Central Voice

Linking LGBT Communities In Central Pennsylvania And Beyond

How’s your knowledge of parliamentary procedure? I’m spending five days right now with a couple thousand teenagers from all over the globe who already know far more that I do about the subject.

I’m in New York City for the 2017 National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) conference. I’m one of five chaperones who have accompanied the 60 students from Carlisle High School to the Big Apple. It’s my ninth year and these young people continue to amaze me.

The students I watch over are nonchalant with gender fluidity and don’t think twice about a mixed-race relationship. They are quick to question authority, but just as quick to listen to dialog and be willing to engage in honest debate with integrity and respect.

Can we adults say the same? Are we posting information on our social media accounts that point out the splinter-sized issue in groups with whom we disagree, yet unwilling to see the rafter-sized problems in the eye of our own cause or organization? Do we listen intently at what the other person is saying during a conversation, or are we too busy waiting for them to take a breath so we can interject our viewpoint, totally disregarding the ideas being expressed?

Young people are idealistic, often unrealistic, and frequently in a state of utter dismay when their schemes don’t go according to plan. We probably were, too, when we were in our teens, groping about in life trying desperately to find our way. But in some ways, we are still right there, stumbling through the dark when all we have to do is turn on the light.

What are your dreams, your aspirations and your desires? What’s it going to take to get from where you are to where you want to be? Perhaps it’s time to stop and take stock. The students I’m with this week are very familiar with the term point of order in their various committee meetings. It’s a statement that something needs to be addressed or corrected.

I believe I have a “point of order” moment that you might find useful in your life. Next Wednesday, March 22, I’ll be presenting a 30-minute webinar, live with a Q&A segment included. The topic will be,

“What’s Stopping You From Being Magnificent?”

Here at NHSMUN 2017 I’m more excited today about this upcoming webinar for next week than I was when I first planned it. When I’m around these students it’s impossible for me to not be infected by their excitement and hopes for the future of our planet, as well as their own lives, as they unfold into adulthood.

This will be a free, live broadcast at 1:00pm and 8:00pm, U.S. Eastern time, Wednesday, March 22. Here are the links to sign up and reserve your seat:

1pm:  https://expertise.tv/webinar/what-s-stopping-you-from-being-magnifi...

8pm:  https://expertise.tv/webinar/what-s-stopping-you-from-being-magnifi...

Join me for at least one of the sessions – see you next Wednesday!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Terry

#DrTerryMakingSense
#IAN1
@TerryDKaranen

Copyright © 2017 Terry Drew Karanen. All rights reserved.

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Local Author's Book Makes Top 10 Gay Non-fiction List

Called a "must read," Michael Long's book on gay pioneer Frank Kameny has been chosen as one of the Top 10 gay, non-fiction books for 2014. Gay Is Good: The Life and Letters of Gay Rights Pioneer Franklin Kameny by the Elizabethtown College professor is a "must-read for anyone interested in the history of the gay rights movement” says Publishers Weekly.

Harvard University's Michael Bronski, a staple in the world of gay history, said: “The LGBT movement has been blessed with an amazing array of passionate, provocative, colorful, dedicated, and sometimes infuriating women and men. Frank Kameny is certainly one of the most important. Michael Long’s magnificent book captures the breadth of the movement and the specificity of Kameny’s life and importance.”

Long tells Central Voice about his editing of Kameny's historically rich letters, 150 letters from 1958 to 1975, that reveal some of the early stirrings of today’s politically powerful LGBT movement. The letters are lively and colorful because they are in Kameny’s inimitable voice, a voice that was consistently loud, echoing through such places as the Oval Office, the Pentagon, and the British Parliament, and often shrill, piercing to the federal agency heads, military generals, and media personalities who received his countless letters. Long is the author and editor of several books on politics, religion, and civil rights. He is the editor, most recently, of Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball.

Central Voice: What has the response been to your work on Kameny? from the academic community? from the LGBT community?

Michael Long: The book has just been released, but the response thus far has been so positive. Kameny's close friends, like Charles Frances and Bob Witech of Washington, DC, have been generous in their praise of the book.

 

CV: Some advocates are outright sending the book to others?

ML: Malcolm Lazin of Equality Forum has decided to send the book to leading LGBT activists across the country. Early reviews have also been positive, identifying the book as a "must read." I'm pleased about this mostly because it helps to advance the rich and inimitable legacy of Frank Kameny. This of us who fight for LGBT rights stand on his shoulders, and the book helps us understand how incredibly broad his shoulders were. 

CV: Currently, there is lots of dialogue about the intersections of race and LGBT issues. What are your thoughts?

ML: One of the most important things about Kameny is that early on he, like Edward Sagarin and others, identified gays and lesbians as an oppressed minority. That was no small move, and it allowed him to analyze discrimination against gays and lesbians as somewhat akin to discrimination against people of color. It also helped him articulate the need for civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians early on.

CV: Wasn't Kameny an early petitioner of the US Supreme Court?

ML: His 1961 petition to the US Supreme Court--a landmark document--did exactly that while at the same time telling the justices that homosexuality was moral. It's breathtaking material. Kameny also turned to the civil rights movement for inspiration and instruction for advancing civil rights for oppressed gays and lesbians. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Stokely Carmichael are among those who influenced his deliberate efforts to politicize the homophile movement and turn it into a political power that politicians could no longer ignore. So Kameny actually helped to create the intersections of race and LGBT issues that we continue to experience today.

SIDEBAR

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Things you may not know about Franklin Kameny -

*During the height of the Lavender Scare, openly fought the US government for firing him because he was gay (1958).

*Led a long campaign to force the US Civil Service Commission to permit the hiring of gays and lesbians individuals for federal jobs, including those requiring security clearances (1957 on).

*Filed first US Supreme Court petition arguing that gays and lesbians were an oppressed minority deserving equal treatment under law, and that homosexuality was moral (1961).

*Co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington, the nation’s first organization dedicated solely to securing civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians (1961).

*Co-founded regional and national gay and lesbian groups designed to politicize the movement and secure and advance political power in government and civil society (1963 on).

*Organized the first White House picketing by a group seeking civil rights and liberties for gays and lesbians. Similar picketing soon followed in front of the US Civil Service Commission, Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the Pentagon (1965).

*Criticized numerous leading media personalities, including Ann Landers, Johnny Carson, and Rona Barrett, for their anti-gay views (1966 on).

*Staged protests (“zaps’) for gay rights at American Psychiatric Association conventions, eventually forcing the APA to delist homosexuality as a mental disorder (1971 on).

*Became the first openly gay candidate for the US Congress (1971).

*Acted as counsel to numerous gays and lesbians facing discrimination in the US military and served as a driving force behind the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

 

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