Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gay Comedy at the historic Improv, this Wednesday night

Gays R Us

Loraine Love is the host for the evening, along with comics Liz Feldman, Roy Cruz,
Cathy Carlson, Daniel Leary, Erin Foley with Sandra Valls headlining!!

Wednesday, Dec 3rd
8 pm
Hollywood Improv
8162 Melrose Avenue

Click on flyer below to print out for discounted $10 admission.

Today - Toy Drive for APLA

Rally and March in Leimert Park, Nov 23

Photos by Lily Khadjavi, Jordan/Rustin Coalition.


Sonic Boom

For those of you that live in California and thought you had really, really earth-moving sex this morning, that was actually a sonic boom caused by the space shuttle reentering the atmosphere. The space shuttle Endeavour landed today safely at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave desert, fyi. It was redirected here - as always - because of weather in Florida.

And who the hell is having great sex? Isn't the time of year dedicated to fighting with your family, having your childhood buttons pushed, over-drinking as a result, overeating then subsequently worrying about gaining weight, worrying about being able to afford holiday presents....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The World is All Gay

What if the world was gay, and it was heterosexuals looking for marriage rights?

Catch this great short (my absolute favorite from the film festival circuit a few years ago) with Jane Lynch as the preacher, and a hysterical cameo by Margaret Cho. Directed by Anne Renton.



For more info and future projects from this team, visit www.loveisloveshortfilm.com

Watch the Lesbian "Twilight"


How exciting that Catherine Hardwicke's vampire flick TWILIGHT is cleaning up at the box office, but how about a lesbian vampire flick? Oh wait, it's been made and it premiered on LOGO this week.

Check out this short, lesbian, vampire flick from director Tina Scorzafava... you can watch it and rate it right now at www.logoonline.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rich Raddon, Director of LA Film Fest, Steps down After Yes on Prop 8 Donation

Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival's director, Rich Raddon was revealed to have donated $1,500 to the YES ON PROP 8 campaign and what followed was a huge barrage of letters and emails from the progressive, independent film making world to the festival's managing organizations Film Independent and the non-profit FIND LA.

Raddon gave his resignation last week, but the organization's board denied it. More letters and emails came from prominent film makers which motivated the organization to finally accept his resignation after a special board meeting Monday night.

Any independent film festival tends to lend itself to showcasing and celebrating non-studio and independent-minded films that encompass a variety of international and local issues as well as depicting the human condition of many minorities and cultures. The idea that the man at the helm was giving money to take away rights to a group of people was unacceptable.

I have met a multitude of Mormons - both gay and straight - that do not discriminate and will not accept their church's doctrine to vigorously pursue removing rights and spreading hateful rhetoric against the LGBT community. By donating money, Raddon showed he is not one of them.

Greg Araki - who is considered to be one of the creators of new queer cinema and has been hugely involved in Film Independent over the years - was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying Raddon should step down. "I don't think he should be forcibly removed. The bottom line is if he contributed money to a hateful campaign against black people, or against Jewish people, or any other minority group, there would be much less excusing of him. The terrible irony is that he runs a film festival that is intended to promote tolerance and equality."

Torie Osborn's Letter on Our Movement Post Prop 8

As a note, Torie will have a piece in an upcoming issue of THE NATION on this, I urge you to buy it from your local newstand.

____

THE NEW POLITICS OF YES:
YES WE CAN…OVERTURN PROP 8

An Open Letter by Torie Osborn November 20, 2008

A Prayer
I write this to help move forward the conversation in the wake of Prop 8. It is a loving work in progress. I dedicate it to my friends who died of AIDS and who are shouting from The Beyond: Do not miss this opportunity to forge transformation from this defeat. Do not forget us! In particular, I honor Ken Dawson, Connie Norman, Marlon Riggs, Rand Schrader, Mark Kostopolous, Paul Monette, Tom Stoddard, and Gabe Kruks. They never forgot what really matters: love and justice.


1. DEFEAT REQUIRES HONESTY, HUMILITY AND LONGTERM MOVEMENT-BUILDING STRATEGY

Learning from others
When the devastating violence of 1992’s civil unrest scorched communities of color in Los Angeles, a phoenix rose up from those ashes. Even with formidable external forces tearing them apart, forward-looking Asian, African-American and Latino leaders showed extraordinary leadership: Rather than devolve into infighting or finger-pointing, they took a clear-eyed look at their own failures and vowed to do things completely differently. “We have an urgent need to think long-term,” were the words that reverberated, and a fundamental paradigm shift took place. Vowing to move beyond short term and fragmented efforts, diverse leaders in diverse neighborhoods made an intentional, coordinated plan: to retool existing groups or found brand new organizations dedicated to long-term community organizing for real power in their respective neighborhoods; and, to forge an ongoing multi-ethnic network of trusting relationships. Not unlike the Right after the bitter defeat of Goldwater in 1964, they dedicated themselves to building the infrastructure of a serious new social movement. As a result, quietly, effectively, since 1992, LA has birthed a vibrant economic and racial justice movement that is building neighborhood power, incubating leaders for political office, and helping move a regional social reform agenda for labor and immigrant rights and economic equity. Fifteen years later, LA has: progressives of color as Mayor, CA Assembly Speaker, and new Supervisor; a vibrant set of organizations that network and strategize across ethnic lines; and, a pipeline of young leaders who will make history for decades to come. Progressive ideas that seemed preposterous in 1992 -- such as the living wage and environmental justice -- are mainstream.

That transformation started with humility and self-responsibility – and an eye on the prize of longterm movement-building for justice. What could have devolved into permanent divisions instead moved from pain to power.

I have seen nothing similar in the LGBT community since the bitter victory of the homophobic Proposition 8. Nobody has accepted responsibility for failure and stepped up to lead a coherent, community- wide discussion of where to from here. As a result there is too much finger pointing, and a startling loss of credibility for established LGBT organizations and leaders. Without a humble and truth-telling self-assessment, the energetic protest and proliferation of new young activists may well evaporate, or be too narrowly contained within one single – if exciting -- strand of the LGBT movement: web activism. Or, inaccurate analysis will become set in stone and lead toward division rather than powerful motion forward.


2. WHY WE WILL WIN NEXT TIME: BEATING PROP 8 IS A TRUE CAUSE OF THE NEW OBAMA ERA OF PROGRESSIVE PATRIOTISM

The nation-wide eruption of anger over Prop 8’s homophobic victory – at the same historic moment Connecticut granted marriage equality -- is the first major wave of social activism of the new Obama era. Make no mistake about it, if progressive allies and the LGBT community do our homework, we will reverse Prop 8. Yes, we got outgunned pretty spectacularly on Proposition 8 by that big scary Mormon Church and the lies of the Right wing, BUT the world has suddenly and radically shifted toward justice and equality and the Right is rapidly losing power. Feel the zeitgeist! Listen to how silly Newt Gingrich sounds when he talks about the new “gay fascism”. View Jon Stewart take on Bill O’Reilly and tell him marriage equality is the next great cause. Watch Keith Obermann passionately promote our cause!

Wake up, LGBT America! Equality and justice is on the ascendancy and we will win. Today, we have faith in the courts – and the public outcry creates a climate that helps with the legal challenge -- but if the CA Supreme Court fails us, we will go back to the ballot box in California in two or four years, and we will win. If we look with clear eyes and learn well from our own mistakes, and take a few pages from the playbook of our own history, as well as that of our allies in communities of color, there is no doubt marriage equality will be achieved in fairly short order, at least in California, which legalized inter-racial marriage twenty years before the country as a whole.

Full disclosure: I wrote sacrificially large checks, but did not work on No on 8. I was one of thousands of people who felt called by history to drop my life and join the Obama campaign fulltime for the last two months before the election. I spent 24/7 working to help move the army of nearly 15,000 California volunteers to western battleground states, primarily Nevada – which we turned blue by an amazing 12 points. My primary passion was working shoulder to shoulder with the most amazing team of (mostly) women of all colors and backgrounds to do the all-important job of getting African American and Latino to Nevada for voter-to-voter outreach.

Occasionally, I suffer from self-doubt: Would I have chosen to pour all my energies into Obama if I had known Prop 8 would lose narrowly, and Obama would win Nevada by such huge margins? I don’t know, but I honor my time with the Obama campaign as a glorious and instructive experience. On that last GOTV weekend, with 25 others on my team, I walked the dusty streets of suburban Henderson and rural Boulder City, Nevada. I spent election night with a few of my team and a thousand strangers at the Hotel Rio in Las Vegas. We cried hard with Jesse; we danced harder with the Kenyons. Victory shared with several billion world citizens was sweeter than I have ever known. I will not let the homophobes take that from me, and, in fact, my experience on the Obama campaign is what gives me huge hope.


Halleluliah!: We are Not Alone – at last!
I returned from Obamaland in Nevada to the implosion and righteous rage in my own community in LA and across the country. Immediately, I learned the first lesson I need to share: For the first time in our history as an LGBT community fighting the Right: We are not alone. I remember the bitterness of No on 64 in 1986 – fighting the evil LaRouche initiative to quarantine People with AIDS: we couldn’t get ANY nongay organization to endorse us besides our steady ally, the ACLU. Today, we have an army of straight allies who are just as outraged as we are and who have vowed to help us reverse this decision. Thursday night after election day, our LA Obama team had our victory celebration and, with a heavy heart, I drove to Silver Lake to the party – my spirit staying in Westwood with the protesters surrounding the Mormon Church – but wanting to see my Obama campaign sisters and brothers, my new friends and tribe. I still cry when I recall the love and solidarity that poured toward me that night about Prop 8. To a person, the Obama staff and volunteers I spoke with, a majority Latino and African American, mostly nongay, told me to count on them in the next steps in beating Prop 8. And then they showed up at the City Hall protest November 15. The world has turned; even more than those who endorsed No on 8 – greatly increased from previous battles -- we have a critical mass of newly empowered and passionate allies for justice, fired up and ready to go! As one new Obama friend put it: “Sister, you got next!” Those who fear that African American and Latino voters are permanently against us are flat wrong: if we do our footwork, all the signs point to changed minds and hearts in the near future (see: “Where to From Here” section). Change is in the air!

I have emerged from immersion in the Obama movement knowing that it’s a new day in America: a new progressive patriotism is on the rise that suddenly makes the Right a throwback. It won’t happen automatically; it will require hard work, but a new spirit is rising. “Respect/Empower/Include” was the mantra of the Obama campaign, and it means everyone. What a delicious irony that the first major issue that calls the question of the new era of change is the freedom for gays and lesbians to marry! Remember that this issue was blamed by many Democrats for Kerry’s loss four years ago.



3. WHY WE SHOULD HAVE WON: WE KNOW HOW TO BEAT THE RIGHT
Last week, I saw the must-see film, Gus Van Zant’s MILK, and was brought back thirty years to the No on 6 campaign against the Briggs initiative that would have fired gay teachers. The ugly homophobic words of messianic homophobes Anita Bryant and John Briggs were the same words we heard from the YES on 8 folks, only the Right has gotten more clever over its three decades in power: there isn’t one celebrity spokesperson, and they wrap the package in a happy-yellow family picture. But the themes were eerily similar: we threaten their children, we threaten their religion. And, yes, we’ve come a long way when we are fighting for the right to marry as opposed to defending the right of gay schoolteachers to work. But, the film inspired me to speak out, because I believe in my heart that we could have beaten Prop 8 had we studied our own history. 30 years ago was a different time, a time of widespread social activism on the progressive side; organizing and coalition-building was the norm, and the latest human rights movement – ours -- learned how. We came from a 25-point deficit to beat Briggs because we did exactly in 1978 what Barack Obama did this year to win the presidency: Build BOTH a professionally run, disciplined, topnotch top-down campaign AND an inclusive huge grassroots movement that engaged every single person possible in activist support.

In 1978, I was immersed in the lesbian-feminist ‘women’s music’ world and helped organize an amazing 10-city Holly Near/Meg Christian concert tour that reached 50,000 people. The day after their concerts, Holly and Meg led training sessions to inspire and educate hundreds of women to become, yes, community organizers. There were a zillion other ways to plug into No on 6, and, as a result, the gay and lesbian community came together on No on 6 in a way that presaged fighting AIDS later. (Historical note: at the time gay men and lesbians were living on separate planets, as you’ll see in MILK where you meet exactly one lesbian although in truth a huge and vibrant lesbian community lived then in the Mission, out of the camera lens focused only on Harvey and the Castro.) Together, we built a grassroots movement the likes of which had never been seen before in CA; thousands of people came “Out of the closet and into the streets”, pouring into organizing meetings in bars and coffeehouses and feminist bookstores and newly emerging community centers and clinics that were our new home base.

But even that mass grassroots movement would not have defeated the right wing’s vicious campaign without the professional political consultant, David Mixner, who got Ronald Reagan to do a 30-second radio ad that ran the last two weeks of the campaign. This year, the No on 8 equivalent of that Reagan ad designed to reach the “moveable middle” was Barack Obama. In one of the most puzzling decisions of the No on 8 campaign, Obama opposed Prop 8 early on, but the campaign failed to use it until the last days of the campaign when it was too late. When Obama’s CA campaign director asked me in early October why Barack’s face wasn’t plastered all over mailers and TV and radio – which might have made a big difference in Black and Brown communities that overwhelmingly voted for him -- I posed the question immediately to a friend in the campaign’s inner circle. I was told Barack’s position was “too confusing” (he says he opposes gay marriage). Confusing? He gave us the endorsement early; moreover, it was his ONLY endorsement in CA, despite pleas from other initiative campaigns. I’ve heard people blame the Obama campaign for sucking money and people out of the struggle against 8. And I’ve heard too much ugly anger at the Black community. But take responsibility, folks – you had Barack’s endorsement and you didn’t use it. That left it wide open for the YES folks to manipulate Obama’s position and add yet another lie -- that he supported Prop 8. That was a possibly fatal error and we cannot blame the Morman Church or African-Americans for it.

