#Transgender

It looks like Spain's Miss Universe Contestant is a Huge Favorite to Win!

On December 16th the world will be watching as women from 94 countries and territories from around the globe vie for the crown and title of Miss Universe 2018. The 67th annual Miss Universe event will take place in Bangkok, the third time the event is held in Thailand. This year is historic, however, as Angela Ponce, the contestant from Spain enters the event as the first transgender woman to get to this point in the competition.

27-year-old Ponce was crowned and named the representative from Spain in June after years of competing in pageants. While pageants are often seen as events that objectify women, for Ponce, this platform is one of empowerment where she is claiming her femininity and taking a stand for her freedom to be who she is. Now, as Ponce enters into the most prestigious pageant in the world, it is believed that she is an early favorite to take home the crown as she has been a vocal advocate for trans rights and wishes to continue international work on trans visibility.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Falta muy poco para que España esté ante el universo!!

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on

 

Ponce shared with LGBTQ Nation:

I’m very excited that I have not run into any obstacles, and all my competitors have accepted me very nicely. I feel like I’m being treated like anybody else — and to be here is marvelous.

Me being here and being accepted shows the rest of the world that I’m like any other girl. I think that I can open a lot of minds and eliminate a lot of prejudice: prejudice that is not founded in reality.

My main message would be one’s right to their identity before turning 18 years old. The children should have the right to use whichever bathroom they identify with, and they should be supported by education in grade schools, because this could benefit everybody in the future.

 

 

Does Ponce's firm platform give her an advantage to the 2018 title?

h/t: LGBTQ Nation

#Toronto Mall Takes Steps to Make it all Easier with Gender-Neutral Bathrooms.

Yorkdale Mall, located in Toronto, Canada, recently added a gender-neutral restroom in an effort to boost inclusivity, according to CBC.

Yorkdale is one of Canada's largest and busiest malls and with the holidays just around the corner, shoppers will be flocking to the stores to get their last minute shopping done and at least one person will have to use the facilities at one point during their gift-getting escapades, and Yorkdale's new gender-neutral bathroom will make it easier for shoppers to do so.

Schools, restaurants, and community centers are among other spaces that have installed gender-neutral restrooms in order to promote inclusive spaces for all genders, and now hopefully more malls will follow suit. 

A statement by the Yorkdale malls reads: 

"The new washroom provides an inclusive option for anyone, including transgender people, people of diverse gender identities and those who may require accompaniment of some kind."

It is no secret that transgender and gender non-conforming people are often given a difficult

 regarding the topic of which restroom they should use, so by Yorkdale sending out this statement, perhaps trans and nonbinary people will feel more accepted. The restroom has been open for about two weeks, and includes ten stalls. Options for male and female restrooms are still available, as the mall still has seven male and seven female restrooms for shoppers to use if they choose.

This mall isn't the first shopping center to incorporate gender-neutral restrooms, however. Ivanhoe Cambridge, a real estate company that operates 28 shopping centers across Canada, has had gender-neutral restrooms, starting with Vaughan Mills outlet, an outlet north of Toronto. Since then, the company has added twenty gender-neutral restrooms to nine of their properties and more restrooms of the same nature are suspected to be built in future properties.

Additionally, all renovations of existing properties require that gender-neutral restrooms be built. 

Judging by the fact that gender-neutral restrooms have been a thing for almost seven years without predatory incidents, it is safe to assume that building inclusive restrooms will not increase the rate of sexual assaults in public facilities. In my mind, building gender-neutral restrooms to promote inclusivity is common sense. We all use the restroom, right?


h/t: CBC

Students at Indiana High School Need Permission Slip to be Trans

Two transgender male students at Burris Laboratory School in Muncie, Indiana have been pulled out of class multiple times to discuss which bathrooms they can use with school administration, Ball State Daily News reports.

The students are Noah Golliher and Leigh Kumpe, both of who used the men's room in the school at the beginning of the year until other students reported them to the administration. Because of this, Golliher and Kumpe have been pulled out of class repeatedly to discuss what bathroom to use, which is not only disruptive academically but also highly personal and embarrassing. After the meetings with administration, a form was sent home to their parents in which they have to fill out their children's preferred name and the facilities that they use.  

Immediately I can see two things wrong with this: the school is effectively delegitimizing Golliher and Kumpe's gender identity by having them prove that they are indeed trans (because cisgender people do not have to prove that they're not trans) and that by sending that form to a student's parents, the school may prematurely out that student to parents which may create an unsafe home environment for the student. 

The purpose of the form, according to Kathy Wolf, Kathy Wolf, Ball State vice president of marketing and communications, is to facilitate communication between the school and parents. 

Golliher identifies as male but was assigned female at birth. He discovered that Burris Laboratory School had an open bathroom policy and began to use the men's room discreetly. Before 2018, the school did not have a policy that required trans students to provide a handwritten note and there is no such policy written in the Burris Laboratory School Student Handbook. Students are trying to get used to the change, but some found that certain school staff members were less eager to accommodate trans students. 

One example of this is how the student only has 24 hours to get the form signed from when they receive it. Laura Janney, the co-founder of Muncie OUTreach, an LGBTQ support group, said that if the form isn't signed and delivered within 24 hours, the school's staff will call trans students by their birth name, or, using colloquial nomenclature, their dead names. She believes that this is emotional blackmail and I am inclined to agree with her. Calling a transgender person by the dead name and purposely misgendering them can cause psychologically harmful effects for people who suffer from gender dysphoria. 

Janney is working with Golliher and Krumpe to provide support for trans students who are still closeted or feel unsafe revealing their gender identity. If Golliher and Krumpe did not get the permission slips signed, they would be holding in their urine for hours, which is very harmful to the kidneys and can cause a urinary tract infection. However, a student at Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation sued the school for prohibiting him from using the bathroom, as he feels that his Title IX and 14th Amendment rights were violated. The case is currently still active. 

Transgender people using the bathroom has been a hot-button issue for years, as many people believe that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity would open the door for predators to take advantage of women and girls, which is simply not true. The form that requires parents to verify their child's gender identity is harmful and embarrassing, and while the purpose of the form (if what Wolf said is indeed true) was created with good intentions, well... we know what the path to hell is paved with. 


h/t: Ball State Daily News

Transgender Bathroom Predator Myth Completely Made Up, Massachusetts Group Admits

An anti-trans group from Massachusetts has admitted to the fact that the anti-trans bathroom referendum that they created to keep trans people out of the bathroom that corresponds with their gender was just a fear-mongering tactic, according to Pink News.

This admittance came from an analysis that an unnamed member of MassResistence, an anti-LGBTQ group in Massachusetts, in which the anonymous person writes about the failure of the group to persuade people to vote against a pro-trans bill. The author mentions that groups who were against pro-trans bills used the argument that if states allowed trans people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender that it will open to door for predatory men to assault women and girls in public bathrooms. The author admitted that this argument is "largely contrived."

They also admitted that their side "concocted the 'bathroom safety' male predator argument as a way to avoid an uncomfortable battle over LGBT ideology, and still fire up people’s emotions." It doesn't get much clearer than that; this group literally admitted that their argument was just a way to get people to believe in their transphobic views while offering no support to their claim. 

The analysis goes on to mention that the "LGBT lobby" continues to win arguments against anti-LGBTQ groups, but does not offer any explanation as to how. Perhaps it's because reports of assault in public bathrooms do not correlate with pro-trans bills and that the perpetrators of such assaults rarely identify as transgender. 

So basically we know now what many already knew: that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom they're most comfortable using will not increase the instance of sexual assault in public bathrooms and that the people who claim that to be true are making it up to just scare people. The fact that the author mentioned repeatedly that pro-LGBTQ people are winning arguments should provide some perspective to anti-LGBTQ that supporting pro-gay and trans rights is the direction that society is generally heading in.

