I'm no longer anonymous! Last night, the Netroots Nation registration desk printer "went back online" and a staffer texted me to pick up my badge. As usual, the spelling is wrong, but no worries. I'm happy to be here.
Viktor Kerney is a Los Anegles-based collegiate student affairs administrator. He is also the blogger and activist behind the Black Weblog Award-nominated Southern4Life. Viktor is known across the Twitterverse as @Wondermann5—and has been critical on the lack of the diversity in LGBT media and organizations.
"I'm hoping Netroots Nation will change that," Kerney tells R20. "[LGBT media] will go to a few voices but there are many others as well. They need to challenge themselves and see what other people are writing,"
"I'm happy [some of us] are here," Kerney tells R20. "But [the relative few] shows that we have to encourage our own to attend these events. I would like to see more Black LGBT leadership on the boards of major organizations. And more outreach towards finding more LGBT leaders of color."
This is Viktor's first Netroots Nation. He is one of about 40 bloggers and activists recruited on a scholarship program developed by the fabulous Mike Rogers and Netroots Nation. Listen:
Ian Finkenbinder arrived to activism out of "necessity." The former U.S. Army Arab Linguist was discharged from the U.S. Army under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and has become active online, on Twitter and through Get Equal on DADT repeal. The Oregon activist was also one 13 former servicemembers—including Lt. Dan Choi—who was arrested in November 2010 for chaining themselves to the White House fence.
Finkenbinder learned that he was HIV positive three years ago and also has become active around HIV/AIDS issues. The veteran says that he is "disappointed by the lack" of HIV/AIDS programming at Netroots Nation and the LGBT Netroots Connect. "Why aren't there any panels or discussions?" he asked.
"There is not one session at Netroots Nation, nothing about fundraising or awareness," he tells R20. "Why not? Fighting HIV/AIDS is a progressive cause. That's why I brought it up at the LGBT [Netroots Connect]."
This is Ian Finkenbinder's first Netroots Nation. He is one of about 40 bloggers and activists recruited on a scholarship program developed by the fabulous Mike Rogers and Netroots Nation. Follow @OneAngryQueer and listen:
Cynthia Wright is an Atlanta-based editor and graphic designer, as well as a Twitter-based LGBT activist. The 28-year-old Georgia native, who grew up in Germany, says Twitter was a "natural platform" for her progressive and LGBT activism.
Recent studies suggest that Blacks represent about 25% of Twitter users, roughly twice their share of the population in general. This makes Twitter a "natural platform" for her activism, she says.
"It's also easier to get in touch with people and an easier [application] to use," Wright told R20 at the LGBT Netroots Connect. "I’m hoping to connect with people I can’t really find in Atlanta. There are many Blacks in Atlanta but not much progressive activism. I’m trying to change that.
This is Cynthia Wright's first Netroots Nation. She is one of about 40 bloggers and activists recruited on a scholarship program developed by the fabulous Mike Rogers and Netroots Nation. Follow @CynIsRight and listen:
The imposing concrete tower was built by utilities tycoon and financial speculator Wilbur B. Foshay. His own home and office were located on the 27th and 28th floors. Foshay managed to commission John Philips Sousa to write a march that was played only once—at the opening of the tower. Alas, the story becomes operatic:
Foshay's timing couldn't have been worse. Just months after his building opened, America was plunged into recession by the worst stock market crash in history. Foshay lost his tower. He lost his home. And in the ultimate indignity, his [$20,000] check to Sousa bounced.
Contrary to urban legend, Foshay did not commit suicide by leaping from the upper reaches of his tower. "He was sent to prison in Kansas for mail fraud when the particulars of his paper empire were explored. After three years he got a presidential commutation, and eventually a pardon by 1947. He died in a nursing home in 1957."
The urban legend is still believed by many Twin City residents. Several told me the story as I took these photos. The tower now houses the W Minneapolis and the gayest hotel staff EVAH.
Right wing Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann made her official presidential announcement at the first New Hampshire Republican presidential debate Monday night on CNN.
In recent months, the anti-gay founder of the U.S. House Tea Party Caucus praised conservative Iowa voters for ousting three justices involved in the unanimous Iowa Supreme Court ruling that brought marriage equality. Bachmann also supported the Minnesota legislature's May vote to send a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage to voters.
Bachmann had formed only an "exploratory committee" and made the official announcement last night, watch AFTER THE JUMP ...