Tuesday, June 17, 2014

No Stonewall Vets at Interior Presser? Corey Johnson Unconcerned

Ever since Corey Johnson came out of the closet on the front page of the New York Times in May 2000, as a gay high school football player in a well-choreographed media blitz, I've been impressed with one factor about his career that continues to this day: promoting himself.

He parlayed that high-profile coming out story into a Gay Inc career that led him to the New York City City Council last November. A few weeks ago, he again showed how his ego and commitment to kissing the right LGBT and straight Democratic Party butts are of paramount importance and his public life.

Johnson was invited by Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to appear at her May 30 press conference in front of the Stonewall Inn on Manhattan's Christopher Street, as she announced a National Park Service effort to identify, preserve and commemorate sites of LGBT historical significance.

I blogged about the lack of Stonewall Riot vets and people of color at the presser, then filed a public records request with Johnson's office for any emails related to the event. The Freedom of Information Law officer for the NYC City Council provided me with responsive records and they illustrate how Johnson was unconcerned by the lack of movement vets and people of color.

On May 29, Johnson's chief of staff Jeffrey LaFrancois asked the Department of the Interior's p.r. officer John Blair if the feds needs a quote for their release. There are no emails from anyone in Johnson's office expressing concerns that no Stonewall vets are to speak or have been invited to the presser. They're not proposing rounding a vet or two themselves; just wondering if the councilman should send a quote to the feds for inclusion in their release.

Blair replies with a list of elected officials, LGBT liaisons to Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo and current Stonewall Inn owners, showing that the feds, like Johnson, have no interest in hearing from actual, living veterans of the riot they will all commemorate in their remarks at the presser. Look no further for how the egos and agendas of the elected officials have trumped LGBT community voices and concerns. Our history got co-opted in the process.

LaFrancois, on behalf of his boss, asks if out lesbian Assemblymember Deborah Glick has been invited. What did I say about Johnson always looking to kiss Democratic butt? Make sure the riot vets are reached out to and properly honored? Not part of Johnson's agenda.

Matching the pressing of lips on elected Democratic Party butts, Blair says Johnson is to recognize the liaisons from Senator Gilliabrand and Rep. Nadler's offices.

The icing on this cake was provided by gay millionaire Tim Gill who's funding the National Park Service LGBT historical study and who was allowed to speak at the May 30 presser in New York City.

And the beat goes on . . .

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