GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Wednesday 11.02.16

Do: Bronx Zoo FREE day

The last time I went to the Bronx Zoo I had a shaved head. I know that because we took plenty of photos of the adventure, and I stumbled upon them the other day — fuck that was a long time ago. The Bronx Zoo is one of the best zoos not just in New York, but in the whole country. I have mixed feelings about zoos. On the one hand it is cruel to keep animals in captivity, but on the other hand, they are treated well there (unlike Seaworld), and learning about animals helps many people develop empathy for them which in turn means they are more inclined to be supportive of protecting in the wild. It’s a complicated thing, but in the long run I always feel that educating people always has the biggest pay off. Wednesdays are your chance to educate yourself about all the wonderful animals they have housed there (more than 6,000 over 265 acres). Every Wednesday the Zoo is FREE. That’s right, free! Hop on that 6 train and head up to the Bronx for a day at the Zoo. Lions and tigers and Madagascar Tree Boas, oh my!

FREE, 10:00PM-5:00PM, Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd. BRONX, NY.

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Thursday 09.22.16

Do: U-CLIMB NIGHT

The only thing I’ve ever climbed are trees back in the Dominican Republic. Growing up there, there was not much to do, so that was one of the only fun things I could do to kill time. Tom is obsessed with climbing anything, so he was like you need to write about this. He said that the Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge “is full of hot climbers” so I was like OK, let me look into it. We sound like teenagers! This is a one-night only event where college students can “climb for free with a valid student ID.” This is the sort of event that’s best if it’s with queer people, so gay it up while you are climbing, yassss show everyone below you that ass. I’m sure there are gonna be lots of “masc” boys, but just show up with your friends and “woof, woof woof” them. I do woofs with my friends sometimes and it’s a good carry. Have fun, and don’t be afraid to fall.

FREE, 5:00PM-12:00PM, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge, 23-10 41st Ave., Long Island City, NY

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Sunday 09.11.16

Do: TRAPEZE

I recently had the desire to do a Carrie Bradshaw and try a Trapeze class. As you may recall from the episode titled ‘The Catch,’ “Vogue sends Carrie to report on the latest fitness craze, trapeze ‘flying.’” I googled ‘trapeze class’ and found the website for Trapeze School New York. They offer trapeze classes on the rooftop of Chelsea Pier. “TSNY offers classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, silks, rope & more.” In the episode of SATC Carrie has trouble letting go off the bar. I was determined to not suffer the same fate. The first trick was just hang from the bar using my legs. Easy. The second trick was some next level shit. They wanted us to do a backflip! That one I was sweating, but something took over and I managed to do it twice. The next trick we had to catch the instructor on the other bar and swing off. That one was not as hard as it sounds. The instructors all do amazing jobs guiding you through the tricks. It was definitely scary, but so much fun. If you’re looking to have your own SATC experience, or just get in some unusual exercise I would highly recommend trying a trapeze class. This is also a warm weather activity, so I suggest you try it before the weather turns cold.

$60, classes run all day, Trapeze School NYk, Pier 40, Hudson River Park NY, NY.

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Wednesday 08.10.16

Do: NYC Restaurant Week (Jul 25-Aug 19)

OMG! yaaass cheap(er) food! You know the deal — fixed menus, fixed rates, but of course your bar tab will not be included (but the money you save on food has to go somewhere, so…. NYC Restaurant Week is the best time to try out that restaurant you always walk by near the office, home, or that recurring Grindr date’s place; wherever! Chances are there is a probably a restaurant you have been meaning to try but you’ve let whatever deflective mindset get the best of you. Treat yourself, hunty. 2016 has been a rough year for gays, trans folk, Bernie supporters, blacks, latinos, and literally everybody else who is somewhat sane, if there is anything you deserve, it’s a good-ass meal. “Nowhere else will you find a more compelling opportunity to experience a diverse selection of 34 international cuisines, served within 40 neighborhood. With more than 380 restaurants offering great value, you will travel the world,” and by world, they mean the subway, or Uber if you’ve got the coins. Whenever I’m out to eat, I love to pretend I’m Samantha Jones with the rest of the gal-gang, so take whatever excuse you want to eat and drink with your friends and cunt it up. You have to wait for winter for the next opportunity to gorge, and we all know pants aren’t as forgiving as your neoprene shorts. Three courses for lunch $29 & dinner $42.

