Jesse's Journal

  • Column: The Rise and Fall of Pastor Tully

    …and why the LGBT community should care

  • Column: The Road to Havana

    President Barack Obama’s decision to restore full relations with the government of Cuba sent a tidal wave through South Florida’s body politic, where opposition to the “Castro regime,” like support of the State of Israel, is required of all politicians, regardless of party. This is a personal issue for me, having been born in Havana, migrating with my family to the United States during the first years of the Revolution, growing up in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood and witnessing more than fifty years of Cuban-American politics.

  • Column: The Task Force - More than Weddings

    In a recent column I followed the progress of marriage equality and noted the widespread belief that, once marriage equality is achieved, we will no longer need to fight for our rights as LGBT people. This might be true for those of us who are white, affluent, cisgender, adults, physically and mentally able, and in a stable marital relationship.

  • Column: Upcoming Gay Naked Fest Bares All — Literally

    Gay Naturists International (GN) began as part of The Naturist Society in 1981 and became an independent organization in 1993. Through its affiliated clubs, GNI “lends a bare hand to any fellow who’s comfortable being gay and naked.”

  • Gay Man Killed in San Bernardino Massacre Saved 4 People

    A memorial service was held Saturday Dec. 5, 2015 for Larry Daniel Kaufman, 42, a gay man who was killed while working at a coffee cart inside the Inland Regional Center for people with disabilities in San Bernardino. He was gunned down when Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked the facility killing 14 and wounding dozens more.

  • Group Turns Over Donor List From Gay Marriage Fight in Maine

    The president of a hedge fund contributed $1.25 million to the National Organization for Marriage's efforts to defeat Maine's gay marriage law in 2009, providing more than half of national anti-gay marriage group's donations during the campaign, according to a campaign disclosure report.

  • Hawaiian Father Sues Department of Education Over Bullying

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) – A father of two has filed a lawsuit claiming East Hawaii public schools have failed to protect his kids from bullying because of their dad’s sexual orientation.

  • In Praise of Vitambi Springs

    A few months ago Ric Reily, who in my opinion is the leading authority on the matter, wrote his annual review of gay or gay-friendly campgrounds in North America for South Florida Gay News’s magazine The Mirror. 

  • Jesse's Journal: ‘Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?’ and the American Immigrant Experience

    Those of us who lived in Miami between 1977 and 1980 are familiar with the bilingual sitcom “Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?” Produced by Miami’s public television station WPBT2, the series chronicled the lives and tiempos of the Peñas, a Cuban-American family who lived in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Though “Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?” has special meaning for those of us who are Cuban-American, its message is relevant to all immigrant communities. 

  • Jesse's Journal: Alcee Hastings Addresses the Dolphin Democrats

    Dolphin Democrats observed Black History Month during the Club’s Annual Meeting (February 21) with a Keynote Speech by U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

  • Jesse's Journal: Broward’s Gay History - Gay Political Life before the Dolphin Democrats

    This is the second of a two-part article first published in 1994 as part of a series about South Florida LGBT history written for Miami’s The Weekly News (TWN). Part one was about Broward County’s queer social life. Part two looks at the rise of the LGBT rights movement at a time when most of us were still in our closets.

  • Jesse's Journal: Broward’s Gay History - Gay Social Life before Wilton Manors

    This two-part article first appeared in 1994 as part of a series about South Florida LGBT history that was published in Miami’s The Weekly News (TWN). Part one is about Broward County’s queer social life and part two is about the rise of LGBT activism in this county. Many of the people I interviewed, friends and fellow-activists, are no longer with us. This article is dedicated to their memory. Two decades later, during LGBT History Month, we look back in time to the days before we had groups like the Pride Center or communities like Wilton Manors, Oakland Park, or Palm-Aire.

  • Jesse's Journal: Dolphin Democrats Gala Honors Our Community’s Best

    (Column) The Dolphin Democrats, a leading voice for the LGBT community within and outside the Democratic Party of Broward County, held its 2018 Annual Awards Gala Oct. 21 at the Venue’s Crystal Ballroom in Wilton Manors.

  • Jesse's Journal: Dolphin Democrats Report

    The Dolphin Democrats combined business with pleasure when they met at the Pride Center at Equality Park on December 13. The Dolphins’ Holiday Party was held in conjunction with the Club’s regularly scheduled membership meeting. The Dolphins’ event attracted over 60 community members, 15 of which joined or renewed their membership. In addition, 30 toys were donated for the Dolphins’ holiday toy drive.

  • Jesse's Journal: Donald Trump and the (Prospective) Fall of Public Television

    For much of my life, I have been a fan of public television. Unlike broadcast and cable television, which mostly exist to sell advertising and appeal to the lowest common denominator, public TV serves the public with (mostly) quality programs that educate, entertain and elevate our minds and hearts.

  • Jesse's Journal: Dr. George Weinberg - Society and the Healthy Psychotherapist

    When “Society and the Healthy Homosexual,” Dr. George Weinberg’s most famous book, was published in 1972, the consensus was that LGBT people were mentally ill. 

  • Jesse's Journal: Equality March - For Unity and Pride

    On October 14, 1979, over 100,000 people (including this author) took part in the first March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Since then, LGBT people and our allies marched on Washington in 1987, 1993, 2000 and 2009. Though little was achieved as a result, the LGBT Marches on Washington united our community and brought attention to important issues, such as AIDS - the 1987 March was the first time the Quilt was exhibited - queers in the military, or marriage equality. Though the victory of marriage equality in 2015 led many to believe that activism was no longer necessary, the election of Donald Trump reminded us that there is still much work to be done.

  • Jesse's Journal: How About We Celebrate LGBT Americans With Monuments?

    The current campaign to take down Confederate monuments has led many people to wonder who would take their place. Dan Avery, writing for, suggested 7 LGBT Americans who are more deserving of honor than Nathan Bedford Forrest or Jefferson Davis.

  • Jesse's Journal: I’m Coming Out…As A Bottom

    Recently actor Haaz Sleiman (“Nurse Jackie”) caused a sensation when he came out on social media, declaring to the world the following:

  • Jesse's Journal: In Memory of Jim Kelly

    “SAKEZLES, James, 64, of St. Petersburg, passed away March 17, 2018. No family has come forward.”