The Forgotten Queers of 9/11

the spouses of men and women who died on 9/11 excluded those who were gay

left out of mainstream media

left out of compensation and public recognition

even tho, one of us, was a hero

Mark Bingham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Accidental Gay History of the 9/11 Memorial

The Accidental Gay History of the 9/11 Memorial

From Web 1.o:

World Trade Center button 2001
This is where we really go when we die:
Into the hearts of those who remember us,
And all our hearts are bursting with [them].
— Martin Amis

===   I  n       M  e  m  o  r  i  a  m  ===

Fr. Mychal Judge in 2000Among the openly Gay people known dead at the World Trade Center is New York Fire Department Catholic chaplain Father Mychal Judge. Judge, 68, was killed while ministering to a fallen firefighter at Ground Zero. Judge’s helmet was presented to the Pope, and Judge was chosen Grand Marshal of the 2002 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. There is also an initiative to elevate Fr. Mychal to sainthood. In June 2002, the president signed the Mychal Judge Act, granting federal money to certain survivors of victims of 9/11, including same-sex partners.Mark Bingham; photo: *With you!*

Medal  of  Freedom   Nominee
Voted Person of the Year 2001
Arthur Ashe Courage   Award:

Mark Bingham, 31, a Gay passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, helped to thwart the plane’s hijackers. September 16 is officially designated Mark Bingham Day in San Francisco.
Carol Flyzik; photo: Nancy Walsh in *The Advocate*

40-year-old Carol Flyzik’s plane, American Airlines Flight 11, never made it to California. It was the first of two to crash into the World Trade Center. Flyzik, who was a registered nurse and a member of the Human Rights Campaign, is survived byNancy Walsh, her partner of nearly 13 years.

David Charlebois; photo: tampabaycoalition.comDavid Charlebois, the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, was openly Gay, the Washington Bladereported. Charlebois was a member of the National Gay Pilots Association. Charlebois is survived by Tom Hay, his partner of almost 13 years.

Graham Berkeley; BBC photoGraham Berkeley, 37, a native of England who lived in Boston, boarded United Airlines Flight 175 on Sept. 11 on his way to a conference in Los Angeles. He died when the plane became the second hijacked airliner to crash into the World Trade Center. —Washington Blade

Pamela J. BoycePamela J. Boyce, 43, is only one of several dozen World Trade Center workers who have officially been confirmed dead. Boyce, a resident of Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, worked on the 92nd floor of One World Trade Center as assistant vice president of accounting for the New York office of Carr Futures. She is survived by her partner Catherine Anello.

Ronald Gamboa with David; photo:

Dan Brandhorst; Photo:

A Gay couple on their way home to Los Angeles from Boston were killed when United Airlines Flight 175 was hijacked Tuesday and crashed into the second tower of New York’s World Trade Center. Ronald Gamboa, 33, and his partner of 13 years, Dan Brandhorst, 42, were traveling with their 3-year-old adopted son, David. Brandhorst and Gamboa were founding members of the Pop Luck Club, an L.A. organization for Gay men interested in adopting children. —

Joe Ferguson; photo: tampabaycoalition.comJames Joe Ferguson, 39, director of geography education outreach for the National Geographic Society, was on American Airlines Flight 77 when it crashed into the Pentagon. Ferguson was traveling on a National Geographic-sponsored educational field trip to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary off Santa Barbara, Calif.

Jeffrey Collman; photo:
Openly Gay flight attendant Jeffrey Collman’s American Airlines Flight 11 (from Boston) smashed into the north tower of New York’s World Trade Center. Collman is survived by Keith Bradkowski, his partner of 11 years.

John Keohane; AP photo41-year-old John Keohane was at work near the World Trade Center when the planes hit. He was killed by falling debris. Keohane worked at One Liberty Plaza near the World Trade Center and died when the towers collapsed. After the planes hit the Trade Center towers, Keohane met Mike Lyons, his partner of 17 years, on the street, and called his mother from his cell phone. “They were just in the streets like everybody else,” Keohane’s sister, Darlene Keohane, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “As he was talking, he had thought a third plane crashed into the building.” What Keohane thought was a third crash was really the collapse of the South tower of the World Trade Center. While Lyons survived, Keohane was killed by falling debris. Tragically, Lyons committed suicide March 1, 2002, on his 41st birthday.

