Beaupedia

Man Under Construction

By

Throwing Shade Coming To TV!

I’ve been listening to the Throwing Shade podcast with Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi for a few years now after falling in love with Bryan’s “That’s Gay” segments on the show infoMania on the former Current TV. The show summarizes itself as “taking a weekly look at all the issues important to ladies and gays… and treating them with much less respect than they deserve.” It’s hilarious while also focusing attention on important issues in our culture.

The great news is now they’re branching out into late-night TV! The show will be on TV Land, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until early 2017 to see it. I’m greatly looking forward to it, and I really hope they keep the same incredibly inappropriate edge they have in the podcast.

By

Judy and the Legacy of Matthew Shepard

This past Monday I had the good fortune to hear Judy Shepard speak on Auraria Campus as a part of her work with The Matthew Shepard Foundation.  11 years after Matthew’s terrible murder she is still traveling around the nation passionately educating on equality.  Through her incredible perseverance and strength she has served as an inspiration to me from the time I was a terrified, closeted teen.

I remember hearing the news at a time when I was still very closeted, wanting to believe that what I was experiencing was a phase.  The people in my life, family, church, etc. all viewed Matthew’s murder with no hint of sympathy.  He was a “faggot” and got what was coming to him, was the general belief.  It’s hard to even type those words, but we all know those mindsets exist, and if you don’t you should get with reality.

I outwardly followed along with their detestable views, but inside I was heartbroken.  I remember when MTV produced a film about Matthew, I couldn’t very well watch it in the living room, so I went into my parents’ bedroom to watch it.  When my mom would come by to see what I was watching, I’d quickly flip to, of all places, Fox News.  I sat in that bedroom in front of the TV, fighting tears and listening closely for approaching footsteps.

As I began typing this I realized that I’ve lived to be 5 years older than Matthew was when he died.  It feels extremely unfair.

The world is a very different place than it was when Matthew was murdered.  Since then Judy has marched, and rallied and spoken hundreds of times.  She has lobbied on Capitol Hill and stood by as very important pieces of legislation have been signed.

I was lucky enough to march with her as we stood outside of the Focus on the Family campus.  I listened as she told them to stop attacking our families, to stop causing so much hurt, to stop encouraging hatred.  I watched as she approached representatives from Focus on the Family and presented them with an album filled with photos of LGBT families, families that Focus on the Family dismisses as illegitimate.

In her speech this past Monday Judy answered a question I have had for 11 years.  Did she support Matthew before he died?  The answer is unequivocally yes.  When Matthew came out to her, she had already known, just her mother’s intuition she guesses.  There was also the fact that as a child he dressed as Dolly Parton several Halloweens in a row, she told us all with a laugh.

She spoke about her entire family and their support of him.  Matthew’s father accepted and supported him as well.  It’s funny how over the years, I’ve wondered about this more than anything.  Did Matthew die knowing that his family loved him unconditionally and that they accepted him for who he was.  I’m relieved and happy to know that the answer is a very strong “YES”.

Judy, thank you.  Thank you for Matthew, thank you for letting us all get to know him, thank you for keeping his memory alive.  Thank you for fighting prejudice and hatred.  Thank you for saying “we” when you speak about the LGBT community.  Thank you for taking your grief and turning it into something so powerful.

By

Gay & Seeking Asylum

I just happened upon this video and it’s very fitting when considering my previous post.  We must work harder to create safe havens for LGBT individuals around the world, until that day when all people are loved, accepted, and safe in their home.

 

I’ve been haunted lately by the images of teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni as they wept and waited for their execution, pleading for their lives.  There are questions about their case, and whether or not they were executed for their consensual homosexual acts or not, but regardless, hundreds of people are executed in Iran and other places for simply being who they are.

There are people and organizations working to make change around the world.  Please consider joining up with Amnesty International and making a recurring donation.  When atrocities like these and in many other categories appear around the globe Amnesty is always there fighting for justice, peace, and human rights.  I have the utmost respect and gratitude for Amnesty International, and if I’m lucky maybe someday I will work for them.

