Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sustenance for the Soul – Concert on June 16th 2018!

Transfinity KC Chorus will be holding their Spring/Summer concert this coming Saturday, June 16th, 7pm, at Kansas City United Church of Christ (65th & Brookside).

There will be lots of food, wine, and singing, and a new addition to the repertoire – poetry readings by local transgender and gender non-conforming poets.

You do not need tickets in advance, but you can make a donation at the door if you choose, to support the work of TKC.

 

Necessary Changes to Transas City

As I’ve been updating the site with more of my archival materials (I still have less than a third posted so far), I’ve had to also make some necessary changes in the site.

When the site first started in 2012, there was a dearth of transgender information available locally to our community on how to transition legally in Kansas and Missouri. To help folks out with the legal aspects of transition, I consulted a local attorney and received information from transgender persons who had gone through the transition process, including my own experiences in Kansas, and I created the Kansas and Missouri transition pages. Which helped numerous people over the years.

Unfortunately, time passed and the information on the site became stale. I sought out legal help again from 3 different attorneys who frequently work with transgender persons in the KCMO area, and all three refused to help me in any way. Even when I asked for just general guidelines and how-to’s, they either said they didn’t want to get involved, or in one case said “why should I post information on your site that will make me lose business, Una?” I guess I have to credit her mercenary honesty.

I made a second effort this last fall to get updated information, but was unable to find a single attorney or paralegal willing to donate even a couple of hours of time to help me. While several persons who had gone through the process recently were kind enough to offer their help, what I needed was a more authoritative legal guideline that was more generic.

Thus, in the interest of only providing accurate information, I have been forced to remove the pages.

There will be continued reorganization and updating of the site in the coming months, which will move the focus more towards community history, science, social, and ethnic resources for us. The site receives between 300-800 hits every day from humans (meaning, non-bots or web crawlers), and can top 10,000 in a day when a newsworthy article is posted. Clearly the information here is valued by some, and I’m going to continue to focus on my strengths.

Please note too that if you have an idea for something to host on the site, please contact me at transascity@gmail.com. Also, if you have any sort of trans-focused event you want publicized, send that to us and not only can we post about it here, but we can tell folks about it on the radio for free.

June 2017 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

Hello, and welcome to the June 2017 Trans Talk Edition of The Tenth Voice! We will have Debi Jackson and her family with us on this month’s show. Debi is the proud mom of a transgender daughter, Avery, and an activist. Avery featured on the cover of a recent National Geographic issue, “The Gender Revolution“. They join us this month to talk about the impact that activism has had on their lives.

We will also have our regular news round up of issues affecting Transgender and Non-Binary people, and finish off with our regular community calendar spot. We do hope you will be able to join us this Saturday, June 24 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

May 2017 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

Hello, and welcome to the May 2017 Trans Talk Edition of The Tenth Voice! We have two guests with us in the studio today. Registered nurse Kim Tilson is here to tell us all about the 2nd Annual Trans Health Inclusion conference which is coming soon, and to talk a bit about the past and present state of transgender health care. After a musical break we will be joined by Ari Copeland, a senior water scientist and transgender advocate who is going to discuss in depth some of the transgender news of the month and related issues with myself and Fiona in a roundtable – sort of a break from my usual news update, which many of my listeners refer to as “Una’s News Rant.” I guess we can call this the gender rainbow McLaughlin Group or something.

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, May 27 at 1:00 pm on 90.1 FM KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio! You can also stream the program live on kkfi.org.

Early Transgender Film Review: I Want What I Want (1972)

I Want What I Want

Summary: a surprisingly touching, respectful, and accurate fictional portrayal of the coming out of a transgender woman in England in the early 1970’s. This film avoids nearly all of the “transploitation” themes of most works up to the 2000’s and is a “must see” for anyone interested in a transgender “coming out” historical fiction from 45 years ago. Even though the lead is played by a cisgender woman, this film gives us a hint of how we could have started out on a more positive media footing barely 2 years after Stonewall. There is a complete review of the film at the link below, along with four clips from the film.

Movie Review: I Want What I Want (1972)

Some Positive UK Transgender Kids News (February, 2016)

Uniforms
We have three items from the United Kingdom to highlight in this little news roundup. The first is from Brighton College, where the school is allowing all kids the right to wear the male or female school uniform, depending upon their gender identity. Note that although the school has “college” in its name, this is actually a pre-university private school. From the Daily Mirror:

Mr Cairns told students last week that uniform codes dating back to the school’s inception in 1845 would be replaced by a ‘trouser uniform’ and a ‘skirt uniform’ for all pupils up to the age of 16.

The trouser uniform will see pupils wear a full tweed blazer, tie and trousers and the skirt uniform requires students to wear a skirt, bolero jacket and open-neck reverse blouse.

Parents will be required to write to the school before pupils can switch from one uniform to another.

Girls are already walking around the campus in trousers and the school said more than one boy has expressed the desire to wear a skirt.

Pupil Fred Dimbleby, 17, son of BBC broadcaster David Dimbleby, 77, said: “Personally, I’m completely in favour of it.

