Category Archives: Opinion

EDITORIAL: On LGBT rights, SGL and Why It’s Not OK to Ask Us to Play Catch-Up

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Found via Tumblr.

Reading the Mother Jones editorial on anti-LGBT sentiments among African-Americans, and the disgust against the article from pro-LGBT AfAm users on social media, I have been wondering about the editorial’s logistics.

Maybe the article was being targeted to a specific segment(s) of the African-American population: the black nationalists, the Pan-Africanists, the folks who are immersed in the politics and image of the “black church” and of “black music”, those who are disenchanted by the disproportionate narrative of women’s and LGBT rights/dignity/livelihoods being incredibly important while the state of predominately-African-American neighborhoods, homes, rights and bodies remain a parallel, semi-separate country.

If so, the translation of the message of admonishment to the sex/gender-conservative segments of the African-American populace has been a disaster. Despite the movements by African-Americans of influence and power to advance LGBT rights on the matter of principle, despite the participation of several African-American LGBT people in the politics and machinery of the movement for LGBT (and women’s) rights, the visibility of the sheer scale of AfAm advancement of LGBT rights and visibility in the U.S. has been on a far smaller scale than the emotive visibility of the homophobia and transphobia which emanates from any African-American person, from those who possess religious/social/political power in the community to the average person-on-the-street who may or may not have voted for Prop 8 in 2008.

But here’s the bigger issue for me, an African-American who is LGBT: when LGBT discussions, media, pleasures, delights and what-have-you are not focused on rights/dignity/power, the semblance of an LGBT community unconsciously splits into separate realities, specifically along racial lines.

I’m not just talking about the socio-economic deprivations which hit so many African-Americans, which are the reality of so many AfAms, but the representations of our celebrations, our fantasies, our imaginations, even our erotica.

The reality is so separate, so disparate that many AfAms have their own term for their identity: “Same-gender loving (SGL)“. Such a term replaces words like “gay”, “lesbian”, the clinically-oppressive “homosexual”, and even the re-appropriated “queer”. Since being promoted by activist Cleo Manago to predominately-AfAm audiences from the 1990s onward, it has plodded forward in increasing its linguistic currency.

Imagine that: a term of the English language promoted to specifically highlight the reality and fullness of the average AfAm who may feel isolated from the LGBT community and media in one’s own country. Heck, there are even SGL erotica and literature, and organizations which use the “SGL” word (by itself or alongside “LGBTQ”) to describe their initiatives for SGL people.

“SGL+T” may be a better descriptor than, say, “black gay” or “black LGBTQ” to describe the AfAm experience which doesn’t emanate from the myriad subcultures of the LGBT experience in the Western world. It may be a better descriptor for the conversations regarding our dignity within the institutions of the African diaspora and continent. It may be a better descriptor for the everyday socio-economic struggles which emanate from gender, sexual and racial binaries, and the uncommon victories over such binaries. SGL may be a better description for when we dream, fantasize, love, affirm, perform and categorize ourselves in an SGL environment, be it in religion, arts, politics, tourism, the sciences.

Perhaps if the SGL+T experience, as a distinct experience with its own history, subcultures and complications, were highlighted in and of itself instead of African-Americans being portrayed as late-coming laggardly hangers-on of the “Western” LGBT rights movement, the blinkered perception by many AfAms of non-het sexual orientations and non-cis gender identities among those of the same ancestry would become less clouded by the racial disparities of the Global North. Maybe the struggle against the pervasive forms of discrimination and inequity in public accommodations, public and private employment, housing and healthcare will be felt across both SGL and heterosexual AfAm communities as being shared and necessary.

We are beneficiaries of LGBT advancements internationally, but we are not hangers-on or laggards. We have been fighting for ourselves, our dignity, our lives for the longest time. The ongoing struggles we face with homophobia, transphobia and misogyny are just as ridiculous, life-threatening and insipid as those faced by European-American LGBTs for the entirety of their struggle. But when we go home to our families, before or after our rights are attained, we will live with ourselves in our waking lives, we will despair or fight against the bad aspects of our lives and we want to see, hear, and feel more of ourselves in our affirmations, loves and dreams.

