Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: LGBTQ

Trans Day of Remembrance — We Remember

Tomorrow is Friday, November 20. Exciting times because we’re a few days from Thanksgiving, turkey, warm meals and family, but equally and devastatingly more important is TDOR — or Trans Day of Remembrance as the traditional finale to Transgender Awareness Week, which is celebrated November 14-20 of each year. For those who are unaware, the Trans Day of Remembrance was started by trans* advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil Smith held was a tribute to all of the trans* people who lost their lives to violence that year and has since become an annual memorial to be celebrated, mourned, and remembered all across the globe. The amount of trans* folks that were… Read more »

Houston Fails to Be a “HERO” for Trans Community

This week the city of Houston had the opportunity to make history in the Civil Rights movement with the HERO ordinance. The city failed to make these important strides forward with a 61 percent to 39 percent vote. The HERO Act stands for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and it would have prohibited discrimination in public restrooms, thus allowing trans-people to use restrooms they are comfortable with based on their gender identity. I think it’s safe to say the failure behind this failed ordinance is rooted in transphobia. Opponents of the ordinance said it made women more vulnerable to predators and former Houston Astros player Lance Berkman said transgender women are troubled men in a radio ad. This negative attitude and ignorance toward the trans community is what causes crucial… Read more »

The Consequences of Poor Sex-Ed

Recently, I stumbled on a sample of the abstinence book we used in my freshman health class in high school. Beside the fact it has not changed a single bit of content since 2003, its content is completely inaccurate. It hasn’t even changed the legal definition of marriage. It also provides small glimpse into the heteronormative conditioning that our inconsistent sex-education standards brings out. Starting with issue of even receiving some type of education, only 22 states require some type of sex-education curricula. Of those, 12 cover sexual orientation, and 9 have “no promo homo” laws that require open discrimination against queer youth. There are many school districts that also discriminate without help from their government. This fosters a hostile school and community environment for a teen who is out,… Read more »

The Impact of the “Badass” Women’s National Soccer Team

I’ve always found the saying “you play like a girl” one of the most ignorant “insults” someone could use. It’s pointless and the idea women cannot be just as athletic as men is outdated and I can’t believe it’s something we haven’t moved past already. But this summer, a phenomenal group of women showed the world what playing like a girl really means, and in doing so they became world champions. On Tuesday President Obama honored the U.S. Women’s National Team in the White House for winning the World Cup this summer. There is so much we can learn about inclusivity and athleticism from the example this team sets. I think it’s best summed up when the president said they showed the world playing like a girl means playing like… Read more »

Comic Books Are No Longer ‘Boys Only’

Over the years, the major comic book publishing company, Marvel, has slowly been making progress towards a more inclusive universe. The company is beginning to make changes to their work by adapting to the ever-changing audiences and the world around them. Comic books are no longer only for the “boys club,” nor are they entirely white-washed, able-bodied, straight and cis-gendered. I’d like to say “gone are days of female representation that extends no further than arm candy, love interests or background” but I know that is only wishful thinking for the time being. However, the first part of this previously mentioned path towards progress that this company is taking, involves the current push for female protagonists. In 2014 Marvel announced that they were creating Thor Girl, a young alien-teen who… Read more »

Bisexuality and Queer Policing

This Saturday kicked off my town’s week long pride festival. It was a small outdoor concert and variety show at our town’s Native American center. It was full of great organizational tables, good local food, and good music. The MC was a black trans woman who was fabulous; the whole event was pretty fabulous. Overall, it was a super inclusive community event that even included a couple of drag kings. There was one point with a call and answer part where they would call out an orientation or gender and that respective group would cheer back. It was a great way to pep up the crowd, and it worked. Unfortunately one group was left out. No, not straight allies. They were recognized, too. Bisexual men and women didn’t even get… Read more »

Denying Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples is Un-Christian

If you’re someone even just mildly paying attention to the news lately, chances are you’ve heard about Kim Davis. The county clerk decided that her religious beliefs supersede the rights of same-sex couples to enjoy equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, people like Kim Davis are trying to claim the First Amendment right of freedom of religion as an excuse to hate and act “un-Christian.” When it comes to religion, I fall into the agnostic and undecided category. I’ve been curious about and researched various religions, mainly the big three. The ideals of loving people regardless of their mistakes or background is a common theme, especially in Christianity, so why do non-religious people automatically associate Catholicism and Christianity with hate? Personally, being someone who is openly bisexual and a raging… Read more »

A Review of S.E.X.

When I attended the URGE National Conference in Washington, D.C. this June, one of the things in the goodie bag was the book S.E.X. by Heather Corinna. Naturally, I thought it was appropriate to review it for a blog post. On the cover, the book is described as “the all-you-need-to-know progressive sexuality guide to get you through high school and college.” This couldn’t be more accurate. The book is comprehensive, informative, and incredibly thorough, as well as an easy and quick read—I was able to breeze through it in a couple hours before I went through again and read it slowly to take notes. As with just about any get-to-know-your-body book, S.E.X. has a chapter about the body and how it changes during puberty. Corinna does an excellent job at… Read more »

Transphobia in Hollywood: Trans Stories Without Trans Actors

With the upcoming debut of the new movie About Ray where another non-trans actor, in this case Elle Fanning, plays a trans character, I believe it is relevant to discuss trans exclusion in Hollywood. We see this time and time again, cisgender actors being hired to play trans characters. Buzzfeed has an article citing 21 different instances of this dating all the way back to 1975. Some may argue that this is at least bringing light to the trans community, which may be true; but it isn’t okay that they are taking valuable opportunities from an already marginalized group. However, as Mari Brighe of Autostraddle argues, the repetition of Hollywood’s choice of actors shows more than meets the eye. Hollywood is clearly sitting up and taking notice of the increased attention being paid… Read more »

It’s More than ‘Just a Hairstyle’

So, I want to start off by saying that I’m sorry for jumping on the bandwagon real quick and talking about the current media phenomenon; Miley Cyrus and her VMA fiasco. There are many aspects of her performance as host of the MTV Video Music Awards that we could analyze and call problematic, but I would like to just focus on those long, blonde, dreadlock extensions for a minute. Some may not understand why the internet has erupted with so much negativity towards Miley for her choice of hairstyle, and I would like to talk about the reasons for this outrage. I would also like to preface this by saying that this isn’t just about one person and this definitely isn’t just about hair. This is about years of oppression… Read more »