As we wrote about last week, a tragic and almost unfathomable epidemic of queer youth suicides has been reported in the past three weeks, much of it tied to vicious anti-gay bullying. This Friday, October 8, there will be a "Stand Up to Youth Suicide" rally at Civic Center Plaza at 6:30pm. Speakers Tom Ammiano, Andrea Shorter, and more will speak about queer youth and how we can help. The rally will be followed by a candlelight march to the Castro at 7:30pm.
The flyer notes: "Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are up to 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their hmosexual peers. Nearly 1/2 of transgender people have seriously thought about committing suicide." Full announcement after the jump -- Facebook event info here.
Update:According to LGBTpov.com, Gov. Schwarzenegger yesterday "signed the Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act (SB 543), which will expand access to essential mental health services for youth ages 12-17. The bill, authored by openly gay State Sen. Mark Leno and sponsored by Equality California, allows teens to obtain counseling without parental consent." Unfortunately, "Friday morning, Charles Robbins, Executive Director of The Trevor Project reported a fifth suicide -- Raymond Chase, 19, a sophomore at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island took his own life on Wednesday." Hopefully kids in California will at least have expanded access to mental health counseling services. Original post is below.
For the fourth time this month, a kid who was harassed by anti-gay bullies has taken his own life. Seth Walsh, an out gay 13-year-old in Tehachapi, in central California, had been transferred from middle school to an independent study program, reportedly because he had been teased relentlessly about his orientation. Ten days ago he was found unconscious at the base of a tree in his backyard, apparently after he had attempted to hang himself. His parents took him off life support yesterday in Bakersfield.
Even though other kids admitted to harassing Seth -- police reported that some of them "broke down in tears" because "they had never seen this outcome," and wished they hadn't participated in the bullying -- no charges will be pressed against them: their actions do not constitute a crime.
A sick child, a dedicated family, a heartfelt reach out to homophobia, and a surprising response. Is it the Pride week Lifetime special? Nope, it's the Bay Area's feel good queer family story of the year and happily, word of it landed in my inbox yesterday courtesy of protagonist Jaime Jenett. Would you care for a shot in the arm to preserve those tingly feelings from the Prop 8 victory? “Most people think this is a political thing, but it's actually a personal thing,” Jenett told me over the phone. Let's do this. Open your mouth and say awwwwww. Read more »
US District judge Vaughan Walker has struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage. Turns out the 18,000 same-sex marriages left intact from before the proposition was passed were key. Dang, I just planned my wedding in Connecticut.
Who could have asked for a more delicious day than this Sunday to celebrate Pride? The amazing weather was perfect for parasols, skimpy speedos, and a few buckets of body glitter. The parade, celebrating it's 40th year, drew hordes of spectators who sandwiched themselves up and down Market Street for miles. It was exciting to see such a diverse audience and also a variety of groups participating in the parade, from politicians and coalitions to drag queens and gigantic human cupcakes.
Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber. You've followed it online, but the awesome Cockblock party made it a reality with a recent lookalike contest This weekend, hit up Cockblock after-Dyke March party (Sat/26) and Les Beaux after-Pride joint (Sun/27). Details here. You'll be "one less lonely girl."
Literary critic, Stanford professor, and sexy-brainy scholar Terry Castle will be speaking at City Lights Books on Tuesday, Feb. 9, about The Professor and Other Writings, a series of meditations on topics ranging from Art Pepper to the Polermo catacombs to Susan Sontag. When read together, the essays coalesce into a singular, fearless new memoir.
Castle has produced an incredible body of literary criticism and, in her work, she often explores the complicated relationship between literature and sex. Books like The Apparitional Lesbian and The Literature of Lesbianism examine depictions of love between women in the Western literatary canon. Boss Ladies, Watch Out: Essays on Women, Sex, and Writing investigates female sexuality in works by famous women writers.
But don't let the lit theory put you off. Even those allegedly allergic to theory will enjoy the candid, intelligent essays in Castle's latest work. Her intellectual gifts are obvious -- even her informal pieces have the pleasing effect of making their reader feel smarter -- but Castle remains accessible to a wide audience. In fact, her writing seems targeted at those who exist on the outskirts, or even outside, of the literary cognoscenti. Castle makes no secret of her distaste for the "preening and plumage display" of current day literary criticism, or what she calls "jargon-ridden pseudo-writing," and her informal pepperings of middle- and low-brow references throughout The Professor add to Castle's likableness. None of my college professors would ever (admittedly) discuss the "hotitude" of famous Hollywood stars; neither would they (admittedly) jam out to bass-bomping hip hop on their iPods.