Category Archives: Uncategorized

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To me, it’s the people …

To me, it’s the people that are clearly different that are the heroes. They’re the ones that create a space for us gays to exist. Without them, we would all be in the closet. They push the boundaries, refuse to assimilate. They scream, from the rooftops, that they refuse to blend in, to follow rules, to cave in to societal pressures.

They are the ones who make the fight worth it, because their everyday life is the fight!

Read the rest of “Here’s to the Faggots!” by on OhMyHappiness.  The author of the blog is based in Beirut, Lebanon and describes himself as, “Gay, atheist, activist, pacifist, Arab. Among other horrible things.”

Black and Trans: A Double Burden

“Can you imagine what it’s like to see people you work with refuse to walk on the same side of the street with you or sit with you at lunch, or to be told that you are unhirable, just because you are a transgender man?”

Check out the rest of this great article here: http://www.theroot.com/views/black-and-transgender-double-burden?wpisrc=root_lightbox

A gay Gibson County couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday.

“I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,’” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr.

Pittman said the attacked was prompted by the pastor of the church, Jerry Pittman, his father.

“My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smash me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs.

More information is available here: http://www.wbbjtv.com/news/local/Assault-Complaints-Filed-after-Incident-at-Church-130746713.html

If you would like to tell Grace Fellowship Church this isn’t all right, Faithful America, a religious organization with a Christian emphasis, is holding a letter writing campaign.

Stand Up to Cyberbullying Webcast

Yahoo! Safely, in partnership with Common Sense Media and a Thin Line, an initiative of MTV,  invite you to participate in an eye-opening evening where parents, teens and teachers will come together to celebrate those who stand up and step in when they see cyberbullying happening, and explore the challenges and opportunities of growing up in a public and powerful online world.

While one in three kids is a target of cyberbullying, there are two kids who play a different role. Every day, kids are making critical decisions about how to live and treat others in a digital world, and many of them are providing brave and inspirational examples of what it means to step in and stop cyberbullying.  Take part in this national, interactive conversation about how to empower kids to take a stand against cyberbullying, by practicing safe, smart, and respectful digital behavior.

Watch the town hall live on Yahoo! Safely!
Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm Central Standard Time

More info here: http://safely.yahoo.com/teens/townhall/

Town Hall “Bullying: It Stops Here” airs Oct. 9

CNN, Facebook, Cartoon Network and Time Inc. have teamed up for a special multi-platform effort aimed at taking a stand to help stop the bullying crisis.  Anderson Cooper 360° will air a week-long series focused on bullying in addition to a town hall hosted at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, marking the one year anniversary of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi.’s death.

Anderson Cooper will reveal the results of a six-month long pilot study that provide new insight about why kids bully each other and how parents and educators can more effectively stop the problem. In partnership with University of California sociologist Dr. Robert Faris, this groundbreaking investigation involving over 700 junior and high school students will explore the complex social dynamic of bullying, and how certain students hold the key to stopping the problem.

The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation

http://www.standupfoundation.com/

Reflections of A Black Queer Suicide Survivor: Part 2

Don’t miss the second part of Darnell Moore’s power reflection on being a black queer suicide survivor.

I wanted to be free from the painful situations that eroded the peace in my life. I was born into a world that was not ready for the arrival of a black, male/female loving, gender-maneuvering, book/dance/music-adoring, economically challenged, urban boy. Indeed, the world is not and has not ever been ready for me and other brown/black/queer men…

…We have what is needed within us individually and among us communally to push through such desires in the same way we lived (and are living) in spite of the auction block, chains, whips, nooses, firing squads, laws, prisons, street corners, public health office examination rooms, strangers’ fists, lovers’ arms, and our own hands. It is easy to live when we can put to death others’ thoughts of us. So live, brothers.

Read the rest and share it with your friends!

Darnell Moore: Reflections of a Black Queer Suicide Survior

They wanted to destroy me because I was, to them, a living sign of difference, subversive rebelliousness, an affront on black masculinity and the sanctity of their presumed heterosexuality (even though a few of the “hard” neighborhood boys tried to cross the boundaries of their heterosexuality with me). In many ways, it was this same force of ideas (i.e. What it means to be a boy/man in the hood? A black boy/man? A black queer boy/man? etc.) that had its hand on my back, pushing me, a few years before as I readied myself to leap from my window.

Darrel Moore has written a powerful post about his experiences as a suicide survivor.  Check it out and pass it around.  Let’s get this story to the people who need to read it the most.

Archie’s Kevin Keller #1-2 Review

Check out Neo-Prodigy’s review of the first two issues  Kevin Keller, Archie’s first gay comic character!

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that somehow when no one was looking, Archie became the coolest kid in the room. Forget 90 percent of the titles being churned out by the big two. If you’re looking for quality and progressive comics, Archie is where it’s at…For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with Archie, there is a reason for the major progressive shift. Since new editorial management has taken over, there has been an emphasis on diversity: characters of various ethnicities as well as queer characters. The powers that be at Archie have been working to make it clear that Riverdale is that ideal town that EVERYONE can be a part of.

Y-CARE: How to help Prevent Sucide from the Trevor Project

Talk to Me: Preparing for National Suicide Prevention Week

The Trevor Project says “Sure, it’s easier to text, poke, like, or IM. But talking tells us so much more.”  We want to invite you to participate in the Trevor Project’s Talk to Me campaign.  And, we want you to talk to us.  What would you like to see the We Got Your Back project do for National Suicide Prevention Week?  What will you be doing?

Including our rural family: What Can Coverage of the Earthquake Teach Us about the LGBT Movement?

Rev. Emily C. Health has written an important article on what the media coverage of today’s earthquake can teach us about classism and urban-centrism in the LGBTQ community.  Take a look at this excerpt and then read the rest of the article:

So what does this have to do with LGBT rights? On the surface not much. But as I sat watching coverage, I was struck by a familiar feeling that we were missing the heart of the story. I felt the same frustration that I often feel watching the LGBT movement when the people who are most affected by an injustice are ignored because they are not as convenient, or not as interesting, or not as big a contingent.

That’s not to say that what was happening in NYC was not important. It clearly was. Buildings were evacuated, fears were stirred, confusion ran high in a big city setting. Newsworthy to be sure. But sort of missing the point. The coverage in DC made more sense given the proximity to the epicenter, but the absolute focus on NYC just seemed odd.

We do that in the LGBT movement a lot. We forget, for example, that we don’t all live in the big cities, and that the day to day life of LGBT folks in rural America is often far more harrowing than that of their big city counterparts.

More on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell From Gender JUST

Lucky Mosqueda, Gender JUST leadership team member on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’s Repeal:

“I’m not going to be happy about the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ because it’s just another example of the LGBT organizations spending time and money on issues that don’t make life better for my community. People living with AIDS can’t afford medication, people living in poverty don’t have food, people are still dying in wars—and our community is working to strengthen the U.S. war machine?”

Gender JUST is a Chicago organization led by queer youth of color.   And they’re my heroes.

 

DADT – Sorry, Transfolk

We at We Got Your Back hate to be a Debbie Downer, but there’s something that needs saying.  As historic a moment as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tells repeal may be, our community needs to remember that its repeal still leaves out trans-people.  For some thoughts about that aspect of today’s news, take a look at Autumn’s great post on this blog: http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/18282/from-the-official-ceremonyanticipating-viewing-the-signing-into-law-of-the-dadt-bill

Let’s take today to celebrate what’s worth celebrating while remember the need to build a LGBTQ movement that includes our entire community and work towards a world where war and heterosexism are history.

FCK Bullies!

Spoken Word: For Colored Boys that Speak Softly

It Doesn’t get Better – You Get Stronger

Gender JUST’s Response to Recent Suicides

Gender JUST,  a Chicago organization led by queer youth of color, has a released a amazing statement about the recent suicides of LGBTQIA youth:
It is critical to remember that we face violence as youth, as people of color, as people living in poverty, as queers, as trans and gender non conforming young people. We can’t separate our identities and any approach to preventing violence must be holistic and incorporate our whole selves. We have seen an overly simplistic and un-nuanced reaction to the recent violence; from Dan Savage telling young people to wait it out until “it gets better” and from Kathy Griffin declaring that passing Gay Marriage and overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would somehow stop the violence in our lives, we have found this response to be as misguided, irrelevant, and offensive as the conservative LGBT Movement itself.
While youth violence is a very serious issue in our schools, the real bullies we face in our schools take the form of systemic violence perpetrated by the school system itself: a sex education that ignores queer youth and a curriculum that denies our history, a militarized school district with cops in our schools, a process of privatization which displaces us, increasing class sizes which undermine our education and safety. The national calls to end the violence against queer youth completely ignore the most violent nature of our educational experience.

Love is Louder…than whatever divides us!

As a part of the Love is Louder campaign, we at We Got Your Back want to say that:

Love is louder than prejudice within our own community!  Love is louder than biphobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, ablism, classism and all oppression.   Love is louder than bullying, ’cause we’ve got your back.

The We Got Your Back Project

This project was born of wanting to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, especially for those LGBTQIA youth who need to hear that it will get better, that it will not always be so hard, so rough to get out of bed some mornings and face the taunting, the hate and the hard work of getting through the day. We encourage our trans gender, bisexual, and especially people of color to contribute to this project. We are not seeking money from anyone to do this project. If you are not comfortable contributing your story, but would like to support organizations that rely on donations, please see the links section for organizations we recommend that you support. We are doing this because we were moved by the plight of our youth who are turning to suicide as an option. We are doing this so that these young people know that eventually, life will improve. We know everyone’s life isn’t a fairy tale or that you were welcomed with open arms when you came out, but we also know that for every person who comes out to roses and love, there are scores of others that are met with resistance, hate and violence even from the people that raised them and their friends.

We hope that by sharing your stories that we can encourage our youth, let them know that suicide, is not your only option when things are hard, when people taunt you, kick you or worse. We want you to know that someone who cares and more importantly that’s been through what you’re dealing with and has come out the other side is giving you strength in their words, and in doing so helping you to get through it.