Vote for competence and integrity, not just party

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 3:45pm

Natinsky, Hawk, Lee, DeWitt deserve your vote.

 

Rob SchleinFor too many elections, Dallas Voice readers voted based on the question “Are they ‘with me’ or ‘against me’ as it pertains to gay rights. The main criteria have always been the questions of same-sex marriage and non-discrimination in employment. And therefore, readers aligned with the Democrat Party.

Now that the courts are nearly unanimous in deciding the marriage question, and since major cities and corporations have addressed non-discrimination policies protecting gay people, perhaps it is time to move beyond this traditional paradigm.

I believe it’s time to ask: “How qualified, competent and honest is the candidate?”

The answer to this question does not fall neatly within political party lines.

There are a number of candidates on the Republican side that clearly excel, and I will ask you to avoid your tendency to pull the “D” lever at the polls and to vote for them.

They are Ron Natinsky for Dallas County judge, Susan Hawk for Dallas County district attorney, Mike Lee for judge and Lisa DeWitt for judge.

Ron Natinsky won the endorsement of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance when he ran for mayor, and he has a proven record of public and private accomplishments.

I have had far too many Democrats contact me to ask about Ron because they are unimpressed with Clay Jenkins’ Ebola preparedness, the quality of his communication skills during broadcast interviews and his desire to bring thousands of illegal immigrant children to Dallas.

But aside from Ebola, Clay just isn’t working well for Dallas County. The New Parkland Hospital is already a budget mess, and the hiring of a $1 million-a-year salaried director is questionable. If you are concerned with income inequality, that should “rankle your feathers.”

More importantly, Dallas area growth hasn’t come to Dallas County because Clay Jenkins doesn’t know how to attract businesses to our county, and how to avoid the northern county migration.

Susan Hawk has an impeccable reputation and the experience of a prosecuting attorney.  She can restore morale and proficiency in the office of the district attorney.

Craig Watkins, on the other hand, has lost all integrity. Are you really okay with the idea that he uses forfeiture funds for personal purposes?

Forget whether he is “pro-gay” or not,, he has a reputation for being a bully. He fired one well-regarded attorney in his office just for attending a GOP political function. This is the kind of bullying gays should abhor.

Mike Lee is running against Sally Montgomery. It’s one thing to have different views on politics. But it’s quite another to make rulings from the bench that have no basis in law.

The Dallas Observer rated Sally “The Worst Judge in Texas,” and wrote that the 5th Court of Appeals is very busy undoing her decisions. The Dallas Morning News editorial board, once referred to her as “arrogant and capricious.”

And, let’s not forget Lisa DeWitt, who is on the leadership team of the local Log Cabin Republicans chapter.

Are there Democrats worthy of Republican consideration?

Yes. I’m likely voting Democrat in these races:

• Mike Collier for comptroller. As a former employee of a Big 8 accounting firm from my early professional years, I appreciate the competence of a CPA in that position. The Republican candidate has no such background. It takes more skills than espousing one’s religious faith to run a comptroller’s office effectively.

• Leticia Van de Putte for lieutenant governor. I’m not convinced that Republican Dan Patrick is a good choice for lieutenant governor. GOP friends in the Senate have had less than kind words for him during his primary campaign. Dan is not well liked or trusted among his Austin peers, and I worry that he would become the Republican Harry Reid of our state Senate, creating the gridlock most of us hate in Washington.

• Sam Houston for attorney general. Republican Ken Paxton has some legal troubles ahead as was pointed out by his GOP Primary opponent, Dan Branch, that are very serious. Enough said.

So, I ask all the readers this election season: Don’t just vote for a Party. Vote for competence. Vote for integrity. I am,

Rob Schlein is president of Metroplex Republicans, an LGBT Republican organization.

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When it comes to dating (or hooking up), do you have a racial preference?

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 2:06pm

“The heart wants what it wants,” the saying goes, but even if that’s the case, does broadcasting a racial or ethnic preferences on a hookup app smack of honesty … or racism?

It’s a question many gay men have probably asked themselves in the age of Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, Jack’d and other such apps. “Not into Asian guys — sorry, just a preference” is probably familiar to some. Others are more coarse: “No blacks! No exceptions!”

