Tag Archives: AIDS Memorial

ACLU Trans Activist Ambushes Pete Buttigieg Over BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER at NYC AIDS Memorial

ACLU Trans Activist Ambushes Pete Buttigieg Over BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER at NYC AIDS Memorial

Last Friday gay Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg went to New York City’s LGBT Community Center on Friday to discuss HIV/AIDS policy,. Mayor Pete left the Center to walk to the NYC AIDS Memorial a few blocks south to pay his respects to the hundreds of thousands of victims.

After arriving at the memorial a small group of activists arrived carrying signs that read “BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER” and “STONEWALL IS NOW”

“The purpose of this protest is to highlight that there are distinct issues that divide the [LGBTQ+] community, namely along color lines,” Kiara St. James, the co-founder and executive director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group, tells Out. “He can’t use trans folks as talking points and not show up at the [Trans Day of Action] march.

Also involved in the ambush was American Civil Liberties Union trans justice campaign manager LaLa Holston-Zannell who said:

“It is your responsibility to let [queer and trans people of color] know that you will have their back and that you understand police brutality,” she said. “Stonewall 50 — that’s what we fought for, six days [really four] against the police, and today we’re still doing it. Fifty years ago, it was a girl like me that fought for six days. Black trans women are the most targeted—”

It was then some push-back against Holston-Zannell’s behavior began from the crowd.

A gay man in the crowd told Holston-Zannell:

“With all due respect, it wasn’t just you there,” he said, confronting her about erasing white gay people from the Stonewall narrative.

And he wasn’t the only one. After one of the other activists said that “Black trans lives matter,” a white woman in the crowd countered that “all lives matter.” Later, another white woman, who thought she’d never see “a married gay man running for president,” thanked the mayor for “working for all of us, for trans, for LGBT—”

“You can’t say that,” said Holston-Zannell. “If you’re not Black and trans you can’t say that.”

“You know what?” the woman responded, frustrated. “My wife worked for marriage equality.”

“Which means nothing for Black and brown trans people,” Holston-Zannell replied. “We care about living. We care about not being killed.”

Said Buttigieg later after the confrontation:

“One thing I’m very mindful of is that I couldn’t be doing this if people hadn’t fought for me before I was born, Some of them Black, some of them trans, people whose lived experiences were totally different than mine. But we’ve got to be lifting each other up. If you’re going to press me on doing a better job of lifting people up, I welcome that challenge.”

Back2Stonewall has reached out to the ACLU asking if
LaLa Holston-Zannell will face any ramifications for confronting Pete
Buttigieg at the AIDS Memorial.

There has been no response.

One of the First Public AIDS Memorials Located On Christopher Street in NYC May Be Lost Forever

Situated on Christopher Street in New York City St. Veronica’s Church  which was founded in 1890  and sat directly in the middle of Ground Zero during the AIDS Crisis.   But unlike many other institutions with ties to the Roman Catholic Church which had shut out most of the AIDS victims, St. Veronica’s and nearby St. Vincent’s Hospital did all they could to help and lend comfort to the plagues victim’, their friends and family.

In 1985 the church rectory was given to some of Mother Teresa’s nuns, who opened one of the city’s early AIDS hospice centers.  A few years later, in 1991, the church installed the memorial, a series of plaques with the names of men who died from the disease drilled into the choir loft. A small table with fresh flowers and a lone candle completed the memorial.

For many, this out-of-the-way memorial, somewhat hidden up in a choir loft, was one of the few places where they could grieve the deaths of loved ones. Ms. Cook said she often witnessed individuals climbing the rickety wooden steps leading up to the memorial.

“It was the saddest thing you’ve ever seen. You just wanted to cry,” she said.

The Rev. Kenneth Smith, the pastor of the church beginning in 1990, said he reached out to leaders from the gay community to see how the church might help.

Monsignor Smith said people dying from AIDS often had no one to pray with them, a role he tried to fill for several years during the height of the crisis.

“It was like to ministering to anyone else who’s dying from a disease. If you were a priest, you’d understand what I mean,” he said. “They’d go to a hospital. I visited them in the hospital. I administered the sacraments. I’d be with them when they died. I would celebrate their funerals.”

But some in St. Veronica’s congregation were not as kind.  “It was difficult. Extremely difficult,” Monsignor Smith said. “There were many people who didn’t think the church should be involved with people who were suffering from AIDS or involved in the burial of people who died with AIDS.”

But still St. Veronica’s remained steadfast in support of not only the victims of the dreaded disease but also the LGBT community as a whole opening its halls to support groups and Gay AA and NA meetings.

After the  attendance of parishioners began to dwindle the  church itself was downgraded from a parish a decade ago and is now in danger of being sold off by the Catholic church and has put the AIDS memorial in danger. The future of the building is unknown but despite the fact that it was  granted landmark status cannot be torn down or significantly altered the memorial itself would be taken from Christopher Street and put in storage  for “possible”  future use in other churches.”

Or it might be lost forever, like the lives it represents.

No matter what religion you are or what you believe, PLEASE take a moment to write or call Cardinal Timothy Dolan and demand that St. Veronica’s and it’s AIDS Memorial be saved.

Archdioceses of New York
1011 First Ave
New York, NY 10022

Attn: His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Re: SAVE ST VERONICA’S

Cardinal Timothy Dolan – Phone: 212-371-1000