Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Auschwitz's TBGL : Never Forget The Pink Triangle

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


I've been labeled by some as a nerd and well, I agree. In fact, I'm fabulously in love with being a nerd. Some of my nerd trips are history and geography. How I love history. One thing I've noticed about history is that if you are hearing the news 300 years later its relevance is obviously not as strong. How did the Egyptians feel that day the Great Pyramid was complete? How was it to look at the Sphinx in it's day. I'm sure it's a lot grander than reading about it 3000 years later, but the beautiful fact remains...we are still reading about it.

What will it be like in 2945 when they acknowledge Auschwitz a thousand years from now? Hopefully they will remember it being one, if not the most disgustingly, horrible display of the depths of evil human beings were capable of. Hopefully they will remember the Pink Triangle.

Auschwitz was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. The concentration and extermination camps would be where countless torturous medical experiments would take place along with the of hellish torture of millions of Jewish and TBLG people. Some of the experiments ranged from experiments on twins, bone, muscle and nerve transplanting, head injury experiments; and freezing experiments with the intent of discovering means to prevent and treat hypothermia. There were 360 to 400 experiments and 280 to 300 victims indicating some victims suffered more than one experiment.[8] One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to five hours.
When the war was over World leaders met in France to what is called the "Paris Peace Treaties". Never again would the world stand by and permit genocide like the Nazi regime’s extermination of six million Jews during World War II. This also led to the creation of NATO.

This year on January 10th the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality unveiled a monument to commemorate members of the TGLG community who were persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Why is it important to remember? Today, nations like Russia, Uganda, and now Kazakhstan, among other small nations have adopted anti-lgbt laws that have spread hate, caused harm, and shown remarkable resemblance to the type of laws Hitler began issuing regarding the Jewish people shortly before World War II. Nazi anti-Jewish policy began functioning on two primary levels: legal measures to expel the Jews from society and strip them of their rights and property, while simultaneously engaging in campaigns of incitement, abuse, terror, and violence of varying proportions. There was one goal: to make the Jews leave Germany. On March 9, 1933, several weeks after Hitler assumed power, organized attacks on Jews broke out across Germany. Two weeks later, the Dachau concentration camp, situated near Munich opened. In the current case of Uganda, Russia, and Kazakhstan's current anti TBLG laws the only difference is the establishment thus far, as far as we know,  of concentration camps.
The world, NATO, and those nations that signed the Paris Peace Treaties should be appalled, but nothing is being done. They sit quietly just as they did when Hitler slowly came to power and began his rage. It wasn't until January 27, 1945 that the entire world stood horrified at what had taken place.

The Nazi's used a system of classifying their tortured human experiments.

Single triangles (Wiki info)


Black triangle—people who were deemed "asocial elements" (asozial) and "work shy" (arbeitsscheu) including
Roma (Gypsies), later assigned a brown triangle.

Double triangles

Double-triangle badges resembled two superimposed triangles forming a Star of David, a Jewish symbol.
  • Two superimposed yellow triangles or a six-pointed star, the "Yellow badge"— a Jew. The word Jude ("Jew") was often inscribed in faux-Hebrew-looking letters inside the center of the badge.
  • P Letter "P" on a red triangle for Polish Christian Political Enemy (first in Auschwitz)
  • Red inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish political prisoner
  • Green inverted triangle upon a yellow one—a Jewish "habitual criminal"
  • Purple inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jehovah's Witness of Jewish descent[7]
  • Pink inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—a Jewish "sexual offender"
  • Black inverted triangle superimposed upon a yellow one—"asocial" and "work shy" Jews
  • Voided black inverted triangle superimposed over a yellow triangle—a Jew convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder ("race defiler").
  • Yellow inverted triangle superimposed over a black triangle—an Aryan (woman) convicted of miscegenation and labelled as a Rassenschänder ("race defiler").
Would have been worn by someone who classified themselves or were falsely accused of being Gay, Bi, or Transgender



The attack on Germany's gay community began in 1933 when the Prussian Ministry of the Interior adopted a radically conservative social policy and authorized “Operation Clean Reich." As a result of the ministry's new orders, the gay bars and clubs that had been so plentiful around the turn of the century were closed or destroyed. Around the same time, gay prostitutes were detained and held in "protective custody" throughout Germany by the regime's paramilitary forces.
 
 
We may assume the recent anti TBLG laws will eventually work themselves out, or someone will rise and take care of them but eastern Europe has proven within one lifetime (only 70 years ago), that they are willing and capable of eradicating an entire group of people.
 
Before World War ll there were no documented sex change operations, but it is safe to assume that many of the "thought to be" gay, effeminate men, and butch women were early transgender.

