A Link Roundup of Body Politics, Image and Body Justice News
- ‘For me, fat is a statement of fact. It is a description of the body I have. Fat is not a referendum on my morality, willpower, character, attractiveness, intellect or worthiness. It is a descriptor. It captures an important aspect of the way I look, like saying I’m a woman, I’m white, or I’m tall. Calling myself fat describes my body, but it means so much more than that. When I say I’m fat, it takes power back.” – “The divine liberation of calling myself fat” by My Fat Friend on Medium
- Alan Pelaez Lopez shares 10 (Un)documented Black And LGBTQIA+ Activists You Need To Know. ‘Growing up Black, queer, and undocumented in the United States was an isolating and frightening experience for me. I was always afraid of being deported, profiled by the police, or shamed for my queerness. Being Black and queer meant that I was not sure how I fit into the U.S. narrative of immigration. This is because the immigration narrative in the U.S. focuses on non-Black Mexican immigration and does not address Black, queer, and trans identities. The truth is, undocumented Black queer and/or trans activists have always been a huge part of the immigration movement and it is time that they receive recognition.’
- ‘Sondra Coker scans an assortment of spray paint cans. “How about red?” the 79-year-old Denver resident asks. The color has a special place in her memories. Coker, who has early stage Alzheimer’s disease, is working on her first graffiti mural. “We know arts can access different parts of the brain where words maybe won’t,” Kera Magarill, early stage service coordinator at the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association, said. “So participating in programs like this opens up memories and pathways in the brain for people to get creative, explore and engage.”’
- “Advocates for disabled Ohioans filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. John Kasich and the state of Ohio over what they say is illegal segregation of institutionalized people with disabilities. …The lawsuit alleges people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who want to live and work in their communities can’t because of limited state funding. Large intermediate care facilities have eight or more beds and are “highly regimented and controlled, with little privacy, independence, or personal autonomy,” according to the complaint. Facility residents have few if any interactions with people other than paid staff. If they work, most facility residents work in sheltered workshops, which the organization says further segregates people with disabilities.”
- Aaron Stinson is 39. “Genesee County Health Department officials told him a Feb. 4 test showed he has the highest lead-blood levels of any adult that has been tested in the county to date. Stinson’s results, reviewed by the Free Press, revealed that he has blood-lead levels of 27 micrograms per decileter of blood (27 ug/dl), five times the level considered toxic. Levels above 5 micrograms are considered toxic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends intervention for anyone with elevated blood levels above 5 micrograms in order to remove lead sources.” A reminder that the trauma of Flint has only just begun.
- “Before stepping down, Nigeria’s former president made sure his legacy boasted fighting for women’s rights and protections. Goodluck Jonathan signed into law last month a ban on female genital mutilation, a practice that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, the Guardian reported. However, activists say laws alone won’t abolish the practice, and that a systemic cultural shift is required to make sure women and girls are no longer subjected to the harmful procedure.” – Huffington Post
- A Kroger store in Athens GA posted a sign listed the reasons why their bathrooms would now be Unisex that went viral. The “bathroom sign being posted comes right on the heels of an upsetting anti-LGBT law that was just passed in North Carolina. There was a similar bill under consideration in Georgia, but the governor vetoed it yesterday. “We have a UNISEX bathroom because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations. …THANK YOU for helping us to provide a safe environment for EVERYONE!” The sign also lists all of the communities that a Unisex bathroom provides a safer environment for.
- Amy Goodman interviews Payton McGarry, the 20 yr old Transgender plaintiff in the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit challenging the “bathroom bill” in North Carolina. The lawsuit challenges House Bill 2, the new law banning local governments from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. Payton on the bill: “It’s requiring me to use the female restroom, is essentially what’s happening. And this is distressing because I used the female restroom until it was not feasible for me to until I was getting pushed, shoved, slapped, screamed at every time I went into a female bathroom. So, now, it’s putting me in a tough situation, because it’s putting me in a situation where I have to choose between going into this distressing situation where I know harm to my well-being could come—you know, I could be screamed at, I could be shoved, slapped, beaten to a pulp, essentially—or I can break the law.”
- When 29-year-old Benjamin Melzer, the first transgender man to be on the cover of Men’s Health Germany, stopped by BuzzFeed News for a chat, he brought along his mom Margret. Soft-spoken and low-key, Melzer doesn’t demand attention — until he gets in front of a camera, where he somehow feels at home.
- I Heart the Singular They is a love letter to those who are neither she or he, but they. And it is a beautiful dedication and an open call-to-action with the aim of getting gender neutral pronoun, the singular they, adapted into all style guides by the end of 2016. Touche!