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Tag: LGBTQIA

‘Beyond Movement Silos’: How Advocates Are Showing Up For Those In The Texas Legislature’s Crosshairs

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and Rewire

The halls of the Texas State Capitol are no strangers to protests, but for organizers witnessing a resurgence of grassroots advocacy and activism, it’s a heartening sign after a series of discouraging years.

Thousands joined the 2013 “people’s filibuster” against HB 2, the omnibus anti-choice bill that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but then momentum faltered with the defeat of Wendy Davis (and other Democratic candidates) in the 2014 election, followed by more setbacks in the intervening years of elections and Republican-led legislative sessions.

After the 2017 legislative session, Texas Republicans ensured that crucial funding bills remained unpassed, forcing lawmakers to return for a special session that costs taxpayers thousands of dollars per day. The Republicans hope to use this opportunity to build on new restrictions on abortion and a “Show Us Your Papers” anti-immigrants’ rights law, both subject to ongoing lawsuits, while forcing through unpopular and discriminatory legislation that failed to pass during the regular term.

Fighting Back At The Texas Legislature: A Conversation With Katie Klabusich

Posted in Audio, Austin, and Journalism

I just made my second appearance on the Katie Speak Show, where I talked about activism at the Texas Legislature:

The show’s host, Katie Klabusich, and I discussed the special session of the Legislature, which began last week, and the strategies Governor Greg Abbott is using to try to force through a raft of unpopular, inhumane laws. On the agenda during the next month are abortion access, transgender rights, the ability of unions to collect dues, even cities’ ability to protect historic trees from development.

At the same time, about three dozen nonprofits and activist groups have combined to form the One Texas Resistance coalition, in an effort to pool their efforts at resistance together and highlight the intersectionality of their diverse issues, from climate change to the rights of Latinx Texans. Last week’s highly publicized quinceañera protest was organized by Jolt, a member of the coalition. These tactics, and their successes or failures, can likely serve as a model for the rest of the country which is also controlled by the power hungry and bigoted GOP.

Religious Liberty, Bathroom Bigotry (Traitor Radio Podcast)

Posted in Audio, Journalism, LGBTQIA, and Traitor Radio

Increased visibility has become a double-edged sword for transgender, intersex and non-binary Americans, who are increasingly targeted by religious conservatives and Republican lawmakers. You’ve probably heard of “bathroom bills” like HB 2 in North Carolina, which force people to use public restrooms according to the gender they were assigned at birth. But in addition to playing bathroom police, politicians are also championing “religious liberty” legislation — bills that are, in actuality, just about letting people discriminate against trans, intersex, non-binary and other queer folk if they claim Jesus told them to.

We’re at a pivotal political moment, and allies must support trans, intersex, non-binary and queer activists in their fight for freedom. On this episode of Traitor Radio, we talk about how.

Creating An LGBTQIA Safe Space In Rural America

Posted in Journalism, and Yes! Magazine

In the heart of rural New England, two queer women built a space for art and community.

Amid the relatively conservative, rural surroundings of Manchester, New Hampshire, The Gal-lery is a sanctuary from judgment and oppression. Located deep inside the twisty hallways of a converted former mill, the space to showcase art isn’t marked by flashy signs or promoted with widespread advertising. It’s a place where LGBTQIA people, and others who are marginalized, can simply exist without having to justify their identities to others.

Catherine Graffam, an intersex, nonbinary transgender woman, cofounded The Gal-lery more than two years ago with Madeline Jones, a queer woman who also sometimes uses nonbinary pronouns, after the pair graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. The two began hosting events in 2015 and have since built a successful community of regular visitors and friends. About 50 people attended the Nov. 3 opening of “Gals and Pals,” their first gallery show, which also featured nine visiting artists in addition to the works of Graffam and Jones.

4Chan’s War On Alternative & LGBTQIA Culture

Posted in Austin, Burning Man, Journalism, and MintPress News

After Donald Trump’s election, 4chan declared war on queer people and the American counterculture.

4chan is a lawless, unmoderated and completely anonymous online forum that frequently serves as a hub of internet troll culture. 4chan helped to spawn the Anonymous movement when some of 4chan’s users launched an organized trolling campaign against the Church of Scientology in 2008. That movement later became known for its hacktivism against the wealthy and powerful during the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in fall of 2011.

In recent years, however, the board, especially a subsection called /pol/ have come to be dominated by a hyper-conservative, white nationalist movement. The users believe, with an almost religious fervor, that their “meme magic” helped to elect Trump. More sober analysts are worried that 4chan and Reddit are helping to radicalize a generation by turning disaffected young white men into dangerous neo-Nazis.

Since November 8, 4chan has been linked to two seemingly disparate, but ultimately interconnected stories.

A Brief Primer On Texas’ F*CKED Up Politics & Why It Matters To You

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Whenever you talk about terrible things happening in Texas, people start to tune out. You’re thinking, of course it’s fucking awful, it’s Texas. Why don’t we let them secede already?

It’s true, Texas politics seem like what happens when you apply dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” as an instruction manual BUT everything that happens there is a test balloon. The University of Texas at Austin motto is “what starts here changes the world.” And with most states and the U.S. Congress united behind that shit stain Trump, you can bet we’ll all be eating the same shit-filled Texas chili soon enough.

Now, the Texas government is full of low-life scum, but due to the peculiar whims of Texas politics, the Lt. Governor is a scumbag who stands above all the rest. The Lt. Governor is not just president of the state senate, but also sets the agenda for the entire legislative session. The senators and reps have a lot of politics to get through in a short amount of time, because the Texas State legislature only meets for 140 days every other year. Lemme say that again but slower: A hundred and 40 days EVERY OTHER year. The rest of the time, that massive building is just a big pink tourist trap.

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