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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lesbian Vampire Killers Trailer

If you read my post about the upcoming British indie horror/comedy film, "Lesbian Vampire Killers," then you may be interested to know they have finally come out with a teaser/trailer...

Check it out!

Monday, December 29, 2008

2009? Oh Wait, I Already Did That!

by Judy Kinney

I want to suggest that you try time travel as a fabulous substitute for New Year’s resolutions. No need for secret decoder rings or a Star Trek transporter, all you need is a few minutes and your imagination!

Besides, time travel is really a misnomer since quantum physicists have demonstrated how the past, present, and future are simultaneously occurring. Thankfully, you don’t need to understand any of this to tap into it’s power to create the life you desire.

Here’s all the science you really need to know: EVERYTHING is energy, and the Universe interprets all energy, whether conjured up in your memory, your imagination or experience, the same. Energy constantly, and magnetically, attracts similar energy.

Want a breakthrough 2009? Conjure up the energy that goes with your dreams.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of toying with time keeps my energy light, easy and adventurous. Which is in striking contrast to how my body tightens at the mere THOUGHT of coming up with a traditional list of New Year’s resolutions!

I LOVE it when life is this obvious!

A Time Traveler’s Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions:

Set aside at least 30 minutes, and consider recording or writing down your responses to this exercise.

Step 1
Let your mind travel through time, one year into the future. Imagine being at a New Year’s Eve dinner with friends, where you’re all celebrating and chatting about this past year, 2009.

Begin by imagining a few details. Where are you? Who is at the table with you? What are you wearing? Consider embellishing the scene with scents, sounds, colors, and how your body feels.

Step 2
Again, it is the energy that you’re really going for here, let yourself really BE how you’d like to imagine yourself being a year from now.

Then, imagine answering your various friends’ questions (feel free to answer any/all):

  • What are your highlights from this past year?
  • What are you most thankful for?
  • What’s your proudest accomplishment? What are some key moments that contributed to this achievement?
  • What surprised you the most?
  • How did love (or courage, vision, fun) play a role in creating this year?
  • What excites you about 2010?

Step 3
When you feel satisfied, send out a HUGE thanks to the Universe for creating this fabulous, beyond your dreams, year with you!

Stash your recording or writing in a place where you can review it as 2009 transitions into 2010.

Step 4
Enjoy! Relax! Have a blast!

Each moment, and each day of 2009 is bringing your dreams to fruition!

JudyKinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women who are creating the life of their dreams. Find her at http://www.dreamandflourish.com/

Sunday, December 28, 2008

National Religious Leadership Roundtable condemns pope’s remarks denouncing gender theory

Gay and Lesbian Task Force Press Release:

WASHINGTON — The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, condemns last weeks remarks by Pope Benedict XVI that denounced gender theory, saying it could lead to humanity’s “self-destruction.” Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender and how people perceive their identity. The Catholic Church has repeatedly attacked gender theory. “If tropical forests deserve our protection, humankind ... deserves it no less,” said the pope.

Statement by the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, National Religious Leadership Roundtable

“For the pope to purport that he and the Roman Catholic Church have it all figured out, that no mystery remains, is tantamount to blasphemy. Particularly in this time of war and famine and economic chaos, we as Christians of every gender and sexual orientation ought to be working with our brothers and sisters around the globe to deepen respect for all of creation.”

US Opposes UN Gay Decriminalization Resolution

Last week it was announced that the United States was the only major western nation to refuse to sign a United Nations statement that would condemn discrimination and persecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

66 of the 192 U.N. members signed the nonbinding declaration, with the majority of the opposition coming from Islamic countries, Russia, China and the United States.

The UN declaration, co-sponsored by both France and the Netherlands, was signed by all 27 European Union members, as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries.

France's human rights minister, Rama Yade, said, "It's disappointing," when referring to the U.S. position, which she described as a contradiction to America's tradition as a defender of human rights.

According to some of the declaration's backers, U.S. officials expressed concern that certain parts of the declaration might be problematic in committing the federal government on matters that fall under state jurisdiction. In many states, landlords and private employers are still allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and on the federal level, gays are not allowed to serve openly in the military.

Carolyn Vadino, a spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the U.N., stressed that despite its unwillingness to sign, the United States condemned any human rights violations related to sexual orientation.

Gay rights activists nonetheless were angered by the U.S. position.

"It's an appalling stance to not join with other countries that are standing up and calling for decriminalization of homosexuality," said Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

She expressed hope that the U.S. position might change after President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.

Also denouncing the U.S. stance was Richard Grenell, who until two months ago had been the chief spokesman for the U.S. mission to the U.N.

"It is ridiculous to suggest that there are legal reasons why we can't support this resolution _ common sense says we should be the leader in making sure other governments are granting more freedoms for their people, not less," said Grenell, who described himself as a gay Republican. "The U.S. lack of support on this issue only dims our once bright beacon of hope and freedom for those who are persecuted and oppressed."

More than 50 countries opposed to the declaration, including members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, issued a joint statement last week criticizing the initiative as an unwarranted attempt to give special prominence to gays and lesbians. The statement suggested that protecting sexual orientation could lead to "the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest.

The declaration also has been opposed by the Vatican, a stance which prompted a protest in Rome earlier this month.

Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, stated that the Roman Catholic Church opposed the death penalty and other harsh repression of gays and lesbians, but expressed concern that the declaration would be used as pressure against those who believe marriage rights should not be extended to gays.

A new Vatican statement, issued last week, endorsed the call to end criminal penalties against gays, but said that overall the declaration "gives rise to uncertainty in the law and challenges existing human norms."

The European nations backing the declaration waged their campaign in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch foreign affairs minister, stated that countries that endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 they had no right to carve out exceptions based on religion or culture that allowed discrimination against gays.

"Human rights apply to all people in all places at all times," he said. "I will not accept any excuse."

He acknowledged that the new declaration had only symbolic import, but said it marked the first time such a large number of nations had raised the cause of gay rights in the context of General Assembly proceedings.

"This statement aims to make debate commonplace," he said. "It is not meant to be a source of division, but to eliminate the taboo that surrounds the issue."

Although the declaration's backers were pleased that nations on six continents had signed it, there were only two from Asia and four from Africa.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

2009 New Year's Resolutions by Sign

by Sally Philips

It's that time of year again, when we all promise to correct our bad habits and become perfect people. Riiiiight! As we all know, resolutions are made to be broken... but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still make them. Resolutions are more about adjusting our focus each year to gain greater awareness. Little by little, that awareness can help us clean up our mucky areas and get closer to living the lives we desire.

Here are some suggestions by Sun sign for resolutions that are likely to ring your awareness bell.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)
If one of your 2008 resolutions was to finish projects that are still sitting on your shelf ... it's time to box them up and make room for a brand new endeavor. Here's the resolution you will need to make it a success: I won't start a new project until I finish the one I'm working on.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)
Your fixed energy makes you great at follow through, but it can also keep you stuck in bad habits. Resolve to tackle a few of your worst ones this year. If you are true to your resolutions for just three months, you will be well on your way to breaking even the most stubborn habit.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)
Your whirlwind life can be a lot of fun -- and it certainly isn't boring -- but it might serve you well to slow down this coming year. Even though patience isn't your strong suit, try adding a dash of it here and there. It will help you make progress in areas where your bouncy energy has actually been holding you back.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)
You love your routines and your security, but it's time to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Resolve to reach out into unknown territory and see what you find this year. If it feels scary, remember that you're just coming up on an edge where you need to stretch.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)
Have you used your irresistible charms to capture emotional prisoners this past year? If you're a player -- and you know who you are -- resolve to be more devoted in 2009. Open up that big heart of yours and take your relationships to a deeper level.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Nag, nag, nag ... the only time you stop is when you're nitpicking. Okay, that's a huge exaggeration ... but chances are you've gotten on someone's case a little too often this past year. Resolve to lighten up in 2009 and let others take care of dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)
As hard as you try, you can't have it both ways. Promise yourself you will make firmer decisions this coming year. You can still weigh all of your alternatives ... but when it comes down to the line, make up your mind and stick to it. Your friends and colleagues will breathe a sigh of relief.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)
Keeping secrets adds to your mysterious allure, but there's a limit. If you're using your power to manipulate others, that's where it needs to end. Resolve to be more transparent with those close to you this year. Let them in on your deepest secrets and enjoy the fruits of greater intimacy.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)
You're good at thinking big and you shouldn't change that in 2009 ... but you might want to put more time into developing strategies that will help you reach your lofty goals. Remember -- a goal without a plan is just a dream -- so make this the year you follow through.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 19)
Here's your 2009 mantra-resolution: It's not all about money. Keep pursuing the almighty dollar if you like, but also take time to smell the roses that line your path to success. Your friends and family need you. Resolve to be more generous with your time and attention.

