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Also, your regular, non-slash, real-life military needs you - to go phone your Senator and tell them that you want them to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The Senate votes tomorrow (to repeal it), and things aren't looking good.

[profile] sotto_voice has a post with important details here. Please go read it and take action!
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Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional!


I realize this just launches off another round of appeals, but yay for movement in the right direction!
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I hold this truth to be self-evident, friends.

(Pic found via Leila at Bookshelves of Doom, who is my favourite. Here's her post.)
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The Premier of my province just tried to have information about transsexuality, masturbation, and anal sex added to the sex ed we teach in schools, but was shouted down by a bunch of right-wing windbags.

It's fitting, then, that there were two news items about transgender stuff in the blogosphere today, both illustrating why it might be NOT SUCH A BAD IDEA to help the general public understand transfolk.

One, over at Sociological Images, there's a heartbreaking photospread of transfolk holding placards with questions they've been asked. Questions, as you may have guessed, that are less than awesome. (And suddenly it strikes me that 'Trans Bingo,' like 'Feminist Bingo' and 'FanFiction Bingo,' might be an easy game to make up.)

Two, under the cut for news of violence which may be triggering )

Phew. I don't know about you guys, but I think this post requires a Unicorn chaser.
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[personal profile] iambickilometer has written a really excellent piece of meta: Five+ Ways Being Transgender in Fandom Really Sucks, and Why I Stick With It Anyway, which I urge all of you to go read. Um. At a more sane hour. (Why am I awake at 1:30 in the morning?)

Excerpt from the piece:
I love many cisgendered characters, mind. Just like I love many straight characters and many non-Latino characters. But I want to be able to love transgender characters, too. And I want other people to love them, to follow their stories and root for them and see them as people and interesting, complex characters that they can ship and analyse. I want people to feel like they can write trans characters even though they're not trans themselves. I want to be able to say I'm transgendered and have people know what that means.

He's got a lot to say about genderswap fic and how it fails, too, which is extremely worthwhile for your consideration, especially if, like me, you've read a shit-ton of it in SGA fandom.

Actually, while we're on this topic -- and if it's a topic that interests you -- you might also want to know that there is an excellent personal essay in Oprah mag this month by a woman who fell in love with a trans guy. She talks about how they've handled the various curveballs society's thrown at them, how she worries about his safety, how they handle strangers (waitresses!) assuming they're both women. I found it deeply affecting. Also, I found the author's fiance smokin' hot, and am extremely curious to know if my bookstore is stocking his novels. (His name is never mentioned, so I don't know.)
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Update to this post about Constance wanting to bring her girlfriend to prom - the American Humanists Association (that is, Atheists 'r' Us) have got together, via an anonymous donation, a whopping $20,000 to spend on an LGBTQ-friendly prom for Itawamba Agricultural High School.

I cannot even imagine what kind of kick-ass awesome amazing prom 20K buys. Streamers made of platinum? Diamonds for everyone? The Itawamba Ritz rented out for the night?

To me, this is lovely, delicious irony, because it seemed that the undercurrent in the Itawamba County School Board's statement - that they hoped a private group would put on an alternative prom - was that they hoped one of the churches would take over. One of the local churches, that is, with similar homophobic tendencies,* who wouldn't be blamed for keeping tux-wearing girls out.

And what they got were the atheists.


*I'm sure there must be at least one local church there that would've been delighted to hold an LGBTQ-friendly prom. I just don't think that Itawamba County School Board was looking at Metropolitan United when they said they hoped an outside group would host prom for the kids.
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You know, I love the Internet, because thanks to its info-distributing, organizing prowess, stuff like this can go down, all in 24 hours:

1) The school board of Itawamba County cancels prom after Constance Millen demands to be able to bring her girlfriend, and to wear a tux. [Huff Post]

2) Daily Vos says, fuck that noise, the internet can throw you a better party, one everyone can attend! and starts planning.

3) ACLU immediately gets their act in gear and sues Itawamba County.

4) Facebook group Let Constance Take Her Girlfriend To Prom has, of this minute, 20,000 fans.

5) Someone finds email addresses for a bunch of people on the Itawamba County school board, and publishes them widely. Here they are:

ETA: [personal profile] everchangingmuse reports that the first three addresses are bouncing. Don't use!

6) Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition starts organizing to be the focal point in-state of Prom For Everyone

This response makes me so incredibly happy. I love that when this shit went down, the immediate response was to prioritize helping the kids at Itawamba Agricultural High School have prom, and to put the lie to the school board's attempt to make Constance the bad guy. I love that the ACLU has lawyers primed and hungry to put idiocy like this down, and that it seems to have taken microseconds for them to start their shit-kicking engines. I love that 599 people over on the Daily Vos have vowed to make monetary contributions to make Prom For Everyone happen.

I especially love it that a moment of discrimination and NO YOU CAN'T by TPTB turns into an uproarious and confident YES WE CAN.

Fuckin' a, Internet.
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The DW Network function found me this, and holy hell. Amazing.

If the embed's not working for you, you can watch this genius and blazing performance of the poem "Hir," about being transgendered, here on the YouTubes
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If you've been online in the last couple days, you may have noticed that LJ almost went ahead with a code push to change gender prefs (in your profile) to a single Male/Female choice.

[personal profile] synecdochic has a good post about it here.

I'm glad that it got headed off at the pass -- and I'm also glad it came up, because a)it means the new LJ management team understands it's a big deal and, much less importantly, b) I (as a cisgendered woman who has the privilege of not paying attention to such things) now know that LJ specifies what advertising I see based on the gender I tell them I am.

I was, indeed, seeing a lot of dieting bullshit ads.

I've now set my prefs there to "unspecified". I'm interested to see what ads for people of unspecified gender are going to look like.
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It just occurred to me that, since the wording of the Maine ballot question (re: confirming same-sex marriage) could be considered unclear, we COULD interpret the results to mean that 53% of voters feel officiants shouldn't be able to decline performing same-sex marriages.

Here is the questions:

Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?

Look at that second 'and'! Hey legal eagles in the house, doesn't it kind of open up opportunity for another bill?

Of course, I realize that 53% of voters were actually being homophobic, not picky about syntax. BUT STILL. I see a loophole, thar.

I'm still not moving to Maine, mind you.
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Man, things don't look good for Maine. Am quite sad.
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Maine, freaking COME ON.

(51.8% Yes, 48.2% No, 68% of polls reporting, margin of about 14K)
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I'm watching the numbers go up re: Maine same-sex marriage vote over at the NYT website. Margin is .6 percent right now (yes winning -- yes to reject legality of same-sex marriage -- obv. not what I want to happen.)

ETA: Up to a 1.8% margin, with Yes in the lead. YERGH.

ETA: Refreshing NYT results page like it's November 4 2008 all over again.
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Flist & Circle (particularly those of you in the US), same-sex marriage advocates in Maine need your help. A law making same-sex marriage legal has been wending its way through the process, and now there's a confusingly-worded citizen vote on it.

[profile] sotto_voice has a post outlining the situation here, with links to other resources.

Do what you can! Even if that's just reblogging it. Prop 8 was a disaster; this doesn't have to be.
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I find it really annoying that Al Franken's "don't support the rapists" amendment is causing such a kerfuffle.

I think this one's pretty straightforward. Companies who condone rape, try to sweep it under the carpet, and refuse treatment to their employees who have been raped are behaving criminally. The government shouldn't be working with criminals or helping them to make a profit.

Franken's amendment should be writ into law, like, a hundred years ago. Since that isn't possible, I'll take "now" instead.

If you're a US citizen, please consider contacting Sen. Dan Inouye (Democratic Senator from Hawai'i) and telling him how you feel. Here's his official website. I've heard that faxes and snail-mail correspondence is more likely (than email) to be paid attention to -- you could always do all three things.
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Hey Canadian flisters,

Please take a minute to read this article in the Toronto Star. The Conservative government has added to the budget a piece of legislation that removes the legal right of any woman in the federal civil service to fight pay discrimination via the normal, effective channels. From the article:

It removes any chance women in the federal civil service have of fighting for pay equity by denying them the right to complain to the Human Rights Commission, or to go to court, when they believe there is discrimination. Instead, pay equity issues are to be solved as part of the regular bargaining process but - get this! - if anyone agitates on the basis of pay equity, they face a $50,000 fine. So the Conservative regime is forbidding a woman from fighting for herself and, simultaneously, penalizing her union from fighting for her.

Obviously, this is Not Okay.

After reading, it would be great if you'd take a minute to voice your opinion to TPTB. Here's how you do that )

(ETA: I had posted my letter to TPTB in this post, too, but I'm a little wary about making this journal google-able. I'll repost it in a locked post.)

This government is also responsible for shutting 12 of the 16 Status of Women offices in Canada, as well as removing the word "equality" from their mandate.

Time for us to make a fuss, people. This shit can't continue.
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Gakked from [ profile] irradiatedsoup

Please watch and repost and email and spread widely.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

"Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton, filed a legal brief last month -- on behalf of the "Yes on 8" campaign -- that would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year before the passage of Prop 8.

Watch "Fidelity" and sign our letter to the state Supreme Court. Tell the Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and let loving, committed couples marry. DEADLINE: Valentine's Day."
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So, this is a bit random, but I read a eulogy @ BoingBoing this week that's stuck with me. Since [ profile] 14valentines started, I've been thinking about how gender roles harm men, which is why I'm sharing.

Excerpt from the eulogy:

"The world is filled with adult men who never heard their father say “I love you,” who wonder throughout their lives whether they were loved. I talk to friends about this and see it in magazines and newspapers, and I have always been amazed by this. My father spared me from this wound that many men walk around with."

Read the rest of it here.
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[ profile] penknife has written a fantastic, insightful post about why in the world Prop 8 passed. I'm depressed about it, too, but this is a good, thoughtful examination of why people think they way they think, and how we might be able to change some of their minds.


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