Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't Stop the Serenity!

That's where I'll be for most of the day. Watching these awesome peoples:

And these big damn heroes:


No Tweeting, no blogging. Have fun today y'all, tell you about it when I get back!

Monday, June 29, 2009

BART Cop Thought Oscar Grant was a "Bitch-ass Nigger"

This case gets better and better.

BART cop Anthony Pirone called Oscar Grant a "Bitch-ass Nigger," just before fellow BART cop Johannes Mehserle shot Grant to death as he lay face down on the ground, according to the Chron. Pirone was caught hurling the racial epithet on tape, and the bombshell revelation may further help explain how a routine arrest suddenly turned deadly. Pirone, however, maintains that he was merely repeating what Grant had said to him moments before. There is only one problem: Grant can't be heard on the tapes, while Pirone can. Moreover, Pirone has a history of not telling the truth.


via the East Bay Express

Supreme Court Rules for the White Firefighters

*sigh*

We analyzed The New York Times' coverage of this story a couple months ago, well the verdict is in from the SCOTUS and it's about as white privileged as one might have feared.

[Justice Kennedy] concluded that city officials had no "strong basis" for believing the test was flawed and unfair, and therefore, they had no legal basis for setting aside the results.


No strong basis like the city being something like 70% Black and yet not a single Black person passed the test. Nope, the huge disparity isn't good enough.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking for the liberal dissenters, said it was understandable the white firefighters would "attract the court's empathy. But they had no vested right to a promotion, and no person has received a promotion in preference to them."

Ginsburg said the court's conservative majority ignored the history of discrimination against blacks and Latinos in the New Haven Fire Department.


LOL, the "liberal dissenters," thanks for showing us just where YOUR loyalties lie LA Times! Right, they're "liberal dissenters" not just dissenters, and they're dissenting because they're liberal, because liberals really enjoy participating in "reverse discrimination", right LA Times?

Oy.

That's not to let the city off the hook though. They've largely framed this as "we're afraid of lawsuits!" Why? Why couldn't they frame it as "this test clearly shows a racial bias and we're not ok with that"? Because the SCOTUS decision clearly hinges on the way they presented their case. And in the meantime they tried not to support racism in hiring but did just that by reinforcing stereotypes of people of color as irrational, "reverse racist" and sue happy.

Just seems like a lot of failing all around.

Except for Justice Ginsburg, because she's awesome.

And on that note, the people using this as some sort of "omg a ruling Sotomayor was a part of got over turned she must suck!" hey guess what, the guy she'll be replacing voted with Ginsburg and dissented. Being on the losing side of a 5-4 decision is hardly some catastrophic black mark.

Update on NOWHC and Trans Women

@ Questioning Transphobia
Just wanted to let y’all to know that New Orleans Women’s Health Clinic have gotten back to me. I’m not sure what I can really make public right now (an email is not a press release yeah?), but we are talking.


And on a completely related note, voz is working on a media project.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Relationships with Celebrities and Social Justice Burn-out

A largely self-reflective post...

The thing is: celebrities, they belong to you...to be a writer, an artist, a musician, or any sort of entertainer, is to give people little shreds of yourself - over, and over, and over again...even if you're putting on an act that has a lot of creators, it's still a document of you, what you said or did or how you moved or how you sounded at a certain time; it doesn't exist without you.

If it works - this process of giving yourself to people - it works only because those pieces of you speak to people: they allow people to project their own meanings, or feelings, or needs, or actual or desired identities, onto you. Every single person who takes up that little shred of your life will end up putting more of themselves than of you into it (because they don't know you, obviously) but what they end up with, in the end, is a version of you: a mental construct, maybe (generously) 5% actual You-the-Person and 95% You-as-Composed-of-Associations-and-Projections, some chimerical weird imaginary friend who somehow carries all of the feelings of solace or joy or excitement that they got from your work, and toward whom they feel all the kinship or gratitude or friendliness anyone would naturally feel toward someone who gave them all this, who gave it over and over, saying, implicitly: for you, for you, this is all for you, I love you. Of course, of course, they care about you. You, the Celebrity; You, the Imaginary Friend. Even if you might not actually be able to stand them. Even if they might not actually be able to stand you. Even if you are nothing like what they imagine.


This is a portion of a piece by Tiger Beatdown in reflection on Michael Jackson's passing. And it's a really good piece, and I highly recommend you read it, but the portion I highlighted is what got me thinking, and it got me thinking on an MJ unrelated note.

I guess I have no way to know if my relationship with celebrity is the same or different from other people's. Judging from the outpouring of fans to 'Cons, the proliferation of fan websites, "Fuck Yeah So-and-So" Tumblrs, etc. I'd say it's the same as others. But I'd forgotten for a bit what the fan obsession was like. I remember now, thanks to Joss Whedon's actors. And that is especially appropriate cuz I think my first ones all revolved around sci-fi (Star Trek: TNG and The X-Files) unless they revolved around music (my longest standing, for well over a decade now; Green Day).

What I'd forgotten is how liberating and yet consuming celebrity obsessions are. Sady calls them an "imaginary friend" and yes, yes, that's exactly what you are. You end up feeling like you have a relationship to these people. You see them on interviews and think well "that's really them, they're not acting". But of course they are. I've known actors. I was a drama geek in high school (backstage techie mostly, but I've acted and sung for audiences too).

There are, in my experience, two kinds of performers. The ones who act with their hearts on their sleeves and are very genuine, and the ones who are people you might never really know. Of course the trick to maintaining a fan base is to seem like you're an open book, even if you're not. And the tricksy ones are very, very, good at that, as a general rule. Still, I think you can pick the more genuine ones out. Going back to Joss Whedon, his works are huge at 'Cons, thus his actors go to them. But not all his actors. I don't think Sarah Michelle Geller ever stepped foot in one. But the ones that are MY imaginary friends, they did and still do go.

Not only that but MY imaginary friends do crazy shit like Tweet their exact location or the name of the bar they're at and the city they're in while at it. There's something reciprocal there. They thrive off of us as much as we do them. Of course, we are a mass of faces to them, they are a singular person to us, and there's a certain amount of dehumanization in that, from a fan perspective. But there's definitely something reciprocal. It's obvious at concerts. The energy that flows back and forth at a good concert, gathering in the crowd, projected to the band, gathered by the band, projected back to the crowd...that's what keeps you dancing long after you want to sit back down, and the same must be true for the people on stage.

OK where the hell am I going with these observations... This work that I do, it's fucking exhausting. And let's be perfectly frank, my aunt's death was fucking exhausting in it's own right, and the circumstances surrounding it are right in line with the fucking darkness we're always wading in.

Renee at Womanist Musings, among MANY others but I recall her post off the top of my head, have talked about allies walking away before... Yeah. At some point in the last two weeks I have hit that wall. I can see how it happens. Like many of the WOC I've read about this sort of thing from though, I don't have a choice, really, whether I keep going or not.

I mean, I guess I do... I could lose myself in the rules of the Kyriarchy again (hell; white and beauty privilege!). I play that game OK. Good enough to get by... But not really. Something always outs me as the deviant I am. But I could melt into the background and try. (And full disclosure, I OF COURSE deserve no fucking cookies for NOT doing so.)

This burn out hit right at the time Can't Stop the Serenity was coming around. Perfect time to take a step back, watch some Firefly and gear up for geek convos galore and sing-a-longs. And this converges with Renee pestering me to take up Twitter (thanks again btw) and my knowing Felicia Day has one and adding her and, hold on, very soon after she tells us Nathan Fillion has joined! And really, rather suddenly I find myself in my first full on celebrity crush in quite a while.

And it's so much more...you know...LIGHT (in more than one way) than delving into the darkness of people's souls (which, let's be honest, is what us social justice types are doing, isn't it? we see some ugly shit, in each other and ourselves and the world at large, and on a regular basis, like EVERY DAY). And it's weirdly fulfilling to indulge in this because...there's that reciprocity. That weird give and take. Because they do, like Sady says, they, these celebrities, give and give and give of themselves, for us, for me. Not just their success rides on them doing so, but, I think, from those I know with the drive to perform, a very primal need compels them too.

