Tag Archives: Remember

MEMORIAL DAY – WATCH: “A Day In The Life Of The AIDS Memorial Quilt” and Remember Our Lost and Fallen.

There is more than one type of war and those who become causalities of it.

On October 12, 1996. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfurled on the National Mall in Washington, DC. and it was the last year that the whole of the AIDS Quilt was small enough to fit.

By 1989 alone 48,582 Americans had died from the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control.

A total of 47,355 Americans died in combat during the Vietnam War according to the Department of Defense.

Let us remember our fallen also.

Gay History - April 21, 1966: NYC Gay Rights Activist Stage "Sip-In" Protesting Over Refusal To Serve Homosexuals.

Gay History – April 21, 1966: NYC Gay Rights Activist Stage “Sip-In” Protesting Over Refusal To Serve Homosexuals.

On this date a little-known but a very important milestone in gay history took place at Julius’ bar on West 10th Street in NYC that helped pave the way for the Stonewall uprising and gay rights. 

On April 21, 1966, The Mattachine Society “staged” the first civil rights “sip-in.”

“At the time, being homosexual was in itself seen as a disorder,” said Dick Leitsch, an original member of the group. It was also “illegal” to serve a homosexual liquor by order of the New York State Liquor Authority.

The Mattachine Society activists invited four newspaper reporters along, including Thomas A. Johnson of The New York Times. The plan was to convene at noon at the Ukrainian-American Village Hall, a bar on St. Marks Place. The Times reporter tipped off the owners, who shut the bar for the day.  A sign in the window made the establishment’s attitude clear: “If you are gay, please stay away.”

So the group of men then moved across the street to The Dom, a club that, by night hosted concerts by the Velvet Underground. It had a sign just as unwelcoming as the one at the Ukrainian Hall. The Dom, too, was closed.

After going to a Howard Johnson’s, at Eighth Street and the Avenue of the Americas which served them. The men then advanced to a Mafia-owned tiki bar, The Waikiki. The  amused manager told them: “How do I know you’re homosexuals? Give these guys a drink on us.”

In desperation, the troupe trudged over to Julius’ on West 10th Street.  It was established in 1864 and is now known for being one of the oldest gay bars in New York City “It was a rather dull, neighborhood place which was about three-quarters gay,” said Randy Wicker, 78, who joined the action at that stop. “I called it a closet queen bar.”

The activists knew Julius’ had to refuse them, because the night before, a man who had been served there had later been entrapped by an officer for “gay activity,” meaning the bar was in jeopardy of having its liquor license revoked. As they entered, the men spied a sign that read “Patrons Must Face the Bar While Drinking,” an instruction used to thwart cruising.  

As soon as they approached, the bartender put a glass in front of him. When the men announced they were gay, the bartender put his hand over the glass; it was captured in a photograph by Fred McDarrah for The Village Voice.

The next day’s New York Times featured an article about the event with the headline “3 Deviates Invite Exclusion by Bars.” Two weeks later, a far more sympathetic piece appeared in The Village Voice. The publicity prompted a response from the State Liquor Authority chairman, Donald S. Hostetter, who denied that his organization ever threatened the liquor licenses of bars that served gays. The decision to serve was up to individual bartenders, he said.

At that point, the Commission on Human Rights became involved. It’s chairman, William H. Booth, told The Times in a later article: “We have jurisdiction over discrimination based on sex. Denial of bar service to a homosexual solely for that reason would come within those bounds.”

From that moment on gay men could not be refused service in any New York State Liquor Authority  licensed establishment.

In 2016, Julius Bar was designated as a New York City landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, recognizing its significance as a site of cultural and historical importance.

 It is one of only eleven sites in New York City listed on the National Register specifically for LGBT associations.

The small grill within the bar also makes one helluva cheeseburger .

January 27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day: Nazi Germany, The Pink Triangle and Paragraph 175

The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of over six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

But also as a part of the Nazis’ attempt to purify German society and propagate an “Aryan master race,” they condemned homosexuals as “socially aberrant.” Soon after taking office on January 30, 1933, Hitler banned all gay and lesbian organizations. Brownshirted storm troopers raided the institutions and gathering places of homosexuals. While this subculture had flourished in the relative freedom of the 1920s, Nazi tactics greatly weakened it and drove it underground.

