Bi Any Means Podcast #155: TransPunkRockGirl with Stevi Faithless

My guest for today is Stevi Faithless, host of the brand new podcast TransPunkRockGirl. Continuing my Pride Month theme of highlighting fellow LGBTQ podcasters, today I have her on the show to talk about her life and her show.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #155: TransPunkRockGirl with Stevi Faithless” on Spreaker.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Subscribe via Spreaker

Support the show on Patreon

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson — My Latest for Splice Today

There would be no LGBTQ movement without Marsha P. Johnson. Together with Sylvia Rivera, she fought against the cops during the Stonewall riot, founded the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to keep trans people off the streets, and was a prominent AIDS activist. The NYPD ruled her 1992 death as a suicide, but everyone who knew her suspected she was murdered. Her case was never solved, but fellow trans activist Victoria Cruz investigated it herself in the 2017 Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.

Directed by David France, the film opens with archival footage of the memorial walk for Johnson down Christopher St. in New York City shortly after her body was found in the Hudson River, and then switches to the present day where Cruz and several other activists with the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) discuss the death of 21-year-old Brooklyn trans woman Islan Nettles. Cruz is about to retire after working with the AVP since 1997, but not until she finds out what happened to Johnson first. The film follows Cruz as she talks to Johnson’s siblings, her former roommate Randy Wicker, several other LGBTQ activists who knew Johnson, and retired detectives gathering whatever information she can get ahold of that would provide some closure.

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #154: The Interesting Life of Priss

My guest for today is Priss, host of the podcast The Interesting Life of Priss. Continuing my Pride Month theme of highlighting fellow LGBTQ podcasters, today I have Priss on the show to talk about her life and her show.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #154: The Interesting Life of Priss” on Spreaker.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Subscribe via Spreaker

Support the show on Patreon

I Wish I Had Learned LGBTQ History In School — My Latest for HuffPost

Growing up, I was fortunate to learn about the rich history of men and women who made a difference in the world throughout the centuries. My school made sure to teach us about extraordinary women like Sally Ride, Florence Nightingale and Eleanor Roosevelt. I lived in Prince George’s County, a predominantly black area of Maryland, so I was lucky to learn about inspiring figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Sojourner Truth and more in my formative years.

Unfortunately in the 1990s, when I grew up, American society was just starting to get the message that being gay was OK, so none of my teachers acknowledged LGBTQ history. It wasn’t until I was 16 years old, working part time at a public library and doing my own research that I found out writers like Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman and James Baldwin were gay. I had learned much about them in my English classes, but I guess my teachers decided to skip that detail.

LGBTQ people have existed throughout history and made tremendous contributions to American culture, yet no one talked about them in school, and there were hardly any books available highlighting the brave queer and trans people who paved the way for the rest of us. If I had known about them, I might not have suffered through years of alienation, confusion and self-hatred. I would have learned to love and embrace my true self sooner.

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #153: Odd Atheist Friends with Erik Ryder

My guest for today is Erik Ryder. He’s a trans man from North Carolina who co-hosts the Odd Atheist Friends podcast with Matthew Maxon. For Pride Month, I want to showcase fellow LGBTQ podcasters, and so today we’re going to get to know Erik more.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #153: Odd Atheist Friends with Erik Ryder” on Spreaker.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Subscribe via Spreaker

Support the show on Patreon

ContraPoints is the Hero We Need — My Latest for Splice Today

In a world where YouTube has been taken over by the Alt-Right and classical liberals who accuse everyone who disagrees with them of being postmodern neo-Marxists, one transgender woman rises above to bring reason and nuance to the marketplace of ideas.

ContraPoints, a YouTuber based in Baltimore, currently has over 110,000 subscribers and criticizes both the Intellectual Dark Web and modern-day Marxists. A former philosophy professor, Contra (real name Natalie Parrott) has a ability to dissect topics such as racism, cultural appropriation, capitalism, free speech, and Jordan Peterson with the perfect balance of humor and reason. Even Kinda Funny co-founder and outspoken libertarian Colin Moriarty gave her a mention on a recent episode of The Rubin Report.

Her latest video takes a critical look at Peterson’s claims, especially his “postmodern neo-Marxism is everywhere and ruining everything” line. She first explains the difference between modernism (using the Scientific Method to figure out everything, from the natural world to politics) and postmodernism (skepticism about being absolutely certain about everything), and then explains that technically Marxism is a metanarrative most postmodernists reject. As far as Peterson’s definition of postmodern neo-Marxism, Contra says it’s a nonsensical umbrella term for everything about the Left he doesn’t like. She points out that Marxists and identity politics activists tend to hate each other. I’ve seen many fights on Facebook about this.

Read the rest here.

