Cops at Pride

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It took half a century, but this LGBT Pride month, the New York police department finally apologized for the infamous 1969 raid on the Stonewall gay bar. Some queer New Yorkers had a simple response: apology not accepted.

“It was a symbolic PR stunt,” said Colin P Ashley, a local queer black activist. “The NYPD is still an oppressive force in so many lives.” Ashley is part of Reclaim Pride, a coalition that wants more than a 50-year-late apology. The group wants police removed from Pride altogether.

Queer and trans activists across the US are engaging in “cops out of Pride” efforts this month, with protests and alternative “cop-free” events that seek to recognize the ongoing police mistreatment of LGBT people. These groups are pushing back against corporate-sponsored parades that embrace police in the name of “inclusion” and “unity” – and return to the radical and riotous roots of the movement.

“Police have often been a force of terror for queer and trans communities,” said Malkia Devich Cyril, a queer activist and leader in the group Movement for Black Lives, who said they won’t be attending San Francisco Pride due to the way police and corporations have co-opted it.

“The efforts to remove policing from Pride are really efforts to ensure safety for the communities that are there. It’s a protective act. It’s an act of resistance,” said Cyril, whose mother was a member of the Black Panthers. “It’s an act that attempts to restore some measure of safety to our rights to organize.”

Read on…

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Armed Nazis disrupt Detroit Pride

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Detroit’s Pride parade was disrupted by a gun-wielding group of Nazis last weekend. Police escorted the Nazis while they yelled homophobic slurs at the crowd through a bullhorn. They also destroyed and urinated on rainbow and Israeli flags while cops watched on.

While police say their goal was to keep the Nazis and atendees of the Pride parade away from each other, many expressed anger that cops actively enabled white supremacists to disrupt Pride with hateful messages. “Where was Detroit Police when armed Nazis were marching with their NAZI FLAG shouting Homophobic slurs, anti-black racism, and white nationalism you ask? Serving and Protecting THE NAZIS,” one activist wrote on Twitter. “It’s 2019 and cops are escorting Nazis through a pride celebration. Disgusting,” another wrote.

Detroit wasn’t the only city that saw its Pride celebrations disrupted this weekend. Seven people were sent to the hospital in D.C. after fears of an active shooter led to a stampede. People started running after hearing what they thought was a gunshot. It turned out that the whole thing was caused by a straight man waving around a realistic-looking toy gun because he thought someone insulted his girlfriend.

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Straight Pride or: When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression

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Imagine for a second that you’re straight. That you never had to “come out” and confess who you love like it’s a dirty secret. That you never had to endure bullying because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. That people like you were never discriminated against, locked up in prison or even murdered in many countries all over the world.

You could just sit back and enjoy living in a world that’s made for you. Alternatively, if you’re a petty asshole, you could get upset of the queers having one day a year where they get to have a big party in your city and celebrate their community.

A bunch of “men’s rights activists” from Boston decidedly fall into the latter category. The city at the American East coast is set to host a Straight Pride parade in August because apparently the world will end if not everything is about straight people literally all day, every day.

The parade website claims: “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement and hate.” The website specifies that all are welcome at the event except “Antifa,” because fighting Nazis doesn’t align well with being straight or something.

Mark Sahady of the right-wing group Resist Marxism is one of the organisers behind the march, alongside pro-Trump Republicans John Hugo and Chris Bartley.

In a Facebook post, Sahady claimed: “It looks like the Boston Straight Pride Parade will happen. We filed a discrimination complaint and it appears the City of Boston understands they would lose in litigation. The city is now working with us on the parade. We will have the streets closed and be allowed floats and vehicles.”

It’s not the first attempt to host a Straight Pride event, though most previous efforts have failed to garner more than 10 attendees.

Lasting Marks

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The story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain was told by the police, the prosecution and the tabloid press — but not by those in the dock.

Lasting Marks is the story of a group of men, brought together through their shared sexual desires, and the vice investigation (named ‘Operation Spanner’) that followed when the police acquired a video tape of these acts being performed, Lyne delves into a somewhat forgotten, historic case in this informative and engaging film.

Shaving your pubes can be a dance on the razor blade

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Like most people of my generation I started shaving “down there” just two-ish years after getting anything to shave. And like most people I paid the blood price every now and then for chasing the silly dream of eternally youthful looks. Trimming or shaving your pubes can be a dangerous business, we all know from experience. But there’s also an actual study to support this thesis.

Combing through survey responses from a representative group of 7,456 American adults, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that 76% shave or trim their pubes. Of those, one in four reported injuring themselves at least once in the process.

Minor lacerations were the most common type of injury, accounting for 61% of those reported, followed by burns and rashes. But 1.4% of groomers reported severe enough injuries to require medical attention. That includes antibiotics for infections or surgical interventions, such as stitches and incisions to drain an abscess.

With the data, published in JAMA Dermatology, the researchers hope to draw attention to the hairy problem—and pluck out factors that may contribute to injuries.

Diving down into the data, they examined the specific bits most likely to get nicked during a grooming. Unsurprisingly, people who whittled around their dicks were most likely to injure the scrotum and penis and less likely to injure the perineum, inner thigh, or anus. People with vaginas were most in danger of harming the pubis (the region above the vagina), the inner thigh, and vagina itself. They were less likely to injure the perineum or anus.

Groomers reported using all manners of pruning tools—electric razors, nonelectric razors, wax, scissors, laser hair removal, electrolysis, or “other.” But this didn’t seem to matter much; no one method was linked to a higher risk of injuries. That said, waxing seemed to be linked to a lower risk of repeat injuries. Also inconsequential to injury risk was how hairy a person rated themselves—the hairiest didn’t endure more harm, the researchers found.

What did seem to matter was the frequency and extent of grooming. People across all genders risked more injuries with more grooming sessions—moving from monthly to daily routines—and if they aimed to snip out all the hair down there.

In terms of what increases the chances for a serious gash, researchers found two factors: lying on your back, rather than squatting, standing, or sitting during grooming; and having someone else do the grooming.

Most groomers—94%—reported doing the handiwork themselves. But 8.5% reported having their partner groom them, 3.9% reported professional grooming, and an intriguing 0.5% were “groomed by a friend.”

The researchers note that their study has limitations, including relying on people’s admissions and memory. It’s possible that minor injuries are underreported based on faulty memories while some more severe situations were omitted out of embarrassment.

Still, the authors say, it’s clear that pubic primping is widespread and injuries are common. “Thus, injury-prevention efforts are necessary,” they conclude. They hope that the data helps clinicians tease out patients who are at high risk of injuries and come up with “clinical guidelines or recommendations for safe pubic hair removal.”

Photo by Personwithfetishes

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Alabama public TV bans cartoon episode to protect kids from learning that gay people exist

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Alabama is in the news a lot lately. It’s one of these states with stricter abortion laws than Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. But while kids in Alabama are never too young to birth the children of their rapist, they are apparently too young to know that gay people exist.

The first episode of the 22nd season of the kids’s TV show Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his aardvark partner, Patrick. Alabama Public Television refused to run the epsiode. Instead they showed an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere.

In a statement to AL.com, APT programming director McKenzie explained the broadcaster’s decision to not air the episode.

“Although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards – parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the “target” audience for Arthur also watch the program.”

In 2005, an episode of an Arthur spinoff, Postcards from Buster, was pulled by APT because it featured a girl with two moms. APT didn’t run that episode either, citing the same “trust with parents.”

Arthur creator Marc Brown responded a day later:

“I’m really proud of that episode. And I will defend it to anybody who wants to talk about it. Why shouldn’t their teacher marry another man? We all know people who are gay, who are trans, and it’s something that is socially acceptable. Why is there this discomfort that it takes a leap into our national media?

I don’t want children or people who are different to feel excluded. That’s not the kind of world we want to live in. And we want children to be educated so they can see there’s not just one type of family. Everyone should feel represented. I think we did that with Arthur.”

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