Scroll To Top

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Lesbian Lawmakers Opposing Equality, 'Abortion Barbie,' and What Brittney Griner Doesn't Need

5 Things That Pissed Us Off This Week: Lesbian Lawmakers Opposing Equality, 'Abortion Barbie,' and What Brittney Griner Doesn't Need

Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days.


Welcome to our weekly round-up of the most infuriating bits of news from the past seven days. We'll be providing a retrospective on the most heinous, crazy-making bits of anti-LGBT news that came across our radar last week. Our hope in doing this isn't only to darken the skies, but also to sound the alarm about the kind of idiocy that passes for "legitimate commentary" these days. Expect a healthy dose of snark in the following paragraphs — sometimes it's the only way we can get through the day.


5. Hawaiian Lesbian Makes History as First Out Politician to Vote AGAINST Marriage Equality 

Yep, you read that right. Hawaii state Rep. Jo Jordan, a democrat from Waianae, became the first recorded out LGBT person to cast a vote in opposition to marriage equality legislation when the Hawaii House of Representatives voted on the 2013 Hawaii Marriage Equality Act last Thursday.

The legislation ultimately passed the House — no thanks to Jordan, but with some serious gratitude to the self-described conservative Christians who voted in favor of the bill — and, pending a procedural approval in the Senate, marriage equality will take effect in Hawaii on December 2.  

Rep. Jordan attempted to explain herself in a rambling interview with Honolulu Magazine just a day after she cast her vote. Essentially, Jordan says she was swayed by the amount of religious-based opposition testimony — religious leaders organized and sometimes cheated the system to force lawmakers to listen to more than 50 hours of testimony before a vote. Jordan isn't a member of any particular faith community, she says, but was struck with the overwhelming belief that the religious exemptions in the bill weren't strong enough. 

"I’m a legislator first and foremost, and I’m not here to promote your pride," Jordan told Honolulu. "I’ve got to do my duty first and I don’t want to seem biased."

"I haven’t figured out why I felt so compelled to fight for the religious exemptions, to not erode Constitutional rights," Jordan continues. "I don’t belong to any particular denomination. I don’t wear one of those hats. I take religion out of everything. My religion is the mountain, the aina and spiritual… When I walked into this session, that rose to the surface. Why me? Why am I trying to protect your religious rights?

I’m still trying to figure out."

So are we, Rep. Jordan, so are we. Especially because there's this little document called the First Amendment, which enshrines a strong "religious exemption" into pretty much every law ever enacted. Remember that little clause about "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Yeah. It kinda covers all this. 

Look, we understand that marriage equality is not the end-all-be-all of the struggle for LGBT equality. Far from it. And we absolutely believe that there are many LGBT and queer folks who oppose marriage in principal, on ideological grounds, or because it's an admittedly heterosexist institution originally derived to commodify women. Those all seem to be legitimate reasons to oppose marriage equality on a personal level. But none of them rise to the occasion of standing in the way of someone else's right to choose the appropriate and meaningful path for their family. 

Since casting her vote, Rep. Jordan has been vilified by the LGBT community, and there are some truly vile, hateful things written on her Facebook wall and photos. She doesn't deserve that kind of harassment. But the people of Hawaii — if not all of us in the LGBT community — do deserve a coherent explanation of her reasoning. And she hasn't yet provided us with that.  


4. Sexy, Slam-Dunking WNBA Star Brittney Griner on Makeup: "I Don't Need That Shit."

We couldn't agree more, Brittney. The number-one WNBA draft pick, currently a starter for the Phoenix Mercury, recently told Elle magazine that she declined to attend the WNBA's new-draft classes on makeup application. (Yeah, because that's a thing. Professional athletes should definitely be taught how to look pretty to aid their ability to make a three-pointer.)

"I don't need that shit," Griner told Elle about the WNBA's version of Cotillion classes. The only newbie lecture the 6'8" out athlete actually found useful was the one on 401(k)s, according to Elle. As Griner preps for her appearance on Conan, she tacitly approves of the minimal makeup an artists has applied to what Elle calls "Griner's smooth, flawless skin." 

Then Elle turns its attention to the misogynistic bile that Griner has to endure on social media, from Twits calling her a man, to discrediting her two dunks in a single game (which is, our sports editor tells me, basically unheard of in the WNBA) as "one for each testicle." That kind of vitriol probably isn't news to Griner, who played college ball for Baylor University, a Christian school in Waco, Texas, that considers "homosexual acts" to be "deviant."

So, long story short — continue swooning over Brittney Griner, ladies. She'll keep rocking out and being her badass, hard-playing self. In addition to not needing makeup, we're going to go ahead and argue that Griner sure as hell doesn't need the insecure dudes threatened by her athletic prowess insulting her skills. 

Find more outrage on the following pages…


3. Transphobic Right-Wingers Keep Crying 'Wolf'

I realize that most of my weekly Outrage posts for the past month or so have included a mention of this heinous ongoing harassment from the "Christian" legal group Pacific Justice Institute. I wish that weren't the case. I would like nothing more than for these ignorant assholes to just GO. AWAY. Nevertheless, they persist. 

Apparently in an effort to build outrage around a new California law that ensures trans students have equal access to facilities and teams that match their gender identity, the PJI has set its target on a transgender 16-year-old in rural Colorado. 

Last month, the PJI alleged that the transgender girl was harassing other girls in the restroom at Florence High School, a claim that was found to be untrue but was publicized by several right-wing media outlets. Then the institute issued a statement to the effect that the mere presence of the transgender girl amounted to harassment. 

And last week, the PJI took it a step further, publishing a video on YouTube interviewing the parents and students who have been "harassed" by this minor who dared to use the bathroom at her school. The video features some of the most vile transphobic rhetoric I've encountered masquerading as "concern for justice," as parents and students complain about the trans girl’s presence — while calling her a boy. An attorney from the institute, Brad Dacus, claims his organization is just fighting for the right to "privacy" for these teenage girls, wholly disregarding he privacy of the trans student that has now been destroyed by unscrupulous right-wing pundits publishing her name and identifying information. The girl's moms told trans activist and blogger Cristan Williams that their daughter has been placed on suicide watch after receiving death threats.

Still, Daucus contends, it's “These young teenage girls [who] have gone through a lot.” 

Watch the video below — offered with a substantial TRIGGER WARNING for violent, dehumanizing transphobia.


3. Agender Teen Set on Fire on Public Bus

An 18-year-old high school senior whose skirt was lit on fire when the teenager fell asleep on a public bus in Oakland, Calif., is in stable condition after suffering third-degree burns from the attack Monday, reports our sibling site The Advocate

Sasha Fleischman identifies as agender — neither male nor female, but a nonbinary gender — and has been wearing skirts to school for quite some time without incident. But when Fleischman fell asleep on an Oakland transit bus last Monday night, Fleischman's skirt was set on fire; a 16-year-old student from another high school has been arrested in connection with the attack. Fleischman will have to undergo substantial skin grafts and will have a lengthy recovery time. 

While the sad fact that this hateful, bigoted attack took place is absolutely cause for outrage, it's also worth noting that Fleishman's schoolmates, family, and friends support the teen wholeheartedly. One day after Fleischman was attacked, a cousin launched a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the victim's medical bills and recovery. By Friday, contributors to the Fundly campaign had donated more than $20,000, and the Fleischman family asked the cousin to close the campaign. 

Proving that the support Fleischman received online wasn't only available through the Internet, the honor student's friends at Maybeck High School in Berkeley announced that they planned to wear skirts to school on Friday to stand in solidarity with Sasha. 

The suspected assailant, 16-year-old Richard Thomas, is a junior at Oakland High School, and was arrested Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and mayhem. KTVU reports that Thomas may face hate-crime charges if it's determined that Fleischman's nonbinary gender identity was the motivation for the attack.


Find the most outrageous story on the next page…


1. Fox Contributor Nicknames Pro-Choice Texas Gov. Candidate Sen. Wendy Davis "Abortion Barbie"

Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who made national headlines for her 13-hour filibuster aimed at derailing a bill that would shutter most of the state's  women's health clinics that provided abortions, formally filed paperwork declaring her candidacy for Governor of the Lone Star state on Saturday, reports CNN. 

Even before she'd formally thrown her hat into the gubernatorial ring, right-wing commentators were leading with ever-so-original attacks on Davis' appearance — she wears too much pink, she's too pretty and blonde to lead rough-and-tumble Texas. But one Fox News contributor and Red State blogger gleefully coined a new nickname for the pro-women's health senator: Abortion Barbie. 

The moniker, said Erick Erickson, "fits perfectly, and I hope [it] haunts her on the campaign trail. She is, after all, intent on building a national name for herself through abortion and pink shoes. I'm sure MSNBC will send her tampon earrings to go with her other accessories."

Right. Because you know what's even more clever than targeting a female lawmaker for her support of a woman's right to choose? Reminding all your readers that she has a vagina, and is therefore totally unqualified to serve the ten-gallon-hat-wearing, gun-toting Texas bros you clearly count as your brethren and the only people who should really be allowed to vote in a Texas election anyway. 

Of course, Texas has also jumped at the chance to implement new, restrictive voter ID laws that are likely to impact low-income Texans and, what do you know, women. Read about how Texas plans to disenfranchise married women in our earlier OUTrage post

Erickson slapped a hashtag on his insult, posting an article on Red State laughing at the "tizzy" he believes he stirred the left into with his sexist rhetoric. Not that he thinks he's sexist — as he extolls in that August 6 post, he's baffled by "seeing liberals proclaim all references to someone as 'Barbie' sexist. Really?"

Yes, Erick. Really.

Follow SheWired on Twitter.

Like SheWired on Facebook

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Sunnivie Brydum

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>

<p>Sunnivie is an award-winning journalist and the managing editor at&nbsp;<em>The Advocate</em>. A proud spouse and puppy-parent, Sunnivie strives to queer up the world of reporting while covering the politics of equality daily.</p>