Queer Voices

June 5th 2024 Queer Voices

June 05, 2024 Queer Voices
June 5th 2024 Queer Voices
Queer Voices
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Queer Voices
June 5th 2024 Queer Voices
Jun 05, 2024
Queer Voices

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How does an artist capture the essence of a community through a mural? On this episode of Queer Voices, we speak with the talented gay Swiss artist Mark Bauer, who shares his creative journey and mission while working on a new project at the Menil Drawing Institute. We unpack the depth of his research process and how his artwork reflects the vibrant and diverse experiences of Houston's queer community. Additionally, hear from local activist C. Patrick McIlvain, who discusses his recent honor as Grand Marshal for Pride 2024 and the inspiring legacy of LGBTQ+ activism inherited from his mother's groundbreaking work with P-Flag.

Brett Cullum kicks things off with a compelling conversation with Mitchell Greco, the Associate Artistic Director at Stages. We're given an insider's look at his latest directorial project, "A Case for the Existence of God," a two-person play featuring Adam Gibbs and Bradley Atuba. Brett also provides an exciting rundown of the Pride Month activities you won’t want to miss, ensuring your calendar is packed with all the best celebrations Houston has to offer. Plus, we dive into Mitchell’s personal life, learning about his supportive relationship with his husband, Brandon Weinbrenner, and their adorable dog, Clyde.

Stay informed with our news segment, featuring significant updates from around the globe. From the UK's emergency ban on puberty blockers for trans youth to Tennessee's controversial new law, we cover the pressing issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community. Celebrate victories such as Carla Sofia Gascon’s historic win at Cannes, and stay up-to-date with local and international events that shape our world. Join us on Queer Voices for an episode filled with stories of resilience, art, and community activism that inspire and inform.

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

How does an artist capture the essence of a community through a mural? On this episode of Queer Voices, we speak with the talented gay Swiss artist Mark Bauer, who shares his creative journey and mission while working on a new project at the Menil Drawing Institute. We unpack the depth of his research process and how his artwork reflects the vibrant and diverse experiences of Houston's queer community. Additionally, hear from local activist C. Patrick McIlvain, who discusses his recent honor as Grand Marshal for Pride 2024 and the inspiring legacy of LGBTQ+ activism inherited from his mother's groundbreaking work with P-Flag.

Brett Cullum kicks things off with a compelling conversation with Mitchell Greco, the Associate Artistic Director at Stages. We're given an insider's look at his latest directorial project, "A Case for the Existence of God," a two-person play featuring Adam Gibbs and Bradley Atuba. Brett also provides an exciting rundown of the Pride Month activities you won’t want to miss, ensuring your calendar is packed with all the best celebrations Houston has to offer. Plus, we dive into Mitchell’s personal life, learning about his supportive relationship with his husband, Brandon Weinbrenner, and their adorable dog, Clyde.

Stay informed with our news segment, featuring significant updates from around the globe. From the UK's emergency ban on puberty blockers for trans youth to Tennessee's controversial new law, we cover the pressing issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community. Celebrate victories such as Carla Sofia Gascon’s historic win at Cannes, and stay up-to-date with local and international events that shape our world. Join us on Queer Voices for an episode filled with stories of resilience, art, and community activism that inspire and inform.

Queer Voices airs in Houston Texas on 90.1FM KPFT and is heard as a podcast here. Queer Voices hopes to entertain as well as illuminate LGBTQ issues in Houston and beyond. Check out our socials at:

https://www.facebook.com/QueerVoicesKPFT/ and
https://www.instagram.com/queervoices90.1kpft/

Glenn Holt:

Hello everybody, this is Queer Voices, a home-produced podcast that has grown out of a radio show that's been on the air in Houston, texas, for several decades. This week, brett Cullum talks with Mitchell Greco, who is directing a show at Stages called A Case for the Existence of God, which runs through June 30th.

Mitchell Greco:

It's wildly different from anything that I've worked on in the past and it's also deeply human in a way that I think audiences and me as an artist need right now. It is fully. You use the word empathetic. I think that is such an incredible word that describes this work. It's fully human and that really excited me to work on this two-person play where they don't ever leave the stage we have Brett Cullum's summary of June Pride Month activities.

Glenn Holt:

Then Andrew Edmondson talks with Mark Bauer, a gay Swiss artist who was commissioned to create the fifth installment of the ephemeral wall drawing series at the Menil Drawing Institute.

Marc Bauer:

So the first we did a first trip to Houston and to try to understand as much as we can about the history and the context of the city, and then with Kelly Montana we did a kind of Zoom interview with different people.

Glenn Holt:

Deborah Moncrief-Bell talks with local activist Patrick McElvain, who has been named Honorary Grand Marshal for Pride 2024.

Speaker 4:

Through Town Hall Meeting 1, a group of us decided to form the Montreux Sports Association to bring all of the known sports baseball, volleyball together under one organization. I helped to create the tennis group. We did that, of course, very involved with the caucus.

Glenn Holt:

And we have news wrap from this way out Queer Voices starts now.

Speaker 5:

I am Brett Cullum and I am talking with Mitchell Greco, an Associate Artistic Director at Stages. He is directing A Case for the Existence of God which opens May 24th and runs through June 30th. So welcome, mitchell, to Queer Voices.

Mitchell Greco:

Hey Brett, thanks for having me.

Speaker 5:

I'm so appreciative of you coming here and talking about it. I know you're in rehearsals for this. I know you're busy as heck, but everything I've read about this show so far it's just a two-person play. Is that right?

