28 April 2010

Repeal DADT!

Today the Human Rights Campaign visited campus and, with the help of the Queer Student Union, set up a demonstration supporting the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. It was a lot of fun, and very rewarding. Hundreds of people signed, and I was even able to convince a few people people wary of repeal (which made me very happy :) )!

For the repeal rally we set up 800 flags to represent the 800 specialists dismissed due to Don't Ask Don't Tell. Overall, over 13,500 people have been dismissed, but that was deemed a few too many flags to put up on the Memorial Mall! And now I get to stop before I go onto my now well rehearsed speech about why we must repeal DADT.

It was a lot of fun. A press conference was held at one, and members of the local media were present. So far I have seen one media story, by WLFI (the local news station). I am in the background in several of the shots for the video. The other group at the end of the clip stopped by after their event, and we got TONS of signatures from them. (I really want to thank FACT. You are amazing! Keep up the good work!).

If you want to help repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, please visit the Take Action on HRC's DADT Repeal site.

EDIT: The story made it into both the Journal and Courier (Lafayette's Newspaper) and the Exponent (Purdue's Newspaper). The J&C has an article (which I am quoted in) and a photo gallery. The Exponent just had an article.

27 April 2010

Episcopalians and the LGBTQ Community

Last Thursday, Mario Melendez (President of the Episcopal Student Association), Reverend Charles Allen (Episcopal Priest at Grace Unlimited), and myself (as Vice President of the Queer Student Union) wrote a Guest Commentary for the Exponent entitled, "Some religions do love, accept LGBTQ community." This commentary was partly a part of the dialog on how religion needs to come to accept the LGBTQ community, and an advertisement for our "Ask A Priest" event in which people could ask questions about the LGBTQ community and the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church is a very Queer-friendly church, and has instrumental in global LGBTQ rights (see Reverend Desmond Tutu's article). While I am personally an Atheist, I recognize the importance of the Episcopal Church, and really feel it is an open and uplifting place. I rather enjoyed the event, and thought it was very enlightening for myself as a Non-Christian as well as the Christians in attendance.

Anyway, today we got our first counter opinion. I think it hit Mario a little stronger than it hit me. Probably for multiple reasons (His church was pretty much called a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing,  his beliefs are being corrupted into something evil by this person, I am somewhat desensitized to religious attacks on sexuality, et cetera). Anyway, I will add a link to the opinion when it is uploaded onto the Purdue Exponent's website.

I also want to comment that people need to be aware that as anti-LGBTQ sentiments become more fringe, those who hold them will become more radical (as they have been). These people are trying to protect their bigotry through any mode they have (religion, pseudoscience, liesvandalism, hate crimes, et cetera). Do not feed the trolls. We must show what LGBTQ issues are about - our bodies, our rights, our dignity, our love.

26 April 2010

It's a Boobquake!

While I am certain almost everybody reading my blog is already familiar with Boobquake, I just wanted to make a quick shout-out to Jen on doing an awesome job. While a few of her things have gone viral (like Atheist Barbie), Boobquake has reached epic proportions.

Here is a link to Jen's original article. Just go search on CNN or some other news agency or wherever if you want to see more news about it. The coverage has gone global, and is especially a hit in Canada. You can also buy Boobquake T-shirts with the proceeds going to charity!

Edit: CNN's list of Monday's Most Intriguing People includes Jen!

11 April 2010

A Peak at My Dreams

There are certain commonalities in my dreams, and so I just wanted to give people a peak at them. The other night I had a dream that I remember somewhat well, and so I thought it would be a good example of one of my dreams. They tend to deal with some opposing force (often times societally apocalyptic), often with me and a group of people working to help advance society (even if it is in a small, underground form).

This dream, for some reason, had me on a quest to find out the primary sexual orientations (of which all others are derived). In order to figure this out I had to go find some drag witches (allusion to the Fates?). They lived across the town, in a huge marble house. I made it there, and they were sitting in a sort of marble, iron, and glass sun-room. There were three of them (yet again, strengthening the case that they deal with the Fates. Yes, I did see Clash of the Titans recently, so it may be from there). The drag witches were very clear to list the four of the primary sexual orientations - lesbian/gay, bisexual, straight, and asexual. They then began to argue over whether the fifth was a sort of complex, esoteric orientation, or if it dealt with humanity having three main genders hardwired into us, or if it was something like demisexuality. It was decided that gay/lesbian dealt with attraction to the same gender, straight dealt with attraction to a different gender (regardless of which one(s) it is), and bisexual deals with attraction to all genders. It was also decided that omnisexuality and pansexuality are derived from bisexuality and that demisexuality (no sexual attraction until one is in a relationship) is derived from asexuality and demiasexuality (loss of sexual attraction when one gets in a relationship) is merely a form of other sexualities. Finally there was some sort of magical epiphany that the fifth primary sexual orientation is autosexual (This dealing with a sexuality based around oneself).

For some reason knowing the five primary sexual orientations made me a target, and the drag warlocks (I am guessing this comes from watching Charmed). I left the drag witches' house, and crossed a bridge. The drag warlocks tried to get me running across their lawn from a fraternity-like brick building. I then woke up.

02 April 2010

After Gender Identity and Expression

A lot of work has been going on to try and get Gender Identity and Expression added to the Nondiscrimination Policy. And when I say a lot of work, I mean YEARS. This campaign for its addition also thought of the next big thing for discrimination policies (at least in my opinion) - Genetic Information. So, a lot of people are probably wondering what happens once Gender Identity and Expression and Genetic Information make it into the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harrasment Policies at Purdue? Is the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harrassment Policy then inclusive, good, and we can pack our bags and move onto other issues?

It would be nice if this were the case, but it is not. Purdue's discrimination reporting procedures are a mess. I have read them and I still have no idea what one should do (my basic suggestion would be to go to the Dean of Students [excluding the call to the police if it is violent, etc] and have them direct you to the right place because it is SUCH A HUGE MESS). It is embarrassing that reporting discrimination is so complicated. To give you an idea, if discrimination occurs student-to-student, you go one place - unless it occurred in the resident halls in which case you go to another (unless that person is not a resident). If it is staff-to-student you go to one place - unless... professor-to-student... staff-to-staff... co-worker-to-co-worker... yeah, just a mess.

Now, to give you a quick idea (as I have class in a few minutes) of just how far behind Purdue is, here is it's archrival IU's reporting of harassment when Googled: "To report incidents of harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin, either call 855-4463 or write to trust@indiana.edu" (http://dsa.indiana.edu/ethics.html). Guess what I find when I Google Purdue's... this. I think that speaks for itself.