May 102010

The other day, I twittered something about how I was having trouble finding the right red corset/skirt/bustle combo, and jokingly suggested that I go onto Say Yes to the Dress to have them help me.  Some of my followers thought it was a great idea, and so I half-jokingly applied online, making it clear that I am a queer, plus size woman who does NOT want a white dress, but have my heart set on a red dress. I made my application a bit political, telling them I thought it was important for them to have more orientation and size diversity.

You can imagine my surprise when I actually heard back from them.  They loved my story, and wanted to know more about me and my partner, and get more pictures of me, and of the two of us.  I sent them.

The casting producer seems to really like me, and my partner and I were actually getting really excited. However, I had only budgeted $500 for my outfit, and while we could probably save $1000 for it, that was it.  The dresses at the store on the show (which is on TLC) start at $1500. Ergo, my budget needs to be $1500-2000 to get to go on the show.

At first, I was like “this is crazy. Spending over a grand on a dress that will only be worn once (or a few times, for costume parties, etc, in my case) is out of control. I guess I just won’t go on the show.”  But then everyone I talked to pointed out the importance of having a plus size woman on TV, and a queer woman (with a gender queer presenting partner), on NATIONAL TV.

So I’m going to try to do it. Many people offered to put a few dollars towards the dress. I’m going to use my frequent travel miles to get there, and stay with my partner’s family.  So the cost is all the dress.  Ergo, I’m trying to raise as much as I can towards the dress, and hope to bring attention both to size diversity and same-sex marriage on national TV.

If you’re willing to help me find the perfect red dress, and queer SYTTD at the same time, and have a couple of bucks lying around, I’d love it if you’d be willing to donate. If not, I completely understand.  Just please don’t threaten me (one person on twitter said he’d like to shoot me in the head for being a queer plus size woman trying to get on TV).  If it’s $5 or $50 (or $500? *looks around hopefully*), every little bit counts, and I would appreciate it very much.  Please don’t donate anonymously — if for some reason this doesn’t go through, I want to make sure everyone gets their money back.

EDIT: I just spoke with the producer and I am officially on the show. My filming date is June 12th.

So without further ado, here is the donation button to get a queer, plus size (disable) woman on national TV trying to find her wedding dress. Please, and thank you, and please pass it on if you’re willing.



Apr 122010

This is cross posted from my other blog, but I feel that it is incredibly important for people every where to read things like this, and to stand up against hate, against stigmatism, against the ridiculous accusations and name call that is loaded onto us by people who claim to be “academics.” It is high time that we stand up against this, that we stand together as a sex positive, inclusive, caring community, and show them that their taunts, their accusations, their hate mongering and their anger have no place here.

One of our “own,” a fierce warrior of sex positivity and transparency, has been attacked by Donna M. Hughes and Margaret Brooks. Maymay, a sex blogger/educator/geek/rockstar/podcaster/etc has come under fire from two people who have also attached Kink for All Providence, the lovely Oh Megan, and many more. I will not link to their original bulletin (which they sent forth to hundreds if not thousands of people), but you can read what Maymay said about the attack here, and about furthering dialogue instead of just throwing stones and insults at each other.

We must stand up for ourselves, and for each other every single day. I lovingly and jokingly (sometimes) refer to myself as a professional pervert, but while I have reclaimed that word, many of us (people who work towards sex positivity; bloggers, educators, authors, etc) have it hurled at us in a negative context on a very regular basis. Whether we teach online, at Planned Parenthood, in a public school, a private school, workshops, through hosing unconferences, etc, we have to fight for the right to be seen as true educators, people teaching a needed or even just “legit” subject.

So when one of us is attacked, whether it is online or in real life, whether we’re being called a pervert or a pedophile or a whore or the anti-christ, we are all being attacked. We are being told that sexuality education is harmful, that we are wrong to want people to be educated and open and have happy sex lives (whether vanilla or kinky, monogamous or not). We are ALL being attacked.

Ergo, I stand up for sexuality education, I stand up for sex positivity, I stand up for the free discussion of sexuality amoungst all people. I am not a pedophile or the anti-christ. I am just someone that believes in equal rights and understanding and education regarding healthy sexuality for ALL people. I stand against the creepy pervert stigma. I stand here, wearing my leopard print and polka dots, taking sexuality OUT of the dark, OUT for the closet, putting it forth for people to see, discuss, talk about, question, understand and more.

I stand in solidarity with Maymay, and with all the other sex positive people who have been stigmatize, and persecuted, and hated on just for wanted to bring open-ness and discussion regarding healthy sexuality to all people.

Stand up against stigma. Speak out. The more we bring forth sexuality in a positive light, and stand together in solidarity, the less slander, libel, hated, threats, name calling and more can affect us.

My name is Shanna Katz. I am a proptent of sex positivity and accessible sexuality education for all. Do not think to shame me. I support others like me, and those I disagree with as well. I support the freedom of speech and the freedom of sex educaton. I stand up for sexuality.

Also, Viviane wrote an excellent post on this as well over at the Sex Carnival. Aida Manduley, the student at Brown who was instrumental in organizing Kink for All Providence also wrote a piece here about the event and speaking up for herself and sexuality.