Category Archives: White Crane Institute programs

Celebrate Harry Hay’s 100th Birthday This Saturday!

HarryCover445 (2)Saturday, April 7, at 11 a.m. 

A ceremony at the foot of the Cove Avenue Steps on Silver Lake Blvd. recognizing the site as a historic place by the City of Los Angeles. The dedication of “The Mattachine Steps” (which lead up to the house where pioneer gay activist Harry Hay founded the Mattachine Society in 1950) will be followed by a Radical Faerie-hosted picnic in an adjoining park overlooking the Silver Lake Reservoir (east side). Then, at 2:30, a book signing and reading of Stuart Timmon’s newly updated biography “The Trouble with Harry Hay” at nearby Stories bookstore, 1716 Sunset Blvd. (in Echo Park).

Sunday, April 15, at 2:00 p.m.

The ONE Culture Series will host a panel discussion about Harry Hay’s life and times. Film clips, literary readings and lively talk will be followed by refreshments in the Archive’s garden. There is a suggested donation of $5. The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is located at 909 W. Adams Blvd. (near USC). 213-741-0094 for further information.



If you are on Facebook…and who isn't these days?…you can now help White Crane. JPMorgan Chase is promising that the first 100 eligible organizations (and White Crane is eligible) with the most votes, will receive a $25,000 grant and will have the opportunity to  share how they would put $1 million to use. 

Then, Facebook users will vote on those top 100 charities. Chase will grant the charity receiving the most votes $1 million, with the five runners-up getting $100,000. Additionally, an Advisory Board will distribute an additional $1 million to the organization of their choice from all that are nominated.

So please…if you are on Facebook…take a moment to help White Crane.

Pretty please.

The 100 Best LGBT Blogs!

LGFoundationLOGO Well, we just received word that we've been chosen as one of the "Best 100 LGBT Blogs" by the UK's Lesbian & Gay Foundation.  How great is that?

The list includes some of the heavy hitters, Andrew Sullivan, Joemygod, and towleroad and we're happy to be included among them.

As the editors wrote:

"LGF online have scoured the internet to bring you the most informative, entertaining and inspiring blogs from around the world…the blogs in this list have a call to arms, they want to inform you about your LGBT rights, and they want you to use them."

In highlighting the Gay Wisdom blog they mentioned our founding principle:

"Committed to the certainty that gay consciousness plays a special and important role in the evolution of life on Earth."


Ink Stained Fingers

A dozen roses   78cover[1] 1 Year end always seems to be the time to reflect and remember and I have been doing a little of that myself, lately. The subject that commands my attention the most, once I've drawn my jaw-gaping attention from the parade of bad economic news and stories of self-centered, over-consuming greed, is "the media" and the very real economic problems that face all media, us included, as the internet (which we obviously use to some advantage ourselves) and the concommitant loss of revenue this means for print media in particular and older media in general.

Most mornings I sit with my coffee and my New York Times and scan the pages, usually starting with the obits…the Irish Sports Pages, as my grandmother would call them…the headlines, letters to the editor, the business section, the show biz stories, and finally, folding my C-section — the location of the holy, the beloved crossword puzzle that I have worked every day for the past 32+ years — into the  now reduced (since the Times has cut the size of their pages) quarterfold.

Early in the week I knock that off even before I go off to work; from Thursday on, I carry it with me through the day as my companion for the down moment, the inbetween transit from place-to-place, lest I be caught with nothing to do but stare into space. It is finished, of course, every day. Always in pen, and with specifically prescribed lettering…capital letters only. And no…I don't want any help, thank you very much. The crossword is my own personal pleasure. It is a meditation and I do that alone. I am often told, when I complain that a New York Times is unavailable to me as I travel, that the puzzle…my puzzle…is available on line and I just have to give the benighted person a smile and, controlling my urge to laugh in their face, simply explain that, "No, it's just not the same."

