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A.V. Flox
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A.V. Flox

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Hillary Clinton has picked her vice president. It's the junior senator from Virgina, Tim Kaine. Kaine was once on Barack Obama's shortlist for vice president, and served as chair of the Democratic National Committee, but many of us are unfamiliar with him, so here's a crash course:

Kaine is a devout Catholic who spent his time as an attorney fighting for fair housing for people of color. He speaks Spanish fluently and was the first person to deliver a speech in Spanish on the Senate floor. He served on the Senate’s Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees where he became "a leading liberal voice on national security." (Source: He's best-known for waging a somewhat lonely campaign against the White House's use military force in Iraq and Syria without explicit congressional authorization.

He and Clinton have both wavered on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, a frequent target of the Bernie Sanders-Elizabeth Warren wing. When the Senate voted to grant Obama fast-track authority for the deal last summer, Kaine signed on but said he would oppose the treaty if it didn't come paired with a worker retraining measure. (Some labor-friendly measures have been included, but Kaine is still not sure he'll vote for it: Additionally, some have argued he's weak on labor issues:

"Kaine bears a political resemblance to the candidate he [joins] on the Democratic ticket, sharing a political pragmatism focused on inching policy along and eschewing grand gestures," writes Patrick Caldwell at MotherJones. "To those who accuse him of insufficient progressivism, he might respond that he is, as Clinton has called herself, 'a progressive who gets things done.' (Source:

But despite a high rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, Kaine's history on support for abortion is a little sketchy, which disturbs the progressives in the party.

While running for governor of Virginia in 2005, Kaine promised that if elected he would "work in good faith to reduce abortions" by enforcing Virginia’s "restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother."

After taking office, Kaine supported some existing restrictions on abortion, such as Virginia’s parental consent law and a so-called informed consent law, which in 2008 he claimed gave "women information about a whole series of things, the health consequences, et cetera, and information about adoption." In truth, the information such laws mandate giving out is often "irrelevant or misleading," according to the the Guttmacher Institute.

In 2009 he also signed a measure that allowed the state to create "Choose Life" license plates and give a percentage of the proceeds to a crisis pregnancy network, though such organizations routinely lie to women to persuade them not to have an abortion.

However, also during his time as governor, Kaine slashed all funds for abstinence-only sex education.

He also spoke out during his run for the Senate in 2012 when then-governor, Republican Bob McDonnell signed a law requiring those who seek abortions to undergo an ultrasound prior to receiving care, calling the law "bad for Virginia’s women."

By the time he entered the Senate in 2013, Kaine seemed to have more fully aligned with progressive views on abortion, scoring perfect marks from Planned Parenthood. For instance, though troubled by the fraudulent anti-Planned Parenthood undercover videos that were promoted last year by the Center for Medical Progress, when Republicans scheduled a vote on defunding the organization, Kaine rejected the measure.

When the Supreme Court struck down Texas' anti-abortion laws, Kaine cheered the decision: "I applaud the Supreme Court for seeing the Texas law for what it is -- an attempt to effectively ban abortion and undermine a woman's right to make her own health care choices."

Kaine signed on as a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prohibit states and the federal government from enacting restrictions on abortion that aren’t applied to comparable medical services. The measure would effectively stop targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) laws, forced ultrasounds, waiting periods, or restrictions on medication abortion. TRAP laws have led to unprecedented barriers in access to abortion care.

Most recently, the senator has argued in favor of giving Planned Parenthood access to funding in order to fight the Zika virus. "The uniform focus for members of Congress should be, 'Let’s solve the problem,'" Kaine said. "Planned Parenthood is a primary health provider. This is really at the core of dealing with the population that has been most at risk of Zika."

His website says that he "support[s] the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions" and opposes efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade. He's personally opposed to abortion, but affirms that he believes that the government should not intrude.

"[These are] moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions," he said.

His running mate, Hillary Clinton, has spoken out against restrictions on abortion access and funding -- though she has stated that she still supports some restrictions, such as a ban on later abortions, as long as they have exceptions.

In general, this now seems to be a non-issue. But that may not be enough to sell progressives on this ticket. Clearly, the Clinton campaign has taken a chance on making itself look as grown-up and pragmatic as possible in comparison to Trump. It's obvious that this pick is meant to speak to Latinos, Republicans worried about Trump, and people of color. And it might. A guy who speaks Spanish and has fought redlining is better than a guy who thinks Latinos are rapists and who paints anti-police brutality protestors as being in cahoots with cop killers. The same business positions that alienate labor progressives could attract Republicans worried about the chaos Trump might unleash on the economy.

But is steady, establishment, and "boring," as some have characterized Kaine, going to stand up against larger-than-life, made-for-reality-TV-and-web trolling?

Boring has never been a big sell for Americans. It's doubtful that Millennials and progressives who have been mobilized by Sanders will be inspired by this pairing. See more concerning thoughts on this:
Last week, the senator and former Virginia governor argued in favor of giving Planned Parenthood access to funding in order to fight Zika. "The uniform focus for members of Congress should be, 'Let's solve the problem,'" Kaine reportedly said at a meeting in Richmond, according to Roll Call.
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A.V. Flox

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Peter Thiel, Milo Yiannopoulos, and the Gays For Trump crowd at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week were not the only ones defying heteronormativity!

The gay hookup app Grindr said that activity near the convention center in Cleveland on Wednesday night was 166 percent higher than normal. And on Sunday night, before the convention festivities officially began, Grindr use shot up 120 percent relative to previous evenings, suggesting a sudden influx of Grindr users. On Monday, the overall user volume within a mile of the convention center was 18 times higher than usual. The word "visiting" was the second-most used word among the profiles Grindr analyzed for this study. (The first was "fun.")

This revelation corresponds to a similar increase in the amount of gay porn viewed in Cleveland this past week. According to the free porn site Pornhub, the category "Gay -- Hunks" saw an extraordinary 421 percent increase in traffic in Cleveland from July 18 to July 21.

Whether or not those masturbators were male Republicans, however, is a little tough to say. They could be female Republicans who get off on watching two studs go at each other (Pornhub has previously reported Gay as being the second category most often viewed by women: Or they could be people who came to Cleveland to work the convention and are unaffiliated with the GOP. Or they could be sinful members of the liberal media.

But considering there were more than four times as many visits to "Gay -- Hunks" videos than usual in Cleveland this week, it’s fair to surmise that at least some of the visitors were Republican men in town for the convention.

Perhaps most interestingly, though, is that searches for Muslim- and Arab-related pornography was 204 percent higher than usual, a staggering figure considering the party’s unapologetic Islamophobia this election season. But perhaps the scariest Pornhub datapoint is that searches for Trump-related porn increased 624 percent during the convention. So not only is there a swath of the American electorate that actually wants to vote for Trump, there are a good number of Americans who want to have sex with him, too.
Data from Grindr and Pornhub suggest that gays flocked to Cleveland during the RNC, despite the party’s hateful platform
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Arguably, the campaign logo was Trump porn.
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Excerpt: A new study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, has come up with an estimate of the number of youth in sex commerce that appears significantly lower than previous estimates. The researchers, led by Rachel Swaner of New York University, concluded that the total number of juveniles in the sex trade in the United States was about 9,000 to 10,000. To be cautious, given the limitations in the data, the study said that range could be as low as 4,500 or as high as 21,000.

The study also found that about 15 percent of the children relied on a pimp and that the average age of entry into the sex trade was 15.8 years. Both figures are in line with other careful studies. 

A new study concludes that the number of children involved in the sex trade in the United States is 9,000 to 10,000.
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The Republican National Convention in Cleveland unleashed the desires of Hoosiers this week, as evidenced by a surge in Craiglist postings in the casual category -- specifically, in the man seeking man section.

"Many of the Craigslist ads were written in sado-masochistic language," notes the Daily Dot.

"You are visiting. You can act like the true bitch bottom you really are and the folks back home will know nothing," wrote one domineering top who posted two consecutive ads seeking to fill some "little RNC holes."
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I'm hardline opposed to outing as a tactic, even if it is applied to people I think are total hypocrites. Bad tactics are bad tactics.
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The new Republican platform calls for the repeal of a half-century-old tax law prohibiting churches and tax-exempt institutions from political organizing.

Bye-bye LGBTQ+ rights, abortion, sex education, sex research, sex toys, sex work decriminalization, strip clubs, pornography, extramarital sex, hook-up culture...
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My polling place before I went absentee was a church, too. :/
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On the last day of the Republican National Convention, Silicon Valley's "kooky libertarian" icon Peter Thiel became the first speaker to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality at a Republican convention.

Jim Kolbe, the former Arizona congressman, spoke briefly at the 2000 convention without acknowledging his sexuality. (During the speech, members of the Texas delegation removed their cowboy hats and prayed).

But given the fact that this cycle's Republican party platform is the most anti-LGBTQ+ in over one hundred years, this is less of a victory than a piece of random trivia. But why is a gay libertarian supporting the authoritarian Donald Trump, whose vision has been decried by Silicon Valley as anti-innovation?

Hint: Thiel, a chess enthusiast, loves to kick off games with the king's pawn. 

Per the Guardian:

In a 2009 essay called The Education of a Libertarian, Thiel declared that capitalism and democracy had become incompatible. Since 1920, he argued, the creation of the welfare state and “the extension of the franchise to women” had made the American political system more responsive to more people -- and therefore more hostile to capitalism. Capitalism is not "popular with the crowd," Thiel observed, and this means that as democracy expands, the masses demand greater concessions from capitalists in the form of redistribution and regulation.

The solution was obvious: less democracy. But in 2009, Thiel despaired of achieving this goal within the realm of politics. How could you possibly build a successful political movement for less democracy?

Fast forward two years, when the country was still slowly digging its way out of the financial crisis. In 2011, Thiel told George Packer that the mood of emergency made him "weirdly hopeful." The "failure of the establishment" had become too obvious to ignore, and this created an opportunity for something radically new, "something outside the establishment," to take root.

Now, in 2016, Thiel has finally found a politician capable of seizing that opportunity: a disruptor-in-chief who will destroy a dying system and build a better one in its place. Trump isn’t just a flamethrower for torching a rotten establishment, however -- he’s the fulfillment of Thiel’s desire to build a successful political movement for less democracy. (Source:

Those of you familiar with tropes might recognize the Magnificent Bastard behind the Smug Snake.
The Republican Party’s new trade-loving, free-thinking, gay, Christian, antiwar, rich-as-hell, naturalized-citizen, Silicon Valley hero.
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+A.V. Flox Nailed it. Hes on the spectrum.

Comically, ( in this excerpt on Asperger's and its opposites ) He seems to be speaking about  Trump and the RNC here: "Madness of Crowds" "MBAS have high-extroversion ...and low principals"

Does he have the self-awareness to see it?
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A.V. Flox

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New York just joined the ten other states that don't have a sales tax on menstrual products!

For those unfamiliar with tax codes, most states tax all "tangible personal property" one purchases but make exemptions for certain things considered "necessities" (meaning, for non-luxury items). These usually include groceries, food stamp purchases, medical purchases (prescriptions, prosthetics, some over-the-counter drugs), clothes (in some states), and agriculture supplies. The lists of exemptions vary from state to state.

Though the FDA classifies tampons and other menstrual products as "medical devices," many states with sales taxes continue to tax menstrual products. Unbelievably, of 11 states that treat candy and soda as tax-exempt groceries, ten (Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wyoming) tax menstrual products.

In New York, where the code was just changed, dry cleaning, American flags, admissions to live circus performances, and “wine furnished at a wine tasting" were already exempt from sales tax. (Source:

Until last year, only five states with sales tax -- Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and New Jersey -- had explicitly eliminated sales tax on tampons and pads. (Source: Alaska, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, and Delaware do not have sales tax on any items, including menstrual products. (Source: With New York's recent move, 39 states remain.

This January, lawmakers in California, Utah, Virginia, and Michigan introduced anti-tampon-tax bills. (Source:

In a statement about signing the New York bill, Andrew Cuomo said, “This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice.”

I've no figures on New York, but here in California, women pay about $7 per month on average for these products. Statewide, this money adds up some $20 million annually in taxes. (Source: While there are a lot of things that should be exempt but for some reason aren't always (such as toilet paper!), this is a tax that impacts only part of the population.

Assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal, who introduced the bill to New York State Legislature, said, “Women statewide will no longer be burdened by a lingering tax that was levied at a time when women were not part of government and the decision-making process."

Despite the disparity, to those who can afford the tax this may nevertheless read like a weak attempt to score political points with women voters, so here's an anecdote:

Once I worked as an intern in the state capital. One of the representatives I worked for was this middle-aged guy. And he hated the tampon and napkin machines in the women’s bathrooms. Hated them. He insisted that they weren’t necessary. I found out why after I’d been working there, oh, about a month. My period started suddenly, as it sometimes does, and I asked to excuse myself to go to the ladies’ room. He wanted to know why. I told him.

He started ranting about how lazy women were. How we wasted time. How we were so careless and unhygenic, and that there was no call for that. He finished by telling me that I certainly was NOT going to the ladies’ room and that I was just going to sit there and work. He finished this off with a decisive nod, as if I’d just been told and there could be no possible argument.

“If I don’t go,” I said in an overly patient tone, “the blood is going to soak through my pants, stain my new skirt that I just bought, and possibly get on this chair I’m sitting in. I need something to soak up the blood. That’s why I need to go to the bathroom.” His face turned oatmeal-gray; an expression of pure horror spread across his face. He leaned forward and whispered, “Wait, you mean that if you don’t go, you’ll just keep on bleeding? I thought that women could turn it off any time that they wanted!"

I thought,  You have got to be kidding. Several horrified whispers later, I learned that he wasn’t. He actually thought a) that women could shut down the menstrual cycle at will, b) that we essentially picked a week per month to spend more time in the bathroom, i.e. to goof off, and c) that napkins and tampons were sex toys paid for by Health and Human Services. (Source:

In lieu of sexual education, the way we legislate things -- including taxes -- takes a greater significance. The recent surge in attention to menstrual products is an avenue through which certain activists are addressing the general national ignorance about a woman's body. If you still think this is stupid, by all means submit your own proposal. Until then, I'm behind this.
'Lifting it will spare all women the extra monthly burden of paying taxes on products that are already unaffordable to many.'
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I "love" having someone unaware of very basic biological facts able to legislate on my health, when he's not even qualified to stock a bathroom.
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Whatever happened to the woman charged with murder and sentenced to 20 years for miscarrying her pregnancy?

Excerpt: Today, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the feticide conviction of Purvi Patel, the woman who was found guilty last year of killing her fetus by taking abortion-inducing drugs and sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the court upheld a lower felony conviction for neglect of a dependent.

In 2013, Patel sought care at a hospital for severe bleeding and told doctors that she'd delivered a stillborn baby at home and discarded its remains in a dumpster. Prosecutors argued that she'd taken abortion-inducing drugs purchased online, which is illegal in the United States, but police could not find evidence, beyond text messages discussing it, that the drugs were purchased. Toxicology reports found no evidence of the drugs in her system. Patel's attorney said she thought the baby was stillborn. Each side had a pathologist testify to the age of the fetus and whether it was viable, but no one really knows the answer to that.

Patel's attorney, and other critics of the conviction, argued that the charge of feticide was never meant to be used against a pregnant woman; rather it was intended to punish illegal abortion providers and abusive partners. Plus, it was contradictory to charge her with both the killing of a fetus and neglect of a living, breathing baby. But Indiana is notoriously anti-choice (looking at you, Governor Mike Pence) and some argued the state wanted a conviction however they could get one. 

She had been sentenced to 20 years for taking abortion-inducing drugs.
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Wow, that's entirely vile.
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Excerpt: If you’ve never heard of a “unicorn,” it is, at the most basic level, a bisexual woman who’s open to a threesome with a heterosexual couple (or, to be precise, a couple that includes a straight man and a bisexual woman). The term is a familiar one to bisexual women like myself—and it may soon become known to a wider audience thanks to a new web series called Unicornland, which offers a celebratory vision of what it’s like to be a woman seeking adventure in the arms of couples. The series stars a 28-year-old divorcee named Annie who decides to explore her sexuality and expand her relatively vanilla horizons by dating couples looking for a third—making her, in the eyes of the show, a proud and popular “unicorn.”

But missing from the show’s premise is a darker truth to the concept of the unicorn. Because a unicorn isn’t merely an adventurous woman who’s open to group sex. As any bisexual woman who’s spent time on a dating app knows, she’s a fantasy come to life, a person willing to show up for a night of excitement and quietly disappear immediately after, a third who’ll ignite a couple’s passions without complicating their emotions. A unicorn is a creature who’ll bring all the sexy fun without creating any drama, baggage, or need for emotional work—and the reason she’s called a unicorn is because, quite frankly, she doesn’t exist.