Let's hope people get the message. 


h/t: Pink NewsMass Resistance

US Doctors Reveal How They Feel About Transgender Patients

Many physicians in the United States are very willing to treat their transgender patients, but they may not know the best way to do so, reports Reuters

According to a small study, 86% of doctors said that they were willing to provide routine care to transgender patients. In addition, 79% of the doctors in the study said that they would have no problem performing a pap smear on transgender men to test for cervical cancer.

However, many of the doctors expressed a low level of familiarity with transgender transition care, a lack of training in transgender-specific care, lack of knowledge of transgender issues among the medical staff, and lack of exposure to transgender patients. This shows that while doctors are willing to help their transgender patients, they might not have the necessary skills to do so adequately.

The study leader, Deirdre Shires of Michigan University, said in an email that many studies have shown that transgender patients often have negative experiences while attempting to access healthcare services. The experiences include bias, harassment, and denial of healthcare. She noticed that no one has gotten the doctor's perspective as to why this occurs which prompted her to conduct the study. 

Her team sent out the survey to 308 internal medicine and family care physicians and received back 140 evaluable responses. The results show that older doctors are less likely to provide care to transgender patients than younger ones. Shires concluded that while clinical knowledge is important in regard to the medical field, it is equally important that doctors recognize their own internal bias as they should be able to provide a positive experience for all of their patients, not just the cisgender ones. 

John Ayers, a public health researcher from the University of California, suggests that a lack of training is not associated with an unwillingness to provide care; what's more important is that physicians have experience with transgender patients.

There are definite problems with this study, as the sample size was extremely small, which leads to an non-representative sample. Additionally, many of the physicians that were sent the survey declined to participate, which can cause the results of the survey to be over-reported, according to Dr. Janelle Downing of the University of South Carolina.

If my knowledge of methods of social research is correct, Shire's team used a stratified sample, i.e., the population is divided into subgroups and members of the subgroups are selected at random to answer the survey. While this method is the most appropriate for this study because the subgroups were separated from a wider homogeneous group (doctors), the sample size should have been much larger in order to provide a more representative sample of doctors. 

While the study is surely lacking, it is not without merit. We now have a general idea that the majority of physicians are willing to treat transgender clients. Whether or not they're prepared is a different story. I think that what physicians need now is to have sensitivity training regarding transgender issues as well as have more transgender patients, because having trans patients will increase exposure and decrease bias.


h/t: Reuters 

Trans Bodybuilder Makes History Placing Second In Indian Competition

Aryan Pasha, an Indian transgender man, made history this weekend when he came in second at the Musclemania bodybuilding competition held in Delhi.

Musclemania is one of the world’s largest natural bodybuilding organizations with several categories (fitness, sports model, physique and natural bodybuilding)

After training for a year, Pasha competed in the Men’s Physique (Short) category.

Pasha, who transitioned at 18-years-old, tells Gaylaxy Mag that he’s had an interest in bodybuilding since a young age. And when he discovered a bodybuilding competition for transgender men held in the United States, he began training for it.

But he was unfortunately denied a visa to travel to the U.S.

Undeterred, he decided to enter the Musclemania event in India in the men’s category.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fingure cross for results #musclemania #musclemaniaindia #menphysique

A post shared by Aryan Pasha (@aryanpasha) on

Buoyed by the full support of his family and members of his gym, Pasha competed this past Saturday in a field of 125 contestants.

“It was my dream to participate in Men’s category,” Pasha told Gaylaxy. “Till now I have won medals in female category but this is what I actually wanted in my life – to complete with other men.” 

“I enjoyed every second when I was on stage because this is what I dreamt of,” he added. “I was not nervous at all and just wanted to complete poses like a champion.”

Pasha, who works as a lawyer, says he will next take part in the the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (IBFF) event to be held in February.

That competition, which features categories for “men” and “transmen.” Pasha intends on competing in both categories.

He says his ultimate goal is to compete at the world level.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#transgender #transman #lgbt #consistency #dedication #youvsyou #alwayshungry #bodygoals #bodybuilding

A post shared by Aryan Pasha (@aryanpasha) on

(H/t GaylaxyMag)

High School Officials Break Into Bathroom Stall Being Used By Trans Student

A video posted to social media appears to show school officials breaking into a bathroom stall as a transgender high school student is using the bathroom.

According to The Daily Dot, the student originally posted the video to their social media but it has since gone viral. Her name isn’t being used as she’s apparently a minor.

The one-minute video, shot from the student’s perspective inside the stall, shows a crowbar or broomstick being used to reach over the door of the stall and unlatch it.

As this is happening the student says, “I’m using the bathroom, and look at them; I’m using the bathroom and they just violated me!”

“I am so scared and violated right now. They just walked in the bathroom while I was using the bathroom for no reason.”

The video was shared on Twitter by activist Kenidra Woods. Watch below.

 

“I’m not personally in touch with the student, but in her video, she asked for people to share it far and wide,” Woods told the Daily Dot. “So, I made it my priority to share it because it infuriated me to my core. No one should be treated in the manner she was treated.”

While it’s possible there’s more to the story, it is difficult to believe that prying open a bathroom stall door on a student is the best possible approach to this situation. The officials or hall monitors couldn’t wait until the student exited the stall?

The issue of bathroom use by transgender students has been in the news frequently in recent years, especially since the Trump administration reversed an Obama-era policies that recommended transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity.

The student apparently posted follow-up videos to Facebook which appeared to identify the school as Osseo Senior High School in Osseo, Minnesota.

According to The Daily Dot, school officials have not commented on the video.

The story becomes more complicated as LGBTQNation reports someone who claims to be the sister of the student took to her Facebook to criticize the trans student’s actions.

In the sister’s post, misgendering the trans student throughout, the sister says the trans student has “a bathroom of [their] own to use whenever [they] wants to use it because [they] doesn’t feel comfortable using a men’s bathroom[…] because other girls won’t feel comfortable.” She also says her sibling had been in the bathroom for "like, an hour."

The sister later posted a message from their mother consistently referring to the trans student with male pronouns while claiming to fully support the student being transgender.

The mother goes on to write that the trans student “doesn’t realize is that [she’s] not the only one who has been effected by all [she] has done in the last 24hrs and the rollercoaster [she] brought us on.”

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UPDATE - The principal of Osseo High School has issued a statement saying "no students were barred or banned from using any bathroom at Osseo Senior High."

Dear Osseo Senior High families:

I am aware of social media posts that significantly misrepresent an incident that occurred at school on Nov. 28. It’s important for you to know that no students were barred or banned from using any bathroom at Osseo Senior High.

I sincerely wish I could say more, but for data privacy reasons, I cannot provide details about a situation involving a specific student.

What I hope you already know is that we work every day to create an inclusive school where students feel welcome and respected. Our staff regularly works with individual students and families who have varying needs, including needs related to identity.

I also want to assure you that staff intervenes in the use of restrooms only in situations such as the following:

  • Concern about the safety of students, staff or community members
  • Illness or health-related issues
  • Suspected illegal activity

Respectfully,

Michael Lehan

Principal, Osseo Senior High

(h/t The Daily Dot)

Transgender Day Of Remembrance: 369 Lives Lost To Trans Violence This Past Year

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

This is a day to pause and reflect on anti-transgender violence around the world.

According to The Trans Murder Monitoring research project, between the 1st of October 2017 and September 30, 2018, 369 cases of reported murders of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse people have been reported.

That represents an increase of 44 deaths compared to 2017 and 74 more cases than in 2016.

Brazil (167 murders) and Mexico (71) lead in violence against trans people.

In the United States, there have been 28 murders of transgender people in the past 12 months, up from 25 the previous year. And that figure represents only the deaths we know of.

The rise in violence against trans people comes as the Trump administration continues its assault on protections for trans Americans.

In October, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Department plans to redefine transgender people out of existence.

Early in Trump's time in office he announced he plans on banning transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military.

Additionally, the Department of Education reversed an Obama-era policy that held trans students should be allowed ot use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

TDOR is a day not only to mourn those we've lost and celebrate the lives they lived, but also bring awareness to the daily struggles and dangers that trans and gender non-conforming people face around the world on a daily basis.

The video below was released last year by Shape History who asked trans youth about the labels put on them by society.

Take a listen to these trans young people about their feelings on how they are perceived and how they'd like to be seen:

Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded Transgender Day of Remembrance in 1999 as a way to honor Rita Hester, a trans woman who was brutally murdered.

In a statement to GLAAD, Smith writes that the observance “seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence.” 

“I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost,” she continues. “With so many seeking to erase transgender people -- sometimes in the most brutal ways possible -- it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice."

You can participate by attending a vigil on November 20 to honor all those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence this year.

Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBT 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 who died that year.

Check out a full list of events here.

Hillary Clinton and other leaders expressed their thoughts on trans violence via Twitter.

You can find more about this year's Transgender Day of Remembrance at the hashtag #TDOR on Twitter here. 

"Featuring Fisher" - Our Chat With The EDM Goddess.

"Fisher" was formed when a blonde Jewish piano player from Los Angeles was introduced to a left-wing singer from the backwoods of West Virginia.  Also known as Ron and Kathy, they have gone from a touring pop duo, to a successful television series and video game composer, and an EDM Goddess.

Fisher was the first band to ever make a million dollars from people downloading an MP3 of their song “I will Love You”. They even performed that song in front of the German Chancellor and Parliament. This is the kind of thing Mozart had to deal with, and it happens even today. They have released several albums, coming in and out of hiatus after the birth of their son. Kathy has been heard over and over in more commercials than you can count, and her sensual vocals and Ron's melodic writing have been in multiple successful Electric Dance Music releases. Just type in “Featuring Fisher” and you will have more to sample from then an afternoon will give you.

Kathy has a unique voice that was clearly not “Pure Pop” nor was it “Alternative”, though she was big in both circles in the late ‘90s to early 2000s. Clearly the young LGBTQ people who are the better demo-graph of EDM will agree, she is singing exactly where she belongs. Her voice is smooth, polished, and will grab the strings of your feelings and pull out your emotions with “I Will Love You” as Kate Bush did with “This Woman’s Work” (YES I DID REALLY SAY THAT). She has a mind that jumps from one interesting subject to another, no filter, and a very sharp wit.

I first met them first when they opened the Earth Day Festival in Boston 2001. I was in my kilt and in the front row, she said over the whole PA system “I LOVE THE KILT”.  They signed my CD of “True North” and I told them how I got into them. Having dumped my Fiance, and she gave me a CD of several songs, two of them were Fisher. I told Kathy I was never going back to her, but I wanted to marry the woman who sang “I Will Love You”. She said “I LOVE HER FOR THAT!!!” Then Ron said pokerfaced, “I'm her husband, You’re TOO LATE”.

Here are some excerpts of the interview or should I say our last communication as it was not so much an interview, but a catching up with old friends. We had been in touch via Email, and bantering on Facebook, but we hadn’t spoken since early 2003 and the interview picked up exactly where we left off.


JH: So Kathy, How have things been? It’s been a minute since Boston (a couple gigs). Do you miss touring?

Kathy Fisher: I'll say!  NO to the touring...the whole on the road, and worrying about ticket sales, stress of touring... YES to performing. Now I do commercials, and voice overs, and support and mentor young artists. Keeps me very busy and creative, but also, home -so I can actually raise my son instead of hiring a nanny and hitting the road.


So then, that last time I saw you in Boston is the end of seeing you live? Remember that night, when I heckled you to play “Anyway” and you had that Austrian kid from MIT playing drums?

Oh God your memory is fantastic. YES that’s probably the last time to see “Fisher” live, but I have been doing the EDM circuit for the past 14 years, it’s gotten my voice out there, I'm on so many compilations and singles. The big ones have been George Acosta, Paul Van Dyk, Sean Tyas, Karanda... so many great people!


 

 

This is a far cry from singing “I Will Love you” in front of 30 thousand people in Boston, opening for the Cowboy Junkies and Blues Traveler. So I’ll have to get on the guest list for a “Featuring Fisher” gig?

Absolutely, but the gigs are not as common, nothing like a tour. So what are you doing? You brought me into this, discussing issues as a musician for an LGBT Magazine, what else are you doing?


Well, I am one of the photographers for the LoveLoud foundation in Utah, founded by the singer for Imagine Dragons Dan Reynolds, he is hoping to bring an end to the LGBT suicides in Utah. I do a lot of work locally, but I do them for free, just cause of my support for the whole thing.

Yeah? That is wonderful, I can only imagine how oppressive it is in Utah over this. I wish I could just say to them, hold on, it will get better, one day, you can leave Utah, and find a place where it doesn't matter, and you will be loved, I promise there are places where you can find real love. I’ll say that to anyone in a small town situation, so ass-backwards. You can really make it, you just need to hang on, it is worth it.


Any examples, I'm sure you have plenty. Have you worked with the “at risk” kids, or people in general?

I have been a supporter of the movement my whole life. As a quirky artsy girl growing up in West Virginia, I had a safe haven for my gay friends in the Misfits Club in high school, of which I was president!

When I moved to Los Angeles, I got involved with AIDS Walk LA, which I believe I did it three times and the AIDS Dance-athon, which I participated in twice. When I moved to Camarillo in 2006, I started to perform as a worship singer in what I thought was a progressive Christian church. Unfortunately, their open mindedness was only about tattoos and piercings being okay...but they said that being gay was a choice, and were against gay marriage and transgender reassignment surgery. I had developed really close relationships in that church, but I could not in good conscience continue to be a leader at a church where so many of my friends were not only not welcome, even though they pretended that they were, but were look down upon and not given their full rights as human beings.

I had a couple young Fisher fans reach out to me who weren’t out of the closet yet. Ron and I met one teenage boy in particular before show in Chicago and created a very close bond with him. We kept in touch and encouraged him to be his true self. He was, and is, musically gifted, so we encouraged him in that way as well. When we had our recording studio in the mountains, we invited him out to write with us and just spend some time giving him support.

Anytime a transgender fan wrote to us, we always made the time to write back, send encouragement, and create a bond so that they knew they could always count on Fisher for love and support.


Well, your music, and voice do pull the heart strings. You are able to grab emotions, and relay them well. Even for us boring straight guys who ended up having the band at my wedding play your songs. So, that should say something. Who else have you touched like that? Clearly you have ripped my heart out a few times.

I’ve met a lot of LGBT people through my early years in theatre, as well as through music. But my most personal story started less than 500 feet from my front door, when I met a gorgeous, sweet, kind 9-year old boy named “Hunter”. I sensed very early on that he was gay…i.e. when I asked his dad what he was getting Hunter for Christmas, he said that Hunter had requested the replica of the necklace from “Titanic”. I would see Hunter off and on, until he was about 11. That is when his father encouraged him to meet with me to work on music as Hunter was learning to write and record with Garage Band. He’d come over and show me how Garage Band works, we talked about song structure, lyrics, and how he envisioned himself as an artist. Every time he came over, he’d be excited to tell me about an artist he was obsessed with…and they were always female…Lady Gaga, Lorde, Joni Mitchell…His voice had more of a John Mayer sound to it, but he couldn’t define what direction he saw himself going in as an artist.

We met off and on until he was about 15 or so, always chatting away like two teenaged girls, even though I am old enough to be his mom. It was exciting to see his growth as a singer and an artist. Then, at around the age of 16, Hunter came out as gay. It was no surprise to any of us around him, and he seemed very confident to come out to his friends and his school. Aside from playing with different “looks” (bleaching his hair; shaving off his eyebrows and showing up at school in trench coats), it seemed like he was on a positive path as an out gay male. HOWEVER, he was showing clear signs of anorexia…and I couldn’t figure out how such a supported, loved, “confident” gay man would be so internally conflicted as to feel the need to hurt himself. And then, it happened…Hunter declared that he is NOT a gay man, but a woman, trapped in a man’s body. It made SO much sense….and yet, the thought of “losing” Hunter to reassignment surgery made me sad…as if Hunter was going to die. But I had to put that fear aside and give him nothing but my full support.

While she was going through her transition, Hunter, now Ella, and I continued to write and record. But that stopped when she made the decision to go to South Korea and have surgery on her vocal chords to make her sound more feminine. It was very sad for me to know that she may completely destroy her beautiful “John Mayer” voice, but I understood why she needed to do what she wanted to do….The times that I was most apt to accidentally say “He” or “Hunter” was when we were on the phone…no visual to stir my brain toward the proper pronoun. So, once again, I was sad that Hunters voice was going to “die”, but I had to put THAT fear aside and give her nothing but my full support.

The most profound moment happened about 6 months after Ella’s vocal surgery…We were in my home studio, reviewing some of the old demos she had recorded as “Hunter”….and she started to sing along as a women…with her former male self. It was mind-blowing. Her new voice is still finding itself, so she is currently focusing on poetry and novels. We still keep in touch, and she will always be my “bonus niece.”


That’s quite a story.  Your support probably meant an immeasurable amount for her, I hope she had you on her list, with Gaga, etc., ‘cause that's where I think you belong as a vocalist. I mean, I thought it, and played your music enough to a friend, and at the end of it, when I asked him to say who you reminded him of, what quality you had, and he came back with Kate Bush.

You're too kind, but … I’ll take that.


 

 

So, in Hollywood, or just over all, where do you see the “straight allies” being able to make a difference, especially where it’s all gone lately?

WE need more heterosexual advocates, and we need the community to be represented more broadly in the media.  People in a small town in the Midwest who only see footage of a West Hollywood Halloween parade are only seeing a tiny corner of the big picture.  While seeing bikers in assless chaps is entertaining, it certainly doesn't represent my gay friend Cathy -pharmacist with a wife, two kids, two dogs and a herd of cows.


Cows? Cows… Right. Ehm… at the LoveLoud festival, Tim Cook from Apple spoke. I shook his hand and that was it, nice guy, slightly dorky, but had quite a message. I hope that carried a lot for the success idea. I mean, he is the CEO of the single most successful consumer electronics company in the world.

Yes, CEO of Apple does say a lot for success, but on the ground for you and me, it’s hard to know how to support, and represent any idea. An example is the “FUCK HATE” campaign, I felt misrepresented in that. Because it was aggressive, in your face, it was not productive. It might feel good, but it’s not going to impress or positively engage a lifelong homophobe.

It comes back to people being reasonable, people who care on both sides, and willing to accept and learn, down the journey, you don't have to be there, you have to be willing to find out what we all want.

One situation, where it could have escalated, Ella had to be very reasonable here. She was on Caitlyn Jenner's television show and some guy started trashing her and the whole thing on Twitter. Instead of flaming him, she defused it. She said “Well, why don’t you reach out and talk to me directly” and he did.

They talked for a long time, and found commonality. It was hard, but she needed to defuse it, there was nothing good that could have come from her getting mean, and emotionally charged and trashing this guy. She took the high ground, found some commonality, and did some real good there. That’s the only way I see this progressing, is everyone being patient and smart in these situations. Aggressively venting is not going to win this thing, for anyone, though it feels good and justified in the moment. That being said, I am guilty as charged for blowing up in unproductive ways throughout my life.  Each time that has happened, I've caused more damage than change and killed relationships along the way.


