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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Comrade Frank O’Gorman

Tribute to Frank from us, YES!!,  Making trouble, standing up, out and proud. Always willing to lend his voice, heart, compassion and mind. As Frank said “maybe we were born for these times.” To be silent is not an option. He knows why we are not a one issue lot, understands that our struggle as LGBTQ folks must be united with all struggles around the world. From demos and rallies denouncing the military industrial complex, to wars and more wars, marching for freedom for the people of Palestine, to freedom for LGBTQ folks and justice for immigrants.  Sees the many connections and acts on them. Nice as nice can be, cute as a button to boot. Furbirdsqueerly loves Frank and we know that Frank loves us.

Frank with the bullhorn at the HRC Awards Dinner in Boston. Queers Without Borders joined with activists from New England to protest. Also in the picture are, Jeri Marie, Alvin with flag, Richard, Bernardo, Paul and Regina. Timmy was somewhere around also dressed in an outfit for the occasion.

Queers Without Borders Contingent at NYC PRIDE in support of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning.

L to R; Jeri Marie, Richard, Ricky, Paul, Frank, Tasha.

A night some of us will never forget. (If Mr Blumie only knew) A night of Diversity Awards Presentation, MCC Hartford.

Frank, Jeri and Sen. Blumenthal. Getting an award at MCC for their tireless efforts on behalf of the LGBT community. The invitation to this event had this to say about Frank:

Frank O’Gorman is a gay Christian, activist, and a member of Dignity/USA (until the Hartford chapter disbanded). He is now a member of MCC Hartford, and a convener of People of Faith CT, a faith-based, progressive, activist organization in Connecticut     (www.faithCT.net)

Frank has been instrumental, passionate, and untiring in his efforts to bring a queer Christian perspective to movements for social justice and peace in Hartford, and to build bridges between various activist communities across lines of ideology, race, social class, and religion.

Frank took this picture of the demo. Intersection at its best, when animal rights and gay rights joined together to say no to Chick-Fli-A.

We all love a little song now and then and this song is powerful. What does it say to us, War and Violence is not the answer for we all lose. That’s one thing that Frank sticks to, Peace and non-violence in the great tradition of Gandhi, King, Day and others who lead the way using nonviolence to bring about social change.

Dorothy Day once said, Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system.”

Yes and this system we have now, this regime in DC is sure a bigger filthier rotten system hopefully heading for a downfall. Keep chipping away folks!

and Frank was there——–

High school students help organize anti-Trump demonstration in New Haven

A Few quotes:

Speaking on Gay Priests:

“We are saying `Stop the scapegoating of gay priests.’ They are good men who have done good work for the church,” said Frank O’Gorman, a lay Catholic member of gay Catholics organization Dignity/Hartford, which plans a prayer vigil outside the Cathedral of St. Joseph Sunday. “The problem is sexual abuse, not sexual orientation.”

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Speaking at the Chick-Fil-A protest

“People aren’t the problem. Ignorance is the problem,” said Frank O’Gorman, one the organizers of the ‘LGBTQ Equality & Animal Rights Demo’. “And once they learn the facts about gay rights and animal cruelty they can make their decision.”

From our archives. 3/31/2012

‘We have always said wanna hear a great speech asked a queer to write and deliver it. Well on Saturday at the rally for justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Frank O’Gorman, of People of Faith and  Queer Liberation Front did just that. Frank has graciously given us permission to print his speech here. Get ready for a speech that should be heard all around the state.”

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We are here today
because  we cannot be elsewhere.

We are here today
to unite across race and creed
to say despite our differences . .  .
– an innocent life struck down
– a mother’s inconsolable anguish
– a father’s quiet grief
touches all of us
because though our skin be black, brown, yellow, red or white
our hearts are all the same color.

We are here today
because a life has been cheapened
a sacred and beautiful life
the life of a son of Africa.

A life once filled with promise and dreams
has been disrespected
treated like something to be disposed of . . . and forgotten . . . without a name.
We are here today to say,
“HOW DARE YOU PROFANE!”
what is holy . . .
a young black man . . .
with a name . . .
Trayvon Martin.

We are here today
because grief by itself is hard enough to bear
but this is a parents’ surreal nightmare.

This is whitewashed murder
where the killer becomes the victim

where George walks
and Tayvon is on trial but can’t talk:

Black, strike one
Male, strike two
Young, strike three

The crime has become wearing a hoodie . . . “looking suspicious,”
Not racism,
not prejudice
not racial profiling
not stalking
not pulling a trigger at point blank range.
No . . . wearing a hoodie . . . “looking suspicious.”

Grief by itself is hard enough to bear:
“First they killed my son, then they killed his reputation.”
I swear, We swear:
IF THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE WILL BE NO PEACE!

We are here today
because Sanford is not a thousand miles away.

Sanford is East Haven
where a white police officer shot to death Malik Jones in 1997.
That looks suspicious.

and where for years police routinely profiled, harrassed and assaulted African-Americans and Latinos.
That looks suspicious.

Sanford is Hartford
where a white police officer shot to death Jashon Bryant in 2005.
That looks suspicious.

In each case the white police officers were acquitted.
Now that looks suspicious.

Sanford is Plainfield
where racist thugs severely beat 16-year old Nashawn Williams in 2008.
That looks suspicious.

No one was charged.
That looks suspicious.

Sanford is New Haven
where students where infiltrated and spied upon for the crime of being Muslim.
That looks suspicious.

Sanford is West Hartford
where janitors at Kingswood-Oxford, earning only the minimum wage after 10 years on the job, were fired last December for the crime of speaking Spanish.
That looks suspicious.

Sanford is Middletown
where the owner of a coffee shop assaulted a young customer for the crime of being gay.
That looks suspicious.

Sanford is Connecticut where African-Americans and Latinos make up 23% of the general population but 80% of the prison population.
Now that looks suspicious.

Sanford is California where Shaima Alawadi was beaten to death last week for the crime of being an Iraqi immigrant.
That looks suspicious.

White people in the United States have perfected the art
of blaming the victim
while justifying injustice and oppression
as self-evident, God-given, inalienable freedoms.

Thus we are told
George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense
That he has a right to carry a gun
That he was acting within the law
in being judge, jury and executioner of Tayvon Martin.

We are here today
to expose these lies
these white lies.

We are here to name the true culprit
in the murder of Trayvon Martin:

It is not being Black or wearing a hoodie.

It is the white supremacy system
upon which this nation was founded
and which infects every institution of this society:
the police, the courts, the government, the military, the education system, the media,
and the economic system where white supremacy
goes by the name “corporate capitalism”;
all of these institutions blessed by a Christian religion
that has been hijacked by white supremacy.

Indeed many white Christians will worship an imaginary white Jesus
on the cross this coming Friday, Good Friday,
and be blind and indifferent to the suffering of Christ
in the lives of black and brown-skinned people in the United States
and throughout the world
under the oppressive systems of white supremacy.

We are here today
because we cannot be elsewhere.

We are here today
to speak out.
For if our voices were silent,
these very stones we are standing on
would cry out:

IF THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE WILL BE NO PEACE!

JUSTICE FOR TAYVON!

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We most likely would have given a bit more support to a Marriage Equality Rally held in Hartford if we knew Frank was going to make this statement. If only to gaze around at the crowd and see the expressions on their faces. But you know most of them still don’t get the issues except the ones right at the tip of their nose. Too Bad and very Sad.

Here is Franks speech:

Remarks at Hartford Marriage Equality Rally, March 25, 2013

We gather tonight on the eve of Passover.

At Passover seders around the world tonight, our Jewish friends will intentionally spill drops of red wine as they recall the 10 plagues that devastated Egypt just prior to the Israelite exodus. This wine-spilling serves as a reminder to Jews that the joy of liberation for the Israelites took place as horrific suffering was experienced by the Egyptian people. Thus on this night of Passover, Jews temper their joy with compassion for the suffering of others.

Like the ancient Israelite slaves on the first Passover, we gay and lesbian people are on the eve of a major step forward in our struggle for human rights and basic respect for our human dignity. This is our time of hope and anticipation. This is our time of celebration and joy.

Yet even though Prop H8 and DOMA will be overturned this year, we must temper our ecstasy while others in our LGBT community suffer:

Although a great leap forward, marriage equality will not stop our queer youth from being bullied in school and tempted to end their lives.

Marriage Equality will not prevent queer people of color from being racially profiled or stopped and frisked..

Marriage Equality will not stop the hundreds of brutal beatings and murders of our transgender sisters and brothers in the US and around the world.

Marriage Equality will not free our gay brother Bradley Manning from military prison where he has been confined naked for 2 years for exposing US military war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So as we sing and chant, march and dance, work and pray our way to marriage equality, let us remember that even when all marriages are treated equally in the United States this summer, our LGBT Queer struggle for justice and human rights will continue.

Jeri Marie is always fond of living by the words of the great, Black, poet, philosopher, teacher Audre Lorde, “There is no such thing as a single issue struggle, as we do not lead single issue lives.” Our comrade Frank O’Gorman knows this well and leads us all as a challenging figure on the side of justice, peace, love, understanding and equality.

We all jumped in Frank’s van and drove down to NYC to the PRIDE Parade. Here we are helping to carry the large banner in the front of the contingent. Queers Without Borders was one of the sponsors of the contingent. Frank is holding the rainbow umbrella, next to Frank is Richard, Jeri got the banner job, Rickie is far to the left right and Paul far to the left with his arm up.

front banner of jeri and us.

So we raise our glasses high toasting Frank and we hope we have many more years with him in the movement.  Let’s end this little tribute here with a rousing good song. We dedicate this to all lands and peoples under occupation be it by a police force or by armies. Go Home!!

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Comments
  1. Frank says:

    This guy would not have been able to partake in these activities without the friendship of Richard, Jerimarie, Regina, Timmy, Paul, and many others. He also has many character defects that are not mentioned in this post. Thank you furbirdsqueerly.