LGBT History – Telling All Our Stories before they disappear!

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Heritage Initiative – US national park service

LGBT History is Important

40s-friends-Boys-History-213x300-1For a number of years it has become clear that LGBT history is disappearing as our societies members have aged and their stories (which our our stories) disappear with their deaths or the onset of illnesses.

Our History is Disappearing

For Ireland this is compounded by the fact that so many of the LGBT community have had to leave the island to find work, relationships and just to be safe.  Today these things have been reduced, but the economic crisis of the last few years, and the impending impact of Brexit may well see further departures.

The LGBT society in both parts of the island of Ireland need to start thinkingNIGRA History - Pa and Mary Robinson urgently on how we should capture and then make available our history.  This will ensure our past, and also help our future, and will provide a wonderful resource for teachers and other groups/individuals.

A mechanism that might be considered is working with the museums in Ireland who have depositories to see if we can get access combined into a timeline – obviously this will take time and resources, but I believe that a small group could achieve a lot in this regard.

If you feel that you are interested then please get in contact and we can see if we can form that working group.

 

The American National Park Service has produced a wonderful book in two parts about LGBT History in the USA – the publication LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History  is available for download in PDF format – this is just another example of what can be done with the right active group and money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Telling All Americans’ Stories (U.S. National Park Service)

Roger Casement: Butterflies and Bones review: blood and thunder

Secrets Of The Black Diaries...Picture Shows: Image order No HK6737 Irish Patriot and British Consular Official Sir Roger Casement (1864 - 1916) is escorted to the gallows of Pentonville Prison, London. TX: BBC FOUR Friday, March 15 2002 Getty Images/Hulton Archives Roger Casement, former British Consul to the Congo, was hanged for treason for his role in Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising. His conviction rested on a set of diaries that suggested he had pursued a highly promiscuous homosexual life. Under the social mores of the day, such a revelation deprived him of all hope of clemency. But were the diaries faked? BBC Four investigates the 85-year-old mystery. WARNING: This Getty Image copyright image may be used only to publicise 'Secrets Of The Black Diaries'. Any other use whatsoever without specific prior approval from 'Getty Images' may result in legal action.

Secrets Of The Black Diaries…Picture Shows: Image order No HK6737 Irish Patriot and British Consular Official Sir Roger Casement (1864 – 1916) is escorted to the gallows of Pentonville Prison, London.
TX: BBC FOUR Friday, March 15 2002
Getty Images/Hulton Archives
Roger Casement, former British Consul to the Congo, was hanged for treason for his role in Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. His conviction rested on a set of diaries that suggested he had pursued a highly promiscuous homosexual life. Under the social mores of the day, such a revelation deprived him of all hope of clemency. But were the diaries faked? BBC Four investigates the 85-year-old mystery.
WARNING: This Getty Image copyright image may be used only to publicise ‘Secrets Of The Black Diaries’. Any other use whatsoever without specific prior approval from ‘Getty Images’ may result in legal action.

If you’ve never heard of Roger Casement, who was executed by the British for treason 100 years ago today, the reason is as simple as it is sad, he was homosexual. For that reason he was ignored when he was not being written out of our revolutionary history.

Jeffrey Dudgeon, MBE has written two wonderful insightful books into Casement,

and

Aidan Lonergan has written that there are ten things we don’t know about Casement:

  1. His Antrim father fought in Afghanistan
  2. His Anglican mother secretly baptised him as a Catholic
  3. He was looked after by the people of Antrim after his parents died
  4. He exposed one of the bloodiest colonial regimes ever
  5. What he saw changed him
  6. He sought German backing for an Irish rebellion during WWI
  7. Some see him as a gay icon
  8. Arthur Conan Doyle campaigned against his sentence
  9. He converted to Catholicism on the day of his execution
  10. A hundred years on from the Easter Rising, it’s important to remember Casement

However, as with all history, it is open to interpretation, and I know that different camps will have different feelings towards Casement, his impact on Irish history, and on Gay History.

The musical about him was one such attempt, and I hope that if it comes to a theatre near you, you will make an effort to see it and view it through the eyes of someone who is probably far older than he was, and also who has the benefit of a society that is beginning to be accepting of LGBT people.

