S/he said: Being queer, Jerusalem Pride and Judy Shepard

compiled by Howard Israel

"As a young woman who had never, ever fit in, I had always felt left-of-center, off-kilter, weird. It took the early part of my 20s to not only come to grips with that weirdness but to begin to embrace it as a positive and see the wonder in uniqueness. So when I was provided with the option of 'queer,' it just sounded right. It felt new, but it felt good. Surely I am certainly queer as queer means just not regular. My queerness has more to do with who I think I am than it has to do with whom I choose to get down. I am queer in a big room all by myself."

- Dylan Ryan, 29-year-old porn performer and graduate student, a proud member of the queer porn revolution, in her column titled "Queer," http://carnalnation.com, Aug. 2.

"Homosexuals can have their parade wherever they want, as long as it is not in Jerusalem. Leave Jerusalem to her pilgrims and faithful. This city has suffered enough wounds and humiliation."

- Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Catholic Church's highest official in the Holy Land, in a statement denouncing Jerusalem's Eighth Annual Gay Pride Parade, http://blog.beliefnet.com, July 30. The parade attracted 3,000 people.

"I want to normalize the conversation around HIV and AIDS, particularly in the African-American community. HIV is prevalent in our community because we weren't having those conversations. I also want people to see you can have this disease and live, but you have to take care of yourself. I'm a witness to that."

- Hank Millbourne, associate executive director of AIDS Partnership Michigan, in an interview titled "Leaders can't stay silent in AIDS fight," http://www.freep.com, Aug. 8.

"When it comes to GLBTQ issues, political activism and the reading of literature are ... powerfully intertwined. How are we to understand literature's relationship to GLBTQ issues? How can literature serve as a means of advocacy for gender and sexual minorities, and of realizing an inclusive vision of culture? How can literature validate queer experiences and identities? These are just some of the questions that we should consider when thinking about the relationship between GLBTQ literature and social justice work."

- Margaret Soenser Breen, Associate Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut, in her column titled "Narratives of Queer Desire," Aug. 1.

"After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told him I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It's so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true.""

- Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, in her column titled "Judge Walker's Prop. 8 Verdict Moves America Closer to its Ideals," about the federal judge's decision to overturn the California anti-same-sex marriage law, http://www.huffingtonpost.com, Aug. 4.

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