Music, Art, and Literature

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.



Fresh Faces

 photo breannasinclaire_photobykenttaylor_zpsdbmofsir.jpgLast night was Pride Night at the Oakland A's inter-league baseball game against the San Diego Padres.

While a major focus of the event was the honoring of baseball's first openly gay baseball player, Glenn Burke, who played for the Dodgers and A's from 1976 to 1979 (Burke died in 1995 of AIDS complications), the game opened with Breanna Sinclairé singing the the National Anthem. Sinclairé is believed to be the first transgender person to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a professional sporting event.

Sinclairé is a soprano with four and a half octave range who is the first transgender graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

For those in the area Sinclairé is appearing at the Fresh Meat Festival tonight through Saturday and will be a guest artist with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus June 26-27.

Here is a sample of Breanna's talent:







Jewish group disinvites Huckabee because of bad optics

The Jewish National Fund of Canada has decided that they do not need to be linked to transphobia and so has canceled its invitation to Mike Huckabee to give the keynote address at Ottawa's Negev Dinner to benefit autism research in Israel.

JNF CEO Josh Cooper said that Huckabee had been invited because "he is a staunch supporter of the state of Israel" but the invitation was withdrawn because "the media spotlight has recently focused on Mr. Huckabee’s comments about issues that bear no relevance to JNF or autism." Cooper said that a replacement speaker would be announced in the coming weeks.

Michael Gennis, Ottawa real estate agent who is active in both Ottawa's Jewish and LGBT communities had helped to raise concerns of the invitation.

Gennis said he first learned of Huckabee being named JNF’s dinner speaker months ago, and although he generally supports JNF, he objects to the way its choice of speaker disenfranchises community members like him who are appalled by Huckabee’s “horribly offensive transgender comments.”

He also thought it was “a typical knee-jerk reaction from a Jewish organization bringing a speaker that supports Israel… without doing a lot of research about what people like [Huckabee] stand for.”



Transgender is Beautiful

When I am in most need of reminding myself how much the world has changed for the better, I'm most likely to tune in on "one of the moms." Like for instance Marlo Mack (actually, that's a pseudonym), also known as gendermom.

Marlo created an animation about herself and her child, entitled How to be a Girl





How to Be a Girl from gendermom on Vimeo






Because opportunities to hate are so rare

One of the stupidest efforts to promote transphobia is underway at Someone who claims to be Jennifer Bradford of Fort Worth, Texas is calling for Caitlyn Jenner to be stripped of her gold medal in the Olympic decathalon in 1976. The petition, written in the form of an open letter to the IOC opines:

Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa.

It is with a heavy heart that we must ask whether or not it is proper that Ms. Jenner should retain her Olympic records in light of this, as we must now either claim that Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner are two entirely different people (which we know is not true), or that Bruce Jenner was, in fact, a woman participating in a men's event.



On the lighter side

We trans people are generally thought to have absolutely no sense of humor about ourselves. Generally, our response to someone who says that is that we are still waiting for them to say something funny...because that line usually is said after they have said something quite offensive.

BBC Three's Free Speech gathered together several trans people to prepare the following video...which is humorous as well as (hopefully) educational): 11 Things To Never Ask A Transgender Person








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