January 31, 2006

New Guide for Health Care Providers of FTMs came out

Click above to see the guide.

It's amazing how many of the procedures done on us are completely experimental. There are so few studies on what is safe and what long-term effects are. I think it's great when there is community-driven research like this out there that brings together information that can help people to educate themselves and their providers as to what is safe, healthy and happy for them.

Pop Culture Overload!

January 31,2006 | NEW YORK -- Britney Spears will guest star on an episode of Will & Grace, NBC announced Tuesday.

The pop star will appear as a Christian conservative sidekick to Sean Hayes' character, Jack, who hosts his own talk show, on the April 13 episode, the network said.

Jack's fictional network, Out TV, is bought by a Christian TV network, leading to Spears contributing a cooking segment called Cruci-fixin's.

As a young girl, the 24-year-old Spears was a regular on The Mickey Mouse Club. After becoming a pop singer, she starred in the critically panned 2002 film Crossroads.

Last September, Spears gave birth to her first child, son Sean Preston, with husband Kevin Federline.

Will & Grace, which also stars Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally, is in its eighth and final season. It airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. (EST).

I am not sure what to say about this story, except that I really liked the film Crossroads.

A Brief History of Facebook Parties

At one point in time (circa last spring) the Facebook "party" feature was used to advertise actual parties. People would post a time and place and, presumably, their room parties would be swamped by first years looking for free alcohol. Wise college students soon realized the true potential of the Facebook party - "parties" don't have to be parties. On the wings of this realization flew a slew of Facebook pseudoparties; student groups began to advertise their events on Facebook for free.

Anyway. This morning I received an email that made me giggle. A lot.

161 party invite

It turns out that Harvard's operating systems class is now a party. Rock on.

January 30, 2006

In which I become the official sex-toy blogger

So ... in general, I like The Pyramid Collection. I'm a vapid New-Ager, I guess. That, and I really like corsets and other pretty things. (I'm also a hot-linking fiend tonight, it seems...)

But I can't help giggling at their ... intimate ... products.

Take, for example, the Liberté Contour Massager:

Liberte Contour Massager

Designed by women, for women: The shape and curve of Liberté™gently massages a variety of muscles, offering personal satisfaction, taste, and discretion. Quiet, powerful motor offers three speeds of vibration. Uses 2 AA batteries (not included). 8" long, 1 1/4" diam.

... "a variety of muscles," you say? Pray tell, which muscles would those be?

Pyramid seems intent on not enlightening us, as they offer up massager after massager designed to provide "stress relief" with "quiet, discreet performance." They
're "ergonomically designed" "by women, for women," incorporating "stimulating, thumb-and-forefinger–simulating design." They "conform to a woman’s curves, sending waves of pleasing vibrations quietly and discreetly enough to be enjoyed anywhere." But which curves? And how often have you desperately needed a massage underwater?

Is it to escape some sort of postal obscenity laws that Pyramid uses these absurd layers of euphemisms for - let's talk about this like big kids, shall we - vibrators? And if so, why in heaven's name are they still allowed to advertise "Totally Nude Aerobics" DVDs?

January 28, 2006

Lesbian Artist Gets Her Own Dinosaur!

Georgia O'Keefe got her own dinosaur today!

The new animal was named Effigia okeeffeae, after the Latin word for "ghost" — referring to the fact that it was invisible to science for so long — and in honor of artist Georgia O'Keeffe, who lived near the quarry.

January 27, 2006

i must ask you, WTF?

Continuing to fill my role as totally ridic internet nerd-blogger here at Quench:

This shit is bananas.

For the slightly less nerdtastic, World of Warcraft (WoW) is an online role playing game (RPG) by Blizzard that has reached an unholy level of popularity. I work with this kid who just sold a character for $1,500. In genuine real-world US dollars. Bananas, I tell you.

Anyway, Blizzard was thoughtful enough to include a clause in their Terms of Use on "Harrassment - Sexual Orientation." The clause reads as follows:

This category includes both clear and masked language which insultingly refers to any aspect of sexual orientation pertaining to themselves or other players.
Awesome. I'm for it. Down with insulting others based on sexual orientation. I bet this means you won't be able to call people fags all the time when they shoot you, right?

Wrong. That's apparently fine.

But if you advertise your guild as 'not GLBT only, but GLBT friendly!'... well, then fuck you my friend, your guild will get disbanded and you could get suspended from the game. Because that might "incite certain responses in other players that will allow for discussion that we feel has no place in our game."

Oh, ok. So if it's just fag-bashing, that's coo. Frag on. But if you want to create a safe space for queer gamergeeks, well, that's against the Terms of Use. Because it might open a dialog on homophobia in gamer culture, and that shit is just not what Blizzard stands for.

WTF?

when pride is hard

This is what makes it hard to be proud to be a Virginian.

This state congressman accidentally discharged his firearm but lucky for everyone else in the state capital, he also happenned to have a bulletproof vest hanging from the door which absorbed it.

Brought to you by the state that upholds adults' rights to bear arms in public schools.

It's a small world.

I volunteer with a program called Student Food Rescue here at BU. Friday mornings I go on food runs from 8-10am, delivering food donated by the Brookline Whole Foods to the downtown Boston Rescue Mission. My partner-in-crime this morning was a newbie named Rebecca. I'd never met her before. Turns out (a) she lives across the street, (b) she took the very last spot in the pilated class I'd tried to register for, and (c) she interns on Fridays at Boston Mobilization, which shares a house with the Papercut Zine Library.

While we're on the subject, I once made out in the It's A Small World ride at Disneyland. It was mildly scandalous.

January 26, 2006

magnet

I haven't hung out with large groups of straight people since my summer job last summer but this weekhas been full of cool, as in more than generally cool but also cool as in cool with queer and trans stuff.

It's not that I usually want to distrust large groups of straight people, it's just that I usually go places with friends and allies of mine, many of whom are queer, along with anyone else we're hanging out with. There has been a bit of having to occasionally politely correct people's assumptions, words, or pronouns, but also realizing that my SOs friends are just pretty rad about everything in general.

It's also nice to hang out with feminist straight guys, who I mostly only see as a few of our quench writers.

None of these things are really what I was going to post about. The main thing is how weird it is to be like a magnet for people's gender/sexuality drama. If I tell someone I'm trans, they immediately want to talk with me about their gender issues or about a family member or friend who they want to talk about but were told not to tell anyone and were still unsure about words or had questions.

And everyone wants to talk with me about that time they hooked up with their roommate or best friend. They want me to tell them what it meant. Or even who in their group of friends I think is safe to come out to as gay or bi or trans. I mean, I come here several times a year and they trust me to know which of their friends are the safest: their friends that they see every day. I feel very trusted. It is also weird to feel like people's liason - or their one connection to the queer world. It's a strange kind of responsibility.

But also kind of fun.

I hope everyone's having a great week!

Why it's OK to be an internet dork

Yes, thank you! I've been saying this for years:

"In the past, it has been suggested that the internet and e-mail could diminish real relationships.

But the report, entitled The Strength of Internet Ties, found that e-mail supplements rather than replaces offline communications.

..."This creates a new basis for community. Rather than relying on a single community for social support, individuals often actively seek out a variety of appropriate people and resources for different situations."

And that, my friends, is why the Internet is awesome.

