This from conservatives?

McBride_with_Vice_President_Biden
Sarah McBride with VP Joe Biden. She undoubtably represents a big step for the LGBT community.

As I’m writing this, I’m having a cognitive dissonance. Especially during this election year.

With all the blahooey coming from the republican campaign, it’s easy to collectively dismiss the conservative agenda. That agenda though is actually  pretty good. Hang on to your knee-jerk reaction and hear me out.

Yes, Trump republicans must be denounced as do people who are bigoted, full of hate and suffering from personal stories which cause them to lash out at others. But we mustn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Case in point, this interesting little conservative gem The Daily Signal.

The Daily Signal is owned and was created by the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. The foundation’s mission is:

To formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

We believe the principles and ideas of the American Founding are worth conserving and renewing. As policy entrepreneurs, we believe the most effective solutions are consistent with those ideas and principles. Our vision is to build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.

As far as stories go, I can think of worse ones. And though America’s Founding is rife with horrendous events waged on people of color and other minorities, “freedom, opportunity, prosperity and a flourishing civil society” sounds like a story all people could sidle up to. Too bad today’s conservative POLITICAL agenda includes a whole lot more.

But I digress. The reason I’m writing this blog is because of this article The Daily Signal. The title “A Look Inside 4 Important Goals of the LGBT Movement” caught my attention, but when I read it I thought I was reading an article from a progressive online news organization. I thought I detected a slight slant in the direction of “pro-LGBT” in the writing. That’s when the cognitive dissonance came. Because right in the middle of the article The Daily Signal Senior News Producer Kelsey Harkness mentions her parent organization. I knew The Heritage Foundation was conservative, so I had to research to find out why the conservative organization’s news organ was reporting so balanced on a LGBT issue. I found my answer.

This morning I wrote to congratulate Kelsey on her great reporting. In 5 minutes she replied. Here’s what she wrote:

Thank you so much for reaching out and sending this kind note. Although The Daily Signal is owned by The Heritage Foundation I was hired as a reporter, not an advocate. I do my sincere best to report on these issues fairly and appreciate your feedback about this piece. (Unfortunately, LGBT groups often ignore my press requests but hopefully this article is a step in the right direction.) I like to think we would all be better off if we were more willing to hear and understand all sides of these sensitive issues, which is what I tried to do here.

Glad you came across it and I do appreciate your email very much.

Best,

Kelsey

Her last point bears repeating: “I like to think we would all be better off if we were more willing to hear and understand all sides of these sensitive issues, which is what I tried to do here.” 

 

 

We are all connected

IMG_3717Why do so many miss this obvious fact? Wait. Don’t answer. I already know. The question is: do you really know?

Beautiful case in point. This article tells Tracey “Africa” Norman’s remarkable story as the first transgender BLACK model. It’s a great read. The way Tracey tells it, she had a much less difficult life as a female presenting male than the stories I see and hear about. When she finally aligned her reality with what she knew inside, her intuition had her finding work among some of the most successful black models in the world.

That didn’t last. Once the industry found out – as was often the case – all doors closed. Still.  Late in the story we discover how trans black icons today only recently discovered Tracey. But here’s the point: one of these people’s lives,  Laverne Cox, includes this seemingly “bizarre” juxtaposition of events, which, really just are examples of how connected we all are in this world.

Tracey had modeled “multiple times” according to the article for Essence magazine right up until around the 80s. That’s when her secret got out.  Her secret got out just as she was shooting her first Essence cover. She never got the cover and except some modeling opportunities overseas, Tracey’s modeling career ended abruptly.

Fast forward to 2014. Laverne Cox on her first cover shoot for Essence is tearing up thinking about Tracey and the trail she blazed, seemingly specially for Cox.

“I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m doing a cover shoot for Essence and this is the magazine that 40 years ago fired a trans woman when they found out she was trans.’” She chokes up. “It just means a lot to me that history can be rewritten.”

Back then when the modeling industry canned Tracey, she had a thought about what she was doing.  Rather than sue (she said in the article she didn’t have the presence of mind to even think of doing such a thing) she thought differently of events unfolding in her life:

“I’ve always said that the person that walks through the door first leaves the door cracked. There was a perception that a transgender woman couldn’t be passable and work in fashion magazines and land contracts. I proved that wrong. I left the door cracked for other [transgender people] to walk through.”

The door stayed open for 40 years before Cox stepped through.  Not just once.  Multiple times.

These kinds of events, these connections which span decades, are happening in your life every day. They happen every day.  Some are decades old. Some open the moment you need them. Why don’t you see them? Why is your life not charmed like Cox or some other person you know?

Comparisons are futile.

What’s important is the nature of your stories.  What stories are you telling yourself? Your stories are the access to events being organized on your behalf. You can tap in to them effortlessly, including that event where you naturally, effortlessly meet your ideal partner.

It’s not magic. It’s not miraculous. It’s just how the Universe works. Claim your share.

Next up: Lilly

QueernessLilly Wachowski, sister of Larry, and famous director of The Matrix and Cloud Atlas may be the latest transwoman to embrace her authenticity. With the CONSTANT number of people coming out as transgender, I’m not so sure that’s the case. One thing is certain. She’s smart. The article chronicling her outing shows (to me) a thoughtful, deep personality who is questioning our collective reality. More people are doing this folks.

How many more must come out, Transamorous Men, before we come out in larger numbers? I think it’s fucking fantastic that now the Wachowski’s have both joined the ranks of the transgender community. But what is even more fantastic to me, is the quote Lilly references, a quote she keeps on her office wall:

 

Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality for another world.
–  José Muñoz
This quote is exactly how I see the community. We are calling from the future to ourselves in the present to have faith and courage as we guide humanity along a course where gender diversity, sexuality diversity, DIVERSITY OF ALL KINDS is beyond de rigueur. It is commonplace, the norm and accepted as such.
Congratulations Lilly. Who’s next?

On Hari Nef

I found out about Hari Nef on Pinterest, where I have a board dedicated to my desire to find my transgender partner. Today I just saw her on Transparent, the Amazon series about an older transwoman, who makes her decision towards achieving freedom and happiness. Anyway, Hari looks fantastic on the show – remember, this is fantasy, it’s not life – and the show, this season seems (at least in the first couple episodes) to take it to another level from the stupendous start it had over a year ago.

I also caught cameos of other transgender notables. You think Hari is pretty? I do. But talking about how beautiful some transgender women are is not what this post is about, nor is this website or any other property of Transamorous Network dot com.

What this is bout the state of the nation…the transnation as I see it. Hari is just one more of a list of notable figures bound to emerge on society’s main stage as transpeople make their way to the mainstream. Meanwhile, many transgender women are living their ordinary lives far from stardom, experiencing their own lives, lives far from the fantasy we see in the media. There are plenty people talking about the challenges of being trans. I don’t lean that direction as I believe there is a divine plan in place which every transperson and transamorous person participates.

What is this “plan”?

There is a shift taking place right before our eyes. While Hari is at one end, there is a lagging, yet no less powerful other end emerging. That end is the rise of guys who aren’t going to shirk from their love of transwomen. The number of guys “out” about it is still miniscule. But that’s going to change. In the meantime, transwomen are going to find, more and more, refreshing changes in their environment as people like you, assuming you’re a transamorous male, begin to accept the natural part of you that you’ve been hiding or running from or avoiding.

Maybe this post will do the trick. Maybe it will be the videos on the way, or the Man’s Guide to Finding Your Transgender Partner (due out in a few weeks). Or something I haven’t even begun to create. But the state of the (trans)nation needs you man. It needs you, not your partial self you are being when you hide from your social circle this dramatically important part of who you are.

Hari Neff is hot. But you’re hotter. Because unlike Hari, your romantic attraction to transgender women can turn the life of a transgender woman on its head.

 

Photo credit: Hari Nef (Instagram)

Why I really like Transparent

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The cast of Amazon’s Transparent

It’s because the transwomen on there seem real, albeit in concentrated form. Unlike the L word and other shows intending to showcase LGBTQ and other minority communities, transwomen in Transparent aren’t super hot, gorgeous, waifs superfeminized and successful. They are trying to make their lives work for them against many odds while doing the best with what they have as far as their bodies and brains take them.

Even the cis-characters are tapestries of the human condition. Sometimes extremely so. In fact, Transparent is a kind of amplified version of reality – like all fantasy that is TV. It concentrates problems characters face to concentrate drama thereby enhancing viewership. It’s engaging if you don’t take it too seriously.

As a transamorous male, I enjoy seeing a more accurate portrayals of transwomen to the degree Transparent can portray them. It is fantasy though. It will never accurately portray what every single transperson’s experience is no more than the Huxtables on The Cosby Show could for all blacks. The trans spectrum, like the human one, is broad. Which means there are many successful transwomen working in the everyday work world, doing things ordinary people do, living relatively invisible lives. To watch this show then believe you know something about a transperson may be a fair assumption, but a dangerous one. Still, it’s a good start if you’re just getting your feet wet.

I don’t love transparent because of it’s accurate portrayal of transpeople. I love it because it’s good entertainment about a subject I care deeply about.