Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Top Stories This Week

1. The pressure for intersex people to have invasive, uncessary surgeries; 
2. How anti-abortion organizations exploit personal data;
3. Marquis Jefferson’s death;
4. Zines that have paved the way for asexual recognition;
5. The violence of borders;
6. What happens to queer people who don’t have a chosen family; 
7. Sex workers against mass surveillance and big tech.

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 (Lydia Ortiz)

I’m Intersex and I Was Told I Could Never Have Sex Unless I Got Surgery (Teen Vogue) 

Maddie Rose explains why intersex people need education to fully consent to surgery: “I wasn’t lied to. I was given the exact thing you are supposed to give a patient—choices. Still, like many intersex people, I underwent invasive surgery to change my body without fully understanding my options. It's not that I wasn't told the surgery wasn't medically necessary—I was. But it’s not enough to be told a surgery isn’t medically necessary if the implication is that it’s socially, sexually, and biologically important to be ‘fixed.’ Consenting to intersex surgery requires freedom from those societal ideals.” Read more.



How Anti-Abortion Organizations Are Exploiting Personal Data (Rewire.News) 

Across the U.S., anti-abortion organizations are collecting and exploiting intimate personal data. Sarah Nelson describes the importance of putting in place legal safeguards in response: “Privacy and strong data protection laws are crucial, in many ways, to ensure people can exercise their reproductive rights. [...] Such safeguards would compel greater transparency by these organizations and limit their capabilities to exploit data. Until those laws emerge, those working to ensure privacy and reproductive rights must continue to shine a light on the technologies being developed to target and track those seeking medical help online.” Read more.


(Tony Gutierrez:AP) 

Police violence is a health crisis for Black families. Marquis Jefferson is the latest to die of a broken heart. (Vox) 

After his daughter, Atatiana Jefferson, a Black woman, was murdered by a white police officer, Marquis Jefferson died after a cardiac arrest and heart complications. As Bruce Carter, the Jefferson family’s spokesperson, said of his passing, “I can only sum it up as a broken heart.” Nylah Burton places these tragic losses in context: “Since we were stolen and torn from our families in Africa, or separated by colonialism, mass incarceration, and anti-immigrant policies, Black people’s right to love each other has been undermined by this country. We’ve been sold and jailed, deported and incarcerated, killed and injured. And most days it feels like it won’t ever stop, like we’re stuck on an endless loop of horror.” Read more.


(Lauren Hamell; Nichole Baiel)

How Zines Paved the Way for Asexual Recognition (them.) 

Julie Kliegman details how, for decades, asexual creators have used zines to talk about their identity: “Zine topics range from Ace 101–type overviews to poems and comics to riffs on more advanced topics, like asexuality as it relates to veganism, Christianity, disability and autism, and race. They’re a gold mine of thoughtful, firsthand material for people who often grow up not knowing their identity even exists, let alone understanding much about it or finding formal resources to turn to.” Read more.


(Guillermo Arias:AFP via Getty Images)

Borders Don’t “Secure” Anything But Global Inequality (Truthout) 

In an interview with Anton Woronczuk,  journalist Todd Miller explains why the U.S. is invested in the militarization of borders beyond its territory. On the future of borders, Miller says, “[Border] zones are not only poised to become even more violent and dystopic, but also simultaneously a location where there is a constant contestation of business as usual; and where cross border cooperation, solidarity and organizing offer a fertile place for a new vision of the world and possibly an example of how to do it. Borders are the places where people are reckoning directly with the shackles of a world organized into vastly unequal nation states.” Read more.


(The Gender Spectrum Collection)

What Happens to Queer People Who Don’t Have a Chosen Family? (Bitch Media) 

Rachel Charlene Lewis describes the difficulties of finding or joining a queer chosen family: “In queer communities, loneliness takes on a specific form because of the structural impact of queerphobia, which makes it more difficult for members of the LGBTQ community to both form and maintain relationships and emotional connections. [...] Given these dire circumstances, the friends we are able to make might be homophobic, racist, or transphobic. At times, we have to choose between safety and security, excusing bigotry or deep loneliness in favor of friendship. As such, chosen families have long been a core part of queer survival.” Read more.


(David McNew:Getty Images)

Sex Workers Are at the Forefront of the Fight Against Mass Surveillance and Big Tech (Observer) 

As Erin Taylor contends, the fight for sex workers’ liberation is a fight against mass surveillance and big tech: “Sex workers have been surveilled long before the use of facial recognition technology, before algorithms and before data collecting. Sex workers come from every corner of society because people of all identities have traded sex to survive. However, sex workers of color, queer sex workers, sex workers who use drugs and those who work outdoors are at higher risk of surveillance and violence from the criminal justice system. SESTA-FOSTA has contributed to a long history of sex working communities being othered from the greater society, targeted for surveillance and being carelessly put at risk for violence, this time in the name of ‘anti-trafficking’ efforts.” Read more.


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