LGBTQ* Trans* Deviant Art and Artists We Wanted To Share
LGBTQ* Statistics And Graphs You Should See
Transgender Statistics (2012)
LGBTQ* Videos You May Have Missed
The VlogBrothers’ Hank Green weighs in on “infinite shiny boxes.” (I also fall into a deeper infinite love for this man.)
If anyone would like to discuss gender and sexuality on YouTube right now, go ahead and watch the new vlogbrothers video. Tell me what you think about what Hank says and his commentary.
LBGTQ* WTF?! History and Media
(Trigger Warning: Transphobic Article)
Hue Magazine Quiz — “To the unexpected male…”
Hue Magazine quiz created following the media explosion around Christine Jorgensen in the 1950s.
LGBTQ* Comics, Illustrations and Expression
Support (Equals) Think Before You Speak. Ask If You Don’t Know.
LGBTQ* Tips, Insight, and Ally Resources
MIT’s How To Be A Trans* Ally (for the FULL TWO PAGE GUIDE, click here)
Understand the differences between “coming out” as lesbian, bisexual, or gay (LBG) and “coming out” as trans.
Unlike “coming out” in a LBG context, where the act of disclosing one’s sexuality reveals a “truth” about that person’s sexual orientation, disclosing one’s trans status often has the opposite effect. That is, when a person “comes out” as trans, the listener often assumes the “truth” about the trans person is that they are somehow more fundamentally a member of their birth sex, rather than the gender/sex they have chosen to live in. In other words, sometimes “coming out” makes it more difficult for a trans person to be fully recognized as the sex/gender they are living in.
Don’t just add the “T” without doing work.
“LBGT” is now a commonplace acronym that joins lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender under the same umbrella. To be an ally to trans people, gays, lesbians and bisexuals need to examine their own gender stereotypes, their own prejudices and fears about trans people, and be willing to defend and celebrate trans lives.
Don’t try to tell a person what “category” or “identity” they fit into.
Do not apply labels or identities to a person that they have not chosen for themselves. If a person is not sure of which identity or path fits them best, give them the time and space to decide for themselves
Know your own limits as an ally.
Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know everything! When dealing with a trans person who may have sought you out for support or guidance, be sure to point that person to appropriate resources when you’ve reached the limit of your knowledge or ability to handle the situation. It is better to admit you don’t know something than to provide information that may be incorrect or hurtful.
Listen to trans voices.
The best way to be an ally is to listen with an open mind to trans people themselves. They are the experts on their own lives! Talk to trans people in your community.
LGBTQ* Stories of Acceptance and Being Who You Are
It Happened To Me: I Told My Boyfriend I Was Born A Boy
Janet Mock Writer, speaker, and trans advocate; Staff Editor, People.com
"This is my song," I remember saying frequently. It was that kind of night.
In the midst of my tipsiness, I felt someone looking at me. You know that feeling when you sense there’s a singular focus just on you? That’s what it was.
As I turned around, I saw the guy, this handsome, handsome man with skin the color of caramel popcorn and almond-shaped eyes. His beauty, to me, was right out of my mind’s own sketch pad.
He was a fantasy come true, and I wanted him to want me.
I found myself out on the cold streets, walking beside this beautiful stranger into a coffee shop on Houston. We had lattes and a cinnamon roll. He told me he was from North Dakota; I told him I was from Hawaii. He told me he took photos and trained dogs for a living; I told him I was an editor for a popular website. He told me he hoped to have horses someday; I told him I wanted to tell stories that matter for a living.
It’s the kind of exchange only two people who are willing to fully be seen can share. It was natural and life-shifting.
I could feel the mystery I had so tirelessly built around me fall, until I was just me.
He kissed me on the cheek and put me in a cab, where I received his very first text: “You’re a complete pleasure. -Aaron.”
"I have something to tell you," I remember saying.
Aaron stood at the foot of his bed, readying himself for disappointment, it seemed to me. Or at least that’s what I internalized.
How do I say this? I asked myself.
"OK, let me just say it: I was born a boy."
I didn’t look at his face while spouting off the details of my journey through genders as a kid: “I knew I was a girl from my very first thoughts… I began presenting as female from age 12… I took hormones in high school… I flew to Thailand to have surgery at 18.”
When I finally stopped talking, I exhaled. I’d finally told my whole story to someone I was falling for. And I was afraid that my biggest fear would come true: Aaron would look at me differently.
And it did come true.
I could no longer just be Aaron’s fantasy, a mixed girl with curly hair from Hawaii with a master’s degree and a job that “a million girls would kill for.” Our fantasies had ended, and now we were just two people bare in front of one another.
"Can I hug you?" Aaron asked.
And it was then that I went into the ugly cry. For the first time in my young life, I was being seen, fully seen, as the totality of my experiences.
Fast-forward a few years, and Aaron is now my guy, the man I order dinner with every night, the one who grudgingly sits beside me as I watch every Real Housewives franchise (except for Orange County), the one who questions my newfound love of neon-pink OCC lip tars.
He’s better because he’s real, because he exists, because he wants more than just the idea of me. He wants me.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 20th, 2011
Today, as an ally, I am taking time to learn better methods of being a productive ally for the Trans* community.
Basic Rights (of Oregon) has created a chart for Trans* allies. On the chart you will find common missteps often made (simply because we are all individuals who are learning to navigate language and respect) and how to notice, correct and educate yourself for the future. You can save/read the PDF for Common Missteps of Trans* Allies here.
If you’d like more information, check in with your local PFLAG, SOFFA, friendly neighborhood Trans* moderated Tumblr sites (Transgender in Boots, Art of Transliness, FTMs of Color, The Self Made Men, Ryan Sallans and many others), local political outreach, or various other groups.
Remember, individually we are a voice but together we are a chorus.
LGBTQ* Children’s Books To Keep On Your Radar
Written by Marcus Ewert — Illustrations by Rex Ray
Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows… . Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey’s dreams come true!
This gorgeous picture book—a modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside—will delight people of all ages. (Text from Seven Stories)
LGBTQ* Children’s Books To Keep On Your Radar
Be Who You Are — written by Jennifer Carr, illustrated by Ben Rumback
(following text from TG Mental Health. Note, trigger warning: Term “transgender(ed)” is used. — Please understand that this blog promotes transgender individuals and realizes transgendered is not a valid adjective.)
Jennifer Carr has made an important contribution to children’s literature in her 2010 offering Be Who You Are (Author House, Bloomington, IN). In this 32 page, colorfully illustrated (by Ben Rumback) book, Carr shows the challenges of a gender variant child “Nick” as he transforms into “Hope”.
Hope’s parents are unwavering in their support and help her as she negotiates run-in’s with a teacher and disappointment with school. Other issues raised are connecting with a therapist, finding community with other families with gender variant children, dealing with a younger brother’s coming to terms with her, correcting pronouns and self acceptance. Certain milestones such as wearing a dress out to a park and picking a new name are lovingly celebrated.
This book, which can be read to or with a transgendered child, performs an invaluable function – it legitimizes and normalizes the child’s experience. In addition it gives clues and direction to the young child on how to cope with difficult situations, such as:
“…whenever she felt sad or worried she talked with her parents”
“…when someone made a mistake and called her by the wrong name, she politely said ‘Please call me Hope. It means a lot to me’ ”.
In short it is a book written for the transgendered child not just about a child who is transgendered. Kudos to Carr (who runs an excellent blog here) and was inspired by her own child for writing this book.
LGBTQ* People You Should Know
Christine Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989)
* Jorgensen was the first transgender individual to gain wide press and conduct interviews following sexual reassignment surgery (srs)
(note she was not the first male to female srs, nor the first American but she did create the largest media attention)
* While serving in the army in 1945, Jorgensen found supportive surgeons and endocrinologists while in Copenhagen
— during this time, sexual reassignment surgery was illegal in many countries
— America had no known surgery available
* Jorgensen’s surgery was front page news in 1952 (making the headline of New York Daily News reading “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty.”)
* Jorgensen, after returning to America, became close to Dr. Harry Benjamin, who would go on to oversee much of her physical transition later in life
* During the course of her life, Jorgensen became an advocate and voice for the transgender community.
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece. ~William Shakespeare
LGBTQ* Information and Frequently Asked Questions
Trans* Frequently Asked Questions
(from the University of Texas at Austin)
Who are transgender people? Trans persons include pre-operative and post-operative transsexuals, as well as people who chose to never have surgery, who generally feel that they were born into the wrong physical sex; transgenderists (persons living full time in a different gender with no desire to pursue genital surgery); and crossdressers (once called transvestites - those whose gender expression differs from their birth sex). They also can be “passing” (masculine-appearing) women or “effeminate” men who are often assumed to be homosexual, although this is not necessarily the case. There are intersex persons born with ambiguous genitalia who identify as transgender. Some intersex people were surgically assigned a sex (usually female) as infants, and later developed a gender identity different from the sex assigned.
Who are genderqueer people? People who simply identify as non-gender normative, neither male nor female, masculine nor feminine. People who transgress gender. Other people who reject the gender binary may identify themselves as androgynous, bi-gendered, gender-bender or gender-blender.
How should I identify myself if I am not transgender? One option is to refer to yourself as cisgender, rather than using the word “normal” or being identified by what you are not (such as “non-transgender”). It provides a name for a gender identity or performance in a gender role that society considers to be a match or appropriate for one’s sex. The idea of cisgender originated as a way to shift the focus off of a marginalized group, by defining not only the minority group but also the majority.
What if I don’t know anyone who is trangender? You may know transgender people in your daily life but not know that they are transgender. It is a personal decision to disclose whether one is transgender or not.
How are transgender people discriminated against? Transgender people may be discriminated against in many areas of their lives. Discrimination can range from having housing denied, to being unable to secure marriage/partner benefits, to being labeled and assumed to be a gender with which one does not identify.
What causes someone to be transgender? No one knows, but there are many theories. It may be caused by the bathing of a fetus by opposite birth sex hormones while in utero, or perhaps by some spontaneous genetic mutation, which is also one of the theories of the origin of homosexuality. Transsexual persons include female-to-male (FTM) transmen, as well as male-to female (MTF) transwomen. Due to the intensity of their gender dysphoria, they come to feel they can no longer continue living in the gender associated with their physical (birth) sex.
Is being transgender a disability? Unlike sexual orientation, transgenderism - technically “gender identity disorder” (GID) - is still deemed a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. Medical professionals tend to believe that transgenderism is a medical and mental health condition that may require treatment rather than labeling it a mental illness.
There is disagreement among transgender leaders about attempts to remove GID from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Some want it removed because they feel it stigmatizes transgender people and provides a pretext for discrimination against them. They also believe it may cause harm to children when parents seek treatment for a child although the child may merely be expressing gender variance. Some transgender people believe it is not the condition but society’s rigid approach to sex and gender that are problematic. Others want GID to remain because a GID diagnosis in some states could qualify as a disability, for which medical coverage could be available and to which disability discrimination provisions could apply.
What is gender transition? Gender transition is the period during which transsexual persons begin changing their appearances and bodies to match their internal gender identity. Because gender is so visible, transsexuals in transition MUST “out” themselves to their employers, their families, and their friends - literally everyone in their lives. While in transition, they are very vulnerable to discrimination and in dire need of support from family and friends. Hormonal therapy can take several months to many years to effect the physical changes in secondary sexual characteristics that will produce a passable appearance, and some may never pass completely.
What is the Real Life Test? For transsexual persons seeking Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS), the Real Life Test (also called the Real-Life Experience) is a one-year minimum period during which they must be able to demonstrate to their psychotherapists their ability to live and work full-time successfully in their congruent gender. The Real Life Test is a prerequisite for sex reassignment surgery under the Standards of Care.
What are the Standards of Care? The Standards of Care are a set of guidelines formulated and recently revised by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH, formerly known as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, Inc. (HBIGDA)) under which many transsexual persons obtain hormonal and surgical sex reassignment. While the Standards of Care minimize the chance of someone making a mistake, they have been criticized as a “gatekeeper” system. In general, a complete gender transition includes a period of psychotherapy to confirm one’s true gender, the beginning of lifelong hormonal therapy, the Real Life Test, and finally, if desired, sex reassignment surgery.