Archive for the ‘In Remembrance’ Category

In 1999 a small group of LGBTQ folks met at the University of Connecticut with the purpose to go through boxes of archives from Foster Gunnison. Mr. Gunnison was a early gay civil rights pioneer and involved with many of the Homophile movements of the early 1960’s.  In going through these archives, ourstories, stories of before Stonewall and after Stonewall began to emerge. This was the first time that anyone had gone through box after box containing leaflets, minutes of meetings, early planning for actions, newspapers and photograph after photograph. A treasure chest of our people. In 1966 Gunnison was appointed chairman of the Credentials Committee with the job of deciding who should or should not be invited to attend conferences. In 1967 he founded the Institute of Cocial ethics in Hartford Ct. which would maintain the records and archives of the American Homophile Movements, facilitate communications among homophile organizations and handle business for NACHO, ECO and the Christopher Liberation Day Committee. In August 1969, 2 months after Stonewall, radicals within NACHO and ERCHO attacked the respectable approach taken by the homophile organizations and issued the following 12 point program to the movement. This was the beginning of the end of the conservative homophile movement. The Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations, (ERCHO) voted at this time to disband to prevent further take over by what liberals and conservatives saw as a radical element.

The following A Radical Manifesto was among the Gunnison papers.

A RADICAL MANIFESTO
THE HOMOPHILE MOVEMENT MUST BE RADICALIZED!
(August 28, 1969)
l) We see the persecution of homosexuality as part of a general attempt to oppress all minorities and keep them powerless. Our fate is linked with these minorities; if the detention camps are filled tomorrow with blacks, hippies and other radicals, we will not escape that fate, all our attempts to dissociate our- selves from them notwithstanding. A common struggle, however, will bring common triumph.
2) Therefore we declare our support as homosexuals or bisexuals for the struggles of the black, the feminist, the Spanish-American, the Indian, the Hippie, the Young, the Student, and other victims of oppression and prejudice.
3) We call upon these groups to lend us their support and encourage their presence with NACHO and the homophile movement at large.
4) Our enemies, an implacable, repressive governmental system; much of organized religion, business and medicine, will not be moved by appeasement or appeals to reason and justice, but only by power and force.
5) We regard established heterosexual standards of morality as immoral and refuse to condone them by demanding an equality which is merely the common yoke of sexual repression.
6) We declare that homosexuals, as individuals and members of the greater community, must develop homosexual ethics and esthetics independent of, and without reference to, the mores imposed upon heterosexuality.
7) We demand the removal of all restriction on sex between consenting persons of any sex, of any orientation, of any age, anywhere, whether for money or not, and for the removal of all censorship.
8) We call upon the churches to sanction homosexual liaisons when called upon to do so by the parties concerned.
9) We call upon the homophile movement to be more honestly concerned with youth rather than trying to promote a mythical, non-existent “good public image.”
10) The homophile movement must totally reject the insane war in Viet Nam and refuse to encourage complicity in the war and support of the war machine, which may well be turned against us. We oppose any attempts by the movement to obtain security clearances for homosexuals, since these contribute to the war machine.
11) The homophile movement must engage in continuous political struggle on all fronts.
12) We must open the eyes of homosexuals on this continent to the increasingly repressive nature of our society and to the realizations that Chicago may await us tomorrow.

These 12 points when voted on did not pass the convention. Losing to the conservative members the split began to widen between the two groups.

Note: The exhibition Challenging and Changing America: The Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights opened in October 1969 at the Hartford Public Library. This exhibition traveled around the state of Ct. Not only were the archives of Foster Gunison used in this exhibition but archives from Central Connecticut State University in the Equity and Diversity Collection. Most LGBT scholars had thought prior to this exhibition that the Foster Gunison archives were tossed out by his family after his death but our little group sent out the notice via the New York Public Library that the archives were alive and well.

Note: From the papers of Gunnison: Foster Gunnison Jr. declares he is ipposed to the notion that heterosexuality is somehow the “norm” by which all other relationships must be judged. He urges homosexuals to expose themselves for who they are and to aim for “free and open expressions of homosexual affection.” In the name of these goals he calls for radical-militant tactics, including confrontations, street demostrations, blatant and hard-hitting assaults on social institutions, and even welcome, where called for, riots and violence.

This quote rings true today. The more things change.

Word went out in the early days, “All of the oppressed have to unite. The system keeps us all weak by keeping us separate.”… Jim Fouratt, one of the organizers of the Gay Liberation Front.

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Please do not put it off, do not say I will read the article some other day. Get to it today. Read the articles listed below. Very important work by Rev. Kittredge Cherry that we must know to understand our people’s stories. Important work in helping to find our place, to throw off the straight jackets. Up from out of between the lines! Out from the darkness of someone else usually straight telling the story. We celebrate this work!

