Jesse's Journal

  • Jesse's Journal: John Lauritsen - The Shelley-Byron Men

    John Lauritsen is “an independent scholar” who has “the freedom to tell the truth as I see it, without concerns for career or ‘collegiality.’”

  • Jesse's Journal: LGBT Heroes: Cleve Jones and Barbara Grier

    This week SFGN recognizes our community’s “Out 50.” However, even as we honor today’s LGBT heroes, we should also look back and remember those individuals who made our community what it is today. Unlike today, when leading an LGBT community organization is often a profession, the heroes of the 1960s and 1970s were volunteer leaders of a movement. And while being out is now a given, the individuals of the sixties and seventies were openly lesbian or gay, bisexual or transgender, at a time when most of us were still in our closets. What would our community be without the likes of Harry Hay, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings, Jack Nichols or Harvey Milk? Even in South Florida we owe much to the likes of Frank Arango, Staci Aker, Bob Basker, Edda Cimino, Rev. Joseph Gilbert, Jay Freier and Tom Bradshaw. Milk is still remembered, thanks to the movie of the same name and his nephews work. How will we remember the others?

  • Jesse's Journal: Lost Pioneers - For World AIDS Day

    Recently the Dolphin Democrats of Broward County honored 15 LGBTA (for straight Ally) Pioneers at their Annual Awards Gayla. (Full disclosure: I was one of the honorees.)

  • Jesse's Journal: Mayor Dean Trantalis - A Day That Will Live in History

    In 1995 the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (now the Pride Center) joined forces with the Stonewall Library (now the Stonewall Museum and Archives) to produce a poster meant “to increase the awareness of the citizens of Broward County to some of the historically important events of the Broward County gay community.”

  • Jesse's Journal: Michael Robert Greenspan (1949-2017)

    I met Michael Robert Greenspan on the last Sabbath of February, 1985; and I lost him on the last Sabbath of February, 2017. During those 32 years Michael enriched my life more than any person ever could, other than my parents. 

  • Jesse's Journal: Off My Bucket List

    The first all-gay RSVP “Cruise to Remember” sailed out of New Orleans on February 15, 1986, with 750 gay guests on board.

    So what took me so long?

  • Jesse's Journal: Pride Amid Diversity

    I have a confession to make: I missed my hometown Equality Rally for Unity and Pride in Fort Lauderdale. I was on my way south from gay summer camp when I got caught in a massive tie-up that stopped my car for hours; no surprise to all who have to drive on I-95 from Jacksonville and Miami. Looking back, I could have gone to the Rally in Nashville, which was close to the camp, or even to the National March in Washington, D.C. Or I could have gone to the Rally in West Palm Beach, had I known about it. But I tried to make it home on time, and I failed.

  • Jesse's Journal: SFGN’s OUT50 - Some Departed Greats

    Five years ago, South Florida Gay News began an annual tradition when it published its first “Out 50” issue. This week SFGN reveals its fifth list, and it is to our community’s credit that SFGN managed to find 50 qualified individuals who were not featured in previous years.

  • Jesse's Journal: Surviving the Age of Trump

    The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States was the most traumatic and unexpected event in modern American history. Trump, a businessman and reality show star with no political or military experience, triumphed over Hillary Clinton, a deeply flawed but much more experienced candidate.

  • Jesse's Journal: The 'Lost Cause' and its Monuments

    With the United States on the verge of a second civil war, it is appropriate that one of the things that divide us today is our interpretation of the first one. It seems that, though the Confederate States of America lost the American Civil War, it won the peace that followed.

  • Jesse's Journal: The First Trump Year

    I have not written much about Donald Trump, his administration, or their ongoing attempt to destroy everything I hold dear, for two reasons.

  • Jesse's Journal: The Legend of Snooty

    Among all the celebrities who died in 2017 - including the likes of Chuck Berry, Hugh Hefner, Jerry Lewis, Mary Tyler Moore and Edith Windsor - there is a special place for Snooty, a male Florida manatee who lived at the South Florida Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton.

  • Jesse's Journal: Two Giants Pass - Jim French and Chuck Renslow

    June 2017 will be remembered as our LGBT community’s Pride Summer of Resistance; when the joyful celebrations of previous pride seasons were replaced by protest marches and rallies.

  • Jesse's Journal: Wilton Manors - My second home

    Thomas Jefferson, who served as US Minister to France from 1785 to 1789, was a passionate lover of all things French. (His political enemy, Alexander Hamilton, loved the British.) According to a famous saying attributed to Jefferson, “every man has two countries - his own and France.” Though Jefferson never said this, in his autobiography he admitted that France was his “second choice” for a country to live in after his own. 

  • Jesse’s Journal: Coffee and Conversation Report

    The Pride Center’s “Coffee and Conversation” social was in full swing when it convened on the morning of Jan. 9.

  • Jesse’s Journal: Communities of Faith

    Organized religion has not been kind to the LGBT communities. Traditional Judaism, Christianity and Islam treated sexual and gender diversity as “abominations” worthy of death or worse. 

  • Jesse’s Journal: Fidel Castro Ruz (1926-2016)

    When I learned about the death of Fidel Castro, I immediately thought about my father, who died 25 years ago. Like other Cuban exiles of his generation, my dad looked forward to the day when Cuba’s communist government would fall; and he and his family would return to a free Cuba.

  • Jesse’s Journal: Meet Trumpy Bear!

  • Jesse’s Journal: The End of the Baby Boomers

    In 1966, Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was not an individual but a generation: people who were then twenty-five years of age or under. The Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, promised to change the world as we then knew it. 

  • Jesse’s Journal: The Tabloid President

    During the recent unpleasantness that was the 2016 presidential election much was made of the fact that the vast majority of newspapers endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton against the winning Republican, Donald Trump. A major exception, one that was ignored by the media, probably did more for Trump than all the New York Times or Washington Posts did for Clinton. Though it would be too much to claim that the National Enquirer carried the election for Trump, it certainly did much to express Middle America’s feelings for the Republican candidate.