For Transgender New Yorkers, a Center of Their Own in the Bronx

Winnie Hu, writing for The New York Times:

The Bronx Trans Collective, the new drop-in center near Yankee Stadium, will aim to bring together people who are often overlooked or disconnected even in New York City, which is considered to be the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. The center will help transgender people get surgeries, hormone treatments, mental health counseling and assistance with legal name changes and job searches, among other services. It will also host regular support groups, youth counseling, meditation and yoga classes and cookouts on its back terrace.

It's pretty great to see this kind of support and acceptance happening in the Bronx.


‘Yankees Suck! Yankees Sucks!’ b/w No Pussy in the Pit

Amos Barshad, writing for Grantland:

LeMoine knew a guy in Sayreville, New Jersey, who ran the screen-printing business that made shirts for all the hardcore bands. On a whim, he ordered a small batch of shirts: “Ten Yard Fight” on the back, “Yankees Suck” emblazoned on the front. The night of Game 4, he headed to Fenway.

The T-shirts were an instant smash. In ’99, Boston was buzzing off the Sox’s appearance in the ALCS, and the streets were packed. The shirts started flying, not just to the hardcore kids waiting to say goodbye to their favorite band but to the masses heading into the park or spilling out of the bars of Lansdowne. They couldn’t tell you the first thing about Ten Yard Fight, but they knew that phrase, in that harsh sing-song cadence: Yan-kees Suck! Yan-kees Suck!

Twenty-four hours later, the Sox’s season was over. The Yankees won the series in five games and went on to repeat as World Series champions. But LeMoine was certain he was onto something. He sunk a couple thousand dollars into a small stock of shirts. And for the Sox’s home opener in 2000, he went out with a tiny crew, flapping forth a new version.

In line with hardcore’s aesthetics, the shirts were bare-bones. The phrase appeared in big block text in Berthold City Bold, the same font used by SS Decontrol. Effectively, it was the same logo as that of the hardcore zine Boiling Point. This time, the shirt featured just two words: Yankees Suck.

Unbelievable story. Excellent writing. But of course, there’s another side to tell, and Carolyn Zaikowski tells it with no holds barred:

First off, let’s get the biggest piece of mythology straightened out: the majority of these guys weren’t from Boston, or even its immediate surroundings. They were from wealthy suburbs, some over an hour away. Many of the folks highlighted in this article, including Ray LeMoine, screen-printer of kooky T-shirts and person I was friends with in high school, were from North Andover and Andover. To be clear, that’s about forty minutes north of Boston. Some went to elite high schools like Philips Academy. Many other “hardcore kids” I knew, including my high school boyfriend, were from the Lincoln-Concord area, one of the wealthiest places in the country, significantly west of Boston.

I’ll always be spurred on as a writer because of the simple fact that two words, just two words (Yankees Suck!) can be the jumping-off point for so much creative thinking and analysis. 


2 Graduating Rangers, Aware of Their Burden

Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Helene Cooper, writing for The New York Times:

“All three of these soldiers scored very high“ on peer assessments filed by other students, “and for us that spoke volumes,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Arnold, the top enlisted man in the training brigade that oversees Ranger School.

“You got fellow students writing in on peers: ‘Hey, they deserve another shot,’ ” he said. Some of the other students were even more emphatic, saying they began the course very skeptical the women could make it but quickly realized how wrong they had been.

Read this one all the way to the end.


Letters to Our Daughters: Do Not Be Good

Megan Mayhew Bergman, writing for The Ploughshares Blog:

I’ve spent far too much energy in my life being “good.” Seeking approval and validation outside of my own gut, criticizing myself for failing an image. If you pursue the prescribed perfection of womanhood, you’ll find it can be a demeaning, exhausting endeavor.

I can’t wait until my girls are old enough for me to introduce them to Megan’s writing.


The 15 Year-Old President

Tyler Riewer, charity:water:

By the time we arrive at our first village in Mozambique, a small crowd has already gathered around the hand pump, anxious to talk about the difference that clean water has made in their community.

