Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘transgender’

Freshly back from Creating Change and AWP, Zack and Peterson are energized to be advocates and writers. This week’s episode focuses on a roundup of news related to the transgender community, including unfunny sketches on Craig Ferguson and SNL, hate crimes, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell/trans people, and a big new study that reveals “Injustice at Every Turn” for the trans community. We also share our experiences from our conferences and, of course, an erotic poem!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!


Listen to this week’s program

or Download it on iTunes (see link below oh and also rate us if you do that whole iTunes thing)

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» This week’s erotic poem: “Song for a Lakota Woman” by Chrystos (Listen to Chrystos read it.)

» Chris Geitner’s report on Craig Ferguson and SNL

» Murders of transgender people in Honduras

» Sentencing of Ashley Santiago’s Murderer

» Autumn Sandeen speaks out about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

» The Task Force and NCTE Study: Injustice at Every Turn

»I Too by Langston Hughes

» Peterson’s Post about the Trans-Inclusive Commercial from Argentina

» Robyn Ochs!

» Peterson’s Schedule

» The Trans-Ponder Podcast!

Subscribe to Queer and Queerer in iTunes!

The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.

If you use a different podcatcher, the Queer and Queerer raw feed can be found here.The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.
Like us on Facebook for instant updates, new episodes, and discussion!
Follow Zack (@ZackFord) and Peterson (@p2son) on Twitter.
Peterson is desperate for you love and attention:  Like him on Facebook !
Our theme music is “Appalachia” by Machelli. Download his album, “Opus,” on iTunes.

Read Full Post »

Who Made You The Drag Queen of the Gay Agenda?

Alright, so we admit we have an agenda, but what is it? Lots of people, like straight pastors and well-funded Glb(t) political operatives, think they know. Zack and Peterson try to suss out who sets the agenda and what it happens to be today. What are the bars by which we measure the success of the LGBTQ movement? We also talk about folks who are trying to bridge gaps, but might just be helping to maintain them. From Egypt to Hollywood to Washington, D.C., we look at who is shaping the agenda and chime in with our hopes and concerns.

Episode 38 of Queer and Queerer

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

Tony Campolo

Tony Campolo preaching

Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin preaching

Ahmed Saad's Book

» This week’s erotic poem: “A Glimpse,” by Walt Whitman.

» HRC’s Trans Job Campaign in Massachusetts

» Egyptian “Gay Rights Activist,” or Ex-Gay Proponent?

» Discussion about Andrew Marin:

Belmont May Change Actions Toward Gay Groups

FriendlyAtheist: “I’m Sorry” Is Not Enough for the Gay Community

» The Second LGBT General Assembly (Facebook Event) – (Saturday, January 20)

» Creating Change in Minneapolis! It’s not too late to register! – (February 2-6)

» A Night with Robyn Ochs at Bucknell University – (Tuesday, February 15)

» See Peterson at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX (February 28-March 1)

Subscribe to Queer and Queerer in iTunes!

The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.

If you use a different podcatcher, the Queer and Queerer raw feed can be found here.The feed has the 25 most recent episodes; the rest are archived on this page.
Like us on Facebook for instant updates, new episodes, and discussion!
Follow Zack (@ZackFord) and Peterson (@p2son) on Twitter.
Even though the podcast is hosted on Zack’s blog, please make sure you Like ME on Facebook as well!
Our theme music is “Appalachia” by Machelli. Download his album, “Opus,” on iTunes.

Read Full Post »

I have returned safely home from South Africa (see photos below!) only to find that I was a busy boy on-line while away.  In addition to a video interview, I at last appeared on the Flatus Show for a two part interview.

The Flatus Show!

In Part One Kentie and I chat about my sordid Christian Fundamentalist past and the ex-gay movement including the often unseen reasons why I tried to de-gay myself. Anyone who tells you that they went gay for Jesus is full of shit. I also reveal my sudden flight from Zambia after messing around with guys when I was a missionary. Sodom, Abs,  Focus on the Faggot, tops, bottoms, and so much more. Have a listen here or download from iTunes.

In Part Two I discuss transgender Bible characters, and the complicated feelings I felt (and feel) towards my former wife. Marvin Bloom makes a cameo appearance and trashes me and Kentie. Discover Marvin’s back story and wild gay past. He also dishes about romance with his partner who is a transgender man.  You can listen here or download on iTunes.

Speaking of Marvin, he appears in a video interview conducted by Robin Hankins for Just as I Am. In classic Marvin fashion he sounds crazy, says some profound things, then insults the host. Gay man or creepy gnome? Marvin reveals all. Check him out.

Robin then interviews me via video about my ex-gay past, Beyond Ex-Gay, my performance work. South Africa, and a bunch of other stuff about faith and queer identity. Watch it here.

Apparently South Africa is Gayer than Hollywood, well, at least that is the conclusion Zack Ford and I come to in our most recent Queer and Queerer podcast.

This week we discuss the public perception of LGBT people nationally and globally and particularly in the media. There are a ton of links below that inform our conversation, so check them all out, and of course, enjoy this week’s erotic poem!

Check it out here.

And now some photos from South Africa

Beach Goats. Seals?

Smirking at Cape Point

Mdumbi Village, Transkei Wild Coast

Read Full Post »

It’s Spirit Day! Zack and Peterson are here to have an important conversation about a challenging topic. What is heterosexual privilege? We throw around the terminology a lot, but what does it really mean? Today we try to help our audience understand exactly what it is and why we need our allies to be more aware of it. We know that 38 minutes is not enough to understand the nuances of this issue, so we hope you’ll join in the conversation on the blog posting or on Facebook! Also, don’t forget to submit your answers to The Heterosexual Questionnaire. Click below to access the questions. Enjoy!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

Download Right-click and save as to download.

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» The Heterosexual Questionnaire. (Remember, this is for self-avowed heterosexuals only.)

» The list of heterosexual privileges we read from. Here’s another.

» Curious about cisgender privilege? Here’s a list. Here’s another.

» Peterson’s Post on “Straight Pride.”

» Shannon’s Post on engaging in action for Spirit Day.

Read Full Post »

Over at Facebook I have many different types of friends (like 2200 friends) and of course they have friends who represent many perspectives. Today on a friend’s wall posting about wearing purple in support of LGBT youth two straight folks raised objectives revealing that they felt “bullied” into showing support of gay kids. In frustration one of them said, “We need to have a Heterosexual Pride Parade.” The other agreedMr. & Mrs. Salt & Pepper.

Now I know a lot of straight people. Some of my best friends are heterosexual. In fact, I come from a distinctly heterosexual family that I love. I know that some straight folks feel put upon by all of the recent news about gay. lesbian and transgender suicides and bullying. “Why do we have to hear about THEM all the time?” Hmmmm. Welcome to my world where I constantly have to go out of my way to hear about anything other than straight lives.

Lately I have been thinking of the subtle powerful force of heterosexism, like high blood pressure, I consider it the “silent killer” insistent and constant in its messaging that heterosexuality is NORMAL, the idealized norm, what everyone is expected to be, an identity that is celebrated, rewarded and represented to the exclusion of all others.

Like a low-grade fever or undetected high blood pressure, non-straight, non-gender normative people live with a steady barrage of pro-heterosexual messages mixed in with anti-LGBT messages. Even in US states where they offer “gay marriage” everyone knows it is not the same as a straight marriage because of the federal protections granted to heterosexual couples and denied to all others. But beyond the legal protections or lack of protections in the household, on the job and elsewhere, we get a deluge of pro-straight messages in pop songs, commercials, movies, religious ceremonies, proms–shoot even salt and pepper shakers! I know that there is a growing movement to include LGBT lives and voices in the media and on the agenda of the board of education, but it’s spotty at best and is often drowned out by the heterosexism that exists in almost every encounter silly and sublime.

Here’s an example of straight pride & privilege.

Marueen says, “My husband Bill & I got together w/ our two daughters & their husbands to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and Cindy & Todd’s first baby. At church the pastor said a blessing over the family & we recommitted our vows.”

And everyone says, “Oh, that is so nice.” And it is and there are gifts and cards and photos and public sharing on Facebook and beyond revealing pride and affirmation and celebration of Bill & Maureen’s successful heterosexuality.

Of course most don’t think of Maureen & Bill expressing “Heterosexual Pride.”

It’s just “normal.”

