Wakefield Poole may not be a household name, but he changed the world of porn forever.
In 1971, back when porn was something you watched in a movie theater, Poole decided what he was seeing on screen didn’t line up with his own experiences as a gay man in New York City. So he took matters into his own hands, taking a camera to Fire Island Pines and creating a sexy gay fantasia.
The film he created, “Boys In The Sand,” broke into the mainstream. Its fanciful vignettes, which included porn star Casey Donovan rising from the ocean to seduce a boy on the beach and tossing a magic pill into a swimming pool to conjure a man, captured audience attention and made the film a crossover hit. Both gay and straight audiences were lining up to see it, including celebrities like Liza Minnelli, Rudolf Nureyev, and Halston.
“I wanted a film,” Poole said at the time, “that gay people could look at and say, ‘I don’t mind being gay — it’s beautiful to see those people do what they’re doing.’”
“Boys in the Sand” was unabashedly gay, and Poole was unabashedly gay alongside it. His real name was displayed on the marquee, a rare move for the time.
“There weren’t a lot of people who were out,” Mr. Poole told South Florida Gay News in 2014. “Just seeing my name above the title on a theater made its impact. Hundreds of people saw ‘Boys in the Sand’ and came out after seeing the film.”
Poole’s career peaked with “Boys in the Sand,” but he lived a full life outside of its fame, including making more films and working as a ballet dancer and as a chef. Poole died on October 27 at the age of 85 in a nursing home in Jacksonville, Florida, his niece Terry Waters told the New York Times. But his legacy endures, particularly through screenings of “Boys in the Sand.”
“When I first came to Fire Island, I felt free for the first time in my life,” Poole said at one such screening in 2010. “I didn’t feel like a minority and I wanted everybody to suddenly feel that. So I said, ‘I can make a movie that no one will be ashamed to watch.’”
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus are thrilled to announce the return to live, in-person performances with their annual holiday extravaganza, Holigays Are Here…Again to benefit Face to Face in their mission of ending HIV in Sonoma County.
Considered one of San Francisco Bay Area’s must-see signature holiday treats, this concert will delight you with the sight and sounds of the chorus in festive attire performing seasonal songs and sketches new and old. The program will include “Little Drummer Boy,” “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “Los Peces en el Rio,” “Chanukah in Santa Monica,” as well as some unexpected surprises. “ Two years later, the holigays are back on stage for the holidays,” says SFGMC Artistic Director Dr.Timothy Seelig. “This will be one of the most fun and beautiful celebrations in years. The chorus has been rehearsing—masked and distanced—getting everything ready for live audiences! We will tickle every holiday fancy you can think of as we raise the roof with glorious music and shenanigans as only SFGMC can deliver.”
THIS SHOW IS ALWAYS A SELL-OUT SO GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY BEFORE THEY ARE GONE!SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18 AT 5PM – THE GREEN MUSIC CENTER
In an interview with Newsweek, Schneider revealed she had been trying to get on the gameshow for more than a decade. She was finally accepted by the show last year, but her appearance was delayed by the pandemic.
After her fifth win, Schneider penned an op-ed in the outlet to mark her becoming the first trans person to qualify for the Tournament of Champions.
As well as elaborating on her strategy and admitting her surprise at her winning streak, Schneider wrote about the importance of transgender representation on TV.
“It was inspirational for me to see transgender contestants on the show before I became a contestant and I hope that I am now doing that same thing for all the other trans Jeopardy! fans out there,” she wrote.
“I hope I have given them the opportunity to see a trans person succeed. Until very recently trans people didn’t see themselves doing much out in the world, so to actually see something like this happen really opens your mind up to possibilities.”
For the Thanksgiving episode of Jeopardy!, which aired on 25 November, Schneider wore a Trans Pride flag pin.
Explaining her decision to wear it, she wrote on Twitter: “Thanksgiving is a holiday that is all about family. And that can be hard for anybody who has been ostracised or otherwise cut off from their family, a group which, sadly, still includes a disproportionately high number of trans people, especially trans youth and trans people of colour.
“So, it felt like a good time to show my membership in, and support of, a community that might be having a hard time right now.”
Botswana’s Court of Appeal on Monday upheld a 2019 ruling that decriminalised gay sex, a decision hailed by gay community as establishing the southern African country as a “true democracy”.
Monday’s decision in effect struck off two sections of the penal code that had outlawed homosexuality. Before the 2019 High Court ruling, which was praised by international organisations and activists, engaging in gay sex in Botswana was punishable by up to seven years in prison.
The state had argued on appeal that the penal code outlawed gay sex and there was no evidence that people’s attitude towards homosexuality had changed.
