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US, VT: Transgender Teen Wants Genderless Bathrooms

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.09.01 at 20:09
Current Location: Boston, MA, United States
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Absolute Radio

Transgender VT Teen Wants Genderless Bathrooms
Published: August 27, 2009

Filed at 7:06 p.m. ET

MONTPELIER, VT (AP) -- A transgender teenager is lending his voice to a movement in Vermont to require the state's middle and high schools to offer genderless bathrooms.

Kyle Giard-Chase, 16, asked the Vermont Human Rights Commission on Thursday to endorse the effort. He said that before he came out last year as transgendered, he was a three-sport athlete and the co-captain of the field hockey team, a girls' sport, at South Burlington High School.

At an away game, he said he was verbally harassed and threatened by the members of the host school's football team for using the girls' restroom.

"The harassment only stopped when I was reduced to tears and told them I was in fact a female," said Kyle, now a senior.

But Kyle said it wasn't the harassment that affected him the most.

"It was the fear and apprehension of possibly having to use the bathroom during the school day that caused me the most harm," he said. "By eighth grade I had almost made a game out of waiting for the end of the day so I could use the bathroom at my own home."

Gender-neutral bathrooms can be as simple as what are now considered handicapped accessible bathrooms that are in a single room, he said.

The commission expressed some sympathy toward the plight of young people whose struggles with gender identity make them uncomfortable using gender-specific bathrooms, but it didn't take any action.

Joseph Benning, chairman of the commission's board, told Kyle he should prepare to deal with resistance from school officials who wouldn't have the resources to change school bathrooms.

"You've begun the process by opening up doors even to us, who never would have envisioned this being a problem at all," Benning. "Once you start on that path, however, you are going to run into opposition. As you go down the road you need to be prepared for it."

No opponents of the idea attended the meeting, although Benning said they would be welcomed at future meetings.

Kyle is working with the Burlington-based group Outright Vermont, a social service organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

"The hope is that this is the first statewide gender-neutral bathroom campaign in the country,'' said Outright Executive Director Christopher Neff. ''Vermont is a leader. This is another opportunity to again be the first in the nation and say we are going to make sure that all of our students, no matter who they are, are safe and protected."

A Vermont Department of Education spokesman couldn't find anyone to answer questions about the issue on Thursday.

Vermont was the first state in the country that allowed same sex couples to form civil unions and earlier this year the Legislature approved same-sex marriage. State law also includes the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act of 2007.

In a separate statement given to the board, Kyle said that he did not feel safe in gender-specific bathrooms. Throughout middle school he said he would "hold it" to avoid being harmed by others.

"This procedure of 'holding it' caused me to pay less attention in class, neglect my studies, and fear going to school in the morning," he said.

He said South Burlington High School has a number of unisex bathrooms and his feelings of "fear and apprehension" dissolved.

Neff told the board the process was just beginning and they hoped the board would take a stand on the issue that young people need to feel comfortable when they are in school.


UK: 'I've felt like a boy for a long time'

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.09.01 at 15:03
Current Location: Boston, MA, United States
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Absolute Radio

'I've felt like a boy for a long time'
He suffered years of depression and bullying. Now, as he begins the process of becoming a man, Jon wants to help other transgender teenagers
Viv Groskop
The Guardian, Saturday 29 August 2009

In his checked shirt and ripped jeans, his gelled hair artfully messed up, Jon, 16, comes across as an average teenage boy. He starts sixth form in September, describes himself as a "metalhead" and wants to be a journalist after university. One thing, however, is unusual: he was born a girl.

He knew he was a boy from about the age of six. "I just always identified as one of the lads. I liked playing rough and tumble games. I didn't like sitting with the girls in the playground." His mother, Luisa, didn't worry in the least: "He was just happiest with the boys and all his friends were boys. I just thought, 'I've got such a tomboy.'"

This week Jon and his mother Luisa, 46, appear in a Channel 4 documentary, which follows Jon as he starts the testosterone treatment that will push his female body into male puberty. It is the first time in the UK that a family with a transgender child has agreed to be identified on camera.

Jon started treatment at the beginning of this year and simultaneously began attending school for the first time as a boy. Initially there was daily verbal bullying. "I've been called 'chick with a dick', which is a pretty moronic insult as I obviously don't have one," he jokes. "One student said to me: 'You're a tranny and you have AIDS.' That was a low blow. But I went back for my sixth-form induction week recently and there was pretty much nothing going on. I have some good friends at school who have stuck by me."
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Dennis Tam, a sad story about specialists

Posted by dennistam on 2009.08.19 at 14:02
I strongly believe that as a community trans people (particularly FtMs) are starved for art that resonates with their lives.

I believe even more strongly that growing up is incredibly hard and incredibly painful, and that stories are one of the best ways to help people get through pain.

I believe even more strongly that growing up as a queer person makes things hard in new and different sparkly exciting ways.

So I'm writing an online novel about growing up. It's called Dennis Tam. The main characters are FtM.

You can find the first chapter here.

