Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Queer Allies in Unexpected Places

Sometimes you read things that make you shake your head sadly and wonder if people realize we're in the 21st Century. And then, sometimes, you read things that makes you shake your read proudly and happily reflect on the progress queer activists - including straight and cis-gendered allies of the LGBTQ+ community - have made in this new, young century.

Example 1:

David Cameron, Conservative party leader and Prime Minister of Great Britain, was recently quoted as saying "I don’t support gay marriage despite being a Conservative.... I support gay marriage because I am a Conservative" (emphasis added). Bravo to Britain's PM for the marriage equality bill his is pushing through Parliament. According to The Washington Post's report (via The Boston Globe)::

"There are at least 12 openly gay members of Parliament from the Conservative Party, more than all other British political parties combined. A majority of those lawmakers were ushered into office with Cameron in 2010. Education Minister Michael Gove, a Conservative, has launched a campaign with the gay rights group Stonewall to combat homophobia in British schools. Cameron has hosted a summit on homophobia in professional soccer and officially apologized for Thatcher-era antigay policies, calling the party’s previous stance 'a mistake.'"

This is marked change from the Thatcher era and certainly for the better. Rock on, Mr. Cameron.

Example 2:

I am a big hockey fan. The New Jersey Devils, win or lose, will always be my team. I also love hockey fans and the NHL as an organization. With good reason. Not only is hockey the best sport on earth, but following the untimely death in 2010 of out gay hockey player Brendan Burke, his father Brian Burke (general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs) and his brother Patrick Burke (scout for the Philadelphia Flyers) has led the charge to continue his simple message: if you can play, you can play.

The You Can Play campaign includes a growing list of NHL players, minor league teams, fans, and NHL manager and staffers who are committed to eliminating homophobia in professional sports. I'm proud to see that Andy Greene of the Devils is in this video and his teammate Mark Fayne is also featured in another of You Can Play's PSA videos.

I'm proud of my identity as a queer transman - and as a hockey fan - and I'm glad the NHL plays here in the 21st Century.

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