Category Archives: Entertainment

Trans-related entertainment, including book and film reviews.

March 2017 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI


Hello, and welcome to the March 2017 Trans Talk Edition of The Tenth Voice! We will be speaking with two guests on our show this month. Our first guest is Dr. Meredith Gray, who is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and who will discuss reproductive options for transgender persons, as well as transgender health services at KU. After our break at the bottom of the hour we will talk to Ceri Anne Lewis, who will discuss the positive relationship between religion and transgender persons, as well as her own transgender journey.

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, March 25 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

February 2017 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI


We have a special guest to kick our show off – Christine Burns will be joining us from the UK to discuss her decades-long work for transgender rights, as well as her work as a transgender historian. Ms Burns was instrumental in using the early internet for transgender advocacy, worked with the early political group Press for Change for transgender rights, and also helped craft the UK’s Gender Recognition Act of 2004 – for which she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.)

We have two other special guests for the second half of our show – Grace Cox-Johnson and Johnalita White-Menscher will be joining us to talk about the first year of Transfinity KC, Kansas City’s transgender and allies chorus. We will discuss the performances of the chorus in its first year, and will talk tell us the plans for the upcoming year, as well as information on how you can join and make your voice heard.

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, February 25 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

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.

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.

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.

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.

March 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

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Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month the topic is legislative assaults upon the transgender community, and we’re going to focusing on two subjects in particular. First we will talk with someone fighting back against transgender discrimination – Stephanie Mott, who is the Executive Director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, or KSTEP. She is courageously suing the state of Kansas for the right to change the gender marker on her birth certificate, and will be discussing her effort and how Kansas put itself in the position of denying valid records changes to transgender persons.

Next we will discuss the recent legislative efforts in Kansas to pass additional anti-transgender legislation, and we will compare these efforts with activities in other states as well. Sandra Meade will be our guest for that segment, and frequent listeners of this program will remember that not only is Sandra the former chair of Equality Kansas, she was the former hostess of this very show.

I will also give a breakdown of some of the LGBT news this week, and we will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, March 26 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Reminder: Heartland Trans Chorus Interviews This Weekend

Heartland_Trans_ChorusThe Heartland Trans Chorus, a very worthy effort of inclusion and empowerment for transgender persons and their allies, will be holding placement interviews for the Gay Pride Kansas City Performance. I want to remind and encourage anyone who thinks that they would like to try lifting their voice with spirit and pride to try out, or just attend and say hi to some friends and neighbors.

The interviews will be held this coming weekend on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th at the Charles Fillmore Chapel at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 West 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Please see the flyer graphic below for further information.

Heartland Trans Chorus Placement Interviews 2016

February 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

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Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month the we’re going to be talking with two people in our studio. First we’ll speak with Dr. Hiten Soni, a psychiatrist who strongly supports the transgender community, especially regarding the subject of surgery. Next we will speak to Sieran, an intersex transgender person, about both his own personal journey and the challenges faced by intersex persons in general. And for this month’s show, my wife Fiona Nowling will be a guest co-host.

I will also give a breakdown of some of the LGBT news this week, and we will finish up the show with the community calendar update. I do hope you will be able to join me this Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Transphobia on the New X-Files?

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Like many who followed the first X-Files series, I’ve welcomed the return of the series for its mini-season, even though the episodes thus far have contained more than a bit of camp. And so starts the third episode of this series, which is titled “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” The episode is your basic “monster” episode, outside the overall plot arc for the series (which still remains to be made clear), and normally these “monster” episodes are an opportunity to have a bit of scary with a bit of fun.

This episode, however, starts to go bad within 6 minutes of the start. The overall plot has Mulder and Scully investigating murders (or animal attacks) in Oregon, and very quickly we are treated to a scene of a prostitute at a truck stop soliciting sex, who encounters the “monster of the week” and promptly wallops it with her purse. The prostitute is played by D.J. Pierce, a drag performer whose acting credits include “This is Drag” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” And as Mulder and Scully interview her as a witness, she outs herself as a crack-addicted transgender prostitute in an incredibly cringe-worthy scene. You can see a clip below (forgive the crudeness; I lack mad video skills and I didn’t want to pirate directly from the episode).



Later on, Mulder has a conversation with the “monster,” now in man form as “Guy Mann,” wherein he stumbles embarrassingly through a discussion of the meaning of transgender and transsexual.

Mann: “Man, she hit like a man!”

Mulder: “That’s because she used to be… she once… she’s transgender.”

Mann: “What? You can’t transform into a different sex! That’s nuts!”

Mulder: “It’s not nuts, it’s actually a very common medical procedure. You don’t need the surgery, technically, to—”

Mann: “Maybe that’s what I could do! It’s a cure! I’ll do the surgery!”

Mulder: “No, completely different.”

Mann: “Tell me how much it costs, I’ll do it.”

Mulder: “They cut off your genitals.”

