Sylvia Rivera – Transgender Activist

Every week day in June, EQUAL! is posting information on a LGBT icon.

Today’s LGBTAM icon is Sylvia Rivera.

Civil rights pioneer Sylvia Rivera was one of the instigators of the Stonewall uprising, an event that helped launch the modern gay rights movement.

“I’m not missing a minute of this, it’s the revolution!”

Seventeen-year-old drag queen Sylvia Rivera was in the crowd that gathered outside the Stonewall Inn the night of June 27, 1969, when the Greenwich Village gay bar was raided by the police. Rivera reportedly shouted, “I’m not missing a minute of this, it’s the revolution!” As police escorted patrons from the bar, Rivera was one of the first bystanders to throw a bottle.

After Stonewall, Rivera joined the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) and worked energetically on its campaign to pass the New York City Gay Rights Bill. She was famously arrested for climbing the walls of City Hall in a dress and high heels to crash a closed-door meeting on the bill. In time, GAA eliminated drag and transvestite concerns from their agenda as they sought to broaden their political base. Years later, Rivera told an interviewer, “When things started getting more mainstream, it was like, `We don’t need you no more’.” But, she added, “Hell hath no fury like a drag queen scorned.”

Sylvia Rivera (né Ray Rivera Mendosa) was a persistent and vocal advocate for transgender rights. Her activist zeal was fueled by her own struggles to find food, shelter, and safety in the urban streets from the time she left home at the age of ten. In 1970, Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) to help homeless youth.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), an organization dedicated to ending poverty and gender identity discrimination, carries on Rivera’s work on behalf of marginalized persons.

In 2005, a street in Greenwich Village near the Stonewall Inn was renamed in Sylvia Rivera’s honor.

This information is sourced from

Becoming an EQUAL! member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page.

Blunder – WWYD?

Or maybe the question is – what should I have done?

I run a non-profit organization and on Sunday, I was at a fundraising event that one of my board members was hosting. My board member is a Lesbian and many, but not all, of the crowd were LGBT, and all were LGBT-friendly and aware.

Our host asked me to speak about the organization and I did for a few minutes and then wanted my business partner to speak. I always refer to her as my business partner. But at that moment I said, “I’d like to introduce my partner…” As soon as I said “partner” my mind started racing about using the term “partner” in a room full of people, many who were with their life partners. I felt that if I corrected myself and said “I mean business partner” that I would sound like I was worried about being perceived as having a female partner. And then I was afraid that if I didn’t correct the perception I had just made that I would be further perceived as trying to fool the crowd into thing that my business partner and I were a “couple”.

Ultimately I said nothing, my business partner spoke, and later, I apologized to her for “outing” her and we joked about hoping her husband didn’t mind.

Anyway – what would you have done? What should I have done? What would you have thought observing my blunder?

Anthony Romero – President, ACLU

Each day in June, EQUAL! is profiling a LGBT person who has made a differenece to society. Today’s icon is Anthony Romero.

Anthony Romero is the first openly gay person and the first Latino to become executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the nation’s largest public-interest law firm.

Romero was raised in New York City by parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico. When he was young, his father faced discrimination for a job promotion. A lawyer hired through his father’s union won him the promotion, and the extra earnings helped the family purchase a new home and their first car.

Romero was the first member of his family to finish high school. He graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and Stanford Law School. In 2003, he was named Stanford’s first Public Interest Lawyer of the Year.

Four days before the 9/11 attacks, Romero took over as executive director of the ACLU. In response to post-9/11 government policies, he helped create the ACLU’s “Keep America Safe and Free” campaign, which aims to protect basic freedoms during times of crises. The campaign was successful in its opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act and litigation regarding the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody. Under Romero’s direction, the ACLU has achieved its highest level of membership and tripled its budget. This growth allowed the organization to expand its efforts to champion causes such as lesbian and gay rights, racial justice and reproductive freedom.

Romero was named one of TIME magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America in 2005. He received an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law and coauthored “In Defense of Our America” (2007), about America’s fight for post-9/11 civil liberties.

This information is sourced from

Bertrand Delanoë – Mayor of Paris

June is LGBT Awareness Month. Each day in June, EQUAL! will share information about a LGBT icon.

In 2001 when Bertrand Delanoë was elected mayor of Paris, the city became the world’s largest to have an openly gay mayor. In March 2008, he won reelection.

Delanoë grew up in Tunisia, a French colony at the time. His first political interest came during the Battle of Bizerte. Watching as French soldiers opened fire on Arab citizens, he felt that “an Arab should be equal to a Frenchman.” Delanoë claims it is because of colonialism that he began to identify with the left.

During his days at the Université de Toulouse, where he graduated with a degree in economics, Delanoë became involved in politics and joined the Socialist Party. At the age of 23, he was elected deputy secretary of the Aveyron Socialist Federation. Between 1973 and 2001, Delanoë held various political positions, including national secretary of the Socialist Party and member of the Paris City Council.

As mayor of Paris, Delanoë pushed an agenda for change. In an effort to reduce city traffic and pollution, Delanoë started a low-cost program that encourages Parisians to rent bikes. He worked to provide more affordable housing to encourage economically disadvantaged people to stay in the city. In October 2002, Delanoë was stabbed. His assailant told police he targeted Delanoë because of his homosexuality.

Despite France’s political tradition of keeping one’s personal life out of the public, Delanoë came out in a French television interview in 1998. In his book, “La vie, passionnément” (“Life, Passionately”) (2004), Delanoë says he made that decision because he thought it could help, even if in a small way, “lighten the burden of secrecy borne by so many people.” On the topic of gay marriage Delanoë writes, “In the name of what can one reject this demand for equality?”

This information is sourced from

Les invites du mois de juin : Collectif Homoboulot, EQUAL!, HomoSFèRe, HP Pride, Mobilisnoo

Here is a forward of the invitation by the French “Direction de la Communication”


Dans le cadre de notre  cycle de conférences mensuel, nous vous invitons à rencontrer Thierry Hochart (Alcatel-Lucent), Philippe Chauliaguet (Homoboulot), Julien  Girard (SFR), Patrick Lagnier (HP) et Jean-René Dedieu  (Orange) le lundi 14 juin 2010 à partir de 13h en salle  polyvalente.

Une fois n’est pas coutume, ce n’est pas un seul invité que nous recevrons au mois de Juin mais quatre, réunis autour de Thierry Hochart qui anime le groupe de soutien EQUAL ! au sein d’Alcatel-Lucent : Julien Girard (SFR), Patrick Lagnier (HP), Jean-René Dedieu (Orange), Philippe Chauliaguet (Homoboulot) viendront vous présenter les associations mises en place au sein de leur entreprise pour lutter contre toutes les formes de discrimination, de sexisme et d’injustice fondées sur l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre. Philippe Chauliaguet, présentera quant à lui le Collectif Homoboulot qui fédère des associations LGBT (Lesbiennes, Gays, Bisexuels et Transsexuels) dans de grandes entreprises et administrations.

Cette conférence s’inscrit dans le cadre des actions menées par Alcatel-Lucent dans le domaine de la diversité depuis plusieurs années. Chacun des intervenants présentera, rapidement, l’historique, l’organisation et l’activité de son groupement. Les perspectives de développement de chacun des groupes seront également abordées.

Ce rendez-vous sera également un moment d’échanges avec les différents intervenants : vous aurez la possibilité soit de venir poser vos questions lors de la séance plénière, soit de rencontrer, individuellement, chacun des intervenants lors d’ateliers qui se tiendront entre 12h et 13h dans les salles 64 et 65 (Rez-de-Chaussée du bâti. NA – derrière la Salle polyvalente).

Si vous souhaitez participer à la session d’information qui se tiendra le Lundi 14 juin entre 13h et 14h (Salle polyvalente – RdC du bât. NA) , n’oubliez pas de confirmer votre participation, par retour de mail, à [email protected]

D’avance, merci de votre participation !

La Direction de la Communication

Pour plus d’informations sur EQUAL !, HomoSFèRe, HP Pride, Mobilisnoo et le Collectif Homoboulot, cliquez ici

Urvashi Vaid – Attorney, Activist

Urvashi Vaid is an attorney, author, activist and the executive director of the Arcus Foundation.

Vaid was born in New Delhi, India. In 1966, her family moved to Potsdam, New York, where her father taught at the state university. Vaid’s interest in politics began at the age of 11 at an anti-war protest.  In 1979, Vaid graduated from Vassar College. She received her law degree in 1983 from Northeastern University, where she founded the Boston Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance.

From 1983 to 1986, Vaid served as staff attorney for the National Prisons Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. She litigated class action lawsuits to challenge prison conditions and initiated the organization’s HIV/AIDS inmate project. In 1986, Vaid joined the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NLGTF), where she worked for 10 years—first as media director, then as executive director, and finally as director of the NGLTF Policy Institute.

In 2005, Vaid became the executive director of the Arcus Foundation, a private grant-making foundation focused on achieving social justice inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race. In 1991, The Advocate named Vaid Woman of the Year. In 1994, Time magazine named her to its list of 50 key leaders under 40, and in 2009, Out magazine named Vaid one of the 50 most influential men and women in America.

Vaid lives with her partner, comedian Kate Clinton.

Information sourced from

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”

Contribute to Gay-a-pedia

Please join members of EQUAL! in an open Q&A session regarding Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender issues and experiences.

The live Q&A session will happen on June 16th at 12:00 – 1:00 EDTConference Bridge: 800-771-8734, Code 5657678For instant messages during the live session, do “IM-connect” through Microsoft Office Communicator with Kelley Neal.

We are promoting three on-demand video classes previously presented by EQUAL! If you have not previously attended, please view at least one class and prepare your questions.

  • LGBT 101
  • LGBT 201
  • Creating a Safe Work Environment for LGBT Staff (for managers)

Questions should be raised on the bridge, by instant message, or by prior email to Kelley Neal.

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”

B.D. Wong – Actor

B.D. Wong is an award-winning actor best known for his television roles on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Oz,” and his Broadway debut in “M. Butterfly.” Born Bradley Darryl Wong, he grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He graduated from San Francisco Sate University and moved to New York. In 1988, Wong made his Broadway debut in “M. Butterfly,” for which he received the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award and Theatre World Award. He is the only actor to be honored with all five awards for the same performance.

In 1993, Wong received rave reviews for his role opposite Sir Ian Mckellan in the HBO production “And the Band Played On.” From 1994 to 1995, Wong costarred with Margaret Cho in “All American Girl,” the first American situation comedy on network television to deal with the Asian-American experience. From 1997 to 2002, Wong had a recurring role as Father Ray Mukado on “Oz,” the gritty HBO prison drama. In 2002, Wong joined the cast of NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as psychiatrist Dr. George Huang.  On the silver screen, Wong has appeared in “The Father of the Bride” (1991), “Jurassic Park” (1993), and “Executive Decision” (1996).  He was the voice of Captain Li Shang in the animated film “Mulan” (1998) and its sequel.

In 1999, Wong and his then-partner, talent agent Richie Jackson, gave birth to twin sons via a surrogate mother. One of the boys died soon after delivery. Jackson Foo Wong, the surviving twin, inspired Wong to write his memoir, “Following Foo.” The book served as Wong’s official coming out.

Wong has been a visible AIDS and LGBT civil rights activist, hosting fund-raisers and appearing at community events. In 2003, he received GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award for making a difference in promoting equal rights.

Information sourced from:

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”

Transgender Issues in the Workplace

June is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Awareness Month. EQUAL!, one of Alcatel-Lucent’s seven employee business partners, is planning activities to celebrate the contributions of the LGBT communities and raise awareness of the issues faced both within and outside the workplace that impact the lives of employees, friends or family members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Events during the month will include live events and webcast presentations. All employees are invited to attend.

Today is the first live event for 2010: Transgender Issues in the Workplace

Milo Primeaux is an FTM (female-to-male transgender) person and serves as a board member and treasurer of TransOhio.  He speaks on transgender topics and participates in the annual TransOhio Transgender and Ally Symposium.  Milo is a graduate of the United Way’s Pride Leadership Cycle 2 and previously founded and directed a transgender student organization on the country’s longest-running all-women’s college campus.

June 8th – 11:30 – 12:30 EDT
Live from Columbus 4R09-1C
Remotes: – 9A-318 in Naperville, IL- Park Place Room, Westford, MA
Also via remote showings (see next page) or webcast at:
Conference Bridge: 800-771-8734, Code 5657678
For more details, please contact: Glenda Childress

In addition to live events, each weekday throughout the month, EQUAL! will also highlight a LGBTAM Icon on the EQUAL! blog site. These will be icons you may already know based on their work in the public eye, or with whom you work on a daily basis, or are new to you. Hope you take the opportunity to read their biography each day:

Find details on the overall LGBT AM activities at the following URL:

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”

Michel Foucault – French Philosopher

Michel Foucault was a French philosopher, sociologist and educator who had a profound impact on academic thought. Foucault is best known for his critical studies of psychiatry, the prison system and human sexuality.

Foucault was born Paul-Michel Foucault in Poitiers, France, the son of a prominent surgeon. He graduated from the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, where he earned degrees in psychology and philosophy. Studying philosophy with the distinguished Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Foucault was recognized as a brilliant emerging academic.

In 1960, Foucault became head of the philosophy department at the University of Clermont-Ferrard, where he wrote his groundbreaking book, “Madness and Civilization” (1961). Foucault earned his doctorate and met philosophy student Daniel Defert, who became his lover for 20 years. When Defert was deployed for military service in Tunisia, Foucault followed, and in 1965, took a teaching position at the University of Tunis. Foucault’s second major work “The Order of Things” (1966) was a best seller in France and established him as an esteemed intellectual.

In 1970, Foucault was elected Professor of the History of Systems of Thought at the Collège de France, the nation’s preeminent academic institution. He published “Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison” (1975), his most influential book. Foucault founded the Prisoner Information Group to give inmates a forum to share their concerns. In the mid-1970’s, Foucault taught at the University of California, Berkeley.

Foucault worked on “The History of Sexuality,” a planned six-volume project. He  completed three volumes, which were published shortly before his death. The first volume had a powerful influence on gay consciousness.

In 1984, Foucault died of complications from AIDS at age 58, leaving a legacy of important works affecting contemporary issues of LGBT identity.

Information sourced from:

“Becoming a member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page”