Happy National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. National Coming Out Day celebrates visibility for LGBTTQQA people.

I’ve been out of the closet as bisexual for over 10 years now. But like any queer person, can tell you that coming out never really ends, especially in a society where you’re straight until proven otherwise.

Sadly, this year has been marked with several deaths of bullied and harassed queer people (or assumed queer people). While, I’m glad that these stories are actually making the news — compared to be a hidden secret — I hope that some day, there will be no deaths to report. Sex columnist and fellow Seattleite Dan Savage has created the It Gets Better project, which is where anyone can upload a video speaking about their experiences and how as an adult, life gets better for queer people. Because it does. If one young person (or really anyone of any age) knows he/she/zi is not alone, then these videos have worked. There is hope; there is help; and there is community. You are not alone.

The following is my video:

Sprinkles Around the Web 7/23-7/29/10

Links I enjoyed this week from around the internet.

Sprinkles from around the web

Business

Why Your Customers Don’t Want to Talk to You. This is a very interesting study in how customers like easy, low-bar self-service. I think this is very important as there are many days, I love the self-service checkout at the grocery store.

Environment

What BP Could Have Bought With All the Money They Lost. I love infographics. And this is kind of a crazy, crazy amount of profit. Like does any company need this much money? It could do so much good in the world.

China launches oil spill clean-up after pipeline blasts. There’s another oil spill happening, only this time in the Yellow Sea in China. Two oil pipelines going into a port burst.

Fandom and Feminism

Live Nerd Girls. Lucy Knisley’s comic about how women are treated by men in nerd fandoms. And about the stories we tell ourselves in our heads. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 7/23-7/29/10”

Sprinkles Around the Web 7/09-7/22/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Links that I enjoyed and shared around the web. Take a gander.

Economy

Times report: The real mortgage deadbeats are the rich. Why does it not surprise me that even in the Great Recession, the rich keep getting richer by hiring their legal team to take advantage of all the loopholes, including ones that are supposed to be helping the middle and working classes.

Fandom

Feminist Hulk SMASH Exclusive Interview with MS.! Awesome.

Tweeting in all-caps, this size-XXXXXXL superhero fights for social justice and breaks down the gender binary–all the while looking “smashing” in purple shorts with a big smile on his face.

Mythbusting Princess Leia’s Hair. Leia had some bizarre hair, even for the 1970s. And some hair that expert cos-players can’t figure out how to replicate. Certainly hair she couldn’t have done by herself, while on the run and fighting a war. Continue reading “Sprinkles Around the Web 7/09-7/22/10”

Sprinkles from Around the Web 05/21-05/27/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Environment

Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Sam Champion take hazmat dive into Gulf’s oily waters. Video of what the oil-and-chemical-filled Gulf looks like. Horrific. Sad.

Fandom

Come party with Lady Gaga: From her dressing room to a sex club, an exclusive interview in which the singer discusses fame, the paparazzi – and those health rumours. And the 12+ reasons why I love Lady Gaga. (Music video NSFW.)

The Weekly Geek: Proud to be a nerdy gay girl. Reasons why being a queer fangirl is awesome. Continue reading “Sprinkles from Around the Web 05/21-05/27/10”

Sprinkles from around the web: Interesting links 5/07-5/13/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Interesting links I found around the web. Apparently, I had a very tech-heavy reading list this week.

Fandom

Darth Vader vs. a Unicorn. How can this not be awesome?

Betty White, only looks mild-mannered
Betty White, only looks mild-mannered
SNL Hosted by Betty White. Run, don’t walk, to watch this. Hilarious. “I haven’t had a cherry in my muffin since 1939.” What a dirty, awesome old woman Betty is.

Political

That’s Gay: Faking It. How faking being gay is offensive, an explanation which uses a montage of TV shows in which characters have pretended to be gay. Brilliant.

Technology

30 SEO Problems & the Tools to Solve Them. A great list of tools, both free and paid, to use with SEO work.

Determine Your Facebook Page’s Value. A new company called Virtue is measuring how much money your Facebook fan page is worth.

Does Facebook Really Want a Semantic Web? How Facebook’s lack of web standards, even when it comes to their own apps, is not helping move toward a semantic web.

Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options. A very interesting infograph on all the choices one has for privacy on Facebook.

Finding Gaps and Opportunities: Step 3 of the 8-Step SEO Strategy. A good technique on identifying long-tail terms based on one desired keyword and opportunities.

Firefox 4 Plans: Faster, Friendlier, More Secure. It looks like they’re finally tackling the memory-eating problem Firefox has.

REVEALED: How Today’s Twitter Bug Was First Discovered. Make anyone follow you on Twitter. Oprah won at following the most new people due to this bug.

Translate That French Menu With Your Android Phone And Google Goggles. I can’t wait to use this in a restaurant where the menus not in English and impressing everyone.

Why the Fashion Industry Loves Foursquare

As more fashion brands start to use location-based services like Gowalla and Foursquare to drive online customers into retail locations, it’s important to remember that location-based marketing efforts can and should be used to accomplish more than one marketing goal. Brands should strive to not only engage customers, but to enhance their shopping experiences.

WordPress 3.0: The 5 Most Important New Features. I’m rather looking forward to the changes as I’ve been planning on doing a makeover on this blog for a while.

Writing

Fan Fiction: It’s What’s for Dinner. If you missed it, author Diana Gabaldon goes off on fan fiction writers. In fact, she accuses them of raping her family members, err characters. Author Chuck Wendig explains why people writing fan fiction about your stories is an awesome problem to have.

Sprinkles from around the web: Interesting links 4/23-4/29/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Here’s a collection of links I found interesting or relevant from 4/23-4/29/10:

Art & Graphic Design

50 most stunning examples of data visualization and infographics. These are just downright cool. I love infographs, and completely respect them as they’re hard as hell to make.

Chris Ware Takes Aim at Corporate America in Rejected ‘Fortune’ Magazine Cover.

[…T]he real joy of Ware’s work (and probably the reason it was rejected) lies in the tiny, hilarious details like the warehouse of Waves of Grain 4 Sale, a tiny Republican tea party, a “Greenspan LubePro,” a helicopter dropping huge stacks of cash on top of a skyscraper while little figures celebrate, and many, many other shots at corporate America.

Local Seattle

Seattle Erotic Art Festival is this coming weekend. See the art, the performances, meet new people, and support sex positive culture.

Watch your speed on Elliott Ave West. The SPD’s installing speed cameras on Elliott Ave W to catch speeders. Tickets will be pricey.

Fandom

Free Comic Book Day is this weekend. Find and support your local comic book shop.

Hijinks Ensue’s web comic about Joss Whedon’s Avengers’ movie. Hilarious and completely true.

• True Blood’s first webisode, Pam and Eric have tryouts for a new dancer at Fangtasia. NSFW. (Via Inside Trekker.)

Inspiration

Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. This year 31 women make the list. The highest number since Time started doing this.

Secretary Hillary Clinton announces Three Significant Women and Girls’ Initiatives at Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. 50 nations come up with 3 initiatives to help support women entrepreneurs across the globe.

Politics

Supreme Court critical in domestic partnership case. Even Scalia says this isn’t a first amendment issue and that if you sign a political petition, your name’s going to be out in public. Bigots. (And wow, I actually agree with WA Attorney General Rob McKenna.)

“Oh, this is such a touchy-feely, oh so sensitive” point of view, Scalia said. “You know, you can’t run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known.”

I’m Boycotting Arizona. Author Tayari Jones’ awesome letter on why she’s boycotting AZ due to SB1070, the anti-immigration bill.

There are those who would argue that this is just a “Mexican thing.” Even if this were the case, I would still stand with the protesters. A “Mexican thing,” is a human thing.

Republican Governors Association embraces ‘pro-terrorist, neo-Marxist propaganda.’ Yes, the Republican Governors Association are using imagery from V from Vendetta and other anarchist/neo-Marxist propoganda. I assume V-author and known magician Alan Moore will be cursing them.

The picture and its factual basis in the Guy Fawkes story eventually became a rallying cry for supporters of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who turned in an astonishing $4.07 million for the presidential candidate on Nov. 5, 2007. However, as with the tea parties, also created by Paul’s supporters, old-guard Republicans and neoconservatives came to see Paul’s campaign model as both a threat and an opportunity, then seized upon it.

Gulf Oil Spill Could Eclipse Exxon Valdez Disaster. Or as Bill Maher tweeted, “Every asshole who ever chanted ‘Drill baby drill’ should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty.”

Technology

Nobody Can Stop Facebook Because Nobody Understands Facebook. If you haven’t heard, Facebook’s taking over the web. And if you have a Facebook account, it’s opt-out, not opt-in, to connect and share your information and your friends’ on various websites. Want to know what your friends read, shop, and watch? Facebook’s there to creep you out. I work on the backend of e-commerce marketing and sometimes use this kind of information, but this even creeps me out.

Have the nuances of online privacy become so complex that they’re beyond the comprehension of mere mortals?

Visibility Matters: Queering the Census

Pride Flag by John Carleton
Pride Flag by John Carleton
Like most college freshman, I lived in the dorms paired with a random roommate I’d never met before. My former roommate Chelsea is a nice person. Score one on the freshman roommate lottery. However, Chelsea had grown up in a small town — smaller than our tiny 2,000 student liberal arts college — and I was the first openly queer person Chelsea had met.

(Or at least thought’d she met as one of her close male friends came out later that year. He also pinged my gaydar when he stayed with us to try out for American Idol and hopped into bed with his SpongeBob SquarePants pj bottoms.)

While certainly not a bigot, I felt Chelsea still struggled with having me being an out bisexual and very active with the LGBT group on campus. At least at first. But by the end of the year, Chelsea even came to a few events as an ally and had a great time.

It’s the little things. It’s knowing openly queer people that makes straight people realize the impact when gay rights pop up on the ballot. Knowing that voting affects real people, people you know, is different than the abstract concept of ‘gay marriage’ or ‘hate crimes.’ And this is where the U.S. Census comes in.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is running a campaign called Queer the Census, where they send you a sticker to put on your census envelope. It reads: ATTN: U.S. Census Bureau, It’s Time to Count Everyone! and then there are check-boxes to mark your sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including a box for our straight allies.

My census — but not my sticker — came yesterday. It asks who lives at my address, if we rent or own, name, sex, age, race, if I live here all the time, all the same information about my partner, and how my partner’s related to me.

During the 2000 Census, I remember how surprised many statisticians were about how many people identified as mixed race. I’d love to see the same surprise about how many queer-identified people live in the United States. In my personal experience — likely extremely skewed — the estimation of 1 in 10 has always seemed low to me.

Counting’s important. Not everyone’s out and not everyone can be out. Being queer isn’t something the farmer selling me parsnips at the Farmer’s Market knows by looking at me. But maybe it’d be better if he did know. I am a loyal customer, supporting his business. On the flip side, it’s also nice to say, I am not alone. I am so not alone.

There will be a sticker counting me on my census.

The Story of My Left Boob

Or Why I Support a Public Option Health Care Plan for All

Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer
Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer.
Boobs. As a woman with family history of breast cancer, I can tell you that boobs aren’t something we’re shy about talking about; breasts are important. They are battleground. A ticking time bomb. A much discussed enhancement of beauty and youth. A food source for human babies. There are Congressional bills about them. Despite the new guidelines, we all believe in self-examinations and starting mammograms at age 40. My beloved maternal grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago. She’s a survivor. Those ubiquitous pink ribbons dot a lot of my mother’s accessories.

I went in a few weeks ago to my doctor’s for a routine physical. As my doctor’s asking me about my eating habits and checking my breasts, she finds an odd lump on my left breast. Lump + family history = ultrasound at a diagnostics lab. (I’m too young for a mammogram.) I freak out a little. My doctor says it’s probably nothing, just something I should get checked. I freak some more. I tell myself my mom’s had several benign lumps removed. Comfort comes in statistics and phone calls to friends. And then I freak out a little more.

At some point, I realize I’m not freaking out because I might have cancer and die, but I’m freaking out about my health insurance (or inn-sewer-ants, as Terry Prachett put it). Continue reading “The Story of My Left Boob”