Queer: June 2003 Archives

Fifth Avenue today, the handsome "Metrosource" Float. Barry said they must all be writers.

[photo does not illustrate incidents in this story, but it is from Diego Garcia]

Although the following events seem to have occurred some time ago, I suspect things are still interesting on this not-so-tight little island.

A story to gladden the hearts of many lusty male queers this holiday weekend has just been reported in the Australian media.

AUSTRALIAN sailors had sex on the beach, streaked through military buses and pranced naked with rolled-up burning paper stuck between their buttocks in a wild, drunken romp at a US outpost in the Indian Ocean.

An investigation by The Weekend Australian has revealed many other complaints of misconduct during the 24-hour shore leave on Diego Garcia – the US base dubbed "Gilligan's Island with guns".

Among the allegations were widespread drunkenness among the crews of HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Kanimbla, urinating in public, overt public male-to-male kissing and abuse of foreign military personnel.

But the Australian Defence Force investigated only a handful – including urinating in public, public nudity, verbal abuse, sexually inappropriate displays of affection and intoxication – because military police found insufficient evidence to identify the other offenders. No other details were ever released.

Disciplinary action has been taken against just two sailors – one for the so-called "dance of the flamers", where rolled paper inserted between the buttocks was set alight, and another for exposing himself in public. Penalties included restriction of privileges and leave, plus a fine equal to five and three days' pay respectively.

Navy chief Vice-Admiral David Shackleton has already ordered a review of behaviour, in particular the use of alcohol. A defence spokesperson said that review was ongoing.

After all that, the Australian authorities seem to believe the big offense is too much alcohol? That kind of attitude is just so damn refreshing for us Yanks.

Have a great Stonewall Weekend, what'er your island!

[thanks to bentkid]

At the Stonewall Place rally yesterday evening, called by Queers for Peace and Justice:

New York City Councilmember Chris Quinn

LAMBDA Executive Director Kevin Cathcart

Virtually 34 years to the day after the Stonewall rebellion, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided we have rights.

Today's ruling invalidates sodomy laws in the 13 states which have retained them until this moment. Until 1962, when Illinois repealed its statute, every state had these laws on the books. The next repeal had to wait until after Stonewall, when Connecticut joined Illinois in 1971. New York shuffled along until 1980 when its law was invalidated by its own judiciary, but the statute itself had remained on the books until it was legislatively removed this month.

For a more Delacroix-esque, full-color take on the events of June, 1969, see this image by California [legislatively repealed, 1976] artist Sandow Birk:

Today, Thursday, on what is essentially the beginning of "Gay Pride" weekend, the Supremes will announce their pontifical decision about whether us queers may have sex.

Either they're going to be delivering good news, or they're really asking for trouble. If it's the latter, will there be rioting in the streets, or will we be too busy partying in our ghettos to notice or care?

Let's be ready across the country, either way. In New York, the designated time and site is 7 in the evening, Sheridan Square (7th Avenue/Christopher Street).

It read like a documentary, and I assumed that's what it was. Yea!

But then I began to have my doubts. So, was it just the wishful thinking of this perverse activist queer which so easily cooperated with Scott Treleaven's great and very lefty-homo style to make his reel world so real? "THE SALiVATION ARMY," shown here this month at the New Festival, is a very good film, but it's fictional. Or is it?

Ed Halter writing last November in the Village Voice, when the 22-minute Canadian short was shown at the Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival:

A more earnestly touching heroism emerges in Scott Treleaven's The Salivation Army, a rantumentary about his wannabe-revolutionary homocore faux-gang. DIY grungy and surprisingly subtle, Salivation smartly links world-changing ambitions to perverse desires for purity and innocence. "I have seen the new face of radicalism," Treleaven narrates, "and it is cute." Like Dennis Cooper with a heart, he keeps outsider fires burning. In your face, Will & Grace.
For more thrills, see the SALiVATION ARMY website, and come by D'Amelio Terras Gallery July 1 (until August 1) to see tomorrow's worlds today, including the Queers that are us.

Leaving you with Treleaven's words:

Once And For All: There Is No Scene: There is no membership activity. We've all done our time with the punks, the Goths, the crusties, club scenes, art scenes. Galleries, grebos & factories. You name it. We've done the tattoos, the hairdos, the scars, and the steel till we all looked alike. Communist meetings, Anarchist rallies, potlucks, back rooms, witch circles; all the underground credentials you could want...Having now safely returned to the helm we can report: there wasn't really anybody there...We are the new circus. We are the envy of the fucking world.

(Excerpt from the last missive from the Army)

"My sexuality is my own sexuality. It doesn’t belong to anybody. Not to my government, not to my brother, my sister, my family. No one."
Ahraf Zanati is now safe in Vancouver, but two years ago he was one of 52 men arrested, tortured and imprisoned in Cairo for being on board a Nile riverboat disco patronized by gay and bisexual males.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt (as it still is in some U.S. jurisdictions) but these men were tried for crimes of debauchery and offence to religion nevertheless. Significantly, foreigners were merely told to leave when police boarded the boat. I was aboard the Queen Boat myself years ago, and so, on account of my timing if not my birth, I suppose I may have been lucky to escape - with my debauchery and religious offence completely intact.

Much of the world has not been so fortunate. Millions are still in great peril for their sexuality, and a new documentary, "Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World," examines the dangers and rare triumphs for queers of all kinds in the "Global South."

The film will be shown next Saturday at 3:30 at NYU's Cantor Film Center (36 E 8th St. at University Place) as part of the New Festival.

Mubarak Dahir offers a good account of queer life in Cairo today.

And for perhaps the latest on a story which will have not end (because it has political utility), see this Gay City News story.

This page is an archive of entries in the Queer category from June 2003.

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