Trans Media Watch

Trans Media Watch is a small volunteer run organization that is dedicated to improving media coverage of trans and intersex issues. Trans Media Watch helps people in the media to understand these issues and produce clear, accurate, respectful material. Trans Media Watch also helps trans and intersex people who are interacting with the media to get results they are comfortable with. Trans Media Watch hopes to end prejudice, bigotry, and hate towards trans and intersex people and wants the media to play a role that does not negatively represent trans people.

Trans Media Watch challenges problem coverage but their first goal is to prevent things from going wrong in the first place. They offer services to media organizations to help them do a good job and they provide resources and training. The website is a great resource for everyone to better understand trans people and the media.Overall I really like the message of positivity that Trans Media Watch displays.  The website provides lots of links for additional resources outside of their area of expertise. Through the website you can also access their social media sites, and there is also a section for you to donate money to support their cause.

The reason I chose an organization like this is because it is so important for the media to accurately and positively represent trans and intersex people. I am a senior in the broadcasting and electronic communications department and we study how the media can send a message and influence viewers. One thing we learned about was the social learning theory and it states that we learn by observing others. We often see trans people negatively represented in the media. Stories about trans people in the news often involve sex, drugs, crime, and violence. Even media professionals like Katie Couric treat trans people with little respect. Katie Courics’s interview with Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera was extremely aggressive and disrespectful. Viewers of all ages and especially young people see these negative representations of trans people and see the way that trans people are treated in the media and will begin to think that its acceptable. Simple representations of trans people in the media can have a profound impact on the viewers and that is why it is so important for the media to accurately portray trans people. If the Trans Media Watch were a part of all types of programming and media, instead of only those who reach out to the Trans Media Watch, then the media would be more accurate and respectful, and we would be able to prevent many of these instances from even occurring.

Vik Lewis’s article “Forging Moral Geographies” brought up a great example of how the media effected the people of Tecate. The newspapers started publishing articles on how the transvesti were a threat to the youth, that they were immoral, and that were a risk to public health. The newspapers were able to publish these articles with no supporting evidence, yet the readers took it as truth and new regulations and laws were established because of it. Not only were newspapers used to influence the brainwash and persuade the public, they were used for political purposed and to influence the laws. I believe that if the Trans Media Watch were able reach out to Tecate during this time, they would have been able to clear up a lot of the misunderstandings and prevented the misrepresentations in the media.




Cheer SF !


Cheer SF was formed by Guy Andrade in 1980 as the first professional, LGBT-identified cheer leading team in history. The team was originally known as the “Hayward Raw Rahs but in 1996 the team became known as CHEER San Francisco. The program become a huge hit instantly and from then on the team traveled has now traveled across the state of California, around the country and even around the wold to showcase their style of performance and athleticism unique to CHEER SF.

CHEER SF is distinguished as the only cheer leading team to have appeared at all eight Gay Games

Today, CHEER SF is history-in-the-making as they continue to pave new paths and benchmarks for themselves. Their athleticism, teamwork and esprit de corps has earned them a reputation of respect and admiration amongst the collegiate cheer squads in the region with whom they participate at annual cheer camps. They have gone from pursuing performance opportunities to being sought-after as featured performers at large scale events, including professional sporting organizations, and sponsors have begun to take notice of the incredible marketing opportunities arising from CHEER SF’s amazing popularity.

In 2000 CHEER SF became the first and only partner organization of the Lesbian and Gay Bands Association following over ten years of performing at events across the country and internationally with the wonderful musicians who make up LGBA.


Few Achievements

-Largest, most seen, most fiscally successful and longest-running community-based, non-profit, adult cheerleading team in the world.

-First and LGBT identified cheerleading team to be invited to and perform at a US Presidential Inauguration.

-Recipent of the first 2 team gold medals for cheerleading in Gay Games history.


Throughout the semester we have learned various ways of which transpeople feel they have no place of recognition, belonging, community, etc. We have also discussed forms of resistance and the effects from their gender identity. I was hoping to find an organization that had specifically focused on people of color since the reading for today’s class is   “Performance as Intravention: Ballroom Culture and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Detroit,” but the reading does discuss a form of community  and in the reading Bailey discusses the importance of community and belonging to an organization and it gives them “another means through which image and status are formed and repaired.” This is how I related CHEER SF back to the class reading. CHEER SF  not only performs and competes at cheer competition, but because their history and known as LGBT identified team, they also raise awareness (such as HIV/AIDS) within the bay area and else where.  Bailey’s states that communities at risk, such as AIDS, need various ways of intravention. And in support, community groups such as the ballroom culture in Detroit helps with this intravention of awareness.



