Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. 2020 Sexual Freedom Summit Cancelled 2. COVID-19’s impact on sex workers; 3. The emotional toll of racism; 4. Language used to talk about abortion; 5. What it means to be visible in a gender; 6. Detention of migrant children; and 7. Denial of gender-affirming health care.
We have been carefully monitoring updates on the coronavirus and have made the difficult decision to cancel the 11th annual Sexual Freedom Summit scheduled in August of 2020. We can tell you we didn’t come to this decision lightly. We are working on ways to make the Summit content and experience available to our communities in other ways. We don’t have specifics yet, but we’ll keep you informed as we work this out. If you submitted a proposal for the Summit, we will be in contact with you in the coming weeks with more information and opportunities to collaborate.
Legal Sex Workers And Others In Adult Industry Denied Coronavirus Aid (HuffPost)
Alanna Vagianos brings attention to the impact of COVID-19 on sex workers: “When Congress passed the massive $2 trillion bailout bill last week, it made sure that self-employed people or other independent workers could apply for loans or grants from the Small Business Administration. But there was one very specific―and puritanical―exception: legal sex workers and others in the adult entertainment industry. The very first page of the online application says that in order to be an ‘eligible entity’ that can receive monetary relief from the bill, an applicant cannot ‘present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature.’” Read more.
For a list of ways to help sex workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, click here.
Young Black People Experience Physical, Emotional Toll of Racism, Studies Show (Teen Vogue)
Jameelah Nasheed writes about the emotional toll of racism on Black teens: “As Black people, we’re taught how to navigate spaces that are occupied by white people—especially those in authority—before most white people have ever had to think about their race. There are young Black people fighting for equality and for the right to live—without being subject to racial slurs, threats of lynching, guns being aimed at their heads, or worse—before they’ve even had a chance to find out who they are. [...] Of course, racism is taking a physical toll on young Black people. It always has, and I’m looking forward to the day when it no longer does.” Read more.
War of Words: If We’re Going to Protect Abortion Access, Language Matters (Bitch Media)
Mallory McMaster focuses on the importance of the words we choose when talking about abortion access: “A difficult choice. The hardest decision a woman will ever make. A tragedy. A heartbreaking, situation. So sad. No easy choice. Not a form of birth control. Not something any woman wants to do. Not easy. Nothing anyone would ever be proud of. A complicated medical decision made by a woman and her doctor. Something we do when birth control fails–because everybody makes mistakes. [...] Instead of saying abortion is a difficult, heartwrenching decision that no one should ever have to face, try saying instead that abortion is a personal, complex decision that no politician should ever try to meddle with.” Read more.
What Does It Mean to Be Visible in a Gender? (them.)
Rory Gory discusses Transgender Day of Visibility: “Increased visibility has also come with increased expectations about what it means to be trans. For example, there can be the expectation that all trans people want to abide by binary gender roles. However, for some trans and nonbinary people, being seen outside the gender binary may be the goal. Visibility brings up complications for both nonbinary people breaking down gender roles and for binary transgender people conforming to gender roles. What does it actually mean to be visible in a gender, and how is our perception of gender informed by body shapes and sizes, our assigned sex at birth, our race, and more?” Read more.
(John Moore:Getty Images)
Why Won’t the Federal Government Release Immigrant Children? (Slate)
Laila L. Hlass emphasizes the grave consequences of continuing the unconscionable detention of migrant children during the COVID-19 crisis: “Two separate lawsuits are asking federal courts to force the release of unaccompanied children as well as families in immigrant detention, citing the grave health risks of contracting the coronavirus and spreading the disease. These risks are particularly serious because of the confluence of factors in family detention centers: crowded quarters, limited cleaning supplies, and the influx of new families into the detention centers. [...] Instead of a public health–oriented response to COVID-19 in the immigration legal system, we are seeing political opportunism.” Read more.
Florida Won’t Cover Transgender Health Care. Two Trans Women Are Suing. (Truthout)
Casey Quinlan reports on a recent legal challenge to state health plans that deny coverage for gender-affirming procedures: “Two transgender women are suing Florida government agencies for being denied gender-affirming health care under the state employee health plan’s exclusion for ‘gender reassignment or modification services or supplies.’ [...] The Florida lawsuit [...] argues that the state’s exclusion of gender-affirming care violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.” Read more.