With Halloween just a week away ….

(And the Cedar Springs Halloween Block Party happening tomorrow night — Saturday, Oct. 25), I thought it was appropriate to share this video here on Instant Tea. Thanks, Hardy Haberman, for sharing it with me.

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: People consuming ‘prairie oysters,’ and more, for the first time

Doesn’t that look delicious? Maybe, until you know it’s fried penis. Bon appetit.

I waited until after lunch so most people could dine in peace. But this video is interesting to watch.

I myself have never had “Rocky Mountain oysters” — sometimes called prairie oysters, but simply “fricasseed bull testicles.” And the reason I have not are pretty plainly demonstrated by what you are about to see. As a foodie, perhaps I should be more adventurous. But as a biological male …. I just can’t. Oh, and the penis is no better. (I’m OK with eating bird and fish eggs, though. Go figure.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

20 years after the Violence Against Women Act, how far have we come?

 

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation today recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and calling “upon men and women of all ages, communities, organizations and all levels of government to work in collaboration to end violence against women.”

The proclamation comes a day after TMZ.com released video footage of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his then-girlfriend/now-wife Janay Palmer out cold in an elevator — video footage that prompted the Ravens to terminate Rice’s and prompted the NFL to suspend him indefinitely. That sounds reasonable, except that the incident back in March and in July NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell only suspended Rice for two games. (Rice was originally charged with felony assault but the charges were dropped when Palmer refused to testify against him.)

Originally, the only video footage made public showed the moments after the elevator doors opened and Rice dragged the unconscious Palmer part of the way out of the elevator and then left her laying in a heap on the floor. The video released this week by TMZ, taken by a camera inside the elevator, shows the brutal punch to the face that knocked her out.

As President Obama said in his proclamation today, it was 20 years ago that “our nation came together to declare our commitment to end violence against women.” The VAWA “created a vital network of services for victims,” expanded the number of shelters and rape crisis centers across the country, and established a national hotline, the proclamation says. The VAWA also “imrpoved our criminal justice system and provided specialized training to law enforcement … . It spurred new state laws and protections and changed the way people think about domestic abuse … .”

But watching that video of Ray Rice punching Janay Palmer and considering the NFL’s initial lackluster response, it doesn’t seem like we’ve made much progress toward that goal.

Add in some statistical information, and it’s even more discouraging.

According to UNWomen.org, the website for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a global review of available data conducted in 2013 (World Health Organization, Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women) shows that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence . But some national studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experience sexual or physical violence from an intimate partner.

The UNWomen website goes on to cite The World Health Organization’s World Report on Violence and Health, which says that in Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, intimate partner violence accounts for between 40 and 70 per cent of female murder victims.

President Obama says that he was “proud to renew our pledge to our mothers and daughters by reauthorizing VAWA and extending its protections” last year. And while the VAWA has “provided hope, safety and a new chance at life for women and children across our nation,” the president acknowledges “we still have more work to do.”

“Too many women continue to live in fear in their own homes, too many victims still know the pain of abuse, and too many families have had to mourn the loss of their loved ones. It has to end — because even one is too many.”

Absolutely. But in the LGBT community we have to take it a step forward and remember that women are not the only victims of domestic violence, and men are not the only abusers.

According to a “fact sheet” published online by the Center for American Progress, 1 out of 4 to 1 out of 3 same-sex relationships has experienced domestic violence. And domestic abuse violence victims in same-sex relationships face threats that their abuser will “out” them at work or to family, some face the threat of having their children taken away, and some are even afraid of doing damage to the LGBT rights movement by admitting that domestic violence happens in our community.

These and other reasons make LGBT domestic violence victims more reluctant to report such violence to police, and leaves them feeling isolated, alone and helpless.

President Obama is right. We’ve got a long way to go. We in the LGBT community have to make sure we are part of the effort against domestic violence, not just in the country as a whole, but in our own community — our own homes — too.

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: A beautiful song about marriage equality

Garfunkel and Oates

It’s only been airing a few weeks, but already Garfunkel and Oates is one of my favorite quirky comedies. Playing on IFC, it’s about two girls who are musician-comedians, performing lilting humor songs as part of their act. In the most recent episode, they were tapped to write a song about two male puppets on a popular kids’ show who were getting married. This is the result, called — like another song sung by a puppet named Kermit — “Rainbow Connection.” If it’s not in the running for an Emmy next year, there’s something very, very amiss in the world.

New episodes airs weekly on IFC.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Frank Librio resigns his post as Dallas spokesman, takes CVB job

Frank Librio, shown here in the city's 'It Gets Better' video last year.

Frank Librio, shown here in the city’s ‘It Gets Better’ video last year.

City of Dallas spokesman Frank Librio has resigned from his role as managing director of the Public Information Office to become the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s vice president of communications.

Librio, who’s openly gay, has worked for the city for nearly a decade and was instrumental last year in the making of an “It Gets Better” video, which featured more than a dozen city employees including himself. His last day is March 21.

In his resignation letter, Librio called his new role a “dream job” where he’ll “continue to help promote our great city.”

“I have worked with so many smart and talented employees — all working together to make our city better,” he wrote in the letter. “I will look back on my time at City Hall fondly and with great pride and gratitude.”

Read his letter below.

—  Dallasvoice

WATCH: Colbert’s raciest segment yet

Screen shot 2014-01-14 at 2.00.54 PMMost of last night’s episode of The Colbert Report is pretty much just as good (and funny) as any other, but one bit stuck out for me. In the segment below, Colbert talks about product placement, and how ads can be digitally inserted into reruns. Then he gives his audience an idea about how it could be done on his show. The bit is clever, but it’s really at the end, starting around 3:26 on the count clock, that it becomes one of the raciest sketches he’s ever done. Enjoy after the jump!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: ‘Punch My Tammy’

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 11.01.21 AMI don’t know why, but this little video really tickled our Tammy.

What’s that, you say? You don’t know what a “Tammy” is, other than a sentimental song from the 1950s recorded by Debbie Reynolds.

Well, you’re about to find out in this super-gay, super-silly (and definitely sexy) little comic video. Definitely NSFW.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: Video of Colton Ford’s single ‘Let Me Live Again’

Colton-FordIn this week’s edition, we have a story about adult film actor Colton Ford and his efforts, at 50, to establish a music career. We say we really like the album. And actually, you can make a decision about it yourself. After the jump, watch the video. It’s catchy and edgy and leather-daddyish … perfect for a Wednesday morning.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

WATCH: ‘This Boy is a Bottom’

From the queens who brought you the Chick-fil-A video to the tune of Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” — including Ticked Off Trannies with Knives star (and Drag Race contestant) Willam Belli — comes the latest video, inappropriate for most workplaces. At least, if you play it with the volume up. But go ahead, put on your headphones and enjoy.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones