Archive for the ‘PRIDE’ Category

Coming Out Day!!

Posted: October 11, 2017 in for your reflection, PRIDE

Guess I have been out for so long I almost forgot about National Coming Out Day. Greetings to all who are out and come out today. A very big thank you to all of our LGBTQ groups that help guide the way for our young to make the leap OUT! In Hartford we thank the people at True Colors who have worked with our youth since 1992. Robin Mc Halen I thank you for your dedication and your guidance all of these years. One thing we know for certain is that folks will still have to come out both young and old so organizations that help in this process are some of the most important and revolutionary.

My coming out story is so different and I wish to share it here. I probably have over the years mentioned it to others. There I was 18 years old back in 1966 standing in my underwear with lots of other guys at the New Haven Induction Center. The war in Vietnam was on and I had already been a part of the protests against it. The big question came up. Are you a homosexual? Lots of things go through ones head when asked that big question. Exp. back then, before Stonewall, before all knew so much. I could lie like the next guy or take a cue from Randy Newman, (remember that singer who stood next to me) and said yes. Let’s be honest here. You know Uncle Sam doesn’t like fags and this fag doesn’t like Uncle Sam. I thing we called him Scam back then. But you know once you get that 4F it will follow you up until the day you die. They will ask you each time when you apply for a job, WHY? None of your business would put you out of business, being honest back then would not be the best route to take. So what is a young sissy to do. Are you a real homo, a practicing one? Honey I felt like saying, I don’t need any practice, I certainly know what I am doing and learning all I can. Do you have sex all the time with men? Yes I do. All the time and any time I can find someone I will have sex. I was sent to a doctor who felt my balls and rubbed my dick, I guess trying to get me hard as proof that a man could turn me on. You know young man there are a lot of boys who claim to be a homosexual that aren’t they are just trying to get out of being drafted. Well not me sir, yes I could be polite when I needed to be, no sir not me.

So that is the first time that I came out. After that all hell broke loose as to why I didn’t get drafted along with all of the other boys. Why wasn’t I going to kill the commies way over there in Vietnam. Well it was over at home as quick as I could finish opening my mouth. Out I was fleeing only with the shirt on my back and a comb in my pocket sticking out my thumb headed to the streets of NYC. Coming out back then was just as bad for some of us as it is still today. One thing is for certain, we had very little support back then. But you know that was only the first time in this coming out business. Coming out is over and over again through out ones life but now old me at 70 doesn’t really give a fuck what anyone thinks. I gave up that straight jacket a long time ago.

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We read many years ago that our LGBTQ stories had been suppressed, ignored, omitted, denied and erased. That straights wanting to grab the truth from us rewrote ourstories to suit their agenda and even many times the LGBT person chose the straight jacket over freedom and liberation. Over the last 50+ years our LGBTQ scholars, artists, our story makers have unlocked, kicked down and opened the many locked and closed doors that stood in the way of our people. We here at Furbirdsqueerly rejoice that they have given back to us that which was taken away that which was in the dark, that which was hidden between the lines. That place of not knowing was just another form of oppression keeping us all in down. As Socialist Feminist Nelly Wong said, “Exploring ideas and finding long hidden history (ourstories) is a form of finding voice.” If we ever wish to be truly liberated we must come from a place of a deep understanding of our people’s stories. We are fortunate to be living in these times when we can stand up out and proud where we can find our voice and be silent no more. Yes we can and must talk back to the oppressor. Our powerful movement for justice, freedom and liberation has come a long way since the days of Coopers Doughnuts, Compton’s Cafeteria and the Stonewall Inn but many of us realize that there is much more to do. We are being attacked daily by the present administration in Washington DC and all over the country we see our rights slowly eroding. The fascist right is on the rise and we are a targeted group. We must talk back now more than ever and we must begin to realize that reform which the LGBT movement has been so good at is a dismal failure. If we do not unite with others who are oppressed and fight back against this current threat then we shall go down in which ever way the right choses. Make no mistake about it we will go down.

Many times over the years we have been at the center of controversy when we have tried hard to get our LGBT sisters and brothers to understand that single issue fight is a dead end. So many times with the small victories that have been ours we think, “The battle has been won.” Then years later we see that our hard fought for rights are under attack and we are in the position to lose ground. Again let us remember that “the single issue is a dead end issue. It is an inevitable violation of revolutionary clarity, integrity and responsibility yet it persists because the ruling class confers respectability upon it.” …Clara Frazer. Ms. Frazer agrees that even if we win reforms on single issues like abortion rights, we wind up fighting to retain them year after year. Feminist Socialist Gloria Martin 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 is our moto and this is our hope and this is what we work for.

ALL POWER TO A UNITED FRONT!! STAND AGAINST THE NEO NAZIS!! STAND AGAINST THE RIGHT!! STAND AGAINST CAPTIALISM!!

Note: Many articles are found over in our pages section that trace ourstories and events and struggles that we at Furbirdsqueerly has been involved in. Check them out during this LGBTQ Ourstory month. 

