Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter June, 2010

Will’s father commented about how difficult school is for queer students. “Most parents worry about if they make a grade, make a team, or do things like that. When we sent Willi to school, we worried that it would be the last time we would see him.” Stated in interview in the documentary movie Anti-Gay Hate Crime: A & E Investigative Reports. Available from Amazon.Com and Amazon.Ca.
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The Trevor Project is an organization providing a toll-free help and crisis line for queer youth living in the United States. The Trevor Project announced an initiative called “Be the Change.” The initiative encourages members of sexual minority groups to create a video to outline any of the following:

• Personal vision for making their local community, state, and world a better place for sexual minority youth.
• What they are doing to make a difference.
• What it means to Be the Change.
• How coming out experience inspired to make a difference for all members of sexual minority groups.

Many Be the Change videos can be found on You Tube. Those interested in watching some of the videos may want to go to the You Tube web site and search “Be the Change.”

Stop Hate 2000 encourages all of our readers and supporters to consider supporting the Trevor Project by informing people of the fine work of the Trevor Project, and, if possible, by donating money to help support the hotline.

Queer youth living in the United States who need to contact the Trevor Project suicide line can phone 1.866.488.7386 (1.866.4.U.TREVOR).
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In some areas of the world, June is Pride month. Pride is a time when many communities in North America hold Pride celebrations. Pride parades are the most visible form of celebration. Pride, however, is much more than just parades. There are many other events. The community in which this contributor lives organizes church services, meetings with the police and political leaders, fund-raising events for queer charities, picnics, sports events, concerts, and night club activities.

Professional sports has long been a very traditional masculine industry. Gay and bisexual men can find professional sports a very difficult field in which to earn a living. This year marks a first in Chicago. The Stanley Cup, the championship cup for the National Hockey League, is going to be displayed at Chicago's Pride celebrations. An article about Chicago Pride can be found on the Pink News network.

Pride celebrations can bring homophobic protestors out of the woodwork. At Pride celebrations in Edmonton, Canada a single protestor carried signs and demonstrated against Pride. According to an article on the Pink News web site, a few evangelists have attended the Minneapolis/St. Paul Pride celebrations, where they handed out Bibles and told people they must repent. Evidently, organizers of the Pride celebrations are attempting to get a court order to prevent the evangelists from demonstrating at the facilities that the event rented for Pride.

An act of violence during marred Pride celebrations in San Francisco. In the heart of San Francisco’s queer community, the Castro, a 19 year old man was shot and killed, and two other people were wounded. An article on the California Beat web site states the police do not feel the violence was due to homophobia. A suspect was arrested at the scene.

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A CBS News video on Edge relates how two Marines were charged with assault, after being attacked by two Marines. Evidently, the Marines thought the victim was gay and had winked at them.
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Prejudice, and discrimination take a personal toll on members of minority groups. In the book Ex-Gay No Way, Jallen Rix observes to the effect that if you do not like the image that you see in the mirror, you may want to examine the mirror. Members of minority groups tend to see themselves through a broken or flawed mirror, the mirror of harmful, societal stereotypes. Because the mirror is broken, it reflects a badly distorted image. As a result, members of minority groups may tend to see themselves through a mirror of racist, tribal, ethnic, religious, heterosexist, homophobic, and gender-based stereotypes. This distorted image projected by societal hatred, prejudice can leave some members of minority groups buying into very negative self-images.

There are two important, yet very different, roles for those advocating for equality, acceptance, and universal human rights. The first role is to help change society – lobby for changes in laws, in corporate and governmental policies, and in religious and societal attitudes. The second role is help members of minority groups see themselves in a more positive, more balanced, and a more healthy way. In many respects, broad changes in legal rights, corporate policies, governmental procedures, and societal attitudes are made one heart at at time. The same can be said of positive changes within minority groups. Changes within minority groups needed to increase community political self-advocacy skills, and changes needed to help minority groups take full advantage of existing opportunities take place one heart at a time.

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There are a number of very positive developments internationally. A few of those good news stories appear below:

• Iceland's parliament legalized gay marriage. According to an article on Pink News, the approval was unanimous. Iceland is a world leader in another way. The first openly gay prime minister in the world won election in Iceland in April of 2010.

• France will see a new advertisement from the fast-food giant, McDonald's. An article on the Pink News web site states this is the first gay advertisement McDonald's has created. At the bottom of the article, is a video of the advertisement. The French advertisement has English subtitles.

• A museum in Poland will host an exhibition on gay love. The full story can be read on the Pink News web site.

• Portugal celebrated its first same-sex marriage when two women were married.

• Russia's capital Moscow has not welcomed gay pride parades. This year, a short parade, that reports say lasted ten minutes, was held in Moscow. According to a Pink News article, no violence and no arrests were reported, so the parade is being viewed as a success.

Unfortunately, not all international news is positive. There are a few very sad and disturbing international news items.

• From the United Kingdom, there is news of a lesbian police constable. According to the Edge article, the London constable, Lara Goldie, hung herself. We gather the suicide note makes references to homophobia, as well personal problems.

• A very disturbing murder is being reported on some Portuguese language blogs. Internet translating services can leave a little to be desired. We are uncertain how accurate the translated pages are, so we encourage caution, as we attempt to learn more about this murder from people who can read some Portuguese. According to reports, found on the Homofobia Ja Era web site, we gather Alexandre Thome ivo Rajao, a gay 14 year old, was murdered in Brazil. From what we understand, a fight appears to have taken place involving Alexandre. A complaint was made to the police. Later, Alexandre's body was found, showing evidence of beating, torture, and strangulation. A translation of an article on the Direitos Fundamentais LGBT web site gives the impression Alexandre was spanked.

A Portuguese language report on the Odia web site gives the impression three 23 year olds are thought to have been involved in Alexandre's murder. The article says the men have been accused with torturing and strangling Alexandre, because they thought Alexandre was gay. The Direitos Fundamentais LGBT article seems to indicate witnesses have been threatened by skin heads.

A simple memorial page for Alexandre Thome ivo Rajao can be found on the Stop Hate 2000 web site.

Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.

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