Only If You Say So

A friend sent me a couple of links about homosexuality by the K of C — for those of you who weren’t raised Catholic, that stands for Knights of Columbus — and what strikes me as fascinating is the bizarre leap of illogic it requires. Where you end up is where Tri Ess always ended up: only those who identify as gay are gay, so if you don’t identify as gay you’re not, even if you’re a man who is having sex with other men (or a CD having sex with other CDs).

It brings up issues of identity I’ve been mentioning elsewhere. When the same ideas are used to distinguish between actions and identities, they can be useful, but they’re hardly a good excuse for hypocritcal policies & politics.

Trans Equality & the Feds

NCTE asks:

What would federal policy look like if transgender people were fully and fairly included? Over the past months and years, NCTE has compiled a list of 112 separate policies that directly impact the lives of transgender people and our families that need to be added, removed or changed. Our latest publication, “Transgender Equality and the Federal Government” outlines each of these issues. We expect that some of these policies can be changed in the short term, while others will require long term activism. Some of the issues here will be at the forefront of NCTE’s work in the coming year and in other areas, our partners in this work will be the ones to lead, with our support.

You can read that document online, or check out in .pdf format.

Partners’ Resources

One of the partners who posts regularly on our forums has put together a list of online resources for partners, which she’s posted on the TransOhio website.

How cool is that? When I first went online as the girlfriend of a “CD,” there was exactly one Yahoo group, which was actually an eGroup (anyone remember those?).

The only thing that still bugs me is how much the partners of MTFs and FTMs segregate. It’s another case where I feel we draw too much of our identites from our partners’ trans ones. I’ve learned so much from partners of FTMs, male or female, straight-identified and queer.

Congress Is Back

From the NCTE:

Today, January 6, Members of Congress raise their right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution as they begin the new legislative session.

Let’s make sure the first thing they hear about is the importance of an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that protects all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224 3121 and have them connect you to your Representative (based on your zip code). Tell them: “I am a constituent and I would like you to please tell Representative _______ that I strongly support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would ban discrimination against all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Then, call back and leave messages with your two Senators too!

Request an in-person meeting for you and other community members with your two Senators and your Representative (or their staffs) in their home district offices. You can call the district offices to request these meetings but they often want you to fax a meeting request. To find contact info for district offices, go to to and

Sample meeting request letters, and other talking points and resources for your meetings, are available in the following toolkits:

NYC HHC Report

Betsy Gotsbaum, NY’s Public Advocate, has released a report (pdf) that recommends way to improve the LGBT population’s access to healthcare.

Among the recommendations:
• Require in-house LGBT sensitivity training for all HHC employees.
• Designate an LGBT liaison in each HHC facility.
• Establish, display, and enforce a zero-tolerance discrimination policy.
• Establish a review process to monitor progress.

Among the people quoted in the press release are Ray Carannante of CenterCARE and Michael Silverman of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).

70 Under 30

’50 Under 30′ Youth Hate Crimes Report Re-Issued: Almost 20 New Victims; Re-Titled ’70 Under 30″

WASHINGTON (December 4, 2008) — The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s 2006 hate crimes report, “50 Under 30: Masculinity & The War Against America’s Youth” has been updated and re-issued. Because of the nearly 20 new murders, the new title has been changed to “70 Under 30.”

Said GenderPAC Executive Director Riki Wilchins, “It’s sad to see so many new murders so quickly. We had hoped to only need to update this report every few years or so, but the pace of violence has surpassed our expectations.”

The report highlights the continuing vulnerability to assault that individuals face if they are young, of color and gender non-conforming. It also underscores the limited resources for safety and support many of them have.

Continue reading “70 Under 30”

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day.

Here’s a cool resource from the AIDS Memorial Quilt organization, showing various places in the US & events for World AIDS Day in your area, courtesy of Google Maps.

& Here’s Safe Sex info from Just Say Yes. (I love the little erection/condom .gif.)

I would love to hear from people as to why, say, the Quilt seems so different than the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Both are largely about the death of those we love. Yet they feel different, & I can’t quite put my finger on how.

Letter To a Wife

My friend Shirene, who I met while I was researching My Husband Betty, and at a SPICE conference to boot, has contined to work with wives who have just found out their husbands are crossdressers. She wrote this letter recently to one such wife, and I thought it was worth sharing here, for any husband who might want to use it to help come out to his wife, or for any wife who has just found out.

I don’t necessarily agree with how she simplifies certain issues – like the “crossdressers are heterosexual” meme – but a lot of the rest of it is a good “talking down” for a new wife who might be completely panicking.

Dear Jill,

Hi.  I hope you don’t mind receiving a letter like this from a stranger, but my husband is  transgender also and I know that if I could have received a letter such as this when I found out, it would have made it easier on both me and my husband. My name is Shirene, I’m 43, we live in S******, IL and I’ve known about Shayla since ‘98.  We’re at 555 555 5555.

I will admit it’s somewhat of an adapted form letter so please ignore the things that don’t apply to your situation and please excuse the things I’m telling you that you already know. Continue reading “Letter To a Wife”