Pride Rant

A great rant about Pride by Joe.My.God, which he wrote back in 2005 after watching a NYC Pride Parade:

Because even if Pride doesn’t change many minds in the outside world, it’s our PARTY, darlings. It’s our Christmas, our New Year’s, our Carnival. It’s the one day of the year that all the crazy contingents of the gay world actually come face to face on the street and blow each other air kisses. And wish each other “Happy Pride!” Saying “Happy Pride!” is really just a shorter, easier way of saying “Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane! Way to go for not taking a rifle into a tower and taking out half the town! Well done, being YOURSELF!”

I’m not worried what the outside world thinks about the drag queens, the topless bulldaggers, or the nearly naked leatherfolk. It’s OUR party, bitches. If you think that straight America would finally pull its homokinder to its star-spangled bosom once we put down that glitter gun, then you are seriously deluding yourself. Next year, if one of the Christian camera crews that show up to film our “debauched” celebrations happen to train their cameras on you, stop dancing. And start PRANCING.

It seemed a great way to end Pride Month.

Healthcare Proxy Forms

A couple who’ve been together for 18 years went on vacation, on a cruise, with three of their four children. One of them had a massive stroke as their ship was about to leave port, which meant she received medical care at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, where her partner was told the couple made the mistake of being in “an anti-gay city and state” and refused to let her partner in to see her, but for five minutes, as she was dying.

She died about 18 hours later. Both women were only 39 years old.

This is what DOMA & all this other anti-gay bullshit leads to, but please queer folks, fill out your healthcare proxies. You can find NYS’s here, and here in .pdf format. If people have or find links for these forms in their state, please post them below, or send them to me via email & I can post them.

More instructions and state-specific forms below the break. Continue reading “Healthcare Proxy Forms”

Felicity’s Last Flight

Felicity Chandelle, pilot and crossdresser, died Monday at the age of 102. She was, as far as I know, the world’s oldest living crossdresser. I interviewed her a few years ago, when she turned 100, and not long after that she donated all of her papers – many of them magazines about crossdressing – to the LGBT Center Library here in New York. Some of them would not be able to be used until after her death, whereupon her male, legal name could be revealed, as if her part of her collection, too, were crossdressed.

Thanks for the gift Felicity. Fly right.

here! Video

A while back I did an interview with Josh & Sara of here!, and I just discovered the videos are now up. I really enjoyed doing this interview, & really enjoyed both of them, which shows.

Part One

Part Two


Betty & I have been working on Aurora for years now. What we found out is that cats who are de-clawed are often meaner, and more prone to biting. If the cruelty of declawing your cats isn’t enough, those are two more good reasons not to do so.

But of course we got Aurora long after whoever owned her before had declawed her, & so we got a bitey cat who is something like post-traumatic. She doesn’t like her nether parts touched ever. Nor her belly, or her paws. She is mostly okay with being scratched between the eyes, and sometimes on her cheeks or under her chin. But mostly all touch is very conditional – depending on how full she is, how sleepy, how recently she’s had a standoff with one of the boys, or how long ago she saw some other cat in her front yard, how recently it’s thundered… you get the picture.

We’ve worked to make her a little less sensitive to touch, or more used to being touched in good ways. That is, we just try to communicate that a human hand does not need to be attacked immediately; she tends to be “shoot now, ask questions later” about hands. Things have gone very well, to the point that I will actually take a catnip toy away from her while she’s playing to toss it back to her, without fear of losing a finger.

Except that sometimes it’s hard to judge how she is. Sometimes the flick of the tail doesn’t predict her mood quickly enough to take your hand out of harm’s way. & So it was with me late Sunday night, early Monday, when she really got her teeth into me. It would be bad enough except, of course, I’m allergic too. So it started to swell, from about mid-forearm to wrist, and I had to go to the doctor, who put me on antibiotics and gave me a new tetanus shot.

So for this week at least, she is no longer Princess Aurora Thunderfist Quickbiter (which is her full name, after all), but just Quickbiter, and occasionally, that orange rescue fucker who bit me. (But of course I still love her, and I’m extra glad we didn’t rescue a pit bull, instead.)

