LISTEN: Top 10 Christmas songs by LGBT artists

Yes, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole will likely make appearances today singing their famous Christmas tunes, but queer artists have their signature contributions as well. I mean, Fred Schneider’s ridiculous humor may not compare with traditional carols, but he proves we need a little disco year round. And Pink Martini can croon just like the best of them.

Here’s a rundown of my top queer Christmas tunes for the day to add your to mix. Bing and Nat won’t mind the company.

10.  The Superions — “Christmas Disco” This album is a pure exercise in the absurd, but Fred Schneider’s side project turns the reverent holiday into a flat out house party.

—  Rich Lopez

Christian group calls to pray for George Michael’s death

I blogged Monday in Queer Music News that singer George Michael has been hospitalized in Austria due to pneumonia. In that post, I added that Fox News reported there is speculation that his illness is much more severe than being let on. This appears to have spawned the group Christians for a Moral America to action and have called for the singer’s demise.

Huffington Post’s Gay Voices posted tweets by Kyle (@GodsWordIsLaw) from Nov. 26 about their intentions. His profile cites @CFAMABlog as the group’s official feed. From

After the Daily Mail reported that Michael’s family and long-time partner Fadi Fawaz had gathered at his bedside in Vienna, Christians For A Moral America took to Twitter, claiming the singer “has AIDS” and calling for followers to pray for the his demise in light of his “satanic lifestyle.”

Read their Twitter posts after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Poll: Young people jaded by slurs online, including ‘fag,’ ‘that’s so gay’

Many report seeing language, but few realize it can be hurtful


WASHINGTON — Young people immersed in the online world are encountering racist and sexist slurs and other name-calling that probably would appall their parents and teachers. And most consider it no big deal, a new poll says.

Teens and twentysomethings say in an Associated Press-MTV poll that people feel freer to use hurtful language when texting on their cellphones or posting to sites like Facebook than they would face to face. Half the young people regularly see discriminatory slang — including racial taunts and words like “slut,” “fag” and “retard” — and the majority say they aren’t very offended by it.

Those surveyed are twice as likely to say biased slurs are used to be funny as they are to think that the user is expressing hateful feelings toward a group of people. Another popular reason: to sound cool.

“They might be really serious, but you take it as a joke,” said Kervin Browner II, 20, a junior at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. He’s black but says the ugly words he sees are generally aimed at women, not minorities. And although Browner doesn’t like it, he doesn’t protest when his friends use those words on Twitter. “That’s just how it is,” he said. “People in their own minds, they think it’s cool.”

When the question is asked broadly, half of young people say using discriminatory words is wrong. But 54 percent think it’s OK to use them within their own circle of friends, because “I know we don’t mean it.” And they don’t worry much about whether the things they tap into their cellphones and laptops could reach a wider audience and get them into trouble.

Those who use slurs are probably offending more people than they realize, even within their own age range. The poll of 14- to 24-year-olds shows a significant minority are upset by some pejoratives they encounter online, especially when they identify with the group being targeted.

“It’s so derogatory to women and demeaning, it just makes you feel gross,” Lori Pletka, 22, says about “slut” and more vulgar words aimed at women. The Southeast Missouri State University senior said she regularly sees other offensive terms, too — for black people, Hispanics and gays.

But even the most inflammatory racist slur in the AP-MTV poll — the “N-word” — didn’t rouse a majority of young people. Only 44 percent said they’d be very or extremely offended if they saw someone using it online or in a text message. Thirty-five percent said it wouldn’t bother them much, including fully 26 percent who wouldn’t be offended at all.

Among African-American youth, however, 60 percent said they would be offended by seeing the N-word used against someone.

Four in 10 young people overall said they encounter that word being used against other people, with half of those seeing it often.

Other derogatory expressions are more common and accepted. Majorities see “slut” and “fag” used against others, and only about a third consider them seriously offensive.

But 41 percent of women deem “slut” deeply offensive (jumping to 65 percent if it’s used against them specifically), compared with only 28 percent of men. And 39 percent of those who are gay or know someone who is gay are seriously offended by the use of “fag,” compared with 23 percent of all others.

Demeaning something with “that’s so gay” is so common that two-thirds of young people see it used, and the majority aren’t offended at all, despite a public-service ad campaign that tried to stamp out the anti-gay slang.

