Fosse + Beyonce. Who knew?
This Saturday, July 18, Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California presents a free screening of the yet-to-be-released documentary John Fleck Is Who You Want Him To Be which delves into the work of controversial performance artist and award-winning actor John Fleck.
John Fleck, a radical gay performance artist, gained notoriety as one of the NEA Four, a quartet of artists–Fleck, Karen Finley, Holly Hughes and Tim Miller–whose National Endowment for the Arts grants were vetoed by agency head John Frohnmayer in 1990. The artists’ works were considered by Frohnmayer (but not by the NEA’s peer review) to be offensive. This was at the height of the AIDS crisis. The NEA reversed funding to these artists who utilized body imagery and radical forms of expression to make art that confronted the government’s reluctance–fueled by fear and apathy–to deal with the AIDS crisis. Fleck and his compatriots fought back, and the face of public funding for the arts changed forever, with the Supreme Court ultimately upholding a vague “decency clause” on government arts funding that still limits our freedom of speech today. At that very different and extreme time, much concern was expressed about “the chilling effect” the decision could have on our culture.
During and after the Supreme Court case, Fleck worked in film and television, appearing in Falling Down, Waterworld, and Howard the Duck, and on the series Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Murder One, Carnivale, and True Blool. He also continued to create performance art, winning four LA Critics Circle Awards, eight DramaLogue, seven LA Weekly and two Backstage West awards, all for outstanding performance.
Fleck debuted his fine art in January 2014, at Coagula Curatorial in the show “Two Johns and Whore,” hanging his paintings across from art by queer filmmaker John Roecker whose documentary Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gay Porn Stars… was at one point banned by Amazon. Fleck hung a series of nine paintings made by covering his buttocks and related regions with paint and pressing them on paper and canvas. The series, “Assy-Nine” provided the backdrop for an opening night performance piece involving Fleck wrapped in toilet paper–a reference to both the art work and his NEA-shocking piece–and his operatic, prophetic arias, all captured in Duffy’s film.
Now the film, John Fleck Is Who You Want Him To Be, which intercuts archival video and current footage from a range of performances and an interview with Fleck, appears to be caught in a chilling effect because of its content, not unlike his piece in 1990. According to an email exchange between the film’s director, Kevin Duffy and Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, the longest-running and largest queer film festival in the world requested a copy of the film for consideration. Just days before the festival, Duffy learned the film would not be shown, even though Frameline claimed to “love it.” Further queries by Duffy led to him to learn that that the reason was the film’s “construction.” In an interview posted on Duffy’s Facebook page, Penelope Boyer, who worked for the National Association of Arts Organizations, a co-plaintiff in the NEA 4 Supreme Court case, says:
Construction is a veiled term for content, and content in this case refers to content that was controversial and that angered and frightened John Frohnmayer, the chairman of the NEA twenty-five years ago. It is this same content that is frightening a queer film festival now.
Despite Frameline’s rejection of John Fleck is Who You Want Him to Be, Duffy has screened the film at California State University, Long Beach and California Arts Institute, and on Saturday, July 18 will showing the film, with question and answer following, at the Brand Library & Art Center, in Glendale, CA, just minutes away from Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. The screening marks start of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the film’s licensing and distribution. The reception at 6:30 pm will be followed by the 7:00 pm screening and discussion with the artists. Admission is free and open to the public (18 years of age and older, due the mature subject matter). Complimentary parking is available in Brand Park adjacent to the library and an accessible entrance and parking is available on the east side of the building.
Well after 2 flights, turbulence, the TSA searching my bags, and no sleep I have have arrived in Phoenix, AZ where it its currently a chilly 103 F. and even Satan is sweating.
This week Back2Stonewall.com will be attending and covering Netroots Nation 15 as part of LGBT Netroots Connect group run by the talented and lovely Mike Rogers (Vice Chairman of Raw Story Media, Inc. and is best known for his work in reporting on closeted gay politicians and is the lead subject of the 2009 film Outrage.)
Founded in 2008 as the National Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative, LGBT Netroots Connect develops programs that bring online and offline activists and leaders together to create change. We work with leaders, journalists, LGBT organization staff, bloggers and activists to discuss the future of the LGBT movement and the ways in which our actions impact it
Netroots Nation itself is a 4 day event that draws thousands of journalist, bloggers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists come together to share practices and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year, some of the brightest minds in progressive politics come to Netroots Nation to speak with—and hear from—our community
Keynote speakers this year include Elizabeth Warren senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and Presidential hopefuls Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) and the very humpy Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland.
