Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Are You a Girl?" [video]

In this video I recount the experience I had with the administration at the university where I graduated. I had to have my transcripts sent to Portland State University so I had to stop by student services. I have been getting alumni mail addressed to “Ms. Asher,” which is frustrating – I never thought to do a gender change within the university, and I guess they didn't get the memo when the name changed from Christina to Charles.

After the guy was done processing my transcript request form, he asked me if there was anything else he could help me with. I told him about getting mail as “Ms.” and asked if they “accidentally” had me as female in their system. He looked, turned bright red, and told me they did.

Then he asks, “you're not a girl are you?”

I found this question fairly ridiculous considering he was asking a dude with a beard if he was a girl. I think the whole “Ms.” thing threw him off so much that he didn't really think about what he was asking – I don't think the trans thing even crossed his mind.

If he has asked if I was a transguy or if I had been born female/assigned female at birth, I wouldn't have said no – but I live and navigate the world as male and am not a girl. Simple as that. It's not my problem if he didn't connect the dots!

I have gained a lot more confidence in dealing with situations in which “the trans thing” comes up – whether it be administration at my old college, flying and TSA body scans, or running into someone from my past. I am always matter-of-fact about it and up front – there is no reason not to be, and a little education and awareness go a long way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Trans Anthology Inviting Poetry Submissions!

A message about a new anthology - please reply to


Dear Author,

We want your words.

What is the project: We are creating an anthology. An anthology of
the best poems out there by trans and genderqueer writers and we would
love to include your work in the book. Our assumption is that the
writing of trans and genderqueer folks has something more than
coincidence in common with the experimental, the radical, and the
innovative in poetry and poetics (as we idiosyncratically define these
categories), and with your help we’d like to manifest that something
(or somethings) in a genderqueer multipoetics, a critical mass of
trans fabulousness.

This anthology is edited by TC Tolbert and Tim Peterson (Trace)—both
trans-identified poets. It will be published by EOAGH Books in early
2012, and you can bet it will be widely distributed!

Deadline for Submissions: Nov 30, 2011
What to Submit: 7-10 pages of poetry, and a prose “poetics” statement
(see below)
Where to Submit: email us at

Why is this anthology important: While trans and genderqueer poets
have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, there has never
been a collection of poetry exclusively by trans and genderqueer
writers that also highlights a diverse range of poetics and other
marginalized identities. Each particular understanding of self and
gender creates an essentially complex and rich multipoetics that
undermines any sort of universal trans aesthetic. Inherently multi-
vocal and anti-hegemonic, a singular trans experience simply does not
exist and, frankly, we don’t want it to. For this reason, an
anthology is the most conducive venue for undoing any attempted
whitewashing and/or homogenizing of an imagined trans voice. As we
said, we want your words. The words, syntax, perspective, lyric,
narrative, image (or the disruption of any of these) that could
actually only come from you.

What kind of writing are we looking for: This anthology seeks writing
that makes us wet our panties a little bit and wonder what the f* have
we been doing with our lives all this time. While this project exists
in a historical context of several important anthologies that gather
marginalized and under-represented writers (This Bridge Called My
Back, No More Masks, The Open Boat, The World in Us, etc), this will
be the first anthology to foreground the poetic writings of trans and
genderqueer authors. The book will feature 7-10 pages of work from
approximately 35 poets and we hope you will be one of them!

A meta-layer of fabulous: One thing that makes this anthology unique
is that it will include a statement on poetics by each participant,
along with your poems. This is a chance for you to tell us something
about your writing process, writing practice, theory of life, or
whatever you like. It might include the relationship of the body and
text, or the practice of reading and misreading text and the body, or
locations, connections, and divisions of the self amongst text and the
self amongst other bodies get the point.

About the editors:

TC Tolbert is a genderqueer, feminist poet and teacher committed to
social justice. S/he is the Assistant Director of Casa Libre en la
Solana and an Adjunct Instructor at The University of Arizona and Pima
Community College. S/he is the creator of Made for Flight, a youth
empowerment project that utilizes creative writing and kite building
to commemorate murdered transgender people and to dismantle homophobia
and transphobia. TC’s chapbook, territories of folding, was recently
published by Kore Press. His poems can be found in Volt, The Pinch,
Drunken Boat, Shampoo, A Trunk of Delirium, jubilat, and EOAGH. His
work won the Arizona Statewide Poetry Competition in 2010 and was a
Sawtooth finalist in 2009 and 2010. His first full length collection,
Gephyromania, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press.

Tim Peterson (Trace) is a trans-identified poet, critic, and editor.
The author of Since I Moved In (Chax Press), and Violet Speech (2nd
Avenue Poetry), Peterson also edits EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts
(which published a special issue Queering Language dedicated to trans
poet and mentor kari edwards in 2007). Peterson’s poetry and criticism
have been published in Colorado Review, EBR, Five Fingers Review,
Harvard Review, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, The Poetry Project
Newsletter, Transgender Tapestry, and in the recent book NO GENDER:
Reflections on the Life and Work of kari edwards (Belladonna/Limus
Press). A Ph.D. student at CUNY Graduate Center, Peterson curates the
TENDENCIES: Poetics & Practice talks series dedicated to queer writing
and the manifesto. More information at

We are incredibly excited about this project and look forward to
working with you!

Thank you!

TC and Trace

Federal Bureau of Prisons Medical Policy Undergoes Change [trans news]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has announced major changes in their transgender medical policy, according to the NCLR.

Anyone who is sweating a background check for a potential job will be happy to know the Social Security Administration is no longer informing employers about "incorrect" gender markers, so that's one less thing to worry about!

Transgender Victory in California, LGBT Studies Major at San Diego State

Great news for transgender Californian's - Governor Brown signed the Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) on Monday, October 10th.

- about the major

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Trans Clinic in Los Angeles! [healthcare]

Great news! There is a new clinic for trans/gender-noncomforming folks at the St. Nicholas Medical Clinic in Los Angeles.

WPATH - Standards of Care Revised [trans news]

The Standards of Care for trans people has been revised - via the WPATH website:

The SOC is considered the standard document of reference on caring for the transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming population. The newly-revised SOC will help health professionals better understand how they can offer the most effective care to these individuals. The SOC focuses on primary care, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, voice and communication therapy, mental health services and hormonal and surgical treatment.

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (September 25, 2011)-The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) will release a newly-revised edition of the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, on September 25, 2011 at the WPATH conference in Atlanta.

"The latest 2011 revisions to the SOC realize that transgender, transsexual, and gender nonconforming people have unique health care needs to promote their overall health and well-being, and that those needs extend beyond hormonal treatment and surgical intervention," said SOC Committee Chair, Eli Coleman, PhD, Professor and Director at Program in Human Sexuality, University of Minnesota.

This is the seventh version of the Standards of Care. The original SOC were published in 1979. Previous revisions occurred in 1980, 1981, 1990, 1998 and 2001.

"The previous versions of the SOC were always perceived to be about the things that a trans person must do to satisfy clinicians, this version is much more clearly about every aspect of what clinicians ought to do in order to properly serve their clients. That is a truly radical reversal . . . one that serves both parties very well," said Christine Burns, SOC International Advisory Committee Member.

More than any other version, 2011 revisions also recognize that gender nonconformity in and of itself is not a disorder and that many people live comfortable lives without having to seek therapy or medical interventions for gender confusion or unhappiness.

This version provides more detailed clinical guidelines to address the health care needs of children, adolescents, and adults with gender dysphoria who need assistance with psychological, hormonal, or surgical care.

In addition to clearly articulating the collaborative relationship needed between transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming individuals and health care providers, the new, 2011 revisions provide for new ways of thinking about how cultural relativity and culture competence.

The document includes a call to advocacy for professionals to promote public policies and legal reforms that promote tolerance and equity for gender and sexual diversity. This document recognizes that well-being is not obtained through quality health care alone but a social climate that eliminates of prejudice, discrimination, and stigma and promotes a positive and tolerant society that embraces sexual and gender diversity.

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), formerly known as the (Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, HBIGDA), is a professional organization devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders. As an international multidisciplinary professional Association the mission of WPATH is to promote evidence based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transgender health.

Click here to view the NEW version 7 Standards of Care (pdf file)!