What They Say: Quotes By and About Us…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2008 by borriz2

Homophobia: The irrational fear that three fags will break into your house and redecorate it against your will.
Tom Ammiano

I’m not really familiar with the history of this particular issue with regards to Star Trek; in fact, the first I ever heard of it was at our first junket when somebody asked if there was going to be an opportunity for a gay or lesbian character on the show. I was surprised at the question, because I had just assumed that over the course of the years that it had been addressed. I was surprised it was even an issue. Since then I haven’t sat down with Rick and Brannon to discuss it. It does seem awkward [that nothing has ever happened].

I haven’t heard anything coming down the pipeline, but I would be in favor of it. I would hope it would be handled in a great way. It would be wonderful, in my opinion, if it was not such a huge issue, but was just there.
Scott Bakula, Metrosource 2002

Everybody’s journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.
James Baldwin

In my lifetime I’ve been to bed with men, women, and odd pieces of furniture.
Tallulah Bankhead

You can’t type what a lesbian is. We’re anything and everything. The one thing in common is that we make love to other women. So give up trying to limit us.
Amanda Bearse

There are a lot of gays among the women surfers. We share rental cars, hotel rooms, dinner out. It makes us open with each ether. You wake up in the morning and hear toe rings clicking from two girls in the next bed.
Surfer Holly Beck, as quoted in the August 26, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated

My lover asked me if I wanted to have children. I told her I didn’t know, but that we should keep trying.
Suzy Berger

“I love it. It is the celebration of the flesh, something that is not done in northern Europe. Tolerance is the mark of any evolved society.”-
U2 star Bono at Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade,
Feb. 28, 1998, according to the Sydney Sunday Telegraph.”

This is a celebration of individual freedom, not of homosexuality. No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.
Rita Mae Brown on the Gay Olympics of 1982

My lesbianism is an act of Christian charity. All those women out there praying for a man, and I’m giving them my share.
Rita Mae Brown

No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.
Rita Mae Brown, speech, August 28, 1982

I became a lesbian because of women, because women are beautiful, strong, and compassionate.
Rita Mae Brown

As everyone knows, a fag is a homosexual gentleman who has just left the room.
Truman Capote

One distressing thing is the way men react to women who assert their equality: their ultimate weapon is to call them unfeminine. They think she is anti-male; they even whisper that she’s probably a lesbian.
Shirley Chisolm

Many gay men … helped me develop my own sense of style, especially one … who used to be Alec Guinness’s dresser in the ’60s. His whole thing was, “It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing so long as you get noticed.
Margaret Cho, as quoted in the September 2002 issue of Movieline

It is . . . the right of each individual in America to be judged on their merits and abilities and to be allowed to contribute to society without facing unfair discrimination on account of sexual orientation.
U.S. President Clinton supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on April 24, 1997

We turned [sexual ambiguity] into a big political subject, and it ain’t. It ain’t at all you know. Why should we be ashamed of anything we are?
Tony Curtis, talking about his sexually ambiguous roles in Some Like It Hot and Spartacus, in the September 2002 issue of Details

We all carry some variety of infirmity or sorrow with us – let’s treat each other kindly. None of us is getting out of our human condition alive.
Bette Davis, 1939, – expressing her attitude towards homosexuals

CBS really wants me on TV. That’s their aim. My aim is to have an all-gay sitcom someday, with heterosexuals as token guest stars. Let them be the next-door neighbors for a change.
Harvey Fierstein

Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?Ernest GainesYou don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.
Barry Goldwater

As far as coming out, I never really did that exactly; I just went along with the time. I never pulled an Ellen in announcing ‘I’m gay!’ At every opening night, I just quietly brought a boyfriend on my arm.”Veteran theater composer/songwriter Jerry Herman (“La Cage Aux Folles,” “Hello Dolly,” “Mame,” “Mack and Mabel” to name a few) to Art & Understanding, February 1998 issue.Don’t tell me that you’re doing something valuable for me when you’re quietly climbing your way to the top of the straight ladder.
Eric Holeman

This redneck came up to me and said, “What do you want me to call you? Queer? Fag? Homo?” I said, “You can call me… Paul Jacek.”
Paul Jacek

If we even tolerate any oppression of gay and lesbian Americans, if we join those who would intrude upon the choices of our hearts, then who among us shall be free?
June Jordan

Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job. For too long, our nation has tolerated the insidious form of discrimination against this group of Americans, who have worked as hard as any group, paid their taxes like everyone else, and yet have been denied equal protection under the law.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King

Why should I paint dead fish, onions, and beer glasses? Girls are so much prettier.
Marie Laurencin

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals, and 362 to heterosexuals. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t love heterosexuals, it’s just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavner

Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don’t are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn’t put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a lesbian.
Fran Lebowitz

Dear Miss Manners: What should I say when I am introduced to a homosexual “couple”?Gentle Reader: “How do you do?” “How do you do?”Judith Martin,
Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, 1982

They gave me a medal for killing a man, and a discharge for loving one.
Sargeant Leonard Matlovich

“My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life’s too damn short.”
Armistead Maupin

That word “lesbian” sounds like a disease. And straight men know because they’re sure that they’re the cure.
Denise McCanles

It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It’s like disapproving of rain.
Francis Maude

The radical right is so homophobic that they’re blaming global warming on the AIDS quilt.
Dennis Miller

Most of our parents are straight. Heteros who hate us should stop having us!

