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Meet The Castro-Martinez Family

Castro-MartinezThis weekend, Texan LGBT paper The Dallas Voice introduces readers to the Castro-Martinez family. They're not a gay family, but oh well.

Writes the Voice:

A little more than a year ago, Avigail was expecting her and Joel’s third child. Their daughter, who would be named Genesis, was going to be born any minute. About 2 a.m. on Nov. 21, 2010, in need of some last-minute supplies, Joel and Avigail put their sons into the family’s Chrysler Sebring, and the family headed to the store.

But as they passed through an intersection on McCart Avenue, on Fort Worth’s south side, a drunk driver in an SUV ran a red light and slammed broadside into the family’s car. The drunk driver then fled the scene, but a Fort Worth Police officer who saw the accident was able to give his fellow officers enough information about the SUV that they were able to track down the driver while the first officer stayed at the scene of the accident with the gravely injured family of four.

... The two young boys suffered serious injuries. Joel had fractured ribs and several lacerations. Eliel suffered a laceration to his liver. Their father Joel was so severely injured that he was unable to work for six months after the accident.

But Avigail was the surviving family member with the most serious injuries. Not only did she lose her unborn daughter, she suffered bleeding in her brain and in her lungs, and spent six months on life support — unresponsive and unaware of anything going on around her. Now, Avigail remains confined to a wheelchair, and she will be for the rest of her life, unable to care for herself or her family.

The Voice is calling for readers to help the Tarrant County DA's office, which has officially "adopted" the Castro-Martinez family for the holidays. They're looking for donations of "in-kind" items, such as a wheelchair for Avigail, a shower chair, and toys for the kids. Deets on how to help may be found at The Voice, along with this heartening, thoroughly pro-family message:

I know that we have plenty of people here in our own LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities that need our help this holiday season. I am not saying we should ignore them. But I just think we should remember that we don’t have to restrict ourselves to just helping our own. When you get right down to it, we’re all in this together.

[Photo: Courtesy of The Dallas Voice]


Tonight, Queer Rising Will Occupy Times Square

TimesSquareWhere do queer homeless kids go on Xmas? That's what the ginormous billboard above Times Square's Forever 21 will ask passersby beginning at 6 p.m., as Queer Rising stages a demonstration below. The billboard will also offer the curious a phone number to call, if they really want to know about the unlucky kids' holiday plans: "Cuomo: 518-474-8390."

The homeless youth population is disproportionately made up of LGBT folk. And what scant resources are availible to them are chronically under-funded and under-licensed.


Bereaved Teen Has A Favor To Ask

Suicide

This teenager has made a touching anti-suicide video. Why? Because her mother took her own life last month. Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Can A Porn Star Safely Educate Your Children?

ShockedKidSasha Gray is a retired porn star. She's a lot more than that, too -- she's a PETA activist and author, as well as an actress in what HuffPo refers to as "more mainstream flicks," including an upcoming release starring Rob Lowe. And Ms. Gray is an educator. Last week, she participated in a program called "Read Across America," during which she read to underprivileged 1st and 3rd grade children at Emerson Elementary School in Compton, CA. From photos obtained by TMZ after the fact, it does not appear that Ms. Gray read excerpts from The Diary of Anais Nin.

Nevertheless, TMZ says parents complained about Ms. Gray's presence, which prompted a school spokesperson to stupidly deny that Ms. Gray had ever been there at all. (To be fair, we don't know how the question was worded. I can imagine some innocent pencil-pusher stammering on the phone: "No! We didn't have any porn stars here! Sasha Gray works with Rob Lowe!") Now, the web is so titilated that even Reuters is publishing stories with headlines like:"Former adult-film actress Sasha Grey is giving her critics a hot, steaming mouthful, after catching flak for participating in a children's reading program last week."

After her appearance sparked faux outrage on the interwebs, Ms. Gray proclaimed:

I committed to this program with the understanding that people would have their own opinions about what I have done, who I am and what I represent ... I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner. I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am... I believe in the future of our children, and I will remain an active supporter and participant in education-focused initiatives.


Australian Lesbians Propose A Trade

BabyNiniAndrea and Alisa are a lesbian couple in New South Wales, Australia. They want a baby. They don't want to adopt, and they don't want to use the genetic material of some anonymous donor. Of the search for appropriate DNA, Elisa says: "It's not like looking through a catalogue for a pair of shoes. This is a potential child."

The couple sought an appropriate sperm donor through an ad in a gay publication. They met with a few putative papas, but none clicked.

Then, according to the Sydney Morning Herald:

... the pair conceived the idea of approaching heterosexual couples and arranging an egg-for-sperm swap.

''That way both families would be in a like-for-like situation,'' Elisa said. ''We realised they would only be looking for eggs if they have already tried to conceive.

''They understand the challenges of assisted reproductive technology. A sperm-for-egg swap is what I like to call an altruistic, reciprocal gift of life.''

They placed an advertisement in the popular parenting publication Sydney's Child two months ago and have already received a few responses from couples willing to discuss the arrangement.

''There are hundreds of women out there who need eggs and all these gay women who need sperm,'' Andrea said. ''This is an ideal arrangement if you can work something out with the right people. That said, it does have lots of complications as well.''

Of course it will! But those problems do not seem to include the opprobrium of the heterosexual community. Elisa and Andrea have reportedly received some inquiries from interested straight couples already, and so far, there's been not a peep of criticism on the interwebs. Though it is nice to think that, somewhere, the Hon. David Clarke is quietly seething.


Rachel Maddow on The Family's Opposition of Anti-Gay Uganda Bill

Maddowu

In yesterday's Uganda update, I Posted about the news that The Family had come out against Uganda's "Kill the gays" bill. Rachel Maddow looked at the announcement last night.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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