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Archive for the ‘Closet Talk’

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.

Closet Talk: Nathan and Johnnie Discuss the Atlanta Eagle Bar Raid

September 24, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkIn a scene reminiscent of this summers bar raid in Ft. Worth, Texas, on September 10, 2009, police raided the Eagle in Atlanta after an anonymous complaint from a neighboring residential building claimed the bar was promoting public sex and drug use. Police entered the bar and made patrons lay on the floor, some for over an hour, while they illegally searched their pockets and refused to state why they were detaining the bar goers. Since the raid, many rumors have found their way into the conservative and liberal blogosphere.

Witnesses Nicholas and Johnnie joined me on Closet Talk to discuss the raid, the reaction and what was said.  Johnnie confirmed perhaps one of the most terrible comments overheard by police which I had hoped was a sick rumor: “… this is more fun than raiding niggers on crack.”

One officer was overheard saying, “I hate gay people” while stepping over the crowd that was forced to lie on the floor while being illegally searched.

Other derogatory comments were made by police as well.  Find out from those attending what happened that night:

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Closet Talk: David’s Story – Being Gay and Staying Mormon.

September 17, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkDavid is a 20 year old blogger and vlogger who has decided not to flee the Mormon church, but instead work to inspire change within his faith. I’ve used a lot of analogies to describe David, such as “David and Goliath” or a “Rosa Parks” figure refusing to give up his seat on the metaphoric bus. But when you pull away all the grandeur that I’ve bestowed upon him, you’re still left with a remarkable young man. In this episode, we discussed David’s life growing up in the Mormon church, his coming out while a member of the Mormon church and his quest to remain in the Mormon church.

We also had a chance to discuss how the attacks by LGBT people on the Mormon church have affected him and his opinions on those attacks.  In an interesting irony illustrating the dichotomy of Homo/Mormonism, David tells us about a gay Mormon friend, who after witnessing the anger and hostility directed toward the Mormon faith, decided to become “ex-gay.”  It was a sad reminder that we forget our community knows no boundaries.

The show is a must hear for everyone, especially those struggling with sexual orientation and faith.  Just click play, below:

Closet Talk: Candace Metzler and ENDA

September 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkCandice Metzler lost her job after beginning her transition from man to woman. Her employer was initially fine with the transition, but after clients began taking their business elsewhere after learning of Candice’s transition, the struggling company felt it had no choice but to let Candice go.

Unemployment didn’t take long to scar Candice’s life, leaving her homeless and forcing her to rely on the friends that remained in her life after her coming out.

Candice tells her story in this episode of Closet Talk and explains how employment discrimination impacted her and her family. Although her story is full of tragedy, it is a story is of hope and determination.

Recently, Candice organized a community forum on workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender employees. and continues to work toward the passage of an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Closet Talk: TransIssues with Allyson Robinson, Associate Director of Diversity, HRC

August 31, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkEven a summary of Allyson Robinson’s life and work within the LGBT community would fill a book. Allyson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a pastor with a Masters in divinity, the Associate Director of Diversity for HRC, a wife and a mother. Just in case I forget to mention it later, Allyson is also transgender – and she blogs! In this episode of Closet Talk, we discussed Allyson’s life before coming out/transitioning and her life now.

Interestingly, Allyson is also legally married to a woman, something we further discuss on the show.  Their marriage, while illegal for most same-sex couples, is recognized by the United States government because Allyson was married prior to her transition.  Listen to the show to learn more about this “loop-hole” in the law.

Unifying the Queer Community: Trans-Inclusion

August 24, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

transgenderJust because those of us who blog like to think we know everything, doesn’t mean we do – so here’s your chance to help me learn a thing or two.  My guest this week on Closet Talk will be Allyson Robinson, Association Director of Diversity for HRC.  We will be discussion Allyson’s transition process and I’ll be getting a lot of questions about the transcommunity answered for myself.  I do hope that by becoming more educated about issues outside of the “G” in LGBTQ, I can become fully inclusive in my activism and at jaysays.com.

In preparing for the show, I’ve been considering how to be more “transinclusive” at jaysays.com.  Perhaps, in the near future, a contributor from the transcommunity will be added to the site in order to fill the hole here.  In the meantime, it’s all on this gay boy from a red state to try to figure out.

So, to you dear reader, how do you feel we (the LGBTQ bloggers of the world) can be more transinclusive?  What sorts of questions do you have about the transcommunity?  You may submit your thoughts via the comments to this post or, if you feel more comfortable for privacy’s sake, you may use the contact page.  Either way, please share your thoughts – seems I’m running out of my own!

Closet Talk: John Paul Sharp | Gay Self-Loathing, Sex and Drugs.

August 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkJohn Paul Sharp isn’t your average gay man – instead, he’s an extremely talented musician and writer (based upon my own experience listening to his music and reading a story he wrote). Come to think of it, maybe he is  your average gay man.

His life echos that of many of us. We leave home, go to the Gay Holy Land (San Francisco) and find ourselves abusing methamphetamine and having anonymous sex.

But, John Paul made it out. He returned to college and recently showed his first play, My Big Phat Gay Musical, at the Vintage Theatre with great success, and he doesn’t plan on stopping there. This November, as part of the National Novel Writing Month, John Paul will (and I know he will) write a novel. His next album is due out next Summer and he’ll be recording yet another album in February as part of the RPM Challenge.

As with most of my guests, the first time John Paul and I spoke (outside of email) was just a few minutes before the show went live.  When I answered the phone and heard his voice, I knew that I would be John Paul’s #1 Fan.  Not in the “Misery” sort of way, but more like “You had me at hello.”

His enthusiasm, sense of self and overall joyfulness left me feeling alive and energetic… perhaps he even left me feeling “GAY!”

Closet Talk: David Mailloux and the Great Nationwide Kiss In

August 06, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Headline

Closet TalkAs you’ve likely heard by now, members of the LGBT community have been experiencing more and more acts of harassment for public displays of affection which have heretofore been allowed only if the couple is heterosexual.  In El Paso, two men were told that, “faggot stuff” wasn’t allowed after they exchanged a kiss standing in line at Chico’s Tacos.  In Salt Lake City, two young men were forcibly detained by security after giving each other a kiss on a prominent and high traffic promenade because of a kiss.  In San Antonio, two women were asked to leave Rolling Oaks Mall after allegedly kissing in public.  Even more recently, two men at Inferno, a wine bar in SAN FRANCISCO, were allegedly forced out onto the street and called derogatory names by the owner after exchanging a hug and a kiss at the bar.

Fellow blogger, David Badash, had enough and proposed a kiss in on his blog.  He was quickly joined by David Mailloux, of dym-sum.com, and Willow Witte of Join the Impact.

David Mailloux, National Coordinator for the Great Nationwide Kiss In, joined me last night on Closet Talk, relaying his personal coming out story and discussing the events leading up to the Great Nationwide Kiss In.  It was a pleasure to have such a wonderfully kind and devoted member of our community on the show:

To find out about events in your area, please visit The Great Nationwide Kiss In on facebook.