TransFeminism is an ongoing series of interviews and essays focusing on the intersection of feminist and trans activism. In this installment, John Stoltenberg considers “What the Trans Moment Has to Offer Radical Feminism.” Part One: What the Trans Moment Has to Offer Radical Feminism EPUB Version | PDF Version By John Stoltenberg @JohnStoltenberg I recently read an essay about men and rape, written from a radical feminist point of view, which included a… Read more.
Be a Trans Advocate
By Alexx Andersen There has been a lot of misinformation about North Carolina’s House Bill 2 through various media outlets, as well as a general lack of coverage in regards to the many Queer and Trans People of Color-led (QTPOC) efforts since the passing of North Carolina’s House Bill 2, referred in the media as “The Bathroom Bill.” The narrative that has been pushed through various media outlets leads people to believe that it is only about the bathrooms. North… Read more.
Traveling While Trans: The False Promise of Better Treatment By Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello Back in 2012, I wrote about the problems I regularly encountered as a trans person when going through TSA security screening at airports. Since that time, we've been promised, much has changed. The TSA has formally stated that it will not discriminate on the basis of gender identity. Passengers are to be screened based upon their gender presentation. Any pat-downs are to be conducted… Read more.
Cianán is a lapsed Ph.D. chemist, writer, public speaker, trainer, activist, and assessment expert whose interests in activism are transmasculine representation in global trans activism and development of the public concept of trans folks as complete people with lives, identities, and desires beyond simply being trans. As a gay trans man, his personal interests also include expanding the visibility of the variety of trans folks, prevention and treatment of sexual violence and rape amongst trans survivors, and sexual and reproductive… Read more.
November 20, 2014 · Guest
A personal reflection on the abuse of weaponization of Facebook’s “Real Name” Policy By Emmagene Cronin I woke up Monday morning, the first day of Trans Awareness Week, as I do everyday before I’m off to classes. I get myself out of bed after hitting the alarm a few times, and then I trot downstairs to make myself some coffee and read a news story or two while I try to wake up from the lack of sleep I know I just… Read more.
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September 15, 2014 · Guest
Are Trans Communities Losing Intersex Allies in the TERF Wars? By Cary Gabriel Costello, PhD Recently I spent several days in a public internet group for "gender critical" people, after a few intersex friends voiced some positive things about this line of thinking. As an intersex individual who gender transitioned from the sex he was assigned at birth, I was puzzled and concerned by this development. I'd read in trans writing that "gender critical" feminists were actively transphobic--yet here were… Read more.
The Curious Demands of the Womyn in the Woods: Unpacking the Statement of the Michigan Womyn’s Musical Festival
September 12, 2014 · Guest
The Demands of Michfest's Lisa Vogel: A Response & a Good Faith Offer of Support By Emmagene Cronin The end of the 39th annual Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF of Michfest) has arrived, and the trans community has been left with a list of “demands” from the Festival itself. To the unknowing reader, this list would seem like the extension of an olive branch, and glimmer of hope for reconciliation between two presently oppositional factions within the feminist movement.… Read more.
Open Letter: 200+ Trans Women and Transfeminine People Stand Against Calpernia Addams and Andrea James
April 15, 2014 · Guest
We, the undersigned trans women and trans-feminine individuals, are appalled at recent attacks on trans woman journalist Parker Marie Molloy published by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James on the Huffington Post and Boing Boing. Addams’ and James’ hit pieces exhibit a pervasive hostility to young, queer trans women, and indeed any trans woman who is uncomfortable with the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag queens like RuPaul. They display homophobia, transphobia, ignorance, dishonesty, and hatred throughout. We believe that… Read more.
April 1, 2014 · Guest
By Cathy Renna @cathyrenna Possibly inspired by Laverne Cox and Orange is the New Black, I blurted out the title of this post at a recent panel about media coverage of transgender issues, as I was trying to put into context the quality of coverage of transgender issues today, as compared to gay and lesbian issues in the early 1990s. It has stuck in my head since. Back then I was working at GLAAD and gay and lesbian people were still… Read more.
By Ryan Sallans @rsallans Over the past two months two incidents have happened that I believe will start to shift TV shows away from the typical questions and expected narratives of transgender people. The first happened when Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera were interviewed on Katie Couric, and when Carmen was asked about surgery, Laverne interjected the importance of moving past asking about body parts and moving to “lived experiences”. In a statement after the show Laverne wrote on her blog:… Read more.
By Kat Haché @papierhache NOTE: Content warning below. Yesterday, I came across an article in the LA Times regarding the National Transgender Discrimination Survey’s study of the elevated risk of suicide in the transgender community. To briefly summarize, the statistics are shocking: 41% of transgender/gender non-confoming individuals have attempted suicide, a rate of 9 times the national average The risk was higher for those who had suffered discrimination or violence For those driven to homelessness, the risk was even higher, at 69%, for those… Read more.
A cisgender sex-positive dyke organizer addresses the cotton ceiling . By Andrea Zanin The question of whether or not to include trans women in women’s sexuality-based events is old and tiresome, but it still comes up with some regularity. I recently responded to a discussion on this topic and I realized that it might be useful to post my thoughts here, as I don’t know that I’ve ever done so in full. I see a few main underlying assumptions come up… Read more.
TW: transphobic violence Like a lot of people, I was transphobic when I was younger. Society had conditioned me to be. There were men and there were women, and anyone who didn’t fit into the narrow definitions of one of those categories was abnormal, abhorrent, a freak. I remember (much to my shame) pointing at people I saw on the bus who didn’t look like what I thought a man or a woman should look like and laughing at them.… Read more.
August 22, 2013 · Guest
By Lianne Simon Atlanta Gender Variations is a support group for the families of gender variant children. A few months ago they invited me to speak about intersex and share some of my history. One of the issues they shared with me was that of Skylar, a twelve-year-old transgender girl, who had been denied use of the girls’ restroom at her school. Although they had instructed her to use the faculty restroom, she had, on at least one occasion, been denied… Read more.
By Marci Hawkins I came to terms with my transsexuality around 2007/2008. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when I caught a late night TV show by the name of Sex Change Hospital; it was fascinating to see people just like me. While it was great that I finally knew what was going on thanks to the show, I felt helpless. How could a 17 year old transition when they felt alone, apart from a couple of distant… Read more.
by Zinnia Jones I keep a personal Tumblr for notes on my daily experiences while transitioning, as well as timeline photos documenting my physical development. Recently, an anonymous reader asked why I would keep such a history. This is my reply. Anonymous asked: Wouldn’t most trans people not want to keep records of their transition? I mean, isn’t that like proving “you’re not really a woman, see, here’s an old picture of you” by reliving your transition? If I was trans I… Read more.
August 4, 2013 · Guest
For some reason or another, my blog has become less personal over the last few years. I’ve shared stories, news, videos and pictures, but nothing that is really personal—from the uberscribbling heart—so to speak. That’s about to change. The uberscribbler is more than just an author, public speaker and social media junkie. There are more stories to share, things that need to be said, and thoughts that I need to send out to the universe via the world-wide web. And… Read more.
LifeSiteNews’ Ben Johnson misrepresents “Christian position” on transgender people, fails to actually cite the Bible
August 2, 2013 · Guest
Editor's Note: This is part of a TransAdvocate series on religion. This series seeks to explore how various religions conceptualize trans and how trans people conceptualize religion. Eunuch Ebed-Melek successfully argues against the rest of King Zedekiah’s court and leads a team of 30 men to rescue the prophet Jeremiah from a well. (Jeremiah 38) By Daniel Gonzales Ben Johnson of LifeSiteNews is in a tizzy over Pat Robertson’s declaration that transgender people altering… Read more.
July 22, 2013 · Guest
Trans narratives are hot. Across the globe, media makers are turning to the transgender community for fodder for films, photo exhibits, stage plays, magazine articles, etc. In fact, if you aren’t talking about trans people, then you are missing out on what is an incredibly powerful media moment where our lives have become the catalyst for mainstream discussions of gender, sexuality, and even race. Riding the wave of this trans trend is the new Netflix series, Orange is The New Black.… Read more.
July 18, 2013 · Guest
I wake up, like any other woman, run my fingers through my long, bed-head hair, wishing I could stay asleep, and go to pour some cereal and coffee for breakfast. I decided to check my Twitter and my Facebook page, and in my feed, I see a Thought Catalog post that looks interesting. I click, I read, I find a little bit of inspiration. This has been a fairly accurate description of many mornings that I have spent before school or work,… Read more.
Crossposted with permission from OutServe Magazine, the magazine of OutServe-SLDN. By Anonymous Memorial Day weekend is, first and foremost, about remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It honors the many sacrifices of those who served and who are currently serving. It lifts up families and friends who have lost loved ones to combat and in the line of duty. It recognizes the best our nation had and has to offer. Last week, as I have on every Memorial… Read more.
