Thursday, 25 December 2008

NOTICE: Justin Bond is now Living at!!!

I am now blogging from my new website the lastest entry is an update regarding "Shoe the Pope!" from my friend Gerard Koskovich and is AMAZING!!!

Big Love,

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Shoe the Pope!

Last night for some reason I was lying in bed meditating on the economy and wistfully imagining buying a new pair of shoes.

Despite the fact that I live a frightfully glamorous life I ain't loaded, so buying new shoes wouldn't be so easy this Christmas. Also, being an eco-conscious person I don't like to have too much stuff. Lately, I've taken to mostly buying second-hand clothes because I don't like the idea of wasting the earth's resources when it isn't necessary -although I ALWAYS accept gifts graciously! But nonetheless I've got a weakness for shoes -especially NEW SHOES!

Several years ago I went to see this amazing psychic on 57th St. After my reading, which I found to be fairly interesting and which I took with a grain of salt, I was leaving her apartment and I noticed this amazing pair of shoes. I confessed to her that on my way over I had passed the Manolo Blahnik Boutique and nearly been overcome with desire for this amazing pair of stilettos I had seen in the window but that I would never buy a pair because they were too expensive and I would feel guilty.

Her response was this, "I honor the earth by treading upon her in my sacred Manolos!'

EUREKA! All of a sudden so many of the things she had been telling me about the various issues in my life made sense: "Don't trivialize this thing that you're going through as a middle-age crisis... don't mistake this for love, what you're experiencing is an archetypal meltdown... don't trivialize what you're going through, there's nothing you can do to avoid it, just protect yourself and the ones you love... honor the process..." I didn't follow her advice actually. I've always somehow made it easier on other people and myself by avoiding over-complicated language when using words to describe myself. I've allowed -even encouraged- terms that were applied to me even though they were somewhat inaccurate. I've allowed myself to be marginalized by labels such as "drag queen", "gay", "christian" and many other things because I didn't want to in any way make it seem like I didn't respect and honor the people for whom those terms apply. I love Drag Queens, Gays and Christians but I'm not really any of these things. I'm all of those things and more. I believe in everything.

And I really like shoes.

When I was around three years old I discovered my grandmother had an amazing shoe collection. She no longer wore them because she was bedridden with multiple-sclerosis. My favorite pair were these amazing green crocodile platforms from the 1940s. I actually wore them for a Cub Scout talent show when I was around 8 or 9. I must say I remember the exhilaration of parading around in those shoes, a knock-off of one of Diane von Furstenberg's wrap dresses that belonged to my cousin Debbie and a red wig. In that outfit I didn't feel like a girl, or that I was any less of a boy. I felt like myself -albeit myself looking F-I-E-R-C-E! The fact that everyone else was kind of freaking out was totally irrelevant to me. I'd been told I was "different" for so long that I had by now trained myself not to notice those "looks" too much unless I was sensing imminent danger. Being in front of large groups of people was generally considered "safe space" because as long as I could make people admire me in some way -either by making them laugh or by singing well I was okay. And I like making people laugh and singing so... werque!

Today I'm feeling imminent danger.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As with all love affairs sometimes the flame burns brighter than others. Lately shoes have taken on a new importance world-wide thanks to the Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi. Suddenly, I'm in love with shoes all over again. In the past week shoes have taken on the utmost political importance! They have spoken truth to power! Well... Mr. Zaidi's remarkable courage had something to do with it too.

According to the New York TImes calling someone the "son of a shoe" is one of the worst insults in Iraq -this was quite a disappointment for me to discover because on the surface the term seems to belittle shoes. However, after a bit research I've discovered that in the Middle East the sole of the foot is considered to be unclean. Shoes are meant to protect our soles from the filth of the earth. The soles of the shoes are said to be lower than a dog. So when Mr. Zaidi Threw his shoes at the president and shouted, "This is a gift from the Iraqi's, this is the farewell kiss, you dog." with his first shoe and, "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!" he became a hero worldwide.

I'm delighted he put his shoes to such good use! Obviously, shoes have always been objets du desir and quite powerful when it comes to making statements about one's identity, class, etc. But all of a sudden they are politically relevant like never before!

All of a sudden my personal triumphs pale in comparison, but regardless in looking back I can tell you I felt quite fancy demanding a pair of $600 silver Guccis for my off-Broadway run at the Cherry Lane Theatre several years ago. I was absolutely thrilled when Tilda Swinton and I were dressing for the Met Ball and she whipped out two pairs of matching Roger Vivier size 40 high heels-one in black satin and the other in emerald green -both with huge gold and rhinestone buckles which we wore on the red carpet -fortunately we wear the same size. Debbie Harry and I wear the same size too. She gave me some amazing shoes when we played the Hogmanay Festival on New Years Eve in Edinburgh a few years back. I gave Theo Kogan a pair of my black Jimmy Choo boots to wear in Berlin earlier this year when we were supposed to be a couple who merged genders and put the world's financial markets under a demonic spell (Oops! I guess it worked) in The Big Art Group's show 'Cinema Fury: The Imitation'. And not too long ago Terry De Havilland and his wife Liz came backstage after seeing my show 'Lustre' in London with Pam Hogg and Terry picked up his foot and on the soles of his boots were the words "FUCK OFF" embedded in crystals. Later they invited me to his studio where they presented me with a pair of "Sinderella" shoes which are these amazing platforms made of gold and silver python and cobra...

Two weeks ago when I appeared onstage at Carnegie Hall singing my Holiday song "Christmas Spells" in the McGarrigle Wainwright Christmas hour wearing my De Havilland's as I was taking my bow the platform on my right shoe snapped off, I nearly fell off the stage and I was able to make quite a comical exeunt! Thank you Terry and Liz for the most magical shoes EVER!!!

Another one of my favorite shoe stories occurred when I was sent a pair of Manolo's to wear in my Christmas Show at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1996 just before the whole "JT Leroy is a fake" story broke. Evidently they had sent a pair to JT Leroy so they said they might as well give some to me as well. Of course, fortunately for me, I actually exist.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, first of all because it's fun to drop all these names and yes! I do still have all the shoes -except the Gucci's from the Cherry Lane because the producers kept my shoes and costumes -I hope you're enjoying them and have gotten a lot of wear out of them, I really do!!! Ha Ha!

I'm also telling you this because some people would consider my appetite for shoes to be the ulitmate form of danger -more dangerous to the existence of humanity than even Global warming!!!

How could this be true?

To me shoes are glamour and glamour is magic. SO when that reporter threw those shoes at President Bush it was MAGIC!

Now we need some more magic.

Today the BBC reported that for his Christmas address to his Vatican Staff Pope Benedict basically declared war on Homosexuals and Transsexuals stating that saving humanity from "Gender Theory" is just as important as saving the rainforest.


For some reason S/he has decided that this is the message s/he needs to be putting out at Christmastime? What kind of Evil Witch is s/he? And, by the way, what gender are Angels? S/he needs to get right. I mean, come on!!!

The Pope is the worst kind of Tranny -a self-loathing one who is in denial. Take off the Vera Ellen dress and the Rosemary Clooney fur hat and what's left? It's no longer 'White Christmas" in glorious technicolor or even "The Greatest Story Ever Told", it's just another ridiculous power-hungry old man who doesn't know any more about God, family or how to love than the next person. We're all trying to make sense of things, trying to find a way to live in peace and maybe -if we're capable- reaching out for love in the darkness of a cold and unforgiving world. A world made all the more cold and unforgiving by people like that vicious Sorcerer who resides in Vatican Square.

It's terrifying that so many lost souls look to him for love and guidance. But really...

What actual problem is s/he helping to solve? Who is better off because of what s/he has said?

Think of how many innocent little children are going to be beaten senseless in the name of the Lord because of her irresponsible ridiculous words!!! Not to mention what a rotten, evil signal s/he's sending out to the world about the treatment of all the other Gender Queer people who are so viciously marginalized world-wide.

Whatever happened to the God of Love? That notion must have gone up in smoke when those wonderful heterosexual gentlemen at the Oil Company burnt a hole in the ozone layer.

Pope Benedict's moronic, idiotic followers -and I don't care who you are, if you're Catholic and stand idly by while this garbage is put out you are an accessory to murderer in my book- his co-conspirators would probably say that what I'm typing into this blog would be words of hate, but they forget that old Mrs. "God on Earth" is the "son of a shoe" that actually claims to interpret and define what constitutes hate AND sin. So follow and be an accessory if that's your bag -at least your dubious morality is a choice. But I would argue that cheap shoes have more value than the horrible, damaging words that Mrs. Claus is putting out this Christmas and they benefit more people. At least cheap shoes protect the sole from that which is considered to be unclean.

So I would encourage all courageous, compassionate people to SHOE THE POPE! Make 2009 a safer, more loving and secure world for all children everywhere.

mx Bond

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Christmas Spells

These are the lyrics for the song 'Christmas Spells' Which I premiered at Carnegie Hall Dec. 10 in the McGarrigle/Wainwright Christmas Hour. I will be writing more in the coming days but I wanted to put them up as today is the Winter Solstice...

Christmas Spells

I hear the bells from the Cathedral
the snow is falling all around
the people smile as they are singing
of babes and angels heaven bound

But was has this to do with living
a life of peace and God's delight?
Could Baby Jesus in his Manger
foresee the hate sprung from that night?

In many ways I love this story
of stars and shepherds, three wise men
of hallelujahs in the heavens
and angels radiant on the wind

But many people who believe it
have turned its magic upside down
they've formed themselves into an army
that bruises love and knocks it down

So Christmas isn't all it should be
I stand outside it looking in
their hate, dispassion, falseness could be
the deeper, darker side of sin

But as the winter days grow shorter
and fairies gather in the night
they sing their Christmas spells together
to bring the world back into light

Sing prayers for all the righteous people
so sure that they are heaven bound
if God is Love then let's get loving
I'd like a little on the ground

So Blessed Be and Merry Christmas
let Christmas Spells ring out again
of Heaven, Heart and Earth together
so mote it be, shalom, amen.

c. 2008 Justin Bond

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Alright! It's Cancer! You WIN!!!

Not so long ago my "Traveling Companion" and I were walking down the street and he pointed out a spot on his chest with an expression of grave concern. "I hope it isn't cancer."

"it's not cancer," I replied with what I would consider to be an air of certitude, "It's a pimple." -as it WAS a pimple.

"Oh no... It's been there too long. It's got to be something more serious. You're always looking at life through rose-coloreds... You can't make light of my situation in hopes that it will just go away! How can you be so cruel and insensitive!!!"

All this bickering and to-ing and fro-ing went on for awhile until finally I shouted in mock-exasperation...


At which point an elderly gentleman (isn't that a patronizing term) who was walking in front of us turned around and looked at me in absolute horror and revulsion.

Now, the reason I'm telling you this story is because for some reason it makes me think of the whole gay marriage/Prop 8 scenario that has turned into a great big pimple on the LGBTQ community.

First of all we weren't really arguing, we were just pretending we were an old married couple - our particular icons are Minnie and Roman Castavet from 'Rosemary's Baby' -because THAT'S THE WAY WE ROLL-play. Obviously, we take turns being Ruth Gordon.

We PRETEND we're an old married couple but in reality we could not be one -nor would we want to.

Over the years I've been asked to perform at various benefits and shindigs in support of "Gay Marriage" and I've never been able to do it. I find the urge to get married an understandable one. Most of our parents did it, our brothers and sisters do it, our friends do it and yet because we're same-sex loving people we can't do it.

So ever since the urgency of the activism spawned by the AIDS epidemic has died down it seems the entire gay movement has been hijacked by one major issue -this fight for marriage. It leaves me cold.

I've been so disappointed by the whole thing. Firstly, and maybe this is just me, I had much higher hopes for homosexuals. For some reason I believed that by being forced to live outside the mainstream and being told we weren't "normal" for all these years we would have gleaned a little wisdom or at least insight into how oppressive and simplistic "normal" really is. That, in fact, even the concept of normality is a farce and is not to be aspired to -only imitated as a safety precaution until one can escape to a less harsh and more loving environment!

Of course that utopian ecosystem is not always easy to find.

When I was a teenager I was teased and tormented for being a gender-queer fag (or in old-school lingo a "sissy cock-sucker") to such a degree that I was really acting out and my grades were suffering. I was, as are so many other young oddballs, miserable. Fortunately, the guidance counselor at my school suggested to my parents that we go in for family counselling. The shrink, who was basically an ignorant homophobic woman, said one thing that may have saved my life. "Your parents are planning to put you through college. As soon as you graduate you can get out of this town and you'll meet lots of other types of people and when you do you'll find some that are like you and you'll be okay. Just play the game, get decent grades and coast through as well as you can." I got it.

Looking back, I realize I was lucky because my parents -although not sensitive or open-minded in the ways I would have liked them to be- had planned on giving me a college education and for some reason didn't put up too much of a stink when I said I wanted to study acting in New York. Like I said I was lucky.

But even being in a theater program at a University who was surrounded by other LGBT students didn't help much. There was so much homophobia both external and internal -especially because it was a professional acting program and in those days, "You would never be a successful actor if you were 'openly gay'"! No, for me it wasn't until I moved to San Francisco and found a bunch of anti-assimilationist, radical queer, gender variant activists that I found a sense of wholeness and community.

