Try to avoid looking in mirrors as much as possible. Loving yourself and not feeling self conscious is a potentially impossible but very important goal. The less you think about your appearance, the happier you’ll be
There seems to be more and more people posting pictures of transgender people who “pass.” But to me this doesn’t seem to help. It’s almost like “see, we conform to your gender standards too, so can we be equal now?” Gender is a spectrum and we shouldn’t be teaching people that we can conform, we should be teaching people not to judge based off of what they see.
I’ve been getting lots of questions on Genderqueer Identities in regards to coming out lately. I continue to welcome questions, but I would also like to make a masterpost of resources I tend to recommend to people - this is a work in progress. Please note, you should not feel…
New York Times Metro Editor Carolyn Ryan stated: “We typically try to capture the personal stories of those whose lives are lost in a fire, and we sought to do so in this case. We certainly did not mean any disrespect to the victim or those who knew her. But, in retrospect, we should have shown more care in our choice of words.”
Unfortunately, the problem with the Times’ article on the death of Lorena Escalera, a transgender woman of color, is bigger than their “choice of words” or with their attempt to “capture” her story. It’s their failure to recognize trans women as women.
The decision by writers Al Baker and Nate Schweber to call her “curvaceous” in the first sentence was not a poor choice of words. It was a poor choice of focus. The way this entire article is framed comes directly from an idea that transgender women are curiosities. That they’re other. That they should be treated differently than other people. Saying that Lorena was “called” Lorena, even though that is exactly how police identified her, was not a poor choice of words. It was a disrespectful jab at her identity as a trans woman, by implying that she wasn’t really Lorena.
Lorena was a daughter. She was a friend. She was a beloved member of a community. But the only elements of her story that writers Al Baker and Nate Schweber seemed concerned with were; what she looked like, what her neighbors thought she looked like, and whether any items that would typically belong to a woman were in her apartment when it burned. Very little of this is relevant to the actual personal story of Lorena Escalera’s life. It seems very clear that this personal information was included in order to “spice up” the story by exploiting Lorena’s status as a transgender woman – not to actually inform readers about her life.
“As my city’s and our nation’s paper of record, I would expect the New York Times to treat any subject, regardless of their path in life, with dignity,” said trans advocate and journalist Janet Mock. “In Lorena Escalera’s life she was so much more than the demeaning, sexist portrait they painted of girls like us. It goes beyond a ‘choice of words.’ According to the Times’ limiting, harmful portrait of Lorena, she was nothing more than a ‘curvaceous’ bombshell for men to gawk at. That is not the ‘personal’ story of any woman, and until we treat trans women like human beings - in life and death - with dignity, families and struggles, our society will never see us beyond pariahs in our communities.
Unfortunately, many Americans, including members of the media, do view transgender people – and trans women of color in particular – as curiosities at best, or not deserving of basic human dignity at worst. And very few Americans know any trans people in their day-to-day lives, so this viewpoint is never dispelled. This is why extra care must be taken when reporting on a story that involves a transgender person, especially if that person is no longer able to speak for themselves, as is the case here. Writers and editors alike must be made aware of how common this underlying bias is, and make a conscious effort to remove it when they see it.
This is where the Times’ statement truly fails. Not only does it not show an understanding of what the problem with the original article was, it also makes no assurances to the community that it will educate its writers and editors about how to report on transgender people in the future. There’s nothing forward-looking in the Times statement.
GLAAD did ask the Times to detail what steps will be taken in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen again. We were told that this statement “will be all there is from us on this.”
