Mark My Words

Mark Segal, PGN publisher, is the nation’s most-award-winning commentator in LGBT media. You can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarkSegalPGN or Twitter at https://twitter.com/PhilaGayNews.


A couple of years ago, the author and director of the Academy Award-nominated “How To Survive a Plague,” David France, contacted me for his next project. We chatted a few times and then he arrived at my door with a complete film crew and research staff. He was going to spend the day filming me talking about my sister from Gay Liberation Front in New York, Marsha P. Johnson. Last week, France was kind enough to ask me to the Tribeca Film Festival for a showing of that film, now titled “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.”

This week, I’m writing about an issue that sheds new light on a subject we all think we know: Stonewall. Earlier this week, my husband Jason, who teaches creative writing at Boston University, handed me an anthology of the best science-fiction stories of 2016. The book, edited by John Joseph Adams, has a story by Sam J. Miller titled “The Heat of Us: Notes Towards an Oral History.” It’s literally a science-fiction account of Stonewall.

Some headlines in Europe have yelled “Concentration camps for LGBT people,” or “100 gays rounded up, beaten and imprisoned” or “Kidnappings of LGBT people off the streets.”

Sometimes there seems to be a language problem in understanding, to quote a current president, “what the hell is really happening here.” Here’s an example.

Every so often I ask my Facebook and Twitter friends (about 30,000) to suggest subjects for me to address in this column. Here are some recent suggestions:

Over the last few weeks I’ve been interviewed, filmed, taped and recorded numerous times. I’ve also been going through files — or, more like, boxes of papers and objects that haven’t seen the light of day or artificial light literally for decades — for a project I’m involved with.

Mr. President:

I write to you today regarding your lifting of the federal guidance on transgender rights in schools. While I am not privy to discussions within your White House, this is viewed by many of us as a victorious win for the bigotry of the Steve Bannon and Vice President Pence parts of your administration — the so-called alt-right constituents. You might regret that advice given to you by this segment of your administration. Here’s why.

Any day now, President Donald Trump is expected to announce — with great fanfare, I’m sure, including a drum roll — his pronouncement on the ban of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. This alone should appall any American, or anyone who has decent human empathy, especially when you understand what many of these people are escaping. And we in the LGBT community should understand it a lot more.

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