Bea Arthur, Caitlyn Jenner, and the EEOC Are Lookin’ Out For You This Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday Funday, cupcakes! I spent a bunch of time driving a car around yesterday, but that’s a big deal when I do it, see, because I am in the process of getting my license. So! I parallel parked a few times, just so everyone knows. I’m ready for the rest of my life, y’all. And basically for my NASCAR career.

Let’s Hear It For The (First Pair Of) Girls Women (To Be Married in Puerto Rico)

The first-ever same-sex wedding went down in Puerto Rico this week, and it just so happened that the lucky couple were two lovely ladies, both of whom are writers who pushed for marriage equality on the island. In other words, this is the part where we start chanting one of us, one of us one of us. 


Congratulations, Yolanda and Zulma! I’m sorry the only photo of your wedding I found online was of the valet parking and thus I chose a throwback instead.

We Won A Thing by a Matter of Interpretation

In a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this week, the organization clarified that discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


“[T]he question is not whether sexual orientation is explicitly listed in Title VII as a prohibited basis for employment actions. It is not,” the commission found. Instead, the commission stated that the question is the same as in any other Title VII sex discrimination case: “whether the agency has ‘relied on sex-based considerations’ or ‘take[n] gender into account’ when taking the challenged employment action.”

The commission found that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination for several reasons. Among the reasons, the commission stated, is because sexual orientation discrimination “necessarily entails treating an employee less favorably because of the employee’s sex” and “because it is associational discrimination on the basis of sex.”

After a review of the case law regarding similar challenges to employment practices alleging a violation of Title VII where the initial understanding of the law would not have included that coverage, the commission stated, “The courts have gone where the principles of Title VII have directed.”

“Our task is the same,” the decision found. “We therefore conclude that Complainant’s allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex. We further conclude that allegations of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation necessarily state a claim of discrimination on the basis of sex.”

A Homeless Shelter for LGBT Youth Named After Bea Arthur Will Soon Exist

The Ali Forney center is opening the doors of the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth Monday.


Bea Arthur bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney center in her will like a total boss, which made the project all the more possible.

Reminder That The ESPYs Happened And Made Us All Cry Happy Tears

Like, did you watch Caitlyn Jenner‘s ESPYs speech yet? It’s basically the best thing to happen in a good ol’ while.


I know I’m clear with my responsibility in going forward: to tell my story the right way, for me, to keep learning, to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated, and then more broadly, to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people’s differences.

When you’re done, we can all go back to ogling the USWNT players who were there and looking’ fly as all fuck.


These Are Waria Celebrating Ramadan

In Indonesia, waria (who fall under the transgender umbrella) celebrated Ramadan together as chosen family this year, just like every year.

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 08: Shinta Ratri, a leader of a Pesantren boarding school, Al-Fatah, for transgender people known as 'waria' prays during Ramadan on July 08, 2015 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. During the holy month of Ramadan the 'waria' community gather to break the fast and pray together. 'Waria' is a term derived from the words 'wanita' (woman) and 'pria' (man). The Koran school Al-Fatah was set back last year's by Shinta Ratri at her house as a place for waria to pray, after their first founder Maryani died. The school operates every Sunday. Islam strictly segregates men from women when praying, leaving no-where for 'the third sex' waria to pray before now. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)


No, but like, those two words tell you everything you need to know.


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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.

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  1. I knew Bea Arthur was a bad ass, but I didn’t know she was that much of a bad ass wow that is so amazing!!! And the sea bunnies! SEA. BUNNIES. How can I handle such a thing???

  2. You know, I normally don’t go for the dapper look all that much.

    But, DAMN, Megan Rapinoe

  3. Sea bunnies is the best possible thing to discover while waking up with your morning coffee.

  4. Okay so sea bunnies are actually Jorunna parva, a species of dorid nudibranch (yes, “nudi,” their name translates to “naked gills”) and they are super cool. Y’all have probably seen pictures of Glaucus atlanticus, which is another crazy-looking Pokemon-esque nudi. There is so much diversity between nudibranch species, they contain so many different colors and patterns. Some of them are mostly smooth-looking, aside from their exposed gills and rhinophores (bunny ears), and some are covered in bumps or spikes. AND THEIR EGGS. Their eggs look like those pink scrunchies that we looked ridiculous in when we were kids. Like, the first time I went on a dive and saw them I thought that some kid had come and tied a scrunchie around a rock and I was super pissed about littering. But anyway this was a really long way to say it’s great to see some of my favorite marine life showcased on my favorite website!

  5. That decision on Title VII makes complete sense: one is discriminated based on the sex of their (potential) partner(s). I’ve never understood how that argument hadn’t been made before.

  6. I’m afraid I’m feeling a little glass-half-empty about that EEOC ruling. I’ll be a hell of a lot happier when we get a solid Federal ENDA in place. Just sayin’.

    • oh yes, me too! definitely. i mean, it’s not at all the same as a specific law addressing this kind of stuff, nor is it as inclusive as it needs to be to truly protect everyone in the lgbt community. but it’s definitely a step in the right direction – and a good thing for lawmakers and activists alike to use to advance workplace protections overall!

    • ENDA is dead. Nobody is interested in reviving it. What people are advocating instead is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) that would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the protected categories, thereby prohibiting discrimination not only in employment (as ENDA would have done), but also housing and public accommodations.

      As for this EEOC opinion, remember that only one court so far has accepted this interpretation of Title VII as barring sexual orientation discrimination. Courts are supposed to give deference to the EEOC’s interpretation, but certainly aren’t bound by it. So obviously an express statute would be preferable.

  7. “…to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated, and then more broadly, to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people’s differences.”
    Then maybe stop being a Republican? Otherwise the only people you’ll be helping to be better treated and accepted are just like you…filthy rich and fucking white, who don’t ever have to worry about healthcare or housing or employment…
    I feel similarly about the Log Cabin Republicans. It makes zero sense and actually just makes me really angry.

    • I have hope for her. Back before I came out as being trans, I had built a toxic male persona out of survival, and part of that was being a militant anarcho-capitalist. As soon as I started letting myself be real, all of that crap dropped away.

      • To be honest, I don’t. When you’re that rich and that white, you’ll be just fine being a Republican. Like I said, money/race solves all the problems. It takes being cognizant that there are other people out there that aren’t as lucky as you are, and it takes giving a damn about them and realizing that your actions affect them.
        Based on the actions of the Jenner/Kardashian clan as a whole…yeah, no.

        • I could not agree with you more. So many of my LGBTQ friends don’t understand why I am over her and tired of hearing about her and from her all the damn time. This reminds me so much of my favorite Immortal Technique song.

          “In fact, I have more in common with most working and middle-class white people than I do with most rich black and Latino people. As much as racism bleeds America, we need to understand that classism is the real issue. Many of us are in the same boat and it’s sinking, while these bougie Mother-Fuckers ride on a luxury liner, and as long as we keep fighting over kicking people out of the little boat we’re all in, we’re gonna miss an opportunity to gain a better standard of living as a whole.”

          Immortal Technique – Poverty Of Philosophy

    • Just read her twitter feed or the comments on any article about her if you think she’s not subjected to the same ridicule and hatred as any other trans woman. Regardless of how much money she has, she’s still a human being, and still subject to the debilitating effects of societal transphobia. And if she uses her wealth and fame and the platform they give her to help other trans people, and advocate for trans rights (as she has said she’s going to do), then she isn’t a conservative Republican by definition. By the way, I checked, and there’s no record of her ever having given a penny to any Republican candidate or organization on either the state or federal level, so she’s certainly never been a Republican activist.

      I don’t know if any of you are trans women, but if you’re not, I’m sick and tired of cis people taking it upon themselves to trash her. Because you don’t get it.

      • You’re right, there’s no such thing as intersectionality. Being trans trumps all other privileges.
        OH WAIT.
        She quite literally made a point to stress that she was a Republican on a nationally televised, heavily watched (an understatement) interview. That’s Republican activism. And that’s throwing SO MANY PEOPLE under the bus. She doesn’t get a pass on bullshit just ’cause she’s trans. I don’t care if she’s not a conservative Republican. She’s attaching herself to a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, etc etc organization. The same one the Duggars are a part of, Donald Trump is a part of…
        It really irks me that people are holding her up as some kind of perfect role model/spokesperson when she’s just not. Problematic faves are still problematic. Good for her for coming out, but refusing to admit that she’s problematic is…problematic.
        So many issues that plague the LGBTQ community, she’s exempt from. Lack of access to healthcare (including GRS and hormones)? Not a problem. Housing insecurity/homelessness? Not a problem. Employment insecurity/unemployment? Not a problem. Even the media reaction has been relatively positive. I mean, the cover of Vanity Fair…something that women of color never see.
        Again, the Kardashian/Jenner clan has a pretty extensive history of being ridiculously problematic. See: Kylie and Kendall Jenner’s ongoing race problems.
        I’ll say it again: she’s throwing nearly every other trans woman under the bus (trans women of color)…as well as a good chunk of the rest of the LGBTQ community.
        As a gay woman of color, the Republican party directly harms me. Therefore, I have a right to have a problem with any public figure who aligns with them. Public figures, especially those who chose to be public figures, should be held to a higher standard. Just sayin’.
        Peace out.

        • I don’t think I’ve heard a single lGBTQ person claim that Caitlyn Jenner is an ideal spokeswomen for the trans community or a perfect ally to other marginalized groups. The fact that she apparently considers herself republican is very disapointing. That said, her recent actions suggest a genuine effort to use her platform for the greater good. She is helping bring the work of other trans women (many of them women of color like Laverne Cox) to an audience that would never seek it out on their own, and that’s a big deal.

          I also think you’re downplaying the challenges Jenner has faced. Yes, she is white and wealthy and those priviledges have made aspects of her life far easier than they would otherwise have been. However, she’s also a woman, trans, and queer, and grew up in a world where having any of those identities made you subject to even harsher discrimination than people face today. Despite her financial success and racial priviledge, she still had to hide an huge part of herself for 65 years before she felt safe enough to show the world her true self. I can only imagine how horrible that must have been.

          I don’t think anyone should get a free pass, no matter what they’ve been through. She should be called out whenever she says something problematic. I do, however, think it’s important to aknowledge people’s positive contributions as well as their mistakes. She’s doing some good work now, and I think that deserves to be recognized.

          • Exactly. I’m not trying to say she’s perfect or should be given a pass. But conversely, I don’t think the good she’s doing should be ignored either. And as Dialethia says, her wealth (which wasn’t there when she was younger) hasn’t insulated her from any of the non-financial difficulties of being gender dysphoric her whole life in a society that actively hates and ridicules trans people.

  8. Still not over the women’s world cup team.

    Wait, wait…

    Yep, still not over it.

    PS My mother just told me that defender Becky Sauerbrunn (rocking the blue dress on the left) went to my high school. Ahk!

    • “Still not over the women’s world cup team.

      Wait, wait…

      Yep, still not over it.”


    • Very exciting, Katie! Lori Chalupny went to my high school, so I know just how cool it feels. (And I just realized that you and I are both from the same area!) She actually came to talk to us after she played with the US women’s soccer team in the 2008 Olympics when they won the gold medal. One of my most favorite life experiences so far.

      And I don’t think I will ever be over the women’s world cup team.

  9. Am I the only one who think the “sea bunnies” look freaky as hell? I can’t stop scratching my face like all those little black spots somehow got all over me… :o

    Off to look at the USWNT to make it better.

    • wait! true story, i couldn’t decide if it was cute or terrifying, i had to ask the staff for input, you are not alone in this world

  10. It’ll be interesting to see how effective the EEOC ruling will be in the individual states who have thus far given no protection to the LGBTQ+ community against their employers.

  11. Yay Puerto Rico!!
    Jenner’s speech was heartwarming and very sincere. I look forward to seeing how she’s going to further contribute to the trans community.
    Also sea bunnies are adorable. What other cool things are in the ocean??

    • @dante So this may have been a rhetorical question, but there is so much amazingness happening in the ocean!!! If you are truly interested, there’s a really great book by Dr Ellen Prager called Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter. It’s written in a way that makes it accessible and easily understandable for people without much of a scientific education, and it’s full of fascinating information about some of the weirdest shit that goes on underwater. Also, I (clearly) love talking about marine life, so let me know if you have questions about anything! I will absolutely unleash my geekery all over the place.

      • @squidzilla DO YOU KNOW HOW HAPPY THIS MADE ME. Because while that was a rhetorical question, I am actually interested in marine life. And man, you DELIVERED. I will definitely have to check out that book. Many thanks for the recommendation! And I will keep that in mind if I ever have any pressing questions. ;)

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