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Irene Monroe: Confronting echoes of the AIDS hysteria as we battle Ebola

Exactly a decade ago this month I received an email flagged as urgent from Monrovia, Liberia. It was from Lee Johnson, then coordinator of "Liberian Youths Against HIV/AIDS.”

"Presently, the HIV/AIDS scourge is deeply eating into the fabric of our society and there is little being done to bring this to a halt. Therefore, some of us youths have come together to be able to bring awareness to our fellow youths on the danger of HIV/AIDS and other STD’s. But, at present, we are not receiving much from the locals and that is why we have decided to get in contact with you," Johnson wrote.

Letter to the community from Lambda Archives of San Diego

Will San Diego lose one of its earliest LGBTQ historic sites?

Letter to the community from Harvey Milk's American Diner

To our friends in the San Diego Community:

We understand that the recent changes at Harvey Milk’s American Diner have been a challenge for many, including our beloved staff. We’re very sorry. We are also sorry if your individual concerns have not been addressed directly or in a timely manner. We are working hard to address each and every person affected by the recent changes at Harvey Milk’s American Diner.

Please contact Frank Lechner via email: reorganization@harveymilksamericandiner.com and we will respond to you directly and as quickly as possible.

Irene Monroe: Is being "Black-ish" also being homophobic-ish

The second episode of ABC's promising new comedy "Black-ish" left its LGBTQ viewership "black and blue."

“It looks a little gay,” Pop (the grandfather played by Laurence Fishburne) casually told his son Dre — short for Andre — while he was stretching to prepare for his talk with his son about the "birds and the bees."

"It looks a little gay. The act of stretching. Really? I guess a man doing yoga would be the sign he’d become the long-lost cousin of Liberace,” Tim Teeman of "The Daily Beast" wrote in "Why ‘Black-ish’ Has a Gay Problem."

COMMENTARY: Why this major organization is changing its name

One of my early memories of feeling like I was fully and deeply me was during elementary school when my little tomboy self climbed up a tree in my Denver neighborhood and just hung out thinking about a girl I had a crush on. I felt strong in my body, climbing branch by branch; looking back on it, I realize I felt something that wasn’t what I knew girls to be or what I knew boys to be, rather something in between; and, of course, the freedom to think about the girl. And I was deeply happy in all of my identities. That’s how it feels to be fully you. To be all of you.

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Irene Monroe: A personal story about climate change

Sunday morning, Sept. 21, Rita Renee Toll-Dubois and her lifelong partner Ranger Jean Rogers of Lynn, Massachusetts quietly boarded one of the many Cambridge buses heading to the People's Climate Change March in New York City.

Toll-Dubois carried a placard made from a simple piece of undecorated white cardboard paper—one that wouldn't normally grab your attention until you read it.

"The water has risen.
Tidal River overflows knee-deep up to 1 1/2 block away.
Lynn MA”

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Irene Monroe: Black children are "beloved and beaten"

"Beloved and beaten" is a phrase that best depicts how many African American children — past and present — are disciplined.

It is an authoritative type of African-American parenting discipline style that is painfully revered. Yet, in too many incidents, it continues to be uncritically passed along generationally.

When Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on allegation of child abuse, he admitted to using the disciplinary methods passed down by his father.

COMMENTARY: Dreaming of a more artful Hillcrest

Call me a dreamer. But to me the “Transforming Hillcrest” plan is a tremendous opportunity for us.

As I’ve said, keeping the 10 [MTA bus] and moving the 11 & 120 onto Washington Street through Eighth or Ninth avenues is not going to affect many stops. And the bulb out on Fifth Avenue and Washington Street creates an awesome transfer center, further increasing the opportunity for a wider pedestrian plaza or additional parking or bike share stations on Fifth Avenue where businesses are already struggling due to lack of foot traffic.

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Irene Monroe: The Joan Rivers you might have not known

(Editor's note: Everybody knows the public Joan Rivers, but not everybody was familiar with her volunteer and charity work. She was passionate about the New York-based God's Love We Deliver, which gives free meals to seriously ill people in New York and northeast New Jersey. Our contributor, the Rev. Irene Monroe, looks at some other facets of Joan Rivers' life that you might not know.)

You either loved Joan Rivers or you hated her.

Margaret Cho: Putting the fun back in funeral

Joan Rivers put the ‘fun’ in funeral. I arrived almost an hour early, as our invitations had suggested because of tightened security. I snuck into a side entrance, so I missed the grand spectacle of paparazzi, fans, well wishers and shiny black cars, a mass of people covering at least 3 city blocks in front of Temple Emanu-El. There was no red carpet, which was oddly disappointing, as this had been teased by the press in the hours after Joan’s death. This was to be a staid, classy, dignified affair. I did sneak outside to look for protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church.

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