Make sure you watch 2:05 or so to the end.
Daniela Vega, you may have heard, is the first out trans person to present at the Oscars.
Yance Ford was nominated for his movie Strong Island, which is a shattering, incredible documentary.
In past years, other trans artists to receive Oscar nominations include:
- In 1974 (1974!) songwriter Angela Morley for scoring The Slipper and the Rose: The Story of Cinderella and The Little Prince
- In 2016, singer Anohni (formerly of Antony & the Johnson) for “Manta Ray” from the documentary Racing Extinction, and
- In 2017, visual effects artist Paige Warner for helping to develop ILM’s facial performance-capture solving system.
Let’s get those numbers up, shall we?
Since I’ll be doing most of my writing on Patreon these days (do sign up! it’s only $1/month!), I’ve decided that I’ll also do a weekly round up of some of the most trans relevant news I’ve seen in the past week.
Chelsea Manning Isn’t the Only Trans Candidate You Should Know About is a brief article about some of the other awesome trans candidates running in the US.
This awesome sartorial history of pink and blue as the colors for babies from KSPS:
Another great video about Charlotte:
A video by a cis man calling for greater inclusion of trans women (at the women’s march & beyond).
This cool story about decolonizing sexuality at a Two Spirit Pow Wow.
The announcement that a new book called The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Transgender Voices is now available.
A great article on ‘walking while trans’ about criminalization of trans identities focused primarily on the NYPD.
And sadly, the obituary of the fourth trans woman killed this year, Celine Walker, age 36, who was killed in Jacksonville, FL.
Ben Barres was a personal hero of mine. He was the person who convinced me, by words and deeds, that trans people are an important tool in the feminist toolkit, precisely because they have lived aware of gender on both sides of the (binary) fence.
I added an article he wrote for Nature about the lack of diversity in the sciences to the Intro to Gender Studies class I teach at Lawrence. I’m glad to have introduced his work to many, many students over the years, and to have passed on his recommendations for how to be truly inclusive in the sciences.
He was the lead client in TLDEF’s amicus brief in support of Gavin Grimm’s suit, according to TLDEF’s ED Jillian Weiss.
He studied glial cells in a search for a cure – or more understanding – of diseases like Parkinson’s & Alzhimer’s. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – which sadly & famously is a cruel & fast cancer – he made sure anyone who needed one got a letter of recommendation.
I never got to meet him and only admired him from a distance. Love to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Liberal snowflakes ask white folks not to use the N word. Students object to “scholars” who come to campuses to promote white supremacy, transphobia, and homophobia. Trans and GNC people want correct pronouns used for themselves.
And yet, none of this was censorship. Cultural battlegrounds, yes. Not censorship.
As if to provide a history lesson, the CDC has just been given a list of words NOT to use by HHS. They are:
It does matter why these were chosen and speaks to the increasing stupidification of US politics and the hateful, anti intellectual, anti science, anti humanitarian impulses of our current WH.
But the point I want to make is this: this is actual censorship. When a government agency “recommends” words to use and not use, when they restrict how reports are written, when any population is singled out to be disappeared via language, you’re dealing with actual censorship.
Just to clarify.
This year, because US politics have become so acrimonious, we decided to bring back The December Project – the brainchild of Jenny Boylan, who understood how many of us are lonely and hurting during the holiday season.
Privately and locally, Dylan Scholinski and I have both continued to make ourselves available to trans community folks who need someone to talk to, even if it’s just someone to say “Merry Christmas” or to listen.
So here’s how it works: you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dylan (email@example.com) with a little bit about yourself and we will write you back and arrange a time to call and talk.
- We do this because we do.
- No one is making any money.
- Your information will remain with us. Everything you say to us is confidential.
- We are not trained counselors. We are just friendly people who like to meet new people and to listen and who will judge nothing about you – not your identity, your sexuality, or anything else.
- If you are suicidal, we ask instead that you call a suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255.
- Trans LifeLine is of course also always available (& we are so thankful for them): 877-565-8860.
- There are also moms who are willing to be your mom for the holidays. You can find these lovely folks here: http://www.yourholidaymom.com/
Stay well out there.
I’ve been seeing a lot of different numbers for this year’s death roll for TDOR, most of them ending with 24. The actual number is 28.
