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B. Michael Hunter (April 15, 1958 - January 23, 2001), aka Bert Hunter or Bertram Michael Hunter, was born on April 15, 1958, in Hell's Kitchen, NY, and raised in Spanish Harlem, NY. He was an educator, cultural activist and journal editor of Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the age of AIDS, published by Other Countries: Black Gay Writers. He died of AIDS on January 23, 2001, Central Harlem, New York City.

"On April 11, 1991, my first day on the job at Norman Thomas High School in New York City, Yarius, a student in my College Accounting course, asked me: "Why are you teaching?" His question probed for more than the introduction I offered the entire class: I went to public elementary school in East Harlem, graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, had an undergraduate degree in accounting, a law degree, spent five years selling computers for IBM, and, after taking a year and a half off to travel the world, had decided to pursue my lifelong desire to teach. I purposely gave a broad sketch of my life, leaving out details of my love interests or political views. I interpreted Yarius's question in two ways: first, "If you have so much going for you, why are you "just" a teacher; and second, "We students don't deserve teachers who want to teach."

"Why am I "just" a teacher?" I did not want to be challenged so early. I have always wanted to teach, to dance, to act in the theater, and to write. But these were things that "faggots" did. And I was not a faggot.

I wonder at times if, as a Black gay male teacher, I am really making a difference. Many of the values I hold are alien to my students. I am startled and often surprised at their frequently conservative and rigid remarks regarding sex, recreational drug use, sexuality, and other "moral" issues. Most of the time I find I am left of center, still the precocious child, the sensitive teenager, the left-wing student with the right-wing college majors; still, in the words of fellow African-American co-workers, the "too-Black" IBM sales representative." --One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories by Kevin Jennings


John Albert Manzon-Santos and B. Michael Hunter, 1994, by Robert Giard
B. Michael Hunter was an educator and cultural activist. "It's through the community that we met." said Johnny Manzon-Santos. "Though Bert may have a different recollection, I first met him at a meeting of the Lesbian & Gay People of Color Steering Committee. I noticed Bert, one of the handsomest men I'd ever seen, who was really quite and cautious - the opposite of me. He was a writer and refreshingly not a graduate of an Ivy League school, like my ex-lover." Hunter died of AIDS in 2001.
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)


"It's through the community that we met. Though Bert may have a different recollection, I first met him at a meeting of the Lesbian & Gay People of Color Steering Committee to secure a spot in the People of Color contingent of the New York City Pride March of GAPIMNY, at the time a new affinity organization. I noticed Bert, one of the handsomest men I'd ever seen, who was really quite and cautious - the opposite of me. He was a writer and refreshingly not a graduate of an Ivy League school, like my ex-lover. I was happy to learn that he didn't grow up with money and, like me, received financial aid to get through mostly all-white schools. I felt safe with him from the beginning, and not ashamed of unpacking whatever personal baggage I may have brought with me. I wondered about Bert being Black, having experienced too many Black people telling me that I wasn't oppressed enough." John

"I first noticed John at a general meeting of VOCAL (Voices of Color against AIDS and for Life), a fledgling group of lesbian and gay people of color who worked in AIDS. I was there to announce the marching order of the People of Color Contingent in the 1990 Lesbian & Gay Pride March. He reminded me of a high school friend I had, who was one-fourth Black and three-fourths Chines. John didn't look anything like my friend, but they did share one feature: black hair. There was something about John that seemed familiar. We saw each other at a couple of other joint People of Color meetings - after one such meeting I asked him to dinner, and he accepted. After one or two other dates we got together and somehow developed a relationship. Physically, John is similar to almost all of the other men I've dated - slim. I was and am most attracted to John's mind, quick mouth, and energy, some of the very things that cause tension in our relationship. I was thirty-two when I met John, and feeling young but old. Old from so many consecutive deaths of friends from AIDS. When I found out John was seven years younger than me, I was a little reluctant to continue our relationship, because he seemed politicized in a way I wasn't familiar with. There were some early signs that we have had very different life experiences.
First, the obvious: he's Filipino, I'm of African descent; I was raised in a housing project in East Harlem, he was raised in a house in Daly City, California; he worked as a counselor at a community agency in Chinatown, and I had just quit my job as an account marketing representative selling mainframe computers for IBM. Now the not so obvious - he had gone to private school since sixth grade and then to an Ivy League college; I went to public grammar and middle school, a specialized public high school, a small, east-coast private college, and had already graduated from a top-ranked public-interest private law school. My previous experience with men who attended Ivy League school also left me a little cold - they seem to never be satisfied with things. They always seem to have access to information and invitations to events and always acted as if they were entitled to everything they desired. I also felt I was considered desirable by these men because of my degrees and career track: they assumed I was their "class peer." John was very different - he is one of the few men I trust." Bert --Queerly Classed: Gay Man & Lesbians Write About Class by Susan Raffo

John Albert Santos Manzon is currently living in Oakland and he married his new partner, Michael Leo Branca, in 2012. They are looking to adopt.

B. Michael Hunter, aka Bert Hunter or Bertram Michael Hunter, was an educator, cultural activist and journal editor of Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the age of AIDS, published by Other Countries: Black Gay Writers. "It's through the community that we met." said Johnny Manzon-Santos. "Though Bert may have a different recollection, I first met him at a meeting of the Lesbian & Gay People of Color Steering Committee to secure a spot in the People of Color contingent of the New York City Pride March of GAPIMNY, at the time a new affinity organization. I noticed Bert, one of the handsomest men I'd ever seen, who was really quite and cautious - the opposite of me. He was a writer and refreshingly not a graduate of an Ivy League school, like my ex-lover. I was happy to learn that he didn't grow up with money and, like me, received financial aid to get through mostly all-white schools. I felt safe with him from the beginning, and not ashamed of unpacking whatever personal baggage I may have brought with me. I wondered about Bert being Black, having experienced too many Black people telling me that I wasn't oppressed enough."

B. Michael Hunter died of AIDS on January 23, 2001, Central Harlem, New York City. John Albert Santos Manzon is currently living in Oakland and he married his new partner, Michael Leo Branca, in 2012. They are looking to adopt.

Since 1985, Johnny Manzon-Santos has been committed to promoting social justice with a focus on people of color, lower-income and other historically underserved communities. He currently works as a leadership coach and strategic consultant within nonprofit, for-profit and public sector organizations. He is a Founder and Principal of pearldiving LLC, a consulting and coaching practice committed to empowering people of color, lower-income, and other traditionally underserved communities by meaningfully strengthening the institutions that serve them, a core member of Prism Coaching and a founding member of the national Coaches of Color Consortium. Johnny is a seasoned executive director with 15 years of experience leading HIV/AIDS organizations in New York City and San Francisco. Under his leadership he doubled its budget, established two satellite sites, and delivered capacity building services across 10 time zones. He completed his professional coaching certification at the Coaches Training Institute, is an alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders, and holds a Bachelor’s from Brown University.


John Albert Santos Manzon, the son of immigrants from Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan, is currently living in Oakland and he married his new partner, Michael Leo Branca, in 2012. They are looking to adopt. “Our parents, devout Catholics, are and have been so supportive of our gay union and our aspiration to adopt children, even asking if/when they would be baptized." John has won gold and other medals in figure skating at the Gay Games held in 2002 in Sydney, in 2006 in Chicago and 2010 in Germany.

Mickey Branca is a Founder and Principal of pearldiving LLC. He has more than 20 years of consulting experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors in effectively leading and managing the financial, administrative, information technology and systems, and human resource functions. He has overseen administration, negotiation and reporting of multi-million dollar, multi-year foundation grants and government contracts. After a successful twenty-year executive career in the for-profit sector, Mickey transitioned back to his roots with community organizations. Prior to his business career, he was a labor organizer with indigent, migrant farm workers from Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Mickey earned his degree in Political Philosophy from State University of New York – College at Purchase), a Masters in Management (The Anderson School, UCLA), and a Juris Doctorate (University of San Francisco). Mickey is certified to practice Public Interest Law from the Public Interest Clearinghouse, San Francisco.

Source: http://www.elementalpartners.net/people

Johnny, the son of immigrants from Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan, and Mickey are in the process of adopting a child.

John also cited legal and some financial benefits of being legally married. But he pointed to even more important reasons.

“Society would see our relationship, a same-gender union, as legitimate,” he told. “It would help normalize the diversity of ways commitment manifests between two people who love each other.

“Our parents, devout Catholics, are and have been so supportive of our gay union, and our aspiration to adopt children, even asking if/when they would be baptized,” he told. “If same sex marriage was legalized, it would help our relatives feel more reconciled between their love of us and the family we’ve created on the one hand, and the hypocritical beliefs of their faith that, schizophrenically, says their children are evil etc.”

John has won gold and other medals in figure skating at the Gay Games held in 2002 in Sydney, in 2006 in Chicago and 2010 in Germany.

Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/37547/pacquiao-same-sex-marriage-and-our-kumpareng-john#ixzz2cb2Uh4HF

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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