Mitchell Greco:

That's right. It's a fairly new play by Samuel D Hunter. Those of y'all who watched the Whale, the movie that came out about two years ago with Brendan Fraser he wrote that, so he also. It's a two-person show about two single fathers living life in Idaho. They want to make a better life for them and their families. One is gay, one is straight. The gay father is trying to adopt, foster, to adopt their two-year-old, and the straight father is going through a divorce, and it is a play about fatherhood, friendship and, ultimately, hope.

Speaker 5:

I read somewhere that it is about empathy a lot and that he considers this part of a cycle about empathy and he includes the whale as part of it?

Mitchell Greco:

Oh, absolutely yes. I'm not sure how you can experience Samuel's work like the whale, like a case for the existence of God, and not be empathetic. The play tears, open your heart and is such a cathartic experience that you see both sides to both characters, and it is a fully moving experience what made you want to direct this one?

Speaker 5:

what was it that spoke to you and said hey, I am going to take on this one?

Mitchell Greco:

I've long been a fan of samuel d hunter's work. We've never produced him at stages. This is the first time he's been on our stage but I think the thing that caused me to jump up and say I want to do this it's wildly different from anything that I've worked on in the past and it's also deeply human in a way that I think audiences and me as an artist need right now. It is fully. You use the word empathetic. I think that is such an incredible word that describes this work, but it's fully human and that really excited me to work on this two-person play where they don't ever leave the stage, there aren't any moving sets, they don't change costumes, it is just two people in a room talking over a course of a couple of months, and that challenge is thrilling and really fulfilling.

Speaker 5:

I think that stages lends itself to that kind of intimate two-person discourse, whereas if you've got something like Tuts or the Alley, the space is so much bigger and it just doesn't. It's hard, you have to mic everybody and do all this crazy stuff, but stages really, I feel like you get in there and they're right there in front of you.

Mitchell Greco:

Oh, absolutely yeah, I mean. Intimacy, as you may know, is one of our core values at stages. Oh, absolutely yeah, I mean. Intimacy, as you may know, is one of our core values at stages, and I think intimacy is a perfect way to describe this piece. These two men reveal themselves to each other and the audience in a way that is very intimate and that is amplified on our stage, in our spaces.

Speaker 5:

You say that it's a two-person cast. Who are your actors for this one? Can you name?

Mitchell Greco:

them? Adam Gibbs. He is a local Houston actor. Who are your actors for this one? Can you name them? Adam Gibbs, he is a local Houston actor. If you have been to a theater in the past I don't know, 12 years, 13, 14 years you've probably seen Adam in a show, here and there and everywhere. He's been at the Alley, he's been at Tuts, he's been, of course, at Stages. An incredible, incredible actor and a wonderful human. And the other actor is Bradley Atuba. He is an actor from Dallas. I was visiting Houston for the show. He is also just a gem of a person and very talented actor and they make up the cast.

Speaker 5:

It sounds great. You know, speaking of many years. You've been at stages since 2011, if I'm right yes, that's right, yes, and Ken McLaughlin obviously stepping down as artistic director and you guys are about to enter a new era. How do you feel about that? You guys are on the precipice of, maybe, a new period for Stages.

Mitchell Greco:

Oh, it is so exciting. I can't describe the feeling around the building. It was both a celebration of what Ken has done for the past 23 years, the theater that he has helped grow and build and I mean literally built a brand new building under his tenure. It's a combination of celebrating and honoring what he's done, but also a true and honest excitement about who's going to come next and what story stages will tell next under our new leadership. It's a really exciting time.

Speaker 5:

I'm very curious. I cannot wait until the announcement, until we figure out and we see how stages evolves. I think that's going to be exciting to see how somebody's personal thumbprint as a new artistic director really shapes the future of stages. Because I just have associated with Ken for so long. It's so hard.

Mitchell Greco:

I know, I know, but listen, stages will always be stages and Ken is a huge part of the stages that has become. Stages will grow and it'll change, and maybe not too much, but it's really exciting and I can't wait. I don't know who it is, so I can't wait to find out who it is.

Speaker 5:

Well, Mitchell Guerco, I've seen a lot of your work at stages, obviously, since you've been there since 2011. And you were saying, obviously this is kind of a departure for you, I associate you with kind of the splashy, kind of the musicals, a lot of high energy. What have been some of your favorite shows to direct at Stages over the years?

Mitchell Greco:

Oh gosh, such a hard question. I mean, they're like I don't have children. Speaking of you know the current play, I don't have children, but I imagine, if I did, it's hard to pick a favorite. Xanadu always holds a huge place in my heart. Spelling Bee, which we just did a couple of years ago, I think, was a career highlight. I really loved working on two three person plays the Honky Tonk Angels, which was a joy I love country music and that was really fun, and this little show called Five Force Love that we did back in 2016,.

Mitchell Greco:

I count as one of the most joyful times I had in a room I loved your.

Speaker 5:

Xanadu. It was amazing as a child that skipped soccer practice to go see Xanadu at the movies. Listen, that's time I'll spend. Yeah, it was a dream come true. Well, speaking of children and personal questions and things like that, I'm going to ask you a very deep personal question right now how is your dog Clyde doing?

Mitchell Greco:

Oh, I'm so glad you asked. I'm in the guest room and I close the door and I hear him like walking back and forth. He's Clyde is so good. Thank you for asking. Clyde is the light of our lives. We love him. How long has he been with you? We got him December of 2020. So I don't do math, so whatever that is three years, four years, I don't know, but he is. I mean, you know he's on our holiday cards. He is the photo on my phone. Clyde is everything. Do you know the breed? No, we got him from the Harris County Shelter. They said he was a lab mix, but we think it's probably more like Rhodesian Ridgeback. We're not quite sure, but to us he's just Clyde.

Speaker 5:

That's enough. Well, mitchell Greco, since this is Queer Voices, I would ask are you a member of the LGBTQIA plus community? I am. I identify as gay. You referred to we when you spoke about Clyde, so I'm assuming that you have another half.

Mitchell Greco:

I do, I do.

Speaker 5:

My husband, Brandon Weinbrenner, who is the associate artistic director at the Alley. Oh, do you guys ever trade secrets? Do you have to just hush up about what season is upcoming or what politics are going?

Mitchell Greco:

on, we don't talk shop in that way too much. What's really incredible about a relationship? Is since we come from the same world, we can share days we have, we've had challenges and and things that are specific to our industry. I think that's those ways that we share. But as far as, like theater secrets or or, or you know seasons in advance, we don't really talk about that.

Speaker 5:

We mostly just talk about clyde well, good, clyde sounds like a good topic, but I can't imagine you not being almost competitive with each other. Does he direct as well? Oh yeah, oh yeah, absolutely.

Mitchell Greco:

Yeah, it's because we direct such different things and we are such different people. He is very much of the outgoing charismatic sort of a person and I'm very quiet, very introverted, and I think that also reflects in the work that we respond to, which is very different. So, no, it's never been competitive, it's been helpful.

Speaker 5:

Well, I just think that's amazing. I've met people that have spouses that work in the same places or maybe kind of adjacent in the same field, but two competing theater companies and you both are kind of the same position. That's wild. That's a reality show in the making, right there.

Mitchell Greco:

But listen, I mean the way you use the word competitive. I don't see them as competitive. I think they're complimentary. That is something that we are striving to do in the Houston theater scene is we are competing, we are against each other for audiences or for whatever. I think the goal is to lift each other up. It happens in our household. That's all I can say.

Speaker 5:

Well, I think of it as a community, but I also think of it sometimes as you know hey, I want to get the rights to this first, or hey, I want to be the regional premier of this one, or something like that. I mean, there's definitely bragging rights. There's definitely different things.

Mitchell Greco:

You know I could see it resurgence. I love Cabaret. That would be a dream show. The shows that I want to direct, I think, are more about how the audience perceives them rather than the story I want to tell. So in that vein, like you know, I love like you said before, I love a big, splashy musical. So I love Anani, I love, you know, I think the Prom is a really fun show. On the flip side, you know what? Here's one. On the flip side, there's an older show by Lamford Wilson called Fifth of July, that I've it's been one of my favorite shows since I was in high school. I'd love to direct that or explore, if it's, if it makes sense for 2024 or whenever I would get to direct it.

Speaker 5:

Solid choice. But I would definitely encourage cabaret as stages. I loved your little shop of horrors and there was something about little shop that lends itself to that intimacy of stages. Like I was saying, oh yeah. And I think cabaret just the ability to immerse people into that Kit Kat club world that you would have, that no other theater would be able to do that justice. So that would be a very cool revival for you guys.

Mitchell Greco:

Oh, absolutely. I mean just the sinister nature of what the Kit Kat Club represents and having that infiltrate our intimate spaces, I think would be very powerful.

Speaker 5:

It's interesting, I feel, like Cabaret comes around with a political cycle. It seems to come up again every 20 or so years and somebody reinvents it. I'm always fascinated by, like you know, first we had Joel Grey, then we had Alan Cumming and now we've got Eddie Redmayne. The whole idea of the show kind of keeps evolving with the times, and it's interesting because it's not one of those classical musicals that stays of its time. I think it almost stays current.

Mitchell Greco:

Yeah, it is sad, but it's also a testament to the brilliant playwriting and craft of Wakanda and Ebb and what they created. It's solid. It's solid and it transcends time periods.

Speaker 5:

Well, getting back to A Case for the Existence of God, it opens May 24th through June 30th, and what do you think that it? I mean, we were talking about what Cabaret says to the world, but what do you think this one says to the world?

Mitchell Greco:

I think what this one says is ultimately there is room to hope. I don't want to give away too much of the plot. You may come away from it at first and if you hear my answer you'll be like hope what? But there's something that I saw in an interview with Samuel D Hunter where he said he wanted a play where that would provide a grounded place for hope, not just like a cheery, cheesy sort of the sun will come out tomorrow, speaking of Annie, but a really grounded place to hope.

Mitchell Greco:

I think this is what this play does, and I think this idea of what hope is, how hope is a verb, how hope is active, I think it's really interesting.

Speaker 5:

I think that's what I've really enjoyed exploring with it one of the things that piqued my interest about this show, as you described it gay father, a straight father and then their friendship, and I think it's so interesting, the relationship that you have with people that are not of our community. That me I'm like a gay and a straight friend, just kind of the differences in that, and I really like that idea. I think that that's definitely something that the world probably needs a lot of right now yeah, it's.

Mitchell Greco:

It's another beautiful thing about the show is it explores that friendship. There's never a point in the show where you think are they going to get together, they're going to be romantically involved, like it's not about that. It's about their friendship as two men, two cis men, and how genuine and powerful that friendship can be and how they learn about each other and their different perspectives through that friendship.

Speaker 5:

Well, mitchell Greco, we are going to be excited to check out A Case for the Existence of God. Opening at Stages runs May 24th through June 30th. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Thank you for having me. This is fun.

Mitchell Greco:

Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us.

Speaker 8:

Thank you for having me. This is fun. This radio program we Are Voices has existed since the 1970s. On KPFT we have this little crew of folks working every week to produce what's no longer unique because we're almost mainstream now, but we're still an important voice that might not otherwise get heard because it's not on that many places. So KPFT is very important to give voices to those who might not otherwise have voices. So, as Glenn always says, you participate by listening. You should also participate by supporting the station. So please go to kpftorg and make your donation right away.

