Day of Silence April 15th 2011
April 14, 2011

Friday, April 15th is the National Day of Silence sponsored by GLSEN. To find out how you can participate go to their website:

http://www.dayofsilence.org/

GLSEN Day of Silence PSA with Lance Bass:

http://youtu.be/T8kNYV5EAVw

Take action. Be a part of the solution. Let’s replace the prejudice and hatred with compassion and Respect for All.

-MsQueer

©2011 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved (NOTE: ALL quotes and/or materials from other authors or sources remain the sole property of the original authors/source.)

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via NPR: Wash. Lawmaker Introduces Valentine’s Day Gay Marriage Bill
February 15, 2011

by Brianna Butterfield
You can also listen to the audio HERE

February 14, 2011 from N3

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Lawmakers in Olympia don’t expect to pass many hot-button social bills in the midst of the budget crisis. But gay rights advocates took Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to make the case for same-sex marriage.

————————————————

It was Valentine’s Day in 1998 that Washington lawmakers voted to ban gay marriage. Since then Washington has legalized domestic partnerships. But Democratic State Senator Ed Murray thought Valentine’s Day was just the right time to introduce a bill to recognize gay and lesbian marriage.

He says it’s appropriate even while lawmakers spend most of their time trying to balance the budget.

Ed Murray: “It’s a terrible economic time for everyone in the state, but imagine those families that don’t have the protection of marriage, so I think introducing it this year, I think its a good idea.”

Still Murray concedes lawmakers are not likely to pass gay marriage this year.

On the Web:

Washington Senate Bill 5793:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5793

Same-sex marriage timeline:

http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabId=4243

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

 

repost from NPR  at

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=133763097&ft=3&f=133763097

Acceptance
February 10, 2011

“What matters most is what’s inside. What matters most is the sense of integrity, of quality and beauty.” –Oprah Winfrey

Two groups of students from the David Lloyd George Elementary and Churchill secondary schools came together recently to stage a “flashmob” scene in a metropolitan shopping mall, Oakridge Centre in Vancouver B.C.. They wanted to do something in support of International Anti-Bullying Day. Their message: Acceptance.

Here’s the phenomenal result:

 

Words from the song they are dancing to include:

“When I see your face

There’s not a thing I would change

Because you’re amazing

Just the way you are.”*

Love and inclusion are the most powerful Forces we have. Respect for All, compassion and allowing are the ways of the Peace Keepers. We have to focus on what we want to create for ourselves, or else we will become the object of our resentments and fears

The best way to accomplish change is to become the change you wish to see in the world.

If we want more acceptance and understanding, then we must be more accepting and understanding. I celebrate the message these young people are communicating and the creative manner in which they chose to broadcast it. May we see more and more of this is the days to come. -MsQueer

 

©2011 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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2010 in review
January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 23 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 103 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb.

The busiest day of the year was March 13th with 56 views. The most popular post that day was LET CONSTANCE MCMILLEN TAKE HER GIRLFRIEND TO THE PROM! .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were zimbio.com, msqueer.com, facebook.com, rpc.blogrolling.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for lawrence king, who killed jenny schecter, carl joseph walker-hoover, 11 year old, and suicide due to bullying.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

LET CONSTANCE MCMILLEN TAKE HER GIRLFRIEND TO THE PROM! March 2010
2 comments

2

11-Year Old Commits Suicide Due to Bullying in School April 2009
10 comments

3

Who Killed Jenny Schecter? December 2008
19 comments

4

Laurel Holloman Picks Up Bravo A-List Award for TLW Elevator Scene April 2009
2 comments

5

Gay Buying Power: A Force To Be Reckoned With August 2008
5 comments

Graeme Taylor: 14-year old Rights Advocate Extraordinaire
November 23, 2010

Graeme Taylor, a 14-year old student from Ann Arbor, Michigan, addressed the Howell School Board this past week with an eloquent and impassioned plea on behalf of a teacher who had been put on suspension without pay after ejecting students from his class for what he deemed to be anti-gay remarks.

Taylor’s remarks, which were not prepared, drew the attention of national media through a video first posted by a local news source that quickly went viral. No need to try to describe it, you can view here and you’ll get the picture. This young man is articulate, intelligent and confident in his extemporaneous address.

Here are some additional sources for the original story, and link to the video of his address:

openly-gay-ann-arbor-teens-defense-of-howell-teacher-gains-national-attention

Ann Arbor teenager Graeme Taylor on the Ellen Show

Yesterday he was featured on The Ellen Show and gave her a run for her money while expressing how he has come to be accepting of his identity. Watch here:

By his own admission, Graeme Taylor survived a suicide attempt at the age of 9 years. But he has come back from the bullying that drove him to nearly end his life to becoming a strong advocate for self-acceptance, human rights and fairness.

