Archive for the ‘Our Stories’ Category

Trump Administration Attacks LGBT Community On Three Fronts Over Last 24 Hours

 by Dan Savage Mar 29, 2017

There are, unbelievably, some “Gays for Trump” out there. I would ask one of them to comment on what the Trump administration has been up to over the last 24 hours… but homosexuals for homophobes didn’t have anything coherent to say the day before yesterday and I can’t imagine they have anything coherent to say this morning. Anyway, in the last 24 hours…

Expectations that the 2020 census might start including LGBTQ subjects were raised and then quickly dashed on Tuesday after the U.S. Census admitted that it had “inadvertently” included “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” in a long-awaited report outlining new categories for the survey. In response, GLAAD’s CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, branded the move as a “systematic effort on behalf of the Trump administration to erase LGBT people.” Last year, various federal agencies urged the Census Bureau to include sexual orientation and gender in their data as it was crucial to their role in enforcing the law. The survey, which has been conducted every ten years since 1790, includes a wide range of questions designed to gather data on everything from languages spoken to household plumbing facilities.

An executive order President Trump signed Monday has gutted the LGBT protections President Obama implemented for employees of federal contractors — as well as many other protections those workers enjoyed. Trump rescinded the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, also known as Executive Order 13673, that President Obama issued in 2014. That order required companies wishing to contract with the federal government to show that they’ve complied with various federal laws and other executive orders. Notably, Obama issued that order in tandem with Executive Order 13672, which prohibited contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This means that there is no way to enforce the LGBT protections granted in 13672..

President Donald Trump’s administration has proposed cutting $1.23 billion this fiscal year from research funded by the National Institutes of Health, according to a White House document sent to congressional appropriators…. A worldwide initiative to help people with HIV and AIDS, known as PEPFAR and heavily focused on patient treatment in Africa, would be slashed by almost $300 million under the plan. The savings would be found by slowing the rate of new patients put on treatment and reducing support to “low-performing countries.” States also would face a $50 million cut that would target “less effective HIV research and prevention activities.”

Short notes: Furbirdsqueerly

next up:   The First Amendment Defense Act: See HERE.

next up: ? ?

next up: The removal.

 

next up:  Image result for small pink triangle button

next up:  Image result for anti gay christians

The issue is one of marginalizing, ignoring, denying, omitting, erasing, and then their version of a final solution. Anyone ready for a fight? Put nothing past the Christian Taliban.

Take the time to read about a revolutionary Socialist Feminist Gloria Martin who once said, “We have to change the system, because as long as the system is the same, we’ll be fighting all our lives for the same thing…” This wonderful article is written by a friend and comrade of mine Helen Gilbert a radical socialist feminist based in Seattle. This is an excellent article about a revolutionary life, about a woman who understood what a united front is all about and about someone whom I wish I had met. Check it out.

A very interesting note sent to me by Helen is this: “You’ll be interested to know that the second photo of Gloria, the one with the sign, is from a 1991 protest at the King County Jail in support of Steve Farmer. Steve Farmer was the first person in the state to be forcibly tested for HIV during that period of anti-gay hysteria over AIDS. FSP and RW and only the most radical LGBTQ groups supported him because the media portrayed him falsely as an unsavory sex predator. He spent a couple years in prison and died of AIDS a few years later. The article is from the South Side Emerald.

31 Days of Revolutionary Women, #21: Gloria Martin

by Helen Gilbert

When I first met Gloria Martin in 1972, I was a 17-year-old high school student. My friends and I had been searching for a way to connect with the tide of feminist, antiwar and civil rights activism all around us. After trying out different groups and activities we came across Radical Women. It was love at first sight!

This was the period of the youth movement and a miles-wide generation gap. Our parents had brought us McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, the A-bomb, and stifling conformity. Youth were demanding freedom, rights, responsibility and respect as adults.

“Don’t trust anyone over 30” was the mantra. Yet Radical Women had esteemed women leaders who were 50 and older!— Gloria Martin, Clara Fraser, and Melba Windoffer. I was amazed to find the most radical ideas I’d ever heard coming out of the mouths of lifelong women revolutionaries who were older than my parents, but working collaboratively with young feminists and helping them develop as thinkers, writers and organizers.

Gloria had a feisty, no-holds-barred style. In a 1978 essay she wrote, “Socialist feminism – right on! I believe in the revolutionary potential and talent of working women, militant women of color, lesbian radicals, discriminated-against women professionals, angry young women, rebellious housewives, harassed welfare mothers, and wise elderly women.” (“Where Matters Stand With Me,” http://www.socialism.com/drupal-6.8/introductory-writings?q=node/212 )

In addition to being an activist, Gloria was a working mother of eight children, whom she raised in South Seattle. She was a bit of a beatnik, given to wearing berets and organizing the world from an assortment of paper bags. She loved cats and pork chops, Wonder Bread and really bad coffee. She ended many a speech waving a red scarf—long live the revolution! Though she never finished high school, going to work at 14 to support her family, she treasured poets, writers, artists, and rare books. Late in life, she managed the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in the Pike Place Market.

gloria_protest11999 protest in support of Steve Farmer

As a young woman, Gloria had been part of Communist-led desegregation actions in St. Louis, Missouri. When she arrived in Seattle in 1950, she worked with the civil rights organizations CORE and NAACP. In 1966, she joined forces with militant Black women, including Mary Louise Williams, to organize welfare recipients into the Aid to Dependent Children Motivated Mothers project launched by the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP). She later worked on other antipoverty programs and organized a union of poverty-program workers.

After years in the trenches fighting for change for working and poor women and women of color, Martin was more than ready for the new wave of feminism when it began to gather momentum in the 1960s. She forged practical and theoretical links between female Marxists and women of the New Left by initiating a popular 1966 workshop series called “Women in Society” at Seattle’s alternative Free University. Writing later about those classes, she recalled: “It was pure joy to hear women describing and evaluating their lives; most of us had never really known we had a history… Our dialogue with each other burst out in a great liberating chorus… We would fight and lead and struggle. Rising up we would push everyone up with us as we went…”

From 1968 to 1970, Martin was a key player in the multiracial, statewide mobilization of low-income women that resulted in the legalization of abortion in Washington State three years before Roe v. Wade. (more…)

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Comrade Frank O’Gorman

Tribute to Frank from us, YES!!,  Making trouble, standing up, out and proud. Always willing to lend his voice, heart, compassion and mind. As Frank said “maybe we were born for these times.” To be silent is not an option. He knows why we are not a one issue lot, understands that our struggle as LGBTQ folks must be united with all struggles around the world. From demos and rallies denouncing the military industrial complex, to wars and more wars, marching for freedom for the people of Palestine, to freedom for LGBTQ folks and justice for immigrants.  Sees the many connections and acts on them. Nice as nice can be, cute as a button to boot. Furbirdsqueerly loves Frank and we know that Frank loves us.

Frank with the bullhorn at the HRC Awards Dinner in Boston. Queers Without Borders joined with activists from New England to protest. Also in the picture are, Jeri Marie, Alvin with flag, Richard, Bernardo, Paul and Regina. Timmy was somewhere around also dressed in an outfit for the occasion.

Queers Without Borders Contingent at NYC PRIDE in support of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning.

L to R; Jeri Marie, Richard, Ricky, Paul, Frank, Tasha.

A night some of us will never forget. (If Mr Blumie only knew) A night of Diversity Awards Presentation, MCC Hartford.

