From http://www.gaycenter.org/out/ Young people from the Center’s Youth Enrichment Services(YES) and Seniors from Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders (SAGE) came together at Caring Community for an intergenerational learning experience led by Older Adults Technology Services (OATS). For ten weeks LGBT youth mentored seniors in basic computer skills under the guidance of an OATS facilitator. Let’s meet some of the participants from this unique learning collaboration between queer youth and seniors. To find out more about YES go to: http://www.gaycenter.org/youth To find out more about SAGE go to: http://sageusa.org To find out more about OATS go to: http://www.oatsny.org/ To find out more about Caring Community go to: http://www.thecaringcommunity.org/
Archive for September 2008
Sexy People Vote! Only 36 days left until we choose our next President!
- Chair of Barack Obama’s National LGBT Policy Committee, Tobias
Wolff, representing Barack Obama/Joe Biden
- Former State Committee Member of the Green Party, Dan
Schaffer, representing Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente
- NYC Branch Organizer and Member of the Party for Socialism and
Liberation, Jinnette Caceres, representing Gloria La Riva/Eugene
- Moderated by Richard Kim, Associate Editor of The
The Center is excited to host this forum to educate the LGBT community on the
issues in this groundbreaking election year. This is your chance to get informed
and hear from inside the campaigns. Attendees will have an opportunity to
participate in the Q&A session.
This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Invite your friends!
Thursday, October 2, 6:30-8:30PM
Stay and watch the VP Debate,
Facebook, and invite your friends!
After the forum, get some munchies and watch the VP debate with us on the big
screen at 9PM.
Can’t make it to the Center? Watch a live
webcast of this event at gaycenter.org/election2008.
Other upcoming events:
Meet the Candidates: Manhattan
Thursday, October 16, 6:30-8:30PM (RSVP on
The Fall Election Series is co-sponsored by GMHC and the Center.
So, for those of you who have never made the trek from Gettysburg to NYC, the great blur of landscape between battlefield and city skyline is ground zero for the Amish and Mennonite community in the US. Oh sure, there are some buggies in upstate New York, a few folks making furniture and jam in Ohio, but for the most part this is it–and Lancaster is nothing if not the Amish Big Apple.
Usually, as we ride by in all our spandex glory, we watch them and they studiously avoid us with averred eyes and disciplined disinterest. This year, however was different. This year the ride took a new route and we cruised through even smaller towns than before, down roads that rarely see vehicles not pulled by horse. And what a sight! 140 cityslickers cruising past with padded butts, bared calves and unzipped jerseys, rainbow flags waving and the occasional stuffed animal strapped to handlebars. Amish children turned and watched with mouths agape, clutching their lunch boxes in hand, as we huffed up hill after hill in the rain.
I wondered what they thought of us and this lunatic thing we were doing. After all, you have to be a little crazy to willingly subject yourself to what looks–to the entire world, and even sometimes to ourselves–like perfect misery. On one particularly tough hill, 80 miles and 8 hours into the day, a small tow-headed boy said to my riding buddy Dan as he labored past, “do you want to use my horse?”
Dan’s answer: “Yes, yes I do.”
I’ve been thinking about the boy and his offer for a few hours now and this is what I have figured out: that little boy watched us struggle, thought about what he could do to help, and offered what he had. That is the reason all of us get to ride at all, really. People learn about this lunatic 300 mile weather-be-damned weekend of riding; then they learn why each of us take on the ride and the fundraising; and finally, they learn about the Center’s cradle-to-grave care for our community. And they give what they can to help. You can also help by donating to support the ride and the Center here: www.gaycenter.org/brakingthecycle/donate
Well folks, its getting late, the alarm is set for 5am and there’s 106 miles of tough riding ahead of me tomorrow, and little chance of horse rescue. So, I’ll sign off for tonight. Stay tuned!
My phone went off at 5:54am this morning and I leapt out of bed–in Brooklyn. It was Kaden, my partner and the Administrative Manager of Center Care at The Center calling for good luck as he shoved off to grind through 100 miles of drizzly rain and mist on 15 lbs. of aluminum and rubber.