One final critique of No ON 8: Never again should our EDs run our political campaigns! Next time, let’s engage our community’s nonprofit leaders as grass roots leaders, mobilizing their membership, staff and constituencies, and NOT as professional political campaign operatives. I’m a four-time former Executive Director and I believe in longterm institution-building and the need for excellence in EDs. But as one who was also Southern CA Campaign Coordinator for No on 64 (the 1986 AIDS quarantine struggle), believe me, the skill-set of a nonprofit executive is NOT the same as that required to run a political campaign. We need to hire the best, toughest political campaign consultant and let them go, not constrain them with a web of bureaucracy: No on 8 had a big committee of 93, then a smaller committee of 25 and, finally, an “executive committee” of seven representatives of nonprofit groups. The tragedy is that this unwieldy structure precluded BOTH a topflight political campaign and a powerful grassroots campaign – that is, the campaign structure itself diverted energies from a real organizing campaign.

API Equality: Effective Grassroots Organizing
There was one standout model of effective grassroots community organizing in the LGBT community this year; it was part of the No on 8 campaign, but it began autonomously and was a three-year effort: “API Equality.” This campaign should be closely studied as a template for future efforts. Volunteer driven, collaborative, muscular, inclusive and savvy, it engaged and leveraged community-based nonprofits trusted in their neighborhoods and ethnic communities, political allies, diverse ethnic media, and fearlessly confronted homophobic religious groups. API Equality reached their ‘moveable middle’ through engaging allies and putting the human face of LGBT Asian Pacific Islanders front and center. The result? 51% NO vote despite fierce homophobic resistance. Let’s celebrate this success and learn from it!


4. WHERE TO FROM HERE? FROM PROTEST TO POWER

To move from protest to power and guarantee success in the courts or at the ballot box, if it comes to that, and -- most importantly-- to advance the LGBT and progressive movements, several things are necessary:

I. ANALYSIS: A fearless and thorough analysis of what went wrong and right with the No on 8 campaign. Several of the funders are planning on hiring an independent consultant to review the campaign and the results should be made public when they are complete, probably not for several months. Meanwhile, the more smart analysis rooted in data and experience, and pointing toward the future, the better!

II. STRATEGIC CONVENINGS – NOW! We are in a “movement moment” of high energy and new activism. It will not last. Most critical is to ride the wave and try to put something in place that will last: new relationships, banks of names and funding for when we know what the strategy is. And STRATEGY. We need to blog and twitter, yes, but also to convene, retreat, hold summits, strategize – in person as well as online. A few of the good ideas I’ve heard for convenings that should happen as soon as possible:
a. A People of Color Civil Rights/Equal Rights Summit: Gay and straight African American, Latino and API leaders having a summit and together learning from what worked and what didn’t and intentionally forming a path forward could be very powerful.
b. Interfaith and religious organizing: Allies from faith communities having conversations with YES on 8 church leaders to listen well and at least begin the conversation.
c. A cross-generation summit: The young, new LGBT net-organizers holding a meeting with longtime activists who hold many years of movement history and exchanging ideas and questions.
d. Movement infrastructure and leadership The new activist groups meeting with existing GLBT nonprofit leaders and learning what movement infrastructure exists and how it can be retooled to engage the new skills and talents of younger, new leaders coming up. There may be a shakeout in the months ahead: new organizations might emerge; old organizations might decline – what has power and impact and sustainability remains completely up in the air. (As does the new question, by the way, of the LGBT groups’ ongoing relationship with progressive allies: labor, feminist, civil rights and civil liberties, community-based people-of-color organizations? Who holds and nurtures those relationships on behalf of the LGBT movement?)

III. PRIORITIZE LONG-TERM COMMUNITY ORGANIZING IN LATINO AND AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES.
Again, we have a superb model in what API Equality did in the Asian communities, over a protracted three-year period. We need to study it, and look at how it can be successfully translated into the African American and Latino communities, given material differences in funding and nonprofit infrastructure, and the fact that the Right has targeted and organized brilliantly against us over 20 years, particularly in the black community. (I recommend Dee Mosbacher and Sylvia Rhue’s film “All God’s Children” about the Black church and homophobia).

NEWS FLASH!: The good news in LA – central to winning statewide, remember – is that the Liberty Hill Foundation, whose credibility in African American and Latino communities goes back decades, has just made an institutional decision to prioritize funding and training for the next several years on organizing and coalition building on marriage equality in Black and Brown communities. All who want to see that succeed should be writing checks now to www.libertyhill.org. They have a fundraiser December 4 to support these efforts; see their website.

1V. LEVERAGE THE NEW PROGRESSIVE COALITION. If we are indeed in a new era of change, then equality is nonnegotiable. Progressive patriotism is ascendant. We have to tirelessly and fearlessly leverage the Obama justice era and deepen the new progressive coalition. From what I understand, the No on 8 campaign raised huge funds from unions, but never formally asked the formidable labor movement, at least in LA, for its real muscle – peer to peer phoning and canvassing; next time must be different. In addition, many of the networks of grassroots folks that scaled up to elect Obama stand ready to be mobilized – while the Obama campaign and the DNC decide how that grassroots power is to be mobilized, there are lots of informal networks of volunteers that we can tap into. Best positioned to link to the progressive online network is the Courage Campaign – they are already linking with MoveOn.org and with key labor leaders, are already hiring organizers and net-organizing to capture the people and dollars that are ready to beat 8. www.couragecampaign.com


5. CONCLUSION: THE NEW POLITICS OF ‘YES WE CAN’

The world turned on November 4. A new movement is taking shape. I was immersed in it for two months and from my 40 years of activist experience, I can tell you the following:

* The Obama movement is about finding commonality and shared purpose: E Pluribus Unum. Both pragmatic and idealistic, it’s rooted in core patriotic values of democracy, equality and civic engagement. Most of all, this new movement looks at the positive and not the negative traits of our schitzophrenic American history, valuing above all the jagged journey toward justice – the progressive American story of ever-expanding “liberty and justice for all”. It brushes aside the culture of identity politics and its tendency for competing victimization: its motto is “YES WE CAN”, not “I’M OPPRESSED”. It has faith that people can change if you treat them with respect; its stated mantra is “Respect, Empower, Include.” There is no place for inequality in this new era, but after 30 years of Right wing power, America has some catching up to do. Both homophobia and economic inequality have been hallmarks of the past thirty years of Right wing dominance in America, so we will need to do some work to align our different struggles for justice – economic and equal-rights. But it will happen, with faith and hard work. The winds of change are at our back, and when my Obama-campaign friends vow solidarity on marriage equality and defeating Prop 8, I believe them. There is a new and diverse army of supporters out there just waiting to be tapped, for us. Just as we will need to stand in solidarity to restore equal opportunity to economic security and achieve racial justice as we go forward. All in the name of a shared commitment America’s highest ideals.

At last Saturday’s rally, my longtime friend, former boss, and a true brother in solidarity for full and complete equality for LGBT people, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, gave a gorgeous speech about marriage equality that you can find all over YouTube. It included these words: “In the eyes of the law and the eyes of God, THOU SHALT NOT DISCRIMINATE.. .…This is not just about protest and this is not just about the internet. Let us go back to our homes and into our neighborhoods and start this conversation and take it to the shuls and to the churches and to every civic institution and to City Halls and to the Halls of Congress and all the way to the White House…..”

