Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Upcoming Events

Press Conference for TransJustice


Come out on June 20th and support the Trans Day of Action by flooding the front steps of City Hall.

TransJustice is holding a press conference in the front steps of City Hall to galvanize support from the Mayor and other city officials in grant the 2nd Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice much needed permits for the rally and march. TransJustice, a project of the Audre Lorde Project, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, and Trans People of Color Center for Community Organizing, is leading and organizing the 2nd Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice.

TransJustice proposed this route because of its relevance to the transgender community. Eighth Avenue has been home to the transgender community and is the location of several community service agencies as well as many HIV organizations and nightclubs. Currently, the Trans Day of Action counts with the support of over 100 national and international endorsers. TransJustice continues to mobilize and build contingents that are estimated to surpass 2,000 participants this year.

TransJustice calls on all social justice activists from the communities of color, LGBTST movements, immigrant rights, youth and student groups, trade unions and workers organizations, religious communities and HIV/ AIDS and social service agencies to endorse, build contingents and to help fight for the right to march on 8th Avenue on June 23rd.

We need volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved please contact us at info4tdoa@alp.org. We need all of your help to make this happen! Endorsements can be sent to endorsetdoa@alp.org or by calling (718) 596-0342 ext 18. For The TDOA endorsement list, points of unity or rally schedule: email info4tdoa@alp.org or call (718) 596-0342 ext 18

Trans Day of Action

The 2nd Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice - NYC
Friday, June 23rd 2006

Initiated by TRANSJUSTICE, a project of the Audre Lorde Project
A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit & Trans People of Color Community Organizing Center
85 South Oxford Street * Brooklyn, NY 11217-1607
Tel: 718-596-0342 ext 18 * Fax: 718-596-1328*

Join Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People and our allies on June 23rd 2006 to rally and march, in solidarity against police brutality; to oppose the racist and xenophobic immigration policies of the Bush Administration; to show our outrage at the lack of access to living wage employment, adequate affordable housing, quality education & basic healthcare for our communities; and to demand an end to the devastating impacts of US imperialism (so-called “war on terrorism”) being waged against people at home and abroad.

• 2:30pm Gather at Chelsea Park
(West 27ththSt. Bet 9th & 10th Aves)

• 4pm Protest at the Human Rights Administration
330 34th Street (bet 8th & 9th)

• 5pm Rally to Stop the Murders of Trans People Port
Authority Bus Terminal 42 and 8th Ave

• 6pm Rally at Bryant Park 6th & 42nd Street

To Endorse the Trans Day of Action: call 718 596-0342 ext 18 or email:
endorse@alp.org For more info email info4tdoa@alp.org

Endorsers in Formation as of 06/05/06
*for identification purposes only

Bob McCubbin, Author, Member, California Teachers Association, San Diego, CA
Ignacio Gilberto Rivera, Founder of Poly Patao Productions, Performance
Artist, NYC
Leslie Feinberg, Author, Trans Activist
Mary Lou Finley, Peace and Freedom Party*, CA
Michael Palm, Chairperson, GSOC/UAW Local 2110
Mike Shaw, WWP, Providence, RI
Minnie Bruce Pratt, Author, Jersey City, NJ
Natasha Jimenez, Red LAC TRANS, Costa Rica
Rosemary and Milton Neidenberg, Workers World*
Rosie Schneider, NM
Susan E. Davis, Book Division Co-Chair, National Writers Union, UAW Local
Yaquelin Batista, Red LAC Trans, El Salvador

Action Center For Justice, Charlotte, NC
Argentina, Asociacion Travestis, Transexualses, Transgeneros Argentinas
CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities
Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)
Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP)
Critical Resistance
Dyke TV
El Sindicato Nacional Trans Amand Jofré, Chile
Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST)
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research (FIAR)
Freedom Trainers
Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
GenderCrash.com, Boston, MA
GLOBE A group to support and empower the LGBTQ community of Bushwick, NY
Housing Works, Inc
International Action Center
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), Washington DC
National Lesbian and Gay Task Force
New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE)
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
North Star Fund
Organizacion por la Dignidad de la Diversidad de Hombres-Trans, Chile
Puerto Rico Para Todos (Puerto Rico For Everyone)
Queer Immigrant Rights Project (QUIR)
Queers for Economic Justice
Queers for Peace and Justice
Q-Wave: Asian Pacific Islanders lesbians, bisexual and queer women and trans
Santamaria Fundación GLTB, Cali, Colombia
Stonewall Warriors/International Action Center, Boston, MA
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS)
The Forest Hills Community House, Queens, NY
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Trans Action Canada
Transgender Law and Policy Institute
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc
WMass Mobilization Against Poverty, Racism & War, Springfield, MA
Workers World Party

Thursday, June 15, 2006

March and Rally this Saturday

March and Rally this Saturday
Raise Our Voices Against Anti-LGBT Hate in Our Neighborhoods

When: Saturday, June 17, 2006

Where: Gather at NE Corner of 14th Street and First Avenue at 2PM;
March at 3PM to Christopher Park (Christopher & West 4th Streets)

Why: In the last week a number of hate incidents have impacted our community

Saturday, June 10, 12:30 AM - East Village, Manhattan
On his way home, Kevin Aviance is brutally attacked by a group of men yelling anti-gay slurs

Saturday, June 10, 1:10 AM - Astoria, Queens
A group of three friends are attacked by a larger group yelling anti-gay and racist epithets and wielding a baseball bat

Sunday, June 11, 5:45 AM - Astoria, Queens
A man is followed off of an "N" train by another man who harassed him with anti-gay language, pushed him down elevated platform exit stairs to the street, and kicked and punched repeatedly.

Make your voice heard...
We will not be targeted even as we celebrate our History, our Pride and our Survival...

Community Partners in this Effort include: the NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Daniel Dromm, Empire State Pride Agenda, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Gay Men of African Descent, Hedda Lettuce, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, the Latino Commission on AIDS, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, mano a mano, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, New York State Black Gay Network, NYC Council Member Rosie Mendez, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick, NYS Assembly Member Sylvia Friedman, NYS Senator Tom Duane, People of Color in Crisis, Unity Fellowship Church of Christ and the Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund.

Click here for more information and safety tips.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Drag queen beaten in E. Village horror

Kevin Aviance (after attack and in drag, below) was mugged leaving East Village club yesterday.
An internationally known drag queen and recording artist was robbed and beaten by four trash-talking bullies who shouted anti-gay slurs at him in the East Village early yesterday.

"We're going to kill you, f----t!" at least one of them screamed as they followed 38-year-old Kevin Aviance down the street. "We're going to get you, f----t!"

Four suspects were arrested and charged with assault as a hate crime, cops said.
"I thought they were going to kill me," said Aviance, who suffered a broken jaw and bruises. "I was thinking 'Is this the way I'm going to die?'"

The brutal incident unfolded after Aviance, whose real name is Eric Sneed, left Phoenix, a gay club on E. 13th St. where he had met friends for drinks after posing for Homo Xtra magazine.

The 6-foot-3 diva, who often performs in elaborate gowns, was wearing what his publicist described as "boy clothes" - shorts, a black T-shirt with a hood, and a hat at the time.
In his bag, he was carrying pumps, women's clothing and makeup from his magazine shoot.

"I've been doing this for 15 years and I've never been harassed," Aviance said. "If anything people approach me with warmth."
As Aviance desperately tried to hail a cab a few blocks up First Ave. about 1:30 a.m., the attackers tossed debris at him, Aviance said. One thug punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, he said.
The gang dragged him to the sidewalk and started kicking him, he said. "They were not human," he said.
"You can see the extent of the violence and hate," an investigator said. Aviance added that there were several witnesses to the beating who didn't help him. "They were just cold."
Someone did escort him to nearby Beth Israel Medical Center, where he had his jaw wired shut last evening. He was listed in stable condition.
The muggers snatched his cell phone and wallet.
Arrested last night were Gerard Johnson, 16, and Gregory Archie, 18, both of Manhattan; Akino George, 20, of the Bronx; and Jarrell Sears, 20, of Newark, N.J. A police source that a witness led cops to Johnson, who fingered at least one of the other suspects.
Aviance has been a mainstay of New York's underground club scene and has performed his dance hits all over the world. The bald gender-bender hit No. 1 on Billboard's dance music charts in 1997 with "Din Da Da" and topped the charts again in 2002 with "Alive." He has appeared on television's "America's Next Top Model" and in a music video for Madonna's "Secret."

He was supposed to host the closing party for Gay Pride Week, which begins June 18, but that won't happen this year because of his injuries, according to his publicist, Len Evans. Originally published on June 11, 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006

Tacoma Stabbing

Reported by Rod 2.0

Disturbing news from Washington state where apparently a sexual relationship between a gay man and an ex-convict went wrong. Very wrong.

On Tuesday, police found the body of Morris Perry inside his Tacoma home, reportedly stabbed in the neck four or five times with a screwdriver. Two days later authorities had a man behind bars—Steven Dwayne Anderson.

Reportedly Anderson's rap sheet includes prison time, at least two felony convictions and up to 16 aliases. Police say Perry's teenaged daughter helped them track Perry's missing cell phone to his missing car ... with Anderson behind the wheel.

Conflicting accounts of the relationship between the perp and vic:

KOMO-TV: "Anderson knew Perry, and that over the past five months in exchange for a place to sleep and wash clothes he had sex with the victim."

KIRO-TV: "According to charging documents, Anderson said he and Perry met up at a bar and went to Perry's house for sex. Anderson said when he arrived, he saw a car with two men was parked in the driveway. He said he refused to go along, claiming he didn't want to have group sex. He said he then borrowed Perry's car and cell phone, leaving Perry with the two other men."

Tacoma News-Tribune: "Anderson told police he knew Perry and that he’d shot pool with him Tuesday evening, court documents state. He denied killing Perry and said he last saw him in the company of two other men,"

After almost a decade in local and network television news, we're not surprised by the conflicting details. It's also not surprisingly that the victim's family denies that Morris Perry was gay and "are concerned about what effect those allegations will have on Perry's adopted daughter." However, that has been independently confirmed to Rod 2.0; a reader who lives in the Tacoma-area knew the deceased. The denial is not surprising—just unfortunate. By not admitting the truth, the family can compromise the investigation and, possibly, encourage the victim to invent more untruths and add insult to injury.

Once again, no mugshots and we've explained why. Video at KOMO and KIRO. (Thanks JH!)

Transient Charged in Fatal Stabbing (News-Tribune)
Victim's Daughter Helps Catch Suspected Killer (KOMO)
Prosecutors: Suspect Had Sexual Relationship With Stabbing Victim (KIRO)