Alaskan Psycho-Zombie-Homophobe Halloween video

On Halloween, we watch scary movies. But Bent is a GLBT Alaska blog, and there aren't many scary movies set in queer Alaska. However, there are scary videos of our homegrown homophobes.

The scariest gay-related Alaska show I've ever seen was real: the public hearings on the non-discrimination ordinance. It was downright creepy listening to religious fanatics read a steady stream of random Biblical quotes and unscientific homophobic nonsense to the Anchorage Assembly as their public comments against a secular non-discrimination ordinance, while dozens of devil-red-shirted church members clapped at the lunacy. They were all kinds of crazy, and scarier than fictional characters because you might find yourself standing in the grocery store next to them after the hearing.

But I won't subject you to the testimonies. Instead, John at Alaska Commons recently posted a creepy video from Prevo's 38th Pastoral Anniversary at ABT mixed with photos from the protests outside the hearings.

Gryphen from Immoral Minority actually attended Prevo's celebration of homophobia and wrote an interesting story about that day. On John's video montage, he said,
"Crushing the enemy under our feet." No you did not hear that wrong.

I was sitting in the audience when they were singing that song and watched the congregation, with heads lifted toward the heavens, belt out that song with both conviction and passion.

They DO believe with all of their hearts that they are fighting a battle against the devil, and that the LGBT community are his agents here on earth.
Definietly creepy. So here is a video of local Alaskan homophobes for a bit of Halloween entertainment. Thanks to John and Gryphen for the video and on-the-scene commentary.

Rep. Young and Rev. Prevo support a gay rights law?

The Hate Crimes Act passed by Congress and signed by President Obama is supported by an unlikely alliance.

Advocate of the week: "After more than a decade of opposition and delay, we've passed inclusive hate crimes legislation to help protect our citizens from violence based on what they look like, who they love, how they pray, or who they are."
- President Obama at Wednesday's signing of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Amen to that.

Confused person of the week: "Prevo says he agrees with this hate crime bill but he continues to stand against the anti-discrimination ordinance. 'Hopefully this will satisfy the homosexual community and they will not defy our city again...'"

Defy our city??

Prevo preached 35 years of hate and bigotry against us, and built his church on a foundation of homophobia, but he agrees that we should be protected from the violence that his hate speech promotes.

Wait... he agrees with the hate crimes bill, a gay rights law? So if we propose a similar ordinance to protect LGBT Alaskans against violent hate crimes, Prevo will publicly support us. That I'd like to see.

Surprise of the week: All three of Alaska's Congress members voted for the Hate Crimes Act. Senator Begich, Senator Murkowski and Representative Young all voted for the Defense spending bill which the Hate Crimes Act is attached to. Most republicans voted against it. Young added special projects for Alaska and voted for a gay rights bill to get them. Pork for Equality.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 10/30/09

Happy Halloween!

This week's events from the statewide newsletter Alaska GLBT News.


SEAGLA Social Fridays (6-8 p.m.) for GLBT people and our friends over 21, at The Imperial Bar, downtown.


UAF Gay-Straight Alliance, Mondays at 5 p.m. Jessi.

Wednesday LGBTA Social at 9 p.m. Email Joshua for the current location.

Mat-Su Valley

Mat-Su LGBT Community Center in Palmer is open M-F 5-8 p.m. (except 6-8 on Wed.) The social group meets Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. at Vagabond Blues.


The Rocky Horror Show, opens 10/30 at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov 21. $20, at Mad Myrna's.

Out: University of Alaska Anchorage, GLBTQA Support Group, Sundays at noon.

Sunday worship and Wednesday Bible study with MCC Anchorage.

PFLAG Board of Directors meeting 11/3, 7 p.m. at the GLCCA.

Alaskans Together on today's signing of the Hate Crimes Act

Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. applauds President Obama for signing the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law

Anchorage - The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act makes it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc. celebrates the final passage of this legislation, signed into law by President Obama today. We congratulate the joint efforts of everyone who worked to make this bill become law.

