Author Nicola Griffith has blogged a call to action, which you can find here, in regards to a woman dying in the hospital whose same sex partner and children were not allowed by law to see her or receive any updates on her condition.  The hospital was later sued and the state awarded the hospital the win.  Complete insanity, complete and utter discrimination, all made somehow legal.  A woman died alone without the ability to see her loved ones, her children, because she was a lesbian.  That’s it, that’s all.

As another writer, Jeffrey Ford, states in his blog, “I’m sure many of those enforcing this law think themselves “good Christians,” but that’s the problem with too many Christians these days — they know all the dogma but forget about Christ’s most important message — Compassion.  There were also those involved, no doubt, who let the stupid Law grind itself out because they couldn’t think through to the point of how heinous it is.  I didn’t see anything about this case on the news — just endless stories about the publicity stunt with the kid in the UFO.  Sometimes I just get disgusted with America.  The open and government sanctioned persecution of gays in our culture shows us at our absolute worst.  Here we are in the 21st century and this situation, instead of getting better, is a Civil Rights crisis.”

Go read Nicola’s blog first, then blog about this crime yourself.  Yes, that’s what it is:  a criminal act justified as legal by an unfair, discriminatory legal system.


The other night, I was running in the university gym, and on one of the television screens above my head, CNN was running some segment that had something to do with Wall Street and the stock market plunging, and they kept cutting to different business-y looking people, who were obviously saying all kinds of stuff.  I didn’t have earphones in, so I couldn’t hear what was being said, but it wasn’t hard to tell it was all about what’s happening with the American economy.  What struck me, though, was the banner at the bottom of the screen.  You know, the one that is the headline?  It said, “Is Greed Bad?” 

I have been perplexed, or baffled, or confused–something–since that evening.  I keep thinking about that headline.  Is Greed Bad?  

For me the answer isn’t a hard one.  What confused me was it being asked at all.  I know it’s just CNN, and you know, news people are always writing somewhat silly headlines all the time, to make things sound, I don’t know, nuanced maybe, or freighted with meaning or importance.  But this question?  Is it really something that Americans are confused about to the extent that it becomes a serious question?  Yes, I think so, and there is a lot of evidence of that historically, not just in the past eight years or so.  I wish it were the kind of thing that wasn’t so confusing to people, though.  I keep thinking some of it must have to do with not being able to recognize what greed even looks like.

I’ll be judging. Just call me Tyra.

On Saturday, June 14, the latest incarnation of the Oakland Center for the Arts popular Fundraising is a Drag event will feature Downtown Youngstown’s first drag pageant!

The show begins at 8 p.m.. A wine and cheese reception will begin at 7 p.m.. Attendees may bid on items in the fabulous Chinese Auction during this time as well. All winners will be announced at the end of the night. All tickets are $15. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

The evening will be hosted by notorious drag diva Starrlet O’Hara and will feature performances from Maxine Factor, Ahrin Starr, Kage Coven, Mary Kate Rockefellar, Buffy Melendres Starr, SuXanadu, Anita Joint, Alecia Sarkis, Jenifer Kuczek and many more. The panel of judges for the event will include a dazzling array of local celebrities and Ytown A-listers.

Five contestants will compete for the title of the Oakland’s Next Top Drag Queen and prize package that includes a $200 gift certificate from Jaci Clark photography, season tickets to the Oakland Center for the Arts, season tickets to The Stage open mic night, a complete drag makeover, and the most coveted prize, a guaranteed feature role in the December 2008 Oakland Center production of How The Drag Queen Stole Christmas, directed by Robert Dennick Joki.

The Oakland Center for the Arts is located at 220 West Boardman Street in downtown Youngstown. For tickets, please call the reservation line at 330 746 0404. For more information about the Oakland, visit myspace.com/oaklandcenter.

Gettin ready to rock

Lately I have been in busy hell.  Forgive me if I owe you an email.  Right now, getting revved up to go to Wiscon at the end of this week.  Karaoke Party on Friday night.  Be there or be square, as they say in Paris, or in the 1950s.  Also this Wiscon Alan, Kristin and I will be debuting our first publication in the new Electrum Novella Series, David J. Schwartz’s The Sun Inside, which will rock your socks off.  A review from novelist Elizabeth Bear says: “Beautiful Women.  Exotic cultures.  Fabulous monsters. Audacious heroes. Total war.  Sound familiar?  It should not.”  If that doesn’t pique your interest, I don’t know what will.  Maybe a private karaoke session avec moi dans la Concourse L’hotel en Madison?  Like I said, be there (at the karaoke party) or be square (having not read David Schwartz’s novella The Sun Inside and thus not being able to participate in the conversations gazillions of people will be having about it, sharing communal feelings about a cultural artifact that allows them to talk about, you know, ideas and beliefs)!

So, onward now to make departure preparations.



Via my friend Meghan, David Giffels sounds like a guy who is as crazy about Akron as I am about Youngstown. He bought a nearly condemned house a little over a decade ago and has been restoring it with his wife ever since, and even wrote a book about it. Can’t wait to read it. Here’s a bit from the NYT article about it:

He is deeply committed to his hometown, in a really sincere and responsible way and “I do feel that way, especially as a newspaper columnist,” Mr. Giffels says. “I love Akron, I love Akron. The Goodyear tire company is headquartered here; it’s a place where a man would get up in the morning in Goodyear Heights, get in his car with Goodyear tires, drive down Goodyear Boulevard past the Goodyear Middle School, with the Goodyear blimp overheard. There is something about that that is like it was written for an animated feature, which I love. It’s so quintessentially weird in the most endearing way possible.”

A broken-down, deserted house also figures in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” you might remember.

You can read the rest by clicking here.

And also, here’s a great interview with him:

What’s wrong with Northeast Ohio? Why can’t we seem to catch up to the changing world?
A lot of it is old-school mindset that even young people who grow up here have, including me. There are all these echoes that you pick up when you grow up here, and you begin to believe certain stereotypes about yourself; and I’ve said many times that we have an inferiority complex. I look at it and it’s basically an insult to myself. I’m sure I could have made a life somewhere else, so have I settled for second rate? And that’s not true. I have a 4-minute commute, I have a house I could never afford in other markets, and I have things that I would struggle to get in other places. Plus, our thrift stores here rule.