A Basque in Boise

New York’s Basque Club first “Gayaldi”, a big success

Last Saturday, the Basque Center in New York became a dance club, where hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the Euskal Etxea’s first Gayaldi: A Dance Party Celebrating Everything Basque and Queer. Men and women arrived to the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn to participate in this historic event, the first one of its kind in the almost 100 year history of the Center. DJ Ron Like Hell and go-go boys Rowan and David kept the the party going all night long.

New York Gayaldi 2012 courtesy of Euskalkultura.com

The idea of celebrating a gay party had been some years in the making. In 2005, Luis “Koitz” Foncillas, then president of the New York Euskal Etxea, talked with the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center president, Xabier Berrueta, about planning a gay event. Although Xabier is not gay, he thought it was a wonderful idea. However, the plan never got off the ground.

After other gay members joined New York’s Basque Center, such as Imanol Botxo and Aitzol Azurtza, the idea resurfaced and, together with Patxi Olabe, a long-time member of the Euskal Etxea, they decided to organize the first Gayaldi. Members hope it will become part of the center’s annual activities.

New York’s is the first Basque Club in the country to dedicate a day to gays and lesbians. The organizers hope that other Basque Centers will follow suit and add similar activities to include everybody.

Para leer el artículo original en Euskalkultura.com, haz clic aquí.
Artikuluaren jatorrizko bersioa Euskalkultura.com-en irakurtzeko, klik ezazu hemen.

In other news, Boise’s OPC Movies will show a free Christmas movie this year for the entire family, Christmas With a Capital C. It turns out I was mistaken and “C” stands for “Christian”, not “Crap”.

Thanks for passing by: ↓

maria jesus Conchi Diana Mark Bieter Julian Abio Aitzol Azurtza Anne Marie Frank Lostaunau Todor Sharon

50 thoughts on “New York’s Basque Club first “Gayaldi”, a big success

  1. Diana

    Basque and gay. This had to be a really fun party! Let’s hope for one in Boise soon. I have the perfect place to host it!

  2. Diana

    Basque and gay. This had to be a really fun party! Let’s hope for one in Boise soon. I have the perfect place to host it!

  3. Julian Abio

    When I found out that there was going to be a gayaldi (though all members of the club were not informed), it was ok with me. I have plenty of gay friends and love the gay members of Eusko Etxea….but… when a picture of a half naked man appeared, that bothered me. If a half naked woman appeared in one of our monthly dinners, I would have complained. Not a good example of what our philosophy is.

  4. Julian Abio

    When I found out that there was going to be a gayaldi (though all members of the club were not informed), it was ok with me. I have plenty of gay friends and love the gay members of Eusko Etxea….but… when a picture of a half naked man appeared, that bothered me. If a half naked woman appeared in one of our monthly dinners, I would have complained. Not a good example of what our philosophy is.

  5. Henar Chico

    Thanks Julian, I’m glad you stopped by and left your opinion. It was the first one, I’m sure it will only get better in future editions, making sure everybody is happy at the New York Basque Center.

  6. Henar Chico

    Thanks Julian, I’m glad you stopped by and left your opinion. It was the first one, I’m sure it will only get better in future editions, making sure everybody is happy at the New York Basque Center.

  7. Aitzol Azurtza

    COME ON! Euzko-Etxea of New York is falling into pieces (in all senses) and you are complaining about an activity that some (very) few members of the club are able to organize? Are we serious? There are many other much more troublesome issues at the New York Basque Club to be worried about (finances? building safety? members’ lack of participation and apathy? lack of new members? rodents? general disfunction?…) before getting worried about a go-go boy dancing at the bar of EENY…

  8. Aitzol Azurtza

    COME ON! Euzko-Etxea of New York is falling into pieces (in all senses) and you are complaining about an activity that some (very) few members of the club are able to organize? Are we serious? There are many other much more troublesome issues at the New York Basque Club to be worried about (finances? building safety? members’ lack of participation and apathy? lack of new members? rodents? general disfunction?…) before getting worried about a go-go boy dancing at the bar of EENY…

  9. Julian Abio

    Aitzol, dont get me wrong. The ACTIVITY does not bother me, like Henar says, making sure everybody is happy at the Basque Club. In fact I received personally a phone call from someone who has never been to the Club who wanted to attend this event in the future, and I informed him who to call. What bothers me is THE PHOTOGRAPH that is spread worldwide through the internet as representative of activities in our Basque Club of NY. Thanks!

