More Than Male And Female

I have been really getting into creating textual graphics and memes lately thanks to some new apps. The one I am proudest of is the one I came up with today. Here’s the text as it appeared on Instagram…

I came up with a meme/quote of my own and sent it via Instagram. Here’s the text and the graphic.

“There are more colors than black and white, there are more temperatures than hot and cold, there are more heights than short or tall and there are more genders than male and female.”
– Jeri Rae Cheney (me)

#OriginalQuote #JeriRaeCheney #NonBinaryGenders #Genderqueer #Agender #Bigender #Neutrosis #Demigender #TransMen #TransWomen #cisgender

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Commercial reveals what some LGBT individuals go through in Japan

A look at the hurdles faced by many in the LGBTQ community of Japan.

SoraNews24

Is the LGBT mindset in Japan any different from other countries?

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When asked their sex, some are going with option ‘X’ – USA Today

The following appears in USA Today and is one of the first national news service to have a non-biased article about non-binary gender identities.  Let’s hope this continues! To read the entire article please follow the link at the bottom of this page.

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Jamie Shupe, the first person to be legally recognized as gender non-binary, at home in Oregon.
(Photo: Jamie Shupe)

America has slowly begun to acknowledge that for many people, gender is much more complicated than simply being a man or a woman. And a growing number of Americans are seeking recognition of a third gender, neither exclusively male or female, under the label non-binary.

People typically think of transgender as meaning gender reversal, where someone identifies as the opposite sex from their birth sex. But transgender is an umbrella term used to cover a wide spectrum of people whose gender identity is different from the one they were assigned at birth.

More than one-third of transgender people describe themselves as non-binary, which the National Center for Transgender defines as “people whose gender is not exclusively male or female, including those who identify with a gender other than male or female, as more than one gender, or as no gender, identifying as a combination of genders or not identifying with either gender at all.”

Non-binary people have always been part of the population. But for the first time, state governments in the U.S.. are beginning to recognize their identity. Oregon approved a third gender option on driver’s licenses last week; California’s Senate passed a law with the same aim, and similar legislation was introduced in both New York and the District of Columbia this week.

“Hello, I’m Taylor. My pronouns are they, theirs and them,” Dillon’s Billions character declares when introduced to one of the show’s two protagonists. The scene likely also introduced the concept of non-binary people and non-gender specific pronouns to many viewers.

Continue Reading  Here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/06/21/third-gender-option-non-binary/359260001/

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On Taking The Sting Out of Slurs by Using Them as Empowerment.

I’ve always enjoyed taking the power of slurs away from homophobes and U.S. Protesttransphobes by turning around and using them myself. I think that is why I embraced the use of “queer” so quickly. Very early in the nineties I participated in several Queer Nation protests/events sometimes the protests were a joint ACT-UP/Queer Nation protest. Queer Nation stood in stark contrast of the more assimilation minded LGBTQ community based organizations like The Human Right Campaign. I loved the in your face slogans chanted at protests.  Queer Nation chants included “Two, Four, Six, Eight! How Do You Know Your Kids Are Straight?” as well as “Out of the Closets and Into the Streets,” and the widely imitated “We’re Here! We’re Queer! Get Used To It!

When doing HIV/STD street outreach in areas frequented by gay men and gay youth, 7F2B7D16-59E4-4687-8322-AC8D2729B776-8780-0000070C85154B1Fand at a point in time when I identified as a gay man, I would frequently shout back “that’s Mr Faggot to you.” That slogan even appeared on buttons and shirts.

C7FC34FF-FEC8-405A-AD8D-367341608C48-8780-0000070E2230EABAThen there was the slur fairy or if you prefer old English faerie. As I have mentioned that particular slur was adopted by a group called The Radical Faeries. Who are The Radical Faeries? Margot Adler in her 2006 book Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshipers and Other Pagans in America (Revised ed.) captured the essence of the group in this description:

“We are the equivalent of Shamans in modern culture,” said Peter Soderberg, during an interview at the 1985 Pagan Spirit Gathering. “Many gay men want to be middle-class Americans. They want to be respected as human beings and they want their sexuality to be ignored. But radical faeries are willing to live on the edge. We feel there is power in our sexuality. You know there is a power there because our culture is so afraid of us.”