Read Full Post »

It’s episode 25! Peterson and Zack are coming at you live from the campus center at Susquehanna University, where Peterson is currently the Activist in Residence. Just ignore the blender in the background. This week we discuss the recent episode of Glee about religion and the challenges of coming out atheist. Then we get into the concept of activism, how do we encourage it, and what challenges do we face by a generation conditioned by cyber relationships? Don’t forget to join the discussion on our Facebook page (how ironic) and encourage others to do the same! Here’s looking forward to 25 more fabulous episodes of Queer and Queerer!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

Read Full Post »

Zack and Peterson are still getting along, don’t worry! This week, after listening to a ranting voicemail from the ineffable Marvin Bloom about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they talk about the mysterious concept of “promoting homosexuality.” From the UK’s Section 28 to hands-off bullying policies in United States schools, the idea of erasing gay people from society has been a signature strategy for anti-gay opponents, with deadly consequences. The enshrined invisibility of gay people continues to foster not just homophobia, but gender norms and expectations. Join another rousing conversation with your own comments on the post and on our Facebook wall!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Zack’s posts about the DADT decision and recent teen suicides.

» Key findings of GLSEN’s latest climate study.

» Chronicle report on the higher ed climate survey.

» Learn about the UK’s Section 28 law.

» Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation on Amazon.com.

» Check out Peterson’s new play: “I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window,” premiering this weekend in Allentown!

Read Full Post »

So much is happening in ex-gay world I thought I would update folks with some links and excerpts.

Maria M offers an insightful post about bisexuality and the ex-gay industry. For my part I have seen the erasure of bisexual identities by both the Ex-Gay Movement and in the larger LGBTQ “community.” Along with gender policing so prevalent in both worlds, bi people’s experiences are invalidated, ignored and denied by both ex-gay leaders and by many lesbians and gays. Maria M raises the critical question, How would paying attention to bisexuals change the face of the “ex-gay” industry? She writes:

A question I’ve heard asked time and time again is: how do bisexuals figure into this whole “ex-gay” business? You almost never hear about bisexuality in regard to the “conversion” process. It’s all about being gay and going to straight. The“ex-gay” industry mostly acts like bisexuality doesn’t even exist (unfortunately not too different from the rest of society), and mostly talks about “gays and lesbians”. Every once in a while when bisexuality is brought up, it’s often used by both sides to bolster their arguments of “gay people can change” vs. “they can’t change”. I’ve also seen bisexuality mentioned one time when someone was writing about how they thought that some of the “success stories” presented by “ex-gay” organizations were actually bisexuals who just were not acting on their same-sex attractions. I had hoped this would be elaborated on, but that turned out to be the only thing mentioned about bisexuals.

Poz magazine Sept 2010

In its September issue Poz Magazine has included a detailed article, Thou Shalt Fear AIDS, which explores the role the Ex-Gay Movement has had in using of HIV/AIDS epidemic to further its cause with disastrous results.

It’s ironic then, that the ex-gay movement puts everyone—regardless of sexual orientation—at a higher risk of HIV. On the surface, the movement teaches that homosexuality is a choice. But it really pathologizes gay people as threatening the family structure, harboring mental illness, spreading disease and molesting children. And it actively promotes discriminatory laws.

Society responds by denying gay people their civil rights (if it’s a choice, you don’t deserve protections or equality), and by ensuring that schools and federal programs don’t “promote” homosexuality—or basic information about sexual health, including HIV.

All of which fuel the epidemic. It places the LGBT community—and those in ex-gay treatment—in physical and psychological danger.

Trenton Straube interviewed Ex-Gay Survivor, Daniel Gonzales and me for the piece. The article also includes great quotes by Wayne Besen and a historical overview referencing Zach Stark, the 16-year old forced into the Love in Action Refuge program in 2005 and the recent anti-gay legislation in Uganda that was inspired by US promoters of ex-gay treatment. (Over at Box Turtle Bulletin you can see video of some Ugandans’ response to the proposed legislation. )

There’s been lots of buzz about two well-known crusaders who recently publicly announced they are gay. The first is David Yost who played the Blue Power Ranger. Advocate magazine announced that it will publish a long interview with Yost in which he discusses the homophobia he experienced on set and how he ultimately left his career to pursue therapy to straighten himself out. No surprise, that ended badly.

“There were times when I would call prayer hotlines like Joyce Meyers prayer hotline or Pat Robinson’s 700 Club prayer hotline and instead was condemned over the phone.”

Instead of helping, all the prayer ultimately led to a mental breakdown and a five week stay in the hospital — and because his parents didn’t know he was gay at this point, they assumed it was the pressure of having not worked in a while.

Blue Ranger comes out

Yost states that part of his reason for coming out because “he’s tired of hearing stories about teenagers still taking their lives and committing suicide because of who they are and not understanding that there are resources for them to get help.” (see video with Yost telling his story here)

How refreshing to see an Ex-Gay Survivor take responsibility to turn the ugly machine around. I understand why some people disappear to sort themselves out, but it is essential that some ex-gay survivors come forward to tell their stories. This is especially true for those who served as leaders and promoters of this movement that has attempted to eradicate gays, a movement Dr. Christine Robinson reasons is a form of genocide.

Which brings us to the other “crusader” to come out this week, Ken Mehlman, the former GOP/George W. Bush operative who worked tirelessly for the Republicans which employed a staunchly anti-gay strategy in the 2004 and 2006 elections. According to an article in the Atlantic Monthly:

He said that he “really wished” he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, “so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]” and “reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans.”
Mehlman is aware that his attempts to justify his past silence will not be adequate for many people. He and his friends say that he is aware that he will no longer control the story about his identity — which will simultaneously expose old wounds, invite Schadenfruede, and legitimize anger among gay rights activists in both parties who did not hide their sexual orientations.
At Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen offers an analysis of the Atlantic article and raises the question about redemption, particularly for those who have stood in the way of LGBTQ equality and liberation. He also outlines what a path to redemption might look like for Mehlman if he hopes to become a friend and advocate of the LGBTQ he is responsible for harming.

To sumarize, Mehlman has three steps to take before he is warmly welcomed:

1) Repent for past sins
2) Be honest with the LGBT community
3) Work tirelessly to undo the damage and propel the LGBT towards equality

I have seen some former ex-gay leaders walk through these steps and make proper amends. I admire people like Jeremy Marks, Darlene Bogle, Anthony Venn-Brown who have worked for years to undo the damage they caused as Ex-Gay leaders. Others like Michael Bussee have also begun to speak out about the harm of ex-gay treatment.

Warren Throckmorton, who had at one time promoted the idea of change therapy through a video he produced, has begun to be critical of some of the more extreme forms of reparative therapy and ex-gay ministry. As far as I know Dr. Throckmorton still advocates for his own kinder, gentler version of change therapy, albeit one that makes minor attempts to address the reasons people may have conflict with their own sexuality and faith as well as the potential harm of pursuing therapy to alter one’s sexuality to fit into an anti-gay religious context. I have found in the past that Dr. Throckmorton can be defensive about his work and reasonable questions that some of us have raised. As a former oppressor, he needs to understand the suspicions that some of us still feel towards him. His motives and goals are not clear, and while he has been quick to criticize his fellow Evangelicals, he has not provided much critique of his own past efforts. In other words, there is room for redemption.

John Smid & Peterson Toscano LIA graduation March 1998

Perhaps not on the same level as the completely unrepentant ex-gay leaders like Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas, who continue to misinform parents and the public about sexual orientation, bisexuality, transgender issues, “success rates” of change therapies and the potential harm of ex-gay treatments, one oppressor still has a lot of redemption work ahead of him. John Smid, former director of the Love in Action program, recently offered an apology of sorts. Some may see his words as light years from where he was back in 2005 when he justified holding Zach Stark and other teens against their will, but in light of the thorough apologies by his peers followed up by real action, Smid’s words remain hollow and pointless.

The more these ministers of the Gospel realize that the “Ex-Gay Movement” is really an anti-gay movement designed to annihilate anything that does not conform to heterosexuality and gender normative identity and presentation, the quicker they can clear their brains out from all of the smoke and mirrors that keep them oppressed and as oppressors. Heterosexuality and gender normative behavior have their privileges, and these ex-gay leaders have cashed in on these for years through both their salaries and the warm welcome they get from fellow Evangelicals.

Many of us have expended so much energy in denying reality for ourselves and others. Besides a colossal waste of time, these attempts to suppress, contain and alter one’s sexuality almost always prove destructive to oneself and family. I have heard from current ex-gay leaders who feel miserable because they cannot live up to the standards they preach. I know of at least one whotook  his life because he could not conform his sexuality to his chosen religion. I know some stay in limbo because they fear the loss of family, friends, careers. Instead of coming clean, they continue to soldier on, sometimes living a double life or else they end it all tragically. What a world of woe with so many victims.

How grateful to see people like Daniel Gonzales and so many other ex-gay survivors reclaim their lives, challenge their former ways of thinking and find peace and joy in authenticity.

