New perk! Vondell Swain Harry Potter art buttons!

Vondell’s incredible Harry Potter art has been making waves in the fandom for months, creating important discussions about how we read fiction and why diverse representation is vital. We’ve long been a fan of Vondell’s art, which is why so excited to announce that his James, Lily, and Harry Potter pieces are available as buttons exclusively through Equality FTW!

Vondell explains, “Personally I’m mentally acting against the white-as-default-unless-otherwise-specified that’s pervasive in imagining media especially in predominantly white fandom culture. In absence of a specified race I chose to imagine the one that makes the story most compelling to me.”

The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes, fighting for equality with the stories we love at the core of each campaign. Fan activism is growing and accomplishing new things each day, so it’s more important than ever that we fight for equality not just inspired by fiction, but within it.

This fundraiser helps us keep fighting for equality. It ends this Saturday.

You can donate and learn more about what we do at EqualityFTW.org.

Folks looking to get into games!

Want better familiarity with the concepts, language, and terminology used in game design? Want to feel confident talking about game design when applying for a job in games? 

Want, in other words, to feel comfortable that you can talk like real game dev? 

You know you’re creative.

You know you’ve got talent and skills. 

You love games and play the heck out of them and have made some material of your own.

But you know you have some gaps in your overall knowledge, and you want to feel like you’re actually educated about this stuff.

Does that sound like you?

I have help!

Here is a free online Intro to Game Design course from MIT. Yes, that MIT. Taught by people from the MIT Game Lab. 

Take it. It’s free. 

Take it for you

Look, I know how important being able to talk the talk is in getting jobs in the industry. And I know how important feeling confident that you know your stuff is. 

This will help. 

Art: House of Cards by François-Hubert Drouais

OKAY FOLKS, LISTEN UP!

We all know Disney fucked up Peter Pan with this nonsense:

but can we talk about how AWESOME 2003 PETER PAN WAS???

Why is it awesome? I’ll tell you. We all know that in Peter Pan, there is an Indian ‘princess’ named Tigerlily. Now, in Disney, she doesn’t say a damn thing (except a muffled cry of ‘help!’). For that tiiiiny moment she’s voiced by Corinne Orr, a white lady. Her look is by no means accurate, and her behavior probably less so.

NOW JUMP TO 2003 PETER PAN

Again, we have Tigerlily, and she looks like this

Here’s why this one is better:

  • SHE ACTUALLY SPEAKS (though I will admit it’s a bit stereotyped-sounding. One of her quotes is: “Shhhh! Make-um too much noise! Listen to Tiger Lily… When on warpath: SHHHHHHHHH!”). Maybe pidgin English isn’t the greatest step forward, but by god it’s a step.
  • She is played by Carsen Gray, a Canadian actress of the Tribe Haida. AKA, shes ACTUALLY A NATIVE WOMAN.
  • She’s fluent in Iroquois (at a young age!) and in the movie, she gets to use it! And not only use it, but essentially CUSSES OUT CAPTAIN HOOK while she does it (she gives the translation in an interview. I don’t remember it exactly, but she basically calls him the devil, that he smells of bear shit, and he’s old and ugly as fuck). Boss ass bitch, right here.
  • Since she speaks the language, it’s safe to assume her unnamed tribe/nation is at least based off the Iroquois Nation. Which may be iffy on the appropriation thing, but still seems better than making it up completely.
  • Her clothes actually have some decent accuracy. It looks similar to traditional Oneida Indian clothing

     which is important because the Oneida Nation was one of the original members of the Iroquois Confederacy. And although the Oneida have their own language, it’s a safe jump to have her speak Iroquois due to these alliances.
  • Technically the movie might not pass the Bechdel Test, but it did get pretty fucking close, as there are at least 4 named females (Tigerlily, Wendy, Mrs Darling, and Tinkerbell) and at least 3 of them speak more than a single word, or even a single scentence. (which seems to be an accomplishment in itself these days…).
  • She’s also called Aaya. I can’t confirm if this is name comes from any Native peoples, but IMDb’s summary starts as ‘Aaya, also known as Tigerlily…’, which leaves me with the inference that it is possibly (and, with any luck, probably) a Native American name from someone.
  • She’s a hunter, which is obvious because she catches the 2 Darling boys in her snare trap.
  • She also has a sense of humor, as the boys dangling in nightshirts with no underwear on causes her to laugh so hard she falls out of the tree she was hiding in.
  • Instead of making her a love triangle with Wendy and Peter, Tigerlily gives the eldest Darling boy (John) a kiss when he frees her from Hook (If I’m not mistaken, they were all damn near about to drown. I’d give him a kiss too in that situation).

