The Daily Agenda for Friday, June 29

Jim Burroway

June 29th, 2012

“A Missionary Position”: Los Angeles, CA. Ugandan-American playwright and actor Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine’s A Missionary Position,which premiered last night at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex, continues its run tonight.  According to the press release: “A Missionary Position …incorporates raw video footage and still photography—gathered over recent months on the front lines of the African nation’s LGBT movement—and layers this documentary material with his portrayal of riveting figures drawn from in-person interviews. A Missionary Position reveals Uganda’s LGBT community as seen through the eyes of a Ugandan government official, a transgender sex worker, a gay priest and a lesbian activist, and creates a complex investigation of the burgeoning resistance to state-supported oppression.”

The curtain raises this evening at 8:30 p.m. this evening, with an additional performances Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $20-$25 for general admission, with discounts available for students and groups. You can find more information here.

Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Albuquerque, NM; Arraial, Portugal; Bangor, MEBarcelona, Spain; Cagliari ItalyCincinnati, OH; Delémont, SwitzerlandDublin, Ireland; Edinburgh; UKHelsinki, Finland; Istanbul, TurkeyLexington, KYLondon, UK (World Pride); Madrid, Spain; Naples, Italy; Omaha, NEOslo, Norway; Paris, France; St. Petersburg, FLSalem, MA; Sofia, Bulgaria; Swansea, UKToronto, ON; and Winnipeg, MB.

Other Events This Weekend: Canadian Rockies International Rodeo, Strathmore, AB; Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt, Washington, D.C. Eurogames 2012, Budapest, Hungary.

Family “Research” Council’s Values Bus Tour: Columbus OH. The Family “Research” Council, an SPLC-certified hate group, continues its Values Bus Tour with the Heritage Foundation today. The tour is part voter registration drive and part propaganda tour where they will disseminate “materials on defending life, marriage and religious liberty.” Today, the tour is swinging through the swing state of Ohio, with a stop today and tomorrow in Columbus for the “We the People” Tea Party convention at the Ohio Expo Center on the Ohio State Fairgrounds. The Values Bus will be there all day today and tomorrow.

Exodus Freedom Conference: St. Paul, MN. Today is the second full day of Exodus International’s annual Freedom Conference on the campus of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Unlike other Exodus events which are mostly geared toward recruitment into their “lifestyle,” this one is the real deal for “strugglers” themselves. (They hate the word “ex-gay”. I’ve only heard the word twice; both times it was used disparagingly.) I’ve been attending this conference, and I can tell you that the experience from the inside is somewhat different from what you typically see on the outside — and it’s probably almost the opposite of what you would expect it to be. I’ll have much more on that later, probably next week when I have more time to sit down and write about what I’ve seen and the people I’ve talked to. Meanwhile, if by chance you here also, give me a shout via Twitter (@jfburroway, where I’m following the hashtag #Exodus2012) and say hi. The conference continues through Saturday.

Henry Gerber: 1892. Pro-gay activism in the U.S goes back a very long way, far longer than most realize. Henry Gerber, a Bavarian immigrant to Chicago, served in the U.S. Army’s occupation of Germany following World War I, where he came in contact with the growing German gay rights movement. He read up on German homophile magazines and came in contact with Magnus Hirschfeld’s Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, the first organization in the world working to advance gay rights. When Gerber returned to the U.S. he founded the Society for Human Rights (SHR) in 1924. With an African-American clergyman named John T. Graves as president, SHR is believed to be America’s first gay rights organization. Gerber also founded Friendship and Freedom, the first known American gay publication.

SHR didn’t last very long. The wife of the group’s vice president denounced Gerber and his associates to police, calling them “degenerates.” In July, 1925, police arrested Gerber, Graves and two others as newspaper headlines screamed “Strange Sex Cult Exposed.” Gerber was tried three times, but the charges were eventually dismissed. He was nevertheless ruined, jobless and drained of his life savings. He continued writing about gay rights, sometimes under his own name and sometimes under a pseudonym. He died on New Year’s Eve in 1972 at the age of 80, having lived long enough to see gay rights advocacy take on a new vibrancy in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in an explosion of advocacy and pride after the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969.

If you know of something that belongs on the agenda, please send it here. Don’t forget to include the basics: who, what, when, where, and URL (if available).

And feel free to consider this your open thread for the day. What’s happening in your world?


June 29th, 2012

Please keep up the good work on educating all of us about the difficult past gays and lesbians have had to endure. I certainly wish that I had had a system of support when I came of age back in the 1960s. It truly was a different time. I just don’t want young gays and lesbians to have to go through want I put myself through in buying into the falsehood that being homosexual was a mental disease that needed to be healed in one way or the other. If I would have known then what I know now, I would certainly have made different life choices when I was much younger.

Regan DuCasse

June 29th, 2012

What Charles said. The lion hearts that so many gays and lesbians had is so impressive and tangible. This deserves notice.
And it boggles my mind that the anti gay continue to try to portray gay people as an enemy of civilization, rather than an ally of great interest and commitment to it.
Gay people shouldn’t be considered such a mysterious and fearful presence, but an acceptable part of what all of humanity is in all it’s unique diversity and complexity.

I learned this early, as a child. I simply was taught to understand and learn whatever I had an opportunity to learn.

I don’t think there is ANY excuse to constantly be more committed to prejudice and stupidity than integration and knowledge.
Especially when the results of that stupidity glean tragic results no one should be disputing.

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