Namoli Brennet

Every Friday evening I share a video of one of the musical artists that I have liked over the years.  Most are women, which does not mean that I only listen to and like female artists but rather reflects something of my feminist feelings that women in music are rather under represented.  In truth there are so many wonderful women performers out there I could feature a different artist several times a week.

I tend to shun those who are wildly famous unless they are so iconoclastic as to be too special to ignore like Lady Gaga

This weekend’s choice of a featured artist is Namoli Brennet.  I had never heard of her prior to seeing her singing over the closing credits on a LGBT/T show regarding the pain of coming out that appeared on Current TV.

My first reaction was gee she sounds like she would have recorded on Olivia records had she been around in the 1970s.  Her singing gave me the same warm and fuzzy feeling inside I get from Chris Williamson or Holly Near.  Shawn Colvin and Catie Curtis also come to mind.

Imagine my surprise when I learned she is a sister, one of us who like us has had her life touched by a trans prefixed word.

Her web site is at:

I like buying hard copies of CDs because I do not own an iPod or equivalent although I rip my CDs to a hard drive, put the original disk in a changer and burn disks for the car, which sits in the parking lot at work where summer temperatures soar.  Her CDs are sort of difficult to find.  Like Ani Di Franco and many folkies who have small time marketing collectives I assume she produces her own and does limited runs to sell at shows.  But MP3 downloads are available on her site.

As I listened to one of her albums  (Chrysanthemum) on the way to work today I was filled with sadness over the irony of how she is so in line with so many of the women who perform at the MWMF and yet that venue is closed to her because of her having a trans history.

I admire her courage in not hiding her past, her honesty and integrity. There are many of us who are talented and yet we find our art stifled because we are afraid of showing that part of our history rather than to integrate it into our art.  An old adage is that to be an artist is to stand naked.  But there is something else.  I took some classes at the New York Art Students League.  One day I attended a lecture on Titian.  The lecture told us how Titian had taught people to see things a different way and how it was our job as artist to teach people to see.

By being both out and not being just about being trans while singing and creating music that is in the vernacular shared by feminist folk singers Naomli teaches  feminist women, who might buy her music since it is of the genre popular among women who share a common aesthetic sense, to see how we can be women too, albeit with a slightly different history.

I really hope that you will go and buy some of this lady’s music.  The genre she performs in means she can use all the support she can get.  And in the process you will be touched by the music of a wonderfully sensitive artist.

Posted in Music. 3 Comments »


Please sign the Petition at:

Sponsored by: Henry Hall, FreeGRS.ORG


In the belief that transsexualism is not mental illness, we ask that an express statement of that exact sentiment, no more, no less, is to be included in the forthcoming DSM-5 manual from the APA (American Psychiatrists Association). We acknowledge that certain conditions which are not mental disorders, mental illnesses, psychopathologies or abnormalities may be of clinical interest to psychiatrists; in this regard (only) transsexualism is similar to bereavement.

Text of letter to be sent:
To: The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Workgroup of the DSM-5 Development Task Force of the APA (American Psychiatric Association), the APA Board of Trustees, officers and membership in regards to the next version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders):

We, the undersigned,
ARE NOT MENTAL ILLNESS, and therefore we call for decisive action:

We recommend that to the diagnosis/criteria pages of provisional DSM-5 diagnostic categories:

302.85–“Gender Incongruence (in Adolescents or Adults)” and
302.6 –“Gender Incongruence (in Children)”

the statement shown below shall be added:

Gender incongruence, regardless of its etiology or how it is experienced by any person, shall in no way be considered a psychopathology, mental illness or mental disorder. Gender incongruence may, however, be the focus of significant clinical interest and attention.

We further request that the APA Board of Trustees endorse the above within an official policy statement, at least on an interim basis pending DSM-5 publication.

We ask this in order to explicitly and unambiguously call for medical treatment of trans-people to be on a basis of an overarching aim of promoting health though assessment and treatment on a somatic basis.  We believe that somatic treatments of gender incongruent people, with informed consent, have an excellent track record of success and patient satisfaction whereas psycho-therapeutic treatments (alone) do not.

In support of these requests we note that:-

1. Current and former gender variant persons, their families and friends, and health care providers worldwide increasingly and publicly call for the depathologization of transsexualism and gender variance as mental illnesses.

2. Recently, the APA Sexual and Gender Identity Work Group ” … clearly indicated their rejection of the Gender Identity Disorder term because, in their view, [such pathologization] contributes to the stigmatization …”.

3. The presently proposed revisions to DSM-5 do not nearly go far enough in removing the stigma unjustly associated with gender variance.

Friday Night Fun and Culture

Trans Student Kicked Out Of Constance McMillen’s Mississippi School

Reposted with permission from Joe. My. God.

Dan Savage reports that the same Mississippi high school that canceled Constance McMillen’s prom also kicked out a trans student on his first day.

Juin Baize was a student at Itawamba Agricultural—for a grand total of four hours. Baize, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Fulton, Mississippi, from New Harmony, Indiana, to live with Baize’s grandmother at the beginning of the year. (For now Baize says he prefers to use male pronouns.) Baize, age sixteen, enrolled at Itwamba Agricultural High School, where Constance McMillen was also a student. McMilllen clearly recalled Baize’s first—and only—day at Itawamba Agricultural. “People were talking about him all day, trying to get a look at him,” said McMillen. “It was insane, it was ridiculous, it made me so mad. They said he was causing a distraction with what he was wearing but it was a half day of school and people didn’t have time to get used to him.” The other students wouldn’t be given a chance to get used to him: the next time Baize came to school, according Kristy Bennett, legal director of the ACLU of Mississippi, Baize was given a suspension notice and sent home. When Juin returned to school after his first suspension, he was suspended again.

After a story about the suspensions made the local newspaper, Baize’s grandmother ordered the entire family out of her home. And they’ve now been asked to leave the home of the friends who took them in. Head over to Dan Savage’s post for information on how to help. The ACLU will not be pursuing action against the school because the family no longer lives in the district.