Showing posts with label Gay Human Stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Human Stories. Show all posts

October 25, 2018

Apple's Tim Cook on CNN: "Being Gay is God's Greatest Gift To Me"

 Amanpour's interview with Tim Cook will air Thursday on CNN International at 8pm CET, and on PBS at 11pm ET.
New York (CNN Business)Four years ago, Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major company to come out as gay. He says he's happy about that distinction — and his decision.
"I'm very proud of it," the Apple (AAPL) CEO told Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday in an exclusive interview for her program on CNN International and PBS. Being gay is "God's greatest gift to me," he said.
Cook came out on October 30, 2014. His sexual orientation had been widely rumored beforehand though he had not confirmed it publicly. 
"I was public because I started to receive stories from kids who read online that I was gay," he told Amanpour.
    He said the emails and letters came from children who said they had been ostracized, bullied or abused because of their sexual orientation.
    Cook said he is a private person but ultimately decided that he was being "selfish" by keeping quiet about his identity when he could help people by coming out.
    "I needed to do something for them," Cook said. He wanted to demonstrate to gay children that they "can be gay and still go on and do some big jobs in life."
    Cook said he was shocked that he was the first out CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He said he is glad other CEOs have come out since, although that wasn't his goal.
    Coming out has also helped Cook as a leader, he said.
    "I learned what it was like to be a minority," Cook told CNN. "The feeling of being in a minority gives you a level of empathy for other people who are not in the majority."
      Prejudicial comments have also given him a thick skin, Cook said.
      "That turns out to be pretty beneficial from this role as well."

      October 1, 2017

      AIDS Health Florida Sends Plane-Full Of Generators to Puerto Rico

      Photos courtesy AHF.

      A plane carrying resources to Puerto Rico took off Friday morning from a Miami airfield. Loaded with generators, the cargo plane was chartered by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
      AHF, the world’s largest organization serving people living with HIV/AIDS, owns a clinic in San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital city.
      “Having been in constant, but challenging communication with our staff in Puerto Rico, as well as continually monitoring the situation since Hurricane Irma initially hit the island, I was very aware of how frustratingly slow the response by relief organizations has been, while the needs of the people continue to rise,” said Michael Kahane, AHF Southern Bureau Chief in a news release.
      On Friday morning, U.S. President Donald Trump called the aftermath on the island a “catastrophic crisis.”
      *“We’ve never seen anything like this,” Trump said in a speech in Washington, adding we are literally “starting from scratch.” Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday. After blaming Puerto Ricans for the Island not doing better in the recovery is up to anyone guess what welcome mat he'll get. Still PR has plenty of Republicans and trump supporters who believe the man can do no wrong.
      Meanwhile, AHF launched its relief efforts at dawn from Op-Locka Airport. The organization chartered a cargo plane and loaded 50 generators intended to power health care facilities in Puerto Rico. AHF, Kahane said, is collaborating with the San Juan Mayor’s office to assist health departments and hospitals on the island.
      Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico in early September followed by Hurricane Maria last week.
      SFGN AHF2
      “It’s disheartening to know that weeks have passed since these hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico and basic resources have still not been provided to a community that is in such dire need,” Kahane said.
      Brock Long, spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), called the situation in Puerto Rico a “complex event.”
      “We’re not satisfied until its stable,” Long told MSNBC in a Friday morning interview with the cable television network.
      Long said port capacity is increasing and dismissed what he called “misinformation” circulated by some journalists.
      “FEMA does not charge for ice, food and commodities,” Long said.
      Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine said the aid is not getting to Puerto Rico fast enough.
      “The speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack,” Levine told MSNBC.
      Health statistics for Puerto Rico are hard to find. The Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook has no available data on HIV/AIDS cases in Puerto Rico. In 2010, Puerto Rico was in the top 10 of U.S. states and territories in number of HIV/AIDS cases, reports AIDS United.
      Clinic Address:
      AIDS Healthcare Foundation-Puerto Rico HCC
      Carr. 848 Km. 0.7 Bo. Saint Just
      Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico 00978

      South Florida Gay News


      April 26, 2014

      Neal Gottlieb (US) Places Rainbow ohm Uganda’s Highest Peak

      American Neal Gottlieb climbed Uganda’s highest peak and placed a rainbow flag at the summit to protest the enactment of an anti-gay law that further criminalizes homosexuality in the country.
      In a Facebook post about his action, Gottlieb says he wrote to Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, telling him, “Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope on behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.”
      He continues, “As the president of a nation you have the opportunity to be a great man and lead your country forward. Instead, you choose to hold your people back like the imperialists, the dictators and the warlords that have held Africa back generation after generation. The people that you wish to imprison are the same people who can help Uganda grow into a great nation.
      “If you don’t like said flag on your highest peak,” he adds, “I urge you to climb up and take it down.”
      Gottlieb’s protest has attracted both positive and negative responses. He told BuzzFeed that some people have said his action “echoes of imperialism” and could be harmful to LGBT Ugandans. Others, including Frank Mugisha, of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), called Gottlieb’s move a “good thing” and a show of “support and solidarity.”

      March 19, 2014

      Ugandan’s President Willing to Meet USA on Gay Human Rights and Treatment

      ‘Maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration’: John Kerry
      US Secretary of State John Kerry says Uganda’s president is willing to meet with American “experts” to talk about the African country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act and the flawed reasoning used to justify its enactment.
      According to BuzzFeed, which moderated a March 18 forum at the State Department, Kerry revealed that Yoweri Museveni, who signed off on the measure in February after saying he was convinced people are not born gay, “committed” to the prospective talks.
      “Maybe we can reach a point of reconsideration,” Kerry suggests in reference to the Ugandan law.
      But in January, before Musveni assented to the measure, he had also given a delegation from the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights the assurance that he would reject it, calling the measure “fascist.” But he went ahead and signed off on it the following month.
      Kerry notes that the approach to Museveni is part of the strategy the Obama administration is adopting in response to legislation that discriminates against LGBT people in several countries, BuzzFeed says.
      Prior to his statement, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) submitted a letter to the administration, calling for a rethink of how assistance is disbursed to countries that criminalize homosexuality.
      The letter states, in part, “We are especially concerned about the enactment of draconian laws in Uganda and Nigeria in recent weeks and the effect that may have in other countries, namely Kenya [and] Malawi, where legislatures are reportedly beginning to consider similar draft laws.
      “Such laws not only violate human rights, they endanger lives and undermine public health efforts, most notably programs to address HIV/AIDS, which must be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner in order to be effective.”
      Among its recommendations, the caucus called for assistance to be redirected from governments that sanction discriminatory laws, toward civil society organizations; a review of organizations that have supported such laws; and for American embassies to provide protection to people threatened by anti-gay laws.
      The caucus also called for the US to work jointly with the United Nations, the African Union and other relevant regional organizations to press for the repeal of anti-gay legislation and to use their influence to discourage the implementation of such measures.

      February 2, 2014

      Two Men Sentenced to 6 Months for Having Gay Sex

      "Imagine, getting six months for having sex! I’ve known some people that in month would accumulate  alive sentence.   How we, but specially closeted gays take the liberties for which we still fight here for granted.”

      Two gay men in Senegal are feeling the effects of harsh anti-gay laws in the country. According to the Associated Press on Feb. 1, a judge have sentenced the two men to six months in jail for committing "an improper or unnatural act with a person of the same sex."
      It was a rare conviction but evidence that the country is serious about a penal code that calls for possible imprisonment for up to five years and fines of up to $3,000 for committing the act that has been deemed "unnatural".
      The two men who were arrested after neighbors alerted police to their home, confessed to their sexual relationship in court on Friday (Jan. 31). They were then sentenced under the penal code and will be serving jail time. Although the sentencing was an example of discrimination against gays in the country, Senegalese President Macky Sall insists that gays are only prosecuted for breaking the law.
      In this case, they did break the law, but the law itself has been disputed as discriminatory. Currently more than two-thirds of African countries outlaw consensual same-sex partnerships.
      Back in November, five women were arrested for suspicion of violating the country's anti-gay law. Arrests have been on the rise in the Muslim-majority country since 2008

      July 20, 2013

      Gay Marriage a Life and Death Issue


      I was reading a post of a fellow blogger because he had been elected by people that like to tittle and label people. He was elected as The “Face” of the gay male or something to that. I was surprised that he accepted being that he had a bad case of the 'writers blockage syndrome' and now he had to pen a piece and he said he could not come up with anything. This is where the rubber meets the ass-and-fork (my words) and the blockage was as acute as a bad case of hiccups. It happens to all of us particularly when we are on a deadline to write something.

      The second reason I was surprised he accepted the honor is because he said he was not ‘that’ face and gave samples of what that face is. He gave the stereotypes. He is not that type because he wont be seen at pride or at a political meeting or a bar. I was surprised he didn’t mentioned high heels. He said he was none of that. He was also against  hunger, starvation, war and I guess if he had enough room he would have taken the page saying all the things he is against. He concluded the paragraph or sentence saying because he is also against gay marriage. I figure the poor man believes if you want gay marriage for your fellow gays you are pro decease, war and all the things he mentioned.  I guess the pro marriage bunch are horrible people.  Had he been in front of me ( I know what you are thinking, not true:) I would have asked in which order he is against those maladies and if ever he would be for gay marriage? He did not elaborate which left me with a sour feeling because I just spent my time reading his stuff and he leaves out the most important point of the point he was trying to make. Yes, I know "against gay marriage.” But there two types of believers or I should say non believers. The ones that don’t believe in the institution of marriage and those who believe but say that we should have gone for something more important and then come back to gay marriage when the rest of the world was ok I guess.

      That is the question I have, when? So You don’t get the wrong idea of me I have never been married, currently single and come from a marriage in which I don’t understand how my mom and my father stayed together for so many years. They fought every day.  May be if I would have asked more daring questions of mom I would find out and I only asked in front of my fathers dead body once(no she did not killed him). The response was "because I loved him” but that did not answer my question. That’s for another day because I want to stay on this thought which very important. So Im not pro marriage because I think I will get married. That’s settled.

      I believe that marriage is of life and death because it is here now to do it or it wont get done in this generation. Marriage is an institution supported by all governments on this earth. It makes sense that for two people that want to commit to each other would get married to open the doors to all the other rights which by the way are intertwined around marriage. Nothing like marriage to get us so many other things we want. It is the perfect conduit to get us closer. If you have a better approach to human rights I’ll listen but everything I hear is pure pie in the sky and it’s either usually said by people that are not even fighting in the trenches or people with other motives than the one their mouth are articulating wether their brains are aware of it or not.

      The acceptance of us getting married and we are already seeing dividend on the people that through marriage see how we have been discriminated and abused. Marriage is like a movie in color of the past that remind people we have not been treated the same. What does the institution of driving has to do with getting a driver’s license? Nothing and everything. The car doesn’t  know it yet  you don’t have a license but it will take you there if you know how to drive. However you will end up paying a lot of money and possibly jail if you don’t get the piece of paper. I understand why you would be against the institution. I know how it started and I agree to a certain point with you. But to be treated equally isn’t it worth for you to hold your nose if you have the right partner to do this. Don’t talk to me if nobody will marry you and that’s the reason you are oppose.

      For those who want other things settled before, well this is what’s on the table! This is what we cooked and we don’t know it all.  I hope you are giving away a chunk of your salary to those that don’t have it in your neighborhood or mine. I hope you don't vote for politicians that will impede embryo cell research.  I hope you get wet in politics a bit because without it, there is no health and no food.

      Health problems will never be settled in our generation. As we cure one cancer we develop another by-product of some cure or the damage of our water systems with lead and thousand other carcinogens giving people brain, colon and stomach cancer to people in scary proportions . So When would it be good for you? By you lending support you help so many people that love each other and want this. If you have nothing against these gays….Can't you hold your nose? Because the human problems will always be there. We can’t stop being human just because we are going to die one day. Because it will happen and we can’t wait.

      Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

      March 18, 2013

      Bullied to Death 14 yrs Old Ayden Olson Kills Himself

      Tragic: Ayden Olson, 14, was found dead at his home yesterday Campaigner Shy Keenan's teenage son Ayden Olson was found dead at his family home in Colchester in an apparent suicide                                Eastnews
      Tragic: Ayden Olson, 14, was found dead at his home Friday
      The teenage son of a leading child abuse campaigner found dead at his home yesterday was “bullied to death”, his mother has claimed.
      Schoolboy Ayden Olson, 14, was found dead at his family home in Colchester in an apparent suicide.
      His mother, author and prominent child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan, shared the tragic news on her Twitter page and claimed her son had been tormented.
      She updated her profile page with a picture of Ayden with his name, date of birth and death along with the words “Bullied to death”.
      The account was updated late last night, along with a post which read: “Shy and Tim's beloved son Ayden died today age 14 - no further update at this time...”
      Shy Keenan
      Devastated pupils at the Philip Morant School, Colchester, were told of Ayden’s death yesterday afternoon and have been offered counselling.
      Loss: Child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says her son was "bullied to death"
      Hundreds of well-wishers have flooded 49-year-old Ms Keenan’s Twitter page with tributes and messages of support.
      Sara Payne, mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah and fellow child abuse campaigner, told Ms Keenan: “my darling our hearts break with yours”.
      Dr Payne added: “beautiful kind hearted boy with a wonderful soul”.
      Actress Brooke Kinsella, who has campaigned for a clampdown on knife crime after the murder of her brother Ben, tweeted: “I am so so sorry Shy.
      “I don’t know what to say apart from I am thinking of you and my heart breaks for you xxxx”.
      School friend Megan Grinham posted: "RIP to the most wonderful boy Ayden. At dancing, he always made us laugh. Praying for his family."
      A spokesman for the Philip Morant School said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
      "Ayden was a much-loved pupil who brought joy to the school.
      "The school community is incredibly saddened by his loss and we ask that people respect the privacy of his family and friends during these devastating circumstances.
      "We would urge any student who feels overwhelms or upset to talk to someone about their feelings and seek support."
      An Essex Police spokesman confirmed the teenager's death was not being treated as suspicious.
      She said: "The coroner has been informed of the death and police will be conducting further routine enquiries."
      Ms Keenan exposed her own stepfather as an abuser after she made an undercover film of him confessing to the catalogue of abuse.
      She wrote a book about her harrowing upbringing called 'Broken' and has continued her campaigning in recent weeks.

      February 18, 2013

      Soros Sues Anti-Gay Pastor for "Crime Against Humanity"

       By Todd Starnes

      Pastor Scott LivelyAn American pastor is facing a federal lawsuit filed by a George Soros-funded organization alleging that the pastor’s messages on homosexuality are a “crime against humanity” – a lawsuit that some Christians fear might have far-reaching consequences for church mission groups.
      Scott Lively, a Massachusetts pastor known for his opposition to homosexuality, was sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). They claim that he incited the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda.
      Lively traveled to Uganda in 2009 where he delivered messages that shared his Biblical views on homosexuality.
      The visit coincided with that nation’s legislature considered a bill that would have imposed the death penalty for the “offense of homosexuality.”
      “This is absolutely outrageous, “ Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver told Fox News. “If this case is not dismissed, we will be having an American pastor that lives in the United States on trial for alleged crimes against humanity. And what are those crimes? He spoke out on homosexuality.
      Staver is asking the federal district court to toss out the lawsuit as a “gross attempt to use a vague international law to silence, and eventually criminalize, speech by U.S. citizens on homosexuality and moral issues.”
      Free Republic Reported:
      An American pastor is facing a federal lawsuit filed by a George Soros-funded organization alleging that the pastor’s messages on homosexuality are a “crime against humanity” – a lawsuit that some Christians fear might have far-reaching consequences for church mission groups.
      Scott Lively, a Massachusetts pastor known for his opposition to homosexuality, was sued by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). They claim that he incited the persecution of homosexuals in Uganda.
      Lively traveled to Uganda in 2009 where he delivered messages that shared his Biblical

      July 22, 2012

      HBO Documentary “Vito” Honors a Gay Civil rights Fighter

       Filmmaker Jeffrey Schwarz got some especially gratifying feedback at a recent San Francisco screening of "Vito," his documentary about late gay-rights activist and onetime Lodi resident Vito Russo.
      Vito Russo became a noted gay-rights activist and writer; his book 'The Celluloid Closet,' a history of gays in film, was made into a documentary.
      Vito Russo became a noted gay-rights activist and writer; his book 'The Celluloid Closet,' a history of gays in film, was made into a documentary.
      Russo with his late father, center, and brother Charlie, right, of Glen Rock.
      Russo with his late father, center, and brother Charlie, right, of Glen Rock. 
      At the time of Russo's death from AIDS in November 1990, he was a legendary figure in the gay community, known not only for his activism but for his groundbreaking 1981 book "The Celluloid Closet," which chronicled how motion pictures had portrayed homosexual characters from the 20th century on. Over time, Schwarz realized, "fewer and fewer people were aware" of who Russo was and what he'd accomplished.
      "He was seminal because he was one of the first advocates for gay rights, and also, he was the first person to ever codify the depiction of gay people in movies, which put that on the map as a cultural reference point," says actor and comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, a Paterson native, who knew Russo well and is in the film.
      "Vito," which has been on the festival circuit for the last nine months, features many clips from interviews with the charismatic Russo.
      "I'm glad that it's gonna hit the mainstream, so that the next generation can see," says Charlie Russo, Vito's brother, a retired Lodi Middle School guidance counselor and longtime high-school athletics coach who lives with his wife, Linda, in Glen Rock. "They need to know who the trailblazers were, who fought through very difficult times to give us the rights we have today, because sometimes we take them for granted."
      Russo also hopes viewers will take away from the film "that a loving and nurturing and supportive family is so important."
      That Vito Russo's traditional Italian-American family was all of those things is one of the film's most poignant aspects.
      "I don't want to make it sound like right from the start everybody was good with this. … But I'm glad we came to it quickly, at a time when other families were not coming to it," Russo says. "My dad was a construction worker, so there was a homophobic environment that he worked in, and he was also a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus [a Catholic organization]. … He had all these pressures of everybody telling him to reject his son, and yet, the love of his son trumped all of them. And it really empowered Vito, because he knew that whatever he did out there, he could always come home and have unconditional love."
      The Russo brothers were polar opposites – Charlie, younger by three years, was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams in high school, while Vito couldn't get enough of the movies – but they had a great relationship.
      "There's an old saying, 'To know him is to love him,' " Russo says. "If you met him, you fell in love with him."
      The family moved from East Harlem to Lodi in 1961. And, according to the film, Vito Russo did not exactly love living in New Jersey. As soon as he turned 18, the Lodi High School graduate (class of '63) moved back to New York City. "It's very simple. He wanted to be where the action was, and he wanted to be part of theater and around performers," his brother says. "It wasn't so much that he didn't like Jersey."
      In the late 1960s and early 1970s, even in Manhattan, Schwarz says, "it was very unusual and avant-garde for people to be out of the closet, and Vito was out, fully, completely out – to his family, to his friends, in his workplace. He wanted to show to the world that you could be out, and the sky wasn't gonna fall on you."
      He became involved with the gay-rights movement shortly after the Stonewall riots of June 28, 1969, and became a member of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), and later, a founding member of ACT UP and GLAAD, which gives annual media awards.
      "He was very concerned about how we were being portrayed in the culture, because movies shape the way we feel about pretty much everything," says Schwarz, who never met Russo but read "The Celluloid Closet" in the early 1990s, when he was in film school and "just coming out." His first movie job was as an apprentice on the award-winning 1995 documentary based on Russo's book.
      "In that period of time [that Russo studied in the book], we were depicted as psychopathic villains or comic relief – the quote unquote 'sissy' characters. And gay or lesbian characters usually killed themselves at the end of the film."
      Says Vilanch, "He was fascinated by this idea that the movies depicted gay people as tragic characters and that that was part of the reason that gay people saw themselves as tragic characters."
      "Vito" also shows how in the early 1980s the virus that would soon be labeled AIDS quickly spread through the gay community, as the Reagan administration dragged its heels in addressing, or even acknowledging, the epidemic. After Russo's diagnosis in 1985, Schwarz says, "he put himself out there as almost a poster child for a person living with AIDS." As his mother, Anne Russo, wrote in a letter to the editor published in The Record a week after her 44-year-old "adored son" died, he "fought to the very end for the quicker release of any medicine that would help save lives."
      "Vito" will make its HBO debut on the sixth anniversary of Anne Russo's death. Russo's father, Charlie, died the previous year.
      Brother Charlie Russo, who has seen "Vito" seven or eight times, says watching it is an emotional rollercoaster ride that takes him from sadness to anger to pride about his brother's accomplishments and impact.
      "Some of the issues that he was talking about and fighting 40 years ago are front-page stories today. He fought bullying, he fought for same-sex marriages, he fought for health care," Russo says. "He was such a visionary. … There's a great line in the movie where he says, 'What I'm doing now, I'm doing for future generations so that the kids of the next generation don't have to go through what we went through.' That's such a key line."

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      June 15, 2012

      Cameron in 5th } A Fighter of Censorship } A Fighter For Equality

      Kameron Slade, giving his speech for the cameras (NY1).
      Another day, another story of censorship by a New York City public school principal—and this one is about a hot button issue, not a pop song. According to Queens fifth-grader Kameron Slade, a speech he wrote about same-sex marriage was deemed inappropriate by the principal of his school, PS 195.
      "I was really looking forward to it," Kameron told NY1 of the chance to read his speech to his whole school. "I thought that this was a real good winning speech for tomorrow." And it y'know what? It is a winning speech. Though it may have been deemed too risque for kids—despite discussing that very idea—you can watch the whole adorable thing right here. It's good!
      Slade wrote the speech with his mom after he won a class competition and was supposed to read it to his school this week. But on Wednesday his principal reportedly said "he should write another speech or be removed from the contest." Apparently the topic of gay marriage, which is hard to avoid in the real world these days, was too much for the innocent children of Queens. And some parents at the school seem to agree: "I think they are a little too young to hear about this," one told the news channel.
      Apparently the Department of Education is rethinking the decision, though. A rep "told NY1 Thursday night that Kameron will be permitted to give the speech Monday in some sort of a different assembly." We've reached out to PS 195 for comment on the disturbing decision but have yet to hear back. Meanwhile, on the bright side, Slade's speech now has a chance to reach a far-wider audience. Did we mention the whole speech is available for you to watch here?

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