TG History: June

Views: 2148

June 5

1983 – Harvey Fierstein’s play Torch Song Trilogy won the Tony Award for Best Play of the 1982-83 season.

June 6

1886 – Annie Ryan married Annie Hindle, who gave her name as Charles Hindle, in Grand Rapids Michigan. Gilbert Sarony, a female impersonator, was one of the witnesses.

June 9

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1989 – The ashes of pioneer transsexual Christine Jorgensen were scattered off Dana Point by her two nieces and two of her closest friends.


1998 – Pat Robertson warned the city of Orlando Florida that God would punish the city with natural disasters for allowing the display of rainbow flags during GLBT Pride Month.

June 11

1998 – Nineteen-year-old Brendan McGarity was arrested for vandalizing rainbow flags which had been displayed in Orlando Florida for GLBT Pride Month. He said he did it because of Rev Pat Robertson’s warnings that God would punish the city with natural disasters for allowing the display of the flags.

June 12

1995 – The Employment Non-Discrimination Act was re-introduced in Congress. HRC demanded that transsexuals not be included in the legislation.

June 14

1961 – Boy George, musician was born

June 20

1923 – Fred G Thompson of Chicago was arrested on suspicion of murder. Until the arrest Thompson had passed as Mrs. Francis Carrick, wife of Frank Carrick. He was found not guilty.

June 23

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1882 – Dr. William Hammond delivered a paper to the American Neurological Association on a “disease” which makes males believe themselves to be females. As an example he spoke of Native Americans who lived as the opposite sex.

June 24

1989 – The US Postal Service issued a Pride postmark to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

June 27

1969 – Police raided the Stonewall, a bar in Greenwich Village, shortly after midnight for selling liquor without a license. When police began loading GLBT patrons into paddywagons and – according to many sources – Sylvia Rivera, transgender activist and later co-founder of S.T.A.R. (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, ca. 1970) began to fight back which began the riot. Police were forced to take shelter inside the bar. The next evening people gathered outside the bar and police, who showed up to prevent a second night of rioting, started a riot.

June 28

1970 – Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, was arrested for blocking the sidewalk following a demonstration in Los Angeles. While in jail a MTF pre-operative transsexual was brutally beaten after being placed in the same cell with male heterosexual prisoners. Perry arranged for her release and went on a hunger strike to convince authorities not to put transsexuals in cells with male heterosexuals.

Syntactical Distancing in the Case of Myra Ical

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Views: 3165

Today, January 18, 2011 marks 1 year since Myra Ical was murdered and still no justice! This case, like many trans murders in Houston, is now an unsolved cold case and HPD will NOT give this case another glance unless someone steps forward.

The following paper was presented at the 2010 Rice University SWGS Symposium by Laura Richardson on March 26, 2010. The paper is perhaps the most articulate and  insightful deconstruction of the postmortem violence inflicted upon Myra Ical’s humanity.

For more information about Myra Ical, the media and the community’s response, please click HERE.

The Vigil for Myra


Syntactical Distancing in the Case of Myra Ical

Myra Ical, a transgender woman, was murdered on January 18th of this year and found in a field on the 4300 block of Garrott Street.  In the police report of the incident and in many of the early media responses to the crime, Ical was identified as a man, by her birth name, and with male pronouns.  One report by Houston Press, which has since been revised, even went so far as to claim Ical fooled or tricked police – as if her dead body was telling a lie to law enforcement officials who initially recognized her for what she really was: a woman.  This identification serves as a second type of violence inflicted on Ical – a representational injury that amounted to a disavowal of her person.1 As with the visibility the transgender community received after the rape and murder of the transgender man Brandon Teena in 1993, the story of Ical’s violent death mobilized Houstonians and stimulated a moment of a higher level of recognition for the transgender community in our city.  Over two hundred people attended Ical’s candlelight vigil, held a week after her death in the same field where her body was found.  Multiple local news stations also attended the memorial, and several concerns of the transgender community, including the guides available to help media outlets write respectfully about transgender individuals and the fact that under the Texas James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, transgender people are not protected, received increased press coverage.  Ical’s death provided an opening through which transgender civil rights and rights of representation were made visible.  Although her violent passing did receive a lot of coverage, there is still much to be said for Ical, the events surrounding her death, and her physical, verbal, and written victimization, for there was a third type of violence inflicted on Myra Ical.  Several reports, including the original police report (which still stands unedited), labeled the field where Ical’s body was found as an “area [] known to have incidents of prostitution, drug use and homeless camps,” failing to mention that the 4300 block of Garrott is just a few blocks from a metro station, multiple bars and pubs, and a 24-hour restaurant.  Several online and televised news reports of the crime also included the information from the police statement about the location where Ical’s body was found in their coverage of her murder, including Houston Press and The Houston Chronicle.  Why did the police and the media insist on “clausing” Ical’s murder with a sentence qualifying that the area where Ical was found was known for illegal acts of prostitution and drug use, as well as for being a site frequented by the homeless?  An interpretation of two sentences of the HPD report of Ical’s murder, “Mr. Ical was found partially clothed in a field and had no identification. The area is known to have incidents of prostitution, drug use and homeless camps,” reveals the ways in which the police and media displaced Ical’s identity as a woman, scandalized her murder, and fell back on discriminatory caricatures of transgender people when representing her body.  Ical was strangled to death and then identified as a man – physical and discursive violences done to her person, but the qualifying sentences of the police report inflict yet a third type of violence on Ical and the transgender community: a dictional and syntactical violence that works to distance readers from the suffering of a woman.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLADD, created a Media Reference Guide, now in its eighth edition, to promote the fair and respectful representation of LGBT stories.  This reference guide is simple, short, and easily accessible online.  In the section that pertains to the representation of transgender people, the guide explains that when reporting about a transgender person, writers and newscasters should always use the person’s chosen name.  Furthermore, the pronouns used to refer to the transgender person should be determined by asking the person which pronouns he/she/ze would prefer.  If the media outlet is unable to ask the transgender person about such pronouns, it should always “use the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s appearance and gender expression” (GLAAD Media Reference Guide 11).    Although the HPD recognized Ical as wearing a “black blouse,” it nevertheless insisted on using male pronouns and privileging Ical’s birth name.  Furthermore, HPD’s claim that Ical “also went by the name of Myra Chanel Ical” is incorrect and misleading: for as many as two decades, Ical identified herself as Myra (Williams).  To claim that she “also went by the name of” is to relegate her status as a woman to the position of a nickname or pseudonym.  Houston Press’s current version of the report of Ical’s murder is titled with Ical’s birth name and then followed by, in parentheses, “(a/k/a Myra Ical),” while part of the URL for author Chris Vogel’s short article about the crime reads: “cross-dresser_beaten_death.”  The abbreviation a/k/a works in a similar way as does “also went by the name of,” but has connotations of criminality, implying a suspect, “who are you really?” status. Additionally, Myra Ical was, in fact, not a cross-dresser, but a transgender woman.  The GLAAD Media Reference Guide defines cross-dressing as: “To occasionally wear clothes traditionally associated with people of the other sex…. ‘Cross-dresser’ should NOT be used to describe someone who has transitioned to live full-time as the other sex or who intends to do so in the future” (GLAAD Media Reference Guide 9).

The diction and syntax of the police report and the two news stories from Houston Press and The Houston Chronicle are working within a framework of identity displacing. I employ “displacing” instead of “displacement” to separate my use of the term from its psychological implications.  By “displacing” I mean, in a simple fashion, removing from “the proper place,” with the negative connotations of “expel[ing] or forc[ing] to flee.”  The substitution of male pronouns for female pronouns, the primary positioning of Ical’s birth name, and the relegation of Ical’s recognized name to a marginal status all serve to separate Ical’s identity as a woman from her person, forcing male-ness onto her body and victimizing her once again.  These are all injuries that occur at the level of diction and syntax, and are displacing mechanisms in the sense that these words and their positioning work to remove Ical’s feminine identity from its rightful place: her body and the recognition of her person.  Police and media representations of Ical’s body created a lack or a gap in their stripping of Ical’s identity by this act of displacing and then attempted to fill the space, cover it over, and suture it with heteronormative discourse.   This space created by displacing was what community responses to Ical’s murder addressed, protesting the removal of her feminine identity and refusing to allow that discursive displacing to continue.

