On Trans Porn

Butterfly WomanSo, as I may have mentioned, I now work in a porn store. As you might imagine, we have a section of DVDs dedicated to transgender actresses, labeled as “shemale” porn. As you might imagine, I have some mixed views on this, so let me discuss them in detail.

First off, I fully support that there is an industry of porn for trans women to star in. As the rules of the internet tell us, if it exists out there, there is porn of it (rule 34), and if there isn’t porn of it, then it will be created (rule 35). We are already going to be fetishized, no matter what, so if there are those who want to make money off of that industry who happen to be trans, such as the actresses, then I fully support them. At the same time, I will admit to being made uncomfortable with it on a regular basis, just based on the level of fetishization that occurs, including on the boxes. 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.

How an Obscure 90s Anime is Still One of the Most Progressive Shows Around

animeThis post is coming a bit later than I’d hoped, but I am making a post this week as promised. I will get back to my once a week schedule, and hopefully, eventually back to twice a week. Now, I know there’s been a lot going on in the news, most of it having to do with the elections, but I neither feel like discussing that, nor do I feel like most of you want to hear more about it. It’s scary. So instead, I decided I would discuss a more lighthearted issue today: 90s anime. Now, by American standards, I’m probably not considered otaku anymore, though by Japanese standards, I might be, but not for anime. That said, I do love me some good anime, and I actually learned a lot of Japanese from watching anime when I was younger. In the rare hours between working, sleeping, and school (got an A in one course confirmed already, and the other is likely to also be an A, just waiting on the final to be graded), I’ve been rewatching a series I loved as a kid back in the 90s: Yu Yu Hakusho. Continue reading

Medical Drama

g-InsuranceDenied.widecThose who follow the Facebook page for my blog likely saw me make a post yesterday regarding the shooting and denial of medical care of a trans activist in Pakistan recently. Along with that link, I mentioned that I’ve been dealing with a lot of medical drama the past month or so, which I will discuss somewhat today. While I will be explaining why I’ve not made a post in close to a month, I’ll also go into how this is an issue for the community at large as well as some basic educational stuff. Now that the basic “introduction paragraph” that all your professors harp on you about is out of the way, let’s get on with the details! Continue reading

TDoR 2015

Candlelight VigilHey folks. As many of you already know, today is the annual transgender day of remembrance in which we honor those who have fallen in the past year. I won’t say much on the subject, because I’ve already said it all. I wish this day didn’t have to exist, I look forward to the year when there are no names, etc. etc.

What I do want to discuss is something of a related note. As I mentioned, I’ve been watching a lot of Arrow and Flash recently, and at the start of season 3 of Arrow, during either the first or second episode, Ollie has a moment where he’s trying to tell Felicity what the five years on the island did to him. It goes something along the lines of “I learned not to trust anymore, and when you can’t trust, you don’t see people. You just see threats. Or targets.”

This stood out to me as it’s an apt description of what PTSD does to you. And while most don’t have the kinds of lived experiences that I have, many trans people have some form of PTSD, simply because in order to survive in this world, we have to think in that sort of way. Any individual COULD be a threat. Especially with the rise of murders brought about by the rise of visibility. To paraphrase from Dr. Van Helsing discussing Dracula in the classic Bela Lugosi film, the trans person’s greatest strength (historically) is that people do not believe in them.

What this means is that in the past, we could walk around and people would write off a guy being shorter, or a woman having large hands, or whatever other subtle physical hints there might be. But now, with trans people everywhere in the media and the news, people are less likely to just gloss over those things, examining harder. Add to this the fact that there’s been an increase in non-binary presentation (such as the individual I’ve seen around campus a number of times who wears either a skirt or a dress while rocking a full beard) and the bigots out there are suddenly more aware that we exist.

This is why the numbers of murders have been increasing dramatically the past few years, and why here in the States alone, we’ve nearly doubled last year’s numbers. Remember that nearly everything is a double edged sword, and the very tools we use for activism can turn around and hurt us as well. Stay safe out there, readers.

Black is Always the New Black

Butterfly WomanHey all, sorry I missed last week’s post. Orange is the New Black season 3 came out on Friday, and I’ve spent the last week marathoning through it as best I can to write about it today. There will be spoilers, obviously, so if you haven’t finished it, go do that and then come back. However, before I get to season 3, I wanted to address Orange is the New Black isn’t accurate little article that came through my feed earlier this week. For those who haven’t read it, it’s basically a list of four ways in which OitNB misrepresents women’s prisons in this country. Well, some of these criticisms are accurate, but some are based on information we simply don’t know. So let’s address those before addressing stuff from the new season. Continue reading

College Woes

Butterfly WomanSo, before my laptop broke (the part did come in and it should be fixed by tomorrow, hopefully), I was playing another visual novel game called Roommates. The basic premise is that you play as one of two characters who is beginning college and has chosen to live in a communal house on campus. It’s sort of like a fraternity or sorority house, except it’s not a frat or sorority, it’s just a co-ed house with a communal bathroom and kitchen. The thing that struck me about this game is the sheer level of attention to detail given regarding diversity in this game. Yes, like many games with a small cast, it is primarily white folks with token racial minorities (one Indian roommate, one Hispanic roommate, and one black guy as the friend and bandmate of one of the two playable characters). However, they go more into detail with this game to the point that they actually have one character (the Hispanic girl, who is actually a Mexican citizen and attending college to get a degree in teaching so she can go home and improve the education of kids in her small hometown) explain the difference between pansexual (her) and bisexual (the Indian guy) to you, as she’s pan and another character is bi. Continue reading