Archive for the ‘LOVE’ Category

 

On 24 December 1920, biracial lesbian and gay rights icon Stormé DeLarverie was born in New Orleans. Her mother was African American and her father was a white man.  She is credited by many as sparking the Stonewall riots, as according to some eyewitnesses and her own account she was the “New York butch” who was arrested and attacked by police. Bleeding from a head wound, she began to fight back and called to the crowd “Why don’t you guys do something?” The famous words that we have heard that were spoken about the Stonewall Rebellion came from Storme’ when she said, “The cop hit me so I hit him back!” Years of oppression began to fall away with that action, those words. When she was thrown into a police van the crowd erupted and the Stonewall rebellion began. As well is working as an MC, bouncer and bodyguard, she carried a gun and patrolled the streets of the Village, protecting other lesbians from street harassment or assault, and also raised money for survivors of domestic violence.

She is remembered as a gay civil rights icon and entertainer, who performed and hosted at the Apollo Theater and Radio City Music Hall. She worked for much of her life as an MC, singer, bouncer, bodyguard and volunteer street patrol worker, the “guardian of lesbians in the Village.” From 1955 to 1969 DeLarverie toured the black theater circuit as the MC (and only drag king) of the Jewel Box Revue, North America’s first racially integrated drag revue. The revue regularly played the Apollo Theater in Harlem, as well as to mixed-race audiences.

She worked at the Cubby Hole and Fat Cat’s, two popular lesbian bars in the West Village. Storme was often working the door at both clubs as a bouncer.

About Stonewall Stormie’ had this to say: “It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience — it wasn’t no damn riot”, she declared at a public and videographed SVA-sponsored “Stonewall Symposium”, referring to the historic 1969 Stonewall Rebellion. Stormé was a part of the uprising on the very first night, Friday, June 27th. “The cops were parading patrons out of the front door of The Stonewall at about two o’ clock in the morning. I saw this one boy being taken out by three cops, only one in uniform. Three to one! I told my pals, ‘I know him! That’s Williamson, my friend Sonia Jane’s friend.’ Williamson briefly broke loose but they grabbed the back of his jacket and pulled him right down on the cement street. One of them did a drop kick on him. Another cop senselessly hit him from the back. Right after that, a cop said to me: ‘Move faggot’, thinking that I was a Gay guy. I said, ‘I will not! And, don’t you dare touch me.” With that, the cop shoved me and I instinctively punched him right in his face. He bled! He was then dropping to the ground — not me!”

Storme’ DeLarverie died in her sleep at 93 on May 24, 2014.

Now that the climate in amerikkka is once again turning against our people we must remember our people who stood up, who never apologized for who they were and who when they had to fought back.

So in honor of this great freedom fighter this Lesbian, Trans liberation warrior let’s have a little fun. We can be sure that Storme’ would love this tribute and it comes from our full heart to you. We can just see her clicking her fingers along to the song. Happy Birthday Storme’ and a big THANK YOU!!!

If you are anywhere near Hartford Ct. and can make it out on a Wednesday night come out to the show, the Pansy Craze. This show presented by the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus is sure to not only be a delight but a wonderful teaching tool for all of our community. What was the Pansy Craze? Why was it important to our people? Go out and find out.

 

Just one of the wonderful performers that you will meet at the Pansy Craze.

Ray Bourbon worked on stage and in nightclubs, in and out of drag. He, in no particular order, claimed to have run guns for Pancho Villa and had a sex change operation. Why did this pansy die in jail? Find out in The Pansy Craze.

Note:

More research on Ray Bourbon will be done. We love the idea of running guns for Pancho Villa and want to know the full story. Any one who would advocate for the poor and for land reform and help the revolution is a friend of ours.

RAY BOURBON PRESENTE’

Check out the facebook page for The Pansy Craze at https://www.facebook.com/events/420788622197419/permalink/433246837618264/?notif_t=event_mall_comment&notif_id=1575779003939390

Lovepiece – Community Performance & Discussion

Hosted by: Kamora’s Cultural Corner
1023 Albany Ave Hartford CT 06112
Friday, September 20th 2019
Arrive 7pm – Performance @ 7:30pm – Followed by a community discussion. Free!

Kamora’s Cultural Corner will host Arien Wilkerson/ TNMOT AZTRO for their premiere of a special version of their oeuvre “Lovepiece.” After the performance there will be a community conversation on queerness with topics drawn directly from the show. Tnmot Aztro and KCC are targeting black leaders in the North end on cultural competency in the queer community by inviting the public to have discourse and education on sex working, HIV, coming out in the POC community, queer violence, being queer and poor, and safety.

Be sure to catch Lovepiece – World Premiere – Quick Center for the Arts September 23rd 12noon, 3p.m., 7p.m.

Lovepiece, a 30-minute dance and multimedia installation, is about the work it takes to build a healthy relationship with yourself, uncovering the process of healing from rejection, hate, poverty, and humiliation within black/brown queer romantic relationships. Spontaneous, erotic, queer, open-ended, club and Latin American-inspired melodramas, paired with transgressive experiential outlooks on love, take the audience through the lens of queer people of color and their relationships, specifically the dichotomy between black and Latino queer relationships, and the exchange of queer culture. The work features an original live score from artist, domsentfrommars, Zach Rowden, Karim Rome, lighting collaborator Jon-Paul LaRoccoon and stage design by Joe McCarthy.

Kamora Herrington (Director of Kamora’s Cultural Corner)
“This is the perfect spot to do what I do! My personal mission is to create space so that families can love their children. Moving KCC into space with a history of welcoming marginalized communities into the larger Hartford community just makes sense! Opening with Arien’s show Loveplace could not be a more perfect collaboration, we are building a foundation of love and a desire for understanding. This piece and the conversation following will be a great starting point!”

This performance is sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven through a partnership with the Connecticut Office of the Arts. This Performance has also received funding from the CT Dance Alliance Jump Start Award & Our fabulous 50 premiere funders. ( These Tnmot Aztro patrons are vital to the shows premieres.)

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…)

For 20 years now we have been saying the names of Transgender people murdered. This year is no different as we say the names of the 22 murdered due to anti-trans violence.

Say their names. Trans Lives Matter.

Christa Lee Steele-Knudslien, 47, North Adams, MA
Vickky Gutierrez, 38, Los Angeles, CA
Zakaria Fry, 28, Albuquerque, NM
Celine Walker, 38, Jacksonville, FL
Tonya Harvey, 35, Buffalo, NY
Phylicia Mitchell, 45, Cleveland, OH
Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, Baton Rouge, LA
Sasha Wall, 29, Chesterfield County, SC
Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon, 26, Dallas, TX
Nino Fortson, 36, Atlanta, GA
Gigi Pierce, 28, Portland, OR
Antasha English, 38, Jacksonville, FL
Diamond Stephens, 39, Meridian, MS
Catalina Christina James, 24, Jacksonville, FL
Keisha James, 58, Cleveland, OH
Sasha Garden, 27, Orlando, FL
Vontashia Bell, 18, Shreveport, LA
Dejanay Stanton, 24, Chicago, IL
Shantee Tucker, 30, Philadelphia, PA
Londonn Moore Kinard, 20, North Port, FL
Nikki Janelle Enriquez, 28, Laredo, TX
Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier, 31, Chicago, IL

For our music series this weekend let’s listen to Lucille Bogan sing, B.D Women Blues.  B.D. stands for bulldagger or bulldyke, colloquial terms of the era that meant lesbian.

And the revolution continues… Thank you to all of the young queers who still understand and fight the fight as it should be fought. Compromise and reform are no way to win the battles. As Socialist Feminist Gloria Martin said, “We must change the system. If we do not we will be fighting the same old battles over and over.”