Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter May 17, 2006

This month's Newsletter is coming out on the International Day Against Homophobia. Being an activist takes courage. Making a difference is not for the faint of heart. Courageous youth are making a difference. They are taking positions on human rights issues that will make the world a much better place.

One of those courageous young people is Matthew Keys. April 26, 2006 a march to support safe schools for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students was held in Sacramento, California. Matthew photographed the event and created a short video of the Day of Silence march. Matthew describes the video production as a one-man project. His video is titled "Project Soundwave." Matthew says he chose the title Soundwave, because,'Soundwave' is a play on words, since the event was called the 'Day of Silence', emphasizing on the lack of audible words emitting from human beings on that day who stood up in support of GLBT teens and safer schools.

Most of the video pans across still shots of the people in the march. Photos of pride flags, people, and couples appear in the video. Closeups of people holding hands symbolize the unity of people speaking out in an effort to make schools safer places. The video ends with a shot of many different people posing for a photograph. In the photograph is a large pride flag. At the front of the photograph, people are holding a large banner that reads "Day of Silence."

The lyrics of one of the songs of the video is very appropriate. They match the theme of the Day of Silence. The songs bring the message that "only kindness matters" and that "we are all OK."

We encourage people to watch the video and to email Matthew to let him know you watched his video. Matthew Keys' video is on the YouTube.com web site. We hope this video be the kind of video people will watch in twenty or thirty years to celebrate the fact that queer people have gained complete equality and safety in society and in the schools of our land.

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Eleven years ago this month, a young bisexual man took his life. The teenager took his life not long after he was assaulted, because he was not straight. That teenager, was Bill Clayton. Bill's painting "Hold Back the Dawn" reminds us of the cost of hatred and hate crimes. The world lost a talented young man, because of hate. We remember Bill's life and appreciate how Bill's story has touched people's lives.

Bill's mother, Gabi Clayton, maintains an excellent web site that tells Bill's story and provides resources. Gabi Clayton started a blog. We encourage you to bookmark Gabi Clayton's web site and her blog. Should you lose a links to the web sites, there are links to the web site and the blog at the on the Stop Hate web resource page.

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A few new religious resources have been to our links page. We now have links to a Muslim Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Muslim Gay Men and Queer JiHad web sites. A link has been added for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a group that tries to reduce discrimination against Catholics. Those internet resources, along with numerous other web resources can be found on the Stop Hate web resources page.

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A few of the news stories we have been following appear below:

  • In Cameron, the police arrested a number of men at a nightclub that is popular in gay and lesbian circles. Nine of the men arrested were acquitted on charges of homosexuality. The government is appealing the court decision. The PlanetOut article about the trial states that In Cameron homosexuality is punished by up to five years in prison.

  • People vacationing outside of their country need to carefully check on the laws regarding homosexuality and the attitudes toward homosexuality of the country they are visiting. In an editorial on the PlanetOut system, Wayne Besen calls attention to the level of anti-gay violence in some of the Caribbean countries.

  • Jen Christiansen, in a PlanetOut article, says gay students are five times more apt to have skipped school because they did not feel safe. The article points out that harassment in schools has long-term impact on students. Christiansen reports those students who were harassed are twice as likely to skip college. This article should cause people to pause and reflect on the cost of homophobia and transphobia to society. Hate costs money! The world pays the price for homophobia and transphobia. Canada and the United States desperately need skilled laborers. At a time, when countries must have a highly educated,technically skilled society to compete in the world economy, very talented students are dropping out of school or are not pursuing advanced education, because they experienced hatred, abuse and harassment in school.

  • A December 2004 article in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix discusses hate crimes. According to the article, the rate of religiously motivated hate crimes is not increasing in the United States, but religious hate crimes are "overwhelming directed against Jews and Jewish institutions."

  • Today,May 17, is the International Day Against Homophobia. The IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) web site has information about homophobia and gay rights for numerous countries.

  • The book, Pink Blood, was briefly mentioned in other newsletters. We are mentioning it again in this newsletter, because the book is a must read for people interested in homophobia-based hate crimes. Information about the book can be found on the Pinkblood web site. The book can be purchased at www.amazon.ca or www.amazon.com.


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



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