Glenn Holt:

Coming up on Queer Voices. Brett Cullum's summary of the June Pride Month activities. Mark Bauer, the artist behind the current display of the ephemeral wall at the Manil Drawing Institute. Pride 2024. Honorary Grand Marshal Patrick McElvain. And News Wrap.

Speaker 5:

I'm Brett Cullum and we are looking at June's festivities for Pride, where we have not one but two Pride festivals to look at. First up, houston's New Faces of Pride Festival and Parade will start June 22nd. The festival starts at 12 pm and runs until 6 pm. Their parade starts at 7 30 and lasts until 10 pm. You can expect performances by artists, festival vendors, indoor and outdoor performances. The New Faces of Pride will have their official after party called Planet Pink. This is in collaboration with DMV, rmx and Post Houston. It will be at Post Houston building and it is going to be a theme of Planet Pink. That is Houston's new Faces of Pride official after party.

Speaker 5:

Pride Houston 365 is going to have their LGBTQIA plus Pride Celebration Festival and Parade the very next weekend, on June 29th. This is going to be in front of City Hall with the celebration starting at 11 am and that is when the festival will start at noon and goes until 6. And the parade pre-show will be 6 until 7.15. And then the official parade starts around 7.30 and lasts until 10. Around 7 30 and lasts until 10. The after party for the Pride Houston 365 organization will be held at the Rise Rooftop Venue in Midtown Houston. It will be called the Glitter Ball, also all around the neighborhood in Montrose. If you don't feel like going out to the parades, on the 28th through the 30th there will be several street fairs sponsored by local bars such as the Eagle and the Ripcord.

Speaker 5:

If you're looking for some theater for this pride season, don't forget. Newsies is opening at Tuts this week and on Thursday, may 30th they will have their Out at Tuts performance. That is at the Hobby Center and the after party is free for everybody if you attend that Out at tuts event. The next act out at the alley will be dial m for murder, which will happen on thursday, june 13th. And, don't forget, opening this weekend at the match, midtown appropriate. Directed by ron jones and produced by jerk dogs. It opens may 24th and runs through june 8th. It's a show about a family falling apart in the aftermath of the death of their father in Arkansas. The show is currently running on Broadway, so this is a rare chance to see something similar in Houston. I'm Brett Cullum.

Mitchell Greco:

The night is long and the path is dark.

Speaker 10:

Look to the sky for one place where the dawn will come.

Glenn Holt:

This is Queer Voices.

Speaker 10:

I am Andrew Edmondson and you are listening to Queer Voices. In 2023, the Menil Drawing Institute commissioned gay Swiss artist Mark Bauer to create a new work as part of its ephemeral wall drawing series. In the fall of 2023, bauer unveiled a stunning new work entitled Resilience Drawing the Line 2023. The piece is a 36-foot-wide charcoal and pastel mural that combines powerful images from art history along with impactful images of present-day Houston. In his work, bauer focuses on key aspects of Houston's struggles at the moment to deal with realities of climate change, while also struggling to deliver a humane and compassionate response to the international migration crisis. At the center of his work, mark Bauer puts Houston's queer communities, depicting their struggles and vibrant sense of joy and celebration. Mark Bauer was born in Geneva and now lives and works in Zurich. His works have been displayed in celebrated galleries and museums across Europe. In 2020, he was the recipient of the Merit Oppenheim Prize, switzerland's most prestigious arts award. We are pleased to welcome artist Mark Bauer to Queer Voices. So glad you could be with us.

Marc Bauer:

Me too. Thank you for having me.

Speaker 10:

So first tell us how you, an artist based in Europe, were commissioned to create a massive work about Houston in Texas.

Marc Bauer:

Well, actually I did a studio visit with Kelly Montana, the curator at the Menil, and then together we decided to go on this project and my idea was to really have Houston in the center of this project. So I like to work according to the context where the work is shown.

Speaker 10:

Talk to us about your process of research and preparation in coming to better understand Houston.

Marc Bauer:

So we did a first trip to Houston and to try to understand as much as we can about the history and the context of the city, and then, with Kelly Montana, we did a kind of Zoom interview with different people. And then, with this interview, these people were artists and gay activists from Houston and they were giving us this really context, this specific context of Houston.

Speaker 10:

Tell us about the execution of the work. When did you come to Houston to create it, how long did it take and what was your process?

Marc Bauer:

Basically for this project, I came September 2023. And for 10 days I did the first part, because what is very specific with this project is that I had the opportunity to come back twice, so three times in total, to change the narrative and to change the drawing, so to make this wall drawing evolve through the year. The first step was in September 2023, then in January 2024 and then in April 2024. That was a very exciting way of working on this project actually.

Speaker 10:

What struck you about Houston's queer community that was unique and distinctive from other places you've been?

Marc Bauer:

Well, I think what is striking is that it's extremely diverse and extremely vivid and vibrant, and that was, for me, the very exciting part as well. And yeah, I wanted to have this um, this party, in the middle because, since the whole works about resilience, I was thinking that's probably a party. It's where people engage with other people with less prejudice and they're just excited to meet new people and excited to I don't know dance, share, whatever decide other people. So it was a bit like the best yeah, in a way, the best setting to encounter people. I was thinking.

Speaker 10:

We are speaking with Swiss artist Mark Bauer. He has created a new work for the Menil Drawing Institute entitled Resilience Drawing the Line 2023. Mark in the mural. I was struck by text that you incorporated into the work that was deeply personal and came from your childhood. Can you talk about what motivated you to include text in the work and what you were moving towards with that?

Marc Bauer:

Yeah, I was thinking that in this project, since I talk a lot about resilience, about crisis, and I was thinking it would be nice also to have my own experience with these topics, and I took as an example the relationship I had with my father. That when I was a child it was a bit complicated relationship and then with the different addition, we see also how this relationship evolved. So basically, I choose memories from my childhood where my father was quite strict and, in a way, very heteronormative, so there's always this injunction that I should be like this, I should talk like this, I should behave like that, and this kind of very normative education. So I was thinking that this line of narrative works also very well with wall drawing.

Speaker 10:

Since it was unveiled in the fall of 2023, resilience has greatly evolved. Talk about that process and how your vision for the work developed and changed.

Marc Bauer:

Indeed, it changed quite a lot. From the beginning, I had decided to have three different steps. So the first step was, in a way, if it would have had a subtitle, it would have been a crisis. So with this flooding scene on both sides of this queer party, and also, the first step was quite black and white, so the wall drawing had very little touch of color. And the second step for me was called resistance, and it was also about how we can resist collectively through. I was thinking of demonstration and public action like this. And then it starts to be much more colorful, and especially the central part where there is this queer party, suddenly a very vibrant red, the whole top of the drawing, and you have also a new figure of demonstrator that appears, and this demonstrator were already in the first step as dancers. So there is some dancing people in the queer party and I took also this position from some demonstrator in different contexts.

Marc Bauer:

And then the third step I wanted to end up with this idea of utopia, maybe because I was thinking resilience is this way to overcome trauma. And the idea was to have a very colorful new step. And I also work a lot with mandala drawings, so with these drawings that are abstract and that look very often a bit like flower and it's create a kind of crown like around them, around different dramatic images or faces. And I was thinking it's also through this idea of meditative drawing, a different connection that we can have with reality and a way to overcome trauma, gold, that the break is made more visible. With this gold, I think it's called probably pronounce it very wrong but kintsugi or kintsukuroi, and the idea is that the break of the object is part of the history. So you don't hide it, but actually you acknowledge it, and I think that's exactly what resilience is about.

Speaker 10:

One thing that was personally striking to me was that when this work goes off view at the Menil at the end of this summer, it will destroy. Is there anything sad or tragic to you about the fact that it won't be seen again? I get that there's a certain beauty to the fact that you can only see it in Houston in this specific moment and that it was created for a specific time, but it also seems like a great loss that we won't have this to enjoy for the future.

Marc Bauer:

I really love the idea that it's destroyed, even if sometimes it makes me a bit sad.

Marc Bauer:

But I'm thinking what I love with the destruction of it, in a way, what destruction is maybe a bit too dramatic, but with the, the repaint, let's say, is that, um, it's emphasized the fact that it's an experience for the viewer, that you have to go to see it and then it's gone.

Marc Bauer:

Then you can see, maybe, uh, documentation, but the real experience you can have it only if you go there, and I mean art. It's something you have to experience live. You cannot you see a painting in a book or you see a video, and if it's a video installation and you don't see it in situ, it's a very different experience, and I think that's very important for the public to experience art in, yeah, when, when you're really in this context. This is, in a way, very important thing, and the good thing also, if it's uh repaint, is that then there will be a new one next year with a new artist, with a new project, with a new vision, and and I think that it's also very important to keep this, uh, this program going and that, um, I mean it's a great chance that the Menil is doing really this wall drawing program. That I think is quite unique. I've never seen a program like this in a museum. I have to say what have?

Speaker 10:

you learned about yourself as an artist over the last year as you've created and revised Resilience.

Marc Bauer:

Well, I think I Well, with each project, I try to learn as much as I can. So what I learned was mostly about how yeah, how to make this process of resilience possible in our lives and how it's important to manage to succeed it. And I think that with this project, I was in contact as I said at the beginning by Zoom with very inspiring people and that was also a lot of yeah, I learned actually really a lot from them. That was very, very exciting. And then, at the second step, we did a special evening and we did performance with a lot of these people that we invite.

Speaker 10:

And what was the feeling at the Forbes? To have a crowd there to see this work.

Marc Bauer:

That was really exciting. That was really exciting to have a special night and to have also a kind of different public that usually the men attract, so I think there was really a lot of different people. That was really exciting because we had performance of Kuma, an artist from Houston, a duo of artists of Nick Fogham and Jake, and they work together and they're very involved also in the queer community in Houston and there was also a dance performance by Harrison Guy and it was really a very, I think, a very, very special evening. I think it's a bit magic for me.

Speaker 10:

Had you ever done a dance performance in conjunction with one of your works in the past?

Marc Bauer:

No, it was really the first time. It was really the first time. I'm also that all these artists, I just say, were very generous to join the project in a way to share their experience, to bring all their knowledge, and that was really an extremely inspiring moment to have the possibility to talk with.

Speaker 10:

We've been speaking with Swiss artist Mark Bauer. He has created a new work entitled Resilience Drawing the Line 2023, which is on view at the Menil Drawing Institute, located at 1412 West Main Street, montrose, through August 18th. Admission to the Menil is always free. For more information about resilience, visit the Menil's website at menilorg Mark. Thank you so much for making time to talk with us. Thank you.

Glenn Holt:

Now there's some good radio, a conversation that you almost feel part of, providing clear information and opinions from people in our community. I'd say that's almost worth paying for. Well, except that all of the good work that you hear on Queer Voices is done by volunteers. But like anything, it still costs money as well as our volunteers' time to bring this unique radio program to you each week. Will you contribute a little bit to help keep us and KPFT going? We're looking for listeners to become members of KPFT, partners with us really in keeping us out there on the airwaves and in podcasts around the world. But even a one-time gift will make a difference. Please go to kpftorg and click the red donate button for more information. We thank you and I think you'll thank yourself the next time you hear us on Queer Voices. I know Martha thanks you.

