Thanks, everyone, for participating in my June 2011 Translesbigayapalooza by reading these posts and leaving such great comments! I always enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions on GLBTQ issues. And I'm touched when you share your personal stories. It's been a great month of Pride! But we know that Pride really carries on all year long, so wave that flag and toss that rainbow glitter EVERYWHERE!
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
When I first came out 25 years ago, it was pretty rare to meet a GLBTQ senior citizen. Not because there weren't any, but because they belonged to a generation whose lives had taught them that coming out was dangerous. So even when things started to change and baby boomers were coming out of the closet in droves, this older generation remained leery and closeted. Some did venture out. Many more did not.
These days it's the out baby boomers who are fast approaching their senior years. Retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are soon going to have to deal with same-sex couples and GLBTQ issues. The process has already started, in fact.
Today, of course, people come out at all ages and stages of life -- including when they are seniors. There's a new movie called Beginners which has this as one of its themes. I haven't seen it yet but it looks pretty good. And who doesn't love Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor? Here's the trailer:
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
One of Tchaikovsky's most famous works is the score to the ballet Swan Lake. In 1995, British dancer and choreographer Matthew Bourne staged a startlingly new interpretation featuring all male swans. His version is now unofficially known as Gay Swan Lake. I can't help but think that Tchaikovsky would have loved the homoerotic pas de deux of love and seduction between the Prince and the lead Swan --
This ballet also enjoys a moment of glory in the final scene of the movie Billy Elliot, when Billy's father and childhood friends come to see him dance professionally. The movie ends with Billy leaping onto the stage as Matthew Bourne's lead Swan. When I first saw the movie, I had no idea that the reference was to Gay Swan Lake so all I could think was, "WTF? What is with that ugly makeup and feather pants?" (If you want to see the final scene, click here.)
Monday, June 27, 2011
This photo is of a Pride Protest Against Homophobia held in June 2010 outside the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Every year there is also an ongoing battle to hold a Pride March in Moscow. GLBTQ people are starting to demand their rights in Russia too.
All this makes me think of Russia's most famous gay son, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Now there was a poor bastard tortured by self-hatred his entire life due to his homosexuality. Yet against that tragic backdrop, he wrote the most sublimely beautiful and exquisite music that one could ever hear. Truly, he knew the highest heights and lowest depths of life and emotion.
As a gay man, it would have been better for him to have lived today instead of the 1800s. Yet as a classical composer, it was better for him to have lived when he did. Not that he had any choice about it, of course, but still. It would have been nice if both parts of his life could have been fulfilled.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
And the Goddess named Herself the Unquenchable Heat of Life. Sparks were struck from Her dancing feet so that She shone forth as the Sun, and the stars were caught in Her hair, and comets raced about Her, and Element Fire was born.
I wrote this down many years ago as part of an invocation ritual but failed to note the author's name. It might have been the late, great Shekhinah Mountainwater, but I can't remember for sure now.
Anyway, Summer Solstice blessings to you all!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Hello. Her Royal Highness here. We cats love Pride Month too. When our humans aren't home, we get up to all kinds of GLBTQ mischief . . . .
I believe the last one refers to the fact that lesbians often share their life and home with a cat. Sometimes many cats.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I think that this wonderful Calvin and Hobbes panel by Bill Watterson really captures the essence of what it means to be a good father. There is Calvin and his tiger buddy Hobbes, having fun reading the Sunday comics in front of the fireplace, a mug of hot chocolate nearby. They are warm, happy and safe.
Where's Dad? Oh, there he is -- outside in the cold, shoveling snow. Yet another unsung service which he provides for his family's well-being. He is not the visual focal point of the picture but his hard work and reliability make the whole picture possible.
Friday, June 17, 2011
The T in the acronym GLBTQ stands not only for the Transgender community but also for the Two Spirit community. It is a name chosen by today's North American aboriginal cultures. They believe that most people have One Spirit in them -- male or female. But some people have a Two Spirit nature -- both male and female -- which expresses itself in various ways. The single term Two Spirit includes all gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender experience.
There is a long tradition of Two Spirit people in many aboriginal cultures. Often, Two Spirit people were both respected and feared by their tribes. Their ability to incorporate both genders made them powerful and mysterious. Some women took a hunter/warrior role and married women. Some men dressed as women and became skilled in cooking, weaving, singing and pottery. Others became nurses, healers or shamans.
Their situation changed for the worse when Christianity gained power in aboriginal communities. Two Spirit people were soon called "berdaches" (male prostitutes) and actively discouraged by the missionaries. Two Spirit people became burdened with the Christian legacy of hate and shame.
But like all GLBTQ people, the Two Spirit community is today healing itself and taking back its power. Two Spirit people have discarded hateful labels and renamed themselves. They have repudiated hateful teachings and rediscovered their own cultural truths.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Say it ain't so, Sedin twins! My heart is broken, Luongo! *SOB* Mauled by the Bruins -- MAULED!
The Bruins' goalie Tim Thomas is a friggin' BRICK WALL! My gawd, it's next to impossible to get anything past him. He certainly deserved to win the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP.
Next year, Lord Stanley's Cup, you'll return home to us here in Canada. Next year. I know it.
[Photo of Zdeno Chara with the Stanley Cup by Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press. Photo of Tim Thomas with the Conn Smythe trophy by Mike Blake, Reuters]
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
I read once that the Village People are the world's greatest pitchmen because they successfully persuaded the American public that their song "In the Navy" is about patriotism . . . .
Sailors are featured as gay sex icons in the following short clip from the wonderful 1975 British movie, The Naked Civil Servant. This poignant yet fun film is a biography of Quentin Crisp, the "Stately Homo of England," who was openly homosexual in the 1930s and onwards. John Hurt is brilliant in the title role. If you ever get a chance to see this movie on video, please do so -- it's a treat not to be missed! Ooooo, ducky!
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Speaking of celebrities who have fought the good fight over the years for transgressive lifestyles and values, we must not forget Bugs Bunny. How many times did he show up in drag to seduce poor old Elmer Fudd? Or lay a big sloppy kiss on some befuddled male eedjit? Bugs was never afraid to shake his tail in a sexy dress!
I read somewhere once that Bugs Bunny is a classic trickster figure like those in Greek or Norse mythology or in traditional aboriginal teachings. He is an unpredictable catalyst for change who is always causing trouble and shaking up the status quo. And like many trickster figures, he shapeshifts with ease across the borders of gender -- sometimes male, sometimes female. Restrictions like gender are meaningless to tricksters. As with shamans, they "walk between the worlds."
Bugs Bunny was my favourite cartoon character when I was a kid. And I love him/her still!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Have you heard about the crazy Tennessee law (in the process of passing) which will prohibit teachers in that state's elementary and middle schools from discussing or even acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ people? All school instructions and materials must be "limited exclusively to age-appropriate natural human reproduction science." And you know who that word "natural" excludes, don't you?
Known as the "Don't Say Gay Law," it is being fought tooth and nail with the greatest of Our People's weapons -- humour, satire and ridicule. George Takei of Star Trek fame has given Tennessee teachers and students permission to use his surname instead of the word "gay" in order to get around the law. So every time some one wants or needs to say the word "gay," they can just say "Takei" instead!
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Welcome to this blog's third annual blockbuster of a festival which I modestly call:
Yes, for the entire month of June, we'll be celebrating all things LGBTQ in a light-hearted extravaganza of rainbows, glitter, leather and lace! Because what is being queer all about anyway except having fun? Fun, fun, fun until Daddy takes the T-bird away! Woo hoo, butches and bitches, start your engines!