Friday, January 05, 2007

The New York Blade lectures All Gay People:
Finally, the end of the year brought a sad and disturbing story from Texas, where the body of gay rights figure Tyron Garner remained in a morgue for more than five weeks because his family didn’t have the money to bury or cremate him.


Sadly, those same gay rights groups that used Garner’s case were nowhere to be found when he died in poverty in September. His family wanted to give Garner a casket and grave, but couldn’t afford to, so they appealed for donations. Weeks after Garner’s death, only $200 had been raised. The family was forced to abandon their efforts and his body was surrendered to local officials on Oct. 18 for cremation by the state.

Shame on all of us for failing to step up and help Garner’s family. Garner took a courageous stand and bravely fought for our rights, defying the odds and helping to bring down the last vestiges of sodomy laws that were used for so long to criminalize our love. He deserved better.
The New York Blade's contribution to public knowledge about the fundraising effort? The Washington Blade? The Southern Voice? The Houston Voice? Anyone else in the gay media who wants to lecture us?

As far as I can tell, after twenty minutes of searching their web sites and Googling various permutations and combinations of words that should have found something, it came down to this:

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

They reported on Tyron Garner's death, and -- a few months later -- reported that no money had been raised for his burial. Unless I missed something (which I doubt, but I would be happy to be corrected), that's it.

Let me be clear: it is an inexcusable shame that funds weren't raised to give Tyron Garner a decent burial. If I had known about fundraising efforts, I would have happily written a $100 check and encouraged donations on this blog (something I have never done before). The national gay groups really fucked this up, and deserve to be shamed.

But The Blade and the rest of the gay media have no right to be self-righteous, especially more than three months after the fact. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem... and the gay media was absolutely not part of the solution.

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