Archive for April, 2010

Pass ENDA Now

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I signed this on behalf of my local group, hosted at the Billy deFrank LGBT Center, the South Bay Transmen.

LGBT and ALLIED Groups call on congress to pass ENDA now

More than 200 Organizations Demand Immediate Action

WASHINGTON, April 21 — Today, the nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations, along with allies in the faith, labor and civil rights communities, issued the following statement to members of the United States Congress:

“Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act NOW.”

Equality Federation, Toni Broaddus, Executive Director

Family Equality Council, Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Lee Swislow, Executive Director

Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, President

National Black Justice Coalition, Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director/CEO

National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director

National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, Rea Carey, Executive Director

National Stonewall Democrats, Michael Mitchell, Executive Director

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays National, Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director

Pride at Work, AFL-CIO, Peggy Shorey, Executive Director

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director

Transgender Law Center, Masen Davis, Executive Director

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Terry Stone, Executive Director

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Shawn Gaylord, Director of Public Policy

A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), Clayola Brown, President

Advocates for Youth, James Wagoner, President

African American Ministers in Action, Rev. Timothy McDonald, Chairman

(more…)

CNN’s “iReporter”s share their key messages

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

CNN invites people to write in about particular experiences; these folks are “iReporters”. They’ve just issued a multi-document piece called ‘I am Trans and I Want My Voice to be Heard‘.

In particular, click through the inset slide show. The diversity and simple human needs of transgender people shines nicely.

Thanks CNN!

Why “Dancingbull”?

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

1. I like the mental image; a bull dancing in a field; he’s having fun, expressing himself creatively, and crashing all the ideas of what bulls do.

2. The image evokes contrasts which have blended together, creating a new, playful thing…  I like that.

3. I’m not a big astrology guy, but I was born on the cusp between Aries and Taurus (theoretically the most ‘difficult’ cusp to be on), so I also think that “dancing bull” expresses how I bring the energy of ‘new’ and ‘beginnings’ to ‘stubborn’ and ‘earth’.

P.S. Why is it a Celtic bull? The bull reminds me of Cuchulain, an Irish hero. So, a Celtic bull in dancing colors. 🙂

Terms You May Hear

Friday, April 2nd, 2010
An important thing to keep in mind when working with trans people is that there is unfortunately no standardized term usage. And usage has changed over time. Still, here are some guidelines. Sometimes the words don’t mean what you expect! A good example is ‘trans man’: this word (phrase) is use for a person who is female-bodied transitioning to the male gender, not a male-bodied man who is going to transition to the female gender.
  • FTM
    Female-to-male trans person; born in female body; changing to male gender.

  • Gender
    Understanding oneself as a man or a woman (among other possibilities). This can be understood as the internal understanding of a ‘social’ experience. Typically, but not always, a person with a male body will have the gender identity of a man.

  • Intersexed
    An intersexed person was born with ambiguous genitalia. Often, (especially in the past), a sex and gender is assigned by a doctor while the child is an infant. Sometimes, intersexed people realize the doctor chose incorrectly, and change their gender.

  • MTF
    Male-to-female trans person; born in male body, changing to female gender.

  • Sex
    Physical characteristics; male or female (many variations possible, even within common understandings).

  • Tranny
    1. A demeaning, sexualing term for a trans person; usually a trans woman. 2. Familiar form of ‘trans’; shorter than saying ‘transgendered’ or ‘transsexual’. Advice: Don’t use it, unless you are one (compare with ‘faggot’ and other reclaimed words).

  • Trans
    This is the most generic term; commonly used just as a shorter version of ‘transgender’ and ‘transsexual”. It might be used by a person who is socially transitioning, but such is often not the case. A trans person may simply be saying “I refuse to self-identify according to old rules’. Gender carries a lot of weight, and choosing to be ‘trans’ points that out.

  • Trans man
    FTM, m2m, transguy, trannyboy, etc: use Male pronouns.

  • Trans woman
    MTF, f2f, trannygirl, etc.: use Female pronouns.

  • Transgendered/Transsexual
    A person who does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth; a person who is living as their selected gender. Some people use one word or the other to mean has taken hormones and/or undergone surgery (perhaps particularly ‘transsexual’, but it varies. There is no set usage. The basics remain the same.