Ignorance is something I come across every so often. My son has autism and some people will never understand him, or the way we act when dealing with him and supportting him. Because they don't know enough, they are ignorant.

I know that the brief for today was about what LGBT means to me.

There is something I can not get out of my head. It was an event that happened forty years ago that I didnt know about. Learning about the history of the GLBT movement gives me reminders of how far the GLBT community has come.

I clicked on a piece of news the other day, a forty year anniversary of an event in LGBT history that I didnt even know about. A fire in an upstairs room where a group of people were attending a church meeting in the french quarter of New Orleans. The fire was started deliberatley but the most likely suspect was never charged.

Wikipedia sums this up with the black and white details: "On Sunday, June 24, 1973, the final day of Pride Weekend, a group of members of the Metropolitan Community Church, a pro-LGBT Protestant denomination, held services inside the club, located on the second floor of a three-story building at the corner of Chartres and Iberville Streets. The MCC was the United States' first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969. After the service, the club hosted free beer and dinner for 125 patrons. At the time of the evening fire, some 60 people were listening to pianist David Gary perform and discussing an upcoming MCC fundraiser for the local Crippled Children’s Hospital."

Radio hosts made fun of the fire, and the people who died. People said the men deserved it. In some cases no family members stepped forward to claim remains. Such was the world that these people, these brave people, lived in. I can't stop thinking about it. The images that accompanied the article were horrific and the story so intensly awful.

We are lucky to live in a time where there is more acceptance, but still it isn't enough. There is bullying, and suicide, and murder, and hate filled attacks. While we may have moved on from 1973 it is important we remember what happened that day because it shapes the future.

Have a look at everyone else's posts for the blog hop here - http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/

I am not going to ask a question for you to answer. Simply leave your name and email here and you will be entered into a competition to win $20 Amazon gift voucher.



  1. I appreciate your post.
    I suppose there's no need to wonder why that hideous and violent act of hatred didn't get more attention. I was in high school at the time and don't remember hearing about it then, or during college, either.

    donnafisk @ bellsouth.net

  2. I believe in freedom. The freedom to be who you want to . The freedom to speak your mind respectfully. The freedom to simply be. There is not reason that I can think of where people should be persecuted for who they are!

  3. thanks for the great post RJ. its a shame that people can be so bigoted when there are honestly bigger problems out there


  4. We are lucky to live in a time where there is more acceptance, but still it isn't enough.

    It really isn't. Because the truth of the matter is that if the horrific attack you wrote about were to happen today, we all know that Radio hosts [would make] fun of the fire, and the people who died. People [would say] the men deserved it. I don't even have to name names -- you're probably already thinking them.

  5. That's just horrible, and I can't help thinking Molly might be right :( Hopefully things will keep improving and one day everyone really will be equal.


  6. Thank you for a great post!


  7. I know we've made great strides to make everyone equal but we still need to keep making them. I can't wait for a world where everyone is treated equally, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Great post!


  8. What a horrible story--definitely gives one pause. Thanks for participating!


  9. I was also horrified to read about this story when I saw it. That this event was downplayed like it was and that some families did not claim the remains hurt me viscerally. I hope and pray for the day that all people are treated equally and fairly regardless of race, gender, religious or sexual identities.

    kalimar2010 @ gmail.com

  10. Linda

  11. I had never heard of this before. How insensitive the reporting was. Very sad.

  12. Debby
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  13. We are lucky to live in a time where there is more acceptance, but still it isn't enough. There is bullying, and suicide, and murder, and hate filled attacks. While we may have moved on from 1973 it is important we remember what happened that day because it shapes the future.

    Exactly! And part of the reason that we've made progress along these lines is because more people are willing to stand up and say, "No, this isn't right."

    I believe in a small way, we as writers help this cause by creating characters people care about, ones people can identify with. Yes, it's about entertainment, but every time a person reads a story that introduces them to things they'd never thought about before, we make it that much more likely they *will* think about them in the future.

  14. Thank you RJ Scott. We all need to stand up and be counted and teach our children so that change will carry on even after we are gone.

    Jackie McKenzie


  15. I am currently in the hospital and yesterday a female member of the pastorial group came to my room to deliver a prayer. I thanked her and we began talking. She told me about young boy she knows that is in a bad situation. I asked how bad and she informed me his mother is in a lesbian lifestyle. Of course I couldn't let that pass me buy and had to leave her in no doubt about my opinion. I doubt I remained in her prayers but that's ok. Ignorance still drives opinions and there's not much that will change some, but I would rather speak up and let my opinion known that you can be a christian and gay and that's better than being a christian and hate filled.


