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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

(...)

Subject:Queerios: A Radical Queer Coloring and Activity Book
Posted by:piratesarah.
Time:10:58 am.
This will be the kind of activity book I never got (but always wanted) in my early teens. I'd like to put together a coloring and activity book highlighting people who were groundbreaking to you, personally. Harvey Milk and Oscar Wilde will always have a place carved out for them. This is about exploring people who did more than admit their same-sex attraction to the rest of the world. How about what Leslie Feinberg and Kate Borenstein did for trans visability and challenging gender norms? Or how James baldwin and Audre Lorde made queer people challenge racism within the GLBT community. And, just so we're clear? You don't have to identify as queer/trans to have a hero who does. 
Priority will be given to activities like dot-to-dots, paper dolls, and word searches, but coloring pages with biographies are great as well. The deadline for this is March 1st so I can have it put together by mid-to-late march, and out in the world by April. And of course, if you know someone who is interested, please feel free to pass this on to them, or repost widely.
Please send pdfs of high resolution jpegs to piratesarah@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

(...)

Subject:Chicago Police Attack Queers at Bash Back!
Posted by:ay_aych.
Time:8:32 am.
Chicago Police attempt to reinact Stonewall by rioting against queers. On Saturday night, May 30th, a group of approximately 100 queers disembarked the red line train at the Belmont stop into Chicago's Boystown area. Intending to march around a bit, the crowd found themselves too large to fit on the sidewalk (especially in an area where bars are frequent and patrons and tables spill out the front doors). Most of the crowd moved into the street, walking around cars and allowing cars to pass in the middle.

A few blocks down, the crowd took a left turn, and the police showed up from behind. In attempting to get their cars around the crowd, they repeatedly ran into people's legs, in some cases knocking the victim onto the hood of the car, then slamming on their brakes to cause the person to fall to the ground.

During this time a few queers at the back of the crowd moved one newspaper box and one trash can (without spilling the trash) into the road in front of cop cars. A few other queers, yelling things like "no!" and "this is nonviolent!" moved the items back to the sidewalk (see sibling article, "What Happened at BashBack?" for more details on this incident).

As a few cop cars got to the front of the crowd. The first car in the line stopped and the cop jumped out and ran at the crowd, which parted down a residential side street. The cop stopped, shook his baton at the crowd, then went back to his car. The first few cars followed the crowd onto the side street. More cops parked and began running into the crowd, grabbing queers seemingly at random (although they did catch a high percentage of non-gender-conforming folks) and proceeding to beat them with batons and extendable asps. At this time, there was a scream from the middle of the crowd, and then people shouting, "he just ran her foot over!" The patient was helped out of the fray and a medic took over her evacuation.

During this time, at least 8 cops were involved in the beating of at least 10 queers in the crowd. They drug queers into the street and proceeded to hit them with batons, the queers falling to the ground in attempts to protect their heads. Reports tell of at least five successful unarrests as queers watched each other's backs. One queer, after very nearly escaping a very determined cop, was cornered against a building. The cop, waving his baton in the queer's face, kept repeating, "It's over, do you understand? It's over. Take your mask off." The queer, obviously feeling like it was not over, took advantage of a lapse of attention from the cop and took off again, successfully escaping into the crowd.

It appears that the most-targeted individuals were those who conform less to binary systems of gender. This was evidenced in the continued targeting of one of the eventual arrestees, when a cisgendered person put herself between the cop and his target and, instead of being hit, was told, "Move it!"

A summary of the injuries suffered by people in the crowd (not just the arrestees)- a broken big toe, bruised ribs (three people, one of which developed into pneumonia), bruised kidney, sprained fingers with accompanying infection, separated ligaments in the shoulder, soft tissue damage to the elbow, and uncountable bruises, cuts and scrapes.

In the end, four people were arrested, and spent the remainder of the night being harassed and tormented in the jail. At the holding facility, still in Boystown, the queers were mocked for their choices of hairstyle, questioned without being Mirandized, and threatened with rape ("you won't like it when we leave you in a cell with Tyrone. He'll sure like you though.")

Each of the arrestees, now called the Fabulous Four, is facing a misdemeanor charge of Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer with Hands/Minimal Damage. Three of them are also facing combinations of Obstructing Justice, Evading a Police Officer, Refusal to Obey an Officer, and Resisting Arrest. All of their charges can be summed up in layperson's terms as, "Refusing to Allow Self to be Arrested for No Reason." For that, we must stand behind the Fabulous Four and support them throughout their court process. It could have been any one of us that was there that night, but certain people, even in a crowd of queers, were targeted based on their appearance, and we need to unite behind them.

