Activists win access to NYPD’s Black Lives Matter surveillance files

  • A New York judge has ordered the New York Police Department to divulge files showing how it surveilled Black Lives Matter demonstrations two years ago, a group of activists announced Wednesday.
  • According to a written decision by Judge Manuel Mendez, the NYPD must release records of the undercover surveillance it conducted on BLM protests related to the police-involved death of Eric Garner
  • The activists, whose initial request seeking the records was initially denied by the NYPD, learned through court documents in September that officials have files that match their request, as well as records of communication between the undercover officers assigned to the demonstrations and officers’ handlers. Read more

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The Elements as Activists

Fire signs: Tries to inspire you, makes you feel like change is not only possible, but easy

Earth signs: Makes you feel like you don’t have to do much to make a big change without having to put in too much effort

Air signs: Convinces you that the cause is important, and that you would be illogical for not understanding the severity of the situation, makes helping seem like the rational thing to do

Water signs: Convinces you that the cause is important and that there could be huge negative consequences if you do not choose to help

The older we get the more significant Pride becomes for us. Taking time to celebrate our community – while also honoring and mourning LGBTQ people past, present, and future – is so important. This is why Pride is still so significant no matter how far we have come as a community.

LGBTQ people are vibrant, beautiful, vast and valuable. Taking the time to show up and stand with our fellow LGBTQ friends, families and community members, as well as our allies, is how we continue to reflect to the world how wonderful we all are! While we are living in challenging and sometimes scary times, the experience of spending time with many leading LGBTQ organizations and activists in this country has continued to give us confidence in the future.

This year we are going to take time during Pride to learn more about our early LGBTQ history, because more than ever before it’s important we amplify those stories. We hope each and every LGBTQ person has a wonderful Pride, and let’s take time together to reflect on how far we’ve come, how far we have to go, how strong we are, and how proud we should be to be LGBTQ.

—  Tegan and Sara’s Pride Month Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community, in Billboard Magazine. Words can’t express how much I cherish these two, for everything they are, and everything they do.
Trump's Election Inspired Ali Larter To Become A Planned Parenthood Advocate
Although actress Ali Larter has always been a fan of Planned Parenthood, it was the election of Donald Trump, a man who supports defunding the health care organization, that inspired her to really dive headfirst into being a Planned Parenthood advocate.
By Morgan Brinlee

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman’s portraits feature friends and acquaintances, activists and poets, Americans and immigrants — some naturalized, some undocumented.

All of them are queer people of color.

“I wanted to specifically focus on this community because queer and trans people of color are so rarely represented in the art world,” says Roman, who is Mexican-American and also identifies as queer.

The photo series, called “Queer Icons,” evokes the colorful, religious artwork that Roman grew up with. “Because I grew up Catholic in a Mexican community in Chicago, my first introduction to art was religious art,” he says.

He was particularly inspired by the fresco paintings of haloed saints that decorated the walls of his neighborhood church. “I’ve always thought of the halo as something very powerful — it’s like a badge of nobility,” he says.

And because Roman’s subjects are activists and artists who do good for the community, “I wanted to represent them as saints,” he says.

He also wanted to capture their pride and their strength. “I wanted them to be warriors — that’s why a lot of them are looking straight at the camera, saying ‘Here I am, and I’m not going to hide.’”

Not Your Mother’s Catholic Frescoes: Radiant Portraits Of Queer People Of Color

Photo credit: Courtesy of Gabriel Garcia Roman

My third grade teacher called my mother and said, ‘Ms. Cox, your son is going to end up in New Orleans in a dress if we don’t get him into therapy.’ And wouldn’t you know, just last week I spoke at Tulane University, and I wore a LOVELY green and black dress.
—  Laverne Cox (Transgender. Actor. LGBT Advocate. Reality Television Star. Activist. Television Producer. American.)