Is the 2003 version perfect? Probably not. In fact, it almost certainly is not. But goddamn they did a better job at portraying her than Disney did. Disney’s Tigerlily is little more than a pretty girl to cause a love triangle. 2003 Tigerlily is a person, with a personality, and while she does need saving, she makes it clear she’s not a damsel in distress.

Okay but please can we stop praising books with queer characters where the plot doesn’t center around the character’s sexuality? Can we stop saying finally it’s about time and I loved how it wasn’t like A Thing and we need more like this. 

Because like yes, it is frustrating when a character is defined solely by their sexuality. But the so-called “great representation” of a character not making a “big deal” about or even acknowledging their queerness hurts like hell. This is a real actual experience that I have and it is so important to see it in books. I’ve gotten so much more out of books where it does center around the character’s sexuality/gender identity— without them, I don’t think I would’ve figured out my identity until 30.

And seriously, this kind of shit leads to Dumbledore being named as the #1 queer character in YA. Because “No, he never officially comes out in the course of the series, but there are hints to the wizard’s sexuality. Not making Dumbledore’s sexual orientation define his character was an interesting and important choice for Rowling to make.” [emphasis mine]

And Petra from Beauty Queens’ being praised as a great trans character because she’s “not even revealed as a trans woman until later in the book.”

This tells us that if we make “A Thing” out of our identity (aka talking about it at all) we’re going to be defined by it, and are therefore uninteresting to cishets. That, if Petra had been out from the beginning, she wouldn’t’ve been interesting enough to keep the attention of a cishet so they had to be tricked into reading and caring about a trans character.  

And yes, books where the plot does not revolve around a character’s angst over their identity are very important, because it reminds us there is more out there, that it will get better. But don’t you dare come at me with this “there need to be more queer characters who, like, don’t make a big deal out of their identity.” Because, my well-intentioned cishet friends, that is actually not good representation. There’s a difference between a character being casually queer and you wanting people to experience the same things as you have in life so you don’t have to be uncomfortable with what your privilege allows you. 

Queer characters are for us. And as Sarah Stumpf of bisexual-books says, “If straight people get anything out it, then that is a neat perk.” 

Stop silencing our voices. Stop praising something as representation that is actually shit. Just stop. And if you’re really interested in books that got it right, in what good queer representation looks like? Check out the aforementioned bisexual-books, fuckyeahlesbianliteraturethegayya. Check out readvitality! We’ve been in this fight a lot longer than you have, and although you still don’t seem to hear us, we are screaming. 

So sit down, stfu, listen, and stop saying these things.

10

Kristen Stewart, Zooey Deschanel, Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, Blake Lively and a whole flurry of mediocre white actresses (who btw play the same roles OVER AND OVER) are always offered roles. Meanwhile, Oscar nominated/winning black actresses (who have won other awards prestigious as well) are struggling to remain relevant. Just because there are a lot of black led TV shows coming this fall, that doesn’t mean the struggle is over or lessening. Many of these actresses have had to move onto TV roles or do both because they haven’t been offered enough (or appropriate) roles. 

If you’re gonna draw art about trans people, consider this:

- stop drawing trans people with their shirt off, especially next to fully clothed cis people (and have a trans woman showing their bare chest and a trans man binding with bandages)

- stop drawing nb people with the “androgynous” theme (aka shaved head, hoodie, baggy jeans)

- don’t make them thin, abled and white

- don’t make them sad looking

10

10 Slides is not enough. So many other things I wanted to talk about, like Sex-Repulsed and Sex-Positive Aces and everything in between.

But in the end, I really wanted to give Aromanticism some visibility, and Demisexuals and Grey-As I thought rounded the thing out nicely by helping explain to people searching for their identity that asexuality need not be black and white.

BY POPULAR DEMAND, I HAVE AMENDED THE SLIDESHOW TO SPECIFY THAT IT IS ROMANTIC LOVE THAT AROMANTIC PEOPLE DON’T FEEL. THERE ARE MANY OTHER KINDS OF LOVE WHICH AROMANTIC PEOPLE DO FEEL. THEY LOVE THEIR FAMILIES AND THEIR FRIENDS AND THEIR PETS AND THEIR HOBBIES AND ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS.

youtube

The Girls on Casting in Hollywood

This video is a hard one to watch. I think it pretty much outlines why representation is so important as well as our struggles as aspiring actresses in Los Angeles.

Please reblog and share our Kickstarter campaign =)

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