Survey: Partners Whose Husband Come Out as TG

SURVEY: “A Study in the Relationship between Changes in a Wife’s Self-Esteem and the Discovery that Her Husband is Transgender: What is the Perceived Meaning of the Discovery?”

If you think you might be interested in participating in this survey, please read more below the break, and contact the person doing the survey. I am not doing it, do not endorse it, but do not suspect it, either.

Continue reading “Survey: Partners Whose Husband Come Out as TG”

Not Just Amanda Simpson

From the “there goes the MTF end of things sucking all the air out of the room again” division: in fact there were two trans people appointed by the Obama administration in late November.

The difficulty arose because Simpson is a former NCTE Board member, & so they sent out a press release noting their former board member’s new job, which is what caused all the hullabaloo.

Morehouse Crossdressing Policy

Morehouse College has chosen to have a clothing policy that prohibits crossdressing:

The dress-wearing ban is aimed at a small part of the private college’s 2,700-member student body, said Dr. William Bynum, vice president for Student Services.

“We are talking about five students who are living a gay lifestyle that is leading them to dress a way we do not expect in Morehouse men,” he said.

Before the school released the policy, Bynum said, he met with Morehouse Safe Space, the campus’ gay organization.

“We talked about it and then they took a vote,” he said. “Of the 27 people in the room, only three were against it.”

There has been a positive response along with some criticism throughout the campus, he said.

Senior Devon Watson said he disagrees with parts of the new policy, especially those that tell students what they should wear in free time outside of the classroom.

I’m wondering if someone needs to tell them about straight crossdressers, and about pre-transition MTF trans people. Hopefully Morehouse’s Safe Space already does – but I doubt it.

Paulina Ibarra’s Killer Wanted

Another murder of another trans woman. Enough.

Trans Documentary Drinking Game

In light of the documentary about Chloe Prince that will air tomorrow night, I thought we should all be prepared for what looks like it’s going to be a doozy of a predictable documentary.

So, the rules, such as they are, for watching a trans documentary:

  1. Putting on makeup. Two drinks for reverse camera shot into mirror.
  2. Doing anything better done in jeans and sneakers in heels and a skirt. Examples: cleaning the house, shoveling the sidewalk, yard work, walking the dog.
  3. Before picture shown. Two drinks for picture in stereotypical male mode (sports team, facial hair, military, wedding tux)
  4. Camera shot putting on or taking off a bra.
  5. Photo of any wig, breast form, padding, etc.
  6. Surprise disclosure, when a trans woman is introduced and then partway through the piece, her secret is revealed.
  7. Camera focus on masculine body parts: hands, feet, Adam’s apple, height, etc.
  8. Any reference to genital surgery that refers to “becoming a woman” or “finally a woman”
  9. Minor chords played softly on a piano
  10. talk show host saying “you go girl”
  11. any discussion of plumbing or electricity
  12. black and white childhood shots, MTF with cap gun and cowboy hat, FTM as ballerina.
  13. Trans woman saying, “I am not a crossdresser. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
  14. Trans woman clutching large teddy bear in hospital bed.
  15. Birthday balloons after surgery.
  16. Trans woman with new boyfriend (after shot of tearful ex-wife).
  17. Trans woman sitting in chair in above-the-knee skirt, posed so you can see what great gams she has.
  18. Patient wheeled off to surgery …
  19. … lingering shot of the hospital bed with the teddy bear (or wife) left behind.
  20. Shot of protaganist sitting at the computer keyboard, looking at a trans support website or surgeon’s website….
  21. Any helping professional teaching deportment
  22. Camera in the operating room – just drink the whole bottle
  23. Any and all deployments of soft focus = 1 shot
  24. Close up of dotted lines in magic marker on pale fleshy body parts = 1 shot
  25. Earnest surgeon describes his motivation as “to help [girlname] become the woman she’s always really felt herself to be” = 3 shots
  26. Before picture with extreme facial hair – 1 shot
  27. Before picture in uniform – Military, Football, etc… – 2 shots
  28. Video from hair removal session : Laser – 1 shot, electrolysis – 2 shots
  29. Before picture – Last time she wore a dress (F2M) – 1 shots
  30. Breast binding – 2 shots
  31. Taking Hormones – Self-injecting -3 shots, orals – 1 shot
  32. Did anyone mention an arduous and lonely childhood?
  33. Meeting the school bully as “the new me” at the High School reunion?
  34. Looking at the old picture of self and saying something to the effect of “he was a nice guy….” or “Ken was a lot of fun, but his time is over. It’s Ginger’s turn now!”
  35. Trans woman claiming to have IS chromosomal pattern, an affinity for washing dishes, a sudden dislike of sports, etc.

