Archive for the ‘for your reflection’ Category

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

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.

Do you remember this day? I sure do. No for me it wasn’t a turning point I as all ready turned on to a new possibility. The possibility that oppression would end. The possibility that the war in Vietnam would end and the troops would be brought home. The possibility that we would overthrow the Capitalist system and build a just society. So many folks were shocked by the action of the Ohio National Guard. Was I? Not really. I had already at this time been arrested, tear gassed, beaten by cops in many demonstrations, and jailed with 8 others in a cell for 2. I knew beyond a doubt that this system was rotten and had to be changed. No I didn’t put anything past a government that would do what this one was doing in South East Asia. Why would I? Why would any of us? I guess it is a matter of a world view. Do it over there, do it here. It really was all the same to the oppressor. Question the oppressor you end up like Jeffery Miller, Members of MOVE, Fred Hampton, and many other freedom warriors.

I look at the photo today. I look at Mary Anne’s arms outstretched in a WHY! in a scream! I look at the photo and have a question for all of my friends, comrades and enemies in the LGBTQI+ populations. Why? I ask WHY? Why would any of you want to go and join the military, the cops, the National Guard? Your little no job thing, your discrimination is meaningless to those like Mary Ann Vecchio, to the mothers and family of the students killed, to the family and friends of the young Black men and women shot down in the streets of amerikkka, to the mother who just witnessed a drone attack on her home killing her family. You talk about the discrimination you face here in this country so you join up with forces of evil. Why would you want to be a nuisance  to civilization? I ask you all again and again is all inclusion good inclusion? Which side of the barricades are you on and wish to be on? Do you favor the oppressor more than the oppressed? The cop rather than the dead kid in the street or under the rubble of your countries attack. If you favor that which goes against the new day then you can not be a friend of mine.

In memoriam.

As many as 12 Guardsmen turned in unison, pointed their guns simultaneously and began firing. The four students who died at Kent State are (left to right in the cover photo): Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer and Jeffrey Miller. Schroeder and Scheuer were not even participating in the protests; they were heading to their next class when they were struck down in a parking lot.

“I heard an order, I believe, from Major Jones, stating turn and face the crowd. The shooting started shortly after.” Ohio National Guard Sgt. Richard K. Love, statement to Ohio Highway Patrol, 1970.

Only following orders it is expected of you. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot. Don’t matter if you are a nice Trans women or man, if you are Gay or Lesbian once there once within that gang follow orders.

For those to young to remember: The Kent State shootings, also known as the May 4 massacre or the Kent State massacre, were the shootings on May 4, 1970, of unarmed college students by members of the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, during a mass protest against the bombing of Cambodia by United States military forces.

To read more about Kent State go to HERE.