Now, we are told, people get their news here…on line…and are no longer going to print media as much, causing many of the old gray newspapers, in many a city to not just fold into quarters, but fold altogether NewYorkTimesand disappear. Worse, the newspapers that tend to remain are "NewsLite McPapers" with graphs and four color illustrations (you know who you are!) that take give predigested, reader's digest compendiums of "news" that, rather than connecting the reader with his community, tending to put it all at a sanitized distance when it isn't using "news" to scare us all into stupor or submission.

This is a serious problem I think…and I don't care if I am showing my age by saying so. I can't imagine my world without that moment of solitude with newsprint in the morning, the cat stalking me behind the curtain of paper, attacking the corners of the section I'm reading and demanding attention.

White Crane at the SFPL Of course, I am also a publisher of a magazine and, again, people often ask me, when I explain how the costs of publishing have continued to climb, making the production of White Crane more and more costly to produce…they ask me "have you ever considered just doing it on line?"…and of course, we do publish a portion of every issue on line. And, again, controlling my urge to laugh in their face, I patiently explain.."No. It's just not the same."

If there is anyway that we will be able to continue to produce the "hard copy" as it is now referred to, I swear we will. In my heart, to say nothing of my head, there is something critically important about the creation of an actual document, something tangible that you hold in your hands…something that university and municipal libraries collect and bind into leather bindings. Especially for Gay material…and by Gay material, with all due respect for populism, I do not mean OUT magazine, or The Advocate…but I do mean publications like our own and the Gay & Lesbian Review … as examples.

I'm not saying there isn't a place for popular entertainment. I like and need my fluff as much as the next person (though I really don't care what Paris Hilton is up to…ever.) But beyond that, and somewhere in between that and the fussy papers of academia, there has to be a place for the writings of a community that is still trying to come to terms with itself. And do so in some way other than simply trying to "fit in," assimilate and not cause waves. When I came out 35 years ago, the only place I could find any reference to myself was in the dictionary, under "homosexual"…and a sorry definition it was, too. It is important that some young person, going to their bookstore, or a library find something other than that…see themselves in print and be able to hold onto it for a moment…for as long as they need to hold on to it.

I know the same wringing of hands went on when television came along…and probably when radio arrived…about the loss of something valuable in the glare of something new. Television was going to kill radio. And didn't. The internet is going to kill newspapers. And it won't. Radio still manages to remain relevant and though even I have bought a Kindle (I carried 47 books on the plane with me this past weekend…could have carried more than 2000 if I wanted…no bookshelves to dust, either)…nevertheless I will always buy hardcover books. I might become more selective about what I buy and what I want to care for and store. But I will still buy them.

And so it is with the newspaper and magazine. You will never catch me doing my NY Times crossword on my Kindle…even though it is available on it, every day, for less than I pay to have it delivered to my front door (in the blue plastic bag that is immediately recycled into dog poop duty!…what would I do with out that!?) It just isn't the same thing. My fingers will always be stained with the ink of the C-section, and there will always be a pen in my pocket to do the puzzle.

And we will always publish White Crane if I have anything to say about it. And you will be able to hold it in your hands, and save it on a shelf, and take it down and reread it and share it with your friends and family and community.

As we enter our twentieth year of publishing…we promise you that.

The 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit: The Call


Announcing a Call to Action

 Please join us for

LGBTI Health Through the Life Course

The 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit,

in conjunction with the BiHealth Summit

August 14 – 18, 2009 in Chicago


About the Summit

The 2009 National LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex) Health Summit is an event dedicated to preserving and improving the emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, psychological, environmental, and social health and wellness of LGBTI people, a population that continues to experience significant health disparities because of its members’ sexual orientations and/or gender identities.

We welcome all individuals who support the health and well-being of LGBTI people as well as all members of the community (no previous health experience necessary) to explore what it means to be a healthy LGBTI person, living in a healthy LGBTI community.


We invite you to spend a few days in Chicago working intensively with colleagues from all over the nation and world who are grappling with similar challenges, and engage in deep thinking and extended discussion about innovative programming related to the theme of “LGBTI Health Through the Life Course.”

We are especially excited to be holding this summit in the year marking the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the event frequently cited as the beginning of the LGBTI rights movement. The Stonewall Riots was a series of spontaneous, raucous demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn of New York City. in response to a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals, and started the modern gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

This summit is different from traditional health conferences. Our LGBTI Health Summits (previously in Boulder, Colorado; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and most recently in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) have been described as nurturing retreats, exciting and intense think tanks, and an event of great enlightenment. Participants come away with a renewed passion for the cause, energized and inspired to tackle the problems confronting LGBTI health and wellness.

The Summit is a chance for all participants to reach out across differences in sexual and gender identity, ethnicity, race, age, and socioeconomic status and begin to work toward common goals. We avoid a focus on celebrities and big names, and we take plenty of time to relax, have fun, and make meaningful contact with other participants.


Uncle_sam_pointing_finger We Need You

The Summit needs the input of those who face daunting questions and formidable challenges as well as those who have succeeded in creating effective programs and campaigns related to LGBTI health and wellness. We welcome activists as well as researchers, doctors as well as holistic health practitioners, religious and spiritual leaders as well as sex workers. Most of all, we request the participation of ordinary LGBTI-identified people who will share their valuable experiences, questions, and energy as we build a movement around community health and empowerment. We welcome all individuals who support the health and well-being of LGBTI people and all members of the community (no previous health experience necessary) to explore what it means to be a healthy LGBTI person, living in a healthy LGBTI community.

Registration and a call for abstracts will be announced in the first quarter of 2009. In the meantime, you can stay abreast of our work by contacting Cat Jefcoat at or Jim Pickett at We will be disseminating information about the Summit widely as details are finalized. Please stay tuned.

Thank you, and see you in Chicago, August 14 – 18, 2009!

The Chicago Host Committee of the 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit

National Book Award

Doty and dog

White Crane is proud to offer our warmest congratulations to White Crane James White Poetry Prize judge and University of Houston professor Mark Doty for his being named as the National Book Award poetry prize-winner for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins).

Doty has taught in the University of Houston Creative Writing Doty_jacket Program since 1999, but next spring he begins teaching at Rutgers University. Fire to Fire brings together new poems with selections from his previous seven collections, including My Alexandria (1993), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.  There is a wonderful interview with Mark here. And you can see his moving acceptance speech here.


Doty is our judge for the first James White Poetry Prize for White Crane. That winner will be announced in spring 2009.

Atlanta Queer Lit Fest – Readers


More exciting news from Atlanta where the organizers of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival (link) have released the initial list of readers for the festival.

MarkdotyI’m delighted to see a number of White Crane connected poets on the bill including Mark Doty (who is judging our James White Poetry Prize in its inaugural year) and EdmaddenEd Madden whose work we’ve published in the magazine and whose new book Signals is just out from University of South Carolina Press (it’s a fantastic book).  I’ve heard from a few other poets who’ve been invited to read and the ATLQLF site mentions that more will be announced so I’ll wait to note them till they’re officially listed.

Yours truly appears at the bottom of the list and let’s just say I’m over the moon to be in such cherished company.

The dates for the fest are Oct. 15 -19 at various locations to be announced around the city. 

Sounds like a festival to add to your Fall calendar!

More info at

LGBT Writers of Washington Tour

20080621_1525 So today was my second try at leading an GLBT Walking tour of Literary Washington.   This time the tour was under the auspices of Beltway Poetry  Quarterly and Split This Rock Poetry Festival (the original sponsor of the tour with financial help from White Crane Institute).  Inspired by walking tours I’d taken with my friend Kim Roberts, I’d originally developed it for the Split This Rock festival in March.  Sadly only two people showed up for that first offering.  I think long distance from the festival site on U Street and the early morning hour after long till-2am poetry open mics spelled doom for that tour’s turnout.  The two hearty folks that showed up (not counting my darling fere Pete) were great, but I was hoping for more folks.  Kim, innately understanding all that went into designing a tour like this, (all the hours spent doing research through biographies, interviewing still living folks from those eras, and searching through old city directories etc) — wisely suggested holding it again in June and offered to sponsor it through Beltway.  Split This Rock offered to co-host again and they jointly put the word out through their wondrous communications channels and VOILA! we had over fifteen folks show up to do the reading.  Oh, and we had a really wonderful write up in the Washington Blade, courtesy of their arts writer Amy Cavanaugh.  Anyway, I was psyched when I saw the very engaged and very diverse crowd of folks who showed up.  And poets!!

