(Photo credit courtesy of GLSEN)
FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • VOLUME 06 • ISSUE 06 • AMERICA’S LGBTQ NEWS SOURCE • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
3 LGBTQ people murdered in Honduras in one day demned the murders.
Three LGBTQ people in Honduras were reported killed on Feb. 2.
ment that LGBTI people in the country
ner, César Gustavo Zúñiga, were killed borhood. The Washington Blade’s Honduran media partner also noted María Fernanda Martínez was shot to death in La Libertad, a municipality in Comayagua department.
aration for these crimes and ensure they don’t happen again.” duran capital of Tegucigalpa, notes
es who said men dressed as police
ed killed in the country since 2009.
his partner in the liquor store that he owned. María Martínez, according ly joined a migrant caravan that had hoped to reach the U.S. The U.N. High Commissioner for
MARÍA FERNANDA MARTÍNEZ JONATHAN GABRIEL MARTÍNEZ, (Photos courtesy Reportar sin Miedo)
CÉSAR GUSTAVO ZÚÑIGA.
Rodríguez’s murder. MICHAEL K. LAVERS
LGBTQ people omitted from South Africa Census LGBTQ people in the ongoing national Census, which will end on Feb. 28. Although South Africa is deemed to be among the most liberal countries when it comes to LGBTQ rights on the African continent and globally, this time, it seems as if the government
Bruce Walker of Pretoria LGBTQIA+ Gay Pride concurred with Pereira, saying the omission tence.” Walker said their organization has already launched campaigns against the count.
advocacy organization that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people, said the data will be
Africa’s population.” “Furthermore, history has taught us that the data captured from the responses to the
it necessary to voice our outrage on this. We feel this is a direct attack on the community,” said Walker. “There are a few points that we feel should be addressed before this Census is held,”
government to better understand the LGBTQIA+ community.” Pretoria LGBTQIA+ Gay Pride’s directed the following questions to StatsSA: – If you think the LGBTQIA+ is not part of the community then why should we participate
to tell us about the number of cisgender women and cisgender men residing in South Africa and their employment status.” Africa. This is contrary to South Africa’s Constitution, which recognizes South Africans by “By StatsSA’s own admission, the current structure of the Census 2022 does not actively not in line with the South African Constitution which enshrines the rights to equality and ognition in this country, where it permeates and how it’s understood and then accepted across government departments.”
silence from political parties. We are putting out petitions out in the community and online. pate in this Census at all. After all they do not think we are part of the population. ty,” said Walker.
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 03
Firearm access, school search bill introduced State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) introduced Senate Bill 906, a bill that prioritizes student safety by increasing available information on gun access and
State Sen. ANTHONY J. PORTANTINO
concerns. Los Angeles Times described as a ghost gun
SB 906 would:
• Require the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Justice, to develop model content for public or charter schools on a threat or perceived threat of a mass shooting incident; • Upon registering a student for a public or charter school, parents or guardians will be required to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the student and details on ownership, storage, and accessibility of those firearms as it relates to the student.
Portantino has a long history of advocating for smart and sensible solutions to the na-
• Upon becoming aware of a credible violent threat, schools must immediately report that threat to the law enforcement authorities, and school leaders, in consultation with law enforcement, must search a student’s on campus property for the presence of firearms. • Schools are required to include information related to the safe storage of firearms in the annual notification provided to the parents or guardians.
Brazen robbery of Fairfax High students has LAPD seeking help
suspects demanded that they hand over their cellphones, then held them by their
04 • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
Newsom announces mental health housing expansion
GAVIN NEWSOM speaking with Dr. MARK GHALY
FROM STAFF REPORTS
Los Angeles City Attorney MIKE FEUER
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 05
Dutch scientists discover highly infectious HIV variant By BRODY LEVESQUE by Science (journal) try.
