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?

Friday, January 11, 2008

And the nominees for SF Pride 2008 will be…

Up to LGBT community members who will be e-mailing or mailing in their choices for grand marshal nominees for individuals, organizations, and the notorious “Pink Brick,” which is awarded to an individual who has harmed the LGBT community, to the the
San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committtee Inc.

Nominations are due by January 31. Public voting will take place around San Francsico in March.

Nominations must include the full name of the individual or organization being nominated, contact information (phone and e-mail address), a photo (if available), and a brief explainition of the reason the person is being nominated.

For more information, visit
Photo courtesy of San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee Inc.
SF HRC seeks
LGBT community activists

The LGBT Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Commission announced earlier this week that it is accepting applications to serve on the active committee.

The deadline for applications is Thursday, January 24, 2008, 5:00 p.m.

LGBT Individuals who are San Francisco residents and community activists are encouraged to apply for the LGBTAC.

One of four standing HRC committees, the LGBTAC identifies and addresses the issues and concerns of San Francisco’s LGBT and HIV-affected communities and advises the Commission on the communities’ issues and needs. LGBTAC meets on the third Tuesday of every month.
The LGBTAC is seeking an estimated 10 new members, said Commissioner Cecilia Chung, who is LGBTAC co-chair along with Mark Dunlop.

“There is a lot of room for growth and for the community to provide leadership and vision on issues that affect the larger community, as well as communities that are less visible,” said Chung. Chug, who was appointed to the commission by Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004 and was elected vice chair by the commission September 2006, pointed out that historically ordinances such as: the equal benefits, the domestic partnership, and the transgender protection all began as discussions on the LGBTAC.

Community activists knowledgeable and skilled in such areas as racism, AIDS/HIV, anti-violence, civil rights, class, disability, diversity, education, gender, intersex, health, women’s, senior and youth issues are encouraged to apply. Chung emphasized that the committee is looking for individuals from the transgender and bisexual communities, people of color, youth, seniors, women, and immigrant. She added that LGBT allies who don’t identify as queer are also encouraged to apply. Individuals interested in applying should submit an application along with a letter of intent detailing reasons why they want to serve on the LGBTAC, community involvement, areas of expertise, and other qualities they could bring to the LGBTAC.

Applicants must be able to make a firm commitment to attend LGBTAC meetings at 5:30 p.m. and to spend time on special projects.

LGBTAC has worked on a variety of issues in the LGBT community including: racism, immigration and asylum, issues in the Native American community, transgender and intersex issues within the LGBT community, and outreach activities.

LGBTAC will continue its work examining and strengthening LGBT human rights policies in San Francisco, in particular for communities of color and racism in the coming year.

“We are looking forward to the coming year,” said Chung, in a January 7 news release, “in which the LGBT Advisory Committee will provide a monthly forum for gathering information and discussing the challenges facing LGBT people of color.”

Applications and letters of interest should be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to Larry Brinkin, SF Human Rights Commission, 25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94102-6033; fax (415) 431-5764, or e-mail:

For more information, visit LAGBTAC or e-mail Larry Brinkin at

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ride on Dykes!
San Francisco – Rev your engines girls and wear your name proud. “Dykes on Bikes” got the United States Supreme Court’s approval Monday to trademark the name when the court denied without comment a petition seeking review of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s approval of the catchy name.

The high court’s denial of the petition allowing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision to stand affirmed the “Dykes on Bikes” trademark and the San Francisco Women’s Motorcycle Contingent’s right to its exclusive commercial use.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final registration of the trademark name “Dyke on Bikes.”

“I am delighted the Supreme Court denied review and that ‘Dykes on Bikes’ will be protected under law,” said SFWMC president Vick Germany in a January 8 news release. “We have used the name ‘Dykes on Bikes’ for over 30 years as a mark of pride and dignity, taking it away from those who formerly used it as an epithet. Thanks to yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court, our long battle to use a name that reflects our strength as women and as lesbians is finally over.”

