Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lost In Translation

[via bigbeautifulfemme]
Hola, homosexuelles!


How was New Year's


Mine was...completely uneventful.  For the first time ever.
[via feministfury]
I stayed in.  I didn't go out.  I didn't have people over. 
(by ximini lacosarara)
I didn't do that thing where it's January and you decide, well, what the hell, it's New Year's, let me put on my tiny sequin dress with the straps as thin as a baby's split end and some really, seriously high heels with bare legs and then run around town with my arms crossed over my bare arms freezing my ass off and drinking shitty champagne for a $50 cover charge and then find myself en route, in a cab, to the "really awesome" party downtown, stuck in a traffic jam when the clock actually hits midnight.


I also didn't wake up naked (except for one silver heel and my bra wrapped gaily about my throat like a padded, tumorous pink necklace), next to a stoned, anarchist ginger named Piper who wanted to know if I thought anybody would miss "that cool gold Buddha thing in the bathroom." 
[by vera]
This year, I said no. 


'Cause New Year's is invariably like prom: You plan and you plan and you plan and you shop for the perfect outfit and you plot with your friends about going to dinner and sharing rides and who you're going to kiss, and then...

It sucks ass.  
[by bikerides]
New Year's is always such a letdown.  Too many built-up expectations for fun. 


Everyone on New Year's is always at the bar/club/party  thinking there's a better party somewhere else and New Year's would be way better if they could just get to that party.
(via sammmsammm)
Hell naw.  
This year, we went to our neighborhood pub to eat hamburgers in front of the fireplace for dinner at 8 p.m.  
CJ wore flannel.  
I didn't put on eyeliner.  
It was great.

Then we went home to this:



His name is Timothy Maxwell Thumperton.
And we're officially keeping him.


We've been fostering an abandoned bunny for about a month, all the while saying we'll get rid of him just as soon as we can find him a good home.   
Sure. 


He came to us two weeks old, starving, and half the size of the palm of my hand. He passed out twice in the first five minutes I held him, and I fed him goat's milk with an eyedropper. 


He did not look cute.  He was hideous.  
His fur was falling out in patches.  You could see his spine raising the sides of his ribcage like a tent pole.


I kept thinking it would be more merciful to simply kill him.  


And then one morning, about a week after he'd been eating lettuce and carrots and baby rabbit pellets and drinking his water and goat's milk like a champ, we woke up, picked him up...and he was adorable.  


He looked like a baby rabbit. 
It must've happened overnight. 


He blinked up at me.  I stared at him.  
CJ said no.
I started taking pictures of him.
CJ said absolutely not.
I made him a little outfit. 
No. No. NO. 


*FACT TIME!* Baby rabbits are weird - you can't always tell their gender, especially if they're males.  Male bunnies take awhile to show their genitals.  
Months, sometimes.  Doesn't sound like many males I know.
We realized we didn't know for sure whether Timothy Maxwell Thumperton was a boy or a girl, so I jokingly started calling him "Timantha."


Timantha the Genderqueer Bun.


He kept getting cuter.  
CJ was weakening. 


A GENDERQUEER ORPHAN! WITH EAAAAAAARS!!! OMG HOMELESS!!


Finally, on New Year's Eve, she gave her official blessing. 
I now have two rabbits.


One of whom is ambiguously gendered.


Homos, Timantha the Genderqueer Bun is making me think.  

Now, I know this is a big and possibly slightly disrespectful jump, but...


I never, ever talk about gender/trans issues here on Effing Dykes, even though I get tons - fuckloads - of mail about this topic.
(Heather Cassils)
A few shining examples from the past few weeks alone:

Kayden, Michigan, 26: Hey Krista, you talk about DADT being a victory. Well how about for us trannies? Yahoo for gays and all that, what about trans rights?  We've still got a long way to go.  We're still a big fucking secret.

M. E., Germany, 34: You like butch women and boyish women, do you ever like transmen? I think you would like it very much.



Natalie, New York, 19: Where is all the tranny-love?


Pete, Chicago, 22: Do you know where I could meet some transgendered peeps?


J.R., Vermont, 29: Hey, effing dykes, you've heard about "It Gets Better", right? Guess who's not getting candlelight vigils and publicity? And still getting murdered or committing suicide?


Lindsey, Montreal, 21: What the hell is a packy actually for?


Jonny, Minneapolis, 25: Could you talk about trans issues. Seems like everyone I know is suddenly trans.  Thank you.


[via baruchandroll]
Sluts, there's a reason I don't talk about trans issues here.  
Well, there's a couple reasons.


1) I only know a handful of transpeople.  
I don't know tons about trans issues, whereas I've devoted ALL MY SPARE TIME to watching, studying, hanging out, and sleeping with lesbians.

They say to write what you know. 
[via sexisbeautiful]
2) You are all enrolled in women's studies/gender theory classes.  You're probably even getting passing grades.  
Trans/queer/gender identity stuff is delicate, and I don't want to make a fool of myself.
[via assistedreadymade]
That said, I'm looking to get an education.


So many of my friends are starting to test the waters of "Sooo..I think I might be trans" that I'm feeling like I should know more about it.
(via transgender)
I mean, I know the basics.  And - ask anyone - I'm well-versed in sexualizing the genderqueer. (Subscribe to Original Plumbing.  Just do it.  You can thank me later.)

I've slept with transmen, pre- and post-op.  
I've wrapped bindings and gone to open mic nights and tried to understand when a friend becomes not-so-much my lesbian friend and more-so-a male friend. 


But that doesn't mean shit.  I'm still clueless.
[via malloreigh]
What should I read? What should I watch? 


Who can I turn to for important questions, like "I met you as a girl; now you're a boy and I keep messing up on saying "he" - you mad?"


I wish I knew more.  


With all the crossover from dyke culture into genderqueer and trans culture, how can we better be friends? 


