1. Masha Gessen is a prominent journalist who is also a lesbian and an outspoken LGBT rights advocate in Russia. She and her partner and children left for New York following the anti-gay laws that affect LGBT families. Today on Fresh Air she discusses consequences of these laws:

What [the anti-gay propaganda law] means is that any portrayal of LGBT people, LGBT relationships and LGBT families is now illegal in Russia if it’s accessible to minors, which of course is a problem for LGBT families because we are ourselves examples of LGBT families and are by definition accessible to minors who live in our own homes.
So the natural consequence of these laws is a campaign against LGBT parents which began with the second law, … which is a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples or single people from countries where same-sex marriage is legal. … It’s not just new adoptions, it can be used retroactively to annul adoptions that have already taken place.

… It’s Putin’s effort to shore up his constituency around this very vague but very potent idea of traditional values — the Russian family, the orthodox religion — and against the West. Nobody represents the alien West in Russia better than LGBT people do.

Part of the reason for that is because there was never any conversation about sex and sexual orientation in Russia. While the Western world was having the sexual revolution, we were having the Soviet Union. So this is really the first time that issues of sexuality, as absurd as that sounds, have been brought up in the public arena in Russia.


image via the huffinton post View in High-Res

    Masha Gessen is a prominent journalist who is also a lesbian and an outspoken LGBT rights advocate in Russia. She and her partner and children left for New York following the anti-gay laws that affect LGBT families. Today on Fresh Air she discusses consequences of these laws:

    What [the anti-gay propaganda law] means is that any portrayal of LGBT people, LGBT relationships and LGBT families is now illegal in Russia if it’s accessible to minors, which of course is a problem for LGBT families because we are ourselves examples of LGBT families and are by definition accessible to minors who live in our own homes.

    So the natural consequence of these laws is a campaign against LGBT parents which began with the second law, … which is a ban on adoptions by same-sex couples or single people from countries where same-sex marriage is legal. … It’s not just new adoptions, it can be used retroactively to annul adoptions that have already taken place.

    … It’s Putin’s effort to shore up his constituency around this very vague but very potent idea of traditional values — the Russian family, the orthodox religion — and against the West. Nobody represents the alien West in Russia better than LGBT people do.

    Part of the reason for that is because there was never any conversation about sex and sexual orientation in Russia. While the Western world was having the sexual revolution, we were having the Soviet Union. So this is really the first time that issues of sexuality, as absurd as that sounds, have been brought up in the public arena in Russia.

    image via the huffinton post

  2. fresh air

    masha gessen

    lgbt

    russia

    putin

    anti-gay laws

  1. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.

    — "Why NBA Center Jason Collins Is Coming Out Now" by Jason Collins with Franz Lidz in Sports Illustrated

  2. Jason Collins

    NBA

    Sports Illustrated

    LGBT

  1. There really is a festival in Seattle, and it’s called HUMP!, and it was founded a few years ago by Dan Savage, and it really is this idea of having fun with your sexuality and being an exhibitionist just for a night — instead of this mainstream porn industry, actually celebrating sexuality on screen in a more personal and artistic and maybe comedic way. And I had a friend who went to the festival and saw gay porn for the first time. And he was really fascinated by it. And I saw his response as a straight guy to this gay porn was really interesting, and that was where the wheels started turning for me. I thought, ‘Well, this relationship between straight men and gayness in general is really rich territory.’

    — Lynn Shelton on her 2009 film Humpday.

  2. lynn shelton

    hump

    seattle

    dan savage

    lgbt

  1. I had read a beautiful story in The New York Times about the couple who were getting married, and that Mayor Bloomberg was going to preside over their wedding at Gracie Mansion. And my friend called me and said, ‘They’d love to have you come and sing.’ And I was floored. I was so honored. And I cried like a baby at that ceremony. And I brought my daughter. And it was a very moving moment and a very teachable moment having my daughter there. And as far as she was concerned, it was just another wedding. She doesn’t really see the issue, which is great. So that’s how it came about. It was a beautiful day.

    — Audra McDonald on performing at the first legal gay wedding in New York City. [full interview here]

  2. audra mcdonald

    lgbt

    marriage equality

    new york city

  1. I miss a lot of it. I still work closely with the Church. I still have family in the Church. I think that they need to move on gay and lesbian issues, and I keep those channels of communication open in hopes that we can understand each other better and create that change. … I feel like it is a religion that has shown an ability to change with the times and I hope they do so on gay and lesbian issues. Because they’ve hurt a lot of young people in this country. They hurt me with the words I heard in the church on Sundays. And I think with understanding, it can [change].

    — Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, on the Mormon Church.

  2. mormon church

    dustin lance black

    lgbt

  1. We have a generational divide in terms of vocabulary. People ask him, ‘Do you think J. Edgar Hoover was gay?’ And he says, ‘I don’t know.’ And for a man who just directed this film, that’s a surprising answer, because I think the audience walks away with a clear impression [that he was]. But for Clint Eastwood and his generation, to be gay means a sexual act. And for him to know means that he would need proof of that sexual act. And I’ve had this conversation, and I’ve said, ‘For my generation, you don’t ever have to have sex to be gay or lesbian. It’s a part of your nature. It’s who you are. It’s who you bond with, who you fall in love with.’ So we have a divide in terms of vocabulary.

    — Dustin Lance Black on how he and Clint Eastwood, who directed the film, differed on their vocabulary

  2. dustin lance black

    clint eastwood

    lgbt

    j. edgar

  1. veronica-wasboyski:

    Dustin Lance Black | Best Original Screenplay- Milk | 2009

    Remember this? It breaks my heart every time I watch it.

    If Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he would want me to say to all the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told they are less than by the churches, by the government, by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value, and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights, federally, across this great nation of ours.

    On today’s Fresh Air, Dustin Lance Black talks about crafting the story of J. Edgar

  2. dustin lance black

    j. edgar

    lgbt

  1. Today we’re talking to screenwriter Dustin Lance Black about his movie J. Edgar. He was on Fresh Air once before, in 2008, to talk about how Harvey Milk helped him come out. Thought I’d post it in case you’d like to listen to it.

  2. lgbt history

    harvey milk

    dustin lance black

    milk

    lgbt

  1. This is a man who had defused himself, who had tamped down his desires. And when he came out, it was the beginning of him becoming more vivid and hot and present, which was often messy but always wonderful.

    — Filmmaker Mike Mills talks about his father, who came out when he was 75.

  2. mike mills

    lgbt

    beginners

  1. Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried: "When ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ existed,  everyone was assumed to be straight. The discrimination  was invisible. So when you were kicking out someone from the military,  everyone got to turn an eye to it. But now that there’s actually openly  gay troops, that’s visible. And it’s very different how gay troops are  being treated than straight troops.” View in High-Res

    Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried: "When ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ existed, everyone was assumed to be straight. The discrimination was invisible. So when you were kicking out someone from the military, everyone got to turn an eye to it. But now that there’s actually openly gay troops, that’s visible. And it’s very different how gay troops are being treated than straight troops.”

  2. don't ask don't tell

    josh seefried

    outserve

    lgbt

    military

  1. Posted on 11 October, 2011

    20,593 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from gayfaith

    Barack Obama signs the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law

    Tomorrow: 1st Lt. Josh Seefried and 1st Lt. Karl Johnson on the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Seefried blogged under the pseudonym JD Smith (for The Daily Beast) and Johnson wrote under the pseudonym Officer X (for Time) before DADT was repealed. Seefried is one of the co creators of OutServe

  2. barack obama

    dadt

    don't ask don't tell

    lgbt

    obama

  1. Congrats to Jeff Sharlet who just won the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association feature prize for his Harper’s Magazine piece “Straight Man’s Burden.” Sharlet came on Fresh Air in August 2010 to discuss the piece and his reporting.

  2. jeff sharlet

    harper's magazine

    lgbt

    journalism

  1. His coming out was actually this gesture, of him saying ‘I want life. I want more life. I want something.’ And this was a man who was so self-denying for so long — this very polite, quiet man. And he [wanted] sex. … It’s just weird, to think of your parent that way … This is a man who had defused himself, who had tamped down his desires. And when he came out, it was the beginning of him becoming more vivid and hot and present, which was often messy but always wonderful.

    — Filmmaker Mike Mills on his father coming out at the age of 75, after his wife died. [complete interview here]

  2. mike mills

    beginners

    coming out

    lgbt

    film

  1. The day before, he said, ‘Michael, I’m going to throw you a ball and I hope you catch it.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, no, he wants to move in with me.’ … The next day, we’re sitting on the couch and he said ‘I’m gay.’

    — Filmmaker Mike Mills talks about his father Paul, who came out when he was 75. Mills’ new film Beginners is based on his relationship with his dad.

  2. mike mills

    beginners

    lgbt

    film

  1. In middle and high school, there’s an awareness that some of us must be gay and we don’t know who’s gay or how you become gay. A huge part of what animates homophobia among young people is paranoia and fear of their own capacity to be gay themselves. I write “Savage Love” and everyday I get letters from 14 and 15-year-old boys, primarily, who are worried that they’re gay because they don’t understand how you get to be gay — how that happens. And in almost all cases, these letters are from boys who are straight — who are not gay — who are not going to be gay. But they believe that gayness is like some sort of cancer and it grows on you if you’re not careful and not vigilant. Where do they get that idea that gayness is chosen?

    — Dan Savage, on the fear and paranoia that exist in middle and high schools about being gay. 

  2. dan savage

    it gets better

    lgbt

    gay

    terry gross