Sunday, December 5 @ 3 pm. Occidental Center for the Arts is pleased to present the San Francisco Yiddish Combo! Made up of classically trained musicians who enjoy stretching musical boundaries, the group’s leader Rebecca Roudman has fronted groups all over the world, bringing her fiery, virtuosic cello playing to stages from China to Iceland. Check out the SFYC for a fresh spin on Klezmer with plenty of recognizable nods to an eclectic mix of genres. Great for dancing! Tickets $25 General/$20 OCA Members. Indoor masking required. Fine refreshments for sale, Art Gallery open for viewing/gifts. Accessible to persons with disabilities. Get your tickets now @ www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org. Become an OCA Member and get free event admission plus perks! 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465.
Following the success of its first friendship series against Boston Pride Hockey, an LGBTQ hockey team that was founded in 1989, Team Trans began to draw the interest of other trans and nonbinary hockey players from around the world. And while the Covid-19 pandemic foiled earlier plans for a reunion, players and organizers alike were keen to bring the event to the Madison area, where there is already an abundance of LGBTQ hockey players. In a spirited two-day tournament, Team Trans, which was split into three teams based on skill level, went undefeated in six games against the Madison team.
When the inaugural Team Trans first stepped off the ice and into the locker room two years ago, the players said they could tell that something was different. While many of them had played in LGBTQ leagues, they were often the only trans player on their team and struggled to find a community of trans athletes to talk to. But for one weekend, these players were all able to bond over a shared love for the sport and a mutual understanding of their personal struggles with gender identity.
“I keep meeting people that I’ve barely spoken to or haven’t spoken to directly, and I feel like I already know them in a way, just because of the shared experiences that we’ve had in hockey spaces,” Mason LeFebvre, a Team Trans goaltender and out trans man, told NBC News. “It’s just casual and comfortable from the start. We’re not going to ask each other a bunch of awkward questions that other people might ask if they know we’re trans. Then, we talk about other things that would be completely off the table for conversations with mostly cis[gender] people.”
Avery Cordingley, who plays center and uses gender-neutral pronouns, shared a similar sentiment.
“It’s feeling like you don’t have to get over a bunch of awkward hurdles before you can just exist together in a space,” they said. “Last night, I picked up a player at the airport at 11 o’clock, and we’re instantly chatting. We both have the experience of, like, ‘Are we going to be able to keep playing hockey if we choose to transition?’ And we didn’t even have to go into that. We’re just like, ‘Yeah, I’ve played hockey here and here and here.’”
For LeFebvre and Cordingley, who both played girls’ hockey growing up before beginning their transition and now compete as teammates on Team Trans, there was always an inherent need to consistently prove themselves in a male-dominated sport.
“But there’s an extra layer to it when you’re also trans, especially if you know it at that age,” LeFebvre said. “It’s extra uncomfortable because you belong in the boys’ locker room, but they don’t see that.”
Cordingley said it’s even more uncomfortable if you “don’t have the language” to articulate what you’re going through.
“Because you don’t know why you’re hurt, you don’t know why it hurts that you’re not allowed in there,” they explained. “For me, it’s like you get off the ice, and your teammates go one way, and you’re just alone in a room by yourself the other way. It’s alienating, it’s othering, it makes you feel like you don’t belong there, even if you love the sport and just want to play.”
According to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank, 10 states have recently passed laws to ban transgender youth from participating in school sports that align with their gender identity, with proponents claiming that this legislation is designed to keep all athletes on a level playing field. Having weighed the consequences that transitioning would have on their own futures in hockey, LeFebvre and Cordingley both said that getting to know a trans or nonbinary athlete is the first step to understanding the harm that these policies have caused.
“We should look at them as a human being with the same wants and needs as their own kids and their own friends,” Cordingley said. “It doesn’t matter what your gender identity is. Everyone wants that team, everyone wants to feel like they belong, everyone wants to play the game that brings them joy. We’re not blowing the competition away; we’re very average. They should just understand that trans athletes are regular athletes, and trans athletes can be very good at their sports, but so can cisgender athletes.”
LeFebvre said proponents of trans sports bans “just need to watch trans athletes complete and realize they are just athletes who happen to be trans.”
“It really doesn’t have anything to do with being trans — it has to do with dedication. Some of it is natural talent, but a lot of it is hard work and dedication, just like it is for anyone else,” he said.
Last month, the Premier Hockey Federation, formerly known as the National Women’s Hockey League, released a new inclusion policythat was developed in consultation with Athlete Ally, a nonprofit LGBTQ athletic advocacy group, and Chris Mosier, a transgender triathlete. The policy itself provides a pathway for the participation of both trans and nonbinary athletes in the federation.
While they both think that the federation has taken a step in the right direction, LeFebvre and Cordingley agreed that, until it is put into practice and updated with less ambiguous language, it will be hard to gauge the policy’s effectiveness.
