Click Click Expose

September 30, 2010

Visit our new blog for news and entertainment

Filed under: Pageants — ccevideo @ 10:15 am
Tags: , , ,

We have moved the Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media) blog.    Please change your bookmark to this location:

http://cceblog.clickclickexpose.com.

The blog is SO MUCH BETTER and we think you will like it.    Let us know your feedback and comments.

Thomas

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May 19, 2010

Daniel Radcliffe says he’s not…….gay?

Daniel Radcliffe (not exactly Harry Potter here!)

Daniel Radcliffe (not exactly Harry Potter here!)

aww…you got to love Hollywood rumors. If there is one thing in Hollywood that is sure to sell newspapers, create internet sensation and be the topic of conversation around the water cooler – is if a certain actor or actress is gay or not. Harry Potter fans have been in a tizzy (well maybe not all of the fans – just the gays ones) over whether the actor is gay or not. His participation in the Trevor Project ads in early 2010 gave gay fans hope that the popular actor was actually one of us. Alas, according to Radcliffe, is not true. In an interview he had with MTV news as he was working on the Trevor Project, he categorically denied being gay. “If people want to say that, they can,” he […Daniel Radcliffe…] said. “But I’m not. I’m straight.” He is passionate about the Trevor Project and its goals for all LGBT yourth. The Trevor Project is a nonprofit organization that offers suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and Daniel Radcliffe has spoken passionately about the importance of helping these at-risk kids and removing the stigma of coming out. The 20 year old actor has never shied away from the rumors of him being gay and feels it would not have hurt his career in anyway – but alas he says no to the whole gay thing. One can only hope!! But kudos to Radcliffe for being a positive face in the gay and lesbian community – that is why he will always have our continued support.

A little background on our actor:  Radcliffe was born July 23, 1989 in West London, England and began his first experience at acting at age 5.  At age 10 (1999), he made his first acting debut in the BBC’s televised two-part adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel David

Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe

Copperfield, portraying the title character as a young boy. Radcliffe auditioned for Harry Potter in 2000 and appeared in his first Harry Potter film in 2001. J.K. Rowling approved of Radcliffe’s portrayal calling him the best choice to play Harry Potter. He has made 6 Harry Potter films with the last two coming out in 2010 and 2011.

May 17, 2010

Elton John and a stage full of hotties at a charity event

Rain forest charity event at Carnegie Hall

Rain forest charity event at Carnegie Hall

Okay so you may not be a fan of Elton John but you have to admit he doesn’t do anything small.  His entire career has been built around his over the top fashion sense and wildly impassioned concert performances (not to mention those signature glasses of his – donned when he was a kid as a tribute to his idle Buddy Holly).  So it should come as no surprise that his latest venture onto the stage is just as elaborate and just as entertaining as the past.

Elton John at Carnegie Hall

Elton John at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall held a charity event featuring Madonna, Lady Gaga and Sting dressed up in drag and Elton took the stage supported by a cast of hunky underwear clad male back up dancers.  I am sure he was enjoying every minute of it.  The Rainforest Fund along with Sting’s wife Trudie Styler produced the event to support the preservation of rain forests across the world.  I thought you would enjoy these pictures from the event.

I will give it to Elton, at 63 he is still commanding the stage with his electrifying performances.  In his four decade career, Elton John has sold more than 250 million records making him one of the most successful artist of all time.  The single “Candle In The Wind” produced in 1997 single handedly sold more than 37 million copies becoming one of the best selling singles of all time.  He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 U.S.

Don't you wish Elton...don't you wish!!

Don't you wish Elton...don't you wish!!

albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won five Grammy awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award.  In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.  Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, was knighted Sir Elton John in 1998 and entered into a civil partnership with his partner David Furnish in 2005.  He continues to this day to be a staunch advocate on the worldwide fight to combat AIDS.

Way to go Sir Elton!!

May 15, 2010

The New Pageant Pay Per View Online Service

Easier………..Simpler…………..Cheaper…………

It’s the all new Pageant Pay Per View Online Viewing Service.

The all new Pageant Pay Per View Online System

The all new Pageant Pay Per View Online System

Here’s  how it works:

1) Go to the Click Click Expose website at: (www.clickclickexpose.com) and look for the Video Sharing/Planet Q TV button.  Click on that button;

2)  Go to the “channels page” and look for the Pay Per View video channel;

3)  Browse our selection of videos (new videos are added every week) and choose one of the videos you wish to watch;

4)  Play the video.  After 45 seconds, the video will stop playing and ask for you to buy a weekly subscription rental for $15.00.

5)  Pay for your weekly rental.  After you pay, you are directed back to the Planet Q TV website.

6)  You are now a PREMIUM MEMBER.  You can watch any video that is in our Pay Per View Video Channel for the next 7 days.  ANY VIDEO – ANY TIME – 7 DAYS.

7)  After 7 days, you will be charged another weekly subscription fee unless you cancel your membership.  Subscriptions are paid for thru Pay Pal – you must cancel your subscription through Pay Pal.

NO REFUNDS ON PAY PER VIEW MEMBERSHIPS. One membership per person per account.  Users who give out or give away their log in information will be permanently banned from the website via your IP address.  Your IP address is recorded on every membership.  Valid email is required.  If you have questions concerning your Planet Q TV Premium Membership Account, please email us at: ccevideo@empirevideoproductions.com.

Thanks and enjoy the new Pageant Pay Per View Online Service.  More videos are coming soon!!

May 1, 2010

Gay International Pageant – Prelim ends tonight (Sat 5/1)

Thank goodness for wifi at Club Basix.  I love it when a club lets it patrons take advantage of new technology.  I am sitting here listening to booming music while waiting for the pageant to start.  So I thought I would update the blog with some pictures and the latest video links.  Preliminary night is scheduled for three nights and tonight represents the last night of preliminary.  There were 11 boys and 3o  ladies as contestants.  The competition has been amazing and this is a great turnout for a pageant operating under a new name and new ownership.

Contestant at this year's pageant

Contestant at this year's pageant

Who would of though that the Midwest could hold such a fabulous pageant.  I have to admit, even though the city is small and has a very Midwest feel – it is quite nice out here.  Now only if there were more places to eat downtown around the hotel (within walking distance), I would be happy (but I digress).

Okay so I posted new trailer videos for everyone to watch.  Something for the guys, something for the girls and and some fabulous entertainment. (and as a side note – I look up and the county fire department is taking someone out of the club – too intoxicated, sick, too many roofies – who knows and I am not going to find out – and damn the night hasn’t even started yet).

So to watch the fabulous Pretty Belle, Dena Cass, Natasha Cass (former Miss Iowa USofA, Sierra Spaulding or Nova

Mr Gay International Contestant

Mr Gay International Contestant

Starr, check out this link.  There short clips but gives you an idea of what they performed last night.  To watch the video, click here to view the video.

Male pageant has always had a tough road to climb under the shadow of the girls.  But the constants this year are really shinning.  Mr. Gay International Xeus has come out with more outfits and costumes and an excellent selection of songs and routines complete with dancers.  To watch some of the guys and their talent numbers from friday night, click on this link.

And finally the ladies.  Sierra Spaulding is amazing to watch and she is truly a shining example of Miss Gay International.  Her energy and enthusiasm on the floor is infectious and will be a tough act to follow.  The winner of the pageant will have some big shoes to fill and Sierra has set a good example.  To watch some of the ladies as they performed some HOT talent numbers Friday night, click on this link.

I won’t be able to upload a lot of videos from Saturday night as I have to catch up on some rest (after the pageant Sunday – I have to drive to Dayton, OH to film a EOY contestant’s presentation video), but I will upload the folks who were selected for the top 5.  Good luck to all of the contestants.  Your hard work is definitely showing.

Sierra Spaulding - Miss Gay International 2009

Sierra Spaulding - Miss Gay International 2009

Stay tune for more preview videos from finals night later on in the week.  Also, when I return to Miami, I will update the pricing on the DVDs as well.

– Thomas

April 30, 2010

2010 Mr and Miss Gay International Pageant is underway

After a way too long  journey to the midwest, I finally got into the small town of Cedar Rapids to film the 2010 Mr. and Miss Gay International Pageant.  The pageant is owned and operated by the legendary Entertainer Dena Cass and is being held at Club Basix for the preliminary night events and at the Piano Bar for finals night.  I have to say I like the small intimate setting of Club Basix – the dance floor is a good size for a small pageant with plenty of good room to watch.  A small crowd of well wishers from all across the country was on hand to watch the contestants compete.  11 boys and 30 girls entered into the pageant – a tremendous effort by Dena in the first year of  reorganizing the international pageant.

Thursday night was the first night of the pageant – preliminary night.  Contestants were broken up into groups for evening gown, talent for the ladies and presentation for the guys.  Here are some preview videos for you to watch:

http://www.planetq.tv/video/1168/2010-Mr-Gay-International–Thursday-Prelim-Preview

and

http://www.planetq.tv/video/1167/2010-Mr-and-Miss-Gay-International–Thursday-Prelim-Preview

and

http://www.planetq.tv/video/1169/2010-Miss-Gay-International–Thursday-Prelim-Preview

Enjoy – Thomas

April 10, 2010

Congratulations Taniyah Dupree & Malaysia Fox

Pageant owner Alexus D’Marco Braxton just held here first ever 2010 Miss International Closet Ball Pageant (a prelim to the Miss International Newcomer Pageant to be held in Jackson, MS this June). It was a small and quaint gathering at the Quality Inn Sawgrass Conference Center as Taniyah Dior Dupree was the winner of the pageant. Congratulations to Taniyah for winning the pageant.

Miss International Closet Ball & MBI Pageant

Miss International Closet Ball & MBI Pageant

This pageant also was billed as a double crowning with the 2nd runner up being named the Miss Black International pageant winner. That winner was Malaysia Foxx.

Congratulations to both ladies as they won this year’s pageant. Interested in seeing what the contest was about. Purchase the DVD from www.clickclickexpose.com.

April 8, 2010

The Return of the Pageant Soup Podcast Show

To all you pageant fans who enjoy female impersonation and male lead entertainment – the Pageant Soup Podcast Show is making its return to the Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network today with Episode #46 – How to prepare for an upcoming pageant contest.

Pageant Soup Podcast Show - Episode 46

Pageant Soup Podcast Show - Episode 46

As you can see from the picture, we have some awesome guest which include National Title Holders Simba R. Hall, Zavior Mays, Antonio Edwards and our host Mr. Black America for the 2010 season Xavier Cole.

To listen to the show live as its happening, go to: www.blogtalkradio.com/ccemedia and follow the prompts to listen to the show.

Can’t make the live show.  NO PROBLEM.  You can subscribe via iTunes to the Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network and have the show downloaded to you every month.  To subscribe, click here. Or you can visit our website at: www.clickclickexpose.com and click on the button that says “podcasting” to subscribe or to just listen to any of the shows on the CCE gay podcast network.

We are exciting about re-launching the Pageant Soup Podcast Show and we hope you will tune and listen.  As always, we invite your questions, comments and suggestions and thank you for your continued support.

From your friends at Click Click Expose (Gay Entertainment Media) – Thomas

April 5, 2010

Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network – Weekly Update – April 4, 2010

April greetings 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.

We want to welcome our newest show to the podcast network – This Show Is So Gay with Ken and Becca from Vermont. They are a news, interview, music and talk podcast show done live on WVEW 107.7 FM in Brattleboro, VT. Welcome to the network!!

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. The Pageant Soup Podcast show returns on April 8th with new host Xavier Cole as he talks about the world of gay male pageantry. Look for the return of Pageant Soup next week.

Don’t forget to check out Planet “Q” TV – it’s our very own all gay video sharing website with more than 1,100 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 April 4, 2010.
2. DJ House Music Show – This week’s music show – Fire Sessions 1 House Mix – Part 1 – from DJ L Calderin.
3. Queer History Fact #104
– gay greek writing in AD160″.
4. This Show Is So Gay – Episode March 31, 2010 – Activist Natasha Dillon and Author Nick Burd
5. This Show Is So Gay – Episode March 24, 2010
– Professor Sylvia Allen
6. REBROADCAST – Generation Q Radio – Episode #6
– Youth podcast show for the queer generation

LISTEN:
Gay News Week In Review – W/E 04-04-10 (Podcast)
DJ L Calderin “Fire Sessions 1 House Mix” – Part 1 (Podcast)
Queer History Fact #104 (Podcast)
This Show Is So Gay 3/31/2010 (Podcast)
This Show Is So Gay 3/24/2010 (Podcast)
Generation Q Radio – Episode 6 (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.

March 29, 2010

New Closet Ball pageant heads to Ft. Lauderdale Easter Sunday

If you are a fan of gay pageantry, then you know there are many different facets of pageantry that exist in the gay and lesbian community. And with the exceptions of balls, we have filmed just about every form of pageantry. This Easter Sunday, we head to the Quality Inn Sawgrass Conference Center in Ft. Lauderdale for the 1st annual Miss International Closet Ball (a prelim of the Mr. and Miss International Inc Pageantry System). What makes Closet Balls so unique and different? In one word – transformations. If you have never seen a closet ball pageant, you are in for a treat. The presentation category is the first judged category and the contestants come out as guys – giving us masculinity in all its form. After an hour recess where we get to watch some great entertainment, the guys come back to the stage “transformed” as beautiful ladies competing in the talent category and sportswear or evening gown competition. It is amazing to watch the transformations and the OMG looks from new people in the crowd as the masculine boy who came out on stage has now transformed to a gorgeous lady.

Miss International Closet Ball - April 4th - Ft. Lauderdale

Miss International Closet Ball - April 4th - Ft. Lauderdale

This is the first year that the International Pageantry, Inc system will host a Closet Ball pageant in Florida and it is being brought to you by Auntea BB (better known as Alexus DMarco Braxton). Hailing from the Bahamas, Alexus knew at the age of 15 that she was born for the world of pageantry – watching every beauty pageant that would come on TV as a child. When faith and opportunity presented itself, she moved to the United States to create her drag persona and dive feet first into the world of pageantry. In 1999, Alexus created here first pageant “Florida Gold International.”

After five years and armed with a wealth of knowledge on how to run a pageant, she headed back to Nassau to share her knowledge of pageantry in a city and country that frowns on female impersonation and male lead. Alexus would not be deterred as she sought out to change the mindset of Bahamian entertainers to how the USA girls compete. From how to pad your clothes to simple stuff like using stones on your outfit, the re-molding of the Bahamian mindset paid off giving the Bahama girls a fair chance of competing against USA girls.

CLOSET BALLS ARE BIG IN FLORIDA – a chance for would be stars and newcomers to test their ability to compete – so here is your chance to get involved with a preliminary pageant to a national system looking to make a major mark in the world of gay pageantry.

The pageant is scheduled for Easter Sunday April 4, 2010 at the Quality Inn Sawgrass Conference Center (1711 N. University Drive, Plantation [Ft. Lauderdale], FL 33301). Showtime is at 9:00pm. Registration is at 1:00pm at the Quality Inn hotel. Entry Fee is only $100. The prize package includes – $500 for the winner, $200 for the first runner-up, and $100 for the 2nd runner-up. This year’s theme is “Men In Black…with a feminine Touch!”

Special guest include Miss International Inc, Newcomer Cha Chi Divine, Miss International 2007 and COO Vicki Valentino and Mr. International 2007 and CEO Marlowe Rainbow. For more information on the pageant, email Alexus at: trequain@hotmail.com. The winner of the Miss International Closet ball pageant will also be double crowned as Miss Black International.

Click Click Expose is proud to be actively involved in the Mr. and Miss International Inc pageantry system and its prelims.  We will once again be providing the DJ services and video filming for another prelim.  Look for DVD information on our website in the days to come.  It should be a fun and exciting pageant.  Make sure you come by and say hi to me and Adrian.  Enjoy!!

Thomas


The Pageantry Systems International Organization, producers of the MISS INTERNATIONAL INC  CLOSET BALL ®, MR AND MISS MBI  INTERNATIONAL ® MISS CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL® MR& MISS NEWFACE® MR & MISS FLORIDA GOLD ® ALL NATIONAL SYSTEMS competitions, is an international company that advances and supports today’s alterative lifestyle women and men .   These women and men are savvy, goal-oriented and aware of the art of entertainment.   The contestants who become part of the PAGEANTRY SYSTEM INTERNATIONAL  Organization display those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals who participate in the competitions to advance their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women and men who seek to improve the art of entertainment through pageantry.  The Pageantry Systems International Organization will be long a national and international tradition, we are redefined with new ownership, leadership and vision for the world of the 21st century.

March 22, 2010

Click Click Expose Gay Podcast Network – Weekly Update for March 21

March greetings 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.

We want to welcome our newest show to the podcast network – This Show Is So Gay with Ken and Becca from Vermont. They are a news, interview, music and talk podcast show done live on WVEW 107.7 FM in Brattleboro, VT. Welcome to the network!!

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. A new podcast show on gay male pageantry will be coming soon in April!

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 March 21, 2010.
2. DJ House Music Show – This week’s music show – Funk Steps House Mix – Part 2 – from DJ Louie B.
3. Queer History Fact #103
– Controversial book “The Well of Loneliness”.
4. Passion Hits – Episode #11 – March 8 – Part 2. – Love and dedication show dedicated to the one you love.
5. Passion Hits – Episode #11 – March 8 – Part 1.
– Love and dedication show dedicated to the one you love.
6. REBROADCAST – Generation Q Radio – Episode #6
– Youth podcast show for the queer generation
7. This Show Is So Gay – Episode March 17, 2010 – Author Cassidy Haley and Washington State Representative Marko Liias

LISTEN:
This Show Is So Gay 3/17/2010 (Podcast)
Passion Hits – Episode #11 (Part 2) (Podcast)
Passion Hits – Episode #11 (Part 1) (Podcast)
Gay News Week In Review – W/E 03-21-10 (Podcast)
DJ Louie B “Funk Step House Mix” – Part 2 (Podcast)
Queer History Fact #103 (Podcast)
Generation Q Radio – Episode 6 (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.

February 23, 2010

Miss Large and Lovely DVD available now!! – Congrats Desiree

2010 Miss Large and Lovely Desiree DeMornay

2010 Miss Large and Lovely Desiree DeMornay

As many of you know, we have been filming gay drag pageants for many many years. And over the years we have noticed that there are two areas of gay pageantry that get little attention – the Mr. side and the Plus girls. After watching and filming the 2010 Miss Large and Lovely pageant – I was reminded once again how amazingly talented, enthusiastic and energetic the plus community is and how this side of pageantry should not be ignored (kinda like the Mr. EOY contest last year really showed how passionate the Mr. gay side of the business can be).

I thoroughly had a great time at the Parliament House – the host of this year’s pageant (held on February 15th). April Fresh and Roseanee DeShanaro were the host charming the crowd as the pageant featured 9 fabulous contestants and a host of special guest entertainers. The contestants this year included: Ginger Minj!, Maya Andrews, Sherri Hart, London Taylor Douglas, Nikki Champagne, Leena Quizeen, Kamden Wells, Alexis De La Mer & Desiree DeMornay. It was a wide range of contestants who really brought it to the contest. Special guest entertainers included Tweeka Weed, Jocelyn Summers, Chi Chi La Lique, Darcel Stevens (who also hosted the Talent category), Geraldine Jones and Josephine Andrews.

If you like a good pageant and enjoy the energy and fun of the big girls, this is a DVD you don’t want to miss. You can buy it by visiting: www.clickclickexpose.com and click on the shopping button. Want to watch the preview trailer, you can go here to watch: http://www.planetq.tv/video/1012/2010-Miss-Large–Lovely-Pageant-Official-Trailer

February 20, 2010

Click Click Expose live tonight – 2/20 – from Ft. Lauderdale

Live Haitian Relief Effort on CCE TV

Live Haitian Relief Effort on CCE TV

Live from “The Mix on the Drive” – the newest gay bar to open in the Wilton Manor (Ft. Lauderdale) area – by far the gayest area in Ft. Lauderdale. We are doing the Haitian Relief Benefit Show to benefit all of the victims from the disaster in Haiti. Please stop by our website between 6pm and 11pm on Saturday February 20th to watch. Prizes, music, food and fun and loads and loads of entertainment.

Come join us. http://www.clickclickexpose.com and click on the live internet button to watch. See you Saturday

January 3, 2010

The Top 10 LGBT stories of 2009

Now that 2010 is officially here, I thought it would be interesting to look back at 2009 to see how far we have come as an community.  For a lot of us (me included) 2009 was a horrible year; however, there were some positives that we can embrace.  This top 10 listing was culled from research done at the Bilerico Project blog and writer Bil Browning:

Number 10: Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga & Chaz Bono reveal themselves to the world!

Lambert, Lady Gaga and Bono

Lambert, Lady Gaga and Bono

So what happens when you don’t tuck properly – you get embarrassed (or at the least) you shock your adoring audience.  Thus the country’s revelation that Lady Gaga is bisexual or transgendered.  Did it hurt her career?  Not in the least, as she continues to sell records by the thousands.  Adam Lambert of American Idol fame came out of the closet and also caused quite a stir by simulating a sex act at the American Music Awards – thus confirming the double standard that its okay for straight folks to do it in public but gay folks can’t.  Finally, Chaz Bono came out stating he was beginning his “transition” thus helping to bring the issues of transgendered people to the forefront.
Number 9:  Stonewall Riots – history repeat itself once again.

The police are at it again

The police are at it again

The Stonewall Riots may have occurred in 1969 but that hasn’t stopped history from repeating itself again.  Texas ABC agents and Ft. Worth Police stormed the opening of a gay bar sending one man with brain injuries to the hospital.  Texas ABC ended up firing two of its agents for the incident while the Ft. Worth Police maintained the patron brought the injuries onto himself.  Is police brutality on the rise?  Is police brutality against gay folks on the rise?  Ask many people and they will tell you yes.

Number 8: Can California overturn Prop 8?

It was originally a 2008 story- California voters denying same-sex marriage.  In 2009, attempts were made and failed to overturn Prop 8 with the right hiring top gun lawyers and forming all kinds of new political action groups.   Will a new measure hit the ballots in 2010 or 2012?  Only time will tell.  The most important question to ask is “will the people of California finally realize that gay marriage is not something to be scarred of.”

Is Obama for Gay Rights?

Is Obama for Gay Rights?

Number 7: The Justice Department says DOMA is okay?

Although this created a stir in the gay community and a backlash against President Obama, it’s result comes as no surprise.  DOMA is legal and on the books; so when the Justice Department had to make a statement because of a legal challenge – surprise- they had to defend the current law.  Who would have thunk it!!  Somehow (of course) that defense was translated to Obama doesn’t want to help the LGBT community and all of a sudden, the community is up in arms.  Will DOMA get overturn on Obama’s watch?  Hopefully.  Will don’t ask, don’t tell get repealed?  Probably.  But 2009 was a nightmare for the country and you can only do so much.  I think our community needs to have just a little patience – after all – if McCain was in office – we would never get what we want.

Number 6:  The LGBT print media doesn’t recognize changing times.

The LGBT print media suffered from the same fate as its hetero counterparts.  Not recognizing that the public has steadily moved away (for years) from print media in favor of the more convenient online services.  It is surprising considering that many LGBT folks get their information exclusively online, you would think that publications like “The Washington Blade,” TWIT,” David’s Magazine,” “Southern Voice,” – would realize this and change their strategy.  Nope, didn’t happen and as a result many respected and important voices in the gay community were silenced.  11 papers and counting – not to mention that the advent of the gay book store is suffering as well (my partner and I have always wanted to run our own book store and cafe).  It’s all about the internet now!!

Number 5:  Congress says “yes” to HIV travelers.

When it comes to basic civil liberties for LGBT folks, it seems that the world gets it right before the U.S. does.  It took a while, but Congress this year finally repealed the ban on HIV + travelers to this country.  The ban represented one of the darkest moments for this country as we systemically discriminated against people with HIV while there was no scientific basis for the ban.  The rest of the world admonished us for it – Obama recognized it was wrong and ended it.

Number 4:  A March on Washington Returns!

I remember when I was a field producer in 1993 helping to produce a video for the  March on Washington in ’93.  It was an amazing experience considering I was struggling with coming out to myself.  I wanted to be in Washington in 2009 for this historic march – the National Equality March that brought over 250,000 people to the nation’s capital.  What was extraordinary about this march?  It was originally shunned by many, fearing cost and support.  But a grass-roots campaign and national support from celebrities got the ball running and in 6 short months, the march was put together at a cost south of $200,000.  Far cheaper and faster than any major march for LGBT rights on record.

Number 3:  Activist win the fight in Washington and Kalamazoo – but lose in Maine.

Of course, if you listen to the right – gay folks are out to ruin the nation and convert our children and their was not shortness of rhetoric in the 2009 year.  But a few victories were achieved.  Kalamazoo upheld their law outlawing discrimination against LGBT people.  Washington “upgrades” its domestic partnership law which includes many (if not all) of the benefits and protections afforded heterosexual couples.  Maine on the other hand, overturned the same-sex marriage law – leaving only Civil Unions in place.

Number 2:  And then there was 6?

So you are a gay couple and you want to get married.  A few years ago, you had to travel to Canada or take a trip to the Netherlands.  Not anymore. 6 states have allowed same-sex marriages: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (despite the Republican Governor’s veto), New Hampshire and Washington DC.  Progress is slow but it’s coming.

Number 1:  Pro Gay Legislation makes history!

President Obama signed into law the first pro-LGBT piece of legislation in United States history when he put his signature on the

A Victory for the Shepard Family

A Victory for the Shepard Family

Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The legislation was first proposed a decade before after Shepard, a gay college student from Wyoming, was beaten and tied to a fence to die. Contributor Cathy Renna was one of the first LGBT activists to reach Matthew’s hospital bedside and worked with his mother, Judy Shepard to ensure passage of the legislation. The new law has already been instrumental in forcing an investigation into the death of Puerto Rican teenager Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.

So there you have it – 10 issues that have made a difference in the live of gay and lesbian people all over the country.  Here’s hoping for bigger and better things in 2010.

Thomas

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)

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