Page 1

GETTING SAVED

Gay “Exorcisms”

OBAMA’S HEALTH REFORM

Top 10 LGBT Benefits

PINK TRIANGLE

+

The Last Survivor

SAN DIEGO PRIDE

Rally, Parade, Festival ISSUE 018 JULY 2012 THEFIGHTMAG.COM

GOLD STANDARD

ARI GOLD

ON HOMOPHOBIA IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY


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COVER STORIES AND FEATURES

18 SAVED! 22 GOLD STANDARD 26 OBAMA’S HEALTH REFORM 29 THANK YOU WILL 30 LEGALLY YOURS 34 THE LAST SURVIVOR 36 TRUTH WINS OUT 39 LIVING WITH BREAST CANCER

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY EDWARD PABON

GETTING SAVED

Ex-Chaplain Performs Gay “Exorcisms”

Gay “Exorcisms”

OBAMA’S HEALTH REFORM

Interview With Recording Artist Ari Gold

Top 10 LGBT Benefits

PINK TRIANGLE

Top 10 LGBT Benefits

+

The Last Survivor

SAN DIEGO PRIDE

The Power of Television

Rally, Parade, Festival

Time For Clarity

The Life of Gad Beck

Getting to Know You

ISSUE 018 JULY 2012 THEFIGHTMAG.COM

GOLD STANDARD

ARI GOLD ON HOMOPHOBIA IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

LA Gay Center’s New Support Group

1822293436

THE COLUMNS

14 THE STATE San Diego Pride 16 THE CITY Hancock Park Hate Crime 20 THE ROSTOW REPORT DOMA’s Going Down 24 THE MIND Dr. Philip Pierce 28 THE BODY Face To Face 32 THE FAMILY Center for Surrogate Parenting 38 THE EPIDEMIC At Home Rapid HIV Test 40 THE CALENDAR Outfest Film Festival 41 THE RAINBOW WARRIOR Dave Davenport 42 THE FINAL FIGHT The “G” Word THEFIGHT

8

FOR DISPLAY ADVERTISING PLEASE CALL 323-297-4001

Editor-in-Chief STANFORD ALTAMIRANO Managing Editor MARK ARIEL Creative Direction POPTHEPIXEL.COM Marketing Consultants LISA RADAMAKER JOHN MICHAEL GAMBAN SCOTT VOGEL Webmaster JAMES MICHAEL GOMEZ Contributing Writers ANN ROSTOW PHILIP PIERCE, PH.D. THOMAS MONDRAGON, LMFT ZINNIA JONES MARCUS KNIGHT


THE FIGHT is proud to have been a partner in creating vital support groups for our community. We will continue to promote community based health issues in the future.

A

few months ago we ran a feature about Dennis Bogorad and his decisionto create a support group for men dealing with prostate cancer (“Group Support,” THE FIGHT, Issue 011). Dennis, and his life partner, Ron Winokur, were both diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2003. Dennis is now cancer free after surgery. Sadly, his partner Ron succumbed to the disease in 2006. “While dealing with both of our cancers I could not find a support group for gay men in Los Angeles,” said Dennis. “In fact when I thought I had found a gay friendly group I was told if I came to the group and identified myself as gay I would be ‘beaten up.’”

bisexual and transgender women who are facing issues related to breast cancer, whether they are newly diagnosed, longtime survivors or anywhere inbetween (“Living With Breast Cancer,” this issue, page 39). Two breast cancer survivors facilitate the free Living with Breast Cancer group, which meets Wednesday evenings in Hollywood. “The Center’s Living with Breast Cancer support group was established following the creation of a successful Prostate Cancer Support Group for men,” said Communications Director Stevie St. John. THE FIGHT is proud to have been a partner in creating these vital support groups for our community. We will continue to promote community based health issues in the future.

Dennis decided to establish a prostate cancer support group, exclusively for gay men, at The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.

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PUBLISHER Third Step, Inc. DISTRIBUTION Pride in Media The Fight Magazine is published monthly by Third Step, Inc. 611 South Catalina Street, Suite 307 Los Angeles, CA 90005 Telephone 323-297-4001 Fax 213-281-9648 Email info@thefightmag.com

THE FIGHT MAGAZINE LEGAL CAVEATS By listing in The Fight Magazine, advertisers acknowledge that they do business in the spirit of cooperation, fairness and service, maintaining a high level of integrity and responsibility. Providers of products or services are fully and soley responsible for providing same as advertised. The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for improper or negligent business practices by advertisers. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisements in The Fight Magazine Publisher assumes no liability for safe-keeping or return of unsolicited art, manuscripts or other materials. The Fight Magazine reserves the right to edit all material for clarity, length and content. All contents ©2011 Third Step, Inc., all rights reserved. Content may be reproduced with permission.

After the article appeared in THE FIGHT Dennis quickly filled the group, and they now meet twice a week at the Center. (Attendance is free. RSVP to Dennis@ malecare.org, or call 323-860-7340.) Encouraged by the group’s success, The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has launched a support group specifically for lesbians,

If you would like to offer The Fight at your location, please call 323-297-4001

STANFORD ALTAMIRANO Editor-In-Chief

The Fight Magazine assumes no liability for any claims or representations contained anywhere in this magazine, and reserves the right to cancel or refuse advertising at publisher’s discretion. www.thefightmag.com


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BIG FAN Dear Editor, Hello there! I picked up a copy of THE FIGHT at Pride in WeHo last TRUE LOxtVE p The Ne Ste tion era In Gay Lib week. This was the N ITIO BAD TRTheADPas t second time I saw Using Future To Veto The your magazine (I don’t PROUD RY RECOVE get out much) - and I Overcoming n The Demo Of Addiction just wanted to write UNDER FO R D and say that it is IN R G KHAI JOEL FSEIM AY really nice to see a W A T E ZERO gay magazine that I + GUIDE wouldn’t feel uncomPRDEIDE LA AL TIV PA RA , FES RSHALL GRAND MA fortable having my kids look at. My partner and I have 2 adopted children, ages, 11 and 15. We find that other gay magazines are overly sexualized and not suitable for kids. Regarding your current issue: while I enjoyed reading the candid interview with Grindr founder Joel Simkhai (“Zero Feet Away,” THE FIGHT, Issue 017) I have to say I’m a big fan of Ann Rostow’s “Rostow Report.” Ann makes reading gay news fun, I love her sense of humor. She is an asset to your publication. I’m also writing to ask what would be the cost to get THE FIGHT in the mail? Thanks in advance. J. Redding, via the internet

JUNE 2012 ISSUE 017 AG.CO M THEF IGHTM

Ed. Note: We offer THE FIGHT for free to California residents. Email us your address and we will put you on our mailing list!

GIVING BACK Dear Editor, Good for Joel Simkhai (“Zero Feet Away,” THE FIGHT, Issue 017) for creating “Grindr For Equality.” It’s inspiring to see someone who profits from the community giving back in a political and social way. I wish more LGBT business folk were like that. Gerry Wright, Pasadena

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Dear Editor, As a person who has been in recovery - sober now for 7 years - I appreciate the recent series of articles you have run in your magazine by Jeremy Manning (“Pride and Recovery,” THE FIGHT, Issue 017). Jeremy seems to have found his path, and it is humbling to read his accounts of past, present and future. His line: “I am not ashamed of where I’ve come from or what I’ve done because I’m proud of who I’ve become,” are words to live by... You guys have a unique and uplifting publication, truly a breath of fresh air. I wish you all the very best. Name Withheld, via the internet Send a letter to the editor by e-mailing: editor@thefightmag.com or faxing: (213) 281-9648. Letters may be shortened for space requirements.

THEFIGHT

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elly Rowland, and Natasha Bedingfield will be the headliners for San Diego Pride, taking place on July 20 - 22, 2012.

The weekend kicks off with a San Diego Gay Pride Rally on Friday, July 20, at 6pm, in Hillcrest at the junction of Normal Street and the newly christened Harvey Milk Street. Speaking at the rally are several prominent speakers, and there’s also a presentation of the Spirit of Stonewall awards. On Saturday, July 21, at 11am, the San Diego Gay Pride Parade has more than 200 floats and contingents. The parade runs along University Avenue, from Normal Street and 6th Avenue. The San Diego Gay Pride Festival runs throughout both Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. For more info visit www.sdpride.org.

