Second Anniversary of Jennifer Gale's death yet Austin Transgender remain out in the Cold

Two years have passed since transgender woman and former mayoral candidate Jennifer Gale died on the steps of a Austin Church. Jennifer's serenades often preceded council appearances and her notoriety spurred a outcry and a memorial was held. It was so very, very cold at her memorial on that grey Austin day but sadly her death has yielded no concrete results. The publicly funded homeless city shelter the ARCH, still offers no overnight accommodations to transgender woman.

Please watch at least a few minutes for Jennifer.

In a email response Charles Kemp, Office of the Director, Austin/Travis County HHSD stated that the city funded homeless shelter ARCH does not allow transgender people to overnight, have a transgender written transgender policy or separate facilities to insure safety of transgender people should they take advantage of the 'day sleepers' program.

According to Natasha Ponczek, Homeless Program Coordinator at City of Austin to the best of her knowledge there are no plans to make facility changes at the ARCH to accommodate transgender people. Phone calls to Helen Varty Executive director of ARCH were not returned.

Salvation Army Shelter only hope.

The only place for a transgender person faced with deathly cold would be the Salvation Army's Austin Shelter for Women and Children which receives funding from the city. According to shelter director Cathey Ridings the Austin shelter does have '....a policy against gender discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity.'

Licence verifying your stated gender required.

According to Ridings there is no written policy defining the procedures staff would follow should a transender person request overnight accommodations, but said a licence or similar documentation would be required that aligned with the persons stated gender expression prior to admittance to the women's shelter.

When I commented that the Salvation Army nationwide has a reputation for turning away transgender people. Ridings said things were different in Austin and people were a little more accepting.

I applaud Cathey Ridings for her powerful love of people but without written policy there is no standard of care.

Lisa Scheps of the local transgender group TENT replied when questioned about the lack of transgender homeless facilities "We have been working with local homeless shelters since Jennifer died. Currently the only agency with beds for single women is the Salvation Army and I have been working closely with them to try to get them to be a bit more trans inclusive… they are trying. But currently there are only 47 beds for single women… So we continue to work. And, yes, it IS discriminatory and we are working on changing things."

Two years past and many cold nights.

It is a travesty the cities 100% funded shelter remains without a written policy and
ongoing training of staff. This is a disastrous combination for transgender people especially queer youth. Because of traumatic circumstances that lead them there all ways leave emotional unstable and a misgendering, even innocently intentionally by staff could push the transgender person out the safety of the shelter seeking the shameless anonymity of a church walkway and death like Jenifer Gale on that starry, starry night.

I cry for the unnecessary senseless lose of you Jenifer and am shameful that we have not done better since your death. RIP dear Jenifer.


Bowling Green Anti transgender Political Mailer Campaign Slanders nonresidents

Bowling Green Ohio political action group "BG Citizens Voting No to Special Rights Discrimination" mass mailing being sent to area voters

Click mailer for ABC11 video
The mailer's intentional misgendering and slandering of non resident transgender people is crafted to instill fear, distrust and transphobia in hearts of local Bowling Green voters.

But there's a even more insidious malevolent intent.

This campaign is meant to cow transgender people nationwide. Its purpose is to isolate us individually making us hope for safety in obscure anonymity. They wish to make us subservient to there extremist right wing agenda, fearful of intimidation.

This pseudo political hate group has obtained enough petition signatures to put to vote the Bowling Green human rights ordinances passed by the city council last August.

The BG hate group methods mirrors in many ways mirror the failed recall campaigns waged by local hate groups and defeated by popular vote spearheaded by Michigan's One Kalamazoo and Florida's Equality Gainesville and Equality is Gainesville's Business.

Truth Wins Out!

One Bowling Green responds and is validated as the hateful lies disappear in the presence of truth! There have been no discrimination complaints filed since Kalamazoo ordinance vote or instances of anyone's privacy or safety being compromised by equality in Gainesville.

Kinetic Playground nightclub Cancels "Burn Queers" performer Capleton


Source: Cody Maxwell Meltzer thekineticplayground.com
"The Capleton show has been canceled at The Kinetic Playground. I have spoke with Andy Thayer and Roger Fraser to inform them of such. This show many still happen somewere else but as far as The Kinetic Playground is concerned this show will never happen at our venue. We supported your organization, now we would hope that the LGBT community would come support ours. Come out and have a drink the Oct 9th at theKinetic Playground!"
Andy Thayer organizer for the GLN has confirmed that this Chicago venue which was persisting on hosting this vehemently anti LGBT Jamaican performer has canceled the Capleton show.

Source: Andy Thayer GLN Organizer Facebook page GLN: Chicago-Area LGBTQA Liberation Network :
"Once Again, Public Pressure Delivers the Goods!"

