In The News

Transgender, Schlumpy and Human

THERE’S a scene in the new Amazon show “Transparent” when the family patriarch, Mort, walks in on his oldest daughter in flagrante with her lesbian lover. The character, who’s been struggling throughout the pilot with how to come out as trans, stands there in drag with a bemused expression. “Hello, ladies,” Mort — now Maura — says.

Source: New York Times

 

‘Argentina’s Gender Identity Law is the best in the world’

Forty-nine-year-old Marcela Romero — an activist, a transsexual woman, and a mother — has lived a life that most people could hardly imagine. Born in Chaco province in the country’s northeast, she came to Buenos Aires at the age of 14 but was met with the heavy hand of the military dictatorship, which detained her several times in an institution for minors. At 22 she underwent gender affirmation surgery, later becoming the proud adopted mother of her late partner’s son.

Source: Buenos Aires Herald

 

Seven questions about transgender issues you were afraid to ask

A flap erupted between writer and trans activist Janet Mock and CNN host Piers Morgan last week after Mock appeared on Morgan’s show to promote her memoir, “Redefining Realness.” Morgan repeatedly asserted that Mock had been “born a boy” or that she “used to be a man.” After her appearance, Mock expressed her disappointment on Twitter.

Source: The Washington Post

Transgender Former Member of Italian Parliament Detained in Sochi

SOCHI, Russia — Vladimir Luxuria, a transgender former member of the Italian Parliament, was detained by the Russian authorities Sunday after holding up a sign that read, “Gay Is OK,” at Olympic Park, the leader of an Italian gay-rights group said.

Source: NewYork Times

Other Stories of Interests From BuzzFeed

Transgender People Are Paying The Price For The Media’s Willful Ignorance

For those who care about the way transgender people are covered in the media — to say nothing of transgender people themselves who bear the brunt of the blow — it has been a difficult few weeks. “A chill ran down my spine” is how Caleb Hannan, a Grantland contributor, describes the moment he realized that the subject of his story was a transwoman. In the article, Hannan doesn’t get a “chill” later when the woman, an inventor and entrepreneur, begs him not to out her, stating “you’re about to commit a hate crime.”

Source: Buzzfeed

 

April Ashley: The Vogue Model Who Became A Transgender Icon

Born in the 1935 slums of Liverpool, April Ashley was one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery at a time when it was nearly unheard of. A secret that would eventually derail her modeling career amid public scandal.

Source: Buzzfeed

 

Colban Clark, a freshman at the American Academy of Art, shared a story from class on his Tumblr

Last Wednesday one of my teachers that knows I’m trans* was talking to me in front of the class and used the wrong pronouns. 5 mins later she came up to me, handing me a really nice brand new sketch book and simply said “Merry Christmas” and walked away. I took the sketchbook and said thanks and I opened it up to find a note saying “Sorry I called you a she.” Little things like this can just make my day.

Source: Buzzfeed

 

New Documentary Series Focuses On Transgender Individuals Serving In U.S. Military

“No one goes into the military imagining that they’re going to be be able to transition. Nevertheless, each one of those people makes a choice every single day to endure pain and suffering.”

Source: Buzzfeed

Questioning

Questioning dog

 

No, I am not questioning myself here, more I seeking my place within the TG/TS framework both online and off.

Where I live isn’t a hot bed of activism and social decent. For the most part people here only relate to what they have seen or heard on the news or opinion radio so you can imagine some of the conversations I have overheard. I’m not an eavesdropper but some of these people are like the annoying guy in the restaurant who thinks everyone should listen to his side of the conversation. 

Anyway, the point is, there isn’t a network of people and organizations I can look up to find others like myself or any LGBT folk in general. At least none who I would be comfortable striking up a conversation with. There aren’t any PFLAG offices or other services aimed at the trans community. After doing some research I found there was a short time when such individuals and groups existed locally, but the last traces of them faded out in 2009. 

There was another group nearby, about a half hour drive, but they also have disbanded due to lack of participation. As Jodi pointed out, it’s a good sign when a group disbands because it is no longer needed, but it can problematic for those like myself who are a little late getting to the party.

It has be suggested trying to form a new support group locally. Jodi has mentioned it more than once and I am in full support of her efforts. What I’m not sure of is where I would fit in. I’m not a very good organizer, and pubic speaking, while not impossible, is difficult especially when I’m not familiar with the audience.

I am more than willing to speak to others about my own experiences and to offer what support I can. I’m certainly not an expert, but I can certainly empathize with what others are facing. 

While I feel doing things here, in person is important, indeed, vitally needed, through the internet my reach is much further. As important as sharing my own personal story is, I feel there is so much more I can do…

I’m just not sure what it may be or even how to start moving in the direction I need to in order to make any sort of meaningful impact in the lives of my brothers and sisters.

Quite A Day

Well today has had its ups and downs… (but more ups!)

First of all we woke up to more than three inches of snow on the ground, actually I think we had closer to five at our house. Then had a fight and near meltdown with the oldest when he was told he was going to shovel the drive. I probably should have stuck to my guns, but o be honest, I wasn’t up to fighting about it, not today so I just did it myself. 

The A was called into work which left me with no choice but to walk to Costco to get dinner. No big deal except they haven’t bothered with the residential roads around our house which means the whole way was pretty much a sheet of ice… as I found out on the way to the store. One second I was up, the next I was on the ground. Fortunately my pride is a bit bruised along with some other parts of me but nothing seems to be broken. Still, I am going to be stiff and sore by morning.

Funny enough I feel it was worth it after my time in the store. I went out without my hair, (which considering my fall, I am glad for). No makeup. Just a sweatshirt, jeans, work boots, and a ball cap… and well, my coat of course… Now I was wearing silicone “boosters” so I have a little chest going, but you can’t tell in my winter jacket, at least I don’t think you can… anyway, I was correctly gendered several times, mis-gendered only once, and one time a woman stopped to talk to me about what I was getting for dinner, (meatloaf with mashed potatoes), she at first called me ‘sir’ until she looked at me and corrected herself with “Miss” and she apologized!

I think I spent the whole time smiling.

Now I don’t expect everyday to go as smooth, but it has been a real confidence builder to say the least. 

The Civil Rights Agenda Shifts Focus To Transgender Rights

For those living in Illinois, some good news. 

The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) will now be shifting the focus of their efforts, after the Illinois marriage equality victory, to rights that have been denied to the often marginalized transgender community of Illinois.

Some background: From Wikipedia

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Illinois have much the same legal rights as non-LGBT residents. Illinois is often regarded as one of the most liberal states in the Midwestern United States. Same-sex sexual activity has been legal since 1962, after Illinois became the first U.S. state to repeal its sodomy laws. Same-sex marriage was banned by statute since 1996, but has since been legalized in November 2013, after the signature of the Governor on November 20, going into effect on June 1, 2014. Civil unions also have been legal statewide since 2011 and same-sex couples are also allowed to adopt children.

Discrimination protection

Illinois has protected LGBT persons from discrimination since 2006, based on legislation enacted in 2005. The anti-discrimination law adds “sexual orientation” to the state’s existing nondiscrimination statute which already bans discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations or credit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, marital status and military status. The definition of “sexual orientation” includes provisions to specifically cover transgender persons.

 

The Transgender Rights Project Advisory Committee, made up of an inter-generational group of 16 transgender activists, has been working with the staff at TCRA to identify issues that affect the transgender community throughout Illinois. The initiatives that have been chosen and will be a first priority are: ensuring transgender related healthcare is fully covered by insurance companies, working with prisons and local law enforcement to develop policies related to the incarceration of transgender individuals, ensuring access to hormone therapy for low income or no income transgender individuals, initiating an educational campaign related to the use of public restrooms and transgender individuals, and ensuring that transgender people can change their sex on their identity related documentation.

One of the first policy issues TCRA will be working on in Springfield, now that marriage equality has passed, relates to a transgender individual’s ability to change one’s sex on their birth certificate. TCRA is working to clarify the current law and bring the state policy in-line with federal rules.
“Birth Certificates are used as a requirement for other legal and identity documents,” said June Latrobe, The Civil Rights Agenda’s Transgender Advisory Committee Co-chair. “A transgender person should be able to have it reflect an individual’s sex after they transition genders.”

I will say this is a good start for bringing issues which need to be addressed into the public awareness, but there is still a long way to go.

 

There is a great deal I have to learn with regards to the legal protections provided in Illinois, there is a host of out dated or not updated information online and it quickly becomes confusing.