This story’s nearly a month old now, but it still breaks my heart to think we live in the kind of society where this kind of thing goes down all the time and we turn a blind eye. It’s no more acceptable, but it’s one thing when an adult or even a teenager is murdered for not fitting the norms. It’s an entirely more monstrous thing altogether when a kid not even two years old dies for acting like a girl.
This is proof that not all of us Christians are bad people who hate gays. Some of us are gay ourselves, and there are even Christian allies out there. This article brought me to tears, it’s so beautiful.
This is encouraging news. Hopefully, if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed, then the next step will be some intrepid politician looking at our national laws and saying “well, they can serve in the military, but they can’t get married? That’s just not right.” Then again, you can die for your country at 18 but have to wait until 21 to drink, so who knows. This is still a step in the right direction, America.
Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Though most of the promotions and events are in Canada, there are events worldwide today. Check and see if a group in your area is helping to eliminate homophobia and transphobia. If not, get out there and do something yourself, or form a group to further the cause!
This year’s theme is “Live Your Life Well”. Chances are that if you are not dealing with a mental health issue yourself, you know someone who is. Look out for yourself, learn how to take care of your mind, and live well.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”—The Declaration of Independence
Though this news is a couple of weeks old, I still think it’s important to point out just what’s being done. Here we have a Bible Belt state with a pretty heavy reputation for bias against GLBT people. Back in November 2008, Act 1 in Arkansas banned unmarried people from adopting, which was just a rewording to make it seem less discriminatory, since the previous wording, an outright ban on adoption by gay couples, was deemed unconstitutional. (Gay marriage is, of course, neither legal nor recognized in Arkansas.) Now, a year and a half later, the law is being overturned. Which means that more children can find happy homes with people who will love them, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. It’s only a little step in the right direction, but it’s a step all the same.
I’ve lived in Connecticut my whole life, and it’s not the sort of place you’d think would have a problem like this. But the truth is, it happens everywhere. No one’s exempt from bias and prejudice—it’s a matter of whether you act on those biases and prejudices, largely, but also whether you recognize and admit that you have them in the first place. Only then can we correct these faults in ourselves and fix problems like this one in East Haven.
Times like these, I worry for my family’s livelihood.
Thursday, an oil rig exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. While reports are coming in that no crude is leaking into the gulf, it’s still a possibility. And the fact is, costal Louisiana’s already having trouble balancing out its fragile ecosystem. Global warming is causing the oceans to rise, which means that salty water from the gulf is flooding fur
ther into the bayous and upsetting the saline balance. Even a slight change can kill off hundreds of species of plants and animals. (Read Mike Tidwell’s Bayou Farewell, available on Amazon, for more about this.) The loss of the bayous from these shifting waters, costal erosion, hurricanes, and other factors will inevitably lead to a change in what jobs are available, and it’s a change that’s happening too fast for most people to catch up.
I grew up in Louisiana, east of Grand Isle. My dad’s a shrimper; he runs a little trawler, not the big types that fish federal waters. Growing up, all of our money came from shrimping. My parents still live down there, and my dad’s still a shrimper, and I still worry every day that with all these changes in the environment, it might not last. And I don’t know what they’d do if shrimping ever fell through.
All the talk about oil drilling and global warming has real-world repercussions, even if these things usually only get batted around as political buzzwords. For me, it’s personal. We have to do something, and soon.
Even in the wake of yet another horrible accident, Obama’s position on offshore drilling hasn’t changed, and he doesn’t plan to change it. I’d like to think that given the unfortunate timing of the oil rig explosion (on Earth Day), the White House might take the opportunity to turn their thoughts towards alternative forms of fuel and energy, rather than forging ahead with drilling for oil.
Foreign, domestic, doesn’t matter. Oil is a problem.
There have certainly been plenty of things written on the subject, but it comes to mind now because I’m reading an article about the idea of online avatars “lying” to those viewing it.
Is this lying? Is presenting as a different race or sex in your avatar than you are in real life really lying? The wording alone bothers me, because it reminds me so much of the people who talk about transgendered people as if they’re “lying” about their identity. (Warning: link goes to a .pdf file.) How can you prove what anyone identifies as behind the screen? Maybe their online avatars are a more accurate representation of themselves than their physical bodies could ever be—be it a different sex than their physical body or a differentspeciesentirely.
I think the deeper question is not whether these people are in some way lying by presenting themselves in any particular way online. I think the question is whether or not we should start re-evaluating the way we see identity and representations thereof. The internet is changing the way society functions; we’re just not changing fast enough to keep up.
Is this where we should draw the line between church and state? Those who would oppose the National Day of prayer say that having such a day set aside violates this separation. But does it? No one’s requiring anyone to spend their day in prayer, and no one’s strictly stating what religion anyone should practice. This isn’t a matter of pushing for government-backed religion. It’s a matter of setting aside a day—not even an official holiday—for prayer, should anyone choose to recognize it. There are dozens of days like this on the books. Why is this one causing such a stir? Furthermore, should it?
April 22 is Earth Day! Celebrate by picking up litter in your area, planting a garden, switching to reusable shopping bags, or just going outside and appreciating nature. Take a walk in a park. Go for a canoe float. Hike a trail. There are plenty of clean, green ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Contact your local conservation center, wildlife center, or parks and recreation office for ideas of how you can help the environment!
In the United States, 1 in every 6 women will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape in her lifetime. 1 in every 33 men will be the victim of a rape or attempted rape. It’s 4 times more likely that a woman will be attacked on a college campus. Statistics rise sharply within the LGBTQ community: 1 in 3 lesbians and 1 in 6 gay men will be the victims of sexual abuse. Among transpeople, 74% have reported being the victims of sexual harrassment at school alone, and nearly half have reported being attacked, including sexual assault. This is happening once every two minutes somewhere in the United States, and more than half of all attacks will never be reported to the police.
Don’t become another statistic. Step up and do something to prevent sexual assault.