Monday, July 30, 2012

"The Truth About Love..."

Good relationships 
don't just happen...
They take time, patience, and two
people who truly want to be together.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"A Sign Of Truth..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Unintentionally Gay...?"

"It's not that you're holding my arm this way, it's just that I'm really happy I won!"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1054"


"Australian Olympian Matthew Mitcham"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth About Hate..."



"You know, people try to make it about black and white. Dr. King talked about equality for every man, every woman. We have a thing going on now- people discriminating against homosexuality in this country. I love the homosexual people. God bless the gay."

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Let Them See That Love Is Love... Live Fearlessly"



Sunday, July 29, 2012

"When There Is Love..."


"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Never Fear Love... Live Fearlessly"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1053"


"Norwegian Olympian Edward Gal"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth Today..."


From a must read article you can find here...

Six Things Straight People Should Stop Saying about Gay People

by Kathy Verbiest Baldock
Canyonwalkerconnections.com

A kind woman, who would never intentionally offend another person, writes: “I love gay people, I just cannot support their gay lifestyle.”

A pastor stands holding an electric cord as a prop and warns the congregation, “Don’t mess with God’s original design. Gay sex is not natural, the parts don’t fit.”

A man thinks he needs to “protect” his family from his Christian gay brother. He says to his brother, “Homosexuality is a perversion and, until you change, I cannot allow you in my home with my children.”

Parents send their lesbian daughter to a program that they heard about at church. The visiting speaker says he is no longer gay. The encouraged parents say, “We want what is best for our daughter and we know she can change her preferences.”

About their fellow Americans, some will say: “I don’t mind gay people having civil unions, I just do not want to redefine marriage. Marriage is not a civil right and they want special rights.”

Thinking they are pleasing and even defending God, moderate Christians assert: “I’m fine with gay people getting together, it’s God and the Bible that are clearly against homosexuality. We love gay people and need to tell them the truth.”

I would have made every one of these statements a decade ago.

For the most part, people that make these comments believe themselves to be considerate and sincere and would not intentionally participate in “hate talk”. Yet, each comments is unkind, flawed, ill-informed or ignorant.

Well-meaning, reasonable people repeat phrases like these again and again not understanding the offense and discrimination they are causing. Many of the statements are rooted in ignorance and based on gay stereotypes. As an advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community, in particular the Christian GLBT community, here are some insights for those that no longer want to participate in the unjust treatment of GLBT people.

Read the rest of this enlightening article here.

H/T: Homoquotables.com


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Truth About Religion..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Make No Secret Of Love... Live Fearlessly"


"Sometimes In Advertising..."




"The Truth Today..."

Zach Wahls is an incredible advocate for SGL people... He is a credit to his parents... His moms did a wonderful job of raising a thoughtful, intelligent and admirable young man.



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1052"


"Dutch Olympian Jeffrey Wammes"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"Because Right Is Right And Wrong Is Wrong..."


From "The Week"
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is famously private and rarely, if ever, speaks publicly about politics. But when a former Amazon colleague, a lesbian mother of four, asked Bezos to donate up to $200,000 to support a gay-marriage referendum in Washington state, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie jumped into one of the culture war's most controversial battles by pledging $2.5 million. The news comes shortly after Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stirred up a hornet's nest — and provoked demands for a boycott of Chick-fil-A — by going public with his opposition to gay marriage.

Read more about what this means here.

*******

Thank You Jeff & MacKenzie!

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Unintentionally Gay...?"

"Just relax... everything's gonna be alright."

"In The News Today..."


‘Outed’ by the Military, Some Gays Fleeing Iran



By Omid Memarian and Roxana Saberi 
July 28, 2012

For at least 15 years, the Islamic Republic has quietly been offering gay Iranians exemptions from mandatory military service. But those exemptions often come with a cost.

Five years ago, while speaking in New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad infamously declared that there are no homosexuals in his country. But for at least 15 years, the regime has quietly been offering gay Iranians exemptions from mandatory military service.

