The Latest

Beware of The ManKind Project

The ManKind Project calls itself a " progressive men's organization striving to be increasingly inclusive and affirming of cultural differences." But several people who have attended their program have a different story. The cult-like group has "trainings" around the world including Springfield, MA.

Wayne Besen is reporting that several anti-gay/ex-gay organizations are heavily promoting the ManKind Project for its emphasis on finding your masculinity.

He writes:
This cult-like national program is a $650 weekend boot camp where participants – mostly straight - are greeted by large, intimidating men dressed in dark clothing and faces painted black. During their stay, the men are forced to take cold showers, survive on about four hours sleep, and subsist on very little food. In follow-up meetings, the activities include shaving another man’s face, kidnapping a member of another camp group and changing clothes with other men. The idea is to help them get in-touch with their feelings and uncover and heal deep wounds that are barriers to successful lives.

The alternative publication, The Houston Press, uncovered a letter Michael Scinto wrote to the Madison County Texas sheriff’s office, just prior to committing suicide allegedly as a result of the boot camp. The Scinto family has filed a lawsuit against The ManKind Project, while the deceased man’s letter to the sheriff claims the New Warrior program practiced bizarre rituals that include:

1. Blindfolded walking tours in the nude

2. People blowing sage smoke in his face while 50 or so naked men danced around candles

3. Men sitting in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called “The Cock”

4. Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer

In the Houston Press article, the wife of one of the men who attended discussed why her husband eventually rejected the group.

“So, everyone was sitting Indian-style in a big circle in the lodge when the man leading the group said, ‘if you wish, you may reach over and grab your brother’s dick. If your brother doesn’t want your hand there, he can remove it.’ Well, my husband told me he just froze. And, from that point on, he just wanted out.” The ManKind Project called the allegations false and “vindictive.”

United States Plan To Destabalize Venezuela Revealed

- 150 European Parliamentarians Declare Support for Venezuela Reform
- Supporters of Reforms Rally Today (Will the NYTimes Cover that?)
- Media reporting polls showing a "toss up" but that is not the actuality.
- Media reporting that Chavez supporters are militant. People no the ground report that it is the upper-middle class anti-Chavez protesters who have incited violence all along.
- BBC Coverage Mostly Accurate

A document outlining a plan by the United States to
destabilize Venezuela during and after their voting on December 2nd has been leaked. The US government is trying to change public opinion, incite violence, and use other tactics to derail the overwhelming support for the reforms put forth by president Chavez.

If you think these tactics sound extreme, I encourage you to think about what happened in 2000 and 20004 when the election was stolen from Gore and Kerry. We had a media machine funded by the right-wing lying about the polls and public opinion. We had shady vote counters, automated racist and homophobic phone calls, automated phone calls saying polling places were closed, streets blocked by police, and people wiped clean from voting records - to name a few of the tactics.

Regardless of your support for Chavez and the
Bolivarian Revolution, I encourage people to evaluate and investigate the actions of the United States government in interfering with elections and human rights around the world.

Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American and author of The Chavez Code is living in Caracas to live, report on, and investigate the revolution. She writes...

"In the memo, the CIA proposes the following tactics and actions:
*Take the streets and protest with violent, disruptive actions across the nation
*Generate a climate of
*Provoke a general uprising in a substantial part of the population
*Engage in a "plan to implode" the voting centers on election day by encouraging opposition voters to "VOTE and REMAIN" in their centers to agitate others
*Start to release data during the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday that favor the NO vote (in clear violation of election regulations)
*Coordinate these activities with
Ravell & Globovision and international press agencies
*Coordinate with ex-
militar officers and coupsters Pena Esclusa and Guyon Cellis - this will be done by the Military Attache for Defense and Army at the US Embassy in Caracas, Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO)

To encourage rejection of the results, the CIA proposes:
*Creating an acceptance in the public opinion that the NO vote will win for sure
*Using polling companies contracted by the CIA
*Criticize and discredit the National Elections Council
*Generate a sensation of fraud
*Use a team of experts from the universities that will talk about how the data from the Electoral Registry has been manipulated and will build distrust in the voting system

The CIA memo also talks about:
*Isolating Chavez in the international community
*Trying to achieve unity amongst the opposition
*Seek an
aliance between those abstentionists and those who will vote "NO"
*Sustain firmly the propaganda against Chavez
*Execute military actions to support the opposition mobilizations and
propagandistic occupations
*Finalize the operative preparations on the US military bases in Curacao and Colombia to provide support to actions in Venezuela
*Control a part of the country during the next 72-120 hours
*Encourage a military rebellion inside the National Guard forces and other components
Not convinced? The non-partisan Center for Economic and Policy Research has issued this press release today.