Aquarius (January 20 - February 18)
Even though we all love your quirkiness, it wouldn't hurt to develop a bit more tolerance for the traditional. Since it's the flip side of where you usually put your energy, it may feel uncomfortable. But you shine when it comes to breaking the mold, so surprise everyone (again!) with a side of you they've never seen.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)
This is the year to put your compassion to better use. Resolve to find a project where you can help others in need. Your understanding and supportive nature is a gift you need to give on a regular basis. Reach out and extend it beyond your friends and family.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sappho's Guide to Dangerous Women

I found this lesbian guide online today and thought I would share it, I hope you find it as entertaining as I did...

Much has been written about heterosexual dating, and how to avoid opposite-sex partners who would be wrong for you. No one seems to have done this service for women who love women. It must be admitted that not all women, even lesbians are perfect. Although responsible, loving lesbians can be found anywhere, the following list of eight less-than-perfect types is offered in the hope of helping lesbians avoid unnecessary disasters.

The Prima Donna, or Queen Bee
This type is easy to spot. She appears in her strapless gown amid the denim jackets of the local lesbian hangout, expecting someone to take her coat (mink, paid for by her last lover) & fetch her a drink. The lady does not like to be kept waiting.

The Prima Donna is usually gorgeous, otherwise her tactics would not work. She may be a true lesbian, contrary to speculation, but is often bisexual or ever straight. Her sexuality is not of major importance, because what she wants is power, not sex or emotional involvement. She will use her helplessness as a divide to get things done for her, but she is a survivor who can be surprisingly tough. She is rarely grateful to the generous, love struck dyke who supports her/pays for her divorce/protects her from men & other women/drives her to the shopping mall/listens to her complaints. The best way to discourage this tendency is to look the offender in the eye (if necessary, use a mirror), and say something like, "Do it yourself"

The Cool Butch
This is the Lesbian Nations answer to the Fonz, and she expects to be treated accordingly. When she wants you, she'll whistle. More often, she waits to be approached by someone who finds her aloofness challenging.

In some cases, Ms Cool is married to her career, in some cases she likes one night stands or multiple (shallow) relationships, and in most cases she points out that she never promised you anything. When she tires of the game (hers not yours) she calmly walks away, wiping your tears off her shirt.

Underneath the calm exterior, this woman is terrified of commitment & self-revelation. The Cool Butch knows that others will read into her slightly sarcastic expression whatever they like, and she does not want to spoil the illusion. The best way to start melting her cool is to ask questions & demand answers. (if necessary carry on this dialog in your head). If you drive this woman away you have diverted an Ice Age in your life.

The Hot Butch
She is aggressive, possessive, touchy, unpredictable & unfair. She can be charming or funny in a good mood but the wrong word can change her into a snarling tigress. She has probably been thrown out of the local lesbian hangout at least once for socking someone in the jaw, though she insists this was not her fault (she was provoked). She has no tolerance for criticism & no understanding of other people's moods. If a negative remark does not arouse her wrath, it makes her cry. If she falls in love with you (and when she falls, she falls) expect candlelit suppers presents that put her in debt & demands for reassurance that you will also love her forever. This phase lasts up to two weeks, or until your first big fight.

The Hot Butch is an overgrown child who wants attention & power, so walk away from her scenes-if you can pry her hands off your collar (Don't hesitate to ask the bouncer for help). When you are the one seething with sudden, intense feeling, whether love-at-first-sight or righteous rage, take a deep breath, a little common sense can prevent a lot of regret later on.

The Celebrity
You are likely to encounter this personage when your friends whisper "that's her," pointing to the most noticeable woman at the party or bar. She wears shades for anonymity, but is surrounded by fans. She is the only local lesbian musician who has national exposure, or she has written a novel ( about people she knows, thinly disguised) has had a one woman show at the local art gallery. Or she expects success in the near future but hasn't been published, exhibited, discovers yet.

Whether or not the Celebrity is really on her way to the top, expect to take 2nd or 3rd place in her life. Her work & ego come first. In some cases, she likes to buy status symbols now in the hope of paying for them later. (She will usually let you help her with this.)

If you become her mate, you will take care of all the domestic details she is too busy for, and worship her most of the time, especially in public. What she really wants is a combination wife & manager. If you object, she will point out that you can be replaced.

Not all famous lesbians are or have been "Celebrity" types. If you meet the woman, described above, resist the urge to throw yourself at her feet; she might not be as talented as she wants you to think. Remember that every woman has her own dream, and you don't have to sacrifice yours for hers.

The Tramp
You might not recognize this woman until too late. In time, you discover she had a troubled youth. She was adopted, unwanted or naturally rebellious, and her folks were straight laced. She came out, ran away, dropped out of school, became addicted to uppers/downers/heroin/glue/alcohol/junk food & fell into bad company (not necessarily in that order). She is a walking grade B movie & her theme song is "I'm just looking for love"

If she gets sympathy from you, you'll hear more true confessions: She gave her baby for adoption, her parents/pimp/lover used to beat her, she has a jail record, even though she was frames, or she only committed the crime to support herself or her habit or to help a friend or for justified revenge (see Hot Butch).

The tramp feels persecuted & misunderstood. She needs your support, emotional & financial. She claims you can help her sober up, go back to school, get a job & earn the respect of people who did all those things without help. A Tramp will not move unless pushed, especially if she has lucked into your support. She will wear out your sympathy, your bank account & your reputation before she will make a serious effort to change her life.

Hard as it is, the only way to save yourself from a Tramp is to be ruthless. Threaten to call the police if she doesn't leave you alone. (They know her well). Ignore her threats & don't deal with her friends.

If you're a Tramp, you need services no other woman can provide. You must decide who controls your life (You). Once you know what you want, go to the appropriate institution or social services agency, state your case, find out what you have to do, and do it. Only when you are on your way to where you want to be (you are not obligated to go straight) will you be able to form a mutual relationship with another adult.
The Politically Correct Lesbian Feminist
She is impressive, well-read, intelligent, politically committed & of sound conscience. ... What could be wrong?... You could.

Ms Politically Correct asks why she didn't see you at the latest demonstration for women's rights & will not except you explanation (your mother was dying) as an adequate excuse. She does not drink, smoke or eat meat & disapproves of people who do. She strongly disapproves of males, including your brother or your son. Whatever you wear is too feminine or too male identified for her taste, is made of cancer causing synthetic fibres produced in a Third World country by oppressed workers. You get the message.

Of course not all lesbian feminists fit this description, but a little raised consciousness can be a dangerous thing if it makes a woman feel superior to her sisters. Check yourself periodically for intolerance. If another lesbian feminist tries to revise your lifestyle, stop her as firmly as you would stop a non-feminist ( or a non-lesbian non-woman)

The Tease
She points out that she only wants your friendship, then gives you a sisterly kiss on the lips ... for ten minutes. She tells you she hopes you'll find the right woman soon, then describes they type of woman she wants to spend the rest of her life with - who sounds remarkably like you.

Unfortunately, teasing is one of the standard Games Lesbian Play because turning someone on & keeping her off-guard are both power trips. If single, the tease likes to keep several potential lovers dangling until she makes up her mind, which might never happen. If she is involved with someone, she wants to keep you on hand as an insurance policy in case her primary relationship falls through.