Google “NYC Restaurant Week” for a complete list of restaurants.

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Wednesday 07.27.16

Do: GAYS AGAINST GUNS MEETING

After the Orlando shooting lots of us in the LGBTQ community have been feeling all sort of things: anger, fear, frustration. We have also been wondering what the hell can we do besides writing angry rants on social media. Recently I ran into journalist Tim Murphy at the gym and I asked him about a photo I saw on his Facebook page of him marching like a fierce queen (pictured) while wearing a t-shirt that read: Gays Against Guns.” He told me he is part of this amazing organization called GAYS AGAINST GUNS (some of you have probably heard of them by now) and that it’s “a group of fierce queers who formed after the Orlando massacre and took over the Pride March chanting “Fuck the NRA!” They also lay down in the street, yelling “How many more have to die?” Since then, they’ve been busy. I was so happy to hear about this, I was like, how do I get involved? Let’s be honest, we know that the gun laws in the U.S. are fucked — it’s so easy to buy a gun — it’s just stupid. The group have been busy making as much noise as they can, and they encourage all of us to join them. We need this. Here’s how you can start: join them at their next meeting (Wed Jul 27) at the LGBT Center (208 W. 13th St) at 7:30pm. Tim told me that they are planning lots of things and one of them is a “noisy visit to D.C. and even to the NRA HQ’s in Virginia on October 24. “If anyone’s going to take down the gun lobby that’s killing Americans, it’s KWEENZ.” You better believe it!

FREE, 7:30PM, LGBT CENTER, 208 W. 13th St. NEW YORK, NY.

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Thursday 07.21.16

OUR Restroom Campaign

Lil Zee needs your help in making bathrooms accessible for all!

Last night, my date at Rosie’s in the East Village shared his appreciation for the restaurant’s copious amount of unisex bathrooms. I think he said something like, “it makes sense, especially in New York.” He was hinting at downtown’s inability to function within the gender binary, but little did we both know that in New York it is required that single stall bathrooms be unisex! Which, if you drink like me, is amazing, because that line always looks daunting… but it hustles!

 

 

Kristin Russo at Everyone Is Gay, an LGBTQ youth organization, says, “taking those gender markers off of single-stall restrooms creates more comfortable and safer spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming people, as well as more accessibility for caretakers,” which is why her campaign with musician Allison Weiss called OUR Restroom (One Unisex Restroom) is incredibly necessary.

 

 

When someone’s got to go, they got to go. That’s what that old people bladder commercial says. It’s not right that some essentially lose that option completely when out in public, when they’re probably just trying to have a grand old time with their friends.

 

 

OUR Restroom “is working to help educate businesses as to the importance of taking gender markers off  of single-stall restrooms.” Of course some people will not have such an easy time completely losing the strict binary society has set up, but campaigns like OUR Restroom are so, so important to support, as they’re the ones doing the heavy lifting and educating those who have reserves or false information. …

Thursday 07.07.16

Justice for Alton Sterling & Philando Castile

Gather for justice for Alton Sterling & Philando Castile at Union Square Park in New York City

I’m just so upset. My hashtags on Facebook feel stupid, but they help with combating any other bullshit that wants to be on my feed today. It is important that black lives matter drowns out everything else on the Internet, especially today. People of color are literally dying while in the process of trying to be heard. A man was murdered in front of his four year old daughter and girlfriend. This is irreversible. This is not right.

 

I have several links open on Chrome, each one reporting the same atrocities America calls familiar. “I think he was just black in the wrong place,” Philando Castile’s mother said. This is the basic, terrible truth. What else is left to be said, really? It’s not safe to be black in America. These stories — Alton Sterling, Philando Castile — prove this yet again.

 

But some people still want to rebuttal this fact. They want to partake in some kind of shallow defensive where the dead are criminalized and placed on the offensive, placed in the wrong. If these men who die in savage ways are so wrong, then why is this officer who shot Philando Castile “four or five times” while he reached for his wallet not? Tell me: what is right in that sentence? Why am I watching a man get murdered in a parking lot? Why are some people still not seeing things fucking clearly?

