Trans-News Stories That Aren’t News and That I could Easily Live Without If I never saw them as News Stories Ever Again

The last real Transsexual or Transgender “FIRST”  probably happened before 1980.

Isn’t it about time we stopped seeing stories describing people as the first transsexual or transgender person to do something?

The “FIRST” spin on these human interest stories continues the idea that we are rare.  Perpetuates the 1 in 125,000 or what ever stupid claim is being made about our rareness. Transsexual/transgender people aren’t as common as gay/lesbian folks but none the less we come close to being as common as dirt.

Years ago Renee Richards did the math based on her graduating class at Yale (IIRC and I’m too lazy to check today) and came up with 1 in 500-600 based on there being two others in her graduating class.

Lynn Conway figures 1 in 800-1000.  Those are based on people getting SRS.  Add in TG folks who don’t get SRS and that number drops to 1 in perhaps 50-100.

There are a lot of us.  All different: Sex workers to doctors, lawyers, musicians, models, feminists, computer nerds.

“Warrior Princess”…  The first was Roberta Cowell.  She had her SRS before Christine Jorgensen.  Served in the British Military during World War II and drove race cars to boot.

Fashion Models, April Ashley in 1960s and ever since.  Some of the publicly known sisters who modeled include Terri Toye and Lea T.  There have been many others.

In the late 1970s Pristine Condition ran for Homecoming Queen at Santa Monica City College.

A British trans-couple (IIRC with children) both had SRS and either married or stayed married in the 1970s.

Andy Warhol once quipped that in the future everyone would have 15 minutes of fame.

Interviewers used to pay us an honorarium for interview, then it went to dinner.  Now being trans as well as having a story barely rates a Starbucks grande.

The constant churning out of stories about TS/TG people’s firsts helps perpetuate our otherness when the reality is we are just another minority.

Now, non-trans folks might marvel over discovering TS/TG people but being othered  by being made into either a first or a role model is still othering.

Yes, our life experiences are different from those of non-trans-folks, but we are for the most part more like the people we grew up surrounded by than we different from them.

I don’t go to many trans-events and don’t go around telling everyone my history.  It’s more like transition was so long ago and life since is so ordinary as to make my being post-trans irrelevant to most folks outside the community.

A couple of years ago I shared my history with someone because she was leaving town and I wanted to continue friendship via Facebook.

I sometimes feel TG Activists are making TS/TG into something more than it is.  I know the Gender Queer faction is.  Being TS/TG is like being gay or lesbian.  It doesn’t make you a good person, or likeable and it is too common to make you really special.

All the striving for publicity is kind of a waste of time, the rewards are hollow unless you have something to offer beyond the headline.

With all the bigots out there in the world of social media the attention often brings negative attention that leaves you feeling like shit. See: Transgender teen homecoming queen deals with criticism, praise

There is a Japanese expression: “Deru kui wa utareru”. The translation is an English phrase: The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

Having Transsexual or Transgender as a title gets old really quickly.  It’s easier to have it come later in your QV than have it be the first thing people think of when they encounter your name.

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The ‘T’ Word

From Huffington Post:


Hey, can we have a conversation about the word “tranny”?

It’s a word that is generally considered dehumanizing and offensive when referring to transgender people, like the “N” word for a person of color, or the “F” word for a gay man. But there it was in headlines last week in the story about DJ Mister Cee, who’d been outed as having had sex with a transgender prostitute (see “Is That You Boo? Mister Cee DRAGGED Out The Closet By Alleged Tranny Lover Who Taped Their Encounter??? [Video]“). There it was in a Daily Beast interview with actor Jared Leto about his performance as a transsexual woman in the new movie Dallas Buyers Club. (Writer Marlow Stern’s first question: “How did you summon your inner tranny for this role?”) And there it was, virtually everywhere, when Chelsea Manning came out as trans last month, causing editors from The Huffington Post to NPR to go running to their copies of the AP Stylebook for help. Politico’s Dylan Byers actually wrote a smart article about the challenge, titled “Manning Switch Challenges Style Editors,” which you’ll have to admit was putting it mildly.

Still, even among folks who ought to know better, the “T” word still gets plenty of use. There are a lot of reasons that this is the case, but I suspect that the core of the issue is that many simply people fail to take trans men’s and women’s humanity very seriously. As a result, in the hearts of such people, there’s not much of a sense that insulting us comes at any particular cost.

But it does come at a cost. It’s a word thrown around with careless disregard in order to belittle people, as in the egregious phrase “hot tranny mess,” a coinage popularized by designer Christian Siriano in 2008. And while Siriano later claimed he meant no harm, it’s inconceivable that anyone would say, for instance, “hot [‘N’ word] mess” or “hot [‘F’ word] mess.”

I have been on the receiving end of the word, and I can tell you that its capacity to wound is profound. In 2007, for instance, when I played myself on several episodes of a popular ABC soap opera, a conservative Christian publication titled their derisive story, “All My Tranny Children,” a phrase I am pretty sure they did not intend as a compliment.

That hurt takes place even when writers mean no harm. Gawker titled its coverage of Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner’s transition “Tranny Sportswriter Lookin’ Good!” Penner committed suicide two years later, in 2009, not in direct response to this article, of course, but surely in part because his transition, in such a hostile culture, proved unendurable.

The use of the word is made more complicated by the fact that some people in the transgender community use the word themselves, in a manner reminiscent, perhaps, of the way the “N” word is used by some African Americans. Younger people, in my experience, as well as people in the drag community, are more comfortable using it than transsexuals. For some trans folks, it’s an attempt to reclaim a slur and redefine it with pride and ownership. RuPaul, America’s most famous drag queen, uses it with abandon; so does Kate Bornstein, our most respected genderqueer activist.

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Rocker Laura Jane Grace Opens Up About Her Transgender Journey

From Elle:

by Dan Hyman
September 19, 2013

Last year, Against Me! lead singer Tom Gabel made at once an astonishing, brave, and inspiring announcement: The punk rocker revealed he was going to now be living the rest of his life as a woman and changing his name to Laura Jane Grace. The past year has been a challenging journey for Laura. But as she told us backstage during a revealing chat after her band’s performance this past weekend at Riot Fest in Chicago, it’s been an emotionally liberating and highly necessary one.

How has it been over your first year since announcing you’re female? Do you finally feel as if you’re completely yourself?

On the stage, in particular, it’s what I needed. One hundred percent. I had reached a total brick wall where I would be up there, and I felt like in between songs, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to talk. I felt like there was this disconnect happening in my head. I felt like, “Well, this is kind of the end of the line for me because I don’t know what to do.” So having that barrier broken down is completely liberating.

Did you feel like if you didn’t make that change, you may not have been able to continue in the band?
Not consciously in the sense of saying it in my head in those words. But in feeling like I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I had no passion when I was playing and I just didn’t feel like I could continue to write music.

Take us through your recent solo tour. All accounts of it are that it was a fabulous success and audiences were incredibly receptive.

You have no barrier [during a solo show]. It’s really intimate, for lack of a better term. You play the songs, you play the set, and then you talk with [the audience]. People come up, they tell you their story and their transitions. That interaction is something fans want; and for me, it’s something I desperately need, too. I need that connection. To know that the people who are singing along at your show actually have something in common with you and can identify with what you’ve gone through, makes the songs that much more meaningful to sing.

How fun has it been to explore your feminine sense of fashion in the last year?

It’s fun, and it’s stressful in a sense. Because it’s like, there’s street-style— like what I wear in everyday life—and then learning what actually works on stage. Fashion before function oftentimes. But sometimes I’ll get up there and I’ll be like, “I should have gone for function.” Last night, I was wearing boots while trying to stomp on my guitar pedals, and I was hitting all the wrong buttons. And I was like, “God dammit. These look really fierce but I’m a wreck up here.” For me, my personal style is usually black. So whatever comes in all black and my size [works].

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Republicans block science laureate vote over climate change stance fear

From The Guardian UK:

Conservative lobbyist told Congress members the new science ambassador would echo Obama on greenhouse gas regulations

, US environment correspondent, Friday 20 September 2013

It seemed entirely harmless: the creation of an honorary and unpaid position of science laureate of the United States to travel around the country and inspire children to be future scientists.

But Republicans in Congress last week quashed the initiative, which had gained rare bipartisan support, on the grounds that a science laureate might support action on climate change.

The bill had been scheduled for swift approval last week. It would have allowed Barack Obama to name up to three laureates at a time to the two-year term. The posts would all be unpaid, and appointees credentials would be vetted by the National Academy of Sciences.