Believe it or not, these are not the most snarky suggestions by some of our mHB board members. Also remember: there are quite a few people who hang out on our boards who have done this kind of media work, including me & Betty, of course, but also Jenny Boylan, amongst others. We need to laugh at ourselves as much as we laugh at the inanity of it all.

Twelve-Steppers should find their own version, of course. Maybe those ice cream poppers? But the point is to feel as physically ill by the end as the drinking crowd.

(Thanks and love to Gwen Smith who wrote her own version of this back in 2005 and to anyone else who has posted their version of this game.)

Remember Them as Soldiers

What bugs me about this NPR story about a Civil War soldier is that the people who live in the town Albert Casher, nee Jennie Hodgers, are embarrassed by who s/he was:

Dina says some residents believe that embracing the story of Jennie Hodgers will help bring tourists to town. “Other people, I think, frankly, would rather everybody not know we had a cross-dresser in Saunemin,” she says.

She fought from start to finish in the Civil War. She went on to live as a man for the rest of her life, having gotten used to the freedom, the income, & the friends she made as a soldier.

“The women who went to war,” she says, “who disguised themselves as men and carried a gun, were overwhelmingly working-class women, immigrant women, poor women, urban women and yeoman farm girls.”

Surely not! Women couldn’t have chosen to live as men because the rest of their choices sucked!

So this Memorial Day I’d like to honor all the transgender people who fought in their nation’s wars: the trans guys, the trans women pre-transition, the crossdressers of all genders.

Sex Resources for Trans Women

Today’s Feministing “Ask Professor Foxy” column is from a trans woman who can’t find good sex resources for her. I’ve made a few suggestions, but maybe you all know other good places to check. So far I’ve recommended:

With your input, I can put a bigger list together.

Spanish Language Trans PSA

I don’t read/speak Spanish myself, but was sent this by someone who does:

Surprising campaign, under the auspices of the (Chilean goverment’s) Division of Social Organizations (they provide grants and help to NGO’s) and the communications division of the Metro in Santiago (2,000,000 riders a day).  The posters appeared at all the metro stations and their design is very good; one can see a full size version from the last link. It was produced by a transmen’s org but displays very balanced info about MTF and FTM treatment and most of all about the difficulties and discriminations associated to being trans, pointing out that this is not a choice but an inborn condition.  Trans orgs there are also in conversations with the government’s civil registry to be able to get national ID cards with the appropriate gender marker without having to certify surgeries (as in Spain).

(Apparently trans guys who speak Spanish are as cool as they’re English-speaking counterparts.)

Filmed Attack on Peruvian Trans Prostitute

A Peruvian television station was invited to a planned attack on a local prostitute who is a “travesti” – a MTF trans prostitute. It aired on television, and was later aired with a longer segment.

Blabbeando covered it, as did Queers United.

Note: prostitution is not illegal in Peru.

Approximate Transition Costs (MTF)

I had a friend who transitioned a few years ago put together a list of the approximate costs. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Uncovered therapy (primary therapist–until surgery date): $2000
  • Uncovered therapy (second therapist–Randi Ettner): $450
  • Orchiectemy: $2000
  • HRT (uncovered amount until surgery): $600
  • Electrolysis (up and down god damn it): $17,000
  • Genital surgery & breast implant surgeries (round one): $25,000
  • Round 2 of surgeries: $2500

Estimated total not covered by any insurance: $49,550.

Costs not included:

  • voice (dvd)
  • entire new working wardrobe
  • moving out and setting up new apartment
  • legal fees for name change
  • eating awful hospital food for a week.

Cold Case: Daniela

(1:15 AM) …I get a night to stay up late enough to catch some old Cold Case episodes & guess what the plot twist is tonight? The girl who gets killed was a boy

(2:00 AM )… & this was a really good one, despite some language that made me wince … I guarantee it’d make most trans women cry their eyes out, in a good way. Check that: it’d make most people cry, I think.

Partners’ Resources

One of the partners who posts regularly on our forums has put together a list of online resources for partners, which she’s posted on the TransOhio website.

How cool is that? When I first went online as the girlfriend of a “CD,” there was exactly one Yahoo group, which was actually an eGroup (anyone remember those?).

The only thing that still bugs me is how much the partners of MTFs and FTMs segregate. It’s another case where I feel we draw too much of our identites from our partners’ trans ones. I’ve learned so much from partners of FTMs, male or female, straight-identified and queer.

SCC Failure

A recent blog post written by someone who attended SCC reminds me, again, that whoever is in charge of partners’ events at SCC isn’t doing their job.

The only thing that I attended that did not live up to my expectations was the Comfort Zone, a group for SOFFA (significant others, friends, family and allies) of MTF trangender women. I qualified for the group as a wife of a MTF. The group was predominately made up of wives of cross dressers with about 4 of us being partners or wives of transgender people. It appears we all left before the meeting was over. The next morning Sarah and met two young women who had not been eligible for the group since their partners were FTM. They were in happy relationships. We exchanged email address and may try to put something on the internet for happy partners and wives of trans people.

This really thrills me. Two years ago a partner of an FTM was told she wasn’t welcome because she identified as lesbian, & this year they just don’t allow partners of FTMs into the partner support group.

It’s not hard to run an inclusive partner group. I’ve done it tons of times. I offer every year. I don’t need to get paid, just to have my costs covered. I would be willing to go down there to train some locals as to how to be inclusive of all partners.

Whoever is doing this workshop needs to be asked not to do it. The isolation most partners experience is quite enough, but isolating them further – at a trans conference! – is entirely unacceptable.

Please, SCC organizers, please. You have no idea what a knife in the heart it is, as a partner, to get to a conference and feel like no one bothered to care that you have a sense of community, too.

Trans for Obama: + Andrea James!

The queen of MTF voice work has blogged for Trans for Obama Day now, too.

The cool thing is that we’ve already raised $780, which has been donated by 23 people.

Let me know if you see that anyone else has blogged by leaving a comment, or feel free to gloat if you donate!

Dallas: Another LGBt Rift

A gay bar, and its gay bar owner, have decided to ban drag queens and trans women from their “Trashy Tuesday” night – exactly because the bar night is so crowded that they don’t have time to babysit the bad apples of their crowd.

“How do I separate one draq queen that is being bad from others?” Moore said. “We don’t have the time on Tuesday nights with all the people in here to sit there and tell them apart from one another. If a drag queen misbehaves one week and then the next comes back in a different outfit I wouldn’t be able to recognize them. That’s why I don’t want any of them in here on Tuesdays.”

Wow, now that IS tricky! How about you just ban the person who does the bad stuff?

(from The Dallas Voice. More at their blog. Thanks to Ben for the tip.)

Partners, Talking

On BBC, an interview with the (female) partner of an MTF and the (male) partner of an FTM is worth listening to. Though I will say the FTM in question turned into a jackass, not a man.

Most interesting to me are their thoughts about their sexual relationships.

Drag Queens & (Trans) Women

There was quite an inflammatory thread on our boards recently about drag queens and crossdressers who dress in over-the-top ways, and it’s gotten me thinking. I’ve often heard that feminists hate drag queens because they mock women, which has always baffled me, for two reasons: (1) I don’t think all DQs are mocking women, and my guess is that most are not, and (2) I think there’s about a million feminist issues to deal with and that the relative powerlessness of your average DQ is hardly a major problem.

But the trans woman who brought this up was very upset by the way DQs mock women and in some way “misrepresent” transness – or at least her variety.

So what I’ve been thinking is that, ironically, I have found the one place where a lot of radical feminists and trans women might agree: in their dislike of DQs. So maybe MWMF should have an “anti-DQ” rally so that they can find the common ground that’s been so sorely lacking.

I’m kidding, of course. Still, the anger of the trans woman who had the courage to post her feelings about DQs surprised me, and usually things that surprise me make me pay attention. I just didn’t expect it. I just can’t see DQs as threatening of anyone. & Yet it was very clear she was threatened and angered, so I’d love to hear other input from people here. Do you other trans women resent drag queens? Why?

(Here’s an article from the Orlando Sentinel about the DQ pageant scene, which comes with some interesting terminology. Thanks to Donna T for finding it.)

T Shirt

I don’t often wear trans shirts when I’m with Betty – no need to out her casually, she does enough outreach for one trans person – but Betty was sick this past week & so I was walking to my sister’s wear my NCTE “T” shirt (the old one – I don’t have the new one yet.)

Then someone on our boards asked if people would say yes if someone asked them if they were transgender.

And it made me wonder how often people think I’m trans – because of the t-shirts, the various places I post, the relative absence of partners in trans circles, and especially in LGBT circles. I think I mentioned here how two people I met at USC had assumed I was the partner of an FTM since the queer-identified partners of MTFs seem to be few & far-between – okay, practically non-existant.

It’s made me think of the days I was an honorary lesbian, which I am, still, kinda, depending on who’s deciding what I am.

I never told people I wasn’t a lesbian – unless the person was who wanted to sleep with me or a person who I wanted to sleep with – and in the same way I don’t think I’d care to clarify that I’m not trans if someone thought I was.

Maybe I should get a shirt that says GVETGI = Gender Variant Enough To Get It.

29 of 53

Those poor young women of that Eldorado sect – more than half of them are pregnant or are mothers.

This case made me think of two things – the argument than trans women are the same as women raised female – which is obviously not true. That doesn’t mean that a gender variant kid wouldn’t have been treated worse by this sect – but a young MTF couldn’t have been used as a breeder, either. That doesn’t mean trans women are “less than.” Just that all kinds of women – trans & otherwise – face oppressions and discrimination specific to the type of women they are. Blurring difference doesn’t help us address these kinds of problems, imho.

The second thing it made me think of is an ongoing argument about Danica Patrick that’s been happening on the MHB Boards. The debate is about whether or not it’s messed up that a winning racecar driver – the 1st to win a significant race, from what I understand – isn’t somehow degrading herself by also posing suggestively on car hoods. (I think it is.) These young women of Eldorado remind me of that argument because it’s been thousands of years where women’s bodies have been used – to bear children, to bring pleasure (both physical & visual), to men with power. So the assertion that Danica Patrick is somehow blazing some new trail of “feminine empowerment” by taking her clothes off is like – um. yeah. no. Women have always done that to curry favor with the kind of assholes like the guys down in Eldorado, kings, senators, and drug lords, boyfriend and bubbas. And I just don’t see a woman doing that today as any different than it ever was.

(But I’m sure someone can jump up & tell me those women in Eldorado are somehow empowered by getting pregnant with the children of those fucknuts, too.)

The Trip to SC, Pt. 2

What a trip! I haven’t had so much fun without Betty since before I met her, and while I’m sad she wasn’t there to enjoy it all, I also know that she wouldn’t have found the train much fun at all (& so might have ruined it for me, ahem). But I was early for my train, & so hung around the ass-end of Penn Station for a while (that would be the 8th avenue side, of course), talking to guys trying to bum change and cigarettes. I don’t know why I like those guys; I must’ve been a hobo in a past life. But the guy I talked to was originally from New Orleans, and it’s hard not to have a good conversation with an older brother from NOLA, imho. In exchange for a cigarette, he said he’d buy me a drink next time we’re both down that way.

On the way down I was seated next to an older man who carried only his Bible, which was a “welcome to the south” a little early for me. He was a minister from Greenville, SC, it turns out, & his stop was the one after mine, so we were stuck with each other for the duration. He slept mostly, and I got very good at climbing over his napping legs.

But I ate dinner with a man and his 15 year old son on the way down; the guy was originally from the east coast, a professor and scientist, who knew Ben Barres when he was at Stanford, but who’d moved to VA and was traveling back to VA with his son after a short sojourn in NY. They were both really nice, and I had a great chat with them despite getting a little drunk on the half-bottle of wine I had ordered (which I had ordered in order to put myself to sleep). Continue reading “The Trip to SC, Pt. 2”