Wow, so great wisdom, and a fantastic voice, the world needs to hear more of, and from you.

Thank you.


 

 

So, real quick on the note of your “touring band” songs, ‘cause everyone is going to go listen to “I Will Love You” and some others. What can you tell me they are about?

Well, “I Will Love You,” that was heavy. Infinity scares me, and that is what it was about. “’Til my body is dust, and my soul is no more,”, that is where the idea of infinity takes over. That’s so “final”.

And the lyrics “’Til the storms fill my eyes, and we touch the last time, I will love you,” that is about Alzheimer's, and your failing mind, watching someone so close to you fade, and eventually die, you are still there and love them.


That is so heavy, still heavy, after almost 20 years even it’s that heavy. So, any last pieces of advice or wisdom, to the religious or non, where the world can take this?

I think that right now, to everyone, look beyond what you have been told, find what belief really captures your heart. If a religion says everything that is good about you gets canceled out, based on your sexuality, that is clearly not the idea of a pure and loving God, so keep looking.


Oh, hey, I grew up thinking all aspects of my sexuality were wrong, and I’m straight. I just had a serious fetish for Belinda Carlisle… still do… I totally agree with that, Kathy.

Oh, hell, Jeremy, the Mormon church should send Belinda Carlisle a huge bouquet of flowers, and a big “THANK YOU” for re-enforcing the heterosexuality of all those 12-year old boys like you!


OH GOD I LOVE YOU KATHY (I’m really laughing hard right now) Thanks for the convo.

Anytime….


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About the Author: Jeremy "Jacques" Hinks

An indie GONZO music journalist in Salt Lake City, and an Anarchist behind the Zion Curtain. Jeremy Hinks is an obnoxious Type-A Male, who is embarrassingly straight and a staunch LGBTQ Ally with little tact, and a big heart. He has supported his LGBTQ friends since he was a teenager.

He has photographed on multiple tours U2, The English Beat, Peter Hook & The Light, and is somehow making a name for himself photographing Pink Floyd Tribute bands, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, Britfloyd, Dead Floyd. He is one of the photographers for the LOVELOUD Foundation in Utah, an organization to bring awareness and support for the young LGBT community in Utah, and to bring an end to the epidemic of suicides there.  

He also drives a Vespa, and wears kilts, is rarely seen wearing pants, should be considered armed and dangerous, so do not approach without extreme caution.

Award-Winning Film Short 'The Real Thing' Released For Trans Awareness Week

The creators of the award-winning short film, The Real Thing, released the 7-minute movie this week in observance of Transgender Awareness Week (November 12-19).

Written and directed by Brandon Kelley, the short captures important, emotional moments - large and small - in a quick cinematic journey.

With very little dialogue Kelley guides his lead actors, Sophie Giannamore and Michael Torpey, up to and through one of the most crucial, life-altering memories a transgender child will experience.

From the official description:

When a soldier returns home, things have often changed. For Staff Sergeant Michael Waltze, the ultimate change is in his child. While on his tour of duty, his daughter has transitioned and started living her truth. Today he is coming home to surprise her.

Parental love is unconditional. It transcends a person's memory of their child. The Real Thing is an infinitely stronger bond.

The short was honored as 'Outstanding Narrative Short Film' at Outfest 2017, 'Programmers Choice Award' for Narrative Short at the Virginia Film Festival, Best Director and Best Drama Jury Award at the New England Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize and People's Choice Award at the James River Short Film fest and many others.

Kudos to Kelley, his cast and crew for a capturing such a poignant, 'real' chapter in so many lives.

I really encourage you to sit back for just 7 minutes and watch The Real Thing below.

 

 

(h/t GayStarNews)

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