Do you Peru?

Even as fans rallied to help Coco Peru get her next film off the ground, the drag goddess still likes her comedy live

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RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Expect a lovefest when Coco Peru comes back to Dallas for Pride weekend. With memories of a responsive audience, shopping and beef jerky during her last go-round here nearly two years ago, the drag goddess is hoping for a repeat performance. Sort of. She’s back on the road with a new show, but that’s not all the legendary queen has going on.

“Well, we’ve filmed Girls Will Be Girls 2 already,” Peru (aka Clinton Leupp) says. “Right now the writer/director is busily editing. It’s just one of those things: You film it and hope for the best.”

Peru has garnered a significant amount of film work over the years, usually with notable cameos in films like as Trick, but occasionally as the star, as with Girls Will Be Girls. But she admits live performance is where she’s at her best.

“I like to think my show is like watching a theater piece,” she says. “I love film acting, but it’s exciting on a whole other level. There’s not that energy of a live audience and no feedback. So often, comic timing is how the audience is reacting to you. With acting, you mentally feel it out, try it and mostly trust the director. I find sometimes I rehearsed a line so much in my head, it takes me a few times to take direction on it.”

For Girls 2, Peru discovered just how much her fans appreciated her work. As a micro-mini indie, the film went on the website Kickstarter to raise funds. As word got out that the film was in production and that Peru was in it, the money rolled in.

“The movie was completely funded by fans,” she exclaims. “It was just incredible that they would want to pay money! And I must say, most of it came from my fans. I’m just putting that out there.”

Along with funds from Kickstarter, the crew itself was almost all-volunteer. People would just show up, willing to help out. It turned into an actual labor of love.

Along with donated help, the production even received a donated green screen. All the generosity reminded Peru that people are that genuinely kind and that it’s all right to ask for things, which usually embarrasses her. She saw this particular filmmaking experience as a good lesson on many levels.

“Let’s just hope the movie’s funny,” she laughs.

Dating back to the “early ‘90s” — that’s as specific as her website will get — Peru gives much credit to her fans along the way for the success of her career. Even if they come up to once again mention her role in the film Trick, Peru takes none of it for granted. Perhaps it’s cliché for any type of celebrity to appreciate their fans, but she  talks at length about how her fans have kept her driven.

“It’s so overwhelming, whether it’s a movie or my own shows, that they will take time to contact me to tell me whatever it is they are feeling,” she says. “I feel lucky and blessed when they reach out to me and I strive to answer every email. I remember those days that felt so lonely and sad. Growing up gay and feeling rejected doesn’t make a happy life. But when you get over 800 birthday messages on Facebook, it’s amazing!”

She’ll meet a new slew of fans on her current End of Summer Tour, as she’ll visit Tampa and Las Vegas for the first time as a performer. Even with her experience onstage, Peru is still daunted by a new audience, the same way she was before playing Dallas the first time early last year.

“The first time, I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect,” she recalls. “I felt that audiences came wanting to have a great time. You go to certain cities and they have a bit of an edge, but in Texas, it was an immediate love fest on both ends.”

In her new show, There Comes a Time, Peru talks about getting older and reminiscing about her life. Fortunately, Dallas isn’t a punch line in her monologue. The city left a good impression on her and she only hopes to make another one of her own.

“Well, I’m happy to be coming back and they took such good care of me last time,” she says, “but I don’t wanna jinx myself. You never know.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 2, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

NH’s Smith misplaces ‘protect marriage’ playbook, admits he wants civil unions gone too

When the effort to repeal marriage equality in New Hampshire starts heating up, you’re going to hear all kinds of people saying that the rollback is all about the institution of marriage — nothing more, nothing less. DON’T. BUY. THAT. LIE. FOR. EVEN. A. SECOND. Because here’s the state’s “pro-family” leader, Kevin Smith of Cornerstone Policy Research (a major NOM ally), full-out admitting his desire to not only roll back same-sex marriages, but also the basic protections that come with the prior civil unions compromise:

Ultimately what we’d like to see is it revert back to what it was prior to civil unions,

and that you just had a marriage statute and not to mess with that in any way”

-Kevin Smith, Cornerstone Action


201101050848-1

( click to play audio clip)

*AUDIO SOURCE: New Hampshire May Repeal Gay Marriage [Focus on the Family CitizenLink]

Hey Kevin: Point to even one mess — EVEN. ONE. MESS. — that the inclusive marriage system (much less the prior civil unions system) has brought to the Live Free or Die State. You won’t. Because you can’t.

But you keep on admitting that it’s the basic rights and protection you’re really gunning. Our public opinion polls stiffen up just listening to it.

***

*UPDATE: Oh, it goes even further: Exclusive: New Hampshire’s leading ‘protect marriage’ group pushing gay ‘cures’ [G-A-Y]




Good As You

—  admin

General Amos admits that his Marines are an undisciplined basket of lust kittens

Has Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos just come out for the whole Marine Corps?  Why else would he be wiling to imply that the soldiers under his command are so inept and undisciplined that they’d become distracted by the outness of gay fellow soldiers unless he believes they harbor uncontrollable homolust?  Or is this more about the General’s alleged BDSM fantasies?  Maybe he wants to see how bad he has to be before his Commander in Chief disciplines him.  (Don’t hold your breath on that one General, unless holding your breath is part of what gets you off.)  Here is what Amos said earlier today about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:

“When your life hangs on a line, on the intuitive behavior of the young man… who sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting you,” Amos told reporters at the Pentagon.

“I don’t want to lose any Marines to distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (hospital) with no legs,” he said.

He added that “mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines’ lives. That’s the currency of this fight.”

Just what does basic training in the USMC consist of under Gen. Amos’s guidance, insubordination drills and aphrodisiac injections?  Maybe we should send in Peter LaBarbera to investigate.

All kidding aside, I have friends and family who have been or are currently in the Marines, and to say that this insubordinate bigot dishonors their service is a mammoth understatement.  Here is the response of Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:

General Amos needs to fall in line and salute or resign now.  He implied that repeal will lead to Marines losing their legs in combat.  Those fear tactics are not in the interest of any service member.  The General’s goal is to kill repeal no matter the consequences, perhaps at the dereliction of his other duties.  He had his say before the Senate and House.  General Amos needs to stop lobbying against his Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  If he cannot do that, the President should ask for his resignation.

Update: President Obama keeps bottoming for the General according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (H/T Wonk Room):

Pressed by the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld on whether Obama was worried about having his own appointee “constantly raising opposition to his own stated belief the the policy needed to be changed,” Gibbs simply reiterated the administration’s talking point on the issue:
GIBBS: I think the President’s views and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s views and the Secretary of Defense’s views are fairly well known. I think the President as Commander in Chief has a strong viewpoint. I think backed up by the survey conducted by the Pentagon as to the attitude of the men and women in our military that this can be done in a way that strengthens our national security, preserves the best fighting force in the world, and most importantly, does away with a policy that he doesn’t think is just.

ELEVELD: I mean, the Commandant is continually challenging the assumptions of the Commander in Chief…

GIBBS: No, I mean, look, I think their views are very well known, just as the Commander in Chief’s views are very well known. I think if you look at the Commander in Chief, the head of the Pentagon, and the head of the Joint Chiefs, you’ll find unanimity in the belief that it’s time to do away with this policy and that’s exactly what the President is working to do.

POLITICO reports Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili’s reaction to Gen. Amos’s absurd statements:

Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the 1993 law was first implemented, said Amos’s claims that repeal would risk the loss of life in combat is “grounded in a selective reading of the evidence.”

“General Amos has acknowledged that he is the only Service Chief who has not spoken to colleagues in foreign militaries about their experiences with gay and lesbian service members,” Shalikashvili said in a statement to POLITICO. “Based on conversations with our overseas allies and openly gay U.S. Marines, as well my reading of the extensive research on the topic, I can say definitively that along with Admiral Mullen, I believe that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will improve the military rather than posing additional risk to the troops.”

By the way, Speak of the House Nancy Pelsoi tweeted this a few hours ago:

The House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s standalone #DADT repeal bill tomorrow-Senate action on #DADT is long overdue.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Peter LaBarbera freely admits to using Paul Cameron’s discredited work, sees nothing wrong with it

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

If you want the quintessential fact why the Southern Poverty Law Center is correct in calling out certain religious right organizations for their anti-gay bias, check out this portion of an interview between members of two of these groups -  Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth and Martha Kleder of the Concerned Women for America:
 

Transcript:

Kleder: One of the things I've also noticed is that the SPLC seems to be riled by the  fact . . . uh . . . if they don't particularly like your source that you document then you must be a hate group.

LaBarbera: Paul Cameron

Kleder:  Yeah.

LaBarbera: They say if you cite Paul Cameron, then you are a hater. I mean that's ridiculous. You know there is a researcher who just came out and found that Paul Cameron's work on the greater likelihood of homosexual adoptive parents to have . . . for the child to emerge as a homosexual. He confirmed Cameron's thesis. You don't have to agree with everything Paul Cameron ever did but how proposterous to say that citing a researcher . . Paul Cameron's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. What they've done, Martha is set up these criteria and then you violate them,  they call you a hate group, and then they have their little echo chamber on the left which reports their charge. And of course the media, which really doesn't like us anyway. The media is very pro-gay, they cite us and so it begins to take a life of its own.

