[Content note: dehumanization]
I was at the Walgreen’s buying gum (the kids still chew gum, right), and I was standing in a long-ass line because I was at the Walgreen’s. I looked over at the magazines (it was either that or the cigarettes), and I saw that such and such celebrity reportedly “wants to be a woman.” Fucking fuck.
1) Cram your “wants to be a woman” bullshit.
2) I don’t give a fuck. I mean, cool, I’m all hugs and shoes when folks want to come out, but I really don’t care about random celebrities. Gaga takes shit. Usher does thing. (Do the kids still listen to Usher? Does Usher even sing?) Like I care.
The neat thing about this incident is how it ties in the way in which society views celebrities as something to consume as it does marginalized bodies.
I mean, we all have raging boners when Prince What’s-His-Face is surprisingly decent and we’re all totally appalled when Justin Beiber is a huge asshole about Anne Frank, but folks tend not to treat random cis het white dudes on the street like they exist for our enjoyment.
On the other hand, tons of folks are super eager to:
Gossip about trans* women’s underwear.
Ask trans* people about their surgical histories, and “real” names.
Touch black women’s hair.
Touch pregnant women’s bellies.
Ask women to smile.
Offer dietary advice to random fat people.
And so on.
And so forth.
So when there are unconfirmed rumors that such-and-such celebrity may or may not wear women’s clothes, basically the universe creams itself and I got to watch that shit while I’m trying to buy gum. And that’s why I take Ativan. Assholes.
Okay, so that <3 thingy doesn’t work so well when you’re using bad-assed web typography. Still.
If you’ve followed Bitch magazine over the years (and if you haven’t, you need to start, like, yesterday), you know they’ve had pretty consistent financial struggles. Unfortunately, that’s just part of the reality that most small-to-medium-to-not-gargantuan print media find themselves in.
Bitch needs your help again.
Lemme offer up two reasons why Bitch is near and dear to me. First, I’m a writer. (And by extension, I’m a reader.) Bitch is one of the reasons why. I’ve been fortunate to have some amazing people encourage me to share my writing, but even before that started happening, I met Bitch at my local feminist bookstore.
Ninety-six pages of smart writing about things that I cared about were waiting for me inside. Holy crap, there were people writing about things I had actually been thinking about for months. Television! Music! That asshole on the bus who keeps staring at me! Better yet, most of the writers were women. A lot of them were young, like me. Some of them were huge queers. Hooray!
I have no idea how many other writers Bitch has inspired over the years, let alone how many it might in the future. And for those of us who are writing, Bitch is an important outlet. My friends need bread and readers, yo.
And let’s be frank Read more…
Last month, a Calgary radio station announced a contest where women could compete for free breast implants by submitting a photo and a personal statement. Predictably, reviews were, um, mixed. Last week, Amp Radio selected ten finalists, from which online voters chose a winner.
The votes are in. Avery, a Calgary trans woman, won the ten-way contest with seventy-six percent of all votes cast. Beautiful.
This is how we work the system.
Societies are not generally open to paying trans* people’s medical bills. Those of us who live in the United States aren’t guaranteed health insurance. To the extent that we might have our own insurance, the corporations that profit from us typically don’t pay for the care we need. Medicaid and Medicare don’t cover our needs, even for qualifying individuals.
While Canadian society generally views health care as a fundamental human right, various governmental agencies determine what “health care” actually means. Some provinces (like Alberta) don’t cover SRS/GRS at all. It’s pretty typical for politicians to treat trans* people’s bodies as budget lines and political footballs. Thus, it’s never clear what various provinces will pay for at various points in time.
Toying with trans* people’s lives is not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. There are places that have “universal” health care that only allows an outlandishly low number of trans* people to access services each year. Some places have “universal” health care, but force trans* people to conform to narrow standards and submit to horrific psychological evaluations as a condition of their care. Often enough, both of these conditions exist simultaneously. Read more…