Congress to Hold First Ever Hearing on Trans Issues

Today is America’s first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues. The hearing, “An Examination of Discrimination Against Transgender Americans in the Workplace,” is scheduled for Thursday, June 26, 2008 at 10:30 am in room 2175 of Rayburn House Office Building. Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) called the hearing as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor. Witnesses have not yet been announced.

“I am really proud of the role that NCTE played in getting us to this historical day. This is not only an opportunity to be truly heard by our fellow Americans, it will help to build the foundation for significant changes in federal laws protecting transgender people from discrimination,” notes Mara Keisling, Executive Director of NCTE.

Committee hearings are open to the public and you are welcome to attend in person if you are in the area, but please be aware that space is limited. Some hearings are broadcast on CSPAN and streamed live through their internet site. You can stay up-to-date by checking NCTE’s blog.

WATCH:  If you would like to watch the first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues, you may be able to watch it through the committee’s live webcast at…eam_070124.asx

Gender Biased Science

The other day a woman on our message boards wrote to me to say that as a scientist, she didn’t always feel comfortable or welcome on our message boards exactly because she is a scientist, and (I assume) happy & proud to be one. She was aware of my strongly-held opinions about scientists, especially when it came to gender.

What’s always interesting about having someone confront you about your prejudices is having to recognize them for what they are. On the one hand, I really love science, and scientists; the fearless work many have done in terms of environmental science, or medical research, and into all sorts of other cool things that I may or may not care about. But I’m suspicious of science when it comes to gender, and I had to figure out why.

First, I’ve probably read way too much Fausto-Sterling than a lay person should.

Second, I read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions at a time in my life when I was – well, a humanities major, & a political one.

But all half-kidding aside, this is why I take issue with science, and with scientists who study gender: the field of science is pretty notorious for gender discrimination. That fact has been pointed out by scientists, many of whom wrote in response to Lawrence Summers’ vague theorizing about why women aren’t in as esteemed positions in research and higher mathematics. So you’ve got an industry – & especially the feminists within that industry – clearly pointing out that the FIELD of science is pretty damn discriminatory.

However, I’m told that scientists’ goals are objective, which I believe. I believe many aim to be objective (as do many journalists, judges, etc.). First, that doesn’t mean they ARE objective. It just means that’s their goal. It’s a good goal. But when you’ve got actual scientists pointing out discrimination against women in hiring, on the one hand, and scientific studies about the differences between male and female brains, on the other, you kind of have a problem. Unless you’re going to argue that the people doing the research on the male and female brains have nothing whatsoever to do with the people who are doing the hiring and firing and grant-giving, and I have a hard time believing that.

Aside from that, of course, are all the other reasons: how we once saw race as a legitimate way to compare brains. How we used to think smarter people had larger brains. How it’s pretty obvious that people want to use the findings of science to justify ass-backwards gender roles.

But mostly what I want to know, now, is how we can trust an entire field of study which regularly discriminates against women not to bring those kinds of prejudices into the evaluation of male and female brains.

I’d really like an answer, if anyone has one.

(A slightly different take, over at Feministing, but I think both were inspired by the recent reports that straight men & lesbians have similar symmetries of brain, as do gay men & straight women, which is, as usual, being totally blown out of proportion by the media coverage of it.)

The Disappearing Virgin

The New York Times just did a great article on the tradition of sworn virgins in Albanian culture – that’s the tradition that says a woman can foreswear marriage (& presumably, sex) in order to live as a man & so be head of household, inherit land, etc.

Betty & I had an Albanian cab driver in Boston not so long ago who had no idea what I was talking about when I asked him about it, & no Albanian I’ve ever met – I ask them all – has ever heard of it, either. But the article makes clear exactly why your average Albanian wouldn’t have.

What’s most interesting to me is that in every case they cite – and I don’t know if this is true for every case – it was the woman’s choice to “become the man.”