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Friday, September 30, 2011

October, 2011: 6th Annual GLBT History Month!


October is GLBT History Month! Our month dedicated to observing our culture's rich and vibrant history and also honoring our many heroes. A time for all of us to embrace and experience the best of our community: ourselves! Long ignored and overlooked by the mainstream society in which we live, this is our time to educate others as well as ourselves. It is our time to remember our collective contributions and struggles, joys and pains, triumphs and tragedies. It is learning from our past that we are able to live in the present and to prepare for the future.

A shared experience and heritage is one of the definitions of a culture. In accepting ownership, pride and responsibility for what is rightfully ours, we empower future members of the GLBT tradition to enrich and to expand both our community and themselves. We are building for the next generation and laying the foundation for our cultural future.

In 2006, Equality Forum assumed the responsibility for this event and offered resources online. This year, 2011, marks the sixth year of this sponsorship. Equality Forum is a GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films and educational initiatives.

To visit the GLBT History Month website, click on the icon at the upper left hand corner of your screen or the post title above. Each day throughout the month honors a GLBT hero of our past or present. The history month person of the day will be featured with a free video, biography and resources on this webpage. Visit it daily and explore our queerstory (queer + history).

October, 2011, History Month Features (by date):

1) Kye Allums, athlete 2) John Ashbery, poet 3) Alison Bechdel, cartoonist

4) John Berry, government 5) Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter

6) Keith Boykin, commentator 7) Rita Mae Brown, author

8) Dan Choi, activist 9) Aaron Copland, composer 10) Alan Cumming, actor

11) Denise Eger, rabbi 12) Lady Gaga, singer 13) Michael Guest, diplomat

14) Neil Patrick Harris, actor 15) Daniel Hernandez, Jr., hero

16) Langston Hughes, author 17) Frido Kahlo, artist 18) David Kato,

Ugandan activist 19) Michael Kirby, Supreme Court Justice

20) Victoria Kolakowski, judge 21) David Kopay, athlete 22) Ricky Martin,

singer 23) Amelie Mauresmo, athlete 24) Constance McMillan, youth activist

25) Ryan Murphy, writer/director 26) Dan Savage, journalist/author

27) Amanda Simpson, government 28) Wanda Sykes, comedian/actor

29) Lilli Vincenz, gay pioneer 30) Virginia Woolf, author

31) Pedro Zamora, AIDS activist/MTV personality

Source: Equality Forum, LGBT History Month

DQN In Northern Virginia observes GLBT History Month by offering Monday Memories: The Way We Were...Nude. On the first four Mondays of October, 2011, a vintage photograph honoring queer nudity will be posted here.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

PhotoEssay: September Nude Play Day


Although the days still have a summer-like quality, don't fool yourself; autumn is here. September is almost over and these comfortable days that allow us to get outside and frolic naked will soon be over as the chill of fall arrives. Don't cheat yourselves from having fun these remaining days and get outdoors. A trip to the beach may not be feasible at this time; however, there are many other activities to experience. Perhaps some of the photos here will offer you some ideas for your leisure this weekend.


You've worked hard all week and now it's time to treat yourself. After all, you've earned it. Now it's time to go forth and play! Rejuvenate, renew and do something good for you! Daylight saving time is over soon. Spare yourself any regrets and savor the moment while you're still able!

A bit of advice here before you walk out your door. Despite the fact that the sunlight isn't as intense as it was during the summertime, UVA and UVB rays are still active. The sun can and will cause skin damage, sunburn or worse. Remember to generously apply sunscreen!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

AllOut: PayPal Drops Extremist Anti-GLBT Sites From Services


AllOut.org initiated an online petition to persuade PayPal, an online payment provider, to remove extremist, hateful and homophobic organizations from its service. In just under a week, three of the worst offending groups had the PayPal option disabled on their websites once PayPal received the petitions. Nine different fanatical websites were targeted originally.

The three offensive groups were Julio Severo's site, a Brazilian radical, Noua Dreapta and Dove World Christian Outreach Center. All three regularly post anti-GLBT hate propaganda. These postings directly conflict with PayPal's own ethics policies which prohibit services for activities that encourage or promote hate, violence and racial intolerance. PayPal responded to the petitions by stating that it "takes very seriously any cases where a user has incited hatred, violence or intolerance because of a person's sexual orientation."

AllOut.org attracted more than 40,000 signers from throughout the world when it presented the petitions to PayPal and the campaign remains active. As expected, the extremists groups under fire are not pleased with with the potential loss of PayPal, a recognized and trusted online payment venue. A particularly homophobic organization: Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, has labelled the actions "the latest example of homo-facism."

Another group cited by AllOut.org but which no PayPal action has been forthcoming to date is Abiding Truth Ministries, a pseudo-religious organization. It regularly credits gay people for causing such incidents as the Nazi Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide. This ministry and it's leader, Scott Lively, are an often noted inspiration and information resource for Uganda's infamous "kill-the-gays" legislative initiative.

"When PayPal came under fire in the past for processing donations to the white supremicist group, the Ku Klux Klan, the company did the right thing and promptly removed them," said Andre Banks, co-founder of AllOut.org. "If PayPal hears us and terminates these accounts, we will cut off funds from some of the most dangerous extremist groups and have a real impact against homophobia worldwide. This isn't about free speech or freedom of religion, it's about hate speech-which PayPal's own ethics policy expressly forbids."

AllOut.org is a global campaign organization of over a half-million people from 190 countries around the world dedicated to GLBT equality. A movement working online and on the ground to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are. All Out is adding global power to the historic fight for GLBT equality. Click on the entry title above to view their website or go to: www.allout.org.
Source: AllOut.org

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Equality Forum: GLBT History Month Remembers Teen Suicides


Equality Forum, the sponsor of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) History Month, announced last Friday that in light of the recent suicide of 14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer, that all gay youth suicide victims will be remembered during October, 2011, the 6th Annual GLBT History Month. Rodemeyer's death is the latest in a string of teen bullying resulting in a tragic death.

"Jamey's suicide is a heartbreaking reminder of the vulnerability of gay teens. Every day in the United States a gay teen's life ends in a suicide. They are bullied and marginalized. While some may say that Jamey took his life, unrelenting homophobia murdered him," stated Malcolm Lazin, founder and Executive Director of Equality Forum. "LGBT History Month provides role models and empowering life-affirming resources. Equality Forum remembers Jamey and dedicates LGBT History Month to ending these tragedies."

Jamey Rodemeyer killed himself on Sunday, September 18, outside his home in Buffalo, New York. Last May, he posted his own "It Gets Better" video on YouTube. Recently, he blogged on Tumblr about the bullying at school that just wouldn't stop. He wrote that he felt he "could never escape it." On September 9, he posted on his blog: "I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?"

Unfortunately, we all know all too well the answer to that question.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Source: Equality Forum. To visit their website: click on post title above.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why I Don't Believe FoxNews


I realize that most journalists have their own values, attitudes and beliefs and that at times these ideals will sometimes eclipse their objectivity on the subjects of their reports. They are, above all, human beings, right? I know that eye-catching and attention-grabbing headlines are necessary to get the notice of the public. These practices come with the territory and even the most respected journalists; media, print or whatever, engage these strategies on a daily basis.

However widespread these jounalistic licenses may be, they pale in comparison to the accepted standards employed by FoxNews. This company consistently presents a biased and one-sided slant on almost every item they report, be it political or not. Often, they distort the reality and the truth beyond recognition. Fair and honest reporting doesn't seem to exist within this organization on any level: local, regional, national nor international.

All one has to do is to look at the FoxNews perspective on the current political front to find numerous examples of this prejudice. Repeatedly, the Tea Party is presented in the best possible light at the detriment and expense of all other points of view. Reason and fair play are abandoned as sensationalism becomes the applied theme. This policy of distortion doesn't end just with the political spectrum. Seemingly innocent and human interest news is subjected to the same bias and embellished.

A current example of this journalistic transgression by FoxNews is related to this past Saturday's nude-in rally staged for nudity awareness in San Francisco, California (see September 23, 2011, entry). One headline read: Naked Protest Against City Law. Another proclaimed: San Francisco Protesters Stage Naked Nude-In. And the list continues. The accompanying articles leave one with the impression that the lone reason for the gathering was in opposition to the proposed ordinance before the City Board (not a binding law) and that the participants were irate and militant. Nothing is further from the truth.

It was a pre-planned rally for nude awareness and scheduled long before the proposed municipal legislation was introduced. The only correlation between the rally and the proposal is that a larger attendance was expected due to the pending changes. The nude-in was highlighting the diversity of nudity and the fact that isn't indecent. The reader had to continue reading to almost the very end of these articles in order to learn these facts, which were mentioned in a passing and immaterial manner.

It is irresponsible reporting such as this that leads to my mistrust of Fox News. Given a choice, I prefer any source aside from Fox. I want to have the facts as close to the truth as possible. Experience has taught me this isn't possible with FoxNews.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nudecentric Briefs


FOR A NATURIST/NUDIST, THE ONLY REASON FOR OWNING A PAIR OF BRIEFS IS TO TAKE THEM OFF!

NUDE NEWS

Israel

For celebrated photographer Spencer Tunick's latest mass nude photo shoot on September 19, approximately 1,000 Israeli nationals stripped for the camera along the Dead Sea. Tunick has received international fame for his nude group pictures in public spaces throughout the world. It is unknown as to how many of the volunteer subjects who posed are actual nudists or are just seeking to claim their fifteen seconds of fame.

Photographer Tunick selected the Dead Sea location in order to bring the world's attention to the environmental plight of the lowest and saltiest body of water on this planet. The water level of the Dead Sea is dropping more than a meter every year.

The photographer's earth-friendly message aside, he did suffer his critics from within Israel. One conservative Israeli member of parliament reminded the public that the Dead Sea is closely identified with the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He then alluded to the photo opportunity as comparable to that alleged debauchery.

Tunick ignored the criticisms and conducted his scheduled shooting. He replied that Israel is the only country in the Middle East with the individual liberties necessary for one of his nude photo sessions.
Source: Reuters

San Francisco, California

There is a nude-in rally scheduled for this upcoming Saturday (September 24) in San Francisco. The event is held at the Buff Stop (plaza park located at the corner of Castro and 17th streets). The nude-in is unrelated to the recent legislative proposal before the municipal board mandating a towel or other protection before nudists sit in public.


Rather, the nude-in is part of the preliminary festivities surrounding the city's annual Folsom Street Fair that takes place this upcoming Sunday. The Folsom Street festival is a celebration of all things nude and leather-related. This event typically enjoys a tremendous turn-out among locals, visitors and tourists. It is also extremely popular with naturists/nudists, full and part-time, from across the country and abroad. Because the rally takes place in the Castro District, it is especially attractive to queer nudists. A flyer promoting the activity is featured here.

Last year, estimates are that almost 50 nude same gender loving persons attended the rally. Orgainizers expect a higher number this year due to the recent legislation introduced in the SF Board of Supervisors. However, they continue to emphasize that the nude-in isn't political in nature.

The nude-in traditionally focuses on promoting nudity awareness among those gathered for the Folsom festival. It seeks to inform that it's perfectly legal to be naked in San Francisco (it's only illegal if one is aroused). It also seeks to counter the often-held assumption that naked is wrong. The nude-in celebrates and demonstrates the fact that nude isn't lewd. It's OK to be naked. At least, it's acceptable and completely legal in the Golden Gate City!

