#TestMe Reaches 1.5 Million People!

I am so excited and happy and grateful!  Ten days ago, at Netroots Nation 13′s LGBT Connect pre-conference, a few of us sat down to discuss HIV. Todd Heywood writes:

I joined with Teddy Partridge of PolicyBear.com to conduct a conversation about HIV. The title of the group discussion was “AIDS is not Over.” Curiously, we started with no one at our table. Then had Gregory Varnum from Equality Michigan and WikiQueer join followed by Lisa Derrick, Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez and Eyad “Eddie” Alkurabi. The conversation was wide ranging and focused.

And during the conversation we realized that we needed to do something to encourage HIV testing. June 27 is National HIV Testing Day (technically it is National Gay Men’s Testing Day, but who’s counting at this point?) and we decided it would be incredibly helpful to encourage folks to get tested for HIV. But not just get tested – to tweet, Facebook or blog about their test with a picture or two with the hashtag #TestMe.

The response was immediate and positive. We were lucky to be at NN13 (Todd buttonholed Gov. Howard Dean on the patio and the governor said yes!), lucky to be involved with a pre-conference of engaged organizations and individuals, lucky that we have the contacts we do! And I would like to thank SCOTUS for delivering their DOMA and Prop 8 decisions on Wednesday! By the end of NN13 we had GLAAD, PFLAG National, GetEQUAL, Equality Michigan,  and dozens of bloggers on board. More and more groups and individuals signed on, and then on Thursday morning I opened my email to see that (RED) would tweet about National HIV Testing Day #testme to their 1 million+ followers. Wow!

Checking out #testme on Twitter, I saw Planned Parenthood, Campus Pride, Michigan Health, The Director of the Office of Public Engagement at the White House, and Naturally Gay Man (he has 46,600 followers!), scores of local advocacy groups, individual bloggers, and  media outlets. We added up the number of tweets to followers our tweeters sent out and they equaled just over 1.5 million people!  With only nine days of organization! And some really important LGBT news stories really owning the ground (as they should!) YAY DOMA ENDED!! YAY!! WEDDINGS IN CA!!!

The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the US are HIV+ and 20% of those are unaware of their status. Early detection and early treatment lowers the rate of transmission.  Even though National HIV Testing Day has passed,  if you are sexually active, get tested every three months, or when you end a relationship – before beginning another. Ask your partner their status and suggest getting tested together. Play safe and stay safe!

 

Conservatives Finally Realize Straight People Fuck. A Lot.

 

Pam Spaulding over at Pam’s House Blend brought up a discussion worth having:

While it’s about time that conservatives like Mary Matalin feel they can safely (as in, don’t feel intimidated about pissing off Rush) take marriage equality out of the sure-fire rallying cry, it’s interesting how easily she shifts blame for the ills of society on all of you heterosexuals out there fornicating and procreating out of wedlock.

On ABC This Week, Mary Matalin, the Republican strategist, had this to say:

People who live in the real world, say, the greater threat to the civil order are the heterosexuals who don’t get married and are making babies. That’s an epidemic in crisis proportions. That is irrefutably more problematic for our culture than homosexuals getting married. I find this important dancing on the head of a pin argument, but in real life, looking down 30 years from now, real people understand the consequences of so many babies being born out of wedlock to the economy and to the morality of the country.

Yeehah! The great state of Texas is certainly anticipating the birth pains of that epidemic moral and financial crisis.  By blocking $73 million from from family planning services, Texas made sure Planned Parenthood didn’t get any funding. (Because you know, along with providing general health care, men and women’s sexual health care,  STD testing, LGBTQ counseling, cancer screening, prenatal care, and birth control–Planned Parenthood also provides abortions, though the Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas receiving state funding did not provide abortions.  But Planned Parent still lost their Texas funding.) The thing is, with a population of 26 million, Texas has a lot straight people. And not all those straight people are married. And while some of those unmarried, straight people may be celibate and/or not of reproductive age, a whole lot of of them will be doing what Mary Matalin says:

Making babies.

Making babies out of wedlock and contributing to the economic and moral downfall of Texas! Millions of  straight Texans are going be having sex without birth control, lots more sex without birth control, because they now have lots fewer places to get birth control, because you, oh great state of Texas, cut off your noses to spite your faces and threw out the baby with the bath water.

Except that bathwater splashed back into your conservative laps,  and each little droplet is making another baby, and your noses are growing back longer and longer because you, oh legislators and people of Texas, are lying to yourselves when you think that denying access to birth control–be it condoms, pills, IUDS, morning-after pills–is gonna keep people from fucking. People fuck. It’s a fact of life (and let’s not forget that all that fucking without condoms can spread sexually transmitted diseases, ones like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia that have gotten so bacterially buff that they are harder and harder to cure, and require way more expensive antibiotics. Plus herpes, genital warts/HPV, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS; the latter two are illness which can require escalating and expensive levels of care and medication, plus HPV can led to cervical, anal, and penile cancer. Yes, oh great men of Texas, PENIS CANCER. Because you banned Planned Parenthood.)

Here’s another lifetime issue that’s also expensive which comes from fucking: BABIES.

The latest Health and Human Services Commission projections being circulated among Texas lawmakers indicate that during the 2014-15 biennium, poor women will deliver an estimated 23,760 more babies than they would have, as a result of their reduced access to state-subsidized birth control. The additional cost to taxpayers is expected to be as much as $273 million — $103 million to $108 million to the state’s general revenue budget alone — and the bulk of it is the cost of caring for those infants under Medicaid.

Math is hard, but basically, by cutting $73 million to Planned Parenthood, Texas will now have to spend an additional $200 million underwriting the cost of caring for almost 24,000 unplanned babies. And then there’s the cost of medications for sexually transmitted diseases–Texas has the highest rate of uninsured Americans in the United States (and a woefully weak Medicaid system facing a shortfall), so really what will happen then? Will Texas celebrate the arrival The Great Satan in the form of Obamacare? Oh, the bitter irony….

Texas Democrat, Representative Donna Howard politely refrained from calling her more conservative colleagues dumb-asses:

I know some of my colleagues felt like in retrospect they did not fully grasp the implications of what was done last session. I think there is some effort, they’ll be willing to make to restore whatever we can.

Any restoration of funding to family planning would exclude Planned Parenthood, because even though they don’t provide abortions in Texas, they do elsewhere, and gol-dag-nabbit, Texas isn’t gonna help abortionists, even if they ain’t doin’ abortions in their state. Since a lot of politicians–or their constituents–seem to lump birth control, like condoms and pills in with abortion, it’s hard to say if any funding for family planning/birth control can be put back into the budget. Especially because, as Republican Senator Bob Deuel points out, Texas has a certain attitude:

I’ve debated this in Republican clubs with people — people who say it’s not the government’s role to provide family planning. Ultimately, they’re right. But you have to look at what happens if we don’t.

Babies happen. STDs happen. Penis cancer happens. Deuel should know–he’s a family physician. And just one more reminder, Texas: Straight people fuck. A lot. And that makes babies. Babies being born out of wedlock which will carry, per Matalin, consequences to the economy and to the morality of the country.

 

 

Rick Perry Gets Taste of Menstrual Blood on His Facebook

Texas governor Rick Perry’s Facebook page, tragically entitled Give Rick a Chance, is getting menstrual bombed, as dozens of women share their stories and ask his advice about PMS, birth control pills, hormone replacement and reproduction. Meanwhile, some supportive men have gotten in on the discussion.

Here are a few of the gems before his staff scrubs them. Feel free to join in before his staff blocks comments!

 

A Gun Called “Hope”: Komen Shoots for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed their stance on Planned Parenthood and will continue to fund the health organization. Meanwhile a portion of sales from an optimistically named pink and black polymer gun with SgK branding goes to fund breast cancer research. Oddly the link toDiscount Gun Sales, a firearms retailer selling the Walther P-22 Hope Edition has since been disabled since the story via Daily Kos hit the mainstream. Guess Discount Gun Sales is no longer

proud to team up with the Susan B. Koman Foundation to offer the Walther P-22 Hope Edition in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of each P-22 Hope Edition will be donated to the Seattle Branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Now I wonder how Susan G. Komen feels about child abuse, considering the non-profit

currently funds cancer research at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center to the tune of $7.5 million.

 

Sense of Humor Aborted by Kansas Fundies


When the Onion published an article on Planned Parenthood’s grand opening of

its long-planned $8 billion Abortionplex, a sprawling abortion facility that will allow the organization to terminate unborn lives with an efficiency never before thought possible…one pregnancy every three seconds

in Topeka, Kansas, it was pretty clear it was a gag. I mean, being in the Onion alone should have been a clue. And these made-up quotes from Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards seem a little um..extreme.

Although we’ve traditionally dedicated 97 percent of our resources to other important services such as contraception distribution, cancer screening, and STD testing, this new complex allows us to devote our full attention to what has always been our true passion: abortion. And since Congress voted to retain our federal funding, it’s going to be that much easier for us to maximize the number of tiny, beating hearts we stop every day.

But the clincher–should have been the very widely reported news that Kansas hates abortion clinics–instituting a new series of regulations; and even more importantly, defunded Planned Parenthood.

But some folks in Kansas just seem dense.

[Reddit.com: http://i.imgur.com/p4CFW.png ]


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