Thursday, April 26, 2012

Periscope Ahoy and More!

Evey now and then COP 24/7 discovers items that just scream that it must make the cut and get a prominent position on this platform. As I've said previously, I don't have an actual rhyme or reason to my madness but somehow it all works out and this outlet seems to keep on keeping on. With all that said, let's roll with it...

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is a writer, editor, activist, artist, filmmaker, critic and troublemaker. Most recently, she is the editor of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, released on Valentine's Day 2012 from AK Press. I found this item to wildly engaging and thought provoking enough that I wanted to share it with readers. The subject of masculinity and the ongoing movement for gays to become "mainstream" is becoming a topic of discussion on many levels. COP 24/7 will be exploring more of this subject and what impact it is having on the LGBTQ construct.

Mattilda is the author of two novels, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly (City Lights 2008) and Pulling Taffy (Suspect Thoughts 2003). She is the editor of four additional nonfiction anthologies, Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (Seal 2007), That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (Soft Skull 2004; 2008), Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (Haworth 2004), and Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers Write about Their Clients (Haworth 2000), which now also appears in Italian (Effepi Libri 2007).

Mattilda recently finished a memoir called The End of San Francisco. Look out for publication details…

Mattilda’s articles, essays, interviews, reviews, and stories appear regularly in a variety of publications, including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bitch, Utne Reader, Time Out New York, AlterNet, Bookslut, The Stranger, and The Gay & Lesbian Review.

Mattilda is a columnist and the reviews editor at the feminist magazine Make/shift.

Mattilda made a short film, All That Sheltering Emptiness, in collaboration with Gina Carducci. The film premiered in 2010, and has screened around the world. Mattilda and Gina are currently working on a second film.

Mattilda created Lostmissing, a public art project about the friend who will always be there, and what happens when you lose that

Mattilda’s activism has included ACT UP in the early ‘90s, Fed Up Queers in the late ‘90s, Gay Shame, and numerous lesser-known (or even unnamed) groups.

Mattilda lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but tours regularly, and is available for bookings. In the past, she has appeared in independent bookstores, community centers, performance venues and universities from Yale to Evergreen, UCLA to Harvard to Mills to McGill.

COP 24/7 Special

Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform

Gay culture has become the ultimate nightmare of consumerism, whether it's an endless quest for Absolut vodka, Diesel jeans, rainbow Hummers, pec implants, or Pottery Barn. As backrooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture morphs into “straight-acting dudes hangin’ out,” what are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the assimilationist norms of a corporate-cozy lifestyle?

Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots challenges not just the violence of straight homophobia but the hypocrisy of mainstream gay norms that say the only way to stay safe is to act straight: get married, join the military, adopt kids! This anthology reinvokes the anger, flamboyance, and subversion once thriving in gay subcultures in order to create something dangerous and lovely: an exploration of the perils of assimilation; a call for accountability; a vision for change.

This is just a snippet of what MBS is adding to the discussion of how "being gay" is changing or according to some "morphing" into something that will take the lifestyle into new horizons. Check out the writers website to purchase a copy and don't hesitate to share your observations with us! And watch COP 24/7 for more stimulating conversation starters on this emerging and important subject.

Keeping the Conversation Going: LGBT Activism and Education in the Black Community

Q Wilson
by Q Wilson, Out & Equal Senior Program Associate | I started doing what I do nearly two decades ago. I knew as soon as I came out that I wanted to be an advocate for those LGBT people who couldn’t speak up for themselves. It wasn’t until sixteen months ago that I was given a new focus for my activist lens. I am now learning to meld my grassroots activism with what I do here at Out & Equal.
I was born, raised, and lived the majority of my life in the southeastern United States. Being an out Black woman didn’t gain me many friends that were similar. It was then, and still is in some cases, hard to even start discussions around LGBT issues when other people of color were so reluctant to even be out. For many people of color, the reluctance to engage in conversations around openly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender centers for fear of being shunned from our community. For most people of color, our community is so very central to who we are. Knowing that, I feel training and education around LGBT issues when it comes to communities of color needs to happen in spaces in, or connected vitally to, those communities.
While those conversations have been hard to get started, there are people who have started them and are doing amazing work at keeping the conversations going — the National Black Justice Coalition, the Zuna Institute, and the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition to name a few. I feel collaboration with these preexisting organizations is the best path to both offering a platform for them to expand their message and outreach, and for other organizations to have their messages heard in the community.

Little Rock Black Pride: What's the 411??

Apparently the ebbing and flowing of Little Rock Black Pride continues to evolve despite some questionable and unresolved business practices. In case you've lost count and if you have, here's a zip file update. The organization went in search of seed dollars to the tune of $4000 from local CBO CAR which fronted the cash based on negotiations from black prides S. Rogers. It seems that the premise was that LRBP was going to be doing some type of "Aids prevention or outreach" was merely smoke and mirrors. LRBP went on to produce their "pride activities" which were to be supported from a reimbursement pool of dollars from the Arkansas Department of Health's, Hep C HIV/AIDS Section. In the meantime, the entire matter ended up awry with Rogers absconding with the proceeds from the event, leaving the funding entity (CAR) high and dry. As it has unfolded, the LRBP board stated that they were unaware of Rogers acting on their behalf nor did they feel responsible for his actions. ADH took the position that they were not liable since they were acting upon a "contractual agreement" with Rogers on behalf of LRBP and were powerless otherwise in reference to his outside shady dealings. Since all this went down, there's been Facebook announcements, digital fliers and "management/ producer" folks in the mix of advertising a 2012 mash-up. What a hot mess! COP 24/7 thought it was high time that we seek comment from International Black Prides CEO, E. Fowlkes who has been involved with the genesis of "Black Pride" in Little Rock. We have outreached to him and are awaiting his take on "what's really going on" with this situation and more. Especially since there was a reported, "Arkansas Black Pride" that either is or not an actual entity.  Then there's still the issue of ADH's additional programming dollars slated for targeted messaging or activities directly focused on Black MSM. COP 24/7 is interested in the Who or What will be the vehicle to use this funding in efforts to address HIV/AIDS among this highly impacted group. Let's hope that whatever is done, that it makes some type of sense with the best penetration.  There's so many twist and turns that not even the Atlanta Housewives could bitch slap their way out of this one. Stay tuned, when it drops, we will be bringing it to you hot off the wire.... keep it locked and loaded to COP 24/7!

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