it’s raining (and not snowing!) trash day

It’s trash day and I’m in the middle of moving offices. In the rain. Pray to your gods for me, as long as they’re not evil.

Last night I booked Patty and I for San Francisco. I’m super excited, as I haven’t been in about four years. SF, is, for me, one of those towns I feel like I could never live in, but that resonates for me pretty intensely emotionally. Anyone out there have any recommendations for gluten-free restaurants (particularly in Chinatown) or bakeries? Also, I need a rec for the high-end hot restaurant that we just have to try. Giant redwoods, yes? Never done it. Combined with a tour that drops us in Sausalito for an afternoon with a trip back on the ferry? Speak to me. This will be my first trip there that’s not for business or visiting elderly relatives.

But enough of where we’re going, since that’s not ’til August. Let’s talk (briefly, one more time) about where I’ve been. The Whedonistas launch was rad (here, I make the thoughtful face); the books were snapped up, and the reviews (all good) are starting to trickle in. So yay.

And despite various logistical difficulties and the “but wait, wasn’t it a Doctor Who convention?” factor, a few pictures of my cosplaying Arthur from Inception did happen and are floating around Facebook. Main lesson there: everything takes longer than you think, and despite Arthur being really the perfect cosplay for me in terms of him being slight and not super tall, I carry myself like I take up a lot of space, far more so than Arthur does. Ah well, always Jack at heart, I guess.

In news of the world, which, as usual, you should really be paying attention to, things in Libya are a heartbreaking bloody mess that’s absolutely a legacy of colonialism and the US’s willingness to make nice with terrible people if it provides even an illusion of guaranteed access to oil at prices we deem marginally tolerable. While CNN hasn’t been particularly good for what’s going on in the big picture, and their analysis is spotty and US centric, I can’t say enough about some of these phone interviews Anderson Cooper’s been doing. Really heartbreaking. As usual, remember this stuff isn’t happening in just one country. Protests continue throughout the region.

Meanwhile, things in the US are pretty intense too. Aside from the war on women with bills aimed not just at legalizing violence against abortion providers, but federal level bills that seek to eliminate funding for women’s health and family planning services, the biggest news story is arguably coming out of Wisconsin, where union issues and the right to collective bargaining are front and center.

I’ll be frank; I’m both a union member (SAG now, and I’m a former CWA member) and someone who hasn’t been following this story as closely as I should be. But the right to organize is critical even if modern unions don’t always function how I personally want them to.

So, one of my readers asked me to link to some stuff. This includes videos (and transcripts) as well as links to various roundups. This isn’t just Wisconsin anymore, either, but has spread to Florida, Ohio, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.

Let’s also not forget that New Zealand has had a terrible disaster. Here’s some words from someone there on what it’s like and how you can help.

Meanwhile, in the realm of people making stuff and how you can help, PodCastle is looking for voice actors. Additionally, while I’m not much for comics, if I were, I’d probably be a huge fan of (or making something like) Baritaria Historicals – The Assassination of King Valliet and The Birthday of the Princess. Check it out.

Oh, and that reminds me, both the empires in the book Kali and I are working on finally have names now, a fact which, while unimportant to my day to day life at this particular moment in time, helps me sleep better at night.

See you from the other side.

the activism trap

Being an activist can really suck. Let me show you how.

I’m engaged with anti-bullying efforts for a bunch of reasons. This includes the fact that I was severely bullied as a kid, as a teen, during university, and periodically as an adult on the wonder that is the Internet; that I find working on anti-bullying initiatives healing; and that I believe my way with words and openness can help the cause.

But at core, the reason I want to stop bullying is so that people who are awesome have the space to do awesome stuff. It’s hard to make art, do research, be an awesome friend, teach kids, help animals, strive for political reform, provide awesome customer service or do whatever it is you do if you’re being bullied and recovering from being bullied. The best reason to support anti-bullying is so that more people have the space to be the most awesome versions of themselves they can be.

The thing is, when I spend all my time talking about stopping bullying or anti-gay harassment or sexism or transphobia or whatever thing I feel its critical to speak out about (and feel capable of speaking out about — there are lots of issues I support where it’s probably better for me to let other people speak while I keep learning), I don’t have time to do my awesome stuff. And then it’s a little bit like the bullies have won, because they’ve forced me to abandon my agenda and will for the purpose of responding to their actions and arguments.

This really sucks. And it’s emblematic of something I think most activists face at various times. From feminist advocacy to fighting poverty to stopping racism — when you have to be an activist all the time, it’s easy to lose the benefits you’re supposed to enjoy from that activism helping to make the world better. Balance is key, but, in a cruel world, pretty hard to come by.

Which is why I really want to stop talking about the Buffy thing (here, have a summary from someone who was there and isn’t me), because I feel that particular activism trap closing in around me. But, that said, there are a few remaining things I do want to address.

First, thank you for keeping it civil. While a few comments here have made me angry or upset, and while I disagree with some opinions I’ve seen expressed, no one really crossed the line in discourse here. That’s awesome, and I totally appreciate it.

Next, about that argument where you say, “Well, I want to take this person at her word, but she sounds awfully emotional, and therefore I can’t.” — That argument is a misogynistic rhetorical device that often gets pulled out against women who are upset and not against men who are angry. It’s happened in various branches of this discussion (which is now happening across Whedonesque, several blogs, and Livejournal). It’s an effective rhetorical device due to the way we treat women in this world, but it’s not actually good argumentation. It’s also angry-making. Please knock it off.

Additionally, I am really trying to avoid making a post about the whole “toughen up” thing and why it’s so problematic, as, again, I don’t want to get sucked into the negative self-impact activism trap I described in the opening of this post. However, it’s important to me that you understand the following things: First, there is no universal standard of appropriate emotional feeling; just as the Goblin King asks Sarah in Labyrinth what her basis of comparison is when she declares, “It’s not fair,” I would ask you what yours is when you say someone is over-sensitive. Second, it is my sensitivity that allows me to do what I do for a living — writing stories, examining pop-culture, performing, and eroding the artificial boundaries we’ve set up between scholarship and sentimentality. (A theoretical excess of) feeling, just like anything else, can be a tool, an advantage, and a weapon; it’s certainly one of mine. Trying to stamp it out or devalue it, isn’t just nasty, it’s illogical.

Finally, stop with the “free speech” and “censorship” noises. I’m a trained journalist. I give to the ACLU, and I am, like Rachel Maddow, an absolutist about free speech in the legal sense. Wanting to have as little government regulation of speech as possible is not, however, inconsistent with wanting people not to be egregious to each other; encouraging people to be civil in public; telling people to knock it off when I’m offended; and using the tools I have available to me to manage speech in the online venues that I host. Arguments to the contrary are disingenuous, and beyond this statement, I will not engage them.

What would I love to see going forward? I’d love to see more discussion, in general. Just hearing all these viewpoints (which are not split into two camps, but run a wide gamut) is, I think, valuable to everyone. I’d also like to see, as Chip from Two-minute Time Lord and I discussed late one night at this year’s Gally, con panels that have historically been about fans behaving badly branch out into discussions of how we can make things better.

I would also like to see discussion from activists of all stripes talk on how we can work hard, avoid burnout, and reap the benefits of the change we are trying to create in the world while continuing to be activists. It’s hard stuff, and we’re all still learning.

Now I’m going back to explaining why Sarah Jane Smith’s status as a journalist proves that the Doctor is real.

Buffy bullying incident follow-up: gender and character bashing

I’m on my flight back to New York (pro tip: American Airlines may have in-flight Internet, but it doesn’t have power outlets in coach), and thought I’d take time that’s unlikely to be productive in any other way to respond and follow up on the Buffy singalong situation of the other day.

First, I don’t care if you like Dawn or not. No, really. I’m pretty ambivalent about her myself. And, I recognize that being late to the fandom (that’s one of the things my essay in Whedonistas is about) means that I experienced the show differently — I wasn’t waiting a week between episodes, and I wasn’t in that discussion hothouse that happens when shows are aired for the first time.

I’m actually totally okay with the fact that many, possibly even most, of the commenters on my first post about this got (and gosh, there sure were a lot of you — this blog had previously gotten about 1,000 hits on its busiest day; thanks to Whedonesque it was over 5,500) side-tracked on how they feel about Dawn. I actually often like digressive conversations, and it was interesting.

However, my post really, really wasn’t about Dawn, and it felt like a lot of people missed that. It was about someone who may well have fit the legal definition of a child being bullied by a room full of adults because she stuck up for a character based both around her own affection for that character and the wishes of the show’s creator. This wasn’t, despite the fact that I am someone who often feels the need to defend the honor and memory of characters, about bullying Dawn. This was about bullying a fan, in the room, who was at a power disadvantage to those doing that bullying.

Character hate and character bashing can be weird. We get it a lot in Doctor Who and Torchwood fandom too, where, I suspect, the most common targets are Rose (DW) and Gwen (TW).

What’s character bashing? Lots of things qualify, but I can think of two easy, obvious and common examples: when fans, for no narrative reason, hold characters to a higher standard than other characters with comparable storytelling purposes; and when characters are portrayed in transformative work (e.g., fanfiction) in a way that exaggerates their perceived negative qualities in a way that’s aggressive, punishing, shaming and non-satirical (i.e., a character who has an extramarital affair appears in fanfiction as sleeping with a different person every night, being abusive to their spouse, and being relentlessly mocked for their sexual behavior by their colleagues in a story with A- and B- plots related to none of these things. It’s just the bullying of a fictional character as filler).

Character bashing is one of those things I really don’t get, and I don’t really study it, and so hesitate to make any sweeping conclusions about it. Certainly, there’s got to be a certain level of catharsis in getting out one’s irritation about a character that drives you mad (I, certainly, am not above shouting at the TV when I find Connor particularly irritating on Angel — I loathe that character, and often resented having to watch him, even as his presence was necessary to facilitate what’s one of my favorite arcs in all of television).

But one thing I have noticed is the way in which gender tends to be central to character bashing and the way in which character bashing often seems to provide a framework for bullying (i.e., of other fans who disagree), or, somewhat more subtly, a surrogate target for bullying.

Now, you’d think I could get behind at least the surrogate target thing. That at least prevents real people from getting bullied, right? Wrong. When people are shouting out things like “I hope you get raped” at group screening events (something I’ve now heard happens at some OMWF screenings, but at least did not happen at the one I reported on), that has an impact on real people. As does when female characters are vilified for being sexual, flawed, attractive, popular and/or successful. Or, when male characters are aggressively and relentlessly ridiculed for their performance (or rather non-performance) of masculinity.

So did gender come into play with what happened at the OMWF singalong at Gallifrey One? You bet. And it was as vivid and fascinating as it was awful.

The people yelling “Shut up, Dawn!” which is what started the whole thing, seemed to be mostly women. Women showing disdain for a young female character for speaking. And what was Dawn saying? Oh, just the truth that revealed the awful crap that Willow was doing to Tara at that point in the narrative. So what was that about? Willow/Tara love? Hatred of a snitch? Contempt for Dawn indirectly calling Willow out on her bad and arguably bullying behavior? Or just resentment for another pretty girl the audience is supposed to have some modicum of sympathy for?

Meanwhile, the people who then started yelling, by insisting both the upset fan and Michelle Trachtenberg “toughen up,” at the girl who spoke up about the anti-Dawn outbursts, seemed to be mostly men.

At this point, a few people yelled out trying to get everyone to knock it off. Which is when the hostility at the young fan escalated (and again, let me remind you — very possibly underage and expressing the wishes of the show creator), and I shouted, “Stop bullying other fans.” That worked (to my relief and surprise), and to me seems to indicate that people knew they were behaving badly.

Which is why when I went up to the fan after the screening and saw her surrounded by several people (somewhere in the 6 – 10 range), I assumed they were there to offer her support or apologies. Nope, they (and again, here, mostly men) were explaining to her why they were correct both in silencing Dawn and in telling this fan that Dawn deserved this and that she is required to “toughen up.”

What was perhaps most remarkable here is that the fan continued at this point, not to defend herself, but to defend Dawn. This is stories mattering in action. There have been so many times in my life where I protected fictional people when I didn’t yet feel ready to openly protect myself. I don’t know this fan, or her internal framework, but I was moved by what seemed like an honorable defense of joy from the moment this mess started.

So let’s recap:

– Women bashed a female character for telling the truth;
– Men then enforced the ability of those women to do that and while mocking a young fan who may have been legally a child;
– Afterward, instead of going to see if the kid was all right (because this is our con, our fandom, our community — Gally is a small con (this is the first year it broke 2,000 people) with a legendarily family atmosphere), people went up to her to reinforce their perception that she and her feelings were wrong and used their status (age and gender) to do so.

After this experience, I think we perhaps need fewer OMWF singalongs and more group showings of “The Pack.”

And if you’re the fan whose defense of Dawn ultimately necessitated this post and the previous one on this subject? I’m so sorry. I’ve been the subject of big discussions on the Internet because I’ve had the audacity to stick up for people or express my opinion. It sucks, and it’s stressful, and the last thing I EVER wanted to do here is contribute to your bad day. Because I didn’t get to watch Buffy until I was 38, it didn’t really get a chance to change my life or make me brave. But among other things, I’m a woman who fights, and I am so glad this show and the community that should exist around it means so much to you. I hope this hasn’t put you off either Buffy fandom or the Whoniverse. Despite what happened on Saturday night, I promise you, most of us do believe that intellect and romance should trump brute force and cynicism.

Thank you for helping fight that fight.

ETA 2/23/2010: A few final thoughts about the discussion this has engendered.

stop bullying people for caring about stories just as much as you do

So hey, I just went to my first Buffy singalong, which seemed like it was going to be a great way to cap off the Whedonistas launch. But then this thing happened, and I want to talk about it.

Every time Dawn opened her mouth, people in the audience started yelling, “Shut up!” You can defend this by saying it’s the same thing as what we do at Rocky Horror, except that it wasn’t. It wasn’t clever, and it wasn’t directed at all the characters or the property as a whole. It was directed at Dawn.

When a young fan (certainly not older than college-age, probably still a teen, quite possibly under-age) yelled out asking people to stop, people yelled at her. When she tried to explain that this type of action has made the actress who plays Dawn cry and that Joss Whedon had asked people not to do it, people yelled out that both she and the actress needed to toughen up.

In a moment the Buffy singalong had gone from some fans engaging in questionable courtesy to a bunch of fans bullying a young fan because she cares. A lot.

What. The. Fuck?

Being a fan is about love. Sure we argue and debate and rant about People Who Are Wrong on the Internet. But coming to a Doctor Who convention (as Craig Ferguson says, “Intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism”) and bullying a young fan to toughen up because she had a problem with the way the event was going because a Buffy singalong generally does not involve cheering and encouraging the silencing of a young female character whose arc in the episode is such that she is kidnapped, silenced, sexualized and forced into a marriage in Hell?

That was the most uncool thing I’ve seen in fandom in a long time.

Fans need to stop bullying other fans on- and off-line. It’s vile and disgusting and weak. And it makes us so terribly below the heroes we adore.

The Whoniverse is about the people who were never supposed to be heroes choosing to be heroes: shop girls and queer boys from council estates; women who’ve been left behind and men who’ve been forgotten. Secretaries and PAs and temps. People who, that when you hear their stories, you can’t help but hope that at the end of the world the universe might pause for a second and give you just one perfect beautiful moment in which to fix everything.

So in light of that, who the fuck do you think you are to bully some girl for caring about stories just as much as you do?

ETA 2/21/2010: I’ve posted a follow-up to this, addressing some of the comments both here and at Whedonesque and offering a more detailed description of what happened.

ETA 2/23/2010: A few final thoughts about the discussion this has engendered.

war reporting and rape

I’ve wanted, since the story broke, to say something about the assault of Lara Logan from CBS, in Egypt. But I haven’t had time to formulate all the complex things I’ve felt the need to say: how what happened to her isn’t about Islam or what she looks like. And how being concerned about violence against reporters isn’t about valuing privileged people over non-privileged people in war zones, but about using violence against journalists as one specific metric of repression: Killing one journalist can kill hundreds of stories; killing one journalist can drive other journalists away; and killing journalists, medics and religious figures present in a conflict to offer support services or witnessing represents a disregard for certain conventions of war.

Facts relevant to the matter of Lara Logan include that war reporting is dangerous; that rape has been used as a tool of war against men and women always and everywhere; and, also, that there’s always going to be some man, some where, that thinks the appropriate way to celebrate some event is by committing rape.

But here’s what I’m sick of, other than the obvious: People who decry violence against women not out of any concern for women, but because they don’t like the idea of someone touching what they consider to be theirs; imagined property rights are not the reason rape is bad. I’m also sick of people using words like pragmatism to tell us that women shouldn’t fight, report, or even leave their houses alone.

I have lived a life of being told I need an escort: to go to that party, to wear that dress, to see that doctor. It’s terrible and infantilizing. It is lip service to my safety and “value” that actively devalues me. It is a defense of women that offers them rights as occasionally valuable property as opposed to as constant humans.

Maybe it’s because I’m an only child. Maybe it’s because my partner and I spend more time apart than many people who share a household do because of our work, but I value my time alone. I would not know who I am without the walks I took to the Lincoln Memorial alone in the dark as a university student. I would not know who I am without both the silent and the celebratory New York of 2am. When I went to Australia alone it was gutting; it was also everything I needed — this discovery that I was constant, that I was real, even on Bondi Beach at night, listening to the chatter over drinks people who knew how to have friends in a land I loved probably more than it loved me.

So I resent this world that says a woman must always be escorted. I resent this world that says common sense dictates that a woman must never be warrior or witness. I resent this world that insists its our fault if we are both a certain type of beautiful and ambitious and unworthy if we are not. I resent this world that tells me I am stupid if I am not constantly afraid of rape. And I resent this world that constantly seems to suggest that the only reason anyone wants to shield me from violence is that they don’t want someone they’ve deemed other touching their stuff, as if I am not even in the equation.

Lara Logan is a war reporter. As a war reporter, she experienced violence, which is important because violence against reporters is a critical metric of oppression and the standards of engagement under which a conflict is being conducted.

This piece in the New York Times speaks to the reality and the necessity of there being women covering war zones. It is good, useful and insightful. But it also made me need to sit down and write this and say yet again that we are not children and chattel. And that I have to keep saying that is indicative of the particular absurdity of all these “protect the women” arguments.

If it remains necessary to say women are not chattel and children, it remains true that on some level, in some way, in every place, women are not only at war, but are in fact the very field of war themselves. Ourselves. Which means you can’t protect us through these modes of discourse about our rightful place in war, because these modes of discourse represent, relentlessly, forms of that war itself.

Lara Logan is a reporter. She is also a woman. Neither of those things make her, nor any other woman, public property for anyone to decide what she should and should not do. Not those who would assault her and not those who would, often for their own reasons largely irrelevant to her actual well-being, seek protect her.

HPA guest blog up

While I’m at JFK enjoying airport time (and if any can tell my why my Mac randomly jumped to LA time while I’m sitting in the Soho Bistro in terminal 8 in NYC, let me know), my guest blog has gone live over at The Harry Potter Alliance. While you read, I’m going to sit here enjoying my celiac-friendly burger without a bun while having massive nostalgia as this place blasts Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.” Now that was a different life.

YANA

I tend to talk in absolutes and give advice a lot. Sometimes, that’s good and useful for some people, and sometimes it isn’t. I try to be a good counsel to my friends, and listen and sympathize when it is that, over me and my random “I’m a boy and here are some solutions that may or may not actually be useful” brain that is preferred.

But nothing, nothing makes me wish I had answers as certain as my speech than some of the search strings that lead people to this blog.

To the two people who wondered why am I always worried I’m not cool enough? I don’t know. But we all do it. Me, you, and as I’ve noted before, Steve Case, which I’ll admit is kind of a weird example. I wish I had an answer for you. I hope that after you found me, Google took you somewhere that offered more insight into that one than I can, despite my best efforts. If it did, if you’re reading this, let me know what that link was, okay?

And then there’s the person who wants to know how do I fit in in 4th grade? I wish I knew. I didn’t know then. And I don’t know now. I feel grateful to have made it through okay. But I do know that whoever you are, you are resourceful. And whether you fit in or not and whether the Internet has anything useful to say to you on this point or not, I know that you are amazing.

I first got on the Internet in 1990, using BITNET to read newsletters from student dissidents in China and discuss Twin Peaks with the head of the university honors program I was eventually kicked out of. It was like two tin cans on a string. It was like the Wild West. It was like space; vast and empty and yet filled with the most miraculous things.

When I see the search strings that lead people to this journal (and keep on coming everyone looking for info on A Billion Wicked Thoughts, there sure are a lot of you), I am reminded of those early years of my life on the Internet, of the keen sense of searching (before we knew that the answer was always yes) for someone out there who might be just a little bit like us at our most different or most lonely or most scared or most obsessive or most brilliant.

I don’t know what you can do to fit in in fourth grade. I don’t know why most of us feel like we’re not cool enough sometimes. But I know you — and I and none of us — are not alone.

Harry Potter Alliance Livestream

So that? Was totally awesome! And not just because I got to procrastinate packing my luggage for Gallifrey One.

If you were there and want to say hi (or ask questions or whatever), please feel free! There’s some other content here about bullying and LGBTQ issues, as well as stuff about politics and my random life writing and talking about media and pop-culture. Also, since you might be curious: this is me as a man and this is me as a woman.

