OK, so flashmobs have gotten to be old hat, I know. But this one — set up by the independent Canadian band Lazybones “in the hopes of spreading some love across the world on Valentine’s Day and beyond” — is a little different.
In this video, set in a Canadian market, a young woman is wandering about h0lding a bouquet of red roses when suddenly she stops and yells out, “I’d do anything to get your heart!” Then a song by that name begins to play in the background as she walks up to couples and hands them roses, at which time, the couples begin to kiss. Nothing pornographic, just sweet, loving kissing. About 20 couples in all participate — and that includes at least one same-sex couples, two guys who are the first to get a rose.
Most of the bystanders and onlookers, although caught off guard at first, soon begin smiling. Some take out cameras and start taking photos. Others just smile and walk on by. But one shopkeeper is obviously not impressed and starts yelling at the couples to cut it out. Too bad he wasn’t feeling the love, and it’s good he was the only one making such a fuss.
Anyway, here it is. Enjoy, and spread a little love of your own this Valentine’s Day.
Thanks to Brad over at Gilley’s for tipping me off to this (albeit inadvertently through Facebook). He linked to this new photo essay/blog titled Born This Way. In it are images submitted by people who, in hindsight, can see the gay coming in their childhood photos. By the looks of it, the first post was published on Sunday, and already there’s a pretty impressive collection.
Born This Way is Paul V.’s project (and yes, Gaga’s next album title). Paul V. is a DJ based in Los Angeles, but I’m really hoping he sticks to this project. There’s such a heart to the pictures that makes it so super charming and even funny — but in a good way because you’ll likely relate to it.
Paul V. was inspired, if you will, by the recent teen suicides as well as the political movement and rhetoric around Prop 8 and DADT. Initially he thought his idea would be great as a book, but after sitting on it for a while, he told me he just wanted to get it out there. And it’s caught on — like wildfire. “I’m a little inundated but it’s great,” he said. “The first photo (above) was from a MySpace friend. I just thought if any pic ever proved that we feel what we feel and it comes through, this was it. I was heartbroken by the suicides and if young people find this blog and realize there have been gay kids forever, they see they aren’t alone.”
Over the weekend we told you about the brutal stabbing of 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn outside Club Blur in the heart of Houston’s Montrose area. Scheerhorn was fatally stabbed in the parking lot of the gay bar as patrons and security looked on. Police have said they don’t believe Scheerhoorn’s murder was a hate crime. Today, the Houston Press reports that authorities have made an arrest in the case:
Lydell Grant, 33, has been charged with murder. Police got his identity through a Crime Stoppers tip and he was arrested without incident during a traffic stop near the South Loop and South Main about 1 a.m. today, HOD says.
The Sam Houston School Holiday Project will be offering thanks to a slew of drag queens this season. Edna Jean Robinson brings back her annual Trailer Park Christmas which benefits the project. Onyx and Chanel are among the drag fabulous who will lend a manicured hand to the night. Those kids will be so happy. It just warms the heart.
DEETS: JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road. 11 p.m. Caven.com.
First and foremost: I totally believe her. I think the vast majority of us know that Maggie Gallagher does not wish harm, much less death, on anyone. In fact, I don’t believe that she even wishes mental anguish on anyone, having truly bought into the talking points from her movement which detach the actions from any kind of hurtful intent.
But here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter what Maggie personally thinks about what will or will not resolve tragedies like the ones we’ve seen this week. It doesn’t matter how heartfelt her personal condolences may be. What matters is the body of her professional work with NOM and elsewhere, and the fallout that we gay folk all-too-well know can stem from these “culture war” activities! Because it is this bias cultivation that changes the molecules in the air. It’s this anti-civil rights work that puts heterosexism into everyone’s psyches. It’s this fear-fostering that foments a world where LGBT people are viewed as different, wrong, or in some extreme cases — unworthy of life.
The thing about loose lips: They can sink ships. So too, loose interpretations of who was and was not born into the right sexuality!
The reality is that none of us have ever grown up in a world where the full population is free to live as they were formed. A very big and undeniable reason for this is the far-right’s “culture war” against gay people’s lives and loves. A “culture war” that Maggie Gallagher has been a part of for decades now. This writer knows: I’ve read through her archives more than just about anyone. I’ve seen the stigmatizing comments, like in 2001 when she referred to homosexuality as a “sexual dysfunction” whose reparative therapy deserves research dollars:
5/14/2001, Maggie uses Dr. Robert Spitzer’s study in a way that goes against his own wishes and findings: “I believe there is rather powerful evidence that human beings are a two-sex species, designed for sexual rather than asexual reproduction. If this is true, then the absence of desire for the opposite sex represents, at a minimum, a sexual dysfunction much as impotence or infertility. Human beings seeking help in overcoming sexual dysfunctions deserve our respect and support (and may I mention, President Bush, more research dollars?).” [Source]
Or in ’00, when she presented gays as abnormal members of the species:
3/20/2000, Maggie defends Dr. Laura: “In a simple biological framework abstracted from all religion and morality, homosexuality is like infertility. It is a sexual disability preventing certain individuals from participating in the normal reproductive patterns of the human species.” [Source]
And of course there’s all the modern day stuff with NOM, where she’s pointedly told gay people that they “can always control” their “unfortunate” behavior:
I’ve heard and seen so much from Ms. Gallagher. Much more than I’ve ever even published. Did Tyler Clementi also experience it? Did Raymond Chase? Did Seth Walsh? Did Asher Brown? Did Billy Lucas?
Well, I of course don’t know how familiar any of these five young men were with Ms. Gallagher or NOM. But again: Their personal familiarity with this one “culture war” person doesn’t matter! Because what I do know without a shred of doubt is that all five were familiar with the ol’ fashioned mental torture that the “pro-family” community so aggressively fosters (sometimes unwittingly, sometimes not so much). And I know that when given the choice of fostering civil peace, Ms. Gallagher instead chose to defend exclusion. That certainly didn’t help matters.
It might seem easy to write off gay Dallas-based musician and YouTuber Brandon Hilton as a joke. After all, Hilton’s first several posts on Twitter today consisted mainly of skin care tips (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But then Hilton fired off the below piece about gay teen suicide, letting us know he’s more than just “an attention whore and failed MySpace celebrity,” as one closetedhomophobic critic claims. Now then, with his permission, here’s the full text of Hilton’s extended Tweet:
It breaks my heart to hear about all the recent suicides! 4 boys dead in 3 weeks!
Life is not always sunshine and roses… for anyone. not even for me! we all have dark moments, and we all have pasts that we may or may not ever want to talk about. I was planning to save mine for a biography one day, but that was a selfish publicity idea for later on in my career when the glam died down. I think the need to share my story comes now at a crucial time when kids are confused and lonely, and knowing that one of MY FANS could take his/her own life because they feel alone simply breaks my heart. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You may not be gay, you may not know if you are gay, you may not even know anyone gay, but if you suspect someone you know is, dont attack them. please talk to them, especially kids! you have a reason and a purpose in life, and you are FABULOUS!
In elementary school I was never the popular kid, I had a few friends who stuck by me, and still do to this day. It was rough being short and different and shy. I hung out with girls more than guys, and I didnt really identify with anyone else around me. I knew I was different. In middle school a name emerged, the boys started calling me GAY. so I started researching to find out what it was, sure enough the name fit and I owned it, I didnt tell them they were right about me, I kept it hidden until high school, then they came up with a new word for me…. FAGGOT, I hated that word, it pissed me off just to hear it. It was such a hard road through high school, my 10th grade year I decided that I was going to come out and tell everyone who I really was, so I did. It got worse and almost everyone turned on me, I didnt know what to do, so I had a genius idea to threaten them all. this idea got me expelled from high school for the entire year my 10th grade year of school. It was one of the lowest points of my life.
After the news broke my friends slimmed down to pretty much 2 people. only 2 that I felt I could trust, connect with and tell anything to. about a week after being expelled, I realized how bad I had fucked up my life and I felt hopeless. I had family I could talk to and I had 2 friends I could talk to, but I didnt feel like I could talk to them. I decided that my life wasnt worth living if I couldnt be like everyone else and be normal, so I tried to kill myself. and again, and once again, over the course of 2 months. this landed me in a psychiatric hospital under 24 hour surveillance for 2 weeks. It saved my life. In the hospital I met people who were like me, and who identified as gay and who were ok with it. the counselors helped me understand that I was normal and no different from anyone else except for being slightly more fabulous.
I left that hospital with a will to live, and a will to survive and change the minds of everyone who ever put me down. Its been a long road since then, but I can honestly say looking back, and seeing now that I more than achieved my goal, I developed a drive to succeed and ambition, and though my dreams were high, I’m achieving them.
I went back to high school the next year with a new look and a new way of living, words rolled off me like water resistant couches and new friends came in droves, I’m not saying that anyone should go through any of this to find themselves, but I think finding yourself is the biggest way you can change your life. not everyone is born to be an actor, or a singer, or a model, let alone all three. but EVERYONE is born with a purpose in life, and your goal is to find it and fucking rock it!
Being openly gay has been the biggest restriction on my career, and has kept me from already coming out on top of my goals, but I found ways around the doors that closed in front of me, I climbed in through the windows. I’ve accomplished so much in my life in only 23 years that most people will never do or see or have the opportunity to do. I’m thankful that my life was spared and I was able to do the things I have, and I want to give back that inspiration and that wisdom to others to spare them, YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS, you can do so much more than you’ll ever think you’re capable of, you just have to go for it. every dream, goal or wish is achievable no matter how insane people may think it is. if you fall, pick yourself up and try again. you cant fall forever!
My family didnt always support me, they thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to do all the things I’m doing now, but that didnt stop me. I went out on my own and I kicked down the doors and the barriers and I fought and worked my ass off to make this dream a reality. just imagine what you can do when you believe. I believe in all of you, I believe in everyone. gay, straight, bisexual, black, white and yellow, you have a purpose and a meaning in life.
I havent lived the peachy perfect life that people seem to think I did, I have an extremely rocky and rough past, but all of it molded me into the amazing person I am today. I dont say that in a cocky way, I say it in a confident way. everyone is amazing in their own way, you have to find your beauty and you have to rock it! because EVERYONE is beautiful!
The following Concerned Women For America church bulletin insert is not only offensive because of its aggressive tale of homosexuality needing to be “sacrificed to God” in the way that a father might theoretically sacrifice his son. But also look at the way they are pushing it on people:
“Aims at the heart”? “Demands a sincere response from anyone seeking to please God”? Of course they say all this while completely shutting out any scientific evidence or theological interpretation that diverges from their own faith-based biases. Oy!
Have a look at what CWA wants churches to tell congregants:
This week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision to halt the granting of same-sex marriage licenses in California until it considers the constitutionality of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
So, here we go with round 2, or 200, or 2,000 — I have long ago stopped counting and stopped worrying about “The Battle.”
You see, I don’t believe the battle was fought correctly and therefore lost its direction.
Marriage. Really? Why are we so determined to have a word?
That’s all it really is, a word. I really thought the fight was for rights. Is getting “married” the only way to do that? Aren’t we worried about legal rights?
Seems to me we are. I mean after all, we are conducting our fights in the legal system.
How far along do you think we would be if perhaps instead of focusing on the word we focused on the prize — equal rights. Give them the word; give me the rights.
You can call the process established to grant the rights whatever — civil union, partnership agreement, legal arrangement or supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I don’t see where that matters.
Also, just think of the possible additional troops we could recruit — straight couples that also desire the rights but don’t want the whole “married” thing.
The more the “marry-er,” as they say.
What does matter, at least in my opinion and world, is that I can make medical decisions for my partner when needed (or hell, just be able to see him in the hospital), that we can receive the retirement or social security benefits of the other just the same as any spouse, that we can buy property together and that property passes to either of us at the death of the other — you know, the important things, the rights.
I am all in for that fight, but not this word fight. Honestly I have to admit, I am not a fighter at heart so the thought of a tougher battle to achieve the goal is very unattractive to me.
So, hate me for being a man who is gay and doesn’t want to be in this battle.
It is your right.
Touched by TCC’s national anthem
Last week I was driving out to DFW Airport very early in the morning, just before 7 a.m. I tuned my car radio to KEOM FM 88.5, which is the Mesquite Independent School District station, which mainly plays a format of 1970s and ’80s music.
Well they had just signed on for their broadcast day and played what I thought was one of the most beautiful renditions of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” that I had ever heard.
It was so good, I wanted to know who performed it.
So I called the morning station DJ, thinking that it must have been one of the military academies or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Imagine my sheer delight to learn that it was Dallas’ own Turtle Creek Chorale.
It was truly magnificent. If you have never heard the TCC’s performance of the national anthem, make sure you make the effort to do so.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 20, 2010.