Activism Hub




Michael Stipe's Passionate Speech On Uganda: VIDEO

Tonight at 9 PM ET, Logo will air a special titled "Trailblazers" to commemorate the one-year anniversary of DOMA's defeat. Included in the special is a brief word from R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, who eloquently links the past struggles of LGBT Americans with the struggles of today's queer people around the globe:

IStipen the early ’80s, as a 22-year-old queer man living during the Reagan/Bush administration, I was afraid of getting tested for HIV for fear of quarantine, the threat of internment camps and having my basic civil rights stripped away...I waited five years to get my first anonymous test. I am happy that attitudes have matured and changed, and I feel lucky that i live in a country where acceptance, tolerance and policy toward HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ issues have advanced as far as they have.

Stipe goes on to introduce Ugandan gay rights activist John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere, who fights against the powers that be in his country, where homosexuality is illegal and anti-gay violence continues to rise. As Wambere puts it, speaking to the audience at the "Trailblazers" event, in Uganda "[this event] would be illegal. We would be all arrested or closed."

Check out Stipe and Wambere's speeches, embedded AFTER THE JUMP...

[h/t MTV News]

Continue reading "Michael Stipe's Passionate Speech On Uganda: VIDEO" »


Ugandan Gay Rights Activists Lose Case To Ethics And Integrity Minister Who Stormed Meeting

SimonLokodoIn 2012, several gay rights activists were holding a workshop when Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo (right), accompanied by police officers, broke it up. The activists filed suit against Lokodo and now, two years later, they've lost. It is an unsurprising but upsetting reminder of just how little the LGBT community of Uganda has left to hold on to since the passage of heinous anti-gay laws late last year.

ENCA reports:

"We lost on all grounds," gay activist Jacqueline Kasha, one of the team who had brought the case against the minister, told AFP.

Lokodo raided the workshop in February 2012 in the Ugandan town of Entebbe flanked by police, saying he had broken up the meeting as the "conscience of this country."

At the time, Amnesty International condemned the raid as "an outrageous attempt to prevent lawful and peaceful activities of human rights defenders in Uganda."

Our condolences and well wishes to the activists.


An Editor Once Mistook Gloria Steinem's Feminism For Lesbianism: VIDEO

Gloria_steinum

In an interview with PBS' Makers, American feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem revealed that one of her early editors mistook her for a lesbian because she wrote about gender equality:

An editor, a friend, nice guy (laughs) at Show magazine where I’d been freelancing, after I was writing feminist articles and was identified writing about feminism, he called up several mutual friends and said, “Y’know, I didn’t know that Gloria was a lesbian.” Cause he just couldn’t believe that anybody who wasn’t a lesbian and wasn’t interested in 'getting a man' quote unquote would be interested in equal pay or being treated equally and this was a very nice guy.”

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "An Editor Once Mistook Gloria Steinem's Feminism For Lesbianism: VIDEO" »


4-Year-Old Writes Australian PM Urging Him To 'Let Boys Marry Boys And Girls Marry Girls'

Letter

Same-sex marriage advocates get started at a young age in Australia, as evidenced by four-year-old Sabrina Franco's touching, sincere letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. In the letter, Sabrina asks that Abbott allow "boys to marry boys and girls to marry girls." The consequence should they be kept apart? "...they'll be sad forever." In addition, the young advocate asked that Abbott not cut funding to, and effectively shut down, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company).

Sabrina-FrancoThe Star Observer reports:

Sabrina penned the letter, complete on Disney princess paper  (pictured below), after learning about how her mother’s friends Lukas Picton and Greg Stone went to New York, USA, to get married because it wasn’t legal or recognised in Australia...

The letter reads:

“Dear Tony Abbott,

Don’t get rid of the ABC because we love it. And let boys marry boys and girls marry girls if they love each other or they’ll be sad forever.

Thank-you.

Sabrina.”

Picton, one of the two men who got married in New York, thought the letter was inspired.  

Not only does Sabrina have an excellent grasp of the English language for a four year-old, but she is also incredibly social aware,” he said.

“This letter really shows that prejudice and discrimination are engrained traits that we teach our children and that acceptance and understanding of equal love comes naturally to them.”

Prime Minister Abbott has yet to respond to Sabrina's letter. 


'Propaganda: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voices' Targets Anti-Gay Laws with Culture In NYC

Propaganda

Propaganda: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voices hopes to put pressure on that nation's anti-gay propaganda laws by hearing from leaders in various fields about the impact they have had. In particular, the festival's website notes that the series of staged readings and panel discussions, which will take place January 18th and 19th at Cooper Union in New York City, will focus on sports, performance, and Olympic and LGBT history in relation to the propaganda laws. With the 2014 Olympics in Sochi quickly approaching, these sorts of discussions are all the more important, particularly if the events of Propaganda can gain a large, engaged audience.

GessenThe festival has an intriguing and exciting line-up, detailed on its website:

On January 18th at 3pm in Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium, Propaganda: A Festival Celebrating Russian Voices will feature the first ever presentation of Daria Wilke’s acclaimed 2013 LGBT Young Adult Novel The Jester’s Cap, in a new theatrical adaptation. On January 18th at 7pm, the first English translation of celebrated playwright Oleg Mikhailov’s drama Pelmeny, as well as a reading of Vladimir Nabakov’s seminal work on sport, Breitenstrater-Paolino, will be presentedBoth readings will be followed by panel discussions.

On January 19th at 5pm in Cooper Union’s Great HallTess Berry-Hart’s acclaimed docu-drama SOCHI 2014 will be presented for the first time in the US, and read simultaneously in cities around the globe. Following the reading, at 6:30pm, Masha Gessen (pictured), journalist and NY Times International Opinion contributor, will make her first public appearance since expatriating from Russia, speaking in a panel discussion (moderated by Towleroad's Ari Ezra Waldman). The online theater journal HowlRound will air a live stream of this panel on HowlRound TV, as well as publish a series of articles by and about Propaganda’s artists and participants in the week leading up to the festival.

All proceeds from Propaganda will benefit the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance. Spectrum is a leading international organization devoted to human rights advancement on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and former Soviet Union Countries.

Individual readings/panels have ticket prices of $20, an All-Access Pass can be purchased for $50, and varying levels of increased support/recognition are also available for higher prices.


Activists Disrupt 'Stoli Guy' Pageant in NYC in Protest Against Russian Vodka: VIDEO

Actup_stoli

ACT UP New York and Queer Nation activists disrupted another Stoli event last night protesting the promotion of Russian vodka. Stoli, which is produced by SPI group has denied that it is a Russian-owned company since it is based in Luxembourg and bottled in Latvia but has said that its ingredients and production are sourced in Russia.

Gay City News reports:

Five demonstrators affiliated with ACT UP New York and Queer Nation stormed the stage at Marquee New York in Chelsea at the start of the Most Original Stoli Guy national finale, which brought together the winners from competitions in 12 cities. Blowing horns and holding up signs with messages including “Dump Stoli,” the group –– Mark Milano, Brandon Cuicchi, Terry Roethlein, Piro Rexhepi, and Chris Kohler –– brought the show to a halt for about a minute, before they were dragged from the stage by the club’s bouncers.

As the men were hauled away, one of the evening’s hosts said, “We are very lucky to live in a country where we can speak freely.” The host added, “And one of the things we are celebrating tonight is the passion that is the Stoli brand, and that is passion.”

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

In July, another Stoli event at Splash bar was disrupted byt the same group of activists.

Continue reading "Activists Disrupt 'Stoli Guy' Pageant in NYC in Protest Against Russian Vodka: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged