Month: October 2009

Two Tune (un)Tuesday: Halloween

Posted by – October 31, 2009


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Ah, my gothier former self picked these. Despite how godawful the Ministry track is, I do believe it helped save my life.

well I let their teeny minds think
that they’re dealing with someone who is over the brink
and I dress this way just to keep them at bay
‘Cuz Halloween is everyday
Oh, why can’t I live a life for me?
why should I take the abuse that’s served?
why can’t they see they’re just like me?

Oy. I think we can officially blame Al Jourgensen for emo.

NPR has a great spooky music stream today, too.

Dan Savage Likes Sex

Posted by – October 30, 2009

Dan Savage, as usual, finds the sex positive take on even sexist Halloween costumes.

We know what it’s like to keep your sexuality under wraps, to keep it concealed, to be on your guard and under control at all times. While you don’t suffer anywhere near the kind of repression we did (and in many times and places still do), straight people are sexually repressed, too. You move through life thinking about sex, constantly but keenly aware that social convention requires you to act as if sex were the last thing on your mind. Exhausting, isn’t it? It makes you long for moments when you can let it all hang out, when you can violate the social taboos you honor most of the rest of time, when you can be the piece of meat you are and treat other people like the pieces of meat they are.

and then:

Straight guys don’t have the same incentive to bare their flesh on Halloween. It’s a shame, of course, because there are a lot of straight guys out there who have amazing bodies, and they should be encouraged to show off on Halloween, to celebrate their erotic power and do like the gay boys do: objectify and be objectified at the same time. That would make the straight pride parades, aka Halloween, feel as egalitarian as the gay pride parades on which they were unconsciously modeled.

Oh, if only!

Bea Arthur Still Rocks

Posted by – October 30, 2009

Bea Arthur left the Ali Forney Center $300k:

The Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, announced at Bea Arthur’s Memorial Service on September 14th that they planned to purchase a building to house 12 youths and name it her honor.


You can donate to them, too,
or read Ali Forney’s story.

Obama on Passage of Hate Crimes Law

Posted by – October 29, 2009

“But we sense where such cruelty begins: the moment we fail to see in another our common humanity — the very moment when we fail to recognize in a person the same fears and hopes, the same passions and imperfections, the same dreams that we all share.” – President Barack Obama, 10/28/09

(Transcript via HRC)

Hate Crimes Bill Signed Into Law

Posted by – October 28, 2009

From NCTE:

President Obama has just signed into law the very first protections for transgender people in US history: The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

“This is a powerful day as the United States government, for the first time, stands up and declares that violence against transgender people is wrong and will not be tolerated in our country,” stated Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Every day transgender people live with the reality and the threat of personal violence, simply because of who they are. This must end and it must end now. The new law provides for some vital first steps in preventing these terrible crimes as well as addressing them when they occur. At NCTE, we are dedicating this day to all those who have been victims of hate-motivated violence as well as recommitting ourselves to ending the epidemic of hate that continues to damage our communities and our country.”

Mara will be present at the White House this afternoon when President Obama offers commemorative remarks to mark this historic moment.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which adds sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability to existing law, will have a number of positive impacts for transgender people:

  • It will help educate law enforcement about the frequent hate violence against transgender people and the need to prevent and appropriately address it;
  • It will help provide federal expertise and resources when they are needed to overcome a lack of resources or the willful inaction on the part of local and/or state law enforcement;
  • It will help educate the public that violence against anyone, including transgender people, is unacceptable and illegal.

Most importantly, this law marks a turning point for the federal government, by including positive protections for transgender people and taking seriously the need to address the discrimination that we face.

The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

Posted by – October 27, 2009

I’m going to get around to interviewing S. Bear Bergman about hir new book, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, I promise.

For right now, though, I just want to say a few things about Bear’s writing.

I read a lot of books about gender, and even more about trans stuff. Some of them are smart, some of them can be funny, and many even make me think in ways I haven’t thought before.

But Bear – zie does all of that, & something else entirely. As I was reading chapter after chapter of this heady, layered, sexy memoir, I kept thinking about Marc Bolan & the lyrics of a song called “Spaceball Ricochet” which go:

Book after book
I get hooked
Everytime the writer
Talks me like a friend

That’s what it is that makes this book, and Bear’s Butch is a Noun, really stand out. Zie trusts the reader to think as hard as zie does, to laugh as hard, to fuck as hard, to work as hard to live as a decent person in the world. There is such a deep care for things – for hir love, hir family, hir tribe. It’s humbling, as a fellow writer, to feel so safe in the palm of another’s work.

So go buy it, and read it, & get back to me with your questions for Bear, and I will, by flattery or threat, get hir to answer at least a few of them.

