Category Archives: Uncategorized

Rectal Cranial Inversion

This is for the numbnuts on The Daily Show last night, who, when interviewed in one of the segments about Hillary Clinton, announced "I’m as Gay as the day is long…and if Hillary isn’t the Democratic candidate, I’m voting for McCain."

A Record of Opposing the Interests of GLBT Americans

OPPOSED Ending Discrimination Against GLBT Americans in the Workplace. Senator McCain cast a deciding vote against the federal Employment Non Discrimination Act.

OPPOSED Protecting GLBT Americans from Hate Crimes. Senator McCain voted three times against expanding the federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation.

PROPONENT of Discriminatory Military Policy. Senator McCain supports Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and does not believe that gays should serve in the military.

OPPONENT of Equal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples. Senator McCain voted for the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal rights and benefits in any state.

ACTIVELY SUPPORTED State Ban on Domestic Partnerships. Senator McCain campaigned for a ban on same-sex relationship recognition in his home state of Arizona – even appearing in a campaign television ad.

SUPPORTED the Confirmation of Anti-GLBT Equality Judges. Senator McCain voted to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees who had taken anti-GLBT positions.  He has pointed to Justice Samuel Alito as a role model for future Supreme Court appointments.

SUPPORTED a Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Policy. Senator McCain supported a Jesse Helms strategy to cut off funding for prevention efforts aimed at the gay community and voted to prohibit foreign nationals with HIV from immigrating to the United States.

…So…fine…vote for him if you want…White Crane is not endorsing any particular candidate…but please…stop referring to yourself as "Gay." It’s offensive.

Oh…and see a doctor about that rectal-cranial inversion. Maybe you’ll see things a little clearer.

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Ca_supreme It’s always amusing to me that the Radical (more like maniacal) Religious (really? that’s "religious"? There isn’t enough room here to talk about how self-serving and historically inaccurate this group is) Right (oh please…oh so Wrong) always calls these rulings "judicial activism" when they disagree with the ruling. Interpreting the law is their job, mac.

Seems to me that any religious group that decides to get involved in the creation of legislation that overturns this ruling ought to have their 501(c)(3) status revoked and they should start paying taxes like the rest of us…who pay taxes and don’t have the same rights as heterosexuals (who have consistently proven their superior moral standing and abilities in maintaining marriage relations and childrearing, you understand.)

Here, then, is the language of the California Supreme Court in their interpretation of "equal protection under the law":

"Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise — now emphatically rejected by this state — that Gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest. Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional."

While we believe that all Gay people…all Lesbian people…all bisexual, transgender, questioning, two spirit and intersexed people are worthy and deserving of the same rights, privileges and protections provided in the Constitution… (there’s that little matter of the Ninth Amendment that clearly states, in case anyone was wondering, that the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.…chew on that Scalia! Scalia and Thomas and Bork’s inability to interpret this — Bork called the 9th amendment "an ink blot" — only reveals the depth of their fear of people and real democracy) …in any event…we wonder whether aping what is clearly a failed hetero model is the way we want to go?

And of course, now that the decision has come down, CNN has quickly turned to the implications of the ruling: Ellen Degeneres is going to marry Portia DeRossi. Woo Hoo! Lesbians as hetero fantasy! Woo Hoo Show Biz!

CNN is making me ill.

A button is a button is a button…

The Tender, Button Down Mind of of Gertrude Stein…

Gertrudestein There’s a wonderful store on the Upper East Side of New York called Tender Buttons. You can buy almost any kind of button you might need there…Prices range from 50 cents for simple white buttons to hundreds of dollars for gorgeous antique gold buttons, some inlaid with semi-precious stones.

Buttons are held in rows of tiny boxes, with samples displayed alongside impeccably handwritten descriptions and provenance: "Faux horn chunks from Italy," or "A well-designed brown button from France." Most prices are per button, although rare sets — boasting inlaid Swarovski crystal or 18th-century enamel from Japan — are also available. Just be sure to stitch these babies on tight. Somewhat appropriately, there is no website, so: Tender Buttons 143 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10021-7688  Phone: (212) 758-7004 Buttons_2

Tender Buttons is also one of the great Modern experiments in verse by Gertrude Stein, the great Lesbian writer, poet, playwright, "saloniste" who died on this day in 1946. Simultaneously considered to be a masterpiece of verbal Cubism, a modernist triumph, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax, the book is perhaps more often written about than actually read.

Published in 1914, Tender Buttons is one of the great Modern experiments in verse. Simultaneously considered to be a masterpiece of verbal Cubism, a modernist triumph, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax, the book is perhaps more often written about than actually read.


Divided into three sections—"Objects," "Food," and "Rooms"—the book contains a series of descriptions that defy conventional syntax. William Gass notes that these are, respectively, "things external to us, which we perceive, manipulate, and confront," "things which nourish us," and "things which enclose us."

An American by birth, Gertrude Stein lived as an expatriate in Paris for most of her life. At once a novelist, an essayist, and a poet, she was famous for hosting evening salons that gathered together the great thinkers, painters, and writers into one room, and sparking (and recording) their exchange of ideas. Besides Tender Buttons, her major works in verse include Patriarchal Poetry and the somewhat more accessible Stanzas in Meditation.

Tender Buttons is not frequently anthologized, perhaps because it is meant to be read as a single, long prose-poem. However, notable selections include "Suppose an Eyes," "A Carafe, That is a Blind Glass" in which she seemingly announces her intentions towards Cubism, as well as "In Between," which is often read as a feminist poem because of its strong (though abstract) themes of sensuality. Another noteworthy poem is "Orange In" from "Food," which contains both the repetition and word-combining that many consider to be cubist.

Still avant-garde and experimental ninety years since its first publication, Tender Buttons has inspired generations of experimental poets, providing inspiration for the Language movement, as well as a variety of imitations— both successful and not. She is beloved and cited as influence by many poets and novelists, including William Gass, Sherwood Anderson, E. E. Cummings, Ernest Hemingway, and Harryette Mullen.

Deletion_1 Finally…here’s a button I’d like everyone to have on their computer…click to see it enlarged…:

James Broughton’s ALL

AllbroughtonWhite Crane Books is extremely proud to announce the publication of its sixth book. 

Edited by poet and KPFA radio host, Jack Foley, James Broughton’s ALL: A James Broughton Reader is a collection of the great Gay sage’s writings on filmmaking and his extensive poetry.

The book has already garnered some great buzz among reviewers lauding the publication of this great writers’ work, who had sadly been missing from print since the closing of Black Sparrow Press, Broughton’s last publisher.

Purchase a copy for yourself or a friend at your local bookstore or purchase a copy online at, Powell’s Books, TLA Video, & Barnes & Noble.

Stephen Silha in the Journal

Wanted to give all of you a heads up about the amazing piece written by Stephen Silha on our journal pages. Stephen has written a great piece about the importance of creative partnerships between young and old:

"I’m convinced that without creative partnerships between elders and youth, we humans will self-destruct. It’s part of evolution’s call that we co-create our future."  Stephen Silha, "Culture Jamming"

Check it out!

Online Exclusive: Culture Jamming

An Online Exclusive from White Crane

Culture Jamming
Bringing creative energy to Youth-adult partnerships

Every time we gather, we create culture.

It doesn’t matter how many of us there are… if we’re alone, with a friend/lover, or a community meeting, when eyes meet—we’re creating culture.

I became aware of this when I volunteered to help with a week-long Power of Hope workshop for teens and caring adults in 2000. When teens and adults consciously create culture together, a magical synergy of hope and experience, innocence and potency emerges.

I’m convinced that without creative partnerships between elders and youth, we humans will self-destruct. It’s part of evolution’s call that we co-create our future.

Yet, as Power of Hope’s co-founder, Charlie Murphy (yes, the gay singer/songwriter who wrote “Burning Times” and “Gay Spirit”) says, there’s a silent apartheid between youth and adults in today’s culture which makes true partnerships challenging.