CA BILL TO ALLOW CHILDREN MORE THAN TWO PARENTS A bill under consideration by California lawmakers would allow children to have more than two parents. The bill, SB 1476, introduced by Sen. Mark Leno (D) from San Francisco, amends California’s current two-parent-per-child law to allow for several of them to protect the best interests of the child, reports msnbc.com. Leno said inspiration for the bill came from a 2011 state appellate court case in which a young girl had two mothers. When one of the mothers was sent to prison and the other was hospitalized, the girl’s biological father wished to care for her. The court, however, ruled the biological father could not be a legal guardian because of California’s current law allowing only two parents per child. The state took custody of the child.

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THEFIGHT

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California State Assembly Speaker John Pérez delivered the keynote address to graduates at UCLA’s 15th Annual Lavender Graduation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and ally students last month. “In the weeks and months and years ahead we need you to help fight unjust propositions and to ensure that hateful, shameful laws like North Carolina’s Amendment One meet the same fate as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” Pérez, California’s first openly gay Speaker of the State Assembly, told the students graduating from UCLA.


The Fight 11


PREPARING FOR

LA PRIDE 2013 LA PRIDE for 2012 shattered attendance records with well over 400,000 in West Hollywood for the parade and more than 45,000 event tickets issued, reports Christopher Street West.

“We are thrilled that this year LA PRIDE exceeded our wildest imaginations in terms of enthusiasm, new features, corporate sponsorships and attendees,” said Rodney Scott, Board President of Christopher Street West. In addition to being one of the most sought after Pride destinations in the world, LA PRIDE is a powerful economic engine for host city West Hollywood. According to the West Hollywood Marketing and Visitors Bureau, hotel occupancy for LA PRIDE weekend was well over 90%. Preparations are already underway for LA PRIDE 2013, taking place in host city West Hollywood, June 7-9. Stay connected to LA PRIDE on Facebook, Twitter and at LAPRIDE.org.

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The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center applauded the resolution passed last month by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education that promotes district-wide policies, practices and curriculum that honor and respect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students and their families and support learning about the LGBTQ community. The resolution, which also recognized June as “Pride Month,” was passed unanimously by the board. L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean said in a statement: “We commend the leadership of the LAUSD School Board in publicly supporting LGBTQ students and families throughout the district. This resolution not only affirms and celebrates the diversity of LAUSD, it shows the importance of the collaborative work the Center is doing.”


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ormer Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt, who founded the lobbying group “The Pray In Jesus Name Project,” said that he possesses the power to “exorcise” the gay right out of people, including one of the nation’s leading LGBT advocates, reports The Raw Story at www.rawstory.com. Klingenschmitt, whose prior comments on LGBT people have raised more than just a few eyebrows, made his latest remark on an episode of The David Pakman Show (www.davidpakman.com) this month. The last time Klingenschmitt appeared with Pakman, he ended up claiming that LGBT people secrete evil spirits that infect animals and turn them gay as well. He didn’t fare much better on his second attempt, reports The Raw Story.

Klingenschmitt: LGBT people secrete evil spirits that infect animals and turn them gay as well

SAVED! FORMER NAVY CHAPLAIN CLAIMS HE CAN EXORCISE THE GAY OUT OF YOU BY

VICTOR MELAMED

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Joining Klingenschmitt on the talk show was Wayne Besen, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out, who immediately challenged Klingenschmitt’s opening claim that he once “healed” a lesbian woman of her sexual orientation. “Those who are LGBT are fine just the way they are,” Besen said. “You cannot pray away the gay. What I think he’s talking about is absurd. People who go through individuals like that come to me afterwards to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. They’re not healed, they’re harmed by such voodoo, so to speak. This isn’t Christianity. This is some kind of cult-like, bizarre notion that has nothing to do with real religion but has something to do with radicalism and extremism.” Klingenschmitt responded by saying that when people confess their sins to him and profess faith in the Christian deity figure, he’s actually been able to “exorcise” the gay out of them. He also cited two specific scientific studies which, as Besen quickly pointed out, have been discredited. “As a former Navy chaplain and as somebody who has performed these gay exorcisms, could you take anybody - could you take Wayne Besen - and perform an exorcism where he would no longer be gay? Is that within your purview?” asked Pakman. “Well, Wayne would have to repent and he would have to consent,” Klingenschmitt said. “It’s an act of his free will to contract with the devil, and it can also be an act of his free will to renounce the devil. That’s a very simple exercise that I lead people in when they want an exorcism. When they come to me for help, I say, ‘Pray with me and repeat these words: Father in heaven, I renounce my sins and demons. I invite holiness and the holy spirit.’ And if Wayne would be willing to do that, then certainly he could find hope and healing.” Klingenschmitt spoke recently about his opposition to the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” saying that it was a sign that the “government has declared war on God.”


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WE ARE PRIDE! Hello there, dear readers. I hope you all had a very merry Pride month! As an assimilationist at heart, I should in theory be looking forward to the day when the Pride Parade is obsolete, a silly remnant of a discriminatory past, no more meaningful than a Renaissance Festival. But I don’t feel that way. I suspect (and hope) there will always be a LGBT community even after our civil rights are long granted. Not the self- important activists and not the libertines. But the off beat, wild and crazy krew that glides easily from the boardroom to the courtroom, from the BONFIRE ON THE BEACH to the CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST AT DAWN. Ageless, race-less and always forgiving of those that trespass against us. We are Pride!

JUSTICES, HERE WE COME! So, I believe that several earth shattering legal opinions have crashed into our lovely LGBT landscape since last we spoke. The upshot is that after insisting that our various gay rights cases would not reach the SUPREME COURT until late 2013 or 2014 at the earliest, I’m now obliged to reverse myself and acknowledge that the High Court will decide a major gay case by next summer. Yes, it’s all about me. I was wrong. Again. Please don’t let that stop you from paying close attention to my future pronouncements and speculation. As you probably already know, we had two ginormous court developments last month and two other pretty big ones. (“Ginormous” is a technical term

THEFIGHT

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for “really big,” used in the U.S. Navy’s forensic crime labs.) First, the 20-something active judges of the U.S. Court for Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided not to revisit the Prop 8 case. This means that instead of sending the lawsuit through another year or so of appellate review, the case will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by an early September deadline. Within days of the Prop 8 non-decision decision, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit struck the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. Woah Nelly! The antigay side is facing the same general deadline to appeal the opinion to the High Court. In theory, the losers could

appeal to a larger First Circuit panel, but since there are only five judges sitting on the First Circuit at the moment, that option is out. It will take four justices to agree to hear one or both these cases. If they decline review, marriage will resume in California and New England’s gay married couples will be recognized by the federal government. If they accept one or both of these cases, they will schedule briefs throughout the fall and winter, hold oral arguments early next year and rule in May or June. Or at least, that’s how they usually do it. I’d give you my predictions, but humility dictates that I hang my head and stand quietly in the corner for a short period of time.


DOMA’S GOING DOWN Those were the big legal developments, but as I mentioned, there were two other pretty major events. In California, a federal judge in Oakland struck the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional on behalf of several gay and lesbian California state employees who are trying to get spousal insurance for long term care. The state insists that the federal government has tied their hands through DOMA, but Judge Claudia Wilken thinks DOMA’s for the birds. Then, over in New York, another federal court trashed the antigay marriage law in the case of a widow who was forced to pay $350,000 in federal estate taxes on her own property after her wife died. Looks like 2012 is not exactly shaping up to be a good month for the Defense of Marriage Act, which was also deemed unfit by a San Francisco-based federal court in February. Any other month these would be huge headlines, but these days we just yawn, flick our hankies over our shoulders to summon the sommelier, and order up simple bottles of NON-VINTAGE KRUG to mark the occasions. There’s no way that DOMA will survive the relentless barrage of judicial disapproval that will only increase as more cases exhaust their runs through the lower courts. Abandoned by the Obama Adminstration and championed only by a squeaky handful of Republican House mice, the little lost law now stumbles towards its final months. Or so I predict.

LOBSTER CRAZY

MARRIAGE IS BUSTIN’ OUT ALL OVER What else? Well, Lambda and the ACLU filed an old-fashioned freedom-to-marry suit in state court in Illinois where it turns out that no one wants to defend the state’s law against same-sex marriage. Not the Governor, not the Attorney General, not the Cook County Clerk who was named in the suit, and not the Cook County State’s Attorney who was theoretically charged with the legal work. None of them want any part of the state ban on gay unions and indeed, all of them agree with the 25 couples who are suing for equality. What will happen? I confess I have no idea. Meanwhile, Denmark legalized marriage in a move that came as a shock to those of us who thought Denmark had already legalized everything you could imagine in your wildest dreams. Apparently, they had something like civil unions and now they have marriage. Yay! It also looks as if France will join the wedding party now that socialists have won a majority in Parliament. A marriage bill has reportedly been drafted and is expected to zip through the legal rigmarole.

