Issue One - Adam Eli

Written and Illustrated By: Kyle Parker

We have all met a self-proclaimed “social justice warrior”. Usually, it’s by way of an opinionated Facebook rant whenever there’s trouble in the world, followed by a video of a double rainbow. We write our rage and send into the social media masses, then carry on with the day-to-day frivolity. I’ve been guilty of this many times. So, to see an activist using his social media platform to truly encompass what it means to be a warrior for social justice is refreshing. Boarding busses to protest for women’s rights in DC, having a “die in” in the middle of Times Square to heighten AIDS awareness, organizing weekly meetings to create and foster community in a time when so many of our rights are under attack have all been done by activist Adam Eli. Need proof? Check his social media.

Adam Eli is an activist based in New York City who has spent the past few years working to create a voice for the voiceless, focusing in LGBTQ+ rights. I first noticed him on Instagram. This curly-haired guy in a kippah showed up on my feed, wearing a t-shirt that read, in large, pink letters, “GAYS AGAINST GUNS”. A fashion statement and a political statement?! Sign me up! I was unfamiliar with the group, so I went to their website and found out they are an “inclusive direct action group of LGBTQ people and their allies committed to nonviolently breaking the gun industry's chain of death—investors, manufacturers, the NRA and politicians who block safer gun laws”. I am all about that life, and knew immediately that Adam Eli would be someone to watch out for.

Since my discovery of this triple threat (community organizer, writer, content creator), Eli has founded Voices4. Voices4 is a “nonviolent direct action activist group fighting for LGBTQ+ rights around the world”.  One of their first major protests took place on October 14th, 2017. They marched from Stonewall Inn to Trump Tower to demand safe release and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ prisoners in Chechnya.  

Since then, Eli has teamed up with multiple publications to shine a light on LGBTQ+ issues. Recently, he wrote a piece for the new Condé Nast publication, Them, explaining the parallels between Hanukkah and our resistance to Donald Tr*mp. Just like the Maccabees, we as a marginalized community must hold tight to the things that matter to us and never give up the fight. As Eli points out, “light is not the absence of darkness, it is the willingness to hope and fight another day. In darkness there can be light”.  

Thank you, Adam, for continuing to be a light during these dark times.
 

Adam Eli:
Instagram @adameli
Twitter @aewerner

Voices4:
Instagram @voices4_
Twitter @voices4_
https://voices4chechnya.com/

Gays Against Guns:
http://www.gaysagainstguns.net/
Instagram @gaysagainstgunsny
Twitter @gagnoguns