If we do this, in very short order, we will beat Prop 8. Not to mention help forge a new American movement for democracy and equality that cannot be stopped.
YES WE CAN. SI SE PUEDE!

Copyright, 2008
Torie Osborn
Torie.Osborn@gmail.com

Torie Osborn is a longtime social activist and former executive director of LA’s Gay and Lesbian Center and Liberty Hill Foundation, as well as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She recently served in Mayor Villaraigosa’s cabinet as Senior Advisor on poverty and homelessness policy, as well as liaison to philanthropy. She is currently a writer and independent consultant to foundations and social-change nonprofits.

Monday, November 24, 2008

MILK Screening


Click to enlarge.

Watch Video: Protest on November 22 in Sacramento for Equal Rights

Watch Video: Cho Tells Mormons to "Shove Prop 8 Up Their..." at Sacramento Rally

Margaret Cho learned to play guitar and wrote this song that she performed this past Saturday at the Prop 8 Protest in Sacramento.

Tonight in Los Angeles - Stonewall/Prop 8 Panel

Post Prop 8: The Renewed Fight For Marriage Equaility Panel

Please join us on November 24 ,2008 at 7pm as we welcome the following guests:

Moderator:
Rodney Scott
Chair, Special Committee on Marriage Equality, Stonewall Dem Club
President, Christopher Street West

Panelists:
Javier Angulo
Vice President, HONOR PAC
(Latina/o LGBT political action committee)

Ron Buckmire
President, Jordan/Rustin Coalition
(African-American LGBT advocacy organization)

Cary Davidson
Attorney for 'No on 8'
VP, Equality California

Jenny Pizer
Senior Counsel, Lambda Legal


West Hollywood Park Auditorium
647 North San Vicente
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(free parking lot immediately adjacent)

Prop 8 - Tonight, Virtual Town Hall

PROP 8- The Facts and The Future
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Time:
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location:
Your computer
Description
A virtual town hall meeting entitled “Prop 8: The Facts and Future,” accessible to anyone with a computer and Internet connection.

The 90-minute online forum will be hosted by Karen Ocamb, news editor at Frontiers and IN Los Angeles. It will be broadcast live via streaming audio. Audience members can send questions to the moderator in advance at: TownHallModerator@gmail.com or send questions/comments to her during the broadcast.

The town hall meeting will be recorded for those who are not able to participate in the live session.

Panel members include:

• Amy Balliett, founder of Join the Impact
• Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
• Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California
• Rev. Eric Lee, president/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Los Angeles
• Shannon Minter, legal director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights
• John A. Perez, assembly member-elect of California’s 46th District
• Steve Smith, No on 8 senior campaign consultant of Dewey Square.

To join the town hall meeting, visit: www.lagaycenter.org/Prop8TownHall

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Protest Los Angeles

ORGANIZED BY “LOVE AT WORK – THE EXCHANGE”
JOIN BLACK LGBT OF LOS ANGELES
IN A PEACEFUL MARCH TO PROTEST
THE PASSAGE OF PROPOSITION 8!!!!

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2008
AT 11:00AM

MEET AT LEIMERT PARK FOUNTAIN (CORNER OF VERNON AND CRENSHAW) THE ROUTE IS NORTH ON CRENSHAW BLV. TO KING BLVD, AND THEN BACK TO LEIMERT PARK.


MARCH BEGINS AT 11:30AM


ALL GAY, LESBIAN, QUEER, SAME-GENDER LOVING, BI-SEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS ARE INVITED TO COME OUT AND PARTICIPATE.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO BRING YOUR OWN SIGNS
AND BRING YOUR OWN DRINKING WATER

PLEASE DO NOT WEAR RED OR BLUE

*THERE WILL NOT BE A RALLY AT LEIMERT PARK AFTERWARD
.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT REV. FREDA LANOIX
AT REVFREDA@AOL.COM OR AT MYSPACE.COM/REVFREDA

Friday, November 21, 2008

Watch Video: Republican Mayor cries while Coming Out For Gay Marriage

Do you think he's crying because he feels for us, or because he knows he's going to lose all the Republican votes in his re election? Either way, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders shocked everyone when he changed his mind about gay marriage and signed a resolution to the city attorney to file a brief in support of gay marriage. He originally released a statement saying he would veto it and has been vocal against gay marriage in the past.

PS: This video is from 2007!
Thanks Craig for sending this!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are you Going to Sacramento?


TAKE IT TO SACRAMENTO ON NOVEMBER 22ND!

With the unfortunate outcome of the recent passage of Proposition 8, the GLBT community has united in a presence that we have not seen since the early 1980’s and the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

It is with great respect that California Outreach, in partnership with Equality Action Now, humbly asks you to join GLBT individuals and organizations, PFLAG and our straight brothers and sisters at a peaceful outreach on the steps of the California State Capitol Building at 2:00pm on November 22nd.

Please join us as we reach out to all the citizens of California to demonstrate that we will not tolerate discrimination being written into our State Constitution.

Who: Anyone and everyone.
Where: California State Capitol Building, Sacramento, CA
When: 11/22/08 2:00PM
Why: Equal Rights are inalienable and CANNOT be taken away.

In 1987 the largest rally for gay rights in Sacramento took place, counting 15,000 strong. We need to stand together and make a statement that we will not stand idly by and let the rights of our sons, daughters, parents, and friends be taken away. Twenty one years later -- are YOU ready to make history?

http://www.californiaoutreach.com
http://www.equalityactionnow.org

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS
- Comediennes MARGARET CHO and SELENE LUNA

- GLORIA ALLRED, Head Attorney in Supreme Court Marriage Cases

- SENATOR DARRELL STEINBERG, President-elect of the CA State Senate

- REV. AMOS BROWN, NAACP Board Member

- ROBIN TYLER & DIANE OLSON, plaintiffs in Supreme Court Marriage Cases and first to be married in CA after the ban was struck down in June

- JOHN LEWIS AND STUART GAFFNEY, accomplised Marriage Equality USA Speakers and plaintiffs in Supreme Court Marriage Cases

- SHANNON MINTER, attorney with the National Center For Lesbian Rights

- GEOFF KORS, Equality California Executive Director

Currently in talks with Governor Schwarzenegger and Gavin Newsom (Mayor of San Francisco).

Who Put the T in LGBT?

Today is the Transgender Day Of Remembrance, so let's take a moment to concentrate our loving thoughts at a quiet moment to all our T brothers and sisters - the ones we have lost due to violence, and for those who have and continue to fight beside us for equal rights for all.

If you are in Los Angeles, there is a vigil this evening at Plummer Park.

Details:
Transgender Day of Remembrance is set aside to memorialize the lives of those killed due to anti-transgender hatred and prejudice.

Plummer Park/Fiesta Hall (7377 Santa Monica Blvd)
6-7p: Reception
7-9p: Program
Followed by: "Take Back the Street" march and candlelight vigil from Plummer Park to Human Rights Triangle (Santa Monica and Crescent Heights)

This is a message from my friend Ruben Rodriquez:

To all the non-trans people I know and love,

This Thursday, we'll take a few hours on this ONE day a year to collectively remember people we've lost due to anti-transgender violence. The event marks the 10th anniversary of T.D.O.R. and every year, I am reminded of the year Maria Roman declared on a giant banner in black block letters: "HOW MANY TRANSGENDERS NEED TO DIE BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?"

Great question, Maria.
I still don't know the answer.

So, LISTEN: if you're about protecting civil rights...wait, no. If you're about FIGHTING for HUMAN RIGHTS, then COME OUT and be fierce and magical and terrific and march_holla_remember_heal with the trannies.

you WON'T regret it!!!

ALSO...if you're down for social justice...anti-violence, anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-classism, anti-xenophobia, anti-heterosexism...then you're down for trans justice.

Photos from Last Night's Mixer

Photos by photographer Brian Putnam


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reprinted by Consent of the Author

By Rob Eric in response to Newt on Bill.
___
An open letter to the genius that is Newt Gingrich (please note the sarcasm)

Newt Gingrich was on Bill O’Reilly (I know can you imagine that…on Bill O’Reilly. Who would have thought.), and had this to say about the current Prop 8 revolt.

"Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion.”

Oh really Mr. Gingrich? Is that what you think? well let’s put aside the fact this great country of ours was supposedly built on a separation of church and state… and let’s just concentrate on how incredibly stupid you sound in this little “thought” of yours.

For over 40 years I have been called a fag. I have been threatened bodily harm for the way I talk. I have heard that God hates me. I have been told that the bible condemns not only my soul but my lifestyle, my friends and anyone who may agree with a pro-gay agenda. I have been told that the reason I don’t have equal rights is because I am an abomination in the eyes of God. I have seen my friends beaten up. I angrily marched when a young gay boy was beaten senseless, tied to a fence and left to die and then told it was God’s will. I have watched brave friends protect the country they love but have not been able to say who they really were in fear of being cast aside. I have seen friends fired for being gay (which FYI is still legal in 35 states). I have watched history being written and maligned when it comes to the plight of gay men and women (quick someone look up pink triangles and the holocaust in google). The list goes on and on but let me get to my point.

Fuck you. Fuck you and fuck the establishment that you represent. How dare you say that we are imposing anything on you after you have imposed so much on us. We’re a threat to religion and those who believe in it? Damn right we are. We have taken enough beatings and now we are reaching up and grabbing the hand that has been hitting us for so long. If it takes boycotts, and screaming and getting in your face the way you have done to us for so so many years than so be it. You are the bully that got sucker punched and is now crying foul. Again I say to you…and I mean this with all my heart…fuck you. This fight is just beginning and it won’t end until we can walk down the street and know that we have the same rights as anyone else in this country of ours no matter what God we believe in…or don’t believe in.

With love and the power to scream,
Rob Eric

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An American Lesbian in Paris: Part 5

An American Lesbian…Overseas
by Shannon Connolly


I have decided to change the title of this blog (at least for this post) considering that in the past 3 weeks, I have spent less than half of my time in Paris and most of my time in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Cannes, Nice, Venice and now, Rome. Tomorrow I leave for Prague. So, clearly “An American Lesbian in Paris” would not be a fitting title at this particular moment in time.

Let me give you some advice about traveling on a budget (or especially as a student) in Europe – choose your accommodations carefully. I arrived in Venice two nights ago with my friend Lisa, ready to settle in to the “charming” Bed and Breakfast we had booked that was amazingly inexpensive and just steps away from the Rialto Bridge. It was nearly 9pm when we arrived in Venice, and by the time we took the bus ride from the airport and then the ferry ride across the Grand Canal, we were starving. So, in no particular hurry to get to our B&B, we stopped at a lovely little restaurant hidden down a small alley. There were bras hanging from the ceiling as decoration. At least 100 of them. Great little place with lots of character. We ate authentic Italian pasta (hate to tell you, but it’s not much better or different than the pasta in the US), shared a half a bottle of wine, and then continued on our way to B&B Rota. When we arrived at the address, I was sure there had been some mistake.

You know in horror movies when the weary travelers arrive on a deserted street looking for lodging? And the music gets low and becomes foreboding? And then the travelers warily open the door of an abandoned-looking building, while everyone in the audience is thinking “Don’t go in there! Don’t go in there!”? Yeah, that was me and Lisa in Venice. Against our better judgment, we stayed the night in the creepy hostel and simply did our best to stay out and about in the city of Venice the next day. We were only there a day but managed to squeeze in lots of exciting activities including a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and an oh-so-touristy gondola ride.

We came home later that night to find a new stranger occupying the extra bed in our room (that’s how hostels work: lots of strangers, one room). We took a liking to her and dragged her out with us to revisit the bras-on-the-ceiling restaurant from the night before. Turns out the girl was from Israel, but in Venice for a few days to clear her mind to decide whether to stay with her fiancé or break off her engagement. Whoa! Big stuff for a getting-to-know-you conversation. A little more wine - make that a lot more wine – and Lisa and I were sitting there counseling this girl as if she had been our closest friend for twenty years. I’m pretty sure that by the end of the conversation we had convinced our new friend to break off her engagement to the man she’s not sure she wants to marry and had each offered her a place to stay in California should she find herself in search of a new life in the United States.

Our experience at the hostel we are staying at in Rome has been completely different. In fact, this is by far the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in. If you are young and traveling to Rome anytime soon, especially as a student, stay at Yellow Hostel. It’s clean, well-managed and the staff are extremely friendly.

Our first night here I went down to the front desk to inquire about restaurant recommendations. The girl behind the desk was super friendly and pulled out this huge paper map of Rome, pointing to the Colosseum.

“Here you go. There’s a gay bar and restaurant right here down the street from the Colosseum…”

And she goes on talking, but I’m still stuck on the first part of her sentence because I am SURE, absolutely POSITIVE that I said nothing about being gay or looking for a gay restaurant. So as I stand there wondering to myself, with a little bit of excitement actually, if somehow, just maybe I am finally exuding some sort of gay signal. Maybe I am finally showing up on people’s gay-dar!

Alas, the girl continued on to say:

“You can’t miss it, there’s a big rainbow sign out front. It might even be called Rainbows. Anyway, if you go right there and continue up that street I’m sure you’ll find lots of bars and restaurants where you can have dinner.”


Turns out she just uses the gay bar as a landmark because their rainbow flag is easy to spot. Damn! Really thought I had become more obviously gay somehow.

Later that night when we went to that area of Rome (Ancient Rome where the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill can be found), I of course peeked in to Rainbows out of curiosity. Not much going on, but then again it was early in the night. Definitely possible that it became livelier later in the evening. Good mix of men and women mingling out front though, so that was a plus. Would have loved to make friends, but sadly, I do not speak a word of Italian and even my French isn’t of much use here.