Michael McDermott, who challenged the trademark application wasn’t pleased with the high court’s decision January 7. McDermott, a self-described men’s rights advocate from Dublin across the bay,
quoted Justice Antonin Scalia that the U.S. Supreme Court “has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda,” reported the San Francisco Chronicle January 7. Scalia said the now famous dissenting phrase in response to the court’s 2003 ruling overturning state sodomy laws.

Opposition to the “Dykes on Bikes” trademark initially surfaced in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s when the board originally denied the group’s 2003 application believing it to be “disparaging to lesbians.” A team of pro-bono lawyers stepped in with expert declarations from scholars, linguists, psychologists, and activists, according to the release, that demonstrated the word “dyke’s” own ugly duckling story evolving from being a derogatory epithet to a term of pride. The patent and trademark board reversed its decision and published the mark January 2006.

The SFWMC was represented pro-bono by Brooke Oliver and Pablo Manga of
Oliver-Sabec, P.C., Gregory Gilchrist, Gia Cincone, and Raquel Pacheco of Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

A month later, McDermott challenged the patent and trademark’s decision to approve the SFWMC’s exclusive use of “Dykes on Bikes.” McDermott alleged in his February 2006 appeal to the trademark that “it is disparaging based on the inclusion of the term ‘dykes,’” and that it is “compromised of scandalous and immoral material…associated with a pattern of illegal activity.”

Nearly a year and a half later, the patent and trademark board denied McDermott’s allegations. In July 2007 the patent and trademark board stated McDermott was not “implicated” by the trademark of “Dykes on Bikes” just for being a man. Second, McDermott was unable to demonstrate support for his position in spite of “sufficiently” pleading a “real interest.” The patent and trademark board and the SFWMC didn’t deny that.

“We are delighted with the ruling. It is now clear that asserting pride in being ‘Dykes on Bikes’ does not impact others negatively,” said Oliver, lead attorney on the case, in the release. “A lone person with a political objection to women’s political speech does not have standing to object to a trademark. More broadly, this decision protects every company’s trademark applications from being challenged by random individuals with an axe to grind.”

The women’s motorcycle group that kicks off the annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade down Market Street started when 20 to 25 women motorcyclists gathered at the head of the 1976 parade, according to the organization’s Web site. The Chronicle picked up the phrase “Dykes on Bikes,” coined by one of the women in the contingent and the rest is history.

Dykes on Bikes® grew into an LGBT community institution during more than three decades of roaring down San Francisco’s Market Street on the last Sunday of June. LB Gunn, Kalin Elliot-Arns, Christine Elliot, Sabine Balden and Mel formalized the loosely run group as the Women’s Motorcycle Contingent in the 1980’s, according to the group’s Web site. Today, the organization “supports, encourages, and motivates women motorcyclists everywhere,” according to the group’s Web site, and has more than 400 registered bikes for the San Francisco Pride Parade.

The Supreme Court case is McDermott vs. San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingent, 07-7126.
Photo courtesy of the Women's Motorcycle Contingent

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cornell law school alumni honors transgender litigator and advocate

San Francisco – The
National Center for Lesbian Rights announced today that one of their attorney’s will receive the Cornell Law School and Cornell Law Association’s third Annual Exemplary Public Service Awards.

Shannon Minter, NCLR legal director, will be honored in New York in New York City on February 7 at the Cornell Club at 6 East 44th Street, New York in the Ivey Room. The reception begins at 7 p.m. and will be followed by the program at 7:45 p.m.

Minter, 46, a transgender man, was selected for his “work in advancing the human rights and safety of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families,” according to a January 7 news release.

Minter was selected out of seven alumni nominations submitted by fellow alumni, according to the release.

“I am delighted and honored,” wrote Minter in a January 7 e-mail to Bi Girl Friday. “I am also grateful for the wonderful education and mentoring I received as a law student at Cornell and very proud of my fellow honorees.”

