Okay, so we already knew that this man was awesome enough to play Gandalf. But what is this? Added awesome?
Sir Ian is basically going around schools in Britain and saying, “Do you know gay people? No? Well now you do!” In a school system rife with homophobia (sound familiar here, anyone?) Sir Ian is trying to put forth to students that no, not all gay people are scarey, no, they don’t all look like Alan Carr, and yes, he has just as great of an accent as we thought he did.
Actually I made that last bit up, but you get what I mean.
“The ability to keep bodily matters private is a privilege some of us will never have. Just ask a poor person on welfare, a fat person, a visibly disabled person, a pregnant woman. Ask a person of color whose ethnic heritage isn’t seemingly apparent. Just ask a seriously ill person, a gender ambiguous person, a non-passing transman or trans woman. All these people experience public scrutiny, in one way or another, of their bodies.
In this culture bodily difference attracts public attention. Privacy is not an option. Certainly as a disabled person, I never get a choice about privacy. Sometimes I can choose how to deal with gawking, how to correct the stereotypes and lies, how to live with my particular bodily history. But I don’t get to choose privacy, much less medical privacy. The first thing people want to know is what’s wrong with me. Sometimes they ask carefully about my disability, other times demand loudly about my defect. But either way they’re asking for a medical diagnosis. And if I choose not to tell, they’ll just pick one for me anyway and in the picking probably make a heap of offensive assumptions. The lack of privacy faced by poor people, fat people, disabled people, people of color, and visibly queer and gender variant people has many consequences connected to a variety of systems of oppression…
And so when I hear the argument that being trans is a private matter, I want to ask: do you know that bodily privacy is a privilege regulated by systems of power and control? And if you have that privilege, how are you using it, even when it’s laced with ambivalence and stress?”
Clare, Eli. “Body Shame, Body Pride: Lessons from the Disability Rights Movement.”
As you may have noticed, our club is currently undergoing a name change. We were recently approved by Student Life to change our name from Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to Students for Queer Advocacy (SQuAd), which is really exciting news. You may be wondering why we felt the need to change the name. Ann Hoelscher (Class of ‘11), in an email to the director of Student Life, outlined these specific and comprehensive reasons for the name change:
1.We agreed that this name would be more inclusive— rather than creating a binary suggesting everyone in the club is “gay” or “straight,” we are using a more commonly accepted umbrella term, “queer,” to describe the special interest group. The word “queer” covers gender identities as well as sexual orientations, both of which we want to include.
2. The new name would differentiate between preconceived ideas of what a GSA “is” or “does” that students often have in their highschools and before coming to Muhlenberg. These groups are often social networks, which our club wants to be as well. However, we also consider ourselves to be a politically active organization that strives for social awareness and the education of the community as well as functioning as a “social” club.
3. We think it’s important to emphasize the power of students on campus.
4. To say we are “Students for Queer Advocacy” doesn’t describe our own personal gender or sexual identities, but rather the work that we do— “advocacy”— which encompasses the goals of the group more than “alliance,” which we believe is unclear.
5. It’s a catchy name that will differentiate us from the rest of campus!
Ultimately, our new name is more inclusive and better outlines our purposes and goals as a club on campus. We look forward to continuing our work on campus as the Students for Queer Advocacy!
First, I should note that the GSA is actually in the process of a name transition; soon we will be called SQuAd (Students for Queer Advocacy), which is a better and more inclusive name for the club that emphasizes the power of students on campus.
The club does a variety of different things. We try to keep a balance between activist and advocacy-type events, and social events that allow our group to develop into a close-knit, supportive community. We also try to attend a conference every semester; in the fall, we went to the Translating Identity Converence at the University of Vermont, and last spring we attended the True Colors Conference in Connecticut. With our events, we try to cover a broad range of topics and identities in order to be as inclusive as possible. Recents events we have had include F to eMbody, a group of transgender hip hop artists, slam poet Andrea Gibson, a discussion on humor and it’s effects on the queer community, a Sextival (sexual festival with fun games, a sex toy raffle, and safe sex awareness), a screening of a film about the intersectionality of queerness and Orthodox Judaism, and we will be having a drag show featuring student performers at the end of the week.
Additionally, we will have social events such as movie nights and game nights after meetings. We also try to work with other student organizations and the Multicultural Center to highlight intersecting identities and explore the meanings of these identities and their impacts on campus life for both minority and majority students.
Hope that helps you get a better sense of our presence on campus!
so i googled "muhlenberg lgbt" and this came up. and let me just say, as a queer person/tumblr addict who's probably coming to muhlenberg next year and was worried about there not being enough of an lgbt presence, i was sososososo happy to find this.
I’m glad you found the blog! The GSA will have a table at Through the Red Doors, so if you’re there and have any questions for us, definitely stop by the table. We look forward to meeting you if you do decide to come to Muhlenberg!
The NAACP’s newly revived Worcester, Mass., chapter elected a 28-year-old openly gay black man as its president this month. In New Jersey, a branch of the organization outside Atlantic City chose a Honduran immigrant to lead it last year. And in Mississippi, the Jackson State University chapter recently turned to a 30-something white man.
Founded more than a century ago to promote black equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is seeing remarkable diversity in its leadership ranks — the result of an aggressive effort over the last four or five years to boost NAACP membership and broaden the civil rights organization’s agenda to confront prejudice in its many forms.
“This is the new NAACP,” said Clark University political science professor Ravi Perry, the new chapter president in Worcester. “This is a human rights organization, and we have an obligation to fight discrimination at all levels.”
NAACP branches have been recruiting gays, immigrants and young people who grew up in a world far removed from the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that outlawed school segregation. Now, leadership positions that were once held only by blacks are being filled by members of other racial or ethnic groups.
The group does not keep track of numbers, but in recent years NAACP chapters in New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia have elected Hispanics as president. A white man was picked to lead the chapter in Aiken, S.C. And two years ago, NAACP members in Hamtramck, Mich., a Detroit suburb, selected a Bangladeshi American to revive their long-dormant chapter.
“Some people mentioned that it wouldn’t be possible for me to be president,” said Victor Diaz, 32, a Dominican American who ran against an incumbent and was elected president of the Waterbury, Conn., branch in November. “But when I ran, I won 3 to 1.”
The push for diversity troubles some members of the NAACP’s old guard, who worry that problems in the black community may get short shrift. But some social scientists say the new diversity is merely a return to the group’s roots as a biracial organization.
In 1964, the NAACP’s membership peaked at 625,000 paid members. By the middle of the last decade, that had dropped to just under 300,000. Now it has reversed course and climbed to more than 525,000, in large part because of an increase in young members, group officials say. The NAACP said it does not keep track of the organization’s racial and ethnic breakdown.
Stefanie Brown, the NAACP’s 30-year-old national field director, said the under-25 crowd is the organization’s fastest-growing age group. In fact, the NAACP has slots on its 60-plus member board of directors reserved for people under 25. In addition, Brown said, young professionals under 40 are taking leadership roles — something that hadn’t happened until recently.
Some in the group say the diversity push weakens the NAACP’s identity. Jamarhl Crawford, editor of the Blackstonian, a Boston website that covers the city’s black population, said he fears it could “water down” the focus on problems in the black community.
“I think there’s going to be some loss there in terms of actual activism, actual protest” on behalf of blacks, said Crawford, a 40-year-old member of the NAACP’s Boston branch.
The diversity push was started a few years ago under then-NAACP chairman Julian Bond. Later, Benjamin Todd Jealous, who in 2008 became the group’s youngest leader at age 35, ramped up the effort and also urged the organization to take up gay rights.
“At our core, we want to end discrimination and have equality for all people,” Brown said.
Widely acclaimed slam poet Andrea Gibson is performing at Muhlenberg tonight, March 25th at 7pm in Miller Forum. Event is free and open to the public, and includes a free poetry workshop Saturday, March 26th at 2pm in Moyer 109. Don’t miss this opportunity to see a truly captivating performance!
so this is basically a repost of my comment on the picture of the gay male couple and child, but I thought I’d flesh it out.
So there seems to be a few styles of slogans that are popular amongst activist types:
The How Come They Can Do It And We Can’t?: like that picture - “it’s easier for a 14-year-old to have a baby than for this gay male couple to adopt”
Its flipside You Wouldn’t Let That Happen To Them So Why Can It Happen To Us?: ”You wouldn’t let a racist joke on air so why would you let a fat joke get on air?”
And then there’s They Got Their Rights So Where’s Mine?: ”Gay rights are totally the new civil rights!”
Often these things paint the “they” as a horrid negative stereotype: the people getting married are rich golddigger divorcees, the people not getting abortions are redneck teenagers, they’re often all religious to some degree and lower-class, and so on.
None of this is helpful. All of this is harmful - both to your cause and to others.
You’re basically throwing a whole bunch of people under the bridge here.
You’re forgetting that your group has rights and privileges that other groups may not necessarily have - and that those privileges are possibly disadvantaging others. Like that couple photo again - that couple has white male privilege, they’re relatively upper-middle class, they got a lot more respect then this hypothetical teenage mum.
You’re erasing the challenges that other groups of people - including the people you pit yourself against - still have to face. Civil rights are still going on. Racist jokes are still being played on air. Those working-class rednecks are likely dealing with lack of resources or employment or just plain ol’ respect. And sometimes it’s because of you that they’re not getting there.
You’re washing away everyone on your side that doesn’t fit the clean, respectable model you’re espousing. Ever notice how in gay marriage campaigns you hardly ever see couples that are not middle class, white, stable jobs? Gay couples still divorce and remarry and gold-dig. You want to be sex-positive? Accept that some people will make sexual choices that you may not necessarily like or approve or seem particularly “feminist” - and that’s their choice too.
You’re putting judgements on things that happen in human life and that isn’t necessarily good or bad - like divorce or unemployment or young parentage. They can suck for some, sure, but how does that make them bad people?
You’re ignoring that what you may be fighting for or against, people may vehemently need the opposite. I don’t mean things like pro-life vs pro-choice. I mean things like how while some women fight for the right to abortion, others are fighting for the right to not be sterilized against their will. They’re not mutually exclusive, they still fall down to personal bodily autonomy, but right now there’s an assumption that only one cause is worth championing.
You’re erasing and ignoring allies because you’re making their experiences and value irrelevant. Just because they may be Bible-thumping Christians doesn’t mean they don’t have something of value to share, or that you can’t possibly find some common group to build from.
You’re politicking based on stereotypes, not real people - neither on your side nor theirs.
Stop and think. Solidarity rather than divisiveness. Not Us vs Them - All Of Us Together.
Rights are for all, not for a select few. And that goes for the campaigners as well as the supposed enemy. As I said in the other post, fight for your rights because you deserve them, not because other people don’t.
I’d really like to hear people’s thoughts on this. How do the ideas laid out here relate to how we are all approaching our own political advocacy? Do you see any potential problems with the ways larger LGBT rights organizations conduct their advocacy? What does this mean for those who are often left out of or do not benefit from the goals of these large social movement organizations? What does this mean for the queer community as a whole?
Lesbians Until Graduation? What does that even mean?
Written by Ann Hoelscher, March 19, 2011
The New York Times recently (March 17th, 2011) put out an article by Tamar Lewin entitled “Study Undercuts View of College as a Place of Same-Sex Experimentation”, which addresses the common stereotype/belief in the existence of the Lesbian Until Graduation, or LUG.
If you’re queer identified/interested in queer politics/not living under a cultural rock (just kidding!), you’ve probably heard the term. But according to the New York Times, a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (a weird group to do this, in my opinion) studying data from 2006-2008 says that,
…based on 13,500 responses, almost 10 percent of women ages 22 to 44 with a bachelor’s degree said they had had a same-sex experience, compared with 15 percent of those with no high school diploma. Women with a high school diploma or some college, but no degree, fell in between.Six percent of college-educated women reported oral sex with a same-sex partner, compared with 13 percent who did not complete high school.
This sort of data would lead the average person (or at least me?) to think that maybe the amount of “practicing” queer women, or at least women who were experimenting and interested in their own sexuality, has become more openly common. An interesting thing to note, though:
Although 13 percent of women over all reported same-sex sexual behavior only one percent identified themselves as gay, and another 4 percent as bisexual. To get accurate answers to intimate questions, the researchers asked those surveyed to enter their responses directly into a computer.
I think, first of all, that I have 2 main questions for the authors of the study, although they may not be issues with the study itself as the issue of the article I read. Here goes:
1)What is a “same-sex experience?” Does a massage count as an experience? Kissing when drunk? I feel like I need some sort of clarification here.
2) Are we talking about cis-gendered women, or everyone who identifies as a woman? Were there other gender possibilities offered other than just “male” and “female”? Did both genders assert that they identified as “women”?
3) Does it say who the people who identify as “gay” or “bisexual” are out to? Is it only everyone or does being out to some people count as well?
Obviously in a study like this, there are going to be a million complicating factors regarding why certain people are out, whether or not there was pressure to have a same-gendered sexual experience, etc., which is basically why the article doesn’t even bother coming to its own serious conclusions about the issue (a wise move, in my opinion). That being said, I think the most interesting part of this article is the commentary included by Lewin regarding the study, where several people were consulted to try and suss out analysis and conclusive results from the data.
Comment #1 that made me hit my head against the wall:
‘I always thought the LUG phenomenon was overblown, in the context of it being erotically titillating for young men,” said Barbara Risman, an officer of the Council on Contemporary Families and a University of Illinois at Chicago sociology professor. She added that the new findings may reflect class dynamics, with high school dropouts living in surroundings with few desirable and available male partners.’
I’m not sure where to start on this one, actually, which means I guess I have to jump right in.
This perception of “it” (which seems to suggest women being sexually involved with other women) being “erotically titillating for young men” has never made any sense to me whatsoever. I used to always ask my straight, cis-gendered male friends about this, and I think it was my ex-boyfriend who used the DoubleMint trope to explain it:
“Double your flavor, double your fun!” Personally, I would think it would be doubly a bummer/fairly threatening to your sexual ego to watch two people who you are sexually interested in directing all of their attention AWAY from you rather than TO you. If the women in question are actually lesbians, chances are pretty astronomically high that they are not interested in you, and will be offended/disturbed by your ignorance when you think you can “change their minds” or “turn them straight”…So I guess that’s a question I still don’t have answered, and I don’t think I ever will. And I don’t think that perpetuating this idea is particularly helpful, either.
Secondly, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the implication behind Risman’s argument is that queer women who don’t go to college are unrecognized and unrepresentative of Lesbianism with a capital L because they are only sleeping with women out of desperation and a lack of worthwhile male sex-partners.
Excuse me? Am I the only person who sees something horrifically wrong with this idea? If you ever hear anyone try to defend the fair representation of “high-school dropout” queers (aka non-white, not-college educated/rich queer ladies), punch them in the face with this little ditty and they will surely back down.
As much as this makes me furious, Lewin follows this comment with another perspective from “Amber Hollibaugh, interim executive director of Queers for Economic Justice, a New York-based advocacy group, [who] said the results of the federal survey underscored how poor, minority and working-class lesbians had been overshadowed by the mainstream cultural image of lesbians as white professionals.” This was the thing that jumped automatically to my mind upon reading Risman’s comments, because let’s be honest, you don’t need to watch all 5 seasons of The L Word to know that any kind of non-white non-rich person is pretty much not even considered in terms of media portrayal outside of niche group programming/consumption. I guess I don’t really have much else to say about this, except that the statement by Risman seems to be just one more example of how unfortunately spot-on Hollibaugh’s commentary is.
I guess in an attempt to name drop, Dan Savage, who is often identified with having strong queer politics, is also quoted in the article:
Dan Savage, a gay sex columnist in Seattle, said the LUG phenomenon may be overrepresented in the national imagination because so many students sought attention for their sexual exploration: ‘A lot of them are out to prove something and want their effort to smash the patriarchy to be very visible,’ he said.
Okay, so, does this mean that anyone who is bi-curious (assuming that they don’t identify with any sexual orientation that is interested in women) is automatically trying to make a political statement? Whatever happened to sexual exploration as an attempt to better know oneself? I thought that was how a lot of us ended up as queers in the first place. And why shouldn’t that sexual experimentation be visible? Just because it’s visible doesn’t mean that the participants are trying actively to make a statement for the greater good of all womankind. Furthermore, I think that to insist on a closeted manner of sexual exploration is an exhaustingly conservative message, and I’m actually pretty surprised that Dan Savage would even imply anything close to that.
The last line of the article is the most irritating to me, though, if not the most blatently offensive, as any good journalist knows that endings are privileged and should therefore be chosen pretty carefully. Therefore, shame on you, Lewin. Shame. Anyways, it goes a little something like this:
‘It’s becoming more acceptable, at least in some parts of society, to see your gender identity as fluid,’ said Joan Westreich, a Manhattan therapist. ‘I see women whose first loves were women, who then meet and fall in love with a guy, and for whom it seems to be relatively conflict-free.’
