Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gay Pride Month Links

Gay Pride Month 2013 is over and I successfully wrote a post every day related to gay pride or gay rights. Below is a list of links I perused to put my posts together. I hope you take the time to explore these and learn more about our history. I am proud to be a gay man and I thank everyone that came before me that fought so hard to make this possible.

Gay Pride

About LGBT Pride Month


LGBT History Timeline

Timeline of LGBT History‬ Wikipedia

Timeline of LGBT History

A Timeline of Events in Gay & Lesbian History

Minnesota Aids Project

History of the Gay Pride / Rainbow Flag

Harvey Milk. Biography.

Harvey Milk > Quotes

Harvey Milk Speech - Hope

Harvey Milk Biography

Milk, Harvey (1930-1978)

The Life and Times of Harvey Milk

Stonewall Riots: The Beginning of the LGBT Movement

The Stonewall Riots - 1969 — A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation

An Amazing 1969 Account of the Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Riots

Stonewall Democrats - Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall Riots - The Comic Book

The Historic Stonewall Inn

The Stonewall Riots, 43 Years Later: Reflections of One of the Oldest Surviving Veterans of the Seminal Uprising

Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad

Stonewall Riots

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969

Anita Bryant

Anita Bryant and the Save Our Children Campaign

Chimp to Man to History Books: The Path of AIDS


A Timeline of AIDS

Making AIDS History




The AIDS Memorial Quilt / The NAMES Project Foundation

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day: 41 Celebrities Who Busted Out Of The Closet

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Recording

1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Souvenir Program

Tucson Gay Museum 1979 March on Washington

Uncle Donald's Castro Street 1979 March on Washington

Soul Force 1979 March on Washington Photos

The Trevor Project

Give a Damn Campaign

It Gets Better Project

Stand Up Foundation

Faces for Change

NOH8 Campaign

Bible Verses About the Sanctity of Marriage

Position Paper on the Sanctity of Marriage

10 Really Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage

The Sanctity of Marriage Myth

Arguments Against Gay Marriage - DEBUNKED

What's Wrong With Being Gay?

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Jonah Mowry: 'What's Goin' On . . ."

The Best Gay Movies for Men

50 Best Gay Movies

Top 25 Gay Films

Pride Symbols
 - Common Pride Symbols and Their Meanings

Queer Pride Symbols

LGBT symbols‬

Symbols of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Movements

Tracing the Roots of the Symbols of our Pride

Could Scientists Have Found A Gay Switch?

There’s No Gay Gene, Says Scientists

Did Scientists Just Find The Gay Gene? Or An LGBT On-Off Switch?

Exodus International

'Gay Cure' Ministry Exodus International to Close

Call to Pardon Alan Turing

Why Should Britian Pardon Alan Turing?

Alan Turing Biography: Computer Pioneer, Gay Icon

2012 The Alan Turing Year

Alan Turing's 100th Birthday

The Tragedy of the Upstairs Lounge

Upstairs Lounge Arson Attack


Upstairs Musical

New Orleans Inferno: The Upstairs Lounge Fire

UpStairs Lounge Fire Provokes Powerful Memories 40 Years Later

Stonewall Riots Police Reports, June 28, 1969

Stonewall: Freedom Overdue

Standing Up For Gay Rights

On the Morning of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn New York City

Edith Windsor And Thea Spyer’s Great American Love Story

5 Things To Know About Edith “Edie” Windsor, The 83-Year-Old Lesbian Challenging The Defense Of Marriage Act

When a Woman Loves a Woman

Meet The Hero Of The Marriage Equality Movement

Thea Spyer and Edith Windsor

United States v. Windsor

Hollingsworth v. Perry

Supreme Court of the United States


Friday, June 28, 2013

My Thanks to the Men and Women of the Stonewall Riots

Forty-four years ago today a brave group of gay men and women stood up for their rights and fought back. What they didn't know at the time was what an impact their actions would make on millions of other gay people for years to come.
The Stonewall Inn - New York
As I am reading and writing about the events of the night of June 27 through the morning of June 28, 1969 my emotions are out of control. I cry for the hurt and abuse these people endured, I am overcome with pride that they put their lives on the line so that I could have a better life, I laugh at the ridiculousness of the raid that the police performed just to harass people minding their own business and I am sorry that I haven't done enough to further their cause. The reality of the freedoms I have as a gay man came on the backs of the heroes of 1969. On that fateful day I was only a month past the age of 8 years old.
Very Proud Indeed
I still had not realized that I was gay and I have no recollection of the events that took place. My family probably never even talked about it and if they did it was probably in French (Cajun French) so that we had no idea what they were discussing. It boggles my mind how these people faced the police and the risk of public harassment for their right to be who they were. Finding words to thank these people is hard for me - their actions have allowed me to be open about who I am and to be able to love a man that has been my partner and best friend for 23 years. Even though I am thankful for everything we have as a gay community I know we have a long way to go. That is why I live openly and I don't try to hide my homosexuality. It is also why I choose to make a gay related post throughout this month. These are small gestures but I hope they help and I hope I am honoring these people by not hiding in the closet. The most I can hope for is that these people would be proud that I am not hiding and I also hope that my small actions are making a difference. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did so that I could have a better life.

Here are a few links relating to the Stonewall Riots . . .

The Stonewall Riots - 1969 — A Turning Point in the Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Liberation
Stonewall Riots of 1969
Stonewall Riots

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A New Hero for the LGBT Community

Born in 1929 in Philadelphia. Married and then divorced realizing she was a lesbian. Moved to New York and met Thea Spyer. They fell in love. In 2007 they wed in Toronto. Their relationship spanned 40+ years until Thea lost her fight with Multiple Sclerosis and heart issues. Edith then had to pay the IRS over $350,000.00 in inheritance taxes (something no heterosexual couple would have had to do). She decided to take on the U.S. Government. Yesterday her marriage to Thea was validated and the U.S. Government now owes her the money she paid them. She stood strong and proud demanding to be treated as equal as any other U.S. Citizen and because of her courage and persistence we all now can look forward to that equal treatment.

When I think about what this 84 year old woman has done for the gay community it brings tears to my eyes. Now that DOMA has been deemed unconstitutional I can only believe that all bans against same sex marriage will soon be a thing of the past. I am truly grateful for the fight that Ms. Windsor took on and I wish I could thank her personally. I feel we need to make her birthday a LGBT holiday - we should all remember what she has done long after she is gone.

“ Marriage ... symbolizes commitment and love like nothing else in the world. And it's known all over the world. I mean, wherever you go, if you're married, that means something to people and it meant a difference in feeling the next day."
~ Edith Windsor

Lavender and Sunset

It has been hot in Santa Fe the last few days and we don't have any air conditioning in the house. So this evening we had dinner outside and then just sat and read. The garden looked wonderful as the sun went down so I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures. It was a beautiful evening and with the gentle breeze it made it nice and cool to sit and relax.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA Struck Down

 Just a few minutes ago the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision on DOMA. In a 5-4 decision they struck DOMA down as unconstitutional. I am a little confused about the meaning of this. It seems that if you are legally married in a state that allows same sex marriage then you are guaranteed all the federal rights and benefits of all legally married couples. What is confusing is that if you were married in a state that allows same sex marriage and move or live in a state that doesn't recognize that marriage would you still get the benefits? Thomas and I were legally married on October 11, 2004 in Provincetown, MA but we live in New Mexico and our state doesn't recognize or deny the marriage - would we be able to receive all the federal benefits? I hope so! This is a great move by the Court. Fortunately, this is continuing our move for equal rights nationwide. Since the mood of the Nation is changing on the approval of gay marriage I figure it won't be long that this won't be an issue anymore. The courts also dismissed the case of Prop 8. Meaning that the State of California cannot legally enforce it. Here is the Prop 8 decision. So hopefully in a month or two California will become the 13th State to allow same sex marriage.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Paint the Internet Red

Today the HRC challenged everyone to paint the internet red by posting your photo overlaid with the red HRC logo on all your social media accounts. I am not a facebooker or twitterer so I am posting it here on my blog and on other profile accounts I have. All of this is in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 and marriage equality. You can read about the challenge at the HRC Blog and you can see all the photos that other people have uploaded at Picture Equality.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Upstairs Lounge Remembered

On the eve of June 24, 1973 the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans was firebombed. The resultant blaze killed 32 people. Today is the 40th anniversary of this cruel tragedy. The bar had been used as a temporary meeting place for the Metropolitan Community Church. There had been a get together for free beer and an all you can eat dinner. Afterwards some of the congregation of the MCC stayed. There was a buzz at the door and when it was opened flames engulfed the place. Someone had set fire to the wooden stairs that lead up to the door. As if the action itself wasn't bad enough there were jokes made about the victims and churches in the area refused to let the families have memorial services. This all came about only four years after the Stonewall Riots showing that change would be slow to come.

