FFFF: Olympics Already a Bit Gay

Funny Feminist Friday Film square logoThe Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion takes aim at homophobia in Russia by pointing out the Olympics have already been a little bit gay.

If you liked that and want one easy thing to do to support their campaign, check out the CIDI’s Facebook page.

There is no voice-over, only music accompanying this video, so no transcript required.

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in FFFF, LGBT Leave a comment

Guante on Being “PC” (It’s Really About Not Being a Jackass)

This video by slam poet Guante nails it as he speaks to those who might think being “un-PC” is being edgy. News-flash: using sexist, racist, ableist or homophobic language is really just being a lazy, mainstream jackass.

“Class, using inclusive language is not that hard.”

(h/t Racialicious)

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Feminism, LGBT, Racism Leave a comment

“Gay Cure” Now Off the Market: Exodus International Says a Healing Goodbye to an Era of Shame and Trauma

rainbowby Jessica Mason McFadden

The news is out and on repeat, as usual, only this time: it’s personal, the kind that makes you cry in relief and do a dancey-dance at the same time. How often do we feel that what we read is relevant and personal to our lives, our nows? We turn to various journalistic sources for satire, for political affiliation and infuriation, for doses of depression, for a little reality, for a lot of unreality and, sometimes, for good news. Last night I received good news, news that I think is not only good for me but good for you, too, and good for the globe:

Exodus International (EI), a nondenominational Christianity-based “ex-gay” ministry out of Anaheim, dedicated to the suppression and redirection of homosexual desire as well as “rehabilitation” of former homosexuals, has announced that it will close.

More than this, the ministry made a public apology for the irreparable damages it has caused. Founded in 1976, Exodus spread its message and provided its services with over 260 ministries across North America. By 2004, an Exodus Global Alliance had spread into an additional 17 countries.

Why care about Exodus’ change of heart? Because it’s a sign of progress after a thirty-seven-year period of pain – something I know about, personally, because I experienced the effects of Exodus first-hand, nearly ending up as one of the “reformed.” Read more

Posted on by Jessica Mason McFadden in Feminism, LGBT 5 Comments

FFFF: Probably Gay

FFFFIn honour of today being the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia: Broad Comedy (Erin Roberg, Katie Goodman, and Maggie Garver) performs “The Homophobia Song”, aka “You’re Probably Gay”.

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No Homophobes Project Launches PSA

nohomophobesby Jarrah Hodge

Back in December I interviewed Dr. Kristopher Wells of the University of Alberta’s nohomophobes.com project, which uses a website tracking homophobic language on Twitter to act as a “social mirror” drawing attention to everyday homophobia.

This week the campaign started a new phase by launching a PSA that asks why homophobic language is still widely used and often accepted. The language could be considered NSFW, so fair warning:

Global TV donated the PSA production and the clip was created by No Homophobes partner Calder Bateman. Jeff McLean of Calder Bateman told Global News: “We thought the PSA or the TV spot would be a visual representation of the tweets that are coming in on the website…Hearing it from these people is quite shocking.”

In a statement Wells said, “We no longer tolerate racist language, weʼre getting better at dealing with sexist language, but sadly we still see and hear homophobic and transphobic language in our society. While this language might not always be meant to be hurtful, we must not forget that words like “faggot” contribute greatly to the continued alienation and isolation of sexual and gender (LGBTQ) people, especially our youth.”

The PSA has already started getting international attention and will hopefully contribute to raising awareness and increasing constructive dialogue about homophobic language use in Canada and around the world.

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U of A’s “No Homophobes” Project Confronts Casual Homophobia

nohomophobesby Jarrah Hodge

The first time I visited nohomophobes.com it was an emotional experience. The site acts as a “social mirror”, capturing real-time use of homophobic slurs on Twitter, and it quickly becomes clear just how staggering a problem casual homophobia is.

I spoke to Dr. Kristopher Wells, Associate Director of the University of Alberta Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, which started the project earlier this year, about how this relatively simple Canadian idea has had such a wide impact.

Wells told me that the idea for No Homophobes came out of research on casual homophobia and how it manifests in our public education system. EGALE Canada’s national national climate survey on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools, for example, found that 70% of LGBTQ youth hear phrases like “That’s so gay” every day in their schools. 10% of the time the phrases are actually coming from teachers.

“Sadly, for many LGBTQ youth this kind of casual homophobia is part of their daily reality,” said Wells.

The challenge was to put something together to bring public awareness to the issue of casual homophobia – not just in schools, but also in our society as a whole. The idea was to create a website that compiles tweets, using our four key words (“faggot”, “so gay”, “no homo”, and “dyke”), in real time, from all over English-speaking world. Wells and the iSMSS turned to their community partners, getting help from Calder Bateman in Edmonton and Burnkit in Vancouver to set up the website graphics and technical aspects.

Wells explained: “We wanted to do something different that was actually going to target and speak not only to youth, but also to the broader community – and we figured out pretty quickly that we needed to do something with social media, which is where most youth seem to live.” Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in Can-Con, LGBT 2 Comments

AP “Homophobia” Decision Doesn’t Reflect Reality

ap_stylebook_coverby Jarrah Hodge

The Associated Press Stylebook sets a newspaper industry standard for grammar, language, and reporting principles. So when the AP makes changes, they can have a significant impact on the media we consume. That’s why a lot of LGBT writers and activists are upset at the recent move by the AP to ban the use of the word “homophobia”. The AP has chosen to read a very literal definition into the word “homophobia”, arguing any word ending in “-phobia” represents “an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness” and that such words should not be used “in political or social contexts” (this also nixes “Islamophobia” and presumably “Transphobia”).

AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Milthorn was quoted in POLITICO as saying:

“Homophobia especially — it’s just off the mark. It’s ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don’t have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case.”

Even though when you take “homophobia” that literally it doesn’t seem like the most precise term, there are a couple of big problems with the AP’s move.

The first is that their definition doesn’t reflect common usage. Occasionally I’ll use the term “heterosexism” because I think it’s a better word to show that the privileging of heterosexual people and the subordination of LGBT people is systemic (e.g. it makes more sense to say a policy or institution is “heterosexist” than “homophobic”). But I still use “homophobic” more frequently and one reason for that is that people generally get it. People understand when you say someone’s homophobic that you’re not literally saying they need mental health care. They understand you’re not implying they aren’t responsible for their actions or attitudes. Read more

Posted on by Jarrah Hodge in LGBT 1 Comment