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Will suspicion of ‘gender fraud’ police LGBTQ Olympians?

The 2012 London Summer Olympics began July 27. While we all know that homophobia in sports is the other “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” 21 openly LGBTQ athletes, two coaches and two gay Paralympians will compete for the gold. Three LGBTQ Olympians will represent the U.S.: Seimone Augustus (basketball), Megan Rapinoe (soccer), and Lisa Raymond (doubles tennis).

Dis-membering Stonewall

LGBTQ mainstream White-washes people of color out of historical 1969 rebellion

“By institutionalizing memory, resisting the onset of oblivion, recalling the memory of tragedy that for long years remained hidden or unrecognized and by assigning its proper place in the human conscience, we respond to our duty to remember.”

— UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura


Friday, June 27, 1969 was the last day of school that year. And with school out, my middle-school cronies and I looked forward to a summer reprieve from rioting against Italian, Irish and Jewish public school kids for being bussed into their neighborhoods. However, the summer months in Brooklyn’s African American enclaves only escalated rioting between New York’s finest — the New York Police Department — and us.

Black ministers come out on Obama’s stance on marriage




African American ministers have come out for, and against, Obama’s stance on marriage equality. LGBTQ activists of African descent have pondered what would be the catalyst to rally those African American Christian ministers to support same-sex marriage and engage the Black community in a nationwide discussion. Last week, the answer arrived in President Barack Obama’s support of marriage equality.

The Hunger Games’ young racist fans



There’s a frenzy surrounding the blockbuster film and book The Hunger Games. But the fan attention around the movie has taken a decidedly different turn from the fervor the book caused. The schism originates from the difference between reading — where one’s visual images of characters can be both personal and individual — and watching — where the film’s visual images of characters are a literal representation.

We all are Trayvon Martin LGBTQs and African Americans united by murder





What does Trayvon Martin’s murder have to do with gay civil rights protection? The quick answer: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act (mostly known by Matthew Shepard’s name). The nation is outraged that in 2012 an unarmed, African American 17-year-old high school student can be shot dead by a neighborhood watch captain because his egregious offense was “walking while Black” in a gated community.

Racism, jealousy, and a false police report


How anti-sodomy laws were sunk


If you love John Grisham’s fictional legal thrillers, you’ll be riveted to Dale Carpenter’s real-life page-turner Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas. Carpenter is a law professor at the University of Minnesota and is involved with LGBTQ legal issues. Told from the perspectives of the plaintiffs, arresting officers, attorneys, judges and prosecutors, Flagrant Conduct is a detailed account of the 2003 landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas in which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its 1986 decision in the Bowers v. Hardwick sodomy case, making same-gender sexual activity legal throughout the country.

One of the tallest trees in our forest: Bayard Rustin






Last month around the country, LGBTQ communities celebrated Bayard Rustin’s 100th birthday anniversary. This month, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts will have their annual Bayard Rustin Breakfast. And, in February, “State of the Re:Union,” a nationally aired radio show distributed by NPR and PRX, was awarded first place in the Excellence in Radio category from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association for the Black History Month special they did on Bayard Rustin, titled Bayard Rustin — Who Is This Man?

It’s what — and not who — killed Whitney Houston



A new allegation has surfaced that pop superstar Whitney Houston was murdered. Legal television commentator Nancy Grace ignited a firestorm of criticism speculating Houston’s death might have been a homicide. “I’d like to know who was around her, who, if anyone gave her drugs, following alcohol and drugs, and who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water,” Grace told CNN.

Maid in America—Oscars tend to award Black actors playing stereotypical roles



When Viola Davis lost the Oscar for best actress portraying an African American maid in Katherine Stockett’s The Help to Meryl Streep portraying former Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady at the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, there was a collective sigh of relief from many of us African American sisters. Tulane University Professor Melissa Harris-Perry, the author of an upcoming book on racial stereotypes, summed up my feelings best when she told MSNBC that ”what killed me was that in 2011, Viola Davis was reduced to playing a maid.”

Earlier during the Academy Awards ceremony Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress for her stereotypical role as the sassy, tart-tongued, “mammy-fied” maid, Minny Jackson, in The Help, making Spencer the fifth African American woman to receive the coveted Oscar, and the second sister portraying a maid. Sixty-two years earlier, in 1940, in Jim Crow America, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar, for her supporting role as a maid called ”Mammy” in Gone with the Wind.