Monday, July 13, 2015

The Ashes Action.

Act up: October 11, 1992 1 PM.
An event organized by ACT UP on October 11, 1992 1PM gathered in front of the White House to protest the lack of action and money spent on the AIDS crisis. The protest was called "Ashes Action".  This was a protest organized to show the actual human carnage and loss of life that AIDS had amounted too.  It was also a counterpoint to the reveal of the AIDS quilt also in October 1992.

Family, friends, lovers, and partners of people who had died of AIDS, brought their loved ones' ashes to the lawn of the White House and threw them over the fence and chanted and cried and grieved.

George Bush as well as Ronald Reagan were held accountable for the deaths of 150,000+ persons with AIDS.  George Bush stated in an interview that Gay people needed to change their behavior as a means to stop the epidemic.

As people were throwing the ashes onto the White House lawn,  police on horseback moved in to disperse the crowd.  The crowd began to shout, "The whole world is watching!"  And then the chant went up, "SHAME, SHAME, SHAME!"

Here is the YouTube video in full:

More information about the film:  The Ashes Action 1992

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gay Pride: Remembering our History, WWII

WW II ended 70 years ago. Not only were Jews put into concentration camps, but also Gypsies, Political Prisoners, Indigents and Homosexuals. Before the Nazis came to power, Berlin was mostly a free society for Gays and Lesbians. Berlin had many different clubs and social forums for Gays and Lesbians. The movie, "Cabaret" fictitiously depicts this era very well. It is based on the collection "Berlin Stories" by

Christopher Isherwood

When the Nazis came to power, many gay men were rounded up. Some were German gay men and many were Jewish gay men. Many Gay men survived being killed, but far more were murdered. Homosexuals were Identified with the word Homo on their backs or "Paragraph 175". "Paragraph 175" was a section of the German Penal code that held Homosexuality as a crime and then there was the Pink Triangle.

I came across two wonderful videos.

The first is an interview of
Rudolf Brazda,
a Holocaust Survivor before his death in 2011.

"Rudolph Braza, Last of the Pink Triangles Tells His Story"

The second video is the Documentary "Paragraph 175". Director of Research/Associate Producer Klaus Muller and Narrated by Rupert Everett.

Paragraph 175

It is so very important that the LGBTQ community knows their history, especially the young among us. We have come a long way since 1945, 1969 and today, but we must never forget those who came before us. The brave, the proud, the activists and the lost.

To read more about Rudolph Braza and V-E Day, go to the Advocate article V-E Day: Watch a Gay Holocaust Survivor Recount His Experiences

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Queer thing: Discrimination a la carte.

Federal, State, City, and workplace anti-discrimination laws and policies can seem like a very muddled and confusing thing. It's almost like an "a la carte" type of governing.

Federally, you cannot discriminate based on race, color, sex, religion, age, disability and national origin. Many states do have protections against same sex discrimination, but then, some states have this protection and the cities in the states do not. Conversely, some cities protect against discrimination of homosexuals, but the state does not. This is all very confusing and can cause some horrific scenarios when it comes to businesses that discriminate.

Then, there is the issue of City Government protection. Some City Governments have protection from discrimination of homosexuals while their state does not. For example, in Pennsylvania, homosexuals can get married, but homosexuals can be denied housing and other services and can be fired from their jobs for being homosexual. The city government of Pittsburgh has an anti-discrimination policy, but other communities don't. A workplace can have an anti-discrimination policy and the State, City and local governments don't. Here's an excellent article from The Washington Post about States that are allowing gay discrimination:
Washington Post

To find out exactly what kind of protection your city, county, and/or state provides to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, you can visit the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund website at Lambda maintains a list of state-by-state antidiscrimination laws, as well as other laws specifically affecting gays and lesbians. If you need additional information, you can contact the Lambda office in your region. There, an intake volunteer will either answer your question or, if you need more help, connect you with a volunteer attorney.

The time has come for a Federal anti-discrimination law.