How will you celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall?!?
Join The Generations Project at our next live storytelling event:
“Untold Stories of the LGBTQ+ Movement”
Tickets available HERE.
Tickets available HERE.
Join The Generations Project as we gear up to march with some of the LGBTQ+ history makers from the Gay Liberation Front who were at the very first Pride March in 1970 (aka Christopher Street Day) on PRIDE SUNDAY! All are welcomed to join our intergenerational group at any time!
We will be meeting up with members from the Latino Caucus of Act Up and other historical groups at 8:45 AM to 9:00 AM in Sheridan Square before we march to Central Park!
Would you like to join us? Contact us HERE. . March with us to show your support for intergenerational storytelling as a means to help move our community forward!
Summer of Sass and The Generations Project have teamed up to present The Feel Good Cabaret: Comedy For Charity at the legendary Stonewall Inn. The Feel Good Cabaret promises a night of standup comedy and storytelling. Hosted by comedian Kristen Becker, The Feel Good Cabaret features Wanjiko Eke, Anddy Egan-Thorpe, Samatha Ruddy & Special Guests. The evening also includes a live auction to benefit both non-profits.
Join us to have a good time for a good cause!
Founded by comedian Kristen Becker, Summer of Sass is a Provincetown-based nonprofit that works to relocate LGBTQ young adults out of oppressive areas in the U.S. and into a safe summer work environment. Summer of Sass provides these kids with affordable housing on Cape Cod, a job, and an opportunity to be exactly who they are in a place where its safe to do so.
The Generations Project is a not-for-profit organization committed to fostering dialogue and community-building across diverse LGBTQ populations of all ages at live events. The Generations Project curates interactive workshops and storytelling events which empower collaborative, inclusive discourse, the sharing and preservation of transnational and intergenerational LGBTQ Culture and histories.
FEATURING STORYTELLERS from Griot Circle in Brooklyn and younger people who love them!
Location: Superfine (126 Front Street) Brooklyn, NY 11201
*The Generations Project strives to have fully inclusive events for everyone. If you or someone you know has an impairment of any degree and would like to attend this event please notify us as soon as possible and we will be happy to connect! Contact us here.
*More information about Griot Circle here.
CROSS-GENERATIONAL STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS
The Generations Project is recruiting 36 LGBTQ people and allies of all ages for our ongoing cross-generational storytelling workshops.
We are creating intergenerational groups who will meet one evening/day a week for four weeks where each persons develops a five minute story they will share to a small audience on the final day of the workshop. We are recruiting for these three workshops:
OPTIONAL - PLEASE BRING A PHOTO, OR A SAVED PHOTO ON YOUR PHONE, OF REGINALD AND/OR YOU. THE GENERATIONS PROJECT WILL HAVE PORTABLE PHOTO PRINTERS TO PLACE PHOTOS AND STORIES OF REGINALD AND REGINALD'S BELOVED FRIENDS INTO THE STONEWALL 50 TIME CAPSULE.
February 20th, 2019
The Generations Project is returning to the Edie Windsor SAGE Center in February 2019!! New participants and former participants from last year's January 31st, 2018 FIRST GATHERING of the SAGE Time Capsule are invited for the FIRST OPENING!
Join The Generations Project for this fun and engaging intergenerational program to unite LGBTQ people and allies of all ages! Any LGBTQ person or ally is invited and ALL will be matched in intergenerational groups to collectively contribute content for the SAGE Time Capsule. Please bring photos to put inside the time capsule! The Generations Project will also have a portable photo printer to print photos from phones of participants.
The SAGE Time Capsule is a LIVING TIME CAPSULE —> Meaning, it will be opened each year to promote intergenerational connections!
RSVP preferred HERE… but you are also welcome to just show up.
We need your support, your donations, and your stories to MAKE HISTORY! Please join us at our fundraiser or DONATE NOW to help us PRESERVE LGBTQ HISTORY!
MAKE HISTORY FUNDRAISER Write up by Eric Ulloa
To “Make History” feels like something one has no power over. An almost monumental task left for fate to decide who will be the history makers among us. We think of the Larry Kramers, the Harvey Milks, the Edie Windsors, the Silvia Rivera, the Marsha P. Johnsons and so many others who have had a major hand in shaping the LGBTQ experience.