The San Francisco Guardian is taking full advantage of the unique situation this year surrounding the annual nude-in and the proposed municipal ordinance before the City's Board. They are offering to readers an appropriately named "Butt Guardian." It's a piece of paper insert that can be used as an alternative to a towel whenever anyone naked decides to sit on any public seating. Now, that is indeed true public service!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Photo Journal: A Day With HIV In America



A Day With HIV In America is the name of an online photo-journal that features persons living with HIV telling their own story in photographs. This project is sponsored by PositivelyAware.com. The gallery allows individuals to offer to the world a message about a routine, event or activity significant about their daily lives. Every picture tells a special story.

Participants are to take a snapshot on September 21, 2011, to be included in the 2012 project. Submissions need to be emailed to: artdirector@tpan.com. In the email, each entry must be captioned, giving name, location and time of day of the picture. Participants are encouraged to explain the inspiration or importance about the subject. All entries are due by September 26, 2011.

Permission forms are required for each submission. The consent form may be downloaded at the website and a separate form is needed for every person in the photo. The permissions can be faxed, emailed or sent via traditional "snail mail."

All photographs submissions will be posted on the website. Select pictures will appear in the November-December issue of Positively Aware magazine. Only entries with appropriate consent will be published. As of present, participation is limited to persons living within the USA. Expansion to other countries is under consideration, especially to the UK and Australia, respectively.

To visit A Day With HIV In America site, click on the post title above. Otherwise, go to: http://www.adaywithhivinamerica.com. For additional information about Positively Aware, go to: http://www.positivelyaware.com.

In case you're unable to read the caption of the lead photo here, it is the Picture Of The Day at A Day With HIV In America and is submitted by Christopher Wilson. It reads: "Running and hiking are what I do to feel that much needed release."

As an HIV/AIDS prevention education instructor trainer for a national volunteer service organization, I find this project to be a valuable teaching tool. It helps to put a human face on HIV/AIDS. It also gives instructor candidates a personal perspective on the HIV experience to compliment the fact-based and teaching strategies curriculum. It's a resource for education, hope, and inspiration surrounding this pandemic.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Author Note: I apologize for the tardiness in sharing this information. I only learned about this project and website on September 21, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Justice: Navy Benefits For Discharged WW2 Gay Sailor


Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ends

Yesterday, September 20, 2011, at 12:01 A.M., the United States Military Forces officially ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), the policy prohibiting openly same gender loving persons from serving their country. DADT, in effect since 1993, is the latest military regulation of antigay discrimination under which more than 14,500 active duty personnel were separated from service. For the first time in the history of the U.S.A., there is no restriction forbidding gays and lesbians being in the armed forces.

In the days leading up to the end of the ban, all branches of the military were accepting applications from openly gay recruits. Applications were not processed until yesterday when the DADT policy was history.

Justice Is Done For WW2 Seaman By Navy

In anticipation of the end of DADT, the U.S. Navy reversed itself last month and restored benefits to a sailor discharged in 1944, during the Second World War, for being queer. Nearly 70 years after expelling Melvin Dwork with an undesirable discharge, on August 17, 2011, the Board of Corrections of Naval Records corrected the discharge to honorable. This move is thought to be the first move by The Pentagon in a sexual orientation severance case involving a World War II servicemember since President Obama signed the repeal of DADT.

Dwork, who is 89 years old and living as a retired interior decorator in New York City, has spent decades tring to remove the undesirable designation from his record. He is now eligible for benefits including military medical care and a military burial.

For Mr. Dwork, this particular triumph came with a bittersweet dose of reality. When the Navy released his records last year, he discovered that he had been betrayed to the Navy by his boyfriend at the time.

Still, Dwork doesn't regret his fight against the word undesirable. "To me, it was a terrible insult." he is quoted in the AP. "It's really worse than dishonorable. I think it was the worst word they could have used."

In issuing the ruling, the Board for Corrections of Naval Records noted that the Navy has witnessed a drastic change from the outright ban on homosexuals that existed in 1944. The board cited Dwork's "exemplary period of active duty" and then acknowledged that reversing the terms of his discharge was done "in the interests of justice."
Source: The Associated Press

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Farewell To Summer, 2011


IT'S THE LAST FULL DAY OF SUMMER, 2011!

In honor of this day, take a moment and recall the good times of the season. If you have a chance, get out and do something to make today special. Celebrate you and the beauty of your nudity! Of course, there are many fun times in the days ahead, but nothing is like "the good ole summertime!" So as we bid a farewell kiss to the past season, here's hoping your memories bring you joy during the cooler months until the next one is on our horizon.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Nude Novice Notes: Before You Sit


COME ON OUT OF YOUR CLOSET OF CLOTHES AND WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SOCIAL NUDITY!

Our culture of social nakedness has some longstanding customs and traditions in order for us all to enjoy our experiences without any cause for concern. These unwritten but universal practices enable us feel comfortable, relaxed and secure in whatever nudist environment we may find ourselves. They exist for the collective benefit of all and are not intended to penalize anyone in particular.

Among these time-honored traditions is the one that makes it the responsibility of each individual for providing their own clean towel or some other appropriate barrier for use before sitting on furniture or any other surface. This habit is practiced regardless if the event or function is a private one or open to the community-at-large. It makes no difference if the setting is an individual residence or a public facility.

This custom is based on common consideration and courtesy for the property and protection of others. It is a practice designed for hygiene and sanitary reasons in reducing the potential transmission of diseases and germs and not a judgment of the individual. It is about respecting our own bodies and health as well as the bodies and health of our fellow naturists/nudists and others. It is observed for the good of all.


The principle is the same one that we use whether at the beach, lake or poolside. Most of us rest on a beach towel or blanket. We do this to avoid contact with dirt, germs, perspiration, sand and sunblock residue.

