Progress on the queer rights front in Latin America got another boost May 25 when a Brazilian Senate committee gave a thumbs-up to an anti-homophobia bill that could see discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity made punishable by law.
A Gay Star News report says the bill would expand the list of discriminatory acts to include blocking gays’ access to government offices or private places, denying service in hospitality venues and hindering someone’s career. The report notes the legislation would also cover discrimination claims that take place online and in the media, as well as allow people to make claims for discriminatory acts that have occurred in the past. Offenders could receive prison sentences up to five years under the new bill, which the Senate must approve by June 25, to make it the law of the land.
News about the bill comes on the heels of the Brazilian Senate human rights committee’s approval of a proposal to define a civil union as being between two people, without them having to specify their gender. Like the new bill that would criminalize homophobia, the civil unions proposal would have to jump through the hoops of other committees before it becomes law.
Brazil’s judiciary has been ahead of the country’s Congress on the issue of same-sex marriage, according to an Associated Pressreport in The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Colombia also took steps to increase the protection of gays when its constitutional court ruled that the government cannot limit gay couples’ right to express affection in public, after two men were told to leave a Cali mall after a security guard found them kissing.
Last Wednesday a Texas judge arrested a 17-year-old teen for missing school. But Houston’s KHOU covered the story, shared some more context and it turns the young woman is actually an extraordinary student who works tireslessly to support two siblings.
Dianne Tran says her parents divorced and left Houston “out of the blue” leaving her to support an older brother at Texas A&M University and a baby sister who lives with relatives. Tran currently lives with one of her employers—she has a full time job at a dry cleaners, works at a vineyard on weekends and goes to high school.
Tran said she works a full-time job, a part-time job and takes advanced placement and dual credit college level courses. She said she is often too exhausted to wake up in time for school. Sometimes she misses the entire day, she said. Sometimes she arrives after attendance has been taken.
The judge ordered Tran to spend 24 hours in jail and pay a $100 fine. Judge Moriarty admitted that he wants to make an example of Tran.
“If you let one (truant student) run loose, what are you gonna’ do with the rest of ‘em? Let them go too?” Judge Moriarty asked.
KHOU confronted the judge with Tran’s story and he admitted he could have been more lenient, but that the hadn’t given any thought to reversing the sentence.
a “little stay in jail for one night is not a death sentence” but it’s on your criminal record and, already as a woman of colour with barriers to access in jobs, etc, due to race, gender and age, how hard will it now be with a criminal record of being in jail? why is she scapegoated as the student that holds “example” for youth skipping school? also, why the hell is she going to jail for missing school in the first place?!
listen to the video and you’ll also hear the broadcasters as they describe her situation as allegations rather than realities.
hi:yay̓əs (pronounced: “HEE-yah-ehs”) is a word from the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ orthography, which is the language of the Musqueam people. It means “working as a group”. As our new identities as Canadians, First Nations, Newcomers, and Aboriginal peoples are being formed, so too are the bridges which carry us forward and enable us to work collaboratively together as a group.
In response to a growing need to address issues of misunderstanding, stereotyping, systems of privilege and power, and the defining of our roles in our shared future, we offer this unique forum for collaboration, allying Vancouver’s diverse communities so that we may move forward together in concert with our values as new people in this modern context. This summit aims to bring our communities to a shared place of creation - to foster dialogue built on action.
We as a people have never had the ability to communicate as broadly, as effectively, and as quickly as we have now. This means that we are the generation with the highest capacity to understand each other’s many diverse perspectives and experiences - if we are open to it. These values of understanding, demystifying stereotypes, and bridging divides are key to creating a more inclusive Vancouver. Building increased understanding and strengthened relations between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and immigrant and non-Aboriginal communities, and developing real strategies for moving forward are both instrumental to and dependent on your energy, your ideas, and your participation.
We hope to build on the skills of our communities by offering contemporary approaches to problem solving from experienced youth and youth allies focused on real world issues that affect us at home. Join us for some of these unique workshops and classes:
What is Culture?
The Staircase of Oppression
Reclaiming Cultural Esteem Through Creative Expression
Decolonizasian 101 – Fostering and Celebrating Horizontal Allyship between Indigenous and Immigrant Communities
Hosting Grassroots Events
In addition to featuring workshops and classes facilitated by youth and other community leaders focused on anti-oppression, celebrating cultural diversity, and identifying the shared interests of our communities, this summit will expose participants to a variety of rich perspectives offered by panel speakers such as Alden Habercon, Kai Nagata, Jeska Slater, and Carmen Contreras-Alvarado. Youth artists in the Vancouver community will also have the opportunity to share their views and experiences on their art as tools of resistance to issues such as colonialism and systemic oppression.
Registration for this summit is free. However, seating is limited, so registration is required for all participants and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The registration deadline is June 11th, 2012 at 4:00pm PT.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided at the summit.