How can we learn without pissing people off?

84 comments:

  1. I fell into adopting a rabbit a year a half ago and love my Buns :) Congratulations on your new little one. She's super fucking adorable.

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  2. Aww! Yay to you for fostering rabbits. I bet Midge loves having a little sibling!

    As for what you should read: start with Kate Bornstein. She's funny as hell, and writes for all levels. Gender Outlaw is one of my favorite books. That said, she's MtF. Try reading some Jaimison Green(not sure if I spelled his name right). If you want more books, tell me.

    And when all else fails...Leslie Feinberg. Novels. Stone Butch Blues and Drag King Dreams. *Swoon*

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  3. I feel you Krista, I have been in a similar situation with Trans friends and it is rather hard knowing what you can talk about, I don't want to be insensitive but I would hope to be able to open a dialogue.

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  4. You may want to take a gander at TQ Nation.

    Its website is like Facebook/forum for Transgender, Genderqueer and Intersexed individuals.
    It provides resources and information on (almost) any issue faced during transition, has forum based conversations on anything that requires more detail, and even goes so far as to post video, music and book reviews/recs.

    Also, try contacting the founders: Tristan & Sicily Skye. I'm sure they would answer any questions you had.

    I'm an FtM myself and I can't tell you how much TQ has helped. It's one big family :)

    Site: www.transqueernation.com.
    Contact: TNT@TransQueerNation.com

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  5. i agree, trans people are for sure the most harassed and vulnerable in our community and unfortunately they get a lot of hatred even from inside the community. i want to stand up for my trans friends, but i have very little knowledge of their specific issues.

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  6. Let me preface this by saying I'm happy you're open to learning more about trans issues. x3

    Still, I think people should be less harsh on you for not talking about trans people- it isn't your experience or knowledge. There's a difference between not talking about it and not liking something, a difference between celebrating victories like DADT, and ignoring other civil injustices. Just because something is *your* world and perspective, doesn't require it to be someone else's.

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  7. My girlfriend recently came out as trans, and having been in the same situation as you, I was asking the same things, like "I met you as a girl, now you're a boy...." etc.
    A friend put me onto the books 'from the inside out' by Morty Diamond and 'Genderqueer' by Nestle, Howell and Wilchins.

    It's a huge struggle, a real test of our relationship. A lot (a LOT) of googling, finding forums, speaking to friends who have trans friends, reading zines and generally 'studying' online, has really opened my eyes and helped get me through the past few months.
    s(He) has his first appointment this week for counselling and consultation about T, there is nothing more confusing than seeing a letter with your girlfriends name being referred for 'gender reassignment'.

    On that note, Timantha is fucking adorable!

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  8. Can you ask your trans identified friends questions & explain your dilemma? Direct information is always more reliable than summaries of summaries...I've found people are open to talking about the trans experience if there is trust there.

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  9. Love Timantha..s/he is fucking adorable! As for the trans stuff? I'm no help but you share what you learn and we can all gets mo' edumacated maybe.

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  10. somebody up there mentioned Kate Bornstien but...

    Kat Bornstien. Seriously.

    Also, as a genderqueer individual, I know that at least I would rather have a well-meaning person ask nicely and directly than have that same person stumble around and feel awkward.

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  11. Cute bunny! Love the outfit, too.

    I am a straight non-trans guy who has just so happened never to be in a relationship with a trans person, but I have had some trans friends. If you're asking for advice, the main thing I have learned from said friends is to listen to the trans folk. That seems to be the best the "rest of us" can do, because we don't go through their struggles and we have the privilege of the world not questioning something as inescapable as our gender, nor policing our genitals. (Example: a gay transman I know who is now in a very happy relationship has had to put up with some colossal exclusionary bullshit from non-trans gay men in the past. Hell, even when he and his guy got together, some former friends of the partner's who knew my buddy was trans stopped talking to the partner altogether, but not before calling him a yestergay and warning him that my friend was going to trick him into having a kid.) All a bunch of misogynistic claptrap from people who are letting their own baggage of not being accepted/taken seriously/believe/etc. cloud their perception of trans people.

    So, I'd say the key to acceptance is seeing the forest for the trees. It has to be really freaking hard to transition, and I don't know that there's a right or wrong way to do it (aside from the obvious, like not attempting to perform surgery on oneself in the bathroom with an electric turkey carver), even if it might seem like the person is "doing it wrong." We non-trans people haven't been there, we don't know what's going on in our friend's head (like, even aside from the transition), so it's not really our place to make those judgment calls.

    Likewise, you mention having slept with some transmen, which, cool, sexuality is fluid and all that, but I wonder if the lesbian community isn't prone to some of the same privileged shit as the gay male community in this department. I've heard a lot about lesbians who date/sleep with transmen but wouldn't touch a transwoman with a twenty-foot pole, and that seems kind of fucked up. It's like they're claiming to be accepting, and yet they'll date MEN (who happen to have double-X chromosomes) but not
    WOMEN who happen to have Y chromosomes. I'm not a lesbian, so I don't want to get all patronizing or anything because again, I haven't been there, but it seems like a double standard to me.

    Not that I'm saying you do this, Krista. I love your blog and I think you've always come off as a fairly open, understanding person. I just wanted to point something out that I've noticed--people should have the right to be attracted to (or not attracted to) whomever they will or won't be, but one of the hugest barriers between L and G people and T people (not so much B people, though I've heard some super transphobic shit come from the mouths of bisexuals) seems to be not being able to get past the assigned sex. It's a really heavy, loaded topic, but it's something worth considering.

    Happy New Year and peace and love to all!

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  12. I've had some issues with this stuff to, Krista! As a lesbian that isn't fond of most men, men occupy a different space in my brain than women, especially gay women. I've had a hard time moving people from what feels like one end of the spectrum to the other. The pronoun thing has gotten easier but something about how I interact with them is still messed up because in my brain, I'm talking to kinfolk, not menfolk. Oh well. Maybe it will get easier.