What does exist, however, are leagues of unicorn hunters: couples on the prowl for the girl of their dreams, the one who’ll bring their fantasies to life without asking anything in return. And though there’s nothing wrong with a couple experimenting with group sex, or using the internet to seek out someone to play with, so many of these couples end up reducing bisexual women to fetish objects, treating us as interchangeable playthings rather than actual human beings.

Just because a woman is bisexual doesn't mean she wants to have a threesome with you.
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I haaate being treated as a fetish, even though I haven't been the object of it as much for my sexuality, I can extrapolate. If I weren't in a closed relationship I probably wouldn't mind looking for couples to date, except that threshing the wheat from the fetishizing chaff would be incredibly tiresome. (I'm basically super happy to not be dating now, but I've gotten all of the skinny from a bi woman friend in the dating pool, including about unicorn hunters: major ugh.)

+A.V. Flox​​​​​​​ Haha! My Valley dating experience mostly consisted of me bailing when I found out the man was interested in settling down way too fast. It took finding someone willing to darnit wait a minute (coff, or a few years) before making life changing decisions for me feel ready to commit. He was still ready way before I was, but was also willing to go for it being provisional while I figured it out. Way too many men want to put a ring on it, and I am not spectacular or anything, and had the added negative of not really wanting kids (which most marriage minded men do.) It must be really aggravating for the gorgeous women who don't want to commit. (In my circles, women who wanted to commit generally did very quickly, but I run in nerd circles with a bit of a gender skew, so they were spoiled for choice.)
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Eccentric tech billionaire Peter Thiel wasn't the only out and proud gay man at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week. On the second night there was a “Gays for Trump” event, billed as "The most fab party at the RNC."

In a ballroom lined with photos of scantily-clad, white young men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, a series of militant anti-Muslim speakers argued that the Republican party is the real friend of the gay community, not the Democrats who seek to protect the rights of Muslims and ensure transgender people have access to bathrooms.

Among the headliners were the notorious Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos and anti-Islam icon Pamela Geller (whose organization, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, has been designated an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center).

Yiannopoulos, who had just been permanently banned from the social network Twitter for harassment, appeared in a bullet-proof vest he removed to reveal a tank top featuring a rainbow-colored gun and the words, "We Shoot Back." He took the podium to call on the gay community to separate itself from the progressive movement, which in his opinion, has outlived its usefulness.

"Growing up gay wasn’t that fucking bad, let's be honest," Yiannopoulos said. "But I still don’t see the reason why the left-wing press mollycoddles and panders to an ideology that wants me dead."

Talking directly to the Democratic Party, Yiannopoulos added: "You have done nothing for gays. While you were busy hectoring and bullying and nannying us about transgender pronouns, you completely forgot that politicians in this country, Democrat politicians, are welcoming in a religion that wants us dead. They were welcoming in movements and belief systems that are completely incompatible with the Western way of life, with modern, Western, capitalist, liberal democracies, the only systems under which gay people are happy and successful and have rights."

When Geller took the mic, she opened with: "A jihadi walks into a gay bar, and the bartender says, ‘What’ll you have?’ The jihadi says, ‘Shots for everyone!'"

There was a lot more hate and fear-mongering, and then, they danced.
The second night of the Republican National Convention saw a "Gays for Trump" rally that showcased a series of militant, xenophobic, anti-Islamic speakers who argued that the Republican party is the real friend of the LGBT community.
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+John Poteet and +Scott Carpenter​, the way some Americans have decontextualuzed Ayn Rand will never cease to terrify me. 
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Excerpt: Two federal lawsuits, one from a transgender boy in Wisconsin and another from a transgender boy in Maryland, assert that schools are discriminating against trans students.

The lawsuits both describe the school administration’s decision to give trans students the option of either a unisex or girls bathroom or locker room as stigmatizing and humiliating. The Maryland student, called M.A.B. in the lawsuit, is interested in joining the school soccer team but said the lack of locker room access makes it difficult to participate or bond with other boys. The single-occupancy bathroom made available to him is far from his classes, forcing him to wait longer to use the bathroom than other students and resulting in tardiness.

The Wisconsin student, Ash Whitaker, who -- due to medical issues -- has to drink a lot of water, tried to stop going to the bathroom at school, endangering his health. His lawsuit notes other problems with how the school treated him: he was repeatedly called by his birth name and referred to with female pronouns by school staff, and was forced to wear a green bracelets to identify him as transgender to staff -- which caused Whitaker to worry about stigmatization and harassment. The school additionally instructed security guards to ensure Whitaker didn’t use the boys restroom.

