Archive for February, 2018

Harry Volker on piano, The Internationale. We have sung this song and heard it many times in many interpretations but we seen to keep going back to this one by Harry Volker.

 

 

 

Murdered in Cleveland Ohio.

We mourn the loss of Phylicia Mitchell, a Black transgender woman who was fatally shot in Cleveland on Friday.
Cleveland.com reports Mitchell, 45, was shot in the chest outside of her home at about 6 p.m. on February 23. According to police, investigators found her body on the living room floor. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Longtime partner Shane Mitchell told Cleveland.com that he met Mitchell some 30 years ago. Though they never married, Phylicia legally changed her name to take Mitchell’s last name and held a small celebration at a local church in May.

The couple met some 30 years ago, after Phylicia ran away from a “dysfunctional” family in Pittsburgh, according to Shane. While some of his friends did not approve of their relationship at first, he said that she won them over with her personality. “Everyone loved her,” he said. “My nieces and nephews opened up to her so much. She was just so funny and kind.”
The two split up shortly before her death, after he tried unsuccessfully to get her to quit doing drugs. But they remained close.
“I miss her tremendously,” he said. “That’s my soul mate. We went together everywhere. We did everything together. We always held hands on the bus. Years ago people didn’t respect that, but they do now.” “I just want justice for what’s happened, because it hurts,” he said.

Last year saw a record number of transgender murders, and this year is already proving to be equally deadly. 5 women dead this year and its only February.

Zakaria Fry

Police have confirmed that one of two bodies found outside of Santa Fe last week was that of transgender woman Zakaria Fry, who was reported missing from Albuquerque, along with roommate Eugene Carrell Ray, back in mid-January. Ray’s body was the other one recovered at the scene. One of the bodies was stuffed inside a trash can and discovered by a rancher. The other was found by another person about two miles up the same road. Fry, 28, was renting a room from Ray, 70. Ray’s family alerted police after they found his home in “disarray” on January 29, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Officials say the investigation into their deaths is open and anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP.

Eugene Carrell Ray

In a news conference Wednesda evening, officer Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman, announced they believe the cases are connected and they are looking for a man seen driving Ray’s silver Mustang. The man was spotted on surveillance video while shopping at several Walmarts in northeast Albuquerque in the days following the roommates’ disappearance. Police released those videos and still photos of the man in the hopes of identifying him. “It’s highly suspect that he ended up in a missing person’s car,” Drobik said. Ray’s car was found beside Interstate 40, near Easterday and Lomas NE, a week after the two were last seen.

The photo below is of the man seen driving Mr. Ray’s car. If you see him please use the Tip line below.

Image result for zakaria fry missing

Tips
Police ask anyone with information about the case to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP, text a tip to “274637,” or visit their website at crimestoppersnm.com.

This is why we love Queer Artists.

Posted: February 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Posted today on them. This is a wonderful example why we love Queer Artists. The article This Queer Artist Uses Their Hair to Create Epic Performance Art written by By Kibwe Chase-Marshall and published on February 26, 2018 is a must read for all of us Queers. Over the years in art history there have been others who have used their head and hair to paint such as Nam June Paik in his Zen for Head, 1961 and Janine Antoni who used her hair to paint the floor of the Matrix Gallery at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford in a piece called Loving Care 1996.

To us at furbirdsqueerly Jarrett Key’s art has that wonderful Queer Spirit that was lacking in the two examples we mentioned. A spirit that calls us all to be the creative people that we are.  We thank Kibwe Chase-Marshall for this article and for turning us on to one of our great contemporary Queer Artists. To Jarrett Key we can only say, Long Life, Keep working, and thanks for your art.

 

This Queer Artist Uses Their Hair to Create Epic Performance Art

There’s a nearly indescribable way in which one is changed after experiencing fine artist Jarrett Key’s boldly experimental performances. Their genre-bending work forces viewers to reconsider their assumptions about art, race, gender, spirituality, and much more, and in their latest performance, “Hair Paintings and Other Stories” (currently on view at New York’s La Mama Galleria), a will witness the artist apply pigment to stretched canvases, walls, and other surfaces, using their own hair as a painting implement. The song and movement that accompanies the process — at times pre-conceived, at times improvised — can result in a soul-stirring, church-style rapture for the audience. The painted works that result serve as lasting documents of both Key’s unbridled artistry and strenuous labor.

Key, who has explored Blackness, queerness and other facets of identity in their work, is also a co-founder of Codify Art, a collective of queer and trans artists of color who are elevating and showcasing each other’s creativity via project-based collaboration. After the opening night performance of “Hair Paintings and Other Stories,” them. caught up with Key about their work, the excavation of family roots that inform their Hair Painting performances, and what adventures (creative and otherwise) they may be embarking upon next.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a fine artist.

My twin brother Jon and I grew up in Phenix City, Alabama, and attended schools where our creativity was enthusiastically nurtured. In elementary school we were immersed in painting and drawing, but in high school I became more focused on performance. Dance, singing, and drama were a big part of those years. Afterwards, I headed to Brown University, and I actually went there thinking I was going to be an opera singer… a Black gay tenor from the South. After I finished at Brown in 2013, I went to NYC to intern at the Public Theater. That same year Jon and I founded Codify Art alongside a few friends from Brown.

What are some of your favorite projects from Codify Art thus far?

One of my favorite projects is the Survival Library, which was created in collaboration with Pioneer Works’ School of Apocalypse. It’s a collection of written and multimedia works that center the personal experiences of Q/T/W/POC. As the project’s description has it, it acts as “a confirmation that you are not alone in your experiences, a torch warded against these gaslighting times of ‘alternative facts.’”
Over the last four years, we have also produced six shows at Bau Haus, a live/work project in Bed-Stuy. I live there with my roommate, Son Kit, and we like to describe it as somewhere between a studio, an exhibition venue, a halfway house, a community lab, and a great party. It has been incredibly formative to me and many other artists as we continue to expand and develop new work. (more…)

Long live the victorious people of Vietnam. We remember other battles when all seemed lost, when the powers that be had all the power, when our flag flew above our infant might. Faced with danger everywhere. We were victorious.  The above is a lesson from history for today.

ACLU Action

Walking out of school: what you need to know.

Students around the country are turning last week’s heartbreaking school shooting in Parkland, Florida into an inspiring push for change. In addition to grieving the lives of 17 classmates, students have met with the President, spoken their minds to Members of Congress, and taken to the streets and the internet. This is an incredible example of what people power looks like – what the First Amendment feels like in practice.

In the past few days, we’ve heard from students, parents, and teachers asking what students’ rights are – and whether schools can discipline students for speaking out.

Plans for coordinated student walkouts have been making national news and have already spurred disciplinary threats from some school administrators. That’s why we think it’s so important that everyone learns about their rights.

Join us on Thursday, March 1 at 8pm ET for a Students: Know Your Rights! Training
(This link will take you to our People Power website.)

You’ll hear from student leaders and members of the ACLU legal team, like me, on our constitutional right to free speech and expression, and what it means for students who want to speak out. We’ll also share some details on how to report any possible First Amendment violations so that our team can track what’s going on around the country.

We’re inspired by the leadership and courage that students across the country have shown in response to the tragic shooting at Stoneman High School.

Whether you’re a young person or a parent, teacher, school staff or ally, we hope you’ll join us to learn about students’ rights.

Students: Know Your Rights!
Thursday, March 1
8pm ET / 5pm PT

Register for the call.

Thanks,

Vera Eidelman
Brennan Fellow
ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project

P.S. Want some more information about student free speech? Check out this breakdown of school discipline and protest issues here.

 

Mainstream LGBT Group Helped Convict Black Queer Activists for Protesting Pride.

by Jess Fournie

From: Feministing.

Last week, three young black LGBTQ activists — Kendall Denton, Ashley Braxton, and Wriply Bennet, known as part of the Black Pride 4 — were found guilty on six misdemeanor charges for a demonstration at the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade last year. The fourth protester, Deandre Miles, still faces a felony charge.

In June 2017, the group disrupted the annual pride festival in Ohio’s capital. According to their press release, the group of black queer and trans people had planned to block the parade route to draw attention to both the previous day’s acquittal of the Minnesota police officer who murdered Philando Castile and widespread violence against transgender women of color. (By the time of protest, 14 trans women of color had already been murdered.) They also hoped to highlight “violence against and erasure of black and brown queer and trans people, in particular the lack of space for black and brown people at pride festivals.” Less than two minutes after the demonstration began with the Black Pride 4 silently linking arms and stepping into the street, the Columbus Police Department attacked the protesters with mace, pushing them with bikes and tackling them to the ground.

The police’s attacks, arrests, and prosecution of four young black queer and trans people for a protest at a community event that is supposed to represent the LGBTQ community is deeply disturbing. Even more disturbing is the response of mainstream LGBTQ organizations to the charges.

In the aftermath, Stonewall Columbus, the organizers of the march, refused to apologize for the arrests, meet with the protesters, or address the way that heavy Columbus police presence makes the event dangerous for queer and trans people of color, poor people, and undocumented people. Even more damning, the board chair of Stonewall Columbus testified against the Black Pride 4 during their trial.

It’s a slap in the face to the radical roots of the queer and trans liberation movement that an organization that bears the name of the Stonewall Riots — a riot led by black and brown trans women against police brutality — is helping criminalize black queer and trans people for demanding action from their so-called community. It shows, once again, white cis gay people’s warped understanding of Pride as being about marriage equality or rainbow cop cars. White people post pictures of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson while spitting (literally and figuratively) on black trans women who seek the liberation that Rivera and Johnson dedicated their lives to fighting for. The charges against the Black Pride 4 reveal the ever-widening rift between the white and affluent segments of the LGBTQ community who are all-too-willing to let police shield them from the violent realities of life for poor black and brown queer and trans people.

I’ve written before about how the United States government punishes protesters in order to crush the political organizing of marginalized communities that the state finds threatening, where Black organizing against police brutality is labeled as a violent riot, where protesters at inauguration are charged with felonies for property damage they didn’t create, and Native people are arrested en masse for standing on their land. The Black Pride 4 risking jail time for linking arms in the street are the latest in this long trend. Labeling their actions as “criminal” is intended to dehumanize protesters and keep us from considering their goals.

As No Justice No Pride wrote in support of the Black Pride 4:
The #BlackPride4 are the latest in the trans and queer tradition of those who are most vulnerable and marginalized within our communities putting themselves on the line in pursuit of liberation for us all.
Honor their commitment to liberation by supporting their legal fees now, demanding minimal sentences, and refusing to accept an LGBTQ movement that leaves the vulnerable behind.
Header image via Black Pride 4 Legal Fundraiser