Read Full Post »

Nikki Araguz

Nikki Araguz

In securing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, national and regional LGBTQ organizations have not typically been supportive of or engaged in transgender rights and issues. For many of these organizations the “T” for transgender is merely a silent “T” or an accessory.

Routinely at transgender-themed events, I see that virtually no  non-trans gay and lesbians leaders and community members attend unless they are partnered with a trans person. In spite of all the publicity and outreach in the queer press and directly to LGBTQ orgs, I see precious few non-trans gays and lesbians at TransForm events and Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR.) Last year one well-known “international” LGBT organization, the Equality Forum, acted thoughtlessly and with great hubris when it organized a memorial for a gay male victim of violence the same night as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The Dallas Voice reports:

Phyllis Randolph Frye, the well-known transgender attorney from Houston whose clients include trans widow Nikki Araguz, sent out an e-mail Sunday slamming national gay-rights groups for ignoring the issue of “‘tranny’ same-sex marriage” in Texas.

Although the plight of Mrs. Araguz and her fight for justice has been covered by the mainstream media and some queer press outlets and blogs, Lesbian/Gay organizations have not even offered a tepid or token respond. In referencing recent marriage equality struggles in California and Maine, Ms Frye raises critical questions,

Where is the same national support given for the L and G same-sex marriage struggles?” she added. “Has it remained nonexistent for over six weeks now because this Texas fight is insignificantly and merely a ‘tranny’ same-sex marriage fight, so who nationally gives a shit? Then are we a National LGBT-inclusive community, but NOT when it comes to financing the ‘tranny’ same-sex marriage fights?

Mrs. Araguz is in a fight for marriage equality, for the recognition of her identity, for human dignity. You can learn more about Mrs. Araguz’ story at MetroWeekly.

Read Full Post »

Peterson and Zack come out to the movies! Get it? Come out? Today they discuss the new film “The Kids Are All Right,” starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose kids make contact with their interloping sperm donor. “Outraged” is also on topic as the Queer and Queerer duo reflect back on discussions about political outing now that they’ve seen the film. Below, in the notes are suggestions from friends and listeners about all kinds of amazing queer films to check out! Never underestimate the power of film.

For our 20th episode, we want you to ask us ANY questions you have. Start submitting them now on Twitter or at zackfordblogs@gmail.com. We’ll remind you again next week.

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

click here to listen to this week’s podcast

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

Filmmaker Tom Murray who passed away last week. We will miss you!

The Lesbian Mafia interview with Kirby Dick, director of Outraged

The Lesbian Mafia Review of The Kids Are All Right

Dan Savage “The Stranger” Podcast discussing lesbians who “go straight”

Steve Hayes The Tired Old Queen at the Movies The Celluloid Closet Peterson queried people via Facebook and Twitter:

For LGBTIQ folks & Allies: What film(s) has been helpful to you in coming out/becoming an ally.

Here are some responses:

From Twitter:
  • lilithvf1998 … Um, almost every film with a supposed trans character in it has made me reconsider coming out. Dare I list them all? Rocky Horror? The Crying Game? Silence Of The Lambs? Ticked-Off Tr*nn**s With Knives? There has yet to be a film positive enough
  • mayanorange A Single Man is a really beautiful love story that rings true… it transcends genders involved, doesn’t bow to stereotypes, etc…
  • SabrinaGeek would love to find films to show her mom. Best she found so far is Transamerica
  • lilithvf1998 replies: I can’t even endorse that one FWIW. The closest I can manage is The World According To Garp–and not even then really.
  • SabrinaGeek I especially need to avoid docs that show cases of violence / abuse/ death as they will trigger my mom- almost non-existant!
  • JTWilliamson I really enjoyed the movie Latter Days

