Archive for lesbian

The Power Online Visits Sen Onorato’s District Office – Part 1

Posted in Senator George Onorato with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by jonwinkleman

There’s a new Ruben Diaz, Sr. in town, and his name is George Onorato.  He’s another New York Democratic Senator who has declared his opposition to gay marriage even though he represents a very gay district.  It seems that members of The Power from NY State Senator George Onorato’s district who asked for a meeting were told they needed to travel to Albany to talk to him. The Power doesn’t play that game. You represent us.  You meet with us.  You explain your positions to us.  You do not rule by fiat.  You rule by the will of the people.

We made the first of many visits to Onorato’s district office in Long Island City Queens where we were encountered by an office manager who refused to provide an answer for the Senator’s position.

Starting today, if you live in Astoria, Woodside, or Long Island City and have a friend with a camera that shoots video,

  1. Please visit Senator Onorato’s district office and urge his staff to tell him to vote for same sex marriage. 
  2. And when they say he won’t, document their reasons, and do press for a reason. 
  3. As a constituent demand to know why your elected representative is opposing civil rights. 
  4. And then post it in the comments here so we can share it with the entire country.

Visit Sen Onorato’s district office at:
28-11 Astoria Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11102
(between 28th and 29th St)

Call Sen George Onorato today and EVERY DAY and demand he support same sex marriage in New York now.
district office: 718-545-9706

Now is our time.

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Day Of Silence 2009: I Almost Took my Life in High School

Posted in Dignity for All Students Act, GLSEN, National Day of Silence, suicide, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2009 by jonwinkleman

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by Jon Winkleman

April 17, 2009 is the National Day of Silence to bring attention to anti LGBT bullying in our schools. Today would also have been the 12th birthday of Carl Walker Hoover. Carl was bullied and called “gay” in school. Even though his mother pleaded with Carl’s teachers and the school administrators to take action, they allowed the bulling to continue. Last week at age 11, a week from his birthday, Carl Walker-Hoover tied a noose out of an extension cord and hung himself. The bullying finally stopped. Carl may not have been gay but he was bullied and called the same names I was at his age. This makes him my brother.

During my sophomore year at Pilgrim High School in 1983 girl had invited me to the Junior Prom. This was one year before I came out to myself. At the time I was too afraid to even consider naming the feelings I had buried deep inside. I was terrified that if I ever did identify as gay there was no going back and I would forever be an outcast. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school. I was occasionally taunted and bullied. I was called “gay” and “fag.” I was always picked last for teams during gym class. The worst was when someone snuck behind me between classes to spill the books, notes and paper in my hands all over the floor. I still remember the humiliation of getting down on my knees to pick up a 15-foot swath of paper and books. Humiliated, as every other student paraded to his or her next class and knowing that I was the weak one. I was a lamb to be sacrificed at the altar of adolescent anxieties. Telling my mom would have been even more humiliating. How do you tell the one person who thought I was the smartest most special person in the world that she was wrong? I was lucky to have been invited by a girl who was sweet and pretty but too tall and also not one of the popular kids in her class. It should have been the most special day of my sophomore year.

The principle let everyone with prom tickets out early to pick up tuxes, dresses and flowers. When I got home I didn’t feel excited about the magic night ahead. I sat alone feeling especially alienated and cut off from all of my classmates. The thought running through my head wasn’t a defined thought of “I want to kill myself.” Instead it was a strong and vivid image of me fastening a noose out of the white cotton clothesline bundled up in the kitchen hardware draw. Then I would tie the noose to a rafter and put my head in it. This very graphic image scared the crap out of me and I dialed a local suicide prevention hotline. I don’t know how long I talked to the volunteer at the other end. It seemed like more than an hour. My thoughts were racing around erratically. Everything felt “out of time.”

More than anything else, what got me to pick up the phone and talk to someone was the thought of my mom calling up my date to say “Jon killed himself an hour before the date.” I cared more about ruining her life than saving my own. After that weekend, the whole experience shook me up enough that I then began a yearlong process of trying to look at my buried feelings and deal with them.

I never mentioned the buried gay feeling to the hotline volunteer. If I had hung myself there would have been no note mentioning that I was gay or bullied. What angers me the most is I know that my classmates would have been clueless as to why I killed myself. None would have made a connection to spilling my books or calling me “fag” in the hall and me hanging myself. Both students and teachers would have told the press that this was a terrible tragedy and said they didn’t know why such a nice kid would take their own life. None would acknowledge the daily humiliation and torture that bullied children go through every day. Even today when the rare victim become a shooter instead of a simple suicide, how many pundits talk about video games and rock music and dismiss any reports of bullying? Many of the teachers I had tolerated bullying. Some teachers participate.

Sticks and stones may break kid’s bones but words wound much more deeply.

Act Now

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If you live in New York, call your state senator (click here to find out who they are) to tell them the importance of supporting the Dignity for All Students Act. It has passed the Assembly every year for the last seven years. Let’s make sure it becomes law. For children like Carl.

Sign the petition to amend the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people.

Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#/pages/The-Power/73711392696?ref=ts

Learn about the Gay and Lesbian Student Education Network.

Vermont Same Sex Marriage and Obama’s Legacy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by jonwinkleman

With the passage of full marriage equality for same-sex couples in Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts, history has chosen lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights to be the defining American struggle for equality and civil rights during Barack Obama’s Presidency. President Obama has left little doubt that his role models are Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Both of who have a legacy as courageous civil rights figures. Although racial discrimination still exists, most of the major legal and legislative battles for racial equality have already been fought. LGBT equality may be the civil rights issue that defines Obama’s historical legacy.

 

Monday morning, I called Vermont State Representative Cynthia Browning of Arlington at home and asked her to vote with the Vermont Democratic Party and support an override of Governor Jim Douglas’s expected veto of the same sex marriage equality bill. During out warm and friendly chat Rep. Browning implied that she was the real loyal Democrat because unlike the Vermont Democratic Party, it is she who is supporting President Obama’s exact position on same sex marriage.

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POWER ACTION: Tell VT Democrats to Do The Right Thing Right Now!

Posted in Actions, Cynthia Browning, Marriage, Tim Corcoran, Vermont with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by jonwinkleman

To win full marriage equality in Vermont we must push Democrats who voted against the marriage bill to vote with their party and override Republican Governor Jim Douglas’s veto.

Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is expected to follow through on his threat to veto gay marriage legislation tonight.  The Vermont House of Representatives could vote on whether to overturn the veto as early as Tuesday.   The legislation passed the House on Thursday with a vote of 95-52.  In order to guaranty that we will overturn the veto, we need 100 votes.   Don’t wait until after the vote to get angryAct now to ensure we win!

TEN Democrats voted against marriage last Thursday.  Three are expected to vote to override a veto as a show of party unity.  We need two more.  We must act today!

So if you do nothing else today, join us in calling these two Democrats to tell them to do the right thing and support the Democratic caucus in overturning the veto:

browningRep Cynthia Browning-Democrat
District Office: 802-375-9029
Home Phone: 802-375-9019

Email:  cynthiab@sover.net (call first, it’s easier to ignore email)

Browning has been under extraordinary pressure from her colleagues, but has yet to move.   The Burlington Banner reported:  “Browning said her vote had nothing to do with religion, but rather the fundamental purpose of marriage. “It’s not based on religion. It’s actually based on a view of how our society works … on an anthropological basis,” she said. [emphasis added]

tim-corcoranRep. Tim Corcoran-Democrat
District Office: 802-447-0929
Home Phone: 802-442-8419

The Banner also reported: ” Rep. Timothy Corcoran II, a Bennington Democrat, also voted against the bill. He called the decision the most difficult of his seven years in Montpelier. “It came down to what my belief of what marriage is, and that is between a man and a woman,” he said. “I just couldn’t get over that at the end of the day.”

“I’m going to have to live with it,” Corcoran added. “No matter how I voted it was going to upset a lot of people. It’s unfortunate, but that’s my job, and ultimately I will be held accountable.” ”

And in fact he will. 

If you want to see marriage in Vermont, YOU MUST come out to these legislators (you can also come out as a straight person who has LGBT loved ones you care deeply about). Tell your own personal stories AND THEN tell them that their actions affect you and your loved ones and that they must vote with the Vermont Democratic Party to override Gov. Douglas’s veto. 

CALL THEM BOTH NOW!

TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW  TO CALL

After you call (and tell your friends after they call), respond to this poll so we can keep track of how many people are calling:

And whatever happens, commit to supporting primary challenges against any Democrat who does not support an override of the veto.

YOU HAVE THE POWER

For a complete list of Democrats who voted against marriage click here.  Answer the poll each time you call any of them.