Ask @transadvocate:

Think there'd ever be an effort to build trans-inclusive health centers (in the style of Fenway Health in Boston, Whitman-Walker in DC, Mazzoni Center in Philly) in every county in the US? I know it seems far-fetched but I can't think of any single initiative that would do more to uplift trans ppl

That process starts with meeting. I accomplished this around 15 years ago - long before the creation of FQHCs - by meeting with a health center in the "gay area" of town. Their doc was very resistant and I had to help them figure out how to pay for some of the visit via current funding streams (HIV prevention funding). Then my group would pay them $65 bucks each time they saw a trans person to make up for the shortfall. We paid for that with community donations. We went on like that for around a year until the heath center was able to find funding that would cover the entire visit.
All it takes is someone willing to do whatever they need to do to get things going. But, it all starts with an initial meeting to talk about options, needs and resource allocations.

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How does someone without any real experience develop a community, garner support, and lobby for city/state ordinance/laws to protect transgender people in a place that is otherwise hostile or indifferent?

Remember that unity =/= uniformity. Check your ego at the door, work night and day for it and give away the credit.

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Just had an epiphany-type thing. Okay, if Trans women make up a disproportionate number of sex workers (Survival SWers, esp.) It make me wonder what things would be like if violence against Trans people and/or sex workers was ended, you know? A 5 % drop? 20%?

I know trans and cis sex workers who hate what they do and I know some who are happy with what they do.
If all violence against sex workers ended today, I'm sure there would be a measurable drop in the aggregate experience of anti-trans violence. However, I don't know that the difference would even be 5%. I would be surprised if the overall violence trans people face would drop even a whole percentage. I think anti-trans violence is probably far more complex than what your question conceptualizes

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What should trans people, transwomen in particular, do about the locker room situation? I always assumed transwomen would use the women's locker rooms but keep their genitals covered (and chest of there's nothing there?). What suggestions / comments / etc do you have?

Personally, I didn't use ANY locker room until I was post-op because the entire situation was too stressful. I suppose that if I *had* to use a locker room for some reason (maybe because I was a trans kid in school), I would use the locker room that corresponds with by gender even if I had not yet had surgery. The California trans law AB 1266 has caused a lot of schools to install privacy partitions and more private spaces. If it were me, I would use those spaces.

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Caught a convo I'd like to ask you about. The 2 were talking about how they didn't like wearing dresses all that much. It sparked something in me. Why is it that (at least my) 'transness' is questioned if I'm not in a dress/skirt? Is it the 'bathroom rapist' lie? 'You wanted 2b a woman, prove it?'

I ride a big Harley, wear army boots way too much, am heavily tattooed and I almost never wear makeup. I can't remember the last time I wore a dress. My transition wasn't about my body. I was never a cultural woman 'trapped in a man's body;' rather, my innate subjective experience of my body's sex was and is female.
There are some things that I do that are deemed female in our culture and I do it because I like it and not because I want to meet any standard of "realness." There are things that I do that are deemed male in our culture and I do it not because I'm trying to make some political statement; I do it because I like it.
Gender masks are BS. I transitioned to be comfortable in my own skin and so that I could give up lying to people about who I am. I transitioned because the taste of personal liberation is sweet.I transitioned because I couldn't live another day living a life of dishonesty, aversion and fear.
Having said all of that, I do understand what you mean. I was raped not too long ago and a couple of people reacted with the "well, this is what you wanted" shtick. At the same time, I was afraid of going to the Women's Center for help because I thought I might encounter a TERF who would exercise their need to be cruel on me when I was at my most vulnerable. I thought that maybe I should pretend to be more fem and lie about being trans when I went to the Women's Center. In the end, I rode my Harley up to the Center and was truthful because to do otherwise was to let the trauma take one more piece of myself.
All I know is that it hurts to lie about who I am. It hurts to pretend, to occupy and operate a persona in the day to day world instead of meeting the world with my feet firmly rooted in my authentic truth - my authentic self. I can't help but balk at systems that try to contort who I am into a more "accepted" shadow of myself.

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wtf is going on with men these day?

Mya Solomon
I don't know what to reasonably answer blanket claims like that. Sorry :(

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If you had the power to change federal American government documents, what would questions asking about gender look like?

