I’m in NY for a bit, visiting family and the like, and so may not be posting very much.

NYC Drag Photos

With many recent exhibitions, screenings and publications, the queer community, particularly in New York, seems to be on an archival bent, mapping a genealogy of various aspects of LGBTQ history. Not only is queer culture experiencing archive fever, but the era of the 1980s and 1990s has been given an inordinate amount of attention by curators, critics and writers. Adding to that dialogue, Simpson’s Drag Explosion presents an archive of the drag scene, which seems to often appear on the periphery of many exhibitions and publications on the 1980s art scene or LGBTQ history despite its influential humor, camp and fashion that still pervades culture today.

The photos themselves are a blast. I hope there are a lot more screenings, but if you can’t catch one, you can watch a slideshow of the photos online with Linda’s narration.

Lynn Conway on Transitioning in 1968

She wrote the piece as a result of going to the White House for the Pride Month Reception.

Shamed as a social outcast, I’d lost my family, my friends and all social support. I’d been fired by IBM, and lost a promising computer research career. In many jurisdictions, I could have been arrested and charged as a sex offender — or, worse yet, institutionalized and forced to undergo electroshock therapy in a mental hospital.

Evading those fates, I completed my transition and began building a career in a secret new identity, starting at the bottom of the ladder as a contract programmer. Even then, any ‘outing’ could have led to media exposure, and I’d have become unemployable, out on the streets for good. The resulting fear channeled my life into ‘stealth-mode.’ I covered my past for over 30 years, always looking over my shoulder, as if a foreign spy in my own country.

(It got better. )

Lambda Legal’s Trans Rights Program

According to their website:

“Lambda Legal has a strong commitment to litigation and public education around issues of gender identity and gender expression, and I look forward to advancing and expanding the scope of the organization’s work,” said Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Project Director. “We are excited to have the “Know Your Rights: Transgender” resource available online to help transgender people understand their rights and make sure they are respected. Based on the calls to our Legal Help Desk, we know that transgender people—whether they are being harassed by the police or discriminated against at work—need to be able to access information about their rights and the laws in place to protect them, as quickly as possible. This new mobile-friendly resource will give transgender people across the country critical information at their fingertips.”

Impressive, thorough, well-organized, good information. The categories include identity documents, restroom rights, trans youth, trans seniors, trans marriage and parents, health care, and transphobic violence. What a fantastic new resource.

Jamison Green in Seattle 8/1

The one and only Jamison Green will be speaking at the Seattle Public Library on August 1st at 6:30 PM.

He is, far and above, one of the brightest lights of the trans community: author of Becoming a Visible Man, of course, but also one of the co authors on HRC’s guide for trans health care. In the early 1990s, Jamison worked for the passage of San Francisco’s Transgender Protection Ordinance, one of the first of its kind in the country. He lead FTM International for most of the 1990s and has been a board member of organizations like WPATH, which he now serves as president.

He is a gem, one of our most amazing activists.

So if you’re on your way to Gender Odyssey, or in Seattle for whatever reason, do go hear him speak. He’s funny, he’s sharp, and he’s one of the warmest people we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Thank You

Thanks to all of you who wished me and my lovely wife a happy wedding anniversary today.

I have been, as some of you have realized, feeling a lot more private lately, about a lot of things, and so am no longer on Facebook or other social networking sites. I think I am just a little fatigued, and still a little twitchy due to the move from Giant Anonymous Place to here.

(Still, the well wishes of you all mean a great deal to me, and I appreciate both the enthusiasm and the attention.)

Green Bay Pride

I’m speaking, briefly, at Pride Alive today, around 11am, up in Green Bay. The event goes from 11am until 10PM, so do come. I’ve tabled for Fair Wisconsin at this event in the past, and it’s a cool thing.

Reasons Trans Is Now

During a conversation about what I do yesterday I mentioned how intense a change – for the better – it has been in the decade I’ve been doing work as a trans advocate. The VPUSA, after all, said trans rights was “the civil rights issue of our time”.

Later, I was thinking about why this is the case. Culture, politics, policy, law? Art, media, literature? What are the things that you think have contributed most significantly to why “transgender” is now a household world and why trans issues and politics are now gaining ground and visibility. If 1993 was the beginning of the modern trans movement, then what has happened in those two decades, from 1993 – 2003 and then again from 2003 until now? Is there a difference in the kinds of things that happened in those decades?

I’ve got my own list, not quite fully formed, but would love to hear from others about it.

And hey, if you post yours on Facebook, come back here and let me know what they are! Or email them to helenboyd(at)myhusbandbetty(dot)com. I’ll compile them along with my own and I’ll post that list another day.


Dustin Hoffman: Tootsie Was Never a Comedy For Me

If you haven’t seen this by now, you’re living under a bigger rock than I do. Still, this is astonishing. He cries. You will too. I did.

“Sorry, that’s as good as it gets. That’s as beautiful as we can get you.”

Here is an interesting response by Alexandra Petri:

I am not sure this video of Dustin Hoffman crying about female beauty standards is as good as everyone says it is. Is he crying about the fact that he’s missed out on a lot of interesting people because he had been brainwashed to not talk to them? If so, he can fix this so, so easily. All he has to do is walk over and start talking. Or is he crying because this– this brainwashing idea that the way you look determines your inherent interest, this is real, and it won’t occur to everyone to walk over?

That’s quite powerful.

But I’m not sure I understand what her point is, other than that Hoffman is right: women are judged unfairly on their looks first before anyone even wonders if they’re interesting. She doesn’t seem to disagree with Hoffman – just clarifying how we dismiss women until or unless they are attractive – which is sadly the truth.

There are times I wonder if women know that women are people. Most days I don’t even hope men know as much, to be honest.

He gives me hope that maybe, maybe occasionally, there are men who can see women’s humanity.