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Update: 11 year old trans girl lost appeal




The above article is an update.  Her mother went to appeal to keep her out of the psychiatric ward and lost.  She will be institutionalized because of her expression of her gender.  She will be held until she conforms to male gender and then released to foster care, not her mother who was supporting her.

Please, if you haven’t signed the petition, sign it, reblog it, ask your friends to sign it. We’ve managed to get 40K signatures for a pageant model, we’ve only gotten 11K for a little girl about to have her life ruined.  Lets get on the ball and spread the word.

Sign It.

This is not true! The girl is not being admitted to any sort of psychiatric ward. The article displays wrong information. I live in Berlin and have followed the story closely. The actual court desicion was posted online and it explicitly says that Alex “is not being admitted to a psychiatric ward”. 

Yes, there was some controversy because initially the Jugendamt (child welfare service) were contacted by her dad and he wanted her mother to lose custody because he claimed she “talked Alex into her transsexualism.” The mother did lose the appeal and therefore custody over Alex but because custody and specifically decisions about health services were transferred to the child welfare services she can get further medical services like hormone blockers quicker now. Otherwise her parents would have continued fighting over her and those services could have been severly delayed.

Well this is promising news, thank you queerinberlin! The google translate into English of the link is horrendous, but it does seem to say that she won’t be institutionalized.

Supreme Court: No re-transmission of health care from social services to the child’s mother in connection with a suspected diagnosis of transsexualism, a 11-year old child (PM 22/2012)

Press Release Berlin, 29.03.2012

The President of the Supreme Court

press office of the Berlin Civil Courts 
Elßholzstr. 30-33, 10781 Berlin The 19th Civil Division of the Supreme Court - the Senate for family matters - By order of 15th March 2012 complaint rejected a mother who was against the background of the diagnosis requires a 11-year old child of her transsexuality, the restitution of health care from social services for themselves. This gives the family the Senate confirmed the first instance decision of the district court that had rejected a transfer of the health care of the parents as well as a return transfer to the child’s mother alone. In support of the Senate stated, a reverse transfer’m currently not due to a continuing danger to the child’s welfare in consideration. The child’s parents were divided about the type of required medical monitoring for possible transsexuality. Therefore, there is a risk that a blockade would lead to further diagnostics of massive damage to the child. Literally, it says in the decision because: “There is an urgent need to clarify the issue of transsexualism and treated with the necessary form, which may include support this development by taking action before reaching majority. It’s not about to find, already has a certain course of treatment, but the child’s access to medical treatment at all to keep it open. To this danger - and subsequently the proportionality of the withdrawal of health care and their application for a supplementary nurse - find it necessary, contrary to the child’s mother (…) none of the expert opinion. The risk is not disputed by the mother herself and is headed to the favored of their transmission to health care justify them alone. She also argues that X. Badly needed professional help and support ‘(…) The question of proportionality is a legal, which resolved not by an opinion, but the Senate replied to be. “ A transfer of health care to the child’s mother alone distinguishes been made because currently no appears assured that they would exercise this alone for the sake of the child, then the Senate. Contrary to what some press reports in recent days has not decided the Supreme Court in these proceedings that the child “may be admitted to a mental”. Neither the family tent of the Senate regarding the suitability or necessity of certain medical accompanying measures taken for the child. Court of Appeal, decision of 15 March 2012 - 19 UF 186/11 - For further information: Dr. Ulrich Wimmer (tel: 030-9015 2504 - 2290)

Emphasis towards end is mine. If anyone has any news to corroborate this I’d love to see it.

The ways of talking about the “war on women” that leave people out






So it seems that some people think we cannot talk about the reproductive war against women happening in the US without including teh trans, cuz you know, that’s eviiil.

However, they need to face the reality that not every bloody battle is theirs and that sometimes they’ll need to play support instead of centre stage in order for FAAB persons to be helped. When they want to stand in the way of that because it makes them feel “left out” (not exceptional enough - see [STRONG TRIGGER WARNING: THIS IS A HATE SITE -tal9000]) they are being an enemy to women.

The fact is that this needs to be talked about and fought, and how it makes people feel does not matter so long as it helps the real world circumstances of the people involved.

I’m sorry, did you just pull the “CAN’T WE HAVR THIS TO OURSELVES” on dfab trans* people?

Because in case you haven’t noticed, the entire fucking WORLD works in the favour of cis people over trans* people. Fixing your language so you’re not hurting and misgendering trans* people during your discussions on reproductive rights DO NOT HURT YOUR CAUSE. AT ALL. IT JUST MEANS YOUR CAUSE ISN’T HURTING TRANS* PEOPLE ANYMORE.

I was so determined to believe that first paragraph must be sarcastic that I read this five times over but no YOU ACTUALLY WERE BEING A CISSEXIST, ERASIVE ASSHOLE.



/also everything singing-it-for-tumblr said

/also fuck feministing for being cissexist assholes

Did the OP seriously dismiss putting access to reproductive health care behind gendered barriers (dysphoria triggers at least, and sometimes actual hard access limitations) as “feelings”?

And accuse trans people who wanted to be counted at all of trying to take center stage?

Also, I don’t know how bad the link is. I read literally just enough to tell that it is a hate site. It proved itself in the first sentence of the linked post.

TW for self-induced abortion by a trans* person

See, this is the type of shit I refuse to tolerate. It’s real ironic she called it a bloody battle. I know she meant it as a slang curse word but in actuality this is a bloody battle for us and because of exclusionary rhetoric we don’t know what our body count is. What I do know is this fucking nonsense of yours absolutely harms trans* people (newflash, we’re not all men, either!). Your fucking nonsense keeps us from accessing medical care. Your fucking nonsense leaves us in the gutter because you like to play gender essentialism as much as antis do. Your fucking nonsense leads to trans* people self aborting with fucking paint thinner in a country post-Roe where abortion is supposedly legal.

One month after interviewing Deborah, I attended an abortion speakout where a young person shared a similar story. They cited numerous challenges to accessing safe and legal abortion care including: inadequate funding, lack of parental consent, and significant discrimination from the health care system because they identified as transgender. Unable to access the care they needed and wanted, they decided to self-induce an abortion by drinking paint thinner from their parent’s garage. As they explained the effects of the paint thinner on their body, I was not only deeply saddened but also angry. I could not believe that I was hearing the same story from a peer my age. I was frustrated that the health care system refused to acknowledge that trans youth have abortions. I was frustrated that this young person could not ask for consent from their parents and could not obtain the money needed to have a safe and legal abortion. I was frustrated that as a society we have created laws that limit this person’s choice to ingesting paint thinner. Overall, I was deeply saddened that although as a movement we have made significant advances, some young people are still drinking turpentine.

You and every other prochoicer who refuses to be inclusive did that. You caused it with your “pussy power” rhetoric garbage.

And you know, you make it seem like if we just get out of the way and “support” you then you’ll win the reproductive fight and all the goodies will trickle down to us, and if we don’t then we’re watering down the message. But that’s not what will happen. Look at the Hyde Amendment and how that affects PoC and poor people. They were all sold out by rich white cis feminists who got legal abortion by compromising and letting Hyde through. And now for many people legal abortion is a fantasy in this country. You think it will be different this time? Do I look naive to you? YOU will retain your right to abortion but trans* people will still be in the same predicament. Victory for cis women is NOT a victory for all dfab people. Not if the doctors still won’t acknowledge trans* people need pap smears and birth control and YES abortions, too! Not if the language on health pamphlets and the walls of the doctors are still cissexist and triggering and dfab trans* people can’t go inside to obtain legal, safe medical care. Not when the environment YOU perpetuated is so vile they’d rather drink god damn paint thinner. Is that your idea of a victory? Will you even care since it’s not really affecting you? That’s what I thought.

So yeah, this is my fucking battle. And yes it’s a bloody one. And I refuse to let your “victories” come on the backs of those more marginalized and victimized than you. I refuse to be silenced in a conversation about MY rights and MY organs. 

Inclusivity isn’t fucking optional

Update: 11 year old trans girl lost appeal




The above article is an update.  Her mother went to appeal to keep her out of the psychiatric ward and lost.  She will be institutionalized because of her expression of her gender.  She will be held until she conforms to male gender and then released to foster care, not her mother who was supporting her.

Please, if you haven’t signed the petition, sign it, reblog it, ask your friends to sign it. We’ve managed to get 40K signatures for a pageant model, we’ve only gotten 11K for a little girl about to have her life ruined.  Lets get on the ball and spread the word.

Sign It.

SIGNAL BOOSTing again! There are now over 20,000 signatures, but let’s push that number! Let’s make it clear that this girl’s mother didn’t “inducer her” into transsexuality and that there is nothing wrong with transsexuality.

This is so important. Followers please sign this. In 2012 no one should be pathologized for their gender identity, let alone institutionalized. This girl is only 11 years old and the message she is getting from the adults in her life and the authority figures in her government is that she is unnatural and mentally ill for even existing

Pansexual Pride: Gender Neutral Bathroom Challenge



The challenge: Don’t use any gendered bathrooms or change rooms for the month of April.

