Thursday, December 15, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
So yer takin' the census, eh Mister.
Lemme tell ye about my son.
He was a soldier thet fought fer the North
Until the war wuz won.
This dooryard's now his battlefield.
Lesee, he wuz nigh sixteen
When Sumpter fell and as likely a boy
As this world's ever seen
And what with the news of battles lost
And shoutin' and all the noise
Ah giss every farm in the neighborhood
Lost a part of it's crop of boys.
‘Twas harvest time when Bill left home
Every stalk in the field of rye
Seemed to stand tip toe to see him off
And wave him a fond goodbye.
His momma used to tell him
When she knowed he wuz goin' away
That God’d surely take care of him
If'n he didn't fergit to pray.
And on the bloodiest battlefields
When bullets whizzed through the air
And Bill wuz a-fightin' desprit
He used to whisper a prayer.
His comrads has often tol' me
That Bill never flinched a bit
When every second a gap in the ranks
Showed where a ball had hit.
Then one night when the field wuz covered
With the awful harvest of war,
They found my boy 'mongst the martyrs
Of the cause he wuz fightin' for.
His fingers wuz clutched in the dewy grass,
Oh no Sir, he wasn't dead.
He just lay there sort of helpless and crazy
With a rifle ball in his head.
And if Bill had only died that night
I'd give all I got worth givin'
'Cause ya see that bullet killed his mind
But left his body livin’.
An officer he wrote and told us
How the boy'd been hurt in a fight
But he said that the doctors reckoned
They could bring him 'round alright.
Well, we waited and watched fer a month or more.
The summer wuz almost past
When we got a letter one day that said
Bill had started fer home at last.
I'll ne'er fergit when Bill come home,
"Twas harvest time again.
The air blowing o’er the yaller fields
Was sweet with the smell of grain.
The dooryard wuz full of neighbors
That come to share our joy
And we all set out a rousin' cheer
At the sight of that solier boy.
Then all of a sudden some-one said,
"My God, don't that boy know his mother?"
And Bill stood a-whisperin' fearful like
And starin' from one to another.
"Don't be afraid Bill." said he to himself
As he stood in his coat of blue.
"God'll take care of you, Bill
God'll take care of you."
Bill seemed to keep loadin' and firin' a gun
And actin' like a man who hears
The awful sounds of the battlefield
A-poundin' in his ears.
Ten thousand ghosts from that bloody day
Was a-marchin' through his brain
And his feet they kind of picked their way
As if they could feel the slain.
He ain’t never knowed us since that day
Nor his sweetheart and never will.
Mother and father and sweetheart,
We all the same to Bill.
And he groans like a wounded soldier
Sometimes the whole night through
And we just smooth his head and say, "Yes Bill,
God'll take care of you."
Irving Batchelder (written in the 1860's during civil war)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Happy 194th Birthday
Henry David Thoreau, (1817-1862)
For more go to glbtq.com
. . . .Thoreau is perhaps best known for his stay at Walden Pond, chronicled in Walden (1854), and his night in jail after refusing to pay a poll tax to a government that supported the Mexican War and endorsed slavery. He wrote about this latter act of protest in "Resistance to Civil Government," popularly known as "Civil Disobedience," an essay that has inspired many, including Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
. . . .
Biographers remain undecided about Thoreau's sexuality. He never married. He proposed to Ellen Sewall in 1840, but she rejected his offer. Some believe he was a "repressed" homosexual and others that he was asexual and remained celibate all of his life.
But his Journals, his essay "Chastity and Sensuality," and the long discourse on "Friendship" in A Week are prolific expressions of the beauty, and the agony, of love between men.
Some of these discussions are said to refer to his brother or to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Others clearly refer to two men whom Thoreau found particularly attractive: Tom Fowler, whom Thoreau chose as a guide on a trip to the Maine woods; and Alek Therien, the Canadian woodchopper who visited Thoreau at Walden Pond.
The passion evident in his discourses on love and friendship, and the utter lack of reference to women in his writings, has made Thoreau of great interest to scholars of gay and lesbian literature. Jonathan Katz included a section on Thoreau in his Gay American History. Walter Harding, the distinguished Thoreau scholar, argued quite convincingly in 1991 that Thoreau's "actions and words . . . indicate a specific sexual interest in members of his own sex."
Complicating matters concerning Thoreau's sexuality is historical research suggesting that homosexual identity is a late nineteenth-century phenomenon. But, as Michael Warner suggests, Thoreau's writing resists normalization even within nineteenth-century "rhetorics of romance and sexuality."
Although Thoreau may not have identified as "homosexual" in the way a twentieth-century gay man might, his rhetoric of sexual difference strikes a chord with gay readers and anticipates an emerging homosexual identity: "I love man with the same distinction that I love woman--as if my friend were of some third sex--some other or some stranger and still my friend" (Journal 2:245).
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
32 People Murdered in
See HERE for a good summary of this unsolved tragic crime and a sense of the intolerance of the time.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Happy 81st Birthday!
Harvey B. Milk
May 22, 1930 - November 27, 1978
Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States (and only the second openly homosexual, after Massachusetts State Assembly member Elaine Noble). His tragic assassination in San Francisco's City Hall made him the American gay liberation movement's most visible martyr.
I ask my gay sisters and brothers to make the commitment to fight. For themselves, for their freedom, for their country ... We will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets ... We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions. We are coming out to tell the truths about gays, for I am tired of the conspiracy of silence, so I'm going to talk about it. And I want you to talk about it. You must come out. Come out to your parents, your relatives...
Stonewall anniversary speech 1978
Thursday, April 28, 2011
On April 28, 1990 -
A pipe bomb exploded in Uncle Charlie's, a Greenwich Village Gay bar, injuring three people. In protest, Queer Nation mobilized 1,000 protesters in a matter of hours. Angry marchers fill the streets, carrying the banner "Dykes and Fags Bash Back."
Credit GayWisdom.com and White Crane Institute
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Happy 128th Birthday
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
1946 - the British economist John Maynard Keynes died on this date (b. 1883). Also known as 1st Baron Keynes, his ideas have had a major impact on modern economic and political theory as well as on many governments' fiscal policies. He advocated interventionist government policy, by which the government would use fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions, depressions and booms. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics. Time magazine named him as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. Keynes's early romantic and sexual relationships were almost exclusively with men. Attitudes in the Bloomsbury Group, in which Keynes was avidly involved, were relaxed about homosexuality. One of his great loves was the artist Duncan Grant (they're together in the photo above), whom he met in 1908, and he was also involved with the writer Lytton Strachey.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Happy 121st Birthday
Justice Frank Murphy
b. April 13, 1890
Former Michigan governor and U.S. Supreme Court Justice FRANK MURPHY was born April 13, 1890 (d. 1949). Born William Francis Murphy, he was a politician and jurist from Michigan. He served as First Assistant U.S. District Attorney, Eastern Michigan District, Recorder's Court Judge, Detroit. Mayor of Detroit, the last Governor-General of the Philippines, U.S. High Commissioner of the Philippines, the 35th Governor of Michigan, United States Attorney General, and United States Supreme Court Associate Justice. Murphy was pretty beloved in Michigan.
Murphy was elected the Governor of Michigan in 1936 and served one two-year term. During his two years in office, an unemployment compensation system was instituted and mental health programs were improved. The United Automobile Workers engaged in an historic sit-down strike at the General Motors' Flint plant. The Flint Sit-Down Strike was a turning point in national collective bargaining and labor policy. After 27 people got injured in a battle between the workers and the police, including 13 strikers with gunshot wounds, Murphy sent the National Guard to protect the workers. The governor didn't follow a court's order requesting him to expel the strikers, and refused to order the guards troops to suppress the strike. Murphy successfully mediated an agreement and end to the confrontation; G.M. recognized the U.A.W. as bargaining agent under the newly adopted National Labor Relations Act. This had an effect upon organized labor. In the next year the UAW saw its membership grow from 30,000 to 500,000 members. As later noted by the British Broadcasting System, this strike was "the strike heard round the world."
Murphy was first nominated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to be Attorney General and then in 1940 Roosevelt promoted him to the Supreme Court where he served till his death in 1949. Murphy authored 199 opinions: 131 majority, 68 in dissent and took an expansive view of individual liberties, and the limitations on government he found in the Bill of Rights.
Opinions differ about him and his jurisprudential philosophy. He has been acclaimed as a legal scholar and a champion of the common man. Justice Felix Frankfurter disparagingly nicknamed Murphy "the Saint", criticizing his decisions as being rooted more in passion than reason. It has been said he was "Neither legal scholar nor craftsman" who was criticized "for relying on heart over head, results over legal reasoning, clerks over hard work, and emotional solos over team play."
Murphy's support of African-Americans, aliens, criminals, dissenters, Jehovah's Witnesses, Native Americans, women, workers, and other outsiders evoked a pun: “tempering justice with Murphy.” As he wrote in Falbo v. United States (1944), “The law knows no finer hour than when it cuts through formal concepts and transitory emotions to protect unpopular citizens against discrimination and persecution.”
The reason Murphy's being mentioned here is for his lifelong companion and roommate, Edward Kemp. The two met while in college, attended law school together, started a law practice together and were basically inseparable for Murphy's entire life. They travelled overseas together, and lived together before and during Murphy's time on the Supreme Court. Kemp said he was only Murphy’s personal assistant and political advisor. That's odd because Justices have clerks for personal assistants and, with lifetime tenure, Murphy had little need for political advisors. We can at least hope they were happy together.
CREDIT: Entire text to~ Dan Vera of GAY WISDOM for Daily Living... from White Crane Institute
Thursday, April 7, 2011
HAPPY 99th BIRTHDAY APRIL 7TH
(April 7, 1912 – October 24, 2002)
Chief Founder of the Mattachine Society and Radical Faeries.
"We pulled the ugly green frog skin of heterosexual conformity over us, and that's how we got through school with a full set of teeth," Hay once explained. "We know how to live through their eyes. We can always play their games, but are we denying ourselves by doing this? If you're going to carry the skin of conformity over you, you are going to suppress the beautiful prince or princess within you."
For a great deal more, see previous post here
Saturday, March 19, 2011
On March 19, 2010 celebrity Kathy Griffin headlined a rally at Freedom Plaza in DC calling for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Openly gay West Point graduate, Lt. Dan Choi, and Capt. James Pietrangelo marched from the rally site to the White House and handcuffed themselves to the fence. They were arrested and spent the night in jail, being denied the right to make a phone call and bail until the next day. "But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is -- hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly." Within a year, the Democratic Congress voted to repeal the 18 year old policy, and before he signed the bill into law, President Obama stated that ending the ban will mean that "thousands of patriotic Americans" won't be forced to leave the military "despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay…" and that gay people will no longer be be "asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Credit to GayWisdom.org
1987 - ACT UP was formed [on March 12,1987 following a meeting-speech on March 10th] at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in New York. The writer Vito Russo wrote at the time that "living with AIDS in this country is like living through a war that's happening only for those people in the trenches. Every time a shell explodes you look around to discover that you've lost more of your friends. But nobody else notices, it isn't happening to them." Larry Kramer had been asked to speak at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center as part of a rotating speaker series, and his well-attended speech focused on action to fight AIDS. Kramer spoke out against the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which he perceived as politically impotent. Kramer had actually co-founded the GMHC but had resigned from its board of directors in 1983. According to Douglas Crimp, Kramer posed a question to the audience: "Do we want to start a new organization devoted to political action?" The answer was "a resounding yes." Approximately 300 people met two days later [March 12] to form ACT UP.
They became confrontational about the government's complete lack of urgency towards the plight of the thousands of Gay men dying of AIDS. That was the face of AIDS at the time and no one seemed to care that so many were dying. And many were actively blocking (as many still do) the use of condoms for AIDS prevention. They called out Ronald Reagan and Cardinal O'Connor and Pope John Paul for their responsibility in the deaths of millions while they prevented treatment and prevention. Because of ACT UP, political leaders and the media were forced to pay attention to what was happening. Because of ACT UP things moved for the care and treatment of people living and dying with AIDS. Their work is not finished and their model is one that has been replicated by many dealing with entrenched hostility and animus.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Barrowman met his partner Scott Gill in 1993 and in 2005 they registered as civil partners under British law. They do not call their relationship a marriage: "We're just going to sign the civil register. We're not going to have any ceremony because I'm not a supporter of the word marriage for a Gay partnership." Barrowman explained later: "Why would I want a 'marriage' from a belief system that hates me?" A small ceremony was held in Cardiff with friends and family, with the cast of Torchwood and executive producer Russell T Davies as guests.
In 2009, Barrowman published I Am What I Am, his second memoir detailing his recent television work and musings on fame. In the book, Barrowman reveals that when he was just beginning his acting career, a Gay producer told Barrowman that he should try to pretend to be heterosexual in order to be successful. Barrowman was offended by the incident, and it made him more aware of the importance of his role as a Gay public figure: "One of my explicit missions as an entertainer is to work to create a world where no one will ever make a statement like this producer did to me to anyone who s Gay." To this end, Barrowman is active in his community supporting the issues that matter to him most. He worked with Stonewall, a Gay rights organization in the UK, on the "Education for All" campaign against homophobia in the schools. In April 2008, the group placed posters on 600 billboards that read, "Some people are Gay. Get over it!" Barrowman contributed his support to the project asking people to join him and "Help exterminate homophobia. Be bold. Be brave. Be a buddy, not a bully." In the same month, Barrowman spoke at the Oxford Union about his career, the entertainment industry, and gay rights issues. The event was filmed for the BBC program The Making Of Me, in an episode exploring the science of homosexuality
In 1998, Barrowman was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, and in 2006 he was voted Stonewall's "Entertainer of the Year."
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
credit to Dan Vera and SEE MORE @ gaywisdom.org
1824 - on this date Karl-Maria Kertbeny or Károly Mária Kertbeny (born Karl-Maria Benkert) (d. 1882) was born in Vienna, the son of a writer and painter. He was an Austrian-born Hungarian journalist, memoir-ist and human rights campaigner who in 1869 coined the word homosexual. This was part of his system for the classification of sexual types, as a replacement for the pejorative terms "sodomite" and "pederast" that were used in the German- and French-speaking world of his time. In addition, he called the attraction between men and women "heterosexualism", masturbators "monosexualists", and practitioners of anal intercourse "pygists." [Please note that "homosexuality" was defined first. Then they had to come up with the term for "heterosexuals."]
1973 - on this date two members of the GAY ACTIVIST ALLIANCE appeared on the popular national television program JACK PAAR TONITE show to demand that the host stop using the terms "fairies", "dykes" and "fags" to disparage Gay people. It was the first such conversation on network television and resulted in Paar apologizing for his deluge of anti-gay remarks (he had a long track-record of homophobic remarks over his career).
Friday, February 18, 2011
HYMNE à L'Amour
(Lyrics by Edith Piaf ~Music by M. Monnot / E. Constantine)
Edith Piaf (France), and many covers such as Thierry Amiel, nice one by Josh Groban
Le ciel bleu sur nous peut s'effrondrer
Et la terre peut bien s'écrouler
Peu m'importe si tu m'aimes
Je me fous du monde entier
Tant que l'amour inondera mes matins
Tant que mon corps frémira sous tes mains
Peu m'importent les grands problèmes
Mon amour, puisque tu m'aimes...
J'irais jusqu'au bout du monde
Je me ferais teindre en blonde
Si tu me le demandais...
J'irais décrocher la lune
J'irais voler la fortune
Si tu me le demandais...
Je renierais ma patrie
Je renierais mes amis
Si tu me le demandais...
On peut bien rire de moi,
Je ferais n'importe quoi
Si tu me le demandais...
Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi
Si tu meurs, que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m'importe, si tu m'aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi...
Nous aurons pour nous l'éternité
Dans le bleu de toute l'immensité
Dans le ciel, plus de problèmes
Mon amour, crois-tu qu'on s'aime?...
...Dieu réunit ceux qui s'aiment!
HYMN TO LOVE~ ENGLISH LYRICS
Original : Hymne À L'Amour
(Eddie Constantine / Marguerite Monnot)
Recorded by : Edith Piaf, Thierry Amiel, Christine Albert; Corey Hart; Cyndi Lauper.
NOT a literal translation, but an artistic one
If the sky should fall into the sea
And the stars fade all around me
All the times that we have known here
I will sing a hymn to love
We have lived and dreamed we two alone
In a world that's been our very own
With it's memories ever grateful
Just for you I sing a hymn to love
I remember each embrace
The smile that lights your face
And my heart begins to sing
Your eyes have never lied
And my heart begins to sing
And my heart begins to sing
If one day you should ever disappear
Always remember these words
If one day we had to say goodbye
And our love should fade away and die
In my heart you will remain here
And I'II sing a hymn to love
O for love, we live eternally
In the blue we'll roll this harmony
With every day we are in heaven
As for you, I'll sing a hymn to love
Don't you ever worry, dear
And the stars shall fade from the sky
All the times that we have known here
I will sing a hymn to our love
Just for you I sing
A hymn to love
ENCORE PAR THIERRY AMIEL
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
On this day in 2004, and after 50 years together, LGBT pioneers Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were the 1st gay couple wed in San Francisco weddings. Del died just two short years later in August 2006 at age 87. Phyllis still lives in San Francisco, the undisputed gay female icon of the last 70 years.
In their younger years, Del and Phyllis had founded the lesbian organization, The Daughter’s of Bilitis in 1956. They published for several years the newsletter “The Ladder,” with Phyllis being the first editor for about a year, and Del becoming the editor for the next several years. They also were very involved advocating for the entire LGBTQ community for over 58 years.
For more on their remarkable and very public activism over 50+ years, see Wiki here.
Herewith a letter published in “The Ladder” from Del in 1956, explaining the rationale for the Daughters of Bilitis.
“ . . . The Daughters of Bilitis is a women’s organization resolved to add the feminine voice and viewpoint to a mutual problem. While women may not have as much difficulty with law enforcement, their problems are none the less real — family, sometimes children, employment, social acceptance.
However, the lesbian is a very elusive creature. She burrows underground in her fear of identification. She is cautious in her associations. Current modes in hair style and casual attire have enabled her to camouflage her existence. She claims she does not need help. And she will not risk her tight little fist of security to aid those who do.
But surely the ground work has been well laid in the past 5½ years [referring to earlier references to the male-dominated groups such as The Mattachine Society]. Homosexuality is not the dirty word it used to be. More and more people, professional and lay, are becoming aware of its meaning and implications. There is no longer so much “risk” in becoming associated with [text missing].
And why not “belong”? Many heterosexuals do. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in the minority problems of the sexual variant and does not necessarily indicate one’s own sex preference.
Women have taken a beating through the centuries. It has been only in this 20th, through the courageous crusade of the Suffragettes and the influx of women into the business world, that woman has become an independent entity, an individual with the right to vote and the right to a job and economic security. But it took women with foresight and determination to attain this heritage which is now ours.
And what will be the lot of the future lesbian? Fear? Scorn? This need not be — IF lethargy is supplanted by an energized constructive program, if cowardice gives way to the solidarity of a cooperative front, if the “let Georgia do it” attitude is replaced by the realization of individual responsibility in thwarting the evils of ignorance, superstition, prejudice and bigotry.
Nothing was ever accomplished by hiding in a dark corner. Why not discard the hermitage for the heritage that awaits any red-blooded American woman who dares to claim it?
S/ Del Martin, President
Daughters of Bilitis
Friday, February 11, 2011
U S Rep Tammy Baldwin (D-Ws)
Born February 11, 1962
“The first out lesbian elected to the United States Congress, Democratic legislator Tammy Baldwin has been a strong supporter of glbtq rights, but she is far from a one-issue politician. Because of her solid record on such concerns as health care, the environment, education, and farming, her constituents in Wisconsin have [thus far] elected her to four terms in the House of Representatives. The last two terms, she was elected by over 2 to 1 margins over her nearest opponents.” http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/baldwin_t.html
From wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammy_Baldwin
“Baldwin has stated her support for such legislation as the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and recently voted for the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. These acts criminalize and outline prosecution guidelines and punishments for wage discrimination based on sex. She received a grade of 100 from the League of Women Voters as of 2007. She has received favorable evaluations from other civil rights groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union.
Representative Baldwin has also advanced what she sees as stronger enforcement of laws against sexual violence and violence against women. She is a supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, which allowed victims of sexual violence and other sexual crimes to take their cases to federal courts as well as providing funding for various anti-sexual violence initiatives and programs. She is also among the sponsors of a resolution to promote and support National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
Baldwin has also promoted her efforts on behalf of women's health and reproductive rights. She sponsored of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, which helped low-income, underinsured and uninsured women pay for cervical and breast cancer-related medical services.”
Baldwin and her domestic partner Lauren Azar were together for 16 years before amicably separating and ending their relationship in May, 2010.
Monday, February 7, 2011
During this week, in fact on February 7th, 1941, an incident took place in Hamburg, Germany during World War II. As the Nazi’s reign of terror continued, many gay couples had one man dress as a woman to avoid being caught. One such couple, Franz Liederspool and his lover, Burt Nowitski were out for casual evening of beers and weinershnitzel when the Nazi’s noticed that one of them was actually a woman. The men ran through the crowded streets of Hamburg trying to escape the Nazi’s when they ended up in a dark alley.
Knowing that if they were caught together they were doomed, Franz Liederspool told Burt Nowitsk, who was dressed as the woman, to go into the back entrance of a local burlesque house. Little did Franz know that the door actually led right to the stage. For the next three hours the Nazi’s hunted for the gay couple while Burt performed with some of the best leg kicks that the German people had ever seen. Not only did the Nazi’s not find them, but the soldiers eventually grew tired and went for some R&R at the very burlesque house that Burt was working at. It was quite an ironic twist of fate, indeed.
Years later the movies “La Cage au Folles” and “The Bird Cage” were loosely based on their story.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For many French people La Chandeleur is a chance to enjoy a lot of crêpes, as well as do some fortune telling while making them.
The tradition is to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other; then toss the crêpe in the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will enjoy prosperity for the rest of the year.