Your only hope is to make up your own mind. If you want a sexual relationship with her, phrase your request as an ultimatum. If you lose her altogether as a result, at least you won't be teased anymore. If you decide she is too unstable to make a trustworthy mate, refuse to waltz to her tune. If you are the Tease; make up your mind & make yourself clear to whom it may concern.

The Haunted Woman
This woman can't see you clearly because she is still gazing into her unforgettable past. The Haunted Woman is recovering from her last affair, or yearning for a fantasy figure who was never available to her, because fantasies are easier to control than reality. Expect to hear all about the love of her life. You will probably be addressed by several names, none of them yours. Either the memorable girlfriend was a saint among dykes (You'll be found lacking) or as a fiend who ruined the Haunted Woman's life, in which case she will take out the pain on you, treating you as she was treated (or believed she was treated which is worse). When you meet a woman who can't stop talking about a past relationship, try to change the subject & let her know your real name. If all ease fails, leave her before she becomes a regrettable item in your past.

If you are a Haunted Woman, stop watching reruns & hoping for impossible comebacks. You can never forget the past, but remember that a lifetime of possibilities lies ahead of you.

In general, insist on honesty in yourself & the women you meet will weed out the games players described above. Abusive games are based on fear, so an open, courageous approach to life is the antidote to abuse. If life's journey has brought you to the Lesbian Nation, you have already come to far to retreat into the no-win roles traditionally offered to women, and so have all your sisters.

From the Guide to Gracious Lesbian Living, Lilith Publications Inc.

Lesbian's Gang Rape Shocks San Francisco Bay Area

When I hear about a horrific event, such as this one, that effects the lesbian community, I sometimes wonder if it is appropriate for me to post the details on my blog. However, I feel that it is essential we are made aware of what is going on in our community, and perhaps by having this knowledge, we may be able to prevent such an attack in the future.

AP News writer, Lisa Leff, reported yesterday that a woman in the San Francisco Bay area was jumped by four men, taunted for being a lesbian, repeatedly raped and left naked outside an abandoned apartment building.

The 28-year-old victim was attacked on Dec. 13 after she got out of her car, which bore a rainbow gay pride sticker. The men, who ranged from their late teens to their 30s, made comments indicating they knew her sexual orientation, said Richmond police Lt. Mark Gagan.

"It just pushes it beyond fathomable," he said. "The level of trauma _ physical and emotional _ this victim has suffered is extreme."

Authorities are characterizing the attack as a hate crime but declined to reveal why they think the woman was singled out because of her sexual orientation. Gagan would say only that the victim lived openly with a female partner and had a rainbow flag sticker on her car.

The 45-minute attack began when one of the men approached the woman as she crossed the street, struck her with a blunt object, ordered her to disrobe and sexually assaulted her on the spot with the help of the other men.

When the group saw another person approaching, they forced the victim back into her car and took her to a burned-out apartment building, where she was raped again inside and outside the vehicle. The assailants took her wallet and drove off in her car. Officers found the car abandoned two days later.

The woman sought help from a nearby resident, and she was examined at a hospital. Although the victim said she did not know her attackers, detectives hope someone in the community knows them. One of the men went by the nickname "Blue" and another was called "Pato," according to authorities.

Richmond police are offering a $10,000 award for information leading to the arrest of the attackers.

Gay rights advocates note that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have increased nationwide as of late. There were 1,415 such crimes in 2006 and 1,460 in 2007, both times making up about 16 percent of the total, according to the FBI.

Avy Skolnik, a coordinator with the New York-based National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, noted that gay, lesbian and transgender crime victims may be more reluctant than heterosexual victims to contact police.

"Assailants target LGBT people of all gender identities with sexual assault," he said. "Such targeting is one of the most cruel, dehumanizing and violent forms of hate violence that our communities experience."

Skolnik said the group plans to analyze hate crime data to see whether fluctuations may be related to the gay marriage bans that appeared on ballots this year in California, Arizona and Florida.

"Anytime there is an anti-LGBT initiative, we tend to see spikes both in the numbers and the severity of attacks," he said. "People feel this extra entitlement to act out their prejudice."

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Is The Mood Of Your Relationship?

by Kali Munro, M.Ed., Psychotherapist

If you were to think about the present state of your relationship (or a point in time in a past relationship) as a mood, how would you describe the mood of your relationship?

The mood of your relationship is not how you feel about your relationship, but the unique combination of both people's feelings, reactions, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts about themselves, each other, and their circumstances coming together to form a mood. The mood of a relationship can usually be felt by people close to the couple as well as by the couple themselves. Some relationships have an undercurrent of irritability, and other relationships feel sad. Some relationships are emotional roller coasters, while others are shut down or numb.

Thinking about a relationship in terms of mood is helpful for many reasons. For one, it takes the focus and the tendency to blame off of the individuals -- the mood arises from both people. It also externalizes the problem -- the mood is about the relationship, not the individuals. And it offers direction -- there are ways to address moods.

Thinking about the mood of your relationship encourages you to step back and look at your relationship as a whole rather than getting caught up in the details of arguments and with who said what.

The first step is to identify the mood of your relationship. How does your relationship feel to you, not how do you feel about your relationship but how do the combined interactions between you feel? Do they feel hostile, irritable, hesitant, sad, closed, shut down? Can the two of you agree on how the relationship is feeling right now? Usually couples find that this is one area they can agree on.

Just as we need to find ways to express, comfort, release and shift out of our own moods or feelings, we need to do the same with the moods of our relationship. Different things work at different times and with different couples. You will need to find what works for you.

If your relationship is sad, you may need to acknowledge that to one another and simply hold each other. Being sad together and comforting one another will help prevent that sadness being blamed on one another. Rather than being sad about each other, you are sad together. By acknowledging how the relationship feels and expressing and/or comforting that mood, something will shift.

If your relationship feels shut down or numb, you'll want to bring some emotion into it. As a starting place, you could state your feelings. If your relationship feels irritable, you may want to tune into your love for your partner and approach her/him with love. If your relationship feels sad, you may want to think about all the things you appreciate and enjoy about your partner and let them know those things. If you're hesitant with one another, you'll want to approach your partner with an open mind.

If your relationship is in a funk either or both partners can choose to shift the mood by changing something. You may choose to interact with your partner with a different expectation or belief. You may choose to articulate more of what you are thinking, in a positive way. You may want to suggest an activity that you both enjoy. Any change in your routine of behaviour, attitude, tone and emotional expectations will have an impact on the mood of your relationship.

Just as it's important to look at the whole of your relationship, it's important to look at the whole of your circumstances. Maybe your relationship is irritable or sad because one or both of you aren't being treated well at work. Maybe you are having financial difficulties; or your families are not supportive; or one of you is dealing with abuse memories, or is otherwise going through a hard time, and it's coming out on the relationship. Maybe the relationship isn't the issue but something else is. It's important to acknowledge whatever is affecting the relationship and find ways to comfort each other. When one person in a relationship is having a hard time, both people need comfort because it impacts on both people.

Maybe you feel good about your partner but, for some inexplicable reason, when you get together, you begin to feel sad or angry. While there may be things within the relationship that make you feel sad or angry and you need to have those things addressed, it is also possible that you are used to being sad or angry in each others' company, or have gotten stuck in that mood, and need an alternative way of addressing your issues other than directly talking about them (even though that can be very helpful.) Even when there are issues in a relationship that need to be addressed directly, tuning into the mood of the relationship -- your relationship's pattern of expectations, feelings, beliefs, reactions, etc. -- and looking for ways to address the mood can help shift some of those problem areas. Simply sitting, without judgment, with the mood of your relationship -- and not fighting it -- can be just as important as talking through your problems.

Relationships tap into our deepest feelings and insecurities, and it is no wonder that they often present us with our biggest challenges in life. Taking a different look at your relationship -- assessing its mood -- can help with finding new ways to address problem areas. Just as you have learned to honour and address your feelings, you can honour and address the moods of your relationship as well. Ideally partners will do this together, but change can happen even if only one person makes a change. What can you do to help shift the mood of your relationship? Change is always possible.