What are “gendered bathrooms”? Gendered bathrooms are designated for “men” or “women” by a sign. This challenges includes ALL multi-stall and single-stall washrooms, and the bathrooms at work, schools,…

Cool idea.

I want to note, however, that trans* people are at increased risk of bladder and urinary tract infections, in part because of this restricted access to bathroom facilities. This is especially true for people who tuck and for people who pack with an inadequately cleaned STP.

So, for those of us who, come May, will still sometimes or always have to be careful about gendered bathrooms: keep in mind that we’re particularly prone to chronic UTIs. Some ways that you can avoid contracting one:

  • Don’t hold your pee any longer than you have to.
  • Make use of websites like to find safe, non-gendered bathrooms in your area, if you can.
  • Try to wear cotton underwear. It breathes better than synthetic fabrics.
  • Stay hydrated as well as you can. Drinking water regularly helps flush out the pipes.
  • There’s some evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice can help you get over a UTI quicker.
  • No matter what kind of genitals you have, you should pee right after sex (if sex is your thing) if there’s been any contact near your urethra.
  • If you pack with an STP, try to make sure you clean it well and clean it regularly. It’s not always possible to clean it immediately, but do what you can.

n.b. I don’t pack with an STP, and I am not capable of tucking. If folks do/are more familiar with these practices would like to add to the avoiding UTI tips list, I would definitely appreciate it.

(Source: , via lanesagola-deactivated20130101)

Gender Neutral Bathroom Challenge



The challenge: Don’t use any gendered bathrooms or change rooms for the month of April.

What are “gendered bathrooms”? Gendered bathrooms are designated for “men” or “women” by a sign. This challenges includes ALL multi-stall and single-stall washrooms, and the bathrooms at work, schools, libraries, bars/restaurants, and everywhere, really.

There are multiple purposes for this challenge:

1) To give people who don’t find going to gendered bathrooms a difficult/unsafe experience a small idea of what it is like for trans and gender variant people to navigate this world. Hopefully, with some real life experience, you will have a broader understanding of how gendered this world really is. But,


2) To inspire people to fight for more gender neutral bathrooms.

- Don’t drink a lot of liquid if you are leaving the house for long periods of time
- Try to figure out where some gender neutral bathrooms are in your town/city, and plan your day around using a gender neutral bathroom.
- Remember, you can use gendered bathrooms again in May. Some people can’t.

And, even if you really have to go to the bathroom, try to not see gendered bathrooms as a possible place to go.

If you are interested, feel free to write your experiences down and send them to With your permission, they will be included in a zine on the topic of gendered bathrooms.

We also recommend fighting for gender neutral bathrooms in one (or more) public space(s). Often the fight for this aspect of bathroom accessibility is only fought for by trans and gender variant people; It would be nice if other people fought for it too.



This is a neat idea. I’ll certainly be giving it a stab.

I’ve added some extra emphasis (the bolded parts) where i think it needs to be.

A helpful resource for locating gender-neutral/all-gender bathrooms is

(Source: )

UGH, Urban Outfitters.




Urban Outfitters outlets have been selling this horribly offensive card. Please reblog and contact them to complain. The general Urban Outfitters email address to complain: Company president, Richard Hayne:

Found something else to reblog because i don’t want that horrible image on my blog.

UO fuck off.

Seriously? Seriously, this exists?!

Is there any minority that they won’t go after? This is not how you treat women. I hope feminists are all over this. I’ll be over here holding my breath, dying.

(Source: scrambledsignals)


Trans Activist Agnes Torres Murdered In Puebla
Trans activist and respected counselor Agnes Torres Hernández was found dead this past Saturday near the town of Atlixco, Puebla. Reports indicate she was tortured before being killed.
Friends and supporters gathered to mourn and pay tribute to Agnes this evening in Puebla, the state’s capital city. Earlier today, the hashtag #AgnesTorres was a trending topic on Twitter, with thousands posting messages of support for Agnes, her family, and the LGBT community.
Former colleagues of Agnes Torres are demanding a thorough investigation and calling for a special department within Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission dedicated to cases of hate crimes against lesbians, gays, and transsexuals.
¡Justicia Para Agnes Torres!



Trans Activist Agnes Torres Murdered In Puebla

Trans activist and respected counselor Agnes Torres Hernández was found dead this past Saturday near the town of Atlixco, Puebla. Reports indicate she was tortured before being killed.

Friends and supporters gathered to mourn and pay tribute to Agnes this evening in Puebla, the state’s capital city. Earlier today, the hashtag #AgnesTorres was a trending topic on Twitter, with thousands posting messages of support for Agnes, her family, and the LGBT community.

Former colleagues of Agnes Torres are demanding a thorough investigation and calling for a special department within Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission dedicated to cases of hate crimes against lesbians, gays, and transsexuals.

¡Justicia Para Agnes Torres!

(Source: thinkmexican, via justabitradical)

Pap Exams


I’ll start this off by saying that, for the vast majority of people who need them (trans* or not), pap tests are no walk in the park. However, these regular exams are vital to those who have cervixes (yes, trans* men AND trans* women included)! They also can be helpful for detecting other problems with your reproductive organs. Despite the fact that pap tests are so important, a lot of trans* guys put them off or forgo them completely. There are a lot of reasons for this, including dysphoria, previous negative experience with exams, difficulty finding or trusting health care providers, and anxiety. These issues cannot always be helped, but there are a lot of little things that can be done for most people with aversions to pap tests. As someone who just went in for one today (despite a lot of anxiety), here’s some advice: 

1. Find someone understanding, preferably someone who has experience with trans* patients. This is easier said than done, and not always possible. If you’re on testosterone, a good place to start is asking the person who prescribes your T if they can recommend someone or know where some of their other patients go. Your general practitioner also often can do these for you, so if you have a good relationship with your GP than this is something to consider. In my fairly limited experience, Planned Parenthoods are usually staffed by pretty friendly, understanding people who are usually good at comforting patients during this procedure. They also have the benefit of giving discounts (even 100% discounts) for those who cannot pay the full amount. Call places ahead of time and explain your situation to get a good feel for whether or not they will be empathetic and able to help you. Calling ahead of time in general is a good idea because you want to give them a chance to do a little research if they need to. 

2. There are many ways to handle your possible anxiety, apprehension, and dread surrounding this procedure. If it is really intense, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking a fast-acting anti-anxiety pill the day of your pap test. It can also really be beneficial to take a family member, partner, or friend to be with you in the waiting room (or, if you’re comfortable enough, in the exam room). Preparing by practicing relaxation techniques or by researching the procedure can also help. It’s often best not to schedule these things too far in advance, since it gives you time for your anxiety and dread to build. Just schedule it and get it over with quickly! 

3. If it makes you feel more comfortable, ask if you can keep your shirt and socks on during the exam. A lot of places will allow you to do this, and it can really help make you feel less vulnerable and more in-control. Besides that, many pre-op/non-op trans* guys feel uncomfortable without their binders on or without a shirt and this can lessen the dysphoria they may feel during the exam. 

4. Feel free to talk to the person doing the exam as much as you’d like! Explain your concerns beforehand, and let them know if there’s anything they can do to make you more comfortable. Talking to them throughout the procedure can also make it go by faster and keep you distracted. 

5. Prepare lots of comforting stuff for after the exam. You may feel particularly dysphoric, vulnerable, or uncomfortable after the procedure, and reaching out to whatever you find most comforting can help. That may mean snuggles with your significant other/parent/friend/puppy, ice cream, playing video games in a fort made out of blankets in your living room, what have you. Doing something fun and special afterwards can also help you form a more positive association with the event. In any case, pat yourself on the back and do something to treat yourself, you deserve it! 

Obviously these tips won’t work for everyone, and there is no simple or easy way to make these exams too much better. The good thing is that they are relatively painless, surprisingly quick, and few and far between. 

(Source: theartoftransliness)

Gay and Transgender Women by the Numbers [or, Today's Edition of the Silent 'T']

So today is International Women’s Day, as most people online seem to be aware of. It didn’t escape me in the slightest that trans* women were being excluded from the quick lists of facts or statistics floating around the internet, nor were they explicitly included in any of the Women’s Day discussions or critiques surrounding reproductive rights. So I was excited to see a link to a statistic roundup on Center for American Progress entitled "Gay and Transgender Women by the Numbers." That was until I looked at the list and I saw a heavy dose of cisLGB.