So, I’ve been reading good things about our Maine marriage campaign, not that I trust a poll of 500 people conducted in June with a five-point hit or miss margin. That said, marriage equality is winning by 55 to 36, with an undecided group at 9 percent. We are also going great guns in Washington, where 51 percent are planning to vote for marriage rights and 42 percent oppose us. But who know what? November is a long way off and polls have lied to us in the past.

HIT ME! Did you happen to read the long article in the New York Times about the misuse of drugs like Ritalin and Adderall by ambitious high school students? The piece revealed that students are buying pills off the street or from classmates in order to focus on tests and homework. The various medications are usually prescribed for attention deficit disorder and they can sell for five or ten bucks a pop. I read the entire lengthy article with interest and immediately wondered where I could obtain a fistful of Adderall. (I gather you can get it on Craigslist). It sounds fantastic. A little tablet can keep you on

While was reading about Maine I couldn’t help but notice that someone caught a 27-pound lobster off Rockland. They’re going to put him back in the ocean. The lobster was named “Rocky,” and I am wondering just why Rocky was returned to Neptune’s arms. He’s just going to wind up back in the trap like a bad penny. If not, he’ll die alone on the ocean floor and eventually get picked over by littlefish and crabs. Why can’t someone eat him? If I were a lobster, that’s how I’d like to go out. Poached and sprinkled with a little lemon. Hot butter on the side and a cold bottle of Bandol Rose on ice to wash it all

task for many hours at a time, working with interest and efficiency until the job is done. As an experiment, I gave Mel the article without comment. After ten minutes or so, she put it down and remarked: “Let’s get some Adderall.” If Mel and I are any indication, the Times has unleashed a crowd of new customers for extra legal “study aids.” Unfortunately, we have not actually pursued the Adderall idea so I’ve been obliged to write this column without a pharmaceutical crutch. I don’t even have nicotine, since Mel and I have quit smoking. But I do have some Campari on hand, which would not be out of place on a late summer afternoon in the middle of Texas. Excuse me for a minute.

Ann Rostow writes news analysis columns for THE FIGHT and other gay publications across the country. Rostow can be reached at: arostow@aol.com

THEFIGHT

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GOLD STANDARD OUT RECORDING ARTIST ARI GOLD ON GROWING UP IN AN ORTHODOX JEWISH FAMILY, HOMOPHOBIA IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND JUSTIN BEIBER BY

MARK ARIEL

THEFIGHT

22

PHOTOS

EDWARD PABON


P

eople Magazine says his music “takes the listener to fresh places,” music legend Clive Davis says he “writes from the heart,” and Instinct Magazine states he “combines everything we ever loved about Michael and Janet.” Award Winning Billboard Top 10 Recording Artist Ari Gold is that rare artist who with every song, every video and every album unfolds a wholly original story never seen or heard before in quite the same way. After receiving an Independent Music Award, OUT100, Outmusic Awards, and winning the Grand Prize of the USA Songwriting Competition for his last album, Transport Systems, Gold released his long awaited 4th studio album “Between the Spirit & the Flesh” under his new moniker, Sir Ari (His newly crowned “Sir” title was bestowed upon him by the Imperial Court of NY for his charity work on human rights and HIV/AIDS.)

Gold, born and raised in an Orthodox Jewish household in the Bronx, began his show-business career at age of five when he was discovered singing at his brother’s bar mitzvah. A year later he made his national network television debut on the legendary Joe Franklin Show. He went on to sing on over 400 TV jingles including voices for characters on Jem and the Holograms and Cabbage Patch Kids. Gold also sang with Diana Ross on her Swept Away album. He released his self-titled debut album in 2000, receiving critical attention from Billboard, HITS and VIBE for being the first openly gay pop singer who was out in his music from the beginning of his career. In an interview with THE FIGHT Gold talks about his childhood, homophobia in the music industry and “BASHERT,” his “autobiographical homo-theatrical multimedia musical” opening this month at the 45th Street Theatre in New York.

HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT FOR YOU TO COME OUT, GROWING UP IN AN ORTHODOX JEWISH FAMILY?

thankfully despite his fears that he molested me, he wasn’t dangerous. But I always think about the feeling of desperation I felt at the time and what could have happened in the wrong hands. I did have that experience of going to a gay bar later on and feeling like I found myself - especially when the entire video bar stopped to watch Jennifer Holiday’s “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.” I really thought I was the only one who liked that song!

My parents are unorthodox orthodox Jews. I call them showJews. Judaism was supposed to take center stage, but show biz was always the real star. I always knew I was different, even at age 5 or 6, when I was obsessed with the Wizard Of Oz. Then it was Wonder Woman. By the time my obsessions led me to Madonna I probably knew I DO YOU STILL was gay in the sexual sense. CONSIDER YOURSELF There were many instances of very I was completely frightened ORTHODOX? HOW DOES powerful and well-known music of anyone finding out and JUDAISM PLAY A PART thought I’d be kicked out of IN YOUR LIFE TODAY? industry professionals who were out Jewish parochial school and I no longer identify as themselves but advised me to go my parents would disown me... orthodox but I am extremely back in the closet I came out in an 18 page close with my family who college ruled hand-written still is and I am very strongly letter that I read to my entire connected to many orthodox family out loud. rituals and laws - even if I am connected in my rebellion against My whole family cried at the end and my Dad said the only them. Some of it I love. There’s not a day that goes by that Judaism reason he was crying was because of the pain that was caused to does not play a part in my life though. me by my family’s ignorance and homophobia. My Mom had an interesting reaction but you’ll have to come to my show to find HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED HOMOPHOBIA IN THE more about that! I can’t give it all away! I also wrote about my MUSIC INDUSTRY? coming out in a great anthology called “Youth In Crisis.” I encountered homophobia throughout my life in showbusiness yes, but I don’t think I was prepared for the kind of HOW WAS IT COMING OUT TO YOUR FRIENDS? homophobia I found when I decided I was going to be an openly WERE YOU EVER BULLIED IN SCHOOL? gay artist and make music from the perspective of a gay man. What I was bullied in elementary school and high school. I did have was particularly disheartening was the homophobia that came two serious girlfriends in high school, which helped, but didn’t from industry executives who were gay themselves. There were stop it completely. When I finally came out to my friends it was many instances of very powerful and well-known music industry incredible. We all sat and talked all night until the sun came up... professionals who were out themselves but advised me to go back I think it was a revelation for them as much as for me. One of my in the closet, or just not to say anything or just simply wouldn’t ex-girlfriends ended up coming out as a lesbian shortly after. touch th material because of the male pronouns.

WHEN DID YOU START INTERACTING WITH OTHER GAYS? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE GAY COMMUNITY? My first gay sexual experience was when I was 16 with a stranger I met on the street who was 35. It wasn’t a great experience...

HOW DIFFICULT, OR EASY, WAS IT FOR YOU TO FIND YOUR NICHE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT FIELD? Finding my niche was easy. It was breaking out of the niche that’s been more challenging. Once I made the choice to be an openly gay artist, because there really wasn’t Continued on next page.

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anyone at that time making the kind of music I made (pop/R&B/ Dance music) I was able to fill a huge hole...so to speak! But what happened was is that people started to put me in a box and identify me as “that gay singer” and they wanted to limit me that way without really paying attention to my music and all the things I was trying to say. I didn’t have a huge platform like American Idol to get the mainstream fan base so I was relying on my gay fans and I think it kind of backfired on me. Of course I still have incredible gay fans, but I think the community at large needs so much validation at this moment in history that they would rather focus on someone coming from a more mainstream place - as if that makes us as a community more valid and worthy than if it was one of our own.

I have always rebelled against that whole “artist who happens to be gay” thing. I don’t just happen to be gay... There is no “me” without my experience of being gay DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A GAY ARTIST, OR AN ARTIST WHO HAPPENS TO BE GAY? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR OPINION? I have always rebelled against that whole “artist who happens to be gay” thing. I don’t just happen to be gay. Being gay, while it isn’t the onl thing that makes me who I am, does inform all the other things that make me who I am. There is no “me” without my experience of being gay. I’ve often said, putting “gay” before the word “artist” does not make me less of an artist. In fact, considering that art at its best speaks to who we are as a culture, my exploration of my homosexuality makes me even more relevant than your average pop singer because it is a defining struggle of our times. So take that Justin Beiber! I’m just kidding, I love Justin.

