Category: comings & goings

Casa Valentina

Posted by – April 1, 2014

So we were just in New York, and one of the awesome things we did was meet the cast and crew of Harvey Fierstein’s new play Casa Valentina.

We didn’t get to see the whole thing – just a few key scenes – but I am so looking forward to seeing the whole of it.

And it opens to audiences tonight. I have no doubt the reception will be great.

But here’s the thing: we were invited to come see a rehearsal to advise. One of the actors contacted me a few weeks back – when I was already scheduled to be in NYC – and asked that we come because a bunch of the cast were reading or had read my books.

& Mare Winningham – who plays the wife of one of the crossdressers – said really nice things about them. She was so welcoming and cool to us.

Anyway, it was an awesome experience all around, & I only wish I could have stayed in town a day longer to catch the first night of previews tonight, but alas, the class I’m teaching started today, too.

I’m hoping to get a group together to go see it when we’re next in town, because from what I can tell, this is a gorgeous play – honest (maybe in ways some people won’t like) but compassionate, by which I mean: the wife is a real person.

Me, 4/26, FORGE in Milwaukee

Posted by – March 31, 2014

I’m going to be speaking at FORGE in Milwaukee in late April and if you sign up to come you can get a free copy of my book in whatever format you choose. Here’s the info:

We would call it March Madness but it’s carefully thought out:  Come to FORGE’s March 22nd meeting and you can receive Helen Boyd’s book She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband.  Read it, share it, talk about it with your friends, and then join us at the April 26, 2014 meeting to discuss it with the author herself!

Anyone planning to attend April’s meeting with Helen Boyd is encouraged to pick up their book on March 22, 2014.  We encourage people who have never attended a FORGE meeting before to join us for this exciting community-based book discussion.  [If you cannot pick up your copy on March 22, contact michael (tgwarrior [at] forge-forward [dot] org) to make arrangements.]

Share this opportunity with your friends, partner(s), colleagues, and family as one way of expanding knowledge about relationship dynamics and partner issues.

Note: Both bound, paper copies and electronic versions will be available.

I’m so excited about doing this and looking forward to meeting you all.

“Making Trans Parents Visible” – co-authored by me

Posted by – March 18, 2014

So this is cool: the article I co-authored with a colleague (Beth Haines) and a former student (Alex Ajayi) has been published in Feminism & Psychology, and is now available online.

Here’s the abstract:

This article explores the self-reported parenting challenges of 50 transgender parents based on an online survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans parents in the United States. Many trans parents transitioned after forming a family, whereas others had children after or even during transition. They coordinated their transition with parenting responsibilities, and carefully managed their visibility in parenting settings to protect their children. This analysis focuses on the challenges that trans parents faced at the intersection of their parenting and trans identities. Although trans parents share many of the concerns of cisgender parents, they also face unique challenges that must often be navigated without extensive support. Revealing these challenges increases trans parents’ visibility in society, and could help therapists and school administrators become more sensitive to the intersectional identities of trans people and the stressors unique to trans parenting.

Some of the other articles from the same special issue on trans include:

  • What makes a man? Thomas Beatie, embodiment, and ‘mundane transphobia’
  • Trans men and friendships: A Foucauldian discourse analysis
  • Who watches the watchmen? A critical perspective on the theorization of trans people and clinicians

Neat.

Trans*Literate Conference – NYC, 3/29 & 30

Posted by – February 24, 2014

I’m going to be speaking and running a panel on family and partners of trans people at the Trans*Literate Conference that will take place in NY on March 29th & 30th. It’s a trans symposium out of Hunter College, and this year’s keynote will be Dylan Scholinski, which to me means: yay, I get to hang out with Dylan! He’s awesome.

But otherwise it sounds like there will be a lot of great workshops for social workers, therapists, and other people who work with trans people and their families. According to the website,

the Trans*Literate symposium will educate, inform, and expand dialogue on the topic of working clinically with the transgender communities and understanding transgender experienced through psychoanalytic theory. Mental health clinicians are invited to submit proposals for workshops, papers, and presentations on the topic of how issues related to trans* experience has informed complicated, and illuminated their work in individual, group, and family clinical practice.

Seems like it’s going to be very, very useful to mental health practitioners. You DO have to register to attend (although some small # of walk-ins will be welcome).

Today: Trans* 101 @ SNC

Posted by – February 21, 2014

Fair Wisconsin T*LI Conference, Leadership Conference, & Gala

Posted by – February 11, 2014

fair wisconsin conference 2014This past weekend, Fair Wisconsin hosted its first ever Trans Leadership Institute – a full day of workshops based around trans issues. In addition, we hosted the 3rd annual LGBTQ+ Leadership Conference & Gala. Many of you donated so that I could bring people who couldn’t otherwise afford to go, and I wanted to thank all of you who supported this effort.

