It is sometimes easy for me to loose sight of just how incredibly liberal my life and background are (despite my 2nd Amendment support). I was born into a liberal family, and raised in a liberal and LGBT-affirming faith, in a state whose very name conservatives use to epitomize everything they see as wrong with America. Moreover, I attended and (eventually) graduated from Hampshire College, one of the most liberal and frankly odd colleges out there.
Over the decade since I left Hampshire I've worked hard to broaden my horizons and understand that my perspective and experiences are not necessarily representative of other people's. Usually I think I do a pretty good job of it too.
Which is why I was so taken aback by this piece from Boston University's The Daily Free Press about the university halting the planned implementation of gender-neutral housing options for their students. I'll even admit that at first I didn't understand what I was reading.
As far as I know, there was never a time in the 40yrs Hampshire has been around when the overwhelming majority of on campus housing *wasn't* "gender-neutral." A student could of course, request assignment to a mono-gender hall, but there were very few of them, and keeping them filled was a challenge, at least when I was a member of the Housing Advisory Committee. Moreover, due to the bizarre layout of the dorm used by most 1st year students, having strangers off all genders passing through our bathrooms was a regular and accepted occurrence.
I cannot wrap my brain around why this would be an issue, or why despite students apparently having followed procedures properly, the university has chosen not to see it through at this time. Personally, as someone who is generally intimidated by people of the same gender, I find the whole idea of single gender housing pretty awful. And I cannot imagine how unpleasant it could be for trans* and genderqueer students. I know mixed-gender or gender-neutral housing on college campuses is controversial and some parents in particular have a hard time with it, I just can't understand *why.*
Of course these days I belong to a (different) LGBT-affirming faith, and live an open life as a queer/gay, poly, sex/kink educator and LGBT blogger. It's hardly a surprise that some mainstream issues don't make a lot of sense to me.
But in the hopes of expanding all our horizons, here's what you need to know today:
- "Instead of smallpox, plagues, drought and Conquistadors, the Republican decline will be traced to a stubborn refusal to adapt to a world where poor people and sick people and black people and brown people and female people and gay people count." h/t to Towleroad
- LGBT seniors continue to be on the front lines of the fight for fair and equal treatment, as they work for expanded options and equality in retirement programs, and LGBT welcoming assisted living.
- Joe My God has a roundup of reactions from the LGBT sociopolitical world to the announcement that the Supreme Court would hear cases on DOMA and Prop 8.
- Former UK Prime Minister John Majors has declared his support for allowing same-sex marriages to take place in UK churches. No church would be required to hold same-sex ceremonies under the proposed change in law.
- In Charlottesville, VA the local community held a vigil for a transgender teen who has been missing for over two weeks. (warning: article mis-genders her and uses her birth name, as someone notes in the comments)
- In the Ukraine, LGBT protesters marching in opposition to a proposed nation-wide "anti-gay propaganda" law were subjected to gas attacks by anti-LGBT counter-protesters.
- This round-up of LGBT inclusive holiday celebrations in Boston is heartening even if you neither live in that city, nor subscribe to the faiths participating.
- Despite LGBT "activity" being illegal in their own nation, LGBT Ethiopians are organizing to show solidarity and support to the Ugandan LGBT community as Uganda's legislative branched moves ever closer to passing the so-called "kill the gays" bill.
- LGBT activists in Florida are not racing to embrace former FL governor Charlie Crist's conversion to the Democratic party.
- For the first time Jet Magazine has included a male same-sex couple in their wedding announcements section, saying it "wasn't a calculated move at all. They are just a lovely couple." Jet had previously featured two lesbian couples last year.
- One Million Moms has finally seen the futility of trying to turn America against Ellen DeGeneres.
- Russian president Dmitry Medvedev does not support a nationwide "homosexual propaganda" law similar to the one in St. Petersburg, which drew international attention when Madonna ran afoul of it.
- I could fill an entire blog with the things Glee does horribly wrong when it comes to matters of equality and decency, but for now have a look at this excellent editorial about how Ryan Murphy's flagship show managed to add lesbians to the list of people disrespect by his writing staff.
- Judge Mary Yu married the first same-sex couple in Washington State Sunday, just after midnight. Because Washington getting marriage equality wasn't awesome and storybook enough already.
- New polling data shows support in Oregon, New Jersey, and Illinois for same-sex marriage in those states.
- Jeremy Hooper reminds us that DOMA was largely created and passed through the work of the FRC.
- Finally, an interesting piece of analysis from conservative columnist George Will on where the Supreme Court will come down on the issue of marriage equality. His insights aside, it's remarkable that all of the conservative thinkers on the panel see same-sex marriage as both inevitable and unremarkable.
(img src: "Fuck Gender Every Day" by Flickr user masukomi")