Saturday, May 7, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Good morning everyone, thanks for another great week of conversation.  Once again, I wanted to remind everyone that we cannot always agree, and that the point of what goes on here is to be exposed to new ideas from perspectives we may not be familiar with.  It can sometimes be contentious but if we just bury these issues and pretend that they don't exist nothing will ever change.

I wanted to remind everyone that I am still looking for a Latina contributor.  There are issues that are very specific to the Latino community and I as a Canadian Black woman, am hardly fluent.  In an effort to make this blog as intersectional as possible it is my hope that someone will read this and take on this role.  If you are interested in joining the team, please send in two examples of your work and a short note about why social justice is important to you.  This is a non paid position but you must be prepared to blog either weekly or bi-weekly.  Preference will be given to those who are able to do a weekly commitment.  Please send your info to womanistmusings (at) gmail(dot) com.  As always those who are interested in submitting a guest post may use that address as well.  Please include a link back to your blog, an image that identifies you and a small three line bio.

Below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting this week.  Please show these bloggers some love and check them out.  Remember, when you are done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot, and leave your link behind in the comment section.Big Girls Do Cry Apparently
Responding to the mainstream feminist blogosphere on FEMINISM FOR REAL
The 'Exotic Woman Fetish'
(In) (di)visibility
Fuck Yeah Fat Positive (nudity)
Born This Way
Will Obama Deport the American Dream? Scenes From May Day Rallies
19 Years After L.A.'s Uprising What's Changed?
Access Intimacy: The Missing Link
That Fat Sexy Pink Elephant In The Room; Discussing Fat, Fetishism, and Feederism
Dissed Identifications: Desi Stereotypes At The Expense of The Other
Cinco de Mayo, Primero de Mayo and the Birth of the United States of America
How to blog and comment on race, feminism and equality

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday and The Question Is.........

This week's question: Would you feed this dog?

The Death of Bin Laden, and What it Means (or Doesn't Mean) To me

I'm a 23 year old Sinhalese woman in Minnesota by way of Dubai by way of Sri Lanka. I am a Womanist, and part of my womanism is figuring out how to be in solidarity with my transnational sisters worldwide. I'm a daughter, a sister, a partner and a writer. I'm a brown girl who knows Shakespeare by heart and devours anything Toni Morrison. I believe in radical, revolutionary living and loving.  I blog at Irresistible Revolution.

 I think it was on Blackberry messenger that someone first told me Bin Laden was dead. That message was soon followed by FB status changes, and news headlines all over the Internet. I remember my first, honest reaction being "..And? So what?" What does this change? Is the US going to dismantle the Patriot Act, and restore the civil liberties it stripped away? Are we going to see an active effort on the part of mass media to quell the stereotypes about Middle-eastern peoples? Are all troops going to be immediately withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan, to be followed by economic reparations to these countries? Are the hundreds of thousands of dead women, men and children, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in New York, in the UK, in Pakistan, in India, in Palestine, going to be miraculously reincarnated? What exactly is gained by the death of one man?

Of course, since that first reaction, I've had time to think, to read what others are saying and listen to those who have valid thoughts on the issue. I realized that it's not my place to tell others they shouldn't rejoice in his death, nor lecture them on pacifism and forgiveness; I did not lose family or friends in 9/11, my family and loved ones aren't serving in a US or Allied military, I am not a Muslim who may feel relief that one of the most infamous embodiments of perverted radical Islam is no more, and I'm certainly not a full-blooded US citizen for whom Bin Laden represented a threat to the land I call my own. I am between all of these, invisibilized, a transnational woman of color who's never been able to vote because I was too young when we left the one country where I am a citizen. What right do I have to feel anything about Bin Laden at all?

What Native Men Need To Remember

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.
As a Native man, I think it is imperative to be in solidarity with our women, and women in general. Women in general who have been oppressed by our oppressors (white men) are just as much victim, even if they may be spouting the racist bullshit they are learning from their oppressors. This is in no way limited to ciswomen*, either. Transwomen** are included in this.

When I see Native men use put downs on women, it is to build our own tattered self-esteem up. I understand, intimately, what it is like to keep trying shit, trying shit, get smacked down so you switch it up and trying shit, trying shit, and then get called a sell-out for doing white man ways or something, get smacked down again, and try shit. We either give up and kill ourselves (by suicide, drugs, or alcohol). We take it out on our women by beating them and/or raping them, or we take it out on our children, our future generation.

We have the lowest life expectancy of any other people in America. The main reason why is because of the means we use to try and cope with this self-esteem issue. One thing we cannot let ourselves use to cope with this are: drugs, alcohol, and demeaning women.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Do You Know What A Gaycist Is?

Okay, as you have already guessed, my choice in television is very, very, odd.  Recently I have been watching Happy Endings. Yes, I know the show is full, FULL of problems, but I cannot help laughing when I watch it.  On last nights episode, they decided to introduce the audience to the term gaycist, and I thought I would throw it out for your feedback.

So, since I could not find a youtube video for the conversation in question, I am going to share with you a transcript from the show.  Max, a White gay male, is sitting on the couch playing video games with Brad, a Black straight male.  Brad has just set Max up on a blind date.

Brad:  So how did you date go with Franklin?
(The scene cuts to the date were Max is clearly uninterested in anything Franklin has to say and in fact is on the road to drinking as a form of escape.)
I thought you guys would have a had a good time you know, you're both
Max: Both what?
Brad: Super cool dudes.
Max: Pause (pauses video game) you were going to gay.
Brad: Uh uh (shaking his head no)
Max: It all makes sense now.  You my friend are a gaycist.
Brad: What?
Max: You think that all gays are the same.  You think that just because Franklin and I are both friends of Elton, we're just gonna pack it up and move to Vermont and start selling antiques.
Brad: No I did not say that.
Max: Unpause (restarts game) Relax, it's fine, I'm just messing with you.  Besides, some parts of the stereotype are true.  I mean just because we didn't get along, doesn't mean that we didn't have raging sex in the bus terminal.
Brad: Really?
Max: Pause. No! Playdate suspended on account of your gaycism.

The Egging Of Justin Bieber

As a Canadian, I know that we owe the world an apology for unleashing Bieber on a helpless world.  I think that it is perfectly understandable that citizens of the world should attempt to reject this new form of Canadian invasion.

Happy Birthday My Darling Baby Boy

 Cakephoto © 2006 dion gillard | more info (via: Wylio)
Okay, it has finally happened, the baby boy has hit the double digits.  I cannot believe that he is 10 years old today.  I looked at him this morning and could not help but wonder where my sweet little baby has gone.  He is almost as tall as me now, and wears the same size shoe as his father.  He has already worn down a path to the kitchen, as he attempts to eat me out of house and home.  Who says that boys wait until their teens to go on an eating frenzy?

He has grown so much from the helpless little babe that I held in my arms ten years ago today.  He sings like an angel, draws beautifully and is fluent in two languages.  He loves to cook and has never seen a video game or animee that he does not like.  He has his own life independent of me now and each day, I watch him move further away from me, to become the man that he will one day be.

What Becomes of Bin Laden's Children

U.S. Kills Bin Ladenphoto © 2011 Seth Anderson | more info (via: Wylio)

Amid all the shouts of U.S.A. and celebrations regarding Bin Laden's death, few thought about those that loved him.  One of the things that has always bothered me about the death penalty, is that it creates yet another circle of victims.  These victims will never see justice, because the murder happened at the behest of the state.  Imagine the horror his 12 year old daughter felt, as she watched her father being gunned down, after the U.S. military invaded her home.  How does one erase those images?  How does one carry on after watching someone you love die a violent death? Make no mistake about it, the sole purpose of that incursion was to commit a murder.  I suppose we should be thankful that at least Obama has decided not to release the photos of his dead body, though I am sure this is of little comfort to his children.
The children — American soldiers left them at the compound with their hands bound behind their backs after taking away bin Laden’s body and dozens of computers and hard drives — are aged 4 to 12 and are being kept in a safe house near Islamabad in the military city Rawalpindi, a source told the Star.

Details on their specific ages and gender have not been released, although reports indicate bin Laden’s 12-year-old daughter Safia witnessed her father’s death.

It’s possible some of the children are bin Laden’s nephews and nieces.

While Pakistan’s foreign ministry has said it wants to repatriate the children to their country of origin, that may prove difficult. Long before his death, Saudi Arabia revoked the citizenship of the 54-year-old bin Laden in 1994.

It’s unclear where his children were born but a person familiar with the matter told the Star that Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday asked Saudi officials to take custody of the bin Laden children. The request was refused, the source said.

Because of bin Laden’s revoked citizenship status, his children may now be stateless, said a United Nations official based in Pakistan. (source)

The Process of Hijab

WoodTurtle is a Canadian Muslim feminist currently using her extended maternity leave to explore developments of Islamic feminism in the Western and Muslim world.  As a woman who wears the hijab (owns several abayas and a niqab monogrammed with her initials in pink, sparkly sequins), she writes frequently on genderized Islamophobia. She also works toward dispelling myths and stereotypes about women in Islam for both Muslims and non. 
I'm always surprised when someone asks what my hair looks like.

It's usually a complete stranger or an acquaintance who opens the conversation by complimenting the colour of my scarf. Eryn is another convenient topic starter – with people asking up front if her cherubic curls are mine. I have one acquaintance who jokes that his goal in life is to see my hair and he’s just waiting for a really strong wind to rip off my hijab.

This question is rooted in curiosity, and while mildly invasive, I find it strange that some people think I would actually divulge my “hidden secret.” Or run giggling to the ladies’ room to slowly unwrap my head – fetishizing what lies beneath. Often, I just smile and say that I'm bald.

When I refuse to describe my hair I get the follow-up question, “why?” and have to attempt a discussion on modesty and gender interaction in-between subway stops: I cover in front of men... well, the religion teaches that interaction between the genders should be guarded and has special dress requirements for both men and women... yes, I can show other women... no, I don't sleep with it on... some don't cover because there are differences in interpretation and cultural expression... well, no, the Qur'an doesn't exactly say "hair" and there's internal debates over that... yes, men grow beards... yeah, I know, ironic -- but it's not about hair per se... yes, I know the hijab tends to draw attention "here"... no, I'm Canadian... yes, originally!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Monica

Today is the anniversary of Monica from TransGriot's 30th birthday.

30th birthday cake - Shooting starsphoto © 2010 Kristin Ausk | more info (via: Wylio)

I first met Monica when she misread a post I had written about Trans rights, and she came to my blog to cuss me the hell out.  Let me tell you, the woman can cuss.  Later, when she realized that she had made a mistake, she apologized and we have been as thick as thieves since that day.  Oddly enough, as much as I dislike feministing, it was that site that indirectly brought us together, and so I suppose I can say something good came from reading that blog.

I looked very hard for a cornbread birthday cake for Monica, and unfortunately I could not find one, much like the long missing cornbread that she owes me (yeah I have not forgotten).  At any rate, I just want to take this time to wish one of my dearest friends, a very happy birthday.  May you have a wonderful year, and may you get a Timmy's to open up in your neighbourhood.  Love always.  BTW...the blue bell is on me ;)

True Blood Fans

I know that many of you like me, are huge fans of the urban fantasy genre.  I would be remiss if I didn't post a reminder about the fact that Dead Reckoning the latest novel in Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series was released today.  Yes, I already have my copy, and as soon as I am done, I will post a review to let you know my thoughts.

I am a little worried, because for a while the last book felt suspiciously close to a Laurell K Hamilton book, but with any hope, she will have pulled back from that.  I am also concerned because during the break waiting for this book to come out I read two other series by her.  I highly recommend avoiding the Shakespeare Series and Aurora Teagarden series.  You will never get the hours back that you invest, and you might endanger your e-reader, because the temptation to throw it in disgust will be extremely hard to resist. From reading both series I have learned that Harris is a big fan of slut shaming, should never ever write a character of colour EVER EVER AGAIN, and has a penchant for sick homophobic and disablist tropes.  I hope that I have warned you away from them.

Get to reading everyone.  I am looking forward to conversation about this book.  I hope that it will be enough to tide me over until the new season of True Blood starts.

It's a good day to be Indigenous

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.
So I have been watching and reading quite a lot of queer indigenous framed things lately, and I have to say, it makes me doubly happy. In the words of Randy Peone on K-REZ Radio (Sherman Alexie’s Smoke Signals) “It’s a good day to be indigenous!” So here’s a small round up of stuff for you curious folk and other indigenous LGBTQIA folk.

