My regular roundup of interesting reads, found from all over the place.
Generation LGBTQIA: ““Why do only certain letters get to be in the full acronym?” he asked. Then he rattled off a list of gender identities, many culled from Wikipedia. “We have our lesbians, our gays,” he said, before adding, “bisexual, transsexual, queer, homosexual, asexual.” He took a breath and continued. “Pansexual. Omnisexual. Trisexual. Agender. Bi-gender. Third gender. Transgender. Transvestite. Intersexual. Two-spirit. Hijra. Polyamorous.” By now, the list had turned into free verse. He ended: “Undecided. Questioning. Other. Human.”” (Michael Schulman / New York Times)
Suicide and society: Where does responsibility for preventing suicide lie?: “Here’s what works for preventing suicide: medication, professional help, changes in societal views of depression and suicide, and supporting research and prevention. If you’re looking for a general purpose, day-to-day way to reduce suicide risk among your friends, you have many options other than inducing more feelings of guilt and worthlessness in your depressed friends.” (Valeria Aurora)
Meet the Man Who Had Sex with a Dolphin (and Wrote a Book About It): “Surely there have been other people who have had sex with dolphins — what made you decide to be the man to write a book about it? Very simply this: We are killing dolphins and destroying their world, and I can’t stand by and let that happen having had the experience I’ve had without trying to do something to counter it. I’m not a scientist. I don’t have a big environmental organization behind me; really all I have is this story that the dolphin basically gave to me. If you really read my book I think it changes your opinion of dolphins. See, we really have two images of marine mammals that have been conditioned by popular media: Moby Dick, who is a monster, and Flipper, who is kind and helpful and like a little Boy Scout dolphin. Real dolphins are so much more complicated than that. These things are so much like humans it’s scary, Matt. They have their desires, their likes, their dislikes. They are clever, and kind.” (Matt Siancome interviewing Malcolm J. Brenner / SF Weekly)
What’s in Your Vagina? A healthy microbiome, hopefully: “And it’s important to remember that while vaginosis may facilitate the migration of bacteria to the uterus, the imbalance doesn’t necessarily guarantee it. More to the point, the “normal” uterus may not be sterile anyway. A healthy vaginal microbiome may not prevent microbial migration so much as promote colonization by friendly microbes.” (Moises Velasquez-Manoff / Slate)
Four Things You Can Do To Be Awesome: “In a world that pressures each and every one of us to fit into a predictable pattern and that works to commodify our joy in order to sell us a pale reflection of it, being yourself is a major accomplishment. When you’ve found awesome people, they can help you in that work. And the more you can be yourself, whatever that means to you, the more awesome you can be.” (Charlie Glickman)