Now that you have been updated on my latest travels, let me give you a Paris scene recap. My good friend Daniel and I went off to explore the bars of the Marais once again about a week ago, in hopes of finally finding some action. We passed several bars that were completely dead (I thought Thursdays were a going out night in Europe?) and a few others with Drag Queen nights going on. As exciting as the scene looked in the drag bars, they were pretty crowded and mostly filled with boys. So, Daniel and I continued on our way down Rue des Ecouffes – the street where one can find the lesbian bar 3W that I referenced in my first blog. We entered (but only after I assured the bartender that my male friend was with me…turns out they are not boy-friendly unless the said boy is accompanied by a lesbian pal) to discover a fairly empty bar and just a few occupied tables scattered around the room. Over the next two hours while Daniel and I sipped on cocktails (well, Daniel sipped on a cocktail, I drank bottled beer), I was groped by not one, but two very drunk lesbians who seemed to find nothing wrong at all with coming up behind a complete stranger on a barstool and practically licking her face. At this point, even my French failed me. How would one go about saying, “Please stop licking my face” in French? I really do not know. So I resorted to looking at Daniel with pleading eyes to help me out of what was becoming a very uncomfortable situation and he politely lied, “That is my girlfriend.” The groping women left me alone after that, but so did the rest of the women in the bar.


I have to say, the Paris lesbian scene continues to disappoint me. But, as I promised in my last blog, I am working on researching (I love calling chatting up French women “researching”) the gay cultural scene in Paris, not just the gay bar scene. Paris does have a Gay and Lesbian Center (Centre Gay & Lesbien), and as it turns out, there is a sort of gay Paris welcome and orientation every Saturday at the center from 6pm-8pm. It is conducted in French, so if you are traveling to France and do not speak French, you may do better to check out the Paris Gai Village website (www.parisgaivillage.com) where you can find information on tours and other services. Anyway, as you can tell from my travel stories, I have not been in Paris on any Saturday in about a month. But after Prague, I will be in Paris for a solid two weeks, during which I intend to attend one of these welcome sessions and maybe, just maybe actually find some good gay action in the city of lights.

Let's Dress Our Kids Right!


I'm going and bringing a ton of stuff!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Tuesday, This Wednesday


The Power Premiere: Dish and Photos

In the middle of all these protests, there was actually a really wonderful event: The Power Premiere.

It was held at the historic Hollywood Athletic Club, which is now called "Social", in an intimate, sexy room full of fabulous couches. Lisa Thrasher (Power Up co president) was the first to speak, and within moments gave an incredible and moving speech about the civil rights movement, and where we stand now in our own gay rights movement (she is an attorney!), and was even moved to tears when she spoke about her father's work in Civil Rights law. What followed, was a very moving evening where 10 Amazing Women in Show Business spoke about what mattered to them, and why they do what they do. It was lovely.

I have to say I enjoyed it a million times more than these stuffy boring dinners with big name celebs getting awards for the ten thousandth time. This was very intimate, and the energy in the room was fantastic. The women honored were also - as the name implies- amazing, and it was wonderful hearing about the work that people do within our community.

I'll let the photos do the talking. In here: Brian Graden, Andrea Meyerson, Peter Paige, Suzanne Westenhoefer & Jen Houston, Stacy Codikow, Mark Reinhardt, Maria Lynn, Mariah Hanson & Kathy Valenti, Briana Stockton & Elizabeth Keener, South of Nowhere's Maeve Quinlan, Gabrielle Christian and Mandy Musgrave (Splashley), Cheryl Dunye, Cathy DeBuono, Gaye Anne Bruno, Jennie McNulty & Sheila Higgins, Cherry Bomb, Michaeline Babich, Thea Gill, Erin Foley, Pat Branch and so many more!!!!

Bill Maher/Ashton Kutcher on Prop 8

YES ON PROP 8 Press Conference: Watch Video

I wonder if this guy thinks the "white powder" and "terrorist" claims are clever for his side, but does he realize they are going to increase the already high rate of hate crimes in this country. It is so un-God like.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Watch Video: Wanda Sykes Officially Comes Out of the Closet

As the saying goes, Every time a homosexual comes out of the closet, an angel gets its wings.

Anderson Cooper.... ah, is it even worth the breath....

Be on Dr Phil on Tuesday When he Discusses Prop 8

Dr. Phil's producers are looking for audience members to participate in the taping in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Audience members will need to arrive at the Paramount Lot in Hollywood between 9:30-10AM, and the taping will take place from 11AM-12:30PM.

It's critical that supporters of marriage equality are well represented in the audience for this taping, as backers of Prop. 8 will also be present.

If you are able to attend, please contact the "Dr. Phil" show's Audience Department at one of the following two numbers for additional details and directions:

(323) 956-3334
or
(323) 956-3319

You can also RSVP online at:
http://www.drphil.com/shows/reservations/Prop_8/

Pot Meet Kettle: Yes on Prop 8

At last week's YES ON PROP 8 press conference, in addition to calling us "terrorists", the reps stated the boycott that some folks are starting against financial supporters of YES ON PROP 8 was some kind of un-American attack.

Um, pot meet kettle. I know it was just last month, but do you remember these letters that went out to NO ON PROP 8 donors? These letters politely suggested they would be boycotting NO ON PROP 8 supporters if they didn't give the same amount to YES.

This letter was faxed from the owners of the Abbey.


Hey Massachusetts, You're Next. Watch this Fox Video

An investigative report from - shockingly a Fox affiliate - which exposes petition fraud. A petition to put gay marriage to a vote in Massachusetts.

Photos from the South Carolina Protest on Saturday

My myspace friend, Dawn, noticed the only protest in her state was in Charleston, so she decided to organize one herself at the State Capitol in Columbia. They were even interviewed for their local Fox news affiliate. YOU GO COLUMBIA!!!




Video: Meanwhile, They're Not Happy About it in Florida Either

My Photos from the City Hall Rally on November 15

Friday, November 14, 2008

Video of the YES ON 8 Press Conference Today in Santa Ana


They took a cue from the McCain/Palin campaign and called us "terrorists". A few times just to make sure the branding stuck. Meanwhile, the only people - and I mean ONLY - people to be hurt or attacked during all of this is gay people. There have been numerous attacks by anti-gay people at these rallies. I know, I have been there and seen it.

Watch the Video of Oprah's Coverage of Prop 8



Or here. Includes comments from Ellen, Madonna, Pastor Rick and Keith Olbermann.

Anderson Cooper on Prop 8

Rachel Maddow on Prop 8

Stephen Colbert on Prop 8

My favorite, or least favorite part of this clip is Bill O Reilly, that raving idiot, actually blaming African American voters for the passage of Prop 8. Although Colbert has a quick comeback on that.

Slash makes pro gay/anti prop 8 video

A Letter from a Mormon to the Mormon Church

This morning, my friend Robert requested his removal from the Mormon Church.

Here's his email and the letter he sent.

Hello darling,

Attached is a copy of my formal resignation from the Mormon church. I know that there are many of us gay Mormons out there that no longer attend church, but they are still counting us as members when speaking to the press etc. to promote how large the church is. Resignation is a long process (up to 3 months apparently). If other members wish to follow the same process they should go to MomonNoMore.com. There are specific steps that need to be followed. The website also informs you that the church will most likely tell your family and attempt to contact you to disuade you from leaving by calling or sending people to your house (I'm not saying cult, but wow). I'm sending my letter today and urge others that no longer wish to be associated with these bigots to do the same.

