Vigil for Orlando planned in Athens, Texas

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A vigil in memory of the victims of the June 12 shooting in Orlando is being organized in Athens, Texas. The event will be held Monday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Henderson County Courthouse, 100 E. Tyler St.

For information call 903-681-4486 or email Hollaway951@gmail.com.

—  Tammye Nash

Grief, anger, vows to overcome at Fort Worth vigil for Orlando

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A standing-room-only crowd of 500-plus people packed into the sanctuary of Fort Worth’s Celebration Community Church Monday evening, June 13, for a vigil in memory of the victims killed and injured in the Sunday morning shooting at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.

After the church’s choir opened the evening with the song “Orphans of God” — There are no strangers; there are no outcasts, there are no orphans of God. So many fallen, but hallelujah, there are no orphans of God — city leaders and pastors and leaders from LGBT and mainstream churches around Fort Worth offered comfort, encouragement and hope.

Mayor Betsy Price spoke of overcoming the kind of evil that lies at the root of the Orlando massacre, and Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald pledged that his department would make every effort to keep similar attacks from happening here. The chief asked the community to always contact his department with any concerns, and he introduced a member of FWPD’s Code Blue Training program who then spoke of her nephew who was killed in the Orlando shooting.

One pastor spoke of gay bars as being sacred places of refuge for LGBT people when there were no churches or other places that offered shelter and comfort. Another recalled the 1973 arson fire at the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans in which 32 people were killed. Even as the community grieves for the victims of Orlando, he said, we must realize how far we have come since 1973, as the world grieves with us this time.

Another speaker described his anger, but pledged to put aside anger and instead respond with love. And one woman from a mainstream church apologized that she and many mainstream churches have not stepped up sooner to treat the LGBT community with love and respect.

Ministers read the names of the Orlando dead as a candle was lit for each one. Then Fort Worth District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh lit one candle in honor of all victims of violence, Fitzgerald lit one candle in honor of the first responders, and Price lit one candle in honor of the wounded in Orlando. The service ended with the “passing of the light,” as people moved through the building, using their candles to lit candles held by those standing near them.

—  Tammye Nash

Hey Houstonians: Candlelight vigil tonight at The Montrose Center

Folks in Houston and the surrounding area are invited to attend “A Stand Against Hate: Candlelight Vigil for Orlando Tragedy” tonight (Monday, June 13) beginning at 6 p.m., at The Montrose Center, 401 Branard St.

The vigil is organized by Pride Houston, The Montrose Center and Legacy Community Health.

In announcing the event, organizers said: “Tonight we stand in solidarity against hate in any form. Tonight we stand together in strength to show that fear will not win. Tonight we stand in silence as we mourn the lives lost in the senseless act of terrorism in Orlando.

“We stand with our allies, friends, families and loved ones.

“We stand in love.”

—  Tammye Nash

More photos from the Dallas vigil for the Orlando shooting victims

More photos from the Dallas vigil for the victims of the shooting in Orlando, taken by Dallas Voice photographer Kay Haygood.

—  Tammye Nash

UPDATE: Vigil for Pulse Orlando victims set for tonight in Dallas

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UPDATE: Dallas to Orlando: a Vigil for Those Lost on 6/12, will be held TONIGHT, Sunday, June 12, at 8 p.m. at Resource Center, 5740 Cedar Springs Road. Those attending are asked to bring candles or lights.

 

Dallas activist Daniel Scott Cates has announced, via Facebook, plans for a vigil Tuesday evening in Dallas in memory of the 50 people killed and the more than 50 other injured in the shooting Sunday morning at Pulse Orlando gay bar.

“Our hearts are heavy and our fists are clenched in rage for those we have lost. This gathering WILL HAPPEN in the Oak Lawn neighborhood. We will release details ASAP,” Cates posted on the FB event page for From Dallas to Orlando: A vigil for those lost on 6/12.

At this point, the vigil is set for 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, with the location and other details to be announced.

—  Tammye Nash

Vigil set in Tyler for murdered trans woman

Ty Underwood Vigil

Local and state LGBT and allied organizations are holding a vigil at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4., at Bergfeld Park in Tyler in honor of Ty “Nunnee” Underwood, the 24-year-old transgender woman murdered Jan. 26 in Tyler.

Some of Underwood’s family members will speak at the rally, along with representatives of some of the organizations hosting the event.

Tyler Police Department Public Information Officer Don Martin said this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 3) that police there do have leads they are investigating, but have no new information they can release at this time. “There are some things coming up, and if those things come through, we hope to be able to make an announcement” soon, Martin said.

Underwood’s friends and family have said they believe her murder was an anti-trans hate crime, although police have so far not designated it as such. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or Tyler-Smith County Crime Stoppers at 903-597-2833.

Underwood worked at a nursing home, and friends and family members said she planned to go back to school to become a nurse. She died early Monday morning, Jan. 26.

Police said a woman called police to report the accident, saying her children had heard gunshots, after Underwood’s car crashed into a telephone pole in the 400 block of West 24th Street in Tyler. Police said they believe Underwood was trying to escape in her car after being shot when the accident occurred.

Underwood died at the scene. She was originally from Lufkin, and funeral services were held Saturday, Jan. 31, at Woods Memorial Chapel Church of God in Christ in Lufkin, under the direction of Colonial Mortuary and Cremation Services. Underwood was cremated.

Organizations participating in the vigil on Wednesday are Transgender Education Network of Texas, Hope for Peace and Justice, Project TAG (Tyler Area Gays), Tyler-East Texas PFLAG, Longview PFLAG, Tyler Transgender Group, Tyler Junior College SAFE (Students Advocating For Equality), UT-Tyler Gay Straight Sexuality Alliance, Life Covenant Church of Tyler, Woodland Christian Church of Longview and Equality Texas.

According to Southerners on New Ground, Underwood is one of six transgender or gender-non-conforming individuals killed since the new year began. The other five include Jesse Hernandez, 17, who was shot by police in Denver, Colo.; Candra Keels, 20, who was allegedly stabbed to death by her girlfriend; Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend in Los Angeles; Lamia Beard, shot to death in Norfolk, Va.; and a gender-non-conforming black gay man killed in Louisville, Ky.

The park, located at West Second Street and South Broadway in Tyler, is the same park from which gay man Nicholas West was kidnapped, then murdered, a little more than 21 years ago in November 1993. A “Stop The Hate” rally in his memory was held at the park about a month after his death, with about 700 people attending. A marker placed in the park commemorated West.

—  Tammye Nash

Vigils planned across Texas for murdered Houston lesbian couple

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Four vigils are scheduled throughout Texas on Wednesday night to remember the lives of a Houston lesbian couple killed earlier this month.

Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson, both 24, were found in a trash bin near Port Bolivar on March 7. They’d been a couple for two years.

Cosby’s father, James Larry Cosby, was arrested for tampering with evidence in the case. He remains a suspect in the women’s’ deaths. Cosby’s mother told Houston media outlets over the weekend that her daughter’s father was upset she was gay, and she believed he killed them because of their sexual orientation.

Galveston detectives are still searching for a man who police believe was last seen with the women and information about the couple’s Kia Sorrento that was stolen. A $150 reward for information has been raised through a fund Dallas GetEQUAL TX activist C.d. Kirven started.

“We want to celebrate the way Britney and Crystal lived and not the way they died. They were a part of a community, an LGBT family that mourns their loss,” Kirven said about the vigils in a statement.

She said the Galveston vigil was canceled, and a Fort Wirth vigil  was added, along with vigils in Dallas, Austin and Corpus Christi.

Tiffani Bishop, co-state lead organizer for GetEQUAL TX said, “The tragic murders of Britney and Crystal are truly heartbreaking. To discover that Britney’s father is suspected of committing these crimes is difficult to wrap my head around. It is beyond time that our community begin an open and honest dialogue about violence against queer women of color.”

People attending vigils or who want to show support for the women’s memory are asked to wear yellow in the memory of Cosby and Jackson.

Other vigils are still being solidified, including one for Williamson County. GetEQUAL TX will update vigil information on its Facebook page.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 866-248-8477 or Galveston County Crime Stoppers 409-763-8477.

Locations of the Texas vigils are below.

—  Dallasvoice

Houston to recognize World AIDS Day with candlelight vigil

World AIDS Day logoWorld AIDS Day is Thursday, December 1st. In observance Houston will hold a candlelight observance near City Hall at Tranquility Park (400 Rusk Street ) at 5:00 pm. The annual observance includes performances by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston, the Bayou City Women’s Chorus and a youth chorus as well as speeches by Houston Mayor Annise Parker and representatives of local HIV/AIDS organizations. 

If you’ve never attended a Houston World AIDS Day vigil it’s a very moving event. The gentle white noise of Tranquility Park’s massive water features and the sequestered landscaping of the park seem to drown out our noisy city so that the quite dignity of electronic candlelight growing in the shadow of the red lit city call becomes the only reality.

For more information, including other events in the city and information on free HIV testing visit worldaidsdayhouston.org.

—  admin

What’s Brewing: Vigil planned outside McDonald’s where transgender woman was brutally beaten

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

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Chrissy Lee Polis

1. A vigil is planned tonight outside the McDonald’s in Baltimore where a transgender woman was brutally attacked, beaten and dragged across the floor on April 18 before apparently suffering a seizure. Shocking video of the incident, captured by a McDonald’s employee on his cell phone, has gone viral over the last several days. The 22-year-old victim, Chrissy Lee Polis, spoke out about the incident, which she says was a hate crime, in an interview with the Baltimore Sun above. Two female suspects, ages 14 and 18, have been arrested, and the employee who filmed the attack has been fired. If you haven’t seen the video of the incident yet, you can watch it here.

2. A Tennessee pastor is set to appear in federal court today on charges related to the epic Lisa Miller-Janet Jenkins lesbian custody case. Timothy David Miller, 34, is accused of helping Lisa Miller and her daughter flee to Central America after she renounced homosexuality and refused to comply with court-ordered visitation. Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins entered a civil union in 2000 in Vermont, and their daughter, Isabella, was born in 2002. After the couple broke up in 2003 and Miller renounced homosexuality, she refused to allow Jenkins to see Isabella because she’s a lesbian.

3. Don’t miss our slideshows from the Pooch Parade at Easter in the Park and the Cedar Springs Art Festival.

—  John Wright

GetEqual, DADT repeal supporters (including Blenders) hold vigil at the grave of Leonard Matlovich

From GetEqual’s release:

The vigil, held to coincide with the starting day of the lame-duck session of Congress, will send a clear and frank message to the United States Senate – repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” now. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, President Barack Obama, and other Democratic leaders have continually reassured the LGBT community that the legislation would be repealed during the current session of Congress.

The vigil is set to center around the gravesite of gay Vietnam Veteran Leonard Matlovich. Matlovich, a recipient of both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, made headlines in the 1970s after he came out as openly gay and fought to stay in the U.S. Air Force – landing him on the cover of Time Magazine. Matlovich’s tombstone at the Congressional National Cemetery is meant to be a memorial to all gay veterans and is inscribed with the well-known phrase: “When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.”

The vigil will be one in a series of actions GetEQUAL will engage in throughout the week to pressure the Senate to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.  The lame-duck session begins on Monday, November 15, and is expected to run approximately two weeks – or until leadership has the votes to call adjournment.  With Congressional leaders such as John McCain and Carl Levin in discussions over the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, national activists across party lines are making their voices heard.

Lt. Dan Choi preparing Sgt. Leonard Matlovich’s grave before this morning’s vigil.

“Paying respects to the memory and legacy of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich – and re-dedicating ourselves to the movement focused on repealing DADT” —

Blenders at today’s event include Autumn Sandeen, Scott Wooledge (Clarknt67) and Michael Bedwell. Note that this is one of a few actions planned — so stay tuned.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin