Sunday, November 17, 2013

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight was a gay rights activist who helped build a black LGBT community in the 1980s. He was the editor of “In the Life,” the first collection of nonfiction works by and about black gay men. Today's Out Spotlight is Joseph Beam.

Born December 30, 1954, the native Philadelphian, Joseph Beam attended Franklin College in Indiana, where he studied journalism. He was an active member of the black student union and the Black Power movement. After college, Beam received his master’s degree in communications. 

In 1979, he returned to Philadelphia. He explored literature on gay figures and institutions while working at Giovanni’s Room, an LGBT bookstore. Discouraged by the lack of community for black gay men and lesbians, Beam began writing articles and short stories for gay publications.

In 1984, Beam received an award for outstanding achievement by a minority journalist from The Lesbian and Gay Press Association. In 1985, he became the first editor of “Black/Out,” a journal produced by the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. He served as a consultant for the Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the American Friends Service Committee.

Beam continued to collect materials about being black and gay. In 1986, he produced the first collection written by black gay men, called “In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology.”

In 1988, while compiling “Brother to Brother,” a sequel to his anthology, Beam died from AIDS-related complications. His mother, Dorothy Beam, and the gay poet Essex Hemphill completed the work, which was published in 1991.

“We are black men who are proudly gay."


Special K said...

Update on one of our past Out Spotlights

This is not your mother's Vatican.

From The Advocate

Jack Andraka, the gay 16-year-old science prodigy who developed an early-detection test for pancreatic cancer, was honored by the Vatican over the weekend.

Andraka journeyed from his home in Maryland to Rome to accept the International Giuseppe Sciacca Award, which honors young people for outstanding accomplishments, reports Baltimore radio station WBAL. It is named for an Italian architecture student who died at age 26.

Andraka has been featured on TV programs including The Colbert Report and 60 Minutes; the latter received some criticism for not mentioning that the youth is gay. However, in a Saturday interview with WBAL, Andraka did not shy away from this fact.

“It’s really amazing to be recognized by the Vatican, especially as a gay scientist,” he said. “I mean this would be unheard of just a few years ago. To be part of this bridge of progress is really amazing. It just shows how much the world has grown to accept people that are gay and are LGBT. It’s really amazing.” Andraka was also named to this year’s Out100 list of the most significant LGBT people by The Advocate’s sister publication Out.

Andraka said he hoped to receive an audience with Pope Francis before leaving Rome Sunday; there’s no word so far on whether this took place. After his visit to the Vatican, Andraka was scheduled to go to Berlin to spend a week at the Max Planck Society, a scientific group, promoting open access to research, WBAL reports.

Andraka’s test for pancreatic cancer is significant because this is one of the deadliest forms of the disease, difficult to detect before it has affected other organs. He is in negotiations with a couple of biotech firms to refine and market the test, which would likely be available to the public in five to 10 years.

AUS10 said...

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -JFK

Support independent film Opens in the UK Nov 22

the real m said...

It seems that the rate of acceptance is accelerating. The good news just continues.

I dont want to drege up too much discussion about the basketball story as it was a long time ago now, but its interesting that we had never seen any eevidence of Jake being into playing basketball before the injury. So the odd story behind the injury just came out of the blue. As for the mirror story, it would have been more plausible had it been a cooking injury. A slice or stab is going to happen sooner or later with a sharp knife even for the most experienced chef.