The first appearance (arraignment) of the Fabulous Four will be on August 7th in Chicago. More information to come about how to best support them will come in the future- at this point we are not sure who will need travel fees, or if the charges will just be dropped altogether, opening the way for a quick civil case. In the meantime, take this month of the anniversary of Stonewall to think about what liberation of queers means, and at what cost to our community it comes, and look for things you can do, either as a queer or as an ally, to support us in our quest.

X POSTED

PLEASE REPOST WIDELY


Saturday, December 20th, 2008

(2...)

Subject:Know any queer rural zines? x-post (if this doesn't belong/breaks rules, sorry; tell me&I'll delete)
Posted by:angstypenguin.
Time:12:32 am.
Mood:hopeful.
Sorry if this doesn't belong here, but my friend Jenna (a.k.a. trashcan_chica) needs some help:

"does anyone know of any queer zines about living in rural areas or going to rural areas?

any help/pointing in the right direction would be amazing. i went through the whole Queer Zine Archive and couldn't really find anything.

thanks!
jenna b

p.s. i just got a wordpress site, sassyfrasscircus.com!"


Her (AIM) away message also says: "is looking for zines about/by members of radical queer ANTI-URBAN communities, so if you know of any..."

So please comment if you can help at all; thanks. :]

-Beth

Monday, October 6th, 2008

(...)

Subject:Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric zines
Posted by:piratesarah.
Time:1:23 pm.
Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric 8 addresses issues of friendship and trying to maintain hostile feelings about other women while still being a strong feminist. Queer rage, daddy issues, lesbian desire, and the untimely death of a friend.

Excerpt: I just wish it were clear. I wish that I knew what happened. I wish that he didn't die alone and sad. I wish that he'd asked for help. Or that one of us had tried harder because there's nothing for it now.

I cannot imagine being so devastated, so lonely that death was the only solution. I can't imagine thinking that your problems are so bad that there is nothing better to do than go gentle into that long goodnight. I think there's a normal degree of sadness, but mostly suicide just seems so stupid and so selfish and weak. Rather than change the things that cause whatever misery you're in, ask for help. Rather than cause your whole family inconsolable grief, and your friends irrevocable guilt, ask for help. Suck up your pride and say: Hey, I'm not okay right now. This is what I need.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric 7 is sort of loosely themed around sex and sexuality. As always, writing about relationships sort of snuck in. There’s a letter to this boy I had a crush on and why it could never be, what I want from my next relationship, a piece about sex work/domination (and my experienced therein), teenage promiscuity (again, personal experiences and reflections), homo/bisexuality and queerness, and a few other short random pieces.

Excerpt: What we DID learn was how not to get pregnant and how not to catch an STD. Which, if you think about it, is a pretty scary message to pass on to a kid. If you have sex, you could get pregnant or contract syphilis. Period, end of story. To be fair, I don’t fault the educators. The curriculum is set by the people who fund it. But at the same time, answering our questions a little more honestly could only have helped, and I can’t imagine how things would have been changed if someone had taken me aside and talked to me frankly and honestly, no matter how uncomfortable or embarrassed we both might have been. I don’t regret any of my past sexual encounters. I learned a lot – about sex and about myself. If this path I’ve traveled makes the lessons I’ve learned easier for anyone else, I will be glad to have lived it.
____________________________________________________________________________

Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric #5 is about the breakup of a long, important relationship, body issues, and how you don't always fall immediately out of love with your partner once the relationship is over.

Excerpt: I am in love with you. I love you. And I like you. You make me laugh and cry and cry and feel. And if everything in you wasn't completely right it would hopelessly overwhelm me. Sometimes it terrifies me, how vulnerable I feel to you sometimes. How hard I've worked to be sort of invulnerable, and how you topple that down with our crooked little smile or that funny hiccup laugh of yours."

Review: http://www.brokenpencil.com/reviews/reviews.php?reviewid=3380
____________________________________________________________________________

Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric #4 is about living in a small town, body issues, sexual abuse, the death of my brother, a letter to an ex-friend, and a crush I had on someone outside of my relationship.

