Hey guys, there will be a lot of protests in major cities in the U.S. and abroad marking the first anniversary of the hangings of two Iranian teenagers who were murdered because of their sexual orientation. The teens were originally charged with rape, but human rights groups have since come forward with new evidence that they were wrongly accused. In DC, there will be a protest at 5PM inside Dupont Circle and in NYC at 5PM at the Iranian Embassy.
Other cities scheduled to hold protests include Fort Lauderdale; Provincetown, Mass.; San Diego; San Francisco; Sacramento; Vancouver; Toronto; Amsterdam; London; Stockholm; Marseilles; Moscow; Brussels; Mexico City; Warsaw; Frankfort; Berlin; and Vienna.
Check out the Washington Blade article here:
Do you or someone you know go to Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania?
The Easton City Council voted unanimously July 12, 2006 to implement an anti-discrimination ordinance inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Mayor of Easton, Phil Mittman, a republican, was supported in his election by Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and is strongly expected to sign the bill into law
Lafayette College’s website states:
“Lafayette College complies with all applicable federal and state legislation and does not discriminate in any way on the basis of gender, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, physical ability, or sexual orientation.”
However their policy is not in accordance with the bill in Easton, PA.
If you attend Lafayette College please take this opportunity to lobby the administration to change the policy.
Please call Lisa Rex, in the Human Resources office and state your complaint.
GenderPAC would like to see Lafayette adopt wording as follows:
Lafayette College embraces human diversity and is committed to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination. Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status, is prohibited.
Although, with the new Easton law, they are only required to add “Gender Identity” to their policy statement.
Some Talking points include:
• 67 Colleges and Universities nationwide have added gender identity into their non-discrimination policy statements, including two other schools in the Lehigh Valley (Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College).
• With a growing number of universities and corporations adding gender identity and expression to their policies, it is becoming increasingly easier for students and workers to select places with a more welcoming environment. Attracting and retaining the best students and staff members is critical to the success of a university. Schools that have a reputation for respecting diversity are at a competitive advantage.
• Schools that are not pro-active in anticipating and heading-off new types of discrimination that affect both men and women may leave themselves exposed to protracted and costly litigation.
Hey guys, I realize that this is old news, but I thought I would be remiss if I didn't mention disappointing rulings on gay marriage in New York and Georgia. On July 6, the state Supreme Courts for both states upheld the bans on any right to gay marriage.
To all of the homophobic assholes of the U.S. and beyond, we as gender-equity activists love each other far more than you can ever hate us.
Awesome scholarships from an awesome organization
Third Wave Foundation Scholarship Program is available to all full-time or part-time young women and transgender activists age 30 and under who are enrolled in, or have been accepted to, an accredited university, college, vocational/technical school or community college.
Kevin Aviance, pop singer and famous drag queen, was
attacked on June 11 in New York City. He was walking towards his home in Chelsea from a bar around
1AM when he was verbally and physically attacked by a group of young men. While taunting him with homophobic comments,
the youths beat Aviance unconscious. Although there were witnesses to the incident, no one came to Aviance’s
aid. He suffers a broken jaw and is
unable to participate in the New York City Pride celebrations as he had
planned. Four men have been arrested and
charged with first degree assault as a hate crime.
The attack on Kevin Aviance is an abomination and yet
another unfortunate example of the gender war in America. As the GenderYOUTH Network gears up for its
fall campaign, 50 Under 30, Aviance’s
attack is an urgent call for action. GenderYOUTH’S 50 Under 30 campaign
highlights the pervasiveness of young people who are murdered every year due to
their gender identity and expression. The case of Kevin Aviance confirms the overwhelming similarities between
gender-based violence. Although Kevin
Aviance is 38, his alleged assailants are all twenty years-old and
younger. Kevin is gay, black,
biologically male, and was attacked by males in a major cities. Because of his pop star status, Kevin’s
attack was covered by the mainstream media. Yet the articles on the incident often focused more on Kevin’s celebrity
than the nature of his attack. In the New York Times article on June 12, the
only picture of Kevin was one of him and Janet Jackson. If only all victims of gender-based violence
had famous friends! Moreover, all of the
articles were quick to mention that Kevin was not wearing women’s clothing, as
if that made the story more legitimate.
I thought about that now very famous quote while talking to
Tyrone, the GenderYOUTH co-coordinator, about progressive communities and the
discrimination they can perpetuate while attempting to fight it. For example, feminist organizations like NOW
and the Feminist Majority, both liberal feminist organizations, have very
heterosexist campaigns. I am the
president of the Feminist Majority chapter at my university, and one of my main
complaints at my exit interview was how there was so much pressure from the
parent organization to focus on reproductive choice and no mention of sexuality
and gender identity and expression. In
their lack of inclusion of LGBTQQI issues, NOW and Fem Maj seem to be saying
that feminism is a straight womyn's ideology. This situation hearkens back to the first and second wave feminisms that
pushed for WHITE, MIDDLE CLASS womyn's equality. Is third wave feminism really all that different
if liberal feminist organizations continue to exclude non-straight feminists?
Last semester I studied abroad in Quito,Ecuador,
where a burgeoning indigenous rights group has gained a lot of power in the
past decade. These are people, much like
Native American/First Nations in our country, who lost most or all of their
land when the Spanish conquistadores arrived in Latin
America to steal territory and destroy populations all in the name
of their god. Centuries have passed and
the indigenous people still live as second-class citizens, but the movement is
working very hard to combat the racial and class structures that deny them
their rights. Unfortunately, the
indigenous movements have barred people of the African diaspora from joining
their movement. They have joined the mestizos in calling them monkeys and
criminals. I asked a friend of mine, an
active member in the Quichua indigenous movement, why he mistrusted Black
people, and he said, “You watch TV. You
know how they are!”
This brings me to the bi, gay, and lesbian community. While much of the community is extremely
mobilized and fighting for their right to marry and fighting against
discrimination, transphobia runs rampant.
We are so busy fighting one “ism,” whether it be racism,
classism, sexism, or heterosexism, that we forget about all of the “isms” that
we may harbor. A heterosexist feminist,
a racist indigenous rights activist, and a transphobic gay rights activist cannot
truly fight for equality if they are unwilling to address the prejudices that
they themselves hold. If we only believe
in ourselves and fail to address the “isms” that are very real, we cannot
possibly achieve equality.
Graduation from high school is one of the most important rites of passage in a young person's life. Douglas Bird High School principal, Jackie Warner, took away this very special moment for one student when she prohibited Bobbie Spanbauer from participating in her graduation ceremony for refusing to wear a dress.
Womyn graduating from the Fayetteville, NC high school were required to wear a black or white dress with stockings and dress shoes. Bobbie came dressed in the men's required attire of black slacks, white dress shirt, and black shoes. Warner told her that she could not march with the other students unless she wore a dress, but Bobbie insisted that she came appropriately dresses and she had a right to take part in the ceremony as she was. Warner prohibited her from marching, and when Bobbie tried to watch the ceremony, she was denied.
Bobbie's case is an example of gender-based discrimination, and the ACLU is already on board to support her. To find out more information on the situation, check out:
I was checking the BBC news site two days ago and saw this article on transgenders/eunuchs/aruvanis in India. The aruvanis' plan towards for movement towards the mainstream looks like a mistake to me. To "dress down, tone down [their] speech, even desist from the commonly misunderstood practice of 'clapping' and negotiate with people in work and social settings" seems more like a movement to suppress one's gender identity and expression than to embrace it. In the office the other day, Tyrone, the GenderYOUTH co-coordinator, said, "Acceptance of a group of people should not be contingent upon how similar they are to the dominant group." What do you guys think?
Gender Project is well underway at Indiana University of South Bend. We are a new, student organized, gender advocacy group on campus associated with GenderPAC.
Last month we distributed our first issue of Blurr, a new zine with a focus on gender. It was a great success here at IUSB and soon we hope to be able to share the zine with a much larger audience by making the publication available online.
In the meantime, we are currently compiling works for the second issue. We hope to begin printing in just a few short weeks.
This zine is a focus on all aspects of gender and how it crosses lines of socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and more.
A call for submissions... more info below.
With as much diversity as we have among our students and faculty here at IUSB (and the larger community), I know there is just as wide a range of creativity. I would like to use these creative voices in order to educate and advocate the versatility and complications of gender as they are portrayed and interpreted in our society.
We're looking for artists, poets, essayists, personal stories, etc. -anything that can be related to gender, be it positive or negative.
Can you help or do you know someone who would be interested? If you would like to send us a submission or if you have questions, please contact us via e-mail.