Students at a Swedish high school have requested and received a gender neutral changing room as part of the school’s locker room for any student that wants to use it. Soedra Latins upper secondary school already has male and female locker rooms, but students proposed last year that they have an additional space for students not defined by gender. Trans folks (and gay folks) all around the world are discriminated against by people who assume they use opposite-gender bathrooms just to leer; it’s particularly hard on trans kids who are, in many cases, already susceptible to bullying. A gender neutral space gives those bigots no excuse. This Stockholm suburb is the same place that discourages preschoolers from calling each other “him”/”her”/”boy”/”girl” and instead identify each other as “friends.” Between your progressive ideas about gender and your IKEA meatballs, you’re not doing anything to make me not love you, Sweden. [Huffington Post] [Photo of girl in gym locker room via Shutterstock]
How To Be A Douche, Lesson #1: Charge a transgender woman for “trespassing” after she uses the women’s bathroom in your grocery store and ban her from shopping in your establishment for one year.
Idaho trans woman Ally Robledo is being discriminated against by Rosauers supermarket in Lewiston because she was “peeing standing up” in the women’s room. Oh, you didn’t know the way you pee could get you in trouble with the cops, did you? Keep reading »
“Deciding to wear a skirt onstage in September was a personal landmark. It was the first time I had ever worn a skirt in public—and I would be doing so in front of a couple of thousand people. The skirt was a gift from a friend—it was black and leather, and it fit me great. I was worried about playing in it, unsure if it would affect the way I moved. Our set that night wasn’t our best, but it didn’t matter. I was breaking new ground. Accomplishing small goals when transitioning has a cumulative effect. The confidence you gain from reaching one carries you to the next. Face your fears, I say, but choose the right skirt to do it in.”
– Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace describes her first time wearing a skirt on stage in a really beautiful first-person account of her first year living openly as a woman. I highly recommend reading it if you’re at all interested in gender transitions and relationships. At the end, there’s also an honest Q&A with Laura’s wife, Heather, whose only lament about Laura’s transition is that she didn’t tell her sooner: “It broke my heart to know she’d been going through this on her own for so long.” Seriously, pop over and give it a read. You will be inspired. [Cosmopolitan]
At the beginning of March, mixed martial arts fighter Fallon Fox came out as transgender. The 36-year-old had been participating as a female competitor in MMA competitions for six years, and was forced to address the fact that she was born male after a reporter discovered her secret. In mid-March, UFC host Joe Rogan slammed Fox, saying she’s “not really a woman.” And today, UFC fighter Matt Mitrione was quoted on the webcast “The MMA Hour” making derogatory comments about Fox. Keep reading »
Last week, we uttered a collective, “UGH, ARIZONA!” over the news that the Arizona House of Representatives advanced a bill allowing businesses to ban transgender folks from using the restroom of their identified sex. So we’re heartened by this gender-identity inclusive bathroom signage, posted on Towleroad with the caption:
Given what’s happening in Arizona now, I thought this might be a good time to show off this photo, taken by my partner Dave at his doctor’s office in Manhattan.
Well done, Doctor Dave! [Towleroad]
Welcome to the world’s most confusing divorce case. A judge in Arizona today declined to grant a divorce to Thomas Beatie, who attained minor celebrity status as the “pregnant man” a few years back and gave birth to three children. Beatie, who was born a woman but identifies as a man, married wife Nancy in Hawaii in 2003. But was he a man or a woman at the time? Beatie had undergone a double-mastectomy by then and was starting hormone therapy, but he still had a woman’s reproductive organs, reports AP. The judge today decreed that there wasn’t enough evidence proving Beatie was a man at the time of the wedding. That makes it a same-sex marriage, which means that the state of Arizona doesn’t recognize it. And if the state doesn’t recognize the marriage, it can’t grant a divorce, either. Read more…
If you haven’t had a chance to read Kate Bornstein’s memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, go out right now and buy it. The woman has lived an incredible life — from being a male Scientology scout, to prize-winning playwright, trans activist and gender outlaw — and somehow managed to keep her wits and sense of humor through it all.
And now, after all of that, Kate’s battling cancer. Keep reading »
This week’s issue of The New Yorker includes a feature by Margaret Talbot, on the rise of young kids and teenagers identifying as transgender. While the concept of transgender isn’t new, there’s a trend emerging; kids as young as three are identifying as trans. Depending on the openness and support of their parents, many of these kids are begin to transition before they even reach puberty.
Talbot’s article opens with the story of Skylar, an attractive and popular teenage boy who just happens to have been born a biological female. Skylar was open with his parents from the beginning about feeling like he was born in the wrong body, and thankfully, they supported his decision to live happily and healthfully as a boy. Still in high school, he got “top” surgery to remove his breasts, but doesn’t plan on getting bottom surgery. What’s more, his identifying as trans wasn’t some desperate desire to make his gender match up with a heteronormative sexuality: Skylar now identifies as a gay man.
“The whole sexuality thing never seemed like a big deal.” he says. “I never came out to anybody as gay. Sometimes I forget that coming out in terms of sexuality is a big deal.”
Skylar is lucky: again, his parents are supportive, and he happens to live in a liberal suburb of New Haven, Connecticut, where his school and friends were, if not enthusiastically supportive, at least respectful of his choice. Many, many, many transgender kids are not so lucky, and we’d be remiss to ignore their reality — one study reports that 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide at some point.