Archive for the 'weekly roundup' Category

05
Mar
09

Round-up

All of my time and energy for writing right now is going toward processing in my relationships. (It’s always something, isn’t it? I will never not be busy, and there will never not be something of that moment that I point to and say “It’s this, soon I will be less crazy.) It may be a few more days before I can sit down and write something thoughtful about anything else. Also, I dropped my Eee PC and cracked the screen today (apparently the world was trying to see how much hard stuff it had to throw at me to kill my high from an amazing Saturday night — okay, world, you win!), so blogging on the train and bus will be out until I come up with money to get it fixed or replace it. So in the meantime, a look at the things I might be blogging about if I were doing so at all…

Girlfriend, Esq. pointed me to Greta Christina’s response to Dan Savage’s latest insensitive comment about bisexuals. I’d missed it somehow, but as always, Greta Christina does a thorough and brilliant job of responding. I don’t think I have anything to add. Other than that Dan Savage may make his reputation on his snark, but the occasional columns where a dozen questions get brief answers really help no one. They just let him showcase his wit without giving actual advice. Even he could probably have done a better job of answering that one if he’d fleshed it out more; at least we’d know which fucked up thing exactly he was getting at.

Alex at Bilerico is doing a week-long series on abstinence-only education, looking at a new report on how abstinence-only education is actually implemented in Texas (the state that receives the most federal funding for it). Two days ago he wrote about homophobia in abstinence-only, yesterday about religion as part of the curriculum; today it’s sexism. Keep an eye on that one; it promises to be interesting and important.

Meanwhile, Bil at Bilerico posts about the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders filing a challenge to DOMA that they seem to hope to bring to the Supreme Court. He has a lot of really persuasive things to say about how the push for marriage actually harms the push for more basic rights in places other than the two coasts. I’m a coastal dweller myself, so I can’t say anything other than that it sounds about right, and lines up with/complements a lot of my reasoning on why pushing for marriage is not where our energy should be going. He also left a heart-wrenching comment on a different post by someone who supports the move. And Nancy Polikoff points out that it will only benefit couples with income inequalities, and talks about how the queers shouldn’t be shoring up heteronormativity — and you know how I love that.

HRC has announced some long-overdue changes to its Corporate Equality Index. I’m not best pleased with how long these changes will take to kick in and how long employers can continue to skate by while treating trans employees in really fucked up ways, but I have no way of assessing HRC’s claim that companies need that long to bring themselves into compliance. Of course I’m less concerned than HRC is about employers who don’t treat trans employees well getting to keep their perfect scores for a couple of years while they fix that, but they may have a point that companies are more likely to comply if they’re not ticked off. Since after all we’re not hoping they’ll do this out of the goodness of their hearts; we know they have to be shamed into it/get something out of it. And it is a positive change. Also, because he wins all of the links today, Bil talks about his disappointment that HRC will still not be assessing companies on their behavior internationally and factoring that in.

Have a lovely week!

09
Jan
09

Weekly round-up

It’s a short week this week, since last week spilled over into the weekend. I can’t say that much has gotten done in Aviva land. It’s been mostly work and errands, and those frustrating days where lots of little things go wrong and make you crazy, but nothing big enough that you feel like you get to really whine about it. But here’s what the corner of the world I’ve been observing has to offer us.

Continue reading ‘Weekly round-up’

05
Jan
09

Fort-nightly Round-Up, Part 2

Whew! This should be it on everything that happened in the past month. We should now be back to our regularly scheduled weekly round-up.

It’s been a fun couple of weeks for me. My sister is in town between a semester in Russia and her last semester in Wisconsin (she should have something to say for us about that soon!), and I’ve been spending tons of time with her. We hosted a dinner party last weekend, spent this week getting my apartment from mostly-moved-in to fully set up and looking like a home, and two nights ago broke it in with a housewarming party. It’s been lots of fun, but blogging and spending time with my other friends have been falling by the wayside a bit as I try to stock up on time with her enough to last me the next three months. They say that how you spend the New Year is how you spend the next year, and I would be so okay with spending this year in people’s living rooms with a few close friends. Eating homemade soup, tearing apart neocon craziness, and laughing til it hurts. Bring it on.

Meanwhile, in the world:

Continue reading ‘Fort-nightly Round-Up, Part 2′

19
Dec
08

Fortnightly Round-Up?