Tomorrow kicks off with the LGBT Netroots Connect Pre-Conference, a one day long gathering of over 100 of the best and brightest LGBT advocates, blogger, media journalist who will come together to discuss and think tank the important issues that the LGBT community is currently facing.
See you in Hell! Er, I mean Phoenix!
“Art AIDS America” is an in depth survey of artistic reaction to the AIDS crisis. Angry, political, pained, mournful, always personal and autobiographical, this exhibition of 47 pieces, including never-before-seen-works by Catherine Opie, hangs at both the ONE Archives and Gallery in West Hollywood and at the West Hollywood Library. Part of the WeHo @30 series of art exhibitions celebrating West Holywood’s thirty years of cityhood, “AIDS Art America” shows the shift in American art from the abstract/conceptual works of the 1960s through early 80s inot the more revealing art of present day–a direct reaction to the personal tragedy experienced by so many artists of the time period.
” Art AIDS America” is a preview of Tacoma Museum of Art exhibition which opens later this year before traveling to New York and Georgia in 2016.
Locations & Hours
Please be aware that hours for the ONE Gallery and the West Hollywood Library differ and visitors wishing to see both parts of the exhibition should plan accordingly. Overlapping hours include Thursdays from 4-7 pm, and Friday/Saturday from 1-5 pm. Three hours of free validated parking is available in the Library Parking Structure located on El Tovar Place (validations available at the West Hollywood Library) during regular Library operating hours.
ONE Archives Gallery & Museum
626 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 1pm-5pm
Closed Mondays through Wednesdays, and June 12-14 (for LA Pride weekend)
Free admission, donations accepted. To verify hours, call (213) 821-2771 or visit one.usc.edu
West Hollywood Library
625 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Friday and Saturday: 10am-6pm
On Saturday, July 18, curator Jonathan D. Katz PhD. leads a free tour from 1:00 – 2:30 pm at the West Hollywood Library and from 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. at ONE Archives Gallery & Museum. Free admission. RSVP at email@example.com
Top image: Joey Terrill, Still-Life with Zerit, 2000
Niki de Saint Phalle, AIDS, you can’t catch it holding hands, 1987
fierce pussy, For the Record, 2013
Tino Rodriguez, Eternal Lovers, 2010
Julie Tolentino, The Sky Remains the Same, from Ron Athey’s Self Obliteration #1, 2008
Shimon Attie, Untitled Memory (projection of Axel H.), 1998
“From Hillary Clinton to John Kerry, the State Department has repeatedly violated the first rule of the diplomatic process: to respect the traditions and beliefs of other countries. In most cases, this forceful approach has made more enemies of nations than friends — especially in countries as profoundly religious as Kenya. Like other African and South American nations, they don’t appreciate the administration’s decision to openly demonize their beliefs and promote homosexuality and abortion as international ‘human rights.’ And when the President Obama visits Kenyans this month, they intend to tell him so. Dozens of lawmakers are planning protests during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, where White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the President will once again call for ‘equality’ for LGBT Kenyans. In two terms, this administration has amassed one of the worst foreign policy records in modern history — promoting what our laws don’t recognize and falling silent on what they do (like religious freedom). For this White House, everything boils down to abortion and sexuality. In a world already teetering on disaster, this clash of worldviews is a diplomatic powder keg.” – Family Research Council hate group leader Tony Per-KKK-ins, via press release.
If we had any serious intention of infringing on your precious “religious freedom”, we would have cut your tongue and jammed it up your own ass where it belongs years ago.
Via press release from Queer Nation:
A plane trailing a banner reading “Boycott Hi/Lo Tea! Fight For Full LGBT Rights!” will fly above the beach at Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines on Sunday, June 7, between 2 pm and 3 pm. The action will underscore the LGBT community’s outrage over the April 20 meeting between Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and gay businessmen Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass, who subsequently donated money to the Cruz campaign. The two gay men also held an April 14 fundraiser at their Manhattan penthouse for Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), another anti-LGBT politician.
Reisner and Weiderpass own most of the businesses in the Pines—including the Blue Whale, Sip-N-Twirl, and the Pavilion, where the “High Tea” and “Low Tea” cocktail hours are held—as well as the gay-oriented Out Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.“Two gay business owners are making money off of the LGBT community at a world-famous gay vacation spot and then giving that money to outspoken anti-LGBT politicians,” said Ken Kidd, a member of Queer Nation, the gay rights group that orchestrated the flyover. “Our community is out to win comprehensive federal legislation that will make LGBT Americans fully equal under the law. We will not be taken backward by funding anti-LGBT politicians.”
Last week a band of gay activist took to Fire Island this weekend to spread the news and point out which of the Fire Island properties belonged to Ian Reisner’s and should be boycotted in The Pines after the New York Times revealed that Reisner, who also owns OUT NYC hotel, lied about cutting a campaign check to ultra-conservative and anti-LGBT candidate Ted Cruz at the same time that he and his business partner Mati Weiderpass hosted a reception for Cruz in their Manhattan penthouse.
Reisner did, in fact, cut a check for $2,700, the maximum individual contribution allowed.
While many knew of Reisner’s ownership of the OUT-NYC Hotel complex many are unaware of his specific holdings in the Fire Island Pines.
That is until now.
The flyer urges the a boycott of some of Fire Island’s most historic gay landmarks like the Pavilion, Botel, Bistro, Sip-N-Twirl, Blue Whale, Pines Pizza, and the Cultured Elephant.
If you would like to learn more check out the Boycott Fire Island Pines Establishments & Out NYC Hotel and the QUEER NATION Facebook pages for further info.
“From the moment our Nation first came together to declare the fundamental truth that all men are created equal, courageous and dedicated patriots have fought to refine our founding promise and broaden democracy’s reach. Over the course of more than two centuries of striving and sacrifice, our country has expanded civil rights and enshrined equal protections into our Constitution. Through struggle and setback, we see a common trajectory toward a more free and just society. But we are also reminded that we are not truly equal until every person is afforded the same rights and opportunities — that when one of us experiences discrimination, it affects all of us — and that our journey is not complete until our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law.
“Across our Nation, tremendous progress has been won by determined individuals who stood up, spoke out, and shared their stories. Earlier this year, because of my landmark Executive Order on LGBT workplace discrimination, protections for Federal contractors went into effect, guarding against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Federal Government is now leading by example, ensuring that our employees and contractors are judged by the quality of their work, not by who they love. And I will keep calling on the Congress to pass legislation so that all Americans are covered by these protections, no matter where they work.
“In communities throughout the country, barriers that limit the potential of LGBT Americans have been torn down, but too many individuals continue to encounter discrimination and unfair treatment. My Administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors because the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that it can cause substantial harm. We understand the unique challenges faced by sexual and gender minorities — especially transgender and gender non-conforming individuals — and are taking steps to address them. And we recognize that families come in many shapes and sizes. Whether biological, foster, or adoptive, family acceptance is an important protective factor against suicide and harm for LGBTQ youth, and mental health experts have created resources to support family communication and involvement.
“For countless young people, it is not enough to simply say it gets better; we must take action too. We continue to address bullying and harassment in our classrooms, ensuring every student has a nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. Across the Federal Government, we are working every day to unlock the opportunities all LGBT individuals deserve and the resources and care they need. Too many LGBTQ youth face homelessness and too many older individuals struggle to find welcoming and affordable housing; that is why my Administration is striving to ensure they have equal access to safe and supportive housing throughout life. We are updating our National HIV/AIDS Strategy to better address the disproportionate burden HIV has on communities of gay and bisexual men and transgender women. We continue to extend family and spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
“And because we know LGBT rights are human rights, we are championing protections and support for LGBT persons around the world. All people deserve to live with dignity and respect, free from fear and violence, and protected against discrimination, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. During Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, we celebrate the proud legacy LGBT individuals have woven into the fabric of our Nation, we honor those who have fought to perfect our Union, and we continue our work to build a society where every child grows up knowing that their country supports them, is proud of them, and has a place for them exactly as they are.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2015 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to eliminate prejudice everywhere it exists, and to celebrate the great diversity of the American people.
“IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. – BARACK OBAMA.
