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There’s no Pride in Israeli occupation of Palestine

Boycotts of film festival shine light on ‘pinkwashing’



TLVFest, gay news, Washington Blade

Tel-Aviv, Israel (Photo public domain)

Israel’s LGBTQ film festival has a queer problem. Heading the call of the grassroots Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian equality, the South African queer filmmaker John Trengove – whose film, “The Wound,” opened the festival in Tel Aviv, on June 1 – announced his boycott days before the ceremony. Many quickly followed his example. As a recipient of state funds, TLVFest is complicit in the Israeli government’s anti-Palestinian equality agenda. Such complicity is all the more manifest given the political environment in Israel where its cultural ministry – the source of its funding – is helmed by the far-right Miri Regev. That TLVFest accepts state funding all but guarantees the festival won’t challenge reactionary politics. Such a compromised role has turned off many artists.

Responding to the BDS campaign, TLVFest director Yair Hochner argued that Trengove’s approach was misguided because, he said, “We work hard to promote messages that the [Israeli] government doesn’t promote.” Rather than an alternative vision, as characterized by Hochner, Israel’s mainstream gay rights movement has embraced what many queers have termed homo-nationalism – subsuming LGBTQ identity to the dominant nationalist and racialist identity – that, in Israel, translates into tacit if not avowed support for Israel’s military occupation over Palestine that blights the lives of Palestinian LGBTQs.

Many LGBTQ Israelis have enlisted their bodies in the state’s “pinkwashing” propaganda. The Israeli military has hired gay and trans soldier-spokespersons to instrumentalize Israel’s relatively progressive record on gay rights as a distraction from its deeply illiberal record toward Palestinians. Even the voices of Palestinian LGBTQs inside Israel have been pushed aside. At a 2009 LGBTQ solidarity rally in Tel Aviv, Palestinian speakers were banned from the podium for fear they’d draw parallels between anti-gay and anti-Palestinian discrimination. Whether out of conviction or opportunism, TLVFest takes no clear and persistent stand on Palestinian equality despite taking place just miles from the open air prison that is occupied Palestine.

Hochner sought to flip the script and portray BDS supporters as close-minded partisans who’ve “decided not to treat us like culture-loving people who are interested in dialogue.” Dialogue would only be productive when TLVFest is ready to publicly recognize the unequal treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli state. Until then, dialogue sessions would serve no purpose except delaying the promise of equality until the next dialogue, and the one after that. Moreover,  TLVFest’s official statement to the BDS campaign disingenuously claimed that “it is impossible to hold a festival without government support.” In May, Tel Aviv staged the Human Rights Film Festival committed to confronting the occupation and providing a forum to Palestinian and Israeli dissident voices. And it did all this without accepting a shekel from the State of Israel.

TLVFest directors betrayed their obliviousness toward the real violence Palestinians confront daily when they charged that BDS activists acted “violently against a film festival.” When Palestinians take up arms, they’re condemned as “terrorists.” When they start a movement committed to peaceful solidarity, they’re condemned as violent all the same.

What BDS seeks to impress upon Israelis is that there can be no normalization of half a century of occupation: a film festival is not an innocuous cultural event when it receives funds from the left hand of the government while the right hand demolishes homes and steals land. Through direct pressure, BDS aims to induce Israelis to firmly demand their government end its oppression. Israelis, like TLVFest, who turn a blind eye to the occupation and then deride BDS, only add insult to injury.

As a queer individual who’s traveled to Israel, I felt a natural bond with many of our Israeli brothers and sisters who were shaped by their experiences as LGBTQs to stand up in defense of other oppressed people. But I also saw that there is nothing inherently redemptive about being LGBTQ. Gay people – like all people – are susceptible to nationalist intolerance. LGBTQ solidarity must be premised on shared values so that we work together to advance equality between Palestinians and Israelis. The Israeli queer group Black Laundry’s spirited slogan, “There’s no pride in the occupation,” shows the true path toward queer activism.

Khelil Bouarrouj is a junior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies.

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  1. lnm3921

    June 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Israel bashing again. Where were those Palestinians exactly when King David and King Solomon ruled those lands?? How that Pride Parade led by Hamas going for you?!

    • Helen4Yemen

      June 23, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      There are no native Palestinian Jews anymore. By 1851, there were 13,000 Jews in Palestine, all of them Yiddish speaking European migrants. So what happened to the Palestinian Jews? Did they disappear? They became Muslims and Christians. The Palestinians today are descended from the ancient Jews.
      . . .

      Note: “fellahin” is referring to the Palestinian farmers.

      David Ben-Gurion – 1918: “The fellahin are not descendants of the Arab conquerors, who captured Eretz Israel and Syria in the seventh century CE. The Arab victors did not destroy the agricultural population they found in the country. They expelled only the alien Byzantine rulers, and did not touch the local population. Nor did the Arabs go in for settlement.”

      David Ben-Gurion- 1918: “Even in their former habitations the Arabs did not engage in farming…their whole interest in the new countries was political, religious and material: to rule, to propagate Islam, and to collect taxes…the Jewish farmer, like any other farmer, was not easily torn from his soil…Despite the repression and suffering the rural population remained unchanged.”

      Itzhak Ben-Zvi – 1929: “The great majority of the fellahin do not descend from the Arab conquerors but before that, from the Jewish fellahin, who were the foundation of this country before its conquest by Islam.”

      Benny Morris: “The vast majority of Arabs who live in Palestine originated in Palestine, ‘originated’ meaning they have been living in Palestine for hundreds of years.”

      • lnm3921

        June 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

        The Palestinians today are descended from the ancient Jews.
        Oh, brother, what a load of BS. The diaspora following the fall of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem forced ancient Jews into exile al over the world including Europe.
        They didn’t become Muslims and Christians unless they are forced into it in countries like Spain. The majority of them kept their religion and immigrated to places like Europe. Of course their descendants would be Europeans speaking languages like Yiddish.
        You people will say anything to push your agenda and be seen as v

        • Helen4Yemen

          June 24, 2017 at 1:02 am

          95% of world Jewry are white Jews of European ancestry.

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            June 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

            Helen 4 Yemen – your posts are sheer ugliness. Newsflash – gay people are NOT about hating the Jewish people. Take it elsewhere, we don’t buy it.

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

            I was responding to this, was I not?

            “Where were those Palestinians exactly when King David and King Solomon ruled those lands?? Where were they when Jesus was preaching there?”

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            June 24, 2017 at 12:47 pm

            I’ve read all of your posts. You’re just a hater. Shame on you and you do harm you cause by saying such filth.

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 24, 2017 at 12:48 pm

            Show me one comment that I posted that you regard as:
            a) hate
            b) filth?

          • Kemwit Tall Tree

            June 24, 2017 at 12:54 pm

            You disgust me. Go away monster.

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm


          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 1:59 pm

            Why block him? Can’t you stand the truth about yourself? Ugly and filthy that you are and promote? Stick a Mellon in your mouth Hellen! You’re so ant-sematic. You’re pathetic!

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:12 pm

            You’re in denial of reality bea-yotch!

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm

            And you still haven’t provided a legitimate answer! The majority of the descendents of those kings never stopped being Jews. You have no proof that the Palestinians were ever Jews! You hate Jews, and if you had a legacy of being Jews, you’d embrace it!

            They were forced to scatter around the world and came back as the bible predicted they would to the lands that were theirs! Get over it!

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

            Note: “fellahin” is referring to the Palestinian farmers.

            David Ben-Gurion – 1918: “The fellahin are not descendants of the Arab conquerors, who captured Eretz Israel and Syria in the seventh century CE. The Arab victors did not destroy the agricultural population they found in the country. They expelled only the alien Byzantine rulers, and did not touch the local population. Nor did the Arabs go in for settlement.”

            David Ben-Gurion- 1918: “Even in their former habitations the Arabs did not engage in farming…their whole interest in the new countries was political, religious and material: to rule, to propagate Islam, and to collect taxes…the Jewish farmer, like any other farmer, was not easily torn from his soil…Despite the repression and suffering the rural population remained unchanged.”

            Itzhak Ben-Zvi – 1929: “The great majority of the fellahin do not descend from the Arab conquerors but before that, from the Jewish fellahin, who were the foundation of this country before its conquest by Islam.”

            Benny Morris: “The vast majority of Arabs who live in Palestine originated in Palestine, ‘originated’ meaning they have been living in Palestine for hundreds of years.”

            Translation: The Arabs did not expel the natives of the land and take their place, they did not settle on the land, they were there only to convert the people into Islam, therefore, the current Palestinian population are the descendants of those who were already there before the arrival of the Arabs. The Palestinian Jews (who later converted to Christianity and then to Islam) never left their land nor were they replaced by the Arabs. The Arabs did not come to settle on the land but rather “to rule, to propagate Islam, and to collect taxes”. The Jewish farmers were attached to their land. “was not easily torn from his soil” and the current Palestinians are in fact the descendants of the people who were already there on that land before the arrival of the Arabs.

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

            These quotes you allege these people made prove nothing! Genetics prove something. Your conclusions or translations are meaningless propaganda!

            Do you have any genetic proof of Palestinians today descending from ancient Jews?

          • Johnson11b

            June 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm

            Genetically, Ashkenazi are half-European & half-Middle Eastern.

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:01 pm

            So what? Obviously over thousands of years, mixing with Europeans they would be. They are still Jews and Israel is their homeland!

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm

            So you hate white people too?!

        • Helen4Yemen

          June 24, 2017 at 1:03 am

          If there was “diaspora”, does it then mean that the “Israelite” were cowardly sissies who abandoned their babies, children, mother, aunts, grandmother, nieces, nephews and just fled to save their lives? You need to tell me what happened to the “Israelite” left behind? Please tell me:

          a) How many people left?
          b) How did they travel? (mode of transportation)?
          c) What was the male/female ratio of those who traveled?
          d) What percentage stayed behind?
          e) Did any babies, old people, young kids travel?
          f) What was their first destination?
          f) What was the point of departure?
          h) How long did it take them from departure to destination?

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

            Cowardly sissies would be Palestinian suicide bombers that murder innocent women and children randomly!
            In the first diaspora, the Babylonians took Jews by force into slavery. In the 2nd it was Romans.

            You’re simply land squatters! You were never Jews. When the Jews were forced out by the Romans, no one was there to keep you from taking the land!

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 25, 2017 at 1:52 pm

            What do you know about the so-called “diaspora”?

            a) How many people were left?
            b) How did they travel? (mode of transportation)?
            c) What was the male/female ratio of those who traveled?
            d) What percentage stayed behind?
            e) Did any babies, old people, young kids travel?
            f) What was their first destination?
            f) What was the point of departure?
            h) How long did it take them from departure to destination?

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 25, 2017 at 2:01 pm

            Were the Israelite women left behind?

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm

            Obviously not or they would not have continued to have children that were Jews! Stupid questions!

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm

            Why then do the Ashkenazi claim to be 50% European and 50% Middle East if their women came with them? Why then did the Ashkenazi marry non-Jewish European women?

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm

            Maybe because the Palestinian women were too ugly! I’m sure you can relate to that!

          • Helen4Yemen

            June 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm

            I just am not patient enough with those who post total nonsense! A waste of time. Blocked!

          • lnm3921

            June 25, 2017 at 2:13 pm

            Look who is talking about nonsense! Good riddance! Enough Pink Washing of Palestinian crimes!

    • Theo Anonis

      June 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm

      If you can provide definitive archaeological (not biblical) evidence of said Kingdoms of David and Solomon, and of Jesus, then I’ll listen.

      How lame is your effort to distract by pointing fingers at Hamas, when your own religious institutions are equal to Hamas in their hatred of the LGBTQ community. And those same institutions are gaining strength in Israel and in the IDF. Some Rabbi’s have spewed so much hatred at the Gay community that it makes my hair stand on end.

      • lnm3921

        June 27, 2017 at 9:31 pm

        Where is your archaeological evidence that the land has always belonged to Palestinians? Roman historians wrote about Jesus. The bible isn’t the only source. Who built that Wall Jews pray to below the temple mount In Jerusalem? Palestinians?

        I can point to more people in the Muslim world that spew hatred toward GLBT than Jews! Can you name one country in the Middle East where GLBT are welcome and thrive openly other than Israel?

        • Theo Anonis

          June 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

          I don’t believe you read my comment correctly. There is ample research on this and there is still, no absolute evidence, archaeologically, of any kingdoms of Solomon or David, or any definitive clues to who built the wall. It could have been the Egyptians; or possibly Babylonians, Akkadians, Phoenicians. The possibilities are too numerous, but you can keep trying to convince yourself that it was the early members of your religion.

          And it seems that, to you, hate is quantitative (whoever hates the most, wins). Well that really doesn’t go very far. Remember, less than 50 years ago, being Gay was against the law in most western countries. Even today, in some states of the US, there are laws on the books against homosexual acts.

          So, please, do a bit more research when answering the next time.

          • lnm3921

            June 28, 2017 at 8:21 pm

            Where is your research and archaeological evidence that Palestinians have been in what is Israel today for thousands of years making the land theirs? You have none!

            You keep drawing comparisons between the struggle of gays with Palestinians but that doesn’t hold water!

            Palestinians are no less hateful toward Jews or gays.

            Where in the Middle East I asked you can GLBT have any freedom to be themselves and open other than Israel? Can you name a Muslim Country? Recently a pride parade in Turkey was attacked!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 28, 2017 at 11:55 pm

            You started this conversation by implying that the Kingdoms of Solomon and David existed and asked where the Palestinians were at that time. I replied that there was no archaeological evidence of such kingdoms so the presence of the Palestinians is irrelevant.

            But back to my original point. When you repress one group, you repress all groups. Just because one group finds acceptance by the state apparatus or the general population, doesn’t mean that other groups don’t continue to face discrimination, repression and racism within that same society or state. That, my friend, is hypocrisy.

          • lnm3921

            June 29, 2017 at 12:27 am

            You still haven’t presented your evidence that Palestinians have an archaeological claim to the region because there is none. Whether or not there is an archaeological evidence of Kings Solomon and David I won’t spend time researching. You haven’t proven they didn’t exist either!

            Regardless of who started this conversation, YOU decided to add your two cents to it!

            We aren’t friends, but getting back to the point, I never denied there was oppression, discrimination or racism in this world. We’ve always had it and likely always will. Humans are flawed. We currently have repression of the poor and Middle Class at the hands of the rich in this country.

            Palestinians themselves are no better than Jews when it comes to racism or oppressing or discriminating.

            Those suicide bombings will never take the moral high ground. They want the destruction of Israel not to compromise or live in harmony.

            You keep trying to drag the LGBT movement into a civil war over who has rights in a country thousands of miles away. We need to be focusing on efforts by those that would discriminate among us here during this wave of conservative extremism and nationalism. Rather than things that divide us further.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 29, 2017 at 5:23 pm

            I see that you are having a bit of trouble focusing. One cannot prove a negative, such as proving that the Kingdom’s of David and Solomon didn’t exist. Well I can’t prove that Reindeer don’t fly either, so you point is irrelevant.

            One thing that you cannot seem to get over is the need to hide behind the LGBTQ community to imply that the state of Israel is progressive and good. What I’m saying is, that as long as it still represses the Palestinians, no amount of goodwill will absolve it.

          • lnm3921

            June 29, 2017 at 6:54 pm

            You see nothing but what you want to see! You have no point for Palestinians demands either! You can’t prove their claims to the land based on being their thousands of year either! So their claims to the territory over Israel are no more valid!
            This is a website on LGBTQ news and the opinion piece drags the issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflicts into it! So it’s hardly hiding behind anything!
            Israel relative to the rest of the Middle East is good in relation to the treatment of the GLBT community!
            What I’m saying is that as long as Palestinians keep inflicting Israel with suicide bombings, and no other country in the Middle East treat GLBT better, no amount of whining about being repressed will absolve them!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 6:59 pm

            I don’t have to prove anything. I’m not making any claims that the Palestinians were there for thousands of years. In fact, they likely didn’t migrate to the Levant until about 700AD or later, but that’s not the issue. The partition of mandate Palestine was established and has yet to be implemented. But you can take that up with the international community that has either recognized the occupation or the State of Palestine.

            This website brought to the forefront an important issue. The government of Israel, as it does so many times, has used, and supported select groups for propaganda or hasbara purposes and the LGBTQ community of Israel seems to be falling into lock step.

            Those who are oppressed and repressed can often be pushed to the breaking point. Look up the White Night riots, if you’re looking for something a little closer to home.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 7:14 pm

            Who the heck do you think you are to expect arrogantly for proof of Israel’s claims to the land over Palestinians or the existence of King’s David and Solomon ruling those lands 3000 years ago to say you don’t have to prove anything?!!!!

            You also cowardly dodge the call to blow yourself up! If innocent lives don’t matter surely you don’t! Give yourself up for your convictions!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

            I am a rational, logical, thinking being. As of yet, no archaeological evidence exists of the Kingdoms you claim to exist, even though there is ample evidence of other kingdoms of equal, or older ages. Why is that I wonder?

            And, I think you might be blowing a gasket now with your proposition to propel me to violence. I’m an advocate, and I act in the way I see fit for my own causes.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm

            Yet nothing you say is logical or shows thinking! Your arguments are not rational they are sick!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

            If I’ve made any inaccurate statements, go ahead and fact check.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:16 pm

            Fake facts aren’t facts! They are rantings!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 8:19 pm

            Ahhhhh. Now the image you chose for your profile makes sense!!!

            The truth as fake facts!!!! HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:23 pm

            Actually the image I chose is meant to be sarcastic.

            Ahhhh, the image you chose for yours makes sense to me, the “despicable me” guy!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 8:24 pm

            It’s actually Sisyphus. No sarcasm.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:27 pm

            I’d say you’re the bolder he pushes not the man!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm

            LOL. Nice try.

            There is no fakery in my comments, nor is there anything but years of research and dedication to the truth. Decades of advocacy for those who have seen their rights trampled on or abused, including the LGBTQ community.

            However, when that same community turns it’s back on other repressed groups, like the Palestinians, well, that’s when I call hypocrisy and call them out on it.

            Please, enlighten me. Where in my comments can you pinpoint an un-truth?

          • lnm3921

            July 2, 2017 at 3:14 pm

            Even the image you choose for yourself represents deceit! Sisyphus had to push that boulder in Hades among other reasons for Deceit! Freudian Slip?

            The oppressed don’t murder people with suicide bombs. They are terrorists! NO pity for your murdering ways! The GLBT community doesn’t support youxer tactics! Stop trying to drag us into your murder!

            When have your Palestinians in Gaza fought for GLBT freedom and equality exactly in the Middle East?

          • Theo Anonis

            July 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

            That’s so cute that you would look up Sisyphus so as to catch me in a “gotcha” moment. Wikipedia is not a very good source for anything by the way, especially, Greek Mythology. I grew up with Greek Mythology and quite informed on the topic.

            The deceit you are so proud of implying is the simpleton’s definition of his character. Never the less the character of Sisyphus relates to his interaction with the Olympian Gods and his defiance of their insipid despotic rule. More of an anarchist in reality.

            I can’t believe that you are so naive as to believe that at no time in history were oppressed people ever violent, except the Palestinians. Are you serious about not knowing that history is littered with the dead bodies of the members of oppressive regimes?

            However, I’m glad that you have now confirmed that the Palestinians are oppressed persons.

            Nelson Mandela said of the Palestinians plight, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.

          • lnm3921

            July 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm

            You are so arrogant to think you are the only one that can define anything! The simpleton is you with you endless regurgitation of the same thing over and over again. Say it a million times and you will NEVER justify it!

            Screw the Palestinians! They are not oppressed. Simply greedy and good at playing the victims! Breakout out the violin music! They do nothing for the GLBT. We shouldn’t spend our political capital on terrorists who would just as easily oppress us!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 3, 2017 at 12:15 am

            So can I assume that you are not an advocate for human rights? Or are you selective in your hypocrisy.

            Sad to say that your opinion of the oppression of the Palestinians is in the minuscule minority. The support of the government of Israel is decaying in the world community as it pertains to the Palestinians, and the fastest growing group with a negative option of Israel are Jewish college students. Go figure.

            The more people know about the reality of the occupation of Palestinian land, the more opposition there is to it. Irrespective of the Hasbara coming out of Israel.

          • lnm3921

            July 3, 2017 at 1:17 pm

            The by any means philosophy you advocate and your Palestinians employ will never give you the moral high ground!

            Obviously U.S. support for Israel makes it a target of your blackmail and manipulation of suicide bombs something we will never accept!

            The world is getting tired of your bombings and it’s people like you that will pay for it!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 3, 2017 at 2:13 pm

            History has proven me right. From Spartucus to Ho Chi Minh to Fidel Castro to Pancho Villa, et al. Each mobilized resistance against their oppressors. Because the occupation and oppression was violent, the resistance to, and reaction was of equal violence.

            The Palestinians find themselves in equal company.

            Shall I describe the company that the IDF and the government of Israel keeps? It won’t be pleasant.

          • lnm3921

            July 3, 2017 at 2:33 pm

            History is fraught of examples of you terrorists being brought down sooner or later! Sooner or later you are mowed down or simply self-destruct!!

            Advocates of violence like you are failures and are consumed by it! Your Palestinians aren’t victims but victimizers. I don’t need to hear your propaganda! Europe and America have had enough of it! Increasingly your tactics will be your downfall!!!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 3, 2017 at 6:03 pm

            Had it not been for armed struggle by freedom fighters the Portuguese, Spanish, Austro-Hungarian, British, Ottoman and French Empires would still exist today.

            Occupation is a fools game, and one of the most foolish is that of the Israeli government.

            The violence of the IDF and government of Israel, perpetrated against the Palestinians is the most repressive in our times. Not since WWII has there been anything like it.

            The brutality of the occupation of the Palestinians is unconscionable. Retribution for the pain and suffering, the indignity of repression and arbitrary arrest and murder. Displacement from your home, the demolition of your home, the bombardment of your home. The use of your children as “target practice”. Midnight raids, ad nauseam.

            Would you accept this?

            I don’t advocate for violence, but I understand that often, there is no other choice.

          • lnm3921

            July 3, 2017 at 6:34 pm

            Blah,blah,blah! Yadds, yardda, yadda!

            Palestinians are not freedom fighters!. They are suicide bomber terrorist! You can’t change a swine into something else by putting lipstick on it!

            You won’t change my mind on this so get a life and stop replying with bs!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 5, 2017 at 12:25 am

            The military occupation of a population is a violent act. Standing against that violence is self-defense.

            It is despicable when the legal obligation to care for the well-being of the occupied population is ignored as Israel does in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.

            At no time in human history has an occupied, or subjugated population simply accepted their fate. Not a once. Yet this is what you expect of the Palestinians?

            Why should they allow their dignity as human beings to be stripped from them? Why should they accept the daily murder of their children and other members of their family? The daily humiliation of not having the basics of human rights that is owed to them.

            No one would accept this. No one.

          • lnm3921

            July 5, 2017 at 12:43 am

            More yabba dabba do nothing. It’s become a lot of noise like static! A hysterical attempt at relevance and importance.

            Many people including LGBT are oppressed and forced to endure daily humaniliation yet none advvocate suicide bombings and mass mirder!! Gandhi didn’t win independence for India by your tactics!!!

            It’s time to end this farce and give you your grades so you can move on:

            Persuasiveness: F-
            Coherence: F-
            Value: F-
            Annoyance: A-
            Lies: A

            Class dismissed. You may sashay away down Palestine in your high heels and lipstick to receive the unconditional love and suppport of your people!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 5, 2017 at 1:02 am

            “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.”

            –Mahatma Gandhi

          • lnm3921

            July 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm

            Just more major BS by you! GLBT have been historically humiliated, marginalized, demonized, attacked, discriminated against, and murdered. Yet they do not resort to suicide bombings like your Palestinian Terrorists! This still occurs despite changes in society and wider acceptance!

            GLBT have managed to overcome despite major backlashes and forces against them without having to rely on the cowardly violence and murder of innocent people! If your family were victims of such bombings maybe then you wouldn’t think it’s so good! Or maybe you’re no better than an animal and it wouldn’t phase you!

            You are simply a failure! Nothing will ever justify you! Stop posting your rhetoric. You are a bore and while this issue maybe the center of your life, it’s NOT mine! I will soon start to ignore as you have nothing of value to add, just regurgitating the same tired line as if saying it endlessly makes it valid! You are not relevant! Obviously you realize I’m right and can’t let it go!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm

            Interesting! First you made sure to emphasize Gandhi as a man of peace, but, when I prove to you that he wasn’t, suddenly, it’s trivial. Well, do your homework before trying to pretend you’re smarter than you really are!!

            And then you desperately cling to the same tired old blather about terrorists as though it provides you with some legitimacy.

            Unfortunately, the real terrorists are the occupying forces of the IDF, specific to this article, and in general for all occupying forces.
            Killing and maiming Palestinians at will, without repercussion and without any sense of humanity or morality is despicable.

            It matters not that you are member of a disadvantaged group if you use it as a crutch to turn your back on other disadvantaged groups.

            The LGBTQ community in my own city cooperated with Black Lives Matter to exclude the police from this year’s parade as a sign of solidarity with them because the black community in my city still feels hatred and racism from the police. I commend this stance by the organizers of the Toronto Pride Parade because they did not turn their backs on other disadvantaged groups by offering them some measure of dignity.

            And while you sit back in your comfortable life, proud of the fact that you, and your community have “overcome”, without even so much as a thought for others who still face oppression.

            Specific to your community (as I’m assuming that you are a member of the LGBTQ community, if this is not true, please correct me), I am old enough to remember the bath house raids by the police in my own city and being sickened by them, and I remember reading about the White Night riots in San Francisco as a teen.

            When a distinct group is subjugated, repressed and killed for no other reason other than chance of birth, or choices, there is something wrong with the state agencies that permit it.

            It’s wrong in its entirety, and it is my obligation to stand against it.

          • lnm3921

            July 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            You keep clinging to the same tired BS about Palestinians as if that gives it any legitimacy so you are no one to talk!

            Killing and maiming anyone with suicide bombings is despicable yet you believe only Palestinian lives matter and no others do!

            Stop dragging Black LIves Matter into this. One disadvantaged group not supporting another is nothing new. Many African-American opposed marriage equality after all. What have Palestinians done for GLBT exactly? I keep asking but you keep dodging the question!

            You no nothing about my life so don’t assume to think you know anything about it! It’s presumptions of you to say I have a comfortable life!

            As for the GLBT community overcoming, that shows your ignorance and need to educate yourself beyond just Palestinians. In many US states it is still legal to discriminate against GLBT in employing, housing, public accommodations and services. Religious groups actively seek laws to legally discriminate based on religion and currently a court case before the SCOTUS seeks to do that. GLBT are subject to discrimination around the world. GLBT rights are always under siege!

            In Countries like Saudi Arabia they can be executed for being so. In Countries like Russia, they can be denied the right to free speech, freedom of the press and assembly and are harassed by police! In Chechnya gay men are forced into concentration camps where they are tortured and murdered. These countries support Palestinians thought don’t they?

          • Theo Anonis

            July 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm

            Yup, seems that you have enmeshed yourself entirely with the oppressor because its more comfortable (and lazy) to side with the state institutions that would do harm to those who do not have the power to defend themselves and demand the rights that are inherent to all human beings.

            I am well versed in the struggles all peoples, and I advocate for all of them irrespective of the particulars of their race, gender, sexuality, politics, etc.

            All persons are born with inherent rights. No state or state institution can take them from you unless through violence. When the state blocks you from your rights as a human being by violent means, you have the right to respond with equal violence.

            The occupier has a duty of care to the occupied population as per international law as defined by UNHRC. When that duty of care is ignored, or flaunted, the occupied population has no obligation to remain peaceful.

          • lnm3921

            July 8, 2017 at 12:30 am

            You’re a broken record with a needle stuck in the same groove so long that you have become a static noise!

            Get of the pity pulpit for palestininians already! we all have problems. The LGBT community is under siege by social conservatives and have no time to worry about people who couldn’t care less about their human rights!

          • Theo Anonis

            July 11, 2017 at 11:33 pm

            Though I’ve already moved on, one final thought. Along with everything else I advocate for, one of those is the LGBTQ community in my own city. I don’t stand on a podium ignoring the plight of others, I engage, and I listen. To me, that’s the key. People want to be heard. They want their stories told. They want their anguish to be acknowledged.

            I’ve been doing this in various forums for about 35 years, and I’m still at it, with lots of energy and resources to continue for another 35 years. So condemn me for that if you like, I won’t take it personally.

            It was a pleasure my friend, and I hope we meet again.


          • lnm3921

            July 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

            Well, when you’ve already moved on there are no “final” thoughts to relay.

            Given the administration in office, you’ll have a lot to fight!

            The end!

  2. A.S.F.

    June 23, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    There is as much pride in Jews surviving those who hate them for being Jews as there is in LGBT people surviving those who hate them for being LGBT. Get a clue.

  3. Robin Stone

    June 23, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you for this moving article. Me and my partner had the honor of attending the 2014 Gaza Gay Pride in Gaza City and last year we attended Palestinian Pride in Ramallah, the West Bank. Both events were quite memorable to say the least.

    Next year we plan to attend Pyongyang Pride.

  4. Helen4Yemen

    June 24, 2017 at 1:08 am

    The Jews on the left swing to the right on the question of Palestine.

  5. zionist&proud

    June 24, 2017 at 3:30 am

    As Alan Dershowitz successfully pointed out, those who use the term “pinkwashing” are anti-Semites.

    • Theo Anonis

      June 24, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      To Dershowitz if someone orders Rye Toast instead of a bagel in a restaurant, that’s Antisemitism.

      Why are you trying to water-down the realities of REAL Antisemitism by employing the words of the one person that has likely done the most harm to the exploit it?

      • zionist&proud

        June 25, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Because the claim of “pinkwashing” was invented by people in the anti-Israel crowd who already were expressing anti-Semitic views. Dershowitz was spot on in identifying another strain of the virus known as Jew-hatred.

        • Theo Anonis

          June 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm

          The only thing is, as you erase the lines separating real hate, and just simple criticism, you are playing a dangerous game. Painting Israel’s critics with a broad brush as Dershowitz has done, is nothing more than Antisemitism’s equal, only from the opposite direction. IT IS equally hateful?

          I loath hate-speech and in the article, Dershowitz continues to spin the same old tired yarns. The article is borderline incitement, and quite honestly, petty and pedantic.

          Antisemitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and all the other flavors of hatred need to be abolished. Rehashing tired old tropes doesn’t cut it.

          • zionist&proud

            June 26, 2017 at 10:30 am

            It’s not a broad paintbrush of Israel’s critics. It’s pointing a finger out at those who criticize Israel BECAUSE of anti-Semitism.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm

            The article is very nuanced, and the broad brush is hidden in plain sight.

            A couple of examples,

            “To the anti-Semite, every depression, war, social problem, plague must have been the fault of the Jews.” From this, it seems to imply that any critic of war, is an anti-Semite, lest there be some Jewish component to the said war…any war.

            “Now the very twisted illogic that has characterized classic anti-Semitism is being directed at the Jewish state, which for the anti-Semite has become “the Jew” among nations. “ Has NOT Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that Israel be recognized as the “Jewish State”, so Dershowitz is now saying what here, exactly? He’s saying we want to be a Jewish State, but we don’t want to be known as the “Jew among nations?” Does that make any sense at all? Or is it relevant only when it can be used as a tool of accusation.

            What Dershowitz is criticizing as a “bigoted thesis” is more than a valid criticism. There is more than ample evidence of Jewish Rabbi’s, opposing gay marriage. Calling Homosexuality an abomination. As far as I know, there is still a prohibition against homosexually in Judaism.

            So, as a Jewish state, given all that I’ve said here, how is Israel NOT pinkwashing? The state’s open arm for the LGBTQ community is just a PR ploy, and all about optics.

          • zionist&proud

            June 27, 2017 at 12:57 am

            You deny that the LGBTQ community in Israel exists, has worked to get recognition and marches for our rights. That is the distinction those who advocate for ‘Pinkwashing’ deny.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 27, 2017 at 8:21 pm

            I’m not denying anything of the sort. I even provided examples from the very country you are defending and the institutions that are vocally in opposition to the LGBTQ community.

            LGBTQ communities throughout the world have been struggling for recognition for decades. But, as an example of the community in my own city, the beatings, the raids, the arrests, by the police in the 1970’s and 1980’s, do not disappear, simply because the LGBTQ community is recognized today by those same institutions that so violently opposed it back then.

            Along with that, the rampant racism faced by the black community in, in parallel, from the police got to a breaking point where Black Lives Matter, negotiated the expulsion of the police from participating in the Pride Parade this year. Individuals could participate without the police uniform.

            The state, in all its institutions, when dealing with disadvantaged groups, still has deeply rooted racism and intolerance. They cannot deflect this by implying that simply because they accept one group it magically makes them the good guys. NO. Just because they “say” they accept one community, doesn’t mean that there still isn’t an underlying hatred of that community and others.

            Both you and Dershowitz both fail to recognize that Israel, hiding behind the LGBTQ community, does not absolve it of the horrors of the occupation.

          • zionist&proud

            July 1, 2017 at 6:47 am

            Israel doesn’t hide behind the LGBTQ community, on the contrary Israel accepts the community which is something that NONE of our Arab neighbors can say.

          • Theo Anonis

            July 2, 2017 at 2:39 pm

            Of course the government of Israel accepts the LGBTQ community, it needs it to hide behind for propaganda purposes. To pretend to be the good guys, while at the same time repressing the rights of the occupied Palestinians.

            How hypocritical of the LGBTQ community to pretend that repression of another group of people is insignificant, now that they are “accepted” by the state.

  6. Kemwit Tall Tree

    June 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

    See everyone in Tel Aviv! Love visiting our friends in Israel!

  7. LarryDerfner

    June 24, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Good article, also for pointing out that there are Israeli gay activists and human rights festivals that don’t take money from the gov’t. There’s no doubt that many, many thousands of the 200,000 at Tel Aviv Pride are totally against the occupation and gov’t pinkwashing (and if Alan Dershowitz calls you an anti-Semite, you should take it as a compliment; what he means is that you oppose Israeli tyranny). Thousands of them are also sympathetic to BDS and have no problem whatsoever with the film directors who boycotted the LGBT film festival, or fully support them.

    • Johnson11b

      June 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      575,000 Iraqi children died because of sanctions.
      BDS is group punishment.

      • Theo Anonis

        June 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm

        There’s one thing to remember here and that is the definition of BDS. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Boycott is an individual’s personal decision, Divestment is a corporate decision and Sanctions is a State decision. So far the has been only the B and the D, as there are no nations currently sanctioning Israel. But it’s only a matter of time.

        Those 575,000 children who died in Iraq was due to State Sanctions imposed by the world’s western nations, along with a blockade to go along with it.

        There is no where near the equivalence of the BDS movement to what happened in Iraq. Your attempt to imply as such is mundane at best.

  8. JimmyCarterSuxs

    June 24, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    BTW: Gays for Palestine is NO DIFFERENT than Blacks for the KKK.

  9. Sabi A-Libee

    June 25, 2017 at 4:13 am

    Go to the Palestinian Authority, the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, any Arab country that borders Israel or any Arab country that borders any Arab country that borders Israel and try being openly LGBT. With the possible exception of certain parts of Lebanon, see what your life expectancy is.

    • lnm3921

      June 25, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Yes, we know who the real pink washers are always bashing Israel who at least recognizes our rights while we are supposed to support people who are out to do far more harm and neglect the GLBT community!
      Does Hamas has a pro-GLBT platform?

  10. Rick Rosendall

    June 27, 2017 at 8:58 am

    I support the rights of Palestinians and oppose the occupation. I have risked friendships by writing stern criticism of Israel and Netanyahu. But I do not support BDS because of the selective outrage it represents. Leftist boycotters of Israel have been all too happy to travel to Havana and Beijing. I object to the term “pinkwashing” because it represents what Dale Carpenter calls “single-entry moral bookkeeping, where only one side of the ledger counts.” In advocating for justice with police and businesses and governments, pro-LGBT actions and policies must be duly credited just as anti-Palestinian ones must be criticized. We can and should do both. Netanyahu is terrible; Hamas is worse. Let us give credit and criticism where due. Unfortunately, anti-Israeli leftists are all too happy to whitewash Palestinian homo-hatred.

  11. Beer Baron

    June 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    We can all agree that Israel is a shining star of freedom in a region, sadly, largely devoid of it.

    In truth, Israel is a veritable social justice Shangri-La compared to the rest of the Arab Middle East.

    • Theo Anonis

      June 27, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      For the Palestinians under occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, Israel is as repressive and racist as all the other Arab nations you so freely point fingers at. For the Palestinians Israel is no shining star.

  12. Beer Baron

    June 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    It’s just amazing how successful Israel has become since 1948. The future for Israel is very bright; for the neighbors–not so much.

    • Theo Anonis

      June 28, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, “Successful”, at the expense of the taxpayers of the United States. Without the financial, military, and political support of the US-not so much success.

      However, what Israel seems also to be a success at is NOT doing anything about poverty which is second highest of OECD member nations. Only Mexico is higher, but by a small margin.

      Success is a relative term.

      What do you mean by it?

      • lnm3921

        June 28, 2017 at 8:33 pm

        The US provides economic and military success to many nations around the world including Muslim ones at the expense of US taxpayers!

        Yet because you have a chip on your shoulder for Israel you single it out and ignore the big picture facts!

        If they were giving all that aid to Palestinians then to you it would be a good thing?

        • Theo Anonis

          June 28, 2017 at 9:30 pm

          Were you talking about other countries in your original post? No, you were only talking about Israel.

          All I did was to simply counter your misinformation.
          Now, you try the typical “distraction” method by pointing fingers away from the truth. Someone should really get a new tactic. This one is getting old and tired and completely ineffective.

          Your proposed economic miracle is neither when Israel is no better than Mexico on the poverty scale.

          BTW, I never mentioned Muslims or Palestinians in my reply, so I wonder why you would?

          • lnm3921

            June 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm

            Doesn’t matter since you brought up foreign aid and taxpayer money.

            You brought up Mexico when the topic was actually about Pink washing and Israel bashing!

            Truth? Truth is relative isn’t it. You speak in terms of opinions not facts. Israel is an expensive place to live. All countries have poverty.

            You aren’t giving us truth just your opinion! You hate Jews and loves Palestinians. Period! There are no bad Palestinians per you and they are all victims of Israel. Yet those suicide bombings don’t matter because they are victims.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 29, 2017 at 12:23 am

            Wow, you really read a lot into a simple comment about Israel’s phony economic prosperity in a thread about pink-washing.

            However, you initiated the comment and I responded, though most of these comments rarely stay on point anyway.

            And Mexico was simply for reference. I could just as easily have excluded it, and only referred to Israel as having the second highest poverty rate among the OECD members. Which is actually the truth. Look it up.

            Yes, of course all countries have poverty, but don’t boast about “how amazingly successful” Israel has been when, the truth is, it’s not. It’s simply a minor economic player on the world stage.

            Your implications about who I hate and who I don’t are banal. We both know that Jews have known oppression and subjugation, and how hypercritical is it when they can’t see themselves as oppressors.

            These acts you attribute to the Palestinians were not invented by them. The IRA, the FLQ, the Black Panthers, Irgun, ANC, and on and on and on, all used bombings, and extreme violence to shed themselves of their oppressors. It is a valid, time honored response to oppression. It’s nothing personal. It never is. These actions are against the state, and if the oppressing state wants to ensure the safety of its own citizens, then it should not put them in harm’s way by continuing the oppression.

            Unless, the state doesn’t care about its citizens and actively puts them in harm’s way and continues the oppression of those who they know will fight back with violence. In fact many states will instigate these acts simply to play victim. Sound familiar?

          • lnm3921

            June 29, 2017 at 12:42 am

            It doesn’t matter who invented acts of violence. The Palestinians cannot claim a moral high ground and whine about oppression when they employ acts of terror that result in the murder of innocent people. You can’t justify it and never will. We won’t stand for it in America, so why should Israel?

            Trying to overthrow the state is anarchy and chaos. You try to extort what you want by cowardly using victims as pawns and shields. The state rightfully responds as it has to for these barbaric acts to protect the vast number of its citizens that have a right to live their lives in peace. You sound like one of these people prone to act the same! Hopefully your are under surveillance and wiretapped!

            Play the victim? Yeah that sounds like the Palestinian playbook.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 29, 2017 at 8:12 pm

            You can’t be serious….”whine about oppression”?

            All oppressed people have a moral obligation to end their repression and subjugation by any means necessary. Remember, ALL oppressed people throughout history have had the moral high ground, irrespective of their response to acts of violence perpetrated against them. If you don’t understand the history of repression and how groups have taken it upon themselves to end their subjugation, then it’s not up to me to educate you.

            The Irish Republican Army used extreme acts of violence against the British occupation of Ireland, including car bombs set off in London. The ANC used bombings against the Apartheid South African Regime. Irgun blew up the King David Hotel against British Rule. And so on and so on. Each of these groups, and others had a legitimate and moral obligation to counter the violence of occupation through their own use of violence.

            If Israel doesn’t want violence against their citizens, then end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. It’s as simple as that.

          • lnm3921

            June 29, 2017 at 8:19 pm

            Occupation implies you’ve established you own the territory which your Palestinians never have! Israel has no reason to capitulate to threats and what basically amounts to gutting the country to appease them. In Particular splitting Jerusalem in two!

            You can NEVER justify terrorism. There is no morality in that no matter how many ways you try to spin it! You’re a broken record trying to legitimize behavior that can’t be!
            You only inspire resolve against you with by any means necessary not peace!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 6:25 pm

            To date three quarters of the nations on the planet have recognized the State of Palestine and have diplomatic relations with it. Even those countries that don’t recognize it as a State, still recognize that the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are occupied territories. So, I think that you will have to convince the international community that you believe that Palestinian territories are not under occupation. Good luck with that.

            To the occupier, those trying to free themselves from the yolk of oppression will always be terrorists.

            Occupation by a military force IS violence perpetrated against occupied, mostly defenseless civilians. And, as such, reciprocal violence, by those same civilians, is akin to self-defense and justified.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

            Do they now. I’m sure the same number you allege do that don’t acknowledge your by any means necessary philosophy of terrorism including Palestinian suicide bombings!

            Since you do, why not fly over there and blow yourself up for Palestine? Good riddance!

            Oh, and in regards to your disputing the existing of Kings David and Solomon, I noted today in reading about them that the Quran acknowledges their existence not just the Hebrew and Christian bible!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 7:07 pm

            Awwww. Sounds like you are getting flustered by my relentless logic. I don’t allege the recognition of the State of Palestine, by 3/4ths of nations, it’s fact. I don’t allege the recognition of the occupation, it’s also a fact. But it’s not up to me to educate you, simply do a bit of research.

            Oh, and by the way, I have a science background, and religious texts are NOT academically valid references.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 7:23 pm

            There is no logic in anything you say. Only your opinions and insane support for terrorism! There is no science behind your rantings for Palestinian suicide bombings and no nation that doesn’t promote terrorism itself would agree there is! It’s just political propaganda to push your agenda!

            You don’t educate you only babble Dr. Frankenstein! We’ve had enough of your monster! You should be on a watch list by homeland security! You’re not stable Mabel!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 7:39 pm

            If you would bother to do about a minute’s research, you will realize how accurate my statements are, but again, it’s not up to me to educate you.

            Again, and I grow weary of continuing to spotlight the simplicity of the solution; if you don’t want “terrorists”, or as they are often known “freedom fighters” in your midst, allow them the dignity of self-determination. When the oppression is gone, so is the need for violence.

            Simple as that.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:01 pm

            The only thing simple is you. Try running for POTUS on that platform and see where it gets you.

            If you grow weary nothing is keeping you here.

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm

            Such a lame response.

          • lnm3921

            June 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm

            No less lame than your own rantings! Obviously I intimidate you since you can’t stop responding to my posts..

            I can be equally as stubborn as you and go on forever with you since you obviously have no life but Palestine!

          • Theo Anonis

            June 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

            I’ve been advocating for the rights of the repressed since my teen years in the 1970’s. I’ve got the stamina to continue.

      • Beer Baron

        June 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        America and Israel share an inseparable bond.

        • Theo Anonis

          June 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

          America and Canada share a similar bond. So what!

  13. Beer Baron

    July 6, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Help, I can’t find Palestine anywhere!!!

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The future of lesbian bars

Resolve to support our queer spaces in 2022



lockdown zone, gay news, Washington Blade

This New Year, I hope you wish for more lesbian bars across the country. The story of lesbian bars in the U.S. has been slightly tragic of late: as of January 2021, there were only 15 clubs or bars dedicated to queer women across the country. 

That’s right—only 15. Across all 50 states. 

In Washington, D.C., my hometown, A League of Her Own stands out as the only lesbian bar in the city, dedicated to queer women. Located in Adams Morgan, A League of Her Own, also known as ALOHO, is a small mecca for queer ladies to pass through, socialize, and flirt. ALOHO is a chic gathering point for all queer folk, with posters of softball players dotting the walls and gender neutral signs lying about. 

Several years ago, another lesbian bar called Phase 1 existed in Southeast, where queer women could slam eight balls in pool games and engage in raunchy yet ever-so-hot jello wrestling competitions. 

Unfortunately, Phase 1 shut its doors in 2016. 

So what explains the closure of so many lesbian bars, while bars for gay men continue to flourish? Perhaps many queer women view gay bars as a space for their own as well, whereas gay men view lesbian bars as less of a place for them to socialize. 

Either way, we need to give support to lesbian bars now more than ever. Tokens of support can take many forms. 

For one, make sure to socialize in spaces dedicated to queer ladies. There are three lesbian bars in New York City: Cubbyhole (281 W. 12th St.), Gingers in Brooklyn (363 5th Ave.), and Henrietta Hudson (438 Hudson St.). Next time you visit the Big Apple, make sure to give these three spots some love. Maybe drag your experimenting bi friend to these locations. Or your pansexual roommate. 

Back in D.C., you can buy unisex shirts in A League of Her Own’s merchandise store, available online. 

Proceeds will go toward funding the bar, and making sure it stays afloat, especially during this COVID economy. 

Most of all, I hope you encourage your queer lady friends to keep on frequenting queer lady destinations. After all, there is only one thing that will keep lesbian bars afloat—and that is attendance. 

I, for one, will be frequenting many lesbian destinations this new year.  

Isaac Amend is a Yale graduate and participated in National Geographic’s ‘Gender Revolution’ documentary. He also is a member of the LGBT Democrats of Virginia, and contributes regularly to the Blade. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @isaacamend.

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Breaking barriers as an out trans ‘Jeopardy’ champion

Amy Schneider’s run inspires us all



Amy Schneider (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)

“When was the last time anybody said ‘wow!’” a friend asked me.

I couldn’t remember the last time anyone I know (including me) had any “Wow!” moments. Until I heard about trans woman and software engineering manager Amy Schneider’s 29-game winning streak on “Jeopardy.”

You wouldn’t think anything could dispel our COVID exhaustion and political divisiveness. Yet, news about a champion on “Jeopardy,” a quiz show that has been on TV since 1964, has broken through our gloom.

In our culture, there are few things that everyone loves. But, “Jeopardy” is beloved by many, from theater geeks to 80-year-old sports nuts. A progressive friend was over the moon when his brother was a “Jeopardy” contestant. A buddy, a hetero (non-Trump) Republican, is a “Jeopardy” fanatic and a gay librarian pal is a “Jeopardy” freak.

Many of us daydream about being on “Jeopardy.” But we know that we wouldn’t have a chance on this legendary quiz show with its deceptively simple format: You give the answer to the (often incredibly hard) clues in the form of a question. You have to have a strategic military commander’s and a world-class athlete’s coordination: so you can press the buzzer to answer the clue.

The game’s categories run the gamut from opera to mountain ranges. Most of us, mere mortals, would be lucky to know even one category in the first round of the game. Let alone in the “Double Jeopardy” round or the “Final Jeopardy” clue. I might jump on clues about Katharine Hepburn movies or M&Ms. But that would be it for me.

It’s exciting to watch a “Jeopardy” contestant become a long-running champion. You marvel at the player’s intelligence, endurance, and nerve. It’s thrilling when the contestant on a winning-streak is part of your community.

Many of us LGBTQ “Jeopardy” fans are thrilled by Schneider’s record-setting winning streak. As I write this, Schneider has won more than $1 million in 29 games of “Jeopardy.” She is the fifth millionaire in “Jeopardy” history, and only the fourth player to reach this milestone in the regular season. She has won more than any other female “Jeopardy” contestant.

Schneider, like so many of us, doesn’t want to be defined by her gender identity or sexuality. Schneider’s life is multi-faceted; she has many interests. Schneider lives with her girlfriend Genevieve. They have a cat named Meep.

Yet, Schneider doesn’t want to hide that she’s trans. On “Jeopardy,” Schneider brilliantly dealt with this dilemma. She didn’t make a big deal about being out. She just wore the trans Pride flag pin.

“It was something that I wanted to get out there and to show my pride in while not making it the focus of what I was doing there,” Schneider told the New York Times. “Because I was just there to answer trivia questions and win money.”

As a cisgender lesbian, I can’t speak to how Schneider’s record-setting “Jeopardy” streak feels to transgender people.

But, as a trans ally, I’m cheering for Schneider. Kudos for her bravery! At a time when many states are passing anti-trans laws, it takes guts to be out on TV and the Internet.

Few things are as mainstream as “Jeopardy.” I bet that many “Jeopardy” viewers who are frightened at the idea of trans people, will become more comfortable with transgender people after watching Schneider on the popular quiz show. Because folks on TV come into our living and bedrooms and we feel as if we know them after watching them for a while.

“Amy looks like everybody else,” my neighbor said when I told her Schneider was trans. “She doesn’t act odd. She’s not strange.”

Transgender people encounter violence and discrimination in everything from housing to health care to employment.

I know Schneider’s “Jeopardy” triumph won’t end transphobia. But her winning streak will go a long way toward jumpstarting a change in hearts and minds.

Kathi Wolfe, a writer and a poet, is a regular contributor to the Blade.

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SCARY: Tucker Carlson now the conscience of GOP

Cruz bows down, kisses ring of Fox host



Tucker Carlson (Screen capture via Fox on YouTube)

The Republican Party has sunk to a new low, hard to do, when a sleazebag like Tucker Carlson is now their conscience. Seeing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) groveling before him is laughable, disgusting, and frightening all at the same time. 

As reported in Rolling Stone, Cruz said, “We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week. It is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery, risk their lives to defend the men and women who serve in this Capitol.” Then “Cruz was lambasted by Tucker Carlson that night, prompting him to hop on Carlson’s show Thursday and beg for forgiveness. “The way I phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and it was frankly dumb,” Cruz said before Carlson cut him off and said he didn’t believe him. Cruz took it up a notch, stammering through an absurd bit about how he wasn’t talking about the “patriots across the country supporting President Trump,” only those who assaulted police officers, and that he’s always described anyone who assaults a cop as a terrorist.

Carlson has made a career of being a pompous commentator. Interestingly he worked at CNN, PBS, and MSNBC, before finally landing at Fox in 2009. According to his Wikipedia page he went to Trinity College where he earned a bachelor’s degree and Carlson’s Trinity yearbook describes him as a member of the “Dan White Society,” an apparent reference to the American political assassin who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. After college, Carlson tried to join the CIA, but his application was denied, after which he decided to pursue a career in journalism with the encouragement of his father, who advised him that “they’ll take anybody.” Reading this clearly raised my opinion of the CIA and based on what we see in some media today I agree with Carlson’s father on his view of journalism. 

When you have a moment of silence in the House of Representatives to honor those who lost their lives on Jan. 6 and only two Republicans show up, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and her father Dick Cheney, the former vice president, one understands the influence Carlson has on the GOP. The rest were afraid of being criticized on-air by him or lambasted by Trump. 

Dick Cheney remarked on the GOP, “It’s not a leadership that resembles any of the folks I knew when I was here for 10 years.” He spoke to ABC News saying, “I’m deeply disappointed we don’t have better leadership in the Republican Party to restore the Constitution.” 

There is a leadership void in the Republican Party today. Their so-called leaders are afraid to say what they think if it differs in any way from Trumpism or Carlson’s view of the world, which requires total fealty to Trump. He found a home on Fox where he can lie with impunity and have millions believe his lies. 

President Biden said, in what many think was the best speech of his presidency so far, these people are “holding a dagger to the neck of democracy.” He went on to say, “For the first time in our history, a president not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.” 

Tucker Carlson and his ilk have never bothered to answer a question the president threw at them, which is how they can accept all their down ballot victories, governors, and members of Congress, which occurred on the same ballots, cast by the same people, on the same day, as those for president. Of course, Carlson has no need to make sense, tell the truth, or speak rationally because of his platform on Fox, which doesn’t require that.

My question is whether Carlson is as dumb as he makes himself sound or is he brilliant and this is all a big act? Either way the acolytes that follow Trump don’t seem to care and are bowing down to Carlson’s big audience. It’s as if he can tell any Republican senator or congressperson, or Republican candidate for those jobs, to just ‘bend over and take it’ and they do. All we can do is mourn for the GOP of Lincoln and Eisenhower. Non-Trumpers will have to work hard and speak out if they ever want to resurrect a GOP that can be respected.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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