Wanda Sykes On Prop 8

November 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm (LGBT, movies/video/clips, neat things, politics)

Via Feministe:

Rock on!


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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 11/9/08

November 9, 2008 at 12:48 pm (injustice, LGBT, politics, racism, sexism)

1. Prop 8 passes.

2. A ton of links on Prop 8 and “The Rush to Blame the Brown People” at Alas.

3. “Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress.”

4. The Netherlands drafts bill that would force “unfit” mothers to take contraception.

5. The new administration’s non-discriminatory employment policy.

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November 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm (amazing things, LGBT, politics)

I’m sort of confused about what this means. It’s a site launched by the office of President-Elect Barack Obama (!), where you can read about our soon-to-be administration’s agenda and policies, share your experience of the election and campaign, and, most startlingly, submit your ideas about how we should deal with the myriad challenges we face.

I feel dizzy, almost giddy. It’s starting to sink in. I live in a republic! The US government is my government! Oh my God!

And I know it’s trivial, but I was so grateful that Obama mentioned gay people in is speech — included us in the list along with people of different races and people with and without disabilities, where we damn well belong.* Included us with respect, and without being asked to. That was an amazing moment for me.

If you missed the speech, you can watch it here.

(Look, I know Obama is a moderate. I’m sure there will be disappointments in addition to joys. But for now, I want to revel in this. I was eleven when George W. Bush took office — I cannot remember having a government of which I was consciously aware that was not utterly abhorrent to me, that was not overtly hostile to my rights, my very existence. So if Obama’s administration can even manage to be decent, I’m likely to be very glad, at least until the shock of it wears off.)

* And where many other folks who weren’t mentioned damn well belong, too.

Cross-posted at Revolutionary Act.

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Five Links That are Actually Important, 10/11/08

October 11, 2008 at 11:05 am (injustice, LGBT, politics)

1. An intriguing new project: the Farmer-Veteran Coalition.

2. Right-wing terrorism in the U.S.

3. The Myth of Democracy (Or: Why To Vote For Obama) — Jeff on the realities of the US governmental system.

4. It’s official: Palin abused power.

5. Connecticut Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage.

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To End Sexism, We May Need More Gender, Not Less

October 1, 2008 at 9:51 am (feminism, LGBT)

I have a new post up over at Revolutionary Act: A Just Gender Culture, Or, To End Sexism, We May Need More Gender, Not Less. Please do take a look if that’s in line with your interests. Here is a bit to get you started:

Since I started getting heavily involved in feminism, I’ve had many different takes on gender and sexism. I’ve felt, at different times and to varying degrees, that gender itself is the problem — that this whole business of differentiating between men and women, between femininity and masculinity, is, at best, unnecessary, and at worst, catastrophically damaging. I no longer feel this way. While sexism and oppression are poisons to human happiness, I’ve come to see gender as a critically important part of identity and culture.

I do not know anyone to whom her gender is not a significant, meaningful part of how she sees herself. What that gender is varies widely, from masculine men and feminine women, to masculine women and feminine men, to something in between, to something that changes, to something outside of that, and more. Regardless of what someone’s gender identity is, regardless of whether it conforms to the dominant culture or not, people seem to strongly identify with their own. Gender is a very significant part of most of our senses of self — even those of us who are feminists or otherwise anti-sexism, and/or who don’t fit well into the gender system.

If you’ve ever had someone misread your gender, you probably have a very strong sense of what I’m talking about here. I’m a lesbian, the kind people can spot, and, as a I recently explained here (and do read that post; it’s very much relevant to this one), I sometimes feel like I’m lost in a quagmire between typical feminine presentation and identity and butch presentation and identity. I’m not butch, but I often don’t feel like a “real” girl, and I’ve sometimes had people tell me as much. I’m very happy being female and being read as female, but my queer identity is also very important to me. This ambiguity makes for a lot of misreading, which seems to scatter about equally between people misreading me as butch and people misreading me as straight and/or (for lack of a better word) femme. (Apologies for conflating gender and sexual orientation… They are, of course, often intertwined.) When this happens, in either direction, my heart sinks: I feel like I’ve failed at gender presentation. If it happens intensely, I start to feel sick, and start experiencing something like dysphoria. I get dizzy and nauseated, and begin to panic, losing my grip on my sense of self. “Who am I? Where am I?”

It’s an awful, awful feeling to have someone misunderstand your gender. So, I think that people all over and outside of the gender spectrum need cultural acknowledgment of their genders — not just tolerance, but recognition and affirmation. With this in mind, it is my sense that we can make a bigger, better impact on sexism and gender-based oppression by proactively creating more options, more gender designations, and working to make those accepted, than we can by only trying to tear down gender as it currently exists. A truly just gender culture is not a culture without gender, but a culture with respectful and non-coercive gender.

So, what would a just gender culture look like? What would it mean to have gender without gender oppression?

Keep reading.

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 9/27/08

September 27, 2008 at 5:38 pm (frightening things, injustice, LGBT, politics) (, )

1. H.R. 5840- “Capitalizing on Crisis”.

2. Court rules in Diane Schroer’s favor, finding that anti-trans discrimination counts as sex discrimination.

3. Judge bans woman from bearing children.

4. Medics detained and harassed in Galveston.

5. Customs agents now legally allowed to seize, read, and copy travelers’ documents without cause of suspicion.

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 9/15/08

September 15, 2008 at 10:29 am (injustice, LGBT, politics, racism)

1. Jon Stewart- still awesome.

2. Where next? Cedar at Taking Up Too Much Space asks many important questions, including “What do [trans female spectrum folks] need from our allies, and from each other?” Fellow cisgender allies: these are conversations we need to be paying attention to.

3. European Commission approves of Italy’s plan to fingerprint the Roma.

4. Dutch government bans the wearing of burqas near schools.

5. Tu, solo tu — Brownfemipower on why she blogs, and so much more. (Via.)

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In California, A Victory For Equality

May 15, 2008 at 11:52 am (amazing things, LGBT, politics)

A friend of mine just called me and told me the good news: the California Supreme Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage! (The link contains the full transcript of the decision.) The vote was 4:3.


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APA Selects Anti-Trans Extremists To Address “Gender Identity Disorder”

May 12, 2008 at 11:22 am (frightening things, injustice, LGBT, stupidity) (, )

You may or may not have already heard about this particular abhorrence. Briefly, the APA is revising the DSM for a new edition; people have been named to work on committees evaluating the entries for various conditions. One committee will be focusing on sexuality and gender identity issues, addressing the entry for “Gender Identity Disorder,” among other things. Horrifyingly, the committee is populated by the likes of Dr. Kenneth Zucker — the group’s chair, who supports “curing” queer people, from gays and lesbians to transgender people to gender variant kids, and J. Michael Bailey, who has advocated eugenics and thinks it’s entirely moral for parents to “eliminate” an LGBT child. The others on the panel aren’t much better. The afore linked post has the scoop; see also this update with more info.

Once you’ve finished reading, I recommend attempting to quell your nausea by signing the petition asking the APA to remove these bigoted junk scientists from the work group immediately. At the time of this posting, 1393 people have signed.

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World-wide Map of LGBT Rights and Oppression

April 8, 2008 at 10:32 am (injustice, LGBT) (, )

This tool, courtesy of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, is bound to come in handy.

Via Black Looks.

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