Saturday, September 02, 2006

GLBT DIGEST - September 2, 2006


Hoping Md. Is 'Ready for a Person Like Me'

House Candidate Would Be State's 1st Transgender Lawmaker

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 2, 2006; B01

Dana Beyer rapped on a door at the end of a leafy Silver Spring cul-de-sac.A woman answered. She listened to the candidate's spiel, sought her views onabortion rights (for) and growth (against) and found little on which the twodid not agree.

"It's good to see more women running," she told the candidate as the twoparted.

For the five decades preceding a fateful 2003 trip to San Francisco, DanaBeyer lived her life as a man named Wayne. The September primary will tellwhether her legislative district, one of the most progressive in Maryland,is ready to elect the state's first transgender lawmaker.

Beyer, 54, a retired eye surgeon, is running against seven other Democratsfor three seats that will represent District 18, which includes Chevy Chase,Kensington and parts of Wheaton and Silver Spring, in Maryland's House ofDelegates. "Mansionization" rates as a major issue here.


Serving With Distinction

Saturday, September 2, 2006; A27

Regarding Fred Gould's Aug. 26 Free for All letter, "No Folly":

I hope the public was not confused by the Defense Department's policy towardgay men and lesbians in the military and by Gould's rhetoric.

I was a linguist in the Air Force for five years in the late 1980s and early1990s. Gay men and lesbians are indeed in the military. I knew them andworked beside them and respected their excellent work in defending ournation. None of these airmen, sailors and soldiers came right out and toldthose around them that they were gay, but it was well known and understood,and I knew of no one who felt uncomfortable working with them. I knew of oneairman who was tossed from the service because "the wrong people" got wordthat he was gay. The fellow airmen I talked to felt as saddened by the lossas I did. He was among the best linguists and one of the hardest workers wehad.

Gay men and lesbians should be welcomed and honored in our country's armedservices.

-- Mike Conti


Express Gay News

Gay journalists come 'Out in the Sunshine'

At convention, journalists will discuss how recent media buy-outs affectbeing out in the newsroom
Saturday, September 02, 2006

Gay and lesbian journalists will turn their focus on South Florida Sept.7-10, where National Lesbian & Gay Journalism Association members willgather from all over the United States for the 15th annual convention,dubbed "Out in the Sunshine."

More than 650 members are expected at the convention, according toorganizers.

"We've grown to nearly 1,400 members," said Executive Director PamelaStrother. "We now have 25 chapters across the country."

NLGJA was founded 16 years ago, and Strother has been a member of the groupfor 10 years. She's been the executive director for the last six. She saidshe has seen first-hand the differences that members have made.

"Our primary work is not only about fair and accurate and increased coverage" in the news of gay and lesbian people, she said. "It's also aboutworkplace issues. It's about domesticpartnership rights and being out in
the newsroom."


Of Hoaxes And Heroes

by Libby Post

One of the perks of writing about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendercommunity is getting to know some of its real heroes. Wayne Besen is one ofthem.

Besen has dedicated his life's work to debunking the myths of the so-calledex-gay movement and exposing conversion therapy for what it really is-a shamof psycho-babble that purports to cure people of being queer. No one couldsooner cure me of being a lesbian than they could cure Bill Clinton of beingstraight-both are just innate to whom we are as people.

Letting LGBT people be who they are without shame is the crux of Wayne Besen's work. The author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and LiesBehind the Ex-Gay Myth, Besen recently launched a new organization called Truth Wins Out (TWO)-named as a juxtaposition to the lies and manipulationof Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conferences that feature supposedex-gays who, according to their leaders, "enjoy freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."

What I admire about Besen is his take-no-prisoners attitude. He understandsthat we have to counter the Radical Christian Right and its hateful rhetoricstrongly and forcefully-without apology.


The current issue of The Express Gay News is online


Gay-friendly business booming
Realtor's interest in ensuring equal rights leads to growing share in sales
By Yoshi Kato

AS ILLUSTRATED in both history and fiction, sometimes it takes a singlemoment to initiate a movement. For Realtor and socially consciousentrepreneur Jeff Hammerberg, the catalyst in creating the nation's firstgay and lesbian referral company was an incident with one of his colleagues.

"I started working at a Re/Max office in Denver in 1990 and witnessedhomophobia there about 10 or 12 years ago," says Hammerberg. "A gay malecouple had walked into the office off the street and was met by the flooragent on duty.

"He was a decent guy and a decent Realtor, but he certainly wasn'tgay-friendly," he notes, by phone from his office in Denver. "He would makegay jokes after the couple left, and I realized that something was notright."


Department of Defense University Elects Gay Student President
by Troy Espera
Thursday Aug 31, 2006

GLBT advocates applauded the Department of Defense's university Wednesdayfor electing its first openly gay man to the post of student councilpresident.

The Uniformed Services University, a Department of Defense military medical,nursing and graduate school, elected Patrick M. High to lead its studentgovernment. It's the latest step forward, advocates say, in the fight torepeal the military's controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, whichgays and lesbians from serving in the armed forces.

High, who will represent graduate students at the university, previouslyserved nine years in the Illinois Army National Guard and is currently aPh.D. candidate at USU. High was elected by a student body that includesuniformed personnel in the armed forces.

"Patrick High's election as student council president is just the latest ina series of signs that those serving in our armed forces are ready towelcome openly gay colleagues," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director ofServicemembers Legal Defense Network, in a media statement issued Wednesday."High was elected based on his qualifications for the post, and that same
criteria should be the guiding force throughout the military. His fellowstudents, including military students, have placed their trust in a leader who represents their ideals and goals."