(UK) - A new website highlighting African heroes and achievers has included three prominent Gay Africans. "Gay Africans make up a part of the landscape of the continent and any member of the Gay community who has achieved something of merit deserves a place on our site. We welcome the submission of their biographies," said the website's creator, Kadija Traoré Bush, who is of is Malian and Beninoise heritage. Read more...
(USA) - A traveling exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum uses photographs, documents, and artwork to chronicle the Nazis' arrests and persecution of tens of thousands of Gay men from 1933 to 1945. The exhibit, on display through the end of the month at the University of Rhode Island, gives voice to what its curator describes as "one of the lesser-known stories of the Nazi era." The exhibit begins just before the Nazis rose to power, when an estimated 1.2 million Gay men lived in Germany and a Gay culture flourished in nightclubs and cafes. But after Adolf Hitler took power, the Nazis began closing Gay clubs, and in 1934 the Gestapo asked local police departments to compile lists of men believed to be Gay. A law known as Paragraph 175 that had previously prohibited "unnatural indecency" between men was reworked to dramatically expand the range of illegal behaviors. By 1938, even a perceived wayward glance or touch could be interpreted as criminal by the courts.
Note: Read more on Boston.com
(UK) - Two sixth-formers from every school in England are to visit Auschwitz to learn about the Holocaust, under a government-funded initiative to help to ensure that the lessons of the Nazi genocide live on with a new generation. Jim Knight, the UK Schools Minister, wants the teenagers who take part to educate their classmates and communities in turn by giving them their own accounts of the death camp in Poland where more than one million Jews, Roma, Sinti, Gay, disabled and black people were put to death. Teenagers selected for the visit will meet an Auschwitz survivor, be shown around the camp’s barracks and crematoria and see the registration documents of inmates, piles of hair, shoes, clothes and other items seized by the Nazis. They will also hear first-hand accounts of life and death in the camp and end the visit at a memorial service.
Note: Read more on Times Online
(Germany) - A new Berlin memorial to the Nazis' Gay victims — including a video presentation showing same-sex couples kissing — should be ready within months, officials said Thursday. The $890,000 memorial to Gay victims will be located in Berlin’s Tiergarten Park, across from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Culture Minister Bernd Neumann said. Construction on another memorial to honor Roma and Sinti, or Gypsy, victims of the Nazis also is to begin this year. Homosexuality was banned under the Nazis. Tens of thousands of people — primarily men — were arrested and many were sent to concentration camps.
Note: Read more on Washington Blade
(UK) - More than 1,600 people including survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides are attending a memorial service at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. The annual event, held as Liverpool acts as European Capital of Culture falls on the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Between 5,000 and 15,000 Gay men were held in concentration camps by the Nazis as members of an "anti-social group." Historians estimate that 60% of them died while incarcerated. After the war Gay men were not recognised as victims of the Holocaust and many were re-imprisoned by the authorities because of the sexuality. They were denied the reparations and state pensions available to other groups.
Note: Read more on Pink News
(Czech Republic) - Minister in charge of human rights and minorities Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens) opened a touring exhibition mapping some 20 years of Czech homosexual movement in the House of Ethnic Minorities in Prague Monday. "The activists have not only achieved the recognition of their human rights, but they have also won respect of society," Stehlikova told CTK. The display, to be held until January 21, offers photographs, period documents, covers of gay magazines as well as recordings from the discussion on registered partnership of same-sex couples in the Chamber of Deputies. After Prague, the exhibition will continue in other Czech towns.
Note: Read more on Prague Monitor
(Chech Republic) - A touring exhibition that describes the history of homosexual movement for equality in the Czech Republic was unveiled on the occasion of the day of human rights in the Hrzansky palace Monday, Jiri Hromada, a former head of the Gay Initiative in the Czech Republic, told CTK. The exhibition will be put on display at the Prague House of Ethnic Minorities between January 7 and 25, said Jiri Hromada, an assistant to the minister for minorities and human rights Dzamila Stehlikova. "We want to show to the public that Gays and Lesbians did not fall from the Mars. The older generation used to say there were no homosexuals in its youth," Hromada said. The first of the panels describes the position of homosexuals in the world from antiquity to the 19th century.