He’s in Fashion: Men in Skirts

Posted by – October 26, 2009

It’s not always the male-bodied people who crossdress or who are transgender that wear skirts; sometimes guys who identify as guys do. Sometimes even models do.

At Skirt Cafe (www.skirtcafe.org), skirt-minded men and people of other genders get together to talk about hemlines. As Bob explains:

At SkirtCafe, we are dedicated to the idea of “Fashion Freedom” for men. The basic idea is… if you want to wear a skirt, just do it; now you’re a man wearing a skirt. Men might want to wear skirts for many reasons. Some guys just like to be different, some want comfort, some want to look and feel beautiful, some have experienced gender dysphoria in one way or another. But whatever the reason, we are committed to the idea that we can just do it, as a man wearing a skirt.

We don’t need to go through elaborate makeup routines, or emulate a stilted notion of femininity, or consider changing our body through strong drugs and surgery, or orient our lives around our fashion choice, or call ourselves “Suzi” for the evening, or hide from everyone we know. There is no closet, and no secrets. Unlike the CD community, we really are no different from the woman who decides to wear a buttondown, described in your introduction. It’s just a fashion choice.

We have demonstrated, again and again, that a guy wearing a skirt in public is no big deal — a “non event.” We’ve experienced little or no rejection or discrimination, and we don’t bother much to hide our identity or fashion choice from the world.

Over at New Male Fashion, the blogger asks:

Wouldn’t it be likewise fair for us males in need of displaying our creativity, sense of style, and flare, who enjoy keeping in touch with our “feminine side”, to have the freedom to adopt styles, colours, and garments that were once considered too “feminine”?

Public opinion is moving tardily but steadily in that direction. Designers come up with innovations and creativity in their masculine lines, as opposed to the dullness and uniformity that has been so far the main feature of male garments. New proffers include not only more daring colours and designs, but also male skirts, high heels, dresses, and other garments that used to be kept at the other side of the aisle.

A “New Male” is under construction. Hopefully, a more balanced, understanding, sensitive, creative male.

The statement is beautifully underlined by the photo of the coy “new male” model that accompanies this post, & there’s a lot more like them there, including clothes by Westwood, Pugh, and Baratashvili.

(Ana de Gregorio styled by Ash Stymest, photographed by JM Ferrater.)

Transgender Workplace Discrimination Stats

Posted by – October 25, 2009

I don’t remember hearing anything about this study, nor that the results were in, but I thought others might want to check it out.

The key findings are:

  1. Survey respondents reported twice the unemployment rate of the population at large.
  2. 97% of respondents reported harassment on the job.
  3. 47% reported an adverse job situation (firing, lack of raise/promotion, not hired).
  4. 15% of transgender people lived on $10k a year or less.

I expect my usual skeptics to be surprised by these stats, and to want to know more about how the survey worked & who responded. It was done by NCTE and The Task Force, and included participants from all 50 states.

I’m Scared to Hear What They Call a Blow Out

Posted by – October 24, 2009

Blue Walls

Posted by – October 24, 2009

I was looking up the condition commonly known as “blue balls” (you know, because I could) and found this little gendered bit on Wiki:

Homologous condition in women

Women can also experience discomfort due to unrelieved vasocongestion as their pelvic area also becomes engorged with blood during sexual arousal. They can experience pelvic heaviness (aka blue walls, blue labia, blue box, or blue curtains) and aching if they do not reach orgasm. The general term pelvic congestion refers to such pain as it occurs in either sex.

I’d never heard any of these but have argued for years that women can, indeed, experience something akin to what guys describe as blue balls. Turns out I was right.

Hate Crimes Through Senate

Posted by – October 23, 2009

The Hate Crimes Act has made it through the Senate:

WASHINGTON – A bill to make violence against gays and lesbians a federal crime cleared the Senate Thursday and is headed to the White House for final approval.

The 68-29 vote was a victory for civil rights groups that have been fighting for years to expand the federal hate-crimes law beyond attacks motivated by bias based on religion, race, national origin or color. The new bill, which President Obama is expected to sign, includes penalties for assaults based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, disability or gender identity.

Historic good news.

T-HUD!

Posted by – October 22, 2009

It’s not sexy, but it’s great news from NCTE:

(October 21, 2009, Washington, DC) The National Center for Transgender Equality praises the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its announcement today that it will ensure that its programs are available to all, including LGBT people. Today’s announcement is historic, since HUD is the first federal agency so far to officially propose guidelines that would explicitly address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The evidence is clear that some are denied the opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are and that must end,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “President Obama and I are determined that a qualified individual and family will not be denied housing choice based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

More

Misery in Pictures

Posted by – October 22, 2009

If you haven’t checked out the Awkward Family Photos site yet, do it the next time your life seems fucked up.