The Mormon LGBT group Mormons Building Bridges has once again been denied permission for the second straight year.to march in two of the most popular parades in the SLC/Provo, UT area. The Days of ’47 Parade in Salt Lake City and the Freedom Festival Grand Parade in Provo.
In line with the Days of ’47 Parade’s theme of “Pioneers — Forging a New Frontier,” Mormons Building Bridges had proposed a “Utah’s LGBT Pioneers” entry. It would have featured six LGBT leaders from business, education and public service riding in an antique convertible.
Greg James, executive vice president of the Days of ’47 said the decision was based on its belief that Mormons Building Bridges is an advocacy group.
The rules for the July 24 parade forbid advocacy groups of any kind “whether it’s a group you might agree with or don’t agree with. We don’t do anything that’s advocacy. This one is advocacy,”
Mormons Building Bridges was founded in 2012 with the goal of improving the relations between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the gay community. The group is nonpartisan.
Earlier this year Governor Gary Herbert signed into law an LGBT non-discrimination bill a, paving the way for equal rights among members of the LGBT community. Unfortunately the bill was filled with many religious exemptions and looked much better on paper than it actually was.
Between innings of Saturday’s game, the stadium’s Kiss Cam team found two men, not as a joke, but a couple. And when they kissed the fans broke into cheers and applause.
Back in 2000, two women were kicked out of Dodger Stadium for kissing. The team and the world have changed since then. Between innings of Saturday’s game, the stadium’s Kiss Cam team found two men, not as a joke, but a couple. It’s cool that this wasn’t the still-prevalent homophobic gag of forcing two platonic male friends to awkwardly recoil at the thought of kissing another dude. It’s also cool that the reaction from the crowd was a genuine cheer. Reader Steven, who was in the ballpark, says he was “proud of the loud, enthusiastic response from the crowd. Not one person around me groaned or made derogatory remarks, and seemed genuinely pleased with the moment.” The Dodgers have held LGBT nights in recent years, and while it’s great to publicly announce that everyone’s welcome, there’s nothing quite like being normalized by dorky in-stadium entertainment to make everyone feel included.
Watch the video below.
Everyone has heard about this weeks HomoCON fundraiser held for the very anti-gay and despicable Sen. Ted Cruz by Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner , longtime business partners who were once a couple and who have been pioneers in the gay hospitality industry.
Reisner, the owner of the OUT NYC hotel and nightclub complex near Times Square is where Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was to hold its annual fundraiser.
I say WAS because after BC/EFA heard about thew fundraiser for Cruz and the uproar afterwards they have cancelled the upcoming May 1oth. performance.
From the Facebook page of Broadway Cares, Executive Director Tom Viola:
It is with regret that this year’s edition of the Broadway Bares SOLO STRIPS which was scheduled for May 10 at the OUT NYC Hotel’s 42West Club is cancelled.
I don’t know if you are aware of the controversy that has erupted around the recent New York Times article that reported on a small reception for Senator Ted Cruz as he begins his campaign for the Republican nomination for President, that was… attended by the owner of the OUT NYC Hotel/42West and hosted by his former partner.
I have never considered that all of our many supporters would ever vote monolithically, nor is there a political litmus test for any one of us. Those are personal decisions each of us makes based, I hope, on our passions and concerns for ourselves as individuals as well as the communities in which we live and with whom we are clearly identified and closely associated.
But when any politician publicly holds so many of us in contempt and promotes the institution of law and public policy that condemns or diminishes all that BC/EFA stands for, full equality for all and the very people who we are committed to embrace, we cannot be misunderstood as standing with him/her. And unfortunately, silence, or in this case inaction, is not a neutral position.
This is not about partisan politics or punishment. This is about doing what’s right to ultimately ensure that BC/EFA’s commitment to the men, women and children we serve cannot be questioned.
If you have purchased tickets for SOLO STRIPS, please visit the BC/EFA website for a full refund. If you do not require a refund, I promise that your donation will be put to good use in our next grant round in July to support the essential work of AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, committed to helping those most disenfranchised by people in power who actively work to restrict and deny equal rights to all.
BRAVO and BRAVA to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!
Integrity is such an important thing in the LGBT community and lately is so lacking (*cough* HRC *cough*) it is so good to see an organization that actually has it.
NOTE: Broadway Bares 25 will take place as scheduled at the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 24th. Get tickets here.