Prop. 8 sponsors seek to nullify 18K gay marriages

By Lisa Leff
Associated Press Writer


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The sponsors of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to nullify the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before voters approved the ballot initiative that outlawed gay unions.

The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions. The document reveals for the first time that opponents of same-sex marriage will fight in court to undo those unions that already exist.

"Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions," reads the brief co-written by Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's law school and the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

The campaign submitted the document in response to three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment adopted last month that overruled the court's decision in May that had legalized gay marriage in the nation's most populous state.

Both Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office is scheduled to submit its own brief to the court Friday, and gay rights groups maintain that the gay marriage ban may not be applied retroactively.

The Supreme Court could hear arguments in the litigation as soon as March. The measure's backers announced Friday that Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, had signed on as their lead counsel and would argue the cases.

Proposition 8's supporters assert that the Supreme Court lacks the authority or historical precedent to throw out the amendment.

"For this court to rule otherwise would be to tear asunder a lavish body of jurisprudence," the court papers state. "That body of decisional law commands judges - as servants of the people - to bow to the will of those whom they serve - even if the substantive result of what people have wrought in constitution-amending is deemed unenlightened."

The cases are Strauss v. Horton, S168047; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078; and Tyler v. State of California, S168066.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tips for staying sane when going home for the holidays

As a lesbian, going home for the holidays, especially with your girlfriend, can be quite stressful. However, Kathy Belge, from About.com, has come up with a few tips for making it through this holiday season with minimal conflict.

Know your Family
If your parents have had a hard time accepting you for who you are, don’t expect things to be magically different at the holidays. Be sensitive to your parent’s position, but don’t do anything that truly compromises your own beliefs. Expect to be treated with respect, but don’t demand that they share all your beliefs. Choose your battles.

Get Support
Do you have an ally within your family? Talk to him or her in advance and let them know you might need a little extra support this visit. If there’s something specific you want them to do (interrupt homophobic jokes, keep Uncle Ted away from you) ask that too.

Plan Ahead
Are you bringing a partner home? Make sure your parents know she is coming. Don’t wait until you arrive at their house to discuss sleeping arrangements. Phone ahead and while you’re asking what you can bring to help with dinner or other celebrations, ask about sleeping arrangements. It may save you and your parents (not to mention your partner) from a fight. If things are too uncomfortable, consider staying in a hotel or with another friend or relative.

Set Realistic Expectations
What do you want out of this visit? Do you want to open up and share more of your life with your family, or do you just want to get through the visit without a major fight? If your goal is to make Aunt Mary see once and for all that gay marriage is a god-given right, maybe that’s not going to happen. Maybe a more realistic goal is to model for Aunt Mary that gays and lesbians have partners and families that they love and care about just as heterosexuals do.

Stay Connected to Your Friends
Have a supportive friend you can call if things get hard. Visit a local gay or lesbian bar, bookstore or community center.

Communicate
It’s amazing how much miscommunication can happen with the people who raised us. Many of the problems with our families come from lack of communication. Try to be as clear as you can without getting emotional. Ask for clarification before you launch into a tirade. If someone has an opposing viewpoint and you don’t think you can talk about it without bursting into tears, politely excuse yourself and call on one of your support people.

Take Care of Yourself
Don’t over eat or drink too much. Walk around the block, get some fresh air from time to time. Offer to run to the store to get some time alone or plan to do something special with a family member you particularly enjoy spending time with.

Breathe
The visit with your family won't last forever. Try to stay in the present and enjoy yourself. Remember that soon it will be over and you'll be on your way back to your own home.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Double Shot of Bi-Sexual Reality?

After two seasons of Tila Tequila’s “A Shot at Love,” I really thought reality TV couldn't get much worse, but I was wrong. Meet the Ikki Twins, they are identical, bisexual, models who are starring in MTV’s newest reality show, “A Double Shot of Love.”


Erica and Victoria Mongeon are models/calendar girls who are know to those in the soft-porn industry as Rikki and Vikki, hence the name "Ikki twins." These former Hooters' waitresses got their first break modeling for Bench Warmer Cards, which then led them to doing magazine covers such as Import Tuner and Fast & Sexy. They have also posed for Playboy, but then again these days, who hasn't?

In this spin-off Tila Tiquila's "A Shot at Love", both men and women will vie for each twin's affections.

"When the men and women arrive, they are pleasantly surprised to find that the women they are fighting for are actually gorgeous twin sisters all living under one roof," MTV said in the statement release to Usmagazine.com. "The 12 straight men and 12 lesbians are narrowed down each week in a dramatic elimination ceremony."

The show premiered on Tuesday, Dec 9th and will run for a total of 8 weeks. If you feel the need to find out more about this high-class show (said with much sarcasm), or to meet the 24 cast members/victims, you can click here to check out their website.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lesbian New Year's Eve Events 2008/2009

So what are you doing for New Year's Eve this year? Do you have big party plans? Maybe an evening of dancing? Or perhaps a romantic dinner with your sweetheart?

Well, whatever your plans, I thought I would help out by creating a list of lesbian and GLBT New Year's Eve events from around the US. And if I missed any, and I am sure that I have, please email me the details and I will be sure to add them to the list.


CALIFORNIA
Emeryville, CA
Texas Rosa New Year's Dance 09
A Women's Country and Western Dance
December 31st, 2008 8:00pm-12:30am
Veterans' Memorial Building, 4321 Salem St., Emeryville
Entrance: $15; 8-9pm Beginner class, plus 2 line dances: Ghost Train refresh and Georgia Winder; Free parking at Long's Drugs on San Pablo.

Hollywood, CA
Girlbar New Year's Eve
Ultrasuede 661 N.
Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood, CA
Our New Year's Eve celebration is on Wednesday December 31st.

Advance tickets are $25 plus a $2 service charge. ($35 at the door)
Party Favors, Champagne Toast, Cash Balloon Drop
Doors Open at 9PM

Oakland, CA
New Years Eve Queer Ball 08-Trip the Light Fantastic
Wednesday, December 31st, 7:30pm - 1:00am
Lake Merritt Dance Center, 200 Grand Ave. (At Harrison), Oakland. Intimate - Elegant - Fun! Dinner, show, midnight toast and Social Dance. Limited to 100 guests. $50 Tickets - Cash, check or online. For more info contact Roke at (510) 681-9740 or email her at mailto:roke.noir@gmail.com

Oakland, CA
Velvet New Years Eve Bash
Wednesday, Dec. 31st
Time: 8:00am - 2:00pm
3411 Macarthur Blvd @ 35th Avenue

Sacramento, CA
Lesbian New Year's Eve
Celebration and Fundraiser
the Studio Theatre
1028 R Street
Sacramento CA 95811
Wednesday, December 31st, 9:00an - 2:00 pm
$20 in advance, $25 at the door, includes appetizers and Champagne at midnightRaffle prizes, Dancing, entertainment and other activities!

San Diego, CA
New Year's Eve at The Abbey
2825 5th Ave., San Diego, CA
$35 Presale

San Francisco, CA
Marga Gomez's New Year's Eve Spectacular
Victoria Theatre
2961 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
In Marga Gomez's New Year's Eve Spectacular 2008, Theatre Rhinoceros reunites last year’s gay comedy hot-shots Marga Gomez and Ali Mafi in an all new show that’s bolder, funnier and fruitier than ever. The 7 PM and 9 PM stand-up spectaculars will close with a festive countdown (because it’s always New Year's Eve somewhere), sloppy kissing by audience members, a "Big Balloon Drop" (just one very large balloon) and free tap water (bring your own cup.)

San Francisco, CA
Studio 54 New Year's Eve Party at Mecca
MECCA
2029 Market Street, SF
You are invited to join us for a fabulous evening at our reserved tables. Singles Tables with Lavender Liaisons. Couples Tables available too. Enjoy DJs, dancers and live performances.
7:00 PM - 2:00 AM.
Dinner Seatings start@ 7:00 PM and Cocktail Reception at 9:00 PM.
To RSVP for Betty & Susan's tables, please send your reply to
BettyEventInfo@aol.com or call 415-503-1375.