Podcast of an excerpt: http://www.fallofautumn.com/podcasts/2006-05-Sarah-Tazewell.mp3

______________________________________________________________________________

These are $2.50 each via paypal (to piratesarah at gmail dot com) or $2 each via mail or fair perzine trade (please specify issue). Alternately, if you buy all 4 for $10, you get a copy of crushpuppy (my 24 hour zine of short love letters) and TFE 6 (which is a short collection of stuff I wrote in zines for high school.

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

(...)

Subject:peace in!
Posted by:deepanalysis.
Time:11:19 am.
hey sweet peeps

love the bio:  "we aren't begging for crumbs off of the table!" right on.

i wonder how many of u guys are radical faeries or are familiar with the radical faeries

<3 happy to be a new addition to this community and looking forward to reading more posts and being a part of the revolution.

damian.m.22.ny.gay

Friday, September 26th, 2008

(...)

Subject:AIDS LifeCycle 8 - Team VISION Recruiting Message
Posted by:redrhodes.
Time:5:02 pm.
Mood:bouncy.
So I've decided to participate in the 8th Annual AIDS Lifecycle bike ride, which will raise more resources for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.  This will be my second time participating in this ride, and I'm hoping to meet even more amazing people this time around.  Based on my experiences last year, I really want to form a team of trans, gender nonconforming and ally riders to bring visibility to the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming folks who are living with HIV and AIDS.  I am hoping to recruit around 7 riders who can commit both the time to train along with the energy to raise funds for this important cause.  If you are interested in learning more about the 8th Annual AIDS Lifecycle Ride, or if you are interested in joining this team, please feel free to visit http://www.tofighthiv.org/goto/teamvision and/or contact me here on LJ.
 
Team VISION exists to accomplish the following goals:
 
V: Increase VISIBILITY for the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming people living with HIV and AIDS by riding as a team of trans, gender nonconforming and ally bike riders on AIDS Lifecycle 8.
 
I: Overcome IGNORANCE and misinformation about transgender people who are living with HIV and AIDS by distributing research, statistics and personal narratives to other riders.
 
S: Defeat the STIGMA that negatively impacts both transgender and gender nonconforming people and people living with HIV and AIDS.
 
I: Form a community of like-minded riders and roadies committed to resisting the temptation to ISOLATE while participating in this year's bike ride.
 
O: Share experiences throughout the week of the bike ride that will establish OUTSTANDING friendships for future years.
 
N: The time to ride is NOW! We must unite together to help defeat HIV and AIDS. Please join Team VISION today and help us reach our very important goals!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

(...)

Subject:MontCo referendum seen as guide to nixing transgender laws in U.S.
Posted by:redrhodes.
Time:1:47 pm.
MontCo referendum seen as guide to nixing transgender laws in U.S. -- Aug 4, 2008 3:00 AM (6 hrs ago) by Kathleen Miller, The Examiner

http://www.examiner.com/a1519743~MontCo_referendum_seen_as_guide_to_nixing_transgender_laws_in_U_S_.html

WASHINGTON - Religious conservatives are hoping a referendum on a Montgomery County law protecting transgender people could become a template to repeal similar measures across the country.

Montgomery County Council members unanimously approved a measure last fall that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodations, and taxicab and cable service. Council members included an exemption for “personal and private” places, but nonetheless drew the ire of local conservatives, who said they feared men would be allowed in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.

A local group, Citizens for Responsible Government, ran a successful petition drive to get the 25,000 signatures required to put the law on the county’s November ballot for possible recall.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for national conservative group Focus on the Family, said his organization is tracking the Montgomery issue.

His Colorado Springs-based group is waging its own battle against a new Colorado transgender rights law, along with other groups. Focus on the Family ran radio and print ads focusing on one thing: bathroom access.

“There’s no strategy, there’s just similar concerns among people in Montgomery County, Maryland, Colorado and Gainesville, Florida, where they’re also facing a referendum on a similar law,” Hausknecht said. “This is precisely what the transgender community ultimately wants: to open up bathrooms, locker rooms across the country.” Transgender rights advocates say the bills are about ensuring no one is denied a meal at a restaurant or an apartment because of gender issues, rather than bathroom access. But they acknowledge what they call a campaign of “fear and misinformation” has been tough to fight, even in liberal strongholds like Montgomery County and Gainesville.

“Transgender is still new to a lot of people,” said Chris Edelson, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign. “[Opponents] know they are working on a blank slate and if they can write something scary on it, it gets them a long way to accomplishing their goals.”

Since Minnesota outlawed discrimination against transgender people in 1993, 11 other states and the District have followed suit, as did more than 90 cities and counties, Edelson said, adding that no crimes have been linked to the measure.

“As the public becomes far more accepting of gays and lesbians, the religious right is looking for a new way to drive out their support base at election time, and they think this is going to be it,” said Steve Ralls, communications director for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Representatives of the Family Research Council did not return several phone calls. Its Web site, however, showed it is activating prayer networks to kill new laws (“including one in a D.C. suburb”) that ban discrimination against transgender people.

“May God move the Church and morally minded Americans to exercise their citizenship to restore balance before it is too late,” a prayer on the site reads. “May efforts to impose sexual identity confusion upon our children through law fail at the federal, state and local levels.” 

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

(...)

Posted by:piratesarah.
Time:9:57 pm.
Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric #7 is sort of loosely themed around sex and sexuality. As always, writing about relationships sort of snuck in. There's a letter to this boy I had a crush on and why it could never be, what I want from my next relationship, a piece about sex work/domination (and my experienced therein), teenage promiscuity (again, personal experiences and reflections), homo/bisexuality and queerness, and a few other short  random pieces.
The deets: TFE7 weighs about an ounce and a half, is 18 pages with a violet cardstock cover. It cost $2 via mail (Sarah Arr!, PO BOX 235, North Tazewell, VA 24630) or $2.50 via paypal (to piratesarah at gmail dot com). It can also be had for a perzine trade or a cleverly themed mix cd.
Questions? Just ask.

Cover and sample page behind cut. Collapse )



Sunday, June 8th, 2008

(5...)

Subject:The Problem of Pride
Posted by:swallow_soma.
Time:11:43 am.
Can I just say that I'm so fucking sick of hearing about Gay Pride?

I understand (very well) the oppression of heterosexism, but for fuck's sake, I'm tired of how commercialized the event has become, and how it elevates Upper to Middle Class, White, Homosexual MEN with almost zero regard for anyone else. Gay Pride is actually code for "WhiteMaleHomosexual (and sometimes, if they're not too uppity, White Lesbian) Demographic Open Season for Capitlists" where the ecologically destructive companies that do not care about any of us can slap a rainbow sticker on their harmful, unnecessary products and sell them (at elevated prices, of course) to button-down homosexuals who STILL represent an elevated income bracket and then get themselves celebrated as ALLIES to the STRUGGLE.

Stoli doesn't care about you. The City of Boston doesn't care about you. MOTHERFUCKING GODDAMN STARBUCKS DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU. None of these entities is going to give a shit about some queer who gets bashed or raped or kicked out of her/hir/his housing if they don't have anything significant to gain from it.

It baffles me, the way for example, a corporation like Starbucks, with a notoriously vile human/labor/eco history can say, with a straight face, that they care about any kind of humanity except that which pays them dearly, generously, and often. (Which, conveniently for them, includes the disposable-income owning upwardly-mobile homosexual.)

And don't even get me started on the City of Boston. You know, the one with cops who will (and have) arrested people for witnessing police brutality, and knowing and exercising their rights. And that asshole Menino, another tool of the state who patently doesn't care about anyone if they're not licking his boots and paying him for the privilege.

All this rage generally seethes under the surface, but good lord, I'm so tired of people who legitimately struggle under the heterosexist, gender binary-enforcing, generally white supremacist (even if they don't use those words anymore... now it's all about "accepting" and "tolerating") haves vs. have-nots regime, who actually get excited about about shit like Gay Pride because they think... what? That it'll be any different from the same old majority-favoring exploitative bullshit that we face every single day anyway, except they're slightly less likely to get queer bashed for making out in public?

SO NOT WORTH IT.

I'd add my tirade about how ludicrously short-sighted it is to celebrate the "triumph" of the homosexual while remaining blind to the fact that violence against queers is directly correlated to violence against women and people of color, all of which are institutionalized, and therefore endorsed and perpetuated by the state, but I think I'll save that particular rant for another day.

x-posted to my own journal.

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

(...)

Subject:Mexico's Street Brigade: Sex, Revolution, and Social Change
Posted by:quamono.
Time:4:34 pm.
The alliance between Zapatistas, sex workers, and transvestites shows the power of social change in a key cultural way—when it's anchored to daily life. In Mexico, one of the strongest and most overbearing enclaves of patriarchy and machismo, Subcomandante Marcos has opened the doors to debate about discrimination in a controversial area.

