Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. Two programs this week - Transgender Resilience & a sneak peek at the documentary America You Kill Me 2. Police violence against trans people; 3. Recent SCOTUS decision on Louisiana’s abortion restriction; 4. The intersection of disability justice and LGBTQIA+ rights; 5. Becoming a police abolitionist; 6. Progress for women workers; and 7. Sex ed lessons to take to protests.
A busy week for the Virtual Summit!
First up on Wednesday, join us for a conversation between Carmen Vazquez and activist, organizer, and performance artist Cecilia Gentili. They’ll be discussing Cecilia’s work for Transgender equity and unique challenges during COVID-19. Then, on Saturday, we’ll be getting a preview of the feature documentary America You Kill Me. The documentary takes a look at gay rights warrior Jeffrey Montgomery and the ongoing struggle for equality in the midwest. There’ll be special guests and a sneak peek at clips from the film. Read more.
(Barry Chin:Boston Globe:Getty Images)
Why police often single out trans people for violence (Vox)
Katelyn Burns discusses the horrifying prevalence of carceral violence against trans people, beginning with the story of 27-year-old trans woman Layleen Xtravaganza Cubilette-Polanco, who passed away from an epileptic seizure in solitary confinement: “According to the NBC News report, Polanco was placed in punitive confinement for assaulting an officer, but solitary is also frequently used as a way to protect trans women from the threat of male prisoners. This threat exists because trans women are often housed in men’s jails. She was in jail because she wasn’t able to make her $500 bail. She was arrested because she missed court dates as part of an alternative-to-incarceration program after a previous arrest for sex work. Sex work can be a vital mode of economic survival for trans women.” Read more.
(Saul Loeb:AFP:Getty Images)
SCOTUS Holds Louisiana Abortion Restriction is Unconstitutional. But Did Chief Justice Roberts Re-Write the Undue Burden Standard Along the Way? (Human Rights At Home Blog)
Professor Cindy Soohoo draws attention to the potential implications of the recent SCOTUS decision on a Louisiana abortion restriction: “The pro-choice community breathed a collective sigh of relief following the Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical v. Russo, striking down a Louisiana statute requiring that doctors who provide abortions have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the procedure. [...] However, although June Medical retains the undue burden standard, when read together, the six separate opinions authored by the justices once again muddy the waters about how courts should apply the undue burden standard and cast doubt on the ‘balancing test’ the Court articulated just four years ago.” Read more.
Where Disability Justice and LGBTQ Rights Intersect (Advocate)
Jacob Anderson-Minshall highlights the work of disability justice activist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, including her book, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. As Piepzna-Samarasinha writes: “We are not going anywhere. We are not going to stop being disabled, autistic, deaf, mad, or sick. The networks and organizing we’ve been creating are not going to stop. Our disabled ancestors, from Harriet Tubman to Marsha P. Johnson to Leslie Feinberg to Gloria Anzaldua, fought back as disabled people and survived colonization and fascism. And we’re going to keep each other alive.” Read more.
(Hulton Archive:Getty:Katie Martin:The Atlantic)
How I Became a Police Abolitionist (The Atlantic)
Derecka Purnell, a human rights lawyer, writer, and organizer, shares how she became a police abolitionist: “‘Police abolition’ initially repulsed me. The idea seemed white and utopic. I’d seen too much sexual violence and buried too many friends to consider getting rid of police in St. Louis, let alone the nation. But in reality, the police were a placebo. Calling them felt like something, as the legal scholar Michelle Alexander explains, and something feels like everything when your other option is nothing. Police couldn’t do what we really needed. They could not heal relationships or provide jobs. We were afraid every time we called.” Read more.
Decades of Progress for Women Workers Are at Risk (Jacobin)
Nicole Aschoff proposes labor organizing as a means to respond to the pandemic’s effects on women workers: “If schools and childcare providers remain closed, many women will be unable to return to their jobs, whether it’s work in a restaurant or an office. Others risk losing promotions or advancement opportunities because they are deemed unreliable by their bosses or peers. In short, this pandemic has the potential to erase much of the progress women have achieved over the past forty years. That is, unless we organize.”Read more.
(Andrew Lichtenstein:Corbis:Getty Images)
5 Sex Ed Lessons to Take to Protests (Rewire.News)
Cassandra Corrado lists lessons from sex ed to apply to protesting: “As a sex educator, I’m predisposed to see the relationship between sex ed and, well, basically everything. The link between consent and deciding on dinner? Check. The likeness between education about barrier methods and education about face masks? Check. I see these connections so frequently because sex interacts with so many parts of our lives: It touches on the physical, emotional, interpersonal, historical, and social aspects. ‘Good sex’ doesn’t require fancy techniques or tools—it requires open dialogue, clear boundaries, and a desire to pursue a shared outcome. Both sex and protests go better when you show up prepared.” Read more.