June 26, 2016 |
When Officer Jo Mason and his fellow LGBTQ cops marched down Market Street during Philly's Gay Pride Parade on June 12, they were cheered by thousands of parade-goers and offered high-fives by people lining the sidewalks. The officers felt vindicated, especially because just a few weeks before they were told they weren't welcome to lead the parade. But the admiration, as welcome as it was, grew out of tragedy: the mass shooting that left 49 dead and 53 wounded at a gay club in Orlando.
June 25, 2016
By Taylor Hosking As members of Galaei approached the microphone at Philadelphia's City Hall vigil for Orlando, they asked Latino members of the audience to step toward the front and for non-Latinos to make room. Hesitant at first, the crowd started moving. Speaker Nikki Lopez read a passage by Latina scholar Gloria Anzaldúa's "To Live in the Border Lands" connecting queerness to Hispanic heritage. She introduced the passage, using the gender-neutral term Latinx , saying, "oftentimes, because so many of our lives are erased as queer Latinx people, we forget the legacies of those who have fought before us. Queer Latinx people live on the borderlands of many different identities.
June 24, 2016 |
HARRISBURG - After years of inaction, an effort to put antidiscrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender residents into state law got its first legislative vote Wednesday. The Senate Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved a bill that would prohibit discrimination in housing or employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The measure, which now moves to the full Senate for a vote, includes religious exemptions for houses of worship and faith-based schools.
June 22, 2016
EACH WEEK I look forward to reading the Clout column in the Daily News. Imagine my disappointment, but not surprise, at a recent mention in that column regarding City Councilwoman Helen Gym's racially insulting and culturally insensitive Trump-like tweet regarding white male privilege directed at SRC committee member Bill Green, and I assume other white males in this city, as well. If this reporting is true, all I can say is what an incredibly petty, racially devisive remark from someone well-known for publicly shaming anyone and anything that dares to disagree with her and her cause du jour . The hypocricy of this person is embarassing on so many levels.
June 22, 2016 |
Six out of 10 LGBT workers experience derogatory comments on their sexual orientation, and half of all transgender employees report being harassed at work - harassment that in some cases includes sexual or physical assault. Those statistics, cited in a 95-page federal report released Monday, follow this month's mass slayings in Orlando as the nation's attention is focused on the safety of the LGBT community. "There is no question that there is bias against the LGBT community in some workplaces," said Philadelphia lawyer Jonathan A. Segal.
June 18, 2016
ISSUE | ORLANDO Hatred of gay people is all too real As a gay man now in my early 50s, I grew up in a time when gay people stayed deep in the closet, isolated and afraid; when images on film and television reflected a life filled with hopelessness and despair; when name-calling and physical threats and violence were as much a part of my everyday life as going to school (the two were often synonymous). In the decades since, thanks largely to President Obama and the strength and perseverance of the gay community, we have made significant gains in overturning discriminatory policies and achieving civil rights.
June 17, 2016 |
In a strip mall in Kissimmee, a small city just south of Orlando that is home to a large Hispanic community, flowers and religious candles fill the sidewalk in front of Juan and Luis' beauty salon. "Juan and Luis, two humans of love. You will be in our hearts," reads one of the Magic Marker remembrances taped to the window. Shy Juan Rivera Velasquez, 37, who cut hair and met customers with a kiss and a hug. Outgoing Luis Daniel Conde, 39, who turned the techno up loud and moved to the music as he managed the shop.
June 17, 2016 |
In recent decades, the LGBT community has mobilized for the AIDS crisis, the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and same-sex marriage. In the wake of the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, some are now urging their gay and lesbian brethren to galvanize around the issue of gun violence. Others say they may support the cause, but must remain focused on equality battles still being waged. "Gun safety has not been a major issue for the LGBT community, but now it must be," wrote Eric Sasson, a columnist for the website The Daily Good . His article calls for action on both the national and grassroots levels targeting politicians, companies, investment funds and universities that support gun rights, as well as companies that manufacture weapons.
June 16, 2016 |
ORLANDO - From the moment massacres like the one Sunday morning at Pulse occur, we try to decipher what lay in the heart of the murderers who commit them. We search for motive because motive helps fit these tragedies into categories. We think we can understand them if we can check the right box. Which particular warped worldview did our latest mass killer subscribe to? Sometimes it's clear. Most of the time it's not. Sometimes you get a case like this one, which lies at the very intersection of many of our country's darkest ills.
June 15, 2016 |
Addressing nearly 2,000 people at a City Hall vigil Monday evening for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Mayor Kenney urged against responding to hate with more hate. "The LGBT civil rights movement has always been about love, so now in this time of tragedy, we cannot react with hate nor malice towards other marginalized groups," Kenney said, apparently reading from prepared remarks. Then he went off script. "I just learned this afternoon that Akyra Murray was," he started, his halting voice cracking with emotion, "one of the people that we lost.