-Robert


Rally at CNN HOLLYWOOD

Rally at CNN Hollywood

Larry King Live is doing an hour on same sex marriage and Prop 8. Time for peaceful visibility.

Friday, November 14
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

CNN Building
6424 Sunset and Cahuenga
Hollywood


It is also going on in NYC.

YES ON PROP 8 Press Conference Today


There will be a press conference by the YES ON PROP 8 people (undoubtably a response to all our rallies, protests and vigils) today at noon in Santa Ana.

I'm laughing because this is pretty bad timing on their part. All they are going to do is say thinly-veiled, hateful and discriminatory statements which will just PISS OFF lgbt people and their supporters (which will be posted probably within ten minutes on youtube and facebook) and generate even larger attendance at our national protest tomorrow.

If you're around, and want to attend, protest or just listen to their oppressive statements of imposing their theological ideology on our beautiful country:


Friday, November 14, 2008
12:00pm - 3:00pm
Double Tree Inn
201 East MacArthur Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA

On the bright and somewhat funny and perhaps the "maybe I shouldn't mention it" front - I know several large hotel chains that were contacted by them for this event.... that turned down their request for rental. Seriously. It's funny that the Double Tree gave 'em the space, but rest assured, a lot of other major hotels DID NOT.

TIVO ALERT: Prop 8 on Oprah and Larry King Live TODAY!!!

Hi fellow disenfranchised yet fabulous citizens of the United States. Here's your TIVO alert.

Rock icon Melissa Etheridge will be appearing on Oprah today. The rocker made a public statement last week that she will NOT be paying State taxes since the passing of Proposition 8. She is married and has children with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels. Etheridge was also on the panel of LOGO's gay presidential campaign last year.

What will happen, what will happen.... tune in to watch!



Also, this evening, Joy Behar is guest hosting LARRY KING LIVE and they will have a panel of people both for and against Prop 8. Remember, if you watch live you can call in.

As a reminder, the LOS ANGELES TIMES yesterday ran an article which confirmed what has been happening - that this national uprising has not been organized or lead, but instead emerged from the combined passion and strength of the American people (like when you look up in the sky and see a flock of birds and they all just suddenly turn right in unison. I mean, you ever wonder how that happens?) and has grown through myspace, facebook and twitter. So, if you don't already, get on those apps and search for the smaller coalitions that are forming and sharing information.

PS: To the person who sent me a comment that they will be rallying in solidarity of our national protest on Saturday at a gay bar in Hong Kong - please send photos! Would love to publish them.

As always, kissing the air next to your cheek,

JD

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coverage of March on San Diego: Great Video

Ten thousand people protested in San Diego on Saturday.

If You Want Answers

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Thursday, November 13, 2008

Contact:
Cathy Renna, Renna Communications, 917-757-6123, cathy@rennacommunications.com
Simon Aronoff, Renna Communications, 202-510-6705, simon@rennacommunications.com

Expert Panel on Election 2008 and Gay Rights Legislation
Hosted by The Williams Institute

“Election 2008: A New Administration, Proposition 8, & LGBT Vote”

LOS ANGELES, CA — On November 13th, The Williams Institute will bring together nationally recognized advocates, reporters, lawyers, and legal and policy scholars to discuss the outcome of Election 2008 and the implications for gay rights legislation. The post-election discussion will cover lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community reaction to the new Administration, passage of California ’s Proposition 8, and the LGBT vote, among other topics.

WHAT:
National experts discuss “Election 2008: A New Administration, Proposition 8, & the LGBT Vote” hosted by The Williams Institute and co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress

WHEN: Thursday, November 13, 2008 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Reception to follow.

WHERE: UCLA School of Law - Room 1347, Los Angeles , CA

CONFIRMED PANELISTS INCLUDE:

• Ron Buckmire, Board President, Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition
• Jill E. Darling, Associate Director of Polling, Los Angeles Times
• Patrick Guerriero, Executive Director, Gill Action
• Geoff Kors, Executive Director, Equality California
• Patrick Sammon, President, Log Cabin Republicans & Liberty Education Forum
• Kenneth Sherrill, Professor of Political Science, Hunter College
• Brad Sears, Executive Director, The Williams Institute
• Winnie Stachelberg, Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Center for American Progress Action Fund
• Tobias Barrington Wolff, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania

For more information or to RSVP to attend, call 310- 267-4382 or email Deseree Fontenot at williamsinstitute@law.ucla.edu. For parking information, click here .


MEDIA RSVP: Please contact Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123, cathy@rennacommunications.com, or Simon Aronoff, 202-510-6705, simon@rennacommunications.com.

ABOUT THE WILLIAMS INSTITUTE:
The Williams Institute, a research center at UCLA School of Law, is the country's first national think tank dedicated to research on issues of sexual orientation law and public policy, and it is the only research center at a law school dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. Experts at the Williams Institute provide rigorous, independent research and scholarship. The Institute makes information available to judges, legislators and policymakers through public policy studies, law review articles, amicus briefs, expert testimony at legislative hearings, public education through media visibility and trainings for lawyers and judges. For more information, please visit the Williams Institute http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/home.html.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY: From the Protest Front

Hi Y'all,

Here's my photos of the week from the LGBT movement.

The first one was sent by my friend Craig (second from right) at the Mormon Church Protest over the weekend.  He took the idea of "not blaming the Mormon people, but protesting to make sure no church could use it's money or religious power to discriminate against a group of people" and embodied that by turning it into "hug a Mormon day".


The second is from good friend Gretchen. We have marched together now three times and we used to work in production together something like over ten years ago. She had to fly to New York the last few days, and decided she wouldn't stop protesting, so she continued to do so by herself on the streets of New York.

DAy Without A Gay

December 10th
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Day for more info.

Scroll down to few lists of local protests and web sites you can bookmark to stay informed and involved in our movement.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pastor Rick Warren's Message from Saddleback about Homosexual Rights

Video of Protest in Utah

This is a great video that includes interviews with Mormons as well.

Harvey Milk, Harvey Milk, Harvey Milk!

This is an amazing and truly inspiring speech by slain gay rights leader, Harvey Milk.



We can change the chant of ATTICA, ATTICA to HARVEY MILK HARVEY MILK HARVEY MILK.... and add "Milk" to your facebook name and remember to spread the love and his message which is:

HOPE

Thanks to CauseCast.org for making this video.

Also, here is a clip from the upcoming film MILK.  Thank you Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinx for producing this film!!!




TAKE THE STREET!!! National Protest Schedule

A DAY WITHOUT GAYS
Wednesday, December 10th
Across the United States.
Don't go to work. Strike. Boycott.

There will be a press conference by the YES ON PROP 8 people (undoubtably a response to all our rallies, protests and vigils) today at noon in Santa Ana.

