Become a part of the Gender Book

The Gender BookThe Gender Book is an effort to try to bring together, in one resource, a discussion of the wide array of gender expressions and identities that fall under the transgender umbrella. It’s creators are holding a brainstorming session next Thursday evening, December 8, to get public input and allow the community at large to become a part of the project.

“We sort of just made the Gender Book out of a need that we felt,” says Mel Reiff Hill, one of the collaborators on the project, along with Boston Bostian and Jay Mays. Hill says that the creators of the Gender Book searched for resources to help them talk about gender, but were unable to find anything that met their needs. “I had a boyfriend who had to pay a therapist to attend training on gender so that he could get the care he needed,” says Hill “the resources just weren’t out there.”

“At the time we were all living in the same house and we had a writer and an artist and a fundraising person and an enteprenuer. All of us were under the transgender umbrella in one way or another and all of us had friends and lovers who are as well,” and thus the Gender Book was born.

Hill describes the brainstorming session as “an interactive community party.” “We’re the first to admit that we can’t represent everyone,” says Hill, recognizing the limitations of any author writing on such a diverse topic. “We’ll have surveys for people to fill out and snacks and coloring book versions for people to fill out”

The coloring book pages are the result of Hill’s process in illustrating the book. Hill first draws pages in pencil then outlines the drawings in pen and erases the pencil, finally scanning the drawing and coloring it by computer. “I presented a workshop with some high schoolers and I was showing one of them my binder of papers looking through it one of them saw the original pen drawings,” says Hill. “He was like ‘you should give these to high schoolers, they love coloring it’s very zen-like for them.’” Hill says that the coloring pages have proved a hit at subsequent workshops and a great way to open up conversations about gender.

The brainstorming session, coloring pages included, is next Thursday, December 8, at the Lawndale Art Center (4912 Main). Attendees are asked to RSVP through Facebook.

More information on the Gender Book is available through their website, TheGenderBook.com.

—  admin

Exclusionary faithful still RSVPing ‘No’ for weddings to which they weren’t invited

Oh look, yet another joint letter where faith leaders overlook the fact that LGBT activists and their allies are seeking *CIVIL* MARRIAGE EQUALITY and not forced religious ceremony:

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[US Conference of Catholic Bishops]




Good As You

—  admin

NOM would correct this sort of thing. If they weren’t willful deceivers, that is.

This is the latest comment posted to the National Organization For Marriage’s official Facebook page:

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Now, this stuff about a faith leader being hauled to jail is obviously untrue. The organized pro-equality movement is seeking CIVIL marriage equality only. As in period. As in that’s it. As in we want churches to have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to the ancillary component of religious marriage ceremony, the same way they are currently free to choose with heterosexuals (e.g. with interfaith couples, atheists, non-members, members in bad standing, or anyone else who falls outside of the church’s faith parameters for any sort of reason).

But while this comment is prominently posted to NOM’s Facebook wall, and while it’s the sort of thing that is regurgitated incessantly by both official and unofficial NOM allies, you will NEVER hear anyone from Team We Control This Nation’s Ring Fingers step in and correct the misinformation. Not Brian brown. Not Maggie Gallagher. Not Robert George. No on. Because they want this sort of fallacy out there. They need these sort of untruths to be out there. Out of the ten billion and six things that are frustrating about the organized anti-equality movement, the deliberate actuality-obfuscation just might be the most annoying.

I once read a tell-all book about “Saturday Night Live,” in which one of the female writers from the early days of the show, Anne Beatts, described the gender disparity in 1970s, pre-Tina Fey comedy writing rooms by saying that “[the men] had to spell ‘cat,’ and [the women] had to say when the Edict of Nantes was revoked.” It’s a comment that ably sums up how I feel about the gay vs. anti-gay debate. Whereas our side prides itself on cogent arguments and throughly researched bullet points, our opposition (and far too much of the public) feels like it’s perfectly suitable to counter those carefully studied, thoroughly lawful, intensely measured, highly principled points by using rhetoric that ranges from red herring to abject lie, with 99% of the anti-LGBT data supported only by personal faith and not actual documentation. And whereas the pro-fairness side is far more concerned about correcting misstatements and self-checking our movement for flaws, the anti-fairness crew has placed their organizational premium on blind eyes and negligent mouths.

We’re beyond sick of fighting this marriage fight. But honestly, we’re almost sicker at the way we are painted as the big, bad, mean immoral, deceptive squad, when it’s the opposition that brands us with that label who makes Pinocchio look as if he had an aggressive nose job by comparison!




Good As You

—  John Wright