The Queer Conn Report: Seven Years of Transformative Policies & Programming

https://www.conncoll.edu/media/new-media/campus-life/The-Queer-Conn-Report.pdf

Many years ago, we started a Center and transformed the campus culture. A group of students, faculty, and staff contributed to this report. I just stumbled across it online and am so happy to see it has been digitized and preserved — it is a very recent queer history of student activism and organizational change!

Resources for Secular Chapel

“What Greta Thunberg Means to Me,” Sunday Nov. 10th Noon at Johnson Chapel. A gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff hosted by Prof. Jen Manion and Prof. Michael Kunichika and choir director, Prof. Martha Umphrey. There will be a light reception.

For inspiration, here is Greta’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit and her #FridaysforFutureCampaign. Some varied reporting on can be found here by Robinson Meyer “Why Greta Makes Adults Uncomfortable,” from the Atlantic and “The Problem with Greta Thunberg’s Climate Activism,” by Christopher Caldwell in the New York Times.

Songs under consideration for this week…

Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrxX9TBj2zY&feature=youtu.be
Eye of the Tiger
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btPJPFnesV4
What’s Going on? Marvin Gaye
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5al0HmR4to&feature=youtu.be
If I could turn back time
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of7r1Jho1HE
Cat Stevens, where do the children play
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXxcMw5PTDg
Louis Armstrong, What a wonderful world
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWzrABouyeE
Marvin Gaye, Mercy mercy me the ecology
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxMRgponxD0&list=RDuxMRgponxD0&index=1

What is secular chapel?

Read this wonderful reflection by Ben Gilsdorf ’21 “What Amherst’s Secular Chapel Means to Me”

Queer Rights & the Courts: the Meaning of Sex, Sexual Orientation, & Transgender Status

Jennifer Levi, Director of the Transgender Rights Project at GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders and Professor of Law at Western New England University will join us at Amherst College on Tues. Oct 29th at 4:30pm in Paino Lecture Hall, Beneski Museum.

For an important essay from which I learned a great deal, see Jennifer L. Levi & Daniel Redman, The Cross-Dressing Case for Bathroom Equality, 34 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 133 (2010).

For an important essay on bullying, see Jennifer Levi, Bullying and the Laws Pertaining to It, GPSOLO, Jan./Feb. 2017, at 30

And another important essay addressing equal protection for transgender people, see Kevin M. Barry, Brian Farrell, Jennifer L. Levi, & Neelima Vanguri, A Bare Desire to Harm: Transgender People and the Equal Protection Clause, 57 B.C. L. REV. 507 (2016)

For more information about Jennifer’s work with GLAD, click here.

For more information about Jennifer’s many publications, click here.

Other Resources

Some other great resources curated by Jennifer L. Nye, J.D. Lecturer in Law and Social Justice, History Department, Co-Chair, Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Certificate at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Supreme Court Considers Whether Civil Rights Act Protects L.G.B.T. Workers (NY Times, Oct. 8, 2019) Podcast: ACLU Podcast: THE HISTORIC TRANS RIGHTS CASE BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT, interview with Chase Strangio, deputy director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project and one of the lawyers representing the trans plaintiff, Aimee Stephens. Podcast:  Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan, who represented the two gay male plaintiffs, on Amicus with Dalia Lithwick. And the GLAD Amicus Brief filed in the Bostock/Altitude Express and Harris Funeral Homes cases

SCOTUS Oct. 8, 2019

Was the US more progressive in embracing trans/gender nonconforming workers in 1908 than it is today? We’ll soon find out. #SCOTUS#RiseUpOctober8

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Landmark Civil Rights Law Applies to Gay and Transgender Workers
SCOTUS Is Debating LGBTQ Protections on a National Scale. But What About State Laws?
LGBTQ Advocates Flood Capitol Hill on Day One of Supreme Court’s First Trans Civil Rights Case in US History

Throughout history, trans people have been discriminated against precisely because of sex (Forgive the circulation of a newspaper article that misgenders Brandon Teena – it is to make an important point) #RiseUpOctober8#SCOTUS

Some thoughts while reading the transcript:

  1. Can I object to Justice Robert’s question that literally makes no sense? “In other words, if the objection of a transgender man transitioning to woman is that he should be allowed to use, he or she, should be allowed to use the women’s bathroom, now, how do you analyze that?”
  2. Roberts pushed hard for “transgender status” as the key issue at hand rather than sex-based discrimination. “Because if it’s just biological sex, there’s no problem b/c there is no disadvantage. But if you’re looking at transgender status, there is a huge problem…”
  3. Bursch for petitioner (funeral home) states “What Title VII says is that sex-based differentiation is not the same as sex discrimination.” hmmmm….
  4. The basis of the Bursh/funeral home/anti-trans argument is to fundamentally deny the existence & legitimacy of trans people. It may work before #SCOTUS but young people will not stand for it. #future#LGBTQ#RiseUpOctober8
  5. EEOC/anti-trans side argued, “If you treat an aggressive woman worse than an aggressive man, you are violating Title VII because you’re treating similarly situated people differently.” Is someone going to clue him in? #AG#stud#pride
  6. SOTOMAYOR: “We can’t deny that homosexuals are being fired merely for being who they are & not because of religious reasons. . .They may have power in some regions, but they are still being beaten, they are still being ostracized from certain things.” #scotus#thanks#RiseUpOct8
  7. History shows this not to be true at all: EEOC “Everybody here agrees that Congress never thought that by prohibiting discrimination based on sex, they would also be prohibiting discrimination based on two very different traits, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Resources for Secular Chapel

“What RBG Means to Me,” Sunday Sept. 29, Noon at Johnson Chapel. A gathering for Amherst College students, faculty and staff hosted by Associate Professors Jen Manion and Michael Kunichika. There will be a light reception.

For inspiration, read “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Unlikely Path to the Supreme Court,” by Jill Lepore and “The Irony of Modern Feminism’s Obsession with Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” by Dahlia Lithwick and watch the documentary “RBG” and the drama “On the Basis of Sex.”

Five Colleges Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Certificate

Tuesday Sept. 17th 5:30-7:30pm @ the Powerhouse, Amherst College

Join faculty, staff and students from Amherst, UMass, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire to kick off the school year and learn more about the Five College Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Certificate. An informal reception will be followed by a panel discussion on “Queer/Trans/Sexuality Studies Now!” featuring faculty from each college.

Panelists include: Khary Polk, Amherst College (facilitator); Ren-Yo Hwang, Mt. Holyoke College; Kelly Anderson, Smith College; Sony Bolton, Amherst College; Patricia Montoya, Hampshire College; and Cameron Awkward-Rich, UMASS

Click here for more information about the certificate and eligible courses

New to the subject? As a historian, some of my favorite books are: