July 16 2021: TUCSON, Az. – The global audience of the It Gets Better Project received a glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ+ athletes who won’t let setbacks keep them from achieving their dreams in its new series “Passion. Power. Performance,” which streamed last month.
The docu-series shares inspirational stories behind proud LGBTQ+ athletes who are out and training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which episode one featured Arizona-based paralympic basketball player for Team USA, Courtney Ryan.
“I want to be an inspiration because you see me on the court doing some crazy tricks, tilting in a chair, doing all of this stuff that you wouldn’t expect,” Ryan said. “That’s what I love about wheelchair basketball — we get the opportunity to change perceptions and change ideas of what disability should look like. We aren’t fragile. We are competitors, and we’re ready to prove that,” she added.
Out and Training for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Sports have always been part of Ryan’s life – and that didn’t change after she became paraplegic. Watch how with the support of her sister, she came out, and is changing perceptions of disability.
After a Russian grocery chain apologized for featuring gay parents in an ad, two lesbian parents told Meduza what it’s like to live in a country where their very portrayal qualifies as offensive.
In late June, the Russian grocery store chain VkusVill put out an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple as part of its “Recipes for Family Happiness” campaign. The ad set off an avalanche of homophobic comments and threats against the company, and VkusVill soon announced it would delete the ad, calling it “a mistake that occurred as a result of some individual employees’ unprofessionalism.” This sparked another wave of criticism on social media, as people accused the chain of cowardice and hypocrisy. Throughout the debate, however, there’s been almost no mention of the difficulties same-sex couples in Russia actually face. To learn more about what life is like for same-sex parented families in Russia, Meduza spoke to Yana and Yaroslava, two women in a loving relationship who are now raising a child together.
July 16, 2021: Lillian Faderman is a mother and grandmother, but these aren’t the only titles that make her proud: The La Jolla resident is known, depending on who you talk to, as the “mother of lesbian history” or the “foremother of gay and lesbian studies.”
Over the past four decades, Faderman’s books have revealed the hidden history of female same-sex romance and uncovered how American lesbians pioneered social movements that transformed our society. She’s also written landmark books about gay rights, pioneering politician Harvey Milk and more. Three of her works have been named Notable Books by The New York Times, a remarkable accomplishment for any author.
Faderman, who turns 81 on Saturday at the tail end of San Diego’s Pride Week, isn’t done. She recently curated an exhibit about local LGBTQ+ history at the San Diego History Center, and she’s now finishing her work on an upcoming book. In an interview, she talked about her awakening as a Southern California teenager, the influential roles of lesbians in America’s past and San Diego’s surprising history as a vanguard of LGBT activism.
Joann Newak had been sentenced to seven years hard labor. She was 23 years old, just coming to terms with her attraction to women. It landed her in maximum security military prison. “The very first lesbian relationship I had was with the partner that testified against me at my court marshall,” she says. “It’s like screwing around for the first time and getting pregnant. That was my first experience.”
The year wasn’t 1930. The country wasn’t on some far-flung continent. It was 1982. She was stationed in New York.
Newak is among an estimated 100,000 LGBTQ former service members that were discharged without an “honorable” distinction. When “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” (DADT) the military policy banning service members from serving openly, was repealed, their discharges were never upgraded. More than 30 years later, she considers, for the first time, that she may be owed an honorable discharge. Her attorney, Elizabeth Kristen, says they are going to pursue legal options to obtain one.
Baseline: there is nothing that justifies violence against women – actual or symbolic. I don’t think this is complicated.
We might threaten the gender dynamics of male dominance gender dynamics, but the attempt to blame shift is an elaborate attempt to justify and mask the misogyny involved in threatening and silencing women.
We need to be able to discuss our political disagreements like we manage in every other area of political life, rather than responding by silencing women.
There’s nothing progressive about threatening lesbians or promoting violence against us – it’s a centuries old story of woman hating, so let’s move beyond it…