YOU SAID IN A RECENT INTERVIEW THAT YOUR MUSIC IS SOUL MUSIC. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THAT MEANS TO YOU? I think all great music, whether its rock, R&B, dance, country whatever has to have soul and that’s something that is intangible - but you know it when you hear it. It’s about having something underneath the surface. A humanity. Pain. Experience. Love.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I am debuting my autobiographical homotheatrical multi-media musical BASHERT as part of the New York Musical Theater Festival. It explores a lot of themes we’ve touched upon in this interview but it goes into great detail about the things in my life that happened to me that led me to what I believe in. Its very funny and I hope at times touching. In many ways its a tribute to my parents and my grandparents because even though they made a lot of mistakes, its incredible what they tried to give their children with the kind of opportunities or lack thereof that they were working with.

IS THERE ANYTHING I HAVEN’T ASKED THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? I think we have covered the basics! I hope people check out my latest album “Between the Spirit & the Flesh” and the three videos that came out of that: “Make My Body Rock,” “Sparkle” featuring Sarah Dash from Labelle and “My Favorite Religion.” You can follow me on twitter at twitter/sirarigold, facebook.com/SirAriGold & www.SirAriGold.com

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6 TO 8 PERCENT OF AMERICANS - OR 18 MILLION TO 24 MILLION PEOPLE - ARE SEX ADDICTS

BY PHILIP PIERCE, PH.D.

SEXUAL

ADDICTION

I

t’s 2am and Bill has to be at work early the next morning. But there he is on the internet again watching porn, cruising and chatting on sex hookup sites. He knows he should be getting to sleep, yet the draw of the hyperarousal state provided by the stream of images and interaction is so intense that he can’t pull himself away. If this sounds like a familiar situation for you or one of your friends, you’re not alone. The National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity estimates that 6 to 8 percent of Americans -- or 18 million to 24 million people - are sex addicts. In addition, 70 percent of sex addicts report having a problem with online sexual behavior. Unlike alcohol or drug treatment, the goal of therapy is not abstinence for life but rather an ending of unhealthy compulsive behavior. One of the first steps to recovery is a 30 day period of self-imposed abstinence. This is particularly useful in helping you understand the circumstances and emotional cues that trigger sexually addictive behavior. Another important step is to begin the process of exploring the guilt, shame, anxiety and depression that often form the basis for addictive behaviors. This can be accomplished by working with an experienced, gay-affirmative therapist and regular meetings with a Twelve Step program group such as Sexual Compulsives Anonymous. Reading independently on your own can also be very helpful. I particularly recommend Cruise Control by Robert Weiss and Don’t Call It Love (Recovery from Sexual Addiction) by Patrick Carnes. Increasing social contacts as well as regular exercise are also valuable tools for recovery. It’s vital that the time and energy formerly spent on compulsive sexual fantasies and anonymous sex be replaced by other compelling activities. Ultimately, real-life sex with a cared-for partner, time with friends as well as hobbies or healthy dating exploration can offer greater long-term satisfaction than that provided by on-line cruising and “the hunt.” Dr. Philip Pierce is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills and a Lecturer at UCLA. He can be reached at (310) 248-2335 or drphilippierce@gmail.com. For more information, go to: www.DrPhilipPierce.com


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TOP 10 HEALTH REFORM BENEFITS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IS “THE STRONGEST FOUNDATION” FOR CLOSING LGBT DISPARITIES BY

PATRICK TSAKUDA

T

he Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. In a recent speech at the first-ever White House LGBT Health Conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted, “The Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities.” The Affordable Care Act is the most significant reform of the U.S. health system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s. The law’s impact will be especially profound for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, who are poorly served by many parts of our current system, reports The Center For American

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Progress at www.americanprogress.org In a recent speech at the first-ever White House LGBT Health Conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted, “When this Administration took office, the health care system wasn’t working for a lot of Americans. But it was especially broken for LGBT Americans. ... that wasn’t right. All Americans, regardless of where they live or their age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, have a basic right to get the care they need.” Here are the top 10 ways the Affordable Care Act benefits gay and transgender Americans.


1 DATA COLLECTION TO BETTER UNDERSTAND LGBT HEALTH DISPARITIES

employer, can use a built-in filter to find plans offering coverage for domestic partners.

According to Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act, the secretary of health and human services may collect any demographic data that she or he believes to be important for understanding and addressing health disparities.

7 A DIVERSE AND CULTURALLY COMPETENT HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE

2 PATIENT’S BILL OF RIGHTS TO END INSURANCE COMPANY ABUSES The new patient’s Bill of Rights in the Affordable Care Act outlaws many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses. For instance, it ended lifetime limits on coverage in 2010 and will phase out annual limits on coverage by 2014, both of which are particularly important for people with conditions such as HIV or cancer. As of 2014 it also prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition such as HIV or a transgender medical history and from arbitrarily canceling a sick person’s coverage.

3 EXPANSION OF PUBLIC INSURANCE COVERAGE The Affordable Care Act sets a new national threshold for Medicaid eligibility. Starting in 2014 every adult under age 65 who makes less than $15,000 per year will be eligible for Medicaid coverage regardless of which state he or she lives in. This group of newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries will include many gay and transgender people and their families, since widespread discrimination in the workplace and in relationship recognition means that gay and transgender people are disproportionately likely to make less than $15,000 per year and to be uninsured. The new national eligibility threshold also eliminates the disability requirement for Medicaid coverage for people living with HIV.

4 EXPANSION OF PRIVATE INSURANCE COVERAGE The law also requires every state to put in place a health insurance exchange starting in 2014. The exchanges will offer subsidies that make it possible for small employers and individuals who make between $15,000 and $43,000 per year to purchase affordable private coverage. Exchanges may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in any of their activities, and all exchange plans must offer comprehensive benefits across 10 essential health benefit categories, including prescription drugs, hospital stays, and mental and behavioral health services.

5 COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE CARE Under the Affordable Care Act all Medicare beneficiaries receive free annual checkups, and insurance companies may not charge copays or other fees for preventive services that are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Of particular importance for gay and transgender people, these services include HIV and other sexually transmitted infection testing, depression screening, vaccinations, tobacco-use screening, and cholesterol and high blood pressure screening.

6 EASY-TO-FIND INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTH CARE REFORM AND YOU The website www.healthcare.gov is the one-stop shop the Department of Health and Human Services maintains for all things related to health care reform. The site offers a wide range of information about the law, including a Health Plan Finder tool that allows consumers shopping for coverage to compare plan details such as cost-sharing and benefit design in order to choose the option that best meets their needs. Same-sex couples, many of whom do not have access to health insurance through their own or their partner’s

The Affordable Care Act prioritizes building a culturally competent and diverse health care workforce with a particular focus on primary care providers. The law triples the size of the National Health Service Corps, which places newly trained health care providers in underserved areas around the country, and the Department of Health and Human Services is offering LGBT cultural-competence training to corps members.

8 SERVICES FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV OR AIDS A major aspect of the Affordable Care Act is making prescription drugs more affordable, which will help people living with HIV or AIDS afford the medications they need. The law phases out the Medicare Part D “donut hole” by 2020 and requires pharmaceutical companies to provide a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole. It also allows ADAP, or the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, contributions to count toward Medicare Part D’s True Out of Pocket Spending Limit, which will help people with HIV move out of the donut hole more quickly. To connect people living with HIV to health coverage and services, the law prohibits insurers from using pre-existing condition exclusions and charging higher premiums based on health status starting in 2014, removes the requirement that people with HIV have to wait for an AIDS diagnosis before they can qualify for Medicaid coverage, and promotes patientcentered medical homes in which providers work together as a team to coordinate high-quality and timely care for people with chronic conditions.

9 NONDISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act extends federal nondiscrimination protections to the health care system for the first time. These protections include the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, which protect individuals living with HIV or AIDS, and Title IX of the education amendments of 1972, which offer protections on the basis of sex. A national trend in case law interprets Title IX to include gender identity and sex stereotyping, though not sexual orientation. The Equal Opportunity Employment policies at several federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, also include gender identity under sex protections.

10 COMMUNITY-BASED PREVENTION PROGRAMS According to the National Prevention Strategy, which was created under the Affordable Care Act, “all Americans should have the opportunity to live long, healthy, independent, and productive lives, regardless of their ... sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics.”

The new patient’s Bill of Rights prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition such as HIV or a transgender medical history and from arbitrarily canceling a sick person’s coverage. THEFIGHT

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After that reassuring conversation, I was introduced to my practitioner, Wendy Jones, who led me into a serene treatment room.

