If a Somali man is considered feminine he is deemed weak, helpless, pitiful: The underlying message being that femininity is inherently inferior to masculinity. Variants of this thinking extend across most cultures, belief systems, races and sexualities.
When asked about the recent progress of Kenya's LGBT movement, Njeri Gateru doesn't hesitate to answer with the word "visibility." Ms. Gateru is one of 500 fellows taking part in the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the new flagship program of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative. IREX is pleased to share her story.
Savvy black trans woman Laverne Cox appeared on one of this summer's Chelsea Lately episodes, and I found myself not listening to Laverne's answers but analyzing the depth and careful placement of Chelsea Handler's questions. The restraint with which Handler handled herself was dripping with streetwise smarts.
LGBT Pride Month has become more about paying lip service to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community than it is about addressing the real issues that affect us. It is a token gesture, implying that everyone can ignore our issues for the other 11 months of the year.
I see the greatest threat we face coming from the corporate Gay, Inc., agenda, not the participation of any trans person in the event. My visibility is heightened by the solidarity with my trans siblings and neighbors. The march is a space that celebrates and validates all of us, unlike PrideFest.
This year I had an unusual lack of desire to celebrate Pride in any way, which is a complete turnaround from the person I used to be. There was a time when I felt Pride was a mandatory birthday that must be honored. So why was I so apathetic this past weekend?
So you are probably wondering, why is a vagina giving a keynote speech at a queer conference? What does this vagina know about being queer and Asian more than a gold star queer person who can speak to these issues?
In the past year I've increasingly been made aware of the growing meaning the word "tranny" has taken on for members of the transgender community. For the most part I have gotten a pass because of what Trannyshack is, but still it nagged at me. What was really the catalyst for me deciding that I had to consider a change was when I came across a post on Facebook.
While the work of the LGBTQ movement is far from done, Pride Month is a great opportunity for the LGBTQ community to reflect on just how far we've come in a relatively short period of time.
The first problem is the assumption that sex is solely defined by penises and vaginas, ignoring the fact that one of the most important sexual organs is the brain.
Forty-five years ago, just after midnight on June 28, 1969, the NYPD conducted a routine raid on the Stonewall Inn. Crowds of trans women, sex workers, and homeless youth were handcuffed and pushed into paddy wagons. And then a curious thing happened. The people in handcuffs began to fight back.
I would like to propose that when we see each other, when we greet each other, when we congratulate or debate each other, we do it all with great kindness; that no matter what we believe to be true or not true about words and the meanings behind them, we refuse to use any form of language that might be even remotely jarring to someone's spirit.
In February 2014 Queerty, the online magazine and newspaper focusing on gay topics, ran a piece titled "Seriously Sexy Trans Men Make Us Say 'Mmmm!'" What's interesting and horrid about the article? The comment section, which displayed the pervasive lack of understanding of transgender identities within the gay community.
When the hairstylist asked about my partner, I got to use female pronouns without feeling like I was breaking her trust in any way. I was strangely compelled to disclose my partner's transgender status, though. Why would I want to tack on some kind of modifier when identifying her as woman to a total stranger?
Certain ideas from the Bhagavad-Gita and the Bible are entirely consistent with one another: Holding them together deepens my understanding of both while correcting common misrepresentations of and misunderstandings within each.
As we pull ourselves back up and wipe off the loss, we are held up by those before us who took to the streets that fateful night at Stonewall and refused to remain victims. We are leap years closer to equal rights because of their brave sweat and tears and we carry on the fight in their honor.