at SF Vigil for Slain Gays, Emos, Goths
We tied our banner to the center of the steel bars on the large bank window at Castro and 18th Streets, taped posters showing one of the dead Iraqi emo victims and placed a memorial floral wreath on the sidewalk, and created a striking scene that caught the attention of people driving or walking past us.
Among the community folks who came by to lend solidarity with gay, emo and goth people in Iraq were African-American transgender advocate Jazzy Collins, AIDS activist Gary Virginia, photographers Rick Gerharter and Dan Nicoletta and Bill Wilson, Bay Area Reporter writer Heather Cassell, drag artiste Donna Sachet, political artist Clinton Fein, parishioners from Metropolitan Community Church, members of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club and the Log Cabin Republicans.
There was no formal program. Those of us who have read the news stories about the skull-crushing murders of young Iraqi male who are gay, emo, goth or just weird or perceived to be weak and effeminate, and have some knowledge of the crimes and the political reactions or apathy chatted with the many people who were ignorant of the situation.
At various times, Gary and Clinton would take to the bull horn, make short speeches or read the letter from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad strongly condemning the murders.
A ton of gratitude to everyone who pitched in to make the vigil happen, all who were able to be there, the people who stopped for more information. Thanks!
I was honored to read a statement from Bissam, a gay Iraqi who started the blog Rainbow Iraq in reaction to the killings. Go to his blog now and leave him and his Iraqi readers messages of solidarity and love. Please.
Bissam is a pseudonym used to protect his personal safety, and here are his words that were read aloud and heard tonight in San Francisco:
We See You, They Don't
A comment from Benjamin from United States says we see you on all out website said the whole truth in one short sentence. And it is real that the whole world is seeing what is going on but the Iraqi government and the authorities. While the world is protesting against the brutality of these crimes the people in charge disgrace the victims. The Iraqi prime minister didn’t speak at all.
The Shiiat leader says it is a strange phenomenon has a devastating influence and the head chief of Baghdad police says it is a revenge and honor killings. He didn’t even have a courtesy to call them crimes.
Sad, bad and unethical actions against innocent people all what they did are to be themselves. The heart of the humanity is bleeding for what is going on. They say they are not 100 people who get killed. Does it matter if they are 1 or 1000?
Killing is killing and this is a forcing for a stupid culture upon people who they are so peaceful. For how long these crimes will go without any punishment or even a small investigation? From gluing the rectum of the gays to smashing the Emo and gays with bricks, what next?
I ask you all to stand as one with us to safe the rest of humanity remained in Iraq. And to tell the Iraqi authorities that everyone has his freedom of speech and express himself as he believes.
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there for us.