Saturday Action: Chechnya

Hello hello!

I’m sorry about missing our usual Friday post, but it’s been a doozy of a week!

Anyway, this Saturday I’d like to tell you about an action I took this week, and ask if you could do the same.

This week, BuzzFeed reported that the Russian LGBT Network was not pursuing U.S. visas because they had come to understand they would not be made available, and I want to help change that. If there is no political will to get these people visas, then we have to create the political will.

Contact your senator

Contact your representative

I’m asking you to consider contacting the people who represent you in government in hopes that we can find the people to create the political will to do something here. Ask your senator or representative to do anything in their power to help get this visa process moving. You could also link them to the Russian LGBT Network for coordination. 40 people are in hiding in Chechnya, fearing for their lives just because of their sexual orientation.

This is a dark time for our government in the United States, so it is on us to bring the light.

Thank you.

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A month of many heritages!

April showers bring May flowers, and May brings with it the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage, Haitian Heritage and Jewish American Heritage Month!

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Website from Library of Congress

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May Is Haitian Heritage Month Facebook group

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May Is Jewish American Heritage Month website

Are you celebrating this month? Let us know how in the comments!

The Friday Feelgood for April 14, 2017

The happiest of Fridays to you indeed! Making us feel good this week:

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Researchers have uncovered a trove of caves in South America that were BURROWED BY GIANT ANCIENT SLOTHS. “It’s cute, it’s terrifying, IT’S GIANT ANCIENT SLOOOOOTHS!”

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The BBC has this great story on animals that humans have mistaken as evil. Would giant cave-burrowing sloths have made this list?

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This week also brings us news of the discovery of this new species of pistol shrimpSynalpheus pinkfloydi, named for its giant pink claw. Wish you were here…unless you were an angry pistol shrimp!


Making us feel grrrrreat right now is news that Fight for the Future is providing seed funding for “A-Teams,” letting real people apply with their own ventures to become professional activists. Oh snap!

What’s making you feel good this week? Let us know in the comments!

I Am Not a Snowflake

Hi all!

It snowed last week where I am in Michigan, and it reminded me to dust of the draft of this post. I just gotta say:

I am not a snowflake.

To hear Republicans tell it, America’s enemy #1 is a mewling anthropomorphic snowstorm – whether or not it’s an actual threat depends on their mood.

“Special little snowflakes,” they call us.

Because we insist on our individuality? Because we’re indistinguishable as individuals in groups? Because we’re delicate and common?

Because we’re in increasing danger under a president who doesn’t believe in climate change?

Because we’ll crush you if the conditions are right?

Seriously, nothing makes me want to pull that jab-both-eyes Three Stooges thing quite like thinking about the next smarmy white guy who’s going to push up his glasses and call me a snowflake like he just cured cancer.

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This post used to continue with a litany of the things I’ve endured, but I decided that’s really not what this is about. We’ve all been through a lot. That’s pretty much a given for a website aimed at suicide prevention among marginalized people.

I decided what it’s really about is all the things I am despite or because of all the things I’ve been through.

I’m more than two years sober, for one. I got an amazing chest tattoo last month, for another.

I’m strong, and secure, and able to carry some weight in the world for queers and weirdos. I get to wake up 3 times a week knowing I’ve put one small crack in the wall of shit we face every day with this very website.

People like us get told we’re nothing a lot. But you know what? I’m not nothing. I haven’t melted. I’m not delicate. No marginalized person is.

You’ve bent, but you haven’t broken, and you’ve learned so much along the way. Every marginalized person knows more and has lived more because we have to fight for it.

We’re not the ones losing our shit about Netflix changing its review system. ☕😂 (I’m sorry, but can you imagine a more white boy problem!? 😂 😂😂 )

Trying to make us feel small and divided is just one more bullshit tool. You got this. We got this.

Are you a snowflake? How do you feel? Let us know in the comments.

 

SJWs slaying new media!

Around here, SJW isn’t a dirty word. What better to be a warrior for than social justice? Take a look at these SJWs who are slaying it in the world of new media.


Kat Blaque is a fixture of social justice on YouTube, building an audience with her strong views, strong voice and ‘true tea.’

Dylan Marron, who first came to our attention as sexy outsider scientist Carlos on Welcome to Night Vale, has spread his wings and become a badass SJW, with the help of Seriously.TV.

Noted sexy bisexual RJ Aguiar shuts down biphobia and other bullshit on his YouTube channel, TheNotAdam.

Who are your favorite social justice warriors in the new media game? Let us know in the comments!

The Friday Feelgood for March 17, 2017

Welcome to the Friday Feelgood. It’s Friday and we feel good! This week:

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Artist Theaster Gates by photographed by Gabriella Demczuk for the New York Times.

The New York Times profiles artist Theaster Gates, his new show, “The Minor Arts” at the National Gallery, and the Chicago organization he founded to help transform vacant buildings into aesthetic, affordable living and cultural spaces.

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Julián Faivovicha and Carlos Taboada

Researchers have discovered fluorescent frogs. That’s cool AND alliterative.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

Students at the new Dell Medical School at University of Texas at Austin are receiving training in nontraditional areas like mindfulness and observational skills. Above, students meet in the Blanton Museum of Art as part of a course on empathetic communication.

Essence reports this week that art historian Nana Oforiatta-Ayim is working on an encyclopedia of African art! The project has received funding from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and should yield a digital and maybe eventually physical compendium on African art both historic and modern.

And last but not least, PWR BTTM brings us their newest, Answer My Text…a feeling we’ve all had 😂 😂

What’s making you feel good this week? Let us know in the comments!

Care isn’t an accusation

Hello friend!

Today’s post is inspired by this blog itself.

As I began to promote this site – a site addressing the mental health concerns of marginalized people-, a friend reached out to me to make sure I was doing ok. Sweet, right?

So why did I reflexively take offense?

It’s because we still think something thinking we have mental health problems is an insult.

I’ve been living with mental health issues for 20 years, but that doesn’t mean I have everything figured out all the time. In this case, my internalized feeling that someone thinking I had mental health issues is bad made me feel bad, even though I do have mental health issues and your friends caring about you isn’t a bad thing.

Care isn’t an accusation. My friend wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings by asking if I was ok. He was trying to find out if I was ok. The fact that there didn’t need to be any concern on his part is moot. We have to accept that other people care about us, and that checking in on each other is a thing that friends ought to do.

We should greet other people’s care for us as sincere unless we know it to be otherwise. And we should check on each other, especially in hard times. We can help make things smoother by keeping our curiosity and care genuine, being as honest as we can with our friends, and accepting people’s boundaries where they are instead of where we’d like them to be.

We shouldn’t push our way in, but we shouldn’t push people away, either. Care isn’t an accusation. It’s a part of friendship.

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Call for submissions

Hello friend ❤

I am writing today to invite you to be among the first group of contributors to a new project I am launching called I Won’t Commit.

I Won’t Commit is a site dedicated to addressing suicide in marginalized communities, with a focus on practical ways to keep us alive.

We are looking for everything you’ve got that helps you stay alive. An essay on a self-care process, a beautiful picture you took (or even just love, with proper attribution), a link to a great art (science, math, political, whevs) project, an arresting website that helps you fall back in love with life – anything that helps you stay alive could find a home on I Won’t Commit.

I Won’t Commit is my pledge to stay alive in the Trump administration, and to do what I can to help others do the same.

The site is launching as a solo venture under my editorship, but it is my immediate goal to publish diverse, strong voices to support our communities. No one, including myself, will be making money on this venture at this point, but it is my goal to become a paying site for marginalized writers and artists in the event that the site develops revenue.

Head on over to our Submit page to learn more. Even if you don’t end up submitting, I hope you enjoy the site. Take care!