Reinventing the Hebrew language, so transgender campers can fit in. When Zev Shofar, a 14-year-old from Takoma Park, started going to Jewish summer camp seven years ago, the children all learned the Hebrew words to introduce themselves. “Chanich” means a male camper; “chanichah” means a female camper. But what if Zev didn’t feel male or female — neither a chanich nor a chanichah? Zev’s camp didn’t have a word that worked for Zev. In fact, the Hebrew language doesn’t have any words. Like many other languages — Spanish, French and Russian, for example — Hebrew assigns each noun a gender. In Israel, or anywhere else that Hebrew is spoken, there’s no linguistic solution, either. But now there is at camp. Zev is a chanichol.
Why We Must Stop Calling Menstruation A ‘Women’s Issue’
The problems come when I’m told I can’t be a part of [discussions about menstruation]. This is part of why calling it a 'women’s issue' is harmful not only to me, but to trans men and nonbinary trans people as well. It equates womanhood with a single biological process and is simply a scientifically inaccurate understanding. It has the effect of othering anyone who doesn’t fit that narrow criteria. It contributes to a mindset that there are tests one must pass to determine your womanhood."[more inside]
The Danish Girl [YouTube] [Trailer]
The Danish Girl is a 2015 British-American pseudo-biographical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener, Matthias Schoenaerts as Hans Axgil and Ben Whishaw as Henrik.[more inside]
Introducing Caitlyn Jenner [Vanity Fair]
Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F. contributing editor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”[more inside]
Bruce Jenner Says He’s Transitioning to a Woman [New York Times]
Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and member of the Kardashian family, ended months of speculation Friday night when he announced during an ABC television special that he identified as a woman and was making the transition from male to female.[more inside]
Drew Riley explores the visibility "explosion" for trans and gender-nonconforming people in gritty, vibrant portraits that capture the eye.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming figures rarely pop from the page quite like they do in artist Drew Riley's new collection Gender Portraits. Painted with splashes of bright color, full of dynamic movement or charged silence, and set against whimsical or brooding backdrops, Riley's portraits are nothing short of arresting. They pull the viewer in for a closer look — which is exactly the response Riley was aiming for, she tells The Advocate.[more inside]
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
The Urban Institute has released (PDF) the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter.
Full Doc - 1:16:27 - slyt: "Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Many members of the ball culture community consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America."
The stirring story of Ryland Whittington's family. (SLYT)
Facebook now offers its users "Custom" gender options and a choice of what pronouns to be referred to by. (I guess this makes MetaFilter a trend setter?)
In the Shadows. The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
放浪息子 Hourou Musuko (often translated as Wandering Son) is one of the better depictions of transgender life in manga and anime (and maybe in any medium). It's a slice of life drama about two young people who are trans and starting middle school in Japan. The manga is being published in English by Fantagraphics, and the anime is officially licensed in English subs on Crunchyroll. [more inside]
The Test Shot is an online visual project that aims to document and celebrate the variety and strength of transmasculine style. Ballet dancing "princess boys", dapper transmen fresh out of a golden age musical, hipstery trans* boys, preppy boy dykes, and video journalists in traditional Pakistani menswear showcase the diversity in how people interpret and express their gender through their favorite clothing. Original Plumbing [warning: non-explicit ad for porn site] is the premier print magazine dedicated to the sexuality and culture of FTM trans guys. OP documents diversity within trans male lifestyles through photographic portraits and essays, personal narratives and interviews. Read an interview with the creators, Dr. T's medical advice column, or check out blog entries on living in an all-male dorm,, how to get into queer porn as a trans guy,, and deciding to carry a baby after transition.. [more inside]
Your Holiday Mom: "This season, supportive moms have gathered to send a holiday message to all LGBTQ children, teens and young adults who are without family support and who would like a 'stand-in Holiday Mom'–or 40! Knowing that not every mother is ready to accept her own LGBTQ child exactly as-is (as hard as this is for us to imagine), we moms have written to extend our love beyond that of our own family."
"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable."
"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
"I’ve felt like my gender doesn’t match me for a very long time.” A Quiverfull mom describes her family's journey after her spouse comes out to her as transgender. (Excuse me, I have something in my eye.) (Via No Longer Quivering.)
"Portia Simpson Miller, the former and newly re-elected Prime Minister of Jamaica and representative of the People's National Party, recently took an historically significant position by openly supporting GLBT legal protection in Jamaica, a country internationally notorious for a "culture of homophobia." Miller's statements come at a time of great cultural change in both Jamaica and dancehall music. This is for her." This is a mixtape of dancehall music and some of it is NSFW.
Canadian queer magazine Xtra! has found itself at the center of controversy after refusing to refer to certain transgendered interviewees by their preferred pronoun: "they." [more inside]
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
Janet Mock is an editor at People.com, a blogger, and co-hosts the The Missing Piece podcast.
She is also a transgender woman. [more inside]
She is also a transgender woman. [more inside]
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
"We know it's a little clichéd – but here's what we want to tell the census: We're here. We're queer. And we want you to ask us about it."
The 2010 United States Census will be able to count gay marriages and partnerships. George Takei and his husband tell you how. Even with the restrictions placed on that data by the Defense of Marriage Act, that's good news for the LGB part of the spectrum, but what about T? If you're transgender, despite what the Census might tell you, it's not so simple to be counted. (hat tip to nadawi) [more inside]
Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.