Off To The Rodeo Again

If you read my previous post, Off To The Rodeo, you read about the work of Out West, and, hopefully, you saw the amazing images of gay rodeo photographed by Blake Little by clicking on the link.

If you didn’t quite get to the photos, Blake has given me permission to post one of those fantastic photos on From Eternity To Here. They’re a powerful reminder of the long history of gay men in the West living life the way they want- as cowboys!  Enjoy!

Chute-Dogging by Blake Little

(click on image to enlarge)

Diane Has A Christianity Problem

Diane Silver has an excellent post about her difficulty with Christianity over at The Bilerico Project.

Christians terrify me. I am strong and capable, but part of me feels like a powerless child who can’t withstand the Christian onslaught. I’m a 10-pound cat facing a 120-pound pit bull and the snarling beast is frothing at the mouth.

Well worth a read.

Moderation

There’s been a bit of an exchange in the comments on my post Being Gay IS a Choice in the last few weeks. I loved the dialog, but was increasingly bothered by the intolerant intransigence of one of the commenters. I felt that the comments were not in keeping with the theme of this site. It became not a forum to increase understanding, but a soapbox.

That doesn’t work for me.

As a result, I have decided to moderate all the comments on this site (you can read my response in the thread at the bottom of the post linked above). I still encourage comments here, but I guess I need to decide if the content fits in with my vision here. I will probably hear cries of “Discrimination!” and “Censorship!”, but that’s okay. My goal is understanding, education, awareness and a bit of silliness- not judgment, anger or proselytizing.

Namaste.

A Glacier Wedding

I’m headed to West Glacier to hang out with some of my Seattle people and watch Eric And Logan get married. I’m very excited to be spending time in a cabin in the woods with people I love to go out with, but have never shared a bathroom with- well, except Al, I guess. Now I’m worried. He spends a lot of time in the bathroom. (Okay, I shouldn’t have said that, he’s sensitive.)

So this isn’t as political as it sounds. Eric and Logan are Montana kids who now live in Seattle. And Logan is a beautiful woman who simply happens to have the name of at least three generations of men in my family. Times a’changin’ and all that.

I wonder what my grandfather (Logan) would say to that? Come to think of it, not much. I think I only ever heard him speak a full sentence when my brother (Logan) and I broke the back window of the Old Ford throwing wood into the back of the truck for the winter wood pile back home. And then it was a simple declarative with an understood personal pronoun: “Guess you’ll be payin’ for that.” My father (David Logan) made sure we did.

Anyway- posting may be spotty- I’ll take pics and maybe post some stuff, but I’m going to try and relax. I’ve had a very crazy few weeks behind me.

In the meantime- check out the wedding website. They’re good people with great friends and it should be quite a party.

More HIV News…

There have a been a lot of breaking HIV stories this past week, here are a couple more.

The first is another breakthrough: scientists discover a protein that destroys HIV.

The second was a little tough for me to take, but discovery can only lead to a furthering of understanding, right?

Apparently HIV can hide in the brain, relatively unaffected by medical treatment. This just brings to light the necessity of understanding that just because viral levels are low in the bloodstream, which is where viral loads are measured, they aren’t necessarily low everywhere else in the body. And we know that HIV is a destructive virus- it hurts the places in which it lives. This may push research into medication/treatment that addresses the blood/brain barrier.

In the meantime, will we see measuring spinal fluid viral loads as routine in our future?

Old Drugs, New HIV Treatment?

From Science Daily:

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center have identified two drugs, that, when combined, may serve as an effective treatment for HIV. The two drugs, decitabine and gemcitabine — both FDA approved and currently used in pre-cancer and cancer therapy — were found to eliminate HIV infection in the mouse model by causing the virus to mutate itself to death — an outcome researchers dubbed “lethal mutagenesis.”

This is a landmark finding in HIV research because it is the first time this novel approach has been used to attack the deadly virus without causing toxic side effects. Because decitabine and gemcitabine are already FDA approved, researchers believe that if their research is effective in large animal models, it will be much easier to expedite the development of the drugs for human use.

This is significant because taking on the treatment (and possible cure) of HIV with an existing drug that companies are (probably) already making money on after already spending money on research is a no-brainer. Researching new HIV meds is prohibitively expensive.

You can bet your ass if this is a significant treatment for HIV, they’re going to make money. And money is what drives this thing.

Read the full story here.

Off To The Rodeo…

From my dear friend and collaborator Gregory Hinton, a letter about LGBT history and Gay Rodeo:

Dear Friends of Out West:

In my digging though gay western history at the One LGBT Archives at USC, I discovered several gay rodeo photographs by Los Angeles photographer Blake Little in a 1990 glossy gay mag. I was moved by them because reflected back to me were several handsome bull riders and chute doggers I had known who passed away in the next few years. Blake photographed me for POZ Magazine in 1996 after IMP.

I contacted him several months ago. In addition to being beautiful, Blake’s rodeos photos are historical documents. He is also an excellent rodeo photographer.

After my call, he pulled together this collection which he’d put away all these years. We went through many of them together.

He has hundreds of photos and a great personal rodeo narrative. He was 1990 IGRA Bull Riding Champion of the year. I’m working on getting him an exhibit and a book!

Gay Rodeo is wonderful option for rural gay men and women to stay in touch with their country roots. These photographs say it all. This is why I am devoted to the mission of Out West, which seeks to illuminate the positive contributions of the LGBT community to the history and culture of the American West.

On behalf of Out West, I am indebted to Blake for sharing this wonderful body of work. Please visit his website. If you have personal memories of Gay Rodeo, Blake has provided an opportunity to blog.

http://www.blakelittle.com/gayrodeo


Best,
Gregory Hinton

Creator and Producer of Out West: LGBT Stories of the American West

Check these images out, they’re pretty cool!