While the House of Representatives finally managed to pass DADT, Canada has already come up with its dress codes for transsexual soldiers.

“My Person”

Here’s a nice article by a trans partner about the interminable search for the right thing to call our “persons.”

Sex Survey: Women, Trans

Here’s an interesting survey that is trans friendly and asks good questions. I took it.

Two Tune Tuesday: KT Tunstall

I got to hear her newest track “Madame Trudeaux” over at NPR, & it’s so lovely, like old school glam. Suzi Quatro would be proud.

But Think of the Children

A lesbian soccer coach gets fired by a university after admitting that her partner is pregnant.

I’m not sure I can even count how wrong that is or in how many ways. How incredibly Christian of them, to fire the partner of an expectant mom.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I’ll admit: I was worried about this one because it’s my favorite book of the series but also because I’d heard a long time ago they’d added a character that wasn’t in the book. That scared me. I’m also, of course, always nervous that they’re going to Christian up these stories the same way everyone else seems to, which, imho, is poor scholarship. They’re pagan books, not (only) Christian ones.

But the film is really beautiful, deeply satisfying to the 9 year old me who lived in these books year after year. It’s nice, at 41, to see the Narnian world come alive – it’s really well-done and looks damned near what I always imagined. There are some inventions for the sake of plot – like the three new characters and the green mist and some slicing & dicing of the islands – but still it holds up, very well in fact, and yes do bring tissues if you’re the type to cry.

For me, the really uncanny bit is that two of the three new, invented characters are named Gail and Helen. I didn’t catch the father/husband’s name, but how’s that for weird? It’s the kind of detail that makes me wonder if I’m only dreaming it all, this blog included.

Now please go see it, in the theaters, too,  so that they can make The Silver Chair. If i don’t get to see a marshwiggle up on a big screen I’ll be very sad indeed.

Nadler Introduces Fair Housing Act Amendment

News from NCTE:

Rep. Jerry Nadler of New Jersey introduced a bill yesterday that would ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or source of income. The bill would amend the Fair Housing Act to include these categories and would impact the sale and rental of housing, home financing and brokerage services.

“Transgender people urgently need protection from discrimination in housing. It is unconscionable that people are being forced out of their home and onto the streets because of prejudice,” noted NCTE’s Executive Director Mara Keisling.

A survey of transgender and gender non-conforming people conducted by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force last year found that 19% of the 6,450 respondents reported having been homeless at some point in their lives because of their gender identity. People of color reported even higher rates, with an alarming 41% of African Americans and 29% of Latina/os in the study having been homeless because of bias.

Continue reading “Nadler Introduces Fair Housing Act Amendment”

Illinois Gets It Right

Illinois is about to become the nation’s 11th state, plus the District of Columbia, to provide some kind of legal recognition to same-sex couples.

which is from a nice article from a Chicagoan at St. Louis Today.

NYT: 2010 Year of the Trans

The New York Times does a “year in review” on trans media presentations in the Fashion & Style section, and it’s not a bad article at all.

Not since the glam era of the 1970s has gender-bending so saturated the news media. The difference now is that mystery has been replaced with empowerment, even pride. Consider a few happenings that have blipped recently on our radar. The blog of a young mother whose 5-year-old son had dressed like Daphne on “Scooby-Doo” for Halloween went viral, initiating a nationwide discussion on the fluidity of gender. (The mother ended up on “Today.”) The performance artist Kalup Linzy became a downtown phenomenon in Manhattan for his gender-bending portrayals of soap-opera divas. Oprah Winfrey welcomed transsexual men to her program.

In November, a transgender student pledged a sorority at Trinity University in Texas. Original Plumbing, a zine for trans-guys, came out with a fashion issue.

This month, Simon & Schuster will publish “My Princess Boy,” a children’s book about a boy who wears pink gowns. “It’s not acceptable for us to sit back when children are taking their lives because they’re not accepted for who they are,” said the author, Cheryl Kilodavis, who based the book on her 4-year-old son.

That said, they make no attempt to distinguish crossdressing – and various types of it – from trangender or transsexual. That is, the article’s subtitle – “bold crossing of the gender line” should have been the main title — instead of “transsexual are edging into the mainstream,” but what else is new?

Two Tune Tuesday: Liz Phair

Because it’s my BiL Ian’s birthday, there can be no other choice. By last count, he’s seen her about the same number of times I’ve seen Rufus Wainwright (which is saying something):

Enlightened Sexism

I love this article by Susan J. Douglas on the idea of “enlightened sexism.” It’s a pattern/ethos I’ve been looking at & couldn’t come up with a name for, but i think of it as one of the problems the 3rd Wave brought:

Since the early 1990s, with all of the surgeons, chiefs of police, law partners, detectives and even female presidents on TV, much of the media have come to over-represent women as having made it –completely — in the professions, as having gained sexual equality with men, and having achieved a level of financial success and comfort enjoyed by only the more jewel-encrusted doyens of Laguna Beach. At the same time, there has been the resurgence of the retrograde dreck that began clogging our cultural arteries in the late 1990s —
The Man Show, Maxim, Girls Gone Wild, Bridezillas. But even this fare, which insisted that young women should dress like strippers and have the mental capacity of a vole, was presented as empowering: while the scantily clad or bare-breasted women may have seemed to be objectified, they were really on top, the argument went, because now they chose to be sex objects and men were their helpless, ogling, crotch-driven slaves.

I love this bit especially:

More to the point, enlightened sexism sells the line that it is precisely through women’s calculated deployment of their faces, bodies, attire and sexuality that they gain and enjoy true power, power that is fun, and power that men not only will not resent, but also will embrace. So in the age of enlightened sexism there has been an explosion in makeover, match-making and modeling shows, a renewed emphasis on women’s breasts (and an explosive rise in the promotion of breast augmentation), an obsession with babies and motherhood in celebrity journalism (the rise of the creepy “bump patrol”), and a celebration of stay-at-home moms and “opting out” of the workforce.

Some, myself included, have referred to this state of affairs and this kind of media mix as “postfeminist.” Scholars like Angela McRobbie and Rosalind Gill have written very astutely about “postfeminism.” But I am now rejecting this term. It has gotten too gummed up by too many conflicting definitions. And besides, this term suggests that somehow feminism is at the root of this when it isn’t –it’s good, old-fashioned, grade-A sexism that reinforces good, old-fashioned, grade-A patriarchy. It’s just disguised much, much better, in seductive Manolo Blahniks and an Ipex bra.

Exactly. The time spent self-grooming has to explode exponentially, which again leaves women with less time to accomplish other things. That, & of course the whole issue of being “attractive” is culturally loaded and impossible for most women to achieve.

Face of the Day

On 12/1, Andrew Sullivan had a “Face of the Day” photo of a Pakistani hjira (although he called her a eunuch).

Trans Woman Attacked at Kohl’s in TN (Warning: Triggery)

It sounds like it’s going to be just some holiday shopping insanity, but then:

When store personnel unlocked the doors to the store, Akasha Adonis and her mother of Humboldt, TN made their way to one of four entrances where there was no line. As they were entering the store, a girl from another entrance where there was a line ran up to Akasha’s mother and another woman and attempted to ram through them into the store. When Akasha stepped between the girl and her mother to protect her, the girl jumped into Akasha’s face and began cussing at her. At the same moment, a man attacked Akasha and another woman at the entrance. The assailant hit Akasha and pulled out her hair as he pulled her through the door into the store. The man then shoved his hand in her mouth with his thumb, tore three of her teeth out of socket, and broke her jaw as he forced Akasha to the ground. The assailant then stood up and walked into the store to shop as Kohl’s staff stood idly by greeting other shoppers.

