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Activist Questions Denial of U.S. Visas to African LGBT SF Pride Invitees

MelanieNathanMelanie Nathan (right), director of the San Francisco African Leadership Institute, wrote a scathing piece about the state department's denial of visas for several LGBTI persons from African countries whom she had invited to march in the San Francisco Pride Parade. The 2014 celebration, called "Color Our World with Pride," should have been the perfect venue for the expression of oppressed communities from around the globe, particularly LGBTI Africans and particularly given the United States' response to anti-gay actions on the part of the Ugandan government, among others. Nathan found herself distressed at the notion of Secretary of State John Kerry touting the state department's commitment to global equality initiatives (as the speaker at the department's GLIFAA Pride event, no less) while denying visas to the people who need them most.

Writes Nathan at HuffPost:

The State Department denied seven people a platform to speak about the persecution in their countries, presumably for fear that they might not return home to the countries that persecute them. And after they were denied, a clear pattern emerged, and I pulled 11 of the remaining 14 applicants.

While the Obama administration and this secretary of state have supported the LGBT movement like none before, there is no excuse for this flagrant snub and the homophobic attitude expressed by some of the consular officials who did the interviewing.

JohnKerryNathan argues that by denying visas the U.S. government is abetting the oppression faced by many of the people she had invited for participation in the Pride event. "[By] denying these Pride visas, we may as well have added the victims of the persecution to the blacklist too," Nathan writes.

She believes that Kerry (left) and his department have done a disservice to the global community, and it is hard to deny the cruel irony of the situation:

"No matter where you are, no matter who you love, we stand with you," noted Kerry in that Pride-affirming speech. "And that's what pride means, and that's what drives us today."

And he further assured, "The journey isn't complete. The march isn't over. The promise isn't perfected. But we will march on together."

...

No, Mr. Secretary, it seems that in fact we are not marching together. You have denied us all that privilege.


Motorcycle-Riding Homophobe Has a Very Bad Day: VIDEO

SanFranMotorcycle

KRON-4 news' segment "People Behaving Badly," hosted by Stanley Roberts, found a perfect specimen in a motorcycle-riding jerk who blatantly disobeyed traffic laws.

Driving the wrong way down a one-way street near the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, the guy notices he is being filmed and proceeds to yell a string of insults and curse words at Roberts, eventually telling him, "Go f*** yourself!" Roberts replies that that might be difficult and the man screams back, "Get your boyfriend to do it for you."

In the end, police caught it all on tape and the perpetrator gets a ticket.

Check out the satisfying clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Motorcycle-Riding Homophobe Has a Very Bad Day: VIDEO" »


Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO

Flight_attendant

On a San Francisco to Chicago flight June 17th, a male flight attendant replaced the usual safety announcement with a sassy speech.

The unidentified attendant said that seat belts should be “low and tight across your hips just like the hot pink Speedo I’m going to be wearing when I get the [other flight attendants] to a hotel hot tub tonight.”

According to YouTube uploader David London, the attendant also threw a cocktail party half way through the flight.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

You may recall another sassy Southwest attendant from this clip that went viral back in April. Seems as though they're trying to take some of the drudgery out of air travel.

Continue reading "Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO" »


Nancy Pelosi Urges San Francisco Archbishop Against Joining NOM’s Anti-gay Marriage March

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is joining the growing list of California officials urging San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to reconsider his participation in NOM’s upcoming ‘March for Marriage’ in Washington D.C. – a rally Pelosi called “venom masquerading as virtue.”

CordileoneThe San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, who, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become the Catholic bishops' point man against gay marriage. She urged him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons."

Invoking the words of Pope Francis with regard to gays and lesbians, she wrote, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"

Cordileone, one of the featured speakers at the march, was a leader in the 2008 campaign for Proposition 8 and is a longtime critic of marriage equality, claiming,"The ultimate attack of the evil one is the attack on marriage."

An online petition asking Cordileone not to participate in the hate rally has already gathered over 27,000 signatures.

NOM's March for Marriage is this Thursday.


California Officials Urge SF Archbishop to Reconsider Joining NOM Hate March

A group of San Francisco and California officials have signed a letter to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, urging him to reconsider his participation in NOM's 'March for Marriage' on June 19 in Washington D.C., according to a press release from the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

CordileoneLt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State Senator Mark Leno, State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, and Supervisors David Campos and Scott Wiener are among the more than 70 leaders and organizations calling on Archbishop Cordileone to reconsider his participation in the National Organization for Marriage's march and rally and, instead, "join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred."

"We respect freedom of religion and understand that you oppose civil marriage for same-sex couples," write the diverse group of signers, which includes the Episcopal Bishops of California and Wisconsin, the Very Rev. Dr. Brian Baker, Dean of the Cathedral at Sacramento's Trinity Cathedral; Rev. Will McGarvey, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa and Community Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, pastor of the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ; Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto Sr., Pastor of Glide Memorial UMC; and Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor Tikkun Magazine. "Many people of faith who have different opinions on the question of civil marriage for same-sex couples have come together in respectful dialogue and discernment to discuss those differences. Sadly, the actions of NOM and its invited speakers push us farther apart rather than bringing us together."

The signers point to NOM's "long and well-documented history of publishing material that connects homosexuality with pedophilia and incest and falsely suggests that gays and lesbians are trying to 'inculcate children.'" The Family Research Council, which is co-sponsoring the event, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The letter points out that the actions of NOM and several of the invited speakers contradict the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "which states that lesbian and gay people 'must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.'"

The letter comes as Catholic bishops are being urged to expand their priorities, with Pope Francis slated to convene a meeting of senior clerics this fall to reexamine issues such as same-sex marriage. A recent poll by Public Religion Research Institute found that 57 percent of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

There is also a petition asking Cordileone not to go.

Among those participating are Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

Cordileone, as you may recall, was a central strategist in the campaign to pass Proposition 8, and has more recently said that understanding gays "tenderizes us."

Read the letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "California Officials Urge SF Archbishop to Reconsider Joining NOM Hate March" »


Organizer Of San Francisco's 'Trannyshack' Party Drops 'Tranny' From Name

Amid the continued public flap about Ru-Paul’s use of the word “tranny”, Heklina Heklina — the organizer of San Francisco’s “Trannyshack” party — publicly announced that she would drop the word “tranny” from her party and re-brand it with a new name by 2015.

HeklinaIn a public Facebook post, Heklina said, “Whether I like it or not the very name of my legendary nightclub has become political.” She then explained why she originally chose the name and what compelled her to change it:

First, a little history about the name Trannyshack, and the club itself. When I started the club (waaaaaay back in 1996) the word “tranny” did not have the charged weight to it that it has today. Simply put, it was not (arguably) considered a slur word, and not even thought of on the same level as the words “dyke” or “faggot” (two words which, maybe ironically, have somehow become less charged and have been “reclaimed” to a certain degree-for instance, leading the Pride Parade in San Francisco every year are the Dykes On Bikes. I can’t imagine in this day, a contingent called Trannies On Bikes). There are people who might argue this, but I’m sorry it just was not a word thought of as a slur on the same level as today. It was just not. I considered the name transgressive, and cutting edge…

Every walk of life came to, and performed at, Trannyshack. Gay men, lesbians, drag kings, drag kings, M to F’s, F to M’s, Faux Queens, and yes, even straight people. It won every award for Best Drag show in SF every year, and is generally thought to have redefined drag on the West Coast. It didn’t matter (and still does not) what gender you were, or what you had between your legs, if you were a great performer you were welcome on the Trannyshack stage. It grew to mean a great deal to a great many people…

However. Increasingly, and in the past year especially, it’s become clear to me the meaning the word tranny has taken on. I’ve tried to avoid the issue because I’ve spent almost 20 years branding and promoting my club. But more and more, I am asked on the street, in interviews, and online about my thoughts on the word, and the name of my club. I’ve given the answer “Oh, my club is different, it means so much to so many people, it’s this it’s that, etc.”, but it’s been nagging at me.

I started to talk to people close to me about the need for a rebrand. What really was the clincher for me was a post I saw on Facebook by a performer at my club . I wasn’t tagged in the post, but came across it anyway. He said how excited he was to be performing at my club but, out of embarrassment, he couldn’t type the name of it, and something along the lines of “you all know where it is”. Ouch, OK. Time for a rebrand.

I am in the business of (hopefully) entertaining people. It’s never been my intention to hurt people. I am not another Shirley Q. Liquor, wanting to offend just for sake of it. Also, on a purely business level, I don’t want to be viewed as archaic, out of step with the times, like an ostrich with my head in the sand.

She added, "As I see it, there’s two ways we can deal with this. We can see this as progress and a step forward, or we can engage in fighting and divisiveness. Whichever one you choose I am going for progress, and away from hurt and anger." 

Until the 2015 rollout, Heklina has decided to use “T-Shack” as a temporary name while she researches a better one. She then refused to engage the matter further via Facebook, but invited people to talk with her about the old and new names face-to-face.


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