QueerToday.com was formed in 2000 as a resource for LGBT Youth, but quickly transformed into an activist group when the issue of same-sex marriage came to a head in Massachusetts. QueerToday was likely the first group in Boston to take any direct action to counteract the homophobic messages dominating the media in the summer of 2002. A group of 12 QueerToday members attended a Mass at Boston's Arch Diocese and while the Priest read an anti-gay political statement, we stood up, turned our backs, hugged, kissed, and walked out.
Representative Carl Sciortino was also in attendance with his partner, and the two of them walked out just after our group. For the next two weeks QueerToday.com was splashed across the pages of the Boston Globe, Herald, countless web sites and blogs, and we were featured on many radio shows including the conservative Laura Ingraham show where we debated Catholic Action League founder C.J. Doyle. It was possibly one of the first times the word Queer was seen on so many media outlets in a way that showed our community reclaiming the word. Conservative groups were threatening to charge us with hate-crimes. We were receiving telephone calls from citizens and radio shows from around the world at all hours of the night. We did not give up. We camped in front of the state house at a constitutional convention a few weeks later in an effort to beat the right-wing to the news cameras, and we succeeded.
As time passed QueerToday continued our coalition building, actions, and campaigns. We made headlines for co-sponsoring with NGTLF the celebration after Sodomy was legalized.
We joined with Rosa Parks committee in creating queer contingent in their march to resist racism and war. It was a historic march from Dorchester through the streets of Boston.
QueerToday.com has endorsed and promoted many anti-war protests and immigrants rights marches in the past 7 years – too many to list.
On October 2, 2005 QueerToday made headlines in the Boston Herald & Globe for dressing as grim reapers and holding signs that said "homophobia + sexism= death" on a day when the Catholic Church was organizing anti-gay sermons, and pro-life demonstrations in Boston.
"``Shame on you, Sean O'Malley!'' a man in a black hood, holding a scythe, bellowed at the Boston archbishop, who joined the largely peaceful afternoon procession. - Boston Herald Hmm... wonder who that was!? Two activists were dressed as the grim reaper with black hoods, scythes, and placards that read, ''Homophobia + Sexism = Death." - Boston Globe
On October 29th, 2005 QueerToday called on our community to protest Focus On the Family's Love Won Out Conference. Although our strategy met some resistance within the LGBT "establishment," who feared a rowdy protest would jeopardize their mainstream public relations strategy to win the right to marry, we pushed forward. We teamed up with local anti-war groups, and immigrants rights groups, and created the largest ever protest Focus On The Family had ever seen. Over 1000 people filled the street in front of the conference, chanting shut it down! Attendees had to have their lunches delivered because they were caught off-guard by our huge presence. Our statements of solidarity with the anti-war movement were highly publicized. Worldwide, the radical right posted photos our protest on their blogs and websites. Focus On The Family had a photograph of the protest on the cover of their 2007 financial report.
In the summer of 2006 QueerToday launched a campaign against Macy's in reaction to the store's removal of gay pride themed mannequins from their Boston storefront. The group protested in front of the store, and then marched through the interior of the store shouting slogans through a megaphone, before sliding our signs under the locked doors of the executive offices. While store make-up staff cheered for us and gave us "thumbs up signs," store security escorted us out. Macy's eventually apologized for the removal of the Mannequins.
In the fall of 2006 QueerToday helped organize protests of Liberty Sunday. QueerToday blogavist Brian Rainy spoke at a rally that was organized by the religious coalition for the freedom to marry. Our opposition research was reported in all of the area LGBT papers, and in the Boston Herald. Brian and Carlo, of QueerToday exposed the racist past and connections of the speakers that day and released a detailed essay on the issue.
In 2007 QueerToday was a founding group involved in a coalition to speak out against the militaristic theme chosen for Boston Pride by the Boston Pride Committee. We raised a pink flag at the official pride flag raising, and handed out hot pink flyers that spoke of solidarity with those not able to "just tell," and solidarity with the anti-war movement. The pride committee addressed our opposition from their podium.
The coalition went on to create the largest contingent in Pride in 2007, and garnered quite a bit of media coverage for our opposition to the Boston Pride theme. In 2008 a more social-justice oriented theme was chosen for Boston Pride, no doubt in part because of the promotion and votes contributed by QueerToday.com fans.
In addition to our protesting and organizing our blog has been exposing the radical-right and offering queer perspectives on everything from politics to pop-culture - often drawing the attention of local press, and community leaders. Our controversial opinions on the prioritization of same-sex marriage as a fight in our community have sparked countless discussions and debates. And our exposé’s about Amy Contrada and other Boston-based haters has served as a resource for local activists.
In November of 2007, after we broke the story that she would be starring in the Laramie Project play that her mother was protesting, Claudia Contrada, the daughter of the local but nationally known anti-gay activist Amy Contrada (MassResistance.com) chose to come out as a lesbian on QueerToday.com. The news created a firestorm of coverage for queer youth issues online and off.
In January 2008 InNewsWeekly, now NewEngland Blade, honored QueerToday.com in their “year in review” for bringing the issues of concern to queer youth to the forefront of the LGBT community’s attention.
April, 2008 QueerToday.com expanded to become an online hub for queer activists nationwide.
On May 10, 2008 QueerToday.com founder Mark Snyder received the “Actual Reality” award from the Massachusetts Youth Pride Committee.
QueerToday In The News: ( A sampling)
QueerToday.com's campaigns have been featured in many media outlets. Our Cathedral protest created buzz, even outside of the United States. It was one of the first times the word queer was featured on the news in a self-proclaimed political way.
Our Cathedral protest in 2002 was covered on:
Laura Ingraham Show ( Nationally Syndicated) debate with Catholic Action League
Serius Radio (XM RADIO, OUTQ)
TV - BOSTON
Metro West DailyNews
Medford Daily News
Milford Daily News
Innewsweekly (3 articles)
Washington Blade (W.D.C.)
WEB (Not including online edition of newspapers)
365gay.com (2 articles)
UK.Gay.com (united kingdom)
Last updated by QueerToday Jul 3, 2010.