Compiled by Howard Israel
“The last couple of days have been a lesson in my own educational and societal privilege. In my day to day interactions with people on the planet, I’m generally privileged to interact with people who respect my gender and racial identity. Microaggressions happen but for the most part, I can choose to move through the world in ways that limit my contact with people who don’t support or respect my identities. That’s not the case for a lot of my queer and trans kindred. In “It Gets Messy In Here,” Kai M. Green explores the day to day reality of just trying to use the bathroom for many trans masculine people of color. In interviews with masculine of center women, non-binary folks, and trans men, Green explores the gender policing that simply entering a bathroom can engender.”
-Crunk Feminist Collective author Moyazb’s review of the short documentary, “It Gets Messy In Here,” by artist Kai M. Green, which challenges gender assumptions and gender identities of all kinds by delving into the bathroom experiences of masculine identified queer women and transgendered men of color, http://www.crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com, Dec. 12.
“At this point in my life and in my career, while I have tried to maintain separation between my personal and public life, it is obvious that this can no longer remain the case. While I have performed my job as mayor, in my opinion, as a very conservative, progressive individual – and still continue to be a very conservative individual – I think that it is important that I discuss the struggles I have had over the last few years when I came to the realization that I am gay.”
-Mayor Greg Davis, Southaven, Mississippi, coming out for the first time publicly, after a criminal investigation revealed he allegedly misused $170,000 of city money on unsubstantiated expenditures including a $67 charge at a “gay lifestyle store and sex shop” while on a business trip, http://www.nems360.com, Northeast Mississippi News, Dec. 16.
“Michigan resident Amy Weber really schooled Daniels – and all the other bigots out there – when she stood up with her wife, Tina, and two daughters to address the mayor at a city council meeting. ‘I always like to think of challenges like this as opportunities to grow,’ she said, introducing her children to the assembly. Weber explained that in her family, ‘We talk every day about different families and different types of people, and teaching respect and kindness. That is the heart that beats in our home.’ Weber added, ‘I would love to see you at the next gay pride parade, leading the march, saying these are my brothers and sisters just like everybody else.’ It was a straightforward and profoundly moving moment, one that breaks this thing issue down to its most basic element – the rights of American citizens to just plain love each other. It was a sincere and compelling call to basic human decency.”
-Mary Elizabeth Williams, in her column titled “A homophobic mayor’s lesson in love,” about Michigan resident Amy Weber who addressed Troy Mayor Janice Daniels and the Troy City Council in response to the mayor’s homophobic Facebook comments, http://www.salon.com, Dec. 13.
“In all regions, people experience violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In many cases, even the perception of homosexuality or transgender identity puts people at risk. Violations include – but are not limited to – killings, rape and physical attacks, torture, arbitrary detention, the denial of rights to assembly, expression and information, and discrimination in employment, health and education. United Nations mechanisms, including human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, have documented such violations for close to two decades.”
-First official report by the UN on the human rights of LGBT people around the globe, titled “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity,” issued by the Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Nov. 17. Pillay called on governments to protect LGBT people, repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, abolish the death penalty for offences involving consensual sexual relations, and enact comprehensive anti-discrimination laws.