Transgender Warning: Transgender stuff to follow!

Transgender Warning: Transgender stuff to follow!
There are now hundreds of articles, neat pictures and videos here, that are mostly trans* related.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Southern Comfort

Cruel and Unusual -- transgender and in prison

Holy shit!

Women, transgender women such as Ashley, Linda, Anna, Yolanda and Ophelia, are incarcerated in men's prisons across the U.S. from Wyoming to New Jersey and Florida. Denied medical and psychological treatment, victims of rape and violence, the documentary Cruel and Unusual asks if the punishment for their crime is indeed cruel and unusual?

Making its major festival premier at South by Southwest, Cruel and Unusual (2006, 66 minutes) is an unflinching documentary on the lives of transgender women in men's prisons. Shot over three years, this high-definition documentary film challenges the viewer's basic ideas about gender and justice through braids of poignantly graphic stories, vibrant landscape portraits and stark prison footage.

Prisons decide where to place inmates based on their genitalia, not their gender identity. Ophelia, who has lived in the prison of a man's body for all of her 46 years, now resides in a correctional facility in Virginia, having been sentenced to 67 years for bank robbery with an unloaded gun. Denied female hormone treatment, Ophelia felt she had no choice but to mutilate her genitals to force the system "to finish what she started."

Anna Connelly had been living successfully as a woman, raising her son, and working towards sexual reassignment surgery. She was on hormone therapy through a doctor for five years before she was incarcerated. Anna was refused treatment and put in solitary confinement which caused her to attempt suicide.

Once an individual begins estrogen treatment, their body stops hormone production altogether, which is akin to denying a woman hormones after a hysterectomy. Coupled with the psychological effects of returning facial hair and losing breasts, transsexuality in prison becomes an untenable situation amidst the general terror of prison. Explained Ashley, an inmate in the Tucker Unit, Arkansas Department of Corrections, "A lot of times I wake up, and I look around at my surroundings and I see all these men. I think, what am I doing here?"

"Cruel and Unusual doesn't just transport the viewer within prison walls, but more importantly, into the hearts and minds of an acutely marginalized and misunderstood community. These women are not criminals in the way the public understands them to be. They are strong, honest, multidimensional individuals with dignity, inner-strength and determination," said Kate Black, Program Officer, The Soros Foundation.

Are these women victims of an abuse of human rights across prisons in the U.S.? If Gender Identity Disorder is a recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV, should inmates get treatment for it in prison? If treatment consists of counseling, female hormones, and in some cases sexual reassignment surgery, how far should prisons go? Despite their crimes, are they being kept from their Eighth Amendment Constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment?

(The above was from the YouTube description.)

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SXSW FILM FESTIVAL: Here's a problem I bet you never thought about before: When someone is transsexual, maybe a man in the process of becoming a woman, which prison does he/she go to? The men's or the women's?

Filmmakers Janet Baus, Dan Hunt and Reid Williams have thought about the problem, though, and they spent three years making a movie about it "Cruel and Unusual" tells the stories of several male-to-female transsexuals who were placed in men's facilities even though they identify themselves -- and often have most of the outward appearances of -- women.

The title of the film suggests the way prisons deal with the problem: They don't. It doesn't matter if your hormone treatments have given you a women's voice, face and breasts, looking for all the world like a complete woman. If your equipment down south is still male -- meaning you haven't had the big surgery yet -- you're a man, as far as prison is concerned, and you go in with the men.

According to the film, 10 percent of male prisoners are raped at some point. Statistics on transsexuals specifically aren't available, but it's seems logical that if men are being raped by their fellow inmates, someone who actually looks like a woman would be an even greater target for assault.

Yolanda Valentin (born Daniel Valentin) looks and sounds so much like a woman that you'd never know she'd been born a man. But because of that damning bit of evidence below the beltline, she was put in a men's prison. Ophelia De'Lonta and Ashley (with no last name given) also appear almost entirely female.

Even worse for some inmates than being placed with men is that most prisons don't consider hormone treatments necessary medication. Thus the transsexuals are forced to suffer the withdrawals of being without something that their bodies have come to depend on. When a man starts taking estrogen, his body stops producing hormones naturally. Taking him off the medication, then, is like denying hormones to a woman after she's had a hysterectomy.

Two other transsexuals are featured who are not quite so feminine. Linda Thompson and Anna Connelly both still have manly faces and voices (and genitals), but have long hair and breasts and identify themselves as women. (Linda and Ann weren't the names they grew up with, obviously; they don't even mention what their old names were.)

Linda, an oil-rigger by trade, can't find work looking like a cross-dresser, and is often denied access to shelters and rescue missions. This led her to steal to survive, which led to prison. While in prison, unable to get her hormone treatments, she castrated herself. Lawyers observe that the taxpayers could have shelled out $20 a month for generic hormone therapy, but instead they had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for two trips to the emergency room.

Anna's story involves her son, whom her ex-wife wouldn't let her have any contact with after she went to prison. Though the story is sad, it doesn't relate to the film's main point, which is what it's like for transsexuals in prison. As such, it feels like a tangent.

Focus is a problem throughout the film, actually. Though it has the makings of a serious and socially important documentary, and though it has been well-shot and professionally assembled, it often goes down paths like Anna's that don't feel relevant to the topic at hand. More about the horrors of life on the inside would serve the film's purposes better, especially in terms of stirring public outrage. As it is, it's a good but not great documentary that scratches the surface of a legitimate social problem without going very deep.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Toi T'en Reves - A film about diversity

A clip by Narcys "Toi t'en reves" ("You of Dreams" or maybe "Your Dreams?")Actually this film is the one that was cleaned up a bit. The "bad and wrong" sex was The singer seems to be an intersexed person.

read more | digg story

Update: Here is a translation. Not exactly perfect.

You dreams, you will in dreams, their shows who you are 
And you burst, and you burst, not pouvir exist 
in your dreams, in your dreams, you do not want to be loved ! 
And you burst, and you burst, you're struggling to shout! when he thought he was a cowboy, thou recoiffait your doll And you spent hours to ask you if it s'faisait you watched your mother always so calm, always so sweet You saw your father and your eyes fell on your feet You dreams, you will in dreams, their shows who you are And you burst, and you in crèves, pouvir not exist in your dreams, in your dreams, you do not want to be loved! And you burst, and you burst, you're struggling to shout Now he plays with girls thou remains at the bottom of the yard if on it, as you want! But your heart burns with love Te am writing letters that he would read shipments will not not not even think that it is because you can not see you. You dreams, you will in dreams , their shows who you are And you burst, and you burst, not pouvir exist in your dreams, in your dreams, you do not want to be loved! And you burst, and you in 're dying, you're struggling to shout!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Toi T'en Reves (version non censurée) - [clean version, they pulled the more graphic version.]

I love it, thanks Lorianne for the link. It is very cute. I wish I knew that the words of the song meant. ??

Google Translate says "Toi T'en Reves" means "You of Dreams" or maybe "your dreams?"

The singer,
NÅRC¥S seems to be an intersexed, androgynous male looking, eye shadow wearing, person, with a MySpace page at:

This is the link to the real uncensored video or this link. LOL

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Red Without Blue" a film about twins

Set your Tivos for Monday, June 25 at 9PM (but better check time zone)

The movie is about 2 gay twins in which one transitions to a woman.

Red Without Blue Trailer

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Below is from the movie's MySpace page

RED WITHOUT BLUE is an artistic and groundbreaking portrayal of gender, identity, and the unswerving bond of twinship despite transformation.

In 1983, Mark and Alexander Farley were born minutes apart in Big Sky country with an identical genetic make-up. The twins' early lives were quintessential by-products of their all-American family: picture perfect holidays, a second home by the lake, supportive parents who cheered them on every step of the way. By the time they were 14, their parents had divorced, they had come out as gay, and a joint suicide attempt precipitated a forced separation of Mark and Alex for two and half years.

Today, Mark is attending art school in San Francisco, and Alex is living as a woman named Clair in New York. RED WITHOUT BLUE explodes our notions of self-hood and sexual identity through its deeply personal look at the unique and unconventional relationship between Mark and Clair as they mature into adulthood.

Extensive interviews with each twin candidly depicts the difficulties of growing up gay in Montana, the deleterious effects of their parents' separation, and the boundaries crossed as drugs and sexual experimentation spiraled out of control. Lyrical vignettes illustrate these darker periods of the twins' adolescence through hauntingly beautiful, manipulated home-movies, family photographs, and experimental sequences shot on super-8 film. From the twins' perspective, we learn about the singular bond they shared as children, the hardships they bore, and their evolving relationship now that the identical twins cease to be identical. Through the power of their voices we hear the story of a family's redemption from a dark past, and ultimately, its revival to the present.

I can hardly wait! And thank you Lady Bunny for the tip.



Yahoo IM: vickiecd
Website Director of

I find it is the best kind of therapy is talking
to someone who has been there, done that.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
(God help me, I am quoting her, of
all people, but I love that quote.)

If you are not working to integrate your life
you are working to disintegrate it.
Callan Williams


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Watch bonnaroo live

Here we have probably one of the greatest events of the year going on in our neighborhood and I am missing it.

I had an excuse for Woodstock. I did no know about it and I was in LA dogging the draft. LOL But this is scheduled.  I suppose I could just go there now!

I wonder if it is tranny friendly?

Oh well. :(  Probably not.

I am recording the XM feed and now I can watch it at the above link. How cool is that.



"Citizen Lobbyist" the movie in Nashville

I plan to go!


Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

(2005, 59 Minutes)

A film about transgender political activism
Produced by Timothy Watts

Thursday, June 28, 2007
7:00 pm

Admission: $10.00

Watkins College of Art and Design
2298 Metro Center Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37228

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax

Just Call Me Joe

I laughed out loud at this blog entry. For those that don't know, Helen Boyd is the pen name of the author of the books "My Husband Betty" and  "She Is Not The Man I Married," in which she writes about living and loving with her "trans" husband, Betty. I highly recommend both books, but especially the latter.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just Call Me Joe

My old friends occasionally get flummoxed over what name to call me when I'm doing readings & the like, & this past Thursday for my reading at Sugar was no different. My dear friend & former roomie Maurice asked me more than once if he could call me "Gail" at the reading, & I told him he could call me whatever. "But I should call you Helen," he continued. "Sure, call me Helen." He wasn't sure if he'd remember, so I told him to call me "G" which is actually what he's called me for years. It seemed settled.

Of course when we got to the bookstore he called me Gail about half a dozen times, & I don't mind it at all; I really don't care what my old friends call me - I just thought it was funny.

But I also thought that maybe when trans people get upset about someone getting their name wrong, it has nothing to do with gender & everything to do with the funny way your brain works (or doesn't work) with your mouth. Because I knew Maurice meant to call me G, & it was as if, because he was thinking, "don't call her gail don't call her gail don't call her gail" of course Gail was what came out.

Just sayin'.


Melanie said...

I'm pretty laid back when it comes to people who "knew me before" using my old name or the wrong pronoun, it happens, they slip up, usually they get all apologetic and do a better job next time. In public I cringe a bit, but this is all to be expected.

Having said that, it is at once frustrating and blindingly hilarious to me when these same people are staring at my breasts while talking to me, and then use the "wrong" name or term. The looks on their (usually men's) faces as their brains attempt to reconcile what their mouths just said (obviously referencing their perception of me in male form), my bosom, and their realisation that they haven't looked me in the eyes for the entire conversation is singular. I imagine it's the same thing a conservative man goes through when he sees his wife breast-feeding for the first time: lust, loss, and the dawning realisation that he needs to rethink his beliefs on sexuality and breasts.



Yahoo IM: vickiecd
Website Director of

I find it is the best kind of therapy is talking
to someone who has been there, done that.
        Dr. Laura Schlessinger
           (God help me, I am quoting her, of
           all people, but I love that quote.)

If you are not working to integrate your life
you are working to disintegrate it.
        Callan Williams


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Trans/Formed: The Movie


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Description: The film follows the lives of four Transgender women of different ethnicities and background creating an ecclectic family album assembled without judgment, with an appreciation for human imperfection and courage.

This looks to be pretty shocking. I saw the Hat Lady from SCC and one of the gals from the film Beautiful Daughters in this trailer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"Return to Michael: A Transgender Story" by Michael Brinkle

While looking for something else I stumbled on this book about a TS woman who returns to her boy life after finding Christianity.

What is really weird is that when I Google the title and the authors name, I only find listings of the book. There are no real reviews, no comments, nothing. Nobody hates it, nobody loves it. The book seems to be totally ignored by everyone. Only Google books had the old picture of the cover with the little boy on it. Oh so very weird.

The text below is from iUniverse's page on the self published book. I do not understand.

Michael at 3, abandoned, parentless, sexually abused in the children’s home, becomes Michelle surgically at 18, only to return to Michael after finding true Christianity!

Book Description
I was born and raised in the time of the hippies and free love. Elvis, The Beatles, The Mamas and The Papas, and The Supremes were the rage of many. I witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy and the first moon landing. On television, I Love Lucy, Ed Sullivan, The Honeymooners, and movies like King Kong and Tarzan were showing.

So why would a young boy named Michael, born in 1951, who was abandoned to a Children's Home at 3 years of age, and was sexually abused get a sex change at 18 to become Michelle, sow her wild oats for 10 years as a stripper and prostitute, and decide to return to Michael at 29 years old once again.

Travel along with me as I relive my experiences with you, including all the highs and lows of my life. Come share with me in my memories, have some laughs, and at the same time shed a few tears. These are my memories.

Browse Before You Buy

Note: 'Browse Before You Buy' feature may contain pages that have been reduced in resolution to improve viewing speed.

Michael, if you find this please write me. I would love to exchange emails with you. One of my best friends here, did just about the same thing as you. After living 8 years as a woman, and transitioning on the job, went back to living as a man. I will give you his email address if like, I am sure you 2 have a lot in common. There seems to be so few of you. It must be lonely out there.


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