Discussion Questions!

Still at the Back of the Bus – Discuss Questions:

1. According to Gan Sylvia Rivera “contextualized political praxis, informed by her life experiences, both resisted and provisionally while simultaneously resisting reductive definition”. What is your opinion on this statement after reading the article and from what we have learned throughout the course?

2. As I was reading the article by Gan I found the comparison of Rivera to Rosa Parks to be very interesting. Do you believe that Rivera acts during the Stonewall riots are in fact comparable to Rosa Parks and the boycott in Montgomery Alabama during the struggle against segregation?

3. After reading the article, I was very intrigued by Sylvia Rivera and being a transgender woman of Puerto Rican descent but did anyone else feel that Gan almost made it seem that Rivera was the beginning of the trans liberation movement? I may be wrong but I wanted to get other opinions of this as well. After reviewing the notes the Dewey lunch counter sit in took place prior to Rivera

Still at the Back of the Bus – Discuss Questions:

 

1. According to Gan Sylvia Rivera “contextualized political praxis, informed by her life experiences, both resisted and provisionally while simultaneously resisting reductive definition”. What is your opinion on this statement after reading the article and from what we have learned throughout the course?

2. As I was reading the article by Gan I found the comparison of Rivera to Rosa Parks to be very interesting. Do you believe that Rivera acts during the Stonewall riots are in fact comparable to Rosa Parks and the boycott in Montgomery Alabama during the struggle against segregation?

3. After reading the article, I was very intrigued by Sylvia Rivera and being a transgender woman of Puerto Rican descent but did anyone else feel that Gan almost made it seem that Rivera was the beginning of the trans liberation movement? I may be wrong but I wanted to get other opinions of this as well. After reviewing the notes the Dewey lunch counter sit in took place prior to Rivera.

Self-Identity

Key Term Self-Identity

This semester I ventured into the world of women gender studies but specifically transgender studies. I chose this course not because it was a part of one of the segments, but to gain more knowledge of the LGBTQ community and how individuals of this community self-identify or prefer to self-identify. Little did I know I would become extremely fascinated with the topic enough to open up to others who identify differently from the gender they were assigned at birth to further my knowledge on the subject. I must admit that I always thought of the word self-identity as one being able to freely self-identify themselves in any expression they choose, but I didn’t think there gender would change in the identification. For this blog assignment I chose the key term self-identity and two different articles that related to the key term that furthered my knowledge of what self-identity means to others.

In the article “I Know What I Am” by David Valentine discusses the notion that people who do not identify by their gender assigned at birth can be placed into at least one or two categories. Valentine conducts interviews with the girls in what he describes as the “meat market”. This is an area where many gather for multiple reasons, one major reason being prostitution. He quickly discovers that the girls in the meat market all define themselves differently ranging from fem queen to butch and they prefer not to be categorized. Valentine finds this similar to his previous encounter with Rita he writes “Like Rita (who I quoted in the introduction), Anita claims a number of different identities: gay, drag queen, man. While she did not claim to be a transsexual or a woman, she did not dispute my characterization of her as “living as a woman” (3.1) and noted that she does “everything like a woman” (3.2). In other words, being on hormones and living as a woman did not make her wither transsexual or a woman. But later in the interview, she said: “I don’t wanna go back to a man, you know,” implying that even if she is not a woman, she is no longer a man, despite her earlier assertion that “I know I’m a man” (3.3)(Valentine, 115). Valentine starts to understand that the interviewees cannot be classified into a certain category he goes on to say “In order to reach people you wish to help, you need to understand and use the categories by which they understand themselves” (Valentine, 134). This relates to our transgender studies course in multiple ways. One way is how society sees people who do not conform to the heteronormative norms and are considered being the “others” and not being represented successfully in society.

Self-identity is also mentioned in the article “Romancing the Transgender Native Rethinking the Use of the “Third Gender” concept written by Towle and Morgan. The article discusses the concept of the third gender being used to describe individuals who do not fit into the heteronormative social norms. Towle and Morgan disagree with this concept due to the fact that it is just another social construct to classify those individuals who do not fit into the gender binary and offers more limitability than heteronormativity. This article relates to our transgender studies course by redefining how society has placed numerous gender binaries on society forcing us to conform according to our assigned sex at birth. When in reality we should review our current understandings of personal identity and stop trying to force others into a certain category; the new one being third gender.

blog # 2

The Jim Collins Foundation

The Jim Collins foundation was started after the death of Jim Collins in 2006 who was a licensed clinical social worker, certified group psychotherapist and a clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at the Yale school of medicine and was an advocator for the transgender community.

I decided to write about the Jim Collins foundation for my first blog for transgender studies. The Jim Collins foundations main purpose is to raise money to aide many transgendered people with financial assistance for gender – confirming surgeries. The foundation offers different types of surgeries based on their preference of the person who wants the surgery. This allows many transgender people to live a healthy and safe life that many may not have been able to have if they didn’t have the gender- confirming surgeries. By having the gender- confirming surgery it reduces depression and suicide rates for many who feel trapped and alone. This foundation does offer more than just offer financial assistance to many transgendered people it offers a new way of life for many and a way to be empowered by their community.

This connects with the reading “Evil Deceivers and Make Believers” by Talia Mae Bettcher. Bettcher discusses visibility and invisibility in the chapter and the death of Gwen Araujo in 2002 and notes that “ it appears that at some point Araujo was subjected to forced genital exposure in the bathroom, after which it was announced that “he was really a man” (Reiterman, Garrison, and Hanley 2002). After reading the chapter and searching online for the Jim Collins foundation, I can’t help but wonder if Gwen would still be alive if insurance companies didn’t the “Transsexual Exclusion Cause” or if more foundations were funded to prevent violence. If gender – confirming surgery would mean less violence and suicides in the transgender community WHY ARENT WE FUNDING THIS CAUSE?

The Jim Collins Foundation Website: http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/

The Jim Collins Foundation is a 501©3 not for profit organization! You can donate here http://jimcollinsfoundation.org/donate/

Introduction !

Hi Class,

My name is Brittany and I’m currently a junior at SFSU double majoring in Medical Sociology and Health Education Development. I don’t know much about transgender and or the LGBTQ  community so I enrolled in this course to expand my knowledge in my field and in general. I’m already enticed with the subject and have been researching it online as well.

– Brittany