Want a comfy sock and not sure what type of rainbow design you might want to sport on your wedding day? Or maybe you want to wear a pair and give your wedding attendants a pair, too. Bombas has a great pride calf sock 4-pack you can snag to give you a few options.
Bombas socks are super comfortable and hold up really well. The calf sock stays nicely in place when pulled up to show the design and with their honeycomb midfoot support, they provide comfort in all the right places. I’m definitely a Bombas fan after I purchased several of the pride socks this year.
And remember, as always with Bombas purchases, one purchased equals one donated to those experiencing homelessness.
Miles’ Afro-Latino culture is placed the heart of the story, with the young Spider-Man often heard speaking Spanglish with his Puerto Rican mother. His Black heritage is also acknowledged through the prominent hip-hop music interwoven through the game.
He’s accompanied by a refreshingly diverse cast, including his best friend Ganke Lee, who is Korean, while other major characters like The Tinkerer and The Prowler are both Black. There’s also a deaf character introduced partway through the story.
And as a special treat to fans, the game’s creators have included several subtle Easter eggs paying tribute to the Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, who tragically died in August aged 43.
Observant fans noticed that one of the New York streets was named after him and a special dedication to the “noble king” was placed in the credits.
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Our community began marking this day in 1999 in response to the brutal killing of Rita Hester, a Black Trans woman.
Hester was a member of the Boston LGBTQ+ community who worked locally on education around trans issues and nurtured many of the city’s LGBTQ+ youth. She was killed in her home on November 28, 1998, a few days shy of her 35th birthday. Twenty-two years later, her murder has not been solved.
On the first anniversary of Hester’s death, trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith organised a vigil to commemorate Hester and all transgender people lost to violence since her death. That vigil began the tradition that is Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“When the Transgender Day of Remembrance first began, trans people were nameless victims in many cases,” Smith wrote in 2014 for The Advocate. “Our killers would do their best to erase our existence from the world. And law enforcement, the media, and others would continue the job.”
Researchers have documented 350 homicides of trans and gender-diverse people around the world from October 1, 2019, through September 30 of this year have been brutally killed.
That’s a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, and the researchers have recorded 3,664 homicides since the effort began in 2008. The yearly total has gradually increased since then.
This number is likely higher; victims are, to this day, often misgendered in local police statements and media reports, which can delay awareness of deadly incidents.
Trans women or those who identify as transfeminine made up 98 percent of the victims in the 2020 report. Eighty-two percent of the deaths were in Central or South America, and 43 percent in one country in that region, Brazil. Sixty-two percent of those killed were known to be sex workers.
The majority of these victims, like Hester, were Black transgender women living at the intersection of racism, homophobia, and transphobia.
“Behind the statistical representation of numbers and percentages, there are people whose lives we value and who we, as societies, failed to protect,” the release says. The group blames social stigma and criminalisation of sex work for exposing trans sex workers to exploitation and violence, while adding that the COVID-19 pandemic has put the lives of trans people at even greater risk, especially the young, the poor, sex workers, migrants, and people of colour. Racism and police brutality are contributing factors as well.
“At the same time, those groups are repeatedly silenced and underrepresented within our communities and societies,” the release concludes. “Although COVID-19 affects us all, social differences and inequalities are deepened by the pandemic, emphasising gaps in lack of legislation and systemic protection of trans and gender-diverse people.”
We must do better by continuing to condemn all acts of violence against transgender people. Vigils and celebrations will look different this year due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, today we pause to recognise the lives of those we have lost.
The following organizations are fighting for that change.
Today marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to honor the lives of those who died because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. I wish all of my transgender friends and readers love and support on this day of mourning.
Last year on TDOR, I quoted fellow blogger and advocate Monica Roberts of TransGriot, who reminded us that TDOR memorial lists “are overwhelmingly made up of trans women of color, and in the US, overwhelmingly Black trans women under age 30. Internationally, they are disproportionately made up of trans women from Latin America and Brazil.” She also wrote way back in 2007 about Rita Hester and the origins of TDOR. Monica herself died this year, of natural causes, after having spent much of her time tracking and identifying transgender victims of murder, many of whom were reported by the mainstream media under their previous, not chosen, names. She showed the injustice in their deaths—but also showed us stories of transgender lives. Her loss will be felt by many today—but there is also a story and a loss behind each and every one of the names on the memorial list. They will all be missed.
