Sunday, February 2, 2014

Langston Hughes Gay? No Gays In Boston Parade

Langston Hughes Gay?

One of the posts I wrote while writing about a story set in the Edwardian Era, Unmentionable: The Men Who Loved On The Titanic, has to do with how difficult it was to find any recorded information at all about anything male/male related during that time. And this article about Langston Hughes, African American Writer, is a perfect example of the information I found lacking in all my research. And this total blank continued from Hughes's birth date in 1902 right up until the 1960's.

For most of his 65 years, Hughes championed his fellow black people, their beauty, and their shared culture. Through his poems, novels, plays and critical commentary, Hughes became the de facto leader of the Harlem Renaissance, a literary superman of sorts. He was possibly the most famous young black man of the 1920s, and he used his fame not only to celebrate his race, but also laborers, the colonized and other oppressed people. For example, he opposed Franco in the Spanish Civil War, which he covered for The Baltimore Afro-American. For all his liberal activism, though, Hughes couldn’t fight for the gays. Not openly, at least.

You can read more here. It gives examples and shows how often Hughes made reference to gay culture...even though it was not called gay back then.

I've read a good deal of his work and he's one of my favorite authors.

No Gays In Boston Parade

In South Boston, a gay group called MassEquality was not allowed to fill out an application to participate in a St. Patrick's Day parade  because the organizers of the parade believe they would be sending wrong messages. I'm not joking.

MassEquality was notified their application had been rejected via an after-hours voicemail left by the parade organizers who cited the 1995 US Supreme Court decision in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, as the reason they are legally able to legally able to exclude LGBT groups from participating. In that ruling, the Supreme Court granted John J. Hurley – the previous organizer of the parade – the right to deny any group from participating if it presented a message that was contrary to the one the private organization wished to express.

You can read more here.

What I don't get is that anyone would turn anyone away from being part of a parade at this point in time. Parades in general are becoming as relevant as drinking water directly from the faucet. Who does that anymore?

But, aside from how dumb I think all parades are, the point here is more about gay-hate, being anti-gay in South Boston, and not allowing a group of people to share the same equal rights as everyone else.

And laws designed by judges with an agenda with the specific interest to target inequality.


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