Archive for December, 2018

A Queer Eye on
Challenging and Changing Amerikkka
2000-2018

Introduction

We have heard many times over the years the powerful idea of Speaking Truth To Power. Through-out this timeline our friends and comrades have been doing just that whether it be a social reform movement that gained rights for many who have been denied or communities standing up demanding justice speaking truth to power. We have seen major advances over the past eighteen years but there are no fools among us who believe that our work is complete. Our goal must be to change the system so the business of fighting the same old battles over and over again will be ended.

We look out at the world today and know that we as a Queer people can not be a people who believe in a one issue movement. The great Black Lesbian feminist poet and philosopher Audre Lorde remarked in one of her many essays, “There is no such thing as a single-issue movement, as we do not live single issue lives.” Those words must be words that we live by and remember in all of our struggles. We can no longer pay lip to any people struggling for justice and liberation.

Let us never fall for the tricks of the ruling class who will try to fool us into thinking that we have nothing in common with others who are struggling. We have nothing in common with those on the top and everything in common with those on the bottom. That is where we are. Let us move away from accepting the crumbs that are shaken from the table cloths of those in power. Together we must work for a new creation, one of freedom, justice, liberation for all. A new world yes that is still our hope, our dream our everyday work.

I close with this written by Huey P. Newton in 1970 in his speech on the women’s Liberation and Gay liberation movement, in his speech Huey said, “The enemy is not allowed to make mistakes because his whole existence is a mistake, and we suffer from it.”

R. Nelson, Hartford Ct. 2018

This timeline is a continuation of the timeline from the 1999 exhibition Challenging and Changing America: The Struggle for LGBT Civil Rights 1900-1999.

A Queer Eye on
Challenging and Changing Amerikkka 2000-2018

2000: QueerToday.com is founded to build power in solidarity to bring about our collective liberation. They support and create media campaigns and protests to bring queer left perspectives into the public sphere and have been serving up direct action protests and queer community building. Queers Without Borders is a member of QueerToday.com and join in the action against HRC’s banquet in Boston. QueerToday.com has provided a challenge to mainstream thought and shame that so often infects the movement for Queer Liberation. The mission of the group says: To build community among queers. To expands community dialogue and strengthens relationships among queer movements and allied movements for social, economic, racial and environmental justice, Urges mainstream LGBT rights groups to respond to perspectives of marginalized communities and promote a broader social justice organizing strategy, and Supports and creates media campaigns and protests to bring queer left perspectives into the public sphere.

2000: Two men kill Amanda Milan 25-year-old Trans women near Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. The event provokes outrage within the Transgender community. Transgender activist Sylvia Rivera worked towards seeing that Milan’s death was investigated and organized Milan’s political funeral along with other demonstrations claiming a large disconnection of transgender rights from the larger LGBT communities. Activists saw this crime amongst the reasons to add a broad definition of gender to the New York City Human Rights Law.

Amanda Milan Presente!

2000: Three Hundred people attend a memorial service for Amanda Milan at the Metropolitan Community Church on West 36th Street in New York City. After the service a march was held to the site of Milan’s death when the marchers created a shrine with flowers, photographs and poems. In response to Milan’s death the Lesbian and Gay Community center hosted a town hall meeting focused on violence against transgender people. Over 200 people attended the meeting called, “Violence and Survival: Transgender People Tell Their Stories.”
“Death Will Not Be The Last Word For Amanda Milan,” so stated Octavia St. Laurent.

2000: The Trans Pride Flag consisting of five horizontal stripes, two light Blue, two pink, and one white strip in the center is carried for the first time in a Pride Parade in Phoenix Arizona. The flag was designed by Trans women Monica Helms in 1999. In 2014 Ms. Helms donated the original Transgender pride flag to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This flag is universally recognized as the Transgender Pride Flag. There have been variations of the flag over the years by different Trans groups in both the U.S and around the world. The earliest Transgender Pride Flag was created by Queer Nation Transgender Focus Group in October 1991. The flag consisted of a white back ground and a centered downward pointing pink triangle with a transgender symbol overlaying in black. The flag was designed by Dawn Holland. In 1999 Captain John” a Trans man in San Francisco creates on his female to male website a Trans Pride Flag consisting of seven stripes alternating in light pink and light blue separated by thing white stripes and featuring in the upper left hoist a twinned Venus and Marsh symbol in lavender.

2000: The Gay and Lesbian Community Center lifts its ban on Sylvia Rivera attending any programing at the center due to her agitation at the center on a freezing winter night when she demanded assistance for the homeless gay people living nearby on the piers. She had been banned since the mid-90ties.

2001: Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism is founded in San Francisco as a political action group supporting, “Boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and opposing “pinkwashing of the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.” The group supports divestment, the right to return for all Palestinians, immediate Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories and describes Zionism as racism. The group was founded by a member of LAGAI-Queer Insurrection and individuals formerly associated with DAGGER (Sykes & Gay Guys Emergency Response) which was active during the first Gulf War.

2001: Sylvia Rivera and other Trans activists re-activated S.T.A.R as the Street Action Transgender Action Revolutionaries. In an interview with Sylvia Rivera she was asked why Street was in the title of the organization and she replied: “Because we were street kids, And we needed to emphasize on that.” The interviewer then stated that Sex work remained as a subtext for much of our conversation which I asked Sylvia about, “Well, it happens historically because the mainstream gay community who have obtained their rights have left us off of all of their bills. People do not have to hire the transgender women or men because there are no laws protecting us. And this is part of one of my arguments with the community right now. And that is one of the reasons why at the beginning of this year I decided to resurrect STAR. If we continue to be invisible people are not going to listen to us. And if we ourselves don’t stand up for ourselves, nobody else will do that o us. And we have allowed them to speak for us. There was nobody out there that was willing to step on their toes. And this is why STAR has had to come back to existence and we have to push people like the Human Rights Campaign, the Empire State Agenda, the Community Center. Every big corporate group that is gay and lesbian has to be put in their place.”

2001: At Tel Aviv Gay Pride a contingent of about 200 people marched as a black bloc proclaiming, “there is no pride in occupation.” Out of this demonstration the queer anti occupation group Black Laundry is formed utilizing the language and direct action of American and British queer activists they organized around national LGBT issues but refused to allow these issues to remain apolitical in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Black Laundry stated that they refused to assimilate into a society founded on militarism, dispossession and active settler colonial occupation of Palestinian land and built a solidarity network with lesbian and gay Palestinians.

2001: A transgender dancer is dismissed from a local New York dance club and the newly formed STAR organized a picket line outside the club. Building on a queer/labor alliance members of STAR, the Housing Works Transgender Working Group, and the New York Direct Action Network Labor Group packed a rambunctious picket line, successfully turning almost all patrons away while offering suggestions for some better spots to go to. The club was closed within a few weeks.

2002: Connecticut holds its first Transgender Day of Remembrance in Hartford Ct. Its Time Connecticut was the primary organizer behind this vigil. The vigil was co-sponsored by over twenty statewide LGBT organizations and attended by nearly 100 trans folks and allies. Following the overwhelming success of this event ITCT was transitioned into the Ct TransAdvocacy Coalition.

2002: Trans warrior Sylvia Rivera dies of liver cancer. On her death bed Sylvia met with Matt Foreman and Joe Grabarz of Empire State Pride Agenda to negotiate transgender inclusion in the political structure of the organization and for Transgender inclusion in New York’s, Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) The bill never did cover the Transgender community as the committee felt that inclusion of gender identity as a protected category would make it impossible to pass the bill. SONDA was passed in December 2002 not covering transgender people.

Sylvia Rivera Presente’

2002: The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is founded in New York by Attorney and Trans Activist Dean Spade after he was followed into a restroom by a police officer and arrested. The charges were eventually thrown out of court but remained upset by the transphobia that caused this to happen. A few months later Spade formed the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. The project works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment discrimination or violence. The goals of the organization are to provide access to legal services for low-income transgender intersex, and gender non-conforming people, provide public education and policy reform to end state-sanctioned discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. SRLP members acknowledge that the system is the problem with regards to discrimination towards gender.

