Archives StoneWall Society Information

StoneWall Society's new community support programs.

Guest Article By: Sun

First StoneWall Society Party!

 


EP 24 3-2002

Press Release
StoneWall Society announces new community support programs.
sysop@stonewallsociety.com

     In an effort to assist students with research projects relating to the GLBTI community StoneWall Society has implemented the Student & Research Assistance Program.  Students may have surveys/polls placed on the SWS site with responses directly emailed to them. This will assist researchers who require a polled response to validate and or add to research, thesis work, community studies, and other assignments. StoneWall Society will also assist in areas of research by providing available information and assisting with search tasks to further assist. The service is free to students and independent researchers.
More at: Research and Student Assistance

     Another new service designed by visitor response is the International GLBTI Community Awards Program. This is a "live" actual award program geared to assist local communities with honoring and recognizing individuals and or groups for outstanding service to the community. At present three awards are available;

The Ulrichs Award For Exemplary Community Contribution
The Eleanor Award For Community Leadership
The Mother Courage Award For Community Support

     The awards program was initiated after numerous requests for such a program where candidates may be appropriately recognized on merit not local popularity. In many cases there are currently no awards available for community use. StoneWall Society will verify and validate all nomination claims to insure integrity of the awards. Awards will be dispensed annually within region. Award levels available are; City/Town/Rural, State/Province/, and Country for each award. International awards will be handled directly by StoneWall Society. There are minor fees associated with the nomination process. $25.00-City/Town/Rural, $35.00 State/Province, and $50.00 Country level. These fees will assist in offsetting costs to validate and verify all nomination claims. Recipients will receive an official certificate as well as listing in the International Awards Program Directory. There is a grant program available in cases of special consideration where nomination fees are waived.
More at: SWS Community Award Program 

      Offering of content use to print venues and websites includes but not limited to the StoneWall Society GLBTI Artists Promotion. The promotion consists of musicians, visual artists, literary artists, and performance artists. The promotion is geared to heighten awareness of community artists. Participation in this service by print venue and websites will not only increase their content but also show a strong support to our community's artists. To further assist any who wish to use this content StoneWall Society will establish a Partners In Community section where all participants will be listed with contact points and descriptive information.
More At:  GLBTI Artists 
For further information:
StoneWall Society
POB 45036
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70895-4036
sysop@stonewallsociety.com

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Vol. III Issue 3 January 2002

Guest Article By: Sun
Title: "A Simple Stand"

A Simple Stand

Somebody said I ought to write about what life in New York City has been like in the aftermath of 9-11. Well, everybody else is, so why not hear about it from me. I wasnít sure how I should approach it though. I could write about my day on 9-11. How I turned on the television to find out the weather so Iíd know what to wear and watching the plane crash into the second tower. How I got on the bus that morning to go to an appointment and the looks of disbelief on peopleís faces on the bus when I told them that Iíd seen the first tower collapse on TV just before I left the house. What it was like to see masses of people walking up from downtown. All the crowds outside of Penn Station and the Port Authority. The stunning clear blue sky. It was a crisp amazingly beautiful day. The atmosphere of unreality. The quiet. The hypnotic trance the whole town seemed to be in.

Then not being able to volunteer because there were already too many by 9AM the next morning when I arrived at the Red Cross. And no survivors to help. And the feelings of uselessness that followed. Walking past Firehouses and crying. Going to Union Square and just feeling.

I racked my brains as to how to approach it and then one night I woke up at three in the morning and it came to me. Who am I in the scheme of things in New York? I thought about a lyric from one of my songs called "Bear Witness". And I thought about the image I chose for the inside of the tray insert of my current CD, which in one way goes with that song. Itís a picture of me taken from behind. So a rather hidden image in my CD package design (you have to remove the CD from the tray to see it) is most what Iím about on the outside moving about in New York City on a daily basis. Itís not so much that the photograph was taken from behind but more how my back looks. Iím wearing an old tan suede jacket with three-inch brass letters that spell out WORLD PEACE riveted on top of a painting I did on the back panel.

Why paint the back of my jacket and rivet those words on it? Itís my stand. Among a bunch of gobbledygook of personal effectiveness mumbo jumbo I learned some years ago one bit of that gobbledygook said, "Take a stand." Not only take it but "Be your stand." When people ask why I have WORLD PEACE on my jacket (yes, a few people have actually asked why) I say, "Itís my stand, I stand for peace." Some peculiar sense of propriety keeps me from asking them what they stand for.

When I went to visit my father some years ago he snidely asked why I did it. I said I stood for peace and I decided to wear my stand. I mentioned in there somewhere that it was because of him and my mom that I had this stand them being the peace activists that they were when I was growing up. After another remark I donít recall he somewhat snidely asked, "Are you a billboard?" I answered that everybody is an advertisement for something and I preferred my own stand to that of standing for Perry Ellis or Ralph Lauren or some other designer or sports team or whatever. I told him that a few weeks earlier Iíd eaten popcorn out of a Calvin Klein popcorn bag at the movies and that Iíd heard that Chiquita was soon going to be selling the Chiquita stickers on their bananas to advertisers. I went on to explain that even when someone wore no slogan or name that they were representing that. How you represent yourself in the world is your stand. You are always advertising who you are. Plain or flamboyant or anywhere in between. Not that thereís anything wrong or right about any spot in the spectrum, I just happen to occupy my own very particular place in it. I canít help it. Iíve tried but I become as ill at ease blending in as many others do standing out. I wish I had the nerve to wear even more peculiar clothes but I temper my approach with what Iím willing to put up with from Ďthe melting potí. And thereís the safety issue. But I can get away with a lot more in New York CityÖManhattan than I can anywhere else. To me itís the safest place in the world.

Iíve been wearing WORLD PEACE in some form or other since around 1988. I had these vinyl bags that I got at a close out shop with slogans on them in black on white. One was round, about the size of an old vinyl LP and said WORLD PEACE and when the bag came apart I decided to stitch it onto the back of one of my jackets. Of course I stitched a wonderful piece of vintage fabric on first as a background for the white vinyl with the black lettering. Then I removed it during the Gulf War. I feared for my safety. Either I wasnít as comfortable then or the flag waving was more frighteningly hawkish than it has been this time. But it went back on after that war was over.

That jacket was biting the dust and I wanted to make a more substantial statement so I decided to paint the back of my favorite suede jacket and rivet metal letters on. I began to feel naked in the warm weather so I even had smaller letters cast and put them onto belts I made. I knowÖitís ridiculous.

Well, Iíve been wearing my WORLD PEACE belt or jacket and also a coat I have that just says PEACE (also in 3" brass letters with a brass smiley face below it)ÖI can now wear WORLD PEACE in any kind of weather!

Now, people have come up to me over the years and said all sorts of different things. It has given me hope that most people who have spoken to me have had favorable things to say. Usually, "I like your jacket." But I get any number of other odd reactions. One of the most common negative reactions Iíve gotten has been, "Itíll never happen." To which Iíve responded in any number of variations, "As long as there are people who believe it wonít happen, it wonít" or "Be optimistic, donít be a grumpy" or simply, "Killjoy". It seems that there are people other than my father who are hell-bent on killing my fun. I guess it must be an archetype, fun killer.

Oh brother, all that just to get here. Tangentiality must also be an archetype.

What does all this have to do with 9-11? Well, here in New York City all responses to my jacket but one since that devastating day have been positive. And this time people arenít just saying, "I like youíre jacket" and then scurrying on about their day New York City style. They are engaging me in conversation. One remark Iíve made is, "Itís not a jacket, itís a conversation piece." It seems people may finally be coming to know how desperately this planet needs peace. I wonder if there has been a moment on this planet since the first hand was raised in combat that there has been peace. This whole planet is war weary. We do need peace. This poor ravaged planet. I am a stand for the archetype of peace. But not a Dalai Lama or yogi or priestly or standard leadership speechifying archetype of peace. A just an everyday plain person in the street archetype of peace. I have thought that war is an archetype. So if war is an archetype then people basically canít help doing what comes naturally. Yes, the world is war weary but if war is what comes naturally then how can we help ourselves? I believe archetype can be consciously created. I try in my own simple little way to create the archetype of non-violence.

Some people have asked, "Did you put that on your jacket since 9-11." I tell them that no, Iíve been wearing it for years. One day shortly after new years a guy with a stars and stripes knit cap got off the subway at the same stop as me and asked, "Did you put that on your coat?" I said, "Yes." He quite civilly said that he disagreed with me. I told him that I didnít believe that what was going on in Afghanistan was something I didnít think was right or necessary but that just because we were at war didnít mean I was going to stop standing for peace. He mustíve thought I put PEACE on my coat in response to "Americaís New War" just the way he put on a stars and stripes cap that he wouldnít be wearing if 9-11 hadnít happened.

In the days following the World Trade Center attacks out of my feelings of uselessness I began to find a bit of purpose. I started making up copies of a song I wrote a number of years ago called "Candle Of Love". Itís a song I originally wrote for people dealing with the loss of a loved one through AIDS. Suddenly this anthem of hope in the face of grief and uncertainty found a new lifeÖ(an unexpected and unwelcome one butÖ). Some people even thought Iíd written it in response to 9-11. I gave bunches of copies to several of the Firehouses. I began giving it out to friends and acquaintances. I gave copies to policemen on the subway whoíd been working down at ground zero. Iíd been forwarded a poem written by someone who got to volunteer at ground zero and I was able to get a number of copies to him that he gave out in one of the supply tents. I gave copies to a few of the postal workers at my local post office. My friend Anne loved it so much that she assisted me in contacting and mailing it to a number of radio stations all over the country. I even sent it to the President and Rudy Giuliani.

