World Blood Day, Oh the Irony.


Happy World Blood Donor Day! (You Still Can’t Donate).

While the husbands of men wounded in Sunday’s Orlando nightclub shooting are crying and praying, they can’t easily offer their spouses the one thing so many others can: their blood.

Defying federal policy, Patty Sheehan — Orlando’s lesbian city commissioner — announced after the shooting that she was recommending the city temporarily lift the Food and Drug Administration-mandated ban on blood donated from sexually-active gay and bisexual men. In response, Orlando hospitals appear to be welcoming donations from all queer men and transgender women — also included in the FDA ban — but it’s still murky whether the federal government will crack down on Sheehan’s directive and blood will actually get to the injured.

The Orlando massacre, in a grim coincidence, came two days before the World Health Organization’s World Blood Donor Day, observed today. While the mass shooting, the nation’s worst, briefly brought the FDA’s discriminatory policy to the world’s attention, it was quickly forgotten in the barrage of news updates about the Orlando killer and his victims.


The current prohibition has been in place since December, when the FDA amended its ban, so now instead of barring any male donors who had sex with men since 1977, the new rules turn away those who haven’t had gay sex in 12 months. For many, that’s still an outright ban on any gay or bisexual man, no matter the semantics.


GMHC and FCB Health joined together to launch a campaign called the Blood Equality campaign, which will plaster cities with posters that read, “My blood is type O, not type homo” and “My blood is type A, not type gay.”

Democratic legislators like Mike Quigley of Illinois, Barbara Lee of California, and out Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin also want the FDA to reconsider the ban, which the agency considers imperative to keeping the nation’s blood supply free of HIV. The three politicians disagree with the FDA’s assertion and jointly released the following statement late on Monday:

“The resiliency of the American people is always magnified after a tragedy, and we are witnessing that compassion as Floridians rally around the people of Orlando, and the local LGBT community, by lining up to donate much needed blood after Sunday’s horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub. However, we find it unacceptable that gay and bisexual men are banned from donating desperately needed blood in response to this tragedy. Blood donations are needed now more than ever, yet gay and bisexual men remain unable to donate blood due to an outdated and discriminatory FDA rule. For years, we have worked through both authorizing and appropriations committees to overturn the FDA’s donor referral policy for men who have sex with men. We’ve made progress; this past year, the FDA reversed a lifetime ban to a 12-month deferral policy. But this revision does not go far enough in ending an outdated policy that is medically and scientifically unwarranted and that perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes. Tragedies like the one we witnessed in the early morning hours on Sunday show how crucial it is for FDA to develop better blood donor policies that are based on science and on individual risk factors; that don’t unfairly single out one group of individuals; and that allow all healthy Americans to donate. Given the enormous response by the citizens of Orlando, including members of the LGBT community, to donate blood to help heal their community, the FDA should lift this prejudicial ban once and for all.”

Nations like Spain have ended blanket deferrals for gay and bisexual men, instead considering the sexual behavior of individuals when deciding who qualifies as a donor.

Full Story Here.

LGBT Movement Is Like Taliban, ‘Jeopardizes Freedom’

North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop.

North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop.

The Charlotte Business Journal received 152 emails of Rep. Dan Bishop, the architect of North Carolina’s HB 2.

The architect of the state’s controversial law to stop cities from extending non-discrimination protection to gay and transgender people insists no amount of protests and pressure could convince him to back down or soften his stance. And, when that architect — Rep. Dan Bishopisn’t debating the merits of the law known as House Bill 2 with constituents and critics, he is championing and celebrating those who support the measure.

“I don’t fear man. I fear God. So I won’t be backing down,” Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) stated in a message he sent to a Charlotte man who implored the lawmaker not to allow persistent opposition to the law to lead to concessions.


In the same email, Bishop described the pressure from critics as “brutal” and added, “I stepped in front of the train quite deliberately, but the beating is every bit as bad as I expected, and then some. I need the Lord’s help and your prayers.”


Bishop and fellow Republican lawmaker Rucho took umbrage when Charlotte real estate broker Rob Cochran criticized them as well as McCrory, Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore for passing HB 2.


Bishop and Rucho, in separate emails, rejected Cochran’s concerns.

“It is time for the business community to stand up and grow a back bone for what is a common sense bill,” Rucho responded.

“Stop being intimidated and extorted by the political correct police because there is no telling where this ends and the damage to our state and country. The large corporations are more concerned about offending the left wing extremists, their reputation and profits then (sic) they are about the rights of millions of woman (sic) and children. I have spent my entire elected career being a strong business advocate but after hearing the weak kneed moaning of business community, I think Bernie Sanders’s anti business philosophy has merit and your greed is despicable.”

Added Bishop: “Business skittishness is entirely the result of false media reports and activist grip on big corporations.”


A thank-you from a constituent instructed Bishop and his allies not to “cave in to the Politically Correct Taliban! Y’all should have all of the sane states to coordinate and pass these bills on the same day so one state does not have to stand up to these pompous asses alone.”

In reply, Bishop wrote, “I LOVE that idea. Taliban. Love that too. Not giving up. Ever.” A separate exchange with another supporter included a declaration by the lawmaker that “the LGBT movement jeopardizes freedom.”

Charlotte Business Journal has the full story.


Credit: Benedict Evans.

Credit: Benedict Evans.

Tailors Rae Tutera and Daniel Friedman show off their suits for transgender clients in a new documentary, Suited.

The Girls creator and star produced an HBO documentary chronicling the rise of the duo’s store, Bindle & Keep. Directed by Jason Benjamin, the film premieres June 20.

The film follows the stories of clients, many of whom are transgender, as they come into the shop to find a perfect outfit.

“They all have fascinating lives and do really interesting things. Their gender and their gender presentation is just really the tip of the iceberg of who they are,” said Dunham in an interview with W magazine.

For their Sundance premiere, the entire crew, including Dunham, wore suits made by the Brooklyn company.

“I just felt strong and beautiful and powerful, which was really cool and unexpected,” said Dunham.

Via Out. Bindle & Keep.

Dirty Fit: Positive Pedalers.

Jamil Eric Wilkins.

Jamil Eric Wilkins.

“I bike to stay ahead of my condition. I want to be an example that we can thrive with HIV and live a happy and healthy life.” — Jamil Eric Wilkins.

Andrew Wilson.

Andrew Wilson.

“Don’t let the words of others influence what you believe or the way you dress.” — Andrew Wilson

Thousands of cyclists and volunteer “roadies” on a 545-mile journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles will partake in “Red Dress Day,” an over-the-top and fun  AIDS/LifeCycle tradition where cyclists wear a red dress, representing a red AIDS-awareness ribbon, on wheels.

Continuing this mission to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life for people living with HIV or AIDS, YouTuber Davey Wavey has partnered with Positive Pedalers on the photo campaign, END STIGMA, to show that HIV-positive people are thriving with a positive status, not despite it. Comprised of repurposed bike parts and fabulous red costume, the images expand upon what “Red Dress Day” means for the riders on this inspiring and challenging ride through Callifornia.

“During my first ride, I noticed the big plus symbol on the PosPed’s jerseys and their tagline, Eliminating stigma through our positive public example,” said Wavey. “I was moved and impressed. Instead of surrendering to shame and stigma and hiding, these brave individuals are loudly saying, ‘Here I am!’ And showing the world that they’re not just surviving, but thriving.”

The Positive Pedalers (from left): CB Kirby, Andrew Wilson, Jamil Eric Wilkins, Larry Bryant, and Will Harrell.

The Positive Pedalers (from left): CB Kirby, Andrew Wilson, Jamil Eric Wilkins, Larry Bryant, and Will Harrell.

Full-frontal Fabulousness!

Save 10% with discount code “red” at
The Positive Pedalers:
Super special thank you to PosPeds member Blake Strasser for connecting DirtyFit with the incredible riders and supporters from BRAKING AIDS® Ride that modeled for this campaign.