From Facebook

  • Chloë, Jude & Oshee: Ma Vie En Rose–Belgian film about a family’s struggle to accept their child’s gender.
  • Immanuel : I don’t know if it counts, but there was a tv serial in Sweden called Dårfinkar & dönickar when I was a kid. It’s about Simon/Simone, a “girl” who is “mistaken” for a boy when “she” moves to a new school. Simon and Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry were the only FTM role models available for many years. It’s depressing to think of Brandon Teena’s fate, so I’ve identified a lot with effeminate guys instead, like Billy Elliot. Not MTF characters, but male-identified sissies.
  • Karen : You know, my mind went back over a lot of great movies (“Latter Days” is a favorite.) But when I tried to think about when I was first becoming an ally, back in the wayback, what popped into my mind was Billy Crystal’s portrayal of a gay …man in the TV show Soap. It was so moving and sympathetic. I hadn’t realized it until now, but looking back, I know that made an impact. About that same time was a made-for-TV movie called That Certain Summer, about a boy whose dad was coming out as gay. I think that probably affected my outlook too. A movie I saw recently that might be helpful is called Inlaws and Outlaws.
  • Jude : Before Night Falls
  • Michael : The Wizard of Oz, Making Love, In and Out.
  • Deric : Raspberry Reich. A little artsy, but hearing Marcuse being quoted while two cute guys got it on was particularly stirring for this radical queer.
  • Micah : But I’m a Cheerleader, Saved, and Fish Can’t Fly (not just sucking up, I swear! 🙂 )
  • John : Paris is Burning.
  • Roger : A made for TV movie that is now out on DVD Doing Time on Maple Drive with a great cast too.
  • David : Maurice (1986). Bloody brilliant film based on the novel by EM Forster, inspired by his own experience as a closeted gay man in Edwardian England. It was written around the time of WWI, but was never published until after his death, in the …1970s. The film gave me the courage to come out. The filmmakers were Ismael Merchant and James Ivory (A Room with a View, Howard’s End etc), who were real-life romantic partners. Ismael sadly died in 2005.
  • Steve : Steve Flower Making Love, Torch Song Trilogy, An Early Frost (first AIDS movie I remembered). Broken Hearts Club, an indie film titled Shelter, Latter Days (a big one, for anyone with a religious background), Beautiful Thing, Edge of Seventeen. I was a junkie for teen coming out movies, even though I was 48 when I started to come out
  • Kellie : TV rather than film but I have a huge diary entry from when I was a teenager watching ‘My So Called Life‘ and it had a massive impact on making me question the official Christian line on being gay. I loved Ricky so much I couldn’t accept the idea that God wouldn’t love him too :O) That’s when I first became an ally, aged 14.
  • Shirley : Kellie I also loved Ricky. That episode about him and the drama teacher! What a wonderful wee actor. Wonder what he’s doing now.
  • Oshee : More of my favorites: Canadian movie about a professor at a Christian college falling in love with another woman]; Different For Girls (British movie about a Trans Woman); Normal (American movie about a Trans Woman coming out later in life); Better Than Chocolate (Canadian movie with a whole cast of LGBT characters)
  • Tom : The scene in Cabaret when Brian (Michael York), as the Baron lights his cigarette and they hold on to that gesture and touch for just a split second longer than would others — and I just knew what that was “code’ for. Recently saw C.R.A.Z.Y., and while not exactly my experience, much of it was pretty close and there were enough similarities that it brought back some bittersweet and difficult memories. Not to mention that could have been my wardrobe the main character wears as he comes of age. Scary!
  • Fran : ‎For the Bible Tells Me So— documentary interviewing young gays and lesbians and their families, talking about how they have dealt with their sexuality. Really wonderful discussions about the Bible and gays– and some heart wrenching stories as well. Highly recommended, and a great place to start a discussion with a mixed group.
  • Katie : Orlando, and Wonder Boys
  • Melanie : I loved Antonia’s Line, a beautiful Dutch film about a matriarch and her family, including a lesbian daughter.
  • Casey : Fish Can’t Fly
  • Carlos : As trite or antiquated as it may sound, Boys in the Band. Oh, and Get Real.
  • Jake : Later Days
  • Oliver : Chutney Popcorn (great lesbian film)
  • Angela : Claire of the Moon, Go Fish, and Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (more great lesbian films)
  • Oshee : Some more : Desert Hearts and Female Perversions” starring the fabulous Tilda Swinton
  • Twister :  Show Me Love (Fucking Åmål)
  • Sadelle : Pouquoi pas moi
  • Jenessa : Imagine Me and You and Fire

Read Full Post »

After watching my YouTube video Transgender Rights? A Christian Speaks Out, a viewer sent me the following message.

hi my name is craig, im a male that feels traped in the wrong body,i watched your video and was comforted and inspired, i just wanted to know having the feelings that i do, would god allow me to get a sex chage? would he still love me? is it wrong?

also once you recieve this and i get your answer i would love for you to help me choose my new name.

also are eunuchs in the bible really transgendered people?

