On world AIDS day let us remember that the Canadian government made it illegal to import safer sex materials and literature targeted towards queer and trans people in the 80s and the laws that enabled that repression are still largely in place today.
i’m googling now and it’s hard to find information on this but weren’t a few prominant US radical feminists also involved in campaigning for those laws under the guise of anti-pornography? bc of course our lives are seen as deviant and even the smallest amount of affection or attraction pornographic. i’m not positive tho, if anyone has a source that would be great.
if anyone wants to read more about the little sisters bookstore fighting back against canada customs check out this article. they were also bombed three times for speaking up.
yeah, the laws that restrict access to safer sex materials in canada are designed to restrict “obscene and harmful” pornographic material. Catherine Mackinon was probably the most prominent advocate of Canadian anti-porn laws, which were touted as feminist in theory for a while, but were almost exclusively used to restrict access to safer sex materials for queer and trans people and sex workers in practice. I think that a lot of radical feminists have distanced themselves from that history but it’s worth bearing in mind that you know, that’s a pretty big way that straight, cis, mostly white radical feminists really threw queer and trans people, and sex workers, under the bus in a pretty big way.
It was really fun to work at a place where sometimes my shifts would be cancelled due to bomb threats! but i mean, you know, I learned a lot.
But the public scandal over the Reagan administration’s reaction to AIDS is complex and goes much deeper, far beyond the commander-in-chief’s refusal to speak out about the epidemic. Reagan understood that a great deal of his power resided in a broad base of born-again Christian Republican conservatives who embraced a deeply reactionary social agenda of which a virulent, demonizing homophobia was a central tenet. In the media men such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell articulated these sentiments that portrayed gay people as diseased sinners and promoted the idea that AIDS was a punishment from God and that the gay rights movement had to be stopped. In the Republican Party, zealous right-wingers such as Rep. William Dannemeyer of California and Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina hammered home this message. In the Reagan White House, people such as Secretary of Education William Bennett and Gary Bauer, Reagan’s domestic policy adviser, worked to enact it in the administration’s policies.
What did this mean in practical terms? Most importantly, AIDS research was chronically under-funded. When doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health asked for more funding for their work on AIDS, they were routinely denied it. Between June 1981 and May 1982 the CDC spent less than $1 million on AIDS and $9 million on Legionnaire’s Disease. At that point more than 1,000 of the 2,000 reported AIDS cases resulted in death; there were fewer than 50 deaths from Legionnaire’s Disease. This drastic lack of funding would continue through the Reagan years.
When health and support groups in the gay community were beginning to initiate education and prevention programs, they were denied federal funding. In October 1987 Senator Helms amended a federal appropriations bill to prohibit AIDS education efforts that “encourage or promote homosexual activity” — that is, efforts that tell gay men how to have safe sex.- The Truth About Reagan and AIDS by Michael Bronski (via friendlyangryfeminist)
Two women have filed suit in Colorado to overturn the state’s ban on marriage equality.
Dr. Rebecca Brinkman and Margaret Burd filed the suit in Adams County District Court this past week, arguing that the portion of Colorado’s constitution banning same-sex marriage actually violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment.
Brinkman and Burd went to the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s office and applied for a marriage license, Ogden said. The deputy clerk said they were not eligible to marry each other because they are both female, and instead offered them an application for a civil union.
"They rejected this offer because civil unions are more akin to a business relationship than to the expression of dignity, love, respect and commitment that married heterosexual couples enjoy because they are married," Ogden stated.
I’m telling you, it’s only a matter of time before this isn’t even a question anymore.
Wow, sorry everyone! Last week was a wreck at work with it being Boss’s Week (our second busiest week of the year), and I didn’t spend too much time on the internet overall.
I took acid this past weekend and had a nice trip filled with beauty. At one point I looked down at the tiles on my floor and each one became the same alethiometer. They were all rotating in the same way and went from one symbol to the next, and I wish I would have written them down so I could have analyzed it later; maybe I had been trying to tell myself something. (Note: have a notebook/pencil ready for writing down thoughts and experiences)
Oh and I kind of have a boyfriend now. I’ve known him for roughly four years, and during that time I was always extremely hesitant to be in another long-distance relationship; I’ve tried it with four completely different people and it just never seemed to work. But here we are, and I really couldn’t be happier (except for, y’know, if he were here). Besides, it’s okay because I’ll see him at the end of November!
Hope everyone else is doing wonderfully!