Upright Women Wanted: be gay, do crimes, circulate books

Sarah Gailey is one of science fiction's great new talents and their 2019 debut novel Magic for Liars was incredibly strong; now they're back with Upright Women Wanted, a feminist, genderqueer science fiction western novel about gun-toting roving librarians who are secretly the heart of an antifascist resistance. Read the rest

Kate McKinnon portrays Elsa as gay in SNL's 'Frozen 2' spoof

The best impressions SNL has ever seen are the work of Kate McKinnon. Read the rest

Fast-tracked South Dakota bill will felonize doctors who offer gender-confirmation therapy to trans kids

South Dakota's HB 1057 ("The Vulnerable Child Protection Act") was introduced by Rep Fred Deutsch [R-04/605-882-3323/@freddeutsch/<a href="mailto:Fred.Deutsch@sdlegislature.govFred.Deutsch@sdlegislature.gov] on Tuesday with 40 cosponors, fast-tracked for a vote on Friday. It makes providing any gender-confirmation therapy to trans teens a Class 4 felony. Read the rest

Kentucky's Whitefield Academy expels student for wearing a rainbow shirt in a Facebook photo

The Whitefield Academy is a "Christ-centered, college-preparatory school for grades PreK-12 fostering a passion for learning, others ahead of self, and the living and active Jesus." That is to say, it's a school for religious maniacs. Read the rest

US Navy building a ship named after Harvey Milk sixty years after he was booted out for being gay

The US Navy is building a ship that they are naming after a true American hero. Harvey Milk (1930-1978) was an inspiring LGBT activist who in 1978 became the first openly gay elected official in California history. On November 27 1978, Milk, a highly effective member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and mayor George Moscone were assassinated by another city supervisor. But before all that, Milk served in the Navy. That is, until his superiors found out Milk was gay and forced him to resign. From CNN:

More than 60 years later, the Navy began construction Friday on the USNS Harvey Milk, a new oiler ship that will resupply fuel to other ships at sea. "(This) sends a global message of inclusion more powerful than simply 'We'll tolerate everyone,'" Stuart Milk said at a ceremony in San Diego, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. "(It says) We celebrate everyone."

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Nicole Murray Ramirez, the chairman and executive director of the San Diego International Imperial Court Council, an LGBT organization, was a leader in the push to name a vessel after Milk.

“When ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was lifted, I researched, and one guy picks all these (ship) names — the Secretary of the Navy,” Ramirez said.

His organization, which has chapters nationwide, organized a national letter-writing campaign in 2011 to push then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to name a ship for Milk.

image: "Harvey Milk in dress Navy Blue uniform for his brother's wedding in 1954" (CC BY-SA 3.0 Read the rest

Nigeria: 47 men plead 'not gay' to avoid prison

In Nigeria on Wednesday, 47 men told a state court they are innocent of the charges of public displays of affection with members of the same gender. Being gay is a crime in Nigeria, with an up to 10-year jail sentence. Read the rest

Review: "Liebestrasse" is a frighteningly relevant LGBTQ graphic novel set in the Weimar Republic

Liebestrasse is a new original digital graphic novel from Comixology, but it follows more in the European tradition of small, character-focused slice-of-life stories than the bombastic speculative fiction that's made the American graphic novel field so popular. In less than 100 pages, it tells the story of an American businessman named Sam who takes a job in Berlin during the Weimar Republic, where he meets and falls in love with an art dealer named Phillip.

Of course, the dramatic irony abounds. As readers, we know what Germany's immediate future holds—and soon enough, that other shoe does indeed drop. But also as readers, it's easy to get wrapped in the simple tenderness of burgeoning romance and ignore the warning signs that lurk in the shadows—just like Sam and Phillip.

The rapport between the two lovers is charming and realistic, with Phillip's witty flamboyance playing perfectly off of Sam's strong silent Americanisms. Artist Tim Fish does tremendous work with the subtleties of facial expressions; though the style is slightly more cartoonish than what most American readers might expect, I found myself consciously commenting on the acting as I read through the pages, as if these were actual people rather than drawings. I read a lot of comics, and that's something rare and unique, at least in the American market. The color palette by Hector Barros also gives the story a very classical comic vibe that fits the time period. Though the pigments are digital, the simple, solid color patterns evoke a more innocent era. Read the rest

Chick-fil-A slightly less homophobic now

The popular fried chicken sandwich fast food chain Chick-fil-A has long been targeted by pro-human-rights groups for aligning with hate and homophobia. Read the rest

After workers tried to form a union, trans rights group ditches most of its staff

Last week, the National Center for Transgender Equality discharged all employees in a bargaining unit organized under the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU); the employees were seeking recognition of a union. Read the rest

​13 years later, World of Warcraft is STILL telling queer guilds they're not allowed to advertise their queerness

13 years ago, World of Warcraft was embroiled in a scandal when company management backed up a moderator who punished a player for advertising an LGBTQ-friendly guild, who argued that advertising the fact that you're queer violated the game's hate speech laws by provoking homophobes to send hateful messages to group members. Read the rest

Tiktok's internal policies are both weird and terrible

Tiktok bills itself as apolitical, despite the fact that is both a de facto arm of Chinese political propaganda (and, weirdly, for Uyghur human rights activists). Read the rest

Should they rename the Tiptree Award, too?

Mitch Wagner writes, "Alice Sheldon, who wrote brilliant science fiction under the pseudonym James Tiptree Jr., killed her husband and herself in 1987. The volunteers who administer the Tiptree Award literary prize now face pressure to change its name."

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An appreciation for Samuel Delany

Samuel R "Chip" Delany is a science fiction pioneer: a brilliant literary stylist with dazzling ideas who was one of the field's first openly queer writers, and one of the first Black writers accepted into the field. He is one of the fathers of afrofuturism. Read the rest

Trans woman trains her new vagina's pelvic floor with a kegel-controlled version of Flappy Bird

Laura Dale is a trans woman who got a "new vagina" through "bottom surgery"; afterwards, as she cast about for ways to strengthen her pelvic floor muscles, she discovered Perifit, a Bluetooth kegel-based video-game controller that registers every time the user bears down on it with their pelvic floor muscles. Read the rest

Suspicious material in letters to Straight Pride Parade organizers turned out to be... glitter!

Organizers of the planned "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston next month called police after receiving suspicious envelopes containing a powdery substance. A hazmat team investigated and the mystery material turned out to be... glitter. From The Guardian:

The suspicious envelopes, filled with a “granular substance”, were addressed to three members of “Super Happy Fun America”, a group whose membership have previously organized and attended events, some of which have turned violent and who have links to far-right figures.

One of the recipients, Mark Sahady, is known as the leader of the Boston chapter of a group called Resist Marxism, an organization described by the Daily Beast as the new organization as a “front for [the] far-right group”.

In 2018, Think Progress reported that Resist Marxism had links with white nationalist groups, and that members had expressed antisemitic sentiments in leaked chats.

The sender or senders of the glitter parcels remains unknown.

Read the rest

Kickstarter outlines the ambitious plans of Andrea James' Transphobia project

Kickstarter has a lengthy piece on Medium discussing frequent BB contributor Andrea James's Transphobia project (previously). and the broader issues surrounding transgender reporting, the bias within it, and the lack of transgender representation (and outright exclusion) from reporters on the subject.

James has three foundational goals for The Transphobia Project: “More trans journalists employed full-time at media outlets; coverage of trans issues to include input from trans editors and fact-checkers; and more non-trans journalists to be aware of how to avoid bias in trans coverage. I hope my project will help editors and publishers identify those with a history of fair and accurate coverage on trans topics, [and] those who don’t have that history. Finally, I hope it will help media consumers see when trans coverage contains bias, both pro- and anti-trans.”

At a time when LGBTQ+ tolerance is actually decreasing among youth, holding media to account for both how, and by whom the public receives unbiased reporting on these topics may be even more important than in the past, to stave off what USA Today reports as a "looming social crisis in discrimination." I'm a supporter of her project on Kickstarter, and I hope you will be, too. Read the rest

Microsoft employees want to starve its PAC, which keeps giving money to homophobic, racist, climate-denying Republicans

Microsoft's stated values are "diversity, inclusion, and growth mindset," but the six of the top ten politicians funded by MSPAC -- which derives funding from voluntary contributions from 4,000 of Microsoft's 140,000 employees -- are far-right Republican extremists, including Mitch McConnell, who reliably vote for homophobic, climate-denying and racist policies. Read the rest

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