National Coming Out Day

October 12, 2007

NOTE: If someone could tell me how to make a cut post, so I could put some of the text behind a cut it would be appreciated. This post is super long, but I am not tech savy enough and I am too tired to look it up.

So it is national coming out day, or technically yesterday was, but I haven’t gone to bed yet. I figured I would hook up some links and videos, and share my story. Since this is officially the first year that I would consider myself fully ‘out’. First, this is an adorable post from QueerSighted it is titled “I’m Out and it’s My Mother’s Fault” (Cute Story)

Second the HRC has an informative video that kind of runs through the history of National Coming Out Day and some of their work. The video is on youtube and viewers were encouraged to send in video responses. Check It OUT. I thought many of the responses were incredibly touching and inspiring. It is reassuring to know that more and more resources are out there for teenagers. I remember going with Alex and Christina all the way to Doylestown for some sort of gay youth meeting thing and thinking how reassuring it was to see other teenagers in the same spot. This was the response video that most struck me:

Finally, here is my “coming out” story, as cliché as that is. I hear a lot of coming out stories and have read books and seen movies, but for me it was different. I have known for a long time I was gay, I have been in a long term relationship, and have carried out my life in a very open manner. Everyone assumes I am “out” because I am loud and open in most situations, but there was one place where I wasn’t out until recently, my house. Some of you know the story, but I figured I would share it anyway (warning it is long and rambling as it is almost 2 am)…read the story behind the cut

Read the rest of this entry »


Bad Start for the Phillies

October 3, 2007

I put off pharmaceutics for watching the Phillies game with my dad, big mistake. The boys lost 2 to 4. Utley and Howard were incredibly disappointing; out of 8 at bats they racked up 7 strikeouts. After an early Colorado lead of 3 runs, the game seemed already decided. But in the 5th inning they came back and the score was 2-3. There were several times where they seemed set up to at least tie up the game, but in the 8th Colorado solidified their lead with another home run. Its not just that they lose, it is that they get you excited. I didn’t expect them to win today (how could I after going to a game earlier this season and watching them get crushed by Colorado 12 to nothing), but then as they seemed to be coming back you just get into it.

They could still come back in this best of 5 series. The upside is that Utley and Howard played so poorly that they could only be better in the rest of the series. The downside is Colorado beat them with their premier pitcher, Hamels, starting.

No one in Philly do anything stupid tonight.


Phillies

October 1, 2007

Philadelphia has reason to celebrate. The Phillies won the National League East title in the 6-1 victory over the Nationals this afternoon. This is the Phillies first trip to the postseason since 1993. As the division champion, Philadelphia awaits the winner of Monday’s one-game playoff between San Diego and Colorado, with the winner earning the NL Wild Card. Cole Hamels will be ready for Game 1 of the NL Division Series.

I think this is just the right thing for Philadelphia right now. There is such a positive focus on the winning streak and now the postseason match ups. The news just keeps showing the game highlights and making predictions. Every broadcast includes happy go lucky shots of the fans waving their rally towels or cheering fans with cute children celebrating. The news is lacking its usual rape suspect’s mug shots, today’s accidental shootings, and missing children photos. I think if you tell a city it is awful too many times, it starts to think of itself that way and then things will never change.

Way to go Phillies, I will have to remember to wear a Phillies shirt tomorrow.


Gay Cop sues

September 29, 2007

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Another story of discrimination in the news. When will cities learn that comprehensive sensitivity training and severe punishments will be the only way to stop the sexism, racism and homophobia in many public jobs. The cities lose so much money in lawsuits.

Gay Cop Sues NYPD For Harassment
by The Associated Press

(New York City) A gay police officer has filed a discrimination suit against the city and the New York Police Department, saying he was threatened with violence, called vulgar names and treated unfairly by supervisors because of his sexuality.

Harrington says in court papers that his trouble with co-workers started in February 2003, when he told another officer at the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn that he was gay.

Harrington, of Brooklyn, said in the suit that within months he overheard an officer in the men’s room referring to him as a “faggot.” Harrington spoke to the officer who said he would hurt Harrington if he confronted the officer again.

Court papers say Harrington also repeatedly sought a transfer from the 75th Precinct but his written applications “kept getting lost.” He was told that after he finally transferred, that someone posted obscene drawings of him in a sex act, the lawsuit alleges.

While working at the 79th Precinct in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Harrington brought his domestic partner to the station house Christmas party. Upon introducing his partner, another officer spit out his drink and began laughing.

Harrington says he complained to a supervisor about being mistreated and the supervisor said he was going to transfer him to the Sixth Precinct in Greenwich Village “so plaintiff could be with his people,” the suit said.

At the Sixth Precinct, court papers say, a co-worker told Harrington in December 2006 that “all faggots should be shot.”

According to the suit, the stress, harassment and a hostile work environment caused Harrington to develop stomach cramps and nausea.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday at a state court in Manhattan, asked for unspecified money damages.


More hot and nasty gay videos

September 28, 2007

Apparently you all like some good ole gay videos. After the popularity of my last video post (i can see the hits, so i know your there even if you don’t comment) I’ve decided to post a few more favorites. and if anyone has some suggestions. I placed in parthesis any necessary warnings.

I love Charles Firth:

Be Gay (bad language):

Cute:

Old School:

Harry Potter:

If Larry Craig was gay (cheesy singing):

Oh Lesbians:


Jena 6

September 21, 2007

So as I am sure most of you have read about, the Jena 6 in Louisiana was the topic of the day. Although the events involved happened last year, the news has been picking up the story and more people are starting to hear about. It is an unfortunate event, actually more like a series of events. To familiarize yourself with the story, the most non-biased and straightforward article I have found is the NY Times article. People protested all across the country this week, and today many people wore black in solidarity. I go to school in North Philly and saw at least 15 people with “free the Jena 6” shirts on just on my lunch break.

Not knowing all the details I cannot formulate an exact opinion. But from what I have gathered so far, I agree it is a heinous example of racial discrimination. The initial tree incident should have been dealt with swiftly and severely and there should have been early attempts at relieving racial tension in Jena. Violence perpetuated by white students on black students should have been punished severely within the school and additional legal options made available for any victims. But that in no way excuses the attackers or implies that the people involved should be set free. Now if those people are cleared of wrongdoings or found not guilty then they should go completely free. But in reality, no one is denying that six people attacked one person. As such, those six people need to be punished. Violence, except in self defense, is never permissible. So because the system has been unfair to you in the past does not mean that system does not apply to you. What I find disturbing and to be racially discriminatory is the charges filled. A fight, even a brutal out numbered one, is a fight. An assault is not an attempted murder. There is no indication their intention was murder, and with six people if the intention was murder, the victim would be dead. The charges are clearly blown out of proportion, but I think the prosecutors are to blame and will over the course of time, reduce all charges (if not just drop most completely) and there may be resignations/firings coming down the pike at both the school and the DA.

What this incident really should serve as is a conversation piece. People need to start talking about racism and discrimination in our society and ways to prevent and deal with it. Racism is clearly still alive, but we need to focus on the modern reincarnations. Knowing about Martin Luther King Junior or sit ins or marches is not relevant to solving today’s problems. Modern racism is more subtle, more gray. We don’t live in a black and white world, of racists and non-racists. I think our societies racial problems stem from a lack of knowledge more so than an intrinsic feeling of superiority. I think really understanding the significance of socioeconomic factors, historical circumstances, and legal inequalities (for example the war on drugs, and 3 strikes laws) would help rid America of much of the racial tensions. I know it is sometimes hard for people to see how African Americans can still be so far behind in terms of monetary, political, and social equality when many immigrant populations have come to America and succeeded in far less time. But a strong education (in early childhood and continuing through life) about the cyclical nature of poverty, discrimination, and crime might change things. I don’t know, maybe I am just an optimist, but I see the majority of racial discrimination as a solvable problem. I think education is the only tool available to level the field. If quality education could be provided at all levels in all areas regardless of economics, then more of the underserved populations (which consist heavily of minorities) would get out of that life and go on to success. As more succeed, there are more examples, more hope, and more possibilities opened for other underserved people. It wouldn’t be overnight, but slowly things would begin to even out. The wealth, the knowledge, and the privileges of American life would be spread more evenly among the races, largely cutting racial tension and resentment.

But before anyone jumps down my throat for being a pansy liberal and allowing society to take the fall for individual’s choices, let me say I feel everyone is accountable for their own actions and their life’s outcome. I believe if someone works hard, gets an education, and always strives for what they want, they can get ahead in life. Letting race, or for that matter anything, hold you back or using it as an explanation for failure is copping out. I think the first step towards full equality is for the discriminated population to stop viewing themselves that way and to stop wallowing in real or perceived discrimination.

As my man, Bill Clinton said:

“I believe in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I believe in religious liberty, I believe in freedom of speech, and I believe in working hard and playing by the rules.”