I recently attended Open Sourcebridge, a tech conference in Portland Oregon, and got to speak with some really incredible women in the open source world. (Hopefully I'll be filling the little void left in the hearts of feminerds since Jarrah Hodge's series ended!) Open Source is a method of development that's publicly available, collaborative, and peer reviewed. If you read the Bitch website on the reg (which uses Drupal), or browsed the Internet using Mozilla Firefox, or blogged with WordPress, you have used Open Source software! Wikipedia is an example of open source content, where users peer edit the work of others publicly.
Like a lot of cool things that should be open to everyone, the open source community can be a bit of a boys' club. I spoke with Valerie Aurora, programmer, Geek Feminism contributor, and, with Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, a "non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in open technology and culture." We spoke about how the Ada Initiative came about, the anti-harassment conference policy she helped put together, and how the tech world can be hostile to women.
Catch up with Political InQueery and Grey's Rounds contributor Everett Maroon as we talk about the Obama Administration's LGBT initiatives, how GOP candidates are beginning to frame Obama's presidency thusfar, predictions for summer politics, and yes, Weinergate (with apologies to the Watergate Hotel).
What alternative? Whose underground? We feel that queer comics artists/comics artists of color (and cartoonists of other marginalized groups) have always been relegated to the underground of the underground. This just won't do! This is where Gay Genius comes in.
This excerpt from the "manifesto" on Gay Genius's 2010 Kickstarter campaign sums up a lot of the impetus behind this new comics anthology out from Sparkplug Comics. With eighteen contributors whose storytelling is as unique as their artistic style, Gay Genius is not just a much-needed volume celebrating the work of queer artists, but it's a must-have for contemporary comics lovers as well. I spoke with the book's editor, Annie Murphy, who won the Xeric Prize in 2008 for her book I Still Live, about what it was like putting the book together, why such a book is needed, and what really constitutes a genius.
Mallika Dutt is the founder and CEO of Breakthrough, an organization that "uses the power of media, pop culture, and community mobilization to inspire people to take bold action for dignity, equality, and justice." Breakthrough has been successfully integrating social justice messages with pop culture and media for years now, whether it's the 3D video game ICED (I Can End Deportation) or the ad campaign Ring the Bell, calling on men and boys to end violence against women. Their latest project is America 2049, an interactive Facebook game that takes place in the dystopic, but not-so-distant future. I spoke with Mallika about the process behind developing America 2049 and how her organization uses popular culture and media to start conversations about human rights.