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

Language policing is madness. 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.

(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.)

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.

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 friends, many of whom are transsexual women, wrote on the surrounding debate and related topics.

There may be some uncomfortable ideas expressed in these articles, but the language used is measured and calm, with no malice intended. 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.

Continue reading “Trans Language Controversy Overview: Shemale, Tranny and Who Controls Our Words” »

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