This simple origami wallet is made for adventure. It is much thinner than most wallets and can even fit in a front pocket easily. It is made out of thick paper that is durable and tough. Write on it, beat it up, give it an a good life. And when its time comes, clean it out, cut the clutter out of your wallet, get a new one, and start over.
Tennessee’s state judiciary committee passed the “don’t say gay” bill this week, prohibiting any discussion of homosexuality prior to ninth grade. Sponsored by Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxille, the measure is being added to the existing Board of Education’s “family life curriculum.” The 6-3 Republican-dominated vote is now headed to the Senate floor, and supports Campfield’s suspicions that homosexuality is being discussed in classrooms despite the state Department of Education claiming they were unaware of any such activity. Campfield has been pushing the bill for six years.
Do we need more evidence that they want us dead?
Seriously? What the fuck?
At first I thought this was a law banning people from calling things “gay” as a slur/synonym for “lame” or “bad.” No actually it’s a proposed law to make it illegal for teachers to mention that homosexuality exists. UGHHHHHH
“Some will read “queer” as synonymous with “gay and lesbian” or “LGBT.” This reading falls short. While those who would fit within the constructions of “L”, “G”, “B”, or “T” could fall within the discursive limits of queer, queer is not a stable area to inhabit. Queer is not merely another identity that can be tacked onto a list of neat social categories, nor the quantitative sum of our identities. Rather, it is the qualitative position of opposition to presentations of stability—an identity that problematizes the manageable limits of identity. Queer is a territory of tension, defined against the dominant narrative of white-hetero-monogamous-patriarchy, but also by an affinity with all who are marginalized, otherized, and oppressed. Queer is the abnormal, the strange, the dangerous. Queer involves our sexuality and our gender, but so much more. It is our desire and fantasies and more still. Queer is the cohesion of everything in conflict with the heterosexual capitalist world. Queer is a total rejection of the regime of the Normal.”—toward the queerest insurrection (via eastofethan)
“Modern schools and universities push students into habits of depersonalized learning, alienation from nature and sexuality, obedience to hierarchy, fear of authority, self-objectification, and chilling competitiveness. These character traits are the essence of the twisted personality-type of modern industrialism. They are precisely the character traits needed to maintain a social system that is utterly out of touch with nature, sexuality, and real human needs.”— Arthur Evans, quoted by Derrick Jensen in Walking on Water, p. 85 (via dietgingerale)
In the fall of 2004, Marriage Equality, a brand new brand of “nonprofit,” held two amazing benefits in New York City and Washington, DC. Called “Wedrock,” these star-studded events featured numerous celebrities, major-label activist rockers from Moby to Sleater-Kinney, Bob Mould to Le Tigre. Just to get people all excited about marriage equality, the promotional email for the events concluded by stating, “Get angry, protect your citizenship.”
If gay marriage is about protecting citizenship, whose citizenship is being protected? Most people in this country — especially those not born rich, white, straight and male — are not full citizens. The not-so-subtle demand to “protect your citizenship” evokes images of George W. Bush’s screeds against “enemies of freedom.” Gay assimilationists want to make sure they’re on the winning side in the citizenship wars, and see no need to confront the legacies of systemic and systematic US oppression that prevent most people living in this country (and everywhere else) from exercising their supposed “rights.” This willful participation in US imperialism is part of the larger goal of assimilation, as the holy trinity of marriage, military service and adoption has become the central preoccupation of a gay movement centered more on obtaining straight privilege than challenging power.
Gay assimilationists have created the ultimate genetically modified organism, combining virulent strains of nationalism, patriotism, consumerism, and patriarchy and delivering them in one deadly product: state-sanctioned matrimony. Gay marriage proponents are anxious to discard those tacky hues of lavender and pink, in favor of the good ol’ stars and stripes, literally draping themselves in Old Glory at every pro-marriage demonstration as the US occupies Iraq, overthrows the only democratically-elected government in the history of Haiti, funds the Israeli war on the Palestinians, and makes the whole world safe… for multinational corporations to plunder indigenous resources.
A gay elite has hijacked queer struggle, and positioned their desires as everyone’s needs — the dominant signs of straight conformity have become the ultimate signs of gay success. Sure, for white gays with beach condos, country club memberships, and nice stock portfolios with a couple hedge funds that need trimming every now and then (think of Rosie O’Donnell or David Geffen), marriage might just be the last thing standing in the way of full citizenship, but what about for everyone else?
Even when the “gay rights” agenda does include real issues, it does it in a way that consistently prioritizes the most privileged while fucking over everyone else. I’m using the term “gay rights,” instead of the more popular term of the moment, “LGBT rights,” because “LGBT” usually means gay, with lesbian in parentheses, throw out the bisexuals, and put trans on for a little window-dressing. A gay rights agenda fights for an end to discrimination in housing and employment, but not for the provision of housing or jobs; domestic partner health coverage but not universal health coverage. Or, more recently, hospital visitation and inheritance rights for married couples, but not for anyone else. Even with the most obviously “gay” issue, that of anti-queer violence, a gay rights agenda fights for tougher hate crimes legislation, instead of fighting the racism, classism, transphobia (and homophobia) intrinsic to the criminal “justice” system. Kill those criminals twice, this logic goes, and then there won’t be any more violence.
The violence of assimilation lies in the ways the borders are policed. For decades, there has been a tension within queer politics and cultures, between assimilationists and liberationists, conservatives and radicals. Never before, however, has the assimilationist/conservative side held such a stranglehold over popular representations of what it means to be queer. Gay marriage proponents are anxious to discard generations of queer efforts to create new ways of loving, lusting for, and caring for one another, in favor of a 1950s model of white-picket-fence, “we’re-just-like-you” normalcy.
The ultimate irony of gay liberation is that it has made it possible for straight people to create more fluid gender, sexual and social identities, while mainstream gay people salivate over state-sanctioned Tiffany wedding bands and participatory patriarchy. Many straight people know that marriage is outdated, tacky and oppressive — and any queer who grew up in or around marriage should remember this well. Marriage still exists as a central site of anti-woman, anti-child and anti-queer violence, and a key institution through which the wealth and property of upper class (white) families is preserved. If gay marriage proponents wanted real progress, they’d be fighting for the abolition of marriage (duh), and universal access to the services that marriage can sometimes help procure: housing, healthcare, citizenship, tax breaks, and inheritance rights.
Instead, gay marriage proponents claim that access to marriage will “solve” fundamental problems of inequality. This is not surprising, given that the gay marriage movement is run by groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the Log Cabin Republicans, who have more in common with the National Rifle Association than any sort of left agenda, queer or otherwise. These are the same gays who routinely instigate police violence against people of color, homeless people, transgender people, sex workers and other marginalized queers, in their never-ending quest to “clean up” the neighborhoods they’ve gentrified. Their agenda is cultural erasure, and they want the full Monty.
For a long time, queers have married straight friends for citizenship or healthcare — but this has never been enshrined as “progress.” The majority of queers — single or coupled (but not desiring marriage), monogamous or polyamorous, jobless or marginally employed — would remain excluded from the much-touted benefits of legalized gay marriage. Furthermore, in order to access any marriage benefits, those not entirely “male” or “female” would need to accept gender tyranny. As gay marriage continues to dominate the mainstream gay agenda, resources are directed away from HIV prevention, AIDS services, drug treatment, domestic violence services, and other programs desperately needed by less privileged queers — millions of dollars are being poured into the marriage coffin. The fight between pro-marriage and anti-marriage queers is not a disagreement between two segments of a “community,” but a fight over the fundamental goals of queer struggle.
Gay marriage proponents are anxious to further the media myth that there are only two sides to the gay marriage/assimilation debate: foaming-at-the mouth Christian fundamentalists who think gay marriage marks the death of Western civilization, and rabid gay assimilationists who act as if gay marriage is the best thing since Queer Eye for the Straight Girl. It is no coincidence that queers who oppose gay marriage are shut out of the picture, since it’s much easier for a gay marriage proponent to win an argument with a crazed homophobe than with an anti-marriage queer. And every time some well-meaning straight leftist thinks they’re being open-minded by taking the gay marriage side, they need to go back to Feminism 101.
Of course, Christian fundamentalists make no distinction between diesel dykes and Diesel jeans, or, to be more direct — they think all queers are gonna burn in hell, Tiffany or no Tiffany. (as in, “I think we’re alone now…). Every time gay marriage proponents patiently explain to Fundamentalists, “One, two — we’re just like you — three, four — we bash queers more!” the Christian Right gains authority. But this false polarization serves gay assimilationists as well, by silencing queers who threaten the power that lies behind their sweatshop-produced nylon rainbow flags.
When gay assimilationists cheerfully affirm, over and over again, to lunatics who want them dead, that of course gay identity is not a choice, because who would choose it, they unwittingly expose the tyranny of simplistic identity politics. Not only have the dominant signs of straight conformity become the central goals of the gay assimilationist movement, but assimilationists see a threat to Christian fundamentalist security as a threat to “progress.” Forget about choosing our gender, sexual or social identities, forget about building community or family outside of traditional norms, forget about dismantling dominant systems of oppression — let’s just convince the Christian right to accept us on their own terms.
We will continue to search for a history stolen from us. Every day in America is White History Day, and every time a child in this country goes to school, it is a study of white history. We must know that our history will never be handed to us in a society marked by patriarchy, and we shall remember the value of knowing our own history, and never feel satisfied with all that we’ve uncovered.
We will refuse to be complacent. At every instance where a conversation or a lyric calls a womyn a bitch, or a slut, or any derogatory gender-charged slur, it is an offense to us all. We will refrain and deprogram ourselves away from slut-shaming. We will not hold other womyn to double standards society had bore into us. We will remember that every jealous comment comes from the competitive mentality society has given us to tear each other down and we must abolish this completely for unity. We will recognize that “as women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation.”1
We will recognize all injustices that have stemmed from patriarchy like we recognize our own. We will fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, speciesism, ableism, and cissexism alike. We will not weigh our struggles against each other or create conflict between different injustices.
We will recognize that climbing the corporate ladder as Uncle Sam’s Sambo will never be the answer to racial disparities. Endorsing a capitalist system where rich white America feeds off of our starving chance-less families is in every way traitorous. We will recognize that for every impoverished person of color, we are not free. For every prejudice instance acting as a shackle on the ankle of one of our own we are not free. As long as there is any one person of color still robbed of freedom, we all are.
We will remember that poverty and income inequality are not coincidences, but the results of this nation being built on the backs of our ancestors. We will recognize that we have every right to the wealth of this nation, but NEVER desire excess. We will remember that greed is the barbarian that steals from the mouths of the hard working and poor.
We will shun any complacency with a nation that deems our rights as queer folk inadmissible. We will not settle for Massachusetts or put our queer agenda on the backburner. We will not stand idly by while teenagers use terms like “that’s gay” to express disappointment. We will be here and out and proud and demand equal rights. We will not rest until we have the right to marry, despite the thoughts many of us have to abolish marriage altogether. We will not settle for any second-class citizenship, or set of rights less than the hetero world receives.
We will refuse heteronormative advances. We will realize that every novel and movie and magazine, every newspaper, and every comic strip will represent the hetero community wholly, and until we are represented we are not counted for.
We will not be told how to express ourselves, especially in the light of gender expression. We will wear dresses or not wear dresses, shave or not shave, wear make-up or not wear make-up, wear heels or not wear heels, we will tattoo, buzz, lock, and do whatever we want with our bodies accordingly. We will not be tied down to ideas of “manly” or “womanly”. We will be totally gender-nonconforming in ideals, even if we express ourselves as ‘feminine’ ciswomyn.
We will fight for the right to be healthy and human with all causes on a level plane. We will “struggle to take on hybridity, to take on queer, to take on diasporas, to ‘work across’ sexualities.”2 We shall use all mediums and acts of our everyday lives to declare our stances. We will paint, write, photograph, speak, and even fuck liberation into existence. And we will never cease.
1. Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House”
On Saturday’s Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade attempted to dismiss the importance of Planned Parenthood funding by claiming that services like pap smears are available “at Walgreens.” In response to an email about the segment, a Walgreens spokesperson told Media Matters that they do not offer such services.
Yes please, more old white men who probably doubt the existence of the clitoris, they are just who I want to be making decisions about my sexual health and reproductive rights!
Seriously, do you know what a PAP smear even is?
You mean “Pap Smear” isn’t like, off-brand Vagisil or something?
Ladies, if someone at Walgreens offers you a pap smear: RUN.
Fox & Friends: valliant guardians of women’s health.
A Liberty High School student says that he was simply showing his support for equal rights for all. But a teacher and school official claimed that the shirt, which said “Queer + Straight = Equal” was offensive and forced him to go home.
Now, student Jesse Irey, who says that he is bisexual, and the American Civil Liberties Union are fighting back against what they say is illegal censorship by the school.
"Liberty is supposed to be a ‘hate free zone,’ that’s one of our shirts," said Irey.
But a Liberty High teacher and an assistant principal said that the word “queer” is offensive, and when Irey refused to take off the shirt, he was sent home.
"What people are trying to do is take the word back so it’s not an offensive slur," said Irey, who says that he is particularly upset because other students at the school were allowed to wear anti-gay shirts at school after the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance wore shirts that read ‘Gay-Fine by Me.’
"Kids wore shirts like this that said ‘Straight - the only thing fine by me,’" said Irey.
"(School officials) didn’t ask those students to turn their shirts inside out," said Kelly Smith, Irey’s mother. She says that since her son came out as bisexual, he has been harassed at school by other students and teachers.
"It’s ignorance and prejudice and there’s no place for that at school," said Smith.
In a statement, the Liberty School District says the word queer is “aligned with hate-drive remarks resulting in hostile physical reactions that are detrimental to a safe learning environment.” The statement goes on to say that the district “embraces and promotes acceptance and tolerance.”
Doug Bonney of the ACLU says that Irey’s shirt doesn’t rate as offensive, and he is now demanding that the school stop their censorship.
"Absolutely it’s a freedom of speech issue, there’s no doubt," said Bonney. "High school students have the right to express themselves on t-shirts."
The shirt came from a conference hosted by EQUAL, or Empowering Queer Activists and Leaders. EQUAL president Wick Thomas says that they are prepared to fight the school’s ban of their shirt.
"I hope the administration realizes that in this increasingly hostile climate towards LGBT youth that they need to support their students and be advocates for students, and not send them home because of a dispute over a t-shirt," said Thomas.
“For some loners, a paucity of friends is a matter of time. There is simply too much to do alone, no time to spare. Shared time, while not entirely wasted if the sharer is a true friend, must be parceled out with care, like rationed flour. And time shared, even with true friends, often requires loners to put in extra time alone, overtime, to recharge. It is a matter of energy: As a rule, loners have less for the social machinery, the talk and sympathy. Our fuel runs out. This is what nonloners don’t understand about us, what they cannot see. We do not choose to have such tiny fuel tanks. These can be quite inconvenient. They are why we seem rude, when we do, why we seem bored and often are. Spaced-out and often are. Running on empty. Not heartless. Not unappreciative. Not fools. We know the rest of the world has big tanks. We know they don’t know.”—