 

Until black men stop dying, there will be “no justice, no sleep,” as activists in Minnesota have taken to chanting. …

Saturday 06.18.16

Do: HELP VICTIMS FROM ORLANDO VIA GOFUNDME

I have tried to write this post for hours... I have been reading about the Orlando massacre for too many days and have been distracted ever since it happened. I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts and figure out how I feel. I know I feel sad, I know I feel angry and I know that I relate to lots of the people suffering right now. Many of you are probably experiencing this mix of anger and sadness and some other feeling that you can’t figure out. I am a very emotional person and I don’t really know how to deal with death, I usually just shut down. There’s no right or wrong way to feel after all of this. I’d say talk to some of your close queer friends and share how you feel, cry if you need to cry, drink if you need to, get high if you must (weed is a much easier come down), whatever you need to do is OK, all of it is OK. I’m trying to stay focussed here, I think what’s most important is that we try to help however we can. You can start by going to Gofundme.com and giving some money to the family of victims. We’ll be posting some links on our Facebook page from GoFundMe and if you find any other links that are helpful please share them on our page so we can repost them. Also here’s a general link where you can donate: www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund Please share ways we can help online, protest, be vocal about banning guns — sign the petition to declare the NRA a terrorist organization… Also, tell everyone you are queer, go out into the world and be proud of who you are and where you come from. We can make it better — we have to.

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Tuesday 06.14.16

Poets 4 Orlando Imagine Central Park – June 14 in NYC

My own personal mantra is: language does everything. It will heal, it will inspire, it can hurt, it can mold.  Poet Claudia Rankine writes, “[S]omeone asked the philosopher Judith Butler what made language hurtful. I could feel everyone lean forward. Our very being exposes us to the address of another, she said. We suffer from the condition of being addressable, by which she meant, I believe, there is no avoiding the word-filled sticks and stones of others.” This addressability is at the center of each of us, and though we are so physically different, our ability to assess and feel language, which can delineate any space, is what helps, in times like these, spread empathy and compassion throughout communities. Words, be they spoken in French, Spanish, Creole, Mandarin or English, carry weight that must be respected. Our ability to understand language will never go away. Language in any form will always be able to bring people together in times of need. Words mean things.

 

Today, when the LGBTQIA+ community’s collective heart is tender to the touch, it’s essential that we come together as one; to remember, uplift, soothe, and above all else, love each other. Today in the lovely Sheep’s Meadow, poets from all over the world are coming together to bring the magic of a nightclub into their vigil space for our brothers and sisters lost in Orlando. Including some of our GAYLETTER friends, Erin Markey, Slava Mogutin, Justin Syre, Joseph Keckler, Geraldine Visco, Xena Stanislavovna Semjonová, Stephen Boyer and many more hope to share their words with you. …

Friday 06.10.16

Do: Thank Q Mistress, May I Have Another? – Impact Play Workshop

My friend recently told me she likes to keep her man in line when he’s misbehaving, she half-seriously said “I like to push him and I hit him...” I am like girl you need to get yourself a proper paddle so you can spank him. Then of course we get this email the next day with the subject line “join us for a spanking...” Hey Bea, you can now go and learn a few things from Ms. Mona Rogers who’s a “lifestyle and professional Dominatrix… She has been experimenting with kink most of her life and has been a fixture in the pro scene since 2007. She is one of the lead educators for Domi Dollz and the co-author of Kisses to Kink: A Dominatrix’s Guide to Great Sex.” OK Ms. Mona! The Impact Play Workshop will cover everything from “spanking to flogging, paddling and caning.” I had to google two of those things because I wasn’t familiar. Do the same if you aren’t either, the visuals are fun. “You’ll learn how to respectfully curate a dominant/submissive relationship dynamic and how to tailor a light or heavy play scene according to you and your partner’s level of interest.” Ms Mona tells us. Sounds hot. Now bend over, you piece of shit!

$30, 7:30PM-9:00PM, Please, 557 5th Ave. Brooklyn, NY.

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