Over the years, American queers have made massive contributions to the advancement of our society and culture. From "The Glass Menagerie" to the work of Andy Warhol, our nation's culture has been drastically shaped by the work of queer people since its inception.
In celebration of the 4th of July, HuffPost Gay Voices presents 23 amazing things America would be missing without queer people.
What’s at the end of a rainbow? For some, it’s a pot of gold; for Vogue.com, it’s great clothes. Valentino’s new resort collection is the perfect example, and the house revisited its 1973 archives in psychedelic patterns of ROYGBIV—quite conveniently, just in time for Pride in New York. Whether you prefer a neon-emblazoned clutch or fluorescent footwear, here are prismatic picks that you’ll be proud to parade in New York this weekend and beyond.
A year ago this week, the Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8, a ballot measure in California that tried ban same-sex marriage in the state. In the lower court decision (which now governs after the Supreme Court’s ruling), Judge Vaughn Walker wrote, “Animus towards gays and lesbians or simply a belief that a relationship between a man and a woman is inherently better than a relationship between two men or two women, this belief is not a proper basis on which to legislate.” Proper? No. Constitutional? No. Upholding the values of equality and dignity for all that are the essence of our nation’s aspirations? Certainly not. But that didn’t stop backers of Prop 8 from making outlandish and offensive claims to push their agenda.
Yet fast forward and some of those virulent supporters of banning marriage equality have softened, if not outright changed their position. Let’s have a look at some prominent ones.
This weekend marks the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, and, for that reason, this is the weekend that the cities of San Francisco, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Paris, and London all ring in LGBT Pride every year. But it isn't really fair or accurate to credit the Stonewall Riots with spearheading the larger LGBT civil rights movement, given that events and individuals in Los Angeles and San Francisco played enormous roles in building a grassroots movement starting in 1950—a full 19 years before that group of fed-up gay men, lesbians, and trans women decided to fight back against a police raid, and made national headlines. Here are some of the most important historic moments in the early fight for LGBT rights in California.
This type of exodus is typical of what's happening in San Francisco now. Rents are ballooning, competition is fierce, the creative class can't afford to live here anymore. But it's also illustrative of a migratory pattern that's become ubiquitous. All over the country, lesbian districts are evaporating, even as their gay counterparts — places like the Castro, West Hollywood near L.A., Chelsea in New York, and D.C.'s Dupont Circle — are becoming more affluent, and staying close to the city center. The reasons for this are many, and open to conjecture, but the trend is undeniable.
Now is the chance to have our voices heard and make it clear that allowing gay men to donate would benefit the blood service, not harm it.
But first we need to clear up a few misconceptions.
Importantly, the ban is not technically on gay men — it’s on any man who has had sex with a man in the last 12 months. (Sounds pretty gay to me.)
So, if you’re having a bit of a dry spell, head down to your nearest blood centre and donate. In the colder months, The Red Cross could really use a hand.
The 12-month window is a very conservative estimate of the length of time it’s believed a person may be infected with HIV before the virus shows up in test results. As any GP or sexual health clinic will tell you, the actual window is less than three months thanks to a new generation of testing technology.
Second, a lot of anger gets directed at The Red Cross for not allowing us to donate — but they’re not to blame.
Understandably, when a queer man goes to donate and is turned away by The Red Cross he gets angry, but they’re actually on our side on this.
VICTORIA has seen the highest number of new HIV diagnoses in a single year since the height of the epidemic in the early 1990s, with experts attributing the jump to increased testing.
According to new figures produced by the Burnet Institute and released by the state’s Department of Health on Friday, 303 people were diagnosed with HIV in Victoria last year, a 16 per cent increase on the 261 new diagnoses in 2012.
Over two thirds of new diagnoses were among men who have sex with men, while women made up around 11 per cent of cases. Around one third of new diagnoses were in the 30–39 age group, and with 81 new diagnoses 20–29 was the second-most common age group represented.
A spokesperson for Victorian Health Minister David Davis told the Star Observer the increase in HIV notifications may be a result of increased testing, both among people being tested for the first time and people being tested at higher frequencies.
It was a slap in the face.” Steven Levine is remembering that day in 2006 when President George W. Bush took the stage in a small-town school gym in Indiana. It was October 28, right before the midterm elections, and Levine was a 22-year-old White House advance aide. He’d been camped out in Sellersburg all week, working to get the details just right for Bush’s campaign rally. The flags hung just so, the big presidential seal on the podium. Then Bush started talking, his standard stump speech about taxes and supporting the troops. But a new applause line took Levine by surprise. “Just this week in New Jersey,” the president said, “another activist court issued a ruling that raises doubt about the institution of marriage. We believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman, and should be defended. I will continue to appoint judges who strictly interpret the law and not legislate from the bench.”
The crowd loved it. Levine was crushed.
He was gay and working for a Republican and convinced it was possible to be both at the same time.
Break out the rainbow flags and wedding bands, say gay marriage advocates: As this year’s term ends, they now predict that they’ll be celebrating a Supreme Court decision at the end of the next one — or at latest, 2016’s — fully legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
Their optimism marks a sharp turn from two years ago, when many LGBT advocates were wary of rushing to the Supreme Court with a gay marriage legalization case, worried that they’d get there too quickly, get ruled against, and set the movement back years.
