Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Land of a thousand words

January 31, 2009

This afternoon a young friend contacted me, he was very upset about a debate that had been lingering  on a blog about an article in the Dallas Voice and the use of the word  “tranny.”

My young friend was upset because he was being wrongly accused of being a transphobic bigot.  I’ve known of this young, gay man for quite some time and his work with the lgbt community has been fantastic. He is in his early 20s has only lived in very progressive states and has been engulfed in the lgbt culture of his time which includes the use of the word, Tranny.  The vast majority of his friends are 20 something year old transgender people who live a San Francisco. They use the word, Tranny in a matter of fact tone, not to belittle nor as a derogatory term but with pride and empowerment.

The person who is upset with this young man is a middle aged transgender woman who lives in the not so progressive state of Texas. This leaves a culture, age and geographical gap. My young friend, who was absolutely crushed by the transgender person’s accusations, asked me for my opinion on the matter and use of the word, Tranny. Here is what I wrote:

I use the word tranny in my broadcast title (the radical trannies) and I use it when I speak to other trangender people. I never use it as a term of disrespect. Do I believe in the reclaiming of words and their use of empowerment? Indeed I do. However, I would never think of referring to RuPaul as either  a nigger or a faggot. I have no problem using the word Queer because it is a general term and socially acceptable within our community.

I understand that the word tranny is being used and reclaimed by a younger population in a variety of geographical areas but it is still not widely used as a term of endearment and I highly doubt that the writer of the Dallas voice is all that endeared to transgender people. The Dallas Voice has a history of quite the contrary.  To top it off, Texas has the 3rd highest rate of trangender murders in the country and the unemployment rate for trangender people is off the charts. Most people who are transgender and live in TX, live way below the poverty level.
Many transgender people live in a world where the use of the word tranny is the same as being called a faggot, nigger or in some cases, what it was like to have a person call a black man “boy,” back in the 60s.

I wasn’t all that happy with the idea that the Dallas Voice used RuPaul as the official spokes person for the transgender community, since he has repeated more than once that he is NOT a transgender person but a gay man in drag.

The next time there is a question about gay culture, do you think the Dallas Voice will make me the official spokesman?

My young friend understands and agrees but is upset that he didn’t get the chance to express himself. He should have been given that chance. The only way we are going to bridge the gaps are with an open dialogue and communication. As for the Dallas Voice, they should really get a clue.

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Losing My Religion

September 26, 2008

This is probably one of the hardest posts for me to write because my relationship with God has always been a personal one. I have never found the need or desire to push my faith into the face of others and I don’t plan to start now. I would, however, like to defend myself. It is getting increasingly difficult to feel welcome in a community that has become increasingly hostile to people who are Christians.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I totally get that the anger is actually directed toward those pseudo Christians. People who claim to be Christians but are actually hate mongers who use the bible as a tool of war, hatred and bigotry. The people who have co-opted an organized religion and shaped into something dirty and disgusting with fund raising capabilities that are tax deductible. Our Government has given these people a license to discriminate and they use it. They use it against each and every one of us in the LGBT community and call themselves righteous. They have packaged it and marketed it and sent it off sailing on the right wing. Yes, I get it.

Somewhere between all of this are the people who are Christian who are suffering the collateral damage that these pseudo Christians have caused. It is very hurtful when I hear people that I know and love in our community talk about how terrible and hateful the Christians are. I don’t want to hide who I am or be shamed. I’ve had enough of that in my life already.

It’s bad enough that I have lost my religion to these right wing zealots, I don’t want to lose my community too. We need to be mindful of the language we use when describing those who oppress us.

One more thing, if I haven’t said this yet, thank you for being in my life.

(Karen…have you seen my testosterone, I think I need a shot)!

Entitlement

September 1, 2008

Entitlement

A very good friend of mine just explained entitlement in the way it pertains to transgender people who live in the United States where we don’t have nondiscrimination laws in place but where they are trying to add sexual orientation only. Here is what she has to say:

“I haven’t met many trans activists who are motivated because they are entitled. It just never comes up where they say they feel entitled.  I have met Log Cabin Republicans who “know” they are “entitled” and you know it when you are in the same room with them. They will let you know they are entitled.  They exclude us because they are entitled and we are not.”

Male privilege is only something I’ve experienced while living as a man or a woman but as soon as I am outed or disclose that I am trans, I have no privilege, no entitlement at all.
I don’t believe that incrementalism has a place in the life of a transgender person, we need to stop asking and start taking.

Instant Karma

August 12, 2008

I know a number of people in our community who travel extensively to educate, lobby and speak on behalf of our community. Some people do this for a living and have become professional speakers, some do it because they are leaders of national or local organizations and it is required of them. I admire and respect the work that they do on our behalf and I expect that the organization they work for are paying their expenses or they are being compensated as professional speakers.

Oh, but wait, there is another category of persons who will travel for cash and speak at either TDOR events, candlelight vigils or bereavement ceremonies only to further their public image. That’s right, go back and read that again. I said exactly what you think I said.

Over the years, I have been offered to have my travel expenses paid to go to events across the country to speak at Transgender Day of Remembrance events and other similar ceremonies and I can honestly tell you that, as poor as I am, I have refused the money and either paid my own way or in cases where that just was not possible, I had to decline the invitation. Maybe that sounds foolish of me but I’d much rather have the money go to a family who just lost someone they love to help them get along while they are taking time off work to attend a murder trial. A community who just suffered a loss doesn’t need to be spending money to cart someone’s ass across the country when there is a much bigger need then to hear some self promoting, self important person speak. I won’t name names here, you know who you are.

Naming of Parts

August 6, 2008

Yesterday while I was going over statistics for the transgender day of remembrance website, and breaking them down by year, by type of death, by State, by Country, I began to look around and notice everything else in the world. At that moment, a poem by Henry Reed popped into my head and I haven’t been able to get rid of it so I thought if I blog about it, it might go away. So here goes….

Naming of Parts

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

~Henry Reed

August 8, 1942

You Get What You Give

June 16, 2008

I have given up broadcasting my live show on TransFM and will instead donate the money I was spending on broadcasting, to Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. My Live broadcast will be suspended until transgender people in Massachusetts have equality. Please help us by donating to MTPC today.