I felt honored to receive this message (I change the name above) but also uncertain of how to answer or if I could answer. I do come from a religious background and I realize that “craig” is looking for understanding of transgender issues from a religious perspective. I know that when I struggled with being gay, it was within a religious context, and I needed help from people who could communicate within that context at least initially. It was important for me to understand God’s will for my life in order to move ahead. Ultimately I found my answers within–that still small voice–but at the time so many voices vied for my attention.

Here’s my response:

HI there. Thanks for writing. I am glad you found my video helpful. It sounds like you have many important questions. I am not transgender myself, but I will answer you as best as I can. A wonderful resource for you may be the Trans-Ponder podcast.  It’s done by two women who transitioned from male. They speak about the transition process. They also interviewed me about my work with gender-variant Bible characters.

In regards to God, we need to remember that according to scripture, humans look on the outside, but God looks on the heart. We are told in Paul’s writings that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Not that our gender doesn’t matter, but God sees our spirits. God sees beyond what others see. God sees us people not fixed genders. I have met MANY people who might agree that their insides didn’t match their outsides. There are all types of males and females and some people who are a little of both or something altogether different. As believers we understand that God desires truth from within to without. There is no reason why God would not want you to be authentic in regards to who you are and your gender. God will not have trouble with if this is someone’s sense of self. Others might, but they are not God. My personal belief is that we can have faith that God trusts us to make these important decisions about ourselves.

It will be important that you continue to spend time thinking about this, getting more information, and perhaps even seeing a trained professional about this topic to answer your questions. It will most likely help for you to connect with transgender people too if you haven’t already. You sound like you have a leading to seek out more information about sex reassignment surgery. But even without surgery, you know who you are on the inside, and you can begin to affirm that for yourself. For some surgery is a necessary step, but not for all.

The eunuchs who appear in the Bible did not have the word “transgender” to apply to themselves. Many were forced to be eunuchs against their will. Some chose to be eunuch. In some cultures they were respected as eunuchs while in others they were not. We do not know much about how they came to be eunuch, but the important lesson is that they became a different sex physically than they were at birth. They became sexual minorities in a very visible way within their cultures. In some places they were considered a “third sex.” God did not simply tolerate people being different, but in the Bible stories with eunuchs, God literally reached out to them and in some cases desperately needed them in order to do the work that needed to be done. The eunuchs in the Bible provide a wonderful example of someone who is surgically altered and gender-different yet smack in the palm of God’s loving hand and purposes. For those of us who are people of faith, this can give us guidance and great comfort.

In regards to your name, that is a great honor to ask me for help, and I would love to hear about the process as you begin to consider new names. It is a very spiritual process for some with many examples in the Bible of people who changed their names to recognize a life change. I have faith that you will find the right name–or it will find you–as you go along in the process.

Many blessings to you!
Peterson

What about you? What would you add? What would you say? What could I have said differently? I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is a person of faith, so maybe all the “God language” is a turn-off or not your style. I can forward your remarks to “craig” for you or provide a link to your comments here.

Now I am off to TransForm New Hampshire, an event in Concord, NH that seeks to unite the LGB with the T and help non-transgender people better understand transgender issues.

Read Full Post »

I’m thrilled to be attending and presenting at TransForm New Hampshire next week. I will lead a few workshops as well as perform my piece Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, a play about transgender and gender non-conforming Bible characters. I was thrilled to hear that Gene Robinson, Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire, has been encouraging people to attend. Hopefully he will come too. Although we have mutual friends, and we both attended the Lambeth Conference in 2008, I have yet to meet him. Even so, I affectionately call him “The Gay Gene.”

PRESS RELEASE

TransForm New Hampshire http://transform.transmentors.org/nh/
July 23-25, 2010
Concord, NH

STATEMENT FROM BISHOP GENE ROBINSON

Equal rights for Transgender People is the next front in the equal-rights-for-all effort. But more of our citizens need to understand the experiences, challenges and needs of their trans neighbors. This conference is an extraordinary opportunity to hear national leaders as well as local activists, speaking to the experience and needs of our trans citizens. Even gay and lesbian people are often uneducated and unfamiliar with the complexities of our trans brothers and sisters who have been so supportive of our efforts for full equality. Run, don’t walk, to sign up for this great conference!

Bishop Gene Robinson
Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »