poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Gay marriage debate centers on Lansing today
Associated Press

LANSING -- Gay and lesbian couples plan to exchange symbolic marriage vows Saturday outside the state Capitol, an annual event that takes on heightened significance this year.

The 10th annual Michigan Pride ceremony in Lansing comes as a petition drive to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman in the Michigan constitution appears to be gaining momentum. An organizer for the citizen’s drive on Friday said supporters are on target to file petitions with state election officials in early July.

If those petitions are approved and have enough valid signatures, Michigan voters could decide the issue in the Nov. 2 election.

“We’ll be able to hit the number we need,” said Marlene Elwell, president of Citizens for the Protection of Marriage. “We’ve got organizers in all 83 Michigan counties, and the organizational structure is working.”


Symbolic window broken at BR church
Advocate staff writer

The Police Department reported Friday it opened an investigation into an incident late Wednesday or early Thursday in which someone threw or shot a marble-size ball through the 12-foot circular window of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd.

The projectile left a jagged, 8-foot gash in the two-pane glass window facing Goodwood Boulevard. Half of the window was cracked and hanging precariously above the church altar.

"As far as we're concerned, no one was hurt or injured, but the symbol affects us," the Rev. Steve Crump said. "We are hurt spiritually from the point of view of this being an attack."

Crump is on a six-month sabbatical, and the church is currently ministered to by the Rev. Carol Hilton and her husband, the Rev. Dwight Smith, who came from Southern California to fill in.

On Sunday, Smith and Hilton oversaw the church's annual gay pride service.


Real-life 'Fairy Tale' for gays tonight
10th annual prom for Bay Area teens to take place in Hayward
By Michelle Meyers, STAFF WRITER

HAYWARD -- Hayward High School sophomore Jose Martinez remembers how some of his fellow soccer players reacted when they passed the sign for the Gay Prom on a bus ride to a game last year.

Martinez, who is gay, said teammates ridiculed the idea of having a prom, and they pitched the idea of pretending to be gay and going to the prom to harass participants.

The sting of that memory helped fuel Martinez's interest in not just attending the prom this year, but helping to plan the event where people can "be with whoever they want, and be whoever they are," he said.

The 10th annual Gay Prom -- which draws almost 500 Bay Area youth under the age of 25 -- will be from 7 p.m. to midnight tonight at Centennial Hall, 22292 Foothill Blvd. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.


Gay, Lesbian Executives Meet Here to Be Heard
By Amy Joyce
Washington Post Staff Writer

About 200 gay and lesbian business leaders and owners gathered in Washington yesterday in an attempt to strengthen their voice -- and market share -- in the business world.

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is holding its first conference here to try to broaden the influence of what officials called the country's estimated 800,000 gay-owned businesses among larger corporations, vendors and especially, lawmakers.

"We realized that we needed to look outside of the traditional box of social advocacy for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) equality," Justin G. Nelson, co-founder of the chamber, said of forming the group 19 months ago. He and Chance Mitchell studied how the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce "gave an economic face" to Hispanic issues, and decided to follow the same route.

The group, which accepts non-gay-owned companies as members, canceled its Thursday lobbying in Congress because of ceremonies commemorating former president Ronald Reagan. But attendees yesterday attended sessions to discuss such issues as how to raise money, how to break into the business world, and which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues might affect the 2004 election.


Activists say transgendered people could be the 'new gays,' poised to win human-rights battles and mainstream acceptance in Canada, writes JANE ARMSTRONG. But as they fight for recognition, they're also grappling with a fundamental question: Can a person's gender really change with the help of a surgeon's scalpel?

When a quiet high-school boy in Nanaimo, B.C., began dressing like a girl, residents in the staid Vancouver Island city were abuzz. The gangly, freckled teen grew his hair long, donned skirts and sweater sets and changed his name.

"God, I wore tacky clothes," she says today, grimacing as she remembers her early days as a girl. "I had this ugly green blouse someone gave me."

Her fashion sense has evolved since then. With her silky brown hair, slender limbs and cropped T-shirt, Candace, now 20, looks every bit a fashionable young woman, right down to her exposed navel and hip-hugger jeans.

From her earliest memory -- long before the day three years ago when she first came out -- she thought of herself as female. "I felt like my penis should be cut off," she says. "I hoped when I grew up, it would disappear."


Leaving a legacy of opportunity for gay students

After the suicide of former South Florida TV executive Carlos Enrique Cisneros in April, his family and friends sought the most meaningful way to memorialize him: They created an American University scholarship for gay students who need help or have been cast aside by their families.

'I had the idea and got a lot of Carlos' friends together to support the scholarship, including his family,'' said Coral Gables businessman Robert Wennett, a longtime friend. ``It's something that will go on a long time, at his alma mater, and will help a special class of people that Carlos would want to help.

''A lot of gay students,'' he said, ``their parents reject them and they can't get scholarships because their parents have too much money.''

Wennett, 43, called education ''the most important thing'' in Cisneros' life.


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