In Memory . . . here is a list of the victims of the Upstairs Lounge fire.

~ Partners Joe William Bailey & Clarence Josephy McCloskey, Jr. perished together. McCloskey's sisters and two nieces attended the Memorial Service. His niece, Susan, represented McCloskey in the Jazz Funeral.
~ Duane George "Mitch" Mitchell, assistant MCC pastor. He had escaped through the emergency exit with a group led by bartender Douglas "Buddy" Rasmussen, but ran back into the burning building trying to save his partner, Louis Horace Broussard. Their bodies were discovered lying together.
~ Mrs. Willie Inez Warren of Pensacola later died from burns suffered in the fire. Her two sons died inside the bar, Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren.
~ Pastor of the MCC, Rev. William R. Larson, formerly a Methodist lay minister.
~ Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Several victims were his patients and were identified by his x-rays.
~ Douglas Maxwell Williams
~ Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida.
~ George Steven Matyi
~ Larry Stratton
~ Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member, formerly a Jesuit Scholastic. Partner of entertainer Regina Adams.
~ James Walls Hambrick, who had jumped from the building in flames, died later that week.
~ Horace "Skip" Getchell, MCC member.
~ Joseph Henry Adams
~ Herbert Dean Cooley, UpStairs Lounge bartender and MCC member.
~  Professional pianist, David Stuart Gary.
~ Guy D. Anderson
~ Luther Boggs, teacher, who died two weeks later. Notified while hospitalized with terrible burns that he had been fired from his job.
~ Donald Walter Dunbar
~ Professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by his partner, bartender Douglas "Buddy" Rasmussen, who led a group to safety.
~ John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor's Advisory Group.
~ Gerald Hoyt Gordon
~ Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal Government employee.
~ Glenn Richard "Dick" Green, Navy veteran.
~ Robert "Bob" Lumpkin
~ Four men were buried in Potter's Field: Ferris LeBlanc (later indentified), and three persons only identified as Unknown White Males. The city refused to release these bodies to the MCC for burial.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Alan Turing

Today would have been Alan's 101st birthday. Sadly Alan only lived until he was 41. His life came to an end on June 7, 1954 when the young Alan committed suicide by cyanide poisoning. Alan was a brilliant mathematician and founder of computer science. He was also a gay man. A gay man treated very badly by society. In 1952 Alan was arrested for homosexuality. In order to avoid going to prison he accepted injections of oestrogen. This "treatment" was used to reduce a person's libido and is essentially chemical castration. Following his arrest he lost his security clearance and his job. There have been petitions introduced to get Turing pardoned but the British government has not done so yet. In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an apology but that is as far as it has gotten.

Alan Turing (1912 - 1954)
Here are some links related to Alan Turing.

The Alan Turing Home Page
BBC History - Alan Turing
Alan Turing Biography: Computer Pioneer, Gay Icon
Stephen Hawking Calls for Alan Turing's Pardon

The Chollas Have Bloomed

Back on the 1st for June I posted a photo of the Cholla Buds and mentioned in the post that I would post some pictures of the actual blooms once they opened. Today I was taking a walk around the property and discovered that they had bloomed. Here are a few pictures.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Santa Fe Gay Pride Festival

Today was the Santa Fe Gay Pride Parade and Festival in the Railyard. It was a beautiful day with lots to do. There were other things going on for the last couple of days and you can see a schedule of the events that happened by going to the Santa Fe Reporter.

And to read about the parade you can go to the Santa Fe New Mexican. There is a large gay community in Santa Fe and we are lucky to live in such and open and accepting city. I hope everyone is having a great pride month.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finally, Someone Comes To Their Senses

In the last couple of days a group called Exodus International closed its doors. This group was a so-called gay conversion group that provided counseling and resources to assist homosexuals change to heterosexual. It seems that in the last few years the group has been changing its position on whether or not gays can be converted to straight. They finally realized that all the nonsense they have been spouting is totally ridiculous. The president of EI - Alan Chambers - blogged the decision to close and stated that reparative therapy is ineffectual and unhealthy. Here is an excerpt from his post . . .
Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents... I am sorry that I...failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry...that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine. 
I am thankful that they realized what they were doing was causing more damage than good. I also hope that others will follow their lead. This is good news and I like that it came to be during gay pride month.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Gay Meme

1. How old were you when you knew you were gay?
I was 12.

2. Have you ever had sex with the opposite sex?

3. Who was the first person you came out to?
I first came out to a friend I worked with.

4. Are you out to your family?

5. Do you want children?

6. Do you have more gay friends or straight friends?
More straight friends.

7. Were you out in school?
No. But people seemed to know anyway.

8. Is your best friend the same sex as you?

9. If your best friend is the same sex, have you ever had sex with them?
I married him.

10. Have you ever done crystal meth?

11. Have you ever been in a sling?

12. Have you ever done a 3-way?

13. Have you ever dressed in drag?

14. Would you date a drag queen?
Not sure, I guess if it was the right person.

15. Are you a top/bottom or truly versatile?
I'm versatile.

16. Have you seen an uncircumcised penis?

17. Have you had sex with someone of a different ethnicity?

18. Have you ever barebacked?
Yes, with my husband.

19. How many Cher CDs do you own?

20. Name of your first love?

21. Do you still talk to them?

22. Does size matter?
No. I much rather technique.

23. Biggest turn on?
Hands and eyes.

24. Biggest turn off?
Dishonesty and disloyalty.

25. Ever been harassed due to your orientation?

26. Worst gay stereotype that applies to you?
Loving Broadway.

27. Ever been to a pride rally?
A few.

28. Would you marry if you could?
I can and I did!

29. Would you rather be rich and smart or young and beautiful?
Rich and smart. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and no one stays young forever.

30. Do you sculpt your eyebrows?

31. Do you trim your body hair?
Every now and then.

32. Ever had sex with more than one person in a day?

33. Ever been to an orgy?

34. Have you dated your best friends ex?

35. Would you vote for Hillary Clinton if she ran for president?
Without blinking an eye.

36. Do you want monogamy in your relationships?

37. Do you believe in true love?

38. Do you have any tattoos?
No. I was never interested in them.

39. Do you have any piercings?
No. Again, never interested.

40. Would you date a smoker?
It would depend on other things in addition to the smoking.

41. Do you get HIV tests every 6 months?

42. Do you know anyone who has died from HIV?

43. Do you know what Stonewall was?
Of course!

44. Strangest place you have had sex?
In the car at a rest area.

45. Strangest place you’ve woken up?
This hasn't happened.

46. Are your best years behind or in front of you?
I will just have to wait and see.

47. Favorite porn movie?

48. Are you in love now?

49. Ever been in love with a straight guy?
No. Attractions yes but never love.

50. Did you ever have sex with him?

51. Have you ever been to a nude beach?

52. Have you ever been to a bath house?

53. Ever had sex in public?
See number 44 above.

54. Have you ever been/stayed in a relationship for Money or Security, instead of Love and Friendship?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gay Symbols

As a gay community we have symbols that show our pride, our likes and our groups. These symbols have become internationally recognized that helps us to find support and sometimes safety in the world. Here are just a few of them and you can link to more information about each symbol by clicking on the pictures.

“The flag is an action – it’s more than just the cloth and the stripes. When a person puts the Rainbow Flag on his car or his house, they’re not just flying a flag. They’re taking action.”
Rainbow Flag - the rainbow flag, sometimes LGBT pride flag or gay pride flag, is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. The colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and the flag is often used as a symbol of gay pride in LGBT rights marches. It originated in California, but is now used worldwide.

Pink Triangle in Good Health. -''Pink triangle,'' what's that? Queer. lf you're queer, that's what you wear. ~ from the movie "Bent"
Pink Triangle - the pink triangle was used by the Nazis in concentration camps to identify and shame homosexuals. This symbol, which was used to label and shame, has been embraced by the gay community as a symbol of pride.

“AIDS in no longer a disease; it is a human right’s issue,” President Nelson Mandela
AIDS Ribbon - 30 years after the first cases of HIV – the red ribbon is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV. The red ribbon was the first ever ribbon symbol, inspiring later versions such as the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness.

Simply, the Greek letter "L" stands for "liberation."
Lambda Symbol - the lambda was first chosen as a gay symbol when it was adopted in 1970 by the New York Gay Activists Alliance. It became the symbol of their growing movement of gay liberation. In 1974, the lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress held in Edinburgh, Scotland. As their symbol for lesbian and gay rights, the lambda became internationally popular.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Do We Really Need To Find The Gay Gene?

