Category Archives: Entertainment

Trans-related entertainment, including book and film reviews.

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.

March 2016 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

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

KKFI

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?

XFiles-01
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

KKFI

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)

Holly_Woodlawn
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.”

Holly_Woodlawn2

Holly_Woodlawn3

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

Danish_Girl_Flyer

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

Heartland_Transgender_Chorus

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

October 2015 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month I am going to cover three topics. First I’ll speak with Lanie Gray Macaulay and Hannah Miller, teachers at Olathe North High School who sponsor their Gay-Straight Alliance. Next I will speak with SOFFA leader Fiona Nowling and Marsha, a transgender woman who has been separated from many in her family as a result of her transition, and we will discuss the problems faced by transgender persons during the holidays. Finally, I will interview Oliver Bohanon and Natalie Hicks, who are working on a transgender documentary film project right here in Kansas 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, October 24 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

September 2015 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

Hello everyone! On Trans Talk this month, my co-host Luke Harness and I are going to cover three topics. First we’ll speak with Jacob and Drew, transgender men who will discuss how their local gym became a trans+ friendly Kansas City business. We will next have wardrobe stylist Jennifer Niehouse to talk about creating a personal transgender style. Finally, Luke will be interviewing me about my experiences with the transgender communities of 4 countries I’ve recently worked in.

As usual Luke will give us 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 us this Saturday, September 26 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Olathe School District’s Transgender Restroom Policy Stirs Controversy – Not

The bathrooms inside a Johnson County high school are sparking some controversy, and it all has to do with which restrooms transgender students can use.

Please note that this is an old event, which has been bumped on social media and sent to me by two separate people, so I thought I would at least address the issue.

The original article from KCTV5, which is linked below, has a headline which implies that there is a major protest action, or some sort of mass resistance to the fact that two transgender students in the Olathe School District are being allowed to use the restroom congruent with their true gender. In reading the article, however, we find that the “controversy” consists of:

“KCTV5 News received an email from someone who said they are a concerned Olathe East High School parent outraged the school never told them anything, and now their student will be in a restroom with the opposite sex.”

A single e-mail. From one person, not identified. Wow, does Obama know about this? The article makes a further error, when it prints:

“The school district is in uncharted territory. They are the first metro school to address what the school paper calls the transgender ‘bathroom issue.’ “

Except of course for the entire KCMO School District, as proven by my interview with Lawrence Altman on last month’s Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio.

Honestly, I’m really uncertain at the level of reporting here, especially given that KCTV5 has a rather good record on transgender reporting, as seen in their reporting on the recent murder of Tamara Dominguez.

Source: District’s change over restrooms for transgender students stirs controversy

August 2015 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFI

We are going to cover three topics on Trans Talk, Saturday, August 22nd, at 1:00. First, we are going to be going “back to school” by talking with Jack, who will be sharing his experiences transitioning while at UMKC, and speaking with Luke Harness about the support groups offered on campus. We also have Lawrence Altman, the Lead Compliance Attorney for the Kansas City Missouri public school district, to discuss the comprehensive protections for transgender students in his district. For the next half of our program we will be interviewing Fiona Nowling, who is the leader of the Kansas City SOFFA support group, for the significant others, friends, family, and allies of transgender people. With Fiona is Louise, a long-time SOFFA member who has had success adjusting to the transition of her child as a result of support she and her husband found through the group. Finally, I will report on the murder of local transgender woman Tamara Dominguez, and report on the local media coverage and missteps which infuriated many in the Kansas City transgender community.

As always, we will have a breakdown of the LGBT news for the week and the community calendar update. Be sure to tune in at 1:00pm central, 90.1 FM, or kkfi.org, Kansas City Community Radio!

 

Poet Creates First Class for Transgender Poetry

Trace Peterson, a poet at the forefront of the push for transgender representation in poetry, will soon pioneer what she says is the country’s first course in transgender poetry.

Transgender lives and the experience of being transgender is something which not only is difficult for cisgender persons to understand, it can sometimes be difficult for we ourselves to understand. But this is part of the human experience, really – understanding ourselves and our place in the world has been a challenge since the earliest eras of civilization, and poetry has assisted with that communication for millennia.

Enter Trace Peterson, editor and publisher of the journal EOAGH and co-editor of the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. And in an effort to create visibility for transgender people, as well as to create a literary context for their work, Ms. Peterson will teach what she says is the first course in transgender poetry at Hunter College (of the City University of New York) this fall.

At the link below you can read a poem by Ms. Peterson, as well as listen to her reading her own work.

(Thank you to Julie C. for the news scoop).

Source: Poet creates first class for transgender poetry