Forms would ask about sex and gender **only when actually necessary** and when they did, it would allow people to fill in the blank concerning sex/gender questions. If they MUST use predetermined identifications, then I'd include as many options as possible.
If they MUST limit options, then at the *very least* I would offer choices between cis & trans male and cis & trans female. These 4 options still poorly constructed because it reinforces the concept of binary gender systems (it doesn't allow for any non-binary experiences).

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What is the symbol on the left side of the page (the fist with the cross, arrow, and arrow-cross) called? What is its history?

It's the #trans symbol with the liberation fist in the air symbolizing the intersectional approach needed to respond to systemic oppression. The trans symbol grew out of the trans community conceptualizing the intersections of cultural gender symbols.
Consider the way the trans community conceptualized these symbols in 1975:
http://i2.wp.com/research.cristanwilliams.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/005s.jpg?resize=373%2C560
... and in 1976:
http://i2.wp.com/research.cristanwilliams.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/tran-evolution.png?resize=412%2C616
The current incarnation of these symbolic conceptualizations are attributed to Holly Boswell in 1993.

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Is there a good definitive history book of trans folk available? What would you recommend on reading about trans history?

Definitive book on #trans folk? No. However, @Zagria runs what is, IMHO, the best trans bio site around: http://zagria.blogspot.com/p/index.html

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Is it possible for transgender ppl to find a partner? Seems to be impossible for trans guys to be considered as a partner for anyone. Lonely existence, often makes me feel life isn't worth struggling for.

How many books, talk shows, etc cover the topic of finding a partner to love? How many movies have been made about this topic? This isn't just a trans issue.
I'm not saying that the trans dimension doesn't add a nuance to the finding someone special. What I am saying is that my answer is the same, cis or trans.
IMHO, the pain of not having a special person is cause by the *need* and not from not having a relationship. The reality is that it's easy to have a relationship. It's easy to find someone - anyone - to be with, but that's not what most of us want, is it? We don't just want a relationship, we want someone who will cherish us and be a responsible emotional adult. From my experience, the best way to attract someone like that is to be someone like that.

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Is it trans or trans*? Is one inclusive and the other exclusive? help!

They mean exactly the same things. Trans has been used by the trans community to mean trans* since the 1970s. Using a * as a way to identify umbrella usage is something the queer community has also done since the 1970s. Note the way Gay* is used in this page from the 1979 March on Washington program. T* and trans* was used on early BBS posts.
From what I understand, this incarnation of "trans*" is a relic of the "trans wars." Some folks wrongly believed that Virginia Prince coined the term "transgender" and therefore, if you called a transsexual person transgender, you were calling them a heterosexual crossdresser. When the folks who believed in the Prince myth used "trans," they generally meant transsexual; when everyone else used it, they meant it in the way that everyone had been using it for decades: umbrella term. The online bickering over what these terms mean became really horrid. Trans* seems to have come about as a compromise of sorts.
The Prince myth has since been debunked and practically all sites supporting that myth have shut down, but trans* is still floating around. I think it will eventually fall out of popular use because it's function is now irrelevant and the * is an extra keystroke that of folks will eventually stop making if they don't have to. Trans means trans* - there is no difference.
Currently, trans* is the hipster of trans terms.

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What happened in 1995 that made the HRC betray trans folk? Where can I find information on it?

Riki Wilchins sold out the trans community and teamed up with HRC to lobby AGAINST trans inclusion in ENDA during their 1997 meeting together in Sen. Harkin's office. Wilchins formed GenderPAC and was supported by HRC. GenderPAC was HRC's answer to It's Time America and NTAC. GenderPAC eventually stopped being a trans-focused organization, lost its relevance and shut down.
This is a fairly good history:
"There was plenty of blame to go around, not only for a Congress that didn't understand or care about trans people or the issues affecting us, but also for an activist community that centered almost exclusively on the interests and issues of non-trans gays and lesbians, often even displaying overt animosity and disdain for transgender people and our inclusion in the overall movement for American civil rights, most famously evidenced by the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) then-president, Elizabeth Birch, who was quoted in the media as saying that transgender inclusion in ENDA would happen over her dead body.
With the creation of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) still years away, the only national organizations focusing directly on the issues of importance to transgender people were the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC), a grassroots transgender advocacy group, and GenderPAC (GPAC), an organization led by transgender author and activist Riki Wilchins, which started out advocating exclusively on behalf of trans people but later expanded its focus to a broader agenda of gender rights.
Both organizations hosted annual events in Washington, D.C. to lobby members of Congress on transgender-inclusive legislation, though GPAC was criticized for what many trans people believed was a much too cozy affiliation with the Human Rights Campaign. GPAC was accused of pre-lobbying against transgender interests at the behest of HRC and the Democratic Party leadership, going to Congressional offices in advance of Lobby Days events and telling legislators and staffers that while they could expect visits from trans people advocating for an inclusive ENDA, in reality activist leaders were fine with an ENDA that didn't include protections for trans people. While there was certainly plenty of circumstantial evidence to back up these claims, they were never conclusively proven."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-juro/thank-you-barney-frank_b_1122240.html
That last little piece "never conclusively proven" is BS. The (now) EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum is the person who outed HRC/Rikki's pre-lobbying efforts. Sen. Harkin's office confirmed that HRC lobbied to keep trans people out of ENDA.
@TransGriot can give you the lowdown on everything that went on. I was on NTAC's board after all this went down, so the info I have is second-hand.