But at the same time as police and media reports were forcing a masculine, heteronormative discourse on Ical’s body, these accounts were also invoking cultural stereotypes of transgender people.  In an interview I conducted with the director of the Transgender Foundation of America (TFA), Cristan Williams, she discussed the past hundred-year history of the representation of transgender individuals.  One of the many incredible services TFA provides for the Houston community is its archival collection of pieces of transgender history, dating back as far as 1750 (TFA Library and Archive Home Page).  Williams noted that in her research through the archive she has discovered that “this sensationalistic, sexualized notion of transgender expression” really only emerged about a hundred years ago, and that

It wasn’t until after the bringing in of entertainment and that image to the public conscious that I began finding the moralistic language or sensationalistic language of transgender expression that has lasted all the way up through Jerry Springer.  Most of the movie posters we have going back years and years… every representation I can think of is used in a sexualized manner…. I think that our cultural reference for transgender people is muddied with a lot of references that go back to entertainment industries that have little or nothing to do with real transgender people. (Williams)

The facts that the police and media reported that Ical was “partially clothed” and found in an “area [ ] known to have incidents of prostitution, drug use and homeless camps” speaks to what Williams identifies as the “cultural reference for transgender people.”  I read over sixty HPD press releases of Houston murders from October 2009 to this very week, and not one of the accounts commented on the state of the clothing victims were wearing.  Additionally, not one of the reports I read made any qualifying statements about the areas in which the murders were committed.  Ical’s body was found in the Midtown neighborhood, which, according to the online database Houston Crime Maps, is not even in the top ten Houston areas for reported criminal activity.  The Montrose neighborhood, which is close to the 4300 block of Garrott, is ranked the tenth highest neighborhood for crime in Houston, but has less than half of the reported criminal activity of the neighborhood that comes in at number one, the Alief area, which is located west of Loop 610, between Highway 59 and West Loop Parkway.  Furthermore, the Montrose area was rated by the American Planning Association in 2009 as one of the best neighborhoods in the U.S.  There is no evidence that Ical was using drugs or involved in prostitution, and she was not homeless.  She cleaned homes and offices for a living and had attended a concert the evening she was murdered.  Given that the area where Ical’s body was found is no more dangerous than many other areas of Houston, and given that Myra was not known to be associated with drugs, prostitution, or homelessness, why are these two sentences in the police report?  Why are these two sentences the ones upon which media outlets initially seized?

The answers to these questions lie partly in the structure of the HPD press release about Ical’s murder.  The report first gives Ical’s birth name, then notes that she “also went by the name of Myra Chanel Ical,” identifying Myra as a transgender woman without explicitly stating the information.  The report then moves to the two sentences with which this paper is primarily concerned: “Mr. Ical was found partially clothed in a field and had no identification.  The area is known to have incidents of prostitution, drug use and homeless camps.”  The progression of the report, then, identifies the victim, calls attention to her status as a transgender woman without directly addressing it, adds that she was partially clothed, and then offers information that serves as “explanations” as to why the crime occurred.  In this way, the development of the report scandalizes Ical’s murder.  The identification of her body as partially clothed, which several news sources inverted to “half naked,”2 suggests that Ical was participating in a sexual activity or was sexually assaulted.  Moreover, the development of the report implies that the crime was either understandable (because of the area’s association with criminal activity, which is an exaggerated claim) or caused by the victim (as in Ical was engaging in these activities, which is why she was murdered).  It is almost possible to hear the coordinating conjunction “but” between the last two quoted sentences above: “Mr. Ical was found partially clothed in a field and had no identification, but this area is known to have incidents.”  What is ultimately accomplished by the word choice and sentence structure of the police report and the various media accounts based upon it is the syntactical work of distancing non-transgender people from those who are transgender.  The report seems to be saying that if Myra Ical was a transgender woman who was engaging in prostitution or promiscuity, using drugs, and homeless, the Houston community does not need to mourn her death or worry that it could also be the victim of such violence.  Like the displacing of Ical’s identity as a woman, this distancing works to forge a space between Ical’s experience and the experiences of not only other victims, but the community as a whole.   Again, the outcry from hundreds of Houston residents found fault in this aperture and filled it with the noise of their emails and letters to the media and the noise of their collective voices at Ical’s memorial service, where they shouted, used noise-makers, and blew whistles in protest of both the physical and representational violence inflicted on Ical and the other six unsolved murders of transgender people in Houston since 1999.

The Houston community was able to rally around Ical and protest the displacing and distancing done by police and media reports, but while TFA director Cristan Williams says that Ical’s vigil was “probably the largest single transgender action in Houston,” Williams has seen no increased involvement or attendance at TFA events since Ical’s murder.  “But you have to put that question in context,” she says:

Most of the community members have known people who have been murdered or have friends who have [committed] suicide or have been beaten up themselves or have their own story of victimization to tell.  While the story itself is tragic, it’s not something that is shocking to the community.  To give more context: for most transwomen who get ready to leave the house, for whatever reason, it takes about two hours to get ready.  It’s not to look like a diva, it’s taking time to look passable so that you’re not beaten or harassed….  You’re spending that much time just to get out of your house, month after month, day after day.  That is the reason why most of the clients we work with have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. [They] know[ ] friends who’ve been beaten, murdered, [and] fear[ ] those things themselves. (Williams)

Increased exposure to violence highlights the intense vulnerability of the transgender community.  That vulnerability is heightened by police and media reports that “ignore industry standards” and perpetuate what Williams identifies as the“boilerplate representation” of transgender people (Williams).  She locates the community’s strong response to Ical’s murder in “the disrespect shown by HPD and local media, [ ] trying to hide who Myra really was in favor of falling back on a tired, old, caricature of transgender people: the freak, the prostitute, the other” (Williams).  “Falling back” on these “tired” representations underscores the displacing and distancing done by the HPD report and media coverage of Ical’s murder.  These spaces created within the body of Myra Ical and between her body and the bodies of Houston residents are openings that must be addressed over and over again in order for the larger community to recognize her suffering and the suffering of transgender people, the majority of whom have been victims of violence as a result of a history of cultural prejudices surrounding the transgender person – a history partly comprised of displacing and distancing, creating spaces that must now be filled with noise. At the end of our interview, Williams concluded her answers to my questions with a poignant call to the best way to address this distancing and make a difference for the transgender community:

Our goal in the event that we held [memorial for Myra] was to inspire that part of yourself that is really, really natural and is in every single person.  That when you see someone suffering, that there’s a natural response to help.  When things like this happen, what we try to do is call attention to that part of each person’s self that innately sees beyond the cultural conditioning to recognize that this person is – that we’re talking about – a human being who suffered, and that even after she suffered there was more wrong done to her…. Fundamentally, what I hope that that consciousness raising produces is an intolerance of intolerance, a sensitivity or a new awareness of the game that’s being played…. And so… that’s how you and everyone who came to the vigil and everyone who saw the news report [reacted].  My hope is [that] on that level, that personal level, that it does spark those kinds of interactions where when our culture’s representation of transgender experience is brought to a fore, that people have a desire or a willingness, drive, to be able to address that appropriately.  (Williams)

David Valentine, in his 2007 book, Imagining Transgender, spends a chapter exploring the ways in which a theory of violence can be a useful tool for political activism for the transgender community.  He writes that “for violence to be understood as violence, a story must be told about it” (Valentine 228).  What this statement points to is also what Williams articulated to me at the end of our interview: that it is only in the recognition of the suffering of others and in the responses to that suffering on an innate, emotional level that violence can be properly addressed, condemned, and eliminated.  This personal level is precisely what those two sentences in the police report and media coverage of Myra Ical’s murder sought to distance themselves from and is a violent action because it is ultimately injurious to the transgender community and to the memory of Ical.   This created space, this aperture formed by stepping back, is an opening for political, social, and emotional responses of people protesting, making noise, and then closing the distance.

 


Works Cited“Displacing.”  Merriam-Webster Online.  < http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displacing>.“Transgender Community Seeks Answers to Murder | MyFoxHouston.com.” Web. 30 Mar 2010.  <http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/100125-transgender-murder-victim-vigil>.GLAAD Media Reference Guide.  8th Ed.  January 2010.  <http://www.glaad.org/Document.Doc?id=99>.“Great Places in America: Neighborhoods.” Web. 21 Mar 2010. <http://www.planning.org/greatplaces/neighborhoods/2009/index.htm>.“Houston Crime Maps | Super Neighborhood.” Web. 21 Mar 2010.  <http://houstoncrimemaps.com/neighborhood/>.Houston Police Department.  Press Release.  “Deceased Victim Identified in Incident at 4300 Garrott.”  20 January 2010.  < http://www.houstontx.gov/police/nr/2010/jan/nr012010-1.htm>.Lezon, Dale. “Houston police seek clues in death of man left in field.”  The Houston Chronicle (Chron.com). 20 January 2010.  <http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6826157.html>.Transgender Foundation of America.  Library and Archive Home Page.  < http://www.tgctr.org/tg-library/>.

    Valentine, David.  Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.  Print.

Vogel, Chris.  “Ruben Dario Ical, 51 (a/k/a Myra Ical), Bayou Body Count No. 17.”  Houston Press.  20 January 2010.  <http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/01/cross-dresser_beaten_death.php#comments>.

    Williams, Cristan.  Phone Interview.  23 March 2010.

The Bathroom Police in Houston, Texas

Views: 6267

Many of you know that Ms. Moore, a transgender woman, was arrested and thrown in jail for using the bathroom at a Downtown Houston library branch. Many of you don’t know the back-story. Since I’ve now listened to a number or reporters share their misconceptions with me, I thought it was time to set the record straight.

THE LAW & LAWSUITS

The spin on the news is that the law is somehow unclear and or undecided. That’s simply false. Ms. Moore was arrested and imprisoned for “knowingly entering a restroom of the opposite sex.

Texas law states that “It is unlawful for any person to use a restroom of the opposite sex unless given permission…” City of Houston Executive Order 1 – 8 and 1 – 20 provides explicit permission:

eo-1
The explicit definitions of what the City means when they refer to Gender Identity and Gender Expression.

- and-

eo-2
This part explicitly gives transgender members of the public the right to use City restrooms.

If you recall, back in May I stated that the Executive Order was simply a move on the part of the City to limit liability. Even the Mayor said that the City was simply clarifying the City’s then-current ordinance that one commits a class C misdemeanor if they enter the restroom of the opposite sex with the intent of creating a disturbance.

In case you don’t remember, here’s what I said in a press release back in May:

“Fringe groups will probably try to scare their donor base into believing that the gay mayor has made it legal for pedophiles to turn the restroom into their hunting grounds instead of being truthful and saying that the City acted to limit City liability. Liability issues are bland and don’t bring in the bucks for these groups. These groups know it’s more profitable to lie to their donor base and claim that without them, nobody will ‘save the children.’ I find it remarkable that people fall for it. I mean really… Who would believe that the Mayor of Houston has made it legal for nefarious men to hang out in the girl’s bathroom?” In fact, Dave Welch, Executive Director of Houston Area Pastor Council said, “Her reprehensible actions to open women’s restrooms to men.” He went on to say, “Forcing women in particular using city facilities to be subjected to cross-dressing men invading their privacy is beyond the pale and offensive to every standard of decency.”

After hearing what Mr. Welch had to say, Lou Weaver, President of TFA said, “His framing of the issue borders on an out and out lie. I’m really shocked. He’s basically claiming that the Executive Order was actually a rogue plot to make the women’s restroom accessible to voyeurs. Who buys this stuff? We’re talking about an Order that has stopped the previous practice of forcing females, like Cristan, into rooms where men are in a state of undress. Pretending that it’s anything other than that is simply disingenuous.”

The reason the Mayor of Houston acted to clarify the existing ordinance was because transgender people had been falsely arrested and had been previously barred from using the restroom – discriminatory actions which were all unlawful. The existing ordinance allowed transgender people to use the restroom since they weren’t using it for the purposes of creating a disturbance. The fact that transgender people were being arrested and jailed for NOT breaking the law left the City of Houston at risk of having to pay out millions for false arrest and imprisonment. The Executive Order made it clear to all City staff (HPD included) what the policy was and should have – had it been followed – protected the taxpayers from costly lawsuits.

However, a security guard and HPD officer chose to disregard years worth of City policy as well as the Executive Order and put the City and the taxpayer at risk of a civil rights lawsuit.  Back in May when I had stated that the Mayor acted to limit City liability, I remember that a number of right-wing blogs said that I was being absurd, ridiculous and trying to muddy the waters with talk of law suit prevention.

Well, when a civil rights attorney is about to take up the cause of Ms. Moore, I hate to tell you that I told you so… BUT, I TOLD YOU SO!

<sarcasm>So, I hope it was worth wasting what may become millions of bucks in taxpayer money on the personal schadenfreude the guard and cop got from harassing a transgender person.</sarcasm>

It’s worth noting that even if the Executive Order was not in place, it would have been unlawful for the officer to arrest Ms. Moore. As a class C misdemeanor, it is a citable offence – not an arrestable offence. Even without the Executive Order in place, it would have been only lawful for the officer to write her a ticket – not arrest her and throw her in jail!

PROBLEMS AT JAIL

As I just said, if you ignored the Executive Order, it STILL would have been unlawful for the officer to arrest Ms. Moore. The fact that the booking sergeant at the jail ignored this is also problematic.

Now imagine that you’re a transgender woman in a men’s prison and a guard comes up to you and offers you some ‘free’ legal advice. He says to you, “If you’ll just plead guilty to the charge, you can get out of here with time served. You can go home. But if you try to fight this, you’ll be staying here for some time.

It is unlawful for jailors to offer this type of legal “advice.” That’s problematic as well.

So, being unaware of her rights and being confronted with the possibility of rape and beatings, Ms. Moore plead guilty on the legal advisement of the jailor.

FALLOUT AT HPD

After the blowback HPD faced with their treatment of the sill unsolved Myra Ical murder case, HPD has been fairly tight-lipped about reporting on anything to do with the transgender community. In fact, they completely failed to report the murder of a transgender woman on the 6th of September. This is, without a doubt, a huge embarrassment for HPD.

Without going into explicit details, the Police Chief had a come to Jesus sit-down last Tuesday. Tacked on the wall was a copy of the Executive Order. The Chief had a lot to say and long and short of it is that there’s currently an investigation underway.

The community is working with HPD to ensure that they have the breathing-room they need to conduct their investigation.

The findings will be given to City Legal (CL) and official statements will be coming from CL since David Welch, Executive Director of the Houston City Pastor Council sent a sadly comical pleading to the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seeking to have the Houston Executive Order overturned.

Of course, overturning the Executive Order will only lead to more law suits. This incident is proof-positive that if the Executive Order is followed, the City and taxpayer is protected. Thanks for your 2 cents Welch.

DAVID WELCH

As I noted, Welch submitted a laughably pitiful excuse of a pleading to Attorney General Greg Abbott wherein he cites no legal cases and merely states that the Attorney General should overturn the Houston Executive Order because Welch thinks it would make God happy.

David Welch, the Executive Director of a Houston-based hate group that calls itself the “Houston Area Pastoral Council” is an extreme right-wing fundamentalist. He’s also Founding Executive Director of Christian Coalition of Washington, the National Field Director of Christian Coalition, the Executive Director of Vision America and more importantly, Welch is afraid to debate me again.

Welch was scheduled to debate me for the second time live on FOX News, but backed out at the last moment. We were supposed to debate the merits of the Mayor’s Executive Order. Welch has a long history of making declarations about the civil rights of transgender people but is now seemingly afraid of debating those very ideas.

So, Welch debated Darrell Steadily (lead attorney for Nikki Araguz) and, of course, lost. Again. This is the second time he debated transgender civil rights and this is the second time Welch lost.

After ducking the debate with me, I turned up the heat by calling him out on live radio and then calling his office until I was able to reach him. When I was actually able to speak to him, I challenged him to a debate which he initially accepted before immediately beginning to backpedal. Knowing that Welch is likely to try to worm out of having to publically defend his arguments against GLBT people, I recorded the conversation and posted it on YouTube.

<rant>His type of obtuse bigotry is sickening. I want to debate him again. I want to decimate each logical fallacy he throws my direction. I want to ensure that David Welch is either exposed as being a ridiculously pathetic man trapped by fear and ignorance or as a coward who is unwilling and/or unable to have his hate challenged by a lowly tranny.</rant>

So, I’m happy to note that when Welch injected his venom into this story and refused to debate me, a site popped up to track his downfall: http://dave-welch.com .

PUBLIC OPINION

Fox News put out a public poll asking if people would freak out if a transgender person of the same gender was using the restroom and almost everyone said that it’s a non-issue for them:

fox_poll-results
Results of the FOX News poll. 84% don't care if transgender people use the restroom.

As you can see, it’s a non-issue for most folk and if you think that’s a fluke, check out the ‘man on the street’ interview done by FOX news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiCuLP1xXTk

TRANSGENDER CENTER REACTION

The TG Center put out a press release on Monday, November 22 and set to work gathering information and contacting the victim. Additionally, a pro bono civil rights attorney was secured to represent Ms. Moore. The TG Center coordinated communication between the victim and the community.

RECAP

  • • The Executive Order PROTECTS the City against lawsuits.
  • • A Right-Wing nut named David Welch (dave-welch.com) wants to strip that protection away and make it ‘legal’ to violate the civil rights of transgender people.
  • • The arresting officer was out of line every step of the way and Ms. Moore’s civil rights were violated.
  • • The TG Community is taking care of its own and the general public doesn’t have a problem with transgender people using the bathroom.

LAST THOUGHTS

Ms. Moore should have the conviction of this imaginary crime expunged from her record. Additionally, I will encourage Ms. Moore to focus on going after the security guard and the company the guard works for since HPD is addressing their wrongs. This entire fiasco began with a bigoted security guard and as of yet, neither the security guard nor the company the security guard works for has come forward and apologized to Ms. Moore.

Here are a few graphics that have been used lately in connection to this story:

tg-restroom

david_welch-chick

TG Archive Donations

Views: 1545

So, I recently bought some things for the TG archive. I chipped in to get the original Michel Marie Poulain painting, but I also picked up a few things that I wanted to donate to the community’s knowledge-base.

First of all, I like understanding pop-culture since it seems to serve as a explicit breakpoint in the culture, defining it from previous generations. In other words, pop-culture is, IMHO, a strong indicator of where the zeitgeist was during the evolution of culture.

A strong indicator seems of where the zeitgeist is heading can, I think, be found in teen pop-culture. I think this is the subconscious drive behind all the so-called "Save the children" BS. What do the fringe groups want to save the children from? Well, that’d be the removal of toxic-shame stigma from the GLBT community. They want to preserve heterosexism.

Anyway, I digress… I was interested in adding some of these TG zeitgeist indicators to the archive:

Mantra #1 – 23
Mantra was published by Malibu Comics in the mid 1990s, until it was purchased by Marvel Comics which promptly killed the publication of Mantra. The story is that a guy (wizard) was killed and reincarnated into the body of a woman with mystical powers. Gender, sexuality and social norms are all explored in the context of this comic.

http://www.geocities.com/~mantraverse/

Victor y Victoria, 1957
Presumably, this is a Spanish remake of the German film, Viktor und Viktoria (1933) which later became the 1982 film, Victor Victoria.
Let Me Die a Woman, 1977
This is a fake(ish) documentary (kinda like faces of death) exploitation film. The film interviews Dr. Leo Wollman (an actual Dr that worked with TGs) as well as TG people. The film mixes the real interviews with fake surgical scenes that hooked people into gawking at the film.
Ranma 1/2 Cell
This is an actual production cell from the Ranma 1/2 anime.
Basara # 4 and 6
FTM manga – deals with themes of gender, sexuality, social norms and the trauma of pretending to be the gender that’s opposite to one’s real gender.
Penguin Revolution # 1- 7
MTF manga – About a boy (who’s actually famous) who goes to school dressed as a girl. The series deals with questions of truth, boundaries, trust and the personas.
Princess Princess #4
MTF manga – Another manga about boys who are put into a situation where they learn about cultural gender stratifications. I was only able to find this copy.
Nephilim # 1 – 2
MTF/FTM manga – This is about someone from a mystical tribe of people who live as male by day and female by night. A hunter of these people falls in love with the female version of this person. The manga explores assumptions about gender, sexuality and homo-transphobia

Help Me Save TG Art History

Views: 2102

This is a personal request. Below is an item I’d love to see belong to the community instead of an ebay dealer’s collection. This is a painting by a famous transgender artist and, much like the Lilly Elbe painting currently displayed in the TG Center, I believe that preserving and making the significant art of our community accessible is a worthy endeavor.

I’m writing to see if some of you would be willing to join with me in purchasing this item. I believe that this is something the that should rest in the hands of the trans community. Because I believe this, I’m willing to give $100 towards obtaining this painting. This is on top of the $200 I’ve already given this week to the TG Center in support of the good work it does (as noted in the TG Center email I sent out yesterday). As many of you know, I’m not rich. I live in an efficiency apartment and drive a 16 year-old car. I greatly value the various work the transgender center does and I want to support it to the very best of my ability. If you would like to join with me in saving this piece of transgender art history, please email me at my personal email address: gypsyrose1972@gmail.com and let me know.

You need not donate today. All I’m asking for is your pledge of support. Send me an email with your contact info and let me know how much you’d like to pledge to support the acquisition of this piece of transgender history:

Please send me your pledge of support now since the auction ends at 6 PM today.

Research this famous trans artist:

http://www.artnet.com/artist/654063/michel-marie-poulain.html

http://zagria.blogspot.com/2009/09/michel-marie-poulain-1906-1991.html

For the Ebay listing, info and various photos, please click here.

If instead of contacting me, you’d like to make a donation online, you can donate via the following special paypal link: Click here to donate Thank you!

Cristan

The Calm Before the Storm

Views: 568

I’ve now had a little over a month to (for the most part) relax and pull myself together after a – lets face it – traumatic event. This is the first time I’ve somewhat unplugged from the needs of the community in years and I feel that it is just about time to jump back into the fire. When the City grant comes in, planning will start and my world will become a nonstop blur for the next year and I’m not looking forward to that chaos at all. I am, however, looking forward to getting things done.

Within the next few weeks, we will know what our budget is and  then begin making plans for the new TG HIV program – entirely conceived of and run by the TG community… That will be a first in the for Texas. We will need the community to come together and figure out where the new TG Center will be at (move, set up the archives, meeting rooms, etc). We will need to start planning for the future ASAP… and it all will need to begin all of this as early as next month.

I was talking with one of our grant partners recently and he asked me if I would have any help. I smiled because I immediately thought of a number of people that I can count on to help me pull this together. I reflected on how grateful I am for our Board and CAB. I know that this incarnation of the TG Center will be a true community effort and I’m really excited about it!


This week Carolyn and I met with someone who was homeless after being incarcerated. So many of the folks I’ve worked with seem to get slammed by the system when others – say white heteronormative males – might get probation. She and I spent the afternoon talking about the need for an intensive jails program. I basically have a grant proposal already made up and I think this is something that we need to pursue.

You Know You Want One!

Views: 705

These are the kids of the TG Center cat and they are soooo cute! They have just started eating real food and will be ready to adopt out very soon.

Three of them look like a shot-hair version of a Himalayan – their markings are a good match, but they have short hair and they don’t have brown socks on every foot.

One is black with darker black stripes it’s coat and white socks and the other is 100% black with what looks like might be green eyes (it still has the kitten blue eye tint).

Let me know if you are interested!

TG Center Kittens!

Views: 649

TG Center Kittens!

If you would like one of the kittens from the TG Center’s cat, please let me know. They are soooooo cute! You know you want one :)

There are 3 dirty white with stripped tails and gray ears, 1 black with gray marbling and 1 solid back with white socks. How can you possibly pass up on all of that kawaisa?!? You know they are already up on all of the TG stuff too, so no worries there!  They only just opened their eyes, so their cute factor is sure to shoot through the roof :)