Name Fraud? Or Simply Your Wife’s Surname?

I’ve recently added ONTD-Political to my livejournal friends list. And I’ve already found a great article to blog about! Well, it’s not so much great as incredibly depressing, really.

We all know how it works. A man and a women get married and the woman takes the mans last name. It’s pretty standard in this society. If a woman doesn’t take her husband’s name, she keeps her maiden name. Or they have a hyphenated name. For a man to take his wife’s name? Unheard of. After all, the woman is the mans property, or at least that’s where it originated, I believe. Why would he take her name?

Lazaro Dinh was initially issued a new license with his wife’s last name after presenting his 2011 marriage certificate at his local DMV office, just as newly married women are required to do when they adopt their husbands’ names.

More than a year later, he received a letter from Florida’s DMV accusing him of “obtaining a driving license by fraud” and advising him that his license would be suspended.

Why would the state of Florida assume that this mane is attempting fraud? All he is doing is taking his wife’s name by getting married. It’s certainly unusual, but I fail to see the issue here. Millions of women each year take their husbands last name when they get married, and none of them get charged with fraud.

I suppose this is just another example of gender stereotyping.

Via:

Florida man’s license restored as state drops fraud allegation

LGBT* Youth May Lose A Safe Space In Tennessee

You may remember this from last year. It was popularly called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, from Tennessee.

The bill would prohibit teachers from discussing of any sexuality except heterosexuality in grades K-8,” even with students who may be gay or have gay family,” according to Ben Byers of the Tennessee Equality Council (TEP).

Now, this bill would have advocated discrimination at it’s best. It’s important to teach children about minority sexualities. Why do you think kid’s bully LGBT* students? Not only because they are mimicking the behavior of adults and society at large, but because in many cases, they are encountering gay kids for the first ime in their lives. It is popularly said that we fear the unknown, and in this case, the fear can be expressed as bullying.

Fortunately, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill died off.

But something similar is back in Tennessee.

The “Don’t Say Gay” bill is back with a vengeance.

The bill, SB 234, still bars Tennessee teachers from discussing any facet of “non-heterosexual” sexuality with children in grades K-8. But the newest iteration also includes a provision requiring teachers or counselors to inform the parents of some students who identify themselves as LGBT.

Excuse me, what?

That endangers the wellbeing of LGBT* students. 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT*.

Of all the agencies’ LGBT homeless clients, 68 percent have experienced family rejection and more than half (54 percent) experienced abuse in their family.

A youth might feel comfortable coming out to their friends, at school, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe to do so at home. These youth face rejection from their families, and even face being kicked out of their homes. Not only would the fact that, in my opinion, forcing teachers to tell parents if their children are gay is a huge imposition on privacy, but it could take away a safe space for these LGBT* youth. Maybe a student is particularly comfortable around a teacher, and goes to them for advice regarding their sexuality. That would not longer be a safe thing to do. What about school counselors? I know when I was in high school, I discussed my sexuality with my counselor, and I am not the only one. Would they be obligated to do the same as teachers?

This bill is a disgusting example of the continued discrimination against LGBT* people. While the most popular LGBT* issue today is Homosexual Marriage, things like this still go on. I’ve got nothing agains the gay marriage movement, of course. But sometimes I feel that it gets too much of the limelight, when things like this are occurring.

And this bill begs the question, what about gay teachers? And what about transgender* students? No mention of either.

I highly recommend you read the article at Think Progress, linked below.

Via:

Tennessee “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Now Requires Teachers To Inform Parents If Their Child Is Gay

Tennessee “Don’t Say Gay” Bill Advances, Sponsor Says Teachers Need Time For “Arithmetic”

STUDY: 40 Percent Of Homeless Youth Are LGBT, Family Rejection Is Leading Cause

Expelled For Being Gay In Georgia

Georgia, what the hell is going on? I received an email from allout.org today, in the middle of College Composition II, which immediately distracted me from the topic at hand. Fortunately, I am using my computer to take notes, and was able to look more into the issue. According to The New York Times, over 100 schools are taking advantage of some policy to ban gay students. Let me say that one more time. Over 100 schools in Georgia are banning LGB*students.

The 400 students at a private school in Woodstock, for example, must adhere to a policy that states, “Homosexual behavior, whether an ‘immoral act’ or ‘identifying statement,’ is incompatible with enrollment at Cherokee Christian Schools and is a basis for dismissal.”

A male student at the Shiloh Hills Christian School in Kennesaw, who utters “I like boys” or “I am a homosexual” will be expelled.

And at the 800-student Providence Christian Academy 20 miles north of Atlanta, a student who is gay, lesbian or bisexual or supports people who are could be kicked out.

They’re even targeting allies of LGB* students. And students with LGB* parents.

Steve Suitts, the vice president of the foundation and the author of the report, said that as many as a third of the schools in the scholarship program have strict antigay policies or adhere to a religious philosophy that holds homosexuality as immoral or a sin.

As a result, his report says, public money is being spent by private educational institutions that “punish, denounce and even demonize students in the name of religion solely because they are gay, state that they are homosexual, happen to have same-sex parents or guardians, or express support or tolerance for gay students at school, away from school or at home.”

Punish, denounce, and even demonize students in the name of religion. Because of their sexual orientation, because of the sexual orientation of their parents, or because they support those people who have minority sexual orientations.

People are worried about bullying of LGBT* students, and wonder where their children learn this behavior. There was practically a suicide epidemic, and people wondered why. Here is your answer. Systematic oppression, bullying by the schools themselves, setting an example that it is okay to treat LGBT* students in a way that could be defined as bullying. Society itself says that LGBT* people are inferior in some way. Society tells young, impressionable people that gays don’t have the right to marry. Gays don’t have the right to be treated as human beings. Gays don’t have the same rights as everyone else. What other conclusion would children draw but that LGBT* people are a target, and one that is supported by society.

There was no mention of the policy of these 100 odd schools regarding transgender* students. If I had to guess, I would say that should it come up, these students would be expelled as well. After all, why not? Being homosexual or bisexual is definitely more acceptable in society than being transgender*. I can only imagine what would happen to a student who came out as trans* or gender non-conforming in these schools.

Sign the petition at allout.org. Raise awareness of this problem. Share it on facebook and twitter, and get your friends and followers to sign. I know I will.

Via:

No Gays Allowed?

Backed By State Money, Georgia Scholarships Go to Schools Barring Gays

Gender And Sexuality Musings

English: The genderqueer pride flag. Three hor...

English: The genderqueer pride flag. Three horizontal stripes, from the top: lavender, dark green, and white. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gender and sexuality can be complicated things, for those of us who fall into the Gender and Sexual Minority, or GSM. There is so much beyond the gender binary of only man and woman, and so much beyond the three common sexualities, which are Homosexual, Heterosexual, and Bisexual. Even if I wanted too, I couldn’t list every variation on gender and sexuality here. And if I managed to do so, I imagine that it would soon become obsolete, with more genders and sexualities emerging.

Most of the world doesn’t see things as I do. They see only the gender binary, and only the three sexualities. Some even see only two sexualities, or one. I say that people who see the world like that have a limited view. There can be so much beauty in expressing your gender. It doesn’t have to be limited to what society says is appropriate for a person with whatever your genitalia happens to be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to force people to act counter to what society says is appropriate. What I want is for people to have the freedom not to be constricted by the gender that they have been assigned at birth by society.

Basically, if you’re a guy and you like wearing skirts, good for you. Don’t judge that guy who likes to wear skirts. Don’t call him gay, ’cause he might be straight. You don’t know. A skirt on a man doesn’t naturally lead to homosexuality. And if you’re a woman with a penis, so? Some women have penises, get over it! Why should you care what’s between her legs? The only reason I can see it mattering is if you are going to have sex with her.

But the world doesn’t agree with me, unfortunately, as much as I wish it did.

I’ve known that I wasn’t heterosexual since I was about 16, when I came out to my therapist at the time. She was pretty supportive, and I’m grateful to her, though of course I was seeing her for pain management and she wasn’t exactly well equipped to deal with a young person uncertain about their sexuality.

Anyway, I had found myself attracted to women at the time, female teachers and classmates. But I didn’t have crushes on them, or anything like that. I just thought that they were attractive.

