Scott Long, LGBTQ human rights activist and visiting fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School, just posted an article on Western LGBTQ activists and the purported “gay executions” in recent years in Iran, which I would recommend. While the LGBTQ and even mainstream Western press has reported several high-profile cases in recent years, Long believes that the situations may have been misrepresented, in some cases making things worse, and in some cases obfuscating matters. Long writes that
No one who launched the story has bothered to follow up the facts.
Among the observations that Mr. Long makes:
It’s certainly possible that the four men in Charam are “gay” or hamjensgara, and have been framed. It’s certainly also possible that they raped an “effeminate” victim, and that he is the one who suffered for sexual dissidence. Quite possibly, in fact, that’s the pattern underlying these stories of rape. In other words, conceivably [Western activists] have spent all these years speechifying and pontificating in support not of “gays,” but of their persecutors. The point is: We don’t know.
Agree or disagree, it’s worth reading and considering. What happens when we step in to “help” without having the full story? Does queer activism sometimes do more harm than good?
Posted in Activism, Crime, Human Rights, Iran, Men, Middle East, SCANDAL: Politics, Crime, Revolution and More., Subcultures, WORLD WIDE: Gay around the Globe!, Youth
Tagged Activist, Capital Punishment, Crime, execution, Gay, Harvard, homosexuality, human rights, Iran, Islam, Lavat, law, misrepresentation, rape, Scott Long, victims
Anti-circumcision activists were protesting at Civic Center outside the San Francisco Public Library this afternoon. I couldn’t get a shot of their really provocative sign (depicting a bloody scalpel), but here’s a protester with a sign decrying genital mutilation.
As I understand things, this small but vocal group is trying to put male circumcision, which they view as cruel and inhumane (possibly a human rights abuse) on the ballot, with the hope that San Franciscans will vote to ban it.
While they may be correct about circumcision severing valuable nerve endings and not being necessary for cleanliness, I do not believe that they have a very high likelihood of success. The practice is too integral to major religious traditions practiced in the city, and critics have painted them as religiously intolerant.
Not that they’re asking my advice, but a wiser approach might be to push for education, rather than legislation – and to focus their efforts on people whose religious background does not mandate the practice. They might have a higher success rate if they were to focus on educating individuals and bringing about social change. (Less provocative signs might help them to seem more reasonable and approachable, too.)
Complicated issue…file this under “Only in San Francisco.”
Posted in GAY GAZE: Visual Culture, Photos, Art, Comics, Film, Objects, etc..., Human Rights, iPhone, Men, Photography, San Francisco, Signage, Strange News, Subcultures
Tagged Activist, Circumcision, genital mutilation, Library, only in San Francisco, protest, San Francisco
Ocularpation is a project of New York artist Zefrey Throwell. It started in San Francisco in 2008, and has apparently found a plum context in the ongoing occupation of Wall Street. The image here is from an August iteration of the project, before the current occupation got under way. Throwell says of the neologism and the project: “Ocularpation is a new contraction. Its root comes from occupation, with the dual connotation of both a job done for money, as well as a military or strategic encampment. Ocular, or pertaining to the eye, cements the meaning of the word in a visual context. This is an act of optical guerilla office bivouac.” In short, miming office work in the buff in some of the major financial centers of the world. Of course, some of the naked artists have been arrested. Throwell bails them out. But what about the real criminals…? More Ocularpation here.
Posted in Activism, Art and Artists, Crime, New York, Photography, Street Art, Grafitti, etc., Subcultures
Tagged Activist, Art, Crime, Guerilla, Naked Artists, Occupation, Ocularpation, Sexy, Street Art, Grafitti, etc., Wall Street, Zefrey Throwell
What else do we do in Leather bars other than wear leather, socialize and drink? We make out, grope, slap face and ass, suck cock, drink piss, eat cigar ashes, trade gut punches, whip and get whipped, talk trash, fuck in corners, lick boots, tap sacs, work on nips, use the slaves, and so forth. In short, we have Leathersex, or at the very least our rough version of foreplay.
In the tradition of Queer Nation Kiss Ins and the club activist Guerrilla Gay Bar scene, the San Francisco-based ad hoc Save the Eagle gang is organizing a takeover of the straight Mission district hipster bar The Skylark. Its owner is purportedly involved with underhanded machinations to acquire the lease and license on the Eagle space – and turn it into a straight bar. See more here and here.
So tonight, the Skylark goes “Leather” for the night. Well, sort of. The idea is to wear Leather, use pink highlighters to encode paper money as “gay” and spend money at the bar. If everyone “respects the space that we are borrowing tonight” as the organizers suggest, then everyone may mix just fine. This begs the question: why even have our own spaces? WE know why. But – how do we show them why…while still respecting their space? That’s a hard one!
From organizers Kyle DeVries and Anna Glendon Conda Hyde: “Tonight at 8 dress in leather and head to the Skylark bar on 16th. Mark your money with a pink pen or marker so that it is seen as coming from our community. This is not about harming the Skylark but rather showing what would be lost if the Eagle went away and showing how queer space is not always the same as “just any bar”. We as a community should be vocal and visible while respecting the space that we are borrowing tonight.
So far the Skylark has not signed a lease due to public pressure. We are the first step closer to saving the Eagle. The Board of Supervisors issued a Commendation Certificate in recognition of the Eagles efforts in raising over 3 million dollars during its 30 year run for the queer community and are working to have the space land marked. They are also hoping to work with the concerned parties to negotiate a way to keep the Eagle as a space for our community.
Thanks for showing up and especially to the 15 people who stayed till 730 to make public comment at the Board of Supervisors meeting after 6 hours of waiting.
The people united can not be divided. Deep respect Anna and Kyle”
Posted in History, Leather, San Francisco, Subcultures
Tagged Activist, Bar, BDSM, Culture, Direct Action, Gay, History, Kink, Leather, LGBT, Mission district, San Francisco, Save the Eagle, SF Eagle, Skylark, SOMA