advocacy

arvan's picture

Indigenous Peoples In the Sex Trade – Speaking For Ourselves

(I saw this today and felt it needed as much exposure as possible)

We as Indigenous peoples who have current and/or former life experience in the sex trade and sex industries met on unceeded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver on Monday April 11th 2011. In a talking circle organized by the Native Youth Sexual Health Network we wish to share the following points about our collective discussion so that we may speak FOR ourselves and life experiences:

-We recognize that many of us have multiple identities and communities that we belong to – some of us take up the title of “sex worker” while others do not see themselves this way.  We have a myriad of experiences in the sex trade, everything from violence, coercion, to survival, getting by, empowerment, and everything in between.   We want to give voice to these issues so that those who are CURRENTLY involved in sex work and the sex industries feel supported and are the primary place where decisions surrounding our lives are made.  We should not be made to feel judged, blamed, or shunned from ANY of the communities we belong to or are coming from. We are the best deciders of what we want our lives to be.

arvan's picture

Butch Voices 2011 | Oakland, CA

BUTCH Voices is a grassroots organization dedicated to of all womyn, female-bodied, and trans-identified individuals who are Masculine of Center*and their Allies.  The organization will hold the second national BUTCH Voices Conference on August 18th– 21st, 2011 at the Oakland City Center Marriott

Submissions are now being accepted for workshops, performances, presentations, skill shares, photography/visual art and video. The submission deadline is June 1, 2011. Early registration has begun and is $100 for regular attendees, $125 for VIP and $50 for students. Volunteers can register online and are needed in all areas of the conference. Volunteers pay regular registration price and receive all the benefits of VIP status in exchange for at least four hours of their volunteer service during the conference.

The second national conference of it’s kind, BUTCH Voices 2011, is produced by a team of critical-thinking, open-minded, gender-bending social justice activists who share a common goal of increasing positive visibility. Activities throughout the conference will highlight those who share their voices through activism, performance, media, oral history, spoken word, art, photography, film and other collaborative means.

BUTCH Voices seeks to bring together people of various identities who are often divided by gender, sexuality, language, biology, race, age, size, ability, religion, geography, and class to honor and explore diversity by creating a safe space to discuss, examine, and deconstruct commonalities, differences, and the places they intersect.

arvan's picture

Announcing the Riot 2011 National Conversation Series: Who’s in Charge?

2011 National Conversation Series: Who’s in Charge?

May 3, 2011
June 7, 2011
July 12, 2011

Each 90-minute discussion begins Tuesdays at 2:00 pm Eastern

The Riot’s 2011 National Conversation series provides a forum for self-advocate leaders to talk about:
• What gets in the way of people being in charge of their own lives and support that helps people be in control (May 3rd)
• What gets in the way of self-advocates being in charge of their own movement and support that is helpful (June 7th)
• Ideas about what self-advocate leaders and others can do to strengthen the movement (July 12th)

Speaker List

Sharon Lewis – ADD Commissioner
Ari Ne’eman – ASAN
Beth Davis – self-advocate, Illinois
Betty Williams – SABE president, Indiana
Chester Finn – self-advocate, New York
Gayle B. Gardner – self-advocate, Oregon
Kate Fialkowski – Kennedy Policy Fellow, ADD
Katie Arnold – Sibling Leadership Network, Illinois
Sam Durbin – self-advocate, California
Stacey Milbern – NYLN, North Carolina
Steve Holmes – advisor SANYS, New York
Jennifer Knapp – advisor, Illinios

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

ADD (the US Administration on Developmental Disabilities) is currently hosting five regional summits to discover what is happening with self-advocacy across the country and develop recommendations for action to strengthen the movement at the state and national levels. Self-advocate leaders from up to 30 states are attending to speak up about the movement in their states.

The Riot wants to hear from self-advocate leaders in all 50 states, Canada, and elsewhere about the self-advocacy movement in your state. Self-advocate leaders everywhere are invited to participate in the Riot 2011 National Conversation series to speak up about Who’s in charge!

arvan's picture

Sex+++ Documentary Film Series is looking for grant application advice

I was speaking with Lisa Junkin at the Sex+++ Documentary Film Series last week.  She said that the success of the series has endeared it to the community, shown value for the Museum and University.  It has also grown beyond the budget they have set aside for it.  Lisa is now looking to convert it into something viable and something that can reach even more people.  Her background is not in grant application or funding in general and I suggested that she write up a description of what she is looking for so that we can post it for you all to see.  So, here is a brief note from Lisa about what the film series needs and the kind of help they could use.  -a

Hi, my name is Lisa and I co-organize the Sex Positive Documentary Film Series, an educational film and discussion series about diverse aspects of sexuality, particularly at the margins. I have a question about funding sources for this program and am hoping that the community here could weigh in.

This series is run by my employer, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which is a part of the University of Illinois Chicago. We have hosted this series for more than 2 years and it has been highly successful, but we have never acquired a grant for it. So far, the program has been entirely funded by the museum's resources and by generous donations by individuals and private businesses. But we're lining up our next two years of AMAZING films, and the costs are adding up.

We would like to find a grant or other funding source to help pay for our expenses, but so far it has been difficult to find a good match.  Our content is, as you can imagine, a bit unconventional for some feminist or woman-oriented funding sources, and we can't accept major funding from places like Playboy because of concerns at the university level (though note that we count among our private donors a dungeon and a sex toy shop.) Other foundations relating to sexuality tend to be either policy-driven or are oriented to address issues of rape and violence, which doesn't match our focus closely enough.

Thoughts? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Our program goals are as follows:

+Screen and discuss documentary films with a positive, informative spin on human sexuality
+Establish a conversation about positive sexuality among communities that aren't currently cross-pollinating
+Support filmmakers creating new work on sexual identities and topics
+Create a replicable model for excellent sex positive programming and community building

For more on the series:
http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/_programsevents/_upcomingevents/_events/sex+++/sex+++.html

Film list from our first year:
http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2009/01/15/the-sex-positive-documentary-film-list-finally-here/

Lisa Junkin
Education Coordinator
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted Street, M/C 051
Chicago, IL 60607
(312)355-5301
www.hullhousemuseum.org

arvan's picture

Daniel Craig & Judi Dench in PSA: "Are We Equal"

this!

JAMES BOND SUPPORTS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 2011
www.weareequals.org / www.weareequals.org/blog
The two-minute short, specially commissioned for International Women's Day, sees 007 star Daniel Craig undergo a dramatic makeover as he puts himself, quite literally, in a woman's shoes.

Directed by acclaimed 'Nowhere Boy' director/conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, scripted by Jane Goldman ('Kick Ass') and featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as 'M', the film will be screened in cinemas and streamed online in a bid to highlight the levels of inequality that persist between men and women in the UK and worldwide. It is the first film featuring Bond to be directed by a woman.

Director: Sam Taylor-Wood. Producer: Barbara Broccoli. Scriptwriter: Jane Goldman. Director of photography: Seamus McGarvey. Featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench.

Editor: Mel Agace
Post production: Michael Sollinger
Post production coordinator: Harriet Dale
With thanks to all the team at Ascent, including Patrick Malone, Dean Harding,
Grading: Robin Pizzey
Deluxe grade production: Rob Farris
Effects fix: Emily Greenwood
Sound producer: Hannah Mills
Sound: Simon Diggins and Peter Gleaves at Goldcrest

The EQUALS partnership and Annie Lennox would like to thank all the production team, cast and crew that donated their time, vision and energy in the hope of a more equal world for women and girls.

Buck Angel's picture

Buck Angel's Women's HIV/AIDS Prevention PSA

Hi.  This is my Public Service Announcement on the importance of safe sex and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.  Playboy playmate,fitness expert and HIV/AIDS educator Rebekka Armstrong speaks about how she got infected with AIDS and how you can prevent this from happening to you! 

See more about Rebekka Armstrong at www.rebekkaonline.net.

Here is a list of great HIV/AIDS resources:
http://www.thebody.com/index.html
http://www.poz.com/
http://www.projinf.org/
http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/

- Buck

arvan's picture

Transformative Justice Law Project: Name Change Mobilization

Dear Allies and Supporters of the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP),

We are very excited to announce the start of our Name Change Mobilization project!  During this monthly event, attorneys and trained volunteers will help transgender and gender non-conforming folks file petitions to change their names legally at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago.  Volunteers will then provide follow-up support services to accompany folks to their court dates and help them navigate the subsequent name change processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office, Department of Vital Records, etc.  This event will happen once a month on the last Friday of every month from 9am - 4pm.  Our goal is simple: we want to help as many people as possible legally change their names as part of our long-term goal of gender self-determination for all, free of government limitation.

Here are the details for our first mobilization!!!!

When: January 28th (this Friday)
Time: 9am - 4pm
Where: The Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, 12th floor

Do not fear! If you cannot attend this month's Mobilization, this is an ongoing project of TJLP and will reoccur on the last Friday of every month with the next two mobilizations already on February 25th and March 25th.  We send many thanks those with the financial means to donate to TJLP and help make this event possible.

If you have any questions regarding the Name Change Mobilization or know of anyone that would like to participate by either getting their name legally changed or by volunteering to help folks change their names legally, please let us know!  Our contact information for the event is namechange@tjlp.org, 773-272-1822 (phone/text).  Please see attached posters for our first mobilization in both Spanish and English.

GET EXCITED!!!!  We sure are!!!

And as always:  Fight to win!

In Solidarity,
Your friends at TJLP (website) (facebook)

arvan's picture

An SGB Interview with Vyckie Garrison of No Longer Quivering

Vyckie Garrison

Vyckie Garrison runs a website called No Longer Quivering, which assists women in transitioning from abusive, oppressive and servile roles as breeding servants of husbands and an interpretation of the Bible called The Quiverful movement.  The site features the stories of women and families, told in their own words - about the harsh price paid by women and children in oppressive, strict religion.  Most of the stories are painful to read, but I encourage you to read them.  The knowledge of what these women go through in order to provide healthy lives for themselves and their children - is breathtaking.  Vyckie also operates a site called The Take Heart Project, to support women in all religions who seek to free themselves of oppression, brutality & dehumanization in the name of a god. 

I invited Vyckie to be interviewed here on SGB because her story is a powerful one, which is shared in full or in part by a great many women across the globe. 

SGB: Looking back at your life, who were you before Quiverfull that you are no longer?  Who are you since leaving Quiverfull?
 
VG: Before Quiverfull, I was a young girl with a lifetime and the whole world before me ~ I was smart, competent, relatively healthy, ambitious ~ I wanted to make a difference.  I wanted to do "something big."
 
Only I didn't know what that "something big" might be.  I had a 4.0 GPA in college ~ so I knew that I could do pretty much whatever I wanted.  The problem for me was that everything seemed so very interesting ~ I wanted to do it all!!
 
But I was also very insecure and fearful.  Decision making was a terribly scary thing for me ~ what if I made the wrong choice?  Worse yet ~ what if I failed?  I wanted to know with absolute certainty that I was doing the right thing.  I had the idea that if I prayed to God for guidance and searched the bible, I could discern God's will for my life.  It was an appealing idea ~ after all, Who would know better than my Creator what was right and best for me?
 
So I went to bible college and I became a student of the Word.  Through diligent study, plus the help of many fundamentalist teachers ~ I discovered that God had very specific plans for me as a woman.  He created me female ~ gave me a womb ~ and if I was to be fulfilled and joyful and pleasing to the Lord ~ I needed to give my womb over in service to Him.  I learned that as a woman, the Lord created me to be a suitable helper for my husband ~ to bear his children and assist him in training them up to love and serve the Lord with their whole beings ~ mind, body, soul and strength.
 
Sure, I could've done anything I wanted with my life ~ but what higher calling could there be for me as a woman than to be sober, to love my husband, to love my children, to be discreet, chaste, a keeper at home, good, obedient to my own husband, that the word of God be not blasphemed? (Titus 2:4,5)
 
What I did in actuality was to give up my power ~ my agency ~ severely limiting my choices in life.  I chose to have no choice ~ all for the security of having that absolute certainty that I was doing the very best thing with my talents and abilities.  I had discovered a formula for godly family living ~ one that promised strength and guidance, favor with God ~ with all the requisite blessings of those who walked in His ways, peace beyond understanding, and eternal reward in the life to come.  After all, Jesus taught us that a man who seeks to save his life shall lose it ~ but whoever loses his life for Christ's sake shall find it.
 
It was all so real ~ so all-consuming.  I could not imagine that without it, there would be any "me" at all ~ my entire identity was wrapped up in following Christ and the Word of God.
 
When I began to have doubts ~ when I no longer trusted the Bible as my guidebook for daily living ~ I became rather anxious, so I scrambled to figure out what of Christianity I could hold onto ~ to say, "This, I still believe."
 
But I came up empty ~ none of it makes sense to me anymore.  Which kind of puts me back at square one.  The difference is ~ this time, I am not afraid.  I do not need to have all the answers ~ in fact, I'm beginning to like the uncertainty and ambiguity.  I don't mind so much anymore that life's a struggle and things get messy and we're all a little screwy at times.  I am much more relaxed and willing to take life as it comes.  I don't feel a need for a sure-fire formula or guaranteed outcomes.  The pressure is off and I am enjoying the simplicity of living life in the moment.

Bekhsoos's picture

Framing Visibility: Coming Out and the International LGBT Spectrum of Progress

 

 

- Contributed by Lynn on behalf of Meem at the ILGA Women’s Pre-Conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil

In 2007, Meem was launched as a little lesbian support group in Lebanon. At the time, and after 4 years of trying to organize alongside a majority of gay men within the framework of LGBT public advocacy, we had understood that in order to create a strong and empowered movement, we were to create a safe space to ourselves as women first. We had also understood that for women to feel safe enough to explore, share, and experience their relationships with their sexuality, confidentiality and anonymity had to be key elements in our organizing. We wanted our members to benefit from support and services without the fear of being legally and socially “outed.”

Total secrecy would have turned Meem into a static bubble. There had to be a way, an intricate way, to reach out to the queers that we hadn’t reached out to. Some of the ways Meem did this was through writing.

We’ve published a collection of true stories – our stories – “to introduce Lebanese society to the real stories of real people whose voices had gone unheard for hundreds of years” and “whose sexualities have been mocked, dismissed, denied, oppressed, distorted, and forced into hiding” (Bareed Mista3jil 1). These stories are all anonymous. “We did not sign the stories with any names, nicknames, or initials because we wanted to guard the safety and confidentiality of the brave people who told their stories” (Bareed Mista3jil 8).

arvan's picture

International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers - Vigil & Speak Out

Friday, December 17 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Metropolitan Community Church of New York

446 West 36th Street,

Second Floor Sanctuary

New York, NY

This event is free and open to the public.

Map: http://bit.ly/dUenDt

Join us in remembering those we've lost to violence, oppression and hate, whether perpetrated by clients, partners, police or the state.

We stand against the cycle of violence experienced by sex workers around the world. Recently in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Council reviewed the human rights record of the United States during their Universal Periodic Review. Uruguay's recommendation to the Obama Administration – to address “the special vulnerability of sexual workers to violence and human rights abuses” - is the moral leadership we have been waiting for!

Join us in solidarity to fight the criminalization, oppression, assault, rape and murder of sex workers – and of folks perceived as sex workers.

December 17, 2003 was our first annual day to honor the sex workers who were murdered by serial killer Gary Ridgway. In Ridgway's own words, "I also picked prostitutes as victims because they were easy to pick up without being noticed. I knew they would not be reported missing right away and might never be reported missing. I picked prostitutes because I thought I could kill as many of them as I wanted without getting caught." (BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3245301.stm)

We come together each year to show the world that the lives of marginalized people, including those of sex workers, are valuable.

SPEAKERS

* Audacia Ray, Red Umbrella Project & Sex Work Awareness

* Chelsea Johnson-Long, Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project

* Michael J. Miller, The Counterpublic Collective and PROS Network

* Andrea Ritchie, Peter Cicchino Youth Project and Streetwise & Safe (SAS)

READINGS

* Reading of the names of sex workers we have lost this past year

* Memorial for Catherine Lique by her daughter Stephanie Thompson and read by Sarah Jenny Bleviss

* Speak out: Bring poetry, writings or just speak your truth.

Light snacks, beverages, and metrocards will be provided.

The red umbrella has become an important symbol for Sex Workers' Rights and is increasingly used on December 17: "First adopted by Venetian sex workers for an anti-violence march in 2002, red umbrellas have come to symbolize resistance against discrimination for sex workers worldwide."

This event is co-sponsored by: Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, MADRE, Peter Cicchino Youth Project, PONY (Prostitutes of New York), The Queer Commons, Red Umbrella Project, SAFER, Sex Work Awareness, Sex Workers Project, SWANK (Sex Workers Action New yorK), SWOP-NYC (Sex Workers Outreach Project), the Space at Tompkins, and Third Wave Foundation.

Babeland is also sponsoring our event and wants folks to know that they offer 10% off for Sex Workers always - ask for the "Professional Discount."

For more information, visit: http://www.swop-nyc.org/

For events outside of New York, visit: http://www.swop-usa.org/dec17

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