A similar effort by the Special Olympics and others to persuade kids not to use “retard” hasn’t hit home with half of those surveyed, who don’t find the word even moderately bothersome. Twenty-seven percent are seriously offended, however.

Some teens just text the way they talk. Calling each other “gay” and “retarded” is routine in high school, says Robert Leader, 17, a senior in Voorhees, N.J. So teens text it, too.

But constantly seeing ugly words on their electronic screens may have a coarsening effect. “It’s caused people to loosen their boundaries on what’s not acceptable,” Leader said.

What group gets picked on the most? Those who are overweight. And slurs against the overweight are more likely to be considered intentionally hurtful than slights against others; 47 percent say these comments are meant to sting.

Muslims and gays also are seen as targets of mean-spiritedness.

In contrast, only a third say discriminatory words about blacks are most often intended as hurtful, while two-thirds think they are mostly jokes. And 75 percent think slurs against women are generally meant to be funny.

That blasé attitude could lead them in trouble.

Four out of 10 young people have given little or no thought to the ease with which their electronic messages could be passed to people they didn’t expect to see them; less than a quarter have thought about it a lot. Two-thirds haven’t considered that what they type could get them in trouble with their parents or their school. But it happens.

A 13-year-old Concord, N.H., girl was suspended from school for posting on Facebook that she wished Osama bin Laden had killed her math teacher. The University of Texas Longhorns dismissed a sophomore football player for his racial slam against Barack Obama on Facebook after the 2008 presidential election. And a Harvard law student’s email to friends, suggesting that blacks might be intellectually inferior, was forwarded across the Internet, prompting the law school dean to publicly denounce it.

“People have that false sense of security that they can say whatever they want online,” said Pletka of Cape Girardeau, Mo. “Anything that you put into print can be used.”

The AP-MTV poll was conducted Aug. 18-31 and involved online interviews with 1,355 people ages 14-24 nationwide. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The poll is part of an MTV campaign, “A Thin Line,” aiming to stop the spread of digital abuse.

The survey was conducted by Knowledge Networks, which used traditional telephone and mail sampling methods to randomly recruit respondents. People selected who had no Internet access were given it for free.

—  John Wright

Best Twitter-follow thank-you ever: George Takei

The Twitter-users among you undoubtedly know that when you choose to follow someone, you often get a thank you message that is sometimes automated and sometimes not. On Thursday I began following gay Star Trek actor George Takei. Below is the message I received from Takei this morning, which I can only assume is automated given that he has almost 200,000 followers:

—  John Wright

UTEP basketball player from Lancaster sorry for tweeting, ‘It is NOT cool to be gay!’

John Bohannon

The El Paso Times reports that basketball player John Bohannon, a Lancaster native who just completed his freshman season at UTEP, has apologized for tweeting, “It is NOT cool to be gay!” Ironically, Bohannon’s homophobic tweet reportedly was in response to the “Think Before You Speak” PSA that aired during the NBA playoffs, which featured two players speaking out against anti-gay language. From the EPT last Friday:

Thursday afternoon, Bohannon followed with “to those who were offended by my tweet a few days ago. Didn’t mean any disrespect by it as I do not judge anybody by their sexual preference.”

And he added, “And would hope you would not judge me by one tweet. Thank you.”

According to Bohannon’s Twitter feed, he later suggested that his original comment was “taken out of context.” And Jim Buzinski at OutSports isn’t satisfied with Bohannon’s apology:

I will judge him by that one tweet and his lame non-apology: John Bohannon is a moron and has obvious issues with gay people. And being gay is not a “preference,” it’s an orientation. Perhaps he’s simply not too bright: He was suspended one game this season, his first, for what his coach said was a  “lack of academic performance.”

—  John Wright

Queer Music News: ‘Hooray, You’re Gay’ video; Sarah Jaffe covers Robyn on Billboard

• Here’s some #musicMonday for your Twitter feeds. If Gaga’s “Born This Way” isn’t enough of a Pride anthem for you, maybe The Juliettes might can fill in the void with their new song, “Hooray, You’re Gay.” The Seattle band of women posted this song as “a gift. To the LGBT community and to all people who value compassion and equality. Who don’t see ‘Gay Marriage’ but only understand ‘MARRIAGE.’ Who don’t see ‘Gay Rights’ but only see ‘RIGHTS.’ Who think ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ should be and should have always been, ‘Why Ask, Who Cares.’ Who understand that there needs to be no defense of marriage, but defense of the disenfranchised. Love is love. Equality is equality. Truth is truth. We made this for you. We made this for everybody. We feel it is the obligation of every person — starting with us — to work toward true equality.”

This song kind of grew on me pretty quick. Four femmes goofing around with rock ‘n’ roll is hard not to love, but they also have a catchy tune. OK, yes, it sounds like it could easily come off a South Park or Avenue Q soundtrack, but I can’t help but applaud their efforts in doing a song they didn’t need to. Now that’s an ally.

• Folk and electronica don’t go quite hand in hand, but local singer Sarah Jaffe, who we’ve profiled before, is a big fan of alt-dance queen Robyn. I even saw her at the concert. Jaffe went and had a chat with Billboard and even performed a bit for Mashup Monday. Here, she covers Robyn’s “Hang With Me.” Jaffe does a beautiful job with an already beautiful song keeping her melancholic touch to it. Although they play the dance version of the song also in the video, Robyn released it as a ballad in Body Talk Pt. 1, the first of her 2010 trilogy.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Kid kills with some vintage ‘Vogue’

Robert Jeffery

This video has been buzzing on my Twitter and FB feeds so likely it’s been a viral sensation and I’m late to the game. Robert Jeffrey posted this clip earlier this week and the Interwebs are taking notice. It’s pretty much legendary and so you won’t be out of the loop, it’s here for you to watch. Plus, it’ll likely get the bitter taste of Tracy Morgan’s antics of late out of your mind.

Here is Jeffrey’s video description from Vimeo:

I performed to MADONNA’s “VOGUE” in the Summer of 1991 when my parents took me to Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. A business in the casino at the time gave tourists the chance to lip-synch to their favorite pop songs in front of a blue screen background, and I was lucky enough to partake that summer.

In honor of the twentieth anniversary of MADONNA’s “TRUTH OR DARE” and in celebration of MADONNA’s upcoming “W.E.”, here is my nine year old self paying tribute to the woman who changed my life and continues to inspire me just as much today as twenty years ago.

ME AT NINE, PERFORMING TO MADONNA IN SUMMER ’91! from Robert Jeffrey on Vimeo.

And seriously, I need to find one of these machines.

—  Rich Lopez

Drawing Dallas • 05.27.11

Fidel Cabrera-Pineda has gotta dance

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Name and age: Fidel Cabrera-Pineda, 23

Spotted: Taco Bell at North Central Expressway and Lemmon

Occupation: Hip-hop instructor/choreographer

This native of Laredo, Mexico, has resided in Dallas since age 2. Born under the sign of Cancer, tall, handsome Fidel is a self-taught dancer who began moving his feet to music almost from the time he first learned to walk. His mother showed him how to Cumbia at an impressionable age, and that inspired his lifelong interest in dance.

With a natural grace, an instinctive rhythm and a lot of hard work, Fidel has turned his love into a career, burning up dance floors all over Texas, both solo and as part of the FLS Dance Crew. His talent has garnered him three consecutive salsa championships. He is also sought after as a choreographer and creative director in the DFW area. His musical interests include jazz, soul and R&B.
You can watch him bust a move on his YouTube page, FID3LC, and follow him on Twitter @Sopadefide0.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Tishomingo’s Shelton sorry for anti-gay tweet

Shortly after GLAAD called on people to Twitter-bomb country music star and The Voice judge Blake Shelton for his homophobic tweet from Wednesday, Shelton took to the social media network this morning to offer an apology, after initially trying to laugh off the criticism. (Note that Shelton’s Twitter account says he lives in Tishomingo, which is just north of the Texas border.)

—  John Wright

Lady Gaga releases ‘Born This Way’ cover

She posted it on Twitter at midnight Friday along with this: “COVER BY NICK KNIGHT AND THE HAUS OF GAGA 5 † 23 † 11.” Sounds like there’s a song on the album called “Highway Unicorn (Road to Love),” because a few minutes before releasing the cover Gaga tweeted these lyrics:

“Get your hot rods ready to rumble, cause’ we’re gonna drink until we die.”- HIGHWAY UNICORN (ROAD TO LOVE)

“Get your hot rods ready to rumble, cause’ were gonna fall in love tonight”- HIGHWAY UNICORN (ROAD TO LOVE)

—  John Wright