Updates on Wednesdays.


Posted by melssexysecret on 2009.08.05 at 13:57
I'm head of publicity for this and thought I would do a shameless plug

Transcending Boundaries


To disclose or not to disclose

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.07.10 at 14:28
Current Music: Absolute Radio

To disclose or not to disclose
by Joe Ippolito
July 9, 3:21 PM

Disclosing to a potential dating partner can be an anxiety producing experience for many "passing" transgender people. Passing is the ability to present oneself as a gender other than one assigned at birth and to live in an unrecognizable state in society as this new gender.

For some, the notion of being rejected because of their transgender identity is so terrifying they opt to remain "in the closet," and end up not dating at all. For others, telling a potential dating partner may not be something they ever do. However, if disclosing is something you personally feel is important to you then it might be helpful to keep these few points in mind when deciding to open up in this way. For starters, you may want to feel the person out first to see exactly where they stand on similar political and social issues, such as gay and lesbian concerns, and/or determine how they relate to certain gender roles? Is this person more politically conservative then you expected? Do they think lesbians are really women who have merely not "landed" a good man? Do they think it is wrong for men to wear pink and women to wear blue? Depending on what the answer to these questions are, you may want or need to reconsider who this person is and if they really make a good dating partner for you. However, if you decide to go forward with the dating relationship you will then need to figure out a good time to talk with them about your gender identity.
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Transgender people are everywhere

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.07.05 at 13:32
Current Music: Absolute Radio

Commentary: Transgender people are everywhere
By Donna Rose
Special to CNN
updated 3:20 p.m. EDT, Tue June 16, 2009

Editor's note: Donna Rose is a speaker and advocate for transgender and transsexual issues. She is the author of a memoir, "Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Self-Discovery." Her Web site is http://donnarose.com/ .

Donna Rose says transgender people don't fit the stereotypes society often tries to impose.
Donna Rose says transgender people don't fit the stereotypes society often tries to impose.

(CNN) -- It was only a matter of time. The real-life drama of being transsexual has come to Hollywood. Chastity Bono, the impossibly cute little blond girl who, for many of my generation, remains frozen in time as the sweet, chubby-faced cherub closing many a Sonny and Cher show in the arms of her doting parents, recently announced that he is transsexual and will be transitioning from female to male. He will go by the name of Chaz.

As shocking as this news may be to some, it is yet another reminder that all is not necessarily as it appears and that each of us is more complicated than simply the skin and bones of our bodies. Rather, it is our heart and spirit that defines us.

Transgender people -- that is, people who may not experience or express their gender in ways that are necessarily typical for the physical sex of their body -- have been part of the fabric of cultures for as long as history has been recorded.
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On the 40th anniversary of Stonewall

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.06.28 at 11:53
Current Location: Boston, MA, United States
Current Music: Absolute Radio
'But I will not give up because I won't give the mainstream gay organisations the satisfaction of keeping us down. If we give up, they win. The reason we right now as a trans community don't have all the rights they have is that we allowed them to speak for us for so many damn years and we bought everything they said to us, "Oh let us pass our bill, then we'll come for you". Yeah come for me. Thirty-two years later and they are still coming for me. We can no longer let people like the HRC speak for us. It is not my pride, it is their Pride. I have nothing to be proud of except that I helped liberate gays around the world ... before I die, I will see our community given the respect we deserve.'
-- Sylvia Rivera, a tireless Trans activist who fought at the Stonewall riots in 1969 and passed away in February 2002.

Quote found in Pinned Down By Pronouns (2003, Conviction Books), edited by Toni Amato and Mary Davies.

My name

Posted by brierbacklash on 2009.06.24 at 02:53
Current Location: Wv
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: La di da di- Mindless self indulgence
Oh Kay, Here's a problem i sorta wanted other people's opinions on... My birth name is Brieanna..Most people call be Brie but i really want to be called Brier, i just think I'd feel more comfortable with a more masculine name...
At the beginning of the school year the teachers usually ask everyone if there's a nickname they'd rather be called when they talk to them. I really want to use this name, but i'm afraid someone will make a big deal about it (These kids live for drama) or worse, the teacher will refuse. Well... I just want to know what other people think.

surveys for ftm and partners

Posted by queerunity on 2009.05.15 at 10:12
Jamison Green the former President of FTMInternational is interested in the sexual health and satisfaction of all trans men, whether or not they have had hormones or surgery, and in the experiences of their partners. Two surveys are available for trans men and their partners to help with the research. He will use the data as raw material for a book, tentatively entitled "The FTM Guide to SEX," plus academic presentations and journal articles to educate medical and therapeutic service providers about trans lives.


Trans Youth Equality Project poetry contest

Posted by ftmichael on 2009.05.03 at 13:54
The Trans Youth Equality Project is having a poetry contest for youth 22 and under. See this link for more info. Contact corvuscaecus for a PDF brochure, too, if anyone would like to e-mail it around. I'd appreciate it if anyone who comes across this post who maintains resource pages for Trans stuff could add the organisation to their links.

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