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October is LGBTQ History Month!

Posted on October 19th, 2012 by Anna in News, Teen Services
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 October is LGBTQ history month, and today, Friday October 19, is Spirit Day! Show your LGBTQ spirit by wearing violet or purple or by changing your profile pictures to show something that is violet or by giving your picture a purple hue.

A brief History of the Rainbow Flag and those who created it:

“A true flag cannot be designed – it has to be torn from the soul of the people.” – Gilbert Baker

Who is Gilbert Baker? He’s the man who originally created the rainbow flag we now accociate with LGBTQ Pride.

In 1977 Harvey Milk was elected to the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors. He was the first openly gay man elected to a high public office in a major United States city. Once elected, he asked his friend, Gilbert Baker, to make a symbol of pride for the gay community as Baker had become very proficient with a sewing machine after his honorable discharge from the Army. Milk wanted a positive alternative to the pink triangle, which had been originally used in Nazi Germany to label gay men and was then “taken back” in the early 1970’s by gay men themselves.

Baker dyed the fabrics of the new flag himself and, with the help of volunteers, stitched together eight strips of brilliant color into a huge banner that spoke volumes: hot pink stood for sexuality, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise blue for art, indigo for harmony and violet for spirit.

A few of his handmade Rainbow Flags were flown in the 1978 “Gay Freedom Day” Parade in San Francisco. Baker then sought out the Paramount Flag Company to see about mass producing the flag. However, the hot pink color was not readily available commercially so the company produced a seven striped flag instead.

On November 27, 1978 tragedy occured when Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Mascone were assassinated at the San Fransisco City Hall.

Filled with grief and rage, the Gay Freedom Day Committee (now called San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee) quickly decided that the Rainbow Flag should be flown from the light poles along both sides of Market Street for the 1979 Gay Freedom Day Parade. To make it look right, they split the colors onto two flags, flying each of the three-striped flags on alternate sides of the street. They had to eliminate the indigo stripe to make an even six colors, and since then, we’ve stuck with those six colors: red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and violet.

This is a campaign button for Harvey Milk from the 1970’s before he cut his hair and shaved his mustache.

They always say behind every man is a woman. It’s an age old phrase, even if a bit sexist. But for Harvey Milk, that woman was actually a man named Scott Smith who was his business partner in the camera shop they owned together, his partner in life, and the man who helped to run his political campaigns behind-the-scenes. Here, Scott is on the left with Harvey embracing him from behind.

And last, but certainly not least, here is a picture of Gilbert Baker and his famed rainbow flag.

*The flag shown in the picture at the top of this blog post was sewn by Gilbert Baker for the 2003 Key West PrideFest in celebration of the 25th aniversary of the original flag. It is the world’s largest pride flag sitting at 1.25 miles long! Since 2003, sections of the Key West Pride flag have appeared at Pride events all over the world.

The View From Space – A Video

Posted on August 2nd, 2012 by Anna in News
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Ever wondered what Earth looked like from the International Space Station? Well, now you can see it for yourself! The link below shows a video taken from the ISS. It shows some lightning storms and the Northern Lights! This is definitely not something you want to miss out on!

Space Video

Teens in the News: Do Teens Have the Right to Protest?

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Akunna in News

 

Malik Ayala, 16, from the  Bronx, was given a summons by the NY Police Department for handing out fliers about a protest against the closure of his school, Lehman High. If convicted, he could go to jail for fifteen days. Don’t teens have the right to protest? Shouldn’t high school students have a say in whether their schools stay open?

Check out this article  about how he and other students are standing up for their right to protest  for good schools.

 

Friday is Day Of Silence

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by Anna in Events, News, Programs, Teen Services
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Day of Silence is a youth movement protesting the silence caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their allies. 

 By keeping silent for the day, you are fighting these injustices.

 What are YOU doing to end the silence?

 Come to the Teen Room at the Central Library to sign our banner with messages of hope, love, and encouragement. Show your support by wearing a DOS sticker as well. The two teen librarians, Mary and Anna will be participating in the day by staying silent on and off all day. While one is silent, the other will be available to answer questions and help patrons find the books and information they need. Then they will switch. Consider joining them in their effort to stand with the silent.

The following poem was written today for our Catharsis Through Poetry workshop while thinking about Day of Silence. It was written by an LGBTQ ally who wishes to remain anonymous.

“Love Who You Love”

Injustice.

It happens everyday.

Must I wear this

Rainbow shirt

To show I care?

Can’t we all

Just get along?

You can’t tell me

Who I am

Who to love.

Am I man?

Am I woman?

Or something

In-between?

Do I love her?

Him?

Hän?

Does it matter?

No.

Love who you love.

Be who you are.

 

*Hän is a gender neutral pronoun in Finnish.

What’s YOUR Library Experience?

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by Anna in Events, News, Programs, Resources, Teen Services

Tell us!

Here at the Boston Public Library we’re celebrating National Library Week. And one of the ways that we’re celebrating is by creating a page on our website dedicated to you and the joyious stories you would like to share about your experiences in the library. We would love for teens to talk about the branches they attend, the librarians they talk to on a daily basis, and the programming they couldn’t live without. Whatever it is about the library that you love… TELL US ABOUT IT!

Check out the webpage here: http://www.bpl.org/stories/ Read what others have to say, and share your own thoughts.

On Thursday of this week, we’ll be celebrating National Library Week with Library Snap Shot Day. This means we’ll be taking photos of the programs and the fun going on in the library that day to complete “a day at the library”. Show up that day and participate in the Video Games at the Copley branch and you could find yourself on our website! Yes, you could be famous just for using the library, and what could be better than that?