Sheila Hein; AP photo

     Defense of Freedom Medal Recipient:

Sheila Hein, 51, was working for the U.S. Army’s management and budget office in the Pentagon when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into it. Peggy Neff is Hein’s partner of 18 years. Virginia’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund administrators refused to accept the couple were anything but “friends.” However, in January 2003, “the federal government’s 9-11 Compensation Fund approved what is said to be the first payment to [Neff], a person in a gay relationship whose partner was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” —

Eddie Ognibene; Photo:“Roxy Eddie” Ognibene, a beloved member of the Renegades of New York’s Big Apple Softball League, was tragically lost in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack. He worked as a bond trader for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods on the 89th floor of WTC 2. — Jerry Rosco, Renegades for

Eugene Clark; Photo: *The Advocate*Larry Courtney and Eugene Clark were partners for 11 years. Clark, 47, worked for Aon Consulting on the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower. Clark sent Courtney a voice message: “I’m OK. The plane hit the other tower. And we’re evacuating.” Clark is still missing. — Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos (

Wesley Mercer; Photo: tampabaycoalition.comBill Randolph’s lover of 26 years, Wesley Mercer, 70, is among three security personnel from Morgan Stanley still missing in the World Trade Center rubble. Mercer, who was vice president of corporate security, was drinking coffee on the ground floor of the WTC when the first plane hit. He rushed to the 44th floor to supervise the evacuation of employees. All 3,700 employees escaped harm. Then Mercer, a decorated Army veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, returned to the 44th floor to make sure no one was left behind. Unlike other surviving partners, Mr. Randolph is not eligible for the full range of benefits, from pensions to Social Security payments to special memorial funds available to victims of Sept. 11. —

Luke Dudek; Photo: tampabaycoalition.comLuke A. Dudek, 50, was the food and beverage controller at Windows on the World. Dudek is survived by his partner of 20 years, George Cuellar. Cuellar said his partner loved Cuellar’s flower business so much that after years of renting space, this year they bought their own property for the business. He said Dudek spent a week of vacation in September completing renovations. Dudek’s first day back to work in New York was Sept. 11. He died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Michael Lepore; Photo: tampabaycoalition.comSince Sept. 11, friends of Michael Lepore, 39, a project analyst at Marsh & McLennon, have been pruning his rosebushes, clearing wayward ivy off stone walls, planting bulbs for next spring. It is the perfect act of kindness, said Mr. Lepore’s partner of 18 years, David O’Leary. Their house and garden in Yonkers had been Mr. Lepore’s pride and joy and are now Mr. O’Leary’s primary source of comfort. — The New York Times via H. S. Levine, NYC

Tony Karnes; Photo: tampabaycoalition.comJohn Winter and his lover William Anthony Karnes, 37, lived within sight of Karnes’ office at Marsh & McLennon on the 97th floor of the World Trade Center Tower One. Walking to the office together, the couple had timed the “commute” at just 11 minutes. On the morning of September 11, Karnes, who went by “Tony,” left for his office at about 8:30. At 8:45, Winter heard what sounded like a calamitous thunder clap. When he looked out his apartment window, he could already see his future. Karnes was killed in that morning’s tragedy. In dealing with the aftermath, Winter says that he was “fortunate [in having] a good relationship with Tony’s family in Knoxville.” — Paul Schindler (

Seamus O'Neal; Photo: The New York Times/tampabaycoalition.comNew York resident Tom Miller lost his partner Seamus O’Neal in the World Trade Center attack. “I did not have the luxury of grieving without having to defend myself and prove who I am and who we were,” Miller said. “If down the road anyone can be spared that torture, that would be excellent,” he said — Dan Kerman, / Network

Catherine Smith; photo: september11victims.comElba Cedeno lost her partner of six years, Catherine Smith, 44, who worked on the 97th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers. They both had wills, which will ease the process of Cedeno taking sole ownership of their home. But Cedeno said she is angry that she will not qualify to receive any of Smith’s Social Security benefits. “This was my soul mate. We planned to live the rest of our lives together and retire together,” Cedeno said. — AP via

