Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Vito



Hey kids, I just got the chance to check out the fantastic documentary film Vito, by the fantastic director Jeffrey Schwarz , about the life and times of gay activist Vito Russo. You can find it on HBO. Vito wrote the book The Celluloid Closet and was active in the fight against discrimination. I loved the film and recommend you see it.

The film documents Vitos life, but also the times, and remind us of how much worse discrimination was. It is even more profound considering the fight for civils rights going on right now in the gay marriage dispute. Dear lord, how many times will a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see? There are human beings out there who still want to call other human beings less-than, second class citizen. Have we learned nothing form the civil rights movement of the 60’s? From the Civil War?

Being from an oppressed minority, I relate to the struggle of all minorities, or I hope to. Women have only had the right to vote for a mere 92 years, dig? What the fuck is wrong with people? Fear. It is that simple. And it is all of our responsibility to fight fear, where ever it rears its hideous head.

In the 1990’s I was lucky enough to be involved in the nyc drag scene and to have gay and lesbian and transgender friends. I knew a few very cool activists. They taught me about the Stonewall riots and Marsha P Johnson. I handed out multi colored condoms on the west side to the drag and transgender prostitutes. My band played the Stonewall benefit and made sure to kiss a girl on stage as an act of defiance and solidarity. Small gestures, but it all adds up. The most important thing I learned was that it is harder for some people to be who they are, because for some, it is unsafe to just walk down the street. It is hard enough to accept ourselves and be in our truth, whatever the fuck that is. No one should have to fight against additional external forces to just be who they are. But we do not live in the perfect word and the struggles continue.
Accept others. It is that simple. Equality for all.!


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