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Behind the Aegis

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The Black Panthers and Gay Rights

In 1970 the Black Panther Party invited Jean Genet, the famous French gay writer and activist, to the U.S., as many black Americans already considered him an ally because of his play The Blacks. In 1991 in Paris, lesbian Panther Angela Davis spoke about this time, recalling her first meetings with Genet.

Davis also recalls a speech Genet gave at the University of California, Los Angeles, in support of releasing black political prisoners: “Genet had made some proposals 20 years before that we just started to develop — for instance, the white participation in the struggle against racism. After a quarter of an hour, many members of the audience started to get upset and to whisper and, suddenly, someone even interrupted Genet asking him to speak, at last, of himself and his work! Genet answered, ‘No, I'm not here to talk about literature or my books. I came to defend the Black Panther Party.’”

Angela Davis charted the important links between black political consciousness and gay rights in that same speech:

“One last important point: It was Genet who heightened the Black Panther Party awareness to the homosexual rights issue. David Hilliard told me that when they were traveling together from state to state, from one university to another, some members of the party were using very rude and homophobic words to insult Nixon or (U.S. Attorney General John) Mitchell. Genet was hurt by these words and told them they should not use such vocabulary.


Angela Davis and Jean Genet
Posted by Behind the Aegis | Tue Sep 13, 2016, 02:04 AM (1 replies)

Lady Chablis, Transgender 'Midnight' Star, Dies at Age 59

Source: NBC News

Sep 8 2016, 4:09 pm ET

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Lady Chablis, the transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," died Thursday in Savannah, her family said. She was 59.

Chablis' sister, Cynthia Ponder, confirmed she died at Candler Hospital. A close friend, Cale Hall, said Chablis died from pneumonia and had been in the hospital for the past month.

A modern, nonfiction take on Southern Gothic storytelling, author John Berendt's "Midnight" thrust Savannah into the pop-culture spotlight. And the sassy, blunt-spoken Chablis rode the book's popularity to a level of fame that was rare for transgender performers at the time.

"The legacy that she wanted to leave was one of 'believe in who you are and never let the world change who you are,'" Ponder said. "Love yourself first and respect yourself first and others will love and respect you."

Chablis insisted on playing herself in 1997's "Midnight" movie directed by Clint Eastwood. That same year she published an autobiography, "Hiding My Candy."

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lady-chablis-transgender-midnight-star-dies-age-59-n645006

She was my friend!!

Posted by Behind the Aegis | Fri Sep 9, 2016, 12:43 AM (20 replies)
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