Sunday, October 26, 2008

Suze says vote No on California and Florida marriage equality bans Prop 8 and Prop 2

I love Suze Orman! Suze came out today against Prop 8, the right wing’s attempt to legalize discrimination in California’s constitution by defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.

"I am urging every single person in the Bay Area, do not let Proposition 8 happen here, people," Orman told the
San Francisco Chronicle. "I am begging you, don't send us back to the Dark Ages. If anyone can turn that around, it is the Bay Area."

She also voted no on a similar proposition in Florida (she’s a resident there and owns a home in Pacific Heights in San Francisco) that is an attempt to do the very same thing Prop 8 is trying to do.

"I am a resident of Florida where they have a proposition which would make (same-sex marriage) unconstitutional," Orman said in the same interview with the Chronicle. "On Monday I flew there to stand in line for 3 1/2 hours and vote, so I knew it could be counted. Obviously, I voted no on that."

So, with only a little over a week left to go, I urge you to vote No on Prop 8 (if you are a Californian), talk to anyone you know who is a California voter to vote no on Prop 8, and if you can please
donate to the campaign or make some time to get on the phone (you can now do it from home!).

Orman was in San Francisco to speak at the
O You! daylong event at the Moscone Center sponsored by O, the Oprah Magazine and featuring many of its contributors, but not Oprah Winfrey herself. The event sold out, but video seminars of the sessions will be posted online at

Today's San Francisco Chronicle:
Q&A with personal financial guru Suze Orman.
Shameless self-promotion…my interview with Suze: No closets for Suze Orman.

Photo: Courtesy of Suze Orman

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Close your windows and shut your curtains girls
You never know who is watching or recording

Rosanne Strott and Emily Niland, Massachusetts College of Art and Design students didn’t know they were allegedly being filmed by two male Wentworth Institute students while the young women were in bed together. The young women discovered the video in April, four months after the video had been in circulation on a Wentworth college Web site, reported ABC News “
Video Voyeurs Under Fire for Taping Lesbians” June 13.

The young women are now taking judicial action against Wentworth Institute juniors David Cunha and David Siemiesz, who are suspected and charged by Boston police of filming the two young women while they were having sex and uploading the video on the college’s Web site, who recently appeared at Roxbury District Court.

It is alleged that the young men were able to film the scene from their dorm room, located directly across an alley from Strott’s dorm room, in September.

"When I found out, I immediately vomited," Strott told ABC News. "It was a really strange thing for me. I had never felt so violated without being touched before."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

18 million cracks

It was hard listening to Hillary Clinton (D-New York) on Saturday when she finally conceded the Democratic nomination to Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois). Up to this point in time I was slowly letting go of the hope that she would make it to the White House as the first female president of the United States of America. I cried and I've been mourning ever since Tuesday when it became certain that Hillary wasn't going to make it to the Oval office. By the time I shed my tears, my friends had already cried and were painfully moving on to either begrudgingly vote for Obama in November or just taking time off from what has already been a dramatic and dually historic Democratic primary race.

Yet, being the ever optimistic "you can do it" girl that I am, I still hold out hope that Obama will select Hillary as his running mate so that for the first time in history a black man and a woman can enter into leadership together. I can't bare the thought of being told, "You will get your turn," one more time. If history has taught us nothing with the abolitionist and civil rights movements where women stepped aside for black men is that we've been told to be "good girls" and wait patiently for generations for far too long. Can't we step through the doors of the White House together?

Hillary knows this well and finally, finally as she stepped down she drew on those historic roots not only to support Obama's candidacy as the Democratic president, but also with the 18 million cracks, referring to the voters who cast their ballots for her, in the highest glass ceiling in the nation—the Oval office. Why, I wonder, couldn't she have been more candid about gender and race and about the history that was being made during these past 18 months? Was it so bad, her tears being shed in New Hampshire, to use her feminine attributes a bit more in her race for the Democratic nomination? Why did she have to fall back on the clichéd and out of fashion--just as much as big hair and padded shoulders--pantsuit and "woman operating in a man's world" toss back to second wave feminism? Couldn't Chelsea have given her clues as a third wave feminist that it is okay to be feminine and lead as a woman in the modern age?

The realization comes all too late, but as I mentioned before I hope with Hillary's realization of history, girl power, and shedding the mechanical cloak that weighed her down throughout her campaign that Obama will see that in spite of her outdated campaign tactics that she is a modern girl who has been a trend setter for change for 40 years. Hillary's experience is invaluable and should definitely be seriously considered as an asset to the vice presidency.

Photo credit: courtesy and copyright AP.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sexual and gender harassment still prevalent part of teen girls’ lives

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but 90 percent of teen girls experience sexual harassment and sexism a new study reported earlier this week.

study that will appear in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development surveyed 600 California and Georgia girls between the ages of 12 and 18 from various socioeconomic backgrounds found when girls were asked about sexual harassment that included receiving inappropriate and unwanted romantic attention, hearing demeaning gender-related comments, being teased about their appearance, receiving unwanted physical contact, and being teased, bullied, or threatened with harm by a male that sexism and sexual and gender harassment are still alive and well.

"Sexism remains pervasive in the lives of adolescent girls," said Campbell Leaper, professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and co-author of the report in a
May 15 news release. "Most girls have experienced all three types of sexism--sexual harassment, sexist comments about their academic abilities, and sexist comments about their athletic abilities."

Leaper conducted the study with Christia Spears Brown, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky.

In spite of the advancements girls have made since Title IX passed 35 years ago, girls continue to report common discouragement about their abilities due to their gender, particularly in traditional subjects such as athletics, math, science, and technology. Seventy-six percent of the girls said they received discouraging comments about their abilities in sports, and 52 percent said they received discouraging comments related to their academic abilities in science, math, or computers. In most cases the sources of the negative comments were from male peers, which Leaper said, “is both understandable and sad. Parents, teachers, and coaches weren’t perfect with their lack of encouraging remarks either, according to the release.

