HUD: Equal Access to Housing Rule Trans-Inclusive

Wow. Housing non-discrimination for trans people? Really? What amazing news. Via NCTE:

“I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose […] If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That’s what equal access means, and that’s what this rule is going to do.”

The new rule makes several urgently needed changes to current federal housing and housing-related programs including: prohibiting owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation;and clarifying the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

Read the whole article. Honestly, when i first started doing advocacy around trans issues, I didn’t expect to see these kinds of rules put in place by 2012.

Sasha’s Sex

The couple who chose to keep their child’s sex a secret so that s/he might be raised free of gendered expectations and stereotypes, have now revealed their child Sasha was declared male at birth.

The reason, of course, is that Sasha is starting school.

Miss Laxton, a web designer from Sawston, Cambridgeshire, admitted that keeping her child’s gender under wraps for so long had not been easy. At her mother and baby group, she said she was regarded as ‘that loony woman who doesn’t know whether her baby is a boy or a girl’. ‘I could never persuade anyone in the group to come round for coffee,’ she said. ‘They just thought I was mental.’

At school, Sasha sometimes wears a ruched-sleeved and scalloped-collared shirt from the girl’s uniform list. But he has yet to encounter any teasing or bullying. ‘Nobody’s ever mentioned it and I would hope that if they actually said something to Sasha, he’d be confident enough to make a good response,’ his mother said.

I think they sound entirely sane and reasonable, and I applaud their efforts to raise their child without the restrictions gender places on all of us.

Two Tune Tuesday: Einsturzende Neubauten

Rachel calls it my clink-bang-whizz-brr music. (Tom Waits, amongst others, is in the same category.)

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It still makes me happy, and they were amazingly cool live. They were the only band I ever played that my mother asked me to turn off, and I vaguely remember her calling it something like “Nazi death music.” I love this description at Trouser Press:

Part deadly earnest post-musical composers, part boys- with-toys goofballs whipping up a ruckus for the pure joy of making noise, Berlin’s Einstürzende Neubauten (Collapsing New Buildings) have built a distinctive, challenging and extremely imaginative sonic career out of implements generally intended for other utilitarian purposes: power drills, humming power lines, water towers, air-conditioning ducts, plate steel, glass, boulders and various large metal objects beaten with sledgehammers, pipes, wrenches and axes. Even traditional tools receive similarly brutal mistreatment — Blixa Bargeld’s pained vocals and guitar are often blurred to the point of abstraction. While Einstürzende Neubauten occasionally veers into song form with intriguing, even attractive, results, the group’s output more typically resembles a bunch of highly amplified (or, in some cases, barely audible) industrial sound-effects records being played at each other with little concern for anything but the raising of blood pressure and artistic hackles. Good shit.

Ah, Blixa: check out the creepiest version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” ever recorded. (He was one of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds too, by the way.)


or there’s always this option.

As someone who goes to see a great deal of music these days – go figure, but it turns out I love chamber music – I tend to leave my phone somewhere in the entrance / antechamber to the actual performance hall. It would make sense if people could check their phones before walking into an event.