I hope everyone found their way from yesterday’s News Round-up into the NYT article on LBGTI Newark. If you didn’t, you missed a great (and terrible) story – read it now, here:
Since before the murder of Sakia Gunn, there have been LBGTI activists trying to stanch the metaphorical and actual bleeding of Newark’s sexual minority youth. But even with the attention Sakia’s passing shown on the situation in Newark (far far less than the light Matthew Shepard’s murder still shines upon hatred and discrimination in America), almost nothing in Newark has changed in Newark since May 11, 2003. Sharpe James is gone – and that is a good thing for gay Newark. But there’s still much to be done.
Cited in the NYT article is my friend Gary Paul Wright. Gary Paul (he is from Texas, where many people have two names, go figure) started the African American Office of Gay Concerns in Newark a few years ago-it is the longest running 501(c)3 working with gay youth in Newark. In the aftermath of Sakia’s murder, an attempt was made to start the Newark Pride Alliance and a chapter of P-FLAG – both efforts failed IMHO because their missions were immediately lost in a wave of ego-driven politicization. A revitalized Newark Pride Alliance will have learned much from the original attempt, I’m sure. But Gary Paul and the AAOGC has simply, quietly continued to do what he can with the resources he has available. Which aren’t much.
I’m hoping that here in the season of giving some of Blue Jersey’s readers can write a small check to the AAOGC. Much of this goes to very simple things – for instance, McDonald’s gift certificates, so that kids living on the street can eat. (In fact, if you’ve got any of those certificates you don’t want or need, send them!)
Visit and learn about the AAOGC at http://www.aaogc.org…
Mail a check to:
Make checks and/or Money orders payable to:
African American Office of Gay Concerns
877 Broad St. Suite 211
Newark, NJ 07102
Gary Paul is also a fabulous singer-songwriter and performer in the vein of ’60s activists like Richie Havens, and he’s available for events, weddings, bar mitzvahs, whatever. Proceeedds from his performances go to the AAOGC. Buy his CD for $5 and if you like it (you’ll like, I promise) have him at your next candidate house party or barbecue. See http://www.aaogc.org…