Fairbanks fundraiser for gay cabbie injured in assault

Early on the morning of Thursday, January 13, Johnmichael, a driver for Eagle Cabs in Fairbanks, was beaten in the face with the claw side of a hammer. His assailant, Robert Charles Evans, is in jail charged with first degree assault and first degree robbery. Both charges are class A felonies in Alaska, and could garner Evans a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

A news account of the events surrounding the attack appeared in the following day's newspaper:
From circumstance recounted there, it does not appear that the attack on Johnmichael was motivated by antigay sentiment, but by robbery. Regardless of motivation, as a result of the attack, Johnmichael cannot work and is faced with unexpected medical expenses, including a surgery scheduled for February 1 -- not to mention ongoing living expenses normally covered by his income as a taxi driver.

Johnmichael's fellow cabbies have been putting together donations to help Johnmichael in his time of need. The Fairbanks and Alaska LGBT & allied community is also stepping forward, with a benefit to be held Saturday in Fairbanks:
  • Day/time: Saturday, January 29, 2011, 7:00 PM until the wee hours
  • Location: Last Roundup Steak House (upstairs lounge), 2701 S. Cushman, Fairbanks (see map)
  • Info: Suggested donation $10 -- more if you can! We are planning a night of Karaoke, eating, and drinking. It will be a fun way to raise money for someone in our community who needs our help. Any amount you can donate small/large will be greatly appreciated.
If you're not in Fairbanks or otherwise can't attend, send any amount to:
Johnmichael care of Eagle Cab
555 Front St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
You can also call Bill Northup (the manager of Eagle Cab ) at (907) 456-8536 and put an amount on a credit card care of Johnmichael. The cab company will then give him the cash.

Johnmichael has written to Bent Alaska and to other supporters expressing his heartfelt gratitude for donations and other help he's already received. He says he plans to attend the benefit, and intends to speak there about the need to start an emergency relief fund for the GLBT people caught in similar emergencies. "I'm feeling ok," he writes, "Just have a pounding headache. As you can imagine. My need comes in because I can not go back to work without a doctors release & I have a surgery scheduled for the 1st of Feb." He intends to return to work as soon as he's recovered.

We wish you a speedy recovery, Johnmichael.

Anchorage’s LGBT Discrimination Survey

by Melissa S. Green

Originally published as an op-ed in the Anchorage Press on Thursday, January 27, 2011.

In the 1980s, I was part of two major research efforts conducted by Identity, Inc. to document sexual orientation bias in Alaska. One in 10: A Profile of Alaska’s Lesbian & Gay Community, published in 1986, reported on the results of a statewide survey of 734 lesbian, gay, and bisexual Alaskans. Identity Reports: Sexual Orientation Bias in Alaska, published in 1989, included three papers, including “Closed Doors,” a survey of Anchorage employers and landlords; and “Prima Facie,” which documented 84 actual cases of of violence, harassment, and discrimination due to sexual orientation bias. (Copies of both reports are available on the Internet at http://www.henkimaa.com/identity/.) Some of our findings:

Of the 734 respondents to One in 10:

  • 61% reported being victimized by violence and harassment while in Alaska because of their sexual orientation (ranging from verbal abuse/harassment, reported by 58%, to physical violence, 11%, and sexual assault, 5%);
  • 39% reported discrimination in employment, housing, and loans/credit; and
  • 33% reported discrimination from services and institutions.
From the “Closed Doors” component of Identity Reports:
  • 31% of the 191 Anchorage employers in the survey said they would not hire or promote or would fire someone they had reason to believe was homosexual.
  • 20% of the 178 Anchorage landlords in the survey said they would not rent to or would evict someone they had reason to believe was homosexual.
From the “Prima Facie” component of Identity Reports:
  • 84 case histories of antigay bias, discrimination, harassment, or violence (including three murders) were documented involving 30 men and 21 women. 64 of these cases took place in Anchorage.
  • A former intake investigator with the Alaska Human Rights Commission found that 32 of 42 discrimination cases based on personal testimony would "definitely" be jurisdictional under state human rights law if it included protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (That is, the commission would investigate them if complaints were made.)
  • Victims were predominately gay men or lesbians, but also included heterosexuals who were erroneously assumed to be gay or lesbian.
On June 16, 2009, I testified about these findings before the Anchorage Assembly during public hearings on Anchorage Ordinance 64, which would have added sexual orientation and gender identity to the Municipality of Anchorage’s equal rights code. I also provided every member of the Anchorage Assembly with CDs containing the full reports, as well as photocopies of the “Prima Facie” report.

In spite of this evidence, one of the chief arguments used in 2009 by opponents of equal rights was that there was no evidence of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) people. Mayor Dan Sullivan echoed those arguments when, less than a week after the Anchorage Assembly passed AO-64 by a vote of 7 to 4, he vetoed the measure, claiming that “there is clearly a lack of quantifiable evidence necessitating this ordinance.” And so for the third time in 35 years, the Anchorage Assembly in 2009 passed an ordinance that provided at least some equal rights under the law for LGBT residents, only for those rights to be almost immediately stripped away again. (The other instances were in 1975–76 and 1992–93.)

But of course, the evidence of One in Ten and Identity Reports was two decades old, so Mayor Sullivan and ordinance opponents found it easy to ignore. But they found it just as easy to close their ears to the public testimony of a number of Anchorage LGBT residents who stepped forward during the summer of 2009 to testify to very recent experiences of discrimination and bias — even after one opponent openly testified to the Assembly that he’d once beaten a gay man so badly that he put him in the hospital. Public testimony about discrimination, no matter how recent, was downplayed as "just anecdotal.”

And so we come to 2011 and the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey, now in progress: the first effort since the late 1980s to compile rigorous data about the incidence of sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Anchorage — and the first effort ever to document Anchorage or Alaska-specific data about discrimination and bias on the basis of gender identity.

The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey is a collaborative project of the Alaska LGBT community and a coalition of Alaska organizations which serve the LGBT community, including Identity, Inc., the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (4-As), Alaskans Together for Equality, Equality Works, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska. Our survey questionnaire and overall research project were designed with the expert assistance of Dr. Brad Myrstol and Khristy Parker of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. In the future, we plan to conduct a second and far more expansive statewide survey, which will survey LGBT Alaskans statewide not only about their experience of discrimination and bias, but also a full range of other questions of concerns to LGBT Alaskans and their friends and allies.

In the meantime, online surveys are at our project website, http://alaskacommunity.org/, and on the ACLU of Alaska website at http://www.akclu.org/ by clicking the button marked “LGBT Survey.” To obtain a PIN number to access the online survey, or to receive a printed version of the survey, contact Shelby Carpenter of the ACLU of Alaska at (907) 263-2006 or at scarpenter@akclu.org. Survey data collection will continue until February 28, 2011.

We invite the participation of all members of the LGBT community in this important and confidential survey, and we welcome the assistance of our non-LGBT friends and allies in getting the word out.

Melissa S. (Mel) Green was principal writer of One in Ten: A Profile of Alaska’s Lesbian & Gay Community (1986) and coauthor with Jay K. Brause of Identity Reports: Sexual Orientation Bias in Alaska (1989). She is a founding member of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force. (She also has a blog at Henkimaa.com.)

Sara's News Roundup 1/23/11

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Chicago, Illinois, Huffington Post, January 21, 2011

Brazil, LA Times, January 21, 2011

Maryville, Tenn., Daily Times, January 20, 2011

San Francisco, Advocate, January 19, 2011

TowerRoad, January 2011

London, AFP, January 18, 9:07 am ET

Kathmandu, Nepal, Inquirer.net, January 9, 2011

U.K., Advocate, January 21, 2011

Cheyenne, Wyo., Billings Gazette, January 20, 2011

Maryland, Advocate, January 21, 2011

Pam's House Blend, January 12, 2011

Young Is Getting Old For Alaska!

