Monday, November 05, 2007

GLBT DIGEST November 5, 2007

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Villiage voices
Village People bring '70s anthems to South Florida

Nov. 01, 2007

"I know that every time I run out on that stage, I carry a bit of historywith me," says Felipe Rose, better known to just about anybody, anywhere asthe Native American chief from the Village People.

Rose became the very first person to inhabit the village after Europeandisco king Jacques Morali discovered him dancing and wearing an Indian chiefcostume in 1975 at The Anvil, a famed New York City bathhouse.

The rest really is history - more than 30 years worth. The Village Peoplecame out of the gate with an eponymous debut of club tracks like "FireIsland" and "San Francisco (You've Got Me)" that set a precedent foroh-so-tongue-in-cheek, thinly veiled gay innuendo blockbusters to come.

A couple of albums and years of riding the disco wave later came "YMCA" offthe "Cruising" LP.

The ode to cheap cruising spots hit number one in just about every countryon Earth, save the United States, where Rod Stewart's "D'Ya Think I'm Sexy"held it at bay in January 1979.

more . . . . .

Forwarded by Bill Sterling

Los Angeles Tiimes,1,7225510.column

Gay? Who cares?

As more homosexuals come out and join the mainstream, the gay identitybecomes less distinctive.
November 5, 2007

Last Tuesday, the New York Times ran a front-page story on the diminishingallure of gay enclaves in the United States. The next day, the San FranciscoChronicle published a Page 1 story explaining how same-sex couples inCalifornia are a lot more socioeconomically and ethnically diverse -- read:less white and less wealthy -- than you might believe. The WilliamsInstitute at UCLA Law School will release a report today by demographer GaryGates that all but poses the question: Is gay the new straight?

Gates' research on U.S. Census data drives home a point that the gayvanguard has been wrestling with for a while: The hedonistic, transgressive,radical ethos (and stereotype) that once characterized gay culture doesn'trepresent reality anymore. The decline of urban coastal gay communities, theincrease in the gay population in the interior U.S. and the overalldiversification of the gay population are facts. What's more, Gates argues,these trends are a function of the growing acceptance of homosexuality amongthe American public.

Acceptance? Really? Has Gates forgotten about the 45 states that have lawsor constitutional amendments barring same-sex marriage, or the anti-gaydiscrimination bill that is stalled in Congress and faces opposition fromthe White House?

Not at all. There is, he says, a vocal, virulent -- and sometimes violent --anti-gay movement, but it doesn't negate decades of opinion surveys thatshow a marked increase in tolerance in most Americans' attitudes toward gaysand lesbians. In 1998, for example, a Gallup poll found that only 33% ofAmericans thought that homosexual relations between consenting adults shouldbe legal. By 2007, that figure had risen to 59%.



Forwarded by Ron Mills

Bill Maher: the Haves and Been-Hads
To Watch The Clip From Friday's Show

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Forwarded from EuroQueer

Sexshop in Berlin

When one hears about prostitution, one normally thinks of women forced tosell their sexual services for money. The fact that young men also findtheir way onto the streets is less well known.

In Berlin, as in most major cities, boys and young men from as young as14-years old work the curbs, sex cinemas and gay bars of the German capital.

The fact that the rent boys of Berlin barely register on most people'sradars led to the creation of an association in 1992 to help those inprostitution. The employees of "Sub/Way" visit the districts of Berlinwhere the boys work and supply them with condoms and advice on how to besafe on the streets.

Once a week, the Sub/Way team loads their van up with condoms,lubricants, sexual health pamphlets, instant soups and hot chocolate beforeentering the dark underbelly of the German capital.

The first stop is usually a Berlin train station where rent boys, manyof whom have drug problems, punt for clients. The van is watched withinterest and a little suspicion until a couple of boys come over and ask forhot chocolate.

Social workers form a bond with rent boys

Helmut Wanner is a social worker with Sub/Way and looks after the rentboys, knows them by name and knows many of their life stories.



