Arts & Entertainment
Compiled by Howard Israel
Originally printed 12/11/2008 (Issue 1650 - Between The Lines News)
"The reality is that to a very large part of the country, and even in the bluest parts of the bluest states, homosexuality is not seen as normal and gay relationships are not seen as healthy and contributing to a society's well-being. Whether that's because of religion or because of the 'ick' factor or some combination of the two, it doesn't much matter. It's there and it's only grudgingly and slowly giving up ground. No on 8 leaders were trying to dislodge in five months what people have been taught for a lifetime about homosexuals and marriage. Given the size of the task, it's amazing we nearly succeeded."
- Dale Carpenter, in an opinion column titled "Losing California," analyzing the loss of Prop. 8, Bay Area Reporter, Nov. 20.
"Reduce and eliminate health disparities? How about we eliminate gay, lesbian and bisexual behavior? Perhaps the Department of Health, governor and legislature should create strategies to reduce the number of gays, lesbians and bisexuals. That would solve this health crisis. Perhaps the media will give this lifestyle the same negative publicity they give smoking and obesity."
- Dr. Richard Swier, a blog entry titled "Homosexuality Causing Health Crisis in Massachusetts," commenting on a recently released study conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the nation's first statewide population-based look at health disparities based on sexual orientation, http://www.RedCounty.com (Grassroots Politics from the Center-Right), Dec. 03.
"The report revealed significant disparities among people who identified as homosexual or bisexual in the areas of access to care, self-reported health status, anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, smoking, binge drinking, illicit drug use, sexual assault victimization, intimate partner violence, disability, obesity, asthma and heart disease. Health officials also hope that the report will stimulate further study on ways to reduce and eliminate health disparities faced by GLB people."
- In a press release from the Massachusetts Health and Human Services Web site, Nov. 21. Link to the surveys: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2pressrelease&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Government&L2=Departments+and+Divisions&L3=Department+of+Public+Health&sid=Eeohhs2&b=pressrelease&f=081121_health_disparities&csid=Eeohhs2.
"Anthropologists trace the acceptance of people of mixed gender to pre-Colombian Mexico, pointing to accounts of cross-dressing Aztec priests and Mayan gods who were male and female at the same time. Spanish colonizers wiped out most of those attitudes in the 1500s by forcing conversion to Catholicism. But mixed-gender identities managed to survive in the area around Juchitan, a place so traditional that many people speak ancient Zapotec instead of Spanish. Not all muxes express their identities the same way. Some dress as women and take hormones to change their bodies. Others favor male clothes. What they share is that the community accepts them; many in it believe that muxes have special intellectual and artistic gifts."
- In an article "A Lifestyle Distinct: The Muxe of Mexico," about the indigenous communities around the town of Juchitan, where the local people have made room for "muxes" (pronounced MOO-shays) - men who consider themselves women and live in a socially sanctioned world between the two genders, New York Times, Dec. 7.
"It was not especially easy to be openly lesbian back in 1983 (when she published her first cartoon). We had no 'L Word.' We had no lesbian daytime TV hosts. We had no openly lesbian daughters of the creepy vice president. We had 'Personal Best,' and we liked it."
- Alison Bechdel, in her introduction to her new anthology, "The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For," in an article about the book titled "The Days of Their Lives: Lesbians Star in Funny Pages," New York Times, Dec. 3.
"We are shocked and dismayed by the news. This is a personal tragedy for him and for his family, and we lift them up in our prayers."
- David Faust, president of Cincinnati Christian University, in a public statement concerning Robert Williams, the chief financial officer of the university who was charged with sexual imposition. Police arrested Williams last weekend after he allegedly "touched the genitals" of an undercover cop in a park. Cincinnati Christian University does not accept openly gay students and students who come out can be expelled. Posted on http://www.365Gay.com and WCPO News in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec. 3.
"As you can imagine, cross-dressers, transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders usually want to shop in the privacy of their home where they don't have to worry about discrimination or negative reactions. Being part of this community myself, I have full appreciation for the discretion needed to satisfy the customer. We have recently stepped away from the eBay environment and now sell primarily through our own Web site, enhancing the opportunity for privacy and discretion."
- Nicolle Robinson Genie, owner of The Crossdress Store, in an article about sustaining a small business during a recession, Echelon Magazine, an online magazine for GLBT business professionals, Dec. 3.
"God's view on homosexuality as expressed by Mormon prophets and leaders has changed so many times that the Mormon church has no credibility on this subject. From advocating the utter destruction of homosexuals to not ruling out violence as a defense against someone who is gay. From adamantly proclaiming that 'God does not make people that way' to being certain that homosexuality was caused by pornography, masturbation and selfishness. Mormon prophets claim to have a direct line of communication to God. Is God changing His mind? Given all of the doctrinal changes that have already occurred with regard to homosexuality, one can only assume that the Mormon prophets will get it right about 20 years after the rest of the country. Hey, maybe they will figure out that women can be true equals, too."
- Julie of San Diego in her letter of resignation from the Mormon church, posted on a blog for members and friends of the Mormon church united in their desire to speak their conscience on the matter of civil marriage, http://www.signingforsomething.org/blog, Dec. 1.
"It doesn't surprise me that a room full of mostly straight college students would seek to cast doubt on this character's heterosexuality. 'Heterosexual' for many young people is practically synonymous with 'normal.' Introduce college-age straight kids to a not-so-normal heterosexual character, and they'll spend the rest of the afternoon searching for evidence that the dude is gay. He can't be straight - he's not normal! This explains the ability of some in your class to look at lady-tree-fucking and see, of all things, 'anal sex with a man.' Isn't (Rick) Santorum bad enough?"
- Dan Savage, in his weekly sex advice column, responding to the question "Is a dude who screws trees gay or straight?," concerning a male character in a book who is sexually attracted to feminized trees, Village Voice, Dec. 2.