WATCH: Gohmert says gays are hurting evolution, which he doesn’t believe in

Louie Gohmert

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Congressman Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, spoke at a Kaufman County Tea Party rally on July 2.

He spoke about the war against religion and how President Barack Obama made it clear he was going after Christianity.

“For someone who believes in evolution, you believe that throughout the history of the universe, and particularly Earth, that people have come together and borne offspring from different species that has evolved and given us stronger and better species. How does the mating of two males evolve the species upward?” Gohmert said.

Since Gohmert apparently doesn’t believe in evolution, two men “mating” really shouldn’t bother him at all.

But Gohmert is also concerned with having his free speech rights taken away by hate crime legislation. He said he no longer has the right to “openly believe homosexuality is wrong without encroaching on the possibility of a hate crime. We’re not haters as Christians. We’re lovers.”

Actually, the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act that Gohmert opposes has been used only once to prosecute a hate crime committed against a gay man. Four people arrested in Kentucky were charged under the law after beating a gay man.

Poor Louie. Four people beating the crap out of a gay man is apparently part of his definition of Christian love and free speech rights.

Gohmert is known for his staunch opposition to LGBT equality and for his off-the-wall statements. He opposes employment nondiscrimination as part of Obama’s war on religion and opposed the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” because of “bunk crawling.”

Watch the video after the jump:

—  David Taffet

SMU sends 18 to Midwest LGBT conference

Iowa State University is hosting the 2012 Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay Transgender Ally College Conference Feb. 10-12. One student from Texas Women’s University, 17 from Southern Methodist University’s LGBT group Spectrum and an SMU professor are attending, according to the Daily Campus. Spectrum Co-President Harvey Luna put the group together after attending last year’s conference, according to the SMU newspaper.

Karen Click at SMU Women’s Center for Gender and Pride Initiatives called it a national conference for student leaders. She said this is the second year SMU has participated.

“They come back inspired to create change on campus,” she said.

Registration for the event is $80 per person and the group chartered a bus from Dallas.

“The SMU Student Senate paid for them to go,” Click said.

The MBLGTACC conference began in 1991 and takes place annually in the upper Midwest. The goal is to learn new strategies to face problems LGBT students face on campus daily.

Two weeks ago, Youth First Texas hosted a conference of North Texas gay-straight alliances.

—  David Taffet

BACH for the holidays …. and beyond

Volunteer Wanda Brown helps get ready for the Breakfast at Cathedral of Hope on Chirstmas Eve

I have been out of the office, on vacation, since Dec. 22, and when I got back to work today and started wading through the thousands of emails in my inbox, I found one from Hank Henley, asking if we could include some information in Dallas Voice about BACH, the weekly Breakfast At Cathedral of Hope program in which church volunteers prepare and serve breakfast to the homeless.

So I am including Hank’s write-up about BACH’s Christmas Eve event here on Instant Tea, just as he sent it to me:

Use the words “Bach” and “cathedral” in a sentence this time of year, and most people will picture the “Christmas Cantata” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” But at a certain church in Dallas, BACH stands for “Breakfast at the Cathedral of Hope,” a program that just celebrated its four-year anniversary in November. On Christmas Eve morning, while most of Dallas was nestled all snug in their beds, a small army of volunteers was in the kitchen at the Cathedral of Hope whipping up a hot and hearty breakfast for the homeless and needy that would be coming through their doors by 7:30 a.m. Under the direction of Rev. William Baldridge, Associate Pastor for Community Outreach, this weekly breakfast has grown from serving just 11 guests at the first meal to an average of 200 guests each Saturday morning.

And guests they are: receiving a hot meal served on china plates and with silverware and glasses. The guests may also receive a haircut after they eat, if they so chose.

This week, in addition to the usual food and drink, each guest received a bag with a blanket, hat, gloves, toiletries, water and food coupons. The gift bags were the result of the generous work of Jan Okerlund and Leslie Frye.

Leslie Frye, one of the volunteer coordinators, when asked how the volunteers feel about the work they do, said, “The real blessing is in the cooking for and serving those less fortunate, not only during this Season, but all year long.”

This Saturday’s volunteers included members of the church community of the Cathedral of Hope, members of the Turtle Creek Chorale and a group of 14 students from “I-CERV,” the “Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering.” They are here once a month, all year long. Kenneth Campbell, the Interfaith Services Director Volunteer Coordinator of the Memnosyne Foundation, brought these energetic and focused youth.

The Memnosyne Foundation is a wonderful organization whose mission is “to help a diverse people of the world consciously encourage an evolution of themselves and for future generations by providing the means to encourage positive, peaceful global collaboration.” The diverse crowd of leaders, volunteers and guests were certainly doing that on this morning.

And one guest, who guest shared his story quietly and privately with tears streaming down his face, personifies the spirit of sharing and giving. This time last year, he was on the street, living under a bridge and depending on the generosity of others to survive. He told me he could always count on a hot meal and being treated with respect when he came to BACH. This year, he is able to draw social security and is donating $25 a month to BACH. “They always fed me and helped me get through. Now I want to give back whatever I can. God blessed me and it’s what I want to do.”

Across the room, his hands deep in a bucket of soapy water, volunteer Jamie Rawson, spent the morning scraping plates and glasses, getting them ready for the dishwashers.

“There a few things a person can do which so clearly put Christmastime in perspective as doing something to help others. It is has been said so often as to become a cliché — but it is no less true for being a cliché. It is heart-warming to see so many people gathered to help provide for those in need. It is especially affirming to see so many young people from such a diversity of backgrounds. This has been the most fitting and rewarding way to truly start my Christmas.”

When the guests were finished with breakfast, finished visiting with friends and volunteers, finished with their haircut, and picked up their bag of supplies for warmth and comfort, they left the cathedral and headed back into the rain and the street.

As they left, Richard Boule greeted each of them and wished them a Merry Christmas.

“As I watched those people leaving the Cathedral after breakfast this morning, I could not help wondering where they were going and what each one of them had to look forward to this Christmas time. But I had the feeling that they were grateful for the humanity they were shown, so many left with a smile. May they be blessed.”

If you would like to help with BACH, please call Rev. Baldridge at the Cathedral of Hope at 214-351-1901.

You can see more photos from the Christmas Eve Breakfast at Cathedral of Hope after the jump.

—  admin

BIG Lang theory

K.D. Lang, on her new CD, Lady Gaga and her burgeoning butchness

KD-Lang

BUTCHING IT UP | Lang, nearing 50, is embracing her inner ... daddy?

K.D. Lang is manning up, thanks to the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and other sexpots of pop who shoot whipped cream from their chests and ride disco sticks. The longtime gay activist, who turns 50 in November, made a rebellious decision to boost her butchness, evident in the video for “I Confess,” the lead single from her disc Sing it Loud.

She comes to the Meyerson on Tuesday with her band the Siss Boom Bang, but before the show, she dished about the album’s evolution, why being the first out country star doesn’t matter and her work with Glee.

— Chris Azzopardi

Dallas Voice: Why did you approach Sing it Loud with a fuller sound and, for the first time in 20 years, a band?  Lang: It just seemed to be the right thing to do. It was just what I was feeling. I was working with Joe [Pisapia], writing songs, and it came time to record them and I just felt like the band was the right way to approach it — very live and spontaneous. We put the band together and it was beyond my wildest dreams what transpired.

On “I Confess,” you sing the lyric I’ll be your daddy. How do you think that line would’ve been received had you recorded this song 20 years ago when you first came out? Probably the same as now. I think there’s going to always be people who feel uncomfortable with it and there’s always going to be people who are titillated by it. You just have to know that’s going to be the case for a long time.

Would you say you’re embracing your butchness more than you used to? Yeah, this music really asks for it. I also think that the aesthetic nature of today’s music, with people like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry — not that it’s new, it certainly isn’t; I know better than that — is being very exaggerated I thought, I can exaggerate, too!

What do you make of the way the music business has shifted in the way it sells music? I think it’s boring because everything is so overexposed. But it’s fine; it is what it is. In terms of music, there is always going to be a place for someone who can sing and someone who can communicate with an audience.

Did you ever feel pressure to conform in your career? That would depend on what I wanted to reap from my music. I’ve always been quite sure that I wanted to have a more artistic career and a career of longevity, so in that respect, no. I’ve made decisions that have nurtured my art rather than my public awareness or my celebrity. That’s been self-determined. So no, I never felt the pressure.

If you hadn’t come out, how do you imagine your life and career now? I can’t imagine, because I was always out and coming out wasn’t really a big deal for me. But it certainly made things easier. I can’t imagine what it would be like, but at the same time it’s definitely made my life easier just because it kind of stripped away the question marks in the audience’s minds. It took away any pretense or question.

There was a big hoopla when Chely Wright came out as the first gay country star, because some argued that you beat her to it. What did you think about all that? I don’t know who Chely Wright is, but I don’t care. I mean, to a whole generation of people who know Chely Wright, they probably don’t know who I am. So to them it is the first country star to come out. I don’t really care who’s the first, who’s the last, because before me there were a lot of people that helped get me to a place to feel confident and comfortable with coming out.

Last year you lent your voice to a song on a Glee soundtrack. Would you ever do the show? I don’t really watch Glee, but I know it’s very popular and gay-friendly, which is great. And Jane Lynch is hilarious! If they asked me I would consider it, but I’m really happy that I could be a part of something that’s supportive and promotes alternative and varying lifestyles.

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

—  Kevin Thomas

Evolution of the Spoken Word today

Spoken word with purpose
Audaciously Speaking presents the 4th Annual Evolution of Spoken Word. Local out poet, Audacious brings together an impressive lineup of local poets and artists, all who are ready to drop some knowledge on you.

DEETS: Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave. 3 p.m. $15. 682-472-9396

—  Rich Lopez

Weekly Best Bets

Friday 04.29

These kings wanna get rocked
The peeps behind this show are pretty brilliant — not to mention a kick-ass flyer. Drag kings and local bands make up Mustaches & Music hosted by Christina Love. After Julian 4Play and the rest of the kings perform, Screaming Red and Electro-Shock Machine bring the rock out to finish the night. Sweet.

DEETS: Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St. 9 p.m. PartyAtTheBlock.com.

 

Saturday 04.30

No, it’s OK to have that buzz
Festivals come left and right this time of year, but we’re prone to those encouraging us to eat and drink. The Dallas Wine and Food Festival has been doing just that for 27 years. We long for Saturday’s wine seminars at Mockingbird Station spots topped off by happy hour at Margarita Ranch.

DEETS: Mockingbird Station, 5321 E. Mockinbird Lane. 11 a.m. Through Sunday. $15–$25. DallasWineFest.com.

 

Sunday 05.01

Spoken word with purpose
Audaciously Speaking presents the 4th Annual Evolution of Spoken Word. Local out poet, Audacious brings together an impressive lineup of local poets and artists, all who are ready to drop some knowledge on you.

DEETS: Chocolate Secrets, 3926 Oak Lawn Ave. 3 p.m. $15. 682-472-9396

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: Lance Lundsten, State of the Union, Lady Bunny’s ‘Ballad of Sarah Palin’

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. Gay Minnesota teen Lance Lundsten may very well have taken his own life after all. The medical examiner in the case said Wednesday that Lundsten did not die from an enlarged heart as his father claims. Instead, a finding that Lundsten had an enlarged heart was secondary to his unknown cause of his death. Lundsten has been widely reported to have committed suicide in response to anti-gay bullying at school. However, his official cause of death won’t be known until toxicology results are complete, which could take several weeks.