But what if I was to tell you that everyday, you make and become a part of our collective queer history? That by waking up each morning and living your life, you are showing a form of resistance and survival. You are a brick in the structure of our history.
On November 15th, 2018 at the LGBT Center of NYC, The Generations Project set out to do just this at their annual fundraiser, “Make History.”
Founder Wes Enos welcomed a packed audience to celebrate what TGP has done (15 storytelling shows and 100 stories collected from the LGBTQ community) and to show us all what the future has in store. He reminded us why he was so passionate to start TGP in the first place, because “History has a history of being forgotten,” and with these storytelling shows, we preserve the words and experiences from within our community for future generations.
Wes Enos also presented the main focus of the evening, which is the creation of the Stonewall 50 Time Capsule. The time capsule, celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall riots, will be a physical manifestation of the LGBTQ movement created by metal designer Carlos Lopez and made of 14 gauge steel. The capsule will be filled with transcribed stories captured from TGP’s storytelling shows. TGP will also have photo printers at each upcoming event, so that participants can print photos straight from their phones, attach a short story to them and include them in the time capsule. Community members are encouraged to handwrite letters to the future, that will also reside within the capsule, alongside one from New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio to the mayor of the New York City in 2069, the time in which the time capsule will be opened, celebrating Stonewall’s 100th Anniversary.
Stories and photos for the time capsule will be collected until June 2020, when the capsule will be sealed and stored in the LGBT center. 100 keys to the capsule will be given out to the people who are involved in the creation of it over the next 18 months.
TGP host Kyle Post took to the stage to begin what these evenings are all about…storytelling.
Alex Newell (star of “Glee” and “Once on this Island”) grew up in Massachusetts, as the only black kid in every school he attended. Raised by a single mother, he found community and people his own skin color within the church.
In tenth grade, finally ready, he came out to his mother and (according to his own words) it went something like this:
Alex: “Mom! I’m Gay!”
Alex’s Mom: “I just took a Xanax and am headed to bed, we’ll talk about it in the morning.”
She awoke the next morning and reminded Alex that a mother’s love is unconditional, and that as her only son, she loved him no matter what. She never wanted him to feel the pain of not belonging.
Lacking in role models on stage and screen, he sought to find people who represented him in the entertainment community. With the rise of stars like Titus Burgess and Billy Porter, Alex began to see the stars he not only wanted to emulate, but would one day work alongside of as his star began to rise on stage and screen. Alex believes that what we do now, is of dire importance to future generations within our community. That “We create the moments now that build the future. We are planting the seeds.”
Michael Adams, Operations Director at SAGE, spoke to us about this organization that is a very near and dear partner to TGP. Founded in 1978, SAGE was created to ensure that LGBTQ elders could age with respect and dignity. It became a place that ensured we were taking care of those who built the very foundations of our movement and community. TGP became (and continues to be) involved with SAGE, in having storytelling shows at their center and allowing a community of elders to share their voice and stories, as they often feel invisible and forgotten in the LGBTQ community of today.
NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson moved to the city at 19, like so many before him, with two bags and a mind and heart full of ambition. Corey was born and raised outside of Boston in public housing. During puberty, he realized he was gay, which didn’t pair too well with his public persona as captain of his school football team. Between the feelings of loneliness in his sexuality and the murder of Matthew Shepard, Corey was led down a dark, suicidal place. Knowing he needed to break free of that place, he decided to first come out to his teacher and then to his mother. He was met with parents that were okay with it all and loved him unconditionally. Now, in a place of somewhat security in his sexuality, his teacher got him involved in his school’s gay-straight alliance. The alliance gave him newfound courage and like minded people, culminating in a regional event where he met 1300 young, openly gay people from all over New England. It was time to come out at school.
