“It’s Wednesday night! What are we going to do?”
“Oh! I know! Let’s go GAY SKATING!”
I love the way queer people, who don’t have maps to follow, chart their own course, build new structures, tear them down, salvage the good parts and build them up again. And if they should collapse, why we just repeat the process over again.
I made rice today. I washed the rice many times, laid it out to dry. Cut the onions and toasted the garlic, cumin, paprika and rice in oil until the rice was as clear as the onions. The rice seemed larger than it had originally, when I first set out to cook.
I began to worry that my container wasn’t big enough, that that old cast iron skillet could not be trusted to contain all of my swollen rice. I feared that my rice would be crunchy and inedible. I scooped out a whole cup of rice before I added the broth as I know rice doubles in size. Which means that I was playing it safe and the pot didn’t boil over and the rice was cooked but there is a sad and lonely little pile of rice, oil and spices raw and waiting to be cooked on the counter. I wrote a note for myself to remind me to cook the rice at breakfast. What if the rice went rancid? What would that mean?
I can’t help but thinking over again and over again:
“But what if my container just isn’t big enough? What if I can’t hold all the rice?”
And I know that this beautiful cast-iron skillet came into my life to teach me a lesson about my capacity for love and the dangers of playing it safe. I just hope I remember where I put this old cast-iron skillet when I need it.
Transsexual and transgender women denied access to shelters as temperatures drop in Montréal
ASTT(e)Q urges Québec shelters to change discriminatory practices
25 January, 2013 – As temperatures drop to extreme lows, transsexual and transgender women in Montréal continue to be turned away from many homeless women’s shelters. Over the past week of bitter cold, ASTT(e)Q, a local trans health project of CACTUS Montréal, has witnessed several of our members be denied shelter on the grounds of being trans. While such refusals are frequently justified by administrative regulations, members of ASTT(e)Q believe that these exclusive practices are rooted in discriminatory attitudes towards trans people.
A majority of women’s shelters throughout Québec require trans people to have undergone sex reassignment surgery, and/or to have changed their legal sex. “Such requirements are unattainable for most homeless trans people, due to prohibitive costs, and extensive administrative requirements,” says Mirha-Soleil Ross, staff of ASTT(e)Q. “Trans women are left with no alternatives, as men’s shelters are clearly not an option. With no place to turn, homeless trans women find themselves on the streets, which in -30 below temperatures is nothing short of deadly.”
“Just this week, a trans woman who had her surgery months ago was refused access to a woman’s shelter because she didn’t have an ‘F’ on her identity documents! While we believe trans people should have access to shelter and housing regardless of surgical status, this is a clear case of discrimination disguised as administrative regulations,” continues Ross.
“We are currently seeing many important legal and social advances for trans people, including in neighbouring Ontario where one can change their legal sex regardless of surgical status,” says Nora Butler Burke, coordinator of ASTT(e)Q. “In Québec, trans people have been relentlessly educating intervention workers and calling for shelters to address the exclusion of homeless trans people for decades. Yet shelters continue to refuse trans people based on the outdated policies of the Québec Department of Civil Status.”
In the context of life threatening temperatures, ASTT(e)Q urges all shelters to immediately remove barriers to admission for trans people based on the legal documentation in their possession and/or their surgical status. More broadly, we advocate for access to shelters, as well as other gender specific services, to be available according to one’s social identity rather than according to their legal or surgical status. We encourage organizations across Québec to work in collaboration with trans community groups to ensure that trans people are no longer denied access.
About ASTT(e)Q (Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec)
ASTT(e)Q aims to promote the health and well-being of trans people through peer support and advocacy, education and outreach, and community empowerment and mobilization. We understand the health of trans people and our communities to be interrelated to economic and social inequalities, which have resulted in trans people experiencing disproportionate rates of poverty, un(der)employment, precarious housing, criminalization and violence. We believe in the right to self-determine our gender identity and gender expression free from coercion, violence and discrimination. We advocate for access to health care that will meet the many needs of our diverse communities, while working collectively to build supportive, healthy and resilient communities.
For interviews: Nora Butler Burke at 514-347-9462
You know a month has a bad rep when the cheeriest quote you can find is from Jean-Paul Satre. The author of ‘Nausea’ said, “To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June.” We’ll take that since homo-centric begins our 4th year with a few poems & stories – a flurry of words if you will – by a trio of talented writers.
Please join us Thursday Jan. 17th at 7:30pm at Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park. Stories is located at 1716 Sunset Blvd. between Le Moyne and Logan.
Larry Buhl is a journalist, screenwriter and playwright. His first novel, “The Genius of Little Things,” will be available in January, 2013. His second novel, “We’re Here to Help” will be out later in 2013. He also publishes gay erotic and romantic short stories under the pen name Elias True. He is a long-term contributor to a variety of publications. He has reported for KPFK radio in Los Angeles and Free Speech Radio News.
Albert Serna is a 23-year-old poet and journalist from the San Gabriel valley. He has been writing since he first learned how, captivating friends as family alike. His first reading challenged him to write on a regular basis, using the emotional ups and downs of his life as inspiration. Deeply dramatic and sensitive, Albert looks to the world around him for beauty and peace. He one day dreams of life in the big apple but for now will settle for his share of happiness in the City of Angels.
Carolyn Marie Weiss is a graduate of Cal State Northridge. She is completing a 32-year career with the city of L.A. as a Regional Area Director with the Community Development Department and is also a retired LAPD Reserve Police Officer. In Spring of 2011 Carolyn came out to her friends and over 400 colleagues as a transsexual woman. Carolyn was honored as a 2011 LGBT Pioneer by the L.A. City Council. She also is a member of the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board as well as a board member of Gender Justice L.A.
Metered parking is available in the lot behind the store on Le Moyne St. Map and directions are on the link of this event.
Please come early and support the store & cafe!
* Order a coffee or tea & have a sandwich.
* Hang out & meet writers & other lit types.
* Wander the aisles & buy a book.
Remember–we depend on the word of mouth so tell a friend, bring two or three.
Thursday January 17th
Wu Tsang will present the documentary Wildness at an 7:30pm screening at the Culver Center for the Arts (downtown Riverside), and for a 2:00pm afternoon artist’s talk on the University Of Riverside campus (INTS 1113).
About the artist (New York Times): “The personal films and video installations created by the artist Wu Tsang explore issues of transgender identity…Tsang identifies as transfeminine, which carries plenty of complicated social and political meaning. And he happens to look fierce in a dress.”
The Los Angeles Times on WIldness: “The collision of the two undergrounds — and the unintended consequences of the party’s growing popularity — is chronicled in a documentary by Tsang that plays at Outfest on Saturday, July 21. The Silver Platter, with its glittering drapes and sultry pink lights, is the unmistakable star of the film, also called “Wildness.” Voiced by a transgender actress from Guatemala, the bar literally speaks, whispering about the generations of gays who have found sanctuary there, away ‘from the ignorance, the fear and hatred of the outside world.'”
- See http://wildnessmovie.squarespace.com/ for more info about the film and the people who collaborated on it. See http://wutsang.com/ for more about Wu Tsang.
- Wu Tsang’s work has been exhibited at the New Museum, MOCA Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After visiting UCR, Tsang will travel to London to present work at the Tate Modern Museum.
Click here to view the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/265620113565780/
SICK is a visual, video and performance art event that will bring together artists who identify as both gender variant and chronically ill to talk about the intersections of those experiences.
Giving a definition to gender variance is tricky. As is defining chronic illness. People tell themselves “I am not sick enough or queer enough or whatever enough” to identify these ways and this hesitance stops us from forming communities and connections. We isolate because our experiences are not talked about or validated and our unique and varied lives don’t lend themselves easily to group formation. Definitions are inherently constraining which is why many gender variant and chronically ill folks resist identity categories that often hew to normative binaries. With this in mind, SICK will bring folks together to make beautiful complicated art about our intersecting experiences as gender variant and sick people. If you find your life, identity or experiences resonating with these words its time to make art about it. Whether this is visual, video or performance art, queer communities need to hear from you!
What does being healthy mean for you? How does your gender affect your self care? In what ways we are asked to comprise our sick identities and alliances to fit into queer communities? And vice versa? What does illness look like for you? What part(s) of your gender are not seen, heard or supported? What are ways that queer communities support you and sickness that other communities you are a part of can or will not? What are your traditions and unique daily routines? How do you want to be better supported and connected to the many communities you align with?
Performance: SICK is looking to give 15 minute blocks for performers to perform a mini show
Visual: SICK is looking for visual artists to create pieces, either single pieces or a series of pieces
Video: SICK is looking for video artists to create video shorts (2-5 minutes)
SICK will be an event at the LGBT Center of San Francisco in April 2013. There will be a stipend for all artists that participate in this show based on the amount of additional grant funding secured.
In February all artists will be invited on an artists retreat to work on final drafts of their pieces and support other artists in the progression of their pieces.
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: November 15th 2012
Artistic Proposal: Detailed description of piece being proposed and timeline in which you plan to complete. (art must be in final stages in mid February)
Previous Works: A resume, website (if available), and images of videos (with detailed descriptions) that shows previous work.
Please submit proposals to email@example.com
Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival Begins Tonight!
Be inspired to create, to celebrate and to keep telling your stories! A little encouragement can go a long way. Some times all it takes is one festival to screen your film, one person to tell you how much your work meant to them to motivate you to keep on creating. And while the nymph of inspiration may flit in and out of our lives, the artists we are showcasing work tirelessly even when that elusive sprite is no where to be found. These filmmakers pour over dailies, spend long nights editing, and toss and turn at night wondering what they’ll do if they don’t meet their Kickstarter goals. And sometimes we just want to throw in the towel and crawl into a hole and never come out…This is DIY filmmaking. This is why we need festivals. This is why we need awards.
Last year we were proud to honor J. Aguilar and Meliza Bañales (writer, filmmaker and member of the spoken word and performance art collective “Sister Spit) with the Jury award for their film “Getting Off.”