Forwarded by Bill Sterling

San Francisco Chronicle

Same-sex couples raising children less likely to be white, wealthy

Tyche Hendricks, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 (SF Chronicle)

Oakland mom Huda Jadallah spent Tuesday afternoon balancing last-minuteHalloween costume shopping for her twin boys against her daughter's soccerpractice. It was a familiar conundrum for a woman used to juggling avariety of identities - as a Palestinian American, a lesbian and a mother.

Jadallah and her partner, Deanna Karraa, are among more than 26,000 gayand lesbian couples across the state who are raising an estimated 70,000children. Like most - and unlike common public perception - these same-sexparents are neither white nor above the average in income.

A study released Tuesday by a group of Bay Area organizations servinglesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families found that same-sexcouples raising children in California are more likely to be people ofcolor and that their median household income is 17 percent lower than theincome of married couples with children.

"There is an idea of LGBT families, when people think about it at all,there's this perception that it's affluent white folks, and the data showthat's based on our own misperceptions," said Judy Appel, director of theOur Family Coalition in San Francisco. "We're in every neighborhood, everyrace, ethnicity and economic group. Our kids are playing in theplaygrounds and parks with all other kids."



Medicare Drug Changes Ahead

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 4, 2007 - 10:00 am ET

(Washington) Nearly 2 million low-income Medicare participants could beswitched to different insurance plans for their prescription drug coveragenext year.

Millions more will have to shop around if they want to avoid double-digitincreases in their monthly premiums.

The reassignment of the poorest beneficiaries and the higher premiums formany others are just two reasons why seniors and the disabled may want tolook into other plans as the Medicare drug benefit enters its third year.

The shopping season officially begins Nov. 15 - the first day of an openenrollment period that continues through Dec. 31.

Advocacy groups warn the benefit's 24.5 million participants to take nothingfor granted even if they're happy with their current coverage.

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HIV/AIDS In India Explored In New Film

by The Associated Press
Posted: November 4, 2007 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) Ashley Judd says education and prevention is the best way tocombat AIDS and HIV, which disproportionately affect women and girls andprey upon the vulnerable and less fortunate.

Speaking about her new documentary film, "India's Hidden Plague," in aninterview broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week," the actress said it costsjust $10 to educate a person about the risks and protect them for an entireyear.

The actress met with HIV/AIDS orphans in India while making the film,including two sisters, ages 9 and 12, whose parents died in quick successionafter their father infected their mother with the disease.

"It's very real and it's real stories and real heartache and also realopportunity to focus on a solution that is very cost effective and has anextraordinarily meaningful impact in the lives of young people," Judd said.

In a previous documentary film, "Confronting the Pandemic," Judd and actressSalma Hayek traveled to Central America to look at AIDS prevention there.

"India's Hidden Plague" is set to premiere Nov. 30 on the NationalGeographic Channel.


Study: Same-Sex Couples Becoming More Visible In All Parts Of Country

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: November 5, 2007 - 9:00 am ET

(New York City) Gay and lesbian couples have become more visible in allareas of the country but the biggest increase is in areas of the countryconsidered the most conservative according to a study issued Monday.

The report, prepared by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, isbased on recently released data from the US Census Bureau's American
Community Survey.

It shows that the number of same-sex couples in the US has quadrupled since1990 - growing at a rate 21 times that of the population.

Increases, the report says, have been the most dramatic in the Midwest,Mountain, and Southern states.

The Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy advanceslaw and public policy through independent research and scholarship.

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Daughter of homophobic activist is out and proud

5th November 2007 12:54
Maryam Omidi

The daughter of a vehemently anti-gay activist has revealed that she is alesbian.

Claudia Contrada, whose mother Amy Contrada forms one half of the US hategroup MassResistance, has stood up for young people struggling withhomophobia in their homes or communities.

In 2005, Mrs Contrada attended a conference which advocated sending gayteenagers to conversion camps.

MassResistance is a homophobic organisation in Massachusetts, which hascampaigned zealously against all pro-gay developments since its inception in1995.

