Wiki goes queer with new online LGBT resource

Screen shot of WikiQueer’s homepage.

Yesterday, Wiki came out of the closet launching WikiQueer as a resource of LGBT topics, issues and people. The intent is for the global queer community to document its collective knowledge on the site. The project has been in the works since late 2010.

Read the official announcement after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Ex-gay treatment for vultures? Gay groups protest forced separation of gay avian couple

Griffon Vulture

Gay groups in Germany are upset that officials at the Allwetter Zoo in Munster, Germany, have separated two male vultures who had set up nest-keeping together and were obviously a couple.

The two Griffon vultures, Guido and Detlef, have been a couple since March, according to U.K. news site The Register. They build a nest together, defended it from the other vultures, and spent most of their time together grooming each other.

But zoo curator Dirk Wewers apparently believed Detlef and Guido’s relationship was what I call situational homosexuality, like men in prison who have sex with other men because no women are available. Wewers said: “A suitable female was missing and in such a case vultures look for companionship from the next best thing, even if it is a male. Detlef looked for a bird of the opposite sex but settled with Guido.”

So the zoo decided to give the two other options by breaking up their happy home and sending Guido to a zoo in Ostrava, Czech Republic, where he would have access to female Griffon vultures. Meanwhile, Detlef, back in Munster, has been set up with a mail-order bride from the Czech Republic.

According to reports, Detlef’s “ex-gay therapy” appears to be working. But over in Ostrava, Guido is having none of it. Reports are he won’t have anything to do with the female vultures.

Both male vultures are 14 years old, which means both are still relative youngsters, since their lifespan in the wild is estimated at 50 to 70 years old. The oldest known Griffon vulture — or Great Vulture — in captivity died at the age of 118.

According to Wikipedia, Griffon vultures are on the brink of dying out, although there have been resurgent populations in some areas of Europe. In Germany, Griffon vultures in the wild died out in the mid-18th century, but, “Some 200 vagrant birds, probably from the Pyrenees, were sighted in 2006, and several dozen of the vagrants sighted in Belgium the following year crossed into Germany in search for food.”

So, OK — the idea of creating breeding pairs and replenishing the Griffon vulture population has merit. But still, it just doesn’t seem right to me to separate what was obviously a loving couple for the sake of making some baby vultures. I am sure there are plenty of other hetero male Griffon vultures available more than willing to take care of the breeding needs.

Either way, it gives new meaning to the old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” huh?

—  admin

Don’t forget your gift and card for Powerbottom Appreciation Day on Saturday

So, what exactly do you get your favorite powerbottom? The gift ideas here don’t make much sense, but that Wiki page does give you the back story on the annual holiday. “Power Bottom Appreciation Day is an annual holiday that recognizes Power Bottoms, as well as the positive contributions that they make to society. According to Durban Bud, it is celebrated on the 30th of October, which, ironically, is also National Candy Corn Day.” Although, wouldn’t that be more of a coincidence? Bud cites on his 2006 blog post Martha Stewart hints for PBAD after the jump, but I think he jests:

According to a Martha Stewart magazine article, we’re supposed to treat Power Bottoms with the utmost respect on this day by gifting them with flowers (preferably rosebuds), fancy non-spicy dinners, easily digestible chocolates (with NO almonds) and, of course, constant verbal praise followed by light fanny pats.

If you have the money and want to go all out, Martha suggests purchasing loose diamonds and then wrapping them in a handmade gift box with a copy of Maya Angelou’s award-winning poem, “My Precious Power Bottom, I’m So Thankful I Got ‘Im.”

Because I saw it first on Wikipedia, I wasn’t sure if there was any truth to it. A Google search proved me wrong. There is even an underwhelming website marking the day. Although there is nothing overly official out there on the subject, the word is well out on what I figure is a top’s favorite holiday. And, if you see anyone donning a pink rose, or officially a rosebud, wish them a happy PBAD.

As for what to get your special PB? Well, the obvious “toy” would be a little too cliche and phallic items from the produce aisle aren’t overly special. But since it’s also Halloween, how about a nice, giant gummy worm? And some imagination.

And it’s ribbed.

—  Rich Lopez

‘Poltergay’ — the movie about gay ghosts

I am a big fan of ghost stories and reality TV shows about ghost hunters, etc. And Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, if for no other reason than the fact that the TV channels are full of good, scary ghost stories all month long in October.

So many ghost stories are stories about star-crossed lovers who keep searching for one another, striving to be together, even after death. But I have never seen a story like that about same-sex ghost lovers. So just on a whim, I decided to see what would come up when I did an Internet search for “gay +ghost.” What did I find? A French movie called Poltergay.

I admit, when I first saw the title I figured it was a gay porn remake of Poltergeist (which by the way, is one of my favorite films. Poltergeist, I mean; not gay porn remakes). But then I read the description and watched the trailer, and I decided I really need to see this one!

Here’s the description, from Wikipedia: “Emma and Marc, two young lovers, move into a house which has been uninhabited for thirty years. What they don’t know is that in 1979, in a cave under the house, there was a gay disco, which burned down when a foam machine short-circuited, and five bodies were never found. Today, the house is haunted by five gay ghosts. However, only Marc is able to see them, and his visions drive Emma away. The ghosts, touched by Marc’s problems, do everything in their power to help him get his girl back.”

And here is the trailer:


Now if I could just find a version in English, or at least with subtitles!!

—  admin

Is it OK to eat at Cracker Barrel?

Cracker Barrel, which has long ranked right up there with ExxonMobil Corp. on the list of well-known businesses that are considered anti-gay, improved its score on this year’s Corporate Equality Index by 40 points, from a 15 to a 55. Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel is cited in the 2011 CEI report, released Monday by the Human Rights Campaign, as one of 12 companies that increased their score by more than 30 points:

“Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., once in the news for delivering pink slips justified by ‘The employee is gay,’ has implemented a non-discrimination policy and diversity training that includes sexual orientation and has even gone as far as to provide a cash grant to the Tennessee Equality Project,” according to HRC.

If you’ll remember, Cracker Barrel’s anti-gay history goes back at least as far as 1991, when the company instituted a policy requiring employees to display “normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society.” From Wikipedia:

The company refused to change their policy in the face of protest demonstrations by gay rights groups. After ten years of proposals by the New York City Employees Retirement System, a major shareholder, the company’s shareholders voted 58 percent in 2002 in favor of rescinding the policy. The board of directors added sexual orientation to the company’s nondiscrimination policy.[3]

The Tennessee Equality Project, the recipient of Cracker Barrel’s donation, is applauding the company’s improved score on its website, going so far as to print “Equality — Now Being Served” under a Cracker Barrel logo.

Well, not quite.

Unlike 76 percent of companies rated in the CEI, Cracker Barrel still doesn’t prohibit discrimination based on gender identity; unlike 79 percent of companies in the CEI, Cracker Barrel still doesn’t have written gender transition guidelines and/or cover gender identity as a topic in diversity training; and unlike a whopping 95 percent of companies in the CEI, Cracker Barrel still doesn’t offer domestic partner health coverage.

In short, as tasty as it may sound, we’re not quite ready to order up an Apple Steusel French Toast Breakfast at one of Cracker Barrel’s eight locations within 50 miles of Dallas Voice’s zip code.

—  John Wright