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  13. Canada loves you! I know 'cause I'm Canadian and I love Effing Dykes! :D

    Aw you laff a lot! I can just picture you with the widdle wabbits laffing!

    Dude, you need a Youtube channel to make a video of bunny theatre or something! Timantha the Genderqueer Bun needs a voice, an outlet, ya know? That is the cutest effing bunneh shirt I have ever seen!

    Also it is the almost one-year anniversary of when I first discovered your blog through the Bloggies. Totally voting for you!

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  14. Congrats on the new fuzzy buddy!

    I have two friends who transgendered more than 20 years ago. All I know for sure is that both of them are much happier human beings since the change. To me, that is all that is important.

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  15. Nick, I applaud you and couldn't agree more with everything you have to say.

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  16. I think opening the dialog with this post is a great start. I am also interested in learning more about transgendered individuals and was glad to see those suggestions.

    And Oh. My. God. is Timantha adorable! How could CJ even consider placing her/him somewhere else?

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  17. Fucking Trans Women is an amazing zine (about fucking trans women)!!!
    http://www.fuckingtranswomen.com/

    I think Nick's points about the valueing of trans masculinity and devalueing of trans femininity in queer scenes is really vaild.

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  18. i think i may actually be gender queer. so, i came out as a lesbian about 4 months ago, but now, i really like being a guy. i like dressing as a guy, i like not having boobs when i bind myself. i love hooking up with women. i love fucking women more than anything. i like having short hair. i like being androgynous. i don't know if i'd ever transition, but, it's something i'm exploring right now.

    and i think a lot of people dabble in gender queerness. also, i am a lesbian, but i find the transwoman comedian named Ariana super fucking hot! i mean, i know she has a penis, but who cares? she has these amazing boobs and lips and her sexuality is so feminine, so what im attracted to. i think the trans community has so much to offer the rest of us! they expand and complicate the human experience. i mean if i were to fuck this ariana and loved it (as im sure i would) would i still be a lesbian? transpeople really, truly throw out the heterosexual binary (i mean, us homosexuals only exist with heterosexuality to serve as contrast).

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  19. also! also s.bear bergman! educational/hilarious, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1551522640?ie=UTF8&tag=autowin-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1551522640

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  20. i really like how unique you write your blog.

    i like how it began with new year parties to your fluffy bunny rabbit to trans issues.

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  21. is that CJ? hot.
    also, your bun is adorable.

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  22. im not trans but my boyfriend is

    watch
    "boys don't cry"
    or "girl like me- the gwen aroujo story"

    both phenomenal movies.

    youtube
    this guy's name is jace. his entire transgender journey is documented on youtube. it's cool to watch him (and any other trans person) transform into who he wants to be.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ANFjace?feature=chclk

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  23. I would say you shouldn't spend your time reading Kate Bornstein, unless you are really (I mean REALLY) into the 12-step program attitude and don't want a broader perspective. But for sure read Leslie Feinberg.
    And yeah, remember that there is probably at least as many ways of being and thinking trans as there are trans people. Some of us are even lesbians AND trans, ya know :)

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  24. For real, Nick!

    Listen, I am a trans woman, and I'm a big ol' lez, and it makes me super-uncomfortable when all the dykes talk about how hot they are for trans men (yanno, *men*) but won't let me come to their party.

    And, whatever, I'm all for deconstruction and queer sexuality, but sometimes it doesn't feel like that's what's going on - it feels like a lot of non-trans ladies are not actually seeing trans women and trans men for what they are: women and men. They still see us as our assigned sexes - which sucks no matter who it's coming from, but sucks even more from people who should know better.


    Anyway, Krista, I don't feel like you need to talk about trans issues here: lez issues and trans issues are different. Sometimes they overlap, and some people have both of them in their lives, but I don't expect Effing Dykes to be all "trans trans trans".

    But for your own personal education? Definitely read Whipping Girl. Seriously. This is basically a requirement for life.

    I also think True Selves is good if you're trying to understand how the hell someone could feel like they're the wrong sex, and don't know where to start. And I remember thinking Just Add Hormones was cute, even though I don't remember much of it and nobody's ever heard of it. Kate Bornstein is fun too. And, of course, asking people :-).

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  25. very much enjoying others' perspectives on genderqueerness...

    on a much less substantial note I personally must contribute that your bunny and your girlfriend (if indeed the girl holding Timantha is CJ) are both painfully cute!

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  26. Genderqueer person on the masculine side of the spectrum weighing in:

    a. I've always found you, joking aside, to be very respectful of gender and sexuality fluidity and diversity. Keep it up!

    b. Good rule of thumb for dealings with trans men, butch women, and masculine-identified genderqueer people: please don't tell us we look pretty or beautiful or refer to us as "ladies". This seems obvious but it's astounding how often this happens. Also, "tranny" is offensive to a lot of people.

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  27. woah, i second that. IS that CJ? wicked fucking hot.

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  28. There are, you know, a lot of blogs and shit right there on the big beautiful internet which are written by trans people! About trans issues! Just go to any general social-justice-type website, find the blogroll, and tab all the ones with "gender" or "trans" in the name :P

    The thing is that not everyone wants to be deluged with demands for explanation of their identity, and while a listening ear is basic etiquette, isn't it more sensible to go and read the writings of people who HAVE already taken that time to explain?

    As for specifics... I'm nonbinary myself, but I personally find it rather grating to see gynesexual trans men sometimes being treated like just another kind of lesbian. I mean, lesbian is defined as "WOMAN attracted to women".

    A person is free to sleep with whomever they wish, but it is crass to ignore their partner's identity in favor of their own. And when I see that kind of thing being pulled so often with BINARY trans people, who after all have one of the traditional genders, I start wondering if all those people would be any less inclined to reduce ME to my genitals as well.

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  29. 1. I completely agree with you about New Years Eve! IT ALWAYS SUCKS! Unless you go to a concert. You should try that next year if anyone good is playing, and living in Chicago, I'm sure there will be.
    2. Your bunny is the cutest little baby ever!

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  30. omgggggg your bunnyyyy!!!!!!!
    i officially love your blog unconditionally. because now there are bunnies.

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  31. I love your bunny. Sooooooooo cute. Especially in the shirt.

    That said, I agree with other posters. Read trans* people's blogs that are out there. Read a bunch of them, because every single person has a different perspective on being trans*. Make sure you read ones by people who identify as guys, girls, and other genders as well.

    The best theory is generated by people who live what they're talking about.

    I would also say, don't be afraid to talk about this stuff. I think you are trying to come from a respectful place and people will appreciate that. Just, if trans* people or allies call you out because you've said or referenced something that was problematic, don't take it the wrong way! Think about it, make the necessary changes, and don't take it as a personal attack on you or your writing or whatever.

    I love how humorous your blog is and I think that it's great you're acknowledging that your knowledge base needs to grow a little. You're a really honest and upfront writer and it's why I read this.

    I think that, if cis lesbian communities are willing to acknowledge that we (I say we cause I'm a butch lesbian who has questioned my gender but ended up landing down on the female side of things again) can pull some really bad shit sometimes, and make an active decision to start acting in ways that are respectful of trans* people and bodies of all types and that avoid fetishization, then we can eat a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and be happy together or something like that. Or at the very least be better allies and friends to the trans* folk in our lives.

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  32. http://fuckyeahftms.tumblr.com/ = love

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  33. I've watched the documentary series TransGeneration (on Logo), and though I wouldn't say it was the most broadly informative, it really delved into the experiences of the individuals featured in the documentary.

    What better way to learn than from hearing many people's individual experiences?

    It was available as watch instantly on netflix a few months ago.

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  34. STONE BUTCH BLUES.
    Not officially trans- more like passing to survive. It's an amazing book.

    Look for Trans Alliance meetings in your town. They're there- they're just not in the public eye.

    Genderbender parties are a great way to meet transpeople and drag-ers who can answer your questions, and most of them are HAPPY to spread awareness.

    Or just ask your GQ friends you have- they know, they like you, it's safe.

    Also: The Internet. CJ can show you how to use it. HA!

    Happy newyears, Krista!

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  35. Stone Butch Blues is an amazing book.
    I first learned about trans people, I think, from the teen girl magazine YM ("Your Magazine"), years ago. It was just a regular magazine but I remember it as being pretty queer-friendly (not that I was really paying attention to that when I was 11 or whatever). There was this whole long article that was like an interview with a transman, who I believe went from "Lacey" to "Lace." He talked about the difficulties of going from lesbian to trans and finding people who accept that who aren't lesbians but straight women, and even about prosthetic penises and having sex as a transman. I think I remember that in the next issue, Lace wrote in saying that he was surprised to see that because of the magazine article, girls were telling him how cute he was instead of freaking out.
    I probably have this old magazine hidden among all my old YMs somewhere - I wish I could find this one!

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  36. For real, Nick!

    Listen, I am a trans woman, and I'm a big ol' lez, and it makes me super-uncomfortable when all the dykes talk about how hot they are for trans men (yanno, *men*) but won't let me come to their party.

    And, whatever, I'm all for deconstruction and queer sexuality, but sometimes it doesn't feel like that's what's going on - it feels like a lot of non-trans ladies are not actually seeing trans women and trans men for what they are: women and men. They still see us as our assigned sexes - which sucks no matter who it's coming from, but sucks even more from people who should know better.


    Anyway, Krista, I don't feel like you need to talk about trans issues here: lez issues and trans issues are different. Sometimes they overlap, and some people have both of them in their lives, but I don't expect Effing Dykes to be all "trans trans trans".

    But for your own personal education? Definitely read Whipping Girl. Seriously. This is basically a requirement for life.

    I also think True Selves is good if you're trying to understand how the hell someone could feel like they're the wrong sex, and don't know where to start. And I remember thinking Just Add Hormones was cute, even though I don't remember much of it and nobody's ever heard of it. Kate Bornstein is fun too. And, of course, asking people :-).

    --I've been trying to post this since yesterday night, but it keeps not working. I'm really pleased at the conversation that has happened since then. And here's hoping this finally gets posted!

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  37. This is a fabulous entry - and I Hope you share the info that is shared with YOU on the topic.

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  38. Having read the comments above, I realize this is a tad repetitive but I wanted to expand on the provided information.

    I agree with the Bornstein suggestion. (I also agree with the comment warning it is a bit 12-step-like). In addition to Gender Outlaw, there is the gender workbook. Getting a copy and working through it can be helpful as it will make you look at your own gender/gender-based assumptions in a new way. It will also start to open up some of the community jargon.

    Some tumblrs have also been suggested and tumblr has a very vibrant gender-diverse community. xxboy.tumblr.com is a good one as Sebastian is happy to answer questions. genderqueer.tumblr.com is another good one. leotron.tumblr.com is also one I'd suggest.
    trannsexualferox.tumblr.com is also very much worth following.
    All of these together give a reasonably good cross section of a few trans* identities though they are not nearly a complete picture.

    Regarding pronoun/name slips... As a trans masculine genderqueer, I frequently have people struggle with my pronouns. For much of the community (not to speak for everyone, just from my experience), I have found a simple correction after a slip is the best approach. For example, if a friend was introducing me and slipped, the way I'd prefer it to be handled is something like this: "This is my friend, Simon, she... he... is in law school." The truth is people use mistaken pronouns for cis folks all the time and it isn't a big deal - they laugh at their error and fix it in such a manner most people don't think too much about it.(Cisgender is a term used by some of the community to refer to people who identify as the gender society assumes them to be. I.e. an individual the doctor declared at birth to be a girl because she had a vagina who identifies as a woman. Society uses certain cues, such as our bodies, to 'determine' our genders - a cisgendered individual has an identity that lines up with the one society would assume based on those cues. There has been a movement to use other language recently that ties more into the assumption rather than creating, in a sense, a new binary of cis/trans but cis is still generally accepted). A similar approach to errors with trans* friends can help elevate the complications that can come with such a slip. Slips can be horrible and, even, dangerous. But treating them the same way you might a natural language glitch can sometimes cut down on the associated issues. At the very least, your friend hasn't had to say anything and it is clear you are trying to get it right/aware of when you don't.

    Similarly, I have yet to meet a trans* (trans is generally seen as binary-driven whereas trans* is seen as being more inclusive of identities in between and outside of the binary space)person who is upset/offended by and unwilling to answer well-meaning and polite questions. When someone walks up and asks me what I have in my pants, I get mad. (Though at this point I normally laugh it off with "what, not even a nice discussion and a box of chocolate first?"). But "Hey, I don't know much about trans* stuff, I want to learn, and I was wondering if you would be willing to point me in the right direction/answer some questions?" is generally fine. Just find a balance between expecting a person to teach you everything and a friend asking a friend who is more knowledgeable on the topic for guidance.

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  39. I find that people are generally appreciative of honesty - just come out and say to your friends, "I don't know much about [insert specific trans issue here], could you explain it to me?" If you don't know, ask - it's better than not thinking and then saying something insulting.

    As for what to read, Nobody Passes by Matthilda is fantastic and explores a lot of different issues in terms of gender and sexuality. It's an easy read and really informative. S/he by Claudine Griggs is a bit outdated (12 years old - which doesn't seem like that long ago in terms of books, but in terms of trans issues and the attitude towards trans identities, it's a good chunk of time), but it explains the psychology of transitioning very well. This last one I'm in the process of reading, but Transgender History by Susan Stryker is (so far) a good run down of... well... transgender history.

    Also, try googling everyday things with "transgender" attached to it - "traveling transgender" "bathrooms transgender" "healthcare transgender" etc. This will give you a better idea on specific issues transgender and genderqueer identities face.

    Also - you're awesome for this.

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  40. On a trans note...
    I know this one hot couple. She is M to F and he is F to M. They're both pre-op. They're gorgeous and they're convincing and I'm pretty sure they don't get odd reactions when they're out and about as a couple because they just look they a typical straight couple. Strangers wouldn't wonder at all. But when they first got together many a gays and lesbians that know them thought it was rather odd. Mostly we were perplexed as to how to label the relationship. Everyone else really seemed to want to put a label on their relationship. Is it gay? The one with the penis is attracted to the male aesthetic, and the one with the vagina is attracted to the female aesthetic. That sounds gay. But then again it's man dating a woman. That sounds straight. So you can call the relationship gay, and you can call it straight and you can technically be right, but still be wrong. It's confusing. But who should really care? They're two people that understand each other very well, no one knows what it's like to be trans better than someone who is trans. They get along. They care about each other. That's the point. It's fucking beautiful.

    I used to think the term pansexual was mostly just for straight hipsters who wanted to be included in the gay community (because those were the only people I knew who identified as such) but I think that's the only accurate way to describe this relationship. It's beyond gender.

    So while I don't really give a shit about the label, I still cannot stop myself from wondering what their sex is like, because the lady of the relationship, when she's had sex with other penis-havers in the past, she's typically the top. It's not really my business, but I can't help wanting to know.

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  41. Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. Real talk.

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  42. Your bunny is a major cutie! As is Midge!

    Also... why IS there a sudden increase in trans? All of a sudden lesbians just become men. Why?! Where have all the lesbians gone?
    :(

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  43. I am a very butch lesbian. I often get the "this is the ladies room" or called sir. I have never had any gender question. I am a woman and I love women. I share some of the crap that some transgenders face (like the minor bathroom/sir stuff)but I really have no idea what their life is like. I think you are very respectful. This is a dyke web site. I think you can be giddy about DADT or bunnies without it taking away from anyone else. There is room for all, or at least that is what I try to work towards.

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  44. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, there are, in fact, transgendered dykes!! Unfortunately FTMs might be trendy but MTFs are just scary and icky and lolarious, amirite.

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  45. Like others said, blogs and books are a good place to start, as is asking your trans friends.

    I don't know about transexual, but if you're looking for transgendered then I'd check out sugarbutch.net and hir blogroll, as well. (There's probably FtM on there, but I'm not positive.) You can also check out my blogroll; it's mostly butch and femme types, who are also considered transgendered.

    I also found that when I had questions, posting them to my blog was really handy. Those people who didn't want to be bothered didn't have to answer, and those who were happy to inform could do so. I ended up in some great conversations, and learned a lot without annoying too many people! ;) (And you will always annoy someone. You can't make everyone happy, sad to say, or even keep from offending them.)

    I hate it when people tell me to read blogs but don't give me an idea of where's a decent place to start. It seems obvious once you're in the community, but to start it feels impossible! So there are some starting points -- good luck!

    J

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  46. LOVE the bun! I have one myself, Humpfrey!

    They are great pets!

    I personally love everybody, and don't mind being friends with trans people, but I only like twats. If it's a new twat that's a'ok. I just want a twat in my life!
    (Penis gives me the hibijebis)

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  47. My favorite blogs about trans and GQ issues (sorry I can't link, so you'll have to google the titles...or find them through my blogroll) are "That's What Ze Said" written by an awesome GQ writer, Nome, who has become a friend of mine through blogging, and "This Side of the High Speed Rodeo". Rhett's wife, Jolie also blogs, sometimes about his transition at "This Side of Changed". Those are my two favorite blogs when it comes to those about trans or GQ issues.