For those of us who are cisgender, today is a good day to reflect on what each of us can do to end the violence, starting with our own actions, e.g., using someone’s self-stated name and pronouns, speaking out when we hear anti-trans remarks, and educating our children, no matter what their own identities are, about what it means to be transgender or gender nonconforming. We can celebrate and support the lives of trans people and listen to their stories. We can urge lawmakers to pass trans-inclusive anti-discrimination legislation, to reject legislation that demeans and ignores trans people’s gender identities and right to public accommodation, and to uphold trans people’s right to serve in our military.
May the lives of those lost not be forgotten. May they inspire us to continue working for justice and peace.
Are you looking for a book with a diverse cast, compelling story, great worldbuilding, and disability representation? Lucky you, because you have The Labyrinth’s Archivist.
This fantastical novella stars Azulea, the newest in a long line of Archivists, the people who interview travelers and make maps of the worlds that extend out from the Archivists’ Residence. Azulea desperately wants to join her family’s vocation, but she is blind and therefore assumed to be incapable. When someone (or something) starts killing Archivists one by one, Azulea puts her mind to solving the mystery.
There were so many things I loved about this book. For starters, there was the amazing disability representation. The author, Day Al-Mohamed, is blind herself, so the representation was very authentic. I love how Azulea’s blindness was incorporated into the story, but didn’t make it seem like inspiration porn. It was also very refreshing to see disability representation in the fantasy genre, where we certainly don’t get enough of it. More than just painting Azulea as an inspirational story, the novella really dives into the challenges of being blind in a fantasy world. Physically and psychologically, Azulea must adapt to her surroundings. The Labyrinth’s Archivist is worth reading for this aspect alone.
Another part of the novella I loved was worldbuilding. The world of the Labyrinth was so detailed and intricate. Every setting was so beautifully described. I could picture every scene like a movie, which is something I love to see in a book. The world is heavily influenced by Middle Eastern culture, which also gave it a sense of depth and richness. The opulence of the Residence itself shines throughout the novella, and serves as a wonderful backdrop to the central mystery. The story itself reads very quickly, too. It’s like a fantasy version of an Agatha Christie novel. I flew through it. If anything, I thought it was too short.
Even given everything else, for me, the best part of this novel was the characters. Azulea is a really wonderful protagonist. She is spirited, resilient, and determined. I was happy to spend the entire novella following her. Her relationships with other characters also stood out. I loved reading the interactions between Azulea and her mother. They had a difficult, but ultimately very authentic relationship. Same with the relationship between Azulea and her grandmother. Finally, the romance was also very sweet. I wish we had gotten more of that as a plotline, because it does come up quickly towards the end of the story. Still, the engaging and complex characters made this book a real page-turner for me.
The Labyrinth’s Archivist is a short, refreshing, fun novella that blends fantasy and Middle Eastern culture in a beautiful way. Its characters are very interesting and drive the story forward. It involves disability representation and worldbuilding that are truly unique. Although it is short, this book is definitely worth your time.
Welcome to Butt Week, friends! An entire week dedicated to butts and butt-adjacent stuff: how-tos, thoughtful essays, original art, pop culture critiques, music and more! You are absolutely not ready for this and yet it is happening to you, right now. As we wrap up our week, let Shelli treat you to a full spa day for your beautiful ass.
When I read “Take care of yourself!” it usually is talking about exercising and some form of diet, and when I read “Self-care is important!” it’s followed by a “but” and a list of stipulations. Both are imposing limitations on how to care for my body or how to love on it, and that’s not something I care to subscribe to — instead I opt to indulge.
Going above and beyond in caring for and loving my body has been the key to being comfortable in it. Confidence and comfort are not the same, for the most part, confidence in my body has been steady but the latter was what I had to work for. Being extra with it was what helped, adorning my body with lingerie that made me feel gorgeous, wearing oils whose smells trigger sweet thoughts, eating foods that fill my stomach with happiness, touching myself, and feeling sensations and thrills go throughout me from top to toe.
I take myself in and say yes to allowing myself both sumptuous and simple pleasures.
The simplest of ways for me is a slow, hot shower. You know the type — where you close your eyes and just feel the water hit your back while the steam fills the bathroom? Where instead of rapidly drying yourself off when you get out, you wipe down the mirror and look at your body and smile?
The type of shower where you use the special stuff. This time my something special was a scrub and mask, not for my face – but my ass.
I like my ass. I’m not gonna lie and say that I haven’t looked in the mirror and wished for Megan Thee Stallion to give me just a dollop of extra booty, but I like it. Butt Week has made me want to give a little extra TLC to my ass, to prepare it to be extra soft, plump, and ready to bite when I’m pushing it up against a girl under the covers in the near future. So I went for Anese.co and their Booty Duo! You’ve probably seen it splashed across your Instagram Feed and well, it got me!