Corey Johnson came out to his football team first, where his nerves were calmed when a teammate simply said, “You’re a great football player. I just want to play football.” Corey began speaking and telling his story at around 30 other high schools. This caught the attention of the NY Times, who wrote a story on his coming out as a high school athlete. Soon after, other affiliates followed, including 20/20 and Anderson Cooper. Corey discovered he was HIV Positive when he was 25, and became open about his status in hopes of shattering the stigma.
He was then elected to the NY City Council at the age of 31. He marvels at representing a district where no one bats an eye at him being openly gay or openly positive, and he knows why that is…because of the activists that came before him and set up this moment.
And to those who paved the path for him, he says, “Thank you for my life.”
Council Speaker Corey Johnson was given the first key to the Stonewall Time Capsule.
Making History is as simple as coming out to your family. As simple as writing that letter to your representative to protect Trans Rights. As simple as getting up and telling a room full of strangers within your LGBTQ community, your story.
These moments inspire and create little waves that continue to amass unbeknownst to us. They spread and remind us of the challenges ahead, but that we are stronger when we are together. And they allow us to look back at chapters we will not revisit, because as Alex Newell powerfully sang to conclude the evening, “I Know Where I’ve Been.”
With the 50th Anniversaries of Stonewall and Pride on the horizon, The Generations Project invites you to MAKE HISTORY with us as we build The Stonewall 50 Time Capsule, a physical manifestation of the LGBTQ Movement. With the help of history-loving volunteers, The Generations Project is partnering with over 50 LGBTQ organizations and history makers to generate photos and other historical content at our live storytelling shows and workshops.
We need your support, your donations, and your stories to MAKE HISTORY! Please join us at our fundraiser or DONATE NOW to help us PRESERVE LGBTQ HISTORY!
Click HERE to attend and contribute!
Honoring Daniel Maloney and all efforts for more intergenerational storytelling…
By Eric Ulloa
There’s that moment when the Pilgrim Monument comes into view over the horizon as the ferry begins to slow down. You take in a deep breath and it’s as if your lungs suddenly have more capacity to them.
You trek up the harbor towards Commercial and you see a face you can’t quite place yet.
A wrinkling to the corner of your eyes as your lips crack the first of many smiles to come.
And then there’s that first walk on the beach, with the sand swirling beneath your toes and your heart expanding to a familiar place, but one that you had forgotten about till now.
Because now, you’ve returned to a love you’ve known for years. A love that doesn’t skip a beat once you’ve been reunited.
You’ve returned to Provincetown.
But what lives within the grains of sand on the beach and weathered wooden panels of the shops on Commercial Street? What stories weave together to make this the utopian vacation spot we all hold so dear?
On Monday, July 30th, The Generations Project set out to answer those exact questions in their “Why Ptown Show” at the Crown and Anchor.
Founder Wes Enos greeted the massive audience and thanked them for allowing them a second year spreading the work of what The Generations Project does best, inclusive intergenerational storytelling that preserves our LGBTQ history and culture.
To stay true to the hometown message of this storytelling event, the hosts for the evening were local favorites Bob Keary and Katie Ledoux. Both Bob and Katie started us off with the reasons they chose to live in Ptown, from Bob coming to work for one summer and staying 14 years, to Katie coming with friends and being snuck into the bars to join in the festivities.
There is a tradition with TGP events called the “Stand Up” section, where the audience gets to know a little more about the people seated amongst them. For this special event, the audience was asked to stand up during the decade they first came to Provincetown. It was no surprise that with a town so rich in history and legacy, there were members of the audience that first arrived in the 1920s and the 1950s. We applauded the history they’ve experienced and the path they paved for the rest of us.
The first storyteller of the evening, is a Ptown living legend, Beata Cook.
Born in Provincetown in 1924, she has the rare story of having never experienced homophobia in her lifetime. She chalks up this experience to the Portuguese settlers having a “live and let live” attitude toward their neighbors and to a police force that wouldn’t tolerate any form of hate crime in their town. She grew up a tomboy with dreams of leaving Ptown as soon as possible, and after graduation left for teachers college where she met the girl of her dreams. They began a secret relationship, and in 1941 came back to Ptown where they gained employment gutting and cutting fish. Soon after, World War 2 broke out, she and her family all moved to Connecticut to seize the economic opportunity of working in one of the defense factories. Beata and her girlfriend broke up and she found herself having wild nights out in the company of other lesbians, with Beata’s mother having no idea about her daughter’s homosexuality and concerned with the idea of her getting “wrapped around a tree,” or worse yet, pregnant. To dispel these worries, Beata came out to her family who were remarkably progressive for the era and accepted her openly. When asked “Why Ptown,” Beata’s response is quite simple…”Why Not?”
