Americas / Commentary

‘Hero Award’ and angel wings for blogs’ LGBTI advocacy

"Angel wings" presented to Colin Stewart

“Angel wings” presented to Colin Stewart

Thanks to and from this blog’s editor and publisher

From my personal Facebook page, modestly edited:

Colin Stewart, attired in his new "angel wings," with his wife, Sue Stewart.

Colin Stewart, attired in new “angel wings,” with his wife, Sue Stewart.

A big thank-you to the St. Paul’s Foundation and LGBT community members in San Diego for a get-together last night [March 11]. In addition to presenting me with a “Hero Award” and much-appreciated legislators’ proclamations, their finale was to deck me out in rainbow-colored angel wings. All that for my role in founding the Erasing 76 Crimes blog and serving as its editor and publisher for the past four years. It was cool to be honored as a straight ally; no temptation to use those wings to try to fly under the gaydar.

My only objection was the line that praised me for “courageous work.” The people with courage are those who report for the blog from countries with anti-gay laws. I’m talking about you, Maurice Tomlinson, Mike Daemon, Kikonyogo Ngatya, and these days especially Joe Odero.

"Hero Award" presented to Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of the blogs Erasing 76 Crimes and 76 Crimes en français.

“Hero Award” presented to Colin Stewart, editor/publisher of the blogs Erasing 76 Crimes and 76 Crimes en français.

Great thanks also to Denis LeBlanc, Ruby Pratka, Jean Marc Yao, Davis Mac-Iyalla, Jide Macaulay, Edwin Sesange, Sandrine Ateh, Jack Flanagan, Xiluva da Costa, Marc Serena and too long ago Yannick Ndomo and Dominique Menoga. Forever, Eric Lembembe. In San Diego, thanks to Albert Ogle, Lindy Miles, Susan Guinn, Danny, David and so many more. And, of course, my wife and mainstay, Sue.

The commendation from the California State Senator Marty Block, 39th Senatorial District, stated:

Whereas, the progress in Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) human rights and economic development in the past 60 years has brought enormous benefit to many societies in America and Europe, but there still remains significant anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination in many parts of the world;

Whereas, it remains illegal to be LGBTI in 76 countries where homosexuality is criminalized and the laws in 10 nations provide for the death penalty, which stifles same-gender love;

Whereas, mainstream media in the West continues to ignore and under-report the effects of criminalization, including long imprisonments without trial or legal representation, mob violence and expulsion from communities, schools, businesses and families that often pushes LGBTI people into poverty and denies them access to health services;

California State Sen. Marty Block

California State Sen. Marty Block

Whereas, there are no significant professional networks or scholarships to support an emerging young professional network of LGBTI and allied journalists and writers to change the culture of the media towards a more balanced and rational approach to LGBTI issues;

Whereas, progressive young writers can document human rights violations and advocate reforms needed to improve economic and social conditions for LGBTI people and their allies

Therefore be it Resolved by Senator Marty Block, that he commends the courageous work of Colin Stewart, a 40-year veteran journalist from Laguna Niguel, who has volunteered over the past four years to create a network of LGBTI and straight allies through the blogs Erasing 76 Crimes and 76 Crimes en français and celebrates the fact that these blogs have reached a total of more than 1.4 million people, a number that includes nearly 100,000 readers per month [Editor’s note: Last year’s figures were an average of 95,667 visits by 62,497 unique visitors per month], and be it further resolved that this resource remains one of the most detailed and professionally researched histories of the ongoing suffering and oppression of LGBTI people in the world.

March 11, 2016
San Diego, CA

— Marty Block
Senator, 38th District

The similar commendation from Toni G. Atkins, Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly, states:

California State Assembly member Toni G. Atkins, former speaker of the Assembly.

California State Assembly member Toni G. Atkins, former speaker of the Assembly.

Whereas, the progress in Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) human rights & economic development in the past 60 years has brought enormous benefit to many societies in America & Europe, but there still remains significant anti-LGBT prejudice and discrimination in many parts of the world;

Whereas, progressive young writers document human rights violations & advocate reforms needed to improve economic & social conditions for LGBTI people & their allies;

Be it resolved, that the Speaker Emeritus of the State Assembly, Toni G. Atkins, commends the courageous work of Colin Stewart, a 40-year veteran journalist from Laguna Niguel, who has volunteered over the past four years to create a network of LGBTI & straight allies through the blogs Erasing 76 Crimes & 76 Crimes en français & celebrates the fact that these blogs have reached a total of more than 1.4 million people

That this resource remains one of the most detailed & professionally researched histories of the ongoing suffering & oppression of LGBTI people in the world & that Colin Stewart be commended for his resilient daily reporting of these crimes & courageous responses from LGBTI leaders, with the hope of fostering positive changes by encouraging more mainstream media in the developed & developing worlds to cover these issues more effectively.

On this 11th day of March, 2016

— Toni G. Atkins,
Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly

 

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