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NYPD apologises for Stonewall raids 50 years on.

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“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month and not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” New York City’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill said Thursday during an LGBTQ police event, according to The New York Times.

“The actions taken by the N.Y.P.D. were wrong, plain and simple,” he continued. “The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize.”

In recent years, multiple commissioners have refused to apologize for the now-documented violence that the LGBTQ community faced at the hands of New York City officers at the Stonewall Inn. In 2017, O’Neill originally declined to apologize, saying “I think that’s been addressed already," before adding, "we’re moving forward."

O'Neill's predecessor, Bill Bratton, acknowledged the year prior that there had been a "terrible experience" at Stonewall that became a "tipping point" and eventually led to "so much good." He added, "An apology, I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s necessary. The apology is all that’s occurred since then."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is gay, had called for an apology from the NYPD in a Wednesday interview with Juliet Papas of the 1010 WINS radio program. Johnson said the police raid, which took place in the early morning hours of June 29, 1969, said such an act would be a show of "decency."

"The NYPD in the past has apologized for other incidents that have occurred, so I think the NYPD apologizing on this would be a very, very good thing, and it's something they should do,” he said. "I think it's never bad to apologize. One thing that personally I do, is if I think I've made a mistake, I try to say I'm sorry, I was wrong and I learn from that because I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting a mistake. It shows decency to recognize something that you may have done wrong."

Incidents that the NYPD have apologized for in the past include a “long overdue” public apology to a rape survivor whose 1994 complaint was met with skepticism by investigators. “We were wrong then,” O’Neill said in a statement on the police department website in October 2018. “I want us to be right today.”

In 2015, Bratton, New York City's police commissioner at the time, said he personally called James Blake, the former tennis star, to say sorry after Blake was tackled by a police officer after being racially profiled “I spoke to Mr. Blake a short time ago and personally apologized for yesterday’s incident,” a statement read.

Johnson had anticipated a similar apology as the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising neared. Stonewall is credited with being the most important event to spark the modern fight for LGBTQ equality in the United States.

"I would love for it happen this month and I will bring it up to the police commissioner," Johnson said Wednesday. "I will have a conversation with [the NYPD commissioner] about it because I think it would be an important step toward further healing and reconciliation and recognizing what happened in that crucial moment, and not just in American history, but New York history in June of 1969."

Pride's across the world are kicking off, with the launch of the Sydney Pride Festival last night at Sydney's own Stonewall Hotel, and celebrations across America and Europe will go through to August...  with the main festival in NYC for World Pride at the end of June.

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JUDITH LIGHT TO RECEIVE 2019 ISABELLE STEVENSON TONY AWARD

Judith Light to Be Recognized for her Advocacy to End HIV/AIDS and Her Support for LGBTQ+ & Human Rights

 

The Tony Awards® Administration Committee has announced today that two time Tony Award (Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties) and two time Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.

 

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Light will receive the Award for her impassioned advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and her support for LGBTQ+ and human rights.  

 

“To be so generously acknowledged by The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and the Tony Awards, and to be included with these outstanding individuals who have received this honor before me, has been one of the most extraordinary gifts I have ever received in my life. The HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities are inspirations and demonstrations of how to be and live in the world; courageous, honorable, and uplifting. They inspire me and it is my privilege to be of service to them. I am humbled by this recognition from my theatre family, whom I so respect, honor, and love,” said Ms. Light. 

 

Since the early days of the AIDS pandemic, Light has reacted to the divisive response towards the LGTBQ+ community by speaking out and aligning herself with numerous organizations, including Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, GLAAD, NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, Elton John AIDS Foundation, among many others.

 

Light’s commitment to each cause has come in various forms throughout the years. In 1993, she spoke at the LGBT March in Washington. In 1995, Light rode her bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the California AIDS Ride to support HIV/AIDS Programs for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. In 1996 she joined Elizabeth Taylor, who served as grand marshal, at the National Mall in Washington DC for the display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In 1998, GLAAD recognized Light with the Vision Award for her dedication to fight HIV/AIDS alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Light traveled to South Africa for the AIDS walk to raise awareness for on the ground care in South Africa and research in the United States. Countless times, Light has lent her voice at Outfest, the LGBTQ+-oriented film festival in Los Angeles, and she sits on the honorary board of Point Foundation, which is the National LGBTQ+ Scholarship Fund.  She has participated in Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gypsy of the Year competition and Broadway Bares.

 

She continues to push boundaries with her roles in Jill Solloway’s Transparent (Amazon Prime); Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX); the film Save Me, written by her husband Robert Desiderio, in which Light produced and starred. The film explored the subject of reparative therapy in a way that had rarely been done before; and The Ryan White Story (ABC).  These roles continue to create conversations about prejudice and bigotry towards HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ communities.

 

“Judith is one of the most beloved members of our theatre community,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing.  “Her talent is as big as her heart and spirit – and her tireless commitment to HIV/AIDS organizations and to the LGBTQ community, are unparalleled.  We are honored to salute Judith at this year’s Tony Awards!”

 

Judith Light is known for her extensive body of television, film, and stage work. This fall she stars in the musical finale of Transparent, Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe–winning series, created by Jill Soloway, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Emmy and Critics’ Choice nominations as well as in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician with Bette Midler and Ben Platt. Last year, her role in Ryan Murphy’s FX series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story garnered her an Emmy nomination and a Critics Choice nomination.

Light stars with Alec Baldwin and Mandy Patinkin in Before You Know It which premiered at Sundance and was picked up by distributor 1091; as well as Ms. White Light, that premiered at SXSW; and Lifetime’s Nellie Bly with Christina Ricci. Upcoming, Light can be seen in film Hot Air with Steve Coogan. 

In 2017, Light she starred in God Looked Away with Al Pacino at the Pasadena Playhouse. In 2016, the play, All the Ways to Say I Love You (MCC) garnered her a Drama League Award nomination. For the Broadway production of Thérèse Raquin with Kiera Knightly, Light won an Outer Critics Circle Award.

In 2012 and 2013, Light won two consecutive Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performances in Other Desert Cities and The Assembled Parties; these two performances dubbed her the first actress in nearly two decades to win consecutive Tonys.

For the Pulitzer Prize winning play at MCC Theatre, Wit, she was awarded the Helen Hayes and Eliot Norton awards. In 2011, Light received a Tony nomination for her role as Marie Lombardi in Lombardi, directed by Thomas Kail.

Light starred in and produced the film, Save Me, written by husband Robert Desiderio which premiered at Sundance in 2007. The year before, Light could be seen in the indie film Ira and Abby.   Selected TV includes: “Ugly Betty” (Emmy Nomination), “Law and Order, SVU”, “Dallas”, “Who’s the Boss”, “One Life to Live” (Two consecutive Emmys).

For additional information on Judith Light’s advocacy work, please visit: https://www.judithlight.com/human-rights-aids-awareness.

 

The American Theatre Wing’s 73rd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, will air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 9, 2019 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

 

The Nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Bebe Neuwirth and Brandon Victor Dixon, on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 from the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The event will be streamed on Facebook LIVE (at Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards), and covered by CBS This Morning at 8:30am ET.

Follow the Tony Awards on Twitter and Instagram for real-time updates on the nominees as they are announced (@TheTonyAwards). The entire announcement will also be available on TonyAwards.com after the event.

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It's gay Christmas!

 Well our first Heaven Social Dance for the year was a huge success with hundreds turning out to support a “Celebration of life and Drag” remembering the fabulous Kerry-Ann Canally/ Ian Stumbles...gone but not forgotten. Our next dance is 13th April and we are excited to announce a brand new production show “The Divas & Sheila’s Show “ featuring June Richards, Holly Waters & Indi Pendant. Mounties Bowling Club Fairfield.   www.heavensocialdance.com           

It aint over til the Fat Drag Queen (me in a previous time) slides down the big red stiletto.......Ladies and Gents it’s the start of Gay Christmas time in Sydney with the beginning of the 41st Mardi Gras Festival starting 15th February and concluding on the 3rd March with the Mardi Gras Parade and Party. This Sunday 17th February is the day the “Homosexuals have their piccccccnnnnniiiicccc” Fair Day at Victoria Park, Camperdown. This day is the ultimate way to kick off the official Mardi Gras season with a lot of fun and a relaxing day out in the park with friends and family, even your fur-babies are welcome. Up to 70,000 people routinely come out to sit on the grass, browse the stalls, enjoy the wide range of delicacies available at the stalls and have a few drinks. Most of all catch up with old friends and make some new ones. Mardi Gras have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and have banned all plastic bottles. So be sure to bring your sports or water bottle that you can fill up during the day at many different locations provided throughout the park with cold water. 10am - 8pm. Gold Coin Donation on arrival. www.mardigras.org.au 

In other exciting news Drags to Bitches, with some of Western Sydney‘s best drag queens, including our own fabulous Yodelling Drag Queen LayDee KinMee take over Club Liverpool, George St  Liverpool Friday 22nd February, tickets $10. www.dragstobitches.com.au               

After 17 years of volunteering at 2GLF I have decided not to re-apply to do a gay radio program in Western Sydney for various reasons, basically it has all become a little too hard for this old gal. I would like to say a huge big thank you to all our listeners at PRIDE RADIO 89.3FM and those that have supported Gay radio in Western Sydney for the last 17 Years. To all the presenters, special guests, DJs that came out to Liverpool to the studio and those people that donated money to keep us on Air in 2018 your support is has been invaluable. If you are interested in putting a show together please contact the cooperative by the end of February 2019. Our last show will go to air on Sunday 27th February with myself and my girlfriends Melicious D’amage and Fi Fi Fo Fum. www.893fm.com.au                             

The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation is holding it's annual Mardi Gras Raffle - there are incredible prizes up for grabs - so click here to buy tickets! Or grab them at the BGF stand at Fair Day, or at Bear Bar on Feb 21,22 and 23!

Also this year will be the first year that I do not take holidays for Mardi Gras and will not be attending the parade or the party it will save me a lot of money as a lot of things of changed in the community some good and some bad but this year I’m going to give it a miss and do something different go to a recovery – catch up on the Sunday at “Disco On The Green” Marrickville Bowling Club from 1pm-9pm Lots of entertainment and it’s free!! And I will officially be free to do whatever I want on a Sunday as of March.                     

Until next time (13March) 
stay safe love Buttercup xxx

www.beverlybuttercup.com

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