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  • 20 Apr 2013

    Watch this. Funny, smart, charming, inspiring - and wonderfully delivered.

    Lana Wachowski, the transgender half of the Wachowski siblings (writers, directors and producers of the Matrix trilogy, Cloud Atlas etc) was recently given a "Visibility Award" by the the US organisation, HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and her acceptance speech is a must-watch thirty minutes.

     

    gender | trans | people | movies
    Comments 3

  • 27 Mar 2013

    What we call ourselves - and just who "we" are - is still a thorny issue

    In the current issue of GCN a column by the magazine's Deputy Editor has created a lot of heat. Check out the comments under the article (or on Twitter or Facebook).

    In her column, Ciara McGrattan argues that the "LGBT...QIA..." label has become too unwieldy and suggests that we should return to basics and simply use the term "gay". Along the way, she argues that trans folk, and bisexuals, and other groups should be excluded, unless they are currently sexually attracted to someone of their own sex, i.e. a trans lesbian is in, but a trans woman who is attracted to men is out. 

    As was to be expected, a lot of people have taken great offence and the editor of GCN has responded, defending the printing of controversial or difficult opinion - and attracting a lot more angry comment.

    Which of course is fair enough. I think a large part of the offence comes from the fact that this was printed in GCN which is supposed to be a "safe haven" for our community - including it's trans members - so it feels a lot like a slap in the face to read within GCN someone arguing to exclude some of our community. And to make matters worse it's written by the magazine's Deputy Editor, and it's hard to argue that it's simply her personal opinion and not that of the magazine's when she carries that title.

    But, you can also argue that GCN has fulfilled it's remit to provoke debate and an exchange of ideas. You'll have to take your pick!

    On a personal note... I am abolutely happy of course to have our trans and bisexual comrades - and anyone else who doesn't fit the traditional sex or gender roles - under the same umbrella. I suspect it makes our community stronger, and while there may be differences in our struggles, there are enough common threads.

    However, I do wish we could agree on a simple umbrella term. I think the ever lengthening acronym is confusing and off-putting to people outside our community. It makes our case a harder sell. But what the simpler umbrella term is...? Sheesh! Search me! I like "queer" but I know lots of people hate it. I was speaking at an event with Senator David Norris last week and in my speech I referred to him as a "queer warrior" and he hated it, lol! "Puff" or "fairy" he was fine with, but not "queer".

    The other thing I sometimes wonder is if it actually serves the trans community well to put themselves under the broader sexuality umbrella, rather than fight their fight under their own gender umbrella? Is their hand strengthened by associating with a larger group with whom they share a natural affinity, or is their case weakened? Are their waters muddied, so-to-speak, by issues of sexuality rather than gender? I don't know. But it seems clear that the trans community has, in general, decided it strengthens their hand, and that being so, I'm certainly happy to have them on board. Being T is definitely a harder path to find yourself on than being L, G or B, so the last thing they need is to be excluded from our already diverse and rag-tag group just because the name is a bit of a mouthful.

     

    gay politics | trans | gender | ideas
    Comments 16

  • 11 Mar 2013

    Carmen Carrera is gorgeous

    And she always seems very sweet. Carmen was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race a few seasons ago befor she transitioned.

     

    trans
    Comments 1

  • 22 Feb 2013

    Transgender Polish MP in Dublin last weekend

    Anna Grodzka, who became Europe's first transgender member of parliament after being elected in 2011, was in Dublin last weekend to address a conference that addressed poverty and social exclusion in the LGBT community.

     

    trans | politics
    Comments 0

  • 24 Jan 2013

    Complaint against Meteor ad upheld by Advertising Standards Authority

    The ASAI has upheld the complaint against that Meteor ad made by TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland).

    The advertisement caused widespread offence in the transgendered community and the ASAI upheld two complaints of its voluntary code. The first states that advertisements should not cause offence on several grounds including sexual orientation. The second states that such groups should not be subject to "ridicule or offensive humour".

    Lots of people thought TENI were being overly sensitive - even I thought they were a little at first till I read a few opinions from trans bloggers/writers - but if you are in any doubt, just reading the comments under the Irish Times report will convince you they were right. Some of the comments make for depressing reading - there's a lot of ignorance out there.

     

    ads | trans
    Comments 3

  • 14 Jan 2013

    A couple more pieces in the fallout from the transphobia/Moore/Burchill row

    Following the whole row, many people have waded in, but here's a couple of pieces worth reading.

    An open letter to Suzanne Moore from trans journalist Paris Lees in Diva magazine.

    And things looks bad for The Observer when The Telegraph comes off as the reasonable one.

     

    UPDATE: The editor of The Observer has "withdawn" Julie Burchill's article from publication and apologised.

    Statement from John Mulholland, editor of The Observer:

    We have decided to withdraw from publication the Julie Burchill comment piece 'Transsexuals should cut it out'. The piece was an attempt to explore contentious issues within what had become a highly-charged debate. The Observer is a paper which prides itself on ventilating difficult debates and airing challenging views. On this occasion we got it wrong and in light of the hurt and offence caused I apologise and have made the decision to withdraw the piece. The Observer Readers' Editor will report on these issues at greater length.

    The comments posted beneath the article have also been removed in line with our deletion process and as a result these comments will no longer appear in individual users' profiles.

     

     

    media | trans
    Comments 0

  • 13 Jan 2013

    The whole Suzanne Moore/transphobia/Julie Burchill (and more) row

    So, the other day respected feminist/commentator Suzanne Moore kicked off a relatively minor shitstorm with accusations of transphobia flying in one direction, and accusations of bully trans activists flying in the other. I say "relatively minor" because for the first few days it was mostly confined to those of us with an interest in (trans)gender politics who spend a lot of time on the internet. But then Julie Burchill - who has both a big mouth and a big platform - wrote a really nasty piece of transphobic tripe in The Guardian in defence of her friend Moore and the storm has moved out of the teacup ind into the frying pan.

    But as is often the case with these things, following the furore is a mixed bag: thought-provoking, entertaining, enraging, educational, frustrating, disappointing...

    I'll post a selection of links below to get you up to speed, but just for the record:

    I think the reaction to Moore's original comment was over-the-top. I understand exactly what she meant and I don't believe any of the gorgeous Brazilian transsexuals I know would have taken offence. They are (rightly) proud of their pneumatic beauty.

    Moore's response to honest upset over the remark did nothing to help her. She showed herself to be dismissive, arrogant, and unconcerned and ignorant of trans women and real trans issues.

    As is often the case with internet debates, crass accusations were thrown on both sides.

    I quite like Julie Burchill but am well aware she can be an asshole sometimes, and absolutely nothing excuses the horribly offensive screed she wrote. It's completely gross and betrays an astounding ignorance of trans women and the real and present dangers, intimidation, and discrimination they face daily. (Actually unbelievable ignorance, which makes you wonder is she just trollling, with complete disregard for the targets of her trolling - in which case it's not just trolling, it's despicable)

    Anyway, if you think you are up for it, here you go:

    Suzanne Moore's original article for the Neew Statesman. The article is actually about female anger and the throw-away comment about "brazilian transsexuals" only comes towards the end, in the fourth last paragraph.

    Cue a lot of outrage on Twitter etc and Moore rejecting all criticism. This article tries to explain why people were upset: 265 Brazilian transsexuals were murdered in Brazil in 2012.

    Moore then writes an article for The Guardian which does nothing to help her case - she trivialises the trans experience and basically says their concerns are too unimportant for her to care about.

    Which provoked considered responses like this one.

    Then, because the fire was still contained, along comes Julie Burchill in the Observer/Guardian and throws a big drum of deliberately transphobic petrol on it, and the internet explodes.

    There are lots of good responses to Burchill's screed online, but here's one from a trans perspective.

     

    trans
    Comments 3

  • 10 Jan 2013

    A three year photo journey from male to female

    This trans YouTuber took "roughly one thousand pictures" of herself during her three year transition, starting when she was 20 years old, documenting the changes, especially the results of her facial feminisation surgery.

    She was a beautiful 20 year old boy and she ended up a gorgeous young woman.

     

    trans
    Comments 1

  • 30 Dec 2012

    RuPaul talks to New York's transvestite hookers in 1992

    The Meat Packing District, like all of Manhattan, has changed a lot since this was filmed.

     

    usa | sex | trans
    Comments 2

  • 22 Dec 2012

    Amazing

    This trans lady has seen it all. Stick with her to the end.

     

    trans | tv
    Comments 1

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