Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vigil for No on 8

From The Advocate, Oct 30 2008

In San Diego, Meaghan Yaple and the group 607 Productions are organizing a candlelight vigil in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood this Saturday to counter the nearby mass pray-in. San Diego’s Republican mayor, Jerry Sanders, who came out in support of same-sex marriage last year, will be handing our candles with his gay daughter at the city’s Gay and Lesbian Center beginning at 8 p.m.

Several nondenominational and progressive churches throughout the state have expressed their support for defeating the ballot measure, sending the general message that despite how people may feel about marriage, the proposition condones discrimination.

Currently, the two sides are neck and neck in the polls, with No on 8 funding pulling ahead of the opposition for the first time in weeks. No on 8 has recently recruited the cast of Ugly Betty and other entertainers, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, for a series of spots in support of marriage equality. (The Advocate)

Tom Ford directing

What do we think about Tom Ford directing a film? Warhol would be delighted by the idea of a fashion-designer becoming a film director. His project, Single Man, has snagged (for now) Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.

Speaking of Julian Moore, go see Blindness. It's not just another disaster film. It was actually shot on location in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the adapted book was written by a Nobel-prize winning author. It's a really lovely film, difficult at points, but ultimately sharp and powerful.


Trailer for Joss Whedon's new show, Dollhouse. Not sure why he's gone with Fox again, since they effed him over so thoroughly with Firefly. But cross your fingers everyone. My friend Matt and I were possibly the lone fans of Tru Calling with Eliza Dushku, and I think that with proper writing and directing, she can really do good stuff.

Prop 2 in Florida

(from Planetout)

While all California eyes are on Proposition 8, a proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution threatens to do even more far-reaching results. Amendment 2 on the Florida ballot states:

“In as much as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Although poised as an “anti-gay” initiative, this amendment possesses a vagueness critics fear will allow it to be extended to eliminate domestic partner benefits and even effect opposite-sex couples. In fact same-sex marriage is already illegal in Florida thanks to not one, not two, not three but four statutes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ugly Betty: No on Prop 8

The cast of Ugly Betty votes no on Prop 8. Interestingly, this comes directly on the heels of a Yes on Prop 8 PSA from José Eduardo Verástegui. Both are targeting Latino audiences.

New Bruce La Bruce

“The Toronto sensibility,” he says, “is this conventional heterosexual bourgeois life; under that there are a lot of extreme perversions going on.”

It’s the perversions that LaBruce thrives on. His first feature-length movie, 1991’s No Skin Off My Ass, a black-and-white, overdubbed Warholian effort, featured a beautiful skinhead, an early ironic appreciation of the Carpenters, a punk cover of Olivia Newton-John’s “Have You Never Been Mellow,” an on-screen DIY nipple piercing, and full-frontal nudity. It’s easy to see why the film stood out like a quasar in a pop-cultural era in which nothing about being gay was funny, explicit, or tender. (This was not long after a 1989 episode of thirtysomething reportedly lost the ABC network more than $1 million in advertising revenue for daring to show two shirtless men in bed together.)

Click to read full article on

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Levithan on Obama

A great post from David Levithan on YA For Obama:

Because I Am, Among Other Things, Sick and Tired of Being Tolerated

I am sick and tired of being tolerated. It’s not that I want to be intolerated -- I am still very much against intolerance. But I don’t understand how “tolerance” became the benchmark for acceptance of (and respect for) basic human rights. “Tolerate” is something you should do to a drunk relative who is talking your ear off, or a harried waitress who in her distraction can’t get your order right the first time. It is not something to do to a group of human beings. “Tolerate” is, at best, a thin veneer of polite resolve that barely masks the hostility underneath. “Tolerate” means “I am better and more deserving than you, but I will let you co-exist with me until you push it too far.

Click to read in full

Monday, October 27, 2008

Santa Barbara

Does anyone remember the opening to Santa Barbara? I used to watch this soap with my mom all the time.

Pauley on Prop 8

Pauley Perrette, from NCIS, protests Prop 8. The actress admits to being "practically raised by drag queens." Pretty cool!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prop 8--A Battle Fought Online?

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, on Prop 8

Jessica Hoffman

A great article from by Jessica Hoffman:


"There is no role for the white liberal [in social change]; he is our affliction". -James Baldwin, 1963.

In 1983, when I was in kindergarten, white (Jewish) lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich implored a white-led feminist movement: "Without addressing the whiteness of white feminism, our movement will turn in on itself and collapse." Twenty-five years later, I'm dubious about a movement -- "ours" or otherwise -- that has not only failed to honestly and consistently address its whiteness but has also, in so doing, become something far less than a movement for social change....

Click to read in full

From PlanetOut

Oct 23, 2008 3:10:00 PM

A 65-year-old civic leader outs himself to fight Prop. 8

Glennfait(University of the Pacific) For 60 years, Glenn Fait kept his sexual orientation a secret. He became a law school dean and the mayor of his hometown, Folsom, Calif. It all changed last week, when he realized "I can do this . . . My civil rights are at stake."

The ad Fait took out in his hometown paper begins: "As a gay man, I have a personal interest in Proposition 8. . . "

Folsom is a historic mining town; its roots run generations deep. Fait came out to his relatives five years ago, he told the Sacramento Bee, and ruffled the family feathers only when he mentioned in the ad that his aunt, the late Eleanor Fait, a well-known community activist, spent 50 years of her life with her partner.

"People often have stereotypes of gay people," Fait told the Bee. "It helps sometimes when they realize that someone they have a business or community relationship with is gay."

Fait, a Republican, says he has no plans to get married, but doesn't want government saying he can't. He said Wednesday he'd gotten no fallout either way from his coming-out statement.

Friday, October 24, 2008

LDS and Prop 8

From The Atlantic

23 Oct 2008 03:39 pm

Mormons vs Civil Rights

People may be unaware that the top leadership of the LDS church has made banning gay couples from having any legal rights in California a supreme issue, part of a determined political campaign of unprecedented ferocity and organization. In California, this letter was sent to every congregation in California with direct instructions that it be read last June. Money quote:

The Church’s teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan for His children... Local Church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause. We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman.

Mormon church leaders put out a broadcast across the country earlier this month insisting that Mormons contribute to and support Proposition 8. The broadcast featured two Elders from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

BYU students from California listened in Provo stake centers on Wednesday, as LDS Church leaders led a broadcast regarding the church's support of Proposition 8... "You don't expect the church to get behind things like this," said Chelsea Martinez, 20, a statistics major from Gonzales, Calif., who viewed the broadcast at a local stake center.

Similar to other students attending the broadcast, Martinez's parents have participated in the church's effort by going door-to-door to identify voter preferences and are working to persuade undecided voters to help pass Proposition 8.

The LDS Church, from its very top, is waging war on the civil rights of gay Americans and gay Californians. If you want to do something to resist the organization behind 77 percent of the funding of this Proposition, you can donate to the fight for civil equality here. I might add that if gay Californians actually cared about this as much as straight Mormons appear to, the race would not be close.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the ONE Archives in L.A.

ONE, a pioneering gay mag, was asking the question back in 1953.

Anti-gay violence in Washington state

October 24, 2008, from The Advocate

Rash of LGBT Assaults Hits Washington Campus

Police at Washington State University are investigating three recent attacks against LGBT students on or close to campus, reports KXLY.

The first assault happened October 16 outside a residence hall and involved openly gay student Kristopher Shultz. "I heard someone shouting at me from behind," Shultz told the local news affiliate. "I turned around and got hit in the face and I don't remember anything after that."

Two days later another student was attacked by a group of three people a block from campus. The most recent attack against transgender student Jackson Hogan happened in a campus parking garage. Hogan was walking to an elevator, when he heard a man yell a transgender slur before grabbing him from behind.

"I hit the floor and he kicked me repeatedly," Hogan told KXLY.

WSU administrators send an e-mail to students and faculty yesterday, recognizing that the attackers may be targeting LGBT students and offering escorts for anyone uncomfortable walking alone across campus.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community also convened last night to discuss how to keep each other safe. It's a task that LGBT students at this Pullman, Wash., school have become used to.

"It's a constant environment of being afraid," Shultz said. "It's just come to the surface now." (The Advocate)

A Flash of Hex

The latest cover with text.

Undecided Voters

“I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention? To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it? To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."

- Author David Sedaris, on undecided voters

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Got Hope?

Click here for a message from Harvey Milk.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Click here to read a cool article, at, on the new film adaptation of David Levithan's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I would call this film quietly revolutionary. Michael Cera plays the only straight boy in a Queercore band.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Check out the radical life and work of gendernaut Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

Another World

Pick up the new Antony and the Johnsons album, Another World.

Ellen talks to Joe Biden

Joe Biden on Califoria's Prop 8 (I know, two days late posting this, but I couldn't find the embedded video link until now.) On the plus side, I just finished a bang-up French lesson on CD. If you're trying to learn intermediate French, I highly recommend the Berlitz CDs. Or you could just sweet-talk a Québécois friend and force them to teach you for free. I'm lucky enough to know a dude from Uruguay who speaks French, Italian, Spanish, and English. Sometimes life can truly rock.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

To Sarah Palin

A sobering message to VP nominee Sarah Palin from young women in America:

That's so me

Both Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes are involved in a PSA campaign to stamp out the phrase "That's so gay." You know, when I was a teenager, the other kids didn't say "that's so gay." They just said, "you'd better run, faggot." So maybe we've just gotten more passive-aggressive. Either way, most queer, trans, and two-spirit youth experience some form of verbal of physical harassment in school. Some, like Lawrence King, don't survive to see High School. Let's make sure that queer kids make it to college, so they can become radical intellectuals, writers, and artists who try to change the world for the better.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We don't need no steenking tenure

Looking for tenure-track jobs in the humanities this year?  These are the best databases:

ADE (Associated Depts of English; Film Studies; Cultural Studies).