Kate Bornstein, as many of you already know, couldn’t be there. Kylar Broadus spoke instead, & Mara Keisling was in attendance. It was a pleasure to get to do a workshop with her, where we talked about the nature of identity and advocacy. It was good stuff, and people seemed to like it, and we’re thinking of doing it again elsewhere.

Mostly I wanted to thank all of you who contributed. The photo is me, of course, making some emphatic point about the nominative case in the use of gender neutral pronouns.  Or I was saying something about binaries, microaggressions, or cis privilege. Something like that, anyway.

Help Me Bring the Trans to WI!

Posted by – January 15, 2014

Well hello lovely readers!

It’s rare for me to do this sort of thing, but there are a couple of cool events afoot that I’ve been part of that need your support. One of them is called the Trans Leadership Institute, and it’s a day of training for trans people + allies who want to know how to do education, outreach, & advocacy on trans/gender issues. It’s part of the work I do with Fair Wisconsin and the trans division of FW called T-Fair, and it’s part of the Trans Leadership Conference taking place in Milwaukee from February 7th – 9th.

In addition, there’s a gala on Saturday, February 8th, at which none other than Kate Bornstein is speaking! (You can even come if you want to!)

So here’s why I need your help:

1) Because we desperately need more attention on trans/gender issues in WI (as we do most everywhere).

2) I would like to see a few trans people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to go to be able to do so. That is, some folks would have to take a day off work, drive, etc., and I want to help offset their costs directly.

3) There is a gala dinner on the evening of the 8th, at which none other than Kate Bornstein will be speaking, and I’d like for some of the lower income trans people I know to be able to attend. Tickets for that are $125/pop, and at the very least, I’d like to fill a table of 8-10.

So, if you would, you can either (1) donate directly to Fair Wisconsin, because it’s tax deductible!, or, (2) you can donate directly to me. (With me, of course, your name will be known only to me.) If you do donate directly to FW, do make sure you tell them what the money is for and that I sent you!

& Of course, feel free to let me know where you’d prefer the money to go – to Fair Wisconsin generally, to offset the costs for trans people to afford T*LI, or to pay for gala tickets, or all three.

Me, by Her

Posted by – January 1, 2014

ghk dec 2013

I don’t do this often, but I really like this photo my wife took of me, so here it is.

Interview with Yours Truly

Posted by – December 21, 2013

I haven’t done one of these in forever and a day, but here’s a brief interview with me by a very lovely crossdresser named Vivienne who asked me a bunch of questions. I answered most of them.

Here are the questions I did answer:

  1. It’s been several years since She’s Not the Man I Married was published. For those of us who don’t know the latest, could you give us a brief update on where things are with Betty’s transgender journey? … Does this mean hormones and surgery, or something short of that? Legal gender change?

  2. I completely understand your desire to write My Husband Betty, but did you realise or suspect at the time the impact it would have on you? Did you foresee that it would become part of your identity, at least your public one? And is that OK?

  3. What are your plans for your next book?

  4. What else do you write about which isn’t to do with gender? From my point of view, you seem like someone with a point to make, and I suspect you would have made it in a different area if the cards had fallen a little differently. I just wonder what that area might have been.

  5. I admit to feelings of envy when I read your books and realise how open you are to the idea of Betty’s transgender status. I suspect that a question you get asked frequently by crossdressers is: “How can I get my wife to be more like you?”

  6. But my question to you is this: has your acceptance of Betty ever led to problems? Have you been the subject of hostility for your views? …Why do you consider yourself a pain in the ass?

  7. What’s the most difficult thing for you about having a trans husband?

  8. What’s the best thing for you about having a trans husband?

  9. What advice would you give to a woman (perhaps a wife) whose partner has just told her about his crossdressing for the first time?

  10. A theme of my blog has become my (qualified) acceptance of the Freund-Blanchard autogynephilia model. I wondered what your current view about this hypothesis is (you touch on it in My Husband Betty, but I wondered if your views have evolved). … Old men? You mean scientists? Or perhaps priests?

  11. Most crossdressers insist they are straight men attracted to women. Yet some gay men crossdress. What’s your take on that?

  12. What famous person would you most like to meet and why?

Do go read the whole thing. It’s a very smart blog.

1st Day Back

Posted by – September 13, 2013

Because Lawrence is on the term system, we are just starting our fall term next week, but we’ve got a special first section of our Freshmen Studies class, which I teach. Tomorrow a small group of unsuspecting first year students will meet me as their 1st college professor.

Otherwise, everyone else is back on campus now too, & classes start in earnest on Monday for all.

So welcome back, Lawrence! & So it begins again, this time for the class of 2017.

Kittens

Posted by – September 11, 2013

We happen to be fostering three kittens at the moment, all of them goofy, clumsy little ninjas, hungry and recently weaned. One orange, one grey, one tortico. And they have been amusing the hell out of me, like kittens always do.

But today? They are running all over the place & so I’m reminded of that day 12 years ago when I looked down at our hardwood living room floor in Brooklyn and noticed that our kitty boys – who were then about a year & a half – had left footprints while they played.

& That was when we noticed the light coating of ash on the floor.

& Then it all comes back: the smell, god the smell. But the phone calls, & my family gathering on Long Island that following weekend, to look at our wedding photos – we’d just gotten married in July. Walking down the street in Park Slope & a woman stopping to take a call on her cellphone & watching her go ashen & cry & fall to her knees right there on the sidewalk. Finding a day a few months later to shop up on 7th Avenue and running into a funeral for a Rescue One firefighter.

It was a lot of that. It wasn’t a day.

It was months, now years, more than a decade, & yet the shock of it, and the sadness, never goes away.

So today, tears, and kittens who leave no footprints.

 

Me, on Manning

Posted by – September 7, 2013

Here’s a short piece I wrote for the Wisconsin Gazette, Wiconsin’s LGBT paper, about Chelsea Manning. I didn’t actually title it, for the record, and I was a little surprised to see the big photo of me, but I’m happy to see it out there.

 

Subscription Problem

Posted by – August 30, 2013

Hello all! I’ve been having a problem with the subscription widget for this blog lately and haven’t yet come up with a fix. Once I do, I’ll announce it here – and/or hopefully be able to send an email to all of you who have subscribed in the past.

Wish me luck.

Back in Appleton

Posted by – August 2, 2013

My amazing, full, rich, hot stay in NYC is over, and I’m back in Appleton, at my house with sparrows in the backyard and flowers in bloom and it’s really not so bad.

Thank You

Posted by – July 14, 2013

Thanks to all of you who wished me and my lovely wife a happy wedding anniversary today.

I have been, as some of you have realized, feeling a lot more private lately, about a lot of things, and so am no longer on Facebook or other social networking sites. I think I am just a little fatigued, and still a little twitchy due to the move from Giant Anonymous Place to here.

(Still, the well wishes of you all mean a great deal to me, and I appreciate both the enthusiasm and the attention.)

Green Bay Pride

Posted by – July 13, 2013

I’m speaking, briefly, at Pride Alive today, around 11am, up in Green Bay. The event goes from 11am until 10PM, so do come. I’ve tabled for Fair Wisconsin at this event in the past, and it’s a cool thing.

Welcome Newbies

Posted by – June 21, 2013

I’m noticing a lot of newbies reading and commenting here, so I just wanted to say hello, and maybe add a caveat: this blog is 10 years old, & there’s plenty I’ve written here that I don’t even agree with anymore. So do keep that in mind as you read, or not. I don’t like editing/changing history, so I leave it as is, but do please ask for an update if you find yourself reading an old post & wondering why I’m such an asshole.

Otherwise, welcome!

Endymion

Posted by – May 28, 2013

endymion meSo our big Endymion is on his way out of this world, but right now he’s stable – on a mix of steroids and antibiotics, with another trip to the vet for bloodwork tomorrow. He was  severely anemic and jaundiced yesterday at the vet, and although the jaundice seems to have diminished, he still seems very, very tired.

But he did decide to hang around long enough for his mom to get back here and kiss his big head.

Thanks for all the good thoughts and prayers. We’d rather him around forever, but not if he’s suffering, so we’ll see what shitty decisions we’ll have to make, or not.

(This is one of my favorites of the big goober, taken back in Brooklyn.)

Emergency Ride from Milwaukee > Appleton

Posted by – May 27, 2013

(I’ve gotten a ride. Thank you all for helping out by re-posting this note.)

Hello all

I desperately need an emergency ride from Milwaukee airport to Appleton. I’m arriving at 2:30 & want to leave right away.

Our Endymion is dying. We’ve made him comfy & he’s at home, but I’d like to be able to say goodbye. I can’t change my flights, and because of my stupid probationary license, I can’t rent a car.

If you know anyone who might be able to do this, even if you can’t, please pass it on. Obviously I’ll pay for gas & consider any other requests for remuneration.

Thanks.

Helen

Portland!

Posted by – May 26, 2013

And now I’m in Portland visiting with an old, old friend – the one I used to read old sexology books with in the library in high school – and meeting her husband and her two year old son for the very first time.

Seattle was too amazing. I already miss it.

I’m back in Wisconsin Tuesday.