Special Feature: A Gay Navy Vet Reflects on the End of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", pg. 9
CHALLENGE The Newsletter of the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County – Serving New Jersey’s GLBTI Communities Since 1972
Volume 37, Issue 9, November 2011
Franklin Kameny, an Inspiring Leader by Mickey Suiter Franklin Kameny, a legendary hero of the gay rights movement, passed away on October 11, National Coming Out Day, at the age of 86. Frank was a Harvard-educated World War II veteran who was fired from his job with the federal government in 1957 for being gay. This was not an unusual occurrence at the time. Gays had been a major target of the right-wing witch-hunts of the late 1940s and 1950s. What was unusual was that he fought back, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court. They denied his petition but he had only begun to fight. Frank spent the rest of his life advocating for the rights of the LGBT community. He co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in 1961 and fought not only for equal rights in employment but to overturn the sodomy laws of the District of Columbia. In 1965, four years before Stonewall, they picketed the White House. Frank, along with other early activists like Barbara Gittings, also picketed the Pentagon, Independence Hall and the United Nations.
Coming out today still isn’t easy for some, and fighting for one’s rights takes a lot of courage and confidence. How much harder it must have been over fifty years ago. Frank explained how he did it in his book, Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America: "If society and I differ on something, I'm willing to give the matter a second look. If we still differ, then I am right and society is wrong; and society can go its way so long as it does not get in my way. But if it does, there's going to be a fight. And I'm not going to be the one who backs down. That has been an underlying premise of the conduct of my life." Frank’s passing made the national news, as well it should have. I was pleased to see that, but it reminded me that it was probably the first time the mainstream media had ever mentioned him. For fifty years he was one of the outstanding leaders in our community and most people, straight and gay, had never heard of him.
From top: 1965 White House protest In 1968, Frank coined the slogan, “Gay (Kameny second protester from left); is Good” and worked to remove the campaign flyer from his 1971 congressional classification of homosexuality as a run; Kameny in World War II Frank Kameny was a man of strength,
mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a fight he won in 1973. He was the first openly gay person to run for Congress in 1971 and later served on The District of Columbia’s Human Rights Commission. He was with other community leaders at the first meeting to discuss gay issues at the White House in 1977. I first met Frank at an LGBT conference at Rutgers in the mid-70s. I was in awe of him and was impressed by his knowledge of government and national issues. I was also amazed that he sat and talked so long with a young activist like me, not only answering all of my questions in great detail but asking me about New Jersey government and community issues. He later came to speak at GAAMC and was a recipient of our Community Service Award in the early 1980s.
courage and conviction. He was one of the greats of our movement, and we will miss him.
Inside Challenge Challenge Information.... ................................ page 2 GAAMC Events.............................................. page 2 The Bulletin Board......................................... page 3 This Month's Contributors................................ page 3 Getting Personal............................................ page 3 Gleanings: Queer news from around the world .... page 4 Dancing to Architecture music reviews............... page 5 Calendar ..................................................... page 6 A Navy Vet's Post-"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Perspective ...page 9 10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked, part 5................. page 11 Poetry: Petar/Uncle Charlie's Host.................. page 11 GAAMC Information...................................... page 12
Page 2 CHALLENGE November 2011 CHALLENGE Volume 37, Number 9 November 2011 ISSN 0277-1675 Staff Editor .....................Allen Neuner Assistant Editor ............. Bill Stella Advertising Manager ............. open Circulation Manager ............. open List Manager ................ Sue Harris Submissions The deadline for all articles, inserts, and advertisements is the fifteenth of the previous month. All submissions must be provided as electronic files. E-mail submissions to Challenge @ GAAMC.org. Ad Rates Single issue: Full page, $125.00; Half page, $85.00; Quarter page, $45.00; Business card, $25.00. For multi-issue rates, contact the Editor at Challenge @ GAAMC.org. GAAMC members may place one free classified ad per month, of no more than 200 characters in length. Change of Address Please let us know your new address! All address changes should be sent to the List Manager at ChangeAddress @ GAAMC.org. Challenge is © 2011-2012 by the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation. All rights reserved. All articles reflect the views of the original contributors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of GAAMC, its officers, or executive board. All copyrights revert to the original contributors upon publication. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the contributor. All articles, contributions, and advertisements are printed at the discretion of the Editor and/or GAAMC Executive Board.
GAAMC Events Every Monday OpenTalk Discussion Group: A regular weekly discussion group, open to all. Moderators: Kerry (November 14 and 28); Gordon (November 21). NOTE: there will be no Open Talk Discussion Group on November 7. 7:00, Library Circles Discussion Group: A five-week structured discussion group, moderated by Gordon. Dates this month: November 7 and 14. 7:00, Dining Room Main Events November 7 – The GAAMC Film Festival brings you a charming tale of love gone right, then wrong, then right, then wrong, then right in Wild About Harry. This darling of the independent film circuit features Tate Donovan as a newly sorta-out gay father of two teenage girls as they all come of age in the immediate post-Stonewall period of 1973. Bring a hanky…some of what goes on in the film still happens today! NOTE: Film Festival nights start at 7:00. November 14 – Extended Open Talk: Going into Thanksgiving, what in your life are you thankful for? Is it your family? Your chosen family? Your partner, your pet, your health? Count your blessings out loud among your GAAMC family and share what's wonderful in your life with us! November 21 – GAAMC Gives Thanks, GAAMC’s annual potluck dinner for Thanksgiving, takes place tonight! The Social Committee is looking for intrepid turkey cooks, as well as people to bring side dishes and desserts galore for the feast that's one of our best events of the year. Will you cook a turkey? Bring a side dish or a dessert? Write to Socials @ GAAMC.org and let the committee know what you're bringing. And remember to let people know whether there's alcohol, nuts, spices, or gluten in your recipe. Share the love! November 28 – Rant-a-Palooza: So you say the holidays were stressful, traffic was terrific, but so was your Thanksgiving meal? If you've got something to get off your chest, this is the time to share. You have exactly one minute to rant or sing praises about something that's on your mind. Whew — that feels good! Coming Next Month! December 5 – GAAMC Holiday Bazaar: Get a jump on ChristmaHanuKwanzaakah and do some shopping at GAAMC! There will be arts, crafts, and services available from friendly vendors who support GAAMC. This is a great way to beat the crowds and support the community at the same time! December 12 – Holiday Show: This annual show, hosted by Mr. Scarlett O'Hara, is one of the major events of the GAAMC holiday season! Save the date and join your GAAMC family for a cavalcade of talent, including a special performance by this year's reigning king of the $1.98 Beauty Pageant, Walker von Folds III! [Note: All programs and discussion groups are subject to change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, go to GAAMC.org]
November 2011 CHALLENGE Page 3
The Bulletin Board
person, or $25 for a family of four! RSVP to Ray Welsh at ray @ njbuddies.org.