The next storyteller has not only raised three generations in Provincetown, but has housed and held fundraisers at his home with famous political and cultural icons such as Joe Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Cher. Dan Mullin first came to Ptown in 1965, for, as he says, “when you’re 21 years old and have a 28 inch waist…you do well.”
Coming from a Catholic family in Boston who “closeted everything,” Dan was enthralled by this little piece of paradise where gay men and women could come and be themselves. Between the 1960’s and 1970’s you would take in various events (and costume changes) throughout the day and then all end up at The Moors for sing a longs. The AIDS crisis dealt a devastating blow to our community in the 1980’s, with many from the larger cities coming to Ptown to spend their final days. The kind and compassionate nature of the people there allowed those who came, to die with dignity. Dan told a story of a friend who would rent his basement room from him every summer. During the crisis, this friend reached out to him, informing him that he was sick and only had so much time left. He wanted to live his final days in his beloved Ptown and the basement room that he spent so many joyous summers in. Dan reminded him that the basement room had no bathroom, and that for the time he would be staying there, he would find it more comfortable if they switched and his friend had the upstairs room with the bathroom. His friend refused the offer and insisted on spending this final summer in the basement, so Dan began to ask around at what he could do to make this final summer as comfortable as possible. Before he knew it, there were contractors and plumbers ready at the call, and as the friend arrived in Provincetown, the basement room had a fully working bathroom.
The sense of neighbor and family is what’s kept Dan in Provincetown all these years, now being a major leader and philanthropist in the community.
The path of one’s life often takes turns that one never sees coming, as was the experience of Byllye Avery. Growing up in Georgia, she soon found herself attending college in Florida at the beginning of the civil rights movement. She discovered her passion as a black woman of this era, as Martin Luther King Jr. (her graduation speaker) taught her and her peers that “she couldn’t sit on the sidelines and had to get involved.” There was no choice.
She married a man and had two children, but sadly, her husband died of a heart attack at just 33 years old. Soon after, she started to become involved in the women’s rights movement, where she learned about lesbians, but still didn’t know any personally. During this time, she began to understand this other side of her sexuality and that she had feelings for women as well. Society and its pressures would hound her about the sexuality she “should be,” and the woman she “should be” and what the church wanted her to be doing. But in time, she realized she “didn’t have to do anything” and so she decided to live freely and as she saw fit. She started the Black Women’s Health Imperative in 1983 and began to carve new frontiers in educating black women about their health (reproductive, heart health, etc.), something that hardly anyone else was doing.
She met her current partner in Atlanta, and after a wonderful winter trip to Ptown, they decided to buy a place and call it home, forever becoming a powerful and necessary voice in this diverse community.
In a similar turn down a new path, Jay Critchley first came to Provincetown in 1975 with his pregnant wife. Once his son was born, his wife and he decided that he should set out to fully discover his sexuality. Ptown became the vibrant setting for his self discovery that eventually had him co-founding Swim for Life, as a response to the AIDS crisis. Jay knows that our community has been through a great deal, but that we always arrive on top in the end. And to mark a promise to one another that we can and will survive the current state of the Trump administration, he led the audience in singing a joyous, “We Shall Overcome!”
Marian Roth saw a very narrow path for women when she entered the world in 1944.
The world was dim and dark for tomboy girls like her, that just wanted to do what her brothers were doing.
So Marian did what no one else was doing…she created her own light filled path.
She went to graduate school for political science and was the only woman in her program. In 1968, she achieved the impossible, and got a job teaching at Syracuse University.
