LGBT

NYAGRA history: 1999

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Chelsea Goodwin NYAGRA history: 1999 NYAGRA’s first crisis was precipitated by Chelsea Goodwin and Rusty Mae Moore, who joined the working group in early 1999. I had warned Donna, Paisley and David that Chelsea’s membership of the working group would pose a significant challenge for the fledgling organization, but they would not listen to my warning. […]

LGBT

NYAGRA history part one: the founding

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On the steps of City Hall at the press conference on 29 February 2000 announcing the public launch of the campaign for Int. No. 24, the New York City transgender rights bill. Front row: Council Member Margarita Lopez, Council Member Philip Reed, Juan Figueroa (executive director of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund), […]

health care

The Working Families Party: Gay for Pay…?

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Jimmy Van Bramer, Tom Duane, Christine Quinn & Danny Dromm When the Working Families Party burst on the scene a decade ago, I was excited to see a new political party in New York that was explicitly committed to pursuing a progressive political agenda. The WFP seemed like a refreshing alternative to politics as usual, […]

LGBT

Stonewall Honors 40

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The Stonewall Honors 40 event at the Highline Ballroom on 3 December 2009… The Stonewall Honors 40 event on Thursday could hardly have been better attended: more than 500 people crowded into the Highline Ballroom to honor 40 women as part of the Stonewall Community Foundation‘s commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. I […]

arts and culture

25 things about me

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One of my favorite places on earth: Frying Pan Creek in Mt. Rainier National Park… Awhile back, a friend of mine suggested I do ’25 Things’ on Facebook, but I was a little reluctant to do that application on Facebook (too much like a chain letter), so I’m doing it my own way, here on […]

LGBT

Bill Thompson for Mayor

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Pauline Park, Bill Thompson & Bernie Tarver at the LGBT for Thompson fundraiser (October 14) There are two reasons to vote for Bill Thompson for mayor of New York in November 2009: first, because he’s been a good comptroller of the City of New York; second, because he’s not Mike Bloomberg. “Bloomberg’s legacy has been […]

LGBT

Stonewall Community Foundation honors 40, including Pauline Park

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The Stonewall Community Foundation is the largest source of funds for organizations in New York City serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT community). My own history with Stonewall goes back to 2000, when I submitted the first grant application on behalf of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), a transgender […]

arts and culture

The Met’s New Season: Warhorses to Operatic Rarities

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Renée Fleming in Rossini’s “Armida” The Metropolitan Opera’s 2009-10 season is anything if not eclectic, representing a judicious mix of old warhorses and operatic rarities. The new season will feature eight new productions – four of which are being billed as “company premieres” – and 18 revivals. Among the “tried and true” are new productions […]

New York City

Love, Death and the Final Journey of Forrest Church

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Forrest Church and Pauline Park at All Souls in December 2008 On 24 September 2009, Forrest Church departed from his earthly life, at the age of 61, after a three-year struggle with esophageal cancer. Forrest was the senior minister of All Souls Unitarian Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and he was one […]

New York City

Pagan Republicans and Other Apparent Anomalies

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Dan Halloran performing a pagan ritual; but are the other heathens registered Republican…? William James wrote of “The Varieties of Religious Experience” in 1902, long before the movement now known as ‘neo-paganism’ came into its own. While I am not aware of any survey data on the matter, I suspect that most people, if asked, would […]

LGBT

Thunder Above: a new play on queer Asian American themes

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Rey Lucas as Hector, Jon Norman Schneider as Gil and Maureen Sebastian as Theresa in “Thunder Above, Deeps Below” On Tuesday, I saw “Thunder Above, Deeps Below,” a new play by A. Rey Pamatmat (a gay Filipino American friend of mine), and it’s being staged by Second Generation, one of the leading Asian American theater […]

LGBT

Richard Aborn for Manhattan DA

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I am delighted to announce my own personal endorsement of Richard Aborn for Manhattan district attorney. Aborn is running for a position held by Robert Morgenthau since 1975, and when the legendary DA announced that he would not seek a tenth term to the most powerful prosecutor’s office in the country, the open seat immediately […]