He Can Say It

From The Stranger:

Obama’s rally in Beaumont today was the highest-energy of this Texas swing, with a crowd that was about three-quarters black cheering at almost every turn.

An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes—race, gender, etc.—that shouldn’t trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent.

So he took a different tack:

“Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,” he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers. “I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,” he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.

(Do notice the comment left by Dan Savage. It’s #9.)

Tragedy After Tragedy

If the killing of Lawrence King wasn’t sad enough, there are too many other stories — all murders of trans POC that took place this year.

This article from The Root has a list.

And this murder, committed a little while back, has recently come to more widespread attention, as has the murder of Simmie Williams.

My students have asked, because they’re reading Stone Butch Blues, if the violence against gender diverse people is still as bad as it was then. And what can I say? Ask Lawrence King? Ask Adolphus Simmons? Ask Sanesha Stewart? We can’t. They’ve all been killed as a result of trans/homophobic violence. The daily threat might not feel so great for many of us. But that doesn’t mean people who don’t conform to gender norms aren’t at greater risk.

I so long for a new president who will get gender identity included in Federal Hate Crimes protection, whether it does any good or not. What I want is to see articles written about people like Sanesha Stewart that at least respect their choice of pronouns, as well as articles that don’t ask what the person was doing at the time – as if what a person is doing at the time she’s murdered makes it more acceptable for her to have been murdered! When are the powers-that-be going to understand is that sometimes all you have to “do” is be queer to be killed?!

The news also came through this week that Gabrielle Pickett, twin sister of Chanelle Pickett, was killed during the summer of 2003. Chanelle was killed in 1996.

I’m just tired this week. Tired of counting the dead. Tired of feeling so sullen and leaden with grief.

Do We Hafta NAFTA?

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Both Clintons’ support for NAFTA was why I lost faith with them years ago & started voting for Nader (who, btw, is running again, if anyone still cares) so I’m finding very little sympathy for Clinton during the debate talking about how against NAFTA she’s always been.

Goddamn politicians. Hate ’em.

Too Many – Again

Another gay-identified, gender variant teen, Simmie “Chris” Williams, was killed this week. Our thoughts are with Denise King and her family.

I’m amazed that the article focuses on whether or not she was a prostitute and not on the two men who (apparently) killed her. I’m so tired of this switcheroo, this bullshit blame-the-victim crap when it comes to trans people.

What a pretty girl she was.

Too many.

Trans History Timeline

I’ve been putting together a Trans History Timeline for my Transgender Lives class. The idea was to give them an idea of the events that lead up to the modern Transgender Movement (such as it is).

  • 1910 Magnus Hirschfeld coins “transvestite” and “transsexual”
  • 1919 Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Research given housing
  • 1930 Lili Elbe undergoes five surgeries, the fifth of which kills her in 1931
  • 1933 Institute for Sexual Research burned by Nazis
  • 1939 – 1945 WWII
  • 1945 Michael Dillon has first FTM surgeries
  • 1951 Roberta Cowell transitions in the UK
  • 1952 Christine Jorgensen headline, “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell”
  • 1959 Virginia Prince starts Transvestia
  • 1961 VP starts Heels & Hose (12 crossdressers!)
  • 1964 Reed Erickson founds the Erickson Institute
  • 1966 Harry Benjamin publishes The Transsexual Phenomenon
  • 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riots, SF
  • 1969 Ist Gender Symposia (becomes HBIGDA)
  • 1969 Stonewall, NYC
  • 1973 First Introduction of ENDA (US)
  • 1975 Fantasia Fair starts in Provincetown, founded by Ariadne Kane
  • 1976 Tri-Ess formed
  • 1976 Crossdressing becomes legal in SF
  • 1977 HBIGDA becomes an org
  • 1979 Sandy Stone leaves Olivia Records due to attacks in Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire
  • 1980 Crossdressing becomes legal in Houston, TX (due to Phyllis Frye’s efforts)
  • 1986 FTM Int’l started by Lou Sullivan
  • 1987 IFGE formed
  • 1990 AEGIS started by Dallas Denny
  • 1993 Mosaic web browser
  • 1994 Death of Brandon Teena / Netscape web browser
  • 1995 “All FTM Conference of the Americas” organized by Jamison Green & Jason Cromwell (with grant from Dallas Denny)

I was teaching Jamison Green’s Becoming a Visible Man at the time, which is why it ends where it does, but I’ve been adding to it since, & will continue to do so.

Smokes With Rabbits

I walk home at dusk, after classes are over for the day, & watch while murders of crows gather in the bare tree branches on my block.

Later, at 10PM or so, I go out for a smoke on the front porch with a bruised apple in my pocket. I toss it to the side of the porch, and in a minute or so, a rabbit who’s been expecting me is gorging on apple while I smoke. Occasionally she gets up on her hind legs and gives me a once-over.

Even later, if I’m up late enough, the apple is gone, and an owl hoots from somewhere up & to the right of my ice-covered porch.

I feel like I’m becoming freaking Walt Whitman.