I'm laughing because this is pretty bad timing on their part. All they are going to do is say thinly-veiled, hateful and discriminatory statements which will just PISS OFF lgbt people and their supporters (which will be posted probably within ten minutes on youtube and facebook) and generate even larger attendance at our national protest tomorrow.

If you're around, and want to attend, protest or just listen to their oppressive statements of imposing their theological ideology on our beautiful country:


Friday, November 14, 2008
12:00pm - 3:00pm
Double Tree Inn
201 East MacArthur Boulevard
Santa Ana, CA

On the bright and somewhat funny and perhaps the "maybe I shouldn't mention it" front - I know several large hotel chains that were contacted by them for this event.... that turned down their request for rental. Seriously. It's funny that the Double Tree gave 'em the space, but rest assured, a lot of other major hotels DID NOT.

Rally at CNN HOLLYWOOD
Rally at CNN Hollywood

Larry King Live is doing an hour on same sex marriage and Prop 8. Time for peaceful visibility.

Friday, November 14
4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

CNN Building
6424 Sunset and Cahuenga
Hollywood


It is also going on in NYC.
Protest Schedule:

NEW YORK
This will be huge.
November 12th
New York Manhattan Mormon Temple
6 pm to 8 pm.

Saturday, November 15th
1:30 - 3:30 pm
New York City Hall
260 Broadway
New York, NY

CALIFORNIA:

Rally at Santa Monica Pier
Tuesday, November 11
5 pm - 10 pm
Santa Monica, CA



West Hollywood Rally
Wednesday, November 12
6 pm - they shut us down
Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vincente
West Hollywood, CA

Tuesday, November 11, 2008
6:00pm - 9:30pm 
Windward Circle, Venice Beach
Windward Ave. and Pacific Ave.
Venice, CA
(if we play our cards right, this group can merge eventually in the night with the Santa Monica one)

Saturday, November 15th
Los Angeles City Hall
200 Spring Street
10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Downtown Los Angeles, CA





for a list of the events in your area, or to add a list:  





CA
San Francisco, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=32251834674

San Jose, CA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34308543780

Los Angeles, CA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=49761921140

Bakersfield, CA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48621856135

Fairfield, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34611228099

Orange County, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34475914076

Santa Rosa, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34440551068

Stockton, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48127673880

San Diego, CA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=35213645923

CT
Hartford, CT:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46553309328

GA
Atlanta, GA
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48277971347

FL
Jacksonville, FL:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48753753160
ALSO: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=57122924552&ref=nf

Orlando, FL
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=94144320647&ref=nf

Miami, FL
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=57184759552

IL
Chicago, IL:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48659866275

LA
New Orleans, LA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=44603053764

MA
Boston, MA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=37701726407

Northampton, MA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46213815030

MD
Baltimore, MD
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=50733510766&ref=nf

ME
Portland, Maine:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=logo#/event.php?eid=33013314557&ref=mf

MI
Marquette, MI
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=33584692766#/group.php?gid=95258645513

MN
Minneapolis, MN:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=44139859622

MO
St. Louis, MO:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=39558816484

Kansas City, MO
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=38511496486

NC
Raleigh, NC
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46087994571

Charlotte, NC
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34961921844

Greensboro, NC:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34500069010

NY
NYC:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=33598248873

Albany, NY:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=48186896290

Syracuse, NY:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=35490157545

PA
Philadelphia, PA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34356098686

Pittsburgh, PA:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=35076252102&ref=nf

OH
Cleveland, OH:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=33584692766

Columbus, OH:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34938706655

Cincinnati, OH
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=32288614589

Dayton, OH
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=39382835422&ref=nf

Youngstown, OH
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=47627326001

OR
Portland, OR
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=35230321837

TX
Dallas, TX
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=57952862328

Houston, TX
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=35183835938

Lubbock, TX:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=33713273642

Washington, DC:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=47698021210


info at www.libertyhill.org

PROTESTING NATIONALLY: Things You Can Do and "The Rules of Engagement"

The most important thing we can do nationally on the issue of equal rights for LGBT people is the following:

1)   Stay in the news.  On national tv, press, radio and print.
2)  Stop in-fighting.

A friend of mine yesterday said this:  "This is why the left never gets anything done, because they eat themselves alive fighting amongst themselves.

Differences allow a fertile ground for conversation, deconstruction and forward movement, so let's try to keep it that way.  We have to keep it this way.

There are national protests being planned as we speak. The key will be to pick one day where everyone, everywhere can do this at the same time.  If you are able to organize even twenty people in your city or town - that should be the plan.  I will keep you posted on national days where everyone will do this.  With large turn outs in the gay community in major cities, every small town can partake and be heard even with small assemblies.

Get on and stay on myspace, facebook, twitter and youtube.  This is how we are all talking to each other and we can go viral to hundreds of thousands of people - if not millions - in just a few hours across the country if we all just spread news.

I'm a little in love right now with smaller community groups that are forming, and rallying from other company or professional groups -  Like LGBT groups at major companies, and smaller coalitions forming for specific groups of people or neighborhoods.  With the internet, every small group and major group is connected and we can all work as a unit.

BE CAREFUL.   I don't think we had a choice in taking the streets to protest because the collective rage was too great, but all this press is going to spur some anti-gay sentiment and this can get dangerous for any of us in our daily lives when that spreads to violent, small minded people.  Be out and proud, but watch your back.

So far, with all the protests in California, the only people who have suffered attacks and injuries are us.  Let's remain positive and non violent and curb our angry rhetoric away from other people.  Let's just show 'em how to be love and be accepting.   And watch our backs.  If you're in a gay neighborhood, walk with a buddy (preferably a lesbian trained in martial arts) to your car if it's late or deserted.







Monday, November 10, 2008

This is Not A Protest

Friends, I have not had time at all to promote my SmokingCocktail Mixer next Wednesday night and I feel horrible because I promised Wolfe Video (lesbian owned video distributor to us for 15 years!!!) and my dear friend Jason Stuart and the talented Michelle Ehlen that I would celebrate their new dvd releases.

Remember these talented out-artists put their heart and soul (and own money!) into making stories about us and for us, so we have to support.  Plus Jason's film is just wonderful - funny and touching, and Michelle's is the LESBIAN TOOTSIE - just hysterical (a woman pretends to be a man for a movie role and falls for the leading actress).

Also my friend Mariah Hanson from The Dinah will be there co hosting... so look out!  There's always a lot of trouble when we're both in the same room at the same time.

So here it is.  I can't say that half way through I won't start yelling TAKE THE STREETS TAKE THE STREETS, so bring your banners just in case.

The stars will be there, as well as some other celebrities and a ton of cool folks I've picked up on the streets.  LITERALLY on the streets of LA during the protests.

I also have tons of L WORD SEASON 5 DVD BOX sets care of SHOWTIME, so just show up and I'll hand 'em out as you arrive.  Also, if you're broke, it's half price drinks until 8 pm.

Keith Olbermann's Teary Plea To Support Gay Marriage

I thought he'd cry.  I thought I'd cry.  All I know is half way through this seriously impassioned plea for us, I felt like curling up on Keith's lap like a domestic housecat and purring myself to sleep in his compassion.