Trans Documentary Drinking Game

In light of the documentary about Chloe Prince that will air tomorrow night, I thought we should all be prepared for what looks like it’s going to be a doozy of a predictable documentary.

So, the rules, such as they are, for watching a trans documentary:

  1. Putting on makeup. Two drinks for reverse camera shot into mirror.
  2. Doing anything better done in jeans and sneakers in heels and a skirt. Examples: cleaning the house, shoveling the sidewalk, yard work, walking the dog.
  3. Before picture shown. Two drinks for picture in stereotypical male mode (sports team, facial hair, military, wedding tux)
  4. Camera shot putting on or taking off a bra.
  5. Photo of any wig, breast form, padding, etc.
  6. Surprise disclosure, when a trans woman is introduced and then partway through the piece, her secret is revealed.
  7. Camera focus on masculine body parts: hands, feet, Adam’s apple, height, etc.
  8. Any reference to genital surgery that refers to “becoming a woman” or “finally a woman”
  9. Minor chords played softly on a piano
  10. talk show host saying “you go girl”
  11. any discussion of plumbing or electricity
  12. black and white childhood shots, MTF with cap gun and cowboy hat, FTM as ballerina.
  13. Trans woman saying, “I am not a crossdresser. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
  14. Trans woman clutching large teddy bear in hospital bed.
  15. Birthday balloons after surgery.
  16. Trans woman with new boyfriend (after shot of tearful ex-wife).
  17. Trans woman sitting in chair in above-the-knee skirt, posed so you can see what great gams she has.
  18. Patient wheeled off to surgery …
  19. … lingering shot of the hospital bed with the teddy bear (or wife) left behind.
  20. Shot of protaganist sitting at the computer keyboard, looking at a trans support website or surgeon’s website….
  21. Any helping professional teaching deportment
  22. Camera in the operating room – just drink the whole bottle
  23. Any and all deployments of soft focus = 1 shot
  24. Close up of dotted lines in magic marker on pale fleshy body parts = 1 shot
  25. Earnest surgeon describes his motivation as “to help [girlname] become the woman she’s always really felt herself to be” = 3 shots
  26. Before picture with extreme facial hair – 1 shot
  27. Before picture in uniform – Military, Football, etc… – 2 shots
  28. Video from hair removal session : Laser – 1 shot, electrolysis – 2 shots
  29. Before picture – Last time she wore a dress (F2M) – 1 shots
  30. Breast binding – 2 shots
  31. Taking Hormones – Self-injecting -3 shots, orals – 1 shot
  32. Did anyone mention an arduous and lonely childhood?
  33. Meeting the school bully as “the new me” at the High School reunion?
  34. Looking at the old picture of self and saying something to the effect of “he was a nice guy….” or “Ken was a lot of fun, but his time is over. It’s Ginger’s turn now!”
  35. Trans woman claiming to have IS chromosomal pattern, an affinity for washing dishes, a sudden dislike of sports, etc.

Believe it or not, these are not the most snarky suggestions by some of our mHB board members. Also remember: there are quite a few people who hang out on our boards who have done this kind of media work, including me & Betty, of course, but also Jenny Boylan, amongst others. We need to laugh at ourselves as much as we laugh at the inanity of it all.

Twelve-Steppers should find their own version, of course. Maybe those ice cream poppers? But the point is to feel as physically ill by the end as the drinking crowd.

(Thanks and love to Gwen Smith who wrote her own version of this back in 2005 and to anyone else who has posted their version of this game.)

Kids These Days

The Walkman turned 30 and one kid who’s 13 took three days to figure out you can flip the cassette for more music. And they say these kids are clever.

& Yes, I do still have my yellow Sports version… somewhere. And a LOT of cassettes. I still miss the mindful mixing of 45 minutes of music. Tape-cover making was an art form all its own too: my favorite personal creation was a cover I painted a purplish black and then wrote on with a toothpick dipped in Wite-Out. It was a Love & RocketsExpress b/w Tones on Tail and gave me many hours of listening pleasure. Now, Tones on Tail songs are on car commercials. *sigh*

Ah, back in the day.

Boulder: TRANSforming Gender 2008

TRANSforming Gender 2008, the third annual trans themed conference here at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is happening tomorrow, November 7th. (This is the conference me & Julia Serano & Matt Kailey & Dylan Scholinksi spoke at last year.)

This year’s lineup includes Monica Roberts (keynote speaker), Krista Scott-Dixon, Michelle Dumaresq, Ryka Aoki de la Cruz, Andrea Gibson, and Katastrophe. You can find the schedule below the break.

Continue reading “Boulder: TRANSforming Gender 2008”

Back to Mike

It looks like the person we’ve all come to know as Christine Daniels is de-transitioning, and has returned to work as Mike Penner.

Kevin Roderick of highly-respected reports late Monday that “Eighteen month after writing a column about becoming Christine Daniels, veteran sportswriter Mike Penner has quietly returned to work at the Los Angeles Times, according to multiple sources close to the LAT’s Sports staff.”

Anyone know any more than this? All of the articles/blog posts written by Christine Daniels are gone – sports ones, as well as the ones about the transition.

