MKP Intercultural Advocacy Train Station
No. 33 • August 2021 • ManKind Project USA
• 33rd Edition •
Welcome to the 32nd Issue
of the Train Station.
Our Mission: In the interdependent realms of Social and Environmental justice we seek to educate and inform; to challenge and to rile up – to challenge when the prevailing opinion or worldview is harmful or destructive; to rile folks up as a spur to action so that meaningful change can occur. Thus can healing happen, on this planet, at this time.
I’m sorry this issue of the Train Station is coming so late in the month! And, we can (and should) honor PRIDE any time! We begin with a definition of terms. This list, from an article in The New York Times, may seem exhaustive but as they say below, it is not fully inclusive. And we believe that more information about issues that are new to us, is better than less. Onward.
What follows is a by-no-means inclusive list of vocabulary.
GAY AND LESBIAN: It’s important to start with the basics, and “gay” and “lesbian” are as basic as it gets. As “homosexual” began to feel clinical and pejorative, gay became the de rigueur mainstream term to refer to same-sex attraction in the late 1960s and early ’70s. Gradually, as what was then called the gay liberation movement gained steam, the phrase “gay and lesbian” became more popular as a way to highlight the similar-yet-separate issues faced by women in the fight for tolerance.
Gay is still sometimes used as an umbrella term, but these days, it also refers specifically to men, as in “gay men and lesbians.”
BISEXUAL: Someone who is attracted to people of their gender or other gender identities. It is not a way station from straight to gay, as it had once been described.
The stereotypes around bisexuality — that it’s a transitional stage or a cover for promiscuity — have been at the center of fraught conversation within L.G.B.T.Q. circles for years. The musical television show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which features a bisexual male character, had an entire song refuting this.
As advocates speak out more about what they see as “bisexual erasure” — the persistent questioning or negation of bisexual identity — the term has become resurgent. But some people also argue that the prefix “bi” reinforces a male/female gender binary that isn’t inclusive enough.
PANSEXUAL: Someone who is attracted to people of all gender identities. Or someone who is attracted to a person’s qualities regardless of their gender identity. (The prefix “pan” means “all,” rejecting the gender binary that some argue is implied by “bisexual.”)
Once a more niche term used by academics, pansexual has entered the mainstream, pushed in part by celebrities bringing it visibility. The singer Miley Cyrus identified as pansexual in 2015. In April, after the singer Janelle Monàe came out as pansexual in a “Rolling Stone” article, searches for the word on Merriam-Webster’s website rose 11,000 percent, according to the dictionary.
ASEXUAL Or “ace.” : Someone who experiences little to no sexual attraction. They are not to be confused with “aromantic people,” who experience little or no romantic attraction. Asexual people do not always identify as aromantic; aromantic people do not always identify as asexual.
More generally, some people (asexual or otherwise) identify as having a romantic orientation different than their sexual orientation. The terminology is similar: homoromantic, heteroromantic, biromantic and so on.
DEMISEXUAL : Someone who generally does not experience sexual attraction unless they have formed a strong emotional, but not necessarily romantic, connection with someone.
GRAYSEXUAL : Someone who occasionally experiences sexual attraction but usually does not; it covers a kind of gray space between asexuality and sexual identity.
CISGENDER : Someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth.
TRANSGENDER : A wide-ranging term for people whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the biological sex they were assigned at birth.
TRANSGENDERED : Not a word. Often used as one.
TRANS* OR TRANS+ : Two umbrella terms for non-cisgender identities.
GENDER NONCONFORMING, OR G.N.C. : One who expresses gender outside traditional norms associated with masculinity or femininity. Not all gender-nonconforming people are transgender, and some transgender people express gender in conventionally masculine or feminine ways.
NONBINARY : A person who identifies as neither male nor female and sees themselves outside the gender binary. This is sometimes shortened to N.B. or enby. One notable example: Taylor Mason, a financial analyst on the show “Billions,” who is believed to be the first gender nonbinary character on television and is played by the nonbinary actor Asia Kate Dillon.
GENDERQUEER : Another term often used to describe someone whose gender identity is outside the strict male/female binary. They may exhibit both traditionally masculine and feminine qualities or neither.