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1050/1/



Mexico - Brigada Callejera: Sexo, revolución y cambio social

La alianza entre indios zapatistas, trabajadoras sexuales y travestis enseña la potencia del cambio social en clave cultural, anclado en la vida cotidiana. En México, uno de los eslabones fuertes del patriarcado y del machismo más prepotente, el Subcomandante Marcos abrió las puertas al debate sobre la discriminación en un tema urticante.

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1051/68/

Monday, November 26th, 2007

(...)

Subject:Queer CUNY This Saturday!
Posted by:honkytonkhussy.
Time:2:51 pm.
Queer CUNY VIII: The Twilight of Queerness?
Saturday, December 1st
Hunter College, West Lobby
10am-6pm

The conference will commence in the West Lobby of Hunter College (entrance on the SW corner of 68th and Lex).

To get a sneak peek of the scheduled panels, click here.Collapse )

Please contact QueerCUNY@gmail.com with any questions.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

(...)

Subject:Queer CUNY VIII
Posted by:honkytonkhussy.
Time:4:36 pm.
Queer CUNY VIII
Hunter College, NYC
Keynote Speaker: Lisa Duggan
December 1st

The Twilight of Queerness?Collapse )

Anyone who is interested in attending the conference and/or helping produce it should email Taylor at QueerCUNY@gmail.com.

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

(2...)

Subject:Chris Crocker
Posted by:prince_mab.
Time:3:06 am.
Just saw Chris Crocker on the Jimmy whatever his name is show, interview and all. Yes, she might be crazy....but her being trans is NOT part of her crazy. I'm not down with the transphobic aspect of this, and trans-allies need to confront all the pop culture blabber.
It really sucks when some form of crazy, or eccentricity, is amplified in the cultural media/cultural memory (even when that media's more democratic) because of something trait the general population would like to laugh at anyway, but can't because people would know they're be assholes.
We are a diverse species. *end of discussion*
There are fat people and skinny people - what's important is to be healthy at whatever size you are (types a boy eating a jar of nutella). And supporting social health and healthy lifestyles does not equal laughing and ridiculing people, putting a tag of "inferior" on people who are large. In many ways it's associated with classism.
There are different language histories (both large scale and small scale) that are valid manners of communication, often attached to specific communities, geographic regions, etc. - What's important is that we communicate, which could happen if we learned to listen to one another and take one another seriously, no matter how we speak.
Gender difference - People present their gender how they want - I will say I have been annoyed by some effeminate men before, and have couched it in terms of masculine domination - I was young and stupid - but the actual reason was generally because:
1. the traits they clung to as "effeminate" were generally traits I saw as a negative aspect of bourgeois feminine socialization (materialistic, shallow, body obsessed)...other effeminate men...men who bend gender in a way I associate with women or the trans community, not in ways I associate with "horribly shallow asshole," are perfectly fine.
*admitting to having done exactly what this rant is about*
Different geographies, classes, races, religions, traditions, stories...we could use a media like youtube to learn about each other, right?
Because really, when a lot of people laugh at this video, (perhaps not everyone, but a lot of people, enough that that's the dominate message that comedians and such are putting forth) they're laughing not at a Brittany fanatic who happens to be Trans, but a Trans person who happens to be a Brittany fan....and that's not cool.
Maybe it's not cool to laugh at a Brittany fanatic regardless. This kid's obviously had some sorta experience in her life that's led to an obsession that I don't understand, but we all have our thing, right? I think I might be a very different person if I felt pressured into conforming to a gender expression I was uncomfortable with or had people ridicule me for my body/gender expression (while that's not the case for all trans people, it is for many).
So, Enku's idea of the day is "deal with your own shit" and when you're comfortable with your own gender expression then take a look at the Chris Crocker video.

Monday, September 10th, 2007

(...)

Subject:queer en español
Posted by:quamono.
Time:6:43 pm.
queer en español

hola,

espero que todxs están bien por donde andan.

si estas recibiendo este mensaje es por que creo que quizás estas interesadx en este pequeño proyecto.

yo vivo en bogotá moviendo me en muchos espacios con personas que tienen un interés en lo que sea queer pero hay una falta de literatura y información sobre el tema.

estoy tratando de hacer un fanzine que es una recompila de artículos, experiencias, propuestas, reflexiones, historias, poemas y arte en español (no mas de dos paginas) de personas queer o trans en america latina o inmigrantes (o hijxs de inmigrantes) de america latina en el exterior. la idea es crear algo de literatura que sea sencillo e informativo pero no académico para distribuir a personas en colombia y en otras regiones si hay interés.

espero que el fanzine no sea muy largo (20-25 paginas) para que no sea muy costoso para reproducir. se reciben obras para el fanzine hasta el 15 de octubre 2007. la idea es tener el fanzine listo para un encuentro local que va pasar en bogotá en noviembre de este año.

mmm, no se que mas se me ocurre mencionar. pero si hay interés, preguntas, comentarios, criticas constructivas, lo que sea. dale! espero que hay algito de interés. gracias.

jl

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

(1...)

Subject:Twin Cities Trans March Information!
Posted by:electricseed.
Time:6:12 pm.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

(2...)

Subject:Twin Cities Trans March!
Posted by:electricseed.
Time:2:52 am.
The first ever TWIN CITIES TRANS MARCH is June 22, 2007!


Twin Cities Trans March
June 22, 2007
*March route & time TBA
Accesibility vehicle will be provided.



We are calling for this march to demonstrate that we are a significant and growing portion of the lgbtiq community; to increase our visibility and presence in the tgiqlb community and the overall community at large; to encourage more trans and gender-variant people to come out; to build connections among ftm, mtf, crossdressers, transvestites, drag queens, drag kings, transsexuals, travesti, genderqueers, two spirit, intersex and those with other labels for themselves and no labels for themselves, those who see gender as having more than two options, and those who live between the existing options; to support one another as a community, through all of our struggles; to speak out against violence, hate, transphobia, and the oppression of any and all of us under the existing social structure; and to be fabulous and powerful in the company of others that are fabulous and powerful.

Dress up, show up, bring signs, speak out, and be what happens!

For more info or to volunteer please contact tctransmarch@yahoo.com, or at myspace.com/tctransmarch


The Trans March is an independent, DIY, community event. Please enhance, translate and pass this on to any groups, lists, or individuals who might be interested.

Monday, May 7th, 2007

(10...)

Subject:summer reading.
Posted by:cumpig.
Time:12:34 am.
any suggestions on queer books that don't focus primarily on gay marriage, the pursuit of a gay gene or other gay political cliches? possibly something on transpolitics (i'm sorely uneducated on trans issues!) or queer assimilation. maybe even something from a feminist stance. i just need to read something from a unique viewpoint. i don't know - anything. as long as it is in a reasonable price range. thanks for all suggestions.

and i heard that's revolting! queer strategies for resisting assimilation by mattilda/matt bernstein was good. confirm/deny?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

(...)

Subject:Queer Activism at Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia: Come Show Your Support!
Posted by:thequixoticlife.
Time:1:37 am.
(xposted to queeractivism)

I know not everyone is in this geographic area, but I wanted to post an announcement about this event that's happening at Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia on Thursday, April 12. The event is part of the Soulforce Equality Ride, in which students and young adults visit religious schools around the country to challenge their policies banning queer and queer-friendly students and organizations.

WE ARE ORGANIZING RIDES FROM NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC AND AROUND VA. If you are in one of those areas and want to go, we can help get you there.

If you're not from that part of the country and you want to see if the Equality Ride is coming near you, you can check the East Coast Route and the West Coast Route (both routes have stops in the Midwest and Rockies). There's also a regularly updated blog.

If you're on Facebook, check out this event, which is listed on there: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=2258917124




Soulforce Equality Ride: Queer Activism at Patrick Henry College in N. VA

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location: Patrick Henry College
Street: One Patrick Henry Circle
City/Town: Purcellville, VA

Contact: 610.324.3086 / tommyatz@gmail.com

The Equality Ride is two months of sustained activism inspired by the Freedom Rides of the civil rights era. It is a journey by bus to initiate discussion about faith and sexuality in communities where it is most controversial.

An unfortunate number of Christian colleges and universities blatantly condemn certain aspects of human diversity. In fact, in many schools, identifying as or affirming a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person is a violation of policy. Fifty queer and straight-ally participants in the Equality Ride share a message of hope and healing with students suffering under such doctrinal prejudice.

