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.)

CDM Leaves Tri-Ess

As of today, Chi Delta Mu, the Tri-Ess chapter of the tri-state area, voted to leave Tri-Ess and become an inclusive & independent trans group.

At issue were the chapter’s non-compliance on three major required items: (1) that the local members be due-paying members of national; (2) that the group keep its focus on providing “support and education on behalf of heterosexual crossdressers, their spouses, partners and families”; and (3) that the local chapter file a financial statement with national.

From what I know, CDM hadn’t done (3) in a long while, hadn’t been (2) in a long while, and (1) that most of its members were not members of national.

From what I understand, there was nothing contentious going on – just National asking the local to respect its rules of the charter, and the local realizing that their group had evolved in such a way that becoming compliant again wasn’t going to work for them as a group.

Inconvenient

In response to this last post, I received this short email:

“My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser”

This is where you loose me Helen. You say you don’t use words like “Husband or Wife”….but then you write books using that exact terminology.

Very confusing.

I responded:

I wrote that book 6 years ago. My thinking is surely allowed to change, no?

He responded:

Convenient. No?

& I responded:

Is that how you’d talk to Betty about her decision to transition? That it was “convenient”?

My partner was a self-identified straight drag queen when we met, with a male identity.

She is living as a woman & doing what paperwork she can to reflect that.

One of the reasons I can’t & don’t use “husband” anymore is because people then start using “he” pronouns about my partner. She is not a he. To avoid that, I avoid the gendered terminology that leads to it.

When she had a genderqueer/androgynous presentation, she didn’t mind mixing up the pronouns – as I did in the 2nd book. Now, “he” chafes her, doesn’t fit.

So sue me for having had to make adjustments – especially ones that are entirely out of consideration of my partner’s gender.

Please don’t write back. Your response was rude beyond belief. I shouldn’t be justifying it with a response at all, but I like to give people a fair shake.

If I stop using “husband” then it’s somehow just “convenient” that I’m doing so. Surely it couldn’t have anything to do with my partner’s change in gender! *sigh* I’m having one of those days.

Gendered Words

We don’t use the words “husband” or “wife” because they’re gendered, but we don’t generally use “spouse” because it seems too clinical, or legal, & yet I wonder if it lacks warmth precisely because it’s not gendered.

Divorce Resources

Yes, it’s a depressing thought, but I’ve seen so many of them in the trans community over time that I thought I should share these two articles I found on the topic.

One of called “What Every Married Woman Should Know About Money,” by Carol Mithers and has a bulleted list of 7 items:

  • 1. Carry your own plastic.
  • 2. Read the fine print.
  • 3. Define what’s yours, mine, and ours.
  • 4. Don’t give up bill-paying duties.
  • 5. Get to know your financial advisers.
  • 6. Make plans for the future.
  • 7. Keep your professional hat in the ring.

The other is “What To Do When You Can’t Afford a Divorce” also by Carol Mithers and has this useful bit of advice about credit:

Credit is a different story. “Shred joint cards and get a new one in your own name,” recommends Lisa Decker, an Atlanta-area-based financial analyst specializing in divorce. “It can be hard for a woman to get credit after a divorce, especially if she hasn’t been working. If you have a balance you can’t pay off on existing credit cards, freeze the account so that neither partner can run up the debt further. Also put freezes on home equity so that neither of you can take out a second mortgage or line of credit.”

Not cheery, but still important reading.

Iran’s Revolutionary Women

Roger Cohen followed up his column mentioning the women of Iran with a column about them entirely:

A friend told me he no longer recognizes his wife. She’d been of the reluctantly acquiescent school. Now, “She’s a revolutionary.” I followed as she led us up onto the roof. The “death to the dictator” that surged from her into the night was of rare ferocity.

Very much worth reading – go check it out.

TransOhio Conference 2009: August 14-16

I’ll be speaking at TransOhio’s annual conference this year, deliverying both a keynote and doing a workshop about sex & identity.

When: August 14-16, 2009
Where: Columbus, Ohio
What: Lots of cool workshops for trans people, their partners, & allies

You can read the descriptions of my keynote and workshop below the break, but in the meantime check out TransOhio’s conference site for more details.

Continue reading “TransOhio Conference 2009: August 14-16”

Blogging for LGBT Families Day!

Today’s the day! I’m blogging, as I have in years past. for LGBT families — who have, thankfully, seen some gains this year! I know plenty of my queerio friends are tired & frustrated with the whole push for same-sex marriage, and trans activists are frustrated as well, because they want the attention on non-discrimination legislation, but as a married person, who is now same-sex, it makes me kind of ill to realize that the state I’m currently living in is actually struggling only to recognize domestic partnerships (for f***k’s sake). My home state can’t work it out either, which is downright embarrassing as a NYer. It’s a mistake, in my opinion, to divorce marriage from the economic issues that are at stake: even something like health insurance is vitally important, & very expensive if one spouse can’t be covered by the other’s health insurance.

So from my very small family to yours: keep working on same sex marriage. You don’t have to ignore other issues – like the gender identity & expression version of ENDA – but goddamn if I’m going to be a 2nd class citizen, & neither should anyone else.

Here’s some other trans family bloggers:

Join us next year!

Five News Stories

Fairfax High School elected a male student Prom Queen.

Tom Ackerman, a gay man, has vowed to call his friends’ wives their girlfriends, because he’s decided his religious views don’t allow him to recognize opposite-sex marriage.

The New Scientist tells you everything you ever wanted to know about female ejaculation (& maybe a few things you didn’t want to know).

A woman named Brenda Lee got dragged bodily off of Air Force One when she tried to give President Obama a letter asking him to stand up for heterosexual marriage.

Publishers Weekly reports from the BEA that US Publishers have vowed to fight digitized piracy.