Archive for the ‘Queer Thoughts’ Category

Hello to all

Important things have been happening in the background and a rumbling is heard. I am very proud to announce that Jerimarie Liesegang has finished her video documentary on Sylvia Rivera. The documentary Sylvia Rivera Was More Than Stonewall is one of the few possibly the only one that looks at the complete life of this Revolutionary Transgender Warrior. Twenty years ago I was honored to introduce Sylvia at the Ct. Stonewall Congress and to this day hold her dear in my heart. What fun myself, Regina Dyton, Tim, Paul and a few others had visiting with Sylvia and her family outside as we smoked and laughed and then laughed again. Sylvia indeed as a revolutionary Trans leader whose words ring true today. Sylvia who believed in a multi issue revolutionary movement where all of us were and are included. Sylvia who fought hard for her people in the Trans community and was thrown off the bus, and under the bus so many times.

We need more Sylvia’s in our movement today. If there were we all know the one issue or issues only of a LGBT nature would not exist. We would understand and see the connections with all other communities and not only act when it involves a LGBT person. We would understand fully that when the bombs drop on the people of Palestine it is our issue. We would know that when Democrat or Republican deports immigrants it is our issue. We would fully understand that when people all across this country can not afford medication that is needed, or a home to live in it is our issue. We would fight back when the least among us are hurting and become one with all. This I believe is what Sylvia Rivera would do as she proved over and over again this is what must be done. This was the inspiration that pushed us towards a new day before a wrong road was taken so many years ago. We must, let us repeat that we must move back to those days when we fully understood that we are here, there, and everywhere so there for all issues are our issues. It is the only way we will survive.

Anyway there I go again up on the soapbox but wanted to give just my little introduction to Jeri’s video.  Of course this type of work is best viewed on full screen for a full viewing pleasure. While you are over at the Ct. Trans Archive page check out all the work that Jeri has been doing lately as she posts and gets her archives in order to send down to CCSU.

My best to everyone
Richard Nelson

P.S A birdie told me a new Ct. movement documentary is now in the works. It’s good folks really good or so the birdie saw.

The documentary is found here:

Full Length (cradle to grave) documentary on Sylvia Rivera

Before moving to Hartford Ct. I lived in the woods of The Maverick, nine miles outside and over the mountain from Woodstock NY. (1) I lived in what I called an elegant shack the last place going up the mountain. The only modern convenience that I had was electricity. Very rustic living to say the least. It took me one time, one winter morning to understand why the outhouse seat was not attached after what seemed like leaving have the skin on my ass behind on the cold seat. The toilet seat then took up residence behind the woodstove where I cooked, and melted snow to take a bath. Clean water for drinking and cooking was courtesy of the artist I worked for in the summer and in the winter from a woman I did odd jobs for including babysitting her two year old. She was an herbalist and from her I learned about the wild herbs and their healing powers. We collected in the summer, dried the herbs in the old studio at the back of my shack. Screens of Red Clover blossoms, Queen Anne’s Lace seeds, Plantain, tied together in bunches, Yarrow, Tansy, Peppermint, Nettles, Comfrey from the garden. Susan and I would go on nature walks up the mountain and over following old trails. An old farm was our destination long since abandoned where fields of Dandelion awaited us and many of the herbs that Susan used grew in the area. In the fall I picked apples from the abandoned orchard and made applesauce.

During my years on the Maverick I heard many stories about Hervey White and the “good old days” of the artists that gathered there, the festivals, the free love, the feeling of living freely from the powers that tried to tame the creative spirit on the other side of the mountain and in America. Hervey White intrigued me as a revolutionary Socialist, artist, free thinking creative person. Lucille Blanch an artist who came to the Maverick as a young artist and who was still going strong painting daily live in a little white house with a “host of daffodils” growing all along her stonewalls and around her yard. “Just dig up the bulb and throw it, it will come up again,” was her direction in thinning out the plants. I worked for her doing odd jobs and helping out where I could.  But in all my talks with quite a number of folks who lived on the Maverick or who had been living in Woodstock for years no one ever mentioned that Hervey White was a Bisexual man. At the time when he was alive it was a “open secret” or so some say.

