“Gen Silent” explores challenges facing the elderly LGBT community

Gen Silent PosterThere are almost 38 million LGBT Americans over the age of 65. This number is expected to double by 2030. Yet in a Fenway Institute study fifty percent of nursing home workers said that their co-workers are intolerant of LGBT people. That collision of a rapidly aging queer population and a nursing home system ill-prepared to serve them is explored in Gen Silent, a documentary showing at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) on Thursday, January 26, at 6:30 pm.

Gen Silent, from award-winning director and documentary filmmaker Stu Maddux, follows six LGBT seniors as they struggle to make decisions about their twilight years. These seniors put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination in long-term health care that many go back into the closet.

Gen Silent startlingly discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall now leaves many elders not just afraid but dangerously isolated and at risk on not receiving medical care. The film shows the wide range in quality of paid caregivers –from those who are specifically trained to make LGBT seniors feel safe, to the other end of the spectrum, where LGBT elders face discrimination, neglect or abuse, including shocking bed-side attempts by staff to persuade seniors to give up their “sinful” lifestyles.

This free screening will be followed by a call-to-action and panel discussion with some of Houston’s GLBT senior leaders.

View the trailer for Gen Silent after the break.

—  admin

Remembering John Lawrence, the man behind Lawrence v. Texas

Lawrence

John Lawrence and Tyrone Gardner

Metro Weekly reports that one-time Houstonian John Geddes Lawrence, the “Lawrence” in Lawrence v. Texas, passed away last month at the age of 68:

“In the facts underlying the Supreme Court case, Lawrence v. Texas, Lawrence and Tyron Garner were arrested under Texas’s Homosexual Conduct Law after police entered Lawrence’s home on Sept. 17, 1998, and saw them “engaging in a sexual act.” The couple challenged the law as unconstitutional”

I was 22 and living in Dallas in 2003 when the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lawrence declaring Texas’ law against “homosexual conduct” unconstitutional. A group of over 100 people gathered in the parking lot of the Resource Center of Dallas as Dennis Coleman, then with Lambda Legal, read excerpts of the decision. I remember the exuberant electricity in the air, the crowd bubbling with joy and the relief of centuries of official oppression finally coming to an end. Similar get-togethers took place across the state, as an entire community breathing a collective sigh of relief.

That relief has turn to frustration over the years. Although the Supreme Court decision rendered Penal Code Section 21.06 unconstitutional, the law remains on the books, and efforts to remove it have met with significant resistance. During a hearing this spring on finally removing the unconstitutional law, Rep. Jose Aliseda, R – Pleasanton, lamented that repeal of the law would entail removing portions of the Health Code requiring that HIV education efforts include information that “homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.”

Before Lawrence several attempts were made to remove the law against “homosexual conduct.” The Texas legislature voted to remove it from the penal code as part of a complete rewrite of the code in 1971, but the measure was vetoed by Gov. Preston Smith. In 1973 the Legislature again undertook a rewrite of the code, keeping “homosexual conduct” a crime but making it a class C misdemeanor. In 1981 a U.S. District Court ruled in Baker v. Wade that the law was unconstitutional, but as that case was winding its way through an unusually torturous appeals process the Supreme Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that a similar law in Georgia was constitutional, making the questions in Baker moot. Similarly, in the 90′s there was hope that Texas v. Morales might finally prevail in defeating the “homosexual conduct” prohibition, but the Texas Supreme Court decided that since, in their opinion, the law was rarely enforced, there was no reason for them to rule in the matter.

Lawrence’s legacy lives on in a scholarship named after him and Garner administered by the Houston GLBT Community Center. The scholarship “recognizes outstanding leadership shown by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Texas high school seniors and college
students by contributing to the cost of their continuing education. Selection is based upon character and need.” Tim Brookover, president of the community center, expressed sorrow at Lawrence’s passing “John was a hero, the community owes a great debt of gratitude to John and Tyrone for taking the case all the way to the Supreme Court,” said Brookover. “They could have easily allowed it to slip away, but they decided to stay and fight and that makes them heroes and role models.”

The application deadline for the John Lawrence/Tyrone Gardner Scholarship is March 2, 2012.

—  admin

Putting our children at risk

David Webb
The Rare Reporter

Child sexual abuse a concern for everyone, especially LGBT parents

Most people would probably agree there is no resource that a society cherishes more than its children. So it is hard to fathom how sexual predators manage with such apparent ease to carry out horrendous, undetected assaults on children practically under the noses of their families and others who are charged with their protection.

As horrific as the crime of child sexual abuse is, there are no firm estimates of its prevalence because it often goes undetected and is seriously underreported, according to agencies that study child abuse.