Leaper focused on these areas because traditionally there has been a persistent gender gap, according to the release.

"Our findings on sexual harassment are, sadly, consistent with previous research," said Leaper. "But on the other hand, most girls said they experienced sexual harassment at least once, as opposed to several times."

The fact that girls are experiencing less sexism and harassment and hearing fewer discouraging remarks based on their gender is encouraging, but as other studies have revealed sexism and sexual and gender harassment often go unreported. Age, race, lower socioeconomic backgrounds and exposure to feminism also made a difference in how many girls reported sexism and sexual harassment, according to the release. Feminism, the report found, aided the girls in being able to recognize sexism and sexual and gender harassment.

But being aware of sexism doesn't predispose girls to overreport it, noted Leaper.

"We know from previous studies that people tend to underreport discrimination," said Leaper. "After Anita Hill, reports of sexual harassment increased dramatically in the United States, because it gave people a label for their experience. So, if anything, sexism is probably occurring more than the girls in this study are saying it is. Our research suggests that parents, teachers, and the media can help girls to learn about discrimination and recognize when it occurs."

To learn where girls can get tools to fight sexism and sexual harassment, visit the Third Wave Foundation, a volunteer young feminist organization for girls between the ages 15-35.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kate’s childhood bi crush

In an interview with E! Kate Blanchett revealed crushes on both Harrison Ford and Karen Allen when she was growing up.

“Huge fan, huge fan, drooling fan,” said Blanchett. “I had an equal crush on Karen Allen. I thought the two of them together was electric.”

Blanchett looks dominatrix deliciously evil in the fourth installment in the adventure series.

Lady Liberty Kissing Lady Justice

A friend forwarded this image to me this morning and I couldn't resist posting it. I don't know who the graphic artist is, but this is one hot picture!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations Ellen and Portia!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, funny lady and afternoon TV host Ellen DeGeneres proposed to longtime girlfriend, Portia de Rossi, of Ally McBeal fame and now Nip/Tuck.

I’m sure we will all hear more same-sex celeb wedding bells soon now that California’s Supreme Court open the golden gate for marriage equality May 15.
Photo is courtesy AP Photo/Chris Weeks, FILE

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rebel rousing bi Irish author dies

San Francisco – Bisexual Irish journalist and bestselling author of "Are You Somebody? The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman," Nuala O’Faolain, 68, died of cancer May 10 at the Balackrock Hospice in Dublin, Ireland, the Washington Post reported today.

O’Faolain lead an extraordinary life, reported Patricia Sullivan in “
Nuala O'Faolain; Irish Writer Illuminated Female Isolation,” that included a 15-year relationship with female journalist, Nell McCafferty, among relationships with men. All of her relationships ended, according to the article, she never married nor had children. Nevertheless, O’Faolain (pronounced Noo-la O-fway-lon) lead an extraordinary career that took her from radio and television to print and finally to bestselling author. She also kept impressive company with a circle of friends that included filmmaker John Huston, Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, and English writer Kingsley Amis.

O’Faolain, the second oldest of nine children, is survived by six of her siblings, Sullivan reported, two of her brothers died of alcoholism.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bi Mama takes over Hip Mama

San Francisco – Kerlin Richter, a bisexual married mother, took over as head mama of
Hip Mama magazine today, reported Portland-based Just Out magazine.

Ariel Gore, who founded the left-of-center parenting magazine, Hip Mama, as a senior project at Mills College in Oakland, California nearly 18 years ago and kicked off the third wave feminist mothering movement, has matured and is allowing the child she birthed and nurtured (figuratively and literally) leave the nest. Gore’s daughter, Maia, is now 18-years old and Gore herself has moved on to other projects, such as teaching writing at The Attic Writers’ Workshop in Portland and writing well books about writing, such as How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights (2007) and a memoir Atlas of the Human Heart: A Memoir (2003).

Gore, authored three parenting guides:
The Hip Mama Survival Guide : Advice from the Trenches on Pregnancy, Childbirth, Cool Names, Clueless Doctors, Potty Training and Toddler Avengers (1998); The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood (2000); Whatever, Mom: Hip Mama's Guide to Raising a Teenager (2004); and edited two anthologies by and about third wave feminist parents: Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers (2001) and The Essential Hip Mama: Writing from the Cutting Edge of Parenting (2004) during her tenure giving birth and raising Hip Mama.

Richter, reported Just Out, was a Hip Mama volunteer and a “fellow writer.” Currently, she is pursuing a master’s of theology degree at Marylhurst University, creating multimedia art, and raising her son. She plans to honor Hip Mama’s values and vision as a progressive parenting magazine, according to the article.

Full disclosure: I am a contributor to Just Out magazine. You can see my upcoming article about LGBT parenting in the May 16 issue of Just Out magazine.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Altcinema presents


Film screening - FtF: Female to Femme, with short film The Insomniacs

Lecture - "A Brief History of Femme" by FtF co-director, Kami Chisholm, Ph.D.A benefit for Altcinema Productions
Saturday May 24, 20087:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 -$100 at the door
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
1800 Market Street, San Francsico
Come out and support queer cinema!
Purchase tickets online at

For more information or to volunteer, please contact or 415.863.2183.

