On Monday, I published a letter from my husband, Christopher Baker, to the Boy Scouts of America. In that letter, Baker returned his hard-earned Eagle Scout award and explained that he no longer wanted to be associated with an organization that discriminated against gay teenagers and GBLT parents.Read the rest
If you aren't familiar with American Boy Scouting's Eagle Scout award, it might be a little hard to explain how important this story really is.Read the rest
Via the New York Times: In Chile, a judge who lost custody of her daughters in 2004 because she is a lesbian will now receive damages, after an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling. Karen Atala will get $50,000, and $12,000 to reimburse court costs. Not much comfort after being separated from your kids by the state for 6 years, but the ruling sets an important precedent in the region.
Police Constable John George said police boarded the cruise ship and arrested the two men on suspicion of indecent exposure and "buggery," a term equivalent to sodomy on the island. The cruise was organized by Atlantis Events, a Southern California company that specializes in gay travel. President Rich Campbell, who is aboard the cruise, said in a phone interview earlier that he thought the two men would be released. He later said in an email that the company has organized many trips to Dominica and would "happily return."
Cruise ticket buyer, beware. (thanks, Antinous!)
Gentlemen, start your slashfic engines. Yes, the theme of this DIY costume in Boing Boing's ongoing series is— Sexy Wikileaks.
Above, Philip Neustrom and friend Ron Baker last night at DNA Lounge in San Francisco. Philip, at left, is dressed as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Baker, at right, is Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier believed to have leaked secret documents to the whistleblower website (he is currently in military jail, awaiting trial.)
Too soon? Eh, not for me to say. These two figures are nothing if not folk heroes. But don't ask, don't tell indeed. Philip tells Boing Boing,
Some totally unrelated and somewhat-drunkely-typed backstory: When we were getting the Manning outfit supplies from a military surplus store in Berkeley, the guy ringing us up asked, "Hey, what are you dressing up as?"(thanks for the photo, @philipn and thanks for the heads up, @iamsusannah!)
We showed him a picture of Manning and gave a little explanation. He got it immediately and then told us this story, with the preface that we were probably "far too young to get it"--
So a few weeks back, an older woman walks into the store and says something like, "Do you folks have any goggles? My grandson is going to burning man.."
The guy helps her find some goggles, and as he's ringing her up he looks down at her credit card. "Ellsberg..any relation to Daniel Ellsberg?" "Oh..well, he's my husband!"
Not exactly the types I'd expect to be running a military surplus store. Regardless, the guy hooked us up and we got like $150 worth of stuff for $20!
Read the rest
Five-year-old Dyson Kilodavis is a little boy who loves sparkly things: princess gowns, hot pink socks, glittery jewelry. Deal with it.
Richard Metzger over at Dangerous Minds points to a lovely children's book by Dyson's mom, titled My Princess Boy, and shares a surprisingly non-exploitative television interview with the boy's mom, dad, and older brother.
You have to watch the video. Have some kleenex handy. I sure cried. It's right here: My Princess Boy: Meet the most awesome family in America
This child, I think it's clear, is going to be who and what he'll be. But unlike many kids like him, he's not going to grow up thinking there is anything wrong with who he is. This kid is FABULOUS and nothing less! With all of the gay bullying, suicides and the general anti-gay bigotry going on in rightwing circles, Cheryl, Dean and their older song Dkobe, deserve admiration and gratitude from the rest of us, for being such an amazing, wise examples for other people in their situation, with their loving parenting of their "Princess Boy."
(Dangerous Minds, thanks Tara McGinley)
Amazon Link for the book.
The It Gets Better project is a series of video postcards from happy, well-adjusted GBLTG adults to isolated queer teens who think that they're they only "different" people in the world. No matter what your sexuality, these are damned heartwarming -- and "it gets better" is a great message for kids everywhere, queer, straight, or undecided.
Secret Historian: "The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade"
(Warning: this post is for adults, and the video embedded contains sexual content)
I haven't read Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade yet, but it sure sounds amazing—BB mod Antinous just hipped me to it this morning. The new book by Justin Spring new book chronicles the contents of an archive he discovered in San Francisco a few years ago, including a thousand-page diary belonging to Samuel Steward, a man of many identities....
...including several that the subtitle of the book omits: pioneering sex researcher, collector of celebrity conquests, drug addict, masochist, Catholic (briefly), Navy enlistee (even more briefly), conquistador of vast provinces of America's pre-Stonewall homosexual subculture. Most fortuitously, he was apparently a graphomaniac who documented his long, dark, exuberant, sad, dangerous life in journals, an unpublished memoir, reams of letters, poems, erotica, semifictionalized short stories and even a 746-entry card catalog of his sexual history, scrupulously maintained over five decades and in some cases ornamented -- perhaps for future biographers? -- with what Spring decorously calls "DNA-verifiable" evidence of his liaisons.That, from the New York Times review (which ran with a terrific title).
All told, Steward is reported to have had sex with 807 different people, a total of 4,647 times, including Rock Hudson and Rudolph Valentino. Regarding those impressive numbers, Adam at Butt Magazine opines,
However, the true value of his promiscuity lies not in the number of loads blown, but in what those loads can teach us. (...)Video trailer for the book follows (contains sexual content.)
At times he was Samuel Steward, drunken professor, obscure literary figure and pen pal to the stars. He was also an author, first of serious fiction - Angels on the Bough - and later acclaimed memoirs - Dear Sammy: Letters From Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. George Platt Lynes, Alfred Kinsey and Tom of Finland all counted him as a friend. As a tattoo artist he went by Phil Sparrow. He mentored Ed Hardy and inked the Hells Angels. He even engraved 'LUCIFER' on Kenneth Anger's chest. In his dirty work he was the ripped Greek hustler Phil Andros. This particular alter ego dealt in filthy stories, pumping out titles like Shuttlecock and $tud, and attracting the attention of literary heavyweights like Christopher Isherwood.He was all of these things and more. Mr. Steward was also a sex researcher and self-proclaimed whore. Perhaps his most important occupation, however, was that of historian. For in the cache of his remaining belongings exists an individual history unparalleled in its meticulousness.
From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there's not much "gay" about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was -- at least outwardly -- totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.How To Say It? (via Wil Wheaton)
Gradually, the general attitude that I'd perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living -- except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books... In another two decades, I'm confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.
(Image: RANDI.jpg, Wikimedia Commons)
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