huffingtonpost.ca
Manitoba's First Openly Gay Politician Retiring After 16 Years
He watched opposition politicians vote against his right to adopt children and enjoy spousal benefits.

The early 2000s were not that long ago, but seem like a different era to Jim Rondeau.

Back then, Manitoba’s first openly gay legislature member sat on the government’s backbench and watched opposition politicians vote against his right to adopt children, enjoy spousal benefits and have other rights equal to heterosexuals.

“Even though the (Progressive) Conservatives said each person had their own option to vote how they wanted — it was a matter of conscience — I was really upset that not one Tory voted for it,” Rondeau said in an interview at his home.

He was referring to a 2002 bill in the legislature that extended equal rights to same-sex couples.

“It bothered me because … a number of Tories that I know personally and get along with didn’t stand up for the law … I think in spirit they would have. It’s just politically, they didn’t.”

Rondeau watched as people at public hearings said same-sex couples such as him and his partner, Dennis Tam, should not be given equal rights.

“It was very stressful,” Tam recalled. “I asked Jim, ‘How do you deal with very difficult topics such as this?’ And what he told me is, 'You have to do what is right.’”

The bill passed, thanks to the NDP’s majority, and soon afterward same-sex marriage — an issue under federal jurisdiction —was legalized.

Now 56, Rondeau is preparing to leave his 16-year political career behind, knowing things are a lot different than when he started.

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mic.com
Racism, media bias caused gay man Bayna El-Amin's 9-year prison sentence, advocates say
"This happens to queer black people all the time. Communities are being railroaded into jail."
By Mic

If you ask activists and advocates who worked on behalf of Bayna-Lehkeim El-Amin, a gay black man who received a nine-year prison sentence for a May 2015 altercation at Dallas BBQ in New York City, the structural barriers between El-Amin and justice were too great to overcome.

“It’s so many things that came together to make this happen,” Mitchyll Mora, one of a handful of activists who worked on El-Amin’s behalf, told Mic. “And this happens to queer black people all the time. Communities are being railroaded into jail.”

El-Amin was convicted of low-level felony assault with a gay white couple, in which the defendant said he was acting in self-defense. The first images of the incident came from a video that starts midway through the altercation, in which El-Amin strikes Jonathan Snipes over the head with a chair. The video, shot on May 5, 2015, was posted online only hours after the assault between El-Amin, Snipes and Snipes’ then-boyfriend Ethan York-Adams. The video showed a large black man — El-Amin is 6'6" and almost 300 pounds — harming two smaller white men.

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I don’t think people realize how intensely asexuality is preferable to gayness when you have a mindset that says being gay is sinful and wrong?

Like I don’t think people realize how bad it was: I fantasized about being castrated so I wouldn’t have to deal with this disgusting sex stuff, because as a gay boy full of hormones there wasn’t anything dirtier than me, in the church’s eyes. I literally thought being gay was killing me. I literally believed demonic powers were influencing my thoughts and causing me to “lust” after my friends. I was briefly suicidal in 9th grade, when I was 14. And all this when I had parents who loved me, and a church and pastor who never directly spoke against gay folks. Imagine what it’s like for countless gay youth whose families disown them and whose churches preach hate from the pulpit?

Asexuality was #goals as a Christian teen, so don’t come for me with this “gays are privileged over aces” bs, you can fuck all the way off.

there’s a “Bad Post” i made over a month ago about my discomfort with cishet academia’s naming of LGBT+ studies as “Q***r Studies” making the rounds on tumblr, & people seem to be really really upset and offended by it, so let me be plain:

i experienced physical violence from people calling me a “q***r” and a “f*gg*t” at a fairly young age. it’s fucked up that i even need to be sharing this in order to “validate” my position, but that’s how tumblr works i guess.

“q***r” is a slur. i don’t care what the trendy arguments against this fact are; i am telling you from my own lived experience that it is a slur. not past tense.

i am not against people reclaiming it for themselves or for small communities using it with each other / to describe themselves, but as an umbrella term it is unacceptable for many survivors of transphobic & homophobic violence. 

that being said, i am incredibly tired and angry about 

  1. people on tumblr being apologetic on behalf of cis straight academia & it’s lax use of the q-slur
  2. tumblr’s habit of speaking over survivors of violence & general attitude where, if you don’t find it empowering when people blanket use a slur for you, you’re basically the scum of the earth because the q-slur is magically “already reclaimed” &/or “no one uses it that way anymore” &/or “[insert non-slur that is also used pejoratively] is used pejoratively as well but we say that.”

that’s it. i’ve said my piece. if you vehemently disagree, it’s probably better to just unfollow/block me. i’m done discussing this because it’s too fucking anxiety-inducing for me.

As a gay woman who grew up in a very conservative state, I can’t tell you how much this part of the update fucked me up:

Seriously, I don’t think everyone realizes the weight of these words. He felt that having to hide his feelings and such a huge part of himself from his friends was the equivalent to the isolation of living in a conservative town.

 I cried when I read this, and I still tear up a little bit whenever I reread it.