But after urging from the American Conservative Union, which bills itself as the country’s largest and oldest grassroots conservative organisation, Republicans in the House leadership pulled the science laureate bill off the schedule, and sent it for revision.

In a letter to members of Congress, Larry Hart, a former Republican congressional aide and the legislative director of the ACU, warned a science laureate might give Barack Obama another chance to advance the case for climate action.

“Although the bill seems innocuous, it will provide the opportunity for President Obama to make an appointment of someone (or more than one person) who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases,” Hart wrote in the letter.

A staffer for one of the Republican co-sponsors of the bill told Science Insider, which first reported on the cancelled vote, that the opposition to a science ambassador was wrong-headed.

As first proposed last spring, the idea of a science laureate was intended to encourage American school children to choose science as a career – especially girls and minorities.

“The US Science Laureate will be a national role model who can encourage students to learn more about the sciences,” Senator Mazie Hirono, the Hawaii Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement at the time. “By elevating great American scientific communicators, we can empower students – especially girls and minorities – to get excited about science.”

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It’s Time to Stand Up With Family Farmers

From Huffington Post:


Every year, come harvest season, we gather for the annual Farm Aid concert. Artists, farmers, activists and eaters, we come together to recognize the crucial importance of family farmers. We take account of how far we’ve come and we renew our spirits for the fights ahead.

We stand with family farmers.

This strength is what’s grown the Good Food Movement. Today, we’re at our strongest. More people than ever are seeking out family farm food. Businesses sourcing from family farmers are searching for new farmers because demand exceeds supply. Entrepreneurs are making new connections between eaters and farmers. Community organizations and passionate volunteers are bringing good food to neighborhoods that need it most. Together, all of these people are building communities centered on a family farm economy. They’re linking eaters with farmers, building relationships and nourishing bodies and souls. Their actions are transforming food and agriculture, from the ground up.

But even still, a handful of corporations dominate our food system.

There are good folks in Congress who are fighting for a family farm food system that benefits family farmers and all Americans. But they’re blocked by a majority that lets corporate power, partisan politics and big money get in the way of progress. Their votes have reinforced a dominant, chemical-dependent food system that is harmful to our environment, our health and local economies, while cutting billions from nutrition and food programs for people who need food.

In recent years the Good Food Movement has forged ahead, including some progress made in the last farm bill. This movement has created more opportunities to support and promote family farm agriculture. But without meaningful action now on farm policy, those gains and more will be lost. Without better farm policies, family farmers will not have the chance to compete in a fair marketplace and earn a living. Conservation programs, so crucial in a changing climate, will be compromised. New and beginning farmers will lose access to the credit, resources and land they need to start their farm businesses. Programs for underserved farmers will disappear. Innovations happening right now on the farm to grow renewable energy will be lost. And industrial ag stands to win if efforts to reform wasteful farm subsidy programs are ignored.

Today, as the minutes tick down to another farm bill deadline, people in towns and cities everywhere are taking matters into their own hands. They’re standing up with family farmers and insisting on food that is best for them and their families. They’re seeking out food from family farms at farmers markets, grocery stores and restaurants. They are organizing to change the food served in schools, hospitals and public institutions. They’re making their voice heard and voting for family farm food every way they can.

Our message is hard to miss. America needs family farmers. Congress, can you hear us?

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Learning From a Thousand-Year Flood

From Truth Dig:

By David Sirota
Posted on Sep 19, 2013

Two months before my Colorado community was overwhelmed this week by epic rains, our state’s chief oil and gas regulator, Matt Lepore, berated citizens concerned about the ecological impact of hydraulic fracturing and unbridled drilling. During his speech, Lepore insinuated that those advocating a first-do-no-harm posture toward fossil fuel development are mostly affluent and are therefore unconcerned with the economic impact of their environmental advocacy. Coming from an industry lawyer-turned-regulator, it was a deceptive attempt to pretend environmental stewardship is merely a rich person’s luxury.

After this week’s flood, of course, “thousands of oil and gas wells and associated condensate tanks and ponds” are underwater in Colorado, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. Already, there is at least one confirmed oil pipeline leak. At the same time, the Denver Post reports that “oil drums, tanks and other industrial debris mixed into the swollen (South Platte) river.”

In short, there’s a serious possibility of an environmental disaster that should concern both rich and poor.

In retrospect, the deluge illustrates the problem with officials pretending that environmental stewardship and the precautionary principle are just aristocratic priorities. They are quite the opposite—they are priorities for everyone.

That, though, is only one of the big takeaways from this thousand-year flood. Another is the lesson that in the age of climate change and severe weather, the old “out of sight, out of mind” defense mechanism should no longer provide comfort to anyone. Consider my family’s own microcosmic experience.

Living in southeast Denver, we were worried about Cherry Creek overflowing into our neighborhood, Thankfully, that didn’t happen. So in “out of sight, out of mind” fashion, we could have just ignored the damage just a few miles away.

But, then, inconvenient truths inevitably started creeping in. For example, Climate Central’s Andrew Freedman reported that data suggest the flood was exacerbated by human-intensified climate change, and Colorado should therefore expect these deadly floods in the future. So while we initially felt we could breathe a little easy this time around, we know that there will probably be a next time when we may not be so fortunate. Meanwhile, we may not emerge unscathed from this flood after all.

Why? Because regulators permitted oil and gas rigs on a flood plain. That means the entire region faces the prospect of chemical spills and all their attendant health and environmental consequences.

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Pastor Crazy Christo-Fascist Scam Artist blames Colorado floods on abortion, weed and ‘decadent homosexual activity’

From Raw Story:

By David Edwards
Friday, September 20, 2013

Christian pastor and radio host Kevin Swanson this week pointed to abortion, marijuana legalization and “decadent homosexual activity” as the possible cause of recent historic flooding in Colorado.

On his Generations With Vision radio show, Swanson reminded listeners that state House Speaker Mark Ferrandino had been photographed by the Denver Post kissing his gay partner.

“Is it a coincidence that this was the worst year politically in the history of Colorado, at least if you use God’s law as a means of determining human ethics?” he asked. “Our legislators committed homosexual acts on the front page of the Denver Post, do you remember that?”

He continued: “So here we have the very worst year in Colorado’s year in terms of let’s kill as many babies as possible, let’s make sure we encourage as much decadent homosexual activity as possible, let’s break God’s law with impudence at every single level, at every single level let’s make sure that we offend whoever wrote the Bible, so we have the worst year possible politically in the state of Colorado and it happens to be the worst year ever in terms of flood and fire damage in Colorado’s history.”

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What Carbonation Might Have To Do With The Soda-Obesity Link

From Huffington Post:


Sugar in soda is a known culprit in promoting diabetes and obesity. But a new study takes a look at another potential player in the soda-obesity equation: carbonation.

New research published in the journal Gastroenterology suggests that carbonation in sugary drinks can affect the brain’s perception of sugar, making it think sugar consumption is less than it actually is.

The Italian researchers also found that a certain amount of carbonation seems to keep the brain from being able to tell the difference between sweet from sugar and sweet from artificial sweeteners.

The finding could potentially be good for people looking to lose weight by consuming diet drinks because “it facilitates the consumption of low-calorie drinks because their taste is perceived as pleasant as the sugary, calorie-laden drink,” study researcher Rosario Cuomo, an associate professor of gastroenterology in the department of clinical medicine and surgery at “Federico II” University in Italy, said in a statement.

However, it’s important to note that the link between artificial sweeteners and weight is still not clear: It’s unknown whether obese people drink diet drinks in an effort to lose weight, or if obesity is spurred by consumption of diet drinks. Some research has suggested artificial sweeteners can prime the brain to want more sweet, thereby theoretically promoting weight gain through added sugar consumption.

The new study is based on two functional neuroimaging experiments. In the first experiment, study participants underwent brain scans while tasting four altered types of Sprite. The first kind was just carbonated and sweetened with sucrose (sugar), the second was non-carbonated and sweetened with sucrose, the third was carbonated and sweetened with aspartame (artificial sweetener), and the fourth was non-carbonated and sweetened with aspartame.

The second part of the study involved using brain imaging to see where neural effects in the insular cortex brain region were strongest when tasting carbon dioxide and sour taste (sour-sensing cells are responsible for detecting carbon dioxide) versus water. In addition to this element of the experiment, study participants also reported their perceptions of sweetness from the different kinds of Sprite used in the first experiment, as well as carbon dioxide added to a 10 percent glucose solution.

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