President Obama issued a proclamation at the end of May stating that June is officially Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, but June has unofficially been Pride Month for the LGBT community for decades. We place it in June, and our pride parades at the end of June, to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. This year will be 45 years.
The fact that our President is so markedly in support of LGBT rights is historic, but what really makes it remarkable to me is that he and his administration have been vocal lately about transgender rights. Sex reassignment surgery can now be covered on Medicare. Chuck Hagel is now “open” to reconsidering the military’s ban on transgender service members. This is all part of a very fast, sweeping change in our culture’s conversation about transgender people, marked just since the beginning of this month, for example, by Laverne Cox’s appearance on the cover of TIME and a viral video telling the story of a family raising a transgender child. Keep reading »
So it turns out 55 percent of Americans now support gay marriage. I suppose my little queer heart ought to be delighted that we’re slowly stumbling into being treated “just like everyone else.” Instead, if I’m honest, I feel disappointed in the gay rights movement. Keep reading »
There was a distinct outpouring of disgust when Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend after being drafted on Saturday night. Some of it was just outright bigotry, but Mark Joseph Stern at Slate was interested to see many people saying they supported Sam in theory, but were nonetheless uncomfortable with the display. “Is it possible to support gay rights, but still be grossed out by gay people?” Stern asks. Read more on Newser…
“Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other … and rise.”
These beautiful, poetic, and true words form the conclusion of a ruling by Judge Michael McShane in Eugene, Oregon today, in which he struck down the state’s gay marriage ban as unconstitutional, and allowed same sex wedding to proceed, regardless of appeals from opponents. The ruling in Oregon marks the 13th straight win for gay marriage. The tide is finally turning, America. This is an exciting time to be alive. You can read McShane’s entire ruling here. And now, champagne! [OregonLive] [Photo via Oregon United For Marriage]
Last month at Coachella, Andrew Garfield walked out on stage in a white lace dress and a blonde wig to strike a few victorious poses during Arcade Fire’s song, “We Exist.” As the teaser we posted last week indicated, the live footage was shot for the finale of the “We Exist” video, which stars Garfield as a young person struggling with gender identity. The mini movie is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, a combination of reality and fantasy. By the end, it’s hard not to cheer along with the Coachella crowd. Check it out above. [Rolling Stone]
God, it was must be sooooo difficult being on the WRONG side of history. I almost — almost, but not at all, really — feel bad for Amy Kushnir, one of the hosts of Dallas’s morning show “The Broadcast,” who got into it with two of her fellow cohosts — including the totally rad Courtney Kerr — over the “appropriateness” of Michael Sam’s gay kiss being shown on ESPN this past weekend. Sam, as I’m sure you remember, became the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL on Saturday and celebrated by — GASP — kissing his boyfriend, Vito Camissano, while cameras rolled. This has apparently been too much for some people — including Kushnir and some other homophobic ninny on “The Broadcast” — to handle. Kerr and Kushnir got into it because Kushnir pulled the usual tired old “but what about the childddddddren?” card, saying:
“When parents do not have a choice about whether or not they want their children to see this, it is wrong … I don’t call it a moment of celebration … It’s being pushed in faces. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see cake in your face, kissing each other.”
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After the recent news that Arizona could possibly be making a law that would make it legal to refuse service to gays, you might think that our country hasn’t made much progress on the gay rights front. But thankfully, a new poll is happy to report the opposite. Read more on Your Tango…
South Carolina legislators are trying to “punish” two colleges in the state for assigning books they don’t approve of. The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate incorporated “books on homosexuality” as required reading as part of their new student orientation. The books in question are Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Fun Home, about the lesbian author’s father and his struggle with homosexuality, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which tells the story of South Carolina’s first LGBT radio show.
To exact revenge on the institutions, state House legislators have “tentatively approved” a bill to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate. The amount of funds being cut are meant to be similar to the amount spent on implementing the reading campaigns. Republican Representative Garry Smith of Simpsonville says he set the cuts into motion after the schools refused to offer alternative reading for students. Keep reading »
If you’re homophobic, here’s one reason to rethink that: It might send you to an earlier grave. A new study looked at social attitudes in America over two recent decades, compared them with death rates, and found that subjects with high levels of anti-gay prejudice had a life expectancy that was 2.5 years less than those with low levels of prejudice. Why? Read more on Newser…