Chelsea Manning Marches at NYC Pride

Chelsea Manning Marches at NYC Pride

Released earlier this year from prison, trasgender activist Chelsea Manning, took part in her first LGBTQ pride parade in New York City on June 25.

Manning is the former U.S. Army soldier convicted by court-martial in 2013 for violating the Espionage Act after leaking the largest-ever number of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Prior to leaving office, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence and she was released from prison in May.

Manning marched with the American Civil Liberties Union along with Gavin Grimm. Grimm is the transgender teenager whose lawsuit over a school bathroom was remanded by the Supreme Court.

Manning tweeted about the Pride event: “honored to represent the @ACLU at this years @NYCPrideMarch lost my voice from screaming so much thank you”

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Mike Hot Pence

Mike Hot Pence

Glen Pannell is a gay man who has a striking resemblance to our Vice President, Mike Pence. Pence has a long history or anti-LGBTQ policies so Pannell decided to use his appearance to raise awareness and money for progressive causes.

Pannell dresses like Pence and struts around Times Square. Pannell calls himself “Mike Hot-Pence” (you can follow him on Twitter at @MikeHotPence). Pannell has collected money for organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council and The Trevor Project. Speaking with The Huffington Post, Pannell said, The Trevor Project “is really close to my heart because I was a questioning teen thirty-five years ago growing up on Long Island before I finally came out as a gay man in my early 20s. LGBTQ young people will need our full support over the next few years given Mike Pence’s record in office. So much of what he’s done in the last 16 years has divided and excluded ― not united.”

“I want to raise dollars and I want to raise awareness. And maybe offer some hope too. Isn’t it nice to imagine a bizarre through-the-looking-glass alternate reality where there’s a Mike Pence who champions women’s health and LGBTQ rights and the environment? Well that’s me!”

A Gay Mike Pence Look-Alike Is Collecting Money For LGBTQ Causes In New York

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More Than a Distraction

Did you hear about VP-Elect Mike Pence’s visit to the Broadway show Hamilton? The cast had a message for Pence and President-Elect Trump about inclusion that they shared after the performance. You can view it here.

Trump did not enjoy the message and fired back on Twitter, stating that the cast of Hamilton harassed Pence.

Evening talk show host, Seth Meyers, is arguing that Trump is using this event as a distraction for what has become a messy transition to the White House.

“President-elect Donald Trump prompted new questions this weekend about his foreign business ties to potential conflicts of interests — questions Trump responded to by picking a fight with the cast of a Broadway musical,” said Meyers on Monday’s Late Night.

Meyers pointed out that New Yorkers never would have bet Hamilton, an award winning show, could get even more publicity, but Trump was able to make it happen.

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Heros Come in All Forms

Back in 1981 at a City Council hearing in New York City, a fiery debate was occurring on the gay rights bill. Pat Burns, Vice President for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, stated that he knew of no gay cops and argued against the bill.

A few minutes later, Sgt. Charles Cochrane spoke and came out to his fellow police officers. “I am very proud of being a New York City policeman,” he said. “And I’m equally proud of being gay.”

In June, New York City named Greenwich Village corner Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane Way. The location is just a few feet away from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. This church is where Sgt. Cochrane and other LGBTQ police officers met and formed the Gay Officers Action League or GOAL.

Detective Brian Downey, the current President of GOAL, said Cochrane’s testimony all those years ago was a game-changer. “Heroes come in all forms. I’m where I am because of what this man did. From what I know of him, there’s one word that sums him up what he did — courage.”

Sgt. Cochrane died of cancer in 2008 at age 64.

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Difference Enriches Us All

Difference Enriches Us All

Frances Goldin is a ninety-two year old literary agent, mother, and activist who has carried the same pride parade sign for thirty years. She’s a staple of New York City Pride with her sign that says, “I adore my lesbian daughters. Keep them safe.”

Goldin has two daughters, Reeni and Sally, who came out as lesbians in 1970. Goldin’s sign was made by a friend of hers. “Since the beginning of the parade, I’ve been going and waving my sign,” Goldin told BuzzFeed. “It sort of hit a nerve with people, particularly those whose parents rejected them. The response to the sign is always so great — it urges me to keep going.”

Photos of Goldin with her signature sign have been popular on Tumblr and other social media sites. She is a shining example of parental support for LGBTQ people. Goldin has even contacted other mothers on behalf of their LGBTQ children.

“I think I changed a few people’s minds and I’m glad about that,” Goldin said of her outreach to other parents. “Everyone should support their gay and lesbian children, they’re missing a lot in life if they don’t.”

In 1997 Goldin told The Washington Post, “Difference enriches us all.”

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Thank You for Being a Friend!

Did you know that 40% of the homeless youth population are members of the LGBTQ community? The Ali Forney Center in New York City specializes in helping homeless LGBTQ youth. Actress Bea Arthur commented before she died that “These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender…this organization really is saving lives.”

In her will, Arthur left the center $300,000 and in February 2017 a new 18 bed shelter will open. Arthur was a long-time supporter of the LGBTQ community and continues to be after her death. Bea – thank you for being a friend!

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