Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Reminder of the Hatred and Intolerance Around the World — the self portraits of men living in countries where homosexuality is against the law.
I'd only add that Conservative members of our current Supreme Court have voted in ways that would have placed my lover and I in this group. The Lawrence v. Texas decision that outlawed so called "sodomy laws" ended the direct criminalizing of our love for each other.

Jesse’s Journal

Hospital
Visitation: A Daily Struggle for LGBT Couples

 
 
HospitalHands Every day, same-sex couples must fight for the basic rights that
straight
married couples take for granted.  One of those basic rights is the
right
to visit your partner in the hospital.  Michael and I are fortunate to
live
in Broward County, a progressive county in the mostly conservative state
of
Florida. Broward has a Domestic Partners ordinance which, among other
things, guarantees the right of domestic partners to visit their loved
ones in
the hospital.During the last year, Michael and I had to be
hospitalized
in separate occasions: Michael in the Cleveland Clinic in March and I in
Broward
General in June. (Happily, neither hospital visit lasted for more than a

day or so.) In either case, our partner was allowed unlimited access
into
the hospital’s emergency room to be with our loved one.

 
Unfortunately, other couples were not so fortunate. During the
height of
the AIDS epidemic, too many men were forcibly kept away
from
their dying lovers by hospitals and hospices who did not recognize their

relationships. Just last year, partners Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond
experienced homophobia first hand when Pond suffered an aneurysm during a

Florida vacation. When Pond was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in
Miami, Langbehn and her children were denied access to Pond because (in
the
hospital’s opinion) she wasn’t a “real” family member. As a result,
Pond
died alone, in spite of the fact that she and Langbehn had living wills,

advanced directives and power-of-attorney documents. This didn’t
matter,
according to a heartless hospital worker, who allegedly told Langbehn
that she
was in an “antigay city and state.” (This might be true of the State of

Florida, but not of the City of Miami.) Langbehn, not surprisingly,
sued
the hospital.

 
 
Obviously an incident like this one does nothing for Jackson’s
reputation,
especially when one considers the hospital’s current financial
problems. To their credit, officials from the Jackson Health System (JHS) dealt
with the
resulting brouhaha by meeting with a coalition of local LGBT
organizations,
including SAVE Dade (Safeguarding American Values for Everyone), to
solve this
pressing (and embarrassing) issue. The end result of these
negotiations,
announced on April 12, was a change of policy for JHS that gave the
same-sex
partners of lesbian, bisexual and gay patients the same visiting rights
as
heterosexual spouses.  Jackson redefined its definition of “family” to
include people who are not legally related to the patient, including
“spouses,
domestic partners and both different-sex and same-sex significant
others.” 
Meanwhile, “while this is a positive step for the LGBT community in
South
Florida, the work to implement fair visitation policies throughout the
rest of
South Florida and across the state is far from over,” announced SAVE
Dade.
 
 
Kathleen_Sebelius Coincidentally, on April 15th President Barack Obama, who’s having
his own
problems with his LGBT constituents, issued a memorandum that calls for
an end
to discriminatory policies that limit hospital visitation to legal
spouses and
immediate family members
.  The president directed Health and Human
Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to “ensure” that hospitals that participate
in
Medicare and Medicaid (that is, most hospitals) “respect the rights of
patients
to designate visitors” and allow those visitors the same privileges that
married
spouses and legitimate children take for granted. The memo makes no
mention of assisted living facilities.) Obama then called Janice
Langbehn,
to express his sympathy and apologize for the injustice done to her and
her dead
partner. “I hope that taking these steps makes sure that no family every
has to
experience the nightmare that my family has gone though,” she replied.
 
 
Clay and Harold - Sonoma Unfortunately, the fight is far from over. Two years ago Clay
Greene
and Harold Scull
(at the left), an elderly couple living in “liberal” Sonoma County,
California, were forcibly separated when Scull fell and became
incapacitated. Though the couple had provided for such an emergency,
the
County refused to recognize their relationship.
It got a judge to
declare
Greene – who had allegedly acted violently against Scull – mentally
incompetent,
placed both men in separate facilities, gained the power of
conservatorship from
a sympathetic judge, and then proceeded to take over, sell or keep the
couple’s
belongings.  Through it all, Greene was not allowed to visit Scull, who
died in August 2008. Needless to say, Greene is now suing the
County.
 
 
Cases like this remind us that we must keep vigilant and
ever-active in our
struggle for the rights of same-sex couples. Horror stories like these
will not cease until and unless lesbian and gay couples achieve the same
rights
that straight married couples now have, whether in Florida, California,
or
across these United States.
 
 
Jesse Monteagudo (jesssemonteagudo@aol.com)
is a
freelance writer and regular contributor.

Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock

TakingWoodstock325_000 Earlier this week I had an opportunity to catch an advance screening of the new Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock.

ElliotNVilma The movie has a great script that sparkle with the gifts of one of the best casts I've ever seen.  Everyone is believable and wonderful in their roles.  Demetri Martin, someone I knew only for his comedic work, is sweet and endearing as Elliot Tiber, the man who put the festival planners and Max Yasgur (played by the wonderful Eugene Levy) together.  His story (told in his memoir Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life) is about the motel-owning parents he's trying to help (the brilliant Imelda Staunton and Henry Goodman).  But the story is also about Tiber's coming to terms with his sexuality and trying to figure out what to do with his life.  The acting is all top shelf and some of the roles are worthy of Oscar consideration starting with Staunton role as the overbearing mother who manages to offer both the funniest and painful moments in the film. 

I left the movie thinking that Ang Lee may be the most Gay-friendly director working today.  Throughout his long career he's turned in some of the most thoughtful representations of Gay life — from the couple in his early Wedding Banquet to the now classic Brokeback Mountain.  In telling the story of an iconic festival that took place months after the Stonewall rebellion, Lee doesn't skimp on the connection.  In many AngLeeways the Stonewall rebellion, which occurred a few months before Woodstock, is represented by Liev Schreiber's oscar-worthy performance as Vilma.  She arrives as an angel of sorts who helps Elliot loosen up and live his life.  These performances are the shiniest in a field of diamonds.

I just saw the movie a few hours ago but I highly recommend this film to our readers.  It was a delight  — the music is good too if only secondary to the story of love and community that comes shining through.   – Dan

(FOR THE RECORD: The screening I attended was sponsored by The Nation magazine.  These are my opinions only.  Take it as a friendly suggestion!)

WC79 – Sanctuary

79-Cover White Crane Issue #79

Winter 2008/09


Sanctuary

Hi Friends!
Below are excerpts from
our Winter 2008/09 issue on Sanctuary. 
Please understand that we rely on the
support of subscribers to keep going.


So,
subscribe today and keep the conversation going!  Consider giving a gift subscription to your friends who could use some wisdom!

Columns

Opening Words "A Place For Us" The Editors
Updrafts by Dan Vera
Praxis "Into Loving Arms" by Andrew Ramer

Departments

Call for Submissions
Subscriber Information
Contribution Information

Taking Issue

"The Heartline that Connects Us" Harry Hay on the Need for Sanctuary – From 1981|

A WHITE CRANE CONVERSATION
"Queer Spirit in Salt Lake City: A Conversation with Jerry Buie on Building Gay Sanctuary"
By Corey Taylor

"Memory As Magic Faerie Camp Destiny"  By Bambi Gauthier
"Holding Sanctuary Easton Mountain" By John Stasio
"Sanctuary as Refuge Portland" By Enrique E. Andrade
"Zuni Sanctuary A Journal from the High Mountain Desert" By Joe Birdsong
"Short Mountain Sanctuary: A History" By Gabby Haze
"Place Where Our Hearts Take Hope" By Stafford Whiteaker
"Loneliness & the Sanctuary of the Spirit"  By Jay Michaelson

A WHITE CRANE CONVERSATION
"The Caffe Cino - Steve Susoyev Speaks with George Birimisa"

Culture Reviews

Hadrian at the British Museum
    
Reviewed by Paul Harmon
Condor One  By John Simpson
    
Reviewed by Steve Lavigne
Life in Paradox: The Story of a Gay Catholic Priest  By Paul Murray
    Reviewed by Toby Johnson
Spirit Dancing: Radical Faerie Ritual Chants
    
Reviewed by Mark Thompson
So Many Ways to Sleep Badly By Matt Bernstein Sycamore
    
Reviewed by Steve Lavigne
The Space Between Our Danger and Delight  Poems by Dan Vera
    
Reviewed by Collin Kelley

For more White Crane, become a fan on Facebook and join us on Yahoogroups.

Subscribe today and keep the conversation going!  Consider giving a gift subscription to
your friends who could use some wisdom!  If there's an article listed
above that was not excerpted online, copies of this issue are available
for purchase.  Contact us at editors@gaywisdom.org

Dustin Lance Black at the Oscars

A moving speech:

"Oh my God. This was, um. This was not an easy film to make. First off, I have to thank Cleve Jones and Anne Kronenberg and all the real-life people who shared their stories with me. And, um, Gus Van Sant, Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, James Franco, and our entire cast, my producers, Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, everyone at Groundswell and Focus, for taking on the challenge of telling this life-saving story. When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married.

I want to thank my mom who has always loved me for who I am, even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches or by the government  or by their families that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours. (Wild applause from the audience.) Thank you, thank you, and thank you God for giving us Harvey Milk."  – Dustin Lance Black

Calls for Future Issues

The following are the scheduled topics for future issues of White Crane. In an effort to remain as topical as a quarterly publication can be, the order of this schedule may be changed so that we may be responsive to the "zeitgeist."

80MusicNPoetry  Spring 2009
Music & Poetry

We honor the place of music in our lives. We shed light on pioneers in the creation of Gay music. We revel in the works of visionary Gay troubadors.
We also will announce the winner of the 2009 White Crane/James White Poetry Prize

Deadline for Spring 2009:
February 1, 2009

 

81Anniversary  Summer 2009
Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary & the 30th Anniversary of the 1st Radical Faerie Gathering

Exploring what survivors experienced then and what we've experienced since, where we are now and what we're doing to get where we want to be in the future, individually and collectively. A call for stories, photos, poems and other sharings from 1979 survivors, and from younger faeries influenced by that seminal event and their own, more recent, experiences and dreams.
Deadline: May 1, 2009

82Freethought 

Fall 2009
Freethought
We honor the lives of those who follow a humanist, agnostic or atheist path in life. What is the place of reason in life and how does one construct a life without the need for certainty about or belief in a God.

Deadline for Fall 2009:
August 1, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

83Fathers  Winter 2009:
Fathers
We invite an exploration of our relationship with fathers. How are we fathered? How do we father? Conflict and resonance? The man who set a role we rebelled from or grew to resemble? Tell us your story of Father.

Deadline for Winter 2009:
November 1, 2009

Liar Liar Pants On Fire…

Pantsfire For all the talk of "liberal media" it’s interesting to note the half truths and flat out lies the media and commentariat let go by, unchallenged:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere." She also accepted the money and used it for other purposes.

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: "She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: "She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

___