Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. #SFS20 Virtual Summit: New, surprise offerings;
2. Banning LGBTQ+ “panic defense”;
3. Centering our lives on friendships;
4. COVID-19’s impact on abortion care;
5. Mental Health Care for LGBTQ+ Kinksters;
6. Turning fear into activism; and
7. Downfalls of bisexual discourse online.
Three New Program Recordings in the Archive
Did you think we were done with our Summit? It’s true we wrapped in October for our live streamed programs - but we are excited to share additional programs that are in our archives. Find all our programs HERE but pay special attention to programs offered by Janet Rose, Candace Liger and Christy Croft, and Andy Izenson. They share their expertise on Distinguishing from Abuse, Whole Body Listening, and Hegemony, Shame and Forbidden Gender Magic. Check them out and leave a comment on Facebook or YouTube to start a conversation with them directly! Look out for updates on our 2021 Summit plans!
D.C. Council committee approves bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense (Washington Blade)
Lou Chibbaro Jr. highlights the recent approval of the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which bans so-called LGBTQ+ “panic defense” in criminal trials: “Supporters of the legislation say it is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.” The bill also clarifies a provision of hate crimes law, indicating that “A designated act need not solely be based on or because of an accused’s prejudice.”
What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life? (The Atlantic)
Rhaina Cohen writes about centering friendship, not marriage, in our lives: “In the past few decades, Americans have broadened their image of what constitutes a legitimate romantic relationship: Courthouses now issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Americans are getting married later in life than ever before, and more and more young adults are opting to share a home rather than a marriage license with a partner. Despite these transformations, what hasn’t shifted much is the expectation that a monogamous romantic relationship is the planet around which all other relationships should orbit.”
The COVID-19 Pandemic Changed Everything, Including Abortion Care (Rewire News Group)
Kelli Pate explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed abortion care. Ashia George, RN, from the Scotsdale Women’s Center in Michigan says: “‘As a nurse, the biggest impact of COVID-19 on abortion care is safety protocols. Abortion clinics provided exceptionally safe care before the pandemic, but now we have adjusted every aspect of patient care to ensure safe COVID practices. It has really changed the experience staff and patients have with each other. We are used to holding hands, wiping tears, giving hugs, and sharing laughter. We do miss being able to provide that type of intimate care and support.’” Read more.
New Study Stresses the Importance of Affirming Mental Health Care for LGBTQ+ Kinksters (them.)
James Factora discusses a recently-published study in the peer-reviewed Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling that focused on mental health care for LGBTQ+ kinksters: “Authors Megan Speciale, a professor at Palo Alto University, and Dean Khambatt, a marriage and family therapist, sought to answer the question: How do LGBTQ+ individuals understand and make meaning of their kink experiences? They found that queer kinksters, especially those who are marginalized in multiple ways, are often underserved and/or pathologized by mental health professionals, and recommended better practices for treating this population.” Read more.
As COVID Spikes, It’s Normal to Feel Helpless. Let’s Turn Fear to Activism. (Truthout)
William Rivers Pitt shares his fears of COVID-19 and encourages us to turn despair into action, from creating neighborhood-based efforts to deliver food and assisting food banks to supporting the grassroots housing justice activism occurring across the country. Pitt writes: “We can’t fix COVID, we can’t drag masses of people back from the abyss of their own poor decisions, so we must do what we can within reach of our arm and with all necessary precautions intact. [...] We are afraid, and we are isolated, but we are not alone, and we are hardly powerless. This will be a long, hard winter. Let’s also make it a busy one. Stay safe, and stout hearts.” Read more.
Bisexual Backlash: On the Specific Disaster of the Bi Internet (Bitch Media)
Rachel Charlene Lewis writes about bisexual discourse online: “Much of the explosive nature of bisexual discourse stems from the way that social media functions. Platforms reward posts that are engaged with, and many posters have found that recycling the same aggressively divisive arguments will reward them with high engagement rates. Social media rewards rage over thoughtfulness, and quick-hit hot takes over careful back-and-forth. It’s much easier to drop a biphobic statement on Twitter with, ‘Thoughts?’ and watch the retweets roll in than it is to pose a careful question or even discuss your own experiences—minus blanket statements or bad-faith arguments—and have a meaningful conversation with strangers who share a single identity.” Read more.
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