Eight years ago, in December 2005, community members, organizers, artists, friends and sweethearts poured through the doors of a small gallery on the Lower East Side to join the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, founded by Dean Spade, at the first annual art auction benefit, Small Works for Big Change. Today’s Huffington Post carries an informative article about SRLP. “Forty artists donated their art, helping SRLP raise $9,000 to support a movement for gender self-determination centered in racial and economic justice, and to celebrate the dynamic and visionary artists among us.
“SRLP is a collective organization that works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. SRLP roots its work in an understanding that gender self-determination is inextricably intertwined with racial, social and economic justice.
“Transgender and gender-nonconforming communities, especially communities of color, face persistent and severe discrimination and violence in employment, housing, health care and education, leading to disproportionate poverty. Because the state criminalizes trans people’s limited survival options, such as sex and drug work, and low-income trans people and trans people of color are already commonly profiled by the police, these factors lead to disproportionate incarceration. In prison, trans people suffer additional harms, including harassment, violence and denial of gender-affirming health care. For trans immigrants, disproportionate targeting and its consequences multiply exponentially. All these factors combine into an interlocking system of oppression. Continue reading “On the Sylvia Rivera Law Project”
“We have a long history in the US of giving people involuntary medical treatment and using mental institutions to lock up people who are “different” or threatening to social norms,” says University of Washington law professor Dean Spade, author of the book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.
Spade was speaking about California’s “Laura’s Law” which provides court-ordered outpatient treatment for the seriously mentally ill. “So many people who could use mental health care do not reach out for it because they are afraid that they will be locked up involuntarily if they reach out to a provider,” Spade said.
Spade is the subject of an interview appearing in today’s issue of The Nation conducted by Laura Flanders. The article begins,
“Exactly as the shootings debate is playing out, funding for mental health services are teetering on the fiscal brink. Obama and Speaker John Continue reading “Dean Spade on the shootings and mental health care”
Homophobic Christian rocker Bradlee Dean is appealing a judge’s dismissal of his defamation lawsuit against MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, a ruling that also required Dean to pay Maddow’s legal fees.
Dean leads the group You Can Run But You Can’t Hide, listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As reported in World Net Daily, “An appeal is being prepared in a case that alleges MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow defamed a Christian minister by maliciously asserting he advocated the execution of homosexuals, after a judge who was accused of being biased against the plaintiffs went ahead and dismissed it. Attorney Larry Klayman told WND today that the judicial behavior could be characterized as ‘unethical’ after the judge, Joan Zeldon, praised Maddow’s attorneys as ‘distinguished’ but denigrated Klayman. Then she went ahead and dismissed the claim brought on behalf of Bradlee Dean and his You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International ministry. Klayman said there are several grounds for the appeal, including the fact that Zeldon ordered the plaintiffs to pay $24,000 in legal fees for the defendants without any discovery or hearing on exactly what those fees were for. ‘Rachel Maddow should not take any satisfaction,’ Klayman told WND. ‘This is just round one. The case has not been adjudicated on its merits.’ He explained that ‘clearly, what they did was defamatory, and it put the life of Bradlee Dean and the lives of his family and colleagues in danger.’”
For background on the decision, see “Rachel Maddow, Bradlee Dean Lawsuit: Christian Rocker Ordered To Pay MSNBC Host’s Legal Bills” in the Huffington Post.