 

Roger Casement is (again) centre stage, but this time it’s the dance world that’s exploring the many facets of his life

Source: Butterflies and Bones review: blood and thunder

Park service releases LGBT history study

LGBT History

History to everyone is important, but for those who have not been able to have their full identity because of family or societal pressures, or laws which punished their very existence, history can become a poison chalice.  It is extremely comforting to know, that one country, which even though it still has its share of bigots and organisations which seek to continue this persecution, is moving forward and recognising the LGBT community and taking note of its history –  in this case it is the National Park Service of America.LGBT History

Positively, I have just heard that the Scottish Government is seeking to pardon all those LGBT people who have a criminal record due to draconian laws which punished you for being gay!

Unfortunately, due to government filibustering, England and Wales will have to wait for some time for Westminster to bring forward a possible legal instrument for doing the same job.

And for Northern Ireland, the political posturing of both the main parties, means that it is highly unlikely that any law will see the statue books within the next 5 years.

The laws were unjust within the UK, and because of them so much of our history has been lost, as people rightly seeked to protect themselves and their families; I hope that sometime soon we can stat to put together our own history and to have it incorporated into the mainstream history – it is jsut as valid, and when you consider people like Alan Turing and how he and others in other professions helped to win our freedoms, then we must strive to get equal.

 

Breaking news & opinion from the B.A.R.

Source: The Bay Area Reporter Online | Park service releases LGBT history study

Russian Embassy mocks Europeans as ‘gay pigs’ as warships taunts Bris | Daily Star

RussiaRussian Humour.

As with all reporting, you need to take a step back and try to see if it is balanced.  Lovely headlines do not make for in depth reporting.  Yes, the Russian fleet (or part of it) did sale up the North Sea; however we did know about it, it was a planned sailing, so why the big headlines from the papers.  Secondly, Russia is doing no more today than it has been doing for the last 10 plus years, and whilst the West is in disarray it will continue to do so!

If the UK, which is now going to disconnect from Europe, is worried then it needs a cohesive defence plan, not the piece meal one which it now seems to offer to its voting population.  If we have restrictions due to our balance sheet, then we must be realistic about what we can and can’t do.

For me the worrying thing in Russia, is its backward stepping in terms of LGBT rights, the rights of woman and in particular their right to a free, safe abortion when necessary.  For a country which has as its political background and current leanings Communism, it is very funny (and not funny amusing) on how much the church and indeed now outside American groups seem to be influencing Russian policy!

 

Russian humourSource: Russian Embassy mocks Europeans as ‘gay pigs’ as warships taunts Bris | Daily Star

IBM VP Claudia Brind-Woody

Diversity Policies

Claudia Brind-Woody, vice president and managing director IBM

Diversity Policies: A policy on workplace diversity: Makes a commitment to anti-discriminatory practices and fosters equal opportunity through the removal of systemic barriers. Can reinforce compliance with human rights legislation. Is a statement of an organization’s values

LGBT diversity policies, procedures, advocacy and impact – Business Insider

Claudia Brind-Woody, vice president and managing director, speaks to BI about LGBT and  diversity and how it is shaping the wider tech and business community.

Source: IBM VP Claudia Brind-Woody: LGBT diversity policies, procedures, advocacy and impact – Business Insider

‘Gay cake’ row: born-again Christian bakers lose court appeal | UK news | The Guardian

The Cake and Ashers'Court Case Settled. A lot has been written over the months regarding this court case, and indeed some of it was factually wrong.  The facts were that an order was placed with no intention of setting up any individual, business or organisation up for in-adverse publicity.  A contract was entered into, and money was exchange – a normal business transaction.  Therefore the contract should have been honoured, possibly with a note to the person who placed the order that the business would not be able to fulfil any future orders of this nature.

A judgement from the court has now been made, the decision reach, and it is now time to step back and try to move on amicably.

Judges uphold ruling that Ashers Bakery discriminated against gay man by refusing to make cake with pro-gay marriage slogan

Source: ‘Gay cake’ row: born-again Christian bakers lose court appeal | UK news | The Guardian

Human Rights – The Legal Act in the UK

Human Rights ActI asked a friend who is retired with a wide set of experiences in dealing with Human Rights, to give me his impression on the removal of the Human Rights Act from the UK, and what impact it would have.

He believes that repealing this Act which brings into domestic law the European Convention on Human Rights, will be a difficult job for the UK Government. Attempts here (N Ireland) to have a Bill of Rights expanding on those rights conferred by HRA are doomed in the short to medium term, despite the Good Friday obligations. He is part of the Human Rights Consortium and during the past 10 years or more since he started to attend, virtually no progress has been made.

He believes that Brexit will further complicate matters as various parts of these islands work out relationships between each other and the EU.

