The shit that is going down in Oakland right now is momentous and horrifying. One of my friends who was protesting is as far as I know still in jail. Please spread the word and show solidarity for Occupy Oakland.

Below is the proposal passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.


We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

The Strike Coordinating Council will begin meeting everyday at 5pm in Oscar Grant Plaza before the daily General Assembly at 7pm. All strike participants are invited. Stay tuned for much more information and see you next Wednesday.

California Brings Two Transgender Rights Bills Into Law

Press release from Masen Davis, Executive Director at the Transgender Law Center:


Governor Brown just signed two important transgender rights bills into law. The first, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, brings transgender rights out of the closet in California – making “gender identity and expression” its own protected category at work, at school, in housing, at public accommodations and in other settings. The second, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act, makes it easier for transgender people to get a court-ordered gender change and updated birth certificate. It’s a big day for transgender folks in California!

We are holding a special briefing MONDAY October 10th, at 6:00 PM to update everyone on the impact of these bills. Click here to RSVP.

*We will be holding a separate Spanish language briefing later this week. For more information on this call, click here e-mail Maceo Persson.

These laws have been years in the making. Through our statewide survey of almost 650 transgender Californians, the 1,200 calls that our legal team receives annually and our conversations with you at events around the state, we discovered two problems that continued to resurface:

  1. We found that California’s nondiscrimination laws were often not accessible to those who needed them the most. Employers, health care providers, housing authorities – even transgender and gender non-conforming people – were unaware that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender Californians. Our legal rights were hidden within the definition of “gender”, leaving many people in the dark about their rights, and many institutions out of compliance responsibilities. This had an especially severe impact on low-income and trans communities of color who tend to face employment discrimination at higher frequencies within transgender communities.
  2. We heard from many transgender people who were unable to change their birth certificates and other identity documents due to financial and medical barriers. Onerous and outdated standards for court-ordered gender changes created unfair and damaging barriers that disproportionately impacted trans people of color, immigrant trans people, low-income trans people and others who could not overcome the many hurdles to securing basic identity documents. These are identity documents we all need to work, travel, and be our authentic selves.

With the help of your input and our partners at Equality California and GSA Network, we came up with two legislative solutions to these problems.

  • The Gender Nondiscrimination Act (AB 887) takes existing protections based on gender and spells out “gender identity and expression” as their own protected categories in our nondiscrimination laws. By making these protections explicit, people will more clearly understand California’s nondiscrimination laws, which should increase the likelihood that employers, schools, housing authorities, and other institutions will work to prevent discrimination and/or respond more quickly at the first indications of discrimination.
  • The Vital Statistics Modernization Act (AB 433) will alleviate the confusion, anxiety and even danger that transgender people face when we have identity documents that do not reflect who we are. The bill will streamline current law and clarify that eligible petitioners living or born in California can submit gender change petitions in the State of California. The Vital Statistics Modernization Act conforms California’s standards to the standards set by the United States Department of State for gender changes on passports, and it makes common-sense changes to the law that ensure the process is simple for qualified petitioners to navigate.

Today these bills have become law, and this huge victory belongs to you! This legislative session, hundreds of transgender, gender non-conforming and ally Californians took action — educating lawmakers, reaching out to the governor and sharing their stories with the media.

Our victory is a testament that California is at its best when we work together to realize the ideal that everyone should be treated fairly and equally. The barriers that transgender people face are life threatening and we applaud Governor Brown, Assemblymember Atkins and Assemblymember Lowenthal for their tremendous leadership to remove some of the obstacles that prevent transgender Californians from living as our authentic selves.

They say gender is between your ears, and sex is between your legs.

But your gender is not all in your head. It is interactive. It exists within you and outside of you, around you, in the world. After all, if gender could exist comfortably purely as self-knowledge, why would anybody need to transition?

Gender can be felt throughout your entire body. In fact it probably reaches out beyond the boundaries of your body into your wardrobe and the clutter in your room. You leave bits and pieces of your gender everywhere as you move through the world.

And sex is not between the legs. It is never in just one place. It is genitals, it is chromosomes, it is hormones, it is body hair, it is the fucking pitch of your voice. They always tell us that it’s one thing, but then as soon as we get close, they move it.

Talk to a cis person about sex and notice that they’ll almost always define your sex in terms of what you don’t have. That surgery you didn’t get, or the fact that you needed that surgery in the first place. The stubble you forgot to shave, or the beard that you can’t grow yet. What your voice sounds like now, or the fact that it used to sound like something else. Chromosomes you haven’t had tested. Structures in your brain that you will never get a look at.

Sex, in other words, is a moving goal post. It is everywhere and nowhere. It is not between your legs. If it is anywhere in your body then it’s that spot in the middle of your back which you can’t quite reach to scratch. They will always try to put it wherever you cannot get it, and no place else.

Trans Power, Trans Pride, Trans Rage

Somebody told me the other day that there are people who find me “unapproachable” because of my politics.

Good. I don’t want people who disagree with my politics to approach me. Ever. My politics are not abstract. They cannot be sacrificed for social convenience, because they are not about saving the pandas, they are about preserving myself and my friends. I completely unmotivated by idealism. I do not have that luxury. What drives my beliefs is a burning sense of necessity.

No, I do not believe that we need to be nicer to cis people. I believe we need to be more committed to each other and to ourselves. I believe we need a hardcore sense of dignity and self worth. And we cannot have that dignity, that sense of self worth, when we constantly bite our tongues against protests and swallow our own truths.

We must call out cissexism and transphobia. We must not accept incorrect names or pronouns or identifiers. We must not allow the definitions of others to be attached to us. We must stand up for ourselves and for each other and demand what we need in order to be safe, secure and happy, because we do have rights.

But in order to get the things we need, we need to believe that we deserve them.

Trans people who hate themselves cannot form a strong community with other trans folk. We must love ourselves, and love each other, cherish our self esteem and our pride, and cherish also the fierce protector of our dignity, which is our rage. Out of pride comes community. Rage will defend it. The strength to achieve our goals will be the result— that is, trans power.

This is what I believe. I think that there is worth in this perspective. I think we need to test it. I think we need to become more militant, more active, more critical. We need to be tighter knit, to reach out to each other more. Everything we do is political now and we must recognize that. Every new friendship between trans people is a new alliance which could potentially help turn back the tide of deaths, either by contributing to the safety in numbers that might prevent a murder, or to the emotional support system which may stop a suicide.

These ideas are the foundation of my activism. I believe that we will get farther faster if we invest our energy in building up each other, rather than in meekly submitting to manifold indignities in the vain hope of “educating” a few of our oppressors who may be willing to listen. Perhaps I will be proven wrong, but I don’t think so. I am confident enough in my strategy to gamble my well being and my hope for the future on it.

You, of course, do not have to do so. But anyone who is interested in such an approach to trans activism— an approach based on trans unity, community, mutual aid, self-worth and pride— I am there with you. I invite you to help me grow my network, my community, and in turn I will add to yours.

Let’s have each other’s backs for once.

Update On CeCe MacDonald

October 6, 2011


Minneapolis, MN – In a clear retaliatory move against Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald for her earlier refusal of a plea bargain, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office amended the complaint against her this afternoon, October 6, adding a charge of 2nd degree murder with intent in addition to her previous charge of 2nd degree murder without intent. Additionally, the prosecution hinted at a motion to raise bail but did not, in the end, raise the motion, since McDonald has already been released on bond. McDonald maintains that she has been falsely accused, noting that the incident that resulted in Dean Schmitz’s death began when she was violently attacked for her race and gender while walking to the grocery store. McDonald was released on bail earlier this week.

Supporters believe that the prosecution increased the charges against McDonald as further retaliation for her recent refusal to agree to a plea bargain offered on September 22. The prosecution has also asked to move McDonald’s trial up to December 12. Supporters object to the earlier court date, which appears to be an attempt to stifle community mobilization to support McDonald in court, and limit the defense’s time to prepare for trial. The defense has requested that McDonald’s trial date be returned to the original date of January 9.

McDonald and her supporters note that the new, harsher charge demonstrates that the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office continues to side with the white supremacists who attacked her and fail to acknowledge the hate crime that McDonald sustained. Katie Burgess, Executive Director of the Trans Youth Support Network, had this to say after Thursday’s hearing: “There is a clear choice to be made in this situation: do you stand with white supremacists? Or do you stand with queer youth of color in our community? Hennepin County has chosen to protect the interests of hate and bigotry. As people of conscience and compassion, we’re calling on them to exercise their discretion in this case and drop the charges against CeCe!”

McDonald was released from the Hennepin County Jail on Tuesday night, after a final push from her Support Committee to raise the cost of bond. Community supporters will continue to fundraise to offset trial costs. McDonald sent out this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can. Hate cannot drive out, hate only love can.”

McDonald’s trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on January 9, and supporters have vowed to pack the courtroom for the trial and any future hearings. Visit http://supportcece.wordpress.com or email for more information.

The Gender Bill Of Rights

Here’s something I’m working on. I thought maybe you lovely people would have some feedback, and be able to remind me if I am forgetting anything. I’m not interested in scaling this back or making it more “realistic,” only in making it more radical and comprehensive. I’m also interested in wording it in ways that emphasize the ways in which this would actually benefit everyone, including cis men and women, heterosexuals, and others who might generally feel alienated from discussion of transgender liberation.

(I also know there are also a few gender bill of rights type documents floating around out there already. I felt moved to make my own.)


These rights are inalienable, mandatory, and to be taken seriously at all times. This is a model of gender that is fully individual, consensual, voluntary, and free from state intervention. This model of gender has been designed not to oppress anyone and in fact has been designed to benefit all who are affected by gender in this society (that is to say, everyone), including men, women, non-binary people, agender people, cis people, trans people, intersex and non-intersex people, hetero, queer, and asexual people. We are a long way from adopting this model, and to do so would take time. But doing so can ultimately only benefit us all.

  1. You have a right to have your gender treated as valid, equal and real.
  2. You have a right to be referred with proper forms of address, including pronouns, honorifics, correct names, and appropriate gender descriptors.
  3. You have a right to change how you feel about, talk about, relate to and wish others to relate to your gender, or indeed to change your gender itself, in any way, at any time.
  4. You have a right to not have a gender.
  5. You have a right to privacy about your gender or lack thereof.
  6. No one’s gender should ever be assumed. No one should ever be assumed to have a gender.
  7. You have a right to full control over your gender beginning at birth. No surgical alterations should be made on unconsenting infants in order to fit them into a certain paradigm of gender. Gendered names, pronouns, and descriptors should never be used until children can decide for themselves how they wish to be known to the world.
  8. Education should be unbiased towards any gender or lack of gender. Children of school age have a right to role models of any or no gender.
  9. You have a right to be attracted to anybody of any gender or lack of gender, and to carry on sexual or romantic relationships with any number of consenting individuals regardless of gender.
  10. You have a right to engage in any consensual sex act, regardless of your gender.
  11. You have a right to say no at any time to anyone, regardless of your or their gender.
  12. You have a right to raise children, regardless of your gender.
  13. You have a right to access contraception, permanent birth control, and abortion as needed, regardless of your gender.
  14. You have a right to express any emotion that you feel, regardless of your gender.
  15. You have a right to dress and present yourself in any way that you desire, regardless of your gender.
  16. You have a right to total control over your own body and sole authority in making decisions about it.
  17. The state of your body should not be considered a factor in the validity of your gender. Levels of hormones or number of surgeries that you may or may not have undergone should have no influence on how your gender is viewed by others.
  18. You have a right to employment and fair wages, regardless of your gender.
  19. You have a right to housing, regardless of your gender.
  20. You have a right to education, regardless of your gender.
  21. You have a right to healthcare, regardless of your gender, including the right to vital psychological and medical services which may relate to your gender, including hormone therapy and transgender surgeries of any kind. Access to these necessary services should be unabridged.
  22. No one’s gender should ever be pathologized.
  23. You have a right to relieve yourself in public bathrooms which are safe, private, and desegregated.
  24. You have a right to expect that the state, if a state there must be, shall not interfere with, demand information about, or mistreat you on the basis of your gender. You should not be identified to the state or to others by information about your gender. There should be no need for gender markers on any form of legal identification.
  25. No organization, governmental or otherwise, has the right to demand information about your gender. Medical professionals need only know details about their patient’s anatomy, and appropriate polite forms of address to be used with their patients, including correct names, pronouns and honorifics, nothing more.
  26. To the legal system, if a legal system there must be, your gender should be immaterial. You should not be placed in solitary confinement based on your gender. You should not be placed in segregated facilities of any kind based on your gender. You should have a fair trial, regardless of your gender. You have a right to a jury of your peers, i.e. transgender people have a right to not be judged by cisgender people who may be viciously biased against us.

CeCe MacDonald Needs Your Help

Cis allies: this is where the rubber meets the road in terms of supporting the trans community. Trans siblings: this is a perfect example of a time when we must support each other.


Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald is a young African American transgender woman charged with “second degree murder” after an incident that began when she was violently attacked because of her gender and race.

CeCe is a creative and energetic person who, before her life was so unjustly interrupted, was studying fashion at MCTC. She had a stable home where she lived with and helped support four other African American youth, her family. CeCe’s family describes her as a leader, a role model, and a loyal friend. She is known as a wise, out-spoken, and welcoming person, with a cheerful disposition and a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace.

Around 12:30 am on June 5, CeCe and four of her friends (all of them black) were on their way to Cub Foods to get some food. As they walked past Schooner’s Bar in South Minneapolis, a man and two women (all of them white) began to yell epithets at them. They called CeCe and her friends ‘faggots,’ ‘niggers,’ and ‘chicks with dicks,’ amongst other things.

As they were shouting, one of the women smashed her drink into the side of CeCe’s face, slicing her cheek open, lacerating her salivary gland, and stinging her eyes with liquor. A fight ensued, with more people joining in. What happened during the fight is unclear, but within a few minutes Dean Schmitz–one of the attackers–had been stabbed.

CeCe was later arrested, and is now falsely accused of murder

For a month, CeCe was kept in solitary confinement “for her own protection”; she had no say in this matter. Finally, she was transferred to a psychiatric unit in the Public Safety Facility. It was nearly two months before she was taken back to a doctor to check up on the wound on her face, which by then had turned into a painful, golf ball-sized lump.

Later on, CeCe’s friends were harassed on the street by people they recognized from the scene of the fight. Individuals circled the block that CeCe’s friends were walking on and called them ‘niggers’ and ‘faggots’ and told them to ‘go back to Africa.’ When they attempted to wave down a passing squad car for assistance, the officer driving the car said he would not help them.

The website has all kinds of great ways to help. Many of them don’t even require you to leave your home. You can donate to help her with her bail. Every bit helps! You can write letters– to the editor, or in support of Cece. You can repost this far and wide. Any of my readers in South Minneapolis (do I have any?), or any of my readers from throughout the nation who feel like making a road trip, can show up to support her in court. You can distribute these great fliers.

But please, even if the only thing you do is spread the word by twittering, facebooking, tumblring or emailing this to friends, do not read this and do nothing.


I wrote this little post a long time ago and am now reposting it here because somebody recently flagrantly and publicly misgendered me as “transmasculine.”

God, it fucking hurts.

I am not masculine. I do not need to be lumped in with butches, bois, FTMs and other trans people who have nothing in common with me aside from having been assigned female at birth. It is totally cissexist to believe that I have something in common with those other people based on that one arbitrary and fucked up fact.

I don’t. I am not butch. I am not masculine. I am not masculine of center.

I am male and I am fem.

So I thought I’d just put it on my front page where nobody could miss it. Here goes.

I just changed my gender to “fem” on a certain website and it feels fabulous.

No, it doesn’t mean I’m no longer male identified. But “male” can be a pretty broad category, and I like being specific about exactly what kind of man I am.

It’s also political. All the gay guys seem to be butch these days. Femininity in queer males  is deeply looked down upon by many (especially by gay cis males).

Personally I respect femininity. In someone who is expected to be masculine it is particularly transgressive. I enjoy that transgression.

The fact that I, as a trans man, am expected to be obsessed with being as “masculine” as possible makes my femininity especially shocking, and especially dangerous to me. The threat of ungendering has caused me to hide my femininity for a long time.

But no more. I’m sick of it.

Calling myself fem is just more honest. I identified with feminine males long before I could bring myself to identify as a male. The first time I ever saw anyone who I thought of as being “the same gender” as I was, was when I watched The Naked Civil Servant, a biopic about Quentin Crisp starring John Hurt. Before, I had related more to women than to straight men, and I still do, but I never could conceptualize myself as a woman.

When I watched that movie, for the first time I began to realize there were other options. There were men who in some sense were like women, who were allied with them against the common enemy of masculine brutality. This is how I came to see myself.

Still, I assumed, like so many others, that being a feminine male required being assigned male at birth. I thought the closest I could come was being a masculine female, but that idea depressed me. I didn’t want to be masculine. Neither did I want to be female. I wanted to be just the opposite– if these things can really be said to have opposites.

So it went on for years. My love of glitter, fishnets, pretty clothes and other men made me assume I was disqualified from being transsexual. And not too long ago, those things really would have disqualified me. Thanks to the trail-blazing work of individuals like Lou Sullivan, a homosexual trans man, having a aueer orientation is no longer considered to be a contradiction to the diagnosis of gender identity disorder. Gay and lesbian transsexual people can now access hormones and surgery just like our heterosexual brothers and sisters.

I want to honor the work of people like Lou by living honestly, not just as a faggot, not just as queer, but as a decidedly unmasculine transgender man. As Quentin Crisp blazed trails for fem men everywhere by living openly and flamboyantly, and as Lou Sullivan fought for the right of all men to be faggots (and all faggots to be men), I want to stand up and be counted, too.

Politics quite aside, I have spent too much time and money in transition already to be anything but exactly the kind of man I want to be. This was never about being a guy, any guy. It was about being me.

And now, that is exactly what is going to happen.

For other places where I have been loud and open about my fem identity, go here. Thanks.

An Education

Do you know how I know that the whole “If you don’t educate me how will I learn” thing is a load of crap?

Because, um, well, who the hell do you think educated me?

Do you think trans people are born knowing this stuff? Or that there’s some kind of magic database that we get a password to at the time that we come out?

No. We have to do our own damn research. Often in secret, perhaps on a shared computer, obsessively erasing our browser history every fifteen minutes. We don’t get to ask for help, or demand that other people educate us. For us, at a certain point, such a move would be dangerous.

We learn because we care. If you care, you can learn too.You do not need us to walk you through it.

I had to do it myself. So did the vast majority of other trans people.

And so can you.

It’s a big internet out there, and yes, while internet access is a privilege, it’s a privilege that is getting more accessible to more people all the time. Anyone reading this clearly has it already. Don’t take it for granted. Put it to work.

Go google something.

The plagiarized post has been taken down.

I don’t know why, whether the “author” suffered from a guilty conscience/embarrassment or tumblr simply deleted it. Anyway, it’s gone. I feel a lot better. It was surprisingly painful to have somebody steal words that I felt so passionate about for a little bit of queer cred or an ego boost or whatever.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 191 other followers