An online journal celebrating the joys of living bare with pride! This site usually publishes every Monday and Friday. I may be irreverent but I am no way irrelevant! My preferred personal pronouns are he, him, his.
There have been times in our lives when we have looked upon a picture and wondered: What is the meaning of this? Either the subject or the actual photographer (or perhaps both) are communicating but…what is the message?
Is he bidding farewell?
Is he expressing sorrow?
Sometimes, communicating using body language (expressions, body positioning) is very similar to using sign language (the communication language for us Deaf persons). Body language may not have the grammar and syntax that sign language does but both are visual instead of hearing.
With the popularity of today’s “selfie” photography, think of a message that you would like to convey to others. Consider your options for posing and then capture your pose in a photo. Share your images with friends – fellow bare practitioners if you posed naked – and ask if they understand your meaning or purpose.
Have fun engaging in your body language assignment!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 28, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Felipe: Tattoo Costume!”
The significance of this date and designation is based on the design of the original Rainbow Flag for the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer + (GLBTQ+) communities and our shared culture! It is also a feature of our history!
Spirit may be described as a very strong loyalty and/or dedication. Basically it is a vital principle or animating force traditionally believed to be within living beings (humans). It also is considered the aspect of a human being associated with the mind and feelings as distinguished from the physical body – a particular mood or emotional state characterized by animation and vigor.
Observation and Background:
Spirit Day is an annual GLBTQ+ awareness day of recent development. It is currently held on the third Thursday in October in conjunction with GLBTQ+ History Month and in synchronization with Unity Day for younger children. The occasion began in 2010 by Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan in response to a significant number of bullying-related suicides of same gender loving students – the most notorious being Tyler Clementi: a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge – at the age of 18 – on September 22, 2010. On September 19, of that year, Tyler’s collegiate roommate, Dharun Ravi, had posted on Twitter a clip showing Clementi kissing another man in their dormitory room. Neither Tyler nor his partner had knowledge or given permission for the Twitter posting. Ravi and another student were both convicted in court.
Promoted by the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) from the inaugural Spirit Day, participants wear the colour purple as a visible sign of awareness and support for the campaign. This program is now pursued by many as a move against all bullying in general during what is now determined to be National Bullying Prevention Month (October).
The very first Spirit Day was held on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. It was followed by a Thursday observance on Thursday, October 20, 2011, and then on Friday, October 19, 2012. In 2013, GLAAD made the decision to move the occasion from the actual date to the third Thursday of the month. Since then, it has adhered to the Thursday designation.
The above graphic demonstrates the popularity of the Spirit Day awareness among those of the population (especially teenagers) who strive for conformity. Hopefully, the ideals of freedom from bullying will progress forward from now and into the future.
I remember my very first Spirit Day. Aaron, my spouse, and I had just moved in together – marriage equality in 2010 was just a hope at that time – and when we learned of the event, we together made almost 500 purple awareness ribbons in honour of the occasion. The plan was to evenly divide the ribbons for distribution at his worksite (hospital) and my workplace (university).
We were both uncertain as to the response from our coworkers. Using our home computers, we created an information invitation announcing the free purple ribbon availability for Spirit Day (to combat bullying against GLBTQ+ people – real or suspected). That morning, October, 20, 2010, while we were getting ready to leave for work, before we dressed we both body-painted a purple awareness ribbon on one another’s chests. (This suggestion can be used by bare practitioners everywhere to comply and participate!)
We were both impressed with the reactions at our jobs! Every single ribbon that we had created was taken! This despite the fact that a large number of students at my university and staff at Aaron’s hospital were already wearing the colour purple!
An awesome revolution against sexual orientation bullying!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry for here is planned for Monday, October 24, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Purpose?”
In everyday vernacular “barrier” is often interpreted as a blockage, an impediment and/or a challenge that must be overcome. In today’s title, bare-ier, is intended to imply that we are breaking (destroying, eliminating, eradicating, removing) the perceived challenge to being bare (clothes free, naked, nude). ReNude Pride is truly one “safe space” for body and clothes freedom!
