Red Jordan Arobateau is a prolific San Francisco artist. (I created a page about Red and his long career.) Last Saturday, after almost a year, Red and I went out for an early bird dinner, and then visited Another Cafe on Pine Street.
Red let me video some of our conversation at the cafe. We had a fun, mature conversation about his life, career and more. I repeat: we had a mature conversation. Do not watch this video if you are offended by mature language and subject matter.
I first heard of Brace from my roommate, Ahav. “It’s great”, he said, “y’gotta see it!” Sometimes our film tastes overlap and I tried to remember the title so I could check it out.
Time passed and I forgot the title and I asked Ahav again. “Okay, Brace, got it.” Again the title did not stick in my mind. Fortunately, the creator of Brace, Jake Graf, tweeted; asking me to re-tweet the link to his film.
I enjoyed Brace, you gotta see it! Brace is an emotional, LGBT ride with surprises for the lucky viewer. As a writer, Jake Graf understands that our lives often refuse to take a clean, predictable path to our goals: we get bumped to the side, spun around and dirty. That’s where storytellers find drama. We must remember where we are going and get back on track (creating even more drama in the process).
Graf knows very well that gender transition all by itself creates drama. Graf did not make a simple transition/coming-out story. His characters take more risks, trying to figure out where they fit in life.
Thanks, Jake, for making Brace available to watch online.
It’s a new year and some of the resolutions we made were related to health. I doubt many of us were thinking about our cervix at the time. Many trans men and genderqueer/gender non-conforming folks have a cervix and that cervix needs to be looked after with regular Pap tests.
No one (whether female, trans or gender non-conforming) enjoys having a Pap test. However, the alternative of living with unchecked cancer is not a reasonable option, in my opinion.
This week the Fenway Clinic in Boston released research findings that indicate FTM patients had over 10 times higher risk of having an inadequate Pap test compared to female patients. One could read these numbers as showing that trans men as a group have a 10 times increase in their risk for cervical cancer when compared to females.
Part of the explanation for this statistic is that transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been treated with varying degrees of disrespect by medical institutions for more years than anyone can count. Therefore, we are very wary of medical institutions and often use medical care as a last resort. However, when people are treated with respect during interactions with medical staff, statistics like those in the Fenway research can be reversed.
The National Center for Transgender Equality has a good article on how we can protect ourselves from cervical cancer.
Buck Angel, trans advocate and porn star, made a great public service video about the importance of regular gynecological exams for trans men who are still living with their cervix.
After years of participation in International Leather SIR/boy contests, the board of directors announced that transmen are no longer welcome as contestants. Participation in International Leather SIR/boy will be limited to cisgender males. The board of directors noted that the law in their home state of Texas does not require the inclusion of transmen as it does other minority groups. The board of directors expressed their desire to return to the old days of exclusive gay cisgender male participation.
Hey, Leather transmen, maybe it is time to produce your own inclusive Leather community contests?
Kylar Broadus testifies before US Senate on the necessity of ENDA legislation to secure civil rights for trans* citizens.
Kylar Broadus, the founder of the first national civil rights organization for trans* people of color, Trans People of Color Coalition, was named chief of the Transgender Civil Rights Project of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. The Transgender Civil Rights Project will provide strategic assistance to US groups involved in creating pro-trans policy and laws.