Less than 100,000 crimes of sexual abuse are reported each year because children fear telling anyone, and adults who become aware of the activity are often reluctant to contact law enforcement agencies, even though there is usually a legal requirement to do so.

With so many LGBT households now raising children, it is obviously vital that all parents be aware of the tactics used by sexual predators to seduce children without arousing the suspicion of their families, and aware of the symptoms victims of child sexual abuse exhibit.

The critical need for sustained intervention into child sexual abuse recently gained national attention following a grand jury’s indictment of retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight victims over a 15-year period. The victims reportedly came into contact with the now 67-year-old, married Sandusky in connection with the Second Mile, a children’s charity the former football coach founded.

Although Sandusky denied, this week in an NBC interview, engaging in any type of sexual activity with the pre-pubescent boys, he acknowledged showering and “horsing around” with them after exercise. He also admitted hugging young boys and putting his hand on their legs when they sat next to him.

His admissions shocked viewers and confirmed in many minds what was already suspected — Sandusky is most likely a pedophile that has taken advantage of young boys with the unwitting complicity of their families.

It is a devastating scandal that will likely rival the one that rocked the Catholic Church a decade ago when it became known that untold numbers of Catholic Church priests sexually abused young boys and violated the trust of their families.

If the charges against Sandusky are true, the accounts by the victims portray a classic pattern of enticement and betrayal practiced by the former football coach in his pursuit of the young boys. Likewise, the lack of action by those who knew about Sandusky’s alleged criminal activity parallel what often happens when the abuser commands power and respect in a community.

Much of the difficulty in combating child sexual abuse can be attributed to its relative youth in terms of public awareness about the crime. The first studies on the molestation of children began in the 1920s, and the first estimate of the prevalence of the crime was reported in 1948.

In 1974 the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect was founded, and the Child Abuse and Treatment Act was created. Since then, awareness about the problem has grown dramatically, and much more is known about deterring the crime and assisting victims of it.

Children’s advocates have identified “red flags” to help parents and others protect children from sexual predators. They warn parents to be wary of someone who wants to spend more time with their children than they do, who attempts to be alone with a child, who frequently seeks physical closeness to a child such as hugging or touching, who is overly interested in the sexuality of a child, who seems to prefer the company of children to people their own age, who lacks boundaries, who regularly offers to babysit,who often gives presents or  money to children, who frequently walks in on children in bathrooms or locker rooms, who frequents parks where children gather, who makes inappropriate comments about a child’s appearance or who likes to photograph children.

Signs of possible sexual abuse in children include a fear of people, places or activities, reluctance to undress, disturbed sleep, mood swings, excessive crying, fear of being touched, loss of appetite, a drastic change in school performance, bizarre themes in drawing, sexually acting out on other children, advanced sexual knowledge, use of new words for private body parts and a reversion to old behavior such as bedwetting or thumb sucking.

Aside from the moral responsibility to protect children and other weaker members of society that all people share, it is essential to intervene in child sexual abuse because of the long-lasting psychological damage it usually causes. The problems can include feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and distorted views of sexuality.

Also, victims of child sexual abuse tend to become sexual predators as adults, making it a crime that begets more crime.

The Sandusky scandal will undoubtedly lead to devastating repercussions for Penn State, for the Second Mile charity with which the former football coach is no longer affiliated and for law enforcement and university officials who became aware of concerns about the former football coach’s activities and failed to act on them.

But the real tragedy — if the allegations are true — will be the lasting impact upon the victims.

David Webb is a veteran journalist who has covered LGBT issues for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. E-mail him at davidwaynewebb@yahoo.com.        

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Events you can expect to see at the IGRA Rodeo

Rodeo-Event

ROUNDING THE BARREL | Barrel racers ride a three-point cloverleaf pattern as quickly as possible. (Tammye Nash/Dallas Voice)

• Calf Roping on Foot: The contestant stands in the roping box and when a calf is released, attempts to throw their loop over the calf’s head. Once the loop passes over the calf’s head, the contestant must pull up the slack in the rope.

• Steer Decorating: This event requires a two-person team. One member stands 10 feet from the chute gate holding the end of a 25-foot rope, which is looped around the horns of the steer that is in the chute. The other team member stands 40 feet from the chute holding a 24-inch long ribbon. When the chute gate opens, the first team must bring the steer out and across the 10-foot line. The second team member then tries to tie the ribbon on the steer’s tail while the first team member tries to remove the rope from the steer’s horns. When the ribbon is on the tail and the loop is off the horns, the team member who tied on the ribbon must tag the timer.

• Mounted Break-Away Roping: The roper is mounted on horseback with one end of his or her rope tied to the saddle horn by a piece of string. When the calf is released from the chute, the roper  follows to try and rope the calf. When the loop is thrown, it must pass completely over the calf’s head. As the calf pulls away from the rider and horse, the rope grows taut and will break away from the saddle horn.

• Team Roping: The team consists of two ropers mounted on separate horses. One roper is called the “header” and his or her responsibility is to rope the steer by the horns while the teammate, called the “heeler,” must get the rope around the steer’s back legs, or heels.  When the header makes the catch, he or she must wind the rope around the saddle horn, called “dallying off,” turning the steer away from himself thus causing the steer’s heels to fly in the air for the heeler’s loop to catch. When both ropers have been successful in their tasks, they must turn their horses to face the steer and pull their ropes taut.

• Junior Bull Riding: A junior bull is a young bull that has not built up the bulk, or testosterone, of a full-grown bull. The rider has a “bull rope” wound around the animal just behind the front legs and then around the rider’s hand; no knots are allowed. This handhold and the riders legs, locked like scissors around the animal, are all the rider has to count on to stay on top. A rider who is able to spur, or move their legs back and forth on the animal’s sides, will receive a higher score. The rider must stay on the bull for a designated length of time to receive a score at all.

• Bareback Bronc Riding: A specially designed “bareback riggin” with a built-in handhold is tied onto the horse. The rider climbs on the horse’s back in the chute, and settles him or herself before the chute gate is opened. When the gate is opened, the rider has to start the ride with both of his or her feet extended forward over the horse’s shoulders and, on the first leap out of the chute, must “rake” the feet backwards toward the horse’s rump. If the rider misses this, they are disqualified and get no score for the ride. If the rider stays on the horse for six seconds, then pick-up riders move in to help the rider dismount safely. Contestants may elect to ride two-handed from start to finish, but will receive a lower score if they do so.

• Goat Dressing: This two-person event was created specially for gay rodeo. The team stands 50 feet from the point where the goat is tethered. One of the team members has a pair of jockey-style underwear pulled over their forearms. When the whistle sounds, the team runs to the goat. The team member without the underwear picks up the goat’s rear hooves, grabs the underwear from around the other member’s arms, and pulls it up the legs of the goat.  Both team members must then race back to the start/finish line and cross the finish line to stop the time. The underwear must stay over the goat’s tail bone until the timer is tagged by both members.

• Chute Dogging: The steer and the contestant both start in the bucking chute and face a 60-second time limit. When the chute gate opens, the contestant must bring the steer out to a 10-foot line in front of the chute, and then attempt to wrestle, or “dog” the steer to the ground. The contestant will turn the steer’s head up and toward the steer’s shoulder, to force the steer to fall over on its other shoulder, causing all four feet to point in the same direction as the head was turned. If the steer is contrary and falls the other way, it is termed a “dog fall” and the contestant can either attempt to turn the head the same direction or let the steer up and start over.

• Pole Bending: In this event, horse and rider compete for fastest time working a linear pattern through six equally spaced poles. The poles must be at least six feet in height and spaced 21 feet apart. A running start is allowed and a five-second penalty will be assessed for knocking a pole down, and disqualification will take place if the team goes off course.

• Wild Drag Race: Teams are made up of one male, one female, one “drag” (either male or female), and one wild steer. The steer, with a halter and a 25-foot lead rope, is in a bucking chute at the beginning of the event. The cowgirl holds the rope and the cowboy and drag stand 40 feet from the chute. When the chute gate opens, the team tries to direct the steer toward the finish line, which is 70 feet from the chute. They must get the steer across the finish line, mount the “drag,” and then ride back across the finish line. The “drag” must be mounted on the steer before the steer starts back across the finish line and must stay on the steer until all four feet of the steer have crossed back across the finish line.

• Barrel Race: Contestants vie for the fasted time in running a triangular, cloverleaf pattern around three barrels. The horse and rider are allowed a running start and time begins and ends upon crossing the starting line. A five-second penalty is assessed for knocking over a barrel. The pattern can be started either from the left or right, and contestants that go off the prescribed course are disqualified.

• Flag Race: A triangular pattern similar to that of the barrel race is used, with the substitution of a pole in place of barrel number three. The two other barrels will have a bucket that is three-fourths full of rabbit pellets placed on top of it, and a flag in one of these buckets. The rider may choose to run to the right or left and as they pass the first barrel, they pick up the flag, race past the pole, back to the second barrel, and attempt to place the flag in the second bucket. If the rider knocks over the first bucket or the pole, a five-second penalty will be assessed. If the rider does not pick up the flag or misses the second bucket, no time will be given. If the second bucket or barrel is knocked over, the rider is disqualified.

• Bull Riding: The same as junior bull-riding, only with bigger, meaner bulls.

……………………………………..

RODEO PARTIES

Friday, Oct, 7
• After registration, in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Fort Worth South Hotel, 100 Altamesa Blvd. East, western dancing in the ballroom begins at 7 p.m.

HomoRodeo.com hosts a party at Best Friends from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. The group put together a calendar that will be on sale at the club. Proceeds of sales benefit contestants who participate in the gay rodeos. All 12 models will be at the club for a signing party, according to organizer Michael Castlow. He said there will be a buffet for members.

Saturday, Oct. 8
• Lone Star Dance Competition and Country Hoedown takes place in the Grand Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza at 7 p.m.

• Lipps LuRue of the United Court of the Lone Star Empire presents a candidate’s show at Dallas Eagle at 7 p.m.

HomoRodeo.com hosts a calendar signing party at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar on Cedar Springs in Dallas at 8 p.m. Castlow said he would be at the Eagle with a number of the calendar models before heading over to the signing party.

Sunday, Oct. 9
• A banquet with entertainment begins at
7 p.m. at the host hotel followed by the final awards ceremony at 9 p.m.

• The World Gay Rodeo Finals closing party takes place at JR.’s Bar & Grill in Dallas.

LOCATION AND TICKET INFO

Rodeo tickets are $15 per person, per day, with those under 12 admitted free.

The rodeo will be held at the Watt Arena in the Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave., in Fort Worth. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Tickets will be sold on site, and will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

SPECIAL HONOREES

Grand Marshal: David Hill of Colorado

Honorary Grand Marshals: Gary Miller and Alan Pierce of Dallas

Community Hero: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Dallas police report aggravated robbery at gunpoint in Oak Lawn late Sunday night

This just in from the Dallas Police Department:

Aggravated Robbery – Gun Point – 2900 Oak Lawn

Agg. Robbery occurred 9-26-10 @ 2900 Oak Lawn 11:00 p.m. Suspect forced the complainant into the complainant’s vehicle. Suspect entered the back seat and forced the complainant to drive to an ATM. Suspect struck complainant in the head with the gun and after several ATM attempts $20 was taken. Suspect exited the vehicle at Hall and Central Expwy.

Suspect:
B/M/40
220 Lbs.
5’5″
Scar Under Right Eye
Wearing white shirt, blue jeans, black hat

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 214-671-4071

—  John Wright

Watch LIVE Now: Gay Couple Attempts World’s Longest Kiss

Mattbob

Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello, students at The College of New Jersey, are in the process of attempting to break the Guinness World Record for Longest Continuous Kiss, on the college campus. The currently stands @ 32 hours, 7 minutes, 14 seconds.

At the time of this posting, the kiss had been going on for 26 hours.

The record has never been held by a gay couple. Official page. Facebook page.

Watch the live stream, AFTER THE JUMP

Matty_bobby



Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

FRC’s continued attempts to drag down Reid

This image mashup comes courtesy of the Family Research Council, in criticism of Majority Leader Reid and Little Monster leader Gaga’s mutual Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal lovefest:

Lady-Reid-209X300

*Also note their falsely declarative headline: Outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Lousy Poker Face [FRC]

We like it! He looks good as a blonde, and she can pull off wrinkles. Nice work, FRC.

Plus we love the social commentary of the dress: The left is all perky and transparent and ready for business, while the other side’s potential is masked by a pumped up right Angle that has some flash but fails to really say all that much.




Good As You

—  John Wright

Local gay veteran offers $500 for meeting with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to discuss DADT

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, apparently doesn’t give a damn what her constituents think about repealing “don’t ask don’t tell.”

Dave Guy-Gainer, a retired Air Force chief master sergeant who lives in Tarrant County, is offering $500 in cold hard cash to anyone who can set up a face-to-face meeting for him — pronto — with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

Gainer, a board member for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network who made the offer Monday morning, wants to speak with Hutchison about the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell,” which — God willing — will be voted on by the full Senate later this month. Hutchison has indicated she plans to vote against DADT repeal. But Gainer lamented that she’s seemingly made up her mind without ever even discussing the issue with constituents like himself who support repeal:

“Despite many attempts over the years, we have never been able to discuss the issue with her face to face,” Gainer wrote to Instant Tea. “During SLDN Lobby Day last spring, we had a meeting arranged with a DC staffer. Myself, three other constituents and a retired Army Major General arrived at the appointed time. The staffer was not there. After a two hour wait in her lobby, we were told that ‘oh, we forgot you were here.’ Other Texans have attempted to meet with her and have met with a brick wall as well. In my one voter opinion, I am not represented by a Senator who refuses to even hear what a constituent has to say about a topic as impacting as is DADT. I am certain of her vote against repeal. That is, unless she chooses to have discourse with constituents who  might convince her that repeal is warranted.

“My $500 bounty stands,” Gainer added, “but I doubt that I’ll ever have to award it.”

—  John Wright