In 2006 it successfully led a fight to prevent bills to introduce mandatorysexuality and homosexuality education in schools and the legalisation ofsame-sex marriages through statute.

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Gay teenagers are homecoming couple

5th November 2007 11:45
Maryam Omidi

A gay couple have made school history in the United States by being thefirst-ever elected homecoming prince and prince.

Brandon Raphael and Kiernan Gatewood, both 16, wore sashes proudlyproclaiming their royalty as they rode through the city of Davis,California, in the school's annual homecoming parade.

According to the Sacramento Bee, "They stood in the back of a pick-up truck,arm-in-arm, smiling warmly despite the rain."

The couple, who have been dating for four months, were elected in a write-inballot election at Davis Senior High School in a city renowned for itsliberal leanings.

"[Davis] is a liberal town," said Raphael.

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Homophobic bullying to feature on Teachers TV

5th November 2007 11:35 staff writer

A special week of programming from a digital channel for teachers willexplore ways to stamp out bullying in schools.

Highlights of the Anti-Bullying Week on Teachers TV later this month willinclude Coming Out To Class,a documentary presented by gay British rapperMarcos 'QBoy' Brito.

Originally broadcast by Channel 4 earlier this year, it investigates therealities of coming out in Britain's schools.

While he is now considered a brave man for coming out in the traditionallyhomophobic world of hip hop, he felt completely unable to do this while atschool.

QBoy embarks on a journey to investigate what it is like for children tocome out to class, and how those at the highest level of the school systemcan ensure fairness and equality for all.

more . . . . .


By Carolyn Hax
Monday, November 5, 2007; C08


Will someone please come up with a new rule -- man pays, woman pays, taketurns, split it -- and stick with it? Because I've known plenty of men whoget offended if the woman offers to pay, and vice versa. I'm not talkingabout replacing common sense and decency with strict rules. It's just thatwe've got this system that dates from the times when a man had income and awoman didn't, and we seem too emotionally attached to it to trash itcompletely, but no one has figured out quite what the new rules should be.And whatever set of rules and guidelines you go by, someone is going to beoffended. What do gay couples do?

Middletown, N.Y.

There is a rule already, there really is! And it works: Whoever initiatesthe date pays for the date. And if it happens that the man always initiates,then he conveniently gets to ask himself first how he feels about doing allthe asking, before he wades into the morass of how he feels about alwayspaying.

Meanwhile, if one person feels uncomfortable about being treated so often,s/he can promise to get the next one or propose extending the date -- todessert, a movie, a club -- and pick up the tab for it.

Once a couple is established as a Couple, then the nature of theirrelationship takes over as the rulemaker.

Who has more, who wants expensive things more, who cares more about paying,etc., all come into play, along with both of their notions (and suspicions)of "tradition."

If their own system doesn't evolve naturally, then it's an opportunity tosee if they can talk about things naturally.

Fair, flexible, gender-neutral -- seems like a great system to me.


Scientists Track Time and Place of HIV's Arrival

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 5, 2007; A10

In the decades since young gay men in the United States started dying from amysterious syndrome in the 1980s, scientists have wondered how and when theAIDS virus arrived. Many scenarios have been proposed, including one earlybut now-discounted theory that the disease was imported by a promiscuousCanadian flight attendant dubbed "patient zero."

Now, however, scientists reconstructing the genetic evolution of the deadlyvirus say they have traced its true path -- concluding that the insidiouspathogen used Haiti as a steppingstone from Africa to the United States andarrived much earlier than had been thought. It then simmered silently herefor more than a decade before it was detected, beginning its global spreadalong the way.

"This is the first time that we've been able to bring together thegeographical picture with the timing picture to show with a pretty highdegree of certainty where the virus went from Africa, and when," saidMichael Worobey, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at theUniversity of Arizona in Tucson, who led the research.

Others praised the detailed genetic analysis of human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) from around the world as an impressive bit of biomedical sleuthing.

"For those of us who have been interested in HIV evolution and the originsof the virus, this is very interesting," said Beatrice H. Hahn, a professorof medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. "It's a very nicepiece of work."

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