Note: Read more on Prague Monitor
(New Zealand) - Hundreds of artefacts and documents chronicling and showcasing New Zealand's Lesbian culture looking back to the early 20th century - how will this collection be preserved for the benefit and understanding of future generations? Dr Miriam Saphira's dream of a Lesbian Museum in Auckland is now a significant step closer to reality with the announcement of new headquarters for the Charlotte Museum Trust's activities. The office at 58 Surrey Crescent will open on Sunday 17 February 2008 - right in the middle of Auckland's HERO Festival. Shelving has been provided by the Gay Auckland Business Association, and volunteers are classifying and taking inventory on all the items in preparation for relocation.
Note: Read more on GayNZ
(USA) - “Today is usually reserved simply as a day to mourn the loss of our everyday heroes--those gender-variant people who chose to stand up for what they felt, rather than hide behind society’s norms,” organizer Jake Nash told the crowd assembled for Cleveland’s fourth commemoration of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. His plans for the November 18 event went far beyond mourning, instead becoming a three-part event. The first part, “Remembering Our Dead,” took people on a candle-lit march from the Cleveland LGBT Center to Cleveland Public Theater’s Old Parish Hall venue a block away. A solid wall of marchers carried candles and placard memorializing transgender people who died in the last year.
Note: Read more on Gay Peoples Chronicle
(USA) - From the time he walked into Milk's camera shop in the early '70s, Mr. Rivaldo was in the center of the city's Gay political awakening. With Milk and other young, politically active Gays, he helped found the San Francisco Gay Democratic Club, now known as the Harvey Milk Gay Democratic Club. A talented graphic artist, he designed the posters and brochures for the successful 1978 effort to defeat the Briggs initiative, a ballot measure that would have barred Gays and Lesbians from teaching in California public schools. Mr. Rivaldo and Pabich were instrumental in getting Milk elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1977, making him one of the first openly Gay elected officials in USA.
Note: Read more on SF Gayte
(Spain) - Following the presentation of the new State Budgets in Congress on September 21, today the left wing green coalition, IU-ICV, has announced appeals on several fronts. Among them they are demanding that Gays who suffered from repression during the Franco era, be financially compensated. Observers contemplate that less than 100 such people could still be alive today, after Gays were jailed, tortured and had their assets seized, among other measures.
Note: Read more on Typically Spanish
In this era of civil partnerships and openly Gay celebrities, it is easy to forget there was a time when actors remained in the closet for fear of ruining their careers. Speaking in New York, where he is about to star as King Lear, Sir Ian McKellen offered a vivid reminder of those dark days. In a question-and-answer session in the auditorium of TheTimesCenter, the new home of The New York Times, the actor, whose roles have ranged from Shakespearean characters to Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Magneto in The X-Men, told the audience that he had tried to persuade his fellow thespians Sir Alec Guinness and Sir John Gielgud to come out as Gay, but both declined.
Note: Read more on Independent
(USA) - Equality Forum, an international LGBT civil rights organization, announced 31 Icons to be featured during GLBT History Month in October. The 31 Icons achieved success within their respective fields of endeavor, were heroes or advanced LGBT civil rights. "The GLBT community has been uniquely disadvantaged by not being taught its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions," said Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum. "GLBT History Month helps teach our unacknowledged history, provides role models and celebrates contributions made by GLBT individuals to our country and internationally." Read more...
(UK) - In the autumn of 1953, British gays were the victims of what they called "The Great Purge" - a massive police crackdown on homosexuals in which nearly 5,000 same-sexers were arrested in the ensuing months - on charges either of "gross indecency" (the same law under which Oscar Wilde (right) was imprisoned), solicitation, or sodomy. This represented an increase of 850 per cent over the arrest rate for homosexuality in 1938, just before World War II. The Great Purge, which took place at the height of the Cold War, was provoked by the defection of the diplomats Guy Burgess (left), a notorious homosexual, and Donald Maclean to Moscow, and in the climate of the day homosexuality was virtually equated with treason in the minds of the police.
Note: Read full article on DIRELAND
(UK) - Tomorrow marks the 50-year anniversary of the publication of the Wolfenden report on homosexual offences and prostitution. It emerged at a time of great sexual ignorance. In the 1950s there were no manuals for the young, and we had to do our best with baffling encyclopaedia entries. Our elders wanted to re-establish the imagined values of Britain's lost empire. They were full of warnings about VD and how Rome fell because of its tolerance of homosexuality. So as well as the disastrous Suez campaign of 1956, there was a tripling of prosecutions for homosexual offences after 1945.
Note: Read more on Time
(USA) - A decision by the Philadelphia school district to nix Gay and Lesbian History Month from its 2007-08 calendar was met with criticism by a national organization working for gender equality in schools. In a world where presidential candidates make appearances on lesbian and gay cable networks, "you're telling me it's too controversial for the School District of Philadelphia? Come on," said Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. In an effort to be balanced, the district also removed calendar designations marking Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month and others.
Note: Read full article on Courier Post Online
(UK) - Gay men in Wales have recalled their experiences, on the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Leo Abse, who was MP for Pontypool at the time, says he piloted through the 1967 Sexual Offences Act to end the "cruel and savage" laws of the day. The law decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years and in private, but only in England and Wales. Campaigner Howard Llewellyn said that, despite the law, attitudes towards gay people had remained slow to change.
Note: Read full article on BBC
(UK) - Forty years ago in Britain, loving the wrong person could make you a criminal. Smiling in the park could lead to arrest and being in the wrong address book could cost you a prison sentence. Homosexuality was illegal and hundreds of thousands of men feared being picked up by zealous police wanting easy convictions, often for doing nothing more than looking a bit gay. At 5.50am on 5 July 1967, a bill to legalise homosexuality limped through its final stages in the House of Commons. It was a battered old thing and, in many respects, shabby. It didn't come close to equalising the legal status of heterosexuals and homosexuals (that would take another 38 years). It didn't stop the arrests: between 1967 and 2003, 30,000 gay and bisexual men were convicted for behaviour that would not have been a crime had their partner been a woman.
Note: Read full article on Guardian
It's impossible to know whether certain males and females crawled up out of the primordial sludge and immediately began making it with members of their own gender, but it's more than likely that they did. For despite what the Christian right would have you believe, homosexuality is not some recent phenomenon. And despite what most pop-gay histories suggest, homosexual Homo sapiens did not first appear on this planet in 1969, at a New York watering hole known as the Stonewall. So why all the focus on the events from 1969 onward? Why devote the following pages to an exploration of each year since the Stonewall riots?
Note: Read full article on The Stranger
(USA) - Thirty years ago, most people didn't think about gay rights, much less discuss the issue in public. A 1977 battle in Miami-Dade County between two local mothers changed all that, launching both the modern public debate about homosexuality and the emergence of politically powerful Christian conservatives. While voters cast a decisive ''no'' vote for gay rights 30 years ago this week, the discussion triggered by the divisive debate -- which ended the friendship between singing star Anita Bryant and then-Miami-Dade Commissioner Ruth Shack -- has not ceased. ''It was the beginning of two movements, the Christian Coalition and gay rights,'' Shack now says.
Note: Read full article on Miami Herald
(USA) - It wasn’t that long ago that Chicago’s gay scene was very different than it is today. “The summer I came to Chicago, you had to keep your hands above the bar, and you couldn’t buy anybody a drink,” Eugene Wright recalls. There was no dancing and there was always the chance a gay bar might get raided. Police in Chicago raided gay bars and even private parties frequently in the 1960s. “In those days your name was put in the newspaper,” Ron Helizon says. “You were ruined.” Lesbians also had to be wary of certain boundaries.
Note: Read full article on Chicago Free Press
(USA) - Pride festivals and other events in June have tended to focus on the fun, entertaining side in recent year. But Stonewall Library & Archives has brought a more serious and educational focus to Pride month this year with its exhibit “Days Without Sunshine: Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade.” The 20-panel exhibit takes viewers on a journey back to the 1970s, when the Save Our Children campaign repealed a 1977 Miami-Dade ordinance that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodation. The crusade was started by an unlikely source - singer Anita Bryant.
Note: Read full article on Express Gay News
In 1936, the SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler created the Gestapo’s Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion. As a result, an estimated 100,000 men were arrested as homosexuals, and some 50,000 of these men were sentenced. Some spent time in regular prisons, some were forcefully castrated as an alternative to incarceration, and thousands were sent to Nazi concentration camps. Estimates are that more than half were executed or died from disease and malnutrition, but for those who survived, the liberation from the Nazi concentration camps did not end the suffering and humiliation.
Note: Read full article on New Europe
(UK) - The 18th Century writings of Thomas Cannon, believed to be one of the first gay activists, have been found by a University of Manchester academic. They were contained in a handwritten scroll indicting the printer of his 1749 work "Ancient And Modern Pederasty Investigated And Exemplified". The indictment suggests the book was an anthology of stories and philosophical texts in defence of male homosexuality. Dr. Hal Gladfelder found the parchment among a box of uncatalogued documents from 1750 while doing research at the National Archives in Kew.
Note: Read full article on BBC
Polari - a well-developed form of slang spoken by British gay men in the mid-20th century - fell out of favor with the advent of the gay liberation movement, but has enjoyed a revival in recent years. The origins of Polari are uncertain, but most linguists believe its roots date back at least to the 1800s. At a time when homosexuality was illegal, Polari offered gays a way of identifying one another and speaking about forbidden topics. "Gay people sort of adopted it for themselves like a secret language," recalled an anonymous former seaman quoted in a Merseyside Maritime Museum exhibit about gay life at sea.
Note: Read full article on www.campkc.com
(New York) - One was cut to pieces and discarded in garbage bags. Another was stabbed at a bus stop. A third was chased down, beaten and run over by a car. They were three victims of str8 hate whose stories didn't make the same media splash that Matthew Shepard did, but these three are not going to be forgotten, because of a scholarship, a film and an art exhibit.
Note: The details of three acts of remembrance are in Newsday
The bungalow at Pacific Coast Highway and Cress Street used to be a happy hour beacon in Laguna Beach. Young men holding hands, Will-and-Grace types, the occasional gaggle of curious straights, the random lesbian couple—all would gather on weekends at Woody's at the Beach, a cottage-y gay bar.... The block-long promenade between them was like a miniature West Hollywood in the heart of once-conservative Orange County, and locals insisted the town wouldn't be itself if it went away. ...Then the Boom Boom Room was sold to a billionaire with plans to eventually turn the site into a boutique hotel....
Note: Read the article in the LA Times
Twenty years ago, a furious speech by the playwright and activist Larry Kramer at New York City's lesbian and gay community center birthed a new activist organization, ACT UP--the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. Within a month, weekly planning meetings were attracting 200 people, a motley mix of gay men, lesbians, recovering addicts with AIDS and the newly diagnosed, a great many of them just in their 20s. Read more...
(San Francisco, CA) - A giant ruby red slipper. A statue of gay icon Harvey Milk. Yellow bricks. A rainbow arch. All could one day greet visitors to the Castro under a proposal being vetted by merchants and residents who worry the neighborhood's reputation as a "gay mecca" is waning. ...The discussions have emerged as the neighborhood struggles to maintain its identity as a magnet for LGBT people and merchants grapple with how to stay open for business.
Note: More details are in the Bay Area Reporter
(USA) - Records don't show whether Richard Cornish felt like a martyr almost 400 years ago as he stood on a Jamestown gallows with a rope around his neck. But he was adopted as one by the William and Mary Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association. GALA and a number of activists and historians recognize Cornish as the first man prosecuted and executed for homosexuality in the British North American colonies.
Note: Read full article on hamptonroads.com
I raise a salute to that lifesaving human compromise, the open secret. I raise a salute to a band of comrades who, each in their different ways, were the keepers through a dark age of an open secret. My salute is to a dying breed: a breed whose ranks thinned again in the small hours of Thursday morning when John Inman passed away. Hail to them all: the ludicrous old queens; the drag artists; the pantomime homosexuals; the florid epicureans; the indulgent priests; the sensitive young men in tight trousers; and the wan aesthetes.
Note: Read full article on www.timesonline.co.uk
(Islington, UK) - From the 1970s kiss-in at Highbury Fields to the founding of the Pink Paper, Islington has always been at the forefront of gay rights. It had the first openly gay MP with Chris Smith and now, in what is thought to be a first for the country, all three leading Islington councillors are gay. Last month the borough celebrated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, and groups of people have traced the rise of gay rights by visiting some key sites in Islington.
Note: Read full article on www.islingtongazette.co.uk
(Australia) - Oxford Street is a metaphor for Sydney’s gay community. The suburbs it passes through - Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Paddington - are widely seen as the centre of gay Sydney. They’re home to gay clubs, shops and services. In the past decade, however, the area’s been losing its gay vibrancy and appeal. The shops and clubs are becoming less gay and many homosexuals are losing interest. The changes reflect both gay culture and wider socio-economic processes. Has the Golden Mile tarnished?
Note: Read full article on www.onlineopinion.com.au
(London, UK) - Ian McKellen took to the stage at the Drill Hall theatre in London at the weekend as a guest speaker at the launch of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month. Now in its third year, the month has quickly become a major event in both the LGBT and education worlds. Sir Ian praised the conference for its strong panel and dynamic audience – a diverse range of teachers, artists, academics and activists all committed to the cause of LGBT equality in education.
Note: Read full article on
A recent poll of over 5,000 gay people found that Kylie Minogue is their goddess, and that the gay community seems to worship straight women who can hold a tune more than the real heroes that have made their lives better. Guess where the first homosexual on the list appeared? 19th place. There were no lesbians on the list. That means only 18% of "gay icons" are in fact gay. A depressing statistic. A person ignorant of their own history cannot really know themselves.
How can you be proud of how far we have come if you don't know how we got there?
Note: Read full article on www.pinknews.co.uk
(USA) - Tuesday marked the fourth of five events orchestrated by the United Black Students (UBS) organization for this year's two-week Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration. The event focused not on Dr. King, but rather the lesser known civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. Tuesday's event began with a screening of the documentary "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin." The documentary not only revealed all of the actions that Rustin helped initiate during the black civil rights movement, but also exposed why so little is heard of him in black history-he was not only African-American in a time of segregation, but also a homosexual.
Note: Read full article on www.thehurricaneonline.com
From Indigenous oral histories, passed down through millennia, to the hostile accounts kept by colonial record keepers, a great deal of evidence exists to show that sex/gender variance and homosexuality were part of the fabric of early cooperative societies in the Americas—from pole to pole.
An anonymous prison number, a date of birth and, in black ink in the right-hand corner, two words: "brothel woman". The faded brown index cards discovered inside a garage at RavensbrŸck concentration camp are the only record that these tragic women ever existed. Today, on Holocaust Memorial Day, more than 60 years after the end of the Second World War, the concentration camps are giving up their last unspeakable secret - for three years, hundreds of women inmates were forced to work as prostitutes for male prisoners. The Nazis nicknamed these forced brothels Joy Divisions.
Note: Read full article on www.mirror.co.uk
(San Francisco, USA) - Harvey Milk, the first out gay male politician in American history, is to be honoured with a bust in San Francisco City Hall. Three final designs have been chosen for a bust of Harvey Milk and the winner will be revealed at the end of this month. The bust will go on permanent display in San Francisco City Hall. Milk, known during his lifetime as "The Mayor of Castro Street," is regarded as a political icon amongst gay activists for his ability to build the LGBT community into a grassroots political force.
Note: Read full article on www.pinknews.co.uk
(NY, USA) - "Doing this work was a tremendous outlet for my rage and my anger," Richard Burns explained about his first decade at the helm of New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. Burns, who became executive director of the Center on December 1, 1986, when the community gathering place and cultural, advocacy, and social-services engine had been open less than two years, recalls that his 20-year tenure there has been neatly divided between two distinct 10-year periods.
Note: Read full article on www.gaycitynews.com