Upcoming Event

Park Day School LGBTQ Pride Day

May 16, 2014
360 42nd St
Oakland, CA

CheerSF is thrilled to be invited to perform at the opening assembly for Park Day School’s annual LGBTQ Pride Day.  Park Day is a K-8 progressive school with a mission that focuses on a commitment to diversity and social justice. Park Day prepares students to be informed, courageous, and compassionate people who shape a more equitable and sustainable world.  CheerSF is honored to bring our support of diversity and inclusion to Park Day’s celebration to all children at the school struggling with coming out, gender identity and other LGBTQ issues.
– See more at:

Gay Day at Great America
May 23, 2014
Santa Clara, CA
Santa Cruz Pride
Jun 01, 2014
Santa Cruz, CA






Mangos with Chili


Mission, Vision, Impact: “Mangos With Chili is a North American touring, Bay Area based arts incubator committed to showcasing high quality performance of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Our goal is to produce high-quality multi-genre performances reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) and speaking out in resistance to the daily struggles around silence, isolation, homophobia and violence that QTPOC face…Mangos With Chili’s multi-genre productions present work in the disciplines of dance, theater, vaudeville, hip-hop, circus arts, music, spoken word and film. More than a performance incubator, we are also a ritual space for queer and trans communities of color to come together in love, conversation and transformation. Our goal is to present high quality performance art by QTPOC, but so much of our work is also about creating healing and transformative space through performances that are gathering places for QTPOC community.”

Funding: “We feel that it is important to be very transparent about the fact that we have had very little core funding over the years and operated on a very sparse budget. Our work does not neatly fit into the visions of funders who operate under the white supremacist hetero ablest patriarchy. We refuse to be tokenized. We refuse to filter or tame our work. We refuse to shift our message or description about who we are or who/what we are here for to appease those with power…We are also deeply thankful for our beloved community members, who have filled passed hats and Paypals, given us venues, videography and places to sleep, given us hugs and encouragement when we felt like giving up, and been our most consistent source of support. We have always said that capitalism doesn’t love us, but our communities do. We have been able to keep operating due to this support, as well as the support of countless community members.”

Throughout the semester, we have learned about various forms of oppressions against transgender people and specifically transgender people of color. We have also discussed various forms of resistance. I related Mangos with Chili with our reading for today, “Performance as Intravention: Ballroom Culture and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Detroit,” because Bailey argues in their piece that communities “at-risk” (of HIV/AIDS, in this example) are also communities “of care” whose members support each other in various ways (intravention). For the members of the ballroom culture in Detroit, community support meant creating a counter-discourse, providing social support for its members and producing prevention balls in order to reduce Black queer people’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection through competitive performance.

Mangos with Chili also provide similar support for each other by providing spaces of healing, transformation, dialogue, visibility and centering of queer and trans people of color.

Both forms of transformative community spaces serve as a form of resistance to the contrasting oppressive social and political contexts that members live in.


Upcoming Event
Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy: A Ritual in Corporealities: “In Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy, artists explore the queering of ancestral memory, navigating these living moments mapped in our bodies, in queer blood and bones. Bearing witness to the stories held in our queer bodily experience, we heal and transform through the power of embodied truth.”

Upcoming Event at Brava Theatre:




Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP)



Clarion Alley Mural Project (CAMP) has been a grass roots project from beginning to future. It was organized by hundreds of community members who’ve committed their time and energy to the organization over the past 21 years. In a city that is rapidly changing to cater to the one-percent at every level, CAMP is one of the last remaining truly punk venues in San Francisco. The project is in constant dialogue, continuously involved in a struggle of expression that plays out in a vibrant conversation down its length. Some of this dialogue includes protests against domestic violence, war and aggression, or is in support of transgender activism.

In 2012 a mural by artist Tanya Wischerath honoring trans women activists was just unveiled on Clarion Alley. The mural features images of youth activist Mia Tu Mutch, recently deceased community advocate Alexis Rivera, Janetta Louise-Johnson, and Tamara Ching.