Of course, they disappoint us too. I wouldn't have two already in a series of posts on "People I love Who Do Shit I Hate" otherwise. Hell, Nate is in that first post! But it's still a refreshing break. Because you can retreat into your little brain, into your imagination, because, like Sady said, 95% of what these people are to us are our own projections anyway, they are what we want them to be. And our brains are so awesome that it can SEEM very real, like the utter infatuation of falling in love before you REALLY know a person. Similar dynamics at work, I think. And like with falling in love, the more you indulge, the more you WANT to indulge...

So, anyway...I might be in a cycle of re-centering right now, and didn't want to just let myself fade away without saying a thing (if that is in fact what happens which I'm not at all sure of). There has been so much going on in the world, blogging and outside, that I've been putting up a lot of links lately and letting them speak for themselves. I do believe in spreading the good words and works of others. It's a function of ally-hood, imo, to ring to your audience what they might not otherwise see. But things might slow down a bit as I center myself again and perhaps cultivate my specific point of view for this blog a bit more. What I won't do, is clutter this blog with frivolous posts because that's how I'm feeling atm, that's just not what I'm doing here. But if random pictures of art and cool quotes and good looking celebrity men sound entertaining, check out my Tumblr; Rags 'N' Bones.

But you know, probably I just need to come up for breath for a minute, and will be right back to it tomorrow...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Well, Some Good News!

The Jena 6 Are Free!

Oakland, CA- The organization that led the online mobilization in support of the Jena Six today applauded news that five of the young men have pleaded no contest to greatly reduced charges—a development the group called a just resolution to the racially-charged case. Though the defendants had initially been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy, they ultimately pleaded no contest to simple battery, and will serve a sentence of just 7 days of probation.

ColorOfChange.org said Friday that the plea deal marked an acknowledgement by officials that the Louisiana justice system initially treated the then-teenage boys too harshly, privileging white students’ accounts of a schoolyard fight over those of black students in the largely segregated town of Jena.

“Today’s plea deal shows that the original charges in the case were unfair and vastly overblown,” said James Rucker, ColorOfChange.org’s executive director. “The story of the Jena 6 was an extreme example of what can happen when a justice system biased against black boys operates unchecked. But it’s also an example of what can happen when hundreds of thousands of people across the country stand up to challenge unequal justice. Together, we drew the country’s attention to this case and raised the money necessary to fund a strong legal defense.”


More at the link! w00t!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Suspects in Dragging Freed

h/t Renee

“A Black man’s life is still not worth a white man’s life in Paris, Texas,” said activist Anthony Bond. “I am 55 years old and I know racism when I see it. Paris, Texas, is eaten up with racism.”
Bond was among 300 people who protested June 8 at the courthouse in Paris after the special prosecutor suddenly dropped murder charges against two white men accused of murdering a Black youth last September.

Jacqueline McClelland, mother of the dragging<br>victim, speaks to rally. She issurrounded by<br>members of the New Black Panther Party,<br>Nation of Islam, TarrantCounty Local<br>Organizing Committee and the NAACP.
Jacqueline McClelland, mother of the dragging
victim, speaks to rally. She is surrounded by
members of the New Black Panther Party,
Nation of Islam, Tarrant County Local
Organizing Committee and the NAACP.
The New Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality organized the rally.

Brandon McClelland’s mangled body was found on Sept. 16, 2008, on a country road. Authorities estimated that it had been dragged more than 70 feet.
McClelland’s family and members of the Black community who attended the protest stressed that the dismissals were the real injustice, and another example of racial inequality in Paris, a town with a long history of violent racism.

Shannon Finley and Charles Crostley, the two white men who had been arrested for McClelland’s murder, walked out of jail on June 4 with no restrictions.

At the courthouse rally, where a monument to the Confederacy dominates the lawn, McClelland’s mother and father spoke to the crowd through tears. Jackie McClelland said the dropped charges show that the justice system treats Blacks and whites in Paris unequally.

“I said from the start they were going to sweep this under the rug,” she said. “And nine months later, that’s exactly what happened. This was a hate crime. We couldn’t even have an open casket for my son.”

“What if it was your son? Would you fight for your kid?” said Bobby McCleary, McClelland’s father. “I miss that one word my son used to say: Pops. He didn’t call me Dad. He called me Pops.”

Rock Banks, who said he was a “grand titan” in the East Texas Ku Klux Klan, angered the crowd during the rally. He held up a small patch displaying a Nazi-era Iron Cross. After a near confrontation, he was forced to leave.

Activists vowed to get the Department of Justice to take an interest in the case. They have begun writing letters to the White House and Attorney General Eric Holder. “It’s going to be a huge campaign to get the attorney general involved,” said Deric Muhammad of the Nation of Islam in Houston. “They released two killers on a maybe. They released two killers on a might be. They released two killers on an if.”

The district attorney released Finley and Crostley after defense attorneys suddenly produced a truck driver who said he may have accidentally hit McClelland. The district attorney had given the truck driver immunity for his statement.

Protesters carried signs saying, “We Want Justice,” and “Where is the Justice for Brandon?” Using a bullhorn, organizers led chants of “Black Power,” and “No Justice, No Peace.”

A national rally to protest the dragging death of McClelland is planned for July 21, the day that the murder trial had been scheduled to begin.

Paris also made national news in 2007 when an African-American student, Shaquanda Cotton, was sentenced to seven years in a Texas Youth Commission jail for pushing a teacher’s aide. Months earlier, the same judge had given a white teen probation for burning her family’s house down.

Cotton was finally freed after a national campaign on her behalf.

Paris is located in East Texas, known for its long history of racism and Ku Klux Klan activities. In 1998 another Black man, James Byrd Jr., was dragged to death in Jasper, 200 miles south of Paris.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Paris was the site of one of the country’s most notorious “spectacle” lynchings in 1893, when 10,000 people gathered to watch the torture and burning of Henry Smith, a Black man who was accused of killing the 3-year-old daughter of a white policeman.

Smith had fled to a small town near Hope, Ark., but was caught and brought back to Paris by train. Word traveled that he had been brought back and spectators came from miles around, using “special excursion trains” to travel from Dallas.

Smith was placed on top of a wagon and paraded around the town square, then taken to a prairie south of the Texas & Pacific railroad depot, where scaffolding had been built for the occasion.
Ida B. Wells cited this case in “The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States,” printed in 1895, which documented her research on and campaign against lynching.

Three decades later, in 1920, a Paris mob killed brothers Herman and Irving Arthur, Black sharecroppers, who were accused of killing their white landlords.

The brothers, who claimed self-defense, were taken from the Lamar County Jail to the fairgrounds where, according to the Dallas Morning News, they were chained to a flagpole and burned. The mob then dragged their bodies through the Black neighborhood of Paris.

New Black Panther Party organizer Sister Krystal Muhammad told Workers World the group is getting endorsers and organizing around the state for the demonstration on July 21. “We will not stop organizing until there is justice for Brandon. Racist murderers cannot be allowed to kill with impunity!”


Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trans Inclusive ENDA Introduced

Link!

Yesterday the Trans inclusive version of ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) was put forward once again in the House of Representatives by Barney Frank (and with bi-partisan support).

Last time we rode this train, trans people got thrown under it to get the bill passed for the LGB communities.

Hopefully, this time will not be a repeat.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Links!

My weekly Round up of interesting links from the last week!

ICE to Receive Expanded Powers in Drug Offenses

The Obamas: Just like us!

Salon Says Your Disabling Pain is Imaginary

Immigrant woman’s baby taken away because she couldn’t communicate with hospital staff

Venezuela, in 2002, Pioneered the Events in Iran in 2009

Test That Found Widespread Unconscious Racial Bias Validated

But We’re Not Talking About Blacks

What Are The Yogyakarta Principles?

