March 25, 2011

Statements from queer groups objecting to the Center's actions

Many groups sent statements and letters in response to the LGBT Center's cancellation of the anti-Occupation fundraiser, and the expulsion of Siegebusters. They covered topics including:
  • The marginalization of queers of color, Middle Eastern queers and Palestinian queers in particular by the Center's actions
  • Objections to censorship of free speech and queer organizing
  • Objections to the Center's capitulation to funders demanding to control queer space
  • Lack of a transparent process for deciding how our community's Center can or cannot be used
  • Challenges to the Center's excuses for acting as they did
  • and more...
Statements posted online are here:
Aswat - Palestinian Gay Women and alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society:
Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, FIERCE, Sylvia Rivera Law Project letter to the Center:
SALGA-NYC/GAPIMNY letter to the Center:
Lisa Duggan letter to the Center:
Judith Butler letter to the Center:
Press release with statements from additional queer individuals, queer groups, queer-oriented anti-occupation groups, and others:

Some statements aren't posted elsewhere (that we know of):
Statement from Jim Fouratt, co-founder Lesbian and Gay Commuity Center

As one of the original five people (Karen Zeigler(Mcc), Ken Dawson (SAGE) Marc Weiss (Media Matters) Jim Trickler) who sat in and demanded the old baking School NOT be sold to developers by the City Administration. I can tell you we and the board we choose had from the very beginning a shared vision of a safe place for all lesbian and gay people despite differences in gender expression, age, politics, race and economic position. Diversity was our goal and inclusion our method. Even back then we had people who promised to financially support the NYC Lesbian and Gay Community Center if we agreed to exclude one group or another. Despite the financial pressure, we resisted. The power plays from special interest people of wealth have always been lurking in the corners of the building. Historically the Board of Directors maintained the original vision of a safe space for all people whose sexual orientation manifested in same sex attraction and desire.

Until now!

Michael Lucas, successful pornographer, is the newest, gay money-bully. He should know better given his own journey through institutionalized homophobia and religious bigotry, but apparently he has forgotten. Lucas should know that respect for diversity builds strength in the name of community. But apparently he does not. Shame on him for threatening the financial viability of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center, shame on whom ever on staff or the Board of Directors who forgot the historical guiding principles that has held the Center together as a community despite our differences and capitulated to the money bully.

I call upon the Board of Directors to right this wrong and welcome into the building the Siege Busters.

jim fouratt
Stonewall Participant
Gay Liberation Front co-founder
Founding Board Member NYC Lesbian and Gay Community Center

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