Music, Art, and Literature

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



A Costa Rica retrospective

crossposted from: Humanitarian Left

from Humanitarian Left, 12 July, 2014

I've been back in the USA for about a month now. I discussed how that came to be in Early morning, Cahuita, my last diary from Costa Rica, one of a series documenting our journey originally posted at Daily Kos.

Previous episodes in this series include:

Adios Gringolandia

Pura Vida

I used to have kidneys - then I took the road to Tamarindo

Kossacks in Paradise – Mike and Alice Olson of Nosara


Life in the Irie Zone

Life is hard, even in Cahuita

Life in the Jungle

Early morning, Cahuita

This is my latest Photoshop painting. Inspired by our journey, it's called, Tucano.




Some words about "Star Wars"

I'm writing this short piece more or less as a commentary on the various news releases now issued in advance of "Star Wars Episode VII," the forthcoming Star Wars motion picture. Watching "Star Wars" movies makes me want to imagine an alternative historical time-line in which "Star Wars" didn't exist, and some other more deserving story popularized the genre of space opera in film.




Gender Prison: Anti-transgender violence

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has a new report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2013.

The report says that 55% of LGBTQ and HIV+ people are assault survivors.

Out of all groups surveyed by NCAVP transgender women (especially transgender women of color) are most likely to be homicide victims. Transgender women and transgender people of color are also the most likely to be victims of police brutality. Transgender women and transgender people of color are six times more likely to experience physical violence from police officers as a general LGBTQ person.

Only 24% of hate violence incidents reported by LGBTQ people were classified by police as bias crimes in 2013. In 2012 77% of hate violence incidents report by LGBTQ people were classified as bias crimes by police.

Immigration status is also an important factor. Immigrant LGBTQ and HIV+ survivors were 3.4 times as likely to experience sexual violence.




Time announces our victory...or defeat

It has been a long, hard struggle.

And it is not over yet.

But this is progress. Time Magazine has declared that this society has reached the "transgender tipping point."

I'm not a subscriber, but Zack Ford at Think Progress informs me that June 9, 2014 issue of the magazine includes "an extensive Transgender 101 article" that covers many of the issues affecting our community, photo essays of some of the transgender people who have influenced American and world culture (no, I am not included)...both living and dead (Kye Alums, Cassidy Campbell, Carmen Carrera, Candis Cayne, Lynn Conway, Caroline Cossey, Laverne Cox, Paisley Currah, Jamie Ewing, Fallon Fox, Rose Hayes, Christine Jorgensen, Isis King, Lana Lawlwss, Ashton Lee, Chelsea Manning, Janet Mock, Mike Penner/Christine Daniels, Renee Richards, Sylvia Rivera, Amanda Simpson, Lea T, Jenna Talackova, Brandon Teena, Billy Tipton, and Lana Wachowski), and an interview with Ms. Cox.



No prom for this girl because her boyfriend is transgender

 photo enhanced-11636-1397599337-13_zpscebc2993.jpgAnais Celini, 18, attends Martin Luther High School in Maspeth, NY. She is a senior and was planning to go to the prom with her boyfriend, Nathaniel Baez. Not so fast says the private Christian high school. Nathaniel is transgender. The school says that this is "unconventional," so Nathaniel attending would not be "beneficial" to the proceedings.

Celini says the school views them as a same-sex couple.

Rather than engage the school in a knock-down/drag-out, the couple has decided to create their own prom.

I’m not going to fight them, that wasn’t the point. It’s a big night for everybody and I don’t want to cause a scene.






Gender Prison: Trans woman finalist in model search

 photo amyb_zpsed6cdb59.jpgAmy Brosnahan, 18, is aspiring to be a model. In an attempt to further her career, Amy entered herself in the Battle of the Babes beauty contest modeling competition, which is apparently a worldwide search.

She advanced through the early rounds of the competition, but it didn’t feel right.

I felt really weird going into the competition not telling them what I am really about, what I stand for.

—Amy Brosnahan

So she told the organizers that she was assigned male at birth. The woman she told asked her if she had had surgery yet.

She was really keen for me until she knew I was transgender.

Amy's prize for being up front about herself was being told that the event was “for female models only.” So Amy called them out for discrimination.

Just because I am transgender, it doesn’t mean I am not female.





Transgender artists at the Whitney

 photo drucker_03biennial08_800_zps4493c8c6.jpgRhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker are doing their part to bring the transgender influence to pop culture.

Rhys and Zackary met at a bar in the East Village in 2005. They were both aspiring to be artists…or rather, they were artists who were aspiring to be better known. Rhys was a graduate of Hampshire College and was working for MTV. Zackary was a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and was appearing on a reality show called Artstar, created by Jeffrey Deitch which was available on Dish TV's Gallery HD.

Their self-identifications at the time were an impediment to any instant romance. Rhys had never dated a man. Zackary had never dated a woman.

I remember thinking, "if I ever dated a boy, that’s the type of boy I’d date."


But over the last five years they have both transitioned…Zackary from male to female and Rhys from female to male.

They have a photo exhibition, Relationship, at the Whitney Biennial in New York. The exhibit consists of 46 chromogenic prints.




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