Sex advice columnist and gay advocate, Dan Savage is a controversial figure in the LGBT equality world, but he hit the nail on the head with his most recent column.
In it, a reader asks for his opinion of the infamous Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, the massive festival celebrating BDSM and sexuality that occurs annually in that city. The reader asks if Savage believes
in this time when we are fighting for civil rights and equality that it does more harm than good
As the assistant producer for a BDSM event company, and a professional kink/sexuality educator who is part of the LGBT/GSRM community, this is a question I hear a lot. There is a perception that if LGBT people can just make themselves presentable in the right ways, if we can sterilize our culture, and cut out people who don't fit within a certain image, then social and legal equality will all fall into place.
Savage's response is brilliant, and addresses a number of vital points. I'd encourage you to read the whole thing, but the highlight for me has to be:
..And it's important to emphasize that the Folsom Street Fair, which took place last weekend, isn't exclusively gay. Thousands of straight kinksters attend every year. About the only difference between the straight attendees and the queer ones is that no one claims that the kinky straight people at Folsom make all heterosexuals everywhere look like sex-crazed sadomasochists.
With that deep thought for the day, here are some other things you need to know:
In Florida, progress on a hazmat emergency response plan is stuck in limbo over a dispute between the city of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County over the issue of gender-identity discrimination.
GLAD provides us with a sobering reminder that while ABC's "Modern Family" may have won even more accolades at this year's Emmys, LGBT parenting remains under vicious attack by opponents of equality.
Brian Edwards and Tom Privitere were horrified to find their wedding photo adulterated and used in a vicious anti-equality campaign. Now with help of the Southern Poverty Law Center, they are suing for copyright infringement.
The New York Review of Books has a remarkable piece about the first gay-positive piece in the New York Times Magazine in 1970, and the course towards equality it helped set in motion.
In the ongoing case of a trans* inmate seeking gender affirmation surgery in Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick has announced plans to appeal a court ruling requiring the state to provide and pay for said surgery.
It's the story none of us want to write about, but can't ignore any longer. Legendary gay civil rights crusader Larry Brinkin has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography. The potential damage to both his family and friends, as well as our community at large if the charges prove true, cannot be overstated.
A coalition of organizations, led by the Indigenous Ways of Knowing Program at Lewis & Clark College, has created a guide for tribal governments on recognizing the civil rights of Two Spirit and LGBT people. It will be made available to the public on November 1st.
Finally, a brilliant and hilarious dissection of the arguments against same-sex-marriage from Australian satirical comedy program The Hamster Wheel: