Women’s History Month: Gwen Araujo

In October 2002, a teenage girl was brutally murdered in a small Northern California town. Seventeen-year-old Gwen Araujo was bound, bludgeoned, and strangled before her body was left in a shallow grave in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Araujo was biologically male; her given name was Edward. But at the age of fourteen, she came out to her family, and began dressing as a girl. “I told him, ‘Whether you’re a man or a woman I’m going to love you,’” said Araujo’s mother, Sylvia Guerrero.

The summer before her murder, Araujo became friends with four men in their late teens and early twenties: Jaron Nabors, Michael Magdison, and the brothers Paul and Jose Merel. It was at a party at the Merels’ house in early October that Jose Merel – who, like Magdison, had had sexual encounters with Araujo – began asking her if she was male or female. His brother’s girlfriend thought they should “check” – so she put her hands up Araujo’s skirt and discovered that she was biologically male.

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Go Vote Pro-choice Today

It’s election day.  We’ve all got a lot of choices to make today.  Here’s the rundown for California voters on who the pro-choice candidates are, and what all the ballot propositions will mean.

A feminist point of view about Jerry Brown v. Meg Whitman

More after the jump . . . [Read more...]

Every Californian Should Make the Call to Protect Family PACT Funding

As many of you may already know, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed an updated budget earlier this month that includes drastic cuts in Family PACT funding. The logic being that in an economic crisis, it’s more important to cut short-term costs than protect long-term economic prosperity. Not only is that logic bankrupt on face, it also ignores the myriad of economic and health benefits that Californian’s reap due to a strong commitment to comprehensive and accessible family planning services. Decreasing support for the California Family PACT would have dire consequences for both public health and the economy. Moreover, it would be another step in the anti-choice effort to further marginalize low-income families from accessing reproductive health care services. [Read more...]

Not a RIGHT, but an obligation, to fight.

Our predecessors risked everything to protect a woman’s right to choose. If we want, we can defeat the Stupak amendment.

We_Can_Do_It!I am reading an inspiring book, Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California. From free speech rights to the gay rights movement, the book recounts numerous stories of civil rights activism in California and the efforts of those who risked everything for freedom.

I have been reading the book in the aftermath of the Stupak Amendment and have been inspired and motivated by its amazing stories. One fight that the book highlights is the dynamic struggle Californians have fought for abortion rights.

The book tells the following story of brave pro-choice activists, which I hope will serve as a poignant reminder that ours is not the first generation to fight, and win, the battle for choice. [Read more...]

Take Action to Win Marriage Back

After a long standing fight over marriage rights, last Thursday a U.S. District Court judge denied a request to give same-sex couples the freedom to marry while the challenge to Prop 8 is heard in federal court. The anti-right’s side is calling this a huge victory in their attempt to forever keep marriage between heterosexual couples.

We can sit and wait for the Court’s final decision or we can do something about it. We need to have conversations with Californians now about their stance on marriage. Conversations is what makes a difference! You can join Equality California at their next outreach event. Equality California is looking for volunteers to talk to neighbors at their first South L.A. Door-to-door Canvass at [Read more...]