Flying While Trans

Butterfly WomanIt’s been far too long. Admin stuff aside first, I’m going to have to find a better day of the week to do posts and the like than Fridays, as I’m usually working on the weekends. Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday, as I typically have one of those days off. Either way, I’ll figure it out. On that note, there will probably be no post next week either. I’m going to be spending the latter half of the week on a business trip, and as my laptop is permanently dead, I’m using a desktop to make all my posts. Won’t be bringing it with me. Business trips however bring me to today’s topic of discussion.

If you’ve gone through the news lately, you’ve possibly seen this story about the former Navy SEAL being embarassed by the TSA during her flight screening because she’s trans. Sadly, while this event is new, it’s an old story. More specifically, trans people being harassed by the TSA (or airport security in other countries) simply because we’re trans. Continue reading

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A Blast From the Past

Angry Gamer GirlSome of my long time readers may remember back in 2013, in the early days of this blog, when I addressed the Arizona bathroom bill issue. If not, the link is Really Arizona? Really?. Today feels like a repeat of that one, three years later. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about today, aside from not the elections (because that’d be a full time job with all the crazy stuff happening), so I did a google search for transgender news. The first thing that popped up in my feed was various versions of this story. Short version is this: a school county in Virginia went to the Supreme Court to try and overthrow a court ruling that they have to allow transgender students into the restroom of the gender they identify as. The court’s response was basically “we’re not in session, but sure, do what you want until you can bring it before us when we are in session.” It was a 5-3 agreement that the county did not need to follow the ruling of the 4th circuit court of appeals.

So once again, I’m left simply going “really?” We’ve been dealing with the bathroom bills issue for years, but it’s been getting worse and worse, and this is just the newest string of things to worry about. While this isn’t an official stance on the issue, as one Justice who would normally oppose bathroom bills did say he wanted to have this come up in full session, the reasoning behind his siding with the conservatives, it is not a good sign. I really wanted to do something nice and lighthearted today as I still have to go to work, but I’ve got nothing. This is the world we live in. I just hope things go better when this does reach the court when they’re next in session, as even a 4-4 deadlock will support the lower court’s ruling. Until next time.

Learning From History

Angry Gamer GirlIt has been far too long since I updated. Was just telling a classmate about the blog the other day when he remarked on my shirt (the one I use for my cover pic up at the top), and so, when I linked him to here, I was surprised it’s been six whole months! Well, we’re gonna rectify that right now. I’m gonna try and get back to blogging at least twice a month, but hopefully back to once a week before long. Before I get into today’s topic though, I’ll pass on some good news related to why I’ve been so busy. In addition to school, I’ve finally got a job, working at a Lion’s Den (largest chain of porn/adult toy stores in the country), and that’s taking up a lot of my time when not in school. In other good news, I have officially graduated and received both of my bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology, the other in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. And my last day of classes is next Wednesday, so I’ll finally have some days off again.

Speaking of school, let’s get into today’s topic. Those of you who can remember your schooling likely remember a phrase that was often bandied about by history teachers. It goes something along the lines of “learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it.” So imagine my surprise and concern to find an article confirming that history is repeating itself again, and this time, it’s happening within the schools of a certain district in the state of Wisconsin. See, there, transgender students are required to wear green bracelets to identify themselves as trans, and the staff and security are required to prevent them from entering restrooms of the gender they identify as. If that doesn’t outrage you, you might need a bit of a history lesson. Which is what today is all about.

See, lots of people have been making comparisons between Trump and Hitler, and rightfully so. Especially when it comes to his policies regarding Muslims. In fact, many Jewish activists have been protesting his rallies with signs that read things such as “when we say ‘never again,’ we mean it.” Trump wants all Muslims to be registered, carry documentation, etc. before deporting them to elsewhere. He’s also said things like he would endorse killing the families of people who are suspected of having terrorist ties. Very reminiscent of the holocaust. Yet, there’s something in that which is already happening for another minority group… the identification.

Burning BridgeSee, those who don’t know their history think that Hitler rose to power and instantly threw the Jews into camps and began killing them. That didn’t happen. Not all overnight, anyways. It was slow and subtle over the course of a few years, and in fact, the Jews weren’t the first ones to be put into concentration camps, nor were they the first to be euthanized. Those that came first were the “undesirables” of society: the homeless, the beggars, the alcoholics, and the unemployed. In fact, they were put into concentration camps the very year that Hitler first took office, 1933, while the Jews were largely sealed off in ghettos beginning in 1939, before being moved into concentration camps (particularly Auschwitz and Majdenek), and in the case of the former, a deathcamp, in 1942. For a timeline of the holocaust, check out Timeline of the Holocaust.