 

Transgender SRS history that can be traced back to World War ll
Magnus Hirschfield was an early German physician and sexologist. He is considered the first outspoken LGBT activist. He was associated with the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, where they were studying the way to change sex, until it was closed down by the Nazi Party. It was Magnus Hirschfeld who coined the term transexualism, identifying the clinical category which his colleague Harry Benjamin would later develop in the United States and a standard by which all transitioning transgender persons follow to this day.
 
 
 
We owe it not only to ourselves to remember for the sake of the future Trans culture, but we also as humans owe it to ourselves to remember the Pink Triangle so that no nation disregards human life as did the Nazi's.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
Reference sites:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Novel The Pink Triangle on Amazon








RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET  


Are we witnesses to the beginning Genocide of the LGBT in Russia and Uganda? 



Uganda and Transgender Rights...it's time!

 









 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Trans Faces #8 Raven Wear; The Wendy Williams of Youtube's Trans Society

 
By Sabrina Samone, TMP



I often discuss the bloggers that have inspired me. Beyond writing, there's several vloggers that have equally inspired me to add my voice to the revolution. The first, and most powerful, voice was behind the video commentary 'What's is a Tranny Chaser".  Her video about those who hyper-sexualize transgender people hit home for me at a time when I was newly single and back on the dating scene. It inspired me to write my most popular post to date, "Ten things a “trans chaser” says and what it really means…". It quickly became my number one post and remains so to this day with over fifteen thousand views. After hearing her down to earth and real attitude about trans daily issues I quickly referred to her as the Wendy Williams of Trans society. I say this with great respect, as am a major fan of Wendy Williams. Like her, Raven Wear of the Raven Ovah YouTube channel, gives her viewers a no nonsense, cut the B.S. point of view; spiced with hilarious humor, class, amazing style and a genuine car for her sisters and brothers in the Trans*.

She maintains a strong connection with her viewers that is rare among most trans vloggers. An ability to give an atmosphere of education with laughter, she is a force to many in and outside the perimeters of Trans society. I've watched Raven Wear tackle and educate many on topics like; "Promoting Hate in Church", "The Leelah Alcorn Story", "Ridiculing Fox News", "Live in Your Truth and Stop Lying" , advice on hair weaving, and even did an opposite to the video about T chasers in "Good Guys Steps to Approach a Trans Woman.", a few among my personal favorites.
Controversial to some, but necessarily blunt about issues that are real to many within our community, and outside. TMP would like to highlight a voice in our community that is relevant to life issues that many trans women face. A sister who will make you laugh at the troubles some choose to cry over; let's get to know the woman behind the Raven Ovah videos.  
 
 
1. TMP:  Raven, what brought you to put your voice out there and what do you hope to achieve with your advice to many trans women?
 
    RavenWell, I didn't exactly start my videos for the action that took place.  I did it because I was so shocked at how bad men treated me. I was shocked at the fact I was no longer human. I was just sex and nothing more...no feeling just sex. If I complained to men about their behavior, they were like "well you shouldn't look the way you do if you wasn't prepared to just be a sex whore. I was like WOW, I didn't sign up to be no man's whore. I just wanted a man to love me; I love him, let's grow and make this money. Like I did when I was living as a male. I had learned quick, and may I add it took me a while to catch on because I didn't want to believe these men could be so cold. I knew in my heart there was some man out there that wanted love...he didn't show up, but the bad men did. When I say bad, I mean many races from the richest, the powerful, and the poor. I wanted to close my eyes to all the pain I received, but it was not going away. I laid in the bed many nights and just cried. I felt my body just leave from my soul and my breathing became hard to breathe, as I laid on my bed and just died.  I was the kind of person that loves hard, but I learned who cares. I said ok, if this is how it going to play out, I may lose this battle with my heart and men, but I will go out with a big fight, and I will teach every transgender woman  what to look out for, and not to trust the games of the straight man. I was use to gay men not straight, and trust me there's a big difference.  I talked to females and they told me, straight men call females bitches and whores because we bitch about the way they treat us said females, and we are called whores because we make them pay for the pain they cause us. You don't fight a man with your hands, you fight him in his pockets. Men call you out your name for control, and if he feels he can't control you he calls you out your name; then he will leave you looking for the girl he can control. Not all men I took note[sic], as my eyes filled, because I didn't think I was strong enough to be this new person that was so cold, and I went to many women. The message was the same, straight men are hard and they don't want to let anyone know anything that makes them feel soft, meaning dealing with a transgender. Or, they hide it in anger to throw people off. I had to digest all the information, and I said let the games begin. And when I say games, it is not on my part. It is the part of the man that will come shooting games at me, and it is my job to make him pay for his deceiving ways; and teach other girls, some gay guys, and even females to be armored and ready.
 
 
2. TMP:  How many videos to date? Do you keep up with them?
 
    R.W.:  716 Videos and growing.    
 
 
3. TMP:   What are some of the things that have changed your view of Trans society since you began vlogging, and how has your audience shaped you as well?
 
     R.W.:  I was waiting to be backlashed by the Transgenders because I have watched some of them in many chat rooms, and for so many trans women to always want to be accepted, aka passable, and then turn right around and attack other Transgenders so I knew my time will come to be attacked as well. However, it didn't happen. In fact, I was so shocked at the fact so many just wanted someone to help them find out information. What is going on with these men, hormones, trans life. Murders of transpeople, society's treatment, and watch your back was always my answer. You have to bring me something, and I don't mean no disease.  Many trans women just wanted to share their story, etc. I have reached all walks of life, some good attention, some bad, but that is life. If you come to my page with an open heart, and a will to learn, you will. If you come to spread hate I'll just block you. I will not give you that reaction you want to make me mad, nah. I know how the game works. They call me Big Sis, lol. Watching out for my baby sistah or sister's.
 
 
4. TMPI believe as a trans woman I also encourage us to be proud and celebrate trans-female beauty and sexuality. Being on that cross roads of a woman owning her own and being public via YouTube, how important do you feel it is to put a voice behind the hyper-sexualized image many cis-gender males have of us?
   
   R.W.   I find that part amazing. People (Transgender women/men) use pictures to show themselves the stages they have come through in life. In a picture you can see the different levels of change you have received from hormones and surgery, etc. However, cis-gender males add their own caption. We have Victoria Secret, a very marketable company that expresses women in panties and bras. That is accepted and fabulous, but when a Trans Woman does the same thing it is bad. People add their own caption if their mind is dirty. You will see that. If your mind is clean, you will see the art.
 
5. TMP: The first video I saw of yours was your take on T-chasers. It encouraged me to address the issue as well on TMP. What encouraged you to speak out about those type of men who claim to love trans-women but yet show nothing but disrespect?
 
      R.W.: I learned that many Trans women are looking for love, and if a "Tranny Chaser" comes along she's thinking her dream is about to start. Finally she will have a man. A good man's purpose is to be the knight in shining armor, to build you up with faith that all men are not that bad, but good one's are out there too. Most are secretly seeking out your other Transgender sisters, looking at their body to see how much work she's had done. She may look better than you, or not. She may even be better in bed; and score if she comes with money. He wants to see how many girls he can have sex with. To me he's just a man period.
 
6. TMP: How important is the message to younger trans-women to demand the respect from men that they deserve?
 
     R.W.:  You show a man how to treat you. If you show him you're not about nothing, he will fulfill your dream and treat you like nothing. If you show him, "you are going to treat me like a Queen", meaning NO! sex until the man earns it, he will have more respect for you. Now, he may leave you..lol because men want the power. If he feels you're in too much control he will have no use for you. Not all men. Some men really love their dignity and fight for respect.
 
7. TMPDuring the Feminist movement of the sixties, it was common to see women attack each other for the exploitation of women. Sadly, we have seen this in the Trans society as well. But how important is it, given our smaller numbers, that we as a community restrain from stoning our Trans sisters for the sake of the sexual appetite of men?
 
      R.W.: If a person is bad you can't change that, as for me I don't bother. This is not a good question for me because I could care less about a man. Take him, keep him, enjoy him. There's another one coming in the next 5 seconds if a trans girl is that hungry then let her eat from his plate of bulls""t.
 
8. TMP:  What is your most common and favorite message you like conveying to your audience?
 
     R.W.:  You have to bring me something, hit them pockets until he shows you he is not like the rest. These men are "straight", not gay men. Some transgender's bring the gay mentality thinking they're gay. Because these straight men do a lot of gay things, even cunt, just hit the pockets. It stops all the bullsh#t, however, I'm a jaded, bitter, bitch. Don't blame me. Blame the men that made me this way; go after them.
 
9. TMP:  What can we expect from Raven Wear and the Raven Ovah channel this year?
 
     R.W.:  I never really know what path God will send me down, however I love anyone that is different as the under dog; but not the crazy people, people who will turn that statement into something bad. So many people always look for the bad in people.
 
10. TMP: : I like to ask, if you could tell the world something about Raven Wear and you knew everyone would listen, what would you like them to know about you?
 