If anyone has more information, let me know. As far as I know, this is the most famous person to de-transition I’ve ever heard of, and it’s surely going to cause additional confusion to people who are just starting to get why people transition in the first place.

So – why do people de-transition? I’ve met people who did because they couldn’t find a job as a female, especially if/when there were dependents in the picture. Others realize they weren’t transsexual – and that is the point of RLT, after all, & that means it’s working. Any other reasons people have come across?

Stella Walsh

Paul Farhi wrote a really sensitive and smart column about Stella Walsh, IS conditions, and gender testing at the Olympics.

Walsh had no access to steroids in her day. And since her male organs were nonfunctional, Reiner says, she probably had partial or complete androgen resistance, which makes the body unable to produce or use the small amounts of testosterone that most women have. So it’s even possible that Walsh was at a disadvantage compared with her competitors.

Interesting reading, and a nice companion to Jenny Boylan’s op-ed in The NY Times a few weeks ago.

To fill out your gender Olympics reading, try Zagria’s bio of Dora Ratjen.

Jenny Boylan & The “Complementarians”

Here’s an interesting exchange between a blogger,  CWMW (a Christian group), and the NYT op-ed by Jenny Boylan about the gender testing planned for the Olympics:

The issue of the ‘extremely rare’ defects that result from this being a fallen world ‘not invalidating the binary nature of God’s good design of manhood and womanhood’ fails to address this. For if the binary is to hold, then 65 million people need to be categorized as either male or female. Otherwise they cannot logically be assigned scripturally defined gender roles. So what are the standards? Genitalia? Chromosomes? Capability to give birth? If the Bible doesn’t provide the standards, then someone has to. I look forward to CMWM’s answer to this.

Which is an interesting thought: if people are convinced our gender roles are laid out for us in The Bible, then what about the people who don’t fit the pre-existing genders? & What about the eunuchs?

To Erma Bombeck, With Love

As many of you know, I’ve been struggling with my weight & fitness for the past couple of years. I was in pretty great shape when I met Betty, & got lazy, for starters, which was then exacerbated by (1) pretty extreme depression after 9/11; (2) quitting a job that was very active for writing, which is not; and (3) getting older and having my metabolism slow. Effectively it’s been a decade since I worked out at a gym regularly, which is embarassing to admit, though I have almost always walked regularly, and some distances, do some yoga, work out with free weights & calisthenics, & of course try to watch what I eat.

Recently, I joined a gym again because watching what I eat and walking a lot and doing at-home workouts wasn’t helping.

But – I know this is going to be a shocking revelation – I am totally out of shape. I go to the gym in my baggy sweats and t-shirt, and get on the Precor elliptical machine, which is kind to my flat foot and bad knees, and start pedaling. In minutes, I notice how much slower I am going than anyone near me, and yet – and yet – my heart rate shoots straight out of any health zone, weight loss or cardiovascular. I slow down a little more, take breaks, watch my heart rate respond, and then notice I have become the literal tortoise to the hares pedaling around me. Continue reading “To Erma Bombeck, With Love”

The Othered Hillary

Someone who has been fascinated with the “I won’t vote for Obama” reaction of some of the ‘Clintonistas’ wrote to me to say that she thought, perhaps, that women of a certain generation are sore losers when it comes to outright competition because they were never taught to compete with grace, and that’s mostly because they were never allowed to play team sports.

I’m pretty sure she’s onto something, because losing with grace takes training & effort.

However, for many of them, and for someone like Hillary herself, there is always this extra burden of not only gaining for yourself, but gaining for ALL women, which is an awful lot to carry into a competition. That is, it’s not about the presidency only; it’s about all women, the history of women, and the future of feminism. Losing all that – and not just her bid for president – is bound to make the stakes higher, which makes it harder to lose gracefully.

Imagine if your average businessman went out in the world every day to earn points of Capitalism. Look at the Cold War for a good example of when carrying an ideology around gets to be absurd.

One of the things that has amazed me is not the bizarre commentary about race and gender that’s gone on, or the lack of it. What amazes me is how much the dialogue about race has changed. Obama is, no doubt, expected to score one for the team. But the burdens of that are not obvious, nor talked about. & I think that’s precisely because he felt forced to address race issues due to Rev. Wright.

I know I was sitting there listening to Senator Clinton give her suspension speech and endorsement of Obama and thinking, “I’d have voted for her if she’d made her feminism a little more obvious earlier on.” It was how she was NOT addressing gender that bugged me, & instead we got Ferraro talking about racism, which didn’t make any damn sense. Because that comment about the glass ceiling having 18 million cracks in it was very empowering and positive; she personalized the politics in a way that spoke to me and to many women, I bet.

The whole thing about being “othered” is that you don’t get to pretend you aren’t. If you’re a woman, you have to be a woman; you don’t get any choice in the matter. You have to address gender issues publicly, all the time. Likewise for being a gay person, or a black person, or a disabled person. It sucks. I’ve complained about having to be a woman writer. But you can’t pretend the world doesn’t see your “otherness” as much as you’d prefer a world like that. & That goes doubly for a woman who is a politician, and who has to deal with the oldest of old boys’ networks and the public policies they’ve devised.