The Filling And Breaking Of My Heart At The 2019 Queer Liberation March

I joined in at the Queer Liberation March this year, attending the protest instead of NYC WorldPride. My heart, at the same time, was filled to the brim and…as I walked home, broken once again.

My friend, my fiancé, and myself at the Queer Liberation March. Photo by Aidan Doyle, taken from a thoughtful and amazing article in them: “Queer Liberation March 2019” – which you can visit to read and view Doyle’s other brilliant photos of the March.

Pride month has long left us. Happily richer, the corporations have since painted over the rainbows they were sporting, leaving the queer community with the same guarded white walls we’re used to having thrown up in our face.

However, the love, power, passion, and anger of the LGBTQIA+ community lives on.

This year, my fiancé and I attended the Queer Liberation march. We both have a bit of a sordid history with Pride parades, but knew we wanted to be in New York City in commemoration of the 50thanniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  We weren’t sure how we were going to show up to honor our community’s history in a way that felt right.

…Then the Queer Liberation March popped up. Meant to be a people’s march to reclaim Pride, it was a counter-march to the Parade that sported no corporate floats or police presence.  What other way is there to honor Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Stormé DeLarverie, Larry Kramer, the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, Frank Kameny, the Gay Liberation Front, Et All? What other way is there to commemorate an anti-police riot that lasted days after our rights had been violated so deeply and so unwaveringly?

There isn’t.

You march.

We met up with a friend in Bryant Park to join the March at its mid-way point. The energy just in the park itself was electric. Throngs of people dressed in both black, pink, and gold (the colors of the march) as well as bright, fantastic outfits. It felt like every single person in the park had a purpose – and in a lot of ways, perhaps that is true. Each and every person who showed up to the Queer Liberation March made a purposeful decision to attend the March instead of the Parade. Therefore, each person’s body became a powerful statement against the corporatization and pink-washing of Pride. Each person purposefully became a part of a new wave of the continued street presence of Queer protest and riots. By making the choice to be here, just a few blocks away from there, they became a part of a grand testament to the strength and resilience of queer activism. No one was there because it was “fun”. No one was there because it was something to do. No one was there because they were being paid to be there. Everybody was there because they knew they needed to be.

After Sappho

This is an “after” poem in response to Sappho’s “He is more than a hero”.

Woman with wax tablets and stylus (so-called “Sappho”)

 

The man sits beside you,
a protective playful arm
draped over what can only be
mine when the stage lights turn off;
both our hero and the villain.

I sit still on the opposite couch,
holding a pillow embroidered God is Good!
only moving to accept each plate of cake or fruit
your mother offers from the kitchen,
praying the sugar on top is not salt.

Onto the stage she comes- again-
with the unnecessary second tray
of sweet plantains, hoping to catch us
holding hands or sacrificing babies-
whatever it is people like us do.

Then stage right, Prince Charming stands up.
His part played so perfectly, even I am fooled,
when his lips pucker out to meet yours
for the grand finale,
and my throat tries to swallow my tongue.

The curtain closes on the image of
your mother, smiling from the kitchen.

If he stays, death isn’t far from me.
If he goes, death isn’t far from you.

 

The Shelf: Episode 16

Welcome back to The Shelf, a film review podcast about the physical media we carry with us. OMG ya’ll! Our very first musical! Hooray! Join Nic and Hannah as they discuss the-little-musical-that-could, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

If you’re having trouble loading in this browser, you can also access the episode externally here: The Shelf, Episode 16: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

 

The Power of Yoga for the Queer Community

Entering into the world of yoga has been a life changing experience for me. I initially was looking for something that was physically challenging and mentally soothing — it became so much more. After dedicating myself to a regular practice, I began to see my body do amazing things. Working towards goals, improving my asanas, finding my edge and seeing myself go even further… I really impressed myself with what I could do. The most rewarding was beyond physical. I found the mental, spiritual, and emotional benefits of yoga become more and more noticeable everytime I stepped on the mat. As rewarding as it is, yoga is a challenge. It takes dedication, endurance, and patience. 

World Pride

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was going to NYC to watch the Pride Parade and show her support and wanted to know if anyone wanted to go with her. I jumped at the chance and asked to bring a friend. So, on …

The Shelf: Episode 15

Welcome back to The Shelf, a film review podcast about the physical media we carry with us. Does Hannah like waterparks? Has Nic been to a beach house? How good are Toni Collette and Allison Janney? Find the answers to these questions and more this week, as Nic and Hannah watch and review The Way, Way Back.

If you’re having trouble loading in this browser, you can also access the episode externally here: The Shelf, Episode 15: The Way, Way Back

More Than a Manhole: Gender Neutral City Codes

In Berkeley, CA the city council voted unanimously last week to remove all gendered terms from its city code. It will be read a second time this week and, if approved, go into effect in late August. The ordinance would amend the Berkeley Municipal Code to use the gender neutral pronoun “they” instead of “he” or “she” and update a number of specific gendered terms to gender neutral terms. 

Some examples from page 8 of the ordinance are below:  

CURRENT GENDERED TERM  NEW GENDER NEUTRAL TERM 
“Male” and “female” “People of different genders”
“Pregnant women” or “pregnant woman” “Pregnant employee(s)” 
“Brother” or “sister” “Siblings” 

Despite the fact that this ordinance will change nearly thirty gendered terms and all gendered pronouns, and that it will only cost the City about $600 to update the entire Code, this ordinance has been mocked in press coverage and on social media. A substantial amount of national coverage (NBC, ABC, The New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, CNN)  has highlighted one specific change: the word “manhole” will be changed to “maintenance hole.” 

Why Police Brutality is an LGBTQ issue

Police Brutality has been a source of violence, grief, and fear in both the LGBTQ community and communities of color. The Black Lives Matter movement has made many Americans rethink their relationships with the police. Considering the context of the Stonewall Riots, queer history adds to the discourse on police brutality, exposing the patriarchal nature of law enforcement that is a major component to these violent encounters.

Current-day queer people are still facing these issues. In the 2015 US Transgender study, it was revealed that 58 percent of respondents who interacted with police who were aware they were transgender experienced verbal harassment, misgendering, physical or sexual assault, and being forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest. Is it the feeling of power, the patriarchy, brutal transphobia or something else that leads to these encounters?

V.

that black girl is going to Howard
after she sat and waited
and waited and sat
traveled to Minnesota
where they told her to wait and sit some more
even went to the dry places that rains with sweat
where they told her “no“
but wanting it so badly
needing to get what she needed
she resumed her sitting and waiting
she even thought about running back to the palace and settling upon a random thrown
but with faith she sat and waited
and she got it cause she waited

for it to find her

she’s off to Howard
because she gots to go
cause she sat and listened
cause we need her
and we don’t just need her anywhere
because she waited
and was not moved so easily
she saved it

her destiny that is

for what she and where she
was supposed to be
that black girl hailing from the palace of Queens
is going to Howard with fellow queens and kings
there she goes
smile and wave

smile and waive