Think of this photo as a sapphic Where’s Waldo – but with my bum.
Both products — a scrub called That booty tho and a mask named Down with the thickness — tout claims to calm stretch marks and help get rid of asscne. Everyone is always so focused on self-care when it comes to the face and the skin (it’s me, I’m everyone) but they forget the ass. Not me, I made my bathroom into a social media-worthy spa and got started making my ass even more grabbable than it already is.
That booty tho, Booty Scrub $30
I already have perfectly curated lighting in most rooms of my apartment, and that includes the bathroom. I bought in a few plants, opened the window slightly to get a breeze, and even brought in another mirror so I could fully take in my ass when I got going with the duo. I turned the shower on and let the room warm up, I sat on the edge of the tub in my pink silky robe with a glass of wine. I could hear Chloe x Halles’ Ungodly Hour playing at the sweetest volume from the other room.
After the bathroom was the perfect temperature and my skin was softened by the steam, I peeled off my robe. I could see myself in the mirror and I was all about it. It was fogged but not enough as some of the steam was sneaking out of the window. I stepped into the shower and brought That Booty Tho in with me. I untwisted the top, which was now a bit wet, and put two fingers in, and slowly scooped out enough to cover my ass. The scrub isn’t harsh; the granules are fine and the smell isn’t overwhelming at all. For some reason I closed my eyes, I spread the product between my palms, and placed my hands on my ass. Moving in circular motions, grabbing, and even doing a few light smacks. Feeling my own skin, my body, palm to ass — felt euphoric.
When I rinsed off I could feel how much smoother my butt felt. Sometimes when you rinse off body scrub or even a face scrub you feel greasy after, not this tho. It was smooth, my ass felt moisturized and it’s a shame I had no one to call out to and invite them in to feel it and agree. I finished my shower and then stepped out, wrapped myself in my robe to dry.
Down with the thickness, Booty Mask $37
Again, I sat on the edge of the tub and drank a bit more wine while scrolling through my phone. My skin felt dry enough so now it was time for the mask. Again, two fingers inside the pink and fluffy cream that smelled sweet like taffy candy. I put a foot upon the tub’s edge and lifted my robe up to my waist to expose my ass in front of the mirror. Put my palms together and spread the mask over my ass. Glancing in the mirror and seeing the pink cream that matched my robe was beautiful. Again, how sad that no one was around to bask in it with me.
I snapped my photos for the eyes of you lucky readers and then rinsed off.
Afterward, I went to my bedroom where the music was playing and laid down while the cool air from outside caused goosebumps on my skin. I smiled because again I was extra, I’d indulged in something completely unnecessary solely because It made me feel good and I wanted to. As a result, my body that many want me to be unkind to or have hate for was happy and my heart that the world can make heavy was light yet so full.
Having confidence and comfort in your body, especially a marginalized one, is a long and often curvy road. But I truly believe that over indulgent self-care is helpful on that path. Finding simple pleasures that make you feel good and letting the feeling overtake you, holding on to it, and allowing it to bounce around in the corners of your mind to pop back up when you least expect it.
So from my plump and soft ass to yours, Happy Butt Week, Autostraddlers.
GLAAD’s annual Spirit Day today is a time to speak out against anti-LGBTQ bullying and stand with LGBTQ youth. That’s a tough mandate at a time when our country is led by someone for whom bullying and name-calling is a way of life, but it’s also all the more reason to focus our attention on the problem.
GLSEN’s latest National School Climate Survey, just out this week, found that:
The vast majority of LGBTQ students (86.3 percent) have experienced harassment or assault based on personal characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender expression, gender, actual or perceived religion, actual or perceived race and ethnicity, and actual or perceived disability;
More than half (56.6 percent) of those students who were harassed or assaulted in school did not report the incident to school staff, most commonly because they doubted that effective intervention would occur or the situation could become worse if reported.
Among those who did report their incidents, 60.5 percent said that school staff did nothing in response or told the student to ignore it.
Many LGBTQ students of color experienced victimization based on both their race/ethnicity and their LGBTQ identities.
This hostile school climate can have a negative effect on students’ academic success and mental health.