On the Consortium, they have encountered a lack of interest in the Bill of Rights, with the UK Government, the Irish Government and the NI Executive playing each other off. The DUP, mean as usual, don’t really have much of an idea about the value of rights, unless they are to their narrow benefit. It’s rather depressing!

He feels that one possibility is that Scotland, opposed to repeal or amendment of the HRA, might have its own Bill of Rights. It has vehemently opposed the “regressive” proposals for a British Bill of Rights.

On a case by case basis, any repeal of the HRA will be aired by the UK courts, ending up in the Supreme Court. The courts will not want to have to do what is essentially the work of Parliament. That relationship between Parliament, Government and Judiciary can be fractious at times, particularly here (N Ireland) where issues such as sexual orientation and abortion grab the attention of a very religious and conservative Attorney General.

hr-actN Ireland is still awaiting the reserved judgements in the two marriage cases and the Ashers appeal. And it looks like the current Attorney General in N Ireland is being very wide in his interpretation of his role, and there have been requests that he stand down or stop pursuing his own agenda which seems to definitely have a very select bias from my own and others  observations.

As with all these things we will have to wait and see how things develop, but of one thing I am certain the removal of the current Human Rights Act will not be to our benefit, and I honestly believe that LGBT rights and other diversity groups will suffer if it is taken away.

Links to further reading

Recruitment Drive

NIGRA is on a recruitment drive for you!

The law in Northern Ireland on gay relationships was changed through the actions of NIGRA and Jeff Dudgeon’s legal case which went through the legal system in the United Kingdom and then to the Europen Courts of Human Rights. NIGRA and Jeff did not do this on their own, it was through the efforts of many fundraiser throughout the UK and Ireland that this was managed. The case was won, but the fight still needs to go on to achieve full equality. If you have time and want to help then contact us through our website (https://nigra.org.uk/) – we have room for everyone!

So this is a recruitment plea asking you to give  us some time and help us develop the various projects which we have in mind:

  • An ‘Online’ LGBT Archive so that we can record our history, both the past and the current as it unfolds.  Recruitment - LGBT ArchiveWe need to interview the players in out history before they leave us, we also need to develop photographic evidence of artifacts before we arrange for them to be deposited in the Ulster Museum with whom we have now agreed a facility for depositing items like placards, photographs, home videos of historical moments, paintings etc.  Documentation can be deposited with the PRONI (Public Records Office Northern Ireland), and we have already done this for items from Jeff’s case and also from PA’s archives
  • Monitoring of Stormont and Westminster, particularly now we are through the Brexit vote.  We need to ensure that we know what is said and what is planned, and where necessary activate the community as required when we need to pressure our politicians.

These are only two of our projects, there are others, and off course we would welcome suggestions from you.

Please contact us and volunteer.

 

 

Texas Twins: The Story of Morgan and Nash

EVERYTHING BETTER (if not, necessarily BIGGER) IN TEXAS (?)

Texas Twins: The Story of Morgan and NashTexas Twins: The Story Of Morgan & Nash
Howard Roffman
Bruno Gmünder
ISBN 9 763861 878582

The ‘story’ element in this publication is not very prominent, the “text” takes up less than one of the – square – pages. Morgan and Nash, who seem not to have a surname, were born in Louisiana, brought up in Texas and Hawaii, and moved to San Francisco. In SF a former clergyman gave them shelter and put them in touch with, among others, Howard Roffman, the photographer.
This charming book is a result of their convergence. Morgan, the Gay one is “grounded and eager to please” (and any red-blooded bull-root would be exquisitely happy to have him ‘please’ them… or them attempt to please him). Nash is “straight” (drat! drat!! & triple drat…!!!), he is also “impetuous and a rebel”.

They are very identical identical twins, though Nash (I think) has dimples, and wears a baby chin-beard in some shots. The twins, I’m glad to report, don’t wear much else in most pics., of two very handsome, well built (‘swimmer’s bodies’, rather than muscle-bound) blokes, the nude shots are sweet and rather innocent. You won’t tug your langer off viewing them (let’s not be too precious this is genuinely artistic, but it is classy porn – which can be artistic) but you would have a very slow pulse not to feel the odd stirring…
Having said, or rather, written, that, the boys (they are late teens / early twenties) have large – but not gross membra virile – and genuinely beautiful butts. They, said glutei, are not fantastically muscular but smooth and probably pleasant to run one’s fingers over. (I must have a cup of tea, or possibly something stronger, at this point…). You will enjoy this book, it shows two very attractive people at play at the beach, in deep snow, and – apparently – at work, or at least working on sledges.
On a purely personal note, I wouldn’t mind a book of Black, Brown and Beige (it’s the name of a orchestral suite by Duke Ellington, if you are racially sensitive), twins. Or ‘Oriental’ persons or persons from the South Asian Subcontinent (including Iran). Yes, this has gone too far. My Id is attempting to escape my skull.

