Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Boston LGBT History Project Awards - OUTTAKE VOICES (blog)

The History Project is celebrating Boston & Massachusetts’ gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender history with a premier fundraising event presenting 2 awards to community members that make history every day on September 20th. This year the HistoryMaker Award is presented to Grace Sterling Stowell, longtime advocate & leader in the transgender community & the Executive Director of BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Gay & Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth). The Lavender Rhino Award is presented to Chris Mason, a nationally recognized leader & organizer on LGBT issues with a fierce passion for social justice. The ceremony will be followed by a reception featuring cocktails & hors d’oeuvres provided by The Paris Creperie at the Goethe Institute 170 Beacon Street, Boston, from 6P-9P. For more than 30 years Grace Sterling Stowell has been a source of light and inspiration not only for LGBT youth but for the entire LGBT community in New England & beyond. As well as being a long-time advocate & leader in the transgender community Grace is also a nationally known speaker, consultant & trainer on the needs & issues facing transgender youth & young adults. She has been a leading member of several local & national transgender education & advocacy organizations & currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC). Her steadfastness & selfless commitment are the hallmarks of a true HistoryMaker. Audio Interview w/ Grace on OUTTAKE VOICES™
Since 2009, the annual HistoryMaker Awards event honors 2 individual or organizations who have shown their commitment to celebrating, supporting & furthering the rich history of the greater Boston area’s LGBT community. See You There! :)
For Tix & Info: historyproject.org
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Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar suspended 3 games by team for anti-gay slur on ... - Fox News

Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended for three games Tuesday by the Blue Jays for wearing eye-black displaying an anti-gay slur written in Spanish during a game last weekend against Boston.

Escobar apologized to his team and "to all those who have been offended" for what he said was meant to be "just a joke."

"It was not something I intended to be offensive," he said through a translator. "It was not anything intended to be directed at anyone in particular."

Escobar said he wrote the message 10 minutes before Saturday's home game on his eye-black, a sticker players wear under their eyes to reduce sun glare. The 29-year-old Cuban said he frequently puts messages there â€" usually inspirational, manager John Farrell offered â€" and had never previously written that specific slur.

Escobar insisted the word is often used within teams and by Latinos and "I didn't see it as something bad at the time."

"For us, it doesn't have the significance to the way it's being interpreted now," he said. "It's a word without a meaning."

"I don't have anything against homosexuals," he said, adding he didn't mean for the term to be "misinterpreted" by the gay community.

The suspension â€" issued after input from Commissioner Bud Selig, the players' union and team management â€" was to have started Tuesday night. The game between Toronto and New York was rained out.

The penalty was announced in a 26-minute news conference at Yankee Stadium. Escobar wore a jacket and jeans and was joined by Farrell, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos, coach Luis Rivera and translator Robbie Guerra, a lawyer from the players' union.

Escobar's lost salary during the ban â€" about $82,000 â€" will be directed to two advocacy groups, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and You Can Play.

Escobar will also take part in an outreach initiative to promote tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation, and participate in a sensitivity training program.

Pictures posted online showed Escobar with the message written during the Red Sox-Blue Jays game. Farrell said Escobar's notes are often to the effect of "Let's go today." They draw so little attention that nobody caught the change.

"There was no reason to think it was something derogatory," Farrell said.

Farrell said the slur was written in small letters and "if someone had seen it, I would suspect someone would have said something."

Major League Baseball regulations prohibit derogatory words and symbols on uniforms. Writing something of that nature on eye-black would fall under that category, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

The NFL and college football have banned eye-black messages. The college ban came after stars including Tim Tebow, who wrote Bible verses, and Reggie Bush, who put his hometown area code, began to use the eye-black to send messages.

"Mr. Escobar has admitted that his actions were a mistake and I am hopeful he can use this unfortunate situation as an opportunity to educate himself and others that intolerance has no place in our game or society," Selig said in a statement.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick commended the decision.

"Today's actions show that MLB and the Toronto Blue Jays are committed to creating an environment that all fans and families can enjoy, not a place where discriminatory language and anti-gay attitudes are accepted," Graddick said in a statement.

Anthopoulos said he had spent most of the day with Escobar at the commissioner's office.

"I don't know there's a right way to deal with these things," he said. "You're not going to satisfy everyone."

In May 2011, MLB suspended Atlanta pitching coach Roger McDowell for two weeks without pay for inappropriate comments and gestures with anti-gay and sexual overtones he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco.

In April, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended for five games by his team because of comments that he loves Fidel Castro. Many Cuban-Americans were angered by the remarks.

On Tuesday, Guillen said he didn't think Escobar meant to be offensive.

"I think he just did it for fun. I know he didn't mean to hurt anybody's feelings. Nobody is that stupid," he said before the Marlins hosted Atlanta.

