Archives-Codi's GLBT Notes

Well not all of Codi's Notes, LOL.

Equality Requires Action

GLBTI in the media,  life, equality, or hyperbole?

Bad Blood

Gay 4th of July?

Up Til Now....

For Vivian deeply missed.

Proud enough to do it for ourselves   NEW

Our Pride & Prejudice Send us your Equality Alerts

Equality Requires Action!

     Throughout the GLBT movement for equal rights our community apathy and separatism have in my opinion been our largest adversary. Getting our community out of the bars and into the voting booths and or streets, (except for party purposes), has been a major undertaking. Which in many instances was unsuccessful. Sadly the momentum of the Stonewall riots or that caused by Anita Bryant has all but disappeared. Even the Marches on Washington brought mostly revelers and indeed our community infighting and behavior marred the image of the last march.

     There are no excuses for this community self-destructive behavior. Personal self absorption, no priorities, and blatant ignorance are reasons however. To this day you can still find people in bars and in community in general who have no idea who Matthew Shepard was, and why his death is of major importance to our community. Needless to say other names like Billy Jack Gaither go unknown. If not for the acclaim of the movie I think the same would be said of Teena Brandon. It is frightening to know that responses like; "You are talking about transsexuals, drag queens, and small town closet cases, these don't represent our community, why should we react?" and "Well I for one think that all drag queens should be banned from bars, parades, and in general from representing Gays, they give us a bad name and image." are not only common but frequent. Don't believe it? Spend twenty minutes in a chat room or start a conversation like this in a bar. Better yet check out the Gay white racist group on Yahoo. Yep. there is such a group. Even more frightening, is totally unashamed of themselves. 

     Recently I was asking a few of our community about their opinion of ENDA. I was shocked that very few people knew what ENDA was about. (Don't know yourself? check here it may require a search ENDA), a few made an attempt at humor or again blatant ignorance by making snide comments about "Edna" an Internet personality. Several of those who were informed had the opinion that, "Well I don't vote so why bother to call a congressman?" Did anyone learn anything from the last U.S. Presidential election about votes and how one vote can and does make a difference? According to press opinions ENDA has little chance of passing the GOP-controlled House, even though it has stronger appeal in the Senate. It seems a hard contact campaign to House Representatives is in order. Considering that Gallop polls show that 85% agree with equality in the workplace. I suggest that GOP House Representatives pay more attention to their constituents, or face loosing their positions in the next election. That is the message which needs to be heard by these persons placed in the House to represent OUR interests.

     Considering the multitude of actions which in some way or another are negative or unresponsive to our community, I find the state of our community detrimental to all concerned. President Bush has proposed  up to $300 million for new programs that encourage "healthy marriages", and aimed "to encourage the stability of American families". I am not anti programs which assist the heterosexual community, like many, my parents were heterosexual. I also am and was a member of a family. As the concept of "family" has drastically changed it seems to enact such a program would include a more inclusive definition of family to better represent all families. However, this $300 million will not benefit our community. We pay taxes as well. Partisan politics are at work here. With the President's officials making statements like: "There is plenty of research proving that children raised in households headed by continuously married parents fare on average better than children growing up in any other family structure," and the President's own identification of "families", obviously there is some underlying statement here. So then we can ascertain that single parent families will not benefit? As we cannot legally marry, therefore how can we be families? We are included in the dysfunctional set, the ignored, the nonexistent . Also, the President's plan calls for putting abstinence initiatives on equal footing with family planning and birth control programs again he dismisses many communities and their  concerns. 

     Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore handed down an opinion which included such verbiage that described homosexual conduct: "immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of nature's God, upon which this nation and our laws are predicated." This opinion overturned a state appellate court which found in the lesbian mother's favor. She was seeking custody from the father of the children who she charged was verbally and physically abusive.  I agree that Chief Justice Roy Moore is an embarrassment to his state and that he should be removed from his position on the bench. His statement goes directly against the Constitution with regards to separation of church and state. Moore's "opinion" shows that it is apparently better to be raised by an abusive parent who is heterosexual than otherwise. Does this coincide with the President's plan to financially invest marriage?

     The list of current atrocities is long. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe only receives warnings of potential sanctions against him and his government based on his regime's history of anti human rights acts of torture. Yes, this effects us as well. Egyptian GLBTI members live in fear of imprisonment for their personal partner preferences. The point here is that if any sector of society can be the point of sanctioned discrimination, then any other sector is a potential for the next discriminatory action. In many cases our community is the one under attack already. What are we waiting for? Maybe when they knock on your door, when your bar is closed, when it is your rights which are destroyed, that will start to wake our community. 

