Parting Glances: Any Gay Name but Mine

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:16+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

To diddle an old saying: You can't judge a gay author or his book by its — or by his — cover. Case in point: the groundbreaking 1951 sociological expose, "The Homosexual in America." Gay nom de plume: Donald Webster Cory — a pen name name gleaned from Andre Gide's 1924 gay novel "Corydon," later published in America in 1950. Real name: Edward Sagarin. Outed dramatically 24 closeted years later.

Parting Glances: In Cass Park with Bobby Burns

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:17+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Detroit's imposing, massive, block-wide Masonic Temple was built in 1922 — cornerstone-dated 5022 — following the Hebraic custom of noting esoteric history. At one time in the 1960s every major dance company in the world, classical musician, orchestra and performer appeared there; many brought to the city by famed impresario Sol Hurok.

Our Voice, Our Vote! Now More Important Than Ever!

By | 2018-07-13T13:35:32+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

It is not the time for us to be silent, to be fearful, to go back in the closet or to give up on building bridges and alliances. Our vote counts. Every vote counts We have to bring every vote — LGBTQ and all our allies - to the polls beginning now and send these chickens home to roost.

Creep of the Week: Trump Voters

By | 2018-07-11T15:45:18+00:00 July 11th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

The other day I heard a self-proclaimed democrat who voted for Trump say he didn’t like Hillary. “Bernie would have won. We told them we wanted Bernie,” he said, referring to Sanders winning the primary election in Michigan. “But they didn’t listen to us.” He didn’t exactly admit that voting for Trump was a mistake, but he did acknowledge that Trump was not a good president. He was also (spoiler alert!) a straight white guy. While listening to this man talk I thought I was going to grind my teeth into powder.

Pride is More Than Performance

By | 2018-06-27T15:58:31+00:00 June 27th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

It's pride month, and this means a whole lot of people will take or have taken to the streets across the world, festooned in their best rainbow gear. We'll march, party and do all those things we'll do at pride. It will be crazy and chaotic, and we will be the big messy community we are, in all our glory.

Supreme Court Cakeshop Ruling Does Not Provide License to Discriminate

By | 2018-06-13T12:43:28+00:00 June 13th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Some are misinterpreting last week’s Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cake case, as providing a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. This is patently false. The Court’s ruling in favor of the cake shop was based on very narrow and specific circumstances regarding respecting religious freedom while enforcing antidiscrimination laws.

The Path to Progress

By | 2018-06-07T08:22:20+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

It’s BTL's silver anniversary, and for 25 years we have been dedicated to providing news for Michigan’s LGBTQ community. So now, as we celebrate this incredible milestone in not only our history, but that of our readership, we invite you to look back with us. Over the next 12 months BTL will revisit Southeast Michigan's historical milestones, traveling back in time to reexamine those events that have changed the face of our community. We’ll be releasing regular historical graphics that take a look at some of the LGBTQ community's greatest triumphs as well as some of the biggest bumps we’ve encountered on the road to equality. The first of these graphics can be found on page 8.

Creep of the Week: Alliance Defending Freedom

By | 2018-06-07T08:21:12+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

Welp, gay people can’t have cake any more, the Supreme Court said so. It is now the law of the land that cake is intended only for one man and one woman to eat between just the two of them forever and ever. Heterosexuals — and this is the part not being reported by the media — are no longer permitted to eat any other food. It’s cake only. The catch, however, is that only married straights can have cake. Everyone else gets no cake.

Parting Glances. A Slogan Come True Big Time!

By | 2018-06-07T09:00:18+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

“Gay is good. You are not alone.” This was the slogan when the Affirmations LGBT Center opened its doors in Ferndale more than 20 years ago. It was a bold statement to make at the time: reassurance for many cautious, confused, isolated young people in need of understanding, trained organizational support and a place to hang out.

Pride Rainbow

By | 2018-06-06T16:19:41+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

some with caution some with confidence some seeking rainbow courage (now!) all join hands and promenade: black, white yellow, red stripes and stars unfolding our marching drums our music, yes play it proud (so out [...]