I am really loving Qwo-Li Driskell’s stuff, and his essays are thought provoking and tinged with academia and traditionalism. I definitely like his compilation with others “25 Ways to Tokenize or Alienate A Non-White Person Around You”. Qwo-Li is mixed blood Cherokee/Tsalagi, and two spirit and identifies as queer. He has a book that is available on Amazon, titled Queer Indeginous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature. I’d love to contact him to gush about how much I love his writing, but it’d probably end up in a very creepy “OMG PLEASE WRITE SOME THOUGHT PROVOKING SENTENCE I LOVE IIIIIIIIIIT!” with hearts drawn around it.

Gay and Torn

A link to the following image was left on the blog yesterday by RVCBard.  I have not been able to get it out of my mind and have returned to see it several times. I have no idea who took the image or the name of the person posing in the picture. The pain is just so strong, and the image is so powerful, that I felt compelled to share it with you. 

 What message do you believe the image sends and are you drawn to it?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sorry Jill, It's Not That Simple

Jill wrote a piece on Feministe that has quickly become quite a conversation starter. It all began with a post over at Shameless magazine pointing out that the feminist blogosphere has largely ignored Jessica Yee's book, FEMINISM FOR REAL.  In the interest of full disclosure, there has not been a post about Yee's book on Womanist Musings.  I received my copy in the mail last week, after Dan beat me out with a request for a review copy.  Long before this controversy commenced,  Dan and I discussed doing a review on Womanist Musings, and plan to publish one as soon as he receives his copy of the book. On the issue of erasure Jill had the following to say:

But I don’t think “calling out” the “big feminist blogs,” or casting feminist blogs as Capital “F” Feminism, is a particularly effective way to convey those beliefs (and I honestly think it’s a little laughable that Feministe is somehow Capital-F Feminist Establishment when, really, it’s one person’s hobby. But we’ll put that aside for now). If the goal is to get more people to read Feminism FOR REAL, or to write about it, or to want to engage with feminism as an idea, then this is a remarkably ineffective way to do that. 

The internet is a big place, and even those of us who run “Capital F Feminism” feminist blogs don’t actually have the ability to read the entire thing. Putting things on your blog and on Twitter is great, but that isn’t a guarantee that the folks you want to target will actually see it, if those folks are outside of your regular readership. When I read Diandra’s post, I searched my inbox for any emails or information about the book. I found one press release from the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives that I apparently received on Feb. 14th, of which I have no recollection. The email says that pre-orders for the book have started. As far as I can tell, I didn’t get any other information about it. I receive at minimum two emails every day urging me to buy a particular book that a publicist wants to hawk to Feministe readers; I receive somewhere in the universe of 100-200 emails every day urging me to write about something or cover this topic or promote a product or or or or. I have a heavily-used “delete” key.


At the very least, recognize the difference between affirmative bad acts on the part of people who should be on your side — Naomi Wolf-style victim-blaming, etc — and sins of omission from people who probably do support the same or similar goals as you, but for some reason aren’t covering the issues in the same way. 

None of which, again, is to say that you should just turn your head if an important topic isn’t being addressed, or if something isn’t being addressed adequately, or if someone fucks up. It is to say that we should all keep the end goal in mind, and communicate accordingly. And none of this is about the Shameless post in particular — it’s about the entirety of this corner of the internet, and how we treat each other, and how there’s this weird sense that we’re all in competition for the Best Feminist prize and that we win by cutting each other down and calling each other out and denouncing anyone who gets more attention than we do. 

Thoughts on 'The United States of Tara'

So, not only do I get recommendations for books to read, I often get recommendations on shows to watch.  After quite a few readers asked me to check out The United States of Tara, I finally had enough time to do a little marathon.  I suppose now that I have had a chance to watch two full seasons, plus all of the episodes in season three -- I should have a coherent opinion on the show, but I don't.

