• The Ides of March

    It may be strange to some, but I have always enjoyed the Ides of March. For one, I like to laugh in the face of superstition and fortune telling. I am terrified at the idea of “fate” or a deity’s “plan” for me, and cannot be swayed from that fear making me want to stare down the face of superstitions. I fear no black cat – they give great cuddles, 13 is my lucky number, and I like March 15.

    With the weather starting to turn, and COVID-19 case numbers following suit, it’s hard not to look at this particular Ides of March as a bright, shining beacon of hope for the days to come. I mean, sure – Caesar’s assassins were manipulated by the ancient Roman equivalent of Facebook memes to dramatically murder Caesar in a stab-happy flashmob, but these days, I can’t help but feel good.

    Why? Because of all the stabbing going on lately...

    I’ve been stabbed.

    My partner’s been stabbed.

    Heck, several of my closest friends and family have been stabbed.

    And unlike that fateful stabbing that happened over two millennia ago, this will actually bring about the recovery of our nation, and not its ultimate downfall.

    So to my point: go get stabbed, get stabbed twice, or even once – whichever is necessary for proper dosing of the vaccine.

    Remember: the Ides of March isn’t a holiday about stabbing people – it’s about coming together as a group… to stab people.

    Beware the Ides of March!




  • Valentine’s Day: a Day for Lovers, Or a Day for Love?

    I’m related to St. Valentine! Well, at least I’m related to the Valentines - on my mom’s side, by chance. It’s always made me have an appreciation for the holiday. Yes, it is a super-saccharine, hyper-hallmarked, and commercially-contorted holiday, but I still believe in celebrating love, because, love is what has driven ALL the good things in my life.

    I understand that the love everyone thinks of for this holiday is the romantic love, the indulgent love, the lustful, passionate, and sweep-you-off-your feet love. And while that should absolutely be celebrated, I want to encourage everyone to celebrate all the places where love is found in their lives.

    I’m talking about celebrating family love – the family into which you were born, OR the family you choose; BOTH can be valid and deserving of celebration! I’m talking about the love of friends – heck, they may spend more time with you than much of your family in your adult years. I’m talking about the love of our connections with mentors and confidants with whom we share our deepest insecurities and greatest weaknesses.

    Do you love your job? If so, CONGRATULATIONS! You are incredibly lucky to have found something that brings you happiness AND income – celebrate it! Do you find yourself surprisingly interested the topics you are learning in school? Did you discover something for which you never knew you had a talent, and you are throwing yourself completely into it? Is there a topic that you found out you’re great at teaching, and now you’re passing your knowledge and skill onto others? YAS QUEEN! GET IT, AND RELISH EVERY MINUTE!

    I’m talking about the love of your hobbies and passions. Do you love singing your heart out in a musical or at karaoke? Do you love playing sports? Do you love creating digital content with a few of your friends as part of an online group dedicated to providing platforms for LGBTQIA+ artists? AWESOME – celebrate your passions!

    Immersing ourselves in our passions and with the people who elevate us, positions us to feel love and loved. Opening ourselves up to learning, to teaching, to supporting others, to being vulnerable, to feeling insecure allows us to grow. That growth is where love is found, and that love deserves celebration.

    This Valentine’s day, celebrate the loves of your life – your family, your pets, your friends, your hobbies, and yourself. Let’s transform this holiday from a day where singles feel sidelined and couples feel controlled by clichéd traditions and hetero-normative expectations. Let’s transform it into a day when we celebrate ALL the things we love, with the people we love.




    Gary Bernard DiNardo

    Executive Director for We Thr3e Queens Productions

  • UNLOCK Being A Good Ally

    It’s easy to get locked into old habits and behaviors that are inadequate when it comes to supporting people and populations affected by discrimination. Though it is rarely easy, it’s important to break those habits. Here’s a short guide on how to UNLOCK being a good ally to those most in need of one.


    Understand privilege.

        Do you have full function of all five of your senses? Do other people assume you are white? Do you not have to worry about your marriage being invalidated by a vote by 9 people? Privilege comes in many forms. Privilege is different from luxury. Privilege is not just having money (although it certainly is a privilege to have money). Privilege is not having to consider an aspect of yourself impeding your ability to pursue your goals. Understand that those aspects you do not need to navigate are daily considerations for others, and negotiating those considerations can be a constant, exhausting endeavor.


    Normalize interrupting discriminatory behaviors.

