Compiled by Howard Israel
“LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.”
– President Obama, in a statement from the White House, about David Kato, prominent LGBT rights activist in Uganda who was brutally murdered, http://whitehouse.gov, Jan. 27.
“Homosexuality is banned in Uganda, and chances of that country’s police taking this case seriously are slim. This begs the question, are Ugandans really free or are their former white masters merely replaced by black faces? As Africans we don’t have to copy the West, but we should accord our people the same rights and freedoms we sought from our former colonial masters. There can never be real freedom without free individuals.”
– Abdul Milazi, in an editorial titled “The killing of Ugandan gay activist is a return to dark ages,” about the brutal murder of David Kato, http://timeslive.co.za, Jan. 27.
“I realized there was a girl I liked. I didn’t want to be gay. I was raised to believe it was the worst thing ever. I had the idea that it didn’t matter how good a person I was. Even if I cured cancer, there’d always be that one thing about me that can’t be changed, and I’d always feel like a bad person…”}
– Staci, 19-year-old college student at Macon University, telling her story online at “We Are the Youth,” a photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of LGBT youth in the U.S., http://wearetheyouthproject.blogspot.com, Jan. 26.
“Coming out! It’s just so square to me. I mean, I always was gay. I knew I was gay the moment I saw Elvis Presley, when I was probably about 10 years old. I never just came out and made it a ceremony or an announcement… No one ever asked me if I was gay because they thought something was worse than that.”
– John Waters, filmmaker, in an interview titled “Coming Out Is So Square,” within a series of interviews “Coming Out: Stories of Gay Identity,” bigthink.com, Sept. 17, 2010.
I’m a Panda Cub. In the gay Bear community, I am considered a Panda – an Asian Bear. After I came out of the closet, I found myself having a hard time fitting in. Some Asians in the gay community did not accept me because I was too Westernized and tend to be outspoken…The Bears’ acceptance of me is really not that unusual. After all, these are the guys who were ostracized for being different – for being too big and not manscaping. Bears are gay men who truly know what it feels like to be an outsider but have come to accept and love themselves for who and what they are.”
– Bennie Tan, in his introductory column titled “I Am Panda, Hear Me ROWWWRRR!,” in his blog titled “Panda Say What?!,” http://www.justout.com LGBT News Portland, OR, Jan. 07.