Snowy morning (11/03/13) in Edinburgh.
Snowy morning (11/03/13) in Edinburgh.
I am thrilled to announce that thanks to my fabulous agent, my book, SURGERY IN THE SKY (to be retitled), has sold to the Masque imprint of Prime Books! This does my heart good on multiple levels—it makes me so happy to know that a story featuring a queer woman of color and a polyamorous romance can find a home.
We are going to be marketing this book as both science fiction and science fiction romance, so stay tuned for more information.
Link to my blog post on visiting a few places around the Stirling area of Scotland.
Link to my recent blog post on visiting the Britannia in Edinburgh. Includes photos and a bit of royal history.
I first watched Evangelion when I was 16 and then grew up to be Misato.
It is probable that National Geographic is aware that “Gypsy culture” has been a popular subject in the media recently, and it seems possible the Channel may want to feed off of this trend at the expense of the people involved despite its not-for-profit status.
I’ve seen a few posts floating around Tumblr which suggest contacting the ACLU about the irresponsible and ignorant programming which has been airing in the US claiming to show ‘real Gypsies.’ I am not an expert in these things, but I believe you should be sending your complaints to the FCC. The ‘take action’ link should lead you to a pages where you can complain or discuss. The complaints page link to ‘broadcast’ which allows reports of ‘Unauthorized, unfair, biased, illegal broadcasts (does NOT include Obscene, Profane or Indecent material)” and that should lead you to this form.
As an American living in Europe, I have become used to seeing the constant racism Romani and Irish travellers face. I am disappointed that thanks to the popularity of ‘Gypsy Wedding’ in the UK, TLC has decided to air its own version of the show and now this racism will be exported to the United States. If that wasn’t enough the National Geographic channel has decided to air its own biased and racist programming (complete with shots of spooky fortune tellers and candles), when it was a brand that until this point I deeply respected and admired. At one point, National Geographic was responsible for excellent books such as Gypsies, Wanderers of the World. This is incredibly dangerous because the documentary-style filming and strength of the brand name will lead the average viewer to believe that this behaviour is typical of ‘gypsies’ and that they are now ‘informed’ about their lifestyle, traditions and customs.
Rather than explain why I believe these shows are unfair and biased, let me share a few paragraphs from the Romani Archives:
The only possible outcomes of airing the program are that it would provide a poor understanding of who and what the Roma are, and the knowledge that the Romani American population is not sufficiently equipped to combat racial stereotyping legally. Furthermore, if one were to consider the making of a series presenting a family of American Jewish crooks as Jews generally, or a black street gang were presented as representing African Americans generally, there would be a massive outcry, and such projects would die aborning. The proposed American Gypsies is no different from these hypothetical, backwards, examples. Already a proposed series on an American Muslim family has been cancelled, presumably for fear of legal backlash.
The “Gypsies” in the British and TLC series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding” are not in fact Romani at all, but a white population of Irish descent. The definition of “Gypsy” (or “gypsy”) is already vague in people’s minds, most of whom think it is a behavior rather than an ethnicity, and National Geographic’s imprimatur will only serve to reinforce that misconception. If the general public’s exposure to “American Gypsies” is presented under National Geographic’s trusted name, then disrespectful and inaccurate perceptions of our people will have been confirmed.
-The Romani Archives and Documentation Centre
The National Geographic Society’s mission is to “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.” (Source) For decades it has been a friend to the Romani people, documenting their lives from across Europe to their ancestral home in India. A previous National Geographic magazine article observed:
In crocodile-skin cowboy boots and jeans he appears thoroughly American. “I’m afraid we don’t have campfires or wagons or bandannas, earrings, or violins,” he jokes. “We don’t steal babies or pick pockets—maybe we’re not Gypsy enough for you?” Then he gets serious. “We may look modern and adapted on the outside, but on the inside we’re pure Rom. We’re naturally secretive because we have such a long history of persecution.”
It is a shame that the National Geographic Society has turned its back on its own mission and the Romani people in pursuit of television ratings.