“And if someone shines a 50-kazillion spotlight in my face, I’m not going to be happy about it either,”
Police: Despite TV reports, no increased violence among Midtown crossdressing prostitutes - by Dyana Bagby of the GA Voice GLBT newspaper (17 May 2012)
11Alive and WSB-TV went on air Wednesday night with sensational segments that stated cross-dressing and “transvestite” prostitutes were terrorizing residents living in Midtown. The commander of the Atlanta Police Department’s vice unit said Thursday the stories are not true.
Lt. Scott Kreher, commander of the vice unit for the APD, said there is no evidence of prostitute gangs or increased violence. […]
“There has been no evidence any increased violence,” he added. “And we’ve done details there as much as any other part of the city. We don’t see any evidence of pimp or prostitute gangs.”
When residents approach prostitutes, however, there may be issues, Kreher added. […]
“[T]he only violence I see is when citizens approach the prostitutes and are trying to challenge them,” he said. “I don’t see it [violence] any other way.”
For example, one Midtown resident living in this neighborhood, Steve Gower, who is gay, has for years followed prostitutes in a Midtown Ponce Security Alliance car and is known for shining a spotlight in their faces.
“And if someone shines a 50-kazillion spotlight in my face, I’m not going to be happy about it either,” Kreher said.
The APD makes sweeps in areas know for prostitution in the summer months, Kreher added, including Midtown.
Kreher said there is no evidence of “prostitute gangs” and that prostitutes do travel typically in pairs for safety reasons.
When asked if these prostitutes were transsexual or transgender women, Kreher said no, that they were men who dressed as women.
“They are mostly men dressed as women, not transsexuals or transgender,” he said, adding that LGBT liaison Officer Brian Sharp often accompanies the vice unit on details and trains the officers on transgender issues.
The word “transvestite” is also considered a slur by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
urph midtown security
even the fucking cop whose job it is to round up sex workers understands that harassing people [especially by shining bright, disorienting lights at people in the middle of the night] is likely to make them pissed off or scared and panicky or both
and i feel like there’s a lot of race and class (and gender!) stuff going on with the assertion that the folks who work ponce are all really cross-dressing men and not women or otherwise trans people, which is a rhetorical assertion that the midtown ponce security alliance themselves have made in the past to dismiss claims that they’re engaging in anti-trans oppression
(which, to be clear, is also not an assertion that i think that all of these people really personally identify as trans women or as trans at all, either; which can also be a dumb/normalizing/racist way of talking about whatever)
passing this CFP on; potentially triggering for sexist/transphobic language
Critical Dialogues on Transsexual/Transgender Identities in Politics, Media, Activism and Culture
Date: April 12 & 13, 2012
Location: University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Memorial Union Building (MUB)
Transecting Society is a two-day symposium dedicated to exploring controversial political topics related to transsexual/transgender identities in contemporary U.S. culture. We welcome scholars, activists, artists, lawyers, performers, writers, non-profit workers and others who are interested in exploring the oppression of trans people in our society, and strategies for promoting our collective liberation and civil rights.
We are currently seeking abstracts on any of the following topics:
* Trans Identities and Feminism: histories of inclusion/exclusion, trans feminist theory and activism, trans feminist controversies, transphobia in radical feminism and anti-pornography movement, coalition-building in trans and feminist communities
* Trans Identities in Lesbian/Gay/Queer Communities: Gay, Inc., LGBT as coalition, LGBT non-profits and political organizations, gay transphobia, trans-exclusive legislation, ENDA, “coming out” as heterosexual after transition
* Trans Identities and [Pseudo]Science: GID reform, transvestic disorder, DSD, autogynephilia/homosexual transsexualism, the sexualization of trans women in pseudo-scientific literature, The Bailey-Dreger controversy, psychological/psychiatric gate-keeping, trans-“reparative” therapies for youth and adults
* Trans Terminologies: Debates on terms, labels, identities, language, e.g. transgender as an umbrella term, transsexualism as a medical condition, reclaiming the term “tranny”, usefulness of “cisgender” etc.