Activities, tours, hikes, picnics, trips, dinners, socials… It’s all on GayOutdoors.org (GO), an online national webbased organization for guys to plan events and participate in those scheduled gatherings. Online membership is free, but there is an annual fee to have access to post or host events. In the NJ/PA/NY area, GAAMC board member Ed Schell has posted plans for the following: November, a bolder field crossing hike at Hickory Run Park; December, a holiday tour and lunch at Peddler’s Village; and January, a membership dinner. Any questions regarding the locally hosted events can be directed to Ed at sche357 @ aol.com.
Broadway House for Continuing Care, New Jersey's only special care facility for people living with AIDS, is asking for your help for its residents this holiday season. They are looking for donations of unused men's and women's sweat suits, undergarments, slippers, and socks, in all sizes. Donations of perfume/cologne, jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, watches, wallets, pocketbooks, radios, and walkmen are also welcome. If you wish to donate cash, it will be used to purchase the items listed above. For information on how to donate, contact Nestor Beard at 973268-9797, ext. 2214, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Broadway House, located in Newark, is an affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation invites you all to its Gala and Silent Auction on November 12th at 7:00 pm! This black tie optional event includes cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, and dancing. The place is the Maritime Parc at Liberty State Park in Jersey City! For more information, or to purchase tables, tickets, and advertising in the Gala Journal, contact Patrick Bocco, Director of Fundraising, at 732246-0204, or online at pbocco @ hyacinth.org. NJ Buddies, in association with Outreach Angels, is hosting a bus trip to Atlantic City on Sunday, November 13th at 9:00 a.m.! Your $33 ticket gets you not only the bus ride but also a continental breakfast and casino voucher! The bus leaves from the A&P/K-Mart parking lot in Lodi; the casino destination and voucher amount will be announced on the bus. All money must be received no later than November 1st! For more information, contact Brenda at 201-797-1269. Outreach Angels is a nonprofit volunteer group supplying basic needs to New Jersey residents living with HIV/AIDS. All donations are taxdeductible. GLBT of Hunterdon County of NJ, Our Youth, and College Counseling for the Rest of Us are uniting to present an education and information seminar on November 29th at 6:00 pm. The first part of the seminar, starting at 6:30, focuses on college assistance for those who are traditionally under-served in the college planning process. The second part, starting at 7:00, tackles the subject of world AIDS. Along with the seminar will be door prizes, board games, and plenty of refreshments! Participants are asked to bring a coat to donate to Our Youth, which will distribute them to needy LGBT youth in the New Jersey/New York area. This all takes place at the North County Branch Library in Clinton! For more information, contact Matthew Loscialo at MatthewL @ student.fdu.edu. Our Youth, the Jersey City-based organization which helps GLBT and straight youths from the ages of 15 to 21 in the New York/New Jersey area, is preparing a series of events to commemorate World AIDS Day this December. Current plans call for a World AIDS Day concert on December 1st, and a black tie gala on December 3rd. For more information, go to www.ouryouthnj.org. NJ Buddies invites all of you to its annual Tom Hayes Holiday Brunch, December 11th at 10:30 a.m. at Peter Kramer Hall in St. John's Church in Leonia. The cost is $10 per
This Month's Contributors Mel Dahl, an occasional writer, lives with his husband of 17 years in Orlando, FL. (pg. 9) Tony Puma: A career in sales/marketing/advertising and public relations influences his poetry style: less abstract and more to-the-point. Degrees from New York University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. A member of various poetry groups including Italian-American Writers Association, Red Wheel Barrow Poets, Paulinskill Poetry Project, Poets House (NYC), South Mountain Poets, and Hudson Valley Poets-on- the-Loose. A view of life through the prism of poetry; seeing, hearing, and feeling, trying to capture emotions and relate them via words. (pg. 11) Evelyn Schlatter and Robert Steinback are researchers and authors in the field of sexuality and civil rights whose articles have frequently appeared in Intelligence Report, the newsletter of the Southern Poverty Law Center. (pg. 11) Bill Realman Stella writes Dancing to Architecture because writing about music is like that. He hosted the eclectic pop music show Highest Common Denominator in his mind for twenty years before getting it on the radio for six, and will host it again. Bill has been collecting music since age 4, when for each song he'd hear on the radio, he'd ask his mom, "Do they have a record?" Making a record good enough to play on the radio remains a small miracle after all these years. If you'd like Bill to write, DJ, or promote for you, get in touch. Comments and suggestions also welcome. Visit http://HowToFindTheBestMusic.blogspot.com or write bearealman @ gmail.com. (pg. 5)
Getting Personal VOTE KAREN CARROLL FOR ASSEMBLY, one of two gay candidates running in NJ's District 23. Vote for "an America and a New Jersey where people who make things are valued as much as people who make money." (Personal endorsement by Bill Realman Stella. GAAMC does not endorse political candidates.) Male Couple (50's/60's) have small but special apartment in the woods atop Bernardsville mountain in exchange for part rent and part help. Must love chocolate lab. Call 973-2851595.
