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72 posts categorized "TEXAS"

Nov 23 2016
Free & Clear: The San Antonio Four, Lesbians Railroaded On Molestation Charges, Exonerated! Comments (0)

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01b7c8a017c4970b-800wiThe San Antonio Four (L-R) (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)

A miraculous day in Texas as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled for the innocence and total exoneration of the lesbians known as the San Antonio Four.

The women, whose horrendous journey through the legal system — some will have spent nearly 15 years in prison for crimes they never committed, and that were never committed at all! — is heartbreakingly documented in Deborah S. Esquenazi's touching film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four.

Back in 1994, the women were wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault and indecency in a case involving two little girls, whose aunt was among the accused. After one of the two accusers grew up and found she had no negative memories of her aunt or of the women she'd helped send away, she questioned her father, a man with a grudge against his sister-in-law. She didn't accept his answers and publicly recanted, begging her aunt for forgiveness — which she received.

In 2012 and 2013, the remaining women were released (one had been paroled), but until today, their records were not expunged.

In its ruling, the court stated:

They are innocent. And they are exonerated. This court grants them the relief they seek.

Watch Southwest of Salem on ID Sunday, November 27, at 9 a.m. ET.

Check out my coverage of Southwest of Salem here.

 
Nov 21 2016
6-PACK/politics — Trump's Media Firing Squad + Trump Call$ In Favor$ + Hillary Gets Higher Marks Than Trump + Hillary > Trump By 1.7M + Texas Sen. Wants Teachers To Out Kids + Berniebot Rep. Gabbard Sucks Up To Trump! Comments (0)

Cwzm4NoXEAAJsuT(Image via New York Post)

*widget boy cultureTrump had a disastrous meeting with the media, in which he called them liars & lost his shit.

*widget boy cultureImmediately after he became president-elect, Trump called in a biz favor to the Argentine prez.

*widget boy culturePost-election, more approve of Hillary than Trump. Margin of error: A presidency.

*widget boy cultureHillary won the election she lost by — so far! — 1.7 million votes.

*widget boy cultureTexas State Sen. Konni Burton wants schools forced to out LGBTQ+ students to parents at any age.

*widget boy culture#BernieOrBust “Democratic” Hawaiian Rep. Tulsi Gabbard meeting with Trump for a job.

 
Oct 27 2016
6-PACK — Mr. Garrett + RIP SCOTUS + Cubs' Cubs Shake It + Carpooling With Gaga + Dadding Out + That Sh*t Ain't Right! Comments (0)

King-cobra-clayton-allen-45(Video still via IFC)

*widget boy cultureTons and tons of sleazy King Cobra GIFs and screengrabs to make Garrett Clayton squirm.

*widget boy cultureCould Republicans do away with SCOTUS entirely?! Yeah.

*widget boy cultureSexy, macho Cubs fans blow off some shirtless steam.

*widget boy cultureFull “Carpool Karaoke” with Lady Gaga:

*widget boy cultureFlipping Out star Jeff Lewis & his partner have welcomed a son.

*widget boy cultureGod, I hate young conservatives way more than old ones:

 
Oct 17 2016
Until Proven Innocent: A Review Of SOUTHWEST OF SALEM Comments (0)

Unnamed(Image via SouthwestOfSalem.com)

I am sometimes embarrassed to tell a woman the name of my blog, usually resorting to, “It's Boy Culture ... but we love girls, too!”

I've never felt less attached to the name than when I was watching the new documentary Southwest of Salem, which details the heartbreaking case of four Latinas from San Antonio, Texas, whose lesbianism almost certainly led to their being imprisoned for heinous crimes they did not commit; their story was almost certainly made possible by good ol' boy culture.

DSC00728The four women with their lawyer (Image & video by Matthew Rettenmund)

The San Antonio Four—Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez—were a tight-knit group of friends who found themselves accused, in 1994, of gang-raping Ramirez's two young nieces. The girls told a wild tale of drug-fueled, Satanic-driven group sex, an expert testified that the girls' hymens were damaged and that's all their community and the local media needed to hear.

Convicted, Ramirez pulled over 37 years and her friends each received 16. Only problem is, they didn't do it, and the crime for which they were convicted almost beyond a doubt never happened in the first place.

When one of the girls accusing the women grew up and found she could not remember anything negative happening at all, she confronted her father, a man with plenty of reason to have an ax to grind when it came to his sister-in-law. He allegedly threatened her with taking her children away if she refused to stay silent. She went on the record anyway, and he did try, unsuccessfully, to meddle with her custody.

Her admission led to Vasquez's parole, and Vasquez made it her mission to help her fellow accused. Their long, torturous struggle makes up Southwest of Salem.

Director Deborah S. Esquenazi has turned in a sobering, no-frills documentary that painstakingly details the case, which has yet to fully resolve; the women are currently free, but as the film shows, they are still fighting for justice.

