Being a polysemic word, Pride means something noticeably different between members of the LGBT community. Whether it is getting the masses to sign a human rights petition, dressing in drag as a cultural protest, being able to safely hold hands with a loved one in public, or donning a colorful ensemble, these acts represent Pride. L.A. Pride is a smorgasbord of the above times twenty. It is the largest gathering of the LGBT community in Southern California.
The most attended event during the 2013 L.A. Pride Celebration was the parade, where more than a hundred organizations walked. The Pride festival, immediately following, held in beautiful West Hollywood Park, featured live entertainment on multiple stages, headline performances, various dance venues, and thousands of people. A nice addition to Pride this year was Momentum, a large-scale light and interactive installation in collaboration with ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Impact Stories, The Mazer Lesbian Archives, The Lavender Effect, and The Colors of Compassion. Momentum was curated by INSTALL:WeHo, a queer art non-profit, .
In the video tour, I ask, “What is L.A. Pride?,” and hope to answer the question.
“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave,” wrote Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet. The work is a collection of ten letters between the Austrian poet Rilke and a 19-year-old officer cadet seeking Rilke’s critical analysis. In the first letter, Rilke advised the cadet to shed his external obligations in order to expand his internal life. Rilke believed that inward concentration could help a new writer to become a great writer.
Octavio Pozos’ coming out story reminded me of Rilke’s advice to the young cadet.
At 17, Octavio’s parents found him showering with his boyfriend at their home in Mexico City and they forced him to move out of the house. Without other family members willing to take him in, Octavio moved in with his boyfriend and had to decide quickly on how to support himself. In a decision that would transform his life, Octavio decided to train to become a group exercise teacher. If his dragon was being kicked out of his family’s home and his parents not speaking to him for 10 years, then his princess is his success as a personal trainer. Octavio is also a professional group exercise instructor and has found great satisfaction in helping others improve their bodies.
Watch the video to learn more about Octavio Pozos.
Photography: Tony Wisniewski, owner of Ultra Body Fitness Gym
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Photo Credit: Garen Hagobian/Stylist: Rico Cherry
Kontrol is a lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment magazine, based out of Atlanta and features new writers and/or writing projects monthly. I am the new featured writer.
An excerpt from the interview is below:
Get to know Victor
Why did you choose to get involved in this project?
I wanted to be involved in the project, because I believe it is important to start having more open conversations in families where sexuality and/or sexual abuse are taboo. The book form is a great package to hand to someone and say read this and get back to me. Books make great gifts, for any occasion, and speak when people cannot. I know of so many households where kids, growing up, were not allowed to talk about being gay. Because if they talked about homosexuality, they were talking about sex and sex talks were a no-no. The feedback from the project has been overwhelming. Different readers saw themselves or found similarities in their experiences with specific pieces. I’ve had two readings in L.A. so far and people have come with their mothers or bought a copy for a relative with children. Someone even told me they were buying a copy for their job.
Read the full article at: http://www.kontrolmag.com/author-conversations-with-victor-yates-kontrolreads/
Assemblyman Lieu (Photo credit: Barack Obama)
Over at Edge On The Net, I wrote an update on #sb1172 or the gay cure ban, sponsored by Senator Ted Lieu, which prevents mental health professionals (ex-gay counselors) from attempting to change the sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity of minors. An excerpt from the article is below:
Marea Murray, a social worker in San Francisco, sobbed uncontrollably when she learned that the governor of California had signed SB 1172 into law. Murray counsels clients of all genders and orientations on sexuality concerns and like a number of other mental health professionals, she has come to know people psychologically abused having undergone treatments thought to cure homosexuality. That is one of the many reasons why she worked through Gaylesta, a LGBT Psychotherapy Association, to mobilize supporters for the bill.
The bill specifically sought to prohibit professionals from using techniques to change gender expressions, gender identities, and/or sexual orientation for patients under eighteen.
After SB 1172 was approved, two lawsuits were brought against California, one filed by an ex-gay Aaron Bitzer, who is studying to be an ex-gay therapist. The therapist-in-training claimed the ban not only infringed on his rights to freedom of speech and religion, but also the ban prevented him from pursuing his profession. His lawsuit, led by Christian legal group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), argued that “the law ignores young people who have same-sex attractions as a result of being victims of sexual abuse” and that lack of access to treatment will lead to irreparable harm.
