June 22nd, 2013
Pride Celebrations This Weekend: Augusta, GA; Berlin, Germany; Biarritz, France; Chicago, IL; Columbia, SC (Black Pride); Columbus, OH; Durango, CO; Essex, UK; Fribourg, Switzerland; Gloucester, UK; Houston, TX; Knoxville, TN; Napa, CA; New Orleans, LA; Olympia, WA; Palermo, Italy; Regina, SK; Salisbury, NC; Santa Fe, NM; Skopje, Macedonia; Sofia, Bulgaria (Cancelled by authorities, citing security concerns); Wausau, WI (Cancelled by organizers, citing security concerns); Wilton Manors, FL.
AIDS Walks This Weekend: Oakland, CA.
Other Events This Weekend: Frameline Film Festival, San Francisco, CA.
TODAY IN HISTORY:
Robert Hillsborough Murdered: 1977. A brutal murder thirty-six years ago in San Francisco has been largely forgotten today, but at the time it was credited as being the event that catalyzed the gay community and awoke the larger city to the growing violence against gay people. On the night of June 21, 1977, Robert Hillsborough, 33, and his friend, Jerry Taylor, 27, went out to a disco called The Whiz for a night of dancing, and sometime after midnight they stopped for a burger a few blocks from Robert’s apartment in the Mission District. When they left the burger joint, they were followed in their car by four young men, who attacked them when they parked their car at the sidewalk in front of Robert’s apartment.
Taylor was beaten, but he managed to escape and flee to a friend’s apartment. Robert wasn’t so lucky. He was beaten and stabbed 15 times by 19-year-old John Cordoba while yelling “Faggot! Faggot!” Some witnesses also reported that Cordoba yelled, “This one’s for Anita!” Neighbors were awakened by the commotion, and they rushed to Robert’s aid. But it was too late. Hillsborough died 45 minutes after the 12:45 a.m. attack at Missions Emergency Hospital. Cordoba and the three other assailants were arrested later that morning.
Hillsborough’s death struck a deep nerve in the gay community, which had sensed increasing violence in the wake of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign in Miami which resulted in the defeat of a gay rights ordinance three weeks earlier (See Jun 7). “We live in a paranoid state,” said Harvey Milk, who was preparing his run for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, “and the death of Robert is only the culmination of a lot of violence that’s been directed at us.” The tragic event, coupled with Bryant’s win, galvanized the gay community, and San Francisco’s Pride celebration just a few days later attracted a record-breaking 300,000 people. The parade became an impromptu memorial march with participants erecting a makeshift shrine at City Hall.
Cordoba was charged with a single count of murder, along with Thomas J. Spooner, 21. The other two passengers in the car were not charged. Charges were later dropped against Spooner, and Cordoba was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Jimmy Somerville: 1961. The Scottish pop singer had his moment in the sun in the 1980s as lead singer with the synth pop group Bronski Beat (those of us of a certain age might remember “Smalltown Boy”) and the Communards. After the Communards split in 1988, he embarked on an off-again on-again solo career. His most recent album, 2009’s Suddenly Last Summer, contained acoustic versions of songs from his iPod. In 2011 Somerville released a dance EP, Bright Thing.
Jai Rodriguez: 1979. He was the “culture vulture” for Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He’s has also done some acting and some singing. In 2002, he created his own musical cabaret show, titled “Monday Night Twisted Cabaret,” which ran at New York gay club xl for a year. In 2005, he created and performed his own one night stage show, “Jai Rodriguez: xPosed,” which told the story of Rodriguez’s life and struggle to come out to his religious family. In 2012, he was a regular in the short-lived ABC sitcom, Malibu Country, starring Reba McEntire.
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?
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.