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BEYOND EQUALITY: A Two Part Series about Intersectional Oppression and Assimilation

Wild Iris is excited and proud to co-sponsor a vital two-part series at the Civic Media Center. As an LGBTQ+ inclusive space, we work hard to honor and cherish the narrative of all our members. We will see marriage equality in the next decade or so. Moving beyond that, we wonder, what will the face of the movement be after that?


OCTOBER 3RD- Queer Stories: Navigating Intersectional Oppression
OCTOBER 10TH- Queer Assimilation: Breaking Away from the Gay "norm"
CIVIC MEDIA CENTER - 7PM, Free - Donations Appreciated

In celebration of Pride Month, the CMC will be hosting a two-part series on living in and breaking away from the "gaystream".

On Friday, October 3rd, they will be hosting "Queer Stories: Navigating Intersectional Oppression". We will be hearing from a panel of Gainesville queers about their personal experiences navigating race, class, gender identity, heteronormativity, and more.

On Friday, October 10th we will host "Queer Assimilation: Breaking Away from the Gay 'norm'". For our second half of the series, we will be focusing on the white cis male dominated movement for "equality", and those whom are left out.

 


The whitewashing of the LGBT Movement for equality hurts everyone, but most importantly it hurts the members of our community that need our help the most. Approximately 40% of our homeless youth population identify as LGBTQ*.

 

53% of all anti-LGBTQ murders were transgender women. 4 out of every 10 gay men and nearly half of bisexual men have experienced some form of sexual violence. Marriage equality will not be the end of our movement. Come out to our events to hear more about how the mainstream narrative hurts.



 


 

Free Teen Workshop on Sexuality and Responsibility

Calling out to all teens and parents!

As a teen myself, I've encountered some amazing and some not quite so amazing conversations out there regarding sex and sexual things.

I've noticed a trend in my generation's ideas about sex and while some aspects improve, others degrade. There are some socially and sexually aware teenagers out there but there's also an alarmingly high number of teens who don't understand the basic concept of consent.

So this is my calling out. I challenge all of you to learn what sex is really about and I challenge of you parents to support your child's education of what healthy sexuality is. I challenge all of you to learn how sex is never only about penises and vaginas. How sex includes things like decision-making and self-esteem. How sex includes knowing when and why is an essential question to ask. This is what I challenge you to do:

Sharing Our Teens Responsibility at the Civic Media Center partnered with Planned Parenthood of North Florida.

Sharing Our Teens Responsibility is a program works with middle and high school aged youth to promote safe, healthy sex along with abstinence if that is your chosen path.

Sharing Our Teens Responsibility is a 6 week program that will meet once or twice a week starting in late October to November. By attending, teens can acquire community service hours through this.

I hope to see an incredible mix of parents and teens ready to learn about sexuality and responsibility starting in late October!

This is the Facebook event page.

Call to Action: Join the 'Chain Letter' to President Machen Telling Him We Will Not Accept Rape Culture

In late August just one day before the recent string of campus sexual assaults began, a UF student reached out to President Machen by email, asking about sexual violence and victim advocacy policies and programs at the University. 

The letter was inspired by The Other Freshman 15, a national organization that seeks to empower young people to take up the dialogue around campus rape culture.  They provide a base letter for students to reach out to their campus leaders.  Some of the exact text included, “Thanks in advance for your focus on this issue. I'm eager to hear any updates from you on these actions or other plans you may have to create a campus of respect.”  

His full response was:

“Sexual assault is a very serious issue.  It is too serious to be contaminated with chain letters like yours.  If you really care, do your homework and learn what we are already doing.”

This response sent one day before the attacks is a real representation of attitudes surrounding rape culture at the top of the chain.  A day later we found ourselves bombarded with concern and misguided victim-blaming, and more recently we've been offered escorts comprised of men who some of us already fear.  The public statements have changed drastically since the all the media attention has started, but a day before his annoyance at being asked about these issues is apparent. 

Here's another thing - if this student was unaware of existing programs after multiple semesters at the institution - are you really doing an effective job promoting these programs? We’thinks not.

We are also highly disappointed with the response from the Gainesville Sun which further demeaned the student and her efforts. They released an article that was obviously intended to give the University a pat on the back and further shame this student.  The article listed these stats in defense of campus policies:

Last year’s student survey showed that 4 percent of the 2,200 students who responded said they were sexually touched against their will, while 2.1 percent said someone attempted to force them to have sex against their will, and 1.1 percent said they were raped.


Let's look at these stats a different way using reports that UF has approximately 50,000 students, and assuming these survey's are representative of the student body.


2,200 Sample
88 students that have been sexually touched against their will
44 students who faced attempted sexual assault
22 students who were raped


When we account for the student population the stats change to:
2,000 students that have been sexually touched against their will
1,050 students who faced attempted sexual assault
550 students who were raped - more than one a day

If we go by national statistics that up to 60% of rapes are never reported - we can only imagine how much this number would increase. This doesn't sound quite as nice as 1.1% does it?

But back to the original point.... Contaminate? Chain Letter?  Well President Machen, you (and society at large) have inspired us into showing you just how a chain letter can escalate into avalanche mode.  This is all about a bigger picture of rape culture and the dismissal of young women who attempt to use their voices.  We can no longer allow flippant and condescending comments from our "leaders" when we speak out.

So feminists and friends -  here's where we ask you to share this post with 5, 10, 50, 100 of your friends and encourage them to write letters as well.

We will not be shamed for actions of our aggressors, we will not be bullied by administrative suits, and we will not be silenced into simply accepting rape culture.  What we will do is create the infrastructure necessary to protect our own and join our voices until policies have no option but to change.

Here's what you need to do right now to help! We cannot stress the RIGHT NOW part enough!

  • Write a letter to the President and other administrators - we'll take care of the printing and stamp cost you can come to the store and write it, email us, or facebook us.  Send your letters to Wild Iris so we can coordinate the mail delivery to be an unmistakable visual representation of our displeasure. If you are comfortable include your name and address, if not sign it Anonymous and make sure it still gets to us. (info-at-wildirisbooks-dot-com)
  • We need donors to help make this work, if you'd like to contribute stamps, papers, envelopes, money for ink, sample text for people to use - contact us here!
  • Send an email with the same letter, you can find UF contact information here.

Now is the time. 
Please share through every social media network you know.

If you or someone you know needs help, love, support, or anything else...
Start here, you'll be in good caring hands with Alachua County Victims Services.

Local Author Shira Glassman Book SIgning and Labor Rights Discussion - 9/17

"Labor Rights? In My Fantasy Lit?"

"It's More Likely Than You'd Think!"

Wednesday, 9/17, 7:30 PM at the CMC: local author and Wild Iris groupie Shira Glassman introduces her latest book, Climbing the Date Palm.

 



Inspired by the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force and her own spouse's union organizing, Date Palm is a fairy tale about worker's rights and wage theft, with plenty of queer characters (and a dragon.)

She will be accompanied by speakers from the Wage Theft Task Force itself, to talk about the movement that inspired the story.


About Climbing the Date Palm

The highly anticpated second novel from local author Shira Glassman is now available for pre-order. Copies will be released late July. We also have The Second Mango available if you're new to the series.

Prince Kaveh, the youngest son of the king of the City of Red Clay, is bisexual, and is completely besotted with Farzin, the engineer his father hired to oversee the improvements to the city's roads and bridges. However, the king doesn't share his positive feelings. After Farzin ends up at the head of the protest that ensues when the workers are only paid a third of their promised wages, he's thrown in prison and is scheduled to be executed.

Queen Shulamit, who rules over the neighboring nation of Perach, is eager to assist the desperate prince. She, too, loves justice and has a same-sex partner. She's also hoping Kaveh, with his royal blood, is willing to give her and her sweetheart a legitimate heir in exchange. But can she find a peaceful solution that will pacify the king next door, get his workers fairly paid, and free Farzin, or will she and her dragon-riding bodyguard Rivka have to go to war?

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