About FtF: Female to Femme (directed by Kami Chisholm and Elizabeth Stark, Frameline Distribution, 48 min., 2006):

Imagine a world in which the journey toward femme was understood to be as radical as journeys to claim and inhabit other queer bodies. Envisioning more than it documents, FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME celebrates dyke femme identities, combining farce and seduction with analysis and personal history. For years, femmes have forged community and created space for themselves out of edgy performance and authentic parody. FtF recognizes these strategies and builds them into an unforgettable sexy, funny and moving film. FtF features a host of fabulous femmes, including actress/writer Guinivere Turner, novelist/activist Jewelle Gomez, poet Meliza Bañales, rock stars Leslie Mah (Tribe8) and Bitch (Bitch & Animal), professors, activists, artists and dancers. The filmmakers ask these thinkers and performers to use the language of gender transition to talk about femme identity, opening up new possibilities for understanding femininity while reinforcing connections among gender warriors around the world. A wildly original extravaganza, FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME presents a saucy, indelible portrait of a people and a politics central to the gender revolution.

Plus, the new butch-femme romantic comedy, THE INSOMNIACS (directed by Kami Chisholm, 11 min.,2008): Bell has insomnia. So one restless night, she decides to go to the local Insomniac's Anonymous 3 a.m. meeting, and there she meets Helena, the girl of her waking dreams.

About Dr. Kami Chisholm:
Kami Chisholm, founder of Altcinema, holds a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa
Cruz and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University's Film Production department. FtF: FEMALE TO FEMME, Chisholm's first (co-directed) feature documentary, premiered in June 2006 at Frameline30: The San Francisco International LGBT Festival. In 2007, Chisholm produced and co-edited the festival hit GODSPEED, a short about a trans bike messenger directed by Lynn Breedlove and Jen Gilomen. Chisholm is also the director of over 10 short films, including the recently completed romantic comedy, THE INSOMNIACS. Currently, Chisholm teaches feminist/queer/race theory, sexuality studies, and visual culture at California College of the Arts.
Purchase tickets online for QUEER(Y)ING FEMME at

Monday, April 14, 2008

This month I covered a variety of issues from taxes to trans empowerment to women kicking but in business.

I hope you enjoy the following articles!
10 Tax Tips: What your family needs to know about the new credits
As parents, we have the magical ability to make a game out of any miserable chore. In the game "Taxes," the goal is to hunt for credits and deductions that will let you keep the money that belongs to your family. Here are your first ten moves…

ON Magazine
Transpowerment Gets Boost At” on pages 14 – 15.
Fighting for transgender equality was the main topic of more than 400
people who attended the Third Annual Transgender Summit this March
hosted by the University California, Berkeley.

Transgender leaders from across the United States and activists from
all over California gathered for three days to learn from each other and
network for the first time since the acute division of the GLBT community
over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act…
Golden State Tarnished by Lack of Women’s Leadership
California has a reputation for its progressive politics as well as being a well of innovative inventions and opportunities, but the golden state doesn’t have a sunny disposition when it comes to women’s leadership…

MECCA: San Francisco Hotspot for Women’s Networking
San Francisco’s professional women know where to go for great food, wine and cocktails, entertainment, and socializing:
Mecca, a hip restaurant and bar located on the edge of the Castro district at 2029 Market Street…

Bay Area Business Woman’s Newspaper
The San Francisco Bay Area is unique in many ways, but especially when it comes to the faces that deliver the local news daily. When the denizens of the Bay Area tune into the news they are likely to see the familiar faces of one of three veteran women anchors who rule the bay Area’s airwaves at ABC, CBS, and NBC—the top three news stations…

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

California marriage equality arguments heard before the California Supreme Court

San Francisco – Today Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Therese Stewart with the City of San Francisco argued passionately before the California Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage.

“It is a great privilege to be a part of this historic moment for our state and the tens of thousands of same-sex couples who deserve the same fundamental right to marry that most Californians take for granted,” said Minter in a NCLR statement today. “We are hopeful that the California Supreme Court will affirm that lesbian and gay couples are entitled to celebrate their relationships through marriage.”

Minter and Stewart made the case that domestic partnership isn’t equal to marriage and doesn’t uphold California’s Constitutional mandate for equality.

The marriage cases were filed in March, 2004. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage violates the California Constitution. In a 2-1 vote, the California Court of Appeal reversed Judge Kramer’s ruling. Shortly after the Court of Appeal’s decision, the California Supreme Court granted review of the cases in order to consider the constitutional questions itself.

Counsel representing California Attorney General Jerry Brown and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger argued on behalf of domestic partnerships providing equal rights to that of marriage as well as leaving the definition of “marriage” up to the California legislature.

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) the lead author of legislation to bring marriage equality to LGBT Californians that was passed twice by the California legislature, but was vetoed both times by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today that he is “hopeful” that the California Supreme Court will “reaffirm its position from 1948. That year was when it “historically ended its ban on interracial marriage, saying that, ‘marriage is a fundamental right of free men... any legislation infringing such rights must be based upon more than prejudice and must be free from oppressive discrimination to comply with the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection of the laws.’

“I hope the Supreme Court does the same,” said Leno hoping the California Supreme Court will follow the legislature’s lead. “Their decision in this historic case will no doubt have implications on thousands of same sex couples and their families as well as our society for years to come.”

Del Martin and her partner Phyllis Lyon, the first couple to be married at San Francisco City Hall during the “Winter of Love” and who are petitioners in the case, are hopeful that the court will clear the way for them to get married.

“During our 55 years together, we have witnessed enormous changes in California law concerning lesbian and gay people,” said Martin. “At one time, the law treated us as complete outsiders. Today, the law recognizes our existence, but it does not yet recognize our full humanity and equality. We have loved one another faithfully for more than five decades. We wish to marry before either one of us dies.”

Minter and Stewart were assisted by a team of lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, Heller Ehrman, LLC and the Law Office of David Codell and the other attorneys representing the LGBT community.

