Tag Archives: Communities

We are clergy and missionaries shepherding our congregations to welcome everyone into their hearts, openly and without judgment. We are veterans who have fought for the freedom of others across the ocean and who will continue to fight for basic human rights on our own native soil. We are citizens who believe in everyone’s right to pursue their own happiness.

Ally Profile: Gloria Steinem

We Are Straight Allies is extremely proud and deeply honored that Gloria has joined us as a Straight Ally.   In her book, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Gloria expresses her beliefs, with every fiber of her being, that it’s the things we all do that keep “the movement” going—for women, gays, lesbians, transgendered individuals, and everyone still fighting for equality.

“It has always been clear to me that the stories of each other’s lives are our best textbooks. Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering other people have shared similar experiences.”–Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem travels widely as a feminist activist, organizer, writer and lecturer. Her books include the bestsellers Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. She was an editor of The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History. Steinem co-founded New York Magazine and Ms. Magazine where continues to serve as a consulting editor. She has been published in many magazines and newspapers here and in other countries, and is also a frequent guest commentator on radio and television.

She helped to found the Women’s Action Alliance, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and Choice USA. She was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women and helped create Take Our Daughters to Work Day. She has served on the board of trustees of Smith College, and was a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative, a comparative study of racial patterns in the U.S., South Africa, and Brazil. She has also co-produced a documentary on child abuse for HBO, and a feature film for Lifetime.

Ms. Steinem graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College in 1956, and then spent two years in India on a Chester Bowles Fellowship. She wrote for Indian publications, and was influenced by Gandhian activism. Gloria has received the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, National Magazine awards, an Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations, and most recently, the University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

Other recognitions include the first Doctorate of Human Justice awarded by Simmons College, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Gay Rights Advocates Award, the Liberty award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ceres Medal from the United Nations, and a number of honorary degrees. Parenting magazine selected her for its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 for her work in promoting girls’ self-esteem, and Biography magazine listed her as one of the 25 most influential women in America. In 1993, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. She has been the subject of Lifetime and ABC biographical television documentaries, and The Education of a Woman, a biography by Carolyn Heilbrun.

In a 2012 interview with Queerty, the #1 gay news and entertainment site in the world, Gloria spoke openly about the unity between women’s rights and LGBT rights.  “It’s completely the same thing,” said Steinem. “On campuses, people will say, ‘why are the same right-wing people against lesbianism and birth control?’ They find that bizarre. It’s not bizarre. It’s because the right wing is against any form of sexual expression that can’t end in conception. So we have the same adversaries and the same allies.”

Steinem continued, saying those on the right “want to control reproduction… they want to direct all sex to reproduction, and they punish women for controlling that decision and using contraception or having an abortion. The same people punish two men or two women because that stands for non-reproductive sexual activity. And it’s all a lie. And it’s a lie about human sexuality, which has always been a way we communicate, not just a way we procreate.”

Gloria will receive the Medal of Freedom this Wednesday – the highest civilian honor awarded by the President of the United States.  She is among an esteemed list of 16 recipients, this being the 50th Anniversary of the award being given.  In its announcement, the White House noted that Steinem is “a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights.  Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.”

“I’m honored and touched to receive the Medal of Freedom, especially in the company of Bayard Rustin, Oprah Winfrey, Sally Ride, and other of my heroes,” Steinem said. “I know this is a recognition of the countless women and men who have worked for a society in which we are linked, not ranked, and have always understood that the caste systems based on sex and race, class and sexuality, can only be uprooted together. There is no president from whose hand I would be more honored to receive this than President Obama.”

We Are Straight Allies congratulates Gloria on receiving this highest award.

Gloria Steinem (pink_2)

Citations for this article include:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI6dQaUhKMY

http://jwa.org/blog/gloria-steinem-unheralded-glbt-advocate

http://thehumanist.org/september-october-2012/the-humanist-interview-with-gloria-steinem/

http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,605468,00.html

http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=16630&MediaType=1&Category=22

http://www.womensconference.org/gloria-steinem-2/

http://www.autostraddle.com/much-ado-about-gloria-steinem-107012/

Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Straight Ally

 

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is Jacksonville’s own 3-time Olympic swimming champion from the 1984 Games. She is a life-long advocate for access and equality in athletics, internationally recognized legal expert on sports issues, scholar, and author. She has a commitment to equality, using sports as a vehicle for social change. As one of the foremost exponents for gender equity, she advocates for access and equality in sports participation, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and assault, employment, pregnancy, and legal enforcement under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and within the youth sports and Olympic movement.

Read more about Nancy here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-81

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PRESS: Straight Allies featured in the Jacksonville Free Press

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Deep appreciation to the Jacksonville Free Press for featuring the We Are Straight Allies campaign this week.

There are those in black and brown communities who openly support LGBT equality and the number is growing as we continue to educate and draw connections between our collective struggle and liberation. Thank you Dr. Irvin PeDro Cohen, Rachel Thomas, Ronald Breaker, Darnell Smith, Luis H. Lopez and Rev. Victoria Hamilton for adding your voices to this movement.

“African-American newspapers are those newspapers in the United States that seek readers primarily of African-American descent. These newspapers came into existence in 1827 when Samuel Cornish and John Brown Russwurm started the first African-American periodical called Freedom’s Journal. During the antebellum South, other African-American newspapers sprang forth, such as The North Star founded by Frederick Douglass. As African Americans moved to urban centers around the country, virtually every large city with a significant African-American population soon had newspapers directed towards African Americans.

Most of these publications like Freedom’s Journal’s (1758–1799) were published in the north and then distributed, often covertly, to African Americans throughout the country. Blacks’ ability to establish many environments and black neighborhoods in the North led to the first wave of publications. By the 20th century, daily papers appeared in Norfolk, Kansas City, and Washington D.C.

In the late 19th century the main reason that the papers were created was for uplifting the black community. Many blacks sought to assimilate into larger society, and Northern blacks felt it their duty to educate southern blacks on the mores of Victorian society. Many African-American newspapers struggled to keep their circulation going due to the low rate of literate African Americans. Many Freed Africans had low incomes and could not afford to purchase subscriptions, but shared the publications with one another.”

Pat Geraghty, Straight Ally

Pat Geraghty, CEO of Florida Blue, located in Jacksonville, FL explains why he is a Straight Ally in support of LGBT equality in the workplace. Read more here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-73

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Ally Profile: Nancy Hogshead-Makar

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is Jacksonville’s own 3-time Olympic swimming champion from the 1984 Games. She is a life-long advocate for access and equality in athletics, internationally recognized legal expert on sports issues, scholar, and author. She has a commitment to equality, using sports as a vehicle for social change. As one of the foremost exponents for gender equity, she advocates for access and equality in sports participation, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and assault, employment, pregnancy, and legal enforcement under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and within the youth sports and Olympic movement.

Hogshead-Makar has testified in Congress numerous times on the topic of gender equity in athletics, written numerous scholarly and lay articles, and has been a frequent guest on national news programs on the topic, including 60 Minutes, Fox News, CNN, ESPN, NPR, MSNBC and network morning news programming. She serves as an expert witness in Title IX cases and has written amicus briefs representing athletic organizations in precedent-setting litigation. Her scholarship includes her book, co-authored with Andrew Zimbalist, Equal Play; Title IX and Social Change, Pregnant and Parenting Student-Athletes; Resources and Model Policies, published by the NCAA, and her book chapter, “The Ethics of Title IX and Gender Equity for Coaches” appears in The Ethics of Coaching Sports; Moral, Social and Legal Issues, edited by Robert L. Simon. Since 2003 she has been the Co-Chair of American Bar Association Committee on the Rights of Women. Sports Illustrated Magazine listed her as one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX.

Hogshead-Makar is currently the Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, a 29-year affiliation that started as a college intern.   She has received significant awards recognizing her commitment to athletics, including receipt of an honorary doctorate from Springfield College, induction into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame and the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame, the Hall of Fame for the National Association for Sports and Physical Education, and receipt of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators’ “Honor Award”. In 2011 she was presented with the National Organization for Women’s “Courage Award,” and was inducted into the National Consortium for Academics and Sports Hall of Fame. In 2012 she was awarded the “Title IX Advocate Award” from the Alliance of Women Coaches.

Nancy is the recipient of the 2014 International Olympic Committee’s Woman of the Year for the Americas. She has been recognized as one of the foremost authorities on gender equity in sports and one of the most influential people in the history of Title IX – the groundbreaking legislation which has given women the same opportunity as men to compete in US collegiate sports.

Why is Nancy a straight ally and supporter of the HRO ordinance?

I am an ally and supporter of the HRO ordinance because human dignity and respect for who you love is a birthright.

At every level, sports participation is a powerful educational experience, and is the underlying reason I work in this field. Homophobia, in particular, is used to diminish all women’s athletic feats, as they accomplish under a cloud of sexual suspicion. Women’s heart-soaring accomplishments can’t upset traditional notions of femininity too much as they become stronger, highly skilled and more ambitious. Therefore, questions about boyfriends and future plans of marriage are practically obligatory, and not just in the media.

So while most LGBTQ athletes suffer, my lesbian teammates suffered uniquely. Straight women may be afraid of supporting their lesbian teammates for fear they might be seen as lesbians themselves. Women athletes are all running from the same shame and discrimination, rather than affirming our life’s pursuits and our selves.

So it’s no wonder so many of my lesbian teammates didn’t share their sexuality with me until long after we’d finished competing. That saddens me – that they didn’t see me as safe. I love my family with my whole being, and I bring that enthusiasm with me to practically every conversation. I can’t imagine not being able to share the people I love with the world, for fear of discrimination. How painful. I want all of my lesbian and gay friends’ humanity. That includes their ability to share joyfully their life’s loves with as much passion and freedom as I share about mine without fear of loss.

What if the stigma of same-sex relationships didn’t exist? The suspicion of being a lesbian could no longer be used to marginalize women in sports, and we’d all be healthier and more productive.

The Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance will be a solid step towards making this dream a reality.

Nancy

See Nancy’s Straight Ally Video Statement here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=364dJ3hv_OY