At the front of the pack, neatly lined up in matching blue T-shirts, are five members of the local water committee. They stand tall, three men and two women, as they introduce themselves and their responsibilities one by one.

I am Bonito; I’m the chairman.
My name is Sophia, I’m a mechanic.
Mario, tax collector.
Fraqueza, head of hygiene.

And then the final introduction — which comes from the seemingly shy 15-year-old girl on the end. “My name is Natalia,” she says. “I’m the President.”

Hold on. The President?

Just one of those pieces that you need to read to help you remember your place in the world.


The College Rape Overcorrection

Emily Yoffe, Slate:

One campus rape is one too many. But the severe new policies championed by the White House, the Department of Education, and members of Congress are responding to the idea that colleges are in the grips of an epidemic—and the studies suggesting this epidemic don’t hold up to scrutiny. Bad policy is being made on the back of problematic research, and will continue to be unless we bring some healthy skepticism to the hard work of putting a number on the prevalence of campus rape.

It is exceedingly difficult to get a numerical handle on a crime that is usually committed in private and the victims of which—all the studies agree—frequently decline to report. A further complication is that because researchers are asking about intimate subjects, there is no consensus on the best way to phrase sensitive questions in order to get the most accurate answers. A 2008 National Institute of Justice paper on campus sexual assault explained some of the challenges: “Unfortunately, researchers have been unable to determine the precise incidence of sexual assault on American campuses because the incidence found depends on how the questions are worded and the context of the survey.” Take the National Crime Victimization Survey, the nationally representative sample conducted by the federal government to find rates of reported and unreported crime. For the years 1995 to 2011, as the University of Colorado Denver’s Rennison explained to me, it found that an estimated 0.8 percent of noncollege females age 18-24 revealed that they were victims of threatened, attempted, or completed rape/sexual assault. Of the college females that age during that same time period, approximately 0.6 percent reported they experienced such attempted or completed crime.  

I hope that every person engaged in some way in Higher Ed finds the time this weekend to read this blockbuster piece of reporting.


Anita Sarkeesian Cancels Talk at Utah State University Over Threats of ‘The Deadliest School Shooting’ in US History

Alex Hern:

“Forced to cancel my talk at USU after receiving death threats because police wouldn’t take steps to prevent concealed firearms at the event,” she tweeted. “Requested pat downs or metal detectors after mass shooting threat but because of Utah’s open carry laws police wouldn’t do firearm searches.”

Good thing we’ve got all of these guns and lack of gun restrictions around to protect our freedom.


How Becky Hammon Became N.B.A.’s First Full-Time Female Assistant Coach

Jeré Longman:

On her flight home from the 2012 London Olympics, Becky Hammon had a familiar seatmate — Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs.

They talked about a number of Popovich’s interests: politics, wine and the history and culture of Russia, where Hammon played professionally during the W.N.B.A. off-season and for which she had won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.

What they did not talk about much was basketball. Except, Hammon recalled recently, this brief conversation:

“So if you were an assistant for me and I asked you something, you’d tell me the truth?”

“I don’t know why else you’d ask if you didn’t want me to tell the truth.”

“Good, I don’t want a bunch of yes men.”

I feel like more people should be talking about this story.


Mansplaining Beyoncé and Nicki and the ‘Flawless’ Remix

Rembert Browne:

At the top of the list of Beyoncé songs that truly aren’t mine to co-opt as a man, “Flawless” may be no. 1. Even though waking up “like this” knows no gender, that phrase followed by “we flawless, ladies, tell ’em” makes it clear she is not concerned with my early-morning beauty regimen. So a remix of this song, with new, more aggressive lyrics, takes this notion even further. And then adding in Nicki Lewinsky makes it all bubble over.

This perfectly explains every reaction I’ve ever had to female artists in several mediums. And then I had a daughter. And I realized that I needed to be literate in what she would need to learn about one day.