The First Year: Gratitude

Gratitude has been on my mind a lot the last few months. My sister and I have had several conversations this fall about how grateful we are to be living in these times. Life has advanced in ways we couldn’t have imagined as kids.

When I was a kid, there was no Internet. Today, it’s possible to have a store there without a brick and mortar building. A year ago at this time, I was asking friends and family members if they thought it would be crazy for me to start an online business called “The Gayest Store on Earth.” When I discovered that the domain name was available, I figured it was fate. I ordered the domain, set up an LLC, and started buying Pride merchandise to fill the store. I also developed on a line of original t-shirts to sell. The Internet is a big place: I honestly wondered if anyone would find my online store. Not only did they find it, they started making purchases! Read More

Humorous Gay Quotes

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Today, I want to share some of my favorite funny gay quotes!

The gay agenda? When was the last time a gay person knocked on your door asking if you would like to hear the good news of Elton John?

“You could move.” – Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), in response to a reader who complained that a gay couple was moving in a cross the street and wanted to know what he could do to improve the quality of the neighborhood.

“When I overhear someone say ‘That’s f***ing gay,’ I grab him enthusiastically by the shoulders, grin and say, ‘Yes! I love it, too!’ in a flirty voice. – Adam Lambert Read More

Salt Lake City Elects First Openly LBGT Mayor

 

Salt Lake City recently elected its first lesbian mayor, Jackie Biskupski.  The final tally showed her winning the office with 51.5 percent of the vote over incumbent Ralph Becker, who had 48.5 percent of the vote, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.  This is the second “first” for Democrat Biskupski:  She also was the first LGBT person elected to the Utah legislature, winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 1998. She served seven terms in the House.

Equality Utah executive director Troy Williams called Biskupski’s win “historic.” “Her victory sends a powerful message to all LGBTQ Utahans that their sexual orientation will never be a limitation to public service.”

Of Biskupski’s electoral strategy, the Tribune noted that her “grass-roots campaign focused on change at City Hall and kept its momentum by painting her as the people’s candidate who would listen to constituents.”  Biskupski credited her victory to “a diverse group of people from all over the city.”

At first glance, it seems counterintuitive that an openly LBGT politician could get elected mayor in a deeply red state largely influenced by the conservative Mormon Church.  Politically, things are not exactly what they seem, however.  While Salt Lake City is home to the headquarters of the conservative Mormon Church, its local politics tend to be more progressive, an island of blue in that sea of red. Read More

Veteran’s Day

On Veterans Day, we’d like to express our appreciation the veterans who have served our country. Thank you for the personal sacrifices you made – delaying your education or your career, being away from your family – to safeguard our freedom.   Thank you for placing yourselves between us and danger.  Thank you for braving the unspeakable horrors of war.  Thank you for your service.

We also would like to give special recognition to the gay and lesbian members of the military who have served our country. This service, until recently, came with an additional career-ending challenge:  hide your sexual orientation or be discharged from the military.

As recently as 1981, the Department of Defense issued a directive stating that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and that any service member who has “engaged in, has attempted to engage in, or has solicited another to engage in a homosexual act” would face mandatory discharge. In his first election campaign, President Bill Clinton promised to change that:  if elected, he would allow military service by all who otherwise qualify to serve – regardless of sexual orientation. He was unable to overcome opposition to that policy once in office, however.  He signed into law the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Although often referred to as a compromise, the policy defined homosexuality as “an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.” The discharges continued, and more than 13,000 members of the armed services were discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In his campaign for the Presidency, Barack Obama vowed to continue the fight to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed bills repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  President Obama signed the repeal into law.  The Supreme Court’s decision on DOMA also made full military benefits available to spouses in same-sex couples.

It’s hard to overstate the progress that has been made in the last 35 years. Gay and lesbian service members can now serve openly in the military.  They no longer have to fear that their true orientation will be discovered, and they will be routed out of the military because of it. They can take care of their spouses and families with the same benefits other service members enjoy.  And they show, each and every day, that they are dedicated to the service of our country.

Thank you for serving as a heroic example of who we are.

LBGTQ Trivia

It’s time for more LBGTQ Trivia.  Are you up for the challenge?  Here are ten questions that will test your knowledge.  Let your freak flag/geek flag fly!

 

  1. Who designed the modern Pride flag?
  2. Who is the legendary star of stage and screen who recently came out to the public at the age of 82?
  3. Who was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court hearing against the Defense of Marriage Act?
  4. Who was the first openly gay athlete in an American team sport? (Bonus: name his sport)
  5. Who was the first transgender person to make the cover of Time magazine?
  6. This lesbian Food Network star is the first and only female Iron Chef.
  7. What is unique about Ford model Casey Legler?
  8. The first mass same sex wedding ceremony was held in 1987 in what city?
  9. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States.   To what office was he elected?
  10. The first female winner of television’s The Biggest Loser recently came out to the public and also married her partner. Who is she?

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The Benefits of Family Acceptance of LBGTQ Youth

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At the Coming Out with Pride Festival in Orlando yesterday, we were happy to see many families stop by our pop up shop so that parents could buy t-shirts that said, “I love my gay son” or “I love my lesbian daughter.” In talking with these parents, the love, acceptance and support they had for their children was clear and heartwarming to see.

We have noticed a lot of families with curious or out youth at Pride festivals this year. It is great to see parents educating their children about Pride. Teaching them that being LBGTQ isn’t something to be ashamed of  is a valuable lesson that can bolster self-esteem and inclusiveness. Showing them members of the LBGTQ family that are out and proud is a lesson that will be beneficial to their development, regardless of how children or teens identify themselves in the future. Read More

A New Frontier

With the legalization of gay-marriage, it’s not surprising that the LGBT movement is focusing on workplace equality. This new frontier is the next logical step considering that you can be fired for your now-legal marriage. But in my mind, the outlook isn’t so dim for equality in the workplace.

A huge majority of the Fortune 500 company have already set policies protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination. I read in USA Today this statistic, “The percentage of these companies with protection policies for sexual identity jumped from 61% in 2002 to 91% in 2014”. (Retrieved from Employment discrimination: The next frontier for LGBT community).It’s nice to know that some companies were a bit ahead of the game when it came to protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identities. While these companies are not the only ones to have implemented such policies, there is still a need to ensure that all workplaces provide equal opportunity to the LGBT community. Read More

On Resilience

Things seem to happen to me in waves. Sometimes the events are serendipitous like an old friend calling me after I’ve had a bad day; sometimes the universe just knows what I need. Other times though, the event are more sinister, like in a Murphy’s law kind of way. For example, I was driving the other day and a car pulled out right in front of me nearly causing an accident. Literally one minute later, another car almost sideswiped me because he was on his phone not paying attention as he was making a left hand turn.

Part of me wonders if I look for events and arbitrarily attribute meaning to the patterns that I find. Like, when you think that you see the same number everywhere you go. A while back, I had a friend who was convinced that the number 27 was everywhere–more prevalent than any other number. I started seeing it too. License plates, billboards, phone numbers, even the time! But finally I exclaimed, “This is ludicrous! We are just seeing the number because we are looking for it. It could happen with another number too, like 33”. Right then we passed a sign with the number 33, which really freaked my friend out.

If you’re still with me, you’re probably wondering what the hell am I talking about. I’ve got one more story before I get to my point, so stick with me. Read More

Trivia Time

Every once in a while, I like to let my freak flag fly. Okay, more than every once and a while. My website is called GayestStoreonEarth.com, after all. But, another flag that I sometimes let fly is my geek flag. Well, today I’m waving both of them strong because it’s LGBT Trivia Time folks! I love a good trivia game and even just spouting off random facts at parties, so why not do it on my blog, right? Here we go!

 

Questions:

  1. What was the name of the transsexual woman who became an international celebrity in the 1950’s simply for transitioning?
  2. What gay Asian American actor is best known for his roles in Law & Order: SVU, Oz and in the film Jurassic Park?
  3. Name one of the seven countries where individuals convicted of homosexuality can receive the death penalty.
  4. What gay actor starred in How I Met Your Mother?
  5. Which song of Lady Gaga’s in considered to be a gay anthem?
  6. What country was the first to be led by an openly gay person?
  7. Outside of San Francisco, what place has the highest number of same-sex couples per capita?
  8. What lesbian and renowned long-distance swimmer completed a swim from Cuba to Florida?
  9. What closeted gay man played Mike Brady, the father in The Brady Bunch?
  10. Who is the gay CNN anchor who is the son of designer Gloria Vanderbilt?

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Audacity or Absurdity?

Ray Comfort, an evangelical preacher and executive producer, has produced a new film called Audacity. The name ironically mirrors his own audacity of producing an anti-gay film to try to persuade homosexuals to change their ways lest they perish in the fiery pits of Hell. The name of the movie isn’t the only ironic name here. In an attempt to stay true to his name, Comfort tries to comfort the homosexuals with his love and concern for them, which I believe ultimately backfires in his terrible film. Lesbian writer Camille Beredjick writes,

Clocking in at a little over 50 minutes, this film is a true work of hilarious nonsense. Some Christian movies of this nature make you weep for children who are clearly being abused, or leave you consumed with thoughts about extremists who are actively plotting your death. This is not one of those movies.

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