The late Charlie Morgan | Photgrapher uncredited | 14303
Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, succumbed to the illness this weekend, according to group officials. She leaves behind her wife, Karen, and 5-year-old daughter, Casey.
The 18-year soldier used her condition to lobby Congress for an extension of full military benefits to families of gay troops. Because service officials were barred from recognizing the same-sex marriage, Morgan’s wife is not eligible for military or health care, certain death payouts and other survivor benefits. However, Morgan’s daughter is.
Morgan was one of the plaintiffs in a pending lawsuit to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing the law unfairly discriminates against gay couples. She also met with House Speaker John Boehner in February 2012 to protest the inequality, and testified on the issue before the Democratic Party’s platform committee in August at the presidential convention.
In a statement, OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson called Morgan “a courageous fighter for our country, for her family and for the equality of all who wear the uniform of our nation.”
Gay Activist sends condolences to Ms Morgan’s family, friends and colleagues.
Polk Street, San Francisco | SF Streets Blog Org | 14304
Toshio Meronek documents the attempts by neighbourhood organisations to play down and even erase an area of San Francisco’s past gay history.
“Lower Polk Neighbors is a central San Francisco neighborhood association that meets monthly to talk “crime, cleanliness, beautification, and the strengthening of our community.” … For years the organization has been openly trying to erase the history of Polk Street as a sanctuary for lower-income gay and transgender people. Last month, it was at it again, censoring a queer activist group that criticized that erasure.”
From 2001 the organisation started campaigning to close down gay businesses and spaces and force them out of the district. One of the first casualties was the hustler bar Club RendezVous at Polk and Bush Streets. Club Rendezvous owner David Kapp told the Central City Extra that a “smear campaign” by LPN ended Kapp’s plans for staying in the neighborhood.
The organisation didn’t want to gentrify the neighborhood, .. (just to) “make it clean and safe.” That meant pushing queer and trans people, as well as closing a potentially life-saving needle exchange, out of the area.
Congratulations to Channel 4 News for a succinct appraisal of 50 years of UK gay rights.
Nice tie, Jon.
Paula Yates and Paul Cons | Guardian | 14305
Paul Cons, (pictured right with Paula Yates), the founder of Manchester’s legendary gay night Flesh at the Hacienda, remembers the vibrant and confident gay scene of the 1990s for The Guardian, in a bijou featurette for the UK’s Gay and Lesbian History Month.
“I had done the Gay Monday night at the Hacienda but it had always been a small affair, with just 80 or so alternative-minded people in a venue of 1,200. Then a friend of mine put on an event called the ‘Lesbian Summer of Love’, which attracted 800 women, and I thought: there should be a market out there for a gay club night too,” he writes.
“1,200 people turned up on the launch night and I think everyone realised that something revolutionary had happened. Every month Flesh attracted a sellout crowd, despite the fact it was on a Wednesday – people just used to take the next day off work.”
A temporary museum displaying 35 years of Sydney Mardi Gras history is now open to the public on Oxford Street, Sydney. The display will be open until the end of this year’s Mardi Gras festival on March 4. It is Australia’s first gay museum. Costumes, photos, newspaper clippings, video installations, posters and banners from the very first Mardi Gras in 1978 will be on display. The items come from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Sydney’s Pride History Group, Mardi Gras and a number of private collections.
The museum’s launch was attended by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, Liberal MP Bruce Notley-Smith, activist Julie McCrossin and others involved in the 1978 Mardi Gras.
“This exhibition is incredibly important for the people who have been a part of it but it is even more important for the people who weren’t,” Moore told the gathered crowd. “There’s a wonderful history here – a history that talks about the wonderful contribution the LGBTI community has made to the vitality, diversity and creativity of our city as well as an amazing contribution to teaching people about acceptance.”
Mardi Gras costume maker Ron Muncaster said it was the “glitz, the glamour and humour” that had made Mardi Gras into such a well-known international event. “We get a lot of gay tourists coming to Sydney and I’m sure this museum will be very popular and it will help to educate the general public.”
Attempts to find a permanent home for the country’s first LGBTI museum continue. There are only two such museums in the world – the Schwules Museum in Berlin and the GLBT Historical Society Museum in San Francisco.
Gay News Network