Archive for the ‘We Love Queers’ 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

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.)

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…)

We have been tossing around the ideas of our people the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender populations joining the military. Let’s make that clear,  let us say right now up front we all know that no one is being forced by draft to become part of this system of oppression. How times have changed, my generation did everything they could, pulled every string, every and anything out of the hat to avoid the military. Today those who are in the military are in there voluntary for whatever reasons they may have. Second we would like to ask folks who are thinking that they should join Uncle Scam’s army and stand arm in arm with this man, please stop and ask of those who survived a bombed out village, or somewhere where old Scam has tread what they think of GI Joe and Jane’s dirty deeds. As we have said before ask the mother whose children have been killed in a drone attack what she thinks of you being discriminated against in the U.S. Ask the man what he thinks about the no job thing in Amerikkka as he digs with his bare hands through the rubble to find his lover. Ask those who cities have been reduced to dust. Then stop and ask yourselves is this the type of job you really want? For what reasons? Where do your or anyone’s civil rights end and the life rights of the world’s population under the attack of the United States begin? Where do the life rights of all humans begin?

This is a short essay to examine a hero of ours. A man named Frank Little. A man who fought for freedom and justice for the working class of amerikkka. This man outspoken and murdered by those who wished to hold up not their class but the class of boss, the class of the rulers, the class of which as the IWW statement says “we have nothing in common with.” No we don’t have anything in common at all. Nothing in common in the workplace, nothing in common in the military, nothing in common at all. So we often have wondered why would anyone who has nothing in common with the bosses, why would they want to cross that line? If it be a picket line set up by striking workers or the class line. Why do so many in the working class want to cross the class line and become as Frank Little said in one of his last speeches “Uncle Sam’s scabs in uniforms”? Fighting for the rich, fighting in wars against other working class and poor people.

Frank Little was a IWW rabble rouser, organizer, free speech advocate, union organizer and a strong opponent of World War I. Little fought hard with the leaders of the IWW to directly proceed with anti-war and anti-conscription agitation. Little said at that time, “the IWW is opposed to all wars, and we must use all our power to prevent the workers from joining the army. He later called soldiers serving in the war, “Uncle Sam’s scabs in uniforms.” and stated: “Wars should be left to the capitalists who start the war. “Either we are for their capitalist slaughter fest or against it.”

This blog remains against not only wars but against the Capitalist. Turn on your masters, overthrow the capitalist system! The cry is the same today. Let us break free and break free now from those chains that bind us. In another speech at Finlander Hall, Little referred to U.S. soldiers as “uniformed thugs” and stressed his opposition to the draft and the war. Why, he asked, would workers choose to fight for their capitalist masters, when instead they could end the war by turning on their masters and overthrowing the capitalist system?

The bosses tell us, protect what belongs to you. This is our country and we are under threat. We have always wonder about this “our” I can’t remember the essay that I read years ago about this “our” and have to agree I have a hard time believing that amerikkka is our anything. There is such a class divide in this country that I can say, I have nothing in common with bosses, the upper middle class, nothing at all with the wealthy and ruling class. This country is “ours” in th way a prison cell “belongs to the prisoner.” We live here, but it has never been ours. So why fight for something that isn’t ours? Does anyone expect that we will take back that something? One can not take back something that isn’t theirs to begin with. We can only topple it and transform it to what we see as a new day, a new way of living, a new world that many have told us is possible. Many years ago our people when on the right road right after the Stonewall rebellion talked about this very subject, that of toppling and transforming we did not see fit to try to win acceptance within the institutions that oppressed us and many others. We formed united fronts and fought back. But early on the road to liberation a wrong turn was taken and now so many find thenselves wanting to fit in, in any way we can. We did not listen too well and so many are still not listening.

Some will say, you are fools. What are we suppose to do until the revolution comes. We would have to answer the revolution will never come if one, two and many side with the masters and then in turn think everything is okay since the master now appears to love you. Once a person feels that way no matter what chains still bind he or she becomes a part of the problem and the weight is not balanced but suddenly tips the scales to the masters side. As we have said in many essays, crumbs shaken from the masters table cloth can never fill our bellies.

So we must ask why would anyone who is oppressed want to join with the oppressor and fight for the oppressor only to be oppressed when the fighting is over? Why would anyone want to uphold years of oppression against their own people, against others and against folks thousands of miles away? One thing we know we must get past is self centered amerikkkan idea of “us here,” forgetting that we are very much a part of a great big world. Karl Marx never said, Workers of Germany unite, or of France, but “Workers Of The World Unite.” Workers of the world unite. A most powerful idea. How about it?

We will continue to stand against imperialist war, the ruling class and must ask ourselves how can we not stand against those who help to push this agenda for any reason.  If we stand with the world then we cannot stand with anything or anyone who is a part of destroying it.

Frank Little declared that a person could make a living three ways: by working, begging, or stealing. The only conclusion he had was that the capitalist class were thieves since they did not work or beg for a living. So who wants to align themselves with thieves? To us at furbirdsqueerly the working class must be anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, internationalist and revolutionary.

Frank Little: Slain by Capitalist Interests For Organizing and Inspiring His Fellow Men.

Another question remains, when the shit hits the fan and barricades are erected all across amerikkka, which side will you be on? Will you follow orders of your captain and shoot? Will you blow the rainbow flag from a queers hands? Will you say in the future when asked, “I was only following orders.” Yes, which side are you on?

We know some folks could care less about this article. Frank Little, The IWW, anti-war work, or revolutionary movements. So many never even heard of Frank Little or even are remotely interested in what we say here. But to those who do we can only ask, Stop for a second, think about these things, before you go off and join in the chorus of inclusion that is not good. Inclusion that is no good for anyone not here or not anywhere around the world. Don’t go off and join the military, don’t be killed by the capitalist class doing their bidding. You will never be truly free in this society as to them, to the straight world you are an outsider. Of course as the old saying goes, you will make good cannon fodder. But remember you will always be an outsider and when the push comes to shove you will find that out once again. Take a lesson from history, if you must read between the lines, and run, yes run in the other direction. Uncle Scam and his murderous ways are no good for you, no good for the people of the world and no good for the planet. Let us all celebrate life and not be absorbed into the military death machine.

NOTES:

Montana History Revealed. Remembering Frank Little. by Rich Aarstad, Senior Archivist, and Martha Kohl, Historical Specialist

Hell Raisers Journal: We will Never Forget. The Labor Martyrs Project: Dedicated to the men, women and children who lost their lives in freedom cause.

  1. Hellraisers Journal, Saturday August 4, 1917. Butte, Montana – Strikers’ Bulletin Names Names
  2. BUTTE’S NAME TARNISHED BY THE STAIN OF LYNCH LAW FRANK LITTLE HANGED FROM TRESTLE BY UNKNOWN MOB

Frank Little By Will Rosco is a must read for many of us who are LGBT. The article is found HERE.   We want to do further research on Frank Little as a gay man which Will Rosco brought to our attention in this article.

 

 

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…)

Over at the site Queer Artists a lot is happening. Seeing art made by queers from all over the world is not only thrilling but connecting with a sense of community. One artist I have noticed and who gave me permission to post his art is Khristopher Khrist. An artist that is working and speaking of and about these times we live in. A queer artist and I am going to say just maybe one of the most important queer artists working today. He has this to say about himself: Illustrator, Collagist, Anarchist, Practitioner of Faggotry.  To connect with Khristopher and to see more art check him out HERE. 

Sometimes we are left with only our gut feeling about an artist and their art. We can’t really explain it fully but just know that what we are presented with is right. It talks of these times. Certain folks may not feel welcomed into its orbit but who cares. We are sure the cops would say, “Oh we are appalled by this work of art, along with the bourgeoisie, and many straight folks. But you know that doesn’t matter. When all is said and done, when it all comes out in the wash, when the new day comes and settles in they won’t matter one fucking bit. It will be artists like Khristopher that will matter. Artists that have pushed and pushed again. Queer Artists that haven’t straightened their genes. Khristopher doesn’t seem to be at all interested in self erasure and we are certainly glad. He knows how to snub his nose and poke. That is what we need more pokers. Pokers at everything and anything. Perhaps when we get done poking it will all be either full of holes or we will come out right. We believe that we will come out right as long as we do not cower and hide. We will come out right as long as we do not allow anyone to erase, omit, denied, or suppressed us. No matter what we must fight on.

Lets just start with one example of Khristopher Khrist’s works, ALL COCKS ARE BEAUTIFUL/ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS. 2018. Khristopher has this to say about this work:

“All day long on Facebook you can view images of unarmed black men beaten or outright murdered by police. You can watch the elderly and disabled dragged from capital buildings for protesting cuts to their healthcare and other services. You can see students maced and body slammed. You can view videos of police brutalizing protesters of color whilst treating white supremacists with kid gloves.
But god….forbid….you see a cock.”

“ALL COCKS ARE BEAUTIFUL/ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS” (2018)

Queers have long know that cops are not our friends. Never have been and never will be. Yeah, yeah, we know that some LGBT folks are cops, some are in the military destroying people and places all over the world and yeah some are republicans. Those warrant a whole essay on why they too are not our friends, and why in fact they come down in the column of enemy.  Here is an excerpt from an article we wrote that we wish to share:

Cops are just one component of the bourgeoisie’s repressive apparatus for subjugating the working class and anyone else that strays from the bourgeoisie norm.

Historically, cops have been perhaps the #1 most dangerous enemy of gay / trans / queer people for decades, and continue to target us today. Diana’s little Corner in the Nutmeg State recently published an article and had this to say:

“How did the rising at Coopers Donuts (1959), Dewey Lunch (1965), Compton’s Cafeteria (1966), and Stonewall Inn (1969) start?

With polices raids on “homosexuals” where they were checking for three items of male clothing. In other words they were looking for trans people.
“Perhaps no one illustrated potential issues between police and LGBTQ communities more than Nadine Ruff. A transgender woman, Ruff said she had reported a sexual assault to New Haven police but was ridiculed. Ruff said the police response re-victimized her, which she said is an experience that’s too common.
“You need to know about this community,” Ruff said. “We fear police.”

In our anti-Klan, anti-Neo Nazi work we know more times than not that the police will protect these scum and many times will beat, arrest and jail those of us who go up against these slime balls. They censor us who speak out because as the saying goes The Police and Klan Go Hand In Hand.

Some say we can educate the cops. So how we gonna educate them? How long is that going to take? Goosey fears it will take a 100 years. How many more Black men and women will be killed as we sit the bastards down and educate them? What level do we start at, kindergarten? first grade? second?  Can they even be educated? We can we sit back while the beating stick is wielded against others and be satisfied that it isn’t our heads at the end of that stick? (more…)

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…)