06/24/16 12:29pm
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Photo: Anna Dunn

The heart beats to animate the body; we call this human rhythm our pulse. It is no coincidence that I can’t stop thinking about heartbeats. How subtle a heartbeat is, how it quickens in love, and in fear. I think of how love and fear are related, especially growing up a queer person. When I was young and coming out I didn’t want to be defined by my queer identity. I might avoid a pride parade because of fear, or self loathing, or because I feared love. I think about the very first time I came close to a woman in a gay bar. Manray was a sprawling three-room gay bar in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I remember how the music was pulsing, how my pulse quickened when she reached out her hand to me, and the lights were dazzling, and the men were wild and sweating and dancing like the gorgeous creatures they were, and the fog machine had a slightly sour but dizzying smell. I think about how my pulse revealed me. Then I imagine 49 hearts that have ceased beating.

I think about how blood is everywhere. It is inside us, pumping through us. It is the river of our living, until it is leaking out of us. I’m imagining the massacre on June, 12. I’m still uneasy using the word massacre.

1. Noun – an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people.
2. Verb – deliberately and violently kill (a large number of people).

It was to massacre, but perhaps it wasn’t a massacre? The shooting wasn’t indiscriminate. It was at a gay bar. I’m at the restaurant where I work when I read the Facebook post from the club that night: If you are at Pulse get out and keep running. And I start crying silently in front of customers who do not notice or choose not to react. (more…)

06/22/16 1:34pm

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Happy Pride, everybody! This year it feels especially emotional, doesn’t it? After what seemed like a sudden, triumphant tidal wave of progress in the LGBTQ rights arena, we’ve been recently reminded of the terrifying degree of violent intolerance and hate that the community still faces despite all the good that has happened. It’s a battle in which we can’t yet declare victory, and it’s now as important as it ever has been to throw your support behind it so that we can all someday live in a world where love truly does prevail over ignorance and bigotry. Plus, let’s be real. . . Pride Week also means fun parties! We’ve listed a few below but the big kahuna is of course Sunday’s parade through Chelsea and the Village, which you should enjoy if you’re planning to go but not try to drive anywhere near if you aren’t.

Otherwise, it’s another Ideal Week of beautiful summer weather–the Rockaways, Governors Island, and Prospect Park beckon; bbqs abound; and the sunny days stretch to 9pm. Get outside, grab an ice cream cone, take a bike ride, or just take some time to read a book in the park. Whatever you do, make it count! (more…)

06/21/16 1:53pm
Most women's shirts have floppy collars that don't look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

Most women’s shirts have floppy collars that don’t look good with a bow tie. Kirrin Finch is changing that, one collar at a time. Photo: Bethany Michaela

“It’s really deep,” says Laura Moffat. “We’ve started talking about clothing with friends we’ve known a long time, and who we never talked about clothes with before, and it goes really deep. It’s, ‘When I was five, when I was eight,’ and then someone starts crying.”

If you are a human and you put clothes on your body, then you can probably relate. Whether it was a school uniform, shorts, a dance costume, a bridesmaid dress, a sports uniform, or an outfit for an important interview, chances are that you’ve worn clothing that made you feel uncomfortable, unhappy about your body and, just as importantly, made you feel less like your authentic self.

Kirrin Finch, the company that Moffat and her wife, Kelly Sanders Moffat started together, is part of a growing number of businesses dedicated to helping non-gender-conforming customers feel good in their own skins. (more…)

06/21/16 11:58am

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Gay Pride is Saturday here in New York and while we usually write about Pride events (including Brooklyn Pride which was June 11), this week we wanted to take the opportunity to bring you a few different stories from the queer community and really mark the occasion.

Here in New York City, I sometimes let myself get lazy about just how much homophobia exists in the world. It’s like somewhere between Six Feet Under and the Supreme Court striking down DOMA, after my first gay wedding and before my first married gay friends divorced, I decided to believe that this particular kind of hate had been eradicated, like polio or smallpox, stamped out by common sense, progress and love.

Of course I knew that wasn’t entirely true, but living in Brooklyn it was easy enough to believe. Until last weekend. Until Orlando. Until 49 members of the LGBTQ community were murdered because they were loving life and living for it.

I look at my various social media feeds and thing that really fills my heart and makes a lump in my throat is the utter lack of hate coming out of the gay community. People are hurt and angry and so, so sad. They want change, they want the conversation to move past the empty posturing our elected officials pantomime their way through every single time gun violence erupts in this country on a mass scale. What I don’t see is anyone calling to prevent refugees from entering the U.S. or rounding up Muslims who are already here. I see a conversation. I see a hunger for solutions. And I’m humbled by that.

So here at Brooklyn Based, in a really fucking weird year for politics and everything else, during Pride Week in New York City, it’s really the very least we can do to run stories that remind our readers that Brooklyn is gay as the day. To say unequivocally, everyone has the right to feel the love they feel, to express their own identity in the manner of their choosing, to ask to be called by a name or a pronoun or an adjective that feels good to them, to be themselves without permission. We’re all human, we’re all amazing creatures, we’re all so different and so alike, and truly, the LGBTQ community reminds us all of that all the time.

Thank you.