Tag Archives: trans

Black LGBTIQQ History in the Community

2016 Generations poster

Feel free to download and share this image.

In case my dear readers do not know, I will state here that I am a man of trans experience, of recent African descent and I was born in the USA.

There are not many events or organizations in the US that are made for and by people like me (or even acknowledge that people like me exist). I take me everywhere I go, but I understand that ALL of me is not invited or expected in most places in the world.

Yet.

I now have a couple of holiday events that I did not have as a young person. I have the pleasure and honor of being on the planning committee for an inspiring, rejuvenating event called Generations: Black LGBTIQQ History Experiences. Generations was born in San Francisco, Ca. It is a child of the Black LGBTIQQ community.

For five years, I have been assisting with Generations because history has been my guiding light. Knowing Black history strengthens how I see myself and other people. Knowing the multitude of Black LGBTIQQ shoulders I stand on is a Stone Cold Gas, man.

So, World, prepare yourself for Generations 2016, February 26, 6-9pm at the SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco.

In the meantime, enjoy this video from Generations 2014!

See you ALL there!

 

-Leo

 

 

 

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Thai Trans Women and Muay Thai

Somros “Rose” Polchareon is a 19 year-old Muay Thai (Thai boxing) champion. Rose is a trans woman and a fierce competitor in a sport that is a sacred part of Thai culture. Traditionally, women are not allowed in the fight ring. But as a male-bodied person the rules of competitive Muay Thai allow Rose to become successful and earn money for the surgeries that will give Rose the body she needs to live a complete life.

Rose is not the first Thai trans woman boxer to use her winnings to finance sex realignment surgeries. In 1999 (when Rose was about 3 years old), Parinya “Nong Toom” Charoenphol was a nationally famous boxer who used her prize money for surgery.  Nong Toom’s life is dramatized in the film Beautiful Boxer (2005).

Thai boxing transforms the body into weapons to fight an opponent, but it is more than a sport: Muay Thai is part of Thai national identity. Rose and Nong Toom used Muay Thai to achieve their identities and transform their lives within Thai culture.

 

-Leo

 

 

Experiences of trans and gender non-conforming folks in the Deep South

Article  from the Washington Blade that highlights intolerance, violence and poverty experienced in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Transgender Activists Speak Out Against Campaign to End Trans Military Ban

I almost did not read this great report by Toshio Meronek.  I half-thought there was nothing new to hear from the opponents of trans-inclusion in the military.  But I read on and I found new voices and new views.  By the end of the article I was cheering for peace.

–Leo

Protect your family rights, right now.

If you are thinking of starting a family, please consider doing some legal homework to try to protect your new family from extended family members who feel that it is their duty to take your children just because you are trans*. The legal rules for trans* parents are still uncertain and evolving. Because of ignorance and bias, courts are free to treat trans* parents unfairly. This is the horror story Daniel and Cindy are living.

Daniel is a transman and Cindy’s parents sued to gain custody of the children because they do not approve of Daniel. Apparently, Daniel’s in-laws approved of him before they knew of Daniel’s trans* experience.

This and similar scenarios have occurred many times in the lives of trans* people. Extended family members behave in unexpected ways and can make trans* family life more difficult because laws and courts openly favor cis-gender people.

Fortunately, there is an increasing number of legal advocates who can help us navigate the legal system and decrease the bias and ignorance in the court system.

-Leo

Transgender Awareness Week Spotlights the Struggles and Victories of Latino Trans People

This article from the Latin Post highlights transwoman Vivian Diego. Diego recently survived a vicious beating on the streets of Los Angeles at the hands of four males. Diego was beaten simply because she lives as female.

Unfortunately, the article also demonstrates confusion about trans* people. The writer refers to Vivian Diego by her male birth name and refers to her as a “transgender man”. A transgender man would not prefer to be called Vivian and work as a waitress. A waitress is called “miss”, “ma’am” and “she” by polite restaurant patrons. So, it is very safe to assume that Vivian Diego prefers female pronouns and the female gender and is a transgender woman.

However, we do not have to assume someone’s gender or pronoun preference because we can always ask the person for their preferred pronoun in order to remove our confusion and embarrasment. Sometimes I get the feeling that for some folks talking gender brings up the same uncomfortable feeling as talking about sex.
Sex and gender are just different sides of the same human.

Be kind to each other.

Leo