 Wischerath inscribed this dedication on the wall beside the mural:

The Compton’s Cafeteria Riot occurred in August 1966 in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This incident was one of the first recorded transgender riots in United States history, preceding the more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Although San Francisco continues to lead in the struggle for equal rights for the LGBTQI community, trans women are often left behind and in the fight for visibility. This mural is a dedication to the work of just a few trans activists out of many who have tirelessly committed themselves to paving the way for a more just, accepting, and righteous San Francisco.

“Painting this was humbling in all respects, and the work these women are doing and have been doing for a long time is bigger than one mural,” Wischerath told the Guardian in an email interview. The mural focuses on activists who are close to the Bay Area community for a more immediate feel, and was inspired by the fierce queens in Paris is Burning, a 1990 documentary of ball culture in New York.

I related this project back primarily to Jessi Gan’s piece, Still at the Back of the Bus. Sylvia Rivera, a combatant at the 1969 Stonewall Inn Riots, played a major role in sparking the contemporary lesbian and gay rights movement. Gan writes, “some formulations of queer and transgender politics assert the signal importance of visibility” (Gan 297). The stonewall riots are representative of trans people “opting to break the silence” in a way that challenges gender normativity. It is celebrated as queer and trans people “coming out” in a quest for “freedom.” The narrative of the Stonewall Riots and of Sylvia Rivera’s experiences as a trans person of color encourages questions relating to visibility and how that visibility is influenced by power and privilege. Tanya Wischerath’s mural is similar to the Stonewall riots in the sense that it gives a positive form of visibility to the transgender activists it celebrates. However, Rivera’s experiences show that queer/trans visibility “is not a simple binary; multiple kinds of visibilities, differentially situated in relation to power, intersect and overlap peoples lives” (Gan 297). Rivera’s story also shows that relations to power as well as location, influence queer/trans visibility. Institutions of power project gendered and racialized meanings onto people, which means that not all spaces will be accepting of various forms of identity.

SF Mural Arts Website

The Audre Lorde Project

From the article entitled “Artful Concealment and Strategic Visibility: Transgender Bodies and U.S. State Surveillance After 9/11” written by Toby Beauchamp:

From his article, Toby Beauchamp wrote about how surveillance and security policies affect trans populations. These policies were created from the aftermath of Al Qaeda’s attacks on September 11, 2001. Beauchamp argues that transgender and gender-noncomforming bodies are more susceptible and likely suspected of criminal intent due from the assumption of practicing deception through perceived gender presentation. These new policies help form normatively gendered bodies and behaviors, which affect the people who differ from the dominant gender norms. It is deeply rooted in the monitoring and enforcement of normatively gendered bodies, behaviors, and identities. Beauchamp is critical of gender-normatizing aspects of security surveillance. Because of these new policies, (such as the Real ID Act, no-match policy, and 2001 USA PATRIOT Act), and the Department of Home Security (DHS) Advisory, trans populations would be targeted as suspicious and subjected to new levels of vigilance. The new surveillance and security policies focuses not necessarily on transgender identity, but more on targeting perceived gender deviance and those that don’t comply to the dominant gender norms. (The DHS advisory does not specifically write the term transgender populations in their text, it doesn’t mean it is not relevant to trans populations.) (Beauchamp 49)


Who is Audre Lorde?

Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde was born on February 18, 1934, in New York City. She was known as the leading African-American writer (of poetry and essays) and also internationally known as an activist and artist, along with being the Black feminist, lesbian, poet, mother, and warrior who gave voice to the oppressed people. She plays an important role in the discussion about the struggles for the liberation among oppressed people. Lorde expresses how it is important to unify and organize a coalition across differences. These differences are from issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, age, and ability; along with the issue of identity. Lorde considers herself a warrior because she refuse to be victimized by breast cancer. She even wrote about her struggle over her battle with breast cancer from her nonfiction work, The Cancer Journals, 1980. She continued to be remembered today for being a great warrior poet who valiantly fought many personal and political battles with her words. Audre Lorde died on November 17, 1992 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Works by the Author


  • The Collected Poems Of Audre Lorde (1997)
  • The Marvelous Arithmetics Of Distance: Poems 1987-1992 (1993)
  • Undersong: Chosen Poems Old And New (1992)
  • Our Dead Behind Us (1986)
  • Chosen Poems: Old and New (1982)
  • The Black Unicorn (1978)
  • Coal (1976)
  • Between Ourselves (1976)
  • The New York Head Shop and Museum (1974)
  • From a Land Where Other People Live (1973)
  • Cables to Rage (1970)
  • The First Cities (1968)


  • Burst of Light (1988)
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)
  • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982)
  • The Cancer Journals (1980)

What is the Audre Lorde Project (ALP) about?


