links for 2008-01-01

Continue Readinglinks for 2008-01-01

Colts raise $20,000 for Anti-Gay Group

This is being discussed in the comments on my post on Tony Dungy – but it bears pulling up to it’s own entry – at the Indiana Family Institute Dinner, the Colts sent merchandise to be donated off in an auction, which raised $20,000 for the organization to oppose gay rights and to support SJR-7.

Seats for the event at the Ritz Charles, one of the institute’s largest annual fundraisers, went for $75 apiece. In addition to the more than $50,000 raised from ticket sales, the institute auctioned off enough Dungy-signed Colts footballs, helmets and paraphernalia to raise nearly another $20,000.

In keeping with the Colts theme, Dungy was introduced by Colts punter Hunter Smith, whose Christian band Connersvine served as the evening’s entertainment.

While it’s not a public press release of their support for the anti-gay group, it is an endorsement directly from the Colts home office of the marriage discrimination amendment, and is profoundly disappointing.

Continue ReadingColts raise $20,000 for Anti-Gay Group

‘I hate gay people,’ former Heat star Tim Hardaway declares

From the Sun-Sentinel:

A week after retired center John Amaechi became the first active or former NBA player to publicly acknowledge he was gay, one of the most popular players in Heat franchise history offered a blunt view on homosexuality Wednesday during a radio interview.
Former Heat guard Tim Hardaway, who had been making public appearances for the NBA, said on Miami-based 790 The Ticket he would not have tolerated a gay player on his team and would have asked to have been traded in such a situation or would have asked to have the gay teammate be traded.
“Well, you know, I hate gay people,” Hardaway said near the close of an interview that mostly focused on his tenure with the Heat and the team’s current state. “I let it be known, I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people.
“Yeah, I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world for that or in the United States for that. So, yeah, I don’t like it.”
After the NBA learned of Hardaway’s comments, a league spokesman said Hardaway had been removed from further league-related appearances.

Continue Reading‘I hate gay people,’ former Heat star Tim Hardaway declares

Gay Figure Skater Mark Lund Publicly Trashes Johnny Weir in Homophobic Outburst

A few days ago, in a preview of the upcoming 2007 US Figure Skating Championships, openly gay figure skater Mark Lund comments with Nancy Kerrigan and Lou Tilley, making some really strong statements about skater Johnny Weir and how he fits into gender roles.

Obviously, Mark Lund is way out of line here — whether or not Johnny is out is irrelevant to me, but his trashing Johnny Weir for Johnny’s femininity is outrageous, homophobic and disgusting. Let Johnny be who he is – we adore him; flames and all – he’s an extraordinary skater of enormous power and beauty and it’s breathtaking to watch him on the ice.

After this statements in the video, public reaction was fierce – people went to Johnny’s defense immediately, and Mark Lund found himself making this statement:

“It has unfortunately become typical that journalists and members of the media who dare to comment about a celebrity or public figure that acts outrageously often come under attack. I see I am now one of those unfortunate targets. This is in reference to remarks I made during the television show Reflections on Ice regarding the reigning U.S. Men’s Figure Skating Champion Johnny Weir.

My credentials in the sport and art of figure skating are well known, as is my orientation as an out gay man. I stand by my statement “overly out without being out” 100%. I say to Mr. Weir, “You enjoy being outspoken and a free spirit. You have said frequently that you have been brought up to speak your mind. However, you refuse to support the very community that paved the way for you.” I say to all those that believe my comments about Mr. Weir were homophobic to take a step back and realize the beliefs you are actually expressing. Mr. Weir is an individual who enjoys all the rights of the gay community without coming out to support the gay community. Now who is the hypocrite here? Most certainly not me.

With Mr. Weir posing for photos wearing heels and elaborate makeup in the pages of BlackBook magazine, I say, ‘Please don’t insult the grand drag queens of yesterday and today, unless you thank them for their tireless efforts of days past and present by acknowledging them publicly.’

My comments regarding his costuming were nothing more than what you see in the newsmagazines and on TV when journalists critique celebrities on the red carpet. I have never liked his costumes and they have become more and more elaborate in recent seasons. They do not represent the sport of figure skating that I love. Why don’t we take a look at the competitive costumes of skaters like Robin Cousins and John Curry. They understood classical elegance. Without a slight to great ballet dancers, my comment that Mr. Weir looks like a prima ballerina on the ice was meant to illustrate what I feel is his outrageous presentation of the sport and art of figure skating. I know I am not alone in my comments.

As a gay man who grew up in a small town in the 1970’s, I was able to look up to those in the sport of figure skating–gay and straight–who earned my admiration through character, dedication and sportsmanship. I am glad to say some of them are great friends of mine today.

Mr. Weir is free to wear what he wants, but he should back it up with actions. No one denies his enormous talent, but my comments were meant to reflect my feeling that he prefers drawing attention for being outrageous to drawing attention for being a great figure skater. The subject of the show on which I made my comments was a preview of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, which is a competitive sporting event.

