Breast Cancer Awareness: What Are We Buying Into?

More skepticism regarding the Pink Ribbon Campaigns and their dubious promotions…

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/148466/breast_cancer_awareness%3A_what_are_we_buying_into#disqus_thread

October 11, 2010 |

A proliferation of pink-ribbon products and promos prompts the question, is there a little pink-washing going on here?

Breast cancer awareness has become synonymous with the ubiquitous pink ribbon. Everyone know what the pink ribbon means, it’s successfully become a logo associated with the disease. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you have most likely seen the pink ribbon plastered on everything from potato chips to dryer sheets to alcohol. There are numerous commercials promoting that if you buy “X” product, they will give some portion of each sold to (insert breast cancer research organization or charity here).

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/148466/breast_cancer_awareness%3A_what_are_we_buying_into#disqus_thread

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National Coming Out Day

What is coming out for transsexual and transgender people?

Is it telling the world that we are transsexual or transgender when that so often contradicts what we are about?

My friend, Shirley Bushnell, in Los Angeles was a fierce public advocate, always wearing a “Transgender Menace” t-shirt.  Always in your face about it.  One night at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center we were kidding around and I stood behind her sort of hiding myself.

Because the reality was I was willing to do the work, passing out leaflets, speaking out at safe LGBT/T events, writing articles, collecting petition signatures and all that.

I said, “I’m behind you every step of the way.”

But I never wanted to be the “public face”.

I only wore my “Transsexual Menace” t-shirt to demonstrations and events, not as daily wear.

But I have a different take on “coming out” for TS/TG people.  A more private one.

We came out when we transitioned and started living our lives 24/7/365 in spite of the hatred and bigotry.

We are who we are.  What is there to come out about?

Maybe if it serves a purpose.  Maybe if it is an act of trust and intimacy, an act of close friendship.

Or a political statement.

But the reality is I am a woman now and a lesbian, a far more obvious aspect of my life as part of the alphabet soup of queerdom.

If I don’t seem more celebratory today.  Too many suicides the last few days for me to feel witty or even bitchy.

It Gets Better: Please Stop Committing Suicide


Please stop this rash of suicides.  The statement has been made.  No more.  When you die, you are dead.

There is no chance for it ever getting better.  And you let the bullies and bigots win.

 

Guard Held in Sexual Attack on Transgender Inmate

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/nyregion/08inmate.html?scp=1&sq=Guard%20Held%20in%20Sexual%20Attack%20on%20Transgender%20Inmate&st=cse

By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Published: October 7, 2010

A New York City correction officer was arrested and charged on Thursday with forcing a transgender inmate to engage in a sex act with him at a Manhattan jail.

The victim, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was an inmate in a male housing unit at the Manhattan Detention Complex near City Hall, where she was being held on a parole violation, when the attack took place in September 2009.

According to a suit filed against the city last month, the woman said the correction officer, Roberto Morales, 40, groped and sexually harassed her several times over the course of about a month.

Her lawyer, Ilann M. Maazel, said in an interview that the woman had undergone hormone therapy but had not had gender reassignment surgery. In one instance, the lawyer said, Officer Morales was escorting the woman from a clinic when he pushed her into a stairwell and forced himself on her. A rape kit found DNA implicating the officer in the attack, he said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/nyregion/08inmate.html?scp=1&sq=Guard%20Held%20in%20Sexual%20Attack%20on%20Transgender%20Inmate&st=cse

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Bronx Attacker’s Ultimatum: Be Hit With a Bat, or a Pipe

Some people think I am too harsh in my criticism of the people who enable and empower those who attack LGBT/TQ people, but…  Those ministers, priests, rabbis, rabid right wing talk radio and TV  pundits, Tea Baggers and Republican politicians who regularly scapegoat and degrade LGBT/TQ people as a way to stir up lynch mobs bear as much responsibility for these actions as the goon who do the beating and murdering.

If there was one lesson to be learned from WW II regarding fascists and Nazis it is this…  NEVER AGAIN!

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/nyregion/11bias.html?ref=nyregion

By SAM DOLNICK and COLIN MOYNIHAN
Published: October 11, 2010

After he had been punched, kicked and stripped of his clothes and jewelry, the 17-year-old man was given a choice: the bat or the pipe.

His attackers, part of a gang of nine young men, were in the midst of a night of savage assaults against three men they suspected of being gay, according to a criminal complaint released on Sunday.

Before the night was out, the victims would be tortured with burning cigarettes, box cutter blades, plunger handles and more, prosecutors charged. But first, the 17-year-old had to make his selection.

“I guess the bat,” he said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/nyregion/11bias.html?ref=nyregion

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Permission To Hate…..

From DavidMixner.comhttp://www.davidmixner.com/2010/10/permission-to-hate.html#more

By David Mixner

10/11/2010

Reposted with permission

Over the last month, hate seems to be in the air. The news is filled with acts of violence directed toward LGBT citizens around the world. Everywhere we look we can see hate toward homosexuals pouring out of the woodwork. Suicides, torture, riots, fire bombings and beating all have taken place within weeks. We have witnessed an epidemic of our young killing themselves, mobs roaming the streets of Belgrade, Serbia chanting “death to homosexuals” and the unspeakable torture of three members of our community in the Bronx.

These stories are the ones that get covered but the incidents of violence and hate seem to be growing by the day. Bullies feel free to push students to their death. Politicians use the results as a political football or, even worse, remain silent. Commentators, in a rush for higher ratings, escalate their rhetoric to extreme levels of hate without regard to the consequences. Outrageous proposals to separate LGBT citizens from the rest of society seem to be flourishing. The word ‘fag’ is used as if it had no power on other’s lives.

There is no question that some of what drives such open and unrestricted hate is that the closer to freedom the LGBT movement comes the more the haters will come out of the their closets. We have seen in previous movements in history just such a pattern. We are winning in the courts, with public opinion and at the local levels of every community. Quite honestly as we march to that inevitable victory, the road will become more and more difficult the closer we come to that moment.

Also even more important is that the haters have been given permission to hate. Anytime a candidate distinguishes us from the rest of America they are saying to other Americans we are different from the normal rules of civilized behavior. When elected officials say “marriage is between a man and a woman” they are sending a signal that full equality is wrong and should not happen. In a vacuum it seems like a harmless statement but in the context of an epic struggle for freedom, those words take on real power and give people permission to hate.

Failure to take courageous stands only gives those who hate permission to express that hate unchecked. Yes, they have arrested those who tortured those three individuals in the Bronx. The police protected Serbian LGBT citizens. The entire country is responding to the suicides. The fact of the matter is that none of this should have happened if people everywhere would stand as one for LGBT rights.

When elected officials look the other way or remain silent those less in the know feel their hate is justified. When newspapers come out for marriage equality and then openly endorse those who bitterly fight it, their message of tolerance has lost its power. When commentators can simply apologize for hate-filled messages and then continue with their campaign of hate then the apologies are meaningless.

Let’s face it. Those who duck and weave politically to avoid standing by our side are giving permission to those whose hate against LGBT people is simmering under the surface. Many actually might believe that people will approve of their brutality. After all, even the most respected leaders don’t believe we should have the same rights as other people. They preach tolerance but their actions and silence fuel the flames of intolerance.

There was an old civil rights anthem called “Which Side Are You On?” Now is the time for people to chose and to be unwavering, courageous and forceful in not just condemning past violence but to take action to avoid future hateful acts. Leaders can no longer duck and dodge this issue. They can no longer put an asterisk by our rights making them conditional. The battle has been engaged, people are dying and the time is now. The time for compromise has long passed. You are either with us or against us. Our leaders must chose now and act accordingly both in words and in deeds.

In “Poetic Edda” Havamal, verse 127, it says:

When you come upon misdeeds
speak out about those misdeeds
and give your enemies no peace.

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NY GOP/Tea Bagger gov hopeful Paladino makes anti-gay remarks

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/ny-gop-gov-hopeful-paladino-antigay-remarks/

By The Associated Press
Monday, October 11th, 2010 — 2:32 am

NY gov hopeful says he doesn’t want kids ‘brainwashed’ into thinking being gay is acceptable.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino told Orthodox Jewish leaders on Sunday he doesn’t want children “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality” is acceptable.

Paladino, who has received tea party support, made the comments at a synagogue in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg section while trying to strike a contrast between himself and his Democratic rival, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Paladino said he chose not to march in this summer’s gay pride parade but his opponent did.

“That’s not how God created us,” Paladino said of being gay, “and that’s not the example that we should be showing our children.”

Isn’t this just precious?  Paladino is just a right wing Nazi thug.  He claims his hatred of LGBT/TQ people is due to his Catholicism.  Gee, isn’t that what Adolf claimed, too?  What is even more pathetic is the Orthodox rabbi who is looking to join the lynch mob this time around.

Some people need to remember that quote about “First they came for…..”

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