     I firmly believe that bars, large fee intensive GLBTI  Internet sites, and our GLBTI Press have a responsibility to support our community by spending less emphasis and money on their advertising campaigns and banners, and more on community support. In working with several pride organizations and artists I continually hear that our bars and press are of the least supportive. Yet we pour money into bar wallets as they pour spirits down our throats. I have complaints on bars on file which pertain to individuals being made unwelcome due to gender, race, and age. Yet the initiators of the complaints neglect to take action as they fear being socially ostracized. Check out the next AIDS or if you can find one, Community benefit at your local bar, ask where the money is coming from, how much is the bar donating? The door as a donation is not acceptable as that fee wouldn't be there without the entertainment. Let's see some of the booze money start to flow. Too often it is the entertainment who gives, while the bar soaks up the drink profits and then look great because they "sponsored" the event. Our magazines and periodicals frequently carry more advertising than information. Even worse they are inaccessible to the basic GLBTI community member. Recently one very large magazine and Internet site refused to include information from a site which had "too many rainbows" on the site. The fact that the information offered was relevant was of no importance. Now decor preference takes precedence over social value. Many of our organizations and individuals will not solicit or accept money from alcohol and tobacco industries. Who owes more than these two industries? I understand not wanting to support the issues of those industries, however we DO support them. See any GLBTI bar, shouldn't they support us? We hear "no money" all the time. Why leave it sitting on the table? However, we will gladly accept a sexual lubricant as a sponsor. What does that say?

     It is our community support and money which powers these supposed "community" businesses. So think about how you are supporting yourself and your community. Ask your bars, magazines, newspapers, Internet sites with fees, how and how much they support you and your community before you buy. Make your dollar count! Make your voice count, be involved in your life-your community. Make politicians accountable to you the voter! We did it with Stonewall and Ms. Bryant we CAN do it again! 

Without action you could wake one morning to find it is your turn.

As always feel free to send your comments.

Len (also known as the site host-Codi)

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"...proud enough of ourselves to do it for ourselves."
                                                                 Mark Weigle
"Out Of The Loop" CD notes

     Isn't that really what it is all about? Mark Weigle is referring to telling "GAY PRIDE organizations we want GAY PERFORMERS on stage" telling, "GAY  MAGAZINES that we want to see GAY PEOPLE on their covers." He closes with, "It's time we were really proud enough of ourselves to do it for ourselves." What an exact statement of fact. It is not  about the alienation of non gay or non GLBTI people. It is about the need to see ourselves elevated, to see US as the headliners, the leaders. To look within ourselves and find the heroes. They are there. We are there. We are the heroes who can and must break the chain. Otherwise, it is just endless waiting.

       As a community, we look to our governments for legislation which will grant equality. For rights which make us equal, not separate, or specialized. Just equal. The ability to love without scorn, disdain, and  legal harassment. These rights are slow to come. We look to churches for guidance. We frequently find again, rejection. As in the case of the Catholic Church (only one example of many), and the recent intensity over sex scandals involving priests and "boys". According to one Vatican spokesperson, the fault was the "gays" in the priesthood. His suggestion was not let homosexuals be priests. This is denial and absurd, the spokesperson really should be informed before speaking. The fault is child molestation, the issue is celibacy. Pedophilia and homosexuality are not the same thing. My point is that when we as a community continually see ourselves as the villain or the victim we loose. Equality isn't about villains or victims, but about a simple premise - equal.

      As a community, we must first see ourselves as equal. That reality must be one we generate from our own core of self esteem. To see ourselves as equal we must also treat ourselves as equal. As our community has grown, become more diverse, we have focused on the beautiful diversity. I agree, our community diversity is equally as beautiful as any other's. However in placing all the focus on issues of diversity and all inclusion, we have lost sight of the common goal. Equality. A singular goal for a diverse community. If equality is to be achieved it must be in the form of human equality. For in that we ARE equal. Human needs are basically the same. Eat, sleep, grow, love, live, all common human needs. Equal in all humans. As those needs come from deep within us, so must the belief of our own equality come from deep within us.

     We look to our community for leadership and direction. We find a set of fragmented groups each having the best answer. We find speakers and leaders who step up to the plate against major television broadcasters. However, they step up unprepared, nervous, making jokes about serious issues. In other words they fail. We attend Pride Celebrations to openly revel in the ability to be out and proud. We see unrealistic prices, retail booths, political candidates, blocked attendees, featured guests who are not a part of our community. Where is the message of pride here? Are we not equal enough, proud enough, to represent ourselves? Must pride be also a major expense? Must retail be the main attraction?

     We look to each other for acceptance and support. In our small groups of friends we find that solace. We still must first find it in ourselves, be comfortable in our own skins. For we are not sheep. We can get from point a to point b without a leader. We know what is right. We know what needs to be done. Feed our community with support, understanding, and acceptance so that our leaders can develop and grow. Above all, give these leaders a reason to lead. The pride in their community and self. Show by example that equality begins as a state of mind. Be equal! 

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Vol. III Issue 3 January 2002

GLBTI in the media,  life, equality, or hyperbole?

     It seems the more I see our community come to life on the screen, the more I realize some things just never change. Oh but we do. We change it seems to coincide with the beamed images we eagerly devour while being grateful for the exposure. Or so the polls would show.  Everyone is in on the act, the major networks and studios all have their eyes focused and money clips open. We even have our own groups to watchdog and make sure we are represented in a positive and qualified manner. Well at least yell about it when deemed appropriate.

     Case in point: "A Beautiful Mind" has recently been bantered about due to a lack of reference about the central character's sexual identity. At first an outraged attack for the omission. Then some side stepping by a few, hmmm maybe they did us a favor? So does that mean censorship is good when it meets with PR standards? I think the name for that is propaganda. The point I am really attempting to make here is that our community is diverse and would be as impossible to pigeon-hole as any other community. Just by the title of our community, GLBTI, it is fairly obvious there are differences within.

     How then do you create any one thing that will equally represent the whole? You cannot. What can be done is responsible representation. We have good and bad community members just like any other group. So, should we only show our "better" people, parts, events? Who then decides what is "better"? We are all sub sets of groups, so where do you draw the differing lines? Maybe we should be listed in the credits, everywhere, as we are just that everywhere. Add to that, we ARE different.

     There is not a singular "type" or demographic image for our community. To that I am very grateful. For therein lies the equality. We are equally unique. Just as you could not create lets say a film which would capture an entire audience. Some would like the film some would not. All for varying factors. Sure you can look at income levels, age, gender, and come up with a lot of numbers, but not real people. So what are we doing when we take that survey to identify...whatever?

     We are trying to identify. Most of us have spent some time in our life no matter how small, in question of ourselves. Even in denial or as the really old cliché goes, "In the closet". There was no identity to follow, no role model. We now create one through the media. We feed in the information, they spit out the results. Many questions and opinions have been offered about the "quality" of GLBTI TV. In most cases referring to quality programming with a realistic approach to the community. Whew, that's a mouthful!

       Not to mention a heavy and unrealistic goal. Again, there are only so many hours in a day. To meet our community requirements it should simply be diverse. I only hope that we will not be subject to endless hours of reruns of the few available programs. Or worse yet a string of copy-cat shows off current mainstream demographic leaders. Just think of the possibilities of horrible GLBTI Talk Shows. We will in the end show our power here with the dollar. Advertising dollar that is. I have had a few suggest that we buy whatever is advertised just in support. To me that is like saying, "Oh we are so grateful that you acknowledge us that we will take whatever you put out". Groveling is not acceptable behavior, nor is it responsible in any case. We must react equally, just as other groups. Support our community and advertising that works, and is supportive back. Just buying time is not enough. We as a community of individuals have proven that well enough.

    Enjoy the issue, and as always feel free to send your comments.

Len (also known as the site host-Codi)

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Vol. II Issue 9 December 2001

Bad Blood

What is it that makes the difference?

Our birth? The genes? Those oh so striking formative years?

The first site, sense, and dark excitement?

Or maybe the first exposure, forming a bond spanning all.

We are called to altars, offering ourselves in hope of acceptance.

Giving all to fit, to understand, to be.

Yet the difference which makes us one, holds strong.

Compelling us to the understanding of our core.

What’s that you say, hypothalamus?

Makes our blood boil, seeking a love undared.

Where within us does this lay?

How does it drive me to seek my heart in distant ways?

No, surely that cannot be.

It must be in our life-force, our blood.

Something in common yet with each unique.

That which is the clout of the dissident.

For in the end, it is that which stands us apart.

When towers fell from the sky, and geometrics split.

All came to do their part, to give.

Yet ours will not be taken, we are tainted by presumption.

We are declared unclean, untouchables.

Our hearts are destined to love, and the evidence is in.

These very loving hearts, which pump life to all,

Must be the culprit which has stained our blood.

Jerry, FDA, and a scarlet cross all agree.

It may be our love which is forbidden.

As we love with our hearts it has soiled the red gold.

No sir, we won’t take your gift, the life you offer.

Like your love, your heart.

It is bad, it carries the love throughout you.

That may spread to others, cause more.

No sir, not today, for we know you have, bad blood.

Thoughts of a Gay HIV-Neg man on giving blood. Dedicated to my best friend, Mountman, and to all the others who sought to give not just due to 9-11-01 but in any time of need. 
Len Rogers 12/18/01

    Enjoy the issue, and as always feel free to send your comments.

Len (also known as the site host-Codi)

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Vol. II Issue 6 Special Issue 2001

Gay 4th of July?

"WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,..." Declaration Of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson 1776 and unanimously approved by the Continental Congress.

     As I watched the Boston Pops 4th of July special , (tradition in our family),  an old and familiar feeling became increasingly stronger. Seeing the wide diversity of the crowd; young, old, male, female, black, white, Latino, Asian, the list is endless, stand together singing traditional American anthems was a moving experience. Age and skin color are recognizable, but what about the more subtle to see differences such as our community? Well we were there as well. Somehow during this event it didn't seem to matter. 

     This was a unified group. Brought together by the celebration of the Birthday of the United States of America. Those differences, visible or not were not an issue. Wasn't the diversity and needs of it's people among the reasons the Continental Congress enacted a formal Declaration of Independence? As stated by Benjamin Franklin, "We are a unique people, more rugged, possibly less civilized, ...we require a unique government." 

     In the quote at the beginning of this article taken directly from the Declaration of Independence it states:  "WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..." All U.S. citizens know this passage. We memorized it in school, we dissected this empowering document so aptly written by T. Jefferson, some of us even sang it. However do we really honor it?

     Scholars and amendments have now shown that "all men" equates to all peoples. If so, then why must various groups of people fight to ascertain what our Founding Fathers decreed 225 years ago? People are still denied the right to "life" as they die for their skin color, gender, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. People are still denied the right to "liberty" as they are jailed and persecuted for those same reasons. People are still denied the right to "the Pursuit of Happiness" again for the same reasons.

    Does not the Pursuit of Happiness include the individual right to choose one's life partner? To have happiness by openly loving, sharing, and making that life together? Where in our founding principles does it say love is wrong? Can love be wrong? Isn't that a basic ingredient to "happiness"? Wasn't part of the problem over involvement in the lives of "Americans" by the governing country?

    The Declaration further states; "That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed,..." We are the governed. I for one do NOT consent to the denial of these basic freedoms which our forefathers by their own hand said were "self-evident". I agree with Mr. Jefferson, and the Continental Congress, these truths are indeed self-evident. Why then have politicians, (a dirty word in our forefathers time), religious leaders, and corporate executives twisted this wonderful work to suit their needs? And yes, sometimes politicians like wolves hide themselves in sheep's clothing and stand in pulpits.

     This was seen long ago by many of the same men who signed this Declaration of Independence, and indeed by its author. I will show some examples;

"I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise."--Benjamin Franklin, 1787

"The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please."--Thomas Jefferson

"Let our government be like that of the solar system. Let the general government be like the sun and the states the planets, repelled yet attracted, and the whole moving regularly and harmoniously in several orbits."-- John Dickinson (Delaware Delegate), 1787

The situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth."-- Benjamin Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention, 1787

and last but not surely the least;

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."--Thomas Jefferson

    I believe as shown by the quotes above, these people saw the beginning of "the twisting", the interpretation to suit needs even in the 1700's. Why then can't it be seen today? A common rebuke to GLBT rights is that we seek "special rights", I disagree. We seek, no demand, equal rights. The same equal rights Thomas Jefferson wrote about in 1776. The only reason these rights are seen as "special" is because we have to fight to prove that we are indeed part of "all men", in other words humanity itself! 

      As I watched Peter Jennings read the words from the Declaration, I interjected, "unless you are gay" after, "WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..." It hit me, I had not lost my patriotic feelings for the United States. What I had lost was the belief in the interpretation of the documents on which this country is founded. 

      The problem is not that we require equal rights. The problem is that we have been denied what was granted us in 1776. As with the Civil Rights movement, we must prove that we are a part of the same "all men", human race, which Thomas Jefferson so eloquently defined in two simple words. In an email from one of those "interpreters" it was said that we, (the GLBT community) should be happy and content because we are free and protected by the Constitution. Well we are not, and to quote Benjamin Franklin, "A gelding would be honored to be called a stallion, however I am sure he would rather have restored what is rightfully his." In our case that would be the same freedoms and equality under the law as any other person. 

      In our world today, companies like Exxon/Mobil have added insult to the years of unequaled injury by rescinding these rights. The Boy Scouts of America does the same. Was anyone paying attention when they memorized these words? Do they comprehend when they read them? Do they understand that the refusal and denial of equality negates the documents which we consider sacred? This denial and refusal of "equality for all" makes a hypocrisy of our Country, its Government, and the system we so proudly call "Democracy". 

       It is time we had our own "Tea Party". Stop buying from companies which openly deny our equality. Pass that Exxon-Mobil station, teach your children that happiness is a self-evident right to all, and that you don't have to wear a brown uniform as a child to prove that. Long ago the BSA was not trusted because their uniform resembled that of what was called "Hitler's Youth". Isn't what is happening within this organization just as much of brain washing as that of the notorious Adolf? More and more members of BSA and their supporters, IE Mr. Spielberg,  are abandoning them because they see that discrimination is like a cancer. It may start in one area, in this case one group, but grows to others until it consumes and destroys all. If BSA and companies like Exxon-Mobil, power bigots religious or not, can brain wash the public or their "sheep" into believing that somehow we are not part of "all men", where will it stop? Who is next?

     We all, yes that means YOU have a responsibility to ourselves to throw the tea into the harbor! No longer can we be complacent and jaunt to the bars instead of casting a vote or for that matter "giving a damn". Look at our last Presidential election, it became a Supreme Court appointment because the vote was too close to make obvious the American citizen's wishes. We have only ourselves to blame for this last conundrum. 

     We cannot change the past, we can and must learn from it. We can and should change the present and the future. I would hope that we as a community would like to pass on a better world to our youth, GLBT and not. Sure we may all not have children, but these are children of the world just as we are equal citizens of the world, whether "they" like it or not. Our GLBT brothers and sisters have died for this country as well.  What statements to we send by hanging in the chat rooms, bars, bed instead of taking an active part in our world? How do we honor the past murdered and persecuted by looking the other way? I see many sites with tributes to victims of hate crimes. And that's good, however, not enough. I am sure if they could speak to us from their graves they would say "That's nice, now do something. Don't let another die!"

     It has been suggested that I send this "Gay 4th of July" to our President and other leaders. Here I would like the feedback of our readers. I am but one person, does this speak for you? Send me your thoughts .

Some quotes and some historical dated was found at 

Send your Gay 4th, community thoughts!

Len (also known as the site host-Codi)

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Vol. I Issue 16 December 15, 2000

Up Til Now....

The election is over, or more aptly put, has been decided. By the letters received I know that there are those not pleased with the outcome. For whatever the reason. As a site dedicated to Equality there are obvious issues. Those being the equality of each vote. This site has and will continue to support and promote the importance of actively voting. This election is proof of that premise.

American apathy, and that of I am afraid our own community are evidenced here. We can and should complain about how the determination of our next President was made. We must not forget that the propellant to this situation was a closeness of votes. What differences would have been made by more voters is unknown. However, it seems it would have possibly put the decision back into the hands of the American people.

There are flaws in the electoral process, that is obvious. Actions should be taken to make corrections so that this test of our system does not happen again. Basically I agree with those who say we failed the test. Votes not counted, voters claiming refusal of their American right and privilege, varying formats for voting and counting, all played their part. Again so did the apathy which caused each non-voter. So where do we start the system repair?

We can change the process daily, but unless the view and activity of the voter changes, we will still not meet the mark. Many say Americans have not spoken, the Supreme Court has. Again, I would agree. Let us not forget to examine all the criteria. How did the Supreme Court receive the power? Through the closeness of votes. You can claim, faulty systems in Florida, corrupt bipartisan politics, and maybe with some justification. However, if the vote count was larger, stronger over-all the decision would have been ours.

Never before in my memory has the "My vote doesn't count" theory been discharged. With differences in the 150 range, each vote does count, and should always be counted. A two-fold problem. Years of legislation to correct on one hand, one strong voter turn-out on the other. Which do you say is the most expedient method of attack? Have a safe, Happy Holiday and New Year!

Til next time.....Codi

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Vol. I Issue 13 September 10, 2000
As you read earlier in this issue, I recently lost a sister very unexpectedly. Below are some emotions and thoughts on that loss which I would like to share with you. As I fortunately have a very supportive and accepting family this was and is a very heavy loss. My heartfelt thanks to family and friends, especially Carolyn, Chris and Joe for giving me the courage to accept, and to Vivian for all the love, understanding, and support.

For Vivian deeply missed.

Memory Made
(formerly Love Lost?)

An empty chair where once love sat, lonely arms reaching out to touch.  
Echoes of laughter, a faded smile.

Thoughts of a sweet and distant voice, missing glances from eyes which know your soul. 
Things that begin when life and love are a memory made.

That gentle friend who knew to smooth, pains and bruises of daily being.
A comforting touch bringing warmth.

Understanding, allowing the real to shine through, no pretense to effect.
All this gone? When life and love are a memory made.

Ticking clocks and calendar pages, evidence of the times we squander.
Should've, would've, could'ves hide in each dark corner of the mind.

Reliving yesterdays, but for all forgotten tomorrows and todays.
Time is this? When life and love are a memory made.

A love filled heart and devoted one, bring safety and peace to a mind adrift.
Secure in the love eternal.

Once was and will always be, that which tender hearts do not forget.
For souls and love go on. When life and love are a memory made.

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Vol. I Issue 12 July 2, 2000

Our Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice by Codi

Ah the fair month of June, and a major celebration of Pride for most of the GLBT community. However each year the tales of behavior unbecoming to an event associated with Pride, (in any manner), become more and more prevalent.

The article/statement next to this article by LGCMA is another example of very common occurrences at major Pride Fests and other GLBT Festivals. The problem here isn't the straight GLBT-friendly performer. It is US and our community. We allow inept Pride Committees and event organizers to literally rule over us. These people and groups are not only representing our community as a whole but also your local community. Don't allow it!!!

As we all know the mainstream media loves to show our shortfalls. We keep supplying them with ammunition by not holding these groups which plan, organize, and implement our celebrations accountable for their actions.

The experience Mr Haggerty and "Lavender Country" had with the Seattle pride is sadly common place in our events. This causes friction between us a community and between out of community performers and promoters. Do think the straight performer at Seattle Pride was impressed?

I have seen everything from outrageous pricing, refusal to be involved because of race or gender identification, to expulsion over dress, (it was a quite modest leather costume). On the other side I have seen GLBT performers attempt to destroy the performance of another GLBT artist as well as performing straight artists. Shouldn't the ego of our community come before any other? Don't we have the right and power to make sure these "committees" understand what we expect? Lets make Pride a Proud thing again!

Statement by LGCMA on Pride Festivals

Patrick Haggerty of "Lavender Country," the first ever gay country album, performed at the Seattle Pride festival on Sunday, June 25, 2000. Not only is Patrick one of the most esteemed members of LGCMA (the Lesbian and Gay Country Music Association), but also one of the most respected members of the gay activist community for 30 years. At that performance, Patrick and his new band, also called "Lavender Country," fell victim to what is a growing pattern of bad treatment and disrespect shown to gay performers by gay pride festivals throughout the U.S. As in many other gay pride festivals, the headliner of this event was a straight, GLBT friendly performer. But, the favoritism shown the straight performer and the incredibly un-courteous and unprofessional behavior shown towards most of the gay performers by the event entertainment chair, is deplorable.
At Seattle, the sound company was never given the equipment list or stage plot that Patrick's manager had faxed to Seattle Pride. The sound company had not even been told that a band was playing. No sound equipment had been provided. The band had to go through the sound board which did not have enough tracks, so some instruments were not amplified. His playing time was cut, unceremoniously, from one hour to 15 minutes. After being told he had 2 more songs, he was cut after one song. When he attempted to perform the song anyway, the sound was cut off. The crowd was ignored when they began to shout "let them play!" The straight headliner was brought on over the shouting of the crowd.
The members of LGCMA deplore the unprofessional treatment shown to gay performers at gay pride events. We especially find deplorable the unequal and prejudicial treatment shown towards Patrick Haggerty and "Lavender Country" at Seattle Pride.


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