At the time, I was desperate for normalcy. I felt like enough of a freak already, I didn’t want to be known as the gay kid. I had seen how those who didn’t conform to cisgendered heterosexuality were treated at my Catholic high school. I hated the spotlight, and I would do anything to avoid it.

Long story short, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder, and that combined with my migraines lead to me dropping out of school. I was glad to be out of the conservative environment. I started homeschooling through a program, where I avoided all social contact for as long as I could.

The asexual flag

The asexual flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was then that I started reading feminist blogs. And I started learning so much about the world of social justice. I wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but I was learning. And eventually I started reading about gender. It was around that time that my best friend came out to me as a cross-dresser. I don’t know why, and I’m not trying to brag here, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I mean, it was kind of weird, and a new experience for me, but there was nothing inherently wrong with it. So I accepted them, and that was that. It was my first glimpse into a person defying how society told them to behave regarding gender. And it opened my eyes.

I started reading. And when this same friend came out to me as transgender, I started reading some more. I came across terms, like genderqueer or pansexual, that suited me.

And then I heard about asexuality, and things just kind of clicked.

It wasn’t perfect. It took a year or more and two sexual, romantic relationships for me to accept that I am asexual. And possibly aromantic, I’m not sure about that.

I’m still not out in that regard, and I don’t know if or when I will be. But that’s okay. I’m getting more and more comfortable with who I am, and that’s what’s important, I suppose.

A Lifetime of Migraines

Migraine

Migraine (Photo credit: makelessnoise)

My name is Shane. I was diagnosed with Chronic Migraines when I was four years old by my pediatrician. For all I know, I have been getting them since I was born. Having migraines has affected my entire life, and almost every single decision that I have made. And I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase, “It’s just a headache!” or some variation thereof. Or how many times I’ve been told to get over it.

As science will tell you, a migraine is not just a really bad headache. Not only is a migraine headache more severe than a normal headache, it comes with a whole host of other symptoms. Nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, scent and movement, to name some. As a matter of fact, I’ve had migraines with no headache at all.

Such strong symptoms can prevent me from going to school, or holding a job. I nearly failed classes last semester because I missed so many due to migraines. Sometimes they last for days at a time, with me unable to do much besides lay in bed in the dark with a cold cloth over my forehead. Sometimes the nausea would be so bad, I could barely make it to the toilet to vomit. Too much info? For most of my life, that was standard migraine procedure, twice a month or more.

I was told that my migraines would go away when I hit puberty. After that, I was told that they’d go away in my early twenties. No luck so far, and I don’t really hold any hope that they’ll ever go away completely.

But they certainly have evolved. When I was younger, they were primarily triggered by strong scents, humidity, heat, and too much movement. Now, it’s mostly the fluorescent lights, weather, certain foods (garlic and MSG coming to mind,) and alcohol that I have to worry about. The worst is the weather. It’s a trigger that I have no control over. Fluorescent lights are bad too, since I have to be in their presence whether I like it or not. Oh, and those new eco-friendly lights give me terrible migraines as well.

For the early years of my life, I stuck with over the counter medications. Children’s Tylenol was the only thing that could help me when I was little. Later one, Excedrin was my miracle drug. Unfortunately, all of this medication caused rebound headaches. I pretty much had to quit over the counter meds for a time. I tried all manner of prescription drugs. It wasn’t until recently that I found one that really works for me. It’s called Maxalt, and I love it. Unfortunately, it’s expensive. I’m getting it for free now through a program, but I don’t know how long that will last.

I’ve heard about a new migraine medication coming out soon. It’s called Zecuity. It’s a patch, and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve signed up for updates, and as soon as I can I’m talking to my doctor about getting a prescription.

And there’s another bit of hope on the horizon. I’ve recently discovered Axon Optics. They make glasses for people with migraines and other light sensitive conditions. They cost at least $100 a pair, though, so it’s not exactly cheap for someone like me with no job. I’m saving up for them, and so far I have $40. Hopefully I have a bit of birthday money coming, and maybe my dad can be convinced to help. I can’t wait to get them.

Some resources on migraines:

M.A.G.N.U.M

Headache Disorder Awareness

Women’s Health.gov Migraine Fact Sheet

Mayo Clinic