The love and advice columnist Dan Savage shares his thoughts on bisexuality, trans awareness – and helping to drive change
There are fewer public faces out there that openly identify with the bisexual community. Why?
There’s a Pew Research poll that shows that more than 70% of gay men and lesbians are out to “most of the important people in their lives,” but only 28% of bi people are. That’s the problem. As Harvey Milk told gay people, the way to shatter those stereotypes is to be out and confront them. Coming out is what drives change. And a lot of bi people know that. But there’s something about the bisexual experience that makes coming out easier to avoid, and more difficult to do ….
you know … I came out as bi before I was gay, and since most gay people are all the way out, for a lot of people, the only bi people they’ve ever known in their lives are gay people who were lying about being bi. And so they moved through their life thinking that all bi people are lying. And closeted bi people are negatively impacted by that misconception.
It’s just a thought, but here is at least one reason not as many bisexual people may appear to be out. When we do try to come out, various self important agony aunties sneer at us and say things like,
“I meet someone who’s 19-years-old who tells me he’s bisexual and I’m like, ‘Yeah, right, I doubt it. I tell them come back when you’re like 29 and we’ll see.’”
And who is this person who disbelieves, dismisses and forcibly shoves bisexuals right back into the closet when they try to come out? Why that would be none other than the well know LGBT talking head, Dan Savage himself.
omg y dont bi ppl just cum out and stuf?
“I meet someone who’s 19-years-old who tells me he’s bisexual and I’m like, ‘Yeah, right, I doubt it. I tell them come back when you’re like 29 and we’ll see.” - DAN FUCKING SAVAGE
With all due respect to the Justices, they have erred in invalidating the buffer zone as an impermissible regulation of speech. Protesters always have had ample opportunities to express their opinions directly to patients and staff. And the Court also distorted reality when it focused on supposed “caring” conversations from protesters.
In Massachusetts, before the buffer zone law was enacted, patients and staff were often subjected to intense and aggressive harassment. Planned Parenthood in particular was routinely singled out by protesters who went beyond expressing themselves through conversation. They disrupted the operation of health centers by chaining themselves to medical equipment. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the doorway of our healthcare centers, blocking access for our patients and staff. They screamed directly into the ears of patients, jarring them at a sensitive moment — when they were en route to a private medical appointment.
This volatile, unsafe environment in Massachusetts paved the way for tragedy. In 1994, a man barged into the Planned Parenthood health center in Brookline and opened fire, murdering one staff member and injuring three others. He then went to another nearby health center, murdering another staff member and wounding two others.
When the law was enacted, it was instantly clear that it worked. The atmosphere outside Planned Parenthood health centers became transformed to one of peaceful coexistence. Speech was never prevented outside healthcare centers. The only restriction protesters faced was to stand 35 feet away from the entrance of a healthcare center. Thirty-five feet is roughly the length of a school bus. When someone screams “Murderer!” from a distance of 35 feet, you hear the message loud and clear.
There is no way around it: There are three issues on people’s minds as we go into the midterm elections: jobs, jobs and jobs.
Since the 2008 financial crash – actually since Reagan was elected – most of the gains from our economy have gone to the 1 percent and many of the jobs have been shipped out of the country. And everyone knows it. What they don’t know is the direct relationship between the two. That relationship is the trade deficit.
The trade deficit is a direct measure of jobs leaving the country. The trade deficit is factories closing. The trade deficit is American dollars going to other countries so people there can spend them. The trade deficit is our standard of living leaking away. And the trade deficit is a major factor driving what remains of the budget deficit.
The trade deficit is our economy’s problem. Democrats need to get on board with that message. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also true.
Democrats Don’t Get That Republican Propaganda Works
Inmates are making a surprising array of products for small businesses. You can even find some in your local Whole Foods.
Some years back, a small Colorado goat-cheese maker called Haystack Mountain faced its version of a classic growth challenge: National demand was growing for its chèvres and other cheeses, and the company was struggling to find enough local goat farmers to produce milk. The solution came from a surprising source: Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI). Today six inmates milk 1,000 goats twice a day on a prison-run farm. After non-inmate employees cultivate the cheese at a company facility, it’s sold in Whole Foods WFM -0.36% outlets, among other stores.
Prison labor has gone artisanal. Sure, plenty of inmates still churn out government office furniture and the like, and incarcerated workers have occasionally been used by large companies since the late 1970s. Nationwide 63,032 inmates produce more than $2 billion worth of products a year, most of them sold to government entities.
“Was trauma just shorthand for “not getting what you want”? Feeling inconvenience in an affluent, convenient society? Or is it really possible that the entire nation is on the verge of a breakdown because of something so dark and sordid and painful in its past, that even the relatively innocuous Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” has the ability to trigger it?”—
“We need labels because we do not want to be overridden by the default. And that includes labels for the default, instead of allowing people to insist that they are the norm and thus don’t need a label. Hence all the brouhaha over ‘cis,’ a term used to describe people who have a gender consistent with that assigned to them at birth. It’s perfectly reasonable to label those people, distinguishing them from trans people, who have genders that differ from those assigned to them at birth. Both groups of people need to be identified.”—We Need Labels, Because the Alternative is Disappearing | this ain’t livin’ (via feministlibrarian)
“If a Muslim can drive a cab wearing a turban, if a homosexual can walk around with a big rainbow flag, why can’t a person like me wear a Nazi armband?”—
That’s Gabriel Diaz, a Dominican cab driver from the Bronx who believes “We’ve been told lies about Hitler,” who “developed his ideas about the Nazi leader from the Internet,” and who insists his free speech rights have been violated because his cab company suspended him for wearing a swastika armband while driving around New York.
“Race matters because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process…because of persistent racial inequality in the society… Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching other tense up as he passes… Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown and then is pressed, no, where are you really from… Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce the most crippling thoughts: ‘I do not belong here.’”—Sonia Sotomayor on affirmative action policies (via thenationmagazine)
True net neutrality means the free exchange of information between people and organizations. Information is key to a society’s well being. One of the most effective tactics of an invading military is to inhibit the flow of information in a population; this includes which information is shared and by who. Today we see this war being waged on American citizens. Recently the FCC has moved to redefine “net neutrality” to mean that corporations and organizations can pay to have their information heard, or worse, the message of their competitors silenced. We as a nation must settle for nothing less than complete neutrality in our communication channels. This is not a request, but a demand by the citizens of this nation. No bandwidth modifications of information based on content or its source.
Nearly 27,000 signatures so far. 73,000 to go.
It’s ridiculous that we are asking and not demanding. Still, sign and reblog please.
“Whether it’s the Senate minority leader claiming that America should have remained legally segregated, a beloved cultural figure fondly recalling how happy black people were living under lynch law, a presidential candidate calling Barack Obama a “food-stamp president,” or a campaign surrogate calling Barack Obama “a subhuman mongrel,” the preponderance of evidence shows that modern conservatism just can’t quit white supremacy.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates (via azspot)
Baseball legend Hank Aaron doesn’t think President Obama’s political rivals are that much different than the racists who threatened Aaron with death as he approached Babe Ruth’s home run milestone.
Aaron told USA Today in an interview published Tuesday that he still has the hateful letters he received as he closed in on Ruth’s career home run record 40 years ago this week. He said he keeps them as a reminder “that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record.”
"If you think that, you are fooling yourself," he said. "A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’s not a whole lot that has changed."
According to Aaron, things are not that much different today — the country’s first black president notwithstanding.
"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated," Aaron said.
He added, "We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."
Hank Aaron has hit a home run with those comments.
Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing? …
After waging a brutal war on poor communities of color, a drug war that has decimated families, spread despair and hopelessness through entire communities, and a war that has fanned the flames of the very violence it was supposedly intended to address and control; after pouring billions of dollars into prisons and allowing schools to fail; we’re gonna simply say, we’re done now? I think we have to be willing, as we’re talking about legalization, to also start talking about reparations for the war on drugs, how to repair the harm caused. …
At the end of apartheid in South Africa there was an understanding that there could be no healing, no progress, no reconciliation without truth. You can’t just destroy a people and then say ‘It’s over, we’re stopping now.’ You have to be willing to deal with the truth, deal with the history openly and honestly.
“Never mind that nine in ten gay students report being bullied because of their sexual orientation. Forget that gay teens are more than three times as likely to commit suicide than their peers. And completely ignore that one-fifth of LBGT employees say they’ve been discriminated against when it comes to hiring, pay, and promotions. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wants you to know who the real bullies are when it comes to gay rights: the gay community itself.”—Jon Terbush, in Michele Bachmann: The gay community is a big mean bully (via theweekmagazine)
This is the same governor who gladly signed the racial profiling bill into law, thus demonstrating, in a concrete way, the difference between between being a gay white and a person of color of any sexual orientation in this country.
Reblogged for the commentary.
which is why calling this “gay jim crow” is an asshole move
I’m like ‘the Tea Party is racist’ and my friend is like ‘Kamau, you can’t call the Tea Party racist. They’re not all racist.’ And I was like, you know what, I don’t need the Tea Party to be 100% racist for me to feel perfectly fine calling them racist. I don’t need 100% racism in the group. It could be way less than 100%. 10% is plenty for me. If the Tea Party is 10% racist I feel comfortable labeling the whole group racist.
Let me explain how that works. If I offer you a shake, a milkshake. I say ‘would you like a milkshake?’ You go “yeah, sure I’d like a milkshake.” I go, ‘okay, here you go, but just so you know it’s 10% shit.’
Oh, now you suddenly you understand how it works. 10% is kinda a lot ain’t it. You go ‘uh oh, that’s too much shit in my shake.
If I put a gun to someone’s head, say, a 30-year-old healthy male, pull the trigger, and kill him, assuming an average life expectancy of, say, 84, you can argue that possibly 54 years of life [were] stolen from that person in a direct act of violence.
However, if a person is born into poverty in the midst of an abundant society where it is statistically proven that it would hurt no one to facilitate meeting the basic needs of that person and yet they die at the age of 30 due to heart disease, which has been found to statistically relate to those who endure the stress and effects of low socioeconomic status, is that death, the removal of those 54 years once again, an act of violence?
And the answer is ‘Yes, it is.’
You see, our legal system has conditioned us to think that violence is a direct behavioral act. The truth is that violence is a process, not an act, and it can take many forms.
You cannot separate any outcome from the system by which it is oriented.
To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.”
This invisibility is political.
Michael S. Kimmel, in the introduction to the book, “Privilege: A Reader” (via thinkspeakstress)