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Stonewall: The real story

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The Stonewall Riots are iconic in the history of LGBTQ+ rights, and as such, it’s highly likely that everyone reading this has at least a passing knowledge of the event. But many portrayals of the riots actually gloss over or outright ignore the contributions of trans people, women, and POC (looking at you, Stonewall)

In order to understand the reasons for the Stonewall Riots, we need to understand what it was like for LGBTQ+ people in the years prior, so let’s take an incredibly short trip through the early 20th century. Fair warning, you’ll probably want to punch the screen.

Basically, identifying as LGBTQ+ was illegal in all but one US state by the time of the Stonewall Riots, and it was also considered a mental illness which could be ‘treated’ with castration, lobotomies, and electroshock therapy. Even WW2 vets who identified as LGBTQ+ didn’t get the respect they deserved, many gay/bi servicemen (particularly MOC) were given blue discharges; which were technically neither honourable or dishonourable but in reality, barred them from receiving the benefits of the GI bill.

So gay men and lesbians set up their own organisations, The Mattachine Society and The Daughters of Bilitis respectively, as social clubs for their local communities but they quickly spread across the country and became hotbeds for LGBTQ+ activism.

Stonewall

The Stonewall Inn was a mafia-run gay bar in New York City, which was raided by police on June 28, 1969, under the pretence of not having a proper alcohol license. However, the police never really needed an excuse to raid gay bars at that time.

During raids, the police would check that people were wearing at least four items of gender-appropriate clothing and if there was any doubt on the person’s gender, police would inspect their genitals (wtf?).

Most LGBTQ+ people would attempt to leave bars during police raids, because at the time, being gay was only legal in one state: Illinois. Being outed would not only result in discrimination, but likely prosecution.

Given that there is no footage of the riot, there are several conflicting eyewitness accounts about who was there and who threw the first brick at the police, but one thing is certain, this night was different.

The patrons refused to hand over their IDs and fought back against police who tried to inspect their genitals. The police reacted violently; groping and beating the patrons. When Storme DeLarverie (a lesbian of color) complained that her handcuffs were too tight, they hit her on the head with a baton and she pleaded with those around to help.

Someone then threw a brick at the police and Marsha P. Johnson (a trans WOC) threw a shot glass. This became known as the shot glass heard round the world.

As news of the riot spread, more people arrived and the police barricaded themselves, along with some patrons, inside the Stonewall Inn.

At the time, the Stonewall Inn was where the most marginalized of the marginalized gathered; people of color, trans people, homeless youth. The patrons at the Stonewall Inn accepted them, gave them a community, a home. The patrons fought for Stonewall because it represented the only thing they had to lose: each other.

Post-Stonewall

In the decades following Stonewall, the LGBTQ+ rights movement became more radical, advocating overthrowing the system rather than trying to exist within it. Basically, if you wanted us to be nice, you should have been nicer to us.

The Gay Liberation Front advocated the overthrow of capitalism, the use of militant tactics to fight oppression, and the right to take pride in their sexuality and allied themselves with other anti-oppression movements like black power and women’s liberation.

While Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), formed by Stonewall rioters Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera (a trans-WOC) protested prison conditions, housing and workplace discrimination, discriminatory legal practices and police harassment.

In June 1970, Craig Rodwell organized the first Pride March from Sixth Avenue to the Stonewall Inn. The message was clear: We aren’t going back into the closet.

It wasn’t all plain sailing from here on out for LGBTQ+ rights. While some gains were made, like eventually legalizing love and equal marriage, our community also faced some massive roadblocks from social conservatives and the Religious Right who tried to demonize us at every turn, especially during the AIDS crisis.

In 2015, the Stonewall Inn was designated an NYC landmark for its contribution to LGBTQ+ history; the first landmark to be honored in this way.

The issues faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the USA weren’t fixed overnight and regrettably many are here today but this was a huge moment in our history and we owe more than we can ever imagine to those brave men, women, and non-binary folks who risked their freedom to give us ours. We’ve come a long way, since 1969, but we sure as hell have a long way to go.

The Stonewall Riots occurred was when the lit match of standing up for your rights and the rights of others fell on the oily trash of how governmental institutions treat(ed) LGBTQ+ people, but now it is up to us to keep the flame burning. Who’s with me?

Originally posted 2017-07-09 15:35:41.

Emma is a queer British freelance writer specializing in politics, travel, and entertainment. Barack Obama (yes, that one) follows her on Twitter and she’s never been sure why. She takes her coffee seriously and wears odd socks because life’s too short.

Entertainment

#FiveFilms4Freedom LGBT+ Film Festival

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The #FiveFilms4Freedom 2017 film festival is travelling across the pond this November. Originally hosted in Britain this past March, it is the first and largest LGBT+ film festival, and has featured independent LGBT+ short films from around the globe.

The film festival began in 2014 in Britain, sponsored by the British Council and the British Film Institute. It is a part of the larger BFI Flare film festival, which began in 1986, and is sponsored by the Love is GREAT Britain Campaign. .

This year’s #FiveFilms4Freedom festival marked 50 years since the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain. As such, all five films were created by UK filmmakers.

After the films premiered in the UK in March, they were brought to Washington, D.C. on November 1, and will be shown in Los Angeles on November 13 and in New York City on November 16. The festival will also feature a panel of prominent LGBT+  rights advocates from the US and the UK, as well as two participating directors.  

The films focus on a range of LGBT+ relationships and issues. The majority of them are love stories; Crush tells the story of a young girl who finds herself smitten with another girl she sees at a train station, Heavy Weight deals with a young male boxer and his reaction to the arrival of a new fighter, and Jamie is a very modern story about a man who bravely decides to meet with the man he has been talking to on a dating site. The other two films explore very different experiences in the LGBT+ community. Still Burning is about a young migrant living in Paris who shows his brother the exciting and freeing voguing movement. The title is taken from the film Paris is Burning, a documentary about the voguing movement in New York City and its effect on the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities. The final film is a documentary set in Scotland, entitled Where We Are Now, and focuses on a transgender parent and her bisexual daughter.

The BFI Flare festival as well as #FiveFilms4Freedom have given the LGBT+ community an excellent place for celebration and representation, especially in the UK. With the decriminalization of homosexuality 31 years ago, British LGBT+ representation is extremely important because it has only been able to exist for a short amount of time. The festival allows filmmakers to make LGBT+ people and relationships extremely public, and continues to encourage and support the idea that LGBT+ people can make and star in incredible pieces of media. The move from showing the films in Britain alone to showing them in the US will hopefully continue to encourage the rise of LGBT+ relationships in mainstream media as well as in independent media.

Tickets for the festival in New York City are still available for reservation here. The festival is on November 16 from 6 – 9 PM at the Barclays-ASK Auditorium on Seventh Avenue. The festival is also currently accepting submissions for next year’s festival here.

Originally posted 2017-11-13 21:00:23.

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Online Dating While Genderqueer #notokcupid

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Anatomy, pronouns, sexual orientation. These suddenly become much more important when talking to cis men online. I often don’t disclose my gender identity or pronouns in conversation because I don’t want to scare folks away. I also figure it’s more of a 2nd date conversation. I do mention my pronouns in my bios, though. I don’t want to hide my gender identity, but I also don’t want to talk about it a lot. There’s more to me than just my gender (or lack thereof), and I’m not interested in teaching Queer Theory 101 courses when we could be talking about movies, or where we grew up, or which Disney Princess is our favorite. It’s an exhausting thing to talk about – there’s a lot of emotional energy and work involved, often met with even more invasive questions, a sense of entitlement, and arguments.

Living in Brooklyn, dating can be exhausting. A major pro is the seemingly endless amount of options/available folks. At the same time, a major con is the seemingly endless amount of options/available folks. There is a lot of sifting and sorting that needs to be done before even meeting someone in real life. Here are three dating apps I’ve used, and my experiences with each.

OKCupid

OKCupid is one of my favorite dating platforms thus far. The expansive options for gender identity/sexual orientation, and the option to not be seen by straight people, is validating and creates a safer space for an already vulnerable venture. OKCupid does require a bit more work – not only in filling out your profile, but when looking for cuties. There is a swipe feature, just like Tinder and Bumble, but OKC is a better platform for folks interested in dating, not just hookups.

Bumble

Bumble has been a recent favorite of mine, simply because of fast results. I get to know within seconds of a swipe if someone also likes me, and I have to message first within 24 hours, giving me the power to initiate conversation. If the other person doesn’t reply within 24 hours, then the connection is lost. I enjoy this feature because I get to set the tone. Getting a dick pic instead of “Hello, I also adore the film ‘Nacho Libre’” is a much less successful and appealing opener. Bumble is not as trans or queer friendly. There are two gender options for your identity and who you are looking to talk to, and you must select one for each. You can also only change your gender once – so you better decide which end of the binary you’d like to claim, and stick with it!

Side note: I’ve also heard that Michael Che is on Bumble. Michael – if you’re reading this, let’s get coffee?

Tinder

OH GEEZ. I had a tinder account for quite a while, and haven’t been back on it in over a year. Apparently, it has gotten more trans inclusive, with a total of 37 gender identity choices. Tinder is the ultimate hookup app. That doesn’t mean one couldn’t find folks seeking other types of interactions, the likelihood might just be slimmer. To me, Tinder feels like a frat party, and I’m not in Greek Life.

When Life Gives You Interactions with Dumb Bois, Make a Hashtag

On any dating platform, you’re bound to have some … interesting conversations. The internet is powerful – it makes people braver, ruder, and sometimes dumber. When I’m getting harassing messages from dumb bois, I feel safer telling them off than I do in real life. I’m less likely to get assaulted, physically and/or emotionally. I also screenshot EVERYTHING. If you feel comfortable talking to me that way, then I’m sure you won’t mind me sharing that with the entire world. Here are some memorable interactions I’ve had that I’ve posted to my personal Instagram:

Notice how he doesn’t deny it… #notokcupid #smelly

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So greedy. #notokcupid

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When he’s a dumb boy but also loves @rupaulofficial ? #notokcupid

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LET THE GAMES BEGIN!! #notokcupid

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… but you're not a feminist? #thingsthatmakeyougohmmm #notokcupid

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Boy, can I relate. #notokcupid

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Originally posted 2017-11-13 18:58:09.

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That Looks Like A…: Provocative Holiday Foods

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(*Article contains mature themes.*)

 

Have you ever looked at a food or read its name and instinctively turned into a tomato?  (Or better still, maybe you and your freaky self were actually turned on by it!)  Well, you don’t have to be depraved or even gay to enjoy these three provocative foods, but you’ll have more fun with them if you are.

 

SPOTTED DICK

 

While this dessert has a wonderfully raunchy name, it is sadly tame in appearance.  It hails from Britain (go figure), and does unnatural things with currants or raisins.  It is typically categorized as a pudding, but looks more like an odd-shaped muffin, to be honest.  Here’s just one recipe:  https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spotted-dick-103210

 

The best way to pervert this dish is to shape it, but I won’t be graphic in my description of the ways you can do that.  If you’re not handy in the kitchen, just go to a naughty bakery!  However, you should always be a good (or slutty) host and serve this dish with vanilla custard, as is tradition…

 

HIDE THE SAUSAGE

 

Another British treat, this spongy, sausage infested con-cock-tion is little more than cheap meat in dough.  To the bane of the straight community, it is still a popular dish to serve to a large dinner party because it is not difficult to make.  (Note:  It’s also called “Toad in the Hole” because heterosexuals are often uptight about where they hide their sausages.)

 

In my opinion, this dish looks less sexual and more like something the cast of Duck Dynasty would serve to their guests.  If you like odd tasting desserts, though, this recipe could be just what you’re looking for.  https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/5822/toad-in-the-hole-in-4-easy-steps

 

AN INSTANT CLASSIC:  THE BANANA SPLIT

 

Ok, so I’m gonna catch hell for throwing this popular dessert into the mix, but I do so by request.  We all know how to make it; two scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, one banana, some hot fudge sauce, and a cherry.

 

There are so many jokes I could make out of this, but I will simply describe something I saw at a holiday party that will forever change the way you look at this ice cream treat.  The banana sat in the center, two gobs of chocolate ice cream, one on each side… Need I go on?  I’ve never seen more suggestively placed hot fudge syrup, all of it lying at one end of the plate.  Even the cherry looked like it was blushing, sitting daintily on the banana’s tip with its vein, er… vine facing backwards.  It was quite a sight – I only wish I had quit laughing long enough to snap a picture.

 

If you’re a fan of the more traditional approach, just be sure you combine the standard ingredients in equal proportions around the plate.

 

So, there you have it ladies and gents, three foods that you imagination can run wild with. Other top contenders were the meatball grinder (also the name of a sex act), beef jerky (just because it sounds funny), and the buttery nipple cupcake (for obvious reasons).  

 

Feel free to leave your comments and recipes for more depraved sexual foods for all of us at TravelPride to investigate.  

 

Have a happy holiday season!

Originally posted 2017-11-13 16:20:13.

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