June 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

Hello everyone! We have two great topics this month on Trans Talk. First, we will be talking with attorney Larry Altman about the current status of North Carolina’s anti-transgender legislation, and how the upcoming election could impact transgender rights. Next, we will have a discussion with Nyla, Kelly, and Freddie, three transgender persons of color who are joining us to explain the specific challenges faced by their community, and to educate us on how we can be better allies to this community which is at such high risk.

Fiona Nowling will be co-hosting today’s program, and she will give us the community calendar update, while I will provide my view of some of the LGBT news this week. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, June 25 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

SOFFA Meeting, June 15th

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The next meeting of SOFFA is June 15th, at Leawood Pioneer Library, in Study Room 115, from 6:30pm – 8.00pm.

Meetings are open to all friends, family, significant others and allies of trans people. If you can’t make it to a meeting, email soffakc@yahoo.com or message through facebook via https://www.facebook.com/SOFFA.KC

SOFFA Meeting, June 1st

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The next meeting of SOFFA is June 1st, at Leawood Pioneer Library, in Study Room 116, from 6:30pm – 8.00pm.

Meetings are open to all friends, family, significant others and allies of trans people. If you can’t make it to a meeting, email soffakc@yahoo.com or message through facebook via https://www.facebook.com/SOFFA.KC

May 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

Hello everyone! We have two great topics this month on Trans Talk. First, if you’re a frequent listener of our show, you know that we always give out props to LikeMe Lighthouse and its programs and events – well today we are joined in the studio by three folks representing the Lighthouse – Skyler Whittaker, Joy Brungardt, and Samantha Kay. They’re here to discuss the Equal Trans* support group at the Lighthouse, talk with us a bit about other transgender subjects, and a little bit about themselves. Next we have the second in our series of interviews with individuals from the transgender community in Kansas and Missouri, which we call Transgender Kaleidoscope. Our guest will be transgender woman Larissa Vitt, a former US Army Specialist who worked in aviation, and a local published fantasy author.

Fiona Nowling will be co-hosting today’s program, and she will give us the community calendar update, while I will provide my view of some of the LGBT news this week. I do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, May 28 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

The Transgender Experience at Crossroads Church Kansas City

Crossroads Church

Transas City Founder Una Nowling will be speaking on the transgender experience at Crossroads Church Kansas City this coming Sunday. Her presentation will feature a few slides with transgender history and facts, will include her telling her personal story, and will address some of the current transgender events of the day (transgender discrimination, “toilet terror” laws, etc.) The presentation starts at 9:00 am Sunday, May 22, and will last (with questions and answers) until about 10:15 am. Transgender, non-transgender, and all folks in the area are very welcome to come see the lecture, or just drop by say hi.

Crossroads Church Kansas City is located in the Waldo district, at 7917 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64114.

SOFFA Meeting, May 18th.

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The next meeting of SOFFA is May 18th, at Leawood Pioneer Library, in Study Room 107, from 6:30pm – 8.00pm.

Meetings are open to all friends, family, significant others and allies of trans people. If you can’t make it to a meeting, email soffakc@yahoo.com or message through facebook via https://www.facebook.com/SOFFA.KC

Positive International Transgender News You Missed This Week

Geraldine Roman 1

It seems that nearly every item of transgender news that landed in my brain this week concerns toilets, toilets, and still more toilets. And of course that’s important news, and an issue which will eventually impact every transgender person in the United States. In my last “Trans Talk” program on 90.1 FM KKFI I spent perhaps 5 minutes of my news update focused upon the toilet issue, so I do recognize its importance. But I’m also uncertain what my adding another article to be shared on the subject will do to add to the debate. I have no original research to present upon the subject, and while some may cry “every article creates awareness!”, when even people in the transgender community are tired of hearing about toilet news…how interested can the cisgender community be in the subject at this juncture?

Instead I want to share a couple of positive transgender news stories from the international scene which you may have missed this week. Note my post title implies that you did in fact miss this news, which is rather presumptuous, but that’s what gets posts shared – a bold, presumptuous title. I’ve also led this article with a photo of an attractive transgender woman, which also encourages folks to click on links to this article. Because that’s what blogs do, right? At least I don’t have, and never will have advertisements on Transas City. It’s frustrating to see so many on Facebook and other social media share clickbait sites with transgender “news” which is culled from BBC and other actual news sources, then loaded up with 50 advertisements per page. The ironic thing is the person making those pages is probably some sweatshop employee in China who couldn’t give a toss about transgender rights in any way – but they do know how to make a flashy title and put a teasing graphic to get clicks – and ad revenue. For all you know the most heavily-distributed transgender clickbait “news” is funding a group of skinheads sitting around a Starbucks, sipping $5 Frappuchinos while they plan their next “pride” rally.

I’m sometimes asked why we should care about international transgender news at all, and that question always baffles me. Normally I look at the questioner with the same stare our cat gives a new variety of food – he knows what it is, but he simply can’t understand why he’s even being presented with it. There are a million possible reasons, but the primary one is that sometimes I feel as if I can close my eyes and feel a giant transgender family which exceeds the bounds of Kansas City, the Midwest, this nation, and all political boundaries. I’ve traveled extensively in both this country and the world as a transgender woman, and everywhere I go I carry with me this sense of family. Sure, sometimes members of your family really piss you off – family doesn’t imply universal love and acceptance (a fact which ever-so-many of my transgender siblings have experienced first-hand!) – but a family nonetheless. I believe I once described it as a Fellini version of The Waltons, but there you go.

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With no further self-editorializing, I present to you Ms. Geraldine Roman, the first openly transgender politician elected to the Parliament in the Philippines. Not only that, according to the BBC she is also the only out LGBT politician in the heavily conservative and Catholic nation. While on the campaign trail Ms. Roman reflected upon one of her secrets to success in her election and life – the support of her parents.

During the campaign trail Ms Roman shared that her family always remained supportive of her, and her father advised her to “remain confident” despite being bullied for her gender identity in school.

“That somebody of my condition is going to enter congress for the first time is a statement that even transgender people can serve our country and should not be discriminated against,” Ms Roman told the AFP news agency during her campaign.

Ms. Roman left home to study in Spain, where she focused on language studies, learning 5 languages and earning two Masters degrees. She later worked as an editor at a Spanish news agency, and underwent her gender transition two decades ago. In 2012, she returned home to repay the love her parents had shown her, taking care of them in their old age while promising to continue their political legacy (her mother was a former Parliament member, and in fact the seat held by Ms. Roman was once held by her mother).

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After winning 62% of the popular vote in her native Bataan, Ms. Roman promised to not be a one-issue candidate, emphasizing that she intends to be open and vocal regarding her gender identity.

“I’m elated; very, very happy. I’m also excited to work. I realize that the burden is bigger because the stereotype of [LGBT] people … is we are frivolous, that we have nothing substantial to say, so I have to prove them wrong…”

For one thing, in 2001 a law was passed making it impossible for transgender Filipinos to change their name and gender. Ms. Roman has vowed to campaign to lift those restrictions, and to push for an anti-discrimination bill that ensures equal treatment in the workplace, schools, commercial establishments and government offices.

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The second transgender politician I want to highlight did not win so lofty a seat as Parliament, but nonetheless she won an important seat as the UK Labour Party’s first openly transgender councilor, and the only current elected Labour transgender politician in the UK. Last week Anwen Dawn Muston won the city of Wolverhampton’s East Park ward with 1,022 votes, running a campaign focused on local issues for her constituents. While other political parties in the UK have elected transgender councilors (the UK being somewhat more progressive than other countries in that regard), Ms Muston is the first Labour politician to win.

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According to her campaign site, Ms. Muston is an Army veteran and has been continuously involved in civic projects and charity work since her retirement. Her focus is on community services, helping elderly residents of her city, and campaigning against anti-social behavior and promoting community safety.

Ms. Roman and Ms. Muston, I salute both of you. Well done!

SOFFA Meeting, May 4th.

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The next meeting of SOFFA is May 4th, at Leawood Pioneer Library, in Study Room 115, from 6:30pm – 8.00pm.

Meetings are open to all friends, family, significant others and allies of trans people. If you can’t make it to a meeting, email soffakc@yahoo.com or message through facebook via https://www.facebook.com/SOFFA.KC

Three New Archival Photographs of Christine Jorgensen I’ve Purchased

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In honor of my transgender history lecture today at the Transgender Institute of Kansas City, I have posted three new archival photographs of the first “Atomic Age” American transgender woman, Christine Jorgensen. One of them, which is her original press packet photograph (seen above), is kind of cool. They can be found on my Christine Jorgensen page in high-resolution scans, but the low-res versions are shown here.

Christine Jorgensen, hotel interview, December 11, 1952.

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Christine Jorgensen photo (obscured by Raquel Welch) from her trip to Rome in 1954.

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April 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

Hello everyone! We have two great topics this month on Trans Talk. First, we’re going to talk with Bonyen Lee-Gilmore from Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, who is going to discuss a new effort by Planned Parenthood to provide health services to transgender men and women. Next we will kick off a new series of interviews with individuals from the transgender community in Kansas and Missouri which I call “Transgender Kaleidoscope,” and our first guest in this series will be Rachel Mollie Martin, a retired Lt. Colonel and decorated Army Ranger, who has recently seen some major triumphs in her transition, and some serious stumbling blocks as well.

Fiona Nowling will be co-hosting today’s program, and she will give us the community calendar update, while I will provide my view of some of the LGBT news this week. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, April 23 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Transgender History Lecture This Sunday in Kansas City (April 24, 2016)

Graphic_BannerHello everyone,

I’d be pleased if you would join me for an audiovisual journey (meaning, I have slides and videos) through transgender history. Presented in honor of the affiliation between the Transas City Project and the Transgender Institute of Kansas City, the lecture will be just over an hour and will encompass topics from the earliest eras of humankind to the 2010’s. The lecturer will be myself, who if you don’t know me is the founder of the Transas City Project and a transgender historian, as well as the hostess of “Trans Talk” on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio.

This presentation will be held at the Transgender Institute of Kansas City, 8080 Ward Parkway, Suite 400 (take the elevator to the 4th floor, turn left, and then another left), KCMO (see the map below). The lecture will begin promptly at 3:00 pm, and accounting for questions and answers from the audience will end about 4:30 pm.

Refreshments will be provided. There is no cost to attend, although donations will be accepted for transgender persons in need in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Location: The Transgender Institute, 8080 Ward Parkway, Suite 400, KCMO.
Time:         3:00 – 4:30 pm, Sunday, April 24th.

Reminder: Intersex Awareness Talk at UMKC, April 6, 2016

Intersex_FlagThe Intersex Pride Flag

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6th, there will be the ” ‘Who Am I?’ Intersex Awareness Talk” at UMKC. The talk will feature testimony from intersex individuals, such as myself and my guest Sieran from my February radio program. We will talk about growing up and living as an intersex person, and how it shaped our lives, as well as discussing some of the science of intersex, and take questions from the audience on any intersex or trans*-related subject.

The talk will be held in the UMKC Student Union, Room 302, from 2 to 3 PM. Please park carefully, as the UMKC parking police do not mess around; just take my word for it. There is metered parking in the Cherry Street garage, and other metered parking scattered about the campus.

Happy Indiana Transphobe Touts Toilet Bill with $5,000 Fine

Source: Indiana Lawmaker Introduces ‘Pay To Pee’ Bill For Transgender People | Indiana Talks

I guess Indiana must have an inferiority complex of some sort. After all, what is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Indiana?” The Indianapolis 500 race? Jim Nabors? Sorghum?

Obviously feeling as if his state is even further in the shadow of such states as North Carolina and Mississippi, Republican State Senator Jim Tomes (second from the left in the photograph above) wants Indiana to be stuck in our memories, like a fly in toffee, for having the strictest anti-transgender toilet terror bill on the books. Tomes SB 35, which he calls “a simple bill,” would accomplish two things. First, it makes it illegal for any transgender student to ever use a bathroom, locker room, or changing facility congruent with their gender identity. Students would be classified by the Sorting Hat of genitals and chromosomes. And Indiana’s public schools would be blatantly in violation of Title IX, but hey…

Much more scarily, however, the bill also states that any transgender person who uses a public sex-specific restroom, locker room, or shower room that matches their gender identity has committed a “single sex public facility trespass,” which it deems a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is the highest non-felony charge in Indiana, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 dollars.

Displaying a pair of “brass ones” the size of two Jovian moon, Tomes insists his legislation doesn’t target transgender people, stating somewhat disjointedly “Shouldn’t we also ask about…what about the other sector of society of people that who have all through the decades women been using women’s restrooms and men been using men’s restrooms and kind of like that and kind of expect that level of privacy?”

Strong words. Strong, confusing, and hateful words.

Georgia Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Bill, and a North Carolina Update

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In news today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has vetoed the anti-LGBT rights bill passed by the Georgia legislature. The bill, known as House Bill 757, would have exempted anyone claiming to be a “faith-based organization” from complying with any hiring, state labor practice, public service, or other laws which cover those who serve the public. In other words, it would allow groups to discriminate against an LGBT person based upon any allegation that it violates their organized “religious belief.”

The reason for the veto was money, pure and simple – an unprecedented number of companies, sports teams, and professional organizations came out against this bill, threatening to take their business elsewhere, or even move their entire company out of state. Sources close to the Governor are alleging (with no confirmation, mind you), that the most worrisome threat was that from the National Football League, which threatened to disallow Atlanta from hosting a future Super Bowl should the law be passed (one wishes that they had said the same about North Carolina’s bill, but then that bill was ram-rodded through their legislature in an unprecedented 3 hours from start to finish).

Republicans have threatened a special session to over-ride the Governor’s veto, and there is no information at this time as to how serious or possible such an attempt may be.

In related news, two transgender men, a lesbian woman, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, seeking to overturn the state’s disastrous anti-transgender legislation which was passed last Thursday. In response to the lawsuit, North Carolina Republicans are doubling down, releasing a “frequently asked questions” about the new law which has been proven to be deceptive and misleading – a scary thing, coming from the Governor’s office – claiming that the entire purpose of the law was to prevent men from using women’s facilities.

This lawsuit has significant potential to impact the transgender community nationwide. It is very likely that unless one side relents, the case will reach the United States Supreme Court, where at this time it is uncertain whether it would be upheld or thrown out – and on what possible grounds. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the subject matter of whether transgender discrimination is sex discrimination, and transgender-rights observers are nervous about what sort of precedent could be set should a “conservative flu” be contracted by the Court on this issue.

There are some nail-biting times ahead, folks.