This year we’re going to have a bit of fun- and show our support for the trans community BY DRESSING IN DRAG. Transphobia is an insidious and often overlooked problem which effects thousands of Canadians. Step out of your comfort zone for a few hours and into a pair of pumps- or sport a handsome handlebar mustache!
Note: You don’t HAVE to dress in drag or be gay to march in the parade- you just need to be awesome :)
Some hours later, it was revised to remove all mention of trans people or transphobia, reading:
This year we’re going to have a bit of fun BY DRESSING IN DRAG. Step out of your comfort zone for a few hours and into a pair of pumps- or sport a handsome handlebar mustache!
I’d like to note that the intention of this event theme was never to mock. CFI has been working tirelessly with the LGBT community and the Ontario GSA Coalition over the past several months to get Bill 13 passed, we have a long track record of supporting LGBT rights and we’re very sensitive to in supporting issues of sexual/gender orientation. I admit that I could have worded the content better-it was not my intention to suggest drag and trans are the same (although ‘trans’ as in the transgender community does include drag performers and cross dressers) but to express that we don’t feel there is anything shameful or abnormal about cross dressing or playing with cultural gender norms. I can see how the juxtaposition of ‘drag’ and ‘trans’ could have easily been interpreted as offensive, and I have since removed that particular content from this event, the website and our newsletter.
That being said: we’ve marched in the parade for many years and I felt that it was time for CFI to really get into the spirit of things. Pride is fun, playful and expressive. We’re not donning a ‘gay costume’ we’re adopting a beloved aspect of LGBT culture as a visible sign of appreciation and acceptance (I completely agree that drag is an art). In another environment I can certainly see how ‘dressing in drag’ could quickly degrade into mockery- but this is not a frat house kegger nor are we a collection of close minded bigots. We’re a science educational charity marching in a Gay Pride Parade (with a professional drag queen helping us prepare, I should add) demonstrating we’re open minded and accepting.
You’re right. My initial response was not an apology but a selfish attempt to explain the stance of my organization and our perspective. At the start of the planning phase for this event I spoke to a number of people in the LGBT community who thought this was a good idea-I thought it was a good idea- so it was easy for me to disregard the first negative responses I received here today. I fell victim to confirmation bias and ignored evidence that this may be a bad idea- this behaviour goes against the grain of what I stand for and I regret this truly. This event and my response to genuine concern has hurt, enraged and polarized people. This was a bad idea and I’m sorry so many people were hurt and made to feel excluded before I realized this.
CFI will not dress in drag.
I get the impression that CFI Ontario and its leadership still don’t quite understand what was wrong with this particular approach to showing solidarity with trans people. Really, I’m confused and taken aback that this could even happen in the first place without anyone at CFI Ontario or their contacts explaining why this is, to put it mildly, a bad idea. It seems some clarification may be in order.
Drag performers and trans people have a complex and sometimes openly hostile relationship, arising from their similarities, differences, and how mainstream society has (mis)categorized and regarded them. The definitions themselves are still unclear at times, and not always agreed upon. Warner states that the “transgender community” also includes drag performers and cross-dressers, but this is just one definition that many people don’t share or endorse. Yes, some people have advanced a “transgender umbrella” model that encompasses drag performers, cross-dressers, transvestites, genderqueer and non-binary people, transsexual people, and anyone whose identity or expression diverges from conventional gender roles. Others have pointed out that such a concept potentially includes any man or woman who doesn’t adhere to strictly masculine or feminine roles, presentations and behaviors, making the definition of “transgender” much broader than what was originally intended.
But regardless of how one defines what it means to be transgender, the mere fact that both drag performers and transsexual people have at times been considered “transgender” does not mean that performing drag is a meaningful, appropriate, or sensitive way to express solidarity with trans people. They may have been grouped together due to certain (extremely broad) similarities, but there are still a great many differences - including differences that are substantial enough to preclude the use of drag as a viable means of fighting transphobia.
Many people don’t constrain their understanding of “drag” to a certain established style of exaggerated performance, and instead use it to refer to any instance of what they perceive as cross-dressing - no matter how the person doing it identifies, whether they intended it as any sort of performance or recreational practice, or whether they even consider themselves to be cross-dressing. This last point is crucial: it’s extremely easy for people with little understanding of trans issues or gender identity to conflate trans people with cis (non-trans) drag performers or cross-dressers. In reality, they’re almost nothing alike.
Again, drag is a performance - a costume, an event, a temporary engagement for the purposes of entertainment. Being trans is none of these things. A trans person who dresses in accordance with their gender identity is simply wearing clothes that their culture has coded as representing the gender that they are, much like any cis person who does the same. A cis woman who wears clothing conventionally associated with women isn’t cross-dressing or doing drag. And neither is a trans woman. Trans people are not dressing “cross” to their gender, they are dressing as their gender. They are not wearing their clothes as some kind of costume, or to entertain anyone, or to put on a show. They are wearing the clothes they wear for the same mundane reasons that cis people wear the clothes they wear. Dressing in a way that reflects their gender is just as much of an everyday, non-noteworthy thing for trans people as it is for cis people.
Most trans people look nothing whatsoever like drag performers, a fact that’s rarely noticed and taken into account because trans people simply don’t stand out. Since people generally don’t have the opportunity to take note of all the trans people they don’t see as trans, those who have no (known) experience with trans people tend to derive their perception of us from people they do see and mistakenly identify as trans - like drag performers. Many trans people have come to resent drag itself for being a major source of harmful misconceptions about who we are and what we’re like. Some drag performers have only exacerbated this by frequently and unapologetically using anti-trans slurs despite not being transsexual themselves, or participating in advertisements with blatantly transphobic overtones and refusing to acknowledge that there’s anything wrong with this.
Whether drag in general is inherently problematic is a separate issue to be resolved, but there’s one thing I want to make very clear: Dressing in drag to “support” trans people is not acceptable, ever. It is perhaps one of the most unacceptable things I can imagine. It is so unacceptable that I struggle to find a suitably analogous situation to compare it to. If a cis man decided to don women’s clothing for the stated purpose of showing that he supports me as a trans woman, I would be deeply insulted by the near-total lack of comprehension and the implication that there is anything remotely similar about myself and that.
Drag queens are men in women’s clothes. Trans women are women in whatever they may be wearing. Linking drag to being trans, as CFI Ontario did, implies that we are somehow comparable to drag performers. By any relevant metric, we are not, but thoughtless ideas like this only reinforce what is perhaps the most common articulation of transphobia: that trans women, too, are just men in women’s clothes. While CFI Ontario probably didn’t mean to say that, they’ve certainly encouraged it. Such a denial of our identities is just as insulting as it would be to presume that a cis person’s gender is inauthentic and that you know their gender better than they do. It’s even more deeply wounding because of the price we pay for living in a way that’s consistent with who we are, a price measured in violence, discrimination, open ridicule, and the risk and indignity of being seen as less than human in our daily interactions with the rest of the world.
This is not something that happens because we’re in costume. It’s because we refuse to go through life wearing a costume that hides our true selves. Someone who performs in drag at a club or dresses up for Pride will have no understanding whatsoever of the unbearable pressure of ceaseless marginalization and constant fear, and for them to parallel themselves with us, even implicitly, only trivializes that brutal reality. It cannot possibly be a show of support, because all it shows is that they know nothing of our lives.
That’s what makes it so shocking for a CFI branch to propose something like this. I expect that as a skeptical and freethought group, they would comprehend what drag actually is before suggesting that their members dress in drag. I expect that they would understand who trans people really are before deciding how best to support us. I expect that they would do their research and recognize why the interaction of drag and trans issues in this context makes their idea utterly, shamefully inappropriate. Basically, I expect them to know what they’re talking about, before they talk about it. In this case, that did not happen. Given their claims of extensive collaboration with LGBT groups, it becomes even more incomprehensible that something like this could slip through the cracks.
While I’m glad to see that they eventually acknowledged that this was a mistake and eliminated the drag aspect of their event, it would have been better if this had never happened in the first place, and I’d like to know what CFI Ontario plans to do in order to prevent any similar errors in the future. Their desire to support us is admirable, but its implementation was badly mishandled here. If you really want to show your support, please do what we strive to do every day: Simply be yourself.
If you have a loved one, blindfolded and running full speed toward cliff’s edge, do you not yell, stop! Would you not run after them, even tackling them if need be to prevent them from plummeting to certain death? What would we think of the person who said: “Keep running; all is well.”
All is not well, and you know it. On this path, “it” decidedly does not “get better.” It only gets worse. You will fall and you will die – perhaps not physical death, straight away – but certainly, an emotional and spiritual death. Homosexual activists, “progressives,” Hollywood, the media, academia and popular culture are telling you to keep running.
this is like when the lgbt community gets really, really angry about the word ‘gay’. Is it privileged and bigoted? Yes. Are you really getting anything done by yelling at straight people (and gay people) that use the word? No. You are just pissing people off and turning them off your cause, even the people that should, by all rights, be PART of your cause.
