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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Proud Authors Read

Thank you to my friends and supporters who came to hear Rachel Spangler and me read at the Church of the Holy Trinity. This was a special Pride Sunday, because it was exactly 40 years ago, in the early hours of June 28, 1969, that the modern gay rights movement began at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Police, enforcing the discriminatory laws of that time, raided the Stonewall, and gay men, lesbians, and people who would be described today as bisexual and transgendered fought back. For three days. Those were some angry queers!

One measure of the progress we have made, at least in some countries like Canada, is the massive number of police officers who marched today in the Pride Parade, along with proud members of the armed forces. None of this don't ask, don't tell %$#! The Pride theme was reflected in our audience, a wonderfully diverse group in terms of age, ethnicity, ability, orientation and gender. The more readers, the better is what I say!

Now, unbeknownst to me when I planned this event was that the service would be joined on Sunday by our Spanish-speaking congregation. Which meant that our reading had to follow a sacred salsa dance. Rachel bravely plugged away through the bilingual chaos, and all was well. I especially appreciate the support of my fellow writers: Carol Lawlor, an original member of my writing group who helped me with Arusha for years; and Jeffrey Round, author of The P-town Murders and Death in Key West, whom I met just a couple of months ago at another reading. Toronto writers are the best!

Thanks to the people of the church for hosting this event. They have welcomed me from the first days I ever spent in Toronto. As our new Pride banner says, "Every day is Pride Day at Holy Trinity."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Uniting American Families

UPDATE: This morning a Senate committee is actually hearing couples speak on this issue. Which has never been addressed in Congress before.

Meanwhile, President Obama has proclaimed June Pride Month.

The Uniting American Families Act, which would enable gay and lesbian Americans to sponsor their partners for immigration (as married people can), has just been endorsed by the Washington Post.

There are an estimated thirty-five thousand same-sex couples in the United States who are of different nationalities. Who knows the number of us who had to leave the country because we fell in love with a foreigner?

The American Bar Association has also endorsed the UAFA.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"I shall hear in heaven!"

These are reputedly the last words of Ludwig von Beethoven, who composed some of the greatest works in music while completely deaf. Fifth Symphony, anyone?