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Archive for the ‘Community Outreach’

Houston Mayor’s “Bittersweet” Valentine – Freedom to Marry Day Events

February 11, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Headline, LGBT Action Alerts

City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker

City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker

In an open letter, City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker wrote:

All across this country people will be sharing Valentines Day with the ones they love. It is a bittersweet observation in the LGBT community, where we yearn for that day when we’ll have the right to marry the ones we love.

My life partner of 20 years and I would love to be able to wed in the state we call home. I know it will happen in my lifetime because the world is changing on LGBT issues. It is amazing to me the progress that we’ve made since my early activist days. At times the pace seems slow. It is also frustrating for those who are waiting, but I know it will happen.

Events like Freedom to Marry Day help bring attention and awareness to the issue. There can be no more positive public influence than a show of commitment between loving couples. Thank you for the work you are doing.

As we continue to wait for that day that I am certain will become reality, I am not going to let one day pass without letting my partner know how much I love her and how blessed I am to have her in my life.

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Freedom to Marry Day!

In Mayor Parker’s city, activists have had a long running tradition.  Clergy and faith leaders from numerous religious traditions preside over a mass marriage ceremony of same-sex couples. The event is Texas’ largest and longest running same-sex wedding celebration.  But this isn’t the only event you will see come Valentine’s Day.

Freedom to Marry Day events are happening all over the country.  In cities like Austin, Texas (just a few hours from Mayor Parker), marriage counter protests will occur.  Same-sex couples and allies will be taking up space at the clerk’s office as they request (and are ultimately denied) a marriage license.

The majority of the events are being coordinated between GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA with help from grassroots organizers.  Others have popped up spontaneously around the country.  To find out about events in your area or to add your event, visit http://www.requestmarriage.com.

Wearing Purple Just Isn’t Enough – Wear Fabulous!

October 19, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

Me in my purple and yellow scarf

Me in my purple and yellow scarf - yes it's purple, not blue (blame bad lighting)

Tonight, I headed off to my closet to find something purple to wear tomorrow.  I was rummaging through every article of clothing and every corner, including the winter boxes, desperate to answer the Facebook call to wear purple on October 20, 2010 to raise awareness about the LGBT Youth Suicide Epidemic and bullying.  I stumbled upon a very nice button up I had forgotten I owned.  It was an obvious purple, but still conservative enough for a day of business.  I headed off to iron it and realized that the long sleeves were not long enough for my arms.  Back to the closet I trotted.

This time, my eyes stopped on a scarf that was crocheted for me by my dear friend, Crystal, years ago.  The scarf is lined purple and yellow and a bit of an eyesore.  I immediately wished I lived further north where wearing a scarf would be justifiable, but with temperatures in the mid-80’s in South Texas, I knew it would stick out like a sore thumb [an expression I never really understood].

I headed back to the ironing board with another button-up in hand.  This one was less obviously purple, but still purple.  I began ironing it and debating the color.  Someone could easily think my shirt was just another shirt.  It didn’t seem like it would show that I’m wearing purple for a specific reason.  That’s when it occurred to me.  Wearing purple just isn’t enough – we need people to know why we are wearing purple.

There was one problem.  How was I going to engage people in conversation about the Epidemic with a button up, nicely pressed, purple-ish shirt?  The answer was clear – I need to stand out.  I need to wear the purple and yellow scarf tomorrow so that people understand that it isn’t just a garment, it is a statement.  It is a statement that I will not stop fighting for equality until we are EQUAL.  Why?  Because I refuse to lie to our LGBT children.  I refuse to tell them it gets better without first working to make sure it does.

Tomorrow, I challenge all of you (and myself) to engage at least one person in a conversation about bullying and LGBT Youth Suicides.  If you need to borrow my scarf to help jumpstart a conversation, I’m happy to oblige.

Equality Across America – Texas Conference. Are “Ya’ll” Ready to Rumble?

