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May 23, 2010

When does being PC becomes way too PC?

Can't we all belong to the gay community?

Can't we all belong to the gay community?

Once upon a time, in a land far far away – if you were gay – you were called a faggot. Now mind you, this wasn’t a very nice term to be called and there were no “faggot” social groups in existence. So if you wanted to get together, you came up with an inconspicious group name, got together and formed your queer community. You couldn’t call it a “gay” group (that didn’t sound very original), you couldn’t call it a “lesbian” group (that didn’t sound very fun) – so you were queer. Everyone who was gay or lesbian wrap themselves up (whether they liked it or not) under the umbrella of “queer.” Forget names like the Mattachine Society or the Daugthers of Bilitis (circa 1950s) – those names weren’t PC enough – they didn’t include the whole spectrum of gay – so queer it was.

Fast forward a couple of decades and someone came to the conclusion they didn’t want to be called queer. It was too negative, too stereotypical or simply implied you were flambuyoant. So they would rather be called gay. The ladies in turn became upset and said – what a minute – what about us – were not “gay” we are “lesbians” (circa 1980s). So what are a bunch of queer faggots to do at this point? Enter the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Okay, so this is not a social group but you get the idea – in an attempt to include everyone in the same social sphere , gay organizations had to come up with a name that tackled both men and women (circa 1990s).

But just wait one queer faggot gay lesbian minute! What if you liked the best of both worlds – a girl one day and a guy the next. You wanted to be included in the social sphere? So what do we do now? So in the mid 1990’s, we found ourselves once again pushing to come up with terminology specifically pointing out the inclusion of a new group of people – bisexuals and transgendered folks. After all, we were ending another era that said only gay and lesbian people should be apart of this “special” community and there are others who also needed to be represented.

So somewhere in a hidden dark dank room, a group of people said, let’s come up with some letters. Will use “L” for lesbian, “G” for gay, “B” for bisexual and “T” for transgendered. Not a bad idea – but what order do we put them in? I know – GLBT – gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Fair enough you say….Nope!! Another debate in sued (which for the life of me) has still not been answered today. Is it LGBT or GLBT (the ladies wanted “L” first because this represented the recognition that men would no longer hold dominance over women)? So for many many years (okay well may be only 10 or 15) – we “gay, faggot, queer, lesbian folks” were okay with the term LGBT or GLBT to describe our community and inclusion it represented.

End of the story? As nice as it would be to say yes, the “PC” debate never ends quietly. No “PC” history would be complete without someone out there feeling like they were being left out. The “(Q)ueer” people wanted back in, the “(Q)uestioning” people want to be considered, not to mention the “(I)ntersex,” the “(P)olygamous,” the “(O)mnisexual,” the “(P)ansexual,” and the ever growning “(T)wo-(S)pirit” people.

Confused? Finding yourself racing to Google to see what exactly is a “Pansexual” – don’t feel alone. I think most of our community has no clue. But these groups of people felt that they deserve to have an inclusive part of our community. Thus, ladies and gentlemen – the LGBTQQIA has been formed. I mean, REALLY – LGBTTQQIA seems to run contrary to the purpose of acronyms and this is not just inclusive — it’s freakin exhaustive! I don’t really know what “two-spirited” means (I recall it has something to do with the first nations’ beliefs on gender), I’m not sure what the difference between “transgendered” and “intersexed” is, and I can’t even explain why “queer” doesn’t manage to cover all the other letters.

So my question is when does PC become way too PC? When have we gone too far in our effort to be inclusive and politically correct? Do we really need all of this to belong? If you are not in the alphabet soup, will you feel you have no place? What are your thoughts on this? I would be interested to know. Hit us up below with your comments and thoughts!!

Thomas (writing for Click Click Expose – Gay Entertainment Media).

May 16, 2010

The first openly female gay bishop is announced

Rev Canon Mary Glasspool is ordained

Rev Canon Mary Glasspool is ordained

In a country where talks of “first” is still high on the social ladder, we have another “first” to talk about for the gay and lesbian community.  First, a little back story.  It has been seven years since the Episcopal Church created a firestorm of controversy when it decided that indeed a gay man could be a bishop.  Fast forward to today and we find that yes a lesbian woman can be a bishop as well.  The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, of Baltimore, was ordained and consecrated on Saturday, making her the second openly gay bishop in Episcopal church history and one of the first two female bishops in the Diocese of Los Angeles’ 114-year history.  The fact that it has taken 114 years for a woman to become a bishop is amazing – the fact that it is a lesbian women is nothing short of amazing.

While I will never understand the politics and angst that comes with the Church and their politics, many are happy to see Rev Glasspool take her position in history.  She was installed at Long Beach Arena before 3,000 people and according to a church spokesman, the arena erupted in applause after the installation ceremony.  The Rev was quoted as saying to the media: “the church’s willingness to ordain women and gays shows a commitment that goes beyond mere inclusive language.”

Let’s here it for the Episcopal church that continues to show that their is a place for everyone in God’s world. – Thomas (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.


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.”


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 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


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)

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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