20080621_1521 [at right, Philip Clarke, Tonetta Landis, Craig Harris and I in front of the Whitman public art project at the Dupont Circle metro stop] The tour itself ambles around Dupont Circle beginning with the circle itself, talking about proto-Gay poets in Washington, DC (Walt Whitman, Natalie Barney) then talked about the queer poets of the Harlem DC Renaissance: Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Jean Toomer, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Bruce Nugent, Angelina Weld Grimke etc.  We spent some time talking about the various Radical Writers collectives in DC in the 1970s including the BreadBox collective, the Lesbian Feminist "Furies Collective" (which included and published the work of Rita Mae Brown, Charlotte Bunch, Pat Parker, Willyce Kim, photographer Linda Koolish, June Slavin, Judy Grahn, Lee Lally, and others), the Skyline Faggot Collective, and the GLF collective.  I also mentioned the newspapers that began in the early 70s and were vital to publishing much of this new poetry: the Gay Blade ( forerunner to the Washington Blade), Off Our Backs, Furies, Motive magazine and BreadBox.

20080621_1527It was great to spend some time speaking of those literary collectives that really broke ground in the 1970s.  The Furies published some groundbreaking work through their newspaper as did the Skyline Faggot Collective that worked on the last issue of the United Methodist-funded Motive issues.  I had a chance to read some poems by a contributor to that historic publication, Perry Brass (who lives in New York now and who will be coming to DC for a reading in the Fall).  I also spent some time talking about the Mass Transit reading series of the 1970s that were held at the countercultural Community Bookshop on P Street and featured ground breaking poets (both Gay and Straight) including Ed Cox, Tim Dlugos, Michael Lally, Lee Lally, Beth Joselow, Terence Winch, Tina Darragh, E. Ethelbert Miller, Liam Rector, and Hugh Walthall (who WAS ON THE TOUR!!). Many of these writers are associated with New York City when in actual fact they were from and began their work in Washington.  We also covered what I’m calling the Second Black Gay Renaissance of the 1980s and early 90s (the "first" meaning the aforementioned Harlem DC Renaissance writers).  The poets of this second era included Essex Hemphill, Craig Harris, Larry Duckette, Wayson Jones, Tania Abdulahad, Gideon Ferebee, Papaya Mann, Michelle Parkerson, Garth Tate and others.  We stopped at a location of one of Essex Hemphill’s readings and listened to archival audio of Hemphill reading his "Black Beans" poem.

20080621_1526[At right: This bus just called out for photographic documentation] Along the way we stopped to see some of these writers’ homes and hear some of their poems recited.  And as in Hemphill’s case, on a few occasions we listened to archival audio recordings of the poets reading their own work. I ended the tour where we began, in Dupont Circle, hearing a recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his poetry at the very first Gay March on Washington in 1979.  He read "The Weight" and a beautiful little gem of a poem on Gay rights that I have never seen in print in any of his published books.  A perfect ending to a very nice walking tour. 

20080621_1523The response was very positive and encouraging to me to say the least.  The folks on the tour were so engaged and many shared additional information that enriched the experience (a few were present at some of the events and added information that’s invaluable).  Kim said she enjoyed it, and as I consider her an expert on these tours) that meant the world to me.

[at left, Joseph Ross, me, Kim Roberts, L. Lamar Wilson, and Craig Harris in front of the site of the old Gay Community Building on 21st Street] A few people weren’t able to do the tour and sent their regrets with the hope to do it "next year."  When I heard that at the beginning of the tour I figured it was hopeful thinking, but now, I think it might be worth considering.

Hugh Walthall was nice enough to give me a copy of his book ladidah and Beth Joselow’s The April Wars which he published in 1983. Treasures!  All in all a very satisfying afternoon.