Archive for May, 2019

In from them.

This Pride Flag Redesign Represents the Diversity of the LGBTQ+ Community

by Eva Reign

Representation matters — especially for the most marginalized communities. The six-color rainbow pride flag we know well has served to symbolize the queer community since its emergence in 1971, but the queer community has evolved over the past few decades, leading many to question whether the pride flag still caters to those most marginalized in the community, including queer people of color and trans people.
It’s a dilemma Portland-based designer Daniel Quasar (who uses xe/xem pronouns) has sought to resolve with a vividly-modified redesign of the iconic flag, one that has gone viral over the past week with a Kickstarter campaign intended to fund the flag’s initial production costs. Quasar’s proposed flag includes the colors of the trans flag, as well as black and brown stripes harkening back to last year’s Pride flag redesign from Philadelphia, which sought to further represent the queer and trans identities of black and brown people. Those two stripes also represent those living with HIV/AIDS, people who have passed from the virus and the overall stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS that remains today.
The new stripes appear as a “hoist” to the right of the original Pride flag colors, and on Facebook, Quasar wrote that the traditional six stripes “should be separated from the newer stripes because of their difference in meaning, as well as to shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate.” Last year’s Philadelphia flag reboot sparked an array of reactions; many queer and trans groups swiftly voiced support of the new design, while others within the LGBTQ+ community rejected the idea, saying that the original flag’s colors were not chosen for skin color and that the stripes discriminates against white people. Thus far, Quasar’s design has received mostly positive reactions, and has already surpassed xis initial Kickstarter goal of $14,000 by over $3,000.

Of course, the inaugural pride flag sought to be inclusive as well. Gilbert Baker’s original pride flag was adorned with eight colors, including hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for magic and art, indigo for serenity and violet for spirit. Each was intended to call attention to the totality of queer culture, and the multifaceted nature of what it means to be LGBTQ+. A shortage of hot pink fabric forced Baker to drop that color, and after combining indigo and turquoise to become royal blue, the flag’s colors were honed to the six-color array we know today.
Monica Helms, a trans woman and veteran, created the first and still best-known Transgender Pride Flag in 1999. Her blue and pink colors were intended to represent the gender binary, with the white accounting for nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people. Similar to Baker’s rainbow flag, Helms’ flag has had several redesigns over the years to better serve people of varying intersections.
Quasar’s design attempts to integrate the full scope of all queer and trans folk, and account for multifaceted histories within the community. Will this successful Kickstarter campaign launch be enough? Will this design win over even the most the reluctant of our community? Only time will tell as progress continues to move forward.

Why Stonewall is Important a Half Century Later

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What is the relevance of the 1969 LGBT Stonewall Rebellion to today’s world?

At a time of unchecked bigotry in official politics and endless US-supported wars and drone bombings abroad, explore how the early LGBT liberation movement successfully confronted generations of institutionalized anti-gay hate.

The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion will no doubt bring forth corporate LGBTs and their hangers-on attempting to purge it of its profoundly radical content.

But as a riot it was quintessentially radical, and vehemently opposed to established authority. A long oppressed minority, stereotyped as weak and hopelessly marginal – successfully fought back against the brutality dished out by New York cops used to getting their own way. In so doing, they established a movement to which every out person today owes a huge debt for allowing us to more freely enjoy our lives.

Rather than get a superficial analysis of Stonewall from “moderates,” come to a panel of proudly radical LGBTQs to discuss why Stonewall was important, and what clues it gives to how we can defeat the Right today.

7 PM, Friday, May 17

Berger Park Cultural Center

6205 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago
corner of Granville Avenue & Sheridan Road
3 blocks east of the “Granville” Red Line el stop
Wheelchair accessible – please use the south entrance

Stonewall was a

REBELLION

Against Police Brutality!

Fight On! 

Philip Gibbs and James Earl Green Killed May 15, 1970.

The Jackson State killings occurred on Friday, May 15, 1970, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. On May 14, 1970, a group of students were confronted by city and state police. Shortly after midnight, the police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve

On this day in 1970, Mississippi cops fired a deadly barrage of over 450 bullets at unarmed black students in a women’s dormitory.
The murdered Jackson students were Phillip Gibbs, the son of a sharecropper with a wife and infant son, and James Earl Green, a 17-year-old high school senior.
Just three days earlier, Charles Oatman, a 16-year-old retarded black youth had been burned and tortured by white jail guards in Augusta Georgia. His ordeal sparked a rebellion in that city that left six black men dead, all shot in the back.

New study suggests that nearly 60% of transgender people in the U.S. have reported mistreatment by police in the last year
New York Daily News
By Muri Assunção
May 7, 2019

Police treatment of the transgender population in the U.S. is in dire need of reform, according to new report.

Findings from a survey released by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) based on the U.S. Transgender Survey revealed some sobering statistics that are, unfortunately, an all-too-common reality for over half of trans individuals living in this country: 58% of transgender individuals have experienced harassment, abuse or other mistreatment by law enforcement agents last year.

“On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, transgender people of color remain targets of harassment, abuse, and violence. If we ever hope to end this crisis, police departments must evolve to meet the needs of the communities they have sworn to serve. The solutions we offer can lead these communities and our nation’s law enforcement to a more equitable future, but we must get there together,” NCTE’s executive director Mara Keisling said in a press release.
The NCTE report…
Overall, police departments across the U.S. are failing to protect and serve transgender people. Of the largest 25 police departments:

Only nine of the 25 departments include gender identity and/or expression language in their non-discrimination policy, which is the best way to clarify that transgender people are protected.
Only one department fully addressed how gender-specific policies applied to people with non-binary (not exclusively male or female) gender identities and/or gender markers.
Most department policies (15 out of 25), including those that specifically address transgender interactions, lack any policies regarding correct use of names and pronouns.
Six departments required that gender be documented based on identification documents, 18 departments did not provide clear instructions on documenting a person’s gender, and one provided guidance regarding gender-neutral markers.
A majority of departments (16 of 25) fail to provide search procedures for transgender individuals and/or require members to perform searches based on sex.
Out of the sixteen departments with holding facilities, 10 failed to provide specific guidance on housing placement for transgender individuals (such as being placed with other women, men, or separately).
Only two department’s policy explicitly allows for transgender people to retain all appearance-related items (e.g. prosthetics, bras, clothes, undergarments, wigs, chest binders, or cosmetic items).
No department explicitly requires multiple hours of regular training on transgender policies for all members across rank.
Only two departments clearly prohibit officers from restricting transgender individuals’ access to restrooms in public places or department facilities.
Twenty-three departments do not have policies prohibiting officer misconduct towards members of the public.
No department explicitly prohibits the use of condoms as evidence in prostitution-related offenses.

To read the report go to HERE.