Feb 082013
 

In the last week, there has been a ridiculous preponderance of racism within the “sex positive” community. Now, racism is ridiculous in and of itself. It has permeated every facet of our culture. However, this racism is beyond blatant, and yet, people within the supposedly allied gay leather community, and the porn community (including a “feminist” identified white cis male porn star) are saying that it is NOT racism, and wouldn’t it be so nice if those angry people of color (and white allies) who are calling it out would just shut the hell up about it, because it is making them uncomfortable that they support, and are amused by/turned on by, something that is racist.

Case #1: Yellow Face in the Burning Angel Parody of the Walking Dead XXX Parody.

First reported by Jezebel here: http://jezebel.com/5980498/walking-dead-porn-parody-relies-on-yellowface. Basically, director Joanna Angel (who has identified as a feminist, and actually done some great things to change the face of porn, and women’s roles in it) decides to put yellow face on actor Danny Wylde, including yellow make up and taped up eyes (yes, people actually do this). I’d assume that everyone would be like “whaaaaa? That’s fucking racist!” Until later, when I saw this: http://business.avn.com/articles/video/BurningAngel-Racist-What-Jew-Talkin-Bout-Jezebel-506028.html#.UQsvDjK_Tpg.twitter. Summation? Apparently, Joanna Angel cannot possibly racist because she’s Jewish. Um. I’m Jewish, and putting someone in yellow face is racist. Period. If for some reason, you couldn’t find a porn start who was ACTUALLY Asian, why not just throw a hat on the actor and call it a day. Since when is porn concerned about being 100% accurate to the script? Alas, it gets worse. Danny Wylde, the actor in question, writes this post: http://trvewestcoastfiction.blogspot.com/2013/01/where-i-try-to-explain-why-i-look-like.html?m=1 about why he looks like an asshole (which he does), and say he’s a feminist (which he’s not – racism is NOT a feminist trait), and then goes on to cisplain/mansplain/whitesplain about how it’s ok, because he plays a rapist on kink.com, but isn’t really, so it’s ok. He never even offers a full apology. A small faction of the porn and a larger faction of the sex positive community went (rightly) up in arms about this incredibly racist act, and they’ve been told that it’s porn, calm the fuck down, and it’s not really racism, because I mean, it’s not like black face or anything. ALERT: It IS racism. Period. And if you support racist acts, you are perpetuating racism. The end.

Case #2: The Portland Eagle leather bar books incredibly racist, classist and sexist drag queen, and then when the community calls them out, they support their decision, and invite folks to attend said performance for dialogue. 

Read all about it (including a video link to said fucked up performance) here on Mollena’s blog: http://www.mollena.com/2013/02/blackface-still-racist-yall/. Based on the previous case of yellow face where people flat out said that it wasn’t racist because it wasn’t black face, then clearly, this is flat out racism, right? Because it’s black face. And making fun of “welfare queens” and women, and mothers, and anyone of color, and the list goes on. CLEARLY, this one is racism and shouldn’t everyone in the marginalized gay community stand up to say this is unacceptable? HA. No. People speaking out against this are now classified as “oh, they’re just Angry Black Women” (um, which they have every right to be given this situation) as compared to community members who are calling out blatant racism. I’m Angry Woman about this issues, and I am not Black. I am white. And guess what, I still calling out fucking racism when I see it. And anyone who tries to defend this act as funny? Guess what. People also think sexist, ableist, homophobic, ageist, classist, etc jokes are funny, but it doesn’t make them any less fucked up. It doesn’t make them any less sexist, ableist, homophobic, ageist, classist, etc. If you like racist jokes, fine – that is your right. But don’t pretend for one second that it ISN’T actually racist. And when your own community members (did I mention that Mollena was International Ms. Leather in 2010?) are telling you that this is messed up and unacceptable, telling them to be quiet, or withdrawing friendships, is not ok. Moreover, if you identify as inclusive, or feminist, or an ally of any sort, say that you’re not going to get involved, or you don’t “comment on these type of things” is ridiculously cowardly. Would you be silent if another type of club booked a comedian that talked about how messed up queer folk and kinky folk were? Would you be silent if someone was beat up for their identity? I would hope not. Remaining silent in this situation is no less cowardly. As Audre Lorde once said, Your silence will not protect you.

I have so much more to say, but it is this is devolving into just a rant, and that is not helpful from me. The people who agree with it know how fucked up these two situations are. I call for other allies, particularly those with white privilege (like myself), to bring more attention to these issues, and to call our community out. It is our responsibility to call out racism and support our brothers and sisters of color. They should not have to be the ones putting themselves on the line about racism, but they almost always are. It is our turn to support them and make sure our communities know that this is absolutely not ok.

Feb 072011
 

For those who do not know, many sex educators, myself included, were recently attacked in a post/report that claimed that our education on the Brown University campus was a direct correlation of the recent four new cases of HIV within the student population. It stated that people such as myself (a “sex toy representative”) did not have the education to provide sex ed to students, to handle the emotional side of things, etc (of course, they neglected to mention my Master’s in Human Sexuality Education, which provided me with exactly those aforementioned skills). It also insinuated that I was a prostitute, that other educators are connected with obscenity charges and that some educators are contributing to STI transmission by discussion topics such as polyamory (multiple loves) and anal sex, despite our conversations about barrier methods, testing, and intimacy without exchanging bodily fluids.

I have always had a strong commitment to educating individuals and groups about safer sex, including but not limited to STI prevention, pregnancy prevention, consensual activities and emotional safety. As I continue to educate people about the spectrum of sexuality, I will keep including discussions about safer sex practices (including barriers and transmission prevention) for people of all genders and orientations, and also continue my commitment to distribute dams and gloves in addition to the more traditional condoms and lube freebies often provided. Please read and re-post/forward/desseminate the below press release if you believe the positive aspects of sex education, and refuse to condone the slanderous accusations put forth towards us.

-Shanna Katz, M.Ed

For Immediate Release
Sexuality educators set the record straight: “Talking about sexuality does not increase sexually transmitted infections” despite what non-experts report.

Contact: ?Megan Andelloux
HiOhMegan@gmail.com
401-345-8685

Contact: Aida Manduley
Aida_manduley@brown.edu
787-233-0025

In yet another attempt to shut down access to quality sex education, South-Eastern New England conservative advocates hit the sex panic button in a multi-state, email and phone campaign to colleges all over New England last week.

On February 3rd and 4th , certified sexuality educator and sexologist Megan Andelloux (AASECT, ACS) received word that numerous colleges and university faculty received a document stating that colleges who brought sex educators such as Ms. Andelloux onto their campuses were linked to the increasing rate of transmission of HIV in RI. Furthermore, among other misleading “facts” that were “cited,” the author of this bulletin claimed that Brown University was facing an HIV crisis, which is false.

Citizens Against Trafficking, the face behind the fear-mongering, spammed numerous local institutions from a University of Rhode Island account with its latest malicious missive that targeted specific individuals as well as Brown University. The author of the letter, Margaret Brooks, an Economics Professor at Bridgewater State, suggested that colleges and universities that host sexuality speakers, including those who are professionally accredited, are partly to blame for the four new cases of HIV which have been diagnosed amongst RI college students this year.

Ms. Andelloux states: “My heart goes out to those students who have recently tested positive for HIV. However, there is no evidence of any link between campus presentations on sexual issues and the spike in HIV cases. Rather, I would suggest that this demonstrates a need for more high-quality sex education to college students.“ It is unclear why people at URI or Citizens Against Trafficking, a coalition to combat all forms of human trafficking, is attempting to stop adults from accessing sexual information from qualified, trained educators. What is certain however, is that this Professor of Economics miscalculated her suggestion that a correlation exists between increased HIV rates in Rhode Island and the type of sex education these speakers provided at Brown University: one that emphasized accurate information, risk-reduction, pleasure, and health.

Barrier methods have been shown by the CDC to reduce the transmission of HIV and other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). Research has shown that when individuals have access to medically accurate information, are aware of sexual risk reduction methods, and have access to learn about sexual health, the number of infections and transmission of STIs decreases, pain during sex decreases, and condom use increases. The CAT circulated bulletin is blatantly misleading about many issues, and often omits information that is crucial to understanding the full picture of sex education at Brown and in Rhode Island.

When individuals who do not hold any background in sexuality education speak out in opposition because of their fear or prejudice, society becomes rooted in outdated beliefs and pseudo-science that do injustice to people everywhere. Furthermore, when those individuals personally and publicly attack those devoted to providing sex education with false and misinformed accusations, it not only hurts those who are defamed, but also the community at large.

We ask for an immediate retraction of the vilifying and inaccurate statements made by Ms. Margaret Brooks and Citizens Against Trafficking in their latest newsletter. We also ask that esteemed local universities such as URI and Bridgewater State continue to hold their employees to ethical standards of normal scientific inquiry and require that their faculty hold some modicum of expertise in a field of education before raising the public level of panic over it.

Megan Andelloux is available to answer any questions the press, Margaret Brooks, University of Rhode Island or Citizens Against Trafficking holds. Aida Manduley, the Chair of Brown University’s Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council and Brown University’s is available to discuss the upcoming Sex Week and sexuality workshops held at Brown University.

Signed,
Megan Andelloux, AASECT, ACS
Shanna Katz, M.Ed
Reid Mihalko
Aida Manduley

Jul 202010
 

Do you have a child that identifies as trans? Or have a family friend who may be looking to learn more about their trans (or transitioning, or gender-queer, etc) family member?

My partner and I have come up with some good starter links for you (or your friend) to check out. If you happen to have more awesome resources for parents/family/relatives/friends/teachers/etc of trans youth, I’d love for you to post it here so we can create even more resources for our community.

-Shanna

Trans Active: http://www.transactiveonline.org/families_new.html

Parents, Family and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (also trans inclusive) http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=209

Trans Youth and Family Allies: http://www.imatyfa.org/

Colorado specific: http://www.tyes-colorado.org/index.html

News article: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3088298&page=1

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism–For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals (book)

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals (book)

Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not (book)