LGBT Couples ‘Absolutely’ Welcome to Enter Radio’s ‘Dream Wedding’ Contest

WPOC Radio Station LogoWPOC, the country station out of Baltimore, Maryland, is holding a Dream Wedding contest. Since Maryland is a state where gay couples can marry legally, I wondered if the contest was open to same-sex couples. The official rules had notes in it about ‘spouse’ and ‘commitment ceremony’, but to be sure, I emailed the promotions and contest manager.

The response that I got back was that the contest is that the contest is “ABSOLUTELY open to LGBT couples as well as straight couples…” And, yes, the word ‘absolutely’ in the response was all caps.

I was bowled over by the enthusiastic response. I was also wished luck with my entry. Sorry, WPOC, this cowboy ain’t putting a ring on it, yet. But for those LGBT couples who are ready, below is some of the information for the contest (bolding and caps are original text).

Upload a creative, fun photo of you and your fiancé by May 11 that is original and showcases your personality. Photos will be displayed on for everyone to vote for their favorite! Continue reading

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Today in LGBT History: The Announcement of the Discovery of the AIDS Virus

MSNBC brings us a reminder of a dark time in the history of the gay community. After three years of a new, unnamed plague that devastated people’s immune system, science finally began to understand the virus that caused AIDS. In a hastily called press conference Margaret Heckler, the Health and Human Services Secretary announced that the cause of AIDS had been discovered.

“First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been identified, but a new process has been developed to mass produce this virus. Thirdly, with the discovery of both the virus and this new process, we now have a blood test for AIDS. With a blood test, we can identify AIDS victims with essentially 100% certainty.”

That was Margaret Heckler, President Ronald Reagan’s Health and Human Services Secretary, rocking the world 30 years ago this morning. Her hastily arranged press conference was full of blunders—she jumped the gun by several weeks because of a press leak, claimed U.S. credit for what was partly a French discovery, misidentified the newly discovered virus, and predicted that a vaccine would be ready within two years (we still don’t have one). Yet the announcement had epochal impact. It revealed the source of what would soon become one of the worst plagues in human history, and it sparked scientific and social revolutions that are still playing out today.

Three years earlier, in the spring of 1981, a ghastly new disease had exploded in the gay communities of New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It eviscerated people’s immune systems, allowing normally harmless pathogens to consume them. Though initially dismissed as a “gay plague,” it had begun killing hemophiliacs and injection drug users, as well as their partners and newborns, and it was spreading worldwide.

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Catholic Mother Shares Her Journey of Loving LGBT Family Members

Originally posted on Bondings 2.0:

Rosa Manriquez

An LGBT storytelling project recently profiled Rosa Manriquez, a Catholic mother and church justice advocate, as she tells the story about the LGBT people in her family. In the seven-minute video, she discusses the coming out experiences of her former husband and daughter — and how her Catholic faith and Latina identity have shaped the journey.

Manriquez says she refuses to be identified by her sexuality, but says she is a mother and a grandmother foremost. She is also an associate member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters Community. Raised Catholic, she attended Catholic schools and was planning to enter religious life before meeting her former husband, Enrique. She says of this first relationship:

“Enrique was gay. He never came out of the closet but the signs were all there. Being a good Mexican wife I refused to see those signs. I just figured I could carry the family by…

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Affordable LGBT Senior Home set to open in Chicago September 2014


Chicago, IL — One of America’s first affordable LGBT senior homes is set to open in Boystown by end of August or early September 2014.

Heartland Housing, a nonprofit specializing in affordable housing, and Center on Halsted have collaborated to bring the six-story affordable LGBT housing center to Boystown. The building, which is the former historic 23rd District Town Hall Police Station, will contain 79 LGBT-affirming studio and one-bedroom units.

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Easter dinner for homeless Jamaican LGBT youth

Originally posted on 76 CRIMES:

Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

From Jamaica, activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers reports on Sunday’s Easter dinner, made by LGBT youth supporter Nevin Powell, who also arranged a Christmas dinner for them a few months ago:

Homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica line up for Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

Homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica line up for Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

Once again, Nevin Powell provided a special dinner for the homeless LGBT youth forced to live in the sewers of Kingston, Jamaica. This time Nevin and a group of friends, including two brother Christian ministers, came from Los Angeles specifically to provide an Easter meal, just as they did last December when they treated the youngsters to Christmas dinner.

The youth, 31 in all, enjoyed the spread of chicken, curried goat, rice and peas, tossed salad, drink, and Easter bun and cheese (a beloved and much-anticipated Jamaican Easter tradition).

After lunch, gift packages…

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Don’t Read Gay: College Funding On the Chopping Block Over Gay Memoir

The College of Charleston in South Carolina is facing a $52,000 budget cut due to its assignment of the memoir Fun Home as part of the College Reads! program. The memoir, written by Alison Bechdel, depicts her life growing up as a lesbian with a closeted gay farther in graphic panel format. The funding cut was proposed by Republican Representative Garry Smith who says the book contains graphic images of lesbian sex and the school offered no other reading option. From The New York Times:

Mr. Smith then proposed cutting $52,000 – roughly equivalent to the cost of the reading program, he said – from the college’s $20 million appropriation from the state. The budget cut is now moving through the legislature; South Carolina news media coverage indicates some sizable political support for the cut.

Representative Smith did not reply to phone messages left at his office and home seeking comment. In an interview with CNN this spring he said that the College of Charleston “has to be reasonable and sensible to the feelings and beliefs of their students.” Continue reading

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Quote of the Day: Cokie Roberts Clarifies Gay People and Sinners

Robert’s comment comes at the 10:00 minute mark, but start at 9:15 to get the full effect.

Classy rebuttal from a classy lady.

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