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Weekly Reads: Cincy Pride, My Little Lesbians, and Secular “Godparents”

Plus Helping end LGBTQA-Phobia in Schools and and WTF Phoenix?

Happy Pride Weekend Readers! This weekend was Pride here in the Queen City, and a record number of folks watched the parade wind through downtown Cincinnati then followed down to the big party on the Riverfront. I’m still editing my photos after a loooooong day that finished with great seats to see the LA Galaxy beat our FC Cincinnati 2-0. The Schmoo and their posse of queer teens had a blast.

As a lifelong Cincinnati native, it warms my heart to see the LGBTQA community so accepted and celebrated. City Hall raised a Pride Flag for the first time in history… actually two of them!

City Councilman Chris Seelbach, council’s first openly gay council member who championed LGBTQ legislation that earned the city a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, bought a flag.

And so did Councilman Greg Landsman. He said he saw a Pride flag at the Newark Liberty International Airport, and it occurred to him that Cincinnati should do the same.

It wasn’t that long ago that my hometown was notorious for Issue 3, a 1993 ballot measure that removed all references to sexual or gender orientation from the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance and wasn’t overturned by the voters until 2004. We’ve come a long way.

Speaking of a long time coming…just in time for Pride, in their final season, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is introducing a lesbian couple! 

An upcoming episode titled “The Last Crusade” will feature Aunt Holiday and Auntie Lofty, a couple who takes care of the school-age character Scootaloo.

And no, they’re not just sisters or live-in gal pals. They are a bona fide romantic couple.

According to Comics Beat, the two actually appeared previously in a book, although this will be their first animated appearance. At the time, a writer and producer of the show, Michael Vogel, confirmed on Twitter that they are indeed a couple.

Americans are becoming less religious, but are also looking at repurposing some religious traditions for the modern age, like godparents?

Slate’s Nick Greene makes a convincing case that in Space Jam 2, Lebron James should play for the monsters.

USWNT Co-Captain Megan Rapinoe has made some waves by not singing the National Anthem at the Womens’ World Cup 

“I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street,” she wrote. “But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.

“There is no perfect way to protest. I know that nothing I do will take away the pain of those families. But I feel in my heart it is right to continue to kneel during the national anthem, and I will do whatever I can to be part of the solution.”

Parents can play a big part in dismantling the LGBTQA-Phobic environments at their childrens schools. As a parent of a queer kid I’m thankful to everyone who steps up to make their school safer and better.

Schools are indirectly affected by the larger political climate, which has included growing anti-LGBTQ discourse. They are also directly affected by policies such as “bathroom bills,” (which require people to only use bathrooms associated with their biological sex); by increased governmental funding and support for abstinence-only education (which typically omits information about LGBTQ experiences); and by laws that explicitly ban teachers from discussing LGBTQ life in a positive manner.

Such policies can put even the most supportive teachers and school administrators in a bind, making it necessary for parents to step in and advocate for changes to make schools safer. For some parents, such as Carol Brochin, a professor at the University of Arizona and a parent of two, this includes taking legal action. Brochin was dismayed by the impact of a state curriculum law that barred schools from including HIV/AIDS instruction in public schools in a manner that “promoted a homosexual lifestyle.” The result, she said, was a complete absence of discussion about any aspect of LGBTQ life.

Brochin believes this contributed to a hostile climate for all students but said it was particularly hard on LGBTQ students like her younger child, Santi, 13, who identifies as transgender and non-binary. “Our middle school would say they were an anti-bullying school,” Brochin said. “But they had no way to understand that when you tease someone about gender and sexuality that is actually a form of bullying.”

Brochin joined two LGBTQ groups in a lawsuit challenging the curriculum ban on the grounds that it was discriminatory to LGBTQ individuals. In April, in an attempt to end the suit, the Republican governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey, signed a bill repealing the law.

Phoenix cops draw down on a black family because their 4 year old took a small doll from the dollar store. Warning, the video is disturbing…

Have a great week Readers, here’s a great Pride song to go out on. Have a song that shouts Pride for you, drop it in the comments!

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Lou Doench

Lou Doench is a 48 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at www.flickr.com/photos/blotz/

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