I would imagine that most people wouldn't want to live the way we did. They might look at us and be entertained or possibly even inspired, but we would probably not be what they had dreamed of being as little children. I know I wasn't what I had dreamed of being as a child, but as I got older my dreams changed. I've always said, the truth changes, and what we believe to be true at one point in our life can change at another but at neither time is it a lie. It's just what we believe.

Which brings me back to marriage. Marriage isn't something created by God. In it's most elevated sense it is something that is born out of love and is a celebration of the union of two souls who pledge to share their lives in a very deep profound and meaningful way. It is a sacred spiritual covenant. But over the years it has become loaded with tradition and tethered to a hetero-centric religious establishment. Some religions condone same-sex marriage, some don't. That is the business of various religions and their followers. Religion is a choice.

Fortunately, in this country there is a constitutionally guaranteed separation between church and state. But for some reason marriage has been able to straddle both.

Until now.

As I said earlier, the idea of fighting for the majority of Americans to grant us the right to get married leaves me cold. And the reason is this. I believe in the separation of church and state. This entire struggle has, in my view validated a social, political and "spiritual" hierarchy which in the best of times has treated us with loving condescension and at the worst -as in the 80's and early 90's stood idly by and watched us die -sometimes actually taking glee in it.

Marriage should be left strictly to religion. Get married in a church, temple, mosque or synagogue, have a hand-fasting ceremony, do whatever you believe to be the right thing. If your religion is an oppressive one that won't allow you to do it in their church then you're going to have to search your soul and make a decision as to what kind of fucked up doctrine or dogma you want to place your faith in.

But in the meantime... Now that Prop 8 has been struck down by what appears to be a concentrated effort by tax-exempt religious organizations across this country it seems we need to be fighting for two things.

1) The repeal of tax-exempt status for any organization that uses that status to disrupt our democracy or affect the outcome of free elections by tax-paying citizens, effectively stripping our citizens of their basic constitutional rights- and by this I not only mean to create homes and families, but to have free and fair elections.

This prop 8 victory if allowed to stand can lead to numerous problems. Organized religions must be put in check in order for this to be a free, rational and peaceful society.

As members of a minority who have repeatedly felt the sting of their hateful oppressive tactics it is up to us to stand up to them and refuse them their power.

2) The word 'Marriage" should be stripped from all civil codes and laws. Let marriage be what its supporters believe it to be -a 'sacred' right. Then let's get on with fighting for 'equal rights' for all citizens of this country by giving organized religion its right to oppress its own believers -not us! We, and all people who choose to form a legal partnership should be demanding the government create a class of civil union that applies to all couples gay, straight or otherwise who seek to form a legal and binding partnership with equal rights and privileges afforded to all those who choose to enter it. The word 'marriage' should be stricken from the law books as it is unconstitutional and oppressive to minorities.

Once that is taken care of anyone who has a love and compassion-based spiritual community will be able to get married in peace and without government interference. PRAISE THE LORD!

Holy shit! I didn't realize I was going to go on such a tirade, but I'm so sick of giving these oppressive wackos our power. In California they are looking at some constitutional issues regarding "The tyranny of the masses", which is the terminology used when a simple majority of voters are allowed to take away the constitutionally guaranteed rights of a minority group. Eventually gay marriage will be allowed but at what cost? Even within the LGBTQ world queers are being subjected to the tyranny of the assimilationist majority who are wasting valuable resources fighting to be accepted by, or equal to, corrupt unloving forces.

In the same way that so many people across this nation were appalled by the waste of 20 million dollars by the Mormon church to propagate hatred on Proposition 8 -20 million dollars that could have been used for good- many of us have in the LGBTQ Community have been appalled by the energy and resources used by mainstream gay and lesbian organizations on a struggle to take part in the antiquated rituals of an oppressive majority.

My hope is that as we move onto the next stage of this battle we will do it with an eye toward progress that is beneficial to and respectful of the beliefs of all our citizens. Let marriage be what it was originally intended -a religious event. Get it out of our legal and tax system and usher in a new era of equality and enlightenment.

Christ I sound preachy!

and NOW for more important things............................


check out my song "The New Depression" on the music page. It's a recording of the first live performance of it EVER at Joe's Pub with arrangements and piano by Our Lady J, flute by Timothy Johnson, cello Allison Seidner and drums by David Berger.