Category Archives: Random/Mikri

Dr. Frank Kameny, Jewish Gay Rights Pioneer, Dies At 86

Dr. Frank Kameny lived many of his 86-years as an out activist, leader and hero. It is with only a blessed form of irony that he left us today, on National Coming Out Day. May Frank’s memory be for a blessing. To understand our LGBT American history please get to know a bit more about his story. Our history and our civil rights seemed to be paired perfectly with Frank Kameny’s once radical notion that we have a right in this country to stand up for, “First Class Citizenship for Homosexuals.” Right on, brother.

Some of Frank Kameny's z"l donated picket signs and buttons are on display as part of an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum where they are on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Some of Frank Kameny's z"l donated picket signs and buttons are on display as part of an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum where they are on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The signs read, "First Class Citizenship for Homosexuals" and "Discrimination Against Homosexuals Is As Immoral As Discrimination Against Negros and Jews."

Dr. Frank Kameny marching with the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C. in 1970

Dr. Frank Kameny z"l marching with the Mattachine Society of Washington D.C.

First coined by US Politcal candidate Frank Kameny z"l in 1968, someone else added the word "so" to the original graffiti. Perhaps a reflection of that person's opinion on how far gays have come since 1968... Thank you Frank.

First coined by US Politcal candidate Frank Kameny z"l in 1968, someone else added the word "so" to the original graffiti. Perhaps a reflection of that person's opinion on how far gays have come since 1968... Thank you Frank.


Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Politica, Queer Jewish Leaders


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gays have kids too

During these days between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, Jews are told to reflect on what really matters to us. So here it goes, one thing that really matters to me is continually bringing the stories and realities of everyday LGBT Jewish leaders into the mainstream. Many LGBT folks don’t always have the big life concepts mapped out for them. By the way, when I write “them”, I do mean me as well.

I often look to the experiences of my family to help me navigate this world but a few things don’t always translate. Some translations on expectations and roles get lost on me. Not so much because of discrimination any more, but more often the nuance of difference. I work to find community and friendships with other LGBT Jewish leaders, in part because they model one of the many ways that I might too have a healthy same-sex relationship, how to raise children, how to present the gender identity that works for me, or how to juggle the demands of chosen family versus biological family.

Something else that matters to me is a love of democracy and the drama of politics. So when I saw this ad yesterday, pairing my love of politics with a story that brings a local queer Jewish family into the mainstream – I had to link to it. So in honor of speaking out to what matters to me during the Jewish High Holiday’s as well as embracing October as LGBT History Month please take a look at this 33 second ad featuring our LGBT lives having mainstream visibility. The ad features a gay and Jewish former city supervisor, Bevan Dufty running for mayor of San Francisco, proudly introducing himself in his most important identity role: a father.

Related Stories

  • AutostraddleBevan Dufty Reminds Us Gay Candidates Have Kids Too (link)
  • I Want to be a (Gay) Dad, Celebrating LGB Parents (link)
  • Queer Landia, Gay SF Hopeful features Daughter in New Ad (link)
  • Towlroad, Gay SF Mayoral Hopeful Bevan Dufty Features Daughter (link)
  • The Stir, Gay Candidate for Mayor ‘Exploits’ Kid By Admitting She Exists (link)
  • David Mixner Blog, Impressions (link)
  • Politco, Ben Smith’s Frontiers of Gay Politics (link)
  • Gay Politcs, Bevan Dufty in Someplace New (link)
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bevan Dufty loves MUNI (link)

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sweetness follows

we of course, all witnessed the seas of political activists empowered to change their worlds this past year. as we approach the jewish high holidays this evening, i stop for a moment to revisit some of the more local advances and news that i witnessed this past year.

overall folks within my community seemed to mostly agree with natalie portman in not wanting anything to do with john galliano. we wrestled through a few of the more challenging conversations with courtesy from tony kushner’s views on israel to ballot measures seeking to outlaw circumcision. we saw the demise of don’t ask don’t tell celebrated in the streets and hardly had time to pay attention to a new state law created by jewish gay leader, mark leno that requires lgbt history be taught in california textbooks. within a more hyper-local perspective we celebrated everything out and proud about gertrude stein, marched to honor 30-years of AIDS activism, watched allen ginsberg howl on-screen and sang our good-byes to both elizabeth taylor and debbie friedman.

still thinking locally, it has been a great year for many of our outstanding lgbt jewish leaders to shine. just to name two of the many deserving leaders, roberta achtenberg, was appointed as the first lesbian to the federal civil rights post and bevan dufty, whom if elected in november, would be san francisco’s first gay (and possibly third jewish) mayor. while we still can’t beat the reputation of states like new york that decided everyone can get hitched there this year we did just learn that our dear city of san francisco did not loose first place in hosting the highest concentration of gay and lesbian couples over the past decade.

at my synagogue, congregation sha’ar zahav, i participated with 40 other members in the year of civil discourse and learned together through the training how to disagree with people i respect but don’t always want to listen to. on a even more personal note i moved once again back into the castro.

as i am approaching my own sense of sweetness on this last day of the Jewish month of elul 5771, i pause to remember that not everyone’s life is so full of honey right now. this morning i watched with sadness as alyssa rodemeyer, the sister of jamey rodemeyer, discussed the continued bullying of her late brother after he took his own life this last week at the age of 14. it made me realize that we still have a lot of work to do together. i look forward to seeing what sweetness we can create together in community in 5772.

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GLAAD just received the following “apology” statement from Tracy Morgan’s management. Yet, hate is never funny. Is his career over? GLAAD bloggers discuss this.

Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman - VH1 Big In '03 after party, November 20, 2003“I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.” Taken directly from the GLAAD blog.


Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Random/Mikri


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Yasher Koach: Paul E. Singer, Steven A. Cohen and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg!

My mother called me this morning to tell me how wonderful it is that such generous and usually conservative leaning people are giving to marriage equality in New York. Sounds to me like the core Jewish values of Tikkun Olam  (Hebrew: תיקון עולם‎ meaning to Repair the World) has influenced a few incredibly powerful figures in New York and I hope it continues. The donors both Jewish (and not Jewish) represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures like Steven A. Cohen and Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager, top-tier Republican donor and father to a gay son. Even Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is giving speeches and fundraising parties for Marriage Equality. According to the NYT article Mr. Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Advisers and has become an increasingly active Republican fundraiser described his views simply: ‘We believe in social justice for all Americans.'” Well, Yasher Koach! (a customary way of congratulating those who do an honorable job directly meaning from Hebrew “יישר” “כוח” “may your strength be firm.”). 

Mr. Steven Cohen

See why diverse groups of people in our Jewish community give.


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allegations note that trump is not just mean but lacks a decent vocabulary when annoyed or angry

i wish this were a farce but reportedly the donald has just out-ranked koby bryant in being horribly un-clever at being mean to people he disrespects. allegations of a history of anti-semitic epithets and harassment of women and gay employees has been reported today.

if this allegation is true i will still have enough information as to not cast my vote for him to be our next american president.  (i did like staying in his hotel in vegas. we had a great coupon for $99 a night during our finkelstein family reunion. the hotel was smoke free and the pool deck was really quiet). but back to the topic, a man with that much real estate and who is ultimately responsible for the “unlucky statements” of Miss Carrie Prejean should really be more creative when angry or annoyed. allegedly calling an international superstar a “faggot jew” behind their back is in poor taste, bigoted and embarrassingly simple minded.

donald trump

dear donald, i know how much easier it would be for you to shrug this recent news off as fabricated lies... but it would be so much easier for us bloggers to tolerate you in the media if you were not such a mean bully. i know of a great list of anti-bullying resources if you are open to learning. love, lisa

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Politica, Random/Mikri


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learning what makes you beautiful is necessary vulnerability

watched this video as shared by a friend on twitter this afternoon (@onsal)… it is not about being queer or jewish but simply harnessing the power of being vulnerable to make authentic connections

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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Public Speaking



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