San Francisco. CA
Canela New Year‘s Eve Celebration
The Flower Market Cafe
698 Brannan Street at 6th Street,
San Francisco, CA
Say goodbye to 2008, welcome 2009 .Playing your favorite Latin beats. Plenty of free lit parking and outdoor patio. $30.00 per person (includes party favors & hors d'oeuvres) Formal Attire. Email : clubcanela@yahoo.com

San Francisco, CA
New Years at the Lexington Club
Wednesday, Dec 31 • 9 til Close
The Lexington Club Presents "NO SEX IN THE CHAMPAGNE ROOM"
Hosts JULY and TAYLOR. Performances by HOT TANYA. Dj's CAMPBELL and CHELSEA STARR. FREE glass of champagne from 8 to 9pm and FREE champagne toast at midnight!!!!!
3464 19TH St, San Francisco, CA
415-863-2052

San Francisco, CA
Mango at The El Rio
3158 Mission Street, SF
between Cesar Chavez and Valencia.... 9pm
A New Years Tradition!!!!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa Cruz, CA
Lesbian New Year's Eve at Cayuga Vault
1100 Soquel Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 421-9471

Santa Cruz, CA
Lesbian New Year's Eve Ball
Rebecca Adams Swinging Jazz Trio; dining and dancing.
9pm (music). Sliding scale $65-$85 (advance ticket sales only).
Chaminade at Santa Cruz, 1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (408/429-6636).

Santa Rosa, CA
Sapphire Lounge
At the Double Tree in Rohnert Park
2 Rooms with Huge Dance FloorsHip-hop/top 40 Room with Thumpin' Beatsand a Disco/Motown/ Latin Room 4 Full Bars, Delish Gourmet Eats,Complimentary Champagne Toast, Balloon Drop; $25 advance - $30 door
Special VIP Room Rate is $85 so get your Room NOW!!! Mention Sapphire Lounge for the Rate
VIP Rate includes, Dance, Room, VIP Party and Breakfast!!
Double Tree Hotel Rohnert Park - 707-564-5466

Vallejo, CA
New Year's Eve 70's Style LGBT Dance
Featuring Miss Asia Exotic at 9:30pm
R Bar
437 Virginia Street
Vallejo, CA
707-648-7298


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Washington, DC
New Years Eve Celebration @ Halo
Presented by A Different Kind of Ladies Night
1435 P Street NW, Washington DC
December 31, 2008
8pm-2:00am

Washington, DC
Lace Exclusive New Years Celebration

2214 Rhode Island Avenue
Washington, DC
5:00pm - 2:00am
$25 Limited Advance Tickets.

FLORIDA
St Pete, FL
Chiq Bar New Year's Eve Bash
4900 66th Street N
St. Pete, Fl
With King Aramis, Jaxed, Tido and special Guests
Champage Toast at Midnight
Open until 2:00am

GEORGIA
Atlanta, GA
New Year's Eve Red Carpet Affair
At the Atrium
5479 Memorial Drive
Atlanta, GA
10:00pm - 5:00am

Atlanta, GA
Belissima New Year's Eve Bash
560 B Ameterdam Ave., Atlanta
Sonia Leigh 9pm
Champagne Toast and more!

Atlanta, GA
My Sister's Room New Year's Eve Party
1271 Glenwood Ave
Atlanta, Georgia
10:00pm - 2:00am

MARYLAND
Mitchellville, MD
New Year's Eve Dinner Dance
Presented by the League of Women Bowlers
Newton White Mansion
708 Enterprise Rd.,
8pm - 1am

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston, MA
New Years Eve Women's Event -Boston - 21 -
NEW YEARS EVE 2009 - WOMEN'S BLOWOUT EXTRAVAGANZA!!
Come be Entertained by Comedy All-Stars "AmyTee & Jackie Monahan" Rock Out with All-Girl Band "Sister Funk" then dance the night away with "DJ Kate"Live Feed from Times Square. Cash prize Raffle.Full Buffet. VIP tables available.Tickets:$55.00 advance purchase $65.00 at the door $95.00 VIP Private Balcony Access and Table w/servers and champagneHoliday Inn - Special Room Group Rate $109.00 (present ticket at check-in to get group rate, reservations required). Reserve Your Hotel Room ASAP (hotel room bookings will be reserved at reg rate of $289-$239 and adjusted to group rate upon check-in with proof of ticket)



Jamaica Plain, MA
Sparkle: A New Year's Eve Dance!
A Benefit for MTPC
09:00 PM - 02:00 AM
Midway Cafe
3496 Washington Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Dance the night away with our DJs - Tre Andre and Gunner: "Two Tranny Boys with Ipods," Kit Yan of Good Asian Drivers will be playing host for the evening and other community celebs will be stopping by through out the night, plus other surprises.
www.masstpc.org/events/newyears.shtml

Northhampton, MA
A New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with Suzanne Westenhoefer
A Northampton Pride Promotions Event
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008, 6pm-1am
The Clarion Hotel & Conference Center
One Atwood Drive
Northampton, MA 01060

Somerville, MA
NEW YEARS EVE 2009 -Lesbian Blowout Extravaganza
Come be Entertained by Comedy All-Stars "Amy Tee & Jackie Monahan" Rock Out with All-Girl Band "Sister Funk" then dance the night away with "DJ Kate"Live Feed from Times Square.Cash prize Raffle.Full Buffet. Champagne. VIP tables available.
Tickets: $55.00 General Admission - $95.00 VIP Admission
Holiday Inn - Special Room Group Rate $109.00Reserve Your Hotel Room ASAP(hotel room bookings will be reserved at reg rate of $289-$239 and adjusted to group rate upon check-in with proof of ticket); 7:00pm - 2:00am Holiday Inn - Washington Street, Somerville -Phone:401-241-4202Email for event tickets or purchase through pay pal link:buckleupfor2009@gmail.com - www.myspace.com/buckleup2009

MICHIGAN
Detroit, MI
The Ultimate New Year's Eve Ball
Dancing Through the Decades
70's, 80's, 90's 2000
The Rainbow Room
6640 E. 8 Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI
Tickets $15
Open until 4:00am

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Bethlehem, NH

New Years Eve 2009 at the Highlands Inn
Bring in the New Year with a great dinner followed by a fabulous party with DJs and champagne.

NEW YORK
Bronx, NY
Gay and Lesbian New Years Eve Black Tie Royal Ball The Dugout
880 River Ave
Bronx, New York 10451
This New Years Eve event is hosted by The Dynasty Club!
Cocktails, Dinner, Dancing, Champagne toast, Live entertainment, Party favors, 50/50 raffle and more! Fierce House, R&B, Latin and Reggae music by DJ Andre Collins and DJ Mickey Isley. This event is for the mature and sexy 25+. Dress to impress! No street attire, please.
Ticket Info: $75 single person & 140 per couple.

New York, NY
Shescape New Years Eve 2009
Tre Merli Restaurant & Bar
463 West Broadway
Chapagne Toast, GoGo Dancers, DJ Francesco Magliano
$25 Party Admission
$95 For 4-course dinner & Party
For VIP Dinner reservations call 212.254.1699

New York, NY
The Pink Soiree New Years Eve
SALGA, Q-wave and Dari Project
Wed 12/31 (10PM)
Leela Lounge
1 West 3rd Street New York, NY

Cost: $25 before 10pm

$35 after
* Non Stop Mingling, flirting & Dancing
* Midnight Champagne Toast
* Delectable Passed Hor'devers
* Exotic Surprise Burlesque
* The Best DJ playing Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip-hop, Club & House


OREGON
Portland, OR
Hot Flash Dance Party Presents New Years 2009
Shenanigans Waterfront Ballroom in Portland, OR Red Lion on the River at Jantzen Beach
8pm-1am; Tickets: Sliding Scale $38-$45 (at your discretion);
$45 at door; Great music, wonderful hor d'ouevres, smoke-free dancing with DJ Lauren,
overnight packages, silent auction and raffle. Portion of proceeds to benefit THE Q CENTER, Portland's LGBT Center; The pet-friendly Red Lion is offering affordable overnight packages
($99 for single or double occupancy standard rooms and $20 additional for Riverview Rooms). Reservations can be made at 503-283-4466 and ask for in-house reservations at the front desk. Make sure to ASK FOR THE HOT FLASH DISCOUNT. Please do not call the 800 number for the Red Lion. For more info click here.

PENNSYLVANIA
East Stroudsburg (Pocono Mountains)
New Years Even 2009
Rainbow Mountain Resort - A Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Resort/Night Club
210 Mt. Nebo Road
East Stroudsburg, PA
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 , until Saturday, January 3, 2009 .
Party tickets are $20 in advance ($25 on 12-31-08), Dinner & Party tickets are $70, and Dinner tickets are $55. The festivities begin with a five-course gourmet dinner in our restaurant. The highlight of the New Year's Eve Party in our nightclub is a live performance by New York City lesbian singing sensation Merav. Our celebration also includes hats and horns, a champagne toast at midnight and a breakfast buffet. Click here for more info.

Philadelphia, PA
S.I.L.K.Sensual Intellectual Lesbian KonnectionPresents:
An Elegant New Years Eve Celebration in Philadelphia
Wednesday, December 31stDoors open 10PM - 2AM~Tix $45.pp more @ door
Buy two tix in adv for $80
D.J. Kathy on the 1 2's~ Black Tie Affair~Elegant Setting
Call Renee 267-679-6876 or Roe 267-278-2190

RHODE ISLAND
Providence, RI
The Ultimate Lesbian New Years Party
Girlspot hosting New Years Eve 2009
Entertainment Includes: Mary Day Band & Candace Brooks
DJ Dena, DJ Nicole VJ Jeff Go Go Dancers and Midnight Dance Performance, BalloonDrop, Champagene Toast & Door Prizes.
21+ $15.00 18+ $20.00
ADVANCE TICKETS SUGGESTED
Available at Club Gallery or Call 401 751-7166

TEXAS
Houston, TX
New Years Eve 2009 at Bartini
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Bartini
1318 Westhiemer,
Houston TX

Webster, Texas
New Years Eve Fetish Party
Club Adam/Eden
20701 Gulf Freeway

VIRGINIA
Richmond, VA
Richmond Lesbian-Feminists & G.R.I.T.S: The 2009 New Year’s Dance
Bon Air Community Center
8725 Quaker Lane,
Richmond, VA.
Join us for this women’s only evening of dazzle and sparkle. Tickets: $25 (On sale now at Phoenix Rising, Diversity Thrift, RLF First Friday Potlucks or G.R.I.T.S. Events) or $35 (at the door). Refreshments: Soft drinks and mixers; Smoke-free space, BYOB (bring your own alcohol); Heavy hors d’oeuvre. In lieu of purchasing tickets, those who wish to do work exchange may contact Joy and Sara at sarakayak@comcast.net. For more information about this event see the G.R.I.T.S. website

Charlottesville, VA
New Year's Eve Open House Party
Wednesday, December 31 @ 10:00 pm
Club 216
218 W Water St # F
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Featuring the best music from 2008 and a champagne toast at midnight. $5 for members; $20 for non-members.

WASHINGTON
Seattle, WA
Rockin-Swingin Girlz New Year's Eve 2009
Yesler Community Center -
917 East Yesler Way, Seattle.
8pm - 12:30am (21+ - No Dress Code).
Tickets - $50.00
After December 23rd - $60.00
For Tickets, Information, Music Requests and Directions contact
Bobbie at galaevents4u@msn.com or 253-292-1520.

Assaults against gays appear to be increasing

By Marcus Franklin, Associated Press

A rash of attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country - including the severe beating of a New York man whose attackers believed he was gay - suggests the number of reported assaults could rise in 2008, an advocacy group said.

The number of reported attacks against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender increased 24 percent in 2007 over 2006, and they were expected to jump in 2008, said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Officials are still compiling the 2008 figures, which will be released next spring, Stapel said.

The baseball bat beating of Ecuadoran immigrant Jose Sucuzhanay in New York last week was the latest in a number of reported assaults, said the project, which coordinates organizations that document violence against gay and HIV-positive people. The attack left Sucuzhanay, 31, brain dead.

Since the fatal February shooting of Lawrence King, a 15-year-old Los Angeles boy who endured harassment after telling classmates he was gay, "We are witnessing what appears to be an increase in both the occurrence and severity of violence motivated by racism, homophobia and transphobia," Stapel said.

Stapel attributed the increase in part to more people reporting incidents, but she said there could have been more assaults because 2008 was an election year.

"Election years are always violent years for us because of wedge issues," Stapel said, referring to ballot measures this year banning same-sex marriage in California and Florida. "With increased visibility comes increased vulnerability to LGBT stereotypes and violence. We've seen some of the most violent hate crimes that we've seen in a while."

In the case of Lawrence King, one of his classmates was charged as an adult in the slaying, which prosecutors classified as a hate crime.

Other incidents include the discovery of Angie Zapata's body in July in her apartment in Greeley, Colo. Zapata, 18, was a transgender woman. Police have charged a man with murder as a hate crime in her death.

In June, a surveillance tape was publicized showing Memphis police officers beating Duanna Johnson, a transgender woman, and shouting slurs in a jail booking area in February; a public outcry erupted. Johnson was found fatally shot on a Memphis street in November.

Also in New York City, police arrested four teenagers on charges of assaulting a priest outside a shelter he ran for homeless transgender youths in July. Witnesses said the four teens had harassed and taunted residents.

(This article appeared on page A - 33 of the San Francisco Chronicle)

Friday, December 12, 2008

15 Hot Ideas for Phenomenal Physical Intimacy!

by Larry James, Relationship Coach

1. Become a couple with unwavering commitment to doing whatever it takes to make your overall relationship work. Remember, problems always show up in the bedroom. If you want great sex, never deny your partner the attention necessary to let them know they are loved, appreciated and respected. Relationships are something that must be worked on ALL THE TIME, not only when they are broken and need to be fixed.

2. Have a passion for life's sexual journey and for the processes required to go from boring to bliss in the bedroom. Be creative with your passion. Direct it toward your partner. Nurture it. Enjoy and revel in it.

3. Become dedicated to mutual pleasure for both you and your love partner. Sex is fun and pleasure is good for you!

4. Learn to be intentionally spontaneous and open for the opportunity to make love when it presents itself; during a lunch break, in the back seat of your car or by arousing your partner from a deep sleep in the middle of the night.

5. Perfect the ability to communicate openly and honestly your most secret sexual desires and needs. Be responsible for your own sexual pleasure by asking for what you need or taking care of yourself.

6. Be willing to be a student of great sex; read about it, study it, practice it.

7. Be mature enough to exercise the discipline to stay in the moment when being sexually intimate. Never allow the cares of the day to distract you. Focus on giving pleasure to each other.

8. Be daring. . . experiment. Do things differently, try new positions, new places, love toys and more, in agreement with both partners, of course. Variety is the spice of a healthy sexual relationship. Be creative! To always make love the same old way is, in a word, BORING!!

9. Pay attention to personal hygiene. The first rule of making love is to present a body that is tastefully clean!

10. Cultivate the generosity to consider your love partner's pleasure before your own, or the esprit de corps to decide whether you or your partner goes first or whether you reach orgasm together.

11. Have the keenness of mind to recognize the value of making love vs. only having sex. A "quickie" now and then is okay, however to only and always depend upon quickies for your sexual gratification is a form of "taking your partner for granted" and can only lead to resentment. Make time for the time that is needed to "make love."

12. Synthesize the gusto to be energetic when making love and aware of the sensitivity it takes to passionately lay motionless together after engaging in sex. Enjoy foreplay, engagement and afterglow.