“Winning the jury award was such an honor for J. Aguilar and I! This festival
is so important and winning was a huge moment for us.” said Meliza Bañales who will be presenting this years Jury Award to Rhys Ernst for his film “The Thing” which will screen as part of our Surrealness program. The award will be accepted by Rhys Ernst’s partner Zackary Drucker.
Join us in honoring our Jury Award winner, Rhys Ernst! Please consider becoming a member of the Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival so that we might continue to create a space that celebrates and honors the imense talents of our trans and genderqueer global filmmaking community!
Echo Park Film Center 1200 North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026
8 p Mommy is Coming directed by Cheryl Dunye (erotic feature, 64 mins)
Mommy is Coming is a raunchy queer sex filled romance set in the international creative melting pot Berlin. Director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, The Owls) reinvents the screwball romantic comedy as we follow Claudia, Dylan, and Helen as they bumble their way through the hotel rooms and sex clubs of Berlin.
Screening is 18+
Featuring short films: Chris dir Don Bapst 6 min. Got Monsters dir .NK. 11 min.
LA Transgender Film Fest
Schedule At A Glance
Friday November 2nd, 2012 Echo Park Film Center
8 pm Mommy is Coming (erotic feature, 18+ only)
Saturday Nov. 3rd, 2012 The Renberg Theatre
4:30 pm Surrealness (short films program, 86 mins)
6 pm Indie Filmmaking Workshop with Silas Howard
7p Reception in the courtyard
7:30 pm By Hook or By Crook (feature,98 mins), Trans Luminary Award presented to Silas Howard
Sunday Nov 4th, 2012 The Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center
2 p Work of Art (short films program, 90 mins)
4 p against a trans narrative (Documentary, 61 mins) & Audience Award for Best Short
5:30 p against a trans narrative panel discussion
6:30 p Closing Night Reception
Echo Park Film Center
1200 North Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026
The Renberg Theatre, The Village, LA Gay & Lesbian Center
1125 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90038
The Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center
1525 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035
All tickets $10, tickets on sale now at www.tgfilmfest.org
Help Support our work!
Become a Member of the LA Transgender Film Fest
Your membership helps us to bring more great films to the festival, and on tour to high school and college students across California. Plus, you get great member’s benefits as well!
Gem Sweater Level – $35
2 tickets to 2012 festival + website thank you
Silver Sequin Level – $50
4 tickets to the 2012 LA Transgender Film Festival + website thank you
Gold Lamé Level – $100 (or $9/month)
Your name listed in the 2012 LA Transgender Film Festival program + receive a festival pass for one year to all LA Transgender Film Festival screenings including tour dates + priority seating at the festival
Super Queero Level – $200 (or $17/month)
Your name listed in the 2012 LA Transgender Film Festival program + receive a festival pass for one year to all LA Transgender Film Festival screenings including tour dates + receive a DVD of a film from the 2012 festival + VIP seating + VIP cocktail reception with Trans Luminary award winner Silas Howard.
I’ve always known I was not straight; I was called a lesbian in 4th grade before I even knew what the word meant and still I knew that they were right. For as long as I can remember I’ve had crushes on sissy’s, pretty boys, tomboy’s and every kind of fancy femme I’ve ever seen.
In seventh grade I heard about two boys my age who were gay, one who was openly gay and one who simply could not hide it. I had crushes on them both. “HEY FAGGOT!” I’d hear the taunts echoing through the hallways of the junior high in the poor rural latin town where I grew up. My ears and face would burn with shame as I was tripped, my backpack or my hair pulled hard and I would wonder how they knew… I hid it so well… Who had told my secret?
“Turn around faggot!” Just before the culprit muttered, stunned when faced with a pretty girl “Sorry…We thought you were Miguelito!” Miguelito (the boy who could not hide) and I wore the same wild thrift store polyester shirts, bell bottom corduroy pants and had even shorn our hair into the same A-line bob hair cut. We had the same light skin and black hair and hip swinging wiggle of a walk. I’m not sure how much of the abuse I shouldered for Miguelito. Not nearly enough. I wish I had been more brave.
Since then I’ve come out as bisexual, as lesbian, as queer, as a person with a mental illness, a person with a learning disability, as a writer, as a mixed race peson and more. I hope I never stop coming out and being brave for myself and for all of those who cannot hide and for those of us who can but should not.
For those of you who are able to hide, please hold this in your heart when you feel afraid: Your life will not end when you will come out. Your life will begin. It may be more difficult at first. It may be worse when you first come out but know that there is more pride, more beauty and more joy waiting for you than you could ever have possibly imagined.
AKBAR (ages 21+)
Ian MacKinnon & Travis Wood present:
PLANET QUEER: UPRISING!
Gay Astronaut Ian MacKinnon hosts a handful of hot queers presenting cutting edge performances from multiple artistic disciplines.
An Artistic Odyssey of New LGBT Experimental Performance Work located at AKBAR in beautiful Silver Lake!
Doors: 7:30 PM Show: 8 PM
Out-of-this-world Performances by:
ETM (aka Sabrina Bernasconi)
Martin Von Sexy
DJ Brett Midler spinning spacey tunes.
Projections by: Jamez Palacio of LAphotobat