Posts tagged Out Magazine
I get TONS of email… Metric tons. Thank God it’s not paper mail, or my correspondents would be responsible for the deforestation of a large chunk of rainforest. Most of it is routine work stuff, but there are lots of young trans and gay people looking for support and advice, and lots of people my age and older looking for information. Thankfully, my own trials and tribulations have taught me things to say when someone needs support, and I can refer information seekers to Andrea’s megalithic tsroadmap.com most of the time.
Occasionally, I get notes from people who are not affiliated with, or familiar with, the GLBT community at all. With these people, I’m usually starting from scratch and it can be exhausting explaining things to them. Usually, they lump the GLB and T into one homogeneous community, for which I can’t fault them too much since the lumped-together term “GLBT” is used so often by advocates. As I’ve said before, lots of anti-gay sentiment seems to spark from a discomfort with what they consider non-gender-appropriate behavior anyway — a woman acting “too butch” or a guy acting “too girly” — and that’s a problem faced by gay and trans alike. I think we fight lots of the same battles, so I’m glad to have the GLB’s as allies. Today, I got this note from Gabriela in Bulgaria, edited for relevance (~~~ means removed boring parts), emphasis mine:
Hi there, my name is Gabriela ~~~ from Bulgaria. ~~~ Sorry for my English, it’s not the best. I want to ask you a question which is friendly. I don’t try to offence you, to argue or something. Lately I became interested in transsexual people in many reasons. Not because I want to be one of them or such things but because there are something I can’t figure out. It’s just so interesting to me if you’re actually like everyone else on the Planet, why do you need some extra attention when you have different sexuality. Can’t you be happy in your house, job, with your friends. Why everyone who is gay, lesbian, trans and others need to show here – youtube, porno movies, work in adult clubs…I hope you understood my question and I will be glad if you answer . And again – it is friendly. See you!
Here’s my quickie reply, typed all in a stream of consciousness. Knowing that she is not a native English speaker, I tried to write in a way that would translate more clearly in an online translator, so the sentence structure may be a bit clunky in places. What do you think?
Hi Gabriela, Thank you for your letter, and I apologize that I don’t speak Bulgarian. I love the Bulgarian Women’s Choir and listen to them all the time!
Most transsexual people do live quiet lives. For every trans person you see on YouTube or television, there are hundreds who live quietly.
I don’t know about porno movies and adult clubs… that is not my world or interest. But most gay, lesbian and trans people want to be free to talk about their lives and interests, just like heterosexual people are.
Heterosexual people have big ceremonies (weddings) to celebrate their marriages. They place photos of their lovers and spouses on their desks at their jobs. They sing songs on the radio about love and sex with their lovers. They kiss and sleep together and love each other in television and movies. Every day, in every way, heterosexual people scream their lives and their sexuality to each other, and to everyone in the world. And people happy with their gender role (being treated as male or female by society) have all the same freedoms to live as they want to live.
Imagine if you could never talk about how you felt inside, who you loved, your hopes and dreams. Imagine if you could not look at men, or talk to your friends about them, or be with them. Or imagine if you loved being a woman but everyone told you that you MUST behave and live like a man. Imagine if you never saw images in the media that reflected how you felt and who you loved.
Gay, lesbian and trans people have been ridiculed, mocked and attacked their entire lives for having the same feelings of love, need, desire and interest that hetero people have. Everyone has told them over and over that they are evil, sick, disgusting, crazy. With all that pressure, it doesn’t surprise me that some gay, lesbian and trans people end up in porno movies and adult clubs… where else are they welcomed? Not in hetero society.
So nowadays many gay, lesbian and trans people make an effort to tell people about their lives so that people will understand that they exist and have the same hopes and dreams. Some day, we will not NEED to say it so loudly, because it will already be understood. But for now, many people do not understand or care that we exist, so we have to make ourselves known and heard. Some of us do that in wild ways, and some of us do that in subtle ways. Just like hetero people, there are all kinds of us.
But basically, we are just human beings who want to be able to love, live and laugh without fear and punishment.
This is an ULTRA simplified argument, but I didn’t know how else to begin to make these points for someone who speaks a different language and has no connection with the community. What do you think?
WOW! I had the great fortune of being able to attend the adjacent Oscar parties benefitting The Trevor Project and APLA in West Hollywood!
First, I went to the Trevor Project Oscar Party (party details) at Here Lounge in WeHo, by The Trevor Project (details), Tom Whitman and Instinct Magazine. Sweetie Alec Mapa was to be the host that night, but he wasn’t able to make it. “Here” is a great space, always packed, and Tom Whitman throws a GREAT party.
The Trevor Project operates the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. If you or a friend are feeling lost or alone call The Trevor Helpline. There is hope, there is help.
Lots of my friends were there, including the always stunning Del Shores, Jason Dottley and Ann Walker of “Sordid Lives” fame. I ran into Michelle Clunie (from Queer as Folk), Wilson Cruz (from Rick & Steve), Jeffrey Epstien (from Disney) and tons more gorgeous and hard-working-for-the-cause people.
Next door at the always-elegant Abbey, they were holding the AIDS Project Los Angeles Oscar party, hosted by none other than Jennifer Love Hewitt. They were gracious enough to have me over as well, and I got to talk with old friends Candis Cayne and hubby DJ Marco, actress Madonna Cacciatore and my manager Robin McWilliams. Plus I met lots of new people like Jodi Lyn O’Keefe of “Prison Break”, actor Thomas Mikusz, “Heroes” set designer Chandler Paul Poling and more.
AIDS Project Los Angeles is dedicated to: improving the lives of people affected by HIV disease; reducing the incidence of HIV infection; and advocating for fair and effective HIV-related public policy.
Les and Leith are a super-sweet trans couple who blog for Trannystar Galactica, and Leith (as Riftgirl) has lots of funny comedy videos as well. This is a recent post about s-e-x, a topic I rarely broach because it usually just goes downhill fast when chasers, pervs and creeps latch on and get gross with it. But these two have a youthful innocence about themselves that is cute to me. I’m reminded of myself, back when I still believed in love… sigh!
Wow, what an honor! OUT Magazine has added me to their list of 100 newsmakers and celebrities for 2008! There’s going to be a big party in New York this Friday, November 14th, but I can’t afford to fly out there from Los Angeles, boo hoo! It’s awesome to be on the list, though, and they did some really cool photo shoots for it. I have behind the scenes footage, which I will post as soon as I can put it together.
The last time I was on the list, it was related to Soldier’s Girl, the movie that told the story of the events of 1999. I’m so happy to be on the list this time for something happy and positive (Transamerican Love Story), now that almost ten years have passed since the horrible events of 1999.