Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lazarus

I just got back from seeing David Bowie's Lazarus!


He always wanted to do a musical and he totally did it with this project! It's everything that you'd expect from a Bowie musical: it's unique, cool, creative, and special. Everyone from the cast (the stars being Michael C. Hall, Cristin Millioti, and Sophia Anne Caruso), to the band (guitar 2/aux keyboard, JJ Appleton, drums, Brian Delaney, tenor/bariton sax, Lucas Dodd, bass, Fima Ephron, trombone, Karl Lyden, guitar 1, Chris McQueen, and synth/orchestration/arrangements, Henry Hey) were incredible. The plot was as trippy, random, and crazy as you'd also expect from Bowie and from the book and movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, that this musical is based off of. Brilliant use of technology that immersed the audience and actors alike into the story. I was smiling the whole time to every Bowie song that was sung, many from his back catalog (like Life on Mars?, The Man Who Sold the World, Changes, Heroes, Absolute Beginners, and many others), some more recent ones (like Valentine's Day from his last album, The Next Day), one from his soon-to-be-released album ★ (Lazarus), and two more new songs (both absolutely gorgeous). I feel very lucky to be the one of not that many to been able to see the wonderful Lazarus, a one-of-a-kind show from a man who's a one-of-a-kind himself.


(The gorgeous poster in front of the New York Theatre Workshop)


(My ticket. I was front row - up close and personal!)

(The cast)


(Mini info about the book/movie, production hours (2 hours, no intermission) and a mention of the video performance by Alan Cumming). 

After the show on my way back to the F train, I went into this vintage clothing and record store (and when we're talking about vintage, they had rare Beatles records, fancy guitars, art books, etc. that cost in the $1000-$2000 range!), and there I found this super rare and super vintage Elton John Pinball Wizard machine!

Oh if only I were rich.

Friday, December 25, 2015

LGBT Film Review: The Danish Girl

Synopsis:

The remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Lili and Gerda's marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili's groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.

My Review:

As someone that's intersex and trans like the real-life Lili Elbe was, and also as someone who has read the fictionalized re-telling/book of Lili's life that this film is based off of, I had to go into this knowing that it will NOT be perfect, that it will take a few liberties since in some ways, Lili's life is a mystery. Of what we have of her story and of what we know of her, I'd say The Danish Girl did an excellent job at fleshing out her body dysphoria, her longing to not only dress as a woman but BE the woman that she is, and her sexual desires, balancing that out with her marriage to Gerda Wegener. The approach to this film was tasteful and inviting: it's lush, it's moody, and it's soft in its lighting and general mood and tone. For the art history buff, this was also a treat. All the paintings and sketches were a throwback to the 1920s era, very gorgeous. It's almost needless to say, but Eddie Redmayne shines as Einar as equally as to when he's Lili. It was a spectacular performance that not surprisingly, he's going to get many accolades for on top of some he has earned already. And rising star Alicia Vikander is a fine Gerda, so opposite from Einar/Lili, so spunky and fierce as she is also demure and composed. The two together are so convincing as husband and wife and as two equally successful painters. Despite their differences (Einar/Lili is shy and submissive but more successful, focused on landscapes from their childhood past whereas Gerda is dominant and independent, but struggling to be taken more seriously, focused on "contemporary" work, mostly "racy" self-portraits of attractive women), they work so well as a couple that on appearance it seems like they're bound to last forever. Until the plot thickens, and that's when the movie and Lili's story takes off into the unknown, "experimental" territory. From doing what was thought to be just a role-playing game, Lili and Gerda both realize who Lili really is, what her sexuality is, and ultimately what she desires: sex reassignment surgery. The real-life Lili is personally my hero. The film very carefully made sure that she was brought justice on screen. Did they do it well? Yes. But honestly, it was too simplified. A complex life, story, and person was condensed for a "mainstream" audience which didn't surprise me, but disappointed me just the same. Lili's intersexuality was erased entirely, somewhat implied, but still erasure nonetheless. Like the novel, the movie, too, felt more like a gender-studies course. There wasn't as much heart, soul, and emotion as there should have been, not enough character development to really make Lili's story a HUMAN story. The Danish Girl was a valiant effort with a very Oscar-bait bent to it, and that's okay. But this film (and Lili) deserved more and even better.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

LGBT Film Review: GIRLTRASH: All Night Long

Synopsis:

In this musical comedy, Daisy tries to get over her ex-girlfriend, while Colby falls in love with Misty - only problem - Misty's got a mad crush on the wild and seductive Tyler. In one epic night, the girls find sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.