But this statement is not good enough. The New York Times has highlighted the personal and inspiring stories of transgender people in the recent past, including an article on Harmony Santana, Laverne Cox and other transgender actresses, a piece on triathlete Chris Mosier and one on classical pianist Sara Davis Buechner. We can be almost certain that the New York Times does understand the problems with its piece on Lorena, and is embarrassed that it ran. Now it’s time for them to say so publicly, and to tell its readers that steps are being taken to ensure that an article like this won’t be printed again. We thank members of the LGBT community, including trans leaders like Janet Mock,Autumn Sandeen, Laverne Cox, and Jennifer Finney Boylan, trans author and New York Times contributing writer, as well as Colorlines and Feministing, for bringing attention to this story. We hope to continue putting pressure on the Times until they offer assurances that changes will be made.
“Anytime we equate fewer sex partners or monogamy or any “vanilla” sexual practice with being more respectable, we reinforce the idea that the people whose sexual desires are outside those boundaries have to trade their sexual authenticity in order to be accepted. I would much rather choose who to respect based on how they treat themselves and other people, which certainly doesn’t have to correlate with the kinds of sex or how many partners they have.”—If You Don’t Respect Sluts, You Don’t Respect Women | Charlie Glickman (via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)
Today we honor the birthday of Harvey Milk, one of our community’s most influential activists and most passionate leaders.
Milk stood up for equality for LGBT people when few had given it a passing thought. He organized thousands of people, many of whom had nowhere else to turn, around a common cause. He was one of many invaluable founders of the gay rights movement as we know it, and I am certain the world would be a different, more hurtful place had it not been for his courage and leadership.
At the site above, brought to you by the Harvey Milk Foundation, you can learn more about different remembrance events taking place across the country or brainstorm ways to get involved. Today’s an important day, and we should honor it.
Submission: Opera Great Jessye Norman on Gay Marriage and Religious Conservatives
“I never understood why it (gay marriage) bothers other people so, if you are in a committed heterosexual relationship why does it bother you that the people across the road who are the same sex and happy together? Wouldn’t you just want to celebrate love, in any form that it can occur in this challenging world of ours?
Religion plays a big part and particularly the conservative religion, and I don’t know how conservative and religion can go together. Since religion is meant to be about love and understanding and acceptance.
So Conservative and religion in an oxymoron to me”
Jessye Norman speaking on BBC2 Newsnight screened 21st May 2012
So, Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in jail today. There’s been a lot debate over whether this was appropriate or not, too harsh or not harsh enough. It’s a very difficult call to make, but that isn’t what matters.
What matters is that we remember Tyler Clementi and remember what we’re fighting for, that we honor him and hold him in our hearts as a reason to keep fighting.
I WOULD LIKE TO START AN LGBTQ COLLAB CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE!
Calling all youngsters of the LGBTQ community (15-20)
~~~I’m trying to start up a peer support channel on YouTube for those kids who can’t really get it in person. I want it to be a channel where we can vlog about what we have gone through and how we dealt with it, and answer other LGBTQ kid’s questions about relationships, coming out, parents, etc. Please be able to give advise to others, that would be very helpful.~~~
I’m asking for audition videos to be sent to my email address(at the bottom).
The Channel name will be decided together after we have all our members. Then I will put the channel up on YouTube.
Answer the five W’s in your video:
WHO- Who are you? What’s your name? Age? WHAT- What’s your sexual orientation and what do you like to do?\ WHEN- … Don’t answer this. Possible video idea.\ WHERE- Where you at? WHY- Why do you think you’re good for this collab and why do you want to join?
And I need to know how I can contact you weather it’s by email or anything else.
1 FTM Transgender or Transsexual person - Lex (Myself) 1 MTF Transgender or Transsexual person 1 Pan/Bisexual Male 1 Pan/Bisexual Female 1 Gay Biological Male 1 Lesbian/Gay Female 1 And there may be room for an additional Queer person (“There may be” meaning “There is”) It doesn’t matter if you actually identify as queer, asexual, genderqueer, bigender, agender etc. etc. or any of the ones above.
This weekend we went to the NOH8 photoshoot and AIDS walk. It was so inspiring to see so many committed people. Both staffs & volunteers were incredible, as were the people participating. Together we are so strong.