Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tell the IAAF to stay out of Caster's pants!

From the great world of Twitter and the amazing minds and hearts of the National Sexuality Resource Center comes this wonderful and timely petition asking the International Association of Athletic Federations to stop their invasive and ultimately meaningless testing of Caster Semenya's identity.

Dear Friend,

Have you heard the news about Caster Semenya, the champion South African runner?

She’s got the world’s attention, but it’s not about her athletic ability – it’s about who she is, and who gets to decide her gender.

XX – why?! Why does Caster have to endure invasive tests just because she looks different? Why does the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) get to decide who she is?

I’m outraged. Are you? Then tell the IAAF to stay out of Caster Semenya’s pants:

Sign the National Sexuality Resource Center's XX-Why? petition now.

Now, if you want some uplifting news about Caster - South Africa's President Zuma has reminded her to "walk tall" in this Sports Illustrated news story (of all the places...).

Briefly - and this should be given the space it deserves - as much as this uproar over her identity is clearly misogynistic and transphoic, I have yet to see someone point out the inherent racism in the charge. Black women are at a particularly difficult spectrum of femininity where racialized gender policing informs that too feminine gives in to the stereotype of the Jezebel/Welfare Queen/Tragic Mullatta and too little femininity brings us to the point of not recognizing multiple identities and beginning to believe Moynihan Report fantasies about masculine Black women taking over the world.

There is an inherent fear in not being able to correctly gender a stranger, and there is an even larger fear in being a white person who can not correctly gender a Black woman.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Latex Ball TONIGHT in NYC

Just came back from an amazing time at the Audre Lorde Project's annual picnic! I didn't remember to post about the picnic but if you check this in time you can still attend the Latex Ball tonight!

239 WEST 52nd STREET

The Latex Ball is held by GMHC and co-sponsored by many many organizations - most of whom focus on issues prevalent in communities of color and LGBTQ youth such as the Ali Forney Center, Audre Lorde Project, APICHA, and many other New York City queer organizations. The Latex Ball is also presented by Ballroom CARES!, a partnership between the House and Ball Communities and service providers. It's a wonderful partnership that has as little judgement as is possible and promotes health and well-being. Ballroom CARES! program provides leadership trainings, empowerment workshops, and community events and activities, to support community networking, community mobilization, and to promote a healthy community.

I can say from my interactions trying to provide healthier and safer spaces to LGBTQ youth that having a sense of community drastically affects your sense of self and your ability to participate in a community. If you know that a core group of people who represent your values and experiences are caring about your health then you're going to be less likely to see incredibly risky behavior as worthwhile. Which is why Ballroom and House Communities have lasted so long - since at least the 1920s if not before! They give folks who have been kicked out of their homes, been kicked out of emplyment spaces, welfare offices, public parks, families, etc a space where they can be in all their fabulosity, tears, and strength. If you want to get involved you should email Luna Legacy at lunao at gmhc.org or Dominique Prodigy at dominiquec at gmhc.org

Submit! Gender Outlaw 2

Gender Outlaw 2: Call for Submissions

Call For Submissions

Kate Bornstein & S Bear Bergman, eds

Deadline: 1 September 2009

In the fifteen years since the release of Gender Outlaw, transgender narratives have made their way into cultural locations from the margins to the mainstream and back again. Today’s trannies and other sex/gender radicals are writing a radically new world into being. GENDER OUTLAWS: THE NEXT GENERATION (Seal Press) will collect and contextualize the work of this generation’s most forward-thinking trans/genderqueer voices—new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world’s most respected mainstream news sources. Edited by that ol’ original Gender Outlaw herself, Kate Bornstein and writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, GENDER OUTLAWS: THE NEXT GENERATION will include essays, commentary, comic art and conversation from a diverse a group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.

*What we’re looking for*

GENDER OUTLAWS: THE NEXT GENERATION wants to collect work that represents a quantum leap forward in thinking and talking about gender and the gender binary, in the same way Gender Outlaw did almost twenty years ago. So blow us away. Bring the smart, bring the sexy, blind us with science, break the gender barrier, shine a bright light (or a disco ball) on the whole gender situation. Tell us about your future, what you imagine, how you want things to go and what you (and your friends) intend to do about it. Think big.

We’ll look at whatever you have for us – essays, graphic art, interviews/conversations, haiku, rants – as long as you’re thinking smart and fresh about sex and gender (and being an outlaw, of course). We will feel especially keen about your work if it adds to or advances the conversation about gender (as distinct from simply reflecting it, or lamenting it).

People of any identity are encouraged to submit work. This means you – yes, you!

We intend to privilege non-normatively gendered/sexed voices in the book but will include all the good stuff we can, regardless of current identifiers of the author.

*The Details*

Deadline: Sept 1 (early submissions are encouraged). Submissions should be unpublished; query if you have a reprint that you think we’ll swoon for. While we hesitate to list a maximum, please query first for pieces over 4,000 words. If you have an idea and need help writing it out, contact us to discuss an interview-style piece or other accommodations.

Submit as a Word document or black/white JPEG (no files over 2MB). Please include a cover letter with a brief bio and full contact information (mailing address, phone number, pseudonym if appropriate) when you submit. Submissions without complete contact information will be deleted unread. Payment will be $50 and 2 copies of the book upon publication in Fall 2010. Contributors retain the rights to their pieces. Send your submission as an attachment to genderoutlawsnextgeneration@gmail.com.