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Dear Abby responds to anti-gay couple seeking advice

Posted by David Zimmerman February 20, 2014 10:30 AM

A Florida couple might have gotten more than they asked for when they wrote in to Dear Abby seeking advice. The couple, who referred to themselves as “Unhappy in Tampa” wrote to the columnist looking for input regarding a situation with their “new neighbors”. The couple recently moved to Tampa and found out that several of their neighbors are gay. When it came time for the “Unhappy”couple to host the neighborhood get together they did not invite the gay couples because they “do not approve of their lifestyle choices.”

Since that time the “Unhappy” couple have been excluded from other neighborhood events and “someone even suggested that we are bigots!” the letter states.

“Abby, we moved here from a conservative community where people were pretty much the same. If people were "different," they apparently kept it to themselves. While I understand the phrase "when in Rome," I don't feel we should have to compromise our values just to win the approval of our neighbors. But really, who is the true bigot here? Would you like to weigh in?” the letter concludes.

At this point Abby took the opportunity to respond.

DEAR UNHAPPY: I sure would. The first thing I'd like to say is that regardless of what you were told in your previous community, a person's sexual orientation isn't a "lifestyle choice." Gay people don't choose to be gay; they are born that way. They can't change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.

I find it interesting that you are unwilling to reciprocate the hospitality of people who welcomed you and opened their homes to you, and yet you complain because you are receiving similar treatment.

From where I sit, you may have chosen the wrong place to live because it appears you would be happier in a less integrated neighborhood surrounded by people who think the way you do. But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here. Please don't blow it.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Facebook adds 50 new options for gender identity

Posted by David Zimmerman February 16, 2014 09:52 AM

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(AP)

Facebook has added some new choices for its more than 159 million users in the U.S.. No, the choices do have to do with the advertisements that users will see, or their newsfeed, the social media giant has added approximately 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them.

“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project and is herself undergoing gender transformation, from male to female. On Thursday, Harrison changed her Facebook identity from Female to TransWoman.

“All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are,” she said. “This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is.”

Facebook, which has 1.15 billion active monthly users around the world, also allows them to keep their gender identity private and will continue to do so.

“We applaud Facebook for making it possible for people to be their authentic selves online,” said Masen Davis, executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center .

According to representatives from Facebook the change did not happen overnight. The company consulted with a variety of LGBT activists and organizations before the recent roll-out. And, while only available in the U.S. right now, the plan is to take the initiative worldwide.

“Really, there was no debate within Facebook about the social implications at all,” said Alex Schultz, director of growth. “It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something. Hopefully a more open and connected world will, by extension, make this a more understanding and tolerant world.”


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Google shows support for gay Olympic athletes

Posted by David Zimmerman February 7, 2014 08:56 AM

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To coincide with the opening of the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi Google has designed a ‘Doodle’ on it’s search homepage showing a rainbow colored, Olympic themed image in a show of support for LGBT athletes at the games and the LGBT community at large

Along with the image, the page also shows a quote from the Olympic Charter which states, "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

Google is following in the footsteps of AT & T which, earlier this week, became the first sponsor of the games to speak out against Russia’s anti-gay policies stating, "Russia's law is harmful to LGBT individuals and families, and it's harmful to a diverse society."

Google’s move was met with support from many human rights organizations including The Human Rights Campaign (HRC). "Alongside Olympic sponsors like AT&T, Google has made a clear and unequivocal statement that Russia’s anti-LGBT discrimination is indefensible. Now it’s time for each and every remaining Olympic sponsor to follow their lead. The clock is ticking, and the world is watching," said Chad Griffin, President of HRC.

This is not the first time Google has expressed its support for the LGBT community. The company has been outspoken in its support for marriage equality and in 2012 launched a company wide initiative called “Legalise Love,” that it described as a call to decriminalize homosexuality and eliminate homophobia around the world. The company also recognizes gay pride season each year by customizing search boxes to turn rainbow-colored when terms like “gay” and “gay pride” are entered.


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Coca Cola becomes first company to air a Super Bowl ad with a gay couple

Posted by David Zimmerman February 3, 2014 06:37 PM

Coca-Cola on Sunday became the first advertiser to feature a gay family in a Super Bowl television commercial.

The ad, titled ‘Beautiful’, shows a video montage highlighting a wide range of America’s diversity while the song ‘America the Beautiful’ is sung in seven different languages.
At approximately the :44 second mark the commercial fades to a clip that shows two male partners roller-skating with their daughter.

The timing of the ad is especially notable as Coca Cola has come under attack recently for their sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics and their relatively silent response to LGBT and human rights groups who have been asking the company to take a more vocal stand against Russia’s anti-gay policies.

“Coca-Cola has demonstrated to corporate America that being LGBT-inclusive is good business, but as the world turns its attention to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it’s time for sponsors of the Olympics like Coca-Cola to show the whole world how beautiful LGBT families are,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement after the ad aired.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Disney Channel introduces first ever openly gay characters in a series

Posted by David Zimmerman January 28, 2014 12:54 PM

Disney Channel’s ‘Good Luck Charlie’ television show has introduced network’s first openly gay characters in a series.

Entitled “Down a Tree,” the episode revolves around a storyline where Amy and Bob Duncan set up a play date for their daughter Charlie and one of her new friends, Taylor. Taylor, it turns out, has two moms.

Upon meeting Taylor’s moms, Bob declares "Taylor has two moms!"
"Wow, nothing gets past you, Bob," replies Amy

In a statement to TV Guide Magazine, which first reported the story line last June, a Disney Channel spokesperson said, "This particular storyline was developed under the consultancy of child development experts and community advisors. Like all Disney Channel programming, it was developed to be relevant to kids and families around the world and to reflect themes of diversity and inclusiveness.”

Actress Desi Lydic, who played mom Susan, tweeted to excited fans after the episode aired, "I'm so proud to be part of that episode! Go Disney! #equality."

Not everyone, however, is pleased with the plotline. One Million Moms, who is best known for attempting to organize a boycott of JC Penney after the retailer hired Ellen Degeneres as a spokesperson, has released the following statement; "Conservative families need to urge Disney to avoid controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend. This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand. Mature issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is extremely unnecessary."

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

"The Bachelor" refers to gays as 'perverts' and says they are a bad example for kids

Posted by David Zimmerman January 18, 2014 03:51 PM

juanpablo.jpg
(ABC)

Juan Pablo Galavis, also known as “The Bachelor” for this season’s hit show on ABC, The Bachelor, does not think that a gay version of the show would be a very good idea.
In an interview on Friday with TV Page, Galavis it would not be a “good Idea” stating “No… I respect [gay people] but, honestly, I don’t think it’s a good example for kids…”

“Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up. Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples… Two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed… It is confusing in a sense,” he said.

“But I respect them because they want to have kids. They want to be parents. So it is a scale… Where do you put it on the scale? Where is the thin line to cross or not? You have to respect everybody’s desires and way of living. But it would be too hard for TV.”
Galavis added: “There’s this thing about gay people… it seems to me, and I don’t know if I’m mistaken or not… but they’re more ‘pervert’ in a sense. And to me the show would be too strong… too hard to watch.”

Galavis, 32, is a former Venezuelan soccer player, a single father and the show’s first Latino bachelor.

ABC had no immediate comment.

UPDATE

ABC and Galavis have both released statements. From ABC:

“Juan Pablo’s comments were careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show’s producers or studio.”

From Galavis' Facebook Page:

"I want to apologize to all the people I may have offended because of my comments on having a gay or bisexual Bachelor. The word pervert was not what I meant to say and I am very sorry about it. Everyone knows English is my second language and my vocabulary is not as broad as it is in Spanish and, because of this, sometimes I use the wrong words to express myself. What I meant to say was that gay people are more affectionate and intense and for a segment of the TV audience, this would be too racy to accept. The show is very racy as it is, and I don't let my 5-year-old daughter watch it."


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5

Duck Dynasty ratings plummet

Posted by David Zimmerman January 17, 2014 09:21 AM

DuckDynasty400.jpg
(A&E)

If the ratings for Duck Dynasty’s first episode of the season are any indication of things to come then it appears that patriarch Phil Robertson’s racist and anti-gay remarks made in GQ last year might have had an effect after all.

The A & E series launched its fifth season on Wednesday night and saw a significant decline in viewership with only 8.5 million viewers tuning in. This number is down a staggering 28 percent from the season four debut (which had 12 million viewers).

You might recall that Robertson, in the now famous magazine interview, went on an anti-gay rant in which he described homosexuals as “sinful” and compared them to “drunks and terrorists”. In that same article he went on to say that black people were happier during the pre-civil rights era.

On homosexuality Robertson had this to say:

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine," he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

As for black people, pre civil rights:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person," Robertson is quoted in GQ. "Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Also noteworthy within the ratings decline was a sharp drop in key demographics of the show’s audience, including adults 18-49, which were down 33 percent and averaged 4.2 million viewers.

For all of the today's top stories from the LGBT world visit Boston Spirit's Fab 5.

