Lesbian Life Blog

My Life, My Struggles & Being a Woman in a Man's World

The Podcasts

I believe Hilary needs to rule The White House in 2012.  Hear her words. 

Direct download: raw_crh.mp3
Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 10:51pm EDT

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation is establishing the
Out and Up Scholarship Fund - an opportunity for disenfranchised
lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Those eligible are young adults (under 25) who have faced negative
responses from caregivers because of their sexual orientation or
gender identity/expression and are no longer welcome or living at home.

Go to: http://www.maricopa.edu/foundation

or contact:

Rachel Rabinovich - (480) 731-8417

Julie Roberts - (602) 509-4808

Direct download: scholarship.mp3
Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 10:29pm EDT

First, Carrie Fisher "outs" John Travolta in an interview with The Advocate.
Now, Tiffany has let slip that New Kids on the Block member Jonathan Knight
is gay. But Knight says his being gay wasn’t a secret anyway.

"I have never been outed by anyone but myself!" Knight posted in a
blog at the band’s blog, according to a Jan. 31 CNN blog posting.
"I did so almost twenty years ago," added Knight, who is a native
of Massachusetts.

Knight was part of the popular boy band for ten years, starting in 1984.
The band reformed in 2008. The following year, tabloid newspaper The
National Enquirer published an article in which a purported male former
lover, Braziian model Kyle Wilker, claimed that Knight was gay.

"I never knew that I would have to [come out] all over again publicly just
because I reunited with NKOTB!" Knight, 42, continued. "I have lived my
life very openly and have never hidden the fact that I am gay!

"Apparently the pre-requisite to being a gay public figure is to appear on
the cover of a magazine with the caption ’I am gay,’ " Knight added.
"I apologize for not doing so if this is what was expected! My belief is
that you live your life by example, and not by a caption on a magazine!"

The entertainer went on to say, "If there ever has been any confusion
about my sexuality, then you are someone that doesn’t even know me!"
However, he indicated a disinclination to make his sexuality a focus
of discussion, adding, "I love living my life being open and honest,
but at this time I choose not to discuss my private life any further!
My fellow band members don’t discuss their private lives with their
loved ones and I don’t feel that just because I am gay, I should have
to discuss mine!"

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 7:39pm EDT

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Feb 1, 2011

During her father’s presidency, George W. Bush daughter Barbara and
her twin sister Jenna made headlines for their party-girl antics.
Now, Barbara Bush heads up a non-profit and has declared herself
in favor of inviting everyone to another sort of party; Ms. Bush
has called for marriage rights for gay and lesbian families.

Barbara Bush, 29, is featured in a video released by the
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), reported the Associated Press
on Feb. 1. In the video, Ms. Bush, a resident of Manhattan,
says that she is a "New Yorker for marriage equality." The AP
article noted that her father supported an amendment to the
United States Constitution that would have targeted gay and
lesbian families for exclusion from marriage.

New York state does not offer marriage to same-sex couples,
but will honor marriages granted to gay and lesbian families
in other jurisdictions. Equality advocates, buoyed by the
election of Gov. Andrew Cuomo--an outspoken proponent of
marriage equality--hope to see New York join the five states
that do grant gays and lesbians legal access to marital rights
and protections.

"I’m Barabara Bush, and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality,"
Ms. Bush says in the 22-second video, which announces via text
that "New Yorkers support full marriage equality."

"New York is about fairness and equality," Ms. Bush continues,
"and everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love."

"Barbara Bush joins prominent Republicans like her mother Laura Bush
as well as Dick Cheney and Ted Olson as supporters of marriage
equality," stated the HRC, reported CNN on Jan. 31.

CNN also noted that the children of other conservative politicians
have spoken out for full family parity, including Meghan McCain
and openly lesbian Mary Cheney, daughter of the former vice president.

The difference in viewpoints toward the civil rights of gay and lesbian
families may reflect a larger generational divide. Polls show that support
continues to grow for full legal and social equality for sexual minorities,
in issues ranging from marriage equality to military service by openly gay
and lesbian patriots. One consistent factor has been the greater acceptance
toward GLBTs by younger Americans.

A major part of that shift is thought to be increased visibility of out
GLBT Americans. A Feb. 1 AOL News article says that while a student at
Yale, Ms. Bush had gay and lesbian classmates--a simple fact of life that
remained the case when she entered the work force in the fashion world
before establishing a non-profit. The New York Times, in a Jan. 31 article,
quoted an openly gay college friend of Ms. Bush, C. Brian Smith, as recalling
that during her student days, Ms. Bush "was loved by the gay community at Yale."

"No matter what party they belong to, young Americans believe in basic
fairness and equality," noted the HRC’s Brian Ellner.

The AP noted that the HRC has posted videos online of other celebrities
endorsing marriage equality, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, Whoopi Goldberg,
Kenneth Cole, Mayor Bloomberg, Moby, Julianne Moore, and married actors
Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon.

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 7:34pm EDT

by Angela Alberti
Bay Windows contributor
Tuesday Feb 1, 2011

Show of support for "An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights."

Despite snow-covered roads last Thursday, Jan. 27, more than 75 transgender
rights advocates and allies from across Massachusetts traveled to the State
House in Boston to visit their legislators. Their goal was to show support
and gather legislative co-sponsors for "An Act Relative to Transgender Equal
Rights," a bill that, if passed, would add gender identity and expression to
existing Massachusetts civil rights laws.

"Our goal is to make legislators aware that there are constituents in their
districts who care about this bill. Some of the folks visiting today are
transgender themselves, some are friends, family, and allies," said Gunner
Scott, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
(MTPC), which sponsored the Transgender Equal Rights Action Day. Scott said
the number of legislative co-sponsors is indicative of the level of support
that can be expected if the bill is voted on.

The bill was first introduced in the 2007-2008 legislative session by
Representatives Carl Sciortino and Byron Rushing, but over the past three
sessions has been sent to committee study and has not been acted upon,
despite having 104 co-sponsors -- the most co-sponsors of any bill in
last year’s session.

"There are thousands of bills filed each year and many never make it
to the floor for a vote," Scott said. He thinks that the bill will have
as many co-sponsors this year, and is optimistic that it will make it to
the floor this session.

Zippy Ostroy, a retired speech pathologist from Brookline, doesn’t know
anyone who is transgender, but wanted to show her support for the issues.
"Supporting equal rights for transgender people seems like an obvious
thing. It’s necessary," she said. "I didn’t even realize the extent of
the problem until I got involved with Keshet."

Keshet is a Jewish organization that works for the inclusion of gay,
lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. "But I’m not
concerned just with the problems that the Jewish community has with
this -- it’s a broader problem. And the discrimination and negative
impacts of discrimination, including violence, employment problems,
and housing problems, they shouldn’t be there," Ostroy said.

Ostroy said another reason she attended the day of action was because she
thinks that organizations fighting against trans rights are slowing the
process down. "The anti-rights groups, they’re very vocal and organized.
So I think any visible support for this bill is beneficial," she said.

Joan Stratton, a clinical social worker from Mattapoisett, travelled almost
two hours to show her support at the State House. "I’m going to Senator
Montigny’s office and Representative Straus’s office to say this is really
important to me as a trans woman," she said. Stratton said that the trans
people she knows in her area are not openly identified as trans because
they’re afraid of discrimination. "They could lose their jobs if their
employers find out they identify this way," she says.

Stratton herself was commuting to work in Rhode Island until recently
because it is one of the few states where transgender people are offered
equal protection in employment, housing, and credit. There are currently
thirteen states with similar laws protecting people on the basis of gender
identity. "I’m a social worker; I help people for a living," she said.
"I’m [also] a Vietnam era veteran and I’ve served my country since I
was a teenager, and I’d just like to have the favor returned."

Elizabeth Maria Rivera Valentine, a community organizer for TransCEND,
an HIV prevention and education program for trans women, says the law is
particularly important for her clients, many of whom are homeless or
unemployed but want to find work. "This law would put it in the books
that they can’t discriminate against us based on gender identity," she
said. "It’s basically adding the ’T’ in GLBT to all the laws." According
to a 2009 survey by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 97 percent
of transgender people surveyed experienced harassment on the job, and
respondents experienced unemployment at almost double the rate of the
general population.

Valentine, who has a younger sister who is also transgender, feels that her
advocacy of trans rights is setting an example for others. "I wanted to prove
not only to my family, but to myself, that you can live a successful life as
a trans woman," she said. "I think one of the lessons I’ve learned is that
silence won’t get you very far. You have to be able to speak up for your
rights, and as human beings we deserve to be equal."

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 7:27pm EDT