Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Boehning (R-ND) votes against gay rights bill and is seen on Grindr.

Article can be found here.

Curious to hear people's thoughts not only on the possibility of internalized homophobia present in this situation but on the nature/tone of news coverage as well.

Scalia's joke (was just a joke)

Bloomberg View article HERE

Food for Thought re: Hillary Clinton

RBG and Marriage Equality

Ian Millhiser: Justice Ginsburg Eviscerates The Case Against Marriage Equality In Just Five Sentences

So American marriage law, and the English law that it was derived from, presumed that the wife was both financially and sexual subservient to the husband. In a world where marriage is defined as a union between a dominant man and a submissive woman, each fulfilling unique gender roles, the case for marriage discrimination is clear. How can both the dominant male role and the submissive female role be carried out in a marital union if the union does not include one man and one woman? This, according to Justice Ginsburg, is why marriage was understood to exclude same-sex couples for so many centuries.

Sotomayor says sexual orientation is a "choice"

I was reading through the live coverage link I posted yesterday, and found a quote from Justice Sotomayor in which she literally says that sexual orientation -- just like marriage -- is a choice. I thought that was really interesting, given our recent conversations in class about the "born that way" argument, and how none of the legal arguments seem to acknowledge any degree of choice in sexual orientation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Religious Terrorism and Internalized Homophobia

Mark Juergensmeyer is a pioneer in the field of global studies whois best known for his studies of religious violence and global religion. His book, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence is based on interviews with religious activists around the world including abortion clinic bombers in the United States, Hamas leaders, and convicted al-Qaeda leaders. 

Chapter 10 of Terror in the Mind of God is part of Juergensmeyer's attempt to create a theory explaining how and why religion animates violence. Throughout the book, Juergensmeyer argues that terrorists perceive themselves to be victims, believe themselves to be participating in a cosmic, trans-temporal war between absolute good and evil, and that violence/terrorism must be dramatic/theatrical.

The attachment isn't the published chapter, but a draft of the manuscript. I couldn't find a published version online but the section "Why Guys Throw Bombs" is the section that I mentioned in class! It's only a few pages but I would love to hear people's opinions about it.

Draft can be found here.

Live coverage of supreme court hearings (re: marriage)

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments for same-sex marriage RIGHT NOW (NY Times live coverage)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Meet The 'Accidental Activists' Of The Supreme Court's Same-Sex-Marriage Case

This piece from NPR's All Things Considered introduces some of the couples at the center of the marriage cases that the Supreme Court will hear next week.

Ashley Diamond lawsuit

Article can be found here.

I thought that this might be an interesting article to read for our upcoming section on trans* history and rights. Ashley Diamond has been in prison for the past three years on a burglary charge. She recently brought forward a lawsuit asking to be transferred to a lower-security prison; she is currently in Georgia State Prison which houses some of the state's most dangerous/violent inmates and where she has suffered seven rapes, attempted suicide, and multiple auto-castration attempts.

South Carolina to Change DMV Policy on Transgender Appearance in Driver's License Photos

Chase Culpepper, a transgender teenager in South Carolina was told she can wear the makeup and women's clothing that "reflect who she is," in her driver's license photo. She sued the DMV, stating that they violated her right to appear as she usually does in her photo. She stated, "It was hurtful to be singled out for being transgender and made to feel that somehow I wasn't good enough." After winning the lawsuit, the DMV will now change its policies on trans and gender non-conforming individuals.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AIDS and Gay Identity

So I was discussing the AIDS crisis with my friends and I had a thought: how did the invention of a gay identity shape the way that AIDS was approached as a disease? We know through our readings that part of the reason that AIDS went improperly treated for so long is because the behaviors that spread the disease went unidentified. If we still had "sex between men" or "trade" rather than just "homosexuals," would the causes of the disease have been located more rapidly? What do y'all think?

Gay marriage will lead to abortion!

At least, according to Gene Schaerr (who fought against same-sex marriage in Utah) it will. (written by Shaerr)  556_100_Scholars_of_Marriage.pdf (Amicus brief filed by Shaerr in the upcoming SCOTUS case) (commentary on Shaerr's statements)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South - Being Performed in Los Angeles

E. Patrick Johnson uses oral histories to tell the stories of black, gay men in the contemporary South. Johnson published a book and has since adapted it into a one-person show that he will be performing at the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles from April 29th to Mary 3rd. I'd like to go but haven't decided when yet, so let me know if you're interested.

General Event Information:
Tickets can be purchase on Towne Street's website:!sweet-tea/cxzn
For more information on the project and artist:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Queer: Constructions & Negations

I have continually run into the same issue while working on my thesis with my advisor. She is always a proponent of a constructivist approach, simply saying what something is rather than what it is not. It poses quite a challenge when working with queerness, which in many ways is premised on being not something else. It's been tough to try to articular what queer bodies, temporalities, and spatialities are rather than just talking about them as resistant to the social and political organizations of bodies, time, and space in Western nationalism and capitalism.

I came across "Theorizing Queer Temporalities: A Roundtable Discussion" which was published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. I found it helpful just for building a vocabulary around some of the theory I've been working with. The focus on temporalities is perhaps a bit specific for trying to understand queer theory as a whole (if that's even possible), but it does touch on a few of the things that came up in our discussion of queer theory in class yesterday, including the relationship between representation and embodiment and relationships to histories.  It's fascinating to think about how history continues to act on the present in this way. I also appreciated Annamarie Jagose's comment on page 191 about how reorganizing time to be cyclical and multilayered does not necessarily work in the service of queerness. Jagose also wrote a book called Queer Theory: An Introduction, that I have found to be very helpful and accessible (I actually found it because Eaklor cites it during in "Debate: How Useful Is Queer Theory?" at the end of Chapter 9 of Queer America).

Films on ACT-UP

Take a look at the websites and trailers for two recent documentary films about ACT-UP:

How to Survive a Plague  (focuses on TAG, Treatment Action Group)
United in Anger (a history of ACT-UP)

Both documentaries are very powerful.

Obama Calls for End to "Conversion" Therapies

As you may have read, President Obama recently issued a statement condemning the practice of so-called conversion therapy for LGBT youth. 

This piece from the Atlantic explains that many conservative Christians, who in the past were chief advocates of conversion therapy, no longer support the practice.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This was written by a friend of mine

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Performance Studies Perspective: Anatural Birth, Queer Babies and Aunt Jemima

As Ben briefly mentioned in class, it's always interesting to get a perspective on LGBTQ issues from a variety of disciplines, and the discipline of performance studies definitely gives a unique one...

I already posted something from this blog in February, but this performance-centric article is very well done, and the video at the end is definitely an experience. It was a potential text for our midterm in Performance Studies this semester.

Addressed: the nuclear family/reproduction and LGBTQ lives/individuals; corn and origin tales; Aunt Jemima syrup; charges of child molestation against LGBTQ individuals and the dangers they pose to younger generations; queer babies/bodies/futurity; and—everyone's favorite—capitalism!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Announcement Video

Did anyone else note the gay and lesbian couples in Hillary's campaign announcement video? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

NPR: Transgender Students Learn to Navigate School Halls

In this segment from All Things Considered, Youth Radio reporter Nanette Thompson talks with two students about their experiences at school.

Background on upcoming marriage equality cases

As you know, on April 28 the Supreme Court plans to review marriage equality cases from Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.   The Court is expected to issue a decision by the end of June.  For state by state background on pending cases, see this map from Lambda Legal.

Legislative agenda from Equality California

Equality California, a statewide LGBT civil rights organization, has announced its 2015 legislative agenda. Proposed bills aim to close some of the remaining gaps in California's LGBT civil rights laws and address disparities in the health and well being of LGBT Californians.  For instance, AB 827 would create a teaching training program that would help teachers identify and support LGBT students. Ab 329 would update existing law to ensure that sex education is LGBT-inclusive. Take a look to see other bills in this year's legislative package.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lesbian Pulp Cover Art

Can be found: here

Interesting to see how art depicts women and female sexuality

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Anita Bryant, Pie, etc

As mentioned in class.

CMC Things

Many CMC students had the following statuses in their Facebook newsfeed yesterday:

From the Author / Claremont Independent --

From another CMC student who archived a lot of old CMC Women's Union documents from the 90s:

"Friendly reminder to the CMC community that Prof. Emeritus Harry Jaffa repeatedly compared being gay to the immorality of committing rape or incest and once wrote an op-ed arguing that 'homophobia can save your life.'"