A little while ago, I mentioned that I was reading Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, on an open thread, a really interesting retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by a Nigerian-British novelist that engages issues of race in a way that very few fairy-tale retellings do (“The Glass Bottle Trick” by Nalo Hopkinson is […]...read more
[Trigger warning for transphobia]
Unfunny comedian and walking Halloween decoration [update: See in comments where I regret writing that part] Joan Rivers took a completely random opportunity this week to throw transphobic slurs at Michelle Obama. Asked by a reporter, for some reason, whether we’ll ever see a gay president, she replied, “We already have it with Obama, so let’s calm down.” This was, she elaborated without prompting, because “You know Michelle is a [transphobic slur redacted]. A transgender. We all know.”...read more
Just in time for LGBT Pride Month: The Department of Health and Human Services has lifted the national policy barring Medicare from paying for gender-confirming surgery. Decisions will still be left up to regional administrators, but claims will be subject to individualized review and will no longer be automatically rejected for gender-related procedures, just like any other medical procedure. The blanket exclusion will be fully lifted by June 30....read more
Feminism is and must be a home for trans women, in solidarity with trans rights. In response to transphobia in feminism, almost 100 activists, writers, artists and academics from across the globe signed this statement....read more
There are some phrases that, when you see them in an article, you know aren’t going to lead to anywhere good. “Political correctness gone mad”, for one. “Some of my best friends are…”, for another. “I’m not a ___, but..” is definitely one. One of the phrases that takes the proverbial biscuit (and a lot of other proverbials), though, is this one:
Now, before you run off to compose a face-meltingly indignant email to the editor..
When the writer already knows that they’ve written something to get their readers face-meltingly indignant, things can only go two ways. It could be that they’ve come up with something so new and wonderful that it’ll take the rest of us years to get our heads around. Far more often, though, you’re about to read something that will have you facepalming so hard you end up with permanent dents on your forehead. If you’re unlucky, you might not be able to stop yourself from muttering obscenities at the screen in the middle of your office....read more
This is a signal boost for a gut-wrenching post on the F-Word Blog about the transphobic press campaign that drove UK teacher Lucy Meadows to suicide.
Comments will be closed on this post. Please just go read Sarah Noble’s article....read more
My Guardian column this week is on the Coy Mathis case, which we’re discussing in a thread below. It’s much more 101 than the post here, since it’s targeted to an audience that may not be familiar with trans issues. A bit:...read more
When school districts treat trans and gender-nonconforming kids as “different,” requiring that they use special bathrooms, is it any surprise when the other kids follow suit?...read more
I’m writing in Al Jazeera today about how the fight over the Violence Against Women Act exemplifies the increased extremism of the Republican party. A bit:...read more
Go read this piece about how the NYPD can arrest you for carrying condoms and someone please explain to me in what universe any of this makes sense. Trans and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! Wearing a tight t-shirt and carrying condoms? You must be a prostitute, and condoms are the proof! A sex worker who is trying to keep herself safe in her work? You are actually a prostitute, so go to jail, or at the very least get your condoms taken away so your work is more dangerous. The condoms-as-evidence policy serves absolutely no one....read more
In the Times’ “Booming” series, a famous concert pianist writes about her transition – being forced to fly to Thailand for the surgery she needed (and having that surgery botched), seeing her career opportunities dry up, facing legal housing discrimination. A move to Canada opens up more opportunities, but her home country — the United States — rejects her, then shifts a bit, but still doesn’t open its arms. And she’s “lucky” — she’s educated and talented and class-privileged. Her life isn’t tragic; she’s fine, and talented, and married to the woman she loves. But because her existence troubles some people, she can’t get gigs, can’t get an apartment, can’t get a job. So we lose her to other places that are more open. We lose trans women and men in worse ways — to violence, to hiding, to death. And for what, exactly?...read more
I’m glad to see queer youth getting some love / representation in this New York Times article. But like so many pieces on youth social justice movements, the article positions young LGBTQIA folks as “post-gay” and somehow at odds with older generations, which doesn’t actually seem to be true in the real world.
I’m glad to see that a diversity of sexual identities are being recognized. But I also worry about the intense focus on identity, and what that means for social justice movements....read more