Showing posts with label Stonewall Movement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stonewall Movement. Show all posts

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Taking Pride

Around Cyrsti's Condo niche in the universe it's the time of year for all the LGBT Pride celebrations.  Dayton, Ohio's was almost a couple weeks ago, Yellow Springs is next weekend and the "bestest" of them all around here- Columbus, Ohio's is still a couple weeks away.

This is always a good time of the year to pause and try to reflect on where we "silent T's" sit in the overall scheme of things.

Ancestrally, we do have a tie in of sorts with the Drag Queens who were the original instigators at the Stonewall Bar in 1969. (right)

So many years later, it seems transgender women and men are finally beginning to make a case to be heard.

My own sense of participating in Pride this year is one of liberation.  I'm arriving at a point where I can stand alone and be recognized for what I am- a trans woman and for once not be lumped into other categories. Perhaps more importantly now, I can respect my cousins (drag queens and cross dressers) for what they are and feel good about it. As I hope they respect me.

Before I wrap this post up, I thought I would pass along another "historical" video from WigStock in NYC circa 2001.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


For many of us who lived through the 1960's (and remember it) 1968 and 1969 were especially exciting years.
All different genres of music were bursting onto the scene and were showcased in the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival in upstate New York.
The previous year Martin Luther King Jr.  and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated in 1968. Nothing was for certain except we were stuck in a lose/lose non war in Vietnam which was drafting and killing friends. D.M - R.I.P.
In the midst of all of this came the Stonewall Riots in late June of 1969.
Of course Stonewall is widely regarded as the beginning of the gay rights movement long before the "T" words were widely recognized. (transgender, transsexual excepting transvestite) Don't hold me to dates and people here, my point is looking back Stonewall was huge for me as a transgendered person. Let's remember even the gay community had nowhere to go easily or even legally before it.
As gay venues became more accessible they were a wonderful starting point for me to take steps out of my gender closet.
Being the historian that I am (amateur with a degree=dangerous) I decided to pass along another article before July settles in tomorrow:
Take a look here for the original "Advocate" article from 1969!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some Like it Hotter!

Today I saw (again) bits and pieces of the classic film Some Like It Hot.
Without wasting words and time, I still had to pause for a second and marvel at the production.
No matter how you feel about the entire cast of Jack Lemmons, Tony Curtis et all- Marilyn Monroe's casting was the genius move by Director Billy Wilder.
Think about the ramifications for those of us in the transgender community. Two men playing women with one falling in love with Marilyn who was in herself a huge caricature of women; an impossible feminine ideal too strong for even Marilyn herself And how many of us came away from the movie with the yearning to play music in an all girl band?
If all of that wasn't enough, there is always the wonderfully improbable final line in the picture when Jack Lemmon unveils himself as a man to a hopelessly infatuated Joe E. Brown. " I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all... I'm a man. 2) Well, nobody's perfect" - the reply. (Joe E. Brown) Ha ha! So cute!!!!
Remember this all took place in 1959 when even dressing as the opposite gender in public in most towns was a crime and of course being gay was unheard of!  Hollywood just had to be the biggest gay closet in the country. Way to go "Billy Wilder"!
All of this was happening ten years before the "Stonewall Uprising" during the summer of 1969 in New York City.

The Stonewall Inn, taken September 1969. The sign in the window reads: "We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village—Mattachine".[1]

If you haven't had a chance to catch the special  on "PBS" about Stonewall, check it out!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Time to be Proud!

It's the time of year when almost any community of size in the USA commemorates the anniversary of the 1969 "Stonewall" neighborhood bar incident  in New York City.
"Pride" events of all forms are happening across the country-as they should.
As basically the lowest common denominator, where does the everyday transgender person stack up in the situation?
I'm not real positive. Most of the public pride events I see- two things always happen (which are linked to the transgendered community) by people who don't know any better.
The two are drag queens and cross dressers. The queens are doing what they do best, presenting their flamboyant images of women and the cross dressers presenting their flamboyant image of the queens.
NOW, let me say I see nothing wrong with that. After all, the Stonewall incident was the result of queens protests. Also, if a cross dresser is tired of getting busted in the mall in 4 inch heels and 4 inch mini skirt-then this is a chance for another Halloween. Cool!
Neither of these images do me as a transgender woman any good. It's like saying "no that was not me you saw on Jerry Springer."
So I do have an immense amount of respect and pride for all who have stood up, been counted and effected change in our community.
Just forgive me if you happen to see my girlfriend and I kind of strolling hand in hand-totally unnoticed.
Should we call it "stealth-pride"?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Trans Political?

As trans folk around the planet seem to be more and more in the public eye, acceptance in the gay community does not seem to maintaining the same pace. In one way or another we all have felt shunned. Some of my worst experiences have come in male gay bars where I have been flat out discriminated against. What's worse my story is not an isolated example.
What happened? In June of 1969 in NYC the "Stonewall Riots" happened. When police raided the "Stonewall Inn" the drag queens and butch lesbians fought back for the first time. All of the sudden the gay/lesbian movement in this country had a voice.
I guess it was never really clear what share of the voice trans people had or desired.The obvious was easy. Male and female gay people were easier to categorize into nice little boxes. Trans folk, male or female were not so easy to label. We were and are the round pegs trying to fit into the square holes.
As a group we were "annexed" into the movement, becoming the final letter in the "GLBT" movement. It's easy for me to say let's create this great movement of our own. The truth of the matter is that many of us blend into society and disappear. It is another version of going back into the closet but one I understand and might do myself.
In that sense, we already have succeeded in creating our own movement. Maybe the gay activists have made it easier for lawmakers to add gender equality to society's rules. Those rules then help us to build our new lives.
The bottom line is we are as different to gays as gays are to straight people. The best we can hope for are positive media examples and our own interactions in society to pave the way for understanding on our terms.
Maybe we were all expecting too much to be treated as equals in the gay community?

Cha-ch Changes

  Vote BLUE! After many years of keeping the blog title the same, I have decided to modernize it to reflect the name I adopted as my legal m...