4683AB18-8E62-4125-9939-0D63438D61D9-8780-00000718B8DF8A41You can see how this has an appeal for someone exploring their gender identity, particularly their gender expansive approach to presenting themselves and their view that faeries stood between the genders and sexualites. Harry Hay, the person in the photo on the left, was one of the founders of the Faeries. Harry was influenced by two spirit traditions, in Indigenous American culture and spirituality, in forming his belief that faeries had a unique role in society as a group set apart from the gender and sexualities of the cisgender and heterosexual mainstream. I always say that, for me, The Radical Faeries were my bridge from viewing myself as gay man, then queer, and from there to my current identity as an Agender/Trans Femme individual.

The slur that I have not personally adopted but I’ve seen others embrace is “sissy.” AE0A8ADB-FD1F-43FF-95EA-BECBB7948EF8-8780-00000709D31FE663Unfortunately this is used by guys who like to be humiliated for being sissy, a fetish I don’t understand. I’m about beeing empowered not humiliated. So I prefer a use like the one seen on shirts in the eighties and nineties referencing a television sitcom from the seventies called “Family Affair.” There were two children and a teenage girl featured and their names were, Buffy, Jody and Sissy. The shirt displayed those three names with a prominent check mark ✅ after Sissy.

The obvious connection with these slurs and trans identity and gender expression is that they all reference perceived effeminate behavior in boys and men.

Which brings us to perhaps my favorite slur after fairy. That is the beautiful flower known as pansy. The use of it as a slur seems to have developed in the 1920s as a sort of association between effeminate men who frequently dressed in colorful clothes and the delicate beauty of the flower known as the pansy. It wasn’t always looked down on. One legislator tried to make it our national flower. I particularly liked this description from a web page discussing the derivation of pansy as a slur:

“Perhaps one of the oddest examples can be found in an original story penned by Doris Palmer of Louisville that was printed in the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1908 (Feb. 9, 1908, p. 22). “Panio,” the protagonist, is a little boy who was “not like the other children; they laughed at his queer fancies, mocked him so that the boy…left the boisterous children and went to the woods to find comfort in the wild flowers.” He eventually stumbles upon a meadow where he discovers an unusual flower. Later he wins a prize for naming it the “pansy” and lives happily ever after with his mother and a flower garden filled with his beloved blossoms.

Most notable here is the author’s use of “queer”: perhaps an early indication of how the meaning of that word was also changing. It’s telling that Panio was a mama’s boy who never married.”

I identify with that character. Panio was a lot like me. I turned to mother nature as a respite from an uncomfortable relationship with my father and what I now believe was spiritual/emotional abuse. So that’s why I love the word pansy and gladly embrace it. Here’s my little tribute…

I’m A Pansy, You’re A Pansy,
They’re A Pansy, We’re All Pansies.,
Wouldn’t You Like To Be A Pansy Too?

Parody of Vintage Dr. Pepper Jingle.
I know you’re singing it in your head now aren’t you? Notice the use of a singular they in, “they’re a pansy.”

Alternative lyrics by me, Fairy JeriBear

Here’s the graphic:

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Non-Binary Genders and Intersex Individuals 

A scientific and historical look at non-binary gender identities and intersex individuals.

Here’s the videographer’s description of this production:

I want to examine in a little more detail the realities of sex and gender diversity, viewed through a biological and historical lens. It’s easy to poke fun at the Tumblr alternative subcultures, and some of it is cringe-worthy, but the reactionaries who deny that there is anything other than male and female, man and woman are also incorrect. The simple truth is that sex and gender are always going to be a complex topic if you care about being thorough and accurate.

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I Am Genderqueer (And What the #@%! That Means) | ContraPoints

Contra Points takes on the challenge of defining genderqueer and non-binary gender identities. Here’s some links to he/she/their, (the video offers various pronoun choices) social media contact information.

Is it really coming out if no one is surprised?
✿Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/contrapoints

✿Donate: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

✿Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/c/ContraPoints

✿Live Stream Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGh4…

✿Twitter: https://twitter.com/ContraPoints

✿Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ContraPoints/

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Coming Out as Genderqueer

In this brief but passionate video Adam Priester shares how they came to identify as genderqueer in a celebratory video.