Here’s the complete list:
- India Monroe, 29, was murdered on Dec. 21, 2016 in Newport News, Virginia
- Mesha Caldwell, 41, Canton, Mississippi
- Sean Ryan Hake, 23, Sharon, Pennsylvania
- Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- JoJo Striker, 23, Toledo, Ohio
- Tiara Richmond, also known as Keke Collier, 24, Chicago
- Chyna Gibson, also known as Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, New Orleans
- Ciara McElveen, 26, New Orleans
- Jaquarrius Holland, 18, Monroe, Louisiana
- Alphonza Watson, 38, Baltimore, Maryland
- Chay Reed, 28, Miami
- Kenneth Bostick, 59, Manhattan
- Sherrell Faulkner, 46, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Kenne McFadden, 27, San Antonio
- Kendra Marie Adams, 28, Ithaca, NY
- Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, Athens, Georgia
- Ebony Morgan, 28, Lynchburg, Virginia
- Tee Tee Dangerfield, 32, Atlanta, Georgia
- Gwynevere River Song, 26, Waxahachie, Texas
- Kiwi Herring, 30, was killed during an altercation with police on August 22
- Pepper K. Aka Phoenix, 33, Columbus, Ohio
- Kashmire Nazier Redd, 28, was fatally stabbed by his partner on September 5
- Derricka Banner, 26, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Scout Schultz, 21, was shot and killed by Georgia Tech campus police on September 16
- Ally Steinfeld, 17, was stabbed to death in Missouri in early September
- Stephanie Montez, 47, Robstown, Texas
- Candace Towns, 30, Macon, Georgia
Say their names.
This is a guest post by my friend Jolie Laide, who blogs at Dances With Gender.
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance — an occasion that honestly I have very mixed feelings about.
Not that we shouldn’t remember our dead. On the contrary. At least 23 transgender/non-binary people have been killed so far this year in the U.S. As usual, almost all of them were trans women, the vast majority were WOC (mostly black trans woman), a number of them were street sex workers. I point out the latter not to denigrate sex work, rather that they were so marginalized by society that the only way for them to survive was to engage in a highly risky profession.
A partial list of our dead from around the world is on the TDOR website. Many of them were killed with extreme brutality — what criminologists refer to as “overkill,” which is an indicator of extreme rage and hatred toward the victim.
There were undoubtedly more. Usually they were people who couldn’t afford to change their name and gender on their legal ID — or lived in states where social conservatives intentionally passed laws to make it difficult/impossible to do — and consequently when their bodies are found, they usually suffer the final indignity of being misnamed and misgendered by the police and the media. It’s only through people who knew them that we learn who they really were.
Mesha Caldwell, 41
Sean Hake, 23
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28
JoJo Striker, 23
Tiara Richmond, also known as Keke Collier, 24
Chyna Gibson, 31
Ciara McElveen, 26
Jaquarrius Holland, 18
Alphonza Watson, 38
Chay Reed, 28
Kenneth Bostick, 59
Sherrell Faulkner, 46
Kenne McFadden, 27
Kendra Marie Adams, 28
Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17
Ebony Morgan, 28
TeeTee Dangerfield, 32
Gwynevere River Song, 26
Kiwi Herring, 30
Kashmire Nazier Redd, 28
Derricka Banner, 26
Scout Schultz, 21
Ally Steinfeld, 17
Stephanie Montez, 47
Candace Towns, 30
OTOH, for years TDOR was the only time trans people were publicly recognized. If you were gay or lesbian, you had Gay Pride — an event, even if less and less political over the years, still has an attitude of celebration and defiance. As gay writer Joe Jervis summed it up in his must-read essay about the value of Pride: “They wish we were invisible. We’re not. Let’s dance.”
For us, not so much. Pre-Laverne Cox, pre-Janet Mock, pre-Caitlyn Jenner, the only public occasion for trans people was one marking our persecution and deaths. Fortunately, that’s changing with the Transgender Day of Visibility, on March 31, which is intended to celebrate living members of the transgender community, has been gaining traction, as has Trans Awareness Week, which is the week directly preceding TDOR.
As Daye Pope eloquently said:
“Transgender people are real, and vibrant, and powerful, and beautiful, and resilient, and enough. Despite every obstacle stacked against us we rewrite the rules, beat the odds, defy expectations. I believe with all my heart that we have a bright future, because we will build it together.”
So today mourn our dead, tomorrow fight like hell for the living. In March, celebrate our fabulous selves.
They wish we were invisible. We’re not. Let’s dance.
- Danica Roem was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. Her adversary consistently misgendered her, but when asked how she felt about Bob, she said, “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
- Andrea Jenkins of Minneapolis, Minnesota on the City Council is the first out trans black woman to be elected to public office.
- Phillipe Cunningham of Minneapolis, Minnesota on the City Council is the first out trans black man elected to a city council.
- Lisa Middleton was elected to the City Council in Palm Springs, California.
- Tyler Titus was elected to the Erie School Board in Pennsylvania.
- Gerri Cannon won a School Board seat in Somersworth, New Hampshire. She plans to run for a state rep seat.
- Stephe Koontz won a seat on Doraville, Georgia City Council – BY 6 VOTES.
BY 6 VOTES!! So please, never think yours doesn’t count, especially in local elections.