NCLR is a national legal advocacy and litigation organization based in San Francisco that works to advance LGBT rights through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

As legal director of NCLR for more than 10 years, Minter has “litigated many impact cases” on issues relating to employment discrimination, marriage rights, parental rights and relationship rights across the United States, according to the release. Currently, Minter represents 15 same-sex couples in
In Re Marriage which is pending before the California Supreme Court. The court received more than 250 amicus briefs on behalf of marriage equality for same-sex couples in September 2007.

Prior to In Re Marriage, Minter was lead counsel in many ground-breaking cases including
Sharon Smith's wrongful death suit following the vicious dog mauling death of her partner Diane Whipple in their apartment building.

Smith, in what has become known as the "
dog mauling case" in San Francisco, received the assistance of NCLR and attorneys from Cardoza Law Offices and Heller Ehrman White and McAuliffe in filing a wrongful death suit against her neighbors Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel. Whipple was mauled to death January 26, 2001 in the hallway of her apartment building by dogs belonging to Noel and Knoller. After two years of court hearings in the civil case (Noel and Knoller served time in state prison after being convicted in the criminal case), Smith and Whipple's mother, Penny Whipple Kelly, settled in December 2002. It was the first time in history that a same-sex partner was able to obtain a civil judgment recognizing a surviving partner as a family member.

“Shannon’s contributions to the law and legal status regarding LGBT folks in this country cannot be overestimated,” said Kate Kendell, NCLR executive director. “It is an honor for NCLR for him to receive this well-deserved recognition and it is a privilege for me personally to have had the pure pleasure of working with him for over 13 years.”

This past fall Minter was one of three transgender advocates honored by the
Gender Odyssey conference in Seattle “for their work promoting a positive image and advancing transgender rights,” reported the Bay Area Reporter in September 2007. Minter has also been honored, according to the release, as one of 18 people to receive the Ford Foundation’s “Leadership for a Changing World” award (2005) and he was awarded an honorary degree from the City University of New York School of Law for his advocacy on behalf of same-sex couples and their families (2004). He has also received the Anderson Prize Foundation Creating Change Award by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the distinguished national service award from GAYLAW, the bar association for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender lawyers, law students, and legal professionals in Washington, D.C.

Minter received his J.D. from
Cornell Law School in 1993.

Minter serves on the boards of
Equality California and the Transgender Law and Policy Institute. He is co-editor of Transgender Rights, the first comprehensive book on the transgender civil rights movement.

Other honorees include: Jamie Andree, managing attorney of Indiana Legal Services in Bloomington, Indiana; Joe Iarocci, senior vice president for Strategic Support – Care in Atlanta, Georgia; Rosemary Pye, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Boston, Massachusetts; John Tobin, executive director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance in Manchester, New Hampshire; Lisa Wolford, staff attorney of New Hampshire Public Defender in Concord, New Hampshire; and Saman Zia Zarifi, Asia research director of Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C.

RSVP for this event are being accepted until February 5, for more information, visit Cornell Law School 3rd Annual Exemplary Public Service Awards or call 607-255-5251.

For more information, visit

Photo courtesy National Center for Lesbian Rights

Sunday, January 06, 2008

American Legacy Foundation Accepting Applications
for Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2008

The American Legacy Foundation ( ) is now accepting applications for the Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholar- ship for Outreach and Health Communications to reduce tobacco use among what the foundation calls "Priority Populations." Priority populations are those populations which are disproportionately targeted by the tobacco industry, or which often lack the tools and resources to combat smoking in their communities. Identified priority populations are Native Americans/Alaska Natives, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Low SES, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.

The Adams scholarship will award a total of $10,000 annually for up to two candidates to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States. The scholarship will be awarded to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community service or used the visual arts or media to convey culturally appropriate health messages on behalf of a disadvantaged population.

The informational brochure and application are available at the Legacy Web site.

RFP Link:

For additional RFPs in Substance Abuse, visit:
Money for international sexual minorities

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Accepting Applications for International Fund for Sexual Minorities

Deadline: February 1, 2008

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice ( works for social,
racial, and economic justice in the U.S. and internationally.

Astraea's International Fund for Sexual Minorities supports groups, projects, or organizations working toward progressive social change that are led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans- gender, and intersex communities and which directly address oppression based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity/ expression.

To be eligible to apply, groups, projects, and organizations must be based in Africa, Asia/the Pacific, Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America/the Caribbean, or the Middle East; led by and/or for LGBTI communities (non-LGBTI-led groups must demonstrate how they address LGBTI human rights issues and how they involve LGBTIs in organizational and programmatic decision-making); working toward social change on issues affect- ing LGBTI people and/or people who are penalized, persecuted, or harassed for their gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation; be a nongovernmental or not-for-profit group or the equivalent; have an organizational budget of $500,000 or less; and generally have been active for at least one year.

In the past, the average grant size has ranged from $2,000 to $6,000 each, with the maximum size grant roughly $10,000. Org- anizations may apply for general support or project support.

Visit the foundation's Web site to download the complete Request for Proposals.
RFP Link:

For additional RFPs in Civil and Human Rights, visit:
January is Bisexuality Awareness Month in Utah!

For the entire month of January, the Utah Bisexuals Support Group will host several events open to all Utahns that bring awareness to all the diversity within bisexuality, create a sense of community, and break down some negative stereotypes surrounding the B in GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender).

The Utah Bisexuals Support Group has their meetings at the Utah Pride Center on the second Thursday of every month from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. For more information, please contact the Utah Pride Center at or the support group´s website

Scholarships Available for GLBT Youth

The 2008 LEAGUE Foundation scholarship program is now receiving student applications until April 30, 2008. Since 1996, LEAGUE Foundation has continued to grow in its mission of providing financial resources for America´s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender youth to attend institutions of higher learning. Now in its 12th year the LEAGUE Foundation has awarded its 64 scholarships and applications have been received from students from all 50 states. Financial support has been received from corporations, individuals, and other GLBT organizations.

Applicants should graduate high school in 2008; identify themselves as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender; have achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; are actively and substantially involved in community service; live in the United States; and have been accepted to attend an accredited college or university in the United States.

Scholarships currently open for applications are:
  • Matthew Shepard Memorial Scholarship
  • Laurel Hester Memorial Scholarship
  • LEAGUE Foundation Scholarship

Additionally LEAGUE Foundation has developed a new and improved user friendly website:

Information on the site includes: background, history, scholarship descriptions, previous winners, student resources, scholarship application, donation information, and news articles.

Contributions or questions can be directed to LEAGUE Foundation, c/o Charles Eader, 1 AT&T Way, Room 4B214J, Bedminster, New Jersey 07921.
Bi Request is back for a second round

Great news: Bi Request is happening again in 2008!

Bi Request is the bisexual short film program at the annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, the largest and most prestigious LGBT film festival in the world. This is the festival that sets the standard for film fests on a global scale. If a film is shown at the San Francisco International, it often gets requested by dozens and dozens of other festivals, many of whom create their roster in part by going through the program guide of this festival. That means big exposure for the film and the opportunity for the filmmaker to share their art with LGBT people around the world.

A couple of years ago, the B and the T were added to the end of the SF International name - but I noticed right away that that didn't correspond to having any bi films in the program. I riled up a bunch of bi folks and our allies and turned into a major squeaky wheel about this! Frameline, the organization that puts on the festival, was quick to respond, and worked with me to actively solicit and promote bi material in last year's festival. Yay!

With Frameline, I volunteered on projects around bi-inclusively, including: helping update their submissions form to include an emphasis on the search for work by bisexual film-makers/ about bisexual people; sharing information with them on how to see bi content in films; and curating the first ever Bi Request program.

Bi Request was a huge success, with a packed theatre and fabulous short films about bisexual lives and by bi film-makers from around the world. Five of the film-makers were in attendance, including one who flew all the way from Australia to proudly show her work.

And now, we're doing it again! Frameline has asked me to volunteer again this year to curate Bi Request, and I jumped at the chance - it's so much fun! So please help me spread the word. Bi film-makers (and film-makers who have make films about bisexual lives/ featuring bisexual characters) can send their short films directly to me for consideration in Bi Request, or they can go through Frameline. If they want to send their films to me, the deadline is February 15th, and the address is:

Amy Andre
PO Box 14821
San Francisco, CA 94114

Let your film-making friends know about Bi Request. And, if you're in San Francisco in June, please make plans to attend Bi Request, too!

Here are some links of interest:

To send a submission to Frameline:
(You’ll see the new statement about looking for films from underrepresented communities - including bi folks!)

To read about my "squeaky wheel" dialogue with Frameline:

To read about Bi Request:

And info about Bi Request in Wikipedia, of all places!:



Saturday, January 05, 2008

Check out January's ON Magazine and start 2008 off right.

This month I took a hard look at our health and well being in “AIDS isn’t the only disease killing gay men” on pages 16 – 17 and “Wake up call for lesbian and bisexual women” on pages 18 – 19 that I wrote.

Miss America gets a reality check

The last time I really watched
Miss America was somewhere during the incredible 1980s that included Vanessa Williams being crowned and decrowned the first African American Miss America in 1984. I guess American’s didn’t want to see their princess for a year in the buff in Penthouse Magazine.

A year later pageant protestors succeeded in booting the
Miss California Pageant out of my home town Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz hosted the princess event for six decades, according to a 2005 article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Since then my Auntie’s friend, a former Miss America judge, never misses an opportunity to tease me about my disapproval of a contest that encourages women to be
Barbie…even though I liked Barbie when I was a girl because she was a glamorous career woman from astronaut to doctor to even the first woman president.

Times have changed, but apparently Miss America is stuck in a time warp. The
Learning Channel stepped in to give 52 Miss America contestants a hard core makeover on Miss America: Reality Check.

The show premiered January 4 and the tiara tears have already spilled. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of TLC’s
What Not to Wear already gave a few girls their scathing reviews after riffling through their luggage. But the most interesting part of the first show was when the girls hosted a dinner for “controversy.” Yes, real topics from birth control to same-sex marriage. Yes, it was on the hot plate and the discussion was heated.

America can watch the deconstruction and the meltdowns one removal of sequins challenge after yanking off fake eyelashes challenge after another Fridays at 10 p.m. All of this bleeding mascara leads up to the TLC broadcast of the crowning moment.

Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie hosts the new Miss America boot camp with celebrity judges Mark Liddell, celebrity photographer; Dina Sansing, West Coast editor for Us Weekly Magazine; and Jeannie Mai, makeup artist and founder of the Doll Service.

The best part, Americans have a chance to “really” get to know the beauty queens vying for the honor and to vote for the 16 finalists who will compete for the crown.

So feministas and queer folks here are our best bets based on the platform issues the girl with her state’s crown selected in her profile:

Miss Alaska Cari Makanani Villareal Leyva
Platform issue: Empowering women of all ethnicities to embrace cultures and promote self-actualization.

Miss Colorado Maggie Ireland
Platform issue: opening the door to optimism.
Note: Okay, I don’t know what exactly that means, but I’m throwing my four leaf clover into the ring because she's Irish and does Irish Step Dancing, according to her profile. Erin Go Brah!

Miss DC Shayna Rudd
Platform issue: Best Friends Foundation: Empowerment and Healing Our Urban Communities
Note: Okay, she’s a journalist and minored in African American Studies, according to her profile. I need to give props to us news chasers.

Miss Illinois Ashley Nicole Hatfield
Platform issue: Breast Cancer: Action, Awareness and Advocacy

Miss Kansas Alyssa Anne George
Platform issue: Bullying: the bystander effect
Note: Could that include LGBT youth?

Miss Michigan Kirsten Haglund
Platform issue: Raising awareness for eating disorders

Miss New Mexico Jenny Marlowe
Platform issue: Learn to be powerful against physical and sexual assault

Miss North Dakota Ashley Anne Young
Platform issue: Stop bullying in schools: saving the spirit of a child
Note: Could that include LGBT youth?

Miss Rhode Island Ashley Bickford
Platform issue: The kNOw HIV/AIDS Campaign

Miss Vermont Rachel Ann Cole
Platform issue: building bridges through literacy: closing the education gap.
Note: Okay, her platform doesn’t scream feminist, but during the premier show where the women were asked to host a controversy, same-sex marriage was thrown onto the hot plate. Miss Vermont stood strong for marriage equality as she should coming from one of the few states that have Civil Unions on the books. I know it’s not marriage equality, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Miss Virgin Islands Janeisha John
Platform issue: Domestic Violence: awareness, prevention, and recovery

Miss Washington Elyse L. Umemoto
Platform issue: Embracing diversity, empowering women

My queerdare didn’t go off for any of these femmes, but maybe because I like butches. No matter. I’m tunning in to see if America selects a real Barbie to represent women.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Extra, extra! It's hot off the presses!

This week in the Bay Area Reporter I covered a gay man’s hit and run death: “Suspect charged in hit and run death”; I covered the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s name chagne: “Mixed reaction to NGLTF's name change”; I profiled Dana Rivers: “Trans teacher changing lives in SF jail”; and I round up new LGBT-friendly laws: “2008 ushers in new laws.”

For more news and entertainment visit the
Bay Area Reporter online or pick up an issue at your local independent or queer bookstore.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

MySpace queen Tila Tequila is single for the New Year

Well it wasn’t because she is bisexual that Bobby, the guy Tequila selected on her hit MTV show
A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, dumped her right before New Years, according to a Jan 1 MySpace bulletin post. It was because of her “crazy lifestyle.” It’s not like people couldn’t see that one coming a mile away due to some of Bobby’s behavior on the show and during the after show, A Shot At Love: The Hangover, where Tequila and Bobby were reunited. It was clear that Bobby had jealousy issues during the show and during the after show he seemed to be rather uncomfortable and awkward when he put his arm around Tequila.

A Shot at Love was the first of its kind bisexual dating show broadcast worldwide this past fall. Tequila, the first bisexual object of desire for 16 lesbian and 16 straight contestants twiddled down her selection eliminating one key to her heart each week (except in the beginning) to one straight guy and one soft butch just before Christmas.

Gracious, Tequila wrote in her post, “I still think Bobby is a great guy and I wish him the best.”

Dani Campbell, the “futch” of Tequila’s heart, is living a bit of the Tequila lifestyle on her own. The “futch” firer fighter from Florida is quickly gaining her own following since the final “Shot at Love” episode December 18. Dani is being splashed across lesbian magazine covers and club fliers for parties she’s hosting across the United States, not to mention picking up her own MySpace following. She’s even selling her own “futch” merchandizing. As Tequila wrote in a December 19 MySpace blog post, Dani is becoming famous.

Tequila wrote in her blog December 19 that she didn’t select Campbell because she respected her too much and wanted to keep her as a friend. Nearly a week later on the “Shot at Love” after show, Tequila explained that she didn’t select Campbell because she didn’t want to disrupt her life, which is pretty set and stable.

But, Campbell was in New York City for Tequila’s 2008 masquerade ball. It is unknown if Campbell is soothing Tequila’s broken heart…especially now that she’s showing that she can not only keep up with Tequila’s “crazy lifestyle,” but also compete.
Photo courtesy 2002