GLOBAL HIV STATISTICS
People living with HIV accessing antiretroviral therapy
New HIV infections
08 • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
By ZACHARY JARRELL It’s 1986 in the rust belt city of Cincinnati. Two kids, Melanie and David, are at their aunt’s house being cared for while both of their single mothers are away – Melanie’s mom is traveling for work A few years later, Melanie and David are in the fourth grade and starting to have trouble academically and behaviorally. Melanie’s mom jumps in to ask questions and take action. Meanwhile, David’s mom doesn’t have the energy or know-how to advocate for him, and his teachers assume that he’s not trying. By sixth grade, Melanie had gotten tested to get to the bottom of her learning challenges, and, though things were still hard, she had the support of her mom. David had never gotten the
“It really is because of the opportunity, and that window of opportunity being missed for him,” special,” said Willingham-Jaggers. “I do this work in service of those people because I know that given what I’ve been given – access to the support and opportunity that I have – it’s my job to make the most of it.” gers as its new executive director last week – a historic pick hailed by LGBTQ+ advocates across
when schools have become a battleground for political debate over trans inclusion in sports and
and privilege, is a big part of Willingham-Jaggers’ focus moving forward. “No one’s out here with only a queer
some who think that their advocacy has focused too much on white, cisgender, LGB people – largely leaving people of color and trans people out of which provides research and training nect with the communities they serve, found that LGBTQ people of color face more challenges compared to white people or straight people of color, Though many LGBTQ advocacy groups have made strides to become more inclusive, including speaking out against police brutality during widespread Black Lives Matter protests in
terminated by the board after reports that he was involved in the New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tion.
keeping trans students, especially trans women and girls, from playing on women’s and girl’s sports teams.
“burn.” “It’s pretty shitty out there,” said Willingham-Jaggers, adding, “It is hard to put into words how terrible it is right now for queer kids.”
Willingham-Jaggers stepped in as interim executive director following Byard’s resignation in
like anti-Critical Race Theory bans, end up hurting queer children and kids as a whole. “There is Bans of CRT – a college-level examination of the intersection of race and law that has become
schools has been turned completely upside-down over the past few years, and Melanie’s vision and experience will provide the essential ingredients of new strategies for a new time.” Willingham-Jaggers knows that their work is cut out for them but believes they are exactly the
The politicians introducing and passing this legislation are proud to highlight the bills. Texas
“I don’t do the work that I do because of my identities,” they said. “But my identity has formed
But opponents of such bans call attacks on CRT “gross exaggerations of the theoretical framework.” “Rather than run from the issue of racism in America, we should confront it head on,” Rayshawn
As a Black woman and nonbinary, gender expansive queer person, Willingham-Jaggers said she has experienced both the “superpower of invisibility” and the “superpower of being deeply
Intersectionality, how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 09
Human Rights Campaign’s ex-president sues, alleges racial discrimination By CHRIS JOHNSON | firstname.lastname@example.org Alphonso David, the former president of the Human Rights Campaign terminated by the board after he was ensnared in the Gov. Andrew Cuomo scandal, sued the nation’s leading LGBTQ ALPHONSO DAVID, former president group last week, arof the Human Rights Campaign, was Andrew Cuomo scandal.
a result of racial discrimination “amid a deserved reputation for unequal treatment of its non-white employees” and was explicitly told he was paid less because he’s Black. David, speaking with the Blade during a phone interview, ticing civil rights law for 20 years and “never thought that I “But I’m in this chair, I was put in this position,” David said. “And as a civil rights lawyer, I couldn’t look the other way. It would be anathema to who I am and it would undermine my integrity and purpose for the work that I do. And so I have to
the Eastern District of New York, accuses the Human Rights Campaign of violating new state and federal laws for termi-
vid to “stop mentioning in his public statements and remove
ately be reached for comment to respond to the allegations. In terms of equal pay, the lawsuit says HRC’s co-chairs informed David he was underpaid compared to his predecessor because he’s Black. But the lawsuit also acknowledges in 2021, just before news broke about the Cuomo report, the Human Rights Campaign in recognition of David’s work re30 percent raise. David, speaking with the Blade, said he was in “shock” upon experiencing these alleged incidents of racism, maintaining he had kept quiet at the time out of concern for the greater good of the aims of the Human Rights Campaign. Asked whether as president he considered implementing racial sensitivity trainings for his subordinates, David said power in organizations like the Human Rights Campaign is often spread out. “There are people within the organization that have a fair amount of board support because they bring in the money because they are responsible for overseeing the money,” David added. Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Cam-
and Black person to helm the LGBTQ group in its 40-year history. The lawsuit also contends the Human Rights Campaign contravened equal pay law in New York by paying David less
nization is “disappointed that Alphonso David has chosen to take retaliatory action against the Human Rights Campaign for his termination which resulted from his own actions.” “Mr. David’s complaint is riddled with untruths,” Madison
David and shortly afterward announced a still ongoing search for a new president. David was named nearly a dozen times in the damning report by New York Attorney General Letitia
be apparent that Mr. David’s termination was based on clear violations of his contract and HRC’s mission, and as president of HRC, he was treated fairly and equally.” Madison adds the individuals accused of racism in the lawsuit “are people of color and champions of racial equity and inclusion who provided support and guidance as Mr. David
to discredit a woman alleging sexual misconduct in Cuomo’s But the lawsuit is broader than the termination and describes an environment at the Human Rights Campaign, which has faced criticism over the years for being geared toers were marginalized, tokenized, and denied advancement to high-level positions.” After a speech David gave on issues lawsuit claims a board member complained about him referring too much to being Black, but faced no penalty from the organization. Vice President of Development, who expressed concern men” after David issued a statement on the importance of Black Lives Matter after the killing of George Floyd by Minne-
The boards for the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation who made the decision to terminate David, were comprised of seven independent direcThe racist environment, the lawsuit says, culminated for ley Austin LLP at the behest of the organization. According to the lawsuit, the board co-chairs contacted David late at night before Labor Day weekend to tell him to resign by 8 a.m. the next morning or be terminated for cause. When David asked ings against him, or if a report would be issued explaining what he was accused of doing wrong, the board co-chairs refused to say, the lawsuit says. As is publicly known, David declined to resign and took to Twitter to complain about the board, which subsequently is-
cause” under his contract. treatment of David because he is Black, taking note the Human Rights Campaign under his predecessor had “endured repeated, serious, scandals — many of which involved HRC’s mistreatment of Black and other marginalized individuals,” Both the Human Rights Campaign Foundation board and the Human Rights Campaign board voted to terminate David. A source familiar with the vote said no one voted “no” in either case. The campaign board vote was unanimous and there were two abstentions in the foundation board vote, the source said. The source familiar with the vote said David never told the Human Rights Campaign he was helping Cuomo during his time as HRC president nor did he disclose he was talking heard about it was when it hit the press, the source said. Meanwhile, the lawsuit says David “performed extremely well as HRC president, by any measure,” navigating the organization through the coronavirus epidemic and boosting this claim.) It should be noted the Human Rights Campaign reported at the time by the Blade. David, asked by the Blade how he sees the alleged racist culture at Human Rights Campaign infused in his terminaand have been for years in this organization,” citing a “Pipeline Report” leaked to the press in 2015 documenting an environment in which employees of color were unable to thrive. just simply consistent with what they’ve always done,” David said. “You know, we go back to the Pipeline Report: Imagine if I was leading the organization at the time, and there was were being made within the organization, and that women were being discriminated against within the organization or some other marginalized group and that one of the senior vice presidents used a derogatory remark. Do you think I me?” ble standard that they’ve applied for decades, and I’ve just now been one casualty — another in a long series of casualties based on their systemic bias and discrimination.” Among the requests in the prayer for relief in the complaint is a declaration the Human Rights Campaign’s actions violated the law; restoration of David to his position as president; an award of the compensation he would have received were he still on the job as well as punitive damages. Asked by the Blade whether any settlement talks have taken place, David said that wasn’t the case and pointed out the lawsuit
CONTINUED AT LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 11
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Trans-inclusive California Care Act introduced FROM STAFF REPORTS and supportive environment, and being able to search for providers who provide Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 923, chest reconstruction, mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, hysterectomy, voice the TGI Inclusive Care Act, which masculinization or feminization, hormone therapy related to gender dysphoria or would require health providers gender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people to undergo cultural competency training to help them provide inclusive care. These trainings must be facilitated by TGI-led organizations, and they must include the perspectives of TGI people. SB 923 also ensures that health plans’ online directories include a search
Sen. SCOTT WIENER (D-San Francisco) introduced the TGI Inclusive Care Act.
legislation will help create a more inclusive and culturally competent healthcare system for TGI people
“It’s simple: transgender, gender non-comforming and intersex people deserve the same quality of healthcare that everyone else receives,” gendered, harassed, or even refused treatment. While many providers work hard to treat TGI people with respect, too many TGI patients aren’t treated appropriately. These traumatizing experiences keep people away from the doctor, and prevent them from receiving the care they need. The TGI Inclusive Health Care Act will ensure providers are trained and ready to give quality care to everyone, regardless of their gender identity.” Healthcare discrimination and a lack of access to culturally competent care Transgender Equality reports that one-third of all transgender individuals who saw a healthcare professional in 2014 had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, with even higher rates for people of color and people with disabilities. These negative experiences include being refused treatment, verbally harassed, physically or sexually assaulted, or having to teach the provider about transgender people in order to receive appropriate care. This is especially problematic given that TGI people, compared with the generhigher rates of health problems related to HIV/AIDS, substance use, mental illness, and sexual and physical violence, as well as a higher prevalence and earlier onset of disabilities that can also lead to longterm health issues. Sadly, 23% of transgender individuals reported that fear of discrimination caused them to postpone or not receive necessary medical care. Every person deserves to receive quality, compassionate health care from understanding, informed, and respectful providers – providers who don’t make assumptions about their gender or sexuality, and who honor their bodily autonomy. TGI people already face so many obstacles outside of the healthcare system, including higher rates of violence, workplace discrimination, ostracization from families and religious communities, and housing discrimination. Going to the doctor should not ed in a press statement. TGI people should have access to positive healthcare experiences. This includes seeing providers who are able to give them the care they need in a non-judgmental
statement added. Finally, SB 923 requires health plans to have an accessible search function that
The TGI-Inclusive Care Act will help create a healthcare system that meets the “Transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex Californians to this day face
providers lack adequate education on our communities’ unique needs, and on how to respectfully interact with us as patients. This bill will help address this by educatturn, will ensure TGI people feel safe accessing a medical establishment that has “Many medical students and medical providers who provide specialty care such as podiatry, cardiovascular, gastroenterology, etc. have a predetermined opinion that they will never serve the transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex community members will not seek specialty care is dangerous. As human-beings, we may face, and this bill will ensure that all medical providers, regardless of their expertise, are properly trained to provide that access to care.” oritizing and valuing the most marginalized and disproportionately impacted popthey lacked trust in health care providers, had anxiety related to bad experiences
ing the multitude of barriers that TGI people face when trying to access quality
dramatically change health outcomes for the TGI community, followed by further prioritizing and implementing policies and practices to help improve the lives of TGI people, address health disparities and other social determinants.” “It’s unconscionable that transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex Californians are being forced to postpone or not seek life-saving medical care because sor this innovative legislation that will prioritize inclusive healthcare by requiring
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 15
is a former Air Force intelligence analyst, long-time LGBTQ activist, an alumnus of Queer Nation and Act Up NY, and a frequent columnist for the LA Blade.
Ga. public school calls ‘Gay Is OK’ art a swastika How do you trust administrators who lie?
See that lovely rainbow poster? A child made it, a real child whose identity is being withheld to protect their privacy. Can you imagine them smiling as they bent over their markers or watercolors? They made that art, unprompted, for inclusion in a classroom exhibit at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School in Athens, Georgia. I don’t know why the child felt the need to say “Gay Is OK.” I don’t how old they are, if they’re a boy or a girl, if they identify as LGBTQ, if an older sibling or parent does, or if this is just something they care about. I bet they knew deep in their hearts the message was needed. If they didn’t, they sure do now, and so does the rest of the school. Because of the horrible thing that happened next. The child’s teacher loved the poster and hung it up with all the other student art. Then … This is really hard to write about. It’s not just sad, it’s … well, you decide. Reportedly, one or more parents called the school to complain. An administrator asked the
are like swastikas. Who removed the art is unclear, though I’m told the teacher refused to. The principal ordered it, and somebody obeyed him. I don’t know who broke the story to the press, but some accounts say the teacher did. If so, I wish I could buy them a beer. Reports say much of the Oglethorpe faculty was outraged over the homophobic censorship. So were many parents. Some of them Jemelleh Coes, a parent and professor at the University of Georgia, told Atlanta’s NBC
odious Nazi remark, which all the children in her school know about now. Unequivocal support “continue” being “sensitive” and “continue” to prohibit discrimination based on LGBTQ identity, principal and district superintendent refused to let him write in a school publication that he’s gay and has overcome bullying. reached much of the nation: Being gay IS okay. Overcoming bullying IS something to proud of. Silencing LGBTQ students is wrong and contrary to the human ideals most of us try to live by. There’s more to the story, though. Much of Tyler’s community rallied around him, but accountability and trust remain elusive. District administration apologized and reversed their censorship decision. The school board hired a lawyer to investigate the censorship, but that’s not the end of the story. At least one Tully radio broadcaster openly mocked Tyler, and his friends are deeply worried capable of delivering. They say both men have long track records of discriminating against LGBTQ students and members of other minorities. They say neither man, in light of what happened, is trustworthy.
discriminatory against women, being discriminatory against LGBTQ people, being discriminatory against English language learners or emerging bilinguals, emerging multilingual and Spanish speakers. So we have seen a pattern of inequity at our school and we have been asking for support at this point for years.”
than once, telling them a district policy barred mentioning “sexuality, orientation, religion, or illegal drugs” in the publication Tyler was supposed to be featured in. The Board of Education
As bad as being a Nazi. The professionals running their school taught them that. This story was big a week ago, and I didn’t write about it then because I had nothing to add. Coverage was extensive and events spoke for themselves. Then the other shoe dropped. The Clarke County School District released a vague statement on January 25, saying they support “diversity and inclusion” and “stand with our LGBTQIA+ community,” writing that they intend to “continue having sensitive and appropriate conversations with our school communities.” They
media haven’t asked which one of them lied or if both of them did. Tyler’s Tully supporters ask how they can be expected to believe anything either man says. How can they be expected to work with professionals who have demonstrated they will lie? How can the men be trusted to implement positive change for LGBTQ students at Tully High School? “We absolutely and unequivocally support our LGBTQIA+ community,” is a lie. When Gaskins writes that, while refusing to discipline an employee who calls a “Gay is Good” poster a swastika, he demonstrates he holds truthfulness itself in high contempt. Like Superintendent Hughes in
assistant principal who likened “Gay is Good” to Nazi messaging. community. They wrote more nice words about diversity and being sensitive. They even say, “We absolutely and unequivocally support our LGBTQIA+ community.” But that’s a lie, and that’s why I’m writing today. agreed with her that children should not see the “Gay is Good” message. Both of them ordered the art removed, and they’ve stuck to their guns. The district will not discipline them. That’s a huge part of the other shoe. The other part is the hypocrisy of Acting Superintendent Brannon Gaskins, whose words student assembly to tell kids how deeply sorry administrators are for sending a horrible message about LGBTQ people. 16 • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
law. It’s possible O’Brien thought he was telling the truth, but if so, then Hughes lied to him about
What’s going on in Georgia right now is enough to make any decent person weep. But let’s not end there. I reached out yesterday to Tyler to ask him what he would say to students and community leaders in Athens. Let’s end with some of Tyler’s powerful, positive words: “I want the Georgia student whose artwork was taken down to know they are not alone and that being gay is in fact not an issue like people are making it out to be. I also want them to know that even though it may not feel like it in this exact moment, it will get better and eventually, things will change. If I could have a talk with this class, I would ask them to understand the importance of this issue and to show support to their classmate. To the community members pushing for accountability, don’t give up. Whatever you do, do not give up. No matter how little you feel you are accomplishing, do not give up. I promise that to change and to making sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else again. So please, for the sake of this student, past students, and future students, do not give up.”
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is a Washington-based writer and editor whose previous journalism experience includes stints at the Washington Blade and The Advocate.
Wikipedia’s sanitized Winsome Sears article Winsome Sears, a Black conservative Republican, was sworn in as Virginia’s new lieutenant governor in January. Her sparsely
Not only was the new revision reverted, I was also banished
Anyone can write and edit Wikipedia articles. After some
consensus, starting with, “Be bold, and make what you currently
she “emphatically” supported a constitutional amendment “preserving the institution of marriage to be between a man immeasurably beyond almost all standards in accommodating the homosexual community [over] the last couple of decades.” of the gay civil rights movement to the Black civil rights movement, saying, “I and people who look like me can’t believe political campaigns based on “her staunch opposition to LGBTQ Jackson, a controversial pastor who has called homosexuality “a work of the devil.” Nineteen minutes later, the entry was gone, the article having been “reverted” to its previous state by one of Wikipedia’s through the convoluted editorial innards of Wikipedia. guidelines and policies. The guideline contains a description of what’s considered the appropriate weight to give content in an article.
the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Los Angeles Blade is support-
submission. A single copy of the Los Angeles Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Los Angeles, CA. Multiple copies are available from the Los Angeles Blade office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-week mailed subscription for $195
describing supposed structural issues with my edit. “This article section,” wrote the same editor, snidely adding, “I do not
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perhaps using other forms of Wikipedia dispute resolution as needed, and reach agreement. Apply your agreement. When reverts have stopped, you are done.” Sounds reasonable – in theory. I added a “Seeking consensus” section to the talk page,
which editors “perpetuate disputes by sticking to an allegation or viewpoint long after the consensus of the community has decided that moving on to other topics would be more productive.” One other editor’s opposition constituted the sentences, which were rejected in favor of the sole wording suggestion I received, the advice to adopt this super-lean entry:
Believing that sentence to be absurdly incomplete, I entered editors who responded sided with me, so that was the end of
ed by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Los Angeles Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any
Next, “Wait until someone reverts your edit. You have now
“limited to one very narrow area or set of articles.” So I during the campaign, balanced by her defense of guns and the Second Amendment, and some back and forth on racial
including nothing about her views on LGBTQ rights, but the there is one thing that is absolutely certain, it is that consensus on average, we err on the side of being conservative when it So, potentially, you could have better luck than I did in revising the Winsome Sears article. Why not give it a shot? Anyone can edit Wikipedia.
LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022 • 17
By JOHN PAUL KING
18 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM • FEBRUARY 11, 2022
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Saturday April 23, 2022 Ebony Repertory Theatre Nate Holden Performing Arts Center 4718 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90016
Dorothy Parker will cure your Valentine’s blues Poetry collection ‘Enough Rope’ now in public domain By KATHI WOLFE
It’s that time of the year. Red hearts everywhere. Sappy greeting cards. The need to have a lover or at least a date ASAP. It’s Valentine’s Day season! But, you needn’t go to bed, and pull the covers over your head. There’s hope. Hope is the thing with feathers, said Emily Dickinson. (If alive today, Dickinson, thought by some scholars to have been queer, likely would pen a beautiful, sardonic, nearly inscrutable, poem about Valentine’s Day schmaltz.) This V day, hope can be found in the poetry of writer, poet, wit, critic, civil rights activist and gay icon Dorothy Parker. Parker, who lived from 1893 to 1967, still has many fans and her wit hasn’t gone out of style. Last summer, Parker was in the news after the longstanding issue of what to do with her remains was resolved. Parker was a die-hard New Yorker: she lived and wrote in New York City. But because she willed her estate to the Rev. Martin Luther King, her remains were given to the NAACP after King’s death. Her remains were buried on the NAACP Baltimore headquarters’ grounds. After the to New York. In August, Parker’s remains were buried in New York. The epitaph on her new gravestone is taken from her poem “Epitaph for a Darling Lady.” “Leave for her a young red rose/Go your way and save your pity/She is happy for she knows/That her dust is very pretty.” domain. Parker was hetero, and poetry isn’t everyone’s jam. But, as I’ve written before in the
