Suspicious material in letters to Straight Pride Parade organizers turned out to be... glitter!

Organizers of the planned "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston next month called police after receiving suspicious envelopes containing a powdery substance. A hazmat team investigated and the mystery material turned out to be... glitter. From The Guardian:

The suspicious envelopes, filled with a “granular substance”, were addressed to three members of “Super Happy Fun America”, a group whose membership have previously organized and attended events, some of which have turned violent and who have links to far-right figures.

One of the recipients, Mark Sahady, is known as the leader of the Boston chapter of a group called Resist Marxism, an organization described by the Daily Beast as the new organization as a “front for [the] far-right group”.

In 2018, Think Progress reported that Resist Marxism had links with white nationalist groups, and that members had expressed antisemitic sentiments in leaked chats.

The sender or senders of the glitter parcels remains unknown.

Read the rest

"Verasphere: A Love Story in Costume" is a vibrant, psychedelic must-see doc

You don't want to miss the technicolor "rainbow of love" that is Verasphere: A Love Story In Costume. This new KQED Truly CA short documentary film made me smile, laugh, tear up, and want to pull out my glue gun and start making costumes again, all in the span of 20 minutes.

[It] follows two San Francisco artists, David Faulk and Michael Johnstone, who fall in love at the height of the AIDS epidemic. While most of their community is overcome with grief and rage, David and Michael discover an unlikely joy through the creation of Mrs. Vera, an outrageous costumed character made from found materials. What began as an intimate art project and a way to pass the time while they faced an inevitable death, soon took on a life of its own. Now 25 years later, a large and diverse community has evolved around Mrs. Vera, all centered around one day of costumed celebration in the San Francisco Pride Parade.

For SF Pride this past weekend, Mrs. Vera and Michael Johnstone rode in the parade as Community Grand Marshals, followed by colorful members of the "Verasphere." Put on your sunglasses because the photos are super bright!:

Mrs. Vera

Mrs. Vera and Michael Johnstone

Marcos Sorensen and Isabel Samaras

Andy Cowitt and Michael Wertz

Also, don't miss Mrs. Vera's Daybook, an ongoing series of photos by Michael of David as Mrs. Vera.

Thanks to Ruby Rieke for the SF Pride photos! Read the rest

Google Sheets' hidden Pride Easter egg

June is Pride month. What better time to spruce up your rows and columns with the colors of the rainbow?

David Murphy of Lifehacker shares an oldie-but-goodie Easter egg in Google Sheets that turns them into the colorful spreadsheets we all need.

To check it out, simply pull up a new spreadsheet in Google Sheets. In cell A1, enter a “p”—the case doesn’t matter. Scroll right one cell (B1) and enter an “r.” You can probably guess where this is going. Basically, you’ll be spelling out pride, one letter per cell, from cells A1 to E1. And as soon as you tap that final “e” and hit Enter (or Return), your entire spreadsheet will turn into a giant rainbow to match the six colors most commonly associated with Pride.

The only bummer is that if you delete any letter from the word "pride," the colors disappear. Murphy suggests hiding the first row (1) to keep the fun going. Read the rest

New Jersey town paints crosswalks in bold Pride colors

In New Jersey, four crosswalks have been permanently painted in rainbow stripes. The Maplewood Township is the first in its state to permanently honor its diverse community in this way.

NJ.com reports:

The crosswalks will be at the intersection of Valley Street, a county road, and Oakview Road. Maplewood will become the first town in New Jersey to feature permanent rainbow crosswalks on a county road to celebrate and honor diversity and inclusion within the community, town officials said.

"We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion," said Dean Dafis, the first openly LGBTQ Mapplewood Township Committee member.

"I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular -- perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation -- to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self doubt."

While it's a first for New Jersey, Maplewood isn't the first place in the U.S. to get colorful crosswalks in the name of Pride. Select streets in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Long Beach, Seattle, Key West, Miami Beach, and Philadelphia also sport rainbow stripes. Read the rest

Delightful Trek-themed Pride tee

Andy W writes, "An artist/illustrator friend of mine just put an illustration of hers up on RedBubble — two iconic science-fiction television characters sharing a tender moment on the couch." Read the rest

Watch 193 pride flags stop a bullet

Fondation Émergence created a great PSA they call the Pride Shield, where 193 pride flags (one for each country) show that together we can end the worldwide epidemic of violence against sex and gender minorities. Read the rest

Disney has unveiled rainbow mouse ears in time for Pride

June is Pride month and Disney has already rolled out rainbow mouse ears, with a depiction of Mickey's gloves in a hand-heart, in their U.S. parks. I spotted this pair, which is officially called the "Mickey Mouse Rainbow Love" hat, in Disneyland a couple of weeks ago for $17.99.

I bet these ears, along with the rainbow products like trading pins and lanyard pulls, will be a big hit come early October for Gay Days.

photo by me Read the rest

Queer Kid Stuff teaches kids all about Pride Month

I’ve written before about my friend Lindsay Amer, whose web series Queer Kid Stuff makes LGBTQ issues easily accessible for kids. Now in honor of Pride Month, Amer is uploading a new Pride-themed video every week during June. In the above video, she shares a Pride Month song for kids. In her second video, she explains the Stonewall riots and the history of gay activism in simple terms that even very young kiddos can understand:

And her latest video explores the art of drag:

You can watch more Pride-themed videos throughout June on the Queer Kid Stuff YouTube channel. You can also follow Queer Kid Stuff on Twitter and support the series on Patreon. Read the rest

Freedom Tower displays pride colors

New York governor Andrew Cuomo released this photo last night of 1 World Trade Center displaying the pride colors.

“From Stonewall to marriage equality to protecting transgender individuals to the first-in-the nation executive action to ban conversion therapy, New York has led the way in the fight for LGBT rights. In this state, we believe that no matter your race, creed, color, gender identity or expression you have the right live your life free from persecution and prejudice.

"This senseless act of terror reminds us that there are those who seek to undermine these very values and the progress we have achieved. We will not let this happen. An attack on one is an attack on all. New York joins the rest of the nation in rejecting this hate, fear and extremism and stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community.

“Tonight, I am directing One World Trade Center to be lit the colors of the pride flag in a tribute to LGBT Americans and the lives that were lost. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest thoughts and prayers to those affected by this horrendous tragedy.”

This gesture will doubtless draw irritated sighs from the New York Times, which published a column by Frank Bruni making clear that the slaughter of 50 people at a gay nightclub by a homophobic terrorist isn't about gay people, who should accept that "this isn’t a moment for identity politics" which "could muddle the significance of the carnage." Read the rest

Asian Pride Project showcases diverse parents supporting their LGBT children

This new video series from the Asian Pride Project features parents from different cultures and countries expressing their support for their LGBT children. Read the rest