Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rainbow 2011 A-GO-GO

Its day 3 of Pride in the city and what a week it's been so far. Let's hope that I survive the tomfoolery to come and all that's taken place at this posting. As many of you know, this forum was designed to cover the good, bad and ugly of the GLBTQ community and beyond. I firmly take the position that the who, what, when and where of events or activities posted here are offered as a community service for those who want to be in the loop of what's really going on. So heads up friend, COP24/7 is all about bringing it to you in living color.

KUAR FM98 Interview

Thank you KUAR/NPR community listeners who expressed you affirmation for our interview contained with their, Gays in Arkansas series. My involvement in these projects always come at strange intersections but usually garner great results. What continues to surprise to myself and I thought I had surpassed this, but its  the reaction I get from many of you. Even though I'm no stranger to media, it seems that some of you were amazed at my ability to discuss the topic of gays and race in such a affirming manner. Also, a few stated that they didn't know that I would be so open and direct publicly. Really?  Well, just for the record I've been involved both directly and indirectly with social justice issues from a human rights prospective for almost 25 years. I framed our condition as human rights all those years ago when I realized that ultimately our disparities are all encompassing ranging from the workplace to the home front. Since that time, its become even more evident that there are not bits and pieces of our humanity being affected but all our life can be impacted by societal attitudes and governmental legislation. I've addressed it many ways including speaking before the Arkansas Legislature, lobbying our peeps on Capitol Hill in D.C. and traveling to national conferences and symposiums in search of information and funding for this state. I've honed my skills from trial and error but always staying keenly engaged on important issues meanwhile being focused that "none of us are free until all of us are free." Free to live, love and be the people we are destined to be despite those who spew hateful rhetoric and dogma to support their viewpoint. Why have I done this work for basically little remittance and sometimes not much thanks? Is because its not only my civic duty, but my belief that its our personal responsibility to respond, react and rebut those who trounce those who feel they are powerless as well as voiceless. It's for this reason I can firmly ask, "what have you done today to be proud.?" (check out the series on http://www.kuar.org/)

AETN Update

COP 24/7 recieved a listing from AETN of interesting programming including last evenings Stonewall Uprising on American Experience and "Anyone and Everyone," which aired June 12 on one of the new AETN Plus ( comcast channel  203). Also their will be a community screening of Two Spirits, this sunday June 19.at 10:30 p.m., repeats Monday, June 20 at 1:30 a.m. Fred Martinez was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and
death of a boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual natureof gender. "Two Spirits" interweaves the tragic story of a mother’s loss  of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time
when the world wasn’t simply divided into male and female and many NativeAmerican cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders.
*AETN's Community Cinema is screening "Two Spirits" on Thursday, June 23at the Faulkner County Library in Conway, and Tuesday, June 27 at Roosevelt Thompson Library in Little Rock. The Little Rock screening is co-hosted by KUAR. Both screenings start at 6 p.m., followed by a community discussion. Please share your thoughts with AETN about this programming at infor@aetn.org.

Tripping the Rainbow Fantastic

Congrats to the 2011 Miss Pride- Liyah Alezee and Braxton as Mr. Pride 2011. It was an interesting mix at Sunday evenings contest held at Pulse. This contest which I thought was to represent the week, actually has what appears to be another "Miss/Mr." mash-up slathed for Wednesday evening that I'm not totally clear about. However, each contestant did their best before a spirited little crowd that voiced their support for their favorite. One such favorite was Sidetrack's bartender Matt, who sang a heartfelt Melissa Etheridge tune aceplla. During his own stage interview he stated that he "wanted folks to just show up" which on  the surface is a simple message of unity and I heard many re-stating this phrase during the Monday night Bar Crawl. Even though I didn't make all the watering hole stops, by the time the Pride Week royalty and rest of crew rolled into Sidetracks, seems like all had enjoyed the trek despite a couple of hiccups. Apparently the crawl veered off course when it came to Club Good Times scheduled to be a 8p.m. stop. It was a no go when I checked the venue, which also seems to be embroiled in a few other sketchy matters that we are trying to sort out at post time. Then, there was a report that the crawl folks were left standing streetside when trying to access Main Streets's Pleasurzes night spot. Supposedly, there was an issue on entering the club which we are trying to verify and to understand what's up with that. In the meantime, both 610 and Pulse offered particpants a chance to get their drink on. I was extremely glad to see the diversity of the crowd, with hopes that this outpouring will continue not only this week but extend it self in our everyday interaction.   

Pageantry MIA 2.0 and counting...

Just as I thought this year's pride would serve up enough vividness for my usage that I learn that there's more technicolor madness just over the rainbow. Saturday night, June 11, the Miss Arkansas America show found it way into Hot Springs Jesters night club. This review revue features past titleholders in an effort to shore up support for the umpcoming preliminaries and state pageant in August. All the faces were painted and in place except one, the current titleholder, Shawn Tyler Andrews, who did a "call in sick" number that has stirred up the ire of board members. Apparently, Tyler- Andrews has had issues during his reign that has some saying under their breathes, that all of "it" is "unbecoming of a title holder." And what is "it"? As best can I can discern, it's that wide "symbol of excellence" berth ranging from attitude to performance appearances that is seriously assessed by this self policing body. Supposedly, it's rubbed the these sisters so raw that there's even defrocking chatter in the air. Say it ain't so! Meanwhile, backstage at last Saturday's show there was a party all unto itself taking place with those past "symbols of excellence" throwing back many snoot fulls of libations and such.  All of which resulted in some colorful performances according to onlookers.  I would bet that probably some of this could fall under some guideline in the Big Book of Drag Regulations that's whipped out at moments notice for use on those out of line entertainers. Stay tuned if you dare...

The Video that was posted to this site was from the social networking site, Gay Black America. Check it out at http://www.gayblackamerica.com/


Anonymous said...

Sounds like her symbol of excellence is not on straight!

Anonymous said...

great post!