Click Click Expose

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

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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 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 3, 2008

John Barrowman & the Torchwood TV Show

Torchwood Team

Torchwood Team

If you are a sci fi fan like myself, then you know the actor John Barrowman.  Mr. sexy with his bi-love interest Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto) in the BBC hit TV show “Torchwood.”  It’s an off shoot of Doctor Who where the 51st century time traveller has taken up residence in Cardiff fighting aliens in the city.  Well the actor is openly gay and does not hide that fact (way to go John) and I found this video of him on You Tube that celebrates his relationship with his partner of 16 years Scott Gill.  It goes to show you that you can have a successful acting career and still be out, proud and gay.  My hats off to them both.  Can’t wait for season 3 of Torchwood do out sometime in May of 2009 in the UK and shortly afterwards here in America on BBC America.

 

Thomas

June 25, 2008

Where have all the guys gone? – Pageant Soup Podcast Show #37

Pageant Soup Podcast Show - Episode Number 37

It’s almost the middle of the year and we have some exciting shows in the future. We know a lot of you are talking about Miss Duval and Sweetheart Newcomer and we will touch on those topics in the coming weeks, BUT this week on the Pageant Soup Podcast Show we welcome guest host Marlowe Rainbow as we tackle “Where have all the guys gone? – Male Pageantry in 2008.” It appears that male pageantry may be on a slow start this year, we talk about the challenges, successes and opportunities that face male pageantry in 2008. We invite all current and former male title holders to get in on the discussion and share with us your opionions and thoughts.

The show airs live tomorrow June 25th at 7pm Eastern Standard Time. Visit our website to listen live or simply subscribe via iTunes and have all of the shows downloaded to you every week for free.

Live call in with 5 phone lines and chat room & email will be open so you can make your comments and ask your questions. Happy listening and thanks for your continued support. We will see you all tomorrow at 7 pm EST. It will be a fun 30 minutes!!

Thomas (Show Producer)

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