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Okay, if "“All transsexuals rape women’s bodies by reducing the real female form to an artifact, appropriating this body for themselves.” " could not the reverse, or at least similar, be said of lesbian feminists that alter their appearance towards the masculine end of the spectrum?

Obviously you're a violent MRA activist who won't listen to TERFs who speak for lesbians, women and girls. If you're a real non-rapist, you'll accept that you're a man, are prone to violence and subjugate actual women with your mere existence. If you don't agree with that then you support corrective rape and the silencing of political lesbians everywhere!

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My boyfriend hasn't told his parents that he's dating two(2) trans women. He's bi and his parents thought he was just "confused," so he told them he was dating a man. My girlfriend met his parents as a male so that they would just assume he's gay, instead of questioning him. what should I do?

As a rule of thumb, I never give advice. I can only share my experience and the experience of others.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." We all have strategies for dealing with what life throws us. Sometimes those strategies are beneficial and sometimes not. Naive strategies for dealing with internalized shame can be especially harmful. Generally, acting out of shame, lying and coercing others into being dishonest isn't about respect, compassion or love. From what I've seen, it's about fear.
I've found that if I've chosen to befriend someone who lies, I'm the one with the problem if I become resentful about their lying. If their lying harms someone, I can point out that their behavior isn't beneficial, but I can't go into it with the expectation that they will get it, value my input or become the person I wish them to be. If I confront others in that way, I'm generally acting to ensure resentment and eventual estrangement. If I don't like being around someone who lies, I can choose to limit their involvement in my life without being righteously judgmental.
I can't change others. All I can do is keep my side of the road clean by respecting my own boundaries and limitations. If I'm not okay with something that's happening in a relationship and I'm not sure how to go about respecting my own boundaries, I stick to "when you, I feel" statements. For instance, "When you're dishonest in this relationship, I feel afraid and unloved."

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Can you recommend a few great therapists in Chicago area for transition beginning?

I generally don't give recommendations, but I can pass on what I've heard about that area:
Kelly George at Live Oak is supposed to be good, but very expensive:
http://www.liveoakchicago.com/our-team/kelly-george/
Some say this is a good option:
http://www.triadhealth.org/
Others say is also good:
http://riverrocktherapy.com/
If you're looking for someone in the loop, there's Jason Trautman of Sankofa Psychological Services. Apparently he has several trans clients.
http://www.sankofapsychology.com/

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i think its ok to be happy with my cis female body but feel trans in my heart and feel and desire and think like a man... in terms of how gender has been defined as such all over the world... so is it possible to feel man on the inside but also be pleased as woman on the outside? i feel so mixed up!

First of all, it's important to define the terms I'm going to use in my reply:
1.) Gender Orientation: One’s subjective experience of one’s own physical sex.
2.) Gender Identity: One’s culturally influenced identification of one’s sex within the context of a social grouping.
3.)Gender Expression: One’s situational expression of cultural ques which communicate gender identity.
Taken together, this is what I mean when I say "gender." Since I have no idea what you mean when you say "feel and desire and think like a man" with regard to "gender," I probably won't be able to answer you adequately.
As a rule of thumb, I support a person's right to do what you need to do in order to be happy, productive and grow as a human being. If you think you "feel like a man" and are happy with the way your body is, then I'm happy for you.

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It's been almost 10 months since I ended things with my ex...yet...I'm still thinking of him and even though I try to let others in, I still have feelings for him...what advise do you have to help someone get over someone? :'(

From what I've seen, it can take years for the wounds of a painful breakup to scar over. It seems that telling one's self that one *should* be over it by now, that one has used up their airtime talking about the pain, that one *should* feel something different than what one authentically feels is to be about shame. Shame isn't usually productive in these situations. All it seems to do is make people feel even more shitty.
I tend to be a proponent of radical acceptance. However I'm feeling is okay. Instead of trying to push it away through work, gaming, or some other activity designed to distract me, I found that it's more useful to give that part of me attention. Meditation helps (if one has is a practiced meditator, otherwise it can just be annoying) and "working with" an emotional state - being with it and expressing it in meaningful ways - seems to be useful. In my most painful moments, I've put it to paint and canvas, spent hours being present to the emotion and letting it pour out into art... which I then sold for cash :)
The point is, I've not found it useful to wish to feel differently when I'd dealing with something difficult. Accepting the reality of how I'm feeling and working with the emotion - giving that part of my "spirit" time and attention, instead of trying to hide it or push it away - seems to be helpful. Sometimes sitting with the emotion in meditation is helpful and sometimes being kinetic - running, walking, painting, playing guitar - while being with the pain works best for me.
For the record, I never dish out advice. I can only share observations and experience.

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PJI rep talking to a Trans* supporter. Okay, not really, but it still fits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hspNaoxzNbs

Ha!

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my girlfriend has extreme depression & it kills me inside to see her really sad . So what should I do ? I wanna help her ? How could i cheer her up when she's down? - girlytch

"Extreme" depression may indicate the need for medical intervention. Otherwise, when I'm depressed what I don't want is someone trying to change how I feel. When someone wants me to pretend to feel good so that they don't have to worry, I feel used, self conscious and even more shitty. When I'm depressed, what I like is space, understanding and compassion. Acts of unconditional love and kindness helps. When someone is kind - not because they want me to change so that they feel reassured, but because they just value me - that feels good.
Major clinical depression is something that, from what I've observed, doesn't get manageable without medical intervention. Exercise (as in, walking around the block once a day) helps. Lots of sleep helps. However, major black depression that goes on for a significant time is not something I've seen folks pull out of alone.
There's a big difference between being depressed for a month because I lost my home, job and family when I came out and being horribly depressed for a month just because I'm horribly depressed. Those two types of depression can look a lot a like, but from what I've seen, they aren't.
The transgender center in Houston offers a free therapist-led depression group. You may check your local queer centers to see if they have anything similar.

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My boyfriend is FTM and in the military, so he can't be openly transgender for fear of being kicked out. Is there anything being done to try to help transgender people in the military? It's like DADT never left for them.

Yes, and even after and out trans vet was chained next to Dan Choi on the Whitehouse fence, DADT has not been lifted for trans people. I trans person is person is personally funding a significant body of research that will debunk objections to ending DADT for trans people. As you must know, trans people serve openly in militaries all over the world.It is only a matter of time, because the research is coming, other militaries are a proving ground and the legal framework for dismantling trans discrimination is a growing reality.
As to your question, yes. There is: http://tavausa.org/

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Why do you think TERFs hate trans people? What makes a TERF? I wonder.

There's a significant body of research which takes up the issue of lateral violence (the tendency of oppressed people to oppress others). As with practically all issues of lateral violence, it's a nuanced issue. Some attack trans folk for the same reason closeted gay people attack queer people. Some will find a substitute for authentic power in oppressing trans people. Some are taught to hate trans people by a culture that hates trans people. There are other reasons and some of these reasons intersect to create particularly obsessive and cruel TERFs who dedicate untold hours each day attacking trans adults and children.

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I am interested in producing materials (not sure what kind yet) that can be of use to Trans people. Topics would include many topics, but would include something like transitioning (at varying levels), gender specific things (like the diff between a bandeau and a demi bra), etc. My issue is that I k

I've been getting this a bit from your site lately (although repeated refreshing eventually sorts it out): Content Encoding Error The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression. Please contact the website owners to inform them of

We've been having server problems. We'll be moving to a new high capacity server within the next 48 hours. That should mean a fast site and a lot less downtime.

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Will transadvocate move on from covering mostly TERF stuff ? Not sure if 'all TERF all the time' is the best use of the resource. Maybe i am just bored of TERFS.

If by "mostly" you mean that 2 out of the last 25 articles dealt with documenting TERF hatred, then no. There's no plan to focus on it less.

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