A header image showing a stick figure holding a star that says VP over its crotch. Text says VaginaPagina.com !Vulva la revolucion!
 
 
 

 

many-worlds:

spaceships-in-the-club:

missalockedmorifarty:

iwilleatyourenglish:

jellyroll22:

lemuffinmistress:

ruvy:

I think that people forget that condoms protect you from more than just pregnancy.

And there is no morning after pill for HIV.

ACTUALLY THERE IS.

It’s called post exposure prophylaxis.

this was on the site if you’re not able to click te link:

NO NO NO. FUCKING STOP. THIS IS SO, SO, SO WRONG. PEP IS NOT A MORNING AFTER PILL FOR HIV. IT IS A PROGRAM OF SEVERAL HARSH DRUGS THAT MUST BE TAKEN MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY FOR AT LEAST A MONTH. IF YOU MISS A SINGLE DOSE YOU HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF DEVELOPING HIV, AS THE HIV WILL BUILD UP IMMUNITY TO THE DRUGS AND RENDER THEM ALL VOID. IT COSTS AROUND $600-1,000 AND CAN HAVE SUCH INTENSE SIDE EFFECTS (EXTREME VOMITING, DIARRHEA, MIGRAINES, IMMUNE SYSTEM DAMAGE) THAT 40% OF PEOPLE WHO START THE PROGRAM BECOME SO SICK THEY HAVE TO STOP.

IT IS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO HIV IN THE WORKPLACE I.E. HEALTH CARE WORKERS. IT IS FOR CONTACT WITH CONTAMINATED BLOOD. IT IS NOT INTENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD UNSAFE SEX. AND IT SURE AS FUCK IS NOT ALWAYS EFFECTIVE. IT HAS A SUCCESS RATE OF 79%, WHICH IS NOT ENOUGH WHEN COMPARED TO THE 99.6%. SUCCESS RATE OF PROPERLY-USED CONDOMS. 15% OF PEOPLE WHO DO NOT USE CONDOMS WILL BE EXPOSED. STOP SPREADING MISINFORMATION, YOU’RE ENDANGERING LIVES. PLEASE SPREAD THIS CORRECTION.

The American CDC (Center for Disease Control, a government public health agency) has recommended that PEP be administered to anyone (not just health care workers) who fears they may have been exposed to HIV since 2005. Health care workers who are exposed through contact with contaminated blood receive the harshest form of PEP, while people who are exposed through comparatively low-risk sexual contact will not be required to undergo such an arduous treatment process. New drug cocktails such as Truvada are estimated to have prevention rates of upwards of 90%. PEP will often be covered by insurance in the U.S.A. and is free in the UK, or if you cannot afford it can be supplied for free through need-based supply programs.

Here is a link to several of the most informative rebuttals of the alarmist misinformation that iwilleatyourenglish is spreading.

Please do not uncritically reblog things just because someone is typing in all caps and making very declaratory and firm statements.

A lot of the research on this in queer communities is being done at Fenway Health (where they call it PrEP). It’s often used in couples where one partner is seropositive and the other is negative because of the relatively high risk of routine exposure. They have good, easy to understand information and infographics at that link

(Source: ruvyspast)

The racial and ethnic demographics of the Don’t Say Gay polling are of interest, too. 75% of those who identified as Hispanic said that teachers should be able to discuss other sexual orientations; 60% of Black respondents gave that answer; only 46% of White respondents thought so. And this is interesting to me because so many white liberals whisper to me: “You know, the Black community is so conservative on these issues.” Yeah, I don’t know anything of the kind. These anti-gay bills in TN come from a segment of the White community.

Chris Sanders (from the Tennessee Equality Project)

(Source: criticalqueer)

10 Ways to Support Your Gay Kid, Whether You Know You Have One or Not

masakhane:

Last month being Pride Month, several articles regarding what parents should say when their child comes out to them were published. In general, I think they had really great advice that basically boiled down to this: Don’t be an asshole. And that’s generally good advice for any situation, and something I try to remember every time I see my in-laws. However, as parents, I think we should do a lot better.

So here are some helpful hints for supporting your gay child before they ever come out to you. After all, parenting gay kids does not start when they come out. They’ve been gay since day one, whether you knew it or not.

1. Acknowledge that your child could be gay.

Any child born to any parent or adopted into any family could be gay. Why? Because they are human beings, and some humans are gay. That’s just a fact. And not acknowledging it doesn’t do anyone any favors.

2. Show your child that people being gay is A-OK with you.

Talking to your children is always good. I recommend it. Tell your children you believe in equality for all people. But talking can only do so much. Actions speak more loudly than words. Some examples of actions:

  • Take you family to Pride. You don’t have to be gay to participate in Pride events. At Pride, your child can see all different types of families, and your child can see you being an advocate just by showing up.
  • Donate to the Trevor Project, HRC, PFLAG or another LGBT organization with your child. Talk to them about why it is important to support organizations that promote equality and the equal treatment of all people.
  • Enjoy other LGBT events. Maybe your city has a chorus, a band, or art exhibits that involve the LGBT community. You can educate your kids and give them some culture. Double win!

3. Don’t lie about the people in your child’s life.

If you child has a favorite pair of gay uncles or aunts who live together and love one another, there is no shame in explaining the nature of their relationship to your kids. In my experience, kids get that people love each other. They don’t think it’s weird or wrong, unless they are taught it’s weird and wrong. And you aren’t teaching them about sex. It’s about love. It’s easy to say, “Toby and Sam love each other just like Mommy and Daddy do.” Love is a good thing.

4. Dress up your car in equality.

Due to the multitudes of bumper stickers available, there are thousands of ways to express yourself. It can be as simple as a blue equal symbol, or maybe a sticker that says, “Hate is not a family value.” My car is currently sporting one that says, “I Heart Equality.” It’s an easy way to show where you stand on the issue.

5. Watch your mouth.

Words and expressions like “faggot,” “dyke,” “fairy,” “lesbo,” “that’s so gay,” etc., are harmful. Don’t try to fool yourself by thinking they aren’t. Eliminate hate speech from your vocabulary. It is demeaning, and as a parent, you shouldn’t be OK with demeaning your own child.

6. Speak up.

If people are being homophobic jerks and you say nothing, that sends a definitive message, and not a good one. Open your mouth and call people out on their hate. Is it always comfortable? No. But a gay child needs to see their parents defending them, whether they have come out or not.

7. Let your kid be themselves.

Do you have a son who lives for musical theater and Project Runway? Great. Do you have a daughter who thinks dresses were invented by the devil? Great. Do either of these things mean your kid is gay? Of course not. But by supporting them, you are showing your child that they are perfect and loved just the way they are.

8. Listen to your kids.

If your kid tells you they have a crush on someone of the same gender, let them. Don’t freak out or jump to conclusions or tell them that they can’t have such a crush. Lots of kids who have same-sex crushes aren’t gay, but some of them are. Whatever your child is feeling is real and important. And little-kid crushes are adorable. Enjoy the adorableness. The rest will come in time. (Although it may happen sooner than you think.)

9. Fill in the gaps in your library.

Books like And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell, The Family Book by Todd Parr, andMy Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis and Suzanne DeSimone, just to name a few, can bring diversity into your house in fun and colorful ways that kids love. They can help teach that all different types of people and families are beautiful and worth celebrating.

10. Love your kids.

Loving your kids is the number-one job and responsibility of every parent. We chose to be parents. It’s one of the most wonderful, fabulous, frustrating, and rewarding roles in the world. It is our privilege to be someone’s mom or dad. And it’s a privilege that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

If parents do some of these things, then when a child does come out, hopefully it won’t be with fear and trepidation that you will reject them. It will simply be your child telling you something important about themselves. And if your kid is straight, you’ve taught them great lessons about equality. There’s no harm. After all, our kids our going to be who they are. Nothing you do or say can change that. But as parents, we can affect the way our children see themselves. I want my kids to know they are amazing.

And if your kid does come out to you, remember the advice that nearly always works: Don’t be an asshole.

This article can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Amelia/10-ways-to-support-your-gay-kid_b_3461146.html

[Posted by Ana, Masakhane Intern]

queerability:

Among those asked to describe the most important problem facing their lives right now:
LGBT youth identified 1. Non-accepting families (26%) 2. School/bullying problems (21%) 3. Fear of being out or open (18%)
Non-LGBT youth identified 1. Classes/exams/grades (25%) 2. College/career (14%) 3. Financial pressures related to college or job (11%)

queerability:

Among those asked to describe the most important problem facing their lives right now:

LGBT youth identified
1. Non-accepting families (26%)
2. School/bullying problems (21%)
3. Fear of being out or open (18%)

Non-LGBT youth identified
1. Classes/exams/grades (25%)
2. College/career (14%)
3. Financial pressures related to college or job (11%)

I’m tired of talking about how much HRC stinks

loveandzombies:

after taking a good, hard, critical look at hrc & what i believe it is doing right or (primarily) wrong, i wanted to spend a little more time & energy researching, supporting & actively involving myself in positive movements & organizations. i want to draw your attention to a few organizations & resources i know of:

obviously not all of these are local to me, but i’m privileged enough to live in a very active city with many organizations, probably many more i have not even heard of, & i am really grateful to have so many resources at my disposal. the thing is, i want the word out there. i want everyone talking about how fucking amazing the audre lorde project is & how immigration equality & the sylvia rivera law project can be best utilized by those who may not know how or where to look for help. i want them to know because we are all shouting it at the top of our lungs, because we are proud of our community & the action that is happening — i want to draw national attention to the great work that is being done around us all of the time. i want to celebrate the strength & passion & commitment this community has to social justice, advocacy & mental/physical/spiritual health & welfare. like…can we take a moment?

(Source: catiebat)

Recognize non-binary genders.

queerability:

Legal documents in the United States only recognize “male” and “female” as genders, leaving anyone who does not identify as one of these two genders with no option. Australia and New Zealand both allow an X in place of an M or an F on passports for this purpose, and the UK recognizes ‘Mx’ (pronounced “Mix”) as a gender-neutral title.

This petition asks the Obama administration to legally recognize genders outside of the male-female binary, and provide an option for these genders on all legal documents and records.

Please signal boost and sign this.

Girls Don't Count

I used to think I was getting away with something.

“Girls don’t count,” I’d say, running my fingers up her arm at the bar. “Don’t you know that?”

We both had boyfriends. Long-term boyfriends. Mine had introduced me to the concept.

“I wouldn’t feel threatened,” he’d say. “I know they could never compete.”

He meant that a woman, no matter how attached I got, could never “steal” me away from him. He meant that he’d only care about male penetration, about “sex” in the most typical terms. I was young and I didn’t value myself and I hadn’t been taught a lot about feminism or how relationships should work. I said nothing, because I wanted it to be true.

_____

We went on a date, she and I. We saw a movie and then she came over and we drank wine and watched TV and hooked up on the couch and fell asleep. We were drunk and we laughed. I held her.

The next morning, he was angry.

“I thought girls didn’t count,” I said.

“Yeah, but you like, went on a date,” he said.

“We saw a movie,” I replied. “She has a boyfriend.”

“It was a date,” he said. He was irritated.

_____

“How many people have you been with?,” they all ask, adding: “Girls don’t count.”

_____

These girls. I remember them. They happened. They were there with me. They had red hair and bright red lipstick and they wore Boston Red Sox hoodies and they loved Russian literature and they had big, wily pet dogs and they spent the night.

I talked to them at parties or met them in the dorms freshman year or they were friends of friends who stroked my hair and said, “I just think everyone’s a little bit bisexual, don’t you?”

I loved them. They were real and they shared themselves with me and we spent time together at thrift shops and in classes and at bars and at friends’ dinner parties. We held hands while other couples passed around a joint. We buried our faces in each other’s soft necks under the covers. These were relationships. These were people I was with.

“I want us to be monogamous,” men say. “But you know, obviously girls don’t count.”

_____

When did you first have sex?

It depends on what you mean. There was a girl in high school.

No, I mean your virginity. When did you lose it?

Oh.

_____

He is masturbating. I ask, “What do you want?” He says, “Tell me about when you were with your ex-girlfriend.”

Later, I say my ex-boyfriend’s name when telling a story about last year and he tells me, “You know, I could stand to hear less about him.”

_____

“I just think you’ll end up with a man in the end,” he says when we’re walking to a bar.

“That’s presumptuous,” I reply.

“I just feel like you will.”

“Because you’re threatened?”

“What?”

“Because it threatens you to know that I could one day not need a dick. That, god forbid, a woman who could end up with either actually chooses to disregard your precious penis.”