"This is a great day for all fair-minded Americans that our government has finally taken a strong stand in opposition to violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans simply for their identity or perceived identity," said Tim Stallard, Spokesperson for Alaskans Together For Equality, Inc.

The bill is named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped, severely beaten, and left to die tied to a fence in October 1998, and James Byrd, Jr., an African-American who in June of 1998 was beaten, chained to the back of a pick-up truck, and dragged for miles over rural roads in Jasper, Texas. While all violent crime is reprehensible, 'hate crimes' are meant to terrorize and invoke fear in an entire community of people.

"We are very proud that both Alaska's Senators Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski have supported this strong statement against hatred and violent discrimination," said Elias Rojas, newly elected Board President of Alaskans Together for Equality, Inc.

This important legislation will make it easier for federal prosecutors to step in when state or local authorities are unable or unwilling to pursue hate crimes. This is welcome news for LGBT Alaskans in the wake of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan's recent veto of a municipal non-discrimination ordinance that would have extended protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from workplace and housing discrimination, despite evidence and extensive public testimony that such discrimination exists.

Alaskans Together for Equality is a membership based group that advances civil equality for all Alaskans through grass roots organizing and advocacy. Alaskans Together for Equality is the only statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization in Alaska.

Churches are at War over Homosexuality

This article on the harm caused by anti-gay churches was written by Matthew Moak and posted yesterday on MCC Anchorage.

If the past summer in Anchorage is any indication, Christian Churches are at war over homosexuality and this war is exacting a heavy toll among homosexuals themselves. Homosexuals are the number one persecuted group of people in the Christian community, persecuted by their own friends, families, and church families.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to the Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey. A 2007 San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute study shows that LGBT and questioning youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. And for every completed suicide by a young person, it is estimated that 100 to 200 attempts are made (2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey).

If that is not disturbing enough, GLBT youth left homes last year more often (12.38 times) than their heterosexual counterparts (6.69 times). GLBT youth were more likely to leave as a result of physical abuse, alcohol use in the family and conflicts with family over their sexual orientation.

Nothing says Jesus like making a child's living conditions at home so unbearable that they feel they must either take to the streets where drug addiction, sexual abuse, homelessness, alcohol addiction and more horrific realities await them on the streets, or commit suicide. Nothing says Jesus more than displaying such an utter lack of understanding or compassion that homosexuals are driven from their homes and take their lives.

This summer on the Eddie Burke show, one caller referred to the homosexual community as non-human. Other callers read Scriptures that they interpreted to mean that God did not love homosexuals. I suspect that callers believe this because it is what they have been told as opposed to seeking and searching the Scriptures.

Baptist Pastor Jerry Prevo claims that the idea of homosexuals being protected from discrimination under the law would give them special rights which are unnecessary because homosexuals already have the same rights as heterosexual individuals. Further, in a KTVA interview, Prevo also claims that he doesn't believe discrimination is actually happening in the city of Anchorage.

"I've tried to reason with these people. I don't want the issue to come up. I've just dealt with a couple. … Their daughter, 19 years old now, is taking shots to make herself a man. These parents, their daughter never had any signs of being unsatisfied with her assigned sex, which is another terminology in here that's a legal term, assigned sex at birth, and what they feel like has happened, she just got with this crowd and has been brought over. …

"My problem is when I take this stand and I can't minister to these people. I can't tell them that Jesus Christ died for them and will forgive them just like he will an adulterer or a murderer and they can be changed. It makes it hard for them to listen to me, because they frame me as being hateful. … But I see it as that I'm telling them the truth. …

"I've had those who've come out of homosexuality in my church, and I'm sure I have some there now that are homosexuals. Based on scripture, I just can't allow them to promote it as an acceptable alternative lifestyle."

