You’ll find a lot of photos here in my blog diary of the past week’s events. And there’s all the openings, fashion, theater and celebrity you’d expect from New York’s fall season.
THE HEIGHT OF FASHION
The night before I flew to Chicago for a very special weekend wedding, my son Harry and I attended the opening of “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s a sweeping exhibition of more than 160 pairs of heels, or “sculptures,” as art critic Roberta Smith describes them in her NYT review of the show. Designs from the 16th century to now are represented, comprising a section of footwear that’s often accompanied by the pleasure-pain principle.
On display are the 10-inch lace-up platforms that caused Naomi Campbell’s famous tumble down the runway in 1993 during Vivienne Westwood’s Paris Fashion Week show. My drag artist son took one look at those infamous heels and said, “I would walk the f*ck out of those, and I would not fall down.” Of that you can be sure.
MY FIRST MR. & MR. WEDDING
Thanks to Illinois’ marriage equality ruling in June, my dear friends Mike and Hector were married in a beautiful rooftop ceremony last weekend in Chicago. Their vows of love and commitment to each other’s happiness caused more eyes than mine to tear up. Love is love, and that fact is undeniable.
As a follow up to an earlier post about my very own personal stylist (a.k.a. son Harry), my outfit – right down to the toenail polish – was perfect for a stand-up toast to the newlyweds.
THE OLDEST PERSON AT TUMBLR HQ
In a crowd of Millennials at Tumblr Wednesday night for a panel discussion on social media’s impact on LGBTQ youth and community, I felt like the lone, mom chaperone. But I appreciated the invitation from friend and panelist Brett Peters, director of communications for the It Gets Better Project, because I got to meet the other panelists who’ve also furthered online resources and dialogue. In addition to noteworthy web sites, they all have books!
At the top of my nightstand stack is It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living, edited by It Gets Better Project co-founders Dan Savage and Terry Miller. It’s a collection of original essays written to LGBTQ youth by celebrities, political leaders and everyday people. It’s filled with inspirational words that give hope and support to LGBTQ kids that a bright and positive future exists for them.
New to my library is This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life, by Danniell Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo, co-founders of Everyone Is Gay and The Parents Project.
Their first book covers every question parents might struggle with after their child comes out to them, from religion to gender to sex. It’s the kind of book you can keep coming back to over and over as new questions arise.
The book I just ordered is We Are the Youth, by writer Diana Scholl and photographer Laurel Golio. These panelists were the co-founders of We Are the Youth, an ongoing online photojournalism project that shares the stories of LGBTQ youth in the U.S. The book is truly an archive of our time. According to Kaden, one of the We Are the Youth participants, “It’s important for queer youth to tell their stories so the world can see we were here, and this is how we lived our lives.”
Any of these books would make a great gift for yourself or someone you love.
“CHANGE TAKES COURAGE”
At the New York Anti-Violence Project’s (AVP) Courage Awards last night, I got to see Jane Lynch accept an award on behalf of Glee’s cast and producers “for their groundbreaking portrayal of the impact of discrimination and violence, and the struggle to persevere.” Attorney Mark Sexton and Christopher Street Financial also picked up awards for their years of service and longstanding commitment to making a positive impact in the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities.
Beyond the awards and celebration, I learned how much this organization does to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and to support survivors through counseling and advocacy. Among a multitude of programs, AVP has a 24/7 hotline, operates a Legal Clinic and reaches out to the community with a Safe Bar/Safe Nights Program. Its Training and Education Institute trains thousands of police and firsts responders, among other community members. You can learn more about this angel organization’s valuable and necessary programs here.
“THE GRAPES OF BATH”
On my way home from the Courage Awards, I made a quick stop on the Lower East Side where Bushwick divas Macy Rodman and Severely Mame were staging their outrageous weekly party “BathSalts: A Drag Show 4 F$%*&Ups” in Manhattan for the first time. The show was billed as “a one-night spectacular of theatrical seriousness.”
I arrived just in time to see Amber Alert (a.k.a. my son who wears heels) give a dramatic reading of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U.” It was a high-drama end to an absolutely fabulous week.
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