User Post: Lesbians in America.

Hey Shine,
I have desperately tried to reach out to the creators of this site to have a constructive dialogue about inclusion. Unfortunately my cries for positive change have gone unnoticed.

So I decided to be the lone lesbian blogger on Shine because voices like mine are silenced either implicitly or explicitly.

I am a part of the community of women. But straight writers and stockholders of this company MUST believe that it's okay to pretend that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people do not exist or are not marketable because we are "offensive".

My birthday was August 4th. I found out that Judge Walker deemed the voters who put prop 8 into law had no reasonable justification to exclude same sex couples from marrying. It was a wonderful day for me. No one has ever given me a present like this one. To be able to finally exercise the right that my neighbors have always had was awe inspiring.

However when I read the last tidbit on the article, "Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage is ruled unconstitutional", I almost lost my lunch. "Do you think Judge Vaughn Walker made the right decision? What are your feelings on same-sex marriage?"

To read questions like this is a slap in the face. It would be like asking white men in the south during the civil war era if they thought that slaves should be freed, or if women should be able to own property and vote. Questions like these dehumanize lesbian and bisexual women. Questions like these alienate us and only increase sentiments that objectify and devalue our rights as free willed individuals.

We might be an unpopular group of people but to single us out and openly ask about the validity of our love and the rights we should have in exercising it is wrong. This is not fair and balanced journalism. These questioned tacked on the end are simply there to make your site appear to "listen to both sides", even when one side of the group is clearly on the wrong side of history and is ignorant and indifferent to the real feelings of same sex couples who suffer GREATLY because of laws like these.

I challenge Shine and Yahoo! to make a big step towards treating everyone equally. Here are some ideas to help you implement change:
1. Include non gender specific pronouns as often as possible when referring to the object of one's affection
a. When this is not possible include both gender pronouns he/she, his/hers, him/her.
2. Actively look for a writer who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and/or transgendered.
a. DO NOT create a separate space for queer people on shine. INCLUDE articles in the same spaces (i.e., sex+love, parenting, health, etc.). Doing this would only further create and uphold the lack of conversation and understanding of and about people who are a part of the LGBTQ community.
3. Your images should also include women who are not "feminine", rather than continue pushing the feminine mystique, include all presentations of gender as much as possible, and do not devalue their experiences or appearances because they are not at the top of the bell curve.
4. Work on inclusion (staff, articles) in other areas as well. This means including women who are of lower socioeconomic statuses, who don't want children, who are involved in polyamorous relationships, who are differently abled, and INCLUDE WOMEN OF COLOR.

I really hope that this blog gets noticed because it's a damn shame that things are as they are.

-Tara