Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What not to say about trans people

Just a quickie. I found this on the web. If you're wondering how to talk about or to us, here are some useful tips.
Really, it all boils down to: don't patronise, don't try to force us into roles that don't fit us.

This advice applies to everybody, irrespective of colour, gender, ethnic origin, hair/eye colour, sexual orientation, lactose-tolerance...

Full size original here.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Tony Perkins Says I Am Not Alone - Plague of Mice

I got this the other day, but I was too busy with important things – like the USA trying to pass a censorship bill – to share it at the time. Here you go:
family research council
November 24, 2011
Dear Jay,
I thought you would want to know: You are not alone!
Responses have been pouring in to the Defend Family Values Quiz, in which you participated recently.
Like you, more Americans are waking up to what’s happening to their religious freedoms.
More Americans are finding out what laws like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would mean (hint: it could be renamed as the Discrimination Against Christians in the Workplace Act).
Cobblers. We’ve been through all this with Eugene ‘Fear The Peen’ Delgaudio. It’s a bare-faced lie, as the Wikipedia article sums up quite nicely...
... but you'll need to read the rest here: Tony Perkins Says I Am Not Alone - Plague of Mice

Sunday, 27 November 2011

33 years ago

...Harvey Milk was assassinated. This is his best-known speech and, while things have got better, there's still a long way to go.


Harvey Milk was the first openly-gay man to be elected to public office in the US in 1977. His most recognized speech, "You Cannot Live On Hope Alone," was given in 1978, shortly before he was assassinated. His words resonate particularly today as Californians debate a resolution to ban gay marriage.

I know which film I'll be watching tonight.
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SOPA/PIPA: Fight For The Future Says 'Hustle'

Presented without comment, apart from: blanket censorship is a bad thing which will be abused to silence free speech.
United States Senate SealImage by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Have you woken up from your food coma yet?  (Heh, I'm on a diet and don't do gluttony) We don't have any time to waste.

Sources tell us that Senate leadership could call for a vote on the Internet censorship bill as early as this week, which is why we're trying to line up as many people as possible to call the Senate on Tuesday. Ten thousand people have signed up so far, which is awesome. But our goal is to absolutely flood Senators' phone lines, and that'll take about 50k calls.

Will you click here to join in, by committing to call your Senator and helping us reach our goal?


Those hundreds of thousands of emails we sent helped scare away a lot of support for the Stop Online Piracy Act -- the House's version of the censorship bill. But the Senate version has been around much longer, and has a stronger core of people advocating for it. When Hollywood, drug companies, and the Chamber of Commerce come calling, most Senators see dollar signs. More than 30 of them have already said they back the legislation. That's why we need to redouble our efforts, steer as many calls as possible into the Senate on Tuesday, and scare off some of the Senators who say they're likely to support this thing.

Please click here to sign up, and then help us get others signed up to make calls too, so we can reach our goal of 50k phone calls.


While you're killing time on the internet this weekend, remember that some of your favorite sites might not be there anymore in a few weeks if we don't win our fight against this terrible legislation.

Holmes Wilson
Fight for the Future / AmericanCensorship.org

P.S. Senator Wyden will fillibuster the censorship bill in the Senate, if it comes to that.  Sign this petition from our friends at Demand Progress and Sen. Wyden will read from this list during his fillibuster: StopCensorship.org
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Update on SOPA/PIPA - USA citizens, get ready to make a phone call

Reporters Without Borders Internet censorship ...Image via Wikipedia
Here's an email I just received as an update on the SOPA disaster of a bill in the USA. OK, everybody. Try and shake off the turkey/tofu-induced sluggishness and don't let this dangerous nonsense through.




The Internet Censorship Bill took a massive beating last week (yeah, you did that!) but drug companies, movie studios and the Chamber of Commerce do *not* go down easy.

Now-- get this-- they're telling Congress it's a "jobs" bill.

This is dangerous.  Everyone in Congress is desperate to do something to create jobs. Now the most powerful lobbies in Washington are banging down their doors, saying "this is your (only) chance to pass a jobs bill."

Since Congress is away for the holiday, there's one priority: sign up as many people as possible for a massive call-in day when Congress returns.

Click here to join in, by committing to call your Senator


Since the House's "SOPA" has such a bad name (yes, you did that) lobbyists are moving their weight behind the Senate version, PIPA ("The PROTECT IP Act"). The Senate's censorship bill is just as bad; it's only missing a few of SOPA's extra-crazy provisions, like the ones that could send you to jail for singing a pop song on YouTube. The website blocking provisions are all there. Still, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks that with the attention on SOPA, he can sneak PIPA through quickly when Congress returns.

