"Becoming homecoming king is kind of the only normal teenage dream I’ve had. I was really surprised, though, that I was nominated. I didn’t think it was attainable because I’m trans. But now I feel like I could get it. I’m taking the steps that need to be made for progress among the transgender community. I’m just trying to make the T in LGBT not so silent."
Blake, Age 17, Charlotte, NC. Photo by Laurel Golio. As told to Diana Scholl.
What more could the courts have done? Well, for starters, they could have pushed back on the fundamentally unfair positions the wives took. Neither court foreclosed the wives’ challenges to the legality of their marriages on basic equitable principles of estoppel (essentially, a kind of safety valve courts invoke where fundamental fairness requires a particular outcome). This would have been an easy way for the courts to directly respond to and affirmatively shutdown legal challenges premised on the idea that trans people aren’t really who we hold ourselves out to be. Moreover, it would have made it clear that non-trans peoples’ opportunistic litigation of our legal status where and when it suits them is both legally unsound and morally repugnant.
I’m bursting to share what feels like a monumental discovery. “These trans men think they have more in common with cis men than they do with trans women,” I announce to my butch lesbian friend Sandy. We’re revealing the gems we’d mined from our semesters’ research projects—mine an undergrad in gender studies and hers a master’s in social work.“Obviously,” she replies glibly. She sips her beer and flashes that easy smile that always invites me to agree.
Nonetheless, I’m taken aback, suddenly aware that I’d subliminally held onto a paradigm: that people who identify with the word “transgender,” at least those see this journey, like I do, as more than simply correcting a birth defect, share more mutual—deep, intimate, unspoken, primal—understandings than those who share male or female embodiment, regardless of gender history.
A photographic collection of GLBTQUAPI & gender non-conforming portraits.
1. Join a peaceful protest.
They’re happening all around the country tonight, including at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, around 7 p.m. Eastern.
2. Recognize that Michael Brown’s death was not an isolated incident.
In 2012, more than 300 black people were executed by police, security guards, or vigilantes. In the last month, three other unarmed African-American men—Eric Garner in New York, John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles—have been killed by police. Those are the ones we know about.
3. Stop saying “This can’t be happening in America.”
I understand the impulse, I really do. But that impulse only comes to those who are insulated and isolated from how America treats poor people and people of color every day. Langston Hughes wrote “America never was America to me” in 1935. If you didn’t quite understand that poem in your junior high or high-school lit classes, read it again, while you think about what’s happening in Ferguson. Let it sink in.
4. STFU about looting.
And call out your friends and family members who won’t. It’s been five days since Michael Brown was murdered. On one of those days, some furious, grieving citizens caused some property damage. Nine have been arrested. Every other day since then, police with more gear than American soldiers going into battle have been occupying the neighborhood where Brown died, attacking peaceful protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets. They’ve tear-gassed a state senator and Al-Jazeera reporters, and arrested an alderman. They’ve demanded that reporters leave the area and arrested two who didn’t move fast enough. “Disproportionate” doesn’t begin to describe it. If you look at all that and still think it’s important to talk about looting for “balance,” you should know that you sound like a racist asshole.
5. Look Around You.
If you live in an urban environment, you’re in a position to bear witness and document inappropriate and abusive police behavior. If you see an African-American neighbor being detained by police, wait to see what happens. Get your phone out. Download the ACLU’s “Police Tape” app, and if you see something that looks off, take a video that will upload directly to their servers, in case your phone is confiscated. Whatever police may tell you, this is your legal right.
7. Educate yourself about the systematic inequality that leads to civil unrest.
The St. Louis American ran a powerful editorial today that fleshes out the history of Ferguson. When you finish reading that, go somewhere quiet for a bit and settle down with Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “The Case for Reparations.” Don’t stop there.
8. Put pressure on your elected representatives.
Institutional abuse of African-American citizens is happening all over the country, and it demands a federal response. Talk to your senators and congresspeople about enacting policies to protect citizens from their protectors. While you’re at it, maybe suggest they work to limit the amount of military weaponry police can inherit from the armed forces.
9. Listen to your African-American friends when they try to tell you why this hurts.
If you don’t have any African-American friends, you might want to think about why that is.
10. Okay, go ahead and tweet.
And Facebook. Tumblr. Instagram. Vine. Amplify the voices of people on the ground, and help counteract the damaging narratives being propagated by some mainstream media organizations. It’s the very least we can do.Written by Kate Harding
me . one year on testosterone . ritual portraits ( self injection / haircut ) . philly, 2014
Over the course of the year, I’ve been pursuing and experimenting with self portraiture. I’ve been photographing myself more as a figuration of my spirit. I’ve been stepping away from a society that consistently fetishizes trans bodies. Constantly finding ways to shift, restructure, and re-create a gaze that I may not necessarily have control over.
Yesterday, I spent my one year in Philly, surrounded by loved ones. I decided to conduct my bi-weekly ritual with them by my side in order to celebrate and share one of the most important process in my life. There were four of us in the room, but I felt more spiritual presence as I continued on with my process. My spirits were watching over me. I felt protected and loved. I am looking forward to developing my career as an artist, and to consistently look at myself. I want to be better. I want my work to continue to be filled with love, identity, and honor.
To be able to share this ceremonious moment with amazing, beautiful, and talented, individuals was an honor. Thank you.
Hey everyone check out the new collab channel on youtube, TRANSactive!
We have a great group of 6 guys that are posting videos for you Monday-Saturday covering a wide variety of trans related topics. We encourage you to join us, suggest topics, ask questions, leave comments, subscribe, and help spread the love and positive energy!
Monday- Max shibudi.tumblr.com
Tuesday- Hayden misterrhayden.tumblr.com
Wednesday- James jmsdngr.tumblr.com
Thursday- Tyler tyince.tumblr.com
Friday- Cayden cayden-carter.tumblr.com
Saturday- Julian pupheist.tumblr.com
My favorite window in my childhood bedroom faced the east. Its corners, where spiders caught tiny moths in their little webbed nests, were always dirty. Dust blanketed the entire window and became dense near the edges….
Written by OP Blogger Will Kirsanda for the Huffington Post.