June 22, 2019
“Pointing out hypocrisy or craven motivations seems almost beside the point. Yes, Equinox is showcasing an artform pioneered by poor transwomen of color while gentrifying the very neighborhoods they used to live in by building luxury gyms that charge up to $250 in monthly rates. Yes, Essie is simply trying to maximize its profits by expanding its clientele to people who are not women. Yes, Fossil’s website still divides their products into “men’s” and “women’s” despite allegedly helping a nonbinary customer come to terms with their identity. Who cares? There is an unspoken agreement that even savvy consumers who see through the bullshit will at least appreciate the effort required to produce it.” Raytheon said Gay Rights! ( Outline) “Recent years have also seen a blossoming in the smaller worlds of queer communist and socialist politics. Though the scale of US gay rights organizing has atrophied since the victory of the gay marriage campaign, efforts to organize trans and queer people explicitly against capitalism, to think queer freedom alongside communism, are at their most vibrant since the gay liberation era of the early 1970s.” Fifty Years Of Queer Insurgency (Commune) Barbara Smith: Why I left the mainstream Queer rights movement. (NYT) Keep your politics out of my gay rights! (Liquid Flannel Podcast)
NPR's Code Switch team has a list of 14 non-fiction and 14 fiction books for summer reading, ranging from The World According To Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers by Bridgett M. Davis and White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo (forward by Michael Eric Dyson) to No-No Boy by John Okada and Training School for Negro Girls by Camille Acker (all book links go to Goodreads).
"Supposedly you can sweet-talk your plant to greater health — so I screamed at and insulted a plant every day for three weeks, all in the name of science" This....does not quite go as one expected. [more inside]
August 3rd, 1965 saw the brief collision of a handful of people. A local photographer, a hopeful actress, a budding filmmaker, and a failing businessman. They came together, made a sex film, got arrested, and never saw each other again. If life is the sum of one’s choices, their lives were shaped by what happened that summer’s day. The Sexploitation Film Made on a Desert Island in New York City [NSFW]
So what are the difficulties of building a giant shed around an exploded nuclear reactor? How did a small Scottish consultant land work on a critically important international project? And what is it like to work at the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident? [more inside]
Desus and Mero Aren’t Your Parents’ Late-Night Hosts. They've gone from radio bodega boys to webseries stars to Viceland darlings to their current and most prestigious gig to date - but can the stars of the hit podcast Bodega Boys win over a broader—and whiter—audience on Showtime? [more inside]
Strangers: the Syrian diaspora in 19th century New York. While they were predominantly Christian, like the majority of immigrants flooding into the country from other parts of the world, they were Arabs. They spoke Arabic. Their shop signs were in Arabic. They had over 40 local newspapers which were printed in Arabic. Some lasted only a couple issues. Others, like Kawkab America and Al-Hoda, lasted decades, and became debating forums for issues all immigrants faced when they came to the U.S. “They were trying to figure out who they wanted to be in the U.S.,” says Jacobs. “There was a debate in the community about how much of their identity they should give up, how much they should sacrifice to become Americans.” The language they spoke however, often misidentified them as Turks, having come from Ottoman provinces in Syria and Palestine.
The health care system is rife with transphobia. While there has been an expansion in trans training programs for medical providers in recent years, trans people still struggle to find competent basic care, much less trans-specific care. “Trans broken arm syndrome” — a phenomenon where every little ailment, from an infection to a broken arm, is blamed on the hormones many trans people take as a routine part of their transition — is a common occurrence within the medical community....Trump’s proposed ACA rule, and an earlier proposed rule that would allow doctors to make religious objections to providing certain medical treatments, will only exacerbate the medical knowledge gap when it comes to treating trans bodies. Instead of doctors attending training on how to treat trans people with competence, Trump’s rule will allow them to just deny service altogether. Doctors could also condition care on a trans person detransitioning in any state that doesn’t already have trans nondiscrimination protections on the books.
Turn any homophobic corner in Africa and you're guaranteed to run into a delirious celebration of "African culture," but there's nothing African about homophobia. Kamau Muiga writes.
Oscar winner Paul Williams on writing Kermit the Frog’s signature song: “The thing that is so human about the song, and spiritual at the same time, is that it honors the questions, not the answers.” slVanityFair