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COMMENTARY: The scent of a memory

I catch a trace of Father’s scent each year. He’s been dead since 1996, which makes his lingering essence kind of magical. I’ve smelled him in Dayton and Houston, in San Diego and Midland and Minneapolis… — and he was not a traveling salesman.

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COMMENTARY: Repeal of DADT ignores transgender troops

One minute past the stroke of midnight on Sept. 20, the long-awaited repeal of President Bill Clinton’s 1993 "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" (DADT) policy went into effect.

At precisely 12:01 a.m. EST, the popping of champagne bottles began along with cheers and tears celebrating the end of a repressive era that prohibited LGBTQ servicemembers from honestly and openly serving in the military.

But the celebration was bittersweet.

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COMMENTARY: What does it mean to be a feminist these days?

I vaguely recall the first time someone asked me what it means to be a feminist. I was still a kid, freshly baptized in the blaze of radical feminism. Or so it seemed, as our consciousness-raising group met in Anita’s living room. She was into her middle years, a professional woman returned to college, and the group was a school project. Its existence in our small town was a damn miracle for us and a disturbing mystery for the men, who didn’t understand why a gaggle of gals would get together for no better purpose than to talk — just talk — to each other! — what the hell?

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COMMENTARY: Ex-NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway proves that homophobia can be cured

In the African-American community we desperately need public role models denouncing anti-homophobic bullying, vitriol and discrimination.

Since too few role models come from the Black Church, many of us LGBTQ brothers and sisters of African descent look to black role models, especially males, in the areas of entertainment and sports.

But sadly that list too is short.

Tim Hardaway, a retired NBA All-Star player, has recently stepped forward.

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COMMENTARY: Mama's move to serve more in San Diego

On Monday, Aug. 29, Mama’s Kitchen, a 20-year-old nonprofit organization that delivers healthy, free meals to San Diegans affected by HIV/AIDS, cancer and other critical illnesses, moved its operations to 3960 Home Ave., in the San Diego community of Fairmount Park. The location will be different, the mission remains the same, and the capacity will increase.

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COMMENTARY with VIDEO: Fear no evil, even during a massive blackout

As I sat in a college classroom Thursday afternoon, the power went out and we swiftly determined we were in the throes of a regional electrical power failure. My first thought was to check for students in the elevators. My second thought was of the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks and the possibility that the blackout was somehow related.

Actually, I’m being too charitable: My second thought was that the blackout could be the result of a terrorist attack, and when I couldn’t reach my daughter by cell phone, I had a fleeting moment of private panic.

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COMMENTARY: The Pit buries 150 years of homophobic atrocities

Imagine a deep dark trench, dug at the height of the European colonial age stretching further than the eye can see. Although it is present in many countries, it still lies dangerously open in 76 countries.

Some countries realize how dangerous the Pit has been to innocent citizens and are filling the grave-like trench with dirt or planting flowers in memory of fallen ones like Matthew Shepard or Harvey Milk. However, the Pit remains deep in some places in the world, and forever holds the secrets of countless forgotten victims of 150 years of warfare against LGBT people across the planet.

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COMMENTARY: Transphobia be damned, Chaz Bono comes out dancing

As the only child of world renowned pop duo Sonny and Cher Bono, many of us remember Chaz as their cherub-faced daughter Chastity, blowing kisses to the audience of her parents top-rated variety TV show "Sonny & Cher."

In 1995, Chaz was outed as a lesbian.

But this time Chaz is in control, and on his own volition has announced that he’s legally a man, and will now appear on the 13th season of "Dancing With The Stars" (DWTS), premiering Sept. 19 on ABC.

But not everyone is cheering, and ABC is catching some of the fallout.

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COMMENTARY: Is Michele Bachmann a "girl scout with a switchblade knife"?

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R–Minn.) might not be able to sustain her Tea Party-fueled lead among the perfidy of presidential wannabes, but while she remains in the race, admit it: She makes for good entertainment — in a morbidly fascinating sort of way.