Meet the new International Mr Leather Here’s 22 pictures of Pride taking over the Belgium capital Haynes had a bit role in the film | Photo: Instagram @coltonlhaynes Love, Simon continues to be a source of joy for LGBTI audiences across the world. It’s a wonderful film of representation and a classic high school rom-com.
It’s also the gift that keeps on giving.
Recently, a deleted scene from the movie was released and it stars none other than Colton Haynes.
The scene sees the titular Simon at a gay bar with his friend Nick. That’s when Haynes approaches them, mistaking Simon for someone else he knows. Then, naturally, he asks Simon to dance. New video Deleted Bar Scene from #LoveSimon starring Nick Robinson. pic.twitter.com/5qLJxCDSBQ — Nick Robinson Updates (@dailynickrob) May 29, 2018 Things take a tiny turn for the worse when a bartende asks for the high school student’s ID, though. An overdue milestone of inclusion
Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, was a hit with critics and fans alike. It earned a 92% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, making it certified fresh.
As Peter Travers wrote for the Rolling Stone: ‘Greg Berlanti’s groundbreaking gay romcom is an exuberant gift, a John Hughes movie for audiences who just got woke and the first mainstream studio release to put a closeted teen front and center.’
While Glen Weldon at NPR posited the film’s ‘quieter, deeper coming-out storyline’ forms its ‘true emotional center’.
Overall, the movie earned $40.8 million at the domestic box office, on just a $17 million budget. Worldwide, it’s earned $57.5 million so far.
Meet the new International Mr Leather Here are 19 beautiful pictures of Birmingham Pride Here’s 22 pictures of Pride taking over the Belgium capital Jamal Siddiqui. | Photo: Gaylaxy Jamal Siddiqui is a Muslim, lower middle class trans man in India, here he shares his story of navigating the queer world while navigating the intersections of his identity.
I come from a lower middle class Muslim family.
Navigating any queer space has been a challenge because of my religion and also because of my class. In queer circles there is a vicious game of privileges that is played out in various contexts.
There are some people who recognize their privileges and some just don’t care about even acknowledging it. And for people like me who do not have many privileges, we struggle to navigate in these spaces not only because I want my story or my experiences to be heard from me or in my words but also because I am looking for respect and acceptance for me in the way I am. Lower caste beginnings
My father comes from a poor dalit family in Kolkata where the houses end before they even start.
There were eight to 10 people living in one room. Kids start working before even hitting puberty.
My father changed his surname on documents to leave his caste behind because the caste system was very brutal.
He joined the Air Force and started living in air force camps. I was born in a defense hospital. Because of his job, we shifted homes often and I have lived in many parts of the country. Welcome to the queer world
When I was in my early 20’s I was introduced to the queer world.
Being a newbie at that time I saw a lot of factionalism and also that there were very few people who would actually want to interact with a newbie.
Eventually, after sometime, I was introduced to trans community and then I started my transition. I was never ashamed of being a Muslim and a lower middle class guy.
After that, I started dating an upper class cis woman who is also an activist and that’s when many things began to change.
I remember when I was added to this all transmen Whatsapp informal group, a guy started messaging in the group that Islam is bad and conservative and started asking me questions about my religion.
Well that was not the first time I was supposed to be defensive as a Muslim, however it was the first time in the queer community. Such incidents have become a common sight for me.
Also in the queer community there are people who fetishize Muslim people.
I mean I am just like everybody else – I eat, I drink and I poop. Sometimes I have also become a token for people to prove or portray themselves as a secular person because being friends with someone Muslim does make you a secular person- right! Class in the queer world
If you think religion is a tricky subject then wait for class.
Class in queer community is something that is interesting as well as frustrating. Class is also measured by how fluent and lavish your English is. I can write, speak and understand English.
However, I am not very good in English because I did my graduation via distance learning. Apart from that, I seriously cannot understand many words spoken in activist circles .
If only they had a crash course on how to be activist and articulate in activist language.
People like me try to wear expensive clothes and stuff so that they don’t look middle or lower class as people in queer community have this habit of looking down on people who do not have the same class as them. Am I an activist?
I never like this word activist when it is used for me as I have seen mostly upper class and upper caste people doing activism.
I rarely find people from lower classes as activists.
First of all, we do not have the language and since we don’t know the ‘activist language’, it is really hard to grab people’s attention and make them listen to what we want to say.
Also if you do not know the activist language, you do not fit in the activist circles. Moreover, I do not have money and spare time to do activism. I spend most of my time working hard to earn my bread and butter and because I come from a lower middle class family, I can’t expect my father to support me financially too.
This piece originally appeared in Gaylaxy and has been republished here with permission.
Even with increasing social acceptance in recent years, people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT) still experience prejudice, discrimination , and victimization because of their sexual orientation. For LGBT youth, bullying by peers and rejection by family members are common. Not surprisingly, this often leads to psychological distress and mental health issues like depression .
Along with many others, I am interested in finding ways to promote positive mental health among LGBT youth. And in a recent study published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology , I found that romance – that is, being in a romantic relationship – may be one factor that can protect LGBT youth from the negative psychological effects of victimization.
For this paper, I (along with colleagues Christina Dyar and Michael Newcomb), used data from Project Q2, conducted by Brian Mustanski, Director of Northwestern University’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing . In Project Q2, 248 LGBT youth were interviewed 8 times over 5 years, starting when they were 16-20 years old. At each interview, youth reported on whether or not they were in a romantic relationship, the amount of victimization they had experienced due to being LGBT, and their level of psychological distress.
We found two important things: Source: Javi_indy / Shutterstock First, lesbian and gay youth were less psychologically distressed at times when they were in a romantic relationship than at times when they were single. This was particularly true for Black and Latino youth—which is very important since LGBT people of color face significant challenges due to being both sexual and racial minorities. However, it was not true for bisexual youth (more on that, below).
Second, for all youth in the study, being in a romantic relationship reduced the negative psychological effects of LGBT-related victimization. Let me explain that further. When youth were single, the more bullying, threats, and violence they experienced because of their sexual orientation, the more distressed they were likely to be. However, when youth were dating someone, victimization was no longer associated with psychological distress.
Together, these results are exciting because they suggest that romantic relationships can help many LGBT youths feel less emotionally distressed. Not only does dating someone appear to promote psychological well-being for gay and lesbian youth overall, but it also can buffer them from the hurtful effects of being bullied or otherwise victimized. We didn’t explore exactly how this buffering effect plays out, but it is likely that youth receive emotional comfort and social support from their romantic partner to help cope when bad things happen.
The results fit with the well-known positive psychological effects of marriage for heterosexual adults—getting married tends to make people healthier and happier. But before this study, it wasn’t clear if gay and lesbian people would get the same benefits from romantic relationships, especially since same- sex relationships often do not involve the same financial and legal benefits as marriage and are not always accepted by others. The findings also help to dispel negative myths about LGBT relationships, which have historically been portrayed as unhealthy.
One big caveat is that the benefits of romance were not seen for bisexual youth. In fact, bisexual participants were more distressed – not less distressed – when they were in a relationship than when they were single. It is not clear why this was the case, but it might be related to how bisexuals are often told, by both heterosexual and gay and lesbian people, that their bisexuality is not a “real” sexual orientation, or is only a temporary phase. Sometimes entering a relationship can make this worse, because people (including the partner) assume that the bisexual person is now heterosexual or gay/lesbian based on the gender of their partner. Bisexual individuals also face negative stereotypes, such as being unable to commit to one partner and sexually promiscuous. They may face such stereotypes more when they start dating someone.
Overall, though, the results indicate that dating is often a positive experience for gay and lesbian youth that can help them manage the stressors associated with being a sexual minority. In my view, this means we should develop and support initiatives to promote involvement in healthy relationships among LGBT youth. Efforts to encourage dating among LGBT youth (e.g., through planned LGBT-focused social events like Gay Prom) and to teach healthy relationship skills hold some promise for reducing the mental health disparities they face.
If you’re interested, check out the coverage of this study by The Washington Post .
Lee Wicks A LOCAL LGBT activist has welcomed the indefinite hospital order handed to Ethan Stables.
Barrow’s Lee Wicks, chairman of the Friends and Supporters of the Furness LGBT Community, believes if Stables had been given a prison sentence he would have been "more radicalised".
"I think a hospital order is better than prison because while it’s still a custodial sentence he will also get the help he needs," Mr Wicks said.
"In a regular prison he would have been radicalised and likely come out more angry." Mr Wicks highlighted how concerns about Stables had been raised throughout his upbringing but the authorities failed to act until it was almost too late. "It seems like there has been a lot of missed opportunities, from his mother voicing her worries when he was a child to the GP who reported Ethan to the counter terrorism unit, where they could have nipped this in the bud much earlier.
"I’m not excusing what he has done, and let’s not forget he was deemed fit to plead and therefore found to be responsible for and aware of his actions and their consequences, but he is a victim of society."
Meanwhile, Katy Bolger, who was working behind the bar at the New Empire on the night of Stables’ planned attack, said she hopes the hospital order does not mean he is released too soon.
"I know that he’s going to get the help he needs but I feel angry that he could be out and about in less than a year," she said.
WASHINGTON – LGBT activists are subpoenaing two prominent faith leaders – Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and National Day of Prayer Task Force President Dr. Ronnie Floyd – in the lawsuit against the Trump administration’s transgender military ban .
The case, Karnoski v. Trump, was filed last August against the administration in hopes of blocking it from implementing the policy.
According to the Liberty Counsel , which is representing Perkins and Floyd, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund is demanding the men provide "all communications and documents regarding all public policies regarding transgender people, including medical treatment and anything referring to "transgender" people in general."
"The subpoena seeks information from Floyd and Perkins which violates the First Amendment, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and civil procedure rules," the group charged.
It’s a move Mat Staver , Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman, is calling a flagrant abuse of the legal system.
"LGBT activists are abusing the legal system to harass and bully," said Staver. "They began with nonprofit groups and now they are going after individual pastors and faith leaders."
"These abusive tactics are far outside their legal authority," he continued. "This subpoena is outrageous because it even requests ‘conversations’ on any topic related to LGBT issues. There is no legal basis for such a breathtakingly broad subpoena."
Perkins, meanwhile, is calling out the activists over what he views as a blatant act of intimidation against people of faith.
"Let me be clear," he wrote in a statement Wednesday. "The purpose of these subpoenas is not to resolve any constitutional questions. Their intent is clear – to intimidate FRC and our supporters from standing up for our military service members."
"They also know that it takes significant time and resources to respond to subpoenas, scarce time and resources that we should be focusing on advancing faith, family, and freedom," Perkins charged.
The FRC president is asking for supporters to stand with him in prayer over the matter.
"If standing up against injustice stirs your heart, we now need you to stand with FRC," he wrote. "We are stronger when we stand together."
Meanwhile, CBN News has reached out to Dr. Floyd for a comment but has not yet received a reply. The Scary Truth Behind This German WW2 Photo — This Will Leave You Speechless
Claire Nelson recalls "a moment of complete and utter terror" Tourist Claire Nelson never imagined one of those terrifying stranded-in-the-desert ordeals could happen to her. Then she fell from a boulder and shattered her hip, finding herself immobile and alone in a sun-baked wilderness.
When Claire’s friends in Southern California asked her to cat sit at their home near Joshua Tree National Park for a few weeks, she was more than happy to accept.
The New Zealander had hiked before in the Joshua Tree park and loved the desert landscape with its "Dr Seuss-like" trees and cacti.
Early one morning, she drove out to the wilderness for a six-hour hike. She stocked up with several litres of water, a hiking stick, and sunscreen.
"I was feeling very much like this is where I want to be right now," Claire told the BBC.
At 08:30, Claire spoke to a guide at the information centre about the route. He described it as a moderate hike on a nice trail.
Claire followed the trail for two miles, and then realised she couldn’t locate the three-mile marker. She decided to take a break, resting on one of the giant boulders while figuring out the route.
"It was when I stood up to get down from the rock, I was quite high up, and it was so slippery that I immediately went down," Claire said.
"I knew there was nothing I could do to stop myself. It was like going in slow motion. My head was just going: No, no, no, no." The national park is full of precarious boulders ‘Complete and utter terror’
"I landed with a massive crack and my whole body filled with pain. My immediate thought was ‘this is bad’."
Claire had landed on her left side, shattering her pelvis. She tried to get up, but found she could not move. She tried to call emergency services, but her phone had no signal.
"This was something I thought wouldn’t happen to me – not because I thought I was a pro-hiker – it just seemed like such an extreme scenario that you don’t imagine that this happens in real life.
"I hike a lot on my own and I came to think I’m fairly sensible about hiking but I suddenly realised how foolish I’d been.
"I thought, ‘I can’t believe I’m in a situation where I’m out here alone, people don’t know I’m here, I’ve injured myself and I have no way of contact anybody.’
"That was a moment of complete and utter terror." Claire said where she fell had less greenery than the rest of the park Staying alive
"I did panic at first," Claire said. But her thoughts quickly turned practical: she would need to manage her pain, keep away from the sun and conserve water to survive.
"I just knew that the only thing I could control was how long I could stay alive for."
Claire took some aspirin which she had in her pack to help with the pain.
She used a stick and plastic bag to create a curtain from the sun.
When her water ran out the next day, Claire drank her own urine to survive. app-facebook
Joshua Tree National Park
last Friday UPDATE:
Injured hiker was found alive this evening by RCSD and JOSAR teams and transported by CHP to Chiriacco Summit to ambulance.
Patient fell while hiking with suspected broken bones.
The park wants to thank all of our partners for their help in this successful rescue.
#Missing person in Joshua Tree National Park
Information release date: May 25, 2018
Contact: Joshua Tree National Park
US Park Rangers of Joshua Tree National Park are searching for missing hiker Claire Nelson.
Claire Nelson is a 36 year old white female. She is from New Zealand and has a New Zealand accent. She is 5’6" and 140 lbs with shoulder length blonde hair. She has brown hiking boots and possibly a blue backpack / camelback.
Last contact with Nelson was made on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. She had informed friends that she intended to hike to Lost Palms Oasis and return on Wednesday. She was reported missing on Friday, May 25, 2018 when her contacts have not heard back from her for two days.
Rangers and other search assets have established an incident command center and deployed in the search area.
If you have any information that could help in the search for this missing person, please contact the park at: (760) 367-5501 or (602) 549-1233
See more 351 96 581 Report
"I was filming little videos from the moment I fell just in case anyone found me, to explain what happened. I haven’t watched them yet. I’m unsure whether I want to.
"These little singular thoughts would pop into my head and they drove me forward. I want to see this person again. I want to taste this again. I want to go to this place again.
"And the idea of my loved ones finding me in a desert – I couldn’t bear to do that to them."
Claire spent four days and three nights alone and injured in the desert. She told the BBC she split her days into little goals to pass the time. The first half of the day she screamed for help. The second half she spent avoiding the sun and staving off heat stroke. She thankfully had no run-ins with rattlesnakes or coyotes.
"I did see some kestrels hovering above me menacingly, sensing death – around and around above me." The rescue
"Every day as night fell, I was getting more and more despondent that no one had come," Claire said.
"On the fourth day it was particularly hot and I was really struggling to keep my spirits up. I started to give up hope.
"I drifted in and out of sleep thinking, how much longer can I go on?"
In the late afternoon, Claire first heard the helicopter. She thought she was hallucinating.
"Then I hear them call my name, ‘Claire we’re looking for you.’
"I was on my back in a small sort of circle of boulders and they can’t see me. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs and they can’t hear me."
She made a makeshift scarecrow from her hiking stick and sun curtain and threw her remaining energy into waving it.
Her efforts paid off, and rescue workers soon came down to her."They said they were so used to finding people in a very bad way and there’s me, over the moon at being discovered, having a laugh."They were gobsmacked." The New Zealand native had lived in London before recently moving to Toronto ‘When the bill arrives, I don’t know what’s going to be on it’ An array of blood tests and scans was waiting for Claire at the Desert Regional Medical Center.She has had multiple X-rays, a CT scan, and had reconstructive surgery for her pelvis. She is on painkillers, muscle relaxants and an IV drip.But the American healthcare system has left her "with a lot of question marks and ifs and buts", she said."I do know it’s getting expensive because I’m being scanned for every pill I take, every injection I get. I have a barcode and everything’s going on a tab somewhere. It’s disconcerting."The care I’ve received at this hospital is incredible, but it’s a lot of unknowns."When that bill arrives, I don’t know what’s going to be on it."Her friends set up a fundraising page to help cover the mounting costs."I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by messages of support," she said.Claire has begun physiotherapy and says she’s "learning to walk again".She’s most looking forward to being independent once more.
Fans will be able to watch every match broadcast by the BBC from the corporation’s virtual reality sofa Fans will be able to watch this summer’s Fifa World Cup in Russia in Ultra HD and virtual reality as BBC Sport trials cutting-edge technology.
Users will be transported to a fully immersive stadium experience, through headsets, as if they are sitting in their own hospitality box.
All 33 matches broadcast by the BBC will be available for free on BBC Sport’s VR 2018 World Cup app.
And the 29 matches on BBC One will also be available in Ultra HD.
Ultra HD TV can be accessed through a high-speed internet connection and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The HD stream will be available from the BBC iPlayer home screen as soon as programme coverage begins but the number of users granted access will be limited to "tens of thousands of people".
Matthew Postgate, BBC chief technology & product officer, said: "From the very first tournament on TV in 1954 and England’s finest hour in 1966, to the first colour World Cup in 1970 and then full HD in 2006, the BBC has brought major live broadcasting breakthroughs to UK audiences throughout the history of the World Cup.
"Now, with these trials we’re giving audiences yet another taste of the future." UHD can reveal details that would otherwise be obscure Leo Kelion, BBC Technology desk editor
The term 4K – which is sometimes referred to as being ultra-high definition (UHD) – refers to the fact that an image contains four times as many pixels as a 1080p high definition picture.
This can reveal details that would otherwise be obscure – including the notes written on a yellow or red card, or the time on a referee’s watch.
The technology takes advantage of the fact modern TVs can go brighter and/or darker than they used to, providing a greater dynamic range.
As result, the shadows of an image can be made less murky while the highlights – including glints of light reflected off metal or water – can be given more impact.
To enjoy the optimum experience, the BBC says audiences will need a 40 megabit per second (Mbit/s) internet connection – which is faster than that to which most households have access.
Those with slower download speeds may find they are provided a lower-resolution image.
VR will be made available closer to the time on iOS and Android devices, as well as the Gear VR, Oculus Go and PlayStation VR headsets.
It will allow users to switch location to get the view from a "luxury private box" on high or from behind either of the two goals.
The billionaire financier has become a divisive figure in global politics in recent years Hungarian-American businessman George Soros is one of the world’s most renowned, and philanthropic, financial investors.
Earning his fortune through shrewd financial speculation, he has spent billions of his own money funding human rights projects and liberal democratic ventures around the world.
In recent years, that funding has made him a target of the world’s nationalists and populists, who have painted him as a master-manipulator of democracy.
Much of the criticism aimed toward the 87-year-old has been criticised as having anti-Semitic undertones. Early years
Born in 1930 in Budapest to a Jewish lawyer father, he and his family survived Hungarian Nazi-occupation by splitting up and acquiring forged papers that disguised their religion.
He emigrated to England aged 17, achieving an undergraduate degree and PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE) while working part-time as a railway porter and nightclub waiter. Soros warns EU faces ‘existential crisis’
Facebook and Google criticised by George Soros
While there, he studied under philosopher Karl Popper, who is best known for his rallying cry for Western liberal democracy in the post-war years. His concept of "open society" would be deeply influential on Mr Soros’s ideology and financial career. Investment career
After initially working in investment banking in London, he emigrated to the United States in 1956.
He spent time at several firms in New York, before founding his own hedge fund in 1970.
Soros Fund Management, which would eventually become the Quantum Fund, was known for its aggressive investment and high returns for investors.
The firm gained notoriety for its short-term and flexible speculation on global financial markets. This success made Mr Soros one of the world’s wealthiest men and cemented him as a legend within the investment market.
He became known "the man who broke the Bank of England" in September 1992, when he made about £1bn betting against or "shorting" the UK’s currency, the pound.
On 16 September, a day dubbed "Black Wednesday", the Treasury rapidly lost billions in reserves, forcing the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). Peter Jay reports on the day that became know as Black Wednesday
Peter Jay reports on the day that became know as Black Wednesday This investment gamble is probably Mr Soros’s best known, consolidating his reputation as the world’s premier currency investor.
His financial single-mindedness later led to accusations that he had helped to engineer the Asian financial crisis of 1997 when the Thai baht collapsed, triggering widespread financial contagion across the region.
At the time, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad hit out at "unscrupulous profiteers" and called for "immoral" currency trading to be banned.
Mr Soros drew his ire in particular, but other investors had made even heavier bets against the Thai currency than his firm had. Philanthropic work
The hedge fund manager began to ease away from the day-to-day control of his firm during the 1980s and 1990s, paying more and more attention to philanthropic ventures instead.
Since starting out offering scholarships to black students during the apartheid era in South Africa, he has spent billions supporting progressive free-market projects around the world. His foundation is now the second-largest philanthropic organisation in the US – behind that of Microsoft founder Bill Gates He focused on opening up cultural exchange with Eastern Europe during the collapse of communism, before widening investment to other regions around the world.
Mr Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) now has programmes in more than 100 countries around the world, and 37 regional offices.
The organisation says its focus is to build "vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people".
In 2017, while he was ranked as the 29th wealthiest person in the world by Forbes magazine, it emerged that he had transferred $18bn (£13.5bn) or an estimated 80% of his personal wealth into the organisation.
According to his website, his goal is to use his financial independence to fight some of the world’s "most intractable problems".
The OSF continues to support a number of human-rights initiatives around the world, including campaigns in favour of LGBT and Roma rights. Politics and criticism
Mr Soros has remained extremely vocal about world economics and global politics. This has drawn flak from 21st Century nationalist politicians, who have depicted him as a left-wing bogeyman of sorts.
In Europe, he openly criticised the handling of the euro debt crisis , while during the peak of the region’s refugee crisis he pledged generous backing for aid groups supporting migrants.
This policy in particular has set him on a collision course with Prime Minister Viktor Orban in his native country.
The Hungarian government even funded the distribution of giant posters vilifying the financier in 2017. Hungary: country profile
Long read: the man who thinks Europe has been invaded
Mr Soros’ foundation eventually decided to withdraw its offices from Hungary, blaming an "increasingly repressive" environment. Hungary’s largest Jewish organisation labelled the propaganda campaign as "poisonous" His foundation has also donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Best for Britain group , which aims to halt the UK’s departure from the EU. This support has made him a focus of criticism for pro-Brexit supporters, campaigners and newspapers within the country.
In 2015, the foundation was banned in Russia, which labelled it as "undesirable" because of its perceived risk to Russian security and constitutional order. Attacks and conspiracies
Mr Soros has been a large donor to the US Democratic Party. He backed the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and has also labelled US President Donald Trump "an imposter" .
US-based right-wing conspiracy theorists and websites have accused Mr Soros of secretly engineering a range of recent events in US and global politics.
They have alleged that he was involved in recruiting crowds for the anti-Trump Women’s March and even organising violence in Charlottesville to undermine the country’s political right-wing.
Such conspiracies, and negative coverage of his foundation’s work, are often accused of being anti-Semitic, echoing Nazi-era conspiracy theories about Jewish bankers plotting to create a "new world order". Personal life
George Soros has been married three times.
He had two sons and a daughter with his first wife, German-born Annaliese Witschak, whom he married in 1960.
The pair divorced in 1983, when he then wed second wife Susan Weber. The pair stayed together until 2005, having two sons during their marriage.
He married third wife Tamiko Bolton – 42 years his junior – in 2013.
Away from hedge funds and philanthropy, Mr Soros has also dabbled with investing in sports teams around the world.
In 2012, it was reported that he had purchased a significant minority stake in UK-based football team Manchester United.
This Saturday, 6sqft is excited to sponsor “ The Hunt: NYC LGBT Sites .” Put on by our friends at Urban Archive and the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project , the three-hour historic scavenger hunt will mark Pride Week by focusing on the history of the LGBT community in NYC. To give 6sqft readers an idea of what to expect, the Historic Sites Project has put together eight things you probably don’t know about LGBT history in New York, from the four remaining lesbian bars in the city to the first LGBT activist organization. ↑ 1. There are only four lesbian bars in active operation in NYC: Bum Bum Bar in Queens; Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole in Manhattan; and Ginger’s in Brooklyn. ↑ 2. Only one residence associated with the great American poet Walt Whitman still stands– 99 Ryerson Street in Brooklyn. ↑ 3. The first LGBT activist organization, organized after the Stonewall Rebellion in June 1969, was here in New York City — the Gay Liberation Front . This LGBT historic site is actively threatened with demolition . ↑ 4. On Columbia University’s campus, six buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of these is on the basis of its significance to LGBT history: Earl Hall , the venue for the first student gay group in America, the Student Homophile League, later Gay People at Columbia, founded in 1966. Earl Hall was also the site of pioneering monthly gay dances that were key social events for younger gay men and lesbians. ↑ 5. Legendary nightclub Paradise Garage was considered the birthplace of the modern nightclub. Resident DJ Larry Levan influenced dance music tastes and trends across the globe. The site has just recently been demolished . ↑ 6. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has documented sites of significance as far back as the Dutch settlement when New York was still New Amsterdam. In the mid-1600s, records show men executed in today’s Whitehall area for the crime of sexual relations with boys, sodomy being a crime punishable by death. ↑ 7. Long before it became a well-known concert venue, Webster Hall in the East Village was one of New York’s most significant large 19th-century assembly halls, famous for its Bohemian masquerade balls in the 1910s and 1920s and a gathering place for an early 20th-century lesbian and gay community, who felt welcome and then sponsored their own events by the 1920s. ↑ 8. “Vaseline Alley,” “Bitches’ Walk,” and “the Fruited Plain” are just some of the nicknames for the popular cruising locations in historic Central Park . Register for the event and find out more details HERE >>
+++ The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a scholarly initiative and educational resource that officially began in August 2015 and is based on over 25 years of research and advocacy by founders and directors, Andrew Dolkart, Ken Lustbader, and Jay Shockley. While part of the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD), they helped create the nation’s first map for LGBT historic sites in 1994 .
It is the first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the five boroughs. Sites illustrate the richness of the city’s LGBT history and the community’s influence on America.
All photos and images courtesy of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Ruthie Berman, right, and Connie Kurtz, both native New Yorkers now residing in West Palm Beach, Fla., dance outside the Manhattan City Clerk’s office after getting their marriage license, Sunday, July 24, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) LGBT activist Constance Kurtz, whose lawsuit against the New York City Board of Education led eventually to domestic partner benefits for all New York City employees in 1994, has died.
Kurtz, known as Connie, died in the West Palm Beach, Florida, home that she shared with her life partner, Ruthie Berman, on Sunday. She was 81.
In 2017, US Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida reintroduced the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act, named for Kurtz and Berman, in recognition of the battle they fought for LGBT equal rights for nearly 30 years.
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Kurtz, a Brooklyn native, moved with her then-husband and two children to Israel in 1970, and lived there for four years. When she returned to the United States, she reconnected with Berman, her longtime friend. They fell in love, divorced their respective husbands and became a couple.
Kurtz, a bookkeeper and eating disorder therapist, and Berman, a guidance counselor and physical education teacher at Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn, along with two other couples, sued the New York City Board of Education for domestic partner benefits in 1988, eventually winning such rights for all New York City employees six years later. The couple went on “The Phil Donahue Show,” where in 1988 they came out, and “Geraldo” to talk about the case.
The couple, who are both certified counselors, started branches of Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, in Florida and New York, and in 2000 they began serving as co-chairs of the New York State NOW Lesbian Rights Task Force. They founded The Answer is Loving Counseling Center and worked there for over 20 years. In 2016, they received the SAGE Pioneer Award presented by Services & Advocacy For LGBT Elders, the country’s largest and oldest organization for LGBT seniors.
Kurtz and Berman were married in a Jewish ceremony on May 20, 2000, when it was still illegal for lesbians to marry in a civil wedding. They were legally married on July 26, 2011, two days after marriage for same-sex couples became legal in New York state. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, the senior rabbi at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan, officiated at both ceremonies. The couple were featured in a 2002 documentary about their lives titled “Ruthie & Connie: Every Room in the House.”
Kurtz and Berman retired to South Florida, where they have been continually active in Democratic, LGBT, feminist and #BlackLivesMatter politics.
Kurtz began to focus on art in 1996, including painting, collage and quilting.
“Connie was a force of nature,” Kleinbaum said in a statement. “Everyone who encountered her — even for the first time and even briefly — felt her passion, her love, her fierceness and her humor. Connie and her love Ruthie changed the world, and never lost the love of life, of art and of all of her people. I am sending my love to Ruthie and all who are in grief over this terrible loss. A great light has gone out in our world. May her memory forever bless us and may our lives be forever a blessing to her memory.”
Kurtz is survived by Berman; a sister, Sally Silverman; a daughter, Eileen Ben Or, and a son, Moishe Kurtz, who live with their families in Israel; 14 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. Smoke rises following Israeli strikes on Gaza City, early Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired at least 50 rockets and mortars into southern Israel on Tuesday, the largest barrage since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)