Έτος;1967 νομίζω!Λάθος λάθος!Με συγχωρείτε!2012 εννοούσα!Εδώ που φθάσαμε το ξεχνάω συνέχεια..Κατάντια! Έχουμε περάσει εμπόδια κι εμπόδια,αλλά στην πνευματική νέκρα που οδηγούμαστε,ένας "Θεός" ξέρει τι θα συμβεί.
Τις τελευταίες μέρες συμβαίνουν πράγματα και θαύματα στην πρωτεύουσα!Πραγματικά λυπάμαι που δε βρίσκομαι στην Αθήνα για να βιώσω πιο άμεσα ένα κομμάτι τους,ένα μικρό κομματάκι του "εμφυλίου".
Αρχικά,βλέπουμε να εμποδίζεται για 2η φορά η πρεμιέρα μιας αμφιλεγόμενης,όπως λέγεται,παράστασης στο Χυτήριο,της Corpus Christi.Από πότε η τέχνη εμποδίζεται;Από πότε μπορεί να κριθεί και να απαγορευτεί με τέτοιο βάναυσο τρόπο ένα έργο τέχνης,μια παράσταση;Ελεύθερη έκφραση;Ανύπαρκτη!Ο λόγος εμποδίζεται και η τέχνη κατακρεουργείται!Με ποιο δικαίωμα;
Το δικαίωμά σου να είσαι <<Ελληνάρας>> και Χριστιανός Ορθόδοξος δε δολοφονεί το δικό μου δικαίωμα να είμαι ελεύθερος,να παρακολουθώ όποια παράσταση επιθυμώ,να ακούω όποια μουσική γουστάρω,να συναναστρέφομαι με άσπρους,μαύρους,κίτρινους και μωβ,να είμαι gay,να είμαι άθεος,αγνωστικιστής,βουδιστής ή μουσουλμάνος,να είμαι εγώ ο ίδιος Έλληνας και Χριστιανός ή Έλληνας και μουσουλμάνος κτλ κτλ,αλλά να είμαι μαύρος,όπως ίσως θα έλεγες κι εσύ,επειδή ξέρεις,κάποτε ο Έλληνας πατέρας μου αγάπησε την Αφρικανή μητέρα μου.Αγάπη,ξέρεις!!Λέξη μικρή μα τεράστια ποιοτικά,αν έχεις ακουστά...!
Απ'τη στιγμή που εσύ πιστεύεις κάτι,άσε κι εμένα να πιστεύω αυτό που εγώ θέλω.Δεν επιτρέπεται να βρίζουν το Μωάμεθ και να λέτε: <<Καλά κάνουν>>,ενώ όταν βρίζουν το Χριστό να γίνεται χαμός!Στο κάτω κάτω, φίλε Χρυσαυγίτη,φίλε παππά,φιλενάδα θρήσκα Χ.Ο. ο Χριστούλης είχε πει ο αναμάρτητος να ρίξει πρώτος το λίθο!Για να σας δω λοιπόν!Εσείς,μικρά αθώα ανυπεράσπιστα πλασματάκια,κατηγορείτε εμάς τους διαφορετικούς,κάνετε ό,τι μπορείτε για να μας "εξαφανίσετε" και μου το παίζετε καλοί Χριστιανοί!;Aγαπάτε τον πλησίον,διδαχθήκαμε όλοι!Τι τηρείτε εσείς όμως;Αφαιρείτε το δικαίωμά μας να είμαστε διαφορετικοί!Τι σας πειράζει που αναπνέουμε τον ίδιο αέρα μ'εσάς;Δεν κολλάτε κάτι,μην αγχώνεστε!Εμείς,οι τάχα μου άρρωστοι,πάιρνουμε αντιβίωση!Ξέρετε πώς λέγεται;Α.Ε.Α.Ε!Ανθρωπιά,ευτυχία,αγάπη,ελευθερία!Αν εσείς νομίζετε ότι είστε ελεύθεροι 1 φορά,τότε εμείς είμαστε 100,γιατί τα πάθη που τρώνε τη δική σας ψυχή,ελευθερώνουν τη δική μας!Δεν είμαστε ζώα,ούτε απολίτιστοι,ούτε εγκληματίες επειδή δεν πράττουμε όπως εσείς!
Δεν μπορώ να αποδεχθώ ότι εν έτει 2012 ορισμένοι έχουν το δικαίωμα και τους επιτρέπεται να βιάζουν την Τέχνη!Είναι εξοργιστικό!Η τέχνη δε δέχεται περιορισμούς,δε δέχεται νουθεσίες..Είναι ζωντανός οργανισμός που χάρη στη θέληση όλων μας μεγαλώνει όλο και πιο πολύ,όλο και πιο ποιοτικά και ολοκληρωμένα.Η συμβολή μας μετρά!
Αν συνεχίσουμε τώρα και αφήσουμε,για λίγο ή για πολύ(θα φανεί),το θέμα τέχνη πίσω μας και δούμε τι άλλο συνέβη αυτές τις μέρες θα καταλήξουμε σε ένα συμβάν,το οποίο εγώ μόλις σήμερα έμαθα.Ορισμένοι παλήκαροι,άντρες βαρβάτοι,λέμε,χτύπησαν άσχημα ένα νέο παληκάρι,Ελληνο-αιγύπτιο,το οποίο κινδυνεύει με τύφλωση του αριστερού του ματιού.Δέχθηκε επίθεση την Παρασκευή στην πλατεία Αττικής,κανένας δε μπόρεσε να τον βοηθήσει άμεσα τον άνθρωπο!Τον χτυπούσαν με αλυσίδες οι <<κύριοι>> κι είχαν μαζί τους σκυλιά,τα οποία προέτρεπαν να του επιτεθούν.Όταν ο άτυχος νέος τους έλεγε ότι κι αυτός Έλληνας είναι κανένας δεν τον πίστεψε,προφανέστατα εξαιτίας της σκουρόχρωμης επιδερμίδας του!Αυτό το παιδί πήγε σε ελληνικό σχολείο στο Κάιρο και τώρα σπουδάζει στην Ελλάδα πληροφορική.Δήλωσε πως κι άλλες φορές είχε έρθει αντιμέτωπος με το ρατσισμό κι ότι άμα φύγουν όλοι οι ξένοι θα αρχίσουν κι οι Έλληνες να φοβούνται για τη ζωή τους!Σοφή κουβέντα η παραπάνω,θα προσθέσω εγώ...
Είναι φανερό πως ο Έλληνας πλέον κρίνεται και απ'τη θρησκεία του και απ'το χρώμα του.Θα έπρεπε να ντρέπονται αυτοί οι γνωστοί άγνωστοι για τον εαυτό τους.Παράσιτα είναι,ένα κάτι με μπόλικα ψυχολογικά.Τι σου φταίει ο άνθρωπος;Πες μου!Σε κάτι τέτοιες -φασιστικές-ναζιστικές-όπως θες παρ΄το- κοινωνίες θεωρείται ότι για ν'ανέβει ένα μέλος πιο ψηλά και για να γίνει αρκετά καλό πρέπει να σκοτώσει τον ίδιο του τον πατέρα.Φαντάζεστε;Για οραματιστείτε ένα τέτοιο χάλι!
Ορισμένοι,μάλλον,νομίζουν πως οι Έλληνες είναι η Άρια Φυλή,τι να πω...;Ας κουνήσουν δεξιά κι αριστερά το κεφαλάκι τους να δουν αν ακούγεται κανα γκλιν γκλιν..και μετά να πουν και σ'εμένα!Ας ξυπνήσουμε ομαδικώς λιγάκι και ας εμποδίσουμε ορισμένους να διαλύσουν όποιο ίχνος αξιοπρέπειας και διεθνιστικού πνεύματος απέμεινε στην ελληνική ψυχή πια!Είναι ντροπή για λογαριασμό της Ελλάδας και καλά να διαπράττονται εγκλήματα στην εποχή μας!!
Τρίτη, 16 Οκτωβρίου 2012
Τα υπόλοιπα κόμματα
The ninth Gay Games will be held in the US state of Ohio.
Planning holidays is definitely one of my top three hobbies, so I was excited to learn that theninth Gay Games had been awarded to the US city of Cleveland in the state of Ohio.
Excited or intrigued? To be honest Cleveland hasn't really been featuring in my list of holiday hotspots (making lists is also one of my top three hobbies), so I caught up with Tom Nobbe - executive director of the2014 Gay Games - to get the low-down on Cleveland.
Why are the Gay Games being held in Cleveland in 2014?
The Federation of Gay Games has said that they selected Cleveland as the site for 2014 because Cleveland understood the mission of the games, offers impressive facilities and has experience hosting major events.
How many participants are you expecting to attend?
Where will participants mainly come from?
Participants come from all over the world, with a particularly draw from the United States, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. We are also hoping for participants from Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America.
How many sports will be part of the Gay Games in Cleveland?
The 2014 Gay Games will host 35 sports and three cultural events - a band festival, a choral festival, and a fine arts festival.
What other cultural and social activities will be part of the Gay Games in Cleveland?
We're working diligently now to finalize the details for the week-long activities beyond the competitive events. Participants will be able to gather at the festival villages in downtown Cleveland and Akron. In addition, there will be parties, concerts, plays, art exhibits and comedy shows.
Many organizations, restaurants, bars, museums and other hot spots are eager to welcome the global LGBT community and showcase all the region has to offer.
What makes Cleveland an attractive destination for the world’s LGBT sportspeople?
Cleveland has hosted many large sporting events in its world-class sporting venues. In 2013, it will be hosting the U.S. National Senior Games, which will bring 15,000 athletes to the city to compete.
Why is it important to have LGBT-specific sporting events such as the Gay Games?
Tom Waddell, a former Olympic athlete, created the Gay Games 30 years ago, as a 'vehicle of change because gay athletes were a hidden and marginalized community. He wanted to create an international legacy of changing cultural, social and political attitudes toward LGBT people across the globe. He also wanted to empower tens of thousands with the transforming benefits of sports competition.
While much progress has been made in the last 30 years, we still need to showcase the power of sport to reduce and eliminate the perception of many that 'gay' and 'athlete' are mutually exclusive words.
In addition, the Gay Games truly embrace inclusiveness - it's open to all adults regardless of sexual orientation, athletic ability or age.
Is the city of Cleveland supporting the games?
Yes. The city has generously provided both financial and in-kind support to the 2014 Gay Games.
Who are the people that are running the 2014 Gay Games?
The Cleveland Special Events Corporation is the non-profit organization that governs the 2014 Gay Games. Its board and staff are very diverse, representing members of the LGBT and allied communities.
What are some of the challenges in running an event like the 2014 Gay Games?
As a volunteer-driven organization, we rely on the hard work and talent of the community to organize 35-plus events, two festival villages, opening and closing ceremonies as well as all the other partner and related events. Handling all those logistics, making sure we are aligned with the principles of the Gay Games and the regulations for each sport, and marketing to the world definitely are challenges, but something we're thrilled to be tackling.
How do people register to attend?
People can register through our website - on the website you can sign up for general registration then register for each specific sport or cultural competition in which you want to participant.
General registration is open now, and 20 of the 35 competitions are also now open for registration. We expect to have all events available for registration by the end of 2012.
Two men targeted gay women outside Atlanta hotel in what victims claim is a hate crime.
A lesbian couple in Atlanta were attacked during the US city's gay pride celebrations in what they claim is a hate crime.
Kathryn Katalinich and partner Brooke Creef were beaten by two men outside a popular Atlanta hotel in the early hours of Saturday (13 October).
'It's just ridiculous that there's so much hate,' a tearful Katalinich told Fox 5 News.
'We got up to leave and get into our cab, words were exchanged and that's when they said a derogatory term to us.'
Girlfriend Brooke Creef said they were defending themselves when the men hurled homophobic abuse at them.
'He throws me down on the ground, busts my knees up and I get up and he does it again a second time and is laughing,' said Katalinich.
'He picked me up and threw me back down.'
Creef says she was shocked that no-one came to their aid.
'Everyone was sitting there watching it and that's just what blows my mind,' she said.
The attackers ran away after the couple screamed for help and are hoping surveillance video from the hotel will help investigators find the two men.
Thousands of people were in the Georgia city for the LGBT festival from 13 to 14 October.
International human rights organization accuses Malaysia of ‘stubbornly reject[ing] the rights of LGBT people’.
An international human rights organization has accused Malaysia of failing to protect the rights of its LGBT citizens.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has highlighted in a press release that many countries in the South-east Asian region have recently made progress on LGBT rights, but the Malaysian government ‘continues to stubbornly reject the rights of LGBT people’.
Further damningly IGLHRC says that ‘this position reverberates throughout state institutions, encouraging hostility, discrimination, and abuse by state and religious authorities’.
The statement was prompted by news last week that a judge had ruled against four trans women who were challenging an Islamic Sharia law that prohibits cross-dressing.
The IGHRC spokesperson Grace Poore said the judge in that case, Justice Siti Mariah Ahmad, should have given an ‘explicit warning’ to Malaysia’s Islamic Religious Department to ‘to investigate, prosecute and convict its own religious officers for acts of verbal, physical, mental and sexual abuse against those in their custody, for supposedly breaking morality laws’.
Just last week Malaysia’s Star newspaper reported, in unsympathetic language, on a police raid of an area popular with trans sex workers in Penang. A police officer said ‘the locals were caught for indecency with the intention of engaging in prostitution’.
In February Gay Star News reported on the case of transgender singer Hafiz Jeffri who was fined in the Islamic court for ‘dressing in women’s clothing and having feminine mannerisms’.
Poore concluded damning indictment of Malaysia’s Islamic legal system saying:
‘Sharia judges across Malaysia must hold accountable Islamic religious officers (and police officers subject to sharia courts) who misuse their authority, take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities, humiliate them, and mistreat with impunity those they are hired to protect - including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.’
President Yudhoyono issued a decree last month allowing cheap local production of drugs that treat HIV.
The Indonesian government has acted to tackle the nation’s HIV crisis by overriding international pharmaceutical companys’ patents on HIV drugs.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono quietly issued an order to start producing drugs patented by global pharmaceutical companies like Glaxo Smith Kline on home soil, Reuters reports.
World Trade Organization rules stipulate that countries can override patents when it is necessary to protect public health.
Indonesia has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world. A study from the national AIDS Prevention and Control Commission found that 34% of waria (transgender women) in Jakarta were HIV positive and less than half used condoms on a regular basis (many are sex workers).
President Yudhoyono’s decision to authorize the production of cheap locally made drugs to treat HIV sets a precedent for other countries with HIV crises to do the same.
The move was welcomed by Médicins Sans Frontières but a spokesperson for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations told Reuters that actions like this should only be a last resort.
‘[It] sets a negative precedent and can reduce the incentive to invest in the research and development of new medicines, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis therapies,’ said Andrew Jenner, director of innovation, intellectual property and trade.
‘We believe that negotiated approaches, such as tiered pricing or voluntary licensing, are generally more effective and sustainable, both medically and economically.’
The companies that own the drug patents will receive a 0.5% royalty payment.
Public Citizen, who first broke the story, said ‘the Presidential decree is part of an effort to greatly expand access to newer and more appropriate antiviral and antiretroviral treatments in Indonesia’.
Τρίτη, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2012
South Africa has recognized it’s own version of the rainbow gay pride flag as an officially registered national symbol.
Photo: Damien Schumann
South Africa has become the first country in the world to recognize the rainbow flag as a national symbol.
South Africa’s Department of Arts and Culture, through its Bureau of Heraldry, announced the registry of the flag in the official Government Gazette this week following an application by the South African version of the rainbow flag’s designer, Eugene Brockman.
‘The Gay Flag of SA is now officially recognized and protected by the Department of Arts and Culture and the government of South Africa,” said Mava Mothiba, a spokesperson for the department.
The South African rainbow flag takes the traditional rainbow LGBT pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker in San Francisco in 1978 but adds the diagonal and horizontal white and black bars of the South African flag to the design.
Brockman told the O-Blog-De-O-Blog-Da blog, ‘The flag has become a symbol for both the celebration of queer South African identity as well as the a symbol against the obstacles facing LGBTI South Africans such as hate crimes.’
‘More than that the flag has become a watch dog, and its popularity resulted in the formation of an NPO advocacy group.’
Brockman is the co-founder of South African LGBT rights group Rainbow Flag of South Africa that was inspired by the flag.
Despite ongoing discrimination, South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination against sexual orientation and, in 2006, it became the first African nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
This year’s Belgrade Pride march may have been banned but supporters have rallied at an indoor event and held a sit down protest to protest the ban.
Supporters of Belgrade Pride have held a sit down protest and indoors event on Saturday despite an official ban on the pride march going ahead over fears that right wing extremists would riot in the city.
Associated Press reportedthat around two dozen flag waving activists held a ‘small, silent, non-violent and motionless [sit-down] protest,’ on the side walk in central Belgrade.
Instead of marching, hundreds of Serbian LGBT rights supporters gathered indoors at a conference center where they pledged to start organizing for a pride march in 2013.
‘The pride parade is not a circus, we are not going to disappear, we will not give up and we will remain visible,’ Belgrade Pride organizing committee member Goran Miletic told AFP.
‘We hope the authorities will have enough time to enable us in a year to walk a 970-step long parade’
The gathering was guarded by dozens of police officers in riot gear but no incidents were reported during the event.
A pride march in Belgrade in 2010 was attacked by rioters who injured more than 150 people and caused over a million dollars in property damage in the city, and the march has been banned every year since.
Serbia’s Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said that security forces had gathered intelligence that suggested there would be ‘bloodshed’ if the event went ahead this year.
However human rights group Human Rights Watch said that the Serbian government had a responsibility to protect its citizen’s political rights.
‘The government of Serbia should protect the freedom of assembly and expression of the Serbian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community and their straight allies instead of forbidding them to assemble and march on the streets of Belgrade,” said Human Rights Watch LGBT rights advocacy director Boris Dittrich.
‘Pointing to security risks without any visible effort to come up with a reasonable plan to make the Belgrade Pride Parade happen is succumbing to threats of violence. Basic human rights are being thrown overboard.
‘The Serbian government should revoke its decision to ban the Belgrade Pride Parade and allow it to take place, while providing adequate security to all its participants.’
Stem cell success in Japan could create artificial sperm and eggs from male or female cells.
Ground-breaking new stem cell research is paving the way for two gay men or women to conceive a child together.
Scientists at the University of Kyoto experimenting with mice were able to artificially create eggs from stem cells that produced healthy offspring, a study published in Science showed.
The break-through has the potential to help infertile women conceive and allow gay couples to combine their DNA to create a child biologically parented by both of them.
Scientists have previously struggled to create sex cells from stem cells, Nature science journal reported last week.
The lab headed by Mitinori Saitou at Kyoto University successfully created sperm from stem cells last year and have now created eggs. They are now working on the same experiment with human cells.
Dr Katsuhiko Hayashi, from Kyoto University, said to the BBC:
'I must say that it is impossible to adapt immediately this system to human stem cells, due to a number of not only scientific reasons, but also ethical reasons.'
Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford University, said (The Advocate reported):
'There are lots of lesbian and gay couples who would be very excited about the possibility for the first time of being able to have children who are genetically their own.'
Mary McAleese says she has 'no problem' with same-sex marriage and praised gay rights campaigners.
Former Irish President Mary McAleese says she backs gay marriage, stating that she has 'no problem with it at all'.
McAleese, who served from 1997 to 2011, told RTE's Meaning of Life program, which airs tonight, that she is 'just thrilled anyone wants to get married'.
She added that while she supported traditional marriage and the family, gay people have long been forced to hide their sexuality, suffering 'interminable loneliness'.
McAleese applauded activists who have raised awareness of the persecution of gay people over the centuries and emphasised that they are 'as entitled to live on their terms as heterosexuals are to live on theirs'.
Her comments come just over one week after accusing the Catholic Church of being partly responsible for the growing number of gay men who take their own lives.
She said when the research is broken down, it shows young gay teens are one of the most at-risk groups in Ireland.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio, McAleese said many of these young men will have gone to Catholic schools and they will have heard their church's attitude to homosexuality.
She said: ‘They will have heard words like disorder, they may even have heard the word evil used in relation to homosexual practice.
‘And when they make the discovery, and it is a discovery and not a decision, when they make the discovery that they are gay, when they are 14, 15, or 16, an internal conflict of absolutely appalling proportions opens up.’
Recently, the Pope has described gay people as a ‘defection of human nature’, and said marriage equality ‘threatens society’.
For black history month in the UK, Gay Star News celebrate eight of history's most important black LGBT heroes.
Pioneering and history-making, these eight black LGBT heroes need to be remembered. The sad truth is there have been many many more heroes whose stories have not been recorded for future generations. The stories we do tell here are those of remarkable individuals who overcame tremendous obstacles to clear the path for black and LGBT people to go further in the arts, politics and sport.
Richard Bruce Nugent (1906 to 1987)
Many of the writers of the 1920s' Harlem Renaissance were rumoured to be gay - Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Claude McKay, Wallace Thurman, Angela Weld Grimke and Alice Dunbar-Nelson - but Richard Bruce Nugent was the only one to live an open life.
A painter and a writer, Nugent's short-story Smoke, Lilies, and Jade (1926) was the first publication to feature open descriptions of homosexuality by an African-American. It is written in stream-of-consciousness prose en vogue by contemporary modernists James Joyce and Virginnia Woolf. When it was published critic Benjamin Brawley singled out Nugent's story as an example of black writers' 'preference for sordid, unpleasant or forbidden themes'.
From 1926 to 1928 Nugent lived with fellow Harlem Renaissance writer Wallace Thurman in an apartment decorated by Nugent with homoerotic murals.
The 2004 film Brother to Brother directed by Rodney Evans brought Nugent's life to the screen, winning awards at Sundance and gay and lesbian film festivals in Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, San Francisco.
Billie Holiday (1915 to 1959)
Nicknamed Lady Day by her devoted fans, Billie Holiday was the most famous female jazz singer of the 1930s and 40s. Her success was belied by a sad life struck by sexual abuse as a child and alcoholism and drug addiction that led to her death aged 44.
Holiday started her career singing in clubs in Harlem and was first recorded in 1933 aged 18. She performed with Count Basie and a white orchestra led by Artie Shaw, but left in 1938 after being asked to use the service elevator when they were performing at the Lincoln Hotel. She hit mainstream success in the 1940s after she recorded Strange Fruit, a song which hauntingly describes lynched black men hanging from trees in the south.
'I’ve been told that nobody sings the word "hunger" like I do. Or the word "love",' she said in her 1956 autobiography Lady Sings the Blues. 'Maybe I remember what those words are all about.'
Holiday had documented lesbian affairs, including one with actress Tallulah Bankhead, as well as male lovers and marrying trombonist Jimmy Monroe in 1941 and Mafia associate Louis McKay in 1957.
James Baldwin (1924 to 1987)
Born in New York, writer and commentator James Baldwin spent most of his adult life in France, which, he said, saved him. In spite of growing-up in the same neighborhood as many of the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Baldwin was first inspired by a painter, Beauford Delaney, whom he met when Baldwin was 15. Delaney was 'the first living proof, for me, that a black man could be an artist,' wrote Baldwin in 1985. They were also both gay.
Baldwin's second novel Giovanni's Room (1956) is explicitly deals with homosexual themes. It tells the love affair between two men, an American and an Italian, living in Paris. The author said that his publisher first told him to burn the book because the story would allienate him from his black audience.
In 1963 Baldwin came back to America to tour the south supporting the Civil Rights Movement, earning himself a Time magazine cover. 'There is not another writer, who expresses with such poignancy and abrasiveness the dark realities of the racial ferment in North and South,' read the Time editorial about him.
Baldwin was friends with Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X but was a victim of homophobia in Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver's 1968 collection of essays Soul on Ice.
When Baldwin died in the south of France in 1987 novelist Ralph Ellison said 'America has lost one of its most gifted writers and one of the most important American essayists, black or white'.
Lorraine Hansberry (1930 to 1965)
Chicago-born writer Lorraine Hansberry produced one critically-acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun (1959) before her untimely death aged 34 from cancer. With a title taken from a Langston Hughes poem, the play tells the story of a black family planning to move into an all-white neighborhood. It was the first play by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway and won four Tony Awards in 1960.
The story was partly inspired by Hansberry's own family's experiences moving into a white neighborhood in Chicago that included a 1940 anti-discrimination courtcase. In Hansberry's book To Be Young, Gifted and Black (1969) she writes:
'My memories of this "correct" way of fighting white supremacy in America include being spat at, cursed and pummeled in the daily trek to and from school. And I also remember my desperate and courageous mother, patrolling our household all night with a loaded German Luger [pistol], doggedly guarding her four children, while my father fought the respectable part of the battle in the Washington court.'
In 1957 Hansberry wrote two letters to The Ladder, an early lesbian periodical. They were signed with her initials as was the journal's convention, but editor Barbara Grier has confirmed that Hansberry was the author.
'I'm glad as heck that you exist,' one of Hansberry's letters read. 'You are obviously serious people and I feel that women, without wishing to foster any strict separatist notions, homo or hetero, indeed have a need for their own publications and organizations.'
Bayard Rustin (1912 to 1987)
'I have a dream...' said Martin Luther King Jr to more than a quarter of a million people in Washington DC on 28 August 1963, in part due to the work of openly gay civil rights campaigner Bayard Rustin, chief organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Born in Pennslyvannia and raised by his Quaker grandparents, Rustin got into university and teacher training college on a musical scholarship as a tenor vocalist, which also got him a regular gig at the Cafe Society in Greenwich Village in the 1930s, leading to meetings with the black intellectual and cultural leaders of the day.
Rustin was an early civil rights activist. He was arrested in 1942 after a personal protest against segregated interstate buses, 13 years before Rosa Parks' Montgomery Bus Boycott. He spotted King's leadership potential early on and convinced him to embrace Gandhian tactics of non-violence, which Rustin had learned about on a visit to India in 1948.
Despite not hiding his sexuality, a 1953 arrest for 'sex perversion' and affiliation with the Communist Party in his youth, was used by congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr to force Rustin's resignation from the organization he had started with King, Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
In the 1970s and 80s Rustin supported the burgeoning gay rights movement. He said in a speech entitled 'The New Niggers Are Gays' in 1986:
'Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new "niggers" are gays. . . . It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change. . . . The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.'
Marsha P Johnson (1944 to 1992)
Transgender rights activst Marsha P Johnson was a leading figure in the Stonewall Riots in 1969, during which she broke a police car windshield.
Johnson moved to Manhattan from New Jersey when she was 18 in 1966. She said she was 'no one' until she came to New York and became a drag queen. She supported herself mainly through sex work but also performed in experimental theatre company Hot Peaches and was photographed by Andy Warhol.
'Drag mother' to many including fellow transgender activist Sylvia Riveria, Johnson founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Riveria to help young homeless trans women.
In an interview, Remembering Marsha P Johnson Stonewall, veterans Bob Kohler, Thomas Langian-Schmidt and Danny Garvin recalled her vivacity. 'Marsha was totally mad but one of the geniuses on the face of the Earth. The heart and soul of a reality was in Marsha,' said artist Langian-Schmidt.
Johnson died shortly after New York Pride in 1992. Her body was found floating in the Hudson River. Initially police ruled her death as suicide but her friends protested, saying that she wasn't suicidal and that she had been seen being harrassed near where her body was found. Despite the protests, a full investigation into the cause of her death was never carried out.
The New York band Antony and the Johnsons fronted by trans singer Antony Hegarty are named after Johnson.
Linda Bellos (1950)
Linda Bellos was a key figure in the second wave feminist movement in 1970s Britain, as well as Labour council leader for Lambeth in south London from 1986 to 1988. Today she runs a consultancy advising companies on diversity.
Born to a Jewish mother and Nigerian father and brought up in Brixton in south London, Bellos was the first black woman to join feminist magazine Spare Rib in 1972. She said in an interview with The Independent in 2007 that she felt 'played' by the 'white middle-class women who owned the women's movement'.
'Bloody women from Oxford had universalised their experience, defined it as feminism and wondered why it didn't mean anything to the rest of us,' said Bellos. 'When we started asserting our equal right to define what feminism was, they didn't like it.'
Bellos was married with two children but came out in 1980 and, with her partner Caroline Jones, was one of the first couples to have a civil partnership in Britain in 2005.
One of Bellos' achievements is that she started Black History Month in the UK in 1987. She is also patron of Broken Rainbow UK which supports LGBT victims of domestic violence.
Willi Ninja (1961 to 2006)
Willi Ninja was a star dancer and choreographer in 'ball culture' in New York in the 1980s, where black and Latino gay men would gather and compete for trophies by dancing and strutting on the dance floor. The sub-culture was captured in a 1990 documentary by Jennie Livingston, Paris is Burning.
Ninja was famous for 'the vogue' dance-style that was the inspiration behind Madonna's huge 1990 hit - prompting wild posturing in gay clubs across the world. Ninja also starred as a dancer in the music videos for Malcom McClaren's Deep in Vogue and Masters at Work's I Can't Get No Sleep and modelled for Jean-Paul Gautier. He died from AIDS-related causes in 2006.
Justin Fashanu (1961 to 1998)
Justin Fashanu was the first black footballer to attract a £1 millon transfer fee and the first and only footballer to come out as gay in the UK. Despite his bravery, Fashanu was rejected by his family, bullied by his manager and verbally abused by crowds when he played.
Fashanu and his brother John, who also became a professional footballer (and then a TV presenter) were fostered from a childrens' home by white parents when they were six and five years old. They grew-up in Norwich and both ended up playing for Norwich City football club.
In 1981 Fashanu made his £1 million transfer to Nottingham Forrest managed by Brian Clough. After a promising start to his career, Fashanu's performance on the football pitch went downhill, probably due to homophobic bullying from Clough. In 1982 he was sold to Notts County for only £150,000. He moved around non-premier league clubs throughout the 80s, and played for short periods in the US and Canada.
In 1990 Fashanu came out publically in an interview with The Sun tabloid newspaper. The article was salacious, including claims of an affair with a married Conservative party MP, other footballers and pop stars.
The reaction to Fashanu's openness about his sexuality, the first black celebrity in Britian to do so as well as the first footballer, was sadly largely hostile. British newspaper for the black community, The Voice, said that coming out in a tabloid newspaper (but the suggestion was coming out at all) was 'an affront to the black community... damaging... pathetic and unforgivable'.
And, more tragically, John Fashanu condemned his brother saying 'my gay brother is an outcast' in The Voice after he came out. Even this year John denied his brother was gay, saying Justin made-up stories to get attention.
In 1998 Fashanu had started a promising new carear coaching US team Maryland Mania, but this was cut short when allegations of assault were made against him by a 17-year-old boy. Fashanu returned to England and committed suicide, leaving a note which said 'I realised that I had already been presumed guilty. I do not want to give any more embarrasssment to my friends and family'.
During a documentary called Britain's Gay Footballers screened in January this year, Fashanu's niece (John's daughter) said:
'I'm proud Justin was my uncle and that he was brave enough to say what he did. I think my dad now regrets the harsh way he responded. The game needs more people like my uncle if homophobic barriers are to be removed.'
Madrid, the capital of Spain, was chosen as the venue to host World Pride in 2017, successfully outbidding Berlin and Sydney.
Madrid was chosen to host in 2017 the world's largest and most prestigious gay event.
More than 80 delegates from around the world voted for the Spanish captial unanimously at the annual meeting of InterPride in Boston, USA this Sunday (7 October).
Madrid’s successful bid was presented by representatives of the Office of Tourism of the City of Madrid, Miguel Sanz, and members of the Association of Entrepreneurs and Professionals for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgender Madrid (AEGAL).
Two other cities, Berlin and Sydney also presented uncessesful bids.
The cities of Rome, Jerusalem and London have hosted the World Pride event. In 2014 the world’s prime LGBT event will be held in Toronto, followed by Madrid in 2017 and New York in 2019.
New York has been chosen for 2019 as the date marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall movement in that city.
Madrid previously successfully hosted in 2007 Euro Pride.
In a press statement Juan Carlos Alonso, an AEGAL member said: ‘Madrid Pride has helped change our city, including our country, making it a place of freedom, celebration, respect and equal rights.
‘We know that the eyes of the international LGBT community will be focused on our city and we will not disappoint because we are fully prepared to host the largest World Pride in history
‘This positions Madrid in the world as a true gateway to diversity and an example of coexistence.'
The costs of hosting the event in the Spanish capital are estimated at half a million euros ( US$ 648,000), Alonso emphasised the benefits: ‘In all previous events, the economic benefits exceeded US$ 110 million [85 million Euros], and we expect this figure to be higher in Madrid. Millions of people will come to Madrid, with all the benefits that this entails.’
Russian Orthodox Christians demand gay bar ban over fears nightspots 'entice' people to be LGBT.
Photo by Daniel Kruczynski
Russian religious activists are calling for the closure of gay clubs in Moscow, to stop people being 'enticed' to become homosexual.
Members of Orthodox Christian group, the Narodny Sobor (People’s Council), are petitioning the Russian capital's parliament to ban the city's gay bars and clubs.
'We conducted a study earlier and found that such a law would not contradict international law. Homosexuality, as well as its propaganda, is a grave sin,' Oleg Kassin, co-chairman of the group told Izvestia daily.
He added that 'it’s necessary to close gay clubs' in Moscow because they 'directly entice immature souls' into the LGBT community.
The homophobic campaign has also seen support from politicians, with United Russia Member of Parliament, Mikhail Antontsev, telling Izvestia that his party are 'ready to discuss' a possible bill which might protect children from 'unnecessary information'.
The MP says he would also back legislation which bans so-called gay propaganda nationwide.
The Russian Orthodox church agrees, with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin claiming they have 'every right to maintain the purity of the society and to protect our children from all sorts of sinful manifestations.'
He added: 'Both the Church and the majority of the community agree that homosexuality is far from being a normal thing.'
In June, gay pride was banned in Moscow for 100 years and in March a national anti-gay bill, similar to the one passed in St Petersburg, was submitted to the Russian parliament by lawmakers from the Novosibirsk region.
The proposed law calls for fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($16,500 €12,400) for 'spreading homosexual propaganda' among minors.
If passed, it would gag gay and transgender people nationwide, potentially banning public discussion of LGBT issues or events targeted at gay and trans people.
The St Petersburg bill, passed in February 2012, makes it an offense to engage in any 'propaganda' that could give minors 'the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal.'
The Russian states of Arkhangelsk, Ryazan and Kostroma have already adopted similar anti-gay laws.
The laws have been roundly condemned by Europe, the US State Department, human rights organizations and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaigners and individuals as well as their straight allies.
Russia’s largest social network, VKontakte, has allowed same-sex partner status.
Users of Russia’s leading social network, Vkontakte.ru (also known as VK.com), can now list a person of the same sex as their partner under the rubric ‘family situation.’
Previously the company repeatedly refused to allow same-sex partner status.
The move – a personal decision by site founder Pavel Durov – is particularly notable in a country that is increasingly criminalising any positive mentions of LGBT issues as ‘homosexual propaganda.’
The decision came after a network user named Oleg – one of Vkontakte’s 150 million user – sent a request to the site’s technical support to let him mention his male partner on his profile.
The site staff rejected his demands and said same-sex partner status would not be allowed.
Instead it suggested that Oleg 'change his sex,' referring to the Russian legislation which does not recognize same-sex marriage.
The website’s response have sparked anger from many in Russia’s LGBT community.
In response Oleg revealed this alleged site-user discrimination to the press and to the Rainbow Association (Raduzhnaya Assotsiatsiya), a Moscow-based LGBT NGO.
An appeal to Vkontakte’s management on Oleg’s behalf was initially answered by the site’s press service with an uncompromising rejection: no same-sex couple status could be introduced, the company’s statement asserted, either then or in the future.
However, later the same day, Durov responded to the appeal differently in a tweet: ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get what you want.’
The change was introduced the next day – followed by a wave of homophobic comments on the social network and elsewhere.
‘By agreeing to the demands of degenerates, [Pavel Durov] is suggesting that children revise their sexual orientation,’ blogged Vitaly Milonov, a member of parliament from the ruling United Russia party, referring to the fact that a significant fraction of Vkontakte users are under 18.
‘I am not sure that certain Vkontakte shareholders will appreciate this kind of atheism,’ he added.
In June Facebook, the popular social networking site, introduced same-sex marriage status icons: one depicting two brides, the other two grooms.
The Russian supreme court dismissed an appeal by the local LGBT organization Coming Out against St. Petersburg's ‘gay propaganda’ law.
The supreme court of Russia dismissed the appeal by the Russian LGBT organization Coming Out, finding the 'gay propaganda' law consistent with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
St. Petersburg law bans ‘propaganda’ of ‘homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, and transgenderism that can damage the health, moral and spiritual development of minors’. The offence carries a fine of up to 500,000 roubles ($16,100)
The law also includes a definition of ‘propaganda’ given in 2010 by a Russian constitutional court.
Last month a milk cartoon was accused of promoting ‘gay propaganda’.
Madonna faced prosecution by Russian authorities for ‘homosexual propaganda’ over her MDNA tour concert which was held at St. Petersburg.
In July GSN reported that over 73 people prosecuted in St Petersburg in first four months under 'homosexual propaganda' law.
St Petersbourg's authorities also recently banned gay pride and fined the event's organizers.
The law also gave rise to an increase in aggression and violence against LGBT people. Radical-right organizations have already publicly justified violence against LGBT activists by the existence of this law during the attacks on
May 17 International Day against Homophobia rally and other public actions.
The law was promoted by the ruling United Russia party and adopted by St Petersburg's city assembly in February following the introduction of similar laws in the Russian administrative regions of Ryazan and Arkhangelsk in 2006 and 2011.
The law has been widely criticised by a plethora of worldwide organizations as violating the basic human rights freedom of expression and association.
Russian LGBT and human rights activists argued that the law is contrary to federal legislation of the Russian Federation and that the unclear definition of ‘propaganda’, opens the doors wide for abuse by law enforcement bodies and the judicial system.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal last week, finding the 'gay propaganda' law consistent with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Ksenia Kirichenko, a lawyer and coordinator of the legal assistance program for the Coming Out organization told GSN: ‘In today's political conditions, expecting a different decision would be naïve.
The highest supreme authorities [in Russia] still approve laws that violate fundamental human rights.’
In one or two weeks’ time a statement outlining the supreme court’s reasoning to its ruling will be published.
Kirichenko expects that supreme court statement to define what ‘propaganda’ means in the context of St Petersburg’s ‘gay propaganda’ law.
Kirichenko expects that supreme court statement to define what ‘propaganda’ means in the context of St Petersburg’s ‘gay propaganda’ law.
Recently, Russian Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by the Russian LGBT Network around a similar ‘propaganda’ law in Arkhangelsk.
The court statement of the reasoning for the decision, however, included an interpretation of the law according to which the propaganda ban does not prohibit ‘open and public debates about social status of sexual minorities’ and does not ‘limit the right of the child to receive information, including information about homosexuality, conditional to his needs and appropriate to the specifics of his age.’
Activists can now appeal to the given definition in their advocacy efforts.
Kirichenko is adamant that Coming Out will continue to fight against St. Petersburg ‘gay propaganda’, in particular, by legally challenging specific instances of its application up in the European Court of Human Rights.