Impeachment

Impassioned Eloquence.

Barbara Jordan’s opening speech from Nixon’s 1974 hearing still rings true today.

Let the inquiries begin.

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

50 years ago today:

Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit – Grace Slick – Woodstock  – August 17, 1969

I don’t remember Woodstock even though one of the earliest memories I have is the Lunar landing in 1969. Woodstock is in good company as  I don’t remember Stonewall either. Even though 1969 is spotty in my memory bank, I am happy that I was around to  at the least remember a few events that happened in that year packed with many historical landmarks.

July 16, 1969

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11.

With Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on board, Apollo 11 would land man on the surface of Earth’s only moon 4 days later on July 20, 1969. This first ever lunar landing is one of my very first memories.

The Apollo mission occurred during one of our country’s most turbulent times some 9 years after one of our greatest presidents set a simple, yet difficult, clear goal with a time limit. Good leaders challenge us to grow, great leaders bring us together. It is only together that we can achieve great things.

In honor of yet another 50th anniversary of history, I post my favorite musical memory of 1969.

 

🎵Harmony and understanding🎶                                                                                                                 🎵Sympathy and trust abounding🎶

Worthy goals for a society. May the lyrics of this 50 year old tune inspire and enlighten our society toward better.

The 5th Dimension – Aquarius / Let the Sunshine – 1969

Leaders

Many attribute the uprising of Stonewall to the drag queens and transgender present the night of the raid 50 years ago. Today much of our leadership is inspired by those same members of our diverse community.

Diversity and acceptance are character qualities I support, admire and strive toward. I applaud those who step up and out, to lead us through living their own truth. It is through their vulnerability that courage and strength are born.

Thank you to Peppermint, Lady Bunny and Sasha Velour for your inspiration and leadership.

Tipping Points

While the video’s title didn’t thrill me by starting with the words “Old Gays”, I was interested to see what insight the video held. My takeaway is when the one immediately responds that the significance of Stonewall is what happened afterwards and that is still unfolding.

As pride month continues in its 50th year after Stonewall let us continue the significance of this humble rebellion and it’s aftermath. Happy Pride.

Harvey Milk

Trailblazer.

Harvey’s foray into politics followed closely after Stonewall yet it took him several tries to finally get elected into office. However as he did, he blazed a trail. Like those who took a stand the night of Stonewall and into the days that followed, Harvey took a stand and he persevered.

Neither the rioters nor Harvey knew where their new paths would lead, yet look where we are today. Let us make all of them proud and continue our march forward. America and the whole world can only be great if we keep moving forward toward better horizons of understanding, respect and equality. It’s up to us as there is much left to do.

Christopher Street West

While Stonewall is commemorated as the flash point into LGBTQI activism and equality, LGBTQI history is diverse and lengthy.

This short documentary gives a glimpse into the life and movement out here on the west coast prior to, during and after Stonewall.

We have come a long way, yet we have a long way ahead of us as well.

If they ever do find a cure,

I just want to be there.

 

1989 was the year the film Longtime Companion was released. 1989 was the height of the  AIDS crisis. My friends, and lovers, were being diagnosed left and right. My friends, and lovers, were dying left and right.

Needless to say this movie was a timely written timeline of the short decade that proceeded it. The short decade that was my coming of age as a gay man. I came out while in high school in 1980. Almost, not all, of my early friends and lovers in the gay community at the least became infected, or died. At the time this movie was released I was but one of very few I knew who remained HIV negative.

It wasn’t if I would succumb, it was when. Somehow I remain, thankfully, uninfected.

When this final scene came up on the big screen in front of me and my friends with which I sat, we began to cry. Sobbing with ugly tears. Tears of grief, loss and yet hope. Hope that one day our nightmare would end. Hope that one day we might once again see, hold, love and kiss those we once knew. Hope that at the least we wouldn’t loose any more loved ones to this horrible disease.

Time passed, infection rates dropped. We learned and eventually treatments improved.

Today there isn’t yet a cure but there is prevention. With science and research, particularly STEM CELL RESEARCH, a cure may one day become reality. Remember that your vote counts, your future vote may be needed to not only ensure the necessary research we now have but to restore it.

It’s pride month. Be proud of who you are. Respect others for being who they are. Understand those who are different. Love your sister and your brother. Vote for progress. Strive to be better.

(This Post is dedicated to Jerry Smoot who was my first friend, and occasional lover, I lost to AIDS. At a young 38 years, he was just coming into his prime. Jerry, when the scene came on the screen I envisioned you running onto that beach to hug me, kiss me and hold me.)

Stonewall

The accuracy of many varying accounts of exactly what happened at the Stonewall Inn the night of June 28, 1969 are often debated. The story below offers several first hand recollections laying to rest several myths as well as confirming other truths.

What we do know is that it was a chaotic scene which resulted in a movement. A movement which simply asked for respect.

 

Veterans Day 2018

The Music used in the attached video is from my childhood. I remember it playing at the swim club during summer as well as emanating from behind my older brother’s closed bedroom door. I always loved this tune.

My childhood was innocent. I thought people always landed on the moon. I come to find out later that the moonlanding I watched was the first ever. I thought Seasame Street and color televisions had always exhisted. Turns out that season of Seasame Street I was watching in 1969 was the very first season, and that color TV we had was the first my parents had ever owned.

I hated war. Vietnam reinforced that fact. The TV showed horrible scenes. I didn’t understand why people had to do such destructive things. It was wrong. I knew it was. Innocence tainted.

My uncle was in Vietnam. My father and another uncle served in the Korean era. My father’s uncles served in WWII and his father’s uncles in WWI. War stole innocence. War destroyed lives.

My brothers and I avoided the service. No war drafted us nor demanded our service.

Even though I hate war, I respect and I wish to honor those who serve. The serve their country. They serve their family, community, neighbors and each other. They didn’t start nor cause any war. Those who serve do so for a common good of service to something greater than themselves.

I am deeply grateful.

If you served, either in war or hopefully in peace, I thank you.