Tag Archives: Monica Alcazar

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

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Response to Daily Coverage of Sexual Assault on Campus

by Leow Hui Min Annabeth, ’16, Sara Maurer, ’16, Diego Argueta, ’13, Arianna Wassmann, ’13, Monica Alcazar, ’13, + Teresa Caprioglio, ’14

Last month, The Stanford Daily published an article by executive editor Brendan O’Byrne, “Culture of silence surrounds sexual assault.” As victims, survivors, and allies, we find ourselves shocked, upset, and outraged at the article—at the methods used in contacting sources, at the framing of the story, and at the failure to substantially address real issues surrounding sexual violence on campus.

The writing of the article itself was founded on ethically dubious practices. One of the methods which O’Byrne used was to cold-email strangers whom he knew were possibly rape survivors, and to proceed without any warning to ask for their thoughts on the Alternative Review Process. While there may have been no malice in this act, there was certainly a lack of sensitivity which made him ill-suited to write on such a sensitive topic.

A trigger warning, while helpful to many victims and survivors, merely cautions readers that the following subject material can be psychologically distressing and triggering. It does not give the writer licence to proceed from that point onwards with needlessly, egregiously graphic and gory details. Yet that is precisely what happens in this article, which begins in medias res with a painfully and unnecessarily elaborate description of a rape. That description—especially a description framed by an outside party, rather than given first-hand—serves no purpose other than to shock and sensationalise an extremely personal experience of raw and humiliating vulnerability. Continue reading

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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

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