This summer, the blog Angry Homosexual took up this cause with an experiment: The author (himself Asian) posted two profiles on Grindr with equally impressive stats and pictures. The only difference? One profile was for a white guy, one an Asian. And the author found that the white guy did a lot better in the dating market.

According to him, there’s a hierarchy that goes “white, Latino (honorary whites), Mixed, Asian, Black, Indian, etc.” I’m not sure where he gets all those stats, but I won’t dispute them here.

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not discriminate on race or ethnicity. I have been in relationships with white, Southeast Asian, Arab, black, mixed race and Latino men over my adult life. To me, hot is hot … and nice is nice, interesting is interesting, a good person is a good person. Am I attracted to men who “turn me on” more than those who have good qualities but I don’t find physically appealing? Sure, we all do. But race is never a factor for me.

I wonder if, once you start dating outside your own race, you have a sense for physical beauty that’s more expansive than if you never did. For instance: If you grew up idealizing blond hair and blue eyes, chances are black, Latin and Asian men don’t fit into that. But what if you dated a bald guy? Once you got beyond the color of the hair, and developed an attraction for a sleek head, would you start to think, “Hmmm… dark-skinned heads can be nice, too.”

The question I have about this, though, is: How do you feel about guys who express those preferences on their hookup profiles? If they aren’t attracted to one race, do you appreciate them being up-front about it so you don’t waste your time? Or is that assertion of one preference a breach of social decorum?

And maybe just as importantly: Does it matter what your race is? I mean, you rarely see “no white guys” on app profiles, so is being white the advantage the Angry Homosexual says it is? But I have seen black men saying “not into blacks” and Asians who do not wish to date other Asians. Is this better or worse?

And what about guys who only want a different race? Some men will ask, for instance, “You into black guys?” Is being into someone because of their race better or worse than not wanting someone for the same reason?

And how do you personally react when you see a same-sex interracial couple? Is it still a taboo?

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Equality comes to the Equality State tomorrow

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 1:30pm

safe_imageEquality comes to Wyoming, whose nickname is The Equality State, on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights brought suit against Wyoming to come into line with the rest of the Tenth Circuit after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from Utah and Oklahoma, also in that circuit.

The state announced that it would not appeal, clearing the way for marriages to begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

Wyoming becomes marriage equality state No. 32 after AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MN, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA, WV and WI, plus DC.

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Voting early with and nearly falling on Wendy Davis

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 12:13pm

I nearly fell on Sen. Wendy Davis at a press event this morning (see: second photo, sixth row). I was taking photos for the gallery below of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who was in Fort Worth to cast her vote on the first day of early voting. Of all the reporters, photojournalists and broadcast journalists there, clearly the staff writer at the LGBT publication would be the one to cause a scene.

I’d also like to apologize the Fox 4 News cameraman for bumping him multiple times.

Here are some photos of the rally in front of the Griffin Sub-Courthouse in southeast Fort Worth and from the press conference after she voted. Reporters were not allowed into the polling site.

If you see me at your voting location in the next few weeks, beware. I may fall on you.

Photos and text by James Russell.

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Elections 2014: Get ready, early voting begins today

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 10:45am

VOTEEarly voting begins today, Monday, Oct. 20, and runs through Friday, Oct. 31. There’s a whole lot on the ballot locally and statewide from contested races at the top of the ballot all the way down to local bond packages. Watch for coverage here at Instant Tea until Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4.

But before I get to coverage, learn what you need below to vote per the Texas Secretary of State’s VoteTexas.gov, a clearinghouse of information on voting.

The deadline to register to vote in Texas has expired. But if you are registered, you must present one of seven valid forms of identification.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s  Saturday, Oct. 18 upheld the state’s voter ID law. This means Texas voters will be required to present one of seven types of photo identification to be eligible to vote.

The seven forms of identification permitted are:

  • Texas driver license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • Texas personal identification card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • Texas concealed handgun license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. passport book or card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. Military identification with photo—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo
  • Election Identification Certificate (E.I.C.)

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if you do not have one of the first six forms of identification only then may you apply for the E.I.C. at no charge. (Getting to a D.P.S. location and standing in line is a whole different story, however.)

