Archive for the ‘for your reflection’ Category

Hello to all

Important things have been happening in the background and a rumbling is heard. I am very proud to announce that Jerimarie Liesegang has finished her video documentary on Sylvia Rivera. The documentary Sylvia Rivera Was More Than Stonewall is one of the few possibly the only one that looks at the complete life of this Revolutionary Transgender Warrior. Twenty years ago I was honored to introduce Sylvia at the Ct. Stonewall Congress and to this day hold her dear in my heart. What fun myself, Regina Dyton, Tim, Paul and a few others had visiting with Sylvia and her family outside as we smoked and laughed and then laughed again. Sylvia indeed as a revolutionary Trans leader whose words ring true today. Sylvia who believed in a multi issue revolutionary movement where all of us were and are included. Sylvia who fought hard for her people in the Trans community and was thrown off the bus, and under the bus so many times.

We need more Sylvia’s in our movement today. If there were we all know the one issue or issues only of a LGBT nature would not exist. We would understand and see the connections with all other communities and not only act when it involves a LGBT person. We would understand fully that when the bombs drop on the people of Palestine it is our issue. We would know that when Democrat or Republican deports immigrants it is our issue. We would fully understand that when people all across this country can not afford medication that is needed, or a home to live in it is our issue. We would fight back when the least among us are hurting and become one with all. This I believe is what Sylvia Rivera would do as she proved over and over again this is what must be done. This was the inspiration that pushed us towards a new day before a wrong road was taken so many years ago. We must, let us repeat that we must move back to those days when we fully understood that we are here, there, and everywhere so there for all issues are our issues. It is the only way we will survive.

Anyway there I go again up on the soapbox but wanted to give just my little introduction to Jeri’s video.  Of course this type of work is best viewed on full screen for a full viewing pleasure. While you are over at the Ct. Trans Archive page check out all the work that Jeri has been doing lately as she posts and gets her archives in order to send down to CCSU.

My best to everyone
Richard Nelson

P.S A birdie told me a new Ct. movement documentary is now in the works. It’s good folks really good or so the birdie saw.

The documentary is found here:

Full Length (cradle to grave) documentary on Sylvia Rivera

Before moving to Hartford Ct. I lived in the woods of The Maverick, nine miles outside and over the mountain from Woodstock NY. (1) I lived in what I called an elegant shack the last place going up the mountain. The only modern convenience that I had was electricity. Very rustic living to say the least. It took me one time, one winter morning to understand why the outhouse seat was not attached after what seemed like leaving have the skin on my ass behind on the cold seat. The toilet seat then took up residence behind the woodstove where I cooked, and melted snow to take a bath. Clean water for drinking and cooking was courtesy of the artist I worked for in the summer and in the winter from a woman I did odd jobs for including babysitting her two year old. She was an herbalist and from her I learned about the wild herbs and their healing powers. We collected in the summer, dried the herbs in the old studio at the back of my shack. Screens of Red Clover blossoms, Queen Anne’s Lace seeds, Plantain, tied together in bunches, Yarrow, Tansy, Peppermint, Nettles, Comfrey from the garden. Susan and I would go on nature walks up the mountain and over following old trails. An old farm was our destination long since abandoned where fields of Dandelion awaited us and many of the herbs that Susan used grew in the area. In the fall I picked apples from the abandoned orchard and made applesauce.

During my years on the Maverick I heard many stories about Hervey White and the “good old days” of the artists that gathered there, the festivals, the free love, the feeling of living freely from the powers that tried to tame the creative spirit on the other side of the mountain and in America. Hervey White intrigued me as a revolutionary Socialist, artist, free thinking creative person. Lucille Blanch an artist who came to the Maverick as a young artist and who was still going strong painting daily live in a little white house with a “host of daffodils” growing all along her stonewalls and around her yard. “Just dig up the bulb and throw it, it will come up again,” was her direction in thinning out the plants. I worked for her doing odd jobs and helping out where I could.  But in all my talks with quite a number of folks who lived on the Maverick or who had been living in Woodstock for years no one ever mentioned that Hervey White was a Bisexual man. At the time when he was alive it was a “open secret” or so some say.

Hervey White

Hervey White

“I will do what I like and go where I like without money, paying for my living as I go. Good advice has never driven it out of me.”

So begins our story of a man named Hervey White. A socialist, utopian thinker, Bisexual/Gay man, poet, writer, publisher, builder and philosopher on art and what it could be. White along with  Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead whom he had met at Jane Adams Hull House in Chicago, founded the Brydcliff Art Colony in Woodstock ( 2 ) and after awhile White grew tired of the bourgeois notions of art and life, that was dictated by Whitehead saying of him, “He would only employ people he could dictate to,” White wrote later, “and no self-respecting artist would ever stand for his dictation.”  bought a farm in West Hurley and so began the Maverick art colony. A running joke among some old timers I met in the Maverick was that Hervy White came to this side of the mountain because all the water ran down the other side and he thought that at Byrdcliff people took far too many baths. We read this about Hervey White: In 1905, White purchased a farm just outside Woodstock with Fritz van der Loo and Carl Eric Lindin, intended as a rustic haven for the three friends and their families. It quickly transformed into an intellectual meeting place and was named the Maverick; artists, writers, and musicians took up residence in minimalistic houses, usually little more than shacks, built on the property. White’s short-lived marriage to Byrdcliffe printmaker Vivian Bevans ended in 1908. According to Tom Wolff writing Hervey White”s Maverick Community and Its Artists “we learn White’s homosexual leanings, addressed overtly in his writings, are a possible cause. White would go on to build the Maverick into a thriving community with makeshift studios, a printing press, and a steady output of publications devoted to literature and the visual arts, most notably The Wild Hawk and The Plowshare. Hervey White even while espousing socialism lived as an anarchist, living according to his principles and never sold out to the bankers, the elite, the bourgeoise, to pretense, societies expectations of what a person should be. He expressed his love for men. Leaving us to wonder who these men were, these lovers of his. We look over the photo’s of the men involved with the Maverick community and wonder which ones. I suppose we could guess and our gaydar leads us to some of them. Where they only experimenting with the leader, the catch, the cool, were they true lovers or just a one-sided sexual encounter and then they ran back to their wives?

In The Land of Tomorrow Hervey wrote …”Here I sit on this lofty hill beside a ruin of which all archeologists have read, and I am thinking of Marselino, and how beautiful he is, and how he is going tomorrow and I will never look far back into those deep dark liquid love wells more. How surprised I was yesterday to see the difference in the color of our hands when clasped; his, so dark, almost as dark as a negro’s yet having nothing of the smoky greasy black, but a clear bronze.

Both the ruins and the view from this mountain top are grand, but I am tired now and heartsick. Still I will remember all as long as I live. If I forget the heart sickness no matter…I went to the river with them [the other Mexican hands] and as were riding together, he told me again how often he would think of me, he and Catalina [“his intended”] together, and how he would write, and he would be very angry if I did not send him a photograph for I was his dearest friend and then slowly:

‘I care a great deal for you.’

And when I replied that I liked him better than all the others he said simply: ‘I know.’

I could look at him then, and I saw the lines around the beautiful mouth were quivering and drawing, and his throat was writhing. He turned toward me quickly and his eyes met mine. Ah, the shining of those eyes! He smiled; and I saw in every feature that he was saying, “It is hard to bear, but we are strong.”

He was gay when we parted; but the soft tender light was shining in his eyes. As he pulled his horse about and took off his hat waving a last laughing lingering good bye, he made the most beautiful picture I have ever seen.”

The Land of Tomorrow created a stir for it announced White’s homosexuality.

Hervey White as Pan Maverick Festival

The Maverick Festivals began in 1915 as a means to raise money to dig a well for the Maverick community. The festival was conceived as a bohemian carnival filled with communal spirit to be held during the afternoon and evening of the August full moon. A theatrical spectacle began after dark with performances by artists, musicians and local people followed by a costume ball. Attendance at the festival grew and grew and became more and more difficult to control and by 1929 it was reported that over 6,000 people were in attendance. In 1931 White suspended the festival. While living on the Maverick Lucille Blanch told me of the wonderful parties that were held back “when I was young.” This is a picture of Lucille from a festival in 1922. (more…)

It’s Been Twenty Years and We Are Still Remembering!
By Jerimarie Liesegang

In 1999, Gwendolyn Ann Smith started the Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize the murder of (transgender woman) Rita Hester (a East Hartford Native) in Allston, Massachusetts. The TDOR has slowly evolved from the Remembering Our Dead Names list started by Smith into a national and then an international Remembrance and day of action.
In 2002, Ct TransAdvocacy (It’s Time, Connecticut) held Connecticut’s first Transgender DOR (Click here to view the 2002 event on CtTransArchives). In that year we remembered 15 US transwomen brutally murdered, many of them trans women of color. Including the brutal murder of Gwen Araujo, a 17 year old who had been living in their preferred gender role for approximately a year and a half. During a house party, she was revealed to have been more a male. After this revelation, at least three individuals allegedly beat her, dragged her into a garage, and strangled her, before disposing of her body in a remote location 150 miles away.

Yesterday the NYTimes ran an article with the title:

18 TRANSGENDER KILLINGS THIS YEAR RAISE FEARS OF AN ‘EPIDEMIC’
The killings, many of them against transgender women of color, have deeply disturbed groups already familiar with threats to their safety.
According to this article, the AMA is declaring the alarming rate of Trans Murders an epidemic. In the United States this year, at least 18 transgender people — most of them transgender women of color — have been killed in a wave of violence that the American Medical Association has declared an “epidemic.” The killings, which have been reported across the country, have for some prompted a heightened sense of vigilance.

And of course we must note that statistics do not capture the full list of Trans murders since many go unreported, dismissed as a murder of a sex worker, not to mention the many hate crimes other than the ultimate crime of murder. A well known example is the highly probable murder of Marsha P. Johnson. (per wiki: Shortly after the 1992 pride parade, Johnson’s body was discovered floating in the Hudson River. Police initially ruled the death a suicide, but Johnson’s friends and other members of the local community insisted Johnson was not suicidal and noted that the back of Johnson’s head had a massive wound.)

I had never thought that on that day of November 20th, 2002, that we would be remembering AT LEAST 18 brutal US Murders in 2019 ~ Twenty Years after the first Official Remembering Our Trans Dead!!!! We need to continue to remember each year, if not each day, and say Presente! for each of our trans comrades who have been brutally murdered simply for being who they are. BUT we must do more than just remember, since for far too many years, even preceding 1999, we continue to loose our families due to Hate and insensitivity to sex/gender fluidity. I recall that after Gwen’s murder, we had discussions that the community needs to work with our youth to empower them to learn how to be Out and assure they maintain safe surroundings, especially when having sex. Though we know the issue is much deeper and more complex than that simple view. I do view this in two lenses: (more…)

As posted on Courage To Resist found HERE.

Vol. 3 Issue 5, August 1973 as posted by Jeff Machota-Vietnam Veterans Against The War.

Join us and sing along to this wonderful rendition by Folk Hogan of Joe Hill’s There is Power In A Union.

 

“There Is Power in a Union” is one of Joe Hill’s most enduring recruiting songs. After his execution, the song was sung at his funeral in Salt Lake City and again at his funeral in Chicago. The song is performed here by Folk Hogan in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House Park, near the site where Utah’s state prison once stood and where Hill was executed by a firing squad on Nov. 19, 1915.

Lyrics:
Would you have freedom from wage slavery
Then join in the grand Industrial band
Would you from mis’ry and hunger be free
Then come! Do your share, like a man

There is power, there is power
In a band of workingmen
When they stand hand in hand
That’s a power, that’s a power
That must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand

Would you have mansions of gold in the sky
And live in a shack, way in the back?
Would you have wings up in heaven to fly
And starve here with rags on your back?
If you’ve had enough of “the blood of the lamb,”
Then join in the grand Industrial band
If, for a change, you would have eggs and ham
Then come! Do your share, like a man

There is power, there is power
In a band of workingmen
When they stand hand in hand
That’s a power, that’s a power
That must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand

If you like sluggers to beat off your head
Then don’t organize, all unions despise
If you want nothing before you are dead
Shake hands with your boss and look wise

There is power, there is power
In a band of workingmen
When they stand hand in hand
That’s a power, that’s a power
That must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand

Come, all ye workers, from every land,
Come join in the grand Industrial band
Then we our share of this earth shall demand
Come on! Do your share, like a man

There is power, there is power
In a band of workingmen
When they stand hand in hand
That’s a power, that’s a power
That must rule in every land
One Industrial Union Grand

For any reader who doesn’t know who Joe Hill was here is a song sung by Phil Ochs.

One of our all time favorite songs, The Preacher and the Slave or Pie in the Sky written by Joe Hill in 1911. At Christmas time when we pass the Salvation Army ringing their bells next to the collection kettles we love to sing,

“And the starvation army they play, And they sing and they clap and they pray, Till they get all your coin on the drum, Then they tell you when you are on the bum.”

https://www.reuters.com/video/2019/09/26/lgbt-activism-where-opposition-turns-vio?videoId=604991671

On September 23, 2019 the Polish president Andrzej Duda of the right wing Law and Justice Party and his wife came to Connecticut and was greeted by Governor Ned Lamont, U.S Senators Christopher Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, Rep. Jahana Hayes and New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.  Thousands gathered in New Britain’s Walnut Hill Park to greet the Polish president. A note to those the above who claim to be our friends, friends of the LGBTQI community the Law and Justice party has thrown its full weight of the party’s apparatus behind a campaign that is marginalizing Polish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. Members of the party have been violently attacking LGBT persons and Pride marches around the county. This spring, as the Law and Justice party was gearing up for European Parliament elections, its leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski highlighted another supposed foreign danger. Warsaw’s mayor had recently advocated integrating sex education and LGBT issues into school curriculums, in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines. In Kaczynski’s telling, this was “an attack on the family” and “an attack on children.” He called “LGBT ideology” an imported “threat to Polish identity, to our nation, to its existence and thus to the Polish state.” Regional party officials have since pushed to declare cities and even entire provinces in the country’s conservative southeast ­“LGBT-ideology free.” Activists have counted around 30 such declarations so far. It doesn’t stop with us. Jews, immigrants, people of color and others are in the eye of the Law and Justice Party. Watch the video, look at their hateful faces. Yes folks the poles are at it again.

Ad of the Law and Justice Party protecting Polish families from the Rainbow Rain.

Some of the most violent attacks on LGBTQ peoples take place in Poland as the above video shows us with the support of President Duda and his right wing party. Not one word was said in opposition to Polish President Andrzej Duda treatment of LGBTQ+ peoples. But praises all around from those who claim to be our friends.

Years ago myself and then then co-chair of the Ct. Coalition for LGBT Civil Rights gave a speech at the Matthew Shepard Memorial held in Hartford. At that time I addressed the issue of politicians that say, we are your friend meanwhile not speaking out against injustice where ever and whenever it happened. Are we now back to having to remind our so called friends of what we require of them? Why allow a right wing politician to get away with what the Law and Justice party is doing in Poland and remain silent? Why Mr. Lamont, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Murphy, Ms. Hayes? Again what will it take?

When it all boils down we know very well why these “friends” of the community didn’t speak out and that folks is a five letter word.

But we can not only say, “Why” to the local politicians. Where during the visit was the LGBT community leaders and those who claim to be leaders? Where was Equality Connecticut and other groups? Ten years ago word would have spread and spread quickly through out the community and folks would have turned out. I suppose Poland is so far away and what is happening there isn’t happening here, and these politicians are our friends and let’s not upset them and let’s go back to our one issue activism and get what we can for ourselves. What BS. That is why I left the movement after 50 + years and that is why I do not consider myself a part of the LGBT community and their silly notions of what liberation looks like.

So with all that is due this blog gives to Governor Ned Lamont, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Rep. Jahana Hayes and Equality Connecticut, the Jerks of the Week Award.

Our friends (?) stand with our enemies. What confusing times these are for some. Queers know where we stand. Fuck the church and Fuck the state.

NOTE: if anyone is interested in the crimes of the Law and Justice Party google them. There is plenty of information on their views and what they are up to on-line.

 

99-Year-Old Nuremberg Prosecutor Calls Trump’s Detention of Children a ‘Crime Against Humanity’
“What could cause more great suffering than what they did in the name of immigration law?”

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The last surviving prosecutor at the Nazi Nuremberg trials just offered harsh criticism for the Trump administration’s family separation crisis resulting from its cruel immigration policies, calling it “a crime against humanity.”
Ninety-nine year old Ben Ferencz made the comments in a recent lengthy interview with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, which was posted online Tuesday.
When he learned of the family separations, “it was very painful for me,” Ferencz told Zeid. “I knew the Statue of Liberty. I came under the Statue of Liberty as an immigrant.” Ferencz was a baby when his family came to the United States from Romania.
He referenced lines from Emma Lazarus’s poem inscribed at the base of the monument, including its ending: “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
But “the lamp went out when [Trump] said no immigrants allowed unless they meet the rules that we laid down,” Ferencz said. “It was outrageous. I was furious that anybody would think that it’s permissible to take young children—5, 4, 3 years of age—and take them away from their parents and say the parents go to another country and the children go to another country, and we’ll get you together, maybe, at some later date.”

To read the rest of this article from Common Dreams and to hear the interview go to HERE.