“Hey, take it easy. I was just giving you relationship advice.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

At the bar, our friends wonder why we aren’t speaking. Even he is confused by what happened. He doesn’t know what he did wrong.

_____

For a long time, I said nothing. Because if they thought it wasn’t cheating, who was I to argue? I had freedom. I was getting one over on them. I was winning.

They were real. They were real and they counted. They’re not shadows among the men I saw. But I wanted them to be. I wanted to avoid the consequences, to avoid thinking, to avoid wondering what it meant. These men, they told me what it meant: it meant nothing.

And I told other women this fallacy. I moved in to kiss their necks and ears and said, “Girls don’t count, don’t you know?”

And later, they counted. And later, I knew.

(Source: nananapua)

Women's Salon: The Drug-Dose Gender Gap

womenssalon:

image

Thanks to Pam L for passing this along - an important read!

Most sleeping pills are designed to knock you out for eight hours. When the Food and Drug Administration was evaluating a new short-acting pill for people to take when they wake up in the middle of the night, agency scientists wanted…

Also worth pointing out: many modern medical studies (especially in the US) are on how diseases and drugs affect white people. Though modern medical knowledge has come through the exploitation of the bodies of people of color, the unstated goal has generally been to apply that knowledge to nurturing white bodies. Likewise, how various treatments and ailments affect or present in trans* or genderqueer folks is seriously under-investigated. And because both these groups have been subject to a history of medical abuses, it’s hard to create studies and treatment options that investigate what they really need and want.

Dear Liberal Allies – what your college courses on oppression didn’t tell you

trungles:

I’m not angry or upset about anything in particular at the moment, but I thought I’d take a little time to write something out that had been bugging me about allies. It’s certainly not all-encompassing or totally comprehensive, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about in terms of being a good ally and a good neighbor, especially here on Tumblr.

Before you step in to help us out, I’d just like to clarify a couple things.

You and I, we may have taken the same seminars and maybe even read the same Audre Lorde excerpts or Ronald Takaki books, but know this: we learned very different things in very different ways 

For students of color, for gay students, for trans* students, for the children of immigrants and refugees, these classes aren’t always about learning new concepts when it pertains to us. It’s more about learning the names of things we already knew fairly intimately. Do you understand that? You learned it another way. You went in, you got this set of key words and a list of definitions. Your learning was, in all likelihood, “Here is this word. This is what this word means.”

For you, it was “Xenophobia: a strong fear or dislike of people from other countries.”

For us, it was “Xenophobia: the time that boy in my kindergarten class spat on me because I couldn’t speak English yet. Or when I saw that clerk yell at my mom in the grocery store because her English wasn’t clear enough. Or when USCIS had us confirm our American citizenship with the same set of papers seven times over the course of sixteen years because they wanted to confirm that we were, in fact, actual American citizens.”

For you, it was, “Racism: unfair treatment of people who belong to another race; violent behavior towards them.”

For us, it was, “Racism: that one time I saw that manager tell that sales girl to follow my dad around at Kohl’s. Or that one time my neighbor’s kid got shot by the police and they tried to cover it up by convincing everyone he was in a gang because he was Hmong, but we knew he wasn’t. Or that one time my dad told me I shouldn’t rollerblade to the library because I’m not white and it’s not safe for me.”

For you, it was, “Homophobia: a strong dislike or fear of homosexual people.”

For us, it was, “Homophobia: that time in the sixth grade when Ryan shoved me against a glass door and banged my face in it while yelling, ‘faggot!’ at me until the teacher stopped him. Or when my Catholic high school’s president told me that, though he loved me as a child of God, he still believed I was sinful when I suggested that we start a GSA.”

For you, it was: “Classism: prejudice or discrimination based on social class.”

For us, it was: “Classism: that one time when my best friend came over to hang out in high school and her parents didn’t want her to come over again because they didn’t like our neighborhood. Or that one time when my friends had no idea what food stamps looked like and I was too embarrassed to explain what they were.”

So while you were learning that these academically-framed phenomena were real problems, we were just getting little figurative nametags for awful things that we already knew. Your weekly vocabulary list was, to us, just a hollow shadow of our lived experiences.

So my point is this:

If you didn’t live an experience, then step aside. Because we knew this stuff before our professors told us what to call it. We learned it from the bottom up, you learned it from the top down, and that’s not even a metaphor.

When you step out of class, you get to be like, “Oh, awesome. I am learning how to be a good ally and a better human being. This will help me.” For us, it’s more like, “Ah, so that’s what they’re calling it nowadays. When exactly did they say change was going to come for us?”

So in practice, here’s what all this theory looks like: you don’t always have to speak. I mean, certainly, you should totally call someone out on their oppressive bullshit. But if you identify as male, you don’t get to tell people what is best for women as though you have that authority. If you’re white, you shouldn’t be trying to “uplift” people of color by the grace of your intellect or your words. Nobody’s looking to be ‘rescued’ or ‘pulled up from out of their unfortunate circumstances’ as you may be tempted to believe.

All anybody’s looking for in an ally is someone who knows that “empowerment” means taking a step aside in a place where you know you have privilege. And if it is, for example, a PoC-to-PoC conversation, a woman-to-woman conversation, a queer-to-queer conversation, etc. about this stuff, and that isn’t who you are, you don’t need to be chiming in.

Just take our word for it, let us talk, and let us vent. We’d like you to give us room, and if you have to be helpful, then help make room for us by giving up some of your proverbial social girth.

Because the bottom line is that our academia has made a commodity of our lived experiences as teaching moments for you. And if you think your academic knowledge is more valid than our lived experiences, then you’re definitely not part of the solution.

Much love.

Surviving the Holidays as Queer POC

girljanitor:

[excerpts; the whole article is awesome]

image

As a group that is routinely judged, shunned, and fighting for acceptance, we as LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) people are often pigeon-holed into playing the role of educator to the people that inflict the most pain on us, however inadvertently by our friends and family members (who some, or even most of the time really do mean well).

Given how heavily politicized LGBTI identities are (ie: constantly in the news as an issue for political debate) it’s challenging for our loved ones to get to know us as individual people versus some issue they’re not well-versed on or quite sure when and how to speak about.

Our suffering decreases our emotional capacity to offer straight people the space and time through which they can explore their own feelings, and get their questions answered, a stalemate. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.

[…]

image
I quickly learned that forcing people to confront the elephant in the room (and there were many — more masculine clothing, a crazy frohawk, new friends, a compulsive habit of pointing out which well-liked celebrities were gay/lesbian/bi) wasn’t going to bridge the divide I felt growing between me and my siblings, or my parents. I couldn’t sacrifice my mental health for their education about who I was; I needed someone or something else to do the job.

Back then (early 2000s), I didn’t have much to work with; most of the LGBTI films on Netflix, including the L Word featured mainly white privileged characters. But then, I discovered Saving Face, a film drama-comedy about two lesbian Chinese-American girls navigating family expectations about career and marriage. That film was the closest I had to reflecting the complexities of my identity as a queer person of color who was also an immigrant — another narrative that is also missing from mainstream media.

There’s something about media that lowers our defenses and makes it easier for us to learn, to accept, to connect. Yet, when we talk about “pushing for change”, we often leave out how much media and pop culture–and the narratives they depict we can relate to–humanize issues, and ultimately influence the people we love (and hope to be loved by).

In a recent study on the effects of fiction (storytelling), researchers assessed the mood and self-identification of readers before and after popular fiction novels, and found that the overall empathy i.e. ability to relate to (and, in fact, see themselves as) one of the characters, significantly increased.

What does this mean for queer people of color? Our friends and our families are more likely to relate to who we are through a novel, a film, a song than they are a blog post titled, “How to Be an LGBT Ally.” It doesn’t mean that non-fiction articles, political campaigns, blog post “call outs”, and legal advocacy, are less important strategies, but I dare say they may not be as relevant around the average holiday dinner table.

image

In the face of funding cuts for the arts, and the constant (and annoying) trivialization of media as a tool for advocacy by LGBTI activists, it’s easy to dismiss personal storytelling, fiction, film, even music as powerful tools to invoke empathy and not just “social change”, but the stronger, closer interpersonal relationships that bring about this change. Still, we owe it to ourselves to invest in the relationships that matter to us the most by daring to facilitate critical conversations (in plain language!) about who we really are. So why not give your relationships a fighting chance and give the gift of media this holiday season?

Surviving the Holidays as Queer POC (spectra)

(Source: a-spoon-is-born)