Not the state, but the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia! It’s today, May 17! It’s celebrated worldwide, and this year the day is marked with a Great Global Kiss-In. Chances are there’s an event you can attend nearby – Towleroad has conveniently put together a list for you of where that’s happening.
+ San Francisco — Monday, May 17, Kiss-in & Solidarity Speak Out, Harvey Milk Plaza, Market and Castro Streets, 5:00 PM
+ St. Louis — Sunday, May 16, Great Global Kiss-in, Citygarden, Corner of 8th and Market, 3-4 pm.
+ Portland, Oregon — Monday, May 17, Great Global Kiss-in, Pioneer Square, 701 southwest 6th Ave, 2-3 pm.
+ Chicago — Sunday, May 16, Great Global Kiss-in, The Bean, Millenium Park, 3-4 pm.
+ Austin, Texas — Sunday, May 16, City Hall Plaza, 3-4pm
+ New York City — Sunday, May 16, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, 1:30 – 2pm
+ New York City — Monday, May 17, Times Square, at the base of the red TKTS staircase, 6-7pm.
+ Birmingham, Alabama : contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if you don’t live in one of these cities, you can still participate! At the IDAHO website they say that you can “record a video of you with your partner and/or friends featuring friendly kisses in a creative way. Put these videos on Youtube or other video shareware and share them with email@example.com or go directly to our special site www.gays.com/idaho . French speakers can also go to our partner YAgg.com ’s website to upload their video and watch kiss-in events videos for inspiration!”
Get going! Make moves! As Pam’s House Blend says:
“Affection between same-sex couples or gender non-conforming couples is not out of the ordinary and shouldn’t be something that leads to violence or hate. We shouldn’t be afraid to hold hands, kiss our partners or spouses, or be like any other couple when it comes to being affectionate and showing our love and commitment. The old meme of “I don’t care what they do as long as they don’t shove it down my throat” is a false double standard from those uncomfortable with LGBT people that needs to be challenged. Showing love and affection is natural and should be treated as such- whether between opposite-sex couples or same-sex ones.”
HARVEY MILK DAY:
Harvey Milk Day is coming up on May 22nd, and there are protests organized all around the country in the week leading up to it as well as on the day itself. Jillian Weiss at the Bilerico Project tells you about them, and urges you to think about getting involved. (@thebilericoproject)
On Saturday, about 20 people gathered with rainbow flags on a side street of Minsk for a gay pride march, and the Belarus police promptly broke up the group, tore away their flags, and arrested the marchers. The protest was the first of its kind in Belarus, and the participants, some of whom had traveled from Russia for the event, were in defiance of an official ban. “The police reaction was completely disproportionate to the threat which they thought the protesters posed,” Russian activist Nikolai Alekseev told Reuters. “There were 20 people there, behaving peacefully, there were no scuffles and there was no basis for such a rough operation by the authorities.” You can view video of the police response at Joe my God. (@joemygod) (@swissinfo)
Jane Lynch has also spoken out against Ramin Setoodeh’s homophobic Newsweek article, and applauded Kristen Chenoweth’s response. And since the Lynch can do no wrong, this conversation is basically over. “The thing is, actors are actors: You can’t play gay anymore than you can play somebody who’s Catholic… I do think what Kristin and Ryan did was so important, and I’m glad that they said it. It doesn’t mean, ‘Off with [Setoodeh’s] head.’ But I’m very glad, and I thought it was very heroic what the two of them did.” (@theadvocate)
Whereas American Eagle used to have a “personal appearance” policy that required employees to wear gender-specific clothing, they are now allowing employees to wear whatever they like and also giving them trainings on trans issues. (@feministing)
Slate has some speculation on the nomination questionnaire that Elena Kagan will be asked to fill out. Read it and lol. “Please list any moving anecdotes from your life that would play well on national television. Include lessons learned.” (@slate)
…the White House reiterated last week that questions about sexual orientation “have no place” in judging a nominee (but her gender most certainly does). Quite how you defend this argument—from a president whose own criterion for nominees is a real experience of how law can affect ordinary people—is beyond me. It is also beyond most ordinary people out there.
In which a NYT op-ed columnist insightfully brings together the two most talked-about gay stories in the news, Rekers and Kagan: “Thanks to Rekers’s clownish public exposure, we now know that his professional judgments are windows into his cracked psyche, not gay people’s… But the rear-guard remnants of the Rekers crowd are not going down without a fight, and their focus on Elena Kagan has been most revealing… By late last week, double-entendre wisecracks about Kagan’s softball prowess were all the rage on Fox News and MSNBC. These dying gasps of our culture wars, like Rekers’s farcical pratfall, might be funnier if millions of gay Americans and their families were not still denied their full civil rights. “ (@nyt)