I was supposed to BE there–waving like a lunatic before turning around to load luggage on the 26 ft. truck and get to the next stop. Instead, there I was, climbing into pantyhose, walking the dogs in the rain, pushing through 5 hours of smiling and greeting before I could GO–get there, be a part of the team that makes this amazing ride happen and bring a year’s worth of anticipation and excitement and real work come to fruition.
When finally my own release hour arrived (11:30am) I raced to my zipcar and was off like a bullet! . . . . If it were traveling through concrete, that is. You know. Lincoln Tunnel. Rain. New Jersey. Turnpike. Barrier after barrier, the same NPR story cycling past and I want to get there!
I want to get there to watch all the riders come in and cheer them on. I want to see those pos ped flags flapping past as cyclists climb off the bikes tired, wet, hungry and estatic. I want to give high fives, find out what folks have done in the past year, reconnect with all the folks who have committed to this transforming ride. And I want to hear stories from the road. Because there are always stories–terrific, hilarious, heart-grabbing stories.
This is a ride that generates stories from spinning tires like gold from straw. We share stories to honor our loved ones, to mark where we have been, to share our delights, and to remember our histories. The stories are the pulse of this ride and this ride–as I have heard over and over again from riders and crew members both–keeps people alive because it funds critical HIV and AIDS services every single day the Center is open. Which is, by the way, everyday. Stay tuned for the stories from the road, and read more about the Center’s services at www.gaycenter.org/health.
Statistics compiled by The New York Times based on exit interviews at polling stations in the 2004 presidential election showed that 4% of respondents reported that they were lesbian, gay, or bisexual. This makes the LGB vote larger than several other established voting blocs, including the Asian-American vote (2%), the Native-American vote (<1%), the Jewish vote (3%), and about two-thirds the size of the hotly contested Latino vote (6%). (Of course, some LGB voters also belong to those groupings, so there is a degree of overlap.) “Transgender” was not offered as a response category, and thus cannot be included in this discussion but could further increase the 4% statistic.
Notably, 4% of the overall electorate represents more than George W. Bush’s margin of victory in 2004, which was just 3% over John Kerry. Further, the margin between Bush and Kerry was less than 4% in one out of every five states: Iowa (1.8%), Michigan (3.4%), Minnesota (3.5%), New Hampshire (1.3%), New Mexico (1.1%), Nevada (2.6%), Ohio (2.5%), Oregon (2.9%), Pennsylvania (2.2%), and Wisconsin (0.4%). These ten states represent 106 electoral votes out of a total of 538, or nearly 20%. A shift of just 19 electoral votes would have been sufficient to change the outcome of the 2004 election.
Also consider that in historical terms, the 2004 election was not even an especially close one. The LGB population’s 4% of the vote was larger than the margin of the popular vote victory in four of the eleven other presidential elections held over the past 50 years, including 1960 (0.2%), 1968 (0.7%), 1976 (2.1%), and 2000 (0.5%).
The LGB 4% of the vote was also equal to or greater than the margin of victory in the 2006 governor elections in Minnesota (1%) and Nevada (4%) as well as U.S. Senate elections in Montana (1.1%) and Virginia (0.4%). Notably, the Democratic victories in Montana and Virginia were sufficient to switch control of the Senate from the Republicans to the Democrats.
It is also worth noting that the LGB vote is strongly, but not monolithically, pro-Democrat. With 77% supporting Kerry, LGB voters were the second most solid pro- Democratic grouping, after African Americans (88%). Still, nearly one in four (23%) LGB voters in 2004 cast their ballot for the Republican presidential candidate, roughly the same percentage as in 2000 (25%) and in 1996 (22%). Although the Democrats are widely considered to be the party more receptive to LGB-related social issues, many LGB people vote Republican because they support a smaller-government, lower-tax libertarian agenda.
Finally, the size of the LGB voting bloc has room for growth, with 4% being more of a floor than a ceiling. It can safely be assumed that not all LGB voters who were polled identified themselves as such, either because they wished to maintain confidentiality or because they may not be completely “out” even to themselves. However, the emerging generation of voters is much more likely than earlier generations to be comfortable with their sexual orientation and thus to self-identify as openly LGB. Since people also tend to turn out to vote in higher rates as they get older, the LGB share of the electorate should continue to rise.
By Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science
Columbia University and New York University
© Raymond A. Smith, 2008
From http://www.gaycenter.org/out/ The Center’s Immigration Support Services presented a panel on the ABC’s of Immigration in partnership with Immigration Equality and GMHC. This video offers highlights from the presentation that covered basic information on asylum, HIV status and upcoming legislation affecting LGBT immigrants. Although all the presenters are lawyers it should be noted that the information provided is for general information only and should not be considered legal counsel. You should always speak with a lawyer regarding a specific legal case. You can download the entire panel as an audio podcast, visit http://www.gaycenter.org/out/ for the link.
I am so excited to be blogging about my experience as a first time rider doing Braking the Cycle which supports the HIV and AIDS services of the Center (www.gaycenter.org/health). Visit here over the next few days to check up on where I am, how I’m doing and what it is like to ride more than 275 miles in 3 days for the first time.
Everyone rides for different reasons. Some have lost loved ones to this devastating disease.
Personally, I ride because HIV is spreading to more and more people even given all the loss and all we know! A study was recently released by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/28/health/research/28hiv.html?ref=nyregio…) which finds H.I.V. in New York City is spreading at 3 times the national rate. Additionally, gay men account for 50% of the new infections in New York City.
To me this is unacceptable! So, as a way to take action, I choose to raise awareness AND money for the LGBT Community Center’s HIV and AIDS services by participating in Braking the Cycle.
To donate to Braking the Cycle visit http://www.gaycenter.org/brakingthecycle/donate
Despite the substantial advances for human rights that have been made recently by LGBT people in the United States, we continue to face discrimination and marginalization in many areas of life. Now more than ever we need to step up and engage! We need to vote!
Promote the Vote, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center’s voter registration, education, and mobilization project needs your help to register 2,000 voters in New York City. Contact Ricardo Martinez, the Center’s Public Policy Associate at 212-620-7310 or at email@example.com to volunteer.
Register to vote today! Visit www.gaycenter.org/registertovote and register. Remember your form must be postmarked and mailed no later than October 10th.
Are you already registered to vote in New York? Want to check the status of your voter registration and find out where your polling place is located? Visit the NYS Board of Election Website at https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx or call 1-800-FOR-VOTE. Additionally, NYC residents can call 212-VOTE-NYC or visit www.vote.nyc.ny.us
Not from New York? Looking for an absentee ballot from your state?
Visit www.vote411.org to find information about your state.
New York State:
You may not register or vote if you have been convicted of a felony and:
• You are currently incarcerated; or
• You are under parole supervision.
You may register and vote if you were convicted of a felony and:
• You were sentenced to probation;
• You were not sentenced to incarceration or your prison sentence was suspended;
• You have served your maximum prison sentence;
• You have been discharged from parole; or
• You have received a pardon.
You may register and vote, even from jail , if you have been convicted only of a misdemeanor.
The same rules apply whether you were convicted in a New York court, another state’s court, or a federal court.
You do not need to provide any documentation about your criminal record in order to register and vote.
If you, or anyone you know, had difficulty registering to vote in New York due to a criminal conviction, please call the Brennan Center for Justice at (212) 998-6418, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us your name, address, phone number, the country where you tried to register, and the problem you encountered.
Holly and Kaden will be blogging from Braking the Cycle! Kaden is riding, and Holly is part of the crew. Check back here at the Center’s new Health Blog (gaycenter.org/centerhealthblog) during the ride, Sept. 26-28, to hear Holly and Kaden’s stories!
Holly and Kaden at Braking the Cycle 2007:
Support Braking the Cycle here: www.gaycenter.org/brakingthecycle/donate