In the early days of photography, especially here in the USA, the segregation (legal separation) of the population by racial identity was not only widely practiced but in many states (especially in the south) was mandated (required) by law. This was based on the philosophy that prevailed throughout the southern states of “separate but equal.” In reality, the separation was strictly enforced and the equality was nonexistent.
Photographs from the early days to the latter third of the 20th Century rarely depicted interracial individuals in contact and congeniality with one another. The laws and traditions of the American society were observed and strictly followed. Few photographers and/or models had the courage to ignore the constraints and restrictions imposed by the mainstream population. The capture of these few people all together was extremely rare, and especially if they were completely clothes free and visibly engaged as legitimate equals!
However, after the end of World War II, the executive order of then-President Harry Truman, decreed the end of enforced segregation of the entire U.S.A. military, naval and air forces. Times were changing and a few photographers and their subjects came forward to celebrate this bold progressive measure. A significant number of those brave souls were from our “closeted” (secretive) community of same gender loving men.
The post-war world delivered everyone into a changing life situation. Allies during the war became enemies. Enemies during the war became comrades and the regimented structure of society began to lose some of the class-consciousness that held different people apart. Gradually, familiarity replaced judgment in personal interactions. The military abandoning the racial segregation – long considered a stalwart among the majority – opened the eyes of some with foresight into a glimmer of new possibilities.
The ideal of “it is our tradition” began to weaken as the notion of “let’s see what else we can do” grew in importance. Custom and habit no longer kept individuals tied to a repressive and restricted environment.
As the walls that divided different classes (socio-economic groups) of people began to slowly disperse, the eradication of separation between persons of differing ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds began to decline also. This change didn’t occur suddenly – it was an eventual shifting of bias, distrust and prejudices as the general society embarked on the slow, incremental process of enlightenment and evolution in a changing world order.
The late 1940’s soon became the 1950’s and economic, political and social change lost the incredibility and novelty it once generated. Colonial states moved towards independence and traditional authority concepts began to recede into obscurity. The long accepted practice of unquestioned following to the “status quo” declined.
While these opinion and outlook shifts happened in the broader society, subtle opportunities appeared in the same gender loving world as well. Still largely illegal and isolated, small groups of “homosexual” (bisexual, gay and lesbian) persons carefully and cautiously emerged into the larger urban areas – still discreet and secretive but no longer totally isolated.
The 1960’s introduced public protests and general boycotts into the social change movement. African-Americans, women, immigrant farm workers and other minorities usually overlooked by the powered-few (white males) started their own campaigns for social acceptance and equality. The momentum for change gained strength and attention. In 1961, the state of Illinois repealed the illegality of the “homosexuals” – the first political jurisdiction in the country to outlaw the banishment and shame normally and universally thrown against the “social deviants.”
The seeds of change and progress were planted. By the end of the decade, on June 28, 1969, the lion started to roar and the march for equality and freedom for all same gender loving peoples launched itself!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 17, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Autumn Arrival!”
National Coming Out Day is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) awareness day that is observed annually on October 11. Since the inception in 1988, it encourages all GLBTQ+ to take steps on this occasion to “come out” of the closet and not to be ashamed of who and what you are. The original concept was to make the personal acknowledgement into a political statement in support of GLBTQ+ civil rights.
The emphasis of this day is on the basic form of activism which is being openly and proudly who you are and sharing this reality with family, friends and colleagues. The goal is to live your life as a confident bisexual, gay or lesbian person without any guilt or retribution. Those of us who are bare practitioners have supplemented this qualification with being an “out” naturist/nudist.
The term “in the closet” refers to the custom or habit of life before the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969, when practically all GLBTQ+ people lived “in the closet” (secretive) lives in order to keep their jobs, the love of their family and their social place in general society.
What inspired the first observation of Coming Out Day is the fact that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of bigotry, ignorance and silence. Once people realize that they have a loved one or an acquaintance who is bisexual, gay or lesbian, they are less willing to remain with homophobic or repressive inclinations. That’s reason for encouraging people to “come out of the closet” and let the world know your true identity. There is simply “no shame” in being who we are!
The October 11, date was selected because it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This was the first national gathering in support of GLBTQ+ equality observed in the USA.
