A somewhat odd controversy has erupted over the trailer for the film Zoolander 2. In the trailer, actor Benedict Cumberbatch plays a androgynous model named “All,” and in one brief scene from the trailer, the two stars question whether All is a “male or female model” and if All has “a hot dog or a bun.”
Several petitions have been started calling for a boycott of the film for mocking transgender, androgyne, and gender fluid individuals. While other petitions demand to know why a transgender, androgyne, or gender fluid individual was not cast in the campy role, as opposed to a cisgender actor. Just proving that some days, you simply cannot win.
Having viewed the trailer my strongest urge was neither to start nor sign a petition, but rather to consider watching Mad Max: Fury Road for the 9th time instead.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has proposed updates to its 2012 Equal Access Rule, which prohibited federally funded housing from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Their new updates require sex-specific shelters to house transgender people according to their gender identity, rather than their birth sex, and offers a definition of gender identity, stating, “Gender identity means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth.”
This move will potentially help reduce the number of homeless transgender people on our streets, which is currently at an appalling level. At least 19 percent of transgender persons report being homeless at some point in their lives due to their gender identity, and according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, nearly a third of those who attempted to access homeless shelters were denied access on the basis of their gender identity, and 42 percent were forced to stay in facilities designated for the wrong gender.
Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month I am going to cover two topics. First I’ll speak with transgender historian and activist Cristan Williams about the recent repeal of Houston’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which some are claiming is the first major loss in the war for transgender rights. Then we will be talking with Caroline Gibbs, the founder and director of the Transgender Institute here in Kansas City, to discuss some very exciting upcoming events and to talk a little about transgender history, and the future, in our city.
I will also give a breakdown of some of the LGBT news this week, and I will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, November 28 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.
I’m posting this on behalf of Faith, who contacted me and asked me to publicize this very worthy event. I’ll copy her text below, and even if you are fortunate enough to have some place to share Thanksgiving, if you know of someone who isn’t, please pass this on to them. And if you are fortunate and can help support this effort, please contact LikeMe Lighthouse at this link, or contact Faith directly at the Equal trans support group email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let them know if you would like to come (at the links above), so they can plan for having enough food for everyone.
DATE: Saturday, November 28th, 2015
TIME: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
LOCATION: LikeMe Lighthouse, 3911 Main, Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Equal Trans* support group is sponsoring a Thanksgiving dinner (bring if you can) Potluck. All are welcomed!
We have a 10 lb turkey and dinner for about for to start off with. Please bring something to add to the food if you are able. But we will have food for anyone that is not able.
Understand that you are welcomed here! Some people do not have a place they are accpected for the holidays. It can be for many reasons: LGBT+ people, people away from friends or family are warmly welcomed here. Or if you just need a space place to be yourself with like minded people this is the place for you.
There will be board games and plenty of good conversation for all. Hope to see you there!
I recently purchased a large number of original wire photos, books, magazines, and other memorabilia from transgender history, and I will be posting them as I process them. As always, I include a link to the high-resolution scans, because our history is too important to be a “squirrel” and hoard away these things, out of the fear that someone might copy the works. Go ahead and copy and download all you want – if you want to give me a shout-out for credit, cool, but otherwise just keep these images safe so our past, what little of it still remains, shall never be forgotten.
Now to the photos: being a celebrity upon her arrival into the United States, Jorgensen was able to meet many famous and semi-famous personages for the first few years after her transition. The photograph below is from March 22, 1953, and shows her hobnobbing with comedian Milton Berle. Berle at the time was the host of NBC’s Texaco Star Theater. If you click on the photograph below, you can download a high-resolution scan of this original photograph.
This next photograph is a little bit of a mystery. It’s often reported as being from 1958, but the earliest time-stamp on the reverse of the photograph is “20 Jan 1954.” No description tells me the name of the gentleman standing behind her. You can click on the photo below to download a high-resolution scan.
This final photograph for this update is a wonderful photograph which I’ve never before seen on the web, so naturally I bid on it and bought it. It shows Christine Jorgensen on the beach in a white Chevrolet Impala convertible, having what looks to be a wonderful time. It’s dated August 17, 1960, and the writing on the rear of the photograph says: “Ex-GI Dazzles Male Audiences in Cabaret. CHRISTINE JORGENSEN TO BE A BRIDE. Evidence of success – Christine drives off to the beach.” Click on the photograph below to download a high-resolution version.
The New York Times has printed a very detailed article on a recent major victory for transgender youth. Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Illinois, had refused to allow a transgender girl equal access to school locker and toilet facilities, and a complaint was made by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. In a letter sent Monday, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education told the district that requiring a transgender student to use private changing and showering facilities was a violation of that student’s rights under Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination. The district has 30 days to reach a solution or face penalties, including potential administrative law proceedings or a Justice Department court action. The district could lose some or all of its Title IX funding.
From the article:
“All students deserve the opportunity to participate equally in school programs and activities — this is a basic civil right,” Catherine Lhamon, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room.”
Officials in the Palatine district, which serves more than 12,000 students, have framed their position as a middle ground. The transgender student in question plays on a girls’ sports team, is called “she” by school staff and is referred to by a female name. But the district, citing privacy concerns, had required her to change clothes and shower separately.
The district said she was allowed to change inside the girls’ locker room, but only behind a curtain. The student, who has not been publicly identified, has said she would probably use that curtain to change. But she and the federal government have insisted that she be allowed to make that decision voluntarily, and not because of requirements by the district.
As a rebuttal to ignorant parents who claimed that the student was a “boy” who was “gaming the system to see girls naked,” the Times reported that the student “…has identified as a girl from a young age, has changed her name, received a passport as a female and is undergoing hormone therapy…”