"Quince Mountain is the first openly transgender person to be on “Naked and Afraid,” Discovery’s reality TV show in which participants try to survive 21 days in the wilderness. His episode debuted this month"
Here's an excerpt:
"I’m lying under an uneven canopy of foliage, sharp gravel digging into my back. I try not to think of the jungle rain as unceasing. I try to feel it, drop by drop. Sometimes a drop hits a spot where my skin is cut or burned away, and I feel a little thrill.
I am camped along the bank of the Corinto River, in a rain forest in Atlántida, Honduras, and have been for nine days. I’m alone: the partner I started this 21-day challenge with went home five days ago.
This is miserable, but I feel fortunate. Growing up knowing I was a boy when everyone around me considered me a girl — and not a very good one — already taught me how to survive alone. Being naked in this remotejungle is a relief. The wilderness couldn’t care less who I am."
"It’s a big deal to be a trans person out in the public square who is able to act rather than simply being acted upon. In appearing on “Naked and Afraid,” I want to show what I can accomplish, without having to deal with people questioning my credentials. I want to show what trans people can accomplish. With new laws restricting access to bathrooms, locker rooms and shelters, physical attacks on trans people on the rise, according to advocacy groups, and federal legislation threatening safeguards for the transgender rights that do exist, I want to shout: “Just leave us alone!”
Obviously, the more exposure we get as a transgender community, the better!
Seemingly, it has been nearly four decades ago when Bobbie sent me the story about Phyllis Randolph Frye's story. The story was in the New York Timesvia Houston, Texas and represents why stealth was basically the only way to come out-back in the day. Unless you were blessed with incredible "natural" passing privilege. Read on, (for Phyllis), It was the summer of 1976. As Bruce Jenner, 26, was celebrating his decathlon victory at the Montreal Olympics, Phillip Frye, 28, was admitting defeat in suppressing his gender identity. He, becoming she, had already lost a lot: He had been forced to resign from the military for “sexual deviation.” He had been disowned by his parents, divorced by his first wife and separated from his son. He had been dismissed from several engineering jobs.
And there was more: In response, (to coming out) she got her house egged, her tires slashed, and her driveway spray-painted with obscenities. Teenagers openly mocked her, the engineering profession blackballed her and the federal government rejected her for a job because of her “desire to impersonate the opposite sex.” In the early days of writing Cyrsti's Condo, one my fave rants was an "anti-stealth" one. Perhaps age really does "dim" the memory to protect the innocent-or the guilty as far as the transgender community goes.
The more I watch and read about transgender reactions, the first thing I am beginning to look for is how old the person is. My first example comes from a reaction to the latest television series about a transgender family (actually two) which made its debut last night on the "The ABC Family Channel." (left)
"Becoming Us" is an unscripted story of young Ben, an Illinois teenager whose dad, Charlie, is transgender and becoming a woman before our very eyes! This reality show will run week after week to help educate our children about the normalcy of transgenderism. Add to the mix, Ben's dad divorces his mother plus his girlfriend's dad is also becoming a "woman!" I saw the first show and thought it hit it's mark. Then, for some reason, I ended up scanning a post on the CP Opinion site by Larry Tomzack. The site is a self proclaimed "Christian" site. Predictably, good old Larry with 40 years in the "ministry" came very close to calling transgender women "perverts" (of course quoting the Bible all the way.) Larry is a dinosaur and belongs in my Transasstic Park he has no idea of the current thoughts and needs of trans youth or the off spring of transgender parents. Then Connie passed along this from the venerable New York Times: "This weekend, the New York Times’ Sunday Review section featured anessay on Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover, trans identities, feminism and what “makes” a woman. Throughout most of the piece, writer Elinor Burkett refers to a “we” of cis feminists and a “they” of “trans activists.” These groups are not just distinct, according to Burkett — they are at odds.
