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 […]

99 Ways to Respect Black Women

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This year marked 100 years since the death of Harriet Tubman, the former American slave who proved great heart and courage in rescuing other slaves. This fact was commemorated not with a holiday or a monument but by our very own brother Russell Simmons thinking it would be wonderful to make a “Harriet Tubman sex […]

Reports of Feminism’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

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I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? —Ellen Page, actor If the word ‘feminist’ has negative connotations, running away from the word […]

Of Hoodies and White Women, Trayvon and Othello

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Trayvon Martin could not have been me. Not now. Not 35 years ago, when, like President Obama, I was Trayvon Martin’s’ age. The reason is plain: I am a white woman, raised in a wealthy suburb, an English professor. The infinite ways in which my life—and the life of my own teenage son—are different and […]

Beyond the “Secularism Tic” – An Interview with Feminist Philosopher Sandra Harding

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“You have to put your ideas out in public. Realize you’re never going to be 100 percent right, and trust that for now you are the least wrong you could manage to be.” When you listen to Sandra Harding speak, everything comes into focus. Her words are inspiring, empowering, an invitation to move conversations forward […]

Growing Up Queer in San Francisco – Easy, Right?

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Just like thousands of queers living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I came here from somewhere else, already out of the closet and already an adult. Because I didn’t know anyone actually from San Francisco but knew, like everyone else, that it was a “gay mecca,” I assumed that coming out here was probably […]