In this historic week of Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and the Voting Rights Act, we're thinking a lot about intersections. More than ever, it's clear that making America a more equal union means defending the civil rights of everyone—not benefitting one group of people over another.
This week's Popaganda focuses on those areas of overlapping identity, digging into the framing of race in media with Colorlines.com Senior Editor Jamilah King, talking with transgender ice hockey player Micah Barritt about gender dynamics in athletics, discussing the link between feminsm and biking with author Elly Blue, and exploring the political need for linking immigrant rights and LGBT rights with Basic Rights Oregon racial justice organizer John Joo.
• Meanwhile, the Colorado state civil rights division issued an encouraging ruling against a Colorado school that banned a transgender girl from using the girls' bathroom. In the words of the decision, telling a child she "must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive." [New York Times]
• The Food Network fired celebrity chef Paula Deen last week for admitting to using a racial slur in the past and for considering a plantation- themed wedding for her brother. Multiple people ask: Is she just a "product of her time"? [Colorlines, NYTimes]
Navy Seal Kris Beck deployed 13 times during her more than 20 years in service and earned both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. However, if she tried to join the military today, Beck would be swiftly rejected. Beck is transgender—and the military has made it clear that though gay and lesbian Americans can now join the military, transgender folks are still not welcome.
Guy Hamdon is an average twelve-year-old boy cartoon character with a skateboard, pesky siblings, and a superhero alter ego. That alter ego happens to be a female superhero named SheZow. On the Hub network's new cartoon series of the same name, Guy shouts the magic phrase "You go, girl!" and gleans superhuman strength and speed, plus a skirt, go-go boots, and a hot pink shapeshifting car.
It's a given that the Middle East has a long way to go as far as LGBT acceptance is concerned. Remember that sound byte of Ahmadinejad claiming that Iran doesn't have any homosexuals? Turkey is supposed to be the most secular and liberal Muslim country in the Middle East, yet its religious, right wing government still considers homosexuality to be a disease.
I'll be the first to admit that Saturday Night Live is a totally hit or miss show these days. There are definitely some skits that cause me to cramp up from laughing so hard, while others leave me bored. I get it - it takes a lot to put on a live, hour-and-a-half variety show every week, and not every joke will be a zinger. And while I don't expect every second to make me laugh, I also don't expect there to be parts of the show that will make me cringe and rage.
This past Saturday night started off promising. Then it turned transphobic.
Xavin explaining not fitting in to male-female gender roles in Runaways. via
Both print comics and webcomics seem to be paying more attention to being inclusive these days, especially when it comes to LGBT characters. I've long treasured the diversity that's out there in webcomics if you dig a little bit, but even the comics you don't have to dig for are starting to include characters of color and queer characters. Jeph Jacques, for example, upped the inclusion ante at Questionable Content last year when two women of color and a white transwoman appeared in a one-panel diversitysplosion. Other comics seem to be moving in the same direction. Maybe next Randall Munroe will strike a blow to androcentrism and retcon the xkcd stick figures into being female-to-intersex pansexuals of color.
To celebrate inclusion in comics and encourage more, I'd like to put forward my top five list of the best genderqueer characters in comics.
I'm skeptical of any awards given out so closely to the release of an honoree's film. It's an extra press release, another sound bite, and a little something for the likes of Entertainment Tonight, Extra!, and TMZ to shill. Yawn.
That said, it was worth following The Hollywood Reporter's extensive coverage of the Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award, presented to Cloud Atlas codirector Lana Wachowski.