The Internet has been abuzz lately with Tumblr blogs like I, Too, Am Harvard and I, Too, Am Oxford, which focused on the experiences of students of color amongst the mostly white populations at elite universities. Mostly the signs highlight ignorant remarks based on stereotypes students have been subjected to.
Here’s another Tumblr in the same vein, but with a slightly different take: We Are All UVA. Students of all backgrounds and sexual orientations pose holding signs hashtagged #WeAreAllUVA explaining what they contribute to the big melting pot that is the UVA campus. My absolute favorite is this one: five young men from the UVA swim team holding a sign that reads, “2 of us are gay, the other 3 don’t care.” Keep reading »
“I remember being really conscious of not wanting to fight with another black woman on camera. I did an interview and the producers were like, “Well, this [other black woman on the show] said this about you. What do you have to say about that?” And I said I’m not fighting with another black woman on TV. Even during my elimination episode, when it came down to myself and another black woman, my mother — after watching — said, “Why didn’t you defend yourself?” And I just didn’t want to give television the satisfaction of seeing two black women going at it. We see that so much.”
“Orange Is The New Black” star Laverne Cox is the subject of a lengthly profile over at Buzzfeed, where she gives a fascinating walk-through of her long road to stardom. After moving to New York City to attend Marymount Manhattan College, Cox worked in nightclubs and acted in student films. Then, in 2008, she got cast on P. Diddy’s reality show, “I Want To Work For Diddy.” Believe it or not, reality TV was a positive experience for her. She credits Diddy for giving her exposure on national television, although she is very realistic and measured about what “a dubious distinction” it is to be “the first black trans woman to appear on a reality TV show.” One matter of principle for Cox, she explained, was refusing to play into the “angry black woman” stereotype that reality TV producers tried to coax out of her and instead held her tongue in situations where she otherwise might have spoken up. In a pop cultural landscape with brats like Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan making headlines, it’s refreshing to see a thoughtful, principled actress succeeding. [BuzzFeed]
“I’m really attracted to you, you know?” I sat in the middle of an Italian restaurant, frozen in disbelief at this audacious declaration. I sipped some wine and awkwardly laughed, my cheeks growing redder by the minute. Waiters and waitresses drifted past. I nibbled a tiramisu and drank another glass of rosé. But all I could think was, I’m really attracted to you, too.
On the surface, this sounds like a typical first date: a guy takes you out to dinner and says he finds you attractive; you flirt back and wonder if he’s going to kiss you goodnight; you’re nervous and jittery; you try to be funny while carefully maintaining that mysterious façade that originally peaked his interest.
Except that this wasn’t a typical date, at least for me.: I was actually out to dinner with a woman. And all I thought about the entire time was how badly I wanted to kiss her. Keep reading »
After 27 seasons of almost painful heterosexuality, we were not optimistic that either “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” would introduce a gay or lesbian contestant. I mean, it took them this long to finally have a Latino “Bachelor.” And in an interview this weekend with The New York Times Magazine, longtime host Chris Harrison pretty much confirmed that any diversity in the casting department is a big HELL TO THE NO. Keep reading »
South Carolina legislators are trying to “punish” two colleges in the state for assigning books they don’t approve of. The College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina Upstate incorporated “books on homosexuality” as required reading as part of their new student orientation. The books in question are Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir Fun Home, about the lesbian author’s father and his struggle with homosexuality, and Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which tells the story of South Carolina’s first LGBT radio show.
To exact revenge on the institutions, state House legislators have “tentatively approved” a bill to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston and $17,142 from USC Upstate. The amount of funds being cut are meant to be similar to the amount spent on implementing the reading campaigns. Republican Representative Garry Smith of Simpsonville says he set the cuts into motion after the schools refused to offer alternative reading for students. Keep reading »
Is there anything funnier (sad-funny, I mean) than bigots who are completely incredulous about the fact that they are bigots? They are so unwilling to admit it. They usually have some other excuse — which only makes sense to them — about “disagreeing with lifestyle choices,” “some of my best friends are ___,” “sexism/racism/homophobia doesn’t really exist” or “love the sinner, hate the sin.” The moral/intellectual contortions are truly something to behold.
A perfect example would Unhappy In Tampa, a woman who wrote to the advice columnist Dear Abby to complain about how their not-asshole neighbors are now socially excluding Unhappy In Tampa and her husband. Oh no! That is horrible! Why would these mean neighbors do such a thing? Because Unhappy In Tampa and her husband refused to invite their gay and lesbian neighbors to their parties:
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I relocated to Florida a little over a year ago and were quickly welcomed into our new neighbors’ social whirl. Two couples in the neighborhood are gay — one male, one female. While they are nice enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their lifestyle choices. Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots! Keep reading »
Happy Valentine’s Day, sinners and sodomites! Yesterday, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the state’s 2006 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ban is in violation of the equal protection and due process clauses in the United States Constitution’s 14th amendment. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen’s wrote in the ruling, “Our Constitution declares that ‘all men’ are created equal. Surely this means all of us.” She also singled out the ban for “unlawful prejudice.” (This ruling also means VA has to acknowledge same-sex marriages which are legal in other states.)
Earlier this month, VA’s Attorney General had made clear that he would not defend the same-sex marriage ban on behalf of the state. Gay marriage opponents are already planning to appeal the decision and it’s likely this could head to the Supreme Court. [New York Times, CNN, NPR]
If there was one thing Piers Morgan got right in his interview with writer Janet Mock last night, it was when he called her, “brave, frank, and honest” about coming out as transgender. Sadly, the interview sort of falls apart after that.
From almost the start of the interview, the header “Was a boy until age 18” ran across the screen, insinuating that Mock wasn’t truly a girl or woman until she had genital reconstruction surgery. That is not only incredibly reductive regarding gender, but missed the entire point of Mock’s new memoir, Redefining Realness: My Path To Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More about her road to girlhood, which began far earlier than one moment in Thailand at age 18.
Instead of treating the topic of disclosure with the nuance and sensitivity that it deserves, Morgan went straight for the sensational, wanting to know how the various men Mock has dated have reacted when she finally told them about being trans. He treated Mock, her body, and her past as a spectacle, rather than with respect as befitting the lived experiences of a fellow human being. (You can read the transcript here, although Morgan’s responses on Twitter are a better illustration of his blowhard behavior.) Keep reading »