WXXI AM News

Gay pride

LGBTQ activist Edie Windsor was in the process of writing her memoir, "A Wild and Precious Life," when she died at the age of 88. Windsor's landmark 2013 Supreme Court case -- which took on the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 -- expanded the definition of "spouse" to include some-sex partners, and made them eligible for federal benefits previously limited to heterosexuals. In her book, Windsor shares her journey from hiding her sexual identity to becoming an outspoken LGBTQ activist.

Her widow, Judith Kasen-Windsor is in Rochester to discuss Windsor's book and her impact on history. She joins us in studio, along with local activists. In studio:

  • Judith Kasen-Windsor, LGBTQ activist and Edie Windsor's surviving spouse
  • Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D), District 138
  • Evelyn Bailey, executive producer of the Shoulders to Stand On Documentary 

New research from Pew Research Center shows that American support for same sex marriage has almost perfectly flipped in the last 15 years. In 2004, 60 percent of Americans polled said they opposed same-sex marriage, while 31 percent said they supported it. In 2019, 31 percent of Americans polled say they oppose same-sex marriage, while 61 percent say they support it.

For the LGBTQ community in Gen Z, life is very different than it was for their parents and grandparents. We talk with an older lesbian couple about their lifelong journey towards accepting themselves and feeling accepted by others. In studio:

  • Barb Adams and Roz Pullara

April Franklin / WXXI News

It has been 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York City, and over the weekend, the Rochester LGBTQ community and its supporters participated in the annual ROC Pride parade held Saturday on Park Avenue, while also honoring Rochester’s own gay rights history.

The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village where a police raid sparked a rebellion that fueled the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

We sit down with people of color in the local LGBTQ community to discuss identity, how they find belonging, and how they recruit allies. Our guests share their personal stories, the challenges they face – including healthcare disparities – and their ideas for how to create a more inclusive society.

In studio:

We're joined by members of the Landmark Society and the Out Alliance to talk about historic places in our community that have played a pivotal role in the LGBTQ movement. Those organizations are leading a new walking tour that is part of the Landmark Society's LGBTQ Landmark Initiative

We discuss the initiative and Rochester's contributions to the LGBTQ movement. In studio:

  • Larry Francer, associate director of preservation for the Landmark Society of Western NY
  • Wayne Goodman, executive director of the Landmark Society of Western NY
  • Carol Ebersole-Weiss, member of the national board of governors for the Human Rights Campaign, and western new coordinator of the Human Rights Campaign of Greater New York
  • Evelyn Bailey, historian for the Out Alliance

Members of the LGBTQ community are blasting actor Kevin Spacey, saying he conflated homosexuality with pedophilia. Late last month, actor Anthony Rapp told BuzzFeed that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. In a statement on Twitter, Spacey said he does not remember the encounter, but apologized and said his actions were caused by “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” In that same statement, Spacey then said he now chooses to live as a gay man.

The timing of Spacey’s announcement has fueled backlash: critics say it was a calculated PR move to distract from the alleged sexual misconduct, and it furthers the stigma that links homosexuality and child molestation – which is not backed by research. We talk about the impact of Spacey’s statement. Our guests:

  • Rowan Collins, education coordinator for the LGBTQ Academy at the Out Alliance
  • Kevin Coffey, assistant professor of social work in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Michael Lecker, director of LGBTQ health and inclusiveness at Trillium Health

The Rochester Gay Men's Chorus is celebrating 35 years of performances and community activism. The group promotes social change and LGBTQ pride through the choral arts.

We listen to some music and talk to members about how the group has fostered change through its grassroots efforts.

  • Ted Smith, board chair for the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
  • Thomas Warfield, Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus alumnus    
  • Robert Strauss, artistic director of the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus
  • John Williams, longtime supporter of the Rochester Gay Men’s Chorus

The sitcom Will and Grace is making its return to the airwaves on Thursday, after finishing an eight year run in 2006. Former Vice President Joe Biden credited the show with educating Americans about LGBTQ issues.

We discuss the evolution of gay characters on screen, and whether the show deserves its reputation. In studio:

June is Pride month, and celebrations, marches, and solidarity events are being held in cities across the country. Some of these events have been interrupted by protests from members of the LGBTQ community who feel the movement marginalizes minorities. A group called No Justice No Pride staged a protest at the recent Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C. Members issued a list of demands, which included adding more transgender women of color and indigenous people to leadership positions, more stringent vetting of the parade’s corporate sponsors, and preventing uniformed police officers from participating in the parade.

The concerns reflect the broader issues on which Black Pride groups throughout the U.S. are focused. Our guests discuss the state of the current Pride movement at the local level, intersectionality, and how communities can work to be more inclusive. In studio:

BUFFALO (AP) LGBTQ senior citizens in western New York have a new resource to learn about available services.

The Erie County Department of Senior Services and the Pride Center of western New York have announced a new partnership called the Silver Pride Project.

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