March 31, 2010
March 29, 2010
March 26, 2010
But what am I afraid of? Am I afraid of being perceived as gay? I mean, not really, because I am. All the same, there’s a huge fear of appearing too flamboyant and I can’t even convey exactly why that is.
March 25, 2010
Among other things, Gates said the Pentagon is raising the threshold for what constitutes an appropriate level of information necessary to launch a "credible inquiry" into allegations of homosexual behavior.
The change, which will take effect in 30 days and apply to all current cases, is a reflection of "common sense" and "common decency," Gates said. "These changes reflect some of the insights we have gained over 17 years of implementing the current law, including the need for consistency, oversight and clear standards."
President Obama and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, support a legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which was first enacted in 1993. Some senior members of the military, however, have expressed concern over the impact of the ban's repeal on unit cohesion and morale, among other things.
March 23, 2010
March 22, 2010
Our slogan is "hate speech hurts. No Homo(phobia)".
Cause, let's face it. Hate speech sucks and homophobia is stupid.
The point of the campaign is to raise awareness about hate speech. So many people use it without thinking about what they're saying--who they might be offending, the hate they're perpetuating and normalizing, what it really means. BDU is calling those individuals out.
We will be sponsoring various events through out the week.
3/22 MONDAY: If you want to help with the campaign, we're going to be having a work party today, Monday, at 6pm in the BC. Following that, come to bridge painting at 8pm.
3/23 TUESDAY: We're going to be spreading our brilliant posters around campus starting at 10AM. You can meet in the LGBT center to pick up supplies! We also will have representatives tabling on the plaza from 11:00 to 3:00. Tabling on the plaza includes making spray paint t-shirts, serving rainbow cupcakes, and getting people to take a pledge not to use hate-speech and speak up when they hear it in return for a rainbow ribbon!
2/25 THURSDAY: More tabling on the plaza from 11-3! (see above, 3/23 Tuesday for details about tabling).
We need people to sign up to help with tabling! Please visit the doodle poll and sign up. Even if you've never done anything with BDU, come by the table, make friends and lend a hand. In all honesty, tabling for last year's Day of Silence was my first real BDU event--so don't be shy. Tabling is a great way to get to know people and help change the world!!
To sum it all up...BDU's anti-hate speech campaign includes:
1. AMAZING/gorgeous posters w/ snarky, in-your-face messages!
4. RAINBOW CUPCAKES!!!
6. To-die-for t-shirts! (Seriously, you'll want one, they're awesome!)
Questions? Email me, Risa, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I effing hate hate speech, but I LOVE BDU!!
March 15, 2010
"Transgender Need Not Apply At J.Crew" - Gothamist
Jen Carlson writes: "The group (Make the Road New York) says the preppy proprietor (J. Crew) might as well post a 'transgender people need not apply' sign on their door. They recently put the company's Manhattan retail store to the test, (along with 23 other retail stores), sending a transgender and a nontransgender to apply for jobs—with everything else (age, race, experience) matching on their resumes. The full results can be seen after the jump. The group's report 'also found a 42 percent net rate of discrimination for transgender job applicants... [and] 49 percent of transgender workers surveyed reported that they have never been offered a job in the time that they have lived openly as transgender.'
Queerty asks, 'J. Crew has spent nearly three decades outfitting America's homosexuals in their dandy wardrobe... why aren't you hiring transgender job applicants?'
Irene Tung of Make The Road NY tells us J. Crew is being singled out of the 24 stores tested because they 'acted in a discriminatory way with two different matched pairs. The two separate instances of discrimination are considered by the Attorney General and also by social scientists who specialize in matched pair testing, to be especially egregious because they represent a pattern of discrimination. So it is this pattern of discrimination we are singling out at J. Crew.'"
Will Phillips at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards:
This kid is AMAZing!!
I have known for a while that homelessness among LGBT youth is a problem. Many teenagers either get kicked out or live in fear that they will get kicked out when they come out to their parents. It is estimated that 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT. After completing the Homeless Challenge I have a much better idea not just of how it is to be homeless, but also how it is to be openly LGBT and homeless. Thinking about how toned down my experience was compared to the plight of actual homeless youth makes me sick. Nowhere else in society is homophobia so clearly and destructively expressed.The Homeless Challenge is put on by the National Coalition for the Homeless in cities throughout the country. Fifteen people went on this year's Alternative Spring Break trip to Washington D.C. We were divided into groups of five and spent most of our time walking in groups of two or three. For 48 hours we gave up possessions, showers and money. At night formerly homeless guides kept us safe while we slept on the street in our sleeping bags and layers of clothing. During the day we were encouraged to complete tasks like applying for a job or library card, using the bathroom at a fancy hotel, talking to homeless people and panhandling. We ate at soup kitchens.
After this challenge I reflected on how different my experience would have been if I was flamboyantly gay. I wondered if my homeless peers would have showed me the same friendliness. I wondered about violent reactions and sexual assault. I wondered if I would have been able to find a girlfriend in my dirty, lethargic and isolated state. During our reflection one of my friends remarked that when I thought some men on the streets wanted to sexually assault me it was just fear. Yet this is anything but empty fear. It’s not empty fear when you have the statistics and experience to back it up. Over the next couple days I will continue the homelessness theme by posting data, suggested reading and resources. Any LGBT student who has experienced homelessness and wants to be interviewed should contact me.
I encourage everyone to participate in a homeless challenge and an Alternative Spring Break before they graduate.
March 3, 2010
Last week Duke hosted artist Jeff Sheng and his exhibit, Fearless. Fearless is a series of over 100 photographs of out LGBT high school and collegiate athletes. Sheng also spoke about his project called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, so named because it’s a photo documentary book of American servicemen and service women who are LGBT. Anybody who spent any time with me last week bore the burden of putting up with my uncontained enthusiasm for Sheng’s visit. On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending lunch at The Center (thanks, Chris Purcell!) and also his talk that night. I can’t wait to write about that…or about Representative Kyrsten Sinema’s visit which was also last week [even though it’s not sports related I hope to write a post about it]…but both are going to have to wait because
1) the Olympics just ended and I can’t possibly only write one post about them (if you haven’t read it already, read my take on Johnny Weir here)
2) writing about Fearless will take me a while (I’m swamped with stuff right now, so I hope you’ll understand) and
3) I want to address the most recent comment on my last post about Weir.
February 26, 2010 6:17PMThank you, Anonymous, for inspiring what is going to be a new sub-column, if you will, of my regular posts. Welcome to the first volume of “Out Athletes.” Every so often I’ll dedicate one of my posts to highlighting out athletes. It is my intention to highlight individuals who are currently competing or who were out or came out during their career as an athlete. This is not to say that I won’t ever talk about other athletes who’ve come out of the closet since their playing days ended—just that in these specifically designated posts I won’t be. If you have a favorite athlete who fits this criteria, comment below or send me an email! I’d love to know why he/she/ze is your favorite (or one of your favorites) athlete(s) and to share their story with our fellow readers!
There could be a lot of reasons he does what he does. It’s just a shame we don’t have more queers in the public eye. Can anyone name more than three currently active gay athletes? Or one?
Oh, and I know I started this post by putting off writing about Fearless, but I’d be remiss not to comment on the fact that this is what Fearless is all about—recognizing out athletes and giving out athletes a face! See, it all does tie together!
Out Athletes: The 2010 Winter Olympics Edition
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The San Diego Gay and Lesbian News identified six gay athletes who competed in the most recent Olympic games. All six are women. I’ve not read of any openly gay men, bisexual or transgender identified individuals who competed. Though, Women’s Figure Skating Gold Medalist Kim Yu-Na’s coach, Brian Orser, is (now) openly gay after being outed in a partner lawsuit in 1998, a decade after his second Olympic appearance. Out of roughly 5,000 athletes who competed, it would seem that there would be more than six in total, but these are the only ones who’ve made it known to the press. I think this is an important distinction to make. Someone may be out of the closet to their friends and family and even acquaintances and coworkers, but that does not mean that they’ve disclosed it to news sources.
A question for you readers: what do you think of these athletes (yes, I’m assuming there were athletes who competed and fit this description) who are out in their personal lives but not to the press? Is this being out of the closet?
The six confirmed women who love women are:
Renate Groenewold, speed skater from the Netherlands
An Olympic veteran, Groenewold competed and placed 10th in the 3000m. The Vancouver games marked Groenewold’s third Olympics (2006, 2002). In 2002 and 2006 she captured the silver medal in the 3000m. In 2009 she won gold at the world championships, also in the 3000m.
Sanne van Kerkhof*, speed skater from the Netherlands
In her first Olympics, van Kerkhof competed and placed 4th, with her teammates, in the 3000m Relay.
Ireen Wust*, speed skater from the Netherlands
Wust won the gold medal in the 1500m. She also competed in the 1000m (finished 8th), the 3000m (finished 7th) and the team pursuit (finished 6th with her teammates). The Vancouver games were her second Olympics (2006). She was the defending gold medalist in the 3000m after winning in Torino. In Torino she also won the bronze medal in the 1500m. Wust came out casually during an interview in 2009 when she commented on her current relationship (see the * below for details).
Vibeke Skofterud, cross-country skier from Norway
A member of the gold medal winning 4x5km Relay team, Skofterud also placed 22nd in the 10km individual.
Sarah Vaillancourt, hockey player from Canada
A Harvard graduate, Vaillancourt scored three goals and completed five assists en route to winning her second Olympic gold medal (2006).
Erika Holst, a hockey player from Sweden
An experienced Olympian, Holst and Sweden finished fourth in the women’s hockey competition. She previously represented Sweden at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and 2006 Torino Olympics, garnering a bronze and silver medal, respectively. Interesting to note, Holst came out in the middle of her career in 2006.
*denotes that Wust and van Kerkhof are girlfriends. Wust is less than thrilled that her sexuality and not her skating has been the cover story. She is quoted as having said, “I want to talk about ice skating…You are not asking Sven Kramer [Dutch, European and World All-round Champion] about how his relationship is going. So why would you ask me? If I would’ve had a relationship with a guy, you wouldn’t have asked me either.” I have some thoughts on this, so maybe I’ll get around to writing about it over spring break. Oh, and I guess I owe Wust an apology for once again making her sexuality a plot line.
In all, it seems that while only six Winter Olympic athletes (and one coach) publically identified as gay (disclaimer: I don't actually know if these individuals prefer 'gay' or 'lesbian' or 'queer' or __________), the LGBT community has much to be proud of in all of their accomplishments! Random statistical fact: they amassed three gold medals (four, if you count Kim Yu-Na's gold as her coach's) which, had they been a country, would have been good for a tie for 9th place in the "gold medal count!" In total, 20 countries had athletes who won a gold. Eighty-two countries participated in the games.
[Author's note: it's been brought to my attention that the length of my posts may discourage readership, so I thank you for taking the time to read my columns. I hope that you find them interesting and informative. For better, or for worse, this was my attempt at a semi-short blog (nobody's perfect).]
You may know that a committee of BDU has been working on an anti-hate speech campaign. Well, we've got it mostly figured out. And now we need your help to make it come to fruition!
We've chosen to use black/gray scale and purple (cause purple is just the best color, is there any question about that?). We'll have three different posters (see below). The campaign tag line is: Hate speech hurts. No homo(phobia).
THE PHOTO SHOOT FOR THE ABOVE POSTER IS TODAY. AFTER THE BDU MEETING. AT THE CENTER FOR LGBT LIFE (02 WEST UNION).
March 2, 2010
The Chronicle: Editorial "Phase in gender-neutral housing"
Did you see "The Chronicle" today? Well, take a gander when you have a chance: "When it comes to the issue of gender-neutral housing, it is time for Duke to follow suit with its peer institutions."
Props to Michelle Sohn.