It’s September 11 or Patriot Day (if you like jingoism), and while we hate the xenophobic, fear-mongering surveillance culture that developed after the Twin Towers fell, we loved reading this long-form article from The Advocate about lesbian, bi and gay stories from the 2001 terrorist attack.
Most people know about Mark Bingham, the San Francisco gay rugby player who helped take down the hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93 (there’s even a few documentaries about him), but fewer folks know about Father Mychal F. Judge, the gay fire department chaplain who died with administering last rites to the deceased at Ground Zero; Carol Flyzik, the lesbian mother and partner of 13 years whose plane hit the first tower; or The Brandhorst-Gamboa family, the binational Filipino-American couple who perished with their adopted son.
Yes, it’s quite sad and most of the profiles are of White people (an interesting counterpoint when you consider how life for LGBTQ people of color in the U.S. and abroad have worsened after the military actions following September 11), but the article is still an excellent way to commemorate the day with some dignity (much better than just baking an American flag cake, anyway) and reveals that LGBT people play a role in all major world-shaping events, whether the larger world ever realizes it or not.
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