Bad Apples in A Decaying Orchard

Court Sticks Mom of 4 with 2 Million Dollar Fine for File-sharing

64 Word For Aung San Suu Kyi

fluency and coalition
We as a society give so much more credit to a white person who is fluent in a third world or people of color language, cultural style and lifestyle than we give to a person of color or third world person who learns intimately a white person’s language and cultural style.


as far as the world is concerned, its almost like it didnt happen. for gazans, its like it never ended

Invisible People

Immigrant Narratives : Choose Your Mother or Your Child

non-violence, palestine, and land

Banning the Burqa in France

Feminism: The White Women Are Chatting

WOC erasure at Civil Rights game

some posts about the iranian protests

Publishing from the Margins

excerpts from cynthia mckinney

simple health care

No Country for Men and Fathers?

Unauthorized Youth Rise Against Oppression Nationwide

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Incite!, New Orleans Womens Health Clinic and the Exclusion of Trans-Women

Well this isn't a post I ever thought I'd write... And I'll be honest, I'm hesitant to even write it. I feel like I'm on the wrong side of the fence, of ALL the fences, for this discussion. But an ally has to put her money where her mouth is when asked to, right? Right.

So. There's a bunch of shit going on right now. Many of you have probably heard about it already. Certainly if you're on my Twitter feed you have. But for those who haven't, a bit of background: the New Orleans Womens Health Clinic came into being in the wake of hurricane Katrina (and I asked for donations for them here, as well as donated myself, as hurricane Gustav looked to make a repeat of that disaster).

In their mission statement it says: "NOWHC provides sexual and reproductive health services to all women regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual preference, gender identity and expression, ability, faith, income level, citizenship status, work sector, or age – in a caring, respectful, and confidential environment."

Sounds, like, perfect, right?

But then: "We are currently not able to provide care to trans people who were male assigned at birth or who have had genital sex reassignment surgery. Please call for referrals."

This discrepancy was brought to light by Queen Emily, a trans woman of color who lives in New Orleans and was looking for health services.

Naturally, there was an outcry. An outcry which has taken several forms. The first reaction of some has been to want to defend Incite! and NOWHC, others have called for accountability via AMC which is happening very soon, and others have asked for those with connections to Incite! to help them get a meeting with those organizers. I strongly support those last two proposals, and I also want to stress that this is a discussion that really needs to center trans women of color. Because a lot of the conversations I have been reading, honestly? just haven't done that. This is also part of the reason I was hesitant to post, I'm not sure if another cis (especially white and cis) woman's voice is what this discussion needs, but voz_latina asked me to help spread the word about her proposal and so...here I am.

And, because as bfp reminded me on Twitter, there are serious and real life *consequences* for NO trans and cis women of color because of what actually happens at NOWHC from here on out. And yes, there really, really, are. And I think both the AMC proposal as well at the NY meeting proposal actually propel us forward, so that the NOWHC and Incite! understand that despite best intentions they are being exclusionary, and that exclusion could cost twoc their lives. That part really can't be forgotten in all the rest of the stuff that has been brought up around this issue.

‘Dollhouse’ Star Eliza Dushku Reveals Gay Storylines, Possible Cameo By Nathan Fillion

First Alan Tudyk, then Felicia Day, now Nathan Fillion? Could it be?

Eliza wouldn’t give any huge plot points away about the second season of “Dollhouse,” but she did say that there would definitely be some storylines following gay and lesbian characters, and some storylines that would follow her own “adventures” she’s had traveling to Uganda assisting the rehabilitation of child soldiers.

“Last season we already had an idea for a Liberian child soldiers story and it just didn’t make it into the first 13. Now with the second season, we have a lot of stories that we’re looking forward to telling,” she says. “I sort of do my crazy adventures and come up and share them with him and they pop up in the scripts.… We aim to be socially and politically relevant.”

News has already broke that “Firefly” alum Alan Tudyk will reprise his role as Alpha next season, but Dushku did tease that “Castle” star and “Firefly” alum Nathan Fillion might be the next to join the team.

“We didn’t get Fills on [season one],” she said, “but you know, never say never.”

Monday, June 22, 2009

Reunite Mother and Daughter

via flip flopping joy

Request for Action from the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA):

Cirila Baltazar Cruz gave birth to her baby girl in November of 2008 at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, MS. She speaks very little Spanish and no English, as her native language is Chatino, an Indigenous language from Oaxaca, Mexico that is spoken by some 50,000 people.

The hospital provided her with an “interpreter” who is from Puerto Rico and does not speak Chatino, the language of the mother. Because of the language barrier and the misunderstanding by the hospital’s interpreter who only spoke Spanish and English, a social worker was called in.

The hospital’s social worker reported “evidence” of abuse and neglect based on the following:

* The “baby was born to an illegal [sic] immigrant;”
* The “mother had not purchased a crib, clothes, food or formula.” (Most Latina mothers breast feed their babies).
* “She does not speak English which puts baby in danger.”

Ms. Baltazar Cruz’s baby was snatched from her after birth at the hospital and given to an affluent attorney couple from the posh Ocean Springs who cannot have children.

The authorities made no effort to locate an interpreter in her native tongue. MIRA located an interpreter who is fluent in Chatino in Los Angeles CA and has interviewed the mother extensively with the interpreters help. The mother has been accused of being poor and not being able to provide for this child. No one has asked the mother to provide evidence of support. She owns a home in Mexico and a store which provides both secure shelter and financial support, not counting the nurturing of a loving family of two other siblings, a grandmother, aunts, uncles and other extended family.

Meanwhile, there is word in the Gulf Coast community that the “parents to be,” have already had a baby shower celebrating the “blessed arrival” of this STOLEN child!

PLEASE MAKE CALLS & WRITE LETTERS DEMANDING THE SAFE RETURN OF BABY & REUNITE WITH HER MOTHER

If you believe this is unjust and outrageous and goes against all moral and religious beliefs and values, please call or write to the presiding Judge and the MS Department of Human Services to STOP this ILLEGAL ADOPTION! Stealing US born babies from immigrant parents is a growing epidemic in the United States. Many Latino parents have lost their children this way!

Honorable Judge Sharon Sigalas
Youth Justice Court of Jackson County
4903 Telephone Rd.
Pascagoula, MS 39567
(228)762-7370

Children’s Justice Act Program
MS Dept. of Human Services
750 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Call (601)359-4499 and ask for Barbara Proctor

For more information please call MIRA at: (601) 968-5182

MIRA Organizing Coordinator
Victoria Cintra at (228) 234-1697 or Organizer Socorro Leos at(228) 731-0831

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Call for Submissions (Carnival)!

Asian Women Blog Carnival #3: Call for Submissions

The [completely optional] theme for the 3rd Asian Women Blog Carnival is:

Intersections between Culture and Sexism

For many of us, "white feminism" tends to be our introduction towards recognizing sexism, racism, and other kinds of -isms that are relevant to our lives. But because we come from varying cultures, what others may call sexism, we call a cultural trait (the hijab is a prime example). Occasionally, we may have encountered sexism in our own cultures, but we never thought about it that way until after coming into contact with other cultures.
[...]
I also would like to state that anyone who identifies as an Asian woman is welcome to submit. This space is trans-friendly. Allies of Asian women (including but not limited to Asian men) are also welcome to submit, so long as submissions are within the context of Asian women.

Contributions do not have to be limited to essays or anything academic - personal anecdata, re-myths, fiction, any form of non-fiction prose, and poetry are also welcome!

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, August 15 (with a grace period of 24 hours afterwards). Just post a URL here, or e-mail me at jhameia.goh@gmail.com. Have at it, ladies!

Also, hosts are still needed for future carnivals! Get in touch with ciderpress if you're interested! ^^

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice!

The longest day of the year, celebrate the sun today if you can readers, I will be!

A&PI Wellness Center Co-Hosts Dance For SF Pride Celebration

h/t TransGriot for another bay area event!



ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER WELLNESS CENTER CO-HOSTS A&PI DANCE ARENA AT SAN FRANCISCO'S 39TH LGBT PRIDE

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center will host the Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) Contingent, Pavilion and Dance Arena at the 39th San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade and Celebration on Sunday June 28, 2009, featuring Grand Marshals Lieutenant Dan Choi and Helen Zia and special guest ONGINA.

In collaboration with Club Dragon and SHANGRI-LA, A&PI Wellness Center will present the very first A&PI Dance Arena from 12:00 - 6:30 pm PDT, featuring guest DJs and dance groups such as Downe FX and Twisted Illusion, hosted by an array of spectacular personalities led by community icon, Tita Aida.

A&PI Wellness Center will also offer free, confidential, and anonymous rapid oral HIV testing and Hep B screening for at-risk A&PIs from 10 am to 5 pm PDT at A&PI Wellness Center's booth in the A&PI Pavilion on Polk Street and Golden Gate Avenue. Including HIV prevention education in the Pride celebration is more important now, than ever, particularly in the face of the drastic California state budget cuts proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger (which includes a reduction of $80.1 million from HIV funding alone).

The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming, though less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos.

In A&PI communities, the HIV/AIDS rate rose 34% from 1999 to 2003 and another 10% since then. Moreover, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled between 2001 and 2006. Despite this, over two thirds of the A&PI community has never been tested for HIV. Coinfection with HIV and HBV is common, with about 70-90% of HIV-infected individuals having evidence of past or active infection with HBV. Approximately half of persons with chronic hepatitis B are Asian Americans.

Join A&PI Wellness Center in celebrating A&PI LGBT Pride! The official A&PI Pride Kick-Off Party will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2009 from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at A&PI Wellness Center, located at 730 Polk Street, Fourth Floor. Light refreshments, hors d'oeuvres, and entertainment will be provided. For more information, please contact alex@apiwellness.org.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mangos With Chili!

c/o VivirLatino I got news about another Queer Pride event this month, this one with Mangos With Chili, who I have wanted to see every since I heard about them!

Brown Paper Tickets
From June 20, 2009 8:00 PM
Until June 20, 2009 10:00 PM
Location:
SOMArts
934 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

[map it!]
Price $13.00 - $20.00
Info Line 415-864-4124
Website http://www.queerculturalcent...
Contact
Elizabeth Pickens
934 Brannan St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-864-4124
qccfestival@gmail.com
Description The end times. 2012. The revolution. The apocalypse. Queer and trans people of color are always living in the end of the world. In this divine new Mangos With Chili performance spectacular, come see the best Bay Area queer and trans of color artists present new work exploring our visions of the end of the world and what comes afterwards. Artists from the Mangos With Chili crew will explore dreams and nightmares about revolution and the end times from many of our cultures through high-intensity drag, dance, spoken word, burlesque and hiphop interspersed with video vignettes and an interactive multimedia altar. Come check out the beautiful, lifesaving high-quality queer and trans of color performance that Mangos With Chili is known for and emerge transformed and blown away.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On Iran

As you probably already know there's a whole lot going on in Iran. I've been retweeting on Twitter, but hadn't yet made a post here, so I'm going to link you to some interesting recent developments and stories.

Ahmadinejad’s Millions of Photoshopped Supporters

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri Takes A Stand

Iran's Feminist Revolution

Battle Lines in Iran

Twitter, Women and the Protest in Iran

The Race, Poverty and Media Justice Institute

This one was passed on by my step mom:
UPCOMING SEMINARS — June 19-21 2009

Crumbling the Myth of The Gift- Deconstructing Donor Denial & Dismantling The Non-Profit Industrial Complex... One outcome at a Time!

June 19 - 6-7:30pm Juneteenth Opening Ceremony/Performance
RPMJ Resistance in Film Series 7:30-9pm
June 20 - 10am-5pm Change sessions-
RPMJ Resistance in Film Series 6-9pm
June 21 - 10am-4pm Change sessions & Closing Ceremony

A three day intensive seminar, "Revolutionary Change Session" offered by the Race, Poverty and Media Justice Institute (RPMJ) at POOR Magazine. This session is designed for conscious folk with race, class and/or education privilege from across the globe who are interested in exploring. implementing and practicing truly revolutionary expressions of giving, equity sharing and change-making.

How is wealth distributed across the Globe? Who actively decides how and where resources go? And how does one actually de-fund the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. As conscious peoples questioning, working on or actively participating in the just redistribution of resources, it is time to practice a new model of equity- sharing, financial decision-making and resource division.

The Revolutionary Change Session will be a three day intensive moment in herstory aimed at cleansing, shaking, enervating, reinvigorating, de-bullshit-izing, un-entangling, bringing you to back to your own truth/spirit and real-ness, life-changing session.

We will deconstruct the lies intrinsic in philanthropy, reconstruct the truths of humanity, care-giving, sharing and community and practice a new form of equity sharing we at POOR Magazine call, Revolutionary Giving.


"The White Liberal Can't Be Safe and Heroic Too"

"Take This Hammer" via Diary of an Anxious Black Woman who says: "A friend of mine tipped me off to a recently restored documentary featuring black gay writer and activist James Baldwin, who uncovers the harsh realities in 1963 of African Americans living in the so-called liberal and tolerant city of San Francisco. Until recently, this history has been repressed."

According to the website:
Take This Hammer was originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) - the predecessor of WNET - and first aired in 1964.

KQED's mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he's driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African-American community. He is escorted by Youth For Service's Executive Director Orville Luster and intent on discovering: "The real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present." He declares: "There is no moral distance ... between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone's got to tell it like it is. And that's where it's at." Includes frank exchanges with local people on the street, meetings with community leaders and extended point-of-view sequences shot from a moving vehicle, featuring the Bayview and Western Addition neighborhoods. Baldwin reflects on the racial inequality that African-Americans are forced to confront and at one point tries to lift the morale of a young man by expressing his conviction that: "There will be a Negro president of this country but it will not be the country that we are sitting in now." The TV Archive would like to thank Darryl Cox for championing the merits of this film and for his determination that it be preserved and remastered for posterity.


Quite interesting short documentary, check it out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Girl Talk: A Cis & Trans Woman Dialogue

via Having Read the Fine Print...

Curated by Julia Serano & Gina de Vries
Wednesday, June 17th
LGBT Center - Ceremonial Room
1800 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
7:30pm
Tickets: $12-$20
Buy Tickets on-line!!: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/66001
http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/QFest09/GirlTalk.html

Queer cisgender women and queer transgender women are allies, friends, support systems, lovers, and partners to each other. Trans and ciswomen are allies to each other every day -- from activism that includes everything from Take Back the Night to Camp Trans; to supporting each other in having “othered” bodies in a world that is obsessed with idealized body types; to loving, having sex, and building family with each other in a world that wants us to disappear.
Girl Talk is a spoken word show fostering and promoting dialogue about these relationships. Trans and cis women will read about their relationships of all kinds – sexual and romantic, chosen and blood family, friendships, support networks, activist alliances. Join us for a night of stories about sex, bodies, feminism, activism, challenging exclusion in masculine-centric dyke spaces, dating and breaking up, finding each other, and finding love and family.

Weekly Links!

Exclusive: Joss Whedon on 'Dollhouse' -- 'Back with such a vengeance'

A Matter of Culture

The Great Wall of Mainstream Feminism

KRXQ apology show

stuff white people do: see white, right-wing terrorism as "isolated incidents"

Late Abortion Care Will Return to Kansas

Feminist Review: Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World

a really incredible artist that I was intro-ed to through Raven's Eye: Erika L Prater


Pastor Drake Prays For Obamas Death On Fox News

Zimbabwe girls trade sex for food

UK Survey on Intimate Partner Violence in Trans Communities

Kate Gosselin: When Mommy Isn’t Perfect

What If There Was A Trans Trial And Nobody Cared?

Bitch magazine uses ableist language on it's blog: We Got Lame. Yikes. "Interesting" discussion in comments.

Recognition Restored to California Indian Tribe

Flores por Brisenia
An outspoken anti-immigration activist who was at the center of a series of violent crimes in Everett earlier this year now stands accused of the home-invasion killings of an Arizona man and his 9-year-old daughter.
Shawna Forde, 41, and two associates in her Minuteman American Defense group are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of aggravated assault, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.


So The Time Isn't Now Then? : Obama Postpones Immigration Reform Meeting.....Again

Police Arrest Rape Traffickers, Then Book Trafficked Women on Drug Charges

Too Poor to Make the News

Majority of Latino Seniors Still Working

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fuck Yeah Nathan Fillion

So, Tumblr. I have one. It's pretty sweet.

And I've seen more and more of these "Fuck Yeah..." tumblrs popping up: Fuck Yeah Yoko Ono, Fuck Yeah GQ, Fuck Yeah Fat Bitch, Fuck Yeah NPH... I am greatly amused by these tumblrs and yet when I looked for a Fuck Yeah Nathan Fillion one, there was none to be found.

This made me sad.

So I started one!

And now I am putting out a call to the blogoverse. I'd like some help running it, to pull from different sources etc. So that it's an excellent tribute. Give as much or as little time as you can, it's all good. And there are a few of you out there... (I'm looking at you mzbitca, Brandann and Sylvia!) who I KNOW enjoy the smarmy Captain (Hammer or Mal, whichever you prefer). So help a sister out.

Email me at serenity [dot] sedai [a] gmail [dot] com if you're interested. Or use my Plugoo. Or Twitter. Or comment here. Whatever!

Gratuitous Hot Men of Color

Shortly after my post about my concern over my taste for white men, I saw a picture that made me go, "hmmm, there are some MOC I find attractive, maybe I should take stock of them..." I haven't done a post of gratuitous hot men for well over a year. And let me be clear here, this isn't just "guys I intellectually understand to be attractive" there are plenty of those. These are guys that I think are HOT, as in; who have at times made me flat out horny.

So...enjoy.

The original picture in question was posted at Sylvia's tumblr (not usually up for gay male porn as a turn on, but you know, apparently I'll make an exception for this slash fiction):



Yah, Sendhil Ramamurthy (no matter how annoying Mohinder has sadly become) is really fucking hot, from looks to voice to attitude. But since Zachary Quinto takes up the majority of that picture, here's another...



Then we have another long time favorite, Daniel Sunjata, "Franco" on Rescue Me.



In the last season of Heroes, Ando started coming into his own and being his own assertive character. And suddenly I found him increasingly hot. So, James Kyson Lee.



The always classic Zach de la Rocha



Gary Dourdan (last I watched it, he was still playing "Warick" on CSI, but I heard he quit).


This list is pretty short... But it's a start.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"We Got Lame"??

So... We all know I love Bitch magazine, right? I've read them for three years now, they're the first and only magazine I've ever subscribed myself to. Not only that, but I blogged to help them raise money when they went through their financial crisis, and I'm a Sustainer. It's not much, but it means they get five bucks of my money every month because I want to keep them going. And I have a shiny button advertising for them for free there on my sidebar.

OK.

So this comes from a place of love.

On the 12th, one of their authors, Jonanna Widner, put up a post on the blog entitled We Got Lame, about the WNBA. Now, I really could care less about sports so I almost skimmed past it, but the title sent up a little red flag. "'Lame'? That's rather ableist, isn't it?"

Sure enough, cripchick and others on my Twitter feed started going "wtf?" at this title, and I went to make a comment about it on the Bitch website.

Now, a lot of people have agreed with the idea that this is ableist language, but a lot have been arguing with us in that comment section. It's really quite frustrating, but this is the internet, and after all I've seen in other large feminist arenas, I expect there will be a few assholes around wherever I go (that's life I suppose). What has me more concerned is that it's been three days now and the post title hasn't change, and all that anyone at the magazine has said is the author saying: "before addressing the controversy surrounding the use of the word “lame” in my earlier post (that one’s gonna take some time)..."

When I've seen words like that before...it usually means "I need time to figure out how I'm going to apologize but defend myself and not actually change anything of what I did or will continue to do in the future". I still have my fingers crossed about this, but every day that passes my heart gets a little sadder.

As I've waited to see what the response will be, something Renee wrote in an unrelated post keeps going through my mind: "In a post awhile ago I used the term “dumb” to refer to those that did not acknowledge their homophobia. When a commenter rightfully pointed out that my language was ableist, my initial reaction was to become angry. I do believe I remarked to the unhusband, “geesh no one can even speak anymore.” As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I realized that I had engaged in an act of privilege. The instant you feel anger, that is a cue that an issue needs to be examined. Anger does not result in a vacuum; in instances like this it is often the manifestation of a desire to maintain a privilege. In that moment I knew that I had been ableist and I felt regret."

We've all been there at some point, with some "-ism" that in our conscious minds we have decided to work against but in our unconscious minds has retained its power over us through early and repeated indoctrination (see my post on racist sexual attraction for an especially hard to root out sort). I just hope that Jonanna Widner can deal with this slip with the self-awareness that Renee did.

That is of course, assuming, which may be a wrong assumption, that Ms. Widner is an able-bodied woman. If she is not, perhaps the stink will all have been for naught...

*Update* I was looking over Feministe's weekly "Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday" collection for this week and I see that someone from Bitch posted and this was what they said when linking to the post in question: "We Got Lame, Jock Bitch fumbles with an ablist word choice". Well, someone there knows, so maybe I shouldn't lose hope yet. It flickers.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

They Are So Awesome

The FOXBORO HOTTUBS on Carson Daly. Just a couple days ago.

What I would do to go to one of their shows... SO MANY STAGE DIVES = SO MANY CHANCES TO TOUCH HIM.

I saw women's hands running through Billie Joe's hair and I fucking melted. It felt like a fire lit in my gut.

I think a part of my life would be complete if I ever managed that feat...

Also getting pulled on stage to sing along (oh yes I know all the words) or bang a tambourine (tambourine = win) would be great too, especially if I got to hang around his neck like that one woman... but ohhh to run my hands through his hair...

Wait, what was I posting for? Oh, right, anyway check it out they're awesome...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iranian Election Protests

via my Tumblr blog (via Cara, via Sylvia)

daily kos and other news outlets are reporting that mousavi, the candidate who ran against ajmadinejad, has been put under house arrest. other reports say they haven’t been able to confirm the arrest. kos is also reporting that telephone communication between tehran and the rest of iran has been completely disconnected, corresponding with the beginning of the arrests of the opposition.
tehranbureau is a collection of reports from iranian citizens on the ground in tehran and is being updated regularly. currently reporting between 50-100 dead in post-election protests. “Police on motorcycles beating people as drive by; attacking women.”
everything right now is rumors, hearsay, has not been confirmed, we’re not really sure. nobody knows what’s happening. or what happened with the election. or what will happen if these riots continue.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Attractions and a Kyriarchal Society

In my whiteness studies class last semester sexual attraction was mentioned in passing in discussion of another topic. A student mentioned that they (or maybe it was a friend?) were not terribly attracted to women of a certain race, I forget which one now. And my professor asked us to think about that concept a bit. In a racist, sexist society can our sexual attractions ever be value neutral? Is it REALLY just a "preference" when white people aren't attracted to people of other races?

My conclusion? No, not really.

Knowing what I know now about society, social indoctrination, whiteness, etc. I can no longer think it's a coincidence that white men tend to be the ones I find most sexually attractive (only one you could even try and argue isn't white in that post is Adrien Brody as he is ethnically Jewish), especially "mutts" like U.S., Canadian and Australian white men (exception to the mutt rule being Scottish...yum...*cough* anyway). Mixed race men are the next most common for me to find attractive, and even there it has to be noted that usually part of the mix is WHITE.

A preference for tall men exclude many, also. Especially since I am myself a bit taller than average. Preference for "masculine" men also excludes some (especially Asian). And I can't any longer ignore that these traits also, though not tied to skin color (what most commonly think of as THE racial indicator) are most certainly tied to dominant narratives about "real men" and that those narratives are strongly informed by whiteness.

I also don't think that it's a coincidence that my attractions have shifted over the years. Or that the rules that seem to be in play for which women I find attractive have always been a significantly different than the rules for men. All of this is in line with dominant kyriarchal narratives.

And that brings me to what I have been pondering lately. Is there anything I can do about this? Can attraction be altered through changes in consciousness? Can I undo this cultural training and manipulate my sexual mind to no longer be racist? I have been trying, for quite a few months now, to untrain my mind in what it has become accustomed to as "beautiful" in women. Purposely seeking out beautiful, as well as gender-bending, women of all races in art and photos in an effort to retrain my mind to think of beauty in different terms than those of mainstream U.S. society.

But it's not beauty I am trying to root out here. I have been able to recognize men of many races as beautiful for as long as I can remember. But that doesn't men they turn me on. Just as I find the female form beautiful in it's different shapes but women don't, as a general rule, turn me on either. Such things as attraction, we are led to believe, are primal. Unconscious, innate, and built in. Can those drives be trained? Changed?

I'm really not sure. I've got no answers at this point in my on-going thought process. But this is something I have been pondering.

Update Edition of "Gender Outlaws" - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

via Raven's Eye and Just a Big Guy With a Fun Sense of Sin

Call For Submissions
GENDER OUTLAWS: THE NEXT GENERATION
Kate Bornstein & S Bear Bergman, eds

Deadline: 1 September 2009

*What we’re looking for*

GENDER OUTLAWS: THE NEXT GENERATION wants to collect work that represents a quantum leap forward in thinking and talking about gender and the gender binary, in the same way Gender Outlaw did almost twenty years ago. So blow us away. Bring the smart, bring the sexy, blind us with science, break the gender barrier, shine a bright light (or a disco ball) on the whole gender situation. Tell us about your future, what you imagine, how you want things to go and what you (and your friends) intend to do about it. Think big.

We’ll look at whatever you have for us – essays, graphic art, interviews/conversations, haiku, rants – as long as you’re thinking smart and fresh about sex and gender (and being an outlaw, of course). We will feel especially keen about your work if it adds to or advances the conversation about gender (as distinct from simply reflecting it, or lamenting it).

People of any identity are encouraged to submit work. This means you – yes, you!

We intend to privilege non-normatively gendered/sexed voices in the book but will include all the good stuff we can, regardless of current identifiers of the author.

*The Details*

Deadline: Sept 1 (early submissions are encouraged). Submissions should be unpublished; query if you have a reprint that you think we’ll swoon for. While we hesitate to list a maximum, please query first for pieces over 4,000 words. If you have an idea and need help writing it out, contact us to discuss an interview-style piece or other accommodations.

Submit as a Word document or black/white JPEG (no files over 2MB). Please include a cover letter with a brief bio and full contact information (mailing address, phone number, pseudonym if appropriate) when you submit. Submissions without complete contact information will be deleted unread. Payment will be $50 and 2 copies of the book upon publication in Fall 2010. Contributors retain the rights to their pieces. Send your submission as an attachment to genderoutlawsnextgeneration@gmail.com.

~please repost lots and lots, as appropriate~

Thursday, June 11, 2009

5th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival

I have another cool and exciting SF Bay Area happening for you all, dear readers!

June 12-14, 2009
Brava Theater, San Francisco

The 5th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival (QWOCFF) is a 3-day Film Festival, featuring 33 films in 4 screening programs, the majority of which are brand-new QWOCMAP films!

This year's Festival includes a focus on Queer Women of Color and Immigration, four Q&A sessions with filmmakers after the films, and a Community Convening and panel about queer immigration.

QWOCMAP Film Festival is eco-friendly - we recycle and compost for the duration of our three-day Queer Women of Color Film Festival. Please bring your REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE with you to the Festival and help us be even more eco-friendly!

Admission is FREE to all film screenings.
PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY TO ENSURE SEATING!

Speaking of Rob and Arnie...

TO OUR LOYAL ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN FOLLOWERS,

WE HAVE FAILED YOU. AS A SHOW, AS PEOPLE, AS BROADCASTERS, WE HAVE SIMPLY FAILED ON ALMOST EVERY LEVEL.

WE PRESENTED OUR OPINIONS ON A VERY SENSITIVE SUBJECT IN A HATEFUL, CHILDISH AND CRUDE FASHION; AND THEN, GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETRACT THOSE REMARKS, WE DEFENDED THEM.

SINCE THEN, YOU, OUR LOYAL LISTENERS, HAVE MADE IT CLEAR TO US THAT WE WENT TOO FAR. THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. NONE OF YOU SAID THAT WE COULDN'T HAVE OPINIONS, YET SO MANY OF YOU SAID THAT THE WAY WE GAVE THEM CROSSED THE LINE. FURTHER, YOU SAID THAT OUR ATTEMPT TO MASK OUR COMMENTS AS "JOKES THAT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD BY OUR AUDIENCE," WAS UNACCEPTABLE. I WOULD SAY NOW THAT IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT, IT WAS COWARDLY. YOU HAVE MADE THAT CLEAR.

WE HAVE REACHED OUT TO VARIOUS GROUPS AND ASKED FOR A CHANCE TO MAKE THIS RIGHT; TO RESPOND, WITH THEIR PARTICIPATION, TO THE EDUCATION THAT OUR AUDIENCE HAS PROVIDED US. THAT OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN GRACIOUSLY GRANTED THIS THURSDAY MORNING, JUNE 11TH. AT 7:30 A.M.
THE WORD APOLOGY APPEARS NO WHERE IN THIS LETTER FOR A REASON. WE ALREADY HID FROM DOING THE RIGHT THING ONCE AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. APOLOGIZING IN A WRITTEN, POSTED STATEMENT IS A FORM OF COWARDICE. WE WILL SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID THIS THURSDAY.

ON A FINAL, PERSONAL NOTE, AS THE LEADER AND OWNER OF THE SHOW, I HAVE MADE THE DECISION THAT WE NEED TO REFRAIN FROM BROADCASTING NEW EPISODES UNTIL WE CAN ADDRESS THIS ON THURSDAY . WE WILL RETURN TO THE AIR AT 7:30 A.M. JUNE 11TH.

ROB WILLIAMS
ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN

Interesting, let's see how this goes.

Update: Lateisha Green Murder Case

From Transgriot

With the Lateisha Green murder case scheduled to start in Syracuse, NY on June 11, an attempt made yesterday by Dwight DeLee defense attorney Clarence Johnson to wipe out the hate crimes charge against his client was struck down by Onondaga County Judge William Welsh.
[...]
After listening to the legal arguments, Judge Walsh sided with the prosecution and upheld the constitutionality of the state's hate crime law in the murder prosecution of Dwight DeLee.

The case will be allowed to go forward as a hate crime murder prosecution.

DeLee is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime in the November 14, 2008 shooting death of transwoman Lateisha 'Teish' Green, born with the last name of Cannon, who the prosecution contends the victim was targeted because of her gender identity.
We can only hope this case will continue to be taken as seriously as Angie Zapata's was, and that it will serve as an example to all who think it's perfectly ok to abuse and ridicule trans-people for the reality of their bodies and lives (I'm looking at you Rob and Arnie).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Week Another Roundup

victim blaming shrouded in sympathy

Sotomayor: Still Under Attack with New Old Stereotypes

words, where are you?

Voices from Sex Workers

Shell VS Nigerian Activists

world on your shoulders

‘Men Live Better Where Women Are In Charge’

lumbee recognition on the way?

Disability Is Felt By Children

Activist Convicted for Leaving Water Jugs for Migrants

KRXQ Losing Sponsors: Update

A Statue Of Ronald Reagan Does Not Make Us All Happy

June 4, 1989

My Great Recession: Being a Poor Mama

Woman jailed because she is pregnant and HIV-positive

Immigration: Not All Families Deserve Unity

Oakland City Council adopted a plan last night to issue municipal identification cards to illegal immigrants.

Another Trans Person Shot in Memphis

When the Deeply Personal Becomes Deeply Political
But for what real reasons would a woman and her family require the services provided by a specialized clinic such as Dr. Tiller’s, or, here in Canada, the one run by Dr. Garson Romalis?

A primary one would be fetal anomalies.


A Look at Migrant Detention Under President Obama

The Relationship: Pregnancy, Abortion, Faith, Violence

Animal Research

Don’t Look for Me at Pride This Year

(Re)thinking Running

Puerto Rico en la Marcha : Over 100,000 March Against Layoffs, Form New Coalition

15 Year Old Rape Victim Gets No Justice In Boward

At least 35 killed in fire at Mexican day care center

Pondering the acceptance of the unacceptable…

Update: Will SCOTUS Save the Peaks?

After reading this article, castration indeed has begun to look appealing.

Dear animal rights activists, please stop taking your cues from the anti-choice movement

Try To See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage

Astrological Update

Haven't shared one of these in a while but I was especially struck by this one...

Astrobarry: Chiron Wants to Speak

Chiron, in conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune in Aquarius, speaks:

Our social institutions are wounded. Wherever we go, we see people in need… and we see institutions whose official spokespeople, cloaked in the safe velvet of bureaucratic red-tape, look outward at those in need with little or no emotional connection. They are not people, but numbers in columns. Those not personally affected (this week at least) rock comfortably in their padded desk chairs, dictating crafted statements for their secretaries to type up, essentially opening their hands for the continuance of more corporate loophole tax dollars, at the same time slicing apart public services ("down with socialism!"), essentially snubbing their noses at the collective pain crying out in their faces. "Can't you do something? Can't you please help us?"

Where is the baseline, heartfelt, in-your-body compassion for all this suffering?

[...]

Alongside Jupiter and Neptune, Chiron symbolizes mercy. Can we grant ourselves the mercy we wish others to hold for us? Are we willing to say, loudly and proudly, we are doing the best we can… and because the larger forces do seem stacked us against us, to some degree, that our best, frightfully, doesn't seem to be quite good enough right now? That we need mercy from above, from next to us, from the pits of our stomachs and out through our heart chakras, before we start yelling at another stranger?

Most Thorough Breakdown of What is Happening in Peru

This is the best explanation I've seen, many stories are leaving some aspects out. Interviews and direct Peru coverage starts around 11 minutes:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

People I Love Who Have Done Shit I Hate...2!

Last time we talked about Seth Rogen and Nathan Fillion. Two actors who I like quite a lot generally speaking, who had both recently done work I thought was absolutely horrifying.

Well, it's time for another edition. Who is the star this time? Rainn Wilson.

In a series of tweets earlier today Rainn recounted the people he has offended since taking up Twitter, and how this number displayed his twitterific success.

in 2 mos on twitter i've offended: hippies, rape victims, Christians, veterans and fans of 'Kings of Leon'. Must be doing something right.


You might think at first that this hippy is going to bitch about him insulting hippies. Oh no no, I'm used to that part of my identity being hated on. No, I saw this tweet and went "...rape victims??" Well, being the ever helpful wench that she is, Cara pointed me to the right post.

Pretty hungry after a long days shoot. Gonna go home and date rape some leftovers.


What, the, fuck?

Really?

Why is this still ok people? How is it funny? Rape isn't funny. Using the word flippantly like this isn't funny, it's triggering.

Now I don't know how I missed this in the first place, but I did.

But here it is now, and not only that but apparently it's something to be bragged about?

And then....

Oh, and transsexuals and geriatrics. And twidiots everywhere. And Ed Asner. And mice.


Transgender people too, eh? I missed this one too (apparently I am at times a very inattentive Twit). But, geez. Really?

It's just so frustrating, and like I twittered, moreso because I don't think Rainn Wilson is just a big douche. I don't. It'd be easier if I thought he was. But no, and yet here he is, acting like a huge one, and bragging, BRAGGING about it.

I realize that people are bound to disappoint us... I'm sure I'll at some point trip over my own ingrained racism or ableism or some other ism. We've all got that. And I would expect if others saw such a thing for them to call me out on it.

So where do we draw the line? What do we overlook because we know everyone is imperfect (or do we)? And when it comes to pop culture like this, do we forgo someone whose work we like because of stumbling moments like this? Should we? Is it a function of privilege that we do or don't?

I don't know. I struggle with drawing that line. I know I'm not going to boycott The Office (though I boycotted Observe and Report) and I will still generally see Seth Rogen movies and anything Nathan Fillion is in. And sure, I post about this stuff, I'll call people I like out for doing fucked up things, and I twittered my displeasure to Rainn. Is that all we can do?

I just don't know. But here it is. Another someone I like who did something I hate.

Latin@ Kidnappings in San Francisco

Um, what the fuck??

From Vivir Latino:

SFist has the frightening story:
Mission Loc@l reports that there have been three documented cases this month of Latinos being forced into a vehicle with the intent of mugging them, while walking in isolated parts of the Mission late at night. Police speculate that day laborers might be the target both because they carry cash and are often undocumented and are afraid to go to the police for fear of being deported.

The most recent attack occurred on Friday around 1 a.m., in which a 27-year-old Latino male was picked up near 20th and Bryant streets. He refused to give the assailant’s money, was hit over the head with a blunt object, and dropped off at 25th and Vermont Streets. Instead of going to the police, the victim went to San Francisco General Hospital, where a staff member then reported it to the police. Luckily, his injuries were not life-threatening.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Judge to Mehserle: "I Don't Believe You"

The East Bay Express reports:

An Alameda County judge ordered Johannes Mehserle to stand trial on murder charges, telling the ex-BART cop that he didn't believe his excuses for killing Oscar Grant. Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay said testimony showed that Mehserle intended to shoot Grant with his gun, and had not his Taser, as Mehserle's attorneys had claimed, according to the Trib and the Chron. Clay also made it clear that Mehserle has serious credibility problems. Testimony revealed that after the New Year's Day killing, Mehserle repeatedly told another BART officer that he thought Grant was reaching for a gun, and never once said that he had meant to Tase him. The judge also noted that as a trained police officer Mehserle would not have attempted to Tase Grant if he actually believed Grant posed a deadly threat. In the end, the testimony at the preliminary hearing was pretty damning for Mehserle, and established that he is a liar. At this point, he may be better off trying to get a plea deal from prosecutors than putting his fate in the hands of a jury. — Robert Gammon

AMC!

New Penny Comic Up!

via Dark Horse Comics

The new comic and prequel about Penny from Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog is up; shiny!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

U.S. ACTION ALERT IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF PERU


First I came across a horrifying post by bfp about the the massacre of indigenous Peruvians in Bagua. Following the story back to it's source I found this call to action at Peruanista:
Emergency Demonstrations in the United States
of Protest and Solidarity
with the Amazon Indigenous Peoples of Peru

"Amazon Indigenous peoples are not first class citizens in Peru"
Peru's president Alan Garcia, justifying his attacks on civilians using snipers and bombs, which has caused between 35 to 85 deaths and hundred of injured people.
_______________

Protest in front of the Peruvian Embassy in Washington DC
1700 Massachusetts Ave., N.W
Washington D.C. 20036
Monday June 8, 2009
12:30 PM EST

_______________

Protest in front of the Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles, CA
3450 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Monday June 8, 2009
3:30 PM PST

_______________

Protest in front of the Consulate General of Peru in New York, NY
241 East 49th Street
between 2nd and 3rd Aves, Manhattan, NYC.
Wed, June 10
12:00 noon EST


IF YOU LIVE IN THE U.S. PLEASE ORGANIZE A PROTEST AT A CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE, A FEDERAL BUILDING OR CONTACT THE CLOSEST PERUVIAN CONSULATE.

The message is simple: stop genocide, stop violence, respect human rights, avoid useless casualties, promote dialogue and respect of Indigenous peoples rights in Peru, stop using U.S. free trade policies to destroy the lives of millions of peoples in Peru, promote democracy and equality.

There is contact information at the source.  Please do what you can, even if it is to simply spread the word.

The Pill Kills!!1!

Happy The Pill Kills Day!!!


via Cara

Friday, June 05, 2009

KRXQ Losing Sponsors

Via en|Gender and GLAAD blog

In the wake of KRXQ radio hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States not apologizing for their offensive comments against transgender children, individuals continue to take action and share their concerns with the station.
You can listen to last week’s segment here and their follow-up to the controversy here.
On June 2, GLAAD issued a Call to Action and today renewed its call for supporters to let KRXQ know that Rob and Arnie should apologize for their remarks. We have also been blogging about this story (here and here).
Business leaders have also become alarmed by last week’s defamatory radio segment and are distancing themselves from the shock jocks and their dehumanizing remarks. Individuals are utilizing social networking tools like Facebook to voice their concerns and alert companies of the harmful diatribe.

At 1:33pm, I received an email from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. The company is responsible for well, Dr. Pepper and Snapple along with 40+ brands including 7UP, Country Time, Crush, Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, Orangina, Welch’s and Yoo-hoo.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc gave us the following statement to share with our supporters:
We found the segment to be offensive and as a result, we are pulling our Snapple advertising from the station.
Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.
As far as we know, the beverage company now becomes the second business to pull its advertising from KRXQ as a result of last week’s defamatory and dehumanizing comments against transgender children made by radio hosts Rob and Arnie.
The popular restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill was the first to announce pulling their advertising contract from the station.
Please continue to check back for updates on this developing story.
—————
UPDATE:
At 4:00pm EST, GLAAD spoke with SONIC Corp, the largest chain of drive-in restaurants in the country. SONIC confirmed they pulled all of their advertising from KRXQ as a result of the offensive comments made on the “Rob, Arnie and Dawn in the Morning” show during their May 28 radio segment.
SONIC provided GLAAD with the following statement at 4:45pm EST:
Sonic wants to assure you that the views of this station are in no way related to the views of Sonic. Sonic was alerted to the May 28th segment only yesterday and immediately began researching the segment, show and Sonic’s planned advertising on the station. SONIC in no way condones violence toward children and does not wish to be associated with media content that condones or promotes such activity in any way.  We have decided to immediately withdraw advertising from this station and have notified the station of our decision.     
SONIC now joins Snapple and Chipotle in their removal of advertising on KRXQ.

SPEAK! Listening Party in Long Beach, CA!

Via Feministe

On Sunday, June 14th, Petit Poussin, Christine, and I will be hosting a listening party from 2-5. As we listen to the CD, you’ll be able to participate in discussion and respond by making your own media, whether it’s visual art, handwritten text, a zine, blogging or twittering, or whatever combination of the above you can come up with. Afterwards, we’ll sit down to a potluck dinner. CDs will be available for sale - remember that all proceeds go towards getting single mothers to the Allied Media Conference next month.
Address available upon RSVP. A quick warning for people with allergies: a friendly medium-haired cat will be present.
RSVP to modernmitzvot at yahoo com or ppoussin at gmail com!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Reflections on a Road Trip

It was a week ago now that we left northern cal for the desert. Thank gods I had my family with me or I don't think I would have gotten through it all half so sane.

We actually had some good times! Who could have thought? Discussions about evolution and alien intervention, only in my family right? I remember the car ride down emotionally - impressions of laughter and sing-a-long (you'll like this Cara -- BEATLES) and talk and reflection on a women (and women) we all love. I think we made then a reservoir from which to draw strength later on. And as much fun as it was, by the end of the trip the memory was bittersweet because our interaction was like a brilliant and familiar recipe missing a key ingredient. (Well, two key ingredients actually but one we should have had for much longer)

This revelation struck me as we ate pizza and drank beer and I sat through ANOTHER basketball game. There was an extra beer. 6 pack and five of us. And as I watched my family interact it hit me that it was the same scene I'd seen many (happy) times but, yet, it was not the same. This dual familiarity/unfamiliarity was, I think, when I realized just how gone Robin was.

Even as her practical jokes attested to her presence...she was gone. She could not whisper totally impolite things into Rene's video camera mic. She could not increase the vibration of the room simply with her laugh. She could not make my dad blush with embarrassment at how quickly his mind-state went into the gutter (with his kids there).

The room was emptier than it should have been.

And this will be the hard thing, living from here on, I think...because I can never un-notice this absence. It is. It just is.

But I remember the love, the laughter, the support, the completeness of our family even in our incompleteness - the way we each balanced the others in some way. And so, even more than the blood...the courtroom...the damned guitar...and Cleo - I remember the laughter and the talking and the visceral knowing that we have each others backs, always.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Rob and Arnie Think Abusing Trans-Children Is A-OK!

Via: Transgriot and en|Gender

A GLAAD Action Alert: June 2, 2009 — In a lengthy May 28 tirade on the Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning radio show heard in Sacramento, California on KRXQ 98.5 FM and Reno, Nevada on KDOT 104.5 FM, hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States verbally attacked transgender children. While discussing a recent story about a transgender child in Omaha, Nebraska and her parents’ decision to support her transition, the two hosts spent more than 30 minutes explicitly promoting child abuse of and making cruel, dehumanizing and defamatory comments toward transgender children.

You can listen to the entire segment beginning at 4:48 by clicking this link.

Among the comments made by the hosts:
ROB WILLIAMS [11:12]: This is a weird person who is demanding attention. And when it’s a child, all it takes is a hug, maybe some tough love or anything in between. When your little boy said, ‘Mommy, I want to walk around in a dress.’ You tell them no cause that’s not what boys do. But that’s not what we’re doing in this culture.
ARNIE STATES [13:27]: If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.
ROB WILLIAMS [17:45]: Dawn, they are freaks. They are abnormal. Not because they’re girls trapped in boys bodies but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them. That’s where therapy could help them.
ROB WILLIAMS [18:15]: Or because they were molested. You know a lot of times these transgenders were molested. And you need to work with them on that. The point is you don’t allow the behavior. You cure the cause!
ARNIE STATES [21:30]: You got a boy saying, ‘I wanna wear dresses.’ I’m going to look at him and go, ‘You know what? You’re a little idiot! You little dumbass! Look, you are a boy! Boys don’t wear dresses.’
ARNIE STATES [29:22]: You know, my favorite part about hearing these stories about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down. And they end up in therapy.

To her credit, co-host Dawn Rossi stood up to Williams and States during the segment. Despite her apparent lack of familiarity with transgender issues, Rossi repeatedly defended transgender people and made an on-air apology for her colleagues’ defamatory remarks.

TAKE ACTION NOW!
Please contact KRXQ management in Sacramento, California, where the show is produced and demand that radio show hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States publicly apologize. Call on KRXQ to hold Williams and States accountable for their remarks and establish clear standards to ensure their media platform will not be used to condone or promote violence against any parts of the communities they serve.

John Geary
Vice President & General Manager
KRXQ-FM
(916) 339-4209
jgeary@entercom.com

Arnie States
On Air Personality
KRXQ-FM
(916) 334-7777
rad@robarnieanddawn.com

Rob Williams
On Air Personality
KRXQ-FM
(916) 334-7777
rwilliams@entercom.com


My letter:
To whom it may concern,

The comments heard recently on the Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show targetting the young transgender child in Nebraska were truly horrific.

Rob and Arnie are clearly completely ignorant about the realities of transgender people, and to target a child this way is appalling.

In addition, the comments that they would unabashadly emotionally and physically abuse their own children (boys, notably) (said here: "I’m going to look at him and go, ‘You know what? You’re a little idiot! You little dumbass!"; and, "God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him.") made me physically ill. There is never an excuse for child abuse, and especially not for a well documented phenonemon such as this. Just like being gay, being transgender is something that just happens in some people as they come into being in the womb. There is nothing wrong with them, that's just the way they are. To not only fail to accept that reality but to ridicule and abuse, and advocate ridicule and abuse of CHILDREN, because of their state of being is simply shocking, and contributes to a society wherein transgender people are murdered in high numbers every year.

Your station has lost a customer.

-Good luck in your endeavours,
Lauren Smith

P.S. I do want to commend Dawn for her guts in standing up to her domineering co-workers and speaking to the humanity of transgender people. Thanks to her I didn't suffer a temporary loss of hope in humanity.