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Photo History of the Issues in Bermuda
Over the years, the
Allan Vincent Smith Foundation has kept news clippings of stories, articles, and advertisements relevant to the issues they (and we) support. In the following photo account, taken from local newspapers and other sources, they have chronicled the attitudes, activism, and changes surrounding HIV/AIDS and Gay Rights Issues on our shores and around the world.
Everyone's Problem / February 1993
Mr. Joseph (Jo-Jo) Tucker a panelist at a workshop on HIV/AIDS-related counseling urges people to help those with AIDS.
Death of a Legend / February 1993
Arthur Ashe at a press conference in April 1992 when he went public with the fact that he had AIDS. He died on Saturday February 6 1993.
Homophobic Bigotry / March 1993
Public outcry erupts in Bermuda over the signing of Jamaican reggae singer 'Shabba' described by one writer as "a homophobic bigot" when he is to appear in concert at National Stadium. The concert organized by Choy Aming was facilitated by the Department of Youth Sport & Recreation.
Mid Ocean News and Royal Gazette
Charitible Giving / March 1993
Bermuda Society of Interior Designers present cheque of $2000.00 to Agape House coordinator Mrs. Hilary Soares. The funds were raised for the hospice during a raffle at a black tie casino night.
Warned / April 1993
Mark Herdman of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office responds to inquiries from American gay rights activist Mr. William Courson stating that Bermuda had been 'warned' in 1988 to amend local legislation criminalizing homosexual acts.
Setting Things Straight / May 1993
"Ex-gays" Mr. Nelson Lord (who at one time considered sex-change surgery) Mr. Anthony Falzarano (a former prostitute with over 400 male sexual partners and now a marred father) and Mr. Jim Brown (who says he was 'pushed' into homosexuality) tell how they were 'healed' with the help of U.S.-based Transformation Ex-Gay Ministries. The men were brought to Bermuda by a group of local pastors to help set-up a similar ministry to 'heal' homosexuals on the island by conducting a weekend workshop.
Artists Against AIDS / June 1993
American lyric soprano Miss Gwendolyn Little and her brother Mr. Cecil Little were invited by Sandys Rotary Club to appear in concert at Wesley Methodist Church to raise money for AIDS education.
PTA Against Condoms / June 1993
The Hon. Clarence Terceira reveals that a vast majority of parents are against the distribution of condoms in schools, opposing a plan by Health Minister The Hon. Quinton Edness going ahead without parents' support. More than half of the island's high school principals had voiced concern about the plan. Mr. Terceira said "Information tells us that the role models that affect children's behaviour most are parents. So parents must talk to their children." The Minister replied that this does not always happen because sometimes the adults themselves are not well-informed or they are afraid to talk to youngsters (about sex).
AIDS workshop / November 1993
Public Health Charge Nurse Mrs. Gaylia Landry (left) Nurse Epidemiologist Ms. Rhonda Daniels and visiting AIDS educator Ms. Alyce Vyann Howell look over literature used in Bermuda's first Train the Trainers HIV/AIDS Instructors Course. The workshop was supported by STAR and the Allan Vincent Smith Foundation. Mrs. Landry said she believed that participants were surprised by their own level of creativity. "With workshops like this I think you find resources within yourself which you never knew you had."
Christmas comfort for AIDS orphans / December 1993
STAR Director Mrs. Carolyn Armstrong, who shares her home with HIV-positive people, thanks some 80 staff of the Bank of Butterfield who joined together to sponsor a Christmas party for children who have lost a parent to AIDS or who have a parent living with the deadly disease. Some 50 children (of over 200 orphaned in Bermuda) were expected to attend the event held at The Lighthouse - a private home where HIV-positive people can live independently.
A Community Effort / November 1992
Premier the Hon. Sir John Swan officially endorses World AIDS Day 1992 by encouraging all segments of the community to get involved by supporting HIV/AIDS organizations as he prepares to read the World AIDS Day Proclamation at a ceremony and AIDS Memorial Quilt launching at City Hall.
Array of Talent / November 1992
A gala opera concert was stage by Sandys Rotary Club featuring artists from Bermuda Canada America Britain and Austria to underlining an international response to a crisis that is international in dimension. Participants (left to right) are: Ru-Zelda Nisbett-Severin Franz Wohlmuth Beverly Hay Gwendolyn Little Peter Nash and Nancy Chisling. The concert was held at St. John's Church Pembroke.
On the March / February 1994
Christian Coalition marchers and other anti-gay protesters make their way to the House of Assembly on February 17 1994 before presenting a petition to Premier the Hon. Sir John Swan and Opposition Leader Mr. Frederick Wade.
Stubbs Bill Delayed / March 1994
The Hon. Dr. John Stubbs' motion to legalize gay sex has been delayed until after the Easter break when it is expected to face an attempted further delay upon presentation that it 'be considered six-months hence'. Such a motion can often kill a bill but Dr. Stubbs said "The level of support is steadily rising." Based on information from colleagues Dr. Stubbs felt his Criminal Code Amendment Act 1994 would pass the House of Assembly and the Senate.
Speaking about Change / March 1994
Mr. Peter Carpenter (above) "comes out" to join Mr. Curtis Williams (below) in openly campaigning for gay rights in Bermuda. Mr. Carpenter the new spokesman for pro-gay group the Bermuda Human Rights Alliance said he feels it is now time to take a stand. His action was prompted by the film 'Philadelphia'; a movie about an AIDS victim's (sic) fight against prejudice. He said the passing of the bill would give gays "the security that everybody else already has.
Speaking about Stigma / May 1994
Peter Carpenter a concert pianist who has played to acclaim in several different countries and spokesman for the Bermuda Human Rights Alliance speaks about the stigma of living in Bermuda as a gay man. Mr. Carpenter said that it is imperative for Bermuda to accept once and for all that its Government has no place in the bedrooms of Bermuda to recognize the total separation of church and state repudiating those who are attempting to impose their version of morality on the entire population of Bermuda.
Stubbs Bill Passed / May 1994
Early in the morning of May 4 1994 the House of Assembly passes the controversial Stubbs Bill to decriminalize homosexuality in Bermuda by a vote of 22-16 removing two sections of the Criminal Code that made consentual sex between men in private illegal. The day-long session capped months of debate in the community. Click on the image at left to see how they voted.
Swift' Lessons / May 1994
Educator Miss Magaret Swift conducts a seven-week evening course on sexuality and social issues at the Bermuda College. the course deals with broad issues relating to sex and society rather than any clinical approach to problems. "There are positive aspects to sexuality " said Miss Swift. "It is something we have to deal with."
Celebration of Liberty / June 1994
Two men kiss at the New York Gay Pride Parade just one month after Bermuda's MPs voted to amend the Criminal Code which criminalized homosexuality. Organizers of the march said 1.1 million people took part or lined the streets as spectators during the 2.5 mile march that commemorated 25 years since the movement's turbulent beginning during the three-day "Stonewall Uprising." Crowds were entertained by Gregory Hines Carol Channing and Liza Minelli. There were no incidents of violence during the day's event that capped a week of activities for the gay community.
(Reuter) Royal Gazette
Liberated Lesbians / August 1994
Bermuda wasn't the only country celebrating a first. In Tokyo more than 1 000 participants took part in a three-hour march in 91 degree heat to stage the first-ever gay pride parade in Japan. One lesbian painter from Tokyo said "This is a landmark day for us. We were able to prove that we're alive and that we exist in this society." Despite increased awareness of gay issues organizers said hat homosexuals are still excluded from many aspects of Japanese society.
(Reuter) Royal Gazette
Condom Sense / September 1994
One of the Condom Awareness adverts sponsored by The Allan Vincent Smith Foundation in the 1994 ad campaign.