Seán McGouran

Links:

GOODBYE LENIN!

Good Bye LeninGOODBYE LENIN! – 2003
Bavaria Film International
Director: Wolfgang Becker

good bye Lenin good-bye-lenin-!
This genuinely charming movie stars the handsome, and talented, Daniel Brühl, as Alex. Daniel BrühlHe’s the son of Christiane (Katrin Sass – who doesn’t really look old enough to be his Mam), though it is implied that she was taken advantage of by the absent father who fled ‘West’.  Alex daydreams occasionally about the Da, usually imagining him very rich and driving a huge Merc. Said Father turns up in the course of the action, and while well-off[ish], isn’t super-rich. I don’t know which side of the Wall the makers come from, but this is a quite sharp point, the Eastern media tell the populace that the West is US-occupied, poor and backward: meanwhile everybody really thinks that ‘Wessies’ have money goodbye-lenin-1squirting out their ears.
The comedy consists in the fact that some days before The [Berlin] Wall comes down Christiane has a heart attack, and is hospitalised. She sees her son taking part in a protest march, mainly about the fact that the Wall is still standing,  he is struck by an ‘Ossie’ cop. Her response has partly to do with the fact that, as a True Believer, she thought that such brutality only happened in the oppressed West.
While she is in hospital, seen as ‘state-of-the-art’ modern, there’s no ‘Ostalgia’ but no denegation of the ‘system’ either – the Wall is broken down.  Alex and his techie-nerd friend Denis (Florian Lukas) conspire, when his mother

Florian Lukas

GOOD BYE LENIN!, Florian Lukas, Daniel Bruhl, 2003, (c) Sony Pictures Classics

is released from hospital, with the warn-ing that a shock, or even mild surprise, could kill her, to pretend that the ‘East’ (GDR – German Democratic Republic) still exists. It gets harder and harder by the hour, even foodstuffs are dumped, and Alex has to hoke about in garbage to find the bottles and labels from the old days. Fortunately for him the ‘old days’ were not so long ago though his mother was in hospital for months after the Wall came down.
Fortunately the taste of the food is unchanged (possibly another indication that not everything ‘Ossie’ was questionable.)  This is acceptable now, but fifteen years ago when this movie was made it was seriously ‘pushing the envelope’ to even hint at such a matter. Alex gets away with a lot, his friend Denis making videos of fake television news items and delivering them in a dreadful plasticky suit presumably of the sort worn by ‘Eastern’ media persons, which they play to his mother. She, inevitably, learns how to use the channel changer and, becomes very confused by what she sees.
They ‘lose’ the implement.
As she gets less fragile, she decides to have a wander outside, and is very confused by what she sees. There are ‘Western’ cars, clothes, and people: one piece of furniture, about to be moved into their block of flats, has an image of the Sacred Heart sitting on a shelf. She asks a young man moving this furniture where he comes from, and he answers “Wurtemburg”, which borders the Rhine. She is totally confused at this, but is returned to the hospital. Alex decides that the news film she views must be doctored. He and Denis show her the breaking down of the Wall – but imply it was Wessies escaping into East Germany that was happening. This stretched one viewers credibility somewhat; it is doubtful if there was much in the way of graffiti on the eastern side of the Wall. But the Western side was heavily graffiti’d. She swallows the notion that the crowds running away from the Wall westwards were actually fleeing eastwards. And the people from, for instance, Wurtemburg are refugees from the benighted West.
She dies shortly after this, Daniel Brühl manages to look simultaneously businesslike and ‘little-boy-lost’-like (like most adults, in a similar situation I assume; you wouldn’t mind a “wee greet”. But matters have to be taken in hand…).
This is a lovely, funny, humane film, see it, you’ll have a lot of laughs, a wee sniffle (or two). For Gay men there is also the prospect of seeing Daniel Brühl in his longish black gunks, (underpants, for the uncultured) he has smooth pale skin and slender, but athletic body. Don’t cheat and flick through the DVD just to see it. Anyway, it’s worth the wait.
Joe Dalton

 

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