GENDER FLUID : A term used by people whose identity shifts or fluctuates. Sometimes these individuals may identify or express themselves as more masculine on some days, and more feminine on others.
GENDER-NEUTRAL : Someone who prefers not to be described by a specific gender, but prefers “they” as a singular pronoun (the American Dialect Society’s 2015 Word of the Year) or the honorific “Mx.,” a substitute for “Mr.” or “Ms.” that entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015.
M.A.A.B./F.A.A.B./U.A.A.B. : Male-assigned at birth/female-assigned at birth/unassigned at birth.
INTERSEX : A term for someone born with biological sex characteristics that aren’t traditionally associated with male or female bodies. Intersexuality does not refer to sexual orientation or gender identity.
+ : Not just a mathematical symbol anymore, but a denotation of everything on the gender and sexuality spectrum that letters and words can’t yet describe.
“The ABCs of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+” by Michael Gold, June 7, 2019, Caroline Cox-Orrell contributed reporting.
A Musical Bridge might be welcome here:
This is Billy Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge by the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Another Musical Break …
with more Strayhorn and Ellington
On the Friendship Between Two Artists
(who happened to be be Gay Black Men)
Hearing of a great exhibition at the Asheville Art Museum about a Black artist by the name of Beauford Delaney who struck up a friendship with the writer James Baldwin, I went down to the beautiful newly renovated Asheville Art Museum and with anticipation I checked out the exhibition.
It was one of the more powerful art exhibitions I have ever seen. In a pictorial narrative it wove the story of how the older man, Delaney, met and in many ways mentored the younger Baldwin. And even though they were artists in different media it showed how Delaney mentored Baldwin, for instance in the art of seeing. “Look at that puddle,” he said one day to Baldwin in New York. Baldwin looked at the puddle and just saw flat grey water. Then Delaney said, “Look again,” and this time Baldwin saw an entire cityscape reflected in the puddle. This helped to literally change his perspective, in his life as well as his art.
Below is the textual introduction to the exhibit plus pictures of the two men and some paintings by Delany, the first two of which are of Baldwin. Finally there is a video on Delaney’s life if you want to pursue this artist’s career further.
Metamorphosis Into Freedom
Featuring more than 40 paintings and works on paper, Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom examines the career evolution of modern painter Beauford Delaney (Knoxville, TN 1901–1979 Paris, France) within the context of his 38-year friendship with writer James Baldwin (New York 1924–1987 Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France).
The works in this exhibition bring into special focus Delaney’s intensified experiments with abstraction sparked by the artist’s 1955 move to the Paris suburb of Clamart, as well as the ways that the artist and Baldwin’s ongoing intellectual exchange shaped one another’s creative output and worldview from their first meeting in 1940 until Delaney’s death in 1979. This exhibition also calls attention to Baldwin’s role as “witness” to the painter’s evolution, which he deemed “one of the most extraordinary personal and artistic journeys of our time.”
Baldwin found in Delaney a father figure, muse, and model of perseverance as a gay man of color, who opened for him the transformative possibility that a Black man could become an artist. Delaney found in Baldwin a powerful intellectual and spiritual anchor who inspired some of his finest works and who provided vital emotional support and creative validation.
Amidst this selection of works, Delaney’s Clamart abstractions represent the pinnacle of his artistic achievements and the fullest realization of his lifelong search to express metaphysical concepts of light and movement. In an essay for a 1964 show at Galerie Lambert, Baldwin noted Delaney’s extraordinary painted light was such that it “held the power to illuminate, even to redeem and reconcile and heal.”
Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom is organized by the Knoxville Museum of Art, which owns the largest and most comprehensive public collection of Beauford Delaney’s art.
“And His Mother Called Him Bill” A Tribute to the great songwriter, Billy Strayhorn
Interspersed throughout this issue are videos of songs written by, and in one case, performed by Billy Strayhorn, who worked with another great songwriter and arranger, Duke Ellington. Strayhorn was a Gay Black man whose song Lush Life (sung and introduced below by Natalie Cole) speaks hauntingly of some of the struggles he went through. Billy died too young of cancer. After his passing, Duke Ellington made a tribute album called “And His Mother Called Him Bill.” If you want to listen, go here for the album on Youtube.
