The Biskeptical Podcast #54: Omarosa Spills the Tea

Today on the show, we talk about the latest drama involving Omarosa and Trump. We talk about the tapes, the tweets, and how this is the new normal. We also talk about the recent Pennsylvania report about the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal because holy shit, there’s a lot to unpack here!

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Until Our Workplaces Are Safe, LGBTQ People Will Be Trapped In The Closet — My Latest for HuffPost

When I told my gay Uncle Frank I was bisexual, he said I was lucky to be coming out in the 2010s instead of the 1970s when he did.

He’s right in many ways. Since the Stonewall riots in 1969, the LGBTQ community has made tremendous progress in gaining visibility and equity thanks to the countless queer and trans activists who fought for their lives and freedom. Queer and trans visibility is everywhere now, from elected officials like Andrea Jenkins to musicians like Janelle Monáe to television shows like “Pose.” Things certainly have improved since the ’70s, when my uncle worried about not being able to get a job.

Yet even with the strides that have been made, many queer folks keep their pride private. According to a recent study from the Human Rights Campaign, nearly half of LGBTQ people are still in the closet, specifically in the workplace. Another recent HRC study reports that only 27 percent of LGBTQ youth felt comfortable to be out and open at school, and only 26 percent of them felt safe.

Unfortunately, even in 2018, our society still isn’t completely safe for LGBTQ people to live their lives in peace. Yes, we’ve gained more visibility, but visibility is a double-edged sword. As we gain more support for LGBTQ rights, we also become more vulnerable.

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #162: Activism in West Virginia with Tricia Shepherd

My guest for today is Tricia Shepherd. She’s the author of several LGBTQ-centered e-books—including “The Geek and the Prom King” and “Loving John Watson”—and is an active member of the West Virginia chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign. We’ve been Facebook friends for a couple of years now, and now I have her on the show to tell us her story.

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The Definition of Racism Doesn’t Really Matter — My Latest for Splice Today

Before I begin, I just have a few housekeeping items. First, as you’ll notice in the byline, my name is now Tris Mamone. Second, don’t let the title throw you off; the article is about how the debate over the “true definition” of racism isn’t doing anything to help solve institutional racism.

Now here are the obligatory intro paragraphs:

Once again, people are debating about whether people of color can be racist towards white people. It depends on how one defines “racism.” One side uses the sociological definition of racism, prejudice plus institutional power, and the other uses the dictionary definition, hatred towards people based on skin color. Which side is right? Does it even matter?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines racism in three ways: believing one race is superior to all others, a system of oppression based on skin color, and hating someone for the color of their skin. The first and third definitions are the most familiar, and the ones David French of the National Review used in a recent article about Sarah Jeong. “A powerless person’s hate may not harm the powerful,” he writes, “but it is still hate… The essence of bigotry is to look at the color of a person’s skin and, on that basis alone, make malignant judgments about his character or worth.”

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #161: Ranting about Facebook Live on Facebook

Today’s episode is the audio from a live Facebook video I did this past Sunday where I talk about Facebook arguments, how I always end up upsetting someone when I try to have a serious conversation about racism, and anxiety over asking people to come on my show.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #53: Religious Liberty My Ass!

Today on the show, we talk about some of the news stories from this past week, including the recent announcement of the Religious Liberty Task Force, the Paul Manafort trial, the most recent Facebook scandal involving election meddlers, and whether or not collusion is a crime. Needless to say, since it’s been a while since our last episode, we have a lot to say!

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Trolling is Tempting — My Latest for Splice Today

Every morning, at breakfast I check Twitter to see if Bari Weiss or any other writer I don’t like tweeted something that’ll make me mad. If they haven’t, then I check their likes to see if they liked any tweets that I don’t like, and then search on Twitter to see if anyone else hates these writers as much as I do. Finally I look at the clock, see that the morning is almost over, and think about hit pieces I can write about Weiss et al. while I brush my teeth and shave.

However, the other day, I thought, “Is this healthy? Isn’t Internet drama one of the things that fed into my drinking problem? Also, is hate-following all these classical liberal/libertarian pundits helping me write? Then what the hell am I doing?” I like to think I’m just getting ideas for future articles and motivating myself to make stronger arguments for progressive values, but maybe the opposite is happening. Maybe I’m just a troll.

Read the rest here.

And don’t worry, folks. I’m NOT joining the Intellectual Dark Web. I just get burned out real quickly on toxic Internet culture.

Bi Any Means Podcast #160: Humanist Legal Society with David Niose

My guest for today is David Niose. According to his bio, he is the legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (which is the legal arm of the American Humanist Association), running the AHLC’s Massachusetts office. His background includes experience in law and mass communication. Having practiced law in Massachusetts since 1990, Niose has also worked in print and broadcast media, taught both history and law, and written extensively on a wide array of issues. He is also the immediate past president of the American Humanist Association, and recently helped launched the Humanist Legal Society which seeks to promote humanist values in the law and throughout society. So today I have him on the show to talk about that.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #159: Escaping Islam with Zerin Firoze

My guest for today is Zerin Firoze. She’s an atheist from Bangladesh who faced death threats and got thrown out of her house simply for being an atheist. Thankfully she was able to move to the United States as a student, and she’s here with us today on the show to tell her story.

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I Miss Being Drunk — My Latest for Splice Today

No new Bi Any Means Podcast episode today, but I have this:

I’ve been sober for seven months now, but not in a row. The first lapse was in January, a month into recovery. I was still new to sobriety, so brushed it off and decided to try again. My second lapse in April almost cost me my life. Fed up with the world, I went into my parents’ liquor cabinet, opened up a brand new bottle of Jack, drank half of it, and then wrote, “I want to kill myself so bad right now” on Facebook. I don’t even remember writing it. The rest of the day was a blur: I recall getting a call from a friend to see if I was okay, me calling 911, getting interviewed by the paramedics when they arrived, and ending up in bed with my mom by my side. The next day I decided to take recovery more seriously, and tackle the underlying issues that fed into my addiction.

It’s almost four months since that incident, and I’ve made some progress. I got more serious about deconstructing the irrational beliefs that influenced my drinking using SMART Recovery, started attending a second weekly recovery group, and became more honest with my therapist. But I still miss being drunk. I miss feeling my muscles loosen up with that first sip, reality melting away, seeing the colors of the world blur like a Monet painting, and feeling more comfortably numb than Pink Floyd. There’s no need to slow down and rationalize things; I just fill up that 12 oz. tumbler with bourbon, and then it’s all aboard the Inebriation Express.

Read the rest here.