2002:  Jennifer Pellinen designs a Transgender flag created for TG Pride. The colors on the flag from top to bottom are: Pink, Light purple, medium purple, dark purple and blue. The pink and the blue represent male and female. The 3 purple stripes represent the diversity of the Trans community as well as genders other than make and female. The color code of this flag is very much like the Bisexual flag.

2002: Unidad Latina en Accion is founded in New Haven Ct. as a grassroots social justice organization made up of immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses on the job and in the immigration system. The groups combines direct action, legal action, and education in creating systemic change. Unidad Latina en Accion is a leading in the immigrant rights struggle in Connecticut holding rallies, marches, demonstration in support of people who are threatened by deportation and supporting those who seek sanctuary in Ct. Churches. Actions are held at the Federal Court in Hartford and in New Haven.

2003: Queers Without Borders is formed in response to several anti-war straights that said to a group of Queers at a Hartford march and rally, “I thought all of you “Gays” were only concerned with marriage? Queer anti-war activists who that day were flying the rainbow flag and handing out flyers denouncing the war from a Queer perspective were a bit taken aback since some of them had been marching against war since Vietnam. QWB members wrote in a position paper that they were interested in more than a reformist agenda of a single- issue political agenda. Stating that liberation meant a transformation of all economic, social and political ways for all people. QWB sought to re-build a Queer left beginning with the idea that the LGBT community did not live in isolation from other communities and that we could not survive as a single-issue reformist movement.

2003: With a grant from the Open Society Institute, Queers for Economic Justice is founded to concentrate full time with a mission and a staff whose priority was to address the needs of LGBT people in poverty. They are committed to the principle that access to social and economic resources is a fundamental right. Queers for Economic Justice states, “We do this work because although poor queers have always been a part of both the gay rights and economic justice movements, that have been and continue to be. Largely invisible in both movements. The groups states that their goal is to, “challenge and change the systems that create poverty and economic injustice in our communities and to promote an economic system that embraces sexual and gender diversity.

2003: Ct. TransAdvocacy and Bodies Like Ours hold an “educational protest” against intersex genital mutilation at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The protest coincides with a scheduled surgery on a child that is viewed by medical professionals. A news conference is held by the group in a visible educational challenge to Concealment-Centered medical protocols that believe early cosmetic surgeries on genitals is more important than honest discussion of the facts. According to Janet Green, cofounder and board member of Bodies Like Ours, “The reason the public needs to understand this issue is that it has purposely been kept from view, and there are thousands and thousands of us who are shamed, isolated, and tired of a big bad secret.”

2004: Gender Identity and Expression is included in Hate Crime Legislation in Ct. The act stated: A person is guilty of intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the first degree when such person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of the actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity or disability sexual orientation or gender identity or expression of another person, causes serious physical injury to such other person or to a third person.

2004: Familia: Trans queer Liberation Movement is founded by Trans and Queer immigrants, undocumented and allies, youth leaders and parents. The group is committed to the liberation of trans, queer and gender nonconforming Latinx through building community organizing, advocacy, education building power and (re) imagine our communities free from oppression. The organization seeks to abolish the systems that marginalize, criminalize, imprison, and kill people by building on the legacy of racial justice and liberation movements.

2004: During the year Queers Without Borders held meetings and positions were taken on building a new Connecticut Queer Left. QWB attended every demonstration with signs and the rainbow flag that were held during the year. A multi- issue political group from different political stands QWB included Socialists, Anarchists, Liberals, and some who were not politically tied to any philosophy.  Leaflets stating from a Queer perspective were handed out at all demonstrations, rallies and pickets that the group were part of.

