Archive for the ‘Thank You’ Category

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.)

Powerful Gay Rights Groups Excluded Trans People for Decades — Leaving Them Vulnerable to Trump’s Attack
The LGBTQ community needs to grapple with its history of ignoring its most vulnerable members

By Evan Greer

The U.S. government is reportedly considering policy changes that would attempt to definitionally “erase” transgender and non-binary people from federal civil rights law. In practice, this could make it nearly impossible for many of us to get a driver’s license or passport, go to the doctor for basic medical care, get food stamps or rent an apartment.
An attack on marginalized people from the administration behind family separation policies and Muslim travel bans is hardly a surprise. But there’s a reason the transgender community is in the government’s crosshairs. There was a target painted on our backs. And it was put there not just by the religious right and gender essentialist crusaders, but by the mainstream gay rights movement, which for the better part of the last century has repeatedly backed away from — and sometimes even fought on the wrong side of — the battles that most affect trans and gender nonconforming people.

The Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, two of the first formally organized gay and lesbian rights organizations in the United States, actively discouraged members from engaging in “deviant” expressions of gender and sexuality. Rather than challenge the rigid and repressive gender roles of postwar America, they embraced them in the interest of political gain. For example, their “Annual Reminder” pickets for gay rights in the late 1960s had a strict dress code: Men had to wear white shirts and slacks, and women had to wear dresses. They fought against discrimination on the grounds that they were “normal homosexuals,” and trans people did not fit under that rubric. These groups thought that conforming to societal standards would advance their singular cause: acceptance.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, white, middle-class, cisgender gays and lesbians made advances in both legal protection and social status. States started decriminalizing homosexuality, the American Psychiatric Association declared that it was not a psychiatric disorder, and Elaine Noble, the first openly lesbian or gay legislator, took her seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. But those outside the mainstream continued to live in untenable conditions. For gender-nonconforming people, it was nearly impossible to find steady employment, and police routinely raided bars and establishments where they gathered.

Resistance swelled in uprisings like the Compton Cafeteria riot in 1966, in which trans women and drag queens resisted arrest at a 24-hour eatery in San Francisco, and later the Stonewall rebellion, where crowds led by trans and gender-nonconforming people of color, sex workers and youths fought back against the police who regularly harassed, beat and violated them. Gender-defiant activists such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson emerged as leaders. As a direct response to the failure of other gay rights groups to fight for the most vulnerable, they founded the collective Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, which provided a shelter for trans people in New York.

Still, the leadership of the Gay Activists Alliance cut trans people out of New York City’s landmark 1971 attempt to pass anti-discrimination legislation, by removing protections for gender identity and presentation. They claimed that such an “extreme” bill could never succeed. Even with this “compromise,” it didn’t pass until 1986. (more…)

We are a member of the Queer Artist group on facebook and have come to love certain artists in the group and always look forward to their new postings and comments. J. Bruce Wilcox is an artist that we love and admire. Not only for his art but for his social commentaries. Wilcox says about himself “I refer to myself as a fiber or textile artist. I am not a quilter. I do not make quilts. I do not think like a quilter. My reasons for creating and my intended end-use of that creation are different than most quilters. And I don’t give a fuck about the tradition of quiltmaking. I just call it art.” Indeed and we do too. We are showing some examples of his art, work that inspires us, moves us and gets us thinking. We hope our readers from all over the world will find as much enjoyment in his work as we do.

J. Bruce Wilcox has given this blog permission to publish this exhibition and we thank him.

“I am an artist making art not a quilter making quilts!”

J. Bruce Wilcox (this work is unfinished)

“As an out gay male working in a predominately female medium- over time I’ve had to deal with all the stereotypes involved. I learned to sew when I was 8. I’ve been working with/in fiber my whole life. I made my first art quilt in 1977 and won a Best-In-Show award on it. I was 24 and nobody knew what an art quilt was.”

