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An exhibit tracing the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings

Various cities in the US will host “Art after Stonewall, 1969─1989”, a major exhibition of more than 200 tracing the (largely Western) history of the LGBTQIA movement’s development.

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Composite art of Diana Davies’ “Marsha P. Johnson Hands Out Flyers for Support of Gay Students at N.Y.U.” (c. 1970)

As LGBTQIA communities all over the world honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprisings, various cities in the US will host Art after Stonewall, 19691989, a major exhibition of more than 200 tracing the (largely Western) history of the LGBTQIA movement’s development.

This exhibition is currently on view in New York, at two venues in Manhattan: at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery (until July 20), and at the Leslie-Lohman Museum (until July 21). Then the exhibition travels to Miami for Art Basel season, at the Frost Art Museum FIU (Sept. 14, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020). The show will then travel to the Columbus Museum of Art (March 6 – May 31, 2020).

Diana Davies, Untitled (Marsha P. Johnson Hands Out Flyers for Support of Gay Students at N.Y.U.), c. 1970. Digital print. Photo by Diana Davies / © The New York Public Library/Art Resource, NY

The Miami presentation, opening on September 14, will be the first time that all of the works in this show will be exhibited together under one roof: all of the photographs, paintings, sculpture, film clips, video, music, and performance pieces, plus historical documents and images taken from magazines, newspapers and television (the current New York showing of Art After Stonewall is split up between two venues). 

The show will headline Miami’s Art Basel in December: when the global spotlight shines on this city for one of the world’s leading art fairs, attracting 70,000+ collectors, cultural leaders, artists and media influencers from around the world, and will remain on view through January 5.

The exhibition presents the work of openly LGBTQ artists alongside other artists who also engaged with the emerging queer subcultures, between 1969 and 1989. The Stonewall Riots are considered a historic flash-point for the LGBTQ movement, and the first two decades of art-making that immediately followed the uprising have never been explored this way before.

The list of artists includes: Vito Acconci, Laura Aguilar, Diane Arbus, Lyle Ashton Harris, Judith F. Baca, Don Bachardy, Lynda Benglis, JEB (Joan E. Biren), Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Arch Connelly, Tee A. Corinne, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Karen Finley, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Michela Griffo, Sunil Gupta, Barbara Hammer, Harmony Hammond, Keith Haring, David Hockney, Peter Hujar, Holly Hughes, Tseng Kwong Chi, Greer Lankton, Annie Leibovitz, Christopher Makos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frank Moore, Alice Neel, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Marlon T. Riggs, Jack Smith, Joan Snyder, Carmelita Tropicana, Andy Warhol, and David Wojnarowicz, among others.

Although much has been written on the impact of the LGBTQ movement on American society, fifty years after Stonewall many key artists are still relatively unknown and are brought to light.

Ann Patricia Meredith, Lesbian Physique, Gay Games II / Triumph in ’86 San Francisco, CA, 1986, from the series A Different Drummer, 1970-1990, silver gelatin print

Some of the artists included in Art After Stonewall lived in Miami and created art here between 1969-1989, including Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Martin Kreloff. The work by Gonzalez-Torres also confronted the AIDS crisis: a haunting billboard created by the artist in 1989 that ran for six months above the site of the Stonewall, informing viewers along NY’s busy Seventh Avenue about the need for activism.

The work by Kreloff featured in the show is the poster for the very first White Party fundraiser for AIDS, held in Miami in 1985.  

Keith Haring, October 20, 1985, acrylic on canvas tarp

The history-making idea for the White Party AIDS fundraiser was hatched by Kreloff and friends in Miami, and became an inspiration for communities nationwide to raise much-needed funds to help those suffering from the epidemic.

Scholars today recognize that just like New York’s Stonewall Riots, Miami was also ground-zero to an equally significant chapter in the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and this is also represented in the exhibition. In 1977, Anita Bryant led her notorious campaign to overturn a Miami-Dade County ordinance that banned discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Diana Davies, Gay Rights Demonstration, Albany, NY, 1971, 1971. Digital print.
Photo by Diana Davies / © The New York Public Library/Art Resource, NY

This sparked a turning point for the movement that experts in the fields of civil rights and LGBTQ studies emphasize as equally important to Stonewall. 

It was the first time the national media covered LGBTQ rights in this way. The story about Bryant’s crusade in Miami was the cover of TIME and Newsweek magazines, made headlines in newspapers across the country and on network television news. Before this Miami political battle to protect LGBTQ rights from Anita Bryant’s crusade, no other LGBTQ news event had been covered in the US then. This mobilized activists in cities and towns nationwide. A major component of the activism against Bryant’s campaign featured creative advertising, posters and graphic art. 

Now, 42 years after the Anita Bryant crusade, things have changed in Miami. The museum has received a groundswell of community support to bring this exhibition to South Florida. This exhibition has been made possible at the Frost Art Museum FIU by Bank of America and the Funding Arts Network. Additional support has been generously provided by Our Fund, an LGBT Community Foundation, and the Art after Stonewall Circle of Friends.  

Peter Hujar, Gay Liberation Front, Come Out, 1970, offset lithograph, © 1987 The Peter Hujar Archive LLC, collection of Flavia Rando, image courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

At the national level, major support for the exhibition is provided by: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Keith Haring Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by Jeff Chaddock & Mark Morrow; Envisage Wealth; Tom W. Davis; Equitas Health; Prizm; Lynn Greer & Stevie Walton & the Women’s Collective; John & Michaella Havens and Parker Havens & Dean Panik, in honor of Barbara Havens; D. Scott Owens & Kevin Kowalski; Harlan Robins & Shawn Shear; Dickinson Wright PLLC; and John L. Wirchanski. The show is accompanied by a 300-page catalogue with essays by more than 20 established and emerging scholars as well as entries by artists, including FIU’s very own Alpesh Patel.

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Trump-appointed judges void Florida bans on conversion therapy for children

Two south Florida laws that banned therapists from offering conversion therapy to children struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity were declared as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

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Image by Juan Pablo Mascanfroni from Unsplash.com

Two south Florida laws that banned therapists from offering conversion therapy to children struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity were declared as unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

In the case – Otto et al v City of Boca Raton, Florida et al, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 19-10604 – the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided (in a 2-1 decision) with two therapists who said the laws in the city of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County violated their free speech rights.

American Republican President Donald Trump – the loser in the country’s latest presidential election, and who refuses to concede – appointed the two judges who supported conversion therapy.

According to Circuit Judge Britt Grant, the laws “allow speech that many find concerning – even dangerous,” but the First Amendment “does not allow communities to determine how their neighbors may be counseled about matters of sexual orientation or gender.”

The therapists in the case, Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton, said their clients had “sincerely held religious beliefs conflicting with homosexuality,” and they sought counseling to conform their identities and behaviors with those beliefs.

A study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law noted that 20 American states and Washington, D.C. already ban licensed healthcare professionals from conducting conversion therapy on children. The practice – which aims to change people’s sexual orientations or gender identities – stigmatizes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and is linked to depression, anxiety and suicide.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) also opposes conversion therapy, since the practice often assumes that homosexuality is a mental disorder.

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Italy eyes to make violence against LGBT people a hate crime

A bill eyeing to criminalize violence against LGBT people was approved in Italy’s lower house of parliament. It now needs final approval from upper house before becoming law.

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Image source: Pexels.com

A bill eyeing to criminalize violence against LGBT people was approved in Italy’s lower house of parliament. It now needs final approval from upper house before becoming law.

Italy’s lower house of parliament passed an anti-discrimination bill that makes violence committed against LGBT people and disabled people a hate crime. The bill actually modifies an existing law punishing racist violence, hatred and discrimination; with people convicted of such crimes facing up to four years in jail.

Approved by 265 votes to 193, with one abstention, the legislation now needs final approval from the upper house, where it is backed by the ruling coalition parties.

The bill actually only originally focused on tackling offenses involving homophobia, transphobia and misogyny. But it was eventually expanded to also offer protections to people with disability.

The bill did not exactly pass without opposition, particularly from right-wing parties, conservative groups and the Italian Catholic Church. Among the contentious elements was the bill’s proposal to observe the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on 17 May every year, with initiatives and ceremonies in Italian schools.

As reported by Arcigay, one of the biggest LGBTQIA organizations in Italy, there are more than 100 hate crime and discrimination cases reported in the country each year. But over the last 25 years, numerous attempts to create a law to punish acts of homophobia and transphobia have failed.

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Nevada becomes first US state to constitutionally protect same-sex marriage

Along with choosing the new US president, Nevada’s voters were also asked if they were willing to remove the decade-long same-sex marriage ban from the state’s constitution.

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Nevada’s voters have decided to amend its state constitution to include the right to same-sex marriage.

Along with choosing the new US president, Nevada’s voters were also asked if they were willing to remove the decade-long same-sex marriage ban from the state’s constitution.

In 2015, the US Supreme Court overturned same-sex marriage bans in the entire country. However, similar provisions still remained in the constitutions of 30 states.

With this development in Nevada, voters made it the nation’s first state to overturn a ban.

This means that same-sex marriage will remain state law even if a future US Supreme Court overturns its 2015 decision legalizing it throughout the country.

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5 Essential LGBT travel tips

While many global communities now support LGBT travelers, some places are lagging behind. It’s important to know the culture of the country you’re traveling to avoid awkwardness or worse.

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The world may be shut down at the moment due to pandemic safety fears, but some places are still open for business. If you’re an LGBT person looking to travel in the near future, you might want to consider the travel safety tips listed below.

IMAGE SOURCE: UNSPLASH.COM

While many global communities now support LGBT travelers, some places are lagging behind. It’s important to know the culture of the country you’re traveling to avoid awkwardness or worse. 

Do your research 

Hopefully, you are living in a modern country that supports civil partnerships and LGBT rights. The world has come a long way in this respect, particularly within the last decade. However, not every country is as keen on progressive cultures, and it can still be dangerous to travel to certain places as an LGBT person or couple. Do your research before traveling and make sure homosexuality is not illegal or looked on with disdain. If you need help saving for a trip abroad, check out Pigly.Com for financial advice. 

Use discretion 

The world is not always as accommodating as the place you choose to live. In some countries, same-sex affection is looked down on and could be dangerous in some cases. You need to be aware of the prevailing cultural attitudes in the place you’re visiting and behave with discretion. While you may find this unfair and want to take a stand, you need to also be aware of the risks. Taking a stand in a culture, you’re familiar with is a whole lot safer. 

Know your rights 

In the USA and certain other western countries, there are laws that protect LGBT people. Transgender people, for instance, cannot be legally asked to remove prosthetics and binders. But this is not the case everywhere. In some places, even carrying condoms can be an offense. Knowing your rights for the country you’re traveling to allows you to act within the law and stand up for yourself where possible.

Support LGBT businesses 

Traveling can be awkward at times for LGBT people. Not everywhere is welcoming and set up to provide for LGBT couples. Furthermore, some places may be actively hostile. To avoid this, support hotels, airbnbs, and hostels who encourage LGBT visitors to stay. Thankfully there are a growing number of places that cater to LGBT travelers, such as EBAB and misterb&b. LGBT friendly accommodation will also provide tips and advice on the best local places to visit and how to navigate the city for LGBT people. 

Hook up with care 

If you are traveling single, you might want to hook up on holiday. There are many apps that allow you to do this with a relative degree of care and certainty. However, you must know the risks and take extra care. In some places, the apps are monitored by authorities and can land you in trouble. There are also instances of people using the apps to rob people or take advantage of them. Take extra care when on these apps and use your best judgment.

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Cook Islands delays decision to decriminalize gay sex

Currently, it is illegal for men to have sex with men in the Cook Islands, and this is punishable by a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment. Same-sex marriage is outlawed, and civil unions are not recognized.

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Photo by Dean McQuade from Unsplash.com

Following the September 30, Wednesday, meeting of the Cook Islands Parliament, the decision to decriminalize sex between consenting same sex people was deferred for three months.

Currently, it is illegal for men to have sex with men in the Cook Islands, and this is punishable by a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment. Same-sex marriage is outlawed, and civil unions are not recognized.

In 2019, a new draft of the Crimes Bill was considered. Had it passed, it would have decriminalized same-sexual activity.

The bill had a hard time following opposition from fundamentalist “Christians”.

The nation was actually tolerant of same-sex relationships before the arrival of foreign “Christian” missionaries.

The existing law is premised on United Kingdom’s antiquated “anti-buggery law”, imposed in countries it colonized with the prohibition of same sex relationships. UK, however, already decriminalized homosexuality in 1967, even if a handful of Commonwealth countries continue to discriminate against LGBTQIA people.

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Bill banning LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ reintroduced in Canada

The new bill will include five amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code to include offenses such as causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy, causing any person to undergo the therapy against their will, and profiting off from the practice.

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Photo by Guillaume Jaillet from Unsplash.com

In Canada, a bill that eyes to criminalize LGBTQIA ‘conversion therapy’ was reintroduced.

An earlier effort to ban the practice failed because the parliament was discontinued due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Conversion therapy” is the most widely-used term used to describe practices attempting to change, suppress or divert one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It is also called reorientation therapy, reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, or, more recently, support for unwanted same-sex attraction or transgender identities.

The new bill will include five amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code to include offenses such as causing a minor to undergo conversion therapy, causing any person to undergo the therapy against their will, and profiting off from the practice.

According to Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau: “Conversion therapy is harmful, degrading, and has no place in Canada… I hope that all parties will do the right thing by supporting this bill.”

Trudeau’s Liberal Party earlier promised to ban the practice.

No voting date has been set.

Already, various Canadian cities – such as Vancouver in British Columbia and Calgary in Alberta – ban the practice within their borders.

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