Red flags should immediately be raised when the Pastor of any church is unable to minister to any individual or a group of people. What Pastor Prevo has asserted here is his inability to love all people.

Often, when we are so close to a subject we are passionate about, we fail to see that it is ourselves promoting hate, intolerance and that individuals who display such an utter lack of compassion, understanding and love (the greatest commandment) are the very people who are enabling children and young adults to take to the streets, and to take their lives.

It is time Anchorage to begin shouting from our churches that the spreading of hate, intolerance and discrimination must end. The lives of so many are being destroyed and countless lives are being lost, largely because churches and spiritual leaders such as Jerry Prevo are far too busy trying to be correct, rather than making an attempt to minister and to love.

Gay & Lesbian Alaskans at the National Equality March

When Cleve Jones announced the National Equality March for LGBT Rights, he invited people to come "from Utah and California, from Maine to Hawaii, from Alaska to Florida." Four months later, several Alaskans marched in the Washington DC rally - and people noticed.

"From as far away as Alaska, thousands of LGBT people demanding marriage, adoption and immigration rights rallied Sunday at the National Equality March," began a Washington Blade article on the DC rally.

"The National Equality March brought participants from states across the country — some from as far away as California and Alaska — and included a strong contingent from Atlanta," wrote Southern Voice Atlanta.

A description of the Camp Courage workshop on Saturday said, "About 200 participants from across the country including Alaska showed up learning the basic skills of telling your story in order to change hearts and minds." [Asian Pacific Americans for Progress]

And a 365.GAY blogger was impressed by "the huge number of young activists – or would-be emerging activists – present and eager to be accounted for. Students had come from Maine, Alaska, Texas, Tennessee and California..."

The Washington Blade reporter spoke with Maureen:
"Some marchers came from as far away as Alaska. Maureen Longworth, a lesbian physician from Juneau, and member of Alaskans Together for Equality, said she wanted to join the march because she's always been a civil rights believer."

"A plaintiff in an Alaska lawsuit that brought partner benefits to state employees, Longworth said she hoped the march would push Alaska's delegation in Congress to act more favorably on LGBT issues."

"Two of three of our legislators are very conservative, and not always voting in our favor, she said."
Three Alaskans, Marty, Lin and Maureen, were interviewed by This Way Out, an international gay and lesbian radio program that airs in southcentral Alaska on Wednesday evenings. The complete Equality March segment is online HERE (in audio) and the Alaskans are interviewed near the end, between NAACP chairman Julian Bond and America the Beautiful.
Reporter: "You're coming from Alaska?"
Marty: "Juneau, Alaska. That's right.
"That's a long way. I think you win the prize for longest distance travelled to be here."
"Yes, sore wings."
"What was the impetus for your coming here?
"We had the privilege of getting married in California about a year ago, and then when the vote turned it around, it just brought [to our] attention that this is something that was really great, it was a really important thing for the two of us after we've been together for 27 years to actually be able to celebrate this. And it's just wrong that other people don't get that privilege and that right."
"Is this the first march you've been to?"

Lin: "We've been several times..."
Reporter: "How would you compare this one to previous marches?"
Lin: "This isn't as big as the '93 but the spirit is huge, and it's wonderful to see a lot of young people too. I had already given up hope that in our lifetime we would have equal rights. During the Bush administration, it got very discouraging and now I feel like I have optimism again. It's really wonderful to feel like my heart is more open to our government and the government's heart is opening and softening towards us."

Maureen: "I'm here because I believe in equality for all people and I always have. I was raised that way in Los Angeles in the 60's and we started demonstrating for civil rights for African-Americans when I was a kid. So whoever needs the rights, I will be there for that person. That's why I'm here today, and they happen to be for me."
Thanks to the Alaskans who travelled so far and represented us so well at the 2009 National Equality March for LGBT Rights!

Sara's News Round-Up 10/25/09

National LGBT news from Sara Boesser of Juneau, Alaska.

