Activism & Purpose
QueerToday plans direct action protests, letter writing campaigns, and other forms of dissent in an effort to counteract the cultural virus of shame that infects the LGBT community, and to speak out against all forms of injustice including racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, queerphobia, homophobia, war and occupation, and environmental justice issues.
Sometimes QueerToday.com confuses people because we do not always have a unified voice. Sometimes we even disagree amongst ourselves publicly on our own blog. Our posts range from angry rants and queer nightlife news to academic essays and discussions on theory. In the comments section we hash our issues about things like language and identity. Our protests, like our blog posts, have also vary: from a few of us getting together to form an artistic costumed dissent at Pro-life Sunday to an organized mass coalition of social justice groups fighting against the war and James Dobson.
Meetings & Decisions:
Because most of our members (we do not have an official membership, it is rolling) work full time, are activists with other organizations, and have other time constraints, we use the internet to organize and plan our live meetings around certain events or issues we feel compelled to protest. In the future, we may decide to have regular meetings. For now, while we are small, our major decisions (planning protests, meetings and actions) are made by consensus. Relying on trust, smaller decisions (like writing a letter to the editor on behalf of QueerToday) are often made by our individual members. We try our best to be non-hierarchal but because some of us will always put in more time and energy than others there will always be ebbs and flows.
Our blog consists of a team of queer identified people who write about whatever is on their mind politically, artistically, or otherwise. We bring a queer perspective to the issues facing the world today.
1. Check the blog often & join our mailing list
2. Send us an e-mail if you are queer and would like to write for our blog
3. Attend our meetings when we call them
4. Attend our protests and rallies, or the ones we support on our blog
QueerToday History: Under Construction
QueerToday.com was formed in 2000 as a resource for LGBT Youth, but quickly transformed into an activist group when the issue of same-sex marriage came to a head in Massachusetts. QueerToday was likely the first group in Boston to take any direct action to counteract the homophobic messages dominating the media in the summer of 2002. A group of 12 QueerToday members attended a Mass at Boston's Arch Diocese and while the Priest read an anti-gay political statement, we stood up, turned our backs, hugged, kissed, and walked out.
Representative Carl Sciortino was also in attendance with his partner, and the two of them walked out just after our group. For the next two weeks QueerToday.com was splashed across the pages of the Boston Globe, Herald, countless web sites and blogs, and we were featured on many radio shows including the conservative Laura Ingraham show where we debated Catholic Action League founder C.J. Doyle. It was possibly one of the first times the word Queer was seen on so many media outlets in a way that showed our community reclaiming the word. Conservative groups were threatening to charge us with hate-crimes. We were receiving telephone calls from citizens and radio shows from around the world at all hours of the night. We did not give up. We camped in front of the state house at a constitutional convention a few weeks later in an effort to beat the right-wing to the news cameras, and we succeeded.
As time passed QueerToday continued our coalition building, actions, and campaigns. We made headlines for co-sponsoring with NGTLF the celebration after Sodomy was legalized.
We joined with Rosa Parks committee in creating queer contingent in their march to resist racism and war. It was a historic march from Dorchester through the streets of Boston.
On October 2, 2005 QueerToday made headlines in the Boston Herald & Globe for dressing as grim reapers and holding signs that said "homophobia + sexism= death" on a day when the Catholic Church was organizing anti-gay sermans, and pro-life demonstrations in Boston.
" ``Shame on you, Sean O'Malley!'' a man in a black hood, holding a scythe, bellowed at the Boston archbishop, who joined the largely peaceful afternoon procession. - Boston Herald Hmm... wonder who that was!? Two activists were dressed as the grim reaper with black hoods, scythes, and placards that read, ''Homophobia + Sexism = Death." - Boston Globe
On October 29th, 2005 QueerToday called on our community to protest Focus On the Family's Love Won Out Conference. Although our strategy met some resistance within the LGBT "establishment," who feared a roudy protest would jeapordize their mainstream public relations strategy to win the right to marry, we pushed forward. We teamed up with local anti-war groups, and immigrants rights groups, and created the largest protest the Love Won Out conference had ever seen. Over 1000 people filled the street in front of the conference, chanting shut it down! Attendees had to have their lunches delivered because they were caught off-guard by our huge presence. Our statements of solidarity with the anti-war movement were highly publicized. Worldwide, the radical right posted photos our protest on their blogs and websites. Focus On The Family had a photograph of the protest on the cover of their 2007 financial report.
In the summer of 2006 QueerToday launched a campaign against Macy's in reaction to the store's removal of gay pride themed mannequins from their Boston storefront. The group protested in front of the store, and then marched through the interior of the store shouting slogans through a megaphone, before sliding our signs under the locked doors of the executive offices. While store make-up staff cheered for us and gave us "thumbs up signs," store security escorted us out. Macy's eventually apologized for the removal of the Mannequins.
In the fall of 2006 QueerToday helped organize protests of Liberty Sunday. QueerToday blogger Brian Rainy spoke at a rally outside, organized by the religious coalition for the freedom to marry. Our opposition research was reported in all of the area LGBT papers, and in the Boston Herald. Brian and Carlo, of QueerToday exposed the racist past and connections of the speakers that day and released a detailed essay on the issue.
In 2007 QueerToday was a founding group involved in a coalition to speak out against the militaristic theme chosen for Boston Pride by the Boston Pride Committee. We raised a pink flag at the official pride flag raising, distrubted hot pink flyers that spoke of solidarity with those not able to "just tell," and solidarity with the anti-warmovement. The pride committee addressed our opposition from their podeum.
In addition to our protesting and organizing our blog has been exposing the radical-right and offering queer perspectives on everything from politics to pop-culture - often drawing the attention of local press, and community leaders. Our controversial opinions on the prioritizatino of same-sex marriage as a fight in oru community have sparked countless discussions and debates. Our revelations about Amy Contrada and other Boston-based haters has served as a resource for local activists.
In November of 2007, after we broke the story at she would be starring in the Laramie Project play that her mother was protesting, Claudia Contrada, the daughter of the local but nationally known anti-gay activist Amy Contrada chose to come out as a lesbian on QueerToday.com.
QueerToday In The News: ( A sampling)
QueerToday.com's campaigns have been featured in many media outlets. Our Cathedral protest created buzz, even outside of the United States. It was one of the first times the word queer was featured on the news in a self-proclaimed political way.
Dobson/Focus On The Family Protest
Laura Ingraham Show ( Nationally Syndicated) debate with Catholic Action League
Serius Radio (XM RADIO, OUTQ)
TV - BOSTON
Metro West DailyNews
Medford Daily News
Milford Daily News
Innewsweekly (3 articles)
Washington Blade (W.D.C.)
WEB (Not including online edition of newspapers)
365gay.com (2 articles)
UK.Gay.com (united kingdom)
StormFront.org (White Supremicists)v