On Sunday, February 23rd, Jason Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets making him the first openly Gay player in the NBA. The 7', 255 lb center will be on the court Sunday evening when the Nets face the L.A. Lakers at the Staples Center.
"The decision to sign Jason was a basketball decision," Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. "We needed to increase our depth inside and with his experience and size, we felt he was the right choice for a 10-day contract..
For his team uniform, Collins has choosen the number "98" in honor of Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student who was murdered in an anti-Gay hate crime in 1998.
NFL Prospect Comes Out
With that statement made to ESPN during an interview on Sunday, February 9, Michael Sam, Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year for the University of Missouri, is poised to make history as the first openly gay NFL player.
FEATURE: "Good Morning America, I'm Gay."
As I imagine was the case for many Black lesbians who’ve watched the ascent of Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, I was not surprised to learn that she is gay. “At last,” I thought to myself.
Read the article by
Evelyn C. White.
Two Docs About Two Special Women
DISSING NELSON MANDELA
As flags all over San Francisco stood at half-mast to honor Nelson Mandela, per Mayoral decree, the Merchants of Upper Market & Castro (MUMC), a group of White Lesbians and Gay men, refused to lower "their" flag, standing on public property, at the corner of Market and Castro, arguably the very heart of Gay America.
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Pictured above: the Rainbow Flag flying not-so-proudly on Thursday, December 12, 2013.
1918 - 2013
DECEMBER 1st - World AIDS Day
Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-free Generation is the theme for the 2013 World AIDS Day observance.
On June 5, 1981 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) describing cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), in five young, previously healthy, gay men in Los Angeles. All the men have other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems are not working; two have already died by the time the report is published.
That edition of the MMWR marked the first official reporting of what would become known as the AIDS epidemic. Since then over 25 million have died of the disease and globally, there are 33 million living with HIV/AIDS.
WHEN A FRIEND DIES
Bobby, Bill and myself were a street-running trio. The Clubhouse in D.C. was our second home where we danced till sunrise. When Bill got a new lover my friendship with Bobby deepened. We had a touchstone relationship, confided in one another whole heartedly, or so I thought.
Read the article by Miles K. Bell
While African Americans and Hispanics combined comprise 30 percent of the U.S. population and can be found in every city in the country, there are large swaths of America that remain nearly absent of not only Blacks and Latinos, but other minorities as well: our national and state parks.
The issue of race and the National Park Service was the subject of a front page story in the the New York Times in September now that the National Park Service is making a new effort to appeal to minorities.
According to a 2011 report conducted by the University of Wyoming, and commissioned by the Park Service, about one in five visitors to a national park is nonwhite and only about 1 in 10 is Hispanic.
Those rates have remained largely the same in the thirteen years since the Park Service's "Comprehensive Survey of 2000".
The authors of the University Of Wyoming report write:
“Research comparing non-Hispanic whites with African Americans, Asian Americans, or Mexican Americans and other Hispanic groups has shown that racial and ethnic differences exist in outdoor recreation behavior.
"In particular, many people of color, especially African Americans, tend to participate less frequently than whites in visiting national parks and in a range of other outdoor recreational activities.”
The report named several reasons for this racial disparity including costs, outdoor gear can be expensive, and accessibility, the national parks are far from most urban areas.
However, researchers found that imagery may play a larger role: of being in an environment of nothing but White people. As it now stands, that is the case.
According to a recent report from the Outdoor Industry Association, the nation’s largest outdoor lobby, in 2012 over 70 percent of participants in outdoor recreation were Caucasian.
In addition the most visible National Park Service employees, the park rangers, are also almost exclusively Caucasian.
The Park Service reported in its survey some members of minority groups have said they fear they would feel “unwelcome” in such an environment.
National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis is well aware of the problem.
In its “Conservation Study Institute’s Guide to Designing Effective Programs to Engage Diverse Communities” he says,
“A large segment of the American public does not know who we are, what we do, or see themselves working in the National Park Service. We need to make the national parks and the work of the National Park Service relevant to all Americans.”
State parks, however, are often closer to urban areas making them suitable for a day trip that wouldn't involve camping out, or the purchase of any special gear.
Here's photos of a trip to the Redwood Forest located in Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz.
Harlem was the Black Metropolis and during the 1920's, the home of the "New Negro". The "new" Black man and woman exploded on the scene stressing the importance of ethnic identity, heralding a new day when Blacks would have and wield power.
Read the article by Garth Tate.
Miles K. Bell
Perhaps this subject is not readily discussed or
BABY, YOU'RE A S.T.A.R.
In the early 1970s a radical group of Drag Queens formed in the aftermath of Stonewall and called themselves STAR: Street Transvestite Action Revolutionary.
Their chant was: Go Left! Go Gay! Go Pick Up The Gun!
The photo by Ron Simmons shows STAR members at one of the first Gay conferences ever held: Gay Pride 1971 - in Albany, New York
STAR members (l-r) unidentified, Miss Pixie and the original Black diva: Marsha Johnson. Marsha was a founding member of STAR:
photo copyright Ron Simmons