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The Toxic Centrism of Bernie Sanders

The Toxic Centrism of Bernie Sanders (Image by Gage Skidmore)
Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore

For many people, calling Bernie Sanders a centrist is the most counter-intuitive kind of doublespeak there is. He may have lost the Democratic primary last year, but he did in fact win the branding war: in the media, Sanders is immediately associated with the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party. This is a neat trick, given that he’s steadfastly refused to share his mailing lists with the party, support their candidates, or even join the Democratic Party, something that’s generally considered a prerequisite for being part of the leadership.

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The Toxic Centrism of Bernie Sanders

Why I Support The Decision to Ban Cop Floats from Pride Toronto

Silhouette of cop bashing upraised hands against Pride Flag Background

Sophiya is a young bisexual woman who immigrated to Canada from Pakistan. Because she’s still in the closet about her identity, she asked to publish this piece here. 

Pride Toronto recently made the decision to ban cop floats from Pride. A decision that has led to much controversy, and obviously lots of people being angry at Pride Toronto. Many are also angry at Black Lives Matter activists for having the “audacity to make a demand that excludes/discriminates against a group”. Chuck Krangle, a gay Toronto cop, also recently wrote an open letter to Pride Toronto venting that he was being discriminated against, and he didn’t want his right as a gay person to participate in Pride to be taken away.

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Why I Support The Decision to Ban Cop Floats from Pride Toronto

A Mixtape For Survival and Resistance in the Trump Years

So, the Trump years begin. Whatever I think of it, one of the most vile human beings ever to come out of the United States is now president.

The first few hours brought us instant elimination of the LGBT page and other issues from the White House website. It’s tempting to chalk it up to the sheer incompetence of Trump and his staff; after all, putting up a new website takes a lot of coordination and effort. However, the Trump team apparently had their shit together enough to make sure that Melania’s jewelry line got promoted on the site — at least, until the media started to call them on it.

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A Mixtape For Survival and Resistance in the Trump Years

The Debut of the Godless Perverts Book Club: “My President Was Black”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: "My President Was Black"

I’ve long been of the opinion that Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the best writers working today, so it’s appropriate that this week we used one of his articles to launch Godless Perverts’ new book club.

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The Debut of the Godless Perverts Book Club: “My President Was Black”

Crawling From the Wreckage: Writing Through Post-Election Depression

This post represents me trying to crawl from the mental wreckage caused by the Presidential election.

The first few days after the Presidential election, I could barely move. Most of them were spent just lying in bed, nightmare scenarios running through my brain, and my body swelling with nausea.

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Crawling From the Wreckage: Writing Through Post-Election Depression

Frivolous Friday: Hevesh 5 and the Joy of Tipping Dominoes

Lily Hevesh's Dominos

I’ve grown weirdly fascinated with the YouTube channel of a young woman named Lily Hevesh — also known by the handle Hevesh5 — lately. I’m not the only one; she’s been building up notoriety as an expert domino tumbler. If you’ve heard of her at all, you’ve almost certainly seen her “Triple Spiral” video, which went viral last month. The video shows an amazing construction of 15,000 multicolored dominoes, which Hevesh built over 25 hours. It takes less than two and a half minutes for it to collapse.

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Frivolous Friday: Hevesh 5 and the Joy of Tipping Dominoes

Mandatory Condoms in Porn Sound Like a Great Idea. They’re Not.

No on Prop 60 Against Background of Condoms
The battle between Clinton and Trump and all its implications can make it hard to remember that this election is about more than who sits in the Oval Office. But there’s a lot of very important things that are going to be happening this November 8, and we shouldn’t let them get lost in the shuffle. One of those decisions that’s going to affect the lives of a lot of my friends in Proposition 60 on the California state ballot, otherwise known as the Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative. Essentially, it makes it mandatory that condoms be visibly used in all pornographic films, and provides mechanisms to enforce that.

Proposition 60 looks great at first glance. I wouldn’t fault anyone who doesn’t know anything about it for voting “yes” if that’s all they knew about it. I can easily imagine myself getting suckered into voting for it if I didn’t have such strong connections to the sex worker communities. But the fact is, it’s a lousy law, the latest in a long string of attempts by the AIDS Health Foundation to profiteer off the fear of sex and the stigmatizing of sex work. I want to talk about why it’s a lousy law here, but I want to do more than that, too: I want to use it as a demonstration of why it’s important for everyone in this country who works for a living to pay attention to the organizing efforts of sex workers and support them.

Continue reading “Mandatory Condoms in Porn Sound Like a Great Idea. They’re Not.”

Mandatory Condoms in Porn Sound Like a Great Idea. They’re Not.

The Marvin: A Proposed Unit for Measuring Depression

Marvin-depression-banner

This was first published on my old Literate Perversions blog in 2013. I’m reprinting it here because it’s one of the best ways that I’ve come up with to articulate my feelings about depression. There’s a whole fuckload of talk not only about depression here, but suicidal fantasies, so proceed with caution. Also, in case publishing this reads as a cry for help, I’m doing just fine right now.

I spend a lot of my time feeling depressed. Not just sad, but paralyzingly, screamingly depressed. On my bad days, I’m the kind of person who thinks that Kurt Cobain was just too fucking perky.

This is not a new thing. The last few years may kicked it into overdrive due to the turbulence of my personal life, but I’ve been here before and I’ll no doubt be here again. This has been my life since my early adolescence. It’s really hard to know how to talk about depression, partly because it’s really fucking taboo to be depressed. Show it too much, and you get the label of being self-pitying or full of “drama,” and people do a quick 180 the minute you enter the room.

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The Marvin: A Proposed Unit for Measuring Depression

Seeing Myself in Donald Trump’s Image

This piece was originally read at the Godless Perverts Story Hour, on August 27 2016 at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco. [Note: Includes a lot of discussion around body image, especially having to do with the nude statues of Donald Trump.]

I think it’s fair to say that I don’t usually feel much in common with Donald Trump. On the contrary, merely the feel of his name on my tongue arouses a visceral loathing and makes me want to go wash my mouth out with some kind of astringent fluid. Like a lot of people, I’ve been making myself sick with anxiety watching every little twitch and spasm of the graphs on FiveThirtyEight, not merely with the horror that something could happen to make him president, but that so many people think that he’s a legitimate candidate at all.

In short, I don’t like Donald Trump.
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Seeing Myself in Donald Trump’s Image