The early events of Coming Out Day often coincided with celebrities and/or other persons of note openly and publicly acknowledging their GLBTQ+ identity. Later, the practice of the tabloid media disclosing a person as being bisexual, gay or lesbian – often without their permission. This publicly “outing” someone was very controversial and usually accompanied by negative attacks on the disclosing media.
The involuntary coming out process was short-lived as the rapidly expanding HIV/AIDS crisis soon replaced the newsworthiness of sexual orientation exposure. For many, an AIDS diagnosis was synonymous with the the coming out announcement.
Today, the observance is another day of proudly reminding others of both what and who we essentially are. There is no longer the absolute necessity to remain “closeted” throughout much of the world.
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 14, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Breaking Bare-iers #3!”
The headline photograph is the current Progress version of the GLBTQ+ pride flag that represents our community and our culture. Despite our novelty among the numerous movements in the civil rights world, we do have a history of different banners and what they symbolize waving above us. This “first Friday” of the 2022 GLBTQ+ History Month will examine and share images of these and briefly offer a story of the respective flag.
The Pink Triangle Flag:
The downward-pointing pink triangle was used by Nazi Germany as a badge of shame. It was sewn onto the shirts of homosexual (gay) men in concentration camps to identify and dehumanize them.
Homosexuality was made illegal in Germany in 1871, but it was rarely enforced. When the Nazi Party assumed control in 1933, it was made a priority in order to culturally and racially “purify” Germany. The Nazis arrested tens of thousands of GLBTQ+ individuals, the majority whom were homosexual men, whom they viewed as degenerate.
The early 1970s was when the gay rights movement began to emerge worldwide (after the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots) and various organizations reclaimed the pink triangle as an empowering symbol. It also serves as a reminder to remember the past – and to recognize the persecution GLBTQ+ people continue to suffer around the world.
The Lambda Flag:
The Greek letter, lambda, was first chosen as a gay symbol when, in 1970, for the first anniversary of the Stonewall Inn Riots (SIR), it was adopted by New York City’s local chapter of Gay Activist Alliance as the emblem of their growing movement of gay liberation. Some identified the Greek letter with the representation of the word “liberation.”
In 1974, lambda was subsequently adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, as their official symbol designating gay, bisexual and lesbian civil rights. Following this selection, lambda became internationally popular and recognized as representing the growing movement for civil rights for all people, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Lambda was first designated in December, 1969, as representative of the new gay liberation movement by the graphic artist and one of the Gay Activist Alliance’s founding members, Tom Doerr. Doerr chose the letter because in chemistry it was a sign for catalyst. Others argue that lambda denoted the synergy of the growing gay movement: the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of all its parts.
Some view the lambda as being synonymous with males exclusively.
The Rainbow Flag:
First publicly raised on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco, California, USA, the flag flew over the United Nations Plaza in honour of then-gay pride at the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. The original flag consisted of eight coloured stripes and was designed by Gilbert Baker and hand-stitched and dyed with the help of friends and volunteers Lynn Segerblom, James McNamara, Glenne McElhinney, Joe Duran, and Paul Langlotz.
The eight-stripe original rainbow flag was soon revised to six stripes with pink (symbolizing “sex”) and turquoise (symbolizing “art and magic”) eliminated as the colours and dyes were unavailable in flag fabric. Baker conceived the flag would empower his “tribe” and a “rainbow of humanity” motif would represent the movement’s diversity.
The six stripes and what the colours represent:
The six stripes on the revised rainbow flag symbolize values held dear and not the various people comprising the community and culture.
The Progress Pride Flag:
The Progress Pride flag was developed by non-binary artist and designer Daniel Quasar in 2018. Based on Gilbert Baker’s 1978 Rainbow flag, Quasar’s redesign celebrates the diversity of the GLBTQ+ community and culture worldwide and encourages a more inclusive general society. The redesigned banner has increased the representation of discriminated minority identities covered by the GLBTQ+ umbrella.
