Homosexual Zone

May 23, 2011

Cliff Jensen & Kurt Wild

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Cliff Jensen & Kurt Wild know how to combat boredom.

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July 7, 2009

Newark school officials black out picture of a gay student’s kiss

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East Side High School graduate Andre Jackson is suing the Newark Public Schools district after a 2007 incident in which administrators blacked out a photo of him kissing his boyfriend in his yearbook. The school did not not censor photos of heterosexual students kissing.

Andre Jackson, a senior at East Side High School, leaned over his boyfriend’s shoulder one day several months ago and kissed him on the lips. He took a picture of the smooch with his digital camera.

Like other students, Mr. Jackson later paid $150 to have his own special page of photos in the school yearbook. He decided to include the picture of the kiss, to make not a political statement, but a personal one.

“I didn’t intend to say, ‘Oh hey, look at me, I’m gay,’ ” said Mr. Jackson, 18. “It was just a picture showing my emotion, saying that I’m happy, you know, whatever. It was to look back on as a memory.”

On Thursday evening, when the seniors gathered at a restaurant here for the Senior Banquet, students received the yearbooks they had bought for around $85. But the picture of Mr. Jackson kissing his boyfriend was gone. School officials had blacked it out. Roughly 250 yearbooks were distributed, and all of them had a black-marker splotch covering every inch of the photo.

“I was upset,” Mr. Jackson said. “I was hurt. I felt embarrassed and abused.”

He and another student said the photo was blacked out at the restaurant by several teachers and the principal, Mario Santos, as the yearbooks were being handed out to the seniors when they entered. The other student, Benilde Barroqueiro, said a teacher told her: “It’s not that we want to do this. It’s that we have to do this.”

“I don’t understand,” said Jackson. “There is no rule about no gay pictures, no guys kissing. Guys and girls kissing made it in.”

East Side’s is like most high school yearbooks. About 80 pages in the roughly 100-page tome is dedicated to class photos, formal shots of seniors, candids and spreads dedicated to a variety of sports teams and academic clubs.

The back of the book is a collection of tributes where students designed pages filled with pictures depicting them with their families, girlfriends and boyfriends, and friends.

Rules for publication of the pages prohibited shots of gang signs, rude gestures and graphic photos, said Benilde Barroqueiro, an East Side senior graduating with Jackson.

“You know, it couldn’t be too provocative. No making out, no tongue,” she said.

Students were surprised when they opened their books and found Jackson’s picture had been covered with marker, Barroqueiro said.

“He purchased the page and fell under the rules,” she said. “If they want to kiss, that’s their page. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.”

Superintendent Marion A. Bolden then  issued an apology to the student, Andre Jackson, according to a statement released by the district on Monday.

“The decision was based, in part, on misinformation that Mr. Jackson was not one of our students and our review simply focused on the suggestive nature of the photograph,” the district said.

“Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson and regrets and embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought to him,” according to the statement.

The district said it would reissue an “un-redacted version” of the 2007 yearbook to any student of East Side High School who wants one.

Bolden, through a spokeswoman, declined a request for an interview.

Jackson planned an afternoon news conference with Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, which has condemned actions taken by the district last week.

“The school district’s erasure of this student and his boyfriend is a tragic metaphor of the school district trying to erase the lesbian and gay community from its schools, and we won’t stand for it,” said Steven Goldstein, the chairman and chief executive of Garden State Equality.

March 18, 2009

Oklahoma teacher lost her job after assigning gay-themed play

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After showing her class the 2002 film adaptation of The Laramie Project, about the hate crime killing of Matthew Shepard, Debra Taylor’s high school class wanted to film scenes for a class project. A few weeks later she was fired. Students say it’s because the community is homophobic.

Several weeks into the project, school officials told her to stop production on the project, which featured strong language.

After students protested, she then held a 20-minute “funeral” for the cancelled project, in which her class wrote their thoughts on notes pushed inside helium balloons.

According to Taylor and school officials, she lost her job for complaining to a school board member about the class being cancelled.

She said that Superintendent Ed Turlington put her on paid leave and recommended she be sacked. She handed in her resignation last week.

However, others have said the loss of her job was due to the subject matter of the film.

Senior Matt Ebner, one of Taylor’s former students, told USA Today: “They don’t want something like this addressed in our community.”

Said Taylor: “I didn’t ask [the students] to change their belief systems, but what I asked them was, ‘Can you be tolerant of those that are different from you?’ Many times the students came back and said, ‘I don’t like gays.’ I said: ‘I’m not asking you to like gays. But can you be tolerant?'”

The film was based on a play by the New York-based Tectonic Theater Project and features interviews with Laramie residents after Shepard’s death.

March 10, 2009

Violent attack at Baltimore Lesbian Bar

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A woman was killed in a violent attack at a lesbian bar in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday.

The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Saturday morning outside of the Coconuts Cafe’ in Mount Vernon.

Once voted the best lesbian bar in Baltimore, the Coconuts Café may now be known for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old victim Sctario Tia Edwards.
“And in the club individuals where inside dancing and as a result someone bumped into someone else according to witnesses and that person angrily left the location,” says Nicole Monroe of the Baltimore City Police Department.

The two friends later left the bar and started getting into their vehicle. That is when the woman that was bumped pulled up in a dark colored SUV. She got out and pulled out a metal pipe, and began beating one of the female victims.

“After beating the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim, then shot the individual seated in the car, and a stray bullet struck a third victim,” says Monroe.

The enraged suspect didn’t stop there. After she shot the three women, she proceeded to get in her car and run over the victim with her truck before fatally shooting her for the last time.

The shooter is described as a light skinned black female, with dreadlocks down her back, about 5’6-5’7, and weighing over 200 pounds.

February 10, 2009

Rihanna postpones Malaysia concert after alleged assault

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Rihanna has delayed a planned concert in Malaysia this week, following reports that she accused boyfriend and fellow performer Chris Brown of assault, a news report said Tuesday.

“In light of recent events involving Rihanna, [William Morris Agency] will confirm within two weeks from now on a replacement date to be mutually agreed” upon by the organizer and the singer’s camp, Pineapple managing director Razman Razali said in a statement.

“We sincerely regret this unavoidable shift in schedule and apologize to the fans for any inconvenience caused.”

It is being reported that Rihanna’s injuries are worse than previously thought. Law coercion sources have been removing some-more specific per Sunday night’s Chris Brown arrest – as well as cops who photographed Rihanna’s injuries contend they have been “horrific.”

The photos uncover vital contusions upon both sides of a singer’s face – there is critical flourishing as well as bruising . Her mouth is separate as well as her nose bloody.

Also, it was not Rihanna who privately called 911 . Someone in a area listened her screams during a alleged assault as well as placed a obligatory call for help.

Rihanna was treated with colour as well as liberated from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, carrying been escorted out a behind exit of a sanatorium a little time which night . “They used a fake to chuck off a media, ” a source tighten to a review said.

Neither Rihanna nor Chris Brown’s expect locale have been well known during this time, nonetheless Brown was speckled nearing during a London road house in West Hollywood after being expelled from control upon$ 50, 000 bail a night of a attack.

A part of of Rihanna’s middle round reportedly told E! News that her family is making skeleton to get her out of L.A . as shortly as possible: “They wish to get her behind to Barbados . They wish to keep her divided from Chris right now.”

Brown, nineteen, has pulled out of his scheduled coming Sunday during a 2009 NBA All-Star Game, whilst Rihanna, twenty, opted to carry over a sold-out unison scheduled for Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, citing an “unavoidable” conflict.

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