edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
Here is a review of the Day of Silence/Night of Noise 2009 in pictures.

Dial Up Beware, You're in for a Scare )

At the end of the event, I ripped the duct tape off my mouth and screamed pretty loud. I think it was fitting. I think is was awesome that my priest came by to visit. Bryce just left a church after years of serving because they wouldn't allow him to continue there because he's gay, and he was so amazed that my church not only accepts me but welcomes me and affirms me and believes this is the way I'm supposed to be (because the Priest talked about her wife like every normal spouse does...because they ARE normal) and I was so grateful to her for taking the time to be there and be real and show people that not everyone is going to condemn them, and give them hope that maybe God doesn't condemn them, either. I know I'm starting to get glimmers of that hope myself, and it's an awesome feeling.

Best of all, the church people didn't make good on their threats. They didn't show up. Thankfully they're mostly all talk. Apart from the terrifying bus ride and some nasty comments from people walking by (which were hard, don't get me wrong) I discovered that the overall feeling I'm left with is one of great gratitude. Near the end of the night, the newer guy in the group, Bryce, came up to where I was holding my sign, and he gave me a hug and said if anyone tries to mess with me again, he'll back me up. That might sound silly, but it gave me such a sense of friendship and even kind of family that I've been missing out on for a long time. For the first time in years, I'm full of all this hope. Hope that Bryce comes to church and finds out that God doesn't condemn him, hope that I find out God doesn't condemn me (or that I start to believe what I already know, if that makes sense), hope that I have a place and that Bryce has a place and that we all have a place in the world and that we can find it together. At the end of the day, I tore the duct tape off my mouth and screamed, and everyone laughed and congratulated me, and it really felt like a family event...and I'm grateful to God for giving me that (giving us all that hope) and I'm glad to share it with you, too.

I love you all. Thanks for listening.
edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
Ok, seriously. Amazon.com is making me stabby lately. I've been hearing rumblings on and off for a few days now, but the information is just too prevalent to ignore it anymore. Besides, [livejournal.com profile] thecherrywench posted about this, too, so if the cool people are doing it, I'm jumping on the bandwagon, too. I spend copious amounts of money on Amazon. I've gone without eating for a week so I could purchase books there ("Without You" by Anthony Rapp...and that should be de-ranked, too, because it's got plenty of gay in it). I am not amused by this recent turn of events.

If you're a twitter user, you may have noticed that #amazonfail is the top trending topic for today. Here's the basic gist of it:

Amazon seems to be stripping the sales figures and accompanying rankings from GLBTQ books, erotica, and romance novels, particularly those with what they term “adult content” thus preventing them from showing up in some bestseller lists and searches (and potentially directly damaging their sales), on the grounds that they are "adult" material.

(This is regardless of whether they contain any explicit sex. Meanwhile, books with explicit heterosexual sex scenes retain their sales rank, as long as they're not overtly marketed as "erotica".)

A quick search reveals that books that have had their sales ranks removed include James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story, Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, and Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

When pressed for a reason, Amazon.com’s customer service department told YA author (and LJ user [livejournal.com profile] markprobst) Mark Probst:

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services
Amazon.com Advantage

Probst went on to say:

Yes, it is true. Amazon admits they are indeed stripping the sales ranking indicators for what they deem to be “adult” material. Of course they are being hypocritical because there is a multitude of “adult” literature out there that is still being ranked. Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, come on! They are using using categories THEY set up (gay and lesbian) to now target these books as somehow offensive.

[...] if they are excluding books just on the basis of being “gay” then by all means exclude mine too because I don’t want them just to reinstate just the “nice” gay books, they need to reinstate all the gay books and if they are really going to try and exclude so-called “adult” material, then how come this crap has an Amazon ranking?


Compiled from various sources including here, here, here.

http://community.livejournal.com/meta_writer/11992.html -- a list of books so far that have been removed
http://booksquare.com/open-letter-to-amazon-regarding-recent-policy-changes/ -- an open letter to amazon
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy -- sign the protest
http://stewardess.livejournal.com/296003.html
http://stewardess.livejournal.com/296266.html
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23amazonfail -- at least 100 tweets every minute
http://wthashtag.com/wiki/Amazonfail -- keep an eye on this too

ETA

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is running a Google Bomb. They say:

I’ve created a page with the definition for “amazon rank.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Amazon Rank


ETA2

A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality is now the top book for amazon searches on "homosexuality"

....oh. Awesome read, guys. Every parent needs this important pile of shit book in their collection.



I copied all this from here in [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political and [livejournal.com profile] harvey_milk and some other sources, but fuck this. I'm pissed. They also stripped "The Mayor of Castro Street" of its ranking. Oh no you didn't just fuck with my Harvey Milk book. Assholes. As [livejournal.com profile] marauderthesn eloquently put it, "I could see taking, say, Totally Herotica 3 out of the rankings and sales figures, but what the effing eff is the deal with taking out everything gay? Even biographies? Oh, whoever was responsible for this, I hope Harvey haunts you. Obnoxiously. With all his dead boyfriends. Having ghost sex on your dinner table. Loud ghost sex on your dinner table. For hours."

ETA3.6

Oh, now you've done it. you've pissed off Christopher Rice. Rice says: "So apparently a "computer glitch" at Amazon has "de-ranked" a large number of LGBT focused books, including my first novel, A DENSITY OF SOULS. There's understandable outrage about this throughout cyberspace. As President of Lambda Literary Foundation, I can tell you we will have a public response very soon. (Other de-ranked titles include ORLANDO by Virgina Woolf and BECOMING A MAN by Paul Monette)."

Way to go, Amazon. Piss off all the authors who write the edgy content that keeps your customers coming back. Piss off all the people with the money; the people who keep your business going. Smooth move there, brain king.

ETA 4.8675309

Oh, sorry, I forgot, Amazon hates disabled people, too.

ETA5 for the 5 that stayed alive

Aaaand the public statement from the Lambda Literary Foundation is up.

"Lambda Literary Foundation applauds the diligent work of writers, bloggers and activists in calling attention to this deeply distressing turn of events. I have seen my first novel stripped of its sale ranking by this apparent computer glitch so I join other writers who are baffled to the point of anger. I take great solace in the quick mobilization of our community in response to this apparent marginalization of LGBT books; the grassroots power of the Internet has been placed on glorious display for all to see. Over the next few days, we at Lambda Literary will be monitoring the situation very closely. Amazon is one our nation's largest general book retailers. In their commitment to creating and sustaining technological advances in the publishing industry, they have laid claim to the future of book distribution. As such, they have a pressing responsibility to create an unfettered exchange of stories and ideas. If a quick and decisive response to this problem is not forthcoming within the next few days, we at Lambda Literary look forward to leading a sustained and impassioned dialogue on this issue, which will seek to harness the energies that have been released by our community's admirable response."


Translation: Amazon u r fukd nao.

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Apr. 13th, 2009 06:29 am
edgarallenfrog: various pics of harvey milk (inspiration)
My friend Carrie made this for me. *squeee*!

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