And sometimes it just hits you.

I was having a cup of coffee today with a friend; we were bringing each other up to date on the state of trans activism on campus, and also catching up on each others' lives. (We hadn't really seen each other since before winter break.) At one point, I excused myself to dash to the ladies' room, then came back to continue chatting as before.

Finally, it was time for us to head our separate ways - me to my office, she to class. She asked me if I was going to the Big Humanities Building, which is across campus from the coffee shop and pretty far from where her class was. I said no, but my office was right next door, so I'd be heading in roughly that direction; why?

She replied, "Oh, because I have to go to the bathroom before class, and that's where the bathroom is."

I paused a second, confused; there was a bathroom in the campus coffee shop. I'd just used it.

Then I realized - she meant "the safe bathroom."

The ladies' room I had just used may or may not have been a good place to test the waters of trans-friendliness - not with so little time to spare before class. Better to avoid the question altogether by cutting across campus to the nearest gender-neutral bathroom, then cutting back across, and get to class a minute or two late but entirely intact. The ladies' room is only there, according to some people, for ladies like me: for wimmyn-born-wombyn. Of course. How could I have forgotten?

I nodded, all matter-of-fact clued-in nonchalance, and my friend and I walked together toward the bathroom in Big Humanities Building, so we could keep chatting as long as possible...

January 24, 2006

Just Say No

The American Library Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship apparently just passed this resolution. I love, love, love the ALA.

On the New PM-Designate of Canadia

In his most recent ranting, Warren Ellis is once again slamming that nail home with as few - but as forceful - blows as are needed. I quote his latest email, with links and a photo added, about the new and startlingly EVIL Prime Minister-designate (i.e. "-elect" for us Americans), Stephen Harper.

Doesn't Stephen Harper look like the kind of actor a US or US-but-produced-in-Canada TV show uses as the bad guy when they can't afford a British actor?

(Which, when David Warner is still working, is kind of unimaginable. But still.)

You know the kind of guy. Grey hair, so white you can practically see through his skin into his circulatory system, with the kind of unblinking half-glower that let's you know that no matter what he's talking about, he's actually thinking about shoving pregnant lesbians tits-first into a woodchipper. He's the white guy in the suit whose last job was sitting behind a big desk condemning Tia Carrere to death in an episode of RELIC HUNTER.

Paul Martin should never have let on that he was desperate. And now he's in the bin and you're ruled by the guy who plays Creepy Vice-President in Sci-Fi Channel shows.

"no matter what he's talking about, he's actually thinking about shoving pregnant lesbians tits-first into a woodchipper" describes, like, the US's entire upper echelon of government at this time. so already canada's got it made, comparatively speaking.

crossposted to w4d

Jay Leno

Since when is belonging to a club founded due to concern over the increasing numbers of women and minorities attending Princeton something of little or no importance in selecting a Supreme Court Justice, Jay?

Come on, Leno.

Bigotry, racism, sexism, and a history of worker discrimination are all rather more than valid concerns when we're talking about the Supreme Court.

It's a sign of how far from power the Democrats have fallen when a nominee like Alito, with a history like Alito's, dances through the nomination process and confirmation hearings. There is no way in hell this guy should even have made it to the short list for the nomination.

Can you imagine the liberal equivalent?

Can you imagine the hell Republicans would raise if we nominated a liberal as extreme as this conservative?

January 23, 2006

Putting The "M" in Patriot

Check out this new article by Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist who camped out in Crawford, Texas to confront President Bush about Iraq. I'd be curious to hear what people think about it. At first glance, the article seem to invoke a reductive, binary logic of gender whereby women nurture and men blow things up. Yawn. How Mansfield. On the other hand, a number of articles that I've read over the past year have convinced me that there is room for an explicitly feminist critique of the ways in which patriarchy and militarism are interarticulated.

Sorry, I know that sentence was ridiculous, but you know what I mean. How many zillions of dollars did our government squander in a "whose dick/missile is bigger" contest with the Soviet Union? I think Sheehan's concept of matriotism has the potential to open up questions like this without defining the alternative to patriarchal militarism in heterocentric, trans-exclusive terms. Good thing Quench is around to keep her honest.

On the rag? Off her meds? It's the Amateur Psychiatric Hour!

I'm sitting in the dark, in my room, in a dorm with thin walls and a vibrant dorm culture, and I'm trying not to cry. You see, a few minutes ago, I heard two of my floormates having a conversation in the hall. Their professor is apparently demanding, unpredictable, and disorganized - at least, that's the way these girls tell it. One was busy complaining about the professor's latest transgression, when her friend (whom I recognized, by her voice, as the nice Master's candidate in Social Services Administration a couple doors down from me) chuckled and said, "Geez, she must really be off her meds this time."

It stung. Probably at least in part because I'm off my meds.

Yeah, it's irresponsible of me to have let my prescription run out. Yeah, this has definitely affected my mood and my behavior - no shit, they're antidepressants, if I felt ok without them I wouldn't need to take them in the first place. But ladies, if your professor is indeed off her meds, there's something going on that's a teensy bit more important than your harshly-graded response papers.

Y'see, being on meds isn't just like popping a few aspirin when you're not feeling well, and forgetting they're in the medicine cabinet otherwise. Meds are a lifestyle. And taking them for a condition, like severe depression, that in all likelihood isn't going away, involves some near-certainties.

- You will, especially in the beginning, need to tell people that you need medication. This may sound all very AA, but you have to admit you have a problem. And you have to admit it to the intake people who will authorize you to make an appointment with the prescriber at the student health center/clinic/wherever you go. You will have to admit it to the nice people at the front desk who will schedule your appointment. You will have to admit it, at least implicitly, to the people who see you walk into the psych-care building, and the people who see you in the waiting room. (No, it doesn't usually help to know they're there for the same thing.) You will have to admit it to your prescriber, a complete stranger who now controls whether or not you're getting the one thing that might make you able to function on a daily basis.

If you work, go to school, or are in a relationship, you're in for even more fun - you may have the priceless opportunity to explain to your boss, profs, adviser, or significant other that your brain chemistry is fucked up enough that you'll be spending the next month or so figuring out how many pills, and of what sort, it will take to finally make sure you can get out of bed in the morning.

Think this is simple? Here's an experiment: walk around for a day with a t-shirt saying "I'm under psychiatric care." Explain to everyone who sees it that yes, you actually mean it. Offer to discuss dosages with them. See them shrink back in revulsion, and remember that you would probably do the same if you knew someone around you was mentally ill. Now imagine always worrying that you will induce that reaction in others - imagine that you still sometimes induce that reaction in yourself - and imagine that you will be required to tell people about it anyway.

- You will be required, later, to go back and justify your need for medication. It's called a med consult, and yes, it's necessary. Your prescriber needs to know that the meds are doing their job, not having side effects that are potentially dangerous, and not in need of adjustment or improvement. What it entails is going back to the same office you had to go to in order to get the meds in the first place and confirming that you still want to continue with the prescription and discussing the effects it's had on you. What it feels like is going up before a one-person review board and proving that you're actually as crazy as they thought you were, and begging them not to stop giving you the only thing that's helping you hold your life together. If you're not a fan of begging to begin with, this is a hard step to adjust to. Enjoy it - it will probably come around every month or three.

- You will screw up. Ok, maybe it's just me that does this, but somehow even my bottomed-out self-esteem won't quite let me believe that. You will forget an appointment, or lose track of a prescription, or forget your insurance card when you go to the pharmacy to pick up a new bottle. And poof! no drugs for you until you get yourself sorted out. And we all know that not having meds only makes you better organized, and more able to tackle seemingly insurmountable challenges like writing appointments down in your agenda and showing up to them.

- You will screw up badly. By this I mean completely forgetting to refill a prescription, balking at scheduling a med consult, or refusing to believe that now you're feeling better you still need meds to keep feeling that way. (After all, once your headache's gone, you don't need more aspirin, right?) And guess what? If you go off your meds, you feel worse than you did before you started taking them. Welcome to headaches, pins-and-needles, dizziness, insomnia, lethargy (yes, those two are a great combo), anxiety, muddle-headedness, and irritation - in addition to the severe depression that made you start taking them in the first place, usually in even harsher form. Withdrawal's a bitch, innit? Now try and fix the situation, when all your emotional and physical energy is going toward psyching yourself up to get out of bed so you can go to the bathroom before you give yourself a urinary tract infection or piss yourself.

- For extra fun, and as a corollary to the rule above, if there is anyone in your life who even remotely cares about you (and no matter how bad it feels, there's usually at least one), you will break their heart. You'll think you can get things under control again before you have to tell them anything. You'll think you can lean on them a little more until you can pull yourself together enough to get back on your meds, and they'll never notice. You'll think you'll both be better off if you don't have to talk about it all again. You'll think you're doing them a favor. And you'll be wrong. And they will notice, or find out. And if you're lucky, they might eventually trust you again. And if you're really lucky, you might - sometime much later - feel like you can be trusted. In the meantime, you get the sheer bliss of trying to get your own act together while also picking up the pieces of a friend, lover, parent, or mentor whose confidence you shattered, who is as worried about you as you now are about them, and who's probably so upset that you can't in good conscience lean on them at all. Enjoy that one.

- You will, especially if you're not noticeably drooling or talking to yourself, get to overhear a truly heartwarming array of comments about what people think mental illness and medication is all about. Everywhere you go, people will volunteer their opinion that anti-depressants just put you into a happy, delusional fog; that people who are depressed should just "snap out of it" or "learn to deal" or "go out and have some fun"; and that they were so very *depressed* to find out that Diet Coke with Lime might be phased out. And if you don't look crazy enough to be offended, you'll get, at no extra charge, to hear jokes about how someone is clearly off their meds...


So, yeah. Here I am: waiting for an appointment so I can have the chance to try and explain to my prescriber that I'm not too irresponsible to be trusted with medication I genuinely need, trying to convince myself to get out of bed to eat something or turn the light on (neither of which I've done today), and trying to figure out how to repair an important relationship that I'm afraid I may have badly maimed. And I have office hours tomorrow - meaning I get to smile, be personable, be organized and genuinely give a shit about other people who, as of a few days ago, actually count on (and pay) me to get things done. Wonderful.

Yeah, if I were those ladies' professor and I had to grade response papers, I'd probably be pretty pissy and/or weepy about it, too. 'Cause, geez, I'm really off my meds this time ...

Declaration of Victory

In a stunning conclusion to the Harvey Mansfield saga, please read the following Crimson "prediction" for the future:

http://www.thecrimson.com/gallery.aspx?articleid=510932&picnum=5

More Fun with OkCupid!

Oh, man.

I'm thinking about disabling instant messaging on OkCupid, but sometimes these conversations are really amusing.

Him: which do u like more guys or girls?

Me: I don't really know. And I'm not sure it matters, since I'm with someone now.

Him: man or woman?

Me: Woman.

Him: miss the cock at all?

Me: Not your business, I'd say. Besides, some women have cocks.

Him: plastic ones

Me: No, real ones

Him: you've done that?

Me: Done what?

Him: a woman with a penis?

Me: Like my girlfriend? Yes.

Him: holy moly really? is it big?

Me: Also not your business.

Him: man i'd give my eye teeth to suck on that ;)

Me: Yeah, well she's with someone, too.

Him: wow what a triangle...

Me: Actually, it would probably suck. What with her being a lesbian.

Him: true. well, i doubt that it is 8" long ;)

Me: Wouldn't you like to know

Him: WEll i doubt it if she is transgenered normally the part are pretty small

Etc.

Em0 and I are having fun with him. Feel free to join in.

User: boston_muffdive

Show me your adjectives!

I was just made an admin of quench blog with a view toward a potential redesign, to be implemented sometime over the next month or three. (XHTML and CSS are mah bitches, yo. Unfortunately, my course schedule could say the same about me.)

So! Quenchistas! I need your thoughts, opinions, and comments on what quench blog means to you, so I can get a sense of what it should feel like. I've got my own opinions, of course, but this site is a group thang and always will be, so in this case the more people consulted the better. 'Sides, y'all are cool and talented and creative and smart as hell.

And a special request of Quenchistas with graphic design skillz! I need your graphic design skillz! If you like designing graphics, have your people talk to my people, and we'll do lunch. Er, or email me.

Let the comment thread begin.

January 22, 2006

How's it going?

Hey everyone! How's it going?

I just wanted to use this space to ask two types of questions.

1. How do you think the quench blog is going? What would you like to see more (or less) of? Please, be brutally honest (or ravingly happy if appropriate). Comments both from regular bloggers and lurking occasional readers who have never posted before and everyone in between are welcome!

2. How are you? How was your day or week? What's going on with you?

I can't wait to hear from the quenchinators.

WTTO

Dear Judge Alito,

Today marks the thirty-third anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Something tells me that you may not be celebrating the occasion; perhaps you have even baked a cake in honor of your president's National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Now, I think very highly of cake, and I am a staunch proponent of human life. However, I am also a staunch proponent of a woman's right to make decisions about her own body.

Thirty-three years from today, we at Quench plan to be wishing Roe v. Wade a happy 66th. See that you don't interfere with our celebration.

January 21, 2006

More From the List of Things That Are Awkward

87. Your mother calls you to ask if your friend and former roommate (whom she's met) is "a trans" after seeing said friend on one of the three Discovery Health Channel trans documentaries she's seen in the past week.

---> 87.5. Bonus points if you have to explain that your friend is MTF, not FTM.

-----> 87.75. Super bonus points if she then reiterates her opinion that said friend "doesn't look mannish at all" (an opinion she'd expressed before, when she thought your friend was only a dyke), and follows it up with "tell her 'well done.' " (To said friend - and you know who you are - my mom says "well done." Apparently, she still thinks you're a hottie.)

88. Your mom (in the same conversation) says, "What they didn't say in any of the documentaries was - well - for men - you know - whether ... it ... works," and you end up spending seven minutes explaining various aspects of FTM medical transition as you hear her blanching on the other end of the line.

---> 88.5. Bonus points if you then have to explain why it's a safety advantage to be able to pee with one's feet facing the right direction.

----> 88.75. Super bonus points if you have to figure out how to get off the phone before she asks you to detail how various trans people you know have sex and pee.

I suppose I should be grateful she's asking non-hostile, somewhat-informed questions. (And I only had to correct her on pronouns once!!) I just wish I didn't have to be there when it happened...

January 20, 2006

FUCKING CREEPY MEN!!!! (part 1000)

i could use a leg up here. can someone help?

sean "lil scrappy", who describes himself as "Quiet But Dangerous", just sent me this message.

WASSUP SWEETY I WAS PASSING BY AND I CAME ACROSS A BEAUTIFUL WOMEN AND WAS WONDERING IF WE COULD POSSIBLY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER AND CHAT A BIT... DONT LET MY PIC FOOL YOU EITHER IT WAS TAKEN IN "99" BUT IM NOT SAYING I STILL DONT LOOK THAT GOOD CAUSE I DO... JUST INSIDE A GROWN MANS BODY THOUGH... BUT IF YOUR INTERESTED I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU... LATA...
yeah. just, um, smack him. or sick the boys on him.

PLEASE.

January 19, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage in Nigeria and Sex Toys in Brookline

Once again, two unrelated posts.

I had heard that Grand Opening in Brookline was closing, but I had not yet heard that Good Vibrations is moving into exactly the same space, with basically the same management and stuff. It sounds like not a huge change. More scoop on the story is here.

On a more serious note, Nigeria is instituting one of the most serious same-sex-marriage bans that I have seen. They plan to jail anyone who has a gay wedding or officiates one. President Olusegun Obasanjo said that homosexual tendencies are un-Biblical, unnatural and definitely un-African." Isn't the northern part of Nigeria primarily not Christian at all?

I found an article about the same-sex marriage issue in Nigeria here. Does anyone have links to better information?

January 18, 2006

the rich, famous, quietly queer

This post was inspired by Ellen DeGeneres. I love Ellen. She's a goddess. (Our one break from CNN all day is Ellen.) Today, she was talking about having her (30th!) high-school reunion on the show and glibly said, "Tell you want, Ricky Simmons is gonna be surprised. He's gonna want his promise ring back, I'll tell you that. Sorry about that, Ricky." So, it made me think, which is always dangerous.

What're thoughts on instances of politicians, authors, actors, etc. refusing to discuss same-sex relationships? Here's a quote from a 2005 Advocate interview of Portia de Rossi circa her stance in 2000:

When paparazzi pictures were published of you and your ex, Francesca Gregorini, nearly five years ago, you never said anything to the press about being gay. But you didn’t deny it either.

That was exactly my stance.

What about when people deny or even baldly lie? Celebrities, for example--do they have any especial duty to the queer community, as some would suggest? An interesting piece on AfterEllen includes an interesting statement of opinion:
Jodie [Foster] should come out of the closet because of what she could do for the lesbian and gay community. Jodie's clout, the respect she commands...will help make the world a more welcoming place for lesbians.
Then there's the should-it-matter line of reasoning...

one more wildlife post

today is the day of wildlife posts. Just one more.

Read this article
(it's from fake gay news.)

“Once we explain to the penguins how important monogamy is and that it’s what Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior wants for them, we’re sure they’ll stop sleeping around. And we’ll tell them they’ll be eaten by a seal and burn in hell if they aren’t heterosexual.”

But that’s not the only change the Reverend and his wife hope to make. They’re not any too thrilled with the penguins sharing of egg hatching duties. “It’s just not natural,” said Reverend LaPierre. “When I saw that male penguin sit on that egg and pull it up inside him, I just about puked my popcorn.” Adds Lucille, “You try and explain to a four-year old how God means babies to come from mommies’ tummies right after he just saw plain as day a man penguin lay an egg. It’s an abomination. I’m sure it says so somewhere in Leviticus.”

Yay for Gay Penguins!

In case it wasn't obvious, the moose post is actually real.

I haven't posted in a while

There are a few things I'd like to put up. First of all, and most importantly, take note of this article.

"I'm sure it's really stressful hanging from under a helicopter, but they're handling it really well," Dr. Lisa Wolfe with the Colorado Division of Wildlife said.

(this is a picture of a moose hanging from a helicopter)

On a completely different note, the Globe featured an article about the arrest of RMV employees for allegedly helping make extra identification cards that matched other cards except with different names.

Crackdowns on how ID papers are made have effects not only on other employees at RMVs and DMVs nationwide, but also on immigrants and trans people who are constantly put in situations where they need to show more and more proof of who they are and why they need identification.

William Shatner Sells Kidney Stone for Charity

Actor William Shatner has sold his kidney stone for $25,000, with the money going to a housing charity, it was announced Tuesday.

Shatner reached agreement Monday to sell the stone to GoldenPalace.com.

"This takes organ donors to a new height, to a new low, maybe. How much is a piece of me worth?" he said in a telephone interview.
Goodness gracious.

January 17, 2006

quench zine

quench zine

It is 6:46 PM and I have lost my mind.

I have about two pages to go on this paper and I just saw my TF who graciously allowed me my third extension (until tomorrow morning), although if I were her I would certainly grade me down for being a whiny and irresponsible little bitch.

I really bit off more than I could chew with this paper; but I love the topic and… while I probably didn't make ALL the right choices, some of them were ok.

So how does this relate to quench? You mean besides the fact that I take a break and read the blog every time I start to think I am seeing beetles (freed from their Wittgensteinian boxes) crawling around the floor of Emerson Hall? Well...

It's a paper about Wittgenstein and how all of our naming involves choices about what's an object and what's not, and about our inability to do much without language, which involves this "objectifying" choice. I think it (and by "it" here I mean Wittgenstein's thought on naming, not my term paper) has implications not just for the way we practice philosophy, but the way we practice law, the way we practice politics, the way we write, the way we dance, and the way we fuck. Especially the way we fuck. What's in a name, after all?

Also, this is a paper about slopping glue onto things (onto pages?) and trying to get a label to stick... because we do that, we do that more than just in the "Don't label me, man," sense... we can't help it. What can you do for a day, not without using language (that's too easy), but without thinking of anything as an object? Without tracking change? Without making decisions as to which changes (in your perceptual state, in your bodily sensations, etc.) are important enough to track and which aren't? Which objects are important enough to call "objects" and which are just components?

Anyway. There's a lot more to naming than a glue-pot and pen.

There's a lot more to quench than a bundle of photocopied pages.

Lesbian Kiss in Tiananmen Square

Thank you, bOINGbOING.

No, really. Fucking sweet, man. More pics here.

January 16, 2006

This story made my night...

Bitch, Ph.D. frequently talks about her Pseudonymous Kid (PK), whom she seems to be raising in exemplary broad-minded lefty fashion, and I always enjoy reading about him (as well as her other thoughts and adventures). Tonight's entry, though, made me exceptionally pleased:

Pseudonymous Kid: Someday, when Squeaky and Micky grow up, they will have babies, and it will be so cute!
In fact, we seem to have dodged the pregnant-mouse bullet; neither of them has given birth yet, and neither looks notably pregnant
Me: Well, I don't think so, actually. They're both girls.
Pseudonymous Kid: So? My friend B. has two mamas.*

*I have explained to him how this works, and how yes, a kid can have two mamas, or two papas, or a mama and a papa, or just a mama, or just a papa--but to *make* a baby, it takes an egg from a woman and sperm from a man. Still, obviously the social cues he's working with are more important than the biology. As they should be.
(Read the full post for cute, heartening descriptions of Harry Potter slashfic roleplay, too.)

Wheee! This gives me hope for when I have smallpeople. It also reminds me of the kid in Victoria's Secret where, heaven help us, the Estimat and I were shopping for underwear for me. (Never have I seen someone so uncomfortable act so nonchalant.) We were being followed around by a small curious child, who finally ran back to hir parent and whispered very loudly, "Mommy, she's a boy!"

You're damn straight, little one. (And you're pretty much the only one around here who is.)

My new favoritest sentence ever

"He's having his period."

(I'm currently writing a paper on peculiarities of gendered terms of reference in queer speech, and that sentence came up in my notes. Not sure why this makes me so happy, other than massive sleep deprivation, but I just like seeing it. Yayy queer speech.)

Ok, back to paper-writing ...

Alito Wants Your Body

Wants to control it, that is.

Read on for a quick guide to Alito, an introduction to his disdain for civil rights.

Who is Alito? He's the judge who:

  • Upheld the strip search of a 10-year-old girl
  • Approves of machine gun rights
  • Often denies habeas corpus for death row inmates
  • 14:18 record for the defendant in employment discrimination cases
  • 17:24 record against asylum in life-or-death pleas
"Perhaps Alito's most memorable dissent came in 1996 in Sheridan v. Dupont, a sex discrimination suit...Alito, the lone dissenter, argued that his colleagues were going too far by allowing plaintiffs to get their case to a jury whenever they managed to cast any doubt on the employer's version" (SCOTUSblog).

Just because a victim of harassment manages to make it beyond "he said, she said" and begin to disprove the employer's version doesn't mean that he or she should be able to take it to court. Wait, what? Oh, yeah. That makes perfect sense if you're a right-wing fanatic in favor of maintaining the status quo and upholding power and its abuses.

"A dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 947 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1991), arguing that a Pennsylvania that required women seeking abortions to inform their husbands should have been upheld" (SCOTUSblog).

How to begin regarding the above? It needs no introduction, no commentary. What Alito's opinions deserve is a protest, a march. Three hundred angry, empowered feminists raging through Washington D.C., swarming the streets of New York, and screaming from atop the Golden Gate.

So, Alito. Some black Chanel and two pounds of Tammy Faye mascara, he'll be the mirror image of Ann Coulter. In fact, even Ann thinks so.

Coulter's thoughts on Alito: "Sen. Chuck Schumer...even has me convinced that Alito is going to vote to overrule Roe vs. Wade. (And just when I thought I couldn't be more enthusiastic about the nomination!)"

Ann Coulter likes the guy. Start looking around for the other three horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Vagina Monologues Seeks "Stories to Tell"

A few quench-ers have been working on this, and it seems like it will be great. Submit stories at http://transmon.blogspot.com.

Don't forget to make them anonymous!

Here's the call for stories that was written:

If you had one story to tell others about your life as a transgendered
individual (transwomen, transmen and genderqueer and questioning people) or as a friend, family or loved one of a transperson, what would it be?


My guess is that all of quench's readers and writers are trans or SOFFA or something else that is attempted to be included in this description. So go post anonymous comments!

You can post more than once and you can also read other people's comments. which are already amassing.

So go there to read a more full description of how/why to submit!

January 14, 2006

I Don't Wanna Hyphenate

So I know that I want kids someday, exuberant little buggers who bounce off the walls and kick the back of my (hybrid) car seat and carry their own little "IMPEACH CONDI" signs when we show up on the Mall to protest. The thing is, though, I don't know what to call them. I mean, I have a couple ideas, I'm leaning towards Zoe in particular, but how about for a last name? I'm not wild about the idea of taking my partner/husband's name, and I wouldn't really want him to take mine either. I know, hyphenating your last name was once thought to be the progressive thing to do, but unless you're Daniel Day-Lewis, that means that you're lugging around many syllables of name for the rest of your life. Plus, if everyone hyphenated, then the next generation would have to lug around four names, computer systems would crash with the extra data, nuclear war would ensue. Basically, hyphenated last names could end life as we know it.

All of this is by way of introduction to this good-humored article, which explains how a straight couple reconciled their feminism with their surname attachment. "We were not trying to be Difficult," they insist. "We were not trying to be Edgy." I am down with both difficult and edgy, but anyway, good for them.

January 13, 2006

Shout-outs

So, I was checking the country stats (lists of all the countries in which we have readers), and I'd like to take this moment to say hello to our readership in the Faeroe Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.

*waves hello*

Thanks for making Quench a more cultured place. Or something. (Comment? Please?)

Also, how to tell you are officially coupled:

- You are at dinner and have the following conversation:

You: Hey, there was a post a few months back in [name of LJ community] ...
Your S.O.: Oh, yeah, [person's] response? Hysterical!
[and yes, that's exactly what you were about to refer to...]

- You are at Target and have the following conversation:
You: Oh, you go ahead.
Mutual friend: [lifting up item your S.O. is buying] This is yours, right?
You: No, it's [S.O.'s].
Mutual friend: I meant yours, plural.
You: We're a you-plural?
Mutual friend: Oh, honey, everyone knows you're a you-plural.
- You are at Target in the first place because you're buying baby-shower gifts. As a couple.


Eep. I feel so ... settled. And cozy. And happy. *smile*

So, um ... what's up, Micronesia?

And sometimes, coming out is hysterically easy to do.

At icarus's behest, I'd like to share the following coming-out story. SN's changed to protect the shy.

bat dor: Hey, amusing anecdote:

icarus: ooh yay!

bat dor: I just accidentally-on-purpose came out to the kickass Mrs. R who taught me English for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade. She happens to be the cousin of my dad's girlfriend. Yeah. The Jewish community in San Diego, much like the queer community in Boston, is frighteningly incestuous.

bat dor: Anyway. So I went to the school to visit her and the few other teachers I had who still work there. In the course of my conversation with Mrs. R, I happened to mention "my ex-girlfriend." No reaction on her part whatsoever. I thought, "Cool, it's a non-issue." Conversation continued, concluded, she had another class coming in, so I made my excuses and left. Finis, right?

bat dor: I then wandered upstairs to talk to another former teacher. A half hour later, he and I are into a Deep Conversation (like, Meaning of Life deep) when Mrs. R quite literally bursts into his office. She says, breathlessly, "May I steal her for a second?"

icarus: woooow

bat dor: So now we're standing outside a classroom and I have no clue what is going on. She's supposed to be teaching a class, and instead she's out of breath and just dragged me outside and looks really nervous?

bat dor: And then she takes a deep breath and says, "So...earlier...were you trying to....um....tell me....um...something?"

bat dor: I stare at her blankly for a moment, and then it clicks.

bat dor: And I start laughing my ass off.

icarus: LOL
icarus: that is AMAZING
icarus: A-mazing

bat dor: Now hang on, I hadn't answered Mrs. R yet.

bat dor: Urban Outfitters, the last time I was there, was selling these women's t-shirts that say I [rainbow] GIRLS. They're very cute. I got one. And randomly happened to be wearing it that day underneath my sweater.

bat dor: So I said, in between fits of laughter, "Hang on a sec." I turned around, pulled my sweater off, tied it around my waist, turned back around, then said, with a huge grin on my face, "Does this answer your question?"

This was the day before yesterday, folks, and I'm still chuckling about it.

If anyone asks, my name is Elizabeth...

... or at least that's what I told a charming member of our local citizenry last night. See, the Estimat and I stopped at Dunkin' Donuts last night to catch a bite to eat before the movie we'd planned on seeing. Finding the tuna sandwich inedible, the Estimat went to the counter to see about switching it for turkey.

And that's when the fun began. I heard someone say "pssst!" I turned around to face the only other person in the dining area, an apparently late-thirtysomething guy three tables down.

Dude: Psst! Psssst!
Me: Hmm?
Dude: [whispering inaudibly]
Me: Sorry, what?
Dude (whispering louder): That your boyfriend?

Hmm, I thought. He's reading the Estimat as a guy. Cool.

Me (proudly): Yes, he is.
Dude (whispering inaudibly again; I had to ask him to repeat himself several times over the course of the conversation): How long you been together?
Me (dreamily): Almost four months now.

Actually, today marked the fifteenth week. But counting weeks is a little too squishy to tell strangers about. Except you folks, I guess.

Dude: So, can I get your number?
Me (pause - then, pointedly): Um. I'm taken.
Dude: He good?

To me? In bed? As a person? Regardless,

Me: Oh, yes.
Dude: That's a he, right?
Me: [look at dude like he's a total lackwit for even asking]
Dude: 'Course he is. I'm Freddy. What's your name?
Me: Elizabeth.

This, by the way, is my standard fake name for really persistent creeps.

Dude: You're real pretty.
Me: Um. Thanks.
Dude: Seriously, though, that a lady?
Me: [look at dude like he's a total lackwit for even asking; though of all the things the Estimat's been called, I'm not sure "ladylike" has ever been one of them]
Dude: Ok, ok, I get it.

What is it that he imagines he gets, I wonder? Does he "get" that we're dykes? ('Cause we're not.) "Get" that we're straight and he just dissed my boyfriend? ('Cause we're not. But he did just diss my boyfriend.) Does he get that I'm not interested? No, surely that couldn't be it ...

Me (to be perfectly clear): We're very happy together.
Dude: I like you.

Blessedly, the Estimat returned right about then. I wrote on a napkin: "For the time being, my name is Elizabeth. Will explain later." But the creepy guy staring at me from a few tables over was pretty hard to miss, and his presence made the problem obvious.

We were extra-affectionate for the rest of the meal, nuzzling noses and holding hands. When we kissed, the Dude called out, "Put a little tongue in it!" I didn't look his way again, but the Estimat informed me later that he watched me the whole meal through, slurpily licking his lips the entire time. We did nothing. We didn't want a fight.

As we walked out, the Estimat fumed. "He's still watching you."

"Fuck him," I muttered. "I've gotten worse."

January 12, 2006

Chibi!

As a reminder to all Quenchistas & Quench readers, you can create & upload an icon of yourself for your Blogger profile (and elsewhere!) at TekTek's GaiaDream Chibi Maker. Previous ones have been uploaded here if you already were chibied; upload your image to your profile and your comments will show us who is talking.

January 11, 2006

Administrative note*

* or, why Em 0 is brilliant and I want to have her blogalicious babies.

Now, thanks to Emily's blog-maintaining prowess, you can subscribe to Quench via e-mail! Enter your e-mail address in the right sidebar to receive Quench posts in your inbox. (Yet another way to enjoy the Quench lovin'.)

Oral Sex And Those Who Partake Of It Deemed Vile. (Or: Coming out is hard to do.)

She's the closest thing I have to a grandmother within nine time zones of here. She was my nanny when I was young, and now she's adopted family. She's of a different generation, a different era. Discussing anything controversial with her is at best a waste of time - a talk radio junkie, God bless her, politically, socially and economically we are on opposite ends of the *cough* spectrum. Beats me why we argued politics for an hour last Saturday afternoon, and then religion mixed with current events for another hour.

I say, laughing, "Well, having exhausted politics and religion, let's talk about sex. Would you care to begin?"
She chuckles right back, "Okay, well, there's boys and there's girls..."
I ought not to say anything, but can't resist. "And, well, boys and boys, or girls and girls..."

And suddenly she's serious. "Speaking of girls, you know that woman Ellen Degeneres? She has that TV show?"
"Sure, what about her?"
"Well. I just can’t stand to look at her."
I should know better, but ask anyway: "Why?"
Her voice grows instantly strident, self-righteous, shrill. "I just can’t look at her mouth! Every time I see her I just have to look away!"
I understand. I sit there, in stunned silence.

But my younger brother doesn’t get it. Before I can shoot him a Let It Drop look, he innocently asks what the problem is with Ellen’s mouth.

And I watch the disgust and the hatred twist her face. She spits out, "She uses her mouth! They - Those people - they use their mouths on each other! In THAT way! Gawd, I hope she brushes her teeth afterwards. Ugh!"
Now my brother is the silent one, and I'm trembling.
Satisfied, she sits back, all steel and contempt as she says to my brother: "And now you learned something new, didn’t ya?"

I stand up, manage to keep my legs and my voice from shaking, and announce that I need to go to the bathroom. A few minutes pass. I walk out and ask cheerily, "Who wants ice cream?" Crisis averted, for the moment.

I love her, I really do. But while I may someday forgive her sneer, I will never forget it.

Signed,
One of Those People.

January 10, 2006

Feelin' the vibes...

So, I was re-reading Issue 3, and I came across the page entitled "My Vibrator is Good ... But My Girlfriend Is Better." It reminded me of a story I've been meaning to post up here since summer break (oops).

For those of you who don't already know, my mom is nutty. Not in the harmless, wears-curlers-in-her-hair-to-the-supermarket sense, but in the freaky thinks-queerness-is-a-disease, stalks-my-significant-other sense. So when I went home for the end of summer (a mandatory visit), I needed a vibrator that would be discreet enough that she wouldn't think anything of it, since she would be guaranteed to go through my luggage in search of incriminating evidence of some sort. My choice? The "I Rub My Duckie" vibrator in the "Devil Duck" model (the middle one in this picture). It was cute, it was sassy, it had a beak and tail and horns that provided all sorts of interesting varieties of sensation ... and it looked like a rubber duckie. This was guaranteed to make bathtime lots of fun . . . and how could my mom object?

Everything went well until the last day of break, when I was packing up to leave for school. My mom found the duck. Her immediate comment: "Oh, this is cute! What is it?"

I gulped. "It's a rubber duckie. I bought it before I left Boston." She smiled and patted it on its little devil-head.

And then she dropped it. And as it hit the corner of the bathroom counter, it started to buzz.

My mom frowned. "What's it doing?"

I had to think fast, or my cover was blown and I could just as easily have bought something pink, sparkly, and phallic-rabbit-shaped and not worried about discretion at all.

"Well, the neat thing about the duckie is, it's also a massager." That is what the package says, you know: vibrating personal massager.

My mom's eyes lit up. We come from a very pro-massage family, and I learned from a very young age how to give good back and shoulder rubs using a variety of implements. So perhaps I should have known that when I told my mom I owned a vibrating personal massager, the very next thing out of her mouth would be:

"Will you give me a shoulder rub?"

I took a deep breath. Again, the key thing here was to keep my cool: this wasn't a mind-blowingly naughty sex toy deceptively disguised to pass under my mom's radar ... it was just a massager. Just a ... vibrating personal massager. I could hardly say no.

So I said yes.

And after I had finished rubbing my vibrator all up and down my mother's back and shoulders, all she could say was:

"Mmmm... that felt good!"


Poor duckie ... I never felt quite right using him on myself ever again.

January 09, 2006

We got a hit from...

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to let you all know that I looked through our stats and found out that we were found by a search engine for someone's search for "homosexual buttfucking". Also, we're getting lots of hits. Keep up the good work!

WTTO

Diabetes

I reccomend all quench readers read the article linked to above.

One in three children born in the United States five years ago are expected to become diabetic in their lifetimes, according to a projection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The forecast is even bleaker for Latinos: one in every two.

The Mansfield Thread

As a result of Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies, the Mansfield thread is now closed.

A new discussion of Mansfield - which might be worthwhile - will entail a new post by a quenchista on the topic. If you feel motivated, by all means do so.

Death Penalty Protest in CA and Race

I read an article in the San Francisco Gate today titled
For a white man's execution, where are black protesters?
Outcry on behalf of Tookie might be viewed as race-based
but I guess I'm wondering - so what if it was? What this article does not address is that while Clarence Ray Allen is blind, deaf and in a wheelchair, he is also white, and has different life chances based on his race than Tookie Williams.

Now, I personally think it's important that we work to end the death penalty, but blaming the black activists who supported Tookie Williams for not coming out in full force this time seems ridiculous if we are not going to blame every single person who is not doing everything they possibly can to stop the death penalty (read: blame almost everyone - certainly everyone taking time out of their day to read this blog rather than work on death penalty stuff). So, why blame these activists particularly?

In what almost looks like an allegation of "reverse-racism", as if the difference in focus of these organizations on certain death row inmates radically or systemically alters the life-chances of white people more generally, this article's author writes as if activist groups do not have to choose where to disperse their limitted resources and energies. Even she acknowledges that:

Granted, Allen hasn't written any children's books, been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, or had a Hollywood actor play him in a film, but that doesn't mean his life isn't worth saving.
All of these things are relevant if we are looking for a sort of poster-child for death penalty activsim. So the ultimate question becomes, do we need some kind of poster-child like person to look at? My only fear of answering "no" to this question is that sometimes we all need to be reminded over and over again of the horrific examples of who the governments that we invest ourselves into are screwing over.

All that said, let's all try to write a letter or an email to a friend and let them know about Allen's upcoming death or to write a letter to CA governor Schwartzeneiger about it. I know I will.

New commenting policy

New and improved! You no longer need a blogger account in order to comment on Quench. You do, however, need to not be a spambot. Can you handle that?

If you want to comment on something just because you can (n.b.: Quench fully supports exercising your rights just for the hell of it), this increasingly ridiculous conversation (oft referred to as "the buttfucking thread") would be a fun place to start.

January 08, 2006

A call to my cell phone

Caller: Hi. Um, I have a question.
Me: What's up?
Caller: You know that friend of yours I was hitting on last night?
Me: More like making out with and trying to bone in full site of many people?
Caller: {caller laughs} yeah, that one.
Me: What about that friend?
Caller: Well, this is awkward.
Me: Uh... Ok...
Caller: Um, well, I think your friend is the hottest person ever. Like, really, really hot.
Me: Probably because it's true.
{we both laugh}
Caller: So is {person's name} a guy or a girl?
Me: Why are you asking me?
Caller: Well, I'm gay so I only like guys.
Me: It sounds like you like .
Caller: Well, yeah. Oh my god, yeah.
Me: So, maybe you could ask {person's name} yourself? I mean, does whether you like them or not depend on their gender?
Caller: Are you going to tell them that I'm gay so that they end up saying the gender that I want to hear?
Me: Um, no. {person}'s gender is probably not about you.
Caller: Oh.
{long pause}
Caller: This conversation was awkward, wasn't it?
Me: Yeah.
Caller: Oh. Ok.
{long pause}
Caller: Well, I gotta go. I guess I'll ask if they're a boy or a girl.
Me: Maybe ask their pronouns? Unless you need some sort of gender identity history for some reason...?
Caller: That's a good idea.
Me: But does that really relate to the fact that you want to do them?
Caller: I guess not... But I'm gay, see. I don't do girls.
Me: Oh... Even if you like them?
Caller: Yeah.
Me: Oh.
Caller: Or no. I don't know. Shit. I gotta go.

can I take bets on how long until this happens in the US?

I got this from W4D. I am now taking bets for how long until this happens in the US.

Separation of church and state now being meaningless since we have to teach intelligent design in schools anyhow, it can't be that long.

The person with the best guess and/or justification and/or who posts a comment that makes me laugh wins something decorated with the FSM (flying spaghetti monster).

Law suites like this and teaching intelligent design make me wonder why I'm still a Christian. On behalf of my religion, I apologize to all you quench'ers for the crazy shit we do.

January 07, 2006

Barbie update: Mattel changes website

Don't expect to find "Gender: I don't know" on Mattel's Barbie.com website anymore. After the [male] spokesperson for Concerned Women for America complained that Mattel's neutral-response option to the question of gender promoted (or worse, created) "gender confusion," Mattel caved in and changed the third option to "I don't want to say."

The full article reporting on the change can be found at GPAC (Gender Public Advocacy Coalition).

There are, however, a few points I'd like to raise here ... a sort of post-script to the Saga of Barbie, if you will.

- If you try to go to Barbie.com without Flash installed on your computer, you get the following cheerful message:

And in fact, the Barbie website's tagline is "Activities and Games for Girls." In other words, though the three-gender option on Barbie.com presumes that boys might visit the website, any boy who gets past the Flash error page and the title bar may be confused enough about his gender (after repeatedly being told that he's a girl) that the "I don't know" option might actually serve a purpose after all!

- The CWA recommended, at the height of the Barbie scandal, that parents who were eager to set a better example through their children's toys buy Blessings Nun Dolls instead. The Blessings website sells dolls dressed in authentic reproductions of habits worn by approximately 300 communities of nuns, including the fabulous "Pink Nuns," the Sister Servants of the Holy Ghost of Perpetual Adoration (pictured at left below).

Virgin Brides of Christ. Dressed in pink. That's about as gender-normative as you get, I guess.

- I want the downstairs guards in the Estimat's building to sign me in as an overnight guest rather than a temporary guest one of these days. No, this has nothing to do with Barbie, but come on now ... I'm there every night. I leave in the morning and say "see you later" to the guards. I wear the same clothing all weekend because I'm too dense to bring a change of clothes Thursday afternoon. I'm clearly not there to do my phonology homework, people.

Thank you.

That is all.

Why do I get these stupid fucking emails?

Subject line: Female Harvard Seniors
I just can't get away from this shit, can I?

Why do people at Harvard have my gender on file and why do they hand it out for random people to email me? And why do I get emails like this regularly. It's becoming more than annoying - it's actually pissing me off!

That facebook group is right, you should be able to just make your gender private and take it off of your records at my.harvard or something. Or at least change it easily.

Fuckers.

tragic death in Jamaica

The second anti-gay death that has hit the international media recently. I guess it's nice that it's at least being noticed. Here is an article about it.

Stolen Signatures

Has everyone been keeping up with the stolen signatures drama?

Essentially, paid signature-collectors tricked people into signing anti-gay-marriage stuff making them think it was either about getting wine in grocery stores or it was pro-same-sex-marriage.

That's a summary, although I guess most of you have heard about it.

Anyhow, this is the first article I've read that has pretty good quotes and explanation from people who were actually deceived in this scheme. This is a digusting, disgusting move from the right.

Two examples from the story:

When Shaune Barry of Shrewsbury got a call from MassEquality saying her name was on the list of signers she was disappointed but not surprised. Months prior at the Stop & Shop in Westborough Barry was approached by a petition gatherer who, as with Kennedy, said she was collecting signatures for the wine petition. Barry agreed to sign it."I signed one petition, [and] she said, 'Can you sign another petition for our other store in Westborough?'" said Barry. It sounded like a harmless enough request, and she signed without reading the second petition. In talking about the petition afterwards with her brother, who is gay and an active member of the Human Rights Campaign, he warned her that she may have been tricked into signing the marriage petition. The call from MassEquality confirmed it.

"My brother's gay, so I'm certainly not happy that I was duped into signing this," said Barry, 49. "I was appalled. I think it was deceitful and deceptive."

here's another one:
When Victoria Ellis of Somerville got a call from MassEquality saying she was on the list of signers, she was disgusted. In October she had had a confrontation with a signature collector outside the Target in Somerville who she said tried to trick her into signing the marriage petition. Like Kennedy and Barry she said she was lured in by the wine petition, and after she signed it the petition gatherer asked her to sign a "back-up copy". When she read the so-called copy, she discovered it was in fact the marriage petition. Enraged, she tore the petition from the clipboard and walked off with it, warning some other signers to read the "back-up copy" before signing as she left.

A friend of hers put her in touch with MassEquality, and working with them she wrote and signed an affidavit detailing the incident that was submitted to the Joint Committee on Election Laws. The affidavit included a copy of the marriage petition sheet that she had taken from the clipboard of the signature gatherer. Ellis also testified before that committee at on Oct. 18 hearing on the fraud allegations.

Since the marriage petition she signed was in her own possession, she was disturbed to find her name on the list of signers.

"I don't know how it happened, but I suspect that they just transferred my name from one [petition] to the other. I think my first [reaction to finding out my name was on the petition] was, 'You're kidding,' because after testifying and all of that, how is that even possible?" said Ellis. "It's really audacious for somebody to do this. I'm disgusted."

January 06, 2006

from the hott natural fallacy boy

"A long, long time ago"

On the occasion of my third Christmas, I received from my grandparents a record player and a selection of their old records. I listened to all of them initially, but after a few months I decided my favorites were Julie Andrews and Johnny Cash, and subsequently listened only to those records. This ideal situation continued until age 4. Then one day, when my mother drove me to pre-school, she heard a small but exuberant voice singing from the back of the car "Oh, I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die..." Thenceforth, I only listened to Julie Andrews."

And... his fate was sealed.

back to buttfucking, if I may...

I found this quotation from Gilles Deleuze in the translator's introduction to Deleuze and Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia:

"What got me by during that preiod was conceiving of the history of philosohy as a kind of ass-fuck, or, what amounts to the same thing, an immaculate conception. I imagined myself approaching an author from behind and giving him a child that would indeed be his but would nonetheless be monstrous."

icarus, will you give our harvey a monster child?

January 05, 2006

An article about Barbie I thought I'd never see

Warning: This Toy may cause "gender confusion".

There's an article titled Barbie 'Promotes Gender Confusion' Conservative Group Claims at 365gay.com which is something I thought I'd never read. It has some choice quotes in it from Concerned Women for America.

Let me show you some of the writing.

There's this sentence:

"It’s the idea that well, maybe people aren’t born a particular biological sex, or they are but that shouldn’t determine their gender identity," said Bob Knight, the director of CWA's Culture & Family Institute.
I read that and I was like, okay... this sounds pretty good.

But then I read the next sentence:

"And that’s a very big component of the homosexual activist agenda now."
Hey Mr. Knight - just FYI, most of the "homosexual agenda" hates us trans people just as much as you do. So that seems wrong. Unless we're all one person or something.

Then check out his next sentence:

"In other words, any kid who’s not sure about who he is, he’s fair game to try to persuade to have same sex acts," said Knight.
Actually, I didn't think anyone was persuading children to "have same sex acts." First of all, we're talking about gender here. Second of all, we're talking about 4 year olds. The only person I'm trying to have same-sex acts with is my boyfriend and he's a 20-something and does not play with Barbie. (See, some of us on the left think that Barbie actually helps enforce traditional gender roles. I know it may seem strange to you.)
Okay, that's enough analysis by me. Quench, what do you think?

And in case you haven't read the article yet, here is another choice quote.

It isn't the first time that CWA has targeted Matell. The organization previously went after the toymaker's American Girl doll division, claiming that Girl Inc. promotes abortion and lesbianism to young girls.
Which American Girl Doll is the lesbian? Which one has the abortion? Aren't they all kind of prepubescent? Okay, I admit, I don't know shit about dolls. I mean, I hope that soon you all write about whether the awesome hotwheel cars I played with, or better yet micromachines which had that cool add on TV are screwing with my head.

January 04, 2006

webness

re: the giant web of lesbian drama

raine: i'm bisected by an arrow!
spork: baby, that's what happens when you make out with twins.

Women's Media Center!

The exclusion of women at the highest levels of media has created a crisis of representation and narrow, inaccurate, or misrepresentative news reporting. Currently, women hold only 3% of of 'clout' positions in mainstream media, comprise less than a quarter of newspaper opinion writers--and are all but absent as columnists at the major national print or online media outlets. Women experts are still rarely called upon to comment on the serious events in the world. Globally, news stories that include women tally less than 15%.

WMC will work to correct these imbalances through its state-of-the-art, interactive website for women's media (coming early next year), and its many projects and partnerships. WMC will offer media training; a Rapid Response System to breaking news; the WMC Guidebook--a continually updated online guide for accurate language and talking points; and forums for media professionals.

WMC was founded in 2005 by the writer/activists Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan and has a Founding Advisory Board that includes some of the country's leading journalists, academics, foundation leaders, and media women.

I wish that the main site feed wasn't so dominated by mainstream media, but still, they link to all kinds of great bloggers and columnists. Check it out. I just added it to my bookmarks bar. :)

See the Entendante. See the Entendante pimp. Pimp, Entendante, pimp.

No, I do not in fact have any shame, how kind of you to ask.

That said, the 2006 Bloggies are now accepting nominations for best blog in myriad categories (at http://2006.bloggies.com/), and we Quenchfolk would be very very flattered to be nominated.

Suggested categories: best GLBT blog, best group blog, best new blog ... or whatever you think appropriate.

Voting closes January 10th (that is, six days from now), so if you love the Quench, make like fast little blog-nominating bunnies before it's too late!

Oh, and, um - thank you. *smile*

ETA: Don't forget, in order to nominate a blog, you have to nominate a total of at least three different blogs across the ten categories. Quench endorses any of the blogs listed in our sidebar, as well as blogs like Bitch Ph.D., Cambridge Common, and Margaret Cho.