August 15, 2010 § 1 Comment
Being old news, I’m sure that most people have heard about how Target gave $150,000 to an anti-gay candidate. Aside from the fact that corporations shouldn’t be involved in politics like they already have through lobbying efforts that blinds our congress, the LGBT & Supporting community have boycotted Target for its donations.
A man stated this about the recoil from the LGBT community:
Interesting, huh. So now a company can’t donate money to a candidate they support without this [being pro-gay]. Of course right wingers have Fred Phelps and his whack jobs protesting funerals. But, two wrongs don’t make a right.
I’m sure many others have this opinion. The candidate is pro-business, but anti-gay, why wouldn’t Target want to invest in this?
Well here’s what you don’t know about Emmer’s casual anti-equality legislation, aside from him being anti-choice and for a constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage (but thinks the government should stay out of peoples’ lives, also hypocritical to him passing a smoking ban), he supports You Can Run But You Cannot Hide Intl., Inc.
This company is not only a Christian company that wants to get involved in schools, which Emmer also supports, but is very anti-gay, and has said some vicious things about the LGBT community e.g. calling homosexuality a mental illness, which has been disproved many times by the American Psychological Association.
So, I tell you, why shouldn’t Target promote a pro-business candidate that’s a homophobe? For the same reason that Target shouldn’t promote a pro-business candidate that wants to teach children that evolution is a sin, and that homosexuality is a mental illeness. For the same reason that Target shouldn’t promote a candidate that believes that women shouldn’t be given an equal foothold in the world. For the same reason that Target shouldn’t promote a pro-business candidate that thinks that one race is superior to another and slavery is okay.
This isn’t a push to put out any candidate that is against equality, it’s a push for the LGBT community to be respected as normal people. Tom Emmer doesn’t have a good reason to ban same-sex marriage and parenting, his objective is a religious agenda. Even being pro-business, we should step back and realise that one’s liberty should come before profits.
August 5, 2010 § 4 Comments
(Trigger warning for transphobia.)
by KATIE E.
“…a recent episode titled “Quagmire’s Dad” shocked some of “Family Guy’s” gay fans with a storyline about the title character having to accept his military father’s feminine manerisms. Quagmire’s father explains to him that he’s not gay, but is a “woman trapped in a man’s body” and is going to have a sex change. The show’s main family characters show virtually no sympathy for their neighbor, referring to the newly out “Ida” as “odd” and a “he-she” who is having her penis “lopped off.” At a post-surgery dinner, they invite Ida and Quagmire to come over, but throw out a dessert that she contributes. That’s followed with lots of rude comments about gender reassignment surgery. Quagmire and Ida have a falling out, and Ida leaves to go to a bar. There she meets the family’s male dog, Brian. They talk, then kiss (and assumably have sex). But when the family finds out Brian has fallen for Ida, they laugh at him. Once Brian connects Ida to Quagmire, he engages in a 40-second vomiting gag. Later, Brian is seen panting and washing desperately. In the meantime, Quagmire reconnects with Ida. But when she tells him about Brian, Quagmire rushes next door to beat the dog to a pulp.”
And his comment:
”[The unhappy reaction to our transgender character] surprised me. I don’t meet a lot of stupid homosexuals. They seem to be a pretty smart bunch. But it seemed that they were not picking up on the fact that it was a very sympathetic portrayal of a transsexual character…. Look, Brian happens to be a heterosexual character, as I am. If I found out that I had slept with a transsexual, I might throw up in the same way that a gay guy looks at a vagina and goes, ‘Oh, my God, that’s disgusting.”’
Isn’t Seth Macfarlane just that wonderful LGBT ally he always says he is? Afterall, sensitive portrayals of trans* people always need to include misgendering, othering, and cliched I-just-did-it-with-a-transwoman panic.
The biggest fail here has to come in his surprise. Really, Seth, you’re SURPRISED that “stupid homosexuals” were not pleased with your “sypathetic” portrayal of a transwoman? You’re surprised that promoting the trans panic scenario that routinely gets trans people killed didn’t bring in the lulz? You felt it was okay to attribute all the outrage to “homosexuals,” and not bother to even give trans* people a voice?
I am so sick of white, straight, cis men thinking they know everything about oppressed people. Especially someone like Seth Macfarlane, who already has millions of fans (why, I’ll never know), giving him even more power. Soon enough, his privileged fans will start parroting this, and the vicious cycle of transphobia and lesbo/bi/homophobia will continue. People living in ignorance of privilege will continue to try to tell us that words can’t hurt us, but it’s words like these that create a culture in which trans* people fear for their lives daily.
August 3, 2010 § 9 Comments
Nationwide retailer Target (alternative pronunciation: Tar-zhay) has wound up on many people’s consumer shit lists (mine included) due to the recent news that an executive at the Minnesota based chain donated $150,000 to a Republican candidate who is against LGBT rights legislation. But wait–there’s more! In the past, Target’s CEO has given money to such fine, upstanding individuals as Michele Bachmann.
I’m shocked and disappointed by this behavior, because according to the Human Rights Campaign’s Buying For Equality 2010 guide, it has a prefect score, meaning that it has policies supporting LGBT employees in place.
I want to do more than just write the requisite “I’m-not-going-to-buy-your-stuff” letters to Target higher-ups.
So, fellow readers and contributors, I’m looking for creative and effective ways to protest Target’s recent decisions that:
-Will not get me arrested (being asked to leave a store, or being banned from a store is fine.)
-Will not make other Target employees jobs more difficult. So, while Karen’s suggestions would certainly get the point across, that would lead to a lot of pointless work for employees that have little control over the retailer’s policies.
-Will be effective regardless of the number of people participating.
-Will be enjoyable to do.
Shopping should not have to be a constant weighing of the lesser of two evils. And I fail to see how maintaining a healthy business, and promoting basic human rights are mutually exclusive issues. Shame on you, Target.
UPDATE: Target’s CEO has issued an apology for their donation to Rep. Emmer, but many organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign aren’t convinced that Target’s apology is genuine, and want the mass retail to back up their words with actions. I’m still looking for protest ideas, because I’m not buying their apology, either.
UPDATE, PART TWO: I’ve come up with a pretty cool idea for a protest, which involves dressing up as Zombie Michele Bachmanns, and doing the Thriller dance outside a Target store. Are any readers in the Grand Rapids, MI area interested in joining in?
UPDATE, PART THREE (THOUSAND): A flash mob group performed an adapted version of DEVO’s “People are People” in the Target store. Check out their video below.
July 23, 2010 § 2 Comments
We’ve all heard of them: Westboro Baptist Church. We’ve heard their messages of hate and divisiveness, and most importantly we’ve heard their very loud statements of why gay people will go to hell. They’ve decided to pull out a new move to add to their collection of homophobic statements to the USA, and the world. Aside from their decision to protest Lady Gaga’s concert (and their direct statements that God hates Lady Gaga, a modern Gay Icon), they’ve also made the hateful decision to make a monument dedicated to the condemnation of Matthew Shepard, a Gay Icon unfortunately known for a gruesome hate crime.
I can’t even describe how disgusting that is to me. Westboro Baptist protests the funerals of straight soldiers (and I’m sure gay ones) simply on the basis that gay people aren’t being stoned to death. They now go to the extent of promoting the murder of a young man, simply on the basis that he was gay. Casper, the city in which the monument was to be placed, voted down the placement, and it led to a civil case that reached the Supreme Court, which decided that preventing the monument from being placed is not a violation of free speech.
July 4, 2010 § 3 Comments
Good news! (Notice that I’m so overjoyed I had to add a new category — “This Makes Me Happy.”) At Hudson High School in upstate New York, two senior boys were crowned prom king and queen.
Amazing. In the same year that Constance McMillen was sent to a fake prom and had to take legal action to defend her rights, something like this happens. Obviously this doesn’t negate all the fucked up shit that has happened and continues to happen to LGBTQ teens across America, but it’s certainly refreshing.
So I say congratulations to Charlie Ferrusi and Timmy Howard. And I hope you had a great time at the Most Important and Magical Night of Your Teenage Life (as the awesome Jamie at The Seventeen Magazine Project has coined it).
January 4, 2010 § 1 Comment
The Times has an important article on the involvement of three US evangelicals in Uganda’s latest homophobic legislation.
The men — “Scott Lively, a missionary who has written several books against homosexuality, including ‘7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child'; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads ‘healing seminars'; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is ‘mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality'” — spoke at a conference in Uganda last March. Now some suggest that their involvement encouraged supporters of one of the most homophobic pieces legislation that has ever been proposed.
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which threatens to hang homosexuals, and, as a result, has put Uganda on a collision course with Western nations.
The article is informative, but the photos that accompany it are of trans Ugandans, and their captions discuss plans for transitioning. Obviously trans people — all people — suffer in a homophobic environment, but nowhere else does the article mention the bill’s ramifications for trans people. Do we need another reminder that trans and gay should not be conflated?