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Ann-Marie and I were glued to our TV's in our respective states this past Tuesday, both wondering why we weren't in Washington. But we came away with the same feeling --- we got our country back! 

Will Obama Walk the Talk?

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon 

I spent the entire day Tuesday, Inaugural Day, walking on air.  Really.  Right after the inauguration, I took my dogs out for a walk, despite the 20-degree chill.  Best walk I've had in eight years.  Partly because I was so proud to be an American.  Not a hyphenated American.  Just a pure, Constitution loving American.  Of the people --- all of them --- for the people, by the people.  I was an American. 

I relished the gorgeous ceremony, correct sentiments, clear agenda.  Even Warren didn't screw it up --- except for his blaring hypocrisy....yes, let's all be friends, equal friends, except of course for the gay friends I'm clearly not mentioning.  Then Obama gave his incredible smack-down of the Bush years.  Pitch perfect.  On point.  Missed nothing...except....there were a couple of spots where he could've included gays...and he didn't. 

Why is this such a sore point?  A half-black man is now President.  Perhaps that's sexual enough for white America.  Is the gay agenda more than America can handle when it's already dealing with his race?  Or is it the fact that he chose not to make this a race issue?  Does anyone care that he's black, except for African-Americans?  Aren't we for once and finally more focused on the content of his character?  Isn't that what this victory means?

Yet, I'm puzzled.  How can he be for inclusion, but so clearly leave the GLBT community out of the discussion?  I want to be happy.  I want to be hopeful.  I want to believe things are turning around, away from the abyss we've been teetering on --- BUT.  Until he walks that walk, I'm not convinced.

Unless that's his point.  That the important thing IS the content of his character.  The content of his character inspired 2 or 3 million people to stand outside for hours in 20-degree weather to witness his acceptance of power.  If by following his example, we judge people only by their inner characteristics --- their moral barometers --- and unabashedly include everyone, then the distinctions like religion, color, sexual orientation --- will become moot. 

Last November 4th, as a nation, we in fact rendered those distinctions meaningless for the first time in our history....can full equality be far behind? 

What do you think?

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What do you think? Are you optimistic about the next four years? Cautious? Been burned too many times to be willing to risk believing he may be all that he claims to be? Tell us --- send us an email at admin@onthegayhorizon.com .

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Full Measure of Happiness

By: Karen J. Allen
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

I found quite a bit to be hopeful about in our new President's inaugural address. One of my favorite lines:

"...all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." 

What does "full measure of happiness" sound like to you? I think he was talking directly to us. It felt like that to me, anyway.

Of course, I've been wrong before, and only time will tell.

One very good sign, though, can be found on the brand new White House website. If you click on civil rights and scroll down the page a bit you come to the section Support for the LGBT Community. It includes expanding hate crimes legislation, supporting ENDA, support for full civil unions and repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, repeal of "don't ask, don't tell", expanding adoption rights and AIDS prevention, including distributing contraceptives through the public health system and lifting the ban on needle exchange.

It's all there in black and white. And if you go to the section on Women , you will find, among other things, his stance on Reproductive Choice where it says that he "understands that this is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Administration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case."

At the beginning of the LGBT section, they have included a statement Obama made in 2007.

"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."

Sounds a lot like "all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness" to me....

So, as Ann-Marie pointed out, we have yet to see if he will "walk the walk", but it does look like he is continuing to "talk the talk". 


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Ten Things to Look for in a Fitness Program

Fit in a Year - Week 4

By: Ann-Marie Giglio
Co-Publisher, On the Gay Horizon

1.  What is your goal?  Are you looking to burn calories?  Do you want to improve cardio-vascular function?  Do you need to relieve stress?

2.  How much money can you spend?

3.  How do you prefer to work-out?  Do you like a social setting in a small group?  Are you comfortable in a large facility with lots of peers?  Do you need one-on-one attention?  Would you like to work out alone or specifically at home?

4.  When can you fit your workout time into your schedule?  This is an important question.  Get out your calendar.  Get out your family's calendar.  Look for the clear slots.  And then write it in.  Commit to these times.

5.  Check out the facility.   Visit unannounced.  Is it clean?  Is the equipment in good condition --- even if you don't plan to use it?  Are people smiling?

6.  Check out the instructor's credentials.  Remember that you can now essentially buy credentials on-line.  Never accept an on-line certification if it is the instructor's primary certification.  An instructor might learn a bit intellectually this way, but no one has actually witnessed this instructor's teaching method, nor double checked their safety knowledge.

7.  What is the class structure?  Are you going to be comfortable in the class no matter what level you begin in?

8.  Do you need any special equipment or clothing?  For example, a yoga class may ask you to bring a sticky mat.  A running workshop requires running shoes.

9.  Does the class progression make sense to you?  Does it inspire you?  Does it sound overwhelming?  If it sounds overwhelming, it probably is.   Look for something easier for your first foray into the field.

10.  Will you have fun?  If you don't enjoy this, it will quickly become a chore.  And then, it will quickly become a bore.   One person may enjoy running because the scenery is always changing.  Another may find it boring because the activity never varies. 

It's up to you.  Know yourself.  And get to it!


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