Thursday, September 30, 2010

"You-Are-Loved" Candlelight Vigil

Hosted by NYU LGBT clubs and organizations as well as Delta Lambda Phi

Within the past two weeks, FIVE young men between the ages of 13 and 18 have committed suicide as a result of homophobic bullying.

Students at NYU are asking that we all come together as a collective community to remember these young men as well as all of those we have lost due to hatred and bigotry.

It's time to mobilize. The vigil will start at 9:00pm in Washington Square Park underneath the arch. Please bring your own candle if you are able as there will be a limited amount available. The event will culminate in a chalking session in honor of the 2nd annual "You-Are-Loved Chalk Messaging Project." This project is meant to provide uplifting messages as well as shed light on the amount of bullying, harassment, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts that disproportionately affect queer youth.

We need your help to get the word out! Send this group to your ENTIRE friend list. Let's show all the silenced queer youth that there ARE those out there that will accept them for who they are. No one should ever be made to feel alone in this world. We realize this is short notice, but we must act before one more precious life is lost.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear're an idiot...

Ann Coulter spoke at Homocon, a convention for gay conservative GOP supporters, and thought it would be a great idea to say the following:

(marriage) "is not a civil right — you're not black,"

"as soon as they find the gay gene, you know who's getting aborted."

There are a few sad things about all of this. Number 1: why the fuck would any gay person want to hear this woman speak after she called numerous people fagots. Number 2: Although I hope they never find the mythical gay gene, what she says could, sadly, actually happen. Number 3: So are there no gay black men? Or were there just no gay black men in the room? I'd bet that her audiences generally tend to not have very many people of color in them...

I saw her speak once. She opened with two jokes:

"Hello, I'm Ann Coulter, press 1 for English."
"So as you all know Obama is our first black president. And with the way things are going, he'll certainly be the last..."

It was terrifying. People laughed at these "jokes." People actually believe in what this woman is saying, although I did take comfort in the fact that the audience was mostly 50+. A lot of the Tea Party members also fit this bill, but their popularity is growing everyday. Take Christine O'donnell for instance who recently beat a Republican candidate and who believes that masturbation should be made illegal. REALLY? So what's the conclusion to all this? YOU NEED TO VOTE IF YOU DON'T WANT NUT JOBS TAKING OVER THE COUNTRY.

Why the "You-Are-Loved Chalk Message Project" and projects like it are INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!

This Monday, October 4th, will mark the beginning of the second annual "You-Are-Loved Chalk Message Project." The program was started by Drew University under the leadership of New Jersey activist Jen Dugan. Each year, groups of college students and activists write encourages and uplifting messages of love on sidewalks and buildings. These messages are intended to give hope to those who are suffering from bullying, harassment, depression, or suicidal thoughts. The project is meant to shed light on the large amount of queer youth that are disproportionately affected.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's School Climate Survey in 2007 found that:
-86.2% of LGBTQ youth experience harassment in school due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
-60.8% of LGBTQ youth felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.
-32.7% skipped a day of school in the past month because of feeling unsafe.

But in case these numbers aren't real enough for you. Meet Asher Brown(age 13), Seth Walsh(age 13), Justin Aaberg(age 15), and Billy Lucas(age 15). All four of these young boys were driven to suicide through constant bullying for their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Alarmingly, all of these tragic events occurred within the last TWO WEEKS, and these are only the people we know about. It's saddening and troubling and frustrating that we are losing queer youth because they feel alone and hopeless.

Participate in the "You-are-loved Chalk Message Project" on Monday and check out this beautiful video campaign initiative called "It Gets Better." And if you are someone who is struggling with these types of issues, know that you are NEVER alone. Please call this number if you need someone to talk to: 866-4-U-Trevor(1-866-488-7386).

To quote Harvey Milk "You gotta to give em' hope." Have you done your part?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Random thought...

Can we start calling all non Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) Historically white colleges and universities. Shouldn't we be honest? No? Your thoughts?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You down with GOP?...Hell to the no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week, the GOP has proven to me why they have lost touch with most people, especially those under 40.

Reason number one:

Well, with people like that behind GOP strategy...

Reason number two:

They blocked the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Although, why gay people would even want to defend a country that tells them they aren't real human beings is beyond me...

Reason number three:

Over at Joe.My.God, an anonymous commenter posted "All Faggots Must Die" on a piece about the republican block of a DADT repeal. Readers of the blog demanded something be done and that the IP address be traced. Any guesses on where the post came from? If you guessed an office in Atlanta that houses both Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ and Sen. Johnny Isakson’s staff, you'd be right. These are the people the republican senators deem acceptable hires.

