Gender Outlaws for Obama

Obama_prideToday is Trans-Blogs for Obama Day. The Stonewall Democrats are sponsoring a cyber day on which the transgender community can publicly rally around Senator Obama. We can show him our support and our numbers on a full day of trans and ally fundraising for the good Senator from Illinois. Twenty years ago, I never envisioned a tranny community, much less a tranny community that could make itself heard on a national level.

When I’m out on tour, a question I’m most regularly asked is, “How far has the transgender movement come since your days, when you were transitioning?” I usually duck the question, because the answer isn’t as simple as “great” or “awful.” Over the last two decades, there have been some wonderful political and cultural advancements. Yet I’m pretty sure that I speak for the majority of trannies when I say that from our perspective, we could certainly use more change than what we’ve gotten over the last twenty years.

Here’s what it was like twenty years ago…

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Race AND Gender Equity Advocates for Obama

Look at Senator McCain! Please, look closely. You can do just that at the website of The Real McCain.

0849Two days before Governor Palin’s nomination. I turned to my girlfriend and said, “Y’know what? McCain is going to nominate a woman.” True story. I bet if Senator Obama had chosen a woman as a running mate, McCain would now be running with an African American man on his ticket.

It’s a mostly successful Right Wing tactic to splinter the Left into small groups of focused advocates, each grabbing for a seat at the master’s table. Unlike the different special interest groups of the Right Wing, race and gender activists haven’t worked together for decades building coalition. Gender versus race is costing the Democrats votes, damnit.

For my part I’m not going to be divided. I voted for Clinton in the Democratic primary, and I’m supporting and voting for Obama in November. Senator Obama is our best hope to push back the tides of racism and sexism that were unleashed and nurtured under the Bush administration.

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Of What Possible Value Is Transgender Experience & Theory In These Changing Times?

Moving_on_5Dear Friends, Family, and Tribe,

I’m preparing to head out on the road again—I’m looking for tribe. It’s my 15th year of touring, and I’m both excited and apprehensive. The USA is clearly polarized—scarily so. So, who will be moving into the White House next? There are only two choices. A sweet, young man who has captured the heart of a great number of Americans? Or another playground bully and his girlfriend, the mean girl?

The world’s about to change, big time. But, no matter who will have taken the reins of the so-called free world, those of us who live out on the edges of the culture aren’t going to see much of the change we need in order to make our lives more worth living. And those of us who live out on the margins of the culture aren’t going to be any more free than we are at this moment.

Some of us live outside the culturally acceptable limits of gender, and sexuality. Others of us live way-y-y out on the despised margins of race, age, and class. Lots of us may be spiritual, but not too many religions want to include us… except maybe as charity cases. For many of us—ever since we were kids—people have laughed at us for how we looked. Or they stared at our differently abled bodies.

We’re citizens of the world, but too many of us end up as second class citizens, or illegal immigrants. We are most of the people in the world, but the powers that be are building walls to keep us out and apart.

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Wait! Is that a heartbeat I hear in the heartland?

Gay_pride_dance_2 There’s free rounds of drinks in all the gay bars in Iowa tonight, you betcha. A court has just overturned the Iowa state law that bans same-sex marriage. No, really. Gay marriage has reared it’s gorgeous, legal head in Iowa, the US heartland. I’m positively elated.

I’ve been a huge fan of the Mid-West LGBTIQQA movement for years. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and allies. In my campus travels around the US for the past dozen years or so, it’s been mostly the red states where I’ve met and had the privilege of working with the some of the most loving, caring dedicated sex positivists and gender anarchists I’ve ever met. And I just wanted to say YAY FOR IOWA!!! Thank you for living up to my 50’s dream of an America based on fair play.

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Gay Pride ’07

Gay_pride_danceGreetings from New York City. I’m writing this on Saturday, June 23rd. It’s the day before the big Pride parade here. Lots of proud lesbian women, and a whole lot of proud gay men, as well as a healthy sprinkling of proud bisexual folks, and a nice assortment of proud transgender people. A lot of people turn out for Gay Day in New York, and the weather is supposed to be fairy-tale appropriate: sunshine, sunshine, sunshine. I won’t be going. I’m proud of a lot of things in my life, but it doesn’t seem that I’m proud of what I’m supposed to be proud of.

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The Queerest of the Queer—in America’s Heartland!

AmazinggroupbykarilynnI’ve just returned from a visit to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. I was there as part of a trans-awareness weekend, which included an amazing drag show which included participation by one of the fraternities on campus, and and a genderfuck party in the frat house later. I was happy to hang out with a collection of perfectly delightful queers of all genders, sexualities, and persuasions.

Top Row, Left to Right: Kelli, Mercedes, Kate, Haley, Will, Maddie. Front Row, Left to Right: Ellen, Kari (the photographer), Courtney, Rachael

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Ugly Ducklings: scary fairy tale with a happy ending

Hghw_logo Okay, here are some sobering statistics for ya. They may not be surprising, but the numbers sure scare me.

According to Sexual Information Council of the United States:
41.7% of LGBTQ youth do not feel safe in their school.
28% of queer teens drop out of school annually. That’s three times the national average.

And according to 2005 report from Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
95% of school counseling services have few or no gay, lesbian or bisexual resources. And…
99% of school counseling services have little or no transgender resources.

Thank goodness there are national campaigns like Ugly Ducklings, run by Hardy Girls Healthy Women, out there actually doing something about this quiet horror.

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Will Bush Go After Ahmadinejad for His Denunciation of Liberal Educators?

It’s back to school in Iran, too. But Ahmadinejad is welcoming Iran’s students back with a challenge:

"Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities!"

has an interesting take on this, comparing the fundamentalist Iranian
regime with fundamentalist US Republicans. But I think Bush and Company are in
a bind. Are they actually going to defend the liberal and secular professors in Iran? Can’t wait to see that!

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