Those exemptions, however, often come with costs, and gay-rights activists say that a considerable number of male homosexuals are fleeing Iran rather than living with the stigma attached to being gay in the Islamic Republic. According to the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR), a Toronto-based human-rights group, 118 Iranian queer asylum seekers requested its help last year—the highest number of cases the organization has ever seen in one year.

Yousef, a gay Iranian who asked to be identified only by his first name out of fear of repercussions, is one such asylum seeker. Ten months ago, he left for neighboring Turkey because his life in Iran became too difficult since he was let out of military service.

“What could I tell my parents?” Yousef told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview. “How could I explain the reason I was released from the military?”

He hadn’t intended to quit his military service, which is compulsory for Iranian men over 18. In 2007, he started his two-year stint in the southeastern Iranian city of Khash, but soon other soldiers began to bully him over the way he carried himself and spoke.

“They teased me to the point where I had to go to the base psychologist,” the 29-year-old said. “He told me, ‘You are different,’ and asked if I was a homosexual.”

Yousef said yes. He felt safe being there with the doctor and worried his harassment could grow worse, as some gay Iranians have reported being beaten and raped during their military experience. The doctor sent Yousef to several hospitals, where he was examined then released from his service.

Iran’s military regulations permit exemptions from the military on various grounds, including “behavioral disorders” and “moral and sexual deviations.”

Human-rights observers say this clause has allowed hundreds of Iranians to request exemptions on the basis of being gay or transgender.

Coming out in Iran, however, can put homosexuals in serious danger. Gay Iranians have reported being detained, beaten, and lashed up to 100 times. They can also be sentenced to death under the country’s Islamic Penal Code, which is based on Sharia.

For Iranians who speak out about their homosexuality, getting classified as unfit for military service is often a long and harrowing process, according to the Arsham Parsi, above, the executive director of the Toronto-based Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees. Mr. Parsi, who worked secretly as a gay activist in Iran, fled the country in 2005. (Randy Risling, Toronto Star / Corbis)

Iran has one of the highest numbers of recorded executions of any country in the world, according to Amnesty International. It’s difficult, however, to determine how many victims have been executed for homosexuality or sodomy.

For Iranians who speak out about their homosexuality, getting classified as unfit for military service is often a long and harrowing process, according to the Arsham Parsi, the IROR's executive director.

Sometimes it involves a physical exam. “Some doctors have very stupid tests from the 19th century,” he said. “Then the doctor signs a document and sends the person to a special medical group, which sometimes insults him. For example, they say, ‘Take off all your clothes and prove you’re incapable of having sexual relationships with women.’ They think if someone is gay or transgender, their sexual organs are disabled and they can find this out through medical examinations. This is harassment.”

Other times, doctors will perform degrading mental evaluations. “Sometimes they ask you if you prefer ‘top’ or ‘bottom,’” said Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa coordinator at the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

The insinuation, he said, is that “if you’re on top in a sexual relationship, you’re probably man enough to still serve in the military, but if you’re on the bottom, we’ll have to let you go.”

The harassment continues, Parsi said, even after gay Iranians are granted exemption. Several of them recently told his organization they received letters from Iran’s judiciary, pressuring them to have surgery to change their gender—a process that is allowed by the Islamic regime.

It’s hard to know the exact number of gay Iranians who have been exempted from the military. But one Tehran psychiatrist said the number of homosexuals seeking exemptions through his private clinic has grown in recent years, with an average of 12 applications a month.

“We know their language, and we understand if this person is really [gay] or not,” the doctor said. “The men who visit here come with their heads held high and say, ‘I’m gay.’ But we have a criterion called ‘visibility,’ which is how visible they are to their families. Most of their families don’t know.”

Gay Iranians have reported being detained, beaten, and lashed up to 100 times. They can also be sentenced to death under the country’s Islamic Penal Code.

