Also.Also.Also: “Flying While Butch” And Other Stories We Missed This Week

Happy Wednesday, flower children! Did you know Daylight Savings Time is coming up and thus, I will soon get more hours of sunlight in which to frolic endlessly with Eli? Let’s round up what stories we missed while I was daydreaming about warm weather this week.

Jenna Lyons Moment

Look, Jenna Lyons posing with her GF, Courtney Crangi! Totes adorbs.


Gay At Church

Tomorrow, the multimedia exhibit “Coming Out as a Person of Faith” will premiere in Portlandia. The exhibit tells the stories of  faith leaders and people of faith who support the freedom to marry, and is a travelling project of the Basic Rights Oregon Education Fund hitting up churches throughout Oregon state on its journey to a bigger faith-based discussion on the homos.

And by the way, a Mormon dude documented an entire year’s worth of reactions to his coming out. Watch ’em for yourself if you’re trying to feel awkward/hopeful at all:

A Million Here, A Million There: Fundraiser O’ The Week

Alfredo’s Fire: A gay Italian writer sets himself on fire at the Vatican, hoping to ignite a revolution of tolerance.

Schoolhouse Rock

World: don’t fuck with the kids. We’re the future.

+ In Florida, a 16-year-old is in trouble for participating in the Day of Silence at her school.

Last April, Amber Hatcher made plans to observe National Day of Silence … She asked for permission from her principal, Mrs. Shannon Fusco, nearly a month before the event […]

When Principal Fusco threatened Amber with “ramifications” if she participated, Amber appealed directly to DeSoto County School Superintendent Adrian Cline on April 10, 12 and 13. Superintendent Cline refused to meet with her but directed the principal to tell Amber that her request was “disapproved” because allowing students to observe Day of Silence was not allowed. Principal Fusco repeatedly told Amber that she could not participate and threatened that there “would be consequences” if she did, even calling her parents and suggesting that they keep her home from school.

On April 19, 2012, Lambda Legal sent a letter to Principal Fusco and Superintendant Cline outlining the legal precedent supporting Amber’s right to observe National Day of Silence and putting them on notice that interference with students’ rights could be grounds for a lawsuit.

The letter was ignored.  

+ Most importantly, though, how do we get the young’ns to respect feminism?


Silver Screen / Bright Lights in India

In India, theater and the silver screen are becoming integral pieces of a gay rights movement. For those with an affinity for the bright lights, the stage proves to be a way to find a voice. And on TV, Out In Mumbia chronicles an evolving India.


Flying While Butch

This seems relevant to your interests.

The woman signaled for me to step back inside the scanner, and then — here’s the kicker — she asked me, “Would you mind if I ask you if you are a man or a woman?…”

I was ushered into the machine, where I stood once again, making sure to shadow the drawing on the wall in front of me with my arms up, holding my breath. This time she pushed the “female” button (it’s easy to find, being pink and all), and my body lined up with it. No little squares on my chest this time. The machine now validated my very womanhood: She’s a she, and she’s got bumps where she should, and none where she shouldn’t. Whew. What a relief.

Jane Lynch Singing “Super Bass” NBD


Is There A Gay Gene? Does It Matter?

No but really: is there a gay gene and does it matter?

A Fact (Or Two) About Gay Marriage

Fact: If you don’t support gay marriage, you’re probably as boring as the fools who still haven’t come around to sushi.

Bonus Fact: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights would like your wedding photos. Don’t worry. It’s all good things.


Re: The Boy Scouts

Much like Republicanism, the Homophobe Scouts of America are going out of style. Need proof? They’re not even cool enough to get Carly Rae Jepsen or Train to perform for them at their Banjoree. I said Train. 

Also, Soledad O’Brien schooled Tony Perkins on homophobia when he came on her show to discuss the Boy Scouts of America and their “morality” bullshit, which is an automatic win…. for us.

Four Studies We Didn’t Need to Believe The Facts

It’s so sad that people have to prove things we all know are true. Here’s a quick gloss-over of new facts in the world:

+ Women work harder than men. Period.


+ Your deviant sexuality will not kill or demonize your spawn or other young children you may come in contact with as a homosexual person on Earth.

+ Gay soldiers forced to hide their true feelings because of rampant homophobia and, formerly, institutionalized discrimination are more likely to be fucked up in the head.

Take It To A Higher, or Glossier, Power

This week, 100 “comrade” parents of gays and lesbians penned a letter to China’s National People’s Congress in support of gay marriage, and Kansas’ Supreme Court upheld parenting rights for a lesbian mom.

The trans* community in Sweden is asking for damages following, oh, you know, their forced sterilizations, and a Somali woman is no longer in jail for reporting a rape. In Mississippi, updates in the horrific murder of Marco McMillan reveal his death may have been part of a “romantic tryst gone awry.” At the Department of Defense, computers are still hard-wired to be anti-gay.

You should sign a petition for Landen Gambill. Remember her?

I hope the women making history in Congress are calling out the Republicans pretending they voted for VAWA just to embarrass them. And someone should give a stern talking to to Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn for being a homophobe and voting against it because of LGBT inclusion. SMH.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering: the Advertising Standards Authority gives no fucks about your complaints and feelings regarding lesbian kisses in ads. (Hopefully the NFL feels the same way about players’ sexualities.) And in Russia, the bastards can’t get us down because there’s a lesbian magazine, Agens, launching in the wake of the gay propaganda law.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I have such a crush on Carly Rae Jepsen (I blame the bangs honestly) and this solidifies it

  2. Tony Perkins got his ass handed to him.

    Four for you, Soledad O’Brien. You go, Soledad. And none for homophobic assholes, bye.

  3. I don’t think there’s a gay gene but I do kind of wonder about it sometimes. My extended family (both mom and father’s side) seem to have an disproportionate amount of gayness going on.

    • I so hope that if there’s a gay gene or any other kind of tracable biological indicator (especially before birth) of queerness we’ll never find it, because I can’t imagine the consequences to be any good. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but it really scares me.

      • Agreed. The potential, horrible reactions and fallout from this are just..ugh yeah, I have no words.

      • I kind of agree with this. The proof of a “gay gene” (although I doubt it would change anything) would be a major flaw in the argument of those right-wing idiots that so love to say it’s a choice.

        At the same time, though, I’m sure they’ll be an idiot somewhere that would advocate for “fixing” or “treating” the gene.

        It’s the 21st century and people still refuse to make progress.

      • well, if the gay gene is discovered, I think people will try to treat it because of what happened when being born gay was suggested by sexologists and theorists and psychologists of the mid to late 1800’s… people started treating it with therapy, aversion therapy, lobotomies, shock treatment, all of which have now evolved (or dissolved) into pray the gay away (and other forms of violence) which is a form of psychology (medicine) disguised as “religious freedom”.

        The worst thing I can see happening is that parents will screen their unborn children for the gay gene and abort them. I could see this happening in many cultures (or subcultures).

        Our work is never done.

      • I agree completely. I think that if, in some future time, we had some machine, or scanner or whatnot that could be pointed at a person or baby and it would say PING! Gay! there would be this problem the first time it pointed to someone who was in a devoted and homosexual relationship and this magic Gene-detector said PING! Straight. Because it would happen, I believe there is far to much of a mixture of social and biological reasoning for who and what we are to whittle them down to a mere collection of proteins and inherited traits.

        I’m Trans*. I tell people “Maybe, I was Born this Way? But what if I wasn’t?” Why should the inability to be straight (despite the arguments assumption of trying SO hard) be seen as the sole acceptable justification for our status?

    • Well…I don’t have a lot of knowledge about genetics, other than its complicated as hell but I’d be very surprised if there was a gene that they could screen for. I suspect there’s a lot of other factor including hormones in the womb that are harder to detect.

      I don’t know. I definitely see the reasons behind not looking for a biological explanation for homosexuality because it can be used against us…but I’m also very curious lol.

  4. The flying while butch scenario has totally happened to me, but way, way less gracefully than in that article. Hate airports!

  5. ugh, the “flying while butch” article reminds me of the last time I flew anywhere, and of why I definitely don’t enjoy flying. I’ve definitely been called out in security lines and had to go through scanners and pat-downs more than once, but it doesn’t always stop there.

    last time, it happened after I handed my boarding pass (with a legally female name) to the airline employee at the gate to scan. She did so, said “There you go, sir”, but just as I took a step past, she gave me a double take and asked how old I was. I might look younger than my age, but apparently she thought I was young enough not to sit in an exit row. I told her my age, and the two young women behind me heard my voice. down the jetway, one of them kept saying (loud enough for me to hear) that the airline worker should’ve asked *what* I was, not how old I was.

    fortunately I didn’t wind up in the same row as them, or that would’ve been an interesting flight!

  6. last time i was at an airport i got a chest pat-down by a male TSA agent. yeah that was fun

  7. I don’t fly around the states a lot but does EVERYONE get patted down or have to go through the scanner thing?

    In Canada and Australia where I’ve done most of my flying they do random ones and I ALWAYS get picked. I think probably because I’m super unthreatening and I look like I won’t cause a ruckus about it. But they always let you know that you will be patted down by a same gender agent and I kinda have a thing for uniforms so I’m always like “AWWWW YUUUUSSSSS PAT ME DOWN”

  8. Whoa, the language used in the article about the trans people in Sweden is HORRIBLE. Maybe add a warning?

    • Yeah. The description of their “builds” also threw me. I hate when people do that. I think it’s some kind of way to assert that they weren’t really “fooled” by us because they can still tell us apart from “real” men/women if they look closely enough. Ugh.

  9. I am glad Soledad handed Perkins’ ass to him. However, as to the “coming out as a person of faith” stuff…

    I gotta say that, while I love the Christian Left (look them up on FB, wonderful people), I just do not understand LGBT people subscribing to a religion that has systematically and completely condemned us for like, forever. The ones who DO accept us are a complete minority. I think the bigger issue here is debunking that sort of stuff altogether, and realizing that these antiquated myths do much more harm than good. The best thing I ever did for myself with regards to all of this was the research that led me to atheism.

    • I am so on board with your views on organized religions. While I am an atheist as well, I do see the good that some specific spiritual views and practices can accomplish. Rituals can be good, the positive effects on mind and body as far as psychological shifts in how we see ourselves appears to be some kind of supernatural force,but I find that actual reality of a higher force or deity to be beside the point. If a set of rituals helps a person be more centered or become a happier individual, those things are not bad. But when they are used to damage or oppress they have to go. The dogma surrounding rituals and religion and the use of these strictures in the oppression of others is so very very bad.

      I try to see Queer folks being part of a religion that disdains them as similar to female identified people who buy into some of the more misogynistic views or tropes that are found in our society. I try. It’s still damn confusing because I don’t get it. There are massive amounts of pressure to conform to these things, and while we can try and show people what we think is right, freeing and egalitarian, we can’t push them to get it. We just have to give everyone their choice, even if they make the wrong one.

      • I like congregations like the Unitarian Universalists, and, as I mentioned, the Christian Left, who are trying to make things more accepting. However, I, like you, have no clue why LGBT people buy into this stuff. I also don’t know why so many people of color are such devout Christians, considering that the religion was forced upon our ancestors by slave masters at the expense of their own culture and heritages. Same with women- mainstream Abrahamic faiths are steeped in misogyny, much of it still practiced today. To me, that is nothing short of masochistic. To participate is to fuel and fund one’s own oppression.

  10. I love Soledad O’Brien. More everyday. She lives in my imaginary dream boarding house with Rachel Maddow.

    And now I want Jane Lynch rapping there too. :)

  11. Oh come on. Every butch ever has to tell airport security that they’re a girl for those machines. If that quote is remarkable to you, you’re either not butch or you never fly anywhere.

    It’s not for boobs, it’s just because they detect the metal in your bra. The first time this happened to me (like 2 years ago), the guy touched my back and asked what was there.

    I think it’s smart for the scanner to have different settings for male and female – the female one is a little more lenient, which fits with the lower likelihood of us being suicide bombers, otherwise psychotic, etc.

  12. If there’s a gay gene (and I’m not saying there is, but I’m also not saying there isn’t) I find it interesting that while I have inherited a lot of things (genes included) from my father, the only other person in my family who is openly something other than straight is on my mother’s side of the family. I find this fascinating, because in a lot of ways I am the polar opposite of a lot of my mother’s siblings (and my maternal relatives).

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