So busy I really didn't have time to blog. But I'll try to catch up--if I can remember anything. It's been so long.
TUESDAY, 10/25: I started with a panel discussion at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) entitled Education Interrupted: Strategies for Confronting Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying of LGBT Youth. It was co-sponsored by the New York County Lawyers Association LGBT Issues Committee, which I'm on. One of the more interesting facets of the panel was that two of the panelists are currently or recently LGBT youths themselves--one is a high school student, one a recent graduate, now in college. Two of the other panelists were Pauline Park, the head of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), and David Mensah, Executive Director of the Hetrick Martin Institute.
There were a lot of interesting statistics that came out over the two hours. For instance, 6.5% of NYC high school students identify as LGBT (and 9% of the teachers). Also, between 40 and 50% of all of the homeless youth in NYC that go into foster care are LGBT.
Right now what is happening is that students are coming out before the community, including the schools, is ready. Gay and lesbian characters are portrayed sympathetically on television, there are out gay and lesbian entertainers, athletes, even politicians (more lesbian than gay), so young people come out of the closet much earlier than they used to.
I think the main message that expressed by the panel is that the best way to confront the discrimination, harassment and bullying of LGBT youth is to educate all of the teachers. It's not enough to send the principals to a brief session. There are a lot of teachers out there who want to stop these things, but are paralyzed: they don't even have the language to accurately report what they see.
One thing I found a bit curious: not one word was mentioned about the efforts of GenderPAC to combat bullying and gender stereotyping. Perhaps it's just because their efforts are aimed more at college students (with a growing program for parents). But I'm wondering if there might be a little inter-group jealousy going on--the moderator was a staffer from GLSEN.
I saw my friend Donna there, who is on the ABCNY LGBT Rights Committee, the other main co-sponsor of the panel. But she wanted to go straight home, so I decided to go to the Pill Awards at the Splash Bar. My friend Clover Honey was one of the judges, and was also doing a "Joan Rivers" type of Red Carpet fashion reporting for Under the Pink Carpet. I knew I would be too late for that, as the Awards overlapped the panel discussion by an hour, but I hoped to catch some of it.
I got a cab on Sixth Avenue, even though it was going in the wrong direction--it always seems to be easier there than on Fifth--and went down to W. 17th St.
I managed to find the coat check (I think it was in a different place the last time I needed to check something, though both are in the basement. I went back upstairs for the festivities. Actually the first thing on my agenda was to dive into an apple martini, which I made disappear in very short order.
After I got my second apple martini I tried to figure out what was going on.
Clover's e-mail said the Pill Awards were "Video Awards for the Best of Season 3 of cable's ADD-TV," but I had no idea what ADD-TV was. Attention Deficiency Disorder television? I still don't know, and I really don't care--you can Google it yourself if you're that interested. They showed the nominees for various awards up on three large video screens--almost none of them were the least bit familiar. The awards were interspersed with musical performances. A couple of women did a rap number (I'm not particularly fond of rap.) Later Kevin Aviance did his new song, unaccompanied, since his background music failed--that was good.
I looked around for Clover, or anyone else I knew. As frequently happens, some guy came up and greeted me, but I had no idea who he was--probably someone who had seen me in Jesse Volt's show at the Monster Bar. Eventually I saw Cashetta, way at the other end of the room. A bit later Milan and Peppermint arrived. They zipped by without noticing me. Peppermint disappeared, but I did catch up with Milan, who complimented me on my memory, for what I wrote about our visit to HMI.
At some point ABBAlicious won an award, and Cashetta was one of the acceptors. I do have that album, where a number of drag performers who can actually sing did their versions of various ABBA songs.
The final performer was Janice Robinson. Someone said she was a legend. I'd never heard of her.
By the end of the show I'd had three apple martinis (each one a dollar more than the previous one) and a handful of pretzels. Clover just wanted to go home, so I went up to East of Eighth to have a little dinner. They have a new menu (I hadn't been there since June). They call their appetizers "small plates" now. I had the duck liver paté small plate. It was excellent. For $8 you get two large slices of paté, with the usual accompaniments--perfect for a light meal.
37 minutes ago