"Please THANK "The Kinetic Playground" Nightclub for Doing the Right Thing!"

"Through a series of negotiations this week and last and with the threat of a demonstration, Gay Liberation Network (GLN) and other community activists were successful in persuading management at Kinetic Playground nightclub, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, to cancel "Kill Gays" dancehall performer Capleton for a show originally scheduled for late this Saturday night, October 9th."

"In human rights circles, Capleton's Jamaica has one of the worst reputations for anti-LGBT mob violence in the hemisphere, with Jamaican police openly tolerating it. In 2004 the country's leading gay rights campaigner, Brian Williamson, was stabbed multiple times in an apparent anti-gay hate murder. The constant threat of violence has forced other gay rights campaigners to flee the country."

"Capleton is one of a small group of Jamaican performers who have gained international notoriety for openly calling for the murder of lesbians and gays in the lyrics of their songs. As recently as last December at a concert in Jamaica, Capleton called out congratulations from the stage to those who commit violence -- "All who a bun battyman and sodomite, hand up!" ("All who have burned queers and sodomites, put your hands up!")."

"We are big supporters of free speech, having had our own threatened on numerous occasions. But only a fool would say that calls to lynch people – whoever the targets – is "free speech," any more than is yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Nor is Capleton's right to spew hate from the stage compromised by GLN's right to protest his presence on that stage. He has a right, within limits, to say what he pleases; he has no right to the stage he wants to say it from, it doesn't belong to him."

"The cancellation of Capleton is a victory that all human rights supporters should savor. The Gay Liberation Network, which initiated the campaign against Capleton in Chicago, commends Kinetic Playground management for putting human rights principles above dollars by canceling the show."

"Please put an exclamation point on this victory by buying a drink or two this Saturday night at Kinetic Playground, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, so that the management and staff there know that Chicago is willing to stand behind those who follow their conscience."
Outside the Windy? Please Email The Kinetic Playground and thank them!


Texas Breakaway Episcopal Groups newest ally against LGBT people "Exodus International"

The same people who are attempting to abscond with the one true Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth Texas property have a new ally in there misguided mission to "fix" or exclude LGBT people and women from priesthood. A link to Exodus International was recently added to the breakaway groups home page.

The link will bring you to a letter to Iker in which Exodus International spends much time defending itself and placing it's lot with Iker's breakaway congregation.

Exodus International conducts 'reparative therapy', a discredited proccess in which a counselor attempts to convert a LGBT person making her or him 'straight'. According to the American Psychiatric Association:
"The potential risks of “reparative therapy” are great and include depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."
My question is this. Why would Iker and his misguided Christians align themselves in the name of god with a organization who's methods have been proven dangerous and even fatal to LGBT people. Why would Iker position his congregation with a radically dangerous group that believes only straight people are beloved of Christ and all others are the adversary of god.


GLN to PROTEST "BURN qUEERs" Performer Capleton

Breaking News!Kinetic Playground Nightclub announces Capleton is CANCELED
Source GLN: In an anti-gay social climate that has led several young LGBTs to commit suicide in recent weeks, Kinetic Playground Nightclub has persisted in going forward with its booking of notorious "Kill Gays" performer Capleton next Saturday night.

A few weeks ago the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) politely contacted Kinetic Playground owner Jim Gouskos to inform him about Capleton's history and attempt to persuade him to cancel the concert.... Gouskos claimed that he was locked into a contract which prevented him from canceling, to which we replied that many other venues, such as Chicago's House of Blues, have successfully canceled other "kill gays" performers.

In a follow-up conversation, GLN organizer Roger Fraser said that in the event that Kinetic Playground refused to cancel Capleton, there would be a protest. Gouskos replied, "Don't threaten me because I can get a bunch of goons outside to throw eggs at you guys."

Goons or not, the protest is now on --

10:30 PM, Saturday, Oct. 9
In front of Kinetic Playground
1113 W. Lawrence Avenue


Background --

Capleton is a performer in the Jamaican "dancehall" tradition who promotes violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities in his lyrics. One of his songs is entitled "Bun out Di Chi Chi," which translates to "Burn the Queer," and an example of one of his lyrics is the noxious:

"Shoulda know seh Capleton bun battyman,
the same fire apply to di lesbian"
("[you] should know that Capleton burns queers,
[and] the same fire applies to lesbians").

In 2004, Capleton's scheduled concerts in three venues in California were canceled after LGBT pressure was applied because of his calls from the stage to kill gays.

