by Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Tommi Avicolli Mecca

Tommi Avicolli Mecca
San Francisco, California, US
July 25
I am a writer, performer and activist, editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: the early years of gay liberation (City Lights), and co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italian-American Writers Sail Beyond Columbus and Hey Paesan: Writings by Italian American Lesbians and Gay Men. To view my creative stuff:


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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 20, 2013 11:11AM

God save us nelly queens


José Sarria is dead. 


A giant in LGBT history, he left us yesterday, August 19, at the amazing age of 90. If you don’t know who Sarria was, then read on and learn about the meaning of the word courage.


Sarria, who was born in San Francisco inRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 24, 2012 11:19AM

Why did Sally Ride wait to come out posthumously?

The first woman in space is dead at 61 and has come out as a lesbian posthumously. Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, who in 1983 became the first female astronaut to go where only men had gone before, declared in a postmortem announcement on her website that, among other family members,Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 10, 2012 10:34AM

Sal's body and a lot of saliva

When the music’s over, turn out the lights, Jim Morrison was singing on the portable record player in the kitchen where we were gathered around the table for my 18th birthday. A few friends were there along with my immediate family. It was hot. Relentless July heat and humidity. 


PaRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 2, 2012 9:10AM

My Declaration of Independence

Founding Father John Adams thought that July 2, the day the Second Continental Congress of the 13 colonies voted to split from Britain, should be celebrated as “the day of deliverance...with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of thRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 30, 2012 10:48AM

Belting out "faggots" at Independence Hall

Once upon a time and long ago in a place not far away, pride used to be called “Gay Pride” and it wasn’t a whole month, it was a day, a very special day to commemorate a riot that happened during the last weekend of June in a city called NewRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 15, 2011 11:02AM

No thanks, Time Magazine

In a word, Time Magazine’s designation of “the protester” as person of the year means nothing to me. I’ve been a protester for most of my 60 years on this planet, starting in my teens when I took to the streets in civil rights and anti-Vietnam War demos and later withRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 4, 2011 1:18PM

no "golden years" for queer seniors

The last thing in the world many LGBT people want to be is a queer senior. And with good reason: entering the “golden years” in the queer community can be like entering a living hell. 


It means being dismissed by younger people as sexually and socially undesirable or being patRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 24, 2011 9:30AM

Occupy the churches

I find it very interesting that some liberal religious leaders have joined the ranks of Occupy Boston’s encampment, not to proselytize, they say, but to be a part of a movement that they see as naturally akin to their faiths. They’ve even set up a tent that is for religious servicesRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 13, 2011 11:09AM

The day I met Frank Kameny


“…the government’s policies…are a stench in the nostrils of decent people, an offense against morality, an abandonment of reason, an affront to human dignity, an improper restraint upon proper freedom and liberty, a disgrace to any civilized society, and a violation oRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 25, 2011 9:51PM

Death: the great equalizer


I just came back from Eric Quezada’s memorial. He was the second friend to die in a month. The second amazing activist friend who went way before his time should have been up. 


It doesn’t get easier. No matter how old I get, no matter how many friends I’veRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 11:34AM

Gay activist and writer Arthur Evans dies

Arthur Evans and I ended up as political enemies, though you wouldn’t know that if you saw us talking to each other on the streets of the Castro in the past few years. He always had a smile for me, even when we were on opposite sides of an issue, whichRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 9:19AM

Where did you learn about sex?

I learned about sex from the streets. In the working-class Little Italy in South Philly where I was born and raised, it’s where you found out anything you wanted to know. The older kids were fonts of wisdom. They didn’t always know what they were talking about, but you listened toRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 30, 2011 10:34AM

Bachmann makes me proud to be atheist

Michele Bachmann has once again made me proud to be an atheist. Her controversial comment on hurricane Irene last weekend that she now claims was just a joke (she’s got such a great sense of humor, that woman!) made me happy that at age 16 I rejected the Catholicism that wasRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 25, 2011 10:53AM

Of hurricanes, nuns and Adam's apples

Hurricane Irene is heading for the East Coast. It’s expected to be the worst tropical storm that part of the country has experienced in 20 years. Already, it’s battered the Bahamas and by Saturday should touch base on American soil in North Carolina, tearing up the northeast coast and hitRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 11, 2011 10:25AM

A nation of Tottenhams

“You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?” That’s what one protester in Tottenham in North London told NBC News during what is being described as the city’s worst riot ever. Not that NBC or any other mainstream media will ever truly comprehenRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 3, 2011 11:27AM

let the war profiteers house homeless vets

In America, a veteran is considered a real hero and patriot. Newspapers and TV always talk of his or her amazing courage. Ask any American and he’ll tell you that vets went off to war to protect our precious “freedoms.” America is sure proud of its vets. 


Until one ofRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 7, 2011 9:54AM

Squatting away homelessness

The “house keys not handcuffs” signs are gone as are the sounds of guitars and the people hanging out on the roof of the vacant 42-unit building in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, home to Latino immigrants, artists and radical activists. Not to mention homeless folksRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 20, 2011 11:39AM

gay pride makes strange bedfellows

Whoever thought that a protest march held at the end of June to commemorate a riot by drag queens and others in New York’s Greenwich Village would become like the Chinese New Year parade or Mardi Gras? In some places, such as San Francisco, it’s even broadcast live on TV. 

 … Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 2, 2011 11:07AM

America's AIDS legacy: drop dead faggots!

When people wrote of the plays, songs and performance art I did in the 80s, they often used the adjective “angry.” I was the quintessential angry young man, only I was already in my 30s, so I don’t know if I qualified as “young.” But I was sure as hell angry.Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 26, 2011 11:44AM

the father and son relationship from hell

My father’s birthday is coming up. He’s not around anymore, in fact, he’s been gone for over two decades. Yet I never fail to remember the day he was born. It’s strange, because we didn’t have the ideal father-son relationship. It was more like the relationship from hellRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 12, 2011 10:01AM

What're you wearing for the Rapture?

According to Christian radio host Harold Camping, president of the Family Radio network in Oakland, the Rapture, the most anticipated event in the lives of some Christian fundamentalists, is scheduled for Saturday, May 21. No exact time of day has been given. 


The Rapture occurs when allRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 3, 2011 10:49AM

Got your bin Laden T-shirt yet?

Some people may think the world is now safe from terrorism, but it’s certainly not safe from crass commercialism. Osama bin Laden’s body had barely hit the water after being shot by Navy Seals when vendors throughout the country began capitalizing on his death with all sorts of memorabiliRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 29, 2011 12:25PM

Royal wedding is a royal waste!

I can’t think of a bigger waste of taxpayer money than the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. 


The British people cannot afford the fairy tale affair, not at a time when Britain is facing a $6 billion deficit. It’s such a slap in the face to the ordinaryRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 11, 2011 10:43AM

Anti-transgender violence: when does it end?

I still remember how scary it was to be gender non conforming 40 years ago. 


Not only in school where, as a sissy, I sometimes suffered the insults and blows of classmates who today might be seen as caricatures of South Philly toughs, but also after coming out and decidingRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2011 10:21AM

SF's Twitter deal is queer removal

It’s a tried and true formula. 


Cities have used it for years to reduce populations of ethnic minorities they didn’t like. In the 1960s, the San Francisco Redevelopment Authority gutted the Fillmore area of the city, a long-time African American neighborhood, a place where jazRead full post »