Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Life's Checklist

Bring Mom and Dad to PrideCheck!

(Thanks again, M & D, for everything)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pride 2009

40 years later
Ordinarily I'd try and write some lovey-dovey, all inclusive post about Pride. I would probably make it more difficult on myself by trying to write in prose, be dramatic and aim for the tear ducts. I'd struggle to tap into that root source of what all the love and visibility and pride truly mean. But I don't feel like it this year. I know what it all means. I know how love and visibility and pride twacks my heart and stirs my consciousness. I don't need to convince myself any further.

All I can say is that from the Drag March to the Dyke March to the Pride Parade to the Pier Dance I saw thousands of faces that are all special, all important and deserve to be heard and respected.

Walking with Drags, the Dykes and the entire community one bewildering question came to mind repeatedly, "How can anyone hate our community? Why would anyone want to detract from this color, this vibrancy, this diversity, this joy?" Never have I seen a greater celebration of life than within these marches. It's all so motivating, so inspiring: the fight, the cause, the oppression, celebration, tragedy and romantics that is our lifestyle. All of us together under the same banner. A community. The thought alone drives light into my body, surging through my veins and beaming out of my pores.

We are so much to this nation. To this world. To humanity as a whole. We'll wait for our marriages to pass through the bureaucracies. We'll let our politicians argue endlessly over something as stupid as "Don't ask don't tell." They can take it. Go ahead -have at it, clowns.

But all I really want is my god-damned thank you. We, the gay community, are responsible for so much beauty, art, color, life - our threads are inextricably woven into the fabric of humanity and for that I want my appreciation. I want my thanks. How dare anyone deny us of anything when we contribute so much?

I'd fight a lifetime just for that.

Dyke March:

More to come...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Countdown to Pride: Dyke March 2009

Not a parade but a protest march!
Tomorrow at 5PM is the 17th annual NYC Dyke March. It'll be my 4th year in row to attend the Dyke March. I love supporting and showing love for our lesbian/queer sisters and I suggest you do the same. Besides, it's a helluva lot of fun!

Meet up is Saturday June 27th 5PM sharp at Bryant Park.

Click HERE for everything you need to know.
It's the time to hit the streets! Make some noise. Be visible. Be heard. Demonstrate, agitate, liberate! Bring signs, banners, drums, giant puppets, flags, hula hoops, or just be there! And if you really want to make things happen - be a marshal (check out ACT-Up’s marshal training for what marshals do during a march).

The Dyke March is a protest march, not a parade -- we don't ask for a permit, because we have the right to protest. As lesbians, we recognize that we must organize amongst ourselves to fight for our rights, our safety, and for visibility. Thousands of dykes take over the streets every year in celebration of lesbians and to protest against ongoing discrimination, harassment, and anti-lesbian violence in schools, on the job, in our families, and on the streets.

My Amazing friend Rich Weaver pointed me in the direction of some old Queer Nation fem-based Artivism. I'm posting them below to get your feminist anger to a raging boil!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On to the Next...

I can't fucking believe it!


Oh man!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's Just a Drag March

I had the chance to sit down with TheOccasionalFag.com's Brian Griffin and learn about NYC's annual Drag March and what to expect this year:

Friday June 26th 7PM
Tompkins Square Park

Monday, June 15, 2009

View from your Pride: Shanghai, China

Over the weekend Shanghai, China held it's first ever Pride Event:

New York Times reports:
SHANGHAI — It was shortly after the “hot body” contest and just before a painted procession of Chinese opera singers took the stage that the police threatened to shut down China’s first gay pride festival. The authorities had already forced the cancellation of a play, a film screening and a social mixer, so when an irritated plainclothes officer arrived at the Saturday afternoon gala and flashed his badge, organizers feared the worst.

After some fraught negotiations, Hannah Miller, an American teacher who helped put together the weeklong festival, agreed to limit the crowds, keep the noise down and, most important, “not let anything happen that might embarrass the government,” she explained after returning from the impromptu sidewalk meeting. “That was a close call,” she said.

Crisis averted, the party continued.

And so it went for Shanghai Pride week, a delicately orchestrated series of private events that revealed how far China’s gay community had come, and how much further it had to go. In the 12 years since homosexuality was decriminalized in China, there has been an unmistakable blossoming of gay life, even if largely underground. Most big cities have gay bars, and social networking sites ease the isolation of those living in China’s rural hinterland. Antigay violence is virtually unheard of.

But official tolerance has its limits. Gay publications and plays are banned, gay Web sites are occasionally blocked and those who try to advocate for greater legal protections for lesbians and gay men sometimes face harassment from the police. For years, movie buffs in Beijing have tried, and failed, to get permission for a gay film festival.

This month, public security officials forced Wan Yanhai, a prominent advocate on gay issues, including AIDS, to leave Beijing for a week because they feared he might cause trouble during the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

“Sometimes I feel like we are playing a complicated game with the government,” Mr. Wan said. “No one knows where the line is, but we just keep pushing.”

We've certainly got our battles here in The States but we're still further along than some many people and so many places. This should not be taken for granted.

"...With Liberty and Justice for ALL" (unless you're gay, of course)

This has been stewing within me for the last couple of days...

Alright, O'Reilly at the 0.15 mark you state that "if you oppose gay marriage some far left people will try to hurt you." Hurt you, Bill? Did I hear that correctly? Because although the gays may go tit-for-tat with you it is only to defend our names and families from people like you who incite bigotry and hate against our community. How many bashings need to happen? How many stories do you need to hear before you realize that the platform you take and the words you speak fuel anti-gay zealots to feel absolutely vindicated in the actions and prejudices they take against the gay community? When was the last time you heard of a group of gay people beating or killing a straight person for the mere fact that they were heterosexual? The thing is, Bill, I think you know exactly what you doing and you get a kick out of keeping gays as second class citizens and targets for abuse.

The pledge of allegiance, the quotes which you so desperately cling to, state "with liberty and justice for ALL," and then at the 3:45 mark you so proudly claim that the bogus accusations you have against the gay community are "not the American way" and "un-American." You love considering us "Un-American" and unpatriotic because of our "non traditional marriage" but my question to you is, who are the real patriots of this country - those of us trying to uphold the idea of "liberty and justice for all" or those of you who are trying to deny it?

I would have a lot more respect for you, Bill O'Reilly, if you just put all the bullshit aside and stated simply that you hate gay people and want to keep them as a segregated community apart from the rest of the world. You have enough balls to incite the murder of a Pro-abortion Doctor - where are your old wrinkly, loathsome balls on this one?

Let freedom ring.

40 Year Old Table

On Saturday The Ali Forney Center hosted a panel discussion on the involvement of queer youth during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. The panel consisted of two actual Stonewall Riot participants, Martin Boyce and Tommy Lanigan Schmidt as well as Ali Forney Center Executive Director Carl Siciliano and four of today's LGBT youth, all in their early twenties, answering questions relating to the ever changing now vs. then Queer spectrum.

The youth, two of whom were transwomen came across as confident and sturdily self possessed when discussing topics like being gay in today's world, coming out and how history serves as a backdrop for today's sense pride and personal identity. As a whole the four seemed ambitious and spoke to their current lives and potential futures as though their identity and diversity serve only as an asset to who they are and who they hope to become.

40 years down the table Thomas Lanigan Schmidt and Martin Boyce, who were both twenty somethings during the summer of 1969 spoke of gay life during that time, their experience, struggles and triumphs and being the first in history to step out. Lanigan Schmidt talked about realizing his attraction to men when a best friend protected him from a local bully and Boyce described a New York where gay bashing was a city sport and electro-shock treatment a consequence. Yet still there was much talk of celebration, of life. A jukebox at the Stonewall, the rage in a queen's eye.

Below Martin Boyce sets the stage for life as a queen living in NYC in 1969 and at the 4:30 mark describes being at the Stonewall Inn the nights of the historic riots.