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Archives for : April2015

Social Justice Spring

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Social Justice Spring

 

Though the cherry blossoms have come and gone, spring 2015 continues to bring new life and new hope.  This new life is particularly visible on the social justice landscape. Within the month of April there have been major developments for several historically underrepresented communities. Demonstrations started in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray have become heated and have prompted similar demonstrations in communities across the country. Though not the first woman to run for president (that would be Victoria Woodhull), Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the oval office.  Just this week the highest court in the land started hearing arguments in what people believe will be a national ruling on same-sex marriage. That’s a lot going on in one month!

 

Most all Gay District folks live, work, and play in the DC metropolitan area and so it’s very likely that many (if not all) of us have been affected by these developments in a very close-to-home way. This Friday (May 1st 2015) let’s all come together and talk about everything that’s going on. Maybe you have friends or family or lovers living in Baltimore that you’re worried about.  Maybe you’ve been pounding the steps outside the Supreme Court and want to share a conversation you had with a protester. Maybe you’re not particularly a fan of Hillary but can appreciate the significance her campaign could represent to little girls who see her on TV. Whatever you feel, come join us at the DC LGBT Center Friday at 8:30pm  and let’s talk it out together. All opinions welcome.

 

Hyperlinked Sources Include the Following:

 

 

 

 

Gay District is a DC metro area, donation-based, gay, bi, trans-, queer men’s conversation group. Gay District meets at The DC LGBT Center, located inside the Reeves building at 2000 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009.  Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact the DC Center at (202) 682-2245.

Guest Speaker: Adebisi Alimi

Bisi Alimi -  TEDxBerlin "The Next Step"

In 2004, Bisi Alimi was an up-and-coming actor in Nigeria, and a student newspaper threatened to publish a photo with his then-boyfriend.
So, he decided to break his own news and come out on a popular morning television program. He was also diagnosed with HIV in the same year.
Faced with constant threats, violence, and an attempt on his life, he left Nigeria for the U.K. in 2007.
He is an LGBT advocate and HIV activist. He is now a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
He will join us to speak and take questions at the DC Center at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.
 
We are at 2000 14th St. NW, Ste. 105, at the Reeves Center, and the entrance is on U Street. If you have any difficulty getting into the building, call my cell phone at (617) 877-5484.

 

Bears, Otters, and Cougars: oh my! Labels and the gay taxonomy

Bears, Otters, and Cougars: oh my! Labels and the gay taxonomy

gay taxonomy

There are a lot of labels and scenes in the diverse zoo that is our LGBT community. It’s likely most of us have heard of (and perhaps even fancy) a ‘bear’.  In addition to their community presence there is a semi-mainstream movie series (Bear City and Bear City 2: the Proposal), a popular web series (Where the Bears Are), and even a number in the recent DC Gay Mens’ Chorus dedicated to our bearish brethren.  The term has been around since the late 80’s or late ’70’s, depending on if one believes the point of origin lies with the founding of Bear Magazine  in 1987 or, as The Advocate claims, with a 1979 article written by George Mazzei entitled ‘Who’s Who at the Zoo?’. Within the bear community there are big burly polar bears, cubs, and panda bears that can be contrasted to the slim yet still furry otter types. We also can’t forget those cougars among us (or, as some prefer, Man-thers) who chase after the youth. If these species aren’t enough for your taste then fear not, for Mr. Mazzei’s fabulous taxonomy article covers the gamut from wise old owls to cygnet swans to gazelles.

The categories extend beyond quirky animal groupings too. We all know a twink or two for instance (if you’re not sure what a twink is, the internet has a handy identification guide), and BuzzFeed tells us there are things butch gay men will understand that presumably femme men won’t. The list could certainly go on, but you get the idea. Given there are all these groups to choose from, how does one go about deciding where they belong? Is the deciding factor how one is perceived by others; their body ‘type’ and how they align with cultural gender norms? Is any weight given to how one self-identifies with a group? And, perhaps the most interesting question, why are there so many labels in gay circles? Are there parallels for heterosexuals, or is the proliferation of labels specific to LGBT communities only? Join Gay District at the DC LGBT Center this Friday night (8:30pm, April 3rd 2015) and let’s talk about it.

Gay District meets at The DC Center, located inside the Reeves building at 2000 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20009.  Attendees will need to enter the Reeves building via the “Exit” doors on 14th Street, facing McDonald’s. We encourage attendees to bring their photo ID to gain access inside the building. If you do not have or are unable to present a photo ID, please contact the DC Center at (202) 682-2245. Afterwards, we’ll head out to one of the fine establishments on the U Street Corridor.