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AIDS Walk OKC hosts two events featuring ‘Stonewall’ author David Carter

To celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the AIDS Walk Board of Oklahoma City is presenting two events in June with David Carter, author of “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.” Photo provided.

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

To celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the AIDS Walk Board of Oklahoma City is presenting two events with David Carter, author of “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution.”

On Sunday, June 17, Carter will hold a book signing at Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, in Oklahoma City from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. On Monday, June 18, at 7 p.m., he will be a special guest at the COPA, 2200 NW 39 Street, where his book will be available. Carter will be interviewed on stage about his book and the documentary based on it, Stonewall Uprising.

“The AIDS Walk Board is very excited to have an individual such as David Carter be a part of our event,” said John Greer, President, AIDS Walk Board of Oklahoma City. “We invite everyone to be a part of this evening to commemorate the Stonewall riots and support the community.”

Stonewall Uprising, which examines the events surrounding the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969, will be shown as guests arrive. Debuting at the 2010 Film Forum in New York City, the movie features interviews with eyewitnesses to the incident and concludes with an examination of how it energized the gay community to become a political force and to create Christopher Street Liberation Day, the genesis of gay pride parades in the United States.

From Jesup, Georgia, Carter attended college at Emory University and later the University of Wisconsin. He became a gay activist, influenced by Anita Bryant’s success in repealing gay civil rights ordinances.

Carter is the founder of the Madison Committee for Gay Rights and cofounded The United and served as one of their spokespersons. He and two friends started the gay television series, Glad To Be Gay, and a spin-off of that program, Nothing To Hide, where he interviewed one of his favorite writers, Allen Ginsberg.

Later hired by Ginsberg to edit his interviews, Carter published them in a compilation called Spontaneous Mind.

Through the activism of Carter and others during this period, a grass roots movement was created that resulted in Wisconsin passing the first statewide gay rights law.

Carter moved to New York in 1985 where he began working for Chelsea House Publishers, then the nation’s premier publisher of young adult multicultural books.

While there he proposed the creation of two new series, a lesbian and gay biography series and a lesbian and gay studies series, both of which he helped launch before leaving the company.

Through a grant from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Carter did the necessary research to nominate to the site of the Stonewall Riots for the National Register of Historic Places.

The nomination, written by Carter and three preservationists, resulted in the Stonewall site being placed on the National Register in 1999. The following year the site was declared a National Historic Landmark, the highest recognition given by the United States government.

Carter is researching his next book, a biography of the pioneering gay activist Dr. Frank Kameny, who was responsible for getting the American Psychiatric Association to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness and who coined the phrase “Gay Is Good.”

The 2012 AIDS Walk will be held Sunday, Sept. 23 at the newly renovated Myriad Gardens.

The mission of the AIDS Walk board is to raise awareness concerning HIV/AIDS and to raise funds to support the work of nonprofit agencies that provide HIV/AIDS direct care, support services and education.

Hosting the COPA event is Jozlyn Welch with Veronica Spice, Roxie Hart, Sonja Martinez, Alison Scott and Frank Thompson. Reservations COPA event are recommended. Tickets are $40, which includes dinner and the show.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner starts at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m. Call the COPA at 405-525-0730 for reservations. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

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