Bi Any Means Podcast Bonus Episode: We’re All Complicit

Because I already booked this week’s guest before the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, I took a page from Marissa McCool’s book and decided to do a special bonus episode, free of charge to the patrons, to talk about what happened.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast Bonus Episode: We’re All Complicit” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #111: Feminism, Sexuality, and Humanism with Greta Christina

My guest for today is writer and activist Greta Christina. She’s the author of several books including “Why are You Atheists So Angry?”, “Coming Out Atheist,” “Comforting Thoughts about Death that Have Nothing to Do with God,” and “The Way of the Heathen.” She’s also a blogger who currently blogs at The Orbit. Today we’re going to talk about her writing, feminism, and humanist sexual ethics.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #111: Feminism, Sexuality, and Humanism with Greta Christina” on Spreaker.
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Bi Any Means Podcast #110: WTF is Genderqueer? – My Talk at #ahacon2017

Today’s the day you’ve all be waiting for. The American Humanist Association finally released the video for my “WTF is Genderqueer” talk, and today’s episode is the audio from that. I’ll include the video below for those who want to see it as well.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #110: WTF is Genderqueer? – My Talk at #ahacon2017” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #109: Catching Up with Marissa Alexa McCool

Returning to the show today is Marissa Alexa McCool. She’s the host of the Inciting Incident podcast, and co-host of the Cis Are Getting Out Of Hand and Doubting Dogma. She’s also the author of several books, including her latest one “Voice in the Dark.” A lot has happened since Marissa was last on the show back in February, so today we’re going to find out what she’s been up to.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #109: Catching Up with Marissa Alexa McCool” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #106: Dispatches from Standing Rock with Desiree Kane

My guest for today is journalist and activist Desiree Kane. She’s is a Miwok woman, multi-media journalist, and a live-media event producer. Her body of journalistic work ranges widely, including a short form documentary on coal on the Navajo Nation for VICE News, photojournalism and writing for Yes! Magazine, her travel + tech column for nearly 3 years at Creative Loafing, reporting on an Indigenous Women’s Treaty Signing in Paris during the COP21 in Earth Island Journal, and writing and producing a multi-media exposé detailing immigrant detention in Aurora, CO for Shadowproof. She also spent 7 months at Standing Rock, so today we’re going to hear all about it.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #106: Dispatches from Standing Rock with Desiree Kane” on Spreaker.

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Respectability Politics, Not Identity Politics, Are Hurting Secular Activism –Latest Splice Today Article

A couple of weeks ago I went to the 76th annual American Humanist Association conference to give a talk called “WTF is Genderqueer?” They loved it! I lost track of how many people came up afterwards and thanked me for explaining it in a way they could understand. The conference also gave me the chance to catch up with old friends Sincere Kirabo, Matthew Facciani, and Diane Burkholder; meet online friends for the first time like Ashton P. Woods, Conor Robinson, and Desiree Kane; and make new friends like Rajani Gudlavalleti and Greta Christina. It was a great weekend that recharged my activist batteries, and made me feel accepted in the broader secular humanist movement.

Unfortunately, not everyone there received the same amount of love.

Several talks and presentations focused on racial justice, and while I thought they were all terrific, not everyone agreed. Not only were there white tears during Q&A sessions (which are always expected), but apparently someone on the AHA board walked out of Woods’ talk because they “didn’t want to hear another angry black man.” Allegedly this same individual gave Gudlavalleti a lot of shit about her presentation on racial justice with Robinson (who didn’t receive any push back even though he said the same thing Gudlavalleti did). Also, Kane (who spent seven months at Standing Rock) told me someone said to her, “If you all at Standing Rock didn’t burn stuff and leave so much garbage behind, maybe the cops wouldn’t have shot rubber bullets at you.”

If you spend enough time on YouTube, you’d be convinced “identity politics” are ruining secular activism. I disagree: respectability politics are the real culprit.

Click here to read the rest.

Thoughts on Accountability

Around this time last year, I got called for some shit and reacted poorly. Looking back, I realize I didn’t take the time to actually listen to what people were trying to tell me. In fact, even when I wrote my public apology, I was too busy trying to make myself look good. But I took some time off from blogging and read some articles about accountability that really helped me out. I don’t want to do a big dramatic speech about how much I’ve changed; I’d rather have my actions speak for me. I will say this, though. One of the people that called me out later sent me a private message and said I’ve really changed since that incident, so I guess I’m doing alright.

I mention all this because the latest episode of The Inciting Incident got me thinking about accountability. Marissa interviews Gleb Tsipursky about the Pro-Truth Pledge, and how to hold people accountable. According to Tsipursky, the way they hold people accountable is they first privately message someone who says something not true on social media. The more the person backs down, the more public the call-outs get. It sounds like a nice counter-approach to so-called “call out culture,” although I’m not even sure what that term means. I’ve seen call-outs be abused, but I’ve also seen people (like me) use the term to not take responsibility.

Funny thing is I’ve seen toxic call-outs not just among some social justice activists, but also in the Church. In fact, I was once engaged to a woman from a conservative Calvinist family who regularly berated me whenever I said something on Facebook they didn’t like. Whenever I criticized George W. Bush, they would always respond, “Where do you get your information? The mainstream media? Stop it!” It was a very thought-policing environment where I constantly felt like I had no agency, and so one reason why I reacted so poorly to being legitimately called out last year was because I felt they were doing the same thing. I didn’t realize I was wrong until after I talked to a friend privately, and he explained to me what was going on.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble now, so let me wrap things up with a few final thoughts. For starters, I like Tsipursky’s approach of either privately explaining to someone why they’re wrong or leaving a comment on someone’s Facebook post as a first step. This definitely works for me; I’ve had friends comment on problematic posts of mine explaining why they’re problematic, and I was able to change my mind before things got out of hand. Second, if someone tells you you’ve said something problematic, don’t automatically start flogging yourself for penance. It just tells everyone you’re more interested in your facade than changing your mind. Take time to listen to what the other person has to say, and then say, “Thank you for letting me know. I’ll definitely think about it.” Third, when you say, “I’ll think about it,” actually think about it, don’t just say it! If you’re like me, you have problems processing information, so stepping back and thinking about criticism is a good way to process things without being reactionary.

If anyone has any more tips or thoughts, let me know in the comment section.

Bi Any Means Podcast #105: Race, Harm Reduction, and Humanism with Rajani Gudlavalleti

My guest for today is Rajani Gudlavalleti, racial equity trainer and board member of the Foundation Beyond Belief. Here’s what her bio says: “Rajani Gudlavalleti is a second-generation, South Indian-American queer humanist woman residing in Baltimore, MD. Rajani works at the intersections of social justice, public health, and the legal system, providing contract and consulting services as an organizer, evaluator, trainer and writer. Currently, she is a community organizer for the BRIDGES Coalition for safe drug consumption spaces in Baltimore City, and a facilitator with Baltimore Racial Justice Action. Rajani co-founded Baltimore Asian Resistance in Solidarity in February 2015, and explores her multiple intersecting identities on her website, charmingly-hyphenated.com.

In March 2016, Rajani joined the board of Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) bringing with her over a decade of experience in social justice work. FBB provides humanists opportunities to engage in service work, such as volunteerism and giving, and advocates for compassionate secular action throughout the world.” So today we’re going to get to know Rajani and all the stuff she’s doing.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #105: Race, Harm Reduction, and Humanism with Rajani Gudlavalleti” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #104: BC Humanist Association with Ian Bushfield

My guest for today is Ian Bushfield, executive director of the British Columbia Humanist Association. According to his bio, “Ian Bushfield was the first Executive Director for the BC Humanist Association and lived for two years in the UK where he worked on campaigns with Sense About Science. He has a background in physics and non-profit management and grew up in Alberta. In 2017 he joined the BC Civil Liberties Association’s Board of Directors.” So today we’re going to talk about Ian’s background and find out everything the BC Humanist Association is doing.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast” on Spreaker.

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Bi Any Means Podcast #103: Nazi Punching, Tone Policing, and Racism and with Ashton P. Woods

Returning to the show today is Ashton P. Woods. He is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Houston, and is the co-chair of the Black Humanists Alliance, which we talked about the last time he was on the show. Today we’re going to talk about some recent stuff going on with tone policing, free speech, and racism.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast” on Spreaker.

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