Frank, Jeri and Sen. Blumenthal. Getting an award at MCC for their tireless efforts on behalf of the LGBT community. The invitation to this event had this to say about Frank:

Frank O’Gorman is a gay Christian, activist, and a member of Dignity/USA (until the Hartford chapter disbanded). He is now a member of MCC Hartford, and a convener of People of Faith CT, a faith-based, progressive, activist organization in Connecticut     (www.faithCT.net)

Frank has been instrumental, passionate, and untiring in his efforts to bring a queer Christian perspective to movements for social justice and peace in Hartford, and to build bridges between various activist communities across lines of ideology, race, social class, and religion. (more…)

Of the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, more than 267,000 identify as LGBTQ; individuals who fled their home countries to escape persecution and torture. Instead of finding safety, LGBTQ immigrants are placed in dangerous detention facilities where they wait anywhere from weeks to months to see a judge who will decide their fate. Most of the sites have links to other groups that are working on behalf of our LGBTQ people. Of course this is not a full listing of all groups working in the US at this time.

Here are a few organizations that are out there to help any and all immigrants who may need it.

One of our favorites based in LA is Famila Trans/Queer Liberation. They are found at HERE

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement (Familia: TQLM) is the only national organization that addresses, organizes, educates, and advocates for the issues most important to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) and Latino communities. Familia: TQLM is inclusive and serves of all LGBTQ Latinos, Latinas, and gender nonconforming individuals. We also collaborate with non-LGBTQ families and friends who support our vision of a united LGBTQ Latino and Latina community.

We are committed to the collective liberation of trans, queer, and gender nonconforming Latinxs to build power and (re)imagine our communities free from oppression. We seek to abolish the systems that marginalize, criminalize, imprison, and kill our people. We are building on the legacy of racial justice and liberation movements.

 

Bills itself as the Nations Leading Immigrant Rights Organization. What attracts us to this page is

President Trump Executive Orders
Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that immigration policy is changing frequently. Check back to these FAQs periodically for important updates. (Last update February 14, 2017)

A person who needs it can also get free expert legal services from our team or a member of our nationwide pro bono law firm network.

In the Chicago area anyone with questions can contact ALMA, The Association of Latinos/as Motiving Action. They say about their group: The LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Coalition of Chicago is collaboration between organizations serving the primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, and institutions advocating for immigrant rights. The members of the coalition collaborate to support immigrant rights organizing, public policy advocacy, and resource-gathering through collaboration; engage the LGBT community in immigrant rights work; and increase the visibility of LGBTQ people affected by immigration policy for the media, legislators, and the general public.

QUIP

The Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP), a program of United We Dream seeks to organize and empower Undocumented Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer immigrants, LGBTQ immigrants and allies to address social and systemic barriers that affect themselves and the broader LGBTQ & immigrant community.

QUIP’s vision is to transform the immigrant and LGBTQ movements, to adopt an intersectional analysis in their efforts to advance and build power for the rights of both communities. Through QUIP’s work we hope to shift the consciousness and public opinion of immigrants and LGBTQ communities that result in collaboration and embracement towards each other. United We Dream has 5 things you should know about Trans and Queers in Detention which has this to say: The Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project, a program of United We Dream, is committed to a #BoldBroadInclusive effort for the President to act on behalf of all immigrant communities. Detention and deportations are a harm the entire community, and this is especially true for those who fall under the Risk Classification Assessment (RCA), which include pregnant women, HIV+ people, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities, and chronic illness. See HERE.

(more…)

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Chick-fil-A’s Sordid Connections to LGBTQ, Muslim Animus

9 February 2017
by Frank O’Gorman

Chick-fil-A markets it’s restaurants as places to enjoy good food, where customers are greeted by employees, lemonade is freshly squeezed, and fans line up the night before a new store opening to obtain free weekly meals for a year.

But behind the slick branding one finds the company has a sordid connection to LGBTQ and Muslim animus, not to mention being involved in an industry infamous for animal cruelty.

