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October 1st, 2009

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12:39 pm - SOS - Save Our Superhero!
Several years ago, I met Aaron's boyfriend Bob, who as I mention here, is shockingly like me in many ways. Unfortunately, overall financial luck is not one of these ways. So, I'm reposting a post amberite made last night.

A friend of ours is in desperate need.

His name is Bob F.  He's a PhD candidate in anthropology, and is about
two inches from his goal.  As a queer man of color, he's gotten the
runaround from more than one graduate school.  He's doing his
dissertation on intersections between the queer and Pagan communities.

The superhero mythology is personally sacred to him - and his life's
work is to be a superhero for our communities, to advocate for queer
and trans and kinky and Pagan folk, to create communication between
us, support our lives and stories.

He is waiting on a signature in order to receive a financial aid
payment that will pay his rent.  The rent is due in five days; the
signature is not going to happen until next week at least.  He hasn't
been eating very much lately.

Our goal is to raise a thousand dollars for his rent and immediate
living expenses.  We want him to be (a) fed and (b) not in immediate
danger of eviction.  More than that is helpful as well.

For the love of anything you care about, BOOST THE SIGNAL.

Signed, amberite, xtricks, teaotter, heron61 and panoramagram.

We're keeping his surname out of the post for privacy reasons.  We can
all attest to the fact that he exists, and is in this dire situation.
Things sent to amberite's Paypal will be sent along to him
before they even clear, since amberite can float a little.


(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2009 02:12 am (UTC)
Ummm...I don't want to piss on anyone's parade here, and god knows I'd donate if I, myself, weren't on the verge of starvation/eviction, but...as a "queer man of color," why is he getting any runaround from grad schools? Christ, if he were in an English grad program he'd be the belle of the ball. Anymore, if you're either A) queer, B) a woman, C) a minority, or D) all of the above you can prettymuch get a free ride in academia without having to do a damn thing. Is there a different standard in anthropology?

I don't mean to sound bitter, but believe me, if you're a straight white male in English these days, you might as well give it the fuck up. Unless you're a goddamned Marxist or a devotee of some bullshit French quasi-social science theories.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
It might just be California (where he lives and goes to school, and which is often considerably less liberal than it's PR makes it out to be, but Bob has had some truly horrifying experiences with racism at various CA universities. This isn't the case with his current problems, but his race also isn't helping him out any either.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Wow. That's really awful to hear. And in California, too! I never would've expected that kind of experience in a university outside of, say, Alabama. That's bloody infuriating: if even the so-called "Left Coast" behaves in this fashion, then this country needs wholesale memetic reprogramming.
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
Racism and homophobia is RAMPANT in the holy white tower of academia. The only reason my wife has her PhD right now is because we footed the bills for her research out of pocket (and were incredibly lucky to have been able to do so) because pretty much no one would give her grants. No one likes to fund queers or research on queers, and we heard stories like this all the time from other grad students. We've also heard horror stories about how people of color and queer people are ripped to shreds (often with comments that are explicitly about their race or sexuality) on a regular basis in reviews, both by departments and students.

In my own department in a biological science, not one African-American student was able to graduate with a PhD over a period of at least 12 years (I don't know what's happened in the last 5 years). The African-American students were all (and there was one token student taken EVERY YEAR) pressured into dropping out or transferring (despite, say, winning school awards for most promising new student the previous year), or falsely failed on their comps (I was in class with a woman to whom this was done -- when the VP of the university opened her records, they found that she had passed her comps the first year she took them, but the department decided that "she hadn't had enough lab experience" -- which had nothing whatsoever to do with the comps -- and failed her so that she took an extra year of classes, took the comps again, and then supposedly failed again -- also found to be untrue by the VP's investigation).
[User Picture]
Date:October 2nd, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
OK, now I'm officially utterly sickened by academia. What really bothers me about this is that the discrimination seems to be happening most prominently in the sciences...but now that I think about it, I know of precisely ZERO "minority" graduates in any science PhD program beyond Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh--and I've contacts at quite a few eastern universities. This is more than a little disturbing.

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