Thanks for hanging in there with me all these months while I figure out how this blogging thing works. I hope to have it figured out and everything running smoothly by the time this blog is a year old, which gives me until next summer. In the meantime, a round-up of all of the news I haven’t had a chance to read, let alone write about, since the last round-up. (I was so right to ask for an Eee for Chanukah. Bus rides to DC are one of my major sources of blogging time, these days.)

Julia Serano has a call out for anecdotes from trans women about being objectified or hypersexualized in ways that relate to their being trans. She’s planning to use them in an upcoming article highlighting and speaking out against such misbehavior. Bi-Furious! would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Julia Serano is awesome and inspiring (as far as I’m concerned the saddest thing about me missing the Femme Conference was not getting to introduce myself), and you should read her book Whipping Girl.

We were asked ages ago to post this call for submissions to Chroma, and I am a flaky airhead. Sophie emails us to say, “Chroma is the UK’s premier queer literary magazine. We pay $50 per accepted piece and we can accept email submissions from overseas contributors — but please get in touch first and let us know what you’d like to send along! Issue 11 has the theme Utopia, and we are looking for great science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, horror writing, comics and art…The deadline is 15 June 2009, so there’s lots of time to imagine beautiful machines and fabulous planets…”
Submission guidelines here, more information here. And I think our very own Sarah is planning to submit a piece!

Yet another call for submissions, this time from QueeredFiction, a queer genre publisher, for an anthology on queer futures. The deadline for that one is February 28th.

The 6th International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers was on Wednesday. Check out the Sex Workers Outreach Project’s information packet, which includes their demands and an open letter to President-Elect Barack Obama.

Speaking of President-Elect Obama…he chose Rick Warren to give the Invocation at the inauguration? Rick “same sex mariage intrudes on my freedom of speech” Warren? Really? He defends the choice here. I’m not ready to join the hordes of LGBT activists declaring that this does not bode well for queer issues during Obama’s presidency, but I must say it makes me cautious. I realize that you can never please everyone, but who exactly did he hope to please with this move?
Actually, let’s take a closer look at Warren’s fascinating argument against same sex marriage. “And the reason I supported Proposition 8, is really a free speech issue. Because first the court overrode the will of the people, but second there were all kinds of threats that if that did not pass then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships, and that would be hate speech.” My eloquent counter-argument is: huh? Where are you even getting this? Legalizing civil marriages doesn’t mean that clergy have to perform them, let alone condone them. This conflation of two unrelated things (without any explanation of how the speaker got from A to B)  is a favorite tactic for bigots justifying their bigotry, but unless I’m sorely mistaken, there was nothing in the phrasing of Prop 8 that would have made religious disapproval of homosexual practice hate speech had it failed.

Ironically, a study in British Columbia suggests that pregnancy rates are higher among gay and bisexual teens than among straight teens. The suggestion is that queer teens engage in heterosexual sex as camouflage in an attempt to avoid harrassment and discrimination. I also want to take issue with the phrasing “7.3 per cent of lesbians and 10.6 per cent of girls who said they were bisexual” – what’s that distinction about? Maybe they trust lesbian teens to know their own minds, but suspect some girls identifying as bisexual might be confused?

I kinda want to see this documentary chronicling a long-term triad. Bisexual and polyamorous relationships get so little positive exposure, I’m intrigued at the thought that this might have been done well. Pity I don’t get HBO. (Who does and wants to invite me over to watch it?)

Health insurance company Aetna has formed an LGBT advisory council. Good for them! I have no idea how it’s working out in practice, but they seem pretty committed to recognizing and addressing LGBT-specific health needs, and in general to “eliminating inequalities in health care.” That’s definitely a goal I can get behind. And speaking of inequalities in health care…I think in my last post I glossed over the main point about the study showing that queers are less healthy than straight people. What I found most interesting about it is that, while there’s a health disparity between gays and lesbians and straight folks, there’s a markedly bigger disparity between straight folks and bisexuals. Why should this be? What does it say about the near-universal assumption that bisexuals are better off because we have access to straight pivilege? Is it possible that instead, it’s even more stressful and unhealthy to be caught between two worlds, neither of which really wants you? Gay men and lesbians at least have a subculture that fully embraces them, while it sometimes condemns and excludes bisexuals; bi culture and activism is much newer and smaller. I don’t have answers, but boy, I have questions.

