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THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS MEETS REVERSE EVOLUTIONJanuary 1st 2013. I was rushing around the galley trying to get lunch ready for my crew, when suddenly I realized that something was wrong...I had a strange feeling. It was an uncomfortable nagging sensation coming from...my butt. “WTF? Why do I feel like I have monkey butt all of a sudden? And, how long has this been bothering me?" As every good chef does, I fed my crew and then went to go and investigate what this bothersome urgent matter was. I was both relieved and sent immediately into convulsions of hysterical laughter when I had discovered it was none other than this.

That's right people, I woke up on New Years Day with a piece of tinsel wedged in my crack. I took a moment to take stock in what exactly was happening. I drank 600 mojitos last night. I am in The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The birth place of Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and I had just removed a piece of tinsel from my ass crack while hung over after partying my face off. Oh Chuck, it seems I may be at the forefront of reverse evolution. Oh well, we can't all be responsible for bringing the human race into the next evolutionary phase!

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS MEETS REVERSE EVOLUTIONWhen I'm traveling, I love to observe local traditions. On my night out on New Year’s Eve, my cohorts and I were baffled as to why there were paper mache figures outside of many of the homes and businesses. .

In my best gringo-that-grew-up-in-South-Florida-Hialeah-wannabe-Spanish I was able to gather that the people in the Galapagos hand make these figures. Some are super heros, some are political figures, and some represent people in the local's lives that they just want to let go of. At midnight, the whole town makes a big bon fire and burns these figures in effigy. Yeahhhh! Burn that mother down!! I think this is a great way to start the New Year with a clean slate and may adopt this tradition!

All in all The Galapagos is a very magical place. The people are friendly and the wild life is so protected and thriving that it is a privilage to be allowed to see how nature intended these animals to live in their eco system. If you're into diving, this is as close to sharks as you'll get without using a shark cage. The sharks have plenty of food and aren't interested in fighting with a evolutionary backsliding drunkard...they'd rather have tuna.

Here is an amazing crab cake recipe because I feel like it.

  • 1 pound can of jumbo lump crab meat, drained

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons green pepper, chopped very fine 3 tablespoons red onion, chopped very fine

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs for mix, 1/2 cup panko for dusting cakes on top and bottom

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning

Method of prep:
Mix all ingredients except the crab in a medium mixing bowl. The mixture should look like oatmeal. If it looks too wet add more mayonnaise. If it looks too dry add more panko. Gently fold crab into the mix, try not to break up the lumps! Form cakes and dust top and bottom. Sear each side in olive oil or butter. Place crab cakes on a baking sheet and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees. And, Voila! The best crab cakes everrrrr!!

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 05:00

Lezzie Miserables

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Les MiserablesLes Miserables – the title says it all…be ready to shed tears, fall in love with the heroine, and detest the villain as never before. I have seen the musical many times on stage and had very high expectations for the movie.

The first hour of the movie is relentless with intense passion and strong performances but after that, the intensity dwindles. The cast includes Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert), Anne Hathaway (Fantine), Amanda Seyfried (Cosett), Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter (innkeepers).

The story is set in 19th-century France as we first see Valjean as a prisoner being released after serving 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. Going from a life of crime to a life of virtue, Valjean must break the law again and violate his parole setting the stage for the saga between Valjean and Javert. Javert hunts him down throughout the decades of their lives. Valjean becomes a successful merchant and politician, and in the midst of his success, inadvertently fires a young woman named Fantine from one of his factories. She then has to resort to a life of prostitution to support her daughter, Cosett, living with two money-hungry innkeepers. Valjean promises to take care of Cosett on Fantine’s deathbed. This act of love and kindness changes his life and perpetuates the love he was missing throughout his life.

