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Behind the Aegis

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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, 01:25 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, 02:39 AM (7 replies)

Remembering the UpStairs Lounge: The U.S.A.’s Largest LGBT Massacre Happened 40 Years Ago Today

The 24th of June in 1973 was a Sunday. For New Orleans’ gay community, it was the last day of national Pride Weekend, as well as the fourth anniversary of 1969’s Stonewall uprising. You couldn’t really have an open celebration of those events — in ’73, anti-gay slurs, discrimination, and even violence were still as common as sin — but the revelers had few concerns. They had their own gathering spots in the sweltering city, places where people tended to leave them be, including a second-floor bar on the corner of Iberville and Chartres Street called the UpStairs Lounge.

That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969, got together there for drinks and conversation. It seems to have been an amiable group. The atmosphere was welcoming enough that two gay brothers, Eddie and Jim Warren, even brought their mom, Inez, and proudly introduced her to the other patrons. Beer flowed. Laughter filled the room.

Just before 8:00p, the doorbell rang insistently. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. Bartender Buddy Rasmussen, expecting a taxi driver, asked his friend Luther Boggs to let the man in. Perhaps Boggs, after he pulled the door open, had just enough time to smell the Ronsonol lighter fluid that the attacker of the UpStairs Lounge had sprayed on the steps. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.

The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.

MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell escaped, but soon returned to try to rescue his boyfriend, Louis Broussard. Both died in the fire, their bodies clinging together in death, like a scene from the aftermath of Pompeii.



We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Until people recognize and confront their homophobia and heterosexism, we will not see true equality. When people make jokes about homophobes, especially male ones, as "self-loathing gays", we will only see further bigotry and hate go unaddressed. Until people recognize the struggle for equality and our civil rights is far from over, we will see people rise against us. The tragedy of the UpStairs Lounge and reactions to it let's us see how far we have come in some respects, but the Pulse massacre and reactions to it, show how far we still have to go!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sat Jun 25, 2016, 01:42 AM (18 replies)

In the blink of an eye, 11 children lost their mother. Monday in Orlando they mourned.

In the blink of an eye, 11 children were left without a mother.

They’d considered the reality of losing the 49-year-old Brenda Lee Marquez McCool before. All 11 had sat by fearfully while she battled cancer — not once but twice.

“The doctor gave her a year to live,” her ex-husband Robert Pressley said.

But as Noreen Vaquer, a friend from her Brooklyn childhood, told the Orlando Sentinel, “she was a fighter.” So, twice, her 11 children breathed a collective sigh of relief — their mom was going to be fine. She was going to have fun with them, to share life with them, to take care of them above all.

She did all three on June 12 while dancing at the Pulse nightclub with her 21-year-old son Isaiah Henderson.


After opening fire in the crowded club, Omar Mateen pointed his weapon at the mother and son. But McCool was not going to let her son come to harm. She shielded her son with her body as Mateen resumed fire..



HER NAME IS Brenda Lee Marquez McCool!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Wed Jun 22, 2016, 01:56 AM (9 replies)

Hate Crimes Against LGBT People Are Sadly Common

The massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday was the worst mass shooting in American history and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11. Through another lens, however, it was not an outlier. The gunman’s choice of target, a gay club, makes him just one of many to commit hate crimes against gay Americans. Although the magnitude and violence of the attack was unusual, the targeting of LGBT Americans is sadly common.


Of 5,462 “single-bias incidents” (hate-crime incidents with one motivation) in the FBI’s 2014 hate crime statistics database, 1,115, about a fifth, were motivated by bias against a sexual orientation or gender identity.1 (This count is almost certainly much lower than the actual number of hate crimes. Data on hate crimes is notoriously difficult to collect, as it relies heavily on self-reporting and many hate crimes are never categorized as such.) Of those incidents, 54 percent targeted gay men specifically. Only two groups were the targets of more hate crimes than gay men: black and Jewish people. (Obviously, all these groups aren’t mutually exclusive.)


However, the shooter’s choice of location may have been all the more insidious for that. A gay-friendly bar or club is supposed to be a safe place. Even before Sunday’s shooting, nightclubs were slightly more dangerous for LGBT people than for other groups; only 1.6 percent of all hate crimes in 2014 occurred in bars and nightclubs, compared with the 2.1 percent of those that targeted people for their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The motivations of the killer may become clearer as investigators learn more. Nevertheless, in his choice to target gay people, he wasn’t alone.



This won't come as surprise to GLBT people or our real allies, but it will undoubtedly be a shocker to some, even more so to those who think anti-Semitism is a "joke", "not a real problem", or "thing of the past". Keep in mind too, not all states report hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity, so how true are these numbers?
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Sun Jun 19, 2016, 02:07 AM (21 replies)

Anderson Cooper reads Orlando shooting victims names

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 14, 2016, 01:45 AM (6 replies)

Jewish congressional candidate, 25, targeted with anti-Semitic abuse

A young Jewish candidate for Congress in California has been targeted with anti-Semitic abuse in the days before the state’s primary election.

Erin Schrode, 25, who has been featured recently by several news outlets, including JTA, for her underdog candidacy against incumbent Jared Huffman, has been hit with the abuse on social media and cellphone messages, she revealed in a Facebook post late Saturday night.

Personal information such as her phone number and email also were posted online.

Among the messages she has received, Schrode said, are “Everyone knows it’s TIME for America’s first evil retarded teen c— Congress kike!”; “Fire up the oven!” and “All would laugh with glee as they gang raped her and then bashed her bagel eating brains in.”

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Jun 7, 2016, 12:39 PM (16 replies)

And the winner is....French, Iranian artists top at Holocaust cartoon contest

Zeon was awarded a cash prize of $12,000 in the cartoon section and Forughi received a cash prize of $7,000 in the caricature category during a ceremony held at the Art Bureau on Monday.

Speaking at the ceremony, the secretary of the competition, Masud Shojaei-Tabatabai said, “One of the subjects we asked cartoonists to focus on was why the Western countries arrest any scholar who doubts the Holocaust while they put no limit on freedom of speech in other categories.”

“The other subject was why Palestinians should pay for the Holocaust… we are concerned about the modern Holocaust that is being sought by the Zionist regime, which is known as a child killer government,” he added.

In the cartoon section, the second prize went to Jitet Koestana from Indonesia while the third prize was presented to Mahmud Nazari from Iran.


1st prize...

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jun 3, 2016, 01:17 AM (10 replies)

Anti-Semitic incidents are soaring, group says

Reports of anti-Semitic incidents are soaring this year across New England, an increase fueled by vandalism, harassment, and other acts at schools and colleges, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

According to the ADL, there have already been 56 anti-Semitic acts in the region this year, nearly as many as for all of 2015, when 61 were reported.

The data alarmed Jewish clergy and academics, who said the incidents suggest a rising level of intolerance that may feed on the rhetoric from the contentious political season.

“Clearly, people are acting out on some long-held stereotypes and hatred toward Jews, and it’s designed to send a message of intimidation,” said Robert Trestan, director of the New England Regional Office of the ADL. “We’re increasingly living in an environment where incivility is becoming common and accepted practice.”


Oh wait, wrong smiley...I meant...

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Jun 3, 2016, 01:13 AM (21 replies)
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