Bring Trans in the US Military

Trans people, as some people may know, were not included in DADT and so are also not free to serve now that it has been revoked. Trans people usually can’t serve because in order to get treatment for transsexualism, trans people often have to be diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, which is a mental health issue, and which disables someone from serving.

Basically, Klinger was right, except everyone knew he wasn’t a real crossdresser; he just didn’t want to be in the war. Most crossdressers who serve do so while deep in the closet, just as many gay and lesbian service members did in the past. Even crossdressing is still grounds for discharge.

Swing State

So there are endless political ads on the TV machine, BUT there’s also a lot of cool people speaking in Wisconsin these days too, & this Friday, in fact, Michelle Obama will be speaking at Lawrence.

Let’s just say we’re really really really excited.

Balpreet Kaur

Okay, she’s my new hero.

Some jackass took a photo of her and posted it on Reddit in order to mock her appearance. A friend saw it & told her about it. So Ms. Kaur wrote to the jerk:

“Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture. I actually didn’t know about this until one of my friends told on facebook. If the OP wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled 🙂 However, I’m not embarrased or even humiliated by the attention [negative and positve] that this picture is getting because, it’s who I am. Yes, I’m a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body – it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will. Just as a child doesn’t reject the gift of his/her parents, Sikhs do not reject the body that has been given to us. By crying ‘mine, mine’ and changing this body-tool, we are essentially living in ego and creating a seperateness between ourselves and the divinity within us. By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can. So, to me, my face isn’t important but the smile and the happiness that lie behind the face are. 🙂 So, if anyone sees me at OSU, please come up and say hello. I appreciate all of the comments here, both positive and less positive because I’ve gotten a better understanding of myself and others from this. Also, the yoga pants are quite comfortable and the Better Together tshirt is actually from Interfaith Youth Core, an organization that focuses on storytelling and engagement between different faiths. 🙂 I hope this explains everything a bit more, and I apologize for causing such confusion and uttering anything that hurt anyone.

The bold is mine.

And that is just too amazingly cool. I wish I had half the nerve, the confidence. I never even found out how much facial hair I might have been able to grow, and now I kind of wish I had. That said, I’m gonna guess she might have PCOS too, in which case she should be careful about being pre-diabetic.

But damn.

The cooler thing still is that the jerk who posted it actually had his opinion changed and apologized for being an asshole. And now, if you really need to, you can go look at the photo.

(via Jezebel.)

The Task Force is Hiring

A search has just been launched to fill two key permanent full time positions here at the Task Force: HR Director & Board Liaison. Will you please forward this link and the attached job descriptions to people you know over the next 3 days? It sounds like applications will begin being reviewed next week.

The Task Force is an equal opportunity employer. Women, transgender people, and people of color are especially encouraged to apply. The Trans Audit Committee, which I’m a part of, would love to see a pool of gender non-conforming and transgender candidates applying for these jobs. For your information, in addition to our general benefits package for full time employees, The Task Force also offers a health supplement for gender identity-related care.

The functions of these positions are very important to executing the mission of the Task Force. We will be working expeditiously to fill them. Here is a little more about each job:

Human Resources Director

The Human Resources Director is responsible for all aspects of human resources, including the Task Force’s programs for recruiting, orientation, workplace training, and staff performance evaluation.

Executive office Board Liaison

The Executive Office Board Liaison serves as the primary staff support to the boards of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. Continue reading “The Task Force is Hiring”

GLBT Partnership: Appleton, WI

We recently went to the 15th anniversary celebration of the local GLBT Partnership here in Appleton. It’s an amazing thing, really: a small group of people decided to create a safe space for LGBTQ teenagers here in the Fox Valley in 1997 because there were no existing support groups or safe gathering places for them.


They still struggle for funding, so if you want to help out queer youth who actually need the help – and are living in a place that isn’t very queer friendly – this is a great way to do it. You have to go to this PayPal account – under SKenevan’s name – and in the memo line indicate that it’s for the GLBT Partnership. Honestly: this group is tiny and very, very necessary. (Feel free to tell them I sent you if you do donate!)

One of the group’s founding members, Shannon Kenevan, who was honored at the celebration, wrote this piece about the group:

The Fox Valley GLBT Partnership is turning 15 years old this fall. For those of you under age 30, you probably don’t remember a time in your life that the Partnership did not exist. It’s always been there to offer weekly support and leadership development to youth ages 14-18 who identify as LGBTQ, as well awareness and educational programs for the rest of our community. Those over age 30 may remember back to their teenage years when there were no groups like the Partnership. Continue reading “GLBT Partnership: Appleton, WI”

What Got Eugene Debs Arrested

Actor Mark Ruffalo delivers the speech that sent presidential candidate Eugene Debs to jail for 10 years. He knew they’d arrest him if he gave it, and he gave it anyway. It was 1918. Two years later he would run for president again, but that last time, from jail. He got nearly a million votes, too. He was a Socialist.

He’s one of my heroes. This C-SPAN bit is good, but I prefer books, anyway, and liked Salvatore’s biographySalvatore’s biography, although his own writings are great, too. And, um, might be useful for those who keep using “socialist” to describe Obama’s presidency.

Race & Gender & Life Expectancy

So this is shocking news: whites who don’t graduate high school have a life expectancy that’s four years shorter than it used to be. And look at this:

In 2010, American women fell to 41st place, down from 14th place in 1985, in the United Nations rankings. Among developed countries, American women sank from the middle of the pack in 1970 to last place in 2010, according to the Human Mortality Database.

Uneducated white women are now living not even as long as black women with the same lack of education. That is honestly shocking. The life expectancy of uneducated black women has always been horrible, but now even more women are dying at the same rates.

But then there’s this guy:

“There’s this enormous issue of why,” said David Cutler, an economics professor at Harvard who was an author of a 2008 paper that found modest declines in life expectancy for less educated white women from 1981 to 2000. “It’s very puzzling and we don’t have a great explanation.”

Um, what? Bad health care, single parenting with little to no safety net (which can cause more stress), substance abuse (especially of prescription drugs and cigarettes), sexual violence… is this really hard to work out?

The one good part, I suppose, is that the percentage of everyone without high school diplomas is down from 22% to 12%.

So much for feminism being redundant in America, eh?