A LANDMARK symbol of the LGBTI community in the heart of Sydney’s Darlinghurst is one step closer to reality with Sydney Council submitting a development application for a giant rainbow flag to be situated on Taylor Square.
The plans show the pole would be situated in the centre of the square (as pictured above in artist’s impression), on the grassed area known as Gillian’s Island, and would be topped off with a six metre long flag.
The dominant discussion on LGBT issues changed considerably over the last decade or so. LGBT people are now spoken about as a group in media outlets everywhere. The passage of anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda and Nigeria; gay marriage laws and campaigns in Australia, northern Europe, and the United States; and, of course, the struggle to read down Section 377 in India have all made international headlines. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are no longer marginal to the news. We may also say that we are no longer marginal to geopolitics.
Every rights movement has its heroes, and the push for equality for the LGBT community is no exception. Over the years, from the Stonewall riots in New York to marches against Proposition 8 in California and every state’s fight for marriage equality, countless Americans have stood behind these leaders.
In the 40-plus years since the Stonewall riots, a series of street battles after a police raid on gay bars in New York, the push for homosexual men and women to become fully vested participants in the American dream has been a steady struggle.
On May 9, 2012, President Barack Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage. The president’s decision would never have come about without the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who risked their comfort and security to press for equal civil rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
Here are some of the most inspiring gay activists we know of, a list that keeps growing.
In July of 2004, as 11 anti-gay marriage ballot campaigns competed for conservative attention at the polls, I started BlogActive, a site dedicated to exposing anti-gay politicians who were themselves having secret sexual encounters with other men.
For years, I had known of prominent gay politicians who were in the closet but worked for homophobic causes in the interest, it seemed to me, of their political careers. And so, drawing on sources within and outside Washington, I began using my blog to expose these congressmen and their high-profile staffers. A media frenzy ensued. Within two days of the site’s launch, the Washington Post published one article; another followed just six days later. Local and national television outlets called, challenging me to defend and explain my actions. In one early interview, Bill O’Reilly said to me, “People’s sex life should have nothing to do with any kind of a policy.”
I agreed, I said. This wasn’t about private sex lives—it was about hypocrisy. As I saw it, all I was doing was reporting the truth. And 10 years later, after my reports on dozens of politicians and staffers, I believe we’re better off for it, with a more open discussion of anti-gay politicians who lead double lives.
Hardly a week goes by that the courts don't rule same-sex marriage street legal in another state in America (the last twenty-two consecutive cases have all come down on the side of marriage equality), making what once seemed impossible now seems unstoppable. Wedding white is the new black – and all the gays are wearing it.
So on this anniversary weekend of the Stonewall Riots, let me be the shrill voice in the back of the church, speaking now instead of forever holding my peace. I think we're losing something. I have no desire to turn back the clock on marriage equality: it provides both real and symbolic benefits to queer communities, families and our country as a whole. But I cannot ignore the coercive (and corrosive) power that marriage holds. In this country, it is not just an option: it is the option. It is the relationship against which all others are defined, both an institution and an expectation – and you cannot have one without the other.
Before marriage was an option of first resort, queer people had been making our own ceremonies and families for (at least) a century. This will never stop, but the new expectations of marriage will curtail this kind of life-building (just ask any single straight woman over thirty how people treat her relationship choices). We will have to justify our reasons for not marrying, and any relationship that survives past a certain sell-by date will be looked at as pre-marriage.
For better or worse, gay kids today will think of their lives and their relationships in terms of marriage – as will their straight families and peers. Same-sex marriage is not going to harm opposite-sex marriages, as opponents so often claim, but its gravitational pull is likely to warp all other kinds of queer relationships. Our community’s pluripotent, mutable ways of loving one another are fast becoming something we need to defend all the more to the straight world – and, now, perhaps to our married gay peers as well.
And indeed, it might seem strange for someone who heads a company steeped in the ultra-liberal culture of Silicon Valley to stay private about his sexuality. But that’s only because we also intuitively associate the Silicon Valley culture with the 20-something graduates it recruits. And to expect someone like Cook to be cut from similar cloth is to completely ignore where he came from.
This 1992 ad marked the beginning of Banana Republic advertising’s black-and-white period, which would continue nearly to the end of the decade. While the hunky (and sometimes shirtless) male models tiptoed up to the border of gay, they didn’t cross it.
As Science of Us reported last week, a new study lends some empirical weight to a commonsense notion: Casual sex confers certain psychological benefits upon the folks who seek it out. Since psychologists are still early on in their attempts to shake off the puritanism that has draped conversations about casual sex in favor of actual studies and legitimate data, Science of Us asked Zhana Vrangalova, an NYU researcher and the study's lead author, to name the remaining big unanswered questions about casual sex. Here are five of them.
HIV prevention efforts could be hampered by the introduction of the new $7 GP co-payment and funding cuts in the recent Federal Budget, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King has told the Star Observer.
The Labor health chief’s comments follow a meeting in Sydney with a number of groups including health body ACON, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), the National Association of People With HIV Australia and Organisation Intersex International.
Judge Judith Sheindlin on her worst day is smarter than you on your best, but even so she apparently had never heard of Grindr before a Judge Judy case involving two men who had met on the app that aired yesterday. And even though Sheindlin wears her luddite status as proudly as that doily around her neck, she cut right through the bullshit and sussed out what men actually use it for.