2004: Chicago Anti-Bashing Network is renamed The Gay Liberation Network one of the largest direct-action groups in Chicago. Co-founded by Socialist, LGBT rights activist, and anti-war activist Andy Thayer the group speaks of its founding as: In response to three September 98 anti-gay bashings in the “Boys Town neighborhood. They began to respond to all hate crimes no matter which scapegoated group is targeted. The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network actively sought out and worked with individuals and organizations by the grass root involvement of people from all communities. GLN focuses on LGBT specific issues and fully realizes that members of the community have at least one other identity which is discriminated against in the society. They say, “If we do not directly participate in “other” justice issues we fail the test of solidarity with the majority of the people in our community. The group continues to be anti-imperialism, anti-gentrification, anti-militarism, and anti-war, and works in coalition for Homeless Rights, Immigrant Rights, Labor Rights, LGBT Rights, Trans Rights and Women’s Rights and against all police brutality on the streets and in the jails.

2004: Kate and Deeg publish their essay, Gay Marriage Civil Right or Civil Wrong, Marriage Is Still The Opiate of The Queers and in it they state “Gay marriage might give some married gay people access to health care, tax breaks, and immigrations rights. But shouldn’t our community be fighting for us all to have access to health care, whatever our “marital status?” The same for immigration. Somehow, in these right-wing times, money, good and jobs are free to flow across the border, but not people. Shouldn’t everyone be able to live where they want to who made these borders anyhow? And why should any married people pay less taxes? What assimilationist gays are really asking is that the heterosexuals share some of their privilege with queers who want to be like them.”

2004: Riot Folk collective founded and combined the enterprise of eight politically minded folk musicians into a radical music collective with the goal of sharing resources, funds, equipment and tour gigs. The group is an anti-profit music collective working from the principles of oppression and anti-capitalism. They describe themselves as people who make music to heal, educate, provoke and inspire. (more…)

WAR ON EARTH !

Posted: December 31, 2018 in Fight war and war mongers

Our cousin was upset. She told my sister, “You should see the card I got in the mail, it has a Christmas tree on it with holes in the branches and says, WAR ON EARTH! Not very nice if you ask me to have to think about such things when we are celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus. Oh my sister thought, I have to see this. I bet my brother who hasn’t spoken a word to our cousin since she voted from that scum bag trump sent it to her. Well dear sister got the card from cousin and sent it along to me and said, Why don’t you write a little something about it for furbirdsqueerly. Yeah I said just maybe I will.

We here at furbirdsqueerly think that we all should be upset. We should be very upset. The only problem we see with the card and the list the card should have more holes.

The following is a list of ongoing armed conflicts that are taking place around the world and continue to result in violence. For more information on this go to HERE.

The 5 conflicts in the following list have caused at least 10,000 direct violent deaths in current or past calendar year.
Start of conflict
Conflict
Continent
Location
Cumulative fatalities
Fatalities in 2017
Fatalities in 2018
1978
War in Afghanistan
Current phase
Asia
Afghanistan
1,240,000–2,000,000[2]
13,997[n 1]
35,941[9]
2003
Iraq conflict
Iraqi insurgency (2017–present)
Asia
Iraq
288,000[10][dubious – discuss]
13,187[10]
4,861[9]
2006
Mexican Drug War
North America
Mexico
250,547[11][12][13]
31,174[14]
13,298[15]
2011
Syrian Civil War
Asia
Syria
185,984–498,593[n 2]
39,000[26]
31,245[27]
2011
Yemeni Crisis
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen
South Yemen insurgency
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Asia
Yemen
Saudi Arabia
48,194[28]
16,817[29]
25,705[9][a] (more…)

Decolonize This Place Announces January 26 Town Hall Regarding Whitney Museum’s Tear Gas Problem

The group’s recent letter calls for continued action, adding “Inaction with respect to the art-washing industrial complex of contemporary art makes our field complicit with death, disaster, and destruction.”

by Hrag Vartanian

as reposted from Hyperallergic


graphic from Decolonize This Place

The Decolonize This Place movement is calling for continued action against the Whitney Museum after news that one of the institution’s vice chairs owns Safariland, which is a manufacturer that was supplying tear gas to border authorities that gassed a group of migrants last month. The issue, first reported by Hyperallergic, has caused a wave of protest and guerrilla actions across the city.
On Sunday, December 9, dozens of protesters occupied the lobby of the Manhattan museum, chanting “Fire! Fire! Fire to the colonizers!” while they burned sage and unfurled banners. A few days later artist Rafael Shimunov staged his own quiet protest on the walls of the museum. Other actions in New York City subway stations and elsewhere have also taken place.
The newest letter, published in its entirety below, is calling for a #J26 town hall assembly on January 26, while emphasizing solidarity with museum staff and the “conspicuous silence from many artists, curators, historians, and critics, including those whose work is celebrated for its engagement with themes of politics, social practice, racial justice, and even institutional critique.”

To read the rest of the article go to HERE. 

We Agree Kanders Must Go!

“I am not going to lie, you freak me out”..Lee Linvengood speaking to a Transgender student and a parent.


Everything about the looks of this JERK says brute. Fire his ass and fire him now. Change him with whatever one can charge him with, send him to a rehabilitation site as quickly as possible. He is a threat to our LGBT youth and a threat to society.

Read all about it here.

The superintendent of Harrison County Schools said it is his “early conclusion” that an assistant principal at a Clarksburg high school acted “inappropriately” and “was insensitive” in an encounter with a transgender student in a school bathroom late last month.
Harrison County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin said county school administration will meet Tuesday with Liberty High School Assistant Principal Lee Livengood after the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia alleged in a letter that Livengood “cornered, harassed and intimidated (a transgender student) in a public boys’ bathroom.”
According to the letter, a student, who identifies as male, went into a boys’ restroom at the high school following the conclusion of classes and before a scheduled bus trip to Morgantown.

While the student was still using the facilities, Livengood entered and began to question the student on why he was using the restroom, the letter alleges.
The student responded that he was a boy and that the restroom was empty when he went in, according to the letter.
Livengood “challenged (the student) to ‘come out here and use the urinal’ if he was really a boy” and blocked the exit as he “continued to berate” the student loudly enough for classmates to hear from the hallway and cafeteria outside the restroom, the letter alleges.
When the student left the restroom, an adult parent was waiting outside and advocated for the student, the letter alleges.
Before the student left with the parent, Livengood told the student, “I’m not going to lie. You freak me out,” according to the letter.
(more…)

Well, Well, Well. This story was first published at Back To Stonewall that wonderful on- line site of Will Kohler.

Prestigious Museum Acquires Men’s Room ‘Glory Hole’ For Possible Exhibit.

The Western Australia Museum in Perth, recently acquired a Gosnell’s train station toilet door with a “glory hole” and the possible exhibit piece is causing much excitement in the land down-under.
The donated “piece” was used by gay men in the Perth for covert sex at a time when homosexuality in WA was illegal.
Western Australia Museum’s chief executive Alec Coles said it was an appropriate piece to acquire because public museums needed to represent every aspect of society.
“Clearly the gay community is a very important part of Perth’s society,” he said.
“We often talk about museums as safe places for unsafe ideas.
“The places you can explore topics that are maybe controversial, sometimes contentious, sometimes even confrontational, but the kind of places they can be explored in a responsible and measured way and hopefully without rancor.”
The door was donated by Perth man Neil Buckley who saved it from destruction when the building it was in was set for redevelopment in 1998.
But not everyone is excited with the glory hole being on public display. (more…)

Union Cooperative Store Bakery Building Reopening as “Rise Up Bakery”

Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 4:00 to 9:00 pm
The Barre Historical Society announces the grand reopening of the Bakery building, exactly 105 years to the day from its first opening.

The restored Bakery building is now ready to bake. The sewer has been connected and the heating and electricity, and all the other amenities have now been installed to complement the wood-fired oven. The Bakery is already to make the baked goods from start to finish—all right on the premises. Let the festivities begin!
The celebrations will begin at the Old Labor Hall, where the Barre Historical Society will honor all the people who have helped make the renovation of the bakery possible. Here is the schedule:
♦ 4:00 pm – Ribbon Cutting, Slide Show, Special Recognitions, Tours of the Bakery
♦ 5:30 pm – Bread straight from the wood fired oven, Finger Food (delicious wood-fired bread served accompanied by various dips and toppings)
♦ 6:30 pm – Live Music and Dancing with Colin McCaffrey, Doug Reid and Don Schabner—three of Vermont’s favorite sidemen who will join forces to play swing, blues, country and western music on guitars and fiddles
This event is free. Come, share your ideas about the Bakery, and help us celebrate.
For more information:
email info@oldlaborhall.org
text 802-331-0013
call 802-479-5600.

From the opening of the first bakery we read this:

Barre Daily Times, Monday, December 15, 1913.

BAKERY ANNEX COMPLETED.
Co-operative Store on Granite Street Has a Good Plant.
Light and air are the conspicuous features of the new Co-operative bakery, which opened in the rear of the Co-operative store on Granite street to-day. To-night the association bakers will mix their first batch of bread, and 1,200 loaves, the first output of one of the most sanitary bakeries in Vermont, will be ready for the trade to-morrow. Although it is to be operated by the directors of the Co-operative store, the bakery is in a building by itself, a building with solid brick walls measuring 48 x 24 feet, that has been in course of construction since early fall.
The superstructure is built on a cement foundation six feet high and is located well back from the street. Excellent water and sewer connections have been made and the construction and equipment of the building has been carried out with a view to obtaining the maximum of sanitary conditions. The interior is exceptionally well lighted. By day, whitewashed walls add greatly to the lighting facilities and adequate artificial light is furnished by numerous electrical fixtures. No better ventilation system could be secured. The walls are broken in several places by ample shutter holes that may be opened or closed to regulate the temperature. The oven, a model of its kind, is built on a foundation of solid cement. Baking appliances of the most modern kind have been installed and everything will be in readiness for the first mixing to-night. In line with the directors’ policy of insuring cleanliness, each employee of the bakery from the head baker down to the less skilled helper is required to discard his street clothes and don a regulation garb as soon as he begins work. Many took occasion to-day to inspect the quarters of the association. Among these were Building Inspector Rand, who said that the directors had complied with every city ordinance in erecting the bakery.

For more information on the Old Labor Hall go to HERE, HERE

Please join us on Tuesday, December 11th at 4 pm in front of ICE to stand up for a Hartford mother scheduled to be deported this week.
Wayzaro Walton arrived in the United States in 1987, at the age of four. She spent 25 years as a Legal Permanent Resident. Her wife Tamika is a U.S. Citizen. Her 15-year-old daughter Azaiyah has a stable, secure, supportive, and positive future here in Connecticut. Her dream is to play basketball at the University of Connecticut. She has her dreams and goals planned out and Wayzaro wants to make sure she achieves those goals. If Wayzaro is deported all of those dreams are gone.

ICE has ordered her to leave her home on December 14th. They’ve revoked her Permanent Residency and are forcing her to leave her family behind for a country that she’s never even visited, where she has nobody. WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT!

Wayzaro’s story:
In 2006 at the age of nineteen, Wayzaro plead guilty to conspiracy to commit larceny in the 3rd degree and agreed to a sentence of 365 days. If her sentence had been 1 DAY LESS, she would not be in the situation she is in today.

Wayzaro was ordered removed in June 2012 without having an immigration attorney present and without the ability to make a legal argument about her case. Since that time, she has diligently fought and challenged the immigration court’s decision through appeals. However, each attempt was denied.

Right now Wayzaro has a request with ICE to let her stay for several reasons:

– She seeks a brief extension of her deportation date until after the holidays. She was not provided ample time to prepare for her deportation although she has cooperated with the directive by ISAP regarding the purchase of her plane ticket and continued checking-in as required. At the very least, Wayzaro seeks a sixty (60) day reprieve so that she can have enough time to plan ahead.

– She has applied for, and qualifies for, an Absolute Pardon but needs more time for that process to move forward. (more…)