Today I wear purple in solidarity with #SpiritDay to end bullying of LGBT youth. Here are some of my thoughts on how we can end this problem!
1) Homophobia and transphobia do not exist in isolation from racism and capitalism. Homophobia and transphobia are often responses to histories of and continued acts of racial and economic violence. We will never end homophobia and transphobia unless we end capitalism and racism. It’s not enough to do LGBT sensitivity trainings, people need racial and economic justice.
2) ‘Homopohobia’ is often weaponized to further demonize men of color. Colonialism has always relied on the idea of the savage man of color who cannot control their own lust and violence so must be detained. We will never end homophobic violence unless we recognize that gender and sexual oppression is not unique to a particular culture, body, or region — it is pervasive and maps differently across all cultures and peoples. People of color are NOT more homophobic than white people.
3) Homophobia and transphobia are systems of oppression, not just attitudes and individual acts of violence. Our culture creates the idea of the ‘bully’ to recuse itself of its own complicity in this violence. The truth is that ‘bullies’ are victims of the same systems of power. Bullies are often responding from very real trauma, loss, violence, and pain under violent regimes of power and state control. Hurt people hurt people.
4) The prison industrial complex feeds into these racist ideas. ‘Bullies’ are imagined as usually low-income people of color. We are taught that if we somehow incarcerate these people we will end homophobia. This couldn’t be more far from the truth. All this does is address the symptoms, and not the root causes. If we are really committed to ending a culture of hate we cannot respond to violence with more violence. We need to build a culture of empathy, healing, and mutual respect to imagine what transformation looks like.
5) The rhetoric to “stop LGBT bullying” has and continues to contribute to the mass incarceration of black and brown bodies. Laws and policies may sound cute on the books, but they disproportionately are exercised on people of color. Zero tolerance policies around homophobia in schools have targeted black and brown youth and contributed to the high school to prison pipeline. Hate crimes legislation has further criminalized low income communities of color and funneled them into prisons.
6) Newsflash: most LGBTQ youth are not white and are not wealthy. Our biggest bullies are not mean boys in school, rather they are our school’s administration. Our biggest threat is not men on the corner of the street, it is the police. The state continues to profile, stop & frisk, rape, abuse, criminalize, deport, and lock up LGBTQ youth of color every day.
7) Our ‘bullies’ learn their strategies of control, intimidation, and violence from the state. The prison & legal system gives them a blueprint of what justice — I mean what murder, torture, and disposability — looks like.
8) When LGBTQ youth of color respond to defend ourselves from violence WE are often the ones who get blamed for inciting violence and are criminalized for our self-defense. Think of the case of my friend CeCe McDonald, a black trans woman who was physically attacked by racists on the street and was thrown into jail. CeCe has since been freed, but so many of our people are still behind bars. While many of you will change your profile picture and call it justice, CeCe still struggles to afford stable housing today. Donate to her campaign here
9) The only guaranteed housing the state offers to LGBTQ youth of color is the prison system.
10) LGBTQ youth do not need your lip service, we need jobs, healthcare, stable housing, safe spaces, and respect to determine our own pathways to safety. LGBTQ youth are not just victims, we have agency. Many adult ‘allies’ think that they know what is best for us and participate in campaigns to support us more for their own ego rather than actually addressing the realities of our situation.
"TRANS PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE." - Seattle, Washington, USA
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is performing a large-scale survey.
We are looking for any respondents who are part of the asexual spectrum, as well as people who are not part of the asexual spectrum. This survey includes some sensitive questions about sexual topics. Please distribute this announcement.
The survey is open for some time. Later, statistical results will be published, providing crucial information about the demographics and needs of asexual-spectrum people.
The survey can be accessed here.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Coming out can be a scary experience for some LGBT youth who feel like they’re in an unsafe environment. So, it’s important to create safe spaces for LGBT youth in schools and communities.
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Deadline: December 1. New board members begin service on January 1.
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RAD Remedy's mission is to connect trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer folks to accurate, safe, respectful, and comprehensive care in order to improve individual and community health.
New gender-variant children’s book by Sarah Savage of My Transsexual Summer. Donate on Kickstarter to help make it happen.
"Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl? is a simple question with a complex answer. This book will help you and your child explore and understand gender for themselves and others.”