“Adults project their despair about the future onto the young,” he says. “They smother them with material things and overactivity, which means they don’t get a chance to develop their interior side.”

I’ve been doing work with youth for many years—in journalism, in community service, and most recently in a series of youth-adult dialogues on Vashon Island, near Seattle, where I live.

The essence of the youth-adult dialogues, which we (a group of youth and adults from my community) learned from going to Whidbey Island and experiencing a Power of Hope dialogue, is creating a field of common creative play as a predecessor to conversation.

“Youth thrive in the company of adults who are passionate about life, alive to their own creativity,” Charlie says.  Gay men, in many cases, are ready to create these partnerships.

It’s not easy with all the built in stereotypes and prejudices we and they carry about the “other.”  This includes sexual stereotypes on all sides of the equation.
Why not apply some of the principles that underlie Radical Faerie culture to relationships between youth and elders?

For example, subject-subject consciousness. What does it look like when neither the youth nor the elder is an object—both are subjects…of their own lives, of the community, of their relationships?  Or as Tony Kushner might say, what if we look at each other (across the generations) as prophets?

“Adults need to pursue their own calling so youth can do the same, appropriate to their stages in life,” Charlie suggests. “Education could change from a dead one-way street—fitting kids into roles—to a vibrant conversation, where everybody is finding their calling.  We need to create a zone where we’re all on our creative edge.”

Using creative writing, theater improv, visual and verbal art, youth and adults can create together, raising their voices and putting out visions of a future that’s fun, heart-centered, whole.

Why not acknowledge the inner life? Of ourselves, of each other. A little silence welcomes those inner voices. The way of the heart circle—speaking and listening from a deeper place—can enrich even one-on-one encounters.

Charlie has found that “young people are deeper, more caring than we generally give them credit for. So much so, they don’t realize it themselves.” This is also true of the young parts of ourselves, which are awakened and enlivened by creative contact with youth.

Another faerie principle that might help with intergenerational communication is “askance” —looking at things sideways, from different angles, with a dose of humor.

I was amazed when I helped a group of kids at a Power of Hope summer camp create a “Zine” which they called “Rising.” Instead of asking people to write articles, they created graffiti boards around the camp, in bathrooms and other places, where people felt free to express themselves. The Zine was filled with wisdom and silliness from those graffiti boards—a new news source in the future?

As we reinvent various aspects of our culture that need fixing—health care, communication, transportation, governance, relationship to spirit—collaborations between those who’ve “seen it all” and those who “see a better way” will make it possible.

For more information on Power of Hope, visit their website.
Stephen Silha is a freelance writer, facilitator and communications consultant in Washington State. He can be contacted via his website.

Welcome to White Crane’s new blog!

We’ve been looking for a way to communicate with all of you for some time.

Things are always happening and we’d like to keep you better informed of the work of bringing together White Crane and the general work of exploring Gay Culture and Wisdom.

If you’re new to White Crane I hope you’ll take a moment to explore our current issue on the journal blog, find out more about us on our history pages,  and explore our main site at where you’ll find our archives.  We’re one of the oldest gay publications in existence and we’d love to hear from you.

We’ll be joined in this endeavor by a revolving crew of writers and bloggers.  We hope you enjoy the mix here and come again.  We hope to have a daily fix of information for the discriminating reader.


Poetry – Warm Feet by Matt Friday


Warm Feet

by Matt Friday

The soft roundness
under your toes
their prints, ribbed and textural:
the secret screed of unscored millenniums,
long and branching paths
-one more step
pushing off porous gravity.

Witness our aching humanity:
to fly, grip-
pulled and pulling
becoming, now and then
quick and luminous,
real, by choice or accident
weighted and shadowless.

But tonight there is just this:
love, I think,
and sleep at the end of day,
if tired and forgiving:
the moment slipping between now and then
reflected, hushed-alive
in liminal possibility. 

Matt Friday is a poet living in Eugene, Oregon.   
This is his first publication in White Crane.

In Memoriam: Eric Rofes

69_rofesinmem_1 Remembering Eric Rofes

It is impossibly ironic to write of the passing of Eric Rofes in this issue devoted to the conversation between generations, as there is no one who had more to say to this generation and the next, more to offer, than Eric. There is something equally bittersweet about his passing so close on the celebration of Gay Pride in its 37th year. To say I am stunned or sad isn’t enough. I’m pissed off; the loss is immeasurable. It’s not fair.

Eric was a staunch supporter of this journal and a member of our Advisory Board. In the last year, he and Chris Bartlett from Philadelphia had partnered with us to offer The Leadership Academy to continue the discussion of how we can share the lessons we’ve learned and how the next generation of leaders could creatively and positively stand up to the challenges to the LGBT community in the 21st century. In characteristic Rofes thinking the Academy was asset-focused, optimistic and uplifting. In classic Rofes fashion, it was an iconoclastic, challenging process, offered in a warm and relaxed setting, stepping outside the bounds of “how we do things” to challenge people to create new ways, new paths, new, higher thinking. “Queer leaders must lead,” he insisted. He was a master at taking the abstract ideal and making it flesh and blood real.

Eric Rofes was sui generis, a pillar in our community. From his early days as a sixth grade teacher in Boston, he went on to a long career as an organizer, activist, author and professor. Eric Rofes started his activism in the 1970s on Gay Community News. Teacher is how I will always think of him; Teaching, with a capital T is his lasting legacy, in the truest sense of what it means: learning to learn, embracing the excitement of connecting with other minds, creating community.

Audacious. Innovative. Challenging. Intelligent. These are words that get tossed around a good deal, but they are, essential when talking about Eric Rofes. It’s almost impossible to underestimate the accomplishments of this natural born leader and teacher. He published twelve books on topics ranging from children and divorce to gay men’s responses to HIV/AIDS to charter schools. His prolific writings from The Kids Book of Divorce, I Thought People Like That Killed Themselves, to Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men’s Sexuality and Culture in an Ongoing Epidemic and Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures, and his latest, A Radical Rethinking of Sexuality and Schooling: Status Quo or Status Queer took on the problems and challenges of the LGBT community, posing difficult questions and challenging readers to rise to the occasion. More meaningfully, he never had less than absolute conviction that the gay community had everything it needed to rise to any occasion and was a special gift in the world. His books are vital components of the queer canon.

To say that Eric was a long-time progressive activist who worked on issues related to gay and lesbian liberation, HIV/AIDS prevention and gay men’s health, racial and economic justice, and poor people’s access to education is an exercise in the power of understatement. It’s hard to think of another individual who has been more effective—and virtually omnipresent—in the formation of institutions in the gay community. He served as the founder of the Boston Lesbian & Gay Political Alliance, was director of Shanti Project, San Francisco’s pioneering AIDS organization, and executive director of the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center. He was a member of the Working Group and active in the movement to democratize marriage in the United States. He coordinated for the annual North Coast Education Summit, which brings together educators, activists, and parents for three days of workshops focused on education, democracy, and social justice.

He served as a member of the Los Angeles AIDS Commission and the San Francisco Ryan White Council, and was a board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Lesbian & Gay Health Association and the Funding Exchange’s OutFund for Gay Liberation. In recent years, Eric established the biannual Gay Men’s Health Summits and we were honored and excited when he approached us about offering The Leadership Academies in California and New York under the auspices of White Crane Institute. Eric was the first member of our advisory board with whom White Crane had worked to expand our mission.

Eric Rofes was Associate Professor of Education at Humboldt State University (HSU) in Arcata, California. Prior to HSU, Eric taught at U.C. Berkeley and Bowdoin College in Maine. A graduate of Harvard College, he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies from the University of California’s Graduate School of Education. He taught courses in community organizing, social foundations of education, leadership studies, teaching in higher education, and gay & lesbian issues in K-12 schools.

He lived in San Francisco and Arcata, California and is survived by his husband, Crispin Hollings, and a generation of teachers, healthcare workers, and social activists across this country and around the world.