    Raven WearWe are all spirits. I love to make people laugh. Gay, trans, close your eyes on people who don't accept you. Remove them out your life asap!! Act like the celebrity you are. Surround yourself with people that will protect you and bring you further in life, as you will do the same for them. Don't make people accept you if they don't. That is their problem, not yours. "You're God's Child", not your Earth Parents, but God's child. You go to God for anything and he will carry you through this thing called life. Don't let people tell you "God hates gays". You see their job is to pull you from God (trickery) to destroy you. It is the work of the beast. You can only be destroyed if they pull you from God, so remember "GOD IS LOVE". The main sign of the beast; they use God's name to promote hate. Once you hear the word hate, recognize this is the work of the devil. Leave them quick, they'd rather you kill yourself. I believe we are all reincarnated, that's why little kids know so much so fast and people are like, "how do they know this?" They've been here before. We see faces we've seen before but never met the person, though something tells us we know them. We go places and feel, "Hey! I been here", but never been there. In your past life you were there, you just can't figure it out. I believe when a person is about to die, a woman is giving birth and that spirit travels into the baby. Once the spirit hits the baby, the baby let's out a cry to let you know the new spirit made it. When they baby is still born the spirit didn't make it there in time. We are all different, but in spirit we are all the same. Love people that are different; they all have a message if you just listen. Everyone's here for a reason.
  
 
I enjoyed getting to know Raven Wear better. As usual she never fails to make you laugh, contemplate, and reminds us why it's so important to just keep it real.  You may agree, or you may not. You may call her controversial, or you may get it. Regardless how you take it...it is what it is, and what it is, is being REAL!!!
 
 My All Time Favorite and very wise words!
"With that being said, I'd like to say to all the new people boom, old people bam. I want to thank you for reading and subscribing. I want you to do you. I want you to do you the best way you can. If no body don't like it...fuck em." 
 
To stay in tuned with Raven Wear Follow: 
@
 
 
 
 
    RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 

Monday, January 26, 2015

S.C. Proposed Bill would Prohibit State Employees from Recognizing Same-Sex Couples

By Sabrina Samone, TMP



I mean really, are they actually still wanting to fight this?  A Federal Judge cleared the way for marriage equality in South Carolina, but it seems bigotry would still like to make itself feel relevant some how in a state proposed bill:
SECTION 20-1-15. Prohibition of same sex marriage. A marriage between persons of the same sex is void ab initio and against the public policy of this State.
HISTORY: 1996 Act No. 327, Section 1, eff May 20, 1996.


According to the Advocate, S.C. is among at least 5 states that are currently considering laws that would establish legal discrimination against TBLG persons.

Here is an insert of the Advocate's statements:

"Religious Liberty" Activists Fight BackPeople across the country banded together last year to protest SB 1062, a law proposed in Arizona, which would have allowed businesses and employees to refuse service to LGBT people or others who offend their religious sensibilities. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill after receiving immense pressure, but in Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant signed a similar one into law in April. Conservatives have vowed to continue the push for such "religious liberty" laws in other states. So far in 2015, at least five of these bills are on the American Civil Liberties Union's radar: Texas's and South Carolina's legislatures are eyeing bills that would prohibit government employees from recognizing a same-sex couple's relationship (through marriage licenses, mostly). Bills in Virginia, Georgia, and Utah would allow individual state employees to decided whether they want to participate in same-sex marriages. As the ACLU has put it, these laws are largely a reaction or backlash toward LGBT gains, like marriage equality, in those states and nationally.



Recently Nikki "the o.m.g is she still Gov." Haley gave her State of the State Address in which she proposed raising the gas tax by .10c per gal along with  2% income tax breaks. Really Nikki Haley? You can't stand up for "every" citizen in the state and now this from the State Legislative. Don't we have better things to be doing in South Carolina, like providing decent health care to worry about.

South Carolina State Government...you get TMP's Jackass of the week Award.




      RELATED TOPICS ON TRANSMUSEPLANET





South Carolina’s Defense of Marriage Law Challenged

Remembering TDOR 2014 Charleston SC  

 CASE #396: West Virginia's Water Genocide 

 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Trans World News 1-24-15

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


Coming of age in the late nineties and beginning the work of accepting myself as Transgender,  It was rare that I would hear any progress on the state of being Trans. It was as if we didn't exist. So much as changed in fifteen years, especially now.  This month is about to close and never before has Transgender issues been so upfront and personal on the dinner table of America as it has been recently. The command to "Fix Society" grows louder by the day. Across this country and the world trans people with our allies are standing to proclaim, we exist.

We are still reeling from the suicide of Leelah Alcorn earlier this month and yet we are continually forced to digest one death continually after the next of sisters and brothers around the globe. Even with the large screams of Transgender society worldwide to "Fix Society," transphobia in the Virginia media continues to persist as in the case of Lamia Beard,  who was murdered this week and yet suffered even more by the hands of local Virginia media by being misgendered and further humiliated even in death.
Thirty-year-old Lamia Beard of Norfolk, Va., a transgender woman of color, was shot in the early morning of January 17. She died at a local hospital.
Between June and December last year, at least 13 transgender women were murdered in the United States; all but one of those identified were women of color. These tragedies highlight the intersecting forces of poverty and racism.

This constant in  your face bigotry by the media continues even while as a community we celebrated the leader of America, POTUS Barack Obama, who became the first President in United States history to acknowledge the visibly growing transgender society. During the President's annual SOTU address to the nation he says, "We condemn the persecution of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender." The words, while maybe insignificant to the general public, were felt like an earthquake and brought a smile of hope to millions of Transgender people around the world. Many see it as the starting point of absolute validation by our government. The unfortunate reality of the momentous words are clouded by the continue fact that as the first African American President made his remarks, yet another Trans woman of color lost her life do to discrimination. The sad often ignored fact of the great chasm that plagues not only African American communities but American culture as a whole, is that black trans lives matter. 

As the resilience of the Trans soul as often shown us, we continue our voice for justice. In one of the oldest trans visible nations, India, the film "I' has taken transphobia to entirely new stratosphere.  Our eyes are again turned to the struggle of maybe the largest Trans populated area on Earth.  In an open letter that has gone viral, Living Smile Vidya, a fellow trans blogger from India writes to the director of the film.
Living Smile Vidya's open letter courtesy of Living Smile Vidya;
**********************************************************************************

TMP SIGNAL BOOST:
By Living Smile Vidya
To
The Epic Film director Shankar:
Sir,
I watched “I”.
I stand here in Tamil Nadu, where religious fundamentalist forces have ensured that a creative piece of work has been retracted and its author gone into exile, where – on grounds that it hurt religious sentiments – “The Da Vinci Code” was banned, and “Viswaroopam” was temporarily banned and went on to get a lot of publicity, becoming a high grosser.
I stand here today and look at your work. Everyone knows that a ‘Shankar film’ caters to the actor’s hunger for versatility in a role, the producer’s fetish for money, the mad worship of a rogue masquerading as a hero, or the blatant misogyny underlying the blind craze among fans.
However, you would have known that most critics, barring a predictable few, have found the film disappointing. While they have ridiculed your script and your screenplay, it seems to be beyond them to criticise your ridiculing the ‘nine’* (trans) character in your movie. I am amazed at the wonders of freedom of expression exercised in the making of this particular work. You are, after all, the epic director! You are free to depict us, trans* people as sex freaks, sociopaths, second class citizens, or in any way you want to. I’m sure you would have liked it when one of them took a leaf out of your book and wrote, ‘there’s another villain, a “nine”thara.’
Beyond your magnificent ambition, ostentatious sets, striking actors, and your grand budget, I would like to reach out to your large and imposing mind. If the appalling denigration of transwomen in “Shivaji” (when Vivek says ‘It has just come back from surgery,’ and our super star moves away, disgusted) was at one level, you have surpassed yourself by taking transphobia to a whole new level in “I”.
I                                                                                                                             A still from the movie 'I'
This insignificant little girl would like to speak a few words with you about this.
Just ten minutes into the film, Vikram, the epitome of on-screen machismo, stares at the villain and says ‘dei, potta’. I was not surprised. Other ‘pottai-s** like me and I are used to such slander on screen. When Vinoth, director of the socially-sensitive film “SathurangaVettai”, casually uses the word ‘pottai’ as an abuse, and critics ruling this part of the world support him, can we expect any less from you?
Shankar, how are we, the pottais of the world, any less dignified than your masculine ideal? Is that ideal bigger than our realization that our being is filled with femininity, and we yearn to live the truth of our gender? Is your ideal much bigger than the courage to be honest and leave the safety of our home, and the comfort of our families? Is your ideal nobler than us losing our basic rights as citizens, when we run away and become refugees, second-class citizens, in our own country? Is it more magnificent than the scorching pyre of starting life afresh as a woman, without economic or social support? Is it any grander than us bearing with fortitude, the violence of your masculine ideal on our bodies every day of our lives? Or, Shankar, do you simply think we do not feel at all? That we cannot realize our dignity is assaulted?
It’s fine that you wanted five villains. I understand your script required all of them to be from the film industry. But then, you wanted one villain among them to be plush and grand and at the same time comical. I am appalled that you chose to have a transwoman as that villain.
Your transwoman character is a stylist. Just so that you wanted it to be authentic you cast Ojas Rajani – Aishwarya Rai’s stylist in “Enthiran” (I wonder if she knew what she was doing; if you told her how transphobic her character is in the movie). Even while she is introduced as the top stylist by the ciswoman who plays the leading lady, why do the hero and the friend look down on this transwoman? You must know that there are numerous examples of transwomen who have risen to great heights, battling these very same struggles. Do you wish to make the statement that despite our rising to great heights, the fact that we are trans* is reason enough to look down on us? To denigrate us? When you see fans update their vocabulary to use the name of a popular film that strove to bring dignity to the transgender community (I am referring to the film “Kanchanaa” which, surprisingly, against its intention, has lent its title to be used by people to tease us these days), why would you start with that popular song sung by a travelling group of transwomen singer-dancers, “oororam puliyamaram”? Unfailing your ignoble intention, the audience erupted with laughter at this mean usage of the song. Would you have heard the wail of our mothers, who are, just like your “Muthalvan” Pugazh’s mother, in anguish?
Your leading man sees your leading lady only in posters and on the silver screen, falls in love with her – true and honest – and yet manages to not have any sexual desires at all. And your leading lady loves him in return, thanks to guilt and sympathy. When this is okay, how is it that the love of a transwoman is so worthless that it disgusts not just the leading man, but also the lady, and the friend, and the faraway ad filmmaker? This disgust is a tool you have employed to vilify the character in your script, isn’t it? When you wanted to show her as a rich transwoman, your camera lens showed her in a very beautiful light. Immediately after her love is brushed aside as being worthy of scorn, your camera shows her as a despicable person. Shankar, let me tell you, your camera does not just show a despicable Ojas, it shows a despicable you!
You know, right up to this scene I wanted to be civil and polite in expressing my angst. Just when you showed us that Ojas occupied Room No. 9, I lost it. You must know that I have been called ‘nine’ all my life in school. I was poked and pierced on all sides, torn apart, left alone and to nothing but tears, with this number. I still have this number now, thrown at me on the streets. I also have the arsenal of swear words I have picked up on the way, and I would not hesitate to throw back at you. But then, the critics of the world (special mention, Cable Shankar) will take it upon themselves to give me lessons in cultured conversation. I do not want that; so I will continue to be polite.
While the censor board made you place the disclaimer, ‘No animals were harmed during the making of this film’, it turned a blind eye to the blatant discrimination of sexual and gender minorities, and people with physical disabilities – granting you the freedom to hurt and offend these sections of the population. What is the use of questioning the faults in your work without condemning the kindness of the CBFC?
Let’s turn to your leading actor Vikram. He has risen to great heights after much effort and hard work, but he is no exception to this insensitivity – the film that gave him his big break, Bala’s “Sethu”, has him say ‘de, you are going to become an ajak one day, doing this’. His inspiration – the rationalist, modernist, liberal – Kamal Haasan has, after all, used ‘pottai’ with such recklessness, and has famously vilified transwomen and homosexuals in his film ‘Vettayaadu Vilayaadu’. This insensitivity is common to every actor here.
But still, if it will reach, I’d like to say one thing to you – and all actors, comedians and directors. The men of this world are not your only audience – those men who worship that abusive, insensitive, patriarchal, masculine ideal that denigrates people who are courageous enough to live the truth. Your work is also watched by those very same people you denigrate, alienate and laugh at. We have TVs in our homes. We watch your films. We laugh, we enjoy. We also feel. We can also rise in fury when our dignity is assaulted.
* Nine: “ombOdu”, a derogatory Tamil term for transgender and other gender-nonconforming people.
** poTTai: another derogatory Tamil word, loosely translated as “sissy” and used against gender non-conforming and transgender people, but also used in some communities as a non-derogatory reference to girls and women.
**************************************************************************

The topic of weather or not to allow transgender actors to play more trans roles continues. Obviously, an actor is a person portraying a character in a dramatic or comic production and should be free do to do so but the debate increases; is it the duty of Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole to reevaluate and take an active role in addressing discrimination with in the industry. It would not be a first. During the sixties, the Civil Rights leaders of the day, pressured Hollywood to portray African-American, Native American and Latin Americans with our on actors. Any less was and is continued to be considered racism. Imagine a top Caucasian actor of today putting on black face to play an African American role, there would be an outcry of rage. The same pressure should be applied when considering Trans actors.
There are many signs of hope. One is the current critically acclaimed Sundance Film Tangerine . The low budget films is gaining rave reviews across the board for it's portrayal of two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles. Yes I know...prostitutes you may be saying and trust me I too am bored with the only portrayal of transgender people by trans actors as prostitutes, I myself have had the misfortune of being considered only for a trans prostitute role even in an LGBT produced film, "Between Love and Goodbye."  
This film however is based on trans issues with trans characters that are played by trans actors. Even though it is a familiar character to us, we can embrace the fact that a quality film like,  "Tangerine" is taking the steps to support real transgender actors. Though many may not want to support it because of it's content, I'd urge the opposite. We need the steps to see many more Lavern Coxs' shine and it is another momentous Trans event that a film of it's nature is so highly acclaimed at Sundance Film Festival.

There is even more great news coming out of Trans film. "Passing" is a short documentary under development that is shining a much needed light on a segment of our Transgender society that is least discussed, Trans men of color. The documentary examines the lives of three trans men of color dealing with racism and sexism in and out of Trans society. The film is currently in funding mode and spreading the word about this most needed piece of art is needed by the community. 


While we celebrate the Film Tangerine and the future of the documentary Passing , in communist China,  real life transgender sex workers are expressing their concerns.  It's not the usual suspects that harm these women and men in China but the actual government and police force. According to the Huffpost article; Xiao Tong was selling sex on the streets of Beijing when a man lured her into his car, flashed his police badge and took her to the station. Once there, police pulled at Xiao's wig and punched her, before removing her bra and groping her during a body search. "They asked really perverted questions, like, how do you have sex," Xiao said. "I turned around and asked, do you want to try? Then he kicked me, really, he really kicked me."
Like sex workers world wide China's sex workers face abuse, rape and HIV. Unlike here in the west, they have zero voice. Being a communist country with very few if any rights, transgender people, like us in other countries are at the bottom of the rights pool but in China's situation transgender society is at a lower level many of us could not even begin to imagine. 



Again we take a look back at the week in Trans Society and with hope from coast to coast one day soon we can answer the call of Leelah Alcorn and "Fix Society".



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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Only 13 U.S. States Allow All Gender Inclusive Restrooms

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


There is not a state in the union that does not have its share of  trans society, and our allies demanding gender inclusive restrooms in American public schools. First, may I add that public schools receive its funding from the taxpaying people of America. According to the 'Williams Institute of Law's 'LGBT Parenting in the United States',  37%  of LGBT as a group, has or had a child in the household. The figures may be half that or even less for Transgender and gender queer individuals who are parents, but there are no stats available at the moment to say either way. Majority of transgender, gender queer and other within the TBGL community are paying the bill for the very groups that are fighting to deny youth that identify as Trans to have the life saving right to use the correct restroom according to their presented gender. Ironically, America's revolution was fought on the basis of 'Taxation Without Representation'. Unfortunately, our tax dollars are accepted even if 38 states don't accept us.

The battle has varied from state to state. In the South last year, Hartsville SC to be exact,  a young Trans teen had been told not to use the female restroom and was forced to use the male restroom...the school has since won and no other changes have taken place to this day.  In Maine, a trans-girl was awarded $75,000 after being denied the female restroom in her state. This was the fist time a state's high court had ruled in favor of trans students using the correct toilets for their gender. It led to the Penobscot County Superior order, which prohibits refusing trans students access to “restrooms that are consistent with their gender identity”. In Kentucky, State Senator C.B. Emory has proposed a bill that would ban trans students from using,  toileting or using a changing room “designated for use by students of the opposite biological sex while students of the opposite biological sex are present or could be present”...in part creating a 'Gestapo' environment. Also, a school board in Virginia recently voted against Trans student bathrooms.

 
 
PETITION
 
A petition letter has been created by forchange.com to stop the bill proposed by Kentucky C.B. Embry. This bill goes even further than last year's Arizona's defeated law. This bill would actually endanger the lives and safety of many Trans-youth. Spread the word...let know one you know realize how dangerous this Senator is. Let's stop Senator C.B. Embry.
 
 
 
 
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A March For Freedom...First Selma...Now Nashville Tenn

By Sabrina Samone, TMP


 
 
There's a rage growing in the Trans* worldwide. As a people, we are no longer willing to be silent while we watch sister after brother die from senseless discrimination and hate. For decades Trans people have fought to pass laws in city after city, internationally that condemn hate crimes. While we have a long way to go for protection, there are many ways discrimination shows it's evil face. One is in housing, employment, and health care. In every town and city across this country we as a people are screaming to be heard and the epicenter of that rage, ground zero, is Nashville Tennessee.

Our sister LaSaia Wade of TNTJ, Tennessee Transgender Justice Project, contacted TMP to share with us, the growing intolerance of Transgender people in Nashville Tenn. Tennessee was among the states with the highest names read during last year's TDOR. While many of us in similar sized areas are battling for health care that covers transgender related issues, our people in Nashville are fighting simply to be treated with respect and decency. Just to have fair and friendly health care services is an issue there.
From someone in the health care field I'd be glad to say that one of the basics in nursing is to acknowledge a variety of people's choices, religions and beliefs. To be non-judgmental in administering health care and the Patient Bill of Rights are preached repeatedly to any health care professional. Unfortunately, in too many hospitals nationwide this seems to be a problem when in comes to Transgender people and many other TBLG people, especially those suffering from HIV.

TNTJ is an organization networking to access a better quality of life for Tennessee's Transgender society. On Feb. 22nd 2015, the first of many planned marches throughout Tenn. is scheduled. As the executive director of TNTJ LaSaia Wade says to TMP, "We will march and let our voices be heard, our tears seen. We must finally come together as community in the state of Tennessee and make people accountable for their transphobic actions and unacceptable inequality."

One of many issues facing Tennessee Trans* according to LaSaia Wade when asked by TMP says, "Trans women of color are targets here... being misgendered in the news as well as media downplay everything and because of the added oppression of the LGB community there we are marching. Nashville must be heard."

Before the southern even heats up, TNTJ's marches are demonstrating  the rage of many Tennessee Trans People. TMP stands with TNTJ through them all, lending our voice to the "the trans rage".


Trans Rights March February 22, 2015

Increase visibility for trans individuals.
Let our voices be heard, our tears seen.
Come together as community in the state of Tennessee.
Organizer Meeting
January 21, 2015
Oasis Center
1704 Charlotte Ave, Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203
5:30 - 7:30
 

TNTJ

Tennessee Trans Justice Project (Facebook Link)

TNTJ, Tennessee Transgender Justice Project: We are an organization attempting to shine a light on inequalities suffered by the transgender community, including: barriers to health care, discriminatory hiring practices, violence and assault. We network to create access to trans friendly health care services, find resources for HIV testing, access to safe housing, and advocate for fair hiring.

Values

  • Self-identification, determination and definition: We all have a right to define our lives, experiences and identities and have those truths celebrated
  • Always in love, respect and honor: In order to move forward collectivelywe must acknowledge the contributions all community members
  • Free from judgment: We must recognize that we are all different yet we’re traveling on the same path towards liberation
  • In Spirituality and truth: The foundation of who we are begins with, acknowledging and celebrating our truth
 
 
 
 
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Barack Obama: Showing Some Love and Fixing Society

By Sabrina Samone, TMP
 

Young, innocent Leelah Alcorn gave us all a command and our POTUS responded.  Many, even within the community, may already have their negative opinions of Obama's State of the Union Address. Continually refusing to see any positives in his words due in part to their own personal prejudices. That is a sad constant dividing factor within our trans society. Someone recently told me that when a person says anything it is always up to that person receiving the information on how they choose to perceive it. We can choose to see it as meaningless that the President said the infamous T word, or we can be positive and have faith in knowing that this is the first President in United States history to take a step in "fixing society".  Regardless of your political beliefs, as trans people we should all applaud the POTUS for opening a door far too many refused to even acknowledge.

Janet Mock, the host of MSNBC's 'So Popular', recently said in the newest Time Magazine article that, "The President’s acknowledgment helps shatter the cloak of invisibility that has plagued trans people and forced many to suffer in silence. By speaking our community’s name, the President pushes us all to recognize the existence and validity of trans people as Americans worthy of protection and our nation’s resources."
 
In  many ways it's so much more; a loud voice saying to the million little Leelah Alcorns of the world that their lives matter. It says to American society that it's time to acknowledge and discuss our society. It screams to the LGBT community that the T will no longer be silent. Also, it says to the African American society, as the nation's first African American POTUS, that our Trans sisters and brothers of color must not be continually ignored.
As Lavern Cox mentioned in Time Magazine's 'Transgender Tipping Point' article, “We have to listen to people about who they are and not assume that there’s something wrong with trans people. Because we know who we are. And I think the biggest thing is folks want to believe that there’s something, that genitals and biology are destiny. … When you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous. People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.”
 
 

 
 
 
Tuesday night 'OUR' President turned the page saying in his yearly address,  "As Americans we respect human dignity even when we're threatened, which is why I've prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology, like drones, is properly constrained. That's why we defend free speech, advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We do these things not only because they're right, but because they make us safer."
 
It comes as not much of a surprise actually from a President who has shown the most support ever for TBLG communities. From his 2008 campaign he promised to make lives better for the Rainbow community. Since he has taken office in 2008:
  • Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The President signed the bill to repeal Don’t Ask
    Don’t Tell on December 22, 2010, putting in motion the end of a discriminatory policy
    that ran counter to our values as Americans. As of September 20, 2011, when the repeal
    took effect, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve openly in our Armed Forces
    and without fear of losing their jobs for who they are and who they love.

 
  • Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): In February
    2011, the President and Attorney General announced that the Department of Justice
    would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA against equal protection constitutional
    challenges brought by same-sex couples married under state law. In July 2011, the White
    House announced the President’s support of the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by
    Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, which would repeal DOMA
    and uphold the principle that gay and lesbian couples should receive the same Federal
    rights and legal protections as straight couples. The President has long supported a
    legislative repeal of DOMA.
     
  •  Signing Historic Hate Crimes Legislation: President Obama overcame years of partisan
    gridlock to pass and sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes
    Prevention Act into law, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to
    include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender
    identity.
     
  • Ensuring Hospital Visitation Rights for LGBT Patients and Their Loved Ones:
    Following a directive from the President, the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) now requires all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds – just about
    every hospital in America – to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients. The President
    also directed HHS to ensure that medical decision-making rights of LGBT patients are
    respected.



From coast to coast, as American society constantly reeled from one tragedy after another, our President took the first step in fixing society. It is now up to us as the Trans society to carry that torch to full victory.






Bullets as stated in the White House TBLG online record.

"We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do but ultimately it will make us safer."
         - Barack Obama, POTUS 2008-2016



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