Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Repost from Glaad.org:

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death, and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

How can I get involved in the Transgender Day of Remembrance?

Participate in Transgender Day of Remembrance by attending and/or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all those transgender people whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence that year, and learning about the violence affecting the transgender community. Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBTQ organizations, and held at community centers, parks, places of worship, and other venues. The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those lost that year.

Please see resources below on how to write stories about transgender people who have been victimized by crime, and additional resources for writing about the violence that affects transgender people, especially transgender women of color.

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, GLAAD remembers the transgender people whose lives have been lost to anti-transgender violence this year and over the years.

Information for media:

Organizations and resources:

Reports on violence and discrimination:

More information:

As always, be safe.

Love, Hannah

 

Both Sides of Us

As someone who lives and presents as two genders, I think about gender identity a lot.  When en femme, I identify as transgender and bristle when feminine pronouns are not used by others when interacting with me.  I know one should never assume someone else’s pronouns, but when I am dressed to kill in a dress and heels and spent $65 on a makeover, I think it’s pretty safe that I am a her.

Being called male pronouns when en femme can also sting in a way that can ruin my entire day.  Sometimes I can shake it off, but other times, especially if I am having an ugly day, it can linger in my head for longer than it should.

Sometimes someone can mistakenly use pronouns when speaking with me, but they will quickly correct themselves.  But when it appears they are using male pronouns on purpose in an effort to be vindictive, then it becomes an issue of common courtesy.  To intentionally call someone by the wrong pronouns is simply cruel.  When someone uses the wrong pronouns, I will always correct them.  Well, unless it’s clearly pointless.  T-girls are pretty adept at knowing when someone is mis-gendering them intentionally.

Identifying as transgender covers a lot of gender identities.  Not that labels matter, but I feel that bi-gender is a more specific term when it comes to my identity.  I have two gender identities, and besides underdressing or something subtle, such as wearing “girl” jeans, my wardrobes do not crossover with each other.  Like my closet, my gender identities are very separate from each other.

Gender identity, pronouns, specific labels are very significant and important when en femme, but in male mode these things do not come up very often.   When I present as male, no one ever calls me by pronouns that do not match my gender presentation.  This is cis-privledge.

Last week was International Pronoun Day.  According to their website, referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities.

Users on social media were commenting on their own pronouns regardless if they were cis, trans, or non-binary.

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Although providing pronouns on a social media profile is pretty common for our community, I am also seeing it more often for cisgender people.  The more cisgender people state their pronouns, the more normal it becomes when someone who is transgender states theirs, especially when it changes.  I also see this happen as a show of solidarity and support for the trans community.  Why should only transgender people have to state their pronouns?  Why doesn’t everyone?

I appreciate anyone showing their support for the transgender community.  Even a small and subtle thing such as this makes me happy.  It’s reassuring to know we have allies out there.

Through my blogging, the MN T-Girls, and just simply being visible in the real world, I feel I am a positive voice and representative in the transgender community.  But I wonder if I am doing enough for our community in my male life.

I vote for candidates that support the same social issues I support.  I use the correct pronouns for my non-binary coworkers and friends.  I defend our community when someone attacks it.

But could I do more?  I write a lot about activism and awareness here, but I rarely bring up the same things on the social media that I use in my male life.  Hannah goes to Pride celebrations, but perhaps I should go presenting as male.

In the few people I have come out to, identifying as transgender or bi-gender or as a crossdresser is the last thing they would have guessed about me.  I wonder if that means me being an ally for our community is also just as much of a surprise.  Maybe I should do more to show my support and solidarity in my male life.

As a straight white male, I have never had to fight for my rights.  I have never had to fight for the right to vote, to own property, or to marry who I wanted.  This is another example of cis/hetero/white privilege, to be perfectly honest.  When marriage equality was passed, it took the entire LGBTQ+ community fighting for it, but it also needed the support of the non-LGBTQ+ community as well.  Similarly the transgender community is waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on whether or not sex can be a determining factor in cases of employment discrimination in regards to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Of course, the transgender community is involved with making sure that we are protected, but the cisgender community needs to be involved, too.  Like many issues, this decision should not be based on gender identity, but it should be a basic human rights issue and it’s a little insane this is even being argued.

In order for the transgender community to have all the rights and protection and respect that we deserve, it’s going to take everyone, regardless of gender identity, fighting for it.

It’s going to take both sides of me fighting for it.

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Protection for the Transgender Community

Next week the United States Supreme Court will begin to weigh a decision that will have a huge and significant impact on the transgender community.

According to The Guardian’s story on Aimee Stephens:

After years of mixed decisions in lower courts the justices must decide whether or not sex is a defining factor when LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination at work by the Civil Rights Act, the landmark 1964 legislation that outlaws discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin.

Stephens’ case is one of three discrimination cases involving LGBTQ individuals that the court will hear on 8 October and the first supreme court case involving the civil rights of transgender people.

…Lack of legal protections has unfairly affected the trans community for too long, said Kaplan. At its heart, he says, Stephens’ case is very simple and should offer more protection in future. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prevents people from being discriminated against on the grounds of sex. And that definition should include sexual orientation and identity, he argues. “The definition of being transgender is someone who identifies differently from the sex assigned to them at birth. If the motivation for firing somebody is because they’re transgender, it’s motivated by sex. It’s sex discrimination. It’s right there,” he said.

The ramifications of the case could stretch far beyond the LGBTQ community. In 1989 the supreme court found Price Waterhouse guilty of sex discrimination when it denied a partnership to Ann Hopkins, a manager who was deemed too aggressive and “manly” in her behavior and in need of a “course in charm school” according to one of her bosses. Kaplan worries that a ruling against Stephens could support discrimination against people of any gender who don’t conform to their employer’s stereotypes.

It’s sad and scary to think that our basic rights are being determined by our gender identity, but here we are.

Love, Hannah

 

National Trans Visibility March

CaptureFrom the press release:

Members of the transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary communities (TGNC/NB) will be taking a major stand against hate and discrimination when they rally in the Nation’s Capital for the first ever National Trans Visibility March (NTVM) on Washington, D.C., September 28, 2019. The march rally will start at 10:00am at Freedom Plaza followed by the march at 11:00am in the Nation’s Capital. The National Trans Visibility March Ambassadors from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Memphis, New York and San Francisco will lead the charge partnering with national and local allies calling for the passing of the Equality Act, which includes equal rights, fair housing, financial equity, healthcare equality and physical safety.

I would love to be a part of this, and I am sure many of you would like to as well, but unfortunately I can’t make it to Washington D.C. this weekend.  However, there is a way to join virtually.  Click here for more information about the virtual march.

More information about the march here!

Love, Hannah

 

 

 

Transform the White House

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Transform the White House is committed to protecting the rights of our community, as well as restoring the rights that we have lost over the past several years.

From their website:

Since President Trump took office, his administration has waged a nonstop onslaught against transgender people. They rolled back protections for transgender students. They banned transgender people from the military. They’re even trying to roll back protections for transgender people to get health care.

The full list of the Trump administration’s attacks against the transgender community is even longer.

But we #WontBeErased. We’re fighting back, alongside all of the other people who are under attack by this administration, from immigrants, to Muslims, to women, and so many more of our neighbors.

Enough is enough. President Trump must go. It’s time for a new president.

Transform the White House is featuring different presidential candidates and what their actions will be in regards to transgender and non-binary people.  They recently interviewed Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.

Watch the interview here!

Love, Hannah

Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit

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Minneapolis is hosting the 6th annual Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit on Thursday, September 26th at the Walker Art Center.

From the press release:

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the theme for this year’s Summit is “Shifting the Narrative.” As trans and gender non-conforming people, what are the stories that are told about us, our histories, and our futures? How do we want to change those stories? What is the silenced history we want to highlight, and what are the futures we’re envisioning?

The Summit is free and open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested in furthering transgender equity to attend. This is an event for trans/GNC community members to connect to resources and each other, and for potential allies to learn more about issues impacting trans/GNC community and how to integrate community visions through an equity lens

Hope you can attend!

Love, Hannah

Hannah vs VS

Last November a CEO from Victoria’s Secret made some hurtful and ignorant comments about the transgender community.

Hearing these comments stung, especially in the year 2018, but it was disappointing because this was a brand I loved and a place where I felt welcomed when I shopped en femme.

I decided to take my lingerie shopping elsewhere and I am glad I did.  Since then, I have added bras and panties from Glamorous Corset, ThirdLove, HommeMystere, and Allure   to my lingerie drawer(s).  🙂

Victoria’s Secret has been experiencing some changes recently including hiring their first openly transgender model as well as the resignation of the CEO I referenced earlier.

The company received significant backlash and calls for boycotts when these comments were made and I had hoped that the CEO would be punished in some way for what was said.  I do not think that the comments and this resignation were connected in any way, unfortunately.

I am happy that a transphobic person no longer has a say in what a major brand does, and I am glad that they have hired a transgender model, but are these changes enough to win back my business?

Maya Angelou wrote “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” and I think this is an appropriate quote in many instances.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t give someone a second chance or that one’s perspective and opinion can’t evolve, but I can’t quite get on board with shopping at Victoria’s Secret again.

For starters, there are many companies, particularly the brands I referred to above, who market to and design for our community.  ThirdLove specifically is very inclusive and HommeMystere designs the cutest panties for us.  I believe in supporting companies that are transinclusive and not giving my money to those who either just downright hate us or those that don’t see transgender women as women.

When a t-girl is ready to experience the world en femme, most of us will want to frequent places where we will be welcome.  I know I did, and I still do.  If we want more businesses to be accepting of us, then we need to financially support businesses that already support us.  I believe that this sends a message.  Of course, I am not so naive that I do not think me not shopping at Victoria’s Secret had any impact whatsoever on them, but spending my money with companies that do embrace us made an impact on them.

I’m glad whenever there is a leadership change or some progress made in any corporation that inches its way towards inclusivity, but I will continue to buy my lingerie from designers that support my values and embrace our community.

Love, Hannah