The Best and Worst of 2009

Queer Alaska had a busy year! Here are some of the highs and lows compiled from the blog, the newsletter, and your suggestions on Bent's Facebook wall:

Best moment: The Anchorage Assembly passed the LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance.

Worst moments: Mayor Sullivan vetoed the nondiscrimination ordinance and Debbie Ossiander refused to override the veto.

Sweet Consequences moment: Ossiander was fired from the chair position on the Assembly.

Best LGBT improvement
State: Fairbanks School District added gender identity to the non-discrimination policy
National: The federal Hate Crimes Act

Worst narrowly avoided disaster: Wayne Anthony Ross becoming Alaska's Attorney General

Best allies: The 7 Assembly members who voted for the nondiscrimination ordinance, and all the allies who testified, wrote letters, and attended the hearings and protests, standing shoulder to shoulder with us in support of equality and against the forces of hate. Honorable mention to the Fairbanks allies who protested against the ex-gay speaker at UAF.

Worst homophobes: Mayor Sullivan? Debbie Ossiander? Rev. Prevo? Wayne Anthony Ross? Those crazed bigots spitting hellfire and homophobia at the Assembly hearings? So many to choose from.

Best visiting LGBT celebrity: Dan Savage, author of The Slog

Best LGBT movie shown in Alaska: MILK at the Bear Tooth in Anchorage, the Blue Loon in Fairbanks, and the Pioneer Theater in Homer. Honorable mentions: Outrage at the Bear Tooth, and Brother Outsider at the Anchorage Museum.

Best LGBT live theater: Midnight Soapscum at Out North, The Lion Sings Tonight benefit for Four A's, Hedwig and the Angry Inch at Pier One in Homer and Mad Myrna's in Anchorage, Sordid Lives at Myrna's, Dog Sees God at Out North, and Shakespeare's R&J by Thunder Mountain in Juneau.

Best solo shows: Tim Miller at Out North, and Bryan Emler at MCC.

Biggest events in Anchorage: PrideFest, Coronation, Celebration of Change, and the True Diversity Dinner
Fairbanks: the protests against the ex-gay speaker at UAF, the Fetish Ball, and PFLAG in the Golden Days parade
Juneau: Femme Fatale, the Pride Picnic, and the Pride Chorus concerts
Homer: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and MILK
Mat-Su: April's Follies

Event most celebrated by LGBT people in different parts of Alaska: July 4th
(The 2008 event with the widest participation by LGBT people around Alaska was the Prop 8 protest.)

National event with the most LGBT Alaskans attending: National Equality March in DC

Bent Alaska's Top 9 Posts for 2009

The 'summer of hate' against the non-discrimination ordinance was the real top story, but the most visited post on Bent Alaska is the humorous letter Wasilla Gays to Levi: We're here with almost 7,000 hits.

The other Bent post that went viral this year, about Wayne Anthony Ross calling us degenerates, was crossposted on the national blog Pam's House Blend. Likewise, the only ordinance post from Bent that got national attention, No Dead Queers, was picked up from the Blend diary.

Other top posts were on entertainment (gay man on The Alaska Experiment), homophobia (The Antichrist is Coming, and He's Gay!), transgender (Kelly's Story), and Sarah Palin. The lists of LGBT organizations and businesses were top posts again this year, perhaps because so many reporters want to interview queer Alaskans.

All of the top posts on LGBT issues in Fairbanks, Juneau and Homer involve students or schools, although that may be a coincidence. The top MatSu post is Levi, of course.

Top 9 in '09
6. Palin Supports Gay Rights? (still a top post in 2009)
7. Kelly's Story: A Transgender Christian Woman (unavailable, at her request, because her church leaders made her life miserable when they recognized her.)

Top post quoted by Alaskan sites: "Sen. Begich targeted by opponents of Hate Crimes Act"

Ring in a Queer New Year for 2010

Here are 4 [update: 5] parties to celebrate the new year with the Anchorage LGBT community (including a special women's event in Whittier):

New Year's Eve Extravaganza at Mad Myrna's
Two dance floors with DJ's Missy Gee & Mad Mike. Party stuff and midnight toast, and Lola's fabulous New Mexico Cuisine. $10 tickets available now or at the door.

