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  1. Where do I sign up to “glitter bomb” pesky anti-gay politicians?

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  3. Just a short time left to sign the petition against the Ugandan ‘anti-gay’ bill!

    To read more: http://www.timeslive.co.za/africa/article1059406.ece/Ugandan-lawmakers-hold-hearings-on-anti-gay-bill

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  4. Important conversations to be had about intimacy and sex in the queer community

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  5. Every week I receive e-mails from Change.org, which is a site that hosts petitions that ask for some sort of social, sometimes political, change. This week the e-mail that I received call for a mass of signatures in support of McDonalds employees to be held accountable for the violence perpetrated against a trans woman. Watching the video is extremely painful, and it makes me think that my pain is only a taste of the pain that the woman in the video experienced. Immediately upon watching the video I asked myself, what all was exactly behind the motivation of this attack. Why were these women so angry?? The only answer that I have, and one that is commonly given in cases of hate-inspired violence, is that people fear what they don’t understand. SO what will it take for there to be an understanding? How do we educate those who don’t want to be educated?

    Apart from the physical violence that the woman in the video suffered, I think about the bystanders who, were in essence, a part of this hurtful action of hate and fear. I think this is what most surprised me about the video—the ability for people able to stand around and watch the actions that unfolded in front of their eyes. One person even had the wherewithal to videotape what he saw happening in front of him, without once trying to step in.

    While I know that people across the country have been and will be impacted by the press surrounding this violence, I question what will happen once the shock factor wears off. This is slightly surprising after the wake, and continuing occurrences, of the suicides of young LGBTQ or hetero-identified folks who have taken their lives due to the verbal, emotional, and/or physical violence that they endured. If anything, I am happy that a video was the supporting evidence in this story; being able to have seen the violence felt much more palpable, so in this way it might have been able to impact the general public more than usual.

    This is definitely an issue to involve oneself in, and I think it is important that McDonald’s be brought into the situation, considering it is one of the largest employers in the world. It should do all it can to create policies that would support trans-identified people who may work at, eat at, or be present within McDonald’s.

    Sign the petition below to hold the McDonald’s employees who were present accountable! 

    http://www.change.org/petitions/demand-that-the-employees-on-duty-at-mcdonalds-be-held-responsible-in-the-beating-of-a-trans-woman?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&alert_id=cDhXeCerHO_bGxMiLyUEK

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  6. While recently perusing art exhibit in NYC, I came across this set of pictures, entitled Being Gay in Uganda, featured in an art exhibit at the Open Society Institute in New York City. Next to each photograph, the subject shares their experiences, their interactions, and harrowing accounts of what being gay in Uganda is like for them. It’s moving to see this snapshot of their queer experience in Uganda, for many of them provide some example of what they endure daily.

    A couple of months ago, I read about the violence and hardships facing the LGBT population in Uganda and South Africa. What I learned impacted me, but this photo exhibit really personalizes the experiences of this population. It reminds me of the differences in the way in which certain countries think about this “issue”. Uganda is pushing for an Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would in essence criminalize people’s very identities. The USA is a country that, though it struggles, in some places more than others, can still be considered progressive enough to provide some type of space for the LGBTQ population. I can’t imagine having part of my very identity outlawed in a decidedly blatant way. 

    While I do love this photo exhibit, I raise issue with the photographer not being from Uganda. What’s the deal with people coming from outside of Africa to photograph various social issues. It feels like exploitation of a sort, even if the artist had the best intentions. I’m wondering what support he might be providing them, if any. I also wonder if he might be profitting from this experience at all.

    If you’re in NYC, you should check out the exhibit!

    "The Moving Walls 18 exhibition is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. by appointment only. To schedule a visit, please contact the Documentary Photography Project at (212) 547-6909." -Open Society Institute

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  7. This article/video really hit close to home for me. I was sitting in school today and my boo turns toward me and asks if I’ve heard of the queer-related violence that took place in Austin. When I said that I hadn’t, she sent me the link to an article about the incident that occurred. The reason this article hit home for me was because my family (besides a few individuals) isn’t necessarily the most queer-friendly, then again I haven’t really given them the choice to being accepting yet. But that doesn’t stop me from fearing this. If I were to envision the worst way in which my coming out to my mom/family would play out, this is what it could possibly look like? Terrifying.

    The public outcry has been large, mostly spearheaded by LGBTQ groups in Austin, Texas (with support from other orgs around the country). In issues like this one, the question is was the action motivated by the LGBTQ aspect of the situation. In this case, it was reported that the violence was inspired by the relationship between two women. I think that news reports (TV and internet) sufficed in terms of communicating the issue, but not necessarily in terms of personalizing it for people. I think this is always the issue with articles focused on hate crimes.

    In looking into the eyes of women pictured above, I feel nothing but sadness. My question is how can we personalize this for the majority of people who may come across this story? Is that even realistic?

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  8. Kobe Bryant is the younger generation’s Michael Jordan, so what happens when he, in all his sports start glory, employs anti-gay slurs in an offensive way? What exactly are his duties when it comes to the perpetuation of sexually oppressive language? I can only imagine what Kobe Bryant’s agent (or PR person) thought when this news went public. While it’s big news, this does NOT surprise me whatsoever. Men’s sports has always been a cesspool of homophobic actions and languages. Homophobic slurs are becoming more and more embedded in our culture that I’m unable to distinguish a source. What would be amazing would be a conversation about homophobia among the NBA’s top players (and biggest role models). I think about everything that keeps this from happening, and realize that the players have no real incentive to do this. If they support LGBTQ-identified people, the ‘public’ will hate them. If they outwardly don’t support this population, the ‘public’ might hate them (but not as intensely).

    This touches on the cultural implications of Kobe Bryant’s use of homophobic remarks. He stated that his remark should not have been taken literally, and that he will fight having to pay the fine. By not taking his comment literally, does Kobe mean that he didn’t mean to call the referee a word that is commonly used for insults? Or did he mean that he did not want to assume anything about the referee’s sexual identity? 

    I’m happy that the NBA is addressing this in a way that is making this incident very public—for the use of the f- word and for Kobe to public apologize for using a word, whose use, impacts many. May the Great Power in the Universe, protect the first openly gay NBA player to come out while IN the NBA.

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  9. This recent case, originating in New Jersey, has caused quite a necessary stir regarding the rights of trans individuals. Does an employer have the right to ask if you if you were born differently than the way you presented at that time. I’m surprised by the role that the government played in Mr. Devoureau’s case. Not that it should have to, but his male-ness is supported on multiple levels by the federal government and by the Georgia state government. I hope this affords Mr. Devoureau and his lawyers an easier time fighting the blatant trans-phobic actions taken against him.

    I must admit that I’m surprised this is the first case of a lawsuit challenging discriminatory practices barring trans-men from “male only jobs”. I’d never considered the referencing of specific jobs as “male only jobs”, due to the fact that I’ve only seen the existence of male-dominated jobs. I think though, there is a disconnect from trans issues and the media. While it is being reported on, it’s not really being digested by people in a way that could help the issue at hand. I think this is largely due to the public’s ignorance around the issue. Though many are familiar with the LGBT acronym, significantly fewer stories highlight the challenges of trans-identified people. 

    Click the picture to read more from the New York Time article that was published about Mr. Devoureau. If anything, it does say something that the New York Times is covering the story.

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  10. FIRST OPENLY GAY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE.

    Now this news is very, very exciting. Fred Karger is this country’s first openly gay presidential candidate. As excited as I am about this new development, I’m wondering exactly how this plays out (meaning I have an idea). I truly admire Karger for taking this chance and putting himself out there to come under heavy fire from anti-gay groups. In just looking at Donald Trump’s (another prez. candidate) statements regarding gay marriage, it’s evident that people around the country are not even at the place where they think our potential future president should be out and open with whoever might be in his life. Historically, especially since the invention of the TV, we’ve seen every single president being visibly married. The public calls for a ‘leader’ who is committed to his family, and that usually means in committed heterosexual relationship.

    So, even just in thinking about the possibility of Karger being our president, that’s simply one of the unfortunate road blocks that comes to my mind. 

    In looking at him on the video, I can’t help but think that he looks the way that a president should look—like a young and thin FDR with a little bit of Jimmy Carter thrown in there. Seriously. This gets me thinking about what it means to look like ‘president material’. Does it necessitate mostly white hair, maybe glasses, White man? 

    Well, nonetheless, strides have been made. I just hope forward progress continues.

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