Later, a harsher revision of Paragraph 175 of the Criminal Code went into effect, making a broad range of “lewd and lascivious” behavior between men illegal and punishable by imprisonment. The revision of Paragraph 175.

The Nazis believed that male homosexuals were weak, effeminate men who could not fight for the German nation. They saw homosexuals as unlikely to produce children and increase the German birthrate. The Nazis held that inferior races produced more children than “Aryans,” so anything that diminished Germany’s reproductive potential was considered a racial danger.

The police had powers to hold in protective custody or preventive arrest those deemed dangerous to Germany’s moral fiber, jailing indefinitely—without trial—anyone they chose. In addition, homosexual prisoners just released from jail were immediately re-arrested and sent to concentration camps if the police thought it likely that they would continue to engage in homosexual acts.

Continue reading January 27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day: Nazi Germany, The Pink Triangle and Paragraph 175

9/11 in Memoriam: Remembering Our Fallen LGBT Brothers and Sisters

Remembering and Honoring The LGBT Heroes and Victims of 9/11

Please everyone take a minute to read this list and reflect and remember our fallen LGBT brothers and sisters listed here and for all the victims of that fateful day

The Fallen

Father Mychal Judge:  The first recorded victim of the September the 11th terrorist attacks was openly gay Father Mychal Judge, a Roman Catholic priest and chaplain to the New York City Fire Department who died ministering at Ground Zero even though he was under no obligation to be there. He gave his life to comfort others in his hour of need.

Renee Barrett,  passed away on October 18 from injuries she received during the attacks on September 11th. A member of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York,  She is survived by her partner Enez Cooper and her 18-year-old son, Eddie. Barrett

Graham Berkeley, a native of England who lived in Boston, boarded United Airlines Flight 175 on Sept. 11. His plane was the second to crash into the World Trade Center.

Mark Bingham , an openly gay man on United Airlines Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania. He assisted in defending the aircraft against the attackers and is considered one of the many heros of that day.

Pamela Boyce, was at work on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower when it was struck. She is survived by Catherine Anello her partner.

David Charlebois, a member of the National Gay Pilots Association, was the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the pentagon.

Eugene Clark, worked on the 102nd floor of the south World Trade Center tower. He sent his partner Larry Courtney a voice message stating “I’m OK. The plane hit the other tower. And we’re evacuating.” Clark is still missing and presumed dead.

Jeffrey Collman,  flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower. He is survived by Keith Bradkowski, his partner of 11 years

Luke Dudek, worked for Windows on the World as the food and beverage controller. He is survived by is partner of 20 years, George Cuellar.

James Joe Ferguson, Director of geography education outreach at the National Geographic Society. He was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77.

Carol Flyzik, passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, which was the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center towers. She is survived by her partner of 13 years, Nancy Walsh.

Ronald Gamboa and Dan Brandhorst were traveling with their 3-year-old adopted son, David were on their way home to Los Angeles from Boston on United Airlines Flight 175 which crashed into the second tower of the World Trade Center.

Sheila Hein worked at the Pentagon in the U.S. Army management and budget office when her life was taken by American Airlines Flight 77. She is survived by her partner Peggy Neff.

William Anthony Karnes,  who lived within sight of the World Trade Center lost his life the morning of September 11th. He is survived by his partner John Winter

John Keohane, worked at One Liberty Plaza near the World Trade Center. Keohane died by falling debris. Before his death, Kepohane met his partner Mike Lyons on the street. Lyons later committed suicide on his 41st birthday

Michael Lepore, was a project analyst at Marsh & McLennon. He is survived by his partner of 18 years, David O’Leary

Patricia McAneney was the fire marshal of her floor in the first World Trade Center tower. She is survived by Margaret Cruz, partner of 18 years

Wesley Mercer, worked as a Vice-President of Corporate Security at the World Trade Center. After successfully guiding 3,700 employees to safety he himself fell victim to the tragedy.

“Roxy Eddie” Ognibene worked on the 89th floor of the second World Trade Center tower. He was a member of the Renegades of New York’s Big Apple Softball League

Seamus O’Neal lost his life in the attacks on the World Trade Center. He is survived by his partner Tom Miller.

Catherine Smith, 44, worked on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center tower. She is survived by Elba Cedeno, her partner of six years

Waleska Martinez, a computer whiz in the Census Bureau’s New York office, was aboard flight 93 that crashed outside Shanksville, PA.

Andrew LaCorte.  worked in One WTC and was killed instantly when the first plane hit. At the time he had no partner but is remembered and missed by his many friends and family.

Gay and Lesbian Police and Firefighters

*Francis S. Coppola, a New York City detective whose partner, a firefighter named Eddie, died in the attacks, summed up the bipolar feelings many GLBT people have had about Sept. 11th:

I have never been more proud of being an American or a New Yorker, but at the same time it has made me sad. The greatest country in the world, and yet we are treated like second-class citizens…. The great love of my life died doing what he did best and what he loved to do: helping others. I have never been an activist or ever wanted to be one; however, it is time we stand up and be counted and demand equality — nothing more or nothing less.

* Tom Ryan, one of just three out-of-the-closet firefighters in New York, [says] he “learned that about 25 closeted gay firefighters died on Sept. 11,” and he knows “others who survived but are still afraid to come out.”

*As the days went by, we learned that some of the missing rescue personnel were gay, and that many of their lovers, some of whom are cops and fire fighters, were grieving in silence for fear of outing them. There were also gay cops that lost family members that were rescue personnel. We all learned too quickly and in too cruel a way that the closet is a terrible place to grieve… — Edgar Rodriguez, NYPD (in the former Lesbian & Gay New York)

NOTE: This list of LGBT lives lost on 9/11 is by no means complete. Unfortunately there is actually no way to know the exact number of LGBT victims. If there are those missing that you would like to remember please feel free to add them to the comment section and I’ll update the list accordingly.

Forgotten Heroes – Remembering David: “DRUMMER” Photographer and Activist David Sparrow

Forgotten Heroes

Jack Fritscher the founding San Francisco editor-in-chief of the iconic  Drummer Magazine remembers his longtime spouse and partner in life and gay leather and BSMD history David Sparrow.


David Sparrow Fritscher, spouse of “Drummer” editor Jack Fritscher from 1969-1979, shot covers and hundreds of interior pictures from March 1977 to December 31, 1979, when the entire founding San Francisco staff of the 1970s Golden Age of “Drummer” quit for lack of payment by publisher John Embry.

On July 4, 1969, David and I met at Chuck Renslow’s Gold Coast where he worked. My honeymoon photos of David in bondage. were published in the coffee-table book “Jack Fritscher’s American Men,” collected and introduced by Edward Lucie-Smith (Gay Men’s Press, London, 1994).

For ten years, from 1969 to 1979, we were lovers and creative partners, moving together to San Francisco in 1970. On May 7, 1972, the leather priest Jim Kane married us two Catholics on the roof of 2 Charlton Street in New York, and when we divorced, David rented a Pearl Street apartment owned by landlord Kane who also rented to Society of Janus founder, Cynthia Slater. In the novel, “Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco, the character “Teddy” is fictively based on David.

David Sparrow FritscherBorn in Evansville, Indiana, on May 7, 1945 the freckled strawberry-blond David, 6-1 and 170 pounds, joined the Air Force in 1963 and when he admitted being gay, he was locked in a psychiatric unit for five horrifying days while his “dishonorable” discharge was processed. The experience increased his insight into BDSM. Working together, credited under his name and mine, he and I alternated snapping single frames on our rolls of film to produce hundreds of “Drummer” photos for interior spreads, and for covers such as: 1) “Drummer” 21, the most perfect issue of “Drummer” (March 1978); 2) “Drummer” 25 featuring future Colt model Ed Dinakos (December 1978); and 3) “Drummer” 30 showcasing “Mr Drummer” Val Martin and Bob Hyslop arm-wrestling (June 1979). To shoot the cover of “Drummer” 21, I piled David and two of our friends, John Trowbridge and David Wycoff, into my Toyota Land Cruiser, and drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, north to the Marin Headlands bunkers where, later, I also drove Robert Mapplethorpe for his famous piss-and-jockstrap shoot when he asked me the location of our “Drummer” 21 photographs.