Since June 1 I have been reading a lot of things online searching for something to post each day during pride month. The talk about whether or not there is a gay gene is still a big part of the debate about gays. I am not convinced that we need to prove that this gay gene exists. The anti-gay people out there will not except this or any other reason for the existence of gays no matter what. Haven't you been listening to them rant and rave and about all the reasons they have for protesting, hating and comdemning us. None of them actually make sense - it is all just ignorant hot air. I really don't need for this to be proven - I know I am gay, it is just who I am and I don't think it will make me feel better than I already do about being a gay man. Perhaps proof that being gay is part of our genetic make up will quiet a few doubters and thus help our fight to equal rights, then maybe finding it would be a good thing. But for my own personal vote I don't need the validation.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gay Means Homosexual?!?!?

I came across quite a few articles about how the word gay came to mean homosexual and these articles caught my eye. To be totally honest I never even wondered about this. Without reading these articles at first I thought about how this came to be. So first I looked at the definition of gay.

adjective \'gā\
1 a : happily excited : merry 
  b : keenly alive and exuberant 
: having or inducing high spirits 
2 a : bright, lively 
  b : brilliant in color
3 : given to social pleasures; also : licentious 

I was hard pressed to find any entry that didn't include sexual orientation. So I added the about definition I found but left off the homosexual part. Just looking at the definition didn't say this word should be used to describe same sex attraction. So I was puzzled about how we commandeered this word for our own - that lead me to read the articles. Instead of writing about what was in the articles
I think I will just list some of them and let you read them yourselves.

How did "gay" come to mean "homosexual"?

How ‘Gay’ Came to Mean ‘Homosexual’

 How did the word gay come to mean homosexual?

Dorothy Stewart Trail

The following trail description is from Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area Sixth Edition Expanded and Revised by the Northern New Mexico Group of the Sierra Club. This is my favorite hiking guide. It looks as though they have a seventh edition out now. If you spend time hiking in the Santa Fe area I strongly recommend you get this book.

"A short, easily accessible and very pleasant hike on the east side that affords great views of the Santa Fe landscape."

Roundtrip Distance: 2.5 miles 
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Elevation Range: 7320-7550; total gain 440 feet
Rating: Easy

» My thoughts on the above - the distance is accurate from the trailhead, around the entire loop and back to the trailhead. The time is pretty good (it took me 1 hour and 15 minutes with a 10 minute break at each of the two benches). I am not sure about the elevation range because 7320 to 7550 is only 230 feet. I am not sure how they figure the elevation gain but it isn't bad. This is an easy hike.

Here are a couple of links about the trail that you might like to check out . . .
Hike: The Dorothy Stewart Trail
Dorothy Stewart Trail Map

This hike is an easy hike and it is easily accessible and that makes it a great hike for when you don't have a lot of time but want to get out and see some great views of the Santa Fe area. The only problem here is that there is only room for about four cars at the trailhead. This is located about a mile from St. John's college on Camino Cruz Blanca. If the parking is full then you have to park at St. John's and make the almost one mile walk to the trailhead as there is no parking along the street.

I was lucky today and the parking area was empty so I got a great parking spot. I grabbed my water and camera and hit the trail right at 1:00pm.
Trail Split
The trail begins going down right away and pretty much continues that way until you get to a little wash (the book calls it Arroyo Mora, although I have never seen a sign). I walked for about 20 minutes and reached a sign for the Dorothy Stewart trail and then just a few minutes later I reached the wash. From here the trail gradually goes uphill, it isn't hard, you just know you are climbing. I took breaks along the way to take some pictures of the great views and I was also happy to see some cactus blooms as well. I reached the split in the trail (this is marked by a rock cairn next to a small pine? tree) that starts the loop at 1:30pm and decided to head left (I did this for no particular reason) and continued on the trail.
One of the two benches on the trail.
About 10 minutes later I arrived at the first bench. The bench is made from a build up of rocks with small logs going across for the seat. The view from this bench is wonderful so I took a few minutes to sit and enjoy it. Continuing along for a few more minutes brought me to the junction (Junction 33) with the Dale Ball South Trails. I passed this and continued to the second bench which is only a few minutes walk from here. Again I took a break and enjoyed the views of Picacho Peak and Atalaya. I left the bench at about 1:45pm and was back at the split at 1:55pm. From here you head back on the same trail you took from the parking area. It is downhill at first until you get to the wash and then the last part is uphill to your car. I made it back at 2:15pm. It was a great hike for a very warm summer day. I was happy that the weather was good and got to enjoy the beautiful blue skies.