Month: January 2011

SNL’s Estro-maxx Skit

Posted by – January 31, 2011

I don’t even know where to start.

Gaga Sings the Trans

Posted by – January 30, 2011

Lady Gaga’s new song “Born This Way” from her upcoming CD Born This Way has these lyrics:

Bridge
Don’t be a drag, be a queen
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige chola descent
You’re Lebanese, You’re Orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
Cause baby you we’re born this way
No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or Orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

And to temper the news, read this critique of the Gaga when she gets it wrong on LGBT issues.

Revised Passport Requirements

Posted by – January 29, 2011

From NCTE: New News on Passport Requirements

The U.S. State Department has announced some small but important additional changes to its policy for updating gender on U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs). The changes make clear that any physician who has treated or evaluated a passport applicant may certify that he or she has had appropriate treatment for gender transition. The revised policy also clarifies language and procedures to ensure that individuals with intersex condition can obtain documents with the correct gender.

In June 2010, the Obama Administration announced a new policy for updating gender markers on passports and CRBAs. For the first time, the June policy enabled transgender people to a passport that reflects their current gender without providing details of specific medical or surgical procedures. Instead, applicants could provide certification from a physician that they had received “appropriate clinical treatment” for gender transition. This policy was the result of years of advocacy, and represented a significant advance in providing safe, humane and dignified treatment of transgender people.

The policy announced in June was a huge step forward, but it was not perfect. It contained rigid and unnecessary restrictions on which physicians could write supporting letters for applicants, and contained confusing provisions regarding people with intersex conditions. With input from NCTE and other organizations, the Department moved swiftly to clarify and improve the policy. The passport policy as it now stands represents a model that other federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, should move swiftly to adopt.

NCTE has prepared a revised resource that fully explains the new guidelines and outlines the ways in which transgender people can make changes to their passports and CRBAs. We are thankful for our colleagues at the Council for Global Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Lesbian Rights for their wonderful collaborative work on this vital issue.

Nothing New Under the Sun

Posted by – January 28, 2011

To a lot of people, transgender identities are new, some emerging idea that’s only happened in the modern era, & to some degree, that’s true: without the discovery of hormones (turn of the last century) and the development of surgeries (middle of the last century), it is much more difficult for people to live in a body that’s wrongly gendered.

But that, however, is only for the people who require medical intervention. There have always been bodies that bridge male and female, that express secondary sex characteristics of both. Evidence:

How fantastic is she? At the very least, when some moralizing pundit talks about trans or intersex as some kind of new perversity, and a sign that the world is coming to an end, we can at least point out that it’s a very old perversity indeed. Most perversions are. We don’t invent much, but instead mostly forget, or otherwise bury some histories and identities and pretend they never did exist. (For the record, for those of you who aren’t careful readers: I do not think trans or intersex is a perversion.I am employing rhetoric in order to make my point clear. Civil and cultural recognition of trans and intersex identities and bodies is a sign of civilization, to me.)

But they did exist. This piece is not on display, but owned by the Louvre, yet this other one is on display, and in my opinion, far more sensual. Museum stats below the break.

More

Notes Toward the Complete Works of Shakespeare

Posted by – January 27, 2011

Apparently monkeys will not come up with the works of Shakespeare when provided a computer. What six of them did come up with was a lot of the letter S.

I love it.

Superbowl Ad: The Sauna

Posted by – January 26, 2011

We’ve come a long way, baby. I am very very sure I’ve never been turned on by a Superbowl commercial before, but goddamn. And yet: it’s funny, too, and not homophobic, either. Well done.

What’s Cool About Wisconsin:

Posted by – January 26, 2011

This guy!

And so far, in my experience, he is not atypical. Honestly, the more I meet people born & raised here, the more I think Joe McCarthy couldn’t have been.

(via Jezebel)

Two Tune Tuesday: Amanda Palmer Shows Off Her Bush

Posted by – January 25, 2011

By god this is brilliant:

Amanda Palmer & The Young Punx – “Map of Tasmania” Music Video from Amanda Palmer on Vimeo.

She’s Neil Gaiman’s wife, and formerly of The Dresden Dolls. It’s kinda hard not to hate her, except that I can’t, exactly because of songs like this — and there is way too much Ants style going on (& maybe some Ari Up, too).

January 22nd…

Posted by – January 24, 2011

… was the 38th anniversary of Roe V. Wade. This article, about how anti-choice groups targeted black women with both race and gender baiting, is harrowing but essential reading.

Keep it safe and keep it legal.

From NCTE: New HUD Rules

Posted by – January 23, 2011

The National Center for Transgender Equality applauds President Obama and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for proposing new regulations, unveiled today, that would ensure that HUD’s programs would be open to all who need them, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. This means that all of HUD’s core programs, such as Public Housing, rental vouchers (called Housing Choice vouchers), and FHA home financing, will serve all those who are eligible.
Data from a forthcoming report on transgender discrimination in the United States, co-sponsored by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, was cited as evidence demonstrating the dire need for housing protections for the transgender community.  Nineteen percent (19%) of the survey’s more than 6,000 respondents had been denied a house or apartment because of their gender identity, while 11% had been evicted due to bias. The full report will be released in a matter of weeks.

“There are so many individuals and families who rely on HUD’s programs to ensure that they have a roof over their heads and that they can make ends meet,” noted NCTE’s executive director, Mara Keisling. “And yet far too often, they have encountered discriminatory landlords and regulations that make it impossible for them to have a fair deal. HUD’s strong stand against discrimination will make a concrete difference in the lives of transgender people and our families. Every American needs and deserves a home.”

If the rules proposed today are fully implemented after the 60 day public comment period, transgender people facing discrimination in public housing or public housing financing will have recourse to fix the problem. The new regulations would include definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity, ban landlords from asking about sexual orientation or gender identity, prohibit lenders from discriminating on that basis, and clarify that public housing programs are open to LGBT families who are otherwise eligible for them.

This is far from HUD’s first advance in transgender equality. Thus far, the Obama Administration has announced that they will conduct the first-ever national study of housing discrimination against LGBT people. They have also issued fair housing guidance that specifically clarified that discrimination against transgender people can be considered a violation of the Fair Housing Act. In addition, HUD has ruled that those who receive HUD discretionary funding must abide by state and local anti-discrimination laws.

NCTE will continue to follow HUD’s progress through the comment period.

New Year’s Resolutions: Timeliness

Posted by – January 23, 2011

One of mine is apparently to ignore timeliness.

Still, here they are, mantras I’m repeating to myself, or orders I’m giving myself, in all their lovely glory:

  • shut up & smile
  • repeat my version of serenity prayer: changeable things / things i can’t change / leave it be
  • it’s not about you
  • breathe out, smiling

So what kinds of things do you say to yourself to keep from banging your head against the wall?

Kickstart: Transfigurations

Posted by – January 21, 2011

Photographer Jana Marcus wants to turn her touring exhibit of photography of trans subjects into a book.

Donate if you like her work and/or if you’d like to own a copy. She needs just under $3k in a month. (Tell her Helen sent you! My thanks to Lannie Rose for the heads up.)

Dolphins at Risk

Posted by – January 20, 2011

This just pisses me off: The Vegas casino The Mirage uses dolphins to attract customers, & then has them living in shite conditions. Sign the petition & pass it on.

Quiz question: in which scifi novel(s) do dolphins speak?

Sex Educator Uninvted by OSU

Posted by – January 20, 2011

Award-winning author, columnist, sex educator, and filmmaker Tristan Taormino was set to be the keynote speaker at Oregon State University’s Modern Sex conference, scheduled for February 15-16, 2011. Yesterday, she was uninvited by a university representative, who cited her resume and website as the reason.

On October 28, 2010, organizers of the OSU Modern Sex conference booked Taormino to give the keynote talk; they confirmed the date and agreed to fees, and Tristan’s management received a first draft of the contract on November 1. That contract was incomplete and sent back to OSU for revisions. As with many negotiations, the contract was pending as all the paperwork got done, but in late December, OSU again confirmed Tristan’s appearance and conference organizers told her manager to purchase airline tickets, for which OSU would  reimburse her.

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, Steven Leider, Director of the Office of LGBT Outreach and Services contacted Colten Tognazzini, Tristan Taormino’s manager, to say that the conference had come up short on funding. Tognazzini told him that since the travel was booked and the time reserved, they could work with whatever budget they did have. Leider said that would not be possible: “We have to cancel Ms. Taormino’s appearance due to a lack of funding. It has been decided that OSU cannot pay Ms. Taormino with general fee dollars, because of the content of her resume and website.” At OSU, ‘general fee dollars’ include taxpayer dollars given to the University by the Oregon State Legislature to defray various costs. They differ from ‘student activity dollars,’ which are part of every student’s tuition and help fund student groups and activities.

Taormino’s resume includes her seven books on sex and relationships, the 18 anthologies she has edited, numerous television appearances from CNN to The Discovery Channel, and her award-winning adult films. She was a columnist for The Village Voice for nearly ten years and has given more than 75 lectures at top colleges and universities including Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown, NYU and Columbia. Her website, puckerup.com , includes sex education information, advice, and information about the films she directs for Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest adult companies in the country. More

& The Nominees Are:

Posted by – January 20, 2011

Born This Way

Posted by – January 20, 2011

I love this blog.

It’s entirely photos & stories of LGBT people in photos from when they were young, kids most of them. Just gorgeous, and the stories are as varied and amazing as you’d expect.

It reminds me some of my friend Doug’s performances Queer Stories for Boys, because there is a whole lotta queer in those photos.

I hope to see a lot more trans people in upcoming days.

Why anyone quash the spirit of such amazing children I’ll never know.

Charting Identities

Posted by – January 19, 2011

via Google Labs:

Apparently, transsexuals and transvestites are waning, and transgender is ascendant. Not that we didn’t know that, but there it is in red green and blue.

I like the way dyke has remained a subcultural word (consistently small percentages over time), while I assume queer went from being used in the “odd or weird” way to the current meaning, dipping in the late 80s/early 90s.

Two Tune Tuesday: Cage the Elephant

Posted by – January 18, 2011

Wow do I hate their name, but I heard this “wicked” track on the radio the other day & thought they had an interesting thing going on. I can’t make up my mind where it’s coming from: I alternately think of Aerosmith, early Beck, the Pistols (there’s some John Lydon in his voice) & Nirvana.

Hugely derivative, yet still entertaining.

Dr. King’s Inheritance

Posted by – January 17, 2011

I love Angela Davis, & I love what she’s doing even now: speaking out against the racial bias of the industrial prison complex:

Chinese Crossdressers

Posted by – January 16, 2011

What a list! China Today has a list of the Top Ten Crossdressers (more like trans-feminine spectrum) and most of them are young and very pretty.

(thanks to Jenny for the link!)