After reading the article about Trump’s “religious freedom” law I felt sick. And angry. And terrified. How can he do this?? After reading the Gavin Grimm article and then this one which showed a tweet made by the ACLU, I decided to Google what that exactly was. The ACLU stands for the American Civil Liberties Union, a non-profit organization, whose mission statement is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country.” I’m kind of embarrassed for myself for not knowing this organization. But more importantly, my heart is so full that this organization exists and is willing to fight for the LGBTQ community. The article stated that the ACLU has already made a promise to take Trump to court (again) if he proceeds with this. Because really, the country does have a commitment to keep church and state SEPARATE.
I also want to talk about Mike Pence for a second. Why does he hate the LGBTQ community so much?!? Why doesn’t he put that hate towards the abuse and scandals that happen within the Church he loves so much?? Why does he target a community who wants nothing more than to be treated equally? Now he and the Trump administration want to take away Obama’s EO that prohibits discrimination against LGBT employees from federal contractors. It also allows employers to, basically, opt out of covering contraceptives if they are religiously against it. What? Sometimes I don’t understand Trump or his advisors- don’t they know the church and state are separate and are to remain separate? This whole thing makes me upset but it also makes me sad and disappointed that this whole thing is still a thing. Why can’t we just let people, who aren’t harming anyone, be who they are? Ugh.
I really latched onto Munoz’s reading this week. Maybe because it was a hopeful reading whereas previous readings have been kind of not hopeful, to say the least. I really enjoyed see pictures of stages and how Munoz described them. All the stages were completely empty- just as they naturally are without interference. My personal rendering of these stages is the utopian that Munoz is describing. It’s there, but it’s not there. Like, the physical stage is there but the ideas that bring the stage to life aren’t shown. I love theater, and I love seeing live performances. A make believe story is brought to life and then ends, until the next play. For example, Munoz visited La Plaza, one of the oldest Latino gay clubs in LA. Munoz describes it as having a country-western feel to it, and being humble. However, as soon as the stage is brought to life the club transforms, and glamorous drag queens take the stage. They created their own utopian and when they finish their show, it’s gone. However, I also think it’s important to think as a utopian as a safe place- one can go there without any fears. In terms of drag shows, you know when you go you enter the world of drag- the outside world does not exist so long as you’re in there (or until the performance is over). In class we defined utopian as “no place and a good place.” I honestly still don’t know why I find this whole idea so amazing. The stage is the greatest Utopian we currently have. Also how could I not add one of my favorite songs as the title when we’re talking about punk culture??
Out of the readings this week, I really enjoyed reading Kate Forbes’ piece, “Do These Earrings Make Me Look Dumb?” One of the most major points I picked up on was when she was talking about the academy needing diversity. Last semester, I took a cultural psychology course and we talked about the benefits of diversity in the workplace and how vital it is. We read and analyzed studies that showed correlations on how diversity makes workers more creative, more diligent, and harder working. When I read Forbes’ criticism of how the academy is basically filled with white- middle class individuals (and in her realm of the academic science world: mostly older white cis straight men) it brought me back to my cultural psych class. There have been many studies showing correlations of better financial performance when there is a diverse work community, including diverse CEOs. Forbes even suggests that a “diverse group of scholars are likely to consider a broader range of ideas.” I completely agree with this, because if you are around someone different than you and you need to convey your thoughts, you’re going to put more thought into your work and research rather than just present those ideas to someone who has the same viewpoint. With a more diverse group of scholars, there would be many ideas that would be expressed which would lead to more innovative and informative advances in research. Unfortunately, these advances cannot possibly be made with a majority of white middle class cis individuals. Like Forbes said, if we were to truly embrace diversity, everyone would be allowed to reach their full potential, no matter their identity.