Tag Archives: Human Rights Campaign

Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 3: Challenging the Liberal Fascination with Gay, International Violence

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the third part of a four part in a series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide,” and the second part is entitled “Boycotting Boycotts of Russia.”

The call to boycott the Sochi Games is not the first time there has been a call to boycott the Olympics due to civil rights or social justice abuses. The US boycotted the 1980 Olympics in the SSSR, while the SSSR boycotted the 1984 Olympics in the US, largely due to animosity and suspicion of each other.

Before that, though, there was talk amongst black academics and black athletes in America to boycott participating on the US Olympic team in the 1968 Mexico City Games to protest social conditions of blacks at home. While the boycott was never realized, black and allied athletes found other ways to protest, the most famous being the Black Power Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both African American, after coming in 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the 200 meter sprint.

And over the past few years, there have been calls in parts of Brazil, namely among the favela residents and the younger generation to not attend the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio, where  nearly 170,000 people have been forcibly relocated out of the favelas, among other unjust actions. (Note: the word ‘boycott’ generally isn’t used; rather, there are calls to not attend or watch either event on television.)

Continue reading

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stanford Students React to DOMA and Marriage Equality

by Sammie Wills, ’16

Yesterday, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional by a 5-4 vote, because “it violated the right to liberty and to equal protection for gay couples.” With this decision, Facebook exploded with the reactions of many individuals — some full of sheer bliss, some seething with anger, and some couldn’t care less.

I wanted to explore some of these reactions, and hear first-hand what students and alumni had to say about the recent rulings.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sexual Quantification: No More Western Dichotomies, Please

by Erika Lynn Abigail Persephone Joanna Kreeger, ’15

What percentage gay/straight are you?

I was asked this question earlier today on a form I had to fill out for the iO Tillett Wright photo shoot this afternoon at Terra. I had initially wanted to get my photo taken for the same reasons as probably many of the other people who got their picture taken: it’s a national campaign, it’s making waves and iO Tillett Wright had a great TEDx talk about her project and sexual orientation.

But that question bothered me. It bothered me a lot. I ended up writing “me/me%- I don’t conform to bs dichotomies.” And I took my picture, and as much as I wanted to, I didn’t challenger her. But I kind of wish I had. Here’s why:

The most apparent concern is its treatment of bisexual/pansexual/non-gay/straight/fluid identities. As someone who is attracted to people of multiple genders, I don’t think of myself as part straight and part gay. I think of myself as someone who is attracted to multiple genders in very different ways. Furthermore, my attraction to those different genders (if you will, the degree of my attractions to these broad categories of people) has varied significantly over my life. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stanford Students on Marriage Memes

by Holly Fetter, ’13

You’ve undoubtedly seen an onslaught of red squares in your newsfeed this week as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national LGBT rights organization, has encouraged supporters of marriage equality to display their politics via their profile photos. A red and pink version of the ubiquitous HRC logo has been consuming Facebook alongside many creative reinterpretations, including my personal favorite — the Tilda Swinton one. (Is it a political commentary? Is it a meta meme? We may never know).

But what do all these symbols mean? And what’s the difference between = and > and Paula Deen? I asked several Stanford students to share their thoughts on what these images mean to them.

>I have the ‘greater than’ symbol, as a symbol of solidarity with all those whose relationships and models of community and care are excluded from the state’s recognition of marriages, and a statement that our queerness neither begins nor ends at assimilation.  Marriage is not a ‘first step’ that has the potential to launch more conversation; it is, right now, an eclipsing step, that has overdetermined LGB politics in the US and erased much of the history of queer resistance pioneered by people of color, low-income queers, and trans* people.
—Alok Vaid-Menon, ’13

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coming Out is Complicated

by Monica Alcazar, ’13

As I was walking back from talking to a friend about her recent break-up, I walked past the LGBT-CRC and thought to myself, “Damn, I am so lucky to be here. I am so happy to be able to be out…I miss my family.”

I’ve been thinking about my identities a lot lately, and after participating in a few SOSAS panels this quarter already, I feel like I’ve been thinking and re-processing my “out”ness a lot more than usual. Many of us on this campus have heard, or even had to explain, on at least one occasion, that “coming out” can mean different things (e.g. it doesn’t only pertain to sexual orientation), it can be on different levels of importance to a given individual, and it is not a singular, one-time thing–people come out multiple times a day, many days a year, etc. Coming out, for me, has been quite the process. It started with the first inklings of “uhhh, I’m pretty sure none of my other female friends are looking at that girl the way I’m trying to NOT look at her…” and has progressed to where I am today: participating in dorm panels, staffing at the LGBT-CRC, and double dating with other queer female couples.

While I am pretty darn open, vocal, and dare I say, at-times flaunty of my gayness, I have a conflicted relationship with the concept of “coming out”. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

“Drug Users and Polygamists”

by Joy Brooke Fairfield, PhD candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies

I just got this email from HRC (of the “marriage equality sticker” fame) with the subject line “Drug users and polygamists.”  The nation’s largest LGBT advocacy group (and lobbying organization) was asking me to give them money to help beat Mitt Romney because he’s such a jerk that someone on one of his committees just compared gay marriage to drug use and getting married to multiple people.  The (now embarrassingly conservative) HRC is apparently horrified that this guy would put “gay marriage” (a GOOD thing) into the same category as drug use and multiple marriages (BAD things).  They’re attempting to use this “shocking” comparison to rile up their base and of course, get donations.

This was not okay with me. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Why I Protested at the San Francisco Pride Parade

by Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman, third-year graduate student in Mathematics

Early in the protest, the parade organizers made a wall to separate protesters from Kaiser.

On a typically beautiful Sunday in San Francisco, at the annual Pride parade of June 24, I joined SF Pride at Work for the second of two protests. We had one focus: to demand that Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare insurer that has been certified LGBT-friendly by the Human Rights Campaign, remove certain exclusions from its healthcare plan.

It is very hard to say what effect a protest has, but this should be only part of a conversation healthcare companies need to have about their care of transgender patients. SF Pride at Work chose to target Kaiser because we have reason to hope that they may change their plans. The Human Rights Campaign endorsed Kaiser Permanente for LGBT patients, in 2010, but an endorsement from the HRC is not one trans people can trust. Kaiser does make efforts to support LGBT patients, and there are people within Kaiser who would like to remove the exclusions against transgender people (which fall particularly on transsexual people). Indeed, there were people on the float and among the Kaiser marchers who were glad of this protest, and who were having conversations about it as they walked. Kaiser needs to cover the sex reassignment surgery and “related” care that many transsexual people undergo; if it does not, then it is not truly an LGBT-friendly healthcare provider. Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,