A Story About A Sunset

5 Jan

“It takes courage to be afraid.” –Montaigne, Essays, III, 6 (1588)

St. Peteresburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

St. Peteresburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

Nothing scares the sun anymore. Not even sinking into the black sea. Not even the black sea and its power over sunsets. Not even the scars or parked cars on Sunday or the squirrels that dream of big things from the tops of enormous trees. Not even the sky and its embedded madness stands a chance against its nuclear dance.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

Sometimes when the blue clutters the sky, the sun rawrs and tilts its ear toward the sea.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

Sometimes the sky is a dark paradise. Sometimes the sun hears paradise calling from the abyss in a funny voice, can you hear the light?

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

Sometimes the sun is a delicious dream–

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

St. Petersburg Beach. Photo by Neil de la Flor.

intersected by billions & billions.

A Story About Biscayne Bay

3 Jan

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The bridge & cranes dream of dogs and cats.

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They squint and find wormholes into other worlds.

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What they discover: there’s always one light that’s brighter than the other. And they are drawn to its luminescence with purpose.

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But there’s always something else in the distance, they think. Their fiercely squinted eyes look funny to humans.

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Something centered and floating appears in the distance–a home of sorts–

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tethered to a reality made of foam.

Donate to Reading Queer: Yay!

20 Nov

tumblr_mgjr4e4MRE1qcalg5o1_500Give Miami Day – For a Greater Miami: 11/20/2013

Hello!

My name is Neil de la  Flor & I am Almost Dorothy. I’m also the Executive Director of Reading Queer. RQ’s mission is to transform the community through the act & the art of creative writing. Today, I need your help! Please make a donation to Reading Queer @ www.givemiamiday.org & spread the word with your allies.

Give Miami Day is an awesome once-a-year 24-hour online giving event that involves hundreds of charities. This year it will be held today (November 20th) & Reading Queer will be one of the beneficiaries. The Miami Foundation and its partners will match every single donation up to $10,000, and the charity that gets the highest number of individual donations will receive an additional $10,000!

Reading Queer is the first literary initiative entirely focused on queer writers in South Florida. Your donation will fund:

1. Community-based creative writing workshops led by nationally renowned queer writers
2. Open-to-the-public talks led by nationally recognized queer writers
3. Outreach programs aimed at enriching the lives of the queer community
4. The annual RQ Literary Festival

(Your $25 or more donation grants you free access to ALL RQ creative writing workshops held in 2014! Print your receipt!)

Reading Queer wants to transform the community. Help it work. Help it thrive. We count on you. We kindly ask you to make a tax-deductible donation to Reading Queer and help us transform the community!

Visit: www.givemiamiday.org.

With deep gratitude,

Neil de la Flor (aka, Almost Dorothy), Executive Director of Reading Queer

P.S. Please share Reading Queer’s request with all of your queer friends and allies.

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Reading Queer awarded $5,000 GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant from The Miami Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

11 Oct

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2013

Reading Queer awarded $5,000 GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant

MIAMI—We are tremendously pleased to announce that the Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects Fund has chosen to award Reading Queer a grant of $5,000.

The GLBT Community Projects Fund is a unique partnership between The Miami Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force to support organizations and programs that advance education and public awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* issues in Greater Miami. Reading Queer will use the GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant to support its mission to establish Miami as a center for queer literature through a literary salon series, creative writing workshops led my locally and nationally recognized queer writers, an annual week-long literary festival and a literary archive.

“Changing deeply-rooted perceptions of queerness necessitates a new language,” says Paula Kolek, co-founder of Reading Queer. Reading Queer’s larger mission will be to foster this new dialogue between gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans* and intersexed writers and the community through the act & the art of creative writing. The GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant will allow Reading Queer to continue its mission to bring the community together to connect, create and communicate.

The GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant signifies the important role and relationship Reading Queer will play in advancing public awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* literature in Greater Miami. The grant means that we are supported by the larger citizenry of which we are part. It means that the community finds Reading Queer as exciting as we do. It means that we are one step closer to creating a lively, thriving, ever-evolving literary center for queer literature and queer culture in South Florida!

About Reading Queer: Reading Queer seeks to establish Miami as a center for queer literature through a literary salon series, creative writing workshops, an annual week-long literary festival and a literary archive. Reading Queer is open to all writers who create hybrid, genre-bending works that address queer identity. Reading Queer is partially funded by a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge Grant and a GLBT Community Projects Fund Grant. For more, visit ReadingQueer.org.

About the Miami Foundation: The Miami Foundation provides civic leadership, bringing stakeholders together to tackle issues of concern in our community. Working together with our Fundholders and community partners, we leverage collective knowledge, creativity and resources for a greater impact than any one of us could make alone. For more, visit MiamiFoundation.org.

The Miami Foundation

About the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation: The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of communities in the United States where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. Knight Foundation invests in ideas and projects that can lead to transformational change.For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

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Robin Thicke is a zebra

5 Sep

Robin Thicke is a ZebraNot all zebras get a free pass so why should Robin Thicke. His “big” hit “Blurred Lines” glorifies rape and ma says that’s fucking insane. Just insane. Fuck you, Robin Thicke. Ma doesn’t care if you have a big dick. All she cares about is caring about women who get raped by dicks like you who make it look like rape is a joy ride. It’s not a joy ride. It’s not a joy ride. Take your zebra twerking ass to Lion Country Safari and report back to us about your evening, Bitch.

http://www.vevo.com/watch/robin-thicke/blurred-lines-unrated-version/USUV71300526

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Almost Dorothy says dontate to Reading Queer

2 Aug

Almost Dorothy supports Reading Queer

21 Jul
Reading Queer Campaign

Reading Queer Campaign

This boy grew up queer & he turned out just fine (more or less). Donate to his new organization Reading Queer & help this boy help other boys, girls & those who identify anywhere in-between to be free, to be confident, to be strong and to be queer through the act & the art of creative writing. At Reading Queer we know it’s not enough just to think things will get better. We have to make it better. Reading queer seeks to establish Miami as a center for GLBT literature and transform the lives of the community.

Visit http://www.readingqueer.org/support.html to make your tax deductible contribution.

Almost Dorothy really needs your support!

17 Jul

Literature matters. It inspires, identifies and empowers us. If we cut access to works of literature, we create a grid of disempowerment that will further destabilize our faltering education system. However, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposes to close 22 libraries and fire 251 librarians and related staff.  We propose that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez slightly raise property taxes for all residents and renegotiate the deal on Marlins Stadium.

Reading Queer

Reading Queer

In the meantime, Reading Queer, my new organization founded with fellow queers, will come to the rescue. The goal of Reading Queer is to establish Miami as a center for LGBTIQ literature and is partially funded by a $35,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Challenge Grant. As a recipient of this generous award, the Reading Queer series seeks to create a community of writers within Miami that create hybrid, genre-bending works. Although one organization can’t stop or reverse the assault on literature in Miami-Dade, it can make a difference.  However, we can’t make a difference without your generous support.

In order to receive the $35,000 Knight Arts Challenge Grant, we must raise $35,000. The Knight Foundation will match each dollar we raise up to $35,000. There’s more to say about Reading Queer, so take a look at who we are and what we seek to accomplish for Miami-Dade.  Once you read about Reading Queer, please consider making a small or large donation (link is on the website) and please share Reading Queer on Facebook, your blog and Twitter.

Donate to Reading Queer by clicking  here and following the directions for your tax-deductible contribution.

Thank you! Long live literature!

Almost Dorothy

Almost Dorothy defends the right of all humans to fear rape regardless of gender or sexual orientation

16 Jul
Rape of the Sabine Women, Pietro da Cortona, 1627 - 1629.

Rape of the Sabine Women, Pietro da Cortona, 1627 – 1629.

Queerty reports that Trayvon Martin feared George Zimmerman “might be a rapist” (read full article here). This is what I think while heading back to Moscow with my bro and fugitive, Edward Snowden:

Rape is not a funny thing. Even if Zimmerman were not a potential “rapist” or a “creepy-ass cracker”, I would have probably made irrational decisions (like both Martin and Zimmerman may have the night of Martin’s death) to save my life (or to defend my life) if I was stalked by a guy (or girl) at night (or day) on my way home in my own neighborhood with only skittles and a can of ice tea to defend myself. It’s not a common experience to have a neighbor stalk me in my own neighborhood, so if someone were stalking me, I would definitely fear for my life and my brain would start calculating, even without me ‘thinking’, what my best options for escape and/or survival would be. All I know is that if I were stalked, I would freak out, but I probably would have run even though I may have the right to stand my ground, mostly because I’m a fourteen year old tranny and I don’t want my ass kicked. Ma probably would have run cause she’s forty and has flat feet and a fat ass.  If I were 17 and had muscle, maybe I would stand my ground like Martin did when he confronted his stalker.

Sidebar: Justice Department reports that 1 in 33 men have been raped. Read the full report here.

As far as calling Trayvon Martin homophobic because he may have thought Zimmerman was a ‘rapist’ is just another form of coded racism. The fact remains: people rape people. Straight men rape straight women, straight men, gay men and gay women. Gay men rape gay men, straight men, straight women and gay women. (You can continue with the other possibilities on your own but you get my point: people rape people.) We have the right, no matter what gender or sexual orientation, to fear rape or any other threat against our lives. Men get raped. It’s a fact and a dirty secret that people don’t like to talk about. And we should talk about rape just like we should talk about racism just like we should talk about gun violence just like I should talk.

(Oh, side comment: I just got solicited en route to Moscow while eating ice cream by a guy who shouted at me, “how much?” “Fuck you,” I shouted back. “Ok,” he said. Then I gave him the finger.)

Almost Dorothy on Martin Luther King

15 Jul

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” –Martin Luther King

Edward Snowden and I are on our way to America (or back to Russia) to bring justice for all. Maybe this is an illusion but I like to think I can make a difference just like I can make spaghetti and just like Edward Snowden can steal secrets. It’s no secret that racism exists and that it is taught to us by our parents and reinforced through social interactions and the media. What is a secret is that there’s a large percentage of the population that believe race doesn’t matter when it comes to dispensing justice for all. This fact remain: there is a disparity when dispensing justice in America.

According to the Center for  American Progress:

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.

Read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/nyregion/23trial.html?_r=0

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