Straight dads with gay sons

Reprinted from Gay Star News:

Watch: Straight dads with gay sons read from book titled I Think I’m a Poof

This video will give you all the feels
Gay author Samuel Leighton-Dore.

Photo courtesy of Samuel Leighton-Dore

This video of straight Aussie dads reading from an adorable new book and talking about their gay sons will give you all the feels.

I Am a Poof is a new adult-children’s book and one dads in the video is the father of the author, Samuel Leighton-Dore.

‘One of the fathers is my own, and the others are those of friends,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘It was really touching to watch them all open up and discuss something so personal.’

In the video, Leighton-Dore’s father says of his son’s coming out: ‘It was so significant for him, but what’s remarkable is how insignificant an announcement it was for me.’

The book itself is a tongue-in-cheek story about a young boy coming out to his father and the unusually progressive advice his father gives in response.

‘Traditionally fairytales typecast heroes and villains, so I mindfully followed that more conventional structure; making the bullies our villains, and the young gay man our hero,’ the author said.

Leighton-Dore is a self-proclaimed ‘poof on mission’ but why did he use a word that many find offensive?

‘My choice of language wasn’t to provoke or polarize, but rather to deflate these everyday insults of their crushing power on children,’ he said.

The part-time relationship columnist said the book is a work of satire – but with a beating heart of its own. And a percentage of all profits will be donated to local LGBTI charities.

‘It’s so important that there are a range of characters and protagonists for young people to identify and relate to,’ he said.

‘Adults will take something from it, as will those approaching their teenage years. The main thing is to open up a positive dialogue.’

Watch the video below:

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/watch-straight-dads-gay-sons-read-book-titled-i-think-im-poof200215#sthash.CMZyiwI3.dpuf

This marine got a tattoo to pay tribute to his four gay moms

Reposted from Gay Star News:

This marine got a tattoo to pay tribute to his four gay moms

‘My childhood was awesome. My moms cared for me and did the best they could to bring me up normally despite not having a dad’

Photo via Imgur

Photo via Imgur.

A straight marine has paid tribute to his four gay mothers with a tattoo on his forearm.

The seaman based in Florida posted on Reddit, with a huge amount of people appreciating the twist on the classic ink.

Explaining his situation, he said his birth mom and her first wife divorced when he was around five years old.

His mother got married again, and so did her first wife, and all four women are still big maternal figures in his life.

‘My childhood was awesome. My moms cared for me and did the best they could to bring me up normally despite not having a dad,’ he said.

‘I was always protective of my mom, still am, and I’ll be damned if anyone insults my parents and I just sit by and let it happen.’

He continued: ‘My parents always made me feel like I was unique and stuck out no matter where I was. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t perfect. Just like anyone else I love my parents but there was an issue every now and again.

‘I’m grateful everyday for the awesome moms I have and couldn’t imagine it differently. Don’t be afraid to have kids just because you’re gay. Just be the best parent you can and don’t let your sexuality be the whole make up of who he is. You’re just a parent and they are your child.’

But what do his moms think of his tattoo?

‘My moms like it,’ he said, ‘But they are worried that it’s on my forearm.’

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/marine-got-tattoo-pay-tribute-his-four-gay-moms200215#sthash.kWI3R1XG.dpuf

WHAT’S SPARKED THE CORK LGBT ATTACKS?

Reprinted from The Out Most:

 

phone

WHAT’S SPARKED THE CORK LGBT ATTACKS?

WE CAN’T KNOW WHETHER THE ‘CATFISHING’ ATTACKS IN CORK ON LGBTS ARE CONNECTED TO THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY VOTE, SAYS ROB BUCHANAN.

 

LGBT people in Cork have been the victims of violent attacks by homophobes using gay dating websites and apps to lure them. It appears the criminals are ‘cat fishing’ LGBT people, using fake profiles on popular dating sites like Grindr and Tinder. Locals in Cork believe the attacks are being orchestrated by the same group in Cork, and if so their activities will probably be known on some level to their friends, girlfriends and families.

While the majority of the reports are still anecdotal, and the motivation of the perpetrators has yet to be established, one thing is for sure: greater caution needs to be exercised by users of dating apps, not only in the Cork area but across the board. The safety of locations for meeting should be considered, along the level of intoxication you are under, before venturing out in to the unknown.

The nature of the beast is that people will continue to use apps out of necessity, despite the associated risk. The odds of us gays finding a one-night stand, let alone a partner, amongst the general public are statistically lower, given our numbers. Many of us don’t live near gay bars or it’s less than easy for us to identify compatible partners at mainstream venues. Dating Apps are sometimes the only way that isolated or shy LGBT people can make any connection at all with members of their community, even if they would never dream of using the resource for sex or dating.

