Compiled by Howard Israel
“If you’re a white, heterosexual woman like me, your chances of being infected by HIV/AIDS are very low – just one in 50,000. But if you’re a gay Hispanic man, your chances are 350 times higher. In some U.S. cities, it’s estimated that almost half of all gay, black men are HIV-positive. Part of what this strategy says is that we’re going to intensify our prevention efforts in the communities where infections are concentrated. We’re going to put our resources where the risk is.”
– Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services, in a speech addressing federal efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in America, National Minority AIDS Council, http://www.nmac.org, Sept. 13.
“I had a roommate who told me, ‘Whenever I see two gay people walking down the street, it makes me want to throw up,’ I was like, ‘Little do you know, I’m gay.'”
– A senior female cadet, quoted in an article titled “At West Point, Hidden Gay Cadets Put in Spotlight,” about the closeted lives of cadets, http://www.nytimes.com, Aug. 24.
“‘Black Lesbians Matter’ accentuates the importance of using our voices to define us for ourselves. It is our opportunity to speak and have our voices heard and acknowledged; our issues and concerns validated and defined in our own words. We must continue to find and use our voices, for to remain silent is no longer an option.”
– Vallerie D. Wagner, board member of the National Black Justice Coalition, in a press release about “Black Lesbians Matter,” a study of the unique experiences, perspectives and priorities of the black lesbian community, http://zunainstitute.org, July 27.
“I looked at that and said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Should it get taken out? Absolutely. Does anybody think we should be arresting homosexual people? If you take that stand, you really probably shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”
– Sen. John Brueggeman (R-Mont.), in an article titled “Montana GOP policy: Make homosexuality illegal,” about the state GOP’s recently adopted official platform which supports making homosexual acts illegal, Associated Press, http://www.ap.org, Sept. 18.
“We actually achieve what we set out to do. We’ve gotten 1,566 homophobic pages removed from Facebook, and we have a real sense of community building in the group. Know how we did it? We listened to the members, and we got rid of the bigots, and the self servers and the haters. We kept the genuine, nice, normal, average, wonderful people that we have today, and we all worked together to make our voices heard.”
– Kevin Patrick O’Neil, interviewed in a column titled “Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook: Taking a Stand for Tolerance,” about the Facebook page O’Neil launched to combat anti-gay, racist and sexist Facebook pages, http://www.polarimagazine.com, Sept. 9.
“The next time the gay community starts pointing fingers in regards to black homophobia, I would suggest it take a more sobering look at racism within its own ranks. There is no group, regardless of who you sleep with or what skin color you have, that is either exempt or free of bigotry and bias.”
– Devona Walker, in her column titled “Gay marriage, the legacy of Civil Rights and the black community,” http://www.theloop21.com, Aug. 5.