Beaten up for being gay

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I’m always debating if I should post videos like the one below. Many of us have so much to deal with in life as it is that it feels like a terrible idea to add to that anxiety by making gloomy posts about the discrimination and violence queer people still face today.

I’m always wondering at what point this onslaught of misery and bad news might hurt our mental health and outlook on life more than keeping up with it benefits us. But what would be the alternative? Ignoring the problems we have, pretending the pain of others in our community isn’t any of our business? That can’t be it either, right?

As long as some folks go around trying to convince us that the queer community achieved everything it possibly could, that the world right now is the best we could hope for it seems necessary to remind ourselves that there’s still a lot to do, that we’re not done here.

I’ll keep trying to find a balance between the bad news and the cute and fun stuff. Let’s hope that some day we’ll actually get to a point where we can all just sit down and enjoy the nice things in life and posts like this one won’t be needed anymore.

Some accidental truth

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You might have heard that some dickheads are planning a “Straight Pride” in Modesto City, California later this month. It’s the second attempt at such a thing this year after Boston.

Don Grundmann, the co-organiser of the event (and founder of several anti-queer hate groups including the National Straight Pride Coalition and Citizens Against Perversion) attended a council meeting in Modesto City and had a bit of a Freudian slip during his remarks to the chamber…

 

 

Rammstein defy homophobic Russian laws

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Many queer activists are working to expose and push back against the state-backed homophobia in Russia. This work is vital, and earlier this week, members of the German industrial metal band Rammstein, did their part in being allies with a smooch on the lips.

Rammstein has been on a bit of a bender with their queer allyship in their current performance tour. They’ve waved Pride flags in Poland as a response to the anti-queer efforts there, and they’ve been kissing a little bit. So much so, that fans have conjoined the names of the two guitarists who have been doing the kissing (Paul Landers and Richard Kruspe) into the mononym “Paulchard.”

At a stop in Russia, Paulchard kissed again. And while that seems par the course, in Russia there’s a “gay propaganda” law that’s been in effect since 2013. That law makes the distribution of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships” among minors illegal and an offence punishable by imprisonment and fines. Two men kissing on a major stage and taking photos of that to post on Instagram would definitely fall in that category.

While it seems the pair have made it through without any trouble, according to the law, “foreigners may be arrested and detained for up to 15 days, then deported or fined up to 5,000 rubies and deported.” What’s more, is the band posted the photo to Instagram with the caption “Russia we love you,” in Russian.

Bay Gays

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TV station ABC7news dug up an interesting piece of history allowing us a look at how gay people were portrayed in the media in the America of the 1970s. The documentary was made in 1976 and is called “Bay Gays.” It was shocking at the time, and opened up viewers to “the gayest city in the country.”

“The four part series starts before the rainbow flag was a a symbol for a united community. Before Harvey Milk was elected supervisor, before the White Night riots that followed his death, before HIV and AIDS devastated a community, before same-sex marriage was legal.” says ABC.

 

First They Came

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Mass shootings are a regualr occurrence in the United States, so it’s heartbreaking but not surprising when a 16-year-old high school student like Odessa Shlain Goldberg says she no longer trusts people, no matter if strangers or otherwise as much as she used to.

These violent outbursts of a divided society affected her life in several ways, from shooting drills at school to an unshakeable fear in crowded places. It’s also what led her to her topic for the Our Pride Student Video Competition, for which she won first place.

Her film combines Rufus Wainwright’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Martin Niemöller post-World War II poem First They Came with images of various mass shootings in the US.

‘The film illustrates how passivity in the face of injustice is complicity during World War II, but instead reframes and rewrites the 1946 poem to focus on the prolific, devastating shootings in schools and public institutions,’ Goldberg said of her film.