Esquenazi documents how the expert testimony in the original case was not only flimsy, but later disavowed by the same expert who gave it; how the police seemed all too eager to lump the crime in with the last gasp of the now totally debunked Satanic ritual abuse epidemic (the film's only arty flourish is a sequence of footage from the Silent Era that eerily communicates the accusers' over-the-top fabulism); and how the legal system is set up to keep admissions of error extremely hard to solicit, let alone receive.

Most impressively, the director accomplishes this while telling the very human stories of the women, and of the accuser who set out to make things right years later.

She also deftly touches on the role (or lack thereof) of the nascent San Antonio gay community back in the '90s when the case first achieved notoriety, and on the roles of Catholicism and family in the women's lives.

Portions of the Q&A from the screening I attended:

There are many deeply moving sequences in Southwest of Salem—which has no shortage of parallels from which to draw in comparing the Massachusetts witch hunts of the 1600s with the way POC and LGBTQ people are still routinely treated by the U.S. justice system—including scenes of despair and of joy long withheld. For me, the most compelling scene is when an elderly, white, male, Texan judge is tasked with deciding whether a case he himself presided over may have gotten it wrong. One question he asks will chill you to the bone, and should lead any right-minded citizen to ask a dozen more questions about the efficacy of our system.

Don't miss this important film—check out its official site here and donate to the women's cause here.

 
Sep 07 2016
6-PACK — Death Of The Party + DALLAS MORNING NEWS For Hillary + Trump's Bondi Graft Revealed + King Of Norway Speaks Up For Queens + 50 Cent's Anti-Trans Slam + Uplifting Song! Comments (0)

Chris-edwardsChris Edwards, one of Toronto's glittering stars (Image via Chris Edwards/Facebook)

*widget boy cultureChris Edwards, a popular Toronto drag queen, has died after collapsing August 26 folowing a performance at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 

*widget boy cultureDallas Morning News: “We recommend Hillary Clinton for president.” First Dem endorsement in 75+ years.

*widget boy cultureForget about the appearance of impropriety—Donald Trump looks to have bribed Pam Bondi to drop investigation.

*widget boy cultureAmazing speech on LGBTQ rights, religious tolerance by 79-year-old King of Norway:

*widget boy culture50 Cent mocks his ex, Vivica A. Fox, using image of trans woman disfigured by bad injectibles.

*widget boy cultureCheck out Mikey Wax's “Helium,” written when a friend was diagnosed with cancer:

 
Sep 02 2016
6-PACK — Landlord From Hell + Garrison Keillor On Racist Trumps + Trumpette's Empty-Headed Dream + FBI Dumps Hillary Email Docs + Hillary's Advisors Think She's Got This Thing Won + El Paso County For LGBTQ! Comments (0)

Ad_217101270-500x666(Image by Olly McLellan & Scott Cole)

*widget boy cultureLandlord hates his gay tenants so much he hounds them out of a home—then stalks them 13 miles away!

*widget boy cultureKeillor on Trump, Inc.: “In Queens, blacks were a threat to property values — they belonged in the Bronx, not down the street.”

*widget boy cultureHead Trumpette hopes she's still friends with Hillary after founding group with Gennifer Flowers. You're not, girl.

*widget boy cultureFBI releases documents on Hillary Clinton server/email investigation, ruining right-wingers' vacation plans.

*widget boy cultureHillary's inner circle thinks she'll win pretty much no matter what. I kinda hate that mentality. Your debate moderators are ... !

*widget boy cultureEl Paso County, Texas, calls out anti-LGBTQ legislators

 
Jul 30 2016
6-PACK — Gay Officer's Tough Slog + Trump = Russia + Muslim War Hero's Dad Calls Out Ryan, McConnell + NAKED ATTRACTION + Out Fox-ed + Paired Hilton! Comments (0)

Jesus-Retana(Image via Dallas Police Department)

*widget boy cultureOfficer Jesus Retana, seriously injured in the Dallas sniper attack, has long recovery ahead, 30% pay cut.

*widget boy cultureDonald Trump's ties to Russia exposed—troubling and deep. Only Clinton campaign was hacked.

*widget boy cultureKhizr Khan—whose DNC speech required no notes or Teleprompter!—calls on GOP to repudiate Trump.

*widget boy cultureThe men get totally nude on dating show Naked Attraction. (Work Unfriendly)

*widget boy cultureOut lesbian S-s-s-s-samantha FOX! joins the U.K.'s Celebrity Big Brother. My history with as Sam: 

*widget boy cultureAmerican Family Association is ever so pissed off by this Hilton ad, showing two men in bed:

Hilton-Gay-Ad(Image via Hilton)

 
Jul 12 2016
So Articulate, Those Right-Wingers Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 5.27.20 PM(Image via Twitter)

And you know what, lady? That's exactly what they did(n't).