Oversold conference on LGBT aging looks for ways to improve lives of elders

Posted on 23 Jul 2016 at 3:20pm
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Mayor Henry LaRosiliere, left, with Dawnetta Miller, middle, and Jeannie Rubin

The second annual Summit on LGBT Aging packed the meeting rooms in one of Southern Methodist University’s Plano campus buildings on Saturday, July 23.

“In the 90’s, the idea of aging just didn’t resonate with many of us,” said GALA NTX President Jeannie Rubin in opening remarks to the conference. “We have become the LGBT aging community we never thought would exist.”

Rubin introduced the opening speaker, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere.

While LaRosiliere wasn’t there to provide solutions, he was there to offer his support in “a city that believes everyone matters.”

He said that all elderly communities have concerns about affordable housing, their finances and health, but acknowledged the LGBT community has “an extra layer you have to contend with.”

“As a city, we will continue to foster our relationship” with the LGBT community, LaRosiliere said, “and find ways we as a community can collaborate.”

Aging Coalition founder Cannon Flowers said in the LGBT community, people on the margins are treated harshly. He defined the margins as those under 21 and those over 45.

“We discriminate in our own community,” Flowers said.

University of North Texas LGBT researcher Bart Poche gave some of the statistics. Currently, about 143,000 aging LGBT people live in North Texas. That number will grow to more than 200,000 over the next decade. Of those, some groups are more marginalized than others. One in three transgender people have been turned away from shelters and are four times more likely to live below the poverty line than the community in general, for example.

One problem addressed at the conference was discrimination in healthcare and housing. Some LGBT elders go back into the closet so they’re not discriminated by healthcare workers or in assisted living.

In a breakout session on improving the social lives of elders to improve their health and quality of life, lots of ideas emerged. Among the suggestions was a buddy program that was successful during the height of the AIDS epidemic. The program would pair a younger person with an older person to help with a variety of needs.

Flowers said during the break out that it’s the policy of the Coalition not to recreate or reinvent services that were out there. So he liked a suggestion at existing groups help create social events targeted at or inclusive of LGBT elderly. One example came from someone from DIVA, the volleyball organization. They recently held a volleyball event for people 45 and older that brought together former DIVA members and others who hadn’t played the game in years.

A breakout session on housing addressed problems faced by LGBT elders in assisted living and nursing care. While most facilities welcome LGBT residents, that welcome is often not much more than acceptance. No programming is available at any facility in the area that addresses LGBT interests.

Moderator Robert Emery noted that the Coalition is creating an equality index this year that will be sent out to all senior facilities in North Texas.

Other panels address transgender, legal, caregiving and legislative issues.

Mike McKay, former Resource Center CEO and current regional manager for the Peace Corps, said, “One thing we all have in common is we’re all aging.”

He summed up the conference with three takeaway ideas:

Change: Figure out how you can change to make your life better as you age.

Connect: Connect to your community by working together with others, through organizations, churches or friends.

Contribute: Whether that’s financially or with your time, especially on legislative issues in the upcoming legislative session.

A Tarrant County summit will be held in Arlington on Nov. 12.

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Craig McCartney goes to Philly … and invites Ted Cruz for pound cake

Posted on 22 Jul 2016 at 12:03pm
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Craig McCartney: Well, Let Me Say This About That

Dallas’ own Craig McCartney has already built up a following with his YouTube channel, “Well, Let Me Say This About That.” Now He’s getting ready to take his show on the road, heading to Philadelphia where he will be vlogging (that’s video blogging, in case you didn’t know) from the Democratic National Convention.

But before he heads to Philly, Craig had a couple of things to say about the just-finished Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

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Not in my America!

Posted on 22 Jul 2016 at 10:50am

 

The Republicans just spent a week trying to build a winning hand, but proved that the only card they have left to play is Trump-ed up fear

 

Haberman-Hardy-I admit it. I watched the Republican National Convention.

It left me very confused, because speech after speech by second-tier GOP luminaries played the only card left in the Republican hand: fear.

We should be afraid of the crime wave sweeping America! We should be afraid of all the criminal illegal Mexicans pouring across our borders! We should be afraid of the terrorists that are slaughtering more people now in America than ever! We should be afraid of the economic disaster the Obama presidency has wrought on America! We should be afraid of the weakened state of defense! We should be afraid of Obamacare! We should be afraid of transgender people invading our son’s and daughter’s bathrooms! We should be afraid of the massive unemployment that this administration has caused and even more fearful of Hillary Clinton continuing on the same trajectory! We should be afraid of the elitism! We are a country in a crisis!