* Trans Media and Media Defamation : The Jerry Springer Show, “she-male” pornography, comedy skits, Ticked Off Trannies with Knives criticism and activism, journalistic accounts of anti-trans hate crimes, misgendering in the press, trans-produced film, photography and media with a radical agenda, trans in high fashion as the latest “trend” in capitalist entertainment
* Trans Blogosphere and New Media: Blogs, Blogging and Blog wars, Vlogs, internet radio, digital video, Youtube channels, digital activism, social networking, web sites, Second Life etc.
* Trans Identities and Race: Race, ethnicity, trans people of color, racism, white privilege, whiteness, racial conflict and division in trans communities
* Trans Activism in the Past, Present and Future: Stonewall, Compton’s Riots, Dewey’s Riots, Trans Pioneers, Sylvia Rivera, Marsha Johnson, Christine Jorgensen, gay historical imperialism, trans militancy, etc.
* Trans People in/and Electoral Politics: Trans folks and voting, trans people running for office, trans delegates, trans people in state politics, anti-trans campaigns at the state and national level, the so-called “bathroom bill” and political fear-mongering, etc.
* Critical Trans Politics and Social Movement Coalitions: racial and economic justice, disability rights, global and transnational issues, sex worker rights, elders, youth movements, adultism and ageism, fat liberation, prisoner rights
Please submit a 300-word abstract in which you clearly describe your research paper and how it relates to the themes of the conference. Up to two submissions per person are allowed. Please send as a MS Word Attachment by February 1, 2012 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and include the following info as well: paper/presentation title, name, address, phone, email, institutional affiliation, and a brief bio. Feel free to send queries to the above email as well. Sponsored by TransGender-UNH and the UNH Women’s Studies and Queer Studies Programs.
Additional information about the conference will soon appear at: http://www.tgnh.org/id13.html
from an intro to women’s studies personal response essay i was photocopying today
If it were possible, I would be a girl but without female problems. I know I am not the only girl that feels this way.
made me kind of sad, because i think it’s very true many girls feel this way
made me think of some of the discomfort i’ve had around some radical faries and folks with related gender politics, where there’s this centering of the fun parts of femmeness coupled with a marginalization of women and of conversations about misogyny as such …
Parent wants rural Ga. school to let trans elementary student use boys’ restroom
written by ryan watkins for the georgia voice weekly newspaper - 26 august 2011
More than 2,300 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling on the McIntosh County Public School system to allow a seven-year-old transgender child the right to use the boys’ restroom.
The petition was created by Tommy Theollyn, a 28-year-old transgender man from Townsend, Ga., after he said he was told by McIntosh County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hunter that his child, D., would not be allowed to use the boy’s restroom at Todd Grant Elementary School.
“My child is transgender; put simply this means he looks like and identifies as a boy, but has the body parts assigned to girls,” Theollyn states in the petition. “Forcing him to use a bathroom that does not match his presentation effectively discloses his status as a transgender child and thus endangers him.”
Petition: Superintendent Hunter: Allow my transgender son to use the boys bathroom at school!
Theollyn is D.’s biological mother, but he transitioned when his child was just a year old. Theollyn said in an interview that the child, who is in second grade, began living as a boy last year.
Theollyn said he met with his child’s teacher before the school year to discuss the situation. Theollyn said the teacher was accommodating and told him that D. would be given a hall pass to use whichever restroom he wanted when other children were not present.
The first day of the 2011/12 school year in McIntosh County was Tuesday, Aug. 23. On the first day, Theollyn said his mother walked D. to his classroom and was informed that D. would have to use the girl’s restroom.
“We thought there wasn’t an issue, but when he went to the first day of school he was told they had to use the girl’s restroom,” Theollyn said.
An impromptu meeting with the school principal and the district’s superintendent followed.
“It got nasty quickly,” Theollyn said. “It turned into threats almost immediately.”
Theollyn said that Hunter threatened to call child services during the meeting. The next day, Theollyn pulled his son from the school over concerns for his safety.
