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Finally, the day for those who have been married in their hearts a very long time

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Dan and Mike's wedding.
Weddings come in a lot of flavors. Many are planned, sometimes long before a potential mate is even in the picture. Some come about at the last minute. Some of the opposite sex variety come about because improper birth control was used and the couple “has to.” Then there are some special ones that occur when marriage equality is finally attained: the weddings of people who have been married in their hearts for a very long time, but only now can be legally and socially recognized. These kind of weddings will take place in New Jersey this week. Long term couples becoming legally, publicly married and acknowledged. It is about time.

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The Color Purple

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Trans-symbol-410x280
Nearly everyday I walk from my office in downtown Washington to the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station where I catch a train home. And without fail, nearly everyday I encounter the same group of black trans kids of both genders whom I have gotten to know rather well. I stop and listen to them tell me their stories and they have told me that I’m the only “fat old white dude” who has every really cared enough to stop and not only spend time with them, but more importantly- listen. They are a minority within a minority and their stories of adversity in their lives could fill chapters in a sad novel. For them, today I am wearing purple...

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What the attack on Scott Jones tells us about fear and courage

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Scott Jones
This violent attack didn’t happen in a notoriously anti-gay country such as Russia, Jamaica or Uganda. This happened in Canada, one of the gay-friendliest countries in the world where anti-discrimination laws have been in effect since 1998. And the province of Nova Scotia is no exception to its country’s rules. So what does this attack tell us? It tells us what the other senseless hate crimes have told us this year: that we are not yet in a position to let down our guard even on the streets we call home. And that is tragic...

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‘I got arrested for the 267,000 LGBT immigrants like me’

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
juan-ramos-arrest-2
I got arrested last week. And my mom was proud of me. In fact, I did it for her. ... I got arrested for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who dream about becoming a U.S. citizen, being able to drive a car, travel without fear and get a college degree. I got arrested for the 267,000 LGBT immigrants like me who will benefit from immigration reform if the one-year bar on applying for asylum is eliminated, if conditions are improved for people held in detention facilities, and if detainee’s aren’t placed in solitary confinement solely based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Halloween horrors: The ghost of Proposition 8 returns…

Monday, October 14, 2013
sign-peition-3
The majority of California’s “innocent children” are under attack from a vile, twisted bunch hoping to ogle the opposite sex in the bathroom. Just as in Prop 8, the LGBT community is being equated with pedophiles. That tired old “abnormal” and “sick” paint brush is being used collectively on the trans community, as if simply being different makes one unworthy of equal treatment under the law. ... Given all the similarities to Prop 8 messaging, it’s no surprise that the National Organization for Marriage is behind this petition drive, or that Prop 8′s chief strategist, Frank Schubert, works on this campaign as well.

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Coming Out – Yes, it still does matter

Friday, October 11, 2013
coming-out-pride
I didn’t come out until I was 50. In those 50 years I lied, cheated on a husband, denied who I was and tried desperately to be the daughter, sister, wife, cousin, friend that I was expected to be. It didn’t work – it never works. And those who believe that to be gay is a choice we make, well, they will never, ever understand the struggle that takes place within most of our souls. Truthfully, most people believe that just saying the words “I’m gay” means you’ve come out. In a sense it does, however, the real coming out, in my opinion, is when you look at that reflection you see in the mirror and say “I’m Gay” and you don’t look away in shame – that’s when you’ve come out.

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Nine things NOT to do when you come out of the closet

Friday, October 11, 2013
coming-out-pride
National Coming Out Day is an important day not only for those who make the move and come out, but also for everyone else to be aware of the process. It is the process where an individual becomes more honest about who they are, even at the risk of public or private scorn and ridicule. The substance of “coming out” is truth. On the individual level, by telling the truth about myself, I know I gained a fuller anchor in my own life...

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A gay dad mourns the loss of Joe Bell, killed in the line of duty of being a dad

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Joe-Bell-cropped
“Making headway, one step at a time.” This was the last communication from Joe Bell on his epic quest to walk across the United States and do everything within his power to end bullying, intolerance and suicide. His journey was not the result of an idealistic publicity stunt. It was a mission...

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Institutions dedicated to LGBT history an exciting, largely untapped resource

Sunday, October 6, 2013
APIn this July 4, 1967 file photo Kay Tobin Lahusen, right, and other demonstrators carry signs calling for protection of homosexuals from discrimination as they march in a picket line in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
The road to equality is paved with court victories and legislative gains, but also by progress in the social theatre of the culture war. This is the latest iteration of the struggle to contend with intolerance through outreach, community building, and education — needs for which cultural institutions are apposite. Friday, which marked the fourth day of Gay History Month, editorials are circulating in conservative media outlets that caution parents about the “sexual assault on our children” posed by public schools’ recognition of LGBT history...

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The four most important things I learned during my first year of transition

Saturday, October 5, 2013
pride-transgender
I’ve never revealed any personal details of my life in articles that I’ve written for publication. Mainly because I didn’t feel that they were relevant to the topics at hand. However, because it's pride season here in Orlando, it seems like an appropriate time to mention the fact that I’m a transgender woman. This wasn’t a secret. I’ve been publicly out since February. I’ve just never addressed the matter in a publication before. I’ve learned a lot since I started my transition -- like the fact that women’s pants pockets are useless...

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