Using both positive and negative ionization processes to encourage cell growth and increase circulation, Iderm removes toxins, eliminates excess water, and smoothes and tightens skin It’s easy to like Wendy, she’s down-to-earth without being brash, she has a fun sense of humor and creates an instant rapport. The treatment, explains Wendy, is called the Iderm Dermaculture Facial.

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AT FACE TO FACE

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W

BY MARK ARIEL

ith some trepidation I entered Face To Face in Studio City for my first facial. Recommended by a friend as a relaxing and friendly place for a first-timer like myself, I was greeted by the spa coordinator Dustin Kenny. Kenny is a sweet, personable guy who patiently answered all my silly questions (no, it doesn’t hurt, and no, there is no downtime, and yes, you will feel rejuvenated as the procedure will improve the overall health of your skin).

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Iderm’s method of extraction delivers healthy vitamins and minerals into the skin, utilizing a low intensity galvanic current. This process allows active, water-soluble ingredients in skin care products to deeply penetrate the skin, providing quicker and better results. Using both positive and negative ionization processes to encourage cell growth and increase circulation, Iderm removes toxins, eliminates excess water, and smoothes and tightens skin. The procedure is not painful; in fact it was so relaxing I almost fell asleep during the treatment. My skin definitely felt cleaner and looked better at the end of the treatment. I would definitely recommend Face To Face for first timers like myself or others who are looking to find a new skincare venue. Face To Face is located at 11331 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 2a, in Studio City. To learn about their other services and products, visit their website at: www.facetofacela.com or call: 818.505.0107.


THANK YOU WILL

THANK YOU GRACE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS ON TELEVISION MAY HAVE IMPROVED THE LOT OF AMERICAN MINORITIES AS MUCH AS DIRECT POLITICAL ACTION HAS BY

PATRICK TSAKUDA

R

esearch shows that regular contact with LGBT friends or family members is a better predictor of gay-friendly attitudes than gender, level of education, age, and even political or religious affiliation - “and the same seems to be true for the illusory relationships we form with fiction characters,” writes Jonathan Gottschall, the author of “The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human,” in Psychology Today. Gottschall says viewers relate to TV characters (like Modern Family’s gay couple, Cam and Mitchell) as though they are our real-life friends, reports The Advocate at www. advocate.com. “When we are absorbed in fiction, we form judgments about the characters exactly as we do with real people, and extend those judgments to the generalizations we make about groups. When straight viewers watch likeable gay characters on shows like Will and Grace, Modern Family, Glee, and Six Feet Under they come to root for them, to empathize with them - and this seems to shape their attitudes toward homosexuality in the real-world,” says Gottschall. The case is the same for race as well (meaning white fans of Everybody Hates Chris and The Cosby Show are actually more tolerant of people of color), leading the author to argue that fictional characters “may have improved the lot of American minorities as much as direct political action has.” In related news - professor Edward Schiappa and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota have also found that the presence of gay characters on television programs decreases prejudices among viewers, reports npr.org. “With the emergence of the extraordinary Will and Grace show, more and more Americans, from the safety of their armchair, could learn a bit about gay people who they might not otherwise have learned from in real life,” Schiappa says. While there were gay characters on television before Will and Grace, the show, says Schiappa, was unique due to the fact that it dispelled typical TV stereotypes. “I think that was a turning point simply because of two factors: One is it was enormously popular, ... and the fact that there were two major gay male characters who were very different, which enabled the show to do what I call important ‘category work’” Schiappa says. “What I mean by that is there were some critics who said, ‘Well, Will isn’t gay enough, and Jack’s too gay.’ Well, actually that’s great, because you learn that there’s diversity within that category that you had in your head before of gay men,” he says.

When straight viewers watch likeable gay characters they come to root for them, to empathize with them THEFIGHT

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LEGALLY YOURS OBAMA ASKS JUSTICES TO AFFIRM LGBT RIGHTS. THE TIME FOR CLARITY HAS ARRIVED BY

ANN ROSTOW

I

’m sure you feel as if there’s a new marriage or DOMA headline knocking weekly at the overloaded “gay legal news” closet in your brain. Perhaps you have even begun tossing out the latest exciting update. Maybe you have created more compartments...a smaller area for “DOMA cases” alone, or “cases that have reached the federal appellate courts,” or “Prop 8 style cases.” Or maybe you’ve simply closed your mental door and hung up a little sign that reads: “Wake me when Supreme Court rules something.” However you’ve handled it, I have a suggestion for this month. Toss out the whole backlog of DOMA/marriage news in your storage area. I know, I know. There are the Massachusetts cases, the Golinski case, Edith Windsor in New York, Pedersen and company in Connecticut, that business in Oakland about long term insurance coverage, and of course Prop 8 and its little brother in Nevada or maybe Nebraska. Go ahead and throw it all out. The challenges to DOMA from binational couples and gay military families. The disabled lesbian wife who is suing the U.S. in a special veterans’ court. Forget about em.

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HUMAN QUALITY Why? Because our allies in the Obama administration have just asked the Supreme Court to deal with the legal status of the Defense of Marriage Act once and for all. And they’ve also asked the justices to take a long overdue stand on the question of whether sexual orientation discrimination should be subjected to close legal scrutiny, as is the case with race or gender bias. In twin petitions filed at the beginning of the month, the Justice Department asked the Court to review two out of the four highest profile challenges to DOMA. One of these petitions wa expected, and indeed our enemies on the other side have also just asked the High Court to review what we might call the “main” challenge to DOMA. Those are the linked cases out of Massachusetts that were just decided in our favor by a First Circuit panel a few weeks back. But the government also asked the Court to step in and take the Golinski DOMA case out of the hands of the Ninth Circuit, even before that court has a chance to hear arguments. It seems unorthodox, but it makes sense. In addition to making the argument for equal treatment of gay marriages, the Golinski case highlights the threshold gay rights question that the Massachusetts courts have glossed over: That, of course, is the question of whether being gay is an intrinsic human quality, like race. Or whether we are simply making a “lifestyle choice” like a vegan or an alcoholic.

“MORALITY” LAWS In asking the Supremes to hear both the Massachusetts cases, and the Golinski case, the administration is cutting to the chase-not simply on DOMA, but on the core legal status of gays and lesbians. For the last decade, courts have routinely been faced with the question of whether gay bias is a legitimate basis for lawmaking. Think about it.

The Supreme Court has been asked by the Justice Department to deal with the legal status of the Defense of Marriage Act once and for all We pass “morality” laws all the time. Laws against running naked in the street or having sex with pigs. What’s wrong with a law that might disadvantage gay men or lesbians? After all, up until quite recently it was legally permissible to criminalize gay sex. There’s nothing more “discriminatory” than a sodomy ban, so why should courts give a second thought to any other form of gay bias? But “quite recently” is slowly fading into history. It’s been nearly 10 years since the High Court declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence v Texas. But as important as it was, that decision left a number of questions unanswered--- or atleast hazy enough for conservative courts to drive truckloads of antigay jurisprudence through its misty rhetoric. Now, most gay advocates agree, the time for clarity has arrived. As Obama’s lawyers noted in their petitions to the Court, it’s no longer satisfactory for federal courts to duck the question of whether sexual orientation should be protected merely by pointing out that every other federal appellate court has also ducked the same question. If high-level courts are going to make a distinction between the categories of race, gender and religion on one hand, and sexual orientation on the other, then let them do it with legal logic, not with circular observations about their sister courts. In truth, it can’t be done. A “suspect” or “protected class” is essentially one that is disfavored or looked down upon due to a characteristic that has no bearing on an individual’s ability to contribute to society. That’s about it. And that’s us.

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“Most men who fell in love with another man thought they would never have a family. Through surrogacy, they could not only love each other, but raise a child together,” explains Synesiou.

CSP’S KAREN SYNESIOU: “PROVIDING GAY MEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE CHILDREN UNITES FAMILIES

Good parenting is influenced most profoundly by ones ability to create a loving and nurturing home - an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight

BECOMING PARENTS

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he Center for Surrogate Parenting, Inc. (CSP) is a surrogacy agency dedicated to helping couples achieve their dream of become parents, regardless of sexual orientation. “Every couple is special and we make no distinction between heterosexual couples and gay couples. We focus on the desire and the intent of a couple to create their own family,” says Karen Synesiou, chief operating officer of The Center for Surrogate Parenting in Encino. CSP helped its first gay couple become parents in 1989. “Providing gay men the opportunity to have children unites families,” states Synesiou.

“The surrogacy process allows your child to be biologically related to either one or (in the case of In Vitro Fertilization) both parents,” explains Synesiou. “It also gives you the opportunity to become involved in the pregnancy itself. Your child is conceived because of your desire, hard work, and dedication to becoming parents: the true genesis of your child is his or her creation in your minds and hearts.” “Good parenting is not a product of sexual orientation or whether a child has one parent, two parents or raised by grandparents or relatives,” states Synesiou. “Good parenting is influenced most profoundly by ones ability to create a loving and nurturing home -- an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight, or whether there is one or two parents in the home. If you intend to provide your child with a loving and nurturing home then we would be proud to help you,” says Synesiou. For more info call 818-788-8288 or visit www.creatingfamilies.com

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LAST GAY JEWISH HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR DIES GAD BECK, A RESISTANCE FIGHTER DURING WORLD WAR II, PASSED AWAY IN BERLIN DAYS BEFORE HIS 89TH BIRTHDAY BY

VICTOR MELAMED

G

the enforcement of the anti-gay law, including deportations to extermination camps.) Beck immigrated to Israel in 1947. After his return to Germany in 1979, he was appointed director of the Jewish Adult Education Center in Berlin. jpost.com. In a telephone interview with Judith Kessler, editor of the Berlin Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely Jewish community’s monthly magazine, Juedisches Berlin, she homophobic, repressive post-World War II German society. told The Jerusalem Post that Beck would organize gay singles Perhaps the single most important experience that shaped his life meeting at the senior citizens’ center. “He was open, sweet and was the wartime effort to rescue would speak with everybody,” she his boyfriend. Beck donned a said. Kessler, who knew Beck since Beck donned a Hitler Youth Hitler Youth uniform and entered 1989, added that he would attend uniform and entered a a deportation center to free his the annual Christopher Street Day Jewish lover Manfred Lewin, who Parade for gay pride in Berlin and deportation center to try and free had declined to separate himself wave an Israeli flag. his Jewish lover Manfred Lewin. from his family. Beck’s father was an Austrian The Nazis later deported the The Nazis would later deport the Jew and his mother converted entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, to Judaism. entire Lewin family to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. The Nazi racial laws defined where they were murdered Speaking about his life as a gay Beck as mischling (half-breed), Jew, Beck invoked a line frequently and he and his father were carted cited about homosexuality: “God off to a holding compound in the doesn’t punish for a life of love.” Rosenstrasse in central Berlin. After the non-Jewish wives of the He was featured in the film The Life of Gad Beck and the prisoners launched a massive street protest in 1943, Beck was documentary Paragraph 175. (The notorious Paragraph 175 of the released. There were “thousands of women who stood for days... German Penal Code outlawed homosexuality before Adolf Hitler my aunts demanded ‘give us our children and men,’” he said. became chancellor in 1933, and the Nazi party radically intensified Beck is survived by his partner of 35 years, Julius Laufer.

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ad Beck, an anti-Nazi resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died last month in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens’ home six days before his 89th birthday, reports The Jerusalem Post at www.


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TRUTH

WINS

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WITH “PRO-FAMILY LEADERS” CITING THE NEED TO EMPHASIZE “WHY HOMOSEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER BEHAVIORS ARE ALWAYS WRONG,” PERSONAL CONNECTIONS AND INTERACTIONS REMAIN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO COMBAT HOMOPHOBIA

BY

ZINNIA JONES

I

n a recent post on his website Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera criticizes so-called “pro-family leaders” for focusing on issues such as gay marriage while neglecting to oppose homosexuality itself. Citing the need to emphasize “WHY homosexual and transgender behaviors are always wrong,” “how homosexual sex is fraught with health risks,” “why homosexuality violates Natural Moral Law, the teachings of Judaism and Christianity,” and “the inordinate drug and porn use among homosexual men, and ‘gayon-gay’ assaults and abuses,” he says: Simply put, we as a movement must conquer whatever timidity, fear and political correctness we have in NOT wanting to debate the morality of homosexuality - because our fanatically-driven LGBT opponents will never relent in their audacious campaign to “sell” homosexuality to the public. Notice that while many conservatives shrink from the homosexuality debate, self-described outand-proud “queer” activists never back-track in their misguided, indeed, pathological quest to compel society to approve of their aberrant “lifestyles.” LaBarbera gives little thought to why this might be the case, but the answer should be obvious to anyone who isn’t consumed with self-righteous loathing for gay people. There certainly is a reason why the mainstream anti-gay movement does its best to avoid

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openly attacking us for being drug-addicted rapist sinners, and that’s because most people just don’t want to hear it.

FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE Over 50% of Americans personally know someone who’s gay, and this figure holds true among liberals, moderates, and conservatives. Those who do know someone gay are more likely to support gay marriage and the legality of gay relations. Knowing gay people puts a human face on what would otherwise only be an abstract concept of what gay people, their relationships and their “lifestyles” are like. Without any actual firsthand experience, their understanding of us remains foggy and vulnerable to rumor, suspicion and distrust. Familiarity serves to ground this in reality - a reality which LaBarbera and his colleagues have dedicated themselves to fighting against. What is it that makes these personal connections and interactions so effective at humanizing us in the eyes of the public? Many in the anti-gay movement seek to diminish our struggles in a historical sense by asserting that sexual orientation is nothing like one’s race or color. But in one crucial respect, this is absolutely true.

SHARING THE TRUTH The fact of our sexuality does not visibly manifest itself in an easily recognizable way, with the unfortunate side effect of the superstitious


ANTI-GAY ACTIVIST PETER LABARBERA:

“... We, as a movement, must conquer whatever timidity, fear and political correctness we have in NOT wanting to debate the morality of homosexuality because our fanaticallydriven LGBT opponents will never relent in their audacious campaign to ‘sell’ homosexuality to the public.”

marking of certain appearances or mannerisms as “gay.” While this has often resulted in plenty of anti-gay abuse being directed at young children and anyone who strays even slightly from established norms, it has also deprived people of any certainty about who among them might be gay. Our sexuality does not afford them the opportunity to recoil from our very skin the moment they lay eyes on us. It’s something they must come to learn. In no small part because of a pervasive history of societal homophobia, many of us have been reluctant to share the truth about ourselves with anyone but those we trust the most: our good friends, neighbors, coworkers, and hopefully our families. By the time we feel comfortable enough to come out to them, this can spark an extraordinary shift in perspective, because these people have already come to know us, appreciate us, and love us for who we are - not what we are. When faced with the fact that the wholesome and upstanding person they respect and care deeply for also happens to be gay, this goes a long way toward dispelling any misconceptions, including the vulgar lies of anti-gay activists. Our own lives testify to the truth.

HATEFUL CONFABULATIONS So how do you think our families and friends will react when Peter LaBarbera’s partners in homophobia such as pastor Patrick Wooden claim that gay men use gerbils and baseball bats sexually and “die in diapers?” What will they think about the notion that our very love should be subject to criminal sanctions and we’re going to burn in hell? How will they feel about baseless accusations that gay people are pedophiles and even orchestrated the Holocaust? These wildly hateful confabulations may serve to rile up the anti-gay base, but this is utterly repulsive to anyone who knows us. Does LaBarbera really expect people to believe that PETER LABARBERA their loved ones are actually child-molesting Nazis? If he thinks his moralistic bloviations can take precedence over our humanity, then we can only hope that even more anti-gay groups will follow his lead. He’s just given them a lesson in how to drive their movement directly into a brick wall.

Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: www.zinniajones.com/blog

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T

he U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an in-home HIV test kit, which is expected to be available for purchase over-thecounter in October. The test, which uses a mouth swab, offers results in 20-40 minutes. The new product is a version of the professionally administered OraQuick Advance Test, an oral swab that provides results in 20 minutes. So far, the company has sold nearly 25 million tests to hospitals, community-based organizations, medical clinics, and physician offices. In response to the FDA’s approval, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff DarrelCummings issued the following statement:

AT-HOME

RAPID HIV TEST THE NEW PRODUCT IS A VERSION OF THE PROFESSIONALLY ADMINISTERED ORAQUICK ADVANCE TEST, AN ORAL SWAB THAT PROVIDES RESULTS IN 20 MINUTES BY VICTOR MELAMED

“Considering 1 in 5 people living with HIV don’t know they are positive, testing including at-home testing - remains one of our most effective weapons in the war against HIV and AIDS. The ideal scenario is to get tested somewhere like the Center, where we can help those who test positive get medical care and other services - such as counseling for those who need it-right away. And it is important to realize that a selfadministered test is not as accurate asone administered by a medical professional; though it is 99% accurate for those who are HIV-negative, a

trial indicated it is only 92% accurate in detecting the virus in those who are HIV-positive. Despite this, however, the home test kits have the potential to be an important tool for those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to testing, or who might otherwise not choose to get tested. All efforts must be undertaken to ensure that those who test positive at home are able to quickly get the medical care they need. Orasure, the maker of the testing kits, has taken one good step in this direction with its plans to operate toll-free call-in centers, which will provide counseling and medical referrals in English and Spanish to those who test positive at home. Anyone who does test positive at home should go to a medical professional to confirm the results and seek proper treatment.” The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is one of the nation’s largest providers of medical services, including HIV specialty care, for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The Center’s services include: free HIV/STD testing; counseling for those coping with an HIV diagnosis; and HIV-prevention programs. To learn more visit lagaycenter.org.

