Music, Art, and Literature

Papers to Pee bills fail in Kentucky and Florida

Kentucky's legislative session ended Tuesday. And with it, State Senator CB Embry, Jr.'s bill calling for the state to pay students to bully transgender students out of school restrooms ended as well.

We are elated that his mean-spirited legislation has failed and congratulate The Fairness Coalition for their tireless work to defeat the bill. Denying students access to bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with who they are is cruel. It is also illegal, as it violates Title IX’s anti-discrimination provisions as interpreted by the United States Departments of Justice and Education. This bill would have hurt already-vulnerable transgender students who regularly face bullying and other forms of harassment. TLDEF will continue to speak out against legislation designed to put transgender students in harm’s way.

--Michael Silverman, Executive Director, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

In Florida The Bradenton Herald reports that there was not time Monday to hear the Senate bathroom bill in the Criminal Justice Committee, which would ban transgender people from using the restrooms suitable for their gender unless they have state documentation proving their new gender.



Roundball Madness in Uganda

Jay Malucha is a 5' 2" point guard for the Magic Stormers. Williams Apako is a 5'6" small forward for the same team. The Magic Stormers play in the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association's women's league. But Jay and Williams both identify as transgender men.

Basketball was introduced to Ugandans by Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s.

 photo Jay_zpsxeaitakb.jpg

When Jay began playing basketball as a teenager, for example, there was no court at his boarding school. The boys would play on netball pitches at night, and Jay would play among them. “I was the only person born biologically female who liked basketball at that school,” Jay said, “and I was the only one with a ball at that time. 



Stretching gender boundaries

Former French Olympic swimmer Casey Legler is a male model. But she is a cisgender female.




 photo Casey-Legler-wearing-Give-001_zpscdtoy6y0.jpgThere is another video here...with more of Casey's story.

... I was in Brooklyn and there were, you know, this group of kids that was like coming down, as they do - where I come from we call them "the children", so all of like the gays and the queers - you know, the children, the kids. And they're walking down the street and one of them was particularly loud. And she was talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, talking, and then suddenly she goes, "I know who you are!" And she looks at me and she goes, "Thank you for doing what you're doing." And she tears up and she says, "You're making it OK for me to be here." At the end of the day, that's what I'm in the business of. Like, that's it. Like, if the image of me out there in the world makes it easier for one more kid to think that there's some f**king place for them, then that's the business I'm into.




Finding Voice and Community

I've struggled with writing the next several chapters, unsure of how to create any sort of wholeness out of the chaos they are meant to uncover. They were written at different times and under different circumstances over the past two decades, give or take.

I should apologize in advance for any repetition that is bound to be. They all cover the same basic theme...which could even reveal a title for the book. I'm thinking it may end up being something like A Place where I Belong...because that is indeed what I have sought my entire life.



Learning to Count Past Two

I wrote the following essay to read at a presentation I did to a graduate psychology class (future school psychologists) in Arkansas in the 90s. (Interesting side note: the professor who was interested in me talking to her students about gender did not gain tenure at UCA. I've often wondered why that was.)

The image to the right is entitled Boxes.

I read a paper by Jamison Green which includes some interesting thoughts about appearances such as this. I thought I'd read a bit I find quite humorous.

 photo JamisonGreen.jpg

Stepping in front of the class we become laboratory rats, frogs in the dissection tray, interactive multimedia learning experiences. 

"'How old were you when you first realized you were a frog, Mr. Green?'

"'How did your parents react when you told them you were a frog?"

"Do you date? Do you tell your partners you're a frog?"

"So how does it work? I mean, uh, can you, like, do it?"





This essay was first published in the summer of 2008. I've decided it belongs in my autobiography to represent the grey times.

it was a grey day, full of grey people leading their grey lives.

Hollow 3

Each day I can watch him trudging home from wherever he has been. Fortunately it is downhill from the bus stop to where he lives. He never smiles, eyes focused on the ground a few feet in front of his pace.

Beaten down.

The world so heavy that he can't even look up.

Shoulders sagging under the weight of the last straw, and the last straw before that... and the one before that. A succession of so many minor beatings to the ego that he flinches reflexively at anything, everything, expecting the worst

Back bent from too many sorrows.

And you want him to rise up?



Character Development

with Alicyn, 1993 photo wAlicyn.jpgAutobiography should not be only about the things to happened to me. If that was all it was, I would appear to be devoid of agency. It's also not only about the places I've been and events I have witnessed. That might rather be a travelogue. I believe my autobiography should reveal who I am...or have been...maybe even who I will be or might have been.

So I was looking for some essays I will be sharing in the next few days concerning Crises 1 and 2, when I stumbled upon something I wrote in April of 2006 and published to the 21st issue of Teacher's Lounge, which some may recall that I created and operated in the way back. It was a bit of a rant...and a bit of me.

An educated mind is an opened mind. An opened mind is a liberal mind. Teachers don't have to intend to create liberals, it happens naturally.

I am totally aware that the subject matter may chase away some of my readers. But any subject matter contains the seeds of that possibility.



Transgender Day of Celebration: Unlikely Sources


A dinner and community gathering to share in each other's company, meet new trans*-identified friends and give thanks for the love and support of our community. We will also be having a clothing exchange, so bring your pre-transition clothes that've been wasting away in the closet! 



Transgender Day of Celebration is an opportunity for trans people and all who love them to come together and celebrate. We celebrate our own trans lives, and we celebrate the trans people whose lives have touched ours.

--Jamez Terry, MCC Boston

I've added some stories from unusual sources to help establish the mood.



So much hate, so little reason...Laverne Cox explains it

On July 30 a 15-year old trans girl boarded a Metro green line train in the District of Columbia with a couple of her friends. One might assume that was a peaceful act.

But when 24-year old Reginald Anthony Klaiber of Greenbelt, MD boarded the same car on that train, he reacted to the trans girl violently. At first he disliked her hair color (the girl was wearing a red wig). Then he questioned her clothing. When the girl asked him to leave her alone, her friends say he asked her, "Are you a boy? Are you a boy? ...Why are you looking like a girl?"

He came to my friend and said you have red hair. My friend said ok, and then he said, ‘Oh, you’re a man!'

Then he started bothering my friend. My friend got up out of her seat to go by the door while the train was moving and told him to please leave her alone. He faced her and said I will stab you up and blow your brains out.

--Jae-la White, friend of the victim




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