“We’re in a very traditionally Southern county,” Theollyn said. “The threat of violence is real. We’re feeling it. We’re scared. But does that mean that you stay silent? Does that mean you don’t challenge it? Fear is not a good reason to decide to do something.”
Calls to Dr. Hunter and other district officials have not been returned.
A transgender child
Theollyn says that his son began expressing his own gender identity as early as age 18 months.
“The first time he told me he was a boy he was about 18 months old,” Theollyn said.
In early 2010, D. began insisting that he be identified as a boy. Theollyn said that D. asked to have his head shaved and began throwing away and hiding his girl’s clothing.
“For a while he was saying he really didn’t care, that he was above all that gender stuff. Then one day he asked us to shave his head. He said, ‘I can’t wear girls clothes. I need to look like a boy.’”
Theollyn said at first, he thought D. was just emulating him. Other people who knew D. also expressed the same feelings.
“That really did not go well in a lot of ways,” Theollyn said. “He was very disappointed by the response.”
D. was home-schooled prior to this year. Theollyn said that his son wanted to go to public school because he wants to be a veterinarian and he wanted to interact with children his age. Theollyn said that D. felt being in home school would hurt his chances of becoming a vet.
“He was so ready,” Theollyn said. “It’s such a disappointment. He’s got a bookbag full of supplies he can’t use. He’s very clearly frustrated and disappointed.”
Theollyn said that he and D. have been working with a doctor.
What’s next for D.?
Theollyn said that he reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this week to discuss the incident. The state chapter forwarded the case to the organization’s main office in New York, according to Theollyn. He said he has not heard back.
Theollyn said he will present members of the McIntosh School board with educational material and a copy of the Change.org petition during a mid-September school board meeting.
“There’s several things I want to discuss,” he said. “I have no idea how that’s going to go.”
In the meantime, D. is back to learning at home.
“I don’t want to give him the message that it’s OK to treat people this way,” Theollyn said. “At the same time, I also know where that leaves us — back at home school.”
a horribly lazy and oversimplified way to teach people about us, never mind understand ourselves
yes, yes, definitely. it’s important (i think) to also note that “passing” privilege is indeed a privilege but it comes along with the pain of erasure.
But is everyone really honest about how much “pain” they’re experiencing from that erasure? I’m going to guess NO. Maybe that’s cynical of me but it’s based on the reality I’ve seen until I came here and even more so the abysmal state of Tumblr SJ.
Gender is socially constructed and despite experiencing dissonance we all ultimately have an active choice in how we identify. I mean I know those TRANSITION OR DIE!!!! moments intimately but I think the issue has been exaggerated because a more essentialist and desperate narrative of being trans makes cis people take us more seriously. I think the trans 101 concept of an inate “gender identity” is a horribly lazy and oversimplified way to teach people about us, never mind understand ourselves.
It’s ironic then that people who make such a big deal of wanting to “smash the binary!!!!!!” end up talking about gender in some very naturalizing ways that are quite confining to women in particular. I mean, we do remember that women are constructed as the subordinate class right? I’ve encountered a lot of genderqueers who I just had to imagine hilariously trying to size up my mother and a lot of rural women I grew up around’s gender for them. LIKE OMG YOU WERE AN ELECTRICIAN AND A COMMERCIAL FISHERWOMAN AND YOU HAVE GOTTEN IN FIST FIGHTS AND YOU ARE SO BADASS WHY DON’T YOU IDENTIFY AS GQ????
more on delisub’s “‘genderqueer’ adjective? noun? verb?”
i secretly HATE the term genderqueer. it feels so overdefined. i came into a lot of gender stuff through a white FAAB queer & trans community in college. & over time i became more & more disconnected from that world. i only understood genderqueer as this particular “look”, this particular kind of thin, white FAAB identity. & i thought that because i didn’t fit with that, or want that, or like that…i must not be genderqueer. or, i wasn’t legit b/c i didn’t like to bind or buzz my hair & my size prevented me from wearing certain things & i preferred low-cut shirts & lace to polo shirts. i could never achieve the status of “genderqueer”, at least, as it appeared around me.