First, I will say that having another show with an all White cast does not enthuse me in the least.  I know that with White flight, much of suburbia is White, but Tara's neighborhood is an all White utopia in which the one gay MOC that attempted to blend in, quickly had to escape from to preserve his youth. The one WOC to make an appearance in this series was Viola Davis, who played Lyndia P. Frazier.  She lasted long enough to inspire Tara to focus on her art again, and for Kate to be inspired enough to pretend to be a cartoon heroine for pay. Whenever I see White people wonder about where their White Entertainment channel is, I cannot help but think about the shows that have all White casts or the token person of colour, and the way that this trend is so completely normalized, that no one stops to question its harmful effects.

Today in Toilet News

This toilet has its own foot warmer, heated seat, bidet washlet and built-in music system, all controlled by a touchscreen remote. Yes, I am a sucker for the ridiculous, now who wants one?

H/T Deeky

Yikes! Someone thinks we're gay!

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.
So let's have a look at some adverts

This one from Klondike
Here's one from Maltesers
Here's one from Fosters
And from Pepsi
And this one for a drink from Argentina
And from Virgin Atlantic (this one banned)
Or Snickers

Hey, are we seeing a pattern yet?

Yes, same-sex intimacy, guys getting it on - it's it shocking? Isn't it frightening? Zomg straight guys put into a situation where people may think they're gay! Yikes! Someone thinks we're gay! AIEEE I did something that may be seen as gay! The horror! The fear! This is twilight zone stuff - we need the scary music! More scary music - there is GAY HERE!

And of course there's the related HUMOUR. Because, as Maltesers and Klondike up there tells us, it's just screamingly funny to put to straight guys in an intimate/gay-seeming situation. And then they realise and have to desperately assert their heterosexuality! The gay! THE GAY! WE GOT GAY ON US!

And how often have we seen this in TV programmes? The skit where a straight man realises someone thinks he's gay or he and another friend have done something that could be interpreted as gay? Is there a sitcom or soap out there that HASN'T resorted to this at some point? Y'know I was actually working up a list but it not only got so damn long but so many were such utter repeat offenders that I just deleted the whole thing and got a drink.

It's been done so often that even if it ever were funny, its sheer lack of originality would make it as funny as a knock-knock joke. And don't even get me started on the extremely not-funny "no homo" obsession that gets on my very last nerve.

A Conservative Majority: Why Canada Why?

Well that marks a Tory majority and it only took a 60% turnout on the part of Canadians to saddle us with the sweater vest until 2015. It was expected that the turnout would be high because of the advanced polls, but unfortunately, that was not the case.  The higher the density, the more likely a left government will result. Once again this has proven true with the resulting Tory majority. 60% is a low density rate, and it is enough for me to start to wonder if mandatory voting should be a necessity, because so many seem to take their civic responsibility lightly.

I highly suspect that the next few years are going to be tough for the poor and working class people.  The only upside to this situation, is that for the first time in history, The NDP is the official opposition and we finally have a member of The Green Party in parliament. The BQ has lost official party status and this is the worst showing for the Liberals since confederation. Both Iggy and Duceppe lost their own seats and Duceppe has stepped down as the official leader for the BQ.   For me, the Tory majority is a double bind, because I once again have a Tory MP. There is even a discussion as to whether or not the Liberals and the NDP will merge.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Smells More Like Achy Breaky Heart Than Teen Spirit

Miley Cyrus decided to do a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit in concert and it was as terrible as you are currently imagining. 

I know that I posted this on my blog but I am not to blame for the raging headache you are currently experiencing after watching the video.  I think that all blame should be assigned to the unhusband who sent it to me in the first place.

Get Out And Vote

ABCs Tweaked Slightlyphoto © 2011 Brian Burger | more info (via: Wylio)

Today is election day in Canada.  I am sure from reading this blog, you have probably already guessed that I am a dipper.  I am very excited to see the returns tonight.  The NDP surge has been wonderful to watch and it remains to be seen if it will be enough to deny Harper his majority government.  Could we possibly have a NDP/Liberal coalition? Is there a chance we could be saying prime minister Jack Layton?  Anything is possible at this point.

No matter where you stand politically, today is the day to get out and make yourself heard. We have had several elections in recent years, and it is time for Canadians to make a definitive choice. Think about the issues like, the environment, immigration, child care, national debt, jobs, women issues etc, and vote the party that is most likely to fit your political feelings.  One thing is for certain, if you do not vote, you have no right to complain later.   We all have a role to play in the future of our country, and abstaining from voting is abdicating your social responsibility.   As a WOC, each time I vote, I know that I am fulfilling the dream of so many who fought for this right before me.

