Month: July 2012

Road Trip

Posted by – July 29, 2012

Sorry for not mentioning this sooner, but I’m currently traveling from Appleton to Long Island to Manhattan to Brooklyn and back again from July 23rd until August 10th. My response to email will be slow and I will only rarely be reading Facebook.

& Yes, I’m doing a lot of the driving but traveling with a good friend and fellow trans partner.

Vagina Song

Posted by – July 22, 2012

When I first saw the title I was kind of hoping it would be sung to the tune of “Redemption Song” but no such luck.

Many of you will find it tasteless, offensive, and crass.

Others will think it’s charming and funny.

I think it’s both.

Isis King / Janet Mock

Posted by – July 21, 2012

Here’s a cool interview by the folks at In the Life: Isis King of America’s Top Model is interviewed by/conversing with Janet Mock, the out black trans woman of People magazine.

Bill Corbett Rocks

Posted by – July 20, 2012

The comedian Bill Corbett used the word “tranny” on Twitter & had no idea how offensive it was. He went on to write this, & I thought it was (1) not only considered and smart and humane, but (2) it provides an amazing, graceful way to respond when you’ve fucked up.

I want to stand on the side of humanity. I want to be humane, even when being a goddamned wise-ass. There’s no tried and true path through this, but it’s really worth trying to find it. I want to make people laugh, not feel shitty about life. ”Leave the world a better place than you found it.” A twisty task for someone in comedy, but others have shown that its not impossible . . .

. . . An equally likely answer is that I really don’t know any trans people — no close friends, no family members that I know of. The one and only trans person who I knew well was someone at a regular AA meeting I used to attend. We are both there to recover from addiction, and [no name: anonymous, y’know*] was an inspiration: she’d been physically abused by family for years, was pulling herself out of drug and alcohol addiction, and was doing it with an amazing amount of dignity and cheer, considering what she’d been through. She was a person vital to helping ME recover. We no longer live in the same city, and so have lost touch… But the thought of causing her further pain in life breaks my heart.

In apology, and to honor my friend, I am donating $100.00 to the Anti-Violence Project in New York, where I grew up.

Well done.

MHB MS. Copies

Posted by – July 19, 2012

I have two manuscript copies of My Husband Betty left in my files, and after this last move, I want them gone too. If anyone wants them, speak now or they go to the shredder.

I’d only ask that you pay postage and/or make a donation to some trans-relevant cause in exchange.

Scout’s Dishonor

Posted by – July 19, 2012

I was interviewed for a local newspaper article about the Boy Scouts of America decision to keep the ban on gays in place.


Lawrence University professor Helen Boyd, author of two books about her relationship with a transgender partner, said the situation with the Boy Scouts is an example of “people trying to hold on to traditions that are unequal and unfair.”

She thinks the group eventually will overturn its policy, but said it would take some time.

“Policies like this are exactly the kind of things that young kids pay attention to,” said Boyd, who worries the Boy Scouts policy may lead gay youth to believe there’s something wrong with who they are.

In how many years are we going to look back & think, “what exactly was the problem?”

Tech Tools, Master’s House

Posted by – July 18, 2012

Two Chrome extensions: Jailbreak the Patriarchy – which swaps out all the “he” pronouns for “she” pronouns, and Jailbreak the Binary, which replaces all gendered pronouns for gender neutral ones.

Cool.

Boys.

Posted by – July 17, 2012

Bowie, Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias on SNL back in ’79. This was one of the first live performances I ever saw on SNL – I think a sibling let me stay up when mom & dad were out – and it blew my 10 year old mind.

Ah, the late 70s. I’m still not really a Bowie fan, but I do of course appreciate his genderiness back in the day. Klaus Nomi is still a loss, as far as I’m concerned, & I’ve seen Joey Arias perform quite a lot of times.

50 Shades of Gottfried

Posted by – July 14, 2012

In honor of our 11th wedding anniversary, because there’s nothing sexier than funny.

Male Femme Responds

Posted by – July 13, 2012

A transvestite of my acquaintance has written a very interesting response to the radfem anti-trans position that is worth reading. Jeffreys, and other radfems, seek to disenfranchise trans women on the basis that they are just transvestite men, and this male femme takes on why, exactly, that doesn’t make sense either.

This section is particularly interesting:

After that digression, in her final section Jeffreys asks the (for her, rhetorical) question: “Transfemininity – Transgressing Gender or Maintaining It?”, reiterating once again that “Femininity is exciting because it is the behaviour of subordination” and, further, that “it is because it is the behaviour of subordination that it cannot be preserved.” From my own perspective, femininity is not intrinsically the behaviour of subordination, so any move to eliminate it is unwarranted (never mind being hopelessly impractical). Instead, what is required is the negation of gender stereotyping, so that people are able to develop their gender freely and are free to express it as they need or wish. As for Jeffreys’ question itself, I think the answer is pretty much “neither” in all cases:

— For trans women (with whom Jeffreys is primarily concerned at this point) the question has no relevance, since trans women are not inevitably feminine; their gender is as variable as that of any other woman. (Jeffreys merely confuses sex and gender here.)

— For male submissives transgression does occur in a sexual sense, in that maleness is disassociated from stereotypical expectations of sexual dominance. Sissies might appear to render this ambiguous by coupling femininity with sexual submission, but it is still in essence male submission. In either case gender transgression is not really the point.

— For male transvestites cultural gender rules are certainly transgressed, but that doesn’t imply any real gender transgression either. As Jeffreys’ selective evidence indicates, some transvestites (like anyone else) can have quite ‘traditional’ views on gender. (A penchant for cross-dressing is no assurance of progressive values.) Moreover, transvestites’ default stealth (i.e. closetedness) rules out meaningful transgression for most of us, whatever our politics. The best that might be said is that transvestites are potentially transgressive. If we were all out and open about our (varied) gender expression, so that the assumed correlation between femininity and femaleness was shown to be false, we might well be gender transgressive. But, with a few notable exceptions, we mostly aren’t.

As much as I would rather see this embarrassing radfem position just go away, it won’t, until or unless pro-trans radfems are willing to speak up and provide logical theoretical reasons for why trans people should be included in a radical feminist agenda.

GoodWill’s LGBT Programming Needs Your Support

Posted by – July 12, 2012

GoodWill Industries of North Central Wisconsin is helping sponsor an event for LGBTQ youth which is a celebration of 15 years of the GLBT Partnership. The Partnership is a youth group that meets and provides support to teens who identify as LGBT and their allies. GoodWill helps by sponsoring space for those meetings.

And now a local “family voice” is encouraging their supporters to call GoodWill and complain about this programming. I won’t give this person the traffic by actually linking to him, but I’ve copied some of the text below so you can see exactly what you’re dealing with. On the same page, they provide the numbers and contact info for the people at both GoodWill and Kimberly Clark. (If you absolutely must see the page for yourself, email me & I’ll send it to you that way.)

So here’s what we need to do.

  1. call or email:
    • Thomas J. Falk, Chairman/CEO of Kimberly-Clark, 920-721-2000, or Media.Relations@kcc.com, or use their on-line form HERE
      and/or
    • GOODWILL INDUSTRIES, webmaster@gwicc.org,1-800-482-0030
  2. donate to the LGBT partnership
  3. spread the word by posting this info on your blog, Facebook, etc.

What I want to see is support for these teenagers. Too many local LGBTQ teens have taken their own lives, & the GLBT Partnership is a real light against this kind of homophobia. Do help if you can, in whatever way you can.

Below is the text of the person who is getting people to call these groups & discourage this event AND the LGBT teens. We need to outnumber them. More

Sound Writing Advice

Posted by – July 11, 2012

Some cool tips from C.S. Lewis about writing, via Abagond:

  • Read all the good books you can, and avoid nearly all magazines.
  • Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. You should hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken. If it does not sound nice, try again.
  • When you give up a bit of work don’t (unless it is hopelessly bad) throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later. Much of my best work, or what I think my best, is the rewriting of things begun and abandoned years earlier.
  • Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them.
  • Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “more people died” don’t say “mortality rose.”
  • Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”: make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers “Please will you do my job for me.”

Read the rest at Abagond.

Moving Day

Posted by – July 10, 2012

We are moving again, and again within Appleton, this time from our lovely cool industrial apartment on the river to a house that will be just ours. A basement, a garage, & a yard. It will be the first time my address hasn’t had an apartment number since I lived in my parents’ house when I was 17.

So I’ll be a little busier than usual packing, moving, & then unpacking.

If you’re the sort who has my personal address & needs it updated, let me know. I’m going to try to get cards/emails/etc out but that may not be right away.

Wish us luck. We’ll post photos when we get around to it.

Idle Idyll

Posted by – July 9, 2012

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ “Eureka” in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.

From this cool article by cartoonist Tim Krieder in The New York Times a week or so ago. I’ve been out drinking with him, & can report that he is the louche he says he is.

Men & Strippers

Posted by – July 8, 2012

I found a blog of men’s letters about their experiences going to strip clubs – some stories of first times, or lifelong membership, but others try to explain the why of going.

Its unfair to say that all women in strip clubs are weak pawns in a male dominated world, some entries here suggest the opposite, but it was true of this place. I went to a strip club to prove to the world I was a man, maybe I did but as the brother to 3 sisters I don’t think I can justify it on the basis of my self esteem again. I’m pretty bad with women but I prefer rejection to guilt.

While most Feminist would say that a strip clubs demean and objectify women, I believe any woman who has the ultimate control in this situation, really, has the upper hand. Does it bring them self confidence? Perhaps this is just a slimy justification on my part. I imagine most women dance; not because they enjoy it, but because they have to feed their families or something else. This is the cold reality of strip clubs but I prefer to think they dance for the pleasure of making me poorer. Regardless of what I think; I will pass along my Benjamin’s, and when that Benjamin is passed along there is always that look in the girl’s eyes that says I got you sucker…

You pay a fee. For this a naked girl sits on your lap and listens.

It’s ludicrous. I’m forty, drive a Cadillac, have traveled the world and am fully clothed. The girl is half my age, drove her mothers Hyundai to work, hasn’t been out of the state since a trip to Disney World when she was ten and is stark naked.

But she listens for a bit and all is right with the world. That’s why I go.

I’m going to have a hard time not staying up all night reading it.

Online Support Groups

Posted by – July 8, 2012

My online group for trans partners via Yahoo Groups still exists, and is always taking on new members. You can find it here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/engender_partners/

It is open to *all* partners of trans people – male, female, genderqueer, queer, het, etc.

 

Riki Wilchins’ Mangina Monologue

Posted by – July 7, 2012

“Because old guys getting erections is vital to the very moral fiber of our social foundation.” Funny. I never thought Riki Wilchins would do dick jokes.

Domestic Violence PSA

Posted by – July 6, 2012

This is chilling. And informative:

It’s for refuge.org.uk.

In New York, there’s NYC’s services, as well as Safe Horizon.
In Wisconsin, here’s a list.
In the Fox cities, there’s Harbor House and the SACC.

Please do donate to any or all of the above, and spread the word.

Make Her Toast

Posted by – July 5, 2012

No, really, it’s on the list of bad sex advice tips from Cosmo as compiled by Jezebel. You know, equal opportunity goofiness.

Here are a few favorites:

21. Take a pearl necklace and “…lightly lubricate the pearls and your penis. Have your partner wrap the pearls around the shaft and slowly stroke up and down with a gentle rotation.”
Just don’t tell Mother. She’s still cross about the time she caught you rimming the good china.

23. “Try facial intercourse. This smooch mimics sex from foreplay to penetration, beginning with a tongue exploration inside the mouth. Rub your tongues together in small and large circles, then dart them in and out of your mouths as if you were having intercourse.”
Here’s a second take on that one: don’t try facial intercourse.

31. “Pop your chap in a jar of Nutella, then present it to your lady. Be rewarded with a very enthusiastic blowjob.”
Did you know that ladies love chocolate?

Great: now I can’t get the visual of someone sticking their penis into a jar of Nutella out of my head.

Heat Wave

Posted by – July 3, 2012