Most people discount our young people, yet they are far more sophisticated and knowledgeable than we adults give them credit for. The world is smaller today, faster, and with the advent of  the internet connecting people all around the globe, our youth are more informed and cognizant of the diversity of the Human Family, as well as critical issues of the day than I believe many of us were.

What impressed me most about this young man is how much he reminds me of the young people that grew up as part of my extended family. I’ve been privileged to work and travel with some extraordinary youth.

They were all home schooled and they accompanied their parents to many states and countries, participating in cross-cultural programs, and personal development presentations. The world was their classroom and their worldliness reflected that fact.

These young people were raised in an environment where Respect was paramount. Guided by the wisdom and experience a capable Elder, they were treated as capable individuals. They were raised to be responsible, i.e. to “respond with ability” to whatever they encountered. The adults who had the privilege to work with these young people learned a great deal about themselves in the process, their own upbringings, how to heal the past, and create a better present.

When children are raised with Respect, and provided the opportunity to realize their full potential at each step of their development, rather than being sheltered and denying their intelligence and creativity, they are fully capable of delivering a positive contribution to family, community and society at large.

Graeme Taylor is not atypical. When raised in an environment of acceptance and love, and given responsibility, young people will rise to the occasion. This 14 year old’s sexual identity isn’t really the issue here – it’s not the most important part of the story. The real heart of this story is how a young person can evolve into a courageous, forthright citizen when given the opportunity.

We need to encourage and listen to more young leaders like Graeme Taylor. Obviously one organization agreed, in that he was presented with a $10,000 Scholarship by Tonic.com, “a digital media company dedicated to promoting the good that happens around the world each day. We share the stories of people and organizations that are making a difference by inspiring good in themselves and others.”

Right on!  -MsQueer 🙂

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Curing Hate Within the LGBTQ
November 9, 2010

We are at a crossroad as LGBTQ people. We are actively lobbying in the political arena for equal rights. We are also vocal in the socio-cultural arena “demanding” Respect.

We can March, we can Lobby, we can form non-profit Activist groups until we are blue in the face, BUT UNTIL WE ARE WILLING TO LIVE WHAT WE SAY WE WANT WE WILL GET NO-WHERE!

We cannot expect Respect from others when we are not willing to grant it within our own community. Or the Global Community at large. It is not acceptable for us to remain factionalized. We can’t march together for Pride then go off into our little click groups demeaning the others we just walked alongside demanding “Respect for Diversity.”

IF WE WANT CHANGE WE MUST BE THE CHANGE WE WANT!

So if you are a Lesbian and hating Gay Men, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Gay Man who cuts down Lesbians, or Bisexuals or Transgendered Persons, IT DOESN’T WORK!

If you are a Bisexual or Transgendered Person who has made Lesbians or Gays or anyone else the enemy – IT DOESN’T WORK!

If we want to end Bullying we need to stop practicing it. That extends to our Straight Allies. (If we believe that we didn’t choose our sexual orientation then they didn’t either – so let’s not hold that against them!) 😉

I DON’T USUALLY SHOUT THIS MUCH IN THIS SPACE – but I’m tired of the HYPOCRISY.

We need massive change in society – American society in particular, which seems to be way behind the European and some other societies and cultures. If we are going to achieve that then we need to tear down the fences between ourselves as LGBTQ and TRULY live in Respect of one another. We have to heal our “Society” first.

I may not understand everyone’s orientation, any more than I understand everyone’s views or opinions or life experiences. But here’s what I know – I can RESPECT anyone. If I’m going to demand respect for my choices then I MUST be willing to respect those of others – whether or not I agree with or understand them.

Here’s a video that I found on YouTube since the “It Get’s Better” Project took off. It deals with someone within the LGBTQ community who is targeting Transgendered people. Please, let’s put this kind of crap to rest – For everyone’s sake. -MsQ

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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It Gets Better Project – Deb Adler
September 28, 2010

Here’s the video and the text from my submission to the “It Gets Better Project” on You Tube.

Hi. My name is Deb Adler. I’ve been out for about 40 years. I’m a singer-songwriter. I’ve been a professional actor, a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, and I‘m also the author of a blog called MsQueer.com.

I just wanted to share with you that whatever you’re experiencing today as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender youth in school…it does get better…

Whatever you might be feeling right now…it’s not “Forever” – and whatever you’re facing right now in terms of how other kids treat you at school – or even your family – it’s really just temporary. Just hang in there…it gets better.

I was this total tom-boy in grade school. They didn’t use labels like “Butch” – or “Dyke” then. I always played with the boys, I excelled in sports.

I didn’t really get harassed by my peers, but I had this fifth grade teacher who called my parents in for a conference because she felt they should be concerned that I wasn’t more “lady-like” and didn’t involve myself in more “girl-type” activities. My mom told her to back off and leave me alone – in no uncertain terms – which I think was pretty cool!

Even though I didn’t experience bullying in school, I can remember being really confused and scared by thoughts of wanting to lean over and kiss the girls in my class – as early as grade school – and feelings of attraction that I didn’t understand. I got really scared.

I thought I was sick or bad or something. I didn’t know. I mean, it’s not like there were celebrity role models – like Ellen or Rosie – around at that time. There were NO popular TV Shows or movies that dealt with being Queer. There was nobody I could talk to, so I had to keep this giant secret – that I didn’t understand and was afraid of – all to myself.  All I knew was I was different, and I was pretty sure my “difference” wasn’t socially acceptable. I was convinced that if anyone found out the truth about me they’d haul me away and lock me up forever.  So that’s what I lived with.

But I survived! And that’s the point. You can get through whatever you’re experiencing.

It Does gets Better.

I had thoughts of ending my life, but I’m really glad today that I didn’t! There are so many experiences I would have lost out on if I had ended my life as a teen.

In high school, I earned my school letter playing sports in Girl’s Athletic Association; I was elected President of that organization in my senior year, I was active in the Girl Scouts all through High School – and got teased for that – but we went camping and did cool stuff – we worked for three years and organized a week-long trip to Washington DC. – that the other kids didn’t get – and we had a blast!

I wrote songs, I sang in choirs; I even had the lead in the senior play, which was really kind of funny because I had to kiss a guy on stage in this big scene and that was really awkward! But I didn’t hide. I was active in school; I excelled at the things I loved.  And that helped get me through.

I got to be a camp counselor and met some really great women – some of them are still friends today. If I had ended my life early, I would have missed out on all that, and so much more.

See when you don’t allow other people’s opinions of you to rule your life, they become powerless. If kids talked about me, I did my best to ignore it. I found friends and teachers who supported me and cared about me and that’s who I interacted with.

And It Does Get Better.

When I went away to college, I discovered this amazing book by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons called Lesbian/Woman, and these ladies had it together. They had already been together as a couple for years -in the Fifties! – and their message was – We’re okay. I was so relieved to find out who I was and what I was about….I started writing “coming out” songs and singing at rallies and special events. I started accepting me. Once we accept and get to love ourselves…we find others who accept and love us.

I’ve been part of a global humanitarian volunteer organization for over twenty five years and I have friends –straight, gay, old, young – from all over the world who love and accept me for who I am. We’ve done some amazing things together helping others, building projects, cultural programs, traveling all over the States and Canada – that’s been so rewarding.  I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it!

Bottom line – I’m okay – you’re okay, and We are okay GAY. – or Bi, or Trans – or however you call yourself.

So if you’re being bullied by kids in school, they’re just acting out their own ignorance. Don’t let someone else’s stupidity screw up your life.  It gets better.

If someone’s harassing you on Facebook or Twitter – UNFRIEND them. You don’t have to put up with their crap! Don’t interact with the haters. Stay with the winners.

It gets better – I know being harassed isn’t fun and it can be really painful at times, even but you know what – I came through recovery from addiction over 30 years ago – one day at a time – sometimes one moment at a time, and if I can do it – you can do it.

Nothing is forever. There’s a better life waiting for you at the end of school.

If things get too overwhelming or you think there’s no one to talk to – there are resources out there – like The Trevor Project. That’s a 24/7 Nationwide Helpline for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning youth. Call them. There are compassionate understanding people at the other end of that phone line. Their number is 1-866-488-7386. Website is www.thetrevorproject.org

So just hang in there. It Does Get Better. You have gifts to give to this world – stick around! Learn to be proud of who you are. There’s a lot of life out there to live – and love.

I want to share with you a quote from a woman of both Native American and European heritage, known to many as an ambassador for peace, an advocate for human rights, and my spiritual mentor for over 25 years. Her name is Grandmother Parisha, and I’ve never met anyone more inclusive, more accepting than her. She’s had her own life’s challenges – here’s what she says:

“I am an old warrior, I have my scars,  and I have counted my losses,

but I am stronger than ever and I am not running away,

I am here for the distance.

You can depend on me.

When your faith is weak, walk with mine.”

(from A Joyful Day by Parisha Taylor. © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved)

I can’t count the times I’ve drawn on that. So today I’m here to say to you, It Definitely Gets Better. If that isn’t your experience right now, then draw from mine, and from the countless others making videos just like this one to share their experience and hope with you. Because we do know. It Gets Better.

You’re a good person, and You are loved. So stick around. There are great things out there in the world waiting for you – just around the corner. Hang in there.

It gets Better, and Better, and Better – Guaranteed!

:)MsQueer, aka Deb Adler

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved. (with the aforementioned exception of Grandmother Parisha’s quote taken from “A Joyful Day” by Parisha Taylor. © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved)

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Bridgeout Reflects on “Majority Rule”
August 6, 2010

Interesting reflection on reaction to the latest Prop 8 Ruling:

http://bridgeout.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/majority-rule/

Thanks! -MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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PROP 8 UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!!!
August 5, 2010

August 4, 2010 EQUAL RIGHTS VICTORY!!!!!

This afternooon, U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker overturned California’s controversial Prop 8 Amendment to the state constitution that had made same-sex marriage illegal.

“Ultimately, the judge concluded that Proposition 8 ‘fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. … Because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional’.” (see L.A. Times Update 1:47 pm)

See L.A. Times Articles in PDF: Judge strikes down Prop 8

Full Text of Decision. Note p122 begins “Proposition 8 Does Not Survive Rational Basis” perry_v._schwarzenegger_ruling

CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE, DANCE TO THE MUSIC…..

🙂 MsQueer

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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Are Attacks on Our Allies Attacks on Us?
July 28, 2010

When allies are defamed, why should we care? What’s the first question that pops up in the ensuing conversation? Is she/he gay? Now mind you we’re talking about a conversation taking place between two (or more) LGBTQ persons. So we don’t want to be labeled, profiled, judged, etc….but what do we gravitate to? You guessed it.

How many of us realize that we could not have advanced as far as we have come since Stonewall without the love and support of straight friends, family and associates? Our Allies. How many of us can relate from a very personal place what it means to be unfairly judged, have blatant lies tossed at us; to be defamed to our family, friends, associates, and the public at large? Well, the good news – if you can call it that – is that it’s not just happening to LGBTQ folk these days. The bad news is that it’s still happening at all.

One case in point is that of Parisha Taylor. I have worked with this woman for almost 25 years. I know of NO ONE more inclusive, more of a friend and ally to the LGBTQ community. She has been hounded by a yellow journalist creep, Michael Sangiacomo, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, for over 20 years now. Why? Because she dared to expose their connection to a man who misappropriated funds and goods that were supposed to be donated to an Indian reservation in the southwest. Things were fairly friendly between Parisha and the boy barracuda Sangiacomo up to that point, but after that little departure in ethics, things started to tank.

Over the last twenty years Sangiacomo has periodically harassed Parisha, and the humanitarian organization which she founded and later turned over to the capable leadership of associates.

Grandmother Parisha’s Native heritage, which has been verified, was attacked by Sangiacomo and his rag, with the help of some local AIM boys who jumped on the bandwagon, probably to take focus away from the fact that they were selling CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood) Cards for $150 to whoever wanted them, doing drugs and engaging in other criminal activities.

Now Sangiacomo and his yellow press rag are at it again 20 years later. Why? Because Parisha Taylor has become active in Kingman AZ helping to create job fairs and assist out-of-work people to get on their feet and offer the city of Kingman encouragement in economic growth. Wow – that’s sinister, Mike! WTF????

As LGBTQ people we have had lifetimes of being harassed by cretins like Sangiacomo, who has on numerous occasions been exposed for writing “interviews” containing “quotes” from individuals he NEVER SPOKE WITH. They prey on whomever they can to get a sensational story – doesn’t matter if they have to make up the details because all the lawyers will tell you it’s next to impossible to prosecute a libel suit, and it’s next to impossible to get a retraction. So the press gets a free ride at the expense of whomever….Is that what freedom of the press is supposed to be about?

I’m speaking up as a woman who has been out as a lesbian for over 40 years. I believe that we owe support to those who have supported us. We’re all in this together – and when one of us is attacked, it affects the whole.

This is a 20-year old smear campaign that reporter Michael Sangiacomo has carried out despite evidence that all he has “reported” were lies and rumors from uninformed sources. His UNSUBSTANTIATED accusations, blatant lies and attacks are made against people I consider my extended family, people I have been affiliated with for over 25 years in a non-profit humanitarian organization that has always been dedicated to helping people empower themselves through continuing education, personal and professional development and spiritual growth.

Parisha Taylor’s accomplishments speak for themselves. She has dedicated her life to assisting others –as individuals, communities, nations and globally. Mike Sangiancomo is a scumbag who has advanced the practice of yellow journalism into the 21st century where it doesn’t belong. I am encouraging my LGBTQ family to write to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and let them know that wantonly destroying peoples’ lives is not acceptable. This is a call to action. This is an ally who has been there for us. Time to reciprocate.  -MsQueer, aka Deb Adler

Follow these links:

Parisha Taylor

Parisha-On-Line

Parisha’s Circle Blog

©2010 MsQueer.com. All rights reserved.

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