Laverne Cox Epitomizes Growing Transgender Rights Movement

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When transgender actor Laverne Cox graced the cover of Time magazine this month, the magazine was showered with accolades for featuring her story. But the article also ignited a predictable torrent of outrage from those unwilling to accept what most major medical associations in the United States have already acknowledged: that being transgender is not […]

Is Your Yoga Studio Feminism-Free?

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Come to a comfortable seated position; use the blanket to elevate your hips so you can sit with the spine straight. Close the eyes and rest the hands gently in the lap. So begins the yoga class. And just yesterday, as we sat quietly, receptively, in a meditative pose, the teacher said, Everything in your […]

Make Room On the Runway For These Transgender Models

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When you look at the photos from Barneys New York’s recent ad campaign, Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters, the models are typical: natural beauty complimented by long legs or buff torsos. What distinguishes this campaign from others: All the women and men are transgender models. Similarly, Swedish jeans label Crocker features a new ad campaign […]

Chimamanda and Beyoncé: We Should All Be Feminists

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Beyoncé’s new album is not only refreshing in an increasingly stale and samey pop music industry, but also a boost to feminist discourse. Some feminist discussion around the singer has characterized her (unfortunately and mistakenly) as “the wrong kind of feminist.” However, at least one song on Beyoncé’s new venture is inspired by Nigerian novelist […]

Hey Pop Stars, Culture is More Than Skin Deep

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I’m beginning to think pop stars should be required to take a course on cultural appropriation. Katy Perry’s recently added herself to the list of celebrities who make insulting displays of cultures that aren’t their own. At the recent American Music Awards, she sang “Unconditionally” in Japanese-inspired wardrobe, hair and makeup. And that performance followed […]

Remembering Larry: Murdered for His Gender Expression

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In 2008, 15-year-old Larry King was shot and killed by classmate Brandon McInerney, whom he* had, on a dare, asked to be his Valentine days before. The new documentary Valentine Road tells the story of these two boys, both of whom who grew up in situations full of abuse and alienation. King, though, had started […]

Dear Joss Whedon, Et Al: Leave “Feminist” Alone

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We’ve all seen the misguided pop culture caricature of feminism rear it’s ugly head, popping up in far too many celebrity quotes and media pieces that misinform the masses and scare people away from identifying as feminists. This imagined man-hating, bra-burning political radical still lives in the ’60s or ’70s, rants constantly about the patriarchy and […]

LGBPTTQQIIAA+ — How We Got Here from Gay

Bisexual activists Margo Rila, left, and Maggie Rubenstein in 2002.

Gerard Koskovich, a curator at the The GLBT History Museum in San Francisco, remembers when the term LGBT first came about (the 1990s), and has seen it spread around the world to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Today’s the perfect time to recall the acronym’s origins, since it’s the start of National LGBT History […]

Gayby Talk

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What I remember most about May 6, 1993 was chasing my twin sister around on the white-washed steps of a very important building. And I recall my two moms, dressed to the nines in pantsuits and heals, beaming down at us. It was a special day: Moments before, my family of four had gathered in […]

My Feminist Name Quandary

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When I, Careen Shannon, took David Solomon to be my lawfully wedded (now ex-) husband, I also walked into a feminist name dilemma. But unlike Pamela Paul, who recently wrote in The New York Times about the difficulties of using her maiden name professionally and her married name in other venues, I never considered changing […]