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Laverne Cox shares her own #MeToo story

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 11:57 AM PST

Laverne Cox (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

Laverne Cox shared her own #MeToo story and explained the importance of male representation and intersectionality in the movement during an interview for “The Katie Couric Podcast.”

"I got to confront a man that I'd had a sexual encounter with that the encounter was consensual but then something happened that wasn't consensual. And I was able to recently confront him about that," Cox says. "And what was interesting to me in the confrontation is that he had no idea that his behavior was predatory, that he didn't have consent."

"And I think so often the idea of consent is something that men aren't really clear about. And I'm very clear that what happened was not consensual and was not okay and I was able to assure that to him. But that's a different kind of conversation, what does consent look like?" she continued.

Cox also says she thinks men, such as Terry Crews and Anthony Rapp, coming forward with their stories is important but the public shouldn’t “foreground men’s voices in a movement that needs to be about women coming to voice and women having a space.”

She went on that men should be having conversations with each other to “topple the patriarchy.” Cox also thinks intersectionality is important.

“I think we can always be more intersectional,” Cox says. “We can always include more people. I don’t just experience the world as a trans woman. I experience the world as a black person. I have multiple identities.” She added, “I’m trying to really think about all of the folks out there who don’t have the platform I have, and what do they need? And what would they want me to say when I’m in these positions?”

Time to dump depressed, out-of-work girlfriend?

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 11:48 AM PST

dump girlfriend advice, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo courtesy of Bigstock)

Michael,

 

My girlfriend Kristen lost her job almost a year ago and my patience is wearing thin.

 

If I were in her shoes, I would be networking with everyone I know to find a job. But Kristen just applies to jobs she sees online.

 

I also think I would find part-time work to get out of the house, keep up my energy and bring in some income. I'm getting fed up with paying for everything. Instead, Kristen sleeps late, stays at home and spends hours in front of the television, which can't be helpful to her finding a job or to her mood. 

 

I've offered to coach her on how to be more outgoing and network. Despite my ongoing encouragement, she won't step out of her comfort zone. She says she's too shy and I have to let her do things her way. I think her shyness contributed to her getting fired, which makes me certain she needs to get better at social interactions. 

 

I found her shyness attractive when we met two years ago. She had a modest job but found it fulfilling and that was fine with me. I don't need her to make a lot of money, just be able to support herself.

When friends ask how she's doing, I'm embarrassed and wonder if they think I am a loser for dating her. Many of my friends are couples where both women are pretty driven. I'm wondering if I am caught up in some kind of unrealistic Washington standard.

I'm feeling less attracted to Kristen lately and find myself snapping at her or making sarcastic remarks a lot of the time. I don't feel good about my behavior and it's not helping her find a job.  But just acting like everything is normal doesn't help either. Nothing I do seems to help.

I wonder if I should end the relationship. I don't want to spend my life supporting someone who can't get out of bed. Does that make me shallow?

Michael replies:

When you try to "rescue" someone who could actually help themselves, you usually wind up creating a mess. You get resentful that the other person won't take your advice and they get resentful over being told what to do.

You appear to be headed in that direction. Kristen knows her own personality and states that she does not want to be pushed. If she doesn't want to put herself out in the world as you would, she doesn't have to. You can't force her to change her approach.

You also don't have to keep supporting Kristen financially or even stay with her. But don't threaten Kristen with these consequences in hope of getting her to do what you want; that will erode whatever love and goodwill exists between you two.

You can certainly let Kristen know how unhappy you are with the situation. This is different from threatening her or trying to force her to change. Perhaps knowing where you stand will lead her to take action. If not, you will have to decide if you are willing to remain in this relationship under the current circumstances. 

All that said, consider some other possibilities:

First, Kristen may actually not be in a position to help herself. You have a girlfriend who sleeps a lot, doesn't leave the house much, stares at the TV for hours on end and is making minimal effort to improve her life. Like you, I have a hunch that Kristen is depressed.

If that is true, Kristen really could use your support to get a grip on her life. Depression can be paralyzing. 

How can you help? Sadly, there's no guarantee that you can, because you can't always get someone else to see that they have a problem. 

Your best chance would be to raise the possibility of depression with Kristen in as gentle and non-critical a way as possible. If she thinks you have a point, perhaps she'd be willing to make some moves to improve her mood, such as doing aerobic exercise, stopping alcohol consumption if she does drink (alcohol is a depressant) or even considering psychotherapy. 

