... wouldn’t you want to do it?
Read this letter to find out how!
Dear friend and ally:
Pause a second and think back a little. As recently as 1998, Houston police broke into the home of John Lawrence
and found him in bed with his lover Tyron Garner
. Lawrence and Garner were both arrested on a 1973 law that did not apply to straight couples. In 2003 the Supreme Court upheld Lawrence’s position that what he was doing in the privacy of his own home was not and should not be considered illegal.
Some names from the era have become legendary: Wyoming student Matthew Shephard
, Navy Midshipman Joe Steffan
, entertainer Ellen DeGeneres
, Army nurse Margarethe Cammermeyer
, and dozens of other gay folks who have changed history.
Good grief, have things changed…
In 2000, then President Bill Clinton declared June ‘Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.’
In 2010 Houston’s lesbian mayor Annise Parker insisted that Police Chief Charles McClelland allow his officers to participate – as they had for years already – in the city’s LGBT pride festivities.
The battles have been fast and furious.
What do the following ten states have in common: Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington? Did you only count nine states? Well, that tenth ‘state’ is the state of marriage for same-gender couples, legal now in those states – inconceivable when cops broke into John Lawrence’s home in 1998.
And it’s not all in the U.S.
• Since 2000, eleven countries and several smaller jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and the US) began to allow same-gender couples to marry.*
• Berlin and Paris have both had gay mayors.
• At the same time, vitriolic African leaders call for violence against LGBT people, and the president of Iran believes there are no gay people in his country.
With the Supreme Court of the U.S. set to make historic decisions on the future of marriage equality, it is almost too much to absorb.
Now, more than half the people in the U.S. think that marriage equality is a good idea, led by our president himself.
When it comes to LGBT news, how do you know what is important? While celebrities who come out get attention, is that more important than states allowing adoptions by lesbian and gay parents? Is it more important to know about the latest TV show featuring LGBT characters or that suicide rates among queer youth are alarmingly high? Maybe you need to know all these stories?
That is why This Way Out, the International Lesbian & Gay Radio Magazine
has broadcast LGBT news, reviews, stories, music and commentary for nearly a quarter century, on radio, and increasingly online. The writing is concise, the priorities are clear and even handed, and the production is professional and engaging.
There are no paid reporters, bureaus, or expensive equipment.
What’s most remarkable, however, is that This Way Out
is on the air (not to mention on cable, satellite and online) at all. Producers Greg Gordon
and Lucia Chappelle
survive on essentially symbolic salaries.
Everything goes into production and distribution of this vital show, heard on more than 200 local stations around the world, via satellite to cable and home receivers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and online via our podcasts. It’s miraculous what we are able to do with a practically non-existent budget.
We know that you get hit up for donations all the time, and of course,
there are dozens of worthy causes to support.
But we’re asking – begging, really – that you make a generous a donation to This Way Out
so it stays on the air. Even $10 would mean that we might be able to cover the ‘Out Games
’ in Montreal, or ‘Parma
’ a group that works with sexually marginalized women in India. It would mean that we could continue to cover stories like Ugandan activist John Wambere
and his uphill battle for LGBT rights, or the work of fierce Jamaican-Chinese lesbian poet-activist Stacyann Chin
, as well as those endless stories we just don’t have the people or budgets to cover.
It couldn’t be easier: go to http://thiswayout.org/
and choose either automatic monthly donations (starting at a modest $10) or make a one-time donation -- both buttons are in the "Season's Greetings" text on the front page. You’ll be done in just a few moments, and you can be proud to support the volunteers who make the show vital and inevitable, the production work here in California, and anyone you believe should stay informed about LGBT matters around the world.
PS: Encourage not only your LGBT friends, but also our straight allies to do their part to keep the show on the air! We have a number of thank you gifts to offer as well, which also make terrific and unique holiday gifts -- they're all described on our website.
Labels: bisexual, gay, homophobia, human rights, lesbian, LGBT, sodomy laws, transgender