At this time, the women’s rights movement was well underway and Marian found herself dipping her toes into some of the issues, but still a little afraid to fully dive in. In researching the movement, she came across a story about women faking their orgasms and realized she had never even had one. She had had enough, and she dove into the pool of the movement with gusto, eventually getting fired from Syracuse University.
When she first arrived in Provincetown, she quickly realized she had found her tribe. She saw women building and painting homes, taking on the traditional male roles, and she thought, “My God! I’m in Heaven!”
So “Heaven” is where she stayed to finally invent herself into the human and artist she had always wanted to be.
Leaving Provincetown is always a heavy and depressing reality we all hate to face.
Many tears are shed as we leave behind dear friends, old loves, new romantic possibilities and the joyous memories that turn into the sand granules that will swirl beneath the feet of the new arrivals. This recent ferry ride was a tough one for me, as thanks to the Generations Project, I had a new deeper sense into the people that inhabit this wonderland I love so much. This time I left with all that I mentioned above, but this time I felt as is there were hundreds of more people I suddenly needed to meet. Hundreds of more stories I craved to be told. I was given something deeper than I had ever been given in my eight years of coming to the tip top of Cape Cod.
I was given history and a hyper focused look into my community.
Yet, as the ferry pulled away and my heart felt as if it would shatter, I saw the four women that overlook the harbor smiling at me.
“See you next year friend. We’ll have plenty more stories to share.”
The Generations Project is proud to present our 2nd Annual Provincetown Summer Storytelling Show, “The Why Ptown Show”, an evening of live storytelling dedicated to preserving Ptown’s LGBTQ History and bridging the gap between generations of LGBTQ people and Ptown lovers. Hosted by beloved Ptown personalities, Katie Ledoux and Bob Keary, “The Why Ptown Show” will features local Ptown storytellers, Featuring stories from Beata Cooke, Dan Mullin, Marian Roth, Jay Critchley, and Byllye Avery, who have helped make Ptown the wonderful community we all love today!
Audience members will participate in building an LGBTQ Timeline of events before the show begins. This event and show will be filmed for our efforts to preserve Ptown's history.
The Why Ptown Show
Date: Monday, July 30th, 2018
Check out the Ptown Show from last Summer 2017.
On Monday, June 11th, 2018, The Generations Project and Capturing Rainbows celebrated Pride by co-hosting a special storytelling event at the Phluid Project called SHARING OUR HISTORY. Thank you to all who came to support our efforts to SHARE OUR HISTORY with the general public!
Monday, June 11th, 2018
7 PM to 9:30 PM
The Generations Project returned to the Edie Windsor SAGE Center for our cross-generational storytelling event to help our communities get ready for PRIDE. This event was the last day of a 3 week storytelling workshop where our participants worked with each other and our facilitators to develop a 5 minute story to share out loud to our live audience.
SAGE + TGP Storytelling Community Bridger
Monday, May 21st, 2018
6:30 PM to 7:45 PM
Write-up by Eric Ulloa
Do you remember the first time you put your tiny feet into the oversized depths of your mother’s heels and walked around the house?
Do you remember the first time your parents allowed you to dress yourself and the outfit that you created?
Do you remember what you wore the first time you went to a gay bar?
All of these moments share not only the common link of fashion, but the idea that fashion and sexuality have been intertwined for as long as we can remember.
Friday, April 6th, The Generations Project in collaboration with the Fashion Institute of Technology presented “Visibility through Fashion” at the FIT Pomerantz Center.
FIT Professor Ron Amato kicked off the the evening with a warm welcome to FIT and embracing the exciting new collaboration with the Generations Project.
We were then treated to a beautifully created video (compliments of FIT Professors Ron Amato and Michael Huss with FIT Film students, Shoshana Robinowitz, Emiliano Sanchez, William Mun, and Brandon Gacer) that dipped our toes into an evening of discovery and empowerment through fashion and let us meet some of the storytellers we would be hearing from as the night progressed.
The Generations Project Host Kyle Post took to the stage, empowered in a Greg Barnes designed pair of high heels, to welcome us to the Storytelling section of the evening and to remind us all why we walked in those doors that night. That by being in that auditorium we were not only hungry to learn more of our history, but that we were choosing to become part of it and continue to spread our shared LGBTQ dialogue.
