"Transmormon"

Eri Hayward shares her story of being a transgender woman in Utah, USA. She is of Japanese descent and was raised in a Mormon community, where she says she didn’t get an “opportunity to learn about things that were different,” like the support available to her as a transgender woman. This short documentary includes Eri and her parents reflecting on what it was like to understand her gender identity. She initially “came out as gay” but her story reflects that at the time this was a stepping stone “to be myself, which is a woman.”

Eri also talks about the difficulties of claiming her own sense of beauty and the moment when she learned about what it means to be transgender. She was visiting her grandmother in Japan, when her grandmother pointed out a parade of transgender people and said, “Oh, this is all about you!” Later, Eri is shown talking with family and friends about her upcoming sex reassignment surgery over a barbecue.

Both Eri and her parents discuss their desire for their Church to make transgender members feel included, including the right to a temple marriage. Eri notes that her faith has been, at times, a source of alienation, as she often feels uncomfortable at Church, but also a source of strength during her transition. 

"I think that really being so uncomfortable in my body for the longest time helped me really separate what are physical things and what are my spiritual components. I don’t think I succumbed to my body. I think I succumbed to my spirit and what it needed.

It was just letting go and letting the picture come into focus without me trying to force it to be something that it’s not. But when it comes down to it, the only thing I can believe in is the relationship between me and God. “ 

This is really beautifully told story about intergenerational family connections and spirituality of transgender people of colour.

brutereason:

“Allyship is not supposed to look like this, folks. It’s not supposed to be about you. It’s not supposed to be about your feelings. It’s not supposed to be a way of glorifying yourself at the expense of the folks you claim to be an ally to. It’s not supposed to be a performance. It’s supposed to be a way of living your life that doesn’t reinforce the same oppressive behaviors you’re claiming to be against. It’s supposed to be about you doing the following things:
1. shutting up and listening
2. educating yourself (you could start with the thousands of books and websites that already exist and are chock full of damn near everything anyone needs to know about most systems and practices of oppression)
3. when it’s time to talk, not talking over the people you claim to be in solidarity with
4. accepting feedback/criticism about how your “allyship” is causing more harm than good without whitesplaining/mansplaining/whateversplaining
5. shutting up and listening some more
6. supporting groups, projects, orgs, etc. run by and for marginalized people so our voices get to be the loudest on the issues that effect us
7. not expecting marginalized people to provide emotional labor for you”

No More “Allies” |

If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say…

"I don’t mean straight in a heterophobic way, I just mean, you know, dumb and stupid,"  

"You’re a great guy, but just so you know - nothing straight is going to happen between us."

Word to the wise, do not head over to the YouTube comments section of this video, unless you want to read a whole lot of, “I’m not homophobic but…”

In June 2013, I wrote about Norrie, a transgender woman from New South Wales (pictured above), who had successfully petitioned The New South Wales Court of Appeal to be given the right not to list her gender as either male or female. 
Predictably, this New South Wales decision had been appealed and it went to the High Court. This morning, they ruled that New South Wales law can indeed recognise non-specific genders other than male or female. 
See the legal document below.
High Court ruling: NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie
 
Photo and news: SBS News. High-res

In June 2013, I wrote about Norrie, a transgender woman from New South Wales (pictured above), who had successfully petitioned The New South Wales Court of Appeal to be given the right not to list her gender as either male or female. 

Predictably, this New South Wales decision had been appealed and it went to the High Court. This morning, they ruled that New South Wales law can indeed recognise non-specific genders other than male or female. 

See the legal document below.

High Court ruling: NSW Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages v Norrie

 

Photo and news: SBS News.

bromance IS homophobia

kenobi-wan-obi:

thegoddamazon:

queeradical:

1) Bromances are based on mocking and rejecting queerness — The entire joke about the SethRogen-JamesFranco bromances of the world is that they’re parodies of queerness. Literally, the humor is about making queerness the butt of the joke (so to speak). It’s funny when straight dudebros enact any kind of queer attraction entirely because it’s something they wouldn’t actually do in any serious way. Queerness is the joke because who would actually want to be queer right? 

2) Bromances are used to queerbait. Queerbaiting is when people (like writers of TV shows) throw in an undercurrent of queerness or use homoerotic tension for the sole purpose of keeping queer viewers interested. For example, on a lot of TV shows, bromances can be both a running joke (see #1 above) and also a constant hope. Queer viewers, who are so used to not having any kind of central representation in stories, are baited with bromances in order to keep them hopeful that the characters could be queer, but the result is that they never are because queerness is bad for capitalism. Queerbaiting is cruel and is a huge problem. 

3) Bromances enforce white supremacy. Bro-ness seems to exist in a constant space of parodying and mocking otherness. Not only is queerness mocked and then passed off as humor; bromances are frequently about safeguarding whiteness by mocking people of color. Going back to Seth Rogen and James Franco again, time after time the humor of their on-screen bromances comes from racist jokes. From Pineapple Express (don’t even get me started) to the recent parody of Kanye’s Bound 2 video, Rogen and Franco’s bromance humor is literally predicated on either mocking race, or disregarding it and appropriating it for the white cis male gaze (think about how none of Kanye’s messages about racism in Yeezus seem to make it into Rogen and Franco’s parody video, or how Franco’s uncool white rapper trope appropriates blackness in order to make it the butt of the joke). 

4) Bromances enforce cis male dominance. Okay this one isn’t that hard to see. Bromances are literally predicated on worshipping traditional masculinity: muscles, boys clubs, getting girls, etc. In fact, ladies are baited with bromances a little like queers: bromances are used to show ladies that dudebros have feelings and can be tender and care about friendship and loyalty, while also showing how they’re strong and masculine — all in order to get the girl. Where ladies are concerned, bromances literally act to shore up patriarchy. 

5) Bromances are about asserting privilege. Finally, as kind of a summation of some above points, bromances are all about straight white cis dudes injecting their (irrelevant) opinions about queerness and race into mainstream discourse. Bromances literally have the privilege of being more talked about in magazines and interviews than queer issues do. Bromances allow dudebros to literally prioritize their own viewpoints about oppressed groups and pass them off as comedy or satire. 

In conclusion, bromances are literally built on racism and homophobia by mocking othered identities for humor. 

EDIT: wow I didn’t even go into “no homo” here it could practically have its own post

I never thought about it like this…

Wow this is really interesting, making me reassess myself right now..

(via afro-dominicano)

Students from Sydney’s Newtown High School of the Performing Arts give Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott a tough question time that he was evidently poorly prepared to answer with grace. The clip begins with Abbott giving weak environmental advice (“plant a tree… but don’t raise taxes”). He then faces questions about why he opposes gay marriage and his inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. Flustered and annoyed, he resorts to his infamous sexism: “Let’s have a bloke’s question, OK?”

Working off the cuff and under estimating Australia’s youth, the Prime Minister is clearly out of his depth.

Since the 1990s Australian law has recognised sexual persecution as grounds for refugee asylum. Still, applicants are forced to go through a protracted process of proving their “gayness.” This excellent video features University of Sydney researcher and activist Senthorun Raj telling the story of Ravi, a Bangladeshi asylum seeker, who was forced not just to establish his sexuality, but to defend his commitment to his queerness. Ravi’s problem was that he was not “visibly” gay in the way the law expected. Yet refuge law on persecution is not simply about looks or physical persecution. Raj writes:

LGBTIQ persecution does not always involve physical violence. Persecution can manifest in persisting psychological abuse, coerced concealment, the inability to subsist, or systemic discrimination that is legitimated/ tolerated by the state. 

In the video, Ravi notes that while his first sexual encounter with a man was consensual it was not pleasurable. This is part of sexuality: we can be attracted to people and not necessarily always enjoy sex equally with everyone. Ravi had also had sex with a woman in the past. This undermined his case as a gay man in the eyes of the Refugee Tribunal. They did not believe that Ravi had “made up his mind” about being gay because of this prior experience.

As Raj points out, sexuality is fluid. Some people can be gay and yet still have had sexual experiences with the opposite gender, or they can gay and not have slept with many people, and you can be gay and not necessarily have enjoyed all your sexual encounters. This works the same for heterosexual people, and yet this somehow doesn’t invalidate their heterosexuality.

This is such an important video to explore the sociology of refugee law and the intersections between migration and queer theory. The story is illustrated wonderfully by Australian artist on Tumblr, Sam Wallman (penerasespaper).

Transgender Violence Tracking Portal New Jersey programmer and activist Allison Woolbert

bialogue-group:

Allison Woolbert on the Need for Tracking of Anti-Transgender Violence

Says bisexual author and columnist AJ Walkley, "Recently my newsfeeds have been flooded with stories about attacks on trans* and non-binary individuals … Fortunately, one trans*bisexual activist is taking charge of this problem, turning to Kickstarter in hopes of raising the funding to launch the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal. I sat down with New Jersey programmer and activist Allison Woolbert to discuss her campaign and what she hopes will come from it.”

AJ Walkley: What is your connection to the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal?
Allison Woolbert: I am a concerned member of the community. I wanted to find a way to make sure that the violence against transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people is accurately documented and not swept under the carpet. I launched the Kickstarter project to make the vision of this project a reality. As CEO of a computer software development company, I am providing the programmers and technologies necessary to make this project successful.

Walkley: Why is a Transgender Violence Tracking Portal needed, in your opinion?
Woolbert: So often, the media and law enforcement are dismissive concerning the violence that is inflicted on transgender/genderqueer/non-binary people. In addition, hate incidents against transgender people are often not documented at all. Many of the cases that are reported are sensationalized, and the facts become muddled and disconnected.

Currently, there is no data repository that can validate and provide tangible evidence of the violence that has been inflicted on the transgender community … With this project, the data will be available to be reported and queried against every day of the year. At any given point in time, we will have a website that can show the world what the picture of our community looks like and raise the awareness and the responsibility of law enforcement to protect our basic right to live … The project will also enable us to allow interested groups and parties to sign up for email alerts when something in their community has happened and needs attention …

Walkley: There are some very grim statistics when it comes to violence against transgender people. Can you share a few?
Woolbert: Sadly, we have some horrid statistics that exist about the violence toward our community. The Transgender Murder Monitoring Project estimates at this point that approximately every three days a transgender person is reported murdered throughout the world … Virtually every few days, I hear about a transgender suicide or attempted suicide … Of the assaults, we have yet to have any statistics available …

Walkley: If your campaign is successful, what do you hope will come out of the Transgender Violence Tracking Portal? How will this site help?
Woolbert: There are so many capabilities that this portal will make available to the public. Just to list a few, I believe on some levels we will be able to track the numbers of the violent assaults and murders, as well as what the disposition of the crimes might be. In other words, is the case still open? Has anyone been charged? Were they found guilty, and did they get an appropriate sentence? Did a hate crime charge get pressed? Did the convictions get overturned? Did they use the panic defense,” and was it upheld or used to mitigate sentencing? Have the police conducted a thorough investigation?

Walkley: Should your campaign succeed, when can backers expect to see a completed portal site?
Woolbert: … I would hope that by the first quarter of 2014, we will have the portal fully up and functioning, ready for data to start being entered by volunteers. We have already begun the process in recruiting and vetting international volunteers from the various nations to be reporting officials for their areas …

WANT TO LEARN MORE AND GET INVOLVED IN THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE?

(via sociolab)


Yes, the Pope influences millions of Catholics. And yes, he should be praised for making a change, if and when he actually makes that change.
This is not that time. He did not change the doctrine, he has not changed his stance on supporting the Church’s teachings, and he is excommunicating a pro-gay Australian priest for supporting women in becoming ordained. And now, since The Advocate award, it has been reported that he is ‘shocked’ by the thought of civil unions and gay adoption - news that isn’t shocking to me at all.
The Advocate and a lot of progressives have lauded Pope Francis for not following his predecessors by directly attacking queer people in speeches, and for two vague statements that sound suspiciously like a PR exercise to win over some more left-wing types (and it totally worked! Good plan Ocean’s eHeaven).
But this is setting the bar far too low. We deserve better. The leader of an organisation that has been responsible for generations of systemic homophobia and transphobia shouldn’t be showered with accolades simply for making a semi-humane comment about queer people. (My emphasis)

Australian writer-comedian Rebecca Shaw (who identifies as lesbian) argues we need to look at the actual changes of the Catholic Church rather than simply applauding empty platitudes by the Pope. So far, the Church remains negligent on upholding the human rights of LGBTQI people. The article is worth reading in full on SBS News. 
Photo: Perhaps Magazine via Flickr. High-res

Yes, the Pope influences millions of Catholics. And yes, he should be praised for making a change, if and when he actually makes that change.

This is not that time. He did not change the doctrine, he has not changed his stance on supporting the Church’s teachings, and he is excommunicating a pro-gay Australian priest for supporting women in becoming ordained. And now, since The Advocate award, it has been reported that he is ‘shocked’ by the thought of civil unions and gay adoption - news that isn’t shocking to me at all.

The Advocate and a lot of progressives have lauded Pope Francis for not following his predecessors by directly attacking queer people in speeches, and for two vague statements that sound suspiciously like a PR exercise to win over some more left-wing types (and it totally worked! Good plan Ocean’s eHeaven).

But this is setting the bar far too low. We deserve better. The leader of an organisation that has been responsible for generations of systemic homophobia and transphobia shouldn’t be showered with accolades simply for making a semi-humane comment about queer people. (My emphasis)

Australian writer-comedian Rebecca Shaw (who identifies as lesbian) argues we need to look at the actual changes of the Catholic Church rather than simply applauding empty platitudes by the Pope. So far, the Church remains negligent on upholding the human rights of LGBTQI people. The article is worth reading in full on SBS News. 

Photo: Perhaps Magazine via Flickr.

Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi says fellow Liberal Malcolm Turnbull should stop speaking in support of gay marriage. Bernardi is a right wing Christian who last year linked bestiality with homosexuality. Bernadi says gay marriage is a “fringe issue” for the party. Turnbull has been critical of Australia’s laws which prohibit same gender marriage, but he stops short of co-sponsoring deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek’s gay marriage bill. 

Via SBS News.