“I think it’s brilliant that we as an institution are leading this new approach and that we are leading this respect towards everyone no matter what they define themselves as.

“What’s really surprised me is the way that people have taken it within the school.

“I think that it’ll be foreign for people to see someone who defines themselves as a male wearing a skirt, and I think that will be something big, but I don’t think it’ll cause any outrage or backlash because that person will be massively supported by the pupil body.”

Baptism
In another bit of news from the UK, a transgender girl has inspired the New Chapel Unitarian and Free Christian Church in Greater Manchester to start offering transgender baptisms. In short, to allow transgender persons to be baptized in their new name and gender expression.

Worship leader Jean Clements came up with the idea after meeting a couple who had a transgender child.

The church then backed the change to help others in the same situation.

Mrs Clements told the BBC : “I felt saddened by the fact that this family were being shunned by many mainstream churches.

“However, when the family came to New Chapel, the congregation welcomed them with open arms.”

Nottingham
Finally, a 5-year-old Nottinghamshire child has become one of the youngest cases of gender transition in Britain. Little Danni McFayden has re-entered her primary school as a girl after a social gender transition fully supported by both parents and teachers.

Children can take drugs to postpone puberty as well as hormone treatment, before NHS gender realignment surgery at 18.

The Gender Identity Research and Education Society says referrals for treatment of young people are growing by 50%.

Colin Pettigrew, from Nottingham County Council, said it was determined to support the youngster’s wishes.

He said: “Transgender is a new area for many school and is a characteristic protected by law.”

Archival Photograph: Christine Jorgensen Reads Her Autobiography

Jorgensen_Christine_1953_03_Reading_Obverse_post
Christine Jorgensen’s story was introduced to most of the world via an autobiography which was published in the American Weekly magazine shortly after news broke of her sex reassignment surgery. We have purchased an original archival photograph of Jorgensen reading her own article in the Weekly, which has this caption on the reverse: “Preparing for a new life, in which publication of her color photographs will be the first task, Christine (nee George) Jorgensen reviews story[sic] of her life in American Weekly.” The date on the photograph is March 3, 1953, but there is reason to suspect it’s from later in the month. You can view and download a high-resolution scan of this photograph at this link here.

StoryCorps is Coming to KC

StoryCorps

 

KCUR & GLAMA (The Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America) are bringing StoryCorps to KC – they’ll be at GLAMA at UMKC recording interviews on June 10, 2015 – June 13, 2015.  It’s part of the StoryCorp OutLoud project – telling the stories of LGBT lives across America.

From StoryCorps’ website:

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations. … Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

They are here to collect stories from people in the LGBT community, so if you are interested, make an appointment here – http://storycorps.org/partner-reservations-login/?partner=OmHrrmtPh5NJWVAQQedT  Password is “lgbtstory”.

Kansas City Anti-Violence Project – LGBTQ Conversations for Change

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project will be holding three town hall meetings over the next few weeks about various topics of concern to the LGBTQ community.  The first meeting is on May 11th and concerns Racism in LGBTQ Communities.

KCAVPTownHalls

There was considerable discussion at the free screening of Limited Partnership about intersectionality in oppression, and the topic of the first town hall meeting is “Racism in LGBT Communities.”  These particular town hall meetings are only open to people that self-identify as members of the LGBTQ community.

A brief quote from the meeting topic page gives the motive for having these conversations now:

In light of the ongoing investigation of Dionte Green’s murder on October 31, 2014 with no justice, continued hate violence directed at LGBTQ individuals, law enforcement’s harassment of and misconduct towards marginalized communities, specifically LGBTQ individuals, and the general lack in representation of diversity and inclusion within LGBTQ community events and spaces, we must expand our conversations.

More information is available here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/372816806260472/

UMKC Meetings of Interest

Una & I have been to a couple of the UMKC LGBTQIA meetings this academic year, and I have details to share about upcoming meetings.  There’s a couple of events and a college student and young adult support group that I have details for.

Trans+Social: Once weekly social support group held at UMKC exclusively for trans+ identifying individuals geared toward college students and young adult community members. Time and Day may vary from semester to semester and these meetings are only open to members of the Trans+ community. Email transumkc@gmail.com for current time and location.

Trans+Allies: Facilitated discussion group open to everyone including trans+ community members of all ages, family, and allies. Held once per month during the academic year (Sept-Dec, Feb-May) at UMKC. Email transumkc@gmail.com with any questions.  The details for the last two Trans+Allies meetings of this semester are:

Tuesday, April 7th there will be a panel/roundtable on non-binary trans and genderqueer identities. The last meeting of the 2015 spring semester will be on May 5th and Michael Henderson from Counseling, Consulting & Mediation will come speak about the trans+ community and mental health. These two meetings will be held in UMKC’s Student Union room 302 from 6-8pm.