Dept. of Washington, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), October 21, 2009

Huffington Post, October 14, 2009

Maine, Telegraph, UK, October 21, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Sun, October 21, 2009

Arizona, Vietnam Net, October 20, 2009

Dublin, Ireland, Irish Central, October 21, 2009

New York,, October 20, 2009

Utah, On Top, October 21, 2009

Washington, Memphis Flyer, October 19, 2009

San Francisco, The Reporter, October 19, 2009

Maryland, Washington City Paper, October 20, 2009

Washington, New Kerala, October12, 2009

Auckland, New Zealand, St. Mathew In-the-City, October 20, 2009

Copenhagen, Salon, October 12, 2009

Washington,, October 23, 2009

Augusta, Maine, October 23, 2009

Help Kalamazoo, Apply for Scholarships, Fix Alaska's Property Tax Laws, Read the NorthView

Gay AK: short news items from and for LGBT Alaska

"No Discrimination" stickers
Alaskans Together created these "No discrimation" bumper stickers, and left a stack of them at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Anchorage. Pick up your sticker today!

Anchorage helps Kalamazoo
Join Anchorage Won't Discriminate in helping One Kalamazoo, the campaign to protect the non-discrimination ordinance facing a recall vote in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Kalamazoo ordinance is similar to the one vetoed this summer in Anchorage.

GLCCA Open House x2
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center (GLCCA) hosted QLBTQA youth from UAA's The Family and APU's Spectrum GLBT groups for an open house, tour, pizza, and meet and greet on Sept. 26. Later the same evening, another open house was held at GLCCA to celebrate Diversity Month. The center was packed to the rafters with visitors enjoying each others' company, fine food and great entertainment. See the October issue of NorthView, Identity's quarterly bulletin, for more Community Center News.

Seeking over-65 same sex couples who own their home
Lesbian and gay couples in Alaska are not treated equally under the state's Senior Citizen Property Exemption laws. Married residents 65 years of age or older are exempt from taxation on the first $150,000 of the assessed value of their home, regardless of whether the property is held in the name of the husband, wife, or both. However, same-sex domestic partners are excluded from the full exemption. Only one person in the same sex couple can receive the exemption, and the amount is essentially cut in half because state law treats same-sex partners as roommates. If you are 1) in a long-term, committed relationship with your partner, AND 2) at least one partner is 65 or over, AND 3) you are living with your partner in a home that one or both of you own, then the ACLU of Alaska would like to talk with you. Please contact Tiffany McClain at (

Pride Foundation scholarship applications
Pride Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2010-11 school year. Each year, Pride Foundation provides educational scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight-ally leaders and role models from Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington attending any accredited post-secondary school. They offer 50 different scholarships, but have only one application to complete. Just create an account and complete your application online.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 10/23/09

NEWS: Congress passed the Hate Crimes Protection Act on Thursday, and President Obama has promised to sign it!

This week's events from the statewide newsletter Alaska GLBT News.


SEAGLA Social Fridays (6-8 p.m.) for GLBT people and our friends over 21, at The Imperial Bar, downtown.


For info on these events, please see the post Fairbanks Retreat, Panel, GSA, and Harvest Ball

LGBTA Retreat 10/23-10/25 RSVP to Joshua.

The Halloween Harvest Ball 10/24, doors at 7:30, show at 8:30 p.m. Carlson Center $12. ICOAA.

UAF Gay-Straight Alliance, Mondays at 5 p.m. Jessi.

UAF panel on Anti-Gay Discourse 10/27 (Tuesday), 1-2 p.m. in the Wood Center.

Wednesday LGBTA Social at 9 p.m. Email Joshua for the current location.

Mat-Su Valley

Mat-Su LGBT Community Center in Palmer is open M-F 5-8 p.m. (except 6-8 on Wed.) The social group meets Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m. at Vagabond Blues.


Friday Movie Night at the GLCCA 10/23, 6:30 p.m. Anchorage LGBT Meetup group.

TLFMC Dinner 10/24, 6 p.m. RSVP to the Men of Alaska Meetup group.

AMP Launch Party at Snow City 10/24, doors at 6 p.m., Rocky Horror Picture Show movie at 7 p.m. Free, including snacks. Four A's.

GRRLZ-only Halloween Bash 10/24, 8 p.m. RSVP for location.

Char & Teddy at the Indian House 10/24, 8 p.m. Ever Ready

ICOAA Annual Meeting 10/25, 3 p.m. at Mad Myrna's

Sunday worship with MCC Anchorage.

Gay-Straight Alliance sparks dialogue on "ex-gays" with Chancellor's support

The third Ally Week post celebrates the determined and creative actions of the Gay-Straight Alliance at UAF, and their allies on the staff and in the community, in dealing with CBC's pray-away-the-gay speaker on campus last month.

Gay and lesbian students and staff at the University of Fairbanks got an unpleasant surprise when they entered the Wood Center in mid-September: "GAY? LONELY? CONFUSED?" read a banner hanging from the stairs. The solution was to stop being gay, according to the "ex-gay" speaker Edward Delgado, who was invited to UAF by Campus Bible Club to preach on how he stopped having sex with men and became heterosexual through Jesus. His speech was called "From Sin's Bondage to Christ's Freedom!"

The banner listed the anti-gay group Exodus International, but didn't mention that the Exodus "reparative therapy" methods are dangerous and discredited, or that Exodus supports forced therapy and incites hatred and violence towards gays around the world. Nor did it mention that Delgado is a deacon at Dimond Boulevard Baptist Church in Anchorage.

This was not a good way to start the school year. Nothing like a big homophobic banner in the central gathering place of the campus and a 4 day anti-gay religious event at a public university to ruin the welcoming educational atmosphere for the gay and lesbian students and staff.

But the Gay-Straight Alliance was all over it. At first, the GSA wanted the banner taken down.

"We aren't looking to stop the speaker, as he does have the right to speak," wrote Jessi Angelette, "but the banner is uncalled for. Many people from staff to students are offended by it and are working to have the banner removed."

Their plan to ask the Chancellor to remove the banner started a wide-ranging discussion in the comments of the News-Miner article and Bent Alaska post about freedom of speech and using more speech, especially humor, to counter hate and absurdity.

The students prepared factual flyers on the so-called "therapy," wrote on the UAF free speech wall, organized a peaceful sit-down protest, and created a positive banner to hang next to the anti-gay one.

Delgado's first speech was on Tuesday Sept. 15. "There were GSA members who went to hear what the speaker had to say, including me," wrote Jessi. "We thought that if we were going to be opposing someone we might as well hear what we were opposing."

Was he reasonable? "I would have to say no," Jessi replied. "One person said to the speaker that he was happy for him that he found God and everything but that he is happy with who he is and was wondering if the speaker could show him the same kindness and be happy for him... the speaker said NO."

"One GSA member said the speaker gave the most hateful loving speech she has ever heard."

That night, UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers addressed the issue during the Convocation ceremony:
"I'm committed to an open and welcoming and inclusive university. It's important to me that this is a community where people feel safe and able to pursue their academic goals. I know there are times where this campus does not feel welcoming, inclusive or safe to some of our members. I'd like to change that."

"For those in this community who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, I'm sorry that there are people who are intolerant of who you are."
The video of his speech includes photos of the anti-gay banner and the free speech wall:

With the support of the Chancellor, the GSA fought the "ex-gay" lies with truth and humor, and creative support came from all sides.

A few students put up a temporary banner near the anti-gay one, but it was quickly replaced with an approved banner advertising the weekly GSA meetings. The rainbow poster (above) starts, "Gay? Bi? Ally? Be Proud! STOP the HATE."

