Two Tune Tuesday: Passer Guitaruus Est

Josh Williams was performing the song “Mordecai” at a Bluegrass festival this past May 5th when he had a little visitor. Check it, around 1:30, and watch to the end.


Humans of New York

One of my favorite blogs – especially now that I live in Wisconsin – is Humans of New York, which is a project that’s a little bit like a photographic census. Not only does it consist of great photos of people in New York, but there’s an interactive map for where they were taken, too.

This is one of my favorites. It’s called “bike.”

HUD: Equal Access to Housing Rule Trans-Inclusive

Wow. Housing non-discrimination for trans people? Really? What amazing news. Via NCTE:

“I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose […] If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That’s what equal access means, and that’s what this rule is going to do.”

The new rule makes several urgently needed changes to current federal housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation;and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

Read the whole article. Honestly, when i first started doing advocacy around trans issues, I didn’t expect to see these kinds of rules put in place by 2012.

How to Say ‘Panties’

(There are some other really great ones, like coccyx, synechdoche, and carpe diem.)

RIP Juan Epstein

I don’t know if anyone else has said it, but I thought Juan Epstein was hot. Either way, the actor Robert Hegyes, who played him, died at the age of 60. So here’s a clip of Kotter’s first day back at Buchanan High.

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook:

Dear Mr. Kotter,
Epstein was not able to turn in his history assignment on account of he’s dead.
Epstein’s mother

Which is nearly horrible yet somehow perfect.

Income Calculator

Find out how long it takes Mitt Romney to make your salary. Really.

Sasha’s Sex

The couple who chose to keep their child’s sex a secret so that s/he might be raised free of gendered expectations and stereotypes, have now revealed their child Sasha was declared male at birth.

The reason, of course, is that Sasha is starting school.

Miss Laxton, a web designer from Sawston, Cambridgeshire, admitted that keeping her child’s gender under wraps for so long had not been easy. At her mother and baby group, she said she was regarded as ‘that loony woman who doesn’t know whether her baby is a boy or a girl’. ‘I could never persuade anyone in the group to come round for coffee,’ she said. ‘They just thought I was mental.’

At school, Sasha sometimes wears a ruched-sleeved and scalloped-collared shirt from the girl’s uniform list. But he has yet to encounter any teasing or bullying. ‘Nobody’s ever mentioned it and I would hope that if they actually said something to Sasha, he’d be confident enough to make a good response,’ his mother said.

I think they sound entirely sane and reasonable, and I applaud their efforts to raise their child without the restrictions gender places on all of us.

Two Tune Tuesday: Einsturzende Neubauten

Rachel calls it my clink-bang-whizz-brr music. (Tom Waits, amongst others, is in the same category.)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

It still makes me happy, and they were amazingly cool live. They were the only band I ever played that my mother asked me to turn off, and I vaguely remember her calling it something like “Nazi death music.” I love this description at Trouser Press:

Part deadly earnest post-musical composers, part boys- with-toys goofballs whipping up a ruckus for the pure joy of making noise, Berlin’s Einstürzende Neubauten (Collapsing New Buildings) have built a distinctive, challenging and extremely imaginative sonic career out of implements generally intended for other utilitarian purposes: power drills, humming power lines, water towers, air-conditioning ducts, plate steel, glass, boulders and various large metal objects beaten with sledgehammers, pipes, wrenches and axes. Even traditional tools receive similarly brutal mistreatment — Blixa Bargeld’s pained vocals and guitar are often blurred to the point of abstraction. While Einstürzende Neubauten occasionally veers into song form with intriguing, even attractive, results, the group’s output more typically resembles a bunch of highly amplified (or, in some cases, barely audible) industrial sound-effects records being played at each other with little concern for anything but the raising of blood pressure and artistic hackles. Good shit.

Ah, Blixa: check out the creepiest version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” ever recorded. (He was one of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds too, by the way.)


or there’s always this option.

As someone who goes to see a great deal of music these days – go figure, but it turns out I love chamber music – I tend to leave my phone somewhere in the entrance / antechamber to the actual performance hall. It would make sense if people could check their phones before walking into an event.

Roe v. Wade…

… is 39 years old today, & still, thankfully, the law of the land. It is not, of course, guaranteed, and the pro life forces are quite aware that the next presidential choice of a Supreme Court justice is incredibly important, and they’re feeling pretty cocky after the 2010 elections.

So for those of you who are “fiscal conservatives” – I put that in quotes because I don’t think you can separate fiscal issues from social ones, since how we make and spend money, is, ultimately, a moral issue – who are thinking of voting against Obama, but who are feminists, think twice.

Being Pro Choice is not being Pro Abortion. I have yet to meet anyone – feminist or not – who is pro abortion. What we are, rather, is feminist, and think a woman’s life – which is actual, apparent, and breathing – should have at least some influence on the potential life – which is debatable, uncertain, and not breathing – she is carrying.

100 Trans Blogs

Sugar and Slugs put together a list of 100 trans-related blogs; not all of them are primarily dedicated to trans issues, but still, this is pretty amazing.

I think there were three when I started, & I’m not sure any of those are still online/active.


I expect some of our Appleton peeps will read this & we will make a lot more sense. Maybe. Anyway, it’s great.


Just to Say

It’s been seven months since he left us, & we both still miss him everyday.Here he is with his star pendant. Because, you know, he was one.

Her First Period

How We Honor Dr. King

“Power without love is reckless & abusive,

& love without power is sentimental & anemic.

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice

& justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

– Dr. King

Found here.

Or, as my friend Dylan posted on Facebook:

Spend this day in reflection.

Put no words in Dr. King’s mouth and make no assumptions that he would be on your side if he was alive this day; dead men can neither dispute words nor defend deeds. Create no saints where there was only a brave, fragile human who spoke for justice at his peril and ultimately to his demise.

Above all, remember the work that must be done tomorrow, for while Dr. King gave us momentum there is still so much left to do, so many challenges yet to come. May we share his strength and bravery as we act justly in the face of injustice, and in doing so honor his legacy more than any statue or holiday could attempt.

Indeed. That last bit would make a lovely start to any meeting, or any day.

Buy Girl Scout Cookies

If you haven’t yet heard, a Girl Scout troop allowed a young trans girl to join and in response, people are boycotting the sale of Girl Scout cookies.

Which, to my mind, means: more for us! These will be the most guilt-free cookies ever.

The Girl Scouts, by the way, have continued to support an inclusive membership policy despite the boycott.

Shit Trans Guys Say

I know everyone is sick of these already, but I find this one charming:

More interesting is the same guy’s musings on being “trans enough”.

“Work It” Cancelled

ABC Cancels “Work It” After Two Episodes

Los Angeles, CA, January 14, 2012 – Today ABC announced that the series “Work It” has been cancelled after two episodes. GLAAD and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) had spoken out against the series for its potential to cause harm to transgender people. The series debuted on January 3, 2012 to low ratings, and, according to Entertainment Weekly, dropped another 20 percent this week.

“While many of ABC’s positive and groundbreaking portrayals of LGBT people have been critical and popular successes, the public had little interest in this outdated show,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs and Communications at GLAAD. “As a result of this campaign, an important dialogue has been started in Hollywood and mainstream media about the real discrimination faced by transgender people today.”

Continue reading ““Work It” Cancelled”

How Beautiful Is She?

I love this. A “Plus Size” model – in scare quotes because I find the phrase idiotic – did a photo shoot with your average (skinny) model, exactly to show the difference.

What’s striking to me is how much she looks like an adult woman to the other model’s more child-like appearance. And honestly, that kind of freaks me out.

Anyway, I think she’s gorgeous.