A supposedly fun thing I definitely won’t be repeating (A Pride post)

“My friends and I don’t wanna be here if this isn’t an actively trans-affirming space. I’m only coming if all my sisters can.” – I have no music for you today, sorry. But I do have an article about cruise ships 

(This is obviously not Andrew)

A Sunday night quickie post, from the tired side of Toronto’s Pride weekend. It’s also Pride month, and it’s 50 years on Friday since the Stonewall riots, which were a major event in LGBT+ rights activism in the US and across the world. Stan has even gone rainbow for the occasion. (And many thanks to the glorious Michael Betancourt who made the badge.)

This is a great opportunity for a party and to see Bud Lite et al.  pretend they care deeply about LGBTQIA+ people. But really it should also be a time to think about how open workplaces, departments, universities, conferences, any other place of work are to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, gender non-conforming, intersex, or who otherwise lead lives (or wish to lead lives) that lie outside the cisgender, straight world that the majority occupies.  People who aren’t spending a bunch of time trying to hide aspects of their life are usually happier and healthier and better able to contribute to things like science than those who are.

Which I guess is to say that diversity is about a lot more than making sure that there aren’t zero women as invited speakers. (Or being able to say “we invited women but they all said no”.) Diversity is about racial and ethnic diversity, diversity of gender, active and meaningful inclusion of disabled people, diversity of sexuality, intersections of these identities, and so much more. It is not an accounting game (although zero is still a notable number).

And regardless of how many professors or style guides or blogposts tell you otherwise, there is no single gold standard absolute perfect way to deliver information. Bring yourself to your delivery. Be gay. Be femme. Be masc. Be boring. Be sports obsessed. Be from whatever country and culture you are from. We can come along for the journey. And people who aren’t willing to are not worth your time.

Anyway, I said a pile of words that aren’t really about this but are about this for a podcast, which if you have not liked the previous three paragraphs you will definitely not enjoy. Otherwise I’m about 17 mins in (but the story about the alligators is also awesome.) If you do not like adult words, you definitely should not listen.

In the spirit of Pride month please spend some time finding love for and actively showing love to queer and trans folk. And for those of you in the UK especially (but everywhere else as well), please work especially hard to affirm and love and care for and support Trans* people who are under attack on many fronts. (Not least the recent rubbish about how being required to use people’s correct names and pronouns is somehow an affront to academic freedom, as if using the wrong pronoun or name for a student or colleague is an academic position.)

And should you find yourself with extra cash, you can always support someone like Rainbow Railroad. Or your local homeless or youth homeless charity. Or your local sex worker support charity like SWOP Behind Bars or the Sex Workers Project from the Urban Justice Centre. (LGBTQ+ people have much higher rates of homelessness [especially youth homelessness] and survival sex work than straight and cis people.)

Anyway, that’s enough for now. (Or nowhere near enough ever, but I’ve got other things to do.)  Just recall what the extremely kind and glorious writer and academic Anthony Olivera said in the Washington Post: (Also definitely read this from him because it’s amazing)

We do not know what “love is love” means when you say it, because unlike yours, ours is a love that has cost us everything. It has, in living memory, sent us into exterminations, into exorcisms, into daily indignities and compromises. We cannot hold jobs with certainty nor hands without fear; we cannot be sure when next the ax will fall with the stroke of a pen.

Hope you’re all well and I’ll see you again in LGBT+ wrath month. (Or, more accurately, some time later this week to talk about the asymptotic properties of PSIS.)

 

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