We remember this quite well. We stood in support of the Panthers in New Haven along with the Gay Liberation Front of NYC. We know that the government will use any trick in the book to destroy the revolutionary liberation movements and we must stand ready to fight them off. Today the FBI is doing the same with the Black Lives Matter movement and Queers of all colors must stand in support of BLM.

Revolutionary LGBT history: The Black Panthers supported gay rights.

By Serena Freewomyn, as published on the Bilerico Report.

Many people like to criticize the Black Panthers by saying that they were racist, sexist, and/or homophobic, but this is just an attempt to delegitimize one of the most revolutionary organizations this country has ever known. White people especially hold onto these claims and ignore the many social programs that the Panthers provided: health care, free breakfasts for kids, clothing distributions, police patrols . . . the list goes on. This post is not going to be a summary of all the things that the Panthers did for their community. This post is meant as a response to those who would slander the Black Panthers with charges of homophobia and sexism.

In his book We Want Freedom: A Life in the Black Panther Party, Mumia Abu-Jamal deals specifically with the issue of sexism within The Black Panther Party.
The great African American educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), a major force in the Black women’s club movement in the 1920’s and 30’s, called on women to “go to the front and take our rightful place; fight our battles and claim our victories.” Women tried to do this in the heyday of the Black Liberation movement, as well as during the Civil Rights movement, with varying degrees of success. In these movements, women generally were relegated to subordinate roles and were virtually invisible within the hierarchy of the organizations, even though they provided the bulk of memberships and labor. . . .

It is with a focus on these macho and misogynist attitudes that much of the popular press has examined the role of Black women in the Black Panther Party. in The Shadow of the Panther, Hugh Pearson, who had no discernable background in the Black Liberation movement, and therefore no firsthand knowledge of what he wrote, damned the Black Panther Party’s “routine” mistreatment of women as both wide-ranging and “flagrant.” Peterson relied on three BPP insiders, “those who would never forgive Huey for what he did to the party,” and on “nonblacks who had been affiliated with Newton and the party,” whom he found to be the “easiest” sources for him to interview. It is not surprising that he comes to flawed conclusions upon these limited and biased sources. . . .
While it may be proper to be sharply critical of the Black Liberation movement generally, it is also proper to give credit where credit is due. For the undeniable truth is that the Black Panther Party, for ideological reasons and for reasons of sheer survival, gave the women of the BPP far more opportunities to lead and to influence the organization than any of its contemporaries, in white or Black radical formations. . . .

And point seven of the BPP 8 Points of Attention in the Party’s rules states, “Do not take liberties with women,” showing an awareness that sexual misconduct must be confronted within the Party. Kathleen Cleaver writes, “In 1970 the Black Panther Party took a formal position on the liberation of women. Did the U.S. Congress make any statement on the liberation of women? . . . Did the Oakland police issue a position against gender discrimination?” (p. 159-162) (more…)

Yes we are old fashion we refuse to use (his)-story month. Its all of ours not just his so we use ourstory. Let’s begin with the great sign.

and may we add fuck you if you don’t like it.

Check out this article published on Socialist Action site and written by Jericho Jones. It expresses much of what we are feeling about PRIDE now-a-days. Will the LGBT community ever give up their bourgeois leanings and once again as in years past join with our revolutionary queers and comrades? We do not seem to think that they will. Please before anyone says, well furbird you must go to PRIDE and pound away, block the route, scream and yell, educate. Well be goodness sakes, we have been trying that since back in the day. Been there done that. We know the day will come when the LGBT community sees the light, (hopefully) and understands. Hopefully but brothers, sisters, comrades we at our age are not going to hold our breath.

PRIDE 2017 (Photo from the Article)

 

Jericho Jones begins the excellent article this way:

“This time of year we have reason to look with rejoicing at Gay Pride celebrations around the world. Their number, persistence, and exuberance were unimaginable to this lonely queer kid growing up in the 1970s. To think there was any place you could be openly, even flagrantly gay was like oxygen. Today, hundreds of pride celebrations offer queer kids almost anywhere the hope of finding a place of relative freedom.

Yet in spite of our advances, we still live under the threat of violence driven by hate. Not two weeks ago, we marked the first anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the deadliest mass shooting by one person in U.S. history. Barely a week seems to pass between reports of vicious and deadly attacks on transsexual women. Stonewall may have been nearly 50 years ago, but we are still awash in hate.

Experience shows that facts and argument don’t counter hate, but knowing a queer person and feeling empathy can. Decades of painful, frequently dangerous coming out have given many of us a world where queer people can hope to find a place to live and prosper. The importance of showing pride to the world hasn’t become any less urgent.

Even so, Gay Pride is the season of ambivalence for me. Early on, it represented a radical demonstration that queer people not only refuse to be silent but insist on making their presence undeniable. In the years since, it has become something distinctly different. What once celebrated the freewheeling sense of possibility at the heart of queer life has become an opportunity for corporate marketing and for solidarity among queers who happen to live and look like the majority.”

