An Update

I realise it’s been over a month since I posted. I have felt a bit disillusioned and depressed recently. It seemed that in the month of January there were more squabbles between LGBTQIA individuals and communities then there was cooperation. I have always felt that we should all work for the same goals and though we may have disagreed on tactics we should never turn on our own. I have also been just dealing with the midwinter blahs.

So I thought I’d take a couple month break from this blog to get reinspired. I hope to be back by March or perhaps earlier. I have been keeping up with my Tumblr so you can always visit me there: http://fairyjerbear:tumblr.com

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A Response to the Idea ‘It’s Time to Take the T out of LGBT’

I know this story, (the push to take the “T” out of LGBT), is several months old but I just discovered this blogger and found this post particularly compelling,

GenderBen!

On Thursday 10th September 2015, Katie Glover (who is transgender) wrote an article for the Independent titled ‘Why it’s Time to take the ‘T’ out of LGBT’. I think that this article is misguided and unhelpful for different aspects of queer communities, and I will spell out why.

The article starts with discussion of the idea that people can get confused by LGBT, due to confusion and conflation between sexuality and gender identity (one simple, but useful one liner I’ve heard to explain this is “sexuality is who you go to bed with, gender identity is who you go to bed as” – later in the article, Glover misquotes this idea). This is a point dealt with by education, as the association between gender identity and sexuality has been around a lot longer than any kind of LGBT movement has. That association is in part because of how labels…

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Non-binary genders have Thousands of Years of Precedent

Looking at non-binary genders in history, specifically in Ancient Greece

GenderBen!

The enormous extent to which the binary gender system has been enforced – which claims everyone can only be male or female –  has left many people unaware of the existence of anything (or anyone) else. A lot of this has to do with a phenomenon that sociologists understand as the ‘medicalisation’ of sex. Differences in gendered behaviour (whether that be a man doing ‘women’s things’ or vice versa), sexual attraction, or clothing choice became understood as sicknesses, best left to the expertise of a doctor -when before you would’ve called for a priest, or even more likely, not actually been all that bothered. Anthropologists in the 19th century gave fantastical reports of ‘exotic’, ‘alien’ cultures. These social models regarding gender and sexuality were unintelligible to people bound by the western model: that you could be a man (who was attracted to women), or a woman (who was attracted to men)…

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My New Robo-Kitty

So on a bit of an impulse I ordered this product from Hasbro called the Joy For All Companion Pet. This is quote the cute toy as you can see from this video. It purrs and vibrates while purring, meows, mimics liking it’s paw, rolls over so you can pet it’s belly, and closes it’s eyes in contentment if you rub it’s cheeks. What it doesn’t do is scratch, require a litter box or need to be fed (except batteries. What is particularly surprising, and a bit unnerving at first, is that if you turn the light on or off or make a noise it will let out a meow-sigh. The first time it happened I was a bit startled. Now it just seems sweet.

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Now, you already know I’m eccentric if you read my recent post for the Liebster Award and saw my living room full of wild animal plushies. I also have a bedroom full of teddy bears and care bears, many of them gifts given because of my nickname and my advocacy of empathy, (hence the care bears). I even managed to track down some fairy bears to go with my agender/genderqueer nickname “Fairy JerBear.”

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It should be clear to you by now that I have a very active inner child. I have a couple care bears that talk when you push their belly or hold their hands together. Usually saying sweet sappy things like “I like sharing hugs with you!” I even have a Pikachu that talks and wiggles his ears and it’s cheeks light up, (see photo). This new “companion pet” was designed as a toy for all ages but, seniors in particular. The folks at Hasbro heard stories of adults playing with some of their other automated toys and we’re inspired to create this semi-realistic cat. I gave to admit it is a great stress reliever and it’s welcoming meow really seals the deal. If you’re interested and want to learn more you can check out the dedicated website http://joyforall.hasbro.com/en-us/our-story

Below is another video of seniors enjoying their Companion Cat:

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How Getting Dressed As A Non-Binary Individual Is A Political Act | Bustle

