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September 14, 2016

The down-low lingo

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Join us this Friday 9/16/2016 at 8:30pm in The DC Center for this week’s discussion topic: “The down-low lingo”

The times are a’changing and more people are coming out as LGBTQI, and way earlier in life, than ever before in the US.  The option for openness hasn’t always been the case here; historically being out was a veritable death sentence and this is still true in certain parts of the world today.   Given the need for discretion, how do we / have we communicated to each other “on the down low”?

  Is the “three taps in the stall” code that outed former Senator Larry Craig (R. Idaho) still a way to get the message across?  (If you don’t know what this is check out this article, also listed below.)  What about the old color and pocket signals from the hanky code?  (Fashion accessories as codes, detailed in this article .)   These and other nonverbal methods have generally been used for cruising, which apparently is not dead according to this 2016 article.        

But we have modern tech now to help us avoid awkward stall taping, shady park meet ups, and color clashing handkerchiefs.  Even anti-gays like casual encounter seekers at the 2016 Republican National Convention can use Craigslist (article here) instead of these other methods.  We’re good now, right?  Well, if we take the 2014 app flaw that outed gays in Iran and worldwide (article here), the Daily Beast’s recent scandal of a reporter actively using Grindr to out closeted Olympians (article found here and below), new software developed by Kyoto tech researchers pinpointing folks within feet regardless of app or location setting (article here), and even a murderer in Pakistan luring men to their deaths from a Facebook group (article here) the jury is undecided on if tech beats taps.  How does current technology complicate or convenience things when compared to other methods used in previous generations?  Of course, one could always take those handkerchiefs and your phone for a nice walk in the park to be very thorough.

Let’s dish about this and more on Friday September 16th at The DC Center!

Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves building at 2000 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009. Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact the DC Center at (202) 682-2245.


Related articles: 

  • What Is Larry Craig Doing Now? The Scandal And Its Aftereffects Were Hard To Shake. http://www.bustle.com/articles/73548-what-is-larry-craig-doing-now-the-scandal-and-its-aftereffects-were-hard-to-shake
  • The Hanky Codes.  http://www.thetwilightguard.org/tg_hanky.html
  • Cruising Isn’t Dead—If You Know Where to Look.  https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/cruising-isnt-deadif-you-know-where-to-look
  • Republican Convention 2016 Attendees Are Searching for Hot Gay Sex on Craigslist.  https://mic.com/articles/149150/republican-convention-2016-attendees-are-searching-for-hot-gay-sex-on-craigslist#.YK4MfHR8M
  • Grindr smartphone app outs exact location of gays across Iran.   http://americablog.com/2014/08/grindr-smartphone-app-outs-exact-location-gays-across-iran.html
  • This Daily Beast Grindr Stunt Is Sleazy, Dangerous, and Wildly Unethical.  http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2016/08/11/the_daily_beast_s_olympics_grindr_stunt_is_dangerous_and_unethical.html
  • Gay Dating Apps Promise Privacy, But Leak Your Exact Location.  https://www.wired.com/2016/05/grindr-promises-privacy-still-leaks-exact-location/
  • Exclusive: The Deadly Dangers of Gay Dating Apps in Pakistan.   http://www.out.com/news-opinion/2016/6/08/exclusive-deadly-dangers-gay-dating-apps-pakistan

06/17/2016: “Reverence, Respect, Resolution – Truth in Light of Tragedy”

 

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Come join us for our  third Friday discussion, 8:30pm at The DC Center.  As we write this late Tuesday night, we are still reeling from the attack in Orlando.  We are saddened, hurt, disgusted, and yes, a bit fearful.  By this Friday, we will have attended a discussion/meeting/vigil produced by the DC Center at Foundry United Methodist, and we’ll see where our emotional state goes from there. 

 
But Friday will be a time to voice our anger, reminisce about our first or most memorable gay bar experience, mourn for the victims, and press on to make a better future. This will be a time to come together as a community to share our feelings (whatever they may be) in a SAFE space with no judgement…only support. Our facilitators, Michael, Joe and Justin will help guide the conversation with tact, respect, and sensitivity. We hope that you will join us in this time of healing and reflection. We are a strong community and while several voices were silenced ours will be heard. 
 
Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves building at 2000 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009.  Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact the DC Center at (202) 682-2245.
 
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Queering the Vote

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Hey guys,

Come join us for discussion this Friday 02/05/16, 8:30pm at the The DC Center! Our topic is Queering the Vote.

The primaries just swept through Iowa and the results have many folks on all sides of the isle paying closer attention to the current slate of presidential candidates. Who has caught your eye in the race to the White House? Have you been closely scrutinizing the debates or trying your damnedest to block out that televised circus? Who do you think has the strongest platform and best experience to affect the needs of the nation’s queer community? Do we agree with the Human Rights Campaign’s early endorsement of Hilary Clinton, why or why not? Is there political common ground between Log Cabin Republicans, democrat gays, and queer independents? Do you have political priorities that rank higher than any involving sexual orientation/gender identity? What are your opinions on Donald Trumps’ hair, and the loss of the Biden/Obama bromance?

Join us this Friday February 5th to talk about this and more!

Where do you get the 411?

 

 

Where do you get the 411?

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In our celebrity-obsessed culture, famous people are in a particularly influential position to weigh-in on socially and politically charged issues.  It seems more and more commonplace for highly visible people like professional athletes, writers, actors, and musicians to serve as spokespeople for certain causes, informing the public about sex, health, drug use and other important topics.  Liz Taylor is synonymous with championing the fight against HIV/AIDS, controversial columnist Dan Savage with launching the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign, Laverne Cox has gained international attention as a spokeswoman for trans- issues, and on his journey as an NFL draft football player Michael Sam assumed a position to advocate for decreasing homophobia in professional sports.  With the ever increasing influence of the internet, a new cast of characters has joined the influential elite; examples could include Youtube personalities like Davey Wavey or Chris Crocker to name a few.

 

Some celebrities strive to become immersed and knowledgeable about the issue they champion, and couch their discussions in research relevant to that issue.  However, there are also celebrities who speak out on sensitive issues based on their own (sometimes faulty) knowledge, opinions, or even based solely on something they read in a magazine while waiting at the dentist’s office. Many people rebuke the idea of celebrities speaking out on socially charged topics, claiming that they are likely uniformed and could cause harm by spreading misinformation and/or negative sentiments.  For instance, many in the HIV/AIDS community have taken issue with actor Zachary Quinto’s statements on the HIV drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis; you can read more about this controversy and Quinto’s response in the two links below).

http://www.hivequal.org/hiv-equal-online/how-zachary-quinto-let-down-the-hiv-aids-community

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zachary-quinto/on-my-cover-interview-for_b_6158498.html

 

Do celebrities take responsibility or take advantage of the position they have to influence others?  People may take their advice/information to heart and apply it to their own lives and decisions.  However, how much responsibility should a public figure be required to take for their statements?  How much responsibility do we have as individuals to seek out information from other, perhaps more reliable, sources?

 

Join this week’s facilitator Taylor Monson and guest facilitator Robert Soriano for what promises to be a great discussion!


Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves DC government building. Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact me ahead of time by email or The DC Center’s Executive Director David Mariner. Afterwards, we’ll head out to one of the fine establishments on the U Street Corridor to eat.

August 1st – OutWrite Events at The DC Center!

 
August 1st – OutWrite Events: “Speaking of Essex” & “Hold Tight Gently”
 
 
 
This Friday, we will be continuing our Summer Of Fun with an OutWrite Event & Workshop at The DC Center!  “Speaking of Essex: A Tribute To Essex Hemphill” at 6pm will feature friend to Gay District and fellow author Phillip Clark who will be among the panel reading the amazing work of Essex Hemphill. Followed by “Hold Tight Gently: An Evening with Martin Duberman” at 7pm. A profound exploration of the intersection of race, sexuality, class, identity, and the politics of AIDS activism beyond ACT UP, Hold Tight Gently captures both a generation struggling to cope with the deadly disease and the extraordinary refusal of two men to give in to despair.
 
We will be returning to our regularly scheduled facilitated discussions on August 15thThis summer we plan to take advantage of amazing weather, fun opportunities and events!