FIT professor Patrick Boylan and FIT student Kyle Brogan have a shared commonality aside from a life dedicated to fashion, they both began life with a facial anomaly. Though neither have let that define them and each found their own path to fashion.
Patrick went from singing “Soliloquy” from Carousel while making toilet paper gowns for Barbies as a kid, to moving to NYC and finding his voice in the world of fashion. He arrived at the onset of the AIDS crisis and watched as his mentors and colleagues died one by one as he struggled to find the “box” he fit in within the city’s gay scene. He insisted on “creating beauty” during a time when there was little joy or happiness as this plague swept the city.
Kyle was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome and partially deaf, spending most of his childhood in gymnastics. Love for fashion soon came into his world and he threw himself into his craft, defining his own point of view.
As fate would have it, Patrick became Kyle’s professor at FIT and a beautiful mentorship and friendship was born, with both men (as Patrick states) “refusing to fit into a gay box, but instead designing their own.”
Legends always have great stories as to their place within LGBTQ history and Transgender Hero Connie Flemming is no exception.
Born as a boy in Jamaica, Connie still has a scar on her hand from when she tried to iron pleats into a pair of school uniform shorts, attempting to make them look more like the skirts the girls would wear. School, and the incessant bullying that came with it, were the years of hell for her and she eventually dropped out, receiving her GED later.
In NYC, she started to do shows in drag at Boy Bar and soon became (in her own words) “famous below 14th street.” That world soon allowed opportunity for modeling at nightclubs, with fashion designer Patricia Field’s discovering her.
Connie took the fashion world by storm and appeared in many runway shows for extremely famous designers, and in her first season no one knew she was a man in drag. The sudden rise of popularity for RuPaul and the “Supermodel” video in the early 90’s created a fad at having drag queens on the runway, but as with all fads and ending was eventual. Soon after the height of popularity to this trend, there came a backlash and drag and trans models, Connie included, were soon unemployed by designers and no longer welcome in runway shows.
Connie’s view on the world of fashion continues to be bright and vibrant and she believes that her story belongs not only to her, but to “the people who saw ability in her before they saw color or gender.”
John Bartlett grew up like many other boys in Cincinnati, Ohio, yet strived for a little something more. He attended undergrad at Harvard, and it was there that he not only came out of the closet, but started to experiment with fashion. He decided that his next step was to move to New York City, attend FIT and surround himself in the craft of fashion. John would spend hours honing his craft and practicing every little detail as he wanted to really find his voice and become a master in all aspects of menswear. At the same time though, the city was in the midst of the AIDS crisis and John found himself as a caretaker to dying friends at the age of 23. Soon after the AIDS related death of a close friend, he found inspiration and decided to start his own line.
The late 70’s masculine “Marlboro Man” look was seen to be the “face of AIDS” as the crisis was taking many of these very men. On the runways, the more slender “Heroine Chic” look was gaining popularity as designers sought to look away from any looks that could be associated with the AIDS crisis. John decided to fight against what the industry was doing and crack the stigma by having his very first runway shows feature just these very looks that all others were avoiding. His show had the “Marlboro Man” type look, with high sexuality and an embracing of leather and other motifs that had become taboo.
John believes that for a successful future in the world of fashion, one must practice constantly and surround themselves in every detail of the business so that they have a full and complete perspective.
To wrap up the evening, The Generations Project likes to show where our community is going with what is called “3 Voices.” 3 different voices and stories that somehow intertwine with commonalities, showing how close we all are and how far we continue to go.
Bradley Miller, Paige Curtis and Ben Copperwheat were all bullied as children for the eccentricities and uniqueness inherent within them. Bradley asked if he was a girl by other students, Paige being called “dyke” for her boyish quirks and Ben having to change schools due to the severity of the taunting. Yet all three of them, through fashion, found not only who they really were inside, but a pride and love for this person.
Bradley found his tribe as he first moved to San Francisco and then eventually settled in NYC. He embraced wearing female fashion and makeup and now inspires those who can’t yet find their own inspiration. By facing himself and his gender, he can now proudly declare his catch phrase, “Boys CAN look like this too!”
Paige came out to friends when she was 14 years old, yet remained closeted to her conservative family. College liberated her as she was mentored by a transgendered professor and a move to NYC gave her the city she knew she could blossom within. Though still struggling with coming out to her family, Paige recently cut all her hair off and finally saw the woman she had always known inside was now staring back at her from the mirror.
Ben started to find his voice with the music of the early 90’s, which in turn influenced his fashion choices. Once in art school, he fell in love with neon colors which not only became his artistic staple, but his passion. He feels that if the colors he wears and designs can make people smile, then his job has been fully achieved.
Fashion will always be entwined with not only the memories that defined us in our journeys of sexuality and discovery, but the armor we chose to wear when we had to defend ourselves through it. Something as seemingly common as a t-shirt has a history deeply woven into by what that article of clothing represented to us. Every heel has walked enough paths to press a multitude of stories into it.
With a culture teeming in vibrancy like the LGBTQ one does, it’s no wonder that fashion walks hand in hand with us.
The Generations Project presents the "VISIBILITY Through FASHION" Storytelling Show at the Fashion Institute of Technology with a special evening dedicated to preserving LGBTQ history through storytelling.
Support The Generations Project by clicking here.
Join us from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM on the last day of January 2018 at SAGE, the LGBT Senior Center in Midtown as we introduce our first Living Time Capsule.
What is that you may ask? The Living Time Capsule is a 14 gauge steel box designed to be opened once a year at an annual gathering at SAGE in Midtown. Participants can submit a single page or a small envelope of pages into the Living Time Capsule at its first gathering on January 31st, 2018.
In the upcoming annual gatherings, participants can retrieve pages/envelopes they submitted in previous years or submit a new page/envelope.
Living Time Capsule Designed by Carlos Lopez aka Project Assasin in Los Angeles
Support The Generations Project by clicking here.
Monday, December 11th, 2017 Location: Superfine (126 Front Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn)
LGBTQ Timeline: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Storytelling Show: 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM Price: Any Dollar Donation
Hosted by Broadway actor and life coach, Kyle Post
Photographed by Emil Cohen
Complimentary vodka brought to you by Tito's Handmade Vodka!
Support The Generations Project by clicking here.
Article written by Eric Ulloa
The holidays are a time for family and feasting, and that goes for chosen family as well and the nourishment that can be derived when we share our stories and struggles within the LGBT community.
So what better appetizer to it all than a “Bridger” before the main feasting event.
What’s a “Bridger” you may ask?
A Bridger is a special event at a senior center hosted by The Generations Project in prelude to a larger storytelling event, the upcoming event in particular being The First Times Show on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at Superfine in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
This Bridger was an exciting first, as it was our first time partnering with SAGE. SAGE is the country’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. Along with the incredible work they’ve been doing since 1978, they also are a treasure trove of incredible stories that continue to help us bride the gap between LGBT generations, our exact mission.
The event was held at SAGE’s Manhattan center, which opened in 2012, and is the nation’s first full time LGBT senior center. The crowd was incredibly diverse, with age ranges going all the way back to someone born in the 1940’s, and we stopped to thank these individuals for paving the way for our lives and our stories.
Wes Enos, Executive Director of The Generations Project, started us off with a story about the moment he realized his lack of education of LGBT history and his subsequent thirst for it.
We heard further stories from a younger generation that ranged from the time their parents found out they were gay by reading a chat window (Jean Paul, 24) and the first time Yves Olivier Mandereau saw a half naked man in a magazine to the liberation Myesha Watkins felt when she abandoned female conforming clothing for gender nonconforming inspired clothing.
We then moved on to speakers who paved the way for us all and stories about their first times.
Fran DeBenedictis went to her first lesbian bar in 1972 and was blown away by seeing 30 lesbians all in one place. Years later, in 1979, she was working at a lesbian bar called “Dapper and Friends,” when an incident launched her into a whole new profession. A straight couple came into the bar one day and began making threatening remarks to the lesbian staff. Fran called the police, which ended up being no help, as they allowed the couple to stay and told the staff that they should have a bouncer instead. The moment of being dismissed by the police struck Fran so strongly, it being the first time she felt ignored for being a lesbian, that two years later she herself became a police officer.