Don't be a Scrooge.  Share the jobs you find with your colleagues.  Help your friends find jobs.  The only way to change the system of academia from within is to put good people with good politics in good jobs, so they can spread the word to others.  Don't just apply for the safe jobs.  Go for the positions that you're a little scared of, a little intimidated by.  And don't ignore the small colleges and liberal arts schools and state schools.  Some of the best research and teaching is being done at schools you've never even heard of.  Try to think of what academic community you'd like to join, not simply what tenure-track salary you're hoping for (and trust me, after grad studies, even a $36,000/year TT job is LOADS of money.)

Good luck friends!  Happy Hunting!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tru Loved

The trailer for Tru Loved, a cool new queer teen film with a ridiculously talented cast.  Nichelle Nichols as a sassy, queer-positive grandma?  Count me in.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pre-Order My Pretty

A Flash of Hex, Book 2 in my OSI Series with Ace, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.  Contact your local indie bookstores and ask them to order a copy.  

Support independent booksellers and specialty bookshops.  

Ordering details below....

If you live in Vancouver, you can order a copy from Little Sister's, White Dwarf, or Brown's.

In Toronto, try Glad Day or Women's Bookstore.

Fun Covers

Redressed classic covers from Book Ninja

I Heart Vulcans

Zachary Quinto brings the hotness as Spock in the upcoming JJ Abrams Trek adaptation.  I want pon'far with Zachary Quinto as Spock.  Or Sylar from Heroes.  Even a combination thereof would work just fine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No on Prop 8

Ellen's PSA for voting no on prop 8 in California (prop 8, if passed, would overturn legal same-sex marriages).

Zak and Miri

Watch the trailer for the new Smith/Rogen film, Zak and Miri Make a Porno.  Warning:  the trailer has some objectionable (i.e., cool) language and content.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Too Sexy

Here's the cover art for OSI Book 2, "A Flash of Hex," courtesy of resident genius Timothy Lantz.  Click on the image for a larger version.  I love how Tess is rocking the Athame.  Plus, it's obvious that Tim actually read the manuscript, which says a lot about what a great artist he is.  I'm so lucky!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Props to CT

Gay marriage legalized in Connecticut!  Now you can head to an Ivy League school, get a liberal arts degree, and marry your Drama Studies major sweetheart.  And write lots of radical papers together and have cool emo kids named Topher and Izzy.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Milk Man

James Franco's interview with Out magazine, discussing his role in Gus Van Sant's Milk (his homage to Harvey Milk, the San Francisco politician who was assassinated in 1977).  Franco has really grown on me.  It's sort of impossible not to love the guy.  I'm just annoyed to realize that, if I'd stayed one more year in New York, I could have potentially run into him at NYU or Brooklyn College.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jordan Smith story

The Chilliwack Times was kind enough to publish my response to a recent letter about the assault on Jordan Smith in Vancouver's West End.  Click here to read the response, or read it excerpted below:

Here's the reason why

The Times

Published: Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Response to Sylvia Commeford's letter, "why report that Jordan was gay?" Times, Oct. 3.

Just wanted to respond to Commeford's question: "Why report that Jordan Smith was gay?"

The stretch of Davie Street from approximately Burrard to Broughton represents a uniquely queer-positive neighborhood within Vancouver, but, despite Vancouver's reputation for being a queer-friendly and "laid-back liberal" city, Davie Street is often the site of homophobic violence. Let's not forget about Aaron Webster, who was swarmed and killed in Stanley Park in 2001, and whose attackers (minors) received barely six years between them as a sentence. Although queer folks have attempted to carve out safe spaces throughout Vancouver, including Davie, the park, and Commercial Drive, we are still frequently targeted for holding hands, kissing, or showing the barest signs of affection. I know plenty of straight but queer-friendly guys who have been attacked, both verbally and physically, while walking down Davie Street with gay friends (or alone), simply because they "looked gay."

The point is that Smith was targeted because he "looked gay." I'm relieved that he's recovering, and I'm happy that the attack wasn't worse. But unless we concentrate more on funding anti-homophobic programs and organizations, such as the LGBT Centre (on Davie and Bute), as well as queer-friendly shelters and organizations in the DTES, it's impossible to launch any media campaigns against queer violence in the city. Why did the reporter "out" Jordan Smith as gay? Because that's why he was targeted, and Smith wanted everyone to know. Hate crimes are defined under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and include crimes against LGBT folks. Discrimination and violence against people in Canada due to perceived sexual orientation is illegal.

Let's not argue over semantics, and just protect people.

Dr. Jes Battis,
Postdoctoral Research Fellow,
City University of New York
© Chilliwack Times 2008

Love Lockdown

What's going on with Kanye's new video?  Critical race studies?  Or creepy tribal fetishization?  I wish Fanon was still around to offer commentary.

Click here to watch (sorry, Perez's weirdly fascist video player doesn't allow embedded content)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

To Sarah

I dedicate this fierce Michael W Smith tribute video to Sarah Palin.  Especially the kittens at the 2:21 mark.  Sarah, this ballad goes out to you and every "six-pack Joe American."  Enjoy.