Lynda Montgomery

“A study done in the Des Moines public schools showed that the average high school student hears anti-gay comments like ‘dyke’ and ‘faggot’ a stunning 26 times a day, and that teachers who witness such incidents do nothing a shocking 97 percent of the time. The results of this kind of behavior for gay and lesbian students is terrifying.”
Martina Navratilova addressing the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Oct. 25, 1997, in New York City.

I’m a supporter of gay rights. And not a closet supporter either. From the time I was a kid, I have never been able to understand attacks upon the gay community. There are so many qualities that make up a human being… by the time I get through with all the things that I really admire about people, what they do with their private parts is probably so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
Paul NewmanUnnatural Quotations compiled by Leigh W. Rutledge–>

I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women…no woman has excited passions among women more than I have.Florence Nightingale Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.
Dorothy Parker

If the General pleases I will be happy to do this investigation… But, sir, it would be unfair of me not to tell you, my name is going to head the list… You should also be aware that you’re going to have to replace all the file clerks, the section heads, most of the commanders, and the motor pool… I think you should also take into consideration that there have been no illegal pregnancies, no cases of venereal disease, and the General himself has been the one to award good conduct commendations and service commendations to these members of the WAC detachment.
WII WAC sergeant Johnnie Phelps (1922-1997), when ordered by General Eisenhower to ferret out the lesbians in her battalion; Eisenhower rescinded the order.

I’m sorry I never had a homosexual relationship, because I know there must be many joys and pleasures and degrees of closeness in those relationships.
Gene Roddenberry, quoted in The Last Conversation by Yvonne Fern

It wasn’t easy telling my parents that I’m gay. I told them at Thanksgiving. I said, “Mom, would you please pass the gravy to a homosexual?” She passed it to my father. A terrible scene followed.
Bob Smith

My mom blames California for me being a lesbian. ‘Everything was fine until you moved out there.’ ‘That’s right, Mom, we have mandatory lesbianism in West Hollywood. The Gay Patrol busted me, and I was given seven business days to add a significant amount of flannel to my wardrobe.Coley SohnWhy can’t they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, “Who’d you call a faggot?”
John Stewart

Just imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same. My idea of a perfect world is one in which we really appreciated each other’s differences: Short, tall; Democrat, Republican; black, white; gay, straight–a world in which all of us are equal, but definitely not the same.
Barbra Streisand

If homosexuality is a disease, let’s all call in queer to work: “Hello. Can’t work today, still queer.”
Robin Tyler

You could move.
Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby,” in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in across the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that homosexuality ‘is a lifestyle I don’t agree with.’ This is a trope you hear from the religious right a good deal, and it seems to have entered the conservative mainstream, rolling easily off the tongue. But it is a very odd thing to say. No one (speaking rationally) says, ‘I don’t agree with the Pacific Ocean’ or ‘I don’t agree with the Grand Canyon.’ Facts are not things you agree or disagree with. You can agree or disagree with viewpoints, thoughts or ideas, but homosexuality is not a viewpoint or an idea. It is a thing, an attribute, a nature, a fact.
Paul Varnell

“In the ’50s and ’60s, gay men seemed to despise one another. The idea of hanging out with another gay man was just not something you did.”
– Author Edmund White to Atlanta’s Etcetera magazine, March 6, 1998.

In the town of Alamo, CA, the residents living on a street named “Gay Court” were so embarrassed that they changed the name to “High Eagle Court.” I guess the name “Homophobic Idiot Boulevard” was already taken.
Danny Williams

The next time someone asks you, ‘Hey, howdja get to be a homosexual anyway?’ tell them, ‘Homosexuals are chosen first on talent, then interview, then the swimsuit and evening gown competition pretty much gets rid of the rest of them.
Karen Williams

The civil rights movement was not made from whole cloth. Nor were its achievements limited to the interests of African Americans. It was part of a narrative of extending human rights to those who had been denied them that helped remove discriminatory barriers for many, not least white women and Jews. Its roots, like its appeal, were universal. It drew inspiration from Gandhi (among others) and can give inspiration to the likes of Norris and other gay activists.

