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Behind the Aegis

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The Black Panthers and Gay Rights

In 1970 the Black Panther Party invited Jean Genet, the famous French gay writer and activist, to the U.S., as many black Americans already considered him an ally because of his play The Blacks. In 1991 in Paris, lesbian Panther Angela Davis spoke about this time, recalling her first meetings with Genet.

Davis also recalls a speech Genet gave at the University of California, Los Angeles, in support of releasing black political prisoners: “Genet had made some proposals 20 years before that we just started to develop — for instance, the white participation in the struggle against racism. After a quarter of an hour, many members of the audience started to get upset and to whisper and, suddenly, someone even interrupted Genet asking him to speak, at last, of himself and his work! Genet answered, ‘No, I'm not here to talk about literature or my books. I came to defend the Black Panther Party.’”

Angela Davis charted the important links between black political consciousness and gay rights in that same speech:

“One last important point: It was Genet who heightened the Black Panther Party awareness to the homosexual rights issue. David Hilliard told me that when they were traveling together from state to state, from one university to another, some members of the party were using very rude and homophobic words to insult Nixon or (U.S. Attorney General John) Mitchell. Genet was hurt by these words and told them they should not use such vocabulary.


Angela Davis and Jean Genet
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Sep 13, 2016, 02:04 AM (1 replies)

Lady Chablis, Transgender 'Midnight' Star, Dies at Age 59

Source: NBC News

Sep 8 2016, 4:09 pm ET

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Lady Chablis, the transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," died Thursday in Savannah, her family said. She was 59.

Chablis' sister, Cynthia Ponder, confirmed she died at Candler Hospital. A close friend, Cale Hall, said Chablis died from pneumonia and had been in the hospital for the past month.

A modern, nonfiction take on Southern Gothic storytelling, author John Berendt's "Midnight" thrust Savannah into the pop-culture spotlight. And the sassy, blunt-spoken Chablis rode the book's popularity to a level of fame that was rare for transgender performers at the time.

"The legacy that she wanted to leave was one of 'believe in who you are and never let the world change who you are,'" Ponder said. "Love yourself first and respect yourself first and others will love and respect you."

Chablis insisted on playing herself in 1997's "Midnight" movie directed by Clint Eastwood. That same year she published an autobiography, "Hiding My Candy."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lady-chablis-transgender-midnight-star-dies-age-59-n645006

She was my friend!!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Sep 9, 2016, 12:43 AM (20 replies)

Trans rights activist Hande Kader was raped and burned to death in Turkey

In Turkey, the LGBTQ community is mourning the loss of transgender rights activist and sex worker Hande Kader.

Kader's body was found raped and brutally burned on Aug. 12 in Istanbul and now activists across the world are demanding justice for her death and the greater violence inflicted upon the the LGBTQ community, BuzzFeed reported. According to Kader's friends, she was last seen in a client's car.

While homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, according to BuzzFeed, discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community is staggering.

Kader, who was 22 years old, was a big voice in bringing awareness to the violence against sex workers and the LGBTQ community in Turkey. She made multiple appearances throughout the country, like the Gay Pride parade in Istanbul in 2015, where police opened fire at protesters with rubber bullets and water cannons.


Does it have to come to this in the US before people realize what is happening to transgender people?! Oh wait...

In the first eight months of 2016, the murders of 19 transgender people have been reported.

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Aug 23, 2016, 12:31 AM (8 replies)

Bill Maher: Trans equality must wait until after presidential election


In his “New Rules” segment Friday night, Bill Maher called for “boutique issues” like transgender equality to be put on hold until after the “Armageddon” presidential election, Yahoo! TV reports.

The “Real Time” host said that defeating Trump must be the top priority.

“From now until Election Day, everything else — every issue, every fight, every cause — has to take a backseat to defeating Trump,” Maher said. “We all have our issues that are important to us, and so just to lead by example, let me say I will take my own close-to-the-heart pet cause — pot legalization — off the table. And you know me: I have seeds in my urine!”

Twitter wasn’t having it. Some called out his characterization of the issues liberals and progressive are fighting for, as well as the privileged lens through which he views them:


Well, we have certainly heard this before. Even now we are being told we are being "selfish", I was told I was stupid and ushering in a Trump presidency, and "cultural issues" aren't important. A commenter to this article wrote:

Yes, after the election, then after the innaugaration, then after the first 100 days, then maybe after the mid term elections, then after the first manned trip to mars and the building of a colony on a planet in the Alpha Centauri system, then in 3535.....

Dr. King said: In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Mon Aug 8, 2016, 02:35 AM (13 replies)

Pride Uganda raided by police as LGBT activists arrested

A Pride event in Uganda has been broken up by police as at least two LGBT+ activists are arrested.

Pride Uganda tweeted that the small gathering in Kampala had been raided by police, as prominent LGBT+ activist Frank Mugisha also tweeted that he had been arrested.


Adamantly homophobic Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni remained in office for a fifth term, as he won a general election earlier this year, amid accusations of corruption.

President Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February 2014. The law called for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and to make it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

However, the country’s Constitutional Court later struck down the bill, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

Despite this, it still remains illegal to be gay in Uganda.



Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Aug 6, 2016, 03:02 AM (1 replies)

Will You Stop Being Mean to Log Cabin Republicans? (Spoiler: No, I Will Not.)


As for the rank and file of the LGBT community, Paul, we're mad at LCR and our anger is not misplaced.

This is the worst GOP platform ever. That’s all LCR has to show for nearly forty years of what exactly? Forty years of trying to change the GOP from within? No. Forty years of lying to the LGBT community about the Republican Party and forty years of complicity in Republican attacks on the LGBT community.

I'm not just talking about LCR's long and ignominious history of endorsing anti-LGBT politicians. It's worse than that. LCR isn't just guilty of endorsing shitty anti-gay bigots — George W. Bush over Al Gore 2000; John McCain (and Sarah Palin!) over Barack Obama in 2008; Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in 2012 (despite Romney's support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, his opposition to gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, and his support for discrimination against LGBT people in employment and housing) — LCR is also guilty of providing cover for anti-LGBT Republicans. While anti-LGBT bigotry still plays well with the "rank and file" of the GOP base, it doesn't play well with moderate and independent voters. Log Cabin Republicans and other gay Republicans are used — they allow themselves to be used — the same way Ben Carson and Herman Cane allow themselves to be used and Colin Powell once allowed himself to be used. ("Our policies can't be racist! We aren't the party of white grievance, deafening dog whistles, Lee Atwater, Willie Hortan, "welfare queens," Donald Trump, and the Southern Strategy. Look! Over there! It's Ben Carson!")


Read the whole thing! (ETA: Guess it would help if I added a link!)
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jul 20, 2016, 02:36 AM (2 replies)

Anti-Semitism Is Back. Will You Stand By Or Stand up?


Erin Schrode, a promising 25-year-old Jewish woman, announces her candidacy for U.S. Congress. In response, she is bombarded by hundreds of anti-Semitic messages: “Fire up the oven.” “Kike.” “Get out of my country, kike. Get to Israel where you belong. That or the oven. Take your pick.” This did not happen in the 1930s. It happened last month in California.

An Oberlin College professor, Joy Karega, posted a photo of Jacob Rothschild, a member of a well-known Jewish banking family, which read: “We own nearly every central bank in the world. We financed both sides of every war since Napoleon. We own your news, the media, your oil and your government.” This was not published in Gleichschaltung, a Nazi newspaper. This was on her Facebook page.

Students at UC Berkley woke up one morning this past year to the words, “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” painted on a building.


Suddenly, mainstream culture is finding cover for the age-old hatred of Jews. They’ve figured it out. So long as the attack is lightly-battered and flash fried in a light coat of anti-Israel sentiment, and as long as you pretend you are fighting for “human rights,” the rise of anti-Semitism is socially acceptable. It shouldn’t be. It’s can’t be. Not again.


Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jul 3, 2016, 04:22 AM (4 replies)

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." Elie Wiesel

The secure world of Wiesel's childhood ended abruptly with the arrival of the Nazis in Sighet in 1944. The Jewish inhabitants of the village were deported en masse to concentration camps in Poland. The 15-year-old boy was separated from his mother and sister immediately on arrival in Auschwitz. He never saw them again. He managed to remain with his father for the next year as they were worked almost to death, starved, beaten, and shuttled from camp to camp on foot, or in open cattle cars, in driving snow, without food, proper shoes, or clothing. In the last months of the war, Wiesel's father succumbed to dysentery, starvation, exhaustion and exposure. source

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jul 3, 2016, 03:13 AM (10 replies)

The New York Daily News: Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad

She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn't bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.

Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. "We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over," lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.

"We've had all we can take from the Gestapo," the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. "We're putting our foot down once and for all." The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.

The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.


The article above describes something which happened 47 years ago and demonstrates how the GLBT community was referred to and reported on in the media. Forty-seven years ago, yesterday, June 28th, the modern American GLBT rights movement was birthed. It was a raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. GLBT people finally had enough of police harassment and responded. We have come a long way in 47 years and we still have a ways to go.

We have seen tragedy from the most recent hate crime in Orlando two weeks ago on a GLBT nightclub, killing 49 and injuring 53 more to the scourge of AIDS and the failure of the US to respond with anything other than indifference, at best, and bigotry, at worst, even from the office of the US president. We have seen indifference and expectations of compromise to our civil rights struggle with legislation like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) and the FDA restrictions on blood donations. But, we have also seen fantastic leaps forward in regards to our civil rights such as Lawrence_v._Texas which invalidated all sodomy laws in the US making sexual activity between people of the same sex legal and not subject to harassment for consensual sexual activity a privilege already enjoyed by non-gay people, and just one year ago, the Supreme Court granted marriage equality with Obergefell_v._Hodges.

There are still injustices and areas which need to be addressed to further our civil rights as citizens of the US. There are states where it is legal to fire people for being GLBT; states where it is legal to deny housing to LGBT people; states which do not record hate crimes against the GLBT (and we still rank as the third highest of victimized groups). There are places where people are actively trying to deny us rights we have already achieved, meaning we have to fight some of the same fights. Parental rights and adoption issues are also still contentious in many states and locales. Homophobia and heterosexism are still lurking about in media, public discourse, and legal areas.

We have come a long way, but the struggle continues and it all started with those brave individuals who finally said "NO MORE!" and stood up for their rights! There is a reason June is GLBT pride month, and it is because of the Stonewall Inn Riots; a place now made into a national monument, as of a few days ago. As June ends, it is important to know why this is pride month and this is why many of us, GLBT and our allies, march in June!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 02:25 AM (13 replies)

6 ways to be a better straight ally at Pride events

Though this is pride event specific, there are some gems which are useful for being a good ally to the GBLT in general.


1. Understand the true meaning of Pride.

2. Respect the concept of being "out and proud."

"We aren't there for your entertainment."


3. Recognize your privilege.

With the sting of the mass shooting in Orlando at an LGBTQ nightclub still present, the community is grieving. And we're being reminded about how many struggles we face and how much privilege we don't have. It's a time when allies need to account for their unearned privilege, especially when entering our space.

"From their place of privilege, many heterosexual people have never really had to be concerned for their safety if they're holding hands with their partner in public or how they are presenting their gender," Fallarino says. "It's important to be mindful of that privilege."

Keeping your privilege in mind is something the LGBTQ folks around you may not be able to notice, but it's something that will shape how you think of yourself and your role in our celebration.


4. Take on the labor of dealing with hate.

5. If you want to party today, do the work every day.

6. Enjoy it — but recognize that it isn't for you.

much, much more...

There is much more under each of the headings, and I trimmed it down to make it explanatory without violating the spirit of copyright issues.
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jun 26, 2016, 03:39 AM (7 replies)
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