Featured Guest – Fabio Aiosa – Transgender Day of Remembrance – Washington Square Park – November 20, 2013 – Islan Nettles (Murdered @ 21yo)
Today, November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day the LGBTQ community remembers the people who were violently taken from us in acts of hatred. These are only a few of the hundreds of people murdered this year alone, and many more will remain unnamed and unknown.
The following poem was delivered by inauguration poet Richard Blanco during ceremonies for President Obama’s second inaugural Monday. The text of the poem was provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.
My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper — bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives — to teach geometry, or ring up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.
All of us as vital as the one light we move through,
the same light on blackboards with lessons for the day:
equations to solve, history to question, or atoms imagined,
the “I have a dream” we keep dreaming,
or the impossible vocabulary of sorrow that won’t explain
the empty desks of twenty children marked absent
today, and forever. Many prayers, but one light
breathing color into stained glass windows,
life into the faces of bronze statues, warmth
onto the steps of our museums and park benches
as mothers watch children slide into the day.
One ground. Our ground, rooting us to every stalk
of corn, every head of wheat sown by sweat
and hands, hands gleaning coal or planting windmills
in deserts and hilltops that keep us warm, hands
digging trenches, routing pipes and cables, hands
as worn as my father’s cutting sugarcane
so my brother and I could have books and shoes.
The dust of farms and deserts, cities and plains
mingled by one wind — our breath. Breathe. Hear it
through the day’s gorgeous din of honking cabs,
buses launching down avenues, the symphony
of footsteps, guitars, and screeching subways,
the unexpected song bird on your clothes line.
Hear: squeaky playground swings, trains whistling,
or whispers across cafe tables, Hear: the doors we open
for each other all day, saying: hello, shalom,
buon giorno, howdy, namaste, or buenos días
in the language my mother taught me — in every language
spoken into one wind carrying our lives
without prejudice, as these words break from my lips.
One sky: since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea. Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.
One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work: some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn’t give what you wanted.
We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always — home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country — all of us —
facing the stars
hope — a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it — together
Make a Man Out of Me – Richard Blanco – Huffington Post – Posted: 01/20/2013 9:29 am
Centenary of Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) – BBC News – Alan Turing: Inquest’s suicide verdict ‘not supportable’
Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius and codebreaker born 100 years ago on 23 June, may not have committed suicide, as is widely believed. – BBC News – Alan Turing: Inquest’s suicide verdict ‘not supportable’.
Mount Morris Baths – Steam & Turkish
taken April, 1997 – July, 2011
This image was originally part of a collection I call Urban EdiGlyphs- which was also featured at the THE FADING AD GALLERY in Brooklyn in 2004.
This establishment had been around since the late 1800s and gay since the 30s. It had been frequented chiefly by African-American men. When gay bath houses were systematically closed during the 80s by the NYC Dept of Health – in their hasty response to the AIDS crisis, this one was overlooked. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Mt. Morris had remained open until 2003, when it was closed by the NYC Buildings Department for structural problems. It had come to my attention that since its closing, the “gay press” had not made the same uproar as they had over the closing of the Wall Street Sauna in 2004. It was one of few establishments in that area that distributed safe-sex information and paraphernalia. It will be sorely missed.
Remember- the AIDS crisis is not over!