08 Pride Post #11: *FBIT

*Funny Because it’s True

This sketch is in high rotation on the  BGSS repeats but it never fails to make me guffaw.

And yeah, we’ll be revisiting Ms. McKinnon and Ms. Goldman later, as they are both FDITW contestants.

08 Pride Post #7: Yes I skipped it earlier, but who cares, DANCE!

So I can’t count. So what?

This video, from last year’s NYC Pride, really captures the electricity of the the parade in NYC. Basically, you dance your ass off from midtown to downtown, where all the humanity and the music and dancing and energy become unbelievably concentrated as the parade jams into the tiny streets of the Village, with the sound echoing crazily off the brownstones, spectators hanging off balconies and lightpoles, and tired, happy, sweaty queers of every description jostling against each other all the way down to Christopher Street.

This year’s march is on Sunday.

Pride 08 Post #10: Trans Equality “in the streets and on Capitol Hill”

Another first-ever! A historic one it is, too.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives held the first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues: “An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace.” Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) called the hearing as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor.

From the T-Equality blog:

Listening to the testimony before Congress is an amazing experience. It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of jobs and families lost and the pain that transgender people have been through. At the same time, however, it is incredibly liberating to see trans people taking such a powerful stand for our community, speaking directly to members of Congress about the need for employment protections.

On the eve of the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we can reflect on how we’ve come from the days when people of diverse gender expressions fought discrimination with fists and beer bottles. Now we are advocating for ourselves in the halls of Congress. May the work we’re doing now honor those who began the struggle because we need to be in the streets and on Capitol Hill.

Retired U. S. Army Colonel Diane Schroer was among those who testified before the committee. The highly-decorated veteran with a quarter century of experience in counterterrorism for U. S. Special Operations recalled how her job offer as a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress was immediately rescinded after she told her future supervisor that she was in the process of gender transition.

In 24 hours, I had gone from a welcome addition to the staff to someone who was “not a good fit” because I was a woman. Hero to zero in 24 hours.

Over at the Blend, Autumn’s first impressions

quenchzine liveblogged it, here and here.

Pride 08 Post #9: Frank O’Hara and “the ecstasy of always bursting forth!”

For most of his life, Frank O’Hara thought today’s date, June 27, was his birthday. Turns out he was wrong. He was actually born March 27, 1926. His proper, strict parents had lied to him because they didn’t want him to know he was conceived before they were married.

I became aware of O’Hara’s poetry sometime in college, I think. I read his writing off and on after that but it was years later that I fell in love with it. That happened after I started taking my own poetry more seriously but mostly because I’d moved to New York. Reading O’Hara after living in New York was for me like what others speak of when they say they never really understood Proust until they read him in French, or they didn’t “get” Rilke until reading him in the original German. New York was O’Hara’s original language. The overload, the lights, the music, the beautiful men, and of course, the art world that swirled around him. No other modern poet had their likeness captured by as many famous artists as O’Hara.

My category tag “I do this I do that” is taken from his disarmingly modest description of the poems he wrote during lunch hours from his job at the MOMA.

I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.

Even trees understand me! Good heavens, I lie under them, too,
don’t I? I’m just like a pile of leaves.

However, I have never clogged myself with the praises of
pastoral life, nor with nostalgia for an innocent past of
perverted acts in pastures. No. One need never leave the
confines of New York to get all the greenery one wishes–I can’t
even enjoy a blade of grass unless i know there’s a subway
handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not
totally _regret_ life. It is more important to affirm the
least sincere; the clouds get enough attention as it is and
even they continue to pass. Do they know what they’re missing?
Uh huh.

— from Meditations in an Emergency

The poems can come across as trivial, and enough critics have certainly labeled them as such, no doubt in part because taken one at a time, most don’t lend themselves to rigorous literary analysis. Possibly because they were never intended to lie flat and still on a page, no more than a few musical notes on a paper score were ever meant to convey a live performance of an entire symphony. O’Hara’s best writing is a stream of consciousness, impressionistic but dead-on, the details that can seem tossed off are instead touchstones and landmarks that synch the reader up with the poet, in lockstep with him in the place and time the poems capture. One of the reasons I love O’Hara is because (like the much more stylistically formal Sharon Olds) his detailed scenes cannot be forgotten once the motion, the sights, the smells and tastes, sink into your brain.

It’s telling to consider that word “trivial” — it comes from the Latin trivialis, “that which is in, or belongs to, the crossroads or public streets; hence, that may be found everywhere, common.”

***************

Poem (Lana Turner has collapsed!)

I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

**************

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don’t know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or
Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing

08 Pride Post #8: Lots to be GLAAD about tonight

Queer? Tired after a long week at work? Stayin’ home on Friday night? Grab the popcorn and margaritas, there’s an awards show on tonight!

The 19th Annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards ceremonies will be aired at 7p.m. EST on BRAVO (we so own that channel, honey).

And yes, I said ceremoniES, four to be exact, via New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and South Florida. Held earlier in May and April, all four will be wrapped into one big broadcast that, according to GLAAD, promises to be:

“Fair. Accurate. Inclusive. And Impossibly Glam.”

That’s so gay….

Scheduled to appear are:

Judy Shepard will be receiving the Excellence in Media Award. Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty) and Randy JacksonAmerican Idol) will present the Vito Russo Award to Brian Graden. Graham Norton will host. Guests include: Kevin Bacon; Kate Clinton; Alan Cumming; Loretta Devine (Dirty Laundry); Van Hansis (As the World Turns); Tim Gunn (Project Runway); Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU); Cheyenne Jackson (Altar Boyz); Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls); Kyra Sedgwick; Anthony Rapp (Rent) Jake Silbermann (As the World Turns); Barbara Walters; Eduardo Xol (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition); GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. (

Ivy Queen will receive a Special Recognition Award. Ugly Betty star Ana Ortiz will present the Visibilidad Award to Wilson Cruz. Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, will present a Special Recognition Award to the social justice magazine The Intelligence Report. Jade Esteban Estrada will host the event, and platinum selling R&B singer Deborah Cox will perform. Guests include: TeresaRodriguezAqui y Ahora); Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye); Frank Cairo (Paparazzi TV); Craig Stevens (WSVN-TV); PabloPortillo, Alonso Espeleta (Pecados Ajenos); Judge David Young; Graciela Mori, Fernando CastellsIn Fraganti); ( (

Ellen DeGeneres will present the Vanguard Award to Janet Jackson. Sharon Stone will present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Rufus Wainwright. Tom Ford will present the Pioneer Award posthumously to Herb Ritts and Cindy Crawford will accept on his behalf. Guests include: T.R. Knight; Garry Marshall; Neil Patrick Harris; Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel; Billy Baldwin, Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money); Jennifer Beals, Laurel Holloman (The L Word); Kathy Griffin; Sofia Vergara; Zoe Saldana; Adamo Ruggiero, Lauren Collins (Degrassi: The Next Generation); Paul James (Greek); Brian Posehn, Steve Agee (The Sarah Silverman Program);

Sharon Stone will receive the Vanguard Award. Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, will receive the Golden Gate Award. Jennifer Beals will present the Davidson/Valentini Award to Ilene Chaiken. Judith Light will present the Pioneer Award to David Mixner. Mayor Gavin Newsom will present a Special Recognition Award to Theater Rhinoceros. Candis Cayne (Dirty Sexy Money) will host the event. Guests include: Jason Lewis; Rex Lee; Chad Allen; Alan Cumming; David Bromstad (Color Splash).