Monday, January 31, 2011

Barbara Bush is For Least the Younger Barbara

From, news that Barbara Bush the younger supports us in terms of marriage equality:

Barbara Bush, one of the twin daughters of George W. Bush, will endorse same-sex marriage on Tuesday, publicly breaking ranks with a father who, as president, pushed for a constitutional amendment banning such unions.

Ms. Bush, 29, has taped a video calling on New York to legalize gay marriage. A bill to do that was defeated in the state in 2009. She describes the issue as a matter of conscience and equality.

“I am Barbara Bush, and I am a New Yorker for marriage equality,” she says in the brief message, sponsored by an advocacy group. “New York is about fairness and equality. And everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love.”

Unraveling continues.

Maybe Barbara the senior will support us too.



Being Gay Enough to Stay in the States:

I found this essay in the fascinating. There are those who seek asylum here who need to act up and be really gay in order to stay in the States, or face extradition and harassment, if not death,e.g., David Kato of Uganda:

After years of trying to conceal his sexual orientation back home in Brazil (where Fidela never made an appearance), Mr. Castro had been advised by his immigration lawyer that flaunting it was now his best weapon against deportation.

“I was persecuted for being fruity, a boy-girl, a fatso, a faggot — I felt like a monster,” said Mr. Castro, who reported being raped by an uncle at age 12, sexually abused by two police officers, and hounded and beaten by his peers before fleeing to the United States in 2000. “Here, being gay was my salvation. So I knew I had to put on the performance of my life.”

Amid international outcry over news of the Czech Republic’s testing the veracity of claims of purportedly gay asylum seekers by attaching genital cuffs to monitor their arousal while they watched pornography, some gay refugees and their advocates in New York are complaining that they can be penalized for not outwardly expressing their sexuality. While asylum-seekers and rights groups here expressed relief that use of the so-called erotic lie detector is impossible to imagine in the United States, some lamented in recent interviews that here too, homosexuals seeking asylum may risk being dismissed as not being gay enough.

Click here for more.



Being Gay Enough to Stay in the States:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Let's Hear It for Geremy and Edward!

From the, 1/30/11, a happy wedding with Geremy and Edward:
Geremy Kawaller and Edward Toll Ackerman were married Friday in Greenwich, Conn. The Rev. Patricia Ackerman, an Episcopal priest and Mr. Ackerman’s aunt, officiated at the Greenwich Town Hall. On Saturday evening, Rabbi Hara E. Person performed another ceremony at the Bowery Hotel in Manhattan.

Mr. Kawaller (left), 36, works for VelocityShares, a financial services company in New Canaan, Conn. He sells unsecured debt securities and other financial products to hedge funds and other financial institutions. He graduated from Columbia and received an M.B.A. from New York University.

He is a son of Barbara Carroll of Boca Raton, Fla., and Ira Kawaller of Brooklyn. His father is a financial consultant and runs a hedge fund that bears his name. He works from Brooklyn.

Mr. Ackerman, 31, is an associate specializing in mergers and acquisitions at the Manhattan law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He graduated from New York University and received a law degree, magna cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School.

He is a son of Elizabeth Toll Ackerman and Richard P. Ackerman of Mamaroneck, N.Y. His mother is of counsel to the Manhattan law firm Storch Amini & Munves. His father is a partner in the corporate department of the Manhattan office of the Atlanta law firm Troutman Sanders.

Mazel Tov!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Kato: Martyr to the Cause of LGBTQ Equality

I want to recognize a new hero and martyr to the cause: David Kato, a marked man in Uganda, where some very confused evangelical Christians from the USA have taken liberty to espouse and promote a strident kind of anti-gay rhetoric (which they are denying today).

David Kato was marked because he is an outspoken LGBTQ activist. From the

As the most outspoken gay rights advocate in Uganda, a country where homophobia is so severe that Parliament is considering a bill to execute gay people, Mr. Kato had received a stream of death threats, his friends said. A few months ago, a Ugandan newspaper ran an antigay diatribe with Mr. Kato’s picture on the front page under a banner urging, “Hang Them.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Kato was beaten to death with a hammer in his rough-and-tumble neighborhood. Police officials were quick to chalk up the motive to robbery, but members of the small and increasingly besieged gay community in Uganda suspect otherwise.

Prayers ascend.

Let us pray...



