Tag Archives: transgendered

Free From Gender Stereotypes (?)

23 May

As a prepubescent boy, I remember watching a PBS special about gender and how from the moment we are born people force gender stereotypes upon us.  The special I watched back in the 1970s even reported that assigning a blue or pink blanket to a newborn is already fraught with expectations for that respective gender.  Somehow I knew in my heart this to be true and thus the PBS special really resonated with me.

Now as a middle aged man who focuses on gender identity/conformity and issues around sexual orientation I am even more concerned with how children grow up and the expectations adults thrust upon them.  I came across an article about a couple with a precious, beautiful baby named Storm.  The couple, David and Witterick, have decided to keep Storm’s gender a secret for now.  Storm will be raised without gender expectations or stereotypes.  Witterick, Storm’s mothers says:

When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?…If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.

I applaud David and Witterick and can only imagine how liberating it must be for Storm to grow up as a human being and blossom into the gender that is appropriate for Storm.  Here I think it is appropriate to underscore the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity.  While there is some overlap between gender identity and sexual orientation, the two are quite different. I am cisgendered, which means that my brain and emotions match my physical gender.  Someone who is transgendered the physical does not match up with the brain and emotions.  Storm will grow up with out any pressure from the family as to gender identity.  When one looks at the statistics of how many transgendered people endure bullying, the correlation between bullying and suicide, depression and contracting STDs, the need to grow up without expectations around gender is imperative for the health and safety of our youth. I’m hopeful and happy for Storm.  Click here to see the full story.

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Dark side of humanity…

23 Apr

These are the types of stories that make me a complete misanthrope.  Yesterday, I learned that a transgendered woman was beaten at a McDonald’s restaurant in Maryland. The attack happened April 18 at a McDonald’s in Rosedale in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave.  Unfortunately, this disgusting beating is not the whole story.  Rather than help the woman who was being beaten by the two bullies, the McDonald’s employees filmed the beating on their iphones–this is the part that makes me sick and lose faith in humanity. At least the manager of the store did yell at the bullies/attackers and an elderly female customer tried to help. Please take action here!  Click here to see the full article and learn how you can contact McDonald’s to let them know that their employees are not only cowards, but by video taping the attack, they are abusers themselves.

Bell Nuntita: Transgendered Woman’s Road to Fame

20 Mar

Bell Nuntita: Inspirational

Thank you to my friend Tim Jung for sharing this story and inspiring me to write an article for TSM. I’m also happy that I get to publish this story during Women’s History Month.  While I’m quite sad that anything that is gender non-conformist and unacceptable under the Patriarchal heteronormative power dynamic is deemed less than worthy, I take hope in the triumph of Bell Nuntita. Nuntita recalls the bullying she experienced growing up, before transitioning:

They’d always made fun of me, called me ‘fag’, ‘drag queen’, but what could I possibly do?  And my dad never accepted [me] for what I am. The worst, he once beat me badly. He tried to beat me until I quit being gay. I want to tell my dad that I love him, and that I made finally it now.

I applaud Nuntita for living her life honestly and for inspiring future generations. I hope you watch the entire video and read the subtitles, it is difficult not to cry while watching.   Click here to see the full article and video.

Enlightenment in Texas (?)

1 Mar

Hopefully the Next Mayor of Amarillo

Thanks to my friend Amanda for sharing this story. Transgendered woman, Sandra Dunn, is running for mayor in Amarillo, Texas.  Ms. Dunn is running against the bigoted David Grisham, director of Repent Amarillo, a religious, fundamentalist group. Grisham is quoted as saying: “Houston should be boycotted because its mayor, Annise Parker, is a lesbian.”  I’m not quite sure he believes in Liberty for all. Ms. Dunn supports better sex education in schools. I will be following this mayoral race very closely, as I hope others will. Here is an opportunity for Texas to shine and say, ” We refuse to elect bigots to positions of civil servants.” Perhaps Grisham and Franklin can set up their own state, detached from the continental United States.  Click here to see the full article.

Human Rights Campaign: You can do better

29 Jan

My understanding of the HRC is that it is a lobbying group specifically for the LGBT community.  There are times when I can say I’m glad I donated money to this organization, but I must confess there are times when I feel like it is a rich white boy club–and I’m a white boy, but not rich.  I recently read that the HRC is going to be offering workshops to help transgendered people look for jobs, called the, “Back to Work: Empowering Transgender Job Seekers.”   While I think that is wonderful, it does seem like the HRC is throwing some crumbs to our transgendered brothers and sisters.  What about taking some action regarding how difficult it is for transgendered people to serve in the military, or even just going through airport security?  HRC, as a gay white man, I think you can do better by our transgendered sisters and brothers.  Read the full article here.

Support For Transgender Community

24 Jan

Hir Poem

Thanks to my friend Alan for sharing this lovely video. I truly believe the more we stand together and stand united the more we are able to claim our power.  We are the LGBTQ community and we must support all in our community and we must all be engaged in the fight for equality. Click here to see this powerful video.

Recommit to Stopping Discrimination on MLK Holiday

17 Jan

Two Spirits, Fred Martinez

Thank you to my friend Allison for sharing this troubling and powerful story.  Fred Martinez was a nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine essence, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture.  I used the past tense because he was brutally murdered.  He was only sixteen when he was slain by a young man who bragged to friends that he had “bug-smashed a fag.”  Martinez was of two spirits, both masculine and feminine energy.  I strongly encourage all to see Two Spirits, the story of Fred Martinez.  Click here to see the video clip and read the article in full. What kind of civilization brutally kills a young person like Martinez?  Surely this is not what any type of divine being had in mind.  Martinez’ story is just a series of stories that I hope will motivate all of us to recommit to stopping discrimination–what better way to honor the late Dr. King?

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