Losing lots of U.S. dollars because of cancellations, Capleton and a few other anti-gay reggae singers finally in 2007 felt compelled to sign a document known as the Reggae Compassionate Act, which is a pledge no longer to sing or otherwise profit from songs that promote violence against LGBT people. However, Capleton quickly violated the terms of the agreement. As a result, his tours in Switzerland and France were canceled in 2008.

As recently as last Christmas in a Jamaican concert, Capleton again loudly proclaimed to his audience: "All who a bun battyman and sodomite, hand up!" ("All who have burned queers and sodomites, put your hands up!") This outrageous call to celebrate murder caused LGBT activists in Long Beach, California, to mobilize, and promoters cooperated by canceling Capleton's invitation to participate at the prestigious Reggae Muffins Festival last February.

Our current protest has already generated substantial coverage in the reggae music press, and one of Jamaica's most prominent newspapers, The Gleaner, has given the protest surprisingly favorable coverage:
This Saturday night, please help stand up to the hate that promotes violence against young and old in our LGBT community.

Facebook page PROTEST "Kill Gays" Performer in Uptown!


Take us OUT to the ballgame: Time for Rangers to join majority of MLB teams, sponsor a gay night

By Rafael McDonnell

I’ve always loved baseball. It takes me back to summer nights at my grandparents’ house, listening to games on a crackly AM radio, dreaming of the word pictures painted by the play-by-play announcers in faraway places.

Later, I was lucky enough to work at the flagship radio station for the Texas Rangers, and got to see in person the team’s first two playoff appearances. That’s why I was especially happy to see the Rangers make the playoffs again this year, after an 11-year break.

At the same time I was cheering on the Rangers, it made me think. Why hasn’t the team conducted its own outreach event directed to its LGBT fans? For that matter, why haven’t any of the other major sports teams in North Texas held such an outreach?

By my count, 16 of the 30 Major League Baseball teams had held LGBT-specific community days prior to this season. The Chicago Cubs — the only MLB team with an LGBT owner — have held their event since 2001. The Philadelphia Phillies started theirs a year later. Other teams, from Los Angeles to Denver and New York to Tampa Bay, have also conducted similar community days.

This year, two more teams held LGBT community days: the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros. Both are significant because the teams themselves were the driving force behind the events.

The Astros called their event “Pride at the Park,” donated a portion of ticket sales to seven local LGBT nonprofits, and invited the Bayou City Chorale, a chorus made up of gay men and lesbians, to sing the national anthem.

According to the Houston Press, more than 1,000 members of the LGBT community attended the game. Other reports indicate there was no major opposition to “Pride at the Park.”

Earlier this month in St. Louis, about 200 members of that city’s LGBT community attended the Cardinals’ first-ever “OUT at the Ballpark” after the team reached out to Pride St. Louis.

In Minneapolis this past July, the fourth annual “Out in the Stands” event hosted by the Twins drew more than 1,200 fans to Target Field. For $25, attendees received a game ticket, admission to a pre- and after-party, and a T-shirt.

So, what about the Texas Rangers?

In 2003, roughly 200 tickets were sold to a community-generated, non-team-sponsored event. The event, spearheaded by then-employees of Resource Center Dallas, hoped to draw 1,000 members of the North Texas LGBT community.

It also drew protests from church groups. Since then, there have been no other similar events involving the local major sports teams and their LGBT fans.

The Rangers are under new ownership. With Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan in place, the team has reached out to fans by cutting prices on concessions, beer and parking. Have they considered an “LGBT Day at the Ballpark”? If so, would the community support it and attend? What should happen at such an event?

If the team hasn’t thought about holding such an event, we can encourage them to do so. Send them an e-mail, make a call or write a letter. Congratulate the Rangers on winning their division, and ask them to hold an outreach “day at the Ballpark” event for their LGBT fans in 2011. Show them that an event like this would be great for both the fans and the team.

The Rangers’ e-mail is fanfeedback@rangers.mlb.com. The team’s address is 1000 Ballpark Way #400, Arlington, Texas 76011, and their phone number is 817-273-5222.

And while were at it, Mavericks and Stars — some of your peer teams are having similar events. In the NBA, The Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors have held LGBT events, as has the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers.

This would be a tremendous opportunity to reach fans that may feel marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and build a lasting loyalty to the teams. As best I can tell, no NFL team has conducted an LGBT outreach event, including the Cowboys.

It’s no secret that homophobia is an issue in sports — two-thirds of sports reporters identified it as a problem, according to a study conducted last year by Penn State University.

But events like LGBT community days at sporting events are a step toward fighting it. 2010-2011 isn’t 2003, and if the Astros can reach out to welcome the community, so can the Rangers.

Rafael McDonnell is strategic communications and programs manager for Resource Center of Dallas.