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LIVING BREAST CANCER WITH

NEW SUPPORT GROUP FOR LESBIANS, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER WOMEN BY

T

he L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has launched a support group specifically for lesbians, bisexual and transgender women who are facing issues related to breast cancer, whether they are newly diagnosed, longtime survivors or anywhere in-between. The free Living with Breast Cancer group, which meets Wednesday evenings in Hollywood, is facilitated by two breast cancer survivors: Holly Hamlett, LCSW, and Bonnie Schut. “Holly and Bonnie are incredibly compassionate people, and they are dedicated to making this group a safe space,” says Susan Cohen, Director of the Center’s Health Education & Prevention department. “I’ve heard from women who have gone to mainstream groups and they’ve felt the need to hide their identity, or they’ve encountered uncomfortable looks when they mention having a wife or girlfriend. In this group, women can talk openly with one another about their lives and concerns. At the Center, women know they are accepted and welcomed every time they walk through the doors.” Lesbians and bisexual women face an increased risk for breast cancer. Although the risk for transgender women is not yet wellunderstood, there are few resources like this for those trans women who are facing breast cancer. The Center’s Living with Breast Cancer support group was established following the creation of a successful Prostate Cancer Support Group for men. “As the mother of a lesbian daughter, and as a licensed clinical social worker, I have seen first-hand how LGBT people are often

MARK ARIEL

underserved in the health care system,” group facilitator Holly Hamlett told THE FIGHT. “Working with the Center, we’re able to offer a group that’s tailored to the needs of lesbians, bisexual and transgender women. I know how important it is to have a solid support network; the women I met through a support group near me, which I attended during my own breast cancer treatment, have been a great source of strength for me, and I want to help other women find connections like that,” says Hamlett.

Although the risk for transgender women is not yet well-understood, there are few resources for those trans women who are facing breast cancer “Holly and I share the belief that women sharing their breast cancer journey, with other women in a safe, confidential and caring supportive environment, are able to confront, and better cope with a most challenging and life-threatening foe. And in the process, find lasting friendships and, believe it or not, enjoy laughter and joy to boot!” states group facilitator Bonnie Schut. The group meets on Wednesday evenings at 6pm at the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza, located at 1125 N. McCadden Place. Participants are required to undergo a brief phone interview prior to attending for the first time. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Cohen at 323-860-7340 or scohen@lagaycenter.org

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GROUPS ASIAN/PACIFIC GAYS AND FRIENDS www.apgf.org GAY ASIAN PACIFIC SUPPORT NETWORKwww.gapsn.org LOS ANGELES GAY AVIATION CLUB Pilots, Flights Attendants, Mechanics. www.unusualattitudes.info

OUTFEST 2012

CLUB NUR Gay Middle Eastern clubnur.com GAY MEN’S CHORUS OF LOS ANGELES www.gmcla.org THANK GAYS IT’S FRIDAY STANDUP COMEDY Every Friday, 8:30pm. MJ’s Bar, 2810 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles. 323-650-1503 GAY & LESBIAN SALSA Every Monday, 8pm. Little Temple Bar, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., Silverlake, 90029. gaysalsanight@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/ gaysalsanight GAY TRAFFIC SCHOOL Third Tuesday and Wednesday of everymonth,6-10pm The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles 90038. 1-800-Gay-4-You or www.laglc.org

THE NATION’S LEADING LGBT FILM FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE AT VARIOUS VENUES IN LOS ANGELES, JULY 12-22, 2012

O

“Gayby” Outfest 2012

utfest’s 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will be held July 12th to 22nd, 2012. In addition to the 147 films from 24 countries, Outfest hosts a variety of panels and special events at venues across Los Angeles, including Hollywood, West Hollywood and downtown. Outfest 2012 will open with Jeffrey Schwarz’s HBO documentary “Vito” on Thursday, July 12. Prior to the opening night screening, the organization will honor director John Waters with its 16th annual Achievement Award. The festival closes with “Struck by Lightning”, the highly anticipated teen comedy featuring Glee’s Chris Colfer - who also wrote the script - in his breakout big-screen lead role. Other gala screenings include: “Keep the Lights On” (U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece), Ira Sachs’ gripping Teddy-award winning portrait of a tumultuous relationship; Chilean director Marialy Rivas’ sexually charged “Young & Wild” (International Dramatic Centerpiece) about a bisexual teen blogger; David France’s riveting chronicle of the struggles and triumphs of the AIDS activist group ACT UP “How to Survive a Plague” (Documentary Centerpiece); and Aurora Guerrero’s “Mosquita Y Mari” (Fusion Centerpiece), a sensitive drama about a friendship between two Latina girls from Los Angeles. The line-up of talent in this year’s movies and events includes Adam Pally, Casey Wilson and Stephen Guarino (“Happy Endings” panel), Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt (“Any Day Now”), Haley Joel Osment and Ashley Rickards (“Sassy Pants”), Jamie Lynn-Sigler and David Ross (“I Do”), Thora Birch, Christine Lahti and Brittany Snow (“Petunia”), Carrie Preston, Anne Heche and Alia Shawkat (“That’s What She Said”), Justin Vivian Bond and Zosia Mamet (“Sunset Stories”), Michael Urie (“Thank You for Judging”), Lance Bass (“Mississippi: I Am”), Stephane Rideau and Beatrice Dalle (“Our Paradise”), and Jonathan Caouette (“Walk Away Renee”). In its Five in Focus series, Outfest spotlights a quintet of exciting new talent behind the camera and on the big screen. The 2012 selections include: Alicia Luz Rodríguez (Actress, “Young & Wild”), Wu Tsang (Filmmaker, “Wildness”), Sally El Hosaini (Writer/ Director, “My Brother the Devil”), Matthew Wilkas (Actor, “Gayby”) and Michael Marius Pessah (Cinematographer, “Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean”). Celebrating 30 years of Outfest, the organization will screen THE FILMS THAT SPARKED A CULTURAL REVOLUTION - a series of seminal LGBT films from the 1960’s to the 2000’s which includes a recreation of the very first festival from 1982: “Queen of Sheba Meets The Atom Man” (Rice, 1963-4), “Taxi Zum Klo” (Ripploh, 1981) and a newly restored print of “Making Love” (Hill, 1982). The anniversary series will also include 30th anniversary shorts as well as the discussion “30 Years of Outfest: Directors Tell All”, featuring directors Gregg Araki, Tommy O’Haver, Angela Robinson, Ira Sachs and Rose Troche, and moderated by Sundance Film Festival Director, John Cooper. For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www. outfest.org/fest2012/ or call 213-480-7065.

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POP LUCK CLUB Second Sunday of every month, 11am. Locations vary. Los Angeles based organization for Gay Dads, Prospective Dads, and their families. www.popluckclub.org. PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT GROUP 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month, at the Gay & Lesbian Center. RSVP to Dennis@malecare.org or call 323-860-7340 GREAT AUTOS OF YESTERYEAR The largest LGBT classic car club on the West Coast. www.greatautos.org LOS ANGELES PRIME TIMERS Social group for older mature gay men and admirers www.laprimetimers.org LOS ANGELES GAY BRIDGE CLUB http://www.communityvisions.org/IAGLBC LOS ANGELES GAY/LESBIAN SCIENTISTS www.lagls.org LOS ANGELES GAY FOR GOOD Gays making a commitment to volunteer for social welfare and environmental service projects. www.gayforgood.org LOS ANGELES GAY NATURISM California Men Enjoying Naturism cmen.info BI-OSPHERE P.O.V. Every 2nd Wednesday, 8-9:30pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7302 M-F between 6-9pm. Topicdriven discussion for women and men who identify as, or are exploring bisexuality. MEN’S SPEAKEASY Every Tuesday at 8pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7302. Fun, alternative space for gay and bisexual men to meet and make new friends. LGBT BOOK CLUB First Wednesday of each month, 7:30-9:30 p.m. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7302, M-F between 6-9pm USC LAMBDA LGBT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION alumnigroups.usc.edu/lambda/ LOS ANGELES BLACK PRIDE www.myblackpridela.com

EMAIL YOUR EVENT OR GROUP editor@thefightnag.com

GREATER PASADENA AID FUND www.greaterpasadenaaidfund.org POSITIVE IMAGES WORKSHOP Every Monday, from 7-9pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. If you’re looking for ways to deal with HIV, the Live Life


Better Workshop can help you learn coping skills, build a support system, and work toward your health goals. An RSVP is required. For more information or to reserve your place, call 323-860-7321. The e-mail contact is positiveimages@ lagaycenter.org. TRANSGENDER PERCEPTIONS Every Friday, 8pm. The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323860-7302 M-F between 6-9pm. Social networking group offers a safe and welcoming opportunity for people of any age and gender identity to learn from others and to share experiences. GET CENTERED Meditation Class, Every Saturday, 1011am, $10. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7300 SENIORS SERVICES Ongoing, The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7359. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT Ongoing, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, 1625 N Schrader Blvd. Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-5806. MPOWERMENT WEEKLY WORKSHOPS Tuesdays and fridays, 6pm. Apla, 3550 wilshire blvd, suite 300, los angeles. More info: donta morrison, tel: 213.201.1561 For young gay men of color -- ages 18 thru 24 -- looking for a safe place to hang out. “Each week offers a great opportunity to vent, laugh, make friends, and simply celebrate who you are.” SUPPORT FOR HIV-POSITIVE WOMEN Second and fourth wednesdays, 7pm. The david geffen center, 611 south kingsley drive, los angeles. More info: call women at risk at 310-204-1046. SOCAL SOCIAL CLUB: For more info: www.Socalsocialclub.Com Southern california’s social & business network for lgbt professionals

12 STEP GROUPS All groups meet at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles. For more information, call 323-860-7302 M-F between 6-9pm. ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Mondays, 6:10-7:10 p.m.

CRYSTAL METH ANONYMOUS Saturdays, 9:10-10:10 a.m. DEBTORS ANONYMOUS Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. MARIJUANA ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 8:15-9:45 p.m. Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. SEXUAL COMPULSIVES ANONYMOUS Mondays, 8-9 p.m. Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 p.m. Saturdays, 12:15-1:45 p.m. WOMEN’S NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS Saturdays, Noon-1 p.m.

SPORTS LOS ANGELES LESBIAN SOFTBALL www.lagaysoftball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN TACKLE FOOTBALL www.californiaquakefootball.com LOS ANGELES LESBIAN RUGBY http://www.eaglerockrugby.com WOMEN’S SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GOLF www.womensgolf.org/wscga LOS ANGELES LESBIAN POKER http://www.lalpg.com LOS ANGELES WOMEN ON A ROLL Luncheons, Comedy Nights, and Conversation Groups. www.womenonaroll.com LOS ANGELES GAY RODEO CLUB www.gsgra.org LOS ANGELES GAY FLAG FOOTBALL http://www.laflagfootball.com There’s also lesbian tackle football. WEST HOLLYWOOD GAY RUGBY www.larebellion.org LOS ANGELES POOL LEAGUE Friendly Billiard teams www.lapl8ball.com GAY & LESBIAN BOWLING LEAGUE www.tavernguildleague.com SAGA LA Gay Ski & Snowboard Club www.sagala.org V.O.I.L.A. Volleyball www.lagayvolleyball.com GREAT OUTDOORS The largest gay outdoor recreational organization in Southern California.

www.greatoutdoorsla.org GAY AND LESBIAN SIERRANS Camping, Outdoors, Hiking angeles.sierraclub.org CHEER LA Cheerleading www.cheerla.org LA ROWING www.larowing.org DIFFERENT SPOKES Cycling www.differentspokes.com Rides start in various locations in the greater Los Angeles area. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLADES Ice Hockey www.bladeshockey.com LOS ANGELES FRONTRUNNERS Running and walking club www.lafrontrunners.com WEST HOLLYWOOD SOCCER CLUB www.gaysoccer.com Comfortable, supportive environment for learning and playing the world’s most popular game. LOS ANGELES GAY SCUBA CLUB www.barnaclebusters.org LOS ANGELES GAY ROCK CLIMBING www.lalgbtclimbing.com WEST HOLLYWOOD AQUATICS Swim and Water Polo Teams www.wh2o.org

WORSHIP METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH mccla.org 4953 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027 BETH CHAYIM CHADASHIM SYNAGOGUE bcc-la.org 6090 West Pico Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90035 KOL AMI REFORM SYNAGOGUE kol-ami.org 1200 North La Brea Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90038 FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LOS ANGELES fccla.org 540 South Commonwealth Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90020 HOLLYWOOD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH hollywoodumc.org 6817 Franklin Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90028 HOLY SPIRIT

holyspirit-la.org 4201 West Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90029 UNITED UNIVERSITY CHURCH uniteduniversitychurch.org 817 West 34th St Los Angeles, CA 90089 DIGNITY CENTER dignitylosangeles.org 126 South Avenue 64 Los Angeles, CA 90042 HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH-HLYWD hopelutheranchurch.net 6720 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90038 WEST HOLLYWOOD PRESBYTERIAN wehopres.org 7350 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90046 MOUNT HOLLYWOOD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH mthollywood.org 4607 Prospect Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027 IMMANUEL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH immanuelpres.org 3300 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90010 ST. MATTHEW’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stmatthewsnoho.org 11031 Camarillo St. North Hollywood, CA 91602 CHRIST CHAPEL OF THE VALLEY christchapel.com 11050 Hartsook Street North Hollywood, CA 91601 ST. PAUL’S LUTHERAN CHURCH stpaulssm.org 958 Lincoln Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90403 ST. MONICA CATHOLIC COMMUNITY stmonica.net 725 California Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90403 WEHO CHURCH wehochurch.com 916 N. Formosa Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90046 ST. VICTOR’S CATHOLIC CHURCH saintvictor.org 8634 Holloway Drive West Hollywood, California 90069 ST. LUKE LUTHERAN stlukelutheran.com 5312 Comercio Way Woodland Hills, CA 91364

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THE

G

WORD USING “GAY” AS AN INSULT SHOULD NEVER BE TOLERATED BY ZINNIA JONES

Is it okay to say that someone “Jewed” you out of something? Or that something that isn’t working must be “n*****-rigged?”

A

Tumblr user recently wrote: “… this is like when the lgbt community gets really, really angry about the word ‘gay.’ Is it privileged and bigoted? Yes. Are you really getting anything done by yelling at straight people (and gay people) that use the word? No. You are just pissing people off and turning them off your cause, even the people that should, by all rights, be PART of your cause.”

The use of “gay” as an insult is an issue that’s important enough to take a stand on even if it does cost us potential allies. When we tell people that it’s hurtful and harmful for them to use the very word we’re named as a synonym for anything and everything that’s negative and dislikable, that is a matter of basic respect. It is probably about as basic as this can possibly get: don’t use who we are to mean something bad. Taking a minority group’s name for your own use as an all-occasions pejorative is not merely disrespectful – it’s just about the most obvious way that you can tell us, “WE THINK WHAT YOU ARE IS BAD.” If that isn’t what you mean to convey, then you need to stop using language in such a way that you openly associate the very names of minorities with everything you dislike. This goes beyond merely implying that gay people are bad. It’s tantamount to stating it outright. Is it okay to say that someone “Jewed” you out of something? Or that something that isn’t working must be “n*****-rigged”? Would any amount of “I didn’t mean it like that” rationalization make that alright? No one should ever think this is acceptable, yet so many people are under the impression that it’s a-okay to do this to gay people. Why? Because it’s a more recent development in language? Because social disapproval of this usage isn’t widespread enough yet? Because they just really like using the word? It doesn’t matter. It’s not okay. If being asked to stop using our identity as an insult is all it takes to alienate potential allies, let me make it very clear that I do not care. I do not intend to sacrifice my own self-respect just to gain the support of people who can’t even bring themselves to listen to us and respect us in this most basic and minimal way. Are those the allies we want? Can they even be called allies in any meaningful sense?

Read more commentary by Zinnia Jones at: www.freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones

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The Fight July 2012 Issue  
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