And while we are still on the topic of young, gifted, and Black — did yall see Nia Dennis’ gymnastics floor routine for UCLA that’s gone viral?? Including Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Megan thee Stallion, and 2Pac among others.
If you are white, this is your “must read” of today — and it won’t be easy, but wow I promise you that it is necessary, Breaking Up With White Supremacy Was Always The End Game: “If you follow all the prescriptions of checking your privilege, unpacking your invisible knapsack, centering the marginalized, excavating your deeply held white supremacist notions and not becoming a Karen, you will absolutely positively have to break up with actual white people.”
Biden Overturns Trump Ban on Transgender People Serving in U.S. Military. I have A LOT of feelings about the role of the U.S. military and imperialism and war and war profiteering and the military industrial complex. I also acknowledge that the ban itself hurt a lot of trans people who were trying to serve their country, and I hope that those people found some healing in this week.
Elliot Page, the Oscar-nominated star of Juno and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, has announced he is transgender.
Elliot, formerly known as Ellen Page, addressed his social media followers saying:
“Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society,”
He continued: “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life. I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community. Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society” he wrote.
The actor also spoke of his fear in coming out and highlighted the difficulties faced by less privileged people who have done the same. “I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the “jokes” and of violence. ‘To be clear, I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one that I celebrate, but I want to address the full picture.’
“The statistics are staggering. The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences. In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women.
“To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans healthcare and deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands. You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren’t being “cancelled,” you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks.”
Page concluded: “I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all the trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse, and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you, and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”
Page uses both he/him and they/them pronouns, and describes himself as transgender and non-binary, meaning that his gender identity is neither man nor woman.
Page broke out from his native Canada in 2005 with the revenge thriller Hard Candy. Two years later, he starred in Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s landmark indie Juno, for which Page received an Academy Award nomination among other accolades.
Prior to transition, Page was one of the most visible out gay actors in Hollywood. The Tuesday announcement further enriches his legacy, and adds him to a small but growing number of out trans creators and stars in Hollywood.
Page has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights over the past decade and in January 2018 married the dancer and choreographer Emma Portner.
Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Transgender Media, said “Elliot Page has given us fantastic characters on-screen, and has been an outspoken advocate for all LGBTQ people. He will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people. All transgender people deserve the chance to be ourselves and to be accepted for who we are. We celebrate the remarkable Elliot Page today.”
I have so many thoughts and feelings about this. My first thought was that I am really happy for him. And fuck, that is brave. And my second is so much fear for him. I can already predict that a portion of the lesbian community, particularly anyone of the TERF/gender-critical/rad fem variety, is going to freak out about this and hassle him relentlessly. He has come out not once, but twice, first as a lesbian and now as non-binary, and I feel like the latter coming out is going to be so much harder for him. It sounds like he has a lot of support, and love. I can’t imagine coming out so publicly. His story reminds me so much of my own, and I know how vulnerable and excited I felt during the whole process. I hope that he is surrounded by all the love and support he needs as he continues his journey.
A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!
HELLO and welcome to the 311th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can know more about cruise ship disasters!! This “column” is less feminist/queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is feminist/queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.
It has been so long and I am so sorry but listen I am here I am back, and I have taken some real journeys into the peaks and valleys of various niche topics over the past billion weeks. I have never read the news more! Also I updated the Black Lives Matter longform reading list last month, which you should check out!
On the history of Dollar Stores and where they thrive in the present and why they are a often a target of armed robberies that put vulnerable workers at risk. Also surprise, the CEOs are making ten million dollars a year while refusing to compensate employees fairly or provide basic security or surveillance!!!
The Pariah Ship, by Michael Smith, Drake Bennett, and K. Oanh Ha for Bloomberg, June 2020
Friends if you think my momentary obsession with cruise ship mishaps was a passing fad from when we last gathered in this space to share longform pieces, you would be very wrong. In addition to the two articles I shared last time, I also read this one, watched 10 documentaries and read an entire fucking book about the cruise ship industry! It was medicore (the book).
Diary, by Patricia Lockwood for The London Review of Books, July 2020
I think this is my favorite thing I read this week?
It seemed more sensible to crawl from place to place rather than walk. My mind had moved a few inches to the left of its usual place, and I developed what I realised later were actual paranoid delusions. ‘Jason’s cough is fake,’ I secretly texted a friend from the bathtub, where I couldn’t be monitored. ‘I … don’t think his cough is fake,’ she responded, with the gentle tact of the healthy. ‘Oh it is very, very fake,’ I countered, and then further asserted the claim that he had something called Man Corona.
Wesley Morris,Jesse Green, A.O. Scott and Maya Phillips discuss the differences between Hamilton’s filmed production and the experience of watching it live, as well as how its themes have aged from the Obama-era to the present. BTW saw Hamilton for the first time on Disney+ right right I know.
Out of Work, as told to Rowan Moore Gerety and Laura Rena Murray, California Sunday Magazine, July 2020
A photoessay that shows the coronavirus shutdown through the eyes of the recently unemployed — what they did before, what they’re doing now, and how they’re getting by.
The Democratic primaries, in their modern form, have always been a dance between imitating Republicans and rejecting them, rewarding politicians able to reconcile these two poles the most gracefully. But Trump heightened this tension to new levels, turning what had in the past seemed like a choreographed performance into a series of convulsions. All the customary moves were there—the turn to the left, the pivot to the center, the coming-together at the end—but the timing was off and no one seemed in control of what they were doing. If this was a dance, it was one that had gone badly wrong.
Sick Days, by Russel Brandom for The Verge, May 2020
In recent years, America has become obsessed with “girls,” and the fashion world has a theory about why: actresses have lost their glamour by turning into real people, and models have replaced them as the stars of our time. Certainly models are this decade’s contribution to our already crowded celebrity pantheon. They are what rock stars were to the 70’s and visual artists were to the 80’s. The rise of models has less to do with the fashion industry, whose business has slumped since the 80’s, than with the potent blend of cultural preoccupations they embody: youth, beauty and, perhaps most of all, media exposure.
You can see the pictures from this piece here. Also, mid-article Joi Tyler, a Black model struggling to get runway work in Paris due to anti-Black racism, which the author mentions and then just… leaps right past?
In South Korea, an entire economy and subculture is building around “honjoks,” people who “prefer, out of pleasure or practicality — and, often, utter exhaustion and sheer desperation — to live outside of conventional social structures and simply be alone.
The New York Times had to sue the CDC for the data that revealed how “Black and Latino people have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus in a widespread manner that spans the country, throughout hundreds of counties in urban, suburban and rural areas, and across all age groups.”
Riese is the 38-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker, low-key Jewish power lesbian and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including “The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female,” magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.