2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the California Supreme Court’s historic 1948 ruling that found it unconstitutional for the state to restrict access to marriage based on the race of the spouses. That ruling was the first of its kind in the nation’s history, and is now the law of the land across the country. The California NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc., and Howard Law School Civil Rights Clinic have urged the court to apply the reasoning from its 1948 decision to the present marriage cases.

“California sets the course for the rest of the country,” said Jenny Pizer, Senior Counsel for Lambda Legal. “With its landmark 1948 decision Perez v. Sharp, this was the first state supreme court to overturn a law banning interracial marriages. Less than 20 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court followed suit. The rest of the country and, in fact, the world, are watching what happens here today.”

The marriage cases are among the most heavily briefed cases in the history of the California Supreme Court. More than 20 counties and municipalities filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of marriage for same-sex couples, including some of the most populous cities in California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Long Beach, Sacramento, and Oakland. In addition, more than 250 religious and civil rights leaders and organizations, including the California NAACP, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, California Council of Churches, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and National Black Justice Coalition, filed briefs supporting same-sex couples seeking the right to marry. Numerous legal and bar associations, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association, also registered their support, as well as many of the state’s leading constitutional law scholars and family law professors.LGBT Californian’s will know one way or the other The California Supreme Court typically issues its decisions within 90 days following oral arguments.

Catch today’s oral arguments of the In Re Marriage case before the California Supreme Court at

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hillary rocked it on SNL

“Live from New York, its Saturday Night Live!” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered the signature opening for the 32-year old NBC sketch comedy show standing next to Amy Poehler’s identical mock of her.

Democratic presidential candidate Clinton stepped in for an editorial response after the show opened with another mock debate poking jabs at the media’s favoritism of the other presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Clinton’s surprise appearance on SNL clearly was last minute when San Francisco Bay Area ABC7 News 11 p.m. weekend anchorman Alan Wang paused for a second and stumbled a bit while wrapping up yet another story about SNL’s jabs at the Democratic campaign debates and Clinton’s pointing out the media’s hard balling her while soft balling Obama. It seemed, in spite of the three hour difference between the New York City and San Francisco, the news of Clinton’s appearance literally just reached him on the teleprompter just in time for the end of the segment and SNL’s opening sketch.

Switch from ABC to NBC, Clinton appeared poised and somewhat relaxed and casual verbally parlaying quips with Poehler over their identical outfits down to the accessories, but like twin sisters or best friends Clinton jibed, “I do want the earrings back.”

Will her appearance on SNL and scheduled pre-primary appearance Monday on
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" help her at the polls? The answer is unclear, but SNL writer James Downey, who wrote the debate sketches, has the media talking and Clinton grabbing the pop culture brass ring in hope for a last minute appeal to voters. In particular, 30- and- 40- something voters who have switch from MTV’s “Rock the Vote” during her husband’s, Bill’s, first presidential campaign. Clinton clearly gets that we’ve grown up since then but we aren’t forgotten. She wants our votes.

And it’s not like SNL isn’t critical sometimes hitting issues right “on the nail.”

"It's like when the mom is in the grocery store and the kids rush up with this brand new cereal saying `We've got to get it, we've got to get it!'” Downey told
Associate Press Television Writer David Bauder February 27 about the debate skit that featured “a lovestruck press corps fawning over Barack Obama” and not at all lightly pushing, but verbally shoving Clinton with their questions on the stage.

“The mom is the one who is supposed to read the box, check the ingredients. She's not supposed to go, `Oh, my gosh, this is great! It has marshmallows and chocolates and sprinkles," he continued.

But this doesn’t mean that SNL is endorsing Clinton, but pointing out some standard sexism. Clinton confirmed during her SNL editorial response that the show wasn’t endorsing any particular presidential hopeful. To back this up, SNL featured another cameo appearance by former New York City Mayor and presidential hopeful Rudy Gulliani poking fun at his own failed campaign for president on its “Weekend Update” sketch. In a self-depreciating jab at his own failed Republican presidential campaign, Gulliani blamed the dress that he wore once upon a time during a SNL sketch and not on his “solid” Florida plan.

The Obama campaign is clearly seeing Clinton’s appearances on SNL and The Daily Show as signs of exiting the race for the White House. In today’s New York Time’s headline, “
Obama Backers Urge Clinton to Exit if She Loses,” the Obama campaign is clearly indirectly turning up the heat on Clinton.

But the Times is one media outlet that isn’t so awestruck over Obama to take the bait of his charm and charisma to shove Clinton off the ballot. While the headline for Times reporter Brian Knowlton’s article screamed Obama supporters pressure on Clinton, the Times reported, in the same article, the race is still too close to write off Clinton.

Polls show that “Texas a virtual toss-up, while Ohio voters narrowly favor her. In the smaller states, Mrs. Clinton holds a lead in Rhode Island while Mr. Obama has the edge in Vermont,” reported the Times. The Associate Press counted the delegates, according to the Times, and Clinton trails Obama by 109 delegates, with 2,025 needed for nomination. The Associated Press estimated the Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont hold 444 delegates, reported the Times.

Knowlton wrapped up the story pointing out that some political analysts said that despite Obama’s outspending Clinton it appears she’s “made some headway in recent days in raising doubts about his experience and readiness to be commander in chief.”

Is it time for another Clinton miracle? I’ll be watching and waiting. The next big contest isn’t until April 22 in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

This month I covered a variety of issues from eating well to building families to aging well and finally, but not least the thing we all need to in order to live, money.

I hope you enjoy the following articles!

ON Magazine
Get Your Eating Habits In-line Online” on pages 10 – 11.
For several years Carey Craig worked with a personal trainer to improve his health and lose weight, but instead of losing weight he went from roughly 190 pounds to an estimated 217 pounds. Craig, a special events and meeting planner who dabbles in real estate investing, didn’t understand. He was gaining more muscle but he was also gaining more fat. Finally, Craig’s trainer suggested that he see a nutritionist…

Creating families in the 21st century” on pages 16 – 17.
Today’s gay couples are increasingly enjoying the American dream of a lavender house wrapped in a white picket fence and two biological kids bouncing around inside their eco-friendly SUV…

Oakland Magazine
Old and Gay
Before Armistead Maupin’s famed Tales of the City became a book and then a serialized movie, Oakland resident Cheryl Berger, a self-described avid reader, would open the San Francisco Chronicle and read Maupin’s stories about the residents at 28 Barbary Lane…
Voice of Experience: Suze Orman, Personal Finance Guru
As many of you loyal Glass Hammer readers know, we love the practical and down-to-earth financial advice for women offered by personal finance guru Suze Orman. In a recent interview with a Glass Hammer contributor, Orman explained that she didn’t buy into gender differences regarding how men and women think about and handle their money until five years into her Emmy Award-winning financial show, The Suze Orman Show, on CNBC. After listening to five years of callers’ questions and observing her own friends’ relationships with money, she began examining the differences in how women and men handle money…

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

EQCA to honor transgender and marriage equality leaders

San Francisco – San Francisco’s queer community will be dressed up to the nines Saturday, February 9 for the
Equality Awards and to celebrate Equality California’s 10th anniversary.

Theresa Sparks, 58, the highest elected and appointed transgender official in the United States as the president of the San Francisco Police Commission and CEO of Good Vibrations, will be honored with the Equality Leadership Award.

“I’m looking forward to accepting the award literally on behalf of myself, but on behalf of all of the transgender people that have been working on all these issues for many years now,” said Sparks, who said that the transgender community had made progress in San Francisco, but that “we really need to turn our attention national.”

“An award from Equality California is truly an award from your contemporaries who live and work in California,” added Sparks. “That’s a bigger honor than being honored by a national organization.”

Sparks returned a
Human Rights Campaign Award she received from the organization in 2004 directly to HRC president Joe Solmonese on January 5 when he was in San Francisco for one of the town hall meetings with the transgender community, reported the Bay Area Reporter. Sparks told the B.A.R. “she could no longer stand to even look at the etched glass award when it was on her credenza.”

The empty space on Sparks’ credenza will soon be filled.

“It was time to honor someone who has been at the forefront of the transgender equality movement and there is no one better than Theresa,” said EQCA executive director Geoff Kors. “It was our honor to honor Theresa.”

Evan Wolfson, 51, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry and named Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004, will be honored with the sixth annual Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Marriage Equality Award.

“I feel truly honored to receive an award named for two pioneers whom I respect and admire so much,” wrote Wolfson in a February 5 e-mail. “Celebrating their marriage in 2004 and our commitment to winning the freedom to marry for all—hopefully in 2008, if we all do our part...”

Kors pointed out that EQCA, an LGBT civil rights organization, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Kors said Sparks and Wolfson “really stood out as leaders of the decade.”

Individual tickets starting at $350 per person is still available. To RSVP for the event at San Francisco’s City Hall click
here. The black tie event begins at 6 p.m. with a silent auction. A gourmet dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by a special performance by m-pact, touted as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world,” according to the Web site, and Broadway Star and TV actress Rachel York and an after party with DJ Luke Johnstone.

The Equality Awards is sponsored by AT&T, Gary D. Soto, Clear Channel Outdoor, Olivia, Stoli, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Hollenbeck Associates, Energy 92.7 FM, and others.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sex and the City star to receive Point Courage Award

San Francisco – The
Point Foundation announced late last month that Emmy-award winning Sex and the City star, Cynthia Nixon, will receive the Point Courage Award.

The Point Courage Award recognizes individuals who advocate for the future of the LGBT community and lives with the vision that investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow, according to the January 30 news release that announced the awardees.

"Not only does Cynthia Nixon lead a phenomenally successful career as an actress, she is also a strong supporter of New York City Public Schools and an advocate for quality education and it is with great pleasure that we will present her with the Point Courage Award," said Jorge Valencia, executive director and chief executive officer of Point Foundation, in the release. "For her position in the LGBT community and pursuit of quality education for today's youth, Cynthia stands as a source of hope and inspiration to potential Point Scholars."

The awards will be held in New York City, April 7 at the Capitale starting at 6 p.m.

Nixon, 41, a child star and New York City native is best known for her role as the no nonsense lawyer Miranda Hobbes on HBO’s
Sex and the City. Nixon currently is reprising the Hobbes character for the Sex and the City movie due May 2008, according to the film’s Web site.

Reports of Nixon’s relationship with the education activist
Christine Marinoni surfaced in 2004. Nixon somehow managed to “make her coming-out story boring,” reported the New York Magazine in September 2006.

“I never felt like there was an unconscious part of me around that woke up or that came out of the closet; there wasn’t a struggle, there wasn’t an attempt to suppress,” Nixon told New York Magazine. “I met this woman, I fell in love with her, and I’m a public figure.”

Marinoni has since turned union organizer reported New York Magazine. Nixon has two children with her former partner Danny Mozes, Samantha Mozes, 11, and Ezekiel Mozes, 5.

The Point Foundation also announced the Point Inspiration Award honoree Time Warner.

The Point Inspiration Award recognizes a corporation that champions respect and inclusion of the LGBT community, and operates with the vision that the success achieved by talented young people is limited only by the resources and opportunities they are given to help them fulfill their potential.

The Point Foundation is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students of merit. Point provides financial support, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT individuals who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The Media Sponsors for the event are Metrosource, Genre, Echelon, HX, and The New York Blade.
Tickets for the Point Foundation Award dinner and program will be held April 7 at the Capitale, 130 Bowery in New York City. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a reception and silent auction and the award dinner award program begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are available for the Doctorate Level Table – $10,000, Masters Level Table – $5,000, Bachelors Level Table – $2,500, Individual Ticket - $500 per ticket.