2. LGBT advocates are calling for President Barack Obama to come out in support of marriage equality in Tuesday’s State of the Union address: “We have wanted him to lead on this issue. He has talked about … experiencing some evolution, and we’d like to say, ‘Evolve now!’”

3. Lady Bunny releases “The Ballad of Sarah Palin.” (video above)

—  John Wright

Pew Poll Shows America’s Slow, But Sure Evolution On Gay Marriage Acceptance


Ssmchart2
 Yesterday I noted how Exodus International, an "ex-gay" group, has dropped out of the homophobic "Day of Truth."

Though the news seems small, Exodus' departure signals, I said, the erosion of social conservatism's power in America. If you want more proof of the nation's gay evolution, check out this news from Pew Research:

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year.

In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed.

In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 54% were opposed. For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage.

While it can be distressing to live in a nation that restricts rights based on people's sex lives, this latest report, coupled with Exodus' exodus, suggests that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel. An inclusive America is on the horizon, inevitable, and our virtuous patience will be paid in spades. Or, rather, in marriage.

Just a little longer, reader!


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

London’s Hackney Trans Evolution

The United Kingdom and some other western nations seem like another planet in how far more advanced they are than our supposed “Land of the Free” United States when it comes to LGBT rights. This is an interesting speech from a voice in working class Hackney, a borough of London, that has had to address a rise in hate crimes against the LGBT community. I am asking the reader to initially suspend judgment when reading this speech and to consider the ideas presented then contemplate the similarities and differences we share along with the gender dynamics mentioned by this trans man speaker, Jamrat Mason, addressing Hackney Pride and the struggles we all experience due to the question of gender and society’s role in attempting to define acceptable roles for all of us.

My name is Jasper Murphy and I have a vagina. I’m involved in East London Community Activism but today I’m here to speak “as a trans person” about transgender issues. The term “transgender” is a broad term that refers to to a massive spectrum of people who in some way veer away from the gender written on their birth certificate. So, I cannot, in any way whatsoever, be representative of transgendered people. I can only talk about the world as I see it, from where I’m standing, as a transexual.

I’m a lucky tranny. First of all because I’m alive. And secondly because I have a family who loves me. That shouldn’t be lucky, but at the moment, it is. My own experience is quite unique so I thought I’d give you a quick history: At 3 years old my first sentence was “I’m a boy”, at 7 years old when I was still convinced that this was true, my parents took me to a psychologist. The psychologist said I probably have “Gender Dysphoria”. My parents talked to my school and allowed me to cut my hair and wear a boy’s uniform. When I was 8 I was referred on to a specialist in London (on the NHS) who I saw until I was 18. When I was 12 I legally changed my name which my granny paid for. So I’ve been living as male since I was about 7 or 8. I went through a full female puberty and eventually got testosterone when I was 21. I had surgery when I was 22. I’m 24 now so I’ve looked like this for about 2 years.

It’s not my intention to simple ask for a complacent acceptance of trans people- for people to just stop insulting us and beating us up… I want to talk about transphobia as an issue that affects all of us- and that we can all play a part in fighting. We must, as a society, be better at gender.

I came to the conclusion it truly is a universal issue and we need to continue to push for an evolved understanding of gender expression. Only then will all of us in the LGBT community be truly free. What is your verdict?




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Why Do Gay Men Want to Be Fit? Let’s Ask Evolution

Tell me, science, why does a gay man like me care so much about his fitness? "The drive among women and homosexual men to lose weight comes more from a competitive instinct than a personal one, new research suggests. The study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, found that a natural competitive instinct forces people to compare themselves with those who are more successful than them. And in a society that equates thinness with youthfulness and attractiveness, competing against someone successful often means losing weight. Researcher Norman Li told New Scientist magazine that the effect is likely evolutionary since western civilizations tend to gain weight as they age." Finally, we can stop blaming magazines.


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Queerty

—  John Wright