Page 4 CHALLENGE November 2011
Queer news from around the world Dr. Franklin Kameny, noted gay rights activist, died of natural causes at the age of 86. Among his many achievements, Kameny was the co-founder of the Mattachine Society of Washington, DC; launched the first public protests by gays and lesbians, first in Washington and then in Philadelphia; coined the phrase "Gay Is Good"; and filed the first civil rights claim based on sexual orientation. Kameny, who was fired by the government in 1957 for being gay, lived long enough to receive a formal apology for it from the government. Among his many honors, Kameny received the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the highest award given by the Office of Personnel Management, in 2009; received the 2010 Cornelius R. Alexander Humanitarian Award; had his home declared a D.C. Historic Landmark; had a section of 17th Street in the Dupont Circle neighborhood designated "Frank Kameny Way"; had 12 of his original picket signs chosen for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History; and had his papers acquired by the Library of Congress. (New York Times) Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the Stonewall Community Foundation and an activist who held top positions in other LGBT organizations, died of ovarian cancer at age 56. Ettelbrick was an attorney whose career in advocacy over the past quarter century helped establish her as "a great hero," according to Ross Levi, executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda. (Gay City News) Alison Nathan, an out lesbian, has been confirmed by the Senate for a seat on the District Court of the Southern District of New York. Nathan taught at Fordham University Law School, and served as a White House associate counsel before being nominated for the federal bench by President Barack Obama. She is the second out lesbian and third LGBT American to be appointed to a federal judgeship. (Washington Blade) Ledyard, NY town clerk Rose Marie Belforti, an elected official, refused to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, saying it violated her religious views. Belforti’s office requires gay and lesbian couples to get a license from one of her deputies, but allows heterosexual couples to get licenses from Belforti herself. State law says a public servant is guilty of official misconduct when "with intent to...deprive another person of a benefit...He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.” (Gay City News) The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up and vote on a bill repealing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by the end of this year, according to committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy is one of 29 cosponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act, authored by Senator
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The legislation is expected to be approved by the committee since all 10 Democratic committee members are backers. (Politico.com) Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) slammed House Republicans after they reportedly tripled the budget for legal defense of DOMA. Nadler, who is sponsoring a bill to repeal the law, said it is hypocritical for GOP leaders to spend more taxpayer money on defending the law at a time of "Republican-sponsored deficit hysteria." Republicans have raised the salary cap for the lawyer defending DOMA from $500,000 to $1.5 million. (FoxNews.com) Lawyers for the House of Representatives defending the constitutionality of DOMA say gays and lesbians are too politically powerful to be eligible for the same protections given racial minorities and women. Growing support for openly gay political candidates, the passage of a marriage equality law in New York and the end of "don't ask, don't tell" were cited by the lawyers in a legal brief regarding a case before the US District Court in San Francisco involving domestic partner benefits denied to federal employee Karen Golinski. (HuffingtonPost.com) The Campaign for Southern Equality has launched an effort in Asheville, N.C., to bring attention to the lack of equality for same-sex couples. The group's "We Do" campaign will send at least a dozen couples to attempt to secure marriage licenses. "We can walk down the street and hold hands. But at the end of the day, we remain second-class citizens, and that's wrong," said the Rev. Kathryn Cartledge, who attempted to obtain a license to marry her partner of 30 years, Elizabeth Eve. (Asheville Citizen-Times) The Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving a New York gay couple who sued to compel the state of Louisiana to alter their adopted son's birth certificate to indicate they are his adoptive parents. A federal appeals court said Louisiana "has the right to issue birth certificates in the manner it deems fit." Louisiana does not allow unmarried couples to adopt. (Christian Science Monitor) Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said this week he would rather see Congress fail to pass a defense spending bill than pass a bill that would enable military chaplains to perform weddings for same-sex couples. The House-passed version of the bill contains an outright ban on the practice, though the Pentagon recently said chaplains could, if they so choose, officiate at weddings that are legal under state and local laws. (The Hill) (continued on page 8)
November 2011 CHALLENGE Page 5
Dancing To Architecture™
Music Reviews & News With a Queer Ear by Bill Realman Stella Enter into November's Dancing To Architecture, when I give in to reality: I'll never keep up with the relentless flow of all the fine music released. But look how I keep trying:
Ryan Adams ~ Ashes & Fire
I don't know why it's good. It just is. Damn good. For once, I think the goodness of a work of music demands I say as little as possible to describe it. I've thought for days about what to say, what to write about Ryan Adams' new album Ashes and Fire. But I just want to shut up and listen to it again. This is the good shit. Listen. You can stream the entire album at AshesAndFire.com and hear four bonus tracks at the end, too. So go do that. Seriously. Get thee to the Web and put this music in your head. NOW. You can read the rest of this column later. Is it playing? Good. Hear how Adams' voice retains his Americanaready tone? An insightful comment made by a WNYC-FM listener also noticed: "Ryan Adams [s]ounds a bit like Marty Balin from Jef-
Q Bob Mould with Michael Azerrad ~
See A Little Light - The Trail of Rage and Melody [book]
I doubt it will ever happen. Bob Mould won't ever be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Probably won't even be nominated. Probably. But he should be. Mould, starting in 1979 with the band Husker Du, and continuing as a solo artist, with his band Sugar, and in collaboration with Rich Morel among others, has left an indelible mark on modern music. Husker Du didn't invent smart Punk, but most of their albums are prime examples of smart Punk songs. Their turn-on-a-dime melodies at blistering tempos, the sweep of their vision, the dusky, powerful vocals — all were ingredients for the crucible out of which exploded "grunge." It's difficult to imagine Nirvana and the "grunge rock" scene existing as they did, when they did without Mould and Husker Du clearing the space for them. Husker Du was also considered to be part of the Hardcore scene, and that's a whole other genre. Mould's solo work was groundbreaking for its brave breaks with audience expectations. Other forces-to-reckon-with musicians, like Brian Wilson, weren't as resilient when his audience and family withdrew their support. Like Wilson, the drive of Mould's imagination is phenomenal. The man may not have a celebrity's reputation, but his new autobiography, See A Little Light, reportedly tells a passionate story of Mould's musicianship and drive, "in-depth, … honest,
BOB MOULD'S AUTOBIO • RYAN ADAMS' SMOULDERING EPIC • THE SOUND OF JOHN WESLEY HARDING'S VOICE • ERASURE'S HOME STUDIO
ferson Starship." Imagine the lead voice of their "Miracles" with Adams' (or, say, Neil Young's) twang — not quite as Country as Willie Nelson — and you've got it. Agreed? Adams is moreconfident and relaxed, more at home with himself than usual. By the way, two of those bonus tracks at AshesAndFire.com are stripped down versions of album tracks: Acoustic-guitarand-solo-voice-only versions of "Come Home" and "Rocks" naturally focus the ear on the basics. The melody and lyric, sung naked with guitar, reveals that "Come Home" is a classic; "Rocks" could be too. Both have the stuff, the strengths, to be a valuable addition to any artist's repertoire or to provide the soundtrack at a crucial moment in a film. Equally attention-worthy is "Invisible Riverside," which channels the spirit of early 1970s Neil Young. The song's video is also a solo performance, just Adams strumming his acoustic guitar and singing, while his beaded necklace clacks randomly against the guitarbody. Percussive jewelry never sounded so good! "Dirty Rain" and "Come Home" with full band also keeps me returning for more. I won't resist one observation about why Ashes & Fire is so good (and not a very insightful one): Although its greatness of course needs great songs at the core, and those it has, A&F also can brag master producer Glyn Johns' skills on board. If that name rings a bell: Yes, the producer of The Who's Who's Next and the Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street (among many other credits) was at the reins of A&F's recording console. A new Johns production (or output from a producer of Johns' ilk) is now so rare, at first I couldn't identify what was working so well. But knowing it's him, it's clear: This is a class production.
detailed and, of course, a real page-turner." Mould touches on his struggles with his homosexuality, his complicated intimate relationships, achieving sobriety, and how he found his place as his own man in the present day. Lest one never learns the story otherwise, let me say: With Husker Du, Mould took Punk to a melodic and intellectual peak, which led to all kinds of mindful Hard Rock (Rage Against The Machine, Green Day's American Idiot) as well as often mindless Pop Punk (All Time Low, Green Day's career before American Idiot). He wasn't just a progenitor of contemporary Punk, and of "grunge," but also the full swath of present-day Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, and Heavy Rock. Solo, he wrote and recorded some of the most nakedly revealing Rock and Roll by a solo artist since John Lennon, spurring a entire new wave of individuals to pick up their home studios and let their insides out. AND, when those home studio experiments led Mould into melding his Punk Rock heart to the sounds of modern Electronica — particularly on his 2001 album Modulate, he became a no less important (though a rarely acknowledged) precursor to the fusion of Rock with Electronica that is found everywhere, that has overtaken contemporary currents in Pop and Dance music. Everyone from Coldplay to Lady Gaga are part of that trend. A book that covers all that cultural influence from one relatively unsung man? Not to mention writing storylines for professional wrestlers and becoming an icon to Gay Bears with his Blowoff dance events? I would read that book. (For a review of the new album by Erasure, a more-obvious influence of the Electronica/Rock fusion on Pop, see page 10.) (continued on page 10)
Page 6 CHALLENGE November 2011
November 2011 Calendar
Recurring Contact Information
* Hackensack Peer Support Groups: 800-508-7577; www.njbuddies.org † Pride Center, Highland Park: 732-846-2232; www.pridecenter.org ‡ Hudson Pride Connections Center: 201-963-4779; HudsonPride.org λ LGBT Center Rainbow Lounge, Princeton: www.princeton.edu/lgbt ♦ Jersey Shore Q-Spot, Asbury Park: www.jsqspot.org Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm - HIV testing, Asbury Park; 800-947-0020 10:00 am to 5:00 pm - HiTOPS Health Center, Princeton; www.hitops.org; 609-683-5155 x 211 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm - The Daily Grind, Princetonλ Every Monday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ hyacinth.org 7:00 pm - GAAMC, Morristown (see page 2) 7:00 pm - Bowling, Union; merenl @ comcast.net 7:30 pm - S.E.L.F. HIV Men’s support group, Hackensack* 7:30 pm - New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus choir practice, Princeton; 609-396-7774; www.njgmc.org 7:30 pm - Overeaters Anonymous, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Stitch n B*tch, Highland Park† 8:00 pm - Bowling, Green Brook; qcrollers @ aol.com Every Tuesday 12:30 pm - The Wellness Community, Newark; 973-565-0300; info @ hyacinth.org 4:00 pm - Treatment Adherence Support Group, Jersey City; 201-432-1134; info @ hyacinth.org 6:00 pm - Transview, Jersey City‡ 7:30 pm - Tuesday Night Lesbian Connection, Bound Brook; 908-791-3764 7:30 pm - Men’s HIV support group, Asbury Park; 732-775-5084; apstillpoz @ yahoo.com 7:30 pm - Positive Yoga, Hackensack* 8:45 pm - Bowling, Belleville; 973-256-5936; NJGLB @ aol.com 9:00 pm - Bowling, Jersey City; 201-933-6028; JoeyNJ @ aol.com 9:15 pm - Bowling, Edison; 732-548-4550; cnjgbl @ yahoo.com
01 Tue 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, New Brunswick; www.gpbn.net 7:00 pm - GLBT of Hunterdon County of NJ, Clinton; www.glbtofhunterdoncountyofnj.com 7:00 pm - Origami, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Billy Elliot, New York; www.meetup.com/North-JerseyPrimetimers 7:30 pm - LGBT Fellowship, Belleville; 973-751-0616 7:30 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Estate Planning, Highland Park† 02 Wed 7:30 pm - Gay Dad’s discussion group, Highland Park† 03 Thu 6:30 pm - Minerals Resort at Crystal Spa, Vernon; www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers 7:30 pm - Coffee Night, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 7:30 pm - Gay Educators Group, Highland Park† 04 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 05 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org
Every Wednesday 10:30 am - The Wellness Community, Jersey City; 201-4321134; info @ hyacinth.org 1:00 pm - "Generation Q", WRSU 88.7 FM; wrsu.org 6:00 pm - Positive People peer support group, Hackensack* 7:30 pm - Men’s Living Out group, Highland Park; njwarrior @ aol.com† 7:30 pm - Gay Men’s Coming Out group, Highland Park; pdumpert @ gmail.com† Every Thursday 11:30 am - Living Beyond, Jersey City‡ 6:00 pm - Our Youth weekly support group, Jersey City; www.myspacenj.org 6:30 pm - Double Jeopardy peer support group, Hackensack* 7:00 pm - Sexual Assault Survivor Support, Princeton; www.hitops.org 7:00 pm - Weigh-Lez, Asbury Park♦ 7:30 pm - Rainbows on Cleveland Street, Orange; 973-2565936; rbowsoncleveland @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Writers group, Highland Park† Every Friday 3:00 pm - Youth Connect, Jersey City‡ 3:00 pm - C.R.A.V.E., Jersey City‡ Every Sunday 10:45 am - MCC of Christ the Liberator, Highland Park; mccliberator @ excite.com† Noon - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Glen Ridge; 973-731-7765; stfrancisnj.org 2:30 pm - Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, Newark; 973-621-2100 5:30 pm - Central Jersey Rainbows Bowling League, Bradley Beach; CJRBowling @ gmail.com 06 Sun 11:00 am - Havurah planning meeting, Metuchen; njlgh.onefireplace.com 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 6:30 pm - Gay Men’s Opera Club; 732-249-9034; hagol @ msn.com 07 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Asbury Park♦ 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park† 08 Tue 7:30 pm - Bisexual Social Support Group, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - PCNJ Board of Trustees meeting, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Yoga for Men, Highland Park† 8:00 pm - Men's Social Night, Highland Park† 09 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www.gpbn.net 6:00 pm - Queering the Color Line family dinner, Princetonλ 6:00 pm - M-Power, Jersey City‡ 6:30 pm - North Jersey Prime Timers' monthly meetup, Little Falls; www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers 8:00 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park†
November 2011 CHALLENGE Page 7 09 Wed 9:00 pm - Dine with Pride, Metuchen ; jennifer.horsey @ cit.com 10 Thu Noon - Booked for Lunch, Highland Park† 4:30 pm - Book talk, Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality, Princetonλ 6:30 pm - Volunteer orientation, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Qspot Book Club, Point Pleasant♦ 7:30 pm - PFLAG of North Jersey, South Orange; 908-789-7489; pflagwaver @ aol.com 7:30 pm - Alternate Thursdays, Montclair; kjdinkin @ comcast.net 7:30 pm - AVER-Veterans and Friends Group, Highland Park† 11 Fri 7:30 pm - United People Positive, Highland Park† 12 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Hyacinth AIDS Foundation Gala, Jersey City (see Bulletin Board, pg. 3) 7:00 pm - Movie Social, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick gay Catholic liturgy; 732968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 13 Sun 9:00 am - NJ Buddies bus trip, Lodi (see Bulletin Board, pg. 3) 11:00 am - Canstruction, New York; njlgh.onefireplace.com 4:00 pm - House party, Franklin; www.meetup.com/NorthJersey-Primetimers 6:00 pm - Gay Men’s Classical Song Club, Kingston; pbrown02 @ worldnet.att.net 7:00 pm - Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil, Highland Park† 14 Mon 6:00 pm - Panel discussion, "Transgender and Faithful",Princetonλ 6:30 pm - HIV Testing, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Morris County, Mendham; 973-727-5288; pflag.morris @ verizon.net 7:30 pm - PFLAG, Princeton; 609-663-5155; www.pflagprinceton.org 7:30 pm - So You Think You Can't Write!, Highland Park† 15 Tue 7:00 pm - ComeOUT & Play, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Pride Center Players, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Lesbian Alliance of Princeton; 609-924-8174; Loisj @ msn.com 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Hunterdon County, Flemington; 908-7521370; pflaghc @ yahoo.com 8:00 pm - PFLAG of Bergen County, Paramus; 201-287-0318; www.bergenpflag.org 8:00 pm - NJ Women, Secaucus; info @ njwomen.org 16 Wed 6:00 pm - Dinner/discussion, "Tangled Knots: LGBT Bi-National Couples and Marriage Rights", Princetonλ 7:30 pm - United in Grace discussion/support group, Jersey City; 201-946-0650; greg.perez @ comcast.net 8:00 pm - Havurah board meeting, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 17 Thu 6:30 pm - Pride planning meeting, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - GAAMC board meeting, Morristown; All GAAMC members are invited to attend. 7:00 pm - GLSEN Training, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - NJ Women Coming Out Support Group, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - PFLAG of Northwest NJ, Sparta; 973-729-9909 7:30 pm - Over the River and Through the Woods, Morristown;
www.meetup.com/North-Jersey-Primetimers 18 Fri 7:00 pm - Positive Women peer support group, Hackensack* 7:30 pm - Support Group for Parents of LGBTIQ Youth/Young Adults, Highland Park† 7:30 pm - Dignity New Brunswick social; 732-968-9263; dignitynb @ earthlink.net 8:00 pm - Out of the Box open mic night, Highland Park (sign-up begins 7:30); outoftheboxinfo @ mac.com 8:00 pm - Shabbat service, Edison; njlgh.onefireplace.com 19 Sat 2:30 pm - First and Third for GLBTI youth, Princeton; 609-683-5155; www.HiTOPS.org 7:00 pm - Rainbow Bowling, Bradley Beach; 732-774-4540 7:00 pm - NJ Gay Film Society & Potluck Dinner Club, location TBA; gayfilms @ bigfoot.com 7:00 pm - Games Night + Dessert, Highland Park† 20 Sun 1:00 pm - International Transgender Day of Remembrance service, Princetonλ 4:00 pm - Dignity Metro NJ Mass, Maplewood; 973-509-0118; Dignitymetronj @ msn.com 4:00 pm - TrueSelves trans support group, Highland Park† 4:30 pm - Torah Queeries, Highland Park† 21 Mon 7:00 pm - Support Group for Lesbians with Cancer, New Brunswick; 732-235-6781; slirzero @ umdnj.edu 7:00 pm - Lesbian Hot Topics, Asbury Park♦ 7:30 pm - LGBT Activist Forum, Highland Park† 8:00 pm - Young Men's Social Network, Highland Park† 22 Tue 7:30 pm - Yoga for Men, Highland Park† 8:00 pm - Men's Social, Highland Park† 23 Wed 6:00 pm - Gay Pride Business Network, Asbury Park; www.gpbn.net 7:30 pm - To Kill a Mockingbird, Madison; www.meetup.com/ North-Jersey-Primetimers 8:00 pm - Living Out Women, Highland Park† 25 Fri 1:00 pm - Women With Voices, Jersey City‡ 7:00 pm - Rock Hero, Highland Park† 26 Sat 1:00 pm - Youth Drop-In, Highland Park† 2:00 pm - Youth Support Group, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Under the Rainbow, Highland Park† 7:00 pm - Gay Bowling, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park; 732-776-6160 7:30 pm - Men's Potluck Dinner, Highland Park† 28 Mon 8:30 pm - Meditation Group, Highland Park† 29 Tue 6:30 pm - Education/information seminar, Clinton; matthewl @ student.fdu.edu (see Bulletin Board, pg. 3) 6:30 pm - Dinner, Fairfield; www.meetup.com/North-JerseyPrimetimers 30 Wed 7:30 pm - Lecture, "The Second Wave: The Resurgence of AIDS Among Young Gay and Bi Men Today", Princetonλ
Page 8 CHALLENGE November 2011
(continued from page 4) A disabled Navy veteran from Connecticut, Carmen Cardona, is challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), saying the government denied her veterans benefits because she is married to a woman. Cardona legally married her partner last year, but when she applied for an increase in her monthly disability compensation because she was newly married, the Department of Veterans Affairs regional office in Hartford rejected her application, citing DOMA's definition of a spouse as “a person of the opposite sex.” Ms. Cardona’s legal team from the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School will argue that the government’s definition violates her Fifth Amendment right to due process. (New York Times)
Patrick Forrest, an openly gay Republican endorsed by the Victory Fund in his race for the Virginia State Senate, says his opponent, Democratic Senator Janet Howell, is drawing attention to his sexual orientation to dampen GOP enthusiasm for his campaign. Forrest's campaign recorded one Democratic campaign volunteer saying the tactic was fair, and one of Howell's Republican Senate colleagues confirmed that Howell approached him to ask why he was backing a moderate like Forrest. "She listed off three or four things, including that he had a partner," said Senator Mark Obenshain. (Washington Blade)
Washington state officials released the names of 138,000 signers British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking to his Conserof a petition aimed at blocking a 2009 domestic partnership law. vative party's conference, has come out strongly in support of The move came after a court decision rejected a request to keep extending marriage rights to samethe list from public view. (CBS News) sex couples. "I don't support gay Michigan Representative Tom McMillin marriage despite being a ConservaThe court said knowledge of a person's (R) has proposed a law that would retive. I support gay marriage because sexual organs is not required to identify verse LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination I'm a Conservative," Cameron said, a person as male or female. ordinances in many Michigan cities, inexplaining that conservatives believe cluding Lansing, Grand Rapids, and in individuals binding together to Kalamazoo. McMillin says he wants losupport one another. Religious leaders responded that they'll cal laws to mirror the state's civil rights laws. "If local political try to stop Cameron and his coalition government from legalleaders don't want to wait for [the state] to do the right thing izing marriage for gays and lesbians. (PinkPaper.com) by protecting all people ... then cities should have the ability to step up and lead," countered Jon Hoadley, executive direcAustralia's High Court has ruled that two transgender Australian tor of Unity Michigan. (MichiganMessenger.com) men who have not completed sex reassignment surgery have a legal right to be recognized as male. The court said knowledge The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Commitof a person's sexual organs is not required to identify a person as tee has declined to modify a pending education bill with two male or female. (Washington Post) LGBT-related amendments that would have required antibullying programs and banned LGBT discrimination. Senator Al Anna Grodzka will become the world's only openly transsexual Franken (D-MN), the sponsor of one of the amendments, exmember of a national parliament after her party, the Palikot pects to attempt to add the measures when the bill is considMovement, won 10% of the vote in Poland's national elections. ered on the Senate floor. (Metro Weekly, Washington DC) Party leader Robert Biedron, co-founder of the Campaign against Homophobia, also won election to Parliament, becoming Poland's first gay MP. (TheNews.pl) Hundreds of thousands of Brazilian homosexuals marched along the famous Copacabana beach promenade on Sunday, in a cheerful pride parade that also called on authorities to enact legislation to outlaw homophobia. Gay, lesbian, transgender, and cross-dressing marchers joined dozens of trucks blaring electronic music for the colorful parade, which organizers had hoped would draw some 1.5 million people, though police officials told O Globo newspaper less than half as many actually took part. (Agence France-Presse) Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to review a decision blocking the state from eliminating domestic partner benefits for its gay and lesbian employees. State Assistant Attorney General Paula Grube said forcing the state to treat domestic partners the same way it treats heterosexual spouses runs counter to the will of voters who approved a ban on marriage for same-sex couples. (Arizona Daily Star) The Rev. Scott Anderson was ordained at Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Madison, WI, becoming the first openly gay person ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Anderson had previously been a Presbyterian pastor but left the ministry in 1990 after he was outed by congregants. At the time, the church required pastors, deacons and elders "to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness," according to its constitution; Anderson was in a homosexual relationship that violated the church's policy, which was changed this past July. (CNN)
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November 2011 CHALLENGE Page 9
Reflections on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by Mel Dahl
When I was 20, I enlisted in the Navy, intending to make a 30-year career of it. That was in 1980. Two years later I was tossed out on my ear after acknowledging during a routine interview for a security clearance upgrade that I’m gay. Indignant, and determined to right what I considered a gross injustice, I got a law degree and sued the Pentagon over its gay ban. After bouncing around in the courts for ten years, my lawsuit was finally successful; the courts held the Pentagon’s anti-gay ban then in effect was unconstitutional. The Pentagon promptly re-wrote the regulation, which meant that even though I had won, and got four years of back pay (which, in practice, means the Navy paid for law school), the policy of discharging openly-gay soldiers and sailors remained firmly in effect. So it was with no small amount of pleasure that I finally saw don’t ask, don’t tell come to an end. I took immense satisfaction in seeing news footage of openly-gay soldiers and sailors, some of whom had been involuntarily discharged mere weeks or months earlier, re-enlist. It was a day for pure, unadulterated joy. Not long ago I had business on the campus of the local community college on a day in which their gay student group was having a meeting, so I stuck my head in. There were about a dozen of them, probably all under twenty, which means all of them were young enough to be my children. I remember gay student groups from thirty years ago, and what a difference a generation makes. Today’s gay kids know nothing of a world in which just being gay was criminal in some states, and being openly gay made someone unemployable in all but the most menial occupations. They don’t know about a world in which the police used to go to gay bars to harass, beat, and arrest on phony charges anyone inside. They’ve never seen “Are you a homosexual?” on a job application, and known that if they answered truthfully it would mean they wouldn’t be hired. Had I told them about my case, and my struggle to end the military’s gay ban, I’m not sure they would even have understood what things were like then. That’s how much things have changed in 30 years. Which is precisely how I like it. I have a deep and abiding sense of gratitude that today’s gay kids are growing up in a better world, in which being gay no longer prevents them from fully participating in society. While there is still much work to be done in areas such as school bullying, religious intolerance and gay marriage, the massive amount of progress that we have made in just a generation is incredible to me.
Surprising though this may seem to some, at one time many colleges didn’t even allow gay student organizations. The late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote an opinion in the 1970s in which he compared allowing gay student organizations to allowing organizations for students with measles seeking to infect the rest of the campus. Shortly after I left the Navy, I spoke to a gay student group at a state college in rural Illinois; it was organized in secret because the organizers faced expulsion from the school if the very existence of a gay student organization were known. Yes, we had gay student organizations back then. We also quietly had social groups on military bases: potlucks, private parties, and gay religious services, all of them top-secret and hush-hush, and only known about by word of mouth. We had undercover investigators from the military come through periodically to try to bust people; most of them were clumsy enough at pretending to be gay that we could spot them a mile away. Nevertheless, sometimes they succeeded in making a big bust, and a week later a dozen or two dozen newly-expelled gay soldiers and sailors would leave base for the last time. The student group that I visited was not meeting in secret. It was advertised in the school newspaper, on bulletin boards, and on the school’s Web site. (The school, by the way, has a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, something that also would have been unthinkable a generation ago.) The kids I met were happy. They weren’t looking over their shoulder, they didn’t need to worry that their presence would keep them from getting a job, and they weren’t worried about their reputations being ruined if anyone suspected they might be gay. This is the most important concept in this entire article: They. Were. Happy. And yes, they can now join the military if they choose to do so. They don’t even have to lie in order to do so. And as I look back on ten years of courtroom battles against the forces of discrimination, in which it sometimes seemed hopeless and giving up would have been so easy so many times, that, I think, is the greatest reward of all. Today’s gay kids are better off, and can live their lives in peace and freedom, because some of us weren’t content to let things remain as they were. When I was 20, I enlisted in the Navy, intending to make a 30-year career of it. That was in 1980. Don’t ask, don’t tell is dead and buried. Someday the Navy will have its first openly gay admiral, and I intend to be there when he (or she) is sworn in. Who knows, maybe I’ll even live long enough to see an openly gay commander in chief.
Page 10 CHALLENGE November 2011
Dancing To Architecture™ (continued from page 5)
Q Erasure ~ Tomorrow's World
Produced by Frankmusik (Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys, Ellie Goulding), Erasure’s first album in more than four years follows a period which found vocalist Andy Bell recording Non Stop, his second solo album, and instrumentalist Vince Clarke reuniting with former Yazoo partner Alison Moyet for a reunion tour. Megastar dancefloor hitmakers for Gay diva icons like Cher, Madonna and Gaga have long looked to Erasure for inspiration: Erasure have always championed a futurist, electronic sound. Their heads will all turn Erasure's way again (while trying to act as though they're not staring), admiring the emotional depth of Tomorrow’s World contemporary and classic sounds. Top Tracks: "You've Got To Save Me Right Now" is no weak victim's plea: it gains its equilibrium early; The fervent bounce of "Fill Us With Fire" could convert you into a true believer; Andy Bell's full-throated vocal on "A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot" exhales passion and inhales a gale-force of studio effects that would attack and defeat lesser voices; "When I Start To Break It All Down"; "I Lose Myself".
John Wesley Harding ~ The Sound of His Own Voice
Recording in Portland, Oregon, Harding has soaked up that town's culture of pushing personal boundaries to release the best album of his two-decades-plus career: The Sound of His Own Voice (TSOHOV). Harding recruited most of The Decemberists to join him on TSOHOV, along with appearances by REM's Peter Buck, Rosanne Cash, and producer Scott McCaughey. Not so much in the
Recommended If You Like: Nick Lowe, Ron Sexsmith, Melissa Ferrick, Billy Bragg
Q Indigo Girls ~ Beauty Queen Sister
The consistent fine quality of Indigo Girls albums is remarkable by itself. Then you realize this is no musical commodity: You love the way they sing, the tone of their harmonies, the interaction of their personalities and their charming stage presence. I am grateful for the uniqueness that is Indigo Girls, and won't take them for granted. History may feel inevitable but I'm certain this music exists not because it had to but by the grace of the muses and the inspiration of goddesses. Top Tracks: "Able to Sing" reflects on that sense that we can't take any of this for granted; "We Get To Feel It All": on which the Girls' capacity to be comfortable with sincere emotion hits new heights; "War Rugs" ("… in the hallway / prayer rugs on the wall / Who's walking tall? / I should be kneeling"); "Beauty Queen Sister"
Jared Mees & The Grown Children ~ Only Good Thoughts Can Stay
Last July, Allen and I had the good fortune to visit Portland, Oregon. While enjoying a walk downtown, we stumbled onto a neat shop. I soon realized this was no mere gift shop, but the storefront of the local music label that shared its name: Tender Loving Empire, home to a dozen bands. One, The Grown Children — a great bandname at any age! — combine childlike awe and playfulness with serious creativity. (Too often jaded hipsters complain that no good band names remain.
LITTLE BOX OF CONCERTS BLOWOFF NYC MELISSA FERRICK ‘ROUND MIDLIFE
Friday, Nov 4, 11:30 PM Hosts & DJs Bob Mould & Rich Morel Play their signature mix of Indie Rock, Electro and House. HighlineBallroom, NYC BLOWOFF.us
OPENS @7PM A New Musical Cabaret for Ani DiFranco Nov 14 & 15, 7 PM Tuesday, November 15 David Brown, Lydia Gaston & @ Zoellner Arts Center Bethlehem, PA Dave Hall, creators. Wednesday, November 16 ArcLight Theater, NYC @Westhampton Beach NY PAC Benefits: Leviathan Lab Reservations $20 Friday, November 18 212-726-1059 or @MusicHall of Williamsburg brownpapertickets.com Brooklyn, NY /event/206180 Saturday, November 19 @ Town Hall, New York
footsteps of early Elvis Costello's cynicism as Nick Lowe's gentlemanly incisiveness, several of these songs deserve long lives. Playing the recordings is just the start: learning how to sing and play them oneself and sharing them with friends is sure to delight the uninitiated. Top Tracks: "The World In Song" and "I Might Be Dead"; "There's A Starbucks (Where The Starbucks Used To Be)" reduces chain-coffeeshop hipsterism to its ultimate absurdity, a self-mocking song that points out what we value and devalue. But "Sing Your Own Song" is the song for the ages — and for all ages. As the final verse/chorus goes: Now I'm married and I have two kids / And we sing songs all the time / My four-year-old just makes them up / Sometimes with explanatory mime / And no one's told her that it's difficult yet / That isn't in her head / So we sing her song all evening long / And rhyme 'til it's time for bed // You can write your own words / You can sing your own songs / And it doesn't really matter if you're out of tune or if no one sings along / Cause if you do what you like / And you like what you do / Then someone somewhere knows you better and the world may come to you.
Hah!) The engaging, enjoyable video for "Hungry Like A Tiger" is a good place to start. It begins with a beautiful backwards-running tambourine rolling in the grass, and continues sequentially jumping backwards among friends at a backyard party, unraveling a mystery complete with a MacGuffin. Not a small accomplishment in four and a half minutes. A musical mystery in a party atmosphere sums them up quite well.
The Trophy Fire ~ Modern Hearts
This San Francisco trio taught themselves quite a trick for their new album. Lead songwriter/singer Ben Flanagan's lyrics, his delivery, and his entire band's tone expresses frustration without angst. In this so easily, automatically angsty time, that shows remarkable restraint. Their lyrical POV is just as compelling. Top Track: "Modern Hearts" Dancing To Architecture™ contents ©2011 Bill Stella. ©, ® & ™ items included in the column for review purposes are ©, ® & ™ their respective owners.
November 2011 CHALLENGE Page 11
10 Anti-Gay Myths Debunked
By Evelyn Schlatter and Robert Steinback Myth #5: Nazis Were Homosexuals (fifth in a series of ten)
Ever since born-again singer and orange juice pitchwoman Anita Bryant helped kick off the contemporary anti-gay movement more than 30 years ago, hard-line elements of the religious right have been searching for ways to demonize homosexuals — or, at a minimum, to find arguments that will prevent their normalization in society. For the former Florida beauty queen and her Save Our Children group, it was the alleged plans of gays and lesbians to “recruit” in schools that provided the fodder for their crusade. But in addition to hawking that myth, the legions of anti-gay activists who followed have added a panoply of others, ranging from the extremely doubtful claim that homosexuality is a choice, to unalloyed lies like the claims that gays molest children far more than heterosexuals or that hate crime laws will lead to the legalization of bestiality and necrophilia. These fairy tales are important to the anti-gay right because they form the basis of its claim that homosexuality is a social evil that must be suppressed — an opinion rejected by virtually all relevant medical and scientific authorities. They also almost certainly contribute to hate crime violence directed at homosexuals, who are more targeted for such attacks than any other minority in America. What follows [is one of] 10 key myths propagated by the anti-gay movement, along with the truth behind the propaganda.
MYTH #5: Homosexuals controlled the Nazi Party and helped to orchestrate the Holocaust. THE ARGUMENT: This claim comes directly from a 1995 book titled The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, by Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. Lively is the virulently anti-gay founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and Abrams is an organizer of a group called the International Committee for Holocaust Truth, which came together in 1994 and included Lively as a member. The primary argument Lively and Abrams make is that gay people were not victimized by the Holocaust. Rather, Hitler deliberately sought gay men for his inner circle because their “unusual brutality” would help him run the party and mastermind the Holocaust. In fact, “the Nazi party was entirely controlled by militaristic male homosexuals throughout its short history,” the book claims. “While we cannot say that homosexuals caused the Holocaust, we must not ignore their central role in Nazism,” Lively and Abrams add. “To the myth of the ‘pink triangle’ — the notion that all homosexuals in Nazi Germany were persecuted — we must respond with the reality of the ‘pink swastika.’” These claims have been picked up by a number of anti-gay groups and individuals, including Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, as proof that homosexuals are violent and sick. The book has also attracted an audience among anti-gay church leaders in Eastern Europe and among Russian-speaking anti-gay activists in America. THE FACTS: The Pink Swastika has been roundly discredited by legitimate historians and other scholars. Christine Mueller, professor of history at Reed College, did a line-by-line refutation of an earlier (1994) Abrams article on the topic and of the broader claim that the Nazi Party was “entirely controlled” by gay men. Historian Jon David Wynecken at
Grove City College also refuted the book, pointing out that Lively and Abrams did no primary research of their own, instead using out-of-context citations of some legitimate sources while ignoring information from those same sources that ran counter to their thesis. The myth that the Nazis condoned homosexuality sprang up in the 1930s, started by socialist opponents of the Nazis as a slander against Nazi leaders. Credible historians believe that only one of the half-dozen leaders in Hitler’s inner circle, Ernst Röhm, was gay. (Röhm was murdered on Hitler’s orders in 1934.) The Nazis considered homosexuality one aspect of the “degeneracy” they were trying to eradicate. When the National Socialist Party came to power in 1933, it quickly strengthened Germany’s existing penalties against homosexuality. Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s security chief, announced that homosexuality was to be “eliminated” in Germany, along with miscegenation among the races. Historians estimate that between 50,000 and 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality (or suspicion of it) under the Nazi regime. These men were routinely sent to concentration camps and many thousands died there. In 1942, the Nazis instituted the death penalty for homosexuals. Offenders in the German military were routinely shot. Himmler put it like this: “We must exterminate these people root and branch. … We can’t permit such danger to the country; the homosexual must be completely eliminated.” (Reprinted, with permission, from Intelligence Report, Winter 2010, produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center. www.splcenter.org)
Petar/Uncle Charlie's Host by Tony Puma
On east forty-fifth on second floor is/ Petar, man-boy gift a Fleur-de-lis.
From portal-to-patio glides on Mercurial wings/ You await the god-boy and his swivel-hip swings.
His eyes draw you in like horizontal gravity/ Once met, puts you in a spin you look, and curse the brevity.
A sprite that waits ‘I Serve’, like Wales/ A princely gait tornado gale.
Floats on ocean-of-air a Bulgar bliss/ With a unique flair you don’t want to miss.
A tight body spun angelic face too/ You bite your mute tongue for lack of words to woo.
Hello and a bright smile in the darkened night/ You stay awhile by that warm light. ©T.Puma/MMIX
Page 12 CHALLENGE November 2011
GAY ACTIVIST ALLIANCE IN MORRIS COUNTY
Officers President (President @ GAAMC.org) — Mickey Suiter VP Community Services (Info @ GAAMC.org) — Open VP Operations — Open Secretary (Secretary @ GAAMC.org) — Gordon Sauer Treasurer (Treasurer @ GAAMC.org) — Andy Skurna
GAAMC, the Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County, has served New Jersey’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and intersexed community since 1972. GAAMC is a not-forprofit volunteer-run organization that provides social, educational, and outreach programs. GAAMC also offers opportunities for individuals to become politically active on issues related to the GLBTI community. Our intent is to maintain a positive, healthy, respectful, and supportive environment in a safe space.
Trustees Kerry Dinkin, Claire Pompei, Mitch Rubin, Ed Schell, Bill Realman Stella, Alexa Vasios Trustees Emeriti Sue Harris, Sherri Rase, Robin Schneider, Mark Wydner Committee Chairs Activism — Gordon Sauer (Activism @ GAAMC.org) Archives — Mickey Suiter (Archives @ GAAMC.org) Discussion Group Resources — Gordon Sauer (Discussions @ GAAMC.org) Fundraising — Andy Skurna (Fundraising @ GAAMC.org) Information — Mitch Rubin (FreeLibrary @ GAAMC.org) Member Services/Front Desk — Allen Neuner Membership — Andy Skurna (Memberships @ GAAMC.org) Pride Guide — Andy Skurna (PrideGuide @ GAAMC.org) Programs — Sherri Rase (Programs @ GAAMC.org) Public Relations — Sherri Rase (Info @ GAAMC.org) Socials — Charlie Murphy (Socials @ GAAMC.org) Speakers Bureau — Chris Selitto (SpeakersBureau @ GAAMC.org) Volunteerism — Sherri Rase (Volunteer @ GAAMC.org) Webmaster (inc. Facebook, Issuu, Yahoo!) — Andy Skurna (Webmaster @ GAAMC.org)
Meetings are held every Monday evening at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ (near the Morris Museum). Discussion groups usually meet from 7:00 to 8:00. The evening's program usually starts shortly after 8:00. Refreshments are available. For program information, call our information line or check our homepage (see below). Members and nonmembers are always welcome. Annual membership dues are: Regular, $40/single, $70/ couple; Students/Seniors, $30/single, $60/couple. Those looking to help out at GAAMC can contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Sherri Rase, at Volunteer @ GAAMC.org. How to reach GAAMC Mail: PO Box 137, Convent Station, NJ 07961 Telephone: 973-285-1595 E-Mail: info @ gaamc.org Home page: http://www.gaamc.org Mail List: http://groups.yahoo.com/subscribe/gaamc Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gaamc Challenge online edition: issuu.com/gaamc
PREVIEWS OF COMING ATTRACTIONS! November 14th
See "GAAMC Events", page 2, for more details!