Then the holidays came. And went. We seem to be healing from the trauma. But I donít think we are. I donít think we willÖor even can. Thatís like thinking that anyone who lived through World War II or Vietnam or any kind of war horror could heal. I think you can sort of numb out those things, put them in a box and let them gather dust in the attic of your mind or heart but they make an unalterable tear in the fabric of our beings. Perhaps we can let them be and move forward but heal, I doubt it. Thatís why even despite my stand for peace Iím not against bringing the perpetrators of terror to justice as responsibly as possible. And to continue to disempower the terrorism network as responsibly as possible. To stand for peace does not mean to stand idly by while ignorant misguided souls run amok trying to control the planet. It may be against the basic premise of peace as a stand but the segue from a war archetype into an archetype of non-violence is bound to be filled with resistance and backlash. It is always difficult to leave familiar surroundings and walk without trepidation into the unknown even if you know the unknown is heaven.

Bear Witness © Sun PK

I want to confront the money masters
Who buy their morals with charity
And call the poor to account for wanting
To stay too blind to see
Line up the people who think guns are good
And shoot them one by one
Squash the men who are derisive and mean
On purpose and think itís fun
I want to scream at the politicians
For telling lies, lies, lies
Iíd like to bear witness
I wish I had the courage to open my eyes

If only I could be forgiving - get rid of all this judgment
In my head and stop hanging on to hope
ĎCause itís all so vile and filthy
Makes me want to wash my mind out with soap
Why is it so fucking easy to be so sad and pitiful
Yet so hard to cry
Why do I feel like Iím responsible for how the world sees me
When all I do is try
To take a simple stand and wear it on my back
Without feeling itís something I advertise
Iíd like to bear witness
I wish I had the courage to open my eyes

And I wish I didnít feel like
I wasted time every time
I said something that wasnít meaningful or deep
And I wish I didnít feel like
I wasted time every time
I think about my life - I mustíve been asleep

Iíd like to mutilate myself but I already do
Every time I cut myself down to size
Iíd like to bear witness
I wish I had the courage to open my eyes
Yeah, Iíd bear witness
If I had the courage to open my eyes

From the Spin Girl CD "Inquire Within"
In Japan on the Air Mail Recordings CD "Itís A Smiley Face World"

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EP 3 2-15-00

First StoneWall Society Party!

at

Bogart's

111 3rd Street

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Saturday January 8th, 2000

By Marc Linden

The goal of this event was to bring the Stonewall Society to the public GLBT community, show equality and pride in a positive manner, and support a local GLBT business. This reporter is happy to say all were realized. While there was only one actual pledge taken at the event, several more arrived with in the next few days in Codi's Email box. And twenty pledges have been snail mailed.

The show itself was unique and by the audience reaction a success. Our founder Codi Pendance opened the show with a comedy parody of "What If God Were One Of Us". The audience responded with a good amount of tips and lighters, you will just have to see the number. For the most part other than Codi's appropriate closing number "Imagine", we were treated to Codi's talents as a Stand-up comic. Joining Codi in the comedy drag camp was none other than that larger than life funny friend Lottie Moore. I don't think I will ever forget Lottie bouncing literally all over the bar followed by a large Second Line dance to "Ico Ico". This New Orleans traditional dance was obviously known to the crowd as they grabbed their white hankies and put their back field in motion. Lottie's closing number has put a whole new meaning to Titanic for this reporter. The Tide was high as was the spirit of Bogart's patrons as Lottie put a new spin to "My Heart Will Go On" combined with Blondie's classic "Tide is High" as only the energetic Lottie Moore can do. The things that girl can do with an innertube lol.

The vocal talents featured in the show were awesome!!! Mr Perry, Suzi, and James sang their hearts out for us and we loved it! The vocal stylings went from pop to country, to classic, to just a little comedy. Well the show's title was Tickle. All three vocalists are karaoke favorites at Bogart's popular Thursday night Karaoke fest with Sandra. There was certainly no disappointment here. Mr. Perry, an energetic singer, with a dynamic voice showed talent in more than one musical venue. James complete with tux cut a dashing figure and belted out a jazzy tune with life and energy. Suzi was deemed Bogart's/Baton Rouge's very own chanteuse by Codi and well deserved. This girl has voice, presence, and style. The vocalists were a welcome addition and gave real life to a unique show format, which the audience embraced.

The audience participation portion of the show brought Improv to Bogart's. And everyone seemed to get in on the act. As volunteers took to the stage they were presented with situations and then acted them out. The winner, well kind of a stripper promo overshadowed the comic talents of several patrons as well as Bogart's very own Greg. I would have voted a different winner, but the audience had the noise for the skin and that was that. I would like to see more of this type of entertainment in our bars. The crowd became the show, and that was Codi's intent. Hmmm, never saw so much ham in all my life lol. But like the meat it was good! We ate, we drank, we laughed.

Codi wanted to make sure that I thanked the staff of Bogart's for their hospitality. "We were made welcome, the staff and crowd were friendly, what more could you ask?" commented Codi about the Bogart's crowd. Indeed they were. The atmosphere was a warm welcoming one not always seen. Greg and his staff were on their toes and no one waited for service. All in all a fun event and well worth repeating. I can't wait to attend they next one. Where will it be?

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