- by Caleb Pritt

Don Young is a good person to meet and to visit with. I would love the opportunity to go fishing with him sometime if he ever offered, though I doubt he would. But Young is getting Old for Alaska.

Now before you think this is an attempt by a young man to use Don Young's thirty-eight years in Congress against him, it's not. It's the fact that his votes are so out of line with Alaska and Alaska's best interest, something he likes to say he represents. Don Young has reverted more and more to voting the Republican Party line, rather than voting for Alaska's line, for the future.

Today, Don Young joined a band of reactionary Republicans in voting to repeal the Healthcare Reform that ALREADY passed the House before. This was a moment where a senior "indpendent-minded" Republican could have said, "We need to focus on the issues before us, not what is behind us." Instead, Don Young chose the party politics of Washington, D.C. over Alaska's best interest. He says the bill was unconstitutional, yet why didn't he do anything when it was decided the first time? Theres plenty of parlimentary tricks he could have employed. Even at that, he could have split the provisions of the bill and voted against the Individual Mandates and yet still voted for providing health care to those with preexisting conditions. He could have added a rider to provide more funding for rural and for native health care efforts. Instead, Don Young disappointed Alaska and turned his back on Alaska by playing the Washington, D.C. game.

Awhile back, there was a move to alleviate the American taxpayer of the tax-dollar draining provision known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a provision that has wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Don Young claims he's a friend and advocate for taxpayers but rather than using that as justification to remove DADT, he voted against repeal. In fact, Lisa Murkowski could look past her partisan label and partisan leanings to do the right thing, but Don Young who talks Alaska when running for re-election every two years, par for the course votes Washington, D.C. politics once safely back in office.

Don Young has built up a mystique of invincibility to some of the political prognisticators and the press. But my question as a constitutent of the Congressman is who do you represent: Alaska or the Republican Party? This past November, a plurality of Alaska voters said no to partisan politics and yes to those who place Alaska first in the U.S. Senate. In fact, 2/3rd's did this if you combine Murkowski & McAdam's votes over the very partisan Miller. So the question must be asked, is Alaska not getting too old to deal with Young?

Congressman, you can't go forward by going back. Alaska has always moved forward. I suggest it's time to start doing that again or come home and let another Alaskan go forward with Alaska, not back with party politics!

Dennis Goff (1951-2010)

Dennis Goff, formerly of Anchorage, died unexpectedly at the age of 59 on Nov. 3, 2010, in Hawaii. Sorry for the late posting, I didn't know until recently. His legacy book is still open, and friends are encouraged to add a message. Condolences to his partner Sheldon, his many friends and students, and all who were touched by his life and his music.

A local gathering was held in the UAA recital hall. His ashes were divided among his favorite Hawaiian beach, the Chugach Mountains in Alaska and his family's hometown in Ohio.
Born Aug. 19, 1951, in Toledo, Ohio, he graduated from East Anchorage High School in 1969, and taught voice and English in the Anchorage School District until his retirement in 1994.

After retirement, Dennis continued to tutor students in his home and advocated for their success in the music profession. His was a familiar face at many musical venues throughout the city.

He was a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Anchorage Community Chorus, Alaska Chamber Singers, Anchorage Festival of Music, Trattoria Singers, Anchorage Opera, Camarato Otto and Waikoloa Outdoor Circle.

One of Dennis's favorite excursions was sharing with friends the beauty of Denali National Park. Another special recreation spot was the Chugach Mountains. It was his desire to move to a sunny climate. That goal was met when he recently relocated to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Warm and good-natured, Dennis was a reliable friend whose sunny smile and quirky humor endeared him to those of us who knew him best. Though he is gone too quickly, he enjoyed every day, especially the last few months in his Hawaiian paradise. The space he left cannot be filled. He cared deeply about us, and has a permanent place in our hearts, where he will always make music.

He was predeceased by his parents, Harvey and Violet (Lemon) Goff, who lived in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Surviving family members include his life partner, Sheldon Meier of Waikoloa Village, Hawaii; his sister, Marsha (James) Elsen and niece Becky Elsen of Croton, Ohio; nephews, Jimmy Elsen of Anderson, Ind., and Scott Elsen of Bay City, Mich.; and many close friends in Anchorage.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in Dennis' memory may be sent to the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Alaska Chapter Student Scholarship fund, 9050 Basher Drive, Anchorage 99507 or to a charity of the donor's choosing.
The obituary above was in the ADN. He was also remembered in West Hawaii Today, which covers his home in Waikoloa Village.

Rest in Peace, Dennis.

Time Travel with Four A's at 25

You are cordially invited to join Four A's in celebrating our 25th anniversary. Experience 25 years in one night during a most triumphant fundraiser. Reserve your seat in our time machine and experience live time travel. The evening will be a most excellent adventure showcasing our history and the history of HIV/AIDS in Alaska. You won't believe where we visit and who visits us!

Four A's 25th Anniversary
Saturday, February 26, 7-9:30 pm
Crosspoint Community Church, in Anchorage
Tickets $50 each. Call (263-2050) to reserve your tickets, or buy on online at Four A's.

Alaska ACLU's 40 Heroes include Identity, Out North

2011 will mark the 40th Anniversary of the ACLU of Alaska and they're celebrating with a Gala Evening honoring 40 Heroes of Constitutional Rights. Identity, Inc. is one of the heroes. Other honorees connected to the LGBT community include Out North and Anchorage attorney Allison Mendel.

"Please join the ACLU of Alaska on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at the Dena'ina Center to honor these individuals and organizations who have led the way in creating a state that honors and protects personal freedom, individual liberty, and constitutional and civil rights."

The evening will include live music, a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner, commemorative program, silent and live auctions, and dancing.

For tickets and more information, visit the ACLU of Alaska.

Sara's News Roundup 1/16/11

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Washington, Advocate, January 14, 2011

Maryville, Tenn., Daily Times, January 16, 2010

Maryland, State Column, January 13, 2011

Kampala, Uganda, Hindustan Times, January 3, 2011

Northfield, Minnesota, Carletonian, January 14, 2011

Washington, Washington Blade, January 13, 2011

San Francisco, Fox News, January 11, 2011

Boston, Boston Globe, January 13, 2011


New Haven, Conn., Washington Blade, January 13, 2011

Concord, New Hampshire, Boston Globe, January 12, 2011

Providence, Rhode Island, Providence Journal, January 8, 2011

Washington, The Hill, January 14, 2010

New York Post, January 15, 2011

Hartford, Conn., Hartford Courant, January 11, 2011

Where to Find GLBT Alaska - Annual Events, Revised for 2011

The main annual events held by the LGBT organizations and local communities in Alaska are listed here in calendar order, along with city-wide events that we participate in every year.

Fur Rondy Grand Parade (Feb 26) - The Imperial Court creates a float for the Rondy Parade in downtown Anchorage.
Femme Fatale (mid-April) - The Imperial Court's Juneau show closes the state legislative session and is a benefit for Four A's.
Day of Silence (April 15) and Pride Prom (April 23 in Anchorage) - Alaska's students, teachers and Gay/Straight Alliances (GSA's) join the National Day of Silence, and break their silence celebrating at Pride Prom.
Celebration of Change (April 23) - Radical Arts for Women's 'break-up' performance celebrates women, music and art in Anchorage.
Juneau Pride Chorus spring concert (April 30) - The concert is a spirited evening of women, song and dance at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, and the chorus performs at various events during the spring and summer.
LGBT Pride Picnic (May 30, Memorial Day) - The Anchorage Picnic and BBQ celebrate unity in the community and the beginning of summer.
Alaska Pride Week and Festival (3rd week in June) - The summer solstice parade and festival celebrates LGBT Pride in downtown Anchorage, following a week of Pride events.
Northern Exposure (during Pride Week this year) - Alaska's new gay & straight BDSM/Leather conference returns for a second year.
Juneau Pride Picnic and Glacier Hike (summer) - Juneau celebrates Pride with a GLBT community picnic and glacier hike organized by SEAGLA.
Marching in July 4th Parades - LGBT contingents design floats and march in July 4th parades in Anchorage and Homer.
PFLAG in Golden Days Parade (late July) and Tanana Valley State Fair (August) - PFLAG and the Fairbanks LGBTQA community march in the annual Gold Rush parade, host a Pride Picnic after the parade, and create a booth for the Interior state fair.
Coronation (Labor Day Weekend, Sept.) - An extravaganza of performances in Anchorage invests the new Emperor and Empress of the Imperial Court of All Alaska, and announces community awards and scholarships.
Pride Conference (Saturday near October 11) - Identity's back-to-school youth conference is inspired by National Coming Out Day, celebrated nationally on October 11.
Alaskans Together annual meeting (Sunday after Pride Conference) - The state-wide LGBT advocacy group holds a strategy meeting each year in Anchorage.
Thanksgiving Community Meal (Thanksgiving Day) - Several gay-owned businesses in Anchorage host a Thanksgiving Day meal for the LGBT community.
World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) - Alaska commemorates World AIDS Day with red ribbons and candlelight vigils sponsored by Four A's and IAA in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.
Arctic Heat (Jan. 2012) - The Men's Club chooses the new Bear and Leather titleholders every other year.

Alaska's LGBT groups hold many other events and performances, as well as weekly and monthly meetings and events, that the community is invited to attend. Visit the links in the side column of the blog for more lists of Where to find LGBT Alaska.

Avenue Q opening night LGBT social *RSVP required*

UPDATE: The Pre-show Reception is a private event, by invitation only. RSVP required. If you have tickets to see Avenue Q at the PAC, contact Identity for information about the invitations.

It's finally here! Avenue Q is a hilarious, risque and thought-provoking Broadway show with positive gay content, and it's live at the Anchorage Performing Arts Center on January 21-27, 2011. There's even a GLBT mixer on opening night, for community members with tickets:
Join the LGBT community before the show for drinks and hors d'oeuvres at the PAC's Sydney Lawrence Theatre, on Friday January 21 from 6-7:45 p.m. This free event is sponsored by the Concert Association with Mad Myrna's and South. Come mingle with friends, then enjoy the show.
Bent Alaska first posted about Avenue Q almost a year ago, when the Anchorage Concert Association's 2010-2011 season was announced. It's wonderful that Anchorage will get to see this award-winning and gay-inclusive show! My partner and I saw Avenue Q several years ago on vacation in the lower 48 and we loved it. If you haven't seen it yet, see it now. (And if you saw it years ago, see it again with your Anchorage friends.)

Note: Avenue Q is a show for adults and includes scenes with puppets having sex, drinking, swearing and surfing the web for porn. ACA recommends the show only for ages 15 and up.

Tickets for Avenue Q are available online through Center-Tix HERE. Don't miss it!

The earlier post included a video of the song If You Were Gay. This time we'll post the theme song, It Sucks To Be Me, performed by the original Broadway cast:

Mid-Winter Hot Springs Exodus *new date*

UPDATE: The Chena Hot Springs Exodus has been postponed until February 19 due to bad weather and unsafe road conditions. Join the event's FB page for details.

Want to meet other LGBT's from Fairbanks at a fun social event that isn't a drag show? Haus of Fusion invites the whole community to relax, rejuvenate and make new friends at the Chena Hot Springs Exodus 2011:
Come join us for the first annual Haus of Fusion-sponsored Chena Hot Springs Exodus, a massive outpouring of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersexed, Queer and Straight Allies. We'll take over the hot springs for the day!

The goal of this event is to give the GLBT community something non-drag-show to do, a social event we can all enjoy. This is a time to put aside grudges and make friendships.

THE PLAN: We will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 22, in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Fairbanks and depart soon after for Chena Hot Springs. Transportation will be caravan-style carpooling. Drivers should have a full tank of gas and a fully charged cell phone. We will be departing the hot springs by about 6 p.m. (Staying overnight is optional.)

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: The day off, swimwear, a towel, $10 for admission to the spring and pool, and money for food and beverages.

Community members are welcome to rent a cabin for the night, but will need their own transportation back to Fairbanks. Overnight rates vary, and include swim passes. See the Chena Hot Springs special rates for Alaska residents.
Aw, sounds devine. Banish the winter blues and meet new people at a community soak. And I'm sure they'll welcome LGBT's from Anchorage, if you plan to be near Fairbanks that weekend or want to drop by. Check out the Chena Hot Springs Exodus 2011 FB page for more info and to RSVP.

Snowed Out with AMP

The whole LGBTQA community is invited to a winter formal dance called Snowed Out, on January 29 at Rumrummers, hosted by the young men's group Anchorage Empowerment Project:
AMP presents a fabulous winter social! EVERYONE in the community is invited - men and women, boys and girls, gays, lesbians, breeders, and everything in between. This will be a fabulous night of DJ'ed music (electro, top 40 hits, and nostalgic slow-dance tunes that recall the awkward days of our youth), dancing, food, and special awards.

Place: Rumrunners
415 E. Street (corner of 4th & E)
Date: January 29, 2011
Time: 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Tickets are $5 at the door. All proceeds go to AMP.

Invite your friends! This is going to be FUN.
Sounds great - see you there.

Please Let Us Take Time... This Time

- by Caleb Pritt

It's been 8 years and a month since a plane went down in driving snow in Minnesota snuffing out the life of one of the greater progressive pioneers to ever serve this nation. In the ensuing days as we, collectively as a community, coped with the loss of this man, his wife, his daughter, and others on the plane, the Memorial Service which began so majestically and melodically ended in a blaze of partisan political rhetoric. Eight days later, a popular former Vice President of the United States was defeated in a bid to replace this man in the U.S. Senate by a political manipulator. I of course am talking about the death of U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife & daughter, and the quixotic Senate campaign between Walter F. Mondale & Norm Coleman. But what was lost, what has been forgotten in those days is the memory of a former coach, of a man who fought hard but fought with dignity & honor, and a man who dedicated his life to public service. What was lost were the other people on the plane who also had the light of their lives snuffed out. The partisan rhetoric grew to such a crescendo because of the memorial service turning political that there are plausible theories out now, how George W. Bush supposedly ordered the assasination of Paul Wellstone. The irony in the story is that Wellstone was on his way to the funeral of another man who had served Minnestoa admirably in the State Senate, when the accident happened.

Two and a half years ago, an hour or so after I had left the headquarters of the Arkansas Democratic Party in downtown Little Rock, an obsessed and mentally disturbed individual charged into the office, barged into the Chairman's office, and brutally shot & killed a man I had gotten to know, respected, and whom I respectfully called, "My Chairman." Then the killer went on a crazy high speed chase that ended up in his life ending in a hail of bullets. I, like so many people, numbly sat in the pew at Pulaski Heights Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas days later as we listened to stories, remembered, and then buried Bill Gwatney. Chairman Gwatney was a good man, truly. A man who had compassion for seeing that those who were not considered part of the "in crowd" still got to have a seat at the table and take part in the proceedings. Chairman Gwatney was fair and he was a man of integrity. Yet it disturbed me how the talk in the media turned towards the politics of the moment.

Now, a day and a half after the events in Tuscon, Arizona, I have to say this is not about Sarah Palin, this is not about the Tea Party or Liberals, this is not about gun control, this is not about a new currency, this is not about security for Members of Congress. This is about eighteen people who have had their lives unalterably changed forever. This is about a nine year old girl, elected to her school's student council, who was taken from us and never given the chance to fulfill her life. This is about an older man, who apparently gave his life shielding his wife. This is about a guy who was engaged to be married and spent his life helping those who were not part of the "in crowd." This is about a man who had just come from Mass and taught us that just because he was a Federal Judge didn't mean he couldn't work with a member of another branch of government, his Congresswoman, to alleviate the overcrowding and backlogging of cases in the Federal Courts. This is about two women who while retired still gave back to their community to the extent one was featured in a local newspaper article just a month ago about how she was taking a lifetime of knowledge and mentoring others.

I am troubled by how we have dived immiediately into the politics of this event. THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR POLITICS. There is a time and place for everything and now is not, nor should it even be considered, appropriate or allowable by the media to talk about liberal v. conservative, tea v. coffee parties, or Sarah Palin v. whomever. This is a time for the victims, the survivors, and the heroes. This is a time for the people of this moment.

This time first, in my opinion, is for Christina Green, Dorwin Stoddard, Phyllis Schneck, Dorothy Murray, John Stoll, and Gabe Zimmerman. This is a time to honor them and thank their families and thank God for the joy, the life experiences, the essence that each of them brought to this earth and then to life. Then this is the time to encourage and do all we can to pray for the speedy and safe recoveries of twelve other people that include U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Pray for the doctors and the nurses and the medical personnel as well as their families for the coming days, weeks, months, and yes years of recovery from this moment. Let us honor the heroes who took down and sudued this madman. Let's spend a week or two commending them for going into the fire... the line of fire to prevent further death and injury.

Once we have exhausted those areas, and I mean fully done justice for those people, then if we have the energy or the stamina left, then we can argue about the influence of Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and Ideological Fights.

And the assassin... I say no attention should be given to this attention-seeking drug user. I am a compassionate person. I believe we all make mistakes... but there's a line we all cross from troubled to enabling a madman. Do not focus on his drug use, his antics in class, or his inability to enter the U.S. Army. In fact, do not focus on him at all.

Let us take time... take time to reflect, be thankful for those around us, and take time to honor those no longer among us. Politics can come later. But this is not the time for politics.

Sara's News Roundup 1/9/11

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Berkeley, Calif., Associated Press, January 4, 2011

New York, Reuters, January 6, 2011


Los Angeles Times, January 3, 2011

Sacramento, Calif., Advocate, January 3, 2011

U.S.A., Huffington Post, January 4, 2011

Chicago, Breaking Business, January 4, 2011

Kampala, Uganda, Associated Press, January 4, 2011

Oakland County, Calif., Tribune, December 29, 2010

Advocate, January 5, 2011

Huffington Post, January 9, 2011

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KOAT7-Albuquerque, January 5, 2011

Washington, Advocate.com, January 6, 2011

Rhode Island, Advocate, January 5, 2011

Huffington Post, December 28, 2010

Texas, Advocate, January 7, 2011

Arlington, Virginia, Stars and Stripes, January 6, 2011

Take the Anchorage LGBT Survey

- by Shelby Carpenter

I am pleased to announce that the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey is now available! This survey will collect information on experiences of bias and discrimination in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Anchorage, Alaska. It is the product of a coalition effort by organizations that serve the community, including Identity, Inc., Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association, Alaskans Together for Equality, Equality Works and the ACLU of Alaska.

It is the first survey of its kind in over 20 years, and the first to collect information about transgender Alaskans.

Please see below to take the survey. All answers are completely confidential, and survey administration has been designed to ensure the privacy of all respondents. While the survey website may contain cookies, your survey responses cannot be tied to your IP address.

An individual PIN number is required to access the survey. To request a PIN or for questions, contact Shelby Carpenter, LGBT Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Alaska, at (907) 263-2006 or at scarpenter@akclu.org. Paper surveys are also available upon request.


Alaska's Barnes & Noble stores join national No Name-Calling project

January is "No Name-Calling Month" at Barnes & Noble, and B&N stores nationwide are hosting events in support of GLSEN's annual No Name-Calling Week, happening this year on January 24-28, 2011. Stores in Anchorage and Fairbanks will hold Storytime readings and art activities before NNCW, and teaching materials on name-calling and bullying will be displayed during the month.
"Bringing awareness to the seriousness and severity of name-calling, teasing, bullying and cyber bullying is very important to Barnes & Noble. We're pleased to be partnering with Simon & Schuster and GLSEN for such an important effort," said Mary Amicucci, vice president of Children's Books for Barnes & Noble.

"GLSEN is excited to work with Barnes & Noble to bring No Name-Calling Week's message of respect to youth across the country throughout the month of January," said Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Executive Director Eliza Byard. "As the world's largest bookseller, we applaud Barnes & Noble for embracing this opportunity to raise awareness about the problems of name-calling and bullying."
No Name-Calling Week is a week of educational and art activities aimed at stopping name-calling and bullying of all kinds, including anti-LGBT harassment. Lessons and resources for elementary, middle and high schools are available online HERE.

Barnes & Noble's No Name-Calling Storytime in Anchorage is on Saturday, January 15 and includes the two books recommended in the press release quoted below. The Fairbanks Storytime is scheduled for Saturday, January 22, and involves a different book.
Barnes & Noble stores across the country have events planned throughout January to recognize No Name-Calling Month including: All stores will host a national Storytime event on Saturday, January 15 at 11 a.m. The event will include a Storytime reading of the books Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and One by Kathryn Otoshi, arts and crafts and other activities.

From January 15 through January 23, stores will host Barnes & Noble Educator Appreciation Week. Stores will have No Name-Calling materials available for teachers and educators including book recommendations, tip sheets for organizing No Name-Calling events, lesson plans for elementary and middle school students, classroom posters and buttons, [and] in-store panel discussions with GLSEN local chapters. Exclusive No Name-Calling articles by James Howe and Jodi Picoult will be featured in the January line-up of the More In Store program available on NOOK, the Barnes & Noble eBook Reader.

Barnes & Noble.com will feature a No Name-Calling page. Exclusive video content from bestselling children's, teen and adult authors will be placed on the site during the month of January... The authors will discuss their thoughts on and experiences with bullying.
Barnes & Noble stores will also provide information on GLSEN's Creative Expression Contest for Students:
The Creative Expression Contest is an opportunity for students to submit essays, poetry, music, original artwork, or other pieces that convey their experiences and feelings about name-calling, and their ideas for putting a stop to verbal bullying in their schools and communities. This year, we have added a new High School category to the contest for short-film submissions that focus on anti-LGBT name-calling and bullying in school. The goal is to have students working on their art pieces during the week as a way to learn about and deal with name-calling and bullying.
For contest guidelines, school resources and more information, visit No Name-Calling Week.

Thanks to GLSEN and their partners for the LGBT-inclusive No Name-Calling campaign, and to Barnes & Noble for bringing the anti-bullying message to their bookstores in Alaska and throughout the country.

Sara's News Roundup 1/2/11

Recent LGBT news selected by Sara Boesser in Juneau, Alaska.

Kansas City Star, December 26, 2010

Advocate, December 23, 2010

NPR, December 27, 2010

Towson, Md., Associated Press, December 29, 2010

Bangkok, Thailand, Washington Times, December 24, 2010

England, People, December 27, 2010

Adelaide, South Australia, Adelaide Now, December 27, 2010

Charleston, West Virginia, West Virginia Gazette, December 26, 2010

Viet Nam, Viet Nam News, December, 29 2010

Salt Lake City, ABC 4 News, December 23, 2010

365Gay.com, December 24, 2010

Alameda County, Contra Costa Times, December 29, 2010

Advocate, December 22, 2010

Tiffany Cub of New England

Buenos Aires, Argentina, Asia One News, December 31, 2010

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.