discovering K-pop felt like opening up a new chapter in my queerness. i’ve written about it before, but i’ll say again, i realized that all this time i’d been felt alienated in my college queer community because when i looked at white people i saw nothing i desired to be. it’s still challenging & i’ll admit i haven’t really rooted in community here because i still feel distant as some combination of gendernonconforming, POC, fat & disabled. i still feel mostly unintelligible, & afraid of what that process of building would feel like.
that said, i still use “genderqueer” because it’s easy. because it’s too the point & you can google it. but it’s that “best fit” kind of situation. “genderqueer” is just the box i check because it feels less lousy than the others.
this conversation’s been bouncing around and around in my head and interacting with a lot of other thoughts about, hnnnn, queery/activisty/internetty (neo)identity politics; idk, i have so so many thoughts on how white-centering and how middle-class and how homogenizing genderqueer (and regular old queer) can be, in both its conception and its execution -
- but for now i’m reblogging this by glittergeek because i think it’s smart and important, and because i’m disappointed that the overwhelming number of reblogs have been backpattings of delisub; and i mean, there are parts of his original post that i really liked, too, but it’s gross that the voices of women and not-white folks have been so thoroughly marginalized in this discussion in favor of “yeah bro!“-ing a white genderqueer man
(though, to his credit, it looks like delisub has been trying hard to address graftvesushost’s concerns, and tend to think a lot of this is about having very very varied political and personal backgrounds going on - which still is not an excuse for the frustrating and sometimes oppression-perpetuating dynamics going on)
(also maybe it is just not worth my time to engage internet-social-justice-warrior-style identity politics but also some folks that engage in that stuff are important to me and this discussion is fucking huge and why do i think i can argue this here and i have work to do and tumblr is not my thesis ugh ugh ugh)from glittergeek
“genderqueer” adjective? noun? verb?
This post just reminded me to talk about something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while now. Its been swirling around in my head, but I’ve been hesistant to write it because I expect lively debate and I’m not sure whether or not I have the energy to respond right now. But it feels…
It’s funny, I actually just re-read Rocco Bulldagger’s The End of Genderqueer in its original zine format earlier today. And I just said I’d talk about “femmephobia” here, so here it goes.
As a trans woman who has a long, complicated history with genderqueer identities, there were times when I agreed with that essay almost in its entirety, and there have been times when I would have co-signed this post 100%.
But I can’t. Because a lot of this alleged “policing*” has to do with people who clearly experience the world as cis people and have no desire or no intention to change that laying claim to some sort of trans identity. There has been a long-standing issue with cis women who date trans men/male-masculine-spectrum people assuming some sort of ownership over both that object choice and of trans spaces and discussions going on about 15 years now. And it’s just become a reality that a lot of the same people who were told their “transsensual” identity was gross and fetishizing five years ago will now claim to be genderqueer femmes. I’ve seen it too many times as an escape-from-privilege/reality-check to shut down all critical discussion of it.
So I’m just unimpressed when someone like Bitch comes out claiming to be genderqueer because she’s queer, femme, and thinks a lot about and “fucks with” gender. And she’s far from the only person who goes straight to genderqueer because they’re “uncomfortable” being told that they are cis. Or maybe I’m just at the point of, okay, fine, but genderqueer means nothing to me.
I have to say I am left completely cold by all of the discourse around femme-as-genderqueer identity, even as someone who identified as a genderqueer femme off and on for years. I can’t take any more of the self-aggrandizing implication that only “queer femmes” are taking back parts of femininity and rejecting others based on their queer feminist utility. I can’t take any more of the myopic view that only “queer femmes” are devalued for our femininity, as though less-alt/hipster-leaning feminine LesBiQueer women who have no serious use for this identity don’t deal with the same thing (projected internalized misogyny) in masculine-dominated spaces. And I think it’s disturbing that genderqueer identity is given a lot more priority in certain queer circles than the conditions of facing the world as a gender non-conforming person.
These are just my immediate thoughts right now, perhaps I’ll have more organized things to say about the concept of “femmephobia” later.
* - when there is no power differential or the person being ‘policed’ is actually at an structural advantage in the discussion (as with heteroromantic asexuals laying claim to “queer”), I think “policing” is an inappropriate term.
really really smart stuff from graftversushost bolded
i, too, am unkeen on the privileging of ‘identifying as X’ as the sole/central basis for thinking about oppression in a lot of (too many) circles, as well as being irritated by how claims of ‘identity-policing’ can be used to unilaterally and bullshittily shut down discussions sometimes
even while i obvs recognize and have had active contact with, well, decades and decades and decades of academic and non-academic discussions of this stuff, and have seen very intimately how controlling access to various identities/labels/words can fuck people over in genuinely oppressive ways
identities are not innocent y’all - that’s why they matter
I’m jaded, to be honest, and I don’t think genderqueer identity is historically and culturally significant enough to assume good faith from everyone. I think Tumblr has exposed more than any other platform before it a certain middle-class tendency to seek out as many unique and special identities as possible rather than engage in an honest accounting of one’s life conditions and what actually matters. If we can’t have a critical examination of anything without allegations of “identity policing” we might as well just call it a day on all of these projects.
only as a transgender person
Alright. I’ve been seeing A LOT about the woman who was beat up in a McDonald’s in Baltimore. I’m sure you all have, too. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the incident because the victim, Chrissy, is transgender. Queer media sources are doing everything they can to publicize this awful incident as a hate crime. All of the articles I’ve read make it sound like she was beaten because of her gender expression. They all describe her as a trans woman, and not just a woman.
But have any of you seen the interview with Chrissy? She says that the girls attacked her because they thought she was trying to “talk to” one of their boyfriends. Not because she was trying to use the women’s restroom, like the articles say. She says that she did try to use the restroom but they wanted her to buy something first. Chrissy expresses disappointment that her gender identity is being dragged into the situation at all. She does not seem to think it was a hate crime influenced by her being transgender. However, the employee who recorded the crime did make a transphobic remark after the incident. None of the attackers did, to my knowledge.
A lot of people are really upset that the people working on the case are saying there’s not enough evidence for it to be considered a hate crime. But is it still a hate crime if they didn’t know she was trans, or is it just the media - and queer communities - refusing to see her as a woman, and only as a transgender person?
trans women & fantasies of radical abjection: another long post
so this has been on my mind for a long while, and the current controversy over the admins at FYCTC choosing to not encourage/allow female-assigned-at-birth people who ID as trans women to submit photos, as well as recent and upcoming interactions i’m having with the local radical faeries, have prompted me to want to write through it a bit
i’ve been thinking a lot recently about the, the, i suppose i mean this certain fetishizing/glorifying construction of trans female experience (and some other things that get elided into that) which i think is really really common in a lot of queer spaces - and also not entirely absent in actual trans female spaces, either
basically - i mean julia serano’s had a hell of a lot of influence in a lot of trans spaces over the years, and a central argument of hers is that trans men and masculinity get coded in many spaces as cool and radical and powerful and subversive and freeing etc while trans women and femininity get coded as stodgy and conservative and weak and conformist and repressed etc
and this is a shitty sexist construction that happens, for sure! but there’s also this other construction that serano dosen’t really touch on which i think is very common as well, albeit in a somewhat different queer community - serano is a dyke talking mostly about dyke spaces so it makes sense that she’d be a bit less familiar with this other thing that largely happens, IME, in faggier spaces
this thing i’m thinking of is this construction of trans womanhood - which, in this model, usually gets linked with drag queen experience and with general male femininity, which can obvs be pretty fucked - that kind of celebrates ‘trans woman’ identity/experience as exactly the most subversive, cool, radical, ‘fierce’ (and i really wanna have a conversation about the way that word gets used by white and class-privileged queers …) thing out there
i think this stems from some sort of unspoken and maybe unconscious recognition that trans-specific misogyny is a serious fucking thing: MAAB women (and many feminine and/or female MAAB non-binary folks) often get a hell of a lot of terrible shit for their genders/sexes, in a way that trans men and FAAB non-binary people very largely do not; there are real and concrete ways in which the sexist violence against trans women (especially and importantly trans women who are not white and middle class) marks them as particularly threatening to and despised by a cissexist and misogynistic - and racist and classist - social order
and a whole lot of queers and queer spaces and activitsty scenes and (largely white) youthy cultures in general just have this thing for ‘subversion’, right? the coolest kid is the most ‘radical’ and ‘resistant’ and ‘subversive’ kid - under a certain specific and usually unspoken standard of measure
so it kind of makes sense that is fetishization has happened, particularly given that a lot of the folks in the scenes where this goes on have access to academic spaces and discourses which have traditionally objectified trans women and drag queens, particularly urban and non-white ones, as being the tragic and abject heroes of gender resistance
for instance: i think this is part of the reason why so many young cool queer trans men and FAAB non-binary folks are so attached to using the word ‘tranny’ in reference to themselves, despite the fact that a lot of trans women have very reasonably objected to this, correctly pointing out that ‘tranny’ is overwhelmingly a violent slur directed at trans women: it is a slur directed at trans women, and as such it’s become a symbol of difference from cissexist misogynistic power structures - a symbol which maybe feels more pleasantly subversive for non-trans-female folks (especially race and class privileged ones) to wear because they don’t face the same threat of violence and marginalization
they just kind of get to keep the word’s feeling of [cool edgy rad] outsiderhood without actually having the same level of exposure to lasting harm
also see: the wild popularity of hedwig and the angry inch in a bunch of trans male and dykey and faggy spaces
and it’s not like actual trans women don’t have complicated relationships to this: i remember this one time i was talking with a genderqueer femme trans woman friend about the film, saying i was kind of uncomfortable with it and the way a lot of queers uncritically identified with it, and she was actually really upset when we talked about why and she found out that the writer of the film was a cis gay man metaphorizing his own experience, and not a trans woman - she had felt a sense of identification and connection with the character of hedwig, and felt really surprised and hurt that the actual maker of the film was not a trans woman creating for herself
so it’s not like trans female people and MAAB non-binary people never identify with this construction or find it useful or compelling, but also it can really suck to ID with something and then find out the creator’s intent or meaning behind it was potentially very different to and contrary to your own, esp if that creator is privledged over you in some ways important to the piece in question
also i think a lot of rad queer spaces have a thing for being-an-entertainer/performer, too, and the fact that trans womanhood and femme maleness and drag queenship kind of all get amalgamated in this model i’m talking about adds to the fetishization going on
also this thing for being-an-entertainer/performer has all sorts of unacknowledged race and class histories going on
plus all these other constructions that designate (certain types of) femininity as more of a performance / construction than masculinity in general etc
so, yeah: this thing happens where [specific constructions of] trans women (and drag queens and femme males and etc) get positioned as the very best possible symbols of queerness and outsiderness and subversion and fierceness and coolness and even of abjection itself, and then this kind of disembodied sense of radness gets taken on by other folks, very often trans men and fags (both trans and cis)
and i mean fags have done complicated things with femininity for a long time, and there’s a lot of stuff going on there: i think sometimes in fag spaces, identifications with and performances of femininity can come to stand in for radicalism and difference in interesting and sometimes pretty fucked ways
see: john waters and pink flamingos and the fag fandoms around them and all the things going on there
like, i’ve been disappointed a lot with the radical faeries i know around me, because while it’s pretty cool to be in a gay male space where femmeness is accepted and proliferated and celebrated - i’m a faggy effeminate male person and i like my gender pretty well and i like being liked by others! - sometimes this identity-politicsy identification with femininity-as-radicalness and femininity-as-subversion and femininity-as-resistant-outsiderhood lets conversations about the other power dynamics going on get totally put aside (and i’ve met a whole lot of economically conservative/neoliberal and racist and sexist faeries)
all of that