Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Here!! MUSINGS: Photography book by Ocean Morisset

It's Here!!! MUSINGS--My first collection of photos put into book form! You can PREVIEW the whole book here and ORDER your own copy today!

Thanks to all of you who've visited my blog over the years! Thanks to all my supporters!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elements of Vogue

Ballroom culture is a subculture of the LGBT community that I'm glad exists for youth as an outlet of creative expression and family. The ballroom "kids" walk a catwalk, "battle" and compete for trophies in different categories, presenting fashion ranging from urban wear to haute couture, drag (male to female as well as female to male) "realness", and social class. "Walking" involves a combination of modeling, vogueing, acrobatics and martial arts. And quite often, the battles are fierce!

Many ballroom "kids" have joined "houses" (families) not for trophies, but for the support and guidance that they no longer have from their primary parents. Many are homeless and have no one to turn to but the streets.

Today, I'm giving props to all the ballroom kids and legends past and present, for SURVIVING on your own terms, in your own skin, and with chosen family.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Photo essay: Anti-Gay Marriage Demonstration, NYC

UPDATE: New York-- On June 25th 2011, the State Senate passed the Marriage Equality Act last night by a vote of 33-29, making New York the sixth (and largest) state to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law shortly before midnight. History has been made in New York!

May 15--Under overcast skies and a light steady rain, several hundred people gathered in the Bronx for a march along the Grand Concourse to protest gay marriage. Organized by the National Organization for Marriage, and led by State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. (D-Bronx), participants including the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization marched to call for the preservation of traditional marriage, or the union of one man and one woman.

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. who's granddaughter is lesbian, urged all Hispanics, and especially evangelicals to oppose the possible legalization of same-sex marriages in New York State. "We are sending a message to the governors, the senators and the assemblyman, that we oppose same sex marriage", he blared from a microphone perched atop a truck. The exuberant crowd hung on his every word and cheered wildly when he declared "We love the sinner, but we won't accept the sin!"

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. (center) pictured with two clergymen.

The crowd swelled to over a thousand as the marchers made their way through the streets of the the Bronx, as onlookers looked out of their windows and porches, shoppers stopped short in their track and neighbors took pictures to remember the moment in time. There was no mistaking Diaz' cunning political move to hold this massive demonstration on the same day as the 26th annual AIDS Walk, knowing that most people with LGBT concerns would be at that event. He turned out to be correct as there were only a handful of counter demonstrators at the courthouse where the the march ended and a rally was held.

Sen. Diaz' constituency is made up of many of the elderly in his district in the South Bronx, home to some of the most extreme poverty in the country. And while the elderly came out in force to protest gay marriage, there were also a surprising number of young people and even toddlers, who barley knew their A,B, C's, carrying signs with bigoted messages given to them by their parents.

LGBT New Yorkers are fighting for the approximately 1,324 benefits that come with marriage in this state, including the right to health insurance coverage for your spouse, the right to visit them in the hospital, and the right to bequeath property in the event of your death. Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and his ilk are against any same sex marriage, therefore, they would rather treat LGBT New Yorkers as second-class citizens. The irony does not escape me that Sen. Diaz, Sr. is one minority trampling on the rights of another minority.

The future of the the legalization of gay marriage remains in the balance, but is quickly gaining momentum showing more people in favor of making it legal. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, a record 56 percent of New Yorkers believe same sex couples should be legally allowed to marry. In the meantime, protest on both sides of the issue continue.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said he and other advocates are meeting and will decide in coming weeks whether there will be enough votes to pass the bill. Each side has pledged to spend more than $1 million on the issue that had expected to reach the Senate floor by the end of the legislative session June 20.

Cuomo recently said he expects the measure to again pass in the Democrat-led Assembly, where it’s been approved in two previous years.

The fight continues...

Counterdemonstrators and supporters of same sex marriage.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Diasporan Views: Harlem, Haiti, Cuba

I'm psyched to be having my solo art exhibition coming up on June 18th @ Sister's Uptown Cultural Stop, located at 1942 Amsterdam Ave. @ 156th street, NYC.

Planning is coming along surprisingly smooth. Let's hope it stays that way! Hope to see you at the opening reception!