Recent Articles

America cleans up its homophobic language

As the country becomes more accepting of the civil rights of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans, it is also beginning to reexamine its language used to demeans us. In last month’s New York Times’ article “The Decline of the ‘H’ Word,” Jeremy Peters wrote that while the word “homosexual” for the most part is “inoffensive,” “outdated,” and perhaps “innocuous,” the word nonetheless is viewed by many in our LGBTQ community as a pejorative term. According to George P. Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the UC, Berkeley, because many still associate the word “homosexual” with sexual deviance, the preferred terms are “gay” and “lesbian.”

“Gay doesn’t use the word sex,” Lakoff said. “Lesbian doesn’t use the word sex. Homosexual does. Continue Reading →

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Tom Joyner’s homophobic message to Black community is sad but no surprise



On May 1, Jason Collins, the 7’-0” center for the Washington Wizards and a former Boston Celtic, came out. His statement — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m Black. And I’m gay” — made the cover story for the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated. On May 2, three Morehouse College basketball athletes were accused of raping an 18-year-old Spelman College student. Continue Reading →

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Obama linking Selma to Stonewall divides Black community


President Barack Obama’s inaugural address was the most inclusive speech a president has ever given. It was delivered on the 27th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the president honored King’s legacy when he eloquently spoke of how the many U.S. liberation movements, both current and historic, are interconnected. “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

As an African American lesbian, whose identity is linked to all three movements, I felt affirmed. I applaud the president’s courageous pronouncement. Some African Americans, however, felt “dissed” by the president’s speech. Continue Reading →

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Malawi LGBTQs’ short-lived freedom


I’d like to believe that Malawi’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) citizens and tourists had a few days to breathe easier. On November 5, the government issued a moratorium suspending all laws decriminalizing homosexuality. Three days later, on November 8, homosexuality was illegal again. Had the moratorium held, Malawi’s LGBTQ citizens, who constantly walk in fear and have increasingly been singled out, could not be arrested by police or be reported as engaging in same-gender consensual activity. Tourists would also be protected from arrest. Continue Reading →

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Obama harkens back to slavery with ‘states’ rights’ for same-sex marriage

Last July, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Americans and our allies celebrated New York State becoming the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex marriage. And, of course, it sent an urgent message to President Obama. But what does it signal to us LGBTQ citizens when the first African American president wants to employ states’ rights, which once upon a time in this country federally mandated racial segregation and sanctioned American slavery, to address the issue of same-sex marriage? As a civil rights attorney, Obama knows that employing states’ rights violates our full constitutional rights as well as re-institutionalizes the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson. As a result of that case, the ”separate but equal” doctrine became the rule of law until it was struck down in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. Continue Reading →

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