    That said, through them, you could find a ton more.

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  48. That isn't a great dane...
    but I could not have said "no" either:)

    I can always look forward to a smile, laugh, and some damn good schooling on your blog. fucking aye, the polls are callin!

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  49. Let's not forget about us poor Queers. We're the first letter to get dropped from the LGBTQA line up. 9 out of 10 sexual deviants don't even know what queers are. We're not strictly lesbian or gay. We're not really bi. We're just queer.

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  50. I tell you, you should just learn a language that only has one word to mean both "he" and "she". No room for mistaking.
    That said, my first language is like that.
    Finnish, my dears. That'll help you out of one problem ;D

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  51. I am in high school still but i am openly lesbian and have many trans friends and gender confused friends. I openly ask them questions about their lives and what its like they are very open to me about it. The girl i was talking to for a long time is much older then me and has a best friend who is trans. Who is also very open to anybody about it. I always get confused about whether he is a lesbian or a gay man. He has female parts but likes to be looked at as a man. His boyfriend is also a girl but likes to be looked at as a man. But their relationship is strong and in my opinion pretty awesome. =]
    In high school being very openly lesbian is not very easy and i get ridiculed a lot. So i can only imagine what its like for transgendered. I love having boobs and a vag and love boobs and vag but not feeling like i was in the right body, is something i cant even fathom. Also i've noticed within the lesbian and gay community in high school and older people is that a lot look down or discriminate against trans or GQ people and i dont understand it. Don't we try to get heterosexuals to understand who we are and discriminate against us but so many of us do it to trans people. Doesn't seem right in anyway. I am dating a girl who was straight and never questioned her sexuality til she met me. Now we have been together for a few months and very happy. My lesbian friends look down on that too. There are so many double standards that we set on ourselves i find it ridiculous. We fight for equality and thats what the rainbow flag means, equality for diversity and while we do that we diminish others. We have a lot to figure out.

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  52. Cute bunny! I have the same blue flannel that CJ has.

    And I have nothing to say on the Trans issue because like you, I don't know many trans people and I am definitely not educated enough about it.

    Cute bunnies & flannel, though? I got those covered.

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  53. I can't emphasize enough the power of reading!

    Two books you MUST read that will blow your mind (in a good way):

    1) Kate Bornstein- Gender Outlaw
    2) Riki Anne Wilchins- Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of Gender

    These books are amazing, smart, witty and funny too! Read read read!

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  54. Wait. That's CJ holding the bunny? Yowza. *fans self*

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  55. I'm not trans, and I'm no expert, but I've tried to expose myself to trans issues and I have a few genderqueer friends. I think it comes down to keeping an open mind and asking questions. Overall, most people would prefer being asked "what pronoun would you like me to use" versus having you assume what they identify as. Keeping in mind that gender/gender identity/gender expression is a spectrum (as well as sexuality, duh), is a good thing to do in your every day.

    Also, Krista I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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  56. Not to mention intersectionality, you folk - it's actually possible for there to be butch women who are ALSO transsexed.

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  57. It's random, but McSweeney's Internet Tendency has a column written by a transitioning person. It's called "Balls Out," which maybe gives you a sense of its tone. It's very funny and personal and just... I don't know, real somehow. The writer raises a lot of questions that don't have answers, and I appreciate that.

    Here's the link, but if links and comments don't work together, plug "mcsweeney's transgender" into a search engine.

    http://www.mcsweeneys.net/links/ballsout/

    all the best,
    Jess

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  58. Yeah, I don't know why people are in a hurry to get you to write about it; or what about, really.

    The thing I agree with most from the above is 'there are at least as many perspectives on being trans as there are trans individuals' (paraphrasing).

    For my own part, I don't even like using the word, because it just gives people the wrong ideas about me, inevitably. And it's just not something I 'identify as'. Trans* has become a large umbrella term, including genderqueers, bi-gendered peeps, or people who transition but don't want medical intervention, and a bunch of other things. Which is wonderful and fine; it just leaves me not really wanting or needing to use that word.

    IDK. I don't talk about transition, or the fact that I had to, with anyone here (where I live now). I transitioned so that I could live in my sex&gender, as I definitely needed to. So, to talk about it would just give people a picture of me as something I'm not--something I desperately needed to get away from. I transitioned to be female, as much as I can be; not to be trans.

    Some of us just want access to medical care, and then to get on with things.

    I'm not "passing/convincing" (that's what I did before; not now), destroying the binary (though it should be destroyed; I'm just not Exhibit A), or male-socialized (believe it or not), or an "ex-man" (of all the things I might be, that's the last).

    It seems hard for some people to get their head around it completely. They'll treat you just a bit differently. As if your womanhood now came with an asterisk. Or maybe they're omg-super-supportive about how progressive (transgressive?) you're being! and go out of their way somewhat patronizingly. Or just jump right to asking you about your genitals (excuse me?!). Or presume to tell other people this about you. Or (and this one is particular to LGQs) some people think you should let everyone know you're trans, because that's being 'out' and proud! and everyone should know; and if you treat it as private information then that's just your own shame causing you to 'conceal' something. Or they give others a 'heads up' (huh?). Or refuse to accept you as genuine. Or get you fired from your job, since that's legal in most places.

    So it's not worth talking about with anyone who doesn't need to know. And even then, it just tends to confuse things. Besides, if you were walking in the forest, and one of the trees starting telling you how much of a tree it is, it'd be a little hard to get past the fact the damn thing is talking to you.

    So I can't blame anyone at all for not getting it. Being on the tail end of a transition, even looking back, now that I'm at home in my own body and life, it's just unfathomable to think of myself as existing in some other way, some other sex. It doesn't make any sense. Finally free of crippling dysphoria/dysmorphia, it's difficult to recall exactly the acute pain of it all. It's familiar in a fading way, yet not my own.

