Author Archives: Shannon Barber

Smart Phone Apps Promoting Homophobia: The Latest- Is My Son Gay?

We all remember when the Huffington Post reported on Apple’s allowing an anti- gay iPhone app from the ex- gay organization Exodus International got past the app board, and the resulting outcry, resulting in Apple pulling the app from the iPhone app store. Now, we have another, this time from Google, to be loaded onto their Android Smart Phones. The Is My Son Gay? app claims to be a  one stop shop to playing detective with your son’s sexual orientation.

Once again, Huffington Post reports on the controversy currently arising. This time, the developer says it was done  in good humor, but this is hardly funny. The app promotes dangerous stereotypes about what makes people homosexual, all the while forcing any parents who take the app seriously to consider that perhaps it is their fault, if, indeed, their son turns out to be a homosexual. It also insinuates that something is wrong with being gay, and we all know that we have enough of that in this society. Here, the ladies from the daytime talk show The View, discuss the app.

Credits: Huffington Post


End of an Era of Bigotry: DADT Repeal is Official

This is an emotional day for me and for many LGBT Americans, particularly those who wish to serve their country in the military just like their straight counterparts, openly and without fear of being “found out,” without losing their livelihoods, being shamed with a dishonorable discharge, just for being who they are. Yes, America, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is officially repealed. People can no longer be discharged from the military for being openly Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual. It is a happy day indeed.

Tide Jumps on the Lesbophobic Wagon

Yes, I acknowledge that the company that owns Tide has long been a supporter of LGBT rights. But even advocates and allies slip, and they need to be made aware of why their tactics are harmful. In its newest commercial, Tide berates a tomboyish little girl, while praising her pretty in pink mother, who wishes the girl would dress in pink and other more feminine clothing.

While I am sure no harm was meant, we are not yet at a point where these sorts of commercials are harmless. Gender non conformity is still something people get teased for, even murdered over. So, until there is a safer climate for people who do not follow the heteronormative gender binary, commercials like this, that re enforce gender non conformity as something abnormal, are simply irresponsible.

President Obama Support the Respect For Marriage Act

While many in the LGBT community have been questioning whether or not Barack Obama has used us for votes due to his refusal to officially endorse marriage equality, he has come further than we could ever have imagined, by endorsing and supporting the Respect for Marriage Act. This act would repeal the Defense of Marriage Ac t(DOMA), which became law in 1996 under then President Clinton, which defines marriage as strictly between one man and one woman. Obama has long since said that his feelings on Marriage Equality and the definition of marriage are “evolving,” (his word), and now he is finally living up to what he said. Hopefully, upon re election in 2012, he comes out in full support of Marriage Equality for ALL Americans, not just those like himself.  Hopefully, in 2012, a change comes indeed, this time, once and for all.

The Bachmanns’ Ex-Gay Lies Exposed

Thanks to an extensive investigation from our friends at Truth Wins Out (TWO), there is now definite proof that Marcus Bachmann’s clinic, Bachmann & Associates, has been practicing Ex- Gay therapy. This is a clinic that receives state funds, so their practices should strictly be in line with with what the American Psychiatric Association teaches, and homosexuality has been off the books as a mental illness since 1973. Furthermore, it is questionable as to whether Marcus Bachmann is indeed lying about having 23 years of experience with a PhD. Queerty reports that not only does the math not add up, but the university he claims to have graduated from doesn’t even offer the degree he claims to have earned.

Court Orders Immediate Ban on Discharging Gays in the Military

It is finally done, it seems. ABC News reports  that a federal appeals court has reversed the decision to keep the ban on open gays in the U.S. military, effective immediately, since the Obama Administration decided that the ban is unconstitutional late last year. In a two- page long order, a three- judge panel concluded that the U.S. military will now allow openly LGBT members for the first time since “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” became law in 1996.

Michele Bachmann’s Husband: Gays are “Barbarians” Who Need to be “Disciplined”

This comes as no surprise, but it sheds light on just how dangerous it would be for Michele Bachmann to land in the Oval Office. Her own husband, Dr. Marcus Bachmann, has made some most disturbing statements about America’s LGBT community. Think Progress published the comments, and Connexion ran a story with his full remarks, as follows:

We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps…

This is the man whose wife wishes to be Commander in Chief of this country. It comes as no surprise, but, combined with the fact that she actually has a rather rabid following of religious bigots, it could happen. These are dangerous times, and the only way to stop this travesty is to take action. If, for no other reason, please get out and stop this for our youth. Spread the word on what kind of people could wind up in the White House if we are complacent. Use the following video as your evidence and proof as you tell the nation what sort of people the Bachmanns really are.

Religious Right Vows to Reverse NY Marriage Equality

As was to be expected, the fringe extremists of the Religious Right are furious at New York’s historic decision to become the sixth state in the union to allow Marriage Equality. Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) have pledged $2 million to reverse same sex marriage in the Empire State, vowing that the GOP Senators who voted in favor of the bill would, quote, “pay a grave price.”

Brian Brown

Maggie Gallagher

Meanwhile, televangelist Pat Robertson predicts the collapse of America if the bill is allowed to stand. See video below.

New York State Passes Marriage Equality!

Finally some good news amongst all the homophobia, inequality, and mayhem. With thirty-three aye votes and twenty-nine nay votes, the Empire State becomes the sixth state to legalize marriage equality for same sex couples. And no, religious bigots, you will not be forced to marry us in your churches., not that we’d want you to do that anyway. And there is also no residency requirement like there is in some other states, so anyone from states in which marriage equality is not yet legal can be legally wed in the state of New York. A great big thank you to the twenty- nine Democrats and a special thanks to the four Republicans who crossed party lines to give us this historical Gay Pride 2011 gift.

Anti Gay Antics From Celebrities Draw fines, Criticism: A Sign of Progress?

There have recently been an alarming string of anti- gay antics from celebrities in any field from pro sports to music to prime time television. Now, no one is expecting celebrities to be perfect. They have no responsibility to raise our children for us, nor  to be some sort of role model to the public. However, the undeniable truth is that with fame, comes almost automatic influence. Therefore, while one does not have a responsibility to be perfect, one does have the responsibility to act responsibly in public or face the consequences, and spewing hateful rhetoric at an already targeted segment of the population is most certainly not acting in a responsible manner.

So, since I have failed to high light these incidents individually, let’s have one, long explanation of some most disturbing and shocking recent anti gay antics from the entertainment world.

First, we have Kobe Bryant.

He was fined $100,000 for calling a referee a “fucking faggot.” Bryant has since apologized, but many don’t feel like it was good enough.

Next, we have Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger Mcdowell, who made crude sexual gestures with a baseball bat at three fans at a game against the San Francisco Giants after allegedly saying to three male fans who were together at the game, “Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?”

Then, when a father at the game with his wife and nine year old twin daughters attempted to intervene, McDowell replied, “”How much are your teeth worth?” as he walked over with a baseball bat. He has since apologized as well, but, once again, no one knows if it is sincere or merely damage control.

Of course, more recently, we have the likes of Cee Lo Green

tweeting homophobic rants, of which there can be no doubt of the truth, because the tweets are saved in screen shots, despite the fact that green deleted them from his twitter feed and has since semi apologized.

original homophobia on twitter, courtesy of Colleen star

screen shot credit to Colleen Star

And the apology that was hardly an apology:

And, of course, last, but certainly not least, was Tracy Morgan’s homophobic rant at a Nashville comedy show.

Tracy, however, is a bit different from the others. His apology was not just a half “if you were offended” type apology. He has since met with homeless gay and transgender youth, called his own words “indefensible”, and seems genuinely sorry.

I could carry on and on with example after example of this stuff coming out of the camp of celebrities, but I think you get the idea. I am still saddened that they could say and do such outrageously callous, insensitive, and inexcusable things, especially in the current climate, when we, the LGBT community are still very much victims of truly institutionalized homophobia, and our youth are still committing suicide at alarming rates. However, I am ecstatic that they are being called to task, and that the LGBT community and straight allies alike are letting them know that this is unacceptable, and, if you don’t at least act like you are sorry, they will suffer the consequences. So, yes, there is definite progress.