March with To Proudly Go on June 11th

Join the To Proudly Go Crew for the Brooklyn Pride March on Saturday, June 11, 2022!

All interested individuals must fill out an interest form to walk in the Brooklyn Pride March with the To Proudly Go crew on June 11. 

Interest form link:

www.bkpridemarchsignup.toproudlygo.org

Schedule:

We will meet at St. John’s Place between 5th and 6th Avenue (more details to come) at 5:30pm, please be there on time. The parade will start at 7:00pm SHARP.

Questions:

Do you have questions about marching with To Proudly Go? Please contact Luke.Messina@toproudlygo.org

***Due to restrictions, we may not be able to accommodate everyone. We will reach out by June 5th to confirm marchers. Looking forward to an amazing march!!***

About Brooklyn Pride:

Brooklyn Pride is a 501(c)(3) wholly volunteer-managed, tax-exempt, non-profit organization working for and on behalf of all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Brooklynites and all others who support the struggle for equality of this Community. In the spirit of Stonewall, Brooklyn Pride welcomes the participation of all the residents of Brooklyn and the outer boroughs, regardless of age, creed, gender, gender identification, HIV status, national origin, physical, mental or development disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

About To Proudly Go:

To Proudly Go is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed for the purposes of creating safe and supportive spaces that celebrates science fiction, promotes the LGBTQIA+ community and partners with important community causes to empower and foster a kinder and better world.

To Proudly Go Marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Each year, May 17 marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

Still, more than one-third of all countries criminalize same-sex relationships. LGBTQI people face prejudice, discrimination, stigma, hostility, violence. They are denied legal protections, essential health care, civil and human rights, including a right to bodily autonomy when forced to go through medical treatment or needless surgery. 

United Nations Population Fund

Queer rights are human rights and To Proudly Go supports this international day of awareness and stands with our LGBTQIA+ community across the world. To learn more about To Proudly Go Marks International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, please visit https://may17.org.

Join Us for the Strange New Worlds Premiere May 7th

To Proudly Go invites you to join us at the legendary Barracuda Lounge for the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season premiere with celebrity guest Jackie Cox from RuPaul’s Drag Race starting 6pm Saturday, May 7th! No cover!

Hosted by Heather Wood, Flippe Kikee with celebrity guest Jackie Cox from RuPaul’s Drag Race! These Trek’tastic events will be filled with Star Trek Trivia games, special Star Trek themed drag performances, special guests, 2-4-1 drinks, fabulous Star Trek prizes, and merchandise. Your contribution will help benefit Pop Culture Hero Coalition!

About Pop Culture Hero Coalition
Founded in 2013, Pop Culture Hero Coalition (PCHC) provides mental health and social emotional learning programs for children, teens, and adults. They work to end oppression in all its forms, including bullying, racism, misogyny, LGBTQIA+ bullying, and cyber bullying. By using evidence-based psychology in combination with relatable stories and characters, they work to stransform struggles into strenghts. Learn more at: www.popculturehero.org

About To Proudly Go
To Proudly Go is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed for the purposes of creating safe and supportive spaces that celebrates science fiction, promotes the LGBTQIA+ community and partners with important community causes to empower and foster a kinder and better world.

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Earth Day 2022

Earth Day has been observed every April 22 since 1970, and is coming up again this Friday.

While our group is comprised of people who enjoy the fictional off-world storytelling of the Trek universe and find inspiration in the franchise’s vision of the future, our current reality is bound to this one, fragile planet we call home. And our home is in trouble. The ravages of human-caused climate change are being felt more and more desperately. Pollution still kills between 4.7 and 7 million people every year. There is, in 2022, a very real risk of nuclear warfare, which could range from a tactical weapon that would release radiation regionally across part of one continent and then spread around the globe, to far worse.