Ellen Degeneres tweets Oscar photos

Posted by David Zimmerman January 9, 2014 09:03 AM

Ellen Degeneres is starting to get excited about her upcoming role as host of the 86th annual Oscars. The daytime television host, and recent Peoples Choice Award winners as Favorite Daytime TV Host, has tweeted out a series of promotional pictures which were part of a photo shoot for the awards show. One of the pictures, which has Degeneres posing while sitting crossed legged on floor with an Oscar, will be the official poster for the show.

ellen1.jpg
(getty images)


ellen2.jpg
(getty images)


ellen3.jpg
(getty images)


ellen4.jpg
(getty images)

In addition to the photos the Oscars has also released the official trailer for the upcoming show which features Degeneres, surrounded by a group of dancers, walking through city streets to a soundtrack provided by the group Fitz and the Tantrums.

See the trailer below:


'Good Morning America' host comes out in Facebook post

Posted by David Zimmerman December 30, 2013 10:49 AM

RobinRoberts_263.jpg
(GMA)

"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts came out publicly for the first time Sunday in a Facebook message that reflects on her health battles and expresses gratitude for the people who supported her, including her longtime girlfriend, Amber Laign.

“I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” Roberts wrote.

Roberts made headlines in May 2012 when she landed the interview with President Obama where he first announced his support for marriage equality. A month later, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood and bone marrow disease, which was related to treatments that followed her 2007 breast cancer diagnosis. In yesterday’s Facebook post, Roberts also thanks her sister, who was also her bone marrow donor.

The theme of the post is gratitude.

“Reading this comforts me and I hope the same for you: ‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present,’” Roberts wrote. “At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude.”


For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world, check out the Fab 5 on BostonSpiritMagazine.com

Should A & E have suspended Phil Robertson for anti-gay comments?

Posted by David Zimmerman December 19, 2013 10:17 AM

I think we can all agree, some people are gay, some are not. Some people support and/or ‘tolerate’ the LGBT community some do not. One of the great things about this country is that we are free to have our own beliefs and opinions. That goes for Phil Robertson too.

In case you haven’t seen the story, Phil Robertson of the TV show Duck Dynasty took part in an interview with GQ magazine recently. In the article Robertson goes on a bit of an anti-gay rant. Suffice to say that Robertson, a born-again Christian, is not a supporter of the gay community. As a result of the article A & E has now suspended Robertson indefinitely from the show.

In the wake of the suspension there has been the expected response from both sides of the aisle…those who agree with A & E and those who don’t. For example, Sarah Palin does not agree with the decision to suspend Robertson stating, “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.” Wilson Cruz – speaking for GLAAD – falls on the side of A & E stating “What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike. By taking quick action and removing Robertson from future filming, A&E has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value."

On the social media front a change.org petition to get Robertson reinstated on the show has already received more than 20,000 signatures and a Facebook page supporting Robertson has more than 35,000 ‘likes’.

As the publisher of an LGBT magazine I am obviously biased, no news there. I also realize that there is a large portion of society that does not agree with the “gay lifestyle” or the “gay agenda” ... whatever term they wish to use. And, believe it or not, I am OK with that too. To each his own. In the words of Pope Francis “who am I to judge.”

Robertson’s comments, however, went beyond respectable dissent. They were crass, ignorant and disrespectful. In the article Robertson compares homosexuality to polygamy, adultery, bestiality, and terrorism. Yes, apparently he feels that homosexuals and terrorists belong in the same conversation. That’s where Robertson lost me, as well as the decision makers at A & E. Just as Robertson is entitled to his opinion, management at the network is entitled to theirs as well, and they have made it clear where they stand on the issue, stating:

“We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series ‘Duck Dynasty.’ His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the L.G.B.T. community.”

Does Robertson deserve to be suspended by A & E? Everyone can have their own opinion on that question, just like we can all decide whether or not to watch his show. One thing is clear, Duck Dynasty probably shouldn’t count on many viewers from the LGBT community going forward…not to mention they probably also just lost the terrorist, polygamy, and bestiality communities too.

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world, check out the Fab 5 on BostonSpiritMagazine.com

Duck Dynasty star dicsusses anti-LGBT views in GQ article

Posted by David Zimmerman December 18, 2013 12:08 PM

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(A&E)

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Phil Robertson, star of A & E’s top rated show Duck Dynasty, shared his views on homosexuality, the bible, and sin.
A former alcoholic and drug addict, Robertson is now a self described born again Christian.

When asked in the article to give his definition of what is sinful, Robertson responded:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

(Also noted in the article, Robertson had to pay off a bartender in Arkansas in the 1970s after he beat up the man AND the man’s wife. There is no mention as to whether or not that behavior falls under his definition of sinful)

Robertson goes on to say:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina — as a man — would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

There is, however, some good news. Apparently Robertson is not one to judge, that is “the Almighty’s job.” “We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus — whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?” he stated.

Homosexuals, drunks, terrorists ???

To quote Mr. Robertson himself “It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

For all of today's top stories from the LGBT world, check out the Fab 5 on BostonSpiritMagazine.com

Gay Boston cop on cover of Sports Illustrated

Posted by David Zimmerman November 6, 2013 08:54 AM

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(Sports Illustrated)

Javier Pagan, on of the heroic first responders during the Boston Marathon bombings, is back on a magazine cover. Pagan, the openly gay office who also serves as the LGBT liaison for the department, is joined by fellow officers Rachel McGuire and Kevin McGill as well as Red Sox slugger David Ortiz on the current cover of Sports Illustrated.

Pagan, seen below on the cover of the July issue of Boston Spirit magazine, was stationed right by the marathon finish line and was one of the first officers to take action when the bombs went off.

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CLICK HERE to read the Boston Spirit feature article on Officer Pagan. The article originally appeared in the July 2013 issue.

Congressional candidate Carl Sciortino 'comes out' to his dad in a new commercial

Posted by David Zimmerman September 17, 2013 07:07 PM

Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino has launched a new television ad for his campaign to fill Senator Ed Markey's now empty seat in the U.S. House.

Sciortino, who is openly gay, 'comes out' to his father (played in the commercial by his real father Carl Sciortino Sr.) as a liberal Democrat. Sciortino Sr. is a Tea Party supporter. The commercial is a clever play on the concept of 'coming out' to your parents.

"I'll never forget that conversation with my dad where I had to come out and tell him that I was a Massachusetts liberal," says Sciortino Jr. in the ad.

In a statement released by Sciortino Jr., he said, "My father and I disagree on just about everything. I am grateful that he was willing to appear in my TV ad even though he probably thinks he should be running against me."


Long’s Jewelers chooses local couples for lgbt ad campaign.

Posted by David Zimmerman September 10, 2013 12:32 PM

Long’s Jewelers has launched a new ad campaign geared to reaching the lgbt community and the locally owned and operated jeweler is using local couples as the models in their ads. There are two different ads in the campaign, one features a lesbian couple and the other a gay male couple.

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The women, Julie and Paula Astl , were married in May of this year. The two met through mutual friends years ago and would see each other at different events every now and then. “I always remember Julie because she was so nice, so uplifting and always so happy...of course, she was also very cute and had a face and personality that you just don't forget , said Paula. Years later (and a few relationships later) the two were re-introduced and decided to get together for dinner in Davis Square. “A few dates later butterflies were flying around both of us and have been ever since!” she continued The couple got engaged in July 2012 and just got married in May 2013.

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The men featured in the campaign are Ben and Adam Berry. Ben and Adam met in Provincetown 7 years ago. Ben was working at the ice cream store at Spiritus Pizza (as well as playing Romeo in the Shakespeare on the Cape production of Romeo and Juliet) while Adam was in town visiting a friend. The two had known about each other since 2003 due to a mutual friend Elliot who had always said "You have to meet this guy I know, Ben. You would be perfect for each other." and vice versa.

Although Adam was 2 hours late for their first date (a work problem), he was soon forgiven. “We had our first kiss at the end of the night and I knew then I had found my Romeo,” remembered Adam.

This is not Adam’s first time in the pages of Boston Spirit. He appeared on the cover of the September 2012 issue in conjunction with an article on lgbt paranormal activity in New England. Adam stars on the SyFy channel’s ‘Ghost Hunters’ television show.

Criag Rottenberg, President of Long’s, thinks the campaign does a great job of capturing the excitement of a wedding. “We are excited to make our latest Boston Spirit Magazine campaign more personal by featuring real local Boston area couples in our ads! We were overwhelmed by the number of couples who responded to the call for pictures. It was so difficult to choose only two couples. We hope this is the beginning of a long standing tradition of featuring happy Boston couples in our campaigns. There's something special about a photograph of a genuine moment, especially the pure joy of a wedding.”

Is Fox News going pro-gay?

Posted by David Zimmerman August 16, 2013 01:51 PM

Is Fox News going pro-gay? It is if you believe the conservative group ‘America’s Survival Inc.’ The group, in conjunction with ‘Americans for Truth About Homosexuality’, has issued a report and press release blasting Fox News for replacing its evening host Sean Hannity with Megyn Kelly.

