Also.Also.Also: Trans Miss Universe Contestant And Other Stories We Missed This Week

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So many stories, so little time! Here’s what we missed this week:

Oh hey so, have you heard the one about the transgender woman who was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada Pageant because she was trans? Probably you have, because it’s been all over the news! Basically, transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova got kicked out, GLAAD fought back, and then Donald Trump — a gigantic asshole I hate with the fury of a thousand suns — took a brief time out from spreading his epic douchebaggery and consistently bigoted spirit throughout the land to allow Talackova back in to his f*cked-up contest. GLAAD says: “The Miss Universe Organization should look to state non-discrimination laws and institutions including the Olympics, NCAA and The CW’s America’s Next Top Model, which do not discriminate against transgender women.” That’s right. If only everybody could treat a woman how America’s Next Top Model treats a woman, it’d be a wonderful wonderful world for all women everywhere! No really, it’s great that Miss Universe responded to GLAAD and fixed that ish.

Well hold on to your pants, there’s another reason to be glad this week — after pressure from GLAAD and a lot of other places and people like high school student Katy Butler, the rating for the documentary Bully has been changed to PG-13, so now kids can see it and it can be screened in schools! Target audience is targeted.

In Anchorage, voters voted against extending basic civil rights to gay people. Thanks guys! But it’s not dead yet, maybe.

Idiot Orange County Vice Principal Gets Reamed For Yanking Pro-Gay-Marriage Kid From Beauty Contest

Neo-Confederates Freak Out About RuPaul’s Museum Display

Daniel Radcliffe explains that he had no discomfort with boy-on-boy sexy scenes because “if he can simulate sex with a horse, he can handle a guy.”

Did you guys hear about the SUPER sexist and dumb thing that the creator of Two and a Half Men said about women in comedy? Writing about why this is so dumb is like falling off a log.

Brigham Young had a panel on being Gay and Mormon and the audience response was “largely positive.”

In Cameroon, authorities disregarded “freedom of assembly” and other such things by shutting down an LGBT Rights Workshop.

A lesbian couple in Maine is suing Bank of America for discrimination and a lesbian chef in New York won her case against a restaurant manager who held prayer meetings to “save” her in the restaurant while she was just trying to cook things and be a person — she’s banking $1.6 million dollars, because G-d shows his love in special ways.

Susan Sarandon recalls a memorable lesbian sex scene.

Someone wrote a really awesome thing on Jeanette Winterson and Alison Bechdel, two people I’d like to have a picnic with.

Federal Court refused the request of Arizona state officials to take health coverage away from the families of lesbian and gay couples. Meanwhile, the Phoneix Mayor is working to draft an ordinance to outlaw discrimination against GLBTQ residents.

The Bizarre Calculus of Emergency Room Bills: “It’s like going to a Laker game, paying $150 for a ticket, and later getting an additional $75 bill in the mail from Kobe Bryant.”

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Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1761 articles for us.

29 Comments

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    You had me worried there for a second with the Radcliffe thing, but then I actually read the article. What you quoted was in the headline and not his actual words. If anything you should have a problem with the editors for doing a horrible job at paraphrasing.

    From the article:
    When asked about how he expects Harry Potter fans to respond to him playing gayness: “Well, they were comfortable with Equus, and that had me simulating sex on the back of a horse, so this is a walk in the park.”

    That pretty much has a different meaning than the way it was spun. Now I can happily go back to loving Harry Potter without it being tainted by thinking he’s super douchey on gay issues.

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      oh i thought we all knew Radcliffe was on our side already and that whatever he said was clearly not dismissive or anti-gay and it didn’t even occur to me to try to present it in a way that would ensure he didn’t look like a jackass ’cause i thought we already knew he wasn’t a jackass and therefore would know it was clearly some kind of joke or weird phrasing

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    Also.Also.Also., hot model is hot, target audience targeted, voters voted. What I liked the most about this post is that made me think about semiotics and stuff (I’m really smart and serious-minded).

    ‘held prayer meetings to “save” her in the restaurant while she was just trying to cook things and be a person’—that phrase made me laugh a lot (the previous parenthesized statement thingy is a lie).

    That Winterson-Bechdel review is great. I love Bechdel and I’m really excited for Are You My Mother?. For some reason, though, every time I’ve thought about getting a book by Winterson I’ve ended up getting one by someone else instead (“no, ’tis no the time yet, you fool” I say to myself). This review and the interview you posted on TIRTIL #19 are making me reconsider that pattern—the time is near.

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      Okay okay okay, I am too excited about recommending The Stone Gods, which I have just started reading and cannot put down! Normally, Jeanette Winterson novels take me a bit longer to get through, even though they are typically short. But The Stone Gods is amazing! And, and, and, she’s so cool!
      I just read this line this morning, and I wanted to say YES! THIS!!! Really loudly, but I was afraid of waking up my neighbors.

      ” ‘Women always bring it bak to the personal,’ said Handsome. ‘It’s why you can’t be world leaders.’
      ‘And men never do,’ I said, which is why we end up with no world left to lead.’ ”

      And there’s this kind of stupid girl who doesn’t get it talking about her personal life, and this smart girl who does get it, thinking about both personal and political, and a robot, thinking about humanity. I know that this might not appeal to everyone, but I’m telling you, it’s SOOOO good. :)
      (I had a little too much caffeine today._

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    I’m about to be Debbie Downer over here, so sorry in advance. I don’t know if there have been any articles mentioning these, but in light of mentioning Jenna Talackova, I thought I’d bring it up. C-279 is a Canadian bill to be voted on this month, I believe. It would add gender identity and expression to things you can’t be fired for. Unfortunately, it’s gotten very little press. I know several trans* bloggers have been extremely frustrated that the Miss Universe thing has gotten tons of press and response, but a bill that would actually benefit the entire Canadian trans* community has basically been ignored.

    Also, in Germany, an 11 year old trans* girl named Alexandra is about to be institutionalized to force her to grow up as a boy. And I think that’s rather horrific.

    Anyway, I think it would be great if AS could address these issues, and if all the awesome community we have here could help spread the word. I know change.org has a couple petitions for both C-279 and Alexandra. Thanks guys and sorry for being a little off topic.

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        I obviously get that since I referred to her as “she” in my original statement. Since the Miss Universe rules states that you must be born a female, why are they letting her compete? What happens if she wins then can’t compete in the Miss Universe pageant and represent her country?

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          ok, i get your point. but its still a step forward. maybe this will be the example that changes the rule. let’s hope.

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          During women’s suffrage women showed up at the polls to vote even though they weren’t allowed to do so. Should they have not bothered because they weren’t allowed?

          Being unfairly disallowed from doing a certain thing doesn’t mean that anyone should not try to do that thing and then keep trying until the unfair rules are changed.

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          Women’s suffrage, and a woman born a male wanting to compete in the Miss Universe pageant are two different things.

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          Ms. Talackova is a legal woman according to the laws of Canada. She isn’t a ‘sort of woman’ or a woman with an asterisk by her name or a woman when they feel like acknowledging her as one. So even something as trivial and even sexist as a Miss Universe Pageant can provide a legit challenge for civil rights.

          Yes, the pageant is privately owned and, on some level, could exclude women who can’t conceive, Intersex women, disabled women, non-white women, women under a certain height, hirsute women, fat women, women with inverted nipples, etc. But I would hope women in any of those situations would fight back at their exclusion as Ms. Talackova is doing. The concept that specifying “born a female (or a male)” can be used to discriminate against a lot of people. And, btw, it’s time to emphasize boycotting the oinky Master’s Golf Tournament which is still played at a club which doesn’t accept women. There should be no excuse for tolerating bigotry in 2012.

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    I’m having so many feelings about the panel at BYU. I was born and raised Mormon. And I was *serious* about it. Like… you guys don’t even know. Then I met my first girlfriend and had to finally deal with my gayness. I tried to rationalize it or think that one day the church would change its stances. I even told my girlfriend I’d have to be celibate my whole life (which is the official Mormon stance: being gay isn’t the sin, but acting on it in any way is.) and Mormon gay celibate isn’t just normal celibacy, guys. No loopholes found in other churches like “It’s not sex unless someone orgasms.” No. Anything done with “sexual intent” is wrong. Meaning, if I kissed my girl on the mouth (not even deep kissing, since french kissing before marriage in even het relationships is condemned) it was a sin. I’m so lucky she stayed with me through the process. I must have put her through hell.

    Then Prop 8 went down. Everything exploded. I had lesbian friends crying on my doorstep because of letters being read in Mormon churches condemning gay marriage. I called my mom horrified by what was going on and was shocked to realize she and my entire extended family had very anti-gay mindsets. I’d never even been taught what gay was as a kid. I learned in high school. I didn’t realize everyone in my family would be so *angry* about it.

    I left the church because of Prop 8. I would rather be a lesbian than a hypocrite. The process revealed a lot of inconsistencies in the doctrines I’d been taught and I couldn’t condone something I no longer agreed with.

    But I’m still struggling with it. Losing your entire community (because Mormonism is *definitely* a community, not just a church) and belief system is like being reborn… only you still have to continue functioning as an adult while you try to deal with the fact that your entire life so far has been based on lies. Damaging lies. It’s terrifying. It doesn’t surprise me so many gay people stay in the Mormon church and try to rationalize their lives around a belief system that condemns them.

    I didn’t realize how deep my Mormon mindsets went. I got the shakes before drinking black tea for the first time. Still haven’t tried coffee. I nearly threw up at just the thought of watching a rated R film (still haven’t done it.) I’ve never had a pepsi or coke. And, as you can assume, if I’m still struggling with coffee and movies, I haven’t even attempted “harder” things. I have panic attacks when I even consider them. It’s actually become a quest for me to overcome some of these physical responses. I hate the idea of being out of control. I don’t want an addiction. In the same vein, I don’t want a belief system I left behind to make me vomit at the thought of seeing a movie.

    Hmm. I should start a blog. “Adventures in Overcoming Mormonism: My Experiments with Sin.”

    I think this panel is a sign that the Mormons are slowly trying to integrate gay people so, in 10 years, when they suddenly reveal that gays are now okay (like they did with black people holding the priesthood in the 70s) they can say “We always wanted them here, but we just had to wait for God to OK it.” I hope the Mormons do become pro-gay. I hope no other gay kid has to go through the coming out process I did. But at the same time I hope people don’t forget what the Mormons did and still do to fight against gay marriage and force celibacy from guilt on gay people.

    I also hope gay people currently in the church find the strength to really consider their lives carefully. The Mormon church refuses to say that being gay is genetic; the *official* stance is that it’s unknown why people are gay. Actually, the phrase they use most is “same sex attraction.” When I was a Mormon it was taught that being gay was an affliction. That everyone has their vices they have to fight, and for some people that’s being gay. It’s compared to alcoholism and drug abuse. That wouldn’t change if the church finally admitted it’s genetic.

    Unofficially, gay people are regularly told they’re sinners. I still remember hearing a general authority (like… in the top 13 of the church’s hierarchy) telling parents of gay kids to respond to their child’s desire to bring their partner home for a holiday with “Why would you want to embarrass your family like that?” And even people living celibate lives rarely if ever speak about being gay. And being single in the Mormon church after 18 is no joke. The entire religion is based around “creating eternal families” and, unofficially of course, people who aren’t married and having children are seen as slow or, as single people get older, irresponsible or even damaged. (Of course not all people think like this. Some of the best people I’ve ever met are Mormons. But that doesn’t change the cultural truths.)

    I hope the panel healed some hearts or at least made people think, even though I feel the message that gay people can “control their same sex attractions through celibacy” is extremely damaging.

    And you know what? For the first time ever, the comments sections in all the articles I read about this have made me happy. Overwhelmingly gay-friendly. That was a gift.

    Sorry this was so long. In all fairness, I did warn that I had feelings about this…

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