Risk of Deceptions in Venezuelan Referendum, CEPR Warns

Recent History Shows Use of Fake Polls, Other Efforts to Undermine Credibility of Electoral Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2007
Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-293-5380 x104

WASHINGTON, D.C. - There is a significant risk that fraudulent polls and other deceptions will be used to challenge the results of Venezuela's referendum, if proposed constitutional reforms are approved this Sunday, according to Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) economist and Co-Director Mark Weisbrot.

"The international media has not always exercised due diligence in its reporting on polling data and elections in Venezuela," said Weisbrot, who has authored papers on previous elections there.

"This opens up the possibility for the use of fake polling, as was done in the last (2004) referendum, to cast doubt on the results if the proposed constitutional reforms are approved," he said.

In 2004, the influential U.S. polling firm Penn, Schoen, and Berland published fake exit polls on the day of the Presidential recall referendum, showing President Hugo Chávez losing by a 59-41 margin.[1] The actual results, which were certified by observer missions from the Organization of American States and the Atlanta-based Carter Center, showed the opposite, with Chávez winning by a margin of 58 to 41 percent.[2]

The fake exit polls were not the only dubious polls that plagued the last referendum. Most of the pre-election polls in 2004 showed the race "too close to call." Although these were conducted by opposition pollsters, most of the international media accepted them in their reporting. As CEPR demonstrated at the time, it is extremely unlikely that a properly conducted poll could have shown a result that was "too close to call."

The election's credibility was also attacked by a widely-cited statistical paper[3] purporting to show evidence of fraud.[4] CEPR showed that this analysis was deeply flawed and provided no such evidence; the Carter Center later commissioned an independent panel of statisticians from U.S. universities, which confirmed CEPR's finding and concluded that there was no statistical evidence of fraud. Nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal and some Latin American media outlets used this paper and the fake exit polls to claim that the referendum was actually stolen through a clever electronic fraud.[5]

On this basis of such analysis and fake exit polls, most of the opposition rejected the results of the 2004 referendum, and went on to boycott the 2005 national elections.

In the 2006 Presidential election, Penn, Schoen and Berland once again produced questionable polling data showing the race to be in a " very close" just before the election. Other pollsters, including Zogby International, showed an 18-29 point spread favoring Chávez.[6] According to the Miami Herald, this led to the sudden departure of Doug Schoen - who was responsible for the Venezuela polling - on the eve of the election.[7] Chávez won the presidency by a margin of 63 to 37 percent.

"The international media's reporting on the current referendum so far is not encouraging," Weisbrot said. He noted that on November 7th, "almost all of the U.S. and international press reported that pro-Chávez gunmen had fired on a crowd of peaceful protesters returning from a demonstration against the reforms.[8] We now know that this is not at all what happened."[9]

Weisbrot also noted that the media has given wide coverage to a poll by Datanalisis this week showing a defeat for the proposed reforms.[10] The firm's longstanding ties to the opposition, and its serious polling errors in the last referendum, were not mentioned in the press.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR's Advisory Board of Economists includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.

CEPR receives approximately 80% of its funding from foundations, and receives additional funds from a growing number of individual donors. We do not receive any funding from governments (with the exception of a small grant from Washington State in 2003). For more information, click here.

Center for Economic and Policy Research, 1611 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 293-5380, Fax: (202) 588-1356, Home:


Queers et al.,

If anyone is in New York this weekend, the Queer CUNY VIII conference will be open to the public at 68th & Lexington (Hunter College) b/w 10am-6pm, seeking to end reductionist political discourse, asking queer students, theorists, activists, community members, leaders, and everyone to move beyond dichotomous identify/counteridentify subvert/assimilate debates (marriage/anti-marriage, for instance) towards a re-imagining of queer scholarship and activism unconstrained by unhelpful dichotomy, division, and binary warfare. I am excited to hear all the great work my fellow panelists will discuss. The brilliant, razor-sharp, and illustrious Lisa Duggan will be the keynote speaker delivering a captivating life-changing speech that I'm sure will change queer scholarship/activism as we know it today... hope to see you there!

Queer CUNY VIII: The Twilight of Queerness?
Saturday, December 1st, 2007
New York, NY
Hunter College, West Lobby
Complimentary Breakfast, Lunch and Reception

10am- Coffee, Breakfast and Introductions
West Lobby
Opening Remarks: Antonio Aquino, Queer Student Union, Hunter College
Taylor Black, Director, Queer CUNY VIII
Rupal Oza, Director, Women and Gender Studies Program, Hunter College

11am- Session 1
Panel A: Making Queer Media, Then and Now
For decades, queer media has spanned everything from riot grrrl record labels to campy 'zines. These mediums interact with mainstream media and capitalist business models in divergent ways, spawning different visions of the creative potential of avowedly queer media. This panel explores the range of possibilities and challenges that characterize queer publishing, music ventures, and independent youth media.

Moderator: Richard Goldstein, Hunter College.

Gina Mamone, President and CEO of Riot Grrrl Ink, Alternative Capitalisms and Radical Queer Media.
Amanda Moscoso, Global Action Network, Cultural Criticism and Material Fashioned by Queer Youth of Color.
Les Simpson, Founder and Editor of My Comrade and creator of NYC Drag Sensation Linda Simpson, Revolutionary Gay Media.

Panel B: Visual Pleasure
Queer art can create opportunities for experiencing aesthetic pleasure, (dis)articulating sexuality-based identities, and creating new visual cultures across national borders. The power of queer visual culture is not grounded so much in the identity of the artist as in these multiplicitous creative possibilities. This panel will explore art's queerly generative power by examining mediums as diverse as transnational feminist art, voguing performances, and gender-variant porn.

Moderator: David Gerstner, College of Staten Island.

Morty Diamond, Director of Trannyfags and Trans Entities, A Personal Into One Transman’s Journey Into Erotic Arts.
Jon Freeman, Tufts University, Dancing to Disidentify: Voguing, Queer of Color Critique, and Neoliberalism.
Eleanor Whitney, Co-Editor of riffRAG, Pushing Boundaries: Contemporary Queer Visual Culture Across Cultures and Mediums.

Thomas Hunter Hall, 5th Floor

1:00pm- Session 2

Panel A: Queering Pedagogy
This panel explores the relationship between queerness and pedagogy,offering several interpretations of what it looks like to "queer" asan educator in a variety of classroom contexts. Panelists combinepersonal anecdotes and theoretical understandings of pedagogy toconceptualize ways for educators to incorporate queerness into theireveryday teaching lives.

Moderator: Loren Krywanczyk

Jes Battis, Trans/Scripts: Collecting the Work of Queer Grads.
Marty Fink, Queer Admin: Coming out Day and Other Pedagogical Surprises.
Loren Krywanczyk, Queering Pedagogy as a First-Year Public School Teacher.
Seth Clark Silberman, How To (And Why You Should) Teach Queer Theory.

Panel B: Real Live Freaks: Representing Deviance in Pop Culture
Popular representations of sexual deviance have created a vast and titillating taxonomy of purported perversion and degeneration. Some of these pop phenomena are powered by moral panic: witness the proliferation of attention to the gay male meth addict or the straight white sex offender. Others emerge from a liberal logic of genteel tolerance and curiosity, as seen in talk-show television or best-selling memoirs. The presentations below engage critically with this voyeuristic spread, offering fresh perspective on just who is targeted as queer and how.

Moderator: Rosalind Petchesky, Hunter College

Taylor Black, Hunter College, Perverted Justice: Shifting Landscapes of Control and the Contemporary War on Sex Predators
Kate Bovich, NYU, Devious Passing: An Experiment in How the Other Half Lives
Sassafras Lowrey, author of From GSA to Marriage: Stories of a Life Lived Queerly, Modern Freak Shows: Transgender Representations on Oprah 2003-2005.
Benjamin Persky, CUNY Graduate Center, The Quintessential Gay Drug: HIV/AIDS, Crystal Methamphetamine, and the Instant Bottom.

Workshop: Queer Networking in New York City
The aim of this workshop is to create a network of students, community organizers and people with similar interests, in order to effective build a strong, academic, queer community in New York City and the Tri-State area.

Antonio Aquino, Queer Student Union, Hunter College.
Kristina Cooper, Lesbians Rising, Hunter College.

2:30pm- Session 3

Panel A: Intelligibility and Transgression
Queerness signifies both an aberration from and resistance to the norms of sex and gender. Often, this task of recasting social norms is seen as incompatible with strategies that work more intimately with normative political structures or identities. This panel will aim to examine and problematize this facile opposition, with presentations examining bisexual invisibility, monster ethics, sovereignty and ‘necropolitics,’ and the politicization of gay male subjectivities.

Moderator: E. Glasberg, Princeton University.

James Arnett, CUNY Graduate Center, Zombie Politics: A Vision of Post-Queer Collectivity
Brent Calderwood, CUNY Graduate Center, Queer Liberation? No Thanks, We’ll Pass..
Jennifer Mitchell, CUNY Graduate Center, Oh Boy -- or Girl: Hypothetical Bisexuality.
Oli Stephano, Vassar College, Monster Ethics: Beyond No Future.

Panel B: Local Strategies, Global Resistance
Queer political tactics might be said to focus on the formation of novel alliances and the undoing of colonizing political logic and practices. Nevertheless, queer politics walks the line between replicating and displacing these totalizing schemas. What does this edge look like in both local and transnational political organizing? This panel will explore and critique movement building and "queer community" from a variety of perspectives.

Moderator: Paisley Currah, Brooklyn College.

Emi Kane, NYU, Critiquing Queer Diaspora Theory.
Thea Quiray Tagle, GABRIELA and UC-San Diego, (Queer) Love in a Time of War, or why talk about queer Filipina/Americans when there are soldiers dying for our freedom?
Leigh Thompson, TransMasculine Community Network, Challenging Static Notions of an LGBT “Community.”
Julian Wolfe, Sylvia’s Place, Fitting At-Risk Queer Kids of Color into the Community.

Workshop: Alternatives to Marriage

A practical and inspired discussion about queer kinship, headed up by folks from the Alternatives to Marriage Project (AtMP), a national nonprofit organization advocating for equality and fairness for unmarried people, including people who are single, who choose not to marry, cannot marry, or live together before marriage.

Jennifer Gaboury, Hunter College.
Katie McDonough, Hunter College.

4:30pm-Keynote Address by Lisa Duggan
West Lobby
Lisa Duggan, Professor, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director, American Studies Program at NYU, is the author of Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence and American Modernity and Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy. She is also co-author with Nan Hunter of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture.

West Lobby


Several weeks ago HRC lost their one and only Transgender board member ever. Today two more Transgender people said goodbye to HRC due to the organization's approach to passing ENDA. (

(Washington) Two transgender members of the Human Rights Campaign quit Tuesday, saying the group's support of an employment nondiscrimination bill that excluded transgender workers put them "in an untenable position."

Jamison Green and Donna Rose's resignations from the Human Rights Campaign's business council are effective immediately, according to a joint letter.

"Considering recent broken promises, the lack of credibility that HRC has with the transgender community at large, and HRC's apparent lack of commitment to healing the breach it has caused, we find it impossible to maintain an effective working relationship with the organization," they said. -

QueerToday Meets for Annual Meeting.

*(this is just for fun)*
Firecrotch hosted this annual meeting in Berkeley California. 10 bloggers flew from all over the country to attend this gay event. (See photo of all that attended.)

QueerToday Annual Meeting Agenda 2007:

1- Check In’s
- Name, Age and the color of your pee?
2- Cleaning up the mess of HRC surrounding ENDA
3- Covert operations to infiltrate Ron Paul’s supporters.
4- Taking Tom Cruse off the DL.
5- The perks of ‘Trans’ bathrooms!
- Poop
- Pee
- Tampons
- Liquid poop
- Green apple splatters
- Cleveland steamers?
6- Family values
7- Massresistance VS. HRC ( Massresistance is Winning!)
- Massresistance recognizes Trans people as a force to fight in 2003
(only ‘4’ years!!!)
- HRC ‘founded in 1980 ‘, only in 2001 did HRC include Trans folks in their mission. (We will do the math but.. MR is up about a two and a half decades)
8- Public Schools
- Homosexual Agenda (where we are in conversion rates)
- How to explain ‘Santorum’ in public schools
9- Mark Snyder (Liability vs. Value)
10- Pro- Abortion
-How to Get to Yes by Allen Pease
- Discussion and PowerPoint
11- Douches
- Calling someone a douche, offensive or not?
12- MassEquality
What could QT do with a budget of over $100,000 a month..
- Pie charts
- Straight people running the gay rights movement in Ma.
-Thanks for all the help!!! OMG we are BFF
13- Pie, Ice cream, having sex with sheep!
14-- Douches (capitalism vs. women’s health)
15- Closing speaker (John Waters)
16- Check out and foot orgy.

Everyone had a great time! Wish you all were here to enjoy a great dinner with family!!

Jenn & Trevor

PS: We just watched a sex worker get stiffed on her pay, she was pissed and was screaming at the car driving off. There was a cop right on the corner, and went over to the woman and told her to "keep it down"!!! *What a nightmare!!* Why didn't the cop go after the guy in the car for not paying her????? Someone at city hall is getting a strongly worded letter.. (This really just happened)

(To copy this photo to any other website please e-mail us for our blessing)

Trans Day of Remembrance

Today we observe the National Trans Day of Remembrance. Check out the discussion over at QuenchZine.

Remembering Our Family
Victims of Anti-Transgender Murder

Nakia Ladelle Baker
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head
Date of Death: January 7, 2007

Keittirat Longnawa
Location: Rassada, Thailand
Cause of Death: Beaten by 9 Youths who then slit her throat
Date of Death: January 31, 2007

Moira Donaire
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
Cause of Death: Stabbed 5 times by a street vendor
Date of Death: March 5, 2007

Michelle Carrasco “Chela”
Location: Santiago, Chile
Cause of Death: She was found in a pit with her face completely disfigured.
Date of Death: March 16, 2007

Ruby Rodriguez
Location: San Francisco, California
Cause of Death: She had been strangled and was found naked in the street.
Date of Death: March 16, 2007

Erica Keel
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death: A car repeatedly struck her
Date of Death: March 23, 2007

Bret T. Turner
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Cause of Death: Multiple stab wounds
Date of Death: April 2, 2007


Protest Lou Dobbs Tonight

Protest to target racist anti-immigrant demagogue Lou Dobbs. On Monday, 11/19, racist anti-immigrant demagogue Lou Dobbs will appear at Old South Church Meeting House in Boston.

6:30 PM - OLD SOUTH CHURCH MEETING HOUSE, 310 Washington St., Boston

The 2007 Miss TrannyShack Pageant Delivers!

Fierce, fabulous, and queer as fuck! Amazing highlights from the pageant included a fabulous Barbasol inspired hairstyle by James St. James. Who doesn't love shaving cream mohawks? A crude, lewd, stand up shtick by Sandra Bernhardt, and a revealing, unforgettable step down performance by Raya Light, where a montage of provoking questions were attached to pictures of angelic babies. My favorite showed a cherubic nude baby and posed the question: "Will you teach me to be ashamed of my body?"

Other stand outs numbers included: Dolly's 9 to 5 performed with a full fleet of dancers, a show stopping back up gospel choir, and a gorgeous, over the top, in all the right ways, Marie Antoinette costume.

For those who thought the cancelling of Halloween festivities in the Castro meant SF was starting to button up, go to the place where more is actually MORE. In fact, it's the new black...with glitter.

Be there for the coronation of the 2007 winner. Vive Trannyshack!

Tuesday, November 20th
The Stud
399 9th Street @ Harrison
10pm - 3am show @ midnight

Boston Community Change: Make A Difference Fast!

Okay everyone, here is another easy way to give back and feel connected to your community. Boston Community Change provides you with a plastic magnetic card that tracks where you spend your money locally. Not only will you get discounts and cash back by supporting local shops and restaurants, you'll also be supporting the local nonprofit organization of your choice (I chose Bikes Not Bombs)! Yay! Click Here to sign up. It only takes about 30 seconds, and then you will receive your card in the mail.

Did you sign up? What nonprofit did you benefit and why? Tell us about it in the comments section!
"The program provides consumers with the incentives they need to shift their purchasing habits to support the cultural, economic and environmental health of their communities by shopping locally. When you shop at participating neighborhood businesses, you facilitate a shift of dollars to the common good through cash rewards for consumers, beneficiaries and the local community." - Boston Community Change

The Real Ellen Scandal

Ellen Degeneres is in hot water again, and, no, it’s not over a damn dog. The Writer’s Guild of America East (WGAE) is fuming over her decision to continue airing her show despite the current writer’s strike. According to one source Ellen is the only top rating comedy/variety show host to continue airing. Other comedy/variety hosts such as Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien refused to cross the picket line.

In other words, Degeneres is a scab. Even worse, WGAE accuses Degeneres of doing “struck work” because she is doing comedy on her variety show (which is, of course, the job of the writers of her show).

WGAE put it very well when it said:
We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn't even stand by writers for more than one day - writers who have helped make her extremely successful.

In fact, the WGAE threatened to protest two tapings of Degeneres’ show in New York, which she then cancelled. You would think this would be big news for the gay media, which followed Degeneres’ doggy drama. But mainstream gay media outlets couldn’t be bothered by this story, which involves a lesbian in the position of an oppressor.

Degeneres’ decision to scab and the gay media’s seeming lack of concern with the story, highlights the importance of class analysis in queer politics. It raises several questions: What does it mean for queer people when a lesbian, who has undeniably suffered because of her sexual orientation, is in a position to exploit people (including other queer people)? What kind of solidarity should we feel with Degeneres and other gay and lesbian exploiters when they stand against the interests of many of our other queer brothers and sisters?

Support Community Servings This Holiday Season

Yesterday I sold pies for Community Servings, an amazing Boston-based organization that serves homemade, nutritious meals every day to almost 700 individuals and families struggling with HIV/AIDS and other critical illnesses.

The purchase of one $25 pie will serve a client lunch, dinner, and a snack for an entire week!

As QueerToday blogavist and past Community Servings Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Pockoski can attest, the organization is always looking for motivated volunteers to help with fundraising events, cooking and preparing meals, and so much more.

In addition to providing meals, each holiday season Community Servings delivers baskets of gifts to their clients, 95% of whom are below the federal poverty line. Each family creates a wish list and Community Servings and their volunteers do their best to fulfill them.

According to Community Servings, "it takes over 750 hours of volunteer power per week to get our 1300 meals per day prepared, packaged and delivered."

Friends Show Support, Mommie Dearest Strikes Again

We at QueerToday know that many of our readers are concerned for Claudia Contrada, and that is why we wanted to let you know about the Facebook group in the post below. We also want to take a moment and remind our readers that experiences like the one that Claudia is facing is in so many ways similar to that of Queer and Questioning youth around the world, and while Claudia's story seems to be a headliner she is not the only one. She has provided a human face to this epidemic and has shown tremendous courage, but for all the youth who in one way or another never see the spotlight QueerToday is here for you.

Facebook group formed to show support for Claudia Contrada, the daughter of MassResistance activist Amy Contrada, has grown to over 120 members. Close friends, classmates, and supporters from around the world are using the group to reminisce, express their love, and hope for Claudia's safe return.

Meanwhile MassResistance has posted yet another attack on LGBT youth. In their most recent post they claim that blogavist Trevor Wright "may have been molested." Update: MassResistance deleted that line within minutes of this report.

As you can see here, here, here, and here it is Brian Camenker and Amy Contrada of MassResistance who have an obsession with posting private information and photographs of minors without their consent. They have been seen taking photos of youth at almost every major queer event in the Boston area for the past several years.

At what point does posting photos of youth alongside hate speech break the law?

Lastly, a right-wing candidate for congress who supports MassResistance has created his own facebook group to support MassRessitance. So far it has one member...him.

photo: Amy Contrada snaps pictures of LGBTQ Youth and their allies at the BAGLY Prom in May of 2007.

Overnight THIS Weekend for Queer Youth to talk about Religion

This coming Friday any queer youth between the ages of 14 and 20 are invited to an overnight retreat to talk about religion. So often we are taught that religion can only be read in a queer negative way. This retreat is an opportunity for us to talk about queer positive readings of the major religions of the world. Please pre-register for this FREE overnight retreat. To register or for more information visit We are open to ALL! The retreat will be at the Community Church of Boston in Copley Square ( This is an opportunity for you to tell your own story and to hear the stories of other youth. Questions can be sent to

MTPC Announces Trans Day of Remembrance

Sunday, November 18, 2007
Massachusetts Transgender Town Hall Meeting
and Boston's Transgender Day of Remembrance Community Event
Both events are being held at the Arlington Street Church, 351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA Town Hall Meeting from 3p-5p, Transgender Day of Remembrance Community Event from 7p-9p

Transgender Town Hall Meeting
Each year the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) holds a Town Hall meeting to inform the community about the work of MTPC and the state of transgender rights in Massachusetts and at the Federal level. This year MTPC will be giving an update on the status of the Massachusetts statewide bill - HB 1722, "An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes" with speakers from MTPC, LGBT Coalition Partners, and other political leaders. MTPC will also be providing training and information on how to reach out and educate legislators about HB 1722 and the issues transgender people face in Massachusetts. We will also be talking about other policy issues that affect transgender people in Massachusetts and giving updates on pending LGBT Federal legislation. MTPC particularly encourage those who want to learn more about Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and/or HB 1722 to attend the Town Hall Meeting.

Boston's Transgender Day of Remembrance
A heartfelt tribute to the losses and solidarity of our community. Charito Suarez, from TransCend, will be hosting the event and many voices will be paying tribute through music and words about the members of the Transgender community we have lost over the years from violence. Included will be information about the stone placed this past fall in the Garden of Peace, a memorial commemorating victims of homicide, honoring Debra Forte, a Haverhill transgender women murdered in 1995. Co-sponsors of Boston's Transgender Day of Remembrance are TransCend, a program of Cambridge Cares About AIDS, Keshet, BAGLY, GLSEN Boston, and MTPC.

Both events are free, open to everyone, and limited video/photo policy will be in place. For more information visit If your organization would like to become a sponsor of TDOR or you would like to volunteer helping to organize the event contact Nancy at If your organization would like to sponsor the Town Hall meeting or you are member of the press contact Gunner

Saturday, November 17th, 2007
Springfield's Transgender Day of Remembrance
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Outreach/Health Fair Day
To promote Testing and Counseling for HIV, Hepatitis & STD's within
the GLBT communities and Allies

A candlelight vigil will follow from 5 - 7:00 PM
hosted by UNITY of Pioneer Valley
Blue Moon Coffee Roasters
715 Sumner Ave, Springfield
FREE Music, Food, Information, Activities
This event is co-sponsored by: Baystate Medical Center, The Massachusetts
Department of Public Health, UNITY of Pioneer Valley and The Blue Moon
Coffee Roasters.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Worcester Transgender Day of Remembrance
6:00pm-8:00pm at 85 Green Street, Worcester, MA 01604
At least one transgender person is killed every month worldwide.
Please join AIDS Project Worcester in raising awareness about anti-
trans violence and ways we can make our city and world safe.

Worcester Transgender Day or Remembrance 2007 will have free dinner,
annual reading of the names, annual candle lighting ceremony, and a
keynote speaker. Contact Joan Anderson at 508-755-3773 or for more information.

Tuesday, Nov. 20
The Pioneer Valley Transgender Day of Remembrance
7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse in Amherst, 121 North Pleasant St. Amherst. A community gathering honoring and remembering Transgender victims of violence. For more information email or call the Stonewall Center:, 413-545-4826. Co-sponsored by Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Please forward widely and visit the transgender calendar on MTPC, for other events. Trans Day of Remembrance on FACEBOOK.

Easy Out ?

Gay teens throughout Massachusetts are featured in Today's Boston Globe article called "Easy Out," which paints a rather rosy picture of the coming out process in our state. QueerToday's Trevor Wright is quoted.

The article provides some good historical context to how our state has made things more welcoming for gay teens, but it fails to recognize many of the remaining challenges.

The article emphasizes the high suicide rates in the late eighties and implies that the discussion on gay marriage has made a positive impact to curb those numbers. But statistics from Massachusetts in 2005 reveal suicide rates among gay teens were even higher than the statistics from 1989 that were quoted in the article.
If they had been able to interview the Contradas for this article it would have created an interesting contrast.

Congrats to Trevor! A full page spread - ZEXY!

Congrats to BAGLY for the well deserved positive press.

See Also: Tolerance The Golden Rule with Gay Children: You may not be overjoyed, but they're still your kids (Chicago Sun Times)

Sad News From MassResistance

Update: Someone has set up a support Claudia group on facebook. Friends are beginning to express their concern and support on the "wall" of the group. All are worried and reporting that phones, internet, etc. have been cut off.

Last week Claudia Contrada, the daughter of Amy Contrada, one of America's most actively anti-gay moms, chose to come out publicly as a lesbian on

At first I struggled with the decision to publish Claudia's brave interview because of her unfortunate situation at home.

Then I thought about what I was doing when I was seventeen. I was completing my senior year of high school at a college in Boston because my rural hometown and high school had become too unsafe due to anti-gay harassment. It was not long before I felt empowered enough to tell my story. Since my arrival in Boston I have met hundreds of teens who, like me, made it through difficult times by their own determination, the support of their friends, and the support of organizations like BAGLY, Boston GLASS, and PFLAG.

Knowing she had the appropriate support networks in place, I decided to post the interview out of respect for Claudia's wishes and for the thousands of queer youth around the world who would draw strength and inspiration from her resilience.

The story spread among LGBT and progressive blogs. And on November 2nd, Claudia went on to give a stellar performance in the sold-out Laramie Project play that depicts the brutal anti-gay murder of Mathew Shepard. Despite overwhelming support from the community, the play was protested by Fred Phelps thanks to the red carpet Claudia's mom rolled out for them by holding an anti-Laramie Project forum at the school a few weeks prior.

That should have been the end of this story.

But today things suddenly took a turn for the worse. The author of the MassResistance website*
, longtime anti-gay activist Brian Camenker, announced that Amy Contrada had pulled her daughter from school and the remaining performances of the play. As usual, his expose' also included lies and attacks on me,, and the Acton school system. The twisted material was also sent out via e-mail to his supporters and the Massachusetts legislators.

As I read his vicious rant my heart sank because Claudia's cherished role in the Laramie Project, and her support system of friends, teachers, and counselors had been robbed from her in order to maintain her mother's sick addiction to hate.

What kind of mother pulls her daughter from her school, supportive friends and teachers, and the play she is enthusiastically participating in during the final stretch of her senior year?

What kind of 50+ year old male computer programmer posts photos of a 17 year old girl's bedroom, personal e-mails and facebook details on his web site?

What credentials does this man have to judge who is a lesbian and who is not?

What constitutes psychological abuse?

Our thoughts and prayers (for those who pray) are with Claudia and the entire Contrada family. May they find compassion, acceptance and peace at once.

See Also:

*Brian Camenker writes the MassResistance web site content. Amy Contrada writes the MassResistance blog content.

Bad ENDA Passes

Quotes of Interest: See our friends at Quenchzine for a Liveblog of the event

"It's (ENDA) a disaster for Christian bookstores!" - Rep. Souder, Indiana

"I share the concern that this legislation does not protect transgender people. They are particularly subject to workplace discrimination. My home state of California is one of a dozen states that already protects people based on gender identity. We recognize that they like all people deserve protection. This bill is not perfect. " - Rep. Woolsley, California

"This legislation would undermine the institution of marriage which determines the strength of our entire society. It has the potential to impact the importance of families in our culture." - Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio

"The private sector is way ahead of the federal law. It makes financial sense. The fundamental American right to earn a living should be a principle everyone in this chamber regardless of ideology should embrace." Republican, Deborah Pryce, Ohio

"It will serve as a way for trial lawyers to make a quick buck. I am standing for the principle of religious freedom and non discrimination. Vote no." Walberg, Michigan

"Having spent all of my professional life fighting to eradicate discrimination... and based on my study and understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ I cannot condone discrimination based on sexual orientation." Sanford Bishop, Georgia

"We can expect more litigation against the Boy Scouts!" Gohmert, Texas

"I urge you to protect traditional marriage!" Unknown

"If this bill passes, can your coworkers display bible passages in your cubicle? There's no reason to create a new protected class." Blunt, Missouri

"I don't condone discrimination against any people whatsoever. The problem is that by extending the reach of federal effect can wage war on the exercise of free religion. It sets up a conflict between right to religious freedom in workplace, and a person's newly created right to sue you. If an employee keeps a bible at their cubicle... it could be claimed by a homosexual that it creates a hostile work environment. " Pence, Indiana

"Passing ENDA affirms traditional values of tolerance, freedom... traditional values is what this ENDA bill is all about. It has nothing to do with marriage. Ellison, Minnesota

"Perceived gayness is when people claim to have some sort of gaydar! It means people like me with a deep voice might be perceived as being gay." Gween Moore

"Transgender Americans face the most discrimination. I urge you to support the original inclusive legislation." Davis, California

The Human Rights Campaign and a few other groups have signed a letter to affirmatively support the non-inclusive version of ENDA. The vote is expected to be tomorrow.

United ENDA remains committed to fighting for the Baldwin Amendment, and one ENDA.

Unfortunately the idea that gender and identity were important protections for all people was lost in the lingo that both United ENDA and HRC have used throughout. Most gay media reports on ENDA frame it has the gays and lesbians verses the transgenders/transsexuals, completely missing the point.

I believe that had HRC loudly and clearly explained the importance of these protections for everyone from day one, things might be a little different.

HRC's president called the move "pragmatic," and emphasized the support of the HRC board. He forgot to mention that their one trans board member resigned over this issue a few weeks ago.

HRC's previous president, Cheryl Jacques, had this today at
"As you may know, I served for over a decade as a State Senator in Massachusetts. There are two schools of thought when it comes to passing legislation, work incrementally to get the kinds of protections or laws that you want passed - or push for the full law you want to see enacted. In my experience, incrementalism is sometimes expedient but it almost always creates a less than perfect result. Even in Massachusetts, where there is a non-discrimination law - it only protects sexual orientation. At the time it was passed, advocates said we would go back later and deal with gender identity and expression - but it was never done. And the political reality of ENDA today is that even if the were to pass a non-inclusive bill through both branches of Congress the President has said he will veto the bill and we don't have enough votes to override that veto. So - we will leave behind an important part of our community; create incredible heartache and ill will - all for a shallow political gain."