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 on: October 05, 2007, 12:50:10 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Feral
Bristol's Lesbian & Gay Switchboard Relaunches

The Bristol Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (BLAGS) has announced recently that, following a successful recruitment drive, this essential service is now available to callers four nights a week.

Set up over 30 years ago to offer confidential support to the LGBT community as well as others with concerns about sexuality, earlier this year BLAGS was on the brink of closure. Run entirely by volunteers, BLAGS had developed into a busy service providing a vital source of support. However, the number of volunteers had declined and, at that point, there were only three people left to take calls. Running a switchboard with such a small number of volunteers was simply not sustainable; BLAGS was only open two evenings a week and there was an urgent need for new people, new ideas and new enthusiasm to revive this important community service.

"You can always argue that things have moved on," switchboard volunteer Mike Sanidas admitted. "But we still get calls from people who are distressed and lonely and need to talk to someone. Obviously you have the internet, but here people have the added value of actually speaking to someone. People find it useful to have a confidential service where they can get things off their chest."

Now, BLAGS is back. Over a dozen new volunteers came forward after a call to arms through local what's on magazine Venue and an appeal on the main page of PrideWest, and the service is now available four nights a week.


 on: October 05, 2007, 12:45:14 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Feral
Gay film festival's 25,000 prize

A film festival featuring what the organisers claim is largest ever prize for a gay and lesbian short film is opening in Cardiff.

The inaugural Iris Prize Festival will screen the 30 films shortlisted for the prize, worth 25,000, and host premieres for feature-length films.

Talks, debates, workshops and parties will also be held at Chapter Arts Centre and Cineworld.

The prize winner will be announced on the festival's last day, on Saturday.

The prize will allow the winner to make their next short film in the UK.

Here's the festival's site.

And... surprise, surprise... "Holding Trevor" is one of the entries. No doubt the other entries are good too. Alas, my unbounded enthusiasm for Jay Brannan rather skews my judgment on this point.

 on: October 04, 2007, 11:24:42 PM 
Started by vanrozenheim - Last post by vanrozenheim
Paul Varnell brings a silent combat against Gay literature to our attention:
Yet other books are simply listed as “missing”—meaning the library has no idea where they are. Maybe some of those books are merely lost in the library’s circulation system, but not all. What does it mean that the same titles are “missing” at several different branches of the library system? Or that both copies of a book at a particular branch library are “missing”?

There is ample reason to believe that some of these challenges are part of a coordinated effort. Several right-wing Internet sites list books they deem objectionable, books that mention homosexuality prominent among them. They thus save the potential challenger or five-fingered vigilante the trouble of actually reading the books. How else could someone erroneously think that “And Tango Makes Three” is about homosexuality?

What can any of us do to counter the efforts to ban gay-themed and other books? For one thing, simply be alert to news reports of book challenges and be prepared to speak up and offer support to the library and its mission of providing books for readers with a variety of interests.

Second, we can check out and read (and then return) a gay-themed book. Libraries live by circulation: It is proof that they are doing their job. Caldwell-Stone points out that one of the ways librarians can justify retaining a book is that the book is popular—that there is a clear patron constituency for the book. Don’t be reluctant to check out young adult books. Many are well written and have intriguing plots. And the children’s picture books are usually clever and, well, cute.

Third, we can issue our own challenges—not to ban a book we might not like (that would make us as bad as the homophobes) but a “challenge” or request for the library to acquire a gay book or two that it does not currently have. Or challenge it to replace a book that has been missing for a long time. Libraries—at least in Chicago—don’t seem to keep a list of the books that are missing or were taken out and never returned. So if you notice one, ask for it to be replaced.

I can think of no better response to homophobic vigilantes than to assure them that the library will replace each and every book they steal or check out and never return—thus frustrating their efforts. If a book was good enough to buy in the first place, it should be good enough to replace.

I should add that Gay public libraries owned by Gay community centers are in my opinion the ultimate answer to such challenges, at least in cities with larger Gay communities.

 on: October 04, 2007, 12:38:02 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Feral
Eric and Todd Dammann

and let's not forget the videos.

 on: October 03, 2007, 06:45:12 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Feral
Cool. I'll have to try to find that one (next time I feel up to sci-fi).

 on: October 03, 2007, 05:17:37 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Rain
Nope.  That wasn't the one.  This was before Picard, Sisko, or Janeway came along.  Kirk was still in charge and they were visiting a planet where homosexuality was the norm, rather than the exception.

 on: October 03, 2007, 04:01:55 AM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Feral
Might it have been Section 31: Rogue?

 on: October 02, 2007, 02:45:42 PM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Rain
Gays play football?  Who knew!

 on: October 02, 2007, 02:45:09 PM 
Started by Feral - Last post by Rain
Many moons ago when I was still a closeted prepubscent, I used to read the Star Trek books.  There was one in particular that caught my attention...it had a gay storyline.  I don't remember the name, having given away all those books a long time ago.  But, Geez Louise, that book made me feel good about the future of the homosexual race...ha ha ha ha. 

 on: October 01, 2007, 11:18:26 PM 
Started by Feral - Last post by vanrozenheim
And, for those who yet didn't know, there is a nice fanfic adoption of Star Trek called Hidden Frontiers. Now they have also a version with subtitles, which is very helpfull for people who have difficulties with understanding spoken English.

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