"Pushing Sean Hannity out of the 9:00 p.m. slot, to make way for pro-homosexual advocate Megyn Kelly, is another sign of the channel's left-ward drift and decline," said America's Survival president Cliff Kincaid said in the press release.

The attack on Kelly and Fox News was part of a 73 page report which included other headlines such as "Fox News Rolls Over on Homosexuals in the Military," "Long Term Consequences: The Decline of American Civilization," and "Shepard Smith: The Next Anderson Cooper?"

As for what makes Kelly, currently a daytime host for the station, pro-gay? In a section of the report titled “Megyn Kelly: New Hero to the 'Gay' Lobby?" the group cites a few examples including her interview with Tony Perkins, leader of the antigay group Family Research Council. In that interview Kelly asked Perkins to provide evidence that same-sex marriage had harmed the country. Also mentioned is Kelly’s support of Chaz Bono during his transition.

For those concerned that Fox News is embracing a new, pro-gay, agenda no need to worry. According to the blog Media Matters Fox News’ coverage of LGBT issues has not changed. The station has recently referred to a new California law protecting transgender youth as “anarchy and Madness,” called a trans woman as a “burly man in a dress,” and completely ignored the topic of Russia’s anti-lgbt laws and how they might impact athletes traveling there for the Sochi Olympics

Glee's Jane Lynch getting divorced

Posted by David Zimmerman June 11, 2013 10:11 AM

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(HRC)

Glee star Jane Lynch has announced that she and her wife of three years, Lara Embry, are getting divorced. The couple, who were married in Western Massachusetts, met at a fundraiser in 2009. “I thought she was cute,” Embry told People magazine when she and Lynch married.

“Lara and I have decided to end our marriage. This has been a difficult decision for us as we care very deeply about one another. We ask for privacy as we deal with this family matter,” Lynch told People magazine.

Lynch was also the stepmother to Embry’s daughter Haden. "My greatest pleasure is Haden, my stepdaughter," Lynch told People last March. "I am surprised how much love you feel and how you would do anything for your children."

Lynch, 52, is currently making her Broadway debut in a revival of "Annie." She's portraying the role of Miss Hannigan from May 16 to July 14

Clinton accepts GLAAD award

Posted by David Zimmerman April 22, 2013 11:22 AM

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(Photo: GLAAD)


GLAAD held its 24th annual Media Awards in Los Angeles this past week and among the winners was former President Bill Clinton. Clinton, a somewhat controversial choice as he is the President who signed DOMA and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law, has since committed himself to "keep working on this until not only DOMA is no longer the law of the land, but until all people, no matter where they live, can marry the people they love."

Clinton went on to state, "I believe you will win the DOMA fight and I think you will win the constitutional right to marry, if not tomorrow, then the next day and the next day."

Clinton also touched on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- "We still need to pass that. From what you've seen tonight we still need to fight bullying and the right kind of immigration reform that doesn't discriminate against anybody," and on the recent proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts -- "We're about halfway home on that."

Clinton also took time to thank his daughter, Chelsea, citing that she has a "profound impact on the way I see the world... Chelsea and her gay friends and her wonderful husband have modeled to me the way we ought to all treat each other without regard to our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us."

More from Clinton’s speech:

"People who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity not out of respect for anyone else. We are less racist, less sexist, for all the problems, we're far less homophobic than we used to be, but we have a new bigotry in America. Apparently, we don't want to be around anyone who disagrees with us about anything...Whenever we turn away from treating someone with the dignity and honor and respect we would want accorded to ourselves, we have to face the fact that it's about to us and we're afraid we wouldn't be us if we couldn't hold on to this, that, and the other little box that doesn't make any sense in a world we're all crashing together in."

"The whole story of the life of our country, of a more perfect union, is to widen the circle of opportunity, to strengthen and enhance the reach of freedom and cement the bonds of community as it gets ever more diverse. Don't you let anyone tell you otherwise. You have made this a better, a more interesting, and a more well-prepared country for the future. We need you fully-armed for the continued struggle for equality. You are the agents of change."


DC Comics introduces first ever transgender superhero

Posted by David Zimmerman April 12, 2013 01:54 PM

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(Photo: DC Comics)

DC Comics, who introduced openly gay and lesbian superheroes last year, has taken lgbt inclusion a step further with their first ever transgender character.

Alysia Yeoh is the roommate of Batgirl Barbara Gordon in DC’s relaunched Batgirl series. In the newly-released Batgirl #19, Alysia – who is also bisexual – comes out to Barbara as a transgender woman.

Over the past year DC has presented several gay and lesbian characters including
Batwoman, Northstar and Green Lantern Alan Scott.

