Sunday, July 31, 2011

For Gay Christian Musicians, Work Balances Faith, Art, Love [NPR]

Jeniffer Knapp
Many Christian denominations denounce homosexuality as a sin. As a result, gay Christian singers, songwriters and musicians face a challenge in balancing their art, their sexuality and their faith. For those few who have decided to come out, it has meant giving up successful careers.

Singer-songwriter Jennifer Knapp has sold more than a million albums and earned Dove Awards on the strength of songs like her 1998 hit, "Undo Me." But in 2002, at the height of her career as a contemporary Christian artist, Knapp suddenly stopped making music.

"Knowing that I was going to have to publicly deal with my sexuality — it really made me consider how much I wanted to participate in music," Knapp says.

Seven years later, Knapp reemerged, no longer self-identified as a Christian artist — instead, she was a folk-rock musician, a person of faith and a lesbian. Knapp says that even after all that time, she still had doubts about coming forward.

"It made me very hesitant to get back up into the public level, knowing that there would be discussion about my sexuality on the whole," she says.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Without Men

It came out yesterday... I see myself being offended repeatedly...

SLDN Releases Post-DADT Service Guide [Care2]

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) this week released a legal guide for LGBTs to help them navigate the landscape of the post-DADT repeal environment.

The guide, “Freedom to Serve: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Military Service,” is designed to offer a comprehensive overview of laws and policies relating to military service that may be of interest to LGBT servicemembers, as well as their friends and family.

“The information contained in this legal guide will help service members, prospective service members, their families, and friends make informed decisions about how to serve successfully as we move beyond ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ It will also assist them in understanding how to protect themselves when necessary and how to respond if they are targeted in any way for their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” said SLDN Legal Director David McKean.


And I have to ask, what is going to be done to acclimate heterosexual service members into a DATD-repealed environment to further protect LGBTQ service members?

Prop 8 Arguments [Cherry Grrl]

The California Supreme Court will hear arguments on September 6th as to whether proponents of Proposition 8 have the legal standing to appeal Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision striking down the ballot measure. The court will hear oral arguments on a question of whether under state law proponents of initiatives have standing to defend their initiatives when they are challenged in court. The question was certified to them by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit earlier this year. In response to the court’s scheduling order, Chad Griffin, American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) Co-Founder and Board President, had the following to say: “I am very pleased that the Supreme Court of California calendared our case for the first day of their fall session. The governor and attorney general of California – and the United States District Court – all have found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brownie Points: DC Comics [Autostraddle]

Batwoman is a Lesbian: DC Comics' Gay Superheroes Stepping Out of the Subtext and Into the Light

Last June, DC Comics announced that they were starting over. Starting over at number 1. 52 all-new #1 issues will be released in September, complete with updated characters, costumes, and origins. An entire new universe, with old icons and a new concept.

And the new DC Comics universe, they promised, would be hella gay.

Angel Haze

Friday, July 15, 2011

No Look Pass

No Look Pass is an identity quest film that follows Emily Tay’s transition into adulthood between her senior year at Harvard (where she ranks 23rd nationally for assists thanks to her signature move, the no look pass) into her first year playing professionally in Europe. Emily’s Buddhist parents risked everything to emigrate from Burma in 1980 to Los Angeles’ Chinatown and expect Emily to return home after graduation and comply with an arranged marriage. But Emily must follow her own American Dream, which means moving to Germany and falling in love with a U.S. servicewoman living under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. After feeling like an outsider her entire life, Emily struggles to become a leader, not just a star and faces the terror of telling her parents who she really is.

Check out No Look Pass at Outfest in West Hollywood on July 17th.

And on a sidenote: Sheryl Swoopes is engaged to a man.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Gender Ambiguity of Lisbeth Salander: Third-Wave Feminist Hero? [Dissent Magazine]

by Judith Lorber

STIEG LARSSON’S Millennium trilogy describes a series of crimes that involve the violent abuse of women, and it also exposes not-so-fictional Swedish corporate and state crimes. But the novels are named, in English, for Lisbeth Salander, the “girl who,” and the second and third books in the trilogy in particular, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, are her story. Salander seems to be the source of the trilogy’s popularity. But why is she so interesting? I think that it’s her gender ambiguity that pulls in different readers, women and men, young and old. I don’t mean an androgyny of masculine and feminine traits, but a mix of attributes within her identity as a woman. She is both victim and avenger, abused child and iconoclastic rebel, punky teen in appearance and competent woman in behavior. 

Feminists might best describe Salander as a third-waver. She often decides how she will look for shock value—punk clothes, piercings, tattoos, bizarrely cut and dyed hair. She has bisexual relationships, sex with friends in non-exclusive relationships, recreational sex. As in third-wave “girlie culture,” she revels in sexual openness, outrageous gender self-presentations, and emotional coolness. But Salander never identifies as a feminist, nor does she use her (criminally acquired) wealth or her computer skills for any institutionalized activism. Third-wave feminists fight against restrictions on procreative choice and against racism, homophobia, and economic inequalities. By contrast, Salander’s personal, physical battle is against violent, sadistic men; her political battles, where she uses her investigative and hacking abilities, are against sex trafficking and international crime. She fights alone, mostly to defend herself or to get revenge on those who have harmed her. Once or twice, she fights for others (Erika Berger, when she is being cyber-stalked, and Mikael Blomkvist, to restore his journalistic reputation). But she belongs to no movement.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blue Crush 2

Nope. Neither Michelle Rodriguez nor Sanoe Lake is in it... Sigh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Marimacho BK

Marimacho is a masculine clothing line for female and transgender bodies. They are the first fashion house to offer a full seasonal line of masculine clothes tailored for women and transmen. At first, I was mad upset cause it's been my dream to start a fashion line just like this for years now. But then I got over it. A gap in the market that I've been dying to see filled is finally being filled. Pretty dope!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Grind And Shine: Shabazz Palaces And THEESatisfaction [NPR]

ARTISTS: In Seattle, Ishmael Butler — aka Palaceer Lazaro — has fans monitoring his every move, treating his future-rap project Shabazz Palaces like a religion. Younger hip-hop artists imitate his style. He invariably sells out his infrequent, conceptual concerts. He also has skeptics who find his free-form music irritating. Butler's star rose and fell in the 1990s as part of jazz-rap group Digable Planets — the group was popular in Seattle, but the fact that he was from the city was never widely known. At present, he is Seattle's biggest rock star. To many local residents, he seems to have emerged from nowhere. His masterful new album Black Up is Sub Pop Records' first major rap release — a ghostly document that moves at roughly one billion styles per hour. 

The women of THEESatisfaction are a generation younger than Butler, and ride a similarly spaced-out wavelength. Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons sing and rap on Black Up. Word on the street is they have already signed a record label contract, with an announcement forthcoming.