Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Daddy Hug is a Jungle Bundle of Fun - Review for BookDads.com

Daddy Hug
Written by Tim Warnes
Illustrated by Jane Chapman

Daddy Hug takes your kids through a journey of the animal kingdom’s diverse types of Dads. Simple adjectives and words introduce all types of Daddies and roll into the next animal adjective with the flow of a song. Probably best for kids under 4, but definitely not your average picture book, Daddies and their kids abound from page to page as they exemplify the adjectives used to describe them, whether it be the SCRUFFY daddy warthog strutting his muddy self with his young in tow, the SLIMY daddy snake coiling around his wiggling hatchlings, or the FLUFFY ostrich guarding his playing chicks.

Tim Warnes’ book takes a rhythmic journey of dads and their families doing what they do best in the wild, like splashing Ducks or chirping Otters. More importantly, it does this in a nurturing light culminating with what dads love to do best – giving big daddy hugs. Not to be a spoiler, but the last page is total gathering of all of nature’s dads, all hugging and cuddling their little ones.

Beyond the playful use of words, the book is a great expression of illustration by Jane Chapman (who also illustrated Bear Snores On). The art is soft, welcoming, colorful and beautifully rendered. Overall, Daddy Hug is a jungle bundle of fun… for reading to your little one.

Diatribe from a fellow QueerSpawn on Gay Marriage

okay, so this being like the 30 millionth anti-gay ruling in the history of American anti-gay rulings, i realize that it's just another setback along the road to civil rights. but that being said, this one hits especially close to home for me, those of you who know me well know why.

in case you haven't tuned into the news yet today, the California supreme court has upheld Proposition 8 today, banning constitutional equal rights for gay people, namely the right to be married in the eyes of the law. at the heart of the issue is the debate over whether or not gay people should be protected under the same laws that are there (ostensibly) to protect families, i.e. healthy environments for the creation and upbringing of children.

i really thought this one was gonna be a victory. i thought that given the momentum around the country, that at this point, California would come out on top. but i was wrong.

California is my home state (San Francisco, to be precise) and in addition to yet again preventing my parents from being legally partnered in my state of birth, there are (as i see it) two very dangerous and invalidating assertions behind the proposition:
1) that gay people are unfit parents and therefore have unhealthy offspring
2) that somehow through legislation, a privileged majority is entitled to single out a specific minority and attempt to paternalistically keep them from their god-given right to create children

this, my friends, is fundamentally un-American, and furthermore it is bigoted, and it is wrong. do not be fooled, this is not at this point an argument between the left and the right. it is a manipulation of the privileged majority by a few on the radical right desperately urging you to cling to the status quo.

i am 27 years old. my whole life, my parental figures have been queer identified, gay and lesbian. gay people are every bit as qualified as any other human being on this planet to raise a child, and moreover they are doing it everyday.

this legislation does not reflect my reality. and yet i feel like i am at the heart of it. but i want to urge you all to feel out the ways in which you are at the heart of it as well. what do you stand to lose when the government hands out constitutional rights based on moral/value judgements? are there any situations in which you feel like a minority? as a whole, we all suffer from injustice.

today i find myself in Washington DC, our nations capitol. and although the District of Columbia is far removed from California, i am feeling the need to protest. so i'm sending out this letter. i hear there is an organized protest in Dupont Circle tonight at 8.30, but i'm not sure who's organizing it, and am reluctant to say i'll be there given i know very little about it, and am wary of public protest. but i may go, especially if there are others here in the District who are feeling like they too would get something out of a show of support.

anyways, these are my thoughts. please feel free to pass this along to anyone. many thanks and many hearts.


Jodie Foster is a QueerSpawn

Born Alicia Christian Foster on November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. Foster's father, Lieutenant-Colonel Lucius Fisher Foster III, a former Battle of Britain fighter and one of the most highly decorated fliers in the US airforce, left the family before she was born; her lesbian mother, Evelyn "Brandy," supported herself and her four children by working for a film producer. Jodie's three siblings are Lucinda, Constance, and Buddy. Her upbringing in a working-class part of Los Angeles was unconventional, to say the least. She and her three older siblings grew up with "two mothers"-Brandy and her live-in lover, Josephine Dominguez, known affectionately as Aunt Jo. Although she was christened Alicia Christian, Foster was called Jodie by the family, after Jo D.

Foster played a breakthrough role of a teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver and since then has shined on the screen in such movies as The Accused (for which she won an Oscar), Little Man Tate, The Silence of the Lambs (for which she won another Oscar), Contact, Nell and Anna and the King. Not only known as one of the most influential women in Hollywood, Foster has a long list of awards for her work behind the scenes as director. She lives in the San Fernando Valley with her sons, Charles, who was born on July 20, 1998. Christopher "Kit" Foster born on September 29, 2001.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Daniela Sea is a QueerSpawn

It might be a name that not a lot of people know, but she is definitely a star to watch.
Daniela Sea was born in 1977 the daughter of artsy/hippie parents, later her father came out as gay. An avid surfer, Daniela and her family moved to Hawaii. The inspiration of the ocean grew her stage name.

Beyond being a surfer, she is also a musician, a circus juggler and most well-known as an actress on the hit show L-Word. Before the L-Word, Sea was a member of the Gilman Street Project and then studiied acting at Laney College. She then went on to several different punk rock bands.

Long before she played Moira Sweeney, an androgynous computer technician who over the course of the season, Moira comes out as a trans-man adopting the name Max Sweeny, Sea lived in India for eight months as a man. She said:

It evolved quickly when I realized what freedom I'd have. As a man, I could ask questions and walk around at night. I felt it would give me better access to the culture. I don't feel anyone suspected anything. I never felt threatened, like I do here. If I want to, people think I'm a boy. I'm a tomboy. I always wear boys' clothes. I don't have to try very hard one way or the other.

When talking about her own sexual orientation, she politically will identify as a lesbian but truly considers herself bisexual.

Monday, May 18, 2009

OJ Simpson is a QueerSpawn

Lets face it. In order to be a community you need all different types. OJ is definitely one that evokes controversy, but still had quite the impressive record up until 1994. While that record maybe tarnished with bad decisions, it is still important that we are honest and straightforward in who is part of the community.

Orenthal James (OJ) Simpson

Considered one of the greatest running backs in American football history, OJ in the early 1990s became a household name-a name that sparked conversations across the United States on race, wealth, and fame.

Born near San Francisco in the Stanford University Hospital on July 9, 1947, he was the son of Jimmie and Eunice Durden Simpson. Simpson's father, a well-known San Francisco drag queen, died of AIDS in 1986. In June of 1994, Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman were found brutally murdered, and Simpson was charged and later convicted in civil court of their murders.

Then when people didn't think it could get worse - in September 2007, he was arrested in Las Vegas and charge with robbery, burglary, assault, kidnapping, coercion, conspracy (is there anything left in the law books?) A jury found Simpson guilty of all charges and he was sentenced to at least nine years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence at a prison in Lovelock, Nevada.

COLAGE Seeks Volunteers to Join National Board of Directors

COLAGE Seeks Volunteers to Join National Board of Directors

COLAGE (www.colage.org) is a national movement of children, youth and adults who have one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (lgbtq) parents. We build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education and advocacy. Based in San Francisco, COLAGE offers an integrated array of local, regional and national programs. With over 10,000 member contacts, a network of chapters across the U.S, and 18 years of expertise in youth empowerment and LGBTQ family matters, COLAGE represents and organizes the millions of people who have one or more LGBTQ parents and families.

The COLAGE Board of Directors is an intergenerational, multi-racial/multi-cultural group of dedicated volunteers that includes youth and adults with LGBTQ parents, LGBTQ parents, and allies from all over the United States. The Board convenes for in-person meetings twice annually in addition to participating in ongoing conference calls and committee meetings. The Board provides crucial guidance and oversight for COLAGE and its programs, performs important fundraising and governance duties, and supports the staff of COLAGE in their ongoing work.

This is your opportunity to join COLAGE’s Board of Directors during a very exciting time for the organization! Having recently completed a new strategic plan, COLAGE is looking for dynamic, passionate and active leaders to join the Board of Directors and work with the organization to take it to the next level of its development and impact.

To ensure that all organizational decisions and actions are guided by and reflect COLAGE’s diverse membership and constituencies, we are currently seeking people who have one or more of the following backgrounds or identities to apply:

o Do you have one or more transgender parent(s) and/or identify as trans?

o Are you a person of color and active in communities of color?

o Are you from/Do you reside in the Deep South, Southwest, Southeast, Midwest, or a rural area of the U.S.?

o Are you male-identified?

COLAGE especially seeks dedicated board members with skills and experience in:

o public relations, marketing, media communications, and e-communications;

o financial management, investment & oversight or non-profit accounting;

o policy development and advocacy


o Uphold COLAGE's mission, vision, values, and methodology

o Volunteer average of 10-20 hours per month (some months more, some less)

o Attend in-person all-board meetings twice per year. Spring meeting is in SF Bay Area, Fall meeting location rotates. (Next FALL meeting will be held during the weekend of OCTOBER 3-5, 2009.)

o Participate in all-board conference calls every 6 weeks

o Actively participate on at least one board committee, including monthly calls

o Make a personally significant annual financial contribution to the organization and actively participate in fundraising

o Be an ambassador for COLAGE and LGBTQ families (including being 'out' about your family) in your community

APPLICATIONS DUE: Friday, July 3rd, 2009


Please submit completed COLAGE Board Application Form to COLAGE Board Development Committee via nominations@colage.org

Find Application Form here - http://www.colage.org/about/board.htm

When your application is received, you will be notified and may be asked to participate in an interview with one of our current Board members or Executive Director.


Email our Board Development Committee at nominations@colage.org or contact

Beth Teper, Executive Director at 415-861-5437 or director@colage.org

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dorothy Dandridge was a QueerSpawn

Dorothy Dandridge (actress, singer, dancer)African-American actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge, the daughter of lesbian stage and screen actress Ruby Dandridge, began performing professionally in the song-and-dance duo "The Wonder Children" with her sister Vivian at age four; they toured parts of the South, performing at churches, schools, and social gatherings. In the 1930s her family relocated to Los Angeles. Dorothy performed in the Marx brothers' comedy A Day at the Races, in the group the Dandridge Sisters, and the films Going Places and Sun Valley Serenade. After her marriage to Harold Nicholas, she put her career on hold for a while, but the birth of a severely brain-damaged daughter strained her marriage and it soon ended in divorce, after which she put most of her energy into her career. She went on to appear in Tarzan's Peril and Carmen Jones (for which she received a "Best Actress" Oscar nomination, becoming the first black woman to do so). Three years went by before her next role, in Islands in the Sun, in which she again made history by being the first black actress cast romantically with a white actor in a film.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist

Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist

Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army National Guard who is fluent in Arabic and who returned recently from Iraq, received notice today that the military is about to fire him. Why? Because he came out of the closet as a gay man on national television.Some readers might think it unfair to blame Obama. After all, the president inherited the "don't ask, don't tell" law when he took office. As Commander-in-Chief, he has to follow the law. If the law says that the military must fire any service member who acknowledges being gay, that is not Obama's fault.Or is it?A new study, about to be published by a group of experts in military law, shows that President Obama does, in fact, have stroke-of-the-pen authority to suspend gay discharges. The "don't ask, don't tell" law requires the military to fire anyone found to be gay or lesbian. But there is nothing requiring the military to make such a finding. The president can simply order the military to stop investigating service members' sexuality.
An executive order would not get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, but would take the critical step of suspending its implementation, hence rendering it effectively dead. Once people see gays and lesbians serving openly, legally and without problems, it will be much easier to get rid of the law at a later time.
I spent a day with Dan Choi last month, and he is not someone we want to fire from the military. He loves the armed forces. He served bravely under tough combat conditions in Iraq. His Arabic is excellent, and he used his language skills to diffuse many tough situations and to save lives, both Iraqi and American. All of his unit mates know he is gay, and they have been very supportive of him. But he doesn't want to live a lie.Obama has been praised for delaying efforts to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell," and some major gay rights groups are actively lobbying to delay consideration of the issue. They seem to believe that Obama should focus on other gay-rights issues first, and that he shouldn't spend his precious political capital trying to ram a repeal bill through Congress.
This misses the point. Obama could sign an executive order today. With roughly three-quarters of the public, including a majority of republicans, in favor of open gay service, a meaningful public backlash is unlikely. A slight majority of service members prefer that the policy be left in place, but polls also show that only a tiny minority of them care strongly about the issue, and that the vast majority of service members are comfortable interacting with gays.
Obama may believe he has nothing to lose by waiting. But what about Dan Choi's career? Is this really the right time to fire military officers who are fluent in Arabic?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Ally Sheedy is a QueerSpawn

Alexandra Elizabeth "Ally" Sheedy (siblings: Meagan and Patrick) Ally Sheedy has been involved with the acting craft for most of her life. The daughter of marketing executive John Sheedy and a lesbian literary agent mother Charlotte, she began making TV commercials and appearing on stage at age 15. She published a children's book, She Was Nice to Mice. She has also been published in periodicals such as The New York Times. After high school, the New York-born Sheedy headed west to the University of California where, in addition to her studies, she also appeared in television films. At age 21, she began her feature-film career playing adolescent girls in films such as Bad Boys and War Games. She joined the notorious "Brat Pack" in 1985 after appearing in John Hughes' The Breakfast Club. Some of Ally's other Rim Highlights include St. Elmo's Fire, Short Circuit, Chantilly Lace and High Art. She is married to actor David Lansbury, stepson of actress Angela Lansbury, and they have a daughter, Rebecca, born in 1994.

Sheedy: "I never thought to myself, I'm going to grow up and fall in love with a man or I'm going to fall in love with a woman because my mother is a lesbian."

Farber and I at the Cherry Blossom Fair on the Mall

Sunday, May 03, 2009

News Flash - We Are Normal

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/story/1003889.html - this article is a reprint from Chicago Tribune. Good friend Tina is in it. The crux is that us kids with LGBT parents turn out like other kids - wow - did we really need a story to tell us that.

When Marketing and Branding Ideas Go Bad

GoGorilla Media company, based in New York, which has become something of an internet joke since it took swine flu panic too far, far too quickly. Using typical guerrilla marketing tactics, determined to spot the hottest trend, it put out a notice to all takers that it could make their brand massive by placing the names of companies on surgical masks, turning millions of ordinary people into instant brand ambassadors.

An apology had to go out very quickly from Go Gorilla's CEO when there was an outcry, and he admitted the concept was not as clever as he had originally thought. After all, dying is no joke.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Overheard in DC #2

While waiting with a co-worker in line at Chipolte, two behind us were having a conversation. One of the woman was going off about her boss:

Woman 1: and he is so feminate. you know I think that he is in that way. I don't believe his marriage. it just can not be for real.

Woman 2: Is she pretty?

Woman 1: Kinda - it is just that he is so feminate. and he dresses well. there marriage is fraud.

In the era when people are against gay marriage - it seems even gayish people can not get married. The irony kills me.