Via Plus.

Strong Reactions.

Ellie, left, who is transgender, hugs her brother Ronnie. (Courtesy Ford family)

Ellie, left, who is transgender, hugs her brother Ronnie. (Courtesy Ford family)

Ron and Vanessa Ford are the parents of a 5-year-old transgender child, and they recently wrote for The Washington Post about why they appreciate and support the Obama administration’s directive to schools on accommodating transgender students.


For the Fords, the debate about bathroom access is really a debate about discrimination, and about whether the government will or will not sanction discrimination against their child.

“We are an interracial couple,” they wrote. “Fifty years ago, in many places across the country, it would have been legal to discriminate against us because, many people said, a fundamental part of who we are was somehow offensive and perverse. Our daughter is transgender. In many places across the country, it is legal to discriminate against her because, many people say, a fundamental part of who she is somehow offensive and perverse.”

We asked readers to weigh in on how the bathroom debate compares to earlier civil rights debates. There were many responses, representing the wide range of views and strong feelings that have characterized the discussion about transgender rights in America.

It was good to see mostly support from readers, but it wasn’t just support. I dislike reading the non-supportive contributions, but I think it’s important to keep a current insight into how people are not only viewing certain issues, but how they are viewing people. It seems to me that in such views, beyond all the regular reasons for being anti and upset, there’s a distinct current of “no, not human”. This is othering, but it’s taking on an ugly extremism, with people even citing the violence directed at transgender people as a reason to refuse gender dysphoria being real, and gender affirmation as being absolutely wrong. Then there are those who are not concerned with actual people at all, just upset at what they see as co-opting the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.

[Read more…]

Fighting for womens’ rights — the unborn womens’ rights.

Scottie Nell Hughes talks to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on June 8, 2016. (YouTube)

Scottie Nell Hughes talks to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on June 8, 2016. (YouTube)

Tea Party radio host and Donald Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes argued on Wednesday that the Republican candidate would make a better president for women who haven’t even been born yet.

“We actually are fighting for womens’ rights — the unborn womens’ rights,” she told former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D). “We are pro-life for a reason. We want all women to have the chance to live. And men as well. So yes, I consider him to be very feminist when it comes to the pro-life era.”

I guess all you men should be happy you made afterthought status. Well, the unborn men at any rate. I don’t think living, breathing people are counting for much here.

The discussion then circled back to womens’ health care, with Hughes saying that that Trump would improve health care choices for women by replacing the Affordable Care Act — a.k.a “Obamacare” — with a more “competitive” system that would allow states to create their own system.

Oh, that will work well. uStates has such a great track record of coordinated, cohesive social programs and safety nets across all states. How deluded do you have to be to say such utter shite with a straight face? I suppose having a blank brain helps.

“You need to separate womens’ health care from abortion,” Hughes responded. “If they are sitting there doing tax-funded abortions, those should be shut down.”

Oh, when is this going to stop? Federal funding is not used to perform abortions. How many times has this been said now? Emphasized over and over and over.

Via Raw Story.

Helen Chavez has walked on.

Helen and Cesar Chavez with six of their eight children in 1969 at the United Farm Workers’ “Forty Acres” property outside Delano. Standing from left are Anna, Eloise and Sylvia. Seated from left are Paul, Elizabeth and Anthony. (United Farm Workers)

Helen and Cesar Chavez with six of their eight children in 1969 at the United Farm Workers’ “Forty Acres” property outside Delano. Standing from left are Anna, Eloise and Sylvia. Seated from left are Paul, Elizabeth and Anthony. (United Farm Workers)

Helen Chavez, the widow of Cesar Chavez, who aided the farmworkers union her husband founded by keeping the books, walking the picket line and being arrested — all while raising their eight children — died Monday at a Bakersfield, Calif., hospital. She was 88.

A statement from the Cesar Chavez Foundation said she died of natural causes and was surrounded by family members.