Speaker 8:

The highest honor bestowed in our community is for Pride Houston 365 Grand Marshals, and the highest of those honors goes to people in the category of honorary grand marshal. These are people that have a body of work that has benefited the city of houston and the queer community. I would say it's a level of excellence that has benefited fathering, the cause of equality for people everywhere, and one of those people that is being honored this year is C Patrick McElveen. Patrick has a huge body of work, which we're going to talk about a little bit, but first of all, I want to welcome you again to Queer Voices, because we've had you as a guest before. But, patrick, what do you think the significance of Pride is?

Speaker 4:

Pride brings our fellow brothers, sisters, brothers, cousins together. It allows folks who may be questioning and not comfortable in being one-on-one, but safety in a crowd and coming to see and experience a situation. So it's a freeing and opening and awareness.

Speaker 8:

Do you remember?

Speaker 4:

your first Pride event. It's so ingrained in my community activity. No, I specifically the first one, whether it was with the Pride or with the caucus. No, I don't.

Speaker 8:

I do know that you were part of the group that gathered to protest Anita Bryant, which has been marked as kind of Houston's stonewall and the beginning of Pride events in Houston. Tell me a little bit about that experience.

Speaker 4:

It was electrifying, it was phenomenal, it was really coming together and seeing so many of us at one spot. We gathered at the old it was an old bank and it was a club at that time called the Depository and we gathered and we are walking towards the downtown Hyatt Regency and started shouting.

Speaker 8:

She was here in town speaking to an attorney's association and she had become known as this crusader saved the children, and she also was the spokesperson for the Florida orange industry. So she was making all these comments about the dangers of the homosexuals. That's why it became a rallying point. Some people did show up with masks or with bags over their head and eye holes cut out. I believe you worked some with that, the early committees the early committees.

Speaker 4:

Yes, not only did Pride start, but that actually what started was Town Hall Meeting 1. That was really bringing everything together. We were at U of H I forget what building, but it was again just even a larger crowd and out of that came Pride, came Montreux Sports Association, which I was one of the founding directors of, and it just began to bloom. Many organizations.

Speaker 8:

This year, the theme is you Can't Break Our Pride.

Speaker 4:

That we have together. Sometimes we, I do not feel as strong.

Speaker 8:

Uh, it's, uh, people can pretty well suspect that I'm a gay male, so it's it's more dangerous nowadays, so it does give uh, safety and welcoming let's talk about some of the other things that you've done in the community, and let's go back to the beginning, which is with your mother and this Honorary Grand Marshal is the first time that someone whose parent was an Honorary Grand Marshal is receiving this recognition. Let's talk about your mom and the legacy that she left.

Speaker 4:

I stand on her shoulders, anela R Harrison, what I love. She was born in 1909. Can you grasp your mind around that? In 1977, she felt that there might be a need for parents who have LGBT children to come together and talk. So she held her first meeting for parents in 1977. She was speaking to city council on our behalf when it was too dangerous for us to talk. I have addressed city council on my mental health issues and activism, counsel on my mental health issues and activism and I've used some of her same words when she would say you know, you look to your left, look to your right that person could be. It could be your mailman, your doctor, your neighbor. She was instrumental in bringing parents together. We didn't know.

Speaker 4:

On channel 13, ed Brandon, another gay weatherman, it was called Are Parents the First to Know? And bringing the question, who really knows first? And yes, parents have a suspicion, a pretty strong suspicion. Mother went to Washington DC for the first National March, where she and 98 other parents met at a church the day before the march and voted to see, came together to see if there was a need for a national organization. Of course, they all voted yes. They took the name. Mother's group was called Flag, family and friends of lesbian and gays In DC. They adopted the name P-Flag, I think out of New York. That was very well established. So, as I say, mother came back, dropped an F and added a P, p-flag.

Speaker 8:

And there's a quite well-known photo of your mom that just happened to be taken by JD Doyle and if you go to the Houston LGBT History site, the JD Doyle Archives, you can see that photo where she's at the march in 1979, and she's holding a sign that says I am not a closet mother.

Speaker 4:

Amen, and he wasn't living in Houston at the time. I think that's ironic. He saw her and the image struck.

Speaker 8:

Your mother was a remarkable woman in many other ways as well. She'd been in the military, she'd been a nurse.

Speaker 4:

She was a lieutenant nurse in World War II. She was stationed in England.

Speaker 8:

My favorite antidote about her is when you told me that she did ballroom dancing and she made her own dresses.

Speaker 4:

Yes, and there was a time when they fit me.

Speaker 8:

And don't you wish right that you still had all those? What are some of the other activities that you've been involved with?

Speaker 4:

Through Town Hall Meeting 1, a group of us decided to form the Montrose Sports Association to bring all of the known sports baseball, volleyball together under one organization. I helped to create the tennis group. We did that, of course, very involved with the caucus. Just to show how we've grown. You know, back then it was just a gay political caucus. Just to show how we've grown. You know, back then it was just a gay political caucus. Many block walking. I am one of the original Team Parker. That was successful and I first got involved with her second race for city council where I was office director and then where I met you, deborah, when I was volunteer coordinator for the finally successful campaign run.

Speaker 4:

I am challenged with mental illness. I live with it every day. At age 60, I finally realized that I was strong enough to tell my story, to tell my truth, to talk about mental illness out in the open. So I knew that there were others who were not yet safe enough, who weren't totally aware. So I created the walk to be actually sort of like the pride, to be a safe place for people who have issues, mental issues, but to come together where there was no judgment, there was no discrimination, we did not care how you dress, how you walk, what kicks you have. We just wanted to come together and to talk about mental illness, to help trip away at that horrible stigma that is still so yoked to us, still 5,000 years after it was first written about in Mesopotamia.

Speaker 8:

I've had several people comment about how our community has not always been as kind as it should be in dealing with people, because there's a perception, there's a term that's fairly new being used, which is neurodivergent, and I always say normal is just a setting on the washing machine, because they judge what's normal by an average, and I know that one of the things that you did was you became a runner.

Speaker 4:

Yes, exercise. Let me just say also, becca, there's such a parallel you talk about naming Again between the two families, and we do intersect a lot To hear the name. I know to use the pulpit. For example, when we started hearing gay, lesbian, bisexual talked out loud, we began to feel more alive, more welcoming, more. Part of the same thing is for mental illness. People are aware that something is stirring in them. When you have a name for what you feel, it is that first step, it is that beginning which is so important to get going. So, yes, I started running. I ran, I wore DBSA t-shirts, depression bipolar t-shirts. I was successful enough to represent Houston-Harris County at the state and then at the state, I was successful enough to represent us at three national games, three national senior games.

Speaker 8:

In all that you've done and all that you've achieved. What do you feel like is your greatest accomplishment or what are you most proud of?

Speaker 4:

Sure the walk, creating a positive public dialogue and talking about mental illness, encouraging others to get out and to talk and seek therapy.

Speaker 8:

And it is work.

Speaker 4:

Deborah People, hey, going into therapy is the idea of therapy. The purpose is to go back and to look at issues that happened most likely in childhood, where we were so vulnerable, we absorbed everything and we have to go back. Those coping skills worked then, but they don't work now. So it's encouraging people to to do the process, to stick with it, even though it's going to be very challenging and and I have wanted to quit so often but stick with it and you do begin to blossom into your organic self.

Speaker 8:

And another thing that you do is you're an active volunteer. You are on the mayor's special events. You have done the Thanksgiving Day Parade. We have done the Thanksgiving Day Parade You've done. My favorite thing that you do is being an elf when they have the tree lighting at City Hall. I gave you the name of Sparkle Plenty, but being engaged with community like that helps you, as well as your volunteering helping others.

Speaker 4:

Most definitely. It gets me out of the house. It gets me showered, clean clothes shaved. It gets me out of the house. It gets me showered, clean clothes shaved. It gets me to interact. It is so important for everyone, but particularly if we do have, if we're challenged with a mental illness, to talk, to be with others. And Deborah, I mean, you're getting close. As we get older, it becomes even more important for us to keep a positive outlook about aging and health. So they're engaging with people and talking, maybe not knowing the most current lingos, but certainly being able to carry a conversation about current issues out in the open.

Speaker 8:

You've been recognized with many awards through the years, including one from the Mayor's Office on Disabilities. Of all the ones that you've received, what does this recognition of being Honorary Grand Marshal mean to you?

Speaker 4:

It acknowledges my 40 plus years of community service. It validates that I've been heard and that my actions have been felt and that I have been contributing, that I'm a contributing member, not just to my initial cut, which is my mental illness family initial or LG you know which was I first. It's a validation of me and who I am in total.

Speaker 8:

And that's you in total, c Patrick McElvain. This is Deborah Moncrief-Bell, and we have been talking with C Patrick McElvain, one of the Honorary Grand Marshals, or, as I would prefer to call it, honored Grand Marshal for Houston Pride 2024, sponsored by Pride Houston 365, where we celebrate who we are as a community all year long.

Glenn Holt:

Part of our Queer Voices community listens on KPFT, which is a non-profit community radio station, and as such, kpft does not endorse or hold any standing on matters of politics. If you would like equal airtime to represent an alternative point of view, please contact us through kpftorg or our own website at queervoicesorg. This is Queer Voices.

Speaker 6:

I'm Melanie Keller and I'm Michael.

Speaker 6:

LeBeau with News Wrap a summary of some of the news in or affecting LGBTQ communities around the world for the week ending June 1st 2024, private clinics and practitioners in the United Kingdom will be banned from dispensing puberty blockers to patients under the age of 18, just like the National Health Service, nhs England limited the use of trans youth puberty blockers to clinical trials in March. The expanded so-called emergency ban is the capper on the assault on trans rights by the Tory government, which is expected to lose badly in upcoming national elections in July, which is expected to lose badly in upcoming national elections in July. The emergency ban applies to private doctors in the UK as well as prescriptions issued by clinics in Europe. Included is the popular Singapore-based GenderGP, which issues its prescriptions through European doctors. According to the May 29th announcement, young patients who are already being treated with puberty blockers will continue to be able to access them.

Speaker 6:

Other therapeutic uses of the medications can continue. The emergency ban will be enforced from June 3rd to September 3rd. The emergency was brought on by the controversial CAS report that urged a total ban on hormone therapies and puberty blockers for trans patients under the age of 18. When it was released in March, nhs England halted the treatments, calling it a landmark decision in the best interests of the child. Adding private practitioners to the ban this week closed what anti-trans forces called a loophole in that earlier directive.

Speaker 7:

Gender affirming health care for trans young people is a highly controversial issue in the UK and some parts of Europe. Nearly two dozen US states have also banned pediatric gender affirming health care. Brown University professor of pediatrics, michelle Forcier, told Scientific American that bans are based on inaccurate information intended to create drama and make people take a side. Data compiled by the publication indicates that denying care is not a neutral option. Current research suggests that puberty-pausing hormones offer young patients a safe environment for exploring their identities. The Lancet is another prestigious scientific journal assessing the bans in the US and UK. Its critique concludes that such bans actually appear designed to protect traditional gender norms rather than children. Whether the gender-affirming care ban will extend beyond September will be up to whatever government wins Britain's national elections in July.

Speaker 6:

Adults who help minors leave Tennessee to access gender-affirming care or abortions without the consent of their parents or legal guardians can now go to jail. This thanks to Republican lawmakers and Governor Bill Lee. That makes it the first US state to call such adult accomplices Class A misdemeanor offenders Eligible for up to a year behind bars. Pediatric gender-affirming health care is already banned in Tennessee. Queer advocacy groups in the state, like Out Memphis, stressed that the new law doesn't prevent parents from taking their own children outside the state for care. Executive Director Molly Quinn says, above all, we want these families to know help is available and that you don't have to fear leaving the state to get your child the care that they need. A US federal appeals court upheld Tennessee's pediatric gender-affirming health care ban in September. Queer advocates are hoping that the US Supreme Court will eventually hear a challenge to it.

Speaker 7:

Restrictions on classroom discussions involving LGBTQ people or race in New Hampshire violate free speech rights, according to US Federal District Court Judge Paul J Barbadora. To US Federal District Court Judge Paul J Barbadora. Advocates call his ruling this week the first court decision to strike down legislation against so-called woke ideology in the state's public schools. A coalition of the National American Civil Liberties Union and its New Hampshire chapter, teachers unions and queer and disability rights groups sued the state, charging that the law's wording was unconstitutionally vague. Judge Barbadora agreed. He described the legislation as viewpoint-based restrictions on speech that do not provide either fair warning to educators of what they prohibit or sufficient standards for law enforcement to prevent arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. A spokesperson for New Hampshire's Attorney General said that state officials are currently reviewing the court's order and will consider next steps, including whether to appeal.

Speaker 6:

US National Park Service employees can celebrate LGBTQ pride in uniform again this year. It had become routine in recent years, but a May 9th memo prohibited the tradition. Outrage ensued. That's when Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland stepped in. She issued a memo of her own on May 24th directing NPS bureau leaders or their designated officials to determine how and when bureaus should participate in these externally organized events. This could include marching units and parades, booths at parades, events, etc. This would allow employees to participate in uniform representing their respective bureau. This direction takes effect immediately. Glaad President and CEO, sarah Kate Ellis, told the Advocate. We owe thanks to Park Service employees who spoke up about the discriminatory policy and who work every day to make all feel welcome to enjoy the parks that belong to all of us.

Speaker 7:

An Idaho drag queen has won more than a million dollars in a defamation lawsuit against a rabidly right-wing blogger. The aptly named drag performer, Mona Lisa Million, is Eric Posey. In civilian life, Blogger Summer Bushnell claimed that Posey had exposed himself at a June 2022 Pride event in Coeur d'Alene. Bushnell had posted an altered video of his performance, claiming that his fully exposed genitals were blurred out. The district court jury unanimously awarded Posey $926,000 for proving defamation, Because he proved that Bushnell knowingly misrepresented the situation with a reckless disregard for the truth. $250,000 in punitive damages was added to that For the truth. $250,000 in punitive damages was added to that. The doctored video has been widely viewed on social media and gained widespread news coverage. It actually prompted a police investigation, With tearful hugs for his attorneys and friends when the verdict was announced, Posey told reporters the judicial system did what needed to be done. Some of the jurors approached Posey outside the courthouse. One said I'm so sorry you went through this. Another told him I'm really glad you got the justice you deserve.

Speaker 6:

Finally, for the first time in its history, the famed Cannes Film Festival has awarded a transgender woman the Best Actress Trophy. 52-year-old Spanish actor Carla Sofia Gascon won for her title role as a Mexican drug lord who comes out as trans in the musical crime comedy Amelia Perez. Gascon dedicated her victory in her acceptance speech to all transgender people who suffer and must keep faith that changing is possible. She predicted tomorrow there will be plenty of comments from terrible people saying the same things about all of us trans people. Gascon's knew whereof she spoke.

Speaker 6:

Marion Maréchal of the country's Reconquiste party led the stream of far-right French politicians spewing anti-trans hate on social media. Maréchal called Gascon's performance female interpretation. She charged that progress for the left is the erasure of women and mothers. Six European queer advocacy groups have joined together to file a formal complaint against Maréchal with the Paris public prosecutor for transphobic insults. Attorney Etienne Deschuliers fired back. Marichal's diatribe is still up on her social media account. In anticipation of the hateful response, gascon ended her acceptance speech with what she called a message of hope, reminding people that, like Amelia Perez, we all have the opportunity to change for the better, to become better people. If you have made us suffer. It is time for you also to change.

Speaker 7:

That news wrap Global Queer News with Attitude for the week ending June 1st 2024. Follow the news in your area and around the world.

Speaker 6:

An informed community is a strong community News Wrap is written by Greg Gordon, edited by Lucia Chappelle, produced by Brian DeShazer and brought to you by you.

Speaker 7:

Thank you. Help keep us in ears around the world at thiswayoutorg, where you can also read the text of this newscast and much more. For this Way Out, I'm Michael LeBeau. Stay healthy.

Speaker 6:

And I'm Melanie Keller. Stay safe.

Glenn Holt:

This has been Queer Voices, which is now a home-produced podcast and available from several podcasting sources. Check our webpage QueerVoicesorg. For more information. Queer Voices executive producer is Brian Levinka. Andrew Edmondson and Deborah Moncrief-Bell are frequent contributors. The News Wrap segment is part of another podcast called this Way Out, which is produced in Los Angeles.

Speaker 9:

Some of the material in this program has been edited to improve clarity and runtime. This program does not endorse any political views or animal species. Views, opinions and endorsements are those of the participants and the organizations they represent. In case of death, please discontinue use and discard remaining products.

Glenn Holt:

For Queer Voices. I'm Glenn Holt.

Queer Voices
Personal Stories and Theatrical Insights
Queer Voices Discuss Houston LGBTQIA+ Pride
Evolution of Artistic Vision and Resilience
Community Activism and Family Legacies
Global LGBTQ News Update, June 2024
Queer Voices Podcast Update