Tag Archives: LGBT

Tobacco and Queer People

by Blake Montgomery, ’14

Gay MarlboroAIDS kills 17,000 queer people in America per year. Tobacco-related diseases kill 30,000. I’d call both epidemics.

In 2009, the American Cancer Society found that 59% of queer youth smoke, as compared with 35% of heterosexual youth. Gurl, what?

As young people, we are at the forefront of anti-tobacco efforts. The peak ages of smoking, as measured by the CDC, is 23 to 25. Our choices matter more than any others to the tobacco industry because most of us are first-time smokers, “learners” as we are referred to in industry documents. We’re also known as “replacers” in industry-speak because we take the place of older smokers who are dying of lung diseases.

Tobacco marketers have cast the hazards of cigarettes as old news for our demographic. They’re not. They’re the biggest cause of preventable death in queer populations and in America at large. Why are we at such high risk?

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 4: A Discussion with Jason Cieply about Russian Perceptions of the West and Sexual Politics

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the fourth and final part in a series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.” The first part is entitled “Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide,” the second “Boycotting Boycotts of Russia” and the third “Challenging the Liberal Fascination with Gay, International Violence.”

The morning of August 8th, the day Part 1 of this series was uploaded onto STATIC, I Skype chatted with Stanford Instructor of Slavic Languages and Literature Jason Cieply and discussed, among many other things, Russian perceptions of the West, American and Western imperialism, homosexuality, sexual politics and the growing limitation of personal freedoms in Russia.

Pretty quickly, it stopped feeling like an interview and more of a discussion among colleagues. Instructor Cieply has a wide knowledge of Russian geopolitics, and he helped shed light on a number of issues I had been curious to know more about. Hopefully, this discussion will help provide more context to the last three pieces I’ve written, especially in how Russians view America and American interventions.

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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.)

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 2: Boycotting Boycotts of Russia

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

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

“You stupid idiots kill people all over the world, Iraq, libya, afganistan, syria etc. You interfere internal politics of many countries. And now you stupid idiots try to teach us how to live? Go fuck yourself and your president and leave us to decide OURSELVES on how to live and rule OUR country. Just understand that you opinion mean nothing here.”

The following is an exact quote from a Buzzfeed post mentioned earlier in Part 1, which reveals an important hypocrisy to understand about modern American and historical Western politics.

America and the West currently and historically tend to view themselves as the world’s watchdog, the big brother, if you will, the more socially advanced sibling who can help their more primitive brothers and sisters advance. In earlier centuries, this phenomenon was mainly exacted through Christian conversion.

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Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression Part 1: Russian Sexual Politics and the East/West Divide

by Erika Lynn Abigail Kreeger, ’16

This is the first of a four part series entitled “Gay Imperialism and Olympic Oppression.

This is a long post. If you are short on time, read the introduction to the series, and the last two paragraphs (italicized) of the following section entitled “A History of Russian Homosocial and Sexual  Regulations.”

8-8 Gay ImperialismLast December, I wrote a two part series about the oppressive nature of the Olympics and World Cup, how they both have been used as excuses for social cleanups that ultimately displace race and class underprivileged peoples and waste millions, if not billions, of state dollars that could otherwise be spent on social programs aimed at public health and education, among other things. Now, another injustice is becoming known across the US and the world, the horrific oppression of LGBT peoples across Russia, that might also have the potential to influence the upcoming 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

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A Girl’s Guide to Getting a Gay Best Friend

by Giselle Moreau, ’16

*White cis female identifying heterosexual girl’s guide to grabbing her cis male identifying homosexual Sex and the City best friend.

Coordinate your outfits, hawt!

Oh em gee! It’s Pride Weekend and you still don’t have a gay best friend! Cheaaa, what are you doing with yourself? Time to put on those Louboutin pumps and hit the Castro gurl!

You are an ally to the LGBT community, and as such you need to find yourself a cute gay accessory to drag with you wherever you go. Stay away from the gay girls, they’ll get too confused about their relationship with you—you do not want to find yourself making out with a girl gay best friend! That behavior is so college straight girl problems #lug. Stick with the gay male, he will make all of your (fashion, romantic) dreams come true.

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Why Catholicism?

by Daniel Dominguez, ’16

The recent election of the new pope was greeted with great fanfare from around the world, as Catholics around the world waited to see who would replace the first pope to not leave the Vatican in a coffin in nearly 500 years. The announcement was received with great praise with millions celebrating Pope Francis’ poverty, humility and openness; a very different manner than that of the traditional and reserved Ratzinger of the previous eight years.

However, while millions clamor to attest to the personable qualities of the new Bishop of Rome, it is important to remember that the Pope is inheriting a church in turmoil which is in serious need of reform to rescue it from itself. The increasing disenfranchisement between Vatican dogma and popular culture is striking and has led to a phenomenon which I have observed increasingly in those around me and even in myself: so called “cultural Catholicism.” Millions of modern Catholics use contraception, support LGBT rights, in-vitro fertilization, abortion, and find the thought of child molestation horrifying yet millions still flock to church, sit at the pews, and put money in the collection bin; the simple reason being that they were raised Catholic.

Enthusiasm for the new Bishop of Rome has been perhaps most forthcoming from the millions of Latin Americans in the West who looked forward to the papal reign of the first Latin American Pope in the history of the Church. Having been raised in a Mexican-American Catholic household I understand the importance of the Catholic faith to the culture of many Latin American cultures and how difficult it is to go against those conventions. Continue reading

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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

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(Queer) Activism at Stanford University

by Lina Schmidt, ’15

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What is queer? and what does queer want? were two questions asked over the course of the class “Introduction to Queer Studies” (FEMST 120). Questions about what queer “means” are important to me because, as both a queer-identified individual and as a member of the campus group Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, parts of my identity are implicated in use of the word. The  meanings of queer can be a scholarly pursuit. However, the placement of queer in the title of a student group committed to “social change” makes its meanings relevant to the entire Stanford community, regardless of academic focus.

Described as a “discursive horizon” (Queer Theory 1), queer is fluid; a site of connotation rather than denotation. As a result, writings about queer — “Queer Theory” — are sometimes contradictory. The goal in reading, however, is not to produce a consistent worldview but to challenge entrenched ideas. For example, Annamarie Jagose suggests that 0ne use of queer is as an umbrella term for non-normative identities, serving as a contraction of “LGBTQIA.” Another writer, Cathy J. Cohen, suggests that queer has a more “radical potential” through its inclusivity not just of non-normative sexuality, but of differences in race, class, physical ability, and more (Punks 11-16). Continue reading

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Welcome to Transgender Awareness Week

by Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman, PhD student

Many student groups have pitched in with Stanford Students for Queer Liberation to bring the events of Transgender Awareness Week to campus.  This is the third year doing it, and every year is different.  Last year’s week was discussed here and here.

The week begins with a “trans* 101” panel, designed to introduce everyone and anyone to the experiences of the panelists, to give space for questions, and to give cis students (those who are not trans*) tools to use in supporting trans* folks.  We call that “being a trans ally”, but as many people will tell you, ally is not a thing you can be, it’s a thing you can strive to do.  The tools of allyship are a theme throughout the week and this post.

However, we believe that to focus only on the oppression that transgender people face will firstly not serve transgender students who want to attend without getting depressed or triggered, and secondly not point in the direction of the kind of respect that transgender people deserve.   Continue reading

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