    Overall, I guess what I'm saying (since I just starting typing without forethought) is that some people, even though they may be in an awkward spot in their transition (hooray, puberty!) might eventually want to move past this particular hurdle, and discretion about their medical status is, you know, appreciated.

    Anyway, we enjoy the blog, so I thought I'd respond.

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  59. Additionally, three things.

    1. I actually love green bean casserole. Sorry.
    2. I love that you are as eloquent verbally as you are in writing.
    3. The only pop culture thing I love more than effingdykes is DNTO. Therefore, my life a little bit more complete.

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  60. you should check out www.genderfork.com, it's a really great resource for all your genderqueer info needs :]
    (or, if you want the condensed version, genderfork.tumblr.com)

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  61. I'm an agronomy grad student. Good as it would be for me, I'll probably never take a course in gender studies, but I do follow a blog written by one of my old classmates. He transitioned to male when I knew him at college, and before that I hadn't known transexuallity existed.

    I enjoy the way he tells stories about many things, from being transgendered to raising a younger sibling to getting burned out on activism. This is a particularly good post: http://thoughtsonblank.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/do-you-use-boy-words-or-girl-words-or-the-other-words-but-i-cant-amember-them/

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  62. read dean spade--particularly his essay 'resisting medicine/remodeling gender' (available for free on his website www.deanspade.net) and eli clare's 'exile and pride,' although i believe he wrote this book before he transitioned it is still a must read for all queers. also i agree on kate bornstein and leslie feinberg, especially 'transliberation.' i'm a genderqueer butch and i believe that understanding gender is a lifelong exercise in living the questions not finding any particular answers, so....go for it.

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  63. It has been my experience that most trans people are pretty open to telling you anything if you just ask. It's only the asshole axe-to-grind trans people who would rather not answer questions. Two of my dearest and closest are both trans and when they told me (two separate occasions), we had a sit-down, come to Jesus and I asked every question I had. Turns out, trans issues parallel lez issues. Trouble is, they are often conflated -- they are not, in fact, the same. Though, some of the best sex toy advice I've ever received came from my trannie friends.

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  64. I second reading anything by Dean Spade - good writer, very thoughtful and kind, all around smarty-pants. And cute.

    One of my chickens was genderqueer (before getting eaten by something). I love when nature negates the whole "it's not natural" argument.

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  65. My partner of four years is MTF- although that term isn't quite accurate, as she never thought of herself as male- and was a year into transitioning when we met. I identify as queer or dyke, and I've never dated guys in my life (except that one boy in 6th grade who is also gay now!) and some of my lesbian friends were really appalled that I was attracted to her, even though they had no issue with being lesbians attracted to FTMs. Needless to say, I'm not friends with these people anymore.
    So yeah, please don't forget that MTF dykes exist, and read "Whipping Girl" by Julia Serrano. I've read Kate Bornstein and she's good, but she does gender from the point of all gender being a performance. And maybe that's true for her. There's many ways to be trans, and maybe each trans person has a different philosophy as to the nature of their trans-ness. Julia Serrano writes from a trans and feminist perspective and brilliantly shows how transphobia (as applied to mtf women) is just another form of misogyny. She's really smart and sharp as a tack, and when I was reading about a lot of trans stuff (because I didn't know crap about trans stuff either, when I started dating my lady) she's the writer who made it all click for me. Anyway, have fun!

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  66. http://tranarchism.com/2010/11/26/not-your-moms-trans-101/

    Heyo, I'm not about to read all 60 something comments to make sure I'm not repeating, but I found this link on a friend's tumblr and it seems like a fairly good Trans 101. Don't be too scared to mess up with Trans issues, I've been working on this stuff for two years now and I mess up all the time, even with my own preferred pronouns. One good way to be trans friendly is when you're meeting new people, introduce yourself with your name and pronoun and ask the other persons name and pronoun. It can be awkward, but it will save some awkwardness later when you might not be sure and don't know how to ask. =)

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  67. When both our friends transgendered our two kids didn't have a problem with the gender pronoun issue, or the actual transition. It was the adults who confused the grammar and stuff.
    So, if you do it..don't feel bad...evidently 5 and 8 year olds are the only ones who don't make those mistakes. Thank goodness for the children....our true hope.

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  68. "Butch is a Noun" by S. Bear Bergman -- I've been reading this and it's a good source for learning more about queer folks on the masculine spectrum. Some chapters discuss identity, pronouns, etc., others the problems people who are gender nonconforming face in every day life. All in a personal, humorous, and sometimes lyrical way. It's a good book, and a fast read. Overall quite awesome.

    Though not so good for understanding transmen who identify as men primarily and don't consider themselves queer or anything in the neighborhood of that. People who you might, on first sight, label "butch", but who understand themselves as hetero men who happen to have alternate plumbing.

    Possibly the biggest thing about handling gender issues is realizing that it is a very personal thing and not half so clear as you might think, judging from the little symbols on public restrooms.

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  69. Yeah, you really are clueless. This is a horrible fucking post. Couple reasons for this.

    1) "I only know a handful of transpeople.
    I don't know tons about trans issues, whereas I've devoted ALL MY SPARE TIME to watching, studying, hanging out, and sleeping with lesbians."

    Hey, guess what? There are trans lesbians. Sup. There's one posting at you RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

    2) "I've slept with transmen, pre- and post-op. "

    Straight trans men are not some kind of lesbian subgenre, as you seem to imply here. They are men. The way you're ungendering them here by glossing over any conflict bewteen your lesbian identity and the fact that you fuck dudes is messed up.

    3) Please put a space between trans and the modified noun. We're people just like you, we're not some separate species of "transpeople" or some seperate gender of "transwomen." We are men and women and people, who are trans. Kinda like how you're not a gaywoman.

    4) "Who can I turn to for important questions, like "I met you as a girl; now you're a boy and I keep messing up on saying "he" - you mad?"

    Hell yes, he's mad. And you need to seriously cut that out. I don't care that it's hard and confusing, if you're slipping up multiple times you're seriously not trying hard enough.

    But! I appreciate that you acknowledge your cluesslessness, and I appreciate your desire to learn more. Hopefully I've adequately explained understand why this post made me so mad, and I really hope you take it to heart even if it's a little irate. .

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  70. Butches are people who are trying to convince the rest of the world to expand the definition of women to include people of any gender expression, and FTMs are people who are trying to convince the rest of the world to expand the definition of men to include people with vaginas.

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  71. workshops like these? everyone has a gender identity?

    http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2010/nov/04/transgender-awareness-week-broadens-scope/

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  72. I'm always a little shocked by the brigade of (mostly cis) people saying that you should just ask trans people about our trans issues.

    I, like many of the trans people that I know, have been *ceaselessly* bothered by curious cis people who want me to explain myself, or justify myself, to them. Here's a thing. A big part of being trans, for a lot of us, is painful. It *sucks*. And before I learned how to make myself invisible, I could reasonably expect to have some (possibly but not always well meaning) stranger approach me in an otherwise innocuous social situation and expect me to stop having fun night with my friend and deliver an impormptu lecture on trans identities. Some of these people genuinely wanted to learn and improve themself (but not enough to read a book rather than harassing a minority), but others just wanted to justify their own position. It's about as much fun as being asked how I know I'm a lesbian if I've never been with a man.

    We have lives. It's flatly unreasonable to expect every trans person to be available to explain themself whenever a cis person is curious.

    If you want to educate yourself and become more knowledgable about trans lives and trans issues, read trans writers. But please stop ceaselessly asking us to explain ourselves to y'all; it's not our job to make you into better people.

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  73. http://takesupspace.wordpress.com/cis-privilege-checklist/

    I love this little blog.

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  74. The best book I've read on FtM is "The Testosterone Files" by Max Wolf Valerio. Very informative, personal, and set in a punky SF to boot. Jamison Green's book, "Becoming a Visible Man," is good, too, but to someone not immersed in trans politics the second half of the book had an awful lot about conventions, in-group squabbling, etc. "Just Add Hormones" by Matt Kailey was great, especially clarifying the different steps (i.e., starting T, surgery, etc.) of the physical transformation to match the interior.

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  75. I have had so many bunnies. I love them so much. Most homeless buns have such hard beginning lives. I want to save them all. I want to live in a rabbit den. I love this post. Not even just the rabbits. I am not going to go out and find a new rabbit. I'm not. I won's. STOP PUSHING ME! AUGHHH!!!!! petfinder.

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  76. An important and relevant read:
    While a hostile relative re-writes my life: 'Who is, and is not, my family'
    by Leslie Feinberg

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  77. In my opinion, as a genderqueer person, the best thing to do is to just approach every trans person by awkwardly asking "what is your preferred pronoun?" I've had it asked a billion times, and honestly it doesn't offend me because I would much rather have that acknowledgment, than to just have the person assume. For further research you should visit my blog. (anarchafeminist.tumblr.com)

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  78. Asking about preferred pronoun, by the by, is not the same as interrogating someone about being trans.

    One of them is polite and appreciated.

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  79. word. i've noticed some kinda transphobic stuff on this blog and this is a good place to bring it up. these things have been needing to be said:

    1. just because you don't know doesn't make it okay for you to say offensive things. i.e. "tranny." yes. it's still offensive if you're gay.
    2. transmen are not women. therefore, they are not dykes.
    3. transmen or trans* people are not something for you to fetishize.
    4. it's transgender, not "transgendered."
    therefore, if this is a blog about dykes, i think you would just do better to leave transpeople out of it (maybe not transwomen, but...). this may seem harsh to you, but cis (i.e. nontrans) privilege is a serious matter, and when you perpetually do these things on your blog (the things i listed above), it tells everybody who reads your blog that it's okay, and it perpetuates transphobic and cis privilege.

    seriously, if you take anything out of this, just stop saying tranny and stop fetishizing trans people because they're trans.

    thanks.

    -a long time reader.

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    Replies
    1. True on #1-4, but for the last thing: as you say there are plenty of trans women who are dykes, and don't appreciate being left out of queer women's communities. Y'all, newsflash, a trans woman is a woman and if you meet one and are attracted to her, that doesn't make you less gay, even if you don't know what her whole body looks like. Seriously. (If it matters this is coming from a cis dyke.)

      If you really want to learn a lot, try some of the "Essential Reeding" posts on http://freethoughtblogs.com/nataliereed/ , I promise she writes well. Or maybe since it's a year or so later, everyone's heard of the "Cotton Ceiling" by now?

      Delete
  80. Unless you're asking a trans friend about something that only relates to themselves (and do NOT ask about sex unless they've (seriously, not jokingly) brought it up) or they have specifically said they are okay with you asking questions...don't ask them questions. Not all trans people like being asked questions...because they can feel invasive or make them feel dysphoric or they just plain don't want to be the spokesperson for a group that is just as diverse as any other minority group (not all lesbians feel the same way or have the same opinions). It is not a trans person's job to explain things to you, especially when there are plenty of resources you could be utilizing.

    Google is your friend who can answer many questions you may have. Blogs like Questioning Transphobia, multiple YouTube groups (and individual videos about being trans), and Tumblr groups, especially those about cis privilege, are also helpful (some times more so than Google). Read and listen...those are the best tools for understanding and learning.

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  81. Just in case you haven't seen this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptyKSiRyQ4Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Now that's something you don't see every day. :) what's quite interesting is wbat you'll find if you start rummaging around on the interwebs in this subculture. Who knew that you could get special jumping harnesses for bunnies?

    In all seriousness, rabbits respond really well to clicker training. I clicker train my cats and it makes a huge difference with the relationship I have with them.

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