The Audre Lorde Project (ALP) is a community organizing center for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, two-spirit, trans and gender non-conforming (LGBTSTGNC) people of color communities. This progressive organization is located in the New York City area. Their mission is to reflect, represent and serve their various communities that are struggling across differences (race, gender, sex, class, age, and ability). The ALP work for community wellness and seek for progressive social and economic justice “through mobilization, education, and capacity-building”. (Capacity building is basically an conceptual approach that refers to strengthening the skills, competencies, and abilities of people and communities in developing societies so they can overcome the causes of their exclusion and suffering.” The goal of community capacity building is to tackle the problems that are related to the policy and methods of development while considering the potential, limits, and needs of the people of the community or communities concerned.)

The history of the ALP was first formed in 1994 by the Advocates for Gay Men of Color (a multi-racial network of gay men of color HIV policy advocates). The goal of the ALP expanded in order to address the multiple issues that face their diverse communities, (which is the LGBTSTGNC People of Color communities). The ALP is also described as a place  “to serve as a home base that LGBTST peoples of African / Black/ Caribbean, Arab, Asian & Pacific Islander, Latina/o, and Native/Indigenous descent can use to organize, support, and advocate for our diverse communities.” As a whole, their community strategies can be unified because these multiple issues are intersectional to one another.  Their commonality is shared through their collective histories of struggle against discrimination and other forms of oppression.


“TransJustice is a political group created by and for Trans and Gender Non-conforming people of color. TransJustice works to mobilize its communities and allies into action on the pressing political issues they face, including gaining access to jobs, housing, and education; the need for Trans-sensitive healthcare, HIV-related services, and job-training programs; resisting police, government and anti-immigrant violence.”

How does the ALP relate to Beauchamp’s article? (Such as its connection to this week’s theme: “Biopolitics, Neoliberalism, & Administrative Violence) How does it help us understand ALP? How does ALP illustrate and/or complicates the ongoing course discussion?

The Audre Lorde Project work to seek economic and social justice for LGBTSTGNC people of color organizations and communities across differences. This progressive organization is connected to Beauchamp’s article because it’s important to recognize how the state surveillance and security policies does not affect only the trans populations, but can be expanded to discuss how it also affect other various, diverse groups. It’s important to organize a coalition to unite diverse communities to work together on their multiple issues and to not polarize them, in order to not create marginalized groups. If the “us vs. them” is created to polarize communities, then it’ll place certain marginalized groups to be more highly scrutinized. Certain marginalized groups would be more vulnerable and susceptible to oppression and discrimination.

Administrative law plays an important role in the ALP and Beauchamp’s article. Administrative law is a tool that “structures and reproduces vulnerability for trans populations”, as said by Dean Spade from his book “Administrative Law and Critical Trans Politics”. (Spade 29) (As mentioned from a previous lecture, Dean Spade is one of the lead thinkers on trans politics and law.) The policing of immigrant populations is one instance to how administrative law is important as a tool. The legal measures of administrative law includes documentation, such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and passports. Without these legal documentation, (or lack of a single gender marking), undocumented immigrants would have a hard time getting a job. Racial profiling plays a role in the surveillance and security measures due to the Advisory’s focus on Al-Qaeda, such as Islamophobia. Other systems that relate to these measures are sexism, classism, and heterosexism. (Beauchamp 50)

As explained from Beauchamp’s article, transgender advocacy organizations has argued against these surveillance and security policies in how they affect transgender individuals. One such argument is the equal access of privacy rights, in order to protect  trans employees and gender-nonconforming employees. This way, the medical information on an employee’s gender would be left as only a private and privileged information. It may benefit trans employees and gender-noncomforming employees, but it does fail to consider how other groups are affected by equal assess to privacy rights, such as “undocumented immigrants, prisoners, and individuals suspected of terrorism, who may or may not be transgender-identified or perceived as gender-nonconforming”. (Beauchamp 54) This plays into the complexity within transgender studies in relation to surveillance and security policies because it questions which bodies are recognized as legitimate and which bodies are seen as suspicious? It’s based on how gender normativity forms the expected norms of society. It also relates to how those who differ from the expected gender norms are compared to the ideals of whiteness, class privilege, and heterosexuality, which mostly makes up the dominant normativity.

Another good example from Siobhan Somerville and how not all gendered bodies easily fit into the defined dominant normativity. Somervillle mentioned how black people can be understood from historical context through medical aspect, and racial and cultural expression in connection to perceived abnormality, along with gender and sexuality. She mentions Plessy v. Ferguson legal case, which progressed racial segregation and caused a panic from the supposed sexual danger of white women from black men. The second example mentioned by Somerville is the history of Saartje Baartman during the mid-1800’s. Somerville “historicizes” Baartman in connection to the discussion of gender and sexuality from a medical context, racial and cultural aspects. These two examples illustrate how perceived gender normativity is not only related to gender, but also in connection to race, class, sexuality and nationality.

Transgender studies provide a an important contribution to the ways of how the state surveillance strategy are understood and interpreted. Normalizing gender can be analyzed from medico-legal surveillance. We can think through how state surveillance affect gendered bodies “in terms of medical and psychiatric monitoring of trans people.” (Beauchamp 47) It also relates to how legal gender is defined in relation to medicine and law. Spade argued how medicine and law work together as a way to “correct” people whose body or gender presentation doesn’t fit the expected gender normativity. (Beauchamp 48)

Whether or not a trans person or a gender-nonconforming person did go through medical intervention (such as sex reassignment surgery), it’s more important to think about the visibility strategy, the notion of “going stealth” or to claim status as a “good transgender citizen”. The visibility strategy is discussed by Sandy Stones. (Beauchamp 52) If trans people remain visible and not erase their trans status, then there is a way to overcome how transpeople may be perceived as deviant. A counter discourse, such as the analysis of intersectionality of recognition can be studied and analyzed more if trans people do remain visible, making their trans status not erased from their (sex) history. This way issues such as oppression of trans people can be analyzed from intersectional of recognition based on its connection to differences of race, gender, sex, class, age, and ability.  It’s important to realize that no single form of oppression is the root cause, as explained by Richard M. Juang from his article “Transgendering the Politics of Recognition”. This is why the ALP found it especially important to recognize and unite diverse communities to overcome multiple issues, such as oppression and discrimination.

The notion of legitimacy is the assimilation to be a “good transgender citizen”, in order to escape state surveillance. (Beauchamp) This way, “going stealth” doesn’t mean erasing one’s trans status, but instead means being a “good citizen, a patriotic American — erasing any signs of similarity with the deviant, deceptive terrorist”. (Beauchamp 54) Going stealth and maintaining one’s trans status is placed very far away and differentiated from being labeled “deviant”. This is also a way to shift the importance of protecting trans people from state violence, (and from other types of violence), and to have organizations focus more on protecting the whole nation from terrorists/acts of terrorism.





National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out day


National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed cerebration day for people publically coming out of the closet as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or ally, supporter of LGBT people. In 1988, a psychologist named Robert Eichberg founded NCOD, aiming at raising the public awareness of LGBT community and civil rights movement. October 11th, the date of anniversary of the 1987 national march on Washington for lesbian and gay rights, was selected for NOCD.


Especially in the U.S, associated with Human Rights Campaign, NCOD is greatly cerebrated every year. Activities include information tabling, open-air speeches, and parades.

Since the media push in 1990, all 50 states and other countries have participated in NCOD. Oct 11 2013, last year was its 25th anniversary and here is the link for the memorial video clip.


San Francisco State University (Pride at SF state) :

National Coming Out Day – Wednesday, October 9th

What: Coming Out Community Celebration
Location: Malcolm X Plaza
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Below is the script from Ellen hosted by Ellen DeGrenedes who came out as lesbian in 1997.


“Today is a very special day. It’s National Coming Out Day and I have a very big announcement. Brace yourself. Actually, maybe you should sit down. I’ll wait. Okay, ready? I’m gay!

Whew! I feel a lot better. Finally, things are out in the open. I know what you’re thinking: Does Portia know? She does. I told her this morning.

All kidding aside, National Coming Out Day is an important day for a lot of people. It’s important for the people coming out, but it’s also important to the people they come out to. Maybe they didn’t know any gay people before.
Now it will be a lot easier for them to realize that gay and straight people all want the same thing: Another season of “Law and Order.”