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10 Gender Identities Beyond Male and Female

This is a fairly good, quick, succinct rundown of gender identities. There may be some disagreement about who falls under the term “transgender,” which is the last category discussed. According to this video; cross dressers, drag kings and drag queens are all under the transgender umbrella. I think it’s fair to say that the inclusion of those individuals as transgender is controversial. Particularly because those are more often seen as gender expressions as opposed to gender identity. That being said, if these individuals feel that their gender identity is other than cisgender, then I have no problem using those terms in addition to their gender identity. For example some trans women may also be drag queens but it is clear that drag is expression and performance while being a trans woman is their gender identity.

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Some Great Music Videos About Sexuality & Gender

I’ve assembled some music videos about gender identity, norms and roles as well as music videos about sexuality, being gay/bi/queer and more. These have come out within the last decade and frequently are from the perspective of younger individuals. I know there are more but I personally liked these. If you have suggestions for other music videos please leave your suggestions in the comments.

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8 Things Non-Binary People Need to Know

Sam’s wonder words of advice for his younger self.

Let's Queer Things Up!

The image features the non-binary pride flag.The non-binary pride flag, via Gender Wiki

Coming out as genderqueer and non-binary was this big, beautiful, scary thing for me. I didn’t know what exactly I was moving towards – I only sensed that I was moving in the right direction.

Navigating something as complicated as gender with just my intuition was like running through a corn maze at night. There were a lot of dead ends. There were a lot of bumps and bruises. And it was, at times, totally exhausting.

There’s so much that I wish I had known when I started transitioning that I simply wasn’t able to find. There’s a lot of validation that we all need, but fail to get.

The internet is still tripping about our existence, so there are plenty of articles about what we are and there’s lots of 101. But our lives exist beyond 101. We need something more than…

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The History of Genderqueer


*Information was current as of 2014

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Today the 17th of May is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2017 #IDAHOT2017



All graphics created by yours truly Jeri Rae aka Fairy JerBear 

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The World Needs Peace – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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A little Respect. 

Some great advice on respecting one another…

Pride Matters

By @pridematters1

I have spoken to a few individuals over the years about our wonderful rainbow families attitudes towards each other at times.
Sometimes some of us appear to forget the struggle we faced when coming to terms with our own sexuality. Forgetting the times when some of us felt like outcasts or “freaks”, forgetting the fact that everyone of us is different.

I often hear one group of the LGBTQIA community having arguments with another.

In the LGBTQIA community, we have different views on different issues, however, diversity should be embraced and accepted.

When in a bar early one night waiting for friends to arrive, talking to a trans female, a friend of a friend said to me in earshot of the lady, “what are you talking to that freak for?” which I replied “we are all freaks here my dear!”.

Truth is none of us are freaks! Truth…

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YouTuber Connor Manning Comes Out As Genderfluid

I’m so thrilled that more people, like Connor, who were assigned male at birth are realizing they are Genderfluid, Genderqueer, Agender, or otherwise Nonbinary. I’m proud of you Connor!

Connor’s introduction “Hey! Got something to tell you about my gender! I don’t feel like a guy. I feel like something else! I’m referring to myself as gender fluid now! It feels right!”

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My Gender Journey Posts in Chronological Order

I have chronicled my gender journey through various posts on this blog. Since they’re not listed in order elsewhere in the blog, I thought I’d list them here. To read about my journey, from my decision to call myself Agender through my coming out as Trans Femme/Agender to all my Facebook friends, read these in order:

1. JerBear Is Agender & Genderqueer – The Beginning

2. Finding Family, Celebrating Pride & Becoming Comfortable Being Myself, An Agender Fairy Bear!

3. On Being Agender – Update

4. My Gender Unicorn

5. My Story – A Trans Femme Agender Tale

Fairy JerBear aka Jeri Rae

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Celebrating Being Agender In Memes

Here are a couple graphic art memes I recently created on being Agender…

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Gay Men Trying To Guess Trans Terms

Jake Edward, a trans YouTuber gathered together 3 gay YouTubers for a fun and lighthearted game of guessing trans terms. A nice respite from heavy news and politics. Jake has cautioned this was for fun and shouldn’t be treated as an official trans glossary.