  10. Julian Abio

    Aitzol, dont get me wrong. The ACTIVITY does not bother me, like Henar says, making sure everybody is happy at the Basque Club. In fact I received personally a phone call from someone who has never been to the Club who wanted to attend this event in the future, and I informed him who to call. What bothers me is THE PHOTOGRAPH that is spread worldwide through the internet as representative of activities in our Basque Club of NY. Thanks!

  11. Aitzol Azurtza

    Please note that:
    (1) This event was not a regular monthly dinner, therefore it cannot qualify as an exact comparison: It was a party organized for a specific purpose, which was to celebrate the gayness of some Basque men and women. It is in the gay clubbing culture that go-go boys entertain dance events. It is an out-of-place prudishness to complain about go-go boys that wear swimming trunks. Do you complain about professional cyclists, athletes and ballet dancers for wearing tights that depict clearly theirs buttocks and the contour of their genitals?
    (2) “Not a good example of what our philosophy is.” The club’s statutes say that EENY is a secular entity and it will not identify itself with any religion. Despite this, there is usually a Roman Catholic mass on Aberri Eguna. Is it Roman Catholicism the club’s philosophy? Not according to its statutes, nevertheless Roman Catholic rites are performed at the club. Doesn’t this trouble you?
    (3) Activities… what activities?

  12. Aitzol Azurtza

    Please note that:
    (1) This event was not a regular monthly dinner, therefore it cannot qualify as an exact comparison: It was a party organized for a specific purpose, which was to celebrate the gayness of some Basque men and women. It is in the gay clubbing culture that go-go boys entertain dance events. It is an out-of-place prudishness to complain about go-go boys that wear swimming trunks. Do you complain about professional cyclists, athletes and ballet dancers for wearing tights that depict clearly theirs buttocks and the contour of their genitals?
    (2) “Not a good example of what our philosophy is.” The club’s statutes say that EENY is a secular entity and it will not identify itself with any religion. Despite this, there is usually a Roman Catholic mass on Aberri Eguna. Is it Roman Catholicism the club’s philosophy? Not according to its statutes, nevertheless Roman Catholic rites are performed at the club. Doesn’t this trouble you?
    (3) Activities… what activities?

  13. Julian Abio

    Aitzol, I agree with you that it cannot be compared to a regular monthly dinner, but this is not explained in the articles that accompany the picture around the world. If every club or bar that I go to was entertained with go go girls, and this was also brought to the Basque club as a normal intrinsic normality, I believe we would be criticized, specially if this event was projected all over the world as the normal go ons of the Basque club.

    I dont know how you can compare what people wear in different in sports with the wear of your go go dancers… 95% of Basques are Roman Catholic. If 40 minutes of a 525,600 minute year bother you, I am sorry.

    Aitzol, I like you very much. What you do in your private life is not of my Business. I just don’t want to loose the last few members who I grew up with. Who built this club. Remember that our philosophy is probably common with the philosophies of all the other Basque club.

    I think that you have every right to have a party as the one you had, but let’s keep it to ourselves. I do a lot of things that I keep to myself because a lot of people might not yet understand.
    Eskerrik Asko!

  14. Julian Abio

    Aitzol, I agree with you that it cannot be compared to a regular monthly dinner, but this is not explained in the articles that accompany the picture around the world. If every club or bar that I go to was entertained with go go girls, and this was also brought to the Basque club as a normal intrinsic normality, I believe we would be criticized, specially if this event was projected all over the world as the normal go ons of the Basque club.

    I dont know how you can compare what people wear in different in sports with the wear of your go go dancers… 95% of Basques are Roman Catholic. If 40 minutes of a 525,600 minute year bother you, I am sorry.

    Aitzol, I like you very much. What you do in your private life is not of my Business. I just don’t want to loose the last few members who I grew up with. Who built this club. Remember that our philosophy is probably common with the philosophies of all the other Basque club.

    I think that you have every right to have a party as the one you had, but let’s keep it to ourselves. I do a lot of things that I keep to myself because a lot of people might not yet understand.
    Eskerrik Asko!

  15. Frank Lostaunau

    I live in San Francisco and unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the gayaldi. Congratulations!

    I don’t care if trillions of inhabitants on planet earth view the go go guys! I find it rather innocent and enjoyable. In my opinion, there is nothing on the planet like a man exposed. GORA! Who cares if 95% of any population on earth is Roman Catholic?

    I’m a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and work as a volunteer from Bishop Accountability (http://www.bishop-accountability.org/) My job is to track down photographs of Catholic priest/nun perpetrators of sex abuse of children and vulnerable adults. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of priest/nun sex offenders. Most if not all have been protected by Bishops and il papa. If anything, those of us who are QUEER have no reason to remain invisible for anybody. The days of invisibility are OVER! The folks who are most likely to survive in difficult times are the ones who are capable adapting to change. At least in the USA, the times they are a changing!

    If Aitzol choses to have a public life, I love it. NO MERCY! VIVA AITZOL! GORA!

  16. Frank Lostaunau

    The folks most likely not to survive are those who cannot adapt to change.

    I say FAGGOTS FOREVER…VIVA!

    signed,

    pudlo pudlat
    mini wirehair doxie
    quico lostaunau’s favority puppy

  17. Frank Lostaunau

    In my opinion, what bothers so many folks about Queers is that we are increasingly visible. We have names, families, careers, we serve in the military, we’re all over Planet Earth!

    There is no sane reason why anybody who is LGBTQ identified should not enjoy the sun as much as everybody else!

  18. Henar Chico

    Hi Frank, everybody is welcome to leave their opinions, in favor or against Gayaldi, as long as they are written politely.

  19. Frank Lostaunau

    Kaixo Henar…I would just like to make the point that for those of us who are activist Queers, it’s insulting and an act of psychic violence to politely request that one us to become invisible. It is equal to asking a Basque individual to deny her/his core identity.

    It’s our death to return to the closet. There is no oxygen in a closet. I would rather suicide. I will not visit your web page again. It is extremely insulting to be asked to deny one core identity. I have worked with a few patients who committed suicide. It is not acceptable under any condition to ask a Queer to disappear. I will not revisit your web page.

  20. Frank Lostaunau

    Correction: It’s insulting and an act of psychic violence to politely request that any of us become invisible. It is equal to requesting that Basque people deny their core identity. All best to you and your informative web page. Thank you.

  21. Henar Chico

    I never said anything about making you invisible or denying your queer identity, I think it shows by all the comments on this article. I just asked you to be polite, that’s all.

  22. Frank Lostaunau

    A Teachable Moment!

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals may have a difficult time “coming out” to themselves, their families and friends, and to the larger community. It’s a major developmental task for those of us who feel “queer” inside and not “straight” or heterosexual.

    LGBTQ folks are often quite successful in coming to grips with what we believe is our core identity. Some of us can deny what we feel about our inner selves but others cannot deny their internal experience and often begin the process of “coming out”. Coming out is a healthy experience and not without it’s various stumbling blocks. It’s not uncommon to experience heartbreak as well as great joy in understanding and accepting ourselves. Many of us loose our families and friends, jobs, and a sense of security in belonging to a previously nurturing group. Some individuals are not as successful as others who may soar with a new feeling of wholeness. It’s comforting to accept our deep inner self.

