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03/02/2015

Pauli Murray Is The Queer, Black Visionary The LGBT Community Needs To Pay Homage To

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.37.25 PMIn 1944 Pauli Murray first coined the term “Jane Crow” to describe her experiences as a black, female law student studying at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In her senior thesis “Should the Civil Rights Cases and Plessy Be Overruled?” Murray argues that Plessy v Ferguson was inherently biased and ultimately worked in counter to the public’s interest in integration. In time those same arguments would come to shape and guide decisions made by Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As a gender non-conforming woman with self-admitted attraction to other women, Murray is one of the most important queer women that the bulk of the LGBT community routinely fails to call out as being one of its champions. Writing for Salon Brittney Cooper explains that were she to have had cultural and ideological access to modern terminology, there’s a believable chance that Murray would have identified as transgender:

“That terminology was not available to Murray in the 1930s and 1940s, since it was not invented until the 1950s,” Cooper describes. “Like so many other facets of Murray’s life, she was a couple of decades ahead of her time.”

Cooper continues: 

“Throughout her life she chose to openly pursue passionate, romantic partnerships and friendships with women. She was never in the closet; her family and friends and other civil rights leaders knew of her queer identity.  But by the 1950s, Murray was an established and up-and-coming civil rights attorney.  That, coupled with her past participation with the Communist Party in her early adulthood, made her a target of the Red Scare. By the time she wrote her autobiography, “Song in a Weary Throat,” she wiped all mention of her same-sex relationships from explicit mention in the text, though she left clear traces of these interactions and struggles in her archives.”

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 3:05 PM EST by in Law - Gay, LGBT, Law Enforcement | Permalink | Comments (0)


Russell Tovey: 'I Thank My Dad' for Not Letting Me Become 'Really Effeminate'

Tovey

In an interview with The Guardian, 33-year-old Looking actor Russell Tovey speaks out about his experience growing up on stage and the role his father played in his coming out - with Tovey expressing gratitude that his father helped steer him away from becoming "some tapdancing freak without qualifications."

Says Tovey:

"I was so envious of everyone who went to Sylvia Young Theatre School. I wanted to go but my dad flat-out refused. He thought I’d become some tapdancing freak without qualifications. And he was right in a way. I’m glad I didn’t go. That might have changed…I feel like I could have been really effeminate, if I hadn’t gone to the school I went to. Where I felt like I had to toughen up. If I’d have been able to relax, prance around, sing in the street, I might be a different person now. I thank my dad for that, for not allowing me to go down that path. Because it’s probably given me the unique quality that people think I have.”

Tovey says this "unique quality" is his ability to "play straight, and gay, and everyone’s OK with it.” Earlier in the interview, Tovey reveals his decision to start bulking up at the gym at age 18 came after he was attacked by a gang of men while on a train - one of whom slashed his head with a knife. 

Tovey has talked in the past about his fractured relationship with his father after coming out at age 18. In previous interviews, he's suggested that his parents would have pushed him to seek "hormone treatment" for his homosexuality had they known sooner. Tovey says his father has since mellowed and the relationship with his parents is "amazing" now. 

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 2:31 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (34)


Eric Holder Calls LGBT Equality 'The Defining Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time' In New Op-Ed on Marriage

Holder

Ahead of the Supreme Court's hearing on the issue later this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is speaking out on marriage equality in a USA Today op-ed:

Writes the outgoing AG:

This week, the Justice Department will file a brief setting forth our position that state bans on same-sex marriage violate the fundamental constitutional guarantee of "equal protection of the laws." It is clear that the time has come to recognize that gay and lesbian people deserve robust protection from discrimination.

Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage. Denying them the right to marry serves only to demean them and their children, to degrade the dignity of their families and to deny them the full, free and equal participation in American life to which every citizen is entitled.

Marriage bans inflict concrete harms that touch nearly every aspect of daily life for gay and lesbian couples. The bans intersect with issues as varied as workers' compensation, taxation and inheritance, posing challenges to basic financial security. Same-sex couples living in states with bans too often face obstacles to adopting and raising children together. And restrictions on medical decision-making and hospital visitation impose devastating burdens during the moments when a partner is needed most.

The mental and emotional injuries are just as acute. A marriage ban written into state law broadcasts the state's view that same-sex couples and their children are second-class families, undeserving of the rights and protections offered to opposite-sex couples. It creates a stigma that pervades society, encouraging individuals to harass or belittle even their loved ones because of pressures brought by their community. And it harms relationships between family members by perpetuating a destructive notion that some individuals — and some children — should be shown less love and support simply because of who they are. That is a view the Department of Justice flatly rejects. And with our brief, we will make clear that the United States stands firmly on the side of equality.

Read the full op-ed HERE

Watch President Obama highlight Holder's longstanding support for LGBT equality at a goodbye ceremony last Friday, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Eric Holder Calls LGBT Equality 'The Defining Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time' In New Op-Ed on Marriage"

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 1:55 PM EST by in Eric Holder, Gay Marriage, News, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (10)


WATCH: Guy Straps Himself With Mentos Suit, Jumps In Coke-Filled Bathtub

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.38.07 PM

Don't try this at home...unless you really like making messes in your bathroom.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Giffffr

Continue reading "WATCH: Guy Straps Himself With Mentos Suit, Jumps In Coke-Filled Bathtub"

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 1:25 PM EST by | Permalink | Comments (11)


In Texas, Gay Marriage Chaos Could Be Only The Beginning

Goodfriend

There've been some notable developments since marriage equality chaos erupted in Texas last month. 

If you'll remember, longtime lesbian couple Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant received a marriage license Feb. 19 after a county probate judge struck down the state's marriage ban. The Texas Supreme Court subsequently issued an emergency order blocking any further marriages. 

TinderholtSince then, a Republican state lawmaker has filed an ethics complaint against the judge who ordered the license to be issued. However, there a few problems with the complaint from state Rep. Rep. Tony Tinderholt, which accuses District Judge David Wahlberg of failing to properly notify the attorney general's office before declaring a law unconstitutional.   

First, Tinderholt's complaint was filed against the wrong judge. Wahlberg didn't strike down the ban. He merely ordered the license to be issued pursuant to the Probate Judge Guy Herman's ruling. Second, it turns out that Herman did in fact notify the attorney general's office of his intent to strike down the ban, back in January.  

Finally, it's worth noting that Tinderholt is married to his fifth wife, yet he's seeking to punish a judge who granted a marriage license to a lesbian couple of 30 years — one of whom is dying from ovarian cancer. 

In a related development, the anti-gay, GOP-dominated Texas House inadvertently allowed the rabbi who performed the marriage to deliver the invocation on the floor of the chamber last week. 

Needless to say, this could be only the beginning of marriage equality chaos in Texas. Attorneys for two same-sex couples have asked the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals to lift a stay on a federal judge's ruling striking down the ban last year. If that happens, it likely would trigger the Legislature to attempt to strip the salaries of county clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  

Hang onto your cowboy hats. 

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 12:55 PM EST by in Austin, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Texas | Permalink | Comments (10)


Carly Rae Jepsen's 'I Really Like You' Is Really, Really Catchy: LISTEN

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 12.12.41 PM

Carly Rae Jepsen, the Canadian singer-songwriter behind 2012's mega viral "Call Me Maybe," is back with what sounds like another smash success. Warning: this song will stick in your head by the second listen.

Jepsen has also teased the music video is "coming soon" and will feature Tom Hanks and Justin Bieber. No word yet on if there will be a hunky gay twist ending to this one too. 

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Carly Rae Jepsen's 'I Really Like You' Is Really, Really Catchy: LISTEN"

Posted Mar. 2,2015 at 12:25 PM EST by in Carly Rae Jepsen, Music | Permalink | Comments (2)


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