Comic by Lee More about Fallon Fox on the TransAdvocate: Reality Check: Fallon Fox and the Transgender Advantage Logic Be Damned: MMA Fighter Fallon Fox and the PC Conspiracy Read more.
February 5, 2013 · Guest
By Suzan Cooke Transsexual and Transgender people are everywhere, for good or bad, in high positions in life and low. We are not just sex workers and murder victims even though we are often stereotyped as such. Like other minority groups, we are remarkably diverse. So much so that describing ourselves as either transsexual or transgender says virtually nothing about us as an individual. I never saw us as a single community. TS/TG as identity seemed to form very weak… Read more.
By Michelle Elianna Wolf Would you believe even today, widespread belief exists that people actively choose a homosexual lifestyle or gender transition? Of the former, there is plenty of dialog, so I’m not going to bother going there. Trans people face this level of malarkey just as frequently, so I thought it couldn’t hurt to put together a few talking points. This shouldn’t be too hard, because seriously, who in the world would do this if they didn’t have to?… Read more.
January 17, 2013 · Guest
By Diana O’Brien 16 Jan 2013 The third season premiere of Lost Girl just demonstrated the well-worn path for advancing gay/lesbian/bisexual themes in the media. That path continues to be walking over the crushed public image of transgender people. Lost Girl has received a lot of attention for its sexually charged plot lines and positive portrayal of lesbian and bisexual female characters. Even GLAAD has taken notice of the show, promoting it in The GLAAD Wrap and What to Watch.… Read more.
April 9, 2012 · Guest
Today's guest post is from Antonia D'orsay from Dyssonance. She describes herself as "a multi-ethnic, early Generation X, native Arizonan writer, sociologist and psychologist who rarely cleaves to the standard party line for any group. Examines underlying issues of language, empowerment, expression, and transition, in a mixture of the absurd, the serious, the personal, and the peculiar." Let’s look at some statements: “I support rational anti-discrimination protections for people of transgender and transsexual expereince.” Sounds good. Lawyer good. Well spun,… Read more.
April 4, 2012 · Guest
Update April 4, 4:00 AM: I propose we start a twitter campaign criticizing the Fox affiliate station for putting together this disrespectful and transphobic report on Coko’s murder. Please tweet to FOX 2 News (https://twitter.com/#!/FOX2News) your criticisms and questions, and be sure to use the hashtag: #RespectCoko Please be polite but firm in your critique. A suggested tweet: Your report on trans woman Coko William’s murder was transphobic and extremely offensive. @FOX2News apologize now! #RespectCoko **************************************************************** Update April 4, 3:30… Read more.
This guest Transadvocate post comes from Natalie Reed. Reed describes herself as "a magical young woman who lives in the mists and pines of Vancouver, British Columbia, where she fends off the oppressive gloom and darkness basking in the warm glow of her laptop, thinking things about stuff and writing stuff about the things." You can read more about her here. He doesn’t love anyone. He’s not there at all. I’m sorry. Lately there have been a number of posts… Read more.
Today's guest post comes from Jane Fae. Fae is a free-lance journalist, writing about law and computer technology, privacy and censorship. She has been a regular contributor to The Register and The Guardian. She blogs at Jane Fae The UK’s Telegraph newspaper was today accused of displaying outright contempt for the trans community as well as a callous disregard for the feelings of relatives of deceased lawyer, Sonia Burgess, by deliberately going out of their way to misgender the victim.… Read more.
November 18, 2011 · Guest
Editor's note: The following guest post is from Kelly Osbourne. Osbourne is a television personality and musician. Osbourne and I discussed on Twitter about her use of the phrase "chick with a dick" and "tranny" in a public interview. With this post Kelly has proven she is a responsible ally to the transgender community. She made a mistake that was borne of ignorance, not malice. This post is will go far in healing that mistake. It will also serve to… Read more.
Today's guest post is from Marina Mahathir. Mahathir describes herself as "a newspaper columnist, blogger, occasional TV and film producer, activist and general nuisance. She feels most comfortable amongst colourful characters and despite a great fondness for clothes and shoes, can't abide cocktail parties for the smart set. Most people know her by her constant talk about safe sex for HIV prevention but occasionally she also irritates some people by going on about feminism and Islam. She yearns for the… Read more.
