Thank you for checking out my blog. To submit comments, click on "COMMENTS" at the end of each post. To email a post to a friend, click the white envelope also at the end of each post. Contact Me

TO ADD YOUR BLOG HERE - Click the "Follow This Blog" on the right.

TO SUBSCRIBE - Click a subscription option on the right.

TO READ PAST POSTINGS - Scroll down to my "Blog Archives" on the right or enter a search word or phrase in the search box above.

February 20, 2009


GLASS (Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services) is an organization that most people outside of California have never heard of. It provides vital services to GLBT youth who have already been marginalized, ignored and frequently abused.

Many of these children were homeless, alone and rejected by society just because of who they are. Most chose to live on the streets rather than continue to be attacked, raped and/or beaten while supposedly "under the care of" mainstream institutions.

Teresa (Terry) DeCrescenzo was a social worker for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. By 1984 she had seen one too many kids mistreated just because they acted differently, looked different or said they were different. So she decided to do something about it. She gathered her resolve, mortgaged her home, appealed to friends, neighbors and colleagues and founded the nation’s first ever long-term residential treatment program specifically structured for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender youth.

In the 25 years since, GLASS has grown to six Residential Group Homes in Los Angeles, two in Long Beach, and one in Oakland with the capacity to provide housing for 80 boys and girls, ages twelve to seventeen.

The group also provides programs that range from a Family Preservation Program, Mobile Health Outreach Project (MoHOP), Stonewall Day Rehabilitation, Outpatient Clinic and Skills Center to a Mentoring Project and a Transitional Housing facility.

Over those 25 years GLASS has saved countless children from violent death or suicide. It has also shown itself to be a shining example of what can be done when just one person decides they've had enough and actually goes out and does something about it.

Now, because of the faltering economy's effect of diminished donations and dramatically reduced funding from the cash strapped California government (which accounted for 90% of their budget), GLASS has been force to declare Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The group's Board of Directors choose to file a Chapter 7 because they didn't believe the organization would be able to secure a loan or obtain enough donations at this time. But, according the The Advocate, Terry, who is still the groups Executive Director, disagrees. She said, “The staff is very upset. They may physically go to court and petition the court to reject the Chapter 7 and give us a Chapter 11.” That would allow the group to continue operating while seeking additional funds through donations or loans.

Terry said, “We need two [million] to thrive. One [million] to survive.”

I'm definitely on Terry's side! If you would like to know how you can help, their contact page is at: http://glassla.org/wp/?page_id=42. You can either give them a call directly or fill out the comment form.

February 19, 2009


Queers United posted the following action alert from the Stonewall Democrats:

Most candidates President Obama is reportedly considering as his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services are progressive leaders who will keep in mind the LGBT community's health-related needs, including respect for our families and inclusive data collection.

However, at least one of the candidates rumored to be in the running has been less than helpful to our community, so we need your help.

Please sign our petition urging President Obama to make sure an equality-minded progressive is in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services. This information will be shared with the White House.

When you click on the above link ("sign our petition), scroll down. The form for the petition is at the bottom of the page. It can't be accessed by clicking on the graphic on the right side ("Nominate A Strong Secretary").

February 18, 2009


When Colorado passed a constitutional same-sex marriage ban in 2006, it didn't prohibit civil unions or other forms of partner benefits.

That loophole left the door open for the state's House Judiciary Committee to pass, by a 7-3 vote, what they are calling a "Designated Beneficiary Agreements" bill.

Introduced by Democratic Rep. Mark Ferrandino from Denver, House Bill 09-1260 would allow "2 competent adults who are not married to enter into a designated beneficiary agreement, making each adult a designated beneficiary of the other."

If passed by the legislature, this bill would allow designated beneficiaries to:

• Be a conservator or guardian for the other designated beneficiary;

• Be treated as a beneficiary under the other designated beneficiary's benefits for life insurance;

• Be treated as a dependent under the other designated beneficiary's benefits for health insurance if the designated beneficiary's employer elects to provide coverage to designated beneficiaries;

• Have the right to visit the other designated beneficiary in the hospital or in a nursing home;

• Inherit through intestate succession upon the death of the other designated beneficiary;

• Have standing to sue for wrongful death of the other designated beneficiary;

• Act as an agent to make, revoke, or object to anatomical gifts involving the other designated beneficiary;

• Direct the disposition of the other designated beneficiary's last remains.

The bill also states that:
"...domestic partners or parties in a civil union registered or recognized pursuant to another jurisdiction shall be deemed to have executed a designated beneficiary agreement if the parties otherwise qualify as designated beneficiaries. States that a legal contract pursuant to another jurisdiction's law which is not valid in Colorado pursuant to the state constitutional provision regarding the recognition of marriages shall be treated as a designated beneficiary agreement if the parties qualify to enter into a designated beneficiary agreement and both parties are present or reside in Colorado."

One thing that may help this bill's passage is the fact that the Designated Beneficiary Agreements are open to all unmarried couples and would benefit heterosexual and homosexual couples alike.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome, this is a bold step in the right direction and shows that there are still enough fair minded and very creative lawmakers in Colorado who are working very hard to provide legal partnership equality without violating the ban approved in 2006.