“I looked out into the audience (at the Wondercon Convention), saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” writer Gail Simone told Wired magazine. “And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”

She went on to state, “Look, we have a problem most media don’t have, which is that almost all the tentpoles we build our industry upon were created over a half century ago… at a time where the characters were almost without exception white, cis-gendered, straight, on and on. It’s fine — it’s great that people love those characters. But if we only build around them, then we look like an episode ofThe Andy Griffith Show for all eternity.”

Simone wanted to have “trans characters who aren’t fantasy-based,” noting that Alysia will be a “a character, not a public service announcement… being trans is just part of her story.”

Simone hints that she’s working on a transgender character for another comic and would like to see a trans character take center stage. “It’s time for a trans hero in a mainstream comic.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook tops OUT Magazine's 2013 Power List

Posted by David Zimmerman April 11, 2013 01:14 PM

Out Magazine has released its annual Power List of the Top 50 most powerful “gay men and women whose power and prestige is instrumental in influencing the way Americans think about, and engage with, the world.”

The list is cross-section of personalities from the worlds of business (Megan Smith from Google, Robert Hanson from American Eagle Outfitters, Tom Cook from Apple), politics (Congressman David Cicilline, Senator Tammy Baldwin, New York City Councilor Christine Quinn) and entertainment (Neil Patrick Harris, Andrew Cohen, Jane Lynch).

New comers to the top 10 include the darling on the 2012 presidential election “statistics guru” Nate Silver and musician Frank Ocean who came out last summer. You can see the entire list HERE. The Top 10 are below.


10 Frank Ocean
9. Tammy Baldwin
8. Shepard Smith
7. Peter Thiel
6. Nate Silver
5. Anderson Cooper
4. Rachel Maddow
3. Ryan Murphy
2. Ellen DeGeneres
1. Tim Cook

Army e-mail warns soldiers of anti-gay, 'domestic hate groups,' like 'The Family Research Council'

Posted by Jim Lopata April 10, 2013 07:43 PM

An e-mail from a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel warns officers to be on guard for soldiers affiliated "Domestic 'hate groups'," according to Fox News.

In the communication, the Family Research Council, Westboro Baptist Church, and American Family Association are listed as "Associated Anti-Gay Groups."

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes writes:

A group of Army officers were advised to monitor soldiers who belong to what they considered to be anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration organizations, according to a military email obtained by Fox News. ...

The email was sent by a lieutenant colonel at Fort Campbell in Kentucky to three dozen subordinates – warning them to be on the lookout for any soldiers who might be members of “domestic hate groups.”

FULL ENTRY

Local newspaper turns to readers for funding

Posted by David Zimmerman March 28, 2013 07:55 PM

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Bay Windows, a weekly newspaper serving the area’s lgbt community, has launched a new, non-traditional, model for increasing its revenue. The 30 year old weekly is turning to its readers.

In an article in this week’s edition a letter written by co-publishers Sue O’Connell and Jeff Coakley points out that “the dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.”

The letter goes on to state, “We (Bay Windows) request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.”

Bay Windows is distributed every Thursday and is free of charge. It has been a pillar in the lgbt community since 1983 and received national attention in the recent Presidential election for its coverage on Mitt Romney when Mr. Romney served as the Governor of Massachusetts.

According to the donation page supporters can donate anywhere from $25 - $1,000.

Read the full letter below:

Bay Windows has been proud to serve the New England LGBT community since 1983. Bay Windows has always been a free publication, and our online website has always been free.

For the past thirty years, our newspaper and website have been advertiser supported. How much news we can cover, how many pages we can print or post, how many papers and how many locations we can deliver, has been determined by the revenue from the advertisements that appeared in our publications.

The dynamic of how newspapers make money has changed. While community newspapers like ours fight for ad dollars, readers demand more from our publication. Bay Windows is exploring additional revenue models to meet this demand.

Some publications, including The New York Times and The Boston Globe are moving to a reader-funded models for their online content. Jeff and I never want to put any of our content behind a paywall—there should be as few barriers as possible between those in need and the information about our LGBT community.

We request your financial support. We believe a viable model to bring the revenue needed to improve Bay Windows is a mix of advertising revenue and voluntary financial contributions from you, our readers.

Bay Windows turns 31 this year. Will you pledge your support for the upcoming year by contributing funds? Your contribution will help us keep the website and paper free and improve our coverage.

Please, if you are able, we welcome your support and ask you to spread the word.
Please note - your contribution is not tax deductible.


Is Bill O'Reilly pro marriage equality?

Posted by David Zimmerman March 28, 2013 01:08 PM

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Is Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly pro marriage equality?

