"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: email@example.com
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
making and unmaking
i forgot about my testosterone anniversary. i forgot my shot that week, too.
at the doctor’s, i had to take off my binder for her to palpate my stomach. she pressed on my left ovary; i squealed. she didn’t say anything. she asked me if i was taking oral testosterone and i wanted to cry. i hate explaining my body to doctors—didn’t they go to graduate school for eight years to know how the body works? didn’t they drag themselves to bed every night, only to worry for hours about upcoming papers, exams, pressing personal problems they didn’t have time to address? don’t they know the power they have to make or break a life? i sighed. she watched me put my binder back on and wondered if she watched everyone put their underwear back on. the worst part was that she was so nice, just unsure, so i couldn’t even be angry.
my mother emailed me and told me that she was worried about me attending my best friend’s wedding. too many people from work, too many fellow friend’s parents. i’m in the ceremony. i hash out with my friend what i’ll wear—maybe a pant suit, maybe go all out drag and wear a dress. i tell her to use my birth name because this day is not about me. but i feel like i’m putting my underwear on in a room full of doctors who don’t know that oral testosterone disintegrates your liver.
i respond to my mother’s email, reassuring her, wanting to tell her that it’s not worth all the trouble, that everyone knows.
this is just as hard for me as it is for you, i tell her.
i’m broke as fuck since my mother died because my health insurance died with her and i have chronic medical shit going on
i spent six hours last week in a low-income health clinic in the west end; at about eight o’clock pm last monday i saw a doctor for my bronchitis -
- the only doctor at work there that time; it was the evening shift and god knows how many folks were there waiting for care -
i marked ‘female’ on the little intake pad they gave me because i was scared about inconsistencies with my ID but the short little man from trinidad doing intake assumed i had made a cough-syrup-induced mistake and put ‘male’ on my charts instead
and i let him
and i had time enough to learn he was from trinidad because there’s so much time at this clinic; so much time, and so many people making conversation
and hours after this gender designation the one sole doctor that evening to all these folks came to see me five and a half hours after i arrived
and asked me about the tight nylon and lycra undershirt i had on
and i told her that it was to support my back from a car accident i had a couple years ago
(and i really was full-on hit by a car a couple years ago)
and she gave me a hard, hard and long look and said ok
and she prescribed me antibiotics and codine cough syrup and let me go
and i feel better now
and i don’t know how she feelsfrom transartorialism
Social Security Administration No Longer Notifying Employers About Gender
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Vincent Paolo Villano, Communications Manager
National Center for Transgender Equality
202-903-0112 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Security Administration No Longer Notifying Employers About Gender
Obama administration ends practice that led to job loss and outing of transgender workers
Washington, D.C. - The Social Security Administration (SSA) has confirmed that it has ended the practice of allowing gender to be matched in its Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS). This will result in the immediate cessation of SSA sending notifications that alert employers when the gender marker on an employee’s W-2 does not match Social Security records.
The extent of the problem was made crystal clear when NCTE’s Freedom of Information Act request was answered showing 711,488 gender no-match letters were sent in 2010 alone. Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality says, “Ending this practice, which has endangered transgender people and our jobs, has been a priority for NCTE and we are pleased that the SSA has updated its policy.”
Keisling continued, “Alerting employers about differences in someone’s gender threatened people’s jobs and did not accomplish what this verification system was designed for. There was absolutely no reason for it and it was extremely dangerous for transgender people, who still face significant disrespect, discrimination and violence in the workplace.”
For years, transgender employees have been contacting NCTE seeking advice about how to manage the difficult position that the Social Security Administration had placed them in with their employers. “Many people have been able to retain their jobs, but not all of them,” Keisling noted, “and not one of them should have been fired just because the Social Security Administration outed them at a workplace where someone was prejudiced against transgender people.”
The Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) allows employers to match their record of employee names and Social Security numbers (SSNs) with Social Security records for payroll reports. The notification letters alerted individuals and employers when information in a person’s employment records is inconsistent with SSA’s records for that employee. It was designed to ensure that people receive the benefits to which they are entitled and that they are using a valid Social Security number for employment purposes. Unfortunately, this unfairly impacted transgender people whose gender marker had not been changed with the SSA.
NCTE has asked the SSA to stop sending employers these notices, and today, the SSA has made great progress in fixing the complex systems that generate such notices. In the event that you or someone you know does receive a gender no-match letter in the future, please contact us.
While we celebrate the end of gender no-match letters, the SSA still has an outdated policy for changing gender markers in SSA records. To change gender markers, SSA requires an unfair, unobtainable and unnecessary standard for transgender people that include proof of specific sex reassignment surgery. Mara Keisling says, “These requirements, particularly surgery, are far too expensive for many transgender people and present a major financial hurdle for a group of people who already face significantly high levels of under-employment and unemployment.” NCTE will continue to work with the SSA to make changes to this policy so that transgender people are able to update their information with Social Security and ensure that they have equal access to the benefits Social Security provides.
For more information or to speak with Mara Keisling, please contact Vincent Paolo Villano at 202-903-0112 / email@example.com.
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.”
last post on this (i really really hope)
i think this is the last thing i will post on the silly sexist thread that’s going down
Going to lay it on the line here:
I have borderline personality disorder - and that is not what GVH was saying AT ALL. She’s saying that it isn’t shaming to be told that your behaviour when it’s harming other people isn’t acceptable. That’s part of RECOVERY. It doesn’t matter if it’s part of the disorder or not, it’s to do with establishing boundaries, an important part of getting better or making the disorder more manageable. Also, narcissism isn’t an inherent feature in any PD other than NPD.
