Want a more thoughtful, smarter approach to sexuality and culture? Tune in on some Sundays at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific.

Ugandan gay rights activist murdered weeks after court victory | World News | The Guardian

Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

David Kato, one of the earliest and most prominent gay rights activists in Uganda, was murdered in his home Wednesday. The killing comes shortly after Kato won a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid from publishing names and pictures of Ugandans it claims are homosexual. Kato himself was pictured in an earlier run of the tabloid under the headline "Hang Them." When asked for comment, the tabloid's managing editor Giles Muhame said he had "no regrets" about the publication—or the murder.

It's worth forever remembering the intimate role American Christian fundamentalists have played in this murder, as "visits from several American preachers renowned for their homophobic views," reported Xan Rice, helped create a climate of fear and prejudice in the country.

Read brief source…

On Passports, Mother and Father Will Soon Be ‘Parent 1′ and ‘Parent 2′

Posted: January 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

The terms "mother" and "father" on US passport applications are being replaced with the gender-neutral terms "Parent 1" and "Parent 2". Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council said the change "allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport…without feeling like the government doesn't recognize their family." Naturally, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council are outraged, saying the change "violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act."

The change also highlights a staggeringly underreported issue: the technological infrastructure our society uses to classify people. Changing terms on forms costs real dollars, but perhaps counterintuitively, a gender-neutral infrastructure is not just more humane, it's more cost-effective, too.

Read brief source…

Storied career takes transgender attorney to judgeship | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Posted: November 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"[Phyllis] Frye, a transgender Houston attorney born as Phillip Frye, fought back tears earlier this week as the mayor appointed her to a municipal bench in the same room where she helped repeal Houston's 'cross-dressing ordinance' in 1980," Brian Rogers reports. It was the very same chamber where she was subject to arrest.

She was a graduate of A&M, an Eagle Scout, a husband, and a father. Now, she's one of only a handful of transgender judges in the country. "I understand it is very significant," Frye said. "But I don't want to overplay it either. I don't want people to think I am anything other than an associate municipal court judge." Frye will oversee "traffic ticket cases and other low-level misdemeanor trials." Naturally, her appointment received harsh criticism from opponents who said the mayor, an out lesbian, is "promoting a [GLBT] agenda" that's "anti-family." Apparently it's just all too easy to corrupt the youth before they get traffic tickets, don't'cha know?

Read brief source…

Male, female or neither? Gender identity debated at same-sex colleges – CNN.com

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"[Same-sex] colleges are in a very unique position," said Susan Marine, assistant dean of student life at Harvard College in Massachusetts. "How do they preserve their identity when student identities are being called into question?" The identities Marine is talking about is the College's identity of a same-sex institution and the increasingly diverse gender identities expressed by its students. She interviewed college administrators who are worried alumni won't donate to the schools if students are allowed to change genders.

Many colleges' policies are vague. Some colleges enact policies—like strict dress codes—that try to limit students' gender expression. Others skirt the issue. "We admit women," said Patricia VandenBerg, communications director at Mount Holyoke College. "We graduate students. They develop as they develop." And develop they do; when Kevin Murphy entered as a freshman there "he was female," Stephanie Chen writes. "By the time he received his diploma, he was male."

Read brief source…

The Sexes: The Lavender Panthers – TIME

Posted: November 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Presented sans comment for wowness:

Formed by the Rev. Ray, a Pentecostal Evangelist and known homosexual who himself was once beaten severely outside his gay mission center, the Panthers patrol the streets nightly with chains, billy clubs, whistles and cans of red spray paint (a substitute for forbidden Mace). Their purpose, as the Rev. Ray candidly puts it, is to strike terror in the hearts of "all those young punks who have been beating up my faggots." […] The basic band numbers 21 homosexuals, including two lesbians who are reputedly the toughest hombres in the lot. Besides their goal of halting the attacks, the Lavender Panthers want to gainsay the popular notion that all homosexuals are "sissies, cowards and pansies" who will do nothing when attacked. All of the Panthers know judo, karate, Kung Fu or plain old alley fighting. For gays without defensive skills, the Panthers hold training sessions with instruction from a judo brown belt and a karate expert.