Judging by his comments to fellow Fox anchor Megyn Kelly this week it would appear that he is. O’Reilly stated that he didn’t "feel that strongly one way or another" about gay marriage. "I want all Americans to be happy," he said, adding, "I live in New York. New York is fine with it." He also stated that he felt that decisions regarding marriage equality should be left to the states.

In response to Kelly’s statement that pro-marriage equality proponents have been very convincing as opposed to their opponents, O’Reilly agreed, stating, "I agree with you 100 percent. The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals. That is where the compelling argument is. We're Americans, we just want to be treated like everybody else. That's a compelling argument, and to deny that you've got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn't been able to do anything but thump the Bible." He finished by adding that the bible thumping approach was not a basis on which to enact public policy.

In the past O’Reilly has argues that legalized marriage equality would lead to polygamous marriage and has asked if people “should be allowed to marry turtles” if they want.

Lesbian Today Show anchor expecting a baby

Posted by David Zimmerman March 28, 2013 08:50 AM

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Jenna Wolfe, weekend anchor for the Today show, has announced that she and girlfriend Stephanie Gosk, a news correspondent for NBC, are expecting a baby.

“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,” Wolfe told PEOPLE exclusively in its new issue. “But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.” Added Gosk, “The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy. This is a spectacular moment for us.”

Wolfe made the announcement on NBC’s morning show Wednesday, saying, “I’m quite pregnant, actually.” The baby is due in August. Wolfe has also started a blog in which she will post stories related to the pregnancy and allow her fans to follow along in the process.

From the blog:

It's the month 5 B.C. (Before Childbirth, as in 5 months before I give beautiful birth), and I'm sitting down to share what's been brewing on my mind lately. I assume that by the time 5 A.D. comes around. (After Delivery, as in 5 months after this little kicker comes out) the following will be nothing more than a barrel of laughs. But for now, it's taking up a lot of real estate in my daily life.

Of all the jaw-dropping, head-turning and eye-popping things I've ever told my friends and family ("I swam with killer sharks," "I jet-packed 30 feet out of the water," "I scaled the tallest building in Canada"), nothing garnered more shock and awe (and, yes, some tears) than when I told people I was pregnant.

Just writing those words -- "I'm pregnant" -- is surreal to me. After all, I was never the kid that ran around playing house. I never had daydreams about being a mom and raising a family. I was the kid who jumped out of trees and skinned my knees and taunted bees. As a kid, I would have chosen raising my adrenaline over raising children any day of the week. But then a funny thing happened on my way to adulthood … I grew up. I ran smack into the old nursery rhyme: "First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Jenna pushing a baby carriage." Granted, things aren't falling into that exact order. (And are they still called carriages? Aren't they strollers? Clearly I have a lot to learn.)

But while my life didn't quite unfold as rhymed, it's awfully close. How close? My girlfriend, Stephanie Gosk, and I are expecting a baby girl the end of August
Stephanie, a foreign correspondent here at NBC, spent years in war-torn countries, risking life and limb in the most dangerous places on earth to tell amazing stories. Ever since I can remember, I've been a thrill-seeking, dare deviling, adventure-hopping, fearless chick who enjoys the rush of life. Between the two of us, we've seen and we've done more than most will in a lifetime. And yet both of us agree that THIS little girl will be the biggest and best adventure of our lives.


1959 gay TV show discovered, possibly first

Posted by Jim Lopata March 20, 2013 11:36 AM

The British Film Institute (BFI) announced the discovery of a 1959 made-for-television gay drama, called South, which it says may be the first of its kind.

According to The Guardian:

South, adapted by Gerald Savory from an original play by Julien Green and screened on 24 November 1959, "is a milestone" in gay cultural history, said the BFI curator Simon McCallum.

The Guardian's arts correspondent Mark Brown describes the drama as follows:

It involves a dashing Polish army lieutenant exiled in the US deep south as civil war approaches and the question of who he really loves: the plantation owner's angry niece, Miss Regina, or the tall, blond, rugged officer who arrives suddenly – a handsome man called Eric MacClure.

The television play is heady, emotional stuff tackling issues of race as well as sexuality and that it was broadcast by ITV on a winter's night 54 years ago is nothing short of remarkable.

South, will be screened on March 23 and 24 as part of the BFI London Lesbian and Gay FIlm Festival this year.

Anderson Cooper on being gay, "It's a blessing"

Posted by David Zimmerman March 12, 2013 09:25 AM

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(CNN)


"I've always known I was gay from the time I was a little kid. I can't remember a time when I wasn't aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it."

