28 June 2009

40 Years After Stonewall, Where Do We Stand?

[EDIT 29 June 2009]I've been thinking about this after finishing the blog post below, and there are a bunch of different ways I could have titled this other than "40 Years After Stonewall, Where Do We Stand?" Another title could be "Small Strides Made 85 Years Into the LGBT Civil Rights Movement" and yet another could be "We're still being killed millennia later, although it may no longer be legal in some jurisdictions." Still, another title could be "LGBT folk can't legally be killed in the USA, which is great progress, but what about places where Sharia is the rule of law?" So with that in mind, continue on to the article that I wrote yesterday and just remember that while it's against the law to murder a person of LGBT origin in the United States of America, that isn't necessarily the case around the world.[/EDIT]

Forty years ago today, 28 June 1969, a firecracker was lit under the seats of gay (and when I say gay, I'm talking about the lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender, and queer folk -- a/k/a the LGBTQers) New Yorkers who, after years of being raided by the police for trying to assemble peacefully (you know, one of those pesky little First Amendment rights guaranteed to citizens of the United States of America), led mostly by a group of transgendered individuals including such notables as Raymond Castro (who recently reflected back on the miniscule accomplishments made by the LGBTQ community during the past 40 years) and the late Sylvia Rivera, stood up for their rights and fought back in what has been dubbed the Stonewall Riots or, simply, Stonewall.

Most people mistakenly believe that the gay rights movement started with Stonewall and, therefore, that the movement for LGBT civil rights in the United States is only 40 years old. This is, however, far from the truth. In fact, the LGBT civil rights movement can trace its roots back in history more than twice as long: the Society for Human Rights was founded in Chicago, Illinois, in 1924. That's right, 1924. That's 85 years ago. This timeline by InfoPlease shows many (but sadly, not all) of the important milestones in the LGBT civil rights movement.

So where does that leave us now? Quite frankly, not far from where we began. While we now are able to express our love for each other physically in the privacy of our own bedrooms without fear of being imprisoned for as many as twenty years (thank you, Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003)--that's right, it was only six years ago that all LGBT folk were finally able to be who they are without fear from being arrested and persecuted by the state. Six--short--years.

Other than that, what else has been accomplished? Well, let's see:

We have Don't Ask, Don't Tell --the policy that allows LGBT folk to serve in the military, as long as they remain in the closet and don't tell anyone. The "Don't Ask" part is pretty much a joke once you get IN to military service, so you basically have to lie and not be true to yourself if you wish to remain dedicated in service to one's country.

We have the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines, at the federal level, marriage to be strictly between one male and one female (or a man and a woman, whichever verbiage suits your fancy). This law effectively makes more than 1,138 federal statutes completely inapplicable to a significant segment of the United States population.

About.com has a great article that they keep mostly up-to-date on the jurisdictions around the world that have some sort of provision for marriage equality. As can be seen from here, Europe completely outpaces the United States' individual states when it comes to marriage equality--never mind the federal government.

And what are we doing about this? Most of the LGBTers in the USA have thrown their support behind one of the two main political parties (the Democrats), neither of which truly has our best interests at heart. Recently, however, I believe there's been an epiphany in the United States LGBT community, and a call for accountability in terms of promises that politicians have been making for decades.

However, much of the leadership in political and mainstream LGBT organizations is still willing to sell our souls, rights, and support to politicians who have little chutzpah to stand up for our rights, to stand up and treat us as human beings, and to deliver the same basic human rights and protections that are afforded the rest of the population.

Take, for instance, this e-mail conversation I had with Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda (I've edited out the signature sections and some of the e-mail header information):

Forwarded conversation
Subject: Senator Smith

From: Peter C Frank
Date: Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 6:49 PM
To: Alan Van Capelle

Hi Alan,

I'd like to know the strategy that PA is taking with respect to the fact that Senator Smith has stabbed us in the back w/ regards to marriage equality in NYS (as I understand it, his promise to make marriage equality one of the first things done if the LGBT community would donate tons of money to help the Dems win a majority in the State Senate, which we did, and now that this is done Smith has decided to yield to Diaz's pressures and will not be bringing civil marriage to a vote in the Senate this year) ...

Also, if you can help out with this question: http://petercfrank.blogspot.com/2009/01/californias-prop-8-funding.html

Hope all is well and Happy Chinese New Year!

From: Alan Van Capelle
Date: Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 12:26 PM
To: Peter C Frank


The Pride Agenda worked to flipped in two anti-LGBT State Senate seats and replace them with two pro-LGBT Senators. The Majority Leader is on record and has consistently repeated that when we win the votes to pass a bill we have his commitment that the bill will be brought to the floor for a vote. That has not changed. We do not yet have the votes to win but are working hard to get there. We believe it is our community’s responsibility to earn the votes we need to pass a bill.

Your understanding of a commitment regarding campaign money in return for legislation is totally inaccurate.

Our sleeves are rolled up and we are working hard.




Alan Van Capelle
Executive Director

State Pride Agenda and Foundation
16 West 22nd Street

New York
, NY 10010



please keep this email paperless

From: Peter C Frank
Date: Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 5:41 PM
To: Alan Van Capelle
Cc: Connie Ress

Hi Alan,

I'm including Connie in this discussion, as I've known her since her beginnings @ MENY. Since marriage is one of her main schticks, I'd like to get her views on this. At some point, this most likely will turn into a blog post by me, so I am advising you now that anything said from this point forward might be quoted by me (I won't quote your last e-mail unless I have your explicit permission to do so). And for the record, the order in which this e-mail is presented is not the order in which it has been written.

An explicit commitment may not have been made but how can you deny the shift in language and attitude that occurred between the beginning of the 2008 campaign season (which I wasn't really paying attention to as I was dealing w/ a lot of personal shit), the end of the 2008 campaign season, and where things stand now?

I think it's very clear that an implicit commitment was made to our community from politicians who were campaigning that if we pledged our support, in terms of time, money, and votes, then they would press to see that marriage was a priority. To me, and I'm speaking in terms of BOTH sides of the aisle here (as you may recall I'm a GOPer but first and foremost I'm an LGBTer -- I <3 href="http://nitestar.gather.com/gay" target="_blank">http://nitestar.gather.com/gay

I've found some articles on the web (I haven't done a thorough search -- just a cursory one) that supports my position. Can you please explain these articles:







http://www.nypost.com/seven/11062006/news/columnists/westchester_senate_race_a_test_of_spitzers_clout_columnists_fredric_u__dicker.htm (I include this only b/c I've recently moved to Yonkers and Stewart-Cousins is now my State Senator and I don't know her position on marriage)


and finally,

http://gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20237603&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=6 where, and I quote from the article,

Election Night seemed a sweet victory for the LGBT community here in New York, when Smith, the Senate minority leader for the past two years, mounted the podium at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown to declare that Democrats had achieved what they had hoped for. At the Fall Dinner of the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) one year earlier, Smith, in an exuberant mood, pledged to put marriage equality, already passed by the Assembly and supported by Governor David Paterson, at "the top of the list" if the Democrats gained control of the Senate.

[emphasis supplied]

You know, I was all set to accept your explanation until I found the above article. Clearly, Sen. Smith has reneged on his promise, and ESPA and--you in particular--appear to have absolutely no qualms about this whatsoever. If you did, then you wouldn't have responded to me that Sen. Smith is on record for saying that marriage will come to the NYS Senate floor for a vote when it has the votes to pass. Please tell me, exactly how is this different than the manner by which former Sen. Maj. Ldr. Bruno handled things (he wouldn't bring anything to the floor for a vote unless it had the votes to pass, and Sen. Smith is doing the same exact thing with marriage).

I must ask this, and I know I'm shouting, but WHY THE HELL IS ESPA NOT HOLDING SMITH TO HIS COMMITMENT MADE TO ESPA IN 2007????

I never received a response from Mr. Van Capelle as regards the last e-mail that I sent to him. What's interesting is that, now that when Senator Smith first gained control of the Senate and the threat of a coup first arose, he still backed Senator Smith (note:this links to a PDF file). If you don't trust the gay media, then just take a look at Mr. Van Capelle's statement. So what happened when the harsh reality was uncovered that Senator Smith ran the NYS Senate exactly in the same manner as former NYS Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-NY)? There was an outcry of silence.

However, since the recent coup has placed control of the New York State Senate initially with the GOP and now is up in the air (and ironically, the GOP was willing to bring the marriage equality bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote, unlike the power-hungry Senator Smith, who wished only to retain control of the Senate -- control that the LGBT community helped deliver), the Pride Agenda is now crying foul.

And this isn't just happening at the local or state level. Just take a look at the flak President Obama has received for his inaction and broken promises on a number of LGBT-rights issues: his refusal to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, his inaction on repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and his administration's homophobic rhetoric in support of upholding the Defense of Marraige Act.

One of these days, the LGBT common-folk will come to understand that politicians will do and say anything to get elected, promise the world, or as much of it as one can believe. But once in power, all such promises will become long-forgotten. And the leadership of the LGBT community's major organisations is willing to play right along.

There is only one way that we will achieve our equality: we must stand up and be counted. Only by taking responsibility for our own actions, and holding those we entrust with power accountable, will anything ever happen.

Until then, Happy Pride!

(photo courtesy of AlanNYC / alanhyman.com)

My #SameSexSunday recommendations on Twitter

Today is #samesexsunday on Twitter. In a nutshell, this is the day when Twitter users recommend other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) users to follow. It was started by The Bilerico Project:
"Same Sex Sunday is an idea hatched by me and Bil to build a stronger sense of LGBT community on Twitter.

The concept is pretty simple. Its #followfriday gone gay, gay, gay."

My list has grown a bit, so instead of tweeting it, I'm going to tweet this post, and then link to the people I recommend on here. I can also add comments about users here, as well, as that pesky 140-character limit won't get in the way.

All of the following Twitter users are LGBT people I recommend because they're personable, knowledgeable, helpful, insightful, and good folk. Send them an @ (a directed message on Twitter) and you'll most likely get a response. Additionally, I've also tagged certain people with other twitter hashtags, to denote whether they're, say, a #women2follow, a #mondaymensch, a #techtuesday, or a #followfriday individual as well. Some mates are all of the above, or some of the above. But they're all at least a #followfriday!

Also, be sure to check out my #SameSexSunday and #SameSexSunday-PartDeux lists on Twitter if you just wanna follow some #SSS folks w/o having to read my sappy reasons as to why they should be followed.

So here is my #samesexsunday list:

Added 28 June 2009:

@marcthom -- just a great mate from down under. He loves to laugh, and he's always putting a smile on my face. Yours too, probably. So tweet him this hot mate for a jolly good time! A total #mondaymensch #followfriday and #techtuesday mate as well.
@vonirrwegen -- just a beautiful person, inside & out. Top #followfriday person and a #mondaymensch as well. He always puts a smile on his face and has much love for all things beautiful and LGBT.
@jerb -- cute as a button who provides funny social commentary. #followfriday
@mattskal -- web 2.0/3.0 genius, social networker extraordinaire (that's a social networking socialite or SNS) and awesome #followfriday #techtuesday dude.
@DanielJUK -- he's just a huge sweetheart! Definitely #followfriday this #mondaymensch.
@JaySays -- because he says so, that's why. But seriously, Jay is a #mondaymensch who is fighting the good fight and doing more than he can for the struggle in LGBT equality.
@DorianDavis -- I don't know about this one. He's just one of those folks who's interesting. He's one of those non-celeb celebs--you know the type. He keeps it real. He's even more conservative than some of those Log Cabin folk I used to associate with (associate--hell, I founded the lower Hudson Valley chapter in New York!). You should #followfriday him as well....
@StevenBlue -- for some poetic justice and words that will melt your heart, you should follow and #followfriday him as well!
@Tina_cious -- I went to school with this divamommy who is just as fierce as she is sweet (and slezzy (which is sleazy+lezzy combined ;) ) ) #followfriday this diva.
@FearCake -- Contrary to his name, he LOVES cake (which is a beautiful thing). Great tech advice, and an all-around nice guy. Too bad he's not single, though. :( #followfriday him as well!
@maxime68 -- A wonderful gal who asks intriguing questions, considers opinions/input of others, and presents a global view of the world. Great #followfriday and #women2follow power Twitter, too!
@WhiteHeron_MI -- a truly interesting and inspiring individual who is intelligent, compassionate, and caring. Also a #followfriday bloke and, because of his humongous heart, a #mondaymensch.
@tedoe -- inspiring, supportive, full of great ideas, and a kick-ass web designer so if you're in the market for a web designer, tweet her up! Another great #techtuesday, #women2follow, and #mondaymensch recommendation.
@SMM353 -- A true New Yorker, with all that that entails. Total hottie. I'd love to spend some time at the Met (museum) with him, and a stroll through Central Park, winding up at Cafe Lalo for a nice amaretto hot chocolate! #followfriday him, too!
@DrBach98 -- He loves to talk politics. He wants to move to New York City. He likes to have fun, and he cares about folks. #followfriday him, too!
@Mikescaife -- this great mate tweets about his fabulous life in London (or somewhere in the UK). @reply him up and be dazzled with his witty responses!
@SavvyPlanners_C -- if you're in the market for an LGBT wedding, then check them out--they're international!
@bilerico -- because everybody needs to follow an LGBT activist, and they're the ones who started this whole #samesexsunday bidniz.
@CitizenRecon -- this hottie (formerly @Le_Doctor @Dr_Jared -- he needs to stop changing his damned Twitter username as it's messing up my posts!) is just flat-out crazy, and his life is over the top! But he's a really sweet guy with a tremendous heart, and he's fighting the good fight.
@BFlooreandAfter -- formerly @QueerCincinnati, for everything queer and everything Cincinnati, check out this top mate.
@GayPatriot -- for a political take on things from a different perspective, check him out!
@DavidBadash -- he's starting a new civil rights movement, because (and this is just what I believe) the leadership of most of the LGBT organizations has sold out to the political machine and care about as much for our community as the politicians do.
@OneMoreLesbian -- because we can all use another lesbian in our lives and this one is great at finding all things lesbianic in the world.

Added for 5 July 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@HersbandAndWife -- this cantankerous couple has reason to be smarmy. Please contribute and join in on their national marriage tour.
@Molecat84 -- this London Lezzie don't take no gruff and tells it like it t-i-is!
@JonahFalcon -- he's gay, he's sexy, he has a big ... ego, beautiful eyes, and a beautiful soul. He's going through some serious shit in his life right now--f'd up shit that good people (of which he's one) shouldn't have to go through. I've known him for quite a while, although we lost touch for the longest but are reacquainting ourselves with each other now. He's also a severely undervalued writer and SAG actor. If you can help him find some work writing/acting, please give him a tweet! #mondaymensch him!
@mcm180 -- he has a heart of gold, a true romantic! #followfriday this sexy papichulo of a #mondaymensch whose heart, mind, body, and soul are all made of 24-karat gold!
@rjdennis -- an awesome writer and provider of great LGBT commentary in his tweets.
@twithug -- might or might not be a person of LGBT origin but a great way to provide some LGBT huggin' love!
@PushyBroad -- she's got a great mind, she's totally non-conformist, and she's a great PR person. These days, who doesn't need a PR rep?
@perlcub -- he's purple, he's a geek, he's gay, he's into #perl, and he's purple (oops, did I say that twice?)
@strt_notnarrow -- thy're not LGBT but that doesn't mean they should be excluded from #samesexsunday. They're out there fighting the good fight for us, and they deserve our help as much as they are helping us. As their name implies, they're straight, not narrow (-minded). A total #mondaymensch.
@allaboutenergy -- not one of us (an LGBTQer, that is); however, folks in the LGBTQ community/world should definitely follow her because her tweets are so supportive and full of positive energy that some times, you just need to read and interact with such great, powerful, and positive energies to pick up your spirits and continue the good fight. Y'know? She treats people -- all people -- as human beings, with respect, dignity, and grace. She is a true #women2follow, a #followfriday pick, and a complete and total #mondaymensch!
@CJHatter -- A no-holds barred, non-apologetic queer who apparently likes Klondike Bars but never really tweets what, exactly, it is that he's done to get them that he's so ashamed about ....