Those of us lucky enough to live in a city with any kind of gay nightlife might still not want to meet people on the scene, and might feel that by using an app they are able to better screen potential partners. However, hook-up sites and apps only provide an illusion of control. They can provide a false sense of security and familiarity, and people tend to shockingly over-share their personal information, not only in chats but in their profiles. The parameters of profile pics are often stretched by even the most honest of users, so it certainly doesn’t take much for an attacker to willfully mislead and waylay someone in order to get a meeting.

Speculation on Facebook is already rampant that these attacks may be in some way connected to the upcoming marriage equality vote. But until

more information is known, or victims come forward, we cannot be certain. I would ask Outmost readers in the Cork area to please keep their eyes open, watch their friend’s backs and report any suspicious activity to the local Gardaí.

Current vacancies within the Scottish Transgender Alliance and Equality Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are recruiting for staff and volunteers

The Equality Network is a leading Scottish lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights charity. We work to change the law, policy and society of Scotland to deliver full equality for all LGBTI people.

Scottish Transgender Alliance Policy Officer

Full time 35 hours per week, flexible hours
Salary: £23,697 (SJC point 27, AP4.1)
Fixed term post until 31st March 2016 (subject to finalisation of funding) (We also hope to continue the post after that, subject to funding)
Based in Edinburgh

We are looking to recruit a full-time Scottish Transgender Alliance Policy Officer to join our dedicated staff team, to support the development and delivery of the Scottish Transgender Alliance project to improve gender identity and gender reassignment equality, rights and inclusion in Scotland. This post will include developing policy and good practice guidance and informing, equipping and supporting transgender people, equality organisations, government policy makers and other employers and service providers to engage together.

Closing date for applications: 9.00am, Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Interviews will be on Tuesday 17th March 2015

We are an equality organisation. We welcome applications from all communities, and in particular from trans women, non-binary people and minority ethnic people, who are currently under-represented in our staff team. Disabled people who meet the essential requirements of the person specification will be guaranteed an interview.

Download the application pack for this vacancy from:
www.equality-network.org/vacancies or call 0131 467 6039 or email Lynne Davies,lynne@equality-network.org for an application pack or further information.

Equality Network Board members

We are seeking to recruit at least two new members to join our team of volunteer Board members, who oversee the work of our dedicated staff and volunteers, and develop our strategy and vision. We would like one of the new members to take on the role of Treasurer.

The Board meets seven times per year in Edinburgh, usually in the evening. Travel and all other expenses are paid to attend meetings from any part of Scotland.

We are an equality organisation and we very much welcome applications from all communities, and in particular from minority ethnic people, who are currently under-represented on our Board.

More details are available from www.equality-network.org/vacancies or by email from Lynne Davies lynne@equality-network.org or call Tim Hopkins, Director for an informal chat on 0131 467 6039.

Closing date for applications:  Monday 16th March 2015

Yours for equality,
Tim Hopkins
Director

Homophobic Attack in North Belfast

The surviving partner of a gay married couple has been targeted by a group of thugs.  This attack was not Paul Finlay-Dickson with his civil partner Maurice, who died of cancer last monthisolated, indeed it has been reported that the home of the couple was targetted more than 20 times.

In a statement made to the BBC News channel,  Supt Paula Hillman said police were aware of a number of reports made by a resident in north Belfast since August 2013.

“These reports vary in nature and investigations have been conducted and local neighbourhood police officers have been in contact with and continue to liaise with the victim,” she added.

“As with any incident reported the victim is updated and signposted to additional support services where applicable.”

In 2013, at the launch of Anti-Homophobia Week at the city hall, it was revealed that  anti-gay violence in Northern Ireland is massively underplayed, with eight out of 10 attacks not reported to the police, according to research.  A report by the Equality Commission revealed that nearly half of the gay community in the province (44%) are unaware that the law can protect them.

This current, homophobic attack highlights just how serious we must take these attacks, and why we ust report them to the authorities and also to our own LGBT monitoring groups who will support you and your family through the crisis.

This was a cowardly attack, on a vulnerable person who is grieving for his partner, the instigators of this homophobic crime must be brought to justice in the courts.

 

Further reading:

 

 

Book review: Only Heaven Knows by Alex Harding

reprinted from Gay Star Spring 1991.