Patricia McAneney; photo: legacy.comEmergency aid kept Margaret Cruz afloat after the loss of her partner of 18 years, Patricia McAneney. Ms. Cruz documented her finanacially interdependent partnership and prevailed with the Crime Victim’s Board, the Red Cross and the New York State charitable fund. A total of $80,000 went to Ms. Cruz. McAneney, 50, was the fire marshal of her floor of 1 World Trade Center, where she worked for the insurance company Guy Carpenter. — Jane Gross via Lucy at

Waleska Martinez; photo: flight93.orgWaleska Martinez, 37, a computer whiz in the Census Bureau’s New York office, was aboard flight 93 that crashed outside Shanksville, PA. In his book, Among the Heroes, Jere Longman “unobtrusively quotes [Angela Lopez, her] same-sex partner.” Lopez said, “She was my longtime companion, best friend and soul mate.” — NY Times Book Review, 9-8-02, p. 13.

Renee BarrettRenee Barrett, injured in the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, died on October 18 of her injuries. Barrett was a member of [the Gay] Metropolitan Community Church of New York. She leaves behind her life partner Enez Cooper and her 18-year-old son, Eddie, who lived with them. Renee was an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald, and was in Tower 1 at the time of the attacks. Though critically burned she escaped the building prior to its collapse, and had been hospitalized at Cornell-Presbyterian Hospital.

EddieFrancis S. Coppola, a New York City detective whose partner, a firefighter named Eddie, died in the attacks, summed up the bipolar feelings many GLBT people have had about Sept. 11. “I have never been more proud of being an American or a New Yorker, but at the same time it has made me sad. The greatest country in the world, and yet we are treated like second-class citizens…. The great love of my life died doing what he did best and what he loved to do: helping others. I have never been an activist or ever wanted to be one; however, it is time we stand up and be counted and demand equality — nothing more or nothing less.” — Tom Musbach, / Network

Unknown Lesbian and Gay heroesAs the days went by, we learned that some of the missing rescue personnel were gay, and that many of their lovers, some of whom are cops and fire fighters, were grieving in silence for fear of outing them. There were also gay cops that lost family members that were rescue personnel. We all learned too quickly and in too cruel a way that the closet is a terrible place to grieve… — Edgar Rodriguez, NYPD (in the former Lesbian & Gay New York)

Unknown Gay and Lesbian patriotsMatt Foreman, former executive director of Empire State Pride Agenda, says advocates have already identified 24 surviving partners from the Trade Center attack, and believe that there may be as many as 50 in total, based on surveys about gay and lesbian participation in long term relationships. — Paul Schindler in Lesbian & Gay New York

Then there’s the living…

Edgar Rodriguez, NYPD retired; photo: lgny.comThe faint smell of putrid smoke seeped through my gas mask as I passed buckets of unrecognizable ruin to cops and firefighters I’d never seen before. For hours we quietly passed buckets filled with lost hopes and dreams in a silence I have never before experienced. — Edgar Rodriguez, executive director, Gay Officers Action League New York


Lesbian and Gay New York police and a firefighter; photo: Dirk Anschütz for *The Advocate*; cropped by Lombardi-Nash

Lesbian and Gay New York police and a firefighter:
Spike Cutolo; Grace Telesco; Francis S. Coppola (he watched his boyfriend, a firefighter, go into the south tower and never come out); Andrew Lavenski; Carol Paukner; Edgar Rodriguez; Tom Ryan; Ann Cregan; Thomas Verni — Reported by Jessica DuLong ( Ryan, one of just three out-of-the-closet firefighters in New York, [says] he “learned that about 25 closeted gay firefighters died on Sept. 11,” and he knows “others who survived but are still afraid to come out.”


Twin Piers in New York Harbor; photo: *The Advocate*

Gay journalist and architecture expert Fred Bernstein’s
9/11 memorial proposal: Twin Piers

Vote for Twin Piers

Our Heroes
Accounts of New Yorkers who lived to see another day


Bryan and Tony in front of the World Trade Center
Native New Yorkers’ Journal/Album for September 2001

When you ask what difference does it make if the heroes were gay, I say I agree with you. That’s precisely our point. They were just like everybody else. So we ask, why is it that when they died, they were equal to everyone, but had they lived, they would not have the same equality as heterosexuals?”

— Judy Wieder, editor in chief of The Advocate

Gay Heroes site listed in Related Links

Special Memorial Day cards with September 11 themes:
Gay Victims/Heroes site listed in Related Links

Red Cross Classic Pin from Reed Lenti, NYC

The American Red Cross announced it would give benefits to homosexuals who lost partners in the September 11 attack. Ditto Safe Horizon.

God Bless America: “Sexually active Gay men” Excluded

Citing a 16-year-old ban, the American Red Cross still won’t accept blood donations from sexually active Gay men. However, Canada has convened a panel to review that ban.


The AdvocateThe New York governor issued an executive order granting all the surviving partners benefits equal to those of the spouses of heterosexuals, from the state’s Crime Victims Board. —


PlanetOut.comA September 11 Gay & Lesbian Family Fund was administered by the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, and was divided equally among the estimated three-dozen surviving partners and their families around the country.
— Dan Kerman, / Network


Every day is AIDS DayAfter September 11, donations for the United Nations Global Fund for AIDS have gone from $1.5 billion (in Canadian dollars) to less than $3,000. — Jack Siu (

As of mid-December 2001, 16% of respondents in an Advocate poll said they decreased their financial support of AIDS service organizations since September 11. So…

Forget the homophobic Salvation Army and Boy Scouts — give to AIDS funds instead!


Tides Foundation granted Lambda Legal $2,500 for their work “advocating on behalf of gay and lesbian surviving partners of the September 11 attacks…”


Homeland Coward

Image from oddgirlspress.comGay domestic partners are “left out of my program…Otherwise I would find myself getting sued in every state…I can’t get into that local battle.” — Kenneth Feigberg, discussing the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund — via John Aravosis


Gay, lesbian Sept. 11 survivors left in limbo

Victims of 9/11 and discrimination

The Eagle has Landed! Look out religious fanatics! We're gonna getcha!!

God Bless America: “Homosexshuls” Excluded

Fighting the Righteous Reich!Rev. bigot Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the … Traditional Values Coalition, urged relief agencies working in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedies to withhold assistance to surviving partners of Gay people who died. —


Homeland Terrorists

Illustration: Westboro Baptist ChurchOn March 9, 2002, Rev. [bigot] Fred Phelps and [hypocrites] from his Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas, picketed in New York City at 9 Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn. Their target: the “fag ridden” New York Fire Department, which Phelps says brought down the wrath of God upon itself September 11. — Queer Mail via J. Steakley

Baptist Watch: “He is not the only one watching!

God Bless America: “Gays & Lesbians” Excluded

As Islamic fanatics wage war on Christians, Christian fanatics wage war on homosexuals, or,
What has Religion Got to Do with It:

Before a television congregation, [bigot] Jerry Falwell offered up his credo: “I really believe that … gays and lesbians … helped this happen.” His henchman, [bigot] Pat Robertson, seconded the motion, “Well, I totally concur.” — Ellen Goodman, Washington Post


Falwell from Grace

MAD Magazine named Rev. bigot Jerry Falwell the “dumbest person of 2001” for blaming the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on Gays and Lesbians.

Richard Dawkins on Sept. 11 Religious Terrorism
Utica Fire Department Ignites Bigotry
Gets Catholic Priest Ousted from 9/11 Role

Mouthpiece of the Anti-Christ

Salzburg (Austria) Archbishop bigot Georg Eder made it clear: “The terror against the USA was God’s punishment for…Gay marriage.” — Salzburger Nachrichten (Salzburg News)

Christian Taliban (

Referring to Mark Bingham, a Gay rugby player and hero of Flight 93, National Public Radio commentator Scott Simon asked,

“If your plane was hijacked, who would you rather sit next to? Righteous reverends who will sit back and say, ‘This is God’s punishment for gay Teletubbies,’ or the gay rugby player who lays down his life to save others?”