I'd also suggest you explore with Kristen the possibility that she has social anxiety. There's nothing wrong with being shy, but when shyness interferes with our ability to function in the world as you say it does with Kristen, we should take action to stretch beyond our limitations. 

With regard to the possibility that you are looking at Kristen through a lens distorted by DC standards of success, yes, this is a competitive town of high achievers, but wanting a partner who ultimately can stand on her own is not an outrageously high bar.

 

Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with LGBT couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at michaelradkowsky.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to Michael@michaelradkowsky.com.

Fox News exec blasts U.S. Olympic team for being ‘darker, gayer’

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 11:44 AM PST

John Moody (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

Fox News executive editor John Moody wrote a scathing commentary on the U.S. Olympic team slamming the team’s diverse athletes.

“Unless it's changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different,'” Moody wrote in an op-ed on Wednesday.

“No sport that we are aware of awards points ― or medals ― for skin color or sexual orientation," he continued. "So, while uncomfortable, the question probably needs to be asked: were our Olympians selected because they're the best at what they do, or because they're the best publicity for our current obsession with having one each from Column A, B and C?"

Numerous LGBT organizations responded to the comments including GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“The executive vice president of Fox News targeted some of our nation's top athletes with vicious anti-LGBTQ and biased rhetoric at what should be the proudest moment of their lives,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, told the Hollywood Reporter. “These athletes are at the Olympics because they already won by qualifying to represent the United States on the world’s stage; and they did so despite facing discrimination from places like Fox News throughout their careers. Moody should not only apologize to the athletes and fans for this disgraceful post, but Fox News should open their site for diverse athletes to share their own personal stories and perspectives."

Fox News released a statement saying that the column has been removed.

“John Moody's column does not reflect the views or values of Fox News and has been removed,” the statement reads.

Gus Kenworthy smooches Adam Rippon at Winter Olympics opening ceremony

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 11:14 AM PST

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy (Image courtesy of Twitter)

Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon brought the LGBT pride to the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Kenworthy, 26, posted a few photos with Rippon from the official kick-off of the 2018 Winter Olympics. In one photo, Kenworthy kisses Rippon on the cheek.

“We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it,” Kenworthy captioned the photos on Twitter.

Rippon also posted a photo on Twitter with Kenworthy and a rainbow flag emoji.

“Tonight I walked in the #OpeningCeremony and got to watch my old friend @Yunaaaa light the Olympic flame. Representing the USA is one of the greatest honors of my life and being able to do it as my authentic self makes it all so much sweeter,” Rippon wrote.

The opening ceremony airs on Friday at 8 pm. on NBC.

Bills to ban conversion therapy for minors introduced in Md.

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:58 AM PST

Rich Madaleno, LGBT local news stories, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) has introduced a bill in the Maryland Senate that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Two Maryland lawmakers have introduced bills that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in the state.

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced Senate Bill 1028 in the Maryland Senate. State Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County) introduced House Bill 902 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Madaleno, who is running for governor, on Friday wrote on his Twitter page that “denying young people their humanity with conversion therapy is inhumane.”

“We need to ensure a better future for children free of this mental abuse,” he said. “[Maryland’s governor] needs to be at the forefront of this fight!”

FreeState Justice Executive Director Mark Procopio in a press release said the bills send “a clear message to LGBTQ youth across our state that they are welcomed and respected in Maryland.” The Pride Foundation of Maryland stated it “unequivocally supports passage of this legislation.”

“Conversion therapy attempts to erase LGBT people from the world, and it is unconscionable to allow it anywhere in this country,” it wrote on its Facebook page. “Maryland can be at the forefront of American society in codifying for LGBT people the right of self-expression.”

WISE (Women Indivisible, Strong and Effective) of Anne Arundel County and the Human Rights Campaign has also applauded the bills’ introduction.

Nine states and D.C. have banned so-called conversion therapy for minors.

Virginia lawmakers in recent weeks tabled two bills that would have banned the widely discredited practice in the commonwealth. The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit it in the state.

Omarosa breaks down on ‘CBB,’ says she would ‘never’ vote for Trump again

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:32 AM PST

Omarosa Manigault-Newman (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

Omarosa Manigault-Newman shared an emotional moment with fellow houseguest Ross Mathews on Thursday’s episode of “Celebrity Big Brother.”

Mathews kicked off the conversation by saying he “never got” why Manigault-Newman went to the White House. She responds that she saw it as a duty to her country and not as a duty to President Donald Trump.

The former White House aide says she was "haunted by tweets every single day," and was always wondering "What is he going to tweet next?" She went on that she wasn’t able to stop him because "all the people around him attacked me.”

Mathews asks who does have the power to change the president’s mind and Manigault-Newman says she doesn’t know anymore.

"It's not my circus, not my monkeys," Manigault-Newman says."I'd like to say not my problem, but I can't say that because it's bad."

Then Mathews asks if the country “will be OK.”

"It's going to not be OK. It's not. It’s so bad," she says.

Earlier in the episode, Manigault-Newman defended her loyalty to Trump when Keshia Knight Pulliam questioned Manigault-Newman’s association with Trump. Manigault-Newman compared her relationship with Trump to Knight Pulliam’s relationship with Bill Cosby.

"It's a different situation because this man is running the country and being a voice of a whole country," Knight Pulliam said.

The White House responded to Manigault-Newman’s breakdown saying they didn’t take her comments “seriously.”

"Omarosa was fired three times on 'The Apprentice.' And this was the fourth time we let her go. She had limited contact with the president while here. She has no contact now,”  spokesman Raj Shah says.

Watch below.

Considering buying a home with a friend or partner?

Posted: 09 Feb 2018 10:25 AM PST

home buying, gay news, Washington Blade, buying a home

Property can be purchased by a variety of different buyers including partners who are not married.

Considering buying a home with a friend or partner?

While it may not be your first thought, the answer is "yes." Property can be purchased by a variety of different buyers—an individual, a business entity, a married couple, and even friends or partners who are not married.

When non-married people purchase real property together — from a title perspective — the big question you have to plan for is "what happens if one of the owner's dies?" Do the co-owners want their heirs to inherit the property? Do the co-owners want to ensure that the surviving owner inherits the property? When purchasing with a friend or partner, co-owners should have this discussion before settlement and let the title company handling the transaction know how they would like to hold title to the property so that in the event one of you passes your wishes for the property are carried out.

To that end, there are several ways that you can hold title.

Tenants by the Entirety: You can only take title as tenants by the entirety if you are in a marriage that is recognized by your state. If one spouse dies the other spouse automatically retains the interest in the property. There is no need to probate the will to make this happen.

Joint Tenants with the Right of Survivorship: This is similar to tenants by the entirety in that the surviving owner(s) receives the ownership rights of the owner that died. You can take title this way with more than two people. Each person's interest in the property reverts to the surviving owner(s) until there is one person who holds 100 percent. Even if there is a will that names an heir, the interest in the property goes to the surviving owner(s). If you want to make sure that the person you own the property with retains your interest in the property upon your death, this is the way to hold title.

Tenants in Common: If you take title as tenants by the entirety each person owes a percentage of the property. The percentages do not have to be equal and you can have as many co-owners as you wish. If a co-owner dies his percentage of the property goes to his heirs not the co-owners. If you want to make sure that your heirs receive your interest in the property upon your death this is the way to hold title.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): If you and a friend are purchasing property as an investment to do a rehab and then re-sell or to hold as a rental, you may want to take title as an entity. The easiest entity to form and maintain is an LLC. The amount of liability protection varies by state. The LLC can have as many members as you wish with each holding a percentage of the LLC. The percentages do not need to be equal. The LLC's Operating Agreement should outline what happens if a member wants to sell his percentage of the LLC or if a member dies. But remember, when you take title as an entity you do not personally own the property. The entity does, this is why taking title this way may be best for investment properties and not your principal residence.

Having a conversation before you take title to a property is very important. This does not preclude you from having other written agreements in place like, a cohabitation agreement, prenuptial agreement, a will, or business partnership agreement. Discussion before can avoid tough conversations later.

 

Sherri Anne Green is an award-winning Realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Focusing on custom, data-driven marketing and client service, she provides impeccable service tailored to her clients' unique situation. Reach her at 202-798-1288,  sherri.green@cbmove.com, on Facebook or on Instagram.

Deirdre P. Brown, J.D. is a settlement agent with Dupont Title Group, LLC.  Reach her via CloseWithDee.com