Politician teared up talking about her gender-nonconforming child

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U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, has a personal stake in the Equality Act that was debated last week. “My beautiful, now 22-year-old child told me last year that they were gender nonconforming,” Jayapal tearfully told her colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The Equality Act would add queer people to federal discrimination laws, and at the hearing, Jayapal emphatically explained the bill’s importance.

“The only thought I wake up with every day is: My child is free,” the congresswoman said, publicly discussing her child’s identity for the first time. “My child is free to be who they are, and in that freedom comes a responsibility for us as legislators to protect that freedom.”

Queer Tropes in Video Games

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Award-winning video-essayist Anita Sarkeesian has returned with a new video series on Queer Tropes in Video Games. The three-part miniseries examines the depiction of queer people in games, much like Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games looked at the representation of women in games.

Sarkeesian has never shied from controversy, and her new series will likely trigger strong reactions again. She was subjected to considerable harassment including death threats and smear campaigns against her after the debut of the first series in 2013.

The series moves from criticism in gaming’s early years to the progress of the depiction of LGBTQ people in more recent games. You can check it out below.

Asexuality is still a mystery to many

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Three-quarters of people can’t define asexuality, according to a survey. The poll asked British people how confident, if at all, they would be in defining asexuality. Of the 1,119 people questioned, 53% said they were confident in explaining the term. However, when they were put to the test 75´% were either wrong or did not know that asexual people do experience a sex drive.

An estimated 1% of the population are asexual. According to Stonewall, an asexual person is defined as someone who does not experience sexual attraction. However, there is a large amount of diversity among the asexual community, as there is among all groups under the queer umbrella.

Each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction and arousal differently and asexuality is a word that asexual people use to help identify and describe themselves.

What is asexuality?

According to the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (ASEN), asexuality is an intrinsic part of who a person is, like any other sexual orientation. The organisation describes an asexual person as someone who “does not experience sexual attraction”, meaning they are not drawn to people sexually and “do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way.”

A lack of information about asexuality means there are lots of misconceptions about it. AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network) explains: “Unlike celibacy, which is a choice, asexuality is a sexual orientation. Asexual people have the same emotional needs as everybody else and are just as capable of forming intimate relationships.”

Dr Michael Yates, clinical psychologist specialising in sexual health, said: “Sexual attraction is a motivation to engage in sexual activities with another person. It is possible to still have a sexual drive, but for that not to be directed at another person. For some asexual people, they may still have sexual feelings, they may masturbate, but that won’t be associated with fantasy or a desire to have sex with somebody else.”

The other F-Word

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Queer people have a complicated relationships with the word “faggot.” While we’re at a moment in time where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are slowly gaining rights and visibility, that doesn’t mean the stigma surrounding queer identity has dissipated. And, for some, the words that have historically been used to inflict pain on our community still hold a lot of power.

Some find power in taking back or reclaiming words — like “queer.” I use the word queer because I find it the best way to describe the vast spectrum of experiences and identities that receive visibility in our community — and because I think the word is the most inclusive. However, the word “faggot” still inspires a mixed response within the community, and that response is often due to context and intent.

Cut Video made similar videos about the word gay and the phrase being a man.

Pop Culture Detective: Sexual assault of men played for laughs

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It’s hard to overstate just how common jokes about men being sexually assaulted are in entertainment media. Most popular comedic actors engage in this type of humor. Jokes are typically designed to demean, humiliate, control, or emasculate a male character for being the victim, or potential victim, of sexual violence.

This is the 1st of 2 video essays on this topic. Part 1 focuses on humor involving men sexually assaulting or harassing other men. Part 2 will examine media in which women are depicted as the perpetrators.