My Review:

This is one of the most hyper and truly LMAO musical comedies that I've seen in a LONG time. This easily falls into the "it's so bad that it's good" category because it seriously is. GIRLTRASH knows that it's bad. It plays into its own silliness so much from the very beginning, from barely five-minutes in. When Daisy randomly bursts out into song ("Why is she singing?"), you're hard pressed not to laugh. From Colby trying to hit on Misty and epically failing, to Daisy not being able to handle that her sister is "a good gay egg," and Tyler just being "wild and seductive," and so many more moments, this is so fun. GIRLTRASH also tickles in showcasing in an over the top way how shallow the LA scene is, the awkwardness of having that first-time crush, getting over breakups, and living it up like the day is the last. All the characters are so loveable and relatable. As comical as this is, there's a heart and a message behind the madness. To top it off, the music ain't too bad either! Everything's cheesy, and I LOVE it.

** You can find this on Netflix **

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rest In Power, Holly Woodlawn

The world tonight lost a legend.


Holly Woodlawn brought trans visibility at the forefront before it was comfortable, freeing, and embraced to do so. She's not only a trans heroine and icon, but she'll forever be a superstar.

"Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side."



Rest in Power, Holly.


It is the end of an era. Holly, Candy, and Jackie. Rest in Power to you all.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mouth Mantra

Somebody (and something) is trending today, and it's....

Björk and her brand new music video!

And it takes place entirely inside her mouth. Pretty fitting for "Mouth Mantra."


She hasn't been this intimate with us since Pagan Poetry! This is astonishing.

I love how near the end, in bearing her soul (or, her mouth, rather) like that, there's a smile and a glowing sense that she's now free from all that pain.

What do you think of it? 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Triumph of a Broken Heart


This is a pretty hard album to review because others have expressed better what I don't think I can express as well about the experience that Vulnicura Strings is. I'll sum it up in short: Björk has made the already heart-wrenching Vulnicura even more chilling, haunting, desolate, and lonely. Without the electronics, with strings only, this is Björk's first-ever "acoustic" album/companion piece, as "stripped" as an album this raw in emotion can be.

This is, simply, haunting as hell, "one. feeling. at a. time."

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tie Me Up Has Been Golden Flogged!



Tie Me Up! is home to my BDSM F/F short story, "Femme Soumise."

I've NEVER been nominated for anything before. Like all first times, I won't forget this one. ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

David Bowie is at his best when he's weird.

In a nutshell, that's Blackstar. And naturally, I LOVE it.


What's to love so much about it?

It's David! And he's back. And embracing his age and his gray hair. That's hot. He's hot. Damn.


His new band. They're a jazz band doing rock and roll. And it works. Brilliantly, actually.

The lyrics. 

For me, the song/video really kicks in at 4:41 mins into it. And these verses are incredible (and you really got to love David's dancing and Thom Yorke-like impressions he's doing):

(Courteously posted on David's Facebook Page)

SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE DAY HE DIED
SPIRIT ROSE A METRE THEN STEPPED ASIDE
SOMEBODY ELSE TOOK HIS PLACE AND BRAVELY CRIED:
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR

HOW MANY TIMES DOES AN ANGEL FALL?
HOW MANY PEOPLE LIE INSTEAD OF TALKING TALL?
HE TROD ON SACRED GROUND HE CRIED ALOUD INTO THE CROWD
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M NOT A GANGSTAR

I CAN’T ANSWER WHY
I’M A BLACKSTAR
JUST GO WITH ME
I’M NOT A FILMSTAR
IMMA TAKE YOU HOME
I’M A BLACKSTAR
TAKE YOUR PASSPORT AND SHOES
I’M NOT A POPSTAR
AND YOUR SEDATIVES BOO
I’M A BLACKSTAR
YOU’RE THE FLASH IN THE PAN
I’M NOT A MARVELSTAR
I’M THE GREAT I AM
I’M A BLACKSTAR

I’M A BLACKSTAR I’M WAY UP, ON MONEY, I’VE GOT GAME
I SEE RIGHT, SO WIDE, SO OPEN-HEARTED PAIN
I WANT EAGLES IN MY DAYDREAMS, DIAMONDS IN MY EYES
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR

SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE DAY HE DIED
SPIRIT ROSE A METRE THEN STEPPED ASIDE
SOMEBODY ELSE TOOK HIS PLACE AND BRAVELY CRIED:
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M A STARSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR

I CAN’T ANSWER WHY
I’M NOT A GANGSTAR
BUT I CAN TELL YOU HOW
I’M NOT A FLAMSTAR
WE WERE BORN UPSIDE DOWN
I’M A STARS STAR
BORN THE WRONG WAY ROUND
I’M NOT A WHITESTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR

OO OO OO OO

I’M NOT A GANGSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR
I’M A BLACKSTAR

OO OO OO OO

I’M NOT A PORNSTAR
I’M NOT A WANDERING STAR


I don't know if it's only me, but the one line "Something happened on the day he died..." made me think and wonder if David's singing about his father, Haywood Stenton Jones. I'm most likely totally off about that, but you never know! I guess it's mostly because David looks soo much like his dad now more than ever. The Jones have such strong genes (his daughter with Iman, Lexi, also looks as much like her grandfather as she does her daddy!)




The intense creep factor. 

Honestly, it's not that creepy for me, but it's creepy in general, and only Bowie can make it sexy with the "beady eyes" and somehow has made scarecrows hot too lol.




This music video makes sense and yet it doesn't make sense. Maybe there's no meaning behind anything, maybe it's just surreal for the sake of being surreal. Some fan theories are that it's about:

- Major Tom. The last of a "trilogy" of sorts where we're first introduced to Major Tom in "Space Oddity," where he's resurrected in "Ashes to Ashes," and his God-like status is now complete with "Blackstar."

- Making references to Labyrinth (especially with the girl with the tail).

- About Satanism.

Who knows! I think it could possibly be about all this and more. If there's one thing I've learned about David is that even if there may be a lot of symbolism and themes in his works, he doesn't really dissect the work that much and usually never has the answers to the questions his fans might have for his songs and/or music videos. The interpretations are up to us to decipher. It's part of the fun.

Here's a ★ interview that can also vouch for that. 

This is the Bowie that we've always known. Ever-changing. NEVER resting on his laurels. He's not the Chameleon King for nothing. This single alone makes me terribly excited at what ★ (that's the album's title, pronounced "blackstar") has in store. Without a doubt, ★ will blow our minds.

I mean, it's Bowie. He does this naturally.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

HIV =


This is huge. This is important. This is something that we all need to realize:

Straight America needs to STOP thinking that HIV/AIDS only happens to gay people. It can happen to anyone. 

Now, the discrimination has to end, and we need to see this through an equal perspective. Anyone can be infected with HIV. We should show love, support, and empathy for anyone who does, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. 

Charlie needs our love, not our laughs. No matter who's the butt of the joke, not everything is a joke. 

Straight or LGBT, we all have a status.

Stop the stigma, get tested, and don't be afraid - nobody is in this alone.


And lastly -

It's okay to have questions. It's not what's asked, but how you ask. We can all do the right thing.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Je Suis Paris

C'est un cauchemar, un vrai cauchemar...

Incroyable.

Dégueulasse. 

Horrifiant. 

Paix pour Paris qui j'aime beaucoup. 


 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Don't Call It A Comeback: A True Return to Form

Missy Elliott dropped her new single and its music video today, and....


Watch "WTF (Where They From)" and you'll be reminded of this:

Missy Elliott is a genius. 

Seriously. This is no overstatement and yet this is an understatement. Missy Elliott has always been innovative, creative, and inspiring, and she continues to be in her first new song and music video in quite some time. It has been 10 years, but her absence hasn't let people forget this. And her.

Missy Elliott is all about female empowerment and sexual positivity in a no-shame zone. 

Missy's one of those few artists who has managed to do this consistently without shouting and screaming about it. She lets her songs and music videos send off that message. It speaks for itself. 

Missy Elliott's fashion game is a fierce one. 

The disco ball suit. The makeup. This is sick. Only she'd come up with something this wild.

Missy Elliott and Pharrell are making marionettes super-duper cool. Where can we buy them?

 
The music industry really needed Missy Elliott back. 