Added for 19 July 2009 (as well as 12 July 2009, when I was off the grid) #samesexsunday recommendations:

@HeddaLettuceNYC -- I knew her back in the 1990s, even before she became famous (yes, we is old geezuhs!). But she's always had wit, charm, personality, and a ton of chutzpah! So follow this top drag queen, and check out her latest, epic video, Botox Face. Oh, she's a #mondaymensch, too!
@GayTwogether -- If you want a peek into the life of a loving, caring, and committed couple, then check out this couple who, though legally married in the United States, cannot file a joint tax return as a married couple. Perhaps a #techtuesday follow as well....
@FruitSaladShow -- Fruit salad, you know, a little of this, a little of that. And fruit being kinda gay, well, they tweet a little gay of this, a little gay of that -- you get the idea, n'est-ce pas? #followfriday them for some fabulousness on Fridays!
@GayAtheist -- Because so many of us have given up on religion, and because they're the nemesis of the next #SSS recommendation,
@GayTheologian -- For those of you LGBTQ folk who have not yet given up on religion, follow this twerson.
@ThePowerGay -- he's out there looking for some gay power, so follow him and help him achieve this goal
@MyGayDVDreviews -- the Siskel & Eibert of gay movies on DVD, or something like that.
@AndrewSrivanlop -- a cute Gaysian who likes to tweet about his exploits in food. Reading his tweets gets me thinking of yummy Khai Phanaeng, Tom Kha Khai, Pad Thai Khai and other great dishes.
@RC_TruthAndLove -- a loving lesbian, what more do you need to know other than that? A #women2follow
@211GLBTresource -- another lesbian who's into psychology. Why are all the the LGBTQ therapists lesbians? Another #women2follow
@CreateEquality -- just what their name says. It's sad though that wee need to create equality, instead of equality just being, isn't it? So follow them this activist and help create what should just exist and be natural. Equality for all!
@AmyPaulin -- she's one of those rare breeds, a non-politician politician. And she totally supports equality, in every respect. A #mondaymensch, #followfriday, #straightally and #women2follow who deserves our total support.
@changedotorg -- This #mondaymensch is trying to effect change in a positive direction. Change will happen; the direction it takes is up to us. And they're helping to lead us in the right direction. So #followfriday them, too!
@GOProud -- because not all LGBTQ folk are Democrats. Some of them (myself included) belong to the GOP (although I contend that the GOP was co-opted by ultra-conservative, Bible-thumping Southern Democrats beginning the 1960s)
@LegalOut -- This #mondaymensch is providing a wonderful service to the LGBTQ community of lesser means who can't afford the tens of thousands of dollars it costs for an attorney to draw up contracts protecting partners in a relationship, this #mondaymensch helps those of us obtain a minimum of legal protection by providing legal documents that couples can fill out.
@Queer -- for anything and everything queer, your source is here. (OK, that rhyme really sucked, didn't it?)
@WorldToKnow -- providing the coming out stories of LGBTQ folk, so the world will know what some of us go through. #followfriday them, too!
@LGBT_Friends -- helping LGBTQ folks connect with each other via tweets. What a #mondaymensch they are!
@RightsOdyssey -- Dubbed "2010: A Rights Odyssey" this #mondaymensch is redefining a civil rights movement for the 21st century. #followfriday them as well!
@TristanRose -- there's nothing typical about this #women2follow. She's a nurse who raps, and describes herself as a "walking contradiction." Totally check out this #followfriday gal!
@SissyHickey -- she, along with her cast of misfits in this groundbreaking television programme, Sordid Lives--the series, comprised of @Sissy Hickey, @The Brother Boy, @Next Door Noleta, @Peggy Ingram, @Juanita Bartlett, @Ty Williamson WH, @Latrelle Williamson, @Lavonda Dupree, @Bitsy Mae, @Dr. Eve Bollinger, and @Wardell Owens, is just about the funniest thing out of American television to come along since The Golden Girls, with the wit, intelligence, and drama right up there, too. It's just a terrible sham that their creator couldn't find funding to continue the series after the eight short episodes that aired on @logochannel. So check out the rest of this comic troupe.
@PostGay -- when you're over the phase in your life where you're putting your gayness out in front of everyone's face, this is what you become, or aspire to become.
@AngryFaggot -- he may not be angry all of the time but when he is, he definitely has good reason to be.
@GLADlaw -- another non-profit organizing using the law to fight for equality and equal treatment of LGBTQ folk.
@JerryCornelius -- this bloke is inspiring, especially when he's not inspired himself. ;-)

Added for 26 July 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@MarquitaThomas -- maybe it's the militant lesbian in her but this #followfriday #women2follow WeHo Diva's tweets will get you organized, and let you know about many of the goings-on in WeHo that the gender it's not famous for would be interested in.
@DiversityLoans -- if you're looking for financial information, financial analysis, or need help getting a loan for your LGBTQ project, this is the twerson to turn to.
@GoldenGirlsFans -- these #followfriday #women2follow are on my #samesexsunday list because, well, The Golden Girls is just such a terrifically fabulous show, what gay man doesn't watch it?
@AngryDyke -- this is @AngryFaggot's biological-sexed counterpart. I'm still waiting for someone to create an @AngryTranny account ....
@WorkingClassFag -- from the perspective of a gay man who considers himself part of the working class -- you know, like a Dan Conner type of gay and not a Fifth Avenue Fag (the kind who prefers beer over chardonnay), you should check out the tweets from this straight-shooter. Oops, did I just say straight on #samesexsunday? ;)
@JasonDottley -- this hottie is the star of that hit series, Sordid Lives: the series, that lasted all of about eight episodes on the LOGO Channel before, according to Jason, LOGO & the American production company screwed up something and now the series that could have rivalled The Golden Girls is to be no more. :(
@EqualRights -- providing tweets from mates down under (that's Australia for those who don't know the lingo), they strive to achieve equal treatment under the law for everyone! Perhaps they'll beceom part of @rightsodyssey?
@GayRitesNet -- note that this is "rites" as in "wedding rites and vows". Thus, as their name implies, this great Twitterer provides great advice and tips on planning those gay weddings, as well as staying together once you're all shackled up to the old ball & chain -- erm, I meant, spouse...
@GayNewsOnline -- who can't use another source of news all about the LGBTQ? At least most of the news items this twitterer posts are interesting on some sort of intellectual level and it's not just the pop-culture/gay culture-encrusted refried beans served up on a $250 Rosenthal serving plate ....
@JasonHellinger -- he's just effin hot, so follow the hell out of him. Actually, I think he looks a lot like that hottie, Jeffrey Donovan, who's the star of the hit new cable show, Burn Notice. He's a bit green, and it's nice seeing life through the eyes of one so young. (Waiiiiiiiit a minnnnnnit--when the hell did I get so old that I consider a 20-something to be "so young"? =b )
@1txsage1957 -- another disabled LGBTQer, this #women2follow #mondaymensch #followfriday gal is friend to the world, mother earth, mother nature, and all that is just and right in the world. She's also from Texas, which -- well, we all know what that means .... (I'll just leave it at that!)
@She2Online -- She Squared (get it?) is a nifty little online outlet for all of the wondrous things that any lesbian out there may or may not need. Honestly, I didn't really check it out b/c, well, I'm just like SO into the vagina and all, y'know? But they're good #women2follow and #mondaymensches, so follow them already!
@FreedomtoMarry -- a talented vocalist who really just wants the freedom -- or as the United States Supreme Court put it in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), "'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival" -- to marry the man he loves.
@LGBTlife -- Some of their tweets pull in a more world-wide focus on LGBTQ issues.
@EqualityAmerica -- this #mondaymensch #followfriday lunatic is attempting the insane task of trying to coordinate all of the various LGBTQ events, demonstrations, etc. that are going around in the world and tweet about them. I wish them all the luck in the world -- they're going to need it (as well as a cloning machine so they can clone themselves and be in multiple locations at once!)

Added for 23 August 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@NathanOUTloud -- he shares the coming out stories of LGBTQ folk who have come out of the closet and found freedom in doing so. He also produces (and stars in) his own podcast about other LGBTQ issues. If you want a tweeter who's all gay, all of the time, this one's for you.
@2ndclssctzns -- This LGBTQer refuses to be treated like a second class citizen, and serves up his tweets with a bit of dish, quips, quotes, and witticisms, as well as promoting equality for all.
@sexydeadstar -- Andrew likes to talk about himself in the third person. Andrew bakes really good cookies. Andrew has a different point of view of the world and likes to share it. Andrew is a total arachnophobe. Andrew is someone you should be following....
@CommonComrades --weaving the common threads that binds those of us in the LGBTQ community in 140 characters or less
@crewislife -- Even though he hates me because I'm a "Repiglican" (as he calls my political party, which--by the way--was kidnapped by ultra-conservative Southern Democrats and I'm fighting to wrest control of my party back into the hands of the moderates who carried us forward and moved the nation's social mores forward for over a century), this ex-patriot is fascinated by all things political in the good ol' USA.
@jddalton -- a self-professed "small town gay guy" who's trying to figure out where he belongs in the world, he shares this journey in search of a place to call his own as he carves out his own niche in the world.
@FaithfulChosen -- This #techtuesday role-playing Wiccan non-conformist lesbian doesn't do "gay pride" and, as such, has been targetted by the likes of @vonirrwegen to be kidnapped during next year's gay pride event in Amsterdam and floated down (or up) the river (canal?) on a boat for all to see. Oh, and today is her anniversary of entrance into this world instant, so give her a shout-out, a follow, and some good old-fashioned rainbow lovin!
@MoonWillow516 -- formerly a Twoobie (that's a Twitter Noobie), #MondayMensch of a Twaddict provides a safe house for victims of domestic violence. But don't expect her tweets to be about that, although she does tweet about, and advocate on behalf of, victims of domestic violence. So welcome this Twoobie into the world of Twaddiction and perhaps you'll find a fun-loving friend for life.
@Zefrog -- this frog (that's "Frenchman" in Brit-speak) likes to get me into trouble with his tweets. He wants me to be sooooo specific when I'm anything but. A self-professed literary book-lover who is obsessed with politics (hey what's up with us LGBTQ folk being so obsessed with politics anyway?), perhaps an ex-patriot living in the United Kingdom, he writes and edits, and tries to do that for a living. His real talent, however, is in the visual arts, which can be seen through his photo stream on Flickr (which also includes some photos of pencil sketches that are, quite simply, amazing, as are his photographs).
@rowenaaine -- This self-professed straight ally of the LGBTQ community is so much of an ally and knows so much about our community and culture that I really question whether they are truly "straight" ... In fact, I think their tweets are gayer than some of the gays on here.
@blacgurlzink -- This #techtuesday lesbian owns a greeting-card startup business. So if @sayitwithecards (creator of Judaic e-greetings) isn't your schtick, check out some of the wares that this gal is totin'.
@ChrisGeidner -- This legal eagle is fascinating (to me, at least). He tweets about LGBTQ issues from a legal perspective, and even writes for a legal blog on LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ issues. Definitely someone to follow if you want to learn about the law and how it operates.

Added for 5 September 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@GayFriendly -- for all that you need to know about gay & lesbian life in the UK, this is your source.
@BwaySpeaksOUT -- Broadway activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community, from the perspective of two decidedly gay Broadway legends in the making
@RobLives4Love -- OMG what can I say about this papi chulo other than he has an enormous heart, a capacity for loving, is quite the authority on Michael Jackson, and is all the while a hottie and sexy studmuffin. Did I miss anything? If so, please do tell... and follow this megahottie already!
@BroadwayImpact -- a coalition of Broadway folk from New York City working for and promoting marriage equality.
@NtlEqMarch -- Marching on the capitol of the United States of America, demonstrating and demanding full marriage equality under the laws of this land
@aliving -- retweets some pretty awesome quotes & other tidbits
@HomoPop -- tweets about entertainment and pop culture, with a decidedly gay twist.
@HegedusEricC -- tweets from a view of the world through the eyes of a gay journalist and New Yorker (what could be more fab or newsworthy--although not all of his tweets are *NEWS*worthy...)
@DutchDivaOnline -- while this tweeter doesn't really provide a lot of original content, one can be entertained for hours at a time (as I have been) just reading his interactions with others throughout the twitterverse.
@xydexx -- this is my Unca Uni, the person responsible for getting me to realize (and accept) who I am, and that there are gay folk in the world and, well, it's ok (and can be lots of fun) to be gay. Oh, and he likes to squeak, especially if you tug higs ponytail.... ;) I wouldn't be here without him, although if you follow him, expect a load of whacky, insane, unordinary (or extraordinary?), out-of-this-world fun and insanity. :)
@RandomButGay -- just what the name says. Do you really need further explanation?

Added for 20 September 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@SLCollindridge -- What can I say about this bloke who lives in the self-proclaimed "Gayest terrace in the World"? He gives great Twitter, so of course you should be following him!
@thelinster -- We all know about http://www.afterellen.com/ right? Well, this twitterer works for them, so they're good tweeple to follow!
@eddieizzard -- This bloke is a "professional transvestite." If you don't know what that means, then you should follow this comedic genius!
@afterellen -- The official Twitter account for http://www.afterellen.com/
@pianogeek -- a truly wonderful soul and spirit who moves through the world of music with the grace of Vladimir Horowitz (who knows, he could be the next Vladimir Horowitz), he sometimes finds the isolation and loneliness of being a single gay guy to be a bit overwhelming. So follow him and send him lots of love, hugs, and pugs (did I just say that?).

Added for 27 September 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@NYerNina -- thought not an LGBTQ person, all LGBTQ tweeple should follow her because she is New York Fabulous! Not to mention, she's a true Tweepal who introduced me to the lovely portmanteau of "Tweepal." We need to bring her home to New York, so follow and tweet her to get her back home!

Added for 11 October 2009 #samesexsunday recommendations:

Today, 11 October 2009, is National Coming Out Day. How did you come out to people today?

I love this couple who were showing their sign (literally) of support at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C. today (if you can't tell from the photograph, they're an interracial couple holding a sign that reads, "Our marriage was once illegal, too!"--how fab are they & if they're reading this or someone who knows them reads this, thank you so much for your support and understanding of what's at stake!):

(photo credit: @mickjddc)

@rodmccullom -- he's one of those pop culture divas, gym buffs, and LGBTQ activist. Look to him for the latest on pop culture news, serious news, and LGBTQ news. Maybe just news?
@dagolion -- follow the trials and tribulations of a hard-working lesbian who's trying to save the world. (What's better is that she's just like me -- can't save herself but trying to save the world/others!)
@rainbowznstarz -- her tweets are filled with passion about life, love, community, and family. What more could you ask out of a twerson?

Added for 7 February 2010 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@Way2Blue4You -- he has a heart filled with platinum and diamonds, and has become one of my best TweePALs in the Twitterverse, as well as in the world-at-large, too (IRL, that is). He's totally worthy of all the love in the world, universe, and underverse. I can't say enough good about Chase--he's been there for me in ways that others haven't and he accepts me for who I am, faults & all. He's one of those rare gems, even rarer than a diamond in the rough. I'd probably say he is as rare as Astatine. He's very special to me, and as such he should be special to you, too!
@Teeco71 -- he's a great guy, genuine, real, and a true New Yorker. He'll tell it like it is and don't piss him off or you'll be in for it. Also, he has a good sense for sniffing out fakes, liars, phonies, and frauds.
@BruceWagner -- a great tech guy who's using Free, Open-Source Software to revolutionize the way we gays use technology.
@JeffRago -- Smart, Smarmy, Sexy ... what more could one want from an out hollywood hunkalicious?
@NYerNina -- this amazing gal may not be a LGBTQ person but she is SO supportive of us that she deserves mention & follow her. Her politics are conservative but her passion and compassion are anything but and she'll stand up for the rights of us LGBTQ folk, no matter what.
@MomsOfAmerica -- another great gal who isn't an LGBTQer but who is very supportive of our rights. And she's just downright a fun person to follow, not to mention a great conversationalist!
@ChasingTao -- this bloke takes some wonderful photographs and is just a sweetheart. He's caring & compassionate, and passionate about life & people!

Added for 7 March 2010 #samesexsunday recommendations:

@RyeJar -- this absolutely gorgeous hunk of a man is such a sexy sweetie, not to mention that you'll be sticky & sweaty with his naughty euphemistic tweets!
@BengeeB -- a kid with a heart of gold who's trying to find his way in this wacky, insane world. Be warned, though, he really does enjoy sticking out his tongue ....
@SoulKirk -- here's yet another inspiring artist with a heart of gold. He doesn't limit himself to just one medium in his artistry; rather, he tries them all out!
@Open_Ministry -- for those of you who are hell-bent on being religious, this tweeter is one of the more supportive of those religious types, even allowing you to become ordained as a minister in their ministry!
@Tsela -- a wonderful international beep who enjoys tweeting about linguistics, science, software, games, art, films, books, politics, and just about everything and anything -- and he can definitely hold his own during a twittersation.
@JoshMPlant -- even though he is scared to set foot outside of New York City's limits, he's quite a funny bloke, so if you need some laughter & love in your life, give this fellow a follow!
@bniemic -- Bob is another one of those gay-agenda-pushing queers (but in a very polite fashion, mind you), so if you like your daily dose of gay news in 140 characters or less, follow him!
@jimmyerickson -- one of those suit&tie gay biz types who enjoys political discourse, volunteerism, and inspirational love.
@LipstickLesNYC -- she just may very well be the lesbian version of "Sex & the City" -- what a great, wonderful New Yorker who tweets about the trials & tribulations of living a single gal's life in the Big Apple.
@BronxBeBe -- a fiesty divalicious dyke who's fighting her way through disability, discrimination, and dishin out a daily dose of loving & activism. Do NOT mess with this mamita or she WILL bite your head off (all out of love, of course!).
@isardasorensen -- Inga is another wonderful New Yorker who's married to her lovely wife. She loves tweeting breathtaking photos of wonderful sites from New York City, especially of Central Park, over which she & her blushing bride live. But more than that, Inga is doing the down & out dirty work of advocating for our rights as LGBTQ folk to be treated the same as everyone else. Definitely worth a follow!

And because no #samesexsunday list would be complete without a self-serving plug,
@NiteStar -- well, what sort of list would this be if I didn't give a plug for myself? ;-D

So who do you recommend I follow on Twitter.com? Send me a tweep @NiteStar or leave a comment here to this post!

If you're not sure just what Twitter is, then
be sure to check out this post on Gather.com

Please note: any comments I have deleted were SPAM, mostly for porn sites.

27 June 2009

25 June 2009

RUMOR: New York State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer Offends PFLAG Mom

So I heard a rumor the other day, from a fairly reliable source:

New York State's Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), who has been in the same office since 1984, and who is supposed to be a friend and supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, recently told off a PFLAG (that's Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians And Gays) mother. Quoth she,

YOU PEOPLE need to take care of this!

Now just what "this"refers to, my memory is unclear. So perhaps those who are closer to the source know more about what this is all about, and why this supposed friend of the LGBT community is (a) referring to us as "YOU PEOPLE" and (b) telling us to take care of a problem when one of her constituents came to her for assistance?

I searched high and low on the web and couldn't find mention of this; however, I am 100% certain of the reliability and veracity of my source. Thus, perhaps some of the people in the Westchester County PFLAG chapter who know about this can speak up and provide more details about this incident?

More and more these days, the LGBT community is finding out that its supposed "friends" are anything but....

21 June 2009

Remembering Neda, Taking Action

I just posted this video on Gather, that made my heart stop.

I've been crying off and on since viewing it. My emotions are all jumbled, raging from terror, horror, sadness, grief, anger ... they're all over the place!

I was raised with the understanding that the United States has been the defender of liberty, freedom, and Democracy around the world. The War of 1812. The Spanish American War. World War I. World War II. The Korean War. The Vietnam War. Desert Storm (for the liberation of Kuwait). The War on Terrorism (Iraq). And perhaps most importantly, the American Revolution.

Until seeing this video, I did little to lend my support to the Iranian people. I changed the colour of my icon on Twitter to green to show my support of them, but that's about it.

Now that I've seen what's really happening over there, I am outraged, and feel guilty.

Obama's remark that "the world is watching" is just not enough. In response to that, I submit these quotations:

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialist and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” ~~the Reverend Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller(see also his Wikipedia page)

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." or, as more commonly mis-attributed to him, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~~Edmund Burke

Who will speak out for the Iranian people--who want nothing more than basic freedoms to choose, to live, to be free--if not us? And why are we all standing around doing nothing?

Oh, and if you really want the best source of news on what's going on in Iran, you need to turn to Twitter. Even CNN is using Twitter as their primary (and sometimes SOLE) source of information. Social media is exposing the huge flaws in American media (cable, network, and print news) and is finally giving people access to raw, unbiased information.

UPDATE: Her complete name is Neda Soltani

08 June 2009

Responsibility of Advertising in Infomercials

So I was watching television while on the computer and the television show that I was watching ended. As I was in the middle of something, an infomercial started playing. At the very beginning of the infomercial, the following message was displayed and read aloud by an announcer:

"The following program is a paid advertisement. [] network is not responsible for the claims made during this show."

So this leaves me thinking, why does the network make such a disclosure for infomercials but not for regular commercials? I mean, both are forms of advertising, aren't they?

If the network only provides this disclosure for infomericals, does that mean then that they are responsible and can be held accountable for the claims made in regular, traditional commercials (e.g. those that air during a television program/show that last for one minute or less)?

I tried poking around the web and couldn't really find any answers. So I'm curious, does anybody know?

05 June 2009

My #followfriday recommendations on Twitter

Today is #followfriday on Twitter. In a nutshell, this is the day when Twitter users recommend others to follow. As @Mashable puts it,
"The idea is to think of interesting people you already follow and recommend them to others. "
My list has grown a bit, so instead of tweeting it, I'm going to tweet this post, and then link to the people I recommend on here. I can also add comments about users here, as well, as that pesky 140-character limit won't get in the way.

All of the following Twitter users are people I recommend because they're personable, knowledgeable, helpful, insightful, and good folk. Send them an @ (a directed message on Twitter) and you'll most likely get a response. Additionally, I've also tagged certain people with other twitter hashtags, to denote whether they're, say, a #women2follow, a #mondaymensch, or a #samesexsunday individual. You may also see some people tagged as #techtuesday -- this is I have started and explain in this blog posting. Some mates are all of the above, or some of the above. But they're all at least a #followfriday!

Finally, more often than not, this list will be updated every Friday with more recommendations of people I've found on Twitter to be worthy of following. :)

So here is my #followfriday list:

The originals, dated 5 June 2009:

@allaboutenergy -- she's very positive and sends out lots of good vibes. Definitely a #women2follow and #mondaymensch
@marcthom -- just a great guy down under. A #mondaymensch #samesexsunday and #techtuesday mate as well.
@twithug -- a great way to send out some twitter love.
@jerb -- cute as a button who provides funny social commentary. Totally #samesexsunday him as well.
@ellifordyce -- an awesome gal who's reinventing herself for the third time, in her 70s. And what a voice she has! Absolutely a #women2follow and a #mondaymensch
@rockingjude -- straight-shooter, no-nonsense, grab'm by the bollocks advice giver. #women2follow as well.
@vonirrwegen -- just a beautiful person, inside & out. Top #samesexsunday person and a #mondaymensch as well.
@frugalcouponmom -- great advice on frugal living #women2follow
@MathieuB -- great computer cost-cutting tips. Awesome #techtuesday guy and a #mondaymensch as well.
@mattskal -- web 2.0/3.0 genius, social networker extraordinaire (that's a social networking socialite or SNS) and awesome #samesexsunday #techtuesday dude.
@cligs -- IMHO the best URL-shortening service #techtuesday
@kurtismarsh -- this guy likes to RT interesting stuff
@HollywoodConsul -- non-profit advocate, lover of life. A #women2follow and #mondaymensch
@MarquitaThomas -- because I get good tips on how to better organize/plan just from reading her tweets. She's a great #women2follow #samesexsunday no-holds-barred diva!
@DanielJUK -- he's just a huge sweetheart! Definitely #samesexsunday this #mondaymensch.
@EleART -- she's got a terrific eye for all things aesthetically beautiful. Total #women2follow
@vabchmo -- it's just interesting to follow someone's life's journeys, and this one is a bit more interesting than most.
@ericabiz -- everybody needs a good business coach, and she's better than most on Twitter. She's a prime #women2follow.
@rogerbauer -- a helpful marketer.
@BJMendelson -- he's fighting for a very worthy cause. Also a #mondaymensch
@Disaboom -- for those of us who suffer live with a disability(ies)
@LanceUlanoff -- awesome, knowledgeable technology enthusiast so #techtuesday him, too!
@phonescooper -- he's your go-to guy for all things mobile. Definitely #techtuesday him.
@coffeewithian -- I grew up with him but aside from that, he can be quite helpful in establishing/expanding your on-line presence. Oh, and he likes coffee. A #mondaymensch, too!

Added for 19 June 2009 #followfriday:

@sayitwithecards -- Always something bright and cheery to say, or cute and quippy. Anyway, if you need to send an e-card, then you should be speaking to her. Also a #mondaymensch -- perhaps the original #mondaymensch. She's also a #women2follow, too.
@DorianDavis -- he's one of those non-celeb celebs. You know the type. I think he's a #samesexsunday hottie as well....
@StevenBlue -- for some poetic justice and words that will melt your heart, you should follow and #samesexsunday him as well!
@TreeBanker -- because we could all use a little more green in our lives
@TheCuriousMind -- because curiosity is (usually) a good thing, even if it killed the cat....
@Tina_cious -- I went to school with this divamommy who is just as fierce as she is sweet (and slezzy (which is sleazy+lezzy combined ;) ) ) #samesexsunday this diva.
@FearCake -- Contrary to his name, he LOVES cake (which is a beautiful thing). Great tech advice, and an all-around nice guy. Too bad he's not single, though. :( #samesexsunday him as well!

Added for 26 June 2009 #followfriday:

@RobMcNealy -- a font of great, useful information and ideas, great communicator, and all-around nice guy
@maxime68 -- A wonderful gal who asks intriguing questions, considers opinions/input of others, and presents a global view of the world. Great #samesexsunday and #women2follow power Twitter, too!
@WhiteHeron_MI -- a truly interesting and inspiring individual who is intelligent, compassionate, and caring. Also a #samesexsunday bloke.
@Jason_Pollock -- awesome links, creative, wonderful energy, extremely engaging, and a wonderful #mondaymensch
@tedoe -- inspiring, supportive, full of great ideas, and a kick-ass web designer so if you're in the market for a web designer, tweet her up! Another great #samesexsunday, #women2follow, and #mondaymensch recommendation.
@SMM353 -- A true New Yorker, with all that that entails. Total #samesexsunday hottie. I'd love to spend some time at the Met (museum) with him, and a stroll through Central Park, winding up at Cafe Lalo for a nice amaretto hot chocolate!
@RODRIGDB -- He loves to talk politics. He wants to move to New York City. He likes to have fun, and he cares about folks. #samesexsunday him, too!

Added for 3 July 2009 #followfriday:

@JesseNewhart - An artist and social networking wonder who provides great, useful, and interesting links not just for on-line and technology but science and life in general. He's also a #mondaymensch.
@TechCrunch -- for breaking news on the technology front, this is a great source of information. Don't expect a follow-back; however, @ messages will usually get a response. A fantastic #techtuesday source of information.
@lisahanockjasie -- an opinionated New Yorker with great ideas who loves to write and communicate with others. Also provides interesting news tidbits. A #women2follow gal, as well.
@anxietydepress -- I suffer from Depression and Anxiety, and this person just provides great messages and helpful hints on dealing with these two crippling illnesses. A wonderful #mondaymensch!
@urgentagenda -- for a critical analysis of government from the conservative side, take a look at this chap who provides intelligent and insightful commentary without a lot of the rhetoric that the far-right espouses.

Added for 17 July 2009 #followfriday (as well as for 10 July 2009, when I was unable to update this posting due to being disconnected from the grid):

@RightsOdyssey -- because they're redefining a civil rights movement for the 21st century. Definitely #samesexsunday them as well!
@JimmyErickson -- this man's journeys are just plain old interesting. It's like reading a book, in Twitter format, of course! Pretty sure he's one of those #samesexsunday folk, too.
@mcm180 -- this smart, intelligent, mad-sexy #samesexsunday papichulo tweets out quips of witticism from his blackberry-addicted fingers. His insightful tweets have often left me pondering things. Plus, I did mention that he's mad-sexy, right? Oh, but more importantly, this #mondaymensch has a heart of 24-carat gold!
@LawyerMama -- this attorney takes some awesome photographs, writes well, is politically-active and concerned, and reminds me of Susan Dey's character on L.A. Law, Grace Van Owen.
@AmyPaulin -- this politics-as-unusual powerhouse of a woman has a caring, compassionate heart who cares about her constituents. She's honest, and she gets things done. This #mondaymensch is definitely not your typical politico. She supports full equality for all and as such is a #samesexsunday #straightally. Amy is a #women2follow because, although elected as a politician to a political position (New York State Legislature), she is in reality a public servant who deserves to remain in the service of the public.
@NewYorkology -- if you're ever at a loss for something to do in New York (City), then look up this twerson for taking a great big fantastic, fun-filled fabulous bite out of The Big Apple.
@HottestTea -- I'm a tea lover, and if you're a tea lover, too, you'll follow this tea-rrific person for great tweets about tea recipes, facts, and trivia.
@TristanRose -- this #samesexsunday twerson has nothing ordinary about her. A rapper who nurses, this enigmatic lesbian causes mayhem and confusion wherever she goes. Just try to figure her out--I dare ya!
@strt_notnarrow -- I'm the first to admit that religion no longer has a place in my life; I'm spiritual, not religious. But there are those who have a need for religion. And for those folks, I'd have to recommend this #mondaymensch.
@BBCClick -- if you've known me for long, then you'll know what a fan I am of the BBC. This Twitter account provides tweets from their hit #techtuesday show, Click.
@SissyHickey -- she, along with her cast of misfits in this groundbreaking television programme, Sordid Lives--the series, comprised of @Sissy Hickey, @The Brother Boy, @Next Door Noleta, @Peggy Ingram, @Juanita Bartlett, @Ty Williamson WH, @Latrelle Williamson, @Lavonda Dupree, @Bitsy Mae, @Dr. Eve Bollinger, and @Wardell Owens, is just about the funniest thing out of American television to come along since The Golden Girls, with the wit, intelligence, and drama right up there, too. It's just a terrible sham that their creator couldn't find funding to continue the series after the eight short episodes that aired on @logochannel. So check out the rest of this comic troupe.
@RedCross -- they provide great tips on making sure that you're prepared in the event of an emergency or (worse yet) a disaster, and they also provide information on their own disaster-relief efforts around the globe.
@NGblog -- I just can't figure this person out but their tweets have me captivated, so follow this #samesexsunday #techtuesday #mondaymensch!
@PushyBroad -- if you need a publicist, or a journalist, then this is the #samesexsunday #women2follow chick for you!
@DunkinDonuts -- because they are, hands-down, the best.
@FreebiesGalore -- these days, everybody could use a little free in their life, and this twerson definitely delivers on that premise!
If you feel that you should be on my #followfriday recommendations list, then send me an @ message or a DM, and tell me why. Or, leave a comment, below!
@TweetOpenSource -- this #techtuesday is a great source for all things that are open-source. FOSS (Free, Open-Source Software) is provided free of charge, along with the source code, so anyone with the correct programming knowledge can look at and modify the program to their liking--perhaps even redistributing it (depending on the terms of the licensing).

Added for 24 July 2009 #followfriday:

@ShellyRunyon -- her tweets make me laugh, and think. Sometimes, they even make me do both at the same time. So follow this #women2follow for a dish of delightful energy served up strong as succotash.
@Keithdriscoll -- This #techtuesday bloke provides great commentary on today's technology and is a fountain of knowledge of many things tech. Ask him a question and he'll provide an answer--even if that answer is that he doesn't know (which, let's face it, many folks nowadays are too proud or whatever to admit to; it's refreshing to find someone honest in the world, isn't it?)
@GoldenGirlsFans -- The Golden Girls is, IMHO, the best television that America has produced within the past half-century. So follow this tweeter, who tweets quips, quotes, and showtimes of this fantastically terrific show.
@Creporter -- she's a journalist for @consumerreports (who you should also follow), this #women2follow #mondaymensch is constantly researching products and looking out for the consumer, highlighting both the bad and good that companies do. A true champion in the world of justice.
@TRAVhodges -- this #samesexsunday cutie is out there fighting the good fight while tweeting about the wonders of NYC from the eyes of a visitor. It's refreshingly delicious!
@1txsage1957 -- this #samesexsunday #women2follow disabled activist takes a no-holds-barred attitude in her tweets and writings. While definitely slanted to the left, most of what she has to say has truth, and venom. And her tweets range the gamut of the rainbow in terms of subject matter. Another fountain of knowledge in the twitterverse!
@WomensLaw -- this #women2follow #mondaymensch provides legal support to victims of domestic (and perhaps other forms of) abuse throughout the United States of America. They should get in touch with @AmyPaulin, another champion of the abused victim.
@StopChronicPain -- this couple tweet about their live and business, and the ways in which they've found to alleviate chronic pain via natural remedies. They're just interesting folks, and definitely a #mondaymensch.
@Disability -- Rudy is a person who happens to have a disability. And as such, he likes to help others who have disabilities, so he's become a disability advocate. He tries to find resources, help, support, and what not for persons with disabilities, and also provides great energy and supportive tweets for those of us suffering with one or more disabilities. A true #mondaymensch!
@Brokers4Charity -- this is perhaps a great example of capitalism and volunteerism. These folks network with real estate brokers around the United States and donate a portion of their profits to charitable causes who are registered with them. What an awesome and great way to conduct business. Definitely a #mondaymensch.
@Disaboomjobs -- this tweeter helps persons living with disabilities (all kinds) find employment, jobs, gigs--you know, something in addition to their disability income. Another great #mondaymensch
Sorry the list is so short for this week but I've been dealing with a personal/family crisis.

Added for 14 August 2009 #followfriday:

@CafeLalo -- one of the best -- if not the best -- places to go for a cup of tea (or coffee if you choose) and something sweet after the theatre, movie, or dinner. I first discovered what is now one of my favourite drinks there: an amaretto hot chocolate (served with a slice of chocolate swirl cheesecake, can we say yummmmmm?).
@RU_Green -- this twitter user tweets about living green, providing great tips and resources on how to maximize one's eco-friendliness in daily life.
@SandraBernhard -- this stand-up comedienne / actress extraordinaire is just flat-out funny. She's pushy, punchy, and delivers a robust cornucopia of laughs. Follow this #women2follow to put a little bit of fun in your day.
@ContactAFamily -- this #mondaymensch of an organisation provides services for families that have children with disabilities. Their tweets are full of support, advice, information, comfort, and general goodness.
@LoriMoreno -- she has great, positive energy whilst tweeting about her experiences globe-hopping.
@BibicCharity -- another #mondaymensch of an organisation, this group provides assistance to families with children who suffer from developmental disabilities
@ChasingTao -- this #samesexsunday photographer has wonderful, positive energy, beautiful photographs, interesting tweets that make you think or are filled with support, and is a great advocate for the well-being of all humankind.
@zefrog -- a wonderful #samesexsunday bloke, this twerson walks to the beat of a different drum. He loves books, reading, politics, and interacting with folks. He also take astounding pictures (which can be viewed on his flickr account), and is a true artiste!
@OfficialKathyG -- I don't know if this is really the official Twitter account of Kathy Griffin (if it is, please verify yourself!!!) but if you don't know who Kathy Griffin is, then you must get to know this comedic genius. A self-professed D-list hollywood starlet, this diva dishes the dish and tells it all, just as it is. No spin zone or hollywood fluff here! UPDATE: I have determined that this is, in fact, the real Kathy Griffin Twitter account--yay! Now bitch, verify yourself so we don't gotta research the hell outta ya!
@NYerNina -- this former New Yorker (now Londoner) is one of those Renaissance types: vocalist, actress, designer, fashionista, mother, globe-trekker, etc. A really wonderful and interesting #women2follow!
@CyberThoughts -- a wonderful twerson who provides insightful and educational tweets, this #techtuesday #women2follow loves life and loves sharing and spreading all of the love and joy that's filled in her love.

Added for 21 August 2009 #followfriday:

@itstartswithus -- he's working on a secret project in order to improve the world, and building a network of folks who radiate positive and supportive energy, which is just what he sends out. Follow this #mondaymensch!
@bbcnews -- IMHO the best source for news in the English language as compared to any other news agency around the globe. They focus more on factual news reporting, keeping bias to an absolute minimum, and for that, they are the ONE and ONLY source of news I'll turn to when I'm emotionally able to deal with what's going on in the world today.
@BwaySpeaksOUT -- this #samesexsunday Broadway lover tweets all about the goings-on of Broadway, as well as what and how Broadway is doing to support the LGBT community, which we all know really runs the show and drives the continued success of this New York entertainment institution.
@JBFeelBetter -- this tweeter tweets about coping with depression and anxiety from his own personal perspective, as well as how he views the world and how these particular mental illnesses can affect one's perspective and viwes. An interesting bloke for certain!
@ThailandOnline -- this tweeter takes some of the most interesting goings-on in Thailand (that country that used to be known as Siam) and tweets about them. If you like to learn about different cultures, and also learn a little about one of the countries to which my ancestral roots stretch into, then follow this twerson!

Added for 25 September 2009 #followfriday:

@JanaeJ -- this #women2follow is a real estate broker involved with the wonderful concept of @brokers4charity. She donates a portion of her income received from her work as a real estate broker to various 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable organizations. And she gives great tweets on the real estate market as well. Follow this #mondaymensch!
@blacgurlzink -- this #samesexsunday #women2follow created her own business doing greeting cards. Like @sayitwithecards and @allaboutenergy, she is a #mondaymensch who enjoys helping others and provides great energy.
@GlobalGiving -- the purpose of Global Giving is to connect donors with community-based projects in need of support. Their tweet stream offers a way for folks with money to network with non-profit projects in need of money, as well as provide general support to the twitterverse on how to chane the world to make it a better place. Quite a #mondaymensch they are!
@ProjectLaundry -- working to make air-drying laundry (ala clothesline in your back yard) socially acceptable as an eco-friendly way to dry clothes.
@CitizenTube -- Citizentube follows news, politics, and social change on YouTube.
@earthoutreach -- Google Earth Outreach . You want to change the world, they want to help.
@Ecochickie -- Founder & Editor of Eco Chick, this twerson tweets about ways to green up the planet via daily activities. Also a #women2follow writer for the Huffington Post.
@justfreestuff -- Everybody could use a little bit of free in their lives now and then and this Twitterer certainly serves up more than their fair share!
@russpalmer -- this Twitterer is a social media guru who makes you think about the world. Quite an interesting bloke to follow, for sure!
@freebiequeenbee -- Follow this #women2follow, who is the self-proclaimed Queen of Everything Free (find out about the latest web sites that offer up free deals, samples, coupons, etc.)
@DeborahSerani -- a Psychologist who tweets about mental health issues, raising the awareness of this invisible illness and disease. She is a #mondaymensch of a #women2follow who also is an author and professor of psychology.
@History_Daily -- You know the History Channel and their great and wonderful educational programs? Well, this is their Twitter Account, providing lessons and information in 140 characters or less. How fab is that?

Added for 23 October 2009 #followfriday -- local & Re-FF'd edition:

I know I haven't been adding folks on a weekly basis but I've been pretty busy with things. So my first recommendation for today's #followfriday is going to be for @courtesycarsvc -- which is a company I'm going to be co-owning and running. So here's my list for my new recommendations of folks to follow. And just remember that everyone listed above should be followed as well! Since I've been working more on this business than anything over the past month, most of my tweets will be local folks -- but they're worthy of being followed no matter where in the world you are, as they're all great tweeple!

@courtesycarsvc -- I'm going to be an owner of this car service company (think upscale taxi, black car service, etc.). We provide local, long distance, and airport service throughout the New York Metropolitan region. We're based out of Yonkers but if you're can pay the fare, we'll pick you up from anywhere and bring you to your choice of destination. We're probably the first car service company in the region to be utilizing social networking in our business. Be sure to become a fan on Facebook, and stay tuned for tweets/updates of special discounts, offers, etc. Let us know if you have a large number of employees or members in your organization based in or near Yonkers, and we could discuss a group discount....
@givesmehope -- this is a #mondaymensch of a great web site which is basically the opposite of FML (F*** My Life) -- it's a web site where people write about great stories of inspiration that give them (and others) hope. Users vote on their favourites, which then get published on the site.
@HomeStyling101 -- this awesome #women2follow, #mondaymensch, wife, and mother of two children is running her own business, providing clients with great advice on decorating, renovating, and greening up their homes (one would think
Look to her for some great tips on how to live a greener life and how to get the most out of your redecorating/renovating budget!
@MichellePerrone -- this great lady provides tips on how to live a healthier, longer life. What great energy she has.
@AllAboutEnergy -- OK, she's already listed above but since she lives in the area, she deserves to be listed twice. This wonderful tweepal just provides lots of support to those in needs, and just gives off great, wonderful, healing, loving energy in general. A definite tweepal!
@NYerNina -- another re-list, because this Diva who's originally from New York needs to find her way back home. So tweet up this wonderful Tweepal and help her find her way back to New York!
@RockingJude -- y'know, this truly terrific Tweepal has ~70k+ followers and yet, she takes the time out to read my tweets. I know this b/c she's re-tweeted some of my tweets that I didn't tell her about. I can't promise, or even imagine, that she'll do this for everyone but because of this, who she is, and what she does to try to change the world for the better, she deserves a second mention.
@vonIrrwegen -- perhaps the closets tweepal/friend I've made through Twitter, just interacting with him fills me with such joy, knowledge, and life. He's a truly wonderful person who truly loves all that Twitter -- and the world -- have to offer.
@NYPhilanthropy -- this should be pretty self-evident but we all should know what some of the greatest and kindest souls on this planet are doing in silence to better the world. There are those who effect change through being outspoken (like @RockingJude) and then there are those who just pour money into wonderful organizations that help make this world a better place in which to live (like @NYPhilanthropy).
@RE_law -- A real estate lawyer who provides tweets to articles explaining, in plain English, things that people should know about real estate, financing, home buying, home ownership, etc. Another #mondaymensch of a guy -- lawyers providing information to educate consumers for free -- who knew?
@TeamWBC -- A great organization that strives to connect business owners with other business owners in the region. Basically, it's social networking, old-school style!
@LoHud -- if you want to know what's going on in the lower Hudson Valley region of New York State (where I live), then this is your premiere source.
@FoundInYonkers -- a great source to find out what's going on of interest in Yonkers and throughout Westchester County in general. Great tips on free (and not so free) events in the region!
@TheMaXiMiZer -- this is the person I'm going to be turning to for lots of help as I dive into @QuickBooks and begin learning its ins & outs; she really seems to know her QuickBooks stuff!
@NetworkPlus -- like @TeamWBC, this is another old-school networking organization that's taken to the social websphere to help grow its ranks.
@EverythingLuLu -- I wonder if they are in affiliation with and/or have anything to do with @CafeLalo in New York City's Upper West Side; their confectionery creations are scintillatingly scrumptious and deliriously delightful just to look at (I can feel the drool running down my face now gazing at their goodies!).
@WestchesterLife -- A different, interesting take on living the life in Westchester County, New York State.
@Westchesterprnt -- not Westchester Print (like I had originally thought) but instead it's the Twitter account for Westchester Parent Magazine, the premiere source for parents raising their children in Westchester County. If you're raising kids in Westchester County -- whether they be your own or someone else's -- then you should definitely check this twerson out!
@BurkesBar -- a great pub located in Yonkers, New York that serves up some awesome food with some sassy drinks. If you're in the mood for great atmosphere, food, drinks, and good times, then check this place out!
@ElliFordyce -- This #mondaymensch of a @women2follow who moved to Yonkers around the same time I did (around a year ago) is an amazing lady in the truest sense of the word; she's a gal in her 70s who's recently launched her THIRD career -- being a jazz vocalist. And let me tell you something, this jazz baby (Thoroughly Modern Millie reference implanted here by subliminal messaging) knows how to belt it out and simultaneously soothe the soul!
@west_travel -- If you're traveling to, from, or within Westchester County, look to this twerson for some great tips, tricks, advice, and treats!
@Doralarrowwood -- did you know that there are resorts located within Westchester County? Doral Arrowwood happens to be one such place, where you can go to relax and just get away from it all, whether it be for a game of golf, a day at the spa, some fine wining & dining, or perhaps a night in one of their luxurious rooms. Take it from me -- I've spent a few nights there (when I had the $$$ to do so) when I just needed a break; it's paradise in Westchester!
@westsportstalk -- If you're a sports fan, this is the twerson to follow for all of the sports talk you could possibly want within Westchester County and the region.
@MSPNY -- a wonderful #mondaymensch, My Sister's Place has been providing assistance to victims of domestic violence in the county for decades.
@AmyPaulin -- a #mondaymensch and #women2follow who is a champion of victims' rights, especially those who are victims of domestic violence. Amy is one of those rare breeds: a non-politician politician. She does what it takes and works with whomever she must in order to get the job done; a true public servant -- much like Sandy Annabi from Yonkers (but I can't find a Twitter account for her!)
@drbard101 -- billing himself as a high-tech dentist who really cares, I'm in need of some dental work. If I can work out a payment arrangement with him and my insurance folks, I'll let you know how it goes. But for now, look to him for some interesting opinions re: the wacky world of medicine!
@wildthymes -- I haven't sampled their fares yet but this sounds like some really great, wholesome, an tasty food!
@darcangeloCPAs -- If you're in need of a full-service accounting firm in the region and QuicBooks just can't get the job done for you, give these good folk a look-see and they should be able to fulfill your needs.
@WestchesterBiz -- a special interest group devoted to helping Westchester County businesses grown, learn, expand, and help each other out.
@jjmannions -- a "Byrne and Hanrahan establishment" -- apparently a new Irish eatery in Yonkers. I'm going to have to go there and sample their culinary fare. Hey guys, how about a discount?
@YonkersPartners -- Yonkers Partners in Education: partnering business with students to show not just why but how a good education pays off
@Chocolations -- OK, I admit it. Aside from the Internet and Technology, I'm also addicted to chocolate. That's right, I'm a chocoholic, darnit! So I'm definitely going to have to make my way to Mamaroneck for some decadent desserts. Until then, I'll just salivate over their chocolatey tweets!
@Rivertownsguide -- a guide for life in the River Towns of Westchester County--those along the Hudson River. Great info, resources, and fun!
@CReporter -- a great #women2follow, she's a reporter for the venerable Consumer Reports, offering up tweets to make happy and protect the good old consumer.
@petsuperstore -- as the owner of a new Kitty (Bijou), this is a great online pet boutique discounter. Hrm, do all of those words belong in the same sentence? LOL! But seriously, for some great pet ware at totally fabulous prices, check them out!
@1039WFAS -- Westchest'er very own local music mix radio!

And because no #followfriday list would be complete without a self-serving plug,
@NiteStar -- well, what sort of list would this be if I didn't give a plug for myself? ;-D Oh, and also follow @FollowFriday, because, well, they're #followfriday! LOL!

So who do you recommend I follow on Twitter.com? Tweep me: @NiteStar!