compiled by Howard Israel
“It was brutal. I was exhausted. I couldn’t regulate my body temperature. I’d just lie there shaking uncontrollably. My dogs would just snuggle up next to me, keep me warm, and keep me company. They really gave me the support I needed to get through those treatments. I couldn’t have done it without them. The most important thing I’ve learned from my dogs is to be quick to forgive, which is not always easy. And I’ve learned not to judge. Just think of how nonjudgmental your pets are: You can spill your guts to them, share your frustrations, share everything, and there’s no judgment at all, just love. We have so much we can learn from our animals.”
– Greg Louganis, in an article titled “Furry, Cuddly, Lifesaving,” recalling the grueling interleukin-2 treatments he was taking to boost his CD4-cell count, experiencing extreme fatigue and a battery of flu-like symptoms, http://www.HIVPlusMag.com, July/August 2009 issue.
“I pay my taxes, I want my RIGHTS!”
– The captions printed on two new political T-shirts by Marc Jacobs, fashion designer, http://www.nymag.com, July 27. One shirt depicts a chic lesbian couple, their arms draped around each other and a baby, and the other has a dollar sign and an American flag floating around the text. Both are $24.
“Once a year, spokespersons on behalf of the gay community are requested to explain why we insist on the pride parade; so here is the answer. There are those who fan the flames of hatred and homophobia, and the outcome may lead to gunfire. Here is your answer, this is the reason: Because they shoot at us. At times they use words, and other times they use bullets. Pride is not a grand street party for drag queens and guys wearing bathing suits; pride is a display of power by the community – it is a way to support teenagers and adults who feel the growing hatred on their flesh. The pride parade is a message to everyone who wishes to see us disappear that we are here and we are proud; we will support the victims of hatred, but we will not bow our heads. We will not hide. They are shooting at us. The loaded gun is aimed not only at gay and lesbian teenagers at a weekly meeting, and not only at the gay community, but rather, at all those who fear the next time, and it shall come. Make no mistake about it, this despicable act will grant many others the opportunity to swear and threaten and beat up and stab. And to shoot. They are shooting our natural right to live, to be.”
– Shlomi Laufer, in an opinion column, after a masked gunman opened fire at the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing two and wounding 13 others, http://www.ynetnews.com, August 2. The attack took place in the basement of the center where youth hold weekly support groups on Saturday evenings.
“I’m not in a position to say this was the will of God. I don’t have that information here. But I am prepared to say that it’s certain no good will come out of defying God’s law. That is what a civil partnership does. What happened on Monday was in defiance of God. We have also seen a clear breach of the Fourth Commandment, which regards keeping the Sabbath holy. Sunday sailings were also against the law of God.”
– The Reverend James Tallach, of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in an interview about a tornado which struck the island and was blamed on the island’s first gay civil partnership ceremony and the running ferry services on Sundays, http://www.DailyRecord.co.uk, July 30.
“Hopefully, today marks the beginning of the end of such honors being regarded as unprecedented. In the coming years when openly LGBT individuals are honored with the Medal of Freedom, we hope the announcement is unremarkable – except, of course, for the remarkable nature of the honor itself. And in that hope lies the real ‘Gay Agenda.’ It is my great wish that the place of LGBT folks in the civil and cultural life of this nation will become routine and commonplace. While an honor like the Medal of Freedom will be worth celebration and reflection, it will not be historic or rare. We are everywhere, but our presence has been too often stifled, ignored, or shamed into silence.”
– Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, commenting on the 16 exemplary recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, which includes Harvey Milk, awarded the medal posthumously, and tennis legend and gender equity champion Billie Jean King. This marks the first time the Medal of Freedom has been awarded to openly LGBT individuals.
“The vote by the Quakers to open up marriage to same-sex couples on exactly the same basis as heterosexual couples is an honorable, courageous, trail-blazing decision. It exposes the homophobia of other faiths that refuse to recognize love and commitment between couples of the same sex, and it specifically exposes their denial of religious marriage to same-sex couples. This commitment to equal marriage rights gives new expression to the Quakers long-standing commitment to equality for lesbian and gay people.”
– Peter Tatchell, British human rights activist, commenting on the British Quakers’ ground-breaking decision in favor of marriage equality, at their annual meeting in York, England, http://www.PeterTatchell.net, July 31.