Author Archives: Una

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

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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

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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

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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?

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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.

June 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

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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.

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.

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.

Geraldine Roman 3

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).

Geraldine Roman 2

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.

Anwen Muston 1

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.

Anwen Muston 2

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!

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

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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.