A Curious Eye

A Curious Eye

My name's Ben. I'm a 22 year-old recent grad living in Seattle. I've been told my gayness is only matched by my enthusiasm.
I post my favorite news from all around the web.
Topics you'll see:
Queer - Liberalism - Activism - Student Issues- Public Transportation - Peace - Environmentalism - Politics - Law - Atheism - Vegetarianism - Feminism - Sex Positivity - Philosophy.

tyleroakley:

“2012 in 4 Minutes”

(via tyleroakley)

My Queer Wish List: 10 Out-of-the-Spotlight Hopes for the New Year

knowhomo:

(following from Josh A. Goodman for HuffPost)

1) LGBT-Inclusive School Curricula
This is a classic item on the so-called “gay agenda,” but it appears that the anti-gay crowd hasn’t had too much to worry about in past years (outside of California, anyway). Many schools still avoid talking about LGBT issues, especially with younger kids. However, if kids are exposed to storybooks with gay parents, or learn that people like Matthew Shepard were killed for being gay, they may become more accepting of LGBT people and less likely to engage in anti-gay bullying.

2) Comprehensive Sex Ed
Speaking of schools, this item is worthy of its own shout-out. It’d be nice if more sex ed programs acknowledged that it’s normal and healthy to be lesbian, gay or bisexual, and included information on how LGB people can prevent STIs such as HIV. On the flip side, programs that focus on abstinence to prevent teen pregnancies are of little use to lesbian and gay teenagers.

3) The Demise of Other “Kill the Gays” Laws
Uganda has garnered a lot of attention because they might pass the so-called Kill the Gays Bill, but dozens of other countries, ranging from Sudan to the United Arab Emirates, already kill or imprison gay people. Perhaps because there’s no imminent chance of the laws changing, they haven’t received as much outrage, but they ought to.

4) An Out Pro-Athlete
To date, there has still not been a player in one of the big four sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB) to come out during his career. A prominent gay pro-athlete would confront the stereotype that gay men can’t be athletic and could serve as a role model to queer youth who face discrimination in sports. Plus, people set aside religious bigotry, racism, and other prejudices to root for athletes on their team; it’d be nice to see the same with regard to homophobia. (KNOWhomo moderator’s note: obviously there are out female-identified athletes, though no current male-identified athletes in the USA’s 4 major sports leagues have made the courageous leap.)

5) Better Adoption Laws
Thirty-four states do not routinely allow same-sex couples to jointly adopt a child. That’s a shame, both for the couples who want to start families and the kids who miss out on a loving and supportive home. I think we can all agree that having two moms or two dads is better than having none.

6) Anti-Homophobia PSAs for Adults
Wanda Sykes and others have starred in public service announcements that question teenagers who call something gay when they mean that it’s stupid. That’s great for teens, and I’d love to see more of it, but it’s also important to address adult homophobia. Some possible PSAs for adults could point parents of LGBT teenagers to affirming resources or highlight the negative effects of anti-gay prejudice.

7) A Discussion About Intersectionality
People are not queer in a vacuum in which being LGB or T is the only part of who they are; all LGBT people are affected by their race, socioeconomic status, religious or cultural background and geographic location. That can mean a black lesbian experiences more anti-gay job discrimination than a white gay man, or a gay teenager feels isolated because he lives in a small town with few openly gay people. Being more aware of this isn’t going to solve anything by itself, but it is a good step.

8) Helping Homeless LGBT Youth
LGBT teenagers make up an estimated 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth, and transgender youth are especially likely to become homeless. Hopefully, with society’s shifting attitudes, there will be fewer parents who kick their kids out of the house, or treat them so poorly that they leave. Besides that shift, increased efforts to find LGBT-affirming foster families and expanding the resources available specifically for homeless LGBT teens are ways to help those who are still without a home.

9) Addressing the Needs of LGBT Elders
LGBT elders are more likely than their heterosexual counterparts to live alone, are denied spousal and survivor benefits from social security and are vulnerable to insensitive treatment and abuse from prejudiced care workers. Among the ways to address these issues include mandatory LGBT-inclusive diversity trainings for care workers and having LGBT community activities in assisted living facilities.

10) More Courage from Politicians
President Obama made history this year when he became the first sitting president to support same-sex marriage. I hope that more politicians follow his lead when it comes to LGBT rights in 2013. Some politicians come from districts that will be hostile to LGBT rights legislation, but it is up to those politicians to say that doing what is right is what’s most important. Other politicians do not push for LGBT rights very much because of other pressing problems, but it is always the appropriate time to address injustice and promote fairer treatment under the law. I hope that our politicians show courage this coming year; a lot of progress can happen without the support of politicians, but it’s far easier when they’re vocal supporters on our side.

Top Transgender Stories Of 2012: Lana Wachowski, 'Glee' And More

While there’s still a lot more work to be done, 2012 saw some remarkable milestones for transgender people both in the U.S. and abroad.

From Vice President Joe Biden declaring transgender rights as the “civil rights issue of our time,” to the huge update made by the American Psychiatric Association to its Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, trans acceptance has certainly made some enormous strides this year.

Full article at HuffingtonPost.com

Think Progress: 10 Quotes From 2012

think-progress:

  1. “I think same sex couples should be able to get married.” — Barack Obama

  2. “If we had 51% women in Congress, do you think we’d be debating access to contraception?” — Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY)

  3. “Maybe 23 cents doesn’t sound like a lot to someone with a Swiss bank account.” — Lilly Ledbetter on equal pay for equal work
     
  4. “Their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put the President out of work.” — Bill Clinton
     
  5.  “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” — Mitt Romney on the 47%.
     
  6. “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” — Barack Obama 
      
  7. “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue/ The disrespect to women has got to be through” — MCA, The Beastie Boys, rip May 4, 2012
      
  8. “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey” — VP Joe Biden
     
  9. “Is this the math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better? — Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Karl Rove’s election night meltdown
       
  10. “You hit a reset button for the fall campaign; everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.” — Romney senior adviser.

Think Progress: 12 Facts From 2012

think-progress:

  1. Last time North Carolina amended their constitution on marriage it was to ban interracial marriage.

  2. Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property.

  3. It’s easier for Americans to access guns than mental health
     
  4. In Germany, police fired 85 bullets in all of 2011. In the US, police fired 90 shots at 1 unarmed man in Los Angeles.
     
  5. TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” got higher ratings the same night as the GOP convention on every cable and broadcast network.
     
  6. These five people saved health care for 32 million Americans 
     
  7. Weeks of PAID maternity leave: Chile (18), Germany (14), Ireland (22), Norway (44), Japan (14), Kenya (8), U.S. (ZERO).
     
  8. Hostess pays $1.75 million in executive bonuses after blaming unions for bankruptcy.
     
  9. Obamacare is a major tax cut for middle class families.
     
  10. A family of 3 would have to remain on welfare for 328 years to receive as much government assistance as Mitt Romney.  
     
  11. Voting lines are so long in Ohio because the Republican Secretary of State drastically reduced hours.

  12. Texas GOP says schools shouldn’t teach “critical thinking skills” because they challenge “student’s fixed beliefs.”

27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012

1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm

Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm

At the University of Pittsburgh, the neurobiology department worked with 52-year-old Jan Scheuermann over the course of 13 weeks to create a robotic arm controlled only by the power of Scheuermann’s mind.

The team implanted her with two 96-channel intracortical microelectrodes. Placed in the motor cortex, which controls all limb movement, the integration process was faster than anyone expected. On the second day, Jan could use her new arm with a 3-D workspace. By the end of the 13 weeks, she was capable of performing complex tasks with seven-dimensional movement, just like a biological arm.

To date, there have been no negative side effects.

2. DARPA Robot Can Traverse an Obstacle Course…

See all 27 at BuzzFeed.com

Google’s Year in Review

60 Reasons To Be Proud In 2012

6. When Frank Ocean came out via Tumblr, the hip hop community embraced him.

When Frank Ocean came out via Tumblr, the hip hop community embraced him.

13. A record 23 openly gay athletes competed in Summer Olympics and 10 of them took home medals.

A record 23 openly gay athletes competed in Summer Olympics and 10 of them took home medals.

29. Eight out LGBT candidates ran as major-party nominees for Congress.

Eight out LGBT candidates ran as major-party nominees for Congress.
Read the rest at BuzzFeed.com

Election raises stakes for possible Supreme Court vacancies

"Americans are probably paying much more attention to the economy than the Supreme Court," said Thomas Goldstein, a top appellate attorney and SCOTUSblog.com publisher.

"But they should be thinking about presidential court appointments, because they’ll make a big difference in the future of the law. You think about things like same-sex marriage, affirmative action, voting rights — all of these are issues that have very different ideological components to them, and the more conservative justices definitely have a different view," he said.

Keep reading at CNN.com

Think Progress: 5 reasons why Obama's decision to stop deporting Dreamers is great news

think-progress:

… aside from protecting roughly 1 million young people, which is great news in itself:

1. Taking this step will increase the federal budget by an estimated $1.7 billion over ten years.

2.This move will reduce federal deficits by an estimated $2.2 billion in the next ten years.

3….

No, Mitt, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, they cry.
Elizabeth Warren schools Mitt Romney on what being a real person actually means. (via think-progress)

Democrats Gain Majority in Wisconsin Senate

While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker survived his recall, the Democrats gained a majority in the Wisconsin Senate with John Lehman defeating incumbent Republican Van Wangaard. So, though the recall effort didn’t achieve its goal of removing Walker, it did achieve its goal of removing the Republican majority in the State Senate. One out of two is pretty good considering the recall effort was outspent 7-to-1.

In fact, it’s pretty darn good, because Walker doesn’t write legislation, he just signs it. With control of the Senate, we may actually be able to do more than we could with the governorship but not control of the Senate. Walker may not have lost his job, but he lost his party’s control of the State Senate.

Hopefully, now we can get some compromise out of the far-right out-of-state controlled Republicans.

Keep reading at Publius9.com

think-progress:

So who’s going negative this election? Romney and his outside group allies have run just 27 percent positive ads this campaign, according to Kantar Media.

think-progress:

So who’s going negative this election? Romney and his outside group allies have run just 27 percent positive ads this campaign, according to Kantar Media.

Young Activists Care About Race, Gender, and the Economy—But Not the Election

A new report from the Applied Research Center concludes that young progressive activists care about racial justice, class divides, and gender issues. They’re worried about widespread ignorance, complacency, and the danger of unchecked capitalism. They also don’t have much faith in Obama—or much use for the upcoming election.

The report was compiled using information from several focus groups of progressive activists in Portland, Oakland, Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York. The ARC chose participants (about half of them white, half people of color) with “experience as a paid employee, volunteer, or small donor of a social justice or community organization,” or who had participated in the Occupy movement.

Responses to several questions were divided along racial lines; for instance, 81 percent of people of color said their activism was influenced by a personal or family experience, as opposed to 52 percent of white participants. Some answers were also split according to whether or not people were OWS-affiliated. Occupiers ranked racial justice as a lower priority than non-Occupiers. But one sentiment was virtually universal: The 2012 presidential election wasn’t a major motivator for their work.

Keep Reading at Good.is