LGBTQ* Infographics + Breakfast = Marriage Equality?
Blake Ink United takes on marriage equality with their newest info graphic.
LGBTQ* Articles and Advice (You May Have Missed)
You’re a savvy queer who’s been eyeing a hot trans guy at the monthly dance parties, or the regular cutie you see at all the fundraising events, but how you make the approach? We here at Early to Bed have had many customers ask for our help in flirting and consummating their crush on an FTM. If you can’t make it to the shop in person, lucky you, here are seven tips to help you up your seduction game and keep you from inadvertently offending (or just turning off) your date.
1. Don’t use the word “tranny.”
RuPaul loves it, but you’re not on a date with RuPaul. The word is highly charged in the trans community because of its hurtful use in the past, and even if your date uses it to describe themselves or others, chances are when you say the word, you’ll sound awkward at best, or a like an insensitive jerk at worst.
2. If you mess up pronouns, apologize briefly and move on.
Everyone makes verbal gaffes. Quickly say you’re sorry and keep the conversation flowing. People mess up names and pronouns of non-trans folks, too; our brains are not perfect, so don’t make it a huge deal and draw more attention to it. Then, make a concerted effort to not mess up pronouns again. If you keep saying the wrong pronoun, though, consider that maybe you aren’t ready to be on the date.
3. Do your own research beforehand.
How do you take the hormones? What types of surgery are available? What’s this tight nylon shirt you’re wearing? What does “non-op transsexual” mean? All these questions can be answered by the Internet, so don’t treat your date like a private googling session (unless you’re supergeeks and that’s part of a fantasy scenario). Educating yourself on these topics will keep your curiosity from accidentally spilling all over your date, and it will also make conversation easier to follow on your end if he does mention things about his transition or past. However…
4. Don’t bring up trans stuff too much.
With all your newfound knowledge, you might now be tempted to flaunt it, but don’t. Play it cool. As a rule, think of it as a 3-to-1 ratio: you should only bring it up once for every three times your date does. Now, if your date is really, really into discussing social construction of gender, queer critical theory, trans politics, etc., then go for it; it’s good to talk excitedly about topics that your date likes to talk excitedly about. But if he’s not fixated on the topic, then you shouldn’t be, either.
5. Don’t tell anecdotes about other dates with trans men (or about your trans friends).
Some trans people like knowing that their date has been to the rodeo before, so to speak. Others think it’s an immediate red flag that you’re a fetishist. Mentioning it once casually in the proper context is OK, but don’t instigate the story out of nowhere. Going on and on about your trans friend(s) is meaningless, too; we want to see your behaviors in action, not get a list of your personal references.
6. Don’t ask us our birth names.
We went through a lot of trouble to train and educate our friends and families to switch to a new name, plus we probably paid court fees to do it legally. Your curiosity is normal, but the question itself puts us in an uncomfortable place of having to remember our past and talk about it with a near stranger who hasn’t properly taken the time to get to know us in the present. It’s also kind of a boner-killer to have someone gawking at how we don’t look like a Heather anymore.
7. Do give flirty compliments.
Unless you have X-ray vision, the majority of what makes someone attractive to you is not what’s between their legs or inside their pants. More likely it’s things like the way they move across the room, a grin, how they hold a glass, a look in their eyes, the way they tell a story — all characteristics that have no gender markers whatsoever. Talk about those things as turn-ons. Use gender-neutral adjectives (“sexy,” “smoldering,” “attractive,” “compelling,” “hot”) and maybe throw in “cute,” “adorable,” or “handsome.” Avoid adjectives that tend to be gendered in either direction — too feminine and it can feel uncomfortable, but too masculine and it can sound like you’re overcompensating. (The same goes for excessive dude-bro speak.)
Raymond is an instructor at Early to Bed, a feminist sex toy shop in Chicago. Women-owned and oriented, boy- and trans-friendly, the store has a relaxed atmosphere that is different from your average sex shop. Their brother site, Early to Rise, caters to men seeking sex toy advice and honest product reviews.
LGBTQ* Documentaries You Should Know
Before Stonewall (1984)
full movie featured above
LGBTQ* Podcasts You May Have Missed
Stuff You Missed in History Class, from How Stuff W?rks, is a wonderful source for information about LGBTQ* culture. In the last year, they did the podcast “Who Wore the Pink Triangle,” and even covered a gay man who may have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones.
Interested in Pink Triangle History?
Want to know more?
A Survivor’s Story — Read Here
Paragraph 175 — Read Here
Pink Triangle History — Read Here
(Upsetting) Post-Camp History — Read Here
Pink Triangle Memorial — Read Here
Theatre/Play about Pink Triangles: Bent — Read Here
Graphic Novel, including a Hitler Youth Homosexual Relationship — Read Here
LGBTQ* Tumblrs You Should KNOW
Adventures In Gay follows at mid-twenty something as he comes out, while living in NYC and working towards a career in animation.
Some of the comics are NSFW
LGBTQ* Children’s Books You May Have Missed:
One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine, illustrated by Melody Sarecky
So this happened: Rebecca went to the children’s section of the library when working on our theses became a bit too much to bear, and this is what she found. Looks like the universe knew we needed something to cheer us up!
Published in 1994 from Alyson Wonderland (an imprint of Alyson Books), One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads is a spectacular example of children’s authors who are doing it right. The book is inclusive of many kinds of diverse family structures and addresses the difficult-to-articulate complications of navigating awkward questions from strangers as a child in a family that might not fit into the cookie-cutter family structure depicted in many mainstream children’s books.
I hope you find time soon to grab a copy and snuggle up with someone you adore to celebrate the love we find in each other from all corners of the queer community.
LGBTQ* Photography Shoots (We Had) To Share
Personal Note: Valentine’s Day is approaching and if you like it or not, some couples really enjoy a day where they can say that they’re madly in love with candy hearts and paper roses. Like many holidays, Valentine’s Day may be difficult for many queer* couples to act as consumers with equal options and fluid wording/vocabulary for their special someone.
Even if you aren’t into all the pink and red additions to your local grocery store, it is important to note that people are quickly realizing the power of the LGBTQ* dollar and businesses are starting to market towards the LGBTQ* community.
The photos above are from Aw Snap Photography, based out of Shreveport, Louisiana. The company is pro-woman and pro-LGBTQ*, creating packages and shoots to represent everyone as equally as possible. The photo series above displays a former co-worker and her partner. I lived in NW Louisiana for a few years after completing my undergraduate studies and it is a JOY to see businesses that are pro-LGBTQ*. There were almost none when I lived there.
Happy Valentine’s Day to your and yours.
Meg and Angie, these photographs are wonderful!
Keep On, Keeping On!
LGBTQ* Tumblrs On Our Radar:
We at the KNOWhomo family have been getting a lot of feedback from y’all, and one of the requests we get most frequently is for more resources and content devoted to ableism within the Queer community. We’ll admit we aren’t experts, but we’re doing research and hoping to provide more soon!
LGBTQ* Shows To Watch For This Summer
After their successful run with Pretty Little Liars and Emily’s storyline following her coming out and subsequent love life (I may be a Paily fan), ABC Family has greenlighted The Fosters for this upcoming season. The Jennifer Lopez-produced one hour drama focuses on the life of two moms and their family.
(The following from AfterEllen)
The two moms will be played by Teri Polo (Meet the Parents, The West Wing) as police officer Stef Foster and Sherri Saum (In Treatment, Sunset Beach) as school principal Lena Foster. Their large, multi-ethnic brood includes biological and adopted children. Their household will be disrupted when they take in another child, Callie (played by Maia Mitchell), a troubled teen with an abusive past.
Photos from LGBTQ* Campaigns You May Have Missed:
Former Westboro Baptist Church member Laurin Drain poses for NOH8.
(following from the Advocate)
Lauren Drain, a former member of the antigay, antisemitic Westboro Baptist Church, posed for photographer Adam Bouska’s NOH8 campaign, calling the church a “cult,” and confirming that she still identifies as a Christian, but now stands against “any and all forms of violence, discrimination, bullying, or bigotry directed at someone else due to their personal lifestyle.”
"The main reason I posed for the NOH8 Campaign was in direct response to the judgments of the WBC," said Drain in a statement on NOH8’s website. "I wanted to show people that despite having grown up within the cult and having spent a good portion of my life on the picket line, condemning our deceased soldiers, reveling in any and all forms of tragedy and simply striving to be hurtful in the name of God; that the WBC is wrong and what I did at the time was wrong!"
…Drain’s NOH8 photo was released just days after news that two other young members of the WBC had defected from the hate group. Megan Phelps-Roper and her sister Grace, granddaughters of the church’s infamous founder Fred Phelps, confirmed Thursday that both have left the church, and issued a statement apologizing for the pain they have inflicted upon others.
A Personal Message From KNOWhomo Moderator, Cael:
Most resources for trans* people who are transitioning are located in bigger cities, but some websites (such as Laura’s Playground) can help you find counselors, physicians, and support groups even in less-urban areas. Until recently, I was aware of only one gender therapist in my area (who did not take insurance), but thanks to this list of trans* resources compiled by the Virginia Department of Health, I was able to find another who does take insurance. My first appointment was yesterday, and I wanted to share my experience with you because I was originally very apprehensive.
I pulled up to a big house on the outskirts of downtown, debating whether or not to remain in the car and listen to the last of “Being Alive” which had just come on shuffle. I paused it and walked up the steps when I looked at the clock. After handing over the paperwork I had filled out prior to the appointment, my insurance card, and copay, I sat down in the waiting room, the original living room of the house. A man called me into his office, and I sat down on a black leather button couch.
We started with introductions before questions about any previous gender therapy, any support groups, how my family and friends have handled my transition. Then we moved on to when I started living as Cael (2 years ago), when I first remember experiencing dysphoria, how I experience my dysphoria, when I changed my name, and finally, what I want out of therapy. I talked to him about letters for changing my gender marker and for top surgery and T, which he said shouldn’t be a problem considering my history. The problem now is finding doctors willing to prescribe T in the area, but he said he could come up with some suggestions while I ask around. We talked for a while about trans* things, family, and other random parts of my life: horses, poetry, work, research. Before I left, since I have not had any previous therapy, he asked me to write down a timeline of my experience with dysphoria and being trans* and how I have handled everything so he could have a history for our next appointment.
It’s exciting to be taking that next step, to be moving forward. I have a habit of getting stuck, and my apprehension was not helping. But it was a good experience, and I’m looking forward to the next appointment and the next steps in my transition.
LGBTQ* Sites and Tumblrs We Check Daily
The moderators here at KNOWhomo are huge fans and avid followers of BuzzFeedLGBT. If you have yet to drown in the virtual awesomeness that is their WEBSITE and their TUMBLR, cozy up with your laptop and get lost today. You won’t regret it.
KNOWhomo Moderator’s Random Screenshots
(this week’s Lagniappe)
Ruth Elizabeth's weekend study buddy.
LGBTQ* Presses You Should Know
The following from Topside Press:
Topside Press, founded in 2011, is a new independent press with the intent of publishing authentic transgender narratives.
We are actively seeking submissions of transgender fiction. Topside Press publishes fiction, both novels and short fiction, featuring transgender and genderqueer characters. Submit manuscripts for consideration at the Submissions page. If you’re an author with L/B/G fiction or narrative non-fiction, visit our imprint Topside Signature for information about submitting your work for publication.
LGBTQ* Resident Assistants Who Are Doing It Right!
Ok. Yes. This is the poster hanging from the door of moderator, Ruth Elizabeth. It may be a bit unfair to repost moderator awesomeness but if it was any other blog on Tumblr we’d repost it from them. We are all really impressed by the working team that makes up KNOWhomo.