Sunday, August 31, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is a gay Pakistani American who founded the Al-Fatiha Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Muslims. Today's Out Spotlight is Faisal Alam.

Faisal Alam arrived in the United States from Pakistan in 1987, at the age of ten, and resided in the rural middle-class town of Ellington, Connecticut.

At age 19, while trying to reconcile his sexuality with his faith, Alam started an email listserv for LGBT Muslims that led to the first-ever gathering of LGBT Muslims, which led to the founding of Al-Fatiha, an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims, and their allies in 1998.   He served as its President from 1998 until stepping down in 2004.

Since founding Al-Fatiha, he has traveled across the country and around the world to meet with LGBTIQ Muslims to build a global queer Muslim movement. His queer Muslim activism has been featured in both LGBT and mainstream newspapers and media.

Amal has received numerous recognitions and awards for his activism on behalf of queer Muslims. Advocate Magazine selected him as an "Innovator," Genre Magazine has recognized him as a "Founding Father," and the Utne Reader chose Faisal as one of 30 "Young Visionaries Under 30." In 2005 the Equality Forum recognized Faisal as one of “40 Heroes” who have "made a defining difference in LGBT civil rights over the last forty years." In 2008 Faisal received an award from Pride Toronto for his "outstanding contribution in the area of spirituality that positively impacts LGBT communities."

In 2011, Alam and other LGBTQ Muslim activists were invited by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to form a Queer Muslim Working Group to evaluate the needs of the LGBTQ Muslim community. He was instrumental in bringing together a diverse group of seasoned leaders to undertake this project. In 2013, the Queer Muslim Working Group launched a new organization: the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MASGD).

Alam is a member of the Advisory Committee of the LGBT Program at Human Rights Watch.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Still There

This was not the post that was intended for today, that can wait, but this one, well it just felt right to do it now.

After a day of hearing stories about how a friend came out and love and support (while a little misguided) and effort his step mother made to understand more and show him how much she loved and accepted him,  and talking with people on another type of life journey, that of sobriety one thing stood out,  how important letting people know that you support them, that you continue to support them and what them to find that peace, that joy, that goal that is they're journey.

It doesn't matter what the journey is, it is letting them know,  letting them know you're thinking about them, that even if they slip backwards, slow down or steam ahead, that you are still in their corner and that they to find that truth, that life, that peace they seek.

Sometimes when those in a journey think that no one is interested anymore, or cares that they succeed, because no one has mentioned anything in a while.  They can use that as an excuse to continue to move forward.

People are still here, still want you move forward, still want you get there.

It isn't easy, there are times that go off the path, but the goal is there.  You've taken starts and stops,  just know that there are people who are in your corner.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Where in the Wide Wide World

It looks like Austin went to the Great White North, via Michigan

Best eats in Gaylord, MI. Headed deep into Canada. - AUS10  (August 22)

Interesting choice there big guy.

Hello Canada! Great to see you. - AUS10  (August 22)

Fishin deep in Canada - AUS10 (August 28)

Nice hat there bud.  Did you see how good you look in the other one's a couple days ok?

But then where did he go?

Did he head back to ATX?

If he did, he did do the hat and the backpack... wonder if he was inspired by something.

or  did the fella who LOVES! and admittedly said he has an ice cream addiction

find his way to  Kell's Kreme  in Massachusetts

Now why would he be even thought to be seen in MA?

Oh yeah...
Somebody's got to help handle a pair. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

More Words

Jake is returning as a reader for this second year of Headstrong Project's Words of War Benefit.

The benefit October 1st at Tribeca 360, in support of comprehensive healthcare for military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jake is serving as co-chair of the event along with Dr. Ann Beeder, Adam Driver & Joanne Tucker and Zach Iscol & Meredith Melling. The evening will include a Theater of War performance from Fujito featuring Anthony Edwards, David Strathairn and Lili Taylor and a poetry reading by Jake.

Last year Jake read Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 - March, 1918

About Headstrong and it's mission:
There are many challenges of returning home from war and there are over 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have reported symptoms of PTSD. The VA estimates we lose 22 veterans a day to suicide, and the Department of Defense reports 30 to 50 active duty troops take their lives every month. As of yet, no comprehensive treatment program has been developed to treat this deserving population. At Headstrong we have launched a long-term partnership with Weill Cornell Medical center to provide cost-free, stigma-free, and bureaucracy-free mental healthcare to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fantastic News

At the beginning of the month, it was announced that Nightcrawler would be premiering at Toronto International Film Fest. And TIFF is coming up fast. As in next week. (Where did summer go?)

Nightcrawler's world premiere will be at the Elgin/Winter Theatres on Friday, September 5th, at 9:00 pm, with additional screenings on the following Saturday, at noon, and then again on Friday, September 12th.

And while The Great White North is the international red carpet premiere of Nightcrawler, Jake and crew are taking the movie way down south for the U.S. premiere.

Now wherever could that be?

Can you say "Deep in the Heart of Texas"

The U.S. red carpet premiere of "Nightcrawler" was the highlight of the second wave of announcements coming out today about Austin, TX's upcoming 10th anniversary edition of Fantastic Fest, which runs from Sept. 18-25th.

The movie premiere will close out the festival which takes place at the newly reopened Alamo South Lamar and Highball theaters.

Fantastic Fest focuses on off-the-radar genre films from U.S. and abroad
and is "largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, action and just plain fantastic movies from all around the world."

 Don't think they had a tough time convincing one of the movie's producers to bring Nightcrawler to Texas, do you?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to the Hat

Back to School wouldn't be complete with a backpack and while some might go straight to Jake and his love his big black backpack, this time it's all about Big Tex
on an off screen.

 Not sure if the backpack is really giving you that cool factor.

You might just be better off with a man bag.

It's an over the shoulder messenger bag, and pleaasse... I totally pull off both.

 Well the guy is all about accessories.

Now hats? That's debatable.

Still waiting to see the picture of that pink one buddy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer Sentimental

The recent pictures from the farmers market in West Tisbury were a reminder of the tradition of summers on The Vineyard for Jake.

So as this last "unofficial" week is wra
pping up, OMG can't help but look back at Jake at the Cape.

And we're off....

A fixture at the Farmers market

Snack run at The Chilmark Store

Another year of the Chilmark Road Race

Helping at Beach Plum

Green pants alert

 OMG's first post was a MV/Chilmark one too.

And we can't forget how OMG got word of Jake flying off island later in the same day after Austin's early morning run in with the Jackson MI police.