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A couple of things you ought to know about

Before I leave the B-Word office to spend the weekend working in the air-conditioned, shades-drawn splendor of my own home, I wanted to hip you folks to two very cool projects that are looking for your input and support.

The first comes courtesy of Stacy Bias, a Portlander who many of you may have heard of because she's pretty much a one-woman dynamo of both fat activism and general creativity. Have you heard of Fat Girl Speaks? That'd be Stacy. Visited the TechnoDyke.com community? Stacy, again. Indulged in the sweet-smelling lippy goodness of Pussy Pucker Pots? All Stacy.

Anyhoo, her new undertaking is an oral, written, and visual history project called The Fat Experience Project. Here's what she's got to say about it:

"The goal of the Fat Experience Project is to map the global experience of fat in a way that is human, has a face, a heart, a mind, a body and a voice.... By collecting and sharing the many and varied stories of individuals of size, the Fat Experience Project® seeks to engage with, educate, empower and enrich the lives of people of size, our allies and the world at large.... As the project grows, it will be filled with first-person, non-fiction narratives (in text, video or mp3 format) that speak to the many and varied aspects of the life lived large."

Here's where you come in: Stacy's looking not only for the abovementioned submissions, but also for help spreading the word about the project, and, lastly, for volunteers to pitch in with things like transcribing interviews, video editing, and more. So get to the project's site, and help make an already-cool thing even better.

On to the second thing. In addition to my duties with Bitch, I'm on the editorial board of a zine called Our Truths-Nuestras Verdades, which is published by the post-abortion counseling organization Exhale. The biannual zine comprises first-person stories, poems, and art about the experience of abortion, and each issue takes on a different theme. For the upcoming Winter 2008-9 issue, that theme is humor: specifically, the thorny issue of whether abortion can be funny.

Thus, a short, fun, get-you-thinking survey about abortion, humor, and popular culture that seeks to answer the question, "Can humor help unlock the stigma around abortion?" And if you finish the survey and want to get even more involved, OT-NV is looking for your submissions. Were funny moments a part of your abortion experience? Did you discover you needed to laugh about what was happening? How did humor promote your well-being? The deadline for submissions, by the way, is August 18, and more information about where to send your submissions is at www.ourtruths.org

And hey, what do you know? In the time it took me to write this post, the B-Word office is no longer a stifling hotbox — we've now got ourselves an AC unit. This will make production on the brand-new Loud issue, which starts next week, so much more pleasant...

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