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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 15 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 46
Arts & Entertainment
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Letters

RUSSIAN LGBT RIGHTS PANEL

As a resident of Seattle, it often feels like we live in the most progressive city in the nation. We have led the way on many social justice issues and have been the voice and vote that has moved our state to be a leader in our nation.

Just last year we passed the historic vote for marriage equality, after winning to secure our rights time and time again through the referendum process. It gave us all a moment to bask in the success of what justice and equality really mean.

Sadly, this is not a shared experience for many in this country, nor is it internationally. The lack of civil rights, globally, is daunting and makes for an uncomfortable realization that our successes are not a shared experience for so many in the global LGBT community.

On the forefront of the news these past few months is the somewhat recent legislative actions taken by Russia's parliament to ban LGBT expression, thus continuing oppression and violations of civil liberties. This is an action that has sparked world-wide protest from the dumping of Russian vodka, to mass demonstrations to government leaders speaking directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But how does one affect the climate of injustice on such a large scale? What can one city, one voice on a stream of thought, do to affect the lives of others so far away and, with some hope, to change the laws that discriminate and promote intolerance and hate?

The very struggle with civil rights is never easy, never easily solved, but it is not enough to just desire. Russia will only change when their citizens demand it. This will likely never happen until the Russian people see that so many global citizens support the LGBT community. Seattle has the opportunity to be on the forefront of that show of support. Come be a part of a panel discussion related to why Seattle should care, and what effect local action can have on an issue seemingly so far away.

The Seattle City Council will co-host, with several local organizations, a forum on the issue on Monday, November 18, at 6:30 p.m., in the Bertha Knight Landes Room in City Hall. You will have an opportunity to ask questions of panelists currently working on the issue.

Stephanie Hillman
Seattle



THE FIRST GAY PLAY?


The article 'Taking the Stage: A Little LGBT Theater History Lesson,' by Mark Segal (SGN, Oct. 25), is charming and informative, and I thank Mr. Segal for writing it and you for sharing it. However, he believes that Graduation in 1970 was 'the first Gay musical,' whereas my Dynel was produced in 1968 at The Old Reliable Theatre Tavern in New York City and won the Show Business Magazine Best Play Award. It is a fully openly Gay musical, and the book and lyrics may be read in my book, Robert Patrick's Cheep Theatricks.

Robert Patrick
Los Angeles

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