Read more at: http://www.edgelosangeles.com/news/local/features//140531/implementation_of_california’s_gay_cure_ban_delayed_until_hearing
Check out the teaser video to my interview with Frenchie Davis for GBM News. She talks about everything from her new single and the video for, Love’s Got A Hold On Me, to the Voice vs. American Idol, to questions about sexuality. Stay tuned for the interview.
Frenchie at 12th annual GLAAD Tidings Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remember the name janet mock. she’s about to the next literary giant.
A friend told me to go to her blog, Musings On Love, and read the first entry. It reads … “You have until the age of 28 to decide between his dreams or yours,” a girlfriend of mine warned while having drinks last night. “You’ve got two years … I was having a carefree evening fueled by rounds of alcohol and predominantly light conversation. This girlfriend, who’ll remain anonymous, said based on her experience (tied in with her own regrets as an over-accomplished single woman in her mid-30s) in a nutshell that there’s no such thing as having it all and specifically if I want to be with Aaron, I have to give up my dreams to support his.” The entry is dated Sunday, September 13, 2009 with the tags gender and relationships. Those few sentences were beautiful and made me want to read more. I did and entered Mock’s life. Mock is a writer and editor for People.com, interned at In Style magazine, received an MA in journalism from New York University, and is dating a very handsome man. In all a perfect life, what every woman wants. The death of Tyler Clementi forced her to reevaulate her life and come out per se. Mock was born in the wrong body. Her new memoir, Fish Food: A Memoir, unveils the story of a girl “who sacrifices nearly everything to become the person she knows she’s destined to be.” Mock grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. She transitioned freshman year of high school with her family’s support. Her book is yet to be released.
Click here to read the article published on her in Marie Claire (June 2011 issue) by Kierna Mayo.
Check out her It Gets Better video below:
It Gets Better – Janet Mock Reveals Trans History
Chapter 1: Pages 1-5
Dad told us the drive was four hours. It’s been eight. He misread an interstate sign and drove the wrong way in Battle Creek heading toward Chicago. The windy city. Where we’re from. Where as a kid I hid in Harold Washington Library sneaking little peeks of naked models in photography books. We couldn’t figure our way out the gray
Image by mattbatt0 via Flickr
and green maze. Endless highway. Endless grass. Dad stopped at another gas station I never heard of. The whole time my obnoxious older brother kept screaming, “Move off me” at Ricky. He felt crammed. We’re all crammed thigh to thigh in the moving truck baking under Michigan heat, dad, my brothers, me. Reed Jr. or just Junior, my obnoxious older brother is asleep, thank God, on the passenger side. Reed Jr. hates to be called Junior. Between Junior and me humming to dad’s hand-me-down camera is Ricky. Ricky is 11. Sleep is a memory Ricky lost. Dad’s red eyes squint at something. Something he doesn’t see. His face scrunches up into a look of miserable confusion. We’re lost. I suck my teeth. As soon as I hear myself make the sharp sucking sound I know dad’s going to say something. I cough loudly to cover up the sound. A quick red-eyed glance isn’t burned into my face. Dad didn’t hear me, thank God. So we’re lost. Again. At least we’re lost inBeverly Hills. Our new house can’t be too far. Some people might be upset moving from where they’ve lived all their lives. I’m not. I cross my hands over my arms and close my eyes. Dad jerks my arm. “Stop that,” dad snaps. “That’s what girls do. It’s feminine.” Dad’s words are an instant Polaroid of summer. I’ve heard “girls do that,” “that’s feminine,” “that’s girly,” almost everyday. I stare at dad’s words in front of me like pictures from a front-page story too important to put down. Substitute the word feminine for gay. That’s what he’s really saying. It’s gay. I’m not. Gay. I haven’t done anything sexual with a guy. The closest I’ve come is with a friend, we weren’t really friends, he was in all my classes. There were slits in his bathroom door thin enough quarters could slide through to make a wish. He liked throwing knives at the door. It killed time. Sometimes I’d rub my fingers in the grooves. All smooth. Perfect for spying. The first time I watched him undress and shower was an accident. He wouldn’t go out unless he showered. We were talking about my photography assignment at Union Station. The shower came on. I heard the bathroom door close sitting in the living room. Guess I was too slow answering the Continue reading