What the fuck is wrong with people?

On top of it, a comment made by a Kohl employees make the bias obvious, and the police, as well, have been insensitive, bigoted jackasses:

Akasha’s mother posted about the incident on her Facebook page. A Kohl’s employee posted a comment in response which read: “no it happened before I got there. i got there at 5 AM. they said it was a guy and a guy dressed up as a woman . they said the he/she/it got its wig knocked off and some teeth knocked out.”

An officer describes a broken jaw & the loss of three teeth as “no serious injuries.”

Read more if you can without your head exploding.

(Thanks to Marti in TN for the tip.)

Gay Artists often Wrestle with Christianity

That’s my attempt at The Onion‘s version of the headline, but here’s the scoop: The Smithsonian does an exhibit of LGBT people, and there are objections. It’s the typical “you’re defiling Christianity” issue that comes up over & over again in the art world.

You can listen to the story at NPR.

Teh Palin

I hate her, but I think he’s right: we can’t underestimate teh Palin.

(Thanks to SS for the link.)

World AIDS Day

Two years old, but just the same:

(via Jacob Hale)

NCTE on DADT & Trans Service

I’ve put the critical info in bold:

(Washington, DC: November 30, 2010) The Pentagon today released results of a nine-month-long study that concluded that the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy could be repealed with little impact on the military’s preparedness. The authors noted that many of the objections to service by openly gay men and lesbians were based on stereotypes, not facts, and that the majority of members of the armed forces had already knowingly served with lesbians and gay men without adverse effect.

Within the report’s Frequently Asked Questions section, the Department of Defense reiterated that a change in DADT would not permit transgender servicemembers to serve openly. Transgender people are currently considered medically disqualified for service and can face other roadblocks if they come out while serving. These policies have to change to allow transgender people to serve openly. Several allies of the United States have already repealed similar policies in their own armed forces.

NCTE applauds the Department of Defense for recognizing the unfounded basis for discrimination against lesbian and gay servicemembers. We call on the military to also take action to repeal the policies which bar transgender servicemembers from enlisting or serving openly. Like the policies that currently limit service based on sexual orientation, the bans on service by transgender people are also based on stereotypes and a lack of accurate information. It is also important that the report recognizes that the creation of separate bathroom and sleeping facilities only exacerbates the problems of discrimination, by stigmatizing certain troops.

Continue reading “NCTE on DADT & Trans Service”

Two Tune Tuesday: The Reverend Horton Heat

They played Milwaukee a few weeks ago & no one I know here was interested. It’s a sad sad day when no one wants to go see psychobilly.

Next time around, maybe.

Speaking of Goodwill

There’s an article in the SF Gate about the new Goodwill Industries’ store in SF which has hired 7 trans women to staff the place – out of only 9 employees.

It found that despite being twice as likely to hold college degrees as state residents as a whole, the respondents also were twice as likely to be unemployed. Seventy percent of those surveyed reported having been discriminated against or harassed on the job.

which means there are a ton of over-qualified trans people out there who can’t get work. Oh, if capitalism only worked!

The end of the article broke my heart — and yet, what a cool person:

While she mostly welcomes her new role as a community “ambassador” who enlarges the image of transgender people “by being competent,” being a thrift store trailblazer is not without challenges. When she was learning the ropes at another store, a few co-workers made the mistake of calling Scanlon “sir” or “him.” Tourists have pulled out their cameras and tried to snap her picture.

She tries to sound professional when she refuses to pose.

“I tell them, ‘I’m not a joke. This is my life. Thanks for shopping at Goodwill.'”

Grace under fire. I hope she gets the kind of job she deserves in time. I know I’d hire her to do customer service if she can keep that cool.

Give to GoodWill (Not Salvation Army)

The Salvation Army doesn’t help all people in need – only the ones who aren’t LGBT.

On the other hand, Good Will is very LGBT inclusive, so give to them instead.