In a world in which we happen to be born in a parallel America, why must we play catch-up? We even have to craft our own “language” just to reach to those parts of the Afro-American experience not touched by the LGBT experience, just to make a little bit more sure that #BlackLivesMatter. Otherwise, the homeless SGL+T people of color in our country are just as isolated from empowerment as the homeless SGL+T Jamaicans living in sewers in Kingston to hide from the wrath of religious bigots.

Given the inheritance of racism and homophobia/transphobia from European colonists, slaveholders and men of power over the centuries, as well as our still-inferior socio-economic position in U.S. society, how can we demand that Africans in the diaspora and continent pull ourselves out of this historic mess without addressing the mess from a language with which we can empathize for and empower ourselves?

It’s time to change the message, not from a position of “let’s catch up” but from a position of “let’s change our perspective for the better”, AKA, “we want more than what our parents were allowed”.

That means our health, our arts and literature, our tourism, our economics, our relationships, our rights, our forms of expression and empowerment. Change all of it. Make it all in your images. Demand it all for your empowerments. Use your traits to empower yourselves.

If we make these changes, but remain true to what we cannot hide as SGLT people, eventually we will get to a place beyond our current imaginations. We will open new doors, build new bridges and chart new paths for those of similar ancestry as us. I look forward to it.

Let’s do it.

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OPINION: Darkly-Scanning Rihanna’s “American Oxygen”

First coming across this music video on 17 April, this last release from Rihanna’s upcoming 8th album is on another level for her career as a recording artist. Numerous reviews of the song and video have noted the striking difference in the content of this material from her already-large library of music.

But a few of these reviews have noted the subtle reference of “Breathe out/breathe in” to the choking death of Eric Garner at NYPD hands and the resulting protest chant “I Can’t Breathe”, and have hence related the song to the topic of police abuse.

Some have related the lyrics of “young girl hustlin’ on the other side of the ocean/she can be anything at all in America, America” to Rihanna’s background as a recording artist born and raised in the island nation of Barbados, and have thus related the song to immigration as America’s lifeblood.

Some have related the lyrics “This is the New America/We Are the New America” to the growing ethnic diversity of the country, or “we sweat for a nickel and a dime/turn it into an empire” and “Young boy, hustlin’/Tryna get the wheels in motion” as a commentary on the struggles and painful hilarities of America’s capitalism. The irony of the “Man in the Mirror”-style music video being first posted to the paywalled Tidal streaming site before being released to the masses’ favorite video site, as well as the seemingly “tacky” move of featuring the artist alongside historic footage, have also been noted.

But the most telling lyrics, perhaps the ones which are most damning with faint praise, are these:

“Oh say, can’t see/Just close your eyes and breathe…”

Notice the pause at the end of this lyric. Plenty of time to inhale and exhale two breaths.

It calls us to close one sense – ignoring the reality surrounding us – and open another – “breathe in this feeling”. Even as we are horrified by what we see on the Internet or TV, or even physically feel when we are unfortunately targeted in the thick of violence, the “best” thing to do for our sense of optimism is to turn off the screen, retreat into the suburb, and breathe in the “normality” of life around us.

“Just close your eyes and breathe” is something which calms our nerves, relieves our despair, takes our mind off the issues which face us. Just put on this breathing mask and close your eyes. The world and its pulse fades out for two precious beats.

Preoxygenation_before_anesthetic_inductionThe “oxygen” in this song may as well be laughing gas.

These lyrics tie to a portion of the chorus “Every breath I breathe/Chasing this American dream“.

You don’t dream when you’re awake. You’re usually asleep or unconscious when you dream, and when you wake up, you only remember the parts of the dream which stood out most (if you remember any of it at all).

Out of all the dreams which we could possibly dream in all the American lifetimes which have existed, which one is the American dream? And how does it relate to the reality which we see around us?

If anything, dreams are sensory distortions which may offer us a completely different reality than that which faces us. Sometimes, our dreams can offer us an achievable vision of our society, one which we can flesh out into a reality, for better or worse, for inclusion or exclusion, for life or death.

But a dream, once fleshed out into a reality, varies in how that reality seeps into others’ longer-lived realities.

What compels us to dream? If we’re tired and wish to rest our senses, what tires us? And if we choose to act on our dreams, how will our dreams affect others?

The American dreams of many LGBT people include the potential to live, breathe, eat well, marry our true love, be single and content, define our genders, be protected from discrimination, have more access to power available to us, and advance ourselves in life. Our dreams may be newer and more progressive than what LGBT people or women of the past dreamed (let alone lived), but we live portions of those realities every time and every place when we live without harassment or prejudice, within regimes of respect.

Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33There are also those who have dreams of returning to an earlier era of severe sex discrimination against women, against same-sex-attracted people, against transgender people. Such dreams offer promises of “chivalry”, of “tradition”, of “decency”, of a time when “men were men” and everyone “knew their place”, of a time when the American dream was dreamt with a more restricted audience in mind. At least “things were simpler” and less “confused”. Our continued dreaming of such a status blinded us, until rather recent times, to how such “tradition” flexed a tragic deal on humans – even Americans – who fell outside of that straight-and-narrow.

We slept through much of the histories of slavery, lynching, genocide, mass deportation, mass incarceration, militarized police, disenfranchisement, wars on false pretenses, extrajudicial murders, domestic terrorism, racism, sexism, hetero- and cis-sexism, class bigotry against our homeless citizens and unionized workers, and so on. Such blindness has impaired many of us from looking to another side of ourselves.

In many American dreams, we “can be anything at all”, but are we free to be our true, self-defined, mutually-affirmative, intersectional selves?
In many American dreams, do we even allow ourselves to entertain the thought of being “anything at all” within our own choices? Do we free ourselves to make more than one choice? Do we free ourselves to make choices which adapt to the universe around us? Do we free ourselves to take responsibility for these choices or identities and adapt them?

Our choices, like our dreams, are formulated in our minds. We can dream any dream we want, but I argue that the best dreams are the dreams which help make our waking lives more fulfilling.

Similarly, the “oxygen” in the song may help us sleep, calm our nerves, and dream our American dreams, but at some point, we must wake up. Let not the oxygen dull our sense of urgency, justice or mercy. May our dreams inform our waking moments to a better humanity for all people.

Rise and shine, people.

#WeAreTheNewAmerica.

The Need for “Protected Classes”

Discrimination2In U.S. Federal jurisprudence, there are a number of protected classes with key foundational legislation:

At local and state levels, the list grows longer. I’ll take, as an example, the non-discrimination ordinance of Madison, Wisconsin, which was amended this week by their Common Council (city council):

  • marital status
  • source of income
  • arrest record
  • conviction record
  • credit history
  • military discharge status
  • physical appearance
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • political beliefs
  • student status
  • domestic partner status
  • receipt of rental assistance
  • Social Security number disclosure
  • nonreligion (as of this week)

That’s right, Madison added a new category of protected class, believed to be the first time that atheists, humanists, objectivists and other non-subscribers to theism or religion have been protected from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations under the law in the U.S.

Besides the weeks worth of news from Indiana and Arkansas, the changes in Madison have been met with applause by progressive and humanist groups while being derided and mocked by those raised on the meme that atheists are “fools” or “militants” or that Christians are being “persecuted” in America.

But perhaps the most insidious notion to come from the rhetoric against LGBT rights has also shown up against even this protection for atheists: “we don’t need protected classes, we just live and let live.”

I’ve opined in arguments against this logic that this viewpoint largely comes from those who live in rural or suburban areas and don’t often have to negotiate their space with people who are various shades of different background from themselves. In rural areas, they may not have to live within the vicinity of LGBT people, or atheists, or homeless veterans, of people of another religion than themselves, or what have you.

Instead, you can “live and let live” with folks who are usually just like you in some way. Nothing wrong with that, but that background would be hard to communicate to someone who has been exposed to much more diversity in an area with a greater population density and a greater diversity of population.

Columbus is one such area. We have the city itself in Muscogee County (population 189,885, density 861.4/sq mi), with a composition (as of the 2010 census) of “46.3% White, 45.5% African American, 2.2% Asian, 0.2% Native American, 0.14% Pacific Islander, and 1.90% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.4% of the population.” In the metro area, things get more spread out between Phenix City, Auburn, Cusseta, Opelika, Tuskegee, Pine Mountain and maybe LaGrange, and people may live in less-but-still-compact quarters in those areas.

The LGBT population – closeted or out – is likely proportional to the population as a minority group. There’s an atheist meetup group in Columbus, a city which is dominated by large, expansive evangelical steeples, and there are likely many more closeted atheists in the area.

If we’re living in an area tight with shades of humanity which have to negotiate their lives with each other, why can’t such negotiations be reflected in our urban laws in a way which affirms those shades and makes it easier for us to negotiate our lives as residents of the same city?

Our laws in Columbus need to reflect our real, lived diversity by ensuring equality under the law across these boundaries, otherwise those shades are isolated and subject to stigma in real-life situations in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and other venues. That’s why we have laws which protect classes of our humanity, or “protected classes”.

Just because organized Abrahamic religions, by way of emphasizing ideological uniformity and ostracization of dissent, are slower to recognize such protected classes or their validity, doesn’t mean that the civic government which serves and affects us all should be just as slow.

Just because people who are not responsible over the needs of a large group of people are reluctant to protect “special snowflakes” doesn’t mean that elected officials govern best when they know how to negotiate and address those “snowflakes” in their individual situations.

In fact, you – yes you, THE READER OF THIS PIECE (thanks for reading, btw) – are a mixture of protected classes! Your race, your gender or sex, your religion (if you have such), your military or veteran status (or lack thereof), your relationship status (or lack thereof), your disability or handicap (or lack thereof): your equality despite all of those categories are protected under law here in Columbus in areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.

In other words, you are a mix of “special snowflakes”, and you probably didn’t even know it. You, no matter who you are, are a mix of “protected classes”. And you benefit GREATLY from that.

So next time you think about protected classes, think about those classes which aren’t protected in our laws or economics in many cities, counties, states, and even countries. Read on how they’re isolated. Read on how their needs aren’t being addressed by their government.

And think about ways to address those needs for the future. One such way is by ensuring equality under the law across these classes by protecting those classes from discrimination.

GUEST RE-POST: The Alarming Language in Georgia’s Proposed Religious Freedom Bill

By "Citizen Y", originally posted to Grumblebutt.com, re-posted here with permission of both the author and Tracy Boyd:

CitizenYRFRAI’ve lived in the south my entire life. I’m a southerner and proud of it. I love the heat and humidity, the occasional March snow flurries that take us by surprise, the abundance of trees even in our cities. I love sweet tea and fried chicken and lazy summer afternoons watching children play in sprinklers just to take the edge off the steam. As southerners we have an identity. One we share with each other and our families, and if we encounter a Yankee transplant we immediately share with them everything we can about living in the Bible Belt and try to convince them that our way is better and they should come along for the beautiful ride.

We love our churches. There is one on every corner and they are as vibrant and diverse as Georgia’s sunsets. Anyone with a mind to look will almost surely find a faith community that fits their spiritual needs. So when people talk about religious freedom we tend to nod and say “Amen”. We forget how diverse our faiths are. We forget that we must be cautious when it comes to laws that govern our religious freedoms and our personal freedoms. We forget that we’ve made a promise in this country to perhaps not love our neighbors but to always respect their personal rights. We forget that some people may use any lever they have to circumvent the laws that allow us to be part of our great nation. Because quite frankly how could anyone be against religious freedom in a nation where so many of our ancestors were fleeing religious persecution. That is also precisely why we must be vigilant.

About a year ago Georgia’s state Senate and House introduced bills that were promoted as religious freedom bills. They are called Religious Freedom Restoration Acts or RFRAs. At that time I decided to do some research into the legal history of these kinds of bills. What I found was concerning. The legal language in RFRAs sounds harmless but legal language has meaning built upon decades of premise in court rulings. So our common sense interpretation of the language in a RFRA may vary starkly from the actual legal meaning in the bill. Legal language matters and it is not something most of us are familiar with. There is a reason why we southerners are wary of lawyers and politicians.

There are two big legal language problems with Georgia’s RFRA. The first is the use of a legal term called “compelling government interest”. Georgia’s RFRA asserts that no law can be enforced upon someone with a religious objection unless the government has a compelling interest. In legal history the compelling government interest standard is called strict scrutiny and is reserved for government intervention only in the most extreme matters such as those affecting national security, preventing the death of multiple people or at times from preventing discrimination against large groups recognized by the government as minorities. (Sorry people with tattoos are not a recognized minority, nor are gays for that matter.) It is quite literally the highest form of judicial review. This does not extend to protecting the daily personal rights or property rights of your average Joe. It also doesn’t extend to most nuisance laws, zoning laws, environmental laws or animal protection laws that your average citizen would, without question, abide by.

As US Supreme Court Justice Scalia (a very conservative religious republican white guy) put it when in calling into question the wisdom of using compelling interest as a standard for religious exceptions to the law

“If“ ‘compelling interest’ really means what it says . . . , many laws will not meet the test. . . . [The test] would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind – ranging from … the payment of taxes, … to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws,… compulsory vaccination laws, … drug laws, … traffic laws, … to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, …. child labor laws, … animal cruelty laws,… environmental protection laws, … and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races.” Justice Scalia – Opinion of the Court – Employment Div. v. Smith.

“We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate.” Justice Scalia – Opinion of the Court – Employment Div. v. Smith

I have no doubt that Supreme Court Justice Scalia, the author of this opinion of the Court, is qualified to interpret the legal meaning of compelling interest and the consequences of applying it broadly to religious freedom.

Justice Scalia is not the only Supreme Court Justice to have written an opinion of the Court that warns of such broad application of the law. Justice Kennedy echoes Scalia’s concerns below.

 “Laws … would fall under RFRA without regard to whether they had the object of stifling or punishing free exercise.” Justice Kennedy – Opinion of the Court – Boerne vs Flores

“RFRA is not designed to identify and counteract state laws likely to be unconstitutional because of their treatment of religion. In most cases, the state laws to which RFRA applies are not ones which will have been motivated by religious bigotry.” Justice Kennedy – Opinion of the Court – Boerne Vs Flores

“RFRA applies to all federal and state law, statutory or otherwise, whether adopted before or after its enactment. RFRA has no termination date or termination mechanism. Any law is subject to challenge at any time by any individual who alleges a substantial burden on his or her free exercise of religion.” Justice Kennedy – Opinion of the Court- Boerne Vs Flores

The Supreme Court’s interpretation of religious freedom laws subject to the compelling interest standard sounds pretty clear and damning if the laws are legislated as written. Georgia’s RFRA is not the only RFRA to have these problems. That’s why SCOTUS has been so wary of them. In general it has been found that many states with RFRAs don’t actually legislate the laws as written. They apply the kind of common sense most of us would apply with religious freedom. SCOTUS has already said that these laws are so broad that they carry with them the likelihood of invalidation. This means that RFRAs will eventually be found to be unconstitutional if they are enforced as written. What happens if Georgia’s proposed bills and others like it in our country are enforced as written? Enforcing the proposed Georgia RFRA as written would be a very big deal and could potentially affect all of us no matter our religion, race or orientation.

Which brings us to the second big problem with Georgia’s RFRA, the type of religious freedom protected under the bill.

In the bill, “‘Exercise of religion’ means any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief,”. So the protection of religious liberty in this bill extends to personal religious preferences and not just tenets of faith. That is a very broad category. Personal religious preference varies widely. Beliefs about the environment, property rights, healthcare and the proper roles of women and children can all be influenced by religion, and we all know people who don’t share our views on these topics. The list of actions that can be framed as exercise of religion is nearly endless under such a broad definition.

What’s more, the courts can’t use standards like common western practice or science to evaluate the validity of an individual’s or even a corporation’s beliefs. It’s not the court’s role to tell someone their beliefs aren’t valid only to judge whether they are sincere. The court can’t interpret the law one way for Christians and another for Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans or even Satanists. The Supreme Court literally says so right here:

“it is not for us to say that their religious beliefs are mistaken or insubstantial. Instead our ‘narrow function… in this context is to determine’ whether the line drawn reflects an honest conviction’”. Justice Alito – Opinion of the Court – Burwell Vs Hobby Lobby

The authors of Georgia’s RFRA are honest to goodness dyed-in-the-wool lawyers. They would know the implications of the bill better than anyone. One would assume they know how it can be used if enforced as written since the most qualified legal minds in this nation, the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, have already quite literally spelled it out for them. If they don’t want the bill to be exploited, why don’t they change the legal language to prevent exploitation? Why would they want the bill to be enforced as written for Georgia’s citizens, any of Georgia’s citizens, no matter their creed, color or orientation?

Citizen Y

An hour until the 2015 RFRA’s midnight

It’s now past 11:00 pm EST, and still no Georgia RFRA in sight.

But now it is time to do the heavy work of education and information throughout the rest of the year.

We can start to say the following:

  • YES to nondiscrimination in employment, public or private
  • YES to marriage equality
  • YES to consumer protection for LGBT people
  • YES to adoption equality
  • YES to welcoming schools
  • YES to freer processes for changing genders on birth certificates
  • YES to welcoming public accommodations, including restroom facilities
  • YES to greater openly-LGBT participation in government
  • YES to voter education for LGBT people
  • YES to affirming protection from the “gay panic” defense
  • YES to equal housing
  • YES to equal sex education
  • YES to enshrining the equality of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in our constitution
  • YES to nondiscrimination in our city, county and state laws

And most definitely: YES to informing the public about the need for all of this equality in our state and in our time.

Let’s not let this go to waste. 2015 can be the start of big changes in Georgia, so that 2016 won’t be a tragedy.

Let’s fight for equality in Georgia.

Hypocritical Prudes vs. Out2Enroll

logoDespite the operative issues with Healthcare.gov and the unforgivable technical compromises during rollout of the ACA (which I’ve experienced), I still get my hackles raised when the machines of hatred against the ACA roll over whole classes of people in their rush to find the worst in the law.

The issue that sticks in my craw is when both right-wing Christians and LGBT people exercise a selective puritan disgust against gay-inclusive expressions such as this:

Of course, those with anti-Obamacare sentiments already have their reasons for viewing this video with disgust – to them, it is “pandering” of the “worst” kind. Similarly, for those who are both pro-Obamacare and fearful of the White House’s every stumble and misstep toward wider healthcare coverage, the video is simply marketing through an independent third party to a target demographic.

But then the Log Cabin Republicans, the LGBT wing of the GOP, have their own charge against the ad:

“Today Log Cabin Republicans, the only LGBT advocacy organization on the Obamacare Repeal Coalition, denounced a video advertisement by Out2Enroll exploiting gay stereotypes to encourage gay men to enroll in the Affordable Care Act.

This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared. “As a self-proclaimed ’fierce advocate’ of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately. This ad is also an example of the left promoting harmful stereotypes that gay men are nothing more than sex-crazed lechers. If anyone on the right made such a comparison, liberals would be apoplectic. At a time when left-wing propagandists are decrying ’Duck Dynasty’’s Phil Robertson for equating homosexuality with promiscuity and deviance, Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting such harmful stereotypes.”

Sex-crazed? Lechers? Am I even looking at the same video as Angelo and his outfit?

The video shows underwear models and gym bunnies prancing around the set to music and flirting with each other. It’s freakin’ yaoi, ya’ll!

But of course, this video makes Sodahead users and readers of National Review Online, FrontPageMag, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, NewsMax, TheBlaze, DailyCaller, and the outlets of right-wing Christian America want to “vomit” to see young adult men – oh, excuse me, “PERVERTS” – prancing around, but not the irregularly-employed video vixens who populate hip-hop, country and rock music videos.

If men’s rights activists would have any objection to how men are oppressed in this society, I would offer how these men are treated by their fellow males when they show their bodies on camera.

Finally, the titles of these articles indicate that the writers and their benefactors find it very difficult to ascertain when an organization is operating independently or in association with a government entity. Out2Enroll is, for the last time, NOT a government agency.

Once again, someone ruins a silly advert with their own projections, insecurities and hypocrisy.

Just to at least support the imagery of beautiful adult men of all shades of color, I’m plugging Out2Enroll for my readers to peruse.

New LGBT news blog – “The Pink Peach”

Welcome to The Pink Peach, a blog which covers news which is of interest or concern to LGBT and allied folks in Georgia outside of Atlanta. For too long, the main epicenter of LGBT news media has been located in Metro Atlanta – and for good reason! Metro ATL has the largest annual pride parades in Georgia – Atlanta Pride and Atlanta Black Pride, and is a mecca for LGBTs who are looking for some close respite from .

However, as shown in recent surveys and censuses, the LGBT population in Georgia lives in every one of our 159 counties – not just Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Clayton and Gwinett. These people – that is, of course, you, a reader who may live anywhere in Georgia – need a news source that matters to them and reaches out to them. I hope that this blog, The Pink Peach, will do what many other local news sources could not – become a beacon for LGBT folks in Georgia, no matter where you may be.

I hope to keep this blog updated frequently with news and information for your interest, as well as help in building our LGBT communities where we are – whether we are in the city or in the boonies. Let’s move forward!

Sincerely,

Harry Underwood
Editor, The Pink Peach