Monday, January 24, 2011

"She'd Kill Me": The Fear of Death Among Gay Dads

Talked to a friend who is a closet gay dad the other day. When I asked what was holding him back from finally coming out as a gay man. He was very clear, and did not miss a beat: referring to his wife, "She'd kill me."

Even though there is a recent poll showing that there a number of LGBTQ parents in this area, I'm aware that these are only those who have allowed themselves to be counted and out. Imagine how many are still in the closet and are hiding?! Thousands of more...literally thousands...

There's got to be another way out of this conundrum.




Sunday, January 23, 2011

Third Place of Most LGBTQ Parents: Raleigh-Durham (and Chapel Hill/Carrboro...or so we'll assume)

This newsclip from News and Observer (Raleigh):

Raleigh is one of the highest-ranked metropolitan areas in the nation for gay parents. Nearly one-third of the same-sex couples who live here are raising children under the age of 18.

The American Community Survey says Raleigh has the third-highest percentage of same-sex couples with kids among metro areas that have a population of more than 1 million. San Antonio is first, with 33.9 percent of same-sex couples raising children, and Jacksonville, Fla., is second, with 32.4 percent.

Southern cities tended to rank high in the survey, which was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and used population and housing data collected between 2005 and 2009.

Read more:

OK: I admit it: I'm surprised. Shocked. I thought that there would be other cities way ahead of us. I feel pretty much alone in being a gay parent in this area, with little awareness of other LGBTQ parents.

Bravo to us!



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hospital Visits for the Rest of Us

Good news!

We can now visit our sick loved ones in the hospitals.

Silly that we have to celebrate this, but we'll do and take what we can, huh?


New regulations regarding hospital visitation rights went into effect Tuesday, paving the way for members of the LGBT community to have further control over their own medical decisions.

Under the new protocol, initiated last April and developed over the following months, hospitals partaking in Medicare and Medicaid must now allow all patients to decide visitation rights, as well as who to entrust with making medical decisions on their behalf, regardless of sexual or gender identity.

"This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families. The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting this and has spoken about it often over the years," White House deputy director of public engagement Brian Bond wrote on the White House blog.

Sad but true: this is the kind of gradualism that MLK, Jr., so detested.

But it is the kind of gradualism that Pres. Obama specializes in.



More LGBTQ-Headed Households in the Southeast!

Hard to believe, huh? More LGBTQ headed households are in the southeast parts of the USA. This from the

But as demographers sift through recent data releases from the Census Bureau, they have found that Jacksonville is home to one of the biggest populations of gay parents in the country.

In addition, the data show, child rearing among same-sex couples is more common in the South than in any other region of the country, according to Gary Gates, a demographer at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gay couples in Southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

The pattern, identified by Mr. Gates, is also notable because the families in this region defy the stereotype of a mainstream gay America that is white, affluent, urban and living in the Northeast or on the West Coast.

“We’re starting to see that the gay community is very diverse,” said Bob Witeck, chief executive of Witeck-Combs Communications, which helped market the census to gay people. “We’re not all rich white guys.”

Black or Latino gay couples are twice as likely as whites to be raising children, according to Mr. Gates, who used data from a Census Bureau sampling known as the American Community Survey. They are also more likely than their white counterparts to be struggling economically.

What I did note about this article is that most of us tend to gather around certain parts of the southeast, e.g., CITIES! Not so much in the rural parts of the American South.

Well, let's celebrate! Let's tell our stories!



Friday, January 14, 2011

A Service of Witness to the Resurrection

My father's (Donald P. Mitchell) memorial service is on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 2 PM at Valley Community Presbyterian Church in Portland, OR. He died on 1-11-11. He was 88 years old.

He taught me much, especially about self-discipline, how to aim and reach a goal; and how to laugh. His was a hearty laugh. He taught me how to watch a Woody Allen film. He taught me how to live life out loud.

Prayers ascend...prayers of gratitude!



Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution

Here is my New Year's Resolution posted in "Q Notes"! Happy 2011! May the world be more just, peaceful, and relationships tended well in the coming year(s).

Brett Webb-Mitchell
qnotes contributor
“On Being A Gay Parent”

My New Year’s resolution is to continue to write, speak out, and reveal publicly places, situations, and relationships where LGBTQ parents in particular are treated as second class citizens, and to celebrate where there is a breakthrough in ways that we are related to as equals with non-LGBTQ parents. This resolution is spurred on by being and becoming more tuned in to how the changing of federal and state laws (for good or ill) affects our families; discovering organizations where discrimination against LGBTQ parents is still firmly in place, like the Boy Scouts of America; and being constantly surprised in the moments where a note of grace has sounded in an otherwise acrimonious relationship. : :

And the link:



Friday, January 7, 2011

Those Who Yell the Loudest, Well, They're One of Us

From this category (see the title), we have this bit of breaking news from

Episcopal Rev. Marshall Brown, who helped 14 Virginia parishes leave the main church in protest of the elevation of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson, has been fired by his Fairfax, Virginia parish for viewing pornography on church computers. It was Brown's Truro Church that spearheaded the continuing schism in the American Anglican Church over the ordination of gays.

This is rather incredible...except that I've learned now that those who do scream and carry on the most regarding LGBTQI people and our place in the world are usually one of us. What they are usually screaming at (Freud here), is their own selves which is stuck deep in the back of their crudely made closets.

Click here for more on this subject.

Sad, sad man. But the good news: the truth will make you free! You are now free.



Changing Passports...Changing Times!

This from PFLAG about the change in passport language: from "mom" and "dad" to "parent."

It matters!

See below!



New Passports Ease Burden for Gay Parents

From The Advocate:

Starting this week, citizenship forms for children of American parents born outside of the U.S. and passport applications will now feature gender neutral areas making it easier for gay and lesbian parents to obtain passports for their children.

The change, which began Monday, will use the title of "parent" instead of "mother" and "father." The new language will also show up on Consular Report of Birth Abroad forms, an official record confirming that a child born overseas to an American parent can become a citizenship at birth. "These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families," the department said in a December statement.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Not to Influence a Voting Block: Speak Out Against the Block

In the race for the head of the Republican National Committee (RNC), there was an almost universal tone of being against equal rights for marriage among all (see below from, in which all of those running were of one voice. It baffles me why there are so many LGBTQ people who vote for some Republicans or Democrats who voice opposition to who we are as human beings, but they do.

This is what the candidates said.



Though Republicans may be less willing overall to embrace gay rights than other groups, the party by no means speaks with one voice on the topic. The DADT repeal vote in the Congress carried a few Republican votes with it, and a handful of well-known Republicans have expressed their support for gay marriage as well.

But that's not how the candidates for RNC chair see it. At the debate yesterday, they spoke with basically one voice and said support for gay marriage does not have a place in the modern GOP.

"There are a lot of discussions and debates about the definition of family and everyone has their own way of making it," current chair Michael Steele, who's running an uphill reelection race, said. "As a party though, we have said very clearly that we support this ideal [that marriage is between one man and one woman], that we support this tradition. And I think that is a very good spot for the party to be in."

The man who seems most likely to replace Steele at this point is Wisconsin GOP chair Reince Priebus. At the debate yesterday, he echoed Steele's words and made it clear he saw no legal case for gay marriage.

"I don't believe that judges can rewrite the Constitution and redraft what marriage is," he said. "I think there is a sanctity of marriage."

"Everyone should be loved," he added, "but at the end of the day, I believe that marriage through the sanctity of marriage should be between one man and one woman."

Ann Wagner, the former Bush administration Ambassador to Luxembourg and a past chair of the Missouri Republican Party, told the crowd at the debate that she's also opposed to gay marriage -- and she knows personally that united Republican opposition to the practice can help lead to legal setbacks for the gay rights crowd.

"I also think it's wonderful as a state party chairman as I was to watch these kinds of values reaffirmed legislatively," she said. "When we won the majority in both houses in Missouri for the first time in 50 years, and then elected a Republican governor, we were able to pass a constitutional amendment in Missouri that in fact reaffirmed your 80 percent center-right beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

For LGBTQ Teenagers and Parents: It Gets Better

James Osmanski was seven years old when he first realized he was gay.

He wanted to commit suicide.

Today, he is seventeen, and leads the Gay-Straight Alliance in his high school.

In the article about being a gay teenager, this is what is written about being a gay teenager in an American high school:

One bond among many of the members of the Gay-Straight Alliances in Utah high schools is a history of secrecy, depression and even self-loathing in a community where gay children have sometimes been shunned at church or kicked out of their homes.

LGBTQ parents face many of the same kinds of feelings. There are many LGBTQ parents who remain in the closet, dealing with their feelings about being LGBTQ with the use of alcohol or other drugs; secrecy; depression, and self-loathing, on top of guilt. Fear of losing children in custody battles, or emotional relationships with kids, is real.

And it hurts.

Much work to be done in this area for the new year, 2011.

Happy New Year.