anyae, its goal was to provide a strong and classy outlet for the drag community, while simultaneously helping people suffering with HIV/AIDS and their caregivers. “Through this pageant,” says pageant owner Tyson Anyae, “we can uplift our community and cast away negativity & drama all while having a great time.” In its 2nd year in the NYC/NJ area, Illusions New Jersey is poised to set the tone for future pageants to come in the area.

2009 Illusions Court - Tiffany Richards & Neo Richards

2009 Illusions Court - Tiffany Richards & Neo Richards

Owner Tyson Anyae isn’t new to the arena of gay pageantry as he is a former Mr. Gay New Jersey, Mr. Essex County and Mr. Garden State. By creating the Illusions New Jersey system, he continues to give a creative outlet for all those who enjoy the world of drag. Tiffany Richards and Neo Richards (the 2009 winners of both the preliminary and national pageant contest) will be stepping down this Sunday in favor of the new king and queen who will represent NYC/NJ in the national contest.

The 2010 pageant will be hosted by a trio of talent and comedy. Princess Janae, the legendary Chevelle Brooks and SugarPie KoKo are all on tap to bring you this year’s exciting contest. Guest entertainers scheduled to perform this year include the owner of Mr. and Miss International Inc. Marlowe Rainbow, 2009 Miss International Inc. Newcomer Chi Chi Devine, legendary entertainer and former 2006 Miss New Jersey USofA Empress Vizcaya-Lord, Octavia Anyae, Nikky Sky Blake and many more. Judges this year include 2009 Mister International Inc Romance, Julie Vutton and others to be announced later. The winner of this preliminary pageant will get to compete in the national Mr. and Miss International Pageant held in Jackson, MS in June and also compete in the Mr. and Miss Gay New Jersey pageant as well.

Details you say…details. The pageant will be Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 9pm at the Ravel Hotel (808 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City). Tickets are $15 in advance which you can get by emailing info@ravelhotel.com. Tickets will be $20 at the door. Need information – give the hotel a call at: 718-289-6101. Traveling by subway – Queens Borough Plaza is your closest station served by the N, W or 7 train. Traveling by car – it is a short hop (if you can call it that with New York City traffic) from Manhattan to the east.

Click Click Expose has had a fun January month of pageants with California EOY in West Hollywood, California; Miss Florida USofA & USofA Classic in Tampa, Florida and finishing up in New York. We can’t wait to meet new friends and fans in NYC and see what Illusions has to offer this year. Good luck to all the contestants and we will see everybody this Sunday.

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January 18, 2010

Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network – Weekly Update January 17, 2010

Happy New Year from your friends at The Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network. We are a network of different podcast shows produced by Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media) with contributions from our friends, supporters and content producers.

Whether its a music show, love show, news or entertainment – we have something for everyone. We invite you to come check it out and be apart of our community. More shows will be coming soon!

Don’t forget to check out Planet “Q” TV – it’s our very own all gay video sharing website with more than 1,000 videos from all over the world in support of our community. Check it out and upload your video today!! Watch your favorite video by clicking here!!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY:

THIS WEEK’S SYNOPSIS:
1. Gay News Week In Review – National and International news for week ending January 17, 2010.
2. DJ House Music Show – This week’s music show – Funk Bee Dees – Part 2 – from DJ Louie B.
3. Queer History Fact #98
– U.S. Songmaker Johnny Mathis.
4. Passion Hits – Episode #5 – Jan 10. – Love and dedication show dedicated to the one you love.
5. Passion Hits – Episode #6 – Jan 17.
– Love and dedication show dedicated to the one you love.
6. REBROADCAST – Generation Q Radio
– Youth podcast show for the queer generation

LISTEN:
Passion Hits – Episode #5 (Podcast)
Passion Hits – Episode #6 (Podcast)
Gay News Week In Review – W/E 01-17-10 (Podcast)
DJ Louie B “Funk Bee Dees” – Part 2 (Podcast)
Queer History Fact #98 (Podcast)
Generation Q Radio – Episode 1 (Rebroadcast) (Podcast)

VISIT OUR WEBSITE: Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media)

to learn more about our shows, to be apart of our network or listen to any of our previous shows.

December 29, 2009

Another country of firsts: Argentina’s First Same Sex Marriage

Argentina First Gay Marriage (Photo-Tierra del Fuego/Reuters)

Argentina First Gay Marriage (Photo-Tierra del Fuego/Reuters)

After a months-long legal battle, two gay men in Argentina became the first homosexuals to marry in Latin America, in a wedding that took place in the southernmost province, Tierra del Fuego, the only one governed by a woman.

“We’re the first, but we won’t be the last,” said Alex Freyre, who married José Maria Di Bello Monday in Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, more than 3,000 km south of Buenos Aires. “There are hundreds of legal appeals that we hope will have the same outcome,” he said.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden with the US lagging behind with same sex marriage only being legal in Vermont, Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut & Washington DC & New Hampshire. (Did you know there are 40 US states with laws on the books stating that marriage is between a man and women)?  In spite of these positive developments, this Argentina marriage represents the first gay marriage in Latin America.

Earlier this month, the Mexico City legislative assembly approved changes to the local civil code, replacing the clause that defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman with one that says it is a union “between two people.” But actual weddings will not start taking place until the reform goes into effect next year.   For a highly catholic country, this is an amazing development.

Freyre and Di Bello’s wedding was held without any previous announcement in Ushuaia, after their first attempt in Buenos Aires fell through on Dec. 1.   In April, the couple, who belong to the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans (LGBT), had been denied a marriage license in Buenos Aires. Along with other members of the Federation whose applications for a license had been denied, they filed an appeal.  In November, Buenos Aires Judge Gabriela Seijas ruled in the case that the civil code’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional, and ordered that the two men be granted a marriage license. The Buenos Aires government did not appeal the decision.

However, another court filed an injunction on the eve of the wedding that blocked it from taking place in Buenos Aires. A final decision is pending in the Supreme Court.   But Freyre and Di Bello were determined to get married this year. Aware that Tierra del Fuego Governor Fabiana Ríos had backed different initiatives in favour of same-sex marriage, they applied for a marriage license in that province, which was also denied.   But when they complained to higher-ranking authorities, the governor intervened, ordering that the initial Buenos Aires court ruling be honoured and that they be allowed to marry in the civil registry office.  “I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I merely complied with the law; the right of two people who had a ruling in their favour could not be denied,” said Ríos.

The campaign for “the same rights with the same names” was launched by the LGBT Argentine Federation before Freyre and Di Bello appealed to the courts. But since Seijas ruled in their favour, the movement has gathered momentum and more than 30 appeals have been filed around the country.

According to a survey by the pollster Analogías, 66 percent of respondents were in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, while 57 percent of those who defined themselves as Catholics rejected the Catholic Church stance against marriage between homosexuals.

I think this is great for Latin America and for Argentina and continues to show how the US is really behind the times when it comes to granting basic civil rights to all.

Thomas (Timeline information provided by IPS Reporter Marcela Valente)

December 26, 2009

Drag pageantry will come alive in California January 12th – Don’t miss it!!

California EOY - Jan 12 - House of Blues, Hollywood, CA

California EOY - Jan 12 - House of Blues, Hollywood, CA

Forget what you think you know about drag because honey, it’s quite different from your perception.  Often when we refer to drag in the gay community, we refer to camp and burly men dressed in women’s clothes with makeup from hell and mother’s 1950’s dress.  If this is your perception of drag in our community, I invite you to take a look at the world of gay drag pageantry.  This art form of female illusion and male lead is a highly established, highly stylized and fierce competition between men and women in a variety of local, regional and national contests.  While “drag” has been a cornerstone of cabarets and live theatre since the Middle Ages, drag pageantry is said to have been established in the LGBT community in the 1970s in the post Stonewall era.

When you travel across the United States in search of drag pageantry, you think of such hot bed markets as Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas & the east coast.  These markets have been engaged in the world of pageant competition since the beginning.  California, on the other hand, has always been known for “camp and comedic,” according to Erin White, Executive Director of California Entertainer of the Year.  “Thankfully, California has moved into a new era with some of the most jaw dropping illusionist and formidable talents.”

The Entertainer of the Year pageantry system is one of the major “four” pageantry systems in the United States.  It is a system that prides itself on creativity and talent.  And because of this emphasis, dozens upon dozens of entertainers (since EOY’s inception in 1990) have coveted the title of Entertainer of the Year, FI and Mr. Entertainer of the Year.  California joins a list of more than 15 preliminary contests whose goal is to send the winner and first runner-up to the national contest in Louisville, KY.  Executive Director Erin White is excited to add California  to the system and feels with the huge pool of viable competitors in California, that his system has “a shot at taking the national title this coming year.”

Not only will the contest be exciting for both contestants and spectators, but this year’s preliminary pageant is also a major fund-raising event.  The “Heel Hate” silent auction is designed to raise money for the Matthew Shepard Foundation.  Starting on January 4th, people from all over the world will be able to bid on autographed high heels from celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Shania Twain, Cyndi Lauper, Shakira, Paula Dean, Salma Hayek, Lauren Conrad and Lea Michele (from “Glee”).  If you want to bid on these items, head to the website “charitybuzz.com” or you can bid at the night of the pageant.  Another charity that the folks at California EOY are working on is the NOH8 Campaign who has been raising awareness on the issue of gay marriage through a year-long photo “silent protest.”  All of the contestants will have a NOH8 photo in the program and there will be a souvenir NOH8 poster of the contestants.

And if that wasn’t enough to entice you to come see the pageant (January 12, House of Blues-Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California), maybe the star-studded judges panel will.  Judges this year include: 2008 EOY winner Nina West, National Title Holder Alyssa Edwards, Actress, Author and 1999 Tennessee EOY winner Calpernia Addams, Singer, Dancer & Actress Aubrey O’Day, American model and television personality Holly Madison, Co-Director of Miss California USA Shanna Moakler and the producer of Logo TV’s Rupaul’s Drag Race Matthew Rose.

Needless to say, Click Click Expose is excited to be chosen as the official videographer of this year’s inaugural contest.  As you know, we have been filming gay pageants since the days of us getting our start in Houston, TX in 1996 – so our cameras have been around the block a few times – but never have we been more excited than coming into a new market with new ideas and a fresh outlook on the pageantry community.  Look out everyone, California EOY is looking to make its mark in the world of pageantry.

So details you say…details:  buy your tickets at: www.ticketmaster.com or the California EOY website at: www.californiaeoy.com.  Ticket prices are: general admission $18.00,  reserved seating $25.00 and VIP Platinum seating $45.00.  Never seen an EOY contest before, check out this preview trailer we created of this year’s 2009 National contest or more than a dozen EOY preview videos on our very own video sharing website Planet Q TV (Just click on the button that says Planet Q TV).  This year’s contest will be held at the world-famous House of Blues – Sunset Strip on Tuesday, January 12, 2010.  Doors open at 6:30pm.  Showtime is at 7:00pm.  See you there…

–Thomas

November 5, 2009

A Reflection on what happend to the LGBT community in Maine

Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith - HRC

Harry Knox, Director of Religion and Faith - HRC

I had an opportunity to hear Harry Knox speak 2 years ago at the Celebration of Faith and Diversity seminars held in Tampa, Florida.  Mr. Knox is the Director of Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign and a terrific orator.  He blends together religion, faith, diversity and humanity to show how the basic rights for all gay & lesbian people should be honored and demanded and brings a religious perspective that is often overlooked.  It is great listening to him speak which is why I was glad I found this article he wrote on the recent vote by Maine citizens to deny the LGBT community marriage rights and marriage equality.  This article is reprinted from Human Rights  Campaign BackStory series on its website:  www.hrcbackstory.org/2009/11/a-religious-reflection-on-maine.  To learn more about HRC and what they do for the LGBT community, visit their website at: www.hrc.org.

Thomas – Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media)

*****************************

“This morning I am wondering who and what I am. Once again, when American voters have had an opportunity to affirm my humanity and the loving commitment I have made to my husband, a majority of those voters have made a conscious decision to deny my humanity and treat me as if my citizenship and my marriage mean nothing; all the while patting themselves on the back for their piety. The slap they intended is received. I am made to wonder – Am I human? Am I an American? Am I a Christian? Am I married?

It is clear that most voters in Maine, like majorities in other states before them, intend for me to feel less than human. People we respect as sisters and brothers in the human family, we treat as equals. Those majorities have reserved to themselves a legal right they feel specially entitled to – in spite of the fact that my husband and I face all the health, financial, familial and social challenges they do, and need the same supports they enjoy.

Here’s what I know.

I know that I was never more beautifully and powerfully human in my life than the day I committed myself to lifelong partnership with my caring, strong, handsome, wise, funny husband. We made ourselves vulnerable to care for each other forever, come what may. There is no more hopeful, faithful, joyful, generative act in all the world. It was a decision only humans could enter into both intellectually and spiritually. It was a total giving of ourselves to each other, and as such, it mirrored in part the gift Christ made for us on the Cross.

Voters in Maine have said with clarity that my husband and I are to be denied equal treatment under the law, despite the Constitutional promises made to us. The voters are unequivocal – we are something, but we are not, in their opinions, American citizens, despite the facts that we are native born or have diligently served our country over the last five decades.

What I know is that Mike and I seek everyday to contribute more to our country and God’s world than we take from it. We have given our lives and careers in the service of others through Christ, and we have invested most of our time and much of our money into helping America live into its promises and potential.

Most Maine voters want us to understand once and for all that the Bible, which has been used to subjugate women, people of color, and the poor of every gender and race is now to be used as a weapon against us. They have gleaned all they intend to learn from their faith and as far as they are concerned, my family can go to hell.

I know that we are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s incarnate word of truth, love, and justice who lived, died, and through his death and resurrection redeemed and continues to reconcile us, America and all the earth to God’s original vision of peace and caring community.

It is clear to me now that a majority of Americans have chosen to deny my human rights, deny my citizenship, and deny my Christianity, by denying my freedom to marry. So where does that leave me? Who and what am I on November 4, 2009?

I know – I know – that I am married to my husband, Mike. He defends me against all who would do me harm and is faithful to me in spite of all temptations. We have cared for each other through more sickness than health; we’ve known more financial setbacks than gains; we have nursed each others’ family members, wept over the graves of lost loved ones, helped and received help from family and friends, and assisted in raising the children of some heterosexual folks who weren’t able to raise their own. I wake in the morning and nod at night with prayers of thanksgiving for the wonderful man with whom I am building a family by God’s grace.

Today I am tempted to feel like an exile in my native land – to question who and what I am. But this I know: in the end it matters not one whit what others say or believe about me and mine. What matters, today and forever, is what we believe about ourselves. We are fully human. We are Americans. We are Christians. And we are most assuredly married.

When I remember that, the powers of hell cannot prevail against me or my marriage. I am empowered to continue to do the difficult work that will ultimately bring justice in the form of marriage equality to our land. I, and my husband with me, offer our heterosexual neighbors a vision of what the world will look like when we get the human rights we deserve – a world where everyone will live in peace and mutual respect with our neighbors.”

— Harry Knox, Director of Religion & Faith, Human Rights Campaign

Don’t tell me straight men don’t like to have gay sex appeal

Filed under: gay,GLBT,homosexual,Planet Q TV,queer — ccevideo @ 6:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,
Dolce and Gabba Underwear Ad

Dolce and Gabba Underwear Ad

Okay…for every straight guy who turns his nose up at gay people (even those straight model types) – there are those who realize that their good looks and chiesled body can earn them a following (and a paycheck) that they can’t resist.  It’s funny when I watch some of those reality TV shows that showcase models, musicians, etc and watch their reactions when they learn that gay people like them or help them in their road to success.  But I bet they are not turning up their noses when they get that paycheck at the end of the week.

Enter Dolce and Gabanna.  Whether you are a fashion whore or a name brand slut (i know such harsh words) – you got to admit – these straight guys and girls over at DG know how to win over the gay and lesbian community.  Of course not being an American company helps!!  Their underwear ad is a classic example of taking straight guys (in this case the Italian Rugby team) and exploiting them for all its worth.  While I bet that none of these guys will be the first to admit in public they have a gay fan base – you better believe that many of gay men are tuned in and turned on by the images.  And watch as DG sales sore and sore.  Ads with cute straight guys targeted towards gay men will never go away.  And let’s hope it doesn’t.

While I can’t say I own anything by DG, I appreciated them as a company when they were bold enough to make commericals that were bold and daring and meant specifically for the gay and lesbian community.  Check out this commercial that we put on our gay and lesbian video sharing website at Planet Q TV.  I think you will like it.

So what’s my point?  Don’t tell me as a straight guy you are just turned off by gay guys liking you or what you are selling.  I don’t buy it (and neither does the advertising world).  You might not agree with the gay lifestyle but you are sure loving it when you get paid by us.  So keep it up…we sure don’t mind.

Thomas (Click Click Expose – Gay Entertainment Media, Video, Podcasting and Blogging)

October 28, 2009

Stop Murder Music In Miami

Protest against Buju Banton

Protest against Buju Banton

It’s been just one month since five Florida performances were announced for Buju Banton. Since then, three venues have canceled the notorious singer whose lyrics call for the torture and murder of gay people.

His song “Boom Bye Bye” is advocates pouring acid on LGBT people, “burning them up bad like an old tire wheel”, and shooting them in the head with an AK-47. He also sings “Anytime Buju Banton come, f–gots get up and run … they have to die”.

Do your part to stand up to anti-gay incitements to violence. Sign the letter to venue owners and elected officials.

Buju Banton is still scheduled to perform in three Florida cities this week. Thursday, Oct. 29th, in Jacksonville, Friday. Saturday, Oct. 31st, in Miami; and a new date was added for Friday, Oct. 30th, in St. Petersburg.

While other cities in Florida and across the country have canceled Bantons concerts, the venues in Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, and Miami have not yet responded.   Join Equality Florida by calling upon the venue owners and elected officials to take a stand against hate.

“Boom Bye Bye” has become an international gay bashing anthem. In 2004, Brian Williamson, Jamaica’s leading gay activist, was violently chopped to death with a machete in his apartment in Kingston. A reporter walked to his street shortly after the murder and found a crowd of people gathered outside Williamson’s apartment singing and celebrating his murder and shouting the chorus of “Boom Bye Bye”.

The staff at Equality Florida has received an unprecedented flood of hate mail and threats in response to our public opposition to Banton’s hateful lyrics. One Equality Florida staff member received a letter stating: “YOU ARE STARTING A WAR IN WHICH YOU WILL BE KILLED” And another says “YOU’LL BE 6 FEET UNDER PERMANENTLY.”

WE MUST STAND UP TO THESE HATEFUL ATTACKS

So far, due to an outpouring of opposition from Equality Florida members and community allies, management at the venues in Tampa and Orlando have canceled Banton’s performances; the Tallahassee event in now listed as withdrawn on the Eventful.com website; and Toyota has dropped it’s sponsorship of the Miami event. Jacksonville management has not responded.

Join Equality Florida along with elected officials, community leaders, and partner organizations including Save Dade, Unity Coalition, and Pride Lines for a community response to performers who incite violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Friday, October 30th 4:00pm
at the James L. Knight Center
400 SE 2nd Ave

GET INVOLVED – ITS THE ONLY WAY TO PROTECT OUR FELLOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

October 20, 2009

Congratulations Sayeed St. James and Starr Sanchez

Sayeed St James - Mr. Tri-County National Newcomer

Sayeed St James - Mr. Tri-County National Newcomer

Sorry pageant fans – I have been sick as a dog this last week and have not been online to send our congratulations out to the new Mr. and Miss Tri-County National Newcomer pageant winners.  For the boys – Sayeed St. James and for the girls Starr Sanchez.  It was a fun pageant as 6 boys and 5 girls competed for the title at Club Revolution in Orlando, Florida.  I probably would have had more fun if I wasn’t sick that night and still had to drive 5 hours back home but hey – I enjoyed the pageant.  I finished the DVD today and I put up one preview trailer of the lovely Tiana Norrel Santi – Miss Tri-County Latina.  Although the pageant was long (we had a triple male tie breaker Q&A at the end of the pageant) – it was well worth it to see who of the guys won.  And for the girls – well rumor has it points were deducted before the pageant started that may have affected the outcome – but I have no knowledge of that and no tea will be spilled here (LOL).

Congrats to Sayeed and Starr – buy the gay pageant DVD from our website at Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media) and congrats Sergio for a fantastic 2009 Tri-County year.  We will see you guys November 22nd for Tri-County Legacy when Simba Hall gives up the title.

This year’s contestants included for the Males:

Zayden Bonet, Dontrell Iman, Sayeed St. James, Keondre Diamond, Deahire Santi and Ashlei Santi Valentino.

Starr Sanchez - Miss Tri-County National Newcomer

Starr Sanchez - Miss Tri-County National Newcomer

This year’s contestants included for the Females:

Taniyah Dior Dupree, Tranecia Sanchez, Zaniyah Bonet, Starr Sanchez and Makayla Sanchez.

Zayden was 1st runner-up, Ashlei was 2nd Runner up.

Makayla Sanchez was 1st runner-up and Tranecia Sanchez was 2nd runner-up.

And the battle for Miss Beautiful went to Tranecia Sanchez.  You go girl!!

Thomas – Click Click Expose (podcasting, gay video sharing, gay blogging and live internet TV for the LGBT community)

October 13, 2009

Equality march proves that viral marketing is for real!

National Equality March 2009 - Washington DC

National Equality March 2009 - Washington DC

5 years ago if you told me that you could use the internet, a social networking site and a couple of internet videos to bring together thousands of individuals across the country to demand social justice and equality, I would have said you were crazy.  But in this new and crazy world we live in, it appears that viral marketing (for lack of a better word) can be the right ticket if used properly.

Enter the 2009 National Equality March on Washington DC.  While I can find no public information on the advertising budget for the National Equality March organization – it appears that the budget for advertising (that’s traditional advertising) was very little.  I saw no ads in the majority of the popular gay magazines, there was no ad in the online gay advertising network BUT WHAT I DID SEE was Facebook and twitter used relentlessly to promote the event.  And the result, over 200,000 people showed up for the event.

I think that speaks volumes on how businesses and organizations can speak and influence the LGBT community.  While traditional marketing still has a place in advertising – the power of the internet as a vehicle to promote and inspire change is in a word – breath taking.  Lord, I would have love to have known how much the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force spent on advertising when I went to the March on Washing in 1993.  It’s a new world – and viral marketing is the way to go.

If you went to the march and you took any video of the march or did a video blog, please share your gay and lesbian video stories of the National Equality march on our website: planetq.tv.  It will be a great way for many of us who could not attend this year to really see what it’s like.  Trust me folks, its inspiring and truly amazing.  So share your videos with us on Planet Q TV and let us hear your stories about this year’s march.  And the real question is: will it make a different for LGBT folks across our country?  I think it will.

Thomas (Click Click Expose – Gay Entertainment Media)

October 6, 2009

Will you march in Washington DC October 11th?

National Equality March on Washington DC

National Equality March on Washington DC

I remember back in 1993 when I was a field producer for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s March on Washington video. It was certainly a different time then when the idea of civil rights for all gay and lesbian people were still a struggle and I was so far in the closet, I could have hurt myself. It was a great experience being around so many like minded people who didn’t care if you were gay, straight or bi – they were all there to have a good time and to promote equality for all.

I won’t get to go this year as I have a filming project to attend on Sunday but if you get to go, WE HOPE YOU WILL SHARE YOUR VIDEO STORIES ON PLANET Q TV.   Planet Q TV was designed 2 1/2 years ago as a place where gay and lesbian video bloggers,  content producers and professionals could tell their stories in one unique place for our community.  I  would love to hear about your adventures, what you saw, what you liked or didn’t like and if you feel that equality is right around the corner for us or if we still have a long way to go.

Have fun this Sunday and if you are video blogging, I would like to encourage you to upload your videos to Planet Q TV so everyone around the world that visits our site can learn about your experience.

Thomas (Click Click Expose)

October 4, 2009

Can the world’s nations finally decriminalize homosexuality?

UN General Assembly Acting President  Ali Abdussalam Treki

UN General Assembly Acting President Ali Abdussalam Treki

I will have to admit my ignorance here but I did not realize that there existed on the world stage an organization interested in protecting the interest of gays and lesbians throughout the world’s nations. This organization is called International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (or IGLA). They have gone on record to express outrage at a recent comment made at a UN general assembly meeting by the acting General Assembly President The Libyan Ali Abdussalam Treki.

The back story first: Last December 66 nations got together in an attempt to pass resolutions that would decriminalize homosexuality in UN participating countries. This call to action has been supported by the Obama White House and many leaders throughout the Western World. Acting General Assembly President Treki went on to say before the UN that he considers homosexuality “unacceptable.” While he did not go on to say anything about the call to decriminalize homosexuality, the IGLA believes Treki is against this resolution. “Considering that the Declaration calls for universal decriminalization of homosexuality, one can only conclude that the new President of the Assembly of the UN is … in favor of criminalizing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex. The disturbing and serious implications of this attitude, which comes from who now heads the institution that is protecting human rights, all human rights-as the most sacred value, can not be overstated, “said ILGA in its statement.

IGLA goes on further to say “We call on the representatives of the States that signed the statement against the criminalization of homosexuality, but also voted for the election to the new position of Mr. Treki, to demand an explanation from the President of the UN Assembly by his words….”

Whether the IGLA gets its wish is unknown at this time but I applaud IGLA for recognizing that the basic civil rights of everyone should be followed and that if you are going to be a representative of the UN, a President no less, then you should recognize civil rights for all just not a selected few. Can the world’s nations finally decriminalize homosexuality? I think they can but it will be up to interest groups like IGLA to lead the way and draw attention to the plight that many LGBT people still face across the globe.

Thomas

September 30, 2009

A little courage in a small Texas town

I  went to college in Texas – San Antonio in fact.  Spent 4 1/2 years there and gladly called it home at the time.  My partner and I called Houston home for 2 years.  Both cities have a thriving if not quaint gay population.  But drive a few hours over to a small east texas town called Tyler or neighboring Lindale – and you get a different tale.  Very conservative, very bible belt and extremely homophobic.  I think I would go so far as to say the very word “gay” is not even utter in single breath in that town (okay maybe I am exaggerating but you get the point) – it isn’t very welcoming to gay people at all.

Tyler Texas - Project TAG

Tyler Texas - Project TAG

In comes the AIDS service organization Project TAG (Tyler Area Gays) who decided to do a small part to introducing this community to the word “gay.”  What did they do – they adopted a highway.  We all have seen the signs, church groups, fraternities, lodges – adopt a section of a highway, clean it up and get their name put on a sign on that stretch of road.  Project TAG sought to do this with the idea of getting the word “gay” out in public in their community.  The hope – to desensitize the area about what is and is not “gay” and to get the community talking.  Will it work…only time will tell.  But I think it’s a great way to not only do a service for your community but to show how  LGBT people have the same civic and community goals as anyone else and oh by the way; they live in your town too!!

Way to go Project TAG – that takes a lot of courage in this little small east Texas town.

Thomas

September 27, 2009

President Clinton on Gay Marriage

Former President Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton

Whether you love him or hate him, you got to admire his willingness to speak out and take a stand on a controversial issue – even going so far to admit he was wrong.  Many people remember that former President Clinton was the one who brought the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” military policy into effect.  And he has gone on record to say that he is against gay marriage.

Well in an interview with CNN Reporter Anderson Cooper (who is also gay), President Clinton admitted he was wrong in his opinion of gay marriage.  In the interview, he admitted that he was “hung up” on the actual word of marriage, considering he is 60 years of age and grew up in a time where marriage was only considered between a man and woman.  He went onto explain that he has always been in favor of gay adoption and  if  “….people want to make commitments that last a lifetime, they ought to be able to do it…..”  Former President Clinton cites his many gay friends that have helped him reached this conclusion on gay marriage.

Well I am for one glad that he came out (sort to speak) and said he supported gay marriage.  Now if only President Obama would do the same, that I think would mean to world to LGBT folks who care about the gay marriage question.

Thomas

September 17, 2009

What can the gay community do about climate change?

You can control climate change!

You can control climate change!

If gay people represent 1 out of every 10 people in the population, then it stands to reason that we can make a huge impact in our world’s climate.  Human rights campaigners in London have stressed this week the importance of the gay community to help fight climate change. Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Activist and Campaginer in London told reporters: “There is not much point campaigning for LGBT human rights unless we have a habitable planet on which to enjoy these rights. If global warming results in climate destruction and economic downturn, our quality of queer life will be seriously diminished. In the worst case scenario, human survival might be threatened.”

So if climate change has such a huge impact what can we do about it?  Tatchell has decided to start a campaign in his home country to combat climate change by starting the 10:10 initiative.  In a nutshell, he wants London’s gay population to cut its carbon footprint by 10% – Following the theory that if we are 1 out of every 10 people in the world, then lets cut our consumption by 10%.  It is definitely an achievable goal and one that all gay people can get behind.

Tatchell told reporters when he launched this program …”Cutting our personal carbon footprint by 10% by the end of 2010 is a realistic, achievable target that will make an impact.  It isn’t hugely difficult. I found it a fun challenge and quite easy. It has reduced my energy bills and saved me money. Walking, cycling and not eating meat has also made me fitter and healthier.  We don’t have to wait for the government and business to give us a lead. We can take the initiative ourselves by eliminating energy wastage in our homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods. By our personal example, we can pressure government and business to do the same….”

An example of climate flooding in London

An example of climate flooding in London

Just because this is a London inititiave doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to do this in our own home towns and cities.  What can you do to help reduce climate change:

1)  Change 10.  That’s right – Change a light, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 10 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR label and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every household in the U.S. took this one simple action we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 20 million cars.

2)  If there is a recycling program in your community, recycle your newspapers, beverage containers, paper and other goods. Use products in containers that can be recycled and items that can be repaired or reused. In addition, support recycling markets by buying products made from recycled materials.

3)  Check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflation increases tire wear, reduces your fuel economy by up to 3 percent, and leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. If you don’t know the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, you can find it listed on the door to the glove compartment or on the driver’s-side door pillar.

4)  Use public transportation, carpool or walk or bike whenever possible to avoid using your car. Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. Whenever possible, combine activities and errands into one trip.

5)  Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Reducing the amount used means big savings in not only your energy bills, but also in carbon dioxide emissions. Using cold water for your wash saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and using a low-flow shower head reduces 350 pounds of carbon dioxide. Make the most of your hot water by insulating your tank and keeping the temperature at or below 120°.

This by means isn’t everythign you can do but its a start.  If the gay community can get behind this and take the lead, we can defintely do our part.  Way to go Mr. Peter Tatchell for starting this in London, what a great idea for all of us to follow.

Thomas

August 25, 2009

EOY 2009 DVDs ship today!!

Bianca Nicole - National Entertainer of the Year, 2009

Bianca Nicole - National Entertainer of the Year, 2009

Hey pageant fans,

It’s finally over (LOL).  The EOY DVDs are finished, the covers and labels made and the packages put together.  Almost all of the packages went in the mail today via USPS priority mail (2 to 3 days from Miami depending on what part of the country you are in).  If you had a mixed order (you ordered EOY and another pageant like International Week 2009) – your order has been completed and will go in the mail tomorrow.

I want to thank everyone for their patience while we put this year’s DVD together.  If you came by Click Click Expose TV to watch the live editing session, I hope you had fun and got to see a sneak peak of the video and some of the time it takes to put together a multi-camera DVD.  I hope to have more of that in the future.

If you have any questions, comments or questions about your DVD – we will be closed tomorrow and Thursday but I will answer any emails I get later on in the day.  If you are in Atlanta this coming weekend, stop by Club 708 and say hi – we will be  filming the Miss Utopia pageant.

Congrats Bianca and Xavier – have a fantastic year and everyone, I hope you enjoy your DVDs.

Thomas

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