Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Paris is Burning"

Ok, first things first: I do not gush. Usually. Ok, I guess I do sometimes, when something/someone is passion-worthy. But oh my effing god: Zaya and I met with Ariel Shidlo, one of the founders of the Research Institute Without Walls (love the concept of transparency and pride expressed through a phrase "without walls" on its surface level, and the fact that it implies freedom, and limitlessnesss! And very fortunate of us to have met Ariel as he was involved in developing the guidelines for the mental healthcare of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, which is something we are going to start engaging the existing healthcare associations and future associations, such as the Mongolian Psychological Association that I hear is in its very early inception stages) and as it happens, his partner Jim had gone to school with Jennie Livingston - the very one who made the perennial Paris is Burning that documented in a visceral way the many dimensions and intersectionality of various oppressions experienced by the African American and Latino transgender women and gay men in New York in the late 1980s. And never in my life had I thought I would possibly ever meet the woman who left her mark in the global queer movement by doing what she did - documenting the New York city's trans, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming female identified people of the 1980s. Thanks to Rob, I had become a true documentary junkie, and to be introduced to Jennie Livingston, the one who gave voice and image to the very strong and beautiful people by Ariel's partner Jim, what can be better?! Meeting her in person, obviously! So Zaya and I are going tomorrow to a theatrical event - Purimshpiel - organised by Jews for Economic and Racial Justice. Kudos and hats off to a living legend Livingston! Definitely something worth gushing, methinks. Update tomorrow.


As many of you know, we are doing an online crowdfunding for the first time in the history of the Centre, and it happens to be for the Equa...