Photography by Shannonlee.
Makeup by Ana at Rita Ambourne.
Dress from Bondesque.
I hope you like them!
If you are in the Twin Cities area, I encourage you to participate in a trans visibility even this weekend. Details below!
After the news from earlier this week, I don’t know if we can take much more of this…
From The Hill:
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is lawful to discriminate against transgender employees based on their gender identity, according to Bloomberg Law.
In a brief to the Supreme Court, the DOJ wrote that federal civil rights law banning sex discrimination in the workplace does not extend to transgender people.
Please vote on November 6th.
If anyone still doubts that the current administration is trying to erase our community, then this news should confirm that. It’s the latest in a series of destroying rights that the transgender community deserves.
Almost a year ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed a three-year-old Justice Department policy that protected transgender workers from discrimination under federal law. This was just a few months after the president said that the transgender community should be barred from serving in the military.
According to The New York Times, the Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
A series of decisions by the Obama administration loosened the legal concept of gender in federal programs, including in education and health care, recognizing gender largely as an individual’s choice and not determined by the sex assigned at birth. The policy prompted fights over bathrooms, dormitories, single-sex programs and other arenas where gender was once seen as a simple concept. Conservatives, especially evangelical Christians, were incensed.
Now the Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading an effort to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans gender discrimination in education programs that receive government financial assistance, according to a memo obtained by The New York Times.
This is a terrifying development. The article goes on the explain the impact that this would have on our community:
The new definition would essentially eradicate federal recognition of the estimated 1.4 million Americans who have opted to recognize themselves — surgically or otherwise — as a gender other than the one they were born into.
According to HRC.org, the administration’s decision could have severe consequences for LGBTQ people across the federal government. For example:
Is there really anyone left who identifies as transgender but will still vote Republican?
Yes? You in the back? You had a comment?
“Um, the economy is doing well. There are more issues than just human rights, you know.”
You can shut the hell up and stay home on November 6th, thanks.
I love the fall season. Fall means cute outfits, wonderful weather and the annual MN T-Girls photo shoot with the amazing Shannonlee, superstar photographer!
We started doing these shoots because for so many of us the only photos we have of our femme side are selfies and let’s face it, nothing beats a professional photo. Some of us are nervous and have a hard time relaxing and having fun when it comes to professional pictures and it takes a patient person to bring someone out of their shell sometimes. Not only is Shannonlee a talented photographer, she’s super fun to work with and helps us all feel like supermodels.
I had a lot of fun picking out my outfits for the day and got into the Halloween spirit a little, too. I can’t wait to share the final pictures with you all!
National Coming Out Day was earlier this week and it always makes me feel…a little left out.
Coming out is a life-changing experience. It forever alters the relationship you have with those you come out to. Sometimes its a weight off your shoulders, sometimes they admit they already knew, or at least it’s not a surprise. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong. Sometimes it’s all of them. It’s a huge risk as we will never really know how someone will react until we do it. I am sensitive to those we come out to as it will forever change how they see us and a certain level of care and consideration needs to be kept in mind when we do.
I think at this point in my life I have come out to everyone that I ultimately will. I don’t feel the need to come out to anyone else. A few years ago I felt that I should tell my mom and siblings. I felt that this was big enough, and important enough, that they should know. I also wanted to come out to them because, well, this is big enough and important enough to me.
My immediate family are kind, loving people. Fiercely liberal, supportive and allies to everyone in the LGBTQIA spectrum. I wish I could say that coming out to them “accomplished” what I wanted to. I had hoped that my mom and siblings would have a cup of coffee or hit the mall with Hannah. That hasn’t happened (well, except for that one time) and I doubt it will.
Please understand that I don’t think negatively of them because of this. Coming out to someone is tricky. It can be hard on those we come out to, and it’s hard for us to get it right. We only have one chance to come out to someone the first time and how we do it will set the tone going forward. I’m sure coming out as any part of the LGBTQIA spectrum is hard for different reasons and I don’t know what it’s like to come out as anything other than transgender.
In my experience, coming out as transgender is very hard. Being trans means different things to different people. Me being trans is different than Caitlyn Jenner or Chaz Bono being transgender. I think most people think of someone being transgender as one who has, or will, permanently change how they present themselves to the world. I think most people think that being transgender means they have, or will, or are going through hormone therapy and surgery.
And for some trans people, yes, that’s exactly what being transgender means. But as I’ve written before, gender is a spectrum. I don’t want to transition. I never have. Being trans to me means not committing to presenting as only one gender for the rest of my life. I have to explain what being transgender means and what it means to me and what it means to the person I come out to.
As anyone who has come out before, you know this can be exhausting.
I honestly think I would come out to more people if it was easier to explain and to understand. But it is what it is and I have accepted it.
National Coming Out Day creates a bit of a pang of regret. I read stories all day from others who came out and had amazing experiences with their family and friends. I was happy to read so many wonderful stories. I was happy for those that came out and proud of how supportive the people they came out to were. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous and sadness when I thought of own coming out.
We can come out to everyone in our lives and receive endless support from them, but sometimes the really important people in our lives are the ones we need the most love and acceptance from.
As I’ve said I have accepted things and I am luckier beyond any hopes and dreams I ever had. I have the love and understanding and help from my patient and amazing wife. I have a wardrobe that exceeds any fantasy I ever had. I couldn’t ask for more. And I won’t.
I hope everyone has love and support and understanding from at least one person in their life. I hope everyone has at least one fabulous dress in their closet that makes them happy, I hope everyone has at least one killer pair of heels that they never thought they would have.
We all have our own stories and experiences when it comes to coming out. If you would like to share them in the comments I would love to read them.
PFLAG’s mission is uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
PFLAG was the first support organization I heard of when I was growing up. I attended their meetings a few years ago and found it was a supportive, and inclusive community. PFLAG is a wonderful group, especially for our spouses and family members and I am happy to promote the events the Twin Cities chapter has scheduled.
Recently Danielle Muscato, a civil rights activist, public speaker and host of the #RESIST podcast tweeted this question:
The responses were heartbreaking and eye-opening.
As someone who presents as a white, heterosexual, cisgender male most of the time, I can honestly say that these, along with almost every response I read, were never anything I ever gave a second thought to. In male mode, I am rarely, if ever, in fear of getting attacked when I go for a run or walk to my parked car. This Twitter conversation is a reminder of my genetic privilege.
Men attacking women, whether it is verbal, emotional, sexual or violent has been happening for a very, very long time. The #metoo movement has created awareness, and outrage, of how often this happens to more women than I ever imagined. Of course I was, and am, horrified. But women knew this. They always did.
It’s important and necessary to listen to and believe the women. I do not think women fabricate these stories for personal gain.
Yes? You in the back? You had a question?
“I think some women do make up the stories though.”
You can shut the hell up, thanks.
Over the past week, the entire nation was engaged with the recent testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as she painfully recalled and described a sexual assault when she was younger. The president rewarded her courage by mocking her on national television. His supporters laughed and cheered. Dr. Ford and her family had their lives threatened.
Tell me again why you don’t think women come forward with their stories.
The president warned us that this is a very scary time for young men. Men are not the victim here. Men are not the ones looking over their shoulder when they pump gas. Men being treated that they are the ones under attack is another example of their privilege. What I mean is that many white men are used to everything being white men. Black lives matter? Let’s change that to ALL lives matter. Yes all lives matter but the message of Black Lives Matter is about bringing attention to police killings of black people, and broader issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
Dr. Ford’s testimony, the stories of the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter are all examples of how white, heterosexual, cisgender men have never had to fight to be believed, listened to, or respected. My grandmother fought for the right to vote, my brother fought for the right to marry his husband. These were rights that I never had to fight for.
I am thankful for these reminders and for the women sharing their stories. I am awed and humbled, and in some cases, shamed by their courage. Bringing awareness to a problem is how change happens. In this case, the change will come by changing the behavior of men.
I didn’t know what it was like to be wary of being in public until I plucked up the courage years ago and left my house as Hannah. For the first time in my life I was out in the real world presenting as someone other than a cisgender, heterosexual male. The terror started immediately. What if the person in the car next to me sees me and follows me? Is there anyone in the parking ramp that could attack me? Will people yell at me from their car as I walk down the street?
As Hannah, I am constantly looking over my shoulder, I am constantly on alert and aware of my surroundings. I am constantly prepared to leave the area, the store, or wherever I am if I feel threatened or harassed. However, when I leave the house presenting as male, I feel relaxed and I am no longer on guard. Sure, I have had very few negative experiences in the real world as Hannah, but it only takes one act of violence to change my life forever.
My point is that when I am Hannah, I am in her world. Her world is full of lipstick, cute dresses and too-high high heels. Her world, as well as every trans and ciswoman’s world, is also filled with danger, misogyny, violence and harassment. These horrible things go away from my life when I return to presenting as male. But my wife, my sisters, my friends and all women do not have the privilege of this safety.
As a t-girl, I am aware of my responsibility to create a positive perception of the transgender community to the rest of the world when I am out in public. I know I also have responsibilities as someone who also presents as male when it comes to the #metoo movement. There needs to be change on a behavioral level as well as on a systematic level.
I am committed to being the best person I can be, no matter how I present. The world has shown us what needs to change, what needs to happen. We can all be leaders in this change. At a minimum, we can be decent people.
A whole world looks to see what we will do. We cannot fail their trust, we cannot fail to try.
-John F. Kennedy
Have a wonderful weekend.
New driver’s licenses are giving Minnesotans a third option for gender designation. Minnesotans can now put an “F” on their ID for female, an “M” for male, or an “X” for what officials are calling non-binary gender.
The agency said in a statement that the third gender option is in line with other self-reported descriptions, such as weight, height and eye color and allows it to better serve all Minnesotans. Federal regulation allows the change.
In an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon, state Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said the change was “made unilaterally by Democrats in the Dayton administration without legislative approval,” and he asked whether the change would negatively affect law enforcement.
Minnesota joins California, Washington state, Washington, D.C., Maine, Oregon and New York as jurisdictions that already or will soon offer the driver’s license option for residents.