poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Half a Million PFLAG Hands Clapping for Logo Channel; Now Our Kids Have Their MTV
5/25/2004 2:23:00 PM

WASHINGTON, May 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) congratulates MTV and Viacom on their announcement that, on Feb. 17, they will launch Logo, a channel entirely dedicated to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. PFLAG moms and dads are thrilled that now our kids have their MTV!

"Finally! When our TVs are full of channels dedicated to everything from food to pets to golf, PFLAG is thrilled that MTV has burst out of the cable closet with a channel that will include news and educational programming as well as entertainment for the GLBT community," said Alice Leeds, PFLAG director of Communications.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 250,000 members and supporters in over 500 chapters throughout the United States.

Transgender Murder Trial Drawing to Close

The murder trial for three men accused of killing a trangendered teen is approaching its conclusion.

Monday, a defense attorney expanded his theory that panic led to the killing of Gwen Araujo, 17. A psychologist testified that it's likely that a dangerous brew of anger and shame boiled over the night Araujo was revealed to be biologically male.

Meanwhile, Araujo's family said it planned to file a petition Tuesday to have her name legally changed. Araujo was given the name Eddie at birth, but went by Gwen while living as a woman in the years before the murder.


Student orientation: More teenage girls are testing gender boundaries

BY PEGGY O'CROWLEY Star-Ledger Staff
As sexual standards and practices loosen -- with same-sex marriage in the headlines -- and as kids are exposed to a hyper-sexual culture at younger ages, experts suspect a new behavior among teenage girls may be developing.

An increasing number of high school girls and coeds, they say, may be experimenting with same-sex relationships or acting suggestively with each other in a bid to attract the opposite sex. Experts who deal with adolescents don't know how to explain it, even though such behavior can be seen on MTV and in other youth-oriented media.

Gay teen's prom date legal challenge becomes CTV movie, airing June 1
Canadian Press

TORONTO (CP) - They called him Cinderfella. All gay teen Marc Hall wanted was to take his boyfriend to the high school prom.

But when his Oshawa, Ont., Catholic school said no, Hall became a national cause celebre in 2002, albeit a reluctant one. The dispute exploded first in the media and then into a major legal confrontation between the 135-year-old

Canadian Constitution - that guarantees the separate school system autonomy - and the new Charter of Rights and Freedoms that defends sexual orientation from discrimination.

Hall's ambivalence over being thrust into the media spotlight is portrayed in Prom Queen, a CTV movie of the week airing next Tuesday night.


Weapons of mass homophobia

For weeks we have been pummeled with images of homosexual acts used as a tactic to humiliate and torture Iraqi prisoners. Such atrocities, writes Patrick Moore, arise directly from the vicious demonization of gay people in our society, from the White House on down
From The Advocate, June 8, 2004

The images of Iraqi prisoners being tortured were so disturbing that it took me several days to confront the exact nature of my discomfort. It extended beyond the knowledge that American soldiers were brutalizing prisoners. It was more personal and related to the shame I felt as a gay man while looking at the photos.
The world was stunned by these images not only because of their brutality but also because of their sexual nature. Homophobia in the American military is nothing new, but the abuse of homosexual sex as a military tactic achieves a new level of perverse ingenuity. Confronted with the use of their sexuality as the ultimate tool of degradation, gay men now have another reason to fight against the reelection of George Bush. We should be at the forefront of outraged protests against these war crimes as we will ultimately pay the price for our sexuality being further stigmatized.

It is confusing to apply Western words such as gay to the acts depicted in the images coming from Iraq and to try to reconcile the concept with the lives of men living in Islamic cultures. Because gay implies an identity and a culture in addition to describing sexual acts, it is difficult for a gay man in the West to effectively understand the level of humiliation endured by the prisoners.

The American tactics of humiliating Arab men by forcing them to display their naked bodies and violating them by real or simulated acts of anal intercourse would not be effective if Islam itself did not have such a uneasy relationship with homosexuality. Sex between men does occur in Islamic society, but the shame is in gay identity rather than the actual homosexual acts. As long as a man does not accept the feminine “passive” role in sex with another man, there is no shame in the behavior as long as it remains within accepted power structures. Shame truly comes only with the openness of gay identity, which is actively punished. The latest reports indicate that the prisoners were not only physically abused but accused of being homosexuals, which is a far greater degradation in Islamic culture.


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