Reid needs to know this bill won't move forward without a fight. That's why we're organizing a call-in day for Tuesday, using the same tools that our heroes at Tumblr used last week.  It's kind of perfect. While Congress rests we've got 5 full days to sign up friends, colleagues, Twitter followers-- everybody. Then on Tuesday we'll unleash a storm of phone calls.

Click here to sign up, and then get others signed up too.


This weekend, instead of nobly vegging out on the internet, you can fight for the future of the internet and freedom of speech. Every ounce of time you spend counts.

Signups now, phone calls Tuesday. Start your engines.

Holmes Wilson
Fight for the Future / AmericanCensorship.org
P.S. Are you a Tumblr user?  We just put up a special section with extra-easy instructions for Tumblr users to add a "Stop Censorship" button to their site:  http://americancensorship.org/#tumblr
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Monday, 21 November 2011

Russia: don't make it illegal to say gay (petition)

Here's the petition by AllOut.org that's just gone up on their site. We have 48 hours to try to convince Russia not to do this terrible, retrograde thing and make it illegal to be who you are. Please sign.

Dear Jay, 
We've been talking all weekend with our friend Sasha - a teacher and mom in Russia - and what we're hearing is horrifying. On Wednesday, political leaders in St. Petersburg are voting on a new law that will make it illegal to speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender.


Sasha and a broad coalition in Russia are doing everything they can to stop the bill. Yesterday, they organized one of the biggest demonstrations ever in support of equality - but still the international community is not paying attention. They need support from around the world - and they need it fast.


www.allout.org/russia_silenced

Because Russia is powerful, most world leaders have stayed silent. But if we raise our voices now, we'll shine an international spotlight on the issue that will be impossible to ignore.

Will you take 2 minutes to add your voice to our urgent call? We'll deliver the petition to Russian embassies around the world and push the issue to the top of the international agenda:

www.allout.org/russia_silenced

If the law passes this week in St. Petersburg, it could quickly lead to a crushing of freedoms throughout all of Russia. Moscow, the largest city in the country, already said they were looking into passing the same law - paving the way for officials to make it national. Our friends in Russia believe that stopping the bill in St. Petersburg can derail the plan to take this law nationwide.  Many around the world have been reluctant to criticize the ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, but their party appointed both the mayors of Moscow and St. Petersburg and they've gone on record in support of the proposed laws.  


Russia is already a dangerous place to be out and open as an lesbian, gay, bi or trans (LGBT) person. Courageous pride marchers were brutally attacked and detained by Moscow police last summer - for the simple act of holding their heads up high in public. If this bill passes, even the small victories that the LGBT movement in Russia has won will be wiped out - and pride marches, cultural festivals, and even the distribution of leaflets in the streets will be considered illegal.

Moments like this highlight exactly why we launched All Out just under a year ago: to stand with our friends around the world when they’re under attack, and to keep opportunistic governments from playing politics with fundamental rights. Please sign this urgent call, share it with your friends, and stand in solidarity with our brave friends in Russia - Coming Out, Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, and the Russian LGBT-Network - who are refusing to be silenced:

www.allout.org/russia_silenced

All the best and All Out,
Andre, Emmy, Erika, Flavia, Guillaume, Jeremy, Joseph, Nita, Oli, Tile, Wesley and the rest of the team at All Out

SOURCES:
Russian lawmakers back fines for gay 'propaganda'
www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iN30TwwunCPBtqr3Pnt0fxHgrRaQ?docId=CNG.4a103f4c12c31f010418ccb1595560e0.371 
Russian's protest: detained by police
www.thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/11/17/371135/russians-protest-st-petersburgs-anti-gay-propaganda-law-with-lunch-plates-are-detained-by-police/
Tolerance, not gay bans
www.themoscownews.com/editorial/20111117/189213196.html
Russia's war against rainbows
www.latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/russias-war-against-rainbows/
Russia’s gays under attack as MPs back fines for ‘gay promotion’
en.ria.ru/analysis/20111118/168818571.html


All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that’s between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.
Our mailing address is:
Purpose Foundation
224 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
Copyright © 2011 AllOut.org, All rights reserved.
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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Family Research Council wants to protect my freedoms

It didn’t take long for my latest fave hate group to start sending me pleas for money: about ten hours, to be precise.
Family Research Council
November 19, 2011
Dear Jay,
You recently took the Defend Family Values Quiz, sponsored by Family Research Council (FRC), the most influential pro-family research organization in Washington, D.C.
I hope the questions and answers helped you see the very grave threats posed to your values and religious freedoms.
Oh yes, they did, although quite certainly not in the way you mean. My values include tolerance, fraternity, cooperation and not being a complete dick.

More ranting over bigotry here: Family Research Council wants to protect my freedoms

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Marcus Bachmann has never heard of Streisand? Shame!

Because it looks like he is going to get a full-force Streisand Effect right in his smooth, smackable face. According to TWO's lawyer, Bachmann is going to have a hard time proving the money is due.


On the other hand, it probably couldn't get any worse for his wife's campaign anyway.
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American Censorship Day

OK, this is 24 hours late, but I had a migraine. In any case, this isn't just a one-off, one-day thing. Until everybody has hammered it into the skulls of the RIAA and Government control freaks that censoring the Internet is a very, very bad thing to do (bad as in: wrong, immoral, unethical, undemocratic), this campaign needs to keep on gaining momentum.

Like so much recent legislation to "protect" things, this is being rushed through by the wrong (i.e. unqualified) people and wide open to abuse. Take this, for example:

Website Blocking
The government can order service providers to block websites for infringing links posted by any users.
That's institutionalised bullying. It would also mean that anybody can be censored, since generally lawyers issue takedown notices first and (may) talk afterwards.

Incidentally, censoring sites the government doesn't approve of is what countries like China do, and bills of this sort pave the way to making this kind of behaviour more acceptable. For example:

This blog is so subversive and immoral, it is inaccessible from China.

Want proof?

Website Test Results
Tested From:Shanghai, China
Tested At:2011-11-17
08:16:30 (GMT -05:00)
URL Tested:http://adifferentmusic.blogspot.com
Resolved As:64.233.183.132
Status:Failure in receiving network data
Response Time:3.587 sec
DNS:1.675 sec
Connect:0.118 sec
Redirect:0.000 sec
First Byte:0.000 sec
Last Byte:1.795 sec
Size:0 bytes
Tested From:Seattle, WA
Tested At:2011-11-17
08:16:30 (GMT -05:00)
URL Tested:http://adifferentmusic.blogspot.com
Resolved As:74.125.127.132
Status:OK
Response Time:1.092 sec
DNS:0.389 sec
Connect:0.009 sec
Redirect:0.000 sec
First Byte:0.570 sec
Last Byte:0.125 sec
Size:91729 bytes

Watch the video, visit the website, write to your Congressman if you live in the USA, and spread the word.

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Thursday, 10 November 2011

It Getteth Better

While I'm not convinced that anything will get better unless we all work together to make it so, this is funny. It's also selling a book, but very gently. No, not that book. A new one.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The T-word

If non-transgender folk are crass enough to call us "trannies", does that mean we get to call them "cissies"?

Just wondering...

Trans people, let's tell Facebook we exist!

Dear Jay,
Imagine that one day Facebook suddenly erased your identity from its social network – what would you do?  We often take for granted our ability to create an online identity that reflects who we are, but for millions that's impossible – because their gender does not fit in Facebook's checkboxes. From Metis in Nepal, to Travestis in Brazil, there are millions whose identities are broader than just male or female – the two options Facebook forces you to choose from before joining. The governments of Nepal, India, and Pakistan have legally recognized that gender goes beyond male and female - and so has Facebook's main competitor, Google+. If Facebook were a nation, it would have the world’s third largest population. In the past, they have used their influence for good - recognizing same gender partnerships and marriages. Will you take one minute to ask Facebook to change the checkbox and open their doors to people of all gender identities? Then tell your friends and family to do the same: www.allout.org/facebook
What we love about Facebook is the ability for people to create and customize online identities to reflect our lives. When it comes to languages, we can list virtually any language in the world, or even make up languages – how else could we show off our fluency in “Language of Love”? If our ability to choose religions, languages, and interests are limitless, why should Facebook impose limits on something as essential as gender? While most trans people have fought for the right to have their gender identities recognized and respected, we know this is a new issue to many All Out members. 
So, we asked 5 members of our community who are impacted by Facebook's policy to tell us about who they are and why this change matters.  You can check out their stories and sign the petition, here: www.allout.org/facebook
Facebook is one of the most powerful companies in the world and can influence hundreds of millions of people. Will you push Facebook to become a vehicle, not a roadblock, in the uphill drive for recognition and respect? www.allout.org/facebook Thank you for speaking out so that every All Out member is respected for who they are.  We appreciate you!