Now, obviously, being a trans* woman doesn’t preclude one from also being bisexual, a lesbian, or any number of other non-het sexual orientations. Full stop. But the reports they were linking to on LGBT families to cite their statistics seemed to separate the two. I.E They had statistics and information on LGB families and the obstacles they face and statistics and information on families with transgender parents and the obstacles they face. From what I saw there was no discussion on families in which there were one or more trans* parents who happened to be non-heterosexual. So it’s pretty safe to assume that every lesbian/bisexual statistic listed is referring to cis women. Which sadly leaves us with ONLY ONE statistic (out of 16) that explicitly mentions trans* women [28 percent: The amount of transgender women in some communities who test positive for HIV].

This pitiful lip-service to the trans* community is made that much worse when you consider the intro paragraphs they provided:

Over the past century, women have made tremendous advancements in politics, family life, and culture both in the United States and throughout the world. People are celebrating these monumental achievements and pushing for further changes to level the playing field for women worldwide on the 103rd International Women’s Day on March 8. Those changes can’t come fast enough for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women in our nation.

Overall, these women are more likely to experience more socioeconomic and health inequalities than their heterosexual counterparts and even more inequalities than male gay and transgender Americans. Moreover, many of these inequalities are even worse for gay and transgender women of color. On a day dedicated to women, it is vital to remember how far gay and transgender women still have to go in the fight for equality in our country. So let’s look at some of the numbers behind these women.

So…they completely understand the situation these women are facing, particularly TWoC, and they chose to somehow reduce trans* women to one measly statistic. 

I’m.shocked. >.<

[Note: I don’t believe I’m misinterpreting the data in these lengthy reports, but I’d happily stand corrected if I am.]

TW: CISSEXISM and BINARISM from both right-wing and liberal media

So, it appears after Rush’s non-apology was rightfully dismissed by Sandra Fluke and Patricia Heaton came back to twitter with her own non-apology and Limbaugh’s advertisers are still continuing to drop him like flies, conservatives are going to take a different route towards discrediting Fluke. And it’s pretty fucking tasteless. Apparently it’s super controversial that Fluke co-edited an article that gasp! called for equal treatment of transgender employees and suggested that healthcare such as surgeries, mental health care, and hormones should be gasp! covered by their insurance. This obviously proves she’s part of a radical, liberal conspiracy meant to deceive the public into subsidizing all kinds of unsavory, immoral things. 

This story apparently broke yesterday afternoon but I’m not hearing about it until today at 4am. I have a feeling that this is going to catch like wildfire and be handled with all the usual sensitivity and consideration Faux News can muster. And despite how on top of the sexism angle of the Sandra Fluke story the liberal media was (though utterly lacking in intersectionality or race issues), even they will fuck it up when it comes to this new trans* angle (and still, of course, fail on issues of race). I think it’s going to be pretty apparent very quickly how trans* healthcare issues are deemed cosmetic or elective, and how hard it is for us to navigate the stereotypes and cissexism that surrounds us when we want to access healthcare. Since this is coming up in the context of a reproductive rights/justice debate perhaps cis feminists/activists will think twice before dismissing the concerns of the trans* community on issues that can be life and death for us. Or, you know, maybe they’ll do what they always do.


Equality Matters reporting on the story [handled pretty well]:

"Right-Wing Media Now Attacking Fluke For Non-Controversial Review Of LGBT Employment Discrimination"

After spending most of the past week defending Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic attacks on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, right-wing media outlets are now attacking Fluke for a 2011 paper she co-edited for The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law (the full essay is behind a paywall) that described discrimination in employer coverage of transgender medical care. 

The essay, titled, “Employment Discrimination Against LGBTQ Persons,” pointed out, in part, that employment discrimination persists against LGBT individuals, including coverage discrimination against transgender people:

Many LGBTQ individuals face discrimination in the provision of employment benefits. Discrimination typically takes two forms: first, direct discrimination limiting access to benefits specifically needed by LGBTQ persons, and secondly, the unavailability of family-related benefits to LGBTQ families. 


Transgender persons wishing to undergo the gender reassignment process frequently face heterosexist employer health insurance policies that label the surgery as cosmetic or medically unnecessary and therefore uncovered. 

The conservative Media Research Center’s Stephen Gutowski “discovered” the essay on March 5 and claimed it demonstrated that Fluke “is being sold by the left as something she’s not. Namely a random co-ed from Georgetown law who found herself mixed up in the latest front of the culture war who was simply looking to make sure needy women had access to birth control.” Gutowski claimed Fluke is “pushing some rather radical ideas. Keep that in mind as the left holds her up in the spotlight”:

You see, all opposition to the determination that sex changes are medically necessary, and therefor [sic] must be covered by private employer provided health insurance, is based on “ignorance and bias against transgender persons”.


The argument made in this article edited by Sandra Fluke and Karen Hu is quite clear. “Gender reassignment” is a medically necessary set of procedures that must be covered under employee provided health insurance policies. If it is not covered by those policies that is tantamount to discrimination and legal action should be taken against the employer.

So, as you can see, Sandra Fluke is not what she is being sold as. Instead she is a liberal activist pushing some rather radical ideas. Keep that in mind as the left holds her up in the spotlight.

The MRC post was quickly promoted by right-wing media outlets, including the Drudge Report and Fox Nation:

And Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham brought the attack to Fox during this morning’s Fox & Friends:

INGRAHAM: Now we find out there was a law journal article written by this particular woman that seems to indicate that she believes that if you don’t pay for sex change operations, gender reassignment, it’s called – operations — you also could be described as a discriminatory employer. So today the pill. Tomorrow sex reassignment surgery, perhaps. And then down the road, what other things should be covered for free?

Fluke’s essay is a fairly comprehensive study of various types of employment discrimination against LGBT individuals but, ironically, the one charge that Gutowski chose to highlight as an example of the “radical ideas” that Fluke is “pushing” is not controversial at all.

The LGBT and HIV/AIDS legal advocacy group Lambda Legal has pointed out that the importance of removing financial barriers to gender reassignment is supported by mainstream, nonpartisan groups such as the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other medical groups. The statement from the American Medical Association reads: 

An established body of medical research demonstrates the effectiveness and medical necessity of mental health care, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery as forms of therapeutic treatment for many people diagnosed with GID … Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the AMA supports public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder.

Moreover, many companies are already covering the cost of gender reassignment surgery. The Associated Press noted in a December 2011 article that a Human Rights Campaign report found that the number of U.S. companies offering coverage more than doubled in the past year:

The Human Rights Campaign said in a report to be published Thursday that 207 of the 636 businesses it surveyed for its annual Corporate Equality Index either are already providing transgender-inclusive employee health benefits or plan to at the start of the new year.

Last year, 85 companies had insurance plans that paid for sex transformation surgeries, and only 49 did in 2009. A decade ago, when the campaign launched the index, none did.


Among the corporations that expanded their insurance coverage this year are Apple, Chevron, General Mills, Dow Chemical, American Airlines, Kellogg, Sprint, Levi Strauss, Eli Lilly, Best Buy, Nordstrom, the U.S. division of Volkswagen, Whirlpool, Xerox, Raytheon and Office Depot. 

The suggestion that Fluke’s description of discrimination in employer coverage of transgender medical care is somehow extreme or outside the mainstream is simply inaccurate.


ThinkProgress reporting on the story [handled not that well, imo]:

"How Contraception And Sexual Reassignment Surgery Benefits Create Equity In Health Care"

Seeking further opportunities to demonize Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, conservatives are now attacking her as “radical” because she has advocated for transgender people to have sexual reassignment procedures covered by their insurance:

However, as I discovered today, birth control is not all that Ms. Fluke believes private health insurance must cover. She also, apparently, believes that it is discrimination deserving of legal action if “gender reassignment” surgeries are not covered by employer provided health insurance.

What seems to be lost in these conversations about health benefits is the notion of equity. Criticism that men are trying to make decisions about women’s health is warranted, because a man’s standard for quality of life is different than a woman’s. Consider that men can have as much sex as they want without getting pregnant. It’s a reality of biology, but it also represents a specific advantage men have over women in society. Ensuring women have access to birth control — setting aside the legitimate point that they may take it for health reasons other than avoiding pregnancy — levels the playing field for how they can function in society. It’s no coincidence that women can be condemned as “sluts,” but there’s no comparable word that disparages men for having sex if they want to.

Similarly, sexual reassignment surgery is a procedure that can benefit the quality of life for transgender people. All of us who are not trans (the term for us is “cisgender”) have the privilege of occupying bodies that match the gender with which we identify. Fluke was speaking out against insurers and employers who would label the surgery “cosmetic” or “medically unnecessary,” because such perspectives ignore the hardships transgender people often face when circumstances prevent them from transitioning. Just because we personally don’t need certain medical benefits doesn’t mean others don’t.

This is why there is some legitimacy to the claim that conservatives are fighting a “war on women.” Dictating that “what’s good enough for a man should be good enough for a woman” is selfish and naive, and such a philosophy treats women as second-class citizens by design. That many conservatives are now trying to smear Fluke for being an ally to the transgender community just shows how uninterested they are in respecting difference.