By

A Very Sad Anniversary

On this day one year ago 15 year old Lawrence “Larry” King was shot and killed as he sat in his 8th grade classroom.  He was murdered for having the courage Lawrence Kingto  openly be who he had known he was for years.  Larry came out when he was just 10 years old.  It took me until I was 20 years old and living 1,200 miles from my family before I would take that step.  Larry had courage beyond my understanding and despite the awful, turbulent home life he was experiencing he had the conviction to be himself.

 

Larry’s 16th Birthday would have been 1 month ago and my heart is broken that he wasn’t here for it.  Any death at that age is nearly impossible for me to understand, but for someone like Larry to have lived and survived through a very rough childhood to only then to have his life cut short simply for being something other than heterosexual, is almost too much to take.

Lawrence KingI have read accounts of Larry’s last few weeks and from what I gather Lawrence had started to self-identify as female, going by the name Letitia King.  Whether Larry was a gay boy or Letitia, self-identifying as female makes no difference.  Whether Larry or Letitia, this young life should be remembered an honored for the courage that was shown by just being true to what was inside.

So Larry…Letitia, I honor and remember you today.  Your death broke many hearts, but through that pain many more hearts were changed from fear and anger to reconciliation and love.  Rest in peace.

 

Lawrence “Larry” “Letitia” King
January 13, 1993 – February 12, 2008

Rest In Peace

4lawrenceking_story

By

Protesting H8, Denver Style

This past Saturday, November 15th, people from across the nation nation came together at over 300 rallies to protest Proposition 8 in California, Florida’s Amendment 2, a similar ballot initiative in Arizona and the anti adoption amendment in Arkansas.

I was one of the Marshals for the event and it was an amazing time.  The Marshals arrived about an hour and a half before the rally and people started showing up not long after we did.  There were over 1,500 in attendance at the rally and about 1,200 of them marched with us down 16th street mall.

As a Marshal my responsibilities were primarily crowd control.  As the crowd grew at the rally, we ran out of space and people were starting to move into the street in front of the Denver City & County Building.  The street was still open to traffic, so we had to do out part to avoid accidents.

Once we started marching, we kept the group as together as we could.  The line was too long to be seen in its entirety, much to my surprise and excitement.  The Marshals would leapfrog and hold the traffic at the different intersections.  Understandably, there were a few pissed off commuters, but we had a permit to be there and I personally find my rights being denied to me a bit more inconvenient then being stuck at an intersection for a few minutes.

As Marshals, we also kept the crowd chanting.  I would walk up and down as much of the march as I could and lead them in chants.  I started losing my voice about halfway through and recruit fellow marchers to help me out:

“What do we want?”  “Equal rights!” “When do we want them?”  “Now!”

NovProtest002

~~

“Gay, straight, black, white – marriage is a civil right!”

NovProtest032

~~

“Love, Not Hate! Love, Not Hate! Love, Not Hate!

NovProtest005

~~

About three fourths of the way through the march, people were getting tired and my voice was all but gone, but we pushed forward and I reminded the marchers that as tired as we were, the opposition was far from tired of denying us our rights.

Most encouraging to me were the straight couples with their children who came out to support us.  They were scattered all over our rally and just as passionate about equality as the gay community.  I was also encouraged by the employees and customers of the different stores along 16th Street Mall that came out on to the sidewalk to cheer us on, some even joining us in our march.

We finally made it back to Civic Center Park, but the group did not disperse as I had expected.  People picked up and led their own chants, others just smiled with tear filled eyes amazed at the spectacle they were witnessing.  I finally climbed to the top of the nearby stairs and thanked everyone for coming, implored them not to let their passion and their work end here, to contact their elected officials and hold them accountable, vote in the future and stay involved in the movement.  A cheer went up, a group of High School students resumed their cheers, and we Marshals were surrounded by grateful marchers who hugged and thanked us for our work.

It was an inspirational experience that I don’t anticipate matching anytime soon.  After 4 months on the Obama campaign I was apprehensive and very slow to sign up to work this event, but I am thrilled that I ultimately did.

Equality will come, that much I know.

~~