Quasar’s creation placed black and brown stripes (emblems representing peoples of colour) and light blue, pink and white stripes (representing transgender, non-binary and intersex persons) in the shape of an arrow on the left of the Progress Pride flag. In Daniel Quasar’s words “…the arrow points to the right to show forward movement and illustrates that progress towards inclusivity still needs to be made.”
The black stripe has a double meaning as it is also intended for “those living with HIV/AIDS and the stigma and prejudice surrounding them and those who have died from the disease.”
The Progress Pride flag has been immediately an international success. On the evening of June 6, 2018, Quasar posted the design on social media and woke up the next morning to find that it had gone viral. It has been enthusiastically received by the GLBTQ+ community and culture all around the globe!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 10, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Coming Out Day!”
Openly gay artist, Ainor Bagner, of Denmark – himself plainly nude – paints a fellow naked subject reading a book. The sexuality of the reader is unknown. Bagner was an admitted same gender loving man in an age that was hostile to those types of attractions and relationships. The clothing status and sexuality of the photographer is also unknown.
In the lower right-hand corner of the picture image is etched “1910.” More than a century ago. The photograph was made on the North Sea coast of Denmark.
The artistic painter, Ainor Bagner, featured in the iconic photograph, was openly a gay man, then it is within reason to anticipate the same from both the subject model and the photographer. In the very early days of the 20th century, the tolerance for gay people was very restricted, even in a fairly progressive society such as Denmark (Scandinavia). The fact that this image survived all this time contributes to it’s historical significance.
Somewhat ironic is the fact that in the iconic photograph, a bare model is painted by a bare artist and that they are both posing on a barren (rocky) landscape. Bare – as opposed to barren – comfort and freedom for everyone!
The secondary image, above, is a vintage picture of a photographer posing with his camera on a ladder. This has no relationship to the Bagner photo except to represent the possible source of the image. This is not the actual photographer!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Friday, October 7, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Waving Above Us!”
In the USA, the month of October, annually, is designated gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer+ (GLBTQ+) history month. A time to focus attention on the accomplishments, achievements and actions of members of the GLBTQ+ communities and culture that have made a constructive and positive difference not only in the USA but also in the world around us.
The concept of GLBTQ+ history month is a recent phenomenon that is both conflicting and controversial. It is opposed by many as being a recruiting tool for a lifestyle that is objectionable based on moral, philosophical and religious reasonings. Centuries of oppression and oversight have resulted in a mainstream general society that continues to ignore a specific segment of the population that it supposedly serves.
The purpose of this post entry for ReNude Pride is to introduce and examine this topic, explain the reasoning for endorsing a GLBTQ+ history month observance and offer resources and references. Hopefully, an unknown aspect of GLBTQ+ history is acquired by all reading/visiting here.
In theory, at least, GLBTQ+ history is as old as the human race and has existed in parallel to society in general. Due to religious and social prejudices, this particular community was regularly oppressed and outlawed (illegal). On a regular basis, this population was ignored and intentionally forgotten. This predicament created a serious paucity of documentation of historical accomplishments and achievements regarding this culture.
The enthusiasm and excitement following the Stonewall Inn riots (SIR) on June 28, 1969, convinced some that documentation of events needed to happen. Too often, communities were denied essential elements of their heritage because the society in which they existed made no acknowledgment of any accomplishments of note. Of the emerging gay and lesbian populations, there came individuals who were dedicated to creating archives of what was now happening. Fledgling movements towards historical accumulation began among those witnessing firsthand the growing gay and lesbian freedom and honesty.
In order to have complete equality within our broader society, appreciation and understanding of others must be created. Knowledge must be instilled so future generations can acknowledge and comprehend diversity. This creates an environment of awareness and encourages cultural acceptance and tolerance for all groups.
This is crucial because it celebrates and honours self-affirmation and self-actualization. It strengthens individualism as it increases nonconformity and uniqueness. It promotes social progress through educating people regarding negative social conditions which existed in the past but have since improved. It also directs it is currently necessary to empower equality and development. History is basically the story of the evolution and progress of a community or a culture.
