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Portland Apple Customer Finds Homophobic Slur On Receipt, Calls For Social Competency Training

AppleSlurAdam Catanzarite went into a Portland, Oregon Apple store for a pair of headphones, and left with what could be considered a homophobic slur. A few days after his purchase, Catanzarite took a closer look at his receipt only to find "f@g.com" written where his email (which he declined to give to the employee) should have been.

Catanzarite, an HIV prevention specialist at Cascade AIDS Project and a self-identified queer individual, took action, calling the store, speaking with the manager, and eventually being promised a refund; as of yesterday, he had not received it.

PQ Monthly reports:

In a post to Facebook, Catanzarite explained his immediate response and why he felt this was unacceptable:

“The store manager did not do what he said he would to rectify the situation… being queer and having worked with queer youth, I know first-hand that this is an example of the type of #homophobic beliefs and actions that lead young people to harm themselves. This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming.”

Rather than fire the employee who entered the offending phrase, Catanzarite believes that there should be more cultural competency training for Apple employees on the whole. The Oregonian reports:

Catanzarite followed the initial Facebook post with another on Wednesday morning, describing the encounter in greater detail. In that post, he said:

“The employee who entered f@g.com should not be fired (take a minute to let that settle in if you need to), but should be given an opportunity to learn about the impact of the use of the word fag and how these words impact the individuals who have been oppressed by them.”

Catanzarite said he hasn’t heard from Apple regarding how or why the slur appeared on his receipt but in this case, he said, the employee’s intent doesn’t matter.

“All I can really focus on is how it impacted me and how we can move forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Several updates from PQ Monthly indicate that the incident really could have been accidental on the part of the employee, particularly regarding the quick input of emails (when not given to the employee) and the proximity of "f" and "g" on the keyboard. The unnamed contact--an employee at the same Apple store location--also said that they believe the employee in question is homosexual and that they have heard him use the word "fag" "in a casual, callous, or even joking manner.”

Misunderstanding or not, it is undoubtedly important to recognize the sensitivity around use of inappropriate or offensive language. Apple has yet to respond to the situation, beyond recognition of its occurrence. 


Latino Labor Group Stands Up To Catholic Church, Refuses To Cut Ties With LGBT-Friendly Allies

Voz

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has threatened to cut funding to a Latino workers rights organization if it refuses to cut ties with other groups that support marriage equality, reports Think Progress.

Voz, which primarily helps Latino immigrants find work in Portland, Oregon, does not take a position on marriage equality. However, when faced with the decision to end it’s association with Latino rights group the National Council of La Raza or lose $75,000 of it’s $310,000 annual budget, Voz leaders “self-disqualified” the group by voting to continue the affiliation.

The CCHD is subject to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a longtime opponent of marriage equality.

In a press release, Romeo Sosa, Executive Director of Voz, wrote:

“CCHD forced the question of Marriage Equality into the grant process. Ultimately we are an organization that does not discriminate; many of us know people who are gay, lesbian and transgender. They are our aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

However, other local organizations are now rushing in to support Voz. Spokespeople from the Oregon AFL-CIO and Basic Rights Oregon hosted a news conference on Wednesday to declare their solidarity with Voz, and Basic Rights Oregon has already received nearly $10,000 in pledges from pro-LGBT organizations.

Call To Action, a Catholic social justice group, has launched an online Groundswell petition asking the CCHD to “stop bullying social justice organizations with litmus tests over LGBT equality.”

The CCHD’s decision is seen by some as hypocritical given that Catholic groups are currently lobbying President Barack Obama for exemptions from a pending executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees.


Wiki Loves Pride Edit-A-Thons Improve LGBT Content On Wikipedia

Wikimedia lgbt

Last month, Wikipedia launched a series of Wiki Loves Pride edit-a-thons to improve LGBT-related content on various Wikimedia projects.

The edit-a-thons aim to increase “the number of people and perspectives contributing to LGBT information on the site, as well as encouraging institutions to add their authority information, research and images to the public domain.”

Edit-a-thons have already taken place in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Portland, Oregon.  Future edit-a-thons are planned for Atlanta and Houston and for Bangalore and Delhi, India.


Former Exodus International Chairman John Paulk Opens Up About New Life

Chef_John_2

John Paulk, former leader of Focus on the Family's 'Love Won Out' 'ex-gay' ministry and poster child of the now defunct “ex-gay” organization Exodus International, has opened up about his post-Exodus life in Portland. Since his departure from public life Paul has disavowed the efficacy and validity of “reparative therapy”.

“Reparative therapy is, by definition, based on the notion that something is “broken” in one’s identity, needing repair.” Paulk explained to Politico. “I wanted my homosexuality to change, but the truth is: For all my public rhetoric, I was never one bit less gay.”

Paulk made headlines in the fall of 2000 after being identified at Mr. P’s, a Washington D.C. gay bar, while travelling on a Focus on The Family speaking tour. Paulk would go on to resign from Focus on The Family in 2003.

“Behind closed doors, many of us in the “ex-gay” leadership at Focus on the Family would even admit this to each other,” Said Paulk. “We know our orientation hasn’t really changed. What has changed is our behavior. Our way of life. How we see ourselves. Our sexuality has not changed.”

Since moving to Oregon with his wife and children, Paulk has rebooted his life as a chef, founding a catering business in 2005 and making frequent appearances on local Portland radio and television programs. Despite the success he’s found in his new life Portland, a famously gay-friendly city, has confronted Paul about his past.

“I was confronted by a man in a coffee shop who was angry and had tears in his eyes,” Paulk recalled. “Up until then I hadn’t really seen or understood a lot of the pain I had been causing in my two decades as an ex-gay activist. That encounter was a beginning.”


Gay Marriage Proposal Of The Day: Ryan And Clayton

Powell's, the largest independent bookstore in the world (located in Portland, OR), became the site of an adorable same-sex marriage proposal this week. Towleroad reader Clayton told us that he thought he was going to a friend's book signing when, lo and behold, now-fiance Ryan got down on one knee.

Powell's tweeted this Instagram picture with the caption: "Today's best thing. #Repost from @malexonthego --- It was so special getting to witness Ryan propose to Clayton. I love love! #hesaidyes."

PowellsProposal

Congrats to Ryan and Clayton! 


Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme Plays a 'Disappointing Gay' on 'Portlandia': VIDEO

Portlandia

Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme guest stars on Portlandia. Carrie's brother stops by to introduce his boyfriend and Fred and Carrie are disappointed to learn that they don't live up to stereotypes.

IFC adds:

He doesn’t dabble in home decorating, he doesn’t give unsolicited fashion advice, and he and his boyfriend are total slobs. In fact, they like to do Jagerbombs for breakfast instead of drinking heart-healthy kale smoothies.

Check out a clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Tyler Coates thinks the clip seems very familiar...

Continue reading "Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme Plays a 'Disappointing Gay' on 'Portlandia': VIDEO" »


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