Refinery29 has an incredibly thought-provoking, educational, and inspiring new feature on trans* and non-gender-conforming people. The entire thing is awesome (especially the FAQ!), but most touching are the essays by transgender millennials, each of them detailing their journeys to becoming who they really are. Here's an excerpt from Sweet Teen Mel Gonzalez: "If anybody had told me that I am the one who controls my own future, high school would have been a lot easier. So, now, I’m telling people that: You are the person who defines you. You are not defined by name-calling or labels, or being put down by anyone else. Whatever obstacles you come across, [...]
TIME also has an interview with Cox ("It’s a struggle every day, to stay present, not to become that, you know, eight year old who was bullied and chased home from school"), and the Hampshire speech, which is very much worth your time, is embedded after the jump.
Porpentine lives in Oakland and makes games about, among other things, “pop star Ke$ha against trans-dimensional haters.” You can try them out here, some in this very browser*. She also writes a weekly roundup of free games for Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
I decided to interview Porpentine over chat. (This meant it took about 57 hours, and she may never do an interview ever again: sorry, Porpentine and journalism.) We talked about bodies, women’s work, jet ski depiction, violent business sim memoir, and we insulted fruit. I’d call it a text adventure, except, that’s not right at all**, because Porpentine is the human, and I’m [...]
•Beth Ditto and her long-term girlfriend Kristin Ogata got married in Hawaii, with Ditto walking the aisle barefoot in Gaultier. [VOGUE]
•A teenage couple from Tulsa met at a support group for transgender teenagers, both underwent gender reassignment surgery, and are adorable. "To me, Arin’s just my Arin. He’s always looked manly to me. But now he’s had the surgery he’s much more confident and comfortable with himself," says Katie, who had her surgery last year and walked her boyfriend through his a month ago. "Being transgender myself, I understand Arin better than anybody else — how good he feels and how complete he [...]
Michelle Goldberg has a piece in this week's New Yorker about the state of the argument between trans-exclusionary radical feminists and transgenderism writ both large and personal; it reads slightly evasive (lots of "some people say that [insert old offensive idea]" type language; a lingering sense that the advent of trans rights is already "too much") and sort of stunningly gotta-hear-both-sides to this very pro-trans, pro-letting-a-person-be, chillwave-feminist brain over here, but it's a fascinating read.
Some self-described radical feminists  have found themselves in an acrimonious battle with trans people and their allies. Trans women say that they are women because they feel female—that, as some put it, they have women’s brains in [...]
India now has a third gender. The Supreme Court has recognized the country's transgender community as being in a third neutral category — neither male nor female.
In handing down the ruling, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan said, "Transgenders are citizens of this country … and recognition as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue."
Progressive legislation! Always awesome—2 to 3 million people identify as transgender in India—and always uneven, contextual, fascinating. From the Washington Post:
The progressive ruling applies only to eunuchs – or hijras as they are called in Hindi — in India and not to gays, lesbians [...]
"According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 53.8 percent of anti-LGBT homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women, the majority of whom were people of color. In 2011, the percentage of transgender women in this statistic was substantially lower: 40 percent. For transgender women, it doesn’t get better, apparently. We experience most of the violence with none of the visibility. We are the dead and we are the forgotten. In the face of a world that erases us, remembering this violence is more than just an obligation—it is an act of resistance." [Jacobin]
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Departmental Appeals Board ruled [on May 30th, 2014] that that Medicare's policy of categorically excluding coverage of sex-reassignment surgery, regardless of a person's individual medical conditions and needs, is unreasonable and contrary to contemporary science and medical standards of care.
-What an enormous baby step! More about the ruling here.
You've probably heard about the awesome Barneys New York spring ad campaign called "Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters"—it's beautiful, shot by Bruce Weber, and features 17 transgender models. Autostraddle talked to some of the people involved:
Many of the models still approached the project with apprehension. Pogensky explained that although he was intrigued by a major retailer wanting an assemblace of all-transgender models, it also shot up red flags. “I had this image in my head,” he told me, “of a bunch of designers and a creative team looking for the next big thing. How can we shock the world, they were saying. Who can we use?Ah ha! Tr*nnys!”
His fears [...]
Arisce Wanzer lives in New York and is signed to the BMG Agency. Right now Fashion Week is putting her to work.
Let's start from the beginning. Tell me about your childhood?
I'm from Northern Virginia, which is a wonderful place to grow up. My family was very supportive, and everything was really normal. I had a brother, and he played with his G.I. Joes, and I played with my Barbies, and I had two sisters too, and we were just all different and it was fine.
Any struggle that I had growing up was always internal rather than external. Once I got to [...]