Walmart’s Pride-themed merchandise tied to Pride Month includes rainbow-adorned flags, clothing, and accessories. Its “Pride & Joy” collection includes a $7.98 set of enamel pins with messages such as “Be you. Be Proud.” and “You are enough.”
Malcolm Michaels, Jr. aka. Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American self-identified gay man and drag queen who advocated for “trans rights” in New York City’s gay scene from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Malcolm Michaels, Jr. was born on August 24, 1945, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Johnson experienced a difficult childhood due to her Christian upbringing.
He engaged in cross-dressing behavior at an early age but was quickly reprimanded. Johnson moved to Greenwich Village in New York City after graduating from high school. In New York, he struggled to make ends meet. He was homeless and prostituted himself and engaged in petty theft to make ends meet. However, he found joy as a drag queen amidst the nightlife of Christopher Street. And Marsha Johnson was born. He designed all of his costumes (mostly from thrift shops) and quickly became a prominent fixture in the gay community serving as a “drag mother” by helping homeless and struggling LGBT youth.
One of the city’s oldest and best-known “drag queens”,(which is what Marsha proudly referred to herself as) Johnson participated in clashes with the police amid the Stonewall Riots along with her friend Sylvia Rivera and hundreds of others. (After wrongly being credited for stating it.)) and both became co-founders, of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.) in the early 1970s. Marsha and Sylvia became the mothers of S.T.A.R House and together gathered food and clothing to help support the young queens. Sometimes legally. Most times not.
STAR opened its first STAR House in a parked trailer truck in a Greenwich Village parking lot later that year. It functioned as a shelter and social space for drag/trans sex workers and other LGBT street youth. However, the pair arrived one day to find the trailer was being towed, with as many as 20 youths still sleeping inside. This experience made them decide to find a more permanent home for STAR House. “Marsha and I decided to get a building,” Rivera told Leslie Feinberg in 1998. “We were trying to get away from the Mafia’s control at the bars. We got a building at 213 Second Avenue.”
Marsha was one of a kind. Once, appearing in a court the judge asked Marsha, “What does the ‘P’ stand for?”, Johnson gave his customary response “Pay it No Mind.” and the judge laughed and let him go. This phrase became her trademark. In 1974 Marsha P. Johnson was photographed by famed artist Andy Warhol, as part of a “ladies and gentlemen” series of Polaroids featuring drag queens.
Masha P. Johnson was as tough, crazy, and as gritty as New York City itself. But as kind and as loving as any mother could be to her “children”
In July of 1992 that came to an abrupt end when Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Police ruled the death a suicide. Johnson’s friends and supporters said she was not suicidal, and a people’s postering campaign later declared that Johnson had earlier been harassed near the spot where her body was found. Attempts to get the police to investigate the cause of death were unsuccessful but many today believe that Johnson was murdered.
Marsha P. Johnson was an original, an activist, and a martyr.
May he be at peace and never be forgotten and finally be remembered correctly
A drag show scheduled for Thursday at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, to celebrate PRIDE month has been canceled by the Pentagon according to defense officials.
The Pride Month celebration was approved by Air Force leaders, but Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Air Force it is not Pentagon policy to fund drag shows on bases.
When Milley was informed about the event this week, he was visibly angry about the decision to host the event on base, a U.S. official and a defense official said.
“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.
Nellis AFB hosted a Pride Month drag show in June 2021, named “Drag-u-Nellis.” A spokesperson for the base said in a statement that it was intended to promote inclusivity and diversity.
If General Miley knew his Armed Forces/Military history he would know that drag is nothing new in military installations.
In early in World War II, the National Theater Conference lobbied to authorize soldier shows as “a necessity, not a frill.” By early 1942, approval was granted by leadership in Washington for the Special Services in concert with the United Service Organization (USO) and American Red Cross to begin soldier show productions to entertain the troops both on the homefront and abroad.
The Army Special Services produced, published and distributed handbooks for soldier shows. These publications, known as Blueprint Specials, contained everything you would need to put on an approved and pre-scripted soldier show. Blueprint Specials for soldier shows even included dress-making patterns and suggestions for material procurement. “Girly” show choreography was outlined in the publications to ensure that the GIs looked good in their highly choreographed “pony ballet” numbers. A pony ballet is one where groups of masculine-looking GIs dress in tutus and perform ballet routines often wearing their army-issued boots.