    There are multiple tasks involved in accepting oneself self as LGBTQ. Many of us don’t have the support system to get us through difficult times so we may feel socially and emotionally isolated and defeated. Even the most loving family members may no longer be available. If nobody is in our corner, there may be a feeling of dis-ease with emotional and social complications. Immigrant populations may have an especially difficult time “coming out” as the usual support systems remain in the old country.

    Organized religion may also act as a major stumbling block to developing a healthy LGBTQ identity. It’s not uncommon to feel greater social isolation if an individual is raised in a strict religious family/community. Membership often requires that an individual conceal, disown, and deny her/his internal experience. Presently, there is an enormous thrust by the leaders of organized religion to deny LGBTQ their full American civil rights.

    LGBTQ individuals generally feel great pride in accepting themselves and sharing that gift with others. There is nothing to feel ashamed of and every reason to be proud of the individual that they’ve struggled to become!

    My suggestion is to welcome and embrace friends of any and all sexual orientations. Our lives are too short to disown the people that we’ve previously loved because they may now be perceived as undesirably different. It’s time to say YES to all of our family, not just a select few.

  23. Julian Abio

    Frank, you sound quite angry and I think you have good cause to be. I am surprised because San Francisco is very accepting to anyones sexual preference, or so I heard.
    No one is telling anybody at Eusko Etxea in NY to go back in the closet. Other than straight, sexual life styles are completely accepted.
    When you begin to define the catholic religion by the acts of a few is no different than saying that all Gays are this, or blacks do this, or all Puerto Ricans do something else. I consider such statements extremely prejudiced. Remember that the catholic church has been the sanctuary to a great deal of homosexuals who by deciding to join the priesthood had no need to explain to their families why they didn’t have a girlfriend yet.

  24. Frank Lostaunau

    BishopAccountability: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/

    I work as a volunteer for BishopAccountability tracking down photos of Catholic priest/nun child rapists.

    I am also a member of SNAP: http://www.snapnetwork.org/ The NEWS section features international reports of Catholic priest/nun rape of children.

    Please feel free to EXPLORE the above two websites.

    Incidentally, there are also Basque Catholic clergy child rapists.

    ADVICE: NEVER ALLOW YOUR CHILDREN/TEENS TO BE ALONE IN THE PRESENCE OF CATHOLIC CLERGY, MALE OR FEMALE.

  25. Frank Lostaunau

    I grew up in Bakersfield, Ca and had regular contact with Basque shepherds. Many of the Basque shepherds were sexually with other males.

    Gay Former Archbishops of San Francisco: Cardinal Levada, Archbishop Niederhauer, Archbishop Wester, Archbishop Quinn are all Gay males.

    The current Archbishop of San Francisco was arrested for drunk driving. He was driving drunk with his mother and his younger male “friend”.

    Please keep in mind that gay youth have never been safe in the presence of Catholic priests and nuns. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands have been raped.

    The First International Conference is going to be held in Dublin, Ireland in April 2013. All are welcome to attend.

    il papa Benedict’s suspected gay lover is Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

  26. Frank Lostaunau

    Correction: Many of the Basque shepherds were sexually active with other males.

  27. Frank Lostaunau

    The Basque shepherds who wanted to pick up women for sex met them at Rivera’s bar in East Bakersfield. They also frequented Trones bar at the corner of Baker St. and California Avenue.

    To each his own! Josean Bengoetxea who stars in the movie Ander (2009) is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay PERFECT!

  28. Frank Lostaunau

    Oops, I almost forgot, the shepherds also saw movies at the Rialto Theatre in Bakersfield. All of the movies were in Spanish.

  29. Kaiet Arrizabalaga

    It was a wonderful idea to organize such an event in the Basque Centre in New York. It gives a very positive image of the Basque culture, as it shows that we are evolving and it is a blow to those who try to depict us as a backward-looking people.

    As well as being a Basque teacher I am a gay man, and there are many of us in the Basque Country, although we are often, unfortunately, not as visible as we would like to be.

    I would be delighted to teach Basque in San Francisco, as I think it is a very appealing city for LGTBG people all over the world. I look forward to a gayaldi in San Francisco!

    Greetings from the Basque Country!

  30. Julian Abio

    I am beginning to feel sorry for mentioning anything about the picture. I still don’t think the picture represents in any way the going ons in the Basque Club in NY. It’s a shame that other unpleasant “facts” and exaturations about Basques and the Basque Club were brought to “light” so a point could be made. Usually we Basques are not known to hang our bedsheets for the world to see, well a few of you did that. This will be on the web in perpetuity and I wish there would have been a different way of doing it.
    …..and for those of you that insisted on condemning all priests please read this http://www.themediareport.com/fast-facts/
    May God Bless you all!

  31. Frank Lostaunau

    The dancing guys on the bar are no big deal! They are partially clothed and their genitals are not exposed.
    What I find healthy in the Basque LGBT community is their courage to show up and enjoy a pleasant evening with friends.

    I know a great deal about Roman Catholic priests/nuns and I am keenly aware of their role in raping and in some instances, killing innocent people. A cross hanging from anybody’s neck does not a saint make! I find nothing offensive in disclosing the truth so that children and vulnerable adults remain safer. I’ve dedicated my life to tracking down photographs and posting images of Catholic clergy, male & female that abuse unsuspecting innocent children. I repeat, Basque Catholic clergy have also been involved in destroying the lives of the most innocent amongst us. NO MERCY!

    GORA!!

  32. Frank Lostaunau

    The New York Basque Club is a wonderful organization. It took COURAGE by leadership to host the GAYALDI!
    GRACIAS!

    There is nothing to regret. The heart of the Basque nation is enormous and makes the world a better place.

  33. Frank Lostaunau

    There is a growing body of research re: prostitution – children, women, and men. Prostitution, Research, and Education is a web page run by Dr. Melissa Farley and it’s an excellent resource.

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that prostitution is harmless. It is a devastating experience for children, women, and men who are prostituted. Do not be taken in anecdotal information submitted by prostitutes, johns, and pimps. The data re: the lives of prostitutes is in and it is devastating.

  34. Frank Lostaunau

    Julian…Are you suggesting that the GAYALDI didn’t happen? It did happen and LGBTQ Basque adults and their friends attended and enjoyed a pleasant evening. Most healthy adults enjoy sharing a social gathering with friends. Don’t you think so? What exactly was brought to light that you find disturbing? Please explain.

    It’s not shameful to post accurate information. Unless it is…please explain your concern.

    I view the posting that you seem to find distasteful as positive. Clearly, the Gayaldi was a festive event!
    When an individual brings a negative interpretation to events that they themselves haven’t witnessed and base their perceptions on hearsay, it can be harmful. Don’t you suppose that your response is a bit of an exaggeration? Just asking.

    I do not assume that all adults believe in protecting children and vulnerable adults, even if the perpetrators sexual violence isadult Catholic priests and nuns of Basque descent.

    I wish you well.

  35. Frank Lostaunau

    Correction: …even if the perpetrator of sexual violence is an adult Catholic priest/nun of Basque descent.

    Please let me know if you would like more information. Take care.

  36. Frank Lostaunau

    These images from Apollo Eros from Facebook were posted on the SNAP webpage. SNAP is an organization
    that helps survivors/children of sexual abuse/rape by Catholic priests & nuns. I am a member.

    https://www.facebook.com/apollo.eros.1

    Somebody out there is extremely at anybody who is supportive of the Gayaldi at the NY Basque club.

  37. Percy Hemsworth

    I am just offended that the Go Go boys are so well, unattractive and thin. Do not tip them money, buy them some food!

  38. Frank Lostaunau

    Hi Percy…You haven’t changed at all! I gotta admit, I LIKE HEFTY GUYS….HOORAY CHUBS! VIVA! GORA!

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