Thursday, March 17, 2011

"The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, or lesbian."

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GAY WISDOM for Daily Living...

from White Crane a magazine exploring
Gay wisdom & culture

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1912 – BAYARD RUSTIN American civil rights activist, born (d: 1987) Largely behind the scenes in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and earlier, and one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, it was Bayard Rustin who counseled Martin Luther King, Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance. For much of his career, Rustin lived in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, in the union-funded Penn South complex, from 1978 with his partner Walter Naegle. He became an advocate on behalf of gay and Lesbian causes in the latter part of his career; however, his sexuality was the reason for attacks from within the civil rights movement as well as from many governmental and other interest groups.

A year before his death in 1987, Rustin said: "Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, or lesbian."

1928 –The French model and actress CAPUCINE was born on this date (d: 1990). A Golden Globe-nominated actress and fashion model best known for her role as Simone Clouseau in the 1963 comedy The Pink Panther. At 17, while riding in a carriage in Paris, a commercial photographer noticed her. She quickly became a successful fashion model, working for fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior. She also adopted a new moniker, Capucine (French for nasturtium). During this time, Capucine met future actress Audrey Hepburn. Both were modeling in Paris, and the two would remain friends for the rest of Capucine's life. A manic-depressive, Capucine's life had on several occasions been saved by Hepburn (both women lived at the time in Switzerland) after repeated suicide attempts. In 1949, Capucine made her film debut in the French film Rendez-vous de Juillet. On the set of Rendez-vous, she met Pierre Trabaud. The two married the following year. The marriage lasted only six months, and Capucine would never marry again.

1938 – RUDOLPH NUREYEV, Russian-born dancer and choreographer (d. 1993); Nureyev became the most famous male dancer in the West before he was 30 – and the most publicized. His influence on the world of ballet changed the perception of male dancers; in his own productions of the classics the male roles received much more choreography. Another important influence was his crossing the borders between classical ballet and modern dance by performing both. Today it is normal for dancers to receive training in both styles, but Nureyev was originator, and the practice was much criticized in his day.

That he partied everywhere and was photographed partying everywhere was as clever a manipulation of the press as Diaghelev's successful attempts to get the public to focus on Nijinsky's crotch. "We want Rudy," the fans screamed, "especially in the nudi!" It was all part of the show. So when Dave Kopay, an athlete of a different sort, casually mentioned in his best-selling autobiography that Nureyev visited Gay bars, no one particularly cared. The Celebrity Register had already printed the peculiar warning of an English friend: "I told Rudy he can be as naughty as he likes, but if he isn't more careful, they're going to find him…some morning in an alley in Soho, his lead laid open with a lorry driver's spanner." This writer actually found him at his kitchen table in the mid-70's, in the company of his attractive roommate.

When HIV-AIDS appeared in France in about 1982, Nureyev took little notice. For several years he simply denied that anything was wrong with his health: when, about 1990, he became undeniably ill, he is said to have attributed these to other ailments. He tried several experimental treatments but they did not stop his deteriorating health. Towards the end of his life, as dancing became more and more agonizing, he resigned himself to small non-dancing roles. At the urging of Fonteyn, he had a short but successful conducting career, which was cut short due to health problems.

Eventually, he had to face the reality that he was dying and he won the admiration of many of his detractors by his courage during this period. The loss of his looks pained him, but he continued to struggle through public appearances. At his last appearance, a 1992 production of La Bayadere at the Palais Garnier, Nureyev received an emotional standing ovation. The French Culture Minister, Jack Lang, presented him with France's highest cultural award, the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He died in Paris a few months later, aged 54.

1957 – Today is the birthday of gay British director RICHARD KWIETNIOWSKI. Born in London, he studied film at the university of Kent and Berkeley. His films include: Alfalfa (short, 1987), The ballad of Reading Goal (short, 1988), Flames of passion (short, 1989), Proust's favourite fantasy (short, 1991), The cost of love (short, 1991), Love and death on Long Island (1997), Owning Mahowny (2003), Regret Not Speaking (2003). His film Love and Death on Long Island was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

1969 – ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, British fashion designer, born (d: 2010); An English fashion designer, Alexander McQueen's early runway collections developed his reputation for controversy and shock tactics (earning the title "enfant terrible" and "the hooligan of English fashion"), with trousers aptly named "bumsters", and a collection entitled "Highland Rape".

It has also been claimed that he was on welfare and that he needed to change his name for his first show so that he could continue to receive benefits. Some of Alexander McQueen's accomplishments include having been one of the youngest designers to achieve the title "British Designer of the Year", which he won three times between 1996 and 2003. He was also awarded the CBE, as well as being named International Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Designer Awards. December 2000 saw a new partnership for McQueen with Gucci Group acquiring 51% of the company, and McQueen serving as Creative Director. Plans for expansion have included the opening of stores in London, Milan, and New York, and the launch of his perfumes Kingdom, and more recently My Queen. McQueen committed suicide in 2010.

1970 - On this date the film-adaptation of Mart Crowley's groundbreaking gay play, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, premiered in New York City. A new documentary, Making The Boys about the making of this play and Mart Crowley's career opens in NYC this week…at the Quad. Where else?

1972 - On this date John Waters' Pink Flamingoes was released. A star is born…DIVINE!

1976 – LUCHINO VISCONTI, Italian director, died (b. 1906); An Italiantheater and cinema director and writer, best known for films such as The Leopard (1963) he was born into a noble and wealthy family (one of the richest of northern Italy), in Milan, Visconti's father was the Duke of Grazzano. Visconti made no secret of his sexuality. His last partner was the Austrian actor Helmut Berger, who played Martin in The Damned. Berger also appeared in Visconti's Ludwig in 1972 and Conversation Piece in 1974 along with Burt Lancaster. Other lovers included Franco Zeffierelli. He died in Rome of a stroke at the age of 69. There is a museum dedicated to the director's work in Ischia.

2010 - On this date the New York Times reported that a majority of bishops and dioceses of the Episcopal Church had approved the election of the church's second openly Gay bishop, THE REV. MARY D. GLASSPOOL. Bishop Glasspool, was to be consecrated as one of two new assistant bishops, known as suffragan bishops, in Los Angeles on May 15. Both elected suffragan bishops are women — the first ever to serve in the diocese. Both were elected at a convention of the diocese in December, but according to church rules had to win the approval of a majority of the bishops and standing committees (made up of clergy and laypeople) of the church's 110 dioceses. Bishop Glasspool's confirmation was never certain. Bishop Glasspool, who has been serving in Maryland as an adviser to the bishops for nine years, said in an interview: "I feel overjoyed. I feel relieved. I'm breathing again." She and her partner, Becki Sander, a postgraduate student in social work, have been together for 22 years.

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St Patrick's Day

The story of St Patrick's driving the snakes from Ireland is probably apocryphal and it has been suggested by some scholars that it represents the Roman Catholic Church's driving out of the "Old Religion" or Wicca. As the Old Religion was largely practiced by the crones and faeries of the time, i.e. the gender variant, and strong-female, same-sex people and the "driving out of the snakes" coincides with The Burning Times" this early holocaust is remembered by modern day Radical Faeries with the approving "hissing" heard at circles and bonfires, as a method of quiet remembrance and an expression of support or approval..

An ancient Italian witch legend tells us of Diana. "In the beginning, there was a great darkness. This great darkness covered all and was all, and its name was Diana. Then Diana, through the power of her own will, divided herself into two equal but opposite forces. The two halves were called night and day. Diana ruled over the night herself in the form of the moon.

"The opposite force, her alter-ego/brother, ruled over the day in the form of the sun, and was named Lugh. Through countless aeons Diana followed her brother, Lugh, across the skies. In time she fell in love with him. Diana crept into her brother's bed while he was sleep by in the guise of his pet cat. While in bed with him, she seduced him and from this union a daughter was born, named Aradia (though some call her Herodias). Aradia became the patroness of all witches. Diana gave Aradia permission to teach the knowledge of witchcraft to those on earth."

Some Italian witches believe that Aradia's life on Earth paralleled that of saviors and prophets. Similar legends are quite common; they all encompass the sun and moon for the ancients drew their religion from the life-giving forces around them.

There is another legend which is both beautiful and intriguing. Parts of this legend are noted in the Bible as well as being parts of other religions.

"Azael was one of the first created beings of heaven. He was born in the primordial fires. His names were many. He, and those like him, were called angels or messengers by the Christians. The Greeks named them demons. Azael and his followers disobeyed their masters/creators and descended to earth countless aeons ago. Through pity for primitive man, they came. Their purpose was to educate and civilize man. These sons of gods became known as "watchers of the heavens." While on earth, they fell in love with the women of the earth and took them as wives. It is not known whether this is a part of their original plan or if it just happened through contact with the women."

At this point, the legend divides into two stories. From the Book of Genesis, "And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of god saw the daughters of earth, that they were fair, and they took wives, all of which those chose...."

The second form is from the Book of Noah (a book which has long been omitted from the Bible). "And the angels, the children of heaven, saw and lusted after the daughters of men, and said one to another: 'Come let us choose wives from among the children of men and beget us children...and all the others together took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants...and Azael taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals and the art of working them. Semjaza taught enchantments and root cuttings. Amaros taught the resolving of enchantments; Baracijel taught astrology; Kokable taught the constellations; Ezequeel taught the knowledge of the clouds; Araqiel taught the signs of the earth; Shamsiel taught the signs of the sun; and Sariel taught the course of the moon."

Azael and his followers had to assume tangible bodies to descend to earth. Because of their revolt against the heavens and the ties they formed with the earth, they were unable to leave their material forms to reascend to heaven. It is from these beings these "watchers" that all true magickal knowledge and power is said to have been obtained.

The offspring of these watchers were a different matter entirely. They were tall in stature like their fathers, some were men like their fathers with the wisdom and desire to help their fellow man. Others, however, sought to harm all beings and lusted after power. The children of the watchers, good and evil, were called Nephelim.

The evil of the Nephelim horrified their fathers. The good of that parent generation toward the people of the earth was turned into blasphemy. The watchers finally combined their powers and destroyed the lands wherein the Nephelim resided. In one day and night, this devastation was completed by volcanoes, earthquakes and floods. The upheaval was of such magnitude that even now its traces can be seen in the geological strata of the earth. Legends of this great catastrophe are tied to the great flood that destroyed Atlantis. Renditions of this battle between father and son is found in Norse mythology, Greek mythology, and others.

In this upheaval, many lost their lives, but their spirits remained. These spirits became the invisible powers collectively called the "Elemental Hierarchy." Not all the Nephelim were destroyed, nor was all the knowledge lost. Some of the children remembered the minds of their fathers and hid this knowledge to preserve it for a time when mankind would be advanced enough to use it wisely. This wisdom continues. The watchers, the true parents of humanity, are the gods of the witches. In Y Dynion Mwyn, the word "Witch" means "one who knows, one who follows the ancient ways."

The survivors of the great flood are the subject of many traditional stories: the Biblical Noah, the Greek Deucalion, the Babylonian Uta-Napishtim. All have a striking similarity. Witch lore tells us of settlers from the lost lands settling in Britain and Northern Europe. The Celts discovered these people during their journeys in 500 B.C. They were called Prytani. They were small, dark, stocky recluse-type people. They were solitary even within themselves. The German invaders called them elves, which later evolved into "pixies" from the people called the Picts.

Another name was the "people of the heath, or 'heathens'." As the Picts retreated to the north from their invaders, they had to struggle to live in the barren and desolate land. This daily struggle coupled with in-breeding to continue their culture caused their size to reduce even smaller.

Though their size was quite petite, the legends surrounding these people were huge. The witches are said to be the offspring of the few marriages between the Picts and the invaders. As the children of "faeries," they learned the secrets and magical methods from the ancestral lineage.


Community Notices

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David Cohen Presents

Ever-Returning Spring

David Cohen as Walt Whitman

March 21, 2011

A ritual performance of Walt Whitman's elegy for Lincoln and "all the slain soldiers" of the Secession War dedicated to Anthony Perkins & all those lost to AIDS this year benefiting Power of Change, a San Diego 501(c)3 foundation for children in need, that is helping me locate children either infected or affected by HIV-AIDS as recipients of this year's benefit; and including a tribute to Berry Berenson Perkins, the widow of Anthony, who was killed when her flight to Los Angeles was hijacked & flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, & all those lost as a result of 9/11, here or abroad.


Monday, March 21, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.


Tenth Avenue Theatre

930 10th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92101 (between E & Broadway)


Kate Clinton and Urvashi Vaid

invite you for wine and hors d'oeuvres to support

the website on LGBTQ history,

produced by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

Thursday April 7th, 2011


167 Spring Street, Bell #11

New York, NY 10012

(between Thompson Street and West Broadway)

Joan Nestle, co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives and Blanche Wiesen

Cook, Professor of History at John Jay College, will discuss the importance of

preserving the LGBTQ past and the contributions of

Tickets may be purchased at three levels, Storyteller ($100), Researcher ($200),

and History-Maker ($500), and may be paid for at the door with a check, or in

advance through CLAGS' secure online form,

being sure to select "" from the drop down menu.

Because space is limited please RSVP directly to

by Friday April 1st. If you cannot attend, we hope you will still consider

making a donation to

We look forward to seeing you in person and appreciate your support in's fight against forgetting!


The Third Annual


America's Only LGBT Book Fair

Saturday, March 26, 2011 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street, in New York's Greenwich Village

For more information: ;


White Crane Books

is proud to announce the March 2011 publication of

The Fire in Moonlight
Stories from the Radical Faeries 1975 - 2010

The Fire In Moonlight is a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the first Faerie Gathering in an Arizona desert ashram. A collection of essays and commentaries edited by Mark Thompson, Richard (Osiris) Neely and Bo Young, the anthology is an international colloquy on the birth and lasting importance of Radical Faerie culture.

With contributions by new writers, as well as authors Mark Thompson (Gay Body/Gay Soul/Gay Spirit: Myth & Meaning), Will Roscoe (The Zuni Man-Woman/Jesus and the Shamanic Traditions of Same-Sex Love/Queer Spirits), Stuart Timmons (Gay L.A. and The Trouble With Harry), The Fire in the Moonlight is a long-awaited Talking Circle of reflection on the progress we have made as Faeries moving forward, and a critical and loving appraisal of its importance for GLBT people and the larger community.



1. Invite friends and colleagues to learn about preserving Gay wisdom, spirituality, and culture by forwarding them this newsletter or refer them to

2. Make a financial gift to support the ongoing work on Click on the "Make A Gift" box in upper left corner of the page. Your contribution enables White Crane Institute to publish new and out-of-print classic Gay books, sponsor workshops and retreats and provide free subscriptions to Gay community centers everywhere.


GAY WISDOM for Daily Living...

from White Crane Institute

Exploring Gay Wisdom

& Culture for over 20 Years!

"With the increasing commodification of gay news, views, and culture

by powerful corporate interests, having a strong independent voice

in our community is all the more important. White Crane is one of the

last brave standouts in this bland new world... a triumph over the looming

mediocrity of the mainstream Gay world." - Mark Thompson


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