Vanity Fair Barry Winchell Calpernia

Vanity Fair and Discovery Channel Partner to Revisit Barry Winchell Story

Tomorrow I will be interviewed by Vanity Fair Magazine for a Discovery Channel documentary program, along with Barry Winchell’s parents, as a followup to their now almost 15 year old article on the murder. That night I will be filmed for inclusion in a Library of Congress project on my own military service, as part of a project featuring several veterans.

I refused to participate in the new story about Barry several times, but was finally persuaded after learning of his parent’s participation. I think some people assume that my entire life is about the events behind the movie “Soldier’s Girl” and that I talk about it all the time… I actually don’t. People bring it up to *me* all the time, which I understand because they feel a great deal of empathy and emotion after seeing the story. Some people also assume that I have made tons of money from the film or the story. I have my letters in writing refusing payment for the film, though eventually I was persuaded to accept some compensation which allowed me to transition more fully into the woman he saw me as. I have been a reluctant participant in the story at every step, but when I do participate it is because I have a chance to either honor Barry’s memory or help move things forward for the community. The day I was brought to the network to talk about the interview, I had to go straight home to bed and sleep until the next day. I hope it will be worth it to rehash everything again.

On the other hand, I am looking forward to the Library of Congress project. It feels good to talk about my brief four years serving in the pre- and post-DADT military during the first Gulf War. Adventure and youth and self discovery and dealing with draconian oppression all make for interesting storytelling. This is going to be a rollercoaster of a weekend. Thank goodness I have my boyfriend, my friends, and a job singing and making people laugh to occupy my mind this weekend.

This isn’t a beg for sympathy. I just wanted to share this as a little preparation because I may actually be talking about these things a little bit in the coming weeks, which I do not do very often.

Calpernia Live & Acoustic at Witzend, Venice for Our Lady J Queer Cabaret

I had the great pleasure of performing at the first night of Our Lady J’s residency at Witzend in Venice, CA with her “queer cabaret” of LGBT, queer and queer friendly artists. I talked too much, but I had a great time and I am so thankful for each opportunity to improve my live acoustic performance skills and keep growing as an artist!

I added YouTube annotations throughout this video, so that you can skip right to the songs.

Calpernia Premieres Jonny McGovern’s New Web Talkshow “Hey Qween!”

I had the honor of being Gay Pimp Jonny McGovern’s first guest ever on his gorgeous new talk show “Hey Qween!”, followed by such luminaries as RuPaul, Willam, Jackie Beat, Miles Davis Moody, Jake Shears and more upcoming legendary names. As Jonny makes clear in the intro, the show may be called “Hey Qween!” but the guests will span the full range of queer experience, male and female, gay and otherwise, trans and non-trans. His co-host is my GODDESS cohort Lady Red Couture!

Calpernia response to tranny

Trans Language Controversy Overview: Shemale, Tranny and Who Controls Our Words

Parker Molloy, and The State of (Online) Trans Activism

(Pictured above is “Amber“, my years-old parody of outsiders who use words like “tranny” intending to hurt. Banning words precludes commentary, comedy, academic discussion and individually chosen and claimed identities. Banning words is burning books, one word at a time.)

So, looks like I didn’t end up making that stupid list. It just occurred to me that it’s this weekend, and no one had even contacted me. I should be on that God damn list, but looks like I’m not even a fucking alternate. So fuck Jen fucking cock sucking Richards. I’m sick of fucking pieces of shit like her. I deserve a soot on that fucking list… Some dipshit who hosts a little support group for 15 people doesn’t have anything on half a million readers a month. So get the fuck out of here with that nonsense like I don’t have as much of an impact, I impact more people total. I deserve it. If I’m not on it, it’s a joke, and I’ll be sure to keep that in mind as I continue to do my work down the road. Because clearly if I don’t make their little list, I’m not influential so they won’t mind me freezing them out of anything I ever write, and I will.
“Fuck Jen Richards” “Some dipshit who hosts a little support group for 15 people doesn’t have anything on half a million readers a month.”