"In my house, we call (each other) that word every 20 seconds. I've got three kids," Guillen said. "For us, it's like 'What's up, bro? What's up, dude?' It's how you say it and to who you say it. But that's our country. We have to respect this country. Sometimes for us it's funny, for other people it's not."

Escobar was traded from Atlanta to Toronto in July 2010. He is hitting .251 this season with nine home runs and 49 RBIs.

Escobar's salary this year is $5 million. The Blue Jays have club options on him for 2014 and 2015.

After the news conference, Escobar walked back into the Toronto clubhouse and said little.

"You have to respect the way things work here," Blue Jays pitcher Carlos Villanueva said. "But sometimes it has to happen in the first-person point of view for us to change the way we view things.

"I know he's extremely embarrassed, we're extremely embarrassed for him, we know it's not an easy thing. I know he doesn't want to deal with it, but he has to. He has to step up, especially how things are nowadays. You just have to watch what you say, or what you express out there."

___

AP Sports Writer Steven Wine contributed to this report.

Berkeley lawmakers recognize Bisexual Pride Day - San Jose Mercury News

BERKELEY, Calif.â€"Berkeley could become the nation's first city to officially proclaim Bisexual Pride Day and accommodate a group that often complains of exclusion from gay rights celebrations.

If approved by the City Council on Tuesday, Bisexual Pride Day would be celebrated every Sept. 23, the same day bisexual pride events are held in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and other cities across the nation.

Berkeley, however, would be the first city in the country to formally proclaim the day, the San Francisco Chronicle (bit.ly/S4L00p) said. Other cities support and participate in gay pride parades.

Unofficial bisexual pride days have been held for more than a decade across the nation and are separate from worldwide gay, bisexual and transgender events every June. Bisexual advocates say many gay men and lesbians dismiss them as fence-sitters or sexually confused.

"They think we have 'straight privilege,' and we hide in that," Martin Rawlings-Fein, a director of the Bay Area Bisexual Network, told the Chronicle. "We get pushed to the side in the LGBT community and told we don't exist, that we're actually gay or lesbian and just not totally 'out.'"

The UCLA-based Williams Institute estimates that more than 4 million Americans identify as bisexual, more than the number of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender combined.

Berkeley Councilman Kriss Worthington proposed officially recognizing Bisexual Pride Day.

"Increasing

bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist, and they deserve our support and acceptance," he said.

Nancy Carleton, a bisexual, former Berkeley zoning board chairwoman, said official recognition of pride day would be an important step forward for a group of people often viewed as an afterthought.

"The more we can learn about each other, the more tolerance grows," she said.

â€"â€"â€"

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

Berkeley Lawmakers Recognize Bisexual Pride... - ABC News

Berkeley on Tuesday became what is thought to be the nation's first city to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals, a sexual minority that often complains of being derided as sexually confused fence-sitters.

The City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sept. 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day. Since 1999, bisexual activists have claimed the date to celebrate their community, and bisexual pride events routinely are held in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and other cities across the nation.

Berkeley, however, is believed to be the first U.S. city where a government body has taken the extra step of to formally acknowledge the day, the San Francisco Chronicle reported ( http://bit.ly/S4L00p ). Other cities support and participate in gay pride parades held in June and July.

Councilman Kriss Worthington introduced the resolution, telling his colleagues ahead of Tuesday night's meeting that it was important for the city to support an occasion "conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities."

"Increasing bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist, and they deserve our support and acceptance," Worthington said.

The Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, devoted to the study of sexual orientation and the law, estimates that more than 4 million Americans identify as bisexual, more than the number of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender combined.

Some bisexuals nevertheless say they feel overlooked or misunderstood, frequently finding themselves portrayed in popular culture as the punch lines of jokes or pathological. And while bisexuals are part of the acronym that makes up the LGBT rainbow, some activists protest that gays are some of their harshest critics.

"They think we have 'straight privilege,' and we hide in that," Martin Rawlings-Fein, a director of the Bay Area Bisexual Network, told the Chronicle. "We get pushed to the side in the LGBT community and told we don't exist, that we're actually gay or lesbian and just not totally 'out.'"

The resolution approved Tuesday states, "While many advancements have been made with respect to equitable acceptance of bisexual people in our nation, the bisexual community remains a distinct one from the gay community and seeks acceptance as such, making it important for the City of Berkeley to demonstrate support for the community individually."

Nancy Carleton, a former Berkeley zoning board chairwoman, said official recognition of Bisexual Pride Day would be an important step forward for a group of people often viewed as an afterthought.

"The more we can learn about each other, the more tolerance grows," she said.

