The Sentence for Hasidic Men Who Beat and Blinded a Black Gay Man: Community Service

Rich Juzwiak · 08/17/16 02:41PM

Soon after surviving a 2013 beating in Williamsburg that left him blind in his right eye, then 22-year-old Taj Patterson told NBC New York, “I want these people to know they can’t put their hands on anyone and get away with it, and think just because you have on certain attire you can get away with certain things. We’re all equal here.” But the majority of the five men who were investigated for committing a hate crime on Patterson, in fact, have gotten away with it.

Despite Senator's Objections, There Is Educational Value to Studying Grindr Racism

Rich Juzwiak · 07/14/16 11:10AM

The Advocate reports that Republican Sen. Stephen Nass of Wisconsin has written a letter to UW-Madison, threatening to cut the university’s funding over the teaching of a 2011 article about racism on the gay hook-up app Grindr. Nass reportedly sent his letter last week after he caught wind that sociology lecturer Jason Nolen assigned Alex Rowlson’s story “Not Just a Preference” to his How Race & Ethnicity Shape American Social Life class. Rowlson’s piece originally appeared in the now-defunct Fab magazine. (The magazine’s website no longer exists, but you can read Rowlson’s story via the Wayback Machine.)

Are We Orlando or Are We Brands?

Rich Juzwiak · 06/17/16 10:00AM

The It Gets Better Project is maybe Dan Savage’s most ingenious creation, and that’s really saying something given that I’m referring to the man who made Rick Santorum’s last name synonymous with a frothy mix of lube and fecal matter. The initiative Savage formulated in 2010 with his husband Terry Miller in the wake of a string of gay teen suicides incentivized activism by conflating it with something young people of today find irresistible: talking about themselves. Seated in the comfort of their own homes, and by barely lifting a finger, gay people could share attempts at goodwill, inspiration, and accrued wisdom with those struggling with issues regarding their sexuality. One day, gay youth, your life will be better than it is now, the flood of selfie videos said. One day, maybe you’ll get to feel righteous by filming yourself talking about yourself, too!

Ugandan High School Reportedly Expels 20 Students for Being Gay

Rich Juzwiak · 06/15/16 05:22PM

As we continue to mourn for Orlando, it’s important to not lose sight of homophobia’s status as a global problem. Offering some depressing perspective on that note is a story out of Uganda—which remains a horrific place for LGBT people and where homosexual activity is illegal— via KuchuTimes, “Africa’s first collective online radio, television and news platform focusing on LGBTI issues in Africa,” according to its Twitter. Reportedly, several students have been expelled from western Uganda’s boys-only Mbarara High School after being shamed and tortured by fellow students for being gay. Reports KuchuTimes:

Now We Have Seen The Epitome of Anti-Gay Hatred

Rich Juzwiak · 06/13/16 10:50AM

Before Sunday morning, the event that had the grave distinction of being the largest massacre of gay people in American history occurred June 24, 1973, at the Up Stairs Lounge in New Orleans. A fire, which a police and fire investigation eventually deemed arson, killed 32 people during a Sunday beer blast after a church service had been held in the space. The details contain gruesome stuff like bodies being melted together, as well as disgustingly sad anecdotes of love and failed heroism. Bartender Buddy Rasmussen successfully led a group of about 20 men out of a hidden fire exit onto the bar’s roof that provided safe access to the ground. Among the group was a man named George Mitchell. According to Jim Downs’s Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation:

Inside Mongolia’s Only Gay Bar

Lila Seidman · 06/03/16 12:30PM

At the only gay bar in the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, Zorig Alima tells me he’s a “penis shaman.” The proprietor of d.d/h.z says he can confidently predict men’s penis sizes and sexual predilections. He gives my companion a disputable “reading,” and dashes away to tend to friends and customers, explaining, “This place is like my living room.”

Former Scientology "Life Counselor" Sheds Light on the Church's Gay Reparative Therapy Process

Rich Juzwiak · 03/21/16 12:15PM

The Daily Mail has posted a narrative from Nora Crest, a 39-year-old woman who says she spent the majority of her life in the Church of Scientology and was ultimately punished with years of hard labor for kissing a woman by the notoriously homophobic church*. Before that, Crest says she was a “Word Clearer” who worked with noted members of the church like John Travolta (“He was very nice and apologized 20 times for helping him”), and Tom Cruise’s kids Connor and Isabella (“That’s when Tom and Nicole were going through a separation and we were ordered never to speak of her and she was a bad person”).

Look at This Moron Ranting About a High School's Gay-Straight Alliance

Rich Juzwiak · 03/15/16 01:11PM

It’s depressing and telling that the man in the video above carries an ideology that has serious heft in the ongoing struggle over the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee. But the world we live in is one in which someone can babble, “You know, when you have clubs, usually it’s a science club, uh, uh, different clubs, health club or Rotary Club or different clubs, but their schools have their clubs, uh, but a club that’s just to decide about sex that falls out of the realm of the education,” earnestly, without forfeiting his standing in an issue that has precisely nothing to do with him.

The Year in Gay

Rich Juzwiak · 12/29/15 03:42PM

In the early 1950s, writer Patricia Highsmith had every reason to hide her pride, and quite a few to hate herself. Living under the tyranny of McCarthyism was devastating for those with same-sex attraction—if homosexuality was acknowledged in public at all, it was condemned. And yet, Highsmith transcended.

The Black Church: A Haven and a Hardship for Its LGBT Members

Rich Juzwiak · 11/04/15 03:47PM

For too long, gay experience was defined by outsiders who tended to condemn rather than empathize. As reporting has become democratized and stigma has eroded, more and more people who actually live the experience—the real experts—have been able to share it. The new documentary directed by BET’s Clay Cane Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church facilitates that sort of modern sharing in interviews with several black LGBT people who have vast experience with having their identities shaped, tested, and sometimes flat-out rejected by their churches. It dismisses the notion that being gay and Christian is paradoxical and it helps explain why it’s hard for even those who feel maligned by the church have a hard time leaving it. You can watch it in its entirety here:

County Clerk in Kentucky Filmed Denying Gay Couple Marriage License

Rich Juzwiak · 07/08/15 12:10PM

The footage above is incredible, perhaps era-defining. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue a marriage license to a man named David V. Moore and his male partner of 17 years when they went to the Rowan County Clerk’s Office in Morehead, Kentucky on Monday. The pair were made to wait around while others cut ahead of them. When they finally were acknowledged by those working in the office, they were told to go to another county courthouse to obtain their license.

Why the SCOTUS Ruling on Gay Marriage Feels So Good

Rich Juzwiak · 06/26/15 04:04PM

Today we celebrate federal acknowledgment in the U.S. that same-sex love is love period. We celebrate the ease with which committed gay couples all over the country can fortify lives together, and that those lives will be protected under the law, just as they have been for their straight counterparts. We celebrate the act of putting into writing the assertion that gays are no longer second-class citizens. It is so ordered that gay people are people, too.