Chick-fil-a is a privately held company founded by S. Truett Cathy and now controlled by his sons, Dan and Donald. There is a distinct Christian fundamentalist flavor to their worldview – wealth as evidence of divine approbation, and the channeling of wealth to promote an ultra-conservative theocratic agenda. Truett Cathy has stated, “the Lord has never spoken to me, but I feel Chick-fil-A has been His gift.”(1)

Muslim & LGBTQ Animus

That sentiment may not have been shared by a Muslim franchise owner named Aziz Latif who attended a company training program in 2000. At one point, there was a group prayer to Jesus Christ which Latif naturally and rightfully refused to participate in. He was fired the following day! Latif sued Chick-fil-A and eventually settled out of court. (2)

This incident with blatant Christian supremacist motif may have prompted in part the current company policy that reads “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity, and respect – regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” (3)

Regarding sexual orientation, Chick-fil-A came under fire in 2011 when it was revealed that it had donated to groups opposed to marriage equality via its WinShape Foundation. One such grantee, the Family Research Council, is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its animus towards Muslims and LGBTQ people. (4)

Anti-Muslim & Anti-LGBTQ Propaganda & Public Policy

The Family Research Council’s executive vice-president, retired Lt. William “Jerry” Boykin, has claimed that the United States is in a “spiritual battle” against Satan which it appears is what Islam represents to him. He also helped pen “Shariah: The Threat to America,”which is nothing other than a collection of anti-Islamic conspiracy theories. (5)

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Spreading false claims is also the strategy that the Family Research Council uses against LGBTQ people. FRC President Tony Perkins commenting on anti-bullying videos stated:

“They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.“ (6)

Religious Freedom” Christian Theocracy (more…)

Sitting around one Saturday after last Bessy Marie said to Olga, “You know we haven’t gone out to lunch for awhile, can’t even remember when we last did as we are always eating at home on a Saturday and then take a nice little nap get up and start again at what seems like another day.” Olga had to agree we need a little break. Let’s go to the art show a town away and then have a nice lunch at that hamburger place that is all the rave. Nice that would be and we would get in not only a bit of lunch but a spiritual uplift from seeing some art. Olga added that one of the top artists in the area curated and some artists we have heard mentioned are showing in. Let’s see what is out there as one of our favorite artists is showing in that show. Off we went and two buses later arrived for lunch in a busy little café that was quickly filling up a half hour before noon.

Lunch in the freezer. Or we might have well be dining outside in Alaska.

We should have gotten up and left but where else was there to go when one has their heart set on a good hamburger. Nowhere around here in this town. Man is it cold in here, don’t they have any heat? The older lady sitting next to us gals said, “I have to eat with my coat on its so cold.” It feels like a terrible breeze coming from the kitchen door every time it opens. I’m glad I have some soup, which is okay to eat first, hopefully it will warm me up and I can get down to eating my traditional burger with Swiss Cheese and onions.” Damn thought Olga I gotta sit here and just about rub elbows with this couple at the next table. What a crowded place this is. Maybe that is where we will get the heat from each other.

Bessy looked around the dining room and notice that over near the corner no one had their coats on but every table was full. Folks must know get here early as soon as a table was empty someone came and sat down. This certainly  popular place let’s hope the food is as good as the crowds are predicting. We must have gotten there at the right time as the place was filling up rather quickly.

Well finally the waitress came, all bubbly and apologizing for the wait. “Okay, we see you are busy as a bubbling bee and cute as a button to boot,” said Bessy we had fun complaining about the cold weather in here and rubbing our toes together to keep warm. Should have worn my fur lined socks and should have brought a blanket for over my lap and a good wrap. Man eating with my coat on is not my idea of a great time.  Bessy Marie remarked, “I bet there is more heat in a Puritan Meeting House. Foot warmer rocks needed here.”

Scanning the menu Bessy Marie decided on a lunch called, I luv Pastrami, “Wow said Bessy what a great sandwich.” It was a delicious burger with nicely cooked pastrami on top ($11.00). A well grilled hard roll with creamy horseradish, lettuce tomato, raw onion and Swiss cheese. Yum, Yum what a tasty sandwich.  Olga being the traditional one in the bunch ordered a Traditional Burger ($9.00). Honey please the lettuce is limper than a old man’s dick. Nice cheese and a well cooked burger. Its funny Olga said that with all the trouble in the food industry that restaurants would still ask people is they want meat rare, medium rare or well done?  What comes with the burger? Just some coleslaw UGH a slimy mystery pile of wilted cabbage with a weak pickle juice sauce. Strangest coleslaw we had ever tried along with a run of the mill limp Dill pickle. No bite no crunch no dill in that pickle causing Olga to wonder, “Is that pickle real?” French fries were an extra charge, only $3.25 and large enough and tasty enough and we shared a basket. Cute little basket it was modeled after a fryer basket. Better than other places were we have tried the French Fries, not greasy and done just right but what a surprise that a lunch didn’t come with the fries. Now what some would call the piece de resistance was the peanut butter pie, more like a brownie. served on a blanket of confectionary sugar a few squirts of chocolate, a nice dollop of whipped cream.  If this has any peanut butter in it I am a monkey’s uncle. Where is the peanut flavor? Maybe if we sing that song, Found a Peanut some flavor will appear?  Now I’m no pie maker but I bet I could make a better pie 10 miles from the kitchen on a rainy day with only a campfire. “Oh your such an exaggerating old coot you don’t even know how to boil water,” Bessy Marie the baker, the cook, the bottle washer and all around Kitchen Queen exclaimed, setting Olga in her place with that one. “Now hold on here that is just the point I am trying to make.”

We never care for a waiter or waitress who every time he or she passes our table says, “How is everything, are you enjoying your meal?” Well snorted Olga as long as I can keep defrosting the icicles that are forming at my nose so they don’t cut into my lip with each bite I will be okay.  Why do they always ask when you have just taken a bite of lunch and are chewing. Not talking with ones mouth full is a rule that one learns way back, most likely in dining at the table 101 for very young people, along with not spitting out your food, talking with your mouth full, farting, eating with your fingers, wiping your mouth with your sleeve and proper cutting into manageable size bites meat. But we loved her anyway. We always take kindly to our working class comrades and always  make sure to give them a great tip. Our little bubbly bee received $15.00 dollars from us and she thought we had made a mistake. Just take the money and run before we change our minds due to you questioning our judgement. Buy your self something nice and we hope you don’t declare the tip, just put it in your pocket and say, “those old gals, didn’t even leave me a penny.”

We are sure that you don’t make all that much due to the crummy laws in this state concerning what a place of business may pay a waiter or waitress. (1) Now if we ruled the place we would make it a law that all workers must start at a wage of $20.00 per hour. Any tips given for a job well done is for just that and one should not need to declare them.  You know honey a waiter or waitress works hard, always running on their feet all the time, serving all types of people, keeping orders straight, smiling, being nice and taking whatever shit a customer gives out. (2)

One thing this place has going for it is the restroom. They didn’t smell which is such a drawback in any restaurant and bar. These were clean. One was not afraid to park there naked butt on the toilet seat with no worry that a bit later, a itch would start and then another or a pimple would break out or a rash on the ass is no joy of living just because one had to pee using a strange toilet.

All in all we will give this restaurant 4.5 stars outta 10.

Overall this isn’t a place we would come back to. (more…)

La MaMa’s Squirts: Generations of Queer Performance

January 06 – January 15, 2017

Fridays & Saturdays at 10pm, Sundays at 6pm

The Club | 74a East 4th Street (3rd Floor)

Tickets $18 / $13 Students and Seniors

Curated and Hosted by Dan Fishback
Graphic Design by Lauren Denitzio

The Helix Queer Performance Network gathers some of the most exciting voices from NYC’s queer performance world for two weeks of theater, comedy, music, dance and conversation. For the fifth year in a row, we celebrate the legacy of community theatrics, multiple generations of queer genius, and the precocious audacity of the millennial mind. Each night of La MaMa’s Squirts features a different inter-generational pairing–six nights of duets to mend the queer generation gap, or at least bedazzle it. Helix is a collaboration between La MaMa, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics. ACCESSIBILITY: The Club at La MaMa is up two flights of stairs, with no available elevator.

For more information on the amazing artists that will be appearing go to HERE.