Archive for the ‘Our Stories’ Category

We heard this song many years ago and thought of it today after reading a statement on PRIDE written by Lady Bunny.

Lady Bunny schools us, well.

“Let’s cancel gay pride! Instead, let’s just fight over the f#cking flag this year! Let’s fight over the correct terms for everybody. Let’s dismiss everyone who doesn’t want to transition as a privileged cisgender. Let’s spar over the name of our own damn community–is it gay, LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA or did we bring back two spirits yet? I also saw a Y in there recently and have no idea what that even is. Let’s admit right now that we hate each other as a community, and that we’re too ungrateful to celebrate the freedoms which we do have once a year. Let’s compartmentalize ourselves into bears, twinks, butches, femmes, trans, tops, bottoms and those who claim they have no gender to further divide an already small community which does not have rights to equal housing and employment. And we’re even barred from using the bathrooms of their choice in some states! That’s a surefire way to make sure we’ll never get equal rights. Let’s boil it down to the tiniest arguments which will mean nothing in six months or even six days. If we took the energy and vitriol we reserved to pounce on one flag variation in one city and turned it on those who seek to destroy our rights, we’d be running the world tomorrow and we’d all have gorgeous new hairstyles to boot.
And in our supreme jadedness of which I am also guilty, let’s try and remember that there are young members of our own tribe who have gotten nothing but soul-destroying messages from their schoolmates, their churches and even from their families. Do they need our help? They need to see large groups of their own tribe in a festive environment so that they don’t feel so alone. They need to see happy and proud gay, lesbian, transsexual and every color of the rainbow folk actually liking and supporting each other. Or would youth even want to join this community if they saw the way we’ve been acting lately?”

Those few words indeed sum up the nights in June 1969 of the Stonewall Rebellion. The words were spoken by Storme’ DeLarverie. Many thanks to Marc Burns for sending us this article.

“She was cut from the movie, his-story was rewritten as usual, but let’s set the record straight (no pun intended): a butch lesbian was responsible for starting the first Stonewall riot at 1:20 a.m. on June 28, 1969. That night, a brave woman of color, Stormé DeLarverie was hit on the head with a billy club and handcuffed. She was bleeding from the head when she brazenly turned to the crowd and hollered, “WHY DON’T YOU DO SOMETHING!?”

After a long struggle, Stormé was dragged into a paddy wagon and that’s when the scene exploded. That summer night a revolution began and it was a strong butch woman of color that is reported to have thrown the first punch. Exactly one year later, on June 28,1970, the first Pride parade took place. It was more of a political demonstration in response to what happened at Stonewall.”The Stonewall Inn was owned and operated by the Mafia. They checked through a peephole before you could enter, and if you weren’t gay, you weren’t getting into the club. When police officers would barge in, it meant trouble. Back then, cross-dressing was illegal and you could be arrested for not wearing a certain number of “gender-appropriate” articles of clothing.

“Stormé DeLarverie, who was born to an African American mother and a white father in the 1920s, performed as a drag king and was one of several “butch” lesbians that fought against the police on the night of the riots. When Stormé threw the very first punch that night, it was in self-defense. “The cop hit me, and I hit him back,” Stormé recounted.”Stormé DeLarverie served the lesbian community for decades as a volunteer street patrol worker. She patrolled the lesbian bars to keep what she lovingly referred to as her “baby girls” safe. She was androgynous, tall, dark, handsome and legally armed. She did this all the way up until she was 80-something-years-old, retiring in the early 2000s. In 2017, there are less than a handful of lesbian bars remaining in the U.S. The last remaining lesbian bar in San Francisco, the Lexington Club, closed its doors in 2015. Stormé is fondly remembered as a “gay superhero”—a fearless protector of the lesbian spaces that have all but gone extinct “Stormé DeLarverie died in her sleep in Brooklyn on May 24, 2014.”

king_storme.jpg (19055 bytes)

Let’s hear it from the Stonewall Vets web site about Storme’

K. Stormé DeLarverie was born ‘way down yonder’ in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It was incredibly not long after the end of World War I (One) on Christmas Eve, December 24 of 1920 — ironically and prophetically, the year that American women won the right to vote in America!  To quote Stormé:  “I’ve been fighting for the Gay community ever since!”  Stormé has a silvery baritone voice with a jazz-oriented sound.  In the 1940s, Stormé was a solo performer with a three-piece band.  Stormé is probably best known for being part of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, a popular “drag” performance group which toured America — not always under the best of accommodations or circumstances.

The Jewel Box Revue ensemble was composed of two dozen males dressed beautifully and seductively as females and one biological female dressed very gentlemanly and convincingly as a man:  Stormé!  It’s a role he does persuasively on stage and off.  During the 1950s and the 1960s, Stormé was the Jewel Box’s only male impersonator.  He did so as a fine gentleman.  The entertaining uniqueness was that the entire talented troupe were in gender-bender roles — all except one!  The “J.B.” was a forerunner to the Broadway musical of the mid-1980s, “La Cage aux Folles”.  Unlike the latter, the J.B. confronted acceptance, joyousness, praise and fulfillment on one side but segregation, prejudice, scorn and sadness on the other side of the coin. (more…)

This collection contains essays on LGBT Liberation.

1.We Take No Pride Leaflet passed out a Pride in 2002.

2. Political Pride Federal Building, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Queers Without Borders Pride Leaflet, not dated.

4. No Drag Queens at Stonewall you say? We say take a flying fuck.

5. Two very important essays containing information on the history of our movement here in Ct. Found HERE.

6. Holy Matrimony Batman, essay by Jeri Marie Liesegang.

7. Somewhere along the way the movement for liberation  was hijacked and these, marriage and the right to serve in the military became the cause of the moment. Yes, we know straights will like you better if you’re just like them and please don’t forget the only difference is what you do in bed.  10 Essays on Marriage and the Military.

New York City. 1970

OH ART OH PRESS RELEASE……..OH ART OH PRESS RELEASE……….OH ART OH PRESS RELEASE……….OH ART OH PRESS RELEASE……….OH ART OR PRESS RELEASE

Mrs. Emma O. Furbird & Miss Cassey Role

News to Amuse Bulletin #36

BEES SWARM AT OPENING! ART PATRONS STAMPEDE!

SAN DIEGO-CALIF.– AN AFTERNOON TEA AND ART OPENING ON TUESDAY AT THE GADTONE GALLERY ENDED ABRUPTLY AND TURNED INTO A WILD MELEE. HUNDREDS OF BEES CAME SWARMING DOWN FROM THE CEILING OF THE GALLERY STARTLING PATRONS AT A SHOW ENTITLED DANGER/ART. ACCORDING TO EYEWITNESSES AT THE OPENING, PATRONS IN THEIR HASTE TO GET TO THE EXIT DOORS KNOCKED OVER TABLES OF FOOD AND BEVERAGES, DAMGED WORKDS OF ART, AND A WOMEN WAS INJURED WHEN SHE WAS PUSHED AND LANDED FACE DOWN IN MARY VITO’S SCULPTURE, “LARGE WHITE EGGS HIDDEN IN FINE SAND”,CAUSING MASSIVE DAMAGE TO THE WORK OF ART. THE WOMEN REQUIRED MEDICAL ATTENTION AND AN AMBULANCE WAS SUMMONED.

“I THOUGHT AT FIRST THAT I WAS WITNESSING SOME FORM OF ARTISTIC PROJECTION,” STATED JEAN JONES, “BUT THEN I REALIZE THAT THE BEES WERE INDEED REAL WHEN ONE BUZZED PAST MY EAR.” I GOT THE HELL OUT OF THERE REAL FAST.” IN A STATEMENT TO OUR ROVING REPORTER ROSE BUSH OUR NEWS TO AMUSE REPORTER, MR. HALVIN GATONE OWNER OF THE GALLERY SAID, “WE APOLOGY TO OUR GALLERY ARTISTS AND PATRONS.” “WE DO NOT KNOW HOW THE BEES ENTERED THE GALLERY, AND WILL BE DOING EXTENSIVE SEARCH FOR ANY POSSIBLE INGRESS POINTS.

OTHER WORKS OF ART BESIDES VITO’S THAT WERE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED IN THE PANIC WERE, BILLY CRISIS VIEDO SYSTEM FOR, “NO BEEPING WHILE BACKING UP TRUCK”, MISSY WRIGHT’S STRING CONSTRUCTION, “DON’T TRIP ON THIS OR A BUCKET OF WATER WILL LAND ON YOUR HEAD.” (IT WORKED) AND FARMER BROWN’S “HUNGRY PIG IN A PEN,” WHICH DURING THE EXCITEMENT BROKE LOOSE FROM ITS CONFINES, RAN MADLY ABOUT THE GALLERY, STARTLING PATRONS FUTHER, AND FINALLY STOPPED TO GOBBLE UP ALL THE FOOD WHICH HAD FALLEN ON THE FLOOR.

“ALL IN ALL IT WAS A VERY WILD AFTERNOON,’ MS. JONES STATED.

…..OH ART OH MAIL ART GALLERY, NEWS TO AMUSE BULLETINE #36, DECEMBER 1990.

 

Note on this work: Before the Onion, before fake news this bulletin was #36 in a series of news to amuse bulletins that our mail art gallery attendants Mrs. Emma O. Furbird and Ms. Cassey Role sent out to our mailing list. When visiting at a gallery show the other day I thought of this one when I noticed a lot of yellowed ghost tape marks on the ceiling of the gallery and said, “Let me go to the book of written works and find Bees Swarm At Opening, Art Patrons Stampede. Sure enough I did find the piece so I want to share it with all of you.

CHELSEA MANNING

International Victory Day!

May 17, 2017

DEFEND ALL WHISTLEBLOWERS

Chelsea Manning is going to be free! Celebrate with us!

Chelsea Mannings 35-year sentence was commuted by Obama. It was a victory for Chelsea of course, but also for all of us in many countries who supported her and benefited from her courageous whistleblowing: the international women and lgbtq movements, the anti-war and anti-racist movements, the movements of whistleblowers, war veterans, refuseniks and everyone who stands for justice.

On May 17, we celebrate Chelsea’s freedom in many cities:

So far events that we know of are also planned in Auckland (New Zealand), Beer Sheva Israel (organized by refusenik pilot Yonatan Shapiro, near prison where Palestinians are on hunger strike), Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Dublin (Ireland), London, Manheim (Germany), Philadelphia  and Seattle.

WE INVITE YOU TO ORGANIZE AN EVENT, no matter how small: a protest, a vigil, a party.  Please send us news of your event and we’ll help publicize it.

I watched the world change from inside prison walls and through the letters that I have received from veterans, trans young people, parents, politicians and artists. My spirits were lifted in dark times, reading of their support, sharing in their triumphs, and helping them through challenges of their own. I hope to take the lessons that I have learned, the love that I have been given, and the hope that I have to work toward making life better for others.  – from Chelsea’s statement on her upcoming release (more…)

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…)