Love thine Enemy; or Know thine Enemy?

al-Qa’ida (The Base)/World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders/Osama bin LadenFor a better understanding of Holy War, get search results for Crusades, and, Inquisition

We love The Big AppleFrom Attack on America to Panic Attack:
Know Thyself! Select this link for symptoms of Panic Attacks

Once Again, We All Have a Lot of Grieving to Do: The impact of the September 11 disaster on people living with HIV/AIDS by Michael Shernoff, MSW

Suggested Reading

Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries by Paul Fregosi. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.More titles under “Islamic Studies” from Prometheus Books:

Rage Against the Veil
Women and the Koran

Terrorist Fugitives:


From the PentagonPhoto: Jake Rajs (c) browntrout.comGod Bless America: “Queers” Excluded

A “stop loss” policy has been authorized for all branches of the military, but “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discharges are specifically excluded; queers will still be discharged as before. — Greg at TWO Radio

The new security plan also harbors “Don’t Ask” rule
— via Yahoo News

Old Glory

The world got very small on 9-ll or was this a 911* call to everyone?Did you all get your flag for your desk top? Check out the DeskFlag from Tiger Technologies — John (St. Augustine, Florida)
*911 = emergency telephone number in the USA

Pentagon Memorial Emblem

God Bless America: “Fags” Excluded

A Navy officer signs a bomb (with homophobic graffiti) attached to the wing of an aircraft on the USS Enterprise in the Arabian Sea [10-11-01]

Click to enlarge AP Photo/Jockel Finck: High Jack [sic] this -- fags

Air Force News

Whose God is it Anyway?

When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible and the Koran refer to the same god and to the same story of Lot and Sodom; both religions impose the death penalty for being Gay.According to the Dutch press, a Muslim cleric stated that a homosexual earned the death penalty if there were four witnesses to the homosexual activity. [In 2001, a Christian councilman in Detmold, Germany, calls for gassing homosexuals like Jews; in 2002, an Israeli Rabbi supports the death penalty for homosexuals, especially the ones in Tel Aviv; Alabama chief justice advocates execution of Gays; Saudi Arabia publicly beheads 3 Gays; former Iraq edict imposes death penalty for homosexuality]

On Record: At least they’re not Gay

The hijackers of September 11 visited female prostitutes days before their hate-filled deeds. –CNNHowever…

“Now the [media’s] telling us that Sept. 11 ringleader Mohamed Atta was gay. According to the National Enquirer, ‘Atta’s gay lover, Abdulaziz Alomari, was with Atta when he crashed the plane into the North Tower.'” — Rex Wockner on


More Gaybaiting?

WTC and Brooklyn BridgeAmerican Taliban John Walker Lindh enjoyed secret gay sex romps with his Muslim mentors….Married Pakistani businessman Khizer Hayat told Time magazine he was 21-year-old Lindh’s lover. An imam from the Lindh’s Islamic religious school also hinted that he enjoyed carnal capers with the young zealot. — Brad Hunter in New York Post

Other 9-11 Memorial Links for Gays

This entry was posted in Emergency Preparedness, Zeitgeist Analytics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Forgotten Queers of 9/11

  1. thefeatheredsleep says:

    Thank you for writing this. It is so important.
    Approximately 2 percent of the population is lesbian, and 4 percent gay, of course there are lots of part-timers but the real ones, are few and far between. We may forget this when we see lots of gays together, but that’s just like seeing lots of Maoris together, they are still a small group. Fortunately unlike groups that have been murdered for their aboriginal status, like Native Americans, gays will always exist because we crop up with every generation, much like red hair, Mizrahi Jew ancestry, half-Egyptian run out of Egypt, left handedness and other a-typical things that make the world a better place. As one who is red haired, left handed, astigmatism, green eyed and a lesbian, I have long felt ‘the odd duck’ and I’m always so appreciative when someone, anyone, remembers the plight of the small minority because our voices are still so quiet. I read a lot of gay fiction and usually do not care for it, they shy away from SAYING IT OUT LOUD and the biggest genre in lesbian fiction is crime no surprise given the many crimes against lesbians that nobody goes punished for. Anyway thank you Nina for always being a voice among our people, I hold you dearly and I admire you so very much for the good person you are. (and you crack me up because you’re wicked funny too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A socially changed society | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  3. Pingback: In A Word: Diversity | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  4. Pingback: The Alan Turing Law | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  5. Pingback: The Game of More Oppressed Than Thou | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  6. Pingback: In The Public Trust: Eyes of A Child | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  7. Pingback: Shock: Individual vs Collective | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  8. Pingback: December 9: 1 Minus Human Rights Day | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  9. Pingback: Private Rights vs Public Safety | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  10. Pingback: My 50th Birthday | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

  11. Pingback: America and Canada Census: LGBTQ edition | Nina's Soap Bubble Box

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.