rage notes SO WE BEGIN…AGAIN

May is here, folks and with it begins the inevitable march of Pride events across the Southern California landscape. Long Beach begins the trek and this year’s weekend of fun promises to be an eventful one. They’ve packed headliners on every stage during the festival, from Chaka Khan to Jody Watley on the Main Stage and Ty Herndon on the Country Stage, to Urban Soul’s headliner, Monica and Mike Bryant on the Dance Stage, there shouldn’t be a dull moment for every genre of music lover. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fiesta Caliente Stage, which on Saturday, will feature Kat Deluna, Sonora Tropicana, La Chiqui Baby and Amanda Miguel; then on Sunday, look for Ana Victoria, the Selena Tribute Band, Maria Jose and Mariana Seoane. We had the pleasure of chatting with Amanda Miguel, who has been making waves on the Latin music scene since recording her first albumEl Sonido Vol. 1back in 1981, with songs like “Él Me Mintió [He Lied to Me]” and “Mi Buen Corazón [My Good Heart],” which became anthems in her world. About performing for Long Beach Pride, she said this, “I have performed in countless clubs and festivals throughout Mexico and the United States. The LGBT audience is by far the most loyal! They have been by my side in the good and bad times on and off stage, no matter what.” We here atThe Rage Monthly can’t wait to hear her live. Each year Pride season comes along, it makes

me think about what it is we’re celebrating and are truly proud of. These days, I have a building need to remain acutely aware of what’s happening in Washington D.C. and stay focused on the effects they’re having across the land. It’s easy to get caught up in the fear-mongering that’s being promulgated by our current administration, but it’s important to remember, that fear and a reactionary response to it, garners little impact. What I am most proud of as a gay man and as a member of the larger LGBTQ community, is how we have historically managed to gather together and fight for the causes near and dear to us. The ‘80s taught us what we needed to do, honed by the fires of our desperate need to survive what was happening to us. We didn’t create change by giving into fear and whining about what was happening… We did it by fighting hard and by being relentless. Death is a powerful motivator and when the world is trying to silence you, the only way to resist that silence is to get very loud.

Billy Porter and I discussed much about a lot

of topics, but the thing most powerful to me, was our chat about the continuing need to wrestle with cultural norms and how repressive they can still be. Somewhere along the line, I think we all believed we had arrived at a comfortable spot and could rest on those laurels. Gay marriage was a win, we had Barack Obama as the first Black American President and there had been such a sense of “We have made it,” that we may have muted the “fight for equality” volume just a bit. Porter was eloquent in his discussion about that very thing. “We have to stay focused and vigilant and should remain engaged and to fight for the rights that we’ve won. They don’t just stay there, you have to fight to keep them. I think that’s the hard part and has been a hard reality to face. Once you do have these successes, to not take them for granted and to stay vigilant.” Here’s the thing about falling off a high peak,

once you recover from the shock of it, it’s time to dust yourself off and start climbing the next peak. Jeff Nichols said once in an interview here, “The universal concept, is the idea that equality is not something we achieve, it’s something we constantly redefine for ourselves as a society. We hold this thing that we know as equality up and say, ‘How are we going to define this today? In ten years? In 20 or 30?” I guess it’s time to rewrite the definition once again. So, go out and celebrate our victories, love who

you want to love and be proud. But remember, the fight isn’t ever over and we must continue to be vigilant…Silence can be dangerous, so go out and make some noise.

Joel Martens,Editor in Chief “Never be bullied into silence. Never

allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

— Harvey Fierstein



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RAGE monthly | MAY 2017

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