Hero of the Week Award: September 16, Arthur Evans

16 Sep

Hero of the Week

This past week, the LGBT community lost one of its great pioneers, Arthur Evans.  Evans was only 68. He died of a heart attack; he had been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm last year.

Evans was the Co-Founder of Gay Activists Alliance, an organization that emerged out of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. While Evans did not participate in the riots, the event was the impetus for him to become an activist and join the Gay Liberation Front. One specific triumph of Evans and the Gay Activists Alliance was to protest the New York tax commission which used to require gay people to get a psychiatrist’s approval before being able to drive a taxi.  That law has since been abolished.

Evans stated repeatedly:

We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.

I am saddened that today, in 2011 we are still having to demand our civil rights and value as human beings. While I disagree with Evans about addressing the Gay Liberation Front, ” diluting its effectiveness by taking stands on issues beyond gay rights — opposing the Vietnam War and racial discrimination,” I believe he earns HWA for his dedication and tireless efforts for equality for the LGBT community. I must assert my own beliefs here. I honestly believe that we must address all the intersections of oppression simultaneously.

I also have to tip my hat to lifelong Republican Clint Eastwood! Yes, I’m actually praising a Republican for publicly telling off his own party:

These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don’t give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else!…We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of…They go on and on with all this bullshit about ‘sanctity’ — don’t give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.

I think that pretty much sums it up!  Thank you, Mr. Eastwood.


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