3.28.2016

Dervin Batarlo


























































"UK-based analogue collage artist. His art presents his own interpretation of what the media's concept of the ideal male beauty by reconstructing images from fashion, sports and gay porn. It focuses on the powerful influence of what we see and hear in the media, which results in how we construct ourselves, including our identities and behaviours"




3.19.2016

Sylvia Rivera





"No me quiero perder ni un instante de esto. 
¡Es la revolución!"


"Sylvia Rae Rivera (nacida el 2 de julio de 1951 y fallecida el 19 de febrero de 2002) fue una activista LGBT estadounidense. Rivera fue una miembro fundadora del Gay Liberation Front y la Gay Activists Alliance y, junto a su amiga Marsha P. Johnson, ayudó a fundar STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), un grupo dedicado a ayudar a mujeres callejeras transexuales sin techo.

Rivera nació y creció en la Ciudad de Nueva York y viviría la mayor parte de su vida cerca de esta ciudad. Era de ascendencia puertorriqueña y venezolana. Su nombre de nacimiento era Ray (o Rey) Rivera. Fue abandonada por su padre biológico José Rivera en los primeros años de su vida y se convirtió en huérfana cuando su madre se suicidó cuando Sylvia tenía tres años. Rivera fue criada desde entonces por su abuela venezolana, quien no aprobaba su comportamiento afeminado, particularmente cuando comenzó a llevar maquillaje durante su cuarto año de primaria. Como resultado, Rivera empezó a vivir en las calles a la edad de once años, donde se unió a una comunidad de drag queens, término con el que se denominaban en las décadas de los ´60 y ´70 a las personas trans.

Su activismo comenzó con la Guerra de Vietnam y los movimientos de derechos civiles y feminista, y llegó a su punto máximo en los tiempos de los Disturbios de Stonewall. Frecuentemente hablaba sobre su experiencia en el Stonewall Inn la noche de los disturbios. También luchó por los derechos de los jóvenes puertorriqueños y afroamericanos, particularmente en los Young Lords y Black Panthers.

En diferentes momentos de su vida, abusó de sustancias controladas y vivió en la calle. Sus experiencias le llevaron a enfocarse en activismo por aquellos que la sociedad (y muchas veces la comunidad gay) dejaban atrás.

En mayo de 1995 intentó suicidarse al aventarse al río Hudson. Murió la madrugada del 19 de febrero de 2002 en el Hospital St. Vincent de Nueva York debida a complicaciones de cáncer de hígado. La activista Riki Wilchins comentó, "De muchas formas, Sylvia fue la Rosa Parks del movimiento transgénero moderno, término que ni siquiera se acuñó hasta dos décadas después de Stonewall".

Durante los últimos cinco años de su vida, Sylvia reinició su actividad política, dando más discursos referentes a los Disturbios de Stonewall y la necesidad de unidad entre personas transgénero para luchar por su legado histórico como personas en la vanguardia del movimiento LGBT. Viajó a Italia para la Millennium March en 2000 donde fue aclamada como la Madre de todas las personas TLGB (Transexuales, Travestis, Transgéneros, Lesbianas, Gays y Bisexuales). A principios de 2001, restableció la organización STAR y continuó en su activismo hasta su muerte.

En 2005, la intersección de las calles Christopher y Hudson fue renombrada "Sylvia Rivera Way" en su honor. La intersección se encuentra en Greenwich Village, barrio en el cual Rivera comenzó su activismo y a unas pocas cuadras del Stonewall Inn"




3.04.2016

Hamilton Lodge Ball




One would be forgiven for believing that we had the 60’s to thank for the sexual revolution that led to such iconic venues like Studio 54, Party Monster, or even Stonewall. However, one of the queerest eras in New York City's history was the Roaring '20s and early '30s, when ‘pansy balls’ were all the craze, cross-dressing performers were fabulous and famous, and the sparkling isle of Manhattan was already a major gay travel destination. You would also be forgiven for thinking that such fun and frolicking were only to be found in the various downtown neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, certainly the most Bohemian neighborhood where one would go to see ‘long haired men’ and ‘short haired woman’. However, the parties and balls found there would pale in comparison to the fabulous drag ball held on 155th St in Harlem's Rockland Palace.




 Organized by a black fraternal organization, the Hamilton Lodge No. 710 of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, the Hamilton Lodge Ball was known simply as the Faggots' Ball by the 1920s and attracted up to 8,000 dancers and spectators at the height of its popularity. As the great African-American poet Langston Hughes recalled, "During the height of the New Negro era and the tourist invasion of Harlem, it was fashionable for the intelligentsia and the social leaders of both Harlem and the downtown area to occupy boxes at this ball and look down from above at the queerly assorted throng on the dancing floor." The spectators ranged from leading lights of black society and the Harlem Renaissance such as the singers Nora Holt and Taylor Gordon, the writers Wallace Thurman and Bruce Nugent, and the heiress socialite A'Lelia Walker, to downtown celebrities and perennial gay favorites Tallulah Bankhead, Beatrice Lillie, and Clifton Webb, to such pillars of old New York respectability as the Astors and Vanderbilts. 




As the circuit parties of their day, the drag balls provide a startling glimpse of the national scope of gay life in the 1920s. Men traveled from across the country to attend the Hamilton Lodge Ball and other cities' signature balls, and partisans trumpeted the virtues of the New York ball over its rivals in Chicago, New Orleans, and Berlin. Those who couldn't attend the balls were treated to detailed accounts of them in the black press and Broadway gossip sheets. Tell the next person who claims gay life was always shrouded in secrecy before Stonewall about a front-page banner headline in a 1932 Broadway tabloid. FAG BALLS EXPOSED, it screamed; 6,000 CROWD HUGE HALL AS QUEER MEN AND WOMEN DANCE.




The popularity of the balls in Harlem also puts to rest the old belief that black society is somehow inherently more homophobic than white. In the 1920s Harlem's glamorous clubs and nonstop nightlife made it known as the Paris of New York. Clubs welcoming lesbians and gay men stood next to the Cotton Club, the Savoy Ballroom, and other major venues in the neighborhood's bustling entertainment district, which stretched from 130th to 138th streets between Fifth and Seventh avenues.

Queer entertainers, especially male and female impersonators, were the main draws at some of the most popular clubs. None were more popular, or notorious, than Gladys Bentley, a 250-pound lesbian renowned for her white tuxedos, white girlfriends, and salacious adaptations of popular ballads and show tunes. She got her start performing at private parties and cellar clubs but eventually worked her way into the big time, getting long gigs at Hansberry's Clam House and the Ubangi Club, both on the jumpin' nightclub strip of West 133rd Street known as "Jungle Alley."








 Both clubs attracted an interracial mix of writers and entertainers, including many lesbians and gay men, who adored her "bulldagger" looks and her inspired reworkings of popular tunes. At the Ubangi she was backed by a "pansy chorus line" of female impersonators. For those interested in more discreet double entendre lyrics, there was the Hot Cha Club on 132nd Street, presided over by the elegant host Jimmie Daniels (who later became the lover of renowned architect Philip Johnson).

Harlem, Greenwich Village, and Times Square (which attracted legions of gay chorus boys, actors, designers, and other theater workers) were host to the city's three most significant gay residential enclaves in the 1920s. Each neighborhood was also home to numerous restaurants, cafeterias, cafés, and speakeasies where gay customers predominated.












Tom Bianchi - Outpost