Parting Glances: ‘Ys’ Beyond my Years!

By | 2018-11-07T16:38:51+00:00 November 7th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Long, long before The Village People made "YMCA" — the song that would become the unofficial, persistent national anthem of Winter Olympian Brian Boitano – "Ys" played an important role. They were second only to gay bars, as places to meet available others of like-minded, body-mind-and-spirit, triune — me, you and the shower — persuasions. In the '60s and '70s there were four YMCAs in the Metro Detroit area. (The long-gone Grand Circus Park YMCA dating to 1904.) There's only one YMCA now, located on Broadway, in a totally revitalized, energetic, amazingly-changed, thriving new Downtown area.

The Morning After: No Pill, Just Hard Work

By | 2018-11-07T16:37:52+00:00 November 7th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

One of the lasting lessons I learned from Detroit’s legendary activist Jeff Montgomery was no matter what the outcome was of an election, we must prepare for the morning after. As I write this before knowing the results, I know that things could go either for or against us, but we have to be prepared. When he said this advice, Montgomery was talking about the 2004 Michigan vote that made it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. So much was at stake.

Creep of the Week: Keep MA Safe

By | 2018-11-07T16:32:49+00:00 November 7th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

Now, I don’t need to tell you that minority rights should never be on the ballot. It was wrong to let the majority vote on marriage rights for same-sex couples, for example. It is incredibly damaging to have the voting majority debating whether or not your family is legitimate or if the love you feel for your partner is “real” or if you’re just a weirdo pervert.

Parting Glances: JFK: Troubling days gone by

By | 2018-10-31T14:43:18+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Back in the mid-'80s a group of gay friends gathered monthly for dinner and sharing at Detroit's historic venue, the Scarab Club. We called ourselves "The Friends of Dorothy Kilgallen". Our campy title was a play on the old closet question, "Are you a friend of Dorothy?" Meaning, Are you gay? A friend of Oz's Dorothy. The title also referenced once-famous Miss Kilgallen, syndicated journalist, panelist for TV's 1960s popular "What's My Line?" guessing game show.

On Nov. 6 Ballot Firsts Abound

By | 2018-10-31T14:42:02+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

What to say to get you to vote that isn’t already in a meme? That’s my task and conundrum. So let’s start with this: LGBTQ Michiganders, when sufficiently motivated, vote and do so in large numbers. For example, 2014 post-election modeling done by the national Stonewall Democrats determined that 14 percent of all Democratic voters in Michigan were LGBTQ. Assuming that we’re 3 to 5 percent of our state’s overall population, that outsized voting percentage is hugely significant.

The Transgender Community will not Be Erased

By | 2018-10-31T14:40:47+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

It’s been a challenging week this week for members of the transgender community, their allies and supporters. Over the weekend, the New York Times revealed that officials within the Trump Administration are pushing for a narrow definition of sex in enforcing federal civil rights laws. By defining sex as “either male or female, immutable and determined by a person’s genitals at the time of birth,” governmental departments could refuse to recognize and address incidents of discrimination against transgender people in employment, education, housing and access to health care.

Creep of the Week: Donald Trump

By | 2018-10-31T14:39:57+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

There is a group of about 4,000 people walking from Honduras toward the United States. Donald Trump and the Republicans would like you to believe this is an invading army. It isn’t. It’s by and large unarmed people fleeing violence and poverty. These are asylum seekers, not invaders. But, of course, to Republicans there is no difference. It’s now being reported that Trump intends to send over 5,000 troops to the Mexican border. Not to provide humanitarian aid, mind you. The troops are much more likely to kill these asylum seekers than to help them.

Parting Glances: A beard in time …

By | 2018-10-24T15:44:23+00:00 October 24th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

There are shared similarities between high-visibility personalities Pastor Joel Osteen and Republican Vice President Mike Pence. First off, each shepherds a flock of religious followers. Mike’s, however, is basically evangelical and/or fundamentalist. Osteen’s tends to be New Age, Power of Positive Thinking, Prosperity Gospel and devotees of his seven bestseller books, read by a goodly number of his weekly 7 million American TV followers.

50-50

By | 2018-10-24T15:41:44+00:00 October 24th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

1968 was indeed a year that had a profound impact upon this country - the assassinations of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, protests of the Vietnam War and racial inequality - most notably during the Democratic Convention in Chicago and the fist raised during the Olympic ceremony by two Black athletes. And 1968 saw winners – Richard Nixon won the White House and the Detroit Tigers won the World Series! The year also saw the birth of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), and yours truly was born in December of that year.

Creep of the Week: Transphobia

By | 2018-10-17T14:58:24+00:00 October 17th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

Being in middle school is tough. Your body is going through often mortifying changes: acne, body hair, growth spurts. Your hormones are raging. Kids are often relentlessly cruel to each other. You aren’t old enough to drive. Your parents are hopelessly lame.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month LGBTQ Recommendations

By | 2018-10-17T14:57:39+00:00 October 17th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, making it an important time of year to raise awareness for the need of screening and early detection, advocacy, support and ongoing research. Unfortunately, the reality is that breast cancer doesn’t care what month it is and doesn’t just go away until October. It's vital that any person with breast or chest tissue, meaning everyone, understands that they may be at risk of developing breast cancer.

Bring Out Your Dead

By | 2018-10-10T15:50:15+00:00 October 10th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

So, for this year’s National Coming Out Day, bring out your dead. If you have deceased LGBTQ friends or relatives who may not have been out during their lifetimes, bring them out, even in some small way. Help them take their next step. Tell someone about them. Write up an account of their lives for some future reader (or perhaps a historian). Maybe, in the fashion of cemeteries planting American flags on veterans’ graves, place a rainbow flag at their final resting place.

Standing with Survivors, Standing for Justice

By | 2018-10-03T19:16:06+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The stories are all different, but they are the same. The family friend or member who comes into the bedroom at night. The uncle, grandparent or friend who touches inappropriately with a hug. The boys who cop a feel in the hallway. The “nice” guy who after a few beers forgot that “No means No.”

A Beacon of Hope

By | 2018-09-26T14:12:40+00:00 September 26th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Recent reports say that 0.7 percent of teens identify as transgender. At the same time, a recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 50.8 percent of trans masculine people attempt suicide, with [...]

Parting Glances: Chapter from a Memoir in Process

By | 2018-09-19T12:23:41+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Yes. It's been a long journey for me. It wasn't always easy. But, then again, it wasn't that hard either (The journey, not the sex.). I’ve survived, and I like to think I've made something of myself as an artist, a writer and human being who just happens to be quite gay. Contentedly so. Reasonably happy. Most of the time. That's life (I'd gladly do it all over again.).

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Our Story?

By | 2018-09-19T12:20:15+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

To me, it becomes an issue of accuracy versus truth. It may indeed be accurate, for example, to include the name I was born under, answered to and used on legal documents until I was in my early 20s — but this isn't exactly my truth. That surely isn't me, and isn't my identity now. It's not the person who pens these words, or has been under this name and gender for the more than half of this life.

Creep of the Week: Brett Kavanaugh

By | 2018-09-12T10:42:53+00:00 September 12th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

“Brett Kavanaugh’s refusal to answer very basic, very direct questions about the Supreme Court’s historic ruling bringing marriage equality nationwide is alarming and completely unacceptable,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The Obergefell decision is settled law. If this nominee cannot so much as affirm that or the fundamental equality of LGBTQ people and our families, he should not and must not be granted a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.”

Creep of the Week: Janet Boynes

By | 2018-09-05T12:58:16+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Opinions|

I am tired this morning as I write this. You see, I stayed up way too late talking to my mother-in-law who is visiting from Florida. We talked about all kinds of things: my son, her only grandson; cancer, I’ve had it twice; grief, my wife’s father died over the summer after suffering through ALS; politics, we both worry constantly about the horror show that is Donald Trump; and also chicken, I’m a vegan and my 14-year-old miniature poodle is sick so she cooked him some chicken to spare me from having to. All in all, it was a good talk, and by the time I went to bed it was midnight.

The Need for a Non-Judgmental Community Conversation About Drug Use

By | 2018-09-05T12:44:05+00:00 September 5th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

“Drug addict,” “philanderer,” “lifestyle” ... these are the pejoratives that substance abuse professionals used in a workshop I recently attended at a national conference on substance abuse. I was shocked to hear such judgmental and stigma-laden words casually thrown around the room by trained professionals. I have issues with judgmental words and labels; not only on a professional level, but also when talking to others from the LGBTQ2+ community. We are already fighting for our equality on many other fronts, specifically fewer barriers to health care and we don’t need labels to be used against us.

Creep of the Week: Cardinal Raymond Burke

By | 2018-08-22T16:04:10+00:00 August 22nd, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

Welp, child sex abuse in the Catholic Church is in the news again and, gosh, wouldn’t you know it, the Catholic Church is trying to blame it on the gays. Again. A recent Pennsylvania grand jury report found sex abuse rampant in the church, something everyone who has ever delved into it has also found to be true.