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Subject:Harvey Milk High: It's Not the Answer
Time:03:28 pm

It's a bit dated (from Aug. 2003) but I found the points that this article made about the Harvey Milk School still very relevant.  Especially in conjunction with this more recent article (Sept. 2008) about a "gay supportive"  school in Chicago (make sure your read the comments there, which are especially interesting.)

I'm curious what others think. And what has experience in the last six years taught us?

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Subject:Political outings
Time:12:44 pm
An article from "The Hill" discusses a new documentary concerning public officials’ rights to privacy end and political outings. It raises the point that although the shock, relevance, sensation, whathaveyou of outings regardings a politicians sexual orientation is becoming less than it used to be, that the issue of hypocrisy is still central. As way of example the articles shares the quote:“If someone is on the Environmental Committee and is throwing Styrofoam at seagulls, they should be outed,” he said.

In the case of politicians who are gay and yet consistently endorse anti-gay law making is the need to reveal this hypocrisy more important than the individuals right to privacy?

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Subject:my first entry
Time:10:33 am
I am new to this anytime and not too computerwise, so I guess my first entry will be brief. Here in Amersfoort many flags are hanging out to celebrate the city's 750th anniversary. I counted three varieties of flags: the red and white one, the red one with a green figure called sophie (i guess the city's symbol) and a red and white one with the figure of ANYtime. Perhaps we should advocate for a pink Anytime flag.

Am interested to learn how people in Amersfort (or Flatlands as it is called nowadays?) are leading their lives.

We here in Europa have just enjoyed Barack Obama's first European visit since he is inaugurated. Most inspiring moment was his call for a nuclear free world. The man dares to dream and speak it out.
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Subject:Stonewall riots 40 years on
Time:12:09 am
This coming June it will be 40 years since the NY gays & lesbians decided to no longer tolerate suppression and to fight back at the Stonewall Inn. An episode that is commemorated to this day. The energy that was sparked during the riots in 1969 a year later led to the first gay march, celebrating gay pride for the first time - in public.

Nowadays Gay Parades are organized all over the world. In The Netherlands the first 'official' so-called Pink Saturday was held in 1978. Traditionally a gay parade is part of the festivities during that day.
This year The Hague will host Pink Saturday, in 2010 it is my home town's turn, when Pink Saturday is coming to Amersfoort. Looking at history, at first I was somewhat disappointed to find that we will miss the 40 year mark since Stonewall. But realizing that it really took until 1970 to turn outrage into PRIDE, I feel good about our timing.

But however logical it sounds, organizing a gay parade has become a controversial issue. In the past decades gay parades have evolved into, some say, a banale and often provocative showing of flesh, a carnaval that does not appeal to all, and not to all gays either. Some even loathe the fact that the parades give such a one-sided view of the gay community. To show that the gay world is more than that, to be taken serious by the outside world, it is argumented that it is about time we are done with them.

The Hague is leading the way. This year's Pink Saturday will see no parade. Pink Saturday will be a serious event with a program that is loaded with political debate and cultural venues.
But what happened to the energy that was the basis for all gay movements that we see today? What is wrong about celebrating, and showing the pride to be what and who you are, even today?

Let's have a good old-fashioned gay pride parade in Amersfoort! Let's show the world that the gay community is as diverse as any .... And let's challenge the straight world to see more than the - by now 'traditional' - glitter & leather. With press coverage always zooming in on the naked bodies and outrageous outfits, let's give 'em some real news: glitter, leather AND MORE.
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Subject:SterioType GAY
Time:11:56 pm
When I was watching the movie "Milk", I was shocked to see the stereotyping that was shown. Is it so that every gay person is picking up young boy's in the toilet? Or flirting with each-other on every street corner? Is every young boy selling his body on the strip?

I was shoked about the stereotype that was shown. Who was also shocked?
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Subject:Why the need for a community?
Time:10:57 am
Current Mood:curiouscurious
Why do I need the gay community? My life is complete. I have a family. I have friends. I have work. And I have my love. That she's a woman I see as incidental.  To me it almost seems like a non-issue.

So why do I need the gay community? To be the honest, I don't experience a need for one. Perhaps this is because, here in the Netherlands, I feel fully accepted for who I am and this includes my sexual preference.

When I first told my sisters that I was in love, two of them said, "Woman or man?". It's not a coincidence that they named "woman" first; they expected it to be a woman. Which I found very strange. I expect they knew before I did about  my interest in woman. In retrospect it's not that strange, as I have a preference for: female bands, female athletes, actresses. I had convinced myself that this was merely a form of feminism. To me, this was just who I was and not necessarily an indication of my sexuality. If you knew how many dating agencies I had exhausted trying to find a male partner I was remotely attracted to, you would laugh.

But when I did fall in love, and it was with a woman, it seemed completely natural to both me and my friends and family - my community.

Why the need to distinguish ourselves? I haven't really answered this question for myself.
I would be interested in hearing your answers to this question.
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Subject:gay marriage
Time:05:01 pm

 In 2002, me and my wife took the decission to get marrried. Before that, we had some discussion about the subject marriage. In the group of our lesbian friends marriage was not an issue. Why should you coppie the heterosexual society??? It was not hip to marry: it is SO TRADITIONAL. We dont need to confirm our relation in public. And so on.....

But we asked ourselfs another question: why should we not get married? Isn’t it nice to share this celebration with your family and friends? And we are proud on our relationship and won’t hide our love in our own house with the door locked and the curtains closed. Maybe it was also a political statement: it is possible in our country and that is a great thing, thank you politicians for the legislation and the acknowledgement of gay relationship!
But – i must admit – it was also a very good reason to organise a great party with everyone we love.

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Subject:Those last five pounds
Time:09:50 am
Not last weekend, but the weekend before that, my girlfriend and I settled in to watch the movie "Milk". Originally I had made reservations for us to watch it at the local film house, Onze Lieve Vrouw, but Tess called me up as said, "Hey, V. can burn it on dvd for us. He has a subscription. Meet me at home and we'll watch it there." It was indeed a practical solution so I tried not to be disappointed that what I had originally seen as a movie date had turned into yet another evening at home. I changed out of my new jeans and put on slippers and sweat pants. I'll admit, there are advantages to slippers and sweat pants.

Tess arrived a bit later and we cuddled up next to each other on our white leather IKEA couch. A bowl of almonds and two glasses of red wine on the coffee table. Life for us is comfortable and we were ready to enjoy the movie.

We watched the movie twice that weekend. Once Friday night and then again Saturday morning. It took us a bit to absorb it all. Of course there were aspects of the story that were familiar. Of course we knew that in the 70's there was a lot of controversy about gay school teachers. And I had heard of Castro Street, I think. We knew about how the gay community had grown in San Fransisco, but that's not really saying a lot is it?

Regardless, I think we were more impressed by what we didn't know.

Evidently, neither Tess nor I are very political. We hadn't heard of Proposition 6, though with all the recent news about Proposition 8 it seems logical that there was at one point a Proposition 6. However, googling for links reveals that even this reasoning is flawed. Before watching the movie, though, we didn't really know what it was about. And the name Anita Bryant? I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't heard of her either.

It wasn't until recently that I was aware that there is a Harvey Milk School in Manhattan. Also before a recent email correspondence with an acquaintance of mine who lives in Long Island, I was similarly unaware of a large number of gay politicians active it local, city and state politics in New York.

In short, I'm becoming slowly aware that I am not very aware. Why? I guess because I haven't felt a great need to be. I'm comfortable. I have my IKEA couch and my sweat pants. I have slippers and a delicious glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. I have neighbors who are friendly. I have parents who love me. Friends who accept me. My girlfriend and I can walk down the street hand in hand and nobody minds. Heck, nobody even really notices. I suppose I don't feel discriminated against; I don't feel a critical need to fight for my rights and acceptance because I feel accepted. I feel that I have rights.

If I compare my situation to the situation in San Fransico, or anywhere for that matter, in the 1970's, well, I've got it good. So much progress has been made. On most levels I experience very little in the way of discrimintation in regards to the fact that I am in a lesbian relationship. Here in the Netherlands, I can even marry my partner if I want to.

But here's where it gets tricky. I could marry my partner, who is Dutch, and our marriage would be recognized here. But would that enable me to move back to her to the States (where I am originally from) and enjoy the same rights? No, our marriage would not be recognized except in the Massachusetts or Connecticut. Now, I have nothing against Massachusettes or Connecticut. Boston is a great town; my best friend from high school lives in the area. And it's always been a secret mission of mine to give Martha Stewart a run for her money. However, I don't really like being limited in my choices. I would like to be able to choose for myself where I want to live with my partner.  Could I move to Portland or Seattle, cities I would be very interested in living in? No, at this point we could not. At least not based on the premise of marriage. Could I move with her back to New Jersey, my home state? In New Jersey gay marriage is not an option but civil unions are. Would this allow me to get a visa for my partner? No, it would not. Whether I would want to move back to New Jersey is another matter, but isn't it rather ridiculous that the choice isn't mine?

There are other issues concerning the GBTL community that also should concern me, like: 

* The laws surrounding homosexual parents
* The availability of sperm for lesbians interested in becoming parents
* The prejudices that exist about bisexusals within both the heterosexual and homosexual communities
* The care for older homosexuals who have not enjoyed the social advantages of either their peers or our generation
* The visibility and prevention of violence towards lesbians, but also within the lesbian community
* The visibility of lesbians at gay events

I'm sure the list could be longer, and perhaps you could name more issues that should be added. Feel free to do so. There are issues that should concern me. There are issues that should concern you. And when asked, of course, I'll say I'm concerned. I'll even become concerned. However, all too often I settle (back) into my comfortable life and enjoy that extra glass of wine on the couch instead.

After watching the movie "Milk" I thought about the fact that, when a situation is critical, we are forced to do something about it. For example, if our weight is so high that our health suffers, most of us will go on a diet. But what do we do when it's less critical? When we know we would feel better if we exercised more and lived healthier, but, eh, we feel pretty okay already. It's those last five pounds that are the hardest to lose. We get kind of lazy about it because even though the need is there, it isn't urgent. And there are more pressing matters. So we stop paying attention. And we eat some more nuts. We drink some more wine. And before we know it, those five pounds have turned into ten pounds.

Is that happening to the GBTL community? Have we become lazy? Have I? Have you? How much weight do we need to lose? How much new weight have we put back on?
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