Happy Pride month from the magical land of Provincetown!
The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many Pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world.
We just finished celebrating the town's first Pride! I'm excited to have the shop open and it was great to see the response to all the items at Adam's Nest that will help you show your pride throughout Pride month and year-round; many have the added benefit of giving a portion of the purchase price to support organizations that work tirelessly for the LGBTQ community.
One of the highlights of the weekend was Yvette Mattern's Global Rainbow; truly spectacular; an amazing display of colored rays of laser light that were projected toward the sky, simulating a natural rainbow arc. Mattern has installed the Global Rainbow in select cities across the globe. This was the first appearance of the Global Rainbow at a Pride event and fitting as it was the 1st Annual Pride in Provincetown.
June 2nd, was Gilbert Baker's birthday, he passed away on March 31, 2017. I learned of Gilbert's birthday last year when I went to use Google and was greeted with the following animation on Google's search page.
Gilbert was the world-renowned artist who created The Rainbow Flag, the international symbol of LGBT pride and liberation. The original rainbow flag had 8 colors, "each with an individual meaning: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for the sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for serenity, and purple for the spirit. “This was the hippie, 1978 meanings for the thing,” Baker said.
Following Gilbert Baker's passing Adam's Nest created a hard enamel pin in the original eight colors; to this day the rainbow remains synonymous with Pride.
Though we enjoy "Marriage Equality" in the USA, we must remember that the laws providing protections for the LGBTQ community vary state by state and it is imperative we remain vigilant in pursuing equal protection for the LGBTQ community nationwide. From an article in The Atlantic: "Twenty-nine states do not have laws that prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization. Thirty states do not prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, which includes governmental spaces and private businesses, like restaurants, movie theaters, and shops. Sixteen states do not have protections against discrimination in hiring; in these states, a gay person can get married one day and be fired the next solely because of their sexual orientation." In other words we still have a long way to go in the USA.
In this increasingly interconnected world it is important to remember how difficult some have it overseas. The persecution of LGBTQ people in Chechnya continues and one can regularly read of horrific abuses in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere.
One organization that is working to save LGBTQ lives is Rainbow Railroad. The efforts of this organization are invaluable. I am designating 10% of the proceeds from sales of the rainbow pins and "READ MY LIPS" tees to go directly to Rainbow Railroad.
The READ MY LIPS graphic was created by Gran Fury and what better way to show your pride than by wearing a tee emblazoned with two men or two women kissing.
New this year is a t-shirt featuring an excerpt from "QUEERS READ THIS", a leaflet distributed at Pride March in NYC, published anonymously by Queers in June 1990. The excerpt titled "AN ARMY OF LOVERS CANNOT LOSE" was printed on pink paper and handed out at pride. 10% of proceeds from the sale of these t-shirts will be donated to the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
When Adam's Nest launched in the summer of 2016, Provincetown's Carnival theme was "Back to the 80s", it seemed the only thing to do were the Silence = Death Design Collective's iconic graphic t-shirts that were omnipresent during the early days of ACT UP and some of the darkest days of the AIDS crisis. ACT UP is now 30+ years old and the message resonates as strongly now as when the organization was founded.
It is easy to forget the battle for equality when living in one of the coastal metropolises in the United States, but spend a summer in Provincetown talking to people from less liberal states and it is quickly apparent how difficult simply living an authentic life is for so many Americans. Reading the news it is evident how quickly circumstances can change for the LGBTQ community and it is imperative we do not get complacent.
Armen Shahnazarian - Educator, Curriculum, Leader, Researcher, Writer, Advocate for HIV/AIDS Outreach and the Arts
Films like David France's How to Survive a Plague and the release in 2017 of the film from Robin Campillo titled BPM (Beats Per Minute) bring to the screen the history of the creation of ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and the fight for a cure against AIDS. As a community we owe these activists a debt of gratitude for a fight we have yet to finish.
The AIDS Memorial on Instagram is preserving the legacy of the AIDS epidemic; stories of love, loss and remembrance. Adam's Nest joined up with Stuart, the man behind the account, to deliver Memorial tees to 19 countries so far; you can see pics of many who have purchased the tee and chosen to share their photos at The AIDS Memorial T-shirt.
“Our entire cast of The Boys in the Band are so moved and inspired by these stories of the beautiful men and women that we lost to the plague during those dark years. Thank you for bringing them to life once more on your beautiful Instagram @theaidsmemorial.” Matt Bomer @mattbomer
This t-shirt, designed by Zach Grear, and available at Adam's Nest, benefits Housing Works, 25% of the purchase price is being donated to support the fight for funding and legislation to ensure that all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, HIV prevention, and treatment, among other lifesaving services, and its efforts to end the AIDS epidemic nationally by 2025.
The personal is political; this exclusive collection of pins includes the pink triangle, eight color rainbow, queer, shoot loads not guns, and "Silence = Death". Each pin is available individually or you can purchase in a pack and save 30%.
In addition to our various tees and pins that are perfect for Pride, Adam's Nest has a number of "queer" and "Silence = Death" hats to top it all off.
Be out, loud, proud, and visible; happy Pride month! 👍🏼 💜 🦄 🌈 😘