Tag Archives: activism

This Is MY PRIDE STORY To Tell

This Is MY PRIDE STORY To Tell

As many of you know I have undergone multiple surgeries on my legs over the past 2 years. Yesterday was another surgery. But this one went slightly differently.

While I was in pre-op awaiting surgery and giving my medical history to an older female nurse at a hospital in Kentucky . I am and have always been open about being gay and my activism for full rights. The nurse took a beat. She looked me straight in the eye and took my hand , squeezed it and said “Thank you for fighting so long and so hard” and because of that her daughter, a lesbian just got married.

WOW. I was totally gutted. She gave me more respect, gratitude, and love in that minute than I have ever felt by the younger LGBTQ community at large.

Gay History – April 17, 1965: Frank Kameny Leads The First Gay & Lesbian Protest At The White House

On April 17th, 1965 Dr. Frank Kameny, along with gay rights pioneer Jack Nichols, who co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, DC  bravely led the first “homosexual rights” protest at the White House at a time in history when being gay and lesbian was viewed as an abomination in this country.

The Mattachine Society fought for the equal treatment of gay employees in the federal government, the repeal of sodomy laws, and the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s manual of mental disorders..

Ten MSW members along with members of the Daughters of Bilitis picketed in front of the White House against Cuban and the US governments repression of homosexuals.

The group also included:  Gail Johnson,  Gene Kleeberg, Judith Kuch, Paul Kuntzler, Perrin Shaffer, Jon Swanson, Otto Ulrich, Lilli Vincenz (editor of MSW’s quarterly).

Of the protest, Jack Nichols wrote “Never before had gay people as an organized group paraded openly for our rights.”

Nichols recalls:

The picket took place during mid-afternoon. It was the Saturday before Easter, and tourists walked the downtown streets. Lige [Clarke], driving the convertible, took me to the White House curb and helped me unload signs. Then he drove off to work the afternoon shift at the Pentagon. Gail arrived at the site on the back seat of Ray’s motorcycle.It was agreed I should lead the picket line. The reason for this was that I was tall and an all-American sort. Also, I suppose, because I’d conceived the event. Frank Kameny marched behind me and Lilli Vincenz behind him …

As we marched, I looked about at our well-dressed little band. Kameny had insisted that we seven men must wear suits and ties, and the women, dresses and heels. New Yorkers later complained that we Washingtonians looked like a convention of undertakers, but given the temper of the times, Kameny’s insistence was apropos. “If you’re asking for equal employment rights,” he intoned, “look employable!” In the staid nation’s capital, dressing for the occasion was, in spite of New York critics, proper.

We paraded in a small circle. Behind lampposts stood unknown persons photographing us. Were they government agents? Perrin and Otto wore sunglasses so absolute identification would be difficult should they fall prey to security investigations. We walked for an hour that passed, as I’d predicted, without incident. A few tourists gawked and there were one or two snickers, more from confusion than from prejudice.

We’d hoped for more publicity than we got. Only The Afro-American carried a small item about what we’d done. But we’d done it, and that was what mattered. We’d stood up against the power structure, putting our bodies on the line. Nothing had happened except that we’d been galvanized, and, to a certain extent, immunized against fear.”

The Mattachine Society protest was not welcomed by the mainstream gay movement of the time.  The more conservative leaders of the gay movement felt picketing would draw adverse publicity and even greater hostility. (Which sounds very familiar to what we hear today from some LGBT rights groups.)

The Mattachine Society’s protest of the White House, along with the Stonewall Riots are among two of the most significant events in LGBT History. But sadly as we look at the pictures and read the slogans on the picket signs of our LGBT activist forefathers I realize many of the slogans on these signs could still be carried in protest today.

In 2009 I wrote an article for Cincinnati CityBeat  the Queen City’s alternative newspaper called Reason To Rally where I offered an explanation of why I believe the momentum of our fight for equality has stalled to a snail’s pace

Since then, (the Stonewall riots) the cause for Equality has undertaken many different forms.

An angry queer in a T-shirt and jeans might have symbolized the gay activism of the 1970s, but the AIDS epidemic of the ’80s caused a significant change in approach.

By the end of the 90’s gay advocacy became symbolized by well groomed and overpaid white people sitting on boards, issuing press releases, asking for contributions and hosting fabulous galas instead of multitudes taking to the streets and demanding our rights

We now donate instead of protest. We sign countless petitions and then sit behind our computers and bitch and moan about our oppression instead of doing something about it ourselves.

Our cause has been splintered, fragmented and hijacked into piecemeal specific issues such as gay marriage, the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act instead of what we should be doing: standing together as one and fighting for and demanding federal recognition and protections in toto

Now with the push of “religious liberty” laws by those who hate us to roll back the rights we have fought so hard for we must  stand together, side-by-side and fight the hatred and bigotry that we deal with everyday and let them know that we’ll no longer accept being treated as second-class citizens and allow them spread lies and propaganda about us and our lives.

Too many years have passed and too many of our friends have left us without knowing what true equality is.

We must ALL stand up and start fighting again.

We must not only fight  for ourselves and those in out community but also for the memory of those who bravely began this fight and are no longer with us and left this world without achieving equality.

