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.
Be a Trans Advocate
I remember the first time I encountered Transgender Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) transmisogyny face to face. It was years ago in 2011 when I attended the 33rd Michigan Womyn's Music Festival (MWMF or MichFest) in stealth. If you're not on the up and up on what the MWMF is, this page will briefly catch you up to speed. At the time, I was a little naive as many of you reading this may be. Back then, I was unaware… Read more.
August 14, 2014 · autumnsandeen
This is a long-form article on MichFest's co-founder and current producer Lisa Vogel. The article contains extensive text of what Vogel has stated regarding trans people over several decades, as well as analysis and commentary on her carefully evolved language, but unevolved perspective, that trans women are males. Lisa Vogel, a co-founder and the producer of the Michigan Women's Music Festival (known more commonly as MichFest and by the acronym MWMF), has consistently defined trans women as both… Read more.
June 3, 2014 · autumnsandeen
The Chicago Sun-Times published an op-ed by Kevin D. Williamson entitled Laverne Cox Is Not a Woman. The op-ed was Williamson's response to the Time Magazine spread where Laverne Cox was featured on the cover of Time Magazine issue with the header The Transgender Tipping Point. The Williamson op-ed was first published by the National Review and was then picked up for crossposting by the Sun-Times. Included in the text of this op-ed were problematic paragraphs such as these: Regardless… Read more.
Bayard Rustin is a civil rights icon of the African-American and gay civil rights movements. In 1986, Rustin gave a controversial speech entitled "The New 'Niggers' Are Gay," and that speech is included as an essay in the book Time On Two Crosses: The Collected Writings Of Bayard Rustin. I believe it's time to revisit Rustin's concept of defining what the current litmus paper and barometer of social change is in 2014. In 1986, Rustin believed that African-Americans are… 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.
March 26, 2014 · Kelli
Everyone, except GLAAD that is Rupauls contestants yucking it up after being told they will be using a transphobic slur in determining whether a person is a 'real' woman or a psycho case Rupaul, the clown in pancake makeup has figured out a way to be even more obnoxious. Perhaps he feels that he should fill the vacuum left by the passing of Fred Philps and become the country's next most hated man? Maybe,… Read more.
March 13, 2014 · autumnsandeen
"I don't mind if you take pictures, especially like liposuction me, if you've got any sort of like...yeah, Photoshop -- something like that. But, we're not recording tonight. We recently were targeted by the IRS for those of you on our email list; we recently just finished -- and you'll be hearing more about this -- an audit by the Attorney General that was due on the same day that final numbers on AB1266 came out." - Karen England,… Read more.
November 20, 2013 · autumnsandeen
It's just not enough to know what you're against: we also need to know what we're for, and then work and sacrifice to create the kind of world we want to live in. And, sometimes it takes more than keyboard activism to create that kind of world. On November 19, 2013 -- on a day before the annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance -- The Transadvocate organized an action in front of the Trinity Law School in Santa Ana, California entitled… Read more.
November 10, 2013 · autumnsandeen
With talking points, it's easy to demonize a class of people as a class of people. When confronted with one, very humanized person who belongs to that class of people, it can be hard for someone to stick to the class demonization talking points. An example on point: the demonization of trans female youth as a class of people -- people described by the demonizers as male -- as bathroom and locker room predators of cisgender girls. The Pacific Justice… 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.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. ~Martin Luther King, Jr. During the civil rights struggles of Martin Luther King Junior's day, he was appalled by the silence of those whom he believed were, or should have been, on the side of African-American community civil rights. So with that in mind, The Advocate posted an… Read more.
Another one from the TransGriot The Newspaper Column archives that I pined in February 2005 for Black History Month. We Have a History, Too Copyright 2005, The Letter Ever since I was a child I've loved history. I enjoy looking at past events to get an understanding of how the reality of the present took shape. It is then that you can formulate plans to make a better future. The transgender community is starting to come to grips with this… Read more.
In the wake of the President Obama's historic speech referencing Stonewall, NPR ran a piece asking and purporting to answer the question, "So, what was Stonewall?" The article calls upon Martin Duberman, now 82, to retell the story of Stonewall. Martin Duberman published the first history of Stonewall in 1993. His history significantly featured trans folk. Bizarrely, the NPR author Liz Halloran seems to rewrite Duberman's history, spending many lines minimizing the trans aspect of Stonewall: "I liked the mix of people," he said. "It was not… Read more.
