Recent posts

Decoding Trans-With-A-Star

Perhaps you’ve seen the word trans* tossed around on the internet, and perhaps not. Either way, it’s good to be aware that it’s not a typo, but rather, as this Slate article explains, a more inclusive way of referring to identities that transcend the gender binary. This linguistic convention borrows from computer coding: “the asterisk stems from common computing usage wherein it represents a wildcard—any number of other characters attached to the original prefix.” So rather than having to explain that one is attempting to be inclusive of transsexual, transgender, and genderqueer people, one could simply say trans* to refer to the spectrum of non-cisgendered identities. Good to know, right? Continue Reading →

Clearing Up Misconceptions About Trans Women

This blog about myths and misconceptions about trans women, in parts one and two, resolves some fundamental misunderstandings about transgender women. One of my favorite (and by favorite I mean annoyingly common) misconceptions is that transgender people are simply reinforcing stereotypical gender norms. In fact, this view is a typical conflation of gender identity (an internally experienced reality) and gender expression (how one behaves/displays that identity). Even cis-gendered folks usually don’t have a perfect one-to-one correlation between these facets of how gender corresponds to biological sex (which is itself a complicated matter, nowhere near as binary as we make it out to be). I’d urge everyone to read up on these issues so that we can be more informed about the complexity of gender, sex, and sexuality, as well as less ignorant about the lives of those who conform less to these standards. Continue Reading →

Transgender Teen Denied Yearbook Photo

A teenager in Texas is being told that his yearbook photo (in which he wears a tuxedo) will not be published in the yearbook. According to the school district, the photo does not meet “community standards.” This is because the teen, who identifies as male, refused to wear a drape or blouse as was required of the schools’ girls (the school apparently refuses to recognize the teen’s choice to live as transgender). This is unfortunately yet another incident wherein the choices of individuals regarding their own gender or sexuality identity are not institutionally respected. Continue Reading →

Transgender Character In A Fantasy Role-Playing Game

I’ve posted in the past about how gaming and geek culture can be sexist, even leading to extreme cases of harassment. Some game companies, however, are making an effort to include greater diversity among their character options, though, in terms of race, gender, and gender identity. Paizo, the creator of Pathfinder (an open gaming-licensed D&D spin-off), has included many more non-white characters in their rules books, though some have criticized their representation of women. Notably, though, Paizo recently released a character who is a transgender (male-to-female, a transition facilitated by a magic potion) half-orc paladin. Unlike other RPG characters in the past who have switched gender, largely by means of spells that unwillingly change the character’s gender, this paladin, Anevia, is apparently happy with her gender status, and is a pretty powerful character. Continue Reading →

Peaceful Pee

This is a first, at least in my experience – not only have I found a gender neutral bathroom but it’s also sponsored! I’m at the Center for Family Life Education’s annual Sex Ed Conference, and attendees have the option of bucking the gender binary and using the gender neutral restroom sponsored by Pee in Peace. Pee in Peace is an app that helps users locate gender neutral bathrooms, although it unfortunately is only for Ithaca, NY. I’m hoping that more gender neutral bathrooms will start popping up – and maybe with enough attention, Pee in Peace will expand to nationwide. Any thoughts on sponsoring bathrooms? Continue Reading →

Trans Info For Medical Providers

I have several friends who are medical professionals, as well as a few friends who work as patient instructors. They teach nursing, nurse practitioner, and medical students how to give medical exams by playing the role of a patient. For three of my friends this means that they may get multiple pelvic exams in one evening so that the students learn how to do an exam as well as how to act. Bedside manner is important, after all. Running across information on a new site called TransLine was interesting, and I sent a link to several of my medical professional friends. Continue Reading →

How Do You Describe Your Gender Identity?

Gender identity is always interesting to me, especially as I don’t view the options as only “male” or “female.” While I do appear female, I like to think of my own gender identity as a bit more fluid. So when I saw some You Tube videos that talked about gender identity, I had even more food for thought. Seeing how different individuals identify gives me a chance to actively reflect on how I see my own gender identity – and how it’s not always male or female. The video I linked to shows 18 Turkish trans activists. Continue Reading →

Voting While Trans

According to a study from UCLA, up to 25,000 transpeople could lose their right to vote this year due to stricter voter ID laws. Find a discussion of the issue and links to resources here. Basically, be informed about the voting rights in your state, keep records, and take advantage of resources compiled by activists and advocates. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

Hijra In India

What if you were born male, but identified as female? For many people, that would make their gender female (and I personally agree). In India, they have a “third gender” of people called hijra. As with transgender individuals in just about any country, hijra face discrimination and abuse. However, there seems to be more and more articles demanding support and equality, and there was even recently a Hijra Habba (festival). Continue Reading →

Transgender People Banned From Flying In Canada

Recent Canadian regulations specify that an air carrier may not transport a passenger who “does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.” Due to Canadian restrictions on who can change the “sex” designation on their passport, many transpeople are thus excluded from the airline guidelines. This is outright discriminatory and should be addressed immediately. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →