Tag Archives: LGBT

FDA To Ease Ban On Gay Men Donating Blood And It's Still Stigmatizing

FDA To Ease Ban On Gay Men Donating Blood And It’s Still Stigmatizing

Via The Associated Press: Gay and bisexual men in monogamous relationships will no longer be forced to abstain from sex to donate blood under federal guidelines to be proposed in coming days, ending a vestige of the earliest days of the AIDS crisis. The planned relaxation of restrictions by the Food and Drug Administration follows years of pressure by blood banks, the American Medical Association and LGBT rights organizations to abandon rules some experts say are outdated, homophobic and ineffective at keeping the nation’s blood supply safe.

The Red Cross samples all of its blood and perfoms various tests including test for AIDS and have been doing so for decades.

Gay men have been unfairly stigmatized for years.

ROME - Pope Francis: "Homosexuality os not a crime. But gay sex is a sin."

ROME – Pope Francis: “Homosexuality is not a crime. But gay sex is a sin.”

Pope Francis addressed discrimination against the LGBT community, his own health and future plans, and the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, among other things, in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press published Wednesday.

We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are.” Francis reiterated, however, church teaching that engaging in homosexual activity is sinful.”It’s a sin,” Francis said, adding: “Let’s make the distinction first between sin and crime.”   The pope also clarified that discriminating against others was also sinful, saying: “It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another.

Francis said the church “must” work to get unjust laws abolished around the world. 

Same-sex sexual acts are considered crimes in some 67 countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, according to the Human Dignity Trust organization. In 11 of those countries, punishment can include the death penalty.  

The Catholic Church teaching says that gay people must be welcomed into the church and treated with respect and kindness, despite the fact that homosexual acts are considered “intrinsically disordered.” 

Over 100 Anti-LGBT Bills Introduced into State Legislatures So Far In 2023

Over 100 Anti-LGBT Bills Introduced into State Legislatures So Far In 2023

Over 100 bills targeting LGBT rights have been filed in 22 states for 2023 so far all in Republican controlled states.

Texas has taken the lead with 36 such bills, according to Equality Texas, Missouri is next with 26, then North Dakota with eight and Oklahoma with six. 

A new slate of bills targeting drag performers has also emerged, likely in response to increasing protests in the past year against children attending drag brunches or Drag Story Hour, a national program started in 2015 in which drag performers read books to children at libraries, schools and bookstores

As right-wing politicians and media outlets have mainstreamed the use of increasingly inflammatory rhetoric against the LGBT+ community in the United States (New York Magazine, 8 April 2022Vox, 21 April 2022), anti-LGBT political violence has ramped up: with incidents of political violence targeting the LGBT+ community

Gay History – January 1, 1967: The Black Cat Tavern in Los Angeles Raided

On New Year’s Day in 1967, undercover officers arrested 14 patrons of the Black Cat Tavern, one of a number of gay bars that lined Sunset Boulevard at the time.  The bar attracted a largely working class clientele and was nestled among a number of businesses friendly to gay men and lesbians.

According to Tangents – a local gay newspaper – “The Black Cat was happy and hooping” before undercover police arrived and started beating patrons as they were ringing in the New Year: “There were colored balloons covering the ceiling … and three glittering Christmas trees”  Moments later, “all hell broke loose.” 

That night the Black Cat was packed, the barroom strung with Christmas lights. A trio called the Rhythm Queens was performing, and when the costume contest concluded at New Faces

As the clock stuck midnight balloons tumbled from the ceiling. The Rhythm Queens belted out “Auld Lang Syne,” and for a moment there was time to grab a kiss. But not all the revelers were there for the same party. At five minutes after midnight, plainclothes policemen began swinging clubs and pool cues, dragging patrons out the door and into the street. They pulled the bartender over the bar, lacerating his face on broken glass. Two patrons ran across Sanborn and took cover in the crowd at New Faces, where Circus of Books now stands. Officers followed, breaking one bartender’s nose, leaving another with a ruptured spleen. Sixteen people were arrested that night—six of them charged with lewd conduct, also known as kissing.

Two of the men arrested for kissing were later convicted under California Penal Code Section 647 and registered as sex offenders. The men appealed, asserting their right of equal protection under the law, but the U.S. Supreme Court did not accept their case.

On February 11, 1967 hundreds of people;  gays, lesbians, bisexuals, drag queens and straight allies gathered outside the Black Cat to protest police antagonism, harassment, and violence toward the city’s gay and lesbian community.

Witness accounts indicate the demonstration was peaceful, if not a little tense because of heavy police monitoring.

While the Stonewall Riots of 1969 is the milestone that we commemorate and remember to mark of our liberation.  There are lesser remembered protests and pickets that happened before Stonewall that were just as important to our visibility and our fight for our rights that should always be remembered.

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50 years ago the first major gay rights demonstration happened in Silver  Lake - Curbed LA

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Gay History – January 2, 1857: Martha Carey Thomas Feminist Lesbian Educator and Suffragist Born

Martha Carey Thomas was born in Baltimore, Maryland January 2, 1857.

Thomas an American educator and suffragist went on to become the dean and later president of Bryn Mawr University.

Growing up, Thomas was strongly influenced by the staunch feminism of her mother and her mother’s sister Hannah Whitall Smith who became a prominent preacher in their Quaker religion. Her father, a physician, was not completely happy with feminist ideas, but his daughter was fiercely independent and he supported her in all of her independent endeavors. Though both her parents were orthodox members of the Society of Friends, Thomas’ education and European travel led her to question those beliefs and develop a love for music and theater, both of which were forbidden to Orthodox Quakers.

Thomas went to Sage College, a women’s school at Cornell University.

She graduated from Cornell University in 1877.  Cornell offered her both the position of professor of literature and dean of Sage College, but she did not consider either.

She did graduate work in Greek at Johns Hopkins University but withdrew because she was not permitted to attend classes. She did further graduate work at the University of Leipzig, but that university did not grant degrees to women. She then went to the University of Zurich and earned a Ph.D. in linguistics, summa cum laude, in 1882 for her dissertation which was a philological analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. This dissertation continued to be highly regarded by specialists eighty years later.She was the first woman and the first foreigner to receive such a doctorate from the university. She then spent some time in Paris, where she attended lectures by Gaston Paris at the Sorbonne, and then went back home to the United States.

In 1882, Thomas wrote a letter to the trustees of Bryn Mawr College, requesting that she be made president of the university. However, she was not granted the position as the trustee were concerned about her relative youth and lack of experience.  Instead, Thomas entered in 1884 as the dean of the college and chair of English.

Continue reading Gay History – January 2, 1857: Martha Carey Thomas Feminist Lesbian Educator and Suffragist Born

Today in Gay History – January 1st: Hoover, Bryant, Haines, Milk, Orton, and Sodomy Laws Fall Over The Years.

 

 Hold on tight………..

January 1, 1801 – Ireland was added to Great Britain by an Act of Union thus creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. It also put Ireland, and today, Northern Ireland under British laws on morality and particularly homosexuality.

January 1, 1879 – E. M. Forster (1879 – 1970) is born in London. After his brilliant novel “A Passage to India” in 1924, he produced no new works. His gay novel “Maurice” was written in 1914, but not published until after his death. For 50 years his lover was a married London policeman named Bob Buckingham.

January 1, 1886 – English Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885 takes effect. “Indecencies” between adult males in private become a crime punishable by up to two years imprisonment.

January 1, 1892 – Ellis Island in New York harbor opened. Over 20 million new arrivals to America were processed until its closing in 1954. It is unknown how many of the new immigrants were gays and lesbians. Some estimates are as high as 1 million (This is lower than 10% since most of those admitted to the US were families not that THAT really makes a difference.)

January 1, 1895 – J. Edgar Hoover is born in Washington. Hoover led a deeply repressed sexual life, living with his mother until he was 40, awkwardly rejecting the attention of women and pouring his emotional, and at times, physical attention on his handsome deputy at the FBI.  What exactly was his relationship with his ever constant companion and fellow FBI man Clyde Tolson? There has been a lot of speculation but no documentation. Still there are numerous stories of Hoover appearing in drag in New York. Usually in a red dress, and he liked to be called “Mary”.

January 1, 1900 – Silent movie star William Haines is born in Staunton, Virginia. His good looks and baby face made him a hit playing the wisecracking penniless young man in countless films. Blessed with a good voice, he was one of the few silent stars to make the transition to talkies.

In 1933, Haines was arrested in a YMCA with a sailor he had picked up in Los Angeles’ Pershing Square. Louis B. Mayer, the studio head at MGM, delivered an ultimatum to Haines: Choose between a sham marriage (also known as a “lavender marriage”) or his relationship with Shields. Haines chose Shields and they remained together for almost 50 years.  Mayer subsequently fired Haines and terminated his contract.  He made a few minor films at Poverty Row studios, then retired from acting. His final films were made with Mascot Pictures, Young and Beautiful and The Marines Are Coming in 1934.

Haines never returned to acting, but continued to receive offers for film roles. During production of Sunset Boulevard (1950), Haines was offered a cameo role in the film, which he declined. He later said, “It’s a rather pleasant feeling of being away from pictures and being part of them because all my friends are. I can see the nice side of them without seeing the ugly side of the studios.

Haines started a successful interior design business with his life partner Jimmie Shields, and was supported by friends in Hollywood most notably Joan Crawford.

Haines died of lung cancer in December 1973 at the age of 73.

January 1, 1901 – The Commonwealth of Australia was founded as six former British colonies became six states with Edmund Barton as the first prime minister, and Canberra as the capital. Today, Sydney, the biggest city in Australia, has one of the world’s largest gay communities. It’s annual Mardi Gras celebrations draw nearly a million a people from all over the globe.

January 1, 1933 – John Kingsley was born in Leicester, England. Writing under the name Joe Orton he became of Britain’s most popular comic playwrights (Entertaining Mr Sloane in 1964 and Loot in 1966). He was murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell who then committed suicide in the London flat they had occupied for 15 years. In 1967 he had written in his diary “I have high hopes of dying in my prime.”  (Orton documentary embedded below.)

January 1, 1959 – Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after leading a revolution that drove out dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro then established a Communist dictatorship. Although homosexuality was illegal under the Batista government the laws were largely ignored in fun loving Cuba. Since Castro, tens of thousands of gays have been rounded up and imprisoned.

January 1, 1965 – Gays and lesbians are arrested at the New Year’s Day Mardi Gras Ball in San Francisco. The ball was a fundraiser for Council on Religion and the Homosexual at California Hall. The event galvanizes the local gay and lesbian community.

January 1, 1971 – Colorado decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

January 1, 1971 – Oregon decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

January 1, 1972 – Science magazine publishes a report that suggests male homosexuality may be determined in the womb due to chemical and/or hormonal stress of the pregnant woman.

January 1, 1972 – Hawaii decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

January 1, 1974 – Ohio repeals its sodomy laws and decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

January 1, 1975 – New Mexico decriminalizes private consensual adult homosexual acts.

Continue reading Today in Gay History – January 1st: Hoover, Bryant, Haines, Milk, Orton, and Sodomy Laws Fall Over The Years.

CHICAGO: Man Abducted At Gunpoint on Christmas Eve in Boystown

CHICAGO: Man Abducted At Gunpoint on Christmas Eve in Boystown

A man from out-of-state was abducted at gunpoint in Boystown by two men who robbed and carjacked him before dumping him in Auburn Gresham on Christmas Eve, according to Chicago police

The 26-year-old told police he was walking near Halsted Street and Cornelia Avenue in the heart of Boystown when two men wearing dark clothing and ski masks confronted him with a handgun around 10 p.m. Saturday, a Chicago police spokesperson said. Both offenders demanded the man’s property and forced him to get into his 2021 Kia, which was parked on Cornelia just across from Hydrate nightclub, a police report said.

“A fight broke out inside the victim’s car while the men drove away with him inside the Kia, according to the police spokesperson. The robbers stopped at an ATM and forced the victim to withdraw money, and they eventually dropped him off in the 8300 block of South Kerfoot. 

In July of 2022 a two-hour violent crime spree hit Boystown. According to police information, one victim was severely beaten, another was carjacked, and at least four street robberies were reported in the Halsted nightlife district.

And you thought your Christmas was bad.

Gay History - December 15, 1973: American Psychiatric Association Vote That Being Gay IS NOT A Mental Illness

Gay History – December 15, 1973: American Psychiatric Association Vote That Being Gay IS NOT A Mental Illness.

Forty-nine years ago today, the American Psychiatric Association made history by issuing a resolution stating that homosexuality was not a mental illness or sickness.

The board of the American Psychiatric Association unanimously votes to change the classification of homosexuality and removes it from the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” This followed three years of pressure from gay liberation movement. The board bases this decision on its finding that most lesbians and gay men are clearly satisfied with their sexual orientation and show no signs of mental illness. The APA declares that “by itself, homosexuality does not meet the criteria for being a psychiatric disorder.”

Classified as a mental illness thousands of gays and lesbians were committed to mental institutions and suffered horrible torture and indignities such as: lobotomies, electric shock torture, and aversion therapy. These practiced did not stop after the APA’s resolution but certainly slowed it until it was spotlighted as the torture it actually is.

Continue reading Gay History – December 15, 1973: American Psychiatric Association Vote That Being Gay IS NOT A Mental Illness.
World AIDS Day 2019 - Remembering Those We Lost

World AIDS Day 2022 – Remembering Those We Lost: The AIDS Memorial Quilt

World AIDS Day 2016: View The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Online

In June of 1987, a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The idea for the AIDS Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones. Jones after learning that over 1,000 San Franciscans had been lost to AIDS. He asked each of his fellow marchers to write on placards the names of friends and loved ones who had died.  Jones and others stood on ladders taping these placards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. The wall of names looked like a patchwork quilt.

Jones and friends made plans for a larger memorial. A little over a year later, he created the first panel for the AIDS Memorial Quilt in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman.  Response to the Quilt was immediate. People in the U.S. cities most affected by AIDS — Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — sent panels to the San Francisco workshop. Generous donors rapidly supplied sewing machines, equipment and other materials, and many volunteered tirelessly.

The mission of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Archive Project is to preserve the powerful images and stories of our fallen brothers and sisters and expand our AIDS awareness and HIV prevention education efforts.

To date all more than 50,000  hand-crafted 3-by-6 panels commemorating the lives of more than 105,000 people who died of AIDS or related illnesses creating a moving and permanent visual record of the AIDS pandemic.

Last month  it was announced that AIDS Memorial Quilt is returning home to San Francisco and will be housed at the  to the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco where you can search for panels of loved ones and friends.

God bless all our fallen they will be in our hearts and our memories  now and always.

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“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting... And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I got scared, ‘Shit, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, phew… I am a conservative Republican.”

Colorado Club Q Shooter’s Father Relieved His Son Is A Murderer and NOT Gay [Video]

“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting… And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I got scared, ‘Shit, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, phew… I am a conservative Republican.”

So he basically admitted on tv that he groomed his son to become a mass shooter. Charge him as an accessory