So sashay away Gen. Mark Milley and go learn your history!
Thank you, Craig Rodwell. Wish you were here now. We could use your help.
Over the past two decades with much of PRIDE’s focus has been on trans and QPOC communities involved in the Stonewall Riots and PRIDE, but we continually overlook one of the most important gay activists of that era without whom the movement and PRIDE itself would not even exist. I am talking about Craig Rodwell, The Father of PRIDE.
Rodwell was born in Chicago, IL in 1940 and was a former Christian scientist, He later studied ballet in Boston before finally moving to New York City in 1958. It was in New York that he first volunteered for a gay rights organization, The Mattachine Society of New York.
Rodwell opened the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in 1967 and began the group Homophile Youth Movement in Neighborhoods (HYMN) and began to publish its periodical, HYMNAL.
Rodwell helped conceive the first yearly gay rights protest, the Annual Reminder picketing of Independence Hall held from 1965–1969, and the Homophile Youth Movement rallies in 1967.
On September 19, 1964, Rodwell, along with Randy Wicker, Jefferson Poland, Renee Cafiero, and several others picketed New York’s Whitehall to protest the military’s practice of excluding gays from serving and, when discovered serving, dishonorably discharging them. This is the first recognized gay rights protest in American history.
On April 18, 1965, Rodwell led the picketing at the United Nations Plaza in New York to protest Cuban detention and placement into work camps of gays, with about 25 other protesters.
On April 21, 1966, Craig Rodwell, along with Mattachine President Dick Leitsch engaged in the infamous “Sip-In” at Julius, a bar in Greenwich Village, to protest the (NY) State Liquor Authority rule against the congregation of gays in establishments that served alcohol. Rodwell had at an earlier date been thrown out of Julius for wearing an “Equality for Homosexuals” button. Rodwell and the others argued that the rule furthered bribery and corruption of the police. The resultant publicly led eventually to the end of the SLA rule.
Rodwell who is verified as being present and a participant in the Stonewall Riots in 1969 said of that fateful night:
“Several incidents were happening simultaneously. No one thing happened or one person, there was just… a flash of group, of mass anger. There was a very volatile active political feeling, especially among young people … when the night of the Stonewall Riots came along, just everything came together at that one moment. People often ask what was special about that night …”e
In November of 1969 just five months after the Stonewall Riots, Rodwell proposed the first Gay Pride parade to be held in New York City by way of a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations meeting in Philadelphia, along with his partner Fred Sargeant (HYMN vice chairman), Ellen Broidy and Linda Rhodes. The first march was organized from Rodwell’s apartment on Bleecker Street.
‘That the Annual Reminder, to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged-that of our fundamental human rights-be moved both in time and location.
We propose that a demonstration be held annually on the last Saturday in June in New York City to commemorate the 1969 spontaneous demonstrations on Christopher Street and this demonstration be called CHRISTOPHER STREET LIBERATION DAY. No dress or age regulations shall be made for this demonstration.”
Craig Rodwell continued fighting the rest of his life for gay rights and died in 1993 of stomach cancer.
His determination, persistence, inspiration, and understanding, have made people aware of their power through activism.
About an hour into the Bozeman, Montana PRIDE event, as community organizations gathered at Soroptimist Park, a group of about 20 white supremacists showed up and started chanting anti-LGBT+ statements at the crowd. Many of them had their faces covered and held signs with racist and homophobic slogans.
The Bozeman Pride Stroll was interrupted by a group of protesters wearing masks and sunglasses to protect their identities while chanting and carrying signs promoting white supremacy and condemning the LGBTQ+ community.
The group walked up and down Main Street and other side streets while engaging with bystanders who shouted back at them. One bystander who engaged, Joseph Wood, ended up getting assaulted.
Wood said he was walking near the group when one protester handed him a flyer. He continued walking near them and another protester tried blocking his path. They ultimately got into a verbal altercation that escalated into the man hitting Wood in the face with a shield, then another man pepper sprayed him.
We’ve spent more than half a century trying to educate the general public about the fact that we gay people are not the child molesters or insane as we’ve been portrayed as since time immemorial. Now thanks to Republicans we are and in some cases like in Florida we have already lost the ground we have gained.
Just a reminder for those who need it right now. *cough* Wilton Manors *cough”.
LGBT Pride, an annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, holds immense significance in today’s society now more than ever.
PRIDE promotes acceptance, fostering inclusivity, and advocating for equal rights. By raising awareness, celebrating diversity, and empowering individuals, LGBT Pride catalyzes positive change.
Fostering Inclusivity and Equality: LGBT Pride serves as a powerful symbol of inclusivity and equality. By organizing parades, festivals, and educational events, Pride brings together people from diverse backgrounds, encouraging dialogue and fostering connections. These celebrations allow LGBT individuals to connect with allies and support networks, creating a sense of solidarity and unity. Moreover, Pride events raise awareness about the challenges faced by the LGBT community and advocate for equal rights. They provide an opportunity to engage with policymakers, promote legislation that protects LGBT rights, and drive social change. By highlighting the importance of equal treatment under the law and advocating for policies that ensure fairness, LGBT Pride contributes to building a more just and inclusive society for everyone.
Empowering Individuals and Celebrating Diversity: LGBT Pride empowers individuals by providing a platform for self-expression and celebrating diversity. In a society that often marginalizes and silences LGBT voices, Pride events offer an inclusive space where individuals can embrace their authentic selves without fear of judgment or discrimination. It fosters self-acceptance, resilience, and pride in one’s identity, helping individuals to overcome the challenges they may face. By celebrating diversity, Pride encourages people to embrace their unique identities, challenging societal norms and fostering a more inclusive understanding of human sexuality and gender. This empowerment not only benefits the individuals but also positively impacts their communities by promoting a culture of acceptance and respect.
Promoting Acceptance and Combating Prejudice: LGBT Pride plays a crucial role in promoting acceptance and combatting prejudice. For many years, members of the LGBT community have faced discrimination, marginalization, and oppression due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Pride events provide a platform for individuals to come together, share their stories, and celebrate their identities openly. By creating a sense of belonging and community, Pride fosters understanding and challenges the stereotypes and stigmas associated with the LGBT community. It sends a powerful message to both LGBT individuals and the wider society that love and acceptance should prevail over discrimination and hate.
LGBT Pride plays a vital role in promoting acceptance, fostering inclusivity, and advocating for equal rights. By combatting prejudice, fostering dialogue, and empowering individuals, Pride celebrations create spaces where the LGBT community can be visible, celebrated, and respected. Through its emphasis on acceptance, equality, and diversity, LGBT Pride serves as a powerful force for positive social change, fostering a more inclusive and equitable society for all. It is essential to continue supporting and participating in Pride events to ensure that progress toward acceptance and equality continues.
FLORIDA take note: THIS is what PRIDE is all about. There is also one more aspect of PRIDE not mentioned: Courage. Something that seems to be lacking in the state as PRIDE celebrations are being canceled and neutered left and right.
In the week since Wilton Manors’ city commission voted unanimously to amend the permit for the Stonewall Pride Parade & Street Festival, people on both sides of the issue on whether or not to comply with drag laws have lashed out.
The amendment ensures event producers follow all laws, including ones passed since the permit was issued in February. The practical effect is to comply with the new law that appears to classify all live drag entertainment, regardless of content, as adult entertainment, and prevent drag performances on outdoor stages that will be set up all along Wilton Drive for the June 17 party.
It appears people in drag will be allowed into the event and to participate in the parade. However, performing in the parade or on any exterior stage is likely to be prohibited due to being labeled adult entertainment. Producers of the event haven’t finalized standards for admission and participation, but have said there will be a “dress code” applying to all participants, vendors, attendees, and performers.
It started this way in Germany. And please don’t tell me I’m being dramatic.
Conservative Christian actor and author Kirk Cameron will be releasing his second children’s book, ahead of LGBT “pride month,” titled Pride Comes Before the Fall.
The former star of the television sitcom “Growing Pains” gave a preview of the new book, which is slated for release on June 1, during an event at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“This is a story called Pride Comes Before the Fall, and it’s a story of a tiger named Valor and his partner named Kevin. They need to learn the lesson of humility,” said Cameron as he addressed a group of children gathered at the library over the weekend.
