Sometimes Y

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King & Spalding controversy shows danger of basing our movement on marketing

Once upon a time, it was hard to get companies to support LGBT organizations. They worried they would lose their non-gay customers if they were open about wanting gay ones.

So we got smart: We showed how much discretionary income same-gender couples without kids had. Never mind that it was less than opposite-gender couple without kids, it was still a good argument.

Not only did it give the marketing teams cover, it had the added benefit of being true: We were a valuable target market. “The color of diversity,” we would say, “is green.”

As some of the big companies came out as supporters, their employees came out as LGBT. Then their friends and family members started coming out as LGBT-supportive. Visibility was shifting every landscape. Next thing you know, 20 years later, we not only have friends in high places, we have our own people there —running companies, winning election to Congress and hosting major TV news shows.

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Don’t fear progress in HIV prevention

The paid advertisement in this issue of GA Voice correctly reminds us that “there is no magic pill” to prevent HIV infection. Unfortunately, the ad is part of a campaign to convince the FDA not to review, and Gilead Sciences not to submit, data to support approval of Truvada for HIV prevention. (Truvada is now available by prescription to treat HIV.)

It is based on fear and speculation at a time when we need reason and research to guide us through scientific and policy issues raised by this new HIV prevention tool.

In spite of 30 years of fighting HIV, there will be an estimated 2.7 million new HIV infections globally in 2011, with 56,000 of these in the US, a number that has remained stable across a decade. Gay and bisexual men, especially men of color, will bear a disproportionate burden of these infections, as will women of color.

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Guest Editorial: Threats can and do lead to violence

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in Tuscon and continues her recovery

Only someone who’s never had to fight for their civil rights could wonder if there’s a connection between words and deeds.

As I watched the news of the violent attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), I was shocked. Not only at the horrific events, but at the commentators who questioned whether, as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, “toxic rhetoric can lead unstable people to believe [violence] is an acceptable response.”

Ask the kid who looks a little different than his peers, and he’ll tell you how it works: first the jokes, then the taunting and then the physical bullying. “Boys will be boys” he’s told, as those who should be paying attention dismiss the ramp-up to violence.

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Hurting Mom (or) My First Gay Christmas

There is so much distance in my mother’s eyes that I fear she may never come close to me again. Circling her stare are wrinkles of pain, betrayal even, and in her hand she holds the watch.

It was December of my senior year of high school, and things had calmed down considerably after my having burst forth from the closet that Fall, wearing go-go boots to school dances and openly flaunting my twenty-something boyfriend. But these were all healthy choices, I told myself.

If there was nothing wrong with being gay, then there should be nothing defiant about letting my family know about it. And my friends. And my teachers. And people at church. Never mind that we lived in Bossier City, Louisiana. Or that it was 1977.

But there was something about that look in my mother’s eyes, in that moment. It took all my arrogance to protect myself from it, to seek refuge from the shocked stare, the battle in her face between heartbreak and fury. She was squeezing tightly to the silver watchband, and her hand shook imperceptibly.

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Guest Column: Voting on Nov. 2 is right for Ga.

I’m a Progressive Democrat and I am voting on Nov. 2 because it is the right thing to do for Georgia. Nearly every seat in the state is up for vote and every person elected to office will take part in making tough decisions on very critical issues, with severely decreased resources. There is a lot at stake for Georgia and this election will set the course for at least the next 10 years.

Speaking of 10 years, remember completing the 2010 census? Well, as a result of the Census, Georgia, along with the rest of the United States, will now undergo redistricting just in time for the 2012 elections. In a nutshell, over the next two years the map of the state will be redrawn as it relates to legislative districts. As a result, the person who now represents you may not represent you any longer and therefore, the politics of your districts may also change.

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Why I voted for Monds, and why you should, too

It’s hardly a secret that I have liberal tendencies. That’s why I was so disappointed when I went to my local polling place to vote in the midterm elections this week.

The phrase “lesser of two evils” comes up a lot during elections, especially local and state-level elections here in Georgia.

I’m tired of choosing between bad and worse.

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Gay community must re-energize fight against HIV

On Sept. 27, we commemorated the third annual National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity not only to reflect on the impact HIV has had on gay and bisexual men in the United States, but also an opportunity to act.

President Obama recently released a National HIV/AIDS Strategy that prioritizes the needs of gay and bisexual men as a group that continues to be hard-hit by the disease, and the message is clear — we must re-energize the fight.

Although it has been nearly 30 years since the first reported cases of HIV among gay and bisexual men, HIV remains a crisis that is far from over in this community.

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Community Brunch is important to Pride

I’m not missing a minute of this, it’s the revolution. That’s what Sylvia Rivera said of the Stonewall Riots. And she was right. Not just about the beginning of the revolution but about a lot of things.

We commonly credit the Stonewall Riots with being the tipping point for the modern gay rights and Pride movements. And it was. But what we don’t commonly acknowledge is that the demography of the rioters is not the demography of the contemporary leadership of the movement.