Raymond Castro Interviewed by Jonathan Ned Katz: June 16, 2009
“I didn’t know I was going to be part of history”
On June 16, 2009, I phoned Raymond Castro to ask if the newly discovered names of his fellow Stonewall arrestees, Marilyn Fowler and Vincent Depaul, rang any bells with him. They didn’t, unfortunately. Castro did recall that the woman with whom he was arrested was slim, about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, had short black hair, and was "not really feminine or masculine." He remembered paying his lawyer to defend her, as well as himself.
Asked if he remembers anything about the others in the paddy wagon with him, Castro answered: "The three managers of the bar, Italians, Mafia (Tony Soprano-like, is the only way to describe them). One of the Mafia guys said to me, 'don't worry kid, you're ok in our book, nothing is going to happen to you'."
Castro also recalled being locked up and held overnight in jail, and then going to weekend court, probably on Sunday, June 29th, 1969. His lawyer had his hearing postponed, he remembers, so that his case would be heard by a more sympathetic judge. At his hearing, urged by the police to plead guilty and be pardoned, Castro recalled pleading “not guilty,” complaining that officers had pushed him, and that when arrested he hadn’t been read his rights.
“I didn’t know I was going to be part of history,” said Castro, musing about his arrest 40 years after the Stonewall rebellion.
“I’m not a radical, but I always had a feeling for the underdog,” said Castro. Having escaped the Stonewall after the raid, he recalled going back in to the bar to give identification to a young fellow of his acquaintance who looked scared and who, Castro surmised, lacked ID. Castro then couldn’t get out of the Stonewall: “The police kept me there, they held us hostage,” he recalls. Later, when several police officers tried to place him in the paddy wagon, Castro put up an intense fight, but was subdued and driven off. Castro recalls an officer commenting on his fierce struggle with several policemen: “You must be some kind of animal!”
photo- one of the few images of the stonewall riots by Joseph Ambrosini in the New York Daily News on Sunday, June 29, 1969
Castro, Puerto Rican in origin, studied baking at the Food Trades Vocational High School that once occupied the building that now houses New York’s gay community center on 13th Street. After graduating, he got a scholarship that paid for his bakers’ union membership, and started working at Ebinger’s, in Flatbush, Brooklyn. He then moved to Selden, L.I., and worked at Entenmann’s Bakery for 17 years, later at Publix Bakery. In a Long Island disco named “The Hot Line” Castro met his long-time partner, Frank Sturniolo, when “Frank was almost 18 (17 plus 11 months).” On February 18, 2009, Castro, 67, and Sturniolo, 49, celebrated 30 years together. They live happily on an island near Tampa, Florida.
Castro is a fighter. Several years ago, told that he had inoperable stomach cancer, and had five months to live, Castro, determined not to give up, went for a second opinion, then a third, and began treatment. On the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, he’s still around and glad to tell his story.
Asked about changes in gay life since his arrest at the Stonewall, Castro said: “We’ve come a long way, but we still have far to go."
See also: Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969
In the state’s continuing political battles over gay marriage, both sides are targeting Latino voters, and a new Los Angeles Times poll illustrates why. Overall, the poll showed, a substantial majority of voters in Los Angeles support the right of same-sex couples to legally marry, with 56% in favor and 37% opposed.
That finding closely tracked the results of November’s election in which Proposition 8, which limited marriage to unions of a man and a woman, won statewide but lost in Los Angeles. But the poll also showed that within the city, views on the issue differed widely among racial and ethnic groups.
White voters were most emphatic in their support for same-sex marriage, with 68% supporting it and 27% opposing. African American voters were strongly against it, with 54% opposing same-sex marriage and 37% supporting it.
(Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
The White House has released an official photo of "Bo," the first dog. The official portrait of the Obama family dog, "Bo",
a Portuguese water dog, on the South Lawn of the White House.
This official White House photograph is being made available for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way.
IN HONOR OF THIS PORTRAIT, PHOTOGRAPHER- RICK CASTRO- IS NOW ACCEPTING COMMISSIONS FOR OFFICIAL PET PORTRAITS.
to book your pet portrait & for more info- email@example.com
2010 Walk Of Fame Honorees
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has just announced the 2010 honorees!
Below are the honorees for all categories:
Film: Russell Crowe, Adam Sandler, James Cameron, John Cusack, Colin Firth, Alan Menken, Randy Newman, Emma Thompson and Mark Wahlberg and producer Gale Anne Hurd.
TV: Bill Maher, Chris Berman, Jon Cryer, Peter Graves, Jimmy Kimmel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Sam Waterston.
Recording artists: Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, the Funk Brothers, Alan Jackson, Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Marco Antonio Solis, ZZ Top and the late Roy Orbison.
Live Performance: Andrea Bocelli, Cirque du Soleil's Guy Liberte
add to the list of endless stars on hollywood boulevard.... come stroll with me...
presents the 18th Annual: Tom's Bar
plus 25th anniversary of THE TOM OF FINLAND FOUNDATION
Sunday- june 21st- from 2 - 7 PM
Admission donation $10 — Foundation Members $8
This year the focus is on artists, especially the up-and-coming!
ANTEBELLUM GALLERY with have a booth & display. come check us out
An historic overview of the impact of Tom of Finland on Gay Culture.
It's Daddy's Day AND the Summer Solstice. That's an Explosive Combination!
Wild & Raunchy-Daddies & Boys!
Faultline Mr. Leather
2008 - 2009
4216 Melrose (at Vermont), Los Angeles, CA 90029 · MAP · 323.660.0889
HERE'S THE "BANNED" COMMERICAL
IRONICALLY THERE WAS NO CONTROVERSY FOR THIS CK BILLBOARD IN HOUSTON
Little is known about this manic rock and roll piano player, born in Greenville, South Carolina, on November 20, 1935. He is perhaps best-known as an influence on Little Richard. How aware little Richard was of Esquerita cannot be proven, As Reeder did not record until after Little Richard's initial mid-1950s recordings, however it is clear that Esquerita greatly influenced Richard stylistically. Esquerita was known for wearing heavy makeup and two wigs, piling his pompador even higher than Richard's.
Reeder was a self-taught piano player whose roots were in gospel music. His music career started as a teenager, when he dropped out of high school and joined the gospel group "Heavenly Echoes" based in New York City.
His first solo studio recordings came about when Paul Peek got him to record some demos at a Greenville radio station (WESC) around 1958. Cub Koda described the results as "some of the most untamed and unabashed sides ever issued by a major label.
The ensuing years found Reeder cutting several singles with various backing musicians in studios in Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans and Detroit. Some of the musicians he recorded with in this era included Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and The Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backup singers).
In 1968, Reeder changed his name to "The Magnificent Malochi" and signed with Brunswick Records. Shortly after this, he began to fade from the music scene, and little was known about his whereabouts. Reeder occasionally performed at African-American gay clubs under the name "Fabulash" during the 1970s. During 1983 or 1984, he began performing in second-rate New York City clubs. Esquerita was down on his luck and was working as a parking lot attendant but was still as flamboyant as ever. By 1985 he was seen washing windshields of cars for tips at an intersection in Brooklyn, NY.
Esquerita's father, Eskew Reeder Sr., said that his son had died of complications brought on by AIDS in 1986.
Mick Jones (of The Clash) wrote and recorded a song called "Esquerita" with his band Big Audio Dynamite in 1992.
STALK TALK_RICK CASTRO
-what were you doing before photography/how did you get started ?
RC: i worked as a fashion stylist, designer & costumer for 16 years, (1980- 1996) during that time, i worked with people that have become very famous, including photographers- herb ritts, george hurrell, and joel-peter witkin, designers- jean-paul gaultier, michele lamy and rick owens, performers-bette midler, david bowie, and tina turner, actors- mel gibson, drew barrymore and john leguizamo, models- cindy crawford, janice dickenson and beverly johnson, and talk show host- david letterman.
after working in the fashion industry for 15 years, i had no interest to work with clothing ever again. clothing styles change with the season, the nude figure is timeless.
i have always identified with transgression and subculture, all along i felt out of sync with the mainstream world i had entered within fashion/celebrity industries. deep down i knew i was a true fetish person, and the mainstream world was manufactured artifice. around 1986, somewhat encouraged by joel-peter witkin, i started to experiment with my own photography. initially i thought i would be a fashion photographer, but my initial images appeared harsh. they had a docudrama style that initially came across as too hard, but i then embraced. those 4 years of experiment became my first book of photographs called- CASTRO, ( published by the tom of finland company- DPR press 1991) now out of print. i have another more recent book called- 13 YEARS OF BONDAGE, (fluxion editions 2004).
i was never trying to create fashion, i was actually reacting against fashion and all the constraints that go with the industry. i despised fashion and was happy to no longer be part of the machine. i also felt like the industry had shunned me, once i exposed who i really was- a kink! after creating photographic fetish images for about 10 years, flaunt magazine contacted me and asked me to do photos for hedi slimane's menswear. i was shocked to see a 360 degree turnaround from 10 years prior when no one would touch me with a ten foot pole. i remember during 1989 after viewing my photographic portfolio, annie flanders, (first publisher/editor of details), said to me- " must i be subjected to this?"
for the rest of the interview- www.crushfanzine.com/Site/blog/Entries/2009/6/9_STALK_TALK_RICK_CASTRO.html
On October 10-11, 2009, all rational-minded people will gather in Washington DC from all across America to let our elected leaders know that now is the time for full equal rights for LGBT people. We will gather. We will march. And we will leave energized and empowered to do the work that needs to be done in every community across the nation.
Contact:< firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com
"oh baby" - esquerita
"how fine" - jimmy nolan
"wilhelmina" - frankie ervin
"susanna's still alive"
"her loving way"- garland ladd
"pretty vacant"- sex pistols
"i slept in an arcade" - black randy
"shake appeal"- fancy lads
"that's my little susie" - ritchie valeny
"come on dance" - eddie quinteros
"linda" - rhythm gents
"early every morning"- dinah washington
"davy you upset my home"- joe tex
"the beat generation" - louie armstrong
"tiki teepee"- nelia dadds
"cops & robbers"- bo diddley
"madame palm"- crazy joe