Stonewall Fort(y) Worth

June 29, 2009

Quick – let’s get David Carter to write the “definitive and comprehensive” account of this police raid too.  We wouldn’t want any non-straight-acting-gay-male-approved personages to swish their way into the historical record, now would we?

From Pam’s House Blend:

Is this what the police in Fort Worth, TX call “Stonewall Commemoration”? A gay club called the Rainbow Lounge opened in the city and Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema and former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was celebrating his birthday at the club and two Stonewall docs were being screened.That evening the Fort Worth Police decided to pay a visit and re-enact good-old-fashioned “law enforcement.”

An eyewitness said that she was initially pleased to see the police, thinking they were there to protect patrons since the bar was in a rough part of town. That quickly changed.

She asked why they were there and he said a disgruntled employee had said that the bar was overserving people.  She told him she had been drinking but that she had a designated driver.  He told her that she was fine.  She said they only arrested men and seemed to be targeting effeminate men.

From the Dallas Voice blog:

Just got an e-mail from “Robert H” who said he was at the Rainbow Longe last night when the police arrived with “a paddy wagon … looking for touble.”

He said he and his friends were sitting on the patio and “nobody was being wild out there” when the police “came through with flashlights being loud” and “took one guy away.”

He said he left shortly thereafter and at the front door “numerous cops were there with plastic handcuffs all ready to go” and that “it wasn’t fire hazard crowded or seedy wild” in the bar.

He said friends called him later and that they were harassed in the bar and that the straight girl in their group “who was nowhere near drunk who got grabbed by the arm, but the worst part is they said they [the cops] had numerous people face down  on the ground outside.”

He wrote: “It felt so very Stonewall, but without the standing up for ourselves.”

Maybe the bar needed a Puerto Rican trans woman as a designated resistance-igniter.

A different posting on the blog notes:

I got a phone call at 3 this morning from Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema and former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was Camp’s birthday and the night of a special Q Cinema screening of two Stonewall documentaries… because it was ALSO the 40th anniverary of Stonewall, as anyone knows.

Except, apparently, the Fort Worth PD.

Or maybe worse, they DID know and wanted to make a point.

The horrific details after the jump.

According to Camp, the newly-opened Rainbow Lounge is “the only cool gay bar in town”….

OK – now, I’ve been to “cool” gay bars and other establishments that were trans-friendly, but I am left to wonder what the definition of “cool” here is.  Still, lets not forget that the villians here are whoever decided to go roust the queers for no real reason other than to apparently send a message.


Stonewall Faux-rty

June 28, 2009

When the Faux News Channel of newspapers, the New York Post, gets into the LGBT history game, the only sure thing is a train wreck on the scale of, well…, Supertrain.

Case in point: Eric Marcus stroking David Carter and calling it history.

Whole books have been written about what happened at the Stonewall Inn, none more definitive and comprehensive than David Carter’s “Stonewall.” What emerges from Carter’s account contradicts the customary beliefs about Stonewall. Rock-throwing transvestites didn’t start the fight (cross-dressing was against the law so it was rare to find anyone in full drag).

When that piece of neo-Mattachine garbage came out five years ago, I tried to be fair.  In that it did mention a lot of people who, by any honest analysis, are trans (despite the neo-Mattachine disdain for any non-homo concept), it actually was better to a degree than the Birth of a Nation of gay histories, Dudley Clendenin and Adam Nagourney’s 1999 Out for Good.

However…

To read Carter’s piece of whatever it is, you wouldn’t simply come away with a Sylvia Rivera-less vision of the Stonewall Riots.  You’d come away with the impression that, in the 35 years after Stonewall, no claim had ever been made that she was there.  No wonder, then, that its getting a friendly stroke in the newspaper end of the Rupert Murdock fantasy factory.  Their m.o.?  If you ignore it, you’ve debunked it.

Now don’t get me wrong here.  I’m not leading a charge of  the Sylvia Rivera defenders.  I was alive in 1969 and was old enough to have memories of that summer – but they were of watching my mommy’s tummy grow with my sister, who would make her first appearance in October.  So, no, I have no first-hand memories of Stonewall (or Woodstock) either from onsite or even watching the news – so, in turn, I cannot personally vouch for Sylvia being there.

But plenty of people have.

Enough that, even if Carter felt he had managed to put together evidence proving that Rivera was not there, for him to be taken seriously (outside of Murdoch Manor) he still has to mention Rivera and the fact that so many accounts of Stonewall have her at the center of things – even if he might want to re-wtite history to the extent ofportraying her as a trans Silas Lynch (after all, that’s what Clendenin and Nagourney did, collectively, to the transsexual activists of mid-1970s Minneapolis.)

Unfortunately, Carter was also allowed to present himself as legit in a forum outside of Murdoch Manor, namely the Bay Area’s KQED.  Unfortunately, that brings bad news to the doorstep as well.  Joelle Ruby Ryan listened to the program and notes:

I just listened to him–it is so obvious that he is trying to downplay the trans presence at Stonewall and forward a homocentric form of academic gay imperialism–and now he is working on a documentary film about Stonewall–I can only imagine how much misinformation he will spread through that distorted media.

Oh I’m sure that the Log Cabin Republicans will somehow get all the credit – time travel, whatever….


Out For His Own

June 28, 2009

Why does the NY Times continue to let Adam Nagourney write about LGBT issues? 

After all – with him, two of those four letters might as well not be on his keyboard.

Together with Dudley Clendenin, he co-authored 1999’s Out For Good (okay, I guess he’d need ‘T’ for the title of that; my bad), perhaps the most anti-trans slanted history of the LGBT rights movement ever published.  Don’t want to take my word for that?  From Paisley Currah & Shannon Minter’s Transgender Equality:

The story behind the activism in Minnesota that led to the nation’s first transgender inclusive human rights laws was not easy to unearth. As Donna Cartwright has pointed out in “Distorting Mirror: Trivializing and Silencing Transgendered people in Queer Media,” (Transgender Tapestry Magazine, forthcoming), even one of the most extensive accounts of that history, Adam Nagourney and Dudley Clendinen’s Out For Good “treats [trans people] largely as a disempowered, voiceless ‘other.’” In their account of the Minnesota struggles about trans inclusion, for example, Cartwright notes that Nagourney and Clendinen “primarily quote opponents of trans-inclusion, and to a lesser extent, gay advocates for transgender rights,” while failing to let the voices of transgendered activists appear in their narrative. Cartwright also points out that “their description of us ‘gender queers’ virtually drips with condescension.”

Nagourney pecketh:

But on Monday, 250 gay leaders are to join Mr. Obama in the East Room to commemorate publicly the 40th anniversary of the birth of the modern gay rights movement: a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York. By contrast, the first time gay leaders were invited to the White House, in March 1977, they met a midlevel aide on a Saturday when the press and President Jimmy Carter were nowhere in sight.

The conflicting signals from the White House about its commitment to gay issues reflect a broader paradox: even as cultural acceptance of homosexuality increases across the country, the politics of gay rights remains full of crosscurrents.

Trans………………………………………….?

One image and caption that accompanied the piece:

Larry Morris/The New York Times

The Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969, days after a police raid set off demonstrations that are considered to be the start of the gay-rights movement.

And another:

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Performers from Broadway and beyond commemorated the anniversary of the Stonewall riots on Thursday in Times Square.

I”m not sure what to make of the fuscia-clad person near the middle or the green one near the right edge.  Still……

Trans……………………………………..?

There is also an emerging generational divide on gay issues — younger Americans tend to have more liberal positions — that has fueled what pollsters said was a measurable liberalization in views on gay rights over the past decade.

And the younger ones that I have an opportunity to teach tend to get a better – more accurate – representation of LGBT history than they ever would from Adam Nagourney.


The Lexicon of The John

June 27, 2009

On its face, this is actually a legit observation by The Joe, one of the other frequent posters at Marriage Derangement Syndrome Central:

Merriam-Webster defines homophobia this way:

Irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.

We all know practitioners of homophobia — mostly Republicans, right-wingers, Catholic leaders, etc.

There is, however, a version of homophobia that is much more insidious: Political Homophobia.

Political homophobes aren’t gay-hating in the traditional sense. In fact, publicly, most are strong supporters of LGBT equality. But, behind closed doors, many Democratic leaders, consultants, Hill staffers and the rest will vociferously argue that there is no political benefit to actually supporting LGBT rights. Political homophobia is rampant among some Democrats. In some ways, it’s worse than blatant homophobia, since we think most Democrats are on our side. And outwardly, they are.

Political homophobia dictates policy in DC more than we’d like to think. I believe it’s happening in the West Wing right now.

However…

Explain, then, why there apparently is no such thing as ‘political transphobia’ and/or why the ‘incremental progress’ addicts who claim that they’re not transphobic but merely pragmatic do not, in fact, suffer from ‘political transphobia.’

Enquiring minds will really want to know once the usual ‘incremental progress’ subjects rear their privileged, overpaid, hegemonic heads in the ENDA 2009 battle and claim that they’re not transphobic.

The West Wing’s political homophobia is not only damaging relations with the LGBT community, it’s damaging the Obama brand.

For we all know – though fewer will acknowledge – what the political transphobia of certain gay organizations and officials has done to the LGB(T) community.


Half a Loaf? Not When it Was a Gay-Only Issue

June 27, 2009

From the May 4, 1993 issue of The Advocate, an item by John Gallagher (sorry, I ran across this while cleaning out paper-based research so its just scanned text; if I run across an online version, I’ll add a link):

Half a loaf? No way, say gay and lesbian political organizers.

President Clinton’s hint that he might accept duty restrictions on gay and lesbian service personnel in  fulfilling his campaign pledge to lift the Pentagon’s ban on them heightened speculation that he fears he cannot deliver on his promise. Meanwhile, many of his most visible supporters were infuriated.

Openly gay White House aide Bob Hattoy said he “almost started crying” upon hearing Clinton’s comment, and two days later several influential gay and lesbian fundraisers publicly threatened to cut off contributions to the Democratic Party. Fumed Tim McFeeley, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, a gay lobby: “We’ve been forking over money and supporting their candidates and being quiet for too long. We’re not here just to write checks.”

Well, you damn sure weren’t there to educate anyone in Congress about trans-anything, now were ya?


Thank You, I Won’t

June 26, 2009

From a piece o’ Spam from the Scam….

paign, that is.

Dear Katrina,

Every time you pay the bills, go to the movies, or eat out, you could be helping HRC secure equal rights for LGBT Americans.

How? By using your HRC Visa® credit card.  Apply now!

The HRC Visa® card is the one and only card that automatically contributes a percentage of each purchase to HRC. Support equality just by swiping your card, all while enjoying:

  • No annual fee;
  • Low Intro APR offer*;
  • Points: Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on purchases everywhere;
  • Get a 2-for-1 airfare certificate after you charge $100 or more in qualifying transactions on your new card on or before December 31, 2009**;
  • WorldPoints® rewards: Redeem points for cash back, merchandise, gift cards, hotels and travel with no blackout dates and more;
  • MyConciergeSM service: Access a unique personal assistance service that can help with dining reservations, gifts and personal shopping, tickets for sporting events, concerts and shows, unique transportation, and more.

Apply for the HRC Visa® credit card and make sure your shopping is supporting equality!

My shopping does support equality because my dollars go everywhere except to the Scampaign.

And now…

The credit money shot:

HRCVisa

The HRC Visa® card is offered by Bank of America, a National Corporate Sponsor of HRC with a 100% score on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

You remember BOFA, don’tcha?

Bailed-out Bank of America has been doling out millions in bonuses in an effort to lure talent and keep investment bankers who management views as vital, sources tell The Post.

Among those who are said to have received payouts are two former Merrill Lynch bankers, Fares Noujaim, who was recently appointed as BofA’s vice chairman of investment banking, and Harry McMahon, a well-connected West Coast-based banker. Both were offered guarantees not to leave the firm.

Noujaim, a former Bear Stearns banker who joined Merrill last year, is said to have received roughly $15 million over two years.

Sources say Noujaim — a well-regarded banker focusing on the Middle East — was offered a vice-chairman role, and may have been offered at least $5 million more to stay. His earlier employment contract was nullified once Merrill merged with BofA earlier this year, sources said.

The guarantees being shelled out by the embattled bank run by CEO Ken Lewis are raising eyebrows on Wall Street because BofA has taken $45 billion in capital from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and hasn’t been allowed to refund that money.

A BofA spokeswoman argued that paying talented employees top dollar to stay is necessary because rival firms are poaching its best execs at an alarming rate.

I wonder if it has any ‘talented’ trans employees?

Or…

at least as many as the Scampaign does?

Enquiring minds want to know.


Submit Your Own Caption

June 26, 2009

One never knows what one will receive on one’s cell phone from one’s niece.

Bird & Louise