I think I ran out of exclamation points.

What amazes me is that every speaker — with the possible exception of Mrs. Trump — gave the same speech.

More amazing is the country these people are describing. It is an America largely based on fiction, an America that exists only on Fox News and in the minds of the huddled “preppers” who sit in their shelters awaiting the end times.

It is a completely different America than the one in which I live.

In my America, crime statistics show a steady decline in violent crime. In fact, a report from the Brookings Institute shows violent crime has fallen 51 percent since 1991, and is at one of the lowest rates since 1970.

In my America, the rate of illegal immigration has stabilized not increased, and in the case of Mexican immigrants it is actually declining.

And by the way, those illegal immigrants pay taxes. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, in 2013 they paid $7 billion in sales taxes, $1.1 billion in income taxes and $3.6 billion in property taxes.

And as far as their “criminal” behavior — well, of the 14,196 murders committed in 2013, a frightening total of eight were committed by illegal immigrants.

In my America, the economic disaster is the one we are still recovering from — and it started during the Bush administration. Stocks are at all-time highs, and the last report shows unemployment has fallen from close to 10 percent when Obama took office in 2008 to the current rate of 4.9 percent.

Sounds like an economic recovery to me.

In my America, our military spending is higher than the next six countries’ spending combined, including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and India. If anything, we need to cut back on that spending.

In my America, the Affordable Care Act has resulted in fewer people being uninsured. The number dropped from 41.8 million uninsured in 2013 to 33.0 million 2014 (last year available so far). Not everyone, but a pretty good success in a short time, and this in spite of the fact that many states declined to expand Medicaid to help their citizens afford insurance.

In my America, transgender people just want to use the toilet when they go to a public restroom, just like everyone else. In fact, the number of transgender people lurking in bathrooms to prey on unsuspecting people is exactly ZERO. The alleged “cases” that have been reported have all proven to be hoaxes generated by right-wing blogs.

In my America, the elitism I see is a presidential candidate giving interviews sitting in a golden chair in a penthouse apartment of a building with his name emblazoned in gold on the side. That qualifies as elite in my book, as does his private jet and helicopter.

In my America, I am not as afraid of terrorists sneaking into the country as I am of home-grown terrorists staging standoffs with government agents and bombing abortion clinics and shooting up gay nightclubs. And statistically, I am more likely to be killed by my own furniture falling on me than a terrorist.

So all this fear-mongering about our country in crisis? Well, the crisis I see is the very real possibility that the fearmongers will gain the White House. And that would be a big problem in my book.

Take a look at the GOP platform and if you are anyone but a straight, white Protestant you will find something to give you shivers.

The week-long fear fest of the Republican National Convention comes down to one thing: They offer our country a single item. They have come to the end of their deck and all they have left is their “Trump” card: It’s called Fear.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and board member for the Woodhull Freedom Alliance. His blog is at DungeonDiary.blogspot.com.

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NBA to move all-star game out of N.C.

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 3:39pm

BasketballThe NBA announced its 2017 All-Star Game will be moved out of Charlotte.

In April, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver warned Charlotte that if the state’s discriminatory anti-LGBT HB2 wasn’t repealed, the league would pull the game out of the state. While the bill passed and was signed in one day, the legislature spent the rest of the session talking about what to do about it and the millions of dollars it lost as a result.

Today, Silver announced the league is looking at moving the game, possibly to New Orleans, but other cities have been putting in bids. The formal announcement should come later today or tomorrow.

The all-star game, which takes place in February, was held in New Orleans in 2008 and 2014.

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Randy Rainbow’s musical take on the TP ticket

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 12:57pm

Randy Rainbow

So my friend Winter Laurel Mullenix posted a video on her Facebook page by a guy named “Randy Rainbow.” I didn’t know who that was, so I looked it up online. Here’s what Wikipedia says about him:

“Randy Rainbow is a blogger and Internet celebrity based in New York, NY, United States. Rainbow is most notable for a series of humorous YouTube viral videos in which he stages fake phone conversations with famous people by editing real audio clips of those celebrities.”

There’s more. You can read it for yourself if you want. But instead, why not watch this video he has created on the GOP’s 2016 presidential/vice presidential ticket. It’s pretty fabulous. And that starts with F and that rhymes with ….. Never mind. Just watch the video.

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Williams Institute finds food insecurity prevalent in LGBT community

Posted on 21 Jul 2016 at 11:17am

Williams-Institute-Logo copyThe Williams Institute at UCLA, which conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, released a study this week that finds that LGBT people are more likely to suffer from food insecurity than the population in general.

Among the findings, 27 percent, or more than one in four LGBT adults — 2.2 million people by Williams Institute’s estimates — experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to 17 percent of non-LGBT adults.

More than one in four LGB adults aged 18-44 (27 percent) participated in SNAP, compared to 20 percent of non-LGB adults in the same age range.

Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community: 42 percent of LGBT African-Americans, 33 percent of LGBT Hispanics, 32 percent of LGBT American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 31 percent of women, 30 percent of unmarried individuals, and 33 percent of those raising children are particularly likely to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year. (There is overlap among those groups).

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5th Circuit Court: Texas voter ID law is unconstitutional

Posted on 20 Jul 2016 at 2:32pm

I votedThe 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling today upholding lower court rulings declaring that the Texas Voter ID law violates the Voting Rights Act, the Texas Tribune and other sources are reporting.

The Texas law, passed in 2011, is considered one of the strictest of such laws in the country. It requires that voters show a state driver’s license or ID card, a concealed handgun license, a U.S. passport, a military ID card or a U.S. citizenship certificate with a photo before they are allowed to cast their ballot. Student IDs are not considered valid ID under the law.

Some people, such as those with disabilities, can be exempt. But the law caused many problems with transgender voters, whose presentation many times does not match their official ID.

Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas, said his organization is “absolutely thrilled” with the decision. “For everyone who believes in a full and representative democracy, today is day to celebrate,” Espinoza said. “Democrats have argued for more than a decade that Republican attempts to pass a voter ID bill are discriminatory. Today, the most conservative court in the country agreed with what we’ve said — that the voter ID bill is overturned because it effectively cancels the protections guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, of course, disagreed. In a statement issued this afternoon, Paxton said, “It is imperative that the state government safeguards our elections and ensures the integrity of our democratic process. Preventing voter fraud is essential to accurately reflecting the will of Texas voters during elections, and it is unfortunate that this common-sense law, providing protections against fraud, was not upheld in its entirety.”

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Memorial services for Bill Eure set

Posted on 19 Jul 2016 at 11:06am
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Bill Eure

Two memorial services will be held for Bill Eure, 60, who died on Monday, July 18. Eure is the husband of the Rev. Michael Piazza, who was the senior pastor of Cathedral of Hope for 18 years.

The first service will be held on Saturday, July 23, at 1 p.m. at Virginia-Highland Church, 743 Virginia Ave NE, Atlanta.

The second service will be in Dallas on Monday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road. The Rev. Shelly Hamilton and the Rev. Carol West will participate in the service. A reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made online to the Virginia-Highland Church altar guild.

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Oklahoma governor defends anti-LGBT Republican platform

Posted on 18 Jul 2016 at 4:57pm

Mary FallinOklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin defended the anti-LGBT Republican platform on CNN today (Monday, July 18) saying there were gay people on the platform committee.

Actually, of the 112 members of the GOP platform committee, only one, Rachel Hoff, was lesbian. She made impassioned pleas for the party to soften its rhetoric that were completely ignored.

Fallin went on to defend the document that vilifies everything from same-sex marriage to the idea that transgender people have a right to pee by saying the platform is about “how can we make America great and how can we believe and stand for human rights of all people.”

All people — unless they happen to LGBT and want to get married or go to the bathroom.

The platform also calls for passage of the First Amendment Defense Act that would allow anyone to discriminate against LGBT people by simply claiming “a deeply held religious belief.”

Here’s the interview:

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Officer in Robert Moore’s photo to be interviewed on local news tonight

Posted on 18 Jul 2016 at 3:45pm
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Dallas PoliceOfficer JD Smith, photo taken by Robert Moore during the ambush that killed five officers and wounded 7 other officers and two civilians.

We’ve just received word that Officer JD Smith, the Dallas Police officer in Robert Moore’s photos taken during the July 7 ambush shooting downtown, will be interviewed on local news broadcasts at 6 p.m. tonight (Monday, July 18), on Channel 5, the local NBC affiliate, and Channel 11, the local CBS affiliate.

Robert Moore, former publisher and owner of Dallas Voice, was invited by Dallas PD to participate in the interviews, but was across the Trinity in Fort Worth and wasn’t able to get back to Dallas in time to participate.

You can read Officer Smith’s interview with Channel 5 here now.

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