13. Be courageous enough to not always take yourselves so seriously; to laugh, to play and be playful and to experience whatever is sexually exciting and enjoyable.

14. Learn to negotiate win/win agreements and promises about how you will mutually care for your partner's needs in the sexual arena.

15. Ask for the variety of pleasure you want and deserve. However, to force or coerce your partner to do something they do not want to do breeds discontent and is highly disrespectful. In this scenario, always take "No!" for the answer. Never be afraid to ask for what you want and always demonstrate the respect to honor your lover's right to say no without consequence.

Be Organized for the Holidays!

Tips for a Simplified and Stress-less Holiday from Karen Ussery.

Give up having to have a "perfect" holiday season. Write down what is truly important to you, and make sure that happens. Let the rest go.

Keep a "Gift Idea" list for your loved ones. Use it when you get that perfect idea, or when they mention something they want.

Shop on-line or by catalog. It costs a bit more with shipping, but it's worth not having to deal with the mall!

Have your gifts wrapped for you. Many stores and on-line shops provide this service, some even at no charge.

If you have a party, have it catered. Hire someone to clean your house as well.
Just say no to parties and events you really don't want to attend. Make sure you schedule "down time" for yourself to really enjoy the season.

Most importantly, take care of yourself: eat fruits and veggies (as well as chocolate!) get a massage, buy yourself a present when you're shopping, and remember to breathe deeply. When you get stressed, say this:

"Ho! Ho! Ho! Let it go!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BALANCE IS BOGUS?

By Judy Kinney

I'm noticing a lot of women talking, and writing about wanting more balance in their life. Does this include you? If so, I love that you're tapped into knowing that you really do create your life, and that DEFINITELY includes feeling good. However, I believe that much of what we've been taught about balance often leads to frustration. Instead, I'd like to suggest that relief comes as you nurture, and align with your ever evolving self.

In fact, in his book Harmonic Wealth, James Ray bluntly states, "balance is bogus, and you don't want it." He uses the metaphor of a balanced scale to illustrate that balance reflects inactivity. When nothing is happening, you're literally or figuratively dead. My keen sense tells me that this is NOT what you're wanting!

Consider that you are always evolving into a "new normal" version of yourself. You may be sleeping, watching TV, or chatting with friends, but you're always adjusting to new information with expanded desires. From this perspective, being out of balance indicates your natural growth and movement toward your goals. If you're frustrated and/or stressed, know that you've merely outgrown your thoughts. NO BIG DEAL!

Take a moment and consider how claiming your ever evolving self would shift your perspective on life. How would your life be different?

Are you ready to hum with an expanded sense of harmony and alignment? Yes? You may find alignment, merely by asking or stating:

"How will I create harmony in my life today?" or

"I'm feeling out of sorts, but I know I'm naturally re-aligning with my desires." or

"I'll let my thoughts and beliefs evolve along with my desires."

You also may be ready for an in depth personal inventory to clarify your purpose and desires. I'll expand on clarifying your purpose later this week, but for now look at your level of satisfaction in these areas.

LOVE
Spiritual: Your connection to that energy that is bigger than you, but within you.
Relationships: With EVERYBODY, including your lover/partner, people you date, family, community, and colleagues.

WELL BEING
Mental health: How your thoughts create a positive sense of self.
Physical health: The ability to do what you want physically, the way you want to do it.

WEALTH
Income:
The amount of cash and gifts you receive.
Material assets/gifts: What you do with your money.

Then pick an area that has your attention, and ask yourself, "What's ONE thing I'd enjoy doing to align with my desires?" And go with what ever pops up first in your mind, while noticing, and enjoying an increased flow in your life.


Judy Kinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women who are creating a loving and prosperous life. You can also find her at www.dreamandflourish.com

In search of Lesbian 2008/2009 New Year's Eve Events

I have been compiling a list of Lesbian New Year's Eve events from all over the US, however, I haven't had much luck this year. I did find a couple of events in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Bronx and Boston, but that is about it.

So I thought I would send out a post and ask for some help. If you know of any Lesbian New Year's Eve events, big or small, please email me with the details so I can post a full list of celebrations at least 2-weeks before NYE.

My email address is girl2grl@sonic.net, thanks in advance for your help!
-Erica

Publisher Looking for Gay/Lesbian Marriage Stories

A call for submissions from Cleis Press for a new book about gay and lesbian couples:

"We at Cleis Press want to take positive action to raise awareness in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8. To that end, we are publishing a book (and quickly!) entitled My Gay Marriage, a collection of personal reflections by married gays and lesbian—regardless of whether those marriages are legally recognized. Our book will show many wonderful and moving examples of committed couples and enduring same-sex marriages and families. Both thoughtful and provocative, My Gay Marriage will educate and inspire readers about this basic civil right.

We hope to send a powerful message to the public about this movement based on love—and to further galvanize what we see as the chief civil rights movement of today. The proceeds from My Gay Marriage will go to activist organizations, such as Marriage Equality USA and Join the Impact.

We would love to include you in our book. We see you as an important voice for this cause and would welcome your participation. Here’s an opportunity to share the story of your relationship—in a loving and moving context. Would you consider writing a brief personal essay (3000 - 5000 words) about your experience of same-sex marriage? We’d so greatly appreciate your time and consideration of this.

Again, many thanks, and we hope to hear from you soon!"

To get more information, contact Brenda Knight at bknight@cleispress.com.

J-Flag Celebrates their 10th Anniversary

Press Release from Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals & Gays:

December 10, 2008 marks ten years since the founding of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), Jamaica’s foremost lesbian, gay and transgender rights advocacy group. The anniversary will be commemorated with a church service on the weekend. As J-FLAG celebrates this milestone, it pauses to reflect on the challenges and successes that have shaped its journey thus far.

Started by a group of 12 business people, educators, lawyers, public relations practitioners, advertisers and human rights activists, J-FLAG was launched in the wee hours of December 10, 2008. The organisation was born out of the need to advocate for the protection of lesbians, gays and transgenders from state-sanctioned and community violence. In this regard, J-FLAG’s call was for the fair and equal treatment of gays and lesbians under the law and by the ordinary citizen.

The organization’s birth was condemned and decried by most as a foolhardy venture that would result in a backlash against members of the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. On the other hand, it was welcomed by a few as a bold attempt to recognise lesbians, gays and transgenders as members of plural Jamaican society.

After ten years of existence, J-FLAG can boast of having survived in one of the most inhospitable environments for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Indeed, much of J-FLAG’s work has revolved around the rescuing of community members from violent situations or attempting to deal with the aftermath of such situations. In fact, the violent death of Brian Williamson, one of the co-founders of J-FLAG—and for years its voice and face—and the recent departure of Gareth Henry, a former programmes manager of the organisation, testify to the dangerous environment in which the organisation operates.

Yet J-FLAG has been able to do what was, ten years ago, unthinkable in Jamaica. It has visited and made presentations on sexuality and human rights to a variety of local and international organizations, including religious, civic and human rights groups as well as tertiary educational institutions and the police. It has also met with and given interviews with radio and newspaper reporters. But perhaps its most significant achievements have been the submission to parliament regarding the addition of sexual orientation as a category for which there should be constitutional protection against discrimination and the assistance, in 2006, to relaunch the Caribbean Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (C-FLAG).

Over the ten years of its existence, J-FLAG has stood as a singular voice in Jamaica calling for the respect of lesbians, gays and transgenders as citizens with the same rights and value as heterosexual Jamaicans. For the next phase of its journey, the organisation will continue calling Jamaicans to a deeper understanding of their plurality and their democracy; it will continue seeking to raise the level of debate in the society about the meaning of tolerance and the acceptance of difference. Accordingly, J-FLAG will attempt to forge new relationships with a wider cross-section of organisations committed to strengthening democracy and the promotion of respect for all Jamaicans, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, creed, religion or social status.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wednesday, Dec. 10th, A Day Without Gays

On Wedneday, December 10 — International Human Rights Day — gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, and their allies are encouraged to turn off their computers, shut down their businesses, and call in "gay" for work. Participants are also asked to refrain from making purchases or spending money in any way, so as not to contribute to the economy.

In the wake of Prop 8 passing and the subsequent worldwide protests, "A Day Without Gays" is designed as a national day of protest to show our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers that they can deny us our rights, but we can deny them our labor and hit back where it hurts, the economy.

Organizers of this action are asking people to not only sit out of work, school, etc but to get involved with your local GLBT organization, or to protest against marriage inequality.

However, some gay-rights activists are concerned that skipping work and not spending money is a bad idea given the sad state of the economy.

What will you be doing tomorrow???

Lesbian Vampire Killers - The Movie

When I heard about the upcoming British indie horror/ comedy film, Lesbian Vampire Killers, of course I was intrigued... despite the fact that a group of lesbians tried to halt production of the film because they felt that it was "shamelessly catering to men’s girl-on-girl fantasies". (Umm it’s a comedy/horror film about lesbian vampires and it's directed by a straight man, what else would you expect?)

Anyway, Lesbian Vampire Killers is being directed by British filmmaker Phil Claydon, of the 2002 horror flick Alone and co-written by Paul Hupfield and Stewart Williams, of the British TV series "Balls of Steel." The film stars James Cordon and Mathew Horne, the duo from the BBC Sitcom “Gavin and Stacey.”

The story follows two friends (Corden and Horne) who find themselves trapped in a boy's fantasy/nightmare as their weekend-away turns into a horror-fest.

The friends, Fletch and Jimmy, find themselves in a remote Welsh village where they are forced by the menfolk to become sacrifices to a gang of lesbian vampires who have enslaved the town’s women all because of some ancient curse. ( I am not making this up, I swear...this is really the plot.)

For those of you in the UK, this film is scheduled to hit theaters in March of 2009, for those of us in the US, since there is no US distributor to date, we can only hope to see this film sometime before 2009 , if we're lucky.

For more info, check out their website at: http://www.lesbianvampirekillers.co.uk/

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How to Appreciate the Holiday Season

With Christmas, Chanukah & Winter Solstice only a few weeks away, I am sure some of you are already stressed about the holiday season. With that in mind, Mike Robbins, a personal development coach and author, has come up with a few tips on how to make this holiday season a little less overwhelming and a lot more enjoyable. So I thought it would be a good time to pass on his wise words of wisdom.

1) Take Responsibility for Our Experience. It’s important that we each remember that the stress we experience during the holiday season does not come from the holidays themselves, but from us. We’re always the creators of our own experience and the more we can remember this and live our lives from this perspective, the more empowered we are.

2) Remember We’re at Choice. We always have a choice about how we engage with anything. This holiday season we can choose to be annoyed by family members, obligations, forced work gatherings, crowds, or anything else. Or, we can choose to enjoy the magic and fun of this time of year.

3) Focus on What We Appreciate About the Holidays. Consciously choose to focus on the things that you appreciate about the holiday season the most. Tell the truth about this to yourself and to those around you. If at all possible, don’t participate in work or family gatherings out of obligation. But, regardless of where you are, what you do, or whom you are with – make a commitment to appreciate what’s happening, the people around you, and the many blessings in your life right now.

Even and especially when things are challenging, we always have so much to be grateful for. At this time of the year, we can take a step back, pat ourselves on the back, breathe deeply, and experience the gratitude we have for our lives, the people in it, and for ourselves. If not now, then when?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Three Steps to an Improvised Life

By Judy Kinney

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of improv for awhile. In her book, Improv Wisdom, Patricia Ryan Madson says “a good improviser is someone who is awake, not entirely self focused and moved by a desire to do something useful, and acts on this impulse.”

On one hand, we all improvise, right? Countless times during any day, you think on your feet while at work, cooking, parenting, and creating your life. Since we are all constructing as we go, why not strengthen our comfort with spontaneous action?
How would your life shift if you spent more time, as Madson describes, in an improvisational state of mind?

Madson presents thirteen principles in her book Improv Wisdom. Of these, three stand out as a place to begin nurturing an improvised life.

SAY YES
Madson affirms my belief that saying YES is THE key to being flexible and present in your life. I agree with Madson that “saying yes is an act of courage and optimism; it allows you to share.” Yes keeps you in the flow. Try it out! What happens when you say yes to yourself and others freely in a given day? As I’ve said numerous times before, YES is the ONLY word the universe understands.

STAY ON COURSE
The second principle that is an essential practice is “Stay on Course.” Begin by ask yourself “what is my purpose?” This question is an accurate guide, whether you are considering your vision for the rest of your life, sorting out an argument with your sweetie, or deciding how you should spend the day. As always, be prepared to act in alignment with your purpose.

WAKE UP TO THE GIFTS
The third principle that is helpful as you begin living an improvisational life is “Wake Up to the Gifts.” Think about great improvisers you’ve observed. They take what ever is given to them as if it were the one ingredient they’ve been waiting for to complete their task. They naturally fold what ever they are given into their routine, on their terms. They claim each person, object, and experience as if it were a gift, and as such are free of resistance.

What if the economy, your relationships, health, or what ever is bubbling up in your life, are gifts that conspiring WITH you to create your vision?

Tap into your natural sense of direction by asking yourself, “how can I use this to take me toward my purpose?”

And, then act!


Judy Kinney is a Law of Attraction Coach for lesbian, bi and queer women who are creating a loving and prosperous life. You can also find her at www.dreamandflourish.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Gift of the Heart

by Larry James

Want to know how to avoid a gift-giving blunder? To help you develop gift-giving savvy, when you give a gift during the holiday season or on any other occasion, make it a gift of the heart.

A gift of the heart is a gift we give to our friends and relatives that they want and need. A gift is defined as something freely given from one heart to another with no strings attached. A gift with strings is a gift of the ego.

The value of the gift itself is not as important as its presentation and the thoughtfulness behind the giving. Giving gifts that will benefit the recipient is a meaningful gesture. Good gifts move the recipient because they have been chosen with a thoughtful heart.

Giving gifts, while fun and enjoyable in theory, offers endless potential for frustration; thronging crowds, ransacked stores, confusion, indecision, cash depletion and, finally, the belated knowledge that you bought the wrong thing. The task of giving the right gift can be made much easier with a little bit of pre-thought.

Begin now to think and plan ahead. Listen for clues. Comments like, "Wow! That would be great in the family room!" or "It sure would be nice to not have to (fill in the blank)!" or "Oh, I love that, but it's a little more than I want to pay!" That's your cue to make a mental note and add it to your gift list.

When you give gifts people want and need, whether it is money, time, talent, advice, Love or other tangible gifts, you will begin to receive back to you what you want. Your friends and relatives will kiss the "returns counter" good-bye and reduce return trips to the mall. The last-minute, rush to the store to find a gift tells a story about you.

A gift given with the thought, "What will I get in return for this," is a gift of the ego. Why bother? It's a gift we give because we want to give it rather than a gift that fulfills a need or want. Gifts given from ego are seldom appreciated.

Giving a gift of the heart anticipates desire; what you are offering is wanted and is appropriate. Simple, well chosen gifts unite the recipient and the giver, are appreciated and are often treasured the most. Gifts of the heart light up our friends and relatives with happiness and joy beyond our wildest imaginings.

Thoughtless, inappropriate gifts cause more attention to be given to the giver. Desire for attention is better requested, in a direct way, not with gifts. A gift given of the heart is for giving attention, not requesting it.

What to give?

We can learn everyday a little more about gift-giving by "being" with the people we love so that we know what they want and need. Proper thought, feeling and inquiry must go into the gift selection. A certain quality of attention is often absent in gift-giving. Brief consideration does not create a considerate gift. Gift must be real and given from the heart to be appreciated.

Gifts should be a symbol of being related rather than a bid for reassurance that we are loved.

Larry James is President of CelebrateLove.com. He has been a full-time professional speaker, author and relationship coach since 1987.

 

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