Monday, May 02, 2005

Activists in Colorado

Originally uploaded by p2son.
I just spent nine days in Colorado touring with my show in conjunction with a peaceful protest of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs.

Living in Connecticut (where gay civil union was just legalized) I don't feel the sting of oppression that many queer people experience in the US, but in Colorado the oppression is palpable. Queer people get fired from their jobs just for being gay, (CO is one of 36 states that does not protect gay people on the job)

Chester & Dan (in the photo) seemed an unlikely production team for me as I toured, but they set up most of my gigs out of their strong sense of urgency to engage people in dialog about queer issues.

Dan's sister, Esther, is also a serious activist. She shared with me The 12 signs of a Facist state I read them and felt the chilling reality come over me. I live in a facist state. Like Franco's Spain, where they killed queer, politically vocal artists like Federico Garcia Lorca, I live in a country that has begun to target its own citizens as immoral and dangerous.

It is true that violence was needed to stop the Nazis, but so much more could have been done before it got to that point. The hardworking, family values German people after a world war, a depression and a leadership that filled them with fear and lies, caved in. Not all, but most.

I see myself as an artist before an activist, but I need to wake up from my slumber and not trust that someone else will speak out.


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