April 01, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

Harvey Milk Day - May 22, 2010 - EAA Call to Action and Texas ConferenceYou can stop asking what you can do to help further equality in the United States (and beyond) now.  As previously discussed on Closet Talk with Tanner Efinger, Equality Across America has made a call to action for the week of Harvey Milk Day (May 22).  In response, grassroots organizations and activists have been popping up all over the country.

Organizing of the EAA – Texas conference is well underway, with most of the logistics already worked out.  Now, we get to do the fun stuff.  Remember though, even if you can’t help organize, you can start planning to attend.  Here’s a chance for you to help from the Equality Across America – Texas team.


Regional conferences organized under the banner of Equality Across America, the network that has emerged out of 300,000-strong National Equality March on Washington last October, have drawn hundreds of people in Chicago and Boston, with more to come.

We are going to build a conference here in Austin, and you should be part of the process! We have selected the dates May 21-23 to coincide with the holiday honoring Harvey Milk, and we will have a march and vigil in his honor as part of the weekend’s events.  The Texas regional conference will feature plenary talks and workshops about the history and future of our movement.

The ultimate goal is to establish long-lasting regional and national networks of grassroots activists who want to fight for full equality for LGBTQ persons at the federal level.

We have learned that we can’t rely on politicians to give us equality.  Throughout history, fighters for justice have had to mobilize intense public pressure on elected officials.  This kind of activism pushed the system to institute reforms like the right for labor to organize, desegregation, the right of Black citizens to vote, rights for immigrants, and the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons in our society.

Today thousands of new activists are ready to fight for LGBTQ equality. They are feeling the frustration with decades of mostly fruitless lobbying and electoral campaigning.  People are realizing that it will take energized and coordinated activism to win, and we are on the move again!  We must get together to educate ourselves and strategize for the future–and the Texas conference aims to be a forum to do just that.

An Invitation to an EAA Organizing Meeting:


Organizing meeting for Equality Across America – Texas Regional Conference,

May 21-23, 2010


This Monday, April 5, 7:00 p.m.


University of Texas-Austin, Mezes Hall room 1.204.  Map here


Any individual or LGBTQ and allied activist groups are invited.

We want to build a broad, inclusive movement that welcomes diverse political orientations and open discussions about where to go from here.


Please forward this information to members of every potentially interested organization and activist and urge them to get involved.


EAA Regional Conference–Texas Statewide Organizing Committee

Join the Impact-Austin

Equality Now-Austin

Equality Across America-Houston

Queer LiberAction-Denton


Add your name to this list of endorsers by sending an email dcloud@mail.utexas.edu

RSVP on Facebook

GetEQUAL Goes to Jail, But Passes Go.

March 18, 2010 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts, LGBT News, Uncategorized

Today, I learned that action is inspiring.  Tomorrow, I hope to learn that it’s also contagious.

As my facebook, twitter and email exploded today with little clips of the DADT Rally, I marveled at an act of well timed genius.  While the HRC was negotiating equality with the well-oiled political machine, the people were speaking.  Grassroots activists took to the streets refusing to negotiate their rights… our rights.

When the group of marchers reached the steps of the White House, Robin McGehee assisted Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo as they handcuffed themselves to the gates and demanded a repeal of the militant Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy established under the Clinton regime.  For her assistance, Robin was thanked with a set of charming silver bracelets becoming the first arrest of the day.

Simultaneous demonstrations were underway.  By 3:00 p.m. activists such as Kip Williams were staging “sit-ins” inside Nancy Pelosi’s offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. demanding an inclusive ENDA be taken to the floor for a vote.

But now tweets bounce back to Lt. Choi – he and Capt. Pietrangelo have been cut down from the gates and arrested.  My Spanish Novellas are suddenly much less dramatic than my twitter feed.  Gay, Inc. and their supporters are pissed and claiming that the jouvenile acts of today set us back, are immature and make us look crazy.

Now, not only do I have to wrap my head around one of the most important moments in LGBT History, I now have to think of it in terms of “politics.”  Am I not allowed to simply be proud of my brothers and sisters?  Must I now think in terms of political strategy.

But what has that political strategy been – what has it done for us at the Federal Level?  It’s the same kind of political strategy used during the Clinton Administration to keep him in office as an LGBT friendly president while allowing him to pass Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a compromise to our rights.  It’s the same kind of political strategy used that allowed the same LGBT friendly Clinton to pass the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’m tired of negotiating my rights.  I will not stop until my personal life is deregulated.  It’s time to GetEQUAL.

For the New Year – Love Takes Over.

January 01, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Community Outreach, Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

Love Takes Over - News PapersWe’ve written a lot of letters, most of which have been to our elected officials and representatives.  While those letters have made a difference, we have to ask ourselves, “How do we reach the people?”

Our friend from the Nationwide Chalk Message Project, Jen Dugan, came up with a fantastic idea a couple of months ago to do just that.  Love Takes Over asks that supporters of marriage equality take over America’s local newspapers and get people talking about marriage equality across the entire country.  To do so, simply write an editorial to your local newspaper explaining why marriage equality matters.

Since that time, Jen, along with the fantastic, Hugh Yemen, have been working hard at getting the message out.  Here’s the press release:

NEW YORK – Love Takes Over is a nationwide initiative calling on citizens to write to their local newspapers about marriage equality during the week of January 3rd-January 9th. Love Takes Over seeks to promote and foster dialogue about marriage equality on a local level.

The idea behind Love Takes Over is simple: One week. One unified voice. Everyone take over America’s local newspapers and get people talking about marriage equality across the entire country at the same time.

Love Takes Over encourages American citizens to open up dialogue on a variety of issues pertaining to marriage equality. These issues include why civil marriage is a civil rights issue, why Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships are not equal to marriage, how inequality affects the families and children of same-sex couples, and why the issue of marriage equality is personally important to the author of each article.

“We believe in the power of small,” say the activists behind Love Takes Over, “We believe that the small steps people take everyday to educate their families, friends, and local communities are a vital part of any social justice movement.”

Articles are to be published during the week of January 3rd-January 9th. College students on Winter Break are encouraged to write to their hometown newspapers and submit a piece to their campus newspaper at the start of the new semester.

To speak with the activists behind Love Takes Over, please contact Jen Dugan at (201) 247-6419 or email ltonewspapers@gmail.com. More information can also be found at Love Takes Over’s official project blog: lovetakesover.tumblr.com.

Thus, beginning tomorrow, we must start submitting our editorials to our local papers.  To help inspire you, jaysays.com is asking that you submit your editorial to this site.  Submissions will be reviewed and the best editorial will be selected for publication here.  The winner will receive a copy of Will and Grace Season 3 on DVD.  To enter, simply fill out the below form:

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Love Takes Over

Your Editorial (copy and paste your editorial here)


By submitting the above information, I authorize publication of my editorial on jaysays.com. I understand my first name, last initial and state of residence may be published; however, no other personally identifying information will be made public without my further consent.


ARE YOU SPEAKING? Information on How to Speak Out.

December 07, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

congressLady Gaga asked President Obama at the National Equality March “ARE YOU LISTENING?”

I ask you. “ARE YOU SPEAKING?”

Today the Examiner reported that Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jared Polis (D-CO)

….said the House is set to pass bills to provide health coverage for the same-sex partners of gay federal workers and to protect all gay and transgender employees from job discrimination. They said they expect a domestic partner benefits bill to come up for a vote by the end of the year and the employment bill to reach the floor early in 2010.

Baldwin and Polis said they are also confident that the House will include a provision in the military spending bill to repeal the Clinton-era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, which prohibits LGBT people  from serving in the U.S. military.

Both Baldwin and Polis go on to say that President Obama strongly supports all three of these bills. They make the point that Congress must be persuaded and that it is our job to lobby Congress, not just the President. While there is debate about what President Obama could or could not do regarding DADT, one fact remains certain.  We have more work to do. Whether we want to do it or not.

The LGBT community donated a lot of money to Obama; many campaigned for Obama. We’ve had this mentality that we voted for him, he won, now it will just happen. It didn’t happen. Now people are mad and I understand why. I’ve read statements that we shouldn’t have to fight for equality. It’s true, we shouldn’t, but the reality is that “Plan A” has not been working so well. We can’t continue to just talk to ourselves. We can’t continue to be outraged only when a law is defeated or repealed. We can’t sit back, thinking that our donations to activist groups will take care of this for us.

We must be proactive.

Stop for just one minute and really think about this: a candidate campaigns on many issues, people vote. When that candidate wins, does she or he know what issues matter the most to which people? You might say, “They should know by polls.”  While that sounds logical, a poll does not tell your legislator how strongly you feel about an issue. It is naive to assume that votes and money alone are what persuades the way a representative will vote.

We just watched the New York Senate vote against same sex marriage. If you haven’t read the story of why Sen. Joseph Addabbo voted no, then you need to. As reported Rod on rod 2.0 beta

“I felt that I would get a clear indication of where my district stands on this issue,” said Addabbo, who said that he received more than 400 communications from constituents, 74% of whom opposed marriage equality.

Whether or not Addabbo is using this statistic to justify his vote or as a smokescreen, is unknown. But it led me to research the idea of how to persuade Legislators. In the fight for equality for LGBT people, we must convince legislators to pass laws.

So what do we do?

We must lobby Congress and we must do it now. The best time to lobby is when new legislation is being considered.  We must continue the purpose of the National Equality March. October 11th was the start of a long term commitment to equality, not a one day event. We must start a grass roots campaign of phone calls, emails, letters to the editors. We must encourage very blogger, every LGBT group, every straight ally to raise their voice. We must fund people to set up meetings with their Congresspersons. Face to face, in their offices.

I’ve looked at websites of organizations that lobby Congress and pulled together suggestions. They made sense to me. Perhaps they will make sense to you. If you have other suggestions, please leave a comment. Do Senators and Congresspersons listen to their constituents? You bet they do. But they are bombarded with communications. Be brief, specific and knowledgeable. Tell them what action you want them to take. The best time to communicate with them is when legislation is about to be presented or is on the floor.

From OpenLeft.Com

There are significantly more phone calls from conservatives than from progressives on virtually every issue. Oh wait–it isn’t difficult to fathom why constituent phone calls play a role in congressional decision making. Conservative media outlets and advocacy groups completely dominate progressives when it comes to mobilizing on phone calls. The examples of the public option and cap and trade are just two examples, but across all issue areas conservative domination on constituent phone calls is a general rule.

What can we draw from this statement? Learn tactics that work. We have all seen poll numbers on issues where the American public will have an overwhelming majority opinion on a topic, yet Congress votes the other way. Why? Because if you aren’t speaking, they will assume the issue is not important to you.

How to contact your legislators.

USA.gov can point you to your Senators and Congressperson, and how to contact them.

How to find impending legislation

The Thomas Legislative System

Does your vote matter to that legislator?

It is usually best to send letters to the representative from your local Congressional District or the senators from your state. Your vote helps elect them — or not — and that fact alone carries a lot of weight. It also helps personalize your letter. Sending the same “cookie-cutter” message to every member of Congress may grab attention but rarely much consideration.

Telephone Calls

Be specific, brief  and courteous.  If you are comfortable giving out personal information, that will add to the legitimacy of your call. If you are contacting your representative, be sure to let them know that you live in their district or state. The same logic applies to a telephone call as with a letter; check out the suggestions under writing a letter.

If a real person answers the phone, and they do, ask them to please WRITE DOWN your message. Ask for their name. Follow up your telephone call with an email, thanking “Mary Jones” for taking the time to write down your message.

Hello. My name is Jane Smith and I live in Topeka, Kansas. I am calling to ask you to support H.R. 3017 Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In this economy, no one should have to worry about being fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Please encourage Chairman Miller to bring this to the Senate floor quickly.

Writing a letter or an email? Keep it Simple

A personal letter shows you are sincerely interested. Use your own words, not a cookie-cutter letter. Email is also effective, but again write the email in your own words. Your letter should address a single topic or issue. Since all mail is screened due to security reasons, some legislators actively encourage email as a way of reaching them.

Typed, one-page letters are best. Write on personal letterhead (if you have it) and be sure to sign your name if the letter is typed. Put your return address on your letter. Envelopes get thrown away.

Many Political Action Committees recommend a three-paragraph letter structured like this:

  1. Say why you are writing and who you are. Be sure to let them know if you are in their district. Provide your name and address so they will take you seriously. If you want a response, you must include your name and address, even when using email. List your “credentials.”  Do you belong to an activist organization? Are you a physician, lawyer, clergy, parent, human resource director, teacher? Use your occupation or activism to lend credibility to your position.
  2. Provide more detail. Be factual not emotional. Provide specific rather than general information about how the topic affects you and others. If a certain bill is involved, cite the correct title and number whenever possible.
  3. Close by requesting the action you want taken: a vote for or against a bill, or change in general policy.

The best letters are courteous, to the point, and include specific supporting examples.

Addressing Members of Congress

To Your Senator:

The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

To Your Representative:

The Honorable (full name)
(Room #) (Name) House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative:

To Conclude

Here are some key things you should always and never do in writing to your elected representatives.

  1. Be courteous and respectful without “gushing.”
  2. Clearly and simply state the purpose of your letter. If it’s about a certain bill, identify it correctly. If you need help in finding the number of a bill, use the Thomas Legislative Information System.
  3. Say who you are. Anonymous letters go nowhere. Even in email, include your correct name, address, phone number and email address. If you don’t include at least your name and address, you will not get a response.
  4. State any professional credentials or personal experience you may have, especially those pertaining to the subject of your letter.
  5. Keep your letter short — one page is best.
  6. Use specific examples or evidence to support your position.
  7. State what it is you want done or recommend a course of action.
  8. Thank the member for taking the time to read your letter.


  1. Use vulgarity, profanity, or threats. The first two are just plain rude and the third one can get you a visit from the Secret Service. Simply stated, don’t let your passion get in the way of making your point,
  2. Fail to include your name and address, even in email letters.
  3. Demand a response.


Petitions are not as effective, especially cookie cutter petitions. At least that is what I have read. I don’t know that they hurt. I think the message here is that when you take the time to contact your legislator directly, they know you really mean it. It is your voice and you feel strongly about an issue. Think about what persuades you more.

For your legislators to represent you, you have to tell them what you want and what will make you vote for them.  The squeaky wheel can get the grease.

Last, but not least – some current legislation before Congress relevant to the LGBT Community

H.R. 3017 Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

H.R. 1283 Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

H.R. 2132 Family Medical Leave Act, amend to include same sex couples and other family members.

H.R. 3001 Ending LGBT Health Disparities Bill, including eliminating the taxation of medical benefits.

H.R. 2517 (also S.1102) Benefits for Domestic Partners of Federal Employees.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

ENDA: Call to Action NOW

December 06, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Featured, LGBT Action Alerts

eeocIn 29 states, it’s still legal to fire someone because they’re LGBT; in 38 states it is legal to fire someone for being transgender. ENDA will make it illegal to fire a person based on their sexual orientation or genetic identity (as usual, some restrictions apply). Here is a  Summary of legislation and cosponsors.

ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act, has been delayed by House Committee Chairman Gordon Miller. It is important to take action on this bill immediately. It is so close to passing and will take so little to make it pass.

We recommend that you focus your energy on committee members who can stop the delay.
If you do not know the phone number of a Congressperson, call (202) 224-3121 to reach the main switchboard.
Contact the following Congresspersons as they are believed to have the most influence in moving ENDA forward.

  • House Committee Chairman Gordon Miller 202-225-2095
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey, CA 202-225-0855
  • Rep. Jared Polis, CO 202-225-2161
  • Rep. Robert Andrews, NJ 202-225-6501
  • Rep. Rush Holt, NJ 202-225-5801
  • Rep. Yvette Clark, NY (use House switchboard number)

What to say? They will ask you if you live in their district. Tell them that you are requesting that bill H.R. 3017 is delayed and you know the representative is on the Committee. Tell them you would like the bill to not be delayed. Be specific, know the bill number and name, be brief and polite.

It doesn’t matter if you are in their district. As committee members, they represent all Americans and have the power to push for ENDA.

The delay was prompted by the desire to do some minor tweaking in the bill. In a conference call today led by Dr. Jillian Weiss, who posts at the Bilerico Project and is a law professor, she said these tweaks are very minor. We cannot delay ENDA. A delay means that it will be bumped behind other legislation.  Worse, as mid-term elections come closer, some members may be afraid to vote for this measure.

This delay can be avoided if three committee members ask that the bill not be delayed.

It won’t hurt to contact other committee members and sponsors of the bill. This bill has 192 sponsors, which is a lot of sponsors, and has 222 House members on board, with another possible 30. It takes only 218 to pass the House. In the Senate, 56 Senators are on board with another possible 9 senators. This legislation can pass. But it has to stop going to the back of the line. The subcommittee members are:

Democrats (13) Republicans (8)
Robert Andrews, NJ Chairman Tom Price, Ranking Member
David Wu, OR (202) 225-0855 John Kline
Phil Hare  25 Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
John F. Tierney MA (202) 225-8020 (978) 531-1669 Peabody Office Joe Wilson
Dennis J. Kucinich OH 202) 225-5871 Brett Guthrie
Marcia Fudge Tom McClintock
Dale E. Kildee Duncan D. Hunter
Carolyn McCarthy David P. Roe
Rush Holt NJ
Joe Sestak
David Loebsack
Yvette Clarke
Joe Courtney

You can also call one of the main sponsors of the bill, Tammy Baldwin, WI (202) 225-2906

People lose their jobs every day.  Full equality now. Not tomorrow. Not some time next year. Not when it is convenient. Do it now.

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlgeekgirl: Jude is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles. Her science blog can be found at LGBT Latest Science.

Closet Talk: Dr. Michael T. Schmitt – Same-Sex Marriage’s Threat to Heterosexual Identity

November 11, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkI was first introduced to Dr. Michael T. Schmitt’s work by way of jaysays.com’s resident scientist, Jude.  After seeing his video presentation, I knew I had to have him on the show.  Dr. Schmitt, along with Dr. Justin Lehmiller and Dr. Allison Walsh, published the article, “The Role of Heterosexual Identity Threat in Differential Support for Same-Sex ‘Civil Unions’ versus ‘Marriages'” in the journal Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

During the show, I found myself attempting not to use the words that came to mind; words like, heterosexual supremacist, egotist, snob, etc.  After the show, I found myself thinking: “Well, if it’s a cat, call it a cat.”

Essentially, the experiments determined that the majority’s desire to remain superior to the minority results in a broader support of “civil unions” instead of “marriage”.  This determination can be exampled in current events with the defeat of a marriage equality law in Maine and the passage of a “domestic partnership” law in Washington state.  In this case, there’s no reason to take my word for it, instead, Dr. Schmitt explains it nicely:

As mentioned, Dr. Schmitt is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University.  SFU, like many educational institutions, is suffering from under funding.  Find out how you can help at savesfu.org.

Closet Talk: Ami and Ruby – Are We Married?

October 30, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkAmi and Ruby were married in a ceremony that was not recognized by their state; however, once marriage was allowed in California, and knowing that Proposition 8 was looming, the couple headed south and tied the knot. Now, they are trekking around the country through many states that don’t recognize their marriage with the goal of visiting all states that do (including the District of Columbia).

Ami and ruby shared some stories from the road and it was a great pleasure to have them tell these stories. You can hear what they had to say using the player below:

Closet Talk: Author Susan Parker – Walking in the Deep End

October 15, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkSusan Parker joined me last night on Closet Talk to discuss her new book, Walking in the Deep End, a memoir.  Parker is a passionate advocate for the needs of people suffering from depression and eating disorders and confronts these often taboo subjects head on in her memoir.

We discussed Parker’s growing up in an evangelical family, her bulimia, coping with the suicides of family members and dealing with depression, Susan’s early homophobia (which resulted in unkindness toward her friends who would come out to her), and how, after discovering she wasn’t a zero on the Kinsey scale of sexual orientation, her relationships with those people changed.