Burkett begins with what she felt were disparate responses from feminists when Larry Summers — now professor and president emeritus of Harvard University and a veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations — and Jenner — a former Olympian speaking to Diane Sawyer on behalf of herself — suggested in different ways that gender may be hardwired."
I immediately thought -if you can't beat em with brilliance-baffle em with bull shit and more exhibits for my park. (Burkett is 68.)
Recently I saw an interview with Jane Fonda as she reminisced about the days when she thought there was no way her or anyone else would/should make it past 30. The way the future of the T's of the LGBT community is shaping up- 30 is a good number - to step back and look at the younger generation behind you.
In the meantime, I will tell you where and when my museum will open and yes, I am saving room for my very own exhibit!
It seems as if I have been writing a series of obituaries this week here in Cyrsti's Condo. First it was Robin Williams and now it's Lauren Bacall.
If you are not familiar with her, she was the sultry actress who teamed up with Humphrey Bogart on and off the screen.
One of our blog regulars Don, emailed today and mentioned her passing plus her voice. Again, if you haven't ever heard her, she was famous for her low sexy tones...just an ideal voice for a transgender woman trying to find her way in the world-if you can do it.
Her voice comes at you low and flat, wildly insinuating, electric and lingering. In another age, Lauren Bacall’s voice might have been called mannish. When she opened her mouth in “To Have and Have Not” — taking a long drag on a cigarette while locking Humphrey Bogart in her gaze — she staked a claim on the screen and made an immortal Hollywood debut. But in 1944 at the exquisitely tender age of 19, she was also projecting an indelible screen persona: that of the tough, quick-witted American woman who could fight the good fight alongside her man. Among other things, I'm a Turner Classic Movie Channel Addict. When one of the big stars passes, they normally do 24 hours of their movies plus either an appearance on Johnny Carson or better yet a classic interview with Dick Cavett.. I can't wait to see it. As Don said, modeling your voice after Bacall is a wonderful idea and capturing the essence of the woman is even better. I will leave you with what many consider to be her most famous line (and mine too):
"You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. (Bogey) You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," Bacall as Marie Browning in "To Have and Have Not."
Perhaps you have heard of or read some of Jennifer Finney Boylan 's work. (Shown below left.) She writes for the New York Times and her recent article caught my eye because of how I identified with it. Both of us grew up in rural settings and as she points out, yes we had "boyhoods". Here's an excerpt from hers: (About her summers growing up in the 1960s) "Although I became a woman in adulthood and struggled with the gender business until then, it’s nevertheless true that I had a boyhood, and that many moments in it were pretty blissful. I passed my days in the farmland and forests of rural Pennsylvania. I went fishing for brown trout, dived into creeks from covered bridges and shot off model rockets with my father. I climbed onto the top of the backstop at the elementary school playground — abandoned in summer — and learned swear words from a boy named Kevin Walsh." She goes on to write:
"I’m not sure I would have traded my boyhood for a girlhood, if given the chance. I know I would have been grateful to have been spared the misery of adolescence, of course, and the wearisome transition that came after, but on the whole I give thanks for those July days I spent staring up at the blue sky. That boy lives inside me, even now. His dreams are still mine."
Finally, "As for me (Jennifer Boylan) , I have shed a few tears over the course of my life, searching for the boy I was. There aren’t that many people alive now who remember him, besides me, and that makes me a little sad. Like a lot of people, I sometimes ask myself the question posed by David Byrne: “Well? How did I get here?” Finding the answer, a sense of peace between past and future, is one measure of wholeness and well-being." There is much more to this article in the Times and I hope by giving you excerpts, I have been able to give you the essence of her thoughts. Plus, not that she cares, I wonder if there are those who have taken her to task for not being a true "transgender" woman because she knowingly took so long to transition? "Me thinks-yes!" Go here for the entire post!
Any card carrying American (draft card) back in the day, learned to dislike Cuba and Fidel Castro if for nothing else sending us to the brink of nuclear destruction or making it impossible to import a quality cigar.
