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MQH Now is all about you and what you’re doing to make queer history in your own community. We’re featuring one monthly creator, and we’re be looking at queer artists, activists, educators, inventors—anyone making history right now!
If you’re doing something amazing and want to be featured, this is your chance! You can find more info and apply on our website.
This fall, Rockville, Maryland’s newest public elementary school will be the first in the district named for an openly gay person: Bayard Rustin.
Advocates say naming the school Bayard Rustin Elementary is a way to fight stigma, honor a civil rights legend who is often overlooked, and uplift and validate LGBTQ students.
“As a queer student, even in a progressive area, I was raised in a society that still attaches shame to my identity,” Jamie Griffith, a senior from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, testified to the board. “So a Bayard Rustin Elementary School is not only a well-deserved homage to a civil rights leader and hero, but a way to break stigma and give hope to future students who no longer have to feel trapped in the closet.”
Naming the school after Rustin would also raise awareness of an activist who’s largely been ignored by history because of his identity, advocates said Thursday. Rustin stood alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and was a leading organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. […]
The recognition of LGBTQ identities is gaining additional significance in the current political climate, testified Gabriel Acevero, a Montgomery Village resident who is running for state delegate.
“We have a hostile administration that is intent on erasing LGBTQ folks, recently taking us off the Census and banning transgender Americans from serving their country,” Acevero said. “Now more than ever we need to affirm LGBTQ youth, and that’s why Bayard Rustin is such a powerful name for this school.”
Police wear pride flags for publicity, to avoid critique, and to escape accountability for being fundamentally anti-Black/indigenous/queer/woman. We wear pride flags for revolution, resistance, and survival. Police are not our allies.
Last week, an anti-transgender lesbian told me I couldn’t call myself a “dyke.” I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not exclusively attracted to women or if it’s that I’m a trans woman. Either way, this word is a reclaimed slur for anyone who’s a woman attracted to women (and usually people who dress along the masculine spectrum). I’m trans, queer, and attracted to multiple genders. That doesn’t negate my womanhood or attraction to women.
Here’s some history for you: “dyke” emerged as a term in the mid 19th century to describe a well-dressed man. The term took on the original pejorative meaning as “bullydyke” in the late 1920’s following its coinage. However, by the 1970’s the term was widely reclaimed. Publications like the Women’s Press Collective encouraged the use of dyke to make it our own. I should also note that most of the members of the WPC supported trans women themselves.
By the late 1970’s, the community dropped “bull” from the term. It quickly gained new popularity with the Alison Bechdel (another lesbian who supports trans women) comic “Dykes to Watch Out For” in 1983. Finally, “dyke” entered the mainstream as the first national Dyke March took place in Washington, D.C. in 1993. Held without a permit, it was organized by the Lesbian Avengers, a trans-inclusive group of radical women who loved women. They took part in direct actions around the country for decades. Many of the members did not identify as lesbians but instead as transgender, bisexual, or pansexual among other identities. Dyke is meant to include any woman who is attracted to women. To claim otherwise is not only inaccurate but also ahistorical.
Two middle school teachers from McKinney, Texas are apparently keeping their jobs after it was discovered that they tweeted horrible, inaccurate things about Islam and about transgender people.
As far back as 2015, teachers Justin Barton and Mark Russell tweeted that Islam is a “satanic death cult” and that being trans is a mental illness. The school district said that while it doesn’t agree with their statements, it recognizes the teachers’ right to freedom of speech.
DFW Trans Kids and Families and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance of North Texas also plan to write a joint letter to the district asking for a meeting, as well as training and education on transgender and LGBT individuals.
“This is dangerous for our children when they hear and see these kind of things, especially when coming from people they may look up to like a school teacher or administration of a school,” said Melissa Ballard, co-founder and organizer of DFW Trans Kids and Families. “It’s hard enough for them to be themselves.”
The group, which includes more than 200 transgender children, includes kids and families in McKinney ISD. Ballard said she knows of no members at Cockrill Middle School.
“When you’re a representative of an organization that’s suppose to protect and lift up, especially the most vulnerable — the children — I think you need to be more cognizant of what you’re saying and what you’re putting out there,” she said.
Yes, freedom of speech is important, but how can people who publicly make such bigoted statements be trusted to treat all their students equally?
Ultimately, this is a danger to students, and it sets a precedent for other kids about what kind of statements are and are not okay both in the classroom and outside of it. (And none of this is okay.) Whatever happens next, I hope everyone acts first and foremost with the students’ wellbeing in mind.
“My intersex variation is gonadal dysgenesis. I found out at age 15 when I still hadn’t gotten a period. I have XY chromosomes and I have to take estrogen to help my bone health because I was born without ovaries.”
“My intersex variation is congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). I found out at birth. CAH is one of few intersex variations with additional medical considerations, because it affects the body’s ability to produce stress hormones. I take testosterone and I identify as transgender.”
“My intersex variation is complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS). That means my body developed in a way that is “tipically” female, but I was born with XY chromosomes and internal testes instead of ovaries. My body is insensitive to testosterone, so it converts it to estrogen instead.“
"My intersex variation is parcial androgen insensitivity syndrome (PAIS). That means I only partially responded to testosterone in the womb. (Because of this, people with PAIS may havve an ambiguous sex at birth.) My parents found out I have PAIS when I was born. I have XY chromosomes and I identify as transgender.”
Doctors often encourage surgical removal for female-identified intersex people who have internal testes. However, this is NOT medically necessary and has more to do with society’s views on sex and gender. Removing hormone producing organs makes a person reliant on the medical industry for external hormones! Similar to other LGBT groups, intersex people struggle for bodily autonomy. We may have to fight against surgeries we don’t want.
On 9 December 1984, Amelio Robles Ávila, Mexican revolutionary and trans man, died aged 95. Born in 1889, he joined the revolutionary forces and fought under Zapata. He took part in battles, extorted money from oil companies and transported weapons for the revolutionaries. In 1924 he began to live openly as a man, have relationships with women and raise an adopted daughter.