LGBT Athletes & Soldiers

I missed it, & maybe you did too, but here’s Jeff Sheng’s Fearless photography series, which is a collection of photos of out LGBT athletes.
I discovered it via The LA Times’ blog and Sheng’s new series called Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
= Amazing work.

What amazes me particularly about the first set is how images of LGBT people tends to focus on white people in particular, & then too on men. Gathering their photos based on this other part of their identity – their atheleticism – gives a much larger range of racial & ethnic identity, & a much larger range of genders, too.

Two Tune Tuesday: the The

Despite “This is the Day” being used in an M&M commercial – really? it had to be M&Ms? – Matt Johnson & theThe were a band I spent a lot of time with from at least 1985 forward.

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His songs got at that yearning for – something. more. sex. love. escape. all of it & none of it. (It didn’t hurt that his voice was incredibly hot, either.)

You can go here to see some of the live performance from when Johnny Marr was playing with the The. Apparently he was as proud of Dusk as he was of Strangeways, Here We Come. (So there.)

The best gig I’ve ever found out about was the The at CBGB. I was walking down 7th Avenue, near St. Vincent’s (Hospital), and I was wearing am Infected t-shirt, and a guy stopped me & said, “You like the The? They’re playing a secret gig at CBs tomorrow night. They won’t be on the list. Just buy a ticket. Promise.” So my friend Brian & I bought tickets, mostly thinking we were going to see some band we’d never heard of. I was sitting on the bar knocking the heels of my boots against it anxiously, waiting & hoping, & then – out came Matt Johnson & the band: sometimes wishes come true. I can’t even count how many other times I saw them – in London, at the Beacon, at Symphony Space even. I skipped high school to meet Matt Johnson as he was leaving WLIR after an interview. Misspent youth, indeed.

Here are a few other favorites: Sodium Light BabyThe Mercy Beat (song starts at 00:45)PerfectJealous of Youth (which is one of my favorite bass lines) – & there’s even some early & cool Matt Johnson from Burning Blue SoulBugle Boy.

(Writing this post took a few hours of my life, poking around YouTube,, and various other spots. Damn. It’s a good thing I don’t have my vinyl collection with me, or the whole night would be gone. Now if someone could send me an .mp3 of “Jealous of Youth” I’d be most appreciative.)

Trans Partner Support Column

I was interviewed not long ago by Amanda Waldroupe as she was writing a column for just|out of Portland (OR) about the way in which partners of trans people need support and get or don’t get it.

While numerous resources exist for transgendered people during their transition, there is a dearth, both in Portland and nationally, for their partners—who go through their own emotional and sexual travails during the experience.

Reid Vanderburgh, a local transgender therapist, says partners can have a tough time throughout the transition process, even if they support their partner.

As far as I know, it’s the first column I’ve ever read about support groups for us partners – but maybe I missed one. Thanks to Ms. Waldroupe not just for writing the column, but for quoting me accurately.

Remember We’re Living 2009

As many people probably already know, I’ve never been thrilled with the idea of Transgender Day of Remembrance as the public face of the trans community. It’s just a little too “bring out your dead” for me. That doesn’t mean the too violent deaths of trans people every year doesn’t sicken and anger me – it does, maybe too much. I hate that we – trans people & those who love them – live so often in fear, and fear for just our bodily safety.

(& Before anyone gets up my ass about my use of the word “we” please look at the deaths of Taysia Elzy and Michael Green – Taysia was trans, & Michael was her boyfriend, & they were both murdered. About 1:12 on the video I posted yesterday.)

I suggested many moons ago that we also have a “Remember We’re Living” Day of Trans Pride / Celebration, where we recount the successes and victories and loves and kindnesses we’ve experienced. I’ve been really happy to see the week before TDOR has become Transgender Awareness Week in a lot of places, even if it still ends with our deaths. Maybe we could start the week with our deaths instead, so that we can end on an optimistic note? Anyway: this year, I’d like to recognize a close friend’s accomplishments because she recently got tenure for the 2nd time, and is well-respected within her field and by her students. I’d also like to recognize a close friend who, despite numerous health risks and problems, survived and is thriving after her surgery. My own lovely partner got a job she’s quite happy doing. A lovely woman on our boards was recently asked by her parents for a new photo of her for their mantle. Another person on our boards came out to her kids not long ago and did so with grace and aplomb. There are so many of these cool things that happen to trans people, and because of trans people, every single day & every single year.

It is the conviction to live your life as you need to – and the remarkable grace under fire – demonstrated by trans people that inspires those of us who are not trans. Every single day passes where someone, somewhere, notices that they are living their own life of quiet desperation, or are otherwise living quietly and without rocking anyone’s boat in ways that feel wrong. But when that person – or any person – meets a trans person who lives truthfully and with love and humor and loss, it is hard for them to ignore the unbelievable beauty & fortitude you all emanate.

So for that, thank you.