Tom Hooper’s musical approach is like no other, as the cast sings live while acting. This gave the musical a more tangible feel to the characters as they were performing. The performances from Jackman and Hathaway are epic although Crowe, Baron, and Carter fell short on their musical performances. If you don’t think too much about the movie, you will think it was beautifully made and will leave the theater having truly enjoyed it.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 05:00

Orchid is hot, but don’t look for a plot

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In the middle of Biscayne Boulevard, one of Miami’s busiest streets, a new world has been erected: The Pleasure Garden. A tent-like city reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil houses a fantastic little fantasy-land that, once inside, makes you feel like you’ve time-traveled to the hipster version of 19th century Europe. You can have dinner and/or drinks before the show, with an exclusive food and beverage program developed by James Beard and Michelle Bernstein. The show itself is a mix of a modern musical with burlesque and acrobacy, based around the show’s main character - an Orchid that drives everyone to the brink of dry-humping. The story-line gets a little lost, but before you have a second to think about it, the gorgeous cast distracts you with their sensuality. Like most erections, it’s temporary, so catch Orchid before she wilts away forever.

If you go:

Orchid The Show is playing now through January 20. For tickets, click here.

THE PLEASURE GARDEN
299 NE 38th St.
Miami, FL 33137
38th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.
The Pleasure Garden is situated at the gateway of Miami's Design District, less than 10 minutes west from Miami Beach, directly across from the Julia Turtle Causeway.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 05:00

Nautipuss 2012

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The infamous Score nightclub on Lincoln Road was hopping as Nautipuss, a collaborative production by icandee and Pandora Events, bade farewell to 2012. DJ GiGi kept the ladies on the spacious dance floor and into the wee hours of the morning.

Click here for pix of the naughty good time.


Tuesday, 08 January 2013 05:00

Robin Schwartz

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Robin Schwartz is the executive director and one of the founding members of Aqua Foundation for Women. She was born and raised in Miami, so when she says she can make a mean cup of Cuban coffee - we believe her. BOUND sat down with the long-time LBT advocate and discovered that she is not only passionate about our community, but she is a super hero in sensible shoes.

Robin, tell us your coming out story.

Well, I didn’t grow up knowing I was gay. It wasn’t until a friend asked me to go to a club, it just happened to be a gay club. At the time I was in College at Gainesville and I was a DJ and really into music, so I didn’t think anything of it, but I kept going back. I also didn’t have the struggle most women encounter when telling family and friends. My brother found out and told my mom. When my mother confronted me about it - and this is the interesting part - she asked me if I wanted to be a boy or a girl. In the end there was a little bit of shock, but she was relatively accepting, and I was very fortunate.

That is fortunate. In the case of women who may be struggling with coming out right now, what advice would you give?

I would tell them that they are perfect in every way. It’s all about self-love, especially in the women’s community. I would also suggest that they get involved or volunteer with an organization and surround themselves with LBT women that have already come through the other side of coming out.

What is the most important challenge facing our community today?

Wow. That’s a really good question. I would say equality in terms of perception and love. For women in particular, there is another layer, which is one of self-acceptance and pride - without them it leads to a lack of self-confidence.

How did you get your start in LBT advocacy?

About 20 years ago my grandmother passed away and left me an inheritance. I was working and had my house already, so I didn’t really need it. I decided to take half of the money and donate it to SAVE Dade. As a donor, I was invited to events and engaged as a speaker. From there, I continued working with several other organizations, including Miami Beach Gay Pride, the City of Miami Beach LGBT Business Enhancement Committee, the Task Force, Pridelines, and the Humane Society. Then, in 2004, we founded Aqua Foundation for Women.

Of all of the projects and initiatives you’ve worked on throughout the years, which one is your favorite?

I can’t pick just one, so I’ll give you my top three. The mentor program that pairs young women with role models. The LBT Health Directory, because I’m confident that it’s going to save lives. And the very recent project Aqua Foundation announced, which is a funding stream for 3 years to combat youth homelessness in Miami.

Teen LBT homelessness is definitely one of the most pressing issues of our time, so that is fantastic news. We created this little magazine in the hopes to combat isolation in our community. And, as you know, there is so much to be done. But Aqua Foundation has the pulse of the community, and we at BOUND find ourselves looking to you for inspiration.

Thank you so much. I feel like Aqua Foundation for Women is now leading the way. In almost a decade of existence, we have the organization where we want to be.

Speaking of being where we want to be. We all want to be at Aqua Girl 2013. What can you tell our readers about the event?

What’s best about Aqua Girl is that it’s not only about having a good time, but it’s about doing good. One hundred percent of the proceeds of this event benefit Aqua Foundation for Women. As for Aqua Girl, we have a new location...the National Hotel. With the sexiest pool on South Beach, we are hosting two pool parties. There is a special price to book at the National Hotel now through January 31, so I suggest everyone takes advantage of that deal. The best way to keep up with news about the event is through Facebook, both Aqua Girl and Aqua Foundation have all the latest.

BOUND will absolutely be there. Thank you so much for chatting with us, Robin.

Thank you! And see you at Aqua Girl.

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 02:44

Where was BOUND during the Apocalypse?

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As you may have noticed, BOUND went dark in December. That’s because one of our founders (not mentioning names) didn’t pay our light bill because she was sure the Apocalypse was going to get us. The other founder contracted the most horrible UTI ever bestowed upon a vagina. And, the third editor has bronchitis, and she ain’t got time for that - meaning the other two founders. Luckily, the eating out didn’t come from zombies, all vaginas are once again healthy, and we all finally found time for each other. We are working hard to bring you another kick-ass issue the second week of January, so we can ring in the New Year, not isolated, but once again BOUND.

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2012 was a year of progress for LGBTQ rights. In sports, politics and religion, LGBTQ rights were recognized and obstacles were removed. Some of the notable accomplishments were well publicized and some went under the radar, but across the board, the LGBTQ community can look back at 2012 and say "Forward."

Here is a compilation of some of the important events that represented progress in the LGBTQ movement across various disciplines.

Politics

- “Seven state legislatures gained their first or only openly LGBT state lawmakers this year, including North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida, which went from zero to two gay legislators.

- Tammy Baldwin (D–Wis.) was elected as the first openly lesbian or gay U.S. Senator.

- Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) was elected to the House of Representatives, becoming the first openly bisexual member of Congress.

- Sean Patrick Maloney (D–N.Y.) became the first openly gay candidate elected to represent New York in Congress.

- Mark Takano (D–Calif.) became the first openly gay person of color to win election to the U.S. House.

LGBTQ Rights Advocacy and Recognition

- The first lesbian Super PAC, LPAC, was created to represent the interests of lesbians in the United States, and to campaign on LGBT and women's rights issues.

- The D.C. Office of Human Rights created America’s first government-funded campaign to combat anti-transgender discrimination.

- Liverpool was the first city in the world to officially mark IDAHO with a program of free events. IDAHO is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

- Berkeley, California became the first city in America to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals. The city declared Sept. 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day.

Religion

- Katie Ricks became the first open lesbian ordained by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

- Ullet Road Unitarian Church, Liverpool, hosted the first UK civil partnership on religious premises.

Sports

- Liverpool Football Club became the first Premier League club to take a stand against homophobia and be officially represented at a UK 'Pride' event at Liverpool Pride.

- Orlando Cruz is the first openly gay professional boxer.

- Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo led a coalition of professional football players (NFL) in support of same sex marriage.

Military

- Army Reserve officer Tammy Smith became the first openly gay, active duty general in American history.

- In two separate and distinct events:

*The first same-sex marriage was held at a U.S. Military Academy.

*The first same-sex marriage was held at the U.S. Military Academy's Cadet Chapel at West Point.

Same-sex marriage

- President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president officially in favor of same-sex marriage.

- Taiwan held its first same-sex Buddhist wedding.

- Maine, Maryland, and Washington became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote.

- The Supreme Court of the United States announced it will hear arguments on same sex marriage in 2013.

Health care

- San Francisco voted to become the first U.S. city to provide and cover the cost of sex reassignment surgeries for uninsured transgender residents.

