I am about to graduate from a women’s college in Virginia. I have always loved it here: the people, the community. Generally, I feel safe. I feel secure. I know I can walk around campus holding hands with my girlfriend and no one will care. But trans issues at a women’s college are complicated. Again, I know I am safe, but there are constraints to that safety.
According to transgenderlaw.org, almost 400 colleges and universities have protections for genderqueer students. Some states are more progressive than others. It’s always a good idea to look up the policy at any college or university you are considering.
I want to talk about dating and how gender affects the process. Generally, dating is hard. There are so many aspects which go into a relationship: compatibility, willingness to compromise, similarities in values, and attraction, just to name a few. It is a struggle to find someone who lies within the parameters of what you are looking for and to fall within what that other person—who might fit all your hopes and dreams—is seeking.
People have certain expectations going into a relationship, and it is hard to compromise those expectations for yourself or to set yourself within those your partner might have. So what do people expect from me? Or really anyone? I feel like expectations have a lot to do with how you present yourself. If you present yourself openly and honestly, what you see is what you get, and you don’t have to worry about that conversation down the road of Hey, I think I might want to be a man or I have kids or any other form of surprise a partner might reveal once comfortable in the relationship.
Cael, our talented blogger on the gender (Exploring Gender), will attend the DC Gay Pride Parade during the weekend!
Since its founding in 1998, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) has been held internationally to help us remember those who have been killed because of prejudice and hatred. This year, the day falls on Sunday, November 20th. Not only will we honor the memory of Rita Hester, whose death led to the founding of TDOR, but we will also pay tribute to those who have been listed in the news this year and others and those who have not.
As I sit here thinking of what to write, I’m a little clueless. I want to be profound. I want to affect people. I want to be an example, someone to trust and to ask questions. But I also feel like I have no right to be that person yet because I haven’t figured out who I am.
Procedural dramas allow audiences into the world of detectives, cops, FBI agents. Some follow a simple formula like CSI, Law and Order, and Cold Case, others are more character-driven like Castle, Bones, and White Collar. How are trans* individuals characterized in this formula?
The trans* film canon is not overwhelming. Most people cannot name more than a couple films: maybe Boys Don’t Cry or the more recent Albert Nobbs. Every community yearns to be presented in media, but often trans* films are either exceedingly sad or not good representations of the community. I wanted to bring trans* films and media into Exploring Gender to expand our knowledge of our own culture.
Many people do not know what transgender means. In the fight for gay and lesbian rights, visibility has driven a lot of the changes we have seen. The presence of gay and lesbian characters on television and the willingness of celebrities to be open with their sexuality has created normalcy where before there was fear. And though there is still a lot of fear centered around the community, there are shows like Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and Pretty Little Liars write characters who, despite sometimes extreme circumstances, are real, just living their lives as who they are. These characters are not just gays or lesbians. They are people, and their sexuality is simply a part of who they are. The trans* community needs more visibility.
Late night television is a good escape for many of us who want to catch the news in a funny way while also seeing some of our favorite actors and musicians either talk about their work or perform. The hosts duke it out with their monologues, trying for the funniest jokes to gain an audience in a timeslot when many are already asleep. But with humor, where must you draw the line between funny and offensive?
Documentaries are a great way to come to new information, whether about life, science, or gender. They create, in the time of about an hour or more, a look into a specific subject using different methods: interviews, the following of a subject, intriguing graphics, and multiple other approaches. Recently, I have watched a couple of gender documentaries, Genderf*kation: A Gender Emancipation and Gender Redesigner.