Posted by – July 18, 2013
With many recent exhibitions, screenings and publications, the queer community, particularly in New York, seems to be on an archival bent, mapping a genealogy of various aspects of LGBTQ history. Not only is queer culture experiencing archive fever, but the era of the 1980s and 1990s has been given an inordinate amount of attention by curators, critics and writers. Adding to that dialogue, Simpson’s Drag Explosion presents an archive of the drag scene, which seems to often appear on the periphery of many exhibitions and publications on the 1980s art scene or LGBTQ history despite its influential humor, camp and fashion that still pervades culture today.
The photos themselves are a blast. I hope there are a lot more screenings, but if you can’t catch one, you can watch a slideshow of the photos online with Linda’s narration.
I love this idea: couples were asked to switch the clothes they were wearing with each other.
The ones I’ve posted here, amongst others, are the ones where the switched clothes make both people look better – in my humble opinion – than their original outfits, or where, despite a very genderered different, like a skirt, the styles are nearly the same anyway.
But do go look at the rest. You can buy it as a book, too.
Felicity by Mariette Pathy Allen
Slate’s just done a nice piece about Mariette Pathy Allen, who has been photographing members of the trans community for a long while. Her books were some of the first I saw and read, in fact.
This is one of my favorites of hers, and it’s of Felicity, who died a few years ago at the age of 102. She is sitting in front of a photo of her child self at the turn of the last century.
It was almost a rite of passage when she photographed us when we were at Fantasia Fair in Provincetown nearly a decade ago.
You can see more of her photography on her own website.
Posted by – March 19, 2013
… and there’s this one, too, of me and my wife.
Posted by – March 18, 2013
I was a giant fan of his in the early 90s when “House of Buggin’” was on TV and I was maybe the only white girl living in Washington Heights. No, really.
I didn’t see To Wong Foo when it came out, believe it or not. Mostly I went to see him on stage, for Freak and Spic O Rama and Sexaholix, which I loved (even just that clip of it is NSFW).
And he was a totally nice guy, too.
But this PSA kinda gives you the lowdown.
My wife, in the meantime, had a lovely time chatting with his wife, and a good time was had by all.
(And John, if you happen to read this: I’m not the trans one. That was my version of funny.)
Posted by – February 17, 2013
They were Brooklyn kids, can you tell? Sweet and tough all at once.
(& Yes, we all still miss the big galoot in the photo, & we miss him a lot.)
They were in their early 20s when this one was taken, & they’re sitting on the stoop of a family home on Jerome Street, somewhere near Pitkin Avenue.
Posted by – February 15, 2013
My friend Alex takes really cool photos, like these two of Eli.
Find more here.
Posted by – February 11, 2013
I kinda love this one: me and my wife listening intently all fancied up.
Posted by – June 27, 2012
I really am not sure what to think of this project. The idea was to photograph genders, as she did in the 80s, but somewhere along the way she discovered a few people who were genderqueer or trans*.
I love the idea but I also feel a little squeamish about the description of the project.
I think I’d prefer to hear their voices talking about how they live in their bodies and genders, and what they think of both.
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.)
Posted by – December 5, 2010
Posted by – April 17, 2010
A Lawrence student has been taking photographs of faculty, staff & students who wanted to participate in the NOH8 campaign, and yesterday, on our 12th anniversary, we decided to (finally) get ours taken. Here are some of the shots.
Photographer: Andrew Hawley
Posted by – November 19, 2007
A Note from the Author:
Just a couple of things I want to say first. As one of the conditions for this is no names, I shall refer to my beloved in boy format as B*. This stands for Beloved. Another major character is X, which refers to the ex-wife. Finally, please excuse any pronoun confusion that may arise. I have tried to use â€œheâ€ when referring to my dearest in â€œboy-mode,â€ and â€œsheâ€ when referring to same in â€œgirlie-modeâ€ (his own terms) but there are still times when Iâ€™m not sure which to use when.
Chapter 1: In which Tink sees photos.
I think I first fell in love when I saw her picture. The problem was, he belonged to somebody else- a friend of mine- and so I put it out of my mind.
I had known B* for a couple of years. He was going out with X, who was a friend of mine, and we became good friends ourselves, the kind that sees each in other in the pub, but with occasional deep and meaningful conversations between just the two if us. This was one of those times. Most of our other friends had retired early, and it was just the two of us in one of those dodgy local rock clubs that you seem to find in every city. He was entertaining me with pictures on his mobile phone. They were various models, singers and actresses all looking beautiful. I had the difficult task of putting names to the faces, and my knowledge of popular culture kept letting me down. He selected another image and presented it to me. Again I was clueless. She was slim and beautiful like all the rest, with lovely long, dark hair and dressed in black. I took a wild guess.
â€œMorticia Addams?â€ Apparently I was wrong and had to look again. â€œI have no idea, but whoever she is, sheâ€™s very pretty.â€
â€œWow!â€ I was stunned. I looked again, and I just couldnâ€™t believe it. She was just amazing.
Posted by – October 22, 2007
I’m pleased as punch that I got a chance – right after my keynote at Fantasia Fair – not only to meet the Bearded Lady of Provincetown, but to get her to stretch my previous ear piercings so that I could wear these lovely new omegas I bought in her shop.
She tells me that I can make them bigger in a few months, too. Betty’s starting to worry.
If you’re coming here after Fantasia Fair, do remind me of the resources I said I would post. I know some (a lot) of them are probably about sex, so you might want to start by browsing the posts marked s.e.x. on this blog.
Posted by – October 20, 2007
There are not a lot of stories of successful transsexual / non-trans partner marriages. One recurring theme that I see is the need for pacing. Unfortunately too many trans-partners once they have their epiphany rush like a runaway freight train towards transition. Like most runaway freight trains these relationships typically end in destruction.
I’m not going to say that there is any one right way to transition. We all know that those paths are as unique as the individuals who tread them. However, if a couple is going to have any possibility of remaining intact each partner must be willing to recognize that compromises will be an integral part of the process.
Posted by – September 26, 2007
Julia Serano is a Bay Area slam-winning poet, author, performer, activist, & biologist. She organized the GenderEnders event from 2003 until last year; plays guitar, sings & writes lyrics for her band Bitesize, and oh – has a Ph.D. in biochemistry. We got to meet her when she was in town promoting her book Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, recently published by Seal Press.
(1) I loved Whipping Girl, for starters. I think it’s a pivotal work for trans communities, especially in building trans pride. But you know I kept waiting for you to actually define “feminine” – maybe if not for all time, but in some way that I could understand what you meant by it specifically. Your “barrette Manifesto” came close, except that I see barrettes as childish, not feminine per se. So can you help the genderblind like myself? What is femininity? Can you be feminine without being girly?
In the next to last chapter of the book, â€œPutting the Feminine Back into Feminism,â€ I talk about that a bit, but Iâ€™ll try to define it here a little more clearly. I would say that femininity is a heterogeneous set of traits (some of which are cultural in origin, some biological, some psychological, and many are a combination thereof). The only thing that all feminine traits have in common is that they are typically associated with women in our culture. But they certainly arenâ€™t exclusive to women, as many men and MTF spectrum transgender folks also express feminine traits (similarly, many women express masculine rather than feminine traits). I think most of us tend to express some combination of both feminine and masculine traits.
Posted by – September 20, 2007
“Tranny, 24, slim attractive brunette, seeks fun loving friend for laughter and love.”
Hey, every story has to begin somewhere, and this one’s starting with that. It’s the text of a personals ad, submitted to a local free weekly paper. The sort of thing that’s three quarters real estate listings.
I can’t claim sole authorship for the ad. My ex wife and I penned it. We started with the vague notion that it was about time I started seeing people. She, after all, had hooked up with a new guy and was rapidly approaching domestic bliss. I’d been moping around for a while, but was now finally starting to re-emerge into the world; to get my shit together, as it were.
Posted by – August 29, 2007
Marilyn Frank has been sharing her story with wives at Fantasia Fair, IFGE and Tri-Ess seminars since 1982. She married her husband Len in 1954 and didnâ€™t learn about the cross dressing until 1964, 10 years and 3 children later. At that time the only information available to her was Virginia Princeâ€™s book The Transvestite and His Wife (now titled The Cross-dresser and His Wife) which she still finds to be one of the best books written.
1) First, Marilyn, I want to thank you on behalf of all the partners out there, for stepping up at a time when most of us weren’t even in high school yet. Without women like you & Peggy Rudd, the struggle to have partners’ issues recognized would be a lot more difficult. So what caused you to do the educating you did?
In the 1970â€™s I was a volunteer on a crisis intervention hot line in Morris County, NJ. When I became Director, I questioned some of the professionals in the group, who did not know much about cross dressing, but were able to assist me in finding people who did know. During this time we came upon Tri-Ess, and then in 1980 Len read the article in Playboy about Fantasia Fair and in 1981 we spent a few days at the Fair. I had many discussions with Ariadne Kane about the wives’ needs, and this brought Niela Miller to the Fair and thatâ€™s where my true education began. Since it had been a very lonely road not only for Len, but for me, I decided I would reach out to help others, so thatâ€™s when I started facilitating a wives group at our local Tri-Ess Chapter, which I did for for over 10 years. I also was instrumental in starting the wives’ program at the first IFGE Convention. My philosophy is that every time I help someone, I help myself. Itâ€™s true the marriage had its ups and downs where the cross dressing was concerned, but for us it was a small part of our overall marriage. We have always had good communication, enjoy many of the same things and do have a sense of humor (that helps).