Any household towel, even a hand towel, works just fine. Of course, other appropriate materials, such as a lap blanket or small mat or rug, are also acceptable. There are some commercial products marketed especially for this purpose, like the one I'm pictured with here. Many are available for purchase at nudist resorts or online.

Whatever our choice of barrier protection may be, it's important for us to know and understand the reasons for this tradition within our culture of nudity. Our values are there for the comfort, convenience and well-being of all. Be nude, be happy, but; most of all, be healthy and safe!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Censored!



The lead photograph of my entry yesterday was censored by Blogger.com. I am uncertain as to the reason why as that particular image offered no genitalia. It was simply a side profile of four men, naked, of course. I don't understand this at all. As of this minute, I have no reply to my inquiries from Blogger.


Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

PhotoEssay: Beaches

IT'S THE FINAL WEEKEND OF SUMMER, 2011!

Get outside and make the most of every possible moment! Time is wasting and don't let this opportunity pass you by! Have fun while you are able. Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: September Snips


"THE THINKER" BY RODIN: A NUDE MAN DEEP IN THOUGHT.


No, I am not claiming to be the model nor the inspiration for this talented artist. I am not pretending to be a great or celebrated thinker. I am just offering some basic thoughts to you on this Thursday in September, 2001.

The first two items for your consideration are related to information published here earlier this week. These updates are intended to keep you current and I'm sharing my thoughts about both of them in italics labeled "atthor note" with each item. The third is my own random opinion and is NOT sanctioned by any political party nor affiliated (to my knowledge) with any organized movement.

North Carolina Marriage Inequality Update:
(Refer to the Tuesday, September 13, entry here).


The constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman sailed through both houses of the North Carolina legislature. The lower House approved it on Monday and the full Senate did likewise on Tuesday, within a matter of a few hours. The lower chamber of the state legislative body refused to permit any public comment on the matter.

The proposed amendment now faces the North Carolina voters in May, 2012. If approved, it becomes law. If not, then that will present us all with an interesting constitutional situation.

Author Note: The popular vote result should be interesting. Virginia, which is located just north of North Carolina, passed an almost identical measure in 2008 by 60%-40%. This was a surprise to the religious right as the measure was expected to pass by at least 75%. Many are curious as to what the percentages will be in the North Carolina referendum.

It's amazing how fast these state legislators can work. It makes one wonder if there isn't some hidden agenda involved in all this.


San Francisco Nude Seat Covering Regulation:
(Refer to Monday, September 12, entry here).

San Francisco City Supervisor Scott Weiner, who last week introduced legislation that would require the city's nudists to use a barrier while using a public seat, got a taste of his own ordinance upon arriving at the board meeting on September 14. Someone had placed an open napkin on his assigned seat in the supervisor chambers.

The napkin was placed on Weiner's chair by fellow Board member Sean Elsbernd, as a joke. Weiner's proposed regulation has received considerable attention in both the national and international media. It has also warranted protests from San Francisco's nudist community.
Source: San Francisco Examiner

Author Note: The proposed Board of Supervisor action doesn't ban public nudity except in restaurants. It only mandates that nudists use a cover between their body and any public seating.


GOP = Gay, Out, Proud

Now that the Tea Party appears to have seized control of the Republican Party, perhaps this is the time that our GLBT community should steal their histoical identification with the initials: GOP. We should now become the owners of the anacronym and change it to: Gay, Out, Proud.

Given this particular political party's history of exclusion and hate, this is a perfect opportunity for justice. Imagine the chaos and confusion we can create among all the republican (intentional lower case "r" here) faithful. This will be fun as we bring havoc upon all the right wing advocates of bigotry. This should be enough to make Jerry Falwell and all his ilk to spin overtime while "six feet under!"

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mid-Week Inspiration



Are you tired of having to separate your professional life from your naturist/nudist life? Do you resent the fact that once you cross the threshold of your work building, you are forced to leave your nude existance outside the door? Interested in assimilating your personal and career lives in order to reduce stress? Or, do you merely need something different and eye-catching to adorn the walls of your cubicle, office, or workstation? If so, then you may want to take a look at the above sign again.

Now, most of us are familiar with the "bring your child(ren) to work day" program. This is the day that parents take their offspring to the jobsite in order for the child to see what the parent does for a living and to permit the child an orientation into the workforce. It also introduces the younger person to the variety of unique job opportunities available to them. This date is observed in almost every workplace in the USA (safety considerations usually being the only restriction).

Why not have a "Bring Your Nudity To Work With You Day?" A special day when we are all allowed to celebrate us being us: naked. An unusual approach in expanding the professional development of staff through a new look at diversity in the workforce. And, for all of us, a comfortable and "fun" workday. It's also good for our morale and productivity as employees.

What I'm proposing here isn't anything new nor radical. It's not costly and the educational benefits to workers and clientele are immense. It's simply incorporating the concept of parent-child career exploration with a nudist twist. Safety is not an issue as no minors are involved. The costs are negligible as all that is required for the educational process are clothes, which most of us wear to work anyway, that are, in turn, to be removed. Hell, even the Tea Party diehards should appreciate the zero-budget bottom line of this experience. Everyone comes out a winner!

So, drop what you're doing and enlarge the above sign. Then make certain that you have it laminated as it will be needed year after year. Next, make an appointment with your boss and present this idea to her/him. Easy, right? By the way, if you're one of those who are just looking for something to hang on a wall, print the sign and frame it!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Equality/Inequality


Arizona:

In a positive step towards equality, the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a lower court decision that placed an injunction against the State of Arizona eliminating domestic partner benefits to same-sex partners of state employees. In September, 2009, Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona, signed a bill that cut the benefits package to same gender loving people less than a year after it was enacted.

