Family holds gayceañera for teen who just came out

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When Aiden came out as gay his parents wanted to do something to help him feel welcomed and loved. So, the family decided to throw a ‘gayceanera’ on his 15th birthday.

“When Aiden officially came out to me, I started looking up ideas on how to be a parent-support ally,” his mom said. “Needless to say, I didn’t find a lot of information or ideas. Some articles and blogs that I did read, however, talked about the theme of gay people having to come out over and over again, and that straight people never have to come out. I thought to myself, I suppose that’s why people have coming out parties, so they can do it all at once and not have to come out as often.”

She realised that her son’s two milestones could be jointly embraced. Widely celebrated among the Latinx communities, the quinceañera marks an important milestone in a girl’s life. Part birthday party, part rite of passage, the celebration typically marks a girl’s entrance into womanhood. But for Aiden, the rainbow remix of the tradition marked his entrance into being his authentic self, a gay man.

Aiden’s family and friends packed a restaurant in their neighbourhood. As gymnasts danced around the carpeted floors, twirling rainbow ribbons, chefs in the back kitchen cracked more than 50 eggs and countless food-dye bottles to bake Pride flag-themed cakes. Rainbow tablecloths and Pride-printed cocktail napkins adorned the rooms with multi-coloured cocktails and paper straws dotting the tables. Aiden’s teacher was the disc jokey while a family friend ran a photo-booth and an “Aiden trivia quiz” was held.

On the night, Aiden’s mom thanked family and friends for showing face to not only support Aiden, “but for the LGBT+ community that he is now a part.”

“It was supportive for all the young people who attended to know that there are safe places and spaces where they may least expect it where they can be themselves,” she explained.

“The amazing thing was the servers and patrons who came up to me and would tell me their stories of maybe how they had not been accepted at one point, or their brother suffered from less than supportive parents. When we support and we are supported, we can become allies for the younger generations, regardless of the past.”

A friend of the family described the evening on Facebook: “To see so many people fill a room with unconditional love and support gives me such hope for the future!”

People need to stop using phony science to justify transphobia

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Antiscientific sentiment bombards our politics, or so says the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW). Chief among these antiscientific sentiments, the IDW cites the rising visibility of transgender civil rights demands.

To the IDW, trans people and their advocates are destroying the pillars of our society with such free-speech–suppressing, postmodern concepts as: “trans women are women,” “gender-neutral pronouns,” or “there are more than two genders.” Asserting “basic biology” will not be ignored, the IDW proclaims. “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

The irony in all this is that these “protectors of enlightenment” are guilty of the very behavior this phrase derides. Though often dismissed as just a fringe internet movement, they espouse unscientific claims that have infected our politics and culture.

Especially alarming is that these “intellectual” assertions are used by nonscientists to claim a scientific basis for the dehumanization of trans people. The real world consequences are stacking up: the trans military banbathroom bills, and removal of workplace and medical discrimination protections, a 41-51 percent suicide attempt rate and targeted fatal violence . It’s not just internet trolling anymore.

Contrary to popular belief, scientific research helps us better understand the unique and real transgender experience. Specifically, through three subjects: (1) genetics, (2) neurobiology and (3) endocrinology. So, hold onto your parts, whatever they may be. It’s time for “the talk.”

Read on…

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts treats coming out like just another part of life

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Netflix’s Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is a post-apocalyptic world in which humans live underground and nature has reclaimed everything above. Kipo and her three pals trek across the dangerous surface to reunite with Kipo’s underground community.

While each episode focuses on an encounter with a strange, new creature, the show’s foundation is the four characters’ relationships, which provides a source of tension and joy. Even in a wacky world full of guitar-playing snakes and giant multi-eared bunnies, the moments between characters feel real and grounded. Case in point: Kipo has one of the most chill coming out scenes in all-ages programming, one that’s notable for just how understated it is. Read on…

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Periodical Political Post *134

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Australia is fucked & you can be too with a $69 bushfire donation dildo

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Many organisations and people all over the world are trying to raise money for the areas affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia.

While some give a little less than they could (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that his company would donate less than he personally earns in literally less than 5 minutes), others crowdfunded more than half a million Dollars by sending out nudes (and promptly getting their Instagram account suspended in return).

Something that wasn’t done yet in support of the people and nature affected by the fires was making you cum. Until now. The Australian brand Geeky Sex Toys dropped the Down-Under donation dildo. All profits from the toy are donated directly to relief efforts dotting the country, raising AUS$15,000 in four days so far.

Rare piece of queer history found with a simple Google search

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Researchers at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University made the experience that sometimes a small treasure can be hidden in plain sight when a simple Google search led them to a rare document credited with helping to lay the foundation for the gay rights movement.

English writer John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

Written in 1873 by English poet and historian John Addington Symonds, A Problem in Greek Ethics was an essay questioning why Western culture, which had modeled itself on that of classical Greece, did not embrace and accept homosexuality as the ancient Greeks had supposedly done. Fearing that a work promoting the morality of same-sex relations – which were deemed a criminal offense in 19th century England – might potentially lead to his imprisonment, Symonds had only 10 copies printed in an effort to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Of these, five had been thought to have survived, now in the collections of libraries in the UK and US.

According to the Baltimore Sun, that assumption was abruptly proven wrong when Gabrielle Dean, a curator at Johns Hopkins, was doing research for an upcoming exhibit called “Queer Connections: The Library of John Addington Symonds.”

“I was trying to verify the authenticity of Symonds’ handwriting by comparing the example we had to samples of his handwriting in other books,” she said. “I googled ‘John Addington Symonds’ handwriting’ and one of the hits was a brand-new listing for ‘A Problem in Greek Ethics’ from a rare book dealer.”

She shared the information with Shane Butler, director of the university’s Classics Research Lab, and the two obtained approval to purchase the book for an undisclosed price. Butler said, “I was blown away when Gabrielle showed me the listing… The odds of coming across something so incredibly rare are practically zero.”

Symonds was himself attracted to men, but like most gay men of his era lived a closeted life, with a wife and four children – though his sexual orientation was, at least late in his life, something of an “open secret.” While his name is mostly familiar today only with literary scholars, he was well-known in his time, counting such literary figures as Walt Whitman and Robert Louis Stevenson in his circle of acquaintances, and his writings in A Problem in Greek Ethics seem to have influenced Oscar Wilde in his defense while on trial for “gross indecency.”

Butler says, “Even if Symonds was forgotten after he died, his essay wasn’t. Pirated copies were passed hand to hand and read throughout the 20th century. The essay has been enormously influential in the struggle for gay rights.”

“There’s something sacred about a book like this,” he adds, “especially for queer students and gay faculty like myself. Just knowing that it’s there and being able to hold it and turn its pages is incredibly moving.”

Read more…

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Author charged with child porn over one paragraph in fairy tale

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Books are a fairly free medium. They can get away with things that films or shows can’t. In books dark themes can be explored that no one would dare to put on screen. Rape, incest and sexual fantasies can be described in a way that wouldn’t be possible in any other context.

It’s unlikely that George R.R. Martin ever considered showing certain scenes from his books in which naked teenage boys get drowned or underage strippers have sex in front of one of the main protagonists on TV when he wrote the script for Game of Thrones.

While this freedom books enjoy isn’t always used responsibly (rape as a plot device is an incredibly tired trope), these dark themes don’t only appear for entertainment purposes. Writing about them can be a way to process trauma both for the author and the reader.

But for a while now there seems to be an increasing effort to sweep everything uncomfortable under the carpet as if bad things stop happening if we just turn a blind eye and pretend they’re not a part of our reality.

Art dealing with any kind of dark theme is being pushed out of online spaces and it looks like books aren’t safe anymore either as a recent case from Canada indicates.

Last April, Quebec author Yvan Godbout and his publisher Nycolas Doucet were charged with producing and distributing child pornography. The charges against them stem from a single paragraph in one of Godbout’s novels, a dark retelling of Hansel and Gretel, in which a father sexually assaults his daughter.

Godbout and Doucet were arrested in March 2019, after a reader came upon the passage and called the authorities. The work was not marketed to children, contains no explicit visual images, a content warning was printed on the back, and the scene is meant to be horrifying, not erotic.

Read on…