For more information about the event, visit the
Point Foundation.
First same-sex marriage validated in the U.S. across country and state lines

San Francisco – New York’s appellate court unanimously ruled February 1 that New York must recognize a lesbian couple’s Canadian nuptials.

The first of its kind court decision in the U.S. ruled that same-sex marriages entered into outside of the state must be recognized, according to an ACLU February 1 news release.

"This is a victory for families, it's a victory for fairness and it’s a victory for human rights," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU in the release. “Congratulations to all same-sex couples validly married outside of New York State: You are now considered married in New York as well. Now we need to work toward a New York where you don't have to cross state or country lines to get married."

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the case, Martinez v. County of Monroe, in the state supreme court on behalf of Patricia Martinez seeking health care benefits for her partner Lisa Ann Golden in 2005, according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit Martinez married Golden in Ontario, Canada in 2004 and the couple celebrated a civil union together in Vermont prior to their marriage. The couple has been together since 2000 and in spite of their legal union they were denied extension of health care benefits by Monroe Community College where Martinez has worked since 1994. Golden was employed as an inventory control specialist and had her own benefits until she lost her benefits in 2004. In every aspect of their lives, from owning a home to legally and fiscally being responsible for each other the women’s relationship is the same as opposite sex married couples, according to information outlined in the lawsuit.

"Gay and lesbian couples make the same long term commitments to each other as heterosexual couples," said Gary Pudup, director of the NYCLU’s Genessee Valley Chapter, in the release. "This case highlights the fact that same-sex couples are entitled to the same protection under state law."

This case raised the issue of whether the time-honored "marriage recognition rule," which requires New York State to recognize marriages that were solemnized outside the state, applies to same-sex marriages, according to the release. The court answered with a resounding yes, stated the release, holding that the couple's valid Canadian marriage at issue in the case is entitled to recognition.

"If a marriage is valid in the state or country in which the marriage took place, New York law generally requires the recognition of that marriage," said Arthur Eisenberg, the NYCLU’s legal director, in the release. "This case involved a straightforward application of that principle."

"Today's decision is a great step forward for same-sex couples in New York," added James Esseks, litigation director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project of the ACLU, in the release. "But there is still lots of work to be done here. It’s now up to the state legislature to finish the job it started last year and pass the marriage bill so that lesbian and gay New Yorkers won’t have to leave the state to celebrate their commitments."

Friday, February 01, 2008

Check out Just Out magazine’s February 1 "news briefs," my article is on page 7:

Conference Held for Queer Youth Advocates
Queer youth advocates working in the legal arena have an opportunity to increase their skills at Juvenile Law 2008: Eyes on the Child. Sponsored by the Oregon State Bar Association, the workshop focuses on a variety of issues concerning queer youth, said Jody Marksamer, director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Youth Project and staff attorney, who is conducting the workshop...on page 7.

Hearts go a fluttering in the February issue of ON magazine, check out the articles I penned for this issue:

Spain blesses California with tales of same-sex marriage victory
The two women who convinced Spanish citizens to pass marriage equality legislation spoke in San Francisco recently to share their journey, and to offer support and a sense of hope for Californians who are themselves fighting for marriage equality…on page 13;

Gay Couples Achieve Big Win in California Supreme Court
California’s domestic partners kicked off 2008 on a positive note when the Supreme Court upheld a law that allows them to transfer property to a partner in the event of the other one’s death—similar to married spouses…on page 23; and

Learn How to Work Jealousy in Your Favor
Jealousy has been known to infect a couple like a disease, but experts say that if handled correctly, it can actually help enhance a relationship.

Jealousy is an unpleasant emotion that is caused by the fear of losing someone…on page 24.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Al Gore supports LGBT marriage equality

San Francisco – Former vice president
Al Gore supports LGBT marriage equality.

In a
video statement January 17 on Current TV, an Emmy award-winning integrated Web and TV news platform Gore founded in 2005, he said he supports the rights of LGBT individuals to have the right to marry.

"I think that gay men and women ought to have the same rights as heterosexual men and women – to make contracts, to have hospital visiting rights, to join together in marriage, and I don't understand why it is considered by some people to be a threat to heterosexual marriage, to allow it by gays and lesbians," Gore said in the video on Current TV. “Shouldn't we be promoting the kind of faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?"

News spread rapidly January 23 as the LGBT community and marriage equality advocates discovered the

“We applaud Al Gore’s vocal support for marriage equality and hope more national leaders follow suit in recognizing that fairness and equality should have no exceptions,” said Equality California executive director Geoff Kors in a January 23 news release. “Al Gore clearly understands that full equality for all people includes the right to marry and that gay and lesbian couples should not be excluded from enjoying the dignity, happiness and responsibility that comes only through marriage.”

EQCA Institute launched the
Let California Ring, a marriage equality educational campaign, fall 2007. The campaign released a marriage equality ad on National Coming Out Day, October 11, 2007. The organization continues to work toward raising $7 million for the campaign as well as to release the ad on a broader and regular broadcasting scale across California, according to Kors and Seth Kilbourn, political and policy director of EQCA.

Current TV is the only 24/7 cable and satellite television network and Internet site produced and programmed in collaboration with its audience—young adults, according to the Web site. The goal of the interconnected TV station, according to the Web site, is to connect “young adults with what is going on in their world, from their perspective, in their own voices.”

Photo courtesy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

UC Davis kicks off the first annual
Bisexual Awareness Week

San Francisco – Bisexual students at the University of California at Davis are raising the visibility bar for bisexuals with the first annual
Bisexual Awareness Week.

Twelve bi awareness building educational events are scheduled throughout the week on the university campus starting today, January 22 and ending Friday, January 25.

"There are a lot of stereotypes associated with bisexuality," said Angelique Tarazi, chair of the Associated Students of the University of California at Davis’s Gender and Sexuality Commission and biological sciences major, to The California Aggie Online, UCD’s campus newspaper. “This should be a really good week for exploring [and] explaining reasons for both positive and negative feelings."

Bisexual Awareness Week is presented by the Bi Visibility Project at UCD and co-sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center; Student Assistants to the Chancellor; La Familia; Women's Resources & Research Center and National Organization for Women, reported The California Aggie.

Forty-eight percent of 1,752 self-identified gay and bisexual colleges students surveyed in 2001 by the
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States became aware of their sexual preference in high school, while 26 percent found their true sexuality in college. Out of gay and bisexual ment, j20 percent reported, in the same report, they were aware of their sexual orientation in junior high school and 17 percent said they knew in grad school. For the girls, six percent of self-identified gay or bisexual women were aware of their same-sex attractions in junior high school, and 11 percent knew in grade school.

Bisexuality Awareness Week follows Lisa Diamond’s
article debunking myths and stereotypes about bisexual women and Utah’s Bisexual Awareness Month.

For more information about Bisexual Awareness Week’s events, visit

Photo courtesy

Monday, January 21, 2008

Logo and Olivia partner for lesbian viewing pleasure

San Francisco – Lesbians will be seeing more of themselves on TV thanks to a partnership between Logo, the MTV and Viacom backed LGBT cable station, and Olivia, the lesbian travel and entertainment company.

The powerhouse queer entertainment companies announced the partnership January 9. The news is sweet for the 35-year old San Francisco-based Olivia that recently won a legal victory from a multimillion-dollar wrongful termination lawsuit, reported the
Bay Area Reporter in November 2007.

Olivia sweeps up in the deal as the exclusive travel sponsor during Logo’s airing of the
L Word, which will begin summer 2008, online content where will be the LGBT travel property for Logo’s lesbian-themed entertainment and media site with an exchange of’s video travel blogs, and secures placements and promotions around Logo’s online and broadcast content, according to the January 9 news release.

“Olivia and Logo share a common vision,” said Lisa Henderson, general manager of Olivia in the release, “to provide a rich entertainment experience that is relevant and reflective of the lesbian community. For 35 years, Olivia has been delivering unique experiences for lesbians all over the world, which is a perfect complement to the world that Logo creates inside the home.”

Olivia will also provide sponsorship during future episodes of
NewNowNext Music, Logo’s music video series, according to the release, a flash back to back to when the company started as a record label.

The company grew to $20 million in 2006, reported, with a growing member base of 300,000. Olivia sponsors top out athletes Sheryl Swoops and Rosie Jones and support a number of women’s and lesbian and gay organizations donating more than $450,000, according to the release.

In turn, Logo will be the featured content provider during several of Olivia’s travel and entertainment events, similar to a recent screening of
Exes & Ohs, Logo’s lesbian dramadie, on an Olivia Cruise.

Lisa Sherman, senior vice president and general manager of Logo, pointed out, in the release, “that this is the largest lesbian focused marketing agreement the network has signed to date.”

“This partnership between the two leading brands for the lesbian consumer represents a landmark effort to reach what has too often been an underserved audience,” said Sherman in the release.

Logo was launched June 30, 2005 by MTV Networks with more than 1,000 hours of LGBT content and now has 28 million subscribers across the Untied States, according to the release.

What do you think girls? Does this deal sound sweet or what?

Mautner Project selects veteran lesbian feminist to head the women’s health organization
San Francisco – A veteran lesbian feminist was announced last week to head the Mautner Project, a national lesbian health organization.

Leslie J. Calman, Ph.D. has a bold vision for the nearly 20 year old lesbian health organization. Calman told the Washington Blade January 14 that her goals are to maintain the current programming, but that growth of the organization “is another priority.”

“We ought to be twice as big as we are,” Calman told the Blade. Financing women’s health, the Blade, reported is one of the areas of concern for the organization.

Calman also noted the lesbian health organization’s local presence in Washington, D.C. where the nearly half million dollar health organization is based. Mautner’s mission is to improve the health of lesbians and their families through advocacy, education, research, and direct service, which is funded by grants from the
Center for Disease Control as well as foundations and individual donors, according to the Blade.

“The Mautner Project’s evolution from a local health group that primarily supported lesbians with cancer to the national health organization for lesbians is a phenomenal testament to the depth and breadth of the work that has been completed,” said Dr. Spooner, Mautner Board Chair Dr. Linda Spooner and a practicing physician in Washington, D.C., in a January 14 news release.

“For this ‘go-to’ organization…we could not have made a finer choice for the position of executive director,” Spooner added.

Calman’s goal’s beyond maintaining the lesbian health organization’s current operations and growth is, she told the Blade, to debunk the myth that lesbians don’t need regular gynecological care and to combat discrimination in reproductive health so lesbians don’t feel ostracized.

“Isolation, stigma and the potential for discrimination have been major obstacles for lesbians seeking appropriate health care in the United States,” said Calman in the release. “I am grateful that The Mautner Project’s board of directors is giving me a chance to work on rectifying this issue and others for lesbians across the country.”

Calman comes to the Mautner Project from the
International Center for Research on Women where she was vice president for external relations, according to the release. ICRW is a $12 million women’s research, capacity building and advocacy organization to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty in the developing world, according to the organization’s Web site.

Prior to ICRW, according to the release, Calman was executive vice president of the National Organization for Women’s Legal and Education Defense Fund, now
Legal Momentum. She also authored two books and a number of articles on political movements and on women’s rights and was a political science and women’s studies professor at Barnard College in New York. She also served as director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women.

Calman replaces Kathleen DeBold, who stepped down in April after seven years, citing a desire to pursue more hands-on work, reported the Blade. According to the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper DeBold made her decision during a three-month sabbatical volunteering with the
Montgomery County Refugee Center, helping people fill out citizenship forms and teaching classes in government and civics.

Calman lives in Washington, D.C. with her partner,
Jane Gruenebaum, and her 17-year old son, Ben Calman, according to the release.
Photo courtesy the Mautner Project

Lambda Literary Foundation announces

record number of nominations

San Francisco – Who says books don’t sell and the publishing industry is gasping for air?—certainly not the queer press in 2007.

Lambda Literary Foundation announce January 10 a record number of nearly 200 publishers nominated 463 books for awards in 21 categories—that is nearly 30 percent from 2007, Charles Flowers, Lambda Literary Foundation executive director noted in the January 10 news release.

"This has been a spectacular year for LGBT publishing in terms of the number of books published and the number of participating publishers," said Flowers in the release.

Categories include: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir/biography, childrens/young adult, romance, and mystery, and others, including the “Bisexual” category, which returned for its second consecutive year.

Following the publishing trend 18 nominations were made for 2008, up by seven nominations in 2007, its first year, nearly a 40 percent increase. Nominees for 2008 include noted bisexual authors: Jennifer Baumgardner, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Emma Donoghue, Farley Granger, Rebecca Walker and others. For a complete list, visit Lambda’s “Bisexual” category.

Lammy’s will be presented May 29 at a gala event at the Silverscreen Theater at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood on the eve of Book Expo America, the annual booksellers’ convention.

Books must contain LGBT content in order to be eligible for a “Lammy” nomination by a publisher or its author.

Ticket information will be available in January 2008. The City of West Hollywood, according to the release, provided “generous support” for the event.

For more information, contact

Interested in discussing the 2008 bi nominees, join the Bi Book Club list at

What's your queer lit pick this year? Why?
Judge upholds religious schools rights to expel alleged teen lesbians

San Francisco – A Riverside County judge found no legal basis for a lawsuit against a Christian school brought on the behalf of two girls who were kicked out of school for an alleged lesbian relationship.

Judge Gloria Trask found the girls' discrimination lawsuit had no legal basis under California's anti-discrimination laws January 11, reported the San Diego Union Tribune and the San Jose Mercury News January 19.

The attorneys for the two unnamed girls attempted to apply California’s anti-discrimination sexual orientation laws in business settings to the religious school, but Trask disagreed with them, reported the local the Tribune.

John McKay, attorney for the California Lutheran High School in Wildomar, “applauded the decision, and said the religious school has a right to expel sinners.”

“You can't infringe upon the basic rights of a religious group and their right of association by forcing them to accept people who don't believe in their values,” McKay told the Tribune.

The girls and their parents sued the California Lutheran High School in Wildomar after their 2005 expulsion when the school suspected the then 11th-graders were having a relationship, reported the Mercury.

The school’s code of conduct, according to the Mercury, that “students can be removed for behavior that contradicts ‘Christian values.’"

“We are confidant that things will continue to proceed according to the Lord's plan,” said, Steve Rosenbaum, the school’s principal, who told the Tribune “he was pleased with the ruling.”

The girls’ attorneys couldn’t be reached for comment, reported the Tribune. McKay told the paper that he expects them to appeal the decision to an appellate court.

Under the California constitution, reported the paper, the ruling in Superior Court does not settle the same issue in other courtrooms, but an appeals court ruling would apply across the appellate court's jurisdiction area and would influence cases all across the state.

What do you think? Do you think the school is providing a public service or because it's private has the right to accept or deny any paying parent or student they want to? Or, should the girl's appeal now that the anti-discrimination code that includes sexual orientation and gender is in the educational code?

Lesbian political bombs dropped
in Cambridge and Houston

San Francisco – The New Year definitely started off with a political bang in

Massachusetts and Texas. In a historical move earlier this week, Cambridge elected the Unites State's first black lesbian mayor and Houston elected a lesbian for vice mayor for the second time.

Out black lesbian
E. Denise Simmons (D) broke yet another glass ceiling Monday after the election was delayed for a week after the City Council “deadlocked” January 7 when votes were first cast for the ivy league city’s mayor.

“It feels really great,” Simmons told the
Cambridge Chronicle January 14. “When I first came to the School Committee, one of the things I always said was that I wanted to be mayor.”

Simmons, 56, a nine year veteran of Cambridge’s city council takes the mayor’s office held by outgoing three terms black openly gay mayor Ken Reeves, reported the Advocate. And she is the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor since Sheila Russell reported the Cambridge Chronicle. Russell held the office from 1996-1997, according to the local newspaper.

"We are enormously proud of Mayor Simmons,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and chief executive officer of the
Victory Fund, in a January 16 press release. “Like Mayor Ken Reeves before her, she is among our community's trailblazers. Today is a day to celebrate another broken glass ceiling."

While Cambridge deadlocked on Simmons, Houston’s City Council elected openly lesbian City Councilmember
Sue Lovell (D) January 2 to her second term as vice mayor pro tem.

This win is a morale booster for the Texas gay and lesbian community after the state overwhelmingly adopted an anti-gay state amendment last month,” the Democratic Party congratulated Lovell on her election in an undated statement that referred to her second term as vice mayor.

Elections were tight for both women, according to news reports, but in the end they were unanimously elected to their positions by their City Councils. Both Cambridge’s and Houston’s mayors and vice mayors are elected by its City Council.

Both women were supported by the
Victory Fund.

What do you think? Is this the year of queer women and women in general politically?