The social justice educator Vernon Wall is often quoted as saying, “Equality is when everyone has a pair of shoes. Equity is when everyone has a pair of shoes that fits.” There’s nothing “radical” about ensuring that all people have equitable access to the same quality of living in our society.

[TW: violence against Trans* Woman] Obama's Transgender Nanny's Life Threatened in Indonesia


The transgender woman who served as Barack Obama’s nanny for two years while he lived with his mother in Indonesia, is now in serious danger of losing her life.

She has been attacked repeatedly by Indonesian soldiers, including having her hair shaved off and being burned with cigarettes. Since discovering a transgender friend murdered, she has begun presenting as male in an attempt to avoid further violence.

The White House has so far remained silent on the danger the President’s former caretaker is in. Hopefully that will change.

And it almost goes without saying that the original AP article is extremely patronizing and they do not attempt at all to use the appropriate terminology, so trigger warning if you want to click through.

Holy shit.

(Source: transradical, via )

Transitioning with a Partner


*Despite his protests “no no go ahead,” I refused to publish this until Alex read it and approved it, so I didn’t violate his privacy*

For me, and I can only imagine for many other trans* men who are also androphiles, hitting puberty and becoming interested in guys was an extremely confusing time. It became clear to me as a person who was female that there were very narrow boxes of attributes that most straight cis men were interested in, especially during high school (and if you’re a FAAB androphile, straight cis men are sometimes your only dating pool). My gender identity was just one characteristic on a laundry list of personal traits that were suppressed and compartmentalized in favor of pleasing the only type of men I knew of to be interested in people who had female bodies. So I guess it comes as no surprise that when I finally started dating this guy who loved, appreciated, and respected me, I started to come out as trans*.

In high school, I met this boy, Alex. We became friends when he lent me his copy of Sim City 3000—this was in 2007 when 4 was around and Societies was just starting to be a thing, but Sim City 3000 is still the fucking shit (lol now I want to play it when I’m done writing). 

I was in a relationship (with a huge douchebag), but regardless, I fell absolutely head-over-heels for this geeky, intellectual, kind, gender non-conforming person. In my entire life, I had never felt more like I *got* someone and that they got me. Thank God AIM was still popular when we became friends; we’d spend hours and hours just talking on AIM about everything. That’s how I fell in love with him. Not by going on dates or spending a lot of time with him in person, but by our intimate and intellectually stimulating conversations, in which I could be myself more than anyone had ever let me. And even though it took Alex, another person, to make me able to be myself, he gave me the wonderful gift of learning to be myself for myself. I think it shows in that in the course of our (going on) four-year relationship, we have disagreed about certain things, but he always loved me wholly, even the things he felt uncomfortable with. He never made me compartmentalize the things we disagree on the way other men I dated had. What has characterized our relationship even since our awkward AIMing days is that there was some cosmic understanding between us. When we first started dating, I wrote a poem about it in which I likened it to peering through a crystal-clear, transparent window at another person, when in every other instance, it was like an opaque, half-mirror type of thing. It was dazzling. It still is.

When I say that Alex and I have dated for almost four years, I have to qualify that by saying that in 2010, we broke up for about two months. I got cold feet and suddenly felt like I needed to run, run away from whatever it was that we had. I think the magnitude of our relationship frightened me. I think commitment frightened me. But whatsmore, I think that the honesty of our relationship frightened me, because I wasn’t out to myself as trans* man yet. I think I sensed it. I think I smelled it in the air that if I stayed with him, with this guy with whom I could be nothing else but my most honest self, I had to face up. I had to come out.

You can guess how the next part of the story goes. We got back together, and no-time later, I wrote in my journal, on June 13th, 2010, that I was a queer boy. I was listening to All Time Low’s “Damned If I Do Ya” on repeat and singing it to my mirror and I just looked at myself and I knew a queer boy stared back. If I can point to a single night that was a tipping point, that was it. That was the night I verbalized it, articulated it, typed it in a beta version of Word 2010 and clicked “save.” 

When Alex and I try to come up with the moment I came out to him as a trans* man, we can’t. I’m not even sure if there was a single moment. There was just, “I’m coming over tonight dressed as a boy” and “I think we’re boyfriends” and a series of naturally-occurring events. I can’t remember the first time I said to him that I was a trans* man. Even though I wrote in my personal, private journal that I was queer boy, it feels like Alex was privy to every one of my moments of coming out to myself. So instead of me coming out to him, he was just there while I came out to myself. 

And then I started to come out to other people, and all hell broke loose. For this post, I’ll focus on how it related to my relationship with Alex. First, of course, everyone told me I couldn’t be a man and love a man, which I think is just a huge punch-in-the-dick for every gay/bi/queer man on the planet, cis or trans*. Even a cis gay guy said to me once that I couldn’t really be a man if I loved men, and I was just like, “look in the mirror, buddy.” Silly MB (I was going by MB then), only lesbians become trans* men, don’t you know that? Second, turning on Alex’s identity. To this day, I can’t tell you how often people who are practically perfect strangers ask me how my boyfriend identifies! I don’t even think they realize just how RUDE that is! Does Alex being equally in love with and attracted to me before and after coming out imply that he is not 100% cookie-cutter gay or straight? Yes, it does, but frankly, some people think it’s their business when it really isn’t. People find out I’m trans* with a boyfriend and they feel the need to pry. No need to pry. I’m a trans* boy with a cis boyfriend. That’s all. No further explanation is needed. Just because I’ve made my identity your business doesn’t mean I’ve made his identity your business. And for the record, if you want to know how he identifies, he doesn’t. He doesn’t identify his sexual orientation with any of the existing labels or categories. He doesn’t feel that he has to. From someone who knows him as intimately as I do, it makes perfect sense that he wouldn’t, but other people just can’t stop gaping. We both go to the same doctor in our hometown where we met in high school, and when I came out to her, she was so accepting, asked if I was binding, knew her shit, but then she asked sweetly and innocently, “Do you think Alex is a homosexual?” OMG, the two of us still laugh out loud at our doctor’s professional and sweet voice asking that. Saying that in her voice is our inside joke about people’s messed-up perceptions of our relationship.

As a result, my coming out has been a coming out for him, too. Coming out as dating a trans* man, at least. Those of us who keep our partners through transition always must be sensitive about the fact that our partners are coming with us on this journey. It becomes a journey that belongs to the both of you. It’s welcoming to know that someone is going to cross a desert with you, go with you on the march, endure the parched mouth, the heat hallucinations alongside you. But it also means you have to find sustenance, shelter, water for both of you, instead of just enough for one. It’s a double-edged sword. You get support through your journey, but it becomes a more complicated journey. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d rather share the last drop of my canteen with him while we both pass out of heat exhaustion than cross the desert alone. 

Transitioning with a partner presents its own challenges that transitioning without one doesn’t, but at the same time, those of us who keep our partners through transition are incredibly blessed and fortunate. I know a lot of relationships DON’T survive transition, and I can’t even fathom the pain of both losing a partner AND having to deal with coming out yourself at the same time. Or what it would be like for me to transition without him right there with me. 

Oh God, I’m starting to cry, how emasculating (JUST KIDDING!). Alex is my best friend, my life partner, the person I’m going to marry, the person who will raise children with me. The world doesn’t understand how to fathom relationships outside of heterosexual, cisgendered norms. I find that incredibly sad, that “Alex and I love each other” isn’t enough for some people. How tragic, that traditional notions of gender rule their own ideas of relationships. I don’t know how to wrap this up neatly any other way than to say I love him so much, and I’m so glad we get to huddle in our tent together on bitter-cold desert nights. 

Thank you so much for writing this. While I’m non-binary, not a trans* man, our histories have so much in common, and this was beautiful to read. It gives me hope that this kind of love will be possible for me, too :)

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Sweden Drops Law Forcing Sterilization of Trans People

 In a major reversal, this month the Swedish government announced plans to repeal an archaic law forcing transgender people to undergo sterilization before legally changing their gender. The announcement comes after several years of LGBT and human rights organizations around the world, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, putting pressure on the government to repeal the law and stand up for the sexual and reproductive rights of all people in the country, including transgender people.

According to the law, passed in 1972, Swedish citizens seeking a sex-change operation are required to be over 18-years-old, unmarried and sterilized. Last year, there were efforts to change the legislation, but the Christian Democratic Party, a small part of the conservative governing coalition, succeeded in blocking the change, arguing that the issue is complex and needed to be examined further.

Human rights activists argued that essentially blackmailing or giving transgender people an ultimatum that either they must be sterilized or the government will not recognize their true gender identity is not only cruel, but as a legal matter, a flagrant breach of fundamental rights. Finally this month, the Christian Democrats announced that they agree to abolish the policy on forced sterilizations. There is also agreement that the requirement for unmarried status will be dropped.

The legislation is unusual as Sweden has often been a champion for human rights internationally-including the principle that every person should be able to decide over his or her body, sexuality, and reproduction.

Similar laws exist in Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, and many other countries across the globe.