It is more urgent than ever to raise our own awareness, to speak out, and to become proactive to protect the planet. While “environmentalism” is often framed as a sentimental, soft-minded preoccupation of the far left, the objective reality is that restoring the health of our environment is the bedrock of future human advancement, prosperity, and possibly even survival as a civilization. If our cultural and economic capitals are flooded by rising oceans and disappear, the hard-headed economist and the artist will be in the same displaced (or deceased) population. If vast swaths of the agricultural lands that feed humanity become deserts and sources of fresh water evaporate from inland reservoirs, there will be mass starvation, wars over ever-more-scarce resources, and mass death. In short, despite what some economists and businesspeople might say, there is nothing more practical, sensible, and economically-prudent than the short-term investments necessary to secure long-term peace, stability, prosperity, and survival.

It may be too late to avert all effects of climate change, but there is still time to do more to stop the worst of the things that currently lie in store for all of us and future generations. It now becomes the responsibility of all people—all of us—to do more.

This Earth Day, find an event near you; write to your political representatives; take this chance to become part of the solution to the greatest challenge shared by all people of the place we call home. Our future might be one drowned by rising seas, scorched by fires, smothered by deserts. Or it can be written in the stars, far into the future. It really is our choice to make.

Trans Day of Visibility: Dropping the Cloak

by Ilia Etoile

You’re fifteen years old, you’re queer, and you’re dragging yourself through the 21st century, one confusing, terrifying day at a time. You survive long enough to make it home, turn on your boxy little television  – and there’s the future, far more colorful than you anticipated, as real as anything, reaching out to pull you into the 24th century: onto the bridge of a starship, or to a distant planet, or a remote space station guarding the only stable wormhole this side of the galaxy.

The people are kind to each other, they talk about how there’s no more prejudice, they all work together to help their neighbors; it’s a nice little story. Good aesops. Wild costumes. Melodrama. The spaceship is even carpeted, it’s a nice touch. Cozy. You like it, a lot! It’s very optimistic, comforting. You’d like to be an “astronaut on some kind of Star Trek,” too. Except…

Where are the people like you? Not allegorical, but flesh and blood – loving, being? What is an egalitarian space utopia without diversity? “It’s easy to be a saint in paradise,” observes Commander Sisko – well, it’s easy to have a paradise without differences. It’s not enough to hear it; you need to see it.

And then you see it. You see her. There’s a reason so many trans women of the ‘90s named themselves after Terry Farrell’s Jadzia Dax, and there’s a reason so many pieces just like this one keep being written. She sauntered onto Deep Space Nine as a beautiful, brilliant woman who, to her friends on the station, was last seen as a man – and they adapt to the change as natural, welcome, something worth celebrating. Her new pronouns are respected; the jokes about her past wear thin, fade quickly. 

As a Trill, Jadzia is the bright new host of the symbiont Dax, embodying the memories and spirits of the worm inhabiting her and all its past hosts. She is an alien in every sense: an extraterrestrial, a unique being in her environment, someone new to her own body, her own mind, her own spirit, and very alien to much of the audience. But not to you. You understand her perfectly.

At one point her alien ex wife shows up and they share one of the first lesbian kisses on television – a forbidden romance, some alien taboo about past lives. You’re shocked. You’re spellbound. All of a sudden there’s very queer characters on Star Trek, and they’re not allegorical, and they’re incredible, and you may or may not be crying.

It’s been almost thirty years since Deep Space Nine dared to make Star Trek’s utopia truly inclusive and visible, in order to interrogate it, and prove the need for that optimism, that hope. In that time, several more Star Trek shows have come and gone. Sadly, the franchise got comfortable with its progressive reputation, and neglected to do the work to uphold it.

Rick Berman’s era as showrunner was rife with misogyny and queerphobia on and off the screen, among other issues, and the show suffered massively in its treatment of trans characters, concepts. Jadzia Dax was infamously killed off after disputes with Terry Farrell. Enterprise kicked off its run with an early episode revolving around Trip Tucker, a human man, getting pregnant by an alien, largely treated as a joke. A later episode explores an alien culture with a third gender, one whose members are mistreated as second class citizens; after Trip attempts to give one of them asylum and teach them to read and fight for their rights, the alien is returned home and ends its own life. The episode ends with Trip receiving a vicious reprimand from Captain Archer for interfering in another culture, framing his actions as wrong, the outcome inevitable. It’s a harrowing, bleak lesson. Yet another episode sees Trip teasing Reed for being attracted to an ambiguously gendered alien, with Reed quipping that he “should have brought his scanner.” It was embarrassing, insulting, disappointing. (Aside: why was Trip personally at the center of so many transphobic stories?) As trans experience started to enter the mainstream, it was being sorely mishandled.

Star Trek only means so much until it starts to make good on its own promises – caring about the real life viewers and actors that are impacted, about the power of representation. Every Trans Day of Visibility, we celebrate ourselves and those around us, everyone in and out of their respective closets, but we also remember the dangers of visibility. The answer, however, is not to step back as Star Trek had done.

If you want to raise your shields and fire back, you have to drop your cloak. (Don’t ask me why, something about the deflector grid? It makes for a great metaphor, though!)

Today, Star Trek is making good on its promise. Discovery features an unprecedented number of LGBTQ crew and characters, from the epically tragic human husbands Paul and Hugh, played by gay theatre legends Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz, to the fantastical couple of Adira Tal and Gray, the nonbinary human host of his late boyfriend’s Trill symbiont and spirit, played by the astonishing fresh talents of Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander, nonbinary and trans actors themselves. The characters and their stories are powerful, creative, explicitly queer, and the crew behind the scenes defend them off the air. The show is loud and proud of what it’s doing in a world that is equally loud and cruel, and it shines for it.

That confused fifteen year old teen has dragged herself a little closer to Star Trek’s promised future, now a twenty-six year old trans woman. As a proud member of To Proudly Go, I get to support my community too, and celebrate the promise of inclusivity, joy, and love. I wouldn’t be here without believing in that promise.

I hope that on this sacred day my voice will reach an audience that is emboldened to stand up for what they believe in and interrogate the status quo – not just settle for visibility, but call out injustice and fight for respect and understanding, for rights and safety. For all the Jadzias out there: Live Proud and Prosper.

🏳️‍⚧️🖖🏳️‍⚧️🖖🏳️‍⚧️🖖

Celebrating Women’s History and Star Trek

To Proudly Go joins our community in the celebration of Women’s History Month by exploring the history of women in Star Trek and their powerful effect as role models for women today. Our own Ann Marie Segal writes:

Star Trek has always been light years ahead of the curve depicting a universe of equality. As is common among Star Trekfans, and To Proudly Go in particular, I’m a big believer in the mantra ‘representation matters.’ Thanks to my family and all of the Star Trek I watched since age 3, I was lucky enough to grow up with many female role models. And it’s worth mentioning that the one action figure I had growing up was Dr. Beverly Crusher, a brilliant, passionate, loving, feminine medical doctor!”

Dr. Ann Marie Segal, Outreach and Engagement Manager, To Proudly Go

Dr. Crusher, played by Gates McFadden, is far from the only female superhero in the franchise, but is a highlight of the tradition of female empowerment that began with Nichelle Nichols in the original series and continues even stronger today.

It is worth noting that the entire franchise would not exist, if not for television’s first powerful female superstar, Lucille Ball. Famous, of course, for her starring role in the eponymous I Love Lucy, Ball never appeared in a single episode of Trek. But as the co-producer of Desilu Productions, she was an early advocate of that strange show that half or more of the men in the room thought would be a ridiculous waste of money that would surely never catch on. As explained in The Center Seat, in Ball’s role as producer, she wanted a project that would break out of the mold of “daffy redhead gets into trouble” and saw Trek’s potential to deliver.

After the first pilot failed, Ball took the extraordinary step of paying for a second pilot episode, which sold the concept and led to the original run of the first series. After the series was canceled, having only three seasons, Ball’s influence came into play yet again: she had pioneered the concept of reruns, allowing shows to find new audiences long after the end of an initial run.

