Thinking OUTloud

The Gay Movement’s challenge in 2017

It is our individual responsibility to continually educate and reeducate ourselves about how we have arrived here – 2017 Trump America. This is a daunting task, and one that cannot be taken lightly. It includes studying our history through today’s eyes and then engaging in the critically thinking necessary to keep publicly testifying the ways that history has shaped the present. It is this continual affirmation: 2017 Trump America did not randomly happen, and those who are marginalized are not so because they “deserve” to be. The injustice and inequality are the results of the conscious decisions of individuals and institutions which have shaped what is now collectively accepted as our “given” societal codes and norms. If our “givens” were scripted, then they are capable of being rescripted. This is the lifelong task of many among us, and I believe they are the heroes among us. However, I fear that their life’s work has been rendered unfathomable in Trump’s America, where social progress is being besieged and assaulted at every turn.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Progress Springs From Action

It seems
Like to the left and to the right
We are falling
Like the leaves in autumn
The brainwashed and fearful
Deride our existence

Mr. President: I write to you today regarding your lifting of the federal guidance on transgender rights in schools. While I am not privy to discussions within your White House, this is viewed by many of us as a victorious win for the bigotry of the Steve Bannon and Vice President Pence parts of your administration – the so-called alt-right constituents. You might regret that advice given to you by this segment of your administration. Here’s why.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Checking in with Julia & Vanna

Flavor at Baltimore Center Stage debuts with theatre’s grand reopening

When Baltimore OUTLoud profiled Julia and Vanna Belton in October 2015, they had just renovated and opened Flavor Restaurant, Bar & Lounge on Centre Street. Their story was pretty damn epic: married in 2014, they met two years after Vanna had almost completely lost her sight in a week’s time and had come to terms with life as a visually impaired person. The couple, both with backgrounds in the restaurant business, hit it off right away and began their personal and professional relationship, vowing to one day open a restaurant/bar in Baltimore where the LGBT community would thrive and feel safe. They were also determined to fight Vanna’s condition and seek a cure.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Not as Bad as You Think

Let’s state the obvious: the LGBT community of Philadelphia seems to be in disarray. Recently there have been conflicts involving Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia Fight, a state representative, Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, spilling over into the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, and rumors flying all over social media.


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