In February, 2011, the state attorneys defended the action arguing that the elimination of the benefits to gays was a budget reduction initiative. Gays were the only group cited for the cut. However, the state didn't provide any statistics or budget figures to justify the claim.

"When a state chooses to provide such benefits, it may not do so in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner that adversely affects particular groups that may be unpopular." the three judge panel of the Appeals Court unanimously ruled in its written decision. The 9th Circuit acknowledged that the state isn't required to provide such benefits but in denying them to a specific group the State of Arizona is in direct conflict with the equal protection provisions of the U. S. Constitution.
Source: Reuters

North Carolina:

A proposed amendment to the state constitution in North Carolina that defines marriage as between one man and one woman is being fast-tracked through the lower chamber of that state legislature. The House Rules Committee approved the measure Monday morning (September 12, 2011) after a 30-minute debate. The committee refused to permit any public comment of the issue. The bill then by-passed channels and went directly to the full House floor.

The House must approve the bill twice before it advances to the North Carolina Senate. If passed by that body, it is slated for popular referendum in May, 2012.

The good news from North Carolina is that the state NAACP has come out in opposition to the proposal due to its discriminatory and exclusionary nature.
Source: Reuters

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nudecentric Briefs


FOR A NATURIST/NUDIST, THE ONLY REASON FOR OWNING A PAIR OF BRIEFS IS TO TAKE THEM OFF!

NUDE NEWS

San Francisco, California:

The legal ability to be publicly nude in the City of San Francisco, California, may soon have a caveat. Proposed legislation introduced at the regular municipal Board of Supervisors meeting last week would place a few additional requirements for those exercising their right to public nudity, if passed.

The proposal, introduced by Supervisor Scott Weiner, requires that nudists cover public seating before sitting down and that they also don clothing before entering a restaurant. It does not prohibit public nudity as has been erroneously reported in some media. Weiner's electoral district includes The Castro area of SF, a longtime queer-identified neighborhood.

The pending addition to the City Code, made on September 6, 2011, must go through the legal process before it comes to vote. Weiner's office stated that the legislation would guarantee that public health standards are maintained by mandating that a towel or other item be placed between a body and a public seat. The necessity for clothing in a restaurant is for purely sanitary reasons.
Source: Bay City News Service

San Diego, California:

San Diego's San Onofre State Beach's Trail Six, which is adjacent to the United States Marine Corps Camp Pendleton base, has long been the legal clothing-optional shoreline area of the park. It was very popular with both residents and tourists alike. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case as visitors are now being cited by park rangers for public nudity.


Trail Six (pictured left here) leads to an isolated area of the beach that nudists have long claimed as their own. Under a 1979 directive issued by the then California State Parks Director, Russ Cahill, allowed for nudity at state beaches as long as others were not offended and no indecent conduct was involved. Both opponents and proponents of San Onofre nudity cite that directive, unofficially referred to as the "Cahill Policy," in defending their respective arguments.

The nude opposition charge that the directive is no longer valid at San Onofre. They claim that an increase of lewd behavior at the site has offended families visiting there. The fact that numerous pornograpic movies have been filmed on location there is offered as evidence. That's why park law enforcement personnel began issuing citations to those naked on the beach.

The proponents of nudity argue that any indecent behavior is minimal. They state that the increasing number of persons who opt to recreate at San Onofre while remaining clothed are the real reason for an increase in the number of complaints against permitting nudity. The Naturist Action Committee (NAC), a national nudist political organization, is fighting the policy change at San Onofre State Beach.

To date, those individuals who received citations for public nudity at San Onofre have had the charges either dismissed or reduced to infractions. At this time, the policy change is limited to San Onofre State Beach and is not happening at any other California State beaches that allow public nudity.
Source: Daily Mail, UK

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11+10: Diversity + Inclusion = Strength


Remember....

Let's honor and recall the love of those we all lost without recrimination and retribution.

Rather....

Let's keep the memory of those we all lost alive through patience, tolerance and understanding.

Friday, September 9, 2011

PhotoEssay: September Nude Sun Fun: Poolside


This is it! Labor Day has passed and we are now down to the wire: this upcoming weekend is the next-to-the-last weekend of the Summer Season, 2011. True, we'll have some decent weekend weather for outdoor nudity probably until mid-October; but, that's iffy at best. Once summer is over, it's over, gone. The days begin to shorten and the nights grow longer. Here in the Mid-Atlantic region, the sun is beginning to set at approximately 7:55 p.m. Along with the growing darkness comes cool mornings and chilly nights.


If you haven't done so already, connect with friends. Get those outdoor plans for the upcoming weekend into place, now. And while you're at it, schedule ahead for next weekend. Take full advantage of what time we all have left in order to maximize outside nude activities and enjoyment. Don't waste another precious moment: text your naked buddies! Procrastination isn't in your best interests!


At a loss for what to do next weekend, the final one of the oficial Summer? Here's a suggestion: since it's after Labor Day, many beach hotels reduce their rates. Check it out and perhaps you just might be able to squeeze in a couple of extra nights at the shore. It just possibly may be worth your investigation.

Another idea are local nudist resorts. As it's fall foliage pre-season and given the current state of the economy, many may have some special savings deals for weekend visitors. Check them out.

In the meantime, have a great weekend, have fun and be safe. Spend some time outdoors and spend that time wisely, as nude as can be!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Will Sheridan, Unsung Hero: Part 2: Open and Finding His "Unsung" Voice


As is the case with some of us, Will Sheridan, Jr. never really viewed himself as being "in" the proverbial closet. Rather, he was content with being himself, the man that he is, and revealed his sexuality in his own time and at his own choosing. After all, it really is no one's business besides our own, right? How many heterosexuals announce their orientation (unless they are rumored or suspected of being gay)? This is, ultimately, an individual decision that each one of us have to make for ourselves.

Each of us must "find and locate" our own special place in this world. The life of our brother, Will, is no different. It is unique and extraordinary in that not only does it parallel ours as much as that it also opens doors and guides the lives of those who follow after us. He offers himself and his experiences as a roadmap for future same gender loving men. He is pictured above from his music video, Welcome To The Jungle.

Coming Out:


By the time he was a college freshman, Sheridan was already comfortable with himself and his sexuality that he began sharing with friends on a "need-to-know" basis. One of the first to learn about Will was his roommate and teammate, Mike Nardi. He recalls: "I just said, 'I need to tell you something...I'm gay.'"

Nardi responded by making a joke: "I just said, "Don't go putting a hit on me or sniffing my underwear or nothing.'" Mike then adds: "I had never really experienced anything like that, but it's not like it mattered. I don't know. I mean, we're friends. Who cares?" They both continued to live as roommates for three of their four seasons together playing for the Wildcats. They remain close friends even today and are shown in the photo on the right.

Over the years, Sheridan came out to most of his teammates on an individual level. The team accepted him for who he was and the fact that he's gay wasn't an issue. There was never, "a team meeting to discuss Will being gay," Mike offers. "Your personal life is your personal life." No one bothered to tell Coach Wright about Sheridan. He didn't learn about Will until after he had graduated. "After I found out, I was like, 'Did you know?' And all the guys, they were like, 'Yeah, Coach, we knew," Wright states.

Although Sheridan wasn't publicly out during college, he didn't disguise nor deny his sexuality, either. He even dated a man from a different university in the Philly area. On campus, he remained popular and was rarely ridiculed by his fellow students.

In contrast to the generally supportive atmosphere on the Villanova campus, during basketball games, the courtside climate at times was rough and negative. Rumors and gossip existed; there were slurs and disrespectful comments and gestures from both the opposing teams and their fans. Sheridan accepted all this in his own stride and refused to let it get the best of him.


Will, Jr. came out to his parents at the end of his freshman year of college. This news wasn't initially welcome to Will Sheridan, Sr. and Josie Sheridan. It created a tense environment between them and their son that took time and effort for all three to work through. Although proud if their son and his accomplishments, who he was proved difficult for the older Sheridans to accept.

The younger Sheridan sums up the reaction of his parents: "To them, this was just no way. Denial. It didn't fit with who I was, or who they thought I was. I was perfect. This didn't work." Josie Sheridan adds: "Devastated. I was devastated. I mean, I was disappointed. Not in him, but in the things that were taken away, not having a daughter-in-law, grandchildren, things like that."

Mother and son soon were able to overcome the pain, heal and move on with their lives. Mrs. Sheridan again remarks: "I never loved him any less. In fact, I think I love him more. I've always been proud of him, but he has such courage. This takes courage."

Will Sheridan, Sr. wasn't quite as resilient as his wife. In fact, it was almost a full year before the older Will and the younger one ever spoke to each other. He took away his car and ceased auto insurance payments. His father now admits: "I just did these things to make him realize, "I'm not playing, son. You let this thing go. You stop. I honestly almost lost it.'"

Father and son eventually resumed speaking to one another; however, it took longer than a year before they were completely reconciled. In fact, the older Sheridan decided not to attend Will, Jr's. senior year team banquet and university graduation. Eventually, both Sr. and Jr. resumed their closeness and are now past the heartache and pain. "We are closer now than we've ever been," Will, Jr. says. "We talk all the time, but I know it's hard. I know it's still really hard for him."

As already noted, Will Sheridan, Jr. publicly announced that his is same gender loving in an ESPN.com interview with Dana O'Neil on May 16, 2011, at the age of 26 years. Following this article, he also appeared on ESPN's Outside The Lines and he gave an interview on Outsports.com.

Current Activities:


Life after graduating from Villanova University and participating in the Italian Basketball League has been interesting and unique for our queer brother Will. Not only has he gained experience from living in Europe, he's volunteered in a development initiative in East Africa as well. He spent time in Nairobi, Kenya (at his own expense) in restoring the kitchen at the Ruiru Rehabilitation Center. It was while there that he was inspired to create the lyrics for his first EP, released through Royal Advisor Records (RAR) entitled Ngoma. The title translates from Swahili into the English "music." The tracklist includes original works: Fundamentals, You Know I Got It, Welcome To The Jungle (Morsy's Original Mix) and Welcome To The Jungle (Morsy's Go-Bop Mix). To visit his musical blog, click on this entry title above or go to: http://www.willsheridanmusic.blogspot.com.

While he awaits proverbial fame and fortune in his music, Sheridan supports himself by working as businessman and manager in the fashion industry in New York City. Always a realist, Sheridan acknowledges that he may not become famous through his spoken word lyrics, "although I wouldn't mind it," he quips. As of this summer, he is in negotiations with MTVs VH1 Channel for a reality TV show about gay and/or bisexual basketball players.

What Now?

As for myself, I believe that Will Sheridan, Jr., is in a pivotal position within our same gender loving (SGL) culture. Obviously, he is creative, innovative and talented; these traits will serve him well in whatever path he chooses to travel. This young man has more than earned my admiration, respect and support solely based on what he has achieved thus far. In my humble opinion, he's already a contemporary hero, in every conceivable sense of the word.


He's the personification of the new meaning for the GOP: that's Gay, Out and Proud, the total opposite of the old meaning of the politics of bigotry, exclusion, hatred and violence. Please note that this is my own interpretation and not representative of Will Sheridan, Jr. The image to the left here is of our subject as he appeared earlier this Spring, 2011, during a televised interview when going public concerning his true life.

Mr. Sheridan, Jr., now has a special opportunity to reach millions of vulnerable youth. Given his multitude of abilities, he is able to relate and bond with most of our GLBT teens who may be experiencing conflicting periods in their personal lives. He is in the position to bridge and mentor them as they explore and assimilate into our community.

This potential is especially essential in this national crisis of suicides among our teenagers and young adults. Our youth desperately need a positive role model relative to their age and lifestyles. Our brother, Will, Jr., posesses the credentials to save lives and deliver hope. He can make a major difference in the lives of others.

To Will Sheridan, Jr., I offer my congratulations on the confidence and the fortitude to be yourself. I wish for you all the best that life offers you. I appreciate all that you've contributed to our community!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sources: ESPN.com, Outsports.com, Wikipedia, willsheridanmusic.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will Sheridan, Unsung Hero: Part 1: Background And Early Life


On Sunday, May 15, 2011, the media was ablaze with the coming out headlines of the likes rarely seen. Don Lemon, CNN news anchor, acknowledged being gay on the eve of the release of his autobiography, Transparent. That same day, Rick Welts, president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns franchise of the National Basketball Association, publicly announced that he's gay in an interview in the New York Times. The following day, a third celebrity stepped outside the proverbial closet in an exclusive interview on ESPN.com: Will Sheridan. Unfortunately, his story didn't generate the media attention of the former two. He simply lacked the widespread recognition of both Mr. Lemon and Mr. Welts.

That's the main reason why I'm focusing on Mr. Sheridan in a two-part feature here. Personally, I feel his story and achievements deserve attention and need to be shared. He shows great potential as a prospective leader and mentor for our same gender loving community. Simply the fact that he doesn't currently enjoy that status is no basis for not giving him the props that he obviously has earned. In honoring Sheridan, I am not in any way disparaging either Mr. Lemon nor Mr. Welts. All three are courageous in stepping forward and being completely and publicly honest.

I've already published here regarding the stories of Don Lemon and Rick Welts (see the blog entry for May 16, 2011). Originally, I'd planned to focus on Will during Pride Month this year. Circumstances prevented that from happening until now. I hope the time for additional research enables me to give his story the credit it so richly deserves.

Early Life:

Will Sheridan, Jr. was born on January 12, 1985, in Bear, Delaware (a suburb of Wilmington). He is the youngest child of Will Sheridan, Sr. and Josie Sheridan, both professional police officers. His older siblings are a brother, DeVaughn and a sister, Chaleoa. He attended Sanford High School where he began playing basketball and graduated in 2003. While a junior, his team won the state tournament title. During his senior year in high school, he was ranked among the top fifty secondary school players, nationwide, by Basketball Times. Growing up, his nickname was "Bump."

Ironically, Will never harbored any dreams of an NBA career. A tall teen, he was 6'4" in only the eighth grade, basketball was something he did, not a professional ambition. In his own words, he remembers: "I was never a guy who watched the NBA or loved the NBA or any of that." Despite this indifference towards professional basketball aspirations, during high school, he was twice named Delaware's player of the year.

Sheridan, Jr. was a bright student and performed well academically. In addition to his life on the court, he also served as a student leader. He was president of his class during his freshman and sophomore years and was elected treasurer as a senior. These accomplishments and his ability to steer free from trouble as a teeneger were a source of pride for his parents.

Collegiate and Semi-Pro Basketball:


Will Sheridan, Jr. was recruited by Villanova University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) with a basketball scholarship and he enrolled there, majoring in Communications, upon graduating Sanford, in 2003. He played the Forward position for the Division I Villanova Wildcats until his matriculation from there in 2007. He started for all four seasons. At 6'8" in height, he towered above many of his team and their opponents. His jersey number was "50" throughout his time with the Wildcats.

Under the guidance of Villanova's then-head coach, Jay Wright, Will perfected his hoop skills. He became a force to be reckoned with and it was during his university sports tenure that the Wildcats emerged as a national basketball powerhouse. In all, the team would make three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament appearances and hold a 92-41 record while Sheridan and Wright were working together. Over the course of four years, the two developed a close relationship although they never broached the topic of Will's sexual orientation. When he learned about Sheridan being gay, Wright remarked: " I feel foolish now, but he was the perfect student, the perfect student-athlete, the perfect teammate. He never gave me an ounce of worry. He was so low maintenance. You could ask him to do anything, and he'd do it. I don't know. It sounds weird , but it never came up."

As a member of the team at Villanova University, Will, Jr. participated in its first NCAA tournament appearance in his sophomore year. While a junior, the Wildcats were seeded Number 1 and advanced into the Elite Eight in the NCAA tourney. His efforts in these endeavors received national recognition in all media outlets. During the Villanova 2006 NCAA March Madness (tournament) playoff, Will Sheridan wrote a daily journal for the Philadelphia Daily News.

After graduating from Villanova University in May, 2007, Will Sheridan moved to Italy where he briefly played in the Italian Basketball League. Upon his return to the USA, he settled in New York City, New York, where he continues to reside.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sources: ESPN.com, Outsports.com, Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Last Word: Insult To Injury


I ask your forgiveness here and beg your indulgence here. There are a few items that I need to get off my chest. I request your patience and understanding. This is, as the title suggests, the "Last Word" on these topics (at this time).

As a rule, I would probably consider this sign among the ultimate insults. Denying me the chance to be myself is personally offensive and irritating. Then, there is my unique idiosyncrasy: forbid it or dare me and you may as well think of the deed as done. That has always been a personality quirk of mine. If I saw a posting such as this, you can bet your final dollar (pound, euro, ruble, etc.) that I will be the first to strip and swim, play volleyball, whatever.

However, there are several incidents that happened last week that equal, if not exceed, the insulting message of this sign (on the right). First and foremost of these were the repeated lies and misinformation distributed by Dominion Power Virginia surrounding the extent of the electrical service interruption resulting from Hurricane Irene. Up through and including this past Friday, Dominion Power Virginia falsly claimed to be on schedule on its estimates of restoring power to customers. Countless consumers reported having received notification that their electricity had been reconnected while sitting in residences that had no power at all. Daily, we viewed media reports informing us that the widespread outage was under control and ahead of projections. At last, on Saturday of the holiday weekend, Dominion Power Virginia acknowledged that problems existed and that projections and reality were two entirely different issues.

The electrical service was returned to the last six buildings in my condominium complex this past Saturday evening. Of course, my unit was among these. This situation is by no means intended to reflect on the quality of work and professionalism of the maintenance crews working around the clock to complete repairs. I appreciate and commend their tireless efforts. They are not responsible for the mismanagement and irresponsibility of Dominion Power Virginia management.

Secondly, the condominium office delivered another proverbial slap across the face. Given the eight days that we lived without any electrical support, the overwhelming majority of us suffered refridgerated food that was spoiled. We had no choice than to dispose of the damaged goods through our regular daily refuse collection. As residents, we received notice that our respective accounts were being assessed a $25 fine because our neighborhood squirrels (rodents) trashed our trash while scouring for edibles. Our items, frozen and refidgerated, were spoiled and needed disposal. What else were we to do? This was a natural distubance. It was not individual neglect nor oversight. A proactive and responsible condominium office would have contracted extraordinary trash collection and notified residents of such measures.

Lastly, there are the public and questionable behaviors of a few of our brethren that, unfortunately, reflect on us all. Yesterday (the Labor Day holiday here), my friend "M" and I were at a nude beach. A brief summer shower erupted and many left the beach. This one individual, seeing us both naked, approached us while openly indicating his sexual availability. Now, neither one of us are prudish nor puritanical; yet, this type of blatant activity is what empowers others to label us all as "lewd." We both ignored his suggestions, regardless of his persistance. Obviously, his boldness had been rewarded in the past. Hopefully, we as a community can refrain from encouraging this type of action in the future. Otherwise, we're all guilty of inviting the reactions pictured below.


Our nudity isn't automatically indicative nor reflective of our sexual availability. Whether heterosexual or homosexual, our naturist/nudist lives are not representative of our receptiveness to public intimacy. It may provide us with more opportunity for a positive response; it by no means indicates that we are anymore promiscuious than anyone else. We all need to recognize that our responses reflect on both our culture of nakedness and our same gender loving community.

I'm grateful for your tolerance while I unloaded a few pet peeves at this time. Now that the baggage is off my chest and shoulders, I feel much better. Thanks again and now I can move on!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Holiday Weekend!


It is the beginning of the Labor Day weekend, a three-day celebration honoring all of us work-weary souls. It is also the last holiday of this years summer season. Three days where many of us head out of our neighborhoods and to resorts and beaches for days of fun in the sun and surf. Time to play, be happy and frolic like we haven't a care in the world.

Some of us are unable to depart for the shoreline, whatever the reason. If that's the case, there's usually endless rounds of barbecues, pool parties, impromptu sports games and backyard socials. Few, if any, are able to neglect this holiday dedicated to the working man and observed near the end of the summer. Even those who absolutely must work throughout the weekend can always manage at least one cookout over the course of the three days. Once again, keep in mind, it is the final holiday of the summer.

Whatever our plans, we all need to remember to be responsible for our actions. This means using a designated driver if planning to indulge in any alcohol or other substances. Better to be safe than sorry. It also means using a latex or polyurethane condom and a water-based lubricant if we are being sexually active. Truthfully, if we think positive and have a supply of condoms and lube available, we won't be caught without. A little advance preparation can make this a Labor Day weekend to remember!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Note: Day 7 after Hurricane Irene and still no electrical service in my neighborhood. Dominion Power now claims to have restored power to more than 95% of the Commonwealth. Yeah, right!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thursday Thoughts: Hurricane Irene Made Me Naked!


Here it is Day 6 after Hurricane Irene landed in Virginia and still no electrical power to my residence. Now, this is a major urban area of the state, not an isolated, rural location. Dominion Virginia Power, the quasi-state-sanctioned monopoly power source, claims that more than 75% of customers now have electricity. So why is it I can sit in front of almost every window of my home and see houses with electricity, and not my neighborhood? Oh well, at least my broadband provider has resolved their issues and I can type here via battery, although that grows weaker as my fingers dance across the keyboard. Besides, my gym has electrical power so I do have a hot shower after my routine. I'm not naked and funky!

Rather than sit here and bitch and moan the lack of utilities, I've decided to throw a little humor into the mix. Suppose you walked into your local neighborhood market and saw several men shopping there in the nude. What would your reaction be? Would you immediately strip and join in the fun? Or, instead, would you ask them exactly what they think they are doing? Be honest. Remember, you'll know if you're lying!

If you're the nudist shoppers, how would you respond? Think about that question for a moment. After all, Hurricane Irene is of recent memory. And, we all know how, as humans, we just love to shift the blame onto someone or something else. Here's a few possible selections as to your reply.

Why are you shopping naked here?

~ There's no electricity at my home and it's completely dark. I can't see to find my closet nor am I able to coordinate my clothes.

~ The electrical power is out so there's no air conditioning. It's hot as hell everywhere. I'm much cooler naked than with clothes.

~ No electricity means no washer and dryer. I'm six days in the dark and I've finally completely out of clean clothes to wear.

~ With no power source, everything in the freezer thawed and I desperately need food. I was so hungry I forgot to get dressed.

By now I think you get the picture here. Maybe life without Dominion Virginia Power isn't such a bad thing after all. We could all stroll around and do our errands totally naked. Come to think of it, that would make the world a much better place!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!