Fast forward to the 1990s for our next female superhero: Captain Kathryn Janeway, of course, played by the always-extraordinary Kate Mulgrew. Janeway is, so far, the only woman to anchor a series in the role of starship captain. Mulgrew, now beloved to Trek audiences, was actually not the first woman cast in the role. Captain Elizabeth Janeway was originally to be played by the brilliant, Oscar-nominated Geneviève Bujold. Elizabeth became Nicole, and filming commenced, but after a brief stint Bujold had the professionalism and grace to recognize that things were not working, and Nicole Janeway became Kathryn Janeway when Voyager finally found its captain.

Mulgrew, as Janeway, commanded the franchise into farther reaches of the galaxy than any other show had ventured, and cemented a role in television history, putting a woman squarely and incontrovertibly in charge, on any television that happened to be tuned in.

Our last female action figure for this post is perhaps the one with the least name recognition, but perhaps the most ubiquitous voice: Majel Barrett, who happened to end up married to series creator Gene Roddenberry. She was cast as the first officer—“Number One”—in that failed first pilot that Lucille Ball had to shell out a small fortune to replace. Network executives were irate that the “girlfriend” was cast in a leading role and insisted that she be replaced by a man. They were supported in this by test audiences of the era, including other women, who found her annoying and too eager to “fit in” with the men “in charge.” (One might imagine Janeway addressing them, on that point.)

She did end up with a recurring, minor role in the original series (Nurse Christine Chapel… foreshadowingly), and then to become the voice of the computer and to appear in every, single official Trek show or movie in her lifetime.

Much of modern technology is inspired by what was first imagined in Star Trek. Have you ever stopped to wonder why Siri and Alexa are voiced by women? Maybe because of Majel and her contribution to the Trek universe.

Star Trek shows us why it is so important to have strong female role models on television because those role models inspire the real superhero women that work in science, medicine, aerospace, engineering, technology fields and the many other areas help make a better future for all of us today.

Statement on the One Year Anniversary of To Proudly Go

One year ago today, on March 1, To Proudly Go was formed for the purposes of celebrating science fiction, promoting the LGBTQIA+ community and connecting the problems of today with charities that help create a better future and to empower and foster a kinder and better world.

Our first event began with our Star Trek Lower Decks Viewing Party in August of 2021, since our first event we have been able to raise approximately $2,150 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and Trinity Place Shelter combined.

We couldn’t be happier with the support we’ve received so far. I would like to thank our wonderfully talented management team and our dedicated supporters for helping To Proudly Go achieve its goals. We are excited for what the future holds for our small organization and to build upon the progress we’ve made so far.

Please help us celebrate by join us for our next event, the Star Trek Picard Viewing Party. Until then, Live Proud and Prosper! 🖖🌈

Michael Agnew

Executive Director & Chair of the Board of Directors

To Proudly Go Inc.

Join Us for Star Trek: Picard on March 5!

To Proudly Go invites you to join us at the legendary Barracuda Lounge starting March 5 at 6pm every Saturday for Star Trek: Picard, Season 2! No cover!

Hosted by Heather WoodFlippe Kikee and Special Guests: Stella D’oro, Godiva Romance and more! These Trek’tastic events will be filled with Star Trek Trivia games, special Star Trek themed drag performances, special guests, 2-4-1 drinks, fabulous Star Trek prizes, and merchandise. Your contribution will help benefit Love Wins Food Pantry!

***Proof of vaccination will be required for entry! Get yourself vaccinated folks!***

Complete event details here.

About Love Wins Food Pantry

Love Wins Food Pantry is an LGBTQ-led and community-based effort created to address the growing food insecurity among our Queens Neighbors. They provide a safe space for LGBTQ and gender non-confirming people of Queens to access food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their mission is to connect the LGBTQ community and families in need in Queens with food by providing LGBTQ and gender non-conforming community, families and neighbors of Queens access to healthy vegetables and non-perishable food.

About To Proudly Go

To Proudly Go is a 501c3 domestic not-for-profit corporation, formed on March 1, 2021 with the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations (DOS ID# 5951201, EIN 86-2499865) for the purposes of creating safe and supportive spaces through the use of public events that celebrates science fiction, promotes the LGBTQIA+ community and connects scientific discovery and education to empower and foster a kinder and better world.