Category Archives: Public Figures

OBAMA SUPPORTS MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Washington, D.C. – May 9, 2012 – Today, President Obama affirmed his support of marriage equality, the loving and commitment of same-sex couples.  GRIOT Circle, the nation’s leading People of Color LGBT Aging organization, applauds the President for this historic endorsement of the freedom to marry.  “I continue to be proud of this president who remains strong and steadfast in his comment to Social Justice of lesbian and gay couples and their right to marry,” said Glen-Michael Francis, Executive Director of GRIOT Circle, Inc.  “We thank the president for his continued support and vision for greater equality and inclusion in America.”

The President’s record for advancing protections for the LGBT community remains unequaled.  But as he stated, his position on marriage equality had been changing and had not explicitly proclaimed his support of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples until now.  Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ending the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), endorsing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Department of HHS new policy for inclusion, all during increasing pressure from the fight to a position of non-movement.

“This is a president who understands that to be the most powerful nation in the world, you need the full engagement of all your citizens,” added Francis.  “Congratulations and thank you Mr. President!  Our 1237 members, their family and friends appreciate your commitment and hard work.”

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MOMENT OF SILENCE ON BAYARD RUSTIN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

Saturday, March 17, 2012, marks the 100th birthday of the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.  Rustin was a proud Black gay man who was an indispensable architect of the Civil Rights Movement. His most noteworthy achievements include serving as chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, mentoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and helping to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on ...

at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel, half-length portrait, seated at table (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an effective bridge builder across a broad range of demographics, he spent more than 60 years involved in social, racial, economic, class, labor, anti-war and other justice movements, both domestically and internationally.

However, the story of this visionary strategist and activist, who dared to live as an openly gay man during the violently homophobic 1940s, 50s, and 60s, has rarely been told in mainstream or Black media.

Read more just click here —> NBJC Celebrates Bayard Rustin 100th Birthday 1912-2012

TV Premiere: First Openly Gay Black Ballplayer

A documentary that traces the life journey of Glenn Burke, the first Black Major League Baseball player to publicly embrace his gay identity, will air on the Versus (VS) Network on Wed., August 17 @ 11pm EST.  Check your local cable TV schedule for OUT. The Glenn Burke Story on the Versus Network or NBC Sports.

Burke, who came out while he was still a Major League Baseball player, paved the way for LGBT pro athletes.  He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977 World Series against the NY Yankees, and is credited with inventing the “high five” in 1977 when he congratulated Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker for hitting a home run in the last game of the regular season.  Burke was traded to the A’s out of Oakland and was compared to the legendary Willie Mays.

QUOTE FROM FILM — Vincent Trahan (Burke’s classmate):
On Dodger management and their suspicions: “Al Campanis and Walter O’Malley had called him into the office and offered him $75,000 to get married.  And Glenn, being his comic self, said, ‘I guess you mean to a woman?’”

The documentary navigates viewers through Burke’s career ascent from the streets of Oakland and moments around his coming out in 1982, then traces his heart-wrenching downfall due to drug addiction, and his diagnosis with AIDS in 1994.

Watch clip from film now, click here –> OUT. The Glenn Burke Story.

Actors Promoting Same-sex Public Kissing…Hmmm?

What’s all the hype about over iconic actor Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover doing some public lip-locking as a show of congratulations and support, from one brother to another?

Actors Glover (left) & Belafonte kiss at BET Awards.

The first radar-grabbing affectionate encounter happened at a BET Awards event a few moons ago.  Mr. Belafonte was a BET achievement honoree when Mr. Glover passionately pressed flesh with Mr. Belafonte for a brow-raising photo-opp that still has ‘straight’ Black bloggers up in arms.  Recently, the elder entertainers were caught on camera in another no-tongue dry kiss.  At a dinner party for Mr. Belafonte’s “Sing Your Song,” hosted at Bing Bar, Mr. Glover dropped by to show support and slipped another lip-tingling congratulatory kiss on Mr. Belafonte.

The blogosphere continues to use the rare show of brotherly love as a catalyst to urge an outing of these seniors.  Who mandates that Black men must confine displays of support and admiration to knuckle-bumps and sideways-V finger gestures?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?: Are such public figures using their senior years to shatter age-old barriers, or just seeking space in news headline?  Do you believe a public same-sex kiss reveals one’s  sexual orientation?  And, are these hot gents sparking a movement to get Black seniors to be more OUT with their affection?