Meet Mildred M., 1942

Mildred_1942

If one wanted to characterize the history of transgender persons prior to December 1, 1952, one might be hard-pressed to arrive at a better moniker than “the dark ages.” Very little is known about transgender persons and their treatment prior to the dawning of the Age of Christine [Jorgensen], with the greatest amount of data being either from medical journals and textbooks, or in the exceedingly rare biographies and autobiographies which exist (such as that of Lili Elbe and Ralph Werther, q.v.).

Meet Mildred M. (unknown last name), a clearly transgender woman born in 1908 who had an unhappy and turbulent life. All we know of her story thus far is contained within a single medical report from 1942, after she approached the University of Illinois Psychiatric Clinic asking for a letter certifying her gender identity. Unfortunately for Mildred, she was misdiagnosed under an array of psychiatric qualifiers, and is featured in a series of 8 photographs and commentary on the page which is linked below.

This report represents a rare snapshot of how a transgender woman was viewed by the medical profession in the 1940’s, and it’s definitely a sobering but interesting read.

A Distant Mirror – Mildred M., 1942

February 2015 Trans Talk on 90.1 KKFI

KKFIPlease join us today on “Trans Talk,” 90.1 FM, KKFI, Kansas City Community Radio at 1:00 pm central. You can also tune into kkfi.org to listen in via live streaming audio from anywhere with an internet connection. Today Sandra Meade will interview two young transgender children and their families, along with a local transgender therapist, Scott Fieker, to help answer questions about treatment for young transgender children. We will open with the LGBT news this week courtesy of Luke Harness, and close with the community calendar read by yours truly.

A Piece of History – LaVerne Cummings

Cummings_LaVerne_post
LaVerne Cummings was a stage performer as a “female impersonator” who performed for decades at the legendary Finnochio’s nightclub in San Francisco. Born Paul Cummings, she was noted for having a beautiful split-singing voice, capable of singing in a soprano or tenor when needed. She was also noted for her luscious blonde hair, sometimes being the only crossdressing performer who wasn’t wearing a wig on stage. Her career ended in 1982 when she lost her singing voice, and she (as of the writing of this article) retired to west Las Vegas.

I have a few photographs of LaVerne at the link below.

LaVerne Cummings

Una Talks to the Leader of the Face of Trans* About her WSU Speech

Elle_Boatman_TDOR_2014
Photo credit: Kevin Brown

As part of the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) ceremonies this week, Elle Boatman, who started the wonderful Face of Trans* project, was asked to speak at Wichita State University (WSU) on stereotypes, focusing on the transgender experience. Her talk was attended by between 40-50 members of the student and faculty community at WSU, as well as members of the local transgender community and allies. Titled “Beyond the Binary,” Ms. Boatman explained the role of stereotyping in human psychology, and then used that to lead into an education on the plight of transgender persons worldwide.

I had a chance to ask Ms. Boatman some additional questions about her speech, and I’ll post them as well as her answers below.

Thank you for taking time to talk with me, Ms. Boatman. I had a couple of questions after reading of your speech at WSU. A complete transcript was not available, so I wondered if there were there any key points of your speech which you would like to emphasize here?

Active ally support is critical to obtaining equal rights for trans individuals but the trans community also has a responsibility to stand up for ourselves and be counted as valuable members of society.

What does Transgender Day of Remembrance mean to you, personally?

For me, Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time of reflection and mourning for those lives tragically ended by hate and ignorance. Each year the list grows longer – although the “official” list shrank this year, there is evidence that as more transgender persons feel they can live public, authentic lives, they expose themselves to more violence. We know that transgender deaths outside of the United States and Europe are still vastly under-reported.

I feel the list of names is not only a testament to the rampant violence and intolerance that are so prevalent in many societies around the globe but also as a sign that education and advocacy are beginning to take root. The growing list is not due to increased violence, it’s due to increased recognition of our community and the struggles we face.

What do you think about as you hear the list of the names of the fallen being read?

As I hear the names being read I think how sad it is that these lives have been snuffed out. Many hit home especially hard as they come from cities and towns I’ve lived in or visited. But each name read, regardless of where they are from, is like hearing the tragic news that a family member has died. Also, part of me wonders, as an outspoken trans woman and activist, if I’ll be on that list next year or the year after or the year after that someday.

FaceofTransExample

Did you take advantage of your speech to bring more people into your Face of Trans* project?

Yes! Thirteen people showed up to have their photographs taken, including several WSU faculty.

What are your plans for the future of TFOT*?

Since the inception of TFOT*, I’ve always had the desire to do a film, a documentary about the trans experience but with that TFOT* spin. So I’m hoping to make some more inroads toward that goal. Also, we’re in the beginning stages of a blog site aimed at giving the trans community and our allies a voice, regardless of background or viewpoint (but we will never advocate for violence). The aim is to foster an actual sense of community within the trans community while bringing trans issues to society-at-large.

Thank you very much Ms. Boatman, and good fortune for your efforts helping bring our community out into the light and into authentic lives!

via Leader of social movement speaks to WSU community on acceptance – The Sunflower: News.

Other References:
The Face of Trans* project.
The Face of Trans* project on Facebook.