HIV and Positive / November 1994
American AIDS Educator Debbie Thomas was the guest speaker at World AIDS Day activities in Bermuda in 1994. "The biggest problem today in the AIDS fight is teaching people it's not who they are, but what they do."
Supportive Therapy / November 1994
Director of STAR Carolyn Armstrong counsels a woman at the Lighthouse STAR's home for people with AIDS. The photo accompanied an article by a mother of two who is living with the virus. She wanted to tell her story so that other women would protect themselves from AIDS.
Mid Ocean News
Shades of Gray / 1994 - 1995 Column
Pioneer Local AIDS Educator and Gay Rights Activist Curtis Gray spoke openly and honestly about issues in the community regularly through his column in the Mid Ocean News.
Mid Ocean News
Campaign Needs Work / February 1995
Visiting Dr. Richard West Charles (Pan American World Health Organization) praised local community leaders for the way they have dealt with the problems caused by violent crime but he said Bermuda's AIDS campaign needed work through a strengthening of the educational wing of the campaign.
The Ultimate Plunge / February 1995
Olympic Diving Champion Greg Louganis, 35, tells Barbara Walters in an ABC News 20/20 interview that when he hit his head on the diving board at the 1988 Seoul Games he was HIV positive. Having tested positive six months before the Games, he went on to win the springboard and platform diving Gold Medals.
(AP) Mid Ocean News
Expanding Face of AIDS / August 1995
Mr. William MacDonald, visiting AIDS Activist, says that 'support includes not just people who are infected but those who are affected - partners and children." Mr. MacDonald works as Communications Coordinator for AIDS Committee of Ottawa.
World AIDS Day - Marseilles / December 1995
A giant red ribbon - the symbol of AIDS - marks the international action day against the disease. Princess Diana patron of an AIDS charity said that with no cure or vaccine yet in sight the day was an opportunity to raise awareness to prevent infection from the outset.
(Reuter) Royal Gazette
Charitable Giving / 1998
TOP - AVSF Director Michael Fox (centre) receives $750.00 donation from Baptiste Builders Supply winners of 1998 Festival of Lights.
BOTTOM - AVSF President Joe Gibbons receives $752.00 donation from Edith Beek who ran in the 1999 May 24 marathon.
Christmas Angel / December 1998
Michael Fox helped an incarcerated mother with HIV by taking her children for weekend visits. When the children were deported to Canada he wrote letters to the Governor asking for her release which the Governor granted a few days before Christmas reuniting the family in time for the holidays.
Homophobic Murder / September 1993
Wilfred Sharand Ming Jr. (Oopie) an openly gay man was murdered in a senseless act of violence by a brutal homophobe who was sentenced to only 7 years in jail. This resulted in many letters and articles (Shades of Gray - 1993) being submitted to the newspapers.
Charitable Giving / 1993
American Friends of Bermuda president Paul O'Connor (left) provided the Foundation with a computer printer. Pictured with him are Foundation Director Mrs. Brenda McLean and Foundation president Mr. Martin Smith sister and father of Allan Vincent Smith.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T / April 2002
Sherry Saltus tells the Bermuda Sun that people with HIV need to treated with respect, rather than finger pointing, ignorance and lack of compassion. The 41-year-old grandmother has been living with the virus for more than a decade.
What a Drag / January 2002
Alexis Funtang struts her stuff in front of an appreciative crowd during a performance of the Flawless Follies at Escape Nightclub. The Follies regularly raised donations for the Foundation during their performances at the club.
Mega Help / December 2001
Michael Hansley of Mega Productions presents AVSF Director Michael Fox with a cheque of $500 - proceeds raised at a party held at Club 40.
Living in the Shadows / November 2001
Despite passage of the Stubbs Bill in 1994, Bermuda's gay and lesbian community continue to experience hostility from certain quarters of the population. Nancy Acton talks with one Bermudian about his life as a gay man in Bermuda.