Gay USA: Dec. 27, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012

2011 was a busy year in LGBT news with the end (at least for the moment) of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the opening of marriage to same-sex couples in New York, activists taking on Republican presidential candidates over their opposition to LGBT rights, the explosion of activism around the world in movements such as Occupy Wall Street and in countries where standing up as LGBT comes at a high price, the stalling of federal anti-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, a breakthrough in the prominence that the US is giving to LGBT rights worldwide, the increasing criminalization of people with AIDS, the intensification of the fight against bullying in the schools, and much, much more. Does it get better? This week on Gay USA, we analyze the year's LGBT and AIDS news with a panel of veteran activists and thinkers in the community: Lesbian and AIDS activist Sarah Schulman, author of the forthcoming "The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Imagination" and co-producer of "United in Anger: The History of ACT UP," a film by Jim Hubbard. Transgender activist Pauline Park, chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy. Longtime gay and civil liberties activist Bill Dobbs who has worked intensively this year as an organizer with Occupy Wall Street. We offer a critique of the developments of the year and the state of the LGBT movement going into 2012. We talk about some of the major figures we lost this year including Frank Kameny, Barbara Grier, Paula Ettelbrick, Lou Maletta and John Lawrence, the co-plaintiff in the Lawrence v. Texas case in the US Supreme Court that got anti-sodomy laws ruled unconstitutional in 2003, overturning the infamous Bowers v. Hardwick decision of 1986 that had upheld them. We'll talk about what encouraged us and what discouraged us and our panel tells us about the kind of activism that engages them personally and what others can do to get meaningfully involved in the LGBT movement.

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