Road Trip

Sorry for not mentioning this sooner, but I’m currently traveling from Appleton to Long Island to Manhattan to Brooklyn and back again from July 23rd until August 10th. My response to email will be slow and I will only rarely be reading Facebook.

& Yes, I’m doing a lot of the driving but traveling with a good friend and fellow trans partner.

Vagina Song

When I first saw the title I was kind of hoping it would be sung to the tune of “Redemption Song” but no such luck.

Many of you will find it tasteless, offensive, and crass.

Others will think it’s charming and funny.

I think it’s both.

Bill Corbett Rocks

The comedian Bill Corbett used the word “tranny” on Twitter & had no idea how offensive it was. He went on to write this, & I thought it was (1) not only considered and smart and humane, but (2) it provides an amazing, graceful way to respond when you’ve fucked up.

I want to stand on the side of humanity. I want to be humane, even when being a goddamned wise-ass. There’s no tried and true path through this, but it’s really worth trying to find it. I want to make people laugh, not feel shitty about life. ”Leave the world a better place than you found it.” A twisty task for someone in comedy, but others have shown that its not impossible . . .

. . . An equally likely answer is that I really don’t know any trans people — no close friends, no family members that I know of. The one and only trans person who I knew well was someone at a regular AA meeting I used to attend. We are both there to recover from addiction, and [no name: anonymous, y’know*] was an inspiration: she’d been physically abused by family for years, was pulling herself out of drug and alcohol addiction, and was doing it with an amazing amount of dignity and cheer, considering what she’d been through. She was a person vital to helping ME recover. We no longer live in the same city, and so have lost touch… But the thought of causing her further pain in life breaks my heart.

In apology, and to honor my friend, I am donating $100.00 to the Anti-Violence Project in New York, where I grew up.

Well done.

MHB MS. Copies

I have two manuscript copies of My Husband Betty left in my files, and after this last move, I want them gone too. If anyone wants them, speak now or they go to the shredder.

I’d only ask that you pay postage and/or make a donation to some trans-relevant cause in exchange.

Scout’s Dishonor

I was interviewed for a local newspaper article about the Boy Scouts of America decision to keep the ban on gays in place.

Lawrence University professor Helen Boyd, author of two books about her relationship with a transgender partner, said the situation with the Boy Scouts is an example of “people trying to hold on to traditions that are unequal and unfair.”

She thinks the group eventually will overturn its policy, but said it would take some time.

“Policies like this are exactly the kind of things that young kids pay attention to,” said Boyd, who worries the Boy Scouts policy may lead gay youth to believe there’s something wrong with who they are.

In how many years are we going to look back & think, “what exactly was the problem?”


Bowie, Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias on SNL back in ’79. This was one of the first live performances I ever saw on SNL – I think a sibling let me stay up when mom & dad were out – and it blew my 10 year old mind.

Ah, the late 70s. I’m still not really a Bowie fan, but I do of course appreciate his genderiness back in the day. Klaus Nomi is still a loss, as far as I’m concerned, & I’ve seen Joey Arias perform quite a lot of times.

Male Femme Responds

A transvestite of my acquaintance has written a very interesting response to the radfem anti-trans position that is worth reading. Jeffreys, and other radfems, seek to disenfranchise trans women on the basis that they are just transvestite men, and this male femme takes on why, exactly, that doesn’t make sense either.

This section is particularly interesting:

After that digression, in her final section Jeffreys asks the (for her, rhetorical) question: “Transfemininity – Transgressing Gender or Maintaining It?”, reiterating once again that “Femininity is exciting because it is the behaviour of subordination” and, further, that “it is because it is the behaviour of subordination that it cannot be preserved.” From my own perspective, femininity is not intrinsically the behaviour of subordination, so any move to eliminate it is unwarranted (never mind being hopelessly impractical). Instead, what is required is the negation of gender stereotyping, so that people are able to develop their gender freely and are free to express it as they need or wish. As for Jeffreys’ question itself, I think the answer is pretty much “neither” in all cases:

— For trans women (with whom Jeffreys is primarily concerned at this point) the question has no relevance, since trans women are not inevitably feminine; their gender is as variable as that of any other woman. (Jeffreys merely confuses sex and gender here.)

— For male submissives transgression does occur in a sexual sense, in that maleness is disassociated from stereotypical expectations of sexual dominance. Sissies might appear to render this ambiguous by coupling femininity with sexual submission, but it is still in essence male submission. In either case gender transgression is not really the point.

— For male transvestites cultural gender rules are certainly transgressed, but that doesn’t imply any real gender transgression either. As Jeffreys’ selective evidence indicates, some transvestites (like anyone else) can have quite ‘traditional’ views on gender. (A penchant for cross-dressing is no assurance of progressive values.) Moreover, transvestites’ default stealth (i.e. closetedness) rules out meaningful transgression for most of us, whatever our politics. The best that might be said is that transvestites are potentially transgressive. If we were all out and open about our (varied) gender expression, so that the assumed correlation between femininity and femaleness was shown to be false, we might well be gender transgressive. But, with a few notable exceptions, we mostly aren’t.

As much as I would rather see this embarrassing radfem position just go away, it won’t, until or unless pro-trans radfems are willing to speak up and provide logical theoretical reasons for why trans people should be included in a radical feminist agenda.