Compiled by Howard Israel
“I was like, ‘I don’t know, should I talk about it or what?’ How many things could I have? I’m black, then lesbian. I can’t be the poster child for everything … At least with the LGBT issues we get a parade, we get a float, it’s a party. But I was real hesitant about doing this, because I hate walking. I got a lot of cancer walks coming up.”
-Wanda Sykes, during an interview with Ellen on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” about her breast cancer and double mastectomy, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and her personal health, http://www.huffingtonpost.com, Sept. 23.
“The GOP presidential debate produced a profile in courage and nine profiles in cowardice. The profile in courage came courtesy of the brave active-duty solider named Stephen Hill serving in Iraq who chose the Republican debate as the opportunity to come out to his fellow servicemen and the nation via video. He was, of course, marking the newfound freedom to do so granted by the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ And he was greeted with a chorus of boos from people in the conservative crowd. The profiles in cowardice came from the nine presidential candidates on stage who chose to stand through the insult to a military man serving in a war zone, struck dumb by their political calculations. This was an opportunity to speak out in favor of civil rights, to condemn a basic lack of kindness in the crowd, to stand up for our fighting men and women serving in harm’s way. It could have been a defining moment for a candidate with the courage and decency to buck the base. Instead, there was the awkward silence of a political pitch going by – an acquiescence to some of the ugliest impulses in society combined with a lack of moral clarity.”
– John Avlon, in his column titled “Jeers for a Gay Soldier,” about the Republican presidential debate in Florida when Stephen Hill, an American soldier serving in Iraq, was booed by the audience simply for saying that he was gay, and for asking a question about DADT, http://www.thedailybeast.com, Sept. 24. None of the GOP candidates on stage said a word to diminish the crowd’s boos, to defend the solider or to thank him for his service.
“This report confirms what we’ve long known to be true: being transgender and black in the U.S. presents unique challenges on the path to full equality. This problem is deeply important to me and to NCTE where every day we hear from transgender people of color who survive in the face of racism and transphobia.”
-Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a press release about a new analysis titled “Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” produced by the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the NCTE. The analysis reports that the anti-transgender bias and structural racism experienced by black transgender and gender non-conforming people means that transgender people of color experience particularly devastating levels of discrimination, http://www.transequality.org, Sept. 16.
“I frankly think they profoundly misread the young people of America, who are far more open and tolerant, welcoming, and inclusive than generations before them, particularly around LGBT issues. I think they miss what is a basic cultural shift in the direction of tolerance, and it’s my hope that, as happened in the 2008 campaign – where youth voters really led the way in terms of breaking barriers – that we’ll see the same thing, a rejection by younger voters, more educated and more engaged voters, of gay bashing or gay-baiting, which I’m afraid may actually end up being an essential issue or central values issue in the 2012 election.”
-Senator Chris Coons, D-DE, in an interview at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network’s “DADT Repeal Day Celebration,” about the Republican leadership’s use of gay bashing and gay-baiting to drive a wedge in the 2012 election, http://www.thinkprogress.org, Sept. 21.