poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, October 01, 2004

Birth Of A Queer Nation

Imagine if a group of angry queer Australians decided to takeover and colonize a string of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean and delare them the first all-gay country in the world.

Determined to build a better world for future generations, the founding fathers and mothers set sail on 14 June 2004 in the Gayflower until they were washed ashore on the uninhabited Coral Islands. With the strains of Gloria Gaynor filling the tropical air, they hoisted the rainbow flag above the palm trees and white, sandy beaches. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was born.

Sounds like the plot of some futuristic queer novel, or a big joke - but believe it or not, it isn't. Even though the kingdom's official web site ( reads like some crazy queer fantasy - all indications are that the creation of the world's first gay nation is very much for real. (However, we, unlike CBS, are willing to admit we could very well be the victim of an elaborate, and hysterical, activist plot.)


Gay New Yorkers trek to Ohio

As local and national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, including the Empire State Pride Agenda here, continue to campaign against proposed Constitutional amendments that would ban marriage for same-sex couples in nearly a dozen states, a number of New Yorkers have decided to become more proactive. They plan to travel to the battleground state of Ohio to help defeat a state amendment — and President George W. Bush.

Carlie Steen, a native of Newark, Ohio, who currently lives in Brooklyn, is one person planning to go back to her native state and talk with potential gay voters about why she believes it is important to register to vote. She also added that, as a lesbian, it is important to talk about the issues many in the state are dealing with.


N.Y., Conn. marriage debate heats up

Less than a week after the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear its lawsuit on behalf of seven gay and lesbian couples challenging the constitutionality of the state’s marriage laws, the battle to extend marriage to gays and lesbian couples has once again heated up in New York. The legal organization filed court briefs on Sept. 24 refuting New York City’s arguments against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lawyers representing five local gay and lesbian couples had filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan in March after the New York City Clerk’s office denied them marriage licenses.

Their attorneys dispute the clerk’s position that only the state Legislature can decide whether the state’s marriage laws should be changed. Instead, they argued the courts have a “responsibility” to uphold the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers regardless of “whether the Legislature decides to or not.”

Lambda Legal also took the city to task over statements its lawyers made in briefs it filed earlier this month which implied marriage for same-sex couples is not a fundamental right in New York. It said the plaintiffs named in this case only want the benefits that are guaranteed to heterosexual couples that are allowed to marry in New York.y


Gay studies courses thrive amidst change
Tension builds between gay studies and queer theorist

The course titles range from gay 101 to the abstruse, and the subjects, from the one-dimensional to the multi, multi-faceted: “Sex & Gender,” to “Sex Gender & the Bible,” to “Milton & the Reinvention of Gender, Psyche & Society.”

The required reading covers Walt Whitman to William Burroughs, “Stone Butch Blues” to the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” And the class participants hail from all walks of life — many are gay, but some have a gay sibling or friend, and still others “belong to the soccer team where everyone else is gay and they want to fit in,” according to veteran gay academic, Michael Bronski.


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