Follow up about gender justice organizing at Cal State, Long Beach

Editor’s Note: Below is a follow up letter regarding the organizing led by Conciencia Feminil, a Chican@ student organization at Cal State University, Long Beach and the gender violence on campus that they are resisting.

Herman@s in the struggle,

Thank you for your expression of support and solidarity.

The anti-GLBT and misogynous hate violence continues at CSU Long Beach, targeting Chicanas, Chican@ Feminists, Indigenous folks, Queer Chican@s and a white trans student who was attacked and left with a carving of the word “IT” on his chest. The most recent hate violence appeared 2 days ago as a comment on the school newspaper inciting the beheading of gays, lesbians, including named artist Alma Lopez. Some of the prior hate violence has threatened indigenous communities with violence and referenced an appropriated representation of Aztec Law calling for the murder of gays and lesbians with explicit and detailed instructions as to how to carry out killings. With significant pressure, the campus newspaper instituted a new policy to moderate comments and remove hate speech but their response has wavered and sometimes comments take days to be removed. We would like to ask for the newspaper to screen all comments for threatening language before they are posted to prevent even one member of our community having to experience the trauma of hate violence. We are weathered but enduring and we call for your support for us to continue this vital struggle to intervene in and end the violence against us at CSU Long Beach.

The Campus Administration has moved slowly to respond to the near 6 weeks of ongoing hate violence and although President King Alexander recently addressed what he and the university publicly referred to as the “isolated” hate crime against a trans student, he has not responded to communication nor addressed the campus community about the ongoing hate violence and the interrelatedness of 19 multiple incidents of hate violence and the institutional context and climate that supports them.

The inspiring and courageous leadership of Chican@ students from Conciencia Femenil has drafted a response and set of demands that if implemented might prevent future violence. They request your support by signing and circulating their petition at:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/csulb/signatures?page=7

The CSULB GLBT Task Force, a campus group that has asked for and been denied University support and recognition in the past, has published a statement requesting specific action to help mitigate the violence and to create a more hospitable campus for GLBT folks.
http://www.daily49er.com/opinion/letter-to-the-editor-faculty-and-staff-of-lgbt-task-force-respond-to-campus-climate-issues-1.2245184

Conciencia Femenil took leadership in organizing the much needed Chicana Feminisms Conference that addressed the early roots of misogynous violence against Chicana Feminist organizing at CSULB. A reunion of the historic Hijas de Cuauhtemoc shed light on some of the egregious tactics deployed against Chicana leadership by MEChA in the early 1970’s. Regrettably, the legacy of heteropatriarchal violence endures with the most obvious, recent, and ongoing example as the current violent backlash against a new wave of Chicana Feminist organizing at CSULB.

We ask for your support in holding the University and Chicano/Latino Studies Department accountable for their lack of action in intervening in the violence and creating more hospitable environments for GLBT folks and Queer and Feminist Chican@s.
You may express your concerns to:

King Alexander, President CSULB, fkalexan@csulb.edu
Mike Hostetler, Associate Vice President of Student Services and Dean of Students: jmhostet@csulb.edu 562/985-8670
Toni Beron, Associate Vice President of University Relations, tberon@csulb.edu 562/985-8201
Luis Arroyo, Chair Chicano/Latino Studies, llarroyo@csulb.edu, (562) 985-4640

We also welcome creative forms of protest and action in solidarity. The escalation of heteropatriarchal and racist hate violence, including recent attacks at CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Chico, and Claremont Colleges (in addition to UC San Diego, UC Riverside and UC Davis) shows a need for creative community reflection, strategizing and action to inspire mechanisms of accountability and a transformation to end the violence our communities are experiencing on university campuses throughout California.

In solidarity and struggle,

adelante!

clarissa rojas
clarissita@gmail.com

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Proudly African & Transgender: Portraits

Bongi, South Africa

Bongi, South Africa; portrait by Gabrielle Le Roux; courtesy of Black Looks

The Proudly African & Transgender: Portraits exhibition by Gabrielle Le Roux in partnership with IGLHRC has premiered in Amsterdam.  Amnesty International – Amsterdam opened the exhibition on Feb 25th.  Le Roux explains,

The exhibition honours brave transgender activists in Africa who put their lives on the line for the human rights of all people to be true to themselves and express their identity as they feel it.

Black Looks has posted the portraits of transgender Africans from seven countries in East and Southern Africa. Each person in the portraits has also written short self-portraits about being transgender and the exhibit.  Salango Nikki Mawanda of Uganda, one of the portrait subjects, writes,

The situation of Trans people in Uganda is both negative and positive. Positively we have now organized ourselves through an organization called T.I.Ts UGANDA and through this group we are creating awareness about our existence in Uganda also for us to strategize on how overcome our challenges and threat. Negatively, we as trans people in Uganda are faced by day to day abuses both physical and verbal. We suffer from lack of information, blackmail by some of the people we trust and unfriendly health care policies. Inhuman and degrading treatment by health providers creates an insecure environment for trans people, who can’t trust them and that leads to self medication. As that all not enough, we are now going through a very difficult time since the anti homosexuality bill was tabled late last year.

Hat tip to flip flopping joy.

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Update from OTD Chile on the earthquake and request for donations

OTD logo

Questioning Transphobia recently posted updates from Andrea Rivera of Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad (OTD) on the post-earthquake situation in Chile. They write:

We are seeing realities that make our souls crunch and we can provide solutions to the immediate problem, that is food, but much more will be needed to help them have a place to live again. I am asking your help for the immediate needs.

We are using our own money for the help we are providing plus some donations, but we have no more money. We need your help urgently. We need money for gas, food, toiletries, bread and to give cash to those we visit so they can buy what they need. The situation is very chaotic. Some of our colleagues have no place to live. We must be able to act and help them.

I ask you as friends: whatever you can deposit in the OTD account will be for help; whatever you can give will be useful. Please let us know by email if you make a deposit and for how much it was so we can organize ourselves and provide you with a receipt in due time, specifying the expenses we will make. If you know of any funder that can help in cases of catastrophes, please let us know so we can apply.

More updates and information about how to support are available here.

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