The Latest

Perversion of Justice

"NEW YORK — For the first time in U.S. history, more than one of every 100 adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report documenting America's rank as the world's No. 1 incarcerator. It urges states to curtail corrections spending by placing fewer low-risk offenders behind bars.

Using state-by-state data, the report says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 _ one out of every 99.1 adults. Whether per capita or in raw numbers, it's more than any other nation." - HuffingtonPost

Boycott NERP & Barney Frank

Given that Barney Frank continues his speaking tour to incoherently justify his transphobic campaign to split ENDA, I encourage the queer communtiy of Boston not to attend the North East Regional Pride Conference that will be hosted and organized by Boston Pride. Frank is one of the keynote speakers.

Barney Frank and the Human Rights Campaign do not deserve our praise, and especially not our money. HRC has lost every trans member of their board and trustees this year due to ENDA.

Related: San Francisco Pride Nominates HRC for Pink Brick Award over ENDA

" For the first time, an LGBT organization has been nominated for San Francisco Pride's Pink Brick award – an award meant to recognize groups and individuals who've run afoul of the community or pushed for antigay measures.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and its president, Joe Solmonese, are nominated this year for continuing to support a proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that does not include protections for transgender individuals......

The other Pink Brick nominees this year are Bill O'Reilly of Fox News..." Bay Area Reporter

Post-apartheid racism in South Africa

This is despicable. A group of white students at the University of the Free State in South Africa humiliated black elderly workers at the school by, among other things, feeding them a dog food soup into which the students had urinated. Just despicable.

According to a BBC report, "The video was reportedly recorded in protest at moves to integrate black and white students in the same residences at the University of the Free State."

Read more on the blog of Ray Hartley, editor of The Times, South Africa.

Another Attack in Florida

(Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Police are investigating the brutal beating of a gay man outside a Fort Lauderdale diner, an attack that came in the wake of the killing of a 17 year old transgender teen on a city street. -

Chicago 10 & 1968

On Monday Wing and I were lucky enough to see a pre-screening of the new movie Chicago 10 that documents and portrays a part of the story of the 10 activists put on trial for the anti-war protests in 1968 at the Democratic National Convention. The producer and one of the Chicago 10, Tom Haydon were on hand to answer questions. Below is a preview of the movie, which was phenomenal. It opens Friday. But do remember, it's only one person's interpretation and only a small peice to the many stories from those protests and the events leading up to them.

In related news, local activists in Denver announced this week a campaign called Recreate '68. They are calling on anti-war activists to continue the spirit of resistance and ensure the voices of the people are heard at the Democratic National Convention this summer. Click here for their web site.

Solidarity with the Somerville 5

The Somerville 5 are Black youth who were racially profiled by white Medford police then attacked, beaten, maced and arrested on April 20, 2005. They were charged with numerous crimes and suspended from Somerville High School. They became a symbol across Boston of youth standing up and fighting back against racism and police brutality.

Almost three years later, the Medford cops andMiddlesex DA are continuing with their attempts to railroad the remaining 2 defendants, Cassius Belfon and Earl Guerra. Jury selection will start on Wednesday, February 27 and the trial is expected to begin on Thursday, February 28. These young men should be allowed to get on with their lives. Both Cassius and Earl will be graduating from high school this year and are looking forward to attending college. Both are active in organized sports and church activities.

The pursuit of this racist vendatta by the Medford Police and DA is an outrage, particularly in light of the fact that the first trial of Calvin Belfon and Isaiah Anderson was rife with conflicting police testimony and lies. One witness for the prosecution turned against them and testified in defense of the Somerville 5, saying she had been coerced and duped. Other witnesses were taken to the police station and threatened. The judge stated in a memo that it was clear that the police initiated the attack on the youths, resulting in the youths being forced to defend themselves.

For one and a half years, the Committee to Defend the Somerville 5, friends, family and supporters picketed, rallied, held press conferences, conducted a national phone/fax campaign, held fundraisers and then packed the courtroom. The judge, the jury, the police and the DA all
took note of this. As a result, the DA's plan to lock the youth in prison for 2 years was stopped! But they were found guilty of some charges and given 2 years probation.

Enough is enough! We need to defend our youth! Demand all charges be dropped against Cassius Belfon and Earl Guerra!

Come pack the court:
Thursday, 2/28/08 9:00 AM and for however long the trial lasts.
Middlesex Juvenile Court
121 Third St.
(brick building, corner of Thorndike and Third Streets, Lechmere Stop on Green Line)

Call, Fax or Write the Judge.
Demand Case be dismissed and all charges dropped!
Chief Justice of Juvenile Court
Honorable Martha P. Grace
3 Center Plaza, #520
Boston, MA 02108
TELEPHONE: 617-788-6550
FAX: 617-788-8965

Thank you,
Committee to Defend the Somerville 5
c/o The Action Center
284 Amory St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Reforming the left?

So, unfortunately I haven't had any time to check in with recent QueerToday posts until now, and I stumbled upon a great post made a couple weeks ago on "reforming the left." I wanted to follow-up by spewing a couple of thoughts it conjured up.

The problem identified was how we can get the political left in the U.S. up to progressivist par with other countries such as France. One of Wingy's suggestions included, "the rejection of the conservative notion that social progress slows down economic progress." I want to really take this point a couple steps further.

First, I totally agree that this is one of the core setbacks for an effective left-progressive politics in the U.S. We must come to fully understand that 1) social progress does not inhibit economic progress, but also, somewhat more controversially perhaps, that 2) social progress and economic progress are not in any way separable, despite a relentless discourse that this is indeed so.

social vs. economic progress? economy & culture under neoliberal order
For issue #1: The 'conservative' notion that social progress impedes economic progress is actually, quite unfortunately, not at all exclusively conservative. It is a widely and passionately held tenet that cuts across a diversity of political camps, including liberals and mainstream/reformist LGBT folk. What it is, however, is neoliberal. Most of you I'm sure are aware of the term, but just in case someone is not, neoliberalism refers to the economic, cultural, and political tendencies since the late 1970s that have stressed the dismantling of the welfare state, limited government interventions, the opening ("freeing") up of markets---and in areas where there are no markets, the actual creation of markets---and a mass privatization of the public services sector. The turn to neoliberalism (with the Reagan administration in the U.S., though in development for years prior) coinciding with (and facilitating) globalization and transnational capitalism has had DRAMATIC effects obviously on the world's economies, wealth distributions, but more important for this discussion, and not generally considered, it has had dramatic effects on cultural politics, our left-progressive politics, and very much the mainstream LGBT movement.

the magically disappearing public
The biggest effect neoliberalism has had on social progress is a huge privatization of public services and a massive withdrawal of funds from the social welfare system. Neoliberal logic has it that public institutions can do a whole lot better when they are privately competing on "free" markets, as the "freedom" to compete and participate in globalizing markets will be most productive. By out-sourcing public services over to profit-maximizing private corporations, these self-interested corporatations will, as the story goes, be more efficient and through competition exhibit better results. If you want to know what these results are, just look at the health care system in the United States. HMOs were invented out of the rise of a neoliberal state---these "free" corporate entities are a neoliberals' capital dream machine. The effects, as we all are very aware, are tragic. These entities are redistributing wealth--upwardly--into the hands of a few while those on the bottom are not only being massively extorted, but not receiving adequate care and services, and in the most unfortunate of cases, are literally being killed off while the uppercrust is moneypocketing what remains from the lack of funding available to them. More broadly, neoliberalism has induced a spiraling decline of the social safety net and widespread funding lapses for all sorts of social services. We are all feeling the dwindling of social security and public services in our lives (except the very rich). Private households are being stripped of resources while the responsibilities that should belong to the public sector are being thrown onto them.

When we talk about the belief that "social progress impairs economic progress," what we're really talking about is neoliberalism. Social progress, translating into social services and public funding, according to neoliberal ideas, is contrary to the "national interest," putting the U.S. at danger. Public funding and social security means slowing down the profit soaring of U.S.-based corporations and surrending U.S. global market control over to foreign enterprises. In a globalized capitalist new world order in which we readily compete across huge transnational markets, economic efficiency, limited market interventions (just allow everyone to compete and voila!), good fiscal policy, and privatizing everything under the sun so it is thrown into "free" markets is all that matters----public funds, social progress, etc. are old-school inefficient structures that literally put the United States at risk. Instead, these are privatized, which in turn, once in the hands of profit-maximizing private corporate bodies, results in heinous care and an upstream flow of capital towards the very top (for instance, HMOs). It is not surprising why some call neoliberalism a big capitalist "class restoration" project, seeking to restore all the world's wealth to the very rich. So, to say that "social progress impairs economic progress" is a conservative belief is being too optimistic--instead, it is a neoliberal way of thinking in the minds of conservatives and liberals alike. Neoliberal discourse, not conservative beliefs, is what is making tons of progressives push for an emphasis on "economic issues."

a great divide and single-issue "cultural" politics
For issue #2: To make matters worse, neoliberalism has had a powerful force in ripping apart our left-progressive politics by creating divisions in "economic"/redistributive and "cultural"/recogntion politics when these had not been there (and are not there). This is mainly attributable to the fact that the neoliberal agenda sees to an "end of the political" where all that matters is economic efficiency. "Freedom" for neoliberalism, the same freedom we might call "democracy," is really a freedom of transnational corporations and free private property owners to compete in ever-opening markets. Some refer to this neoliberal process as a "downsizing of democracy," for the simple reason that freedom, politics, democracy, culture, etc. are all, in a sense, thrown by the wayside for "free" markets. "Cultural" political issues are seen as distinct because they tend to wind up involving the public sector (which is anti-neoliberal as I talked about above) and because they do not directly pump up and free up markets. The results have been drastic. What had been a broad progressive framework has now been replaced by single-issue tunnel-visioned political projects (to some, status-elevating crusades), e.g, gay marriage or abortion. Part of why this has happened is because of the rising notion that on the one hand we have "economic issues"' and on the other we have "cultural issues." This notion has been tragic for a comprehensive progressive movement, because these two types of issues are not at all separable. To start with, the economy is culturally constituted, and "cultural issues" determine how people live out their economic interests. The institutions and entire cultural context that situate the economy are just as important to the conversation of "economic issues" as the economy itself is. The right has been able to succeed because of this schism in the left's neoliberal political ideas.

abortion vs. reproductive freedoms and access to medical care
Let's take abortion. The right has done so well because the left has singled-out this one particular facet of a much wider and necessary political enterprise involving reproductive freedoms, comprehensively. To talk about abortion within the realm of morality, "life or death," and a war of cultures---this single-issue politics is missing the boat altogether. The conversation we need to be having is about access to medical care: preventing unwanted pregnancies, supporting households and childcare, minimizing abuse. Or, talking about the right to have a choice, broadly construed, and the support and safety net in place for households and for childbearing. The right has relied on our singling-out of this "cultural issue" (abortion)---for instance, many churches are anti-abortion based on cultural-religious convictions, yet are comprised of many non-rich people that stand to benefit from (and actually would love to see) a wider installment of reproductive freedoms and services, and more generally, more funding for households and public care. A comprehensive progressive political program would attract and ally up with all sorts of unexpected folk if we re-framed the conservation about what really matters. These churches, comprised of non-rich people, for instance, would find such freedoms appealing, but once framed as a "cultural issue" (abortion), are left to ally with the right on religious grounds.

gay marriage vs. idiographically-defined household and family recognitions
A similar situation occurs with gay marriage or "marriage equality." While the demographic norm in this country shows a steady decline of marriage, the LGBT movement is bolstering up this age-old institution and converging with the right using a rhetoric of 'responsibility' (we are responsible and respectable loving adults that want children and capital!) and backing up a discourse on the exclusive institution of marriage that has ironically been dwindling for a while now. Again here, the conversation should be about how we can idiosyncratically choose a household configuration that works for us, and how we can spread or not spread benefits, assets, and rights to one another in the particular ways we actually live our lives (rather than dyadic conjugal units with dependent children, which is not even a demographic norm). This conversation is particularly important given neoliberalism's increasing destruction of services and funding for these ever-more-pressured households, loaded with more responsibilities. There are a variety of current households and families that stand to benefit from the legal recognition of their configurations. Many of these are currently allied with the right, even though they would find the opening up of a diversity of household recognitions very appealing (e.g., "reciprocal beneficiaries" by, ironically, conservatives). This consituency, however, must ally with the right because the left and LGBT movement has singled-out this issue as a "gay marriage" issue, which is not at all appealing for these folk. Though many are for basic gay rights, e.g., civil unions, when it comes to the "cultural issue" of marriage, they must ally with the right.

The right has succeeded only because it relies on left-progressive politics letting neoliberalism shatter its political thought (and sometimes the right setting the stage for this), separating out cultural and economic politics as if these indeed are separable, coming up with horrible narrow-minded single-issue "cultural" political projects that a great deal of the country cannot align with simply because they're framed in these ways. If we were to take on a broad progressive framework, for instance, re-framing the abortion issue to talk about our access to medical care, right to make choices broadly, preventing unwanted pregnancies, and reproductive freedoms, then we'd actually have a conversation going somewhere and ally with a huge amount of people currently aligning with the right on "cultural" grounds. Just the same, if we were to re-frame the marriage debate and talk about recognition of all sorts of new households that a great deal of us, in the very complex ways we actually live our lives today, stand to benefit from, then we'd be getting somewhere (please see !). And above all, if we were to include in these discussions, the fact that democracy itself is being downsized, the public is shrinking, and neoliberalism and the globalized capitalist new world order are redistributing the world's wealth upward and away from private households, services, and care that we everyday require and will require, then we might be getting somewhere.

Until then, however, the left isn't making a lot of mileage, sadly.

Keep Pressuring HRC!

Congrats to the protestors in New York City and all those who are speaking out against the HRC agenda! Click Here to join our HRC Doesn't Speak For Me facebook group. In addition to the Trans issues let's not lose site of their other favorite forms of oppression, their man Joe Lieberman is sticking with McCain and his call for 100 more years in Iraq.

"Faced with a boisterous picket line that drew a crowd of more than 50 and with the absence of every lesbian, gay, and bisexual elected official from New York City -- and nearly every other prominent city Democrat -- Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, used his keynote address at the group's annual Midtown Manhattan dinner to answer critics who fault it for going along with a version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that does not include protections for transgendered Americans....

The Radical Homosexual Agenda, which provided the drum corps as well as many of the bodies for the picket line, distributed flyers criticizing the corporate policies of several major HRC corporate sponsors. The flier argued, "HRC isn't just derailing the needs of the majority of the queer community. They're also narrowing our vision of what queer relationships can be."

The crowd repeatedly returned to the chant, "What do we want? Liberation. Fuck that assimilation." - Keep Reading - Gay City News

Harvard Lambda Legal Conference to focus on Trans issues

Hey all... you should check this out!

The third annual Harvard Lambda Legal Advocacy (HaLLA) Conference will examine the interaction of the transgender community and the law. The panelists, leading activists, advocates and academics from around the country, will speak on topics including youth and families, sex-segregated public facilities, health care and employment.

Dates: February 29th and March 1st.

For more information:

This would be a great place to also talk about how "rights discourse" affects radical movements for change. This is an opportunity to question how advocacy work is moving forward, which things work to truly end violence against trans people and which things increase the power of the state.

Another Queer Youth Murdered

Fort Lauderdale: Simmie Williams, a gender non-conforming 17 year old, was murdered after an alleged altercation that is being investigated as a hate crime.

While the media perpetrates anti-trans framing and stirs up hysteria about boys in girl's locker rooms, our youth are being murdered. Feministe has more.

The hearing on the Massachusetts Trans Rights bill will be held on March 4.

CANCELLED: Evo Morales in Boston

Late this afternoon, we learned that President Morales will be
postponing his trip to Boston in favor of attending to recent, urgent
matters at home in Bolivia.

We do not have a new date for his engagement in our community.

His trip would have taken him to Providence, Boston and Atlanta (after
journeying to Brazil and before travelling to Europe). The entire
itenary has been postponed.

In practical terms, this means, of course, that we are cancelling the
Boston event and will to look forward to working again with the
Bolivian government and community at welcoming their revolutionary

We will send out a second announcement in Spanish and forward the
official Bolivian Embassy statement as soon as we receive it.

We recognize that many individuals and organizations have worked hard
to make this event possible and deeply regret this development.
However, as reflected in the enthusiastic response to President
Morales' anticipated visit, there remains much energy and strength to
stand in solidarity with and learn from the people of Bolivia and
Latin America."

Femme Show Call for Proposals!

The Femme Show is currently accepting proposals for artists to join the existing cast in New England area performances on April 3, July 12, and additional performances in 2008 and beyond. This is an amazing chance to join cutting edge queer artists in a show that is going places in 2008! You can learn more, and read the full call for proposals, at

The Femme Show is seeking proposals for performances in all genres. Priority will be given to multidisciplinary and/or collaborative work. Comedy, film, performance art, dance, video, spoken word, literary readings, dance, short plays, music and other disciplines are all welcome. All work should directly address femme identity, femme experience, and/or queer femininity. The Femme Show welcomes work from all kinds of femmes and from people of all genders and identities who find those topics interesting. In other words: You don't have to be femme, female, woman or lesbian id'd to participate.

To Apply: Send a 1 page description of your proposed work by Friday, February 29, to info at thefemmeshow dot com. Include number of performers involved, technical needs, length (no more than 15 minutes, please). Scripts, recordings, videos, text and pictures are also welcome but nor required. Be sure to indicate how your piece relates to femme identity.

Vote for Boston Pride Theme

Several options are now on the Boston Pride web site for a theme. Did our coalition impact this year's theme options? Check them out at

For the Grand Marshal I voted for Urvashi Vaid, who says her mission as an activist is to "devote(d) her energies to trying to create a queer liberation movement that would have as its core goal the liberation of all people."

Gay Teen Shot at School

"(02-15) 04:00 PST Oxnard, Ventura County -- Prosecutors filed a charge of murder with a hate-crime enhancement Thursday against a 14-year-old boy in the school shooting of a classmate who has been declared brain dead." SFGate

An 8th grade student in California was shot on Tuesday and declared brain dead today. 365gay and the Los Angeles Times is report that other students described him as openly gay and effeminate and they said that the other boys felt threatened by him. According to students the shooter and the victim were involved in an altercation during lunch earlier in the week. It is unclear what the motive was at this time.

Heartbreaker's Ball!

How do you feel about Valentine's Day? Capitalist plot? A chance to show someone you care? Are you going out with your honey? Sad 'cause you're single? Happy 'cause you're single? Feeling very self-righteously indie in your rejection of all things red and heart-shaped?

No matter how you feel, Queer Women of Color and Friends and MadFemmePride have an event for you!

Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 8:30 PM

SAINT Nightclub
90 Exeter Street
Boston , MA 02116

Because MFP and QWOC+ synergy is untouchable and always guarantees a kick-ass time! A sexy, lush "red room", TWO guest DJs, a "Heartbreaker" dress-up theme, HOTT ladies, something fun to do on Valentine's day, and... did we mention it's free b4 11pm?

See you there!

The Death Toll Rises

Sanesha Stewart was killed in her home in the Bronx last Saturday. The best (and that's saying a lot) coverage can be found here, and a better blog post can be found at Feministe. I don't have a whole lot to add. This is all just pretty horrible, once again.

Stop Exxon!

Exxon Mobil is suing the Venezuelan government because they (and their oil men cronies like Bush & Cheney) do not want oil profits to fund the governments missions to provide healthcare, food, education, and other human needs - they want it to line their pockets and fund their war on science. The media will frame this battle as free market oil company against socialist dictator. While the economy in the U.S. falls apart, Exxon has made 10.37 billion dollars in 2007. That's 111 million dollars every day. And as we reported last week, Shell earned record profits this year as well.

Click here to learn about Exxon's war on climate change science from Greenpeace.

Click here for the Exxpose Exxon site.

"CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez on Sunday threatened to cut off oil sales to the United States in an "economic war" if Exxon Mobil Corp. wins court judgments to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.

Exxon Mobil has gone after the assets of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA in U.S., British and Dutch courts as it challenges the nationalization of a multibillion dollar oil project by Chavez's government."

The Math Is In: Your Vote Doesn't Count

What many people do not yet realize is that mathematically speaking neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama can win the presidency without winning over the "super delegates," a group of party insiders consisting of past presidents, congress people, and other Democratic "leaders." It is likely that Obama will win the most elected delegates, but because more "super delegates" seem to prefer Clinton she could win the nomination against the will of the people.

Clinton doesn't care. In fact, she is actively bragging about how much support she has among the "super delegates." And to make matters worse, she is now actively campaigning to have the delegates of Florida and Michigan be seated with full voting rights at the Convention even though she signed a pledge not to campaign in those states after the Democratic party "punished" them for moving up their primary dates (which was also undemocratic). If she wins that fight, it will mean that two state's delegates where Obama did not campaign, one where he was not even on the ballot, may be given to her even though she agreed they shouldn't count in the beginning. Her "victory" rally in Florida was a shit show considering her pledge not to campaign there.

Everyone should be outraged about this rigged system, and work tirelessly to expose it as a major flaw (among many) in our so-called "democracy." The time is now to demand that the will of the people be upheld and the next president is not decided by a group of party insiders. It's heartbreaking that so many people with good intentions, so many people who marched against the war, and who call themselves "progressive," have compromised their values so much as to vote for someone who has repeatedly supported the war, voted to keep cluster bombs a reality, voted for the patriot act, and is essentially giving a big "fuck you" to democracy by openly saying she would be happy to win the nomination with the votes of "super delegates" instead of the American people.

When Obama's religious followers see this unfold I have a feeling their "hope" will turn into anger and frustration. If that happens we'll be mourning a McCain presidency. But party leader Howard Dean says he "won't allow that to happen." He wants the two candidates to make a deal before they fight over "super delegates" at the convention. While a "deal" may help signify party unity how good is another "deal" for democracy? Dean should be proposing that we scrap the "super delegates." Another possibility is that all the delegates at the convention will take a vote to agree that the "super delegates" no longer count. That is unlikely due to long established relationship the Clintons have formed with the party insiders that make up the "super delegates," but it may just be Obama's last "hope."

Below is a news clip about "super delegates" featuring North Hampton-ite Rachel Maddow, the only lesbian progressive commentator on TV.

On reforming the left

Ah. What a breathe of fresh air European politics is. Last night Segolene Royal, the former French presidential candidate of the Socialist Party spoke at Harvard University on reforming the Left. While I won't go into detail of what she said, it surely made me wish that the US is where France is in terms of progressivism. I don't need to point out that France already has the best health care and pension system in the world, one of the highest citizenship participation in politics and dare I say one of the best metro systems in the world.

So the question remains: how do we move US toward a more just and practical system like France's?

Royal touched upon a few points on reforming the left by:
1) Rejecting the conservative notion that social progress slows down economic progress.
2) Emphasizing that the left is for growth AND equality.
3) Investing in workers and giving more representation to employees.
4) Guaranteeing that everyone has a fair chance to success.

Those are some of the ideas that she had learned from her electoral defeat. It became clear to her that the core values of the socialist party do not resonate well when combined with noises and spins from the conservative opposition. Hence, the left needs to refined its voice so that the right can't spin it to use against us and deter others from joining us. So, what else can the left do to redefine itself that can actually attract a wide-scale following?

In the US context, the voice of the left is obviously not being heard as we have seen with what happened to Dennis Kucinich. Sure, the media's role is not to represent the voice of anybody that goes against the status quo, so what are we left to do? Is the blog sufficient in building a strong left in this country? Well it would surely be impossible unless the divided left unites around certain core principles and redefine itself.

We need to craft our message to be FOR something and not against. I propose that the left find three core values that everyone progressive can agree on. What can the progressive democrats, socialists, anarchists, communists, feminists, queers, liberationists, etc. all agree on?

I don't need to tell you that there are a lot more leftists in this country than it would seem from the corporate media. We just need to unite because our voices are louder together.

So I challenge you with this question: What can the left all unite around?

Creating Change is Underway

NGLTF is hosting their annual Creating Change conference that unites LGBT activists from around the country. BAGLY has sent several staff and youth leaders. And there are likely many other New Englanders there as well. This year the conference is held in Detroit. blogavist Trevor Wright is attending the conference and has sent rave reviews so far. We'll keep you updated on the highlights!

Super Bowl Ads Recap: Racist & Transphobic

GLAAD can't see that the Pepsi ad starring Justing Timberlake is Transphobic. I received an e-mail from GLAAD today thanking me for alerting them to the transphobic Pepsi commercial that aired during the Super Bowl: "We address the ad in question, as well as the other LGBT-inclusive commercials that aired during the Superbowl, in our blog. " But on the GLAAD blog they ask, "In one spot, Justin Timberlake's pal, SNL's Andy Sanberg, briefly plays himself as a Justin stalker in a Britney wig. Gay? Trans? C, none of the above?What's clear is that there isn't really a Snickers ad in the bunch. " I guess that is what we should expect from an organization that hired a Log-Cabin Republican for their director.

In addition to the Trans and Queer-Phobic ads, several racist commercials created by a Clinton friend and insider have also caused a stir.

And Carlos Mencia brought us this little racist gem:

Bud Light Super Bowl Ad: Immigrants with Carlos Mencia

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Segolene Royal @ Harvard Today

"Reforming the Left, Reforming the French Economy", moderated by Peter Hall, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies at Harvard.

Free admission within capacity.
Sponsored by Center for European Studies, and the Institute of Politics.

For more information, please visit:

2007 Canadian Blog Awards - We Won!


We, meaning I and everyone who reads and voted for Gay Persons of Color, won the Best GLBT Blog prize at the 2007 Canadian Blog Awards as presented by the lovely Nina Arsenault!

Congrats to the other fine nominees Slap Upside the Head, Screw Bronze!, Queer-Liberal, and Montreal Simon, and thanks to the organizers of the Awards, who spent hours of their valuable time on the production.

Here's to all gay persons of color - intricate, constant, and necessary threads in the fabric of contemporary society!

With much gratitude,

Democracy: A Revolution

An interesting thing happened to me the other day and it got my brain churning. I had an exchange with a close friend about the election. I had not shared with her who I was supporting in the primary but another close friend had told her. I’m in no way ashamed to say I support Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election. However, no questions asked the conversation started by calling me a masochist for supporting Clinton. Understandably, I immediately went on the defensive. This discussion began in the form of an attack and made me not even want to entertain it. After some debate, this same friend informed me she wasn’t even voting on Super Tuesday and knew nothing about any of the presidential candidates. I voted for Clinton on Super Tuesday and I was deeply torn between her and Barack Obama. She approached the conversation not as a dialogue but in the way that so many extreme right and left wingers do, attacking. Assumptions were made and name calling began...The interaction was reminiscient of the political talk shows appearing on major television networks.

American Heritage Dictionary

de·moc·ra·cy (dĭ-mŏk'rə-sē) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

The United States needs to head into a new direction and a revolution needs to take place.

American Heritage Dictionary

rev·o·lu·tion (rěv'ə-lōō'shən) Pronunciation Key

1. a. Orbital motion about a point, especially as distinguished from axial rotation: the planetary revolution about the sun.
b. turning or rotational motion about an axis.
c. A single complete cycle of such orbital or axial motion.
2. The overthrow of one government and its replacement with another.
3. A sudden or momentous change in a situation: the revolution in computer technology.
4. Geology A time of major crustal deformation, when folds and faults are formed.

I want to take this time to focus on the fifth definition of the word democracy and the third definition of revolution. The anticipated record turn out for the current election is due in no small part to the idea that change is coming, change on a seismic scale. So prevalent is this idea, that every person running has adopted it into their campaign. To me the two democratic candidates offer the most exciting possibilities for change that we have ever had. In the history of this country we have never had seriously viable candidates who were women or people of color, and now we have BOTH in one year.

Many of my friends were shocked to find out I was voting for Clinton and not Obama, and most assumed I would vote for Obama. I am not one to preach to friends about who I am voting for in an election and don’t tell them for whom they should or shouldn’t vote. I respect an individual’s right to choose from abortion to elections. I have to trust the people, even if it is a far fetching dream, will make an educated decision based on research they have done and not just listening to celebrities throwing around their endorsements for the candidates as if it were a multimillion dollar shoe contract.

I understand talking about politics can turn into a heated debate and some people are more passionate than others. People, and I do mean everyone, need to keep in mind that in a democracy, if we are truly trying to live in one, respect needs to be given to the individual members of the community even when your views differ. DIALOGUE is the best path to resolution. You might actually come away from it understanding the other point of view. You don’t have to agree but understanding can be far more valuable.

Personally, I am not one to talk politics with my friends. I choose not too because I know that conversation can go south very quickly. In past experiences, some of the people I respected most judged me based on my views. My identity, my queer identity, has been questioned when I haven’t agreed with friends on community or political issues to doing something like attending mass. I always thought part of the beauty of being a member of the queer COMMUNITY was that we respected each others differences, but I know not everyone may feel that way.

I know the members of Queertoday and other parts of the community at large feel very strongly about the upcoming election and want a change. We want change of epic proportions and wish it had happened yesterday.

Sometimes it’s ok to agree on disagreeing especially if in the end we are on the same side. If we felt the same way about everything all the time, we would have the same boring conversations over and over again. We are a passionate group of diverse individuals and it can be difficult to stay level headed and calm when talking politics or about anything we believe in. I offer this as food for thought, next time you want to engage someone in an issue you feel strongly about instead of attacking the person you are speaking with engage them in an adult conversation, ask questions, don’t make assumptions as to why they are making the choice they made, and lay off the name calling. Only then, can a true open and honest dialogue begin.
Our society is not perfect, we are far from it, but if we can’t at least respect each other and our difference in opinions than we are no better than people who hate us for being who we are.

I will leave you with this, educate yourself on the issues which affect us and vote! Let your voice be heard because as an individual you are the only one that can be the cause of change. It’s hard to have faith in our electoral process, especially given the events of the last two presidential elections, but if you give up and do nothing, if you do not exercise your right to vote, if you do not participate in this larger societal dialogue, then you have chosen to remain silent and have no right to complain because you, yourself have failed to be an instrument of change and your voice will be lost.

Exclusive! 5 Questions for Margaret Cho

Hi Margaret!

Thank you so much for answering a few questions for! I hope these questions are unique and different from what you usually get. Enjoy!

1. Please tell us a little bit about your new tour, and why it is called Beautiful.

i did a radio show and the dj asked me, "What if you woke up tomorrow and you were beautiful? What if you woke up and you were blonde, you had blue eyes, you were 5'11, you weighed 100lbs and you were beautiful? what would you do? i said, " i probably wouldn't get up because i would be too weak to stand." it made me really mad and it also made me see that people don't know what true beauty is - they only know what the media considers beautiful. so i wanted to do a show to talk about how beautiful i am.

2. Have you ever felt conflicted about supporting the Human Rights Campaign considering they sometimes endorse pro-war, and anti-choice candidates?

i don't think any political group is perfect. i agree and i disagree with different things the hrc has done, but what is important is that the queer community continue fighting together on everything we can.

3. Submitted by FireCrotch: Have you seen the new show "How to Look Good Naked"? Thoughts?

i haven't! but i must! i love carson!

4. I ilke to say I identify as genderqueer,sexually queer and politically queer. Do you identify as queer, and what does that mean to you?

i identify as sexually and politically queer, which i think fits just right. so specific!

5. Submitted by Kasey: Hi Margaret! I was a huge fan of yours in high school; I drove four-and-a-half hours to see the Minneapolis leg of your Revolution tour, and your work, especially I'm The One That I Want, remains an inspiration for me. Lately, however, I haven't been laughing as much, and I am hoping you can clarify some things you've said for me. What did you mean when you said on the Good Vibes youtube videos that a bald Britney Spears looks like a trans guy, or that trans men are "the future"? I know that there has been discussion of these statements, but I never have heard from you exactly what you meant, and I'm a little puzzled by them, since I am trans and way hotter than bald Britney, and trans men have existed one way or another for as long as non-trans men have. Also, has the discussion itself impacted your relationship with or your own thoughts regarding the trans community and trans issues? Thank you for your willingness to answer our questions.

i said that bald britney looks like a hot baby butch dyke, which she does. but butch is not trans! i think bald is absolutely adorable. anyway, sorry that came out wrong and i didn't mean trans. that trans men are the future is really that i have noticed lately there are more people coming out as trans. i think that they have always been there, but that nowadays there is a safer environment to come out as trans. there is also now more definition and clarity between what is butch and what is trans. two of my very best friends in the world are trans guys - ian harvie and lucas silveira, and they've both taught me a lot! i am really old school femme so i used to think of female masculinity as all butch but i am learning. what i want to say about the transgendered community is that i don't think that the queer community is as protective of them as they should be. trans people have the hardest time in the 'mainstream' world. they are victims of the majority of the hate crimes, they are discriminated against more, their teen suicide rate is very high. that is why i go out of my way to support transgendered people because i think they need more protection from hate crimes, job discrimination, etc...

Beautiful will be in Boston on April 5 at the Orpheum Theater.
Click Here For Tix.

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Victory for Students

Marry in Mass. has a detailed post on the lawsuit David Parker brought with the intent of banning/reducing discussions of LGBT people in schools. Check it out!