To offer feedback or input contact me (Charlie Miller) at email@example.com or 828 777 4925. Stay safe and be well.
Events and Resources:
Given that public gatherings are temporarily off the table, there are no in-person event listings this month.
In addition to the online MKP meetings listed below, there are many other online meetings, webinars, podcasts and presentations – search in your area of interest!
Note that unless indicated differently, the meetings listed below are open only to NWTA graduates.
***** Also note that an addition new to this issue is at the very bottom of this list: The Anti-Racism Forum with contact Seth Harwood.
Cultural Identity Group meetings, Courses and Webinars:
• M.O.D. (Men of Difference) Squad – for men that have experienced negative prejudgment due to race, orientation or culture. If you have experienced Racism, Classism, Ableism, Anti-Semitism, Ageism or Heterosexism, this is a space for you to express, be empowered, learn and share.
Third Wednesdays 7-8 pm ET
Dial in: (646) 876-9923 or (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 749 410 0767
• Warriors of Color United: WOCU Open I-group – by and for MKP Warriors and Men of Color interested in joining MKP only.
Second Mondays 7 pm ET
Dial in: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788
Meeting ID: 216 393 1582
• Global Men of Color Open Circle: By and for MKP Warriors and Men of Color interested in joining MKP only. Send an email for an invitation. Contact Adam Shadow Horse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-813-2974
Fourth Saturdays 4 pm ET
Zoom address varies
• Latino/Indigenous Cultural Spectrum Warriors
Fourth Wednesdays 9:30-10:00 pm ET
Dial in: (415) 762-9988 or (646) 568-7788
Meeting ID: 642 988 9133
• The BrothaHood Of MKPI/USA: Open Circle for Men of Some Obvious African Ancestry
First Wednesday 8:00-10:00 ET
Dial in: (929) 205-6099 or (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 504 402 4933
For more info, contact Jermaine Johnson (email@example.com or (404) 491-4495)
• Challenge Warriors – men with differential abilities. Contact Mike Merino to be added to the email list.
First & third Mondays 8 pm ET
Dial in: (646) 558-8656 or (720) 707-2699
Meeting ID: 882 874 9397
• Autism is Welcome in MKP – This new v-group is a forum for men who know or suspect they are on the Autism Spectrum, as well as for any non-Autistic brothers open to understanding and assisting from a place of empathy. While currently an email forum, the list may lead to meetings and i-groups in the future. Apply to join this email group here. For more information, contact Chris Conty.
• Pan Asian Middle Eastern Chicago 2021 NWTA – team of men with Asian and Middle Eastern ancestry, hosting open circles, Zoom meetings and planning for a 2021 NWTA. For more info, contact Josh Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Social Justice Warriors – This group focuses on ACTION toward Social Justice, supporting both individual and group activism. Involvement on all levels is welcome! For more information, contact Josh Singh.
Second Saturdays 2 pm Central and
Fourth Mondays 7 pm Central
Dial in: (646) 568-7788 or (415) 762-9988
Meeting ID: 466 668 7802
• White Men Unraveling Racism monthly zoom call sponsored by Metro NY Tristate – White men doing their work and getting past resistance and triggers. All men, no matter your viewpoint, are welcome!
Third Sundays 7-8:30pm ET
Dial in: (646) 568-7788 or (415) 762-9988
Meeting ID: 642 988 9133
• Hard Conversations Courses: Intro to Racism and Whiteness, Race, and Social Justice – These are powerful, intensive online courses taught by equity and diversity leader Patti Digh and social justice educator Victor Lee Lewis (of The Color of Fear). New sessions have been added for both courses. MKP has arranged a $20 tuition discount (use code MKP) and a limited number of $50 scholarships are available to GCA men (contact email@example.com).
• MKP USA list of Racial Justice Resources – click here for a comprehensive list of trainings, resources, books, films, podcasts and more.
* The Anti-Racism Forum: a weekly group meeting of (mostly) white men choosing to sit in circle and do our work around racial justice, awareness, and anti-racism.
The first and third MONDAYS at 12:30-2:00PM EST. (DAYS)
the second and fourth TUESDAY NIGHTS of the month at 7:30-9:00PM EST. (NIGHTS)
Contact Seth Harwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.