In 1970, David and I appeared balling together as two of San Francisco’s first leathersex models. The magazine was “Whipcrack” (Vol. No. 1). Our 34 photographs, including the back cover, were shot by the straight Walt Jebe who owned Castro’s first gay-friendly camera shop (1963), predating Harvey Milk by nearly ten years. The immigrant Milk, in fact, so envied native San Franciscan Jebe’s 19th and Castro Street location—where David worked the dark room and counter for a year—that he opened his Castro Camera a hundred feet away, usurping and destroying the business of Jebe who for years had developed gay rolls of film no one else would print.

On November 28, 1978, David was in City Hall at the moment Dan White assassinated Milk and Moscone, and, during the lock-down, he witnessed the bodies being wheeled out. As editor in chief of “Drummer,” I regretted that the SFPD confiscated his film from our camera the way the LAPD had confiscated all the “Drummer” photographs shot at the Slave Auction two years earlier. My latest issue was almost out the door to the printer. I had always wanted to shout, “Stop the presses!” I told publisher Embry that even minus David’s newsworthy photos, I needed a couple hours to write a new last page for “Drummer” 26 (January 1979), “Harvey Milk and Gay Courage.”

A City Hall insider, David worked as a personnel analyst for the City and County of San Francisco’s Civil Service Commission, Public Utility Commission, and Department of Public Health from 1979 to his final illness.

David passed away on February 20, 1992 of AIDS and is buried in Saint Joseph’s Cemetery, Evansville Indiana.


Jack Fritscher also holds a Ph.D. is an noted American author, novelist, magazine journalist, photographer, videographer, university professor, and social activist known internationally for his fiction and non-fiction analyses of popular culture. As a pre-Stonewall activist he was an out and founding member of the American Popular Culture Association. You can read more his works and our history at Jack Fritscher.com




November 27th, 1978: 37 Years Ago Today Harvey Milk Was Assassinated – #NeverForget


At 11 a.m. on a beautiful Monday morning, on November 27, 1978,  San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot and killed in cold blood by disgruntled former Supervisor Dan White.”

San Francisco ground to a halt. Many offices and businesses closed. People wept openly in the streets. Strangers hugged each other, trying to offer comfort. But there was no comfort to be foun

But Harvey Milk left us a legacy. He profoundly influenced gay and lesbian politics, and was a champion of human rights. Milk once said, “…you’ve got to keep electing gay people…to know there is better hope for tomorrow. Not only for gays, but for blacks, Asians, the disabled, our senior citizens and us. Without hope, we give up. I know you cannot live on hope alone, but without it life is not worth living. You and you and you have got to see that the promise does not fade.”

Harvey’s martyrdom is a painful reminder of the length and difficulty of our  journey to equality and freedom.

Harvey Milk a true LGBT hero and legend. His actions and words must never be forgotten. ITo this day we must remember and listen to them, learn from them and follow them.

This is Harvey’s legacy to us.

You see there is a major difference–and it remains a vital difference–between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It’s not enough anymore just to have friends represent us. No matter how good that friend may be.

The black community made up its mind to that a long time ago. That the myths against blacks can only be dispelled by electing black leaders, so the black community could be judged by the leaders and not by the myths or black criminals. The Spanish community must not be judged by Latin criminals or myths. The Asian community must not be judged by Asian criminals or myths. The Italian community should not be judged by the mafia myths. And the time has come when the gay community must not be judged by our criminals and myths.

Like every other group, we must be judged by our leaders and by those who are themselves gay, those who are visible. For invisible, we remain in limbo–a myth, a person with no parents, no brothers, no sisters, no friends who are straight, no important positions in employment. A tenth of a nation supposedly composed of stereotypes and would-be seducers of children–and no offense meant to the stereotypes. But today, the black community is not judged by its friends, but by its black legislators and leaders. And we must give people the chance to judge us by our leaders and legislators. A gay person in office can set a tone, can command respect not only from the larger community, but from the young people in our own community who need both examples and hope.

The first gay people we elect must be strong. They must not be content to sit in the back of the bus. They must not be content to accept pablum. They must be above wheeling and dealing. They must be–for the good of all of us–independent, unbought. The anger and the frustrations that some of us feel is because we are misunderstood, and friends can’t feel that anger and frustration. They can sense it in us, but they can’t feel it. Because a friend has never gone through what is known as coming out. I will never forget what it was like coming out and having nobody to look up toward. I remember the lack of hope–and our friends can’t fulfill that.

I can’t forget the looks on faces of people who’ve lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they black looking for an almost-impossible job, be they Latins trying to explain their problems and aspirations in a tongue that’s foreign to them. I personally will never forget that people are more important than buildings. I use the word “I” because I’m proud. I stand here tonight in front of my gay sisters, brothers and friends because I’m proud of you. I think it’s time that we have many legislators who are gay and proud of that fact and do not have to remain in the closet. I think that a gay person, up-front, will not walk away from a responsibility and be afraid of being tossed out of office. After Dade County, I walked among the angry and the frustrated night after night and I looked at their faces. And in San Francisco, three days before Gay Pride Day, a person was killed just because he was gay. And that night, I walked among the sad and the frustrated at City Hall in San Francisco and later that night as they lit candles on Castro Street and stood in silence, reaching out for some symbolic thing that would give them hope. These were strong people, people whose faces I knew from the shop, the streets, meetings and people who I never saw before but I knew. They were strong, but even they needed hope.

And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias and the Richmond, Minnesotas who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us’es, the us’es will give up. And if you help elect to the central committee and more offices, more gay people, that gives a green light to all who feel disenfranchised, a green light to move forward. It means hope to a nation that has given up, because if a gay person makes it, the doors are open to everyone.

So if there is a message I have to give, it is that if I’ve found one overriding thing about my personal election, it’s the fact that if a gay person can be elected, it’s a green light. And you and you and you, you have to give people hope.


On this day, 37 years later remember Harvey Milk and his words. And above all fight for your rights.


We love you.

We thank you.

We miss you, Harvey Milk.


The NAMES Project: 2000 AIDS Quilt Panels To Be Displayed In NYC August 11th & 12th, 2014

AIDS Quilt


In June of 1987, a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect and celebrate the lives of people who have died of AIDSrelated causes. 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.

Today the Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic. More than 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels — most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS — have been sewn together by friends, lovers and family members.

The Quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and remains the largest community art project in the world. The Quilt has been the subject of countless books, films, scholarly papers, articles, and theatrical, artistic and musical performances, including “Common Threads: Stories From The Quilt” which won the Academy Award as the best feature-length documentary film of 1989.

Via Press release: 

The AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to New York City for a two-day public display, featuring 260 12-foot-by-12-foot sections of this internationally celebrated, handmade tapestry. Presented as a gift to the city by Kiehl’s Since 1851, the Governor’s Island display will begin with a special opening ceremony/press opportunity at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11. This opening dedication is a part of the fifth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, a charity motorcycle ride that raises funds and awareness for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic.

The Quilt display is free and open to the public and will be on view from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on August 11 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12. The display will feature more than 2,000 panels honoring over 5,014 individuals including many created by and for individuals who call New York home as well as panels created by leading fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren and BCBG to honor those in the industry who were lost to the pandemic. In recognition of the annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, a new panel for The Quilt created by Kiehl’s will also be unveiled and dedicated at this event.

If you are in or around New York City please go and remember and pay respects to those who we lost during the darkest time of our history.

Governor’s Island is accessible by public transportation.