The summit will take place at the following times and venues:
Friday, June 15th (Vancouver City Hall, Town Hall Room) - 4pm - 8pm
Saturday, June 16th (SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue) - 9am - 6pm
Sunday, June 17th (SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue) - 930am - 4pm
Video is one of the best methods of knowledge translation. Throughout the summit, ReelYouth will be documenting our process, as well asking key questions of our participants, such as why this is important work, how can this work be made easier and more accessible, and where do we see this work taking us from here.
January-August 2002 was when her body was finally taken out of the museum by the French government and sent back to South Africa, after an 8 year fight. If you don’t know who Saartjie is, or if you only know her as the name “hottentot venus” I encourage you to read up on her life, watch some films.
We are discussing her tomorrow in class, and gaze, and what museums represent and who and what they exploit.
The issue here is the outright policing of our language (which u seem to be very keen on doing..)
When have black people said we didnt want to learn standard English?
DUring our enslavement reading and writing for a slave was punishable by death. after slavery the 1st thing many blacks did was try to learn to read and write. in fact their was plenty of govt involvement in miseducating black folk.
B4 our enslavement Africans had their own systems of writing.
What we ARE saying is:
At home we speak African American Language or African American Vernacular English.
It is different from standard English because it uses the syntanx and measurements of time that are consistent with African languages of the Niger-Congo region.
We need teachers who will not shame or debase our children when they use their language
we need teachers who will use OUR language to teach our children standard English
A History of the Body, the theater work by Aimee Suzara, is about what happens to two women who meet in a beauty salon. Their meeting becomes a crossroads and they leave that salon forever changed.
Bringing together text,dance, and visual projections, the play explores theimpacts of colonization and the media on the body. Along with acommunity engagement component – workshops and interviews and dialogues with women of color – the project as a whole addresses both histories of colonization and exhibition, as well as the modern day phenomena of skin-whitening. It’s goal is to provoke dialogue and awareness across communities and cultures, and to promote healing for women of color. This project is about how the past collides with the present. It’s about a battle between self-love and self-hate. It begs to ask the question, why are we afraid of the dark?
SIGNAL BOOST! Help support a theatre project that explores the histories of colonization and the media on the body through depictions of Filipinas.
Excerpts from Luis H. Francia’s book, A History of the Philippines: From Indios Bravos to Filipinos.
On women in the Katipunan:
That the Katipunan explicitly referred to how women should be treated reflected the fact that the vital social role of [sic] women had enjoyed prior to colonial rule had continually been under assault by the aggressive patriarchal attitudes and values espoused by the Spanish, most intensely and consistently by the religious orders. These men of the cloth, reflecting the ultra-masculine ethos of Roman Catholicism by way of Inquisitorial Spain, saw the essentially egalitarian relationships between the sexes as aberrations, if not abominations. For women such as the babaylan to be the mediators between the visible world and that of the spirit; to be perceived as healers; to be called upon as a villager lay dying; for them to have as much right to sexual pleasure as men— all these female prerogatives were anathema to the friars, and a threat to their primacy. Male authority had to reign supreme, whether in matrimony, government, or religion. By the time of the 1896 Revolution, the “good” Filipina was a paragon of modesty, keeper of repressed longings, and unswervingly faithful to the men in her life, whether to the husband, son, or Christ on the cross. With the Katipunan, there was a deliberate effort to do away with the restrictions on women’s roles. They may not have borne arms—at least not many did—but they participated otherwise as actively in the revolution as the men.
The untimely discovery [of the Katipunan’s papers by the Spanish friars] forced the Katipunan to proclaim the need for revolution on August 23, 1896 at a place called Pugad Lawin (Hawk’s Nest), at the home of Melchora Aquino, a self-taught eighty-four-year-old widow who fed, housed, and otherwise took care of the Katipuneros when fighting broke out. The grand dame of the revolution, she was known affectionately as Tandang Sora (Old Sora). Subsequently imprisoned by the Spanish and interrogated as to Katipunan activities, the octogenarian wouldn’t talk. She was exiled to the Marianas and allowed to return once the United States of America had taken over the country. Still, she refused to pledge allegiance to the United States, and died in 1919 at the age of 107, with American colonial rule firmly in place.
Gregoria de Jesus:
…On May 10, 1897, the Bonifacio brothers were executed in the woods of Mt. Buntis. The Supremo’s widow, Gregoria de Jesus, evaded capture and returned to Manila, where she married Julio Nakpil, a Katipunan officer loyal to Bonifacio and active in the revolution against Spain. She resumed revolutionary activities, primarily deciphering messages sent in code by members of the Katipunan in the field. She also knew how to ride and use firearms, and took part in a number of encounters.
Raul Gatica is a Mixteca indigenous poet and writer who’s involvement in the popular reclamation of Oaxaca from corrupt governments in 2006, led to his exile from Mexico to Canada. Since 2008, Raul Gatica has coordinated a farm-worker support Centre in Surrey B.C with the Agricultural Workers Alliance. Raul often incorporates games, dramatisations, and satire into education, organizing and activism to visibilize the struggles of migrant farm workers in Canada. Raul is currently publishing a book of short stories about the lives of migrant workers called The Invisibles.
In this interview, Raul Gatica shares his views on how to make social change. He suggests that the most powerful tool is love. This love allows us to use our anger to invent and transform ourselves to fight against any forms of injustices.
I think I’m a pretty self-reflective person. I think I try really hard to listen and learn and grow. I like the idea of evolving. Some days I evolve more than other days. Some days I do the opposite of evolving. Which, I guess, is still evolving, but in less desirable ways.
Please substitue the word “children” for “99 percent of the idiots using the #peace tag on tumblr.”
I always get too angry to articulate why images of malnourished African children bothers me. Why it is racist. Why it’s wrong.
This article above helps.
The way you think about Africa is wrong.
The way you think about the entire world beyond you is probably wrong.
But let’s start with Africa. Because chances are you paid the 30 dollars for that stupid fucking Invisible Children starter kit. That at one point in time you participated in a 30 Hour Famine at church. Or you “adopted” a starving child with a few friends after you saw a 5 minute infomercial. Possibly you really like Bono. Or Blood Diamond made you feel really bad. Hotel Rwanda made you cry. Maybe you have one of those shirts with the heart in the middle of the continent. Or that you really want to internationally adopt an “orphan.”
The way you think about Africa is wrong.
Did you know that the UNICEF definition of orphanhood as the loss of one or both parents. Did you know that children are adopted by white parents all the time when their biological parents are still alive. Did you know that foreign adoptions happen all the time because parents see themselves as too impoverished or incapable to raise their children on their own. Did you know that Madonna, the supposed savior of Malawi, abducted her child because international adoptions aren’t even legal in that country.
Did you know that the never-ending stream of donations you send to Africa is destroying local economies and small businesses. Did it ever occur to you that your donations are putting people out of business. Did you consider that you might be creating poverty just for participating in a capitalist system that steals from the poor and then throws them whatever is left over and calls it “charity.” Did it never occur to you, while you were donating money and feeling good about it, why it is that your dollar is needed in the first place.
Did you know that organizations like World Vision (the asshats who brought you the 30 Hour Famine) have set up camps for survivors of war and violence in Uganda, where they regularly impose Christian teachings and values through a process called “sensitization,” in order to get survivors to think more like they do. Did it ever occur to you that there are thousands of languages, cultures, and lives that are being homogenized by “charitable” organizations, and that it’s on your dime.
Did you know that money you donate comes with strings, and sometimes it doesn’t even come at all. Did it occur to you that organizations don’t spend their money unless they want to, and that frequently comes with stipulations. Did you consider that maybe there are places in Africa and elsewhere that really need your money or economic support, but don’t give a fuck about your hegemonic religious values. Did you have any clue that organizations like Invisible Children take in millions of dollars annually, but don’t even spend a third of it in Uganda.
Did you have any idea that countless charities, hospitals, adoption agencies, etc., set up in Africa are illegal, and done without credence to national or local government. Have you heard of volunteer tourism? Did you have any idea that completely untrained and uneducated people are hauling ass to Africa, and building charities that board, educate, and treat young children illegally with absolutely zero recognition of the law of the land in which they are in.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe some people in Africa are doing just fucking fine. They have a house. They own shoes. They have parents and siblings and food and an education and a favorite restaurant and hobbies and ambitions and a happy life. Did you consider that maybe your stupid generalizations and conceptualizations bother and insult them, and make it more difficult to be them.
Did you ever consider that Africa is a living, breathing continent of millions of people who are different. Economically, socially, religiously, lingually, culturally, ethnically different. And that your stupid fucking pictures of malnourished kids, your idolization of Angelina Jolie and Madonna, your ridiculous Invisible Children bracelet, your idiotic KONY 2012 posters are racist. They’re simplifying a place that is not simple. They’re portraying an enormous continent as singular, backward place. Instead of more complicated than you have ever bothered to understand.
You operate autonomously, offering your “help” where it has not been asked for. Blindly donating your dollars and your time without having any idea how it is being spent.
There are people there. Governments. Cities. There are people living their lives in a continent that you do not understand, but you claim to help.
This rant was long-winded but I’ll conclude.
Just please if you take nothing else away from this. Be critical of the shit you are fed. Africa is a continent. And at least take the time to learn about it before you even consider throwing money or used books or Toms sneakers at it.
I am now officially in love with whoever wrote this!