Much of this is a problem to be addressed by the parents or guardians of the bullies and by local schools and school districts. (It’s a problem for the victims and their parents and guardians, too, but ultimately it’s the bullies who need to change their behavior.) I would like to think, however, that our country’s leaders would set an example of civil discourse despite difference that all citizens could look up to. Alas, President Trump is failing catastrophically on that count. There was the presidential debate, in which he tried to bully Democratic nominee Joe Biden; his foreign policy; his interactions with the media; many of his tweets, and the tone at his rallies, where name-calling his opponents is commonplace. This bullying behavior, some have said, goes back to his childhood, where his father presented life in terms of “winners” and “losers,” then sent him to military school where bullying meant power and winning.
The president’s words don’t fall solely on grown-ups’ ears. Right after Trump took office, some noted the “Trump effect”: “the rise of classroom bullying and harassment driven, at least in part, by the antagonistic rhetoric of the presidential campaign.” That effect has continued, as the Washington Post reported earlier this year:
Trump’s words, those chanted by his followers at campaign rallies and even his last name have been wielded by students and school staff members to harass children more than 300 times since the start of 2016, a Washington Post review of 28,000 news stories found. At least three-quarters of the attacks were directed at kids who are Hispanic, black or Muslim, according to the analysis. Students have also been victimized because they support the president — more than 45 times during the same period.
Although many hateful episodes garnered coverage just after the election, The Post found that Trump-connected persecution of children has never stopped. Even without the huge total from November 2016, an average of nearly two incidents per school week have been publicly reported over the past four years. Still, because so much of the bullying never appears in the news, The Post’s figure represents a small fraction of the actual total. It also doesn’t include the thousands of slurs, swastikas and racial epithets that aren’t directly linked to Trump but that the president’s detractors argue his behavior has exacerbated.
In sum, this means that LGBTQ youth and others who are the targets of bullies need our help more than ever—and we as parents need to be remain aware in case our own children exhibit bullying behavior. The American Psychological Association has a number of pieces about prevention and response strategies for bullying of many kinds; GLSEN has some good resources for those looking to create positive change in their local schools; the Movement Advancement Project offers a map of safe schools laws in every state; and my LGBTQ Back-to-School Resources list has links to additional materials, programs, and organizations.
Let’s start with the examples of our own lives, however, being mindful of our own behaviors and attitudes and showing our children the difference between standing up for ourselves and belittling others. A family, school, or country in which people bully and harass each other is inherently divided; it will never be as strong as one in which there is a willingness to engage, learn, and find points of commonality and mutual respect, or at the very least, treat each other with civility. May we set such an example—and may our nation’s leaders do so as well.
Could you use something uplifting right now? I sure could—and a short new video that celebrates LGBTQ elders and youth champions is putting a smile on my face this National Coming Out Day.
“Be You” reminds us of the incredible age diversity of the LGBTQ community as participants answer the question “What makes you, you?” It’s a project of SAGE: Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders;GenderCool, a movement to showcase stories of transgender and non-binary youth; and Dell Technologies. The elders include “Mama” Gloria Allen, a 74-year-old Black transgender woman who transitioned before Stonewall and later, in her 60s, started a charm school for transgender youth in Chicago. The youth include Gia, a rising 17-year-old high school senior who transitioned before the start of eighth grade and then was named captain of her co-ed middle school’s championship cross country team. She’s also her high school’s second highest-ever field hockey goal scorer and has held numerous leadership positions in her student government, the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, the Peace Project, and Family, Career and Community Service Leaders of America.
For another great short video today, check out “Proud Parent,” by PFLAG and Oreo, about a young woman bringing her girlfriend to meet her straight parents for the first time. While I usually focus on queer parents, this is too sweet a story to miss. (And yes, say what you will about corporate America, but many companies have supported LGBTQ people by funding our organizations, supporting equality-minded legislation, and giving us benefits even before the government did.)
Looking for some National Coming Out Day (or any day) tips on coming out after parenthood?
“When I was growing up, I had virtually no one to look to in the public eye, where I could say to myself, ‘Wow, he managed it, I might not have to be in the dark forever.’ So if you’re reading this, wherever you are, know that your experience, as unique as it may feel now, has been shared by millions through time. Some have had it worse, others have had it easier. But there is a community waiting for you, with love and understanding. You’ll feel as though your life has only just begun. Each of you who makes that brave step makes it possible that in the future, the next 16-year-old boy with really bad skin, who wore fleece way too much, would be proud of himself, rather than ashamed. No more crying in the kitchen, it’s time to go out into the sunshine.”–ABC News journalist James Longman, in an essay for Yahoo! detailing his own coming out. Longman encourages anyone closeted or questioning his sexuality to come out on National Coming Out Day