I DO get it - the fact that so many people say ‘oh well people with ____ personality disorder are awful life ruiners and abusers and stay the fuck away’ feels like total shit (and to an extent this can be ableist, because you’re painting all people with PD as exactly the same, w/ exact same traits even though they’re wildly variable) because that isn’t true at all. But I don’t think that’s what GVH is saying here.
When I’ve hurt people because of my personality disorder, even if I wasn’t at fault, it is NOT shaming to tell me I fucked up. It’s gotten me to realise that I have to work to get better.
finally, i just kind of want to express utter, idk, i’m just totally flabbergasted at how hard people are not even trying to understand so many of the actual arguments going down
which have never ever been that trans men and non-binary folks aren’t very often fucked over by anti-choice politics
nor that the cissexism and plain ol’ misogynistic sexism of anti-choice forces doesn’t hurt all of us
nor that trans men and non-binary folks should not fight for dude- and trans- and genderqueer-friendly abortion access
nor that the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements should never ever include or collaborate with trans men and genderqueer folks
nor even that women and feminists and women-centered organizers are never cissexist and eternally beyond reproach
and which have been that dudes and lots of non-binary folks can get shitty sexist activist cred by hating on women and woman-centered organizing and then being all like “look at how more radical i am than those silly mean feminists!” and “i’m sooooo much more smart and complex and ~*~postmodern~*~ than yooooouuu!”
and that dudes and lots of non-binary folks often launch specious ‘radical’ or ‘trans-positive’ attacks against woman-centered organizing as a way of taking power and space away from women
and that there is nothing wrong or cissexist about women talking about or organizing for abortion and other reproductive rights in a women-centered way, especially given that so much of the anti-choice movement is so explicitly misogynistic*
and that expecting women to always always always prioritize the needs and identities and bodies of men and other non-woman people is fucking sexist
and that trans men and non-binary people can and should organize for our own reproductive healthcare needs and work to build honest solidarity with women and woman-centered organizations and movements - so that, when it’s useful and appropriate, we can collaborate with women without feeling the need to totally fucking boss them around and appropriate their space and destroy strategies for social change that benefit women
for fuck’s sake, people
*eta: i think i want to revise this thought - i think it might be better to say that there can be cissexist elements in woman-centered abortion and reproductive justice activism, but there’s a whole fucking lot of space for really terrible sexism to go down when people, particularly non-woman people, ‘critique’ (or even actually more genuinely critique) woman-centered activism; and if that sort of criticism ever happens, it needs to happen very cautiously, sparingly, self-critically, thoughtfully, and compassionately
(Source: witchlockfox)from girlsarestrong-deactivated20120
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????
Not everything that is sometimes denied to queer/trans men by straight/cis men should be “reclaimed.” Because it’s often still kind of problem for everyone who isn’t a man.
a friend of mine posted the following on my facebook wall the other day, probably in response to this post of mine
I saw on your tumblr that there are some problematic issues surrounding white cis queer folk using the term “fierce”. I tried to look up why that would be but didn’t really find anything. I was wondering if you had the time/inclination, could you maybe explain why that is to me? I’m totally not doubting you or trying to imply that a lengthy explanation is needed before I stop using a term that’s problematic, I just am kind of curious and would like to know more.
i wrote the text quoted below in reply, and i think it gets at most of what i think about the term - though there’s a lot more to be said about the specifics of what’s happening with the way that a lot of white queers variously fetishize and hate on non-white femininities, especially black femininities (at least in the south)
i feel like in a lot of white-centric queer spaces, particularly gay male spaces, there can be this weird mix of on the one hand outright declaring non-white (and often working-class) femininities to be nothing more than tacky failures to be appropriated for campy humor, and on the other hand i think there’s more complicated white guiltish stuff going on, especially when white gay men appropriate styles and cultural codes they associate with non-white femininities because they feel an emotional or cultural connection with racially marginalized femmenesses due to the marginalization of their own queer femininity
plus there’re all these narratives/stereotypes that are like 'black women are so sassy and in-charge and sexual' or 'latinas are so tough and loud-mouthed and brassy' etc converging with gay male identifications with a certain construction of strong sexy women
thank you for asking! i’ll try my best to think this through:
many uses of the word ‘fierce’ are in my experience strongly associated with gay/queer/trans communities of color, and are particularly linked in a lot of people’s minds with more femme-gendered black gay men and black trans folks, especially not-wealthy ones
and i often see white queers - mostly but not only gay men, some of them middle-class or wealthy and some of them not so much, many of them them openly racist or at least not really interested in thinking about how racism benefits them in and outside of queer spaces - who i feel are deploying the term in a particular way to kind of, hmmm, either to derisively or “affectionately” mock what they see as the campy ghetto-fabulous tackiness of such folks (which is clearly racist and classist and often straight-up misogynistic and anti-femme)
or to do this more complicated appropriation thing where white queers use the word in an attempt to signal a knowledge of or connection to PoC/black queer cultures because they want to kinda go culture-slumming and feel like they’re part of something cool or trendy or exotic etc - without actually giving much of a shit about racism or capitalism or gay/queer/trans people of color
and also there’s this thing a lot of white culture does where white folks can deploy what they accurately or inaccurately imagine to be black vernacular in order to construct themselves as being down with black people, and thus reassure themselves and others that they’re cool good white people and couldn’t *really* be racist (even when they, well, emphatically are)
i don’t think all uses of the word ‘fierce’ by white gay/queer/trans people constitute an attempt to mock or appropriate - but i do think creepy racist sexist classist uses of the word aren’t that uncommon