Mann: “No, leave it. That’s a step too far, isn’t it. Well, anyway, I think she gave me a concussion.”

“That’s a step too far, isn’t it?” Right.

Will I stop watching the new series because of this? No. But the X-Files missed a moment to actually show a just a little bit of sympathy towards transgender persons.

January 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

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Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month the topic will be finding our voices, and using them. I will first talk with Gillian Power, who is organizing a transgender chorus in Kansas City to empower the community and help train others in finding their voice. Next I will speak with Brenda Way and Elle Boatman, transgender activists from Wichita who have used their voices and their energy to benefit their community and make Wichita a better place.

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, January 23 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

OBITUARY: Transgender Actress Holly Woodlawn (1946 – 2015)

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My friend Eve Golden, an author, actress, and New York socialite who writes celebrity obituaries, has sent me information on the passing of transgender actress Holly Woodlawn, and I’ve added some bits from research I’ve done.

Holly Woodlawn died of cancer today (December 6) in Los Angeles. Born in Puerto Rico, Woodlawn hit New York in the 1960’s and soon fell in with the crowd of admirers and protégés surrounding artist Andy Warhol. She, Candy Darling, and Jackie Curtis were among the first openly transgender actresses in the New York stage and film world (and all of them were named in Lou Reed’s hit, “Walk on the Wild Side.” Woodlawn appeared in the films Trash and Women in Revolt, and in low-budget films such as Night Owl and Heaven Wants Out. She also had roles in the somewhat more well-known Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss and several cameo appearances on the award-winning Amazon series Transparent. In 1982, Holly was hired by the producers of Tootsie to coach Dustin Hoffman in his role. In recent years, Woodlawn worked in West Hollywood as a cabaret artist.

In 1991 she published a memoir titled A Low Life in High Heels, and in an interview in 2014 was quoted as saying “Aging is the best thing that could have happened to me…I have calmed down a gazillion compared to what I was younger. It is nice seeing all the kids around and thinking, ‘Oh God, if only they knew what is ahead of them!’ I hope they’re prepared! At least with me, it was never dull or boring.”

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A Kansas City Transgender Event – Free Screening of “The Danish Girl”

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As Caroline Gibbs, founder of the Transgender Institute announced on my Trans Talk program on KKFI last Saturday, Kansas City is honored to be presenting a screening of the Universal Pictures film The Danish Girl. The film is a semi-biographical drama of the groundbreaking journey of Einar Wegener, the husband of artist Gerda Wegener, to become one of the world’s first transgender women – Lili Elbe (I have only posted a very small amount of information about Lile Elbe on my site here).

Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables) directs the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Einar/Lili and Gerda. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Les Misérables) and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, Anna Karenina), star as Einar/Lili and Gerda, respectively.

What’s more, thanks to the sponsorship of the Transgender Institute, you can register online to receive free tickets for the screening! There are 200 seats available, and they are given out on a first-come, first-served basis. You can register for the event by clicking the link below, and you need not create an account to use it, just proceed as “Guest.” Click here to get your free tickets, while they last!

Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015.

Time: 7:00 P.M.

Location: The Glenwood Arts Theatre, 3707 W. 95th St., Overland Park, KS, 66206.

There will be a brief introduction before the film to provide some historical background, and yours truly has been invited to deliver an introduction – so I hope to see many of you there!

A Heartland Transgender Chorus May Be Forming, and You Are Invited to Join

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This message was given to me by my friend Gillian here in Kansas City, and I’m posting it on her behalf to reach out to my many readers to see if anyone is interested in joining this. I really think this could be a wonderful opportunity for an accepting group activity to build confidence and meet new friends in Kansas City. Her message follows:

A Transgender Chorus in Kansas City

For many of us, becoming who we are entails finding our voice. Voice however is different in different circumstances. Speaking on the phone is different to speaking in public to speaking to a loved one. So often our voices betray us and all too often we don’t feel like we have a voice.

I hope that we can change that in Kansas City.

I recently had the honor of meeting with and hearing the members of Boston’s Butterfly Music Transgender Chorus rehearse. It was a beautiful and moving experience that touched my heart and inspired me to work towards establishing our own chorus right here in Kansas City. I have been working to gather support and information from folks that want to help us establish the chorus. Specifically Heartland Men’s Chorus and folks at GALA. In addition to Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago are also getting choruses going.

The vision is to create a sustainable structure with good governance that over time will evolve into a place for us to sing as one and to claim our space in the world. Singing and especially choral work offers a profound opportunity for growth and discovery and a way to have your true voice heard.

Please share this post with anyone who you think might be interested in joining and participating either as a singer or as a supporter. Once a quorum of people is established on social media, we will arrange a public meeting to establish a steering committee and embark on finding our voice.

Please go to the FaceBook group setup to discuss this project and ask to join if you are interested: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KCtranschorus/

New Zoolander Film Called “Transphobic”

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.

You can see the trailer at the link below