Read brief source…

Cox fires Andrew Shirvell, says he used state resources in attack on gay student | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

Posted: November 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"Andrew Shirvell, the assistant attorney general under fire for his attacks on a University of Michigan student, has been fired," Lori Higgins reports. You may remember Shirvell from appearances like Look Who's Stalking, in which he defends his belief that a gay student is "Satan's representative," and tried justifying his actions with logic only his mother could accept.

Attorney General Mike Cox initially declined to fire Shirvell, saying that Shirvell's first amendment right to express himself didn't constitute any firing offenses. But after Shirvell lied to investigators during a disciplinary hearing, Cox seems to have changed his mind. Among other violations, the investigation found that "Shirvell engaged in his campaign against [the student] on company time and posted attacks on Armstrong on the Internet while at work." Good riddance, Mr. Shirvell.

Read brief source…

LGBT Gamers Can Find Their Fairy Tale Ending in Fable 3 | GLAADBlog.org

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Fable 3, the third in a game series exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox and selling 6.4 million copies worldwide, now features an in-game adoption agency that offers same-sex couples a chance to have an in-game family. Online gaming communities are notorious for widespread anti-GLBT bullying, stereotyped as populated with homophobic frat boys, and their managers and distributors decidedly skittish when it comes to anything that could be deemed politically sensitive. But a handful of features in games in the sci-fi and fantasy genre, like Fable 3, are beginning to buck the trend.

"[T]he Fable series also has the distinction of a progressive and outspoken creative team," Matt Kane writes, a team who wanted to represent gay people in their world. Studio head Peter Molyneux said, "It’s a charming thing, having a baby, and we didn’t want to exclude gay people from that."

Read brief source…

Apple Originally Thought ‘PeekaBoo Tranny’ Would Be a Great App Store Addition / Queerty

Posted: October 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

"For all the difficulty developers of gay-related iPhone apps face just trying to get their product in the Apple store, one app that bashed transgender people had no problem getting through," writes Max Simon. Consumers first spotted the trans-bashing app, PeekaBoo Tranny, earlier this week, and asked Apple to pull the app. GLAAD took up the call the next day and it seems Apple has since pulled the app from their store.

The 99¢ app photobombed photos on your iOS device with a person described by some as a drag queen. The developers' "fave review" referred to the digital dopplegangers as "tranny skanks." After their app was pulled, the developers said they wished no offense.

Read brief source…

Study: What the Risky Sex Lives of NYC Teens Reveal – TIME Healthland

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Data from New York City's health departments from 2005 to 2007 "suggests that the focus of public-health messages about sex may be outdated: it needs to shift from kids' self-identities ('I am homosexual,' e.g.) to their behavior ('I have homosexual sex')," Meredith Melnick reports. One strong reason for this is because, according to the data released as part of a study on Monday, 39% of teens who identified as heterosexual or straight had sex both male and female partners, yet very few sex-ed classes deal with bisexuality.

Additionally, "36% of girls with both male and female partners were assaulted by a date in the previous year and 35% of boys with partners of both sexes reported the same thing." Although this article's headline implies the problem is "risky sex," the real problem is intimate partner violence, exacerbated by a stigma of homosexual acts, especially for men.

Read brief source…

TransGriot: Don’t Forget About Our Trans Kids, Vanilla GL Community

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

In another excellent post by Monica Roberts of TransGriot, the erasure of the Transgender storyline in the recent LGBT+ suicide coverage is examined. Or as Monica puts it,

Now that bullying and GLBT teen suicides are in the news, one of the things that has mildly irritated some quarters of the trans community is how trans people have been erased from the discussion.

While one kid taking their life due to suicide is horrific and one too many, it bothers many of us that transteen Chloe Lacey's story is frankly getting overwhelmed vis a vis the overwhelmingly white gay male narrative taking shape on this bullying issue.

She goes on to cite that as many as 50% of Transpeople self-report to have considered taking their own lives.

Read brief source…. (Thanks, tgirlmaaya!)