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm over generalizing. I know not ALL Republicans are racist or homophobic, but sometimes it seems like no one is really all that for the queer community right now. Obama doesn't believe in equal marriage, the GOP thinks we should die, and the Tea-Baggers don't even believe we'll rot in hell. I'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I just had a WOW moment with Lisa Duggan!

So the NYU Office of LGBT Student Services just had an AMAZING speaker come for our Queer Lunch(Quench) series. Her name is Lisa Duggan and she is a professor at NYU who also works with Queers for Economic Justice. (There is a link for their site on the right hand side of the screen)

She began by introducing a new project that she and a ton of cool people have been working on. It's a new e-book that is being released for free online in October entitled A New Queer Agenda: A Practical Guide to Turn the Gay Rights Movement Into a Progressive Fight for Social Justice (and Succeed!). Seriously, check it out when it's released, I was able to look at the table of contents and it's going to be AMAZING!

A conversation came up about hate crime legislation, and how many groups were opposed to different initiatives such as the Matthew Sheppard Act. Now, my gut reaction was "why would anyone be opposed to putting cold-blooded murders away?" But then as the discussion progressed, I realized that there is a simple answer to that question. Hate crime legislation addresses the symptoms, NOT the disease. Violence is the symptom of systemic hatred.

We all know that the "justice" system disproportionately affects persons of color and of lower socio-economic status. Hate crime legislation has resulted in increased funding for the purposes of of policing these communities even further. But do we spend nearly as much money on social justice education as we do prisons? Organizations like the Audre Lorde Project have advocated to instead give money and funding to educational initiatives that target at risk populations that are prone to violence. Consciousness-raising and the unteaching of early messages of prejudice and bigotry or of the pressures of masculinity are what is needed to decrease hate crimes. Now I'm not saying that when a person engages in violence that they shouldn't be prosecuted, but we have to ask ourselves why violence occurs so often.

What really made me say wow was the fact that when Matthew Sheppard was murdered, there was an outcry across this country and especially New York. Yet hundreds of transgendered sex workers were being beaten and murdered every year. Often times, it was police who were committing the violence.

Where's the justice in that?

Thoughts, reactions, concerns = comments! Please&Thankyou!

Monday, September 13, 2010

How NOT to pick up women

So I thought I would share the ABSOLUTE worst pick-up line that has ever been used on me. One night during my undergrad, my best friend and I walked out of my apartment. There was a group of men hanging out in the quad. As my friend and I entered the quad all we heard was "Finally, some beautiful black bitches." They then pursued to try and walk us to the shuttle stop while wrapping their arms around us asking for our numbers. It was uncomfortable, to say the least. I decided that to get out of the situation I would pull the lesbian card.

Now, for some this isn't always a safe route, but my friend and I felt pretty secure in our physical ability to take these men out if any violence occurred. So I threw the man's arm from around my shoulder and grabbed my best friend's hand. We increased our speed and yelled back to the group: "We're gay." Now my best friend is straight, but somehow she knew instinctively to play along and IT WORKED! But what I really wanted to say was "don't speak to me like that" or perhaps "show me some respect." But when was the last time you heard a woman respond like that to street harassment?

I later found out that the group of "gentlemen" had been harassing women the whole night, although apparently there were not enough "black bitches" for their liking. I wonder how safe other women felt. I wonder how they dealt with the unwanted attention. But I also wonder how many women are conditioned to just accept this type of behavior or even take it as a compliment.

So help me answer my questions. Comment with your best story about the worst/most uncomfortable pick-up attempt you've experienced. Let's compare notes and share tools for avoiding these blatant violations of decency.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

One more beer commercial!...ok two more...

Thank you to Kevin for bringing the next commercial to my attention:

So you probably have some mixed reactions to this video. You may be saying to yourself that he got what he deserved. But Kevin has a different take on things that I tend to agree with:

"All women can do is say "No! Bad man!" when they catch them in the act like a dog chewing on a shoe. Kind of reinforces the "just don't get caught" mentality that we've already got embedded in us. So it ends with a gesture of "Hey, I saw that!" instead of how it's disrespectful to the woman in the chair and undermines her function as a person in a relationship instead of just a body."

Well said! But how about when the roles are reversed?

What are your reactions to seeing the two videos back-to-back?