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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JANUARY 11, 2012 11:34AM

Blowing up empty stomachs

Does anyone really feel hope right now? Does anyone really believe that things are going to get better for the poor, working- or middle-class person in this country, the so-called 99% that we hear so much about? 


Does anyone think that those we elect really feel that they represent usRead full post »

JANUARY 7, 2012 12:37PM

Buddy Lawrence finally says it

How well I remember Buddy Lawrence, the tomboyish character on the TV series Family. It was the late 70s and I was already out of the closet and involved with gay rights organizations. I had come out to my family and friends. I worked at an organization that promoted human rightsRead full post »

JANUARY 4, 2012 10:22AM

Ted Haggard, opium for the masses

Like the proverbial bad penny, Ted Haggard, the evangelical minister involved in a gay sex scandal a few years ago, keeps popping back up in the limelight. Last night, he and his family appeared on the reality show “Celebrity Wife Swap,” after he and Hollywood actor Gary Busey traded wiveRead full post »

JANUARY 3, 2012 11:06AM

the real doomsday

Okay, so let me get this straight. The world is supposed to end on December 21 of this year, because the current Mayan calendar runs out on that date and some New Agers have decided it means humans are kaput. 


Here we go again. We’ve been down this path before.Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2011 1:06PM

Oh. Right. Happy New Year.

Things we can expect to see in 2012:


Arizona will continue to bash immigrants like there’s no tomorrow. With a recent court ruling that an ethnics studies program in its public schools may violate state law because it supposedly presents Latino history in a “biased, political and eRead full post »

DECEMBER 28, 2011 11:03AM

Goodbye to the neighborhood barber shop

I can’t tell you how much I hated going with Papa to the neighborhood barber shop in South Philly. In those anything but “Happy Days” before the mop-topped Beatles set a new standard, pre-teen boys like myself were regularly subjected to that classic military crew cut. 

 … Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2011 11:33AM

Another year of business as usual

As bad as 2012 may get (and trust me, it can get pretty damn bad), the lowest point will most likely be the Republican National Convention with its lineup of some of the worst presidential candidates in American politics since Ronald Reagan and George Bush (the brain dead one, not theRead full post »

DECEMBER 20, 2011 9:42AM

a different kind of silent night

The holiday season is a time to immerse oneself in a fantasy land of a fat, jolly, old man with bad fashion sense coming down the chimney to reward good children with toys, and an infant savior in "swaddling clothes," born in a manager with the grandest of delusions of grandeur. … Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2011 10:29PM

Death in the streets of the Castro

I had seen Pedro around the Castro for years, though I didn’t know him personally. He volunteered at Under One Roof, a store that raises money for AIDS organizations, and at the Country Club, the only clean and sober space in a neighborhood full of perpetually packed bars. Sometimes as IRead 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 »

Hypocrisy at its worst: the Obama administration is calling on Russia to allow peaceful protests and not permit the police to deny the rights of those who want to take to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the way things went down with the recent election in the former “evilRead full post »

DECEMBER 9, 2011 1:38PM

tis the season to be irreverent

It’s that time of year again when atheists and christians fight for attention with dueling billboards at the New Jersey entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Last year, the atheist billboard showed a picture of the three wise men heading to see the little kid in the manger. It featured a veryRead full post »

DECEMBER 7, 2011 10:06AM

and now the news of the gay

At a book signing in South Carolina, Michele Bachmann, a U.S. Representative and a contender for the GOP presidential nomination next year, was approached by an eight-year-old boy who whispered to her, “My Mom is gay and she doesn’t need fixing.” 


Michele certainly didn&Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2011 11:07AM

my mother's son

December is a difficult month for me. Not only because of that holiday I hate and try harder every year to ignore (how does one ignore an elephant that big?), but because December 20 is my mother’s birthday.


Which shouldn’t be a sad thing, but she’s been dead for 21Read full post »

NOVEMBER 30, 2011 10:37AM

saving the planet is a joke


Another reason that I think saving Mother Earth is completely and utterly hopeless: I needed replacement blades for the razor someone gave me about four years ago to thank me for some computer work I did for him. I’ve never changed the blades because, frankly, they always worked fine. BuRead full post »

NOVEMBER 28, 2011 8:56AM

something for World AIDS Day

The following monologue was part of a show I did about AIDS in 1986. The show, "Miss Alice and other heroes," won an award and much critical acclaim. Since this Thursday, December 1 is World AIDS Day, I thought I'd offer it as a reminder of how it was 25 yearsRead full post »

NOVEMBER 26, 2011 12:15PM

no longer the times of Harvey Milk

It was the kind of Philadelphia afternoon that I loathed. Cold and gray, with a feeling in the air that any minute, it was going to snow. And snow hard. I was pacing in the room in the apartment where I did my writing. Nothing was coming to me. The pageRead full post »

There’s no forgetting this day, November 22, forty eight years ago. I was sitting in a Catholic school classroom in South Philly when a nun stuck her head in the door and beckoned Sister. She whispered something in her ear. Sister began to cry. Then she turned to the class andRead full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2011 11:24AM

Occupy Thanksgiving

It’s time to occupy Thanksgiving. Not only in terms of saying “Enough already!” to the tremendous amount of money Americans spend on the holiday, but also to the massive quantity of food that ends up in the trash bin while millions of people in this country and around the world goRead full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2011 11:05AM

What's the point of voting?

I grew up in South Philadelphia where election fraud was pretty routine. According to a report in the City Paper in 1995, the dead and out-of-towners cast votes all the time. I remember hearing that long before the press discovered it. My father was a Republican committeeman and told all sorts/Read full post »

Anyone who is surprised that this week police in Berkeley confronted peaceful student demonstrators with violence needs to go back to American History 101. Those students were protesting the outrageous cost of education in this country. They were setting up an Occupy Berkeley encampment against the wRead 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 »

NOVEMBER 1, 2011 10:07AM

Dealing with los Muertos

So many ghosts haunt me this Dia de los Muertos. So many people have passed on, as they say, though where they went, I don’t know. They’re still in my head, kicking around sometimes like hyper-active kids. I catch glimpses of their faces, but it's just a trick of the eyeRead full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2011 11:07AM

Remember Bank Transfer Day

“Remember the fifth of November” (from the John Lennon song "Remember") takes on a new meaning this year. In Britain, it’s Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates the attempted blowing up in 1605 of the Protestant-dominated House of Lords by a group of Catholic conspirators. In America,Read full post »

OCTOBER 27, 2011 10:04AM

I want to be excommunicated

That’s right, I want to be excommunicated. I want to be tossed out of the Catholic church. I want my name removed from all of its documents and records as if I had never been baptized. Never been a “soldier of Christ,” as they called us during those awful decades ofRead full post »