LGBTQ teens deserve the benefits of school sports

High school football team at practice. Image by Rick Sargeant licensed from Adobe Stock.

Some people say the Texas state religion is evangelical Christianity. Others say high school football rules more hearts. For too many LGBTQ teens, the distinction doesn’t make much difference. Football enjoys possibly the most homophobic reputation of all U.S. sports. Out queer professional football players are rarer than Republican politicians who acknowledge the secular foundations of U.S. democracy.

This is what made Carl Nassib’s Instagram coming-out yesterday so revolutionary. As Outsports reports, the Raiders defensive lineman is the first active NFL player in history to come out as gay. Nassib is an exceptionally brave person, and his courageous coming-out deserves…

A ghost of Pride future

Photo by DC Studio licensed from Adobe Stock.

“Grampa! Come help us do the Pride cake!”

George pushes his body off the recliner and leans into his walking cane, breathing hard. Getting to the kitchen is harder work than his great grands realize. Hell, at 103 years old, doing anything is harder than anyone realizes.

But he doesn’t mind. The pain in his hip eases off at the sight of the laughing teenagers clustered around the kitchen table, faces spotted with bits of flour and glitter. Edible glitter, he imagines.

“Your turn, Grampa!” says Chris, waving a big wooden spoon toward the spot where George is propped up…

Prism & Pen prompts your personal end game

Photo by Ted Eytan. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pride Month has just over one week left to go! Prism & Pen has published a pack of stories about the meaning of Pride — the joy, the activism, the problems and the power.

But now, we’re asking you to share your dreams.

If you could wave a magic wand and fulfill Pride’s dreams, what would that look like for you? For your family? For your friends? What would Pride itself look like?

It’s Prism & Pen prompt time, and we want YOUR stories, personal essays, fiction, and poetry. …

Prism & Pen special Pride edition — June 20, 2021

by Artemis Shishir

Hello! This is Artemis here, taking the mic from James Finn for this week.

We are nearing the end of Pride Month but Prism & Pen is brimming with a variety of queer stories. I’ll start with Editor’s Picks in a minute but first some announcements.

Writers: Henry Lee Butler has offered to facilitate a peer-to-peer writers group for contributors. Click here for details and comment under his story to sign up.

Readers: If you don’t have a Medium subscription, don’t worry. Click on the underlined links to bypass the paywall.

Supreme Court disses fundamental LGBTQ equality

Gay dads with their son at a San Francisco Pride parade. Photo by Caitlin Childs. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Marginalized people dodged legal bullets yesterday, but all is not well

The Supreme Court handed down two decisions with the potential to be landmark. The justices punted on both, declining to rule on Constitutional principles. Advocates and court watchers everywhere are breathing sighs of relief that the majority-conservative court preserved the Affordable Care Act in a 7–2 ruling.

In a unanimous decision, the Court both dismayed and relieved LGBTQ people and allies by ruling that Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia may exclude LGBTQ people as foster and adoptive parents when executing a City contract that forbids such discrimination, in violation of a City ordinance that outlaws anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

How does allowing LGBTQ exclusion relieve advocates?

As a Vox

Identifying as an ally when you aren’t hurts us

Screenshots of UPS, AT&T, and Walmart displaying LGBTQ Pride colors in their Twitter profiles the morning of 6/17/21

Here we are just past the middle of June, and it’s time for yet another annual roll of shame spotlighting Fortune 500 companies that burnish their images with Pride colors while actively funding anti-LGBTQ politicians and programs. People are shocked every year to learn companies that position themselves as hyper-LGBTQ-friendly fund anti-LGBTQ activities on the downlow. Activists write stories every year, but nothing seems to change.

I wouldn’t be writing another one, except I want to lay out how LGBTQ advocacy organizations have allowed this to happen, and why strategies that enable hidden anti-LGBTQ corporate practices might have been a…

Even though I really want to

The least conventionally attractive shirtless Pride stock photo I could license. And the older guy STILL has his shirt on.

Gerald sauntered into my office, spread himself out in my comfy client chair, and threw one foot up on my desk. “Take me to Acapulco with you,” he said without preamble, grinning as he caught me checking out his prominent package.

“Um, no? Why would I do that?”

“Because we’re the only gay guys in this company, because Acapulco is cool as fuck, and because I want a free vacation as much as you do.”

“Imma be working my ass off at that convention! Buying and selling? Remember that, Mr. Logistics Manager? Keeps your paycheck from bouncing.”

“Speaking of working…

Prism & Pen storytelling — June 13, 2021

by James Finn

Prism & Pen celebrates Pride this week as writers flood us with takes on LGBTQ joy, protest, celebration, and discovery. We hope you check out diversity in Pride experiences as you ponder your own personal meanings. We offer rants, thoughtful self examination, humorous romps, and as always, fiction and quiet pauses for poetry. Stay tuned! Much more Pride is on tap for next week.

Writers: In an exciting new Prism & Pen development, Henry Lee Butler has offered to facilitate a peer-to-peer writers group for contributors. If you’ve never been part of a writing workshop, let me…

Shocking normalization of bigotry during Pride Month

President Joe Biden campaigning in Iowa in 2019. Photo by Gage Skidmore. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Should religious liberty give people and institutions the right to exclude or harm members of minorities? That was up for debate in the 1960s and 70s as private Christian schools claimed religious faith gave them the right not to admit Black students or to expel Black students who dated or married white people.

The question seemed settled decades ago.

After a brief period of internal debate, the Republican Nixon administration came down like a hammer. The IRS and the DOJ leveraged every tool at their disposal to stop racist practices in Christian schools, even stripping tax-exempt status, culminating in Bob…

Breaks Pulse Massacre victim-support pledge

Florida GOP Governor Ron Desantis caricature by DonkeyHotey. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Does the Republican Party leverage anti-LGBTQ rhetoric largely symbolically? Is Republican scapegoating mostly limited to anti-trans fear mongering? Is today’s GOP at all compatible with people who value equity and inclusion for gender and sexual minorities? Does the Republican Party stand for minimal government and individual freedom anymore? Does the Republican Party stand for anything other than power grabs?

Recent GOP moves in Florida and across the U.S. shine a light on Republican intentions. …

James Finn

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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