Sunday, 2 September 2012

John McNeill, Theologian

b. September 2, 1925
Jesus.opens the possibility of bringing gay relationships within the compass of healthy and holy human love.
One year after John McNeill published "The Church and the Homosexual" (1976), a book offering a new theological look at homosexuality, he received a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. Religious authorities ordered McNeill, an ordained Jesuit priest, to halt public discussion on the topic.

McNeill's book reveals original text from the New Testament detailing Jesus's ministry to homosexuals. McNeill argues that the original Greek text of Matthew 8: 5-13 narrates Jesus's healing of a man's sick gay lover. The Latin translation of this passage describes Jesus's healing of a master's servant.

In compliance with the order from the Vatican, McNeill kept a public silence while he ministered privately to gays and lesbians. The Catholic Church, in 1988, submitted a further order to McNeill to relinquish his ministry to homosexuals. When McNeill refused, the Church expelled him from the Jesuit order.

McNeill enlisted in WWII at age 17. German forces captured him while he was serving under General Patton in 1944. He spent six months as a POW before the war's end.

After graduating from Canisius College in 1948, McNeill entered the Society of Jesus. In 1959, he was ordained a Jesuit priest. Five years later, he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy with honors and distinction from Louvain University in Belgium.
McNeill began teaching in the combined Woodstock Jesuit Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in 1972. He co-founded the New York City chapter of Dignity, an organization of Catholic gays and lesbians. In addition to his teaching duties, he served as Director of the Pastoral Studies program for inner-city clergy at the Institutes of Religion and Health.

An accomplished author, McNeill's works include "Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays and Lesbians, Their Lovers, Friends and Families" (1988) and "Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians and Everybody Else" (1995). He has also published influential articles in The New Dictionary of Spirituality and The Journal of Pastoral Care.

McNeill led the New York City Gay Rights Parade as Grand Marshall in 1987. He has received numerous awards, including the National Human Rights Award in 1984, the 1997 Dignity/USA Prophetic Service Award, and the People of Soulforce Award in 2000.

"Profile: LGBTRAN." Religious Archives Network. August 24, 2007
“John McNeill- The Author.” The Owls Nest. July 3, 2007
Selected Works

"John McNeill Response Sermon." CLGS. October 2, 2005
Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair: My Spiritual Journey (1998)
Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and Everybody Else
Sex as God Intended (2009)
Taking a Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays and Lesbians, Their Lovers, Friends and Families
The Church and the Homosexual
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Saturday, 1 September 2012

1 September Lily Tomlin, Actor

b. September 1, 1939

Don't be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.

Lily Tomlin is an accomplished actress, comedian, writer and producer who has won numerous awards including six Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards and a Grammy Award. She has been involved in many performing arts genres including film, stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, Broadway and television. She starred on "The West Wing" and "Murphy Brown" and also appeared on "X-Files" and "Will and Grace."

Tomlin attended Wayne State University as a premed student until her elective classes in theater arts inspired her to pursue a career as a performer. She started as a stand-up comedian in New York City.

In 1966, Tomlin debuted on television on the "Garry Moore Show." After a few appearances on the "Merv Griffin Show," she joined the comedy series "Laugh-In" in 1969. Ernestine, her character on "Laugh-In," captivated audiences and earned her a Golden Globe Award in 1972. Tomlin worked on comedy television specials with her partner, Jane Wagner. The duo's six specials, produced over the next nine years, netted them three Emmy Awards, the first for "Lily" in 1974.

"Nashville" marked Tomlin's entrance into film in 1975. Two years later, she starred on Broadway in "Appearing Nitely," a show written and directed by Wagner. Another Wagner show, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," became a major Broadway hit in 1985. Tomlin won a Tony Award in 1986 for her lead role.

Returning to television in 1993, Tomlin starred in "And the Band Played On," an HBO special about AIDS. From 1994 to 1998, she entertained children with her role as Mrs. Valerie Frizzle on "The Magic School Bus." In addition to her featured roles on "The West Wing" and "Murphy Brown," Tomlin continued to appear in hit movies such as "The Kid" (2000) and "I Heart Huckabees" (2004).

Tomlin officially came out to Gay TV in 2000. Her relationship with Wagner had been openly acknowledged for the majority of its existence.

Tomlin and Wagner started the Lily Tomlin Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, which provides art exhibits, theatre and other programs. The Center donates to services for people with HIV/AIDS and funds programs at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
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September 1: Leslie Feinberg, Trans Author/Activist

b. September 1, 1949
"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

Leslie Feinberg is a leading transgender activist, speaker and writer. Feinberg is a national leader in the Workers World Party and a managing editor of Workers World newspaper.
Feinberg was born in Kansas City, Missouri, into a working-class family. In the 1960’s, she came of age in the gay bars of Buffalo, New York.
Now a surgically female-to-male transgender, Feinberg is an outspoken opponent of traditional Western concepts about how a “real man” or “real woman” should look and act. Feinberg supports the use of gender-neutral pronouns such as “ze” instead of he or she, and “hir” instead of him or her.
Feinberg is well-known for forging a strong bond between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and other oppressed minorities. “Everyone who is under the gun of reaction and economic violence is a potential ally,” Feinberg says.
“Stone Butch Blues” (1993), Feinberg’s widely acclaimed first book, is a semi-autobiographical novel about a lesbian questioning her gender identity. It received an American Literary Association Award for Gay and Lesbian Literature and the Lambda Small Press Literary Award.
“Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Ru Paul” (1996), Feinberg’s first nonfiction work, examines the structures of societies that welcome or are threatened by gender variance. The book was selected as one of The Publishing Triangle’s “100 Best Lesbian and Gay Nonfiction Books.”
“Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue” (1998), another nonfiction work, documents Feinberg’s near-death experience after being denied medical treatment for a heart problem. The doctor, after discovering his patient was transgender, turned hir away.
Drag King Dreams” (2006), Feinberg’s second novel, picks up where “Stone Butch Blues” left off, chronicling the issues of transgender life today.
In 2008, after Feinberg became disabled from a degenerative disease, the author began telling hir stories through photography. Feinberg was named one of the “15 Most Influential” in the battle for gay and lesbian rights by Curve Magazine. The celebrated author has delivered speeches at colleges, universities, conferences and Pride festivals across the country.
Feinberg is married to poet and activist Minnie Bruce Pratt.

“Feinberg, Leslie." 24 May 2010.
Feinberg, Leslie. "Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink Or Blue.” Google Books. 26 May 2010.
Feinberg, Leslie. "Leslie Feinberg." 24 May 2010.
"Leslie Feinberg.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 24 May 2010.

Books by Leslie Feinberg
Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman (1997)
Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue (1999)
Stone Butch Blues: A Novel (2004)
Drag King Dreams (2006)
Rainbow Solidarity in Defense of Cuba (2009)
Books About Leslie Feinberg
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein (1995)
Living Beyond the Gender Trap: Concepts of Gender and Sexual Expression Envisioned by Marge Plercy, Cherrie Moraga and Leslie Feinberg by Heike Gerds (2004)
Videos of Leslie Feinberg
Transgenderwarrior’s YouTube Channel
Beyond Pink or Blue
Lecture at Simon Fraser University
The Publishing Triangle’s 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels
Leslie Feinberg’s Blog
Leslie Feinberg’s Social Networks
Leslie Feinberg’s Facebook Fan Page
Leslie Feinberg’s Twitter Page
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