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50 years after Stonewall most queer Americans are still too scared to hold hands

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Fifty years after the Stonewall riots queer rights have come a long way. It would be easy to lean back and tell yourself that it’s a job well done. It would have little to do with reality though. There are many major milestones still to achieve and we even have to be careful not to lose some of the progress made so far.

Since Trump took office as president of the U.S. Nazis, religious extremists and other homophobes feel safe again in speaking their mind and often actions follow soon after. Trans people of colour are being murdered on such a regular basis that the subject became a major point for candidates in the presidential race. And that is just the gruesome tip of the iceberg.

Many queer Americans feel the consequences of a homophobic racist running the country. The acceptance of queer people even among young Americans dropped for the second year in a row and most queer Americans don’t dare to hold hands in public because they fear to be met with violence and discrimination.

In a survey 85% of respondents said they were scared when displaying this type of affection in public spaces. Only 15% said they had no fear at all of holding hands or showing other displays of affection in public.

More than three quarters of queer Americans surveyed said they believed that transgender people experienced more discrimination. With this in mind, just over 80% of trans people said they were “very” or “somewhat afraid” to hold hands in public, and not a single respondent said they had “no fear at all.”

26% of the respondents have personally experienced discrimination in the workplace. With 47% the number was almost twice as high for trans people. 12% of queer Americans said they had been refused service by a business before while 36% of trans people had such an experience.

Of all queer people surveyed, 77% said they were discriminated again sometimes or often when they apply for jobs. In terms of offensive slurs; 59% of queer people said they had been called a slur, and 81% of transgender people said the same.

However, people said there was also discrimination within the queer community itself. The types of prejudice cited as problematic included transphobia (60%), sexism (51%), and racism (52%).

Among LGBTQ people, 40% would not date a trans person. For gay  gay men specifically that number was even higher at 66%.


Periodical Political Post *105

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Why Kink belongs at Pride

milkboys History & People, News & Articles 10 Comments

Earlier this month, just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a Twitter user shared a since-deleted viral tweet directed at Pride goers. It contained a number of statements about the nature of Pride, with one particular remark sparking a string of intra-community discourse: “Please don’t bring your k*nks/fet*shes to pride, there are minors @ pride and this can sexualise the event.”

Debate quickly followed within the queer community, calling into question the place of public displays of kink and BDSM at queer events.

Some agreed with the original tweet, assenting that wearing fetish gear or publicly expressing one’s sexuality would violate the consent of those present, as it could make people feel uncomfortable or triggered.

Others challenged these sentiments. “Kinks, sex, and protest are all inherent parts of pride,” wrote Nicolette Mason on Twitter. “One of the core tenets of pride is liberation and working against cultural shaming,” wrote a user under the handle @atty_boy. “Calling to make pride ‘kid-friendly’ implies that celebrating sexuality and kink openly is bad. Normalizing these things is a GOAL of pride.”

Wherever you stand on the issue, the fact remains that BDSM, subversive sexuality, and leather culture have enjoyed a long history within the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and such public displays of sexuality are driven by much more than libido or countercultural impulses — they’re an inherent expression of queer culture and sexuality, and as such, deserve a place at Pride as much as anything.

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UK’s Porn Block delayed (yup, again) thanks to EU rules

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The UK government’s attempt to create a national database of people that access pornographic content under the guise of protecting children from accessing explicit material online has hit another delay.

The new regulations were due to come into effect on July 15, but  this could now be delayed indefinitely, due to the UK government failing to inform the European Commission about details of the scheme, which it is legally obliged to do.

This is the third major delay – at least – to the plan to require UK users to prove their age before accessing adult content online, and little has been done to allay fears that the law could lead to the leaking of sensitive personal information. Indeed, it remains to be seen how the UK could even hope to enforce its rules on non-UK based businesses.

Even if you’re worried about kids watching porn, there’s little reason to believe that a crudely implemented age verification system will make much difference. Users with a VPN will simply need to select a non-UK IP address to bypass the blocks. Hell, even browsers are considering implementing DNS encryption, which a government official has already admitted would make the rules unenforceable.

Whether or not the law will actually come into effect remains to be seen, but its negative effects are already being felt around the world, as several other countries look to follow the UK’s privacy-impinging example.

Thanks Taylor but, can you not?

milkboys Music, Music & Dance, News & Articles 5 Comments

Taylor Swift gave a gift to her queer fan base in the form of a summertime gay anthem called “You Need To Calm Down,” and on behalf of a grateful community, I must say: thank you, Taylor!

Also: is there any chance you kept a receipt?

Please understand: I appreciate the effort. Like God Herself, I love a trier. It is a thrilling and still somewhat new experience to be part of the textual narrative in pop music, and I am delighted for the young queer kid who’s hearing the song and feeling seen, supported and nourished for the first time. It’s important! And the song has already lodged itself in my frontal lobe and kicked both of those new Bon Iver songs out of their seats. Between “Calm Down,” Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over,” and the whole new Carly Rae Jepsen album, the 2019 pop sound palette seems to be “the Fletch soundtrack,” and I am all the way here for it. I will hear “Calm Down” at pool parties this summer, and I will sing along. It is nice.

But attempting to write a gay anthem in 2019 reeks of sweat and substandard self-awareness. The classics of the past— your “I Will Survive,” your “It’s Raining Men,” your “Pull Up To The Bumper”— they gave us our gayness indirectly. They were anthems of strength, of perseverance, of plain, joyous horniness, served up vicariously, the way it had to be done back then. The singers, always women, almost always black, were our stand-ins. We found these songs and made them ours. These days, LGBTQ wokeness is a box to check off in a marketing plan, and when there are perfectly capable queer artists out there, sitting down as a straight person and setting out to write a gay anthem is very much like trying to give yourself a nickname.

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Rapid-onset gender dysphoria is BS

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A controversial study claiming that some teens abruptly decide to change genders due to peer pressure was deeply flawed, according to a scathing new scientific critique.

The original 2018 study used a new term — “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” or ROGD — to describe certain young adults, typically those assigned female at birth, who develop gender dysphoria due to “social and peer contagion.” The paper has been widely cited, particularly in conservative media, to cast doubt on many gender-nonconforming people’s experiences by framing trans identification as a trend, phase, or disease.

But scientific critics and trans advocates have long criticized the methods chosen by the paper’s author, Lisa Littman of Brown University. Within a week of its publication in August 2018, PLOS One, the journal in which the study appeared, announced that it would seek “further expert assessment on the study’s methodology and analyses,” citing reader concerns. This, in turn, prompted Brown to remove a press release touting its findings. Just last month, PLOS One published a correction and an apology, while also noting that the study’s results were largely unchanged.

Arjee Restar, a trans researcher in the same department as Littman at Brown, told BuzzFeed News that even in the corrected version of the study, “the methods remain unchanged, flawed, and below scientific standards.”

Frustrated by how the work was handled by the journal and her own institution, Restar, a trans graduate student at Brown’s School of Public Health, wrote the new critique, the most thorough and damning description of the research to date.

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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.”

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Periodical Political Post *104

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Armed Nazis disrupt Detroit Pride

milkboys News & Articles 23 Comments

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.

Periodical Political Post *103

milkboys News & Articles 17 Comments

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