Update: October 9th, 2014: A new source reveals what are presented as messages from freelancer Parker Molloy containing misogynistic slurs and threats to withold coverage in if she is not awarded a place on Chicago activist Jen Richards’ “Trans 100″ list. As of this date, Molloy is still employed at

Parker Marie Molloy: "DRINK BLEACH" "CUT YOURSELF"
Parker Marie Molloy to journalist: “DRINK BLEACH” “CUT YOURSELF” (Click for larger image)

Update August 24, 2014: New photos reveal writer Parker Molloy, who has been at the center of this controversy as a vocal detractor of the “slur” “tranny” as a possible trigger for suicide and violence, called an aspiring journalist a “STUPID CUNT” and then told her to “CUT YOURSELF” and “DRINK BLEACH”. Sources fearing similar attacks have privately told me this is typical of some of Molloy’s interactions with detractors. Hate, rage and hypocrisy are descriptors that come to mind regarding what I’ve read publicly and privately. Judge for yourself. By the way, telling someone to “drink bleach” is a mockery of the suicide of bullied teen Amanda Todd. Molloy received a one month suspension.

I do not use or identify with the words “tranny” or “shemale” outside of discussion, but I stand against policing language, culture and the identity of others. This stance led to a massive debate on trans identity and revealed deeply troubling policies at in 2014

Recently I wrote a series of Op-Ed pieces hopscotching from my response to criticism of my work with actor Jared Leto on his Academy Award winning portrayal of trans character “Rayon”, to my analysis of being misgendered by an freelance writer responding to my Op-Ed, to an overview of what I view as a new wave of thought police entering the world of online LGBT activism. Additionally, several transsexual women who I admire wrote on the surrounding debate and related topics.

My primary critic was blogger Parker Molloy, writing for the separately managed blog edition of iconic LGBT print magazine The Advocate. After misgendering me and putting my trans identity into question in her critique of Jared Leto, I encountered a truly surprising hesitance to correct the slurs and receive a public apology when I contacted Lucas Grindley,’s VP and Editorial Director. Five bewilderingly slow-moving emails later, the slur was retracted as an “error”, with no public mention of the flabbergasting breach of respect that occurred. Refusing my request to continue the conversation on the phone or in person, Grindley , News Editor Sunnivie Brydum and Molloy simply moved forward as if nothing had happened.

My interactions with The Advocate reach back to the late 90’s/early 2000’s, and have been nothing but respectful. I was stunned at the attitudes I encountered from the online staff.

My response to this on the Huffinton Post unleashed a firestorm of attacks from Molloy’s supporters, including unprofessional public heckling from (VP of!) Grindley and Brydum on Twitter. Information poured in from private sources too afraid of similar bullying by Molloy, her online supporters and highly-placed individuals like Grindley and Brydum. These messages, sent in confidence, painted a very dark picture of Molloy’s rage, misogyny and hatred. As the debate has escalated, some witnesses have finally come forward publicly with details. I know that more exist.

Lashing out from a baseline of negative, attacking “journalism”, Molloy’s encouragement of suicide, self harm, journalistic payola and misogyny are apparently still within acceptable limits for, where as of October 9th, 2014, she continues to work as a writer ironically covering violence and crime against LGBT people. The continued support of their most controversial freelancer raises many questions about the journalistic culture at The larger debate has raised many questions about the state of trans activism in general, especially as done online.

What more would it take for Grindley to choose to honor The Advocate’s legacy and hire writers who enhance the LGBT narrative rather than besmirch it? Do we want to wait for that next escalation to happen? Ask yourself:

In my writing here, I note the striking observation that many of my most ardent critics in the debate of trans identity in the media have been trans women who date women. This is by no means a denouncement of lesbian women, trans or otherwise. My history in the community makes it clear that I have a great connection with the lesbian community. I am simply recognizing a standout spike in this demographic amongst my critics, and am very interested in understanding why this is so.

There may be some uncomfortable ideas expressed in these articles, but the language used is measured and calm, with no malice intended. Any provably false information will be gladly removed or revised. This post is a response to and an overview of an ongoing situation, which I can reference when people ask me “what is all the fuss about?”

(Summaries by me)

Click READ MORE for summaries, context and commentary on these articles by or about me, Andrea James, Our Lady J, Jayne County, The GLAAD board of directors and related topics.

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