Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrating Life, Stopping The BS (Bullying and Suicides) Today & Friday In NYC

In response to the tragic suicide of gay activist Joseph Jefferson over the weekend, and the recent, disturbing rash of other LGBT youth taking their lives around the country, there will be rallies and community events in NYC today and tomorrow. The first of these, a NO BS (Bullying and Suicide) rally, will begin at 5 PM today in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. Organized by Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), and co-sponsored by a host of LGBT organizations, such as Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and the Ali Forney Center, this rally will include appearances by LGBT community leaders and local elected officials. The one-hour rally is expected to draw a large turnout, in hopes of raising public awareness about the growing problem of bullying, homophobia, and suicide which are plaguing the LGBT community today.

Following the Washington Square rally, tomorrow evening will see the Celebrate Life/Stop The Madness event at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th Street, at 6 PM in the Kaplan 101 Auditorium. This event, honoring the lives of Jefferson and others who have recently died by suicide, seeks to remind us that there is hope and healing for our community, even in the face of tragedy and hatred. Celebrate Life/Stop The Madness is being put together by James Saunders, Laurence Pinckney, and Gay Men of African Descent. Featuring an all-star entertainment lineup, including Buttafly Soul, Tyra Allure, Jesse O, Renair Amin, Lester Greene, and many more, this event is not to be missed. There will be raffles and refreshments, and you can make a donation towards Joseph Jefferson's funeral. Grief couseling will also be available. There is lots of community support for this tribute to LGBT life, from (to name just a few) such luminaries as DJ Baker, DJ Fred Pierce, Ricky Day, Lee Soulja, Herndon Davis, GBM News, Rod 2.0, and of course, yours truly.

Both events can be reached via MTA New York City Transit.
For today's Rally in Washington Square Park, take an A, B, C, D, E, F, or M train to west 4th Street. Tomorrow, a 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, or L train to 14th Street will get you to the LGBT Center for Stop The Madness. I hope to see you at both these important functions!

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