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Coming Out To All My Facebook Friends 

A week ago I decided to come out to all my friends on Facebook even prodding to see if I got a reply from people I wasn’t sure of. This is the letter followed by observations about the response:

Dear Friends,

As most of you know in late Summer of 2014 I began a gender journey. All my life I had felt insecure about my gender. There were a number of opportunities earlier in my life to look at my own gender identity. In the second half of my Junior year in high school at Pine Tree Academy I boarded with a local dentist and his wife. They had a daughter a few years older than me in college where she stayed in a dorm. As the dentist and his wife worked I often had a couple hours every now and then when I was alone. I discovered the daughters wardrobe or at least the part she left at home. I tried the clothes on and remember feeling that this was more than simple curiosity. Meanwhile at school there were a couple bullies who had made comments and shoved me when they knew no one could see them. At the end of the year I passed around my yearbook for signatures. Two of the entries were quite hateful. One used “gay” as an insult and the other called me a “faggot.” So come Senior year I made it a point to butch it up a bit, (appear more masculine), to avoid the bullying.

After graduation I left for college at Atlantic Union College in Massachusetts. In my first year there I met up with 3 or 4 gay guys. One of them was gender non-conforming, I became friends with him and had chats with him in the dorm stairwells where we found a measure of privacy. One memorable night he even took me and a couple others to a gay club. This was the fall of 1975 and my young mind was just overwhelmed by the experience. We continued to share secrets and concerns with each other. I came out as being attracted to guys and he shared both some of his exciting weekend encounters and his sadness at not being able to reconcile his sexual orientation with the church’s beliefs. Soon Winter break came and we went in different directions. As the break ended I was informed of something pretty horrific. My flamboyant gay friend had committed suicide. I was scared, sad, confused and determined to keep my secrets hidden which I did until 1987.

I came out as gay in February of 1987, thirty years ago. I quickly got involved with the community. I began working with people with HIV/AIDS (PWA), devising outreach programs and assisting PWAs secure services and support. During that time I heard a sermon at the Unitarian Universalist Church by a guest preacher who ran the denomination’s LGBT Program. He quoted Harry Hay, an early gay rights pioneer and founder of The Radical Faerie movement. What he said really struck a cord because his belief was that gay and lesbian people were different then straight people not just in the choice of sexual partners but also in our gender expression. The belief was that people like me were shamans, magicians and priests who stood between men and women and helped heal stresses and misunderstandings between men and women. I thought that I had found the answer.

During this time I got to know several transgender individuals beginning in the late ’80s. They were for the most part trans women and while I didn’t feel completely like a man, I didn’t feel completely like a woman either. So, while I felt an affinity with my trans friends back then, their gender identity didn’t match up with how I was feeling. By this time I had entered a relationship which became quite well known given our willingness to open up to the press. In an effort to be attractive to my partner who like hairy guys known as “bears” in gay subculture, I grew a beard stopped trimming hair off my body and became a bear, at least on the outside. I really grew to hate how I was frequently read – many presumed I was hyper masculine and probably into leather and S&M. I was really repulsed by that idea. I kept this a secret and our relationship weathered lots of challenges that came our way unitil August of 1996. On that date, for several different reasons, my partner and I changed our relationship from partner to close friend.

In 1996 I came to New Mexico and continued to work in HIV/AIDS work, focusing on prevention. As a way of deflecting presumptions about my masculinity I grew my
hair out and declared myself a fairy bear which sometimes morphed into a “care bear.” I got to know some wonderful Trans people here and learned a lot from them, particularly a couple Dine’/Navajo trans women who shared the ancient wisdom passed down by their elders about genders beyond male and female.

By 2009 my disabilities, symptoms and medication side effects made it difficult to work. Eventually I was declared disabled and left work. I began searching the internet for information that would answer the lifelong confusion I had about my gender. I began to see talk of genderqueer individuals. At first it didn’t click with me because all I observed were individuals who were assigned female at birth. Finally a news story changed everything. I happened on a news story about a hate crime that occurred in California. I’ve shared the story many times so I will just lay out the facts. A high school student who identified as agender, (who had been assigned male at birth), was riding home on a bus and had nodded off to sleep. A boy sitting nearby who thought it would be a practical joke to set the person’s skirt on fire. The agender student sustained serious burns on his legs and their story, (many agender individuals prefer people use a singular version of they as their pronoun), made local and national news. In response the community rallied round them. The high school the agender individual attended had an event where most students and teachers in the school wore skirts for a day to show their support. Other schools and groups honored diversity and showed their support in other ways. This story, particularly the explication of what an agender and genderqueer person was, really meant something special to me.

I continued to explore, I came out as trans/agender on my blog. I will not rewrite what I already have in my blog. If you haven’t read it leave a comment and I’ll give you a link. After this gender journey I’d been taking on my own I felt the need to connect with others. I discovered a trans support group here in Santa Fe and went to my first meeting. I wasn’t sure I’d be accepted but that fear soon left as I was warmly welcomed. Soon I became involved in the group and helped out with a website and a Twiiter account. I also help facilitate meetings now and then. I have met so many wonderful trans men, trans women and nonbinary/genderqueer individuals. I have learned from their stories and continued to engage in self reflection.

I am very grateful to all the people I have met on my journey. Everyone of you has played a part in my life and your kindness and knowledge have been very important. I now identify as a trans femme, agender, nonbinary/genderqueer person, but if it’s easier for you to remember you can call me transgender.

I am part of the trans community, a community that is now under siege. I consider the trans community as a very large extended family. When a black trans woman is murdered it breaks my heart, when someone is bullied and tormented so often they consider suicide I am deeply saddened. I also am dismayed that some on the right have reduced our community to mythological bathroom predators. I want my trans men and trans women friends to be free to use the facility that aligns with their gender identity and I, along with other nonbinary trans people want to have a gender neutral restroom available. Just like you all we want to do is take care of business, wash our hands and leave. We’ve been doing this for years without a problem. It’s simply a fact that after losing the marriage equality battle the religious right aimed their sights on trans folk. A mythology was created and occasional incidents involving cis men were woven into the tale. I promise you we aren’t putting ourselves in further danger by lingering in the bathroom one second longer than necessary. It’s trans people that are the victims in some bathrooms. Bullies in schools are on the lookout for anyone who isn’t their idea of normal. So it’s trans students, gay and lesbian students and gender non-conforming cis students who get verbally and physically attacked. This needs to end now! I am proud to be a member of the trans community. This community has changed my life and made it meaningful again. If you don’t understand, that’s okay. Ask questions, read up on who we are and remain our friend. On the other hand, if you don’t understand and refuse to learn and open your heart then, regrettably, I can no longer remain friends. I am too old to deal with negativity! I faced enough of it earlier in my life. As for my wonderful friends, family of choice, biological family and fellow activists who accept me and my community I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️!

Hugs,
Jerry/Jeri

After this post began to receive likes and kind comments I was moved to respond. Here is that response with the names removed

I am feeling so blessed and overwhelmed with gratitude at the response to this post. Three of my friends, from way back, during my years in Norridgewock, Maine from 13 – 16 years old. Your simple “likes” were so moving for me. It shows you may not understand all I’ve shared but your willing to try. You’ll never know how much that means to me and the literal tears of gratitude I’ve shared. Thank you so much! I was also moved by the “like” from my high school classmate at Pine Tree Academy. A time filled with both wonder and joy as well as internal turmoil I didn’t show anyone.

And… my friends from my college era who left comments or “liked” this post. I’m so overwhelmed by their memories, their acceptance and/or their willingness to understand, even if it’s with some trepidation. This means so much.

Then there are all friends who knew me during my gay/AIDS activist 🏳️‍🌈 era your acceptance means the world to me. Finally my new trans family 🦄 who’ve welcomed me with open arms, gave me encouragement and advice and support and love ❤️ your literal and virtual embrace have sustained me during the last two and a half years. Thanks so much. Finally my two unwitting fairy godmothers, your inspiration means more to me than either of you will ever know. I owe you so much and I will try and pass it on by being an inspiration and activist in our community. Before I end I should acknowledge my friend and dare I say apprentice, we embarked on our new journey together and I wish you all the best life has to offer. I may have missed someone, if I have I’m sorry but know your friendship is gratefully accepted. To all thanks🙏🏼, hugs🤗, love❤️and unicorns🦄!!

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Is Gender Fluid? | Imogen Walsh | TEDxYouth@Manchester

A TED Talk about gender fluidity and non-binary gender identities…

Imogen challenges us to think beyond the gender binary and instead choose new expressions from our evolving language to reflect and embrace gender fluidity.

Fallibroome Academy student Imogen Walsh talks at TEDxYouth@Manchester 2016.

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