This March, Whitaker was told he would need to get medical documentation to use the boys bathroom. His mother contacted his pediatrician, who sent the school a letter recommending he be allowed to use the boys bathroom, but to no avail. School staff wanted official documentation of a medical transition.

Note: Not all trans folks want to or are able to undergo medical treatment to transition. It's unclear what "medical transition" refers to in the context of this school's requirement; however, sex-reassignment surgery for trans men is defined by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health as including: complete removal of uterus and ovaries, removal of the breasts, the construction of a penis from other tissue (this would, in time, require an erectile prosthesis to "function" sexually) or the separation of a hormonally-enlarged clitoris from the labia and the severing of its suspensory ligament, and facial reconstruction of certain features (along with hair removal).

This is a lot of treatment. Unfortunately, though every major medical organization in the United States has affirmed that everyone who needs transition-related medical care should be able to access it, this care is often denied coverage by insurance companies, often in spite of state and federal laws, rendering it inaccessible for many people.

So asking a student to do this (without considering whether the student wants to do any of this or whether his family can currently afford it), is quite extreme.

The state of affairs is dire -- this year, a spate of legislation was introduced in several states that would require trans students to use bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificates. In some cases, lawmakers suggested students should be examined before being allowed to use the bathroom or locker room. 
These trans students filed federal lawsuits saying their civil rights were violated after being denied access to bathrooms of their gender.
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Hmm I remember when a group of people where forced to stitch a yellow star on their clothing to be identified easier. It didn't end well for them and I believe America and the UK help put a end to that. Shame 70 years on people are losing there way again. 
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Canadian scientists are hard work on a vaccine against chlamydia. A team of researchers at McMaster University in Ontario gave mice two doses of the prototype, delivered through the nose; when the animals were later exposed to chlamydia, vaccinated mice had fewer copies of the bacteria replicating in their systems. The research was published in the journal Vaccine.

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally. There is currently no vaccine approved for human use. The only preventive weapon we currently have in the arsenal against this silent cause of blindness, reproductive damage, and other ills are condoms.

(Via +Ramón Gonzalez)

Canadian researchers have developed a promising vaccine prototype against chlamydia, a study in mice suggests.
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excellent that after all these decades someone makes an effort
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Velocitus delectibus.

I'm AV -- that's pronounced like the letters A and V. Most people call me that, but a few prefer the less familiar Flox, which is pronounced like you would if you were talking about various flocks of birds (see? it only looks complicated). You may call me either of these things. 

I'm a writer. I've written for a variety of publications, including the Village Voice, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Gizmodo, and Vice. My main focus is sex -- the norms around it, the organs we use, the health issues that affect it or are a consequence of it, the way governments and private companies want to control it and the way we express ourselves around it, the markets that exist to cater to it and the labor issues within them, and so on. Sex touches everything. You would be amazed how many incredible disciplines I get to explore writing about sex. Not too long ago, I was buried under a stack of papers about 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing! (Why? Because vagina. You can read the piece on Vice.).

Besides writing, I have edited blogs about relationships and science for the Village Voice and, a women's network that was reaching 90 million monthly visitors by the time it was acquired by SheKnows Media last year for a reported $35 million -- more than AOL paid for TechCrunch just four years prior. 

My content here on Plus will reflect my beat, but please note that in general, my posts and shares involve more analysis than titillation. I have analytics, I can see how many of you browse on the clock! No judgment -- I'm honored, actually. But because of this, as a rule, I do not publish images or articles that contain preview images that are not "safe for work" (that is, anything that may make a colleague feel uncomfortable in a workplace) and I strive to let you know when a link I have shared contains this type of imagery so you don't click it without knowledge.  

I am not opposed to pornography, but I do believe in consent -- I do not want to expose anyone to visually sexual content unless they explicitly opt-in to see it. So if sexy imagery is the sort of thing you're looking for, you won't find it here. However, feel free to visit my NSFW love letter to desire on Tumblr. It is overflowing with various degrees of graphic depictions of cisgender, heterosexual sex that I find pleasing. (If cis/het isn't you, try a Tumblr-wide search for a keyword that better speaks to you. Some of the best gay yiff I've ever seen is on Tumblr. And if you do not know what that is, don't look it up at work!)

I also use content warnings, since some of the things I share touch on things that you may not want to read about right then (assault, unsettling health conditions and accidents, etc.), and spoiler alerts. 

