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Note: This is primarily just an archival post of my recent article at Autostraddle, however I added a few comments below to clarify a couple of points (the added/edited parts will appear in underline). Anyone who feels the urge to argue with me over this article, please feel free to go to the original Autostraddle post, as I will continue reading every comment that is posted there. Also note that I have already posted a follow-up comment on this.

This article also appeared at Huffington Post and Everyday Feminism.

Recently, I went on a dinner date with a cis woman that ended a bit awkwardly. Some of the conversation we shared was nice, we talked about film (fyi – an easy topic to hold my interest, ladies!), our common roots back in the States, and her background in performance art. At one point she shared with me her frustrations over a performance meant to showcase artists from our region in the U.S. The thing is, whoever put together this particular exhibition had invited a number of men from her theatre program to participate — meanwhile she and several of the other women who graduated from the program found out about the event later when one of the guys posted it on facebook.

It’s pretty easy to feel anger over such blatant sexism, and it immediately reminded me of some of my own experiences of feeling ignored at times in my own workplace. But then she said something that struck a really odd chord:

“Yeah, it’s supposed to represent artists from the South, but it turns out it’s just a total sausage fest.”

Okay, we all get the basic intended meaning here. But is she really implying that the men who were invited to exhibit their work were asked to do so on the basis of their genitalia? I have to say that, since my transition, being a woman with a penis never got me special treatment in the academic world. And given that she was aware of my body configuration I have to think that is a strange comment to make to me on a date.

Sadly, the situation only further deteriorated with the appearance of the word “ladyboy,” and the fact that somehow the subject kept getting changed when I tried to discuss these things. Read the rest of this entry »

So a couple days ago my first piece landed over at Autostraddle: Getting With Girls Like Us: A Radical Guide to Dating Trans* Women for Cis Women. As I’ve read AS off and on through the last couple of years, I’ve thought before that I would hope to someday have the opportunity to publish something with them. Particularly, I was impressed with several amazing pieces from Annika.

As Annika recently decided to focus on other aspects of her life– writing her farewell piece for Autostraddle as she rode off into the sunset– I was a little saddened to think that we wouldn’t have new articles for her to look forward to in the future. But I admit I was also intrigued when AS linked to one of my pieces in their call for submissions for the Trans*Scribe theme issue, featuring trans women telling their stories from their own perspectives in their own words.

The piece that I chose to submit for Trans*Scribe was kind of a belated follow-up to my previous article on dating as a trans woman in the queer women’s communities, which was originally published at Prettyqueer, focusing on my feelings of distance and sometimes alienation dating as a trans woman. Primarily, I viewed that article as a call for dialogue between cis women and trans women on trans woman inclusion in the queer women’s communities (not that my piece is the first article along those lines, far from it). However, while that piece focused a bit more on an argument for trans woman inclusion, the recent piece at Autostraddle was a bit more focused towards women who might already be dating trans women or explicitly open to that possibility (of course, some trans women aren’t really separable in any obvious way from the larger cis woman population in the first place, and then a number of these questions are somewhat of a moot point anyways).

The follow-up piece has been something I’ve been planning to do for a while, in part because I wanted to clarify and refine a few points from the earlier article. That includes the statement I made in the more recent piece about the so-called “Cotton Ceiling” that had originally proposed in the context of the No More Apologies conference back in January 2012. The comment in the recent piece, basically stepping back from that particular framing of the issue, is something I had been planning on writing about for quite a while (unfortunately, I’m not always the fastest writer; luckily the Autostraddle window provided me with the right opportunity to put together a lot of these thoughts that I had had in mind for a while).

The discussion about why the Cotton Ceiling isn’t the best way to frame the issue is something that I plan to return to and make a more detailed comment about at some point in the future. For now, however, I will just point to this particular important comment that was left on the Autostraddle article.

I have to say I totally did not see the overwhelming response the more recent article has received coming at all; the comment thread has blown up in a way that I just never expected. By and large those comments have been supportive, expressing that they gained insight into trans women’s issues and perspectives. However, there has also been significant pushback from a number of (I’ll be generous and say) trans-critical women (and a couple of men as well).

I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify a few points here that keep recurring on the comment thread. Read the rest of this entry »

In my years since transition, I’ve found that dating as a trans woman in the wider queer women’s community is one of those aspects of trans life that turned out to be more complex than I had anticipated. It is with these and similar experiences in mind that a group of trans women (with the support of Planned Parenthood and a wonderful cis woman ally Kate Klein) here in Toronto began planning an upcoming event (Dec. 21) with which we hope to break the ice and invite discussion on these issues.

No More Apologies: Queer Trans and Cis Women, Coming/Cumming Together!” is aimed at starting a dialogue about trans woman acceptance in the queer women’s community and further address the subtle ways in which trans-misogyny plays out in social dynamics even in supposed safe spaces.

In an upcoming blog post, I will give a more detailed account of my personal experience dating as a trans woman, relating how trans-misogyny serves to de-sex trans women’s bodies in certain circumstances, while hypersexualizing our bodies in others. In the meantime, those of us organizing the event look forward to seeing you on the 21st!

No More Apologies

The Sex Talk Series presents…

No More Apologies: Queer Trans and Cis* Women, Coming/Cumming Together!

A FREE conference about social exclusion, sex, and sexual health

No More Apologies is a day-long sex talk, designed to name and address the exclusion of queer trans women from broader queer women’s sexual communities.

Social exclusion negatively impacts trans queer women’s sexual, emotional, and psychological health; meanwhile, by excluding trans women from our communities, cis queer women are missing out on a multitude of sexy, wonderful women to love, fuck, and connect with.

Join us for this long overdue conversation and call-to-action about how to transform our talk about trans inclusion into practice.

Because trans inclusion means more than including trans men in our communities.

Because trans inclusion means more than just saying “women and trans people” in our mission statements.

Because welcoming trans women into our spaces is not the same as welcoming them into our beds.

Because our actions are speaking louder than our words.

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WORKSHOP SCHEDULE:
2:00-2:45 : “What we’re all here for”: Opening plenary by Drew DeVeaux

3:00-4:15 : Brazen: A pleasure-based sexual health workshop for trans women and the folks who are into us, facilitated by Morgan M Page

4:30-5:30 : Concurrent break-out sessions (facilitators TBA)
–> Trans women talk: A discussion on experiences of exclusion in the queer women’s community
–> Cis women talk: A discussion on trans women’s inclusion in the queer women’s community

6:00-7:00 : Coming/cumming together: A dialogue between trans/cis queer women (facilitators TBA)

9pm : Join us for Cum2GetHer, a post-conference dance party and the launch of BRAZEN: The Trans Women’s Safer Sex Guide, a new guide from the 519 Church Street Community Centre. Hosted by Drew DeVeaux with homo-gogo’s and music by DJ L-Rock (Yes Yes Y’All) and DJ Mama Knows (Get It | Got It | Good)! While the conference is only for queer trans and cis women, all are welcome to the party!

To pre-register, or for more information, please contact Kate at kklein@ppt.on.ca or 416-961-0113, x. 123

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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:
– This conference welcomes both trans and cis women who have sex with women
– The conference space is wheelchair accessible, and interpreter/attendant services can be made available upon request. TTC tokens will also be made available for conference attendees. Please let us know if there are any other ways that we can make this conference accessible for you!
– For the well-being of attendees with multiple chemical sensitivities, we ask that you please avoid wearing scented products like perfume, cologne, scented lotions, or any other chemical-based products to the event.

ABOUT THE NO MORE APOLOGIES WORKING GROUP: The No More Apologies working group (comprised of Morgan M Page, Mara Pereira, Savannah Garmon, Rebecca Hammond, and Kate Klein) is a group of queer trans and cis women who came together as part of the Sex Talk Series to think of ways to fill the gaps in sexual health promotion for trans women who have sex with women. Special thanks also go to Terri Mathews and Sally Lewis for their contributions to the project.

ABOUT SEX TALK: This event is part of “Sex Talk 2: A Sexual Health Workshop Series for LGBTQ Women”. Sex Talk is a project of Planned Parenthood Toronto, in partnership with the 519 Church Street Community Centre and Sherbourne Health Centre. Sex Talk 2 is generously funded by the Community One Foundation.

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