Coming out was the scariest thing I ever did. But after I did it, I felt so much better. Because no matter how scary, nothing feels better than being true to who you are.

So come on out! If you’re gay, tell someone. Even if you’ve told a lot of people and you think everyone already knows, you can find someone who doesn’t (you’d be amazed how many people don’t read Time magazine).

And if someone comes out to you, show them your support and be happy! It probably means they think you’re an awesome person.”


What I felt impressive when I was searching for the information about NCOD is that the day is also encouraging straight allies to stand up and speak out for LGBT people. I never knew that there is a certain word for people want to support protecting civil rights of sexual minorities. Although having a transsexual boy as one of my best friends, all I tried to do was to get to know what it means to be transgender in today’s world. Looking through the guideline of “coming out as Alley” made me realize the importance of proper way of supporting them.


Guide of Coming out as “Alley”:


Facebook page for national coming out day campaign and information:




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Transgender Law Center

Dean Spade discusses what is called Transpolitics, which can be seen as a way to reform or change the way our system is in order for the transgendered community to have more rights. The fact that we have marriage equality or the fact that we have gay rights does not qualify as good enough change. We have to fully reform the system when it come’s to ideas such as laws, politics and even governmental institutions. That’s where the Transgender Law Center comes in, an organization that is looking to change the way our politics is so that everyone can have political freedom no matter what their sexual orientation may be, according to the Transgender Law Centers mission, vision and values;


Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.


We envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.



For Transgender Law Center and our clients, authenticity is both a standard for how the organization functions and the ultimate product of its work. For the people we serve, the freedom to live how they want to live, self-defined and self-determined, is the ultimate goal of their engagement with Transgender Law Center and the trans movement.


Too often, people who live outside of the socially-enforced binary boxes of gender pay a physical, emotional, and economic toll. Whether it’s a lack of access to quality and compassionate health care, or an out-of-date legal system that allows blatant discrimination, equality is too often out of reach for trans people. Transgender Law Center is devoted to fulfilling the promise of equality for all people, regardless of their gender expression.


Transgender Law center believes in the power of the law to protect those who need it, and in the power of people to protect one another. Sometimes laws are the problem that needs solving, but as a legal organization we must have faith that our system, though flawed, contains the tools we need to use the law to ensure justice for transgender people. Not only are we a trusted ally for constituents, we also trust that enough people share the belief in common human dignity that we can someday create a world where people are safe and free to express their gender in their own ways. Trust in both the law and people is necessary for Transgender Law Center to continue its work.

The organization does this by trying to get laws passed that will help transgendered people out in the society, some of the laws that have been passed thanks to the work of the Transgender Law center include an EEOC Ruling that protects transgendered people, Gender Discrimination act as well as other laws. The Transgender law center does not only help in regards to changing the system, they also help by providing training for employers, clinics and other institutions, offering a help line for transgendered people who feel as if they are not being treated well as well as many other things they are doing which are trying to help transgendered people live a normal life without the fear of discrimination, hate, violence, et cetera.

One of the campaigns being run by the Transgender Law Center is the, “My Authentic Life” campaign which is a media campaign that allows transgendered people to share their stories in order to help open people’s eyes for justice and open their hearts to love for transgendered people. One of the stories linked below is about Gwen, a transgendered individual living in Seattle who tells us about their “Authentic Life”

The Transgender Law center has their headquarters located in Oakland on Telegraph Avenue as well as has a center located in San Francisco on Market Street. They also host the Transgender Leadership summit which allows members of communities to learn more about how to get transgender equality and justice by providing various workshops on topics such as the law or healthcare, et cetera. The Transgender Leadership summit of 2014 was already held at California State University Northridge April 11th-April14th of this past month and had speakers such as John Perez, Speaker of the Assembly, Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center and Pat Cordova-Goff, a young activist. Although this event has passed, there are many other ways to get involved with the Transgender Law Center, The Transgender Law Center accepts donations through a variety of ways whether through payroll deductions or direct donations, someone can also become a member of the Transgender Justice Council whose members donate $1000 annually to the Transgender Law Center. The Transgender Law Center also allows people to add them to their will or even add them as a beneficiary in their insurance policy. The Transgender Law Center also does offer Careers and Internships in their location, currently they have openings for their Fall 2014 Legal Internship division.

Dean Spade in the short video we viewed yesterday talked about this idea or this notion of Transpolitics which is a way to re-think our political system with rights of Transgender individuals in order for them to gain equality, in order for them to actually feel safe, not discriminated against and in order for them to have rights, the Transgender Law Center is doing what Dean Spade what talking about in relation to the video, they are impacting the lives of the Transgendered community by changing laws and impacting communities.



Intersex Society of North America

I have found a great organization called the Intersex Society of North America. It’s an organization founded in 1993 by Cheryl Chase that is striving to educate people change popular views about the intersex condition. Here is their mission statement in their own words: “The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) is devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female.”

ISNA is partly responsible for several progressions in society’s viewpoints and practices concerning intersexuality, including patient-centered care, more cautious approaches to surgery, and the dissolving of several kinds of harsh or misleading language. Their website has a smorgasbord of information about intersexuality and how to approach the situation with care and openness. Most of this information can be found on their frequently asked questions page, located here.

The Society recommends that intersex people and parents of intersex people follow what they call the “Patient-Centered Model,” which is a way of dealing with the condition in a positive light. For example, they suggest defining intersexuality as an anatomical variation as opposed to an anatomical abnormality or disorder, not “normalizing” the person by forcing surgery on them as an infant, and assigning a gender to the child based on hormonal, genetic, and diagnostic tests. They believe that assigning the child to be a boy or girl is a much healthier approach than raising them to be third gender because it could “unnecessarily traumatize” them. And if the child decides later in life that he or she was given the wrong gender assignment, intersex people have a much more easier time transitioning genders than non-intersexed people.

I was able to connect the reading by Joan Roughgarden to this organization because Roughgarden wrote a lot about how many animal species are born as one gender and become another at some point in their lives, and sometimes revert back to their original gender, but she also wrote about how some species live their entire lives as both genders, like the hamlet basses. She also explains that male, man, and masculine all have completely different definitions, as do female, woman, and feminine. Not everything that has a penis is male. Not everything that nests is female. Some species’ females have Y chromosomes. Some species completely lack Y chromosomes all together. Not everything falls into a binary, especially when a binary hardly seems to exist in the grander scheme of things.

KOKUMỌ: artist and activist

With this week’s reading being the novel Trumpet, I thought it would be appropriate to reference a transgender musician for my blog post. The musician I will be discussing in this blog post is KOKUMỌ, an African-American transgender woman who’s a musician and activist. She has formed her own company, KOKUMOMEDIA, that uses music, film and media to illuminate the experiences of TGI (Trans*, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex). KOKUMỌ PHILANTHROPY is a foundation that focuses on transgender issues and social justice agency for the trans community, particularly those of color. T.G.I.F stands for trans, gender non-conforming, intersex freedom. The T.G.I.F rally in will be held in Chicago, Illinois at Union Park from 12:00pm to 4pm this year. This year the event will be hosted by Angelia Ross and Louis Mitchell among others. She’s also working on a magazine Drive which will be a magazine dedicated to trans women of color. KOKUMỌ addresses the need to challenge the agenda within the gay and lesbian movement itself. Many gay and lesbian activist organizations are flawed in acknowledging transgender issues as well as the intersectional factors of race and class that have a huge impact on one’s treatment and accessibility to safety in our society. “Where’s the trans, gender non-conforming, intersex agenda? There are too many of us in jail, dead, on the streets because we’re spending so much time making sure people can get married.”

KOKUMỌ presents transgender issues through her music as well, as she puts it: she is an artist, not an entertainer. What she sings about in her songs reminds listeners of the oppression transgender individuals’ face, and the intersections of race and class that contribute to one’s treatment in society. She’s not making music for listeners to forget or purely entertain listeners her music has a distinct purpose, like she says in one interview, “I’m here to create art that forces you to acknowledge your privilege over me”.

In her music video for the song “There Will Come a Day”, KOKUMO addresses the shame society has attached to men who are attracted to transgender women. This shame directly affects transgendered individuals and leads to acts of violence against them. It leads to their oppression, criminalization and in many cases, their deaths. This theme can be linked to the politics of violence, and reflects how certain bodies are deemed less valuable than others. The trans body is seen as other and deviant. The lives of transgender individuals are at risk because of the stigma associated with being attracted to transgendered people. Transgendered individuals internalize this shame and it makes them believe that they are only capable of secret, risky affairs, because in many instances, this is the case. Men don’t want to come out as being involved with trans women because of the intensity of the stigma attached to being attracted to trans women. We don’t even have language to describe men who are attracted to transgender women. Because we live in a culture obsessed with labeling, men that fall into this grey area of sexuality that has yet to be defined by mainstream culture are told they must define themselves as either straight or gay, there can be no in-between. This leads to frustration and shame felt by men, who often express it out onto the women they are involved with, “proving” their masculinity through violence. The message is continually produced that trans women aren’t real women in our culture, and that men who are attracted to them aren’t real men.

KOKUMO’s website:

Music video for “There Will Come a Day”

Facebook page for T.G.I.F rally:

Linked bellow is an interview with KOKUMỌ by Laverne Cox:

Video: Laverne Cox, Janet Mock Talk Stigma of Loving Transgender Women:

Tuff (Trans United Family and Friends)

For this week’s reading on “The Romance of the Amazing Scalpel: “Race,” Labor, and Affect in the Thai Gender Reassignment Clinics” by Aizura Aren I felt strongly about the sense of family support and how GRS in Thai turned into a free market capitalism. “Aizura interviews both Thai and non-Thai trans woman, surgeons, and clinic staff to reveal the political and racial economies of gender reassignment clinics” (Aizura, 496). Aizura looks at race and the “uneven distribution of care as a signal of the neoliberal privatization of transnational medical tourism” (Aizura, 496). Thailand is well known around the world for its GRS and its surgeons. The clinics in Thailand provide services for many foreign visitors; because of the high demand and well known surgeons these clinics have been able to raise their prices.

Some of the people Aizura interviewed experienced Thailand to have been the best place to have had their GRS and others feeling less than someone else who paid the same price for their GRS. In the case of Som, describing difficulty with the aftercare procedures and feeling that she couldn’t expect the same services as a non-Thai, or white patient. Another person Aizura interviewed was Emma, a Vietnamese who had been living in Australia for twelve years when she had her GRS in Bangkok in 2006. She went to Thailand to have her GRS and stayed in one of Bangkok’s premier medical-tourism hospitals, having surgery by one of the best surgeons. Emma was traveling alone and after her surgery and recovering she decided that going to Thailand was the worst choice. She described her experience as annoying and difficult. “Dr. ___ is very busy and it’s difficult to get him to come see me. I am very annoyed. Also, the nurses do not come to see me. I ring and it takes half an hour for them to come…” (Aizura, p. 498). On the other hand, Karen’s experience was marvelous, a white trans woman living in Brisbane, Australia. She describes her experience to have been supportive and positive. Nurses were by her side 24/7 for whenever she needed something.

The reason why I picked the TUFF organization to talk about is because fact that the health care system does not cover GRS allows for GRS to become a free market and with organizations like Rostovsky someone’s life could change.

Trans United Family and Friends Organization by a senior

Tuff (Trans United Family and Friends) is a non-profit organization that sets out to raise funds for FTM and MTF medical procedures that many transgender and gender variant individuals in the United States cannot afford. This organization was started by Jacob Rostovsky, a 22-year-old transgender male. He began this organization as a senior at Point Scholar at American Jewish University in 2013. Rostovsky came out as trans at the age of 10 years. His family was wealthy enough to help him afford hormone treatment and undergo top surgery. However, Rostovsky also knows how unfortunate and expensive coming out as trans and transition could be that he began funding the TUFF organization on his own until he raises enough money to earn its 501(c) fund the winning recipient’s surgeries (Lindsay, 2013). Benjamin Lindsay states, “Rostovsky says that once living as the sex he identified with he was able to live life positively and support the trans community. “Rostovsky says he has known since age 15 that he wanted a future aiding the trans community, and after realizing the benefits of his own surgery, he knew that funding surgeries is his exact calling. TUFF is still in the beginning stages, but Rostovsky has hopes to fund one lucky applicant’s gender reassignment surgery by September 2013”.  The recipient who wins Rostovsky fund will have to just as involved in the trans community and give back.

Creator of the Tuff fund


Link to TUFF website:

Link to Jacob’s website:


PLAG-San Francisco

Mission: “The mission of PFLAG San Francisco echoes that of the national organization. PFLAG SF promotes the health and well being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends, through support to cope with an adverse society, education to enlighten an ill-informed public, and advocacy to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG SF provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity and act to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity”.

PFLAG is consisted of volunteers and offer support through personal experiences and help parents with trans children to help understand and support them.


Link to PFLAG’s website: