Saturday, January 29, 2011

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging

Thanks to Marilyn for passing this info on:

The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is a nationwide program of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and ten partner organizations :American Society on Aging; Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity, Hunter College; CenterLink; FORGE Transgender Aging Network; GRIOT Circle; The LGBT Aging Project; National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers; Openhouse; and PHI.

P.A.C.E. statement on the Jan. 26th Shreveport hate crime based on sexual orientation

Worth repeating:

P.A.C.E. statement on the Jan. 26th [2011] Shreveport hate crime based on sexual orientation

At the end of 2010, the FBI released statistics on hate crimes reported during 2009, and fortunately, fewer incidents were reported than in previous years in every category.  However, when considering just violent crimes, anti-gay hate crimes had increased.  In addition, anti-gay hate crimes included physical violence significantly more often than crimes against other reported groups.

This increased anti-gay violence in our country hit home on Wednesday in Shreveport when a regular patron of a downtown bar was, without any provocation, brutally attacked, based only on his sexual orientation. Witnesses say before the attack there was no interaction between the victim and his alleged attacker, William Payne.  The Shreveport Police Department has charged Payne with 2nd degree attempted murder and the commission of a hate crime.  The victim was hospitalized and will require major reconstructive surgery to his face.

All violent crimes are reprehensible.  But hate crimes that target groups are directed not just at an individual but are intended to terrorize entire communities, to let them know that they should constantly live in fear for their personal safety.  P.A.C.E. applauds the witnesses at the bar who came forward to testify, the security personnel at the bar who detained the attacker, and the Shreveport Police Department for treating this brutal act as the hate crime it is.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

First GLBT History Museum in the United States Announces Grand Opening for January 13

SAN FRANCISCO—Internationally renowned as a center for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture, San Francisco soon will welcome yet another groundbreaking queer institution: The GLBT History Museum. A project of the GLBT Historical Society, an archives and research center established in 1985, the new museum will be the first of its kind in the United States. The formal grand opening is set for Jan. 13, 2011.

“A quarter century after the founding of the GLBT Historical Society, we’re proud to open a museum to showcase our community’s history,” said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the Historical Society. “The GLBT History Museum is in the heart of the Castro, a neighborhood visited not only by locals, but also by tens of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of queer culture. At our museum, they’ll discover treasures from our archives that reflect fascinating stories spanning nearly a century of GLBT life. We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself. Whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, visitors are sure to be moved, enlightened and entertained.”

Located at 4127 18th St., the museum includes 1,600 square feet of gallery and program space built to the specifications of the Historical Society, with custom fixtures, lighting and multimedia installations reflecting professional standards. Funding has come from Levi’s, the City of San Francisco, Castro district merchants, and numerous other spon sors and individual donors.

The museum will feature two debut exhibitions: In the main gallery, “Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating GLBT History,” curated by historians Gerard Koskovich, Don Romesburg and Amy Sueyoshi; and in the front gallery, “Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives.”

The grand opening on Jan. 13, 2011, will include a preview for sponsors, donors and special guests, followed by a ribbon-cutting and reception open to the public from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Regular hours for The GLBT History Museum will be Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission: $5.00; free for members. For more information, call 415-621-1107 or visit

Monday, January 3, 2011

Thoughts on Frank Kameny's Role in Stonewall, etc.

Someone wrote an article asking why Frank Kameny is not treated as a “rock star” for the homosexual movement. He has been an activist since th 1960s. Then someone else, who says they were at Stonewall, said he does not deserve any credit at all, especially for Stonewall, as the NY Mattachine types did not support Stonewall.

Actually I should be happy, or gay, to hear this second opinion as it says the same thing I have been saying, not because I like it, but because it is the real world. It says that it was not the Mattachine types who were responsible for Stonewall. In fact, many had to rush back from Fire Island when they heard the news. It was young outsiders from New Jersey, etc., who were not welcome at the other bars. They were no part of a movement, and I would say they had not only never read any book on the subject but had never even discussed the subject of homosexuality in a public forum.

I’m not sure either version/view has to say that those who did or did not support Stonewall were seeking “assimilation,” since that is a separate issue. The issue was having a bar that they could go to, and they probably didn't care if heteros went there too as long as everyone got along.

Where the second view falls apart is the nonsense that the people at Stonewall were more “brave” than Kameny and the other Mattachine activists. Part of this is my opinion, but the kids at 1969 have no way of knowing how brave it was for Frank, Barbara Gittings, Jack Nichols, et al., to picket at Liberty Hall and induction centers in 1965. What did the kids have to lose? Jobs?

I still think I am right. What both Frank did and what the kids at Stonewall did was good. While Frank got a little publicity when he took legal action aganst the federal government and argued with and taunted Congress, the reason the kids got lots of media coverage is because they were sexier and the media had—largely because of the movement—finally discovered the homophile movement and issues (and they covered it much like Fox News discovers or invents an issue and pushes it night and day for ratings and to excite the right-wing base.)

The most important element in any case may be timing. But as the old saying goes: When the time comes, you have to be ready to take advantage of it. We still need to push the lazy media to cover more than the back and forth on gay marriage. And we are long past the time when any coverage of homosexuality is thought to need a comment from the bigots. You don’t need an alternative opinion from someone to argue wether 2 + 2 = 4, or an ignorant religious leader’s opinion on if the earth is more than 6,000 years old.

So welcome to the new year. Now let’s get back to work.