poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Five people arrested in bashing of two Gay Seattle men
by Robert Raketty
Arrests have been made in the Feb. 26 assault of two Gay Seattle men ou t side Ratskeller Restaurant, near Mt. Hood in Oregon. The two men were part of a group of employees from a Seattle-based advertising firm who had traveled to the area for a stay at Ski Bowl, a popular winter resort.

Detective Jim Strovink, spokesperson for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, said, "As a result of the incident these individuals were struck about their head and body. It was fortunate that they did not receive any permanent injures. It could have been much more serious. We did respond as quickly as we could to this brutal act. We feel very fortunate and very relieved that we now have all the suspects that were involved in this incident in custody."

The men were assaulted in the restaurant parking lot at approximately 1:00 a.m. by a group of five people who used their feet and hands to beat the two men. The victims were transported to Mt. Hood Medical Center for treatment of head and facial injuries. One is still recovering from a severe eye injury.


Newport High School student says anti-Gay harassment forced him to bring gun to school
by Robert Raketty
On the outside, Newport High School in Bellevue is like any other suburban high school. There you will find the same social hierarchy, where jocks reign supreme and popularity is viewed as your passport to a better existence. And just like at any high school, the students spend four years learning not only reading, writing and arithmetic, but lessons that prepare them for college and life.

The halls at Newport extend out like a spider's legs from its body, each branching off one long main corridor. The sounds of 1,300 students buzzing through these halls can be deafening between periods, and relatively calm during classes. Surrounding the main building is a complex of structures which house administration, performing arts and physical education.

However, students at Newport High experienced an incident on March 23 in which a male 16-year-old sophomore brought a loaded 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol to school and held it to his own head. It is something becoming far too familiar to America's schools - kids bringing guns to schools. Last month in our state, two students were expelled at Lochburn Middle School in Lakewood for a bringing a bb gun to school. Another 13-year-old student at the Crescent School in Port Angeles killed himself using a gun in front of fellow classmates.

It's still up for debate what led the Newport sophomore to attempt to end his life when most his age are just beginning theirs. Several web logs of Newport students and a closed-door forum for students, teachers and school staff reveal that there are more questions than answers. Some point to the sophomore's colorful character that made him the target of school-based bullying; others say it's the strenuous academic environment; and others argue it's something else all together - homophobia.


By Gwendolyn Ann Smith
PGN Contributing Writer
© 2004 Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Trans culture is rising
There is a sea change going on. A paradigm shift, if you will.
Every day, my in box is flooded by news articles about the state of gender variance in the world, from articles about Eunuchs in India trying to take political power and create a legal "third sex" definition, to Atlanta hiring a specialist to handle crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
Many of these articles - except, of course, the religious right press releases - are often very trans-positive, using correct pronouns and names, and avoiding some of the obvious issues that creep up in stories relating to trans people.
Police officers in Pennsylvania, sailors in Spain, and people across the world are transitioning as needed - and not losing their jobs, homes or families.


Group Asks Legislatures in 23 States to Pressure Congress for Marriage Convention

A new conservative organization, Families for America, Inc., is spearheading petition drives in 23 states that would require state legislatures to demand that Congress hold a constitutional convention defining marriage. If successful, the petitions would force states to ask Congress for a meeting each year until the convention was called. Approximately 110,000 Nebraskan voters must sign by July 2, 2004 in order for the proposal to be included on the November ballot.

The group, formerly the Nebraska Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, has supported other initiatives to traditionally define marriage, including Nebraska's Defense of Marriage Act.

Art Taylor, president of Families for America, was reported as saying that his group hopes that Congress will respond to states' pressure with a federal amendment. "The ideal result," he said "Is that states express their feelings strongly enough for Congress to act."


Sister-in-law of Illinois governor goes public to oppose his stance against same-sex marriage
The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Deborah Mell stops by the Illinois governor's mansion after a long day of lobbying at the state Capitol. Having changed from her power suit to a baseball cap, T-shirt and jeans, she is dog-tired -- but takes time to dig for a folder full of information advocating for same-sex marriage.

"Will you give this to the governor?" she asks a mansion staff member.

She smiles as she drives away, confident that Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples, will receive the folder. That's because Mell is the governor's sister-in-law -- a lesbian who has taken it upon herself to fight him on this issue in recent months.


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