Archive for Gender
This press release bugs me just a bit because the “news” here is being presented as if this extremely important fact about DADT just came to light. Most of us who haven’t been wowed by rockstar DADT activist Dan Choi already knew that women and racial minorities are the groups most affected by DADT. The fact that Choi and other prominent DADT activists have chosen to ignore this fact really grates my nerves.
For some time now, prominent DADT activists have pushed the “highly educated and skilled gay men with really important military jobs are being kicked out of the military” rhetoric. In the meantime, women and racial minorities who were affected by DADT (especially those who don’t have seemingly “important” roles in the military) have been ignored. We’ve seen a very “entitled and privileged gay male” mentality at play with DADT activists. I use the words “entitled” and “privileged” because any servicemember who props himself up to be a bigger loss to the nation’s armed services than someone else is definitely functioning using a privileged and entitled mentality.
With that said, even though the following press release prompted a really nasty knee jerk response, I think it’s worth posting:
LOS ANGELES — The Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law issued results of a new study showing that the proportion of women and racial/ethnic minorities among those discharged under the US military’s “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy has increased over time. In the late 1990s approximately a quarter of discharges were women and similar proportions were racial/ethnic minorities. In recent years, those proportions have increased to more than a third of the DADT discharges.
Williams Distinguished Scholar Dr. Gary Gates notes that, “These data document a marked shift in how Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell has been enforced among various demographic groups. It is clear that women and racial/ethnic minorities now bear a larger portion of the burden imposed by the policy than they did when the policy was first implemented in 1993.”
The study analyses the demographic characteristics of the more than 13,500 men and women who have been discharged under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell and compares those characteristics to those of the US military as a whole and to characteristics of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGB) serving in the military.
The percentage of women in the military has remained steady at about 14-15% from 1997 through 2008 while the percentage of women discharged under Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell has increased from 22% in 1997 to 39% in 2009. Other Williams Institute analyses suggest that the percentage of women among LGB servicemembers has increased from 32% in 2000 to 41% in 2008.
Racial and ethnic minorities comprise about a third of the US military and comprise a similar proportion of the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell discharges in 2009. Data from US Census Bureau data on individuals in same-sex couples who say they are either on active duty or in the guard or reserve suggest that about a quarter are non-white. This was true in both 2000 and in 2008.
This study follows a series of Williams Institute reports documenting the impact of the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy. Williams Institute research has shown that: Nearly 71,000 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are currently serving either on active duty or among guard and reserve forces in the US military. Since its inception, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell has cost the US taxpayers as much as half a billion dollars. If the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy had not been instituted, an estimated 4,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual personnel would have been retained in the US military each year since 1994.
I received an email from Dallas LGBTQ equality activist C.D. Kirven pointing me to an article on LezGetReal.com that calls for a ‘tune out’ of CNN’s Gay in America series. After tweeting about the blog post, I posted it on a private Google group full of LGBT bloggers and head honchos of LGBT organizations. Within 5 minutes, I received a lead that pointed me to a contact person in CNN’s PR department – and within 10 minutes, I’d sent an email to CNN and received the following response:
The producers for ‘In America,’ are devoted to capturing diverse voices and believe we have done so with our Gay in America initiative.
Please know that there have been many other stories about the LGBT community that have aired on CNN this week as part of our “Gay in America” initiative, in addition to the Gary and Tony Have a Baby documentary. Some of the stories included were how a black Baptist church in DC is dealing with gay unions, a black service member discussing a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” a 2-part series on gay teens from Mississippi and two black men who adopted a child.
In addition, exclusive to CNN.com is a story called the “Brady Bunch” about two black gay fathers who’ve joined their families and our ‘Rare Views’ where couples of a variety of racial backgrounds get to tell their stories.
All of these stories can be found on CNN.com on our “Gay in America” page: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/in.america/gay.in.america/
I hope this is helpful information to you.
Even though the series is called ‘Gay in America,” should we expect to see more trans inclusion? Thoughts?
Here’s C.D.’s response to CNN’s response:
Thank you for responding indirectly because I have not received a return email from your producers in return of my emails I’ve been sending for weeks. You have left out a huge part of our community that include Transgender, Transsexuals, Bisexuals and LGBT rights activists like myself whose protests and rallies are not reported on similar to the “Tea Party’s” events.
GET EQUAL NOW instead of GLAAD appears to be responsible for diverse positive LGBT images so your run down of your “planned” series has still fail short of capturing the faces of our community. Since I’m an activist, I must stand up for those who feel invisible and so I will continue to collect my 1600 signatures and hope those who also want all voices heard will stand with me.
This week is the 41st anniversary of the Stonewall riots where a transgender Puertorican woman threw the first shoe that started our national LGBT fight for independence. To ignore the struggle and the people fighting in it is not my Gay in America. We can’t leave off the B and T!
Update: The correct web site address for Get Equal NOW is http://getequalnow.org
Twitter user @FemmeDrea asked me the following today:
Am I offended by a queer feminist pornzine? Absolutely not. I like porn. I like porn a lot – and I don’t care how many Andrea Dworkin-like feminists roll their eyes at that comment. It makes me proud that there are feminists out there who weren’t persuaded – by Dworkin and her cronies – that porn is evil.
Even though the idea of a queer feminist pornzine isn’t offensive to me, I’m pretty sure I’ll be annoyed by the predictable racism that will run rampant through its pages. Anytime I see the words “feminist” and “queer” used together, it usually implies “white feminist same-gender loving folks.” Don’t believe me? Check out On Our Backs Magazine: page after page after page of white women.
Jump on over to Bitch Magazine – a feminist publication overflowing with white feminists, sprinkled with a little color when annoying Black bitches like me start to complain.
A common complaint about Ms. Magazine was that it used to be exclusively for white feminists, but I noticed they’re making an attempt to be a bit more inclusive. Too little too late if ya ask me.
Feministing.com – very white. They used to at least try to appear as if they cared about women of color. I guess that one colored girl doesn’t work there anymore.
Feministe.us: their staff lacks serious diversity. Pulling most of their columnists’ pictures off the site won’t help them hide that fact.
So, while I’m not bothered at all by the existence of yet another queer feminist pornzine, I can tell you I don’t plan to support the project because I doubt I’ll see women who look like me on any of their pages. If I’m wrong, they need to educate a sista.
Dear White Gay Male Brothers:
Once upon a time, you were sitting at the top of the social class ladder – a spot that gave you the best possible view of (and access to) the world and all it has to offer. You had the best seat because you were a white male who the world assumed was a heterosexual.
And then . . . you came out. You told the world you were a homosexual. From there, your position changed drastically, pushing you from position #1 to a spot closer to where racial minorities and women are placed. That must’ve hurt like a bitch – and you couldn’t have seen it coming. There’s no way you saw it coming.
As a young boy, you might have grown accustomed to certain privileges, like: the assumption that you would head off to college, get a great job and marry a great girl. If you were a Black male, the assumption would’ve been you would father several illegitimate children and end up in prison. If you were a Black female, the assumption would’ve been that you would give birth to several illegitimate children and end up on welfare.
You probably never had to deal with store clerks automatically assuming you had sticky fingers just because of your race. You probably never had to deal with the police pulling you over to question you about how you acquired the nice vehicle you were driving – because white men always drive nice cars, right? You probably never had to deal with teachers automatically assuming you would be a troublemaker in class – because white kids are always perfect students, right? You probably never had to deal with a grocery store clerk automatically assuming you were using a food stamp card when you reached into your wallet at the checkout – because white people don’t need food stamps, right?
Now that you identify as a homosexual, you can no longer enjoy the privileges afforded to you when you were an assumed straight white man. If I were you, I’d be fuckin’ pissed, too! Rich people who lose it all suffer far more emotional pain than those of us who never had more than enough to live on – because they remember what it was like to have it all. I’m guessing white gay men who lose their place at the top of the social ladder are suffering from the stab of injustice far more than the rest of the gay community because the pain is so very unfamiliar. It aches and aches and you haven’t developed a coping mechanism for that kinda grief just yet.
Relax. I have great news. You get used to the pain and, over the years, it’ll become somewhat manageable. You’ll learn how to function in the world and keep the pain at a minimum. If you need some tips on how to survive through the rougher spots, ask a Black woman. She’s a pro at it.
In the meantime, I suggest learning how to work within a system of oppression to remove the oppression. If you need help with that one, ask a feminist – or a Black man, or a Black woman, or a Hispanic individual. They all have great pointers. And pay attention as they speak; you might actually learn something.
Joseph John, Frantz Hall and Angie McKnight – 3 of the 4 hosts from Qtalk – join us to discuss gender identity and gender roles in relationships. Qtalk, a live talk/variety show, is described as “The Gay View.”
She Said, She Said is a podcast featuring lesbian couple Genia and Andrea. Genia is the host of SistersTalk Radio and Andrea is the assistant producer.
In this segment:
*Earth Day rally in DC
*Arizona immigration bill
*3 teenage girls try to kill lesbian classmate
*GetEqual and their publicity stunts
*HRC gets praise and criticism
*Baseball players sue because they’re not gay enough
*Should we boycott artists who perform at Michfest?
*Setting a curfew for your partner
*Are curvey girls better than skinny girls?
Featured indie musician: London Bridgez (Song played: Soul Food)
Marisa Richmond is the first openly transgender person to win an election in Tennessee when she was elected to the Davidson County Democratic Party Executive Committee. She is also the first African American transgender person to be elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention from any state.
Marisa is the President of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.
She also serves on Board of Directors of the National Center for Transgender Equality and on the Sexual Violence Prevention Planning Committee of the Tenenssee Department of Health.
Marisa is a former Board Member of the Tennessee Vals in Nashville, and has also served on the Boards of American Educational Gender Information Service (Board Chair from 1996 to 1999), the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), National Transgender Advocacy Coalition, Tennessee Equality Project, and Nashville’s Rainbow Community Center. In 2006, she served the Statewide Field Coordinator for TEP’s Vote No on 1 Campaign.
Laverne Cox made television history when she became the first African American transgender woman to appear on an American reality show with her appearance as a finalist on VH1′s “I Want to Work for Diddy.” She accepted the GLAAD media award for Outstanding Reality Program for “I Want to Work For Diddy.”
Laverne’s popularity on “Work for Diddy” led to her starring in her own show on VH1 called “Transform Me” based on the original concept by Laverne and her partners at her production company Complete World Domination. “TRANSform Me” is a makeover show which explores the concept of transformation from the inside out drawing from the universal aspects of transgender transformation.
As an actress Laverne has guest starred on “Law and Order”, “Law and Order: SVU”, and HBO’s “Bored to Death.” She recently starred in the forthcoming independent film “Uncle Stephanie.” Her other film credits include “Bronx Paradise,” “The Kings of Brooklyn” and “Daughter of Arabia.”