A lot of people follow me as a resource on issues of sexuality, so I try to keep my social media channels focused, but people are multidimensional and I am no different. Google Plus is where I am most focused. If you want a slightly more varied feed with more snippets from my life, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter

My Instagram has first publishing rights to much of my life's imagery, so if you like pix, I strongly recommend you find me there. (My Instagram account does not disseminate sexual imagery, but I do post images from events I attend and sometimes these events are adult industry conferences. Don't follow me just for that, though -- I am not all work and no play, so, yeah, you may get to see awesome candids of porn stars, but you'll also have to suffer through, like, a million videos and pictures of an octopus trying to make an escape from its tank at the California Academy of Sciences, or the bacula collection at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Also, bugs. I love bugs.)

Pinterest is where I put cool stuff that I find online. A number of my boards are dedicated to cool products -- and, yes, one of them is devoted entirely to sex products. Go take a look and see if there is anything worth following. (I also have a community here on Plus called The Desire that I hope to develop into a destination that combines relationship resources and awesome products. If you are interested in that, go ahead and request to join.)

I maintain a complete list of my profiles across the social networks I use on About.Me. If you need to reach me, though, your best bet is to mention @avflox on Twitter. I only receive messages from people in my extended circles here and on most other social platforms, so I may not even see that you tried to reach me if you private message me. On Twitter, though, I see everything -- and it's more reliable than taking your chances with an e-mail web form. But if you don't tweet or you want to stay on the DL, you'll probably want to take your chances with that web form or the e-mail option on About.Me (you don't need to create an account to use it).

I never thought I'd have to mention this, but seeing how many users on this network believe the existence of my profile indicates my sexual availability, allow me to clarify: I am not here to sexy chat with you. I don't usually flirt, even with people I like. I consider joking around an intimate thing so unless we have interacted a few times, I may not respond to your joke. Or at least, I may not respond well. I hate compliments. I reserve the right to delete comments that veer off topic or otherwise blemish my stream. Repeat offenders are blocked and immediately forgotten.

Regarding the many nude photos of me that exist and are said to cause so much "confusion" -- I took them, had them taken, sent them to someone, or posted them myself for my jollies. Personally I think that they represent a woman who is comfortable in her skin, in touch with her body, unashamed of her femaleness, and unwilling to censor it. I am flattered if you have derived some pleasure from their existence, but please note that their existence has nothing to do with you. I did not take them for you. I did not post them for you. I probably don't even know you! They're not for you even if I do know you! (Except you, Grandma, because you made me read Simone de Beauvoir when I was, like, seven and I owe you everything.)

So please -- do not wander onto my spaces online and expect that behaving in an overly familiar fashion is going to endear you to me. We do not have a deep meaningful connection because you saw me naked. Everyone has seen me naked. You are a unique snowflake, but it is not for this reason. 

Nothing I wear or don't wear is license for anyone to treat me like I am a thing that exists solely for their personal entertainment. I am a living organism -- I exist for myself. Just like you. And like you, when I post about something, I want people to comment on that something, not wax poetic about what they want from me. 

I mean, look, I get it. We all have urges. I understand this. I too have seen a picture and thought, "OMGWOULDBANG!!!1!" You are not damaged or monstrous for this. What I am saying is that writing this out as a comment on a person's social stream is not a successful strategy, and doing it when that's not even the topic is outright maladaptive. As someone who writes about getting laid, I feel I am uniquely positioned to speak on this topic, so you should pay attention.

Anyway, if for some incomprehensible reason you should wish to seduce me: go for my brain. Flattery is boring. Negs are like little gnats. The biggest compliment you could pay me, the most disarming level attention you could bestow upon me, requires that you only take the time to read something I've posted and have a brilliant conversation about it.

You don't need to be witty or "alpha" or otherwise a perfect specimen of the gender you identify with. You just need to share your views and tell your stories. Treat me like a human and show me your human. Hottest thing ever.

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Some muses inspire artists. I prefer scientists. "You know what you are? You're an idea Hydra. Discuss one idea, and two more grow." -- Fraser Cain
Journalist; columnist; editor
  • Village Voice Media
    Web Editor, 2010 - 2011
  • BlogHer
    Contributing Editor, 2008 - 2010
  • BlogHer
    Section Editor, 2011 - 2012
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