Archive for June, 2013

SupremeCourt

I was in the second trimester inside my mother’s womb when the Stonewall riots erupted in 1969. I was born at the dawn of the modern fight for gay and lesbian rights in the United States.

I was three years old when the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder. I was growing up in a world where the medical establishment would not consider me sick.

As a teenager I was frozen by the horrors of AIDS and the clashes between regressive government policies and fearless gay-rights activism. I knew I was attracted to males but amidst this conflagration my future was uncertain.

In my twenties I marched in Pride parades, raised thousands of dollars and bicycled 500 miles to support AIDS-related charitable organizations, and worked at pioneering companies that offered benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Yet as an out gay person I was excluded from serving in the US military and witnessed the odious Defense of Marriage Act become law.

I was living with my partner of nearly eight years in 2003 when the Supreme Court struck down Lawrence v. Texas. It was no longer illegal for me to expressly love someone of the same sex.

During the past ten years, politicians and religious leaders shamelessly made gay people scapegoats in campaigns and pariahs on television and radio across America. They called me immoral. They blamed me for the decline of the country. They accused me of taking away rights of others, corrupting children and destroying marriages and schools and churches.

Continue reading ‘A Part of the Family’ »

Timing is everything and my arrival in Salvador da Bahia coincides with a growing Perfect Storm:

  • the lead-up to the São João festival that will spill into the cobblestone streets of the Pelourinho neighborhood with wild drumming, dance and drunkenness
  • the kickoff of the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil with matches watched on big screens and celebrated in crowds throughout the city
  • the headline-grabbing street protests clamoring against government corruption, poor services and the high cost of living here

These brewing forces will surge in coming days, auguring a street festa of Big Brazilian proportions. Here’s a snippet of the preparations for the São João festival I witnessed in the streets the day after my arrival. If this is just a warm up, the real deal this weekend promises to sizzle!