Yes, this would still be a "separate but equal" kind of structure but I have no doubt that fully equal marriage recognition WILL COME not only in Colorado but across the entire country as well. It's only a matter of time.

The right wing fanatics know this too. That's why they're becoming more and more frenetic in their frantic, feeble attempts to mislead the public with increasingly absurd lies and distortions.

February 17, 2009


Last Thursday, February 12th, was the one year anniversary of the tragic murder of 15 year old Lawrence "Larry" King in a Oxnard, CA classroom just as the school day was beginning.

Young King, who was openly gay, was shot twice in the back of the head in front of his entire class. Fellow eighth-grade student Brandon McInerney, who was 14 at the time, was arrested for the murder.

Over the past year, as the case has progressed, McInerney's lawyers have tried to portray him as the victim of Larry's harrassment and teasing. But multiple student accounts have shown just the opposite. McInerney was the one who was constantly harrassing King. King only started "teasing" McInerney as a defense against the relentless taunts. In fact, just before the shooting, McInerney even tried to enlist other students to help him "beat up" King. When that failed, McInerney instead decided to shoot King himself.

At first, McInerney's lawyers tried to portray him as an innocent, inexperienced 14 year old boy. But additional evidence has come out that not only shows that he was proficient with firearms and frequently went to firing ranges for target practice with his parents but there was also nazi and skinhead literature and a training video called “Shooting in Realistic Environments” found in his bedroom. This evidence, along with multiple accounts by other students of McInerney openly threatening to shoot King, prompted prosecutors to file their charges in adult court.

In response to the defendant's lawyer's objections to that filing, Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox said,

"It was an absolutely brutal crime, with premeditation and deliberation. "He was familiar with firearms and had fired that gun before. He knew what he was doing."

Now, the case has taken another ugly and surreal turn. According to a Box Turtle Bulletin story,

Lawrence King was adopted at age three by Gregory and Dawn King. According to the Kings, he never bonded with them. In November 2007 he was removed from their home and placed in a group home after he complained that Gregory King was physically abusive.

But none of that is stopping the Kings from seeking to be paid for their loss. And they are not above trashing Larry in order to get some cash.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Larry’s death, Gregory and Dawn king have filed a wrongful death lawsuit assigning the blame for Larry’s murder on Larry himself and faulting everyone in sight. (SJ Merc)

This is beyond disgusting. Not only was Larry King victimized by McInerney but he was also apparently abused for years by his adoptive "family." And now, even in death, he is being used and abused by his ex-parents.

No matter how you look at this, it's a tragedy of monumental proportions all around.

It's a prime example of why in-school, gay-supportive and gay/straight alliances are so important. And why aggressive retraining of teachers and administrators is so vital to the health and well being of all students.

February 16, 2009


The internet is rapidly becoming the preferred way to meet new people. With Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, chat rooms, web cams and a host of other options being added almost daily, it's easier than ever to cruise the web for a date or a quick hook-up.

Many of us are finding it much more preferable to simply flip on the computer and cruise the internet. It's a lot more appealing than trying to brave the crushing, constantly circling crowds in darkly lit bars that blast ear-numbing music so loud that just trying to talk to someone becomes a shouting match.

Obviously, this is a trend that is only going to grow. But don't get me wrong. There will always be a place in our community for bars, clubs and social gatherings. The energy and excitement of being in crowd of people who are all there for the same reasons you are can't be matched by the quiet and solitude of being alone. Face to face social interaction is as important as eating, breathing and sleeping. It's a very real way of recharging and balancing our psyches. Especially if you live alone.

But, if you are going to use the internet to cruise for dates or quickies - BE CAREFUL!

365gay.com reported last week that a 21 year old Army veteran was brutally and fatally stabbed in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania while on a second "date" with someone he met in an online chat room.

According to the report, Michael Goucher had been reported missing by his uncle. His car was found abandoned on a rural road in Price Township and his body was discovered in a nearby wooded area. He had been stabbed more than 20 times.

19 year old Shawn Freemore was found by police from evidence they had recovered from Goucher's car.

Freemore confessed to the murder and told police that he met Goucher in a chat room and the two men agreed to have sex. He said they had the liaison in Goucher’s car. Later, on a second date (again in Goucher's car) Freemore changed his mind at the last minute. Armed with a knife, he ordered Goucher out of the car and then stabbed him in the neck. Groucher fell to the ground and, as he tried to get up, Freemore stabbed him 19 more times in the stomach.

Police said that Freemore has a criminal record for burglary, shoplifting and drug paraphernalia possession.

Goucher was out to his family and his uncle, William Searfoss, who initially reported Goucher missing, told The Pocono Record, “If there’s a lesson to be taken from this tragedy, it’s to warn kids, especially the younger kids, about the danger of getting together with strangers they meet online."

I would strongly suggest that if you do decide to set up a date with someone you meet online, that you let someone else know what you're doing and who you're going to be with. That way, at least, if something does go wrong, not only will someone else know where you are and who you're with but you would also have a pretty strong deterrent to violence by telling your date, should he/she suddenly decide to turn on you, that other people know who you're with.

Taking a few self-defense classes wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Be careful out there...