Author Archives: Una

January 2017 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI


Hello everyone! We have two themes to our program this week. First we are going to re-open the subject of transgender prisoners, focusing on what happens afterwards and how society has placed many barriers on success for transgender persons who have served their time and are fighting to live their lives in America. We will be talking with JoAnna Ramsey, a guest we interviewed last October, to check up on her and find out how she has been doing getting her life in order. Also with us is April, a transgender woman and activist who is also trying to get a fresh start after a history of legal difficulties. In our second half we will interview Ari Copeland, a transgender man who is a senior water scientist at a global engineering firm, to talk about his life and to discuss along with Una the perils and joys of crossing the gender barrier in the corporate engineering world.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

New Rare Photo of Christine Jorgensen Performing at the Silver Slipper, 1955

Christine Jorgensen and Friend
I’ve added a very rare photograph to the collection – I found this this one on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, in a photo gallery of scores of Las Vegas alumni. It was a very dramatic moment for me actually – I was going to a client reception hosted by my company as “out and proud” myself, when I exited the escalator and suddenly was face-to-face with this gorgeous photo print. I just stopped cold, and stared…and stared…I think it was nearly 5 minutes that I spent, just standing there looking into the past of my people. After the event, when I had had far too much to drink, apparently I spent some more time in front of the work, until hotel security asked me if I was alright, and helped me to a taxi.

The photo print is nearly 4 feet high, and has glorious detail, but sadly it is not very well-lit, and the photograph was spoiled by reflections from overhead lamps that I could not block out. I have a small version above, and a link to a much larger version right here.

There was a small silver plaque to the right of the photo, which said in full “December 9, 1955. Entertainer Christine Jorgensen performs on stage at the Silver Slipper.” And note this very important bit – they only refer to her as an “entertainer,” not “transgender woman” or anything else. I think that is really very incredible in a mundane, normal way.

More photos, media, and information about Jorgensen can be found on our Christine Jorgensen page.

December 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI


Hello everyone! Today’s show has a special holiday theme, being a friends and family show. First we will be speaking with Samantha Ruggles about her life, challenges, and successes as a transgender woman. Samantha is a friend of ours who is the final guest in our Transgender Kaleidoscope series of 2016. Next, Fiona will lead a discussion about family and the holidays with Samantha and our other dear friends in the studio with us today: Marsha, Suzanne, Gus, and Finn.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, December 24 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

New Historical Upload: Jorgensen, Johns Hopkins, and SRS in 1967

Christine Jorgensen Uncensored
I’m starting the processing of hundreds of archival transgender media, which I’m providing in high-resolution scans and with no watermarks. So let’s begin with this: in the April, 1967 edition of Uncensored magazine, we find an article which purports how Christine Jorgensen is doing in life as a woman, and reports on Johns Hopkins Hospital starting sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and establishing their Gender Identity Clinic. The article features several photographs from Christine Jorgensen’s past, but mainly focuses on the recent history of SRS (well, recent in 1967 anyhow), with some interesting facts and figures.

There is a quote from Jorgensen at the end of the article, referencing the Johns Hopkins programs, where she says: “I am glad I lived to see it happen. The biggest problem I have encountered since my operation is disbelief. Some people refer to me as ‘it.’ This is a smart-alec approach to a serious medical problem. I have received thousands of letters from people who don’t know where to turn. Now at least some of these poor souls have a place to go.”

You may read and download the entire article, scanned in high-resolution, either by going to the Transas City Christine Jorgensen page, or directly from this link here.

Danish Prime-Time Advertisement Celebrates Transgender Acceptance

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted about things not concerning KKFI and Trans Talk. It’s not been a good year for us here at Transas City, not at all. But the election…debacle has convinced me that I need to get the energy to rejuvenate Transas City, and get my hundreds of backlogged historical and science items out in the public.

But first I wanted to highlight a current television advertisement from Denmark – inarguably the home of Western transsexual history – showing a father trying to reach out to his transgender daughter at Christmas time. The advertisement is for Danish electronics retailer Elgiganten, and is titled (after translation) “Let the Gifts Talk.” The advertisement shows a transgender teenager or woman spending a tense Christmas with her parents, obviously scared and uncomfortable.
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The entire family seems tense as her father grimly presents her with a gift, that as she hesitantly opens turns out to be a hair straightener/curler set. There’s a shy smile from her, and an almost-smile from the still grim father.
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Some have criticized the advertisement for the father not showing “enough” acceptance, not being as friendly and welcoming to his daughter as he should be. But in my experience, as I’m certain that of innumerable others, acceptance and welcoming are such a gradual process, and every family works on their own timetable. Sometimes it goes in fits and starts – the old “two steps forward, one step backward.” But other times, it is just a very slow, gradual evolution, like ice melting. The latter is what I believe this advertisement is showing.

You can view the advertisement below via YouTube.

November 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

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Hello everyone! We have two guests for our show this weekend – first, we will be speaking with Julie, the mother of a transgender young man, who is suing the Odessa Missouri school district over discrimination against her son. Next, we will be talking with Dr. Peter Raphael, a surgeon with the American Institute of Plastic Surgery who serves the transgender male and female community, about his practice and developments in transgender surgery.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, November 26 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

October 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

transgender_prisoner
Hello everyone! We are devoting the entire show this month to a special guest and those who are supporting her. JoAnna Ramsey is a transgender woman who experienced a harrowing time incarcerated in Kansas within the male prison population, and she will be speaking with us about herself, what she went through in prison, and her transgender activism behind the wall. Also with us will be Caroline Gibbs, founder of the Transgender Institute of Kansas City, who will discuss how the Institute worked to help JoAnna, as well as plans for a future outreach project for transgender prisoners. JoAnna is also joined by her friend Tyga McHenry, who will talk with us about JoAnna’s experience.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

September 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

carmen3Hello everyone! We begin this month’s Trans Talk edition of the Tenth Voice speaking with Haley Bridges, the Director of TrueGender, which is a new local organization working to tackle the problem of high medical costs for transgender families. Next we will continue our Transgender Kaleidoscope series, speaking with Carmen Xavier, a transgender woman with a wonderful outlook on life and local political aspirations to help the community.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, September 24 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

August 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

Transition_Family
Hello everyone! We begin this month’s Trans Talk edition of the Tenth Voice speaking with Dr. Courtney Marsh, a Reproductive Specialist at The University Of Kansas Hospital who provides hormone therapy to many of the Kansas City transgender community. Dr Marsh will be answering questions about hormone therapy and other transgender medical issues. For the second half of our program we continue our Transgender Kaleidoscope series, and this time we’re highlighting not just one individual, but an entire family of hope: Libby, a transgender woman who has just finished high school, and her father Michael, mother Louise, and fiancé Eliza – who also happens to be a transgender woman.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, August 27 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Shameless: Conservatives Panic Over “Transgender Hillbillies”

Transwomens Land Army
…and lesbian farmers, of course.

Really, the jokes just write themselves, as we learn from Media Matters of conservative angst over the The Iowa LGBT Rural Summit, which was held on August 18. The purpose of the summit is to elevate voices in rural LGBT communities and share information for politics, programs, and services to protect and strengthen them. This innovative program was quickly viewed as a plot to infiltrate the heartlands with “radical LGBT propaganda,” for evil purposes of course. For example, according to the Washington Free Beacon,

“The all-day summit will teach lesbian and transgender hillbillies how to get subsidies from the government like rural housing loans and “community facility grants.” Bullying will also be discussed.”

Noted transphobe, homophobe…shoot, is there anyone this guy likes?…Rush Limbaugh weighed in on this issue, braying on his August 17th show:

Have you heard the latest Democrat scam? Have you heard about the Agriculture Department’s financial grants to lesbian farmers? You think I’m making this up?


I’m like you; I never before in my life knew that lesbians wanted to be farmers. I never knew that lesbians wanted to get behind the horse and the plow and start burrowing[sic]. I never knew it. But apparently enough money can make make it happen, and the objective here is to attack — they’re already attacking suburbs, and that has been made perfectly clear by what happened in Milwaukee. And they’re going after every geographic region that is known to be largely conservative. They never stop, folks. They are constantly on the march.

While most of the criticism in the right-wing media focuses on lesbians, there is plenty of fear and loathing over the slow realization that transgender people not only exist, but yes, sometimes we do actually farm.

THIS SUNDAY: A Presentation on the Bible and Transgender Identity

Deuteronomy_23_Eunuch_and_Philip
Transgender persons are often told that their gender identity and presentation are forbidden by the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Insults are hurled, jobs are lost, and discriminatory laws crafted based upon this belief. But is this really accurate? Does research into the linguistic origins and the historical context of the Bible suggest that rather than being condemned, transgender persons may actually be accepted within the texts?

This lecture is intended for peoples of all faiths or no specific faith as a way to help understand how different interpretations of religious texts can yield significant differences in the meaning of the text – and how to respond to some religious-based arguments against the validity of transgender identity.