My first guest blog on the HPA website should be up soon, and there will be a second one, but I’m not writing that until I get back from Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, are you fannish? Are you for equality? Do you use Facebook? Then check out Fans for Equality.

If you missed the Livestream, I believe there will be a recorded version of it up later. More when I know it! Thanks to Andrew and Arletta and everyone at HPA for making it happen.

Okay, now I really have to pick out some shirts and ties for this trip. Later all!

leaving on a jet plane

Since I’m getting on a plane for Los Angeles tomorrow and have way too many things to do, not just between now and then, but between now and the end of the month, I thought I’d get a little bit of administrativa out of the way while it’s in my head.

First, please don’t forget about tonight’s Livestream from The Harry Potter Alliance on stopping teen bullying, preventing teen suicide and raising awareness about various gender identity topics as relates to learning how to make things better for LGBTQ kids.

Next, it’s Gallifrey One!

Let’s start with the official stuff: Please come check out the Whedonistas launch on Saturday at 3pm, followed by an autograph session at 4:30pm.

On the unofficial front: I’m basically not cosplaying this year (the exception being briefly for a friend’s Inception photo shoot; if you should see me dressed like Arthur, please don’t mistake me for Ianto, because I don’t know what my response will be, but I suspect neither of us will enjoy it). There are myriad reasons for this, mostly odd, personal and complicated. I don’t ultimately know if it’s going to be a decision I’m happy with, but it is what it is.

Next, my recall of names and faces is poor. While I can think of a good couple of dozen people I will recall by name and face at the con, I can’t promise it will be you. Please don’t take this personally, please do remind me of who you are. I hate that I’m like this, but it seems to be a somewhat immutable fact.

I should also tell you that I am deep into writing two academic articles that are due at the end of this month. I may well be writing them in the lobby at the Marriott, because background noise is good for my soul. Stopping by and saying hi is fine (and good and awesome), but if I stick my head back into my computer, this is why.

If you see me Wednesday night when I get to the hotel, I will only have two priorities: putting my crap down and getting to In-and-Out Burger before it closes. Wait ’til I have burgers until you say more than hello. I am not even kidding.

If we haven’t met before, I look forward to meeting you.

Almost finally, on the subject of an entirely different con, after much hemming and hawing, Patty and I have decided that we’re taking a year off from Dragon*Con so that I can take her to San Francisco, something that’s been on our to do list since we first met. I just got the vacation time approved today, so now seemed like the time to share. I haven’t been in about four years, and it’s a place I really do adore visiting (although I’ve never particularly felt like I could live there). I know we know a lot of people out there and so we’ll make a plan for group socializing for one night when it gets closer, but I think otherwise we’re not going to do the running around and seeing people from the Internet thing, because if we were, we’d just go to Dragon*Con.

And last, but not least, because it’s always fun to end a post on a note about the end of the world, here, have an article about New York’s legal guide for handling the apocalypse.

talking about bullying and gender identity

The Harry Potter Alliance is an organization that uses parallels from the Harry Potter books to educate and mobilize young people across the world toward issues of literacy, equality, and human rights. Their goal is to make civic engagement exciting by channeling the entertainment-saturated facets of our culture toward mobilization for deep and lasting social change.

A lot of the issues the HPA is engaged in are near and dear to my heart. These include fighting bullying and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ people.

Recently, after a discussion that involved gender identity concerns on a Harry Potter mailing list went a bit awry, the HPA and I wound up in contact about issues of bullying and how they impact people who are gender non-conforming.

As part of their current campaign to stop bullying against LGBTQ kids and to highlight how that bullying can lead to the acceptance of human rights abuses like those against queer people in Uganda, I’ll be participating both in their blog (with one piece going live soon, and another after I get back from Los Angeles) and in a Livestream event they’ll be holding tomorrow night, February 15 at 8:30pm. You can participate by visiting the Livestream channel at http://www.livestream.com/imaginebetter. The agenda items include youth bullying, depression, suicide and awareness of transgender issues.

I may be a Slytherin, but that doesn’t mean I’m on Voldemort’s side. For me, it’s about being ruthless and ambitious, and, having seen the dark, choosing the light.

Please take a chance to check out the HPA, and I hope you’ll join us on the Livestream. I’ll update this post with links to my blog entries there as they are posted.

Thank you!