Thursday, September 26, 2013

the I don't care girl[s]!

A Queer History of the United States...So, The Social purist/moralist scored a major victory, for the short run, with the Hays Code and on Broadway, but they overlooked vaudeville. On the vaudeville stage the public still saw images of women that were ''economiclly independent, sexually free, not necessarily heterosexual,'' and who refused to conform to social standards of beauty and femininity. Performers like Eva Tanguay[1878-1947], A.K.A ''the I don't care girl'' and ''the girl who made vaudeville famous'' did not wear corsets and shampooed her hair with champagne right on stage!
    Marie Dressler was known for her fat, Irish, working-class persona. She was somewhat open about her real life Lesbian relationships and belonged to a friendship network of Women who loved Women. She was also a suffragette and a co-founder of The American Women's Association, which provided support for professional Women in New York City. Both of these Women were enormously popular on the vaudeville stage and earned more money than most of their male counterparts.
    So, the vaudeville stage was an ''oasis'' for progressive forms of creativity, but it was also dying out by the 1930's. The social purist/moralist knew that motion pictures were the wave of the future and would have a much greater impact on society. Marie Dressler[1868-1934] herself ended up in Hollywood making silent era movies and early talkies. So, the ''risque'' antics she performed on the vaudeville stage were no doubt toned down on the big screen.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

now it's hollywoods's turn part three

A Queer History of the United States... Keep in mind that that list of Hays Code precepts I listed in my last post was only a fraction of the code! It also had specific guidelines like ''pictures shall not imply that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.'' So, adultery or non marital sex could never be shown as being normal, neutral or positive. One might think that that covered Gays and Lesbians, since they could not be married but it did not because Gay and Lesbian love and sex fell under the category of  ''perversion'' which had it's own precept. They had all the bases covered!
    The Hays Code was formally adopted by the movie industry in March of 1930. In July of 1934 all films had to have a certificate confirming that they met code standards before they could be released. So, all Hollywood films made From about the mid 1930's were heavily censored and therefore a false image of reality. The industry did not begin to challenge the code until the mid 1950's. You will find no mention of LGBT's in any film made during that time or any other ''taboo'' subject. However, I suspect that writers, directors and producers did find creative and clever ways to get things in.
    In part two of this posting I said that the Hays Code was a kind of self regulation that was instigated by the clergy, but it did have some government ''precursors'' as well. Thirty-seven states had introduced movie censorship bills in 1921. These states had been encouraged by a 1915 Supreme Court case : Mutual Film Corporation vs. Industrial Commission of Ohio that concluded that free speech did not apply to motion pictures.

Monday, September 23, 2013

now it's hollywood's turn part two

A Queer History of the united states... So, by the 1920's it was clear to everyone that motion pictures were here to stay and would have a huge impact on popular culture and society in general. Like I said in part on of Now it's Hollywood's Turn LGBT's had rarely been seen in Hollywood films and the social purity/ moralist wanted to keep it that way! They basically gave the budding movie industry an ultimatum, either censor yourself or we'll get the government do it! these were the same Catholic and Protestant layman and clergy that strong armed the the New York state and city governments to regulate the Broadway stage.
   They gave William Hayes, the head of the movie industries trade association, with a list of ''subjects and themes to avoid.'' The list was huge, very restrictive and came to be known as the Hays Code. It was enforced from 1930 to 1968, Here are a few of it's precepts :
    1.Miscegenation[relationships between the white and Black races]
    2.White slavery
    3.Any inference of sex perversion[this is were they got LGBT's]
    4.Sex hygiene/venereal diseases
    5. Ridicule of clergy[how convenient!]
    6.Profanity[ which included God, Lord, Jesus Christ!, etc.]
    7.Illegal traffic of drugs
    To quote directly from A Queer History of the United States,''The censorship process would occur during film production, ensuring that there was little chance of questionable material even being filmed.''
I personally don't agree with any form of censorship, but I am a fan of old movies from ''the code'' era. They have a ''wholesome'' quality that I must admit I like and I know it's because of the Hays Code. I often wonder what movies from that era would have been like if the Hays Code had not existed.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

now, it's hollywood's turn!

A Queer History of the united States... So, now that the Broadway stage was legally suppressed it was time to head West to Hollywood. Although Gays and Lesbians were basically unseen, Hollywood films in the 1920's were known for their sexual tolerance. This was largely due to Hollywood's connections to the Broadway stage, vaudeville and burlesque. Many Hollywood actors, designers, producers, etc. came from those arenas. Also, Los Angeles, like San Francisco, had a liberal/leftist energy.
     One famous scene in an early ''talkie'' was Marlene Dietrich's singing scene in Morocco[1930] where she's dressed like a man. Dietrich was also known in Hollywood circles for her affairs with both men and Women. There were also ''open secrets'' and public rumors about the sexuality of other Hollywood Silent stars like Pola Negri, Ramon Novarro and director George Cukor to name a few. One silent star that the press did come for was Rudolph Valentino.  A 1926 Chicago Tribune editorial about a powder machine in a public men's had this to say :
    A powder vending machine! In a men's room! Homo Americanus! Why didn't someone quietly drown Rudolph Guglielmo, alias Valentino, years ago?...
    Do women like the type of  ''man'' who pats pink powder on his face in a public washroom and arranges his coiffure in a public elevator? Do women at heart belong to the Wilsonian era of  ''I Didn't raise my Boy to be a Soldier''? What has become of the old ''caveman'' line?
    This editorial not only slams Valentino but it questions Hollywood[ and American] values and it connects masculinity to politics and sexism! Does the ''pink powder'' reference refer to the Bolshevik and Marxist ''pinkos''? And when I think of the ''caveman line'' the image of a caveman dragging a cave women by the hair comes to mind. From the standpoint of a writer I must say that this editorial is well written and quite clever, though. It's provocative and makes a lot of statements.

Friday, September 20, 2013

maud allan part two

Maud Allan was the straw that broke the camel's back! After the media smear campaign of Allan's trial made her look like a ''pathological type'' the social purist went into high gear. An organization called The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice began heavy lobbying of the New York state legislator to clean-up the Broadway stage and they focused on Homosexual themes and characters. They had close connections with the district attorney who had New York City police raid some theaters and issue warrants for the arrest of actors and producers. Then, they passed a law that banned shows ''depicting or dealing with the subject of sex degeneracy or sex perversion.'' To top that off, they passed the Wales Padlock law which authorised police to close any theater for a year who's owner was convicted of running a ''degenerate'' or ''perverted'' show. The law was not repealed until 1967, although it had been rarely enforced.
    The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice had powerful support from organized religion and in Albany. The governor, district attorney, the mayor of New York City and the chief of police all had close ties to Roman Catholic and Protestant clergyman. A direct quote from A Queer History of the United States reads ''the New York Morning Telegram reported that 'one thousand Protestant clergyman of the great New York Federation of Churches yesterday passed a resolution to back up the District Attorney in his drive against objectionable plays.' ''
    Another direct quote from A Queer History of the United States says ''while relatively few plays were closed or producers prosecuted, The Society for the Suppression of Vice had a chilling effect in preventing Homosexual images or themes from reaching the stage.'' I normally don't use direct quotes from the book but how could I have said it better than that?
    One point I would like to add is that going through New York City and state authorities was clever because all important shows open on Broadway before they tour the country. So, if they could suppress Broadway, the source, they could suppress the whole country!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

maud allen

 Okay, back to A Queer History of the United States. In the first two decades of the twentieth century the public was well aware of the overt gender bending and homosexual themes on the Broadway stage. In 1908  Maud Allen, born Beulah Maude Durrant in Toronto, Canada on August 27, 1873, made international headlines with her nearly naked and erotic performance as the star of Oscar Wilde's play Salome. The American press was especially skeptical of her work. The New York Times had this to say in a 1908 editorial : ''at the present rate[of Allen's popularity in Europe] it is probable that Salome dances will invade the fashionable drawing rooms of New York...unless a halt is called.'' Just like Julian Eltinge's performances, men and Women saw Allen's dancing very differently. Men wanted her dancing censored while Women saw an image of freedom in her performances.
    In 1918 Allen was making international headlines again when she filed a libel suit against Conservative British politician Noel Pemberton-Billing. Pemberton-Billing[I love that name] wrote an article called The Cult of the Clitoris where he asserted that Lesbian spies were hurting England's war effort. He said ''in Lesbian ecstasy the most sacred secrets of the state were betrayed.'' He also charged that Allen's performance in Salome, which was by now banned in England, was connected to '' the systematic seduction of your British soldiers by the German Urnings.'' Allen was accused of practicing many of the sexually charged images depicted in the play including necrophilia. She lost the case when Pemberton-Billing called her a ''pervert'' in court and linked her romantically with the wife of the former prime minister, Margot Asquith, who was known to have had sexual relationships with other Women. The trial was scandalous and juicy as Allen's name was dragged through the mud and back again! The U.S. press, not only ate it up but agreed with the verdict. From the 1920's on Allen lived with her lover and secretary Verna Aldrich and taught dance. She died on October 7, 1956 at age 83 in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

apple pie tandoori style

Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with writing, Gay history or my journey to write, publish and promote my books. It can be said that it has historical importance though and I was so excited and happy that I had to blog about it. Yesterday I found out that our newly crowned Miss American is an Indian-American women named Nina Daviluri. It was the best news I had heard all day and when I saw her picture I was not surprised that she is drop dead gorgeous!
    I watched the Bollywood fusion dance she did for the talent competition on YouTube and it was great! I loved it! She is the first Indian-American Miss America and I am thrilled for her! Congratulations to Miss Duviluri!
    I remember back in 1983 when Vanessa Williams was crowned the first African-American Miss America. That was exciting to me, too. But it was even more exciting to see her rebound in the 1990's from the nude photo scandal that forced her to renounce her crown. Everyone thought that that was the end of her but she, apparently, new better! There have been a few other African-American Miss Americas since Vanessa, including the first runner-up who replaced her, but other races are still untitled. I'm not saying that Miss America is about race but it wasn't until the late 1950's that non-white women could even enter the contest! And America is, and always has been, a melting pot of all kinds of people and cultures and Miss America should reflect that array.
    Of course there are people who don't see it that way. Miss Duviluri has already had a lot of nasty things said about her on twitter and other social media but that is to be expected and I'm sure Miss Daviluri knows that. Those people are to be payed no mind! The boat needs to be rocked every once in awhile.
     From what I understand, this year there was a tattooed contestant, a disabled contestant and the first runner-up was Asian-American! I wouldn't have minded seeing one of them win either. And if they really want to rock the boat crown an open Lesbian or, better yet, a transgendered contestant!
    Anyhow America, your ''apple pie'' will be served tandoori style for the next year! So, like my girl Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul's Drag race said: get a grip, get a life and get over it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

elysium: a reveiw

Yesterday I went to the movies with a friend to see Elysium. It stars Matt Damon and Jodie foster. I loved this movie and intend to see it again! It takes place in the year 2154. The Earth is over populated and ridiculously polluted. So much so that the elite have moved to an artificial habitat that hovers over the Earth in space and is lush, clean and beautiful. Of course the ''illegal'' masses on Earth are always trying to get there but there space crafts are always shot down and, the movie didn't say this but common sense tells me, their leadership is probably infiltrated by the elite.
    So, Matt Damon, an Earth bound illegal who is fresh out of prison and on parole, has an accident at his job where the illegals build the robotic police that keep them controlled and subdued on Earth. He is given five days to live. He hooks into the illegal's resistance movement and reaches the elite's artificial habitat, which is called Elysium, and shakes things up a bit.
    Jodie Foster is a bigwig on Elysium who works to keep the illegals on Earth in their place and off Elysium. Foster looked amazing in her business couture and played the heartless female administrator perfectly. Damon, by the way, looked hot and sexy like an ex-con fresh out of prison who had nothing better to do all day but workout!
    Elysium is about the eternal struggle between the haves and the have nots. It can also be described as the struggle between consciousness and cluelessness, if one reads deeper into it. I personally do not see this movie as pure entertainment or ''science fiction'', but as a very possible scenario if the masses do not wake-up. We all know that there is an elite class. We all know that the Earth is already over populated, dangerously polluted and that technology is advancing at lighting speed. With all we have now, off Earth habitats and robotic police could easily become science fact! My only problem with the movie is that I think it was set too far into the future!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

''staged'' sexology

A Queer History of the United states, continued. So, sexology was having an impact on public discourse about sex and sexuality and it's ideas had reached popular culture largely by way of the stage. Mae West had a play in 1927 called The Drag in which two characters are openly discussing the ideas of Karl Ulrichs, who coined the word ''Urning'' or ''Uranian'' to describe same-sex desire, in the opening scene! Then, later in the play, it relates or connects Ulrichs' ideas to medical science. It sounds to me like West had a pro Gay agenda and/or knew that a hot topic would sell tickets.
    Drama critics were freely and regularly referencing sexologist by name in their reviews. In a 1928 review of Mae west's play Pleasure man critic Robert Benchley wrote: ''The cast includes cases 1 through 28 in  Volume two of Havelock Ellis.'' Havelock Ellis was a famous sexologist who wrote the first objective book on Homosexuality, called Sexual Inversion[1897], that did not characterize homosexuality as a disease, immoral or a crime. One interesting fact about ellis's life is that he was married to an out Lesbian named Edith lees.
    Broadway musicals were also filled with hidden references to sexology. The 1939 musical Stars in Your Eyes had a song called A Lady needs a Change. Ethel Merman sang it and here is one of it's verses:
       When Mr. Havelock Ellis tries to tell us
       Why were so complex
       I say "Mr. Ellis, what the hell is
       Scientific sex?''
    Keep in mind that by 1939 the Hays code, which heavily censored Hollywood movies, was well in force. Screen writers were able to find creative ways to get around it, though. Merman's song is but one example.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

where were the bull dykes?

Continuing from yesterday... So, the male pansy/effeminate male was a regular feature in turn of the century entertainment but where was the butch lesbian with her short hair and masculine clothes? Well, except for a few cameo appearances here and there, she was pretty much absent from popular culture, but why? Well, in A Queer History... Bronski suggest that that was because she was associated with progressive causes like suffrage and was therefore associated with subversion. The pansy, on the other hand, was rarely connected to any progressive political movement or figures. Also, the ''butch'' was less familiar while the pansy had been around since the middle ages. I feel that the pansy, with his limp wrist, feminine gate and fluttering eyelashes is simply ''funnier'' and easier to parody.
    Another theory, that is not suggested in the book but that I would like to suggest, is that parodying masculinity is not perceived as ''funny'' but parodying femininity is because womanhood is seen as less respectable and desirable and therefore something to belittle. So, the pop culture pansy was not just about lampooning the effeminate male but femininity itself!  Now, this not to say that men in drag are making fun of Women because it's actually more of a homage to them, and that's why most heterosexual men don't understand and or are uncomfortable with men in drag. Julian Eltinge, who I discuss in my September 5th and 6th post, had an overwhelmingly female fan base/audience while most men hated him.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

eddie cantor, friend or foe?

Okay, today I'm getting back to my Study of A Queer History of the United States. I left off talking about Julian Eltinge and his career as a female impersonator. But if someone could build a career impersonating the opposite sex what about another race? Eddie Cantor was famous during the same time period for his blackface impersonations of African-Americans. He had a ''pansy-like Negro'' character he was well known for that was ''slight and effeminate and wore white rimmed glasses with a mincing step.'' Most African-Americans would take instant offence at such a character but I ask myself the question ''Whats the difference between impersonating a women and impersonating anybody else?'' And why did Cantor choose to make this character a pansy-like Negro who was slight and effeminate? I think any kind of impersonation amounts to caricature in the end, no matter how ''real'' the impersonator tries to be. And the truth is that there are some African-American Gay men who are pansy-like and slight and effeminate. Cantor may be judged as a racist today, and for all I know maybe he was, but one can also look at his character as having given visibility to an otherwise invisible minority within a minority, whether he intended to or not!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

hidden in plain site

I talked to a friend today and she brought up an interesting subject : hidden in plain site. This is the whole story. A few months ago this same friend told me about an interview she heard on some radio show where a writer was talking about how he had written a book but it wasn't selling. Then, he decided to post the entire book on the Internet and it started to sell! I listened to what she was saying but I didn't except it or reject it at that time. I just ''filed'' it, so to speak, in my memory and didn't think anymore of it.
    Today I talked to her again and we started talking about how the FDA post/list on their web site all the poisons, toxins and junk that go into our food and medications. The CDC also post/list on their web site all the toxins and poisons that go into vaccines and what the effects are. It's all there, as plain as day, for anybody to read and print! The idea is called hidden in plain site and it's a kind of natural law. If you hide something in plain site it actually increases the energy of what your hiding! And the proof is in the pudding since people are eating as much, if not more, toxic junk food, taking more pharmaceuticals and getting more vaccinations than ever. They even list the potential ''side-effect'' of these pharmaceuticals on their TV commercials, some of which are worse than the condition one would take the drug for in the first place, and the masses still flock to their doctor to get them!
    The conversation took me through my memory files and I mentioned that writer she told me about a few months ago who posted his entire book on the web and increased the sales. That was hidden in plain site, too. Hidden in plain site can be used for benevolence, malevolence or neutrality. I've decided that I'm going to post my entire novel Rainbow Plantation Blues on the web.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

personal interest and books I like

Today I'm suspending my A Queer History of the United States studies. I'll get back to it on Monday. I'm going to post some things I need for my Facebook fan page and then forward them to my friend/IT consultant. I need to compile a list of personal interest and books that I like. So, here I go!
 Personal interest                        
 1. metaphysics                                  
 2. spirituality                                          
 3. history                                            
 4. spoken word performance art              
 5. poetry slams                                  
 6. adult movies                                      
 7. old Hollywood movies                    
 8. drawing and sketching                    
 9. roller coasters                                      
 10. 80's music                                        
 11. club dance music/club dancing
 12. homeopathy
 13. medieval music
 1. Barnabas and Company : The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shad
 2. Rainbow Plantation Blues[of course]
 3. Before Stonewall : Activist for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context
 4. The Complete Poems of Langston Hughes
 5. The Holly Bible
 6. Creative Visualization : Use the Power of your Imagination to Create what you want in your Life
 7. Grayson Hall : A Hard Act to Follow
     The personal interest are pretty much complete.  Biking, reading and writing and drag shows are already on Facebook. The books will definitely be added to later.

Friday, September 6, 2013

william julian dalton A.K.A julian eltinge part two

My post yesterday on Julian Eltinge fascinated me so much that I had to find out more about him, so I did more research and this is what I found out. Eltinge had spent a decade working the vaudeville stages before making it big in the legitimate theater in 1911 with his hugely successful play The Fascinating Widow. He played both the male and female lead roles. His audiences loved his transformations from male to female and back again. From then on, all of his roles in the theater and in his Hollywood films were written to show case his talent to transform himself. His shows broke box office records everywhere he played. They were considered family friendly and people brought their children to see him perform!
    He became so famous and popular that he launched his own Cosmopolitan style magazine called Julian Eltinge Magazine in which he personally wrote articles giving women make-up, diet, exercise and fashion tips. He also had his own Julian Eltinge cosmetics company.
    Of course everybody was not a fan. Most men ridiculed him and made him the butt of some very nasty jokes. He received death threats and, at times, had body guards. The social purity movement was working hard to change public opinion on cross dressing from one of fascination to one of perversion and they intended to use the law to legislate their views, which they did by the 1930's.
 Julian created an ultra masculine image off stage to combat some of his negative attention. He staged bar fights, gambled in public, had public affairs with women and started his own line of Julian Eltinge cigars.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

william julian dalton A.K.A julian eltinge

 Before Tyler Perry's Madea, before Rupaul, before Boy George, before Divine, before Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie and before Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon's Josephine and Daphne in Some Like It Hot there was Julian Eltinge. You've never heard of Julian Eltinge? Well, neither had I until my study of A Queer History of the United States. Let me share what I've found out!
    He was born William Julian Dalton in 1881 outside of Boston and began performing as a female impersonator at the age of fifteen. By the age of twenty-three he was performing on Broadway in musical comedies. Most other female impersonators of his day did it for comic relief, but Eltinge wore beautiful, fashionable clothes and personified an elegant feminine ideal. He performed all over the U.S. and across the pond in Europe to packed houses. He became so famous that in 1912 a playhouse was build in New York City and named the Eltinge 42nd st theater. Eltinge's genius was his ability to show, or rather prove, that social ideas about gender are not cut in stone but are culturally created, which I'm sure disgusted the social purist!
    Eltinge's personal life is little known but it is generally agreed on that he was Homosexual, even though off-stage he was[at least publicly] a rather macho man. He got into bar-fights, smoked cigars and had public affairs with women, although he never married. Despite all that speculation about his sexuality persisted. Whether he was Gay or not in his personal life he did complicate societies black and white notions about gender and sexuality. The social purity movement pressured the government to crackdown on public cross dressing, especially on stage and in films, and Eltinge's career and popularity began to decline by the 1930's. He died on march 7, 1941 at age 59.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the ''low other''

It's time for me to get back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. So, we're still at the turn of the century and we're going to talk some more about turn of the century entertainments. Burlesque, vaudeville, theater and moving pictures, given their various levels of development, were all very popular around the turn of the century. Burlesque was known for it's parody of social  and gender norms but they all had a reputation for disrupting or ''confusing'' mainstream ideas about gender, morality, sexuality and sexual behavior and, I'm sure, race and ethnicity, too.
    The term ''low other '' has been coined by cultural theorists as those who have been quote ''reviled by and excluded from the dominate social order as debased, dirty, and unworthy, but... is simultaneously the object of desire and/or fascination.'' I completely agree with this quote and I would add that it proves that it is possible to '' ...have it both ways.''
    I've come to realize that mass ''entertainment '' is really much more than just entertainment. It is a powerful tool to mold, shape and control society and the masses into thinking, doing and feeling whatever one wants them to. The question then becomes who or what force[s] decide what society will think, do and feel next? Could it be that social and societal phenomenon start from the top down and not the bottom up?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

come hell or high water!

Yesterday I had my third meeting with my friend/IT consultant. It went well but our time was cut short because the place we were at closed early because it was labor day. So, we cut and pasted the bio[s] that I just drafted on this blog to my facebook fan page bio. I guess they weren't drafts though because we didn't change a word. We also started to do the favorite books and personal interest sections, but I needed to think more about what to put on them so their not finished yet.
    We also did something I didn't expect. We set-up an advertising account with facebook. This is something they offer to advertise your page. As of this post my fan page has 23 likes, but with advertising I could draw hundreds or even thousands of people to my fan page! That could mean more book sales and/or awareness of my work. I'm determined to spread awareness of Rainbow Plantation Blues if it's the last thing I do! I'm also determined to be a famous author/blogger come hell or high water! Turning back is not an option! Now I only  have to come up with the money to pay for my ad. I have an idea of where I might get it though.
    I finally started work on the sequel again after a two month hiadus on September first. Why did I take a hiadus you ask? well, Because some times I'm a lazy cow! Anyhow, I picked up right where I left off like I never stopped, and I have five more pages written! Writing this sequel is kicking me in the rear-end but I've got to finish it! I want to finish it! I need to finish it!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

my bio draft part two

By 2002 I had been an activist for about five years but the constant uphill battles, in-fighting and cut throat atmosphere was starting to get to me. Although It had given me annual trips to New York City and some great friends, there was no real art in it. I started to see that I needed to express my self creatively. I continued to be an activist for several more years but my enthusiasm began to break down. By 2002 I had also hit rock bottom health wise and had to slow down and face myself. In 2003 I decided to take one more stab at music and performing but by the end of that year it was clear that that was not in the cards for me. 2004 began with me in a deep depression. What on Earth was I going to do with my life?
    One night I was watching a movie. One of the characters was a crooked cop who was also an aspiring novelist. It made me remember an idea for a novel I had had back in 2000. I remembered I had written the first page but got discouraged and tossed it in a drawer to gather dust. When the movie ended I went to that drawer to see if it was still there and there it was, right where I left it! I decided I would work to finish and publish the novel and over the next four years I did just that.
    I named the novel Rainbow Plantation Blues. It's about a Slaveholder in 1850 South Carolina who falls in love with one of his male slaves. I thought LGBT love and relationships in the antebellum South was a unique and timely topic and would generate a lot of interest. It also seemed to satisfy my love of history, my need for artistic expression and political activism and my talent for writing.
    My health is now better than ever and I have a national audience for my work. Rainbow Plantation Blues has been well received and continues find a readership, despite my over three year break in promotions. Today I am focused on finishing the sequel, self-promotions and blogging.

Friday, August 30, 2013

my bio draft part one

Today I have to draft a bio for my Facebook fan page and my Amazon Author Central account. So, here I

 I was born in Cleveland, OH in the tumultuous year of 1968. I was raised in Cleveland and Geneva, OH. Upon graduating from Geneva High School in 1987 I moved to Hollywood, CA with the hope of succeeding as a singer. After less than a year of living there I moved back to Ohio, but continued to write and record songs, perform, take voice lessons and send out demos for many years in Cleveland.
    By the late 1990's I found myself drifting away from music and moving into political activism. I had always liked to read non-fiction and throughout my pursuit of music I was reading a lot of biographies, history[mostly African-American, LGBT, Women's and labor history] and politics. But I thought my studies were just a side interest . Slowly, I began to feel that the last thing the world needed was another pop star and that political activism might be a better service to humanity. So, I got involved with some local LGBT political groups and began to network and organize. A lot of my political work involved writing letters to the editor, speeches and articles. All of my letters, speeches and articles were well received and this is when I first realized that I might have a talent for writing. I had also begun to recall peoples' casual compliments on my song lyrics. I thought my lyrics had always been secondary to my singing, dancing and acting but as I looked back I saw that it might have been the other way around all along.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

london river : a review

I know I need to get back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. I also need to write a bio for my facebook fan page, which I intend to write on this blog. But today I'm going to write a review of a  great movie I saw last night called London River. It takes place in the aftermath of the London 7/7 bus bombing back in 2005. A British women who lives on the island of Guernsey and a West African man who lives in France have children that live in London and they are concerned for there safety. They both come to London to try and find them but to no avail. They end up meeting each other and having to work together to find their children. The problem is that they come from completely different cultural  backgrounds and they have to overcome their differences to achieve their objective.
    The actress who plays the women is Brenda Blethyn and the West African man is Sotigui Kouyate. All I can say about them both is that I now have two new names added to my list of favorite actors, and I will be on the look out for more of their work. Blethyn had a look and style similar to my other favorite British actress Patricia Routledge of Keeping Up Appearances and Heddy Wainthropp Investigates Fame but with something uniquely her own that I cannot put into words. Kouyate was unlike anyone I've ever seen before. Both of these actors are clearly seasoned professionals and at the top of their game.
    The story was well written and required actors who could portray ordinary, everyday, working class parents with a genuine concern for their children. The casting director knew exactly what they doing when they cast Blethyn and Kouyate. Another thing I loved about the film was the setting. It took place in a working class, mostly Muslin neighborhood of London. An armchair traveler, like myself, really got to see the London that you just don't see on most travel shows. I also felt like the neighborhood with it's store fronts, traffic and bustle was a character of it's own that added perfectly to the sober mood and look of the film. Do I recommend that you see this movie? Take a Guess!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

''tap dat ass'' kinds of stuff!

I found out some disturbing news about that book trailer my ex-coworker, he has sense left the job, and I made and posted on YouTube back in early July. It turns out that it has no description and no link to more information about me and my work. It's also on his account, which I knew, but apparently he's got a bunch of videos posted that, shall I say, don't fit my image as an author. My friend and IT consultant discovered all this in researching my name on YouTube. I guess I'm not all that familiar with how YouTube works but I thought he would be since he has a YouTube account. She also suggested that the video itself be redone. She said she can redo it and have it flagged to be taken down or off his account. I'm not exactly sure how all this works and that's why I hire people to do IT work for me. She said it only has fourteen views and we concluded that that was probably a good thing. She said that his other videos are all raunchy ''tap dat ass'' kinds of  stuff! I can't be associated with that!
    In other news, listen to me trying to sound like a anchorman, I got an e-mail reply from Clevester about my ''issues'' with the summer issue of Rainbow Lit magazine. If your reading this for the first time you can go back to my August 14, 2013 shit happens...! post to catch-up on what I'm talking about. Anyhow, he said that he deliberately changed the title of the article to coincide with summer and to let him know the page numbers where the typos are so he can re-read it. I have talked to him on the phone since that e-mail but we didn't talk about the magazine. I didn't bring it up and neither did he. I may or may not even bring it up again. I'm still going to send Clevester articles for the magazine regardless, but I'm also going to post them on Facebook fan page, too!

Monday, August 26, 2013

a wolf in sheep's clothing

Yesterday I had another meeting with my friend/IT consultant. We took some pictures of me and set up my facebook fan page. We still have a lot to do but at least the ball is finally rolling. My facebook profile I set up back in 09 was still there just as I left it. The last time I was on it was April 2011. To be perfectly honest, I'm not thrilled about social networking sites but they are good for self promotions. I think there something of a wolf in sheep's clothing but that's another subject.
    So, I'm going to meet with her again next Sunday and we'll continue getting my profile/page together. I want to link this blog to it somehow and get my book cover next to my photo. I also want to take more pictures. Getting good pictures is not as easy as it seems, at least not for me. I don't know if it's because I'm not photogenic or because I'm just picky but I always seem to take scores of them before I find one or two that I like. I would also like to post chapter one and eventually make some videos. We also talked about linking my Amazon Author Central account, which we still have to set-up, and links to places were people can order the book.
    I road my bike to meet my friend yesterday. It was twenty- four miles there and back. I love long distance biking. For some bikers twenty-four miles is nothing! For most people in general biking Twenty-four miles is amazing. It took me an hour and ten minutes each way. I say that's pretty good!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

thoughts on yesterday's post

Last night I thought a lot about yesterday's post and decided that since nobody else is commenting on my postings I'll do that myself, too! Anyhow, years ago a friend and I had a long discussion about pre-civil rights America and what it must have or might have been like. He was African-American and Gay like myself so we talked about it from those perspectives. First, I want to say that I was born in 1968, one month before Martin Luther King's assassination and my friend was born in 1970. So, we both are of the first generation of Americans to live in a desegregated society. I was born one year before the Stonewall riots and he one year after. Both the civil rights movement and the Stonewall riots would have profound effects on both of our lives. We don't know whats it's like to be denied a hotel room because of our skin color or to have to worry about a Gay bar being raided by the police.
    With all the injustices that were going on in America before my life began I still wonder how people coped and adjusted to it all. First, we concluded that Black and Gay people didn't know any thing else but oppression. Oppression was the norm to many of them. There's an old saying that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, and I think there's truth to that. I've talked to African-Americans who remember segregation and some of them have said that desegregation brought a whole new set of problems, like covert racism instead of overt racism. They've said that back then you at least knew who your enemy was! As far as LGBT's are concerned I'm sure that there were, and still are, people who liked or like living and lurking in the shadows and the underground of society. The ''forbidden fruit'' is always the sweetest for some people.
    My friend and I basically concluded that if we had lived in that America we probably would have made it work somehow. A lot of people did and lived to tell about it! We also concluded that there had to have been a lot of White people and straights who knew that segregation was wrong and that the government had no business in the bedrooms of consenting adults. When one studies history one has to read between the lines and consider human nature and common sense.

Friday, August 23, 2013

turning water into wine

So, what effect did all this gender segregation in housing, racial segregation in public facilities and sexual regulation in private bedrooms have on American Society at large ? Well, for one thing it forced African-Americans and LGBT's into their own neighborhoods. Greenwich Village and Harlem flourished with very distinct cultures of their own. When people are marginalized, stigmatized and criminalized it forces them to have to work together and rely on their own to turn water into wine, so to speak. African-American and LGBT cultural expression, instead of being snuffed out, was nourished, cultivated and fine tuned.
    African-American LGBT's during the Harlem renaissance, and some white LGBT's, were basically excepted in Harlem. People of color were much more excepted in Greenwich Village than in other parts of NYC. African-American Culture in Harlem was so appealing that uptown whites flocked there to see shows, cabarets and hear jazz in it's famous clubs. One famous Harlem performer of the 1930's was Gladys Bentley who performed in men's clothing. There was also an infamous drag queen from Chicago named Gloria Swanson who opened up her own Harlem nightclub, which was very popular.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

YMCA aka why i'm so gay!

I forgot to say that I've started chapter six of A Queer history of the United States. Just to be clear, It started with the last two post. Now, aside from residing in boarding or rooming houses, residential hotels and flop houses young people had the option of the YMCA[young men's christian association], the YWCA or a settlement house. The ''Y's'' were/are Christian organizations that provided inexpensive housing, food, exercise programs and even job placement and counseling services for young people new to a city. But they promoted racial and gender segregation along with Christian moralizing.
    Another housing option for youth in the big city was settlement houses. They were more of a ''collective'' housing option for lower to middle class young people. They offered housing, meals, exercise, adult and children's education and cultural programs with no particular religious strings. Some of them provided space for political organizing, especially labor groups.
    I don't know what settlement houses did in terms of racial and gender segregation but they were more independent than the Y's, so their polices probably varied from city to city and region to region. They were most often run by Women with life long female companions. It is not known for sure if these settlement women, as I call them, were sexually involved or not but from the tone of their letters and the strength of their relationships it is highly possible that they were.
    The Y's were connected into the social purity movement. In their crusade to regulate sex, sexuality and morality, they had strict homosocial accommodations and That backfired on them in the short run and the long run! Nude swimming and calisthenics and sometimes two to three guys per bed was the norm at the Y. By the 1920's and 30's the Y was a well known cruising and social venue for Homosexual men. A running joke at the time was that YMCA meant ''why I'm so Gay!'' I think that thatVillage People song YMCA is really homage to the Y's Gay legacy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We are family

So, where was I? Oh yes, I established that young people were coming to the cities looking for work but I did not say that that was because America was moving from an agricultural society/economy to an industrial/service economy. My last post talked about the need for and growth of public entertainments and how these entertainments often featured gender bending and ''alternative'' sexuality. But what about housing in these cities and how it effected LGBT awareness.
    Well, lets take a look at the typical family structure before the industrial revolution. First, the family was the economic center of ones life. Unmarried people of all ages lived with and were economically dependent on their biological families, even in urban settings. But the industrial revolution not only brought a new economic base to the U.S. but a new social structure. Unmarried people were beginning to live in or rather reside in their own spaces. Cheap boarding and rooming houses, flop houses and residential hotels were all over the cities, and some of them provided meals and laundry/cleaning services with the rent. I picture these places being run by headstrong, independent women who didn't take any crap and who would kick you out at the first sign of any trouble! I can also picture the young men and women living in these places as being or becoming friendly associates, or something of a makeshift family. What I am saying is that this new way of living apart, or away, from ones biological family did provide a new example of how life could be lived. Unmarried people did not have to reside with and depend on their biological family they're entire lives. To quote Mr.  Bronski's book directly, because I can't think of a better way to say it, ''nonmarried single gender groups were creating spaces and situations that concretely led to the formation of communities of people who desired their own sex.''

Monday, August 19, 2013

refuge on the stage

Okay, back to A Queer History of the United States. So, with the emerging ''concrete jungles'' all over the U.S., that people were flocking to for work, came the need for entertainments. Vaudeville shows, plays, burlesque, movie houses, etc. were popping up everywhere. These entertainments were often risque and involved gender bending and ''alternative'' sexuality. The social purity movement saw these public entertainments not only as immoral and even criminal but as breeding grounds for fantasy, imagination and possibility. Those were the real dangers!
    There is no doubt that LGBT's saw themselves in these public entertainments. They may not have been able to pinpoint themselves in the audience, on the street, in they're families or in the workplace, but in these shows they found refuge and representation.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

the language of politics part three

Yesterday I said that the social purity movement had opened Pandora's box with it's crusade to repress sex and sexuality through legislation. But they also found a way to open Pandora's ''trunk,'' too!
    With the huge influx of people moving into cities at the turn of the century looking for work, American urban culture was growing and developing. It's true that much of that culture included drinking, gambling, prostitution, drugs and violence, and the social purist did address those issues. But they were also obsessed with sex, sexuality and masturbation. What they did was publish ''moral'' and ''marriage guides.'' These booklets and books were aimed at youths and young couples to help them avoid the pitfalls of city life. The problem, what I call Pandora's trunk, was that these publications allowed people to read and think about sex, sexuality and masturbation and were not only explicit but were seen as quite erotic! They sold like hotcakes because they encouraged the very thing[s] they were suppose to be curtailing! We must also remember that the social purity movement backed the Comstock act/law that was passed in 1873 to stop ''lewd and obscene'' materials from being sent through the U.S. mail. Well, these moral and marriage ''guides'' were not considered lewd or obscene but people were reading, talking and thinking about sex, sexuality and masturbation more than ever because of them!
    These guides, for example, would go into great detail about ''what makes a women desire another women''. According to them she was ''idle, bored, lonely and under or oversexed...''! Dr. Joseph Collins MD, in his ''medical'' marriage guide entitled The Doctor Looks at Love and Life, devoted forty pages to discussing Homosexuality alone! I think these guides achieved two things. One, they unintentionally helped to further identify the existence of an oppressed or ''repressed'' class or minority and, two, they got people off!
    The social purity movement, in my opinion, is a perfect example of what happens when you try to make change outside of yourself. You have start with yourself and be the change you want to see in the world. You have to effect others with your energyor vibration without saying a word.

Friday, August 16, 2013

the politics of language part two

So, sexology may have had a stronghold on public opinion regarding Homosexuality but that stronghold was not 100%. Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman's lover, released his widely read autobiography Prison Memoir of an Anarchist in 1912. In the book he talked frankly about Homosexuality in prison and it tore sexology's ''inversion'' theory, which I talked about yesterday, to shreds!
    There were other books released around this time that talked frankly about LGBT lives without being connected to sexology, like the ''Homosexual narratives''  that I talked about yesterday were, too. Earl Lind, A.K.A Jennie June, released his Autobiography of a Androgyne in 1919 and out Lesbian Mary Casal released her autobiography The Stone Wall in 1930. In it, she predicted that ''a man's love for a man and a women's love for a women will be studied and understood as it never has been in the past.''
    Sexology's willingness to talk about Homosexuality ''scientifically'' opened up a public interest in discussions of sex education and birth control, too. It seems to me that the social purity movement opened up Pandora's box in trying to repress issues of sex and sexuality.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

the politics of language part one

Today I'm getting back to A Queer History of the United States. The last section of chapter five is called  The Politics of Language. I'm going to split it up into three parts, so here is part one.
    The anarchist and the social purist were the two opposite ends of the spectrum and they both had clear political agendas. However, the new science of sexology had a lot to say about Homosexuality, too. The difference was that it used more neutral language than the anarchist and social purist. Sexology said that Homosexuals had the mentality of the opposite sex but the wrong body. They called it an ''inversion'' or ''third sex.'' This inversion did not only include same-sex desire but also the mannerisms and appearance of the opposite sex. It contributed heavily to the stereotypes of the effeminate male and butch Lesbian Because Gays and Lesbians who did not fit these stereotypes passed as straight. Sexology's ''inversion'' theory was the basic social understanding of Gays and Lesbians for the first half of the 20th century. This idea did not help women who wanted to enter the professions or suffragettes who wanted to vote, either. They were seen as ''mannish'' because of they're non-traditional goals and because this inversion was seen as an illness or disease.
    The early sexologist also distributed Homosexual ''narratives'' much like the pre-civil war slave narratives. In then, Gays and Lesbians simply told of they're same-sex desires openly and honestly. I suspect that most used pseudonyms. I don't know if they distributed then publicly or only amongst colleagues, but these narratives did give Gays and Lesbians a concrete social identity.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

shit happens...!

I read my three part articles in Rainbow Lit and an author interview last night and I found a few typos in one of my articles and one in the interview. The title of that same article is changed, too. It was suppose to be Six hours of Spring but it reads Six Hours of Summer. I know that the typos are mistakes but I'm not sure about the title change.  If it's not a mistake it still changes the premise of the article in that I was talking about the creative and artistic benefits of springtime energy in the daily seasons. I wont go into great detail about the daily seasons here but the basic idea comes from Chinese medicine. It says that the four seasons of the year also exist in a single day. These ''daily seasons'' are energy fields that one can use to plan they're daily activities around to balance the day. I hope that ''makeshift'' explanation is clear enough.
    Anyhow, I sent Clevester an e-mail telling him of the typos and the title problem. I know it's too late to fix anything now, since the magazine is out, but I thought he should know. I also went back and looked at the spring issue and found some typos there, too. In the e-mail I offered to proof read future issues before they are published for him. Sometimes the author/publisher is too close to they're work and they need another pair of eyes to look for errors and typos they might have missed. I had several people proof read my novel before it was published. There is no point in getting upset over things like this. All you can do is recognize and rectify then so they don't happen again. Shit happens, but you carry on regardless!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

milking publicity until the end!

I finally got my summer print issue of Rainbow Lit magazine! It looks good and my three part article series looks good, too. I have not read them yet, though. I talked to Clevester, the editor and chief, over the weekend and he explained in detail what had happened to make it so late. It was basically the typical challenges that come with publishing a magazine, or publishing anything for that matter! He said he is going to give it another year and see how things go before deciding whether or not to fold. That tells me to keep writing articles until I squeeze every possible drop of self-promotion that I can out of my association with Rainbow Lit! I intend to have something in every issue whether it's an article, a short story or the short ''self-promotion'' memoir I'm working on. I have to milk all the publicity I can, while I can, out of it!
    Today I worked all morning at my day job and I have a four hour break, then I have go back tonight at eight o'clock and work until we close, so I'm going to close this post. Tomorrow I'm off and I'll continue my study of A Queer History of the United States.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

our friends the anarchist part two

Getting back to the turn of the century anarchist, I would like to point out that anarchism has been grossly misunderstood. I've studied the life of Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist, and from what I gather it's not about chaos and mayhem. It sounds more like something similar to an indigenous system based on common law principles. And many LGBT's are quick to point out that most indigenous societies/cultures were or are excepting of LGBT's.
    Anyhow, speaking of Emma Goldman, she was an especially outspoken advocate of LGBT's. Goldman lived from 1869 to 1940 and what a life she led. When Oscar Wilde was convicted of sodomy in 1895 and imprisoned she publicly spoke out against his conviction on the grounds that it was none of the states business what he did in the privacy of his bedroom.
    The anarchist movement had a profound impact on today's LGBT movement in that both it's ideas of liberation and civil rights are based in anarchist thought. The labor movement presented the idea of an oppressed ''class'' of people from many different racial, ethnic, national and cultural backgrounds coming together with one common grievance.
     I'm beginning to see a kind of ''science'' to the study of history that I've not seen before. No events are isolated or independent of others and they stretch across time and space effecting one another over the centuries.

Friday, August 9, 2013

our friends the anarchist part one

From the last few post it sounds like LGBT's had no political expression at all except for the negative speeches of some doctors and articles in medical journals. The ''energy'' of the movement may have been ''watching, waiting and learning,'' as I said in yesterday's post, but the presents of LGBT's was known and spoken for by a group I have not mentioned yet, the anarchist!
    The anarchist was another movement, like the social purist, labor, women's suffrage, people of color and free-love, who were trying to get a piece of the political pie at the turn of the century. They were the clearest and most open advocate of LGBT's at the time. They felt, and openly declared, that the state had no business in the bedrooms of consenting adults, period! This included heterosexual bedrooms, because many state sodomy laws applied to any anal and/or oral sex, and interracial bedrooms as well as LGBT bedrooms. They also openly declared that sex was not just for reproduction but for pleasure, too. They felt that any man or women could be with any other man or women for as long or short a period of time as they liked and that legal marriage was intrusive and unnecessary.
    The anarchist had a huge following at the turn of the century and, because of they're stance on Homosexuals, many in that movement were probably Gay. Today the vast majority of LGBT's support same-sex marriage but there is a silent minority within them/us that sees marriage of any kind the way that turn of the century anarchist did. More on our friends the anarchist tomorrow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

watching, waiting and learning

... A Queer History of the United States continued. So, if the medical community was analyzing LGBT's, the social purist were demonizing LGBT's and LGBT"s themselves were in the closet, understandably I might add, can we still say there was an LGBT movement going on in the late 19th century? Well, yes we can! The use of that phrase was not stolen from Obama's 2008 campaign, it just fit my point.
    Anyhow, even though most LGBT's were in the closet the groundwork for today's movement was still being laid. Other groups like labor with the 1886 Chicago Haymarket Square riots in which police killed eight protesters, the 1896 supreme court Plessy vs. Ferguson case that legalized segregation, and Women's suffrage were all showing LGBT's how it's done and that it can be done! Although Plessy... was a losing case for African-Americans it did reveal the shortcomings of using ''legal'' channels alone to fight injustice. Although lives were lost, Haymarket Square showed how violent state repression can move public opinion. And Women suffrage showed how grassroots organizing can create a groundswell of mass support.
    Today's LGBT movement is most definitely modeled after previous movements. The courts, the ''kitchen table'' and the streets have all been used, and are being used, to gain LGBT rights. So, it is fair to say that the LGBT movement existed in a dormant state in the late 19th century. If a movement can be considered a living thing, then it was standing on the sidelines watching, waiting and learning.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

the gay voice in the ''gay 90's''

Okay, back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. Now, where was I? Oh yes! In the mist of all this fighting and bickering amongst the labor, Women suffrage, free-love, African-American and social purity movements where were the LGBT's? Of course, it's true that LGBT's are represented amongst all of those groups, but where was they're specific voice since most of them were not out? Well, it appears that they/we did not have one, at least not one of our own. The people that were specifically and openly talking about LGBT's or homosexuals, in the United States, were medical professionals.  The first time the fledgling word ''Homosexual'' was used in print in the United States was in a 1892 article by Dr. James G. Kiernan. Kiernan was a well known Chicago based Neurologist. He said that Homosexuals were persons whose ''general mental state is that of the opposite sex.'' I'm not exactly sure what he meant by that but he became a kind of respected ''authority'' on Homosexuality and wrote many more articles on the subject. They often had mixed messages like ''Homosexuality is linked to crime but may not be the cause of the crime.''
    In 1893 a famous speech, or then famous speech, called Should Insane Criminals or Sex Perverts be Permitted to Procreate? was given by The Texas Medical Journal's editor Dr. E. F. Daniel and widely reprinted. In it he argued that it would be more humane to castrate sex criminals, which would have included Homosexuals since Homosexuality was a crime, than to execute them or spend tax dollars on incarcerating them. He advocated for a ''sanitary utopia'' which took social purity to another level with applied eugenics. This was the extent of the Gay voice in the ''Gay 90's.''
    The labor, free-love and African-American movements must have really found this wing of the social purity movement particularly frightening. I'm certain that they knew the vast majority, if not all, of these insane criminals and ''sex perverts'' would be conveniently found amongst them!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

so, here I go!!

I finally had my meeting with my friend who's going to do IT work for me Sunday. The meeting went very well. We were there for three hours. One thing we did was try to get me on Goggle books, but I found out I'm already on Goggle books. It just makes your book[s] show up in Goggle's search engine. From trying to get myself on they're search engine, that I'm already on, I found out that my book is only available in the U.S.
    We also looked at something called LGBT bookshop, which is a web site for LGBT books and authors to sell their books. I'm not sure how it works but we're going to check it out and see if it's something I should do. We looked at BookDaily and Goodreads, too. But what we decided we're going to focus on, for now, is creating an Amazon author central account and my Facebook fan page. Amazon author central is a ''space'' on for authors to post videos, link they're blog[s], announce events, post photos and a bio, link they're facebook and twitter accounts, etc. So, we have to take new pics of me and I have to write a bio.
    We decided we're going to meet once a week and we decided on the fee I'm going to pay her. It was a productive meeting and I'm excited about my new promotional adventures. I'm looking to do things I didn't do back in 2008/09. I want to experiment with new ideas. So, here i go!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

women, people of color and LGBT's vs. social purity

I've already pointed out how the the social purity stance on non-reproductive sex shut out LGBT's but how did they shut out women and people of color, many of whom were also LGBT? Well, let's think about it. The labor movement, which wanted fair wages and safe working conditions, etc., was in high gear. But so was the bitter South's crusade to institutionalize segregation. The labor movement wanted to empower Women. They were concerned with fairness and equality. But the social purist wanted to ''protect'' women. They were concerned with domesticity and ''womenhood.'' Most in the social purity movement saw women's  suffrage as the way to empowerment, while many  in the labor movement saw suffrage as an upper class issue. See how this gets complicated? But it does not stop there! Regarding race, the social purist were abolitionist, for the most part, but they also thought people of color, especially African-Americans, were amoral and hypersexual. Amorality and hypersexuality imply a disposition toward homosexuality, rape, etc. ''Social purity'' also meant ''racial purity'' because amalgamation, or race mixing, is a social construct.
    So, the social purist were making enemies all over the place! They're newspaper columns, letters to the editor and editorials were constantly rebutted and challenged, and often by well known activists' and thinkers like Mother Jones, Ida B.Wells and W. E. B. Du Bois.
    As an aside, I want to point out that some African-Americans, Caribbeans and Africans today see homosexuality as a product of slavery and colonization, which has an element of social purist/purity thinking.
    I personally think that the way to change society and the world is from the inside out and not the outside in. One has to change his/her self first and let his/her ''vibration'' affect others. Trying to control others will always backfire because people are motivated by whats in they're heart not by what somebody else says or a government dictates. The social purity movement, although they're intentions were good and had foundation, had it backwards.

Friday, August 2, 2013

elders, comstock and the movies

So, picking up where I left off yesterday, the social purity/pure food movement[s] may seem completely off track today but they had a lasting effect on society. Long after these movements were over stigmas about sex, sexuality and masturbation lingered on well into the 20th century. Remember Bill Clinton's Firing of Surgeon general Joycelyn Elders for merely suggesting that masturbation was perfectly normal and natural in 1994? But social purity philosophy went back to the puritans. The turn of the century social purist, like the puritans, believed that sex was for reproduction only and that any non-reproductive sex, even heterosexual oral and anal sex was sinful.
    As more of these groups formed, like The Union for Concerted Moral Effort[founded in 1891] and The American Purity Alliance[founded in 1895], they're influence in government grew. In 1874 Anthony Comstock, who founded The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in in 1873, successfully lobbied congress to illegalize the sending of obscene, lewd or lascivious materials through the mail. This was the infamous ''Comstock Act'' that would collide with the fledgling American LGBT rights movement some eighty-eight years later. Not only did this mean pornography but also birth control, sex education materials and even books on human anatomy! The social purity movement also moved to censor the arts, especially the burgeoning motion picture industry.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

social purity and corn flakes

Now it's time for me to get back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. So, I left off talking about the social purity movement.
    By the late nineteenth century society was out of control, not that it's in control today but you get my drift. With the industrial revolution people were moving into the cities, in droves, in search of work. The immigrant population swelled too, and along with all this prostitution, alcoholism, domestic violets, gambling and family abandonment increased tenfold.
    Hundreds of ''social purity'' groups sprang up to try and combat this chaos and mayhem. Groups like the Women's Christian Temperance Union formed in 1874 and the Anti Saloon League formed in 1893. They are two of the most famous of these groups. They felt that widespread male sexual desire was the basis of the countries social problems and that legislating morality was the answer. Victoria Woodhull's ''free-love'' movement and Germany's advancing Gay rights movement, influenced by Whitman and British thinkers and essayist like Oscar Wilde did not stand a chance in turn of the century America. The memberships and supporters of these social purity groups grew year after year until, by the passage of the eighteenth amendment in 1919 which illegalized alcohol, they had millions of members.
    One interesting, and little known, outgrowth of the social purity movement was the pure food movement. Some people thought that sexual desire and alcoholism stemmed from unhealthy food. So, whole lines of breads and crackers were created to control sexual desire and masturbation. The invention of the corn flake was a result of the ''pure food'' movement.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

cranking out articles and postponing meetings[again]

I've spent the whole day typing articles to send to Clevester at Rainbow Lit magazine. At one point I accidentally deleted an article when I was almost done typing it and had to retype the whole thing! I was so pissed! Don't ask me why I didn't have it saved. Anyhow, so I did retype it and sent a total of two new articles today. That's a total of four this summer. If I'm not going to write new pages to the sequel I'm going to make sure I'm doing something to promote myself and/or hone my writing skills. I also want take my mind off my neighbor and my other personal problems. I can't sit at home and watch DVDs and sulk all day!
   My meeting I was suppose to have today with my Friend to set up my Facebook, goodreads and Amazon author profiles got postponed-again! I was planning to ride my bike to meet her half way, since she lives across town, but there was rain in the weather forecast. At one point it did look like it was going to rain too but, or course, it didn't. How much can you go by weather forecast anyway? I should have just took the risk. If I got drenched then so be it. But that's another reason I made sure I got something else done today. I was determined to make today, my only day off from my day job, productive no matter what! We reschduled our meeting for this Friday. But I've found some more sites, LGBT Bookshop and Bookdaily, that I can set up profiles on, too. I have the feeling these meetings are going to be on-going.

Monday, July 29, 2013

moving, postponements and rainbow lit

Things are settling down but I'm thinking that I might have move! This situation with my neighbor is really getting to me. Maybe it's just time to go. I've been living in this house for four years now. The energy is not what it was when I moved in back in 2009. If I decide to move, I'll have to budget and save money for moving expenses and look for a place. Talk about a major disruption of my life, but I may not have any other choice. I guess I could always choose to stay where I am but I don't see thing getting any better.
    Anyhow, the meeting I had today with my friend to get these author profiles and my Facebook fan page set up was postponed until Wednesday. I'm off that day and I can go straight to her house. It'll just be a lot easier for both of us.
    I skimmed through the digital issue of Rainbow Lit magazine that Clevester sent me and it looks good! I read two of the author interviews and saw my three part article series but I haven't read them yet. It's a good thing I did a three part series because they would have been too short by themselves. I have to hand it to Clevester. Publishing a magazine would be a lot of hard work, especially if your doing everything by yourself like he is. I know he's been struggling a lot lately with it. Maybe my articles will help make his load a little lighter. I couldn't sleep last light so I wrote another article for him. I called it The Science of Success. That article makes four new articles, so I only have two more to write to make my goal of six. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure about the quality of these articles. But, then again, maybe that's just me being too harsh on myself.  Anyhow, I e-mailed him today to congratulate him on the publication of the summer issue and to give my thoughts on it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

yesterdays post didn't happen

Yesterday I was a hot mess! I couldn't get that post together to save my life! Part of the problem is that I didn't have what I was going to say outlined before I started blogging like I usually do. The other part of the problem is the fact that I've been having some personal stress and I just wasn't focused. I'm going through some stuff with my downstairs neighbor and I've been concerned about Rainbow Lit magazine. I had not received the summer issue yet and we're a month into summer! So, I e-mailed Clevester, the editor, last week to see what the hold-up was, but I didn't hear back from him. Fortunately, I did get his reply today. He said he's been having some major problems with his computer. He sent me a digital copy of the magazine and said the print copies will be out shortly. I'm glad I at least know whats going on now. I have three articles in this issue and I'm eager to see them in print. The issues with my neighbor are another story, however. I just wish he would move! That would solve everything! I guess I'm also a little sick of the seemingly haphazard and slow pace of everything. I stress the word ''seemingly'' because I know nothing is ever as it seems.
    As far as my study of A Queer History of the United States goes, I'm just going to resume it next week. I'm going to start at the beginning of chapter five as if yesterdays post didn't happen. Hopefully I'll be more focused and organized. These blog postings do take a certain degree of preparation, at least in my case.
    Monday I've scheduled an appointment with a friend of mine who does IT work to get started on my Amazon authors and Goodreads profiles. We're also going to set-up my Facebook fan page. Tonight I'm going to a drag show to have fun, let loose and forget about everything!

Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm not feeling this post!

Okay, back to my study of A Queer History of the United States. Today I start postings on chapter five, A Dangerous Purity, and it's quite a study. So, I left chapter four talking about Walt Whitman, the transcendentalists, English thinkers and they're writings on Homosexuality, the German activists' who were challenging they're government's same-sex desire laws through the court and Victoria Woodhull's ''free-love'' crusade. Now, if all this was going on in the late 19th century, the turn of the century and well into the 20th century you can bet there were counter forces at work as well.
    The counter force was the temperance and social purity movements. They did not spring up in direct opposition to Homosexuality but in direct opposition to alcoholism, prostitution, gambling and the public and domestic violence that sprang from them. They're belief that non-reproductive/marital sex was sinful clarifies they're stance on the Homosexual  and ''free-love'' issues but, like I said, curbing the latter vices was they're main focus. They saw the law as the way to social control. They were behind prohibition and the Comstock law, which forbade the sending of any lewd, obscene or lascivious material through the U.S. mail.
    I'm having a hard time articulating my thoughts on this post. I've been at this computer for two hours and this is all I've come up with! I'm going to come back to it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

life in the blogosphere[so far]

I finished Chapter four of A Queer History of the United States yesterday and tomorrow I'll begin postings on chapter five. But before I do I've decided to talk about blogging. I've been blogging consistently since February and I have to say it's been good. Sometimes it feels like going to work and I don't feel like doing it but I must maintain my consistency. Once I do it, and I'm finished, I'm always glad I didn't blow it off. I think consistency and commitment are the keys to a successful blog. I also think It takes along time to build a blog. I've only been at this for five months but people work at building they're blog for years! The blogger can do things to promote his/her blog but people also surf the web and just find it, too. If people see that your last posting was six months or a year ago they'll just say ''well this %$@#&* ain't doing nothin' with this blog'' and they wont come back. You have to stay fresh and current.
    As far as using all of my blogs' features are concerned, I've not been doing so great. I have not posted any photos or videos and I've only done one link. But to be perfectly honest it's because I don't know how to do those things! I'm sure there are features on my blog that I don't even know about, let alone how to use them! I just see my blog, and myself as a blogger, as a work in progress. I know that I will grow as a blogger and my blog will reflect that growth over time. For now my main blogging goal is to maintain consistency.
    I still don't have any new followers, there are not a lot of readers and there has been no comments on any of my postings but I feel that I have to earn followers, readers and comments. People have to feel the bloggers commitment. It's like earning trust in any other area of life, it takes time. So, I'm five months into my blogging journey and I've come too far to turn back. I'll just keep blogging for myself and the handful of people who visit my blog and think no more about it. There's always a pay-off for perseverance.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

''free-love'' for all!

Today I'm going to conclude chapter four of A Queer History of the United States. In my last post I talked about the influences that American and European writers and thinkers had on each other from they're respective sides of the pond. It appears as though the American side, with the writings of Whitman and the transcendentalist and American Utopian ideals, spearheaded the European side, mostly in Germany, to take more concrete action toward changing actual laws through the courts. But the English were playing their part, too. English thinkers such as Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds were cranking out pamphlets, essays and even whole books on the question of same-sex desire. They're work is still available today and is said to be at the foundation of the modern LGBT rights movement.
    American, English and German males were not the only ones calling for freedom to love whomever they chose for as long or short a period of time as they chose. Victoria Woodhull was leading another movement in America called the ''free-love'' movement. Her movement was not LGBT specific but Whitman had been a major influence on her. Now, don't think that Victorian era Women were jumping on Victoria's bandwagon in droves because she had a lot of male and female detractors. Nonetheless she ran for President of the United States in 1872, one-hundred years before Shirley Chisholm and one-hundred and thirty-six years before Hillary Clinton. I suspect she wanted a national platform for her crusade. The life of Victoria Woodhull is a Study of it's own but she is a vital piece to the puzzle because LGBT rights boil down to ''free-love'' anyhow. Racial equality plays a major role in this as well because miscegenation laws, laws forbidding interracial marriage, infringe on free-love, too. So, the rights of women, LGBT's and people of color are interconnected. This is not only Because freedom for one means freedom for all but because LGBT's are also Women and people of color!

Monday, July 22, 2013

working together across the pond

I talked to my friend Greg again and I was wrong when I said he was leaving for Southeast Asia on Saturday, it's today. He should be in the air typing my pages as I write this post. With that said, I'd like to get back to A Queer History of the United States. The last section of Chapter four is called Politics and Poetics and it is very insightful. I'm going to split it up into two post.
    So, when was the official start of the LGBT rights movement? As I study our history more and more I'm setting the official start back further and further, at least from my perspective. Anyhow, I'm now going to argue that it started in the mid 19th century, 1860's to be more precise. Walt Whitman was using words like ''manly attachment'' and ''adhesive'' in his writings to describe same-sex desire. His work was well known and having a big impact on the other side of the pond, I like using ''pond'' when talking about across the Atlantic in Europe. Over there activist, influenced by American style ''freedom,'' began arguing in the German courts to repeal laws that illegalized same-sex behavior. ''Homosexual,'' the new word used to describe Whitman's ''manly attachment'' and ''adhesive,'' gave a non-derogatory kind of energy to same-sex attraction. Legal, medical and cultural communities quickly began using the new word, not necessarily in a positive way but at least the ''love that dare not speak it's name'' now had a name!
    The term ''sexology'' was coined around his time also to aid in the legal reform of same-sex desire laws. It made a kind of non judgemental science of sexuality and classified different forms of sexuality scientifically. It argued that homosexuality between two consenting adults was inborn and therefore should be decriminalized.
    In the 1870's Araxes: A Call to Free the Nature of the Urning[Urning is a derivative of Uranian, which was a common word for Homosexual or ''third sex'' used in the mid/late 19th century coined around 1864]From Penal Law was published. It  was one of many pamphlet sized booklets using Magna Carta style natural rights of man language to basically say the state had no business in our bedrooms. These pamphlets were written in German but, I'm sure, were translated into English and read on this side of ''the pond,'' too.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

vegetating is not an option!

  I'm suspending my A Queer History of the United States today. I'll come back to it on Monday. My friend Greg left for Southeast Asia today. I talked to him earlier this week and he said he received the longhand photo copies of the sequel pages I sent him[ something sounds wrong with that sentence but I'm leaving it anyhow]. He said he'll get them typed on the plane. Now all I have to do is write more pages! I have not written in about a month! All I've been doing is working like a fiend at my day job, but I have been a little under the weather, too. I'm struggling with my determination to write but it's not writer's block. I just don't feel motivation. So, I've been working like crazy to stay busy and to keep myself distracted from the fact that I'm not writing. For example, I just got off as I write this post at 4:00PM and I have to be back tonight at 10:00PM and work graveyard. Then, I have to go back at 11:00AM tomorrow morning! I know that's insane but I must be productive somehow! If I'm not going to write I'm going to work and that's that! I refuse to stay at home and vegetate in front of the DVD player. Part of me feels like it's okay to be in a rut once in awhile. Maybe my creative juices need replenishing. Well, no matter whats going on, I have to get off this computer and go home, eat, rest and get ready to go back to work tonight.

Friday, July 19, 2013

classical greek and roman photography

Yesterday I talked about the explosion of war statuary after the civil war, but there was another expression of male homage that swept the country at that time as well. Photography had become more accessible and artistic by the late 1860's and a crop of prominent photographers sprang up. They were almost all male with same-sex desires. Like I said yesterday, with the end of the war came a new interest in maleness and all things masculine, especially in the physical sense. Even though the churches had effectively repressed images of  classical Greek and Roman nudity in art for centuries the times were changing and these photographers revived it through photography. 1870's art critic John Addington Symonds associated  the male nudes of Michelangelo and De Vinci with same-sex desire in his writings. And Remember there was a lot of discussion going on, in intellectual circles, at this time about same-sex desire. The very words ''Homosexual'' and the nearly forgotten today ''Uranian'' were coined during this period as well. So, within certain circles there was a level of  interest in homoerotic art/imagery. Some of these photographers photographed nude men of color to add race to the discussion.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

the second wave of American manliness

The next section of A queer History of the United States is called New Bodies for the Body Politic. I found this section to be quite interesting. Here is my take on it. After the civil war America sought to redeem itself from all the bloodshed and carnage. What I see as a ''second wave'' of American maleness emerged out of the ashes of the war. The first ''wave'' was the fabricated man, or the American cowboy, I discussed in my post entitled Progressiveness and a Fabricated Man. This was a persona invented to create a uniquely American man separate from the Englishman. So, the post civil-war American man was still rugged, masculine, virile and patriotic except now he wore a soldier's uniform and held a bayonet.
    An explosion of statues paying tribute to this new ''man'' were erected all over the country after the war. These statues not only glorified the heroic soldier[s] but the generals and politicians of the war as well. But just as the cowboy persona had/has his homoerotic undertones so does the soldier. Vulnerability and impetuousness are the other side of the coin when it comes to soldiering, which means that the potential for same-sex desires are ever present. And who doesn't like a man in uniform?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

boston marriages

The ''Boston marriage'' was a 19th century phenomenon that is little known today. The term is derived from the 1886 novel entitled ''The Bostonians'' by Henry James. A Boston marriage involved  two women who lived together like a married couple and enjoyed all the trappings of married life without the legalities. Boston marriages were long-term domestic partnerships and, unlike romantic friendships or intimate friendships which I talk about in my post entitled Bosom buddies, were an exclusively female life-style. They were most prevalent at institutions of higher learning, or Women's colleges, amongst the professors and administration.
    These women came from affluent backgrounds. If there were Boston marriages amongst poor women there is no surviving documentation to prove it. Like Charlotte Cushman, whom I discussed yesterday, these women had there own money and education which gave them autonomy from men. It also allowed them to move in male social circles of power and influence. Many in this social circle of New England intellectuals were transcendentalist, whom I discussed in my post entitled Interracial Gay Desire as a Pretext for Egalitarianism, who had a secret advocacy for Homosexuals. There is no doubt that these Eastern, intellectual, transcendentalist knew about the possibility of sexual behavior between women in Boston marriages but they were not likely to judge or condemn them and apparently the public didn't either, because these ''marriages'' were known amongst the general population, too. It is not proven that these women had sexual relationships but it is not proven they did not. The homoerotic tone in some of their letters strongly suggest that they did!

Monday, July 15, 2013

drama queen cushman

Now I will resume my A Queer History of the United States study. In looking for an example of 19th century LGBT history that is not between the lines or subtle we need look no further than Charlotte Cushman. Cushman was a very famous actress who was born in 1816 and died in 1876. Of course we can never see the acting that gave her the huge following that she had, since film had not come on the scene yet, but we can read the newspaper reviews. The newspapers not only covered Cuchman's shows but also her private life. This, along with her personal effects, is how we know she was unabashedly Lesbian.
    Cushman's life was one big drama on stage and off and she did not care who was watching. She dressed in a masculine style and had numerous affairs with women, even as she was publicly acknowledged to be with writer Matilda Hays. In 1852 Hays and Cushman moved to Rome and lived amongst a colony of artists where they both had affairs with other women. They had a bitter brake up because of they're mutual unfaithfulness but Cushman finally did settle down with a women she met there. She stayed with this women until her death, but she still had another female lover twenty-three years her junior, too!
    To paint a picture of Cushman's fame and adoration I'll use the example of her 1874 farewell performance in New York. Twenty-five thousand people gathered outside her hotel to pay tribute to her! How Cushman pulled off her public relationships and affairs with women in the 19th century, and still maintained her notoriety I don't know. But I am sure that the financial Independence she had from her work played a part in that she did not have to marry a man to sustain herself. Hers was a very unusual 19th century life story not only for Lesbians but for Women in general.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

time & history, a perspective

I'm going to interrupt my A Queer History of the United States study to point out something about time that I've unearthed over the past 2-3 years. There is a school of thought that says there is no past, present or future. It says that they all exist in the same moment and that ''time'' is cyclical and not linear and does not exist as we know it. It also says that the ''past, present and future'' are all in constant flux and are always changing. There are other layers/areas to this school of thought that talk about parallel universes and time travel, which I'm not going to get into here but they are a part of the subject.
     Anyhow, the reason I'm bring this up is because, if it is true, it changes not only the way we perceive time but also the way we perceive history. And I'm not exactly sure how. Does it mean that all history is one big lie? And how can past, present and Future all exist in the same moment? What would cyclical time ''feel'' like? One thing I'm getting from this is that if time is ''cyclical'' then that would mean it is fluid and traversal. And if it is fluid and traversal then it is changeable.
    I cannot say that I totally understand cyclical time and the simultaneity of past, present and future but I can say that it does put a new spin on history which, along with writing, is my great love. Okay, so I'm married to writing and to history. I guess that makes me a polygamist. Well, I can live with that! My conclusion regarding this new perspective, as it relates to history, is that the past is ''fluid'' but the basic story or environment is what it is, or should I say is what it was!  I think there is still a light in the window for history buffs like me but it might flicker a little differently. How differently remains to be seen.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I feel gypped ! part 2

Okay, so yesterday I left off talking about passing women fighting in the Union and Confederate armies of the U.S. civil war. Many of these passing women got killed or wounded like they're male counterparts. If they were killed and then discovered it didn't matter because they were dead anyhow, but if they were just wounded the vast majority of them deserted. They did not want they're secret discovered and had they sought treatment in an army hospital they would surely have been. I suspect that many of these wounded females ended up have slow painful deaths because of this dilemma.
    They're enlistment was relatively easy though. Many of the male recruits were mid to late teens. So, it was easy for passing females to get away with not having a beard, a deep voice or having a small build. I suspect, here I go suspecting again, that some military officials knew that some of they're recruits were passing females but they turned a blind eye because they needed soldiers. And these passing females had proven themselves worthy.
    I have one more suspicion that is not mentioned in A Queer History of the United States. It is a known fact that army brigades during the civil war were segregated. I suspect that the African-American brigades had passing African-American females in then, too! I have never heard or read this anywhere but common sense tells me that if the white brigades had passing females the African-American ones must have had them, too! This is an area of African-American history worth exploring.
    These passing women fascinated America and a book called Women of the war: Their Heroism and Self-Sacrifice was published in 1866. The book was not entirely about Passing female soldiers but it did have an entire chapter dedicated to them. Loreta Velazquez, who had passed as man in the Confederate army, published her memoirs in 1876 and some women received government pensions for they're service.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I feel gypped ! part 1

In yesterdays post I stated that females were scarce in the military during the American civil war but I should have said ''out'' women were scarce in the military during the civil war. Gays were not the only ones in the closet in the 19th century. Women were passing as men everywhere you turned, and the military was no exception. How did I miss this in my high school history class? Oh wait, I know how, because they forgot to teach it! I feel gypped!
    Anyhow, there are no records on how many females fought, dresses as men, in the American civil war but I think it's safe to assume there were thousands. They fought for the North and the South and they fought just as bravely and valiantly as they're male counterparts, maybe even more so. It is ridiculous to say that they were all Lesbian, Bi and/or Transgendered but it is equally ridiculous to say that many, were not. They're reasons for dressing like men and joining the fight, aside from the fact that only males could enlist, were as diverse as they're sexual orientations and gender identities. One reason is obvious in that women can be as patriotic as men. Some had been living and passing as men before the war broke out, so joining the fight was only the next logical and/or expected step to take. Some may have been bored and wanted some action, excitement and adventure. The one thing most of them did have in common was that they came from poor rural or urban backgrounds which ended up being a plus because it gave them the thick skin they needed to survive in a war torn, male environment. If they drank, smoked, chewed tobacco, swore and could endure sexist and misogynistic remarks that was a plus, too.
    As I write this post I'm reflecting on what this would have been like for them. Not only were they fighting in a war, which would be hell on it's own, but they had to pass as men on top of that! I have more to say on this topic tomorrow. I find it fascinating!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

a bloody bathhouse and whitman's gay torch song

So, I'm finished with my Before Stonewall after 1899 postings and now I'm going to resume my postings on A Queer History of the United States. I've still been reading it even though I postponed my postings about it and it's gotten even better! I left off at chapter four.
    When I think of the American civil war I think of Southern secession, slavery, Lincoln, The Emancipation proclamation, etc. In other words I think of everything I was taught in history class, and even in my own independent studies, until now! One thing I never considered about it on my own was the impact of starring ones own mortality in the face. What kind of physical, mental and emotional vulnerabilities is a soldier open to in a war zone or in combat? What ''could of, should of, would of's'' race through ones mind when they're own extinction is within sight? That old expression ''eat, drink and be marry for tomorrow we die'' must surely apply in a war zone and open soldiers up to exploring avenues/areas of life, like sexuality, that were unexplored before. When you add the ''homosocial'' environment that war and soldiering created back then, since females were scarce in the military and the average soldier was eighteen and ''cocksure,'' you have a recipe for a bathhouse bazaar or a gay pride celebration!
     The only records to confirm any same-sex attractions, for lack of a better word, during the civil war period come from Walt Whitman's writings. He had been a nurse on the battlefields and in army hospitals and was quite disturbed at the sight of beautiful, young male minds and they're bodies being damaged and mangled, sometimes beyond repair. His popular Leaves of Grass series of poems reflected his mood with clear homoerotic intentions. And it did not go unnoticed since he was fired from his job with the department of the interior in 1865.

Monday, July 8, 2013

i refuse to get divorced!

I mailed the ninety pages I've written, since I resumed work on my sequel back in April, to my typist today. My typist is my friend Greg who I went to visit In Wisconsin back in March. He's going to Singapore and Malaysia this month and he wanted something to occupy his time on the plane. I think he said the flight is seventeen hours or something like that. I would go insane on a flight that long! Anyhow, I suggested I send him photo copies of the pages I've written so far for him to type on the plane. Of course, I was only thinking of him. He said ''sure'',so now he gets to go on an exciting vacation and type my pages at the same time, the lucky devil! Actually, he's a pretty fast typist. It may not be enough work to pass the entire time, but if it's not it will pass some of it.
     I have dreams of traveling the world myself. For now, the best I can do is watch my Discovery Atlas DVD's, among others. Discovery Atlas is amazing because you get an intimate look into the personal lives, dreams and goals of average people who live in whatever country they're featuring. It's a kind of biographical travel series like Anthony Bourdain's No reservations is a food travel series.
     I sent Clevester at Rainbow Lit my second article today, also. Now I only have four more to send to make my goal of six this summer. That means I have to write three more and I have no idea what they will be about. All I know is that they will have to do with writing, but I'm not worried. I'll come up with something.
    I must admit that the lackluster writing output I had in June has spilled over into July. In other words, I haven't written one new page, so far, this month! How pathetic is that! But I have been blogging, sending articles to Rainbow Lit and doing other promotional work. I'm not going to deny that writing is a struggle for me, because it is! But no matter how much I struggle with my writing, book promotions, etc. I will not stop. It's my purpose, my ''something to do'' in life. It's my gay marriage and I refuse to get divorced!