“You could get a hormone exemption, so that someone like me or Avery theoretically could play in the league, but what does the exemption require?” LeFebvre said. “Maybe it’s completely reasonable stuff, maybe it’s not. We don’t know, because it’s not specific, and it might just be partially because you can’t be super specific on an individual basis. But also, if they just use the vagueness of it to not write any exemptions ever, then that’s not great, obviously.”
But for now, LeFebvre and Cordingley have turned their attention to the future of Team Trans, which has attracted hockey players from all over the United States, Canada and Japan. As a team, they hope to host a friendship series every year and travel to some LGBTQ tournaments, showing transgender athletes of all ages — but especially younger generations — that their dreams are not only valid but possible.
“We’re not going anywhere, and we just love the game like everyone else,” Cordingley said. “We all have a place in the game, and the game is stronger” because of our differences.
The only public gender clinic for young trans people in the US state of Texas has closed after attacks by anti-trans activists.
The move comes amid rising tensions in the state over gender-affirming care for young trans people, with transphobic activists targeting officials at the hospital where the gender clinic was based and accusing them of promoting child abuse.
The GENder Education and Care, Interdisciplinary Support program (GENECIS) was the first clinic of its kind in the Southwest, bringing mental health services, hormone specialists and young adult care together in one place.
GENECIS confirmed in a statement that existing patients would continue to receive treatment, but that while new patients referred into the hospital would be seen for diagnosis, including evaluation for gender dysphoria, they will not be offered puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy.
“Pediatric endocrinology, psychiatry and adolescent and young adult care coordinated through this program are now managed and coordinated through each specialty department,” the statement says, according to the Texas Tribune.
It continues: “We do not anticipate any interruption of care or services for our existing patients who already receive care with these specialty teams.
“The choice to remove branding for this care offers a more private, insulated experience for patients and their families.”
The GENECIS closure comes less than two months after officials at the Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where the program was based, told The Dallas Express that the service was vital for young people with gender dysphoria and was helping to reduce the “significant suffering and extraordinarily high suicide” rates among trans youth.
“With a suicide attempt rate of up to 41 per cent for children and adolescents with gender dysphoria, there is a need for comprehensive care for these youth,” officials were quoted as saying in an email to the Dallas Express.
The email continued: “Given the significant suffering and extraordinarily high suicide rate in these children, offering a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach is needed to help treat this medical problem.”
Anti-trans activists who had targeted GENECIS repeated many of the Republican talking points opposing gender-affirming healthcare for young trans people, including falsely claiming that it is dangerous, irreversible or experimental.
The fact that doctors trying to “save lives” by treating young trans people had been harassed is “heartbreaking”, said Ricardo Martinez, the chief executive of LGBT+ campaign group Equality Texas.
“Accessing healthcare can be a courageous act for many LGBTQ+ people because of how difficult it is to find providers who are knowledgeable about our needs and the poor treatment we have experienced by insurers and/or providers in the past,” Martinez said.
News of the gender clinic closing comes at the end of Trans Awareness Week, during which billboards reading “Protect trans youth” and “Trans lives are precious” were towed on trucks around Austin, Texas, in solidarity with trans Texans.
Celebrate kindness with your library this holiday season! We all need community, now more than ever, and we’re offering several opportunities to share the love at each of our branches.
Interested? Find out how you can get involved below!
Donate food. Sonoma County Library partners with local organizations to help alleviate hunger in our community. Drop off canned goods and other food items in a donation barrel at any library branch.
Share what you are thankful for. Help make our Gratitude Trees grow by adding a leaf of your own! Trees are located at your local library and available all through the month of November.
Send a Gratitude Postcard. Visit a Sonoma County Library branch from November 5 until January 5 to pick up a Gratitude Postcard and write your message to the first responder of your choice. Mail it or drop in the library’s delivery box and we’ll send to a local first responder.
Spread cheer to seniors through the mail. The Sonoma County Library’s Send Our Seniors Mail program encourages kindness and support for elders in our community. Create cards, artwork, and letters of encouragement for seniors who might need a little extra happiness during the holidays.
Proyectos comunitarios con la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma
¡Celebre la comunidad con su biblioteca durante esta temporada de fiestas! Dependemos de nuestra comunidad ahora más que nunca, y estamos ofreciendo varios proyectos comunitarios en nuestras sucursales.
¿Le interesa? ¡Descubra abajo cómo puede involucrarse!
Donaciones de comida. La Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma está colaborándose con organizaciones locales para aliviar el hambre en nuestra comunidad. Done comidas en lata y otras comidas no perecederas en el barril de donaciones de su biblioteca local.
Comparta sus agradecimientos. ¡Añada una hoja de agredecimiento a los Árboles de Gratitud para que crezcan! Encuentre un árbol en su biblioteca local durante todo el mes de noviembre.
Envíe una tarjeta postal de gratitud. Puede recoger una tarjeta postal de gratitud en su biblioteca local a partir del 5 de noviembre hasta el 5 de enero para escribir un mensaje al personal de emergencia de su elección. Envíela o entréguela en el buzón de la biblioteca y la enviaremos al personal de emergencia local.
Reparta la alegría con los adultos mayores a través del correo postal. El programa de Envíos de Correos Postales para Adultos Mayores de la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma promueve la simpatía y apoya los ancianos de nuestra comunidad. Envíe cartas hechas a mano, dibujos y cartas de apoyo a los adultos mayores quiénes les gustarán esta alegría extra durante la temporada de fiestas.
Gracias por ser miembro de la comunidad de Bibliotecas del Condado de Sonoma. Visítenos en línea o en persona en una de nuestras sucursales. Asegúrese de consultar los trabajos disponible en la Biblioteca del Condado de Sonoma aquí.
A violent mob sexually assaulted, beat, threatened, and humiliated a 27-year-old intersex person on November 15, in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s capital. The perpetrators filmed the attack, which lasted for several hours, in two horrific videos which circulated on social media.
According to medical reports issued by a health facility in Yaoundé, the victim Sara (not her real name) suffered multiple hematomas all over her body. Sara’s doctor said that she needed monitoring for 15 to 18 days due to the severity of her injuries.
Police arrested a man in connection with the attack, but released him 48 hours later. On November 16, Cameroonian Foundation for AIDS (CAMFAIDS), a human rights organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people, filed a complaint with the police on behalf of Sara as a victim of assault, battery, and inhuman and degrading treatment. CAMFAIDS is providing support to Sara, including for medical and psychological assistance.
Two CAMFAIDS members said Sara is shocked and severely traumatized and attempted suicide on November 19. “We found her unconscious in the bathroom beside a bottle of bleach. We called the doctor. She is under observation,” said a CAMFAID activist.
Authorities have yet to make a public statement on Sara’s attack. Their silence over this high-profile incident of senseless violence against an LGBTI victim risks sending a message of tolerance for such abuse and highlights the government’s failure to protect LGBTI Cameroonians. Police should urgently respond to CAMFAID’s complaint, investigate the attack against Sara, and bring those responsible to justice. They should also ensure the safety of LGBTI activists who are doing crucial work in a climate of intimidation and violence.
A trio of House Democrats have introduced during a year with the highest recorded deaths of transgender and non-binary people a resolution that would officially recognize the annual occasion.
The measure was introduced by Reps. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), who are known as vocal transgender advocates and members of the Transgender Equality Task Force, as part of group of 62 members of the U.S. House, according to a statement from the LGBTQ Equality Caucus. The resolution would commemorate Nov. 20 as the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Newman, who’s been open about having a young transgender daughter, said in a statement violence against transgender Americans, particularly Black and Brown transgender women, has become a “national epidemic.”
“With this resolution, we are not only recognizing the far too many souls lost to violence this year but also honoring their memory with a commitment to fight against anti-trans hate, rhetoric and violence,” Newman said. “Transgender Americans face hateful and disgusting attacks — verbal and physical — every single day just for simply existing in the world, and each of us has a fundamental obligation to speak out against it.”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance comes with 2021 having the highest number of recorded killings of transgender and non-binary people in a single year. A total of 47 deaths have been recorded, according to the LGBTQ Equality Caucus.
Wexton said in a statement the ongoing deaths of transgender people are “cannot be overlooked or ignored,” calling 2021 the deadliest year on record.
“Our trans friends and neighbors face greater threats of violence, bullying, and discrimination in nearly every aspect of their lives, and they deserve justice and equality,” Wexton said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, under questioning from the Washington Blade last week on whether President Biden was briefed on 2021 being the deadliest year on record for transgender people, said the grim milestone is “terrible and heartbreaking” although she said she was unsure on whether Biden was briefed.
The White House hasn’t responded with any update on whether or not Biden has been briefed as of the eve of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Jayapal, who in addition to being a transgender advocate has been the face of the $1.75 trillions Build Back Better plan approved recently in the House, said in a statement the names of each of the transgender dead should be spoken aloud, the action should follow.
“Our resolution acknowledges this truth as we continue our dedicated work to strengthen hate crime laws, pass the Equality Act through the Senate, and ensure that every transgender person is able to live freely as themselves,” Jayapal said.
An LGBTQ Equality Caucus spokesperson didn’t respond Friday to the Blade’s request to comment on whether House leadership gave the sponsors of the legislation any indication the resolution would obtain a floor vote.