There are two main reasons why this comparison jars with many. The first is blatant homophobia. It is far easier to marginalise the lesbian and gay agenda if you can sever any association between it and other struggles for equality. The second is latent homophobia, which argues that such comparisons trivialise racism, as though the right to love who you want and still keep your job, your home and sometimes your life is a trifling matter.Gary Younge, “Extreme prejudice”,
The Guardian, Monday March 7, 2005

And the bad guys get their own little section:

As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.
Anita Bryant, 1977

“Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.”
Paul Cameron, 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference

“God hates homosexuality”
Jerry Falwell on TV

“[Vice President Gore] recently praised the lesbian actress who plays ‘Ellen’ on ABC Television…I believe he may even put children, young people, and adults in danger by his public endorsement of deviant homosexual behavior…Our elected leaders are attempting to glorify and legitimize perversion.”
Jerry Falwell as quoted by People for the American Way, “Hostile Climate”, 1998, p.9.

“Someone must not be afraid to say, ‘moral perversion is wrong.’ If we do not act now, homosexuals will ‘own’ America!…If you and I do not speak up now, this homosexual steamroller will literally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its way…and our nation will pay a terrible price!”
Jerry Falwell as quoted by People for the American Way, “Hostile Climate,” 1997, p.15.

“…Hatred for men, which is very typical of a lesbian experience”
Kristi Hamrick, Family Research Council

…one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order.”
Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys,” FRC publication, July 1999 http://www.frc.org/misc/bl057.pdf

We’ve got to have some common sense about a disease transmitted by people deliberately engaging in unnatural acts.
Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), on why he opposed approval of the Ryan White CARE act, whi+ch funds AIDS research

“There is a strong undercurrent of pedophilia in the homosexual subculture. Homosexual activists want to promote the flouting of traditional sexual prohibitions at the earliest possible age….they want to encourage a promiscuous society – and the best place to start is with a young and credulous captive audience in the public schools.”
Robert Knight, Family Research Council http://www.frc.org/insight/is93f1hs.html

Homosexuals have never been forced to sit in the back of the bus. They are as privileged a group as any. To compare their attempts to affirm deviant sexual conduct to the legitimate discrimination claims of true minorities is a sham.
Robert H. Knight, FRC Director of Cultural StudiesFRC’s CultureFacts July 28, 1999 http://www.frc.org/culture/cu99g4.html

I don’t believe in the gay movement….I think they should stay to themselves, just climb back into the cupboards….I don’t think they are gay at all, they are very unhappy.
Rupert Murdoch in 1980.

“Not only is homosexuality a sin, but anyone who supports fags is just as guilty as they are. You are both worthy of death (Romans 1:32).”
Rev. Fred Phelps quoted by State Press (Arizona State University), March 11, 1998.

Women’s liberation and gay liberation [are] part of the same thing: a weakening of the moral standards of this nation. It is appalling to see parades in San Francisco and elsewhere claiming “gay pride” and all that. What in the world do they have to be proud of?
Nancy Reagan quoted in The Globe in 1981

It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
Pat Robertson

Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.
Pat Robertson at the 1992 Republican National Convention

When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals–the two things seem to go together.
Pat Robertson

“…the acceptance of homosexuality is the last step in the decline of Gentile civilization.” –Pat Robertson, of the Christian Broadcasting Network, warned that hurricanes could hit Orlando, Fla., because of gay events there.
Pat Robertson Time magazine, Oct 26, 1998

I’m sorry — hear it one more time, perfectly clearly: If you’re gay or a lesbian, it’s a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex. The fact that you are intelligent, creative and valuable is all true. The error is in your inability to relate sexually intimately, in a loving way to a member of the opposite sex — it is a biological error.
Laura Schlessinger December 8, 1998 on her Radio show

[Homosexuality] is the opposite of love for God. It is a rebellion against God and God’s natural order, and embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.
Steven A. Schwalm, Family Research CouncilTHE ASSAULT ON CHRISTIANS BY THE MILITANT HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT http://www.frc.org/podium/pd98j2hs.html


Lebanese Gays Come Quietly Out of Closet

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2

BEIRUT: In some countries in the Arab world homosexuals can face the death penalty. But in Lebanon an association battles openly for the rights of gays who may live freely but are still ostracized socially. “Beirut is a bubble of freedom for homosexuals,” said Georges Azzi, coordinator for the Helem (Dream) Association, the Arab world’s first gay grouping. “Homosexuals have much more freedom and are more visible than in any other Arab state,” he told AFP. “This is undoubtedly because Lebanese society is heterogeneous at all levels – political, religious and cultural – and used to differences,” he said about the country’s 18 religious communities.Homosexuals are generally stigmatized and penalized across the Arab world, with penalties ranging from death to flagellation and imprisonment. Either banned by law or religion, homosexuality may be punishable by the death penalty in Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. But with its trendy gay-friendly bars and nightclubs, Beirut has become a favorite destination for wealthy Arab homosexuals fleeing restrictions at home.

