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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JULY 22, 2013 11:15AM

Another royal baby? No thanks!

The top story on Google News and no doubt throughout the world this morning: there may soon be another little royal person running around England, this one the first child of Prince William and Duchess Kate, the couple officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 


After months oRead full post »

JUNE 28, 2013 10:54AM

What Snowden really exposed

Back when I was a kid, telephones had a party line, that is, you shared the connection with another customer, usually someone in the same neighborhood. It was how residential phone service was provided back then.

What a pain in the ass it was. Anytime you picked up the phone, night… Read full post »


I approached the table in drag. Radical drag, that is. I wasn’t trying to pass as a woman. I was being a gender outlaw. Like a lot of gay liberationists, I didn’t believe in the binary gender system. 

I was wearing a halter top, tight, hot pink pants and platformRead full post »

JUNE 20, 2013 10:12AM

No Atheist Need Apply

A hundred years ago, you might have seen NINA (No Italian Need Apply) signs in store windows. In Houston these days, it might well read, "No Atheist Need Apply." At least if U.S. immigration officials in that Texas city have their way. 


They apparently believe you can only be aRead full post »


Spying has come a very long way since I was a kid.

Back then, we had Bella who lived a few doors down from us. All of five-foot tall with a mouth the size of the Grand Canyon, she knew everything about everybody in our South Philly Italian neighborhood. NotRead full post »

MAY 22, 2013 10:54AM

The biggest gay riot in history

“Harvey Milk's people do not have anything to apologize for. Now the society is going to have to deal with us not as nice little fairies who have hairdressing salons, but as people capable of violence. We're not going to put up with Dan Whites anymore.”


With those words (quotedRead full post »

I’ll never forget the look on his angelic face, that dark, curly-haired Italian/American guy who came to our Gay Liberation Front (GLF) meeting in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1971 to tell us of the ordeal he endured after going for help at Temple University’s student counseling program.&nRead full post »

You who came screaming into the room to find my limp five-year-old body that had fallen while I was swinging from the marble mantle, pounding on my chest with your fists to force air back into my lungs, then bolting out of the house and into the middle of the streetRead full post »

MAY 8, 2013 10:27AM

SF Pride: It doesn't get better!

It’s really difficult to believe that SF Pride could make a tense situation even worse, but they managed it with flying colors last night, and not the colors of the rainbow flag. 


For those who may be out of the loop, a quick recap: For two weeks now, the boardRead full post »


Queer apple pie and motherhood are safe once more: Bradley Manning is no longer a grand marshall of the San Francisco Pride Parade that gets underway on the last Sunday of June. 


Manning, the person accused of giving classified military documents to WikiLeaks, a site that publishesRead full post »

APRIL 22, 2013 10:53AM

ten reasons why earth day is a joke

In no special order, here are ten reasons I will not be celebrating Earth Day because it is a complete waste of time:

The amount of money corporations spend to convince us they are “green” when the only “green” they understand is the green of hard cold cash, their bottom line.… Read full post »

It was hard holding back tears when Tim Redmond from the SF Bay Guardian told me Ron Lanza had died. He wanted to get a quote, but it was difficult to talk, something rare for me, as any reporter who has ever interviewed me will tell you. Finally, after fumbling through some rambling/… Read full post »

MARCH 29, 2013 11:20AM

saving the environment seems hopeless

If I had my way, the trailer for Chris Jordan’s documentary Midway would be pumped into every computer in this nation so that people have no choice but to see it. They would have no way to stop or even to pause it.  


It would be shown in everyRead full post »


There’s nothing original about the Jesus story. By the time the Christians came along (and they were latecomers, by Mediterranean standards, to the business of pushing a new religion), the virgin birth and the death and resurrection routine had, as they say, been done before. Ad nauseam,… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 11:04AM

Selling out: one of life's tough choices

Being a writer is dangerous. That’s the impression I got from Papa. He didn’t like the idea that I wanted to be a writer. He thought that all literature was somehow subversive. Not to mention pointless. 


Everything I needed to know in life, he informed me, was contained in traRead full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2012 10:45PM

Sometimes death makes us appreciate life

Ever since my friend Howard Wallace, a longtime gay activist and union organizer, died the other day, I’ve found myself sifting through old photos in boxes that I keep in my closet. Death does that to me sometimes. It makes me want to glimpse back nostalgically at what once was andRead full post »

NOVEMBER 10, 2012 11:47AM

Obama should go for it now!

The Republicans not only lost an election, but in the process they also discovered evolution. In his post-election analysis, right-wing radio host Sean Hannity said, in reflecting on the fact that 70% of Latinos voted for Obama, “We’ve got to get rid of the immigration issue altogether.&rRead full post »

NOVEMBER 4, 2012 11:03AM

No sign of intelligent life

Last night I went back in time. It wasn’t a miracle or some mysterious anomaly like the one that explained many a strange occurrence on the old Star Trek series. No time machine was used. Nor was there a mad scientist working for years in secret in his laboratory out inRead full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2012 12:29PM

When Halloween belonged to drag queens

In Philadelphia, my hometown, Halloween once belonged to drag queens. It was the one day of the year they could parade through the streets in their finest wear without any fear of harassment or arrest from Philly’s Finest. 


Many cities, including Philly, had laws against “impeRead full post »


What do Columbus and the Blue Angels have in common? They’re both part of a legacy of this country of which I am not proud. 

Even though I’m Italian and should be proud of Christopher Columbus, I’m not. I’m certainly proud of being southern Italian (both side/

Read full post »

Let’s face it, democracy in America is like Santa Claus: a fantasy. Merely something nice to believe in. After all, who wouldn’t want some jolly old grandfather type sliding down their chimney with lots of presents, or a country where a crusader for truth and justice can get elected to ofRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 1:19PM

Don't let me die in a nursing home

Yesterday I was nominated by the rules committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for a position on the LGBT Senior Task Force that they’re forming. Its purpose is to come up with recommendations for how to deal with a whole host of problems that queer seniors face in thisRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 4, 2012 11:17AM

Cardinal's last interview pisses off pope

I’ll give it to Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, he knew how to go out with a big bang (as in the one that his fellow church leaders don’t believe created the universe). Just hours after he died last Friday at age 85, one of Italy’s biggest daily newspapers, Corriere della Sera,/Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2012 12:12PM

Gay Republicans just wanna be rich!

So here’s something interesting, but not completely surprising: a relatively new (founded in 2009) group of “gay and straight” Republicans and Libertarians calling themselves GOProud held a glitzy “Homocon” on August 28 during the Republican National Convention. It drewRead full post »

AUGUST 30, 2012 10:18AM

The FBI: the real enemy

We always suspected that we were being watched. It wasn’t paranoia. It was a no-brainer. J. Edgar Hoover, the supreme enemy of freedom of speech and assembly, was head of the FBI, and we were no doubt on his list of activists to be spied upon.


Our crime: weRead full post »