Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The richest country in the world has About 3.5 million US residents (about 1% of the population) , ...Statistics for homeless families are even graver -- 52% were turned down by homeless shelters. Change means stepping up a war and paying more money to Huge Insurance Corporations so that the rich can get richer. Moderate means Right Leaning. Right is using fascist scare tactics to pass unconstitutional laws in favor of bigotry and hate and having very little resistance from the liberal media. Nor any opposition from politicians who are hired by the people to take care of the people. More people know who Kim Kardashian is than who the Vice President is and we can't find funding for schools. Texas; since they buy the most books for schools; gets to help right history for our countries public school system.No wonder we are all as fucking stupid as George Bush!
Wake up! Put down your soda and open your eyes. We can not fear change because what we have is not working. We are killing the planet. Killing ourselves. Killing each other. Not only in the US, but all over this world. Not in the name of democracy but in the name of capitalism. Our country is being held hostage by corporations that are paying the government to ignore the people in their interests! Hillary Clinton in the 80's and now Obama have been shut down by special interests. The current health "reform" has us putting MORE money in the pockets of Insurance Conglomerates! We have been taken over and they are running the government and its all our fault. If we do not stand up for ourselves we are going to be taken advantage of! That is NOT what we deserve and we know it! Tell Pelosi to stop selling out! We want abortion covered because who the fuck are we to tell a woman what she can or can not do with her body. That is her decision to make. Nobody has abortions for fun so get the fuck over it!
Where is the anger and marching in the streets by true liberals? The idea that if we stand up for ourselves is going to do our cause damage is ludicrous! Those Tea Baggers got exactly what they went down there and protested for! The morons have taken away the ability for progressive thinkers to make policy and create a better US because they are being fed fear. They are consuming the fear and they are using it to "their" advantage! Yet because they are being educated by the televisions they have no idea what they are saying. Yet neither do we!
There is only rhetoric out there right now. So many people are so afraid that they are going "moderate" in their lives so as to please the most people. Our government is being squashed of all purpose just because there is no actual liberal power. Liberal power is not to be feared. Anger is not to be feared. Just because there is a confrontation created with the right? This confrontation has to be started in ernest again. Our apathetic view of what grass roots can do must change. Look at what the right's grass roots campaign has done. It has changed our country to a hate filled barbaric trash bin for Jesus and lets poor people die, kills fags and non believers, and is single handedly the most selfish self absorbed country on the planet.
It is because WE are not doing any thing! It is because we would rather not or are too "busy". Just because you are on a cell phone you are still ALONE! No one is actually there with you. The person that is there with you is the person who you just stepped over in disgust. You are inside an SUV and can't see us, but We still exist. Its time to let people know we exist!
This city is becoming a gentrified playground of mediocrity and we should not stand for it. Newsom wants us all to own a condo or leave. There can be 200 condo conversions a year and it is decided by lottery. Imagine if anyone could convert to condos! That would be the most horrible thing to happen to this once proud city. That is exactly what is happening in Newsom's fevered brain right now. Just so Newsom can reward his rich friends who helped a spoiled little boy get into office. We are being governed by selfish voices who care nothing about the people. I personally find it infuriating! Just think what would happen to all the bars that are too loud, night clubs, trannies, freaks, and the people who make this city great! We had to leave suburbia and we don't want to go back!
Why is the government not taking care of ALL the people? Why is the entertainment commission taking away the reason young people come to this city? Why must our city be like a suburb? Why can't creative people and families find affordable housing? We are the ones who gave Paris Hilton all that money and now we are paying for it. We are spoiled and rotten and so selfish as a culture that people hate us. I mean do you like the "Marinaization" of this city? Of the state? Of the US? We don't want to live in a city of mini skirts and orange tans and bleached hair? We also don't want to live in a city of codo's! We don't want more homeless on the streets because they used to live in a high priced "new" condo. We don't want to have our well being left in the hands of corporate bosses! It's like Dickens era England right now in the US! Why are we not asking more questions? Where is the accountability? Lets show those bastards what a REAL Teabagger can do! It is time to get active because this current situation is so not working for us!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

1 State, 2 State, Red State, Blue State.

I keep reading about how we are really a Blue Country but are being blind sided into believing we are red. What with the lack of back bone from the truly liberal movement and apathy at an all time high I might believe it. I know better though. It's not red and blue; noting ever is this or that. Mix some red and blue and you get the brown area. Yep we are in the shit and its all our fault. We have been asleep and uninvolved and we deserve the brown that we are currently wading through. Everyone keeps saying where is the money going to come from that is needed to fix where we are? You know the answer..... YOU.
I know why we are pissed by that answer also. Major corporations have stolen our money and blown it at the race track in get rich quick schemes and we are handed pails to clean up their brown. Health Care has been bleeding Americans dry for ever and now when we see the problem we still get only the slightest improvement. (An improvement if your an insurance company). Bigotry and hatred have combined to create fascist laws against gays in many "liberal" states. The state can't pay for ADAP and yet there seems to be room to pay for lots of press secretaries and still not raise taxes on the rich. Yep Its been a year of change and this is what post Bush has left us with. Ineffectual government that still cares noting about the people and only about the bottom line and we have to pay for their gross spending and back room deals. However if people are the government then we are just as responsible for what has happened to our city, our state and our country.
We as environs in San Francisco have watched as our city has become a playground for trust funds and condo owners while squashing the creative and underground scene. "What about the children?"; we hear it all the time. Myself; and most of my friends; were thrown out of your suburban safety nets and sought refuge and community here in this city. It became a refuge where we could gather and create and find family. We are not leaving without an fight and were not going to let an entertainment commission, drunk on it's own power, destroy the world we have worked to create. We am not going to stand silent while our places are taken from us by selfish condo owners who move next to bars and whine until they get their way! That person who moved next to the Cinch and started complaining was only there for one year or less and the Cinch has been a bar SINCE ITS INCEPTION! Anyone who has seen the place in the day knows how old it is! Yet one selfish person can complain and because she has money and isn't a degenerate gay dictates the actions taken. If I wasn't a lady I would have some very choice words for people like that!
So hey policy makers if you are looking for income I have a few suggestions.
1. Decriminalize pot - A projected 1.6 Billion in tax revenue. Not to mention if we let no violent offenders out of jail, pardon them and wipe the slate clean, we could save millions there. Plus we would have more people out of jail serving as farmers helping to stimulate our economy even more.
2. House the homeless - It costs 2 times as much to keep a person on the street. Police, Fire, Sanitation all work over time due to our lack of compassion. The argument that you would "not want one or several of them living by you or your bar (Marlene's)" makes no sense! I hear that people are afraid there will be excrement and needles in their bushes. Who poops on the street when they have a toilet? Would you shoot up in an alley if you had a home? These problems exist because we allow the dignity to be stripped from our fellow man and believe if we shared the wealth there would be less for us. ABSURD! Wake up there isn't any for you unless your an insurance executive and you steal it.
3. Charge Large Car Owners MORE! - More to cross the bridge more to park more for healthcare more for insurance more! we could call it the selfish and heartless tax. The I'm so selfish I have a giant car tax. The I do what I want and I don't care give me some McDonalds so I can throw the containers out the window later because I'm so ignorant tax. The Me Me Me tax. A tax for America.
4. Charge a fee for every menu and club promotional card that litters the street. Make it so people can collect these cards, turn them in and the clubs and restaurants can help the local ecology and community. These invites and menus are not recyclable because they are covered in plastic. This is left all over the sidewalk after a busy night, or in the case of menus wind and rain, and end up in our sewers and the bay and the ocean. We can help people, build community, and help the ecology in 1 foul swoop.
5. Property taxes on Commercial real estate must be raised and the state policy changed. There is a Prop 13 from 1978 that has stripped foreign investors of their responsibility to our community and they used little old ladies to do it. When you house or property is Assessed it is given a fair market value and you pay taxes based on that assessment. In Ca the property taxes were actually going up so fast that elderly did loose housing. Yet here is the down side. The Gate Residence Hotel has had the same owners, investors, who have owned the property since 1978. They pay 2% increase annually since 1978. The rate of inflation is usually 3.5 or higher. Cheep property taxes for prime down town location. The Hotel goes out of the business of being a residency hotel and many poor are out of housing that many have been in as long as the hotel has been around. Now the Hotel is owned by the same people but a new Leaser is found to open a Commercial Hotel, the Infusion Lounge, and a Chinese restaurant. All booming and doing very well. Still owned by the same people. Still only a 2% increase each year for a property assessed as a residence hotel. Get the picture. What do you think the Fairmont pays in property taxes as compared to a new home owner in the city? So why do young couples and singles and the poor not have an easy time staying here and yet foreign investment gets breaks for holding on to property?
6. Tax the Churches. Listen they are making policy, owning vast tracks of land, doing business from their offices, and paying to advertise their views on propositions. Tax them and start treating them like the lobbying groups that they are. The Christian Right and Mormon's have put their hand in deciding law and influencing votes on a national level, why not treat them like any other business. Unfair policies for bigots doesn't wash and neither do the laws that they pay for.

With all that said I would like to remind us that we can change these unjust laws and we can do it soon. The trick is to be responsible and take part and do it. Grass roots still works. Vote, read a paper, get involved and hold people accountable. Hold yourself accountable. That way we can have some other color that brown. We can have a government that works for us not special interest. Wouldn't it be better if we turned off the TV for a second, got off our cell phone, stopped texting on our blackberry and remembered we are part of a world that was happening right here and now? I mean look what's happened since we've been away.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Something Coming

The very best part of this Holiday is that I am seeing lots of people who I have not seen in some time. I have really been feeling the loss of Charlie Horse because the part that was absolutely the best was seeing the people I loved almost every week. The people of the city that inspired me came out and played and I got to play with them. This Holiday I miss that. Now is the time when we look back on the year and think about what it is that has happened to us and how we have changed. For many of us it was a galvanizing year and one that saw an end to the apathy and an awakening of our spirits. Until last year my drag had mostly been in the clubs; but with the passing of Prop 8 it is in the streets and it's angry and it's not giving up. I have taken what I learned in those bars and started to make it a reality every day. It's the people around me that help me remain free of the shame. It is the spirit of the Compton Riots and Harvey Milk that live in SF that reminds me that We have the power. It is the tranny magic that my sisters share with me, and it has set me free.
This year really owning my voice is a personal triumph. As I have discussed before my parents are ardent anti gay right wing christians. All my life they told me they loved me and that is why they were working so hard to try and understand and save me. They prayed for me. When I released myself from accepting their shame I blossomed. I had been working towards it all my life but this year I know it to be true. I think we as a community have cast off a lot of shame that we have had placed on us by years of conservative oppression and our own apathy. We feel our voices rising again.
I am not really speaking to the general we I am talking about the so called "rebels". The political organizations that I am often fortunate to work with or meet at protests are not doing enough. When I hear people say "we have been working on being a part of society for a hundred or so years and we must have patience", I want to pull my hair out! How can a lesbian woman talk about only 100 years when we have been around for EVER and we have only truly been oppressed as a cross cultural plague in the last 100 years! Has she never heard of Sappho? It is mind boggling to see how gay culture has been so oppressed that even our leaders are fooled by the lies and plead for understanding and patience as people get used to us. Really? Lets be patient while bigotry is voted on state by state and we are held helpless by the courts to "Find a way to get our rights". Is that really what we are being asked? You have got to be shi**ing me. Pardon my french. Besides lets make it real and admit its bigotry not marriage that is the issue. Bigotry is wrong not law! Lets get real!
It is this voice that I am hearing now. This voice that like mine can't quite figure out what the heck is up with this government. A governor who can't find funding for ADAP and hasn't paid a bunch of his own taxes ? It is the voice of the people who are starting to see what oppression by the governing states can be like when they hold our health care ransom so that they can continue to line their pockets on our money. The Health Care issue is the most infuriating issue ever. We the people know that rights should include healthcare and gays and poor people and marijuana users and well everybody. We know this to be the truth. Yet because of special interest and hollow promises by our leaders, we end up with something that is not even for the people any more. It is now to satisfy the "most people"; those most people are actually large corporations run by some of the most selfish self invested people on the face of the planet. War Poverty and Bigotry so that the rich are happy? They want us to be afraid of socialist ideas that may just save our country because they would loose billions. We already use socialist ideas like PUBLIC SCHOOLS! Not that that is a shinning example because for some reason we can't find money for them either. Our collective lives are being flushed down the toilet because of their greed. We also know this isn't right. Now we also know that this is something we can do something about.
I was reading that at the Climate talks in Copenhagen that the US and China hope to reduce emissions like 20% by 2050. Wow. I mean come on. What exactly are we supposed to say to that? "Sorry our country is to selfish to stand up and be counted but we may do something by 2050." No wonder other countries hate us. I think at this rate if we all live to 2050 it would be a miracle.
Or how about a president who was supposed to bring about change. The world believed him so much they gave him an award in his first year that many people who are proven great leaders never get. Yep a hero. A hero who steps up war and says it is just. I don't want to wage war. I don't want a war on drugs. I don't want a war on terror. War is TERROR. I want a government for the people and to stop all the lying and manipulating just to continue in the way we are going. What is so great with the way we are going? The direction must change and very soon. 2050, the thought is frightening! By then we could walk to Australia on all the plastic in the ocean. I think that we realize that this is wrong and our wasteful life style is killing us, giving us cancer, destroying the wildlife and so forth. I think we know that. So why are we fighting a war to gain control of oil and opium in Afghanistan? (Well I get the opium but the oil I'm at a complete loss). Shouldn't we be becoming independent and finding ways to use solar and wind more efficiently? Oh yeah right we are protecting big business interests. How silly of me.
The difference this year is we are starting to ask for accountability. We are seeing the direct correlation of our obsession with the Kardashian's and the fact that our government has been getting away with murder for too long. We are not wearing blinders any longer. Its out there and we are talking about it. Personally I can't believe that the voices of the people who are not tea baggers; nice name dip shits; are not taking over the streets. I remember the day before the war broke out and the city exploded. It just exploded. That day I saw how many people were angry about how things were going. I know that voice is out there and I think this past year we have started to hear it louder and louder. We must use this voice because that is how change is created. There needs to be support for this genesis. The year that we have lived has been; well less that stellar. There have been disappointments in droves; but the good news is we see it and we don't feel helpless any more. I am hopeful for the year ahead. I am plugging into my Ravonettes CD, casting off shame, and moving into 2010 determined as hell! Last year I had Charlie Horse stolen from me so this year its out of the bar into.......

Friday, December 11, 2009


This past night my eyes were opened by a group of people who spoke of charity and compassion and really meant it. I know they meant it because they were actually doing something about creating this compassion. It was different from the meet and greets that I had experience so fat in my 2 weeks on the campaign trail. Although the stunning revelation that the people with the least to loss and the most to gain has always been apparent in politics. Suffragist, people of color, gay and lesbians, immigrants all groups fighting to find a place in society where their voices can be heard. I thought I knew what these well scrubbed voices looked like but I am coming to find that I do not know what they look like and I had no idea who was really doing the work behind the machine.

Every meet and greet that I go to are the legions of unscrubbed, unhoused, unsung heros of the street that are placing their lives in the hands of the powers that be so they can advocate for their lives. It is not the beautiful perfect smiles of faces warmed in large homes or even the young in college that I see in these meetings. Sure there are some of those faces scattered amongst the crowds; but it the limbless and those without teeth or a place to live that are out there every day making the world a better place for you and I to be a part of. These people with nothing are finding within themselves the great compassion to put themselves last when they are the ones who suffer the most. Thank you Elise Conners for opening my eyes to the organization Compassion Behind Bars. Imagine the rehabilitation of repeat offenders if all our efforts were created and carried our with compassion instead of hate and fear and apathy for the men and women incarcerated in our institutions. I think the outcome would be different. I think we could have greater success returning these misunderstood people to society. I do not advocate giving everyone in jail cannabis but from someone who has recovered from having 11 t cells and being on the brink of death how medical cannabis help regain my appetite, eased my pain and anxiety, and gave me rest when there was no chance of these things before its use. It allowed me to stand the harsh regiment of antibiotics and pills by keeping my stomach at ease as I made my recovery. This was only 7 or 8 short years ago and look at me now. Healthy and vital.

At the Harvey Milk Cannabis Town Meeting I met a black woman who is shy and withdrawn to meet nut has created an entire program that takes medical cannabis to 10 non violent offenders behind bars in San Quentin. This heavy set woman with a number of disabilities herself battled the legal system time and time again to take these non violent offenders who could not eat or sleep due to the ravages of HIV medicinal cannabis so that their lives would be better. A woman who appears on the outside as frail and encumbered by her own hardships in life has found the passion and compassion to step up and speak out and make a change.

Last night at the Harvey Milk Cannabis Town Meeting the stories that Dr Mike Aldridge and his wife who talked about the connection between gat rights and cannabis rights. In 1972 the first bill was placed on the table stating " No person over the age of 18 should be arrested for growing, selling, or possessing marijuana." It was in 1972 that this law was put on a ballot measure. It lost 33 to 65 but it had gained a new and soon to be powerful mans attention. Harvey Milk took up the call for legalizing cannabis and was very close to putting it up for a vote with Mayor Moscone and other powerful SF politicians; in the forms of Prop W and Prop 215, when both men were shot and killed. Dianne Feinstein who became mayor after their deaths killed these initiatives and scrapped along with it many other forward thinking measures like need exchange and compassionate care. It some or all of those measures had passed I wonder now how many fewer people would have contracted HIV due to dirty needles, ability to eat on harsh medicine, and get the rest so needed when it was needed and in a natural holistic way.

The continued struggle to show people who suffer from chronic pain, HIV, and many many other debilitating diseases, is being led by AXIS of Love, Champs,Lynn's Compassionate Co-Op ( Started by Elmar Lynn and his partner who would die of HIV and Hep C complications but before they did started compassionately sharing their home grown medicine with members of their hospice helping us all to realize the benefit of medicinal cannabis),WAMM, MediCann, and many other such organizations is beautiful to see. Its not about getting high and recreational use, instead about compassion for those who suffer.

For many in this day of politics toady the bottom line is what is most important. The figures of CA State deficit are looking at over 10 Billion in shortages. These shortages could cause more people to go homeless as jobs become more scarce and the price of housing continues to rise. More and more people with HIV and other catastrophic health concerns will go without medicine and proper care. Hospitals will be forced to close and may not have access to medicines for the people in their care. The middle class will be whipped out and forced to scrounge to keep their families a float. In San Francisco and Oakland through tireless courage and compassion regulated marijuana has created hope and revenue. AB390 will regulate its sale state wide. This is needed because there are places like LA and San Diego that without regulations create grey areas that undermine the work of advocates and growers across the country. Tom Ammiano has been championing this cause and here in SF we are seeing that regulation can and does work.

This bill, AB390 is coming up for a vote and two women in the bay area have the power to help it pass. Please contact the offices of Fiona Ma and Nancy Skinner to help get AB390 through the State Assembly . This bill will regulate the sale, growth and possession of marijuana in the state of California. Also this bill is thought to raise at least 1.3 billion dollars for the state coffers. Where is the state going to find some of its money to balance the budget from some of the most compassionate people on the planet, marijuana growers, distributers and the doctors who believe in its medicinal use. Cannabis can save lives, ease pain and create revenue for our already troubled state. Pot may very well be the miracle needed to save more lives than just its users.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My first week on the trail

Well during my first week of throwing my boa into the political ring I have watched as NY has made gay marriage illegal like just about every other state. The fact that bigotry is up for a vote and winning is disgraceful and makes me ashamed of My country. The fact that a Nobel Peace Prize winner hasn't stepped up his game and taken this bigotry to task on a NATIONAL level and granted human rights to everyone is beyond abhorrent. Hollow speeches and promises without dates for a solution will not wash with me any longer. At a Christmas party recently I was told by a young straight man how gay rights are inevitable and that with patience I will see that day come. People argue that it will happen if I just relax and wait.
I am 42 years old and the gay rights movement started in 1968 with the Compton Riots in the Tenderloin. All my life I have been told just wait it will happen. Well It isn't just going to happen in fact just the opposite. In California and New York two of the most liberal states in the US Gay people are not given full rights just like their counter parts in the straight world. Exactly how am I supposed to see this as a step towards equal rights? From what I can tell there is no real movement to gaining equality just hollow promises from people in charge while we are facing even greater threats of violence and bigotry than any other minority, except maybe the poor. Besides that gay people have been around since there were people and we have a rich history that goes without notice due to this bigotry. I heard someone with Marriage Equality say that our movement has only been around for 100 years or so. Has she never heard of Sappho? How about Oscar Wilde? Our people have been around as long as the straight people and we were considered great thinkers and leaders not pariahs and it is time to reclaim these beliefs as our own! To believe that we are a new people with a new voice is wrong! We have been here and queer since the dawn of time. There is no "new" to our history and to limit it to the last 100 years does a great disservice to the people who lived freely as gay people and made the world beautiful by doing so. The real significance of the last 100 years is that we have been brutalized without laws to protect us and bigotry has had a place in this and other lands with no recourse to stop it. We have been ghettoized and killed as if being gay makes us less human and that is just not the case. We are not new but the ability to try and destroy us legally is.
I have also been told that no one is really going to take me seriously as a drag queen. I have always said I am not here discuss my outfits but to get things done. Why can't my strongest voice come from a place in me that feels more comfortable in a dress? Why is it so strange that through my becoming comfortable with my gender variance and the power it feeds me that I have found the voice that makes me want to make a difference. Can someone in a dress not want to repeal property tax on commercial real estate set at 2% in 1978 with the passing of Prop 13. Why does wearing make up make me incapable of understanding that we need just cause to be extended to all buildings in SF? How does this make me less of a fighter for people who are forced to live on the street because the rich and mighty feel that it would cost too much to actually restore their dignity? Guess what it doesn't! The fact that I can stand up to the ridicule and bigotry and move forward and face the public as who I am makes me a strong viable leader in my eyes. I'm doing this to make a difference not to discuss my chosen style of dress and presentation.
Drag is where I found my voice. It is through the gay and lesbian, transgendered communities in SF and NY that I stopped abusing myself at the request of others and became who I am today.... A strong gender variant person on a mission to right injustice. I feel that if I was to turn away from this voice then I would be like many other leaders willing to compromise my integrity instead of standing proud and moving forward. It is an injustice to believe that I am any less capable to lead because of how I dress and how I celebrate my person than any other person on this planet. I have never seen myself as less but instead found myself proving time and time again with the aid of a understanding community that I am a success and fighting for what is rightfully ours. Equality. Not just for gays and lesbians but for all peoples. At a meeting of the Harvey Milk club someone said "Oh your the drag Queen." Let me say this. Thats right Mr and don't you forget it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why Supervisor?

Why Supervisor? Well because I believe I can do that job and find creative and exciting ways to raise revenue so that the people who are struggling to live in San Francisco can have an easier time at it. District 6 is where I have lived my entire Fourteen year stay in San Francisco. From the Hayes Valley to the Tenderloin and South Of Market to Nob Hill I have lived in them all. This is the heart of the city with the richest and the poorest all thrown together. It is an awesome responsibility to think that my voice might be chosen to represent this group of San Francisco environs. This neighborhood is where I found my voice and became the activist and leader that I have become. This neighborhood is where I learned to use this voice to stand up to injustice on a public level. Like the Ladies at the Compton Cafeteria I can no longer be silenced and I will not be still and I am using my voice to the best of my ability. I hope that my voice in some way echos my foresisters and starts to create change in the way our government treats the least and the greatest of these.
I have one idea that uses three of my favorite issues and could generate income. One saturday my partner Brett and I walked through SOMA and realized that this neighborhood is literally covered in glossy night club flies that are not recyclable due to lamination. These fliers are left to end up in the bay polluting our water, the ocean, and contributing to the already global disaster of our seas being filled with plastic particles. I say charge the club who is not responsible enough to clean up after an event one dollar per flier left on the side walk with in a 2 block radius. Put that money directly into solving the homeless issues that are becoming more and more pressing as this recession lingers on.
Ok so who is going to clean this up? Well I say we partner with an organization like the Community Housing Partnership who works with restoring dignity to the homeless through housing and work programs. They are used by many street fairs to supply workers and do a fantastic job every time. Also the reason I mention the Community Housing Partnership is that they have a 98% success rate in keeping people off the streets. From what I can tell its because they give the person their dignity by making them responsible in their own lives and offering a future. This is a way for everyone to win. Its simple. It 1. cleans the streets 2. helps the environment both locally and globally 3. provides jobs and revenue, 4. is a PRO ACTIVE solution, 5. It forces people creating litter to own up to it and be accountable. Also I have run a successful club and never once had to use glossy paper fliers and never had enough made even to cover an entire 2 block radius. It is waste on so many levels that this is a no brainer as far as revenue and environmental impact. This is not a punishment but a solution.
That is just one idea that at this time I can share.There are sure to be issues that need to be worked out with any plan but new and better solutions must be found and implemented so that everyone can live in this city. There are many many issues such as education, homeless, environmental, gentrification, traffic, and so on that can have a solution that generates new revenue and solves a problem at the same time and it can be very easy. I believe that I am a motivator and a very dedicated person who has ideas, a voice, and the desire to bring about this change and return government to its task of serving the people.
I am currently putting together a team to give this run the power and support I will need. The real campaigning starts this spring now is fundraising time. Deeanna Leitner and Jason Smart have signed on as Treasurer and Co Treasurer. I have asked two people to come on board as Campaigne Manager and co-Campaigne Manager. I am very serious about this and believe that I can win and do a good job with the position.
These are the reasons I have filed to run for Supervisor of District 6. The passion comes from not being able to sit back and watch what is happening to my peers across the land. Gay and Lesbian legislature based on bigotry and fear made law, our waste piling up so high that we are now in a state of emergency, money and help being denied AIDS patients who will die without this help. This is not what our government was meant to do. It was meant to work for the people and with the people not corporations and special interests. I am running because it is time for us to start making the change that we so desperately need. I want to be given the chance to start creating this change because I believe we can do it.
Anna Conda

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanks and now....

You know I want to thanks everyone. It was totally fun. The Cinch asked me to take a break for a few weeks and I have made the decision to just end it. The break was a result of the condos next door complaining about the noise. It is a bit more homophobic than that. The Polk no longer welcomes gay businesses and the Polk Street Merchants Association has even taken action against leasing to gay businesses. A perfect example is the Deco lounge being black balled and the continued pressure to end the gay presence in the Polk so that the Marina and all its clean falsehood can expand. It is gentrification and bigotry. It has been an entire year of facing this as a gay culture. In fact our last show was almost a year after Prop 8 passed and we did our Yeah Yeah Yeah's tribute.
I love Charlie Horse for its angry punk voice and fighting spirit. I loved it because it gave Marcy and Anna and Dam and Dean and Mutha and Juanita and anyone who wanted to be a part a home. The jokes became the story and the story fucking kicked ass! I love that we never played Madonna except when I performed her breaking our only rule... No Madonna thus giving Juanita and Turleen free rage to abuse us with her again. I love that Kiddie has no memory of her six month run as co host because she was blacked out downstairs by 11. I love that the Cinch was the hottest ticket in town because it is a fuckin awesome bar. I loved the bar staff who made the night work and gave us a home. I love the DJ's for making me dance and want to be somewhere. The "talent" that made us laugh till we cried and let us have fun without questioning it. I loved the Taco's pop corn, STRONG drinks. The shows. The girls. The Guys. The audience, you guys were AWESOME and I love you for all that you have given me.
A home. Unconditional love. Faith. Strength. A voice. Acceptance. Patience. A swift kick in the butt. A way to repay and give back for all that drag has given me. Since Boy Bar I was looking for a way to give back and I feel like I have. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. It has meant the world.
Im sad. Let's face it terribly sad. I am going to miss the shit out of this night. It has meant so much. I just don't want to dwell on my tears.
Charlie Horse has gotten me past wanting to wallow in my tears. I want to move on. I want to create and I don't want the hassles that a weekly on the Polk was bringing. I want to fight a bigger fight. I want to create change and this party made me believe that we can make that change. Plus I have Herr-A-Chick to get dressed like a lady and get drunk and fall down.( As a cougar it is harder on the body than it used to be.) Today in Sf there is so much going on in the city from Tiara Sensation to Ducal Court events and I want to be a part of that again. Plus I am a married lady and I am sure he could use a little more attention and less ego from me.
Yes its sad but its hopeful. Conservatism is not going to win and I am going to devote all the hours that I put into CH and make sure that this city and country start taking notice of the ways that they are bullying us. We need to mobilize in a greater force and I hope to spend the new freedom making that happen. I will see you in the streets and in the bars and maybe even on the Board one day. Wherever it is it's going to be because of the strength you people shared with me. Charlie Horse was magic. It was DIY till the end. It was inspirational. To be a part with you all has been the best and most fun I have ever had.
Special thanks to Bob and Robbie and Miss Lucy Borden. Special special to Lucy! Thanks sister. Thanks to the bar staff new and past that helped so much. I love you like you were family and thats why I treated you that way.
Charlie Horse RIP 2004-2009

Besos AC

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

YBCA Soap box

What is wrong with Gays today? We are a bunch of apathetic has beens who are letting state legislation be passed around this country removing rights, that we had already been granted, and we are doing next to NOTHING to stop it. I can not believe this is the same group of people who taught me to fight and never give up. That these are the people who told me that AIDS was what I made it, and my 20 years with the disease have proven that they were right. I did not get sad and withdrawn and just give over to this disease, this countries bigotry, my parents brow beating, just to be placed at the mercy of bigots telling me how I can change to fit their ideas of who I am or who gay people should be. I learned to fight for what it was I needed, we wanted, and against authority that is oppressive. Yet where are my people now? It is exactly this apathy that lets gay men and women be handed shame by society, that is not ours, and accept it. We have let ourselves be told what it is that will grant us our acceptance and we have started to change accordingly and we are loosing ourselves in the process. We have added letter after letter to our cause and created the innocuous label of LGBTQQIP instead of understanding who we are and what it is we offer.
Our shame is in listening to the society that is oppressing us instead of being true to the people we are and are meant to be. Our legacy is that of proud people who have made a difference through out history by spreading beauty, tolerance, magic and being shaman for a better world. There is no shame in who we are and never has been. It is our duty to stop believing this lie. This shame has poisoned us into a fearful state of surrender where we have lost our dignity and have masked it with ghettoization and lack of commitment. We have taken ourselves out of the battle and claimed that by rolling over and giving in we will just be handed rights. Gay people are foolish to believe that they are just going to get rights. There is no reason to believe that magically our rights will be guaranteed. In fact Main has just joined our great state in removing rights for gay people making us illegal in almost all 50 states. During our lives we have moved backwards into a more closeted and fearful existence. We are isolated from the world out side our ghettos and have completetly lost our voice because we want people to like us.
Instead of taking to the streets to declare who we are we have tried to pander to traditional "straight society" and made their beliefs our own. By choosing to try and include everyone; ie lgbqqip; we have missed the mark of what our battle is about. It is about us as a gay people deserving to be equal to others because we are PEOPLE. In this world to not stand up to bigotry has lead to terrible consequences and we must be vigilant that we are not next. With out making a noise that can not be ignored we are allowing ourselves to be herded like sheep and forced to change our "evil ways" or suffer. We have been hunted like animals and killed. We are taunted even in heavily gay areas and cities and the police are raiding our bars forcing us to act as people who deserve to be treated this way. We are arrested for showing affection. We live in fear because of who we are and because bigotry has not been questioned by us. If this has not gotten us into the streets on mass what will? Are we to remain silent until the doors of the oven have closed and we have no choice but to scream?
Our apathy is killing us. It is letting our culture go unnoticed and uncelebrated. The stories of great leaders remain a dim past that most of us don't know. Stories like We Wah the gay Native American who lead the largest of the Western tribes in the US for over 40 years. He was taken to Washington DC in the 1800's and presented as an Indian Princess even though he was over 6 feet tall and looked nothing like a woman. He worked with other gay Native Americans to stop the white mans tyranny and oppression of his people. Or Sappho the lesbian poet of Greece who held international fame and power. Quan Yin the father of Toaist thought and modern Chinese poetry. The story of how Oscar Wild decided to stay in England and be imprisoned instead of leaving England and saving himself. Or Harvey Milk who as an average person with the belief that he could make a difference and did. These are the stories that have led us to the point where we must now take up their voices and make them our own instead of listening to people who know nothing about us.
It is time to stand up for what we deserve and stop our apathy before it is too late. I am not advocating violence but I am suggesting we start stepping out of line. We as a people have every reason to be angry. We are made third class citizens and if it were to happen to any other minority they would not be silenced. They would not let fear and false shame keep them from getting the rights that we, like they, deserve. We must not be silenced and instead should clarify our voice and use it as loudly as possible. Our marches should not be shepereded by the police into areas most convenient to the city because what has been taken from us as a people is not convenient. Our anger is justified and if we don't start using our anger in a helpful way then it is going to fester away at us taking even more power from our hands. Shame and fear has made us into a people who are willingly letting ourselves be oppressed and we must say enough!
There is no reason that I should be here speaking instead of you. My voice is not so different than many of you. The reason I am here is because I have chosen not to take it any more and because we do not deserve this treatment and should not let people tell us that we do. One day I turned the corner and decided to commit myself and stop being selfish. I do not do this kind of work for me but for us. At five this morning I woke up knowing that what I had planned on giving you in my speech was a compromise and I was not happy with it and that I must work harder to clarify my voice so that I could share it with you. This voice is what I have come to listen to. Putting myself out and loud into the public arena is not easy. I doubt myself and come face to face with my own fear. However I believe that if we don't start using our voice it will be to late, not for me but for us. I have gained so much strength from my gay and lesbian peers that it is a selfish act for me not to stand up and be counted. It is truly a sin to not vocalize against the lies and slander that my people endure. It is our responsibility to be noticed, to be out, to be queer and to make a noise that can not be ignored. We as a people and a culture should not be willing to let apathy and fear get in our way. If we do not stand up together then we deserve what we get and are getting. We must rise as a queer nation and tell the world we are not going to take it any longer. It is not about turning a blind eye and hoping it will get better. It is about taking a stand because we know it should be better and casting off our shame and being who we are. There is no room for apathy and shame in our fight and we must join together to remove it. We must take to the streets and be visible. Not just on major events but whenever we feel like it. We must effect change in our every day lives and we must do it together and we must do it now. We can not wait because every second we wait another fag or dyke is kicked in the face because it is ok to do that to a "fuckin fag". Well its not alright and only our shame and apathy stand between us and the day when that stops happening.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Moving on

I am through a time in my life that I hope I never have to repeat. Mostly because I have been through it time and time again. Being a child of abuse from my parents at a tender age I tend to think of it as a normal part of life and tend to string it along for as long as possible. I would let "Friends" abuse my generosity and take advantage of me and then apologize for my actions. That is not to say that I am going to stop being self questioning but perhaps less self critical. I am always willing to blame myself when I have had enough of someone else's actions and believe that I am the cause of these behaviors. I tend blame myself for everything.
My parents sexually and emotionally abused me for many years and this year for my 42nd birthday the bigots told me they don't approve of my life. These same people told me not to date black people because they would be very disappointed if either my sister or I "Brought one home". My mother while walking through China Town clasp her purse to her chest in fear that suddenly a roving gang of four foot women were going to attack her for no reason other then they were different or not good clean white people. There was a time when my mother would have done anything to stop me from being a feminine sissy; and I mean anything. They took me to a psychiatrist to cure me of my affliction and then in later years told me it was because they wanted to raise me as their gay son. Is that why they donated to prop 8? Do they think that learning from the best liars I have ever met doesn't let me know a lie when I hear it? Do they think that spreading hate is really how Jesus; a man of peace and unity; would want them to treat their own child?
I was adopted at 10 months and brought up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. It was easy to hide what happened in the home from neighbors and friends. My Femininity was not easy to hide. Instead it made me stick out like a sore thumb. There was a shack out back of some neighbors house. It is there that I would be raped by the teenagers of the neighborhood. My parents saw me withdrawing and struggled to know why. I hated leaving the house and was terrified of other boys. I was equally as terrified of the abuse at home and just shrank. I have very little memory of any happy times or sad times from my early years. I have shadowed images of fear and haunted dreams and no more. For me my life began at 15 when I had my first gay friend and after I went to college. As soon as I had some people start telling me that I was a person and not a shell I began to come around. Actually coming around for me was totally anarchist rebellion against the world.
I was consumed by a fear and sadness that found its voice in punk rock and later parties and random sex and just general abusive behavior. Now I see that I was just rebelling against the lies and hypocrasy of the life I had not lived before. I was on my own but had no idea how to love myself. I was a stunted half human lost in a sea of self loathing and pity. I craved love but thought it came along with violence and emotional torture. I had no self worth and certainly very little ego. I would just live from abuse to abuse that I created for myself and always cared so little about how my action effected others. I was a cruel child with a vicious tongue causing pain. I was an open sore festering in the dark of my damaged childhood. That fit well with the punk attitude in general and I was blessed with features that get me by so I survived.
Recently however I have been able to realize what it is I was doing with this destructive behavior and work my way through. My friend once said "You should be proud of yourself because you have done all this on your own." I had never realized what it was that I have done. I have survived and over come insurmountable hardships and become the person I was meant to be. This change has come from working within the gay community and sharing my voice within its confines and now sometimes even in the world at large. I have found myself through the Queer Communities eyes and found the place where I feel safe enough to continue to grow and push and reach higher. I am becoming whole.
My partner of 4 years has really helped me in this as well. I had no idea what it was to trust someone even if I knew he wasn't going to like what I was saying to him. He hasn't left, or beaten me, or raped me or any of the things that my Christian parents did. Our love is not perfect but it is an honest and true relationship that brings me closer to whom it is that I can be. By finally allowing myself to trust another person I am the happiest I have ever been. I am still often the scared child who shuts down but there is someone every morning waiting to pull me from the darkness. Once my mother said that "Your relationship certainly is nothing like your fathers and mine." She is right. My relationship is not about hiding or lying or any of the hate that my parents and their sanctified "christian" moral relationship is about. I consider myself lucky to be in a healthier place that them. I am proud that I did not die at my own hands due to their punishment and have found myself because the days are happy and I am healing and I am starting to be able to give back to the world instead of take.
I am also starting to say no and know why I am saying it. I continue to put myself out there every day now even though I still find the world a hostile place to be. I do it because I can and that is a gift I never expected. Through the time I have learned just how incredibly strong I am; not weak like I was told. When someone wants to abuse me I now have the power to stop that abuse right there. I still waffle because I want people to like me or am afraid that I will loose other people in severing ties. I also know however that if I don't take care of myself that I can't give back and that is my main objective today. To give back.
I'm not perfect and I shouldn't ever expect to be. I am strong and capable and if I make a mistake I acknowledge it make amends and move on. If I should stumble at that it has to be ok as well. I trust myself enough to know what to do and honor both myself and others. I am proud of myself today. I would never have believed it possible, and without the Queer community it wouldn't have been.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts of Dorian Grey

Nimble Thimble Tumble Time you've come to haunt a friend of mine.
To take him down to who knows where;
Innermost and murky lair.

This is now how time is spent, counting the days of quick repent.
Ah for chilling bone this rhyme,
And suddenly unduly mine.

Horrors face, a widows crash, no more time for the movie star cash.
Yet furrowed deep with heady brew;
Dark sallow lines of former you.

In the mirror hazed in glass, summers gone and winters last.
Do you fear yourself to morn,
Of last years blossom now short shorn?

Tired winds of genteel age toward the totter and phantoms fade,
Still not met with rallied cheer,
But with the lonesomeness my dear?

Is this my madness ? Me insane? This my vanity now in vain.
To have lived a life in need.
Squandered gifts and shallow greed.

Nimble Thimble Tumble Time on your marching sure as I'm.
Cant you please just leave him be?
Just this time? For me?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Freedom of Speech

So for many months there have been people up in arms about Butu Banton a Jamacian musician who has suggested that the past time of pouring acid and shooting gays for sport is a good idea. Now on the anniversary of Matthew Shepards murder he will grace the the Rockit Room and share with his fans his message. The Rocket Room has said that what we don't understand is that he grew up poor and in a country that doesn't have the sensitivity to the culture norms of our society. So perhaps it is time for Jamaica to limit the rights of gays and lesbians there if we are truly leading the way. But i digress. So everyone wants to say that poor little bigoted Butu should be or do something. The Rockit Room wants the cash it can make off of hatred and bigotry in the guise of artistry and many gay and human rights activists would like to see his night shut down. Yet still some raise the real issue here Free Speech.
I honestly believe that Butu should be aloud to voice his opinion. Honestly I do. I would never shell out a single cent to the label he is on, the venues that support him and his bigotry, or ever attend shows that sponsor him. This is MY choice and my reaction to his words. However with this I must add that what seems to be missing from this argument is the fact that his words are used to incite violence and death to people. Real People. Why people just like Matthew Shepard in fact. Huh now that is a coincidence.
Butu in SF; the gayest city in the world; AND it's the anniversary of Matthew Shepards death at the hands of malicious ignorant people incited by the idea that it is alright to hate, brutalize, torture, rape and crucify a gay person. How very interesting that these two events would come together so perfectly after Prop 8. Its like a novel right out the mind of Kurt Vonnegut darlings!
This is what I propose. Lets protest the fuck out of this show but lets do it not as an angry mob but as a people morning the death of a soul lost to us by anti gay violence. Lets show the bigots and the people who make a living off hate what the price of their speech is. Show them that their words kill and scar and maim a peaceful and noble people. This protest should be a funeral of epic proportions for Matthew. We should dress in black, veiling our faces, bringing flowers and candles and really making the message known that you can kill one of us but we will never forget that you have. We will not excuse your ignorant behavior and will haunt you like the memory of those you have killed. We should use our voice and free speech to show the true horror of bigotry and those taken by it.
I plan on black and flowers an candles and umbrellas if need be. I plan to be outside the Rockit Room showing them what they have hired and stand behind.... The face of oppression and death. Its their freedom to do so and its ours to educate them in their mistake. Rockit Room Monday night because there is no reason for Matthew to have died in vain or died at all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What I might say at the Bridge Walk this Sunday

This is the first time I have ever been asked to speak my mind in public. I usually just do it. I must say it is easier to just speak than thinking about the task and coming after Mark Leno and other esteemed speakers. The first thing I did was question why some 42 year old drag queen would be asked to speak at this Marriage Equality event. I hope it is because I care about gay rights and equality for all peoples with every ounce of emotion I can muster. To live in a country that can remove rights from a people is something I would never have expected to see in America. To be part of the culture being denied these rights has made me a warrior. I have begun raise my voice and I will continue to do so until we are all given human rights and are not judged by the morality of the bigots and the fear mongers.
For too long we; the queer community; have been forced to swallow shame that is not ours. Most of us have met some opposition against the beings that we are born to be. Parents, classmates, society, they all point to our strengths and tell us we are wrong to celebrate them. That we are to be ashamed of ourselves and keep closeted the love and joy in our lives. This is not our shame. This is their shame and we refuse to own it any longer. We as a people have been blessed through time as leaders, rulers, kings, queens, shaman and the storytellers of our own culture and the culture of our fellow man. We have been exalted as beings of 2 spirits, personified yin and yang, and of mystical relation to gods and earth. We are a culture rich with imagination, understanding of magic and the ability to overcome against all odds. There is no need for shame to be placed upon us because we are not a culture that produces shame and disgrace.
To believe that a person or culture is less than another is bigotry and to honor that bigotry is to employ fascist beliefs plain and simple. Morality is about caring for your fellow man, not making them less and not judging them because of who they are or whom they love. This must not be the way rights are decided. We as members of society do not believe these lies and that is why we will have our rights and the people who stand against us will fall from lack of support under their shaky morals. The view of us as a immoral people is why people are able to believe it is alright to beat, rape, torture and even kill us; often in the name of their own god. We battle on against this false morality and shame and will gain our rightful place in society with full rights, full dignity, and pride in our hearts. We are tired of waiting. We will act up and fight on till we as a culture are recognized for the glory that we bring to this town, this country and the world.
I have not lived these 42 years to continue to see my people trampled beneath the boots of falsities and lies. I hope that with every step I take on that bridge today, and in my life ahead, is a step forward for the "we" as a people. We will not lay down and let these atrocities go unchallenged because it is wrong to treat humans in such abhorrent ways. Especially ones so full of all the traits that makes this world a beautiful place to live.
That very abuse by society however is why every last Gay, Lesbian, Queer or Transgendered person has the ability to be a hero. The fact that every day we prove ourselves to be stronger than the hate just shows what heros we already are. We are here, we are Queer and we are moving beyond societies shackles into a brighter day without shame, one step at a time. The days have come to come out, stay out and demand what is rightfully ours. No longer does shame hide our anger but instead frees us to use our voices and become the heros of our birthright. To move beyond and make a difference today until our rights are grated and dignity restored.
I hope at least that these words are the reason I was asked to be here because I believe them 100%.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Gay Pride 2010 the Last Charlie Horse

Um I have to say that I never expected to feel guilty about stopping Charlie Horse. Hello! I never expected to feel; let alone still be parading around in a wig every week for what will be over 5 years. I mean we will go down in history for hiring some of the worst acts in the city and loving them with all our hearts. You should applaud yourselves for putting up with it quite frankly!
I started this club because I wanted to hear rock and roll and do some drag. I was sick of being pushed around and asked to conform every where I went. I'm not a bitch darlings; I'm and anarchist. Well I've had more than my share of good times and created a place where everyone who asks gets to play but its just too damn big for the Cinch to handle. Were just not equipped darlings and there are gonna be problems if we keep on growing any larger. I am not willing to take the fall for underage drinkers, violent marina girls and their boyfriends who think they are so macho they should start fights or grab the pretty ladies hair, or deal with neighbors in new condos who don't like noise. No the time has come.
I am sure my CH family will tell you that this last year has been the weirdest ever! Just odd. It has been the best of times ie Charlie Horse Fresno; and the worst of times ie 3 violent episodes during the past year due to it being too crowded. We have made it. We are a hit. Now its time to fuck off.
This night gave me a voice and I'm gonna use it and maybe do some really fun other things like Herr-A-Chick on Wednesdays with Rentecca where my love of rock comes with live bands and weird outlandish cabaret monstrosities. Plus the Eagle is also a dive and a great rock and roll establishment.
Most of all I want to thank you guys for hanging in there. Thanks for marching on Polk with poo filled bags. Thanks for not taking it seriously. We sure have had a blast and will continue to until my favorite Holiday Gay Pride 2010. You know it was worth fighting for the pool tables. I think we have earned them.

Anna Conda

Gay Responsibility

You wake up and the week is different from the week before. Not a lot different just something uneasy in the air. The chill and ache have crept back into my head and filled me with a real sense of dread. Every so often I realize that by taking steps into the world I am having to deal with things I would never have expected. As I ask more of myself I learn that I am asking more of others as well and not everyone wants that. I am unsure that I want that really. I was perfectly happy...
See there lies the kicker. I am following my dreams and aspirations and for the first time in my life do I feel settled and secure. I am able to show up not only for myself but am learning how to show up for others. I have no use for my old ways of taking advantage and lying aand cheating. They just stopped working or I got wise to myself. It is hard to believe that anyone ever put up with my shit. However I know people who are for some reason unable to give up the ghosts. I am also facing the fear that if I grow up that I will die. It sounds compleatetly stupid I know. Everyone dies and after an exhausting week it could seem almost like a release; however the fear that my use and purpose will go away once I am not shiny and new is quite real to me. Not only that but the idea that if I accomplish what I am supposed to do I will die sooner.
The fact remains that is fear and that fear can be my undoing if I let it. I give those fears space in my head I get trapped like a heifer to the slaughter. When I decide to take the easy way out my life becomes useless and pointless. I become unaware and fogged in by my own ill perception and lazyness. I end up boxxed in by my desires and loss my desires to be a part of life's mission statement. I start doing as little as possible and get as much reward as possible.
This is a sickness that has rooted itself into the very soul of our existance. Consumption is blown out of all proportions. Like the lips on a hollywood starlet our societal dreams of wealth and glory and nothing but hot air. And still we go on producing future generations of children to deal with it. To deal with the fact there is hardly any water left. To deal with the fact that the refuse in the ocean is of greater mass than most continents. To deal with the fact that we have fucked up selfishly and have no want to deal with the mess we have created. Yet we blame everyone but ourselves and ignore what we know to be lies hoping they will just go away on their own. Not bloody likely!
Instead we complain about the Arab nations, the fags, the president, the state of everything when WE are the ones responsible for all these problems. What use is it to have a giant car that runs on petrol and then say I don't support the war? What use to sit around gobbing down food loaded with chemicals and then say that McDonalds is making your family fat and you should try fat free potato chips and diet soda? Another thing about these and other corporations who do NOT take any of the responsibility for what they have done; not only to us but to the environment and the worlds health in general; and choose to deny that we deserve health care from their chemical abuse. How much have they had to pay for that privilege? How much dirty money exchanges hands across tables that no one "really" knows about. How much money was payed for your health and safety? How much do people think your worth is? Yet if we ignore it it is going to go away? No? It's only going to continue and get worse! Why are we acting like nothing is really wrong? Why are the people just accepting this?
For that matter let me say again to the gays of the world. YOU are being made SECOND and THIRD class citizens and it is OUR fault for letting it happen. Now WE must go and DEMAND that the pretense of.... its ok to treat us badly because that is what we deserve.... be removed from our lives! We as a people, as a world as a society deserve better. These fear mongers should not be bargaining with our lives. These corporations should not be getting a drop of government money until they clean up their practices. These people, us people, its time to take responsibility.
Just because someone ignores the fact that they have stolen money doesn't mean that they haven't. They have but we are so stupid we forget. Just because someone harms someone else and decides to take societies way out and ignore the situation does not make the situation not exist. These problems just sit and boil and become a sickness. A cure and a caring and humane effort is what is needed to clean up messes left by us. It is our responsibility and our duty to change what is wrong. To lead. To take our learnings and move forward. We must take the steps to make a better world. We must take this time to open our eyes, get out of our cars, stop being so fucking selfish and do something.
I have come to realize that it is when I do nothing and stave off personal achievement that I die. I die little deaths until there is no time left. I will have left the world and done nothing but gripe and complain and consume. That to me if a fate worse than death. That is a fate that I could stop just by trying and yet I would have let it all slip away due to fear. We must do something. There is no need for us to turn the other way. It may not be as easy to face the mornings after a struggle but that morning gives way to the day full of light and possibility. It is that very possibility that makes the next day worth while. It is the coming through with eyes wide open and heart pounding that make the promise of tomorrow better than today. Otherwise every thing doesn't stay the same it bogs on in a grim reality that is set up so that no one wins. Not even the guys on top., and certainly not us. The sad thing is we are the ones responsible and we would rather be greedy that battle on for truth and justice. We would rather consume than care. We are killing ourselves and are too fucking lazy to really give a shit. That is the saddest part of the whole thing. We just don't seem to give a shit. That is a hard thing to battle and rage against because we are all so ingrained in that moment, but without claiming our responsibility we never take that first step forward leading to our success. I just know we can succeed. I just know that when it gets hard we can conquer. I also know that the gays are the ones to lead the way.
We as a people have survived the Holocaust, Aids, beating, lynchings, and oppression in a land based on freedom. We are the team to beat! All that the world has thrown at us and we have conqured and thrived and moved on. It is time that we as a people start making these problems ours. We are able to move mountains, change hearts, and win over the greatest of oppression. It is time we take the helm and lead to a better tomorrow for everyone. Make our fight theirs and theirs ours. We must take the mantle of the leaders that we are. We must stop abusing ourselves and letting others hand us shame. We must get out of our bars, ghettos, cars, condos and take to the streets. We must take to the streets for all humanities sake. It is time to take back our rightful place as leaders and spiritual mentors and save the world we are living in and creating. Our time has come and we must rise to the occasion and take the lead. We have taken worse situations like this and turned them around so that is why we must do it again.
Don't worry if they like us. Don't care about the bigots. They are wrong and they need us just as much as everyone else. We can save them from their plight as well. they are the ones who need saving. they are the ones who need to awake. It is our duty to show them how. How to change and be a positive force in the world. It is our calling and it is time to answer.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gay of the day We Wa

I was looking into my books and for the life of me I can't find my information about the life of one of my greatest inspirations. I was sure it was in the "Blossom of Bone" that I use for a ton of information about the spiritual reverence in culture for Gay men. It is a treasure and when my friend Jason Smart shared it as a present on birthday my life really changed! I was as a child; many of you will be surprised; planning on being a Minister when I grew up. I really wanted to go to Seminary and work for the good of man kind. I lost that dream and went from romantic to cynic. It was because I saw my gayness as a hinderance and a shameful stigma and I sank into a very cynical view of the world. There was just no one around who would have understood. I mean my parents took me to doctors to fix me so I was pretty sure that if they were good christians the christian church would have nothing to do with me. I was right as it turns out pretty much. Not understanding that there was so much more out in the world as far as religion and freedom from small minded people ruled by fear. I was so afraid, of my parents, the school bus, school, kids, people, myself, that I did very little exploration until I had a car and another gay friend. Until I went to NY I think I was about 12 emotionally and experience wise. I was naive.
So Imagine when I open up a book about Native American shaman and find gender bending 6 ft tall Native American Leader of the Zuni tribe in North America. (I have also Heard the We Wah is a spelling but also from the Sioux tribe. Sometimes information ; since there is so little of it available.) We Wa was a leader in the 1800's and was a revered Shaman and beloved leaders in Native American History. We Wa lived and dressed and took on healing duties and food preparations like a woman might but ruled the tribe as a man might. She/He was considered a very holy person for his/her leadership abilities and healing powers. We Wa when the white imperialists came west was at the height of her fame and power in her tribe. He/She, in the interest of good relations to the Imperialists, even went back East to Washington DC. She/He was presented to DC society as an Indian Princess. There were pictures in the paper of We Wah the Indian Princess at the Opera, Theater, Museums and many grand affairs and describing her as "polite if a bit homely."
She was 6 feet tall and not feminine looking at all; as I recall; and she was taken about town and presented as a princess! I think I love that so much because it just shows how oblivious people were and are to gender variance, gay and lesbian peoples and cultures. In a world of black and white the idea of lavender and gray areas is not even considered. Also I love this story because it is just another example of one of my tranny sisters making a difference and ruling the runway or plain in this case. She/he just was who she/he was and used that power and beauty to own her position in life and with that strength became an revered figure of great power and spirituality. She was a star for being the best he/she could be.
In many Native American cultures there were two spirited people who were revered for the fact that they had these two spirits. They we chosen as shaman for their ties to the mother earth and were the healers of their tribe. They were considered wise and mystical. This is actually very common in most native peoples. The gender variant is a special and celebrated mystical achievement to be celebrated as a gift. In many Native American tribes these shaman would be the ruler of the spiritual health of the tribe leading rituals for rain, crops, hunts, healing, honoring the spirits of the ancestors and were the story tellers or historians of the tribe. Their gender variance made them the keepers of history and ritual. It was considered a great privilege for a brave to enter into a relationship with these gender variants bringing honor to the family. There was no shame. That would arrive with the Imperialist christian bigots with small minds.
How far we have come; not only as gay people but as a people in general; from the celebration of the spiritual and the two spirited. Instead we endure horrible incidents like the bashing with bricks of Jake Maynard in Ontario Canada. A group of men waited outside a gay bar and attacked three men when they were leaving. Jake fought a friends attacker and was beaten with bricks by several men. Is this where we are as a society? Is the pursuit of more really so important that we are reduced to this type of behavior? There is no spiritual connection between violence to others and the attackers. It is instead the lack of a spiritual connection. Gays are attacked because we are a symbol of the missing connection. It is the queers of the world who represent the beauty of the world; and because people are so disillusioned they don't know how to react to this beauty and truth; so they strike out like scared children. This very need for healing this fear is what made me want to be a minister. So that I could have a platform to bring about healing. Had I had the knowledge of We Wah and the other queer shaman and spiritual leaders, and the place of gay people in this position throughout time, my life might have been very different. I do believe that it is time for queers and gender variants and lesbians and gays to wake up this shamanistic power that we inherently have. We must reclaim the association of homoeroticism, gender variance and the sacred experience of our roles. We must remove the shackles of our oppressive societies and move forward to self realization and the realization of our powers as a people. It is our past and it can be our future. The world could certainly use some of We Wah's healing energy and so could our community. That is why We Wah is my gay of the day. A symbol of healing and connection and beauty and strength. One of my very favorite gay heros.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gay of the Labor Day Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk has risen to be the shining example of what the motivation of one man can do. One simple man who changed the face of gay history. Harvey didn't even come out of the closet until later in his life and still he was able to see what the closet was doing to himself and the gay and lesbian people around him. He recognized shame and how it was used to oppress his peoples and make them slaves to the people who chose to oppress them. The triumph of Harvey's life was that he was an average person who ended up doing extraordinary things and influenced generations of gay man and women and in ernest became the voice of the gay rights movement. There was nothing in his past that would suggest that he would become this symbol. There was no rich backer giving him the momentum to be the face of gay rights. It was a personal decision to help his brothers and sisters. It was determination and sheer will power that enabled him and his band of MARY men and women that defeated the christians who sought to take away our rights and livelihood. 
Today I hear people say to me "We just have to wait and be patient our day is coming." "We should try and make them like us instead of upsetting them." Well guess what those people feel justified to let gay and lesbian people be second and third class people. They WANT us to die and feel that we can't have the same as them. They want us to endure torture and beatings and death and say that that is what God wants. They feed us our own shame and the best we can do is roll over and say we will wait till they change their minds.
Where is our power? Where are the average men and women who take to the streets in the face of injustice. How many queer peoples have gotten off their asses to take to the street to do something about this situation? Where is the average citizen; whom this government is meant to protect; that are using their voices for a better day for ALL peoples? If they can oppress some then they can oppress many. It was the environs of Germany who allowed the "least of these" to be persecuted and killed and turned a blind eye that led to the deaths of millions of ethnic and social "outcasts" be killed on mass. It was the environs of this world who turned a blind eye to the AIDS epidemic and let thousands and thousands of people die. In fact Regan is considered a hero when really his lack of action created a genocide for the gay male population. The lies that are perpetuated are becoming truth. They are not the truth but because our voices are silenced by waiting that these atrocities have taken place. If we don't wake up right now today that they could happen and is happening again through government cuts to the poest of the poor and denying equal rights to all citizens of this country! We are no longer the great free nation but a terrorist group that forces others to bend to an unjust will and lets its own environs die and be treated as dogs.
Yet all that was needed was to step up and be counted. All that we need today is to start the march to freedom for the gay people of the world. You. Our movement needs you. Not the you that is afraid and lets fear stand in the way. Not the you that finds an excuse to go to a bar or lead marches to the Castro instead of the streets that feel it is alright to kill and maime and oppress us! We must leave the ghetto because that is where we are safe and change will only come when we confront the world with its unjust laws and bigotry. Now we need the you that is tired of being beaten. We need the you who wants to take back the streets from injustice and bigotry. We need the you who wants to wake up in a world where we do not have to fear persecution and violence. We need the you who is the average man or woman or transgender who wants to live their life.
It is not impossible to create change. It is the use of our voices that creates change. Sometimes we must raise our voices and use our anger to make a better day. We must take to the streets and to the straight society that still wishes to keep us down. We must continue to stand up and be counted and make our dreams a reality. We, you and i, are the only ones who can make it happen. There is no need to be apathetic and say that we are really just waiting for the change that will come. There is no reason for anyone to stay at home and make excuses as to why they are not out there fighting the fight, writing their representatives that are supposed to protect us as citizens of this country, using our voice to bring awareness that the bigotry wrapped up in Christian clothing is still bigotry.
We are average citizens and Harvey showed us that against all odds that we are the ones with the power. We are the ones with the voice to create change. Just because it seems hard or inconvenient or nearly impossible is not a reason to do nothing! That is just lazy and sad behavior of people who have let themselves become sheep and let fear rule their lives. This is the real danger to civil rights for all. There was no reason our rights should have been taken away. We gained our rights, we were on the path to freedom and equality, but we were taken. We fell asleep. We the average persons let this happen. I did and so did you. We have a stronger organization and more visibility than ever before and yet we let them keep us down. It is time again for the average person to demand what is ours. Harvey Milk did it so WE know it is possible.
Now is not the time to argue over action and fear retribution. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We as a people, a gay army, citizens of the US and the World, and shaman, as leaders, as artists, as writers, as average joe's need to find our voice and use it and take back the rights that were stolen by bigots and fear mongers. It is the voice of the average citizen that is needed now. That voice that was not used yesterday must be used today so that change can happen. End the time of sloth and sleep and awake to the possibility of the new day and the promise of a BETTER world not for ourselves but for everyone. 
The average man and women in this country must stand up and be counted instead of lying dormant and unheard from. It is not a bad thing to use our voices but the very ideal that built this country. It is the backbone of our once great nation that ALL men are created as equals. Not some more than others. Not just the rich or the pious or the liars and cheats but ALL of us. The average man is the voice of this country and if things are not working it is not the government who needs to fix it but us.
We have become so lazy and unconcerned that we are in this position now. We were given the right to have our lives as we see fit and we have just given all that we have gained back to the oppressors! We have not taken up the cry that bigotry and injustice is not what is acceptable to us. We as the common people have this right and we should use it to our advantage. There is no reason to wait for equal rights. There is no reason not to be angry and we must use that anger to gain equality. There is no reason to sit back and wait for the day to come. We must follow the lead of Harvey Milk and seize the day. The average person must find the strength in themselves to get off the couch and move to the street and use our voices to stand up to injustice. It may seem that the wheels are turning but if they are able to take the rights of gays and lesbians away in the 5th largest economy in the world then it can be done throughout the world and done in the name of justice. Things can get worse by waiting and doing nothing not better. It is inaction that allows civil rights to be taken away and keeps us on the edge of being who we are for real. We must realize our place in society it will not be given. By sitting back and saying it will happen we just take more steps backwards to a time when there is no protection to be offered us.
It is time now for us to use our average voice to cast off shame and oppression. It is time to find the extra ordinary in all of us. It is time for us to have what is ours and stop apologizing for demanding it. Plain fact is is that we are people, we are human, and we deserve and have every right to be equal to everyone else on this planet. It is time to take Harvey Milk's fight on in ernest! We must use what we have learned from this average man and make ourselves extra ordinary. That is why Harvey Milk is my Gay of the day. He could do it and so can we!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gay of the Day Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is the father of free verse and is a renowned poet. He is most famous for the collection of poems "Leaves of Grass" that when published was considered a scandal due to it's overt sexuality. He was also a humanist, essayist, and journalist throughout his life. It is always up for contention as to the fact of Whitman being gay or bi-sexual but I think that has more to do with society than Whitman himself.
In fact the moment I sat down to choose Walt Whitman as my Gay of the Day I realized just how hard of a task I had set myself. Choose a gay every day and write about them. Just to remind people of our heritage and to help over come the burden of shame that is ever placed upon our community. So I go and do research to find out who is gay and who isn't. I mean aside from Gertrude Stein so far the people I have researched all have this "question" as to the exact nature of their sexuality. There are always people saying that it isn't true that so and so is gay. That is just the gays trying to make everyone gay. What is so wrong with being gay? Why is it that historians try and hide this fact and argue against it being an acceptable fact? Really the only reason I am looking for gay hero's through the ages is because of these very people who want to deny our heritage and criminalize our love. It is the very suppression of our culture and our worth as humans that makes it so important to claim these heros and icons as our own.
Walt Whitman was a great man with ideas that have pushed the boundaries of societies understanding and reason. That sounds like a very gay trait to me. We as a people are always on the for front of thought and expansion.  It usually is the people with the least to loose that allow them selves the opportunity to find the best in themselves and promote it through a medium and share the process of self liberation. Coming out is an arduous process still today. How many families say "Awesome just what we wanted a lesbian daughter!" or " A totally fem son?" Not very many. Even the fact that the most liberal of families feel the pinch of shame before coming around shows the shame placed on gay and lesbian people from the start. It is this very shame is what allows the powers that be to rob us of our past and our heros and our birth rights. 
This brings me to my own struggle to write every day. To commit to the task of putting fingers to keyboard and writing about some luminary gay icon like Walt Whitman.  I have missed two days already and it has barely been a week. This struggle to just commit to a few paragraphs every day, to have some discipline, to share our greatness with my community touches a real nerve for me. Why is it so important? Why do I care? I'm not getting paid and certainly no one is going to call me and say "Wheres my gay of the day?" So why is it so important.
Well my answer is ; commitment is very important right now. My activism is really about marriage and if it is an option for gay men and women or isn't. It's about seeing that we as a people are granted equality. We are not second class people and this is a clear human rights issue and yet even the "liberals" choose to treat us as a moral issue. I say fuck your morals then if you can't see me as human. Didn't we fight in the 70's to.... Oh wait there lies our problem as a community.
Instead of being radical thinkers and making our dream reality we chose financial pandering and ghettoization. We have porn companies and bit parts on major networks and even our own neighborhoods. If we stay where we are supposed to be and don't confront anyone then we can have a fairly safe life without too much hassle. We can buy cars and be best friends and in some states marry and adopt children. Yes this is all great news but there is one question that still bothers me. Why are we not granted equality? Why are we too risky politically to stand behind? Why can we not as a community demand that these rights be given to us because EVERYONE deserves human rights? Why as a community can we not commit to the task of getting these rights grated to every other peoples?
 We don't care if your religion agrees with us because WE don't agree with your bigotry but WE don't want to take away your rights. We don't care if you think we are immoral because you bigotry is far more immoral than WE will ever be! Your forcing shame upon us is not a moral issue for us it is your moral issue. So why have WE not done something for ourselves?
Advertising is not enough! Why are we not able to commit every day to celebrating our people and gaining our rights? Why with people like Walt Whitman and visionaries and leaders and shaman and poets and painters that are the most celebrated in the world are we not having our rights right now? Why are we so steeped in shame that we are afraid to upset people? We are the ones who should be upset. Our commitment is so weak that the minute we started to move forward we stopped the second they waved shiny objects in front of our faces.
It is not enough to be able to shop! Why have we not shown up every day and said "That is not enough!"? This kind of commitment is what I am asking from myself with this blog and hopefully my life. I want us as a people to cast off our shame and to make people realize that they can not treat us this way. We are Walt Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Harvey Milk, Abraham Lincoln, Lilly Tomlin, Socratese, and so many more people that have given more than enough to celebrate our worth and we are not going to settle anymore!
We should be taking daily action every day to better our standard of acceptance. We will bash back if need be because there is no reason for us to take these beating to begin with! We are not incapable of standing up and casting off this shame and we are going to do it every day until we are standing on the same rights and protections as everyone else. None of us are ever going to make the people who don't like us like us, but we can show them that how they treat us is wrong because we are a great people and they should thank us for who we are.
That is why when I sat down to write about my Gay of the Day Walt Whitman I struggled. I allowed myself to skip my commitment for yesterday. It may not seem such a big thing but when you take a day off there are always chances that the next day will be missed and then my rights are TAKEN away by the same people who granted them to me only six months before because there are more bigots in the state of California than there are rational people who see that everyone IS equal. It is because we as a people have stopped caring about ourselves and settled for half the solution instead of our full rights. We let shame and fear oppress us. We as a people  every day condone our own suffering because of our lack of commitment.
That is why it bothered me to miss even one day of my commitment. I need to remind myself every day before I go out into the world that I am part of a strong and great people and what others think is their business. I will not take their shame on. We will not take their shame on. We belong to the Walt Whitmans of the world. We are the generators of beauty and thought and we should congratulate ourselves every day on our achievements under such harsh treatment. Also we must remind ourselves daily that this fight is on and not to get distracted or discouraged. Instead to be our very own gay of the day and take the next step twords equality and our national rights and acceptance.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gay of the Day- Socrates

Socrates is credited with founding western philosophy, democracy, and ethics. His ideas have gone into almost every form of government in western civilization as well as many Arabic nations. He was the most well known philosopher at the hight of the Grecian empire and a hero in his home of Athens. Plato was his student and also went on to greatness as a philosopher, and like Socrates is still a house hold name till this day. Greece was well known as a place of free male companionship. It was a part of society there that young students and older teachers would have relations. Same sex coupling was encouraged and celebrated. 
 Socrates spent his life searching for truth and ethics in his fellow man and asking if intelligence was not in fact the lack of knowing everything there fore not setting absolute limits. He felt the only reason that he was considered so smart is because he had never really felt himself very smart. His quest for knowledge and answers to questions was what set him apart from others and made him appear so intelligent. To overcome fear and take the adventure as it happened seeking not monetary gain but instead just being content to explore the mysteries of the world. He believed so strongly in not taking money for his teachings that he was always very poor and always in need of both food and money.
The father of Western civilization and governing systems was a gay man and yet his descendants have seen fit to go without rights for centuries upon centuries. The fear mongering in America has taken Socrates' very quest for ethics in this world and turned it in on it's self. In stead of using ethics to rule; lies and malicious harm are the codes of the day. This is most apparent in the fact that we as gay people must go without equal rights because it is "too risky politically" for anyone to stand up for us. Our very first black president can't even see the similarity between his equal rights and our own. President Clinton sold us out for a "lie and be safe in the military" strategy. We have been  sold out to our own shame and fear and have decided to continue to wait until our pleas are heard time and time again. When really we are the children of the creator of our way of governing. A GAY man set up our style of government and gays and lesbians are made out to be pariahs to that very system.
We as a people are from the very stock that has given all these men their power and they intern turn to us and say "You are not worthy and never have been". This is a blatant lie because
not only Socrates but the founding father of the Republican party Abraham Lincoln and countless other great leaders were gay men and women. Yet the Republicans and "Christians" stand behind the idea that we are sick and to be feared when they owe us their very way of life. 
Could it be possible that the fear stems from the inadequacy of the people that feel threatened by us that they behave as if we are evil. Isn't it just possible that they know that we have these gifts and they are afraid of us. They are afraid that we can find a better way to live and that would hurt them financially if we were able to spread our magic and and our truth that may show their truth to be falsehood and deceit. Socrates would later stand trial in Athens after their loss of control to the Spartan armies. He could have escaped the city of Athens but instead decided to stay and stand trial and die for his beliefs. He was martyred for his beliefs and for standing up for them after laying the basis for todays world. He was already martyred there is no reason for it to go on.
Socrates is my Gay Of The Day because his story is so similar to todays gay rights struggle except he believed in himself. I feel today that our gay society confuses the idea the we have TV channels, magazines, job opportunities and our own ghettos that we have achieved all we can. But that is not our legacy; we are the inventors and philosophers and stars and shaman of the world. We create great and lasting things and ideas. We have let the world lie about and to us so long that we forget that we as a culture have given so much to todays world. Perhaps if we had not been forced into the closets the world would not be in the state that it is. If our voices had remained free to speak up then maybe there would be more beauty and less strife in the world. Maybe we would have our rightful spot at the top along with the straights of the world without shame. After all there is no reason for the sons and daughters of the great Socrates, creator of modern western politics and ethics, to be anything other than first class citizens. We have every right to claim our position and sometimes; it seems to me; even more right! Maybe thats why the bigots are afraid. They know it too and when the dust settles and the people see just what these liars and fakes have done to the world and its environs there will be hell to pay. Well today is the day to start. We created this society and we will have our place in it. Word to the liars and bigots,..... The truth is out there and we all know it. Retribution will be ours and your fear can't keep you safe forever. Socrates may have been a martyr but not all of us will be. Instead we will own our history and our brilliance and continue to better the world. On Fag, dyke, tranny, queer at a time.