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.

Their Past, Our Present

By | 2018-08-08T14:19:20+00:00 August 8th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I look at that photo from 1921, at those proud, resolute transgender people from nearly 100 years ago. How many of them were able to escape what was happening around them, or were they forced into hiding? We're any of them amongst those beaten when the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft was destroyed? Dare I even ponder if these folks enjoying a nice day in the sun would, just a few years later, be forced to wear the pink triangle and live out their remaining days in a concentration camp?

Creep of the Week: Voter Suppression

By | 2018-08-08T14:17:56+00:00 August 8th, 2018|Creep of the Week, Opinions|

It is a matter of record that Republicans do not like it when people vote, especially when it’s brown and black people voting. They holler and cry about “voting integrity,” claiming that onerous voter ID laws are the only way to protect this cherished institution. And yet they also work behind the scenes to make it as hard as possible, or at least stand in the way of making it easy.

The First in Michigan

By | 2018-07-25T15:48:54+00:00 July 25th, 2018|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I had explored a variety of options but nothing seemed very viable until, one day, I was having a conversation with one of my staff and she mentioned that she had worked for a child welfare program. She said that they often had difficulty in placing children who were older than the average child up for adoption. I called the agency to set up a meeting, and no sooner had I walked through the door than I realized that the woman who was interviewing me was a lesbian and very sympathetic.

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 | 2018-07-25T14:48:48+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.”

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 | 2018-07-25T14:58:34+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 [...]