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As a second-generation Jew on the cusp of turning 50, I grew up with stories of World War II and the reality of the Holocaust. My father fought in the war; my mother was in the Signal Corps. Anti-Semitism was a hatred I was taught about at an early age - from hearing the stories of pogroms in Eastern Europe, where my family was from, to reading and talking about Hitler?s rage against anyone different from his Aryan idea.
In the 1960s and ?70s, few publicly questioned whether the Holocaust happened, as some revisionist historians, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and others do today. It was a
time when the slogan ?Never Again? was a rallying cry for American Jews so that we would never forget the six million who died in the camps.
It was only after I came out that I learned that gay men and lesbians were also interred in the concentration camps. It certainly wasn?t something I was taught in Hebrew school.
I knew early on that Jews were not the only ones targeted by the Nazis, although we were the largest group. Germans with disabilities or mental illness, Jehovah?s Witnesses, Gypsies, Poles, and Soviet prisoners of war, among others, also found themselves in concentration camps. But no one ever talked about the gays.
Richard Plant published The Pink Triangle in 1988, which chronicled the atrocities against lesbians and gays in the camps. But it wasn?t until the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., opened in 1993 that this treatment was brought to national and international attention.
I was in D.C. for the 1993 lesbian and gay March on Washington. Hundreds of us gathered at the museum the evening before it opened, laying down carnations to symbolize the lives of gays and lesbians lost in the Holocaust and praying for their souls.
Since opening, the museum has printed educational material, sponsored major exhibitions about gays and the Holocaust, and has an online exhibition dedicated to the subject.
Thousands of gay men were killed in the concentration camps, forced to wear pink triangles so everyone knew why they were there. These men were not only abused - and even killed - by the Nazis and the people who ran the camps, but they were also subjected to the homophobic reactions of their fellow prisoners.
More than 100,000 gay men were arrested under the Nazis? notorious Paragraph 175 law that broadly defined lewd behavior between men. A man could literally be arrested for just looking at another man the ?wrong? way.
Approximately, 50,000 served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals. Hundreds of men were castrated under court order or coercion. According to the museum, record-keeping on gay concentration camp victims is sketchy, but it estimates that between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were imprisoned at the camps, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder.
After the camps were liberated, many of the German gays were sent back to prison to finish their terms, because Paragraph 175 was not among the Nazi laws that were repealed.
The museum is one of the world?s leaders in making sure we don?t forget what happened during the Nazi reign of terror. Too bad some others - like the ultra-orthodox Haredi sect of Jews in Israel - apparently haven?t made the trip to D.C. or availed themselves of the museum?s online resources.
The Haredi are the folks who routinely protest Gay Pride parades in Israel - the country that was established as a democracy that would be a haven for the persecuted Jews of Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, and other countries. All the Haredi are doing is repeating the hatred that fueled the Holocaust in the first place.
They put a hate-filled coalition of reactionary Christians, Muslims, and Jews together to try and stop World Pride from happening in Jerusalem. It always amazes me how conveniently and quickly enemies become allies when it comes to denying us our rights, our pride, our way of life.
This year in Jerusalem, the Orthodox Righteous Court of Law actually placed a curse on the city?s Pride parade organizers and marchers, as well as on the police who helped to keep the event safe and secure. It went like this: ?To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them and may evil pursue them; they will not be acquitted of their transgressions from heavenly judgment.?
Then you have the ultra-orthodox members of the Knesset, Israel?s parliament, sponsoring bills to outlaw all gay Pride parades or to establish ?rehab centers? to teach us how to repress our sexuality.
Knesset member Nissim Ze?ev considers us dangerous and says that the government needs to keep an eye on us. The rehab centers would be staffed with a special team of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers who will help us return to ?a normal life.? According to Ze?ev, lesbian and gay people must be made aware of ?how their lifestyle is destroying our existence.?
Camps, curses, making us the enemy of society - it all smacks of Hitler?s rhetoric. But this time, it?s wrapped in an ultra-orthodox tallit (prayer shawl) that gives it a credibility it doesn?t deserve.
Libby Post is the founding chair of the Empire State Pride Agenda and a political commentator on public radio, on the Web, and in print media. She can be reached LesbianNotions@qsyndicate.com.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at email@example.com.