Persist to Resist – 24Jun24

Up for debate?  The Surgeon General warns social media harms your mental health. Biden moves to protect undocumented spouses from deportation. North Korea and Russia show that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. SCOTUS continues to put thumb on the scale in delay for the orange man’s justice.  

Baseball’s greatest legend Willie Mays crosses home. Judge Cannon’s delay, distract, and deflect game is masterful and calculated. Faux News claims Biden will be drugged up for the debate before it even happens.  Monday marks 2 years since the fall of Roe v Wade.. Oh, and Project 2025 plans to dismantle our systems and democracy. 

A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country’s most distinctive voices, Rubyfruit Jungle remains a transformative work more than forty years after its original publication.

In bawdy, moving prose, Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back. This literary milestone continues to resonate with its message about being true to yourself and, against the odds, living happily ever after.

What set Rubyfruit Jungle apart at the time of its publication was its frank, positive depiction of lesbian sexuality and relationships. In an era when LGBTQ+ characters in literature were often tragic figures or villains, Molly Bolt was refreshingly bold, confident, and unashamed of her identity. The novel’s sex-positive attitude and celebration of female desire was revolutionary for its time.

Rita Mae Brown herself became an influential voice in both LGBTQ+ activism and feminist circles. Her outspoken advocacy and the success of Rubyfruit Jungle helped pave the way for more diverse queer stories to be told.

Its core themes of self-discovery, resistance to societal expectations, and the search for community continue to resonate. Rubyfruit Jungle remains an important touchstone in the queer literary canon and a source of inspiration for new generations of LGBTQ+ writers and activists.

The legacy of Rubyfruit Jungle serves as a reminder of how powerful it can be to see oneself represented in art and literature. By telling Molly Bolt’s story with humor, honesty, and heart, Rita Mae Brown opened doors for countless others to tell their own stories and live their truths.

Laverne Cox has become one of the most recognizable and influential transgender actresses and activists of our time. Her journey from a child in Alabama, to a Hollywood star and outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights serves as an inspiration for people around the world to embrace their authentic selves.

Cox first gained widespread recognition for her role as Sophia Burset in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” This groundbreaking performance made her the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in an acting category. But Cox’s impact extends far beyond her on-screen achievements.

Throughout her career, Cox has used her platform to advocate for transgender rights and visibility. She has been a vocal critic of discriminatory policies and practices, while also celebrating the resilience and diversity of the trans community.

Cox’s impact is particularly significant for transgender youth. In a world where many young trans people struggle with acceptance and visibility, Cox stands as a beacon of hope. Her success demonstrates that it is possible to thrive as an openly transgender person, even in high-profile industries like entertainment.

Beyond her activism, Cox continues to break barriers in her professional life. Each of these accomplishments serves to increase transgender visibility and representation in mainstream media.

Laverne Cox’s message of self-love and authenticity resonates not just with the LGBTQ+ community, but with anyone who has ever felt different or marginalized. Her courage, talent, and advocacy continue to inspire individuals to embrace their true selves and work towards a more inclusive and accepting society.

GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990. They knew that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ+ youth. But as well as activating supportive educators, they believe in centering and uplifting student-led movements, which have powered initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.

GLSEN conducts extensive and original research to inform their evidence-based solutions for K-12 education. They author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.

They also advocate for and research comprehensive policies designed to protect LGBTQ+ students and students of marginalized identities. They’ve fought discriminatory legislation in over 15 states and support the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

GLSEN has a network of 43 chapters in 30 states across the nation, so they can reach every student. They empower student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities, and have thousands of registered GSAs nationwide.

After over 25 years of leading the movement, GLSEN’s national network is more than 1.5 million strong. Students, families, educators, and education advocates work together to create safe schools. More than 500,000 GLSEN resources are downloaded by students and educators each year.

Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ+ students are able to learn in a bullying and harassment-free environment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.

Rep. Robert Garcia is running for reelection in California’s 42nd Congressional District. Robert is a rising Democratic star and delivered one of the keynote addresses for the Democratic National Convention in 2020. He has also been widely praised for his leadership and stewardship of Long Beach during the worst of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

After losing his mom and stepfather to COVID-19, Robert vowed to ensure other families wouldn’t experience the same pain. He expanded Long Beach’s mobile testing and vaccination efforts — programs which went on to receive national recognition from health experts.

As Mayor, he was a strong and steadfast supporter of the LGBTQ community and strengthened protections for LGBTQ persons. For example, he established trans-inclusive health care coverage in the city, increased access to STD checks and treatments.

Under Robert’s leadership, Long Beach received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for inclusive cities. He also oversaw a period of unprecedented economic growth and expansion of opportunity for city residents in his city. In order to ensure every Long Beach resident could share in the city’s success, Garcia launched several programs. For example, tuition-free community college, a universal basic income pilot program, and a pandemic recovery package, among others.

Robert is the first openly LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress, and the first openly LGBTQ Peruvian American elected to Congress.

Recent legislative actions in Louisiana have sparked controversy and debate over reproductive rights and the separation of church and state. The governor has signed a new bill making abortion medication controlled “dangerous” substances, even though they are perfectly safe. Also, an insane new law requires the display of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. Thus we must revisit Louisiana..

Abortion Medication Restrictions

First up is the weeks-old new classification of mifepristone and misoprostol as illegal controlled substances! This is on top of the already restrictive abortion ban in the state.

The clear attack on reproductive rights could have serious health consequences for women who need these medications for other medical reasons.

Ten Commandments in Classrooms

In a separate move, the Louisiana governor has signed a new law requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school classrooms! The bill mandates that schools post a 16-by-20-inch copy of the religious text in each classroom.

This clearly violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which prohibits government from establishing an official religion or favoring one religion over others. This attempt at indoctrination is a flagrant violation of the separation of church and state in public education.

These new Louisiana laws highlight the ongoing tensions in American society over issues of reproductive rights and the role of religion in public life. This is what you get when the GOP has a supermajority in the state legislation. Other states are at risk for this type of authoritarian fascism as well. Make sure you vote up and down the ballot this November!

TurnOut provides expert volunteer recruitment and management services for fellow LGBTQ+ nonprofits. Volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. Is your passion supporting homeless queer youth, LGBTQ+ elders, mental health, queer history, queer arts, or so much more? TurnOut provides the resources, training, and support you need to volunteer with over 100 queer nonprofits.

TurnOut provides LGBTQ-centric volunteer services, and specializes in professional support for queer and trans organizations and events.

  • They work closely with partner organizations to develop plans around their specific needs.
  • They engage their extensive network of volunteers to get involved.
  • They help develop and provide training to ensure volunteers are well-informed and supported.
  • They will often provide on-site, day-of coordination and support of volunteers.
  • TurnOut will provide evaluation services as well as recommendations to improve the volunteer experience for the next opportunity.

They also match individuals in the community looking for a deeper level of involvement with potential opportunities for board service. In addition, TurnOut supports high school, college, and corporate employee groups to provide meaningful service opportunities. Finally, TurnOut has worked with skills-based teams, like experienced grant writers, Spanish translators, and more to support nonprofits.

TurnOut’s goal is to offer high-quality service opportunities that make a lasting difference. They aim to connect real activists, real community members, and real organizations to make a real impact. Join them today for maximum impact!

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