Update: I went to my polling station to vote and found that it was completely inaccessible.  If it were not for the fact that the unhusband came with me, I would not have been able to vote.  If you are differently abled, do not assume that you will be able to enter the building to vote.  Call ahead and make sure.  Also, please be aware that they have to bring the polling station to you, if the polling station is inaccessible.  We all have a right to vote, so please do not be afraid to assert your rights.

Dear White LGBT People Stop Appropriating From Black People

I know that we have had this discussion repeatedly, but it is an absolutely necessary conversation.  In recent years, there has been much mistrust between Blacks and the White LGBT movement.  As regular readers of the blog know, I support LGBT rights and view the matter to be a civil rights issue.  What I do not support is the outright appropriation of Black history in a bid to achieve these rights. The following video was sent to me via e-mail.


The video begins when a White male and a White female pull up to the offices of Senator Shirley Huntley.  In the background Dr. King's I Have a Dream Speech is Playing.  They hold up a yellow banner that reads Senator Shirley Huntley marched in Selma didn't learn a thing. When they realize that the police are coming they get in their car and leave.

Later at the office the White male says to a Black female working for Senator Shirley (2:57)

Black Female: I think it is accusatory to say she didn't learn anything
White Male: I think if she learned anything she would have voted for equality as someone always would and Dr. King didn't just support racial equality he support equality for all people and that is well documented throughout history.  I'm looking at people like his own wife, Corretta Scott King and her support for LGBT rights.
Black Female: You know she supports civil unions
White Male: So it's like a separate water fountain for LGBT people. I don't want civil union; I want marriage equality and I want full equality beyond that.

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead

Lo habéis vistophoto © 2008 Daniel Lobo | more info (via: Wylio)

Late last night Barack Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden has been killed in a military strike.  I really don't have much to say about this issue, but I thought I would put up an open thread and give people the opportunity to express their thoughts.

How Does Disableism Factor Into Today's Election

"Leah Jane is an Über-liberal, nerdy, feminist, American-Canadian, secular humanist, skeptical, pansexual, overeducated, intellectual, philosophical, artistically inclined, white-tea drinking, loudmouthed, agnostic, politically correct, mordant, autistic Jewess who likes to draw, write poetry, study languages and smell flowers. The most you can say about her is that she loves the world too much to ever be truly happy in it."

Hey, Canadian readers, today is election day. I'm expecting that most of you who read my blog are already Dippers, Liberals, Greens, or independents. So you probably will not be surprised to learn that Conservative MP James Moore has given us yet another reason to not vote Conservative. It appears that the charming Mr. Moore believes that autism is not a real disability, that we are in fact, a "special interest group". 

Anyone else reminded of America's Sweetheart, Michael Savage, saying a near identical smear against autistics, only with more colourful language?
Yes, it's a common trope. Because some of us (not all of us by the way) can talk, go to college, live on our own, drive a car, it must mean we're all faking that disability stuff. Take away all our silly accessories, give us a good talking-to and possibly physically assault us, and we'll hop right into productivity, start talking, and not need any assistance whatsoever! I'm just faking it! I totally am capable of being neurotypical, if I just try! 

When Did You Know Your Gender?

Matt Kailey is a transman living in Denver, Colorado, and an author, public speaker, and trainer on transgender issues. He blogs at Tranifesto. In his ideal world, no one would be equal to anyone else – everyone would just be equal.

I do quite a bit of speaking on college campuses, at businesses, and at various organizations, and frequently an audience member will ask about the subject of children transitioning. The person saw an Oprah or Tyra Banks episode that featured young trans children, and the remark is often along the lines of: “But they’re so young! How could they possibly know?”

My (very polite) response is: “How old were you when you knew your gender?”

The reality for most people is that they become aware of their gender when they start to become aware of themselves as a separate entity from everyone else. Children generally start to recognize gender around the age of three or so – or at least that’s as far back as they can remember. If you knew you were a boy (or a girl) at age three, why would you expect a trans person to be any different?