Thursday, August 28

Lesbian pioneer dies months after California wedding

Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:44am EDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lesbian activist Del Martin died on Wednesday, just two months after marrying her partner of 55 years in one of the first legally recognized California same-sex weddings.

Martin, 87, who wed Phyllis Lyon, 83, in San Francisco's City Hall in June, died of natural causes at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center on Wednesday morning, the National Center for Lesbian Rights said.

The same-sex couple also had been the first in California to marry in San Francisco's 2004 "Winter of Love," when Mayor Gavin Newsom opened the door to gay marriage. Those unions were annulled, but an ensuing legal battle ended this summer with court backing of same-sex marriages. A stampede of marriages followed.

Trend-setting California is one of only a few countries and U.S. states to allow same-sex marriage, although state voters in November will decide whether to abolish the right.

"I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed," Lyon said in a statement after her wife's death.

(Reporting by Peter Henderson; Editing by Eric Beech)

Wednesday, August 27

Woman forced from Fed building for lesbian shirt

I sometimes wonder what makes people think that they can commit senseless acts of stupidity and get away with it? If you work for someone else, what is it that drives you to do something that you know your company is not going to back you on? Is homophobia really such a driving force that you will do something you know will probably get you reprimanded, if not fired? I think back to the heyday of the Klan, and lynching; those people knew that for the most part, society would allow them to get away with the things they did, through ignoring the situation, saying it was the victim's fault because of some small action, or just getting rid of the situation through intimidation and murder. In this situation though, what made this security guard think that he could get away with this? He cites a policy which he evidently had not read; if he had, he would have known that it did not mention clothing, and he would not have made even more of a fool of himself than he already had. It is amazing to me that someone's bigotry/homophobia could run so deep that a word on a shirt could make him react that way. I have seen people react to some strange things in some strange ways, but this one takes the cake. I wonder what that guard would do if I went in with a rainbow pussy t-shirt on....

Sunday, August 24

How do you self-identify?

I found this to be a very interesting question, so I thought I'd post the blog post here. It started me thinking, just what am I? How do I self-identify? How do you know, and when do you go from questioning to sure? I'm 49 years old and have to admit that I'm still not sure. I've known since I was in the 6th grade (I still remember Gidget Collins and the tremendous crush I had on her!) that I was sexually attracted to women, and when I was 14 began having 'relationships' with them, but still went on to marry a man and have two children by him. When we divorced it had nothing to do with me questioning my identity, it had to do with his cheating ways. So now I'm married to a woman, and the idea of never again sleeping with a man doesn't bother me at all. What does that make me?

Thursday, August 21

Dog dies WHILE cop tickets couple speeding to the vet

I just read a story that almost made me cry, but also fills me with outrage.

I am not a PETA type person, but I am definitely an animal lover. I feel the connection with my cat that a lot of pet owners feel, and I don't know how I would have reacted if I were in this situation. I think if the cop had not made the 'it's just a dog' statement it might not have been so bad, but to compound his heartlessness in making them sit there while their dog died by making that statement? I know some people who would be waiting for him one day when he took off that uniform and gun! I don't care how little feeling you have for animals, how can anyone stand by and watch a dog DIE just so they can give out a ticket??

Then to add insult to injury, he was found not guilty of misconduct, even though his own police chief said his behavior was "less than stellar" and called it "a rookie MISTAKE"!!!

What is wrong with people? Police officers are supposed to be people first, and officers second; this was not the behavior nor the attitude of someone that I want protecting me and my home and family, and if the people of that town had good sense they wouldn't either.

Monday, August 18

With the big to-do now about the high cost of gas, there are a ton of tips coming out about ways to cut your gas usage, usually something like carpooling or riding a bike to work. Suppose you can't ride a bike though, for whatever reason? (I work 25 miles from home and can't ride a bike 25 feet due to age, lack of exercise, and smoking for over 30 years!) Suppose you just can't find a carpooling solution that works, or even though you're carpooling, when it's your week to drive you find you're still spending a lot in gas? (That's me!) Well, I found an article that gives some pretty good tips on ways to cut down on how much gas you burn. Of course there are still the well-known tips about what you can do to your car to improve your gas mileage, as well as some info about tune-ups that isn't quite as well known. (How a spark plug wire can cause you to burn more gas.) I think these are some pretty good tips to use; even though gas prices are not rising right at this moment, they're still high, and who's to say they won't go back up again?

Monday, August 11

"I don't have hate in my heart for him. You know, I just wish he didn't hate me."

That's what the 25-yr old black woman said while lying in her hospital bed. She's got a broken leg, and she'll have a pin in it for the rest of her life, a reminder of the man who purposely ran her down with his car when she was on her bicycle going to the grocery store and then, as if hitting her wasn't enough, proceeded to scream "All black people must die" and repeatedly scream the N-word.

Jamaican lesbian, facing homophobia, will not be deported

So finally, a story about something being done right for a gay person! (Although there's no guarantee it will stay that way.) When I went to Jamaica for a week for my birthday, I wanted to go with my wife; I couldn't though. She's what's known as a "dyke" in some circles, or a "stud". Basically, she's a very slim woman who at certain times and in certain clothing could at first look be mistaken for a man. (As a matter of fact, the year we were married, we went to a live entertainment supper club, and she almost became involved in an altercation with a 'bouncer' because he was told by a woman who was in there that a man had gone into the ladies room.) I couldn't go to Jamaica with her because she's a very affectionate woman, and she probably would have gotten us killed. Even if she didn't overtly do anything, I am sure there would have been trouble, because the first time someone said something to her that she didn't like, she would have let them know in no uncertain terms, and then it would have been 'on'. Whether the person was male or female would have made no difference to her either.

It really bothers me that I have to let society determine where I can go with the person I've chosen to spend my life with in order to have a life to spend with her! Jamaica is one of the most beautiful spots I've ever seen, and to not be able to it to the love of my life because of the ignorance and hatred of some narrow-minded people...people who are otherwise some of the nicest people I've ever met...well it's just got me tongue-tied. I just don't know what to say.

This Is What Bigotry and Fear Do to People

This is sad; a whole family dies because of the bigotry and hatred associated with being HIV+. I know that we are usually frightened of that which we know least about, but society's ignorance about and consequent fear of HIV is just going too far when parents kill their children and themselves rather than face the world. The worst thing is, the couple lived with it for two years, but then when their daughter was diagnosed two months ago, they did this terrible thing. To me it appears that they could not stand the thought of their child going through what they had been going through, (the discrimination and intolerance in their country) and they decided that killing themselves and their family was a better solution. WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE WE LIVING IN??? What kind of message does this send to younger people who find themselves diagnosed with HIV? In a world so full of medical and technological advances, it seems that in some ways we are no better off than we were in the days when people thought leeches would cure everything, and that it would kill you to take a bath because it exposed you to all kinds of germs and bacteria.

Thursday, August 7

HIV Positive Mexicans Detained by U.S. Allege Neglect

This story almost made me cry. Aren't we supposed to be the progressive country that cares about what happens with other countries? We can send thousands of our military forces into other countries to interfere in their lives, but we can't make sure that those on our soil, under our care, get their medicines on time? We're not talking about birth control pills for god's sake! We're talking about medications that help to save lives! A convict on death row will get all the medical care necessary to make sure he is in good health when we kill him, but a deportee we let die. Sometimes I am so ashamed that I am an American. Everyone in poorer countries dreams of coming here, other societies pick up their fads and fashions from here, people want to be like Americans, but if they only knew what it's really like down at the heart of it all, they'd stay where they are. They certainly would think twice about coming to a country that could (and would) cold-heartedly stand by and watch you die.

Wednesday, August 6

Medical Testing Bad for Chimpanzees

Did it really take a study to find this out? After all these years of using animals as 'guinea pigs' (scuse the pun) some egg-head finally realized that maybe this was hurting these animals a little more than they'd always believed...

I've never believed in animal testing, and now that I've become a vegan I'm even more against it. I see no reason for animals to be subjected to the agonies they're put through; if you're testing a product that might have such horrible side effects that you cannot test it on human beings, then perhaps humans should not be using it in the first place. I know, that really sounds a bit childish; it just makes me so angry to see adorable little animals be put through torture, just so we can do things that aren't good for us in the first place, or things that we can live without! I have a picture over my desk of a bunch of dogs and they're all hooked up with these plastic masks and tubes running to god-knows-where; it's how they test the effects of cigarette smoking. Like we don't already know that cigarette smoking is horrendous for our health, both directly and indirectly!!

Enough of a rant; there's a lot I've wanted to write about, but just haven't had the time. Between school and work it's been a hell of a summer!! I'm hoping I'll be able to have a little more free time now than I've been having, so things should pick up. (Notice I said "I'm hoping"!! LOL)