All the best and All Out,
Aaron, Andre, Erika, Guillaume, Jeremy, Joseph, Nita, Oli, Prerna, Tile, Wesley and the rest of the team at All Out
SOURCES:
1. Pakistan's high court finds merit in third gender ID www.thestar.com/news/world/pakistan/article/761722--pakistan-s-high-court-finds-merit-in-third-gender-id
2. India's third gender gets own identity in voter rolls www.edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/12/india.gender.voting
3. Nepal: Third gender issued citizenship certificate www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Third+gender+issued+citizenship+certificate&NewsID=284117
4. Facebook’s Gender Trouble www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2008/07/09/gender_neutral
5. Google Plus Goes Gender Neutral www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/07/13/Google_Plus_Goes_Gender_Neutral
All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that’s between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.


Our mailing address is:
Purpose Foundation
224 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
Copyright © 2011 AllOut.org, All rights reserved.

Pink jackboots, Churchill, and same-sex marriage - Plague of Mice

You may not have heard of Alan Craig. I certainly hadn’t, but he’s a bit more than just a lone fruitcake who lacks the wit and charm of an Eugene Delgaudio. He actively campaigns against LGBT rights on a religious fanaticism ticket. Here’s his career to date, according to Wikipedia:

Political career
  • Craig first stood for Newham Council in 1998 as a Christian Democrat candidate in Ordnance ward and in 2001 he stood in a by-election for Beckton ward.
  • He was elected to Newham Council for Canning Town South in the 2002 local elections becoming the only opposition councillor. In the 2006 elections he was re-elected with an increased majority as part of a group of three Christian Peoples Alliance councillors. However he lost his council seat in 2010....
Godwin's Law can be observed striking at repeated intervals here: Pink jackboots, Churchill, and same-sex marriage - Plague of Mice

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Living Waters want to grab you and drag you down to drown

My home town has just been infested by a local branch of Living Waters Europe. Like Scientology, they prey on the vulnerable, selling 'gay cures' out of the local Evangelical church for €300 a pop, plus documentation. Here's what they claim to do, lifted off their own 'About' page:
Living Waters provides Christ-centered help for those struggling with a variety of sexual and relational problems, and for those with life-defining illnesses. Our help is founded on the biblical foundation of compassion, integrity, and dependence on God.
"Sexual and relational problems" is a big giveaway of course, and so is "life-defining illnesses". They're targeting gays, AIDS sufferers, the abused and the depressed. More specifically:
3. For whom is Living Waters?
Living Waters is aimed at people who want to grow in their true, God given identity and their ability to have healthy relationships.

A Living Waters group is open to people with various issues:

relationships:



  • fear of men or women, difficulty in establishing intimate relationships
  • having difficulty in saying 'no', keeping healthy boundaries
  • emotional dependency, codependency
  • victims of abuse (emotional, mental, physical, sexual)
  • various forms of addiction
    no intimate relationship with God, distorted image of God as Father, no reality of the Cross in everyday life
(sexual) identity
  • low self esteem
  • feelings of emptiness
  • homosexual or lesbian feelings
  • pornography, promiscuity
  • sexual fantasies and addiction
I could sound off at length about this, or any other, ex-gay 'ministry' and the suffering they create and perpetuate. On the other hand, it's already been done (see sites like Truth Wins Out for more information). It also looks to me as if there's some kind of victim-blaming going on.

What I want to know is: where do these weasels get their funding? And what do they hope to achieve in a country where atheism isn't a dirty word?

I also want to know which "Church" they're trying to drag people into, because that's something they're very careful to avoid specifying.

Note for connoisseurs of stupidity: the leaflet distributed in my area was printed in Comic Sans font.
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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Love and hate-mongers

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday was something of a whirlwind. I met the members of my local LGBT association for the first time, had a great evening. Slight headache today: must remember to stay away from the white wine; it doesn't mix with my medicine.

I should maybe learn to salsa: there was somebody I'd rather have liked to ask to dance.

It was fantastic, being able to relax and chat with people who might not be quite like me, but are prepared to listen and try to understand. They were incredibly patient; I must have been a bore, as I realise I really need to talk, having bottled it all up for so long. I suppose we all go through that when we first come out.

Talking with my new friends, I learned there had been a peaceful demonstration earlier that day. I hadn't known about it and couldn't have gone anyway as I had my monthly psychiatric appointment (he was surprised by my haircut: why? He knows I'm trans). What was the reason for this outrage? Well, our friend Eugene would have considered it an outrage and proof of the evil homosexual agenda (which I still haven't received). An anti-gay cult has moved into town, selling 'gay cures'. More on them in my next post.

Finishing on a happy note, here's Sinfest again.

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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Today's Sinfest is a must-read


Sinfest is a fantastic, often thought-provoking comic. Everyone should read it. Everyone. You'll even learn a few pictograms.