Hervey White

Hervey White

“I will do what I like and go where I like without money, paying for my living as I go. Good advice has never driven it out of me.”

So begins our story of a man named Hervey White. A socialist, utopian thinker, Bisexual/Gay man, poet, writer, publisher, builder and philosopher on art and what it could be. White along with  Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead whom he had met at Jane Adams Hull House in Chicago, founded the Brydcliff Art Colony in Woodstock ( 2 ) and after awhile White grew tired of the bourgeois notions of art and life, that was dictated by Whitehead saying of him, “He would only employ people he could dictate to,” White wrote later, “and no self-respecting artist would ever stand for his dictation.”  bought a farm in West Hurley and so began the Maverick art colony. A running joke among some old timers I met in the Maverick was that Hervy White came to this side of the mountain because all the water ran down the other side and he thought that at Byrdcliff people took far too many baths. We read this about Hervey White: In 1905, White purchased a farm just outside Woodstock with Fritz van der Loo and Carl Eric Lindin, intended as a rustic haven for the three friends and their families. It quickly transformed into an intellectual meeting place and was named the Maverick; artists, writers, and musicians took up residence in minimalistic houses, usually little more than shacks, built on the property. White’s short-lived marriage to Byrdcliffe printmaker Vivian Bevans ended in 1908. According to Tom Wolff writing Hervey White”s Maverick Community and Its Artists “we learn White’s homosexual leanings, addressed overtly in his writings, are a possible cause. White would go on to build the Maverick into a thriving community with makeshift studios, a printing press, and a steady output of publications devoted to literature and the visual arts, most notably The Wild Hawk and The Plowshare. Hervey White even while espousing socialism lived as an anarchist, living according to his principles and never sold out to the bankers, the elite, the bourgeoise, to pretense, societies expectations of what a person should be. He expressed his love for men. Leaving us to wonder who these men were, these lovers of his. We look over the photo’s of the men involved with the Maverick community and wonder which ones. I suppose we could guess and our gaydar leads us to some of them. Where they only experimenting with the leader, the catch, the cool, were they true lovers or just a one-sided sexual encounter and then they ran back to their wives?

In The Land of Tomorrow Hervey wrote …”Here I sit on this lofty hill beside a ruin of which all archeologists have read, and I am thinking of Marselino, and how beautiful he is, and how he is going tomorrow and I will never look far back into those deep dark liquid love wells more. How surprised I was yesterday to see the difference in the color of our hands when clasped; his, so dark, almost as dark as a negro’s yet having nothing of the smoky greasy black, but a clear bronze.

Both the ruins and the view from this mountain top are grand, but I am tired now and heartsick. Still I will remember all as long as I live. If I forget the heart sickness no matter…I went to the river with them [the other Mexican hands] and as were riding together, he told me again how often he would think of me, he and Catalina [“his intended”] together, and how he would write, and he would be very angry if I did not send him a photograph for I was his dearest friend and then slowly:

‘I care a great deal for you.’

And when I replied that I liked him better than all the others he said simply: ‘I know.’

I could look at him then, and I saw the lines around the beautiful mouth were quivering and drawing, and his throat was writhing. He turned toward me quickly and his eyes met mine. Ah, the shining of those eyes! He smiled; and I saw in every feature that he was saying, “It is hard to bear, but we are strong.”

He was gay when we parted; but the soft tender light was shining in his eyes. As he pulled his horse about and took off his hat waving a last laughing lingering good bye, he made the most beautiful picture I have ever seen.”

The Land of Tomorrow created a stir for it announced White’s homosexuality.

Hervey White as Pan Maverick Festival

The Maverick Festivals began in 1915 as a means to raise money to dig a well for the Maverick community. The festival was conceived as a bohemian carnival filled with communal spirit to be held during the afternoon and evening of the August full moon. A theatrical spectacle began after dark with performances by artists, musicians and local people followed by a costume ball. Attendance at the festival grew and grew and became more and more difficult to control and by 1929 it was reported that over 6,000 people were in attendance. In 1931 White suspended the festival. While living on the Maverick Lucille Blanch told me of the wonderful parties that were held back “when I was young.” This is a picture of Lucille from a festival in 1922. (more…)

It’s Been Twenty Years and We Are Still Remembering!
By Jerimarie Liesegang

In 1999, Gwendolyn Ann Smith started the Transgender Day of Remembrance to memorialize the murder of (transgender woman) Rita Hester (a East Hartford Native) in Allston, Massachusetts. The TDOR has slowly evolved from the Remembering Our Dead Names list started by Smith into a national and then an international Remembrance and day of action.
In 2002, Ct TransAdvocacy (It’s Time, Connecticut) held Connecticut’s first Transgender DOR (Click here to view the 2002 event on CtTransArchives). In that year we remembered 15 US transwomen brutally murdered, many of them trans women of color. Including the brutal murder of Gwen Araujo, a 17 year old who had been living in their preferred gender role for approximately a year and a half. During a house party, she was revealed to have been more a male. After this revelation, at least three individuals allegedly beat her, dragged her into a garage, and strangled her, before disposing of her body in a remote location 150 miles away.

Yesterday the NYTimes ran an article with the title:

18 TRANSGENDER KILLINGS THIS YEAR RAISE FEARS OF AN ‘EPIDEMIC’
The killings, many of them against transgender women of color, have deeply disturbed groups already familiar with threats to their safety.
According to this article, the AMA is declaring the alarming rate of Trans Murders an epidemic. In the United States this year, at least 18 transgender people — most of them transgender women of color — have been killed in a wave of violence that the American Medical Association has declared an “epidemic.” The killings, which have been reported across the country, have for some prompted a heightened sense of vigilance.

And of course we must note that statistics do not capture the full list of Trans murders since many go unreported, dismissed as a murder of a sex worker, not to mention the many hate crimes other than the ultimate crime of murder. A well known example is the highly probable murder of Marsha P. Johnson. (per wiki: Shortly after the 1992 pride parade, Johnson’s body was discovered floating in the Hudson River. Police initially ruled the death a suicide, but Johnson’s friends and other members of the local community insisted Johnson was not suicidal and noted that the back of Johnson’s head had a massive wound.)

I had never thought that on that day of November 20th, 2002, that we would be remembering AT LEAST 18 brutal US Murders in 2019 ~ Twenty Years after the first Official Remembering Our Trans Dead!!!! We need to continue to remember each year, if not each day, and say Presente! for each of our trans comrades who have been brutally murdered simply for being who they are. BUT we must do more than just remember, since for far too many years, even preceding 1999, we continue to loose our families due to Hate and insensitivity to sex/gender fluidity. I recall that after Gwen’s murder, we had discussions that the community needs to work with our youth to empower them to learn how to be Out and assure they maintain safe surroundings, especially when having sex. Though we know the issue is much deeper and more complex than that simple view. I do view this in two lenses: (more…)

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.)

Amber Stewart has a wonderful new article found on Th-ink Queerly. She begins her essay with a quote from our dear comrade Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore who had this to say.

“The radical potential of queer identity lies in remaining outside — in challenging and seeking to dismantle the sickening culture that surrounds us.” — Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

Here is what Amber has to say at the start of the essay:

“Getting ready to do some research, I pull a book down off my shelf. On it’s cover, a glitter-covered mouth, smeared lipstick, teeth barred in anger, or maybe determination. I open it, and three fliers advertising protests fall out, reminding me of a different time and place. I bought this book, That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation, when I was in college, spending my Saturday mornings escorting patients into an abortion clinic, and Saturday nights giving and attending talks on the intersection of Marxism and feminism.

This is when my identity as a queer woman was forged.

It was not forged in the banquet halls of the Human Rights Campaign, but in the streets, protesting against police brutality, discriminatory immigration practices, and rape culture. We were asking, not just for equal pay for equal work, but for work to be redefined as a collective action, something that could benefit all of us, not just companies.

I was an idealist.

I wanted to agitate for queer rights, but for me, that meant calling for the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (RIP). It meant making sure that same-sex couples could get green cards, regardless of their marriage status. It meant supporting the legalization of sex work.

What it did not mean was fighting for gay marriage.”

To read the rest of this article go to HERE.

Amber has this wonderful ending:

“So I’m lobbying for the “Q” to be removed from the acronym.

I want us to stop using “queer” as a catch-all. I do not ask this out of stubbornness or nostalgia, but because I believe it is important that the community keep space for outside the box thinking. I think it’s important that we have a term we can use when referring to something that is just ours. I think it’s important that we remember that we can still be full of radical potential.”

About Th-Ink Queerly

Th-ink Queerly is a LGBTQ+ thought leadership magazine that challenges the hegemonic status quo, disrupts prejudice, and demonstrates our vital role in society to improve humanity.
Note from the editor
Th-ink Queerly is grounded in self-examination and leadership. As LGBTQ+ people we harness our self-awareness to demonstrate our necessary role in society. We promote thoughtful dialogue that seeks to improve humanity and equal rights for all. We critique the status quo — challenging rigid doctrines, heteronormativity, patriarchy, bigotry, and radicalized ideologies — and offer solutions to create a more loving and accepting world. If you would like to contribute to Th-Ink Queerly, please review the “Submission” guidelines.

 

From Fight Back News

45,000 Demand Queer Liberation in NYC
By Michela Martinazzi | June 30, 2019
Read more articles in LGBTQ

Members of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression in alternative Pride march. (FightBack!News/Staff)

New York, NY – On Sunday, June 30, 45,000 marched in the alternative Pride in protest of the corporatized World Pride event happening at the same time. The rally and march were organized by the Reclaim Pride Coalition, which formed as a response to last year’s Manhattan Pride celebration.

Every year, the city of Manhattan hosts one of the largest Pride parades in the world. As Manhattan is the birthplace of Pride, it’s fitting that the city should celebrate the monumental event of the Stonewall riots. However, as decades pass, Pride has turned from a militant march to a corporate parade. Last year was exceptionally glaring, as all the activists and organizers were placed at the end of the parade to let the cops, banks, electoral candidates, etc. lead the parade. A few groups attempted to resist and protest at the Pride parade last year, but it was clear that what was once a space for queer people to fight back had been taken over by corporate interests.

Organizers stated, “The 2019 Queer Liberation March is a people’s political march – no corporate floats, and no police in our march. This is a truly grassroots action that will mobilize the community to address the many social and political battles that continue to be fought locally, nationally and globally. We recognize the powerful legacy of the Stonewall Rebellion by highlighting the most marginalized members of our community.”

The march kicked off at Sheridan Square, opposite the Stonewall Inn, and thousands marched uptown to Bryant Park, where they picked up several thousands more. The route followed the original route marched by the Gay Liberation Front on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riot.
Throughout the whole march, people chanted about everything from Palestine, Black Lives Matter, immigration, to anti-war and anti-cop. Whenever the marchers passed an anti-people establishment, such as Chik-Fil-A or a Trump building, they would rowdily chant at it.

The march was completely unpermitted with very few cops present. The march ended in Central Park on the Great Lawn. Everyone gathered to listen to speeches, music, and celebrate being queer and militant. The rally opened with living members of the Gay Liberation Front, many who had been at Stonewall on that fateful evening. Speeches talked about needing queer liberation alongside the liberation of Palestine, fighting for climate change, acknowledging that they were speaking on stolen land, and needing a revolution to fully be free. The messaging of the day was that we will not be free until all of us are.

Check out photo’s and more at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reclaimpridenyc/