Panels at CONvergence, Jul 3-5 2015, Bloomington, MN

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I’ll be on a few panels at CONvergence this coming weekend. Hopefully I’ll see a few of you there:

Thursday, July 2

8:30-9:30PM, DoubleTree Atrium 7
Using Folklore as Inspiration
Explore how writers and artists use folklore as inspiration in urban fantasy.
Panelists: Melissa Olson, Adam Stemple, Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Ty Blauersouth, Haddayr Copley-Woods


Friday, July 3

11AM-12PM DoubleTree Bloomington:
How We Change the Stories We Tell About Disability
Join us for a discussion of hidden disabilities in the media – for example, Iron Man has PTSD – and how it changes our perceptions of ability in the real world.
Panelists: Haddayr Copley-Woods, Kiah Nelson, Vetnita Anderson, Emilie Peck, Sherry L.M. Merriam, MA, LPC

12:30-1:30PM DoubleTree Plaza 1
Long and Short of Storytelling
Join publishers and writers of fiction to discuss the differences between novels, novellas, and short stories, from germinating to print.
Panelists: Melissa Olson, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Elizabeth Bear, Wesley Chu, Michael Damian Thomas

3:30pm – 4:30pm DoubleTree Atrium 4
Diversity in Casting
Come discuss race, handicap, gender, diversity, and more in film and TV casting. Is it acceptable when an actor portrays a character with a different physical characteristic? When is it OK to divert from the source?
Panelists: Jonathan Palmer, Derek “Duck” Washington, Haddayr Copley-Woods, Wesley Chu, Cynnthia Michaels

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SCOTU Gay Marriage Decision

27scotus4_hp-master675The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. White that knowledge must come the recognition that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter.

Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here. But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied. Under the Constitution, same-sex couples seek in marriage the same legal treatment as opposite-sex couples, and it would disparage their choices and diminish their personhood to deny them this right.

It is now clear that the challenged laws burden the liberty of same-sex couples, and it must be further acknowledged that they abridge central precepts of equality. Here the marriage laws enforced by the respondents are in essence unequal: same-sex couples are denied all the benefits afforded to opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right. Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry works a grave and continuing harm. The imposition of this disability on gays and lesbians serves to disrespect and subordinate them. And the Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.

Father’s Day 11 years out

(crossposted from FB)

dadsillyfaceRecently, one of my sisters told me I was like my dad in how much I loved her. I have never felt so thrilled in my life, because although he was as flawed as the next person my dad expressed love and joy so powerfully that sometimes I felt knocked back by it: his adoring gaze, his laugh at something one of his daughters had said, the way he said the word ‘daughter’ as if it was the most beautiful word in the world.

Everything good about me, I got from him.

(Including various goofy looks, one of which I’m posting now.)

This year, 11 years after he’s dead, I’m finding joy in my friends’ posts about how great their dads were.

He died far too soon and too suddenly, and that always makes my heart hurt on Father’s Day. But he also saved my life. And made me who I am. And today, shouting down the pain I feel, is a tremendous, deep gladness that I was so lucky to have this man as my father, even for such a short time.

He lit up every room he entered. He was always the last to let go of a hug.

The Minneapolis School Board did NOT Vote to approve changes to the autism program last night.

nothing-about-usKARE 11 reported it incorrectly and now it’s been picked up by the Star Tribune and AP, so even though KARE 11 has changed the story and say they will talk about it tonight on air the damage has been done.

Here’s what actually happened:

Those in charge of the autism program in MPS decided to move forward with changes that, in my opinion, would dilute autism services very drastically for kids coded Federal Level 1 or 2 with ‘milder forms of autism’ (a phrase I find hilarious. Arie was one of those kids and flipped desks and hit teachers and knocked over bookshelves. Nothing mild about that.).

They would also cause autism preschool class sizes to increase by 33%. That’s HUGE.

As of now, these changes are happening despite no notification to parents or students, or public discussion, or anything.

Parents have only learned of this through word of mouth, and we and a few of our kids descended en masse (along with some kick-ass people fighting cops in the schools, who appeared to receive no coverage at all. Is it because most of them were black and most of us were white?) on a School Board meeting to voice our desire to have a special session to talk about this.

That is it. That is all. No vote.