To read the rest of the article go to HERE:

Jericho ends this way:

“These queer forbearers showed us that change does not come from appealing to wealth and power, but from standing against them without apology. The struggles for Black civil rights and the history of the labor movement showed us the same. That Pride would leave trans people and queer people of color behind is unconscionable. Red Rose Socialists stands—always—with the marginalized, the powerless, and the voiceless in their struggles.”

Furbirdsqueerly stands in full support of this letter and in full support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Not Like This — #NoPrideHere
By #BlackLivesMatter NYC

Let us start off by saying that we stand in full solidarity with our siblings of the Toronto Chapter of #BlackLivesMatter. We have been inspired by the strategic moves made by the TO team, including the chapters decision to not attend PRIDE this year in order to spotlight the reality of anti-blackness in all areas of society. PRIDE is shared on the same day in both Toronto and New York City. We like our Toronto comrades, write this public statement to PRIDE NYC organizers, the Gay Officers Action League-NY (GOAL-NY) and the NYPD in declaring the following:

  • the removal of uniformed police and PRIDE-detailed vehicles from the NYC Pride parade. As a human rights organization, GOAL-NY should be addressing the issues of local public safety issues within the NYPD Black and Brown communities across all precincts in NYC especially among those who identify as LGBTIQ, starting with supporting the Right to Know Act
  • a commitment to transform the culture and events of PRIDE to center the lives of of those most marginalized — queer and transgender Black communities.
  • the honoring of our ancestors and elders with true integrity of their radical existence. It was Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transwoman, who was one of the first to resist the attacks on Stonewall Inn by the NYPD. It was Miss Major, a Black transwoman, who continues to stand with the current queer and transgender organizers as we push back against a system that deems us disposable both in life and death.

As many people in NYC fawn over the NYPD’s participation in Pride events, we cannot forget the dangers that one of the biggest military forces poses to Black communities. In standing with BLM-Toronto, we must call to awareness the hyper-militarization of local police. Along with such awareness, we must stomach the death of Mx Bostick; a Black trans woman murdered here in NYC this past spring. We must acknowledge the daily taunting and threat to trans women of color as they ride the train. We must remember that Islan Nettles’ head was bashed into the sidewalk just outside of Precinct 147 in Harlem after a coward realized she was a trans woman.

We know that 92% of those arrested for fare beating are Black & Brown folks, and we have accounts of how trans women, who are among the most impoverished communities, are treated by the NYPD for something as simple as not having $2.75 for public transportation. This is what has led us to work with others in New York City in organizing our #SwipeitForward campaign. We connect the increase in violence against trans women of color to the deaths of Black immigrants like David Felix, murdered by an NYPD detective and his body not claimed for 21-days. We see all of those issues, happening here locally, as a reflection of the racist, transphobic, and homophobic rhetoric we have spewing from those as high up as the White House. (more…)

Celebrate the Victories and Fight Like Hell To Defend Them.

In from Radical Women and Freedom Socialist Party

 

When arch conservative Anita Bryant crusaded against gay rights in the 1970s, the queer community fought back. Not every battle was won, but the stage was set across the U.S. for increasing rights.

When Ronald Reagan maintained a deadly silence in the early 1980s as the AIDS/HIV crisis escalated, with his fascist-loving communications director, Pat Buchanan, calling AIDS “nature’s revenge on gay men,” the LGBTQ community Acted Up.

When white supremacists with an ugly homophobic, multi-issue agenda declared their intention to turn the Northwest into an Aryan Homeland, also in the Reagan/Bush years, leaders in the Seattle lesbian and gay community became key to the success of the United Front Against Fascism, alongside Black, feminist, socialist, and union activists. Together they mobilized a movement that met the skinheads and KKK wherever they gathered publicly.

Now the hard right is once again in the White House and on the streets of our country.

Time to make radical alliances with the right’s intended victims

Queer history is one of being in the forefront against the turn-back-the-clockers — in our own defense and in defense of every group they target. We have a heritage to flaunt and live up to!

As in the past, now is the time to make common cause with our natural allies — victims of police terror and racial bigotry, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, women who face the prospect of losing their reproductive rights, unions under attack by the “right to work” Freedom Foundation — in short, working people of many colors and descriptions. Fighting together and defending each other, we are strong; separated, we are easy prey for corporate CEOs and their stormtroopers whose final goal is to save the profit system by reducing the working class to zombie wage slaves.

Today the country needs an outpouring of many radical united fronts that live by the slogan “An injury to one is an injury to all!”

Total liberation, nothing less!

LGBTQ people have resisted oppression at least since the witch hunts of the 15th century. We are not about to have our lavender lives suffocated now! Everything won with blood, sweat and sacrifice over the past 50 years is on the line.

To keep advancing, we will stand up for ourselves and for the workers making unlivable wages and for the immigrants maligned, harassed and deported — who are also us! We will stand up for all our sister and brother “outsiders.” We will rely on our own ability, not politicians, to mobilize the forces to fight for justice and freedom for all. We will be a battalion in the army of the oppressed, confident in the knowledge that the future belongs to the multi-hued international working class. We will not be pushed back into the closet. Instead, we will finish the revolution for human liberation we started.