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Behind the Aegis

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 02:58 AM
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Survivors of 1980s AIDS crisis reveal what happened to them

From the role of lesbians to the vanishing of whole neighborhoods, real LGBTI people share their experiences

Survivors of the 1980s AIDS crisis have shared accounts of their experiences.

As the UK celebrates LGBT History Month, users of Reddit revealed what it was like to be living in what felt like a constant state of tragedy.

Real LGBTI people remember the confusion, the lack of information, the lack of support from the government because of the suffering from the virus known only at the time as GRID (gay-related immune deficiency).

‘I’m a 62-year-old gay man. I thankfully made it through the epidemic that started in the early 80s and went right through the mid-90’s. You ask what it was like? I don’t know if I can even begin to tell you how many ways AIDS has affected my life, even though I never caught the virus,’ one user said.

‘By the early 80s, I had what I would consider a really large circle of friends and acquaintances and once the epidemic really started to hit, it was not uncommon to find out three, four or more people you knew had died each month. We set up informal and formal support groups to look after our friends who took sick. Feeding them when they would eat. Changing them. Washing them. Acting as go-between with families who “were concerned” about their sons, nephews, brothers, etc., but wouldn’t lend a hand to help because AIDS was, you know, icky.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 02:03 AM (13 replies)

Russia fines gay activist for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media

Russia has fined a gay rights activist the maximum fine just for giving advice to LGBTI teens on social media.

Sergei Alekseenko, director of the LGBTI group Maximum, was found guilty of violating the country’s ‘gay propaganda’ law in Murmansk, north-western Russia.

He was ordered to pay 100,000 rubles ($1,300, €1,200).

Alekseenko was found guilty of posting on Maximum’s web page that presented homosexuality in a positive light to children.

In one, he was trying to combat the myth that to be gay meant being evil, or wrong, or disgusting.


Sergei Alekseenko
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Thu Feb 4, 2016, 02:00 AM (0 replies)

The Architecture Genius: Frank Goldberg

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has a wonderful program on PBS (you can find past episodes on Hulu and YouTube) called "Finding Your Roots." It is a genealogical program that explores the family history of three individuals. This week's episode focused on "Visionaries". The are Richard Branson, of Virgin Enterprises, Maya Lin, creator of the Vietnam National Memorial, and Frank Goldberg, or as he is better known, Frank Gehry! The entire episode was interesting; it usually is. But what was interesting was the exploration of Gehry's Jewish past to the "Settlement of the Pale" and a cousin who survived three concentration camps! The DNA profile ( a feature of the program), showed he was 98% Ashkenazi Jew!

Here is a clip: http://www.pbs.org/video/2365656530/

And here is the profile: http://www.pbs.org/weta/finding-your-roots/profiles/frank-gehry/

I don't know when the actual program will be available on YouTube (usually takes a couple of days). But, if you have the PBS app or Hulu, you should be able to view it tomorrow!

"Finding Your Roots" has a past episode titled: Our People, Our Traditions, which explores the Jewish histories of Carole King, Tony Kushner, and Alan Dershowitz. There is a YouTube version, but it is $1.99. Check your PBS app!

As someone currently involved in tracking down Jewish ancestors, let me just say, it is not very easy if your parents, grandparents, or Great-grandparents were not from this country. Many records were destroyed in their native lands (for me Ukraine and Russia), or were lost to the Holocaust, but it is interesting when you stumble across the passenger list of a ship which brought your relatives to the US.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 12:54 AM (0 replies)

The Latest Anti-Gay Oklahoma Bills Are Almost Too Crazy to Believe

Outrageous anti-LGBTQ bills are now a fixture of the American legislative landscape. At the start of each year, extremist legislators come forward with a slew of discriminatory proposals, ranging from cleverly underhanded to openly deranged. Oklahoma’s latest bills fall on the latter side of that spectrum. In addition to some typical “religious liberty” legislation that would let businesses refuse service to gays—par for the course at this point—Oklahoma Republicans have cooked up some fascinatingly cruel bills. Let’s examine them one by one, ranked in terms of sadistic ingenuity.

1. HB 1598: Protecting ex-gay conversion therapy.

2. HB 3044: Preventing depressed and suicidal queer youth from seeing a gay-affirmative therapist.

3. SB 733: Forbidding HIV-positive people from getting married.


A reminder: Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender are people too! Marriage equality is wonderful, I should know! However, it was not the last fight for LGBT people.

29 states do NOT prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
15 states do NOT record hate crimes against GLBT persons.
29 states do NOT protect LGBT in regards to public accommodations.
The lists go on!

GLBT rights are human and civil rights!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jan 30, 2016, 03:41 AM (18 replies)

The Path to Nazi Genocide

This 38-minute film examines the Nazis’ rise and consolidation of power in Germany. Using rare footage, the film explores their ideology, propaganda, and persecution of Jews and other victims. It also outlines the path by which the Nazis and their collaborators led a state to war and to the murder of millions of people. By providing a concise overview of the Holocaust and those involved, this resource is intended to provoke reflection and discussion about the role of ordinary people, institutions, and nations between 1918 and 1945.

(For those who are hard of hearing or deaf, there is a transcript available below the video.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 03:54 AM (0 replies)

Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration & Complicity In The Holocaust (Interactive online source)

Millions of ordinary people witnessed the crimes of the Holocaust—in the countryside and city squares, in stores and schools, in homes and workplaces. Across Europe, the Nazis found countless willing helpers who collaborated or were complicit in their crimes. What motives and pressures led so many individuals to abandon their fellow human beings? Why did others make the choice to help?

Some Were Neighbors, Workers, Teenagers, Policemen, Religious Leaders, Teachers, Friends
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 03:48 AM (5 replies)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

In November 2005, General Assembly Resolution 60/7 was passed without a vote, it was to institute what is known as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has several presentations (if one happens to be in the area). Some of the presentations will be broadcasted live (I am uncertain if the weather has affected any of these presentations.)

Between 12 and 13 million persons were murdered in the Holocaust, 6 million Jews, over a million Poles, Russian soldiers, gays, mentally ill people, disabled people, the Rom, and others were beaten, raped, tortured, shot, gassed, and worked to death. They were identified by triangles and numbers.

Single triangles

  • Red triangle—political prisoners: social democrats, socialists, trade unionists, Freemasons, communists, and anarchists.
  • Green triangle— "professional criminals" (convicts, often working in the camps as kapos).
  • Blue triangle—foreign forced laborers, emigrants.
  • Purple triangle—primarily Jehovah's Witnesses (over 99%), and members of other small religious groups.
  • Pink triangle—primarily homosexual men, as well as sexual offenders including rapists, paedophiles and zoophiles.
  • Black triangle—people who were deemed "asocial elements" (asozial) and "work shy" (arbeitsscheu) including Roma. They wore the black triangle with a "Z" notation (for Zigeuner, meaning Gypsy) to the right of the triangle's point.
  • Roma males were later assigned a brown triangle. Roma females were still deemed "asocials" as they were stereotyped as petty criminals (prostitutes, kidnappers, and fortune tellers).
  • The mentally ill
  • Alcoholics and drug addicts
  • Vagrants and beggars
  • Pacifists and Conscription resisters.
  • Prostitutes
  • Some anarchists

  • Brown triangle—Roma males.
  • Uninverted red triangle — an enemy POW (Sonderhäftling - "Special Detainee"), German spy or traitor (Aktionshäftling - "Activities Detainee"), or a military deserter or criminal (Wehrmacht Angehöriger - "Service Member").

People who wore the green and pink triangles were convicted in criminal courts and may have been transferred to the criminal prison systems after the camps were liberated.

Then there were the Jews...

Double triangles

    Double-triangle badges resembled two superimposed triangles forming a Star of David, a Jewish symbol.

  • Two superimposed yellow triangles or a six-pointed star, the "Yellow badge"— a Jew. The word Jude ("Jew") was often inscribed in faux-Hebrew-looking letters inside the center of the badge.
  • Red inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish political prisoner
  • Green inverted triangle upon a yellow one—a Jewish "habitual criminal"
  • Purple inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jehovah's Witness of Jewish descent
  • Pink inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish "sexual offender"
  • Black inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—"asocial" and "work shy" Jews
  • Voided black inverted triangle superimposed over a yellow triangle—a Jew convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder ("race defiler").
  • Yellow inverted triangle superimposed over a black triangle—an Aryan (woman) convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder ("race defiler").

Like those who wore pink and green triangles, people in the bottom two categories would have been convicted in criminal courts.


Despite the horror, madness and hate, there were those who went above and beyond, and they are known as the "Righteous Among the Nations". They can be known and remembered here, Righteous Among the Nations by country.

Never Again!
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 03:37 AM (11 replies)

Obama to honor four who protected Jews during Holocaust

Source: AP

January 27, 2016, 9:19 am

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama is slated honor four people, including Americans from Indiana and Tennessee, for risking their lives to protect Jews during the Holocaust.

The United Nations has designated Wednesday as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland in 1945.


Master Sgt. (Roddie) Edmonds participated in the landing of US forces in Europe and was taken prisoner by the Germans. When the Germans ordered all Jewish prisoners of war to report, Edmonds defied the order by figuring out how to keep the Jewish POWs from being singled out for persecution.

(Lois) Gunden, a French teacher, established a children’s home in southern France that became a safe haven for children, including Jewish children she helped smuggle out of a nearby internment camp. She protected the children when French police showed up at the home.

The (Walery and Maryla) Zbijewskis hid a Jewish child in their Warsaw home until the girl’s mother could take her back.

Read more: http://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-to-honor-four-who-protected-jews-during-holocaust/

They are the "Righteous Among the Nations".
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 02:44 AM (25 replies)

Comment: Online Holocaust denial is a real threat to the Jewish community

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Though many take this moment to reflect upon the atrocities faced by Jewish people during WWII, the day is marred by the still very active Holocaust denial movement.

More than 60 million people were killed during the Second World War, of which nearly seven million were Jewish.

Yet online there are commenters who deny it ever happened at all.

William Allington, a PhD Candidate in Jewish Civilisation at the University of Sydney, has focused his study on the nature of Holocaust denial, especially its modern online forms.

"Holocaust denial is the denial of the plan to exterminate the Jews, the denial of the machinery, the gas chambers, and the demographic data proving the exetermination of Jews in the final solution," Mr Allington said.


Holocaust survivors greet each other as they arrive to pay tribute to fallen comrades in Auschwitz. (Source: Janek Skarzynski/Getty Images)
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 02:40 AM (4 replies)

My crazy first LEGAL gay anniversary.

This day, a year ago, my partner and I were allowed to legally marry in the State of Oklahoma. It has been an interesting year, but not all that different from some other years, and certainly more tame than a few years we have had together. I posted about our marriage last year, so I thought I would give people a "peek" into the wildness of a first year gay anniversary. Prepare yourself...

I had cards placed in the kitchen and den so my husband would find them when he woke up. The puppies got him up early as they often do. Of course, the raging storm helped too as my chihuahuas do not like thunderstorms. Oh yeah, he was home today because he was sick (since Saturday). Flu shot only works so well. LOL! But the real party started when I got up and went down stairs to him hacking up a lung. I was now fighting off his cold. I think I won! We exchanged pleasantries, no kissing for obvious reasons, and settled in to watch some TV. He promptly fell asleep. We woke up, watched some more TV, then I was off...to the doctor's office. After waiting for an hour, I was finally informed my biopsy was negative! YEA! No stomach cancer! They still have no fucking clue what is wrong with me, but hay, it ain't cancer so I am kvetching too much! Then back home with some KFC chicken pot pie. No since in cooking as he really couldn't eat too much and that is what he wanted. I did actually plan to make a Mustard peppercorn eye of round, but I wasn't about to put all that effort into something he couldn't eat. Guess what we are having tonight?!

The rest of the day was filled with more TV, napping, puppy potty breaks, MORE TV and napping, then it was time to put him to bed, where I had one final card. We hugged goodnight (remember, he is still sick and we got plans next week) and I put him and the four doggies in bed.

Boring, right? Well, even us gays have to take a day off from wild parties and what ever else bullshit the rightwing makes up about us. The point is my marriage is legal. Our lives didn't change profoundly with the exception of the following: I was now a spouse and could get insurance which reflected it; we could file as married on our taxes which greatly increased our refund (we got some serous cheddar back), we didn't have to worry about the home, cars, money, if, G-d forbid, something were to happen to him or me, it would go directly to the other, and, as of last June, my marriage didn't become unrecognized if we went from state to state.

What didn't change? Our love for each other; our commitment to one another; our desire to be with one another...in sickness and health!

I just had to share my happiness.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Nov 18, 2015, 12:39 AM (115 replies)
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