Bi Any Means Podcast #146: The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative with Callie Wright and Marissa McCool

Today’s episode is the audio from an online panel discussion Callie Wright, Marissa McCool, and I did about the Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative during last week’s online OrbitCon. OrbitCon was a three-day online conference organized by the bloggers at The Orbit featuring panels and talks livestreamed on YouTube about atheism and social justice. Benny Vimes introduced us and asked us a few audience questions near the end, but mostly it’s the three of us talking about what the Initiative does, as well as talk about trans visibility in the atheist movement.

Listen to “Bi Any Means Podcast #146: The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative with Callie Wright and Marissa McCool” on Spreaker.

Subscribe via iTunes

Subscribe via Stitcher

Subscribe via Spreaker

Support the show on Patreon

We Need To Talk About How Non-Binary Invisibility Affects Mental Health — My Latest for Ravishly

It’s no secret that many LGBTQ people struggle with mental health issues, but some struggle more than others.

For example, a 2011 study shows that out of 33% of LGBT students surveyed that reported suicidal ideation during the previous year, 44% of them were bisexual. Other studies have similar results, and they all suggest bisexual invisibility is the underlying cause. Indeed in my own experience as a bisexual, being caught in the middle of the binary of straight and gay often made me feel like I wasn’t queer enough for the LGBTQ community and not straight enough for the heterosexual world, leaving me feel lost in space in the end.

Recent studies reveal being in the middle of the gender binary isn’t any better. A 2017 study, for example, surveyed over 900 trans youth (ages 14 to 25) and found that non-binary participants reported struggling with mental illness more than binary trans participants. As the study authors speculate, “This group [non-binary youth] is likely to be less understood and acknowledged than transgender youth whose gender identity fits into the man/woman binary, and this may mean nonbinary youth are less likely to have social support.” Another study from last year, conducted by Transgender Europe, found similar results; specifically, that twice as many non-binary people reported struggling with mental health problems as binary trans people.

I asked my non-binary Facebook friends about their experiences with non-binary invisibility. Some, like Ingrid, said their transition would have been a lot easier if they had more support.

Read the rest here.

The #MeToo Conversation Erases Trans People — My First Article for HuffPost Opinion

CN: Sexual Assault, Transphobia

The Me Too movement has given many women the courage to speak up about their experiences with sexual assault and has opened up a nationwide dialogue about consent and sexual misconduct in our culture. As with many mainstream feminist movements, however, the movement has been silent at best — and hostile at worst — when it comes to the experiences of transgender people.

Take, for example, actress Rose McGowan’s encounter with a trans woman at a Jan. 31 speaking engagement. During an appearance at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, Andi Dier stood up and challenged comments McGowan had made on RuPaul’s podcast “What’s the Tee?” last year. “They [trans women] assume,” the actress said on the podcast, “because they felt like a woman on the inside . . . That’s not developing as a woman. That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman.”

“Trans women are dying,” Dier said during her confrontation with McGowan, “and you said that we, as trans women, are not like regular women. We get raped more often. We go through domestic violence more often. There was a trans woman killed here a few blocks [away].” The confrontation erupted into a shouting match between the two, ending with Dier being escorted out of the venue and McGowan having a public breakdown.

To be fair, McGowan did say trans women are women during her talk, and she acknowledged the alarming rates of sexual violence against trans women.

Shortly after the encounter, allegations of sexual misconduct against Dier came to light, some of them dating back to 2010. However, instead of focusing on transmisogyny and sexual assault against trans and gender-nonconforming people, most of the media focus was on McGowan. This, unfortunately, is just one example how trans and gender-nonconforming people’s stories are far too often ignored.

Read the rest here.

(BTW, I already had to mute a TERF on Twitter who accused me of saying cis lesbians have to fuck trans women, even though I said nothing of the sort.)

The Facts Behind Gender Pronoun Activism — My Latest for Splice Today

There’s a festering debate about whether cisgender people can talk about transgender issues. I believe cis people should have the same free speech rights as me, and cis people should talk about transphobia with other cis people. However, when it comes to explaining what it means to be trans and gender nonconforming, it’s best to leave that up to trans and gender nonconforming people themselves. If not, one ends up with Andrew Moody’s latest Splice Today article “The Truth Behind Gender Pronoun Activism.” Despite what the title claims, the facts reveal that the so-called “truth” is anything but.

In the first paragraph, Moody equates being a trans woman with rape and that being trans is a mental illness. While anyone can be a rapist, including trans women, statistics show that trans women are more likely to be raped than they are to rape anyone else. Also, while the DSM-V does include gender dysphoria, it doesn’t say that being trans is a mental disorder. Instead, gender dysphoria describes the anguish and distress trans people experience when there’s an “incongruence between a person’s gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and/or primary and secondary sex characteristics.” If being trans was a mental disorder, why does the American Psychological Association say trans people “are more likely to experience positive life outcomes when they receive social support or trans-affirmative care” instead of conversion therapy?

Read the rest here.