Our resident dramturge (I think that’s the word) rather looked down his nose at this wee book.  I quite liked it.  The musical is set mostly in Sydney 1944, the early summer.  It is a sentinmental story of young (gay) love and of experience, in the form of a couple of middle-aged sissies.  That is about all there is to the whole thing – bot on the stage the whole thing has life and energy.

I’d recommend it to any group of gay people who might be thinking of putting on a show celebrating our lives – if you think this is a broad hint you might just be right

1990 Old Nick production of Alex Harding’s Musical “Only Heaven Know’s”

 

Book Review: Foreign Parts by Ivor C Treby

Reprinted from Gay Star Spring 1991. Reviewer Sean McGouran

Ivor C. is very clever writer, in fact he sometimes verges on the clever-clever – which may be one of the reasons why I have always like his stuff.  If you’re a smart Alec you may as well be Smart Alecky with style.

This wee book is in three parts (not unlike Caesar’s Gaul) the middle section is Foreign Parts, the poems being often quasi-experimental.  Lisboa for example, being written over two pages to give an impression of the great earthquake which ruined Lisbon of the classical era.

On the train to Leipzig, written when East Germany (the Deomcratic Republic) still existed, is written in very good standard verse; it scans and it rhymes.  This section involveds visits to other parts of the erstwhile Soviet boc, including Romania, but Treby does not fall into the trap of jibing at “the sytem”.  I was very struck by An Embalmed Revolutionary, about George Dimitrov, who defied the Nazi in their own People’s Courts:

 

“When young

and full of fire

did he expect this state,

the marble tomb, and all his trips

re,pved?”

 

Lost bright waters is about travelling to and through Australia and New Zealand.  The poems are a sort of crescendo and diminuendo up to and away from transmitted in the blood,  at least that’s how it appears to one reader.

Mr. ICT has a certain amount of Carollian fun at the expense of the kakapo, the ground parrot in lost bright waters.  In fact there is a Carrollian air about ICT’ use of language – it is precise but off-centre, not deliberately eccentric but the product of a way of looking at the world which is inborn.

 

Book Review – John by Ron Schreiber

Originally published in Gay Star in Spring 1991,

This book consists of what read like a series of entries into a journal or diary.  They do not rhyme and the rhythm is that of everyday, if not banal speech, cut up and set down on paper like traditional verse.

It isn’t verse and it isn’t poetry.  It does not have the vigour, the precision or the power of poetry.  It only springs into life when Schreiber turns for the situation of his lover John McDonald, to describe animals.  This is very striking in midsummer’s day, 1986 and in canaries, which ends in a tension-relieving joke.  There is also in protocols (4-16-86) an image of “hope”.

 

“…wriggling

“it’s wormy body into a

kind of life”

 

Although Ron Schreiber discusses katharsis (his spelling) the terror and pity of the drama of life and death, he does not achieve it here.  the book as a whole achieves a sort of power – the simple exposition of someone dying with dignity could nto help but be moving, but the railing against McDonald’s family rather mars this dignity and power.  this is not to say that they do not deserve the criticism, they seem to be standard=issue fundamentalists who took their son away to “save” him from Ron Schreiber – and the Devil.

What Mr. Schreiber seems to me to have written, possibly inadvertently, is the synopsis for a television mini-series.  Spread over three nights and with realistic dialogue, this story could do a great deal of good, in the world, especially now that it has been purged from the system of Ron Schreiber and John McDonald’s other friends and companions

 

Book Review: Stealing Time

Originally published in Gay Star Spring 1991. Review written by RB

The blurb on the back says: “A lesbian feminist novel that brings today’s vicious politics to their illogical conclusion while offering a rascally hope for the future.”

The novel is set in the future where hard cash has been abolished and legal transactions are done via direct transfers between computerised bank accounts  Controlling which organisations get these accounts is one way the establishment suppresses subversive activity.  Also, each citizen has a Social Credit status which affects what kind of privileges, such as the quality of education or health care, they can get from the state.

As a dig at the New Right the novel does not really work.  The New Right is certainly not in my experience interested in class and social status.  Rather it is more interested in material things such as hard cash.  A free market in health care and education it may well be capable of providing an ideological justification for.  It would shun any kind of system based on an abstract concept of Social Credit.

As a story it is not exactly gripping.  The highest level of suspense for me was whether Alison, the adolescent computer hacker, was going to have grommets put into her ear by the end of the story.  Physical action peaked when the police were around though I found the police scenes in Tom Sharpe’s Wilt more exciting.

If you are going to have computer hacking or some other technical pursuit as a fore-ground activity in a novel it needs to be convincing and in this book it sadly is not.  Computers are not as easy to hack through down telephone lines as she implies – a lot more can be done to protect against unauthorised access than just having static passwords.  For example, a protection system where the central computer had to telephone the user’s terminal back would have flummoxed our heroines as the authorities would known exactly which telephone numbers had been used for accessing their computer.

The book does not make lesbian squats sound very attractive.  Too much tension.  Marlene, Kerry and Ruth would probably have been much happier if they had beaten each other up occasionally

If you are looking for a book to inspire your children/sprogs/weens.  I would not recommend Stealing Time as the highest level of action is Bobbies raiding a squat and the technical detail is very thin.

Better, but not perhaps so ideologically sound from Onlywomen’s Press’ perspective, is Robert Heinleins’s Podkayne of Mars and Have Space Suit Will Travel.

 

 

Book Review: Serious Pleasure

This review was published Spring 1991 in Gay Star and was written by Stella Mahon

It a ‘serious pleasure‘ to find lesbian sex and sexuality celebrated by those to whom they belong.  But there are problems on several levels with this book.

The Sheba Collection are only too aware of some of these and assure us in their well-considered introduction, that they discussed them at great length.  For example, one of  the things they invite us to ponder is the thinness of the differential line ‘between erotica and pornography’.  How do we cope with the fact that there are some men ‘out there’ who will inevitably use the book as a  turn-on, written as the stories and poems often are, with frank and uncompromising abandon.  Sheba obviously feel that there is a further general – and important – debate, around lesbians taking ownership of how we are represented.  And I believe that they feel that they have taken a step within that debate, challenging us to rise towards finding ‘the fine balance between political correctness and personal experience’.

And there, of course lies another possible problem, colouring how individuals are likely to react to this volume.  It is, I would guess, improbable that every lesbian will identify with all the fantasies and romps through its pages.  It is also conceivable that there might be those who fail to identify with any of it and that not merely because personal experience precludes identification but also because personal politics, which, of necessity, have a collective focus and significance, will raise too many questions.

That larger debate aside, though never forgotten, there is one further problem to be addressed in reviewing the book: are the stories and poems a good read?  Disappointment will not be yours if all you want to do is absorb and react to many and varied visions of lesbian sex in full flow.  On that level, the stories are indeed a good read.  Some are headily passionate, others questing and sometimes finding.  Yet others are sheer fun, one, in particular Parting Gift by MIndy Meleyal with punchline which almost takes the breath away.

But is it wrong to want more than that level of expectation grants?  Does writing erotica have to mean, as it sometimes does here, that quality – of language, of story construction, of character creation – has to go by the board?  The essence of many of the stories is most definitely ‘grunt and thrust’, and that occasionally quite aggressively so.  (I am thinking on particular of the poem by Storme Webber, Like a Train).  There were occasions when I felt that what mattered was not the characters, but how quickly they could be got into bed or under the shower, so as not to lost space for exhaustively describing them at it.  As if the only vital thing is the fantasy.  Perhaps it is in erotica and I am looking at this book from a completely wrong premise.

But then, you see, not all of the book is like that.  Cherry Smith’s Crazy about Mary Kelly is a case in point.  Not that it is devoid of what I have called ‘grunt and thrust’.  But the presence of sexual desire and its fulfilment serves Cherry’s characters, helping to make them and their angers, fears and needs recognisable.  How they are together physically mirror their individual emotions and reactions to each other – and for a brief while we have the tensions of whether they will be able to grow past these to respond to each other as they need to  The story has a wholeness which some of the other lack.

And there are others which, while giving themselves over quite fully to fantasy, also carry something of universal about them.  In Ambivalance  by Tina Bays, we see before us something which most, if not all of us have expereinced – that electric insecurity of wanting and needing, which one is wary of voicing in case the other is not feeling the same way.

All in all, though I suppose I did feel rather overshelmed by the experience of reading this book.  I think I felt rather like the speaker in the last piece in the book – a poem of Cheryl Clarke (whose work as represented in Serious Pleasure is worth the folling up and I intend to).  I’m almost convinced that Sheba Collective, aware of the possibility of many shell-shocked readers, deliberately put this poem last, in a moment of wry humour, to slow things down, and bring other perspectives to bear.

Here it

is:

Sexual Preference by Cheryl Clarke

I’m a queer lesbian

Please don’t go down on me down yet

I do not prefer cunnilingus

(There’s room for me in the movement.)

Your tongue does not have to prove its prowness

there

to me

now

or

even on the first night

Your mouth all over my body

then there