New Year's Eve at Bernies' Bungalow
This year is over so let's start off the new year right with another great New Year's Eve party at Bernie's Bungalow. DJ Ariel upstairs, Shy Bones, and Unhinged will be playing in the bungalow house. NO COVER. 626 D St.

Ever Ready New Year's Eve show
Celebrate New Year's eve with Ever Ready - Teddy, Amelia and Dave - rockin' at The Eagles, 2020 E. Dowling.

New Year's Eve in Whittier with LuLu Small & the Grrlzlist
Lulu Small and the Small Band are playing New Year's Eve with well-known special guest Trish Ham at Whittier's new luxury hotel The Inn in Whittier, and there's a special rate for Grrlzlist readers: $150 includes the night at the Inn and dinner (or $100 without dinner) using the Grrlzlist promo code (check your issue of the Grrlzlist for the code). Reservations and more info HERE.

New Year's Eve at the Kodiak Bar and Grill
Bring in the New Year with the best alternative bar in Anchorage, and party until 5 a.m. with T-Man from KFAT. $10 at the door.

Sara's News Roundup 12/27/09

This week's LGBT news roundup from Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Mexico City, Mexico, Reuters, December 22, 2009

Dallas, Texas, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Memphis, Tenn., Memphis Flyer, December 26, 2009

Washington, Advocate, December 22, 2009

Gaza City, Palestine, CNN, December 17, 2009

Washington,, December 22, 2009

Pasadena, Calif., Episcopal Life Online, February 23, 2009

Chicago Tribune, December 23, 2009

Center for Gay & Lesbian Studies in Religion and Ministry, October 18, 2009

Iowa, Advocate, December 23, 2009

Advocate, December 24, 2009

The Cap Times, December 14, 2009

Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles: Simple Gifts (video)

The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles toured four South American nations performing multi-lingual theatrical performances. 'Simple Gifts' was one of the highlights:

San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus: We're Not Lost We're Here (video)

The gay choral videos posted this week celebrate music and the joy of Christmas. They also bring the message that gays and lesbians are not spiritually lost just because we are open and honest about our love.

In today's video, the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus sings "We're Not Lost We're Here" from Naked Man, while soloist and first tenor Cecil O'Neal Johnson tells his story of joining the chorus and becoming whole:

Dublin Lesbian and Gay Choir: Hark The Herald Angels Sing (video)

Merry Christmas!

Gloria, the lesbian and gay choir of Dublin, Ireland, performed their Christmas concert in St. Anne's Catholic Church last week, including a beautiful rendition of "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" that opens with a piano solo:

Boston Gay Men's Chorus: Hallelujah Chorus (video)

The Hallelujah Chorus (featuring les freres de St. Francis de la Sissies) performed with great comic timing by the Boston Gay Men's Chorus:

Chicago Gay Men's Chorus: Waltz of the Snowflakes (video)

Continuing with the theme of gay holiday music videos, here is the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus dancing in drag to "Waltz of the Snowflakes" from the Nutcracker ballet:

Coming Out at Christmas (video)

They aren't in Alaska, and I don't recommend coming out at big family gatherings, but this video of the London Gay Men's Chorus singing "Coming Out at Christmas" is more entertaining then the current gay (and anti-gay) news. So here it is, around a hundred gay men singing a classic gay Christmas song:

Rev. Johnathan's Christmas message

- by Rev. Johnathan Jones, of Church Life Alaska

It is certainly the time of holidays, rituals and celebrations. From Thanksgiving, to Yule-Tide, Kwanza to Christmas and winter solstice. For some of us these separate holiday seasons may seem very different to each other and sometimes even at odds with each other.

However, I want to think about what binds us all together through these holiday seasons. I must warn you though - the jist of this message may be upsetting to some, but, hopefully encouraging and activating.

Listening to the radio this year, I have heard the same Christmas song played over and over. "Have yourself a merry little Christmas, make the Yule-time gay, from now on, our troubles will be miles away." I'm not using these lyrics because they have the word "gay" or because the song was immortalized by Judy Garland, but rather, because the song is very melancholy to me and the lyrics seem untrue.

Especially for us in the queer community, some of us can find ourselves estranged from family and our troubles certainly don't seem miles away. So what can we do?

We can choose to spend the holidays with our families of choice. We can make an effort to invite those alone to our celebrations. We can give to the needy, poor and homeless. We can be thankful for what and who we have.

"Have a merry little Christmas" may seem a faraway dream for some of us, whilst others of us have that joy every holiday season. Where ever you fit on the "holiday spectrum," may I encourage you to take some time to help and love others, and help and love yourselves. Whatever your background, may you have a truly blessed holiday season.

Have a Merry Gay Christmas in Anchorage

Parties, services, potlucks and brunches - come celebrate Christmas with your LGBT friends and community at these events:

The Alaska Center for Spiritual Living Christmas Eve service is on Wed. Dec 23 at 7 p.m. at Grant Hall (APU campus). As always, the music will be rockin', the message uplifting, the hearts open, and ALL are welcome. The Center is also hosting Christmas Dinner followed by a movie on Friday, Dec 25.

Mad Myrna's Christmas Eve Party is on Dec 24 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Visit with Santa and his helpers, eat, drink and be merry. Come on down and be nice at being naughty.

Church Life Alaska is holding a special holiday "Queer Christmas Brunch" on Christmas Day, Dec 25 from 11am - 1pm. The free brunch will be held at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. Everyone is invited to attend. Please RSVP and check out the menu on their Facebook page linked above, or contact Church Life AK.

The Anchorage/MatSu LGBT Meetup group is combining the end of the year vegan potluck with a holiday party and Chinese auction. The party and potluck will be held in Palmer on Dec 26 at 6pm, at the Palmer Presbyterian Church, 713 S Denali St. Please bring a small gift for the game.

Join MCC Anchorage on Dec 27, the Sunday following Christmas, the last Sunday of 2009, for an inspiring New Year message called "Overflow." Sunday worship with MCC Anchorage is at 2 p.m.

Sara's News Roundup 12/20/09

This week's LGBT world and US news roundup from Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Washington, D.E., Advocate, December 18, 2009

Out Magazine

Washington, UPI, December 13, 2009

Beijing, China, AFP, December 10, 2009

E.U., BBC News, December

Washington, Advocate, December 16, 2009

San Francisco, PR Newswire, December 16, 2009, December 1, 2009

Advocate, December 11, 2009

Fresno, Calif., San Diego Union-Tribune, December 16, 2009

Uganda, Africa,, December 17, 2009

Whales, CNN, December 20, 2009

Whales, Telegraph, December 20, 2009

Washington, D.C., Washington Post, December 20, 2009

RuPaul spoofs Palin with Going Vogue

RuPaul's holiday greeting card this year is a parody of Sarah's book cover, "Going Vogue: New Year. New Season. No Experience Required."

NewNowNext posted the photo and quipped:
"(T)his time she's "Going Vogue!" Watch out, Grandma Palin. Ru's got on her red anorak and she's ready to govern! And I'm guessing Ru knows her way around a lumberjack. Plus, I'm sure Ru also knows all about laying some serious Alaskan pipeline."
You betcha! So who wants to be her First Dude?

Season 2 of RuPaul's Drag Race starts Feb. 1 on Logo.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 12/18/09

This week's LGBT 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.

Gay-Straight Alliance at JDHS, Wednesdays at noon.


Jeff's Holiday Bonfire Dance Party 12/18, 9 p.m.

UAF Gay-Straight Alliance, Mondays at 5 p.m. in the Women's Center (Eilson 112). Jessi.

Wednesday LGBTA Social at 9:30 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.


Holiday Open House at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center 12/18, 5-7 p.m.

EverReady in Eagle River 12/18, 9p.m.-1a.m. at Tips Bar.

Friday Diva Variety Show, 9 p.m at Mad Myrna's.

Anchorage Youth Initiative Holiday Drop in/Hang Out 12/19, 12-3 p.m. at the GLCCA.

Snowball 2009 with the ICOAA 12/19, 7-11 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

AMP Holiday Party 12/19, 3-7 p.m. RSVP Required.

Sunday worship with MCC Anchorage at 2 p.m.

Miss MeMe's Gospel Xmas Show 12/20, 5 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

AK student to Uganda President: anti-gay bill a grave injustice

- by Lauren in Juneau

Dear President Museveni,

As you know, the current proposed legislation titled "The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009" has caused outrage in countries outside of your own, especially among the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community world-wide. As a proud supporter and member of said community, I believe that this legislation will be detrimental to the people of Uganda and inevitably do more harm than good when applied.