Parting Glances: Ys Beyond my Wildest Dreams

By | 2018-05-29T15:37:32+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

Long, long before The Village People made "Y.M.C.A." the unofficial, persistent national anthem of Winter Olympian skater Brian Boitano, the Young Mens Christian Associations played an important role, second only to bars, as places to meet available others of like-minded, body-mind-and-spirit, triune persuasions (“You show me your triune, I’ll show you my try-unity. Let’s shower in unison. One with the others”).

When a Tired Old Stereotype Becomes a Life-Saving Act

By | 2018-05-29T15:36:03+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Finding housing is complex and terrifying. With rent skyrocketing while quality plunges, even middle-class families are struggling to find something that works for them and is also affordable, especially if they have children, pets, and/or special needs. Initial payments are financially overwhelming, comprising of rent for the first month, plus a security deposit, plus any additional fees. If a person cannot find accessible housing, the generosity of friends and family is the only thing protecting them from homelessness. Those who are marginalized - people of color, disabled people, and those within the LGBTQ+ community - face even greater challenges.

Creep of the Week: Dana Rohrabacher

By | 2018-05-29T15:28:35+00:00 May 29th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

As I write this it is Memorial Day, a day when we as a country mourn our lost veterans and give thanks for service members past and present. Although, let’s be honest, for many Americans it’s a day to grill burgers, drink beer and maybe, just maybe, put on a T-shirt with an eagle on it or American flag swim trunks. Mostly what I feel on this Memorial Day is sad. Sad that our veterans and our current service members have such a totally incompetent and unworthy commander in chief. America owes them all an apology.

LGBTQ Politicians Making Impact in Michigan

By | 2018-05-22T14:44:18+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

As June gets closer and LGBTQ people start marking their summer calendars for over a dozen pride celebrations across Michigan — a huge achievement on its own — it's a great time to take stock of the unprecedented positive political action that has been achieved over the past year — seemingly despite all odds.

Wrong in All the Right Ways

By | 2018-05-09T12:44:24+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

In March, Rachael and I took her 9-year-old daughter Sophie to see Pink perform in her Beautiful Trauma world tour in Grand Rapids. We bought the tickets way back before Christmas and had been counting [...]

Transmissions: Secrets and Truths

By | 2018-05-09T12:41:48+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Trans people - and I am using the term in its broadest sense, inclusive of gender fluidity and nonbinary identities - tend to have a pretty short list of wants. Really, I can boil it down to one simple statement: we just want to live our lives.

This Is What’s Wrong: NASSAR and MSU Are Not Alone

By | 2018-04-25T15:24:34+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I am a Michigan State University alum. Currently, I am a faculty member at Central Michigan University, where I and my colleagues are entrusted with thousands of young adults beginning to negotiate the world on their own. I am a former female college athlete, I am a social worker whose clients who include young victims of sexual abuse and women who have experienced violence at the hands of men, I am personally connected to many young adults who have experienced sexual assault and, finally, I am the adoptive mom to four kids — including a daughter — who all went to college. From these many perspectives, I keep trying to untangle the MSU/Nassar scandal.

Creep of the Week: Donald Trump

By | 2018-04-25T15:24:36+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

If we have to wait until every American gets to know a trans person before full equality is achieved we are never going to get there. Which is why cisgender people need to advocate for trans folks. As anyone who isn’t a cisgender heterosexual white male knows, having to fight for your most basic rights and constantly advocate for your own humanity is exhausting.

Creep of the Week: MassResistance

By | 2018-04-11T13:42:51+00:00 April 11th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

As I write this it is April 9, 2018, my birthday. It’s also the day John Bolton starts as Trump’s National Security Advisor. Bolton, who was ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, really wants to go to war with North Korea and Iran. Like, bad. And now we’ve got him whispering into the ear of the dangerously impulsive and ignorant man we have as a leader. Which should make all of us fear that we won’t make it to our next birthdays.