Is Barbie still Relevant?


This effort to remake Barbie as a progressive icon appears to be a calculated business decision on Mattel’s part to win over today’s millennial parents. While Barbie is still a powerful force in the toy market, generating $971 million in sales in 2016, younger parents have been less keen on buying the doll for their daughters than those in generations past.  Mattel has seen sales of Barbie spiral downward since 2009.

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In other words, Barbie is caught in a bind: Mattel needs to sell parents on more progressive versions of the doll, but it might take years of marketing for this new version of Barbie to become familiar and exciting enough for kids to want them. “You have to do more than offer one of these curvy or career dolls in the corner,” Brown says. “It’s a chicken and egg problem: If you offer enough of these dolls, over time, once kids get used to them, eventually they will start asking for them. Then the dolls will become profitable and it would be worth stocking them.”

Barbie 2018 Lineup inclusive

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Julius Eastman: Femenine


He contained so much art and vision as to be a scene unto himself. Then he faded from view.

After alienating lovers and collaborators alike, Eastman was evicted from his apartment in the mid-’80s. Most of his scores were bagged and carted away—eventually lost to history. Details from his homeless period are sketchy (or contested), but it’s generally agreed that he lived in Tompkins Square Park and also suffered from some form of addiction. After he died, alone in a Buffalo hospital at age 49, it took eight months for an obituary to be published. Continue reading

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson


Movie Poster Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson

Academy Award® nominated director David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) new documentary centers on self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson, legendary fixture in New York City’s gay ghetto, who along with fellow trans icon Sylvia Rivera, founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), a trans activist group based in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Mysteriously, Marsha was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. At the time, the NYPD pegged her death as a suicide, a claim that Marsha’s comrades have always firmly rejected. Structured as a whodunit, with activist Victoria Cruz cast as detective and audience surrogate, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson celebrates the lasting political legacy of Marsha P. Johnson, while seeking to finally solve the mystery of her unexplained death.

—Loren Hammonds

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[GOSPEL] San Fran-disco: How Patrick Cowley and Sylvester changed dance music forever


Sylvester was San Francisco’s biggest star and Cowley’s muse – a larger-than-life presence around town, dressed to the nines and often carrying multiple shopping bags as he walked down Castro Street. Cowley most famously worked with Sylvester on the ecstatic mega-hit You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) and was a pioneer of the genre known as hi-NRG, a relentlessly uptempo variant of disco that gained serious traction, especially in the UK and Europe.

Mighty real: Sylvester, right, and Patrick Cowley pose for a portrait at the mixing board in a recording studio in circa 1980. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives)

Sylvester, and Patrick Cowley (left) pose for a portrait at the mixing board in a recording studio in circa 1980. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives)

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Dance Culture=Social Progress


David Mancuso: DJ and dance culture pioneer, dies aged 72

‘The core idea behind The Loft is social progress’ … David Mancuso. Photograph: Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

Unlike the commercial clubs that existed to make a profit, Mancuso and particularly his event Love Saves the Day, offered a space for its members, often an LGBTQ audience, to celebrate nightlife without police interference.

“For me, the core [idea behind The Loft] is social progress,” he said in 2013. “How much social progress can there be when you’re in a situation that is repressive? You won’t get much social progress in a nightclub.


via David Mancuso, DJ and dance culture pioneer, dies aged 72 | The Guardian


 

NYC Developers May Destroy Original Keith Haring Mural 


Keith Haring Mural Baby

Further evidence that the city is intent on shaking off any sign of personality that could distinguish it from, say, a strip mall in Terre Haute, Indiana: An original Keith Haring mural from the early ’80s, which winds through the stairwells of a rental house in Morningside, is quite likely to be painted over in a bid to entice more monied tenants into the building. Continue reading

Roundup: 30 Days of Pride….errrr


  1. How Black Queer Lives Shaped American History
  2. Visual AIDS: Agitprop Playsmart Trading Cards
  3. Images From the Stonewall Uprising’s Final Night
  4. What’s Your Issue?
  5. Pray For Orlando
  6. Reading List: Orlando and Pulse
  7. Panorama Photo of Stonewall Inn #WeAreOrlando
  8. World is Violent and Mercurial
  9. Lives Lost in Orlando
  10. Shoulda Known Better (A Tribute To The Victims of the Orlando Shooting)
  11. #OrlandoStrong #WeAreOrlando
  12. STOP. KILLING. US.
  13. Nonbinary Black LGBTQ+
  14. Only Gave Us Rights
  15. I’m Gay and This Is Why You Should Care
  16. Updated Reading List: Orlando and Pulse
  17. #Stonewall National Monument
  18. September 11th Pride and Prejudice
  19. Two Spirits, One Heart, Five Genders
  20. Stop the Hate: 49 Celebrities Honor 49 Victims of Orlando Tragedy
  21. Zazu Nova

This month was tough, with Orlando happening, and the posts that I’d hope to post containing our histories got obscured by work, life, and sorrow. Promise to do better next year. If you count the numerous articles linked in the Reading List on Orlando, you could say it was over 30+, and that would be both generous and appreciated. Continue reading

Zazu Nova


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@Regrann from @lgbt_history – Zazu Nova, Gay Liberation Front meeting, c. June 1970. Photo by Diana Davies, @nyplpicturecollection. Diana Davies, the pioneering photographer and archivist, misidentified the subject of this photo as Marsha P. Johnson, and it therefore has been cited for decades as an image of the legendary Ms. Johnson. During interviews with gay liberation veterans for his "The Gay Liberation Youth Movement in New York: An Army of Lovers Cannot Fail," however, Stephan Cohen correctly identified the subject as Zazu Nova, a founding member of New York's Gay Youth, the revolutionary group that gave voice to LGBT individuals between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Perry Brass, co-editor of "Come Out" magazine, later recalled "one Gay Liberation Front dance when [Nova] jumped in like a torpedo, and once on the dance floor unhooked [her] bra and threw it into the middle of the crowd. 'Now that's women's liberation!' one of my friends said." Marsha P. Johnson and Zazu Nova are among the many pioneering trans women of color that helped found the modern gay liberation movement. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #queerhistorymatters #haveprideinhistory #transisbeautiful #remembertheT #Regrann

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