- Anderson Cooper

CNN Anchor/Reporter Anderson Cooper, winner of the 2013 GLAAD Vito Russo Award, has opened up to Sirius XM radio host Michelangelo Signorile about winning the GLAAD award, being gay, and Madonna.

Cooper, currently in Rome covering the Vatican conclave for CNN, called in to Signorile’s OutQ radio program and said that being gay “is a blessing.” On the award, Cooper stated, "It has tremendous meaning, I wish I knew him (Vito Russo). The work he did founding GLAAD and producing The Celluloid Closet, to get more people to know who Vito Russo was … I certainly don't think I'm worthy of it, but if it helps GLAAD and if it helps have more people know who Vito Russo is, then I think it is certainly worthwhile."

Past winners of the award include Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen Degeneres.

Cooper talked about coming out to his closest friends in high school and to his family in college. He remained closeted professionally until just last year (Cooper stated that reporting from war zones around the globe was a major factor in not addressing his sexuality publicly). On finally coming out he said, “over time I started to realize that by not saying something I was sending a message or giving some people the mistaken impression that I was uncomfortable or ashamed and that made me really sad because I really didn’t want to give that impression. I think that being gay is a blessing. I couldn’t be more proud of being gay.”

Further discussing his coming out, and whether others should follow his lead, Cooper stated that “as a community I think we are all better off, gay people and straight people, when we are all visible.”

Cooper also said it was “amazing and crazy” to learn that Madonna would be presenting the award to him, and said he is a “huge fan” of her music.

In a particularly touching part of the interview Cooper also discussed his bother’s suicide and the effect that it has had on his life.

You can listen to the entire interview HERE.

Boston Spirit magazine's 2013 LGBT Executive Networking Night originally scheduled for March 7th has been rescheduled for Wednesday night March 20th. For more information and to RSVP visit www.bostonspiritmagazine.com

'The ultimate anti-gay marriage ad'

Posted by Jim Lopata March 5, 2013 09:37 AM

Are you worried about that gay marriage may destroy straight marriage?

In a YouTube video, comic Brandon Muller imaginations what scary conversations may be occurring in the homes of straight couples everywhere.

Check out his video, The Ultimate Anti-gay Marriage Ad, which says it is "Paid for by the coalition of people whose lives are ruined whenever other people are treated equally."

FULL ENTRY

A quarterback comes out as gay in a USA Network drama

Posted by Jim Lopata February 20, 2013 12:00 PM

Tonight, USA Network's Necessary Roughness imagines what it would be like to have a professional football player come as gay.

From the press release:

On Wednesday, Feb 20, tune in to see the emotional and provocative second half of USA Network's 'Necessary Roughness' at 10/9c as the team tackles their quarter's coming out. The fear, anticipation, support and relief will resonate with viewers who have faced this milestone and give strength to others faced with their own coming out ­not to mention the current fervor over the iron-clad closet of professional sports.

A trailer can be accessed here: http://usanet.tv/NR216cl1

More at www.usanetwork.com/series/necessaryroughness.

Obama says ‘gay’ a lot

Posted by Jim Lopata February 17, 2013 09:15 AM


President Obama Speaks on Strengthening the Economy for the Middle Class in Chicago, including a mention about the importance of having “loving ... gay or straight parents” in society. (Video: The White House)

Has any president uttered the word ‘gay’ as much as President Barack Obama? It’s doubtful.

Much was made of his soaring rhetoric in his second inaugural speech, with words that have already attained legendary status in the LGBT community:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; ...  

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. ... Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law  –- (applause) -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  (Applause.)

But just in the past week, beginning with his State of the Union (SOTU) address last Tuesday, Obama has included ‘gay’ in his public remarks on three separate occasions, in three different ways.

FULL ENTRY

Where are the gay animals on BBC?

Posted by Jim Lopata February 16, 2013 08:31 AM

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Fowl play in the Galapagos (photo: James Lopata)

A British academic is accusing BBC nature host David Attenborough of ignoring homosexual animal behavior in his documentaries.

The UK news organization The Sun reports that University of East Anglia Professor Brett Mills:

claims Sir David’s BBC documentaries focus on family values in animals and shun “alternative interpretations”.

Sir David, 86, described male chimps hugging as “friendly affection”, while male sandpiper birds filmed circling each other were being “aggressive”.

Mills told UK media outlet The Telegraph:

"The central role in documentary stories of pairing, mating and raising offspring commonly rests on assumptions of heterosexuality within the animal kingdom.

"This is despite a wealth of scientific evidence which demonstrates that many non-human species have complex and changeable forms of sexual activity, with heterosexuality only one of many possible options.”

Both news outlets said that the BBC declined to comment.

About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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