One of the main reasons why religious right groups (i.e. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc.) have been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups is because of their repeated citings of the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. They use his work to spread propaganda about lgbts.

As all of us, if the not the vast majority of us, knows, Cameron is a researcher who has made a name for himself by creating studies designed to demonize the lgbt community.  These studies for the most part have been published in “vanity” or “pay-for-publish” journals and they are not “peer-reviewed” in the normal sense. No “peer” who objects to Cameron's work has the right to remove it from the journal.

He has also been discredited and censured by many group and individuals on the left, the right, and in the middle due to his bad research techniques. Several of his studies have been criticized for such errors as having small sample sizes, showing an anti-gay bias in interviews, and not having enough responses to establish a suitable analysis.

Let's take a quick look at his history:

“Right now, here in Lincoln, there is a 4-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway in the rest room with a homosexual act… It’s really awkward. I could see where Gateway would want to suppress this. I could see where the parents would want to suppress it. It could be just a rumor. But enough things have happened recently so that such a thing doesn’t have to be invented.” – Paul Cameron told this story to a group in 1982 in Lincoln, NB in an attempt to kill a human rights ordinance,  Lincoln Star May 8, 1982

The story was discovered to be a hoax and Cameron was called out in the local newspaper-  “A leading opponent of the proposed Lincoln Human Rights Amendment spreads rumors of an alleged vicious incident calculated to damage the proposal’s chances at the polls. When asked about it, he admits the rumor was without foundation. He refused to say from whom he heard the rumor. Nonetheless, he still insists it ‘could be true’, even though responsible authorities in the city say there was not a shred of evidence such an incident ever took place. The seed is planted, to the contrary.” – Editorial. Lincoln Star (May 10, 1982), as quoted by Brown, Robert D.; Cole, James K. Letter to the Editor, Nebraska Medical Journal 70, no. 11 (November 1985)

. Cameron has also had numerous condemnations rained down on him by the medical community:

“(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children . . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” – Dr. A. Nicholas Groth in letter written to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists on August 21, 1984
 
“Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – American Psychological Association, 1983

 
The science and profession of psychology in Nebraska as represented by the Nebraska Psychological Association, formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality. Further, the Nebraska Psychological Association would like it known that Dr. Cameron is not a member of the Association. Dr. Cameron was recently dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – Nebraska Psychological Association, 1984

 
Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” – American Sociological Association, 1985

The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality. – Canadian Psychological Association, 1996

And while we are at it, let's not forget those on the right who dismiss Cameron's work:

“Given what I now know, I believe there are flaws with Paul Cameron's study. One cannot extrapolate from his methodology and say that the average male homosexual life span is 43 years.” – former Ronald Regan Cabinet member William Bennett criticizing Cameron's “gay lifespan study.” – New Republic (1998, February 23, page 4)

This article has been removed due to the inaccuracies surrounding the research of Paul Cameron. – A posting on the webpage of Ex-gay group Exodus International

And if that's not enough to convince you of Cameron's lack of credibility, check out various comments he has made regarding the lgbt community:

“What homosexuals do is so incredibly stupid, so patently absurd and antibiological, that only a foolish society would take their whimpering about ‘equal rights with heterosexuality’ seriously . . . Are we supposed to feel so sorry for them that we join them in the march to the cemetery?” – Paul Cameron, The Advocate, October 29, 1985

“At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, ‘Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.’ According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.” – Mark E. Pietrzyk, New Republic, October 3, 1994

“If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one’s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get – and that is what homosexuality seems to be — then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men, and women on women if all you are looking for is an orgasm.” - Paul Cameron, Rolling Stone, March, 18, 1999

Cameron is the religious right's dirty little secret. Many of the organizations named as anti-gay hate groups by the SPLC  have used Cameron's studies even though they are aware of his dubious history of condemnations.

However, many of them won't admit to this fact.That is except for Peter LaBarbera. And what makes it worse is that LaBarbera is trying to justify work he knows has credibility problems.

And by the way, LaBarbera's claim that another researcher proved Cameron's thesis about children in same-sex households is also incorrect. LaBarbera failed to mention that the researcher, Walter Schumm, used the same bad methodology Cameron used to come to his original thesis:

Schumm’s “meta-analysis” (and Cameron’s before him) doesn’t even have the benefit of being built off of random convenience samples. There were no convenience samples in any of the ten prior works that Schumm used for his meta-analysis. In fact, they weren’t even professional studies. They were popular books! That’s right, each of the ten sources that Schumm used to construct his “meta-analysis” were from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com. Schumm read the books, took notes on each parent and child described in the book, examined their histories, and counted up who was gay and who was straight among the kids.

But here is the important thing – with Cameron's credibility problem, if he were “publishing studies” about the African-American community, Jewish community, or women, then he and those who freely cite his work would be thought of as either racist, anti-Semitic, or gender biased.

So what's the difference between Cameron's work impugning any of these groups and what he is doing to the lgbt community? Why shouldn't be he and those who use his work be thought of as “haters” in spite of the fact that they can hide their lies behind the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality?

At any rate, the usage of Cameron's work certainly does put a monkeywrench into religious rights claims that they are being “targeted” by the SPLC because of their “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

I never knew that freely citing research known to be sloppy and inaccurate was a tenet of  “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

Related posts:

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

More homophobic lies from the Paul Cameron Poland tour

Hat tip to Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way's Right  Wing Watch , Box Turtle Bulletin, and Dr. Gregory Herek.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Sen. Levin admits he may remove DADT from Defense Authorization

The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, carries significant sway over what happens to the Defense Authorization bill. About 10 days ago, we heard rumblings that Levin was negotiating with McCain about removing the DADT language from the Defense Authorization bill. Today, Levin acknowledged it. So this wasn’t background noise after all:

The measure to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military may have to be dropped from the defense authorization bill in order to get the bill passed this year, said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI).

“I’m trying to get the bill through Congress. I’m the committee chairman for a 900 page bill. ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is two pages of 900 pages. My focus is different from the media focus. I’m just trying to get a bill passed,” Levin told reporters at the Capitol building on Tuesday.

While no final decisions have been made, Levin said one option was to separate the language on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” from the rest of the bill, and then making two separate efforts to pass the both pieces of legislation.

“I’m trying to get both done. And if I can’t get both done, I want to get one of them done,” Levin said.

The one he really wants to get done is the Defense Authorization bill. This is not good. Not good at all. As Senator Udall told Kerry Eleveld:

I do think the best way to move this forward is in the NDAA and I do worry that if we don’t formalize the repeal process in statute now that we may not have this opportunity for a number of years in the future.

Removing the DADT language from the legislation is almost certain to kill it. There’s just not enough time left for the Senate to act. And, it probably didn’t help that there was an article in today’s Washington Post titled, “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ splitting gay rights groups.” Thanks for nothing, Palm Center.

Promises have been made, repeatedly. Promises have not been kept. On October 27th, the President said “there is a strategy” on DADT:

SUDBAY: Is there a strategy for the lame-duck session to –

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

SUDBAY: — and you’re going to be involved?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

SUDBAY: Will Secretary Gates be involved?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not going to tip my hand now. But there is a strategy.

I thought Obama understood that I meant I was asking if there is a strategy to pass the DADT language. Because, we haven’t seen anything close to that emerging. Time is running out. Earlier today, Atrios tweeted:

DADT has been one of those ‘shut up and trust us’ issues. so outcome will be revealing

It sure will be.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Teacher Admits Affair With Student, Faces Jail

LOUISE YEOMAN X390 (TELEGRAPH ROSS PARRY) | ADVOCATE.COMA 29-year-old female schoolteacher faces jail after admitting to having sexual relations a 15-year-old female student.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Sen. Saxby Chambliss Admits: It Was My Guy That Said “All Faggots Must Die”

The office of GOP Sen. Saxby Chamblis has admitted that it was their staffer that left the comment “All faggots must die” on this blog yesterday. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ office has determined it was indeed the source of a highly publicized homosexual-bashing slur on an Internet site. But in a statement, Chambliss’ office said it has not discovered exactly who was behind the slur, and has turned the matter over to the Senate Sergeant At Arms. “The (Sergeant at Arms) has worked side by side with our personnel to determine whether the comment in question emanated from our office. That appears to be the case,” an unsigned statement from Chambliss’ press office read. “There has not been a determination as to who posted the comment,” the statement read. “That part of the review is ongoing, and is now in the hands of the Senate Sergeant at Arms.” Spokeswomen for Chambliss did not return a reporters phone calls or emails seeking more details.

We’re standing by for your apology, Sen. Chambliss.

UPDATE: The New York Times has interviewed me for likely publication tomorrow.

UPDATE II: Keith Olbermann covered the story tonight.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Lohan Admits to Drug Use

LOHANX390.jpgActress Lindsay Lohan has reportedly failed a court-ordered drug test and may face 30 days in jail for violating her probation.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright