National Coming Out Day

If you’re a closeted LGBTQ person and you’re ready to come out to the world, today is your day!  If you’re not ready, it’s okay, don’t worry when you’re ready we’ll be here waiting for you.  Unless your Queen Latifah, in which case, give it up already and join the fold publicly.

10.08.10, My 31st Birthday and my first Flash Mob

A little after 6PM at New York’s Grand Central Terminal a whistle sounded three times.  After the third cry dozens of bodies slowly collapsed to the ground.

6PM on a Friday night in Grand Central Terminal is sort of a mash up of many things.  It’s a tourist stop and Friday is the day they all come to NYC.  It’s right after the work day when the trains to Westchester County and Fairfield County stop running express and drag on forever on the local schedule.  It’s where business men and women stop for drinks before heading home, it’s where brides and grooms take pictures after their NYC weddings.  On October 8, 2010, it let those busy, bustling people see the effects of homophobia.

property of Erika K. Davis

The fact is that Homophobia Kills.  It kills in a very real sense, the names of people we’ve lost due to homophobia were said aloud for all of those present could hear their names.  Homophobia also kills the soul.  When a gay youth is told that they are worthless, they are sinners, they are ugly, they are inhuman and they have no outlet or resource to give comfort their soul dies.  Just as a child should never be told they are stupid, no gay person should ever discount their worth. 

Property of Erika K. Davis

When people turn a blind eye to hateful words and ugly deeds, Homophobia Kills.  It was to be expected that hurried New Yorkers would walk over the bodies.  We were occupying one of the busiest spaces on the entire island, but the not seeing of the New Yorkers trying to make their trains, the lack of compassion to even stop and ask, the desire to not see the death around them was eye-opening and it’s more than just a metaphor it is reality.  People hear and see acts of violence done to LGBTQ people and instead of lending a hand, they walk away.

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for repairing the world.  It is our duty, as Jews, to participate in the repair of the world on every level.  We grow up in a Christian society that spouts sayings like, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but its loaded and rattled with inequalities.  Our society as always put some one, some class, some minority aside or down to lift another up.  We cannot sit idly by and watch this continue to happen.  I urge you, no I implore you to do what you can to repair the world. 

I often wonder what happened to the Civil Rights activists of the 60s and 70s, did they not teach their children to act up?  Why aren’t some of us, folks in our late 20s and 30s, children of these activists more active?  When they saw the world around them filled with injustice and inequality they marched, we hop online.  Personally, I always say but rarely do. 

Yesterday was my birthday and I felt alive watching the dead bodies lie in Grand Central Terminal.  I felt moved in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.  I was inspired and I was angry but the thing that I realized is that I should only be angry with myself for not moving, talking, acting sooner and found inspiration in those who gave their lives, unwillingly, to the cause.

Time Out New York Singles Issue and my neighbor’s sexcapade

The February 4-10 red and heart laden cover of Time Out New York promises that if you open up you can meet 104 NYC Singles.  So I flipped to page 14 and was really surprised to find that out of the 114 singles chosen 7  are lesbians, 2 are female bisexual girls, 3 are male bisexuals, and a whopping 13 gays.  In total 25 eligible LGBT folks in NYC to check out. I’m a little concerned that they couldn’t find more lesbians for the issue but almost 25% isn’t a completely tragic percentage of homosexual love from Time Out New York.

 According to the issue you can read all about these single gays at http://newyork.timeout.com/articles/sex-dating/82394/date-these-singles  I gotta say, the ladies are really cute.  One in particular, Joshua, is so amazing.  She’s definitely not my type but I’ve met and chatted with her several times at her store.  She’s the owner of Rags-a-g0-go on 14th and 8th-one of Mirs and I’s favorite vintage haunts in NYC.  It never fails that every time we go in she gives a lot of special attention to my gf.  I think she may have a baby crush.  She’s a really down chick, really funny, super talkative, and knows a lot about music and vintage boots.  I met my gf online (not via a magazine singles issue) but hey, why not give it a shot if you’re lookin’ for love in NYC?

I’m not lookin’ for love, I’m looking for more lesbian friends.  I wonder if it would be weird to send some of the more interesting ones a message to just be friends.  Something like:

Dear You,

I saw your personal (I hope the term “personal”doesn’t offend) in the recent issue of Time Out New York.   While I’m not looking for a girlfriend because I’m happy in love, I am looking for some lesbian friends.  Please note that “friends” does not mean that we’re looking for a third for some kinky threesome it means just friends.  Someone to hang out with, go drink beers with and play pick up basketball at playgrounds in the summer.  Let me know what you think.

From,

Me.

For an experiment thing for writing purposes I think I will.

I have  some wicked audio from night 3 in a row of my upstairs neighbor’s sexual triste with a fellow named Nick.  I slept with Mirs last night at her place so I’m not sure that there was a night 4.  When I was awakened from my blissful and much-needed sleep at 1 AM by her shrieks of orgasmic bliss I stuck my arm and Blackberry out of my window and recorded 52 seconds to share.  Unfortunately, it’s either me or my computer or me, but I can’t get the fucking file to download here so until I figure it out, take my word for it.  I could get paid money by selling this shit to porn companies for looping sex noises.  It’s intense, slightly faked orgasm noises complete with classic lines such as, “OH FUCK!”  and “OH GOD!”

In Celebration of Black History Month 4 & 5

I’ve been slacking, yes.  I don’t have an excuse so I won’t make one up.  Let’s just get to my pair of Black LGBT Picks for the day.

Rebecca Walker

http://www.rebeccawalker.com/

and

Alice Walker

http://www.alicewalkersgarden.com/alice_walker_welcom.html

At the risk of sounding mocking or like a bad imitation of an In Living Color sketch, “Can’t we all just get along!”  The literary genius that these two women possess is mind-boggling.  In trying to find just a little more information about each I’ve them my list of books to purchase sky rocketed.  I’m a sucker for a good memoir and the fact that Rebecca has inked two that I’ve not read is painful for me to think about.

It is my understanding that remarks made in Rebecca’s first Memoir, Black, White, and Jewish: An Autobiography of a Shifting Self are the reason behind the current estrangement between these two literary feminist powerhouses.  It is interesting though, to see the deep correlation of the make up of their lives.  They’re both considered strong feminists, they’ve both been romantically linked to ladies that play guitars, they’re both mothers, they are some of the most out-spoken black female voices of their era.  This article, written by Rebecca, is very eye-opening, poignant, and incredibly blunt.  I can see how a mother would be upset by it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1021293/How-mothers-fanatical-feminist-views-tore-apart-daughter-The-Color-Purple-author.html

That said, collectively they are two of the most fascinating and arguably the best African American female writers of this century.  Thank you, Walkers, for making my reading list grow by leaps and bounds, thank you for our words, wisdom, and courage.

in celebration of Black History Month 1

I hate “Months”  Especially as the only black kid in my sixth grade class then one of two in my seventh and eight grade classes it’s a lot of pressure.  A lot of stuff.  God, I have to write more of my novel.  Anyway.  I think “Months” are silly.  You can’t take the entire accomplishment of one race or sex or cause and simplify it into a single month.  Every day should be Breast Cancer Awareness, Women’s Suffrage, Black History Day.  ‘

That’s not the America we live in, unfortunately so I wanted to try to make a post dedicated to a gay/bi/trans/maybe so Black Woman who was influential to the world.   There’s no reason I’m starting with Josephine Baker other than the fact that I think she was beautiful.

I have a post card of the above image framed in my house because I think it is marvelous.  There’s a softness in the shape of her body-a length in her limbs and her neck and simplicity.  It’s breathtaking.

If you google Josephine Baker you’ll get a lot of websites siting her upbringing in the United States to her rise to sophistication and stardom in Paris, the constant rejection of the United States-a Times reviewer called  her a “Negro Wench” A few hint at her sexuality.  Wikipedia and the GLBTQ Website mention her affairs with women including Frida Khalo. 

I love that she was an advocate for civil rights in the United States while living as a French Citizen, her involvement in WW2 efforts abroad, and her recognition as an advocate for equal rights at home gives her an A+ in my book.  Bravo Ms. Baker!

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween in New York City.  I love riding the subway on Halloween.  I’d forgotten what it’s like to get into a subway car and be surrounded by ghouls, goblins, and ladies in fishnets and short dresses.  Oh and the undertaker.  Seriously, two Angels of Death, Ghost of Christmas Past dudes head to toe black…sort of scary.

Last year I went to my friend’s house in South Norwalk, Connecticut for Halloween with my queer friend, Mark.  We had a good time-I dressed up as Little Red Riding Hoe and he as a Court Jester. 
This year I’m at Miriam’s watching her study for her cognitive neuro-something midterm on Wednesday of next week.  Mark and I made plans early this year to go as angels.  He would go as Lucifer, the Fallen Angel and I as Gabrielle, the avenging angel.  He is now in a relationship with a Mormon girl who he’s been dating on and off (in between boys) basically since college.  He spent the last weekend in Utah meeting her parents so I’m pretty sure that they’ll be getting married sooner or later and that I won’t be able to attend, as I am not a Mormon.
On my birthday my Mark came out to Local 138 for some cheep beers with me and my friends.  Mostly couples attended my birthday Happy Hour, Tiara and Athea, Natalie and Emily, Miriam and I, my roommates and then Mark.  When Mark went to get more rounds I made a comment that he was “straight-ish” and everyone was shocked.  Mark just projects GAY.  I assured them all that he was happily in a relationship with his lady and that they were most likely getting married.
It was a tough thing to come to, Mark being straight.  Actually, he doesn’t consider himself straight (which is why I called him my queer friend)  yet, to the world, he is, from a distance.  You’d see him walking hand-in-hand with his lady not blink an eye.  Yet, you could see him walking hand-in-hand with a guy and not blink an eye either.  He’s handsome, he’s a theater guy, he works retail, gets manicures, frets over his outfits, he’s so, so…what’s the word.  Oh, Gay!  He’s just so damned pretty.  Going out with him, he’s always getting checked out by guys, always.
Two years ago on Halloween Mark and I were deep in our Erika/Mark love.  It was always flirtatious, always fun, always just friends.  We’d spend long brunch Sundays together on the LES.  First to Essex, then to Epstein’s, then to Pianos, over to Local 138 and slowly make our way back to his apartment WAY uptown to drink beers, watch TV and drunkenly fall asleep.  I told him first about my impending gayness and he totally understood.  He told me about his relationships with men and I was completely jealous that he’d experienced same-sex relationships, yes plural, before me.   I was just entering that “I’m bi” stage and he was right there with me.
Fast forward to now and I’m gay all the way and he’s still bi.  He actually told his lady that he was bi and her response was that it was who he was and it made him a “more interesting” person to be with.  Um, really?  I dunno.  I don’t bi-bash and I think that everyone deserves equality and to be treated with fairness but I don’t think I’d like my partner, gay or straight, running of to be with anyone.  To each her own, I suppose.
On my birthday I voiced my sadness in his bi-ness.  I reminded him of how, two years earlier, we were taking our first timid steps in the the big world of the LBGT community in NYC.  We’re both from small towns and we were glad to have each other as refuge into this new life.  But he promised me that he loved her and you can’t argue with love.  I still think that you can’t pick who you love, you can chose who you love, that love just is.  I wasn’t quite sure though, because after he said he loved her, he said he was bummed that the prospect of being with another guy again was basically zip.   After that Utah trip, I’m sure it’s true.  
I’m not the kind of girl to send bad mojo to someone else but I foresee an unhappy marriage down the line.  One that ends because my friend Mark has found the real love of his life in Matt (yes, my friend Matt, I happen to think they’re perfect for one another!) or other man and the lady will be left broken-hearted and the children confused and angry.  We shall see.
So this Halloween I’m sitting on Miriam’s bed on her computer writing while she’s deeply engrossed in her text book.  I’m missing the parade and the debauchery that is a New York queer parade and sort of bummed.  Especially since the weather is pleasantly mild for the last day of October.  She insists that I can go to the parade but what’s a parade alone?  Besides, I’ve been feeling ill for the passed two days and nothing gives me greater pleasure than watching her in her cute green short shorts, hair in a messy ponytail, wearing my polka dot bobby pins scribbling her tiny scrawling words onto note cards.
I hope you all are having a fantastic Samhain, All Hallows, Day of the Dead, All Saint’s Day tonight!