The same mindset that marks trans people as unfit to share and depict their own stories comes from the same place as the invalidation that causes us to experience discrimination and self-loathing on so many other levels. Seeing your true self in media is important and can save lives.
The right is pushing hard on talking points claiming that transgender teens need to be pushed into (religious) "therapy" that no reputable, licensed mental-health professional would provide. Their rationales are riddled with half-truths, logical fallacies, and outright lies. Here are the facts.
This needs to end now. Those of us with the resources to fight in any way need to continue to stand up to those who are actively working to see more trans people dead, and we need to be absolutely present with those trans people who, at any given moment, may have fewer emotional or material resources than we do.
I'm not saying my religious beliefs are the way for everyone to live or believe. But neither are yours. In fact, they are not truly universal religious beliefs but your personal beliefs. And that's OK. But you don't get to impose those on everyone else to prevent them from living, working, and loving with the same freedom that you are afforded by virtue of who you are.
As I ring in a new year I commit to continuing to listen, to act, to learn, and to speak. I implore you to join me. Stand up, stand with, walk alongside, and speak up. It is not going to be easy, but together we can change the world.
The tribalism of organizing the world into categories comes from a very basic place to identify those around us. There are those that are men, those that are women and there are those that are not. Having the wisdom to know when it matters is what will make the world a better place.
There has been a massive and much-needed wave of news regarding anything having to do with that often neglected sub-group within the LGBT acronym. Transgender awareness is finally stepping forward in this country.
It was beyond moving to stand among that crowd, where love and acceptance was so immense and intense. Just as Leelah's note asked that her death really mean something, I say to her now that your death does mean something.
Doing something that is totally inconsistent with previous behavior and runs counter to personal philosophical and spiritual beliefs can nonetheless free one to live in a more positive and healthful manner. It's not a cure-all, but it gave me the tools to overcome stigma, live authentically in service to others, and not see myself as a victim.
For several years now, I've tried to temper satirical criticism of the occasional excess in Russia's political culture with the concern that I'm reducing a complex system of government to the latest installment of News of the Weird.
The fact that an organization with a roster of 200 people can find a way to concretely analyze their privilege sets a standard. I want to believe in a world where we do not shy away from conversations about racial justice.
Go 2015 Golden Globe Awards! The show gave us the comedy magic of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. But more importantly, it was a night of big wins for characters and stories that personify the power of standing out exactly as who you are.
Leelah please hear this: Your death has meant something and because of you brave beautiful Leelah society is being fixed. There has been an overwhelming amount of support for you. Society has listened dear Leelah and you have NOT gone unnoticed.
In putting together a collection of interviews with compelling members of the queer community, one would be remiss to leave out Calpernia Addams. I was fortunate that she agreed to answer a few questions. Take a look at what she has to say about her life growing up, the politics of language, and her history as a tireless advocate for equality.
I believe that religion can be comforting and enlightening and bring order to a world that feels chaotic. However, that only works when all people feel welcomed. It works when the basic principle is love and finding community through kindness and acceptance. In cases when acceptance is not offered, religion can scar a person's soul.
Public discourse around the subject is governed by media guidelines that operate to suppress discussion, such as this one from GLAAD: "Journalists should avoid overemphasizing the role of surgeries in the [gender] transition process." For me, you could not overemphasize the importance of sex-change surgery if you tried.