This guest post is from Ray Filar. Filar is a feminist writer, freelance journalist, and Gender Studies graduate student. Her work has been featured in various blogs and magazines, including Comment is free, Pink News, openDemocracy, The F Word, and Liberal Conspiracy. She writes a blog called Political Correctness Gone Mad. If you like outpourings of anger against gender fascism whittled down into digestible 140 character chunks, you could follow her twitter on @rayfilar. "One is not born, but rather… Read more.
Editor's note: Today's guest post is from Jillian Burrows. Chaz Bono is going to be on Dancing with the Stars. For people who don’t know, I’m reluctant to let you in on the fact that he’s transgender. He was assigned to the female gender at birth, but didn’t fit the mold. People who know about his past have conniptions — or at least they still want to classify him as a woman, and then say that what he’s doing is… Read more.
This guest post comes from Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello. Costello describes himself as "an academic and scaler of boundary walls, intersex by birth, female-reared, legally transitioned to male status, and pleased with my trajectory. Come journey with me. I blog about intersex issues at The Intersex Roadshow, and about trans issues" I hate the term "passing." It's used as a euphemism for death: “All were saddened at his passing.” I'm told I should be happy about “passing.” When used to… Read more.
Today's guest post is from Catherine Butler. Butler is an academic and writer, living in Bristol, UK and blogs here. Trans erasure happens in all kinds of places, but it happens most to those who lack a voice: children, the poor and ill-educated, and the dead. A young child gets bullied at school for preferring dolls to football. Teachers can know nothing about the child's future sexuality. Nor can they know whether the child is trans. Maybe the child just… Read more.
The following blog post is Audrey Mbugua from of Transgender Kenya. Mbugua works for Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA). TEA is a human rights organization working towards ending human rights violations against transgender and intersex people. Imperialistic Complex Against Transsexual Kenyans “My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest” By Mahatma Gandhi One of Kenya’s notable heroic moments in history is undoubtedly the fight against white rule dating from 1900… Read more.
March 20, 2011 · Kat
[Note from Kat: In 2001, Maryland gays and lesbians blatantly and openly lied to the Legislature and to the public, claiming that trans people were already protected under Maryland law and, as such, inclusion in the gay rights bill was unnecessary. Now, it appears as though their claims that the anti-trans HB 235 will be of benefit to homeless trans people is even more of a lie. At least some who pushed the 2001 lie might actually have just been… Read more.
Today's guest Transadvocate is polerin. Her bio on Twitter states: "Trans woman, radical lefty, wannabe cartoonist, geek, phreakNIC director, web developer, person. Will eat for food, and rock your face off. Or on. On is good." Inspired by the TERF’s posting and commenting at The Magazine Project. You insult us. You claim we are ruining everything. You sourly say “Well I’m glad YOU are happy but everyone else is mistaken.” You describe us as the scum of the Earth… Then… Read more.
October 24, 2010 · Guest
Todays Guest Transadvocate is Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan. Ryan describes herself as a "transgender, Feminist, Queer, Fat+, Activist, Educator, Writer, Speaker and Firebrand". She is also the author of Gender Quake: Poems and the co-producer of three autobiographical films. This weekend, there was a conference at the University of New Hampshire entitled “Pornography as Sexual Violence.” I was asked by the key organizer to co-present a panel with David Jacobsen at the conference. I titled the session Pornography and LGBT… Read more.
This just in from Kim Pearson over at TransYouth Family Allies: I hope you all will remember to tune in tonight and invite your friends over to watch with you. Also forward the invitation to everyone you know please. This is really going to be an important show. NatGeo Channel, Explorer Series, Sex, Lies & Gender Episode, 8P MT, featuring TYFA Family, Josie, Jade, Venessia and Joseph Romero. You may post your thanks for the Romero family participation here at… Read more.
Privilege is a nasty thing. It steals perspective, traps us in mindsets and views that make it near impossible to comprehend what a marginalized person is going through. It is, invariably, the worst obstacle facing any ally of any marginalized group. What I say here is probably applicable to any context of ally and oppressed but I'll stick with the trans angle, as it is what I know the best. Some of this might be lifted straight from my twitter… Read more.
Robert Eads was visiting friends in the late 1990s when he woke up in a pool of blood. His terrified hosts quickly began calling hospitals, clinics, and private physicians, explaining that Robert was a partially-transitioned female-to-male transsexual and demanding an immediate appointment. The request was repeatedly rebuffed. By the time Eads found physicians willing to diagnose and treat him at an Augusta, Georgia teaching hospital -- a three-hour drive from his home in rural Taccoa, Georgia -- his ovarian cancer… Read more.