Author Archives: Transcolumbians and Allies

About Transcolumbians and Allies

This is a site full of resources for trans and allied Columbia University students, staff, and alumni.

Back At School!

Sorry everyone that I haven’t been posting so much lately. I haven’t given up on you, I’ve just been really busy doing some super secret training. But I’ve been seeing a lot of awesome first years frolicking about (do any first-years read this? If so, drop me a comment, anonymous or not, cause I really wanna know!) and I’m super excited to meet you all. A good way to do that would be to come to the LGBTQA mixer tomorrow at 4 in the 2nd floor dining room in the Diana, on Barnard Campus. I’ll be there, and so should you.

In other news, I want to inform you of some other events that might interest you, now that you’re in the city/are coming soon.

Firstly there’s this super interesting-looking exhibit at the Galeria at Hombres Lounge. It’s running til September 18 and it’s free, free, free. Check it out here.

A lovely comedian from our community is performing at Stonewall in Kumquat Komedy, “a show featuring queer and queer-friendly comedians.” Give her some support September 10.

Next, there’s Mr. Transman, which was rescheduled from the 28th, so now you haven’t missed it! It’ll be at the knitting factory on September 18th. Tickets are 15-18$.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and expect to be hearing a lot more from us from now on!

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Gender Hero: Waxie Moon

Today I want to introduce you all to a personal hero of mine, Waxie Moon. They’re a burlesque artist with a heart of gold and a mustache full of glitter. Burlesque, like drag (although I’ve found the two have a fair amount of overlap), is an art form where gender is messed with, made fun of, and reveled in. Waxie in particular is the meeting point of several gender expressions, from lady to leather daddy. Their performances always cheer me up, and I hope you’ll like them too:

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YESSSS

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The Brown Boi Project

How awesome is this?: ” The Brown Boi Project is a community of masculine of center womyn, men, two-spirit people, transmen, and our allies committed to transforming our privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving Racial and Gender Justice.”

And they’ve come out with a health guide. You can donate to them and/or buy it here.

I’m really glad people are out there doing fabulous projects that deal with intersectionality, especially with health. Too often health information that is for white, cisgender, owning class heterosexual men is treated as if it applies to everybody. The truth is that each identity carries with it its own health needs, and its members have their own wisdom. Projects like this help us produce and share resources that are dearly needed. Thanks, Brown Boi Project!

 

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Flying While Trans

I know, totally sounds like a superpower or something. Like a side effect of experimental HRT…and then our superhero/ine can fly and walk through walls, as well as developing new secondary sex characteristics.

But anyway, my original point was that unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, flying while trans involves some serious strife, as elucidated by this article from feministing. The TSA keeps making everyone’s life hard, and transpeople “disproportionately targeted for questioning and pat-downs as a result of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies that lead to us being ‘outed’ as trans.”

the only two genders: pink and blue

They have these great body scan devices where they have to enter the gender of the traveler. There are only two options, of course. Also, since the “pat-downs” are supposed to be performed by people of the “same” gender as the traveler, something that seems to be minimally respected with trans travelers. And, they’re adding an element called a “chat down,”  in which “[a]gents will be looking for signs of nervousness and concealment.” Obviously, a trans person could easily be targeted for this kind of thing, since why wouldn’t we feel nervous in a place that so obviously doesn’t respect gender variance?

All this is adding up to a pretty bleak picture, if you ask me. I really like how feministing summed it up:

“The TSA has been loving discriminatory “security” measures since 9/11, when the agency instated policies targeting people seen as Muslim or Arab. The requirement that you gender presentation match the gender on your ID was especially frightening for trans folks. Clearly, the trans community isn’t the only group of marginalized folks being unfairly treated, but we’re one of the groups facing the brunt of the security state. ”

I also think it’s worth pointing out that these policies are demeaning to TSA workers who may be trans allies or trans people themselves, and are forced to enforce gender binaries on people they should be able to express solidarity for. Just another example about how inequality is a bummer for everyone, not only its direct victims.

In any case, the National Center for Transgender Equality has got your back. They have a sweet page that both calls for policy change and gives you some tips on how to fly under the radar, as it were.

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Speech Training

Here’s a little transition tidbit for all of you out there: an article on speech training for MAAB women who are transitioning. As some of you may know, while hormone replacement with testosterone does cause voice changes, HRT with estrogen doesn’t. So some women may want to intentionally speak in a way that will be read as that of a woman’s. Apparently, this depends on a few factors. The article says:

Men speak in monotones, using volume instead of pitch to emphasize different syllables, with their heads perpendicular to their shoulders, while women tilt and move their heads and speak in rising and falling pitches. Male voices originate in the chest, female voices in the throat.”

Also, the pitch range is different, being on average 210-220 Hertz for women, and 110-120 for men. The gender-neutral range is 145-165. I think it’s worth noting that these are for cisgender people, and so I say, if a transwoman has a voice pitch of 11o Hertz, then that is well within the range of a voice a woman may have. On the other hand, being read as cisgender is an important survival tool for trans* people, and also is a legitimate desire. I’m just saying, this is a complicated issue.

I bet this training is pretty expensive, but if you read the article you could probably pick up a trick or two for yourself.

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Self-Love + Body Acceptance

I want to introduce you all to a knot of awesome blogs that I discovered lately that deal with issues of radical self-love, body acceptance, and fat activism along with issues of gender. I think they’re super inspirational and important. I’ll give you a little summary, and then you can find them in the links section from now on.

glitter attack!

Glitter Politic: This is a project by housemates and radical cuties Ashley and Erin. They say: “Glitter is a beautiful external reflection of the brightest, most powerful light that shines inside each one of us. In a world that makes hating yourself and others so easy and available, embodying a radical politic of glitter is challenging. By doing so, we accept and perpetuate the radical notion that there is enough room for all of us to shine.” It’s adorable and inspirational. And glittery. I really think y’all should check it out.

That’s So Majestic: Erin of Glitter Politic’s personal blog. They describe themself as “a working-class genderqueer who is guided by whim and fancy, but is instead putting too much time and government money into a degree in women’s studies and social justice at the University of Victoria.” I think a lot of us can relate. Check out their sweet social justice reblogs, fat pride, and badass outfit posts.

Deliciously Subversive: This blog is more angsty, but deals with self-acceptance as a trans person with fabulously complex gender things happening. He says “I’m a 20 year old white, fat, trans/gender/queer/femme bear cub boy who prefers “HE” PRONOUNS… blog about social justice, especially in relation to gender, sexuality, race, ability, sex work, and fat positivity.”

Blogging for Brown Gurls: Transmissions from brown gurl and my little pony look-alike who, from what I can gather, lives where it is warm and sunny, sew their own clothes, struts around like no one’s business, and is gifted with epic amounts of hotness. I really think you want this sass and eye candy directly in your brain.

Shine on crazy diamonds!

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