Founded in 2004, Helem collaborates with the ministry of health to fight against the spread of the HIV virus that can cause AIDS and openly lobbies for the legal rights of homosexuals.

Homosexuality is not specifically illegal in Lebanon, but gays can be targeted under article 543 of the penal code which provides for prison terms of up to one year for sexual relations “against nature”.

A petition filed by a Beirut city councillor in 2006 seeking prosecution of Helem was rejected by the attorney general’s office, which ruled that just because the gay rights group had an office and a website this did not mean it was breaking the law. “In the beginning journalists used to come and see us, like one would go to the zoo,” said Azzi. “But today we have become known and respected.

This evolution has also been seen in the language used to refer to gays. “In the Lebanese media we used to be called ‘perverts’ and ‘deviants’ but now they just call us ‘homosexuals’,” Bilal, an official at Helem who did not wish to reveal his family name, told AFP. But if Lebanon seems outwardly more permissive than other Arab countries, homosexuals can still live in shame, fear of scandal and social exclusion.Seen from the outside, Lebanon is a liberal country which respects personal freedoms,” Linda Shartouni Zahm, a researcher in social psychology at the Lebanese University, said. “But we are the prisoners of others’ views – of the family, religion and an authoritarian patriarchal system,” she said. “There are homosexuals who receive death threats from members of their own families, others who are expelled from school or some who have to leave Lebanon,” she said.Some homosexuals in the country lead double lives. “Personally I refuse to remain in the closet, but I am an exceptional case,” said 37-year-old Jean, criticising “people who are gay on Saturday night, but pretend they are not during the family lunch on Sunday” When he was 19, Jean told his father that he was a homosexual. “His reaction was to tell me: ‘OK, get married, have children and live your sexual life in parallel – discreetly’,” he said. “He gave me examples of people he knew who lived exactly likethat,” Jean said.

Shartouni Zahm explained that “having descendants and children is very important here. And the Lebanese mother always dreams of marrying her daughter off.” As for lesbians, they have double the trouble. “Make no mistake – Lebanon is a country of macho and conservative people where women are considered inferior and are discriminated against,” said 25-year-old Nadine, a member of Meem association that supports lesbian rights. “The Lebanese want to show the Arab world that they are open-minded. But most youngpeople generally carry the conservative ideas of their parents,” she said. “If my parents do not let me go out it is not because I am gay, it’s because I’m a woman.” – AFP

I Think I Might Be Lesbian, Now What Do I Do?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2

What Does It Mean to Be Lesbian?
Lesbians are women who love women. Lesbians are sexually attracted to other women and their sexual feelings toward other women are normal and natural for them. Lesbians say they feel emotionally and spiritually closer to women and prefer intimate relationships with women. Experts estimate than about one out of 10 people may be lesbian or gay, and many historically famous women were lesbians. Lesbians include teachers, doctors, lawyers, factory workers, police officers, politicians, ministers, movie stars, artists, mothers, nuns, truck drivers, models, and novelists. Lesbians are white, black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American. They may be Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or Buddhist. Lesbians may be rich, poor, working class, or middle class, young or old. Some lesbians are in heterosexual marriages. Some lesbians are disabled.

How Do I Know if I’m Lesbian?
I had always been attracted to girls. I remember having crushes [on girls] since the third grade though I didn’t consider myself a lesbian. In the third grade, I didn’t even know what a lesbian was. It didn’t dawn on me until the seventh grade that… hey, I’m a lesbian. Kristine, Michigan, age 16Well, knowing was never the question. It was accepting it that was [the question]. I started being attracted to girls at age seven, so I knew that I wasn’t straight. It just took me a while to say to myself, I’m a lesbian and I’m okay. Lenore, Illinois, age 16During adolescence, most young women begin to be aware of sexual feelings and to take an interest in dating. Many young women feel physically attracted to men. But other young women feel physically attracted to women. You may notice that you feel “turned on” by other women. You may feel different from your girlfriends, like you don’t fit in sometimes. When your girlfriends are checking out the guys, you may find yourself checking out other women. Going out with men may not interest you. You may find yourself wondering, “Why aren’t there any men like these terrific women I keep meeting?”You may also feel confused or unsure about whether or not you’re a lesbian. You may feel confused because you’re attracted to both men and women, and that’s okay. Some women have relationships with both men and women throughout their lives. Some women eventually decide to be exclusively lesbian or exclusively heterosexual. Sexuality usually develops over time, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure.