So what does all of this have to do with transgender kids in Wisconsin? That kind of thing could never happen in America, right? Wrong. First off, Hitler was appointed to his first position, and when the President died, he was elected into the role of fuhrer with a 90% yes vote. Second, we already had concentration camps on American soil during that same time. Asian Americans were shoved into them, whether they were immigrants or natural born, of Japanese descent or some other country. George Takei spent part of his childhood in the camps, and his Broadway show Allegiant is all about that time. And there’s people who want to do it again with “the gays,” which often includes trans people. Don’t believe me? Well, Baptist Pastor Suggests We Round Up the Gay People and Put Them in a Concentration Camp one such example from 2012, with Pastor Charles Worley from North Carolina (because of course he’s from North Carolina with everything else going on there now) saying he wants to put gays in concentration camps so we can’t reproduce and will die out. Yeah, these people don’t get the whole being gay thing prohibits reproduction without some serious help (and we’d come together to do it too).

Just a month ago, in the wake of the Orlando shooting, one of the most brutal mass shootings in the history of the world, Sacramento pastor Roger Jimenez was preaching about how the government needs to just round up the gays and killing them via firing squad. You know, like with Nazi death squads. Now, I’m not saying we’re heading in the direction of Nazi Germany, but these are some seriously disturbing trends. Remember, gays were some of the people who were put into concentration camps back then as well. Sure, the Jews were the major target (eventually), but there were lots of other groups who were included in that as well. It was a long term plan by Hitler and his team, and they started with “criminals” first before working their way through other undesirables. The Star of David sewn into shirts wasn’t the start for the Jews, and it certainly wasn’t the end either.

These calls for trans people to show their papers (something that the Jews had to do at first), or wear identifying markers, or be rounded up… These are disturbing parallels, and we’re also seeing these same parallels directed at Muslims with the current election too. We need to learn from the past, not repeat it. I urge all of my readers to go out and vote, regardless of your country, and tell your government that you won’t be repeating the mistakes of the past. For Americans, that date is in just a few months, when November rolls around. I also urge all of my readers to get all of your friends and family to vote as well. If you have to, just tell them that there are rare Pokemon at their polling places. And hopefully, Nintendo will actually do that. Either way, get out there and do your part to prevent even the slightest hint of the past repeating itself.

Far From Over

c2189-transgenderprideflagThose who follow the news have likely seen a number of events lately involving trans issues that seem to have gone in the favor of trans rights. I mentioned last week that the military here in the states is looking to repeal the ban on trans service members. Earlier this week, Brianna Wu wrote a piece about how Samus is most likely trans (which made me so very, very happy). A few weeks ago, when yet another trans woman was murdered, news outlets never once referred to her using her birth name or said “was born a man” or any other form of their typical misgendering. Sadly, those are all just one side of the issue. Continue reading

A Good Day

ObamaHey all. Today’s gonna be a short post as I’m not feeling well, but I did want to mention the news of the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality in all 50 states and all US territories earlier this morning. While this is a good thing, long time readers already know my stance on the whole marriage equality fight: it really only helps the more privileged members of the LGBT community, and that there are more important issues to be fought for. One such issue is employment non-discrimination, another is the treatment of queer detainees. These are issues that I hope the queer rights movement will fight for using the momentum of today’s success, though I suspect they will instead push for trans military service, based on what I’ve been reading lately. While that is an issue that would benefit me and many other trans veterans, it is still benefiting a relatively privileged group. We can’t keep doing this kind of “trickle down activism” where we focus on what the most privileged members of our community want. We need to instead do “trickle up activism,” focusing on the needs of the most disenfranchised for the betterment of all. That’s what Transendent Lives is all about, and something I will continue fighting for. And next week, I will resume the fight. But for now, I’m going to go lie down. Have a good week everyone.

Been a While

Butterfly WomanSo, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been gone for a while. That’s due to a number of factors. First was Spring Break, where I considered doing a post that wasn’t tied to trans legal issues or my class, but ended up being busy and not dealing with it. Since then, other issues have come up, such as pain in my arm and shoulder, depression so deep that I was suicidal, and culminating last week in my laptop going kuput. Right around the time that finals papers are due. Needless to say, there’s been a big rush for me to get other stuff taken care of. However, I need to have four blog posts done for my activism class by the end of next week, so you’re going to get two posts each week! And I’ll try to have them for you on Wednesday and Friday, but due to the fact that my computer access right now is dependent on my roommate letting me use his, or having time free to snag one at school, means I can’t guarantee the days for sure. Continue reading

Trolling Trans People

Angry Gamer GirlAs I mentioned Tuesday, I’ve been playing a lot of visual novel/sim games in my spare time lately, and I’m going to tie a couple more of them today to legal issues facing the trans community. Spoiler warning up front, again, regarding these games. Today, I’ll be looking at two games by Christine Love, Analogue: A Hate Story and Hate Plus. In a short summary, these games are science-fiction games taking place about 2900 years in the future, where you serve as a lone investigator, trying to unravel the mysteries behind the Mugunghwa, a generational ship that was sent out from Korea in the 25th century to form a new colony, but never arrived. With the help of the ships AI(s), you dig through the log files trying to uncover what happened to the ship to leave it stranded in space with no crew. This just reveals another mystery, what happened to the ship that caused a radical change in culture as well as reset all the clocks (when you arrive, the computer thinks it’s year 944, despite it being the year 4989), and the second game is unraveling this mystery with the help of the AI(s) that you saved at the end of the first game. Continue reading