Because if this family photo doesn’t help you feel better by seeing someone else’s misery, nothing will.

It’s Your Booty

Posted by – October 21, 2009

These are straight guys: how queer is that?

(btw, FB is blocking this content. feh to FB.)

Gainesville Jerk

Posted by – October 21, 2009

I wish I could say I’m surprised:

The CVS Pharmacy manager who allegedly admitted Friday to filming women in his store’s bathroom was an active participant in the 2008 charter amendment to “keep men out of women’s restrooms.”

The group behind the petition drive, Citizens for Good Public Policy, could not be reached for comment.

Jonathan Matheny, 27, was charged with one count of video voyeurism after a customer told police she had discovered a cell phone equipped with a camera under a pile of tissues in the CVS bathroom at 125 S.W. 34th St. . . .

The petition drive in the summer of 2008 was aimed at a city ordinance that provided rights, including equal access to public accommodation, for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Matheny signed the petition, according to records with the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office, and opponents of the charter amendment say they received reports that Matheny allowed the petitions to be distributed and signed at his store. Those behind the drive said the amendment was essential to prevent men from using the public-accommodation portion of the law to enter women’s restrooms and film, rape or otherwise prey on the opposite sex.

“It’s a bit hypocritical when that group was allegedly putting the petition on the ballot to protect women in bathrooms and then the manager of the store who was allowing the petition gathering was in fact preying on women in bathrooms,” said Terry Fleming, spokesman for Equality in Gainesville’s Businesses, the political action committee created to oppose the charter amendment. The amendment was defeated by voters.

The group behind the petition drive, Citizens for Good Public Policy, could not be reached for comment.

I bet they couldn’t. This hypocrisy is too gorgeous for words. Enjoy.

(from Gainesville.com, & thanks to Veronica)

Morehouse Crossdressing Policy

Posted by – October 20, 2009

Morehouse College has chosen to have a clothing policy that prohibits crossdressing:

The dress-wearing ban is aimed at a small part of the private college’s 2,700-member student body, said Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services.

“We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men,” he said.

Before the school released the policy, Bynum said, he met with Morehouse Safe Space, the campus’ gay organization.

“We talked about it and then they took a vote,” he said. “Of the 27 people in the room, only three were against it.”

There has been a positive response along with some criticism throughout the campus, he said.

Senior Devon Watson said he disagrees with parts of the new policy, especially those that tell students what they should wear in free time outside of the classroom.

I’m wondering if someone needs to tell them about straight crossdressers, and about pre-transition MTF trans people. Hopefully Morehouse’s Safe Space already does – but I doubt it.

Workplace Transitions Event (NYC)

Posted by – October 20, 2009

Tales of Workplace Transitions
Thursday, October 29, 6PM, Free
6PM Cocktail Reception; 7PM Panel

Join us for a panel discussion concerning successful workplace transitions for transgender employees. Panelists will include: Stephanie Battaglino, Assistant Vice President; Communications Director of New York Life; Tony Ferraiolo, Manufacturing Supervisor for Madison Company; M. Dru Levasseur, Staff Attorney for Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc.; and Margaret S. Stump, PhD, Chief Investment Officer at Quantitative Management, a subsidiary of Prudential. Our panelists will discuss their personal experiences transitioning, how their transitions were handled and what they did to facilitate at their respective places of business. Jennifer Brown, Co-Director of Out & Equal Metro New York, will serve as moderator. Register now.

More

Whip It Good?

Posted by – October 19, 2009

Has anyone seen this movie?

I found it on the Madison Roller Derby Team’s page. How cool is that?

WWJD?

Posted by – October 18, 2009

Someone asked me recently if I knew what WWJD meant, and if so, how I would answer that question as per LGBT community.

My answer was: Honestly, I think Jesus would be working with the LGBT teenagers who are thrown out of their homes every year & forced to engage in survival sex to live.

“Very Thick Soft and Hairy”

Posted by – October 17, 2009

Well it is getting cold out, but still I don’t think this would be enough to keep anyone warm. Here’s the product description from its ebay listing:

LONG HAIR MOHAIR G-STRING / THONG WITH WILLY WARMER SWEATER
~Very~Thick~Soft~and~Hairy~ Male G-String with open Willy Warmer in black.
The Willy Warmer is super soft and hairy both on the inside and outside.

Hand knitted with total of 3 strands:
2 strands of long hair English mohair (82%) and
1 strand of 100% pure new wool.

Size: M-L, Fits waist 37-40 in (94-102 cm)

Willy Warmer Sweater Measurements:
Its length is 4.33 in (11 cm) and
Its diameter is 1.4 in (3.5 cm)

Wear it for your enjoyment and fun!

I used the words “black mohair sweater.” Who knew?