"While gay and lesbian consumers loved the shout outs in the license plates, straight people would only notice features like a bike rack. Paul Poux, who helped come up with the license plate idea, says he held focus groups with straight audiences where he’d show ads featuring gay couples. Even after an hour of talking about gay issues, they’d think a man was shopping with his uncle." (See also: pinkwashing, pink money.)
Why I Came Out As A Gay Children’s Book Author by Alexander London [Buzzfeed] “What happens if I tell the truth about why I’m not married? What happens if I reveal this part of myself? Does my career in children’s books end? Will teachers and parents look at me askance? Ban my books? Run me out of town as some kind of creep trying to “recruit” or pushing a “gay agenda”? Will I never be invited to another school again?”
Never before has a British ambassador given an interview about being lesbian or gay [...] this is the first full discussion with a member of the press about life as an out-and-proud ambassador. It has taken 25 years for this to even be conceivable – and it isn’t until the end of the interview that the real reason for Gough’s anxiousness emerges.
Resource Guide to Coming Out as Bisexual. A PDF pamphlet released by the Human Rights Campaign for Bisexual Health Awareness Month with the cooperation of BiNet USA, the Bisexual Resource Center, and the Bisexual Organizing Project. [more inside]
The story of two women who set out to have a baby together, and were more successful than they ever imagined.
Her Story is a 6-episode new-media series that looks inside the dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire & identity.The show is co-written, co-produced, and co-starred by writer and One Billion Rising organizer Laura Zak and founder of The Trans 100 and We Happy Trans Jen Richards, and also stars Angelica Ross, founder of Trans Tech Social Enterprises. (CW: One of the side characters is hella transphobic, and there's smatterings of casual transphobia.)
The Danish Girl [YouTube] [Trailer]
The Danish Girl is a 2015 British-American pseudo-biographical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener, Matthias Schoenaerts as Hans Axgil and Ben Whishaw as Henrik.[more inside]
The largest Jewish gay conversion therapy organization, JONAH, was effectively shut down by the SPLC this week. Southern Poverty Law Center attorneys helped establish legal precedent that can be used to successfully sue any conversion therapy practice or organization in the US: as the judge ruled in the case, “the theory that homosexuality is a disorder is not novel but—like the notion that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it—instead is outdated and refuted.” Thus, organizations that offer therapy for something that is not a disorder are visiting fraud upon the public.
Last week, the BBC radio programme Woman’s Hour ran an item on the American documentary film "Do I Sound Gay?" The film explores what’s popularly known as ‘the gay voice’, a way of speaking that identifies a man as gay (though not all gay men have it, and some men who do sound gay are actually straight). The Woman’s Hour feature ranged more widely over the subject of gay language, including a lengthy discussion of Polari (previously: 1, 2). But it was all about the boys–-until, towards the end of the item, the presenter broached the inevitable question: do lesbians also have a language of their own? Nothing comparable to Polari--but we do have some historical evidence of in-group lesbian slang.
The Internet is blowing up over this 70's "radical lesbian separatist" shirt. i-D has the story. [more inside]
Sorry We're Closed is "an awareness project by designer and educator, Kelly Holohan", designed to bring attention to LGBTQ human rights around the world. It's on at the AIGA Philadelphia, but you can see the posters here.
Over the years, gay rodeos have become a centrally welcoming space for LGBTQ people in rural areas and an important place for people of all genders to compete in events which have been historically divided strongly along gender lines (such as bull riding and barrel racing). They've come a long way from their origins as a means of raising money for charity. But the people who participate in gay rodeos are aging and attendence is declining, raising questions about the future of gay rodeo. A new documentary shines a spotlight on this important piece of LGBTQ history.
Mormon Church makes same-sex couples apostates, excludes children from blessings and baptism
More details in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Mormon Church Bleeding Members Over Gay Marriage
More details in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Mormon Church Bleeding Members Over Gay Marriage
It's the 2nd Annual Bisexual Awareness Week. An expansion of International Celebrate Bisexuality Day (Sept. 23) of events, articles, and posts for the week. An infografic of issues (huffpo). The twitter hashtag #biweek. The #StillBisexual video campaign. A pastor talks about coming out (Advocate).
"It's not easy to get different types of people to just organically become friends," [Edward Schiappa, a media studies researcher at MIT] says. So how do you get the benefits of intergroup contact theory in a socially segregated world? That's where television and my good friend the Fresh Prince come in.How Shows Like 'Will & Grace' And 'Black-ish' Can Change Your Brain - Maanvi Singh summarizes research into the potential for more inclusive and diverse television programming to reduce prejudices, for NPR's Codeswitch.
Six people have been stabbed at Jerusalem's Pride Parade following threats from both a Haredi man just released from prison for a similar knife attack at the 2005 Jersusalem Pride parade, and from Lehava, a right-wing Jewish supremacy organization that also held a protest away from the LGBTQ parade route. These knife attacks are unfortunately not the first time LGBTQ Jews have been killed by other Jews; there was a gun attack on the Tel Aviv LGBTQ youth center in 2009 (previously). [more inside]
"While Friday marked a historic victory for the LGBTQ community, it turns out there’s another advancement to celebrate: Last week, the Oxford English Dictionary released a list of 500 new entries, and among the more notable additions was cisgender. The word —which is defined as 'designating a person whose sense of personal identity matches their gender at birth'— is seen as an opposite and complementary term to transgender." Why the Oxford English Dictionary's Addition of Cisgender Matters (Anna Diamond, Slate) [more inside]
Introducing Caitlyn Jenner [Vanity Fair]
Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F. contributing editor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”[more inside]
Nicky Crane: The secret double life of a gay neo-Nazi: He was the British extreme right's most feared streetfighter. But almost right up to his death 20 years ago, Nicky Crane led a precarious dual existence - until it fell dramatically apart. [BBC]
Seattle artist Matthew Offenbacher recently won a $25,000 prize. So he and his partner Jennifer Nemhauser decided to do something revolutionary with it. They bought 7 pieces of art by local female and queer artists and donated it to the Seattle Art Museum for its permanent collection: Deed of Gift.
Bruce Jenner Says He’s Transitioning to a Woman [New York Times]
Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and member of the Kardashian family, ended months of speculation Friday night when he announced during an ABC television special that he identified as a woman and was making the transition from male to female.[more inside]
Drew Riley explores the visibility "explosion" for trans and gender-nonconforming people in gritty, vibrant portraits that capture the eye.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming figures rarely pop from the page quite like they do in artist Drew Riley's new collection Gender Portraits. Painted with splashes of bright color, full of dynamic movement or charged silence, and set against whimsical or brooding backdrops, Riley's portraits are nothing short of arresting. They pull the viewer in for a closer look — which is exactly the response Riley was aiming for, she tells The Advocate.[more inside]
Creating just online social spaces - Aria Stewart, Geek Feminism
"The last two months have seen two Slack chats start to support marginalized groups in the technology field, LGBTQ* Technology and Women in Technology, and we’ve had a lot of discussions about how to run the spaces effectively, not just being a place for those who it says on the tin, but to support, encourage and not be terrible to people who are marginalized in other ways than the one the particular group is trying to represent. "This is a sort of how-to guide for creating a social Slack that is inclusive and just, and a lot of of this will apply to other styles and mediums for interaction."[more inside]
“You Are Welcome Here”: Small Stickers Make a Big Difference for LGBTQ Scientists
Upon entering, I immediately noticed tiny stickers dotting the halls: the iconic WHOI ship, sailing in front of a rainbow sky over the words, “You are welcome here.” I can’t describe how powerful it was to see those welcome messages on the office doors of scientists’ whose work had inspired me to pursue biological oceanography – in a building commemorating an oceanographer, Alfred C. Redfield, who discovered a conserved atomic ratio between carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus that I think about in my research every day. The ship stickers are small, maybe even easy to miss if you’re not attuned, but they packed a punch strong enough to rid me of my worries. I left the Redfield Building with renewed vigor, confident about what I was pursuing, only worried about feet that were literally wet, but not figuratively.
It's a discussion that flared up recently at the house of Jane Addams. "Let’s start with an art history mystery. In 2006, a lifetime after Jane Addams passed away, Lisa Yun Lee took up the position of Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. One day she came across a fetching painting of a brunette in the museum's back offices. But, Lee says, “As soon as I started asking ‘Who is that person in the painting,’ there were hushed tones and confusion. And people said, ‘Well, some people say that it’s Jane Addams’ partner.’ Other people say it’s her biggest business supporter. Other people said, ‘Well, of course. It’s her lesbian lover.’” "
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
The Urban Institute has released (PDF) the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter.
love and marriage in myanmar: celebrating same-sex relationships in a nation that deems them illegal [more inside]
"It's Schrödinger's cat, unknown unless I examine it. Boy day or girl day? Let me open the box and check. These days it's usually a boy day, but there have been long stretches of time when I'm usually girl, and I'm sure there will be again. Sometimes it's neither; I open the box and can't tell whether the cat's alive or not. And frequently, it's both at once. A tuxedo cat, black AND white all at the same time, not sometimes black and sometimes white." Writer Naamah Darling describes identifying as genderfluid. [more inside]
"To me this intersection [between food justice, fat-positive politics, and LGBTQ politics] seems clear as I live in a community where food is not easily accessible and I’m a fat dyke… We can simply look at the numbers and see that folks in poverty and are classified as food-insecure often have greater percentages of fat folks in their numbers. Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks. I’ve been doing food work with street-based queer youth for almost five years now. But beyond just the numbers we share this similar struggle, this fight for what’s just. We are all part of groups that are marginalized by society and many of us are doing work in many of these spaces."
Despite the ongoing challenges, Mallon said now that the door has opened, other transgender seniors who need sex reassignment surgery shouldn't hesitate. As she savored her new beginning, Mallon mused about all the fun things she looked forward to: swimming comfortably in a pool and going on some dates. "I'm just a normal everyday woman who is bound to get into trouble," she said. "I'm so flirtatious, it's ridiculous."Sex Reassignment Surgery at 74: Medicare Win Opens Door for Transgender Seniors The ban was reversed in May 2014.
The Los Angeles Men's Central Jail’s gay wing was set up in response to a 1985 ACLU lawsuit, which aimed to protect homosexual inmates from a higher threat of physical violence than heterosexuals faced. But something unexpected has happened. The inmates are safer now, yes. But they’ve surprised everyone, perhaps even themselves, by setting up a small and flourishing society behind bars. Once released, some re-offend in order to be with an inmate they love. There are hatreds and occasionally even severe violence, but there is also friendship, community, love — and, especially, harmless rule-bending to dress up like models or decorate their bunks, often via devious means. LA Weekly looks inside MCJ, with an exclusive video the unique situation, from Voice Media Group. For further reading on the unique K6G unit, see Two Models of the Prison: Accidental Humanity and Hypermasculinity in the L.A. County Jail (PDF), and Governmental 'Gaydar': Race, Sexual Identity and Incarceration (PDF), both scholarly articles that study this part of MCJ.
Sunday evening, some of the most prominent organizations that work against LGBT equality joined together in Houston, Texas to rally in defense of “religious freedom.” The event included screening of parts of One Generation Away; Santorum's Docudrama comparing the plight of American Christians to those suffered under Nazi Germany. And a Duck Dynasty star telling Christians that equal rights would lead to them serving prison time. Meanwhile, Houston's LGBT community countered with Positive Impact Day collecting winter clothes.
Satyamev Jayate is an award-winning Indian talk show hosted by Aamir Khan. In this episode, he discusses sexuality with members of the LGBTQ community (1:10:39, SLYT, Subtitled).
"Johnnie Phelps, a woman sergeant in the army, thought, “There was a tolerance for lesbianism if they needed you. The battalion I was in was probably about ninety-seven percent lesbian.” Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”" [via (via TheWhelk)] [more inside]
Full Doc - 1:16:27 - slyt: "Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Many members of the ball culture community consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America."
In the wake of the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby ruling (previously), Gordon College -- one of the most conservative colleges in Massachusetts -- became the only higher educational institution to request a presidential exemption from current nondiscrimination laws against LGBTQ people. This action has not been without controversy, both from within the college community and without. Most notably, Salem mayor Kim Driscoll has terminated the school's contract to maintain the Old Town Hall building due to the school's discriminatory stance (PDF).
"Why don't you read your own book, and actually follow the teachings to the letter of GOD? And learn to support and love?" [SLYT] Drag queen Mama Tits spontaneously walks up to religious anti-gay demonstrators and confronts them at the recent 40th annual Seattle Pride Parade. Demonstrators were attempting to block the start of the parade.
Big Game Theory! Board games that tell stories. The Bored Gaymer. A girl likes games. HiveGod's Yell Matrix. QWERTYUIOP. 365 Days of Gaming. Those are a few of the most favorited current blogs on BoardGameGeek, and these are a few of their most favorited posts. [more inside]
The stirring story of Ryland Whittington's family. (SLYT)
Yesterday, twenty three Columbia University students filed a federal lawsuit, alleging that the school "allows accused perpetrators of sexual assault to remain on campus, has too-lenient sanctions for perpetrators, discourages victims from reporting assault and denies accommodations to students with mental health disabilities (which they say result from their attacks)." The complaint is the first of its kind, linking Title IX and Clery complaints with alleged violations of Title II, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides that schools must provide accommodations based on disability status. [more inside]
"We’ve run off at the mouth, said things we shouldn’t have said. We’ve run around like a peacock all over the platform. We have said things because we were playing to the home team, and they all liked our act. On this issue, nobody likes our act, except the redneck factor." That was Pastor Greg Belser speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention's first ever conference on human sexuality currently being held in Nashville. As promising as those remarks are, however, Slate notes that the SBC still has a long way to go.
The Identity Project "seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality." Accompanying each portrait are words the subjects prefer to use to describe themselves -- "Boi," "Provocateur Lesbian Dandy," "Queer Femme Beefcake," "Gold Star Gay Wife," "Gay Masculine of Center," "Lezzer Queer Bossy Mama," "Inbetweener," "Legally Married." By San Francisco photographer Sarah Deragon. [more inside]
Juno star Ellen Page announced she is gay during a speech at a human rights conference in Las Vegas on Friday. [SLYT] Transcript of her remarks here. [PDF]
Facebook now offers its users "Custom" gender options and a choice of what pronouns to be referred to by. (I guess this makes MetaFilter a trend setter?)
Rory and Paris: The Real Gilmore Girls
I am going to make you want something that you may or may not have already known that you wanted. I am going to make you realize that the real love story at the heart of Gilmore Girls took place between two tightly-wound, highly-strung, overachieving rivals-turned-roommates who wore matching ties and skirts and engaged in sexually charged fencing sessions. The mutual respect, admiration, and trust that sprang up between Rory Gilmore and Paris Gellar was hard-fought and slowly earned; theirs was a friendship forged and refined slowly over the years. They grew into the shape of one another. Put aside your dreams of Jess, that human sneeze; let Logan sail away on his yacht of indifference into the sunset: Rory/Paris are endgame.Femslash Friday is a series on The Toast ... [more inside]
... is a time to commemorate past victims of violence — and rededicate ourselves to ending it. [TW: brief descriptions of some murders.]