Archive for the ‘In Remembrance’ Category

We have said many times before that Archives and Footnotes are wonderful things as one finds many truths in the archives and in the footnotes a chance to further ones interests and education. A case in point here is found in one of our footnotes, first found as a one liner in the book Stonewall and then researched in the Hartford area by Richard Nelson. One person who many of us in Connecticut do not know about is Ivan Valentin, performer, artist, and freedom fighter. Ivan was an early trailblazer and was a forceful catalyst for change here in Connecticut in 1975, a change that was needed and a change that we all can thank him for every time we see one of our drag sisters performing in a Ct. bar, (see footnote) and each time let us remember to shout out Ivan Valentin Presente’

This new piece, While Paris Was Burning, Hartford Sizzled, would not have been possible without the archives of Jerimarie Liesegang, the mother of the Ct. Trans movement. As Jeri was going through her archives preparing her collection for presentation to Central Ct. State University Equity and Diversity Collection she came upon an article written by Rebecca Boyden about the House of Pleasure. The House of Pleasure was one of the Houses that operated for a time in Hartford along with The House of Everlasting Empire, The House of Nations, The House of Freedom, the House of Flava, and The House of Ebony. In 1993 Hartford’s first drag ball, “Hartford Sizzles” spearheaded in part by the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, and was held at the Project 100 Community Center. Other balls hosted by Houses were held from 1993-1997. The balls were not only a heck of a lot of fun but raised thousands of dollars over the years for HIV/AIDS organizations and other community groups.

Connecticut has a rich and long history in LGBTQ Advocacy and Activism. Yet we unfortunately do very little to document this amazing history, especially given the accessibility of the Internet and its archiving tools.  To this point, I (jerimarie) recall back in late 2003, I was chatting with Mucha at Tisane’s and he was relaying to me the Hartford Balls that were held in Hartford following a screening of When Paris Was Burning.  Having been a newcomer to the Greater Hartford area, I was not privy to this information and found his descriptions of the Balls utterly amazing.  I asked him if any of this was documented in detail and he said not really though he had VHS tapes of all the Balls.  So I said, let’s do a documentary on the balls so it can be preserved and be a historical archive for the community and allies.  So in late 2003 a project was born; and Jerimarie, her partner Anja, Mucha Mucha Placer the mother of the House of Pleasure and Kevin Smith produced a video of segments from the balls and interviews with the key participants to explain the balls and the categories created that were an important part of these events. The video was first shown at the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 2004. We dedicate this piece on furbirdsqueerly to Anja who left us all too soon and to all the folks who continued our communities stories.

Below are select images of some of the first ball participants:

Greta in her sunflower outfit. (more…)

This piece was first published years ago  on Punkpink is a Bandits Tip. Today we dedicated this piece to our comrades who love buns and know any bun will do. We try to publish this work during the Easter Week in memory of the Miracle In My Studio Kitchen and for all our friends who celebrate this time of year.

Since it is Easter Week for our Christian Buddies I thought we would have a little fun with some Hot Cross Buns. To get us in the festive mood let us all join in singing the Hot Cross Buns song. Now don’t be shy, you can do it. GO______


Now wasn’t that nice? So I want to tell you what I found out about Hot Cross Buns that old time favorite for the Easter Week.  I also want to tell you a little story about a miracle in my studio kitchen that had our  artist friends and many others standing in line, paying a quarter to go through my door. First we will start with the old tale and then work out from there.


This is a picture of a Hot Cross Bun.

According to legend Hot Cross Buns were eaten by the Saxons in honor of the goddess Eostre with the cross cut into the buns to symbolize the four quarters of the moon. Eostre was the goddess of dawn, rebirth and spring. She comes forth dressed in white bringing light to all ending the darkness and cold of winter. Symbols associated with her are the hare and egg. The Anglo-Saxon month Eostur-monath is the equivalent to the month of April.

Image result for eostre

During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the cross in 1361. The buns along with Roman Catholicism was banned in England until Queen Elizabeth 1st passed a law allowing the consumption of Hot Cross Buns only on Easter, Christmas and funerals. (more…)

Marielle Franco, presente! Today is one year since Franco, a Black queer councilwoman, was murdered in Brazil. This week, two former police officers were arrested suspected of carrying out her murder. Her life should inspire us to fight for the rights of the most marginalized sectors as a path to liberate us all.

Meet organizers defending Marielle’s legacy and fighting against the right wing in Brazil at Feminism for the 99% – Women’s Conference


Frank Little Poster

To Frank Little (25th of August 1917)

by Viola Gilbert Snell

Traitor and demagogue,

Wanton breeder of discontent –

That is what they call you –

Those cowards, who condemn sabotage

But hide themselves

Not only behind masks and cloaks

But behind all the armoured positions

Of property and prejudice and the law.

Staunch friend and comrade,

Soldier of solidarity –

Like some bitter magic

The tale of your tragic death

Has spread throughout the land,

And from a thousand minds

Has torn the last shreds of doubt

Concerning Might and Right.

Young and virile and strong –

Like grim sentinels they stand

Awaiting each opportunity

To break another

Of slavery’s chains.

For whatever stroke is needed.

They are preparing.

So shall you be avenged.

What a wonderful poem by Viola Gilbert Snell in honor of Frank Little. We publish this poem today along with a picture of Frank and his motto No War But Class War to remind folks that we have a big job to do here in this country. We can not fight Uncle Scams imperialist wars, take part in the war machine, cross class lines and fight for the Capitalist class but must do everything in our power to oppose those who stand in the way of a new day.

This came through on our facebook page.

Here is some of what was written about it.

A friend shared this I want to include what he said: He is J. Bruce Wilcox and this is what he wrote: “Man’s ultimate inhumanity to man continues on in white supremacy- racism- anti-antisemitism- homophobia- misogyny- religious human hatred of the *other*. We are all one. There is no other. Until humanity grasps this basic reality- we will continue to foolishly hurt each other.”
I would also like to thank Steve Drexler for his wonderful words.

I would like to humbly add:

So many times I have thought, why would god, if there is a god sit out the holocaust and all of the horrors that the world has undergone over the years. Is it to teach us a lesson? Is it to tell us, hey this is wrong and you have got to stop it? Can you learn from this and do better? Why didn’t war end after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan? Why didn’t holocausts end after what happened in Germany? Why are the people around the world having to endure the wars and more wars brought to them by men? Can not God strike these war mongers dead? Why won’t God? And why can’t people see this horror and put an end to such leaders and those who use the people as pawns in this game of power. Yes so many people have so many questions of god.

Here is what the original poster Steve Drexler wrote:

Today is the 74th year anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auwschitz. This is what happens when a madman is in charge and goes unchallenged by power hungry and delusional supporters.

Our president is a narcissistic psychopath. He is demonizing everyone who is not just like him. He is destroying our alliances, relationships, and values.
We owe it to the millions of people who died in the fight against fascism and toxic racism and bigotry, to resist all bullying and to call it out, and defeat it, or we are doomed to repeat the past.
WWII saw the fascists and Nazis try to exterminate not only the Jews as a race, but Jehovah’s witnesses, the Roma people, anyone identified as LGBT, the physically and mentally challenged, people of African ancestry, and countless other people who have never been documented.

We know there were 6,000,000 Jews killed, there are not exact counts for the others who were murdered. This was on top of the millions of people who died as collateral victims as a result of the war. Then there were the soldiers who were killed in the fighting directly, and there were those who died of starvation and exposure because their homes were destroyed.
This is unacceptable!

Never again!

Yes I guess we can only take the idea of NEVER AGAIN to heart and work out from there by opposing all war and all man’s inhumanity to man.

Furbirdsqueerly will continue to follow this thread and publish more comments as they become available.