Admittedly, I got a little backlogged, and I’d forgotten about my reading list posts. Sorry about that. Basically, my goal here is to highlight some of the best writing from trans women all over the internet. Enjoy!
[blockquote source=”Aoifeschatology”]Having lived until this point with a severe visual disability, I’ve trained myself to be sensitive to shadows as well as light in measuring the depth of a room so I can walk through. I use TWs exactly the same way: not to make safe space automatic, but at least recognizable. TW enhance the flexibility of approach and interaction, taking up cues and signs normally ignored, for the possibility of safer space — not as comfy entitlement but instead a cooperative endeavor. We know there is no such thing as safe space — I live in this world as trans, after all. Some utopic circle of protection? On the contrary, I make it clear these discussions will be on the table and that they can be decidedly unsafe, and I offer students a chance for reflection as to how they might contribute (or drop the course altogether, if that suits them. Interestingly, very few do.)[/blockquote]
Kat Callahan – R. Kelly’s Son Jay Has One Kickass Mom, Media Still Sucks
[blockquote source=”roygbiv.jezebel.com”]This is an experience I know all too well as my own mother continues to struggle with name and pronoun. Not so much privately, between just the two of us, but rather when trying to speak to others, especially family members who are not quite as on board. Although sometimes the dysphoria triggered by the misgendering can leave me in a sour mood, I tend to realize that my mother is genuinely trying. Linguistic patterns are hard to break, and how we gender someone via pronouns is a linguistic pattern we associate with individuals, especially close ones.
There is a necessarily required patience which I think many trans people find hard to maintain, but even when it is warranted, it is not unlimited. I find it easier to allow misgendering by acquaintances, but too many incidents, especially if gender has been made explicit, will lead to simply cutting that person off. This is especially true of social interactions. I don’t have the emotional reserves to make a space for such a person in my life. Family is harder. Family is already there. Family has a space. Only in egregious circumstances do they find themselves cut off. And yet at the same time, it is this placement in our emotional, metaphorical space which makes it so important for family members to get it right.[/blockquote]
[blockquote source=”Bustle”]The big joke is a familiar one: The woman that Jessel describes in his song is great, except for — wait for it — she has a penis.
That is the song’s only punchline, the signal to the hosts and the audience that their expectations have been foiled, that the situation is not normal, and this woman and situation are to be laughed at. But as a trans woman, this song wasn’t funny to me.
After GLAAD issued a statement regarding the song, NBC removed the video from its social media platforms, but the video is still being circulated, and those unwilling to acknowledge the unintended consequences of media that mocks and degrades transgender individuals continue to defend it. Jessel was heard loud and clear. In fact, he even put out a full-length version of his song on the website Funny or Die that contains even more misconceptions about trans people than the original.[/blockquote]
Monica Roberts – Not Supporting Lauren Scott or ANY Trans Republican
[blockquote source=”transgriot”]At first glance Ms. Scott’s record is one that would make you gravitate toward supporting her legislative candidacy. She’s an Air Force Desert Storm vet, small business owner, has participated in an NCTE sponsored lobby day in 2007, is the founding Executive Director of Equality Nevada since 2009, was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to sit on the Nevada Equal Rights Commission until her term expires October 31 and unsuccessfully ran for an open Nevada Assembly seat in 2012.
While I commend Ms Scott for stepping up to run for office, it’s the choice of party affiliation that is raising red flags with me and other big picture thinking trans people. When the Nevada Assembly currently has a 26-15 Democratic majority and the Nevada Senate a precarious 11-10 Democratic majority, why in Hades would you run for office in that party?[/blockquote]
Samantha Allen – Lessons From a Bad Bra Fitting
[blockquote source=”The Advocate”]Transgender breasts, too, are not strange, mythical things. Transgender women’s breast tissue is the same as cisgender breast tissue. In fact, transgender women are able to breastfeed if they induce lactation. A boob is a boob, and boobs need bras.
Here’s another fun fact about breasts: they are not attached to your genitals. Nobody needs to take their bottoms off to receive a bra fitting unless, of course, you’re a fictional character in an erotic lesbian story. I’ve been in a lot of fitting rooms and I’ve never seen anybody else’s vagina.
Requiring a transgender woman to receive genital reassignment surgery in order to be fitted for a bra, then, is like requiring someone to get a knee replacement in order to try on a pair of sunglasses. It doesn’t make sense.[/blockquote]
Zinnia Jones – Why I’m representing Chelsea Manning at SF Pride
[blockquote source=”Freethought Blogs”]We must also recognize that transgender service in the military is not a hypothetical – it is a reality. As with gay, lesbian, and bisexual servicemembers under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, many trans people are currently enlisted and serving in silence. The Williams Institute at UCLA estimates that over 15,000 trans people are currently serving in the US military, and finds that trans people are actually twice as likely as the total adult population to have served. This is not a question of bringing trans people into the US military for the first time ever; it is a matter of accepting those who are already serving.
In light of this, citing Chelsea’s actions to justify suspicion of all trans servicemembers is plainly absurd. Thousands of trans people already serve in the US military, and many more are allowed to serve openly in the armed forces of allies such as Canada, Britain, and Israel. Using one person to make generalizations about a group of thousands is as invalid here as it would be anywhere. Such fears are not due to the actions of any particular trans person; they are due to the widespread prejudice of cis people. The enemy is not a trans woman incarcerated in a men’s prison without access to treatment. It is a culture of institutional intolerance toward trans people – an intolerance that is never justifiable.[/blockquote]
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