        When you witness overt or covert prejudice, discrimination, and antagonization of marginalized individuals in your life, what do you normally do? Many people feel they can tell these behaviors when they see or hear them, and in overt instances, that is probably true. Ideally in those instances, allies will not feel uncomfortable speaking up against them. However, when racism, ableism, sexism, or other prejudiced behaviors are more insidious (think: microaggressions) speaking up against them becomes more uncomfortable. If we make an effort to normalize correcting these behaviors, that discomfort will diminish, and we can move toward making spaces more inclusive and equitable.


    Listen to those who don’t share your privilege.

        It is not the responsibility of any person from any particular group to tell people how to treat them. However, when they do speak up, it is our duty as allies to listen to what they are saying, hear their discomfort, and accept it as their truth. If your truth and their truth don’t seem in sync with each other, don’t be surprised. This is normal (especially when you are first becoming conscientious of the weighty responsibility of being an ally). When you start to feel guilty for something you said or did (or even for something someone else said or did), resist your defensive instinct, and recognize how painful the behavior must have been for them (and/or how much the person must have trusted that you’d listen) in order for them to speak up.


    Open yourself up to accepting criticism.

        When listening to people speaking up about how your or others’ actions are discriminatory, do so without excuses. (Fair warning: YOU WILL BE UNCOMFORTABLE DOING THIS!) Remember that what matters is your impact, not your intentions.

        A lot of what makes this so uncomfortable is the idea of the “Good/Bad” dichotomy. Robin DiAngelo explains it very well in her book White Fragility. Her focus is race, however the idea of the Good/Bad dichotomy applies to most (if not all) forms of discrimination. It goes something like this:

        - We recognize that racism is bad, and so not being racist is good.

        - We consider ourselves to be good people, and do not want to be bad people.

        - We believe that to engage in racist behavior one must be a bad person. (the mental trap is set…)

        - We know ourselves to be good people, therefore the behavior couldn’t have been racist (...and the trap is sprung).

        You see how that trap works? The Good/Bad dichotomy explains why we get sooooo uncomfortable talking about our flawed behavior. What is important to realize is that you can be a good person who makes mistakes, but it is critical to listen when people explain how your actions’ impact is hurtful, and make an effort to change those behaviors.


    Consider other people’s perspectives and if your actions could hurt them.

        As I mentioned before, it is not the responsibility of any person from any particular group to tell people how to treat them.

        “But how am I to know how I’m supposed to act if they don’t tell me!?!”

        A few things to that:

        - “Political Correctness” needs a rebranding campaign as “Consideration.” It’s a lot harder for people to say they don’t want to be considerate than politically correct, when in fact, they are the same thing.

        - Consideration is mentally reviewing the impact your actions may have on people. (Remember, intention doesn’t affect other people, impact does). If a person (or group of people) may be hurt by your behavior, it is crucial that you ask yourself (before doing it) if it is necessary, and/or if there is a way to do it that does not have a hurtful impact.

        - Desmond Tutu famously said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” When we are in situations where there is an oppressed population, and a non-oppressed, or oppressive group, it is our duty as allies to support the oppressed group because in their world, over which we have some impact, they are being wronged.


    Keep up-to-date on current events and how they might affect marginalized groups.

        Our world is ever-changing, and it is easy for us to fall into habits of only keeping track of what affects us. Over the past year we have felt it all the more in having to nearly fight each other for things like toilet paper, public services, and vaccines.

        Rarely are situations a zero-sum scenario – if you are unfamiliar with that term, it’s a good one to wrap your head around. The illusion of zero-sum scenarios in situations in which they do not exist has led to much of the systemic racism, ablism, gender-discrimination, and other forms of marginalization that pervade our culture.

        As groups and individuals try to use these and other arguments to reduce, remove, or regulate the rights of marginalized people, we must all pay attention. Such gestures by lawmakers as removing rights of transgender people matter. Gestures are signals to their constituents. Calls for “law and order,” when the oppressor is the law, are statements declaring that the oppressed are getting out-of-hand and need to be “whipped into shape…” It’s hard to consider that phrase without considering who is being “whipped…”

        It’s easy to pay attention to that which only affects you, but how can you support those to whom you declare yourself allied, if you don’t know what threatens them?


    Remember: Black, Brown, Indigenous, Women’s, Transgender, Disability, Immigrant, and LGBQIA+ rights are human rights. UNLOCK to be a good ally.



    Gary Bernard DiNardo

    Executive Director for We Thr3e Queens Productions