Archive for the ‘We fight on’ Category

DC Transgender woman Ashanti Carmon murdered TDOV weekend
by Kelli Busey on March 31, 2019.

A transgender woman was shot and killed early Saturday morning near the D.C. line in Prince George’s County.

Fairmount Heights police said they responded to the area of Aspen and Jost streets around 6:23 a.m. after receiving numerous calls for shots fired. At the scene, a transgender woman was located and pronounced dead at the scene after being shot multiple times.

The victim has been identified as Ashanti Carmon, ABC7 has learned.

“I had seen her I believe on Tuesday because she would come through my office at HIPS,” said Earline Budd, a transgender activist.

HIPS, a group with which Budd is associated, that finds alternatives to sex work for transgender people.

“She wasn’t someone that frequented the streets a lot, so that’s why it’s so shocking and the community is stunned,” Budd said. “I’ve been getting calls all day about this murder.”

R.I.P Ashanti Carmon

Marielle Franco, presente! Today is one year since Franco, a Black queer councilwoman, was murdered in Brazil. This week, two former police officers were arrested suspected of carrying out her murder. Her life should inspire us to fight for the rights of the most marginalized sectors as a path to liberate us all.

Meet organizers defending Marielle’s legacy and fighting against the right wing in Brazil at Feminism for the 99% – Women’s Conference

#mariellefrancopresente

Posted by Gay Shame and written by Micah Bazant.

The SF Contemporary Jewish Museum is supported by the Israeli govt and anti-Muslim, anti-Black, anti-immigrant funders like the Helen Diller Family Foundation.

In their new exhibit “Show Me As I Want to Be Seen”, the museum claims to explore themes of self-determination and self-representation.

How can we explore self-determination in a museum complicit in Israeli apartheid and occupation? Whose selves count? Who gets to live to be an artist?

We are appalled by the CJM’s use of art by Jewish anti-occupation, anti-fascist trans queer ancestors Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. In the legacy of their resistance, we support Palestinian liberation. Palestinian Liberation Is Self-Determination.

Freedom of self-expression by people of color and queer people can never be premised on the oppression and ethnic cleansing of others. We support marginalized artists, but not Israel’s intentional exploitation of their work to “pinkwash” and “art wash” apartheid. Israel uses culture to brand itself as an oasis of progressive acceptance in the Middle East. But this Israeli “acceptance” doesn’t extend to African asylum seekers or Palestinians. The Israeli army bombs Palestinians, destroys their homes, steals their land, imprisons and tortures them regardless of their gender, sexuality or artistic expression. (more…)

From the publisher: The gripping story of how a multi-racial group of woman warriors put their bodies on the line to gain a foothold in the male and largely white electrical trades at Seattle’s publicly owned utility.

This important new history tells the story of women’s fight to gain entry into electrical trades at Seattle City Light beginning in the 1970s. Female pioneers came forward to implement affirmative action in the face of life-threatening sexism and racism. Some saw the trades as just a means to a better paycheck. But other, more radical, participants sought to build alliances with men of color, white male union members, and office staff to change the culture of discrimination at City Light and in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 77. High Voltage Women offers insights into the role of feminists in Seattle’s vibrant activist and labor movements and exposes the sorry record of city politicians who acted as roadblocks to social progress.

Community historian Ellie Belew has captured the drama, the events, and the personalities in an extensively researched saga. Belew is the author of Bringing Power to the People, the history of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #77, and Fully Involved, which records the experiences of Washington’s professional fire fighters and their role in the labor movement.

224 pages – Photos, index, notes – ISBN 978-0-932323-34-7
Advance copies are $20.00 (incl. shipping

To order copies from Red Letter Press go to HERE.

With the renewed interest in the history of the Ct. Transgender Movement we are going to publish essays, articles, and ourstories on this site. Some of these essays are ones we have published before and some will be new essays. This site along with Jerimarie Liesegang will began to publish a first person narrative on the history of the Ct. Transgender Movement and the possibility of an exhibition on this continuing struggle next year.  We publish today for those of you who do not have the book, Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire, published by AK Press, a chapter written by Jerimarie Liesegang the mother of the Ct. Transgender Movement an a long time fighter for peace, justice and liberation.

Tyranny of the State and Trans Liberation

By Jerimarie Liesegang

“STAR is a Revolutionary Group. We believe in picking up the gun and starting a revolution if necessary. Our main goal is to see ‘gay’ people liberated and free” —Marsha P. Johnson, “Rapping with a Street Transvestite Revolutionary”[1]

“Trans Liberation is the phrase that has come to refer to all those who blur or bridge the boundary of the sex or gender expression they were assigned at birth: cross-dressers, transsexuals, intersex people, Two Spirits, bearded females, masculine females and feminine males, drag kings and drag queens. Trans Liberation is a call to action for all those who care about civil rights and creating a just and equitable society” —Leslie Feinberg, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue[2]

Anarchists (should) understand the importance in opposing the regulation of sexual and gender behavior by governments and other allied forces such as the church and capitalism. In fact there has been a long history of anarchism as a movement and a philosophy recognizing and embracing the pivotal importance of sexual and gender liberation. Within this history there has been a prominent role of queer anarchist sex radicals who kept this significant engagement at the forefront of the anarchist movement and philosophy. Yet despite the pioneering anarchist sex radicals at the turn of the century and those during the heyday of the (gay, feminist, black) liberation movements of the sixties and seventies, there has been an increasing trend by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) liberation movement toward embracing the government and its role in regulating sexual and gender behavior. And this current “liberation” movement has worked in complicity with the state simply to broaden and reform the definitions and social norms of sex and gender, as well as focus on the assimilation of LGBT within the State through marriage reform, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and by enacting laws that seek to entrench and empower the police and incarceration system through increased funding and engagement through hate crime legislation. And so we see a liberation movement that moved from a focus on fighting the state and its associated systems of corrupt police, politics, and social norms to a liberation model complicit with a state and its allied power structures that makes no excuse regarding its control, regulation, definition of, and legal boundaries regarding, sexual behavior and gender identity and expression.

This chapter details the historical roots of sex and gender radicals within the anarchist movement as well as within other allied liberation movements. From this historical perspective, we can reexamine the state of the LGBT liberation movement, and attempt to solidify and redefine a trans liberation movement outside the current so-called LGBT liberation movement. The aim of this chapter is to reconsider Trans liberation within the contexts of the current social, economic, and political environments within primarily the United States, though given the penetration of a global LGBT movement led by marriage advocates, it can also be viewed from a global lens. In this process, it is hoped to reveal that the core of the trans existence and persona is radical and anarchistic, if not insurrectionary, in its embodiment—such that pure liberation of sex and gender will not come through complicit reform within the state but rather through rejecting the state and its many social constructs. (more…)

 

Needless to say, they are not our friends. Never have been and will never be. The Klu Klux Klan, the Neo Nazis, Proud Boys and all the other scum bags running around the world today terriorizing and targeting people must be stopped. LGBT people have a major role to play in joining with others to stop them whenever we hear they are marching. No all of us can not go out and confront them, but we must do something anything to stop them. When thousands of counter demonstrators come out and stand together they know, yes they know we will not accept them in our towns and cities. When thousands of counter demonstrators come out it sends a message to trump and his boys we do not accept them anywhere, not in the white house and not in our streets, not under sheets and not leaving leaflets at our homes.

Eighty-one years ago this month, on Nov. 15, 1937, a raid took place at La Paloma nightclub in an unincorporated part of Dade County (modern-day Miami-Dade County). Unlike at Stonewall, law enforcement was not behind this Miami-area raid. Instead, nearly two hundred women and men from the Ku Klux Klan—wearing long, white hooded robes that both concealed their identities and struck fear—burned a fiery cross on public property and inducted several dozen new members that night. They then stormed La Paloma, roughed up staff and performers, and ordered the nightspot closed. Local law enforcement conducted its own raid of La Paloma less than two weeks later. Yes as it is said many times by some of our freedom fighters, “Cops and Klan go hand in hand.”

What did the people of La Paloma do. According to Julio Capo Jr in his article Why a Forgotten 1937 KKK Raid on a Gay Club in Miami Still Matters 80 yrs. Later, has this to say: “In the long run, however, the raid had unintended consequences. It ultimately helped build community among those whom law enforcement could harass and arrest for wearing clothes not associated with their sex, for vagrancy, for lewd and lascivious behavior, or for any other of the broad charges they used to criminalize queer people during the era. The club became a site of resistance against the city’s conservative forces.” ( 1 )

It is also clear that the history of the KKK is not only a story of eighty-one years ago either. In Charlottesville, Va., the KKK joined other white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups in public rallies. Their hate-filled slurs targeted Blacks, immigrants, Jews, and LGBT people. The Nazi’s bedfellows of the KKK marched through the streets of Hartford Ct. and Proud Boys were on the New Haven Green. (Chased off by Freedom Fighters) Make no mistake about it LGBTQ folks are a target just as wells as Blacks, Muslims, Jews, Immigrants, People of Color, Women, Leftists, and anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow definition of what Amerikkk is or how they wish it to be. (more…)

New Haven Rally & Speakout: Trans People #WontBeErased!
Public · Hosted by Party for Socialism and Liberation – CT and Party for Socialism and Liberation – PSL

Saturday October 27, 2018

1:00pm-2:30pm

WHEN: Saturday, October 27 @ 1pm
WHERE: downtown New Haven courthouse – 121 Elm St

WHAT: Join us for an emergency demonstration to show that New Haven says NO to the Trump administration’s efforts to legislate trans people out of existence!

A couple days ago, the New York Times exposed a plan by the Department of Health and Human Services to redefine gender as it pertains to Title IX protections in an unscientific and deeply transphobic manner. This threatens the safety of trans and intersex people, especially youth and students, and could strip our community both of protections from discrimination and of access to correct documentation.

Actions are taking place across the country – let’s show that Connecticut will not stay silent and will fight for trans rights!

Currently co-sponsored by:
ANSWER CT
Party for Socialism and Liberation – CT
New Haven Pride Center
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Trans At Yale
Connecticut Bail Fund
Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF)
Trans Lifeline
Yale Young Democratic Socialists
CT Green Party
True Colors
Socialist Action CT

CO-SPONSORS WANTED! If your organization wants to cosponsor this event, please email ct@pslweb.org!

NOTE: Some language terms in this article are terms that were used in 1975-1976 which have been replaced in Queerdom since then. Bear with these terms and be glad we are not still living back then.

Ivan Valentin and The Connection to Connecticut. A Fight Back!

” Our strength lies not in our ability to assimilate, hide and become absorbed, but in our ability despite our great diversity to stick together and to continue to fight for rights of all men and women to be different and diverse and live their lives in freedom according to their own life choices.”  Ivan Valentin


Gay Pride March, NYC. Left to Right: Ivan Valentin, unidentified, Sylvia Rivera, Jim Fouratt, Marsha P. Johnson (photo Joe Caputo)

Ivan Valentin was quoted as saying, “A drag or transvestite is somebody who always dresses as a woman. A female impersonator is someone who claims to actually be a woman. I’m just a man who likes to dress up.” He was a good friend of Sylvia Rivera and helped to fight back during the Stonewall Rebellion where he was hit in the knee by a policeman’s Billy Club and had ten stiches to close the wound. Speaking about that time he remarked, “We had it. We weren’t going to be beaten or jailed. Those with the good jobs ran out of the bar and fled but those of us who remained fought back. ( 1 ) By 1975 Ivan was headlining Leading Ladies of New York, and appeared in Connecticut at the University of Connecticut, in West Hartford at Finocchios East and after fighting against the liquor laws in Ct. and wining in other places around the state.

We are sure very few knew that what happened on December 10, 1975 would be a blow against oppression, a fight for freedom and a big thumbs up for Queer Culture. That night in December along came Lilly Law and her boys and Ivan showed us the way to fight back. A great lesson learned from Stonewall, When you’re under attack, Stonewall means fight back.! More times than not many of our people fall through the cracks of even our ownstories, let alone the mainstreams story books. More times than not these hard fighting folks are people of color. Such is the case of Ivan Valentin in our own Ct LGBT+ stories.

Well that is what Ivan did.

What was the fight about?

“No on-premises consumption place of business such as a restaurant, tavern, hotel, café, or club ,shall permit entertainment consisting of impersonations either of females by males or of males by females, nor shall any permittee of any such establishment advertise, give, permit or participate in any obscene, indecent, immoral, or impure show or entertainment.” ( 2 )

STOP THE SHOW!!

For a brief time from November 1975 to June 1976, the nightspot Finnocchio’s East was an attraction for the gay community. Its New Year’s celebration was called the “First New Year’s Gayla Party” and featured the Arthur Blake Review. According to ads in the Hartford Courant, the Review was so popular that it was held over for four days. An attempt by entertainer Ivan Valentin to perform Leading Ladies of New York with his troop of female impersonators was shut down by the Connecticut State Liquor Commissioner in the winter 1975. Connecticut state law prohibited entertainment at a liquor establishment where men dressed as women or women dressed as men. Valentin said the show was shut down mainly because “it attracted a largely homosexual crowd.” Others argued that the show was seductive and dealt in sexual content. According to Ivan in interviews the show was not seductive and had no sexual content. In a Hartford Courant article written just 4 days after the closing of the show, William Cockerham had this to say, “According to a spokesperson from Finocchios the complaint that closed the show was made by a competitor, another café that was frequented by homosexuals.”( 3 )  Like so many other bars at that time frequented by Lesbian and Gay people a threat was made to the owner of Finocchio’s that if he allowed the show to continue the liquor license for the premises would be taken away. One way folks that those in power kept us down by threatening to close our gathering places.

Ivan a member of The Gay Liberation Front in NYC contacted the membership who came out with full support of Leading Ladies of New York and Ivan and the GLF stated they would join in any actions to be taken “vowing to fight it all the way.” Leading Ladies of New York had performed for years in New York and Massachusetts without any problems. The troupe did impressions of Bette Midler, Marilyn Monroe, Diana Ross and others. I am beginning to wonder if this attack on Ivan Valentin and The Leading Ladies of New York  was rooted in racism and classism owing to the fact that Ivan was a Puerto Rican performer and was very involved with radical politics in NYC.

By June of 1976 things along with the season began to heat up. Ads began appearing that the Chateau de Ville a dinner theater in East Windsor had scheduled a three week show staring the Female impersonator group French Dressing beginning on August 3. When news got around about the show Ivan stated, “That show will open over my dead body, unless my show is allowed to go on.” He then went on to threaten to picket the Chateau de Ville if he had to and filed a formal complaint. Richard Aubuchon, Chateau de Ville manger said, “I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. We are talking about two totally different acts. The show at Finnocchio’s was seductive and dealt in a sexual content.” He said people have told him that Valentin’s show is “strictly a drag show and not very professional.” Where as French Dressing does an impersonation of Miss Judy Garland so well, “That I have actually seen people in the audience weeping because it was so real.” Aubuchon went on to say that French Dressing has performed in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and has been heralded through-out Europe “as a tremendous entertainment.” ( 3 )

In the Hartford Courant article, “Female Impersonators Would Stop Rival Show,” Henry Donovan, chief inspector for the State Liquor Commission, was quoted as say, “the East Windsor dinner theater would be in violation of the law if the show, French Dressing goes on. The regulation has been on the books for years,” Donovan said. When asked if he would close the show, Donovan said, “probably not, unless there was a complaint.” (3)

Ivan Valentin disputed this by saying, “We have no nudity and we don’t used dirty words. We’re not in drag or impersonating women. We’re entertainers. When we’re off the stage, we take off the makeup, and dress in boy’s clothes.” Tom Condon writing for the Hartford Courant, began his review of ‘French Dressing’ this way, “Feminine beauty whether real or contrived is particularly skin deep on the stage. There has to be more and this is the problem with the female impersonator show, ‘French Dressing’ at the Chateau De Ville in East Windsor.” But then went on to praise some of the performers claiming that some “are seasoned night club entertainers,” another “absolutely amazing” and “two come very close to the truth.” But one just wishes there were more to the show.” ( 4 )

Another source for this ourstory lesson comes from Eric Gordon who at the time wrote for the Hartford Advocate.  In the Hartford Advocate story, Imitation of Images Mr. Gordon writes: “When the Chateau de Ville advertised a revue called “French Dressing” this past summer, Ivan betook himself down to th halls of the Liquor omission and raised a terrible ruckus indeed. Dutifully responding to an outraged citizen’s complain the Commission informed the dinner theatre manager Richard Aubuchon that he too, would be running afoul of the law.” Ivan brought his case to the University of Connecticut School of Law and its Legal Clinic. Louis Parley and a team of UConn lawyers were prepared to file suit in federal court against the Liquor Control Commission seeking to overturn the provision on the basis of unconstitutionality. Claiming that the law was overly broad, vague, and enforced in a unequal and discriminatory fashion. According to Mr. Gordon, “Ivan and the group French Dressing where prohibited while giving the go ahead to Flip Wilson and his character “Geraldine.” ( 5 )

At this time Ivan and the Leading Ladies of New York were performing at the bar in Springfield and a group of UConn Lawyers, students and other interested persons went  to the bar to see the show to, in Mr. Gordon’s words, “make sure they are taking on a worthy case.” They found the show to be harmless and points out that Ivan may be doing something very healthy. He confronts his audience head-on with their uptightness. He demands to know what is your problem with me?” ( 5 )

Ivan at the time of the fight back.

THE SHOW WILL GO ON!! (more…)