I admit to being a student from the United States of America, where we have a wide base of freedoms, and that our cultures, norms, and practices are, in some respects, vastly different, and that my input here may seem arrogant and presumptive, but I would like to voice my opinion on your country's upcoming decision on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009. I believe in basic human rights that include things like the rights to food, water, shelter--things that would ensure survival of a person and enable them to thrive. With these I also believe that the right to love is one of God's greatest gifts to man, and that there should not be a regulation over what that relationship should look like between consenting adults. Whether you are homosexual or heterosexual should make no difference; it is as God designed you to be.

I believe in building community within our peoples, nations and world, and consider my true community to consist of all countries. I don't limit myself to only the United States of America, because of the arrogance that implies. I tell you this because I feel deeply for my neighbors, and though your country is across an ocean and thousands of miles away, I would like to personally foster this feeling between your people and me. It is in the spirit of community that I write to you. I believe that this bill would destroy what you have striven so hard to build, a progressive country that happens to lie in the heart of Africa. I know that you believe in fighting against social injustice, and this bill would be just that: a grave injustice against the LGBT people. To me and my conscience, I could not allow this to go on without protest.

Mr. President, you have built up a very beautiful country, one I would love to visit and experience. Unfortunately, I would not be able to be as safe as possible if the bill passed because of my sexuality, and neither would the people who already live in Uganda. This bill would destroy the harmony you have fought to bring through your administration. I realize that this bill has its justifications, one of them being a call for HIV/AIDS control, but I do not believe that this legislation is the best way to bring it under control. Killing off the homosexual people would not solve the problem presented by the virus. Indeed, it may only stress the situation to a breaking point. As an AIDS-awareness activist, I fear that it would only negate all the progress you have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

I applaud you, Mr President, in the transformations you have enacted on your people and your country. I sincerely applaud the efforts you have taken, the great lengths you have gone to in order to better yourself and the people around you, but I believe that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009 would only undermine all your great work and turn back the clock on your administration.

Very truly yours,
Juneau, Alaska, USA

Sissies not welcome at Fairbanks University

The University of Alaska, Fairbanks has a new ad campaign: a site called WeedsOutWimps.UAF features recruitment videos with this tip on how to deal with the frigid winters in central Alaska:
"If you're gonna call yourself an Alaskan, you gotta just dive right in, you can't be a sissy and wimp out because it's a little cold outside."
The first video that comes up on the site was titled "No Sissies." The title was changed to "Awesomely Cold" yesterday, but the sissy quote remains the focus of the video. The quote is also repeated in a second recruitment video called "Yeah, It's Cold."

A message on the UAF Facebook page from Scott McCrea, Director of Marketing and Communications, reads: "The definition of the phrase "No Sissies" in our recruitment campaign meant to imply a person who would not be able to handle the extreme conditions presented by Mother Nature in Interior Alaska. This word is used to explain the attitude and independence that so many people who attend UAF find in Fairbanks."

The dictionary definition of "sissy" is "an effeminate man or boy; also, a timid or cowardly person."

It's like using the word gay to mean stupid. Sissy means both a wimp or coward, and a man who is not as masculine as men are expected to be. The double meaning is the insult.

UAF is still recovering from a controversy over an ex-gay speaker brought up by the Bible club earlier this semester. In his Convocation speech, Chancellor Brian Rogers responded to the protests: "I'm committed to an open and welcoming and inclusive university... 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."

A "no sissies" ad campaign calling effeminate male students wimps and not real Alaskans is a poor choice for a university that is trying to be safe and inclusive.

So UAF, you think "sissies" aren't brave enough to handle the harsh winter climate in Fairbanks? Well, that's nothing compared to the harsh social climate of homophobia. Sissies can also be fierce, and this young man danced half naked in the snow right there at your school. Can you do this:

Assembly demotes Ossiander, chooses Flynn as Chair

Surprise: the Anchorage Assembly played a political game of musical chairs Tuesday night, voting out the conservative Debbie Ossainder and choosing Patrick Flynn as the new leader, with Mike Gutierrez as the new vice chair.

In Ossiander's brief time as chair, she rubber-stamped Mayor Sullivan's agenda against the majority and was unable to provide a balance to his veto-heavy style. Flynn better reflects the Assembly's positions.

Debbie Ossiander is infamous in the gay community for being the roadblock to the passage of the equal rights ordinance that would have added LGBT protections to the city's nondiscrimination law.
  • As chair, she overruled a motion to limit repetitive testimony and instead allowed hundreds of religious opponents to preach anti-gay hate at the hearings.
  • She allowed Wasilla residents to testify on the Anchorage measure, dragging out the hearings for months.
  • In her comments before the vote, she admitted that LGBT people face prejudice and discrimination in Anchorage and need protection, then voted against the measure anyway.
  • She could have been the deciding vote against the mayor's veto, but instead she chose a legacy of caving in to pressure and supporting an agenda of hate.
Patrick Flynn and Mike Gutierrez both voted in favor of the non-discrimination ordinance. Flynn introduced the version of the ordinance that was passed by the Assembly 7-4 and vetoed by the mayor. Gutierrez, the Assembly's only Hispanic member, supported the ordinance as a civil rights issue.

Congratulations to the Assembly and the new leaders!

stories at KTUU and the ADN.

Do you give to the (anti-gay) Salvation Army?

If you've been in a grocery story or mall recently (and who hasn't?), you have seen and heard the Salvation Army's Christmas bell-ringers collecting donations for charity. Straight bell-ringers, because the Salvation Army does not hire gays.

And many gays do not give to the Salvation Army, choosing to give money to charities that do not discriminate against us instead of those that do.

In addition to not hiring gays, the Salvation Army actively lobbies for anti-gay laws, calls gay couples with children 'pretend' families, and promotes celibacy as the only option for gay Christians.

But the Salvation Army is not the only option for giving. Queer Alaskans who want to donate to nondiscriminatory charities have many choices. Three local charities with good records are Beans Cafe and homeless shelter for adults and Covenant House for homeless youth, both in Anchorage, and the Street Outreach and Advocacy Program for homeless kids in Fairbanks.

The Salvation Army works on a much larger scale, and some gays and allies say that justifies their donations.

Do you put money in the Salvation Army buckets?

Welcome to Bent Alaska

Hello, Internet visitors! Welcome to Alaska's LGBT blog. If you're here to read the Letter to Levi or another linked post, thank you for coming to the source. Please stay a while and look around, get to know Bent and Alaska's LGBT community.

Alaska is an amazing state, and we love it. Yes, we're a little behind in terms of gay rights. (OK, more than a little.) We're working on that. Bent will keep you up to date with our political efforts, introduce you to the people and events of LGBT Alaska, and share the lighter side of being queer on the Last Frontier.

Do you have a question about LGBT people in Alaska? Do you have a tip or an issue you want us to cover? Leave a comment below the post or write to the contact address in the column along the right side of the blog, and I'll get back to you. (If you have a media request to interview gays in Wasilla, I'll add you to the waiting list, but don't hold your breath.)

While you're here, this is the perfect time to start planning your gay vacation to Alaska, staying in LGBT-owned B & B's, sailing with gay cruises, and touring the wild backcountry - the real Alaska - with our gay and lesbian adventure guides. For more info, see the LGBT Alaska Travel page linked on the right side of the blog in the Everything LGBT Alaska resource list.

If you like what you see here and want to stay in contact, please bookmark Bent Alaska, or subscribe to the posts in email or RSS.

Thanks for visiting us on the queer frontier. Come back soon!

Sara's News Roundup 12/13/09

UPDATE: The Bloomberg article (#15) is a false report. See "Death Penalty Still in Antigay Bill" for the story.

This week's LGBT world and US news roundup from Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

New York, New York Post, December 9, 2009

New York,, December 6, 2009

Atlanta, Georgia, National Black Justice Coalition, December 3, 2009

Huffington Post, December 2, 2009

New York,, December 7, 2009

New York, Associated Press, December 2, 2009

California,, December 3, 2009

Spain, ABC News, December 6, 2009

Business Week, December 4, 2009

Toronto, Canada,, December 1, 2009

Washington, Malaysia News.Net, December 8, 2009

New Jersey, Observer-Tribune, November 27, 2009

U.K., Advocate, December 7, 2009

San Francisco, New America Media, December 9, 2009

Uganda,, December 9, 2009

Houston, Texas, PRNewswire, December 12, 2009

Christmas Music, Youth Drop-In, HIV Survey & Gifts for Change

Gay AK - news for and about LGBT Alaska

Youth Initiative "Drop In/Hang Out" kicks off in Anchorage
The Youth Initiative program is ready to offer a safe place for youth to hang out with their peers and adult facilitators. The two facilitators are Johnathan Jones and Ginger Blackmon, community leaders with youth work and education training. To kick off this exciting new program, we're hosting a special holiday drop-in/hang-out for teenage youth (13 to 19) at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center on Saturday Dec. 19 from 12-3 p.m. The entire center will be set aside so that the youth can use the space as they like. The youth will have the opportunity to meet with the facilitators and let us know exactly what it is they would like to do and how they would like to see the Youth Initiative develop. Because this is a special event, holiday gifts and pizza will be provided. And not just lousy gifts, but cool gifts. If you are a LGBTA youth, you don't won't to miss this! For more info or make a donation to support the program, please contact the GLCCA.

HIV Prevention Online Survey seeks rural Alaskan men who have sex with men
The University of Alaska, Department of Health Sciences, has asked for our cooperation in spreading the word about a new online survey. The online survey is primarily targeted for "men who have sex with men" who live in or are visiting rural Alaska. The survey is HERE. If you have questions, please direct them to Dr. Nancy A. Nix, Assistant Professor of Public Health at UAA.

Christmas Music Service and MCC news
The MCC Christmas Music Service is Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. Please join us for refreshments, scripture readings by Dianne O'Connell, music by James Gray, Kevin Holtz and the MCCA choir, and a message by Sara Gavit and Matthew Moak. The monthly MCC potluck will be on Sunday Dec. 20th. Feel free to bring a dish to pass or just join us for a great time of food and fellowship after the service. Step by Step, the Wed. Bible study, is taking a break for the holidays and will meet again starting on Jan 6, 2010. The Annual Congregational Meeting is January 17, 2010. Thank you to all those who have donated food and clothing items for Covenant House. We will be packing up the boxes in the next week or so. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those who so desperately need it. Metropolitan Community Church

The Affirmation Declaration
The Affirmation Declaration expresses the convictions of Christians all over the world and was written in response to the infamous anti-gay Manhattan Declaration. The Affirmation Declaration corrects errors that have been preached in the pulpits of many churches for far too long. Please read The Affirmation Declaration and sign it if you are willing.

Help needed for Kuani's Kidney Transplant
Kuini AhDar is in need of a kidney transplant. Her friends and co-workers are working with the National Transplant Fund to raise the amount that insurance and other sources won't cover for the surgery. The Friends of Kuini have organized a fundraiser at the Snow Goose Restaurant on Third Avenue in Anchorage from 6:30-9:00 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 17. Light appetizers and entertainment will be included in the ticket price of $35 per person, with a cash bar and silent auction. If you cannot attend, but would like to make a tax deductible contribution in Kuini's honor, please call 800-642-8399 or go to The Transplant Fund and enter "AhDar" in the patient box on the homepage. If you can volunteer for the fundraiser, please contact Lori. Thanks

Gifts for Change to benefit the Four A's
Do your holiday shopping with Four A's this year by giving those on your list Gifts For Change. The Four A's Gifts For Change program provides donors with another option for special occasion gift giving and it also supports individuals living with HIV/AIDS in your community as well as prevention efforts across the state. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving and is a meaningful way to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones while impacting your community at the same time. Four A's will send the recipient a card recognizing the gift and your name (amounts will only be acknowledged if you choose that on the form.) For more information, or to arrange a Gift For Change with a credit card over the phone, call (907) 263-2046 or use the online form HERE.

A Lesbian Bishop
The Episcopal Church has elected a second LGBT bishop! Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool is a partnered lesbian and was chosen as the Assistant Bishop of Los Angeles. In 2004, openly gay Rev. Gene Robinson became the Bishop of New Hampshire. Congratulations to Rev. Glasspool and Los Angeles.

This Week in LGBT Alaska 12/11/09

Happy Hanukkah! The Anchorage International Film Festival continues through Dec. 17, and the annual MCC Christmas Music Service is on Wednesday 12/16 at 7 p.m.

This week's LGBT 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.


4th Annual Gruvn Christmas Toy Drive with Wet Thunder 12/11, 7 p.m. $5 at the door to benefit Interior AIDS Association. Please bring a new unwrapped toy.

UAF Gay-Straight Alliance movie night 12/14, 5 p.m. in the Women's Center (Eilson 112). Jessi.

Wednesday LGBTA Social around 9:30 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.


Lesbian Film Night 12/11, 6 p.m. RSVP for location: LGBT Meetup group.

Friday Diva Variety Show 12/11, 9 p.m at Mad Myrna's.

Second Saturday in Spenard 12/12, 9 p.m. Music, raffle and auction at the Spenard Roadhouse to benefit Four A's.

Holiday Tapas Taster 12/13, around 5 p.m. at Mad Myrna's.

"Your mind is not your enemy" 12/13, 1-3 p.m. Talk on Tantric Buddhism at the A.T.O.M. Center by an LGBT-friendly rinpoche. Contact Bird for more info.

Annual Christmas Music Service at the Metropolitan Community Church, Wed 12/16, 7 p.m. Free and open to the community.

Human Rights Day and Sullivan's Hypocrisy

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day and the theme was "Embrace Diversity, End Discrimination." So Mayor Dan Sullivan - who vetoed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance passed by the Anchorage Assembly - proclaimed Thursday as Human Rights Day, quoting the "everyone-except-gays" anti-discrimination law as proof that he is committed to "civil and human rights for all Anchorage residents and visitors..."


The Anchorage Human Rights Day proclamation touts the straights-only anti-discrimination law, proclaims the day, and ends with the message that the mayor "encourage(s) all residents to work together in the coming year on ways that we can achieve greater progress in respecting, protecting, and fulfilling the full range of human rights contained in the Universal Declaration."

... so he can veto them?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 and did not include sexual orientation or gender identity. That explains why the mayor respects not the full range of human rights but the full range contained in the Declaration. Clever... and hypocritical.

But the official Human Rights Day statement does include gays.

The statement begins with the sentence, "The concept of non-discrimination lies at the heart of human rights." UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay lists the successes first, the international laws and treaties on non-discrimination which protect people throughout the world. Then Pillay describes the discrimination we still need to address, against women, indigenous people, racial and ethnic groups, religious groups, refugees and migrants. Gays and lesbians are named in the conclusion, which also describes the harmful effects of discrimination on society and closes with a call to action to help end discrimination (from someone who has not recently vetoed a non-discrimination ordinance and thus has credibility on the issue):
"Many other groups face discrimination to a greater or lesser degree. Some of them are easily definable such as persons with disabilities, stateless people, gays and lesbians, members of particular castes and the elderly. Others may span several different groups and find themselves discriminated against on several different levels as a result.

Those who are not discriminated against often find it hard to comprehend the suffering and humiliation that discrimination imposes on their fellow individual human beings. Nor do they always understand the deeply corrosive effect it has on society at large.

Discrimination feeds mistrust, resentment, violence, crime and insecurity and makes no economic sense, since it reduces productivity. It has no beneficial aspects for society whatsoever. Yet we continue to practice it – virtually all of us – often as a casual reflex, without even realizing what we are doing.

I would therefore like to encourage people everywhere – politicians, officials, businesses leaders, civil society, national human rights institutions, the media, religious leaders, teachers, students, and each and every individual – to honour Human Rights Day 2009 by embracing diversity and resolving to take concrete and lasting actions to help put an end to discrimination."
In support of Human Rights Day, a new Yale study shows that gay people suffer more anxiety and depression in states with fewer gay rights. The American Journal of Public Health reported that LGBT people living in states that don't have LGBT-inclusive protections suffer higher rates of psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The study concludes: "Policies that reduce discrimination against gays and lesbians are urgently needed to protect the health and well-being of this population." More proof for why we need to pass ENDA.

For a brief moment, I wondered if Mayor Sullivan was making proclamations like Human Rights Day and November's Say No to Bullies Month as a trojan horse strategy to get the social conservatives more comfortable with the idea of civil rights and reduce the tension around gay issues so they won't blow up the federal building in downtown Anchorage when the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is repealed. But sadly, it's more likely a cheap strategy to tell the racial and ethnic minority groups that he is willing to give lip service to their rights (no real power, of course, just empty tokens of appreciation) in exchange for their votes on a second term as mayor... where he will continue to oppose our rights.

Happy Human Rights Day, Anchorage.

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.