"I was contacted by a friend who does graphics and he offered to do the graphic for us on the computer so that we could get it printed right away," wrote Jessi. "We then took it to the Graphics Artist in the Wood Center and he printed it for us, then we talked to the scheduling office and got the banner authorized to go up that day."

Creative responses also came from UAF staff. Kate Wattum's photoshopped parody-banner advertised her "Life of Laughter (lol)" story "Move Forward, Never Straight: 'Gay' for 46 years and partnered to a fabulous woman and has three children!"

But Wattum thought the anti-gay banner should stay up for a different reason. "I think it is absolutely critical that everyone is reminded that gays face this harassment every day," she wrote.

Fairbanks resident and "Nuggets" creator Jamie Smith, a former UAF student, drew a cartoon about it for his blog ink & snow:
"Delgado was quoted saying 'the homosexual lifestyle leads to promiscuity, abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse'..."

"Fact is, the vast, overwhelming number of promiscuous, diseased, abusive drug-addicted alcoholics (some of the darned nicest folks you'd ever ask for as friends, I might add) are heterosexuals. You know, the very same people who keep constantly screwing up marriage; that righteous bastion of American moral purity, the sacred institution threatened with destruction by same-sex unions."

"Never got around to hearing any of Delgado's speeches, or a chance to confront the guy with his hypocrisy... But when all's said and done, I'm left using the tools that I have been blessed with, lobbing poo from the sidelines. So I went home and drew about it..."

Meanwhile, Jim Minnery, president of the Alaska Family Council, told their parent organization Focus on the Family that Chancellor Rogers refused to bar Delgado from the campus, entirely missing the point that the GSA never asked for him to be barred. FOF recently got out of the ex-gay business because their donations are down this year.

"Kudos to him," Minnery said. "There are folks on the campus that may have a more conservative bent in their mindset, and I hope they're emboldened by this."

But the students who were made bold by the Chancellor's speech and the outpouring of support from the campus and community are the gay and straight students who faced this threat together and grew stronger.

"The GSA has an amazing amount of energy and has spearheaded quite a bit of that toward some good dialogue," wrote Pete Pinney of PFLAG Fairbanks. "We support them."

Jessi summed up the week for the GSA:
"The GSA not only had people stopping by the meetings after the whole thing, but it was so amazing to see how much support we were getting on campus. While we were doing our sit-down protest, a very nice man bought a few of us hot chocolate, and then later on even our Chancellor sat down with us for a few mintues... ON THE FLOOR!"

"We have had so many people tell us we were so awesome in the way we handled ourselves. For those who were once worried about how the campus feels about GSA being on campus... that week the speaker was here showed us our campus' true colors. The support we recieved was a happy and welcomed surprise. I have never been more proud to be a part of this campus then that week."
Kudos to the Gay-Straight Alliance for being true allies!

Anchorage man wins OfficeMax Diversity Award

The second post for Ally Week 2009 highlights business ally OfficeMax and local employee Christopher Oeser, who won a company-wide Diversity Award for marching in the Anchorage Pride Parade with the OfficeMax banner.

Gays and lesbians in Anchorage have many workplace allies, from corporations with LGBT-inclusive diversity policies to small business owners who supported our efforts for a non-discrimination ordinance. One business ally is OfficeMax, a multinational office supply company with stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks.

"I just found out that my work made me the 2009 diversity champion," enthused Chris Oser on August 8, three days before the Assembly passed the ordinance and nine days before the mayor vetoed it.

"There are only 3 diversity champions in the whole company... I am having dinner with the CEO in September and I get a trophy. I am way excited and wanted everyone to know. Officemax is an awesome place to shop and work for the LGBT community!"

What did Chris do to win a company-wide diversity award? And what did OfficeMax do to get such a loyal employee?

In May, Chris called the corporate office and suggested that OfficeMax support LGBT diversity for the month of June. "Our work is all about cultural diversity and working inclusively with each other, and they pride themselves on doing that," he wrote.

And they did, as Bent reported on June 4. When Chris returned to work at the OfficeMax store in the Northway Mall, he saw a rainbow poster in the break room that read, "OfficeMax Celebrates Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Pride Month: Embracing Inclusion."

"My company OfficeMax made this June LGBT Pride Month," wrote Chris on the PrideFest wall. "I am so proud to work there!"

So he asked if he could march in the local pride parade with the company's diversity banner. And they said yes. Chris and a few others marched in Anchorage PrideFest holding a colorful banner with the message "OfficeMax: Celebrating Diversity Through Inclusion."

OfficeMax displayed their Pride Month posters in many stores and their LGBT employees marched in other pride parades. They even had a float in Chicago Pride. But they had never been represented in Anchorage PrideFest until Chris came along.

So they honored their proud employee with a company award. Just three days before the Mayor's no-diversity-allowed Unity Dinner, the CEO of OfficeMax flew to Anchorage to present a Diversity Award to Chris.

CEO Sam Duncan, Diversity officer Caroline Brooks, the head of Retail and head of Human Resources all attended the special Diversity Lunch on September 22 at the Northway Mall OfficeMax store. Leaders of the Anchorage LGBT community came to share the moment with Chris, including Phyllis Rhodes of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, and Kevin Holtz & Miss MeMe of the Imperial Court of All Alaska.

"We had seafood dishes, King crab legs, and really good desert," wrote Chris. "I played piano for everyone. Most people didn't know that I could play 13 instruments."

And that's how OfficeMax showed their employees and the community that they Celebrate Diversity Through Inclusion. Even LGBT inclusion. Even here in Anchorage.

(Too bad the mayor wasn't listening.)

Celebrating our Allies on Ally Week, Oct 19-23

On Ally Week, straight students pledge to support their gay friends by speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. In Alaska, we are fortunate to have many allies, both teens and adults, who speak out for us throughout the year.

In honor of Ally Week, Bent Alaska is celebrating our allies and the alliances that enrich our lives.

Students created Ally Week to build upon the good work of Gay-Straight Alliances across the country. Whether you belong to a GSA or not, Ally Week is the perfect time for you and your friends to sign the Ally Pledge:
"I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported.

That means I pledge to:
  • Not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
  • Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed.
  • Support efforts to end bullying and harassment."
School is not the only place where LGBT people face harassment, and the GSA's are not our only organized group of allies. Four chapters of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) also speak out for LGBT Alaskans.

In addition to these organized ally groups at school, at home and in the community, LGBT Alaskans have many individual allies at work and play, in the church and the government. Our allies in Anchorage stood against bigotry this summer, testified for equality, reported the fight for our rights, and took action in support of diversity.

Today's Ally Week post is a video slideshow about the True Diversity Dinner, an Anchorage event that celebrated our political allies. Thanks to the wonderful allies who created and participated in this event, and to ally Janson for the video:

Sara's News round-up 10/18/09

This week's national GLBT news chosen by Sara Boesser of Juneau, plus a photo of Alaskans Together for Equality representing our state with a rainbow big dipper banner at the National Equality March in Washington, DC on October 11, 2009. (Thanks to the folks at SEAGLA for sending the photo.)

Washington, Washington Blade, October 16, 2009

Sacramento, Calif., Newsday, October 12, 2009

San Francisco, Reuters, October 14, 2009

Uruguay, Advocate, October 13, 2009

Washington, Advocate, October 14, 2009

Washington,, October 14, 2009

Portland, Maine, WCSH6, October 15, 2009

Paris, France, Associated Press, October 14, 2009

Pittsburgh, Post-Gazette, October 15, 2009

Reconciling Ministries, Flashnet, August 27, 2009

Missouri, The Maneater, September 29, 2009

Philadelphia, The Triangle, October 16, 2009

Los Angeles, EURweb, October 13, 2009

San Francisco, Community Marketing Inc., October 17, 2009

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.