Please, please, and please some more—if you are going to be counseling people on their identities and their lives, learn to at least identify what’s actually going on in their lives. Just because someone is not a heterosexual does not mean they are confused about their gender identity, and conversely, just because they are confused about their gender identity does not mean that they are in any way questioning to whom they are attracted. GENDER IDENTITY DOES NOT EQUAL SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
Also, having relationships or feelings for different gendered people does NOT necessarily mean there will be conflicts, so do me a favor and don’t imply that anyone who identifies as attracted to multiple genders is going to have a “conflict”-ridden relationship anymore that anyone else. I think that you can find people who have “relatively conflict-free” relationships in any gendered set-up, for the record.
Finally, as I don’t think it helps to re-iterate the same commentary over and over, I seriously suggest checking out the well-written analysis written by Rachel K on Autostraddle, entitled, “The Lesbian Until Graduation: Now a New York Times Most Emailed Article!”, for some more critical considerations of the study/the article. I did, and I found it to be a thought-provoking perspective. Good job, Rachel and Autostraddle! Check it out if you get a chance.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act (S,506), a federal anti-bullying bill, in the U.S. Senate.
“The bill requires schools that receive Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funding to implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories often targeted by bullies, including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and others. It also requires states to include bullying and harassment data in their state-wide needs assessments reporting’.
This event isn’t a GSA event technically (we’re not funding it- the English dep’t is) but how can you resist this fabulous event description??
The legendary, raucous, rowdy performance gang, Sister Spit, launches in San Francisco in March 2011 with a vanload of multimedia, queer-centric brilliance! Don’t miss this multimedia explosion of taste-makers, novelists, fashion plates, painters, performance artists, poets and fancy scribblers. Featuring queer luminary Michelle Tea (Best Music Writing 2010, Chelsea Whistle, Valencia, Rent Girl), …writer and provocative performance artist Kirk Read (How I Learned To Snap), graphic novelist and visual artist MariNaomi (Kiss & Tell), award-winning poet laureate of the obsessed and tormented Ali Liebegott (The IHOP Papers, The Beautifully Worthless), novelist and film fodder Blake Nelson (Girl, Paranoid Park, Recovery Road), photographer and Original Plumbing transmale quarterly publisher Amos Mac and award-winning transmitter-writer of brilliantly terrifying fairy tales Myriam Gurba (Dahlia Season)! Plus special guests CA Conrad and Debrah Morkun!
Our executive board thought that creating a Tumblr would be beneficial to the club for a multitude of different reasons.
So what exactly is the purpose of this Tumblr?
To unite the members of our group and provide a space to share information, start discussions, and learn more about LGBTQ issues and communities.
To inform club members, the campus community, and the local community of upcoming events and opportunities within the club, or the area.
To provide resources for LGBTQ identified people and their allies.
How can I contribute to this website?
There is a “submit” button at the top of our page- you can use that to submit text, links, photos, video, and audio.
Original content (photos, videos, audio, essays, poems, etc) are accepted and encouraged!
Our ask box is always open to any questions or comments you may have, but if you have comments related to a specific post please try to use the comments feature to comment rather than our ask box.
How do I comment on posts?
All comments on our page are powered by Disqus. If you are viewing our posts on your Tumblr dashboard, you will have to click on the post and visit the actual rainbowmule blog in order to add comments. If viewing on the rainbowmule blog, simply click the comments link at the top of the post (if there are no comments, it will say “0 Comments”)
Are there any guidelines for submissions?
Please do not submit anything overly offensive/hateful unless you plan to unpack why said submission is offensive. If content is triggering, please provide trigger warnings(if you don’t a moderator will add one to your post and adjust the structure of your post as needed)
Make sure your submissions are credited to the correct source. This is really important!
If you’d like, sign your name on your submission so you can receive the proper credit for your work
Please tag your submissions, because this makes it significantly easier to search for the post on our blog. (an example tag would be “activism”, “events”, “video”, “original content”, etc.
We encourage you to follow us, add us to your Google reader, or just check in on the blog once in a while. Add comments, submit stuff, check out the links at the top of our page, and most of all, have fun!