Am I Normal?
People tend to focus on the sex part of homosexuality … that’s what they picture. They don’t understand that there is love involved, too. Whoever you fall in love with, that is normal sexuality. Normal is in the eye of the beholder.Kristine, Michigan, age 16Normal is different for every individual. I cannot dictate someone else’s life, body, or anything else by my standards. I tend to laugh at people who are close-minded. Also, I speak up in school when anyone makes the slightest homophobic comment.Rachel, Maryland, age 17Yes, you are normal. Many people are lesbian. Many experts agree that a person’s sexual orientation is determined at a young age, even as early as birth. It’s normal and healthy to be yourself, whether you’re gay or straight. What’s really important is learning to like yourself.

What Is It Like to be Young and Lesbian?
Difficult—some days I don’t want to be gay. But, I just love women too much to ever dream of hiding it again.Red, Australia, age 20I used to be confused by that part of my personality; but, through time, it became a very important and precious part [of me]. It is hard to deal with other people, but at least I’m not lying and that makes me feel good. I have a right to be who I am, and I am willing to fight for it. This is not to say that it s been easy, because at times it s unbearable, but if I could change my sexual orientation, I would not.Jessie, New York, age 16There’s no right way or wrong way to be a lesbian. Growing up with society’s stereotypes about lesbians might make you think you have to be a certain way if you’re a lesbian. Your sexual orientation is only one part of who you are. You probably have hobbies and interests that are the same as those of some of your straight friends. Homophobia means some people don’t accept lesbians and gay men, and lesbian and gay people often suffer from discrimination and violence. That’s why there are many gay and lesbian organizations that work for gay and lesbian civil rights.

What about HIV/AIDS?
I believe that if you’re going to have sex, have it safely even if you are a lesbian. I am a virgin. But, if I was with someone and we were having sex, it would be protected sex. Before we did that though, we’d both get tested, and if she refused, then maybe I should rethink being with her.April, Michigan, age 16I insist on safer sex. Despite the rumor that dykes are indestructible, I m not taking any chances. I always tell my partner, up-front, that I demand safer sex.Rayne, Pennsylvania, age 17My principle is, if you’re not ready to talk about safer sex with your partner, then you’re probably not ready to have sex. It’s imperative to know the risks you may be encountering.Annie, Minnesota, age 17Everyone should know about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, how it’s transmitted, and how to prevent infection. You and your partner should discuss your risk factors and hers for HIV infection and decide what safer sex methods to use. Lesbians who are at risk are those who:
Share needles if using injection drugs
Have vaginal intercourse with men without using condoms (Remember that it’s fairly common for young lesbians to have sexual contact with men at least occasionally.)
Have oral sex with an infected woman without using barrier protection.
Here’s how to reduce your risk of HIV infection and other STIs.
Do not shoot up drugs. Sharing needles is the most dangerous behavior for putting you at risk of HIV infection.
Communicate with your partner. You do not have to have sex.
Choose activities other than sex to show affection: hugging, kissing, talking, massage.
Use a dental dam or other latex barrier for oral intercourse. A dental dam is a square piece of latex about five inches on each side, designed for use in dental surgery, and available at dental and medical supply stores. A latex condom, cut down the middle, or plastic wrap can also be effective.
Use a latex barrier like surgical gloves when stimulating a partner with your fingers, especially if you have even the smallest cut or rash on your hands.
Always use a condom if you have sexual intercourse with a man.

How Do I Learn To Like Myself?
Talking to someone is the best help that I found. It makes you feel less alone. Movies, books, and web sites are helpful when there’s no one to ask about stuff or when you’re feeling down or embarrassed to talk about something. I use a gay and lesbian chat room; it helps me find people to talk to.Red, Australia, age 20It helps to learn to look inside yourself and to see that the gay part of your personality exists together with, not separate from and not in spite of, all other parts of yourself. It helps to see how everything you do or are is somehow affected by your sexual orientation. I often look back on everything that’s happened and cannot imagine not being gay.Jessie, New York, age 16Everyone needs to feel good about him/herself. All people are valuable. Developing self-esteem is very important for young people, and it can be difficult for gay and lesbian youth to feel good about themselves when many people around them believe that lesbians and gays are sick or perverted or destined to live unhappy lives. Feeling like you have to hide who you really are could make you feel like hurting yourself, taking senseless risks, using alcohol or other drugs, or attempting suicide. You may feel isolated, fearful, and depressed, especially if you’ve had no one to talk to about being lesbian. But, more and more young lesbians are learning to like themselves. You can find help by reading good books by and about lesbians – books with accurate information about lesbians who are leading fulfilling lives. Meeting other lesbians helps, too, because then you discover that lesbians are as diverse as any other group of people and that society is full of misinformation about lesbians. You can say to yourself every day, “I’m a lesbian and I’m okay.” Find someone to talk to who also believes that lesbians are okay. Check out Advocates for Youth’s web sites,
http://www.youthresource.com/ and http://www.ambientejoven.org/. These web sites are developed by and for young lesbian and gay people. Over 15,000 young gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth visit the sites each month; many visit repeatedly. You will find a community of support. Remember that it’s normal and natural to be lesbian, just like it’s normal and natural to be heterosexual.

Whom Should I Tell?
When you feel confident, the best person to tell is the person that you believe will accept you and love you for who you are.Lenore, Oregon, age 16There’s never a definitely good time to tell a person because telling does reconstruct someone s view of you, liberal or not. So, it’s always a bit of a jolt to the person you inform. But, once you’ve gotten over that hump, then if they react positively, you re home free. It’s when they turn cold and don’t speak to you that you know they weren’t your friends to begin with.Rayne, Pennsylvania, age 17Coming out is the process of accepting yourself as a lesbian and figuring out how open you want to be about your sexual orientation. A lot of people don’t understand about lesbians, and it may be hard to know who will listen and be supportive. Some friends will accept you. Others may turn away from you or tell other people without your permission. Telling family can sometimes be difficult. Some families are highly supportive, and some are not. Start slow. Chose a friend your own age, a sibling, parent, or other adult, such as a guidance counselor, social worker in your school or in a local counseling or youth-serving agency. It’s important to talk with someone you can trust because it’s not normal or healthy for young people to have to keep secret such an important part of their lives.

How Can I Find Other Women Like Me?
I finally had the nerve to go to a GLBT youth group. I don’t think I uttered even ten words for about a month. I was just in awe that there were people who felt just like me. It was a wonderful thing.Kristine, Michigan, age 16Make contact with local women’s organizations, such as the National Organization for Women (NOW). Many colleges and universities have campus women’s and gay and lesbian organizations. Check the phone book for a local hotline and ask local gay and lesbian organizations about gay and lesbian youth groups in your area. Look for a local gay and lesbian newspaper. Check with local bookstores, health food stores, and gay bars for copies.Adapted from a brochure from the Campaign to End Homophobia. Special thanks to Tsipporah Liebman.


Hot Action Down Under

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2
By John Russell January 24, 2008
1st Asia Pacific Outgames scores in Melbourne

If you’ve been planning that big Australian vacay, now is the time to hop on a 15-hour flight – something cushy, with Direct TV and a fold-out bed – and breeze into Melbourne for the 1st Asia Pacific Outgames, taking place January 30 through February 3. New England may be in Old Man Winter’s iron grip, but it’s summertime down under, and queer athletes from all over the world are gathering for this monumental sporting event.

An off-shoot of the 2006 1st World Outgames in Montreal, Melbourne’s tournament will feature 12 sports, chosen specifically for their strong presence in the city and Australia in general, with more than 1,000 athletes participating.
“After the amazing experience many Australians had in Montreal, there was the view that Australia could stage something, given our strong gay and lesbian sports community,” says Peter Sagar, co-president of the Asia Pacific Outgames. From there, Melbourne Outgames Inc (MOI) was formed, and with support from Melbourne’s community and the City of Melbourne Council the Asia Pacific Outgames took shape. The event combines Midsumma, Melbourne’s annual gay and lesbian community and cultural festival, and Rainbow Conversations, a two-day GLBT human rights conference, along with the sporting tournaments.
“As the Outgames model involves sports, culture and human rights, it made a lot of sense to partner with Midsumma and Rainbow Conversations,” Sagar says.
Also in keeping with that model, the Asia Pacific Outgames are open to all who want to participate, regardless of sexual orientation and with no qualifying standards to compete beyond age restrictions for certain events. Participants from India, the Philippines and Singapore will compete alongside those from as far away as the U.S. and Canada in badminton, squash, volleyball, dancesport, rowing and other competitions.
“The growth in the gay and lesbian sports movement is phenomenal,” says Sagar. “It’s great seeing so many hundreds of athletes coming from across the Asia Pacific region and indeed the rest of the world.”
In the end, the Outgames are about more than just sports. Sagar hopes that this inaugural event will leave a lasting impression on the Asia Pacific region.
“We hope that there will be a legacy,” he says, “Boosting participation in sport and strengthening our gay and lesbian sports clubs in general. We are a beacon of hope to our neighbors, especially in the Asia Pacific where so many inequalities still exist.” •


Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2

Of Madonna’s multiple personalities, the least complex are the best known. But by now, the overly ambitious pop queen and the hands-off sex goddess have become as ho-hum as the insincere crooner of mid-’80s cheeseball ballads was grating.

The underappreciated but ultimately more influential Madonna has always been the multifaceted feminist of “Deeper and Deeper,” “Papa Don’t Preach” and especially “Like a Prayer,” who can’t control her own desires, doesn’t need to control yours, and blames her parents for any faults she cares to admit (“Oh Father”).
Read All 29 Comments


Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2
Dan Woog April 02, 2008
Polo, the Sport of Queens
Maine Native Finds Home With Gay Polo League

Polo has been called “the sport of kings.” It’s now also the sport of queens.In Southern California, the Gay Polo League (GPL) is thriving. It doesn’t matter if you can’t tell a mallet’s head from its shaft, or even if you’ve never mounted a horse. All comers are welcome.At first glance, polo seems poles apart from gay life. One of the oldest horse sports in the world, it originated in China. It moved to India, where the British discovered it. Today it is primarily played by two types of people: professionals and their “patrons” (pronounced “patrones”), wealthy benefactors who sponsor pros in return for playing alongside them. In places like Argentina, where polo is particularly popular, it is considered a very macho sport.Polo is expensive. Games consist of six “chukkers” (periods), each seven and a half minutes long. Ponies run full tilt throughout each chukker, requiring a new one for each period. It costs $50,000 a year to care for, groom, and play six ponies. Multiply that by four players, add the care and maintenance of a grass field, and you’re talking at least $200,000 per team.But gay men find a way to get their hands on everything. Two years ago Chip McKenney, a lawyer working as chief operating officer of a broadcast design studio, wanted a way to meet other gay men outside of bars and gyms. He’d never played polo, but had been around horses ever since his childhood in Maine.“I realized polo could be a great activity for gay guys,” McKenney, 50, recalls. “There’s the camaraderie and social element of a team sport. Polo is played all over the world, so it involves travel. And it appeals to all ages and skill levels.”McKenney — who had never been on an organized sports team — contacted John Westley, resident coach at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, who was enthusiastic. Soon, largely through word of mouth, nearly 40 players were learning the game, and loving it.The youngest is 26; the oldest, 54. Most had never ridden a horse before, though marketing guru and author (“Never Eat Alone”) Keith Ferruzzi played polo at Yale University.All are successful professionals. Many are in entertainment — hey, this “is” L.A. — while others are bankers and business executives. The common denominator is that they are “adventurous people interested in experiencing new and different things,” says McKenney.Despite polo’s elitist, manly image, coaches and members of three organizations — Santa Barbara; the California Polo Club in Los Angeles; and Indio’s El Dorado Polo Club, east of Palm Springs — have been extremely helpful. The California Polo Club has helped promote Wednesday “Gay Polo Nights.” Santa Barbara allows the gay players into its clubhouse, even though they are not members. All three groups help the GPL arrange games, and they welcome players’ partners.“If you’re an athlete, opponents respect you,” McKenney says. For example, “the California Polo Club has a Christian team. They think ‘the Christians versus the gays’ is hysterical.” However, he observes, “We haven’t competed at the highest level yet. That may be a problem. If it is, we’ll just have to outride and outplay whoever it is.”So how gay is gay polo? “Well, we have designer shirts!” laughs McKenney.Turning serious, he says, “As gay people, our lives are different, so we bring a different sensibility to everything we do. Some of our players are in polo for the social aspect, some for competition, but both groups mix easily. That’s different from straight polo, which is more about skill level and what you bring to the team.” //For more information, connect to http://www.gaypolo.org, or contact Chip McKenney: chip1957@aol.com.


Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2008 by borriz2

A web of dreams.

I just got off the phone with a friend and after talking about her poetry I feel like I am in love; excited, smiling, flushed, ready. Hearing about her work and telling her about my work is one of the best medicines I know for grief and exhaustion, for stress, loneliness and isolation. In those moments of eager talk, as in the moments of reading, writing, and making love, I am my best self, more than the sum of my anxieties, larger than my usual self. It is one of the most beautiful things in the world; it is one of the reasons to keep on living.

I was thrilled to be asked to work on this magazine because I need it to exist. Like many queer Arabs I love stories. I find it difficult to sleep when more than one of us is in the same room; it is difficult to get off the phone once we get started. I’ve had nights of sleep deprivation, my body’s exhaustion battling the need to express the thought triggered by her thought, a feedback loop of mutual inspiration. I have hungered for our stories; I have needed to hear about our lives. I love seeing us in the flesh, but being a creature of words I also need to see us in print. This magazine is about our stories; collecting our stories and celebrating our lives in all our complicated glory. I’m tired of reading through other people’s books, searching for a stray glimpse or reference that reflects us; we deserve volumes. May this magazine be a book in an immense library, one contribution to a passionate conversation.

The first queer Arab woman I ever met was in a book. I was reading a book by an American feminist about women and terrorism; it was called something like the Demon Lover, I’m honestly not sure. The writer had been a member of a terrorist organization and wanted to write about the appeal of terrorist rhetoric for women. I picked up the book because it looked interesting it and was on sale, but I didn’t find it terribly gripping. Then suddenly, in a chapter where the author described traveling around the Occupied Territories in Palestine with a translator, she met a woman who brought up a topic she had been told never to mention—lesbianism. I read eagerly as the woman spoke calmly about her life and its pleasures and difficulties. I still remember the low-key way that she compared her experiences as a lesbian in occupied Palestine to those of living as a lesbian in the U.S. when she was a student. She also had a beautifully simple way of dismissing the people who said that there was no such thing as an Arab lesbian. “I do not imagine me,” she told the interviewer, and I read it years later and shivered. Yes. She does not imagine herself. And I do not imagine us either.

Three years ago, sitting in a room full of the first queer Arab women I ever met in the flesh, one of us brought up that phrase and told that story. Again I shivered, shocked by the sound of the words in the air; but this time I looked around me and saw that half of the people in the room were nodding. Many of us had read that book and we all remembered that phrase. I have a fantasy that that Palestinian lesbian will get ahold of this magazine, she will get access to the web through a job and find it on a web search during a break, or somebody will print it out and give it to her. I would love to see her write for a future issue. Whether or not she ever does, though, I am deeply thankful for the gift of her words, and these words are a gift back, to her and to the rest of us. Thank you for telling me that you are in the world, and I hope that you love these stories as much as I love them.

Participating in this community is a new thing for me. For most of my life I have lived in the US, and for the most part I grew up isolated not only from queer people, but also from Arabs. This has to do with the choices that my parents made when I was young and the choices that I made when I was older. It is not true of all of the contributors to this magazine; we are a diverse lot and I am glad of it. But that is my experience; the first true community of Arabs that I have known has been this community of queer Arab-world women and transexual men.

I’ve noticed a new thing with these friendships and this community, something that I have never experienced before, and that is the importance of dreams. It might have to do with the fact that some of my best beloveds, now, do not live on the same continent with me.
There are people who I love who I may never live to meet. In that context dreams are crucial.

Sometimes dreams are the only way for me to see these beloved faces in movement, to keep these friends in my daily life.

There is someone very dear to me, an Arab transexual man, who I met online while I was living in the U.S. and he was living in Bahrain. We’ve never been on the same continent and I don’t know that we ever will be. At one point, around a year after I had begun a series of passionate phone conversations with him, I didn’t hear from him for longer than usual and had the feeling that something was wrong. When he contacted me, he told me that he had just returned home from three days in the hospital. During that time he had vividly dreamed of me.

This broke my heart and filled me with awe. Broke my heart because I could not be with him when he was sick and in trouble; filled me with awe because I had been. Despite the geographical distance, despite the impossibility of doing something as basic and necessary as sitting next to his hospital bed and holding his hand, he had brought me with him into that room. It’s difficult for me to even try to describe what this meant and continues to mean to me; all the hair on my body stands up still when I think of it. I couldn’t be there with him, but through his dreams I was.

I was thinking of him when I decided that the first theme of this magazine would be a web of dreams; I was thinking about literal dreams, about their importance in crossing these literal distances, these oceans.

I was also thinking about another sort of dream. Dream meaning passionate desire, fought for with mind, body, soul and all other available resources; the political dreams, the deep hungers, the needs that unite us.

We are so different. I come up against that, we come up against that, over and over. We have different lives and different experiences; we have different languages and different ideals. Sometimes it seems that the main thing that unites us is the same thing that divides us, an intensity of emotion, frequent unwillingness to compromise, passion. Last summer I attended a gathering of queer Arab-world women and our loves, and I sometimes felt that I was drowning in intensity; it was almost too much, I was drowning in the eyes. None of us ever seem to blink when we are together, have you noticed that? We are carnivorous in our desire. For each other’s company; beyond that for each other’s recognition, approval, love. So many of us have deep loneliness from years of not being fully seen by the families we were born to and the families we have found. We need each other now; we need to see our reflections in each other’s passionate eyes.

So this is a dream, this magazine. A dream, a hope, that wants to be a promise. A dream to draw in those who have never yet seen the words “I do not imagine me,” who have never met another queer Arab woman, who struggle with the weight of so many words saying that we are impossible, mythological, a contradiction in terms, that we cannot exist. A dream to make those of us who grow tired and sad laugh suddenly, in surprise and delight, relief and recognition. A dream to continue the community that brave and hopeful women have already created through hard work, compassion, argument, love. A dream of more late-night conversations to leave us bleary-eyed but sated in the morning; a dream of more love affairs to unite physical and soul-felt passion; a dream of more deep-felt arguments; a dream of more. A web cast across oceans and distance and the synaptic gaps of different languages, ideas, cultures. Fragile as spider-silk and strong as anything in the world.