PATRICK HENRY COLLEGE, which had originally invited Soulforce riders to dialogue with their students, is now preventing Soulforce from entering the campus.

This is our chance to stand against the religious-based oppression and support the Soulforce Equality Riders. We will show Patrick Henry our community is strong, loving, and will not continue to be silenced.

ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME TO VIRGINIA FOR THE ACTION ON THURSDAY, APRIL 12. We are raising money and coordinating rides (some will arrive late Wednesday night and others will travel early Thursday morning to arrive by 10am) to prevent money or lack of transportation to keep people from participating.




SO FAR ON THE 2007 SOULFORCE EQUALITY RIDE

DEFACEMENT: The East Bus was defaced on the first day on the road with homophobic graffiti. See

DENIAL: Brigham Young University and Oklahoma Baptist University -- two schools who allowed 2006 riders on campus -- are now completely denying access.

HARASSMENT: Threats from police in Mississippi necessitated an intervention from the ACLU. Once arriving, riders were intimidated by police multiple times and told to "get out of town." Watch a video of the demonstration.

ARRESTS: After chalking a sidewalk in Texas, 5 riders and 1 student faced the night in jail and bail set at $2,000 per person.




OTHER WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT THIS EVENT AND SOULFORCE

1. If you're on Facebook, please visit the event page and invite others you know!

2. Visit the national Soulforce Equality Ride 2007 website

3. Visit the Soulforce Equality Ride blogs to read about the latest from the road.

4. Check out the routes of the East Bus and the West Bus and tell those you know about stops near them. Community involvement is critical!

5. Donate to the Soulforce Equality Ride




"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! ... If this be treason, make the most of it." --Patrick Henry, 1775

Monday, January 15th, 2007

(2...)

Posted by:a_rasberry_rush.
Time:12:18 pm.

Monday, December 25th, 2006

(...)

Subject:Lesbians of Mass Destruction: A Review
Posted by:copperphoenix.
Time:10:09 pm.
(x-posted lots of places)

An article rebutting conservative arguments against gay marriage appeared on slate.com a little while ago. My position is pro alternative family - I'd like one of my own some day - so I thought I'd review the article.

Lesbians of Mass Destruction from slate.com


William Saletan does an effective job of rebutting the moralists when it comes to same-sex couples and parenting. The ever-conservative Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter has been making headlines again for deliberately getting pregnant with the intention of raising the child with her long-time partner, angering moralist groups, which has apparently provoked Saletan to write this article. He refers to the sixty-seven abstracts on family research by the American Psychology Association and provides the reader with all the references necessary to give his article a strong factual foundation.

If you don't want to read the article, I've summarized ithereCollapse )

I'll start with the last bit of the article first, since Saletan mentions some conservative views that particularly anger me. First of all, while there are those who claim pedophilia is a sexual orientation in itself, as opposed to a disorder, putting it in the same group as homosexuality is simply a way to discredit the gay lifestyle - pedophilia violates age of consent laws, which we have for a reason, and can have lasting, life-long traumatic consequences for the child involved. Homosexual acts take place between consenting adults, and do not harm or traumatize those involved. As for homosexuals being most likely to have STD's, lesbians are in the lowest-risk group for STD's (as far as we know - the body of research on the subject is still quite small), and while AIDS is still very much associated with the gay male community, it is extremely difficult to get an accurate representation of the STD numbers in the queer population because of the wish of many individuals to be private and discreet about their sex lives. It is unfortunate that Saletan does not mentions these facts in his article.

Instead of beginning his article with references to studies on parenting, it might have been more advantageous for Saletan to begin by listing the arguments against gay parenting, citing any evidence in their favor, and then citing arguments for gay parenting, along with supporting research. However, the author takes a more conversational approach for the general public, and scores points with the reader for amusing comparisons and a few well-placed remarks, such as "if you want every child to have the benefit of two parents, you're picking on the wrong Cheney. Mary's sister, Liz, just had her fifth kid. All things being equal, Liz's baby will get one-fifth as much parental attention as Mary's will get. But nobody complains about that."

Saletan needs to re-examine his analysis of the argument against the premise that "on average, children do best when raised by their two married, biological parents." Saletan's rebuttal to this argument is one of the few places where he does not cite research to back up his claims. He writes that two parents are better than one, and that married parents are better than unmarried parents, which I would call conventional wisdom, but it is essential to cite sources in a case like this where so-called "conventional wisdom" may be challenged. Saletan does attempt to use logic to defeat the argument. While I agree with his reasoning, I do not think he got to the root of why this moralist argument seems convincing at first glance. The research shows that children do better with biological parents than non-biological parents, one needs to ask why. Is it in fact because in the majority of cases that were researched, the non-biological parent joined the family at a later time, when the child or children were older, creating tension and domestic problems? What about heterosexual parents that adopt their children? Many child development researchers believe that the most formative years for children are the first three, which does not bode well for children who are adopted after that age or who live in foster care for a long time.

The family researchers need to perhaps examine families with non-biological parents who have been there all along, (for example a heterosexual couple who needed a sperm or egg donor in order to have a child), and families who adopted a newborn child that was not a blood relative. Would researchers find differences in the well-being of children who were raised in these circumstances versus heterosexual couples who raised their collective biological offspring? My guess is that there would not be much difference, which would go a long way towards defeating the arguments of the anti-gay lobby. It is not fair, logical or scientific to use these arguments against gay parents without also criticising families that deviate from the model of two married, opposite-gender, biological parents with their biological offspring. The lack of criticism towards other family units demonstrates the clear bias of the conservative groups against those individuals whose only crime is an inability to fall in love with the opposite gender. The goal of these moralist and conservative groups is not the protection of the children. Saletan leads the reader to the research that shows that the children are safe. The goal of these moralist groups and family councils is to sabotage the efforts of homosexuals to be able to live as equals under the law.

The obviously weak statements by James Dobson of Focus on the Family that Saletan refers to allows the author to imply that all the arguments of the right-wing moralists are in fact not just arguments against gay marriage, but in fact arguments against single parents, families with a step-parent, adoption, and possibly even foster-care, yet it is only gay parents that they target, even though many other family units have the same "shortcomings". The only male-associated behaviors I can think of that children are likely to miss out on in families with two moms is how to shave facial hair and how to pee standing up. It's tricky to say what issues may potentially arise in families with two fathers. Breast-feeding might become something of an issue. Fortunately, I hear formula is not too hard to obtain.

Saletan mentions that many studies on gay parents are inconclusive because so many people are closeted. On the other hand, how many closeted couples are trying to raise a child together? I can't imagine it is all that common, but we really don't know, because they're closeted. It just doesn't seem that likely. Gay couples who are so stable, out and want to become parents are probably far more prepared to become parents than many young straight couples who dive into pregnancy without a thought for the future. After all, everything has to be planned for very carefully. In an article from Maclean's magazine or Newsweek (probably Maclean's, and within the last year or two, I think), I read that non-standard families are creating legal contracts before conception, which puts into place contingency plans that are designed for the child's best interests in case of death, divorce, accidents and debilitating diseases, as well as setting out the legal obligations of donors as biological parents, as well as non-biological parents. The children who live with such arrangements can well benefit from multiple parental figures. These contracts aren't always made, but it's becoming more common because of the need for sperm/egg donors in order to conceive a child in a gay family.

In response to the conservative argument that non-biological parents are more likely to harm children, Saletan cites numerous studies that found harm caused by non-biological parents is disproportionately caused by males. While this doesn't help gay male couples, it does make lesbian couples look like the perfect potential parents. Are there any studies on abuse cause by exclusively gay males? I didn't think so.

An issue that Saletan understandably does not mention, is that most of the arguments against gay marriage and gay parents are based upon religious doctrine. This makes arguing with anti-gay groups about as much fun as arguing with the anti-evolution groups - religious objections are based on either beliefs or "christian science" - people on opposite sides of the debate are really speaking a different language. Faith and fact are like apples and orangutans.

Saletan's article is well-researched and well-written. Unfortunately, the article is most likely preaching to the converted. It is doubtful that many anti-gay people are going to read this article, and even more unlikely that it will change their mind when they do read it. However, Saletan makes a few good points, and his article is very accessible for his readers. The article would be alot stronger if he tried to find research to disagree with his views, and if he didn't hang gay male parents out to dry. It relies a little too heavily on good writing and not quite enough on strong arguments, but Saletan's analysis are sound, but his position makes his choice of foudational research suspect, since he only reviewed research that seemed to agree with his position. The next time Saletan writes in defense of gay parenting, finding more research that supports the moralists and then analysing it will greatly aid his cause. Otherwise, we'll always keep coming back to the question of whose science do we trust? Ours or theirs?

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