Learn more about the getting an E.I.C. here.

During the early voting period, you may vote at any designated voting site in your county.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4. you must vote at your precinct’s designated voting site.

Need more information?

Collin County 1-800-687-8546 co.collin.tx.us/elections

Dallas County 214-819-6300 dallascountyvotes.org

Denton County 940-349-3200 votedenton.com

Tarrant County 817-831-8683 tarrantcounty.com/eVote

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London deals with Ugandan regime

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 10:19am
Museveni

Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni was in London for an economic summit. While his reservations were not canceled as they were in Dallas, his regime is not receiving a warm welcome in the British capital.

In Dallas, Museveni was turned away from the Four Seasons Hotel in Irving, the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine and the Irving Convention Center and instead had to pay $70,000 to rent a ranch in Collin County for the weekend.

In London, while Museveni’s reservations weren’t canceled because his event included other foreign heads of state, his homophobic Parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga was turned away recently at another investment forum in London.

The level of stupidity and inappropriate garbage coming out of Museveni’s mouth included these latest comments reported by Pink News:

There were “more terrible things” than homosexuality in the West — like oral sex.

He said: “Oral sex! The mouth is for eating, it’s not for that purpose.”

So maybe that’s what Museveni was actually doing in Dallas.

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Movies on the lawn at Lee Park

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 9:20am

Arlington HallThe Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy presents movies on the lawn as part of its celebration of the 75th anniversary of Arlington Hall.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Gone With the Wind will be shown at 7 p.m. and on Wednesday, Oct. 22, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington will be shown at 7 p.m.

Bring lawn chairs or blankets to this free event.

Ruthie’s Rolling Food Truck will be parked on Hall Street and beer and wine will be available for sale.

For members of the Lee Park Conservancy, there’s a VIP reception each night at 6 p.m.

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Our mission: Giving voice to our community

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 9:15am

Our Mission

Our mission is right there in our name: We want to give a VOICE to our community, the LGBT (and Q and A) community of Dallas, and beyond.

To that end, each Friday we publish our weekly newsmagazine, Dallas Voice. And each day, we update our website, primarily the blog section of our website, which is called Instant TEA.

We use our Instant TEA blog in a variety of ways. We post breaking news stories there. We post photos and videos of events — like parades and concerts and fundraisers — on the blog. And sometimes, we use the blog as a forum to express our opinions in a way that we can’t — or won’t — do in news stories. We can use our blog to entertain and inform and, most importantly, create positive change.

Recently, DV staff writer David Taffet posted a series of entries on our blog regarding Ugandan President Yaweri Museveni, who backed legislation in his country punishing LGBT people simply for being LGBT, and his plans to hold an event at the Irving Convention Center during which he planned to promote tourism to his country and talk about “investment opportunities” there.

David — alerted by Ugandans living in DFW after being forced to flee their home country because of Museveni and his regime — began contacting city officials in Irving. He talked to Convention Center officials, to police officials, to folks at the hotel where Museveni planned to stay. David’s calls and his posts on Instant TEA resulted in the Irving hotel canceling Museveni’s reservations and the convention center canceling his event. Those posts also helped convince officials at the Gaylord Texan hotel in Grapevine not to accept Museveni as a guest or to host his event.

Museveni eventually had to hold his event at a private venue outside Allen, and during his speech there the Uganda president acknowledged the power of the LGBT community (and David’s blog posts). Although he initially threatened, in veiled terms, to make the LGBT people of Uganda pay for what happened to him here in North Texas, since returning home, Museveni has decided that perhaps persecuting the LGBT people of his country is not in Uganda’s best economic interests.

All because of a little (Instant) TEA and the power of the LGBT voice.

We here at Dallas Voice strive, constantly, to be a voice for and give voice to our community, to your community. But we also know that our community is so large and so varied that we can never hope to accurately reflect its full and beautiful diversity on our own.

That’s why we have created CommuniTEA, this new page on our website is devoted to being a blog for and by the people of our LGBT community.

Do you have something to say? This is where you can say it. Do you have a voice that has gone unheard? This is where you can be heard. CommuniTEA is for your VOICE.

As managing editor of Dallas Voice and Voice Publishing, I have already been talking to several people who have agreed to help populate this CommuniTEA page. But it is important to me that you all know that you are all welcome to submit contributions, too. We can’t offer any financial compensation, just the chance for you to be heard.

Please understand that, as editor, it is my job to make sure that nothing gets posted that can get Dallas Voice, Voice Publishing Co. or you, the writers, in any kind of legal trouble. And we do want to keep the blog focused on the LGBT community and issues relevant to our community. And we reserve the right to edit (for grammar, spelling, etc., but not content or intent) submissions, and to refuse submissions when necessary. Other than that, I’m not limiting the topics.

Submitting a blog post to CommuniTEA is easy. Just email it to me at nash@dallasvoice.com, and put CommuniTEA in the subject line.

“Your life. Your news. Your voice.” That’s our Dallas Voice slogan. Help us truly be the Voice of the community by sharing your Voice with CommuniTEA.

– Tammye Nash

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New Gay Stars

Posted on 20 Oct 2014 at 8:47am

Emerson Collins suggests its time to create our own out gay icons. We would have far more gay stars if we would make more gay artists into stars. It really is that simple. The impact of the gay community on our culture — through our disproportionate influence in the media, pop culture and news, along with our much-buzzed-about buying power — should make it extremely easy to propel gay artists to the forefront of the American cultural conversation.

We have done so in many areas already. We are significantly and successfully represented by respected experts and geniuses at the pinnacle of many of the arts, especially in fields where the artist is the driving force behind the work: Writers (including screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, journalists, non-fiction and activist writers); visual artists; behind-the-scenes types in film and television (directors, producers and series creators and the accompanying creative departments). There are choreographers, fashion designers and the catch-all “creative directors” in nearly every industry. We’ve exploded most noticeable in the area of “personalities” as talking-heads experts on a myriad of topics and as the standout characters from all avenues of reality programming.

Where we continue to be under-represented, despite the recent trend of higher-profile nonchalant coming out adventures, is in the two areas that allow the opportunity for the greatest level of cultural saturation: singer (or musician) and actor.
For better or worse, these professions sit atop the pyramid of celebrity and influence in modern American culture. While we fill the ranks of the support systems of these two professions, we are not represented as we could be — and should be — as the talent out front.

(Resist the urge to count off currently notable out gay musicians and actors. The fact that it is possible to name nearly everyone of note in both categories does not counter my point, but reinforces it.)

Why is this the case? Certainly the resistance of certain swaths of Duck Dynasty America to embrace gay on any level has kept those that hold the purse strings from introducing gay artists because it brings an unknown factor that has little to do with the TV show, film or album being promoted. Openly gay actors and musicians could fill a volume of encyclopedias with horror stories of being shut down by casting directors, filmmakers, music venues, labels, etc., unwilling to take the “risk” on a gay artist. The motivations behind the business side of the delay are sadly not a mystery.

No, what I’m interested in the lack of enthusiasm and support by the community for fledgling gay singers and actors. As a community, we will fangirl like Beliebers for singers, actors and projects with a gay sensibility. Every diva has her diehard gay fanbase, esteemed actresses of any era can induce hour-long monologue tributes to the greatness of their ranges and shows, films and albums with gay-friendly themes or camp appeal are often defended to the death.

But things that are directly, outright and completely gay? Those we seem permanently ambivalent or outright derisive about. Bravo (which, full disclosure, I appear on via The People’s Couch) and HGTV have legions of loyal gay fans. Logo has received sneers for its entire existence (Drag Race being the exception). Films with gay storylines from straight filmmakers with straight actors receive our thunderous applause, while gay films from gay writers and directors, with gay actors — if not snubbed completely — rarely register. If you’ve never heard “ugh, all gay films are terrrrrible” said before, then you’ve never been in a discussion about gay films.

Whitney, Mariah, Gaga, Madonna, Justin Timberlake or John Legend make new music and a massive gay following goes all One Directioner-level crazy. Adam Lambert? He’s all right. Clay Aiken? Ha-ha-ha (insert punchline). TV series with a gay sensibility like Girls are heralded as the best thing on television. Looking, by all accounts from the gay blogosphere, was basically on par with Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

There seems to be a permanent refrain cheering loudly for token storylines on popular vehicles and celebrating the gay-friendly rather than working to find and promote the actually and absolutely gay. We’ve taken our adoration for the celebrity straight ally into nearly fetish territory. Sexy, straight allies get our covers and huge feature stories because we’re so glad that Adam Levine or Josh Hutcherson like us.

I’m not knocking our allies or the importance of reinforcing our support for them when they step up and publicly support us. Wielding our influence to show them we appreciate them being in this fight with us is important. I’m simply saying that at the absolute least, showing the same level of enthusiasm for those that actually and directly represent us because they are us should be easy to do. And we don’t.

A straight guy plays gay and we laud him (well, if he’s hot) and he gets to be the featured story across all gay media. Gay actors and gay musicians and gay filmmakers and gay films do not receive equal time and attention, even from gay media and press. They never have. I realize the reality is, gay media and news outlets need sales and clicks so they continue to exist to tell our stories at the level they do. They have a business to run.
However, the rest of us could show them that stories that don’t just recycle the entertainment news from every other news site and blog, but with a gay twist or perspective, are actually interesting to us by paying attention. If we showed up, showed we cared about new and definitively gay artists, actors and content that cannot be found in any other aspect of the news media … they would give us more of it.

So while straight actors tell our stories, gay actors don’t get to play gay often because they aren’t well-known enough and so many established straight actors are now thrilled at the chance to do it because it’s so “brave.” Gay actors also rarely get to play straight either, again — not famous enough, and of course there’s the scary risk that the audience “might be able to tell” or worse, if they know he’s gay, they “won’t buy the story.”
A straight rapper puts out an LGBT-affirming track and wins every award known to music. A gay singer sings about that actual experience from the inside, and he struggles to get booked in the terribly-attended afternoon slots at Prides. Can you name five openly gay musicians beyond the standard 10-or-so listicle tokens? Or two? Or even one that you are as passionate about as the gay-friendly ally musicians?

The immediate response I regularly receive to this particular soapbox amounts to some variation of self-righteous tastemaker indignation stating, “we shouldn’t have to like something just because it is gay!” … as though there is some code of ethics we must adhere to as arbiters of taste lest we lose our credibility as the great Columbus of all things new and wonderful in pop culture America. Like defending a work or artist that is gay but has imperfections, or isn’t fully-formed as an artist, will destroy our integrity because we appear to like it just because it’s gay.
Oh shut up. Seriously. Shut up.

We will defend to the death the rough edges, plot problems and personal issues of our films, shows and artists of choice because we see the inherent genius in them despite the flaws. However, when it comes to similarly championing something or someone actually gay, we are unwilling to do so if they aren’t the perfect specimen of all that is gay, along with being a similarly perfect human being and activist. Eloquent but not arrogant. Stunningly gorgeous but not caught up in it. Spectacularly gifted by just the right amount of humble. Harvey Milk meets Laurence Olivier meets John Lennon with a six-pack and bedroom eyes.

While we wait for that never-going-to-happen guy to appear, we go overboard to show just how completely aware we are of its flaws by rushing to be the harshest critics and the first to be “so not impressed.” We stand with our arms crossed, one hip popped out, and an eyebrow raised while projecting an air of, “all right homo, impress me.” When we aren’t impressed, we eat our own. With relish.

This is the crux of the issue. The greatest inhibitor to using our massive cultural reach to actually push some of our own to the levels of stardom that create icons is seems ultimately to be a resistance to seeing one of us succeed beyond the rest of us. We all struggled. We all worked to become confident in who we are. We’re all special. Why should one of us be more special than the rest of us? That hot straight guy we want to be or want to bed — he’s special. That diva we want to be who sings the song that lives in our soul — she’s special. That actress who stands up to the same men we have to stand up to and chews the scenery off the walls — she’s special. That homo who might have a talent in these areas we all consider ourselves to be experts on? Yeah, he’s probably not that special.

Part of our collective stereotypical charm is the cutting wit that makes us great purveyors of the good, the truly terrible and the absolutely fabulous in pop culture. The result is we carefully choose the very specific and rare moments in which we unabashedly gush over something or someone. We just have not committed to regularly doing that for our own.
We whoop and holler (when we aren’t begrudging how long it took them) when those who are already famous come out to represent “our team.” Especially if they’re hot. Well, mostly if they’re hot. But what if we started even earlier? What if we found gay artists — YouTube, gay film festivals, shorts films and web series are littered with them — and discovered our own next generation of stars and celebrities? Ones who never needed to come out because they started “out?” What if Pride headliners were not gay-friendly superstars but actually gay stars? What if we stopped giggling at that gay boy online who made a cheesy video for his new dance track because it’s all he could afford and heard the talent in the voice and supported him into a place where he could afford to make videos he and we both would love? What if we fought for gay actors to play most of the gay roles until it becomes commonplace for the industry to not see it is a problem in casting them in straight roles?

Steve Grand should not stand as a singular exception as a gay star who arose without the help of the great machine, with the pointed caveat that the first Buzzfeed article promoting this brand-new, never-before-seen performer allowed us to find him to champion. (And yes, he’s one of the ones that establishment gays have rolled their eyes at for “needing to be shirtless” or having “mediocre talent” while all I could think was “good for him!”) You don’t like Steve Grand? Or Clay Aiken? Or Matt Dallas? Or Luke McFarlane? Or the newly-minted Sam Smith? Fine. Find a few that your sense of “this talent is genuinely worth supporting” and introduce him to the rest of us and let’s make him a star!

We are one of the only major minority groups regularly represented in entertainment that doesn’t fiercely support the artists that can represent it. The ALMA Awards recognize Latino artists exclusively. The NAACP Image Awards do the same. It’s telling that there is no LGBT equivalent … and I’m not talking about the GLAAD Media Awards, which love to laud allies with all the honors while real gay folks struggle for attention. I’m talking where you have to be a member of the minority group to receive the award. Imagine a best actor in a film award race at the LGBT Awards with a five gay guys — one black, one white, one Japanese, a bisexual Puerto Rican guy and a Korean trans man — all phenomenally talented? (OK, I PC’d that awfully far, but a boy can dream, and how legit exciting would that be?)

It’s not favoritism or nepotism or any kind of other –ism that would suggest lowering the standards of quality by focusing only on our minority group. If anything, what other minority groups understand, that we so often do not seem to, is that this kind of specific celebration is actually a promotion and celebration of how much quality there is in the work of performers and entertainers from that minority group that those outside it may not be familiar with. Yet.

I’m not asking anyone to lower his standards — heaven forbid. My point is not throwing taste to the wind to willy-nilly support any homo who claims to be a great singer, musician or actor. But with the wealth and depth of LGBT artists and actors waiting in the wings for their opportunity, choosing to promote the best of them with collective zeal would not require any lowering of standards. There are so many more than enough for us to have dozens of each to be championing without feeling as though our pop culture perceptiveness is being compromised by doing so. The best of ours can certainly compete with, and often beat, the best any other group has to offer. Let’s put in a little effort to find them, support them, promote them and prove it.

After all, fangirling over our own should be an easy source of pride. We found them, we brought attention to them, we supported them and used our influence to make the rest of our culture pay attention to what they have to offer. We talk so often of Pride, and finding and cheering our own is something we can all be proud of if we just go the extra mile to do it. Driving the cultural commentary is important, and having more of our artists at the center who are shaping that culture would benefit our community, our society as a whole, and our continued journey to being more — and better — represented within our culture.
We can do better. We should do better. And with all of the power we truly do wield, we simply have to decide to do better.
– Emerson Collins •

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BREAKING: Judge strikes down Wyoming’s same-sex marriage ban

Posted on 17 Oct 2014 at 4:16pm

safe_imageA federal judge in Wyoming ruled today, Oct. 17, that the state’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

As we reported yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl heard arguments on Oct. 16 to Wyoming’s ban on same-sex marriages. Judge Skavdahl initially said that he would issue his ruling by 5:00 p.m., Monday, Oct. 20.

But his ruling came sooner than anticipated.

Skavdahl stayed his ruling until Oct. 23 pending an appeal by state government officials.

According to the Casper Star Tribune, Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who is up for re-election, said in a debate on Thursday, Oct. 16, before Skavdahl released his decision, that the state should not appeal the ruling.

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