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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999
File 012
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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 012. 1999-12-31. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 15, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4315.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1999-12-31). Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 012. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4315

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 012, 1999-12-31, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 15, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4315.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 31, 1999
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 012
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 31, 1999 VOICES AND ECHOES 11 VIEWPOINT Only baby steps forward for lesbians in 1999 by JENNIFER VANASCO The last year of the decade wasn't a banner one for lesbians and bisexual women. It came with no major breakthroughs-no lesbians declaring a run for the presidency, no laws passed that would unambiguously make our lives easier, no major public figure coming out and changing the world. Yet change is often brought about in small ways, and this year highlighted many individual women and organizations slowly pushing the lives of lesbians and bisexual women forward-or backwards, as in the case of Donna Brazile. Debra Chasnoff Academy-Award winning documentary producer Debra Chasnoff crossed a major hurdle this year. Her 1996 documentary "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in Schools," was aired on 100 of the 347 total PBS stations nationwide, despite demonstrations and a write-in campaign from opposition groups. "It's Elementary" has also been distributed to 2,000 educational institutions and, thanks to a $10,000 grant from tennis legend Billie Jean King, was made available to every principal in the Chicago public school system. NOW Lesbian Rights Summit Eleven years after the last one, NOW hosted a Lesbian Rights Summit in Washington, D.C. Speakers included Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, NOW President Patricia Ireland and Urvashi Vaid of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. Though the April gathering garnered little press coverage, the conference reminds us all that lesbians gather to talk about our rights all too infrequently. Lesbian Herstory Archives One of our community's best sources of history, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., celebrated its 25th anniversary in October. What began with an armful of books from the personal collection of Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel has grown to 20,000 books, 12,000 photographs, miles of film and video footage and hundreds of artifacts. There's no better place to soak in the weight of our history. Lesbian moms Battles over parental rights were fought on several fronts this year. In the case of J.A.L. vs. E.P.H., a Pennsylvania lesbian sued the birth-mother of their child for visitation rights-and lost. The family court judge, Allan L. Tereshko, said his ruling was not anti-gay, but based on the limited amount of full-time parenting J.A.L. had done. This was different from a Colorado ruling, in which the court ordered Kelly Cunningham and Leanne Bueker to split custody of their 9-year-old daughter, even though they now reside in separate states. The non-biological mom in a New Jersey divorcing lesbian couple, meanwhile, won visitation rights but not joint custody. In Boulder, Colo., a judge was the first to give lesbians full rights over their children when he awarded full parental rights to both members of a lesbian couple, including the right to both be named on the birth certificate, even though one had no biological ties to the child. And, in a move that affected both gay male and lesbian parents. New Hampshire lifted that state's anti-gay adoption ban, leaving only Florida with a law prohibiting gay adoption. But then Utah and Arkansas went the opposite way, adopting a policy to ban unmarried couples from providing foster care. Melissa Etheridge After a long, four-year wait, our favorite lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge released a new album, "Breakdown," which features a heart-wrenching song called "Scarecrow" about the hate murder of Matthew Shepard. Etheridge is more than a musical role model; her long-term relationship with Julie Cypher and her commitment to her two sons make her a light within our community. Donna Brazile The reticent Donna Brazile, formerly on the board of the Millennium March and chosen in October as Al Gore's campaign manager, has continually sidestepped the issue of whether she is a lesbian or bisexual. "If I had a personal life, I'd have a sexual orientation," she told the Washington Post. Gore seems proud of the fact that she's an African- American, so why shouldn't he be highlighting her (presumably gay) sexual orientation, too? We can only hope that Brazile's silence is not used as the model for lesbian political appointees of the next decade. World Cup Soccer Women's sports had never seen anything like the hoopla surrounding the U.S. women's World Cup champions. More than 650,000 people attended the 32 games, according to Sports Illustrated for Women, making the tournament the largest women's sporting event in history. All the attention, though, brought lesbians some internal conflict. Sure, the women on the team weren't being dismissed as "dykes," as so many female athletes have been in the past. But was it worth it, when they were sold as "babes" or "soccer mammas" instead? Samantha Getter "Life Versus the Paperback Romance," by 17-year-old lesbian Samantha Geller, was selected as one of the five best plays submitted for the Charlotte Young Playwrights Festival. What a shock it must have been to Geller, then, when her play was banned from production by the North Carolina festival due to "inappropriate" lesbian content—a kiss, as it turns out. Happily, the Great Aunt Stella Center staged the production. Geller's experience serves as a reminder that even in more "liberal" fields like theater, we still can be silenced. On a more hopeful note, we can be proud that a 17-year-old lesbian would feel enough self-confidence to write a play about lesbians for a state contest. If any event this year showed we should have faith in the future, this was it. Jennifer Vanasco is a Chicago-based freelance writer and can be reached at j-vanasco@uchicago.edu or in care of this publication. Transphobic code speak To the Editor: Michael Alvear is fooling no one ("Log Cabin Republicans play the civil rights doormat," Dec. 17). "Perpetual victimhood over incremental victory" is just more code speak for transphobia by a known trans- phobe. Alvear needs to go join Log Cabin Republicans—he has more in common with them than he thinks. Katrina Rose via e-mail Public places To the Editor: I read the article on the arrest of so many gay men in the parks in San Antonio ("Weapon of Homophobia?" Dec. 17). and thought it was an insult to the general gay population. My first thought was,"Give me a break." Every time a gay man does some thing that he shouldn't and gets into trouble, there is an outcry of injustice. Please. There are places that gay men can go to if they want to exhibit that kind of behavior. But that place is not in a public park, where children and families are present. Take it someplace else guys. Paul Couch Houston Neither apologists nor cheerleaders To the Editor: Michael Alvear's column was based on the premise that the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans are unprincipled ("Log Cabin Republicans play the civil rights doormat," Dec. 17). This is totally unfounded. We do hold Republican candidates, elected and party officials, accountable on the gay issues our members support and have done so repeatedly, publicly. First we seek to educate them, privately. Where we cannot agree, Georgia LCR states so for the record. We are neither apologists nor cheerleaders for the GOP, but we are a partisan political group. Our role and approach are different from a community activist organization. What Alvear apparently fails to realize is that our agenda is not that of the gay left, of other state or local LCR clubs, nor even of the LCR national office. Generally, Republicans choose the rights of individuals over the rights of groups. We will not be coerced by anyone to take positions deemed correct by the collective gay community. It is a diverse community, even in political matters. Finally, Alvear's characterization of the September fund-raiser chaired by me for Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign and attended by Senator Paul Coverdell, a national co-chairman of Bush's campaign, as a Log Cabin event is also wrong. No more than five of the 80-plus attendees are now or ever have been LCR members. This event was held prior to George W. Bush's foolishness regarding gays and LCR. He is wrong now to say that he will not appoint openly gay people to his administration and wrong not to meet with LCR. Michael Brown President log Cabin Republicans Georgia Let us know what you think Send the editor your letters (400 words maximum) or op-ed submissions (800 words maximum). Names may be withheld upon request, but submissions must include a name and phone number for verification. Houston Voice, 500 Lovett, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006 fax: 713-529-9531 • e-mail: editor@houstonvo.ce.com
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