Tomorrow, Monday, July 18 at 5pm, Queer Nation will be staging a major demonstration at Trump Tower in Manhattan (725 Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Street) in conjunction with the opening of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
I am urging friends and supporters of the film Julio of Jackson Heights to attend the rally is they are in the New York metropolitan area, or to inform their friends about the rally.
Queer Nation formed in the spring of 1990 in response to increasing anti-LGBT violence, and the organization was key in pressuring the police in Queens to run a serious investigation into the murder of Julio Rivera.
If you are on Facebook here is the event page.
Yesterday, the anniversary of Julio’s death, I was in the neighborhood – the neighborhood being, of course, Jackson Heights – to run some errands. And as I walked down 37th Avenue I thought I would take a sign of the “Julio Rivera Corner” to put in this blog and write a bit about the past week of screenings and remembrances of Julio, but then I bumped into Alan Sack and we got some coffees and sweets and sat on a bench. It is always good to be in Alan’s company and he asked me how things went with the screenings and the Citation of Honor from the Queens Borough President and we talked and talked. Alan, for his part, on the night of July 1 lit a candle and said Kaddish for Julio.
This week has been a very important one for the film! Being honored by President Melinda Katz has definitely made more people aware of this work and piqued interest. The screening we held at Elmhurst Hospital (where Julio died in the Emergency Room) was a nice intimate one, attended by about 40 people, and followed by a really great conversation. The screening at Queens Theatre was enormous! Despite the rain and threats of tornadoes (!) over 100 people showed up (out of the 160 who had reserved). And my good friend Dr. Edgar Rivera Colón led a great post-screening discussion.
Personally, I feel truly lucky to have a network of such great supportive people, such a great supportive community, helping me in this work.
Finally, just to let everyone know, all the screenings were free and open to the public. We are now looking to raise more funds for this campaign to continue to bring this work to broader and broader – and more and more diverse – groups of people.
Please, if you can, give your support!