Reginald Brown came to NYC in the 70’s with dreams of becoming a dancer. He knew all his life that he wanted to dance and that the city was the place to do it, so upon arrival he was a kid in a candy store. In 1986, he was diagnosed with HIV and given two years to live. Two years in which he decided to live each day to the fullest. Lucky for us, Reginald indeed survived and stands before us today as not only inspiration, but as a reminder to our community. He reminds us that LGBT history often forgets the stories of people of color within the community and that they are just a part of our fabric as anyone else is. He encourages minorities to be loud and proud with their stories as they need to be heard.
The holidays can be a tough time for so many, especially as they head home to families that may have reservations towards their sexuality or gender identity. We invite you to come out on December 11th to our First Times show and fill up on the feast of stories we have waiting for you. Stories that will embolden you with the power and history of our community, and stories that will comfort you as you will see that you have family all around you.
Hosted by Broadway actor and life coach, Kyle Post
Filmed by Adam Golub, Grete Miller, and Kyandha Cruz
Photographed by Emil Cohen
Brought to you by SAGE and The Generations Project
Help fund this free Bridger Program for our growing community by clicking here.
The COFFEE MORNING MIXER with The Generations Project
Seashore Point - Provincetown, MA (100 Alden Street)
Saturday, October 14th, 2017
10 AM to NOON
The BEFORE PRIDE BRUNCH
June 17th, 2017
Written by Eric Ulloa
“How many here have heard or know about the Sip-In?”
Six hands went up.
In a room of over one hundred gay men and women, six people knew the reason that we were allowed to sit there on that Saturday and drink together, openly speaking about our homosexuality.
Yet that same lack of historical knowledge is exactly why these people were gathered for Brunch on the weekend before Pride week officially kicked off.
The Generations Project came into my life as I was embarking on a project about Queer history and wanted to push beyond all the research I’d done. I had read numerous books on Stonewall and the era, but wanted to find that personal account. Stories from the lips of people who were and have been out there living, fighting, carving a place in a society that had not yet accepted them.
I was referred by a friend to Wes Enos, founder of The Generation Project, and upon our first meeting I knew that this was a group that I not only wanted to be a part of, but that I wanted to help in any way I could.
We traveled to GMHC together to learn more about this organization and speak to some who had been there since its inception. We met the former president of the Mattachine Society at Julius’s for a 3 hour talk about the Pre Stonewall era. And with each meeting, the blanks began to fill themselves in. Blanks that books can’t teach you. Blanks that an entire generation took to the grave with them during the AIDS crisis.
My first actual event with The Generations Project was the BEFORE Pride Brunch, held on June 17th at Etcetera, Etcetera.
101 people sat down to a meal/drinks and listened to various stories from older and younger generations of the LGBTQ community. Dick Leitsch, former president of the Mattachine Society, taught everyone about the “Sip-In” and just why they were able to congregate with a cocktail in hand without the police arresting us. The man who physically challenged the law in 1966 was right there telling us all about it, an unknown hero that sat among us until he told the story and we realized the treasure sitting at the front of the room.
Ruby Rims told us about her beginnings in the world of drag, with the razor wit only a legendary queen possesses. She also told us the painful truth about how the physical scars of being bashed may heal, but the emotional ones never erase themselves.
Deborah Emin reminded us of the power of just telling your story, and how with sharing, she was able to learn her next purpose in life as a proud lesbian.
We sat, we talked, we learned and we grew.
And after, 101 people left and told their friends the stories they now knew, and hundreds more now had a stronger arsenal of history at their fingertips.
A generation may have taken a lot of this to the grave with them, but there are still so many out there, brimming with knowledge that strengthen us not only as people, but as a community equipped to deal with whatever the future holds. If we don’t know our own history, we will most definitely repeat the mistakes made prior and never learn from these hero’s that paved the foundations we walk on.
The Generations Project will change your life. I assure you. It’s changing mine.