Music, Art, and Literature

McBride Day

Sarah McBride was president of the American University student body when she came out as transgender in 2012. Having worked on Beau Biden's 2010 campaign for AG of Delaware and Jack Markel's 2008 gubernatorial campaign, she had gained some connections that earned her a spot as a White House intern...becoming the first openly transgender woman to work in the White House.

In January 2013 Sarah joined the board of directors of Equality Delaware and was instrumental in Delaware passing anti-discrimination protections for transgender people. Sarsh moved on to work at the Center for American Progress. New Statesman has predicted that she will be the first transgender American to be elected to high office,

Sarah has posted a viral selfie to social media:


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There's the problem right there.

The adult entertainment site GameLink has released the best selling porn titles in North Carolina, which are My TS Teacher, Shemale Shenanigans, and Joey Silvera'a Trans-Visions 6.

We have seen significant growth in the viewing of TS movies in North Carolina since 2012. Viewing TS movies has increased 64.3 percent [for North Carolina]; our average state increase during this time is 47 percent.

--Jeff Dillon, Vice President of eLine, GameLink's parent company




Agender. Genderqueer. Androgyne.

Even amongst transgender people there are ways of being that some find difficult to understand.

But we try to live with it....sure in the knowledge that there is no mold that any of us should be carved out of.



Gender development

Vanessa LoBue, assistant professor of psychology at Rutgers-Newark, has contributed an article at The Conversation that was forwarded to me: When do children develop their gender identity?

It turns out that for young children, initial concepts about gender are quite flexible. In my own research, I’ve found that children don’t begin to notice and adopt gender-stereotyped behaviors (e.g., preferring colors like pink or blue) until the age of two or three. A few years later, their concept of gender becomes quite rigid, and although it becomes more relaxed by middle childhood, even adults have trouble going back to thinking about gender as something that’s flexible.




Total measure of a perv

Fayetteville, Arkansas republican alderman John LaTour approached an employee of a Cary Arsaga restaurant Saturday demanding that she choose a gender, claiming that he could not tell if she were a man or a woman.

He then explained that he was a man and could prove it by dropping his pants and showing his penis. That is bullying behavior and unacceptable on so many levels. Please call any news outlets you know and alert them to his “protests.” I doubt offering to expose yourself would be considered protected speech even by the right wing activist Dugger family who funded his campaign. He should be kicked out of office.

--Gavin Smith, civil engineer

Indeed, LaTour has made no secret of his hatred of LGBT people and has called himself the candidate of "Conservative Values." He even earned a $2000 campaign donation from Michelle and JimBob Duggar.

While running for office, La Tour promised to overturn Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance, prohibiting landlords and business owners from evicting or firing someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status.




Human Interest

 photo Marcelas_zpsh0yuokcu.jpgMarcelas Owens created quite a stir six years ago as the "Obamacare Kid." At the time he was a chubby 11-year-old African-American boy in a black vest who watched President Obama sign the AFA into law.

Marcelas' mother died because she didn't have health insurance, Owens says. She was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2006. Her illness caused her to miss days at work, which led to her losing her job. She was denied Medicaid because she had earned too much money working the previous year.

So Marcelas started attending Obamacare rallies and "gave a human face to an abstract political isse."

Marcelas stepped into a new role. While other kids his age could barely mumble while speaking before a class, he was speaking to crowds of up to 6,000 people at rallies. At one rally in Seattle, he met U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from the state of Washington.

And when the Affordable Care Act was passed, he was invited to the White House signing ceremony. He still talks about the experience with a sense of awe.

"I got a high five and fist bump from Barack Obama!"

So this is all old news and some of you may have heard this story and more.



Shakespeare on transgender

University of British Columbia professor of English Literature Mary Ann Saunders is presenting at a conference which begins on Thursday. The conference is called 2016/Moving Trans History Forward: Building Communities -- Sharing Conections and it is being held at the University of Victoria. Keynote speakers are Jamison Green of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and SiriusXM founder Martine Rothblatt.

Professor Saunders' paper is The (Transgender) Tempest: Shakespeare as Trans Archive. She will be speaking, of course, about the character Ariel, the spirit who is the sorcerer Prospero's indentured servant.

On three occasions during the play, Prospero orders Ariel to take on female form.




 photo LillyWachowski.0_zpsxkebeoul.jpgThat title is the one Lilly Wachowski wrote for her own coming out yesterday. Her sister Lana came out in 2012.

There's the headline I've been waiting for this past year. Up until now with dread and/or eye rolling exasperation. The "news" has almost come out a couple of times. Each was preceded by an ominous email from my agent—reporters have been asking for statements regarding the "Andy Wachowski gender transition" story they were about to publish. In response to this threatened public outing against my will, I had a prepared a statement that was one part piss, one part vinegar and 12 parts gasoline.

It had a lot of politically relevant insights regarding the dangers of outing trans people, and the statistical horrors of transgender suicide and murder rates. Not to mention a slightly sarcastic wrap-up that "revealed" my father had injected praying mantis blood into his paternal ball-sac before conceiving each of his children to produce a brood of super women, hellbent on female domination.

Okay, mega sarcastic.

But it didn't happen. The editors of these publications didn't print a story that was only salacious in substance and could possibly have a potentially fatal effect. And being the optimist that I am, I was happy to chalk it up to progress.

--Lilly Wachowski



Overture. Dim the Lights

I hear it all the time. We transgender people just have to wait for our time; We're just too new.

A team of trans people are busy putting the lie to that. We've Been Around is series of documentary shorts that chronicle the lives of Lucy, STAR, Albert, Little Ax, and Lou. They are directed by Rhys Ernst, produced by Christine Beebe and the narration is done by transgender people. The team includes Transparent actress Alexandra Billings, writer and filmmaker Susan Stryker and trans historian Monica Roberts.

I know it's terribly bad form to write a diary that asks the readers to go somewhere else and then come back. But I sure hope you do. The videos do not embed well.



Returning the snub

 photo ANOHNI_zps8uavsp2u.jpg

Last week, when the list of this year's Academy Awards performers and presenters was announced, ANOHNI's name was not on it. Despite being nominated for Best Original Song for "Manta Ray," her collaboration with J. Ralph from the documentary Racing Extinction, she will not play the song live on the broadcast. (Organizers reportedly cut the performance due to "time constraints.") Nor will she attend the ceremony. Now, in a powerful, no-holds-barred essay, ANOHNI explains her decision not to attend.   









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