Gay Place

Can't we all just get along, li'l gaywads?

PEACE IN QUEER VALLEY? Is that even possible? Last year, national blogs and the queer press sank teeth into the story of the schism between Austin Pride and chunks of the LGBTQummunity, some of whom went on to launch the QueerBomb counter-Pride celebration. Boston's The Edge, Queerty, Chicago's Feast of Fun, the Dallas Voice, and locals such as the Republiq, Austin360, Republic of Austin, and your friendly, neighborhood Gay Place all weighed in. Well, what will the story be for 2011? Do we dare frame it as lions and lambs and puppies and kitties and faeries and unicorns all resting in the meadow on a new golden morning? Rainbows and glitter and lotsa lube for everyone? Or will somebody put their foot in it (Heeeey, where is Chad Peevy when you need him? Hopefully watching The Voice. Hynuk!) and start the nasty ball of bile rolling again? This Saturday, both Austin Pride and QueerBomb are hosting planning and volunteer meetings. They occur sequentially. Gay Place's radar has already registered a number of pals from both sides of the imaginary aisle who are planning on attending both. Will you? Come on out! It's your QueerBomb! It's your Pride! (See Saturday.)

CASTING BALLOTS OVER ASPERSIONS In more Austin gay rift news: It sure does smell like gay-baiting in the Place 3 council race. According to Randi Shade’s policy aide, Marti Bier and an anonymous, almost neutral observer (not so neutral after what was reported), Councilmember Laura Morri­son’s policy aide Bobby Levinski asked Shade at the Stonewall Democrats endorsement meeting if she’d “support a resolution requiring businesses that locate in Austin using tax incentives to include a nondiscrimination policy including sexual orientation.” She answered no and gave context (“I supported making it a question to be asked of any company seeking tax incentives; a non-discrimination policy was already a requirement.”) which was subsequently left out of an ensuing sniping Facebook comment by Steven Miller, finance director for opponent Kathie Tovo’s campaign (Miller’s comment and the subsequent exchange with Shade supporters have since disappeared, as have a few other similar comments left on various event and profile pages). Perhaps it was pokes like this that incited the Burnt Orange Report's Karl-Thomas Musselman to ask on his own Facebook page: "Is Randi Shade Pro-Gay Enough for Austin Voters?" (I think his conclusion is "Yes.") It's a darn good read. After having a few sit downs with our own News Editor Michael King, I have to agree that in any other reality, Tovo, Shade, and Morrison would be perceived as playing for the same team (and as a big dyke, I hee-hawed at my buddy's choice of "team" metaphor), but in local elections, all bets are off. Too bad. If you read Gay Place at least semiregularly, you already know we are big, randy supporters of Randi. If you followed last year's Pride fracas that resulted in the firing of Jimmy Flannigan and then later the unceremonious dismissal of now-Gay Placer Nakia from the entertainment roster, you probably already figured out that I don't cotton to basically decent humans being set up as straw people for political folly. But, let's all settle down and take a deep breath. The purpose of this column is not to lure you one way or the other. The purpose is to say two things: 1) C'mon, gaywads, can't we all just get along? And 2) early voting is over. Election day is Saturday. Go find your precinct, and vote!

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Austin gay, LGBT, gay-baiting, Randi Shade, council race, Kathie Tovo, Laura Morrison, Place 3, Austin PRide, Queerbomb

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