Pride parade returns to the
by Michelle Tomko
Cincinnati--After a five-year hiatus, on Sunday, June 11, 2000,
the Queen City will have a Pride parade.
"I went to Pride in Columbus and said hey, we can do this in Cincinnati,"
said Chris Good.
Good, a pharmacist, went home and organized the 2000 GLBT Pride Parade
Committee, which began monthly meetings in July at the Crazy Ladies
The committee is comprised of Good, Tim Stringer, Greg Kipp, Tom Beckman,
Michael X. Chanak, and Kerri and Jason Dru. The Drus, whom Good described
as former skinheads, are making the posters for the event.
The committee has been working with the Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian
Center, the Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court, AIDS Volunteers of
Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian Coalition and Stonewall Cincinnati.
"Thereís nothing like a good visibility campaign. Thereís nothing
like a parade," said Doreen Cudnik executive director of Stonewall
Cincinnati. "Stonewall looks forward to getting on board. Itís
time. Letís have a party. Letís have a celebration."
The Sunday celebration will kick off at 11:00 am at the gazebo in Cincinnatiís
Burnet Woods Park. The 1.8 mile parade route will end at Hoffner Park
with a community picnic and information fair.
The group has already secured the permits, insurance, police escorts
and park fees. They estimate that the event will cost $1,500.
The committee has already raised $1,300 through donations. Good said
he was surprised at what little money he really needed. He originally
thought the cost would be over $3,000.
A press release sent out by the committee listed 20 contributors totaling
just over $1,000, plus fees collected for four floats in the parade.
It also said that any money left from the 2000 event will be used for
Good said he had also been spending a lot of time talking to people
in the community who were around for former Cincinnati Pride parades.
The city had its last Pride parade on June 17, 1995. In the following
years, the event was marked by festivals, picnics, cruises, and a "Gay
Day" at Kings Island amusement park. Gay Day was replaced in 1997
by a September event with the park closed to the general public.
Good said passage of the Issue 3 anti-gay city charter amendment
in 1993 contributed to the paradeís demise.
"This really seemed to take the wind out of a lot of peopleís
sails," Good said. "But we canít keep worrying about the past.
I just want to have a celebration of who we are, not all this gloom
and doom. Iím out of the closet. That [the closet] is the weapon of
the conservatives. Iím going to try something different."
The committee meets on the second Sunday on the month at 2 pm at Crazy
Ladies Bookstore. Good can be contacted at 513-389-9182 or email@example.com.
Bush: Meeting Log
Cabin Ďcreates a huge nightmareí
by Eric Resnick
Republican presidential frontrunner George W. Bush angered the Log
Cabin Republicans when he said he would probably not meet with them
during his first major network television interview November 21.
who has carefully cultivated his image as a "compassionate conservative"
told NBC Meet the Press host Tim Russert that a meeting with
the gay Republican group "creates a huge political scene."
Bush added, "I am someone who is a uniter, not a divider. I donít
believe in group thought, pitting one group of people against another.
All that does is create kind of a huge political, you know, nightmare
for people. I mean, it's as if an individual doesn't count, but the
group that the individual belongs in is more important."
Log Cabin director Rich Tafel took issue with Bushís statement about
"He meets with scores of groups, including the Christian Coalition,
and lectures the Republican Party on the importance of reaching out
to minority groups like Latinos and African Americans, and now says
he wonít meet with gays because we are a group," said Tafel.
The Log Cabin club had been optomistic about a meeting with Bush in
statements made on their web page and to the media for months. But when
asked if the campaign was backing out of an earlier commitment to meet,
Bush spokesperson Scott McClelland said, "Thatís not accurate."
"I think the Log Cabin club got that idea from political strategist
Carl Rose, but the campaign was never planning a meeting with them,"
McClelland admits that Bush meets with many other groups, but defends
the decision not to meet with gays because, "he isnít interested
in politicizing this issue and their agenda." McClelland said Bush
would accept the groupís endorsement and money. "Bush is running
a positive, inclusive campaign that reaches out to people from all walks
of life," he added.
McClelland shrugged at the gay Republicansí anger saying, "They
have already said theyíre supporting John McCain."
The Bush campaign ran into disfavor with gay Republicans in October,
when it refused to deny that Bush told members of the Christian conservative
Madison Project that he "would not knowingly appoint a practicing
homosexual as an ambassador or department head" if elected president.
Earlier statements Bush had made to the New York Times suggested
When the Dallas Morning News asked whether being openly gay
would eliminate a personís chances for an appointment in a Bush administration,
Bush spokesperson Mindy Tucker replied, "I think so."
"There is a lot of anger about the Bush campaign among our members,"
said Kevin Ivers, Log Cabinís director of public affairs, "and
thatís putting it mildly."
Ivers would not speak for individual Log Cabin members, some of them
who are elected officials and have already endorsed Bush, but said,
"this has seriously dampened enthusiasm."
"Iíd like to think the governor understands how wrong this is,
both politically and morally," said Ivers. "The grassroots
Log Cabin membership will be stepping up its support for the McCain
campaign. Increased fundraising is already planned."
GOP presidential candidate John McCain met with the Log Cabin Club
November 8 and defended his decision by saying "the Log Cabin Republicans
are part of our party." Candidate Steve Forbes has also said he
would meet the gay Republicans.
Ivers would not rule out endorsement of Bush if he became the Republican
"We wouldnít if he became the nominee tomorrow, but the election
is a long way off," said Ivers.
Ivers was not concerned with Bushís positions on legislation such as
the gay and lesbian Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Bush opposes.
"We have never made legislation a litmus test for endorsement,"
murdered in crime spree
by Dawn E. Leach with wire reports
Gay People's Chronicle
December 3, 1999
Baltimore-Transgender activist Tacy Ranta was shot to death
November 22 as she was walking home from a restaurant. Three people
have been charged in the killing, which police said was part of a 5Ĺ-hour
crime spree that included more than a dozen armed robberies.
Ranta was co-founder of TranQuility, a Baltimore transgender support
group, served on the board of Metropolitan Community Church of Baltimore,
and was spokesperson for Itís Time, Maryland, a chapter of the transgender
advocacy group Itís Time America. She lobbied for hate crime bills in
Annapolis and fought for the legal right of people to change their names
and gender designation on driverís licenses.
"All of us in ITA understand the risks we take by just living
our lives, let alone doing the political grassroots work that simply
must be done," said former Itís Time America director Jessica Xavier.
"Tacy gladly accepted those risks and courageously stepped forward
to right the wrongs so many of us encounter on a daily basis."
Police said Ranta was shot once in the chest near her Baltimore home.
Police believe that the sole motive in the shooting was attempted robbery.
Natalie Davis, associate editor of Baltimoreís City Paper and
a friend of Ranta, said that while many of Rantaís friends feared that
the killing was a hate crime, the available evidence seems to indicate
that it was not.
"Police have found that the crime spree got progressively worse
as it went on, and Tacyís murder seems to have been motivated purely
by robbery and whatever violent urges led the suspects to create such
a menacing and bloody crime spree," Davis said.
Davis said that police believe that the perpetrators did not even realize
that Ranta was transgendered.
"When police were called, they were asked to report to the scene
of a murdered woman," Davis said. "It was only after police
arrived that they discovered that she was transgendered."
Police took six suspects into custody in a hotel room after a Baltimore
County police officer found two stolen cars parked outside. Detectives
said they found two 9mm handguns in the room. Cory Tutt, 18, Renyse
Jones, 18 and 16-year-old Davon Alston were charged on November 24 with
first-degree murder and handgun violations, said police spokeswoman
Ragina Cooper. Alston was charged as an adult.
The attacks occurred between 6:45 pm and midnight on November 22, and
were scattered throughout north and northeast Baltimore, police said.
Police said that the robberies had a cascading effect. An Oldsmobile
stolen at 8:45 pm was used in a carjacking of a Chrysler at 9:30
pm. That Chrysler was used in two robberies and another carjacking,
according to the police.
Most of the victims were held up at gunpoint, but one man was reportedly
beaten in the head with a baseball bat before suspects stole $35 from
his pants pocket.
Investigators said the suspects knew each other, but police were not
sure how or why the alleged spree was carried out.
Over 200 people attended a November 29 memorial service for Ranta.
"The loss hits us hard--Tacy was a vital part of our church and
ministry," said MCC Baltimoreís pastor, Rev. David Smith. "Her
work with TranQuility, ITM, and Free State Justice, the time she took
serving as a lifeline to struggling trans people, and her faith, care,
concern, and belief in justice touched many lives and hearts. She will
be deeply missed, but her legacy will live on forever."
In twenty years,
the face of AIDS has changed
by Denny Sampson
December 3, 1999
A common complaint among directors of AIDS service organizations these
days is that it is becoming more difficult to obtain funding for their
agencies. Rocky Morrison, former executive director of the AIDS Service
Connection in Columbus, said, "When the Columbus Health Department
told us they were cutting our funding, they just kept saying, ĎThe AIDS
field has changedí."
In fact, as HIV has evolved over the years, its impact on society has
also changed, and societyís response to the threat of AIDS has changed
accordingly. This three-part series will explore how AIDS and society
have co-evolved over the last twenty years-the changing face of AIDS.
Part 1: Coming out of denial, 1980-85
The cover of an Advocate from 1983 featured three towel-clad
men in a bathhouse posing as "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
This image reflected the way that the gay community, and the public
in general, dealt with the threat of AIDS in the early years of the
The general public was first notified of the "gay cancer"
on July 3, 1981. The New York Times published an article, which
took up a single column on page 20, with the headline, "Rare cancer
seen in 41 homosexuals."
The article told of a number of young gay men from Los Angeles and
New York City who were experiencing a puzzling combination of symptoms,
including fevers, weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes.
These patients had also contracted two unusual, and often fatal, diseases:
Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, or PCP, a particularly deadly
form of pneumonia, and Kaposi's sarcoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
Neither condition is normally found in young, previously healthy men.
Several of the patients had died, and none had showed any real signs
Gay newspapers speculated that this "gay plague" was either invented
by homophobic physicians, or, if real, was caused by some environmental
factor that had no connection to gay sex.
The medical community was eager to find an explanation. Some physicians
suggested that "gay cancer" was caused by poppers. Others
attributed it to the overuse of hemorrhoid creams. Some suggested that
semen itself, when injected into someoneís rectum, would naturally suppresses
the recipient's immune system.
Many reporters began calling the epidemic GRID, for gay-related immune
deficiency. However, when the illness was diagnosed in heterosexual
men and a woman, that acronym was abandoned.
By end of 1981, the Centers for Disease Control had concluded that
the epidemic was contagious and was spread by sexual contact. As CDC
investigators reconstructed the history of sexual relations within networks
of gay men in Southern California and New York, they found that a young
man nicknamed "Patient Zero" played a central role in spreading the
infectious agent, according to Randy Shilts in his book, And the
Band Played On.
"Patient Zero" was a young French-Canadian flight attendant, Gaetan
Dugas. He was reportedly a handsome, charming, sexually versatile gay
man who reported that he had at least 250 different sexual partners
every year. The CDC determined that Dugas had infected at least 40 of
the 248 American patients diagnosed before April 1982.
After Dugas was diagnosed with AIDS, he continued to have sex with
no protection. After sex he reportedly told his partners, "I've got
gay cancer; I'm going to die, and so are you." Dugas died on March 30,
1984, at age 34.
In 1982, the epidemic was given an official name: AIDS, Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndrome. After 1982, AIDS spread dramatically as the cumulative
number of cases doubled every six months. Then, the human immunodeficiency
virus, the pathogen that causes AIDS, was isolated in 1983.
As AIDS became more widespread, a collective hysteria took over many
Americans that HIV could be spread by casual contact-a simple kiss,
sharing dishes, or using public bathrooms. Medical experts insisted
that the virus was spread by sexual intercourse, not simple daily social
contact However, the public only half-believed them.
Gays were the first target of the terrified public. Jackie Figlar,
executive director of the Lavender Cupboard in Akron, said, "In the
early days, the most difficult thing we had to face was the discrimination."
Media coverage of AIDS emphasized that all victims were members of
marginal groups, the "4-H club": homosexuals, Haitians, heroin
addicts, and hemophiliacs. Religious fundamentalists cried that AIDS
was divine retribution on the sinners and criminals of society. Honest
individuals were apparently not in danger.
Paul Cameron, an anti-gay researcher, called for the execution of homosexuals
and the quarantine of everyone with AIDS.
The need to change
For gay men, the 1970s had been a time of increased sexual freedom
and political power. Richard Starn, a volunteer at David's House in
Toledo, said, "When I first came out, all I had to worry about
was a gonorrhea or a case of the crabs."
But toward the end of the early 1980s, it became clear to the gay community
that there was no escaping the reality that high-risk sexual behavior
could lead to a life-threatening illness. Major changes in sexual behavior
The closing of 14 San Francisco bathhouses and sex clubs reflected
the changes being imposed on the lives of gay men. A San Francisco judge
ruled that closing the bathhouses and sex clubs "puts some kind of brake
on the spread of the disease."
In other cities, gay activists met with owners of bathhouses and other
sex establishments to urge them to make changes that would promote "safe
sex": hanging of safe sex posters in prominent places; making safe sex
brochures always available; and providing condoms to customers.
Mary Jay, director of education at David's House in Toledo said that
she began AIDS work because she "became angry at the governmentís
disinterest in AIDS. It was several years before Reagan even said the
word AIDS publicly."
Jay was not the first to accuse Reagan of negligence. In And the
Band Played On, Shilts wrote, "Some said that Ronald Reagan would
be remembered in history books for one thing beyond all else: He was
the man who let AIDS rage through America, the leader of the government
that when challenged to action had placed politics above the health
of the American people."
In 1985, with no cure or vaccine in sight, two events opened a new
chapter in AIDS history: the availability of a blood test for HIV antibodies
and the death of Rock Hudson.
In the summer of 1985, the HIV-antibody blood screening test became
routinely available. Although the test was not completely reliable,
individuals were able to find if they had been exposed to the virus.
This test also became in important tool in studying the spread of the
The second important event that year was that, before his death in
July, actor Rock Hudsonís publicly said that he had AIDS. Hudson was
the first household name the American public knew had AIDS. The publicity
of his death brought new attention to the epidemic.
When Reagan heard of Hudsonís death, he asked the presidential physician,
Brig. Gen. John Hutton, to tell him about the disease. According to
Haynes Johnson in his book Sleepwalking Through History, Hutton
said Reagan had not realized the seriousness of AIDS until that day.
After listening to a long explanation, Reagan reportedly said, "I
have always thought the world might end in a flash, but this sounds
like itís worse."
Next week: Activism in a time of crisis.