In an industry that's more or less pretty predictable and formulaic, Missy Elliott has always and so consistently amazed us. Just when we'd think that she couldn't possibly be more creative with her music and the videos, she blows us away. Missy makes our jaws drop, Missy's music puts a spell on us to where we never stop listening. Do we want to? Not really, because this is what we need.

Missy Elliott and Dave Meyers create magic together. 

They are the masterminds of why Missy Elliott's videos are beasts. Need I say more?

There are no such thing as comebacks.... 

Just a true return to form.

Master of None: A Standing Ovation


There's a new show on Netflix, and as some of you know, I'm absolutely in love with it. I don't normally binge on TV shows. Heck, I'm not even one to care for most TV shows, be it on Netflix or on cable. This is the first I've even talked about a TV show that I watched on Netflix on here, but I had to, because it's that good. Only 1 episode into Master of None, and I was HOOKED. So hooked that I watched the whole series, all ten of the episodes, in one sitting. Sure, like any show, even one of this caliber, is going to have a few episodes that feel like "filler." Master of None only had one of those episodes, but the rest? Oh. My. God. This is not only comedy. Master of None is brilliantly constructive. It's racially and culturally diverse with an Indian man, the hilarious, adorable, and whip-smart Aziz Ansari, as the leading man, and there are also black and Chinese people of color that makes this show truly of its time, where men, women, people of color, and many cultures are inclusive. The diversity is killing me softly because it really is about time that we had this show.

Here are the little things that made me instantly adore Master of None:

- The Indian character, Dev, actually GETS LAID. He gets the girl! 

Seriously, Indian characters typically are never shown in this kind of light. They never get to have all (or any of) the fun on screen. They're always portrayed as if they aren't deserving of sex, love, romance, and affection of any kind and that they only belong in a taxi, restaurant, or doctor's office.

- It explores what we all know, but are so afraid to talk about: racism. And stereotypes. 

I can't rave enough about episode 4: "Indians on TV." I felt like this was a piece of Aziz's heart. This was the core of what makes this show so special, so important, so necessary, and so right. Aziz in his New York Times article talks about racism in the film and TV industry. More specifically, about how Indian actors and actress are typecast (or not even chosen for the part) based on asinine Indian stereotypes and race. I'd recommend reading this article before or after you watch "Indians on TV." To those who may only see the surface and may not entirely understand our worldview as people of color, "Indians on TV" will give you a glimpse of that perspective of how the struggle, the stereotyping, and the racism is real. It's an episode that will make you laugh as it will also make you think. And it masterfully really did touch upon EVERYTHING with what Indian actresses and actors go through as much now as they always did then. And in only 25 minutes? That's damn impressive.

- It explores interracial dating. Not as a fantasy. Not as a fetish. Just something real. 

Could be a spoiler, but not really: Dev's love interests are white. An Indian/white pairing is surprisingly rare to see in real life as well as on screen. But this is not enough: what it does more is examine some of the cultural differences that can enrich as well as complicate the relationship. This show explores that with such down-to-earth humor. It's so real to life that it gave me good chills. But it didn't beat us over the head about it and the relationships didn't hinge on that Dev is Indian and the girl is white. They're portrayed as normal couples, but it can't be denied that yes, sometimes, race and culture can test the relationship of an interracial couple. It's not make or break, but it will be there.

- How we need to respect and love our parents and/or elders. 

Episode 2 "Parents" and Episode 8 "Old People" is another heart of the show. It's all ooey-gooey and it's really such a universal message behind both episodes, except that the only difference is that Ep. 8 is more general where as Ep. 2 specifically explores Dev and his friend Brian's relationship with their parents who immigrated to America to make a better life for their kids. This was done with an equal dose of humor and sweetness. And if this episode won't warm your heart enough, fun fact: Dev's parents on the show are Aziz's real life parents! AND...read his dad post that he posted on FB.

AWWW, right?

 - Denise




She's black. She's lesbian. And she's FUNNY. Honestly, she's my spirit animal, lol.

And lastly....

THE DIVERSITY/INCLUSIVITY!

This is what makes this show groundbreaking. This is what makes this show brilliant. This is what makes this show EVERYTHING. There's no pandering, no making a big deal that these characters are Indian, black, lesbian, Chinese, and white and that they're friends and/or dating. There's no relying on stereotypes, no hinging on their identities and race - no, this show does NOT have time for that! And speaking of time, every episode feels too short, but that's because if it were any longer, its message wouldn't be as powerful and have as much impact. This series is bitingly to-the-point and yet somehow says it so much in such little time. That's more than amazing. That takes talent. None of these characters are stereotypical, cookie-cutter, and far from boring. Every character is more than their race, culture, job, gender, and sexuality. They are all real people with universal appeal. These are characters you can relate to. These are characters like you and me. And like our families. Everyone on this show from Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang, Kelvin Yu, and everyone else in this cast truly nailed it. Together, they created something quite special. The world needs more Master of None.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

On Writing Trans And Intersex

Once in a while, I get somebody who comes up to me to want to hear my opinion on whether or not they should bother writing a trans or intersex story because it's outside their experience, and what my general viewpoint is on when cis people write trans or intersex stories. Or, in other words, on writing trans and intersex.


First off, this is a free country. You are allowed to write whatever you want as I can too. Nobody is saying that as a cis person, you aren't allowed to write trans and intersex stories. It doesn't bother me that cis people are telling our stories. It's OKAY. What bothers me is this:

- "This had to be written." 

If I had a dollar for every person who has told me this when revealing to me that they're writing a trans or intersex story as a cis person...

No book HAS to be written. Only school assignments (essays, creative writing projects, etc.) HAVE to be written, or else you won't get your grade to move on up to the next one.

It's a CHOICE to write a novel.

"This had to be published" would be better to say, but even that is highly narcissistic. This phrase in general annoys and bothers me because it's seriously, obnoxiously egotistical. Being one of thousands if not millions of authors writing a trans or intersex story does not make someone's book the special snowflake. It just doesn't. It's great that it's being written, but...it doesn't HAVE to be written.

- An ally is not our voice. An ally is not our mouth piece. An ally is a supporter, not God's gift to us. 

I see too much of this: when an ally projects this attitude that their novel/story will make or break an entire community, it presumes this notion that trans and intersex people don't have a voice and only allies can and should speak for us. Not only is this presumptuous, but that's an inflated self-serving  ego that reeks more of them being in it for themselves than actually caring about the people. Nobody needs to see that and it isn't about you. Writing a trans or intersex story, whether written by a cis or intersex and trans person, is not enough to make an impact in this world to make a change. Awareness, sharing articles, volunteering, taking action, being part of the conversation, and so much more is what really makes activism go round. A book can help, but it is not all that there needs to be.

- When an ally thinks one trans or intersex narrative represents all, and that's the basis of their story. 

I'll use Janet Mock's Redefining Realness as an example. Janet Mock's narrative is a great model, but hers is one of millions of trans narratives. Is it possible for those millions to be one and the same? Impossible. There's just no way. Janet Mock's story is not the definitive trans story. Nobody's trans story is. We can only speak from our own experiences with the hopes that others will share theirs.

Too many trans and intersex stories hinge ENTIRELY and ONLY on the character's gender identity. There's too much focus on just the person's genitals and surgery (or no surgery) to validate that person's gender identity and who they are as people. Where's the person? Who is the soul behind the trans or intersex character? Who are they in general? That person being trans or intersex is not all that they are about. Them being trans or intersex alone does not make that character/person interesting, and their character development shouldn't only revolve around them being trans, being pre-op or post-op, wanting surgery, not wanting surgery, etc. All trans and intersex people alike are individuals, so by nature, like everyone else, all our experiences are going to be different. There's no "right way" to transition. There's no "correct" way to be yourself. Just because many trans people want to fit into the binary and be "passable" does not mean that ALL trans people identify with it. Not ALL trans women are girly-girls and glamor goddesses. Some are tomboys or butch, that's how they want to present that way. Not ALL trans men are alpha male. Some are femme and are proud to be effeminate. Not all intersex people are gender neutral. There are intersex people who identify as female, male, or even both. Some trans women and some trans men are non-binary and may not identify with either gender even as trans female or trans male. This is all BEAUTIFUL. There are many shades of trans as there are many shades to transitioning too. We aren't black and white. We are as colorful in our experiences, journeys, and transitions as anybody else. The trans narrative in fiction needs to stop relying on the same tired tropes. We deserve better, because we are more than that.

And lastly,

- When the character being trans or intersex is made into a big deal. 

It's not. Trans and intersex people exist. It's not like finding the cure for cancer. It's NOT a big deal.