The use of “gay” as an insult is an issue that’s important enough to take a stand on even if it does cost us potential allies. When we tell people that it’s hurtful and harmful for them to use the very word we’re named as a synonym for anything and everything that’s negative and dislikable, that is a matter of basic respect. It is probably about as basic as this can possibly get: don’t use who we are to mean something bad. Taking a minority group’s name for your own use as an all-occasions pejorative is not merely disrespectful - it’s just about the most obvious way that you can tell us, “WE THINK WHAT YOU ARE IS BAD.”
If that isn’t what you mean to convey, then you need to stop using language in such a way that you openly associate the very names of minorities with everything you dislike. This goes beyond merely implying that gay people are bad. It’s tantamount to stating it outright. Is it okay to say that someone “Jewed” you out of something? Or that something that isn’t working must be “n*****-rigged”? Would any amount of “I didn’t mean it like that” rationalization make that alright? No one should ever think this is acceptable, yet so many people are under the impression that it’s a-okay to do this to gay people. Why? Because it’s a more recent development in language? Because social disapproval of this usage isn’t widespread enough yet? Because they just really like using the word? It doesn’t matter. It’s not okay.
If being asked to stop using our identity as an insult is all it takes to alienate potential allies, let me make it very clear that I DO NOT CARE. I do not intend to sacrifice my own self-respect just to gain the support of people who can’t even bring themselves to listen to us and respect us in this most basic and minimal way. Are those the allies we want? Can they even be called allies in any meaningful sense?
Much of the movie seemed like random wild shit that went completely unexplained and was thrown in just for the hell of it, but it was pretty neat anyway. It was violent and disturbing and an alright movie.
"This appears to be a case where political agenda has trumped the rule of law, which is absolutely unacceptable," Akin said in a statement.
A spokesman for Fleming said the congressman’s office learned of the ceremony from “constituent contact.”
"The liberal social experiment with our military continues," Fleming said. "My frustration is compounded by the fact that a social agenda, which has nothing to do with military readiness or our national defense, is being imposed on our men and women in uniform."
Notably absent: Any explanation of the harms that resulted from this event. It almost makes me suspect that there are none.
Last night on Twitter I noticed an inordinate amount of adult progressives attacking a 13 year-old on Twitter because of his remarks on his online radio show. I don’t listen to his radio show or know his remarks, but agreement with speech shouldn’t be the litmus test in telling grown men, women, and a national publication to stop cyber bullying a child.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with how this goes: a young conservative says something asinine and bigoted, people point out how ridiculous this is, and other conservatives leap at the opportunity to pretend that this poor child is being victimized. And here we go again.
This time, a 14-year-old from West Virginia illustrated the intellectual depth of the anti-gay movement by claiming President Obama “is making kids gay”, dozens of his classmates “decided all of a sudden, ‘I think I’m going to be gay’”, and “I want STRAIGHT PRIDE MONTH! I mean, fair is fair here!” And, right on schedule, Breitbart’s Dana Loesch now claims that he’s a “conservative teen under attack for… being a conservative teen”. No, not for being ignorant, prejudiced, and running off at the mouth about things he doesn’t understand. It must be those terrible BULLIES on the left!
I was back in high school, reduced to an age-appropriate size, and our country was at war. As with all wars in this world, it was conducted by means of having entire schools of children from the respective nations engage in armed combat with one another. The student body was to man the perimeter of the school, which was now incredibly tall and much more fortress-like, and wait for the opposing force to arrive. A bloody battle soon followed, and I fled inside to escape the mayhem and declare myself a conscientious objector. I was informed by one of our commanders that this was no longer an option. Faced with the reality of our imminent and pointless deaths, my feelings coalesced into the only coherent words to survive awakening: "Everything about this is wrong!"
We’ve chosen to use uppercase styling in the top menu for two main reasons: 1) to keep Visual Studio consistent with the direction of other Microsoft user experiences, and 2) to provide added structure to the top menu bar area.
On the first point, the use of uppercase text is becoming a strong signature element of styling for navigation and headings in Microsoft user interfaces. You can see it in the Azure Portal, in Zune, and in the latest Bing search results update.
Pageant officials released an email message they said they received from Monnin on Monday that read, “I refuse to be part of a pageant system that has so far and so completely removed itself from its foundational principles as to allow and support natural born males to compete in it. This goes against ever (sic) moral fiber of my being.”
I’d love to hear an explanation for this. Is she concerned that transgender competitors are somehow at an advantage?
Governor Bryant, There Is No "Non-Denominational" School Prayer
Last week, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant spoke to a group of high school students at an American Legion Boys State program in Hattiesburg. After telling them that he believed his experience with school-sponsored prayer was beneficial, he explained to the media:
I know it’s difficult when you start talking about denominations and different beliefs, but I think there is a way for us to have a non-denominational opening prayer when the opportunity is available to let people know there is a God. Those children should know that he does care about them, particularly within their classroom.
He then speculated that the federal government might eventually find that school-sponsored prayer is legally permissible. While this may sound pleasantly ecumenical, it’s simply impossible for a prayer of the kind that he envisions to be described as “non-denominational”. Within only two sentences, he’s outlined a religious observance that’s entirely sectarian. The implications of his idea for school prayer make this unavoidable.
First, the statement that “there is a God” is a claim that at least one deity exists, that it’s probably the only deity, and that its name is capital-G God. Bryant further depicts it as an entity that can be described as “he” and takes an active interest in human affairs. His suggestion also implies that it’s appropriate to direct prayers to this god, and that it’s acceptable for the civil government to mandate this worship.
For such a structure of beliefs to be considered “non-denominational”, every religion would have to agree on these points, and every person would have to follow some version of religion. This is absolutely not the case, and anyone who believes that no faith group would take issue with any of these tenets obviously doesn’t have much experience with religion as a whole. Gov. Bryant seems to have forgotten that there are religions and beliefs other than Christianity.
Not everyone believes in just one god - billions of people believe in many gods, or none at all. And not every monotheist believes their god is a “he” or bears the name “God”. Some people don’t believe that a god would concern itself with human activities. Even Christians who share Bryant’s theology might still disagree with the exact text of the prayer or take issue with the government telling them when and how they should pray. Ultimately, Bryant’s outline for school prayer would be “non-denominational” only to those who completely agree with him.
If it were acceptable for the government to endorse and promote these specific religious beliefs, then it would be equally acceptable for public schools to institute daily Islamic prayers toward Mecca. Would it matter that not everyone is Muslim, or prays to Allah in the same way, or believes that the government should lead people in prayer? No. Such considerations would already have been ignored in order to allow the promotion of Christianity as Gov. Bryant sees it. Disregarding the Establishment Clause doesn’t just permit your favorite religion to insert itself into public schools. It permits all religions to do the same.
But when the civil government decides that a certain faith should be honored in schools and other public institutions, it positions itself as the arbiter of which religious beliefs are true or false. The state’s approval and promotion of Christianity necessarily means denying that promotion to Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wicca, Scientology, Satanism, Unitarian Universalism, the Jedi, atheism, and every other viewpoint pertaining to religion. It isn’t the job of judges, executives and lawmakers to decide whether a certain god exists or a religious belief is valid, and there are no grounds for imposing a particular religion upon the populace at large.
Whenever the government says that one person’s religious views are better than another’s, somebody always loses, and anyone who seeks state promotion of their faith will only avoid this as long as their religion is in vogue. The First Amendment doesn’t only protect the government from the influence of religion. It protects everyone, of any religion or no religion, from state interference in their personal beliefs.
Without school-sponsored prayer, students are still free to pray on their own while in school. But where school prayer is mandated, students from all walks of life have often been required to acknowledge an "Almighty God" or "Heavenly Father", whether through regulation or just social pressure. Such an arrangement is clearly antithetical to genuine religious freedom in schools.
The only truly “non-denominational” prayer is the one that isn’t imposed upon everyone else. As the leader of an entire state, Gov. Bryant should understand this, and it’s disturbing that he either doesn’t know enough to keep his personal faith separate from the government, or he just doesn’t care. He may feel that school prayer is harmless, but the Bill of Rights would beg to differ.
In this publication, theologian Douglas Wilson embarks on a systematic defense of American slavery, all to avoid the conflict that would arise from acknowledging that the Bible is incorrect and outdated in its endorsement of slavery. As he sees it, slavery could not be wrong, as that would mean the Bible is wrong. When he does criticize the practice, it is because he believes it did not align closely enough with the biblical rules regarding slavery:
We have all heard of the heartlessness — the brutalitites, immoralities, and cruelties — that were supposedly inherent in the system of slavery. We have heard how slave families were broken up, of the forcible rape of slave women, of the brutal beatings that were a commonplace, about the horrible living conditions, and of the unrelenting work schedule and back-breaking routine — all of which go together to form our impression of the crushing oppression which was slavery in the South. The truthfulness of this description has seldom been challenged.
The point of this small booklet is to establish that this impression is largely false. It is important to note, however, that the impression is not entirely false. The truth is, Southern slavery is open to criticism because it did not follow the biblical pattern at every point. Some of the state laws regulating slavery could not be defended biblically (the laws forbidding the teaching of reading and writing, for example).
The embarrassment of evangelicals over the plain teaching of the Bible can be put to an adept use by those in rebellion against God. Dr. Jerry Falwell was once in a television debate with a liberal Episcopalian bishop. Sad to say, the liberal bishop mauled Dr. Falwell badly. They were debating an issue like abortion or sodomy, and Falwell was maintaining the biblical position, and the bishop responded by saying yes, but the Bible allows for slavery.
Now what was Falwell going to do on national television? Does he say that the bishop is correct, the Bible does allow for slavery, and that he has no problem with it? We can see the headlines now. Or perhaps he could say that the bishop was wrong — but the good bishop was right. So he did the only thing he could do, which was to hem and haw.
One time a man was handing out tracts at a gay and lesbian dance. Those attending the dance did not appear to be pleased, and someone apparently called a liberal Methodist pastor to come and deal with him. He came down, and in the course of the discussion, the Christian said that Leviticus condemns homosexuality as an abomination. The liberal pastor responded by saying yes, but the Old Testament allowed for slavery. The Christian responded by saying yes, it certainly did. “So what’s your point?”
If those who hate the Word of God can succeed in getting Christians to be embarrassed by any portion of the Word of God, then that portion will continually be employed as a battering ram against the godly principles that are currently under attack. In our day, three of the principle issues are abortion, feminism, and sodomy. If we respond to the “embarrassing parts” of Scripture by saying, “That was then, this is now,” we will quickly discover that liberals can play that game even more effectively than embarrassed conservatives. Paul prohibited eldership to women? That was then, this is now. Moses condemned sodomy? That was then, this is now.
In a certain sense, we are backing into an informed discussion of the War Between the States. You have been told many times that the war was over slavery, but in reality it was over the biblical meaning of constitutional government. The inflammatory issue is slavery, however, and so the real issue is obscured in the minds of many.
But is this not curious? The reason why many Christians will be tempted to dismiss the arguments presented in this booklet is that we will say (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. But this “inflammatory” position is the very point upon which the Bible speaks most directly, again and again. In other words, more people will struggle with what we are saying at the point where the Bible speaks most clearly. There is no exegetical vagueness here. Not only is the Bible not politically correct, it was not politically correct one hundred thirty years ago.
This points to the need for Christians to learn the biblical way of avoiding “problem texts.” This is the way of a priori submission. Christians must recognize that they are under the authority of God, and they may not develop their ideas of what is “right” and “fair” apart from the Word of God. And when the Bible is our only standard of right and wrong, problem texts disappear. This entire issue of slavery is a wonderful issue upon which to practice. Our humanistic and democratic culture regards slavery in itself as a monstrous evil, and it acts as though this were self-evidently true. The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe?
We rarely talked about religion, yet it consumed us. When Sean replaced his temple garments — the sacred underwear he’d promised to wear day and night — with boxers, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much betrayal. I called up a neighbor with a husband like mine and cried. But instead of empathy, she offered questions that stunned me into silence. Was Sean addicted to pornography? Watching R-rated movies? What sin had brought him to this terrible place?
My tears stopped. Her questions were so off-base that they seemed absurd. She was sincere, and trying to help, but she believed what the Church teaches — that a man would only leave because he’s disobeying the commandments. She couldn’t understand this was a rational inquiry. She saw everything as the result of sin.
Imam Anwar Awlaki got martyred and I pray to Allah (swt) that he is in heaven with our pious predecessors. Imam Anwar don’t need to come after a disgusting faggot whore like you, but teenagers with pair of pliers and blow torches will! Ahahaha, I hope they record when they are torturing you extremely brutal and inhumane. I will never sorry for those who got killed or hurt by dis-respecting Prophet Muhammad (saw). Rot in Hell BIATCH! Prepare for medieval-style torture faggot!