To Mr. Weir, and his apparent legions of fans, to quote the old scoring system, there has been no 6.0 in your collective performances.”

Mr. Lund has some serious self-reflection to engage in before calling Johnny Weir to task for not being out of the closet, frankly, because Mr. Lund’s comments were nothing short of homophobic and gender-conformity shaming, which is horribly out of bounds for someone claiming to be an an “out gay man.”

In the “real world” of figure skating that Mark Lund claims as his own, same-sex pairs and same-sex dance are not allowed, and changing partners mid-skate was a rebellious performance at a competition that got one set of skaters disqualified. Men wearing dresses are not allowed. Until recently, women wearing pants on the ice in competitions was not allowed and even now it’s heavily frowned upon.

At the Gay Games, skaters did all of these things in ways that provoked thought about the sport itself, what it means to skate and what it means to perform in roles and on the ice as a gay person. Where the fuck was Mark Lund during the Gay Games, if he’s so out of the closet and proud of his sport? I saw every second of the skating performances there; he was nowhere to be found. And the figure skating performances there were nothing short of extraordinary — world-class figure skaters in performances that bent and broke gender roles in every conceivable way, and which were truly inspiring because they couldn’t happen anywhere else.

Johnny breaks gender barriers that need to broken in every single sport – until every person, including gay and transgendered people, can find their inner athlete, be able to compete in the sports they want in the ways they want, every sport will be lacking, though the athletes in it may not know it.

Continue ReadingGay Figure Skater Mark Lund Publicly Trashes Johnny Weir in Homophobic Outburst

Video of some of the figure skating from GGVII

Jay and Bradley did an interpretive pairs program of Brokeback Mountain that was really amazing:
Edward Van Campen did a very moving tribute to his brother, who died of AIDS. His performance included his brother’s AIDS quilt, which he then presented to the NAMES Project.
We discussed creating video of Stephanie’s programs, but we decided against it because they had professional video services there. I’m hoping to track down a YouTube video of the finale of the Skating – a really moving production number tribute to Christina Aguliera’s “Beautiful.”

Continue ReadingVideo of some of the figure skating from GGVII

Staceyann Chin’s speech/poem at Gay Games VII

A selection from Stacyann Chin’s speech at the Opening Ceremonies of the Gay Games (this was the part I love so much):
I don’t know why
but the term lesbian just seems so
confrontational to me
why can’t you people just say you date
other people?

Again I say nothing
tongue and courage tied with fear
I am at once livid
ashamed and paralyzed
by the neo-conservatism
breeding malicious amongst us
Two spirit
Non-gender conforming—every year we add a new letter
our community is happily expanding beyond the scope
of the dream stonewall sparked within us
yet everyday
I become more afraid to say black
or lesbian
or woman—everyday
under the pretense of unity I swallow something I should have said
about the epidemic of AIDS in Africa
or the violence against teenage-girls in East New York
or the mortality rate of young boys on the south-side of Chicago
even in friendly conversation
I get the bell hooks-ian urge
to kill mother-fuckers who say stupid shit to me
all day
bitter branches of things I cannot say out loud
sprout deviant from my neck
fuck you-you-fucking-racist-sexist-turd
fuck you for wanting to talk about homophobia
while you exploit the desperation of undocumented immigrants
to clean your hallways
bathe your children and cook your dinner
for less than you and I spend on our tax deductible lunch!

I want to scream
all oppression is connected you dick!

Continue ReadingStaceyann Chin’s speech/poem at Gay Games VII

Gay Games: Team Indiana Takes the Field

Team Indiana

Team Indiana marching onto the field at the Opening Ceremonies of GGVII. See all my pictures of the Gay Games Opening Ceremonies, and the pictures Stephanie took from on the field, also. It was a beautiful, surprisingly political ceremony, and I had a great time, even if it was twice as long as planned.

Team Indiana was represented by 89 athletes in dozens of sports, including track and field, figure skating, tennis, and softball.

Photo Galleries from Gay Games 2006:
Gay Games Opening Ceremonies
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Day 1
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Day 2
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Exhibition of Champions
Team Indiana: After Party

Continue ReadingGay Games: Team Indiana Takes the Field

Gay Games 2006

We’re headed up to Chicago for the Gay Games this week. Stephanie’s skating in two competitions as part of Team Indiana, so we’ll be there all week. (IIf you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!)
We’re staying with Stephanie’s Dad (and taking Spike!) so our internet connections will be sporatic, but we’ll try to visit Starbucks or Panera to do some blogging during the week.
Today we register Stephanie and attend the Opening Ceremonies — lots of celebrities, including Megan Mulallay an Holly Near.

Gay Games 2006 Opening Ceremonies

Photo Galleries from Gay Games 2006:
Gay Games Opening Ceremonies
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Day 1
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Day 2
Gay Games: Figure Skating, Exhibition of Champions
Team Indiana: After Party

Continue ReadingGay Games 2006