From the November-December 2015 issue of News & Letters
In September the Roland Emmerich film Stonewall was protested for rewriting the history and downplaying the essential role Transgender and Transvestite people of color played in the 1969 rebellion which began the modern Gay Rights Movement in the U.S. Stonewall portrays an invented Gay white character, Danny Winters, as the one who threw the first brick that started the rebellion.
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A Tunisian teenager was sentenced to a year in prison for homosexual acts after being held in custody for six days without access to an attorney and forced to have a “medical” anal exam. Amnesty International and local Queer rights group Shams denounced the barbaric treatment of the teen and are calling for decriminalizing homosexuality in Tunisia.
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Boston’s TOD@S Collaborative launched a Domestic Violence awareness campaign, “Celebrating #QTPOClove” (Queer Trans People of Color love), to increase awareness of domestic violence in LGBTQ communities of color. Ads on buses, bus shelters, trains and radio, print and social media describe healthy relationships and give resources for victims of domestic violence.
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The LGBT youth group “Children 404’s” membership on Russian social media site VKontakte reached an all-time high of 75,000 despite Russia’s ban on LGBT groups just one day before. “Children 404,” run by journalist Yelena Klimnova, works for the rights of Russia’s GLBT community and provides counseling to youth.
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If Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Councilman Stan Penfold and Equality Utah have their way, 900 South St., near the headquarters of the anti-GLBT Mormon church, will become Harvey Milk Street, named after the assassinated San Francisco Supervisor who was the first openly Gay person elected to public office in California. If Harvey Milk St. becomes reality, it will join Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks Blvd. in Salt Lake City, thwarting the Mormons, who had excluded African Americans from its male priesthood until 1979.