JOSÉ AGUSTÍN HERNÁNDEZ may not be precisely the kind of New Man whom Che Guevara pictured shaping Cuban socialism.
Ms. Hernández, (above left) 48, who identifies as a woman and goes by Adela, would sooner cut a lazy bureaucrat to size with her sharp tongue than chop sugar cane with a machete. And you would more likely catch her hauling water to her house in platform heels than trudging the streets in fatigues and work boots.
So Ms. Hernández was more than a little tickled when she became the first transgender person to be elected to public office in Cuba, a country whose government once viewed homosexuality as a dangerous aberration and, in the 1960s, packed gay men off to labor camps.
“It’s a huge achievement,” said Ms. Hernández, referring to her election in November to the municipal council in this coastal town where she represents the 2,000 or so residents of her destitute neighborhood. She raised her painted eyebrows, saying, “For a country that has been so homophobic to change so dramatically — it’s unheard of.”
Perhaps I don't get out much. I just made the comment that 70 grand was an extreme amount of money for SRS etc.
Of course then I read a post about Serbia being a new hotbed of SRS surgery for several reasons- one of which of course was cost.
Nearly 100 foreigners and Serbs have undergone sex reassignment surgery in the past year, and the numbers are growing, according to theBelgrade Center for Genital Reconstructive Surgery, with candidates coming from France, Russia and Iran, and from as far away as the United States, South Africa, Singapore and Australia.
Dr. Marci Bowers, (right) a gynecologist in San Mateo, Calif., who has performed 1,100 sex reassignment operations over the past 10 years and is herself transgender, noted that in the United States, a global center for sex changes, only about five surgeons were performing the operation regularly. She said that social conservatism and a lack of surgical skills in many countries, combined with surgeons’ fears of potentially catastrophic complications, were promoting the growth of transgender tourism. Here's my point on the cost: Foreign patients say they are attracted to Serbia by the price tag of about $10,000 — compared with $50,000 or more at some clinics in the United States for the more expensive female-to-male procedure. So when you add other procedures I'm sure 70 grand is out of the question. Finally, you may be asking "Why Serbia?"
Sociologists say the more accepting attitude toward transgender people in Serbia signals the first glimmers of a shift in a country where conservative currents still run deep.
“We are the children of two parents: one is the Orthodox Church, the other is communism,” said Dr. Dusan Stanojevic, a pioneer of sex reassignment surgery here.
He said transsexuality was so taboo in the former Yugoslavia that it was not even mentioned in medical textbooks. But a surgeon, Dr. Sava Perovic, began performing the operations in 1989 after being approached by a man suffering from gender identity disorder.
You have probably seen this story and grasped it's transgender scope:
"Keelin Godsey may not have made it to the 2012 Olympics, but the
28-year-old has already made history as the first out transgender
athlete to seriously compete for an Olympic berth. Yesterday Godsey
competed in the Olympic trials in the women's hammer throw competition,
finishing in fifth place but setting a personal best record of 231 feet 3
Godsey, who came out as a transgender man in 2005, had previously, according to the The New York Times,
assumed this Olympic cycle would be the end of his career and that
after it he'd begin the medical transition process — a move that would
disqualify him from competing in the women's category in the future."
Read more here.
Perhaps you've seen one of both of these articles. One comes from the "New York Times" and is an overall look at the seeming explosion of "trans" activity. If you haven't heard of "Candy" Magazine read about it here. It's awesome!
Luis Venegas, Editor "Candy"
The other is a very complex look at "transphobia" from a site called "QT". Be warned if you are interested, factor in a lot of time!
Yet another focus comes from a totally different angle. I read "Blogher" on occasion to see what genetic girls are thinking. The site has a feature called "Own Your Beauty". It gives incredible insight into what women think of beauty and why you feel the way you do.
My point is how varied the entire transgender topic is.
Hopefully you will be able to discover or learn from one or more of these sites! Cyrsti