Show Your Family Pride with #MyQueerFamily

From The Huffington Post comes this request for photos of what our families look like; be they your close friends, pets, spouses or you and the kids:

For queer people, the term “family” can mean many things — from two gay dads and their kids to a bisexual woman, her boyfriend and their dog to a troupe of drag queens and everything in between (and outside of those examples). But all too often that word is withheld from us or used against us by those who claim we don’t have a right to it because we don’t look or act like what a “traditional” family looks or acts like.

But we’re having none of that. And thanks to the Twitter hashtag #MyQueerFamily, we’re sending Continue reading

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It’s Not Getting Better Everywhere, Gay in California’s East Valley

While we are seeing progress for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights coming more day-to-day, and while we think of marriage equality and the overturn of California’s Proposition 8 as giant leaps in that progress, The Desert Sun shows us that though it is getting better, it’s not getting better everywhere; even in our own backyards.

According to numbers provided by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the number of anti-LGBT homicides decreased in 2013, to 19 nationwide. But 90 percent of the victims were “people of color.”

The predominantly Latino eastern valley includes the cities of Indio and Coachella and rural, unincorporated communities of Thermal and Mecca. Attempts to make the area more welcoming to LGBT residents have improved over the years, but there’s still a disparity with the west end of the valley.

In many cases, the only options are Continue reading

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Garth Brooks Throwsdown to iTunes with His Own Digital Music Service

In a previous post, Garth Brooks spoke with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about an announcement which he said would bring big change to music history. The announcement was Garth is starting his own digital music service called GhostTunes. Books says that he wanted to start it to give artists a way in which they could sell their music the way they want and to help songwriters and music publishers:

Brooks’ beef with iTunes is that it is grounded in selling singles, while Brooks says he wants his music sold as complete albums to protect the songwriters and music publishers who depend on income from tracks included on those recordings.

[snip]

Brooks is a part owner in GhostTunes, a small company that he said he hopes “will remain small. We don’t want the corporations wagging the tail of the dog” of digital music sales, he said.

Other artists, he said, can choose Continue reading

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Garth Brooks’s New Music

Country legend and superstar Garth Brooks is back with new music. The song’s title is “People Loving People” and from the few strains that I have heard here and there it sounds a little bit like a throwback to “We Shall Be Free.”

Here is how Rolling Stone Country is describes it:

The song, a catchy feel-good anthem somewhat stuck in Brooks’ choice decade of the Nineties with its lightweight synth production, glossy piano lines and polished country-rock guitars, will appear on the unnamed studio album expected to hit stores in November.

Written by a quirky trio of hitmakers (busbee, Lee Thomas Miller and Chris Walli) who have penned everything from Backstreet Boys tunes to Jamey Johnson’s “In Color,” the song echoes Continue reading

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What the World Has Learned from Footballer Michael Sam

NFL Player Michael Sam may not have shattered the glass closet during his rookie stint with the St. Louis Rams, but as Lindsay Jones’s USA Today article points out, he did put a few more cracks in it:

He showed up not trying to be a civil rights advocate. He was just being himself, trying to play the sport that he loved,” [Executive Director of the You Can Play Project Wade] Davis said. “Michael Sam was the perfect individual, at the perfect time, with the perfect message – I’m a football player who also happens to be gay.”

[snip]

“The NFL is not a space where gay individuals Continue reading

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City in San Joaquin Valley, Calif. Opens LGBT Community Center

Merced, Calif., a city with a population of 81K located about 130 miles south west of San Francisco has opened the doors on the community’s first Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.

From the Sacramento Bee:

“We hope to act as the hub for just about any question the community can come up with, whether it be about the process of coming out, or about how to get involved in advocacy work in the area.” [center Board member, Jordan Cowman said]

In addition to connecting members of the LGBT community to a wide range of resources, organizers say the center is geared toward providing an environment that’s safe, where people are met with kindness, understanding and compassion.

“If they’re dealing with sexual assault or domestic violence, we want to Continue reading

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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Actress Talks About Her Transgender Sister

Actress Selenis Leyva

Selenis Leyva
Photo: Elise Gannett (via METROWEEKLY)

While most of the focus on transgender issues related to the Netflix series Orange is the New Black (ONTB) has been focused on actress Laverne Cox, Washington, D.C.’s METROWEEKLY magazine shows us that there is another actress of the series who has a transgender connection. Selenis Leyva, who plays Gloria Mendoza, has a sister who is transgender:

MW: When did it become apparent that Marizol was, in fact, more than gay, that she was transgender?

LEYVA: Shortly after coming out — under two years. She began to go secretly outside dressed as a woman shortly after coming out as a gay male. She would hide her women’s clothing in her room. She would then leave for school and change in the basement before going outside. I’d find the clothes, my mother would find the clothes. And we felt like we had to respect whatever she needed to go through. So we never confronted her.

I confronted her when she first came out. I said, Continue reading

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