Sir Ian McKellen’s School Tour Teaches Kids Not To Be Scared Of The Gay -
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.
3 cheers for Gandalf! Always savin’ the day.
“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.”
There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. — Audre Lorde (via innerfatgirl)
(Source: julietburgess, via midwestgenderqueer)
pelafina said: I love the new name too! Props for coming up with something so inventive and explaining it so eloquently!
Glad you like it! I’ll pass along your compliments to my friend Ann who though of the name and wrote the description :)
laurenartillery said: wait i am such a fan of the name change, i can't even tell you
Me too, it’s really clever and fantastic! All credit goes to Ann, she came up with it :)
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!
Anonymous said: So what does Muhlenberg GSA do?
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!
Anonymous said: 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!
NAACP makes unprecedented diversity push - Chicago Sun-Times -
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.