This article by Meg Zulch writing for Bustle, looks at the reality that dressing as our authentic selves is a political act. I really believe that in my case the personal is political. When I go out in a skirt with leggings or knee high socks, and a t-shirt saying agender babe I am making a statement about the gender binary. Because I am living in the body I inherited and have lived in for 59 years, I realize that my decision to live authentically, after decades of masquerading as a man, means I stand out from the crowd. I have spent my life as an activist for one cause or another. Many of those efforts were to advance LGBT rights. For a couple decades it was nearly impossible to advance Trans rights. Then slowly Transgender issues were addressed and gender identity along with sexual orientation was added to non-discrimination laws, including here in New Mexico. Now efforts are underway to reverse advances made by Trans activists. At a time like this it is important for me to do my part by doing traditional activism but also by dressing and living my life authentically.

Here then is Meg Zulch

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D Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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Meg Zulch


I’ve always thought that politics have a way of informing art and fashion. As a young lover of all things sartorial, watching Gaga strut in machine gun bras and meat dresses or admiring Jeremy Scott’s critique of capitalist consumerism make it clear to me that fashion is political — even if sometimes the artist doesn’t intend for it to be. Personally, I believe all art is political. Whether we make conscious choices to reflect this or not, our creations mirror our personal experiences, struggles, and beliefs, therefore representing the inherent politics of each individual artist or human.

For some, however, it is almost impossible to step away from this political identity. For trans and genderqueer people, as well as other gender non-conforming individuals, wearing clothes for the fun of it is rarely that simple. When living in a society that doesn’t know how to classify you while existing in a body that is gender fluid, your very existence is hugely political. As a person who identifies as genderqueer, and as a person assigned female at birth who loves to present masculinely half the time, I can definitely relate

Continue reading this article here at Bustle:
http://www.bustle.com/articles/125713-how-getting-dressed-as-a-non-binary-individual-is-a-political-act

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Labels Are Complicated Like Starbucks // Kelly Kitagawa

Kelly Kitagawa talks about labels and why there important to people describing their gender identity/identities. Here’s a list to help you sort out how you wish to describe yourself: Labels/identities from The Gender Equality Resource Center at University of  California at Berkeley: http://geneq.berkeley.edu/lgbt_resources_definiton_of_terms

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I’m Agender (Gender Tag)

In this video LaineyBot is doing the gender tag where thet talk about the gender they best identify with.

We’re all born with physical configurations beyond our will, but who we are on the inside doesn’t really get to be decided by anyone but us. Gender is by definition a reflection of more than just what we physically are, it includes other factors, such as how you personally identify. Gender gives us the power to be who we really are, and not what people tell us we are.

LaineyBot’s Instagram: http://instagram.com/laineybot

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Trauma and Transness: Why I Didn’t ‘Always Know’ I Was Transgender

An important post about the links between mental health and discoveringet a trans gender identity.

Let's Queer Things Up!

There are a number of transgender people who have known, from a very young age, that they were a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth. Their stories are encouraging , interesting, and important. Their stories are also not mine.

I knew as a child that I was different – but not because of my gender. I knew this because I had early onset bipolar disorder. My life, in so many ways, was consumed as I struggled to keep my head above water. While other children my age contemplated their place in the world, I contemplated hurting myself for reasons I couldn’t explain.

This disorder derailed my life – impacting my relationships, my self-esteem, and of course, my stability – until I finally started getting treatment for it when I was eighteen years old.

It’s not a coincidence that when I started receiving treatment for bipolar disorder…

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Coming out: Keep the champagne on ice

Coming out remains a challenge to many.

The Queerness

As David Mundell becomes the latest MP to come out as gay, Lee Williscroft-Ferris takes a look at reactions to the announcement and what they tell us about the process of coming out.


When Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, came out as gay last week, many people sat back and awaited the inevitable. From “Isn’t he brave?” to “This shows how far we have come!”, the subsequent reactions were entirely predictable.

Increasingly common in such situations is the widespread appropriation of a person’s coming out for a variety of mostly selfish purposes. Most worrying is a growing tendency to interpret it as irrefutable proof that the battle for ‘gay equality’ has been won. This assertion is as erroneous as it is dangerous. It negates the ongoing intersectional struggle for full LGBTQ+ equality and it depersonalises the highly individual process of coming out.

When the act of coming out is portrayed as an…

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Trans healthcare is in a state of emergency

Trans Healthcare really is in trouble in the UK, sadly, it’s even worse in the United States.

The Queerness

With the release of the Trans Inquiry, Stephanie Farnsworth examines the health care situation which trans people must battle every day.


The Trans Inquiry has been long, arduous and unbelievably frustrating for the many desperately awaiting  improvements to the way in which the UK treats trans people. It’s finally here and while thorough in parts, there’s a huge sense of wondering about what exactly does come next. The government has a record on long inquiries but little being made of them. In fact, I’m starting to think that’s how our ridiculous bureaucracy was founded. The system of bureaucracy is gatekeeping trans identities.

The endless forms and confusing system is made to try to show that they are doing something while doing absolutely nothing, except leaving trans people isolated. This includes everything from obtaining a GRC to being able to access healthcare and if you’re non-binary you can practically forget your…

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Landmark Ruling as Transgender Woman’s Employment Discrimination Case Heads to Trial

An employment discrimination case involving a Trans woman heads to trial.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da

Eleventh Circuit Overturns Lower Court Decision in Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC 

Posted by Melanie Ntahan, January 15, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 7.27.08 AMTuxedo Park, NY- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that a transgender woman may take her employment discrimination case against a Georgia auto sales company to trial. The decision (click here) in Chavez v. Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC reverses an opinion by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in part, holding that there was sufficient evidence of discrimination for the case to be heard by a jury.

In January 2010, Jennifer Chavez was fired from her job as an auto mechanic at Credit Nation Auto Sales, LLC, a company near Atlanta, for “sleeping on the job.” The termination came shortly after Chavez had transitioned to live authentically while working for the company and allegedly experienced a number of discriminatory…

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HUD Wants your Input on New Rules for Transgender Shelter Seekers

If anyone reading this has knowledge and/or experience with Trans individuals and families seeking shelter HUD wants to hear from you.

O-blog-dee-o-blog-da

Transgender activists, Trans Community and all who care please take note of this call to action by the Federal Government and leading organizations!

Posted by Melanie Nathan, January 14, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 3.41.06 PMThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a new regulation that it is considering adopting, one that would, for the first time, require that transgender people seeking access to emergency shelters be treated consistent with their gender identity. HUD is seeking input on this proposal, so there is an opportunity to help shape this important new policy. In this article Fair Housing of Marin (FHOM) provides some brief history and context for the new rule, and identify suggested ways to lend your voice to the policy making process:

Federal Government Issues New Rule Seeking to Assist Transgender Shelter Seekers:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a new regulation that it is…

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Why Our Feminism Must Be Intersectional (And 3 Ways to Practice It) — Everyday Feminism

I have written here before about why I, as a disabled, Trans/ Agender person designated male at birth, am a Feminist and what I perceive it to be. It can be an eye opener to discover that their are disputes, disagreements and outright hostility between different groups and individuals who use the word Feminists to describe them. Their are various “waves” of Feminism that emerged at a specific time and are aligned with viewpoints of particular spokespersons/writers/activists. The most problematic to Trans people and in particular, Trans women are the “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists,” as they’re labeled by some, (the people that adhere to this belief system just call themselves Radical Feminists).

I have grown to prefer what is called Intersectional Feminism (also called Fourth Wave Feminism). Intersectionality is a term that was introduced by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. The concept already existed but she gave it a name. The textbook definition states:

The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”

To read more about the terminology and what it means check out this article in The Telegraph newspaper out of the UK.

I particularly like this post by Jarune Uwujaren and Jamie Utt in Everyday Feminism that strongly advocates for Intersectional Feminism. Here are the opening paragraphs of the opinion piece. Continue reading by following the link at the bottom of this post..

Source: VAL3NTEA
Source: VAL3NTEA

When Annie Lennox, legendary Scottish singer from the Eurythmics, recently declared that Beyoncé is not feminist with the statement “Listen, twerking is not feminism,” she firmly established herself as a representative for White feminism.

What is “White feminism?” We’ll let Cate from BattyMamzelle define it for you:

“White feminism is a set of beliefs that allows for the exclusion of issues that specifically affect women of color. It is ‘one size-fits all’ feminism, where middle class White women are the mold that others must fit. It is a method of practicing feminism, not an indictment of every individual White feminist, everywhere, always.”

Now, Lennox likely doesn’t think of herself as a White feminist, but by referring to Beyoncé’s feminism and expression as “disturbing,” “exploitative,” and “troubling,” she expressed the politic many White feminists are known for advancing: “Feminism must look like we want it to look, or it’s not feminism.”

It’s usually not that overt, and most White feminists would deny that this is what’s being said or done, but you notice it in more subtle comments like “Why do you have to divide us by bringing up race?” or “Are Trans women really women? There should be a distinction.”

In the face of calls for a more intersectional feminism, there are even White feminists who claim the whole concept of intersectionality is just academic jargon that doesn’t connect with the real world.

Yet the irony seems lost on some feminists who make these claims while staunchly opposing the language of “humanism” in place of “feminism.”

Source: Rosalarian
Source: Rosalarian

Simply put, it’s not those who are calling for a feminism that is responsive to the specific issues they face that are being divisive. It’s those of us who refuse to acknowledge the need for an intersectional ethic in feminism.

What Is Intersectionality? Continue reading this opinion piece by clicking here to head over to Everyday Feminism

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Fashion victims: In the fitting rooms with trans femmes | Dazed

A fascinating article about presenting femme. I aim to present as someone who has the clothing and “beauty” products optons from the entire range of fashion. Nonetheless people only focus on the clothing I wear, that seems to them, incongruous with what they perceive when they see me; “an effeminate guy.” So skirts and leggings and lipstick, are considered femme whilst other attire considered “normal” for my body type is ignored. There is no “passing” as an agender/genderqueer person who was designated male at birth, at least until society accepts “gender ambivalent” as a style. You add in my being chubby trying to find “women’s” clothing that fits, (much like the frustrations the author decribes finding clothing for someone  who’s tall), and add in my disability that makes applying makeup or putting in earrings difficult to impossible and the frustration is multiplied. Sigh, I just want to be my authentic self, is that too much to ask?

Here are the opening paragraphs of the article by Sean Faye as it appears in DazedDigital.com:

For us trans and queer people raised as boys, femme aesthetics are often vitally important to self expression – but not always easy to achieve

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“Because I am trans feminine and tall; tailoring and adjustments to women’s clothes is very important for me. I recently took something that needed to be fitted to Nordstrom and when I took it to women’s tailoring the woman there looked confused by my presence, suggested I should be in the men’s tailoring area and said ‘I’m sorry – I don’t know where to put you”.

“Because I am trans feminine and tall; tailoring and adjustments to women’s clothes is very important for me. I recently took something that needed to be fitted to Nordstrom and when I took it to women’s tailoring the woman there looked confused by my presence, suggested I should be in the men’s tailoring area and said ‘I’m sorry – I don’t know where to put you’”.
M Zavos is twenty years old, currently living in Chicago during the early stages of her transition. As I ask her about her experiences of clothing herself, it is clear that she, like many other trans people, is acutely aware of her own sense of style and taste, but also the practical frustrations her identity presents to her enjoyment of fashion in an industry ill-equipped to deal with trans and nonbinary people. Particularly those who were assigned male at birth for whom presenting as feminine is seen as a cultural trespass in a patriarchal world. When I ask M how the exchange in the dressing room made her feel she says “it was just extremely othering”.

Discussing gender variant people in conjunction with fashion already runs the risk of being reductive. Trans identities and androgynous aesthetics are not the same – the world of fashion has embraced androgynous models (some of whom are, in fact, trans); brands like Selfridges’ Agender offers a high end aesthetic of “fashion without boundaries” and Tom Ford has launched his Lips & Boys male lipstick campaign: in it, women models wearing various shades of lipstick turn to kiss male-presenting models who are – surprise! – wearing a matching shade themselves.

Continue reading the article here at DazedDigital.com: http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/29034/1/fashion-victims-in-the-fitting-rooms-with-trans-femmes

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Buddy Cole Kids in the Hall Gay Bar Monologue

Way back in the early – mid nineties a Canadian comedy troupe had a groundbreaking television show called Kids In The Hall. . One of the comedians was openly gay Scott Thompson. He created an over the top campy gay bar owner that commented on people and events with his queer eyes for all guys.

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Genderqueer and disabled… but not your motivational tool!

In this incredibly powerful piece, genderqueer disabled guest writer, Becca Baker, takes aim at those that would appropriate disability for their own selfish motives. I can’t begin to tell you how much I resonate with this post. As an agender/genderqueer person with disabilities, chronic pain and anxiety/panic attack disorder. This author might as well be reading my mind; that’s how close this mirrors my life! Thanks Becca!

Here’s the post from Becca: Genderqueer and disabled… but not your motivational tool!

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The New Fairy JerBear’s – Who I Am

I have finally made a decision to retitle this blog. I am moving away from the news aspect because there are so many news resources out there. What I am going to focus on are topics, videos and blog posts that really strike a chord with me. I will also contribute original posts a few times a month or as often as the urge hits me. In many ways I’m a very different person than the person who started this blog. A great deal of the difference has to do with discovering my gender identity and connecting with the Trans community here in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

So because I’ve changed a bit I thought I’d reintroduce myself:

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Fairy JerBear

I am a proud member of the Trans community, specifically I am Agender (neither male or female) which is a non-binary gender identity.

I am active in our local Trans support group here in Santa Fe entitles Santa Fe Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Support Group as well as getting more involved with the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico.

I am Queer, a reclaimed use of a pajorative term. I am attracted to more androgynous guys as well as some non-binary gender identified people.

I am Disabled due to multiple, painful disabling conditions including polyneuropathy, psoriatic artritis, degenerative disk disease and chronic fatigue. I also have anxiety/panic attack disorder.

I am a Secular Humanist/Atheist, I don’t believe in a deity but I do believe in the values of compassion, empathy, respect for others.

I love science and like being exposed to new ideas and discoveries.

I am an animal lover and believe in wildlife preservation. I am personally opposed to hunting and have been a vegetarian for all but a few years of my life.

I am an Environmentalist and believe the scientific concensus that man-made climate change is a serious threat to our planet.

I am a life long Democrat from what is now termed the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren (very liberal) wing of the party.

I am an avid reader or more precisely, an avid listener to audio books. Because the most comfortable way to relax is laying down, I find listening to books more pleasant than reading them. That being said if the book is good and not available in audio format then I’ll read it via Kindle. I am a fan of science fiction and time travel in particular. I also read/listen to LGBTQIA themed books, and booths on Humanism and Secular ideology including atheism.

I have a huge Blu-ray and DVD collection with a wide range of films, TV shows, etc. I particularly like independent film, science fiction (including Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who and Torchwood), I also have a lot of nature/wildlife documentaries. Now that I can buy films and TV shows from Amazon and store them in the cloud, I tend to buy HD online versions of material I am interested in. I also subscribe to Curiosity Stream and Smithsonian Earth through Amazon Prime, subscribe to Hulu+ and Netflix and have a full cable hookup. So I am never lacking for material to watch on my TV or on tablets.

Well that’s it for now. If any of you have any questions for me I am happy to answer them.

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Hum Hain Happy – 6 Pack Band

A fun, catchy cover of Happy by a band made up of hijra, (transgender) Indians.

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Animalia Chorus! (A Capella Science)

A fantastic version of The Hallelujah Chorus that is a tribute to the animal kingdom.

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Good Sex, Good News, Great Info in this week’s Roundup

The latest LGBT Health Roundup…

LGBT HealthLink, The Network for Health Equity

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices, in a partnership with blogger Scout, LGBT HealthLink and researcher Susana Fajardo, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here.HuffPoLGBTWellness

Gay, Bi Men More Susceptible To Advertisements About Appearance

A new study may explain why gay and bi men have eating disorders more often than straight men. Researchers found that gay and bi men are more susceptible to advertisements and social messages about physical appearance, increasing the likelihood of eating disorders.

Learn How One Quitline Is Becoming Queer-Welcoming

Great op-ed in The Advocate this week from the head of one of the largest tobacco quitlines in the country. In it she talks about all the steps they’ve taken to make sure their work is queer-welcoming, including partnering with LGBT HealthLink to…

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