Is it more acceptable for a woman to be bisexual than gay? Jane talks to Louise Carolin, Diva magazine & Surya Monro, Huddersfield Uni.
I’m starting to realize that widespread representation doesn’t do any good at all if actual trans realities aren’t represented in an accurate way. In fact, having cis actors portray trans characters seems like a recipe for utterly trans-ignorant people to think they know more than they do, and then get super defensive if anyone tries to imply that they’re wrong. … So, even if I think that Transamerica touched and taught a wider, more mainstream audience, I still need to ask: What exactly was it teaching that audience?
(Sourced from VaginaPagina)
Original Plumbing is the premier print magazine dedicated to the sexuality and culture of FTM trans guys.
Original Plumbing documents diversity within trans male lifestyles through photographic portraits and essays, personal narratives and interviews. We feel that there is no single way to sum up what it means to be a trans man because we each have different beliefs, life experiences and relationships to our own bodies.
Tory MEPs have voted against the withdrawal of gender identity from the the International Classification of Diseases’s list of mental and behavioural disorders.
Daniel Hannan and Nirj Deva voted alongside the likes of the BNP’s Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons in opposing Labour MEP Richard Howitt’s amendment to human rights legislation, with other Tories abstaining.
The amendment was passed; 353 votes to 268 (52 abstentions).
Among other things, it:
- Calls on the Commission to advocate the withdrawal of gender identity from the list of mental and behavioural disorders in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and to seek a non-pathologising reclassification;
- Reiterates its request that the Commission produce a comprehensive roadmap against homophobia, transphobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, also addressing human rights violations on these grounds in the world;
- Reasserts that the principle of non-discrimination, also embracing grounds of sex and sexual orientation, must not be compromised in the ACP-EU partnership;
- Calls on the Member States to grant asylum to people fleeing persecution in countries where LGBT people are criminalised, taking into consideration applicants’ well founded fears of persecution, and relying on their self-identification as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
[TW: Slurs, some censored so I could write this out]
One of the common criticisms the trans community makes of cis feminism is in regards to the myth of the “universal female experience”. I personally am realizing that I have unknowingly subscribed to a myth of a universal trans female experience. This myth is based on my own, genuine experience: I knew I was female since the beginning. I disown most established trans language in favor of terms like CAMAB and CAFAB. I don’t believe in pure sexual dyadism or terms like “male-bodied”.
While these parameters genuinely fit most trans women I know personally, they don’t apply to everyone. Applying them to everyone else isn’t helping me interact with the greater trans community. It’s causing unnecessary arguments and unproductive battles of trigger versus trigger. It is still important to debunk the myths surrounding the binary essentialism of “male” and “female”. It’s important to deconstruct cis language and find our own. It’s important to empower ourselves. But it’s also important to recognize the trans community has a wide range of perspectives. What’s most important is that we respect each other, and define ourselves without projecting onto others.
Just as some people knew they were trans since birth, some didn’t. Some trans women are also genderqueer or female non-gendered. Some binary-identified trans people consider themselves “gender variant”. Some people identify as MtF. Some people describe themselves as male-bodied. Some people identify as transmisogynistic slurs, including she**** and tr***y. Some people identify as transmen and transwomen, regardless of how intensely that lack of a space sets off my OCD (I’m sad to say that is not hyperbole).
I’ve failed to handle these truths many times, and some of them I still struggle with. But my perspective is becoming a very strong “let people identify themselves”. I’m adjusting my rhetoric to accommodate this. Rather than telling others what to say and what not to say, I find it more helpful to explain the range of experiences trans people have. Some trans women aren’t “born male”, but some are. Some find MtF insulting, others don’t. A similar range of experience (on different subjects) exists among cis people regarding their own genders. What’s important is that we respect the individual and support each other as a community. The message changes from “Don’t make x assumption about me, because trans people aren’t like that”, to “don’t make x assumption about anyone, because people are individuals”. If there is one truth with the power to disarm stereotypes, it’s how different we can be from each other, even those of us who use the same labels.
This shift in perspective is hard. It’s possibly one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced when writing “for the community” and not just myself. This process is also messy. While I am learning the theory, in practice I am certainly no expert. Most of us have sore spots, sensitive topics, and certain words we just cannot bear to hear. Words that have been weaponized so many times we can’t take it anymore. We get angry at each other, we get triggered, we fly off the handle. Sometimes because the offending person is intentionally malicious, other times unintentionally malicious, and sometimes it’s just a plain old misunderstanding. Regardless, the pain is real. The problem often is that, even if we all speak the same language, we don’t necessarily speak the same language. Sometimes we use the same word to mean different things, or use different words to mean the same thing. These mismatched meanings become layered on top of each other, creating a confusing glut of mixed messages.
Video game maker Electronic Arts caused a bigger stir than they anticipated by including same-sex characters in their most recent Star Wars game and Mass Effect 3. Anti-gay activist Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council claimed “the biggest threat to the empire may be homosexual activists,” and EA says they’ve received thousands of hate letters decrying their decision.
Company Vice President of communications Jeff Brown, however, says they refuse to back down — and weren’t, contrary to right wing opinion, pressured by gay activists.
“Every one of EA’s games includes ESRB content descriptors so it’s hard to believe anyone is surprised by the content. This isn’t about protecting children, it’s about political harassment,” he told GamesIndustry International. “EA has not been pressured by any groups to include LGBT characters in our games. However, we have met with LBGT groups and sponsored industry forums to discuss content and harassment of players in online forums. In short, we do put options for same-sex relationships in our games; we don’t tolerate hate speech on our forums.” He also says most of the letters are coming from the Florida Family Association.
Matt Kane from GLAAD compared EA’s refusal to negotiate with the right to Starbucks’ work against activists who protest their gay inclusion and the Million Moms movement who support JC Penney’s hiring Ellen DeGeneres.
“Anti-LGBT campaigns are falling into a pretty consistent pattern these days, in which messages of hate directed at our allies are met with an overwhelming outpouring of support for our allies in response,” Kane noted. “Following Starbucks’ announcing public support for marriage equality, 25,000 people signed a “Dump Starbucks” campaign, which in turn inspired more than 600,000 people to sign on to a “Thank Starbucks” campaign.
He continued, “The group ‘One Million Moms’ tried to have Ellen Degeneres fired from her role as a spokesperson for JC Penny, but the public expressions of support JC Penny received following the Stand Up for Ellen campaign were so numerous that ‘One Million Moms’ announced they would be ‘moving on to other things.’ Trying to rally Americans around messages rooted in hate is a losing proposition.”
When will the right learn that lesson? Probably not before finding themselves getting swept into history’s figurative dustbin.
A softer world comic: There are three boxes, the first has a photograph of a blurry building, the second a man’s face close up and the third the same man’s face but from further away.
The text across the boxes reads: When I overhear someone say, ‘that’s fucking gay,’ I grab him enthusiastically by the shoulder, grin and say, ‘Yes! I like it too!’
TSA recognizes the concerns members of the transgender community may have with undergoing the security screening process at our Nation’s airports and is committed to conducting screening in a dignified and respectful manner. These travel tips will explain the various screening processes and technologies travelers may encounter at security checkpoints.
Republican-Controlled Arizona Legislature On Cusp Of Defunding Planned Parenthood (Thinkprogress.org)
Arizona is the latest battleground in the conservative war on women as the state legislature appears poised to strip funding from the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood.
Ban of abortion after 6 weeks passes Mississippi House (The Arkansas Online
A Mississippi House bill would effectively ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
How To Be A Feminist Man (FeministActionCambridge)
Recently a man friend asked me if I thought he was being a feminist in his behaviour, and if not, how he could improve. That conversation led to me writing this post.
Men Still Make the Decisions on Reproductive Rights in Cote d’Ivoire (IPS News)
“I would like to use contraception, but my husband is against it,” says Bintou Moussa. The 32-year-old mother has just given birth to her sixth child at the Abobo General Hospital in Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial capital Abidjan
Those Bodies in Baghdad Are of Gay Men
Dozens of bodies bludgeoned to death pop up in Baghdad’s dusty streets like the remains of a wreckage on a beach. They are the corpses of homosexuals and followers of the ‘emo’ fashion who dare to break with the strict canons of the Shia orthodoxy in power.
Parties ‘failing to push for more women’ in Scottish and Welsh parliaments (The Guardian)
Electoral Reform Society accuses all the large parties of allowing the issue of equal representation for women to ‘fester’.
How we can connect with feminism’s global future (Naomi Wolf)
In the west, feminism has stalled. But elsewhere, women have found in it a new model of Enlightenment rights and freedoms
I’m not racist, some of my colleagues are white – what is ‘diversity’ anyway? (The Guardian)
The Harvard Business Review is right – diversity schemes can be dangerous if they ignore socioeconomic divisions.
The UK’s hidden cancer (The Guardian)
Why is there still so little awareness of ovarian cancer? Two women who have had it talk about the importance of an early diagnosis.
Feminists and Plastic Surgeons Unite to Outlaw Cosmetic Surgery Ads (UkFeminista)
UK Feminista has launched a campaign today calling on the Government to outlaw the advertising of cosmetic surgery.