Homosexuality is a taboo in Iranian society, and gays like Yousef try to hide their sexual orientation from their families and friends. This became tougher for Yousef, though, once he received his military exemption card and saw that it was marked with “Article 33, paragraph 8.” This corresponds with the military regulation that allows gay and transgender Iranians to get out of the service.

“I wanted to work at a magazine, but I couldn’t because of what was written on my card,” he said. Because of similar problems, he believes, many gay Iranians are too afraid to ask for military exemptions. “Otherwise,” he said, “the numbers would be higher.”

Sam, a 29-year-old who received his exemption after in-depth psychiatric interviews, said he was required to bring his father with him. “Until then, my father didn’t know I was gay,” he said. “I had to tell him. It was very difficult.”

Why these exemptions exist is a matter of debate. Some like Sam, who praised the policy, said it encourages gay emigration. “I believe they want us to quietly get our passports and leave the country,” he said.

Alizadeh, however, disagreed. “They want to exclude you by saying you’re not macho enough to serve in the military,” he said. “It has been a nice way for gay people not to join a harsh situation, but the truth is that the laws are written by people who are concerned not about sexual rights but about the protection of Islamic morals in the Army. So they decided that ‘gay bottoms’ are the biggest threat to the Army and we have to let them go.”

Either way, emigration is the end result for some gay Iranians. Sam left Iran in 2011 and moved to Canada earlier this year.

“I miss my family,” he said, “but not Iran, my homeland. There was no hope for me there.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Let The Games Begin..."

The Summer Olympics are now underway in London, England and this time around there are more openly gay athletes contending than ever before.  Outsports.com reports that there are at least 21 openly gay participants in London.

The number of openly gay and lesbian athletes at the 2012 London Summer Olympics is ahead of the totals for Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, with all but three being lesbians.
There are 21 openly gay and lesbian London Olympians, plus two coaches.  There are also two gay Paralympians. This compares with 11 in Athens and 10 in Beijing, showing some progress in athletes being public about their sexual orientation, but still a low number.
Nevertheless, it's likely that the number of gay participants is significantly higher considering there are around 12,000 athletes in total and assuming a very conservative 1% being gay means there are probably at least 120+ gay contenders.

The Outsports list of 21 openly gay and lesbians Olympic athletes is here.

To all the athletes from around the world, Best Wishes! 
To those proudly out as well, Congratulations!  To those not, in celebrating your victories, consider how great an impact on equality your open acknowledgement of our shared humanity could be... 

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1051"


"Togetherness... This Is Life And Love"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth About Life..."


"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved."
- George Sand

"In The News Today..."


Ludovic Mohamed Zahed and his husband, Qiyaam at home

A Frenchman's Union of Islam and Homosexuality
By Pauline Froissart | AFP
July 25, 2012

A newlywed homosexual Frenchman is on a mission to prove that "being gay and Muslim is possible" after feeling forced for years to choose between his religion and sexuality.

It took Algerian-born Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, 35, two decades to come to terms with himself, but now that he's at peace he's made it his goal to fight Islamophobia and homophobia.

His call comes at a time when France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, is warming up to gay marriage.

New Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who took over after the Socialist victory in June elections ousted their conservative predecessors, promised this month to offer marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples "in the first quarter of 2013".

Zahed, a Ph.D. student in religious anthropology, married his fellow Muslim partner in South Africa, the continent's only country to recognise same-sex unions. Becoming a spokesman for the community was a long time in the making, a product of much soul-searching.

"I think homosexuality, whatever one says, is not a choice," he wrote in his memoir "Le Coran et la chair" or "The Koran and the Flesh", published in March.

"And you'd have to be crazy to choose to be homosexual when you come from my socio-cultural background."

Homosexuality is considered a criminal offence in most Arab states and is "strictly prohibited" by Islam, said Abdallah Zekri, a member of the French Council of the Muslim Faith which acts as an official interlocutor with the French state.

"No imam, unless self-proclaimed, can officiate a gay wedding," he told AFP.

