Tag Archives: Courage

August 26, 1986: Former Washington Redskin Jerry Smith Announces He Has AIDS

Gay History: August 26, 1986: Former Washington Redskins Football Player Jerry Smith Announces He Has AIDS

August 26, 1986: Jerry Smith, former Washington Redskins tight end, is the first celebrity to voluntarily acknowledge that he has AIDS.

Jerry Smith was the Redskins’ tight end from 1965-77. Sports Illustrated called him “an outstanding receiver among tight ends, with the ability to break open for a long gain.”  During his career Smith played in 168 games and had 421 receptions for a total of 5,496 yards.  Scoring an amazing 60 touchdowns, he held the record for tight ends that stood for almost 25 years and was twice named All-Pro

Smith was 6-foot-3 but weighed only 210 pounds. Nobody ever questioned his skills and tight-end toughness.

But on August 26, 1986 as he lay in a bed at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Springs, MD where he was fighting for his life against the deadly disease AIDS he weighed only 150 pounds.

Smith decided to go public with his diagnosis in the Washington Post because in his words: “I want people to know what I’ve been through and how terrible this disease is. Maybe it will help people understand. Maybe it will help with development in research. Maybe something positive will come out of this.”

One of the most recognizable and popular Redskins of his era, Smith also was one of the most respected and private. and never talked about his sexuality.

After retiring Smith became co-owner of The Boathouse, a gay bar in Austin Texas.  It was later confirmed that he had been romantically involved with former Redskins teammate Dave Kopay who had come out of the closet years earlier.

Jerry Smith died seven weeks after he made his announcement.

The Redskins logo, along with Jerry Smith’s uniform number 87, is part of the AIDS quilt.

Jerry Smith | Legacy Project Chicago

8 Arrested in the Country of Georgia After Riots Erupt Over Footballers Support of Gay Rights – Video

 

Riots erupted in the country of Georgia as protesters from the right-wing group Georgian March organized a demo demanding that footballer Guram Kashia be kicked off the national team for wearing a rainbow armband in support of gay rights.

The armband was in support of rights for the LGBT community and formed part of the country’s larger ‘Coming Out Day’ initiative.

In response, dozens of protesters gathered to march outside the Georgian Football Federation in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, shouting homophobic epithets, lighting flares and smoke bombs, and burned a rainbow flag.

Everyone has the right for freedom of expression,” Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in a statement on Facebook on Monday.

“We should respect human rights and liberties. I stand with the unanimous support that sporting society has expressed toward Guram Kashia,” he added.

The AP AP reported that eight people were detained for resisting police and minor hooliganism, and they were due to appear in court on Wednesday.

Kashia told Dutch TV channel NOS he is proud to support equal rights and he has no intention to stop playing for Georgia.

 

 
 

 

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50 Thousand Take To The Streets In Warsaw, Poland To March For PRIDE - Videos

Thousands Take To The Streets In Warsaw, Poland To March For LGBT PRIDE – Videos

50 Thousand Take To The Streets In Warsaw, Poland To March For PRIDE - Videos

The 17th annual ‘Equality Parade’ took place as Poland’s conservative government continues to oppose civil unions for same-sex couples. Organizers put the number at 50,000, while the police said 13,000 attended the parade, with 40 foreign embassies, including those of France and the US, expressing their support.

The parade was intended to “draw attention to the rights of LGBT people, fight discrimination and promote acceptance of same-sex unions,” with people also marching in support of people with disabilities, religious minorities other marginalized groups, the organizers said.

Poland’s constitution is one of seven in the EU to ban gay marriage and the country is one of six in the 28-member bloc not to allow same-sex civil unions. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland came to power in late 2015 on a ticket of promoting traditional Polish values, family and Catholic traditions. – via Deutsche Welle

Szczęśliwa Pride!

 

 

Ugandan Police Halt Gay Pride Parade In Entebbe

Ugandan Police Halt Gay Pride Parade In Entebbe

More than 100  people risked jail and and also their lives as they tried to participate in the celebrations of Ugnada’s Gay Pride Parade n Entebbe, Uganda near Lake Victoria with authorities threatening to arrest the organizers of the event saying such gatherings were illegal under Uganda‘s penal code.

But many were blocked and escorted by police back to Kampala in minibuses.

After being blocked from entering the Entebbe resort, several dozen participants moved on to another resort but were kicked out of their by armed police officers also.

After being blocked from entering the Entebbe resorts, several dozen participants moved on to another resort but were kicked out by officers.

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda  Simon Lokodo the minister for Ethics and Integrity had threatened to mobilize mobs to attack participants.

This is the second time the LGBT community has tried to hold gay pride celebrations in Uganda this year. In August, the authorities broke up a beauty pageant and arrested activists.

Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda, with prison sentences lasting up to 14 years.

BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga reports from Kampala that it is unclear why this event was targeted, as over the past four years celebrations have been held without much notice from the police.

 

Charlotte NC Stands Stong, City Council WILL NOT Consider McCrory’s “Compromise” To Repeal LGBT Rights Law

Charlotte NC Stands Stong, City Council WILL NOT Consider McCrory’s “Compromise” To Repeal LGBT Rights Law

 

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Despite pressure from business leaders, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Monday the city won’t repeal the ordinance that led to House Bill 2 this week – and maybe not at all.

And in a memo to the City Council, the city attorney said the General Assembly doesn’t need the city to rescind its ordinance in order to repeal HB2. Legislative leaders had made dropping the city ordinance a condition for repealing HB2.

“Some people don’t realize there’s no legal reason for Charlotte to do anything, and that’s the point we want to make clear to the community,” Roberts told the Observer.

The ordinance, which was nullified by HB2, extended anti-discrimination protection to the LGBT community and would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom or locker room of their gender identity.

Roberts’ comments came after a news conference in which LGBT leaders accused Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and legislative leaders of “holding Charlotte hostage.” State Rep. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, called HB2 “the worst anti-LGBT law in the nation.”

On Friday, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association announced it was trying to broker a compromise to stop the economic damage from HB2. And Sunday the Charlotte Chamber, along with hospitality and tourism leaders, called for the city and state to repeal the controversial laws.

After a weekend of bashing and additional boycott threats against NC restaurants and hotels because of NCRLA’s initial statement.  Today it issued a “clarification” of its stand.  But did not change its decision.

Raleigh, N.C. (September 18, 2016) — The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association remains committed to a resolution of this very complex situation. Our position is not for one side or the other. The hospitality community is an open and welcoming industry, but we find ourselves caught in the middle of a situation that we did not ask for, and our team members are suffering. We urge all sides to work together to find a solution.

We believe a reset is necessary. To break an impasse, one side has to make the first move. We issued our statement on Friday because we were advised that if Charlotte makes the first move, the Legislature will reciprocate, and we will have that reset. Charlotte leaders can confirm whether our information is accurate.

Our City, our State and our industry, including restaurants, hotels and their staffs are being adversely impacted. We have to work together shoulder-to-shoulder, not nose-to-nose. Let’s get this one right, so hard working North Carolinians are not so significantly affected.

Expanding the non-discrimination ordinance cost businesses in the state next to nothing, if anything at all. HB2 on the other hand has cost the state $395M.

Stick to your guns Charlotte N.C.!

Fuck you, North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association!

 

12 Year-Old Boy Single-Handedly Stands Up To Thousands of Anti-Gay Protesters In Mexico

12-year-old-blocks-anti-gay-march

A 12-year-old boy single-handedly to block thousands of anti-gay protesters in in Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico this weekend by standing all alone in the middle of the street because his Uncle is gay.

Over the weekend, thousands of members of Mexico’s “pro-family” hate group Frente Nacional por la Familia took to the streets across the nation to protest the impending passage of same sex marriage.

As Mexico makes a national move toward marriage equality, pockets of protest sprung up, with marches taking place across many parts of the country.

Journalist Manuel Rodriguez photographed a boy standing ahead of the car-led parade attempting to halt their advance.

“At first I thought the child was only playing,” Rodriguez told Regeneracion. But when Rodriguez later interviewed the child, he told the reporter, “I have an uncle who is gay and I hate the hatred.”

Same-sex marriage is now legal in Mexico City and nine of the country’s 31 states. 

#DavidAndGoliath

Courage and Heartbreak – Gay Marriage Pioneer Richard Adams Passes Away At Age 65

Gay Marriage activist Richard Adams

Thirty-seven years ago, in 1975 Richard Adams made history when he and his partner of four years, Anthony Sullivan, became one of the first gay couples in the country to be granted a marriage license Adams had  hopes of saving his partner  an Australian who had been in the country on a limited visa and was facing deportation by marrying him.

A Boulder, CO liberal county clerk Clela Rorex had decided to issue marriage licenses to gay couples after the Boulder district attorney’s office advised her that nothing in state law explicitly prohibited it.

Colorado’s attorney general later declared the Boulder marriages invalid. and Adams and Sullivan received a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that denied Sullivan’s petition to stay in the country which shockingly read:  “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.” 

The INS to this day has never apologized for the contents of the letter.

Adams took the INS to court in 1979, challenging the constitutionality of the denial. A federal district judge in Los Angeles upheld the INS decision, and Adams and Sullivan lost subsequent appeals.

In a second lawsuit, the couple argued that Sullivan’s deportation after an eight-year relationship with Adams would constitute an “extreme hardship.” In 1985 a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the hardship argument and opened the way for Sullivan to be sent back to Australia.

Because Australia had already turned down Adams’ request for residency in that country, the couple decided the only way they could stay together was to leave the U.S. In 1985, they flew to Britain and drifted through Europe for the next year.

“It was the most difficult period because I had to leave my family as well as give up my job of 18 1/2 years. It was almost like death,” Adams said in “Limited Partnership,” a documentary scheduled for release next year.

The pair ended their self-imposed exile after a year and came home. They lived quietly in Los Angeles to avoid drawing the attention of immigration officials, but in recent years began to appear at rallies supporting same-sex marriage.

The day before he died, Sullivan told his partner that the most important victory was that they were able to remain a couple.

“Richard looked at me,” Sullivan told Soloway, “and said, ‘Yeah, you’re right. We’ve won.'”

Richard Adams, passed away on Monday at his home in Hollywood after a brief illness.

A true LGBT Hero.

 

Source:  The L.A. Times

 

18 Year Old Welsh Rugby Captain Comes Out On YouTube To Inspire Others Gay Sports Players

18-year-old Tom Boswell of Wales is the Captain of his Rigby team shows his extreme courage by posting his coming out video on YouTube for all the world to see to inspire others gay athletes and show them that its okay to play sports and be openly gay.  (Maybe some professional athletes will see it and break open their glass locker doors.)

God bless you Bozzy!  Well done! – OI! OI! OI!

David Yost The Blue Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Was Verbally Abused, Tried To "Pray The Gay" Away, and Suffered A Nervous Breakdown. But Now He’s Happy Gay and Out. (Video)

David Yost, who played the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ Billy Cranston (Blue Ranger), has come out of the closet after a long and rocky road.

David says he quit the show over constantly being harassed over his sexuality. “Creators, producers, writers, directors” all threw the Faggot word around at him. Yost, “walked off set one day in the middle of lunch,” a move he had been thinking about for about a week. “Continuing to work in an environment like that is really difficult. I myself was struggling with who I was, or what I was, and to be made fun of on some level, or to be stereotyped, or put into a category … I was continually being told I’m not worthy of where I am because I’m quote-unquote a gay person and I’m not supposed to be an actor and can’t be a superhero.”

David then spent two years trying to “pray the gay away,” had a nervous break down, checked himself into a mental hospital for five weeks, and then moved to Mexico for a year. “It frustrated me that I hated myself on such a level that I couldn’t accept myself.”

I’m glad to see that David is happy and comfortable with himself now.  Welcome brother.

You just can’t even compare the coming out process of what David went through to accept his sexuality and deal with the homophobia with Ken Mehlman, who is living in luxury based in part of the homophobic environment that he helped foster that made life so hard for David.

You know where my sympathies lie, and it’s certainly not with Mehlman.