Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: transgender

Transphobia in Hollywood: Trans Stories Without Trans Actors

With the upcoming debut of the new movie About Ray where another non-trans actor, in this case Elle Fanning, plays a trans character, I believe it is relevant to discuss trans exclusion in Hollywood. We see this time and time again, cisgender actors being hired to play trans characters. Buzzfeed has an article citing 21 different instances of this dating all the way back to 1975. Some may argue that this is at least bringing light to the trans community, which may be true; but it isn’t okay that they are taking valuable opportunities from an already marginalized group. However, as Mari Brighe of Autostraddle argues, the repetition of Hollywood’s choice of actors shows more than meets the eye. Hollywood is clearly sitting up and taking notice of the increased attention being paid… Read more »

What the New Rules on Birth Control Mean for You

You may have seen the buzz this week about the new guidance for birth control under the Affordable Care Act. This is exciting news! Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that creates the rules to make sure the Affordable Care Act is implemented correctly, just published a set of FAQs that clarify for insurance provider’s that yes – they must cover birth control without a co-payment. A recent study by the National Women’s Law Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that many folks were having a hard time getting the birth control that their doctor prescribed without a co-pay. Frequently, insurance would not cover the NuvaRing or the patch because they already covered hormonal birth control in the form of the pill. The new rules released by HHS… Read more »

What are the Politics of Desirability?

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”  — Audre Lorde Narratives about beauty, intelligence, and kindness have mostly been centralized on white people. Psychological experiments like The Doll Test have shown that from a… Read more »

Proposed Florida Law Bans Transgender People From Bathrooms

A couple weeks ago, something truly awful happened in Florida. State Representative Frank Artiles filed a bill, HB 583, that “requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designed.” Basically, the bill targets transgender individuals and is meant to stop them from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Under the bill, a transgender man would have to use the women’s bathroom—something which can be both dangerous physically and mentally. BuzzFeed spoke with Artiles, who said that, “People are not forced to go to the restroom. They choose to go to the restroom.” Which is about as stupid as saying, “People are not forced to breathe air. They choose to breathe air.” For example, if you have an eight-hour work… Read more »

Police Violence Against Women, Girls, Queer People of Color

During this outpouring of demonstration and activism against the racist American system that does not indict killer cops, and media release of accounts of police brutality, let’s not forget that black girls and women are also murdered by the police. In the recent weeks we have seen many stories that highlight injustices of police brutality, and many of these have prominently featured the killing of black men. It is important to think about how the deaths of unarmed, innocent people at the hands of the police are not isolated incidents. Black men are uniquely impacted by this violence, but the brutality is also not just against men. Children, women, and queer folk of color are also facing death and abuse by the system. Perhaps, it is simpler for the media to… Read more »

A Glossary In Honor of Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 14th – Nov. 20th) celebrates the lives of transgender and gender-non-conforming people. This week honors those who have died as a result of violence and discrimination against transgender people. In light of Transgender Awareness Week, I  wanted to post some terminology to assist allies and all others in being respectful towards the transgender and gender-non-conforming communities by using appropriate terms. Also, I posted these terms to give people the agency to be both inquisitive and respectful to others. For accuracy, I have pulled the terms below from the GLAAD Media Reference Guide-Transgender Issues Gender Non-Conforming: A term used to describe some people whose gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity. Please note that not all gender non-conforming people identify as transgender; nor are… Read more »

The Story of Gender Inclusive Housing at Ohio State

Starting fall of 2014, students attending Ohio State University’s main campus will have the option of living in gender inclusive housing – a living situation that welcomes all genders. After over a year of research, meetings and emails, gender inclusive housing will be a reality on OSU’s main campus in Columbus. The effort to bring gender inclusive housing (GIH) to Ohio State was spearheaded by student activists Katie Matuska, Chase Ledin and Ben Weekes. There were others (students and a faculty member) involved too whom I did not speak with. M. Gulick (a past graduate student), Chantel Lowe and Matthew Duncan and faculty member Dr. Moddelmog and her research assistant Madison all contributed to making gender inclusive housing a reality.

Body Shaming One Ad at a Time

While much of the country is still covered in snow and ice, here in the Sunshine State the temperatures are slowly on the rise. And with summer already looming in the distance, there is excitement as well as nervousness in the air. As people push the idea of “summer beach bodies,” a lot of heavier people, like myself, are much more keen to slip on t-shirt before we go swimming. I understand the fear. The fear of showing your body because you aren’t comfortable with it sometimes overshadows our desire to have fun doing things we enjoy. And we allow ourselves to become slaves of a mindset that tells us that only certain body types can wear this or that, and only certain body types are good enough to be… Read more »

An Open Letter to White Queer People

In 1969, in the early hours of June 28th, in a small corner of New York City, police raided Stonewall Inn. It’s been close to fifty years since that day and a lot has been lost and convoluted to fit the more dominant discourse of queer activism. Now, I am not claiming to be an expert on the Stonewall riots in any way. But let me be clear about what I do know. I do know that a budding concept of trans* identities were coming to fruition in the late 1950s and 60s. And that a lot of these people, men, women, and non-binary, began their transitions through drag. And I do know that on June 28, 1969, it was a black drag queen that picked up the first brick and… Read more »

#WhatWomenNeed, Valentine’s Day and Beyond

I loved All Above All’s Valentine’s Day twitter campaign. The simple #WhatWomenNeed was a great way to raise awareness about abortion coverage. It got me thinking about the big picture. What women need, for Valentine’s Day and beyond. Narrowing the list down to 5 was difficult. This is certainly not comprehensive. But I think it’s a good place to start. 1. Sexual assault needs to be taken seriously: Sexual assault is an epidemic. Ms. magazine reports that “1 in 5 women will experience a rape or an attempted rape at some point during college.” Activists, students, women and their allies have been campaigning for decades in the hopes of getting the public and our government to take sexual assault seriously. There have been many articles and books and blog posts written… Read more »