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The gate keeper is on the run or that is what we thought. Chasing the keeper down the street, yelling our loud fuck you, throwing what we could get our hands on as our comrades poured through the gate and went where we were not supposed to go. Punching screaming, kicking our way to liberation, no matter what. Ripping down what was and throwing away the lock. The gate keeper and all of keeper’s merry men who thought that their manpower would last forever, who thought that they could keep us outside of the real deal promise or a promise that many thought was real were put on the run. So many of us came to find out that the promises were on shaky ground and there is more fight on the other side of the gate. Again, as in anything new, gate keepers took their place among our very own people. For a short time that followed we worked hard to be free. That “No, that Keep Out, No Trespassing, nothing here for you was going to keep us fighting for a taste of that other side. What sweetness was over there waiting for us? Beckoning us, Come, Come.

I dream of the gate, every night. A big bold gate with a chain lock. My father gave me a pair of bolt cutter many years ago when he was giving away his tools. You made need these sometime in the future he told me. Bolt cutters are good for cutting padlocks or chains. Put a little muscle into it and snip open “sez a me.” Muscle is and was always needed when one is confronted at the gate unless one has a bulldozer or bazooka handy. Real deal gates present all sorts of problems when one is trying to get to the other side of somewhere you know that old, from here to there. Do you want enlightenment then smash the gate but be prepared as the gatekeepers and their helpers are some mighty dogs armed with teeth and they bite. I would gather then the simple solution is learn to bite but be sure to sharpen your teeth.”

Well a lot of folks back in the day said, we are not going to take any crap from the cops, from the straight man and he isn’t going to tell us what to do. Nobody is going to keep us locked up. Smash that fucking gate, break his heavy hand if need be. But you know a few months later in December something happened, something happened on the road to liberation and a wrong road was taken. A wrong turn that plagues our people to this very day. A road that set up many more gate keepers. Gate keepers who once again say no. Gatekeepers that kept the gates locked. But you know one thing is certain Madame Defarge is still busy knitting. Read the rest of this entry »

Pride
film-Screening and video-conference discussion with Mike Jackson, co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners

Sunday, June 23
1:30pm
Carriage House Theater
360 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105

In 1984 the Thatcher government sought to close coal pits as part of an offensive on trade-unions in the UK. Mine-workers responded with what turned out to be one of the largest and most intense strikes in British history. After a spontaneous fundraising effort for miners at the London Gay Pride Parade, two gay activists (Mark Ashton and Mike Jackson) formed Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The group grew to 11 chapters and raised over 20,000 pounds for the families of strikers (about 80,000 American dollars in 2018).

The solidarity forged in the strike and support campaign led to major turning points in the movement for gay rights. After the end of the strike, the miners’ union joined the Gay Pride March in 1985 and in the same year campaigned for the first resolution in the history of the labour party to support gay rights – and it passed.

Join us for a viewing of the widely acclaimed film, Pride which tells the story of this remarkable struggle. The film will be accompanied by remarks and discussion with Mike Jackson by video conference, co-founder of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and a major consultant for the film.

For more information:
Contact 860-662-6278
On Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1971561662971325/

In from them.

This Pride Flag Redesign Represents the Diversity of the LGBTQ+ Community

by Eva Reign

Representation matters — especially for the most marginalized communities. The six-color rainbow pride flag we know well has served to symbolize the queer community since its emergence in 1971, but the queer community has evolved over the past few decades, leading many to question whether the pride flag still caters to those most marginalized in the community, including queer people of color and trans people.
It’s a dilemma Portland-based designer Daniel Quasar (who uses xe/xem pronouns) has sought to resolve with a vividly-modified redesign of the iconic flag, one that has gone viral over the past week with a Kickstarter campaign intended to fund the flag’s initial production costs. Quasar’s proposed flag includes the colors of the trans flag, as well as black and brown stripes harkening back to last year’s Pride flag redesign from Philadelphia, which sought to further represent the queer and trans identities of black and brown people. Those two stripes also represent those living with HIV/AIDS, people who have passed from the virus and the overall stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS that remains today.
The new stripes appear as a “hoist” to the right of the original Pride flag colors, and on Facebook, Quasar wrote that the traditional six stripes “should be separated from the newer stripes because of their difference in meaning, as well as to shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate.” Last year’s Philadelphia flag reboot sparked an array of reactions; many queer and trans groups swiftly voiced support of the new design, while others within the LGBTQ+ community rejected the idea, saying that the original flag’s colors were not chosen for skin color and that the stripes discriminates against white people. Thus far, Quasar’s design has received mostly positive reactions, and has already surpassed xis initial Kickstarter goal of $14,000 by over $3,000.

Of course, the inaugural pride flag sought to be inclusive as well. Gilbert Baker’s original pride flag was adorned with eight colors, including hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic and art, indigo for serenity and violet for spirit. Each was intended to call attention to the totality of queer culture, and the multifaceted nature of what it means to be LGBTQ+. A shortage of hot pink fabric forced Baker to drop that color, and after combining indigo and turquoise to become royal blue, the flag’s colors were honed to the six-color array we know today.
Monica Helms, a trans woman and veteran, created the first and still best-known Transgender Pride Flag in 1999. Her blue and pink colors were intended to represent the gender binary, with the white accounting for nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people. Similar to Baker’s rainbow flag, Helms’ flag has had several redesigns over the years to better serve people of varying intersections.
Quasar’s design attempts to integrate the full scope of all queer and trans folk, and account for multifaceted histories within the community. Will this successful Kickstarter campaign launch be enough? Will this design win over even the most the reluctant of our community? Only time will tell as progress continues to move forward.

Image  —  Posted: May 19, 2019 in Call to Action, Fight Back, for your reflection

Why Stonewall is Important a Half Century Later

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What is the relevance of the 1969 LGBT Stonewall Rebellion to today’s world?

At a time of unchecked bigotry in official politics and endless US-supported wars and drone bombings abroad, explore how the early LGBT liberation movement successfully confronted generations of institutionalized anti-gay hate.

The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion will no doubt bring forth corporate LGBTs and their hangers-on attempting to purge it of its profoundly radical content.

But as a riot it was quintessentially radical, and vehemently opposed to established authority. A long oppressed minority, stereotyped as weak and hopelessly marginal – successfully fought back against the brutality dished out by New York cops used to getting their own way. In so doing, they established a movement to which every out person today owes a huge debt for allowing us to more freely enjoy our lives.

Rather than get a superficial analysis of Stonewall from “moderates,” come to a panel of proudly radical LGBTQs to discuss why Stonewall was important, and what clues it gives to how we can defeat the Right today.

7 PM, Friday, May 17

Berger Park Cultural Center

6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago
corner of Granville Avenue & Sheridan Road
3 blocks east of the “Granville” Red Line el stop
Wheelchair accessible – please use the south entrance

Stonewall was a

REBELLION

Against Police Brutality!

Fight On!