The City Council on Tuesday also declared Oct. 13 as Indigenous Peoples Day, which for two decades in Berkeley has been commemorated as an alternative to Columbus Day.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Soccer: Fans say homophobia more likely than racism - report - Yahoo! Sports

LONDON (Reuters) - Homophobia may now be a bigger problem in British soccer than racism, a report published by the government said on Wednesday.

The study, undertaken by a cross-party parliamentary committee, found that while anti-racism schemes had proved successful, fans were becoming increasingly aware of homophobic chants at grounds.

"Evidence is now emerging that homophobia may now be a bigger problem in soccer than other forms of discrimination," the report said. "Recent research found that 25 percent of fans think that soccer is homophobic while 10 percent think that soccer is racist."

It added that 14 percent of match attendees questioned had reported hearing homophobic abuse.

"The FA should work with relevant organizations and charities to develop and then promote a high-profile campaign to highlight the damaging effect of homophobic language and behavior in and around soccer at every level," the report concluded.

"The campaign should identify sources of support for affected individuals as well as setting out a clear reporting structure for homophobic incidents."

Justin Fashanu is the only British top flight player to have announced during his professional career that he was homosexual. He committed suicide in 1998, aged 37.

JOHN TERRY CASE

The wide-ranging report by the Department for Culture Media and Sport committee, said that while the atmosphere inside British football grounds had improved since the 1970 and 1980s, becoming more family-friendly, significant problems remained.

Two high-profile on-field cases brought racism back under the spotlight.

Chelsea captain John Terry was cleared in court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in July while last season Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches by the FA for comments made to Manchester United's French defender Patrice Evra.

Terry could yet be charged by the Football Association.

Conservative parliamentarian John Whittingdale, chairman of the committee, said: "Much has been done to improve the atmosphere and behavior at football matches and it has become a much more family friendly activity.

"However, recent incidents of racist abuse in the UK, both on and off the pitch, have highlighted the fact that there remain significant problems."

"While the general level of progress in combating racism and racist abuse in the UK is positive and should be applauded, there is much more that can and must be done, and we believe it is for the FA to take the lead and set the example for everyone, from football authorities at all levels to the grassroots groups, to follow," he added.

The report said the rise of social media and soccer chat rooms had become a new platform for discrimination.

"We heard evidence that social media has become a tool for the spread of racist and abusive content but it is also a potential means of combating the ignorance and prejudice that lie behind such behavior," Whittingdale said.

The report also said more needed to be done to increase the number of black and Asian coaches and officials.

Norwich City's Chris Hughton is the only black manager in the Premier League while match officials are generally white.

"There is a clear need to encourage more candidates from ethnic minorities to train as coaches and referees to ensure that clubs and boards can select from a more diverse pool of recruits from within the football pyramid," the report stated.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Alan Baldwin)

Yunel Escobar of Blue Jays Banned Three Games for Anti-Gay Slur - San Francisco Chronicle

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Yunel Escobar of the Toronto Blue Jays was suspended for three games after he wore eye-black patches bearing an anti-gay slur in Spanish.

The ban was announced in a news release from the Blue Jays, who open a Major League Baseball series against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium tonight.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Siddons at lsiddons@bloomberg.net


Berkeley to consider declaring Bisexual Pride Day - San Jose Mercury News

BERKELEY, Calif.â€"Berkeley could become the nation's first city to officially proclaim Bisexual Pride Day and accommodate a group that often complains of exclusion from gay rights celebrations.

If approved by the City Council on Tuesday, Bisexual Pride Day would be celebrated every Sept. 23, the same day bisexual pride events are held in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and other cities across the nation.

Berkeley, however, would be the first city in the country to formally proclaim the day, the San Francisco Chronicle (bit.ly/S4L00p) said. Other cities support and participate in gay pride parades.

Unofficial bisexual pride days have been held for more than a decade across the nation and are separate from worldwide gay, bisexual and transgender events every June. Bisexual advocates say many gay men and lesbians dismiss them as fence-sitters or sexually confused.

"They think we have 'straight privilege,' and we hide in that," Martin Rawlings-Fein, a director of the Bay Area Bisexual Network, told the Chronicle. "We get pushed to the side in the LGBT community and told we don't exist, that we're actually gay or lesbian and just not totally 'out.'"

The UCLA-based Williams Institute estimates that more than 4 million Americans identify as bisexual, more than the number of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender combined.

Berkeley Councilman Kriss Worthington proposed officially recognizing Bisexual Pride Day.

"Increasing

bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist, and they deserve our support and acceptance," he said.

Nancy Carleton, a bisexual, former Berkeley zoning board chairwoman, said official recognition of pride day would be an important step forward for a group of people often viewed as an afterthought.

"The more we can learn about each other, the more tolerance grows," she said.

â€"â€"â€"

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com