January 10, 2012 · Guest
Today's guest post comes from Savannah Garmon. Garmon is a physics researcher and trans activist who presently lives in Toronto but calls Texas home. She likes social justice, cats, beer, and runs her own blog at leftytgirl.wordpress.com. Most of us are familiar at this point with the events around the boycott declared on Xtra! by trans activists following editor Danny Glenwright’s unfortunate decision to post Lexi Tronic’s birth name on his Facebook wall, his initial refusal to remove it despite… Read more.
I was parked in front of the TV like most of trans America watching Don Lemon's interview on The Joy Behar Show, and I spent most of it like Janet Mock and probably countless other people around the country mumbling WTF under my breath Here you had a panel that includes Harmony Santana, Isis King, Laverne Cox and Chaz Bono. All are groundbreaking people with interesting storylines, and the best you can do in that air time is conduct a… Read more.
July 13, 2009 · mkailey
"He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." — Martin Luther King Jr. Well it didn't take long for responses to my last blog. One person wrote me privately saying she was disappointed I didn't "understand" how "serious" the Pam's House Blend controversy was and that I should've "come down harder" on her and Autumn Sandeen for these bannings or muzzlings they enacted on their trans "members and bloggers." Then on my posting I had… Read more.
To those that use Angie Zapata's death as a way to "raise" your profile by covering the trial, shame on you. I have to agree with Brielle over at Women In Love. "Anyone who presents a rational ideology to empower the lgbt as a whole is basically ignored. People want blood. It’s the only thing that really draws their attention. We want liberation! we want free speech! (Please coat with blood first though, thanks)The dozens of sites that routinely re-post… Read more.
It's the day before Sunday and I'm sitting here planning out my vid for Trannystar Galactica. For those not in the know, Trannystar Galactica is a channel on Youtube that's trans related. Every week is a new topic and there's a different host for each day of the week. I alternate with Mila and Jayna of Trans-ponder. It's a fun gig for me, considering I'm a "look at me, look at me!!!" type of gal. In order to stand out, … Read more.
Back on Feburary 25, 2009 Kathy Padilla wrote a post over at Pam's House Blend titled "Hate Crimes & ENDA: Bad Bills Come and Bad Bills Go". When it came out I really thought it would be one of those explosive posts that rocked the community down to the bone. She said: "The new definitions can generally be said to cover gender expression but not gender identity. Which in the real world would present the likelihood that gender variant gay,… Read more.
So when I was offered a blog spot I was excited but at the same time I was scared. I love to write and I'm pompous enough to believe that others give a shit about what I have to say. There's a lot on my mind especially with everything going on this past year. As of this month, April , I will have been transitioning for a year. It's been a um... very interesting year. One full of heartaches and… Read more.
Today on the show we discussed: Allyson Robinson+IFGE=HRC <3 ??? Here We Go Again: IFGE Elects HRC’s Allyson Robinson To The Board HRC and Their access to power. After expending political capital over Rick Warren, I wondered how much has ole' Joe got. HRC Relishes Sudden Access To White House Obama Fundie Watch Revelations of Truth Why I pray for our new president Dr. Kenneth Zucker's War on Transgenders Non-Discrimination Legislation: Transgender people plead for law change Campaign Puts The… Read more.
If my previous post seemed a little scattered and emotional, there's a reason for it. The first trans community function I ever attended was a TDoR function, as was the first event I ever MCed outside a support group. I've been sensitive to transphobic violence at every step, and my own transition began with violence. But seeing the settings for it shift to schools was not something I was prepared for. At or around November 20th of every year, the transgender community commemorates a day of remembrance (TDoR) for transgender folk who have died as a result of transphobic or homophobic violence. Since that memorial, fifteen more homicides involving transgender victims have occurred: Read more.
“Love cannot be defeated.” as said to rock vocalist, Bono by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) The political group I belong to – the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) – noted the passing of longtime Rep. Tom Lantos in a press release on Monday from complications due to esophageal cancer. Chances are, most of the transgender community was unfamiliar with congressman Lantos – but they should’ve been. Our press release characterized him as a “hero for the oppressed and voiceless of the world” and a hero specifically for the transgender community. Those superlatives were not merely rhetoric. The San Francisco-area congressman was honored in a memorial service on Capitol Hill yesterday, with an emotional farewell that encompassed both conservatives and liberals, from the U.S. Sec. Of State, Condolleeza Rice, to Sec. Gen. Of the United Nations, Ban-Ki Moon to ambassador of goodwill, rock group vocalist, Bono (Paul Hewson) of U2. Holocaust Survivor, Death Camp Escapee, a Penniless Émigré from Hungary to the United States, Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, champion for human rights causes around the world. "Tom Lantos was a true American hero. He was the embodiment of what it meant to have one's freedom denied and then to find it and to insist that America stand for spreading freedom and prosperity to others," — Sec. Of State Condolleeza Rice. Indeed I was blessed to have had the opportunity to lobby Lantos’ office on a couple of occasions. Unlike some supposedly trans-supportive offices, they were more than merely perfunctory. The staff always exhibited concern that felt genuine, even being candid with us (something that doesn’t happen as frequently as one might presume). This year’s visit was a perfect example as Lantos was not signed on as co-sponsor for the inclusive version of ENDA (HR 2015), to which I questioned his Judiciary Committee Asst, Michael Beard. Merely an oversight, was his response – and sure enough, Lantos was shortly thereafter a co-sponsor. They “walked the walk.” Read more.
Don't you just love that phrase, "used to be a man?" GARRICK Jacobson was in custody at Sydney's Surry Hills police station when he apparently discovered his girlfriend used to be a man. Within hours of being released on bail, he went to her apartment and started "belting the hell" out of her, Downing Centre Local Court heard yesterday. Read more.
(As I'd mentioned, it's time to move on from the previous discussion. I admit, I probably wouldn't have reacted as badly if the debate hadn't touched on something that was freshly raw for me personally, but as it is still a raw nerve, we'll leave the HBS thing be. I thought I'd go with something far less controversial. Politics is being overdone right now, what with all the stuff on the primaries, so I thought I'd take on Religion. -- Mercedes) Modern churches do an excellent job of creating an equation between the questioning of fallible teachers, preachers, copyists and translators, and the questioning of God Himself. You can do one without necessarily doing another. But "all scripture is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Timothy 3:16) is usually used to rebuff any inquiries about the many interpretations of those scriptures. Assuming that all scripture was given by inspiration of God, it should also be kept in mind that all scripture was also interpreted and worded by a myriad of authors, then recopied by hand for thousands of generations, passing through different translators and copyists, each with differing biases. All New Testament scripture was additionally collected at the Council of Nicaea, where it was decided which books (and which specific versions of them) to keep and which ones to ignore or destroy. This was done under the guidance of an appointee (Eusebius Pamphilus) of the first actual Pope (although they later retroscribed themselves back to the apostle Peter), the Emperor Constantine I, who wished to forge a new religion that was a synthesis of Mithraism, fledgling Christianity, and Constantine's own worship of the sun god, Sol. He also intended to set himself up to be portrayed as the returned Christ (although it did not quite end up working out that way), which was understood at that time to mean an earthly King-level saviour. And in addition to the hands that scripture passed through being imperfect, so too are those of the preachers who deliver it on Sunday. Religious leaders have repeatedly abused and misused scripture for their own ends, right into modern times -- sometimes innocently but other times specifically for the acquisition of money, political power and fiercely loyal masses. 150 years ago, the church used scripture to justify slavery, alleging among other things that Black people had no souls. 100 years ago, scripture was used to resist emancipation, re-establishing womens' role as a subservient one and portraying them as not worthy or intelligent enough to be able to vote. Even today, scripture is twisted to assert the subordinance of women. Can we question the church's teaching while relying on our heart to sort the truth from the centuries of spin-mongering that has tainted it? I'd think we'd have to. Read more.
Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it And the reaction will be passionate Give 'em the old hocus pocus …. Give 'em the old three ring circus” — Richard Gere as Billy Flynn in the song "Razzle Dazzle" from the movie “Chicago” What the hell is up with being trans? Seriously, why is it such a heinous scandal to have someone attached to anything hinting of crossdressing or transsexualism? One would think that in 2007 we’ve progressed beyond that stage, but clearly that’s not so. A couple of items jumped out at me this week prompting this rant. One was a tabloid (Star or Enquirer, can’t remember which) with a blaring headline replete with photos showing a sad looking Cher, and an alternate photo of daughter Chastity Bono in what appears to be a man’s suit. The headline was: Cher’s Heartbreak Over Chastity’s Sex Change Decision. The other item concerns photos released of Oscar DeLaHoya and trumpeted as lead story on Entertainment Tonight for multiple nights in a row, even bleeding over into the nightly six o’clock local news at one point. The photos have what appears to be the boxing champ in a fishnet bodysuit, spike-heeled pumps and even wearing a wig with a jaunty fedora in one photo. Read more.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all …. Just a couple weeks ago, President George W. Bush let loose what we in Texas parlance (at least among polite company) term “a whopper” (no, not the hamburger). First he went on news saying how we needed to get more results from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki’s Administration, and start seeing real progress. This coming right on the heels of the Iraqi ministry taking a month of vacation while the life-or-death issues of this “fledgling democracy” teetering on the brink are put on hold with all the urgency of reviewing a bill on water allocation to farmers. Seemingly, give-‘em-hell-George appeared to be lighting a fire under the Prime Minister. Then at almost breakneck direction change, the Mr. Bush calls another press conference to reiterate his “unwavering” support of Al-Maliki, and blasting critics calling for his ouster. He goes on to chide the critics of Al-Maliki, noting, “it's not up to the politicians in Washington, D.C., to say whether he will remain in his position. That is up to the Iraqi people who now live in a democracy and not a dictatorship.” Odd that Georgie would bring that up because a mere year and a half ago, it was Ibrahim Al-Jaafari that appeared poised to be re-elected as Prime Minister in Iraq. Unfortunately for him, the White House wanted none of that. The Bush Administration insisted Al-Jaafari step down, and Al-Jaafari dug in his heels initially and refused. With no small amount of arm-twisting, and some help by enlisting the cleric Ali Sistani to show that Al-Jaafari’s obstinance would hold the nation back, the man who the Iraqi Parliament would’ve elected stepped aside. The man that Iraq’s Parliament on whole were not so keen on (especially the Sunni segment), was instead “democratically elected” – with a little help and wisdom from their neighbors halfway across the globe! Hey, we would expect nothing less in our own democracy, right? And while Bush’s words sounded like the typical beat-up-a-Democrat, Congress-been-keeping-me-back rhetoric, he was actually responding to critics within his own party. The astonishing part of all of this was … Bush did this with a straight face! More impressive, virtually no one called him on it! It’s something we’ve seen a startling increase in, especially in the 21st century: Real-Time Revisionism. Unlike other examples in history, these days revisionism can’t wait for the history-book writers to massage the facts in a decade or two. No, history is now revised now in the span of a mere year or two. This brand of nuanced politic-speak has been perfected to an art form by the Bush / Cheney Administration, most notably with the Iraq War mission creep. Revisionism has also become a well-used defense or attack strategy by the RNC, and to good effect. And in typical RNC fashion, as long as you say it loudly enough and long enough (especially if you shout the challengers down) it becomes fact. It’s notably helpful to have the press in your pocket, where they can participate in spreading the desired outcome of what’s already past. To be sure, this isn’t strictly a conservative trait. Indeed some of their counterparts have watched their success with revision and wish to duplicate for themselves. It’s become a concept that’s in vogue in the GLBT political community as well. It’s not a new approach by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as they’ve used this to lesser success over the years. Lately, however, it’s become much more forward, particularly with a sales push to the transgender community. Claims made about their historical “support” of inclusive language in either Hate Crimes or Employment Non-Discrimination bills fly directly in the face of reality. In later years they’ve taken note of the pressure of other GLBT organizations pushing them to get with the program that most others adopted years ago: actively pushing for trans-inclusive language. It hasn’t stopped them from trying to support language such as the Senate bill that has gender only as they attempted to slide with in the previous Congress. Now, with the assistance of a few trans leaders they tap to assist in getting their marketing message to the transgender community, the message is all about how they’ve supported us all along. Ahem, nice try. Read more.
I am an atheist/agnostic so I'm not sure why Jesus has been on my mind lately, but he has. So many Christian bloggers have written about the sin of being transgender. God, help us here in America. We have made a total mess of Your plan for us. We have forgotten that without You we are nothing and we have nothing. We have made a mockery of your creation by allowing people to change it completely. We have kept our… Read more.