n 2006, tolerance and intolerance hit the streets around the globe in many ways. Crash won best picture at the Oscars, and best director went to Ang Lee for his work on a movie about gay cowboys. But in Moscow, a gay rights march ( not a parade ) led by activists, despite a ban by the mayor, ended violently with mass arrests.
In Croatia, the first 'Internationale Pride' was successfully held in June with people from thirteen different Eastern European countries gathering together, many of which had never held pride celebrations before. A prior attempt in Serbia in 2001 to hold a similar event was violently stopped by protestors and police.
This year, transgender issues surfaced more than ever before. The movie Transamerica received ten awards and eight nominations. On Days of Our Lives, a transgender character was introduced.
The issue of same-sex marriage was in the courts around the globe, with many countries formally accepting civil unions. The bigger news, in my opinion, was that the words 'same-sex couple,' 'gay,' and 'lesbian' tended to crop up alongside any marriage talk in Old-media, which is my term for newspapers, television, and radio.
I'm not a fan of fighting for gay marriage. It's not at the top of my queer agenda. When people are still being arrested, beaten, and in some places hung for being queer, a marriage ring or two on my hand won't help them out. I believe we need to create a dialog first that involves the words queer, gay, lesbian, and transgender.
The second biggest event of 2006, for me, which fell into line with creating the dialog I was just talking about, was Gay Games VII right here in Chicago. The world watched as we gathered together, and Old-media used those words over and over to talk about us. I had the chance to meet some incredible people and, with Amy Matheny, created some of the best work of my career.
And speaking of Amy, the biggest event of 2006 in my life was the creation of the Windy City Queercast, a talk-show where we are free of our Old-media radio bonds. We continue to create a dialog about queer people and queer issues--not because we want to win awards or win the popularity contests that the podcasting world seems to love so much, but because we need more voices from a queer point of view.
This will be my last column of 2006, and my last 'With you in 4/4.' I'll be back in February with new stories and a new theme for my little page right here in Nightspots, but I wanted to leave you with one final thought.
Share your queer point of view. It's that simple. Blog if you can, podcast if you know how, or just write it all down somewhere to keep track of your life. Each one of us has a unique point of view, and every day that we live our lives as queer people, we're making history. Don't lose that history. Save it for the future, but be generous with it. Share it as far and as wide as you can. You are the best person in the world to tell your story. And believe me, people do need to hear it.
With you in 4/4,