Tuesday, December 9, 2008

California marriage ban spurs Ottawa DJ ReddBear

On the evening of the American election, local Ottawa DJ ReddBear — otherwise known as Charles Cooper — was with his partner in Vermont.

"Obama won — we were so happy," Cooper says. "And then the next day, we heard about what happened in California and it was kind of depressing. It's a liberal state — how could something like this happen?"

Proposition 8 — the California ballot-initiative that saw voters agree to amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage — sparked a nationwide outcry.

Two other states passed similar bans on the same day. But California had been granting same-sex marriages since May, making it the only state where the right had been repealed.

Within days, a website called Join The Impact was launched, which facilitated organizing rallies throughout California, the rest of the States and beyond.

Cooper had been forwarded an email about Join the Impact and he opened a thread asking how Canadians could help out.

"My partner lives in Vermont," Cooper says. "I can't just sit around and do nothing."

Website organizers replied to Cooper, suggesting he start up a rally here, which Cooper set about doing, including launching a Facebook group to help spread the word.

In Canada, rallies were held in Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, with additional protests planned for Calgary, Halifax, Windsor, and even Sault Ste Marie.

American pundits are calling it Stonewall 2.0. Protests there have been gaining, rather than losing, momentum since the Nov 4 vote and they show no signs of stopping. Like the 1969 riot, the month's protests have been marked by rage, and at least five people have been arrested in California during gay-marriage rallies.

Nigel Flear, president of the Canadian lobby group Egale, attended the Ottawa rally.

"I think it's important that we protest any rights issue, be it national or international," Flear says. "It's part of our mission to look at cases like this and to support anyone who's been oppressed, or in this case, one of the worst situations where someone had rights and they were taken away from them."

While Cooper had initially tried to get permission to stage the rally on Parliament Hill, protocol demands 10 days' notice, which proved insufficient time.

Instead, the Human Rights Monument was chosen as a more appropriate venue and less of an organizational challenge, and the symbolism was fitting.

"Gay rights are human rights," Cooper pointed out at the rally.

While two dozen supporters turned out in the rain, the march toward the American Embassy on Sussex Drive proved uneventful.

The Join the Impact website is an example of how the internet continues to revolutionize grassroots social movements, and it provided a how-to kit for organizing a protest including how to send out press releases and suggestions for signs.

Join the Impact estimates that over 100,000 people turned out in over 150 rallies. They plan to follow up this success with a second day of action, called "A Day Without A Gay" for Dec 10.

As for why it's important for Canadians to join in, Cooper had this to offer:

"A lot of my American friends supported us when we had the gay-marriage bill, and I think it's only fair that we show our support back."

Anti-gay beating investigated

Four attackers may have mistaken two brothers walking arm in arm as gay before using an aluminum baseball bat, a bottle and their feet to beat one of them into critical condition, New York City police said Monday.

One of the attackers used an anti-gay slur when first confronting the brothers, Ecuadorean immigrants who were walking down a Brooklyn street early Sunday after a night of drinking.
"For some reason they didn't like the two men they believed were gay ... and felt so emboldened in their hatred that they acted it out in violence," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Police said the attack occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday as the brothers neared their home on foot. One attacker jumped out of the SUV, used the anti-gay slur and smashed one of the brothers over the head with a bottle.

As the other brother ran away, three men exited the vehicle and joined the assault, police said. One hit the victim in the head with the bat while the others kicked him.

At some point, the other brother returned holding a cell phone and told the men he had called police. They then drove off together.

The 31-year-old victim remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition, said police, who did not release his name or that of his brother.

The office of Brooklyn prosecutor Charles Hynes and the New York Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force were investigating. They urged the public to help identify the attackers.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gay icon : David Beckham profile

Name: David Robert Joseph Beckham
Nationality: English
Date and Place of Birth: 2nd May 1975, Leytonstone, London, England.
Playing Position: Right midfield / central midfield
Wife: Victoria Beckham (a.k.a. Posh Spice)
Children: 3 sons (Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz)

As perhaps the most famous footballer on the planet, David Beckham should need no introduction. As famous for his pop star wife, his ever changing hairstyles and his multimillion pound endorsement deals with major worldwide companies such as Adidas and Gillette as he is for his football, David Beckham truly transcended the boundaries between football as a sport and as a promotional tool for the larger Beckham celebrity brand.

As a player he burst onto the scene as a fresh faced goalscoring midfielder at Manchester United in the mid 1990s and became the poster boy for that generation of talent nurtured by Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford which dominated English club football throughout the 1990s.

A dead ball specialist, Beckham was never blessed with great pace however his fantastic passing and crossing ability from wide areas and a high work ethic made him one of European football's hottest properties on the way to collecting numerous English Premiership and FA Cup titles as well as the European Cup in 1999 as part of Manchester United's legendary treble winning side.

As his notoriety increased after his sending off in the World Cup in 1998 Beckham's career continued to rise to make him England captain and second only to Rivaldo as European Footballer of the Year in 1999. As Beckham's off field fame grew, his relationship with mentor Sir Alex Ferguson deteriorated culminating in the infamous boot kicking incident in the Manchester United dressing room which saw Beckham sporting a cut head. The relationship between the two never recovered and Beckham eventually moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2003.

At Madrid the Beckham commercial machine went into overdrive as the most recognisable face in world football cashed in on his now worldwide appeal as a member of Real Madrid's "galactico" collection.

For England, Beckham scored in three separate World Cups and captained his country for six years, playing 94 times and scoring 17 international goals.

Beckham announced in January 2007 that he wouldn't be renewing his contract at Real Madrid and had signed a five year deal with Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer effective from July 2007 and worth a reputed £128 / $250 million.

His arrival at LA Galaxy in July 2007 saw a media frenzy as the US press and public rushed to catch a glimpse of the new "saviour" of Major League Soccer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The risks from excessive drinking

The risks of frequently drinking above the safe levels are:

1. weight-gain – a pint of beer contains nearly 200 calories (more than a packet of crisps);
2. heart problems – reduced efficiency and increased risk of disease;
3. nerve damage;
4. depression – two-thirds of suicide attempts are alcohol related;
5. impotence and infertility – even moderate drinking will reduce sexual performance (though not desire);
6. cancer – of the liver, mouth, tongue and throat;
7. liver disease – hepatitis and cirrhosis;
8. digestive problems – ulcers, gastritis and pancreatitis.
Alcohol is frequently a factor contributing to violence (including a quarter of all murders) and accidents (including half of traffic deaths). One in four male hospital admissions is related to alcohol.

David Beckham calendar 2009

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David Beckham shirtless

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David Beckham : Sexy in Speedos

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Straight guys for gay eyes : David Beckham

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Famous Gay Couple : Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone

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Straight guys for gay eyes : Jesse McCartney

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Gay icon : Christiano Ronaldo

Gay icon : David Beckham

7 tips for healthy gay living

1. Get Checked

When was your last HIV test? Not knowing your HIV status only prolongs the inevitable. You also put yourself and others at risk. Make quarterly doctor appointments and discuss your health concerns.

2. Join a Gym

3. Curb Your Drinking

Replace regular cola mixers with diet or drink low calorie beers like Michelob Ultra or Amstel Light.

4. Keep the Kick, Lose the Fat

Try a sugar-free syrup in your latte or low-fat milk instead of heavy cream.
Also try an organic green tea.

5. Try a Little Yoga

6. Drop the Drag

I'm not asking our sisters in lights to hang up their dresses. We need to put out the cigarettes! Gays have a higher cancer risk than heterosexuals, so every puff could have life-changing consequences.

7. Practice Safer Sex

Make practicing safer sex easier by keeping condoms on you and near your intimate environments. Make tangible commitments that you won't have unprotected sex.

Cancer prevention for gay men

Caner prevention for gay men may not be as simple as putting out a cigarette. According to the American Cancer Society, gay men are at increased risk for skin, prostate, colon and lung cancer due to lack of health care coverage and discrimination. Here's what you need to know about gay men and cancer prevention:
Lack of health coverage.
Some companies offer same-sex benefits; but for those that do not, gay partners are left without adequate health coverage- which is a factor in early detection of cancer.
Health care discrimination and negative experiences.
Many gay men feel apprehensive about getting medical help for fear of discrimination. I am reminded of a time when a friend of mine went to his doctor awaiting a diagnosis of the flu. Once the doctor found out he was gay, she told him to go to the HIV/AIDS clinic immediately. Terrified and tearful, he solicited a second opinion from a doctor he knew was gay-friendly. His illness was indeed the stomach flu with no sign of HIV. My friend's misdiagnosis and his doctor's discomfort with gay patients could have easily resulted in a phobia against medical professionals. For this reason some gay men do not visit the doctor, which can delay early detection of cancer.
Gay men and smoking.
Smoke-filled bars and clubs are common hang outs for some gay men. For this reason, according to the American Cancer Society, gay men are more likely to smoke or be exposed to smoke. A recent gay.com article on gay smoking cites 36 percent of LGBT adults are smokers, compared with 25 percent of all adults. Smoking accelerates the progression of AIDS and increases the risk of lung cancer. HIV also accelerates smoking-induced emphysema.

It's been over a year since I kicked some smoking butt. I remember having no desire to smoke before I started. I often hung out with people that smoked either at bars or just socializing. I finally accepted their offer to have a drag. One drag turned into half of a cigarette. That single stick turned into several bummed cigarettes a day and eventually a purchased pack. My habit was in full acceleration.

I finally had enough of the stinky clothes and bad breath and tarnished belonging, so I decided it was time to dine in the cooler smoke-free section. I kicked the habit! How? I let my pride lead me to a smoke-free life. I made a wager with a friend (and heavy smoker). The first to pick up a cigarette had to forfeit a dollar. Neither one of us wanted to lose. We are both still smoke free to this day.

Quitting is a different process for each individual, but well worth clean (cancer-free) lungs and a healthy lifestyle. This helpful smoking cessation resource teaches how to quit smoking, how to deal with withdrawal and even addresses weight gain.