The USA observance was founded in 1994, by a Missouri high-school (secondary) history teacher named Rodney Wilson. His intent was to provide role models, build community and provide a civil rights statement of the efforts and accomplishments of the GLBTQ+ community and culture. In addition, he sought to establish a space where other educators could use as a resource for instructing youth concerning GLBTQ+ culture, history and community. He realized from his own, experience the serious lack of any available information on the historical accomplishments and contributions of this segment of the population.
Along with Rodney Wilson, the first coordinating committee for the 1994 GLBTQ+ History Month observance included Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Student Educators Network (GLSEN), Kevin Bayer of the Gerber/Hart of the Gay and Lesbian Archives in Chicago, Illinois, Paul Varnell, a journalist with the Windy Times also in Chicago, Torey Wilson, a Chicago area teacher, Johnda Boyce, a women’s studies major at Columbus University in Ohio, and Jessea Greenman of the University of California – Berkeley.
In the USA, GLBTQ+ History Month is endorsed/supported by GLAAD (Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Education Association (NEA), GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Student and Educators Network) and other national organizations.
A GLBTQ+ website was launched in 2006 and is maintained by Equality Forum. Equality Forum is a national GLBTQ+ civil rights organization with a strong educational focus. In addition to GLBTQ+ History Month, it also produces documentary films, sponsors high impact social initiatives and hosts an annual GLBTQ+ civil rights conference.
The website created by the Equality Forum is linked GLBTQ+ History Month. This site features 31 honoured recipients for every year since 2006. Some of the 2022 selected ones are pictured above and all 31 are listed below on the date that they are featured. The website offers a page of information for each one. The site also contains information on ideas for discussion and activities concerning GLBTQ+ culture and history and serves as an excellent resource for educators and others seeking to inform the public about the significance of the GLBTQ+ community.
2022 Featured Recipients:
Hans Christian Anderson, Danish fairy tales author
Robina Asti, transgender rights plaintiff
Richard Avedon, prominent photographer
Ninia Baehr and Genora Dancel, marriage equality pioneers
Sue Bird, WNBA superstar
Victor Blackwell, CNN news anchor
Matt Bomer, actor
Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank CEO
Jennifer Finney Boylan, author and transgender activist
Kate Brown, Governor of State of Oregon
Nancy Carderas, Mexican writer and activist
Kitty Cone, disability rights activist
Robert Cutler, national security advisor
Andre` de Shields, actor and singer
Lea DeLaria, actor and comedian
Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, 19th century orator
Masha Gessen, Russian-American journalist
Ron Gold, gay pioneer
Radclyffe Hall, British author
Bell Hooks, author and feminist
Jazz Jennings, transgender youth activist
Mondaire Jones, first openly gay African-American congressman
Stephen Lachs, world’s first openly gay judge
Lawrence of Arabia, British military officer
Lance Loud, first openly gay reality TV star
James Merrill, Pulitzer Prize winner poet
Rudolf Nureyev, international ballet star
J. Paul Oetken, openly gay Federal judge
Amy Schneider, Jeopardy game show champion
Amy Walter, political analyst
Alice Wu, film director
Congratulations to all those above for their contributions to our community and culture. Keep with the good work!
Bare Practitioner Encouragement:
It is vitally important for all of us to remember that we are a part of our community and culture’s history. Without our experiences and memories, there would be very little of our shared lives to recount to others coming after us. Whenever possible, let others know of your chapters in our story! Bare practitioners matter!
Roger Poladopoulos/ReNude Pride
Author’s Note: The next post entry here is planned for Monday, October 3, 2022, and the proposed topic is: “Bare Icon!”
This is another Friday, the fourth, during 2019 GLBTQ Bare History Month. The post today is the last one in this series for this annual celebration. The heading picture, shown above, features a man in the early days of color photography poolside with his beach ball. Judging from the man’s hairstyle, the picture dates from the middle 1960’s. There is no information of the photographer.
As those of you who follow ReNude Pride or who visit here regularly already know, I could not allow this observation of GLBTQ Bare History Month pass without posting pictures of one of the most popular naked past-times, skinny-dipping (swimming nude). The man in the above image is bottom’s up in an indoor pool. Judging by his hair style, it is probably the late 1950’s to early 1960’s, before The Beatles became famous.