LGBTQ* News We Are Following Right Now
Move On Petition for Damien
By Torrey Moorman (Contact)
To be delivered to: Barbara Rothweiler, Ph.D. Principal, Principal, https://www.saintpiusx.com/
St. Pius High School administration is refusing to recognize Damian’s gender identity, even though all his classmates, teachers, and family know Damian as a male. The administration says that because he has “female” marked on his birth certificate — despite the fact that he is now legally Damian and not Brandi — he still must walk in a girl’s cap and gown for graduation.
KNOWhomo Moderator Personal Post:
Cael’s First (Performance in a) Drag King Show
Something I have always wanted to do got crossed off my list not long ago: participating in a drag show. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a Warbler for a night? Being rather shy with a dislike of stages (until I get on them at least) had led me away from this particular goal, but when my best friend said, “Hey, we should do this,” I jumped at the chance. We asked another friend to help us out and spent a Sunday evening entertaining our significant others while coming up with choreography basic enough even I could get it.
After missing the Wednesday dress rehearsal, I ended up outside the venue with some of the kings as they smoked before leaving, still made up from practicing their performances. They had Tupperware containers of hair and hairspray in hand, hair still on their cheeks and chins. I sat on the steps and listened to their conversations as they talked to my friends and significant other. I heard a random snippet about being excited about a packer coming in the mail, and then the focus turned to binding. One remarked on how much it hurt, another how their nipples were so close to their armpits, one more how they were so thankful they wouldn’t have to be made up much longer and could get out of that discomfort. The conversation curved again, and I stopped paying attention until my best friend turned to me before going inside and tossed back a reminder, “Is it still cool if I borrow that binder Friday?” something we had previously agreed upon. One of the kings, someone I have met and hung out with several times walked up quickly and asked, “Could I borrow one too?”
This whole situation struck me strangely, and still in a way I don’t quite fully understand. Listening to the kings talk about binding and how painful and uncomfortable it is when that is my everyday life was bizarre. I don’t have the luxury of not binding. It just is. It is an integral part of my life which I hate but can’t avoid. And to hear that conversation when I don’t have that same freedom brought up a bitterness in me which I don’t normally possess—or at least, acknowledge. I tend to live my life on the brink of not knowing what is going to happen and enjoying that sensation. I do not often look past the now, and I am very good at ignoring the things which break into my bubble of exploration and art and beauty and literature. I have never before in a group of cis women felt so displaced and dysphoric. My jealousy and bitterness (when I do acknowledge it) centers around cis men, specifically in any setting where they can go shirtless.
I don’t quite know how to put into words the entirety of my feelings around this conversation, but having someone I only vaguely know ask to borrow a binder from me made me even more uncomfortable. It felt like a disrespect of my identity, another almost-slap after the binding talk. Do you know how much binders cost? Do you know what it feels like in the summer to have to wear layers of compression shirts so you can move around without having your binder rub you raw? Do you know what it’s like never to be able to wear a tank top to escape the heat? Never to be able just to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed but to always be anchored to this one article of clothing simply so you can be? This one restrictive device which holds your nipples up by your armpits and constricts your ribcage so you can have the presentation of a male chest?
I just—I am not a person easily offended. I talk openly about everything regarding my own transition, my feelings, all generally trans* knowledge which people may or may not know, but in this, I am always aware of the people around me. I am always aware of dynamics and feelings and privacy. Binding is such a constant thing in my life, something I want to go away. I want to be able to take off the binder and be, but I can’t. It is necessary to complete this person, and I felt like for those few minutes my incompleteness was this flippant thing everyone could talk about while enjoying their cigarettes. I’m not a doll who gets dressed up everyday. I’m a man who needs this one thing to have the world look at me and see me as such. It’s one thing for a person I see as a sister to borrow a binder, someone who still sometimes looks at me after a long night and asks me how long I have had my binder on, a simple reminder for my own safety (my own safety, think about that). But it’s a completely different thing for someone I don’t know well, in front of a group of people, to ask the same.
LGBTQ* Musicians On Our Radar Right Now!
“Ryan Cassata…is a seasoned performer who has toured the country, appeared on television, written for film, and has done dozens of other amazing things as an advocate of equal rights who speaks publicly (and courageously) about transgender issues. When Ryan belts out a song, every note is infused with bravery and conviction.” - LI Pulse Magazine, June 2nd, 2011
Ryan Cassata is a transgender singer-songwriter from Long Island, NY who - all by the age of 19 - successfully cut five records, booked and went on several tours, played many of the world’s biggest gay music festivals, and appeared on National & International TV several times on shows such as the Larry King Live Show & The Tyra Banks Show. Ryan now lives in San Francisco, CA.
LGBTQ* People In History (of Great Importance)
The “Einstein of Sex”: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld
14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was a scholar, physician, sexologist, and arguably the first outspoken gay and transgender activist in modern history.
Why he rocks?
1. Jewish gay* identified doctor, fought to end Paragraph 175 in Germany ( a law that made homosexuality punishable by law)
2. Founding member of Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee(WhK) ( English: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), which acted advocacy group to many underrepresented individuals (including the queer* population).
3. Led the FIRST congress for sexual reform
5. Created a way of cataloging identities, 64 of them, outside of “gay/lesbian,” including many ways to identify oneself outside of cisgender identification. Hirschfeld is one of the earliest scholars and advocates for the transgender community in Western culture.
6. Created the Institute for Sexual Research, which became a safe haven for queer* individuals in Berlin
7. Joined the Bund für Mutterschutz (League for the Protection of Mothers), fighting for women’s equality and the decriminalization of abortions
8. Lost his entire library and most of his life work to the Nazi party but was able to flee and save his life (and rumored to have saved a few others). Nazi soldiers burned the entire institution’s contents on May 6, 1933 (80 years ago this month).
Imagine what the world might be if we still had all of his notes and the stories of hundreds of queer* identified and trans* identified individuals.
LGBTQ* History You Might Have Missed
Trans* Religious History 101
(Catharina Margaretha) Linck - FTM Transgender Person, executed for sodomy in Prussia in 1721
Above Graphics from Words Without Borders
A selection of art from the biography of Catharina Margaretha Linck
by Elke R. Steiner
Translated by Edna McCown
At this time the KNOWhomo team is digging deeper into the story of Linck. There have been too many opposing stories to share any accurate information at this time. We wanted to share the graphics above and start a conversation about how we research and compile information for our posts. If you have more information on Linck, please pass it our way.
Keep On, Keeping On!
LGBTQ* Books You May Want To Read
Flags of Our Family
With flags being flown across the country, accompanied by dedicated voices, strength, and compassion, we provide a helpful history of some of the colors waving above our heads.
(for more information, check out #Flag)
LBGTQ* Flag History
Left Photograph: (most widely recognized) Transgender Flag created by Monica Helms (1999).
*baby blue and pink to represent assigned gender colors; white to represent intersex and gender variant; pattern allows flag to be flown any way and remain the same (versatile to symbolize any path is the correct path)
Right Photograph: (alternative flag) Transgender Flag created by Jennifer Pellinen (2002).
* blue and pink to represent assigned genders; purple, lavender, and lilac to symbolize genders outside of male/female binary
Moderator Response Videos
KNOWhomo creator, Rebecca, responds to internet trolls and bullies
(You can watch the full video here)
LGBTQ* Webcomics We Continue To Love More and More
Shout out post to fellow mods still in Virginia(!):
Ryan will be at VaTech on April 4th. -Rebecca
If you attend Rutgers University - Camden. I will be sharing my transition story and speaking on the topics of sexuality and gender on March 28th from 5 to 7 pm with a meet and greet and book signing after!
Not a Rutgers-Camden Student? Here is a list of other Universities I’ll be visiting/speaking at this spring:
- Northwest Missouri State University - March 15
- University of New England - March 27
- Iowa’s Safe School Coalition LGBTQ Youth Conference - April 3
- Virginia Tech - April 4
- University of South Dakota - April 9
- Drake University - April 16
- Equality Forum, Philadelphia - May 2
You can find out more on my website!
LGBTQ* Allies and Individuals We Are Amazed By
Brothers of Phi Alpha Tau at Emerson College
(who have been campaigning to pay for a fellow brother’s top surgery)
Want to contribute? IndieGoGo HERE
KNOWhomo Friends and Amazing Individuals We Hope You Read About
I hope you take time to check out Ryan’s page and are lucky enough to hear him speak at some point over the next few years.
This spring I will be sharing my transition from female-to-male story along with clinical details related to the transgender community with over 19 institutions and thousands of people. I’ve been doing this work for eight years now and continue to see the demand increase. If your University or institution is looking for a presentation for this fall, please contact me soon. My schedule gets fuller with each year that passes. I promise to inspire, make you laugh….and fill you with hope. http://www.ryansallans.com
2 years on T update!
- Hair loss
- Muscle growth
- More facial hair and body hair growth
- Fat disputation on hips, has no butt..
Mood is hard to say because Of the events that has happened a few months ago. Most days I have anxiety and feel tired other days I feel relaxed and calm, never angry or had raged out. My appetite is still the same I still eat a lot but doesn’t seem to gain anything from it and is loosing weight. Face and body acne has gone down A LOT from last year. Voice still dropping slightly.
Weight: 108 hight: 5’5
70mg of T every 10 day.
That’s all I can think of, I will do a better face comparison soon and maybe a voice change video :O
LGBTQ* Trans* Deviant Art and Artists We Wanted To Share
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.