But that did not stop Zahed from following up his 2011 South African nuptials with a symbolic religious "marriage" officiated by an imam in the Paris suburbs this year.

Although associations for the gay faithful - like David et Jonathan for Christians and Beit Haverim for Jews - have been around for decades in France, until recently there was no group for Muslim gays.

In 2010, Zahed founded Homosexual Muslims in France (HM2F), which counts 270 members.

"To be gay and Muslim is possible," the slender, bespectacled Zahed wrote in his book. "However the road is still long."

Born in Algeria and raised in a poor neighbourhood of the 17th district in Paris, Zahed displayed early effeminate tendencies, prompting regular beatings from a brother who hoped it would "teach me to be a man."

His father, who sensed Zahed was gay, repeatedly told him he'd prefer to "break my back and bury me alive rather than see me become like that," Zahed said.

Finding refuge in religion, Zahed paid regular visits to Salafists, Muslims who advocate a strict interpretation of Islamic law, when on holiday in Algeria.

But as an adult, his homosexuality bubbled up to the surface. With the sexuality strongly frowned upon by his community, Zahed experienced "great suffering".

"I told myself, 'you must choose' and I violently rejected Islam," he said. "A long spiritual void" followed amid years of unhappiness.

When he came out to his family, his father accepted it, but his mother cried every night for two months and he fell out with his brother.

The turning point came when he was 30 years old: "I no longer looked to hate anyone for anything, but simply to change the discriminatory reactions facing me," he wrote in his book.

In 2011, Zekri, who is also an AIDS activist and has written about himself being HIV positive, met his future husband in South Africa, where they tied the knot in a civil wedding that year.

Gay culture has flourished there since the fall of apartheid - which harshly penalised homosexuality - in 1994, when South Africa enshrined equal rights in its constitution and allowed same-sex couples to marry and adopt.

Other African nations sentence homosexuals to prison, as in Morocco, where homosexuality is punishable by six months to three years in prison, though it's tolerated provided practitioners don't flaunt their difference.

When the pair wed again in a religious ceremony in the Paris suburbs in February, it was a symbolic step that won them threats and insults.

"Visibility is a sensitive issue," Zahed said.

*********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1050"


"In Every Walk Of Life... Proud To Be Ourselves"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Imitation Of Life..."


From the CBS series "Cold Case."  A sad love story set in 1968, but very much worth watching.



"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner..."

"Abrazo" (Hug)
Neon tubes
Hernan Marina

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"You Have His Heart, Now Take His Hand... Live Fearlessly"



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"This Is Love...."


"This Is Love..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1049"


"Life Is Made Of Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth About Love..."



"Same Love"
Macklemore
Featuring Mary Lambert

When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw, my uncle was
And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like, "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-K"
Trippin', yeah, I guess she had a point, didn't she
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
"Yeah, I'm good a little league"
A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think its a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
Playing God
Ahh nah, here we go
America the brave
Still beers, what, we don't know
And God loves all His children
And somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
3,500 hundred years ago
I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm 

If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
"Man that's gay"
Gets dropped on the daily
We've become so numb to what we're sayin'
Our culture founded from oppression
Yeah, we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots
Behind the keys of a message board
A word routed in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is anonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender and skin color
Collection of your pigment
The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins
Human rights for everybody
There is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!
When I was in church
They taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service
Those words aren't anointed
And that Holy Water
That you soak in
Is then poisoned
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal
Damn right I support it

I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm

We press play
Don't press pause
Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
'Till the day
That my uncles can united by law
Kids are walkin' around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Someone would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law's gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm

Love is patient, love is kind

Love is patient (not cryin' on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays)


Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released this new track 'Same Love' off their upcoming album "The Heist" dropping October 9th. All proceeds will benefit the Music for Marriage Equality campaign.



"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Show Your Love... Live Fearlessly"



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"We Were Always There..."


We lost one of our own today... 

The venerable actor of stage and television, Sherman Hemsley died today.  Now I have to admit that when I say he's "one of our own," I mean it on a number of levels.  Reportedly, (but never confirmed by him) Sherman was a same-gender-loving man.  And although Sherman never acknowledged this publicly, I could always understand why he didn't... he was from a different generation when being open about such things would have closed important doors in his life and in his career.  But beyond being an accomplished actor, Sherman Hemsley did much more than one might at first imagine.  The most famous and memorable  character that he portrayed, influenced and brought to life on the television screens of millions of homes across America and around the world changed attitudes and beliefs about what it meant to be a black man in America - If not for Sherman's skillful portrayal of George on the "The Jefferson's" it might have taken much longer for a Barack Obama to emerge and inspire a world of possibilities where the content of character finally mattered more than the color of someones skin.

I remember quite well as a boy, absolutely loving the character of George Jefferson... For the day, he was an uncommon black man, much like my father - hard working, plain-speaking, loving and yet just as prejudiced and bigoted by the circumstances of his history as any other man.  And yet moreover, he was first and foremost proud to be a black man... He was a black man who could meet the bigotry of "Archie Bunker" head-on and not only not back down, but be just as stubborn and just as bigoted and still manage to win the day in the end.  This fictional character brought to life by the genius and truth of Sherman Hemsley's own life experiences had a profound effect upon me and I suspect upon most of America.  I know I wanted to be like him... for beyond the pompousness of satirical situation comedy, one saw the pride in himself that shone through the ridiculousness and it made you happy to see someone like yourself succeeding and living the American dream.

Whether you were white or black, you could find something in Sherman's portrayal of "George" that rang true... maybe you loved him or maybe you hated George Jefferson, but you knew him because you knew someone like him and you loved to love or hate him, and that relationship changed you and made you better for the experience.  I will miss not knowing that one of my cultural icons, Sherman Hemsley is among us, but I am thankful that he left behind the legacy of his portrayal of "George Jefferson" - that half hour every week for nearly a dozen years brought laughter, joy, and hope to millions including me and how many of us at the end of this life will be able say that...

Thank you Sherman, you will be missed and long remembered!



In this clip from "All In The Family" you'll see why "The Jefferson's" were spun off to become one of the most successful television programs of the 1970-80s

"Waiting On The World To Change..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1048


"Marriage Is The Celebration Of Love... Love Is The Celebration Of Life"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



Monday, July 23, 2012

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Let Love Be Seen... Live Fearlessly"



"This Made Me Smile..."

Although this joke is a little dated, it still had me rolling on the floor...



Sizing Up the Situation
  
A young gay man calls home and tells his Jewish mother that he has decided to go back into the closet because he has met a wonderful girl and they are going to be married. He tells his mother that he is sure she will be happier since he knows that his gay lifestyle has been very disturbing to her.

She responds that she is indeed delighted and asks tentatively, "I suppose it would be too much to hope that she would be Jewish?" He tells her that not only is the girl Jewish but from a wealthy Beverly Hills family. And her father is a doctor.

She admits she is overwhelmed by the news, and asks, "What is this wonderful girl's name?"

He answers, "Monica Lewinsky."

There is a pause, then his mother asks, "What happened to that nice black boy you were dating last year?"





"A Thought To Ponder..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"

I love photos like this... they speak to the wonderful freedom today's generation is sometimes able to enjoy. Today, more so than at anytime before, it's okay to be as you are.  Truth is freedom and love is happiness.

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1047"


"Love Looks To The Future Together..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Live And Love In The Light Of Truth... Live Fearlessly"



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1046"


"The Joy Of Love Is Togetherness..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"A Thought To Ponder..."


Religion:  a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies...

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1045"


"There Can Be More... Seek Love"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"Serving With Pride..."

History was made today when U.S. service members were allowed for the first time ever to participate in San Diego's Gay Pride parade while in uniform.







"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"The Nature Of Truth Is Love... Live Fearlessly"



Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...