“I guess you’d love for me to say that it was difficult, that I wanted to vomit. But the straight fact is, it was just another person. Now, by no means do I wanna fuck him, we’re both very straight and sensible. It wasn’t like Ang said, ‘OK, guys, just have fun with it – roll camera!’ We had to choreograph, it was definitely like walking on the moon for the first time. But it wasn’t … the butt of a mule; I was kissing a human being with a soul.”
– Heath Ledger to Rolling Stone on his love scenes with Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain”
“Having a big gay following, I get hate mail and threats. Some people are blind or ignorant, and you can’t be that prejudiced and hateful and go through this world and still be happy. One thing about this movie is that I think art can change minds. It’s all right to be who you are.”
– Dolly Parton on the movie “Transamerica,” as quoted in USA Today
Kelli Slezak joins the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Program of the American Friends Service Committee in Michigan. Slezak will work with the program director, Kate Runyon.
A memorial service was held Monday, March 27, in Detroit celebrating the life and work of Joseph Stewart James who died March 17. A long-time activist in the Detroit community, he served on several committees and was a volunteer and board member with both Black Pride Society (formerly Detroit Black Gay Pride) and Men of Color.
The Washtenaw Rainbow Action Project announced plans to move into new office space allowing the resource center for Washtenaw County’s LGBT residents to improve the range and quality of its services.
The Triangle Foundation announces the hires of Greg Varnum and Sean Moore have been named as executive assistant and sponsorship coordinator, respectively.
The Jewish Gay Network, a two-year-old organization serving Michigan’s Jewish LGBTs, is accepted into the Jewish Community Council.
A scholarship to help WSU interior design students is announced and named after the late Brian Killian who died in a fire one year earlier.
Michigander joins Equality Riders
Sponsored by Soulforce, the 2006 Equality Riders speaks truth to the hatred disguised as Christian doctrine and public policy at conservative Christian colleges and military academies across the country. Michigan’s Chad Grandy participates in the nationwide event.
On March 10, 24 people were arrested on behalf of LGBT rights as they attempted to step onto the campus of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Twelve of the arrested activists were participants in the Equality Ride.
Campus police charged all of those arrested with trespassing, and two faced additional charges of inciting trespassing. They were restrained in plastic handcuffs before being taken to a local magistrate.
Michigan’s Joe Fitrzyk is Genre’s ‘Man of the Year’
He calls himself “just a regular guy,” but 33-year-old Joe Fitrzyk staked out new territory late last year when he became Genre magazine’s first-ever Genre Man from Michigan. Fitrzyk, who was recently promoted to vice president, creative director at one of the area’s major advertising agencies, trounced his 83 competitors by garnering 29,216 votes – slightly more than 10 percent of the total and more than twice that received by the runner-up. “Everywhere I went I was pimping Detroit and pimping this contest because I knew this was the only way I was going to win, [given] all the beauty and brawn I was up against,” he said.
Affirmations hosts first student art show
The Pittmann-Puckett Art Gallery, located in the Affirmations Community Center building in Ferndale, hosts the first of its kind student art show. Organizers discovered three students’ work appearing in the show, from responses to a mass mailing to colleges and high schools.
Rev. Tommie Watkins examines the race implications of homosexuality
American Friends Faith Action Network brings Watkins to Michigan on a series of talking engagments where he speaks about his book, “Living Out Loud.”
Episcopal Church reaches out to LGBTs with billboard
“All are welcome in the Episcopal Church” is the theme of 10 new billboards unveiled in metropolitan Detroit this month by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. The one pictured is located on Woodward Ave. in Ferndale.
Human rights ordinance gets another chance in Ferndale
Organizers, including councilman Craig Covey, announce move to pass a human rights ordinance guaranteeing equal treatment for gays and lesbians. The ordinance would go on to win passage in the November elections.
NGLTF honors Rep. Baldwin at fundraiser
A benefit for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was held March 17 at Detroit’s Scarab Club. The benefit honored U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), whose work has been pivotal in the fight for equality in her state and on Capitol Hill.
National & World news
Report: ex-gay ministries targeting youth
A 92-page report from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force shows a new “wave” of anti-gay activism underway targeting sexual minority youth in an effort to undermine support among youth in general for LGBT equality.
“Youth in the Crosshairs: The Third Wave of Ex-Gay Activism” says that efforts to recruit sexual minority youth into “ex-gay” programs is on the increase and is politically motivated.
AFA renews call for Ford boycott
Undeterred by unsuccessful “boycott of the month” attempts against companies including Disney, Johnson and Johnson, Proctor and Gamble and Orbitz, the American Family Association, a self-styled Christian group with an anti-gay agenda, calls for a boycott of Ford Motor Company.
The boycott comes two months after Ford reiterated its strong support of, and desire to market to, the LGBT community. Ford reiterated this support after a misunderstanding following a Nov. 28 meeting between a few Ford executives, dealers, and representatives of the AFA.
Catholic group: no adoptions to gays
In yet another confrontation between religious organizations and laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, an organization of the archdiocese of Boston decided to end its program of helping find homes for children with severe emotional and medical needs. All child placement work ended in order to keep kids out of gay homes.
Court: anti-gay marriage amendment blocks domestic violence charge
A constitutional amendment banning marriage equality bars prosecutors from charging some unmarried people under Ohio’s state domestic violence law, a state appeals court ruled.
ComedyFest gets gayer
One night. Two shows. Five comics.
“It’ll be interesting to see,” said Dewey Chaffee, who performed at the Michigan Lesbian and Gay ComedyFest and whose first boyfriend was a Puerto Rican drag queen
“It doesn’t get any gayer than that,” the comic said. And, well, he’s right – for the most part. On Saturday, five gay comedians shared one stage. And that was pretty damn gay.
Film protests government
With fragments of 911, the London bombings, vague references to ideologies that sound very much like our own government’s and the examination of love and tolerance, “V for Vendetta” did what science fiction is always supposed to do: hold the mirror up and have us examine our ugly parts, laid exposed and cracked in the dying sunlight.
“People should not be afraid of their governments,” says V in the film. “Governments should be afraid of their people.”
In the end “V for Vendetta” was a call to revolution, a protest for liberty.