During the Global LGBT Workplace Summit of July 5 and 6, 2012 in London, Google announced the "Legalize Love" campaign . Launched in Poland and Singapore and eventually intended for every country where the company has an office, it will focus on places with homophobic cultures, where anti-gay laws exist. [more inside]
Before the Second World War, Rose Robertson did secretarial work. During the war, as part of her work for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the UK, Robertson parachuted into occupied France to spy on German troop deployments and act as a courier. Her acquaintance there with a gay couple in the French Resistance, and, after the war, friendship with gay lodgers, led her to found Parents Enquiry, Britain's first helpline to support parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children, an organization which she operated for many years. [more inside]
Pioneer and tireless activist for the LGBT civil rights movement, Frank Kameny was fired from his job as an astronomer for the US government in the late 1950s because he was gay. He co-organized the Mattachine Society of Washington, campaigned for equal treatment of gay employees in the Federal government, was the first openly gay candidate for Congress and worked to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The Library of Congress holds his papers, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History includes in its collections Kameny's picket signs carried in front of the White House in 1965, his home has been made a DC Historic Landmark, and a street near Dupont Circle was declared Frank Kameny Way in 2010. In 2009, John Berry, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, formally apologized to Kameny on behalf of the United States government. Frank Kameny died on National Coming Out Day this October 11, 2011. [more inside]
Bayard Rustin was an important civil rights activist, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and an invaluable strategist to Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite opposition relating to his status as an openly gay man, he continued to contribute throughout his life to the struggle for racial equality and later, for gay and lesbian equality. [more inside]
Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became today Iceland's, and the world's, first openly lesbian prime minister.
Romaine Brooks (1874-1970), American expatriate artist known for her haunting portraiture and striking palette, suffered a childhood so dark that she entitled her (unpublished) memoir "No Pleasant Memories." She went on to become an important figure in early twentieth century art and earned the Legion d'honneur in 1920 for her contributions to France in World World I. A pivotal figure in the Paris lesbian salons, Brooks was the model for characters in novels by Radclyffe Hall, Compton Mackenzie and Djuna Barnes. Although said to be "fully herself only when alone," she had a fifty year relationship with Natalie Clifford Barney. Her art has enjoyed a reappreciation in recent years and her work has been featured in exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Berkeley Art Museum. Her life and work have been the subject of several books and have a startling contemporary resonance.
Update to previous posts on Microsoft and erstwhile consultant Ralph Reed: As discussed here, here and here, Microsoft had been paying conservative consultant Ralph Reed a princely monthly sum.