Guys, I love sarcasm. It’s a heady, delicious treat I eat up on the hour. But even I have my sarcasm limits. Case in point: Gawker writer Hamiliton Nolan’s response to a piece by xoJane writer s.e. smith about the western appropriation of Eastern religion, specifically in the context of yoga, and whether someone with an atheist viewpoint should really practice yoga. I’m not going to get into that, because I personally hate yoga and can’t understand why people are always freaking out about it. Howevs, it’s how Nolan wrote about s.e.’s piece that’s super irksome.
Throughout the piece, Nolan referred to smith by the pronouns her/she, which is not how s.e. identifies. When the Gawker piece came out, a couple members of the xoJane team wrote in to let Nolan know that s.e.’s preferred pronoun is “ou.” s.e. has written about preferring “ou” before, and even mentions it in ou’s xoJane bio: “s.e. smith is a writer, agitator, and commentator based in Northern California. Ou focuses on social issues, particularly gender, prison reform, disability rights, environmental justice, queerness, class, and the intersections thereof, and has a special interest in rural subjects.” Keep reading »
Fallon Fox received a lot of attention and abuse in March after she was forced to come out as a transgender woman. Fallon had been a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter for six years, but as soon as she came out, she was faced with a barrage of transphobic comments, and many people accused her of having an unfair advantage because she was once physically a man. Some argued that she had more testosterone in her body than a cisgender (people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth) woman. Others claimed that she would have larger or denser bones than a cisgender woman.
These assumptions and accusations do not just apply to Fallon Fox: lots of trans athletes are discriminated against because there’s an assumption that e a trans woman must have some physical advantage over cisgender women — but science says otherwise. In fact, an article on Outsports debunks a couple of these myths.
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A win for the transgender community! Coy Mathis, a transgendered 6-year-old from Fountain, Colorado has won a case against the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, allowing her to officially use the girls’ bathroom.
Coy had been using the girls’ bathroom at her school because she identifies as a female. Although she was assigned the male gender at birth, she wears girls’ clothing and is identified as female in both her passport and state identification.
In December, the Eagleside Elementary School principal asked Coy to use the boys’ bathroom, gender-neutral faculty bathrooms or the nurse’s bathroom. Coy’s parents, Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, filed a complaint back in February, with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, citing discrimination. Keep reading »
A woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan claims that she has been fired for showing up to work at the restaurant, Harvey’s on the Mall, in dressed as a man. The restaurant, however, claims that her termination had nothing to do with her gender-bending outfit, but rather with her failure to comply with the restaurant’s dress code.
Myah VanTil dressed in drag (image above) for LGBT Pride last Saturday and says that she spent two hours drawing a 5 o’clock shadow on her face and then 45 more minutes binding her chest. She then showed up to work dressed like this, in solidarity with the LGBT community.
According to Equality MI, Kalamazzo law does support VanTil in her freedom to express both her gender identity and/or sexual orientation at work. But Harvey’s argues that she was fired for insubordination because she specifically asked them if she could dress in drag and was told “no.” Keep reading »
This past May, we introduced you to Diana Tourjee, a brave trans woman who shared her story of survival with us. Diana created an Indiegogo fundraising page to raise money for her gender confirmation surgery, the next step in her journey to becoming the person she’s always wanted to be.
As we mentioned before, Diana’s gender confirmation surgery isn’t covered by her insurance, because, like so many others, it considers the surgery to be “cosmetic” in nature. Nevermind that thousands of trans people attempt suicide each year because they are unable to afford the necessary hormonal treatments and surgeries they require. Not to mention that, out of pocket, gender confirmation surgery is prohibitively expensive for most people. Keep reading »
Cleavage, tribal feathers, hipster glasses — oh my! All of those things have gotten students in trouble at schools around the nation. Schools sure have gotten strict, some might say silly, with their rules about what students can and can’t do. Showing cleavage at prom? You know, prom, where everyone wears dresses? NOT OKAY. Wearing a Native American feather to honor your heritage during graduation? VERBOTEN! Glad to hear our nation’s educators are keeping the kiddies safe from boobies and diversity.
Here’s just a few examples of ridiculous bans on high school kids — most of them young women — around the country. After the jump, find out the stories behind these sordid tales.
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There’s a well-known nursery rhyme that asks, “What are little boys made of? / Slugs and snails / And puppy-dogs’ tails … What are little girls made of? / Sugar and spice / And everything nice.” It’s a tiny piece of a larger puzzle aimed at helping little girls and boys understand their place in the world. For most people, biology is destiny and that’s all — but for some, biology is a confusing, fraught, and frustrating concept, because their external bodies don’t match their internal feelings.
The following documents the journey of trans woman Diana Tourjee, a bright, attractive 24-year-old hoping to have gender confirmation surgery (often termed sexual reassignment surgery) to complete her transition — even though her health insurance won’t pay for it. Keep reading »
Back in the ’70s, when there was still an East and West Germany, East Germany was very serious about winning international sports competitions, and was known to regularly dope their athletes (see also: East German swim team). Athletes were fed “performance enhancing drugs” (PEDs) — aka anabolic steroids — that bulked them up and made them more competitive. It was the East German athletes and coaches that inspired the Olympics to institute regular drug tests.
Heidi Krieger (pictured above, competing in 1987 as a woman) was a shot putter in East Germany, who won the gold medal at the 1986 European Championships. She was fed PEDs for several years, and says today that they are the reason she opted to get a sex change and live as a man. He now lives as Andreas Krieger. Keep reading »
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 »