Queer/Race

Look Over Here: Bullying

Posted in Uncategorized by lilsarah22 on May 5, 2010

I wanted to do my second post inspired by a classmates(shortstuff84) post about bullying. I wholeheartedly agree that we do not do enough about bullying. When I was in fifth grade, one of my best friends was called derogatory names like “faggot!” and “gay!” when we went to school together. Till this day, even though she is a heterosexual female, that experience stays with her. I think first, teasing is the problem. And of course, teasing because of your gender preference is also a problem.

But what I would like to note about this story is that it happened so young. My friend was in fifth grade. I feel like those kids who called her “Faggot” and “gay” didn’t even know what they meant! But she sure learned what it meant. I don’t even know why they would call her those terms when she didn’t even “act” homosexual or anything. I think that these terms are just like how we use the word “girl” to demean men. If we tell a man that he is “acting like a girl” then this is perceived as feminine, weak and petty. So this means women = feminine, weak and petty. I think that these terms like “Faggot,” “homo” “gay” sometimes have a negative sting to them. I think maybe we can change this by normalizing these words into our vocabulary much like the word “queer” has many different connotations to it now. I feel that I have learned a lot about the word “queer” and queer in relation to proximity over the course of this semester.

This post is about Iraqi Police who Killed a14-Year-Old Boy for Being Homosexual.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0505-06.htm. There are so many stories like this but what broke my heart about this story was that the boy was so young.

http://www.365gay.com/news/even-after-death-abuse-against-gays-continues/

This story about an angry mob that yanked out the corpse of Madieye Diallo’s, spit on it and dumped it in front of his family’s home is even more disturbing. I think that harmless “teasing” is where acts like these originate from and it is important to teach tolerance at a young age. I cannot stress how important it is. I realized that these are extreme cases in other parts of the world but I am greatly troubled by these stories of hate. I really, really don’t understand how people can be so cruel… I think that we have to continue to not be silent to fight to protect all people regardless of race, culture, gender, sexuality, whatever.

Look over here: queer/transfolk in prison

Posted in Uncategorized by ajshort314 on May 1, 2010

Queer and transfolk face many unique problems in prison. Transfolk are often housed in the jail of their assigned-at-birth sex. Many times they are kept in “protective custody,” which is commonly called solitary confinement. This is cruel and punishes them for their gender, not for a crime. Transfolk are often denied medical care or are treated by doctors who know nothing of trans-specific health problems. Queer and transfolk are often targets for sexual assault by both inmates and guards. There have been reported incidents where queer-identified folk are segregated separate sections, euphemistically called “queen tank” or “butch tank” depending on whether gays or lesbians are housed there. Because of racism, sexism, poverty, homophobia, transphobia, and the criminalization of survival crimes like prostitution, queer and transfolk are imprisoned in larger numbers than the rest of the population. There is a lot of activism going on around these issues, but most of the activism in city-specific. This leads groups of people in various cities to all be working separately on the same issues. Even though there is a lot of great activism going on, queer and transfolk in prisons are often ignored by the queer/trans communities in academia, in the clubs, and in organizations. Help the most vulnerable parts of our communities by getting involved!

Some Resources:

The DC Trans Coalition is working on a number of campaigns right now, one of which is improving life for transfolk behind bars. They are working to ensure that transfolk are housed responsibly, that they aren’t sexually assaulted, that they get proper medical treatment, and also working on issues like prostitution, which put transfolk in jail to begin with.

The Transgender Law Center is a CA-based organization working to change the laws to affect transpeople.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project is working to change laws, raise awareness, and gather data about transfolk.

Just Detention International is working to end rape in prisons

TGI Justice Project is another CA-based org

California Prison Focus is working to fundamentally transform prisons

The Audre Lorde Project’s TransJustice initiative is an grassroots movement for creating justice in prisons and in the streets.

Black and Pink is working toward a distinctly queer version of prison abolition. It also has a pen-pal campaign.