The AIDS Action Committee published the Little Black Book available at the GLSEN Conference at the Brookline High School (passed out at the Fenway Community Health table). Then there's BAGLY (recommended as a resource in the LBB), and its executive director, "trans male-to-female" Grace Stowell [scroll down in the Bay Windows story for photo], who presented a "trans" workshop at the GLSEN conference. Check out these groups and the people who run them:
- GLSEN (Gay/Lesbian/Straight Education Network: behind homosexual curriculum in our schools, Day of Silence, Gay/Straight clubs in the high schools, and the infamous Fistgate and LBB conferences).
- AIDS Action Committee (publishers of Little Black Book).
- BAGLY (Boston Area Gay & Lesbian Youth, sponsor of last weekend's Youth Pride day in Boston, and GLBT Prom at Boston City Hall) - for youth, young teen to 22. Grace Stowell, trans male-to-female, Executive Director.
- Paul Shanley, defrocked priest & child rapist, invited to speak to youth at BAGLY. The youth seemed to have been frustrated with him for not being open about his homosexuality [see article below].
- Mayor Thomas Menino and Boston City Hall, sponsor of Youth Pride and big supporter of AIDS Action Committee.
- Harvard School of Public Health: Transgender health sessions with Grace Stowell.
- Mass. Chapter, National Assoc. of Social Workers: Grace Stowell instructs on GLBT youth.
- Bay Windows, Boston area "gay" newspaper.
Look at the AIDS Action Committee - BAGLY connection. In the Little Black Book, supposedly intended for male homosexuals 18 and over (according to the latest statements from the Fenway Community Health Center, which passed it out at the April 30 GLSEN conference), we see this passage:BAGLY is the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Questioning Youth. It is BAGLY's mission to serve the youth community by being a source for information about the life-long journey of coming out. BAGLY is youth led and adult supported. BAGLY holds weekly meetings where youth, 22 and under, can meet new friends and learn about each other's experiences while they plan and coordinate events. Contact BAGLY at - voice ~ 617-227-4313 fax ~ 617-227-3266
YOUTH are targeted by BAGLY. They say their organization is for young teens (under 18) up to age 22. (Fenway Community Health and GLSEN claim that at the GLSEN conference, the Little Black Book was intended just for age 18 and over. But BAGLY is mentioned twice in the LBB. And there's a paragraph on coffee houses in the LBB, for those who aren't old enough for the bar scene. It's hard to tell what the LLB target age is, on the younger end... Very possibly under 18, judging by its tone.)
Some interesting background on BAGLY from the April 21, 2005 issue of Bay Windows:
From its founding until the early '90s the organization functioned as an all-volunteer group, and it survived financially through fundraisers at bars, private donations and special events like a youth-run carnival. Both Klein, who was the group's first elected president, and Stowell, who has been BAGLY's executive director since 1995, remember that in the early days, the young people who attended BAGLY's meetings came from incredibly diverse backgrounds.
"One of the things that is really extraordinary about BAGLY is that BAGLY in 1980 was the most diverse group of people I've ever been involved with anywhere in every sense. It was diverse racially, it was diverse in terms of class, it was diverse in the general range of life experiences that people had," said Klein. He said those experiences ranged from college and high school students to runaways, hustlers and drag queens who lived on the street.
That diversity made for some interesting discussions at the group's Wednesday meetings. Klein said during a discussion on hustling and prostitution, members of the group who were hustlers shared their own firsthand experiences with the other youth. The discussions could also get quite heated.
Defrocked Catholic priest Paul Shanley, who was convicted in February of raping an altar boy, came to a meeting to discuss sexuality and religion. The priest, who had built a reputation of ministering to sexual minority youth, did not receive a warm welcome from the BAGLY youth.
"He was attacked by the kids. People were all over him," recalled Klein. "They kept asking him, 'Are you gay? Are you gay,' and he said, 'I refuse to answer that.'"
The group had major successes and major setbacks in the early days. By the end of 1981 BAGLY was unable to afford the rent at its Tremont Street space, and it moved to its present location at St. John the Evangelist Church in March 1982. Yet one of its early successes was holding the first BAGLY prom in the summer of 1981. According to Stowell, the prom was the brainchild of youth steering committee member Michael Pumphret, a South Boston youth who passed away during the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
"It was Michael's idea to have a prom that would be for us, for GLBT youth, because most could not go as openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender to their high school prom, or [they] certainly could not bring a same-sex date," said Stowell. She added that the first prom, held in the basement of Arlington Street Church, drew between 50 and 75 kids, and it became a yearly event that continues to this day.
Another early success was BAGLY's response to the AIDS crisis. "I remember very vividly the BAGLY meeting in the summer of 1981.... A young person, one of the youth came into the Wednesday meeting saying, 'Did you hear, did you hear about the gay cancer?'" said Stowell. BAGLY's membership was hit hard by the epidemic.
Stowell said the first youth affiliated with BAGLY died of AIDS in 1986."Unfortunately the first of many," said Stowell. In 1983, before schools were doing AIDS education, BAGLY brought in speakers from the newly formed AIDS Action Committee to talk to them about safe sex and prevention.
"I remember [AIDS Action Founding Executive Director] Larry [Kessler] coming with a man who was HIV infected and talking about the experience," said Cranston. "It was the only AIDS education any kids were getting. BAGLY was ahead of the curve by three or four years."