- Under the Affordable Care Act, victims of same-sex domestic violence cannot be denied health insurance as a pre-existing condition.

- The Transgender Law Center launched TransLine, “the nation’s first online medical consultation service providing health care professionals with up-to-date clinical information and case consultation on a broad range of transgender issues.”

Judiciary

- Judge Michael Fitzgerald was confirmed for U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Fitzgerald is one of only four “openly gay lifetime tenured federal judges in American history.”

- William Thomas is a nominee awaiting confirmation for a judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. If confirmed, Thomas would be the “first openly gay black man to be a life-tenured federal judge.”

- Pamela Chen is a nominee awaiting confirmation for a judgeship U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If confirmed she would be the “first out Asian-American judge to be seated on the federal bench.”

- Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro was nominated for a “federal judgeship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.” If confirmed, she would become the “first out gay Hispanic woman to serve on the federal bench.”

- Judge Michael McShane was nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

Media

- The number of regular, full-time LGBTQ characters on the five USA television broadcast networks increased 50%. “This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” said GLAAD president Herndon Graddick.

Picture Credit: Reuters

Source
: Policymic
By: Frank Hagler

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As 2012 comes to a close, there is a lot to be thankful for in the LGBT world, ranging from the expansion of same-sex marriage to having a record number of LGBT characters on TV. In 2013, overturning DOMA and Prop 8, passing employment non-discrimination legislation and blocking Uganda's proposed "Kill the Gays" bill top many LGBT people's wish lists. But there are plenty of other important issues that receive less attention; here's my out-of-the-spotlight queer wish list for the New Year:

1) LGBT-Inclusive School Curricula

This is a classic item on the so-called "gay agenda," but it appears that the anti-gay crowd hasn't had too much to worry about in past years (outside of California, anyway). Many schools still avoid talking about LGBT issues, especially with younger kids. However, if kids are exposed to storybooks with gay parents, or learn that people like Matthew Shepard were killed for being gay, they may become more accepting of LGBT people and less likely to engage in anti-gay bullying.

2) Comprehensive Sex Ed

Speaking of schools, this item is worthy of its own shout-out. It'd be nice if more sex ed programs acknowledged that it's normal and healthy to be lesbian, gay or bisexual, and included information on how LGB people can prevent STIs such as HIV. On the flip side, programs that focus on abstinence to prevent teen pregnancies are of little use to lesbian and gay teenagers.

3) The Demise of Other "Kill the Gays" Laws

Uganda has garnered a lot of attention because they might pass the so-called Kill the Gays Bill, but dozens of other countries, ranging from Sudan to the United Arab Emirates, already kill or imprison gay people. Perhaps because there's no imminent chance of the laws changing, they haven't received as much outrage, but they ought to.

4) An Out Pro-Athlete

To date, there has still not been a player in one of the big four sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB) to come out during his career. A prominent gay pro-athlete would confront the stereotype that gay men can't be athletic and could serve as a role model to queer youth who face discrimination in sports. Plus, people set aside religious bigotry, racism, and other prejudices to root for athletes on their team; it'd be nice to see the same with regard to homophobia.

5) Better Adoption Laws

Thirty-four states do not routinely allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt a child. That's a shame, both for the couples who want to start families and the kids who miss out on a loving and supportive home. I think we can all agree that having two moms or two dads is better than having none.

6) Anti-Homophobia PSAs for Adults

Wanda Sykes and others have starred in public service announcements that question teenagers who call something gay when they mean that it's stupid. That's great for teens, and I'd love to see more of it, but it's also important to address adult homophobia. Some possible PSAs for adults could point parents of LGBT teenagers to affirming resources or highlight the negative effects of anti-gay prejudice.

7) A Discussion About Intersectionality

People are not queer in a vacuum in which being LGB or T is the only part of who they are; all LGBT people are affected by their race, socioeconomic status, religious or cultural background and geographic location. That can mean a black lesbian experiences more anti-gay job discrimination than a white gay man, or a gay teenager feels isolated because he lives in a small town with few openly gay people. Being more aware of this isn't going to solve anything by itself, but it is a good step.

8) Helping Homeless LGBT Youth

LGBT teenagers make up an estimated 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth, and transgender youth are especially likely to become homeless. Hopefully, with society's shifting attitudes, there will be fewer parents who kick their kids out of the house, or treat them so poorly that they leave. Besides that shift, increased efforts to find LGBT-affirming foster families and expanding the resources available specifically for homeless LGBT teens are ways to help those who are still without a home.

9) Addressing the Needs of LGBT Elders

LGBT elders are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to live alone, are denied spousal and survivor benefits from social security and are vulnerable to insensitive treatment and abuse from prejudiced care workers. Among the ways to address these issues include mandatory LGBT-inclusive diversity trainings for care workers and having LGBT community activities in assisted living facilities.

10) More Courage from Politicians

President Obama made history this year when he became the first sitting president to support same-sex marriage. I hope that more politicians follow his lead when it comes to LGBT rights in 2013. Some politicians come from districts that will be hostile to LGBT rights legislation, but it is up to those politicians to say that doing what is right is what's most important. Other politicians do not push for LGBT rights very much because of other pressing problems, but it is always the appropriate time to address injustice and promote fairer treatment under the law. I hope that our politicians show courage this coming year; a lot of progress can happen without the support of politicians, but it's far easier when they're vocal supporters on our side. Follow Josh A. Goodman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joshagoodman Recently I visited Minnesota to meet folks involved in the same-sex marriage debate. I was inspired by the amount of energy that people were devoting to the cause, and to emphasizing dialogue and conversation instead of shouting and slogans.

Follow Josh A. Goodman on Twitter


Source
Huffington Post
By: Josh A. Goodman: Counseling psychology graduate student

Thursday, 20 December 2012 05:00

Newt Gingrich Evolves on Marriage Equality

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Gingrich – who oversaw the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act – urges GOP to stop fighting against marriage equality

12/20/2012

Washington – In an interview with the Huffington Post, former Republican presidential candidate and House Speaker Newt Gingrich made remarks indicating he and other GOP leaders should embrace civil marriage equality – the latest sign of powerful momentum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality this year. Gingrich served as Speaker of the House in 1996, when the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed into law.

“Newt Gingrich reflects the experience that has changed the minds of so many Americans in understanding that LGBT people are a part of every family and community – including his own,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “His evolution resonates with people on a very personal level and is a quintessential example of why momentum is on the side of equality.”

Newt Gingrich is just the latest of those who once opposed marriage equality to evolve to a position of supporting the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry. David Blankenhorn, the star witness against marriage equality in the Proposition 8 case, has had a similar change of heart. As another sign of progress, the Mormon Church, which was the largest funder of Prop 8, sat out this election cycle and remained silent in the four victorious marriage fights.

In addition to last month’s marriage victories at the polls, Americans are continuing to demonstrate their support for equality in overwhelming numbers. In fact, support for marriage has increased 21 percent in just eight years – a remarkable shift in public opinion over a short period of time. As more LGBT people share their personal stories, Americans – including an increasing number of Republicans like Gingrich – are joining the ranks of equality supporters. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, former First Lady Laura Bush, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Ted Olson, former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman, and Paul Singer are among those in the GOP who support marriage equality.

“Gingrich’s recognition that Americans now overwhelmingly support marriage equality draws a sharp contrast with the few extremists continuing to fight against equality,” added Griffin. “Gingrich’s comments give other Republican leaders the room to do the right thing and embrace marriage equality – which is reflective of the fundamental conservative principles of freedom and individual liberty. The six million LGBT people who voted this election cycle, along with the decisive victories we secured across the board, make clear the direction in which our country is heading.”

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.


Source
: HRC

Tuesday, 06 November 2012 05:00

VOTE!

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VOTE!

VOTE!

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