Let trans and intersex characters just be characters. Once their gender identity is established, let them spread their wings and be free as they are outside of their genitals, their surgical decisions, legal papers, and who they're sleeping with or falling in love with. The plot doesn't have to be only about those things. Let them just be trans or intersex, let them be who they are, as not a big deal, but as people who have layers and flaws, who are good people, bad people, let them just be people.

And just be an author/writer. You're telling/showing a story. Trans or intersex, the story has to be interesting, engaging, and entertaining. It doesn't need to be a public service announcement. If a point needs to be made, let it be there naturally. There's no need to force it or stand on a soap box about it.

Remember, as a cis person/ally supporting LGBT, you aren't the loudest voice in the room. Whether you're writing a book, taking part in the conversations, volunteering, etc. we're all making a difference. It's not about one person changing the world. We're all heroes. We're all in this together.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

On Appropriation: A Blatant Example

I love The Advocate, I still like them, but this...this was in bad taste.


The politically correct (PC) culture is strong and fierce these days, and it's necessary and important. However, I think appropriation is used so loosely these days, to the point where the PC culture is calling appropriation for just because somebody's wearing the costume, celebrating the holiday that's not of their culture, etc. when that alone doesn't make it appropriation. This is appropriation:

On their Facebook page, The Advocate used "Gay of the Dead" as their headline. So basically....

 - They reduced a sacred holiday into a silly meme. Where's the respect to the holiday?

- They clearly don't know what the holiday is about. The proof is that they posted this when it's not actually Día de los Muertos. That's on November 2. November 1 is where the people commemorate the children that lost their lives too soon. All they had to do was Google search it to know this. Doing that would show that they at least have some respect and sympathy for the culture. Evidently, they don't. Where's the respect to the culture?

- Chances are that nobody on their staff knows any Mexican people. If they did, they would have thought twice before doing this. Where's the respect to the people?

That's appropriation. Taking a culture that's not one's own, stripping away its meaning, and showing no respect to the people. What they could have and should have done was post about LGBT children who lost their lives too young, or make it about LGBT Mexicans celebrating their holiday. This meme will most likely be their only nod to the culture and holiday, and that's...that's not right. I was happy to see that ALL the comments, yes, ALL of the comments, in response to this on their page said that this was disrespectful, tacky, and in poor taste, even "wtf?" worthy. Do you agree?

Monday, October 26, 2015

#IntersexStories


My Tweets:

For most of my life I've been pressured to meet the gender binary, to be someone I'm not. We need more to break this cycle.

I don't need to be "fixed." I'm not "broken." I'm not an alien. I'm not a hermaphrodite fantasy. I'm a person. I'm me.

It was hard enough to be a kid and black, but intersex too? If existed then, I'd know what I know now: I am not alone.

I'm lucky. Living my truth is my . I don't have "normalizing" surgery scars. Those who do have to live with an injustice.

Isolation. Stigmatization. Fetishization. Fear. These don't have to be the center of our world. We have to rid of the shame.

Tweets of my Fellow Intersex People:

Jennifer Levine @jennlevine
 
I found out at 16 I couldn't have kids, at 27 I have XY chromosomes, and at 31 that I'm . We need , not surgeries.

Christian@KarensVampyre 
 
I'm not a dyke I'm not transgender I'm not a freak nor am I with down syndrome I am Intersex I love Me :)

Amythest Schaber @AmythestSchaber
 
I am , and my body is perfect the way it is. No one gets to make me feel differently.

Kassidy Bartels@KLouisebartels
  
When I was 15 I had a doc tell me I had cancer so I would remove my internal testes because she needed to make me normal

Elena Hight@enhight89
 
When stop trying to trying to fit people into boxes and learn to accept, that's when we can all grow

Amanda Erb@mandaErb
 
Hard to trust docs when they only see your diagnosis and not you as a person. also callous questioning abt my body

Sean Saifa Wall@SeanSaifaWall
 
I want the medical community to be held accountable for the emotional and physical TRAUMA leveraged on intersex people.

 Amythest Schaber@AmythestSchaber
 
not surgeries! No child should ever have their body subjected to *unnecessary*, *painful*, *non-consensual* genital surgery

 Claudia Astorino@intersexgrrrl
 
what would the world look like if we stopped stigmatizing people and our bodies? we exist - celebrate us!

The Best of the Best Tweets From Intersex Awareness Day


Aram Hosie (@AramHosie):

Today is Awareness Day. Intersex people deserve bodily autonomy and the right to a life without stigma and discrimination.

The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject):


Today is and we support all. Call the Trevor Lifeline if you need us at 866-488-7386.

Senthorun Raj (@senthorun):

No one should be forced to undergo medical interventions to make their body fit into a binary.

Venus Selenite (@VenusSelenite):

Today is . Please use today (and every day) to inform yourselves and erase stigma about intersex people.

Katie Stevens (@thekatiestevens):

Today is ! I am proud to be on a show that shines a beautiful light, support and love to all of our intersex fans!

Being on we have worked closely with . Check them out! Become aware!

Cole Ledford (@ColeLedford11):

Reminder today for ; you are valid, you are loved, and you are just as important to our community as anyone else!

Planned Parenthood (@PPact):

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Super Duper Rare Intersex Q&A: Your Questions, My Answers!



Q (from Justice McPherson): Is there a strong overarching intersex community? I'm never quite sure what to say because I don't know what the community agrees on in terms of language, etc.

A:  Absolutely! We're a small community, but mighty when we come out of the woodwork and join forces (usually on Facebook and Twitter) to communicate, learn from each other on the varieties and complexities of all the intersex conditions that exist, what we share in common in our journeys with its highs and lows, and so forth. One example of this is our #IntersexStories Twitter Storm:



Here are what the community agrees on with terms (in general): 

- NEVER call someone or anyone a "hermaphrodite."

- Don't assume everyone's gender neutral. Intersex people can identify with any gender, man, woman, both, or neither. 

- Respect people's privacy (like don't ask someone "So what's the matter with you?" or "May I see your genitals?"). It's common sense not to ask nosy questions, but people do, and it's rude. Nobody's entitled to ask intrusive questions and nobody owes it to anybody to give them an answer. Respectfully let people reveal something private and personal about themselves in their own terms.

Keep these things in mind, and you'll be fine! We don't bite ;). Most of us are a friendly bunch.   


Q (from Craig Clark): From what you have observed, is there any one group that Intersex identify with more than another? For sample Bisexual or Pansexual ? Thank you for your time on this topic. I understand that there will be some variety in this answer, thank you.

A: Honestly, not really. I'm pansexual. I've met some intersex people that are also pansexual, but I've also met a fair share of those who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, and bisexual. I've yet to see any one particular sexuality dominate. It's a pretty nice and balanced variety in the community. 



Q (from Scarlett Knight): Do you find many religious (we'll say Christian) people in the intersex community given that the bible talks so much about gender roles and makes no mention of any third pronoun?

A: Actually, I haven't (yet). I can imagine that religious (Christian) intersex people are out there. What I deeply admire is that for LGBTQI people in general, from what I've noticed, that when it comes to their religion, they put their sexuality aside and focus on what really matters: their faith in God. Even if the Bible is against them, and for intersex in this case, even though there is no mention at all of intersex, all that matters is that they believe despite the odds. Isn't that what faith is all about?


Q (from Justice McPherson): What are the biggest and most annoying things you have to deal with on a day to day basis that come from being intersex? Is it basically just the same annoyances that trans people deal with, or is there some other headaches that people don't usually think about?

A:  Ooh, this is one loaded question that gives a lot of food for thought! First, here's the difference between transgender and intersex. Most transgender people were born with a body that's typically male or typically female, but the gender they were assigned at birth does not align with how they identify at the heart. Intersex is when you were born with a body that's NOT typically male and NOT typically female, and how they're gender identified at birth usually entails either the baby getting corrective surgery without consent (and in some cases, not even with the parent's consent), or where the parent chooses a gender for the child that they feel is "best" (based on the child's outside appearance, usually). These are not only two entirely different definitions, but the experiences are too unique to say that transgender people and intersex people are the same. People often lump us together as one and the same when we aren't. "Transgender" and "intersex" should never be used interchangeably and "intersex" should never be used to justify why someone is a trans male or a trans female (that happens a lot, which adds much unnecessary confusion). But safely, I can say that despite our remarkable differences, there are things like the fetishization, objectification, stigmatization, the transphobia, and so many other things of this nature, where if we got together and talked about it, we can go "Oh yeah, I relate to this!" or "OMG, I know how you feel, that happens to me too!" And some intersex people (like myself) shared the same gender identity issues as transgender people do, and can also feel that their assigned gender does not fit with their actual gender identity. Are the annoyances the same? Sure, but it's very different. What I deal with is not going to be the same as what a transgender person (MtF, FtM) deals with. Like for instance, most people know what "transgender" is. Most people on average have never heard of "intersex" let alone met an intersex person. So with just about every person I get to know personally, not only do I have to explain my gender identity, I have to also get into what intersex is, simplifying it best I can. That's  double the ignorance I'm faced with. And unfortunately, not everyone has double the open-mindedness. More frustrating is when/if I meet someone who knows what "intersex" is, they use outdated and stigmatizing language like "So you're half and half," "in-between," "part male, part female," or the worst, biggest no-no of all: "hermaphrodite." It's challenging for people to understand intersex people in a world where we're still pretty invisible (even within the LGBTQI community). And since "intersex" is still not in the mainstream either, most people have no clue about the term, don't know how to behave when they meet an intersex person, etc. I don't take it to heart. I can understand why their ignorance is there. They can't help it and it's not their fault. Most people when knowing me, they will listen, learn from me, "get it," and treat me no differently than before they knew I was intersex while others cannot or will not change (and those were the ones that would boast about how "open minded" they are). The biggest annoyance of all is how unpredictable and yet predictable people can be. People take their visibility and inclusivity for granted. For someone like me, it's not a given or just there. I have to work a little bit harder for that and acceptance too. It's annoying and a headache, but with a heaping dose of positivity, patience, and understanding (it's a two-way street), I can only hope that with time, things will be easier for us and people will do better.


Q (from Amber Morant)Just curious but I know you are intersex which means you are born with both genitals and a bunch of other medical stuff that goes into it and such but being trans does that mean you were operated on then as a kid and they did the wrong genitalia removal? Or more so you are trans in the sense of fluidity or ace? Just curious and confused.

A: I was very lucky. Sadly, many intersex babies are operated on without consent, but I wasn't. Neither my parents or the doctors wanted me correctively operated at birth (they call it "corrective surgery"). They did the right thing by not "normalizing" me. They let me have my male and my female genitals as they naturally are. I love my body as it is, unique and different. Outside of the transgender community, people only think of "trans" as MtF and FtM. In actuality, there are many faces of trans, and I'm one of them. I identify not as a man, not as a woman, but agender. I don't identify with "male" or "female" despite being raised as one gender but perceived as another (that's a whole other complex and complicated story!). Agender can also mean "genderless." Some will call it "gender neutral." They/them/their pronouns. My genitals don't speak for me. It's my heart  and mind that always knew what I am, just a person that can't, doesn't, and won't conform to the gender binary of man or woman. That is what makes me "trans." This may seem confusing, but I'm not confused!

I hope this "trans umbrella" helps too. Under this are the many identities that hold their distinctive journey and experiences. Not lumped together or one and the same, only uniquely their own. 




Q (from Julie Mouton)Do identify with one gender more than another?

A: I deeply admire the feminine aesthetic, but it doesn't fit right on me. I feel most comfortable expressing myself in the masculine. 



Q (from Karen McCrary): I was curious though of your opinion about gender mark on a document. Do you think including a intersex spot would help or lead to more questioning and problems, ie: airport security?

A:  As of now, there isn't a third/"other" gender marker on most USA documents. We aren't there (yet) at accepting the fact that there are hundreds of us out there that identify with the non-binary/gender non-conformity. If/when this does happen, I honestly don't think it would create any issues. Maybe some raised eyebrows in the beginning, but since when has that hurt an entire nation? I believe that having a third/"other" option would only help make the identification of intersex folks easier, more fair (instead of forcing us to have to make a choice between F or M on the document), and will further make this country a place of equality for ALL, the non-binary included. 


Q (from Julie Mouton): I read Middlesex and in the sex scenes it doesn't mention the main character climaxing. Why?

A: That is the quirk of the literary genre ("general fiction") where the sex scenes don't explicitly "show" the climaxing. That's left for the reader to imagine. In real life, contrary to where the book might have implied that the intersex character didn't or couldn't climax, intersex people do have orgasms! 



A major THANK YOU to everyone and their wonderful questions! I'm going to keep this an open space for people to continue asking questions below and I'll answer them as soon as I get them!