Below is one of our favorite art works, Masquerade. Bruce says about work such as this: “I’m an abstract artist- having little interest in representational art. My history/roots are artists who moved away from representation into pure abstraction- including geometric and math influenced artists- as well as pop/op artists. My work continues to be about vibration- but also texture. And although it’s mostly me who is confrontational- the work is inherently challenging because it simply no longer has anything to do with the tradition of quiltmaking.”

Masquerade.

Masquerade like many of J. Bruce Wilcox’s work captured my interest for their movement, and their vibration adding that whole other dimension to the art works. This work moves us into the great tradition of the Op Artists who I believe have to be some of the most interesting artists creating some of the more interesting art works of the 20th century. Think about it, a flat canvas, an art work that moves, it no longer stays still hanging up there on the wall. It is here and there, vibrating, flashing, swelling, wrapping, moving in and out, disappearing and reappearing. When I was in high school my art teacher was involved with the Op Art Movement. Myself and a few other budding young artists were invited to the opening of the Responsive Eye at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1965. How thrilled she was to have her work hanging in the same room as Josef Albers. The connection, she was one of the people who brought Albers and his wife Annie to this country. Masquerade by J. Bruce Wilcox could have hung brilliantly among the other works in the exhibition. Next up is the eye popping unfinished work that would cause Bridget Riley to applaud.

Existential Foundation

This work above is unfinished but we find it to be extraordinary. It captures the spirit of abstract art and brings it beyond. Truly on the way to becoming a masterpiece. (more…)


“I would rather be lynched than live to be mistreated and not be allowed to say ‘I don’t like it.’ ”

My, My, My

a decree is sent out: Be thee unafraid of another man’s dick.

by punkpink and Arvey Jones

“My, my, my”, said punkpink on the telephone to me the other day. “I just saw on one of your areas finest blogs a photo of those old fashioned urinals. You remember the times, the great times, the fun times we use to have around those things. Gee I know its not political correct now-a-days to talk about cruising the tea rooms of long ago, oh what seems to me to be long ago but of course not as long a go as some things that happened longer ago than that long ago. Some gay men and other folks would like that part of gay stories to be hidden away and die off with our generation but maybe I should just have a bit of fun and publish this piece. To heck with those who will say, Hey now wait a minute why must you perhaps give fuel to the radical right wing conservatives or those who are freaked out about a trans person using the same restroom as their beloved Buffy and Joey. But let me say right up front this has nothing what-so-ever to do with any Trans person. This has nothing to do with Trans people using the restroom. This has to do with gay history. This has to do with the days that we sought out love and sex where ever we could find it. The days back then and maybe the days now for many, if you are lucky enough to find the place where it is happening without the police interfearing. Seems to be one of their job qualifications, interfere  with folks enjoying themselves. Interfere with folks just walking down the street, getting in the way of life all with power, guns, violent temperaments and ambitious white power. Let’s say it right now, Fuck the Police! Want to read why us old white queers take this position. ( 1 )

Beyond this door one finds joy!


“Hey,” is this the place where all the dicks hang out?” he shouted as he drove his transportation chair into the men’s restroom. “If it is then make room for the biggest baddest dick this side of the river.” All the dicks were hanging out at all the urinals and someone was taking a long piss in water closet number 1. “Oh.” thought Johnny, “the biggest baddest one this side of the river shit I got to hang out awhile longer to see that.” Soon as he said Johnnie’s dick leaped just a bit and he  couldn’t take my eyes off the guy.” Never did a guy like that but I hope that I can do him.”

You know said punkpink, I remember those two quite clearly. I snuck into a stall as I heard one of them say, “Do you need any help?” Later I saw them over at Macy’s shopping together in the underwear department. “Oh,” come on punkpink, “You tell such stories.” “Sometimes,” replied punkpink, “I heard one of the guys say, “Baby its cold outside and you need some new underwear.”

YMCA

William Sloane House YMCA NYC.. Action City back in the day.

“Oh,” punkpink said, “both of us have such stories to tell here is one for you. ‘ Do you remember the guy named Quacky or something like that? I think his last name was Quackenberg. Well he told me when first landing in NYC back in 1964 he headed for the YMCA on 34th street got a room and headed for the showers. To wash the dust off from traveling from Kansas, washing away all that flatness all that corn and pigs or something like that. It was customary at the time for men who were headed to use the men’s shower and restroom to only wear a towel. Just big enough to go around ones waist and cover what needed to be covered while walking the halls. He headed for a stall to check out if there was any action or not as “love notes” sometimes were left on the stall walls. A silent partner was in the next stall. A foot moved closer, tap tap tap. Not knowing the secrete signals Quacky thought the guy was taping maybe to get out a big one so he though maybe just maybe if I tap along he will be able to do his business. Closer moved the foot until it came to rest on Quacky’s. “Oh I get it he wants to play footsies” But knowing in the rub, how the rub it rubbed, I knew it was something else the gentleman wanted. Why not thought Quacky, that’s what I am here for. Off they went to the older gentleman’s room where he proceeded to lay down face up on the bed. Shit said Quackey he just wants to lay there, like he’s half dead and have me do him. Not my idea of a good time. Maybe all that foot tapping and rubbing tired the old gent out. After about five mins. of laying there giving him a rub Quacky said, “Hey man if I wanted a corpse I would have gone to the grave yard. I’m heading to the showers for some action.” Not a very good start to experiencing the art of cruising. So some are duds and some aren’t and the best action that evening was found by Quacky in the shower.” All of us found action there. Every day we stayed at the YMCA.

men's locker room 1930

Paul Cadmus, YCCA Locker Room 1930

Here is a real campy song. I first heard it back in 1966 when I had cruised a guy in Bryant Park and we went home to his apartment on 22nd street. Yes it tells of what many of us experienced at the good old YMCA before many in both worlds sang along with the Village People. But you know back there in that apartment I met another gay man who was becoming as political as I was. It is where I first heard Shirley Verrett sing from the album Singing in the Storm. Songs such as Oh Freedom, No More Slavery Chains, Strange Fruit, and other songs of the era. Songs of protest, songs of hope, songs of that new day when all of us would be free. Some of the songs I had heard and sung back in my hometown with others who had the light of peace, justice, and freedom burning in them. But this was the first time that I had met a gay man who was listening as well as I was.  His name was Clyde was a member of the War Resisters League knew who was who in the organization and best of all who was like us. Early days mostly closeted homosexual men who found their interests in anti-war, civil rights and other social justice work. More than likely wondering when it was going to get better for us. Sure there was the Mattachine Society in NYC but in the beginning  of the “breaking out of heaven on earth,” it seemed to be rather boring, old fashioned and far to nice. Besides like Clyde said, it didn’t like us Beatnik types, you know those suit and tie Joes who hated us bearded, long hair pot smoking guys. Us pinkos, us commies. You know there has to be something else we thought. Something for our types. Something out of the ordinary. Something that will take all we have learned and say a big fuck you. Fuck I don’t want to be normal. I will never foget those words, those ideas, that were stirring in many of us at the time.

For this piece we shall listen to I’m So Wet! the Shower Song. Love it as its fun. This song Arvey we must dedicated to all of the good fucks we had at the old YMCA on 34th street, NYC.

Just a tad bit of ourstories.

****Men had been meeting men for sex, and this is on record, since the 15th century. (we won’t even consider what went on in the baths of 6th century Greece.) In 1492 in Florence a purge against the “vice of sodomy” took place in taverns, baths and sheds or houses used for sex. The city’s leading criminal court warned the owners of bath houses to keep out “suspects”. The taverns, baths, sheds and houses were raided. The court in Florence convicted 44 men for homosexual relations from April 1492 and February 1494. So the attacks by straights on homosexual men has been going on for many many years.

In England from the early 1950s there was a “witchhunt” of homosexuals with the Conservative home secretary David Maxwell Fyfe vowing to “rid England of this plague” and an estimated 1,000 gay men were arrested each year by undercover policemen prowling the parks, cruising grounds and public toilets.

Throughout history and for a variety of reasons, gay and bisexual men have looked to public bathrooms as places to get laid. Some men enjoy cruising public restrooms because they’re turned on by the exhibitionism and the possibility of getting caught, while others see it as a place to anonymously and discretely have a same-sex encounter in times when being outed as gay carries severe social, political and legal consequences.

Cruising public restrooms has become an ingrained part of gay history with mixed feelings surrounding it. On one hand, it’s considered so seedy, sexy and transgressive. On the other hand, it’s also considered by some gay men to be a dark side of gay sexuality and gay history that has been used to shame gay men for their otherwise harmless sexual proclivities (often in the name of protecting children, public decency or stopping the spread of disease). Most of the LGBT mainstream disassociates themselves with cruising in public and some  yes some have actually turned in men who were cruising and tattling to the police where the popular cruising spots are or were all in the name of advancement of their political agenda and the misinformed ideas that only the closeted men and men on the down low cruise restrooms.

We could write and write about the treatment of gay men who were out cruising and came face to face with entrapment in amerikkka and yes honey don’t think that it is over as it is still going on here today but others can do that job. Bet you ten bucks unless something changes it is going to get worse and bet you a hundred that the lovely LGBT mainstream will continue to look the other way.

Fuck with some of us we will fight back: 

Here is an amazing story about one man who after being arrested fought back and dear hearts a movement just grew and grew.

Dale Jennings, ever hear of him? Here is a bit of his stories: Dale Jennings was a early member of the Mattachine Los Angles. In the spring of 1952 Jennings was arrested for allegedly soliciting a police officer in a toilet in Westlake Park, now known as MacArthur Park. The trial that took place drew national attention to the Mattachine Society and membership increased drastically due to the decision of the Mattachine Society to help contest the charges brought against Jennings. Jennings called fellow Mattachine founder Harry Hay, and they enlisted the help of attorney George Sibley, a member of the Citizens’ Council to Outlaw Entrapment. Jennings was one of the first homosexual men to contest charges such as this one. Most homosexuals at the time pleaded guilty so as not to be publicly scrutinized. His decision to fight back was a pivotal point in the movement. The organization raised funds and promoted Jennings’ case nationally. The trial began June 23, 1952 and lasted ten days. Jennings confessed to being a homosexual but denied any wrongdoing. While there were different accounts of what exactly occurred that day, by the end of the trial the jury voted 11–1 for acquittal on the basis of police intimidation, harassment, and entrapment of homosexuals, and the case was dismissed. While only Dale Jennings and the police officer know the exact details of that day in the park, the trial brought a lot of attention to the Mattachine Society, increasing awareness of the Gay Rights Movement as a whole as well as increasing the organization’s membership. ( 2 )

Conversations:

The fear of seeing another dick freaks a lot of men out. I have heard many men say things like, “I would wait as long as it takes” just to avoid peeing next to another man. Come-the-fuck-on-bro, the dude is probably just trying to empty his bladder the same way you are. There’s no conversation or eye-meeting — unless you’re trying to get something out of it — so why should it be awkward? What did Mommy and Daddy do way back then when you were potty training to give a person such fears? Do you fear another man’s dick hanging out, emptying itself? What are your fears? Next guy may see what a small dick you have? You may get hard? You are hard? You want the next guy but your too afraid to let him know? Afraid that violence always lurks if you even dare to move outside of staring ahead for even a second.

Not the place for a man who is afraid of another man seeing his dick or being seen.
(more…)

David Buckel

A nationally know advocate for gay rights and the environment died Saturday in a fiery Prospect Park suicide, with his self-immolation meant as a wake-up call to save the planet.  David Buckel an attorney for Lambda Legal left this note, “I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess.” “My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves,” he wrote, “a lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life…Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purchase in death. I hope that it is an honorable death that might serve others.”

We thank David for all that he has done for the LGBTQ community and his work against the destruction of the environment.

Rest in Power David Buckel.

To read the full story go to: Famed Gay Rights Lawyer Sets Self On Fire at Prospect Park In Protest Suicide Against Fossil Fuel. as published by the Daily News.

Defend and increase SNAP benefits! Say no to harvest boxes! Until the revolution takes hold.

From: www.facebook.com/QueersnAppalachia