Blade, Parker’s second husband was gay and she had many queer friends. Some scholars believe that the phrase “I’m a friend of Dorothy” used by many gays before you could be out, referred to Parker. “Heterosexuality isn’t normal,” Parker said, “it’s just common.” Parker was a poet at a time when some poets (such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was queer) were rock stars. (Think of Amanda Gorman, President Biden’s inaugural poet, and National Youth Poet Laureate.) “Enough Rope” was a bestseller. Parker was invited to gatherings everywhere. Parker didn’t take well to being a rock star. She would make excuses to get out of these readings by pleading “a return of that old black cholera of mine,” reports Marion Meade, her biographer, in “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?” ‘Enough Rope’ by Dorothy Parker was released in 1926. I’d wager a red rose or a chocolate heart that a hit of Parker’s work will dispel your Valentine’s blues. Or make you laugh (ironically) even though your heart is broken. Parker, who was a member of the “vicious circle” of writers of the Algonquin Round Table, is best known today for her sharp wit. “I don’t know much about being a millionaire,” she said, “but I’d bet I’d be darling at it.” But she had a drinking problem, of heartbreak in love. Though written nearly a century ago, Parker’s poetry is relatable now. Her poems,
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loneliness. As with many LGBTQ folks, her irony and wit helped her not only to survive, but to create. “Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song/a medley of extemporanea/” Parker wrote in her poem “The Queen of Romania,” “And love is a thing that can never go wrong/and I am Marie of Romania.” If you’ve been hurt by a sweet-seeming, but Satanic cad, Parker’s right there with you. “The sweeter the apple, the blacker the core,” Parker writes in “Enough Rope,” Love is for unlucky folks, and it’s a curse, Parker said in a poem. But she, in her inimitable way, looked on the bright side: “Once there was a heart I broke,” she wrote, “And that, I think, is worse.” Happy Valentine’s Day! Note: “Enough Rope” by Dorothy Parker is widely available.
‘And Just Like That,’ season one is wrapped
‘And Just Like That’ reunites three of the original four from ‘Sex and the City.’ (Screen capture via HBO Max
Despite imperfections, an entertaining blend of story and representation By KATHI WOLFE
(Note: This article contains spoilers.) In Billy Wilder’s 1959 masterpiece “Some Like It Hot,” Osgood Fielding III proposes marriage to Daphne (Jack Lemmon). “Well, nobody’s perfect,” Osgood says after Daphne reveals that he’s Jerry, a man. Nothing is ever perfect. Though I can’t help but wonder (as Carrie Bradshaw would say) how perfect “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” revival would have been if only Wilder had been at the helm. As of this writing, it’s not known if the show will have a second season. Variety has reported that Michael Patrick King, the series’ executive producer, writer, and director, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who stars in the show as Carrie Bradshaw, are interested in continu“Sex and the City” fans looked forward to the revival with a mixture of anticipation and dread. public relations pro and force of nature Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall). We had fond memories of their husbands and boyfriends (especially, Carrie’s Mr. Big, Charlotte’s Harry, Miranda’s Steve and Samantha’s Smith). Every self-respecting “Sex and the City” fan fondly remembers how much Charlotte loathed “funky spunk” and fantasized about “Father Fuck.” When I reviewed “And Just Like That” for the Blade after it was released in December, only two episodes of the show had streamed. “The reboot has its awkward, clunky, annoying moments, but shows glimmers of tenderness, wit, and promise,” I wrote then. -
ond unspeakably bad) have been rightly criticized for being too white, too hetero, bi-phobic and transphobic. (Think of Samantha’s relationship with a stereotypically depicted Latina lesbian or when Carrie ditches a date because he’s bisexual.) The creators of “And Just Like That” took this criticism to heart. There are people of col-
provocative premise, but, at times, wondered if “And Just Like That” should have been created. For starters, because Cattrall didn’t want to be in it, Samantha is absent from the sewithout Samantha is like the solar system minus one of its planets. No new planet could replace it. workout on his Peloton bike. bewildered by everything from podcasts to ebooks. boss, compelled me to watch the series to its end. laughing and changing (everything from their professions to their sexuality and gender identities). The show is a feast for party-animals – featuring everything from a “they mitzvah” with a trans rabbi to a surprise wedding to a Diwali celebration. “And Just Like That,” despite its imperfections, is an entertaining blend of story and representation. The Internet loves to hate-watch and, “And Just Like That” has had its share of hate-bingers. But, though the series had its awkward, heavy-handed moments, I didn’t clutch my Manolo Blahniks or Carrie necklace. I wasn’t among the haters.
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