From Tony Nada

LGBTs REMEMBER 2-SPIRIT ANCESTORS
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY / OCTOBER 9TH
WE-WHA OF ZUNI (1849-1896) AND OTHERS …
Read More At Qspirit / Kittredge Cherry
http://qspirit.net/indigenous-peoples-day/

Artwork By Br. Robert Lentz OFM
https://www.trinitystores.com/…/art-i…/we-wha-zuni-1849-1896

 

A Georgia Tech student and LGBTQ activist was shot and killed by campus police on Saturday, NBC News reported.

According to NBC News, Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old engineering student, was shot and killed by campus police, who said Schultz was reportedly holding a knife at the time of the shooting. After receiving a 911 call saying that someone was carrying a gun (which turned out to reportedly be a knife), Georgia Tech police arrived to a campus parking lot at 11:17 p.m. on Saturday, NBC News reported. In a video of the incident, it appears that Schultz was yelling, “Shoot me,” though police can be heard telling Schultz, “Nobody wants to hurt you.” When Schultz moved forward with the knife, they were shot. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the knife was a switchblade and photos show the blade was not extended when Schultz was shot.

Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance website indicated Schultz used they/them pronouns and identified as bisexual and nonbinary and was intersex. Schultz was the group’s president. In a statement posted on the website, the group mourned Schultz’s loss.

“As you might have heard, last night we lost our President, Scout Schultz. We are all deeply saddened by what has occurred. They have been the driving force behind Pride Alliance for the past two years,” the statement says. “They pushed us to do more events and a larger variety events, and we would not be the organization we are known as without their constant hard work and dedication. Their leadership allowed us to create change across campus and in the Atlanta community. Scout always reminded us to think critically about the intersection of identities and how a multitude of factors play into one’s experience on Tech’s campus and beyond. We love you Scout and we will continue to push for change.”

In a posting on Facebook, Call Me They had this to say.

TW: murder, police, mental health, misgendering

Not only a “21-Year-Old LGBTQ Activist.” A bisexual, non-binary, intersex person: identities constantly erased and ignored both in cishet communities and LGBTQ+ communities.

The police SHOT them while they were distressed and holding a knife (that I will note, was a switchblade *NOT* extended… not that it MATTERS the amount of knife-ness there was or was not).

MANY PEOPLE are saying Scout DESERVED to be shot because Scout was saying “Shoot me.” The police are TRAINED to DISARM distressed individuals.

You’re telling me if I ask the police to shoot me, they should? That is ABSURD. This death was AVOIDABLE.

I feel passionate about every trans person murdered, but this one — for a non-binary sibling of mine who uses they/them, who had mental illness … — it hurts real bad.

And now in reports, I am seeing Scout repeatedly misgendered. The LEAST anyone can do is use Scout’s pronouns. To every person PURPOSELY calling Scott “he” or even more despicable “it,” you are VILE and blocked.

RIP Scout. I will not forget you.

Furbirdsqueerly says: Please always remember this-

Cops are just one component of the bourgeoisie’s repressive apparatus for subjugating the working class and anyone else that strays from the bourgeoisie norm.

Historically, cops have been perhaps the #1 most dangerous enemy of gay / trans / queer people for decades, and continue to target us today.

We republish this piece written last year on this date. For Victor Jara and all of the victims of the Military Junta in Chile.

Plegaria a un labrador

Public Prayer for a worker.

Public Prayer to a Worker

Stand up, look at the mountains
Source of the wind, the sun, the water
You, who change the course of rivers,
Who, with the seed, sow the flight of your soul,
Stand up, look at your hands,
Give to your hand to your brother so you can grow.
We’ll go together, united by blood,
Today is the day
We can make the future.
Deliver us from the master
who keeps us in misery.
The kingdom of justice and equality come.
Blow, like the wind blows
the wild flowers of the mountain pass.

Clean the barrel of my gun like fire
They will be done at last on earth
Give us your strength and courage to struggle.
Blow, like the wind blows
the wild flowers of the mountain pas

Clean the barrel of my gun like fire
Stand up, look at your hands,
Give to your hand to your brother so you can grow.
We’ll go together, united by blood,
Now and in the hour of our death.
Amen.

The following is a beautiful poem written by Adrian Mitchell and set to music by Arlo Guthrie about the life of Victor Jara.

read up on Victor in the following essay:

The Life of Victor Jara, from Marxism Leninism Today.

Victor Jara was machine-gunned to death. His body, and four other victims, were later found dumped near a railroad track outside a cemetery (one of the victims remains unidentified).

According to the autopsy report, he had been shot 44 times.

The special military unit who massacred Jara and many other political activists became known as the “Caravan of Death” and flew across the country in helicopters executing trade unionists, leftists and members of the Communist Party of Chile, and many other progressives like liberation theology priests.  More than 3,000 people were killed or went missing during the US-supported military dictatorship in Chile, from 1973 to 1990.

“With that same strength our collective fist / Will strike again some day.”..Victor Jara (more…)

REST IN POWER BUBBLES!

Posted: September 12, 2017 in In Remembrance

For the full story on the tragic murder of Bubbles please go to Here.