Though notoriously reticent and uncomfortable with media attention, Chavez sometimes found herself in the spotlight alongside her husband, who led the United Farm Workers of America for 31 years. In 1978 she was arrested and convicted with her husband for picketing a cantaloupe field where workers were represented by the Teamsters Union.

Yet at the height of the movement, she remained in her husband’s shadow. She seemed to push past nervousness whenever she spoke publicly. “I want to see justice for the farmworkers,” she told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in 1976. “I was a farmworker and I know what it is like to work in the fields.”

The Chavez’s were another major window for me, in early life. They helped me to see past my own privilege, and I was honoured to help work with and for their causes when I was a teenager. Goodbye, Helen, and thank you.

Full Story Here.

Norway Moves Ahead on Trans Rights.

A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011. © 2011 Reuters

A general view inside the Norwegian parliament in Oslo August 1, 2011.
© 2011 Reuters

Thanks to a new healthcare law voted in by Norway’s Parliament yesterday, the country’s transgender people will be able to self-declare their appropriate legal gender. In the past, they needed to undergo compulsory psychiatric evaluations, diagnoses, and sterilization surgeries in order to be legally recognized as who they are.

The vote makes Norway only Europe’s fourth country to separate medical and legal processes for legally recognizing transgender people.

Already in Denmark, Ireland, and Malta (following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights), transgender people can legally self-declare their own gender free of any medical assessment or procedures.


Norway’s new law was introduced in parliament by the Ministry of Health. Healthcare professionals have an important role providing affirmative care for transgender people, free from discrimination and to the highest standard possible. But the process for legal recognition of gender identity should be separate from any medical interventions.

Since the 1970s, Norway has required that the Oslo University Hospital certify to the Norwegian Tax Administration that a “real sex conversion” – based on surgeries and psychiatric evaluations – had taken place. This subjected transgender Norwegians to a bureaucratic nightmare while simultaneously stripping them of their autonomy.

Forty-one states in Europe have legal gender recognition provisions in place. Thirty-five of them require a psychiatric diagnosis to obtain recognition. Twenty-four require sterilisation before recognizing gender identity.

Legal gender recognition has been gaining global momentum as governments start to uphold their commitment to the core idea that the state or other actors will not decide for people who they are.

Countries like Norway are charting a path others should follow. This basic legal dignity cannot come a moment too soon for a minority that shoulders a disproportionate burden of violence, discrimination, and negative health consequences often stemming from the lack of recognition before the law.

Kyle Knight has the Full Story.

I don’t want to sound like a victim, but I’m a victim.


Former Major League Baseball player Curt Schilling, who was recently fired from his ESPN analyst position for a transphobic Facebook post, joined conservative radio host Rick Wiles on his show on May 18, where he attacked ESPN and its parent company, Disney, claiming that his firing was just another case of white Christians being marginalized in America.

“I don’t want to sound like a victim because I’m not trying to sound like a victim but I think the only thing people now acknowledge publicly is that it’s okay to infringe upon or talk down on white Christians,” Schilling said.

“We all knew this was coming,” he continued. “The Scripture’s pretty clear on what’s gonna happen with us, to us, and about us in, you know, many parts of the Bible.”


“The only positive I’ve seen in this administration is the sale of firearms has gone through the roof in the last seven and a half years because law-abiding citizens are arming themselves to protect themselves from what feels to be every bit that the tyrannical government, the Second Amendment was created to protect us against,” Schilling said.

Wiles claimed that “the left is pushing us towards civil war and they don’t realize we have all the guns.”

“The left is pushing a civil war that they would never fight,” Schilling said. “They don’t have the guts to stand up.” He then claimed the left wants the government to fight in the civil war for them, as, unlike conservatives, “they want the government to do everything for them.”

Right Wing Watch has the full rant.


Stuart Shepard. Family Policy Alliance.

Stuart Shepard, of Family Policy Alliance, descended into incoherence when trying to express how much transgender people are victimizing and oppressing all the normal humans.

Shepard claimed that transgender people reject the existence of a God who creates everyone with purpose in mind. “When you reject the idea of the ability to know what’s true, you’re essentially rejecting God,” he said. “You’re saying, ‘You put me in the wrong body,’ if you accept that there’s a God, or, ‘There can’t possibly be a God so none of this matters and everything is fluid and unknowable therefore.’”


Regarding the federal government’s protection of transgender individuals’ rights, Shepard said, “All of these, I mean every time you see it, they say, ‘Well, this is about discrimination.’ Well, their solution is to discriminate against all of us who don’t accept that point of view. It is a discriminatory act that they’re proposing, but they don’t even see it as that.”

He said of transgender people, “They just can’t get to that view of the world to realize that their own actions are discriminatory at the most private level possible, with the other humans that we share this country with.”

Ultimately, Shepard said, accepting transgender rights will undermine the traditional family structure and create chaos. “It comes down to this rejection of everything that’s come before, the idea of mom and dad and male and female and marriage or not married, about all of those things, they want to throw it all out,” he said. “…They want to bring us to a state, essentially of chaos where whatever you feel about anything is acceptable, and we all just think and feel the way that we do about everything, including the most foundational elements of culture and society: the family.”

“There is a deeper question here of, ‘What can we know is true if you can’t even know whether your child is a boy or a girl, what can you know?” Shepard said. “I mean, what’s left that is knowable? And that’s where we’ve gone. We’ve gone from an understanding of everything to be found through science to this understanding of, ‘Everything I know is what I feel. I feel this way. Therefore, it is. And you can have your own feelings and feel the way you do.’”

Hey, Stuart, about knowing the gender of your child? It’s pretty easy, you just listen to your child, they know what gender they are. There are good parents everywhere who could have clued you into that little bit of knowledge. As for this “understanding of everything to be found through science”, how did science get in the word salad? I thought this was all about god. You should stick with god, Stuart. You really wouldn’t like what science has to say about, well, pretty much everything.

Right Wing Watch has the full word salad.

Eeeeeee, Bloody Good Goodies!

A wonderful box of delights from Marcus Ranum has been picked up. Handmade soap (more importantly, bloody soap!), handmade cream, handmade incense, which I’m burning now – it’s intoxicating, everything beautifully wrapped with tags. Going by my experience, pestering Marcus for delicious and fun things is seriously worth it. Thank you so very much, Marcus!



Look Past Pink And Blue Campaign.


New York City Commission on Human Rights

“Use the restroom consistent with who you are,” say the ads, sponsored by the New York City Commission on Human Rights. They will appear in subway cars, bus shelters, phone booths, newspapers, and more. The ads will also run in ethnic newspapers in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, and Bengali.

“In NYC, it’s the law,” the ads say. “No questions asked.”

The campaign, which will cost $265,000, comes after transgender people filed complaints with the city about being barred from restrooms and facing other types of discrimination in places of public accommodation.

Seth Hoy, spokesperson for the Commission on Human Rights, told BuzzFeed News in a statement that the agency “has investigated such cases in the past and continues to receive and investigate complaints where individuals are harassed or denied entry to restrooms because of their actual or perceived gender identity.”

That sort of discrimination is illegal in New York City.


New York City Commission on Human Rights

In December, the commission released enforcement guidance on gender identity protections under the city’s 2002 nondiscrimination law, making clear that transgender people are entitled to access restrooms consistent with their gender.

Mayor Bill de Blasio followed up in March with an executive order directing agencies to provide access to single­-sex facilities without requiring people to show identification or other documents that verify their gender.

The ads feature trans New Yorkers, including Alisha King and Charles Solidum.

“Bathroom discrimination is a regular occurrence for the transgender community,” King said in a statement. “So much so that many of us avoid even using public restrooms to begin with. I sincerely hope these ads help people understand that transgender people are just people just like you. We just want to use the restroom safely and be treated with respect.”

Via Buzzfeed.

Mourning Contraception.


Griswold Vigils to Be Hosted Around the State!
Every year pro-lifers throughout Wisconsin mark the anniversary of the June 7, 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut U.S. Supreme Court decision with prayer vigils at local birth control centers. The landmark Griswold decision paved the way for abortion on demand in America by legalizing contraception and defining the so-called “right to privacy” upon which the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was based.


In an email to members yesterday, the anti-abortion group Pro-Life Wisconsin announced the latest round of its annual “prayer vigils at local birth control centers” marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which struck down laws banning married women from accessing birth control.

Pro-Life Wisconsin, which advocates for a fetal “personhood” amendment in the state that would ban abortion with no exceptions, boasts that in contrast to the state’s National Right to Life Committee affiliate, it “opposes all forms of artificial birth control.”

I cannot express the depth of my disgust for these people, and those with similar views. It’s not enough to try and remove every person’s right to bodily autonomy, no. You want to make sure that people are slaves to their reproductive systems. Nosiness isn’t a virtue, and these people take it to despicable lengths. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how my personal reproductive choices could possibly matter to people I don’t know, and will never know. What kind of an evil person do you have to be, to take enjoyment and satisfaction from the thought that you might be able to shut down bodily autonomy rights? You folks are a fucktonne nastier than the bloodthirsty, psychopathic god you worship, who, by the way, didn’t really have a problem with abortion.

While looking at their announcement for vigils mourning contraception, I noticed an ad for a coffee company, Lifeboat Coffee, where there’s a donation to your favourite group of evil, anti-life assholes every time you purchase coffee.


1. All human life is sacred, beautiful and deserving of protection from natural conception to natural death. No exceptions & no compromise.

2. Our coffees must be ethically sourced, sustainable and of superior quality and taste.

3. We’ll give 10% of every purchase back to YOUR favorite life-affirming charity. 


Our founder and President, John Lillis, (known affectionately as: The Skipper), is married and he and his wife have been blessed with seven children. He is, in fact, a proto-survivor of America’s abortion-holocaust, being born and abandoned (left for adoption), in San Francisco at the end of August of 1967, some five-months after the California legislature passed the Therapeutic Abortion Act!  This is personal.

Personal. Right. I’d dearly like to to make Mind Your Own Fucking Business a commandment. One of the items you can purchase from the anti-life coffee store is an incredibly tacky little doll, fully kitsched out, so you can spiritually adopt an unborn child. Yep.

This is a great opportunity to Spiritually Adopt an unborn child who is at-risk for abortion!  Along with your gorgeous ornament, you’ll receive an Adoption Certificate where you can Name and Pray for this little-one!  What an experience! Add to that this hand-designed ornament is made by legendary doll maker Yolonda Bello and is featured here exclusively!  This pro-life ornament stands 8″ tall and is wrapped with a vine over a brass stand with the baby swaddled in cotton inside the glass ornament!  Proudly display your Spiritual Adoption Certificate and it makes a great conversation piece!

Yes, what an experience! What. The. Fuck.


The certificate of adoption reads: On this day______, I___________ do spiritually adopt and name this child___________ I will pray and intercede for this child. And I will be ever mindful of how great a gift life is and how precious this child.

Well. That should take care of the problem of all those medical decisions being made (that are none of your business), right? After all, your god is mighty and all that stuff, so you get everyone to buy adopt a dolly, and pray. Everything is settled!

Via Right Wing Watch.

Pink. Amazing, Miraculous Pink.

Saad sent this fine example of everyday patriarchy, and the Power of Pink™:


Okay, the only actual difference I see here is the pill colour. Orange in the standard package, pink in the special Pink Power package. Oh, wait, the Pink Power states it’s for sensitive stomachs. Going by the handy dandy coding, this means only women have sensitive stomachs. Sorry men, you can’t have one of those. There’s a bit more interesting coding, too. The standard package: Gentle, predictable overnight relief. The Pink Power package: Gentle, dependable relief for sensitive stomachs. Women aren’t interested in predictable, no. They want dependable. Got to have that specifically coded assurance of stability and security, a pat on the hand, a pink promise you’ll be taken care of, sensitively.

Jesus, what a load of shit. A bright pink load of shit.