Apparently, this month marks the two-year anniversary of the Conservative Jewish movement deciding that being gay or bisexual is not a violation of Jewish law. I enjoyed this piece by a gay Conservative Jew about the intersections of minority experience in being gay and Jewish. I don’t necessarily think it’s helpful to compare being gay to being Jewish, but do think it’s useful to explore how being both colors one’s experience.

“Not everyone is bisexual” pins! I doubt I’d wear one of these, but they amused me. And the arguments she makes in explaining why she made them sound awfully familiar. I also found an interesting piece on bi identity when I went poking around that site. It’s a good take on a lot of the stereotypes bi folks run into out in the world.

Oklahoma State Senator Sally Kern’s husband calls on the courts to put homosexuals in mandatory treatment centers like those for drug abuse and anger management. Scary stuff. (Question: would this be spontaneous, or — like the examples he cites — only in response to a crime? ‘Cause it seems like he’s implying the former, and how exactly does he expect that to work? Oh, right, probably making gay sex a crime again. ) Sally Kern, remember, is the one who was recorded saying all kinds of hateful, homophobic things.

Applications are open for the Point Foundations 2009 scholarships for LGBT students. Apparently, they’re particularly looking for bisexual applicants. I know some of our lovely readers should be applying. (Come to think of it, when I get around to going back to school, I should be applying.)

And, um, I have lots more emails full of news to read, but no more time today. Maybe instead of spending the weekend trying to figure out what my next post should be about, I’ll wrap this up on the bus home on Monday.

28
Nov
08

Weekly Round-Up

This week in blogs, the news, and wherever else happened to catch my attention:

Next summer, the 2009 National LGBTI Health Summit will happen in Chicago in conjunction with the Bi Health Summit; bisexuality is also slated to have a broader presence at the LGBTI event.

This XKCD made me giggle. I wonder if I would have been offended by it if I didn’t already love the comic and its creator’s liberal, feminist stances (it probably also helps that my sister met him at a friend’s wedding, and if both she and this friend think he’s awesome, I’m convinced), but as it is I’m just amused.

EHarmony is trying to avoid looking like homophobic asshats by launching a new site for same-sex matching – but of course neither site caters to bisexuals, who would have to join both and pay twice. ‘Cause I didn’t dislike them enough already. (Bets that the new site won’t be nearly as good?)

Melissa George, now playing a bisexual intern on Grey’s anatomy, is also saying dumb things about her character (or maybe she’s observing her character accurately and someone’s written her as stereotypical and obnoxious — not unlikely). For example, “”If it’s a male, she’ll go for it. If it’s a female, she’ll go for it. She doesn’t think attraction should be limited by gender . . . But she seems to get a thrill out of shocking people.” She also suggests that the writers may be experimenting with bisexuality because they’re bored. Mmm. It’s so nice to be a spicy plot device.

Patrick Harvie was just appointed leader of the Scottish Green party, making him “the first openly bisexual leader of a political party in Britain.”

Some girl is okay with continuing to date a new guy even now that he’s out to her a bisexual. Big minus: she describes him as “half gay” and seems surprised that he could be bi when he’s so clearly into sex with her, a girl (um, yes, that is how it works). Big plus: she’s actually learning from him and thinking about sexuality in new ways rather than listening to her friends’ advice and dumping him because he’s a disease vector or secretly gay or some such ridiculousness.

Wayne Besen, guest-blogging on Bilerico, has an interesting take on what went wrong with the No on 8 campaign and where marriage advocates should be turning their attention. You probably already know that marriage is hardly my highest priority, but I’ve been somewhat persuaded by recent arguments that Prop 8 is important because it put the rights of a minority up a a vote of the majority, and marriage or not, that’s a scary, dangerous precedent to set. Anyway, Mr. Besen has some interesting things to say that could apply to queer rights other than marriage; I particularly like the point that lobbyists without people behind them are useless and that a few people shouldn’t be trying to control the message (although personally I believe that’s less because the internet makes it impossible and more because drowning out the voices of the people you claim to be advocating for is wrong.)

And on the subject of marriage, this call to simply stop acknowledging the marriages of those around one both amuses and tempts me. I’m too polite and nonconfrontational myself to do much of it, most likely, but…fun!




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