Please join Una Nowling, Director of Transgender Studies at the Transgender Institute, hostess of “Trans Talk” on 90.1 FM KKFI, and the founder of Transas City, as she presents her research on a positive relationship between transgender persons and the Bible.

Location

Johnson County Central Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212 – Carmack Community Room

Date and Time

3:00 – 4:15 pm, Sunday, July 31st

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

July 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

kaleidoscope
Hello everyone! We have two special guests this month on Trans Talk. Earlier this year, we started a series called Transgender Kaleidoscope, where we highlight interesting transgender individuals from the local Kansas City Metropolitan community. We skipped that session last month due to having two time-sensitive topics to air, so today, we’re going to have two Kaleidoscope guests. Our first guest will be Grace Cox-Johnson, a transgender woman who has a passion for music, and who acts as music director at Transfinity KC, Kansas City’s own transgender chorus. Our second guest will be Gus, a transgender man who has been an educator, mentor, and voice in the community, and who is here to share his own story with us. While Gus has been through many challenges in his life, but in the end one of his greatest feelings of accomplishment is in finally being just a “normal guy” and living an authentic life.

As usual, we will share with you the transgender news and the community calendar update. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, July 23 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

A Free Evening of Beauty Event from the Transgender Institute

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On July 28, 2016 a free event will be held to provide advice and demonstrations for creating a feminine appearance that fits your style. Called An Evening of Beauty and Transformation for Trans Women in the Midwest, the event will be an opportunity to mingle with complimentary refreshments and live music, while learning from representatives such as:

Wig Design – Robinn Scholfield

Vocal Feminization – Caroline Gibbs

Fashion, Image Consulting, and Skin Care – Anna Mc Connell

Makeup Artistry – Monique Brown

Master Hair Stylist – Alonda Lona

Laser Hair Removal – Mirabile Medcosmetic

I’ve been to these events before, and they are always well-attended and thus provide an opportunity to meet many other transgender folks from the Kansas City Area. I hope to see you there!

Date and Time

6.00 to 8.30 pm, July 28, 2016.

Location

Bravadas Wig Design Boutique, 11004 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS, 66210

The First Transgender Exploitation Novel?

The_Lady_Was_a_Man_Cover

There were several transgender exploitation fictions which were published after Christine Jorgensen’s Atomic-Era story burst onto the scene. From 1953-1954 there were several short stories published in men’s magazines, and prior to Jorgensen’s coming out there were numerous stories featuring cross-dressing and intersex characters. But this work is probably the beginning of a genre of transgender exploitative fiction. Originally published under the title “Sex Gantlet[sic] to Murder,” this seedy crime novel was first printed in January, 1955, and probably written in late 1954. In 1958 it was republished, with a different and more provocative cover, under the title “The Lady Was a Man.”

I have published a complete review of this work, and verified that as it contains the blatant themes of anti-transgender misogyny, transgender panic, and transgender sexual exploitation, it likely is the first instance of a transgender exploitation novel.

You may read the review of the work at this link.

BREAKING: Williams Institute Doubles Previous Estimate on Transgender Population

TransCrowdIn very important news for the transgender community, the Williams Institute has published a new report which has increased the estimate of the number of transgender persons in the United States – from the prior 700-800,000 to 1.4 million. That’s an increase from 0.3 to 0.6 percent, or a doubling of our estimated numbers.

The report is based on new data from the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and it provides estimates on both a national and a state-by-state basis. The entire report can be found here, and it is chock-full of statistics, including breakdowns by age grouping and 95 percent confidence intervals. There are a couple of interesting demographic maps as well, showing that transgender persons appear to be concentrated, of all places, in the southern half of the United States, as well as the west coast.

Let me share some of the high-level results here:

  • Kansas is estimated to have 9,300 transgender persons, or 0.43 percent of the state.
  • Missouri is estimated to have 25,050 transgender persons, or 0.54 percent of the state.
  • Hawaii has the most transgender persons by percentage, at 0.78 percent (however, the District of Colombia has an incredible 2.77 percent of its residents identifying as transgender).
  • North Dakota has the lowest percentage of transgender persons, at 0.30 percent. Note that even though the “Rough Rider State” comes in 50th place, its percentage of transgender persons is actually equal to the previous nationwide estimate.

In terms of absolute population, California has the most transgender residents, at an incredible 218,400. For reference, that is 30,000 more than the entire active duty United States Marine Corps. Send in the transpeople!

Source: Flores, Andrew R. et al. “How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States?” The Williams Institute, June, 2016.