We re-publish this essay first published in 2014 in tribute to the thousands murdered by the military of Chile backed and supported by the U.S government.

Venceremos, Victor Jara

A year ago a few of us in the Hartford area were quite upset when a LGBT organization was sponsoring an empowerment workshop with the CIA. This workshop was to be held on September 9, 2013 just 2 days before the anniversary of the CIA/USA sponsored coup in Chile. This caused some heated tempers all around and some very condescending attitudes from a few young gay people and their supporters in the organization towards those of us who opposed these workshops. (see link in notes) I wanted to tell my story then but decided to wait, ( as a facebook event page with a hostile audience and shifting allegiances was no place,) until the anniversary of the coup in Chile and the murder of not only the democratically elected president Salvador Allende but the murder of thousands of other Chileans including my lover’s sister and her husband. I looked though a box of slides as I knew that I had a slide of a painting I was working on when the coup happened. Here is the story and and just one of the many reasons why I was appalled that folks I considered to be friends and comrades would ever sit down and break bread with one of the most horrible vile organizations on the face of the planet the CIA.

New York City 1973

It was 1973 in New York City when I did this painting. We were working in our studio down on Lafayette Street when we heard the news. Salvator Allende the president of Chile was dead and a coup d’état backed by the U.S. Government and the CIA had taken place.

chile

Santiago Chile, 1973 Streets.

At this time I was working on a city street painting, you can still see parts of it peeping out from under the red. When we got the news I remember throwing the painting on the floor, pouring red paint and turning and turning the painting around. I smashed glass, cut my hair and all went on the surface of the painting. The red, the blood that ran in the streets. The blood that was shed in the stadium in the days following the coup. The blood of many. Thousands gone. My lover at that time was Miguel Carlos Gomez and he was from Santiago Chile. Miguel finally got word sometime after the coup that his sister and her husband were among the disappeared. Now it became very personal for us, it was not just some coup in another country a coup against our Socialist comrades but a direct hit against our family. His mother knew something was up when Catalina didn’t come to pick up the children after a sleepover at grandmas. She tried calling around but received no answer. The TV stations were off the air. Folks heard that that the military had stormed the university, the presidential palace was bombed, Allende was dead and a junta now replaced the president.  All that the people had hoped for was quickly vanishing. Night came and still no Catalina, no word from her husband Vincento.

How we cried. Our tears as we heard more and more turned to anger. Catalina and Vincento had spent the summer of the year before with us in New York.  Miguel wanted to go back to Chile and search for them but cooler heads among our circle prevailed and he stayed in the city. Everyday was more and more anguish as word came out of Chile about what was happening. Was my sister dropped into the ocean from an airplane? We had heard the rumors. Was she brought to the stadium along with her husband to meet certain death? Did she escape and go into hiding? Where is my sister? Deep down we knew, as Communists they were both dead but we didn’t want to believe it.  I will never forget those days and I will never forgive the government of Nixon, Kissinger the CIA and never will I cozy up to, support or break bread with the likes of the CIA or the people that hold empowerment workshops with them.

I have no idea what happened to the painting. It was included in a artist protest show against the CIA and the Coup in Chile in 1974. Miguel  and I broke up in 1975 and he was going to make his way home to his mother at least that is what he hoped to do. I left for the West Coast. Most of our things were given away and I think that the painting might have ended up in at my parents home among some items that I sent there for safe keeping while I traveled. Heavens only knows what became of the painting after they moved.  But someone knows I am sure what happened to Catalina, Vincento and thousands and thousands of others.

(more…)

As found on Daily Kos

I haven’t seen this diaried here, and it hasn’t made it on TV yet, but the St. Louis Post Dispatch, London Independent and Huffington Post are all reporting another hate-motivated ramming of protesters with a vehicle. We saw it Charlottesville and now it has happened in St. Louis.
Last night in St. Louis’ Grove neighborhood, a candlelight vigil was held for a black transgender women, fatally shot the day before by police after police say she’d stabbed two people, including a responding officer. After the vigil, mourners carrying candles and signs began a march to local gay bars and blocked an intersection. A driver approached and, according to witnesses, expressed his displeasure before driving into the crowd, and causing three injuries, characterized as minor.

Witness Elizabeth Gombos of Pocahontas described the incident.
“After we were already in front of the car, he made a point to stop, flip us off with both hands and then he accelerated,” Gombos said. “Once he hit people, that’s when people lost it. Once people realized he was going to hurt people, they started to hit his car. I’m not going to deny they hit his car. They hit it with whatever they had … fist, feet. They were trying to make him stop.”
There are photos and cell-phone videos at the links:

For video go to HERE.

The car drives through the crowd at the 15-minute mark of this video, which shows a chaotic scene immediately afterward.

The vigil has been held to honor Kenny “Kiwi” Herring, whom police said stabbed a neighbor she felt had been threatening her, according to friends and family. Herring also stabbed the arm of a police officer who responded to the incident, and was fatally shot by police.

To read the rest of the article go to HERE.