  16. Solaria

  17. Thanks for the hop.

  18. I first read of this when some friends and authors posted about it on Facebook. It's so deeply saddening that anything like this could happen and that such attitudes still persist.


  19. I was in Alaska in 1969 and we heard about this and it horrified me that any of my friends, or even me, as an active supporter, could have just as easily been killed in a similar situation. There were a lot of discussions about the very things RJ speaks to in his blog. The weather in the Interior is the greatest equalizer of all, but how far does tolerance extend? As this story began dialogues, so do the stories of our favorite M/M writers. I use these wonderful books as ways to bring awareness and understanding.
    Thank you RJ for such accessible stories.
    Ann Alaskan. akblkgold@hotmail.com

  20. Oh, wow! I vaguely remember reading about this fire when I was in High School, but, I didn't realize what it was about. Of course, at the age of 15, I was probably not as socially aware then as I am now.

  21. The depth to which people can sink never fails to amaze me. Thankfully, there are good and brave people who are willing to fight against wrongs.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Lisa Guertin

  22. Cyndy

  23. Such a scary thing to happen. :( It gave me goosebumps.


  24. That is so sad and not the NOLA I've come to love for its diversity and tolerance. So glad times have changed. But thank you for posting about the story.


  25. Thank you so much for bringing light to such a dark thing. I wasn't alive back then but I hate thinking how that could have been someone I loved. I'm all about standing up for equality and people's rights no matter what. I'm glad things are better now than they were but you're right, there's still so much hate and bullying going around that just goes to show how much work we still have to go. It'll never be a perfectly smooth road but we can continue to make strides toward the way it should be! THanks again for a wonderful post!!

    countryprincess43 @ gmail . com :)

  26. Thanks for taking your time to sharing some great facts and opinion with us. Also thank you for taking part in the hop =)

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  27. Things aren't perfect, but they are getting better thankfully.


  28. Thank goodness things are gradually improving

    aibopals (at) gmail (dot) com

  29. Thank you! :)


  30. Thanks for your post - it reminds me that we still have a long way to go before there will be no need for action against prejudice of any kind.

    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

  31. dv8


  32. Thanks, BJ!


  33. I like to think of myself as an advocate for equal rights for the LGBTQ community, for women, for all people that live a second class citizen kind of life because of bigotry and ignorance. Thank you for your post, it was truly inspiring as well as eye opening.


  34. I thought I left a comment yesterday--but apparently I have lost my mind. Thanks for hosting the blog hop and for the giveaway. I don't know why I keep being surprized when some of my relatives and acquaintances were posting in defense of DOMA and, "oh, this is not what God would want." I grew up south of the mason-dixon line and my dad is a Baptist preacher--so I should have known--but I didn't.(Sigh) Thanks to you and others for bringing light to those of us who are willing to listen.

  35. Thanks for such a great post.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  36. Your post is really great. Thank you.


  37. Thank you for this post. Equal Rights are something that everyone should want to happen. People should be allowed to live their free from fear and free to be themselves. My most sincere wish is to see acceptance happen. Little by little we are having small victories. It warms my heart to see more and more people standing up and speaking out. =)

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Thank you for sharing this & being part of the hop


  40. Thank you for your post and for participating in the blog hop.

    awindandbooks at gmail dot com

  41. That is so terrible I'm so pleased times have changed.


  42. It's amazing how much history is lost. You read and watch all kinds of interesting things about the history of the fight for equality and yet such horrific events like this are never told. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. For teaching us about this terrible tragedy. And thank you for being a part of this blog hop. It's really incredible how far things have come, but there is still so much more to be done. But I feel we will get there sooner rather than later when I see all these great supportive comments and read all those great posts.
    Jase G.

  43. I'm a straight guy and have no problem whatsoever with gay marriage, equality for ALL! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  44. Thanks for your post and your giveaway.
    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  45. Thank you so much for sharing, as well as participating in the hop!

    SophieBonaste at gmail dot com

  46. Thanks for the great post. A piece of history that got buried. I'll make sure my girls know about this. My oldest is a lesbian and I never had a problem with it. But I know some of my old 'friends' probably would have.

    carolcobun @ yahoo.com

  47. Wow, that's horrible. I never heard about that. I feel so bad for all those poor people. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It's important that we learn from the past otherwise we're doomed to repeat it. Thanks so much for participating RJ.


  48. How sad and disheartening, that it happened and that I wasn't aware of it. Thank you for talking about this dark moment on the road to equal rights.
    OceanAkers @ aol.com

  49. Ouch...thank you for sharing this!