Music, Art, and Literature


Two weeks ago I posted about a trans teen in Kansas City, Landon Patterson, who was elected to be homecoming queen at Oak Park High School: The difference support makes.

 photo landon_zps4gurkopd.jpgSoon after her election, Landon started receiving hate from the Twitterverse.

Everything was such a fairy tale and the world stopped for a minute. People, like, hate me. And now there is a group that hates me, going out of their way to be mean to me.


We might have guessed. The folks at Westboro Baptist have decided they need to picket OPHS...and that was on for today. They spout something about landmarks...which I completely don't get.

Do these people not work? How do they go to these protests all over the place? I’ll be working, but Landon knows I’ll be there with her.

--Debbie Hall, Landon's mother



If they don't count us, then we don't count


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Laverne Cox appeared Monday at the Social Good Summit on a panel with Shelby Chestnut, co-director of community organizing and public advocacyat the Anti-Violence Project and Cecelia Chung, senior strategist of the Transgender Law Center.

The subject of the Census arose.

Census data has historically focused on the binary gender options: male and female. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox is critical of that fact. The census doesn’t include her, and people like her, by assuming everyone is born into the gender they will forever identify.

I was thinking that visibility is only part of the equation. We must have social policy, systemic change. And then I thought about the census. Systemically, this idea of the gender binary is very much institutionalized in the fact that we just don't count trans people.




The Pump don't work...

..cause the vandals stole the handle.

A group of graffiti artists (BlakCollectiv), led by Kalkidan Assefa, created an impressive, and legal, mural during Ottawa's Pride Week honoring transgender women of color who had been murdered during the past year.




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On Wednesday night an unknown person or group who were offended by the memorial spray painted over much of the mural and added these sentiments:





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Teachable moment gone viral

 photo livhnilicka_zpsowj8weci.jpgLiv Hnilicka is a Minneapolis waitress. She shared a story on Facebook on Sunday that has gone viral.

This afternoon I was at my waitressing job on a beautiful early fall afternoon. Two parents and their young daughter came in; the tall burly dad adorably scratching his back on the door as they walked in. As I was filling the water station, he came up to me and said, "My daughter just asked if you were a boy or a girl. I didn't want to speak for you so would you like to talk to her?" I nervously said yes and walked to their table. "Hi, I like your hair ribbon," I said. "I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl. I think the important thing to remember is that everyone can be anything they want to be in this world. And it's also important to try to be the best selves we can be for our family and friends. And even to strangers. So to answer your question, I was told that I was a boy when I was little and now I live my adult life as a girl. It sounds complicated but it's actually pretty simple. Do you have any questions for me?" She looked at me smiling and simply said, "Nope!"

I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics. And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing.

Way to go, mom and dads out there making space for transfolks/gnc people like me. ❤

(Also I made this post public in case you want to share it with parents you may know.)

--Liv Hnilicka



Hooper: The film industry has a problem with transgender actors

Tom Hooper spoke with the Guardian prior to the premier of The Danish Girl at the Venice Film Festival.






Access for trans actors to both trans and cisgender roles is utterly key. In the industry at the moment there is a problem: there is a huge pool of talent of trans actors, and access to parts is limited. I would champion any shift where the industry embraces trans actors. and celebrates trans film-makers.

--Tom Hooper

Without explicitly acknowledging the controversy surrounding the casting of Eddie Redmayne, a non-trans actor, in the lead role of Einar Wegener – the real-life Danish painter who underwent a series of operations in the early 1930s to become Lili Elbe – Hooper said:

There’s something in Eddie that is drawn to the feminine; he’s played women before, most notably Viola in Twelfth Night. In our film, Lili is presented as a man for two-thirds of the movie, and her transition happens quite late on, so that played a part in coming to a decision.




Family Circle spotlights family with transgender child

The August issue of Family Circle magazine is featuring parents with a transgender child for the first time in its 83 years of existence.

 photo Family Circle_zpsk8mnbngr.jpgThe article features Jodie Patterson, her partner Joseph Ghartey and their transgender son, 7-year old, Penel. The couple also have four other children. Penel is in the blue shirt.

We had to take the time to learn. It’s been an eye-opening experience that’s given all of us a better understanding of the world. I’m just starting to comprehend ‘identity’ in its true meaning.


There has been backlash on the Family Circle Facebook page.



Tangerine: Transgender comedy flick

Sean Baker is an independent filmmaker. He's been known for the films Take Out and Prince of Broadway. He also is responsible for the television series Greg the Bunny and Warren the Ape.

 photo tngerine_zpsvfjlqdov.jpgBaker has a new film that came out on Thursday. Baker co-created Tangerine, along with Chris Bergoch, which centers on a donut shop near his home in Hollywood. The film's actors are transgender women Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and James Ransone from The Wire.

The film was financed by the Duplass Brothers on an extremely low budget and shot using three iPhone 5S smartphones with anamorphic adapters. Film production began on Christmas Eve 2013 and wrapped on January 18, 2014.

Tangerine's world premier was at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2015. World rights were purchased by Magnolia Pictures which is handling distribution and advertising in what is being called a limited release.



Donation replaced nearly three times over

Three days ago the Girl Scouts of Western Washington (GSWW) refused a donation of $100K because it came with the stipulation that none of the money be used to benefit transgender girls. That's old news by now.

That money would have been one third of the GSWW budget for the year, so GSWW started a campaign on indiegogo in an effort to replace it.







The campaign is called #ForEVERYGirl. In three days so far (28 days left) neearly 6000 donors have donated $286,820.



650-year-old dress code modified

St. Catherine's College is one of the colleges that make up the University of Cambridge and was founded in 1473. The college has approximately 70 fellows, 150 graduate students and 410 undergraduates, so it is small by American standards.

The college opened its doors to women in 1979.

 photo Charlie_zpstduimsbg.jpgWhen American post-graduate student Charlie Northrup, from Richmond, IN, who has been studying classics at St. Catz began to transition from male to female earlier this year, she began a campaign to alter the dress code of the college, a dress code which has been in place for six and a half centuries. That would seem to be a bit of a daunting task.

Previously male students had been required to wear "smart trousers and jacket with a tie at formal events, while women had been required to wear either a skirt and blouse or a dress. Now Mark Eliot, dean of the college, has announced a rewording of the dress code in the hopes of accommodating gender-variant students.

The staff are instructed to refuse admission to anyone coming to Formal Hall improperly dressed.




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