In an interview with Fox News last year, Cameron cited libraries’ hostility toward hosting a story hour dedicated to his book as “proof that more than ever, we are getting destroyed in the battle for the hearts and minds of our children.”
We will be releasing our book soon: “Kirk Cameron’s Early 20’s In The Bushes of Griffith Park.”
So two questions: Why is the LGBT+ community in Florida not fighting back? And why is there not a full-blown boycott of Florida by the LGBT+ community and our Allies? No companies have moved. No conventions were canceled. No pressure is put on the state whatsoever.
Excuses have run the gambit of “Oh it doesn’t affect me personally” (It does) and “Boycotts and protests don’t work.”(Some do.) to “What about all the LGBT businesses won’t they will be hurt?”(LGBT+ and Allies who live in Florida should only shop LGBT+ and Ally businesses and support them during a boycott.)
Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law has surpassed Anita Bryant’s heinous “Save our Children” campaign against us in the 1970s because those issues were electoral decisions. So we had the power to vote. But now Florida is under an anti-LGBT dictatorship and we have no other recourse at this point but to cut it off. Cutting off money is the best card we hold in a very weak hand right now. And it must be played.
The LGBTQ+A community MUST stand up and fight within the state also. But protests have been few and blowback within the state minimal. Case in point. Over the year Wilton Manors in Fort Lauderdale which has the largest community in the state has had only one “High Heel” protest march and has caved to DeSantis and has signed onto mot allowing drag queens “not performing” at PRIDE.
“As an organization that has spent decades working to improve Florida’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live work and visit, it is with great sadness that we must respond to those asking if it is safe to travel to Florida or remain in the state as the laws strip away basic rights and freedoms,” Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith said in a statement.
Florida makes over 40 billion dollars each year on tourism alone. Let’s take our LGBTQ+ and ally money away. Any loss to the state is a win for us.
So sorry Flori-gays. You have dropped the ball. You don’t seem to understand that your inaction and passiveness have paved the way and emboldened 16 other red states to establish “Don’t Say Gay” laws because there is no major pushback in Florida. The Human Rights Campaign won’t save you and they have once again proven their uselessness also.
It is time for the rest of us to take over and organized.
It’s time to get serious and fight back.
WE ARE OFFICIALLY CALLING FOR A LGBTQ+ and ALLY BOYCOTT OF FLORIDA TOURISM AND PRODUCTS.
Florida companies apart from Disney who now stand in solidarity (even though they helped start it all) need to stand up, events and conventions need to be canceled and we all need to fight back. Regardless if we live in the state or not.
In the 1960s,1970s, 1980s, and 1990s some of us have fought till bloody. In Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the majority are sipping Bloody Marys at Sunday brunch doing nothing.
We have lost over 40 years of progress in Florida and it’s well past time we fight back.
To quote the unknown lesbian who was arrested at the Stonewall riots and when shoved into the paddy -wagon shouted: “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Please sign onto this Boycott of Florida and share it widely.
Vicky Barlow was poking around the rock pools of Falmouth, England when she found the rainbow sea slug, usually found in warmer waters.
According to experts there have been only three previous sightings of the creature in the UK and this was the first in a rockpool.
The rare rainbow sea slug, also known as the chromodoris lochi, is a colorful marine gastropod mollusk that can be found in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, primarily off the coast of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is a type of nudibranch, which are shell-less marine snails that are known for their bright colors and intricate patterns.
The rainbow sea slug is known for its striking coloration, which includes a bright blue body with orange and yellow spots and lines, as well as a distinctive purple or pink rim around its body. These colors are not only beautiful to look at, but they also serve as a warning to potential predators that the sea slug is toxic and should be avoided.
The rainbow sea slug feeds on sponges, which contain toxins that the slug incorporates into its own body for defense. This toxic defense mechanism is what makes the rainbow sea slug one of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures in the ocean.
Despite their striking appearance and toxic defense, the rainbow sea slug is not considered a threat to humans. In fact, they are highly prized by underwater photographers and diving enthusiasts for their vibrant colors and unique beauty.