We must achieve that goal for them, for us, and those who will come after.

This is still our time.  This is still our fight.

LGBT Activists Arrested in Warsaw, Poland for Hanging Rainbow Flags Off Statues and "Offending Religious Feelings"

LGBT Activists Arrested in Warsaw, Poland for Hanging Rainbow Flags Off Statues and “Offending Religious Feelings”

Three LGBT activists have been arrested in Warsaw, Poland for hanging rainbow PRIDE flags off statues in Warsaw earlier this week.

The activists who were protesting the anti-LGBT policies of President Andrzej Duda hung the flags off statues of Christ at the Basilica of the Holy Cross , the astronomer Copernicus and the famous Warsaw mermaid statue. Polish police charged them with desecrating monuments and “offending religious feelings”.

Prosecutors must now decide whether to bring the case to court.

During last month’s election campaign, President Duda — an ally of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party — said the promotion of LGBT rights was an ideology more harmful than communism. He was re-elected as Poland’s president for a second five-year term, winning 51% of the vote in a tight battle with Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski a staunch defender of LGBT rights.

During the swearing in of President Andrzej Duda’s swearing-in female Polish MPs wore the rainbow colors of the LGBT PRIDE flag and rainbow face masks in protest.

At his swearing-in, Duda vowed to maintain openness to all groups and political parties, while also stressing the need to protect the family in Polish society.

Left wing parliamentarians dressed in the colours of the rainbow pose in front of the Polish Parliament (Sejm)
American Airlines and Others Companies Under Fire For Donating to Anti-LGBT Republicans

American Airlines and Others Companies Under Fire For Donating to Anti-LGBT Republicans

A new social media campaign called Zero for Zeros is taking on the hypocrisy of American Airlines, Google, Facebook and other companies whose PACs have donated to anti-gay Republican lawmakers .

Take for example Republican Senator Ted Cruz who has received campaign contributions in the amounts of $18,500 from Google, $16,000 from American Airlines, $15,000 from Microsoft and $2,000 from Amazon since 2012, according to Federal Election Commission records.

“These companies are some of the most well-known companies throughout the world and they support LGBT equality in many ways,” Lane Hudson, Zero for Zeros campaign manager, said in a statement. “Their political contributions to the most anti-gay members of Congress do not reflect the values they have expressed to their employees and the public.”

All five of the companies mentioned above have received a score of 100 on the useless 2019 Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index, which rates workplaces on LGBT equality. The Zero for Zeros campaign argues that given their high scores and apparent sensitivity to such issues, they should stop donating to lawmakers who don’t strongly support LGBT rights.

Anti-gay GOP Reps. Bill Flores, Pete Olson, Randy Weber, Brian Babin and racist extremist Louie Gohmert. have also received donations from PACs for American, AT&T, Microsoft, Amazon or other major employers.

Gohmert, the worst of the bunch has received $10,500 from American Airlines, $32,000 from AT&T, $7,000 from Microsoft and $4,000 from UPS since 2005.

September 17, 2011: Occupy Wall Street: Day Of Rage

Activist History – September 17, 2011: Occupy Wall Street: Day Of Rage (Video Montage)

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) was the start of a progressive protest movement that began on September 17, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district, receiving global attention and spawning a surge in the movement against economic inequality worldwide.

This video contains nearly five minutes of raw slow-motion clips that celebrate and document the faces and feelings of September 17th.

And it ain’t over yet!

Many thanks to embrown23 @ Youtube for the video below.

Russia Proposes Extending "Gay Propaganda Law" To All Adults

Russian Police “Detain” 25 Gay Activists In Russia After Protest

Russian police have “detained” around 25 gay rights activists who took part in an unsanctioned gay rights rally in St Petersburg on Saturday.

Activists gathered at Palace Square on Saturday afternoon demanding freedom of association after city authorities turned down their request to hold a Pride parade.

City authorities rejected their request, saying there was ongoing road repairs in the city and claiming that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) actions were “harmful to the health of children.”

Police detained campaigners who unfurled rainbow flags or held placards, dragging them one by one into a police bus. There were no violent clashes between police and the activists and as of now there have been no formal charges brought.

Russia passed a law in 2013 signed by Vladimir Putin banning the spreading of gay “propaganda”.

We will update this story as more details become known.

GetEQUAL Shuts Down! - Group Becomes Victim of It's Own Social Justice Agenda

GetEQUAL Shuts Down! – Group Becomes Victim of It’s Own Social Justice Agenda

GetEQUAL’s newly appointed Executive Director Gabriel Garcia-Vera announced today that the group will be shutting down immediately following a scandal surrounding the termination of a former staffer, Campaign Manager Aaryn Lang who accused the board of racism and transphobia.

“I have learned so much over the last few months, but one thing I have always known is that the movement and the world need fewer people in power who are ready to abuse it for their insecure whims,” Lang wrote on Facebook. “We all deserve better from the people and places that have aligned themselves with justice.”

Lang demanded GetEQUAL make donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Trans Sistas of Color Collective, Black Queer and Intersectional Columbus and No Justice No Pride which the GE has worked closely with in the past.

Garcia-Vera denied the allegations of discrimination but also put some blame on the groups closing on finances, even though they supposedly just came off a successful donor drive. “Our financial assets are barely sufficient to cover our operations for more than a few weeks. Our board of directors has collapsed. Raising new revenue and rebuilding the board would be a tremendous challenge even if we weren’t in the middle of a social media storm,” Garcia-Vera wrote in an open letter to the community. “But even more importantly, I fear that our capacity to advance our mission has been undermined.”

GetEQUAL was founded in 2010 by Robin McGehee, who was co-director of the National Equality March that took place in Washington, D.C..

GetEQUAL original mission statement was to secure complete Federal civil rights for the LGBT community and staged a series of protests against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which included Lt. Dan Choi and other service members handcuffing themselves to the White House fence.

Next Heather Cronk picked up the gauntlet as leader of the group following the civil rights message but it was not until Angela Peoples joined and started to take over that GetEQUAL changed its message to a QPOC (Queer People of Color), Trans Rights group.  And it protests changed from handcuffing themselves to the White House gates to protesting Pride Parades thus cutting out their base donors.

The irony of a GetEQUAL a being accused of racism and transphobia after years of accusing the gay and lesbian community of racism and transphobia is not lost on many in the community who have questioned their tactics and behavior after People’s took charge.

More Than A Feeling: Legendary Rock Group BOSTON Cancels NC Shows – #NoCarolina

Boston Cancels North Carolina Concerts

From the band’s Facebook page:

While the enjoyment of our fans is our central concern, and we have been looking forward to celebrating forty years of history performing for our listeners in North Carolina with spectacular live shows this spring, human rights are more important. It is with deep regret, that I must announce the cancellation of our upcoming shows on May 4, 5 & 6 in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh in order to raise awareness, and protest in the strongest terms, the recent passage of HB2, the so called “North Carolina bathroom law.”

HB2 has the appearance of an oppressive discriminatory law against a small minority, who already have to deal with a narrow-minded world regarding issues beyond their control which they did nothing to bring upon themselves. Other aspects of the new law arguably encourage bigotry. With thousands of fans in attendance at our shows, it is likely that some members of our audience and/or their loved ones are affected on a daily basis by this ugly expression of intolerance.

My sincere apologies to our fans who have already made arrangements to attend these shows. The removal of the shows from our schedule is a major disappointment. It has always been my wish to inspire people with BOSTON’s music. Hopefully the sacrifices we are all making here will inspire people to do the right thing in the future. We look forward to the day that the state government of North Carolina will come to its senses and treat ALL individuals with equal freedom in their pursuit of happiness here in the United States. ~ Tom Scholz

 

Duran Duran Punks Out: Will Not Cancel NC Concerts But Wants Fans To Sign A Petition Instead

Duran Duran Will Not Cancel NC Shows

 

Duran Duran has released a last minute statement on their website saying that they’ll go ahead with a performance in North Carolina this weekend and “push” for repeal of HB2

With respect to the current storm which is howling through this State, we considered cancelling our show on Saturday, but decided to go ahead, both for the sake of our fans and to support those in North Carolina who feel as strongly as we do about this issue. We see this as an opportunity to make the following statement.

Yes here it is again, just plain old fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression, the same old kind that’s blighted the human race, in varying degrees, for all of its history. Duran Duran is opposed to bigotry and discrimination in all of its ugly forms, and so it follows that we are opposed to the basic premise of HB2. We support the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender community, to have equal opportunities. We support their rights to live free, happy, fulfilled lives. If you live in this State and feel the same way, we urge you to register, so that you can vote; so that your voice can be heard. We urge you to sign this petition which will be presented at the General Assembly meeting on April 25th in North Carolina. You have the power to repeal this outdated and cruel legislation.

Sign up forms for the petition and information about HB2 and how to repeal it will be available at the show on Saturday night – so go visit the teams manning the Equality NC stalls that will be on site.

Our thanks to both Equality NC (www.equalitync.org) and NC Needs You (a new organization dedicated to connecting performers with likeminded nonprofits in the state battling against HB2) for their support and education on this issue. And, like us, please support Time Out Youth (http://www.timeoutyouth.org/), who will also be at the show and do incredible work with LGBT youth in the area.

– Simon, Nick, John & Roger

“For the sake of our fans”?

The right thing to do is cancel. Actions speak louder than words and musical performers who support the repeal of HB2 need to get on the same page.

Canceling makes a statement and hurts the economy of the North Carolina which will then pressure politicians to repeal it.  The performers donating “profits” from their converts to EqualityNC, while a noble gesture does nothing more than gives that organization more money which was never the issue with fighting HB2 in the first place and will have little effect. 

But Duran Duran takes the cake. We’ll still play and get paid. But come spend money and  sign a fucking petition?

What the fuck?

Its either greed or they are incredibly fucking cheap and stupid.

 

 

North Carolina NAACP Vows Protests/Sit-Ins Unless Hateful Anti-LGBT Hate Law Repealed

North Carolina NAACP Vows Protests Unless Anti-LGBT Hate Law Repealed