Bi Any Means Podcast #155: TransPunkRockGirl with Stevi Faithless

My guest for today is Stevi Faithless, host of the brand new podcast TransPunkRockGirl. Continuing my Pride Month theme of highlighting fellow LGBTQ podcasters, today I have her on the show to talk about her life and her show.

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The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson — My Latest for Splice Today

There would be no LGBTQ movement without Marsha P. Johnson. Together with Sylvia Rivera, she fought against the cops during the Stonewall riot, founded the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to keep trans people off the streets, and was a prominent AIDS activist. The NYPD ruled her 1992 death as a suicide, but everyone who knew her suspected she was murdered. Her case was never solved, but fellow trans activist Victoria Cruz investigated it herself in the 2017 Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.

Directed by David France, the film opens with archival footage of the memorial walk for Johnson down Christopher St. in New York City shortly after her body was found in the Hudson River, and then switches to the present day where Cruz and several other activists with the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) discuss the death of 21-year-old Brooklyn trans woman Islan Nettles. Cruz is about to retire after working with the AVP since 1997, but not until she finds out what happened to Johnson first. The film follows Cruz as she talks to Johnson’s siblings, her former roommate Randy Wicker, several other LGBTQ activists who knew Johnson, and retired detectives gathering whatever information she can get ahold of that would provide some closure.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #50: More Like Disasterpiece Cakeshop

Today on the show, we talk about last week’s SCOTUS ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, find out what exactly happened, and what it might mean for future civil rights cases. We also talk about the North Korea summit, all the wackiness that went down, and whether or not any progress will be made.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #154: The Interesting Life of Priss

My guest for today is Priss, host of the podcast The Interesting Life of Priss. Continuing my Pride Month theme of highlighting fellow LGBTQ podcasters, today I have Priss on the show to talk about her life and her show.

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I Wish I Had Learned LGBTQ History In School — My Latest for HuffPost

Growing up, I was fortunate to learn about the rich history of men and women who made a difference in the world throughout the centuries. My school made sure to teach us about extraordinary women like Sally Ride, Florence Nightingale and Eleanor Roosevelt. I lived in Prince George’s County, a predominantly black area of Maryland, so I was lucky to learn about inspiring figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth and more in my formative years.

Unfortunately in the 1990s, when I grew up, American society was just starting to get the message that being gay was OK, so none of my teachers acknowledged LGBTQ history. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old, working part time at a public library and doing my own research that I found out writers like Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman and James Baldwin were gay. I had learned much about them in my English classes, but I guess my teachers decided to skip that detail.

LGBTQ people have existed throughout history and made tremendous contributions to American culture, yet no one talked about them in school, and there were hardly any books available highlighting the brave queer and trans people who paved the way for the rest of us. If I had known about them, I might not have suffered through years of alienation, confusion and self-hatred. I would have learned to love and embrace my true self sooner.

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Will the Blue Wave Hit Maryland? — My Latest for Splice Today

The only good thing that’s come from the Trump administration is that progressives are inspired to get more involved in politics. From Indivisible groups to progressives running for office, many on the left sense a “blue wave” will sweep across the nation in this year’s elections, and take back both the Senate and House from the current Republican majority. Maryland is generally a blue state, but given that Republicans Gov. Larry Hogan and 1st District Rep. Andy Harris both have the fate of their respective seats in the hands of voters this November, many wonder if the blue wave will hit Maryland next.

Both Hogan and Harris have plenty of competition. Six Democrats hope to replace Harris’ seat in Congress: Michael Brown, Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Erik Lane, Michael Pullen, and Steve Worton. Galbraith was the first to announce her candidacy after the presidential election. As a single mother who also owns a small business, she finally got the chance to meet him and talk about his vocal opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). When she asked Harris whether or not he’s opposed to rising health care costs for women, he replied, “I don’t think most people would mind if women paid a little more for health insurance.” Healthcare is a major focus in Galbraith’s campaign.

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How Queerness Influences My Alcohol Addiction — My Latest for Ravishly

CN: Suicidal behavior, alcoholism

Alcohol was the antidepressant I felt I always wanted. There was no need to step back, breathe, count to ten, or do any of the other self-soothing techniques I picked up from 17 years worth of therapy. All I had to do was fill up my 12 oz. tumbler to the brim with bourbon, and I was set.

All the pain, anguish, fear, anxiety, anger, shame, and sensory overload just disappeared in a fog of inebriation. I didn’t care about any possible permanent liver damage or adverse reactions to my psychiatric medication; all I cared about was getting drunk every night. My therapist kept bringing up my drinking during our sessions together, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I finally found something that was working for me. Why screw up a good thing, right?

Unfortunately alcohol was starting to affect my life negatively.

I recorded episodes of my podcast drunk. I had trouble sleeping. I even switched from binge drinking just at night to binge drinking all day.

I knew I had to stop, so I started going to a weekly local SMART Recovery support group in December. Unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery uses cognitive behavioral therapy techniques instead of a list of 12 steps and does not require belief in a higher power. At first, everything was going well; they were teaching me how to confront the negative thoughts and irrational beliefs that led me to drink. A few weeks ago, however, I got tired of staying sober and tried to drink myself to death.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #153: Odd Atheist Friends with Erik Ryder

My guest for today is Erik Ryder. He’s a trans man from North Carolina who co-hosts the Odd Atheist Friends podcast with Matthew Maxon. For Pride Month, I want to showcase fellow LGBTQ podcasters, and so today we’re going to get to know Erik more.

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Why There’s No Straight Pride Month — My Latest for Splice Today

It’s Pride Month. A time to celebrate all things queer and trans, remember those who lost their lives in the struggle for human rights, and explain—again—to straight people why there’s no Straight Pride Month. This false equivalency boils down to the common misconception that LGBTQ people like myself are celebrating something we didn’t achieve through hard work, like being born with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity. What people fail to realize is we’re celebrating something we achieved: all the accomplishments the LGBTQ rights movement has made so far, and that we choose to love ourselves in the face of bigotry.

It’s not as though there is any shortage of current anti-LGBTQ bigotry. President Trump signed a religious freedom executive order last month that would, according to him, “help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.” Not only does it hurt church/state separation, but usually “right to exercise deeply/sincerely held religious beliefs” is code for “make it legal to deny services to LGBTQ people.” Case in point, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin recently signed such a bill into law that would permit faith-based adoption agencies